Amara Moira Rodovalho


Cis, trans: above all, metaphors. Cisjordan, region
skirting the Jordan River. Cisplatin, Uruguay’s ancient name,
region occupying one of the banks of the Prata River. Trans-
Amazonian, that which crosses the Amazon; transatlantic,
that which crosses the Atlantic. Cisalpine, transalpine. The
geometric isomerism of Organic Chemistry, where “cis” are
atoms that, when molecules are divided in half, remain on
the same side, and “trans” those remaining on opposite sides.
Even the Houaiss dictionary, presenting the cis etymology as
“from the Latin preposition cis ‘below, on this side’ (in
opposition to trans)”. And many other examples. Metaphors,
always metaphors. Something that crosses, trespasses, goes
through and something that remains always on the same
side, skirting, not crossing, that avoids crossing, all in relation
to a given line. Can we imagine the use of one of these terms
without, immediately, referring to the other? From this rhetorical
question, I dare to claim that medical discourse, by naming
as “trans” our peculiar way of living, of claiming existence,
has automatically named the other way, its way, non-trans,
as “cis”, leaving to us only the task of thinking ways of making
the two images proposed, something-that-crosses and
something-that-avoids-crossing, translate themselves into
more tangible meanings.

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Estudos Feministas, ISSN 0104-026X, Florianópolis, Brasil.