I don’t understand. If a person does not identify as the gender they were assigned at birth, they’re not “cisgender.” They’re technically “transgender” or “gender non-binary” or whatever they tell you their gender identity is (if indeed they have one). Not identifying with any gender is often termed “agender.” But these are all abstractions. With specific persons, I tend to follow the individual’s preference in gender identity self-description. That doesn’t always align with academic definitions.

Michael J. Murphy, MA, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Illinois. He is the author of many book chapters, and encyclopedia and journal articles. Most recently he edited Living Out Loud: An Introduction to LGBTQ History, Society, and Culture (Routledge, 2019). He lives in St. Louis with his husband.

Professional homosexual. Professor. Writer. Scholar. Activist. Husband.

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