What Does it Mean to be Cishet?

With all the terms used to refer to our identities and genders, it’s important to understand what they mean so that we’re never caught on the wrong side of the fence. One term that has gained popularity in recent years is “cishet.” As a result, many people want to know what is cishet.

At a glance, cishet is a term used to describe both sexual orientation and gender identity. The term is a combination of “cisgender” and “heterosexual.” If one of the questions on your mind is, “what does cishet mean,” we’ve got you.

Being cisgender means that you identify with the biological sex and gender that you were assigned at birth. Anyone who is heterosexual is sexually attracted to the opposite sex. Cis het meaning seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Let’s learn more about what it means to identify as cishet.

The Difference between Cishet and Comphet

Sometimes, people get confused by the terms “cishet” and “comphet.” However, these terms are different and they’re used to describe different aspects of gender identity and sexuality. As we mentioned earlier, cishet meaning alludes to those people that identify as both cisgender and heterosexual. Cis het women and cishet men both identify with the gender they are assigned at birth and are both attracted to people of the opposite sex.

The term “comphet” is a short form for “compulsory heterosexuality.” The term is used for the societal pressure that people often face to align to heteronormative standards even when they identify with different desires or sexual orientations. In the end, while cishet meaning alludes to someone’s identity, comphet is a social phenomenon. It is possible for a cishet person to experience comphet, the same way it’s possible for those who aren’t cishet to experience comphet when they’re pressured to align to heterosexuality.

Difference Between Cishet and being Straight 

As mentioned earlier, the term cishet is used to describe people that are both cisgender and heterosexual. So then, does this mean that they’re straight? If not, what’s the difference between cishet vs straight? While the term cishet refers to people that identify as both cisgender and heterosexual, being straight means that the person is only attracted to people of the opposite gender. However, the term straight doesn’t refer to someone’s gender identity. It refers to their sexual orientation.

Therefore, the difference between cishet and straight is that cishet people are both cisgender and heterosexual while straight refers to someone’s gender identity. It’s also important to note that while the term cishet and straight aren’t the same thing, both terms are related.

Cishet meaning was coined by the LGBTQ+ community to refer to individuals who identify with the gender assigned at birth and are attracted to individuals of the opposite gender. It’s different from the term “straight,” commonly used to describe an individual’s sexual orientation.

As we mentioned, it’s vital to note that while both terms are related, they don’t necessarily indicate the same aspect of an individual. For instance, a person who identifies as heterosexual but is transgender and attracted to the opposite gender would not be considered cishet. Similarly, someone attracted to the opposite gender and identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth may not necessarily identify as cishet if they reject or don’t conform to societal expectations associated with their gender or sexuality.

How to Become More Inclusive by Being Cishet

Cishet individuals can become more inclusive by educating themselves and being mindful of their privilege. This can help them better understand and support the LGBTQ+ community. Here are some ways to become more inclusive:

Educate yourself

Learn about experiences and issues faced by LGBTQ+ individuals, including discrimination, marginalization, and prejudice. Read books, articles, and blogs written by LGBTQ+ people, and seek out resources and organizations that provide information and support.

Challenge your biases and assumptions

Be aware of any biases or assumptions you may have about LGBTQ+ individuals and actively work on challenging them. This can involve examining your beliefs and attitudes and the societal norms and stereotypes that may influence them.

Be an ally

Stand up against discrimination and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and inclusion. This can involve speaking out against harmful comments or actions, supporting LGBTQ+ organizations and causes, and being an active and vocal ally.

Practice inclusivity in your everyday life

Be mindful of your language and behaviour, and strive to create a safe and inclusive environment for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. This can involve using gender-inclusive language, respecting individuals’ pronouns and identities, and avoiding assumptions or stereotypes about people based on their gender or sexual orientation.


In summary, cishet is a term used to describe individuals who identify with the gender they were assigned at birth and are attracted to individuals of the opposite gender. The term “cishet” emerged from the LGBTQ+ community as a way to describe the experiences and privileges of individuals who identify with their birth gender and are heterosexual. While related, the terms “cishet” and “straight” do not necessarily indicate the same things about an individual. To become more inclusive, cishet individuals can take steps to educate themselves, listen and learn from LGBTQ+ individuals, challenge biases and assumptions, be an ally, and practice inclusivity in their everyday life.