Berkeley Film & Media Seminar

Avery Dame-Griff is presenting a lecture for Berkeley Film and Media Seminar series

Berkeley Film and Media Seminar series presents Avery Dame-Griff

Thu, Sep 21, 2023, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

142 Dwinelle

Avery Dame-Griff

Defining Who We Are Not: Transgender Usenet and the Rise of Cisgender

In contemporary discussions of trans issues, it’s almost impossible to not encounter the term “cisgender.” However, until the mid-2000s, “cisgender” and its variants were almost exclusively used on only one platform: the decentralized discussion system Usenet. In this talk, Dame-Griff analyzes Usenet’s role in popularizing “cisgender” and how the term has evolved to reach its current ubiquity. As he argues, the widespread adoption of cisgender highlights the importance of community-defined terminology at a moment when one of the most important tools for trans self-representation, language, is being systematically transformed into the fuel powering the contemporary Internet: data.

Co-sponsored by the Berkeley Center for New Media and Department of Gender & Women’s Studies.

Avery Dame-Griff (he/him/his) is a Lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. He is the author of The Two Revolutions: A History of the Transgender Internet (NYU Press, August 2023) and Curator of the Queer Digital History Project. Find more information at

This event is free and open to the public