William Shatner says that being called a “straight white cis man” is a “slur”.
Last week, the Star Trek star tweeted his frustration with the term cisgender, which is often shortened to “cis” and describes people whose gender identity aligns with the sex they were assigned at birth. In contrast, someone who is transgender identifies with a different gender to the one they were assigned at birth.
“Some need labels and categories to separate people in order to harass or debase them,” Shatner tweeted. “The only time CIS is used when referring to me is in that way.
“Do we need these labels in order to communicate? No. So those that use them when describing others are doing it for neg reasons.”
One week later on Saturday (8 August), the 89-year-old actor continued to fight his corner after facing criticism from a number of Twitter users, one of whom told him that “cis people aren’t oppressed for being cis”.
In response, Shatner wrote: “Who are you to tell a person that you can use words of debasement against them because some unknown ‘others’ use debasing words towards you?... Grow up & accept that you are contributing to your own issues.”
“‘Straight white cis man’ is the slur,” he replied to another Twitter user on Sunday (9 August). “That’s how it’s used most commonly in harassment. The fact they want to further call me ‘rich’ if that is a point of jealousy; let it be that. No putting straight white cis.”
Shatner is best known for his portrayal of Captain Kirk in the Star Trek franchise.