One little word can make a big difference
You know what I love? I love that we’re now using the term cis along with the term trans. Cis-female. Cis-male. Trans-female. Trans-male. Here’s why.
Female and male are the binary genders we have always used to identify people. Then we started to acknowledge that people could be trans-female or trans-male but by not also defining people as cis-female or cis-male, we were subtly describing those who are trans as atypical, as needing an extra defining characteristic. As if being cisgender is the normal, the default, and being transgender is the not normal, as needing extra explanation.
I am a cisgender female so perhaps my stance on this is totally wrong. Please correct me if it is, but I am happy that I should now, in this context, define myself to the same level as people who are transgender. It is pure luck that I was born in the right body and I can only imagine what the process of acknowledging and then undergoing a physical gender transition must be like. I imagine it isn’t easy, partially because society insists on throwing up obstacles in a transpersons life and perhaps this little adjustment in our language, this normalization and acceptance of people who need to make this change to be their true selves, is a sign that society is going to stop putting those obstacles in their way.
Perhaps this is just the optimist in me reading too much into a small language change, but I’d rather be an optimist for progress than do nothing.