You’ll run across the terms “cisgendered” or “cissexual” from time to time. According to Donna Matthews, the term was coined in 1995 by Carl Buijs as a way of dislodging “trans*” as being equal to “abnormal.” Linguistically, we had a binary where there were transsexuals and normals, which is all fine and good if you’re one of the normals. But if you want to use a linguistic trick to shift the resting place of normalcy, all you have to do is think of a larger neutral term like gender or sex and then locate “transgender” as one term and “cisgender” as the other term. See? No more “normal,” at least linguistically speaking.

Cis is latin and refers to “this side,” which means that when you’re cis-sexual, you’re on the “this” side (the aligned side) of the gender/sex grounds. Metaphorically, you can picture sex or gender as a large field. For the cissexual or the cisgendered, you have men on the male-bodied side of the field and women on the female-bodied side; in other words, they’re in a situation where their sex and their gender identity match.

Compare this to a trans (latin for cross), which we metaphorically imagine to take place on a field where I’m standing on this side of that field, but my gender identity is way over there on the other side of the field. I’m cross-gendered or cross-sexual.

If we want to be playful, we could talk about cissies, which would be a shorthand term for all the cis-gendered people, but it would be ironic, since the stereotype of LGB and T folk is that they're the sissies in society. Actually, I haven't met very many trans* sissies -- instead, the vast many I've met have very macho backgrounds and upbringings.

    Note: Cissexual folks are sometimes called “natals.” And when speaking of natal women, you’ll sometimes run across the term “GG” (genetic girl).