Tiffany Rich: Hey Cyster!

Tiffany Rich writes a response to my blog post that appeared on the site last week!


Last week Gunnar wrote a blog post following our Buy or Sell podcast! We had the topic of labels; CFer, cyster, and fibro vs person with CF, and, of course, Gunnar and I find ourselves on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to how we prefer to be called.

You don’t know how many times I’ve been sent “Hey cyster!” to start a conversation. Unlike Gunnar, I don’t care. In my opinion, the use of these labels within the community really gives me a sense of “community.” Those labels allow us to bond on another level because they show that we are part of our group. Basically it makes a person feel as if they are “fitting in” and accepted into the group that is known as the CF community.

With that being said, I think people should tread lightly before calling someone else a CFer, cyster or fibro. I honestly love the creative play on words like cyster because it is comparable to a sisterhood, but I think we tend to forget that there are some who prefer not to have these labels placed upon them.

Their personal preferences may stem from something that exists beyond what your eye can see!

You can’t just assume someone who has CF is going to like being called a CFer, cyster or fibro. I have come across a bunch of people that did not like when I called them a fellow CFer, cyster or fibro, and that’s okay! When it happens, I apologize and don’t do it again. It doesn’t tarnish the friendship or sense of community we share!

I personally don’t care if you call me any of these things, but I know it’s not the case with everyone… and everyone has the right to feel whatever way they want!

However, if someone outside the community called me their cyster, I would feel a bit uneasy, unless they ran it across me first. It’s an easy thing, ask before you want to label according to a disease we live with. I don’t think it’s appropriate for a person without CF to call me, a CFer, fibro, or cyster without first asking because even though you may know a person with CF, you aren’t someone living with it.

I love our community and everyone that embraces it. I’m here to tell you that I’m okay with the labeling within the community, just do it with a light heart and please If someone doesn’t like it, then it’s easy, don’t use them. It’s a personal opinion and it is best to just respect that!