Friday, August 15, 2008

The Cisgender Privilege Checklist

"There appears to be little in the way of a comprehensive cisgender (non transgender) privilege list. These lists are generally written in the first person relative to having the privilege. Number #1 speaks to both heterosexual and cisgender privilege. The remainder of the list focuses on cisgender privilege."

Please read and re-post this list to make people aware of the hardships often faced by transgender individuals that cisgender people take for granted on a daily basis.

1. It is unlikely that I will be ostracized by my family and friends, fired from my job, evicted from my home, given substandard medical care, suffer violent or sexual abuse, ridiculed by the media, or preached against by religious organizations simply because of my professed identity or perceived incongruent gendered behaviors or characteristics.
2. I can be confident that people will not call me by a different name or use improper pronouns.
3. I never suffered the indignation of "holding it", when both functional and unoccupied public restrooms are available. In fact, I don't need to be concerned about public facilities segregated by sex.
4. If I am institutionalized, I don't have to worry about being housed in the wrong section of a facility segregated by sex.
5. I am not denied entrance to appropriate services or events that are segregated by sex.
6. My childhood innocence was not interrupted with desperate prayers to a divinity begging to wake up the opposite sex.
7. I never grieve about my lost childhood and adolescence because I was born the opposite sex.
8. I will only experience puberty once.
9. I never worry about potential lovers shifting instantly from amorous to disdain and even violence because of my genitals.
10. I am unlikely to be questioned about my genitals, even less likely to be touched inappropriately or asked to see them.
11. It is unlikely that I would risk my health by avoiding the medical profession for fear of discovery.
12. I never considered hiding my body parts by binding or tucking.
13. It is unlikely that I would consider changing my voice.
14. If I have a professionally recognized and diagnosed condition, I am unlikely to be excluded from medical insurance coverage.
15. As a man, I am more likely to look my age, and have a body similar in size and shape to other men.
16. As a man, I am more likely to be satisfied with the functionality of my genitals.
17. As a man, I am more likely able to father children .
18. As a woman, I am more likely to have a body similar in size and shape to other women.
19. As a woman, I am unlikely to lose my hair before middle age.
20. As a woman, I am more likely able to conceive and bear children.
21. As a woman, I don't have to dilate the rest of my life.
22. I am more likely able to achieving orgasm.
23. I will likely have $50,000 or more to spend or save for retirement.
24. I can't imagine spending months and $1000s of dollars on a therapist so they can tell me something I already knew.
25. If I am physically healthy, I don't think about having a hysterectomy, a mastectomy, massive hair removal, contra hormone therapy, vocal surgery, facial reassignment surgery, or genital reassignment surgery.
26. I have a better chance of reaching old age without taking my own life.
27. At my funeral, it is unlikely that my family would present me crossdressed against my living wishes.
28. I never worry about passing gender wise. I am oblivious to the consequences of someone failing to do so, and consequently loosing my cisgender (non transgender) privilege. In fact, I have the privilege of being completely unaware of my own cisgender privilege.

Crossposted from The Transgender Boards


Chole said...

It is sad to read this list for a number of reasons: first, the number of basic rights denied to transgendered people is, quite literally, insane.

Second: I don't think that there are many people cisgendered included, that agree with this statement- "10. I am unlikely to be questioned about my genitals, even less likely to be touched inappropriately or asked to see them." I know the spirit of the question is that some people make 'freakshows' of transsexual identified people, however, as a survivor of sexual abuse, I know that this right is not a given...

Joie Mayfield said...

All these things on this list? I know I take it for granted. Thank you for a compelling post. It's got me thinking about priorities, that's for sure. I don't understand transgendered/transexual peoples, but I don't presume to do so, either. It's lists like this one that helps me understand. Thank you. :)

CrackerLilo said...

I thought I had an idea, but this is really enlightening and needs to be spread far and wide. Thank you!

Hystery said...

I'm currently teaching my children about human sexual diversity and transgender people frequently come up in conversation so this is helpful. I do note that parts of this list apply to other people. For instance "given substandard medical care, suffer violent or sexual abuse, ridiculed by the media, or preached against by religious organizations" applies to people who identify as women in general. Perhaps those of us with so many unconscious privileges could make the lack of privileges we share with others a starting point for learning.

Anonymous said...

This list is extremely presumptuous about anyone who is not transgender. Had I not read the name of which privileged list this was, I would have thought it was for me, as over 3/4 of these hold true is one way or another.

I don't necessarily think that all of the privileged finger pointing is a positive thing. It catches people like me with a finger to the eye. This has given me something to think about and perhaps discuss w/a trans friend.

Anonymous said...

I am trans-gender and I ,fortunately, do not have any problem "passing" as a woman. Due to being in Church plays through my prepubescent and pubescent years I had a lot of practice adjusting the pitch and tone of my voice, so, I sound just like any other woman, I use the women's restroom, wear women's clothing, and no one so much as questions whether I am really what I appear to be. Those who aren't sure assume I am a naturally born woman due to my ability to emulate feminine body language. All in all I have it very easy as a trans-gender woman but the list above is very accurate, give or take a few things depending on the person the list is being compared to. I have many transgender friends that do not "pass" as women and I constantly see them get cold stares and go through awkward moments when some snotty nosed cashier calls them sir and they have to explain they wish to be called ma'am. The saddest thing of all is that there I am just as trans-gender as they are and I get all the respect a biological woman would just because I am "prettier" or whatever you wish to call it. The requested hormones that are needed (depending on the person) for a gender reassignment are considered to be "cosmetic". I am sure there are a few gay bois out there that want to be prettier but I don't know any that would be happy with a lower sex drive, infertility, higher risk of developing cancer, mood swings, hot flashes, fatigue, cramping, bloating, and growing breasts to name a few "side effects" in order to look prettier. You find one that is up for all of that just to look a little better -please- direct them to me so I can slap the living SH*T out of them. Being trans-gender is like being black during the U.S. Civil War. Treated like dirt under the feet of those who are in charge. No, I don't think that being treated like dirt is equivalent to being sold into slavery, yet, many of the same types of prosecution are forced onto trans-gender persons depending on their surroundings. All in all, there are lot of things that need to be changed, hmm, maybe I'll move to Canada, their SRS is covered by the government so I've heard..

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