“Cisgender” Added to the Oxford English Dictionary

The word “cisgender” has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. “Cisgender” has gained in prominence over the last few years as transgendered people created it to identify those who were not trans.

Defined as “designating a person whose sense of personal identity corresponds to the sex and gender assigned to him or her at birth,” it is considered a “victory” for trans people, as they feel that “people who identify with the gender on their birth certificate now have an official “definition” – not just those who do not.”

James Morton, the transgender alliance manager at the Equality Network charity, said of the news, “The word cisgender is a useful neutral term which has been increasing greatly in popularity for over 20 years.
“Its addition to the Oxford English Dictionary reflects the significant increase in discussion of gender diversity over recent years. We welcome the increased awareness of its meaning which this inclusion will bring.”

Bernard Reed, a trustee of the Gender Identity Research and Education Society, offered a slightly different viewpoint, but echoed Morton’s statements. “We strongly support the use by the gender non-conforming community of a whole range of terms to describe themselves individually,” Reed said. “It’s interesting that they have chosen to describe people outside that spectrum as cisgender, which is not a term that cisgender people have chosen for themselves.

“Nonetheless, it appears now to have acceptance in the OED which gives it greater validity. Gender non-conforming people need cisgender allies. Some cisgender people have for many years been staunch advocates of the rights of gender non-conforming individuals and it is heartening to see that many, many more are now respecting their identities and entitlements to equal treatment.”


Founder and editor of the Social Memo

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