Labels and Language: The Webster Dictionary Adds Cisgender and Genderqueer

Many debate the importance of language and labels. For some language and labels can be incredibly meaningful and for others language and labels can feel restrictive. In a lot of my work I find people often resisting labels, defending labels, finding connection in labels and finding meaning in labels.

While sometimes harmful and limiting, labels can also be connecting and liberating. Language can help us better understand ourselves, connect us to others with shared experiences and can help us feel a sense of belonging.

I've seen the words "cisgender" and "genderqueer" debated recently as either not ideal, rejected or lacking the validity. While the words cisgender and genderqueer have been in existence prior to the webster dictionary additions, hopefully this is a cultural step in the direction of understanding cisgender privilege, acceptance of gender expressions beyond the binary and increasing cisgender allyship to support gender diverse people.

Blog authors all hold positions at the Gender & Sexuality Therapy Collective (G&STC). For more information about our therapists and services please contact us.