What are identity and sexuality? How can one identify themselves? What is Cisgender? How does one know they are Cisgender, and what does it entail? This article talks about an individual’s identity and sexuality and explains what cisgender is and what it entails. If you’re not familiar with the term cisgender, you aren’t alone; it’s fairly new and has only gained popularity in the last decade, as transgender issues have moved from the fringes to the mainstream. Here’s what you need to know about cisgender identity, both what it is and how it differs from its opposite, transgender identity. But first, here are some definitions. What is cisgender? With the gender issue being one of the controversial topics today, it is important to understand what these new terms mean and how they can be used and accepted. According to Cava (2016), cisgender is a common term, like other terms such as transgender and gay or straight, which refers to the self-identity of a person or group of people with the sex assigned to them during birth. The doctors use many aspects to assign gender during birth, and these aspects might include the nature of the genitals. Therefore, a man assigned as male at birth and identified themselves as a male can be termed cisgender; similarly, a woman assigned as female during birth and identified themselves as a female can be identified as cisgender. In addition, many people have ambiguous genitalia and hence cannot be classified as either male or female. However, most cases of ambiguous genitalia are rectified through surgery so that children born with such anomalies can have their sexual organs corrected before puberty. Is being cis-gendered the same as being gay or straight? There is a difference between gender identity and the sexuality of a person. Gender identity is mainly an individual’s persons internal experience and view of their gender. At the same time, sexuality refers to the sexual feelings, thoughts, behaviors, or attractions that a person might have irrespective of their gender preference. It means that someone can be cisgender and be straight or gay; for example, a cisgender male can be attracted to the opposite gender only and therefore be straight, while another might be interested in people of the same gender being gay. According to Baudinette (2019), the main differences between these two concepts are that being cisgendered implies your identity with your biological sex assigned at birth; however, you don’t necessarily have to conform to society’s expectations about it to be a man or woman. Its relations with the term transgender As cisgender emerged, it was viewed as the term that is the opposite of transgender. Transgender is the term that is used to refer to those that self-view their gender status as different from that which they were assigned at birth. Such an example is a woman who was originally assigned to be female by the doctor but later felt like that was not their gender identity. There are, however, those that choose not to identify themselves as transgender or cisgender, and such individuals feel like they cannot identify themselves to these two binary genders and might feel like they are a bit of both or none. Some might consider themselves gender-fluid; they feel like they can shift genders depending on what they feel like. Therefore, it is important to understand that many terms define gender and be cautious when referring to someone. According to Tasker & Gato (2020), identity is also related to sexuality and gender. Sexuality has become more widely accepted, with new definitions developed. People have begun identifying themselves in ways that include bisexual, pansexual, and polysexual; for instance, all identities within sexuality have various meanings behind them. Why do we need terms like ‘cisgender’? According to Samudzi & Mannell (2016), with a constantly changing world and new perspectives on matters such as gender and sexuality, people must know who they are and how to cope with the new terms. That is why terms like these are very important; knowing and identifying your gender is key to self-interpretation and how you view the world. Your gender identity is a part of who you are, and it helps you understand your place in society and help you understand yourself and other people in society. The different terms that help in self-identity are important to give the persona sense of belonging and not feeling left out but rather understanding that many people are similar to them. We need to have a word for cis-gendered because we need to define what cisgender means since so many people seem confused about what being Trans means. We need to recognize that every person has their way of dealing with their gender identity and sexuality; we cannot force our beliefs on others but instead let everyone be themselves. Understanding terms like these better will recognize when someone needs help or guidance without forcing it upon them. Where did the term ‘cisgender’ come from? Cisgender, which derives from Latin cis, meaning on this side of, and gender meaning sex, refers to people whose sex assigned at birth matches their gender identity and expression. For example, someone assigned male at birth and identifying as a man would be considered cisgender. In contrast, someone assigned female at birth but identifies as a woman would be considered cisgender. The term was first coined in 1989 by Deirdre McCloskey, who defined it as the opposite of transgender. The term transgender can be traced to 1970; however, cisgender emerged strongly from the 1990s. It is a much younger word and has yet to be known and used by the larger population. But what does being cisgender mean? In short, it means that you feel comfortable with your body’s biological sex characteristics and believe yourself to fall within societal norms regarding gender roles for men or women. It is normal and important for every person to have a sense of identity and embark on a personal journey to understand their gender and sexuality at some point in their life. CONCLUSION With many new terms to express gender and sexuality, you must be careful when referring to someone’s gender. A person can do it by using gender-neutral words that might protect you and the person you are referring to from feeling offended or annoyed. References Baudinette, T. (2019). Japanese gay men’s experiences of gender: Negotiating the hetero system. The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture (pp. 408-417). Routledge. Cava, P. (2016). Cisgender and cissexual. The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of gender and sexuality studies, 1-4. Samudzi, Z., & Mannell, J. (2016). Cisgender male and transgender female sex workers in South Africa: gender-variant identities and narratives of exclusion. Culture, health & sexuality, 18(1), 1-14. Tasker, F., & Gato, J. (2020). Gender identity and future thinking about parenthood: A qualitative analysis of focus group data with transgender and non-binary people in the United Kingdom. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, 865.