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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Examining Cisgender Privilege

This list is intended for those who are interested in considering how their privilege as a cisgender, or non-transgendered, person affects their lives, and how that makes their experiences in the world substantially different from transgender, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people. This list is adapted from the list found on the T-Vox Wiki, other cisgender privilege materials, and the author's own experience.


Because I enjoy cisgender privilege,

1) I expect laws banning the creation of a hostile work environment will ban the use of offensive language about me.

2) I do not feel fear and apprehension when I am issued or must present identification. I expect all my forms of identification to accurately describe me. If they do not I expect to be just fine, anyway. My identification does not reveal private information that I may not want others to know.

3) I do not expect to be denied health care, emergency care, or health insurance on the basis of my gender.

4) I feel reasonably comfortable accessing STD testing, gynecological, and other personal health services. I do not have to explain my body parts to health practitioners, and do not fear that my anatomy will cause a scene or cause me to be denied care. I know health care practitioners have seen bodies like mine before.

5) I expect that I will be able to access medical and psychiatric care without lying. If I see a psychologist or psychiatrist for an unrelated issue, I feel confident that the person will not focus primarily on my gender.

6) I feel confident in my ability to pass through security checkpoints, use a passport to travel internationally, and to travel by plane. If I or my possessions are searched and I have done nothing wrong, I am not especially concerned. I feel confident that I can explain medications and syringes that I may carry.

7) Information important for me to keep private is not be revealed by pictures from my childhood, my diploma, mail, transcript, educational documents, the language used to refer to me, my voice, or meeting people I have not seen in a while.

8) I expect the privacy of my body to be respected. I am not asked about what my genitals look like, or whether or not my breasts are real, what medical procedures I have had, or if I am a real man or woman.

9) If I wish to have medical procedures or treatments which will make me feel or look more like the gender I feel myself to be, I will not have to undergo therapy or legal procedures in order to do so. Cosmetic medical procedures I desire are available to me provided I have the funds to pay for them.

10) I have been called by the pronoun that fits me all of my life. When I am not called by the correct pronoun, I can correct the speaker and they will feel that they were in the wrong.

11) I expect that I will not face unknown and potentially serious consequences because of my gender if I am jailed.

12) I feel at ease when entering a sex-segregated facility, such as a dorm, homeless shelter, bathroom, store changing room, locker room, mental hospital or hostel. I do not expect to be thrown out of these facilities or face hostility on the basis of my gender.

13) I have been shown in many ways, all of my life, that I have the unquestionable right to the gender I identify as.

14) I have never been asked to leave a bathroom by a security officer.

15) I do not make a decision about which restroom to use based upon concerns over my physical safety. I have never or rarely "held it" for a significant period of time because a public restroom safe for people of my gender was not available.

16) While I may not like or may criticize the binary gender system, it does not have serious emotional or physical consequences for me.

17) My gender is not negotiable based on the needs of others.

18) I enjoy sex or intimacy in ways that are basically acceptable to mainstream culture or large subcultures. The cultures which validate the way I love and am intimate with my partners have produced significant amounts of written, visual, and erotic material, which I can access.

19) I lived my childhood in a gender that felt appropriate to me, and that still does.

20) I do not have to establish that I am a different gender than someone already thinks I am.

21) I was trained in whatever gender was appropriate for me, and so I am prepared to live in my current gender. I have skills and hobbies which roughly correspond to my gender. If I do not, it is not taken as a strike against me really being the gender I say I am.

22) I am not thought to be a prostitute because I wear clothing that I feel is appropriate for my gender.

24) My potential lovers expect my genitals to look roughly similar to the way they do, and have accepted that before coming to bed with me. I never worry about potential lovers shifting instantly from amorous to disdain and even violence because of my genitals.

25) I am not accustomed to being looked at with shock, anger, fear, or hatred because I am in a sex-segregated facility. I am not regularly told to leave or harassed in sex-segregated areas.

26) My desire to be called by the correct pronoun is considered natural.

29)When initiating sex with someone, I do not have to worry that they won't be able to deal with my parts or that having sex with me will cause my partner to question his or her own sexual orientation.

30) My experience and expression of my gender is not viewed as baggage or as being overly sexual.

31) I was taught about the accomplishments of people of my gender in school and society. If I was not, I can easily find materials on the topic. I have always known that people of my gender existed.

32) I can choose to have casual sex with people I do not know well without having to explain my gender or genitalia beforehand.

33) My right to be called by the correct pronoun and name and be taken for the gender I am is not affected by the type of clothing I am currently wearing, how well it fits me, and what personal care measures I have taken that day. I have never lost the right to call myself by the gender that I know myself to be.

34) I have the privilege of not considering my cisgender privilege.

By Xeraph with material adapted from T-Vox Wiki and other cisgender privilege materials.

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