In reading your article, I was struggling with the definition of cislation. I started with a presupposition that the word was used specifically in a gender context.

Given that we are actually using Latin, I thought if you want to make a verb from the prefix cis, it should be cisation — no L.

But then I discovered this. Translation vs. Cislation

So, if I understand correctly, it is a form of lation (movement from one place to another). Translation being a lation that changes to the target mode. Cislation is lation that stays in the form it came from. Cis, of course, is the opposite of trans.

Therefore, if we stick to the Latin meanings of the word parts, cislation would denote taking the target reader/listener (i.e. a non-transgender subject) over to the source text (i.e. the transgender experience) not changed.

By this reasoning, as cited: cislation would rather denote taking the target reader hither, (in)to the source text. That is, cislation would be taking a cisgender person into the true nature of the trans-experience. This seems to be the opposite of how it is defined in the article. Though, I am inferring from several references to its meaning, as there is no textbook style definition given.

Cislation is so rarely is used in discourse, I could not find easily accessible sources to go further.

As used by the author, cislation can be done by the transperson or the non-transperson. This is analogous to a translation (in the general sense) from mother tongue to a foreign tongue or vice versa. So, if the source text is in transgender language and it is being converted to non-transgender language while maintaining its original meaning, then it is cislation. To convert it into a form that is non-transgendered would be a translation.

So, unless someone can explain what is wrong with my analysis of the word cislation, the term you should be using is actually translation when referring to putting the trans-language into terms non-transpeople understand. What the author is actually arguing for is that we do cislation instead, which would be keeping it real or original rather than modified to suit the target. Quite confusing !!

I would assume the choice of the prefix cis- is made because it is a reference to cispeople, which demonstrates a lack of understanding of the root meaning in Latin. Or maybe the author does understand because nontrans is also used to refer to cispeople. I suspect the use of cislation, rather than the proper word translation, is just provocative use (or misuse) of the cis terminology and pandering to the divisive narrative between cis and trans groups.

Which is all a long way of explaining that based on the Latin derivations, the term cislation makes no sense as used in this and other gender studies articles — all six of them that I could find just now. No wonder people are confused, and often upset, when they see language used this way.

I, for one, support the prefix cis- in terms like cisgender because it is a perfectly normal use as the opposite of trans. But, when it is incorrectly used it hurts my case for the insistence that it should have no negative connotation.

Certainly, the thesis is accurate with regard to reality not fitting neatly into the binary cisgender-centered world paradigm. But, pedagogically, we often need to over-simplify for novices and put things in their own terms (translate) as a process of starting while introducing complexity at more advanced stages.

With this in mind, I think the discourse on gender needs to be more nuanced. When in a power struggle, know your strengths and weaknesses. In the US, neither laws nor large numbers nor much else other than an appeal to fairness prevent a reaction of being ignored, or worse, creating a backlash. A lot of trans people are concerned about the latter by incessant demands of what the cis-world needs to do. Many trans-people would like nothing more than to be an undetectable part of that world. Transpeople, broadly defined, are perhaps the most diverse group one can imagine, so I am always suspicious of those who claim to speak for their interests.

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