What’s That Mean?
By Bobbie Thompson -aka Alana’s Spouse’m always seeking ways of getting
the transgender community.
male, and persons born with a female
information out about our books.
During this same week, Alana and I
body identifying as a female.”
One thing I’ve done is sign up for the
were interviewed by another online
We use words and assume the person
free emails from RadioGuestList.com.
radio host who made several comments
we’re talking to is going to understand,
The way it works is the emails are “calls”
paring “cis-gender” and “transgender”
when often they don’t. Just like every
from online radio hosts seeking guests
persons together in the same sentence.
industry has its own terminology,
to have on their shows. I’ve worked up
One such comment was something to
like “bits” and “bytes” in computing,
a “response” to the calls that I send to
the effect that she “felt cis-gender and
the transgender community has its
the host when I feel our information is
transgender persons deserve respect.”
own terminology. And often, just like
pertinent to their show.
That particular statement didn’t send up
only those in the computer industry
The subject line of my email response
any flags for me because I understood
understand the meaning of terms used
is, “Does our story fit your show?”
her to be saying that ALL people deserve
within that industry, only someone who
And the first line of my message is,
respect… and I am in total agreement.
is transgender has a clear understanding
“I’m the supportive cis-gender spouse
However, later in the interview she
of the many terms used in the transgender
of transfemale, Alana Nicole Sholar.” I
made a comment to the effect that she
community. Actually, I’ve encountered
then go on to introduce our books and
thought “cis-gender and transgender
some transgender persons who have
share our contact information in case
persons are too often mistreated.” It
confessed they are not familiar with
the host is interested in having us on
was then I realized that she, too, was
certain terms… and they themselves
unfamiliar with the term “cis-gender”
This week I got a reply to one of my responses that said, “Yes, this would
and was using it incorrectly in her conversation.
And there have been times when I have said, “My spouse is transgender,”
definitely fit our show… and I’d love
I simply said, “I believe you might
and the person I’m talking to will give
to know what cis-gender means.” I had
misunderstand the term cis-gender,
me a funny look and ask, “What’s that
to chuckle because it just reiterated for
which means you identify as the gender
me how little non-transgender persons
you were assigned at birth—persons
know about the terminology used within
born with a male body identifying as a
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