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Becoming cisgender

Richardson-Self, L ORCID: 0000-0002-0010-8615 2022 , 'Becoming cisgender' , Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour , pp. 1-14 , doi:

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The metaphysics of sex and gender is of significant philosophical, social, and cultural interest at present. Terms like transgender and cisgender have come into wider circulation in the fight for gender justice. While many are familiar with ‘transgender’, fewer know ‘cisgender’, the term that captures AFAB-women (assigned ‘female’ at birth-women) and AMAB-men. But ‘cisgender’ is controversial to some, which I find surprising. In this article, I reflect on my process of recognising my self as cisgender. During, I highlight the ethico-political consequences of refusing the onto-epistemic category ‘cisgender’. I shall argue that uptake of ‘cisgender’ and apprenticeship to trans texts uncovers how we maintain, and might purposefully disturb, queer/cis-hetero, man/woman/other hierarchies of social identity power. I argue this self-recognition is a crucial tool for challenging ‘cisgender commonsense’ and may be a means toward dislodging ciscentrism in my (western, Anglophone) milieu.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Richardson-Self, L
Keywords: cisgender, transgender, feminism, embodiment, oppression, equality, privilege
Journal or Publication Title: Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour
Publisher: Blackwell Publ Ltd
ISSN: 0021-8308
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright (2022) The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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