Definition of Cis Man

The Difference Between Cisgender and Transgender

Man with Full Beard

RoBeDeRo / Getty Images

A cis man, shorthand for "cisgender man," is a non-trans man—a man whose assigned sex at birth is male, and whose gender identity aligns with that typically culturally associated with his sex. This distinguishes him from trans men, shorthand for "transgender men"—men who were initially assigned a female sex at birth, but exist as men. If you identify as a man but are not a transgender man, you're a cis man.

Cisgender and transgender identity are grounded in gender roles, but because gender roles are socially constructed and gender is not a very clearly defined concept, gender is a spectrum. Cisgender and transgender are relative terms representing individual experiences of what gender is. As Ashley Fortenberry, a trans woman, explains:

"Gender cannot be defined by anyone other than the individual."

Pronunciation: "siss-man"

Also Known As: cisgender man, cis guy

Offensive: "natural-born man," "real man"