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.

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

  1. 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!!!

  2. 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.

    1. 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.

      1. If a word’s traits should stick to an originator’s usage, “incel” would describe women instead of needing “femcel” to differentiate from its default masc-assumption, “gif” would uncontroversially be pronounced with a soft-g, and no slang or localized lexicon would ever develop.

        Also, it’s been a few years since this post was written. I wonder whether the author’s views have evolved in any way.

    2. You copulating donkey, I think you’ll find you’re 100% wrong about the definition of “cis!”

      From the Merriam-Webster:

      “of, relating to, or being a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.”

      Those of us who criticize gender and the identitarian movement don’t actually “identify” as having a “gender identity” at all!

      I think you’d find, in fact, that “cis” is a made-up concept only useful to provide a comparative framework for “trans.” The only non-trans people who might eagerly agree they have a “gender identity” that makes them like wearing pink and enjoying baked goods or wearing blue and tinkering under car hoods might be those who buy into that 1950’s gender role bullcrap, which is to say, conservatives!

      If cis simply meant “non-trans” and “does not suffer from gender dysphoria,” I think you’d find we’d all have far less of a problem with it!

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

    2. 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.

        1. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Thanks so much. Just came across this. I find I stop conversations when someone tries to cis me. I am so baffled by some of what goes on.

    Another one that you may touch on elsewhere is the number of evangelists for the new doctrine of the Gender spectrum is not only do they want to make me same-gender attracted but I am seeing “Sexual Preference” come up everywhere when the author is evangelical Christian or dedicated standard bearer for transactivist doctrinal orthodoxy. Then half of these (if you read further) will also start spouting off about how sexual preference or just sexuality change over time for many people then give as evidence their own transition.

    (And on that last part I think people should have to be able to pass a short quiz to establish that they have actually read Lisa Diamond’s work before they get to site her, drop her name, or refer to sexual orientation as fluid. And if it is a trans-man who likes boy or transgirl who likes the ladies and they reference their own change in sexuality as evidence they should have to get a tattoo with their choice of either “Be careful I use my gender identity to prevent people from noticing when I misrepresent scientific research in ways that undermine the perceived integrity of gay and lesbian people when describing their own lives” But that is so wordy how about they get to choose a tattoo of either Dreger, Bialy, or Zucker)

  5. So I heard someone referred to as a cisgay male about three days ago for the first time. I have to admit, I was a little surprised to hear it, I mean people use the term ‘cis’ as shorthand for cishetero males all the time. Frankly though I don’t have a problem with it. I know three f2m trans men who pursue other men romantically and sexually, so there IS a need for clarity here, a need for language which allows individuals to identify who they are how they want to (it was in fact in this context that the term cisgay was used). Language lives, and Serano does not have exclusive right to define how we use the term cis. Maybe in your circles the term is used with more overt hostility but thats not how I heard it used. Just a thought.

  6. Thank you for this. The trans political movement (not trans people themselves) are something of an angry mob more like fundamentalist Christians than run-of-the-mill homosexuals.

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