Die Cis Scum.
Most cis people accept the fact that the phrase is directed at only the “bad” cis people, and not them. First off, cis people don’t get to decide whether they are good cis people or not. That’s the job of a trans person.
But moreover, “Only the bad ones” excuses cis people who think they’re allies from taking responsibility for their privilege. By thinking, “Well I’m not a bad one”, they wipe themselves clean of their privilege and the accountability that should go along with privilege.
Because in reality, it is all cis people. Systems like the gender binary, or systematic violence against trans women of color doesn’t just benefit “the bad cis people”, it benefits all cis people. And when it comes down to it, whether “die cis scum” is directed at just the bad ones or all cis people doesn’t matter: If you can’t accept trans people being angry at the beneficiaries of violence against them, you’re still bigoted.
I feel like this is important because a lot of people, both cis and trans* try to water the phrase “die cis scum” down to make it more palatable to cis people who are made uncomfortable by it, which kind of defeats the purpose of the phrase as it is intended to make cis people feel uncomfortable, allies included. Feeling uncomfortable and unsafe because of other people’s reaction to your gender is a common experience amongst trans* people, something cis people for the most part do not experience. The use of this phrase is meant to evoke those same feelings in cis people, to make them feel for a moment what many trans* people feel every day. “Die cis scum” serves to hold a mirror to privilege, to show you what you don’t experience every day and make you think about why. If this makes cis people feel uncomfortable mission fucking accomplished, acknowledging and checking your privilege is uncomfortable, but not nearly as uncomfortable as being hated just for who you are.
The other really important point here is that what this phrase means and who it applies to is something for the trans* community and each individual trans* person who uses this phrase to decide. Cis people do not get to tell us what we mean and who we’re talking about and whether or not we mean them or that other cis person over there.
*note: this is not to say that if you, as a trans* person are wrong if you personally decide to use the phrase in such a way that you mean only scummy cis people and not all cis people. These posts are about what this phrase means for me.