It’s been one year since the Down With Cis post has been published, and we’ve seen interesting developments in how the Down With Cis meme has been repurposed and adapted over the years by transgender people, along with the backlash from the cisgender community.
The original post, the above, was posted one year ago by foreverhonest, a Tumblr user. It was a lie – foreverhonest now claims it was satire. You can see the whole history of the meme, along with other examples of the Down With Cis meme in action, on this website.
Obviously, this meme was fake, much like many of the more mainstream attempts to malign and depict cis people as violent.
What I want to talk about here is how the transgender community repurposed it, along with the backlash from the cisgender community. Many transgender and gender non-conforming people created fanart of their favorite characters wearing Down With Cis shirts, and made jokes about the “trans bus” depicted in the story.
This lead to a backlash from the cis community, which claimed that adopting the meme was “cisphobic” and exclusionary of cisgender people.
However, when viewed in context, transgender people have every reason to reclaim false depictions of themselves as needlessly violent. The passage of the H2 bill in North Carolina, a bill that prevents transgender individuals from using the restroom of any gender other than the one they were assigned at birth, was justified through fear of transgender women committing violent sexual assault against cis women, an unfounded fear (as there has never been a single confirmed case of this ever happening).
Instead, transgender people are often the target of violence themselves.