People who think cis privilege is a myth

I literally will not talk to you, and I definitely will not listen to you, until you have read the entirety of this, and yes, it is a two hundred and twenty eight page PDF. And then go read up on trans murder statistics. And then read some Susan Stryker.

And then if you still think cis privilege is a myth I still will not talk to you because you are a loss of a human being.

You have nothing to tell me that I have not heard before.

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About Asher

Asher Bauer is fast becoming a fixture in the San Francisco kink community, and intends to stay that way. He has worked as a Queer Educator at LYRIC (Lavender Youth Recreation And Information Center), and since has taken his talents as an educator to a wider variety of audiences, teaching on subjects ranging from safer sex to BDSM to trans and queer identities. He is also one of the hosts and originators of Transmission, the new trans-centric party at the San Francisco Citadel, and Invasion, the Citadel's all-genders queer party. View all posts by Asher

15 responses to “People who think cis privilege is a myth

  • biyuti

    I read that entire report when it came out. Very long but worth the read.

  • Helen

    I guess you’ll never talk to my mother since she doesn’t read in English, or anyone who is blind, or people who are illiterate then.

    • Asher

      Well I guess that was sort of like a call-out, so I’ll post it, even though it was plainly not made in good faith considering that the people this post was directed to are virulent transphobes who post vile blogs in English that link to mine. So none of that applies to them at all.

      • fightdemback

        It might not be meant in good faith, but somehow theres actually a reasonable case in there. I wonder if it would be worth asking the reports publisher to make available an audio pdf, for blind, dyslexic and ESL folks.

  • Gabby

    Jesus f’ing christ, Asher! Thank you for sharing that report. It is truly nausea-inducing.

  • neil

    What is CIS privilege? I’ve never heard of this before. (I found your blog linked from a friend’s blog. The word “tranarchism” caught my eye, so I thought I’d check it out. Now you’ve made me curious.)

    • Asher

      FFS. Read the blog and find out.

    • Don Oorst

      Neil. CIS means something to the effect of “comfortable in skin” , roughly that your happy with the gender assigned to you at birth. Its somewhat of a binary against trans who are said by the term to mean uncomfortable with assigned gender.

      In truth its a little more complicated than that, some feminists rightly or wrongly criticize the term when applied to women noting that society can make it uncomfortable to identify as woman even if one feels much more polarity towards their birth assignment of female. Likewise some trans folk note that it overly simplifies why people choose to change gender (or in some cases simply renounce gender). Finally many note that gender is simply much more complicated than cis vs trans noting there are many more variables at play

      However its the common term in use, so when someone says “CIS” gender, they effectively mean someone who doesnt identify as trans gendered.

      • Asher

        Cis does not mean “comfortable in skin.” “Comfortable in skin” is not the same as “identifies with gender assigned at birth.” I am trans and I am comfortable as hell in my skin.

        Cis women feminists who criticize “cis” on the basis that it supposedly means they are “comfortable” as women are missing the point. They may not be comfortable as women for a variety of reasons but they clearly continue to IDENTIFY as women.

        All cis means is not trans and all trans means is being a gender or lack of gender other than what you were assigned at birth.

        I believe cis and trans can describe almost all of the genders in the culture I live in, a.k.a. the dominant culture of the U.S. and much of Europe. However in other cultures where birth assignment is NOT practiced the trans vs. cis dichotomy does really fail to describe what goes on horribly. (For example the two spirit identity, which is an indigenous identity, is as more conferred by the community than it is chosen by the individual, in my VERY limited understanding.)

    • Denise Norris

      Cis-Privileges are the social privileges and empowerment associated with being cisgender (or non-transgender), that is having a conforming and/or congruent gender expression/gender identity.

      Unless one is born cisgender, one can never have real cis-privileges. At best trans who go deep stealth, get a form of pseudo cis-privileges that lasts only as long as cisgender society believes the trans-person to be actually cisgender.

      This is the same as light-skinned People of Color passing as white and getting white-privileges, just different groups of people.

      Here are some more random thoughts on the relationship of tran-priv and cis-priv

  • Howard

    Sooo… this whole “cis” thing. It kinda doesn’t make sense. cis-trans notation is shit that’s used to indicate stereoisomers. Yeah, I get that, sure… but uh… that has no meaning when it comes to gender identity. Someone just made it up. There’s no purpose or meaning to it. “Cis” literally means nothing except as a negating operator for trans. Which is not needed. There are those who suffer from Gender Identity Disorder, and they are called trans-people because they transition. Those who do not have this disorder are just regular people. What’s the purpose of ‘cis’?

    • Asher


      So you’re a twit.

      Read the damn study which I told you to read before you talked to me. (Twit.)

      Then go to my trans basics section where your question is answered. (Twit.)

      Then go kindly fuck off and never ever open your condescending mouth about trans issues again.

      (The above comment has only been published as an example of the kind of crap I usually don’t publish.)

    • Asher

      There are cis twits and the rest of us are just regular people. Why should we have to be called “Trans?”

    • Zoe

      Okay dude, I’m gonna respond to you on the (generous) assumption that you’re not a troll and might actually learn something here. Ready? Go!

      1) “someone just made it up.” Why yes, you are correct. This is how words are invented. First, there is a lexical gap (“we need a word for folks who identify with the gender assigned to them at birth, because we already have a word for people who don’t identify with their assigned gender, and we’d be GINORMOUS DOUCHEBAGS if we used ‘regular people’ to mean those who aren’t trans.”) Then, the lexical gap is filled with the invention of a new word, AKA “just making a word up.” I repeat: people making words up is what happens when humans communicate in language. Feature, not a bug.

      2) See the part in 1) about how calling a majority group “regular people” makes you a GINORMOUS DOUCHEBAG.

      3) Have some analogies! Would it be correct for there to be no word for other majority groups, such as straight people, white people, and Christians? Should we instead say “there’s gay people and then there’s regular people,” or “there’s people of color and then there’s regular people” or “he is a member of the normal religion”? No, this is wrong. If you know this is wrong, on what grounds can you object to the use of the word “cisgender” as an adjective to describe a majority group of people who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth?

      4) Go look at the title of this post. What does it say? It uses the phrase “cis privilege.” Do you know what privilege is? It’s when you belong to a group that is given unfair advantages by a discriminatory society. Cis people are definitely given unfair advantages by a culture which is hostile and dangerous to trans people. Growing up being given this kind of privileged treatment around your gender identity can lead you to act entitled. You just demonstrated this attitude of entitlement perfectly with your comment.

      5) If you don’t get it by now, I reiterate that you are acting like a GINORMOUS DOUCHEBAG. Please change.

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