"I'm not cis," says Elon Musk in Twitter thread about gender and pronouns

While the Twitter CEO caused a stir with his comment, it's likely he just doesn't know what "cis" means

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published December 28, 2022 7:05PM (EST)

Elon Musk, Founder and Chief Engineer of SpaceX (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Elon Musk, Founder and Chief Engineer of SpaceX (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Extremely online Twitter CEO Elon Musk made one of two big revelations on Wednesday; either he is not a cisgender male, or he doesn't know what cisgender means.

After posting a meme depicting two opposing figures conversing on the subject of brainwashing, the resulting thread took a sharp turn and landed on the topic of gender pronouns.

Articulating his views on the matter, Musk tweeted "Yeah, I'm not a fan of pronouns when someone is giving every possible visual cue for he or she, but then still insists on telling you exactly what you expect. I do support pronouns that aren't completely obvious based on visual cues."

Responding to Musk's take, author Fred Scharmen said "We cis people are explicit about pronouns on top of visual cues in order to help normalize their expression for those who might not be cis. Simple as," to which Musk volleyed with the baffling response "I'm not cis, you are."

Whether Musk took this random opportunity to make a bold and oddly timed declaration of his gender identity or not is his own business, but the resulting replies are a mixed bag of congratulations and confused follow-up questions.

"So your new pronouns are she/her? We support you, more than you support the child who won't even talk to you," said Adam Heath Avitable, host of the podcast "Dating Kinda Sucks."

"You GO, girl! live your truth queen," tweeted Bill Corbett, writer and star of "Mystery Science Theater 3000."


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"So you're trans. Weird way to come out, but good on you," new product strategy & development professional Tom Coates added. 

And on and on and on.

Sifting through the replies, it doesn't appear as though Musk has popped back into the thread to clarify the statement made on his gender. 


By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is a journalist and fiction writer who lives in New Orleans. She is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

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