How To Be A Better Cis Ally

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Now, I know a lot of you cis folks mean well, and the fact is, you’re very useful to the trans/enbee community. Cos for the time being at least, there’s more of you than there is of us, and we’re so busy trying to survive against the endless onslaught of oppression and erasure threatening us 24/7 that we do need you to fight for us.

Below is a video which makes a satisfactory effort to be inclusive. As you can hear, the creator has made absolutely no attempt to learn about the arguments put forward by TERFs or attempt to engage with or debunk their theories, she simply swears a lot and calls them bigots. That’s the kind of allyship we want to encourage:

But, I’m sorry to say that as a class, most of you cis fuckers still DO NOT GET IT! I know you think you’re performing allyship effectively, but there are times when you people are almost as bad as TERFs. For example see this screenshot from some cisgender breeder’s Facebook page:

motherwise
Sounds like performative allyship but okay?

Oh sure, she’s making a big show of defending trans people, but do you see what her page is called? Bio essentialist much? Not to mention making it all about her and violence against cisgender women, only at the very end does she make a passing acknowledgement of the harassment suffered by trans people.

So, below I’m providing another one of my handy lists in order to help you wannabe allies to stop being so annoyingly clueless:

1.  Do not engage with the TERFs, that is OUR job. It is not your place to try and explain the nature of transgenderism. When a TERF starts asking awkward questions, do not try to debate with them, do not read their comments, do not click on their links, just block them. If you absolutely have to say something, keep it to simple phrases like:

  • Why are you so hateful?
  • I feel so sorry for your children
  • I pity any poor trans person in your life
  • Stop co opting radical feminism you reactionary bigot!
  • Stop making feminism all about women!
  • LA! LA! LA! NOT LISTENING!!

Debating with bigots is the first step to becoming one.

2. Do not ask us questions. It is not our job to educate you, and your questions can be very triggering. Just accept that sex and gender are the same thing, that male and female brains are a scientific fact, that misgendering kills, that no trans person has ever harmed a cis person and that we are what we say we are. The only questions a cis ally should ever ask are:

  • Which pronouns should I use?
  • Is this self crit satisfactory, or should I abase myself for another ten paragraphs?
  • Should I remove myself from this group, I didn’t realize it was trans only?

3. Do not refer to trans people as trans. Yes, it’s confusing I know, but the reality is, transgender people are not transgender. They do not ‘identify’ as their gender, they ARE their gender, they have always been their gender. Regardless of whether they want surgery, or take hormones, or even dress in a fashion associated with their gender, they ARE what they say they are. Genitals have nothing to do with sex! If you want to avoid confusion refer to yourselves as cisgender, while referring to us as male, female or non binary. If you have to make a distinction say DFAB or DFAM, unless of course the person you are speaking to is offended by those terms, in which case you must refer to them by whatever term they specify, and then self crit.

4. Do not erase trans people by pretending ‘you don’t see gender’. Transgender and non binary people have been around since the beginning of time, and to gloss over that by ignoring a trans persons struggles is transphobic. While trans women are women, and you should point that out at every opportunity, do not forget that important prefix, to do so is to ignore your own privilege. Unless the trans person you are speaking to is offended by that term, in which case you’ll need to self crit.

5. Don’t listen to TERFs. Similar to my first point, do not allow TERFs any kind of platform or they will start spewing hate speech that will confuse and traumatize all who hear them. Remember, all TERFs believe the following:

  • That transgender people are all violent rapists.
  • That transgender people should not be permitted to use the bathroom, even in private homes.
  • That white people are The Master Race.
  • That all transgender children should be strangled.
  • That Caitlyn Jenner looks terrible.
  • The utterly ridiculous notion that trans women are pressuring cis lesbians to date them.
  • That Donald Trump will make a good President.
  • That sex workers shouldn’t be allowed to access books.

More information on how to spot TERFs before they get a chance to start upsetting people can be found in my previous helpful blogpost.

6. Remember that misgendering kills. People with gender dysphoria can have an extremely vulnerable mental state and are at perpetual risk of suicide. Any accidental misgendering, or simply disagreeing with them about any issue, or denying any of their demands can be a death sentence. Don’t do it. At the same time, don’t forget that it is very transphobic to suggest that transgender people are in any way suffering from mental illness. Transgenderism is perfectly normal and healthy and ought to be celebrated, though not in a condescending way.

7.Do not assume that all trans people have gender dysphoria. Many transgender and non binary are very happy with the bodies they are born in and have no plans to change in order to fit in with the stereotypes associated with their gender. Some, very wicked, gatekeeping trans traitors have asserted that dysphoria is an essential component of being transgender, however these people are Truscum, and they are the only trans people that we insist you be mean to, rules about not triggering or attacking dysphoric or suicidal people do not apply to truscum.

8. Remember that detransitioners don’t exist. Some people are spreading lies that some transgender people regret having gender confirmation surgery. Do not believe these heinous falsehoods. To credit such tales undermines everything we are working to achieve. Do not click on links which peddle this false narrative, do not read their blogs, do not question why referrals for gender confirmation have risen by 400% in the last decade.

9. Always Be Capitulating. Cisgendered people can never truly understand transgenderism, so do not attempt to disagree with a transgender or non binary person, even about issues which may appear not to be related. If they tell you pink hats are transphobic, they’re transphobic. If they tell you talking about female genital mutilation is cissexist, it’s cissexist. The best way to avoid trampling over our sensibilities is to avoid any mention of issues which pertain specifically to cis women, some older feminists struggle with this, that’s why we call them TERFs.

10. Don’t deny your cis privilege. It is regrettable, but the reason I had to post the above point is because certain cis women are still trying to make out that being a cis woman comes with more disadvantages than privileges. And while it pains me to write it, it is women of colour who are some of the worst offenders, some of them have been known to actually argue with white trans women about who has suffered the most oppression over the centuries! Some others have dared to suggest that comparing the transatlantic slave trade and Jim Crow laws to our own struggle to use our preferred toilet is somehow racist! And that the using of terms like two spirit is culturally appropriative! All I can say to these cisters of colour is that they should look to inspirational women like Janet Mock and Cherno Biko to show them the way back to intersectionality.

11. Don’t be slow about mass reporting. This is where you cis scum allies are really needed. If we need a TERF page or tweet or blog taken down, it’s up to you folks to report it. We’ve learned that most platforms removal protocols are pretty useless, they never investigate anything, however if thousands of people report something it’ll get taken down regardless of what it says. Don’t even look at what we tell you to report, your job is not to judge what is acceptable, it is to obey us. The same applies to unfriending, blocking and banning anyone who has been deemed a TERF, if you’re going to create a truly inclusive and intersectional space you may have to kick a lot of people out first.

12. Mind your language! In recent months we’ve made great strides in eliminating trans exclusionary language from such institutions as the BMA, Planned Parenthood and in useful pamphets about sex education. However it is important to familiar yourself with some new terms geared towards describing reproductive biology while respecting the needs of trans people:

  • Breastfeeding → Chestfeeding
  • Motherhood → Parenthood
  • Vagina → Front Hole
  • Womb → Internal Hosting Pouch
  • Menstrual blood → Pomegranate Peepee
  • Mooncup → Pomegranate Peepee Catcher
  • Ovaries → Dooberrries
  • PCOS → Naughty Dooberries
  • Clitoris → Weeny Winkle

And just to recap, DO NOT LISTEN TO TERFs! Below is a handy slogan to chant whenever your beliefs are being challenged:

TERFs are EVIL!

TERFs are BAD!

Don’t listen to TERFs!

It’ll make you SAD!

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5 thoughts on “How To Be A Better Cis Ally

  1. Brilliant. That was one thing I definitely noticed when exploring trans issues; You look up “what does gender feel like?” or “how do you know if you’re trans?” and you get ‘I knew I was trans when I liked pink’. Of course, you’re confused, so you ask around for a better explanation. There’s crickets from trans and nonbinary, then a “cis” person tries to help you out. You ask “I can’t feel gender and neither can any of my friends, is there something wrong with us? Do you feel gender?”. Their reply: “Uh.. well… Since I’m cis I can’t answer that, try asking trans people. But why do you care if gender is real or not, trans people just want to pee??” and if you ask a trans person directly they say “it’s not my job to educate you!”

    Also, about truscum. That’s when I really started think there’s something fucked about all this. They call other trans people names and send them death threats and wishes and harass them. What I saw was that it was typically ‘trans women’ doing this to feminist ‘trans men’ or anyone that thought dysphoria is important to trans issues.

    Women don’t do that. We don’t tell other women to die or threaten to rape them or harass them for not sharing our views. We have compassion for them as they share our struggle. I don’t see how truscum isn’t considered a transphobic slur.

    Liked by 4 people

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