Yes I’m afraid of cis people.
I was thinking about “cisphobia” because it’s always this thing that cis people bring out as a GOTCHA REVERSAL thing on trans people. Like, you’re mean to us, you’re CISPHOBIC! or what nots. Piers Morgan just used it today in response to the criticism he’s gotten about the way his show handled trans activist Janet Mock’s interview, and how she was labeled “was a boy until age 18”.
I was thinking because I do fear cis people. And that fear impacts my life quite a bit. But here’s the thing. A phobia is defined as an “irrational fear” of something. I pretty rationally fear cis people.
I fear talking to cis doctors about health concerns because they’ll use it as an excuse to cut back on my hormones.
I fear talking about my abusive father because cis therapists or doctors will use that to explain away & dismiss my being trans.
I fear doing telephone banking because a cis person will accuse me of being a fraud and my account will be suspended.
I fear all interactions with cis police officers because they will hold me and grill me for 20 minutes about “why” I’m trans, and if I get a sexual thrill about it, what’s in my pants, how I have sex, etc…
I fear calling hotlines when I’ve been assaulted because the cis person on the other end might not be trans inclusive, or I’ll have to explain what’s up with my voice first, and me being trans might confuse them.
I fear going to trauma therapy because my cis therapist will not treat me as an actual survivor (neither a male nor female one) and act confused how I could be raped, or if every little detail of my life is “a trans thing”, and refuse offered trans education from other sources because “I want to learn through you.”
I fear any sort of fame because it means the cis media will report on me, and some cis journalist might dig into my life and publicly expose my dead name. I fear interviews in general because I always have to hope they will honor my request to not mention that I’m trans.
I fear well meaning cis writers not understanding why I don’t want my trans status revealed in their essays when I’m being used in it as an example of fangirl bloggers “performing femininity”.
I fear talking about having an eating disorder because cis people will get hung up that me being trans means I’m a man that thinks in order to be a woman I have to be thin, rather than like cis women, I’m affected by the same narrow beauty standard crap in society that they are.
I fear not revealing to cis dates that I’m trans because they might lash out at me when they find out.
I fear revealing to cis dates that I’m trans because they might lash out at me.
I fear being outed while I’m shopping, having all the cis customers and cis salespeople in a store go to the other side and talk about me.
I fear being held by a cis security guard and questioned in front of the gawking crowd until I use my voice loud enough that everybody can get a good listen to it, and then let go. Like a fish they just took a picture of.
I fear cis men in general. I fear when they look at me closely. I fear when they get close to me. I fear that they’ll scream at me “I can see your penis!” and then chase me. I fear that they will kill me if they catch me.
I fear going to the washroom with cis women. I fear changing with cis women. I fear being harassed, or assaulted, or kicked out if anybody knows I’m trans.
I fear being misgendered by cis people whenever I have to just get simple things done. I fear being called “sir” by cis election officers because I have to correct an incorrect name on my voter ID card. I fear being called “sir” because I ordered a coffee.
I fear that my struggles as a woman are invalidated by cis feminists I turn to for support because they don’t actually see me as a woman. I fear “welcome to womanhood” when I talk about being harassed or assaulted.
I fear whenever I interact with the government, justice, legal, medical, mental health, and other systems that the cis people who dominate them, and run them, will take away my hormones, take away my freedom, take away my options for housing, and take away my ability to live my life.
I fear I’ll never be able to live my life not in fear because cis people are everywhere, and this behavior is defended by other cis people.
So yes, I’m afraid of cis people. I’m also afraid of spiders. One is a phobia, and one isn’t. Guess which group has never actually hurt me?
(All the examples above are things that have actually happened to me except the first sentence about media reporting which is fears spawned by Grantland’s article about Dr. V, and the washroom/changeroom part is based on it happening to others, but thankfully not me (yet). This is also not a comprehensive list, nor the worst things that have happened.)