A change in my vocabulary has come with having a trans spouse. Some words we use (daddy, husband) had to change. Some words/acronyms we gained (cis) and other gained new definition (ftm). Not all of these are positive and some have caused me a lot of hurt, while others are what they are, but have caused comments from others that while well meaning leave me feeling a certain way. Here is a crash course in a few trans terminology for the Crose household.
Spouse-Definition: the gender neutral term used to describe the person you are married to. I can no longer refer to the person I married as my husband, that leaves me with a few choices, partner, wife, or spouse. Partner doesn’t sit well with me there are too many definitions for this word that do not mean person you are married to and I didn’t want to cause confusion. Wife…ahhhhh heck no! Lol. I am not and do not foresee myself ever calling Emily my wife. On this journey I have changes a lot and I will not say I will never call her my wife because I’ve learned to never say never, but I certainly don’t foresee it. So I am left with spouse, gender neutral, doesn’t draw attention to our “situation” if I don’t feel like explaining to a stranger, and is comfortable for me.
Mommily-Definition: trans mother in our family. I won’t lie I am my child’s mommy and I won’t share, I won’t share mommy, mama, or mom that’s me. I carried, labored, delivered, and nursed my child and I “earned” those titles. So what do we call “daddy” now? Some trans families use “Maddy”, but until this becomes a commonly known term for a trans parent I think it just sounds like a name. Some same sex and trans families use “mom” in another language, which is cute and was an option until someone asked me (when I was looking for suggestions) what my spouses name is and I said Emily, the response “mommily” half mommy half Emily. Perfect! So our family has a mommy and a mommily. We are so cute!
Ftm-Defitnion: female to male transgender person. A person assigned female at birth and transitions to being male. In my “other world” this acronym means first time mom, imagine my confusion when I’m reading a blog, Facebook page ect and forget if I’m on a trans page or a parenting page and read ftm, yeah it’s funny.
Mtf-Definition: male to female transgender person. Assigned male at birth and transitions to being female. This is what my spouse is.
Now for what I don’t like…
Cis gender (cis male/cis female)-a non-trans or natal gender person. I was assigned female at birth, I feel female, my gender identity is female, therefore I am a cis woman. I struggle with this term. I have been accused of not actually supporting my spouse, of not being a true trans activist, and of being uneducated and “othering” trans people because I don’t like this term. My issue with this term is deep and lies in the beginning of this journey. I was just me, without a label until my spouse told me he (using he since he was a bit when he told me) was trans, then suddenly I had a label too. I had to have a label because my spouse had a label. I also struggled with this term because I was not in a good place when this idea that I now had to identify by a specific term was thrown on me, so the term is attached to very negative emotions. This has been misunderstood to mean that I want my spouse to be called a “trans woman” and me just a “woman”, I don’t care call her a woman for all I care, but don’t call me cis. If you must label me I prefer “natal woman”. We should all have the right to label ourselves and chose what we want to be called. I am not on a warpath against my spouse, I do not need educated, and I am fighting for trans rights regardless of the labels I choose or don’t choose for myself.