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Jezebel Centers Cis Voices Yet Again

December 18, 2010

Raise your hand if you’re at all surprised about Jezebel being cis-noxious (new term for when cis people are being their special breed of obnoxious). Didn’t think so.

Their latest shit is entitled, “When A Cis Woman Dates A Trans Man,” and, stupidly, at first I was intrigued. I realized my mistake two sentences in.

I can already hear Jezebel supporters shouting about the one throwaway sentence acknowledging that the author’s problem of not knowing what title to use is minor compared to those “transpeople” (as she put it, with no space) face daily – after which she launches into five paragraphs lamenting the title situation. Don’t care. Even if this had been written by the trans guy in the relationship, I would have found the generalizations about “trans guy, cis girl” relationships obnoxious, let alone that it was by the cis person.

“Boyfriend and girlfriend would be simplest, of course, but neither of us is crazy about being a boyfriend or girlfriend, respectively. We’re both committed to having a queer relationship; that is, one we make from scratch, considering our individual desires and needs, rather than what I think of as ticky-tacky relationships: they all look just the same.
As a trans guy, I often can’t even leave the house without being harassed or stared at (and that’s as a privileged trans male!) – yet I’m sitting here reading about some cis person judging my relationship simply for wanting to be known as my girlfriend’s boyfriend, which is what I am? Step off.
“I casually mention my boyfriend and suddenly I’m straight. Is that so terrible? Well, it makes me feel like I’m hiding my queerness – like I’m retreating into the closet. “
Oh no, poor cis queers!
“But it feels absurd-and absurdly insistent on my queerness-to talk about “my trans boyfriend,” or “my boyfriend, who’s trans,” or whatever other cumbersome construction I could invent.”
Uh, yeah. If a cis person did this to me, it would not end well. Your desire for queer acknowledgment is not comparable to a trans person’s right to safety from blatant othering about their gender.
“I find myself avoiding mentioning him to people who don’t know the whole story, simply because I don’t know what to call him.”
In closing, I would absolutely hate to think of virtually anyone I know reading this article without seeing a critique of it. People already often don’t understand that I am my girlfriend’s boyfriend (or even a guy, period) and call me weird gender-neutral titles, and I don’t need the ramblings of a cis person to contribute to that even further.
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