I want to bow down and pay homage to Asher over at Transarchism.com for this amazing introduction to trans issues, written away from all the usual cis-centric and binary language. It’s called Not Your Mom’s Trans 101.
I kept finding myself saying “Yes! Bloody right!” whilst reading this, more than in any other intro I’ve read – but the star sentence for me is this one, penned in amongst advice to cis* people wanting to know how to behave as “allies”, after telling them not to keep telling us how well we’re “passing”:
Passing generally means “looking cis.” Not all of us want to look like you, thank you very much.
Yes! Bloody Right!
That is all.
*It occurs to me that not everyone reading this will know what cis means. Basically, it means people who are not trans, in that term’s broadest sense. Taken from the Latin meaning “on this side of”, as opposed to “trans” meaning “on or to the other side of”, cis has been adopted by gender theorists, and the trans community in general, to indicate people whose gender identity matches their physical body. The idea behind having a term is to make the point that cis people are not “more normal” than trans people, they’re just more common – so why should we trans folk be the only ones with a label? The downside of the cis/trans language is that it’s still very binary, of course.