I’m Transgender and a Writer. Here’s My Proposed New Punctuation for Trans Terminology


“Transgender woman” and “transgender man.” The terminology isn’t as good as “woman who is transgender” and “man who is transgender.” However, as long as the first two terms will be widely used, we can do the punctuation better.

How about “(transgender) woman” and “(transgender) man?”

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punctuuation marks (image via barbaragregoorich.wordpress.com)

It would be great if we as a society dropped “transgender”/”trans” and “cisgender”/”cis” behind “woman”/”women” and “man”/”men.”

“Transgender”/”trans” and “cisgender”/”cis” are adjectives. Healthcare, law and dictionaries understand that transgender women are women (no adjective) and transgender men are men (no adjective).

It would be wonderful if language honored this better.

But it doesn’t. And there for some reason is a “transgender” and “cisgender” divide right now. Thus, I recommend “(transgender) woman” and “(transgender) man.”

There needs to be less focus on the adjectives and more on the nouns.



Alysha V. Scarlett
Keep Fighting: The Power of Resilience

Alysha's won 13 writing awards. Formerly of B/R, Screen Rant, Patch. Author, “Re-finding Yourself in the Age of Trump.” “Big-city cousin.” --rural, rival paper