Tim Chevalier on how cis people talk about trans people's surgeries and why they should stop talking that way.

This was prompted by Caitlyn Jenner's recent appearance in (and on the cover of) Vanity Fair, but it's not so much about her as it is about other people who get or might want to get surgery but who don't have fabulous wealth and long-time familiarity with media exploitation.


  1. Editorial interruption: the above is, to me, the most upsetting part of this story. It confirms this fear I have that so much of the progress we see with regard to acceptance of trans people is just cis people realizing that it can be advantageous for them to humor trans people, using correct names/pronouns to their faces, while still insulting them (trans people) as soon as they (the cis people) think they're surrounded by other (presumably like-minded) cis people.
  2. And, yeah, it is still a sign of progress that those cis people see an advantage in not insulting trans people to their faces. But the prospect of the professionals, bureaucrats, authority figures, etc.—or even just the influential members of social circles—who so tremendously influence your life not taking you seriously as a person is seriously (and justifiably) terrifying, even more so if you often can't tell the ones who respect you from the ones who don't. This means that a pragmatic default for trans people is to distrust all cis people and make an exception only when there's overwhelming evidence that a particular cis person respects trans people even when that person has nothing to gain from doing so.