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.
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.