On a discussion during a training course, someone referred to me as cisgender, and I challenged it. I’m not. Instead of accepting my declaration of gender, I was lectured on hegemonic masculinity by someone who proclaimed they ‘knew a lot about gender’ – assuming I didn’t know anything academically and more importantly that I didn’t know anything about my own gender.
In many ways, this post seems at odds with recent psychology and coaching posts. However it’s really just a piece about how we think about the world and our inherent need to classify. Over the past few years I’ve noticed the word cisgender (and its variants used) and for a while have thought how deeply unhelpful it is. It is a flow of consciousness and no doubt will change over time. Constructive comments and insights are most welcome.
Cisgender offers a complement to transgender. It refers to people whose gender assigned at birth matches their own experience and sense of identity. The problem with cisgender is that it introduces yet another binary into how we think about sex and gender. It should also be noted that gender is not assigned at birth. A peek at the genitals is not gender. It’s a biological classification. It’s sex…
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