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Privilege and Intersectionality

Resources to learn and explore the multiple ways that privileges and oppression manifest in our various social, cultural, economic, and bodily identities and situations.

Straight & Cis Privilege

Straight or Heterosexual privilege:

The act of privileging or preferring male–female relationships and sexuality over same-sex relationships.

Related concepts are heterosexism (bias toward male-female sexual activity); heterosexual assumption (the belief that everyone is heterosexual and that heterosexuality is the normative, moral, and correct sexuality), and heteronormativity (the assumption that heterosexuality is the hegemonic sexuality norm).

Adapted from Heterosexual privilege. (2013). In J. Myers (Ed.), Historical dictionaries of religions, philosophies, and movements: Historical dictionary of the lesbian and gay liberation movements. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.


Cisgender privilege: the unearned benefits you receive when your gender identity matches your sex assigned at birth. For example, you are not questioned about what restroom you should be using, denied access to healthcare, misgendered when addressed or spoken about, asked what your "real" name is, or fearful of violence because of your gender presentation.

Definitions from around the web:

" cisgender /“siss-jendur”/ – adj. : a gender description for when someone’s sex assigned at birth and gender identity correspond in the expected way (e.g., someone who was assigned male at birth, and identifies as a man). A simple way to think about it is if a person is not transgender, they are cisgender. The word cisgender can also be shortened to “cis.”

Cisgender privilege are the benefits that result from your alignment of identity and perceived identity.

Read more at : 30+ Examples of Cisgender Privileges (It's Pronounced Metrosexual) "

" Not unlike straight privilege or white privilege, “cisgender privilege” is a term used to refer to the advantages that cisgender people receive for being treated as society’s default gender identity.

"The prefix “cis-” is Latin for “on this side of”; whereas trans is used as a prefix for “on the other side of.” Etymologically speaking, that means “cisgender” translates to “on this side of experiencing gender” and “transgender” means “on the other side of experiencing gender.” The prefixes are used to connotate gender transitioning, and how cisgender people experience the “side” of the gender they’re assigned at birth, while transgender people transition to another gender, or side, than the one given to them after birth....

“Cisgender” itself took off because the term gives proper contrast between cis and trans experiences, accurately portraying cisgender people without defining cisgender men and women as humanity’s default gender identities. By calling cisgender people “cisgender” instead of using a word like “common” or “normal,” activists and gender theorists could avoid stigmatizing trans people in their work. "

From: "A Guide to Understanding Cisgender Privilege" by Ana Valens


Scholarly articles