Sexology
3 min

Trans activist glitterbombs Dan Savage

BY ROB SALERNO – Gay sex-advice columnist and activist Dan Savage is back in the news again, but this time he’s the target of a ridiculous act of psuedo-bullying rather than the perpetrator.

While giving a speech at the University of Oregon’s Ford Alumni Center in Eugene, Oregon, someone claiming to be part of the Dan Savage Welcoming Committee (DSWC) leapt through the audience and doused Savage with glitter while shouting “Dan Savage is a transphobe.” A statement from the group, posted on indymedia reads:

Dan Savage is a transphobic and generally oppressive rich white cis gay
man who came to Eugene, OR on Halloween weekend. The Dan Savage
Welcoming Committee let him know that he can’t be a douche with
impunity.
On November 1st, 2011, an operative of the Dan Savage Welcoming
Committee (DSWM) glitterbombed Dan while he was giving a Q&A at the
University of Nike’s Ford Alumni Center in Eugene, Oregon. During this
session, the operative leapt to the stage and poured glitter over Dan’s
head as they shouted, “Dan Savage is a transphobe!” As they turned tail,
they added, “Glitterbomb courtesy of the Dan Savage Welcoming
Committee,” and just before they got out the door, “He’s a racist and
misogynist and a rape-apologist, too!” The operative then fled the
scene.

The DSWC is a memberless organization, and the only point of unity
is that we have a problem with Dan Savage for anti-oppressive reasons.
We encourage others who share our sentiments to let him know exactly how
they feel wherever he goes. He has a huge voice due to his fame; we
have to be creative to get heard over the din. 

Hmm . . . y’know, some people might say calling someone a douche is pretty misogynist, too.

The activists don’t actually substantiate their accusations, but commenters on the incident have pointed to a number of columns Savage has written in the past where he’s used the words “tranny” and “she-male” — both words generally considered no-nos to trans people. There’s also Savage’s long-running joke about Washington State’s attorney general being a female-to-male transsexual (he’s not actually, and Savage’s campaign against him is not actually funny). And some commenters at indymedia take offence at Savage’s contention that a man who enjoys being fucked by women wearing strap-ons is still 100 percent straight because they feel that implies that FTM transsexuals aren’t really men. (No, I call bullshit on that. There’s a difference between a woman wearing a strap-on and a trans man who uses a strap-on for sex: one’s a woman and the other’s a trans man. At least keep your arguments internally consistent.)

It should also be pointed out that Savage has a weird history with derogatory names for the queer community — this is a guy who started his career by asking people who wrote to him to address him with “Hey faggot.” He always argued that he was trying to take away the power of that word to hurt. His use of the terms tranny and she-male should probably be read in that context. 

Anyway, this is all pretty petty and immature. Savage was giving a Q&A, after all. Why not actually participate and challenge him with allegations of transphobia? That would probably accomplish a heck of a lot more than a confusing stunt that doesn’t even indicate what you’re so upset about. 

In other news, today’s best meme comes courtesy of Clint Eastwood, who’s come out in favour of same-sex marriage. It’s been going around on Twitter, preceded by "I’m Clint F—ing Eastwood, and this is what I have to say about gay marriage:"


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