In a notable shift in policy, Twitter CEO Elon Musk announced on Tuesday that the words “cis” and “cisgender” are now considered slurs on the social media platform.
Musk stated, “Repeated, targeted harassment against any account will cause the harassing accounts to receive, at minimum, temporary suspensions.” He continued, “The words ‘cis’ or ‘cisgender’ are considered slurs on this platform.”
The announcement came in response to a tweet by commentator James Esses, who reported experiencing harassment after expressing his rejection of the term “cis.”
Esses wrote, “Yesterday, after posting a Tweet saying that I reject the word ‘cis’ and don’t wish to be called it, I receive a slew of messages from trans activists calling me ‘cissy’ and telling me that I am ‘cis’ ‘whether or not I like it’. Just imagine if the roles were reversed.”
In his initial tweet, Esses stated: “I formally and publicly declare that I reject the label of ‘cis’. I don’t believe in gender ideology. I don’t self-identify as ‘cis.’ Using this term makes me feel unsafe and is demonstrative of your hatred towards me. Anyone who uses the term ‘cis’ to describe me is a bigot.”
The term “cis” is used by transgender activists to refer to people who are not transgender.
Before Musk took over as CEO, Twitter’s policy prohibited “misgendering” – using a term for when someone that refers to a person’s biological sex rather than their self-identified gender. Several accounts were suspended or terminated due to violations of this policy.
In this instance, the argument from users on Twitter is that while “trans” has been recognized as a chosen identity, the new policy reflects that “cis” should not be imposed on individuals who do not accept this identifier.