I think you may have misunderstood the main point of my story: because the use of “cisgender” works to de-naturalize cisgender people — to make them visible as cisgender and not just people — use of that word is always an intervention in the balance of power in society. That’s the whole point of naming the people who masquerade as abstract, universal humans: white, male, heterosexual, cisgender, etc. Naming them de-centers them.

I tried very hard to sidestep the question of intent in the story, since that topic is enormous and varied. I’m sure some people “mean nothing” by their use of the word cisgender. Others deploy it as a weapon or accusation. There is no such thing as neutral language. Cisgender is not some innocent descriptor. It’s an act of power. And I support its use.

A lot.

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

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