Mar 29

In case I wasn’t clear

I will get a few things out of the way:

I am cis

I support trans people when they empathize  with “Die Cis Scum” or use it as a source of empowerment.

I support trans people that think that using “Die Cis Scum” as a tool for empowerment is too divisive for their tastes. I don’t agree. I still support their right to their methods and believe that they are still working toward the same goals I am working toward.

See how easy it is to be an ally to someone whom you don’t agree with on a particular issue while still maintaining your voice?

If you can’t, then I am sorry. I have no idea how to make that more clear.

Now I haven’t posted a full and complete defense of “Die Cis Scum” yet but I think now I need to clear up why I defend it so easily. After all, I am cis, and the sentiment targets cis people. I still defend it.

First I have to distinguish between the two things I am defending.

The tattoo itself is separate from Asher’s  post on the tattoo.

I see the tattoo itself as reactionary, an act of defense against a cruel world. I see it as a desperate measure by someone who is truly, deeply afraid that they may one day become a statistic. I see it as their way of saying “Fuck you. I won’t be afraid anymore.” I empathize with that feeling. I have had real reasons to fear and real reasons to hate those who cause me fear. I don’t see the tattoo as a communication with the world in any way. I see it as a communication with one’s inner struggle. I see it as reactionary and empowering in the same way I see “men are pigs” or “fuck the police” as reactionary and empowering.

Now you may see this tattoo in a different light, but this isn’t about all the possible ways that everyone may perceive this tattoo. Instead it is my attempt to make it clear to you why I support it.

I see Asher’s post on the tattoo completely differently than I see the tattoo itself. I see it as a communication with the world. I see the post as someone who is ready to take the very thing that helped keep them alive that empowered them to not become a statistic and use it to 1) empower other people and 2) teach us something.

It has been said that the only people alienated by this tattoo and post are cis allies. I absolutely agree that Asher’s post and the author’s tattoo will have little to no effect on the general transphobic population. Most people in the general cis population have no clue that “cis” refers to them. So when I read Asher’s post, I have to take that into consideration. Don’t you think the author knows which “cis” people will understand this or even read this post? The author absolutely knows this, so it begs the question of what the author is attempting to do with this knowledge.

Is the author trying to alienate cis allies? That seems a bit self destructive, so probably not. Is the author trying to warn cis people that they are in danger of reactionary violence? While it is expressly stated in the post that the tattoo is a threat, it seems a bit ridiculous to assume that anyone intent of killing cis people at random feels the need to warn them.

Perhaps the author is attempting to use a literary device to force the reader to feel something they wouldn’t otherwise feel. I am just going to go ahead and state that this is what I think the author in Asher’s post is trying to do. I think Asher’s post is not about an actual threat of the possible mass murder of cis people. I think the author realized the most effective way for cis allies to empathize with the struggle that trans people the world over face is by forcing said cis allies to walk in their shoes for the length of time it takes to read this post.

And maybe the author is willing to lose some cis allies in the hopes the ones who stay will have a better sense of what they are fighting for.

I feel like Asher’s post gave me that, and that is I why I support “Die Cis Scum.”




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  1. 1

    Has anyone considered asking Ashley? Because that would seem a natural step to take.

    1. 1.1

      The post was done anonymously. So far the person who wrote it has not spoken up. If I remember correctly Asher spoke out against actual violence against cis people in the comments of the post. Even if not it does not mean that the author was advocating trans on cis violence for the reasons I outlined in my last post. I could be wrong but I think I am not. Without solid evidence of actualized violence I am going to assume I am correct.

      1. Anders

        Nope. The closest he comes is sayng that he does not oppose total avoidance of violence. He avoids violence when possible, but the reason he gives is that he has PTSD. He carries knives or guns for when violence is unavoidable.

  2. 2

    Subscribing to this.

  3. 3

    As a trans person I would suspect that Die Cis Scum has multiple purposes.

    I can think of these at least:
    1. Catharsis- Anger and frustration needs to be vented.
    2. Make people think about the violence we face as WilloNyx discussed
    3. To find out which allies are not really allies. Fake allies say they are allies and then jump in to police us when we decide to stand up for ourselves instead of being nice victims they can save. A real ally would never stand in the way of empowerment nor try to tell us how to speak for ourselves.

    I’m sure there are more reasons but I particularily want people to think about number three.

    1. 3.1


      thanks for summing up my feelings as well. I’d like to vent about this in a different way. The rant that follows is no way addressed to you!

      I’m trans and I am actually somewhat ambivalent about the adversarial stance of “Die Cis Scum”, and I am fucking sick of having my view strawmanned and misrepresented, because my refusal to condemn it is taken to mean that I wholeheartedly stand behind it and support it.

      What I do support is the right of any trans person to their rights of free expression. That includes speech which may make some lily-livered fair-weather “Allies™” to tut-tut and say, “Well, I was okay with you until you said that thing, but now you’re being too loud and non-conformist, so I regretfully must refrain from giving you any further support.” Well, fuck that.

      I would refer these so-called “Allies™” to a well-known text that begins with these words: While confined here in the Birmingham city jail, I came across your recent statement calling my present activities “unwise and untimely.” People seem to forget that the same guy advocated civil disobedience to unjust laws, and was dismayed when “Allies™” told him to be patient and wait a little while till there was a “more convenient season”.

      I’ve seen the calls for a Twitter hashtag of #transagainstdiecisscum to start a reaction against DSC from within the movement. Fucking divide and conquer. Haven’t we seen enough of that lately? FFS, there are way more important things that stand in the way of trans people than worrying about the tranarchists scaring people off with a rhetorical threat that has not, I repeat, not led to mass violent pogroms against cis people, and instead is a method of empowering trans people and giving cis allies an idea of the routine threats to our safety that trans people have to live with.

      In short, I support a trans person like Asher saying stuff that empowers himself.

      I do not support trans people like the #transagainstdiecisscum mob who want to police other trans people with “trans advocacy, you’re doing it wrong”.

      Fucking angry.

      1. Anna

        “I do not support trans people like the #transagainstdiecisscum mob who want to police other trans people with “trans advocacy, you’re doing it wrong”.

        I 100% agree with you. I am angry. I am poor. I live in a dangerous neighborhood. Being trans here puts my life at risk. I have already been attacked once. I hear people say nasty anti trans stuff (not realizing there is a trans person there with them) which kills my self esteem slowly and surely. Then supposed allies and trans people who think they know everything about being me tell me I should not be angry. I should not even think Die Cis Scum.

        I’m happy for them that they are in a situation where they don’t need to think it. Honestly I am and I wouldn’t take that comfort away from them. I don’t have that experience and I don’t want my feelings invalidated either. I would never ever hurt anyone but I might wear that slogan on a jacket or a shirt. I just want to voice my outrage at the hate. Honeslty, its also useful finding the allies that aren’t and, althought I didn’t think about it you are correct, the trans people who claim to have my back but don’t.

  4. 4

    I hate arguing with people who I would rather be friends with. I will not continue this discussion. I would just say this – I don’t give a damn whether you think I’m a good Ally or not. I am not in this to win Ally of the Year 2012. My support for and my commitment to the civil rights movement for trans people comes from the same place that my opposition to the phrase “Die Cis scum” does. If I drop one I will have to drop the other. I will not do that.

    Please do not misunderstand me. I am just a man with all the failings and flaws of a man. I am just trying to do what is right.

  5. 5

    I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands,
    organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same
    food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases,
    heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d by the same winter
    and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If
    you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die?
    And if you wrong us, do we not revenge? If we are like you in the
    rest, we will resemble you in that.

  1. 6
    Let’s talk about “Die Cis Scum” one more time | IdioPrag

    […] my first two main posts and a clarification on DCS go here, here and here. For Natalie Reed’s post on DCS go here. For April Gardener’s commentary on DCS go […]

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