Internet Crush: Cisgender News

My latest Internet crush is on Cisgender News, a Tumblr dedicated to "Finding the cisgender angle in the latest news stories." Although there are only four posts so far, they pack a punch by turning coverage of trans issues inside out by applying the same tropes (a focus of pre- or post-op, fascination with appearance, inappropriate commentary on what's in someone's pants) to coverage of cisgendered people in the news.

Whether it's Carla Bruni ("She was born a woman and thinks she is a woman."), Pink Floyd-offspring Charlie Gilmour ("born Charlie Gilmour"), or Rebekah Brooks ("She is a typical Gemini; she's got her lovely fluffy side and then her angry side," Linda recalls, "and she doesn't bind her breasts or wear a packer."), CisNews points out the ridiculous ways trans people are more often than not described in mainstream news. And unfortunately, it's this type of coverage that's usually found on all other corners of the Internet, from profiles gone awry (Mx Justin Vivian Bond details the issues of New York magazine's problematic profile of v on v's blog), or the more harmful, potentially triggering news stories that dehumanize trans or gender-nonconforming individuals by using incorrect pronouns or names. CisNews creatively brings to the light the way mainstream news subtly pick at trans identities. For legit coverage of trans issues, check out TransGriot, Questioning Transphobia, Transadvocate, and Gudbuy t'jane, to name a few. Leave your own suggestion or blog in the comments!

Previously: Adventure Time's Natasha Allegri, Kartina Richardson

by Kjerstin Johnson
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Kjerstin Johnson is a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon. She is the former editor in chief of Bitch. She tweets at @kajerstin

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3 Comments Have Been Posted

Wow, reading cisgender news

Wow, reading cisgender news was such an eye opener for me. I've read comments in articles before and thought how irrelevant they were to a story, but seeing it turned like that showed me how they actually get in the way of the story. For instance, my mind was drawn away from the desecration of a war memorial to inadvertently visualising the genitalia of the perpetrator. I am so impressed with this creative attack on the way media maligns people who stand outside the gender binary. I think this kind of action, or protest can really startle people into seeing the harm in these kinds of media depictions. Cheers for sharing this site!

Cisgender news

Thanks for pointing me to that site! Quite a different obsessive reporter.


That's so cool! It reminds me of the heterosexual questionnaire, that takes questions often asked of homosexuals and turns them around ("What do you think caused your heterosexuality?" "Would you want your children to be heterosexual, knowing the problems they would face, such as heartbreak, disease, and divorce?") to show how ridiculous the questions are. I think it's awesome that this site uses the same logic and turning-the-tables tactic to reveal the phobia of, and refusal to understand or empathize with, transsexuals. It really shows how often depictions of, or comments on, transsexuals are dehumanizing and abnormalizing (is that a word? probably not!). So glad for this link!

And here's a link to a short version of the Heterosexual Questionnaire.

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