What is cishet?

Cishet is an abbreviation of the words “cisgender” and “heterosexual”, which is widely used in the LGBTI community. In general terms, it serves to qualify a person whose sexuality and biological gender match. This word corresponds to a series of neologisms originating from studies on gender and sexuality.

It is also common to find this expression in feminism, since according to this current of thought the bulk of “cishet” individuals have perpetuated cisnormativity and heteronormativity (the latter is seen as the normalization of the heterosexual compared to other sexual orientations).

At present it is considered that this word has a negative connotation, since it is usually used as a kind of insult or criticism. On the other hand, this neologism has not yet been recognized by an official dictionary of the language, although it is a term that has been in force for several years.

Meaning and how it arises

The etymology of the word can be noted as follows:

  • Cis : from the Latin “cis”, which can be translated as “the side of here” or “of the part of here”.
  • Het : referring to “heterosexual” or everything related to attraction to the opposite sex.

Therefore, it can be understood that “cishet” refers to people whose sexuality, biological gender and social role are concordant.

In addition, the word is part of the slang of the LGBTI and feminist community, in which it is used as a qualifier for this group of people. Its popularity is estimated to have taken hold as it began to be used in social justice circles.

However, it is important to mention that the meaning of the word changed over time, since now it is also perceived as an insult or a denigrating word, although some believe that it only serves to recognize people who are in this group .


According to some Internet users, the abbreviation originated in forums and other digital communities for homosexual rights at the beginning of 2000. Thanks to this, it is also considered as a neologism that has taken more force today.

As indicated by some Internet users and representatives of public opinion, the management and dissemination of this type of language is of great help because it allows the visibility of the needs and realities of this group.

Associated words

Although it is important to know the origin of this expression, it is also worth mentioning a series of terms that are associated with it:


It is a neologism of German origin introduced in the early nineties, and which is currently used to describe people whose sexual identity and gender match. This word starts from the following premise: “if there are transsexuals, there are cisexuals”.

Both “cisgender” and “cisexual” were gestated during gender studies; eventually these terms were taken over by sex rights activist groups. Even other concepts such as hetenormativity and cisnormativity also originated.

These words began to be used in 2006, when they were used in an article in a journal of sexuality studies; very soon they became popular within the community.

Some time later, “cisgender” acquired a connotation related to the privilege of individuals identified as heterosexual, for having a series of socially recognized advantages.

Gender identity

It is the gender with which the person feels identified, regardless of the biological gender with which they were born. If there is a kind of conflict, the individual can be considered to be transsexual; the opposite is cisgender.

Sexual orientation

It refers to the attraction that an individual feels towards a certain gender.

Biological sex

It corresponds to the characteristics of the reproductive organs of a person. In principle, emphasis was placed on the duality of male and female, although now the figure of the intersex has emerged.

This has been due to the fact that there are physiological traits that combine the feminine and masculine, which is why these people are between both sexes.


It was coined within the feminist current as a way of naming a broader population not considered transsexual. This concept arose from the need to make the inclusion of transgender people in society easier.

Ipso gender or ipsogender

It is an expression that serves to qualify people who feel identified as intersex and who are in favor of the sexual role that was medically assigned to them.

Is it good or bad?

Since its appearance, the word has become the center of debate among communities, especially since it is an expression that most of the time is seen as something derogatory.

On the one hand, the LGBTI collective indicates that it is important to point out the differences to allow the visualization of a conglomerate that has needs and that, in addition, also requires the recognition of their rights.

This same approach is supported by feminism, which promotes equal benefits between men and women, but through a new social order that allows repealing the so-called heteronormativity.

On the other hand, some Internet users and experts have expressed their disagreement regarding the expression as it is an offense, in addition to being a component that seems to promote exclusion.

In fact, there have been a series of discussions in forums and important pages such as Reddit, where users have included new terms that have served to reflect the problems they expose. For example, one of these is TERF, which in English means: Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists .

Likewise, another platform that has also been provided for discussion is Urban Dictionary, which in general terms indicates the following: “… It is the attack on people who have the audacity to identify with their gender and have an opinion contrary to those of they (transgender) ”.

In any case, given the lack of clarity regarding the implications of the use of the term, it is important to point out that the conclusions in this regard should be obtained through personal analysis.

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