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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

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

their show.

unfamiliar with the term “cis-gender”

are transgender.

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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LinQ December 2014, Vol. 36, No. 12  

LinQ is the only monthly magazine that focuses on Kentucky LGBT issues.

LinQ December 2014, Vol. 36, No. 12  

LinQ is the only monthly magazine that focuses on Kentucky LGBT issues.