How ‘cis lesbian’ and ‘cis gay man’ reveal the homophobia in the transgender movement

I have seen the terms ‘cis lesbian’ and ‘cis gay man’ used by transgender individuals. Here’s how these terms reveal the homophobia at the core of the transgender movement.

To examine use of the word ‘cis‘ we can turn to Julia Serano who thus defines this term thus:

“people who are not trans, transgender, or transsexual, respectively”

We can look to Serano again for a definition of ‘transgender‘:

“Transgender: the most commonly accepted umbrella term for people who transgress gender norms or defy traditional gender categories in some way.”

An example of a gender norm is the sex of your partner, as gender values heterosexuality above homosexuality: for example, girls are socialised to be home makers, wives and mothers, boys to be bread winners, husbands and fathers. We are taught, from an early age, to embrace heterosexual relationships as an ideal and this is a fundamental part of ‘normal’ gender socialisation.

Stonewall UK throw homosexuals under the bus.

Lesbians and gay men transgress the fundamental heterosexual norm of gender because the sexual and romantic partners of lesbians and gay men are people who are of the same sex. There is therefore no such thing as a ‘cis lesbian’ or a ‘cis gay man’. The use of ‘cis’ in this way is an attempt by transgender individuals, who are often themselves heterosexual males, to impute gendered privilege to homosexuals over heterosexuals. As anyone who has ever been a victim of ‘gay bashing‘ will tell you, this is the opposite of the truth.

Attributing ‘cis’ to lesbians (and gay men) fundamentally ignores what it means to be homosexual; the terms ‘cis lesbian’ and ‘cis gay man’ diminish what it means to be homosexual and so associating ‘cis’ with lesbians or gay men is homophobic.

10 Responses to “How ‘cis lesbian’ and ‘cis gay man’ reveal the homophobia in the transgender movement”

  • FeistyAmazon

    Thank you, cuz being tomboy all my life then growing into Butch when I came out at 21, I NEVER had the luxury of those who conformed to sex roles or sex stereotypes. NOT EVER as a Butch Dyke. Ive dated and partnered with Femmes Ive partnered with other Butches, but prefer another Butch because SHE UNDERSTANDS the struggle I have had from childhood and price paid for NOT CONFORMING. NO Butch Dyke conforms. We are not transgender or transsexual NOR are we Cis or Queer.

    We ARE DykeAmazons and proudly Lesbian Females!!!

  • James

    you fucking ass. you’re being willfully obtuse here. cis literally only mean identifying as the sex you’re assigned at birth. if you were assigned female and you id as female, you’re cis. your sexuality as a lesbian has nothing to do with that. grow the fuck up and quit reaching for ways to villify trans people.

    • miranda

      As explained in the piece, the definition of ‘cis’ is taken from the individual who originated the term in this context. The definition you’re offering is fundamentally different to Serano’s which includes anyone who does not comply with ‘gender norms’. This includes the sex of the partner. What I write here is less about vilifying trans people (the trans community is toxic enough to do this without my help) and more about recognising the reality of what transgender politics is and does; I think it’s important to recognise something that claims to be a movement for civil liberties does in fact conflict quite starkly with the rights and liberties of homosexuals and women.

      http://www.juliaserano.com/terminology.html#cis

    • miranda

      It seems always the case that heterosexuals and heterosexuality destroy any romanticism with mission creep.

    • Fernanda Florentino

      what? are you saying all lesbians only have a fetiche? cause you’re mixing two different things. there are women who are attracted to other women romantically, there are men who are attracted to other men romantically. there are women who are attracted to men and men that are attracted to women, romantically, there are women and men who are attracted to both women and men, romantically. AND there are people who have some sort of fetish but are mostly attracted to gender x. fetishe and sexuality are two different things. for example, it can exist a lesbian who wouldn’t never date a guy but somehow are not repulsed by a penis.

        • Woman=female human

          I’ve been called many things, but I’ve never been called a fetishist before because of my sexual orientation. That is a homophobic statement of there ever was one. BTW, I can tell who is s female without having to see their genitals. DUH.

  • Eric Anderson

    People these days do not understand sexual orientation and homosexuality. Homosexual is same sex attraction not same gender attraction. We do not require “cis” when we talk about male and female. Male homosexuality is males that are attracted to males. If a person is a trans woman and has relations with another male she is a homosexual. A lesbian is a female that has relations with other females, that is a homosexual. If a Trans man has relations with females he is a homosexual. Heterosexuals are people who have relations with people of the opposite sex. A trans woman that has relations with a female she is a heterosexual, NOT A LESBIAN. If a trans man has relations with a male he is a heterosexual, NOT A GAY MAN. Gender identity and sexual orientation are two separate things. I do not say these realities to hurt anyone. I respect peoples gender identity but it does not mean that I have to sacrifice my own sexuality, I did not sacrifice it to make my grandma happy I will not for anyone else.

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  1.  ‘TERF’, ‘Cis’, Misogyny and Homophobia in Transgender Culture | Miranda Yardley

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