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.”