I need to start this off by saying one thing. Cis is not an insult. Cis literally means same. Cisgender, therefore, means same gender. It simply means the opposite of trans. Calling someone a cis woman or cis man is much better than saying something like ‘real’ woman, or ‘real’ man, or worse, ‘biological woman’ or ‘biological man’ (have a look at my post yesterday on biology if you want to know why that is so wrong).
Cisnomativity refers to when everything is laid out simply for cis people, such as toilets being simply male and female. My article today is to talk about what it means to live in a cisnormative society, as someone who isn’t cis.
As a non-binary person, I face the cis world daily and work out how to navigate it. It is never the same, each day I am given another challenge. This may be as ‘simple’ as working out if I am going to hold my bladder, use the disabled toilet, or use the men’s. It may also be facing if I want to correct a friend on my pronoun in front of people who don’t know me, it may be hiding my pronoun badge because I am down a street where I know I will get hassle for it.
A cisnormative world means that I am facing people who believe my gender doesn’t exist every day.
I am privileged however, I ‘pass’ as a cis male. I don’t identify as such, but I do have that privileged position. I get to walk through life being perceived as male and the privilege of attitudes that comes with that. I go into doctor’s appointments with my partner, who gets ignored a lot as someone who is visibly queer, and the professionals listen to me over him. If I am seen as male I get treated better than my ‘visibly’ non-binary and trans peers.
There are a lot of things that cis people don’t have to worry about that trans and non-binary people do.
- When I apply for a job I am always worried about outing myself when it comes to looking at ID as it still has my dead name and gender assigned at birth on
- I can’t hook up with anyone without the panic of their attitude towards what I have in my pants
- I get told my heroes must be people like Buck Angel and Caitlyn Jenner (ew, to both, I will say more when it comes to the letter P, Problematic People). I don’t get to have my pick of the lot as there just are not as many known people – certainly not that cis people know.
- My gender is rarely on the ‘equality’ forms
These are just some things. Have a look at the post on ‘Its Pronounced Metrosexual‘ website, it goes over a fair few more.
Being trans or gender non-conforming is not a walk in the park, especially when you factor in the cisnormative society that is around us every day. Have a think about that next time you consider that being trans is a ‘fad’ or the new thing. We don’t go through this all for fun. Trust me.