08 December 2006

Non-Transgender Privilege

I learned about this non-transgender privilege list at a recent workshop at my church that was presented by the founder of the Transgender Alternatives Project (TGAP) in Shreveport, Louisiana.

The author of this list is the very prolific "unknown author" according to the web site were this list was found. This list is based on Peggy McIntosh's White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack.
1) Strangers don't assume they can ask me what my genitals look like and how I have sex.

2) My validity as a man/woman/human is not based upon how much surgery I've had or how well I "pass" as a non-Trans person.

3) 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.

4) I am not excluded from events which are either explicitly or de facto* men-born-men or women-born-women only. (*basically anything involving nudity)

5) My politics are not questioned based on the choices I make with regard to my body.

6) I don't have to hear "so have you had THE surgery?" or "oh, so you're REALLY a [incorrect sex or gender]?" each time I come out to someone.

7) I am not expected to constantly defend my medical decisions.

8) Strangers do not ask me what my "real name" [birth name] is and then assume that they have a right to call me by that name.

9) People do not disrespect me by using incorrect pronouns even after they've been corrected.

10) I do not have to worry that someone wants to be my friend or have sex with me in order to prove his or her "hipness" or good politics.

11) I do not have to worry about whether I will be able to find a bathroom to use or whether I will be safe changing in a locker room.

12) When engaging in political action, I do not have to worry about the *gendered* repercussions of being arrested. (i.e. what will happen to me if the cops find out that my genitals do not match my gendered appearance? Will I end up in a cell with people of my own gender?)

13) I do not have to defend my right to be a part of "Queer" and gays and lesbians will not try to exclude me from OUR movement in order to gain political legitimacy for themselves.

14) My experience of gender (or gendered spaces) is not viewed as "baggage" by others of the gender in which I live.

15) I do not have to choose between either invisibility ("passing") or being consistently "othered" and/or tokenized based on my gender.

16) I am not told that my sexual orientation and gender identity are mutually exclusive.

17) When I go to the gym or a public pool, I can use the showers.

18) If I end up in the emergency room, I do not have to worry that my gender will keep me from receiving appropriate treatment nor will all of my medical issues be seen as a product of my gender. ("Your nose is running and your throat hurts? Must be due to the hormones!")

19) My health insurance provider (or public health system) does not specifically exclude me from receiving benefits or treatments available to others because of my gender.

20) When I express my internal identities in my daily life, I am not considered "mentally ill" by the medical establishment.

21) I am not required to undergo extensive psychological evaluation in order to receive basic medical care.

22) The medical establishment does not serve as a "gatekeeper" which disallows self-determination of what happens to my body.

23) People do not use me as a scapegoat for their own unresolved gender issues.
While searching for this list online, I also learned a new bit of jargon. Instead of using the term "non-transgender," one can use the term "cisgender." According to Wikipedia:

"Cis is a Latin noun or prefix, meaning "on the same side [of]" or "on this side [of]". It is the opposite of trans, which means "on the opposite side"."

A cisgender person is a person who presents a gender identity that society considers a match for the person's biological sex. Wikipedia has a page on cisgender here.

Cisgender is an example of inclusive language. Other terms like "normal" and "non-transgender" implicitly suggest that cisgender is normative and everything else isn't (sorta like describing men as non-female or women as non-male).

2 comments:

LaReinaCobre said...

Thanks for sharing! Good food for thought, and good to know the word cisgender.

naoko said...

Thank you for sharing that. It's a bit similar to this one list but that one is nicer since it goes a bit more into detail about some things.

Here is the intersex and transgender list of demands that has some good things too. http://www.geocities.com/gainesvilleavengers/intersextransdemands.htm