Dear cis people…

Three letters explaining what cis people really need to hear, but probably won’t listen to anyway

PHOTO: Joanna Kosinska / Unsplash

By: Madeleine Chan, Carter Hemion, and Dev Petrovic

By Madeleine

Dear cis people,

I think we need to have a talk. I’m so glad that you’re comfortable enough in your gender identity that you have the desire to express its normativity to the universe, but I think it’s gone too far. 

We get it, there’s always a gender for you to select in drop-down menus, you don’t get gender dysphoria, and SFU doesn’t fucking invalidate your identity by welcoming a noted transphobe to your school. And we know you only know how to identify people that have long and short hair with either she/her or he/him pronouns. 

Speaking of pronouns, you have to stop going out of your way to say “he or she” instead of the much simpler and more inclusive “they.” Everytime I hear this, I stare into the lens of an imaginary camera, falling victim to the most tired trope of an incredibly overrated TV show. And then I remember John Krasinski joined the CIA in that Jack Ryan show that licked boots so hard toes were popping out, and my eyes can’t stare any harder. Maybe I should just call you “Pronoun Pams” from now on. 

Just stick to proudly walking into public bathrooms like they’re runway entrances and not worrying about getting harassed on the street.


A concerned non-cis citizen

By Carter

Dear cis people,

Stop asking weird invasive questions out of nowhere. Just stop. How would you feel if I asked random questions unrelated to our conversation all the time?

“How did you know what gender you are?” Uhh, how did you know which bank to get a credit card with? I thought about it, then figured out what was right after weighing the options. End of story.

“How do you remember all this new gender terminology?” I just see it when I’m reading and sometimes it comes up talking to people I trust. What are all those numbers on your credit card for when you buy things? 

“What was your name before?” Dude, what’s the cheeky little three-digit number on the back of your card?

“Are you getting the surgery?” None of your business. Also, which fucking surgery? There’s so many! Anyway, when are you gonna confirm that innocent verification code on your phone?

“How do you have sex?” How would you feel with a muzzle over your mouth for just $14.99? It will arrive in three-to-five business days.

Please send me your answers. It’s for research, I swear. Unless you’re the next person to call me “a they/them” or “m’theydy.”


Someone who will smack the next cis person to start our first conversation with an anecdote about their unnamed trans cousin

By Dev

Dear cis people,

We need to talk about the fact that you exist within a fake social construct (boring!), and that you constantly forget that anything alternative to your “lifestyle” even exists. Couldn’t be me. No binaries are so much sexier. Thought you should know, I am much sexier than you. 

To the cis people who identify as allies, you’re alright — sometimes. Did you know that if you ask for my pronouns, though . . . I expect you to use them? It’s not just polite to ask. The bar was on the ground, and you took out a shovel and started digging deeper and deeper.

You should know that we see your efforts to do damage control in situations where it’s completely unnecessary and it’s hilarious. Please don’t call me brave for being open about my identity. That’s just fucking weird.

We face your bullshit every day, my loves. You really don’t have to condemn the world on our behalf to make us feel better. Trust me, your hero complexes are laughable enough to keep us going. 

I get it. I really do. It’s just SOOO hard for you to stay away from gendered language and generalizations. What an obstacle in your life that must be, having to refer to me as my correct gender. Oh, you don’t get misgendered on the daily? But you have the oh-so difficult task of refraining from referring to me as a woman? Tragic. Being accepted and shit. Boohoo, cry me a river will ya.  


A hopelessly cynical she/they