How to Spot a Cisgender Woman

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The Trump administration recently released guidance on how to spot transgender women to make it easier to discriminate against us. I won’t bother repeating the details or linking to that here, instead for the people who run women’s spaces like shelters, clubs, and so on I want to offer you a more helpful guide. You see I’m a transgender woman, and so as a transgender woman I’ve developed a very keen eye on how to spot and identify cisgender women. This can help you in correctly identifying who belongs in your women’s spaces. 

Cisgender women can sometimes be tall, sometimes they’re short. 

Cisgender women might have an Adam’s Apple or they might not. 

Cisgender women might have a square jaw.

Cisgender women might have prominent chins.

Cisgender women might have prominent foreheads.

Cisgender women might have huge biceps and powerful musculature.

Cisgender women can look strong, sleek, dainty, masculine, feminine and more.

Cisgender women might have prominent noses or small noses. 

Cisgender women might be thin and petite, wide and muscular. 

Cisgender women might have a bit of a shadow on their lip. 

Cisgender women might have high hairlines or low hairlines. They might have a lot of hair, or very little.  

Cisgender women may have hair on their arms or none at all.

Cisgender women might have hooded eyes. 

Cisgender women might have big bushy eyebrows or small angular ones. 

Cisgender women might have large breasts, small breasts, or no breasts at all

Cisgender women might have wide shoulders or narrow. 

Cisgender women might have deep set eyes. 

Cisgender women might look like what you imagine a woman looks like when you close your eyes and think of a woman, but they might not. 

Cisgender women come in every shape, size, configuration and you can’t tell if they’re cisgender or not without violating their privacy. Cisgender women deserve respect and love. I couldn’t describe all the ways cisgender women might look if I wrote volumes.

When you try to isolate trans women out for discrimination based on our appearance, what you’re saying is it’s ok to harass any woman who doesn’t fit your societal standards. You’re saying it’s ok to discriminate against any woman who has her hair cut in a way that makes her look androgynous. You’re saying it’s ok to harass women when “you couldn’t be sure.” 

When you try to discriminate against trans women based on how we look, you’re admitting there’s a look for women to mold to. You’re teaching cisgender women to be ashamed and afraid of when their bodies don’t fit the mold. 

When you discriminate against trans women you’re just policing the bodies of cisgender women even more. 

When you try to punish trans women, all women suffer. 

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