Elon Musk, the current CEO of Twitter, has announced that the terms ‘cis’ and ‘cisgender’ are now deemed as slurs on the social media platform.
This decision came in response to a tweet from commentator James Esses, who reported being harassed and labeled with the term ‘cis’ against his will. Musk stated that any targeted harassment using these terms would result in at least temporary suspensions for the offending accounts.
I formally and publicly declare that I reject the label of “cis”.
I don’t believe in gender ideology. I don’t self-identify as “cis”. Using this term makes me feel unsafe and is demonstrative of your hatred towards me. Anyone who uses the term “cis” to describe me is a bigot.
— James Esses (@JamesEsses) June 19, 2023
Esses had previously expressed his rejection of the term ‘cis’, stating that its use made him feel unsafe and was indicative of hatred towards him. He further argued that the term created a new binary of ‘trans’ and ‘cis’, and was often used pejoratively by those critical of gender ideology.
The term ‘cis’, coined in 1994, is used to describe individuals who are not transgender. However, many people, like Esses, reject the term, viewing it as an imposition of an identity they do not agree with. Prior to Musk’s takeover of Twitter, misgendering, or using a gendered term that referred to a person’s biological sex rather than their self-identified gender, was against the platform’s terms of service. However, there were no consequences for labeling someone as ‘cis’ against their will.
With this new policy, Twitter users will no longer be forced to accept the identifier of ‘non-trans’ simply because they align with their biological sex. This marks a significant shift in Twitter’s approach to gender identity and terminology.