Women

05.09.13

Dear Abby, My Boyfriend Is Trans

Navigating the queer vocabulary.

“My boyfriend is transsexual and often likes to express it ... How should I become more comfortable with it?,” asked Sarah H. to advice columnist Heather Corinna. Corinna’s response? The terms must be clarified. In a society that’s morphing to accommodate gender-variance, we have to be specific about what means what. She provides a term for a person who identifies with the gender he or she was assigned at birth: “cisgender,” and also clarifies the intricacies of difference among those who are “gender non-conforming.” Her ultimate message is not unlike the messages often provided in Cosmo for hetero-cisgender couples: talk about it!