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What Does “Cis” & “Trans”-Gender Mean?

I have been incorporating the terms cisman and ciswoman in my writings and thought an explanation might be helpful. In addition, I will define transman and transwoman in case someone is not familiar with the differences.

Cis Man/Woman

A “cis”-gender person is someone who is not transgender. A cisperson is someone whose body and mind are aligned.

In other words, if you identify as a man and are living in a birth-male body, that is a cisman.

Same with women… if you identify as a woman and were born in a genetically female body, you are a ciswoman.



transgender flag & symbol

Many folks know what a transperson is, but let me clarify anyway.


YOU get to choose what you do… or do NOT do… towards physically transitioning.

If you say you are a woman/female or man/male, you ARE a woman/female or a man/male. You do NOT have to do anything… do not have to take hormones, have breast implants, have SRS… none of those things, or any other choices others might make… not doing any of them does not make you any less of a woman or man.

You might have financial constraints, insurance constraints… or familial constraints… or just not want to change anything about your body. ANY of those reasons (and the 100s of others I have not mentioned) are absolutely valid. Do not let anyone tell you differently.

Be yourself. Do not feel you have to conform to anyone else’s idea of a transwoman/transman.


Male-to-Female  (MtF)

If you have a genetically male body, but you identify as a woman (with or without gender dysphoria, which means feeling like you are “in the wrong body”), you are considered a transwoman. There is an entire spectrum of steps you may or may not choose to do towards having a female-looking body (hormone replacement therapy/HRT, voice training, breast implants, adam’s apple shaving, sex reassignment surgery, etc.).


Female-to-Male (FtM)

If you were born in a genetically female body, but know you are really a man, you would be considered a transman. Just like transwomen, there is no requirement to DO anything towards transition… medically or surgically… in order to be believed and treated like a man. The steps some men take include: taking Testosterone (T)(Hormone Replacement Therapy/HRT), having chest surgery, having a hysterectomy & oophorectomy and SRS.

Trans Umbrella

Really, the umbrella above is a very minimized Trans Umbrella. I’m leaving it to give you a basic idea, but let me put the more in-depth one here. It’s going to be big. Be sure to read below!

What is important to remember is if YOU do not identify as transgender, even if your kink or fetish is under the umbrella, then don’t call or think of yourself as a transperson! YOU get to name yourself; no one else does.


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask anything. I have been around transpeople for over 2 decades, including going through the entire medical and surgical transition of my 20+ year partner (Female-to-Male). I definitely have a deeper insight than many others do with regards to these issues.

Ask anything!

2 comments to What Does “Cis” & “Trans”-Gender Mean?

  • Very informative and visually creative Ms. Daphne. It is very generous of you to share personal information about your partner of 20+ yrs congratulations!. When it comes to the transgender men their is this unfair fascination with the penis, and for what? Wanting a penis or not is really not what makes a person feel masculine. It really is a true fact that a person gender is not between their legs.

    • Ms. Cindy,

      You are so right! The obsession is so challenging for our trans-sisters & brothers. Who gives one crap about what’s between their legs… unless they are going to have some interaction there, then the discussion can be held in private.

      I know my former partner wishes he had a dollar for every time he is asked about his genitals.

      I am glad you “get it,” dear sister-Mistress!

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