Defending the sissy identity

You have every right to identity as a sissy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Lately, I’ve noticed quite a bit of backlash from parts of the trans community against those identifying as sissies, against the idea of ‘sissy’ as a gender identity and against the word ‘sissy’ itself. As a non-binary trans person, I see this censorship as a problem. 

Before going any further, let me clearly state that nobody should refer to a trans woman or a non-binary/feminine-presenting person as a sissy in normal, vanilla life. In this instance, ‘sissy’ is a pejorative term…in the same way that ‘shemale’ and ‘tranny’ are not ok.  

Labels can hurt. They are especially painful and angering when slapped onto you by ignorant, prejudiced or aggressive people. And this happens with the ‘sissy’ label when it’s used against trans women and other femme types who don’t identify this way.

But if you identify as a sissy, you have a right to this use this word about yourself. And being a sissy is as valid as any other form of gender identity or gender expression. When any community starts dictating to people how they can and cannot identify, it’s an issue. It’s puzzling that some people within the trans community feel they need to attack the whole sissy dynamic…considering how much denigration, aggression and misunderstanding the trans community still suffers.

Sissy as gender expression

For many sissies, ‘sissy’ goes far beyond sexual orientation. Which is why it strays into gender territory. Sissies can be gay, straight, bi or pan. Sissies can be cis, fluid, NB or trans (or any of the rainbow of labels that we now have). Sometimes gender is a journey. But what sissies always share is the gender crossover from masculine to (a version of) feminine. So, ‘sissy’ is rooted in gender expression. ‘Sissy’ also defines the way you behave in D/s encounters, the role you take in sexual activities, the way you experience your sexual pleasure, the fantasies you have. There isn’t another word that encapsulates all this

The intersection of kink and gender

As a lifestyle FemDom, I recognise that kink and gender are inextricably linked in my world. FemDom delights in erotically trashing traditional gender roles and ripping masculinity to pieces, and in doing so, setting the submissive free from it all. This is freedom that vanilla society doesn’t grant people. FemDom is a safe space in which you’re able to explore your gender. Forced feminisation can give people the ‘permission’ they couldn’t give themselves. . 

Some people argue that being a sissy is just a kink, and that’s why ‘sissy’ is not valid as a gender identity. This is rubbish. 

Strip a sissy naked, they are still a sissy. Walking around at work in boywear, taking care of loved ones, they are still a sissy. It’s not everything they are, but it’s something that doesn’t go away. It’s an intrinsic part of them. Just like being trans, or being a Dominant, or being bi.

“There’s something wrong with you”   (There isn’t)

I’ve seen sissies on social media being told that their sissiness is just an expression of subconscious self-hatred, low self-esteem or internalised transphobia. For many lifestylers, this isn’t the case at all. And this means some sissies are feeling pressured to abandon their sissy identity and define themselves as trans or as a crossdresser in order to be more socially acceptable. Others are just being cowed into reduced visibility or silenced by negative comments. Seeing this makes me uncomfortable. Yes, it’s healthy to question yourself as to where your sissy desires come from, and to make sure you’re not actually hurting yourself. But being told you’re definitely damaged and that’s why you’re a sissy is at best patronising and at worse dangerous. Many sissies find great comfort and self-acceptance in their identity. The Domme/sissy dynamic can be redemptive and healing.

You can be two things at once

I’ve had quite a few comms on Fetlife with people who identify as both trans and sissy. 

One trans woman was in the process of transitioning and planning gender reassignment surgery but still gets her biggest kicks from sissy play. She told me she was very guarded about revealing her sissy proclivities as she had been made to feel that this undermined her trans identity. And she’s not alone in feeling this way. Which shows the gender police are clearly busy telling people what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

Defending my own identity

The biggest part of my D/ identity is as a FemDom who is into sissies. When anyone says that being a sissy is not ok, they’re also telling me that my identity and my preferences aren’t ok. (The difference is, I’ve not had anyone telling me this directly on social media.) I believe everyone has a right to the gender identity they choose. Which is why I felt compelled to write this piece. 

Whatever type of sissy you are – lifestyler or fetishist, NB, cis or trans, straight, bi, gay or pan – your identity is as valid as anyone else’s. Screw the people who tell you otherwise. And don’t be intimidated into backing away from your preferences. I’m certainly going to defend mine…and the pink dresses, curtsies, lipstick and chastity that go with them.

Where to go next?

To read a short rundown on the word ‘sissy’ 

To read a book – “Sissy – a coming-of-gender story”

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