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Becoming cisgender


Richardson-Self, L, Becoming cisgender, Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour pp. 1-14. ISSN 0021-8308 (2022) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

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.

DOI: doi:10.1111/jtsb.12354


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:cisgender, transgender, feminism, embodiment, oppression, equality, privilege
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Gender studies
Research Field:Feminist theory
Objective Division:Law, Politics and Community Services
Objective Group:Community services
Objective Field:Gender and sexualities
UTAS Author:Richardson-Self, L (Dr Louise Richardson-Self)
ID Code:151144
Year Published:2022
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DE190100719)
Deposited By:Philosophy and Gender Studies
Deposited On:2022-07-21
Last Modified:2022-08-08

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