Dan Savage Reportedly Glitterbombed by Trans Activists

Trans activists glitterbombed Dan Savage at an appearance in Oregon:

SavageDan 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.

The HuffPost says that Savage has faced allegations of transphobia in the past, though it's not clear what the activists here were reacting too, though I believe this is the first incident of LGBT on LGBT glitterbombing.

Savage has not commented on the alleged incident.

(via jmg)


  1. Tommy says

    What specifically has Dan Savage said or written that these people object to? The article doesn’t explain that. All I know about him is what I’ve read in his columns and I’ve never seen anything against transgender people in those.

  2. Hollywood, CA says

    THIS JUST IN! Transgender speaker glitterbombed by an ASEXUAL Activist shouting “Our voices will be heard, and don’t look at me in a sexual way!”

    Film at 11.

  3. Larry says

    With all of the people out there doing actual damage to the rights of LGBTQ people, is attacking someone who has made an actual difference really worth the energy right now?

  4. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    Just another example of the overly-PC universe surrounding “GLBT-correctness”. Personally I think that the “transgender”-issue has no rational connection to “gay, lesbian, bisexual” other than being another and different minority group. GLB is an issue of sexual-orientation and how and who one relates to. Transgenderism is one of personal sexual self-identification along with intersexualism and hermaphroditism. Transvestism is a fashion choice.

  5. Rick says

    It is high time for gay people to disavow completely and disassociate themselves from gender-confused individuals who are not homosexaul.

    We have no more in common with them than heterosexuals do and their problems are not our problems.

    Moreover, they are dragging our movement down, their embarrassing flamboyance destroying our credibility with the social mainstream.

    Time to draw the line and drop the “T” from LGBT once and for all. In fact, that change is long, long overdue and this incident just underscores that.

  6. says

    Some moron hijacks something “kinda” cool like glitter bombing, and succeeds only in making all of us look as confused as the GOP.

    Why are some people so stupid?

  7. Andrew says

    ugh. I usually dislike Dan Savage (“It Gets Better” was a step in the right direction, but he says other things that just bug the crap out of me), but come on. I said stupid transphobic things when I was younger too, and have since learned that that’s not the right thing to do. And I Agree with Larry- this infighting is a waste of energy and it gets us nowhere.

  8. Kristofer says

    Rick I have never read a more ignorant comment on all of Towleroad. Your lack of compassion for and active discrimination of transgendered people is an insult to the people out there working hard for equality in all its forms, including yours.

  9. JWL says

    I dont see transgendered as part of our community, I dont see it at all. If they want to go off and be their own group then we should certainly support that.

  10. ynot says

    The truth is finally coming out. The “T’s” hate gay people, except when they take our money.

  11. Sargon Bighorn says

    Does this attack really represent the entire “Trans” citizenry? I hope not. I don’t think it does.

  12. Moses says

    Rick, I got your back. I don’t see the connection between gay/lesbian issues and trangender issues. Never have.

  13. Rachel says

    From the fierce drag queens (many of whom later identified as trans women and transitioned) airbrushed out of history at the Stonewall Riots, to this. Things haven’t gotten any better for trans people since then, and, wow, so much hate now from the privileged gays when the trans* stand up for ourselves.

    If glitter is the worst thing that happens to you, consider yourself lucky – the murder rate for trans women in the US is something like 1 in 7.

  14. lewlew says

    What cowards! There are many targets that are much more deserving of this treatment than DS is. Go fight someone who really hates you. Idiots.

  15. Derrick from Philly says

    Transgender folks invented “Gay” during the 20th Century so that by the 1970s the rest of you homosexuals could come out of the closet.

    Gay history courses for Gays should be mandatory before you’re allowed to give or receive blow jobs.

  16. endo says

    “Transgender folks invented “Gay” during the 20th Century so that by the 1970s the rest of you homosexuals could come out of the closet.”

    *citation needed

  17. Fenrox says

    Wow, Trans issues are entirely gay issues, also what kind of MONSTER would disavow a group that is fighting with you for equality?
    So lets get this straight, you are for gay rights, but not for equality? Nice position, can you see how it is just as bad as bigoted people?

    Now on to the “activists”, good god pick your damn battles, Dan Savage is a polarizing figure, just because you hate him doesn’t mean he hates you. Grow up.

  18. Un-PC & Proud says

    I got your back, Rick. There is no connection between gays, lesbians, and bisexuals and trans. We’re truly as connected to them as we are to a bus-drivers union, or a co-op farm. They just sort of came along for the ride because the gay underground was a convenient place to relax, of a time ago. And as for the idiot with the comment that trans invented “gay”, go back to school. “Gay” as an adjective had picked up sexual overtones by the late 17th century, meaning as time progressed, adulterers, prostitutes, hedonists, and finally arriving at homosexuals. Dan Savage is not transphobic: I have never heard him ever say anything like that. I can’t believe some douches glitterbombed him, I guess they have nothing better to do, certainly not enough time to offer proof of his “Crimes”. Of course, this “memberless” organization doesn’t speak for all trans people. But, I’ve long thought, and still think that trans people need to get their own movement and stop bumming off of the gays.

  19. says

    Gay people are Transgender people! There is a connection between us and Transsexual folk, and it’s obvious. Denial won’t change the truth. I do not approve of glitter-bombing, but it’s about time Dan Savage faced the consequences of shooting his ignorant mouth off in public too many times. He isn’t a “sexpert”, his sex advice is bizarre! He isn’t a “community spokesman”, either. Dude ain’t nothing but played-out. This incident was the beginning of the end of his undeserved popularity.

  20. Lexxvs says

    You can not generalize, never. But I was always amazed about how homophobic some (I emphasize SOME) trans people become one they have reached THAT level where they feel completely part of whatever gender they longed for. Specially when referring to gays, as for some of them there is no place in their mind for a man to man or woman to woman thingy. In those specific cases you see how they consider gays some kind of an error that doesn’t want to be fixed, some deviation of the purportedly binary natural order or female/male pairing that doesn’t bother to adopt the forms. That’s why I accord with those sexologists that sustain that trans people are straight people, at least in their minds, therefore some of them can’t understand us. I guess that for some of them, being homophobic is the ultimate token of being a whole straight person. And all of the above was about the association of trans with the LGB.

  21. Fenrox says

    @Un-PC, And how exactly does our movement work? When is it finished? When did it start? How does it succeed?

    How do trans people take away from our movement?

    What do they add? Oh, let me answer this, they add humanity and legitimacy to our fight. We are fighting the same damn thing in the same damn way!
    To deny them makes us WEAK, PETTY and UNWORTHY of the change we fight for. What do you say to the person who WILL NOT accept corollaries between black rights and gay rights? They are wrong in their stubbornness and you are too.

    Also, THIS HAS ALREADY HAPPENED, the GSA and GAA had a falling out over helping the Black Panthers, “it’s not our fight” “we have to focus on ourselves” They have their own movement”. Man screw that, solidarity gets things done, exclusive civil rights movements are like GOProud, a bomb dressed as a civil rights organization, it can only hurt others.

  22. Monsieur R says

    Reading these comments make really sad. It’s like every man for themselves, there are no teammates. Hate within the community is toxic.

  23. Zlick says

    I haven’t read anything transphobic by Savage (I’m a casual, not an avid reader of his column), but there was something in there recently where he apologized for less-evolved and potentially transphobic comments he made earlier in his career. Perhaps not for me to do, but apology accepted as far as I’m concerned.

    Let me try to join, without seeming too obnoxious, the chorus who feel trans people are NOT the same minority as homosexuals, and should NOT be part of our particular movement for civil and human rights … except insofar as our struggle naturally and quite wonderfully seeks human rights and dignity for all people – but for trans people no more or less than for people of color, native peoples, women and every other disadvantaged and discriminated-against group on the planet earth.

    But, yes, I’d prefer the T be dropped from the LGBQ, etc. I frankly feel the idea that gender identity being akin to homosexuality is archaic and any continuance of that link in modern times is insulting to me as a gay man. (That homosexuality is linked to gender identity should, I believe, also be insulting to trans people).

  24. Gregoire says

    However, I bet Dan Savage looked FABULOUS covered in glitter and I hope he made the most of it.

  25. anon says

    That’ll show ‘im!

    There’s a whole nest of sexual sub groups that are thrown into the trans label, like those that want to amputate limbs, or transform themselves into other species. There are also a bunch that have been excluded from the gay groups, such as the polygamists, bestiality crowd, necrophiliacs and pedophiles. Despite the labels, though, non of these groups really work together. Heck, lesbians and gays rarely work together in practice.

  26. Rick says

    @Fenrox I don’t know how removed from the social mainstream you have to be to type something as delusional as you just did. You seriously believe that mainstream society believes our cause is MORE legitimate when a bunch of men who dress up like Diana Ross parade around and purport to “represent” us?

    Do you think that makes straight society more willing to embrace us? Really? What planet do you live on?

    Whenever our opponents want to score PR points against us, the very first thing they do is provide photos of drag queens parading around at Pride, because they know how effective it is in damaging our image.

    And the majority of us are no longer going to tolerate having the success of our movement imperiled by people like you and your non-gay gender-confused friends.

    Go start your own movement and make your case if you want to and stop trying to piggyback on ours–of course the reason you do the latter and not the former is that you know that society will NEVER grant you the acceptance that it will grant us.

    And that is too bad for you, but, again, it is not our problem….

  27. Derrick from Philly says

    UN-PC & PROUD,

    It would take an idiot not to know that “Gay” is more than just it’s literal meaning & history as a slang term. It is now used to refer to the sub-culture that existed in metropolitan areas throughout the world where what we now call OPENLY Gay people used to congregate to be themselves. Maybe your IDIOT MOTHER should have taught you that. Then again, only a Drag Mother may have the knowledge needed to educate a stupid, small-minded, wannabe macho homo dork.


    You want citations? Start with Quintin Crisp’s “The Naked Civil Servant” a biography of a Transgender Gay person who refused to be in the closet in the early part of the 20th Century until his death over 90 years later.

    You might want to check out “Storyville” by Al Rose. He briefly mentions the famous New Orleans Drag Queens of the 1890s.

    Maybe the 1968 film “The Queen”.

    These were people who couldn’t be in any closet. They created a sub-culture that some people called “The Life”, some called the “Demi MOnde” and later it became the “Gay Life”.

    Hey Un-PC & Proud,

    go out at night in your city’s red-light district and call a Drag Queen an idiot. You’ll get a straight razor across your idiot throat. And that’s where Gay and Transgender will come together for you, hon.

  28. Glenn says

    I’m pretty sure that (1) these glitterbombers don’t represent the views of trans people in general; and (2) ignorant jackasses like Rick and some of his fellow commenters here don’t represent the views of gay and lesbian people in general either. Thank FSM on both counts.

    I think the reason for the inclusion of the “T” in LGBT is clear and it is the right thing to do to right for their rights as well. We are all hated by society because we refuse to conform to its gender norms, just in different ways and to different degrees. The “let’s close the door behind us” attitude of some of the commenters here is nauseating, but like I say, I think they represent a tiny minority of the gay/lesbian community.

  29. uffda says

    It Gets Better?

    Not better than this.

    Dan Savage being pelted for sex issues? I can’t stop laughing. This is profound entertainment.

    Gentle Readers…

  30. Inside says

    So Chaz Bono (in a heterosexual relationship) adds humanity and legitimacy to the fight of gay men/lesbians?

  31. Eugene says

    “We are all hated by society because we refuse to conform to its gender norms, just in different ways and to different degrees.”

    LGBT people aren’t the only ones who are hated because they refuse to conform to gender norms, so the LGBT thing makes no sense. Trans people are closer to feminists in this regard, and sexual orientation is a separate thing.

  32. gomez says

    glitter bombing is retarded

    and trans people belong in our colition for equality and justice

    nuff said

  33. Rick says

    “You’ll get a straight razor across your idiot throat”

    You can take the brutha out o’ the ‘hood, but you ain’t nevuh gonn take the ‘hood out o’ the brutha.


  34. REX says

    Even before we get to should the “T” be dropped or not… Let’s get down to the key issue: DID DAN SAVAGE DESERVE THIS???

    And I vote NO

  35. Andrew says

    I can’t believe what I’m reading in all of these comments! How dare people suggest we “remove the T”! And how dare we get upset that the trans community is offended by transphobia committed by the mainstream LGB movements. Ugg its times like this when I realize we have so far to go…. I do believe we should be talking to each other instead of throwing glitter at each other. There need to be more high profile conversations that include the more “radical” lgbt viewpoints, especially ones that include the trans community. Clearly the trans community has something to be angry about. These comments are disgusting.

  36. Aedan says

    Wow. I mean wow.

    First of all- one of the few things I believe I’ve seen on “Glee” that actually proved to be poignant political commentary was their little stint with Mr. Shoe-whatever “glitter-bombing” Jane Lynch’s character. The scene made a very good point: that “glitter-bombing” fails in it’s intended purpose and does nothing but garner support for those who were attacked. It almost becomes a badge of honor to those you intend to harm- or worse- makes you look like a tool for doing something so ridiculously juvenile and Gay-Stereotypical.

    In other words: Glitter-Bombing has to go. It’s useless, stupid, and silly. Protesting is one thing. “Glitter-bombing” is too easily poked-fun at or used against us.

    Second: Dan Savage is not Transphobic. Even if he were at one point in his life- like those out there claiming he is “bi-phobic”- he has since grown out of those opinions and I’ve seen nothing but him championing the Bi and Trans causes in years and years. He is not our enemy and it is pathetic to see such diluted idiots coming from our side.

    I guess it just goes to show morons and psychos are a part of every group of people. And it means we need to make sure we actively fight against those crazies- whether they are in our own group or that of another. Because from all angles they are nothing but a drag on society.

  37. Ben Weldon says

    I’ve got into it with people who accuse Dan of being transphobic online.For those wondering what these people have against Savage it basically boils down to this…

    The main thrust of Dan Savage’s activism is not specifically trans activism so Dan Savage must be transphobic.

    Dan Savage sometimes advises trans people not to automatically dismiss people who are attracted to trans people as potential partners.

    Dan Savage sometimes advises trans people to disclose to people they are dating fairly early that thay are trans (because who would want to be with someone who had a problem with it?).

    Seriously…that’s it.

  38. andy says

    What a coward that “activist” is. Dan is a REAL activist and a advocate for LGB AND T (even tho gender and sexual attraction arent even related). What a way to endear trannies to gays (eyeroll) some people can find a way to be a victim in any circumstance

  39. Jexer says

    You self-centered idiots. Our differences are petty compared to our similarities.

    Teavangelicals, Mormons, Catholics, Muslims, Conservatives, Seniors, and various ‘minority ethnicities’ are busy trying to vilify US so that they’re not the low-minority on the totem pole.

    There’s strength and safety in numbers. If we don’t stand together we’re gonna get crushed under the boot-heel of the majority.

    The only difference between GLB and T as far as I care is we want to be ‘out&accepted’ and T’s would rather ‘pass’ than be ‘out’. Honestly, considering how we treat them, I can’t blame them.

  40. endo says

    @Derrick: Citing historic queens doesn’t prove that trans folks invented gay culture.

    I’ll see your Quentin Crisp, and raise you Walt Whitman, Oscar Wilde, E.M. Forster, and Noel Coward. Your call.

  41. RC says

    A couple of months ago I got an email from someone pushing pansexuality and got down on me for being gay, tried to educate me that by being gay I was a hater and homosexuality was an illness and hatred. However, they excluded heterosexuality from the classification, since they apparently viewed heterosexuality as the norm. I guess they only wanted pansexuality to applied only to the LGBT grouping. Of two other transpeople I encountered in an online forum one identified himself as androphile and also classified homosexuality as undesirable and also viewed feminism as a problem. The other also identified as straight and while he was a big Obama supporter, (reminded him of his father) his favorite politicians were up and coming young white male Republicans and he was extremely snarky whenever any gay issues were brought up.

  42. Kanga says

    Whatever Savage feels about transfolk, he deserved this. Oh he deserved this. He is a horrible representative for our community in so many ways, and It Gets Better fails to redeem him. He is puerile and crass and I will rejoice when his 15 minutes expire away.

  43. Yuki says

    Regardless of any views of Savage–I have mixed feelings on him–I find glitterbombing rather immature, to be totally honest, and while calling him out on transphobia is a good thing (provided he is actually transphobic; I don’t read him often enough to know), completely going against someone who is helping civil rights that can help open the door for MORE civil rights is counterintuitive.

    Create a dialogue; don’t just insult.

  44. RandySF says

    I don’t believe that we should abandon our Trans friends just because our issues are distinctly different. Gay men have distinctly different issues from Lesbian women as well, but anyone arguing that they should be abandoned would be summarily ignored.

    People like Rick in this comment section, who don’t know the difference between a transgendered person and a drag queen probably could use some education on the matter.

    That said, I’m wondering if it’s time to abandon self-avowed “Trans Activists?” It just seems that every time we read about a Trans Activist it’s them deliberately trying to harm the gay community.

    At the very least anyone who uses the term “Gay inc” and believes that it’s a conspiracy of white rich gay men (a long-since debunked gay stereotype) who are actively working to keep the transgender community down should probably be dismissed. There are plenty of gay activists of all ethnicities and socioeconomic statuses.

  45. BMF says

    I think a debate about whether there is or isn’t a connection between LGBs & T’s is kind of pointless. I mean how exactly does one “PROVE” something like that. Some people see a link, some don’t. Personally, I think there are some key similarities and some important differences.

    That said, one comment directed at trans individuals, really stood out for me: “Go start your own movement and make your
    case if you want to and stop trying to piggyback on ours–of course the reason you do the latter and not the former is that you know that society will NEVER grant you the acceptance that it will grant us.”

    It shocks my mind that a gay man would make this statement when gay people have piggybacked on the liberation struggles of African-Americans, women, etc. In places where there are laws that protect gay people, those laws FIRST protected individuals on the basis of race, gender, religion, etc. There are some that still object to links that gay activists make between LGBT rights and other liberation struggles. How quickly some folks forget . . . .

  46. Southern Comfort says

    No one can hold the monopoly on victimization. Even if you could, why on Earth would you want that?

    The ‘T’ belongs in LGBT, if for no other reason than the discrimination we suffer at the hands of an ignorant majority is the same; hateful and irrational. I agree with the posters above who point out that gays who would jump at the chance to throw the transgender community under the bus are every bit as crippled in their capacity for compassion as African Americans that insist “gay rights aren’t civil rights.”

    Straight people are as “unrelated” to gay people as you suggest we are to the transgendered, but the fact of the matter is that there aren’t enough of us to win equal treatment under the law without straight allies voting along side us. Whether we share common ground or not, the transgender community needs our support just like we need support from heterosexuals.

    Any gay person who can’t see that, clearly can’t see past the end of their own nose. Shame on you.

  47. C. James says

    I agree that the T in GLBT has never made sense. No one in this forum has put forth a good argument for the connection. Most the arguments boil down to “we’re all different from the majority so we’re all the same” or “we’re all fighting for some form of legal protection/validation so we’re all fighting the same fight.” That’s some poor reasoning. And the vitriol coming from some of the posters in favor of keeping the T in GLBT goes way too far. It might not be a pleasant reality to face, but trans people are less accepted/tolerated by US society than are gays/lesbians/bisexuals, and as long as the fight is going to be made in the name of GLB&T, gay rights will face far more resistance. I think trans people should focus on legislation/policies/practices that affect them directly rather than trying to push for protection/validation through the gay community.

  48. Houndentenor says

    I’m a regular listener to The Savagelovecast. I’ve heard every episode. I don’t know where the charge of transphobia comes from. But, if trans people want to respond to something he has said, they should call in. He often plays calls from people calling him out on things he has said. He has even apologized in response to audience reactions. Better yet, suggest a trans activist to appear on the show with Dan and discuss trans issues with his audience. This isn’t some hater who isn’t open to a discussion. Engage him and try to move the conversation forward. Glitter bombing him isn’t a way to start a dialogue.

  49. says

    By the way, the trannies (yeah, I wrote it!) need to drop the trans/cis thing. It refers to the orientation of groups of atoms within molecules. There are cis and trans orientations of electron bonds (also called twisted and untwisted), hence “trans fatty acid” as a term of distinction.

    People who use “cis” to describe non-trans sexuality may think they’re being clever, but it’s just dumb and off-putting.

  50. jaragon says

    I’ve never understood why transgender people have to do with homosexuality. And really attacking Dan Savage?!

  51. rafi says

    “You can take the brutha out o’ the ‘hood, but you ain’t nevuh gonn take the ‘hood out o’ the brutha.”

    Most efficient self-discrediting comment ever.

  52. Fenrox says


    Mainstream society is not important. One, it’s fluid, It will not stay the same. Two, WHY THE HELL WOULD THE MINORITY CARE TO CONFORM TO THE MAJORITY?

    I mean, can you follow your own reasoning? Where and why is it so important that mainstream society stay the same? When did that start? Also, mainstream society is only as strong as it’s members, and as the elderly die and the young age, it changes man. It’s so frustrating that you don’t want to think this out.

    And what is YOUR problem with trans people? Do you realize that it is your problem? Also do yourself a favor and answer my damn questions. I mean, you don’t support equality! That is messed up! Why are you here? You don’t care about gay rights if you don’t care about equality…

  53. JWL says

    This is an interesting unresolvable issue. I have long been a fan of Dan Savage and I have never had a problem with transexuals. However, most of the transexuals that I have met have not exactly been stable, so we havent had a lot of reason for prolonged discourse.

  54. JWL says

    and let me add that transexuals are exactly what less educated heteros fear the gay community, so we may as well all be one big happy group because they will always lump us in together anyway.

  55. JohnAGJ says

    First of all, Dan Savage is a big boy and I’m sure he can defend himself far better than I can so I won’t even bother. Besides the IGB campaign, I haven’t really pay much attention to him anyways.

    Secondly, I too have never understood the connection between “T” and “LGB”. As individuals I can identify with those who are “T” in seeking to better their lot in this society just as LGBs and others do, but not as a group. As for many of the “T” activists I’ve seen, to hell with them and their asinine “cis” label for everyone not trans. They’ve sabotaged efforts to pass legislation like ENDA for years, have been obnoxious a-holes and I’ll not lift a finger to help them.

  56. ChristopherM says

    I’m so saddened by some of the hateful ignorant comments. Calpernia Addams put it best when she said if she’s walking down the street and doesn’t pass, the bashers don’t call her a tranny, they call her a faggot, just like they do us. It’s all about conforming to gender expectations, be it sleeping with the proper gender or dressing like them. And that’s where the T in LGBT comes from. There are dumbass activists of all types I’d like to ditch, but to ditch an entire group would be the ultimate idiocy. as long as one of us has no rights, none of us do.

  57. Joseph Singer says

    “The HuffPost says that Savage has faced allegations of transphobia in the past, though it’s not clear what the activists here were reacting too, though I believe this is the first incident of LGBT on LGBT glitterbombing.”

    Please pay attention in class when they explain to you what homophones are and just because to, too and two sound the same they’re (not there or their) not the same thing.

  58. Scrufff says

    I’m a huge Dan Savage fan. I’ve have read everything he’s ever written and have been reading his column since its inception when it was called “Hey Faggot”. I proudly state that Dan is one of my heroes.

    Dan is a big boy and has gone toe to toe on tv with some of the biggest anti gay haters in this country and he wins out all the time. He’s is one of the most articulate speakers on gay rights and has done more for sexual freedoms of all stripes and colors than just about anyone since Kinsey.

    Glitter bomb away assholes. Its not going to stop Dan Savage from his activism for sexual equality. Dan keep up the good work. And a big thank you for all you’ve done.

  59. Egal says

    Hey Johnagj: What do you want us to call everybody who’s not trans? “Normal”? Yeah, that worked real well for “Gay” and “Not Perverts”, right?

  60. shelo says

    @ C. James,
    Seriously?!? The moment you decide to ditch the minority in order to support the interests of the majority is the moment you become EXACTlY what you hate. Congrats.

  61. anon says

    As a practical matter, all the medical issues faced by the trans crowd (this has nothing to do with transvestism or drag queens) alone would force them to advocate separately from the GLB crowd. There is also the unrelenting negativity of all the pre-op self-loathing of the trans crowd that is off putting.

    Where advocacy matters intersect is in things like work laws, public access, housing and marriage (to some degree). The emotional issues are different, the dry legal matters are the same. Mind you, some advocates want a much longer acronym than LGBT.

  62. Paul R says

    I’ve had more problems with B guys than I’ve ever had with T people, but I would never argue that either should be removed from the LGBT moniker.

    I don’t understand the hatred of Dan Savage. He’s bright, sarcastic, jokes a lot, has strong views, and is on camera, writing, or otherwise expressing his views pretty much every day. Of course he’s going to say things that will rub some people the wrong way. But what other widely visible advocates are there, aside from perhaps Rachel Maddow? That’s not to say that we need to settle for one or two. It’s saying that we need more.

    Dan has the balls to say what he thinks—and I know that some will call that a publicity ploy—but he is not a hateful person and he works relentlessly for LGBT issues. Exposing hypocrisy and tearing down walls support our common cause. His column is read by far more straights than gays, and has probably done as much to advance understanding and acceptance than most other pop column features of the past, say, 15 years. He makes straight people realize that while our bedroom practices differ (and only sometimes, because lots of straights do plenty of sexual things that they’ve been made to feel guilty about), people are pretty much the same. Like it or not.

    Finally, I agree that glitter bombing is tiresome and unoriginal. (LGBTs throwing glitter just plays into the hands of the ignorant.) I was also never a fan of the people who threw cream pies at politicians, businesspeople, religious figures, or others with whom they disagreed. Neither action embarrass the target—it shows the simplistic act of the small mind who does it, then scurries away.

  63. Joe in CT says

    This is like infighting between siblings, pretty much pointless and mostly ego driven.

    And, as a supposed “community,” we have much bigger issues to deal with than Danny-boy Savage. He’s not the right target.

  64. chasmader says

    I’m so sick and tired of all this PC crap. Trannys are a sexual minority, but they are not my minority and I’m tired of being lumped into the same group. I agree with the earlier comment about EDNA being torpedoed. 90% of the people it could have helped were thrown under the bus by the PC crowd.

  65. JohnAGJ says

    @Egal: How about “non-trans” for starters? The word “cisgender” sounds too clinical and asinine. Oh and save the attitude because I really could care less and actually find it laughable when folks demanding respect are unable to show it themselves.

  66. says

    Really? Glitterbombing Dan Savage for being a transphobe? Solid reporting would include whatever he had he done to warrant a glitterbombing. Here’s a link to an article about incident where Savage apparently made a joke about Washington state Attorney General Rob McKenna being a FTM transexual.


    and quite a collection that someone else gathered…


    The quotes are a bit damning – but when were they written?

  67. Julia says

    First of all so many of these comments make me sad.

    Second of all for all the people claiming Dan Savage isn’t trans phobic, please read: http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=13054

    In the article he refers to a trans woman with male pronouns (transphobic), refers to all trans people as trannys (transphobic). This is an article from 2003.

    Or: http://www.avclub.com/articles/march-25-2009,25624/

    In this article from 2009 Mr. Savage refers to a trans woman as a “shemale” (transphobic) even when the question asked of him was actually using rather respectful language.

    I think it is ridiculous that the LGBT community won’t stand up against bigotry in our own community, but we expect people people who are straight and cis gendered to not be bigoted.

  68. Julia says

    And to the person who complaining about the term cis and it’s role in chemistry. Yes the term cis is used in chemistry but the term is actually from Latin meaning “On the same side of” and trans is from Latin meaning “On the opposite side of.” So cis gender is just saying someones gender always matched (was on the same side of) their body.

  69. mike128 says

    For those who see no connection between gay and trans issues – let’s remember that the primary issue people have with gay men is that they do not act or do conventionally “masculine” things. If you forget that getting f-ed up the butt is not seen by most straight people as “less than” “masculine” behavior, then you forget what we’re struggling with in general. Gay equality IS a gender issue. It’s about people taking issue with the rest of us violating what is seen as gender norms.

  70. says

    Julia — The cis/trans designation in chemistry is LITERAL. A molecule exists in the physical world and double electron bonds cause atoms and functional groups of atoms to have a physical orientation on the same side or opposite side of a molecule from each other. The “trans” in “transexual” was originally a FIGURATIVE reference to a person’s journey from their birth gender to their chosen gender (as in “transportation” — notice there’s no congruent term “cisportation”?). Only when the transexuals wanted a dispassionate term for non-transexuals did they co-opt chemistry’s latin term, “cis”.

    “Cis” may inelegantly retrofit into the transexuals’ rhetorical model (in which everyone invents their own gender), but it’s not the source of the term. Since it is figurative, the minority cannot require the majority to use the opposite term. That would be like gay people demanding that non-gay people refer to themselves as “morose” because that’s the figurative opposite of “gay”. You’re not going to get any non-gay people to call themselves that because it’s patently silly, just as you won’t get any but the most painfully PC non-transexuals to refer to themselves as “cis”.

  71. says

    I adore Dan Savage and can’t fathom what this attack was about.

    That said, I’m rather appalled by all the transphobic comments on this thread. No, tansgender is not the same as gay. But transgender people ARE and SHOULD be part of our community and our struggle.

    At the end of the day, sexual freedom means sexual freedom for everyone, whether it pertains to orientation or identity. And the same assholes who oppose our rights oppose the rights of transgender people as well, and for exactly the same reasons.

    You transphobic homos remind me of black Republicans like Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas. You think if you just act like “they” do, then they’ll stop hating you. Newsflash: They won’t. They don’t care whether you’re in a suit and tie or a dress. It’s all queer to them.

    Finally, I suggest all you gay folks who want to dump the trannies from our movement learn a little bit of gay history. Without them, we wouldn’t have achieved any of our civil rights — including the right to associate together without getting arrested — over the last 40 years.

  72. Tired Ofthecraziness says

    @Adam: Agree, more or less…but realize that by saying “trannies,” you’ve just become a subjugating, transphobic, white-male-privileged rape apologist. Or something. Expect your use of this verboten verbiage (which was clearly intended to demean, injure, and subjugate) to follow you through the sands of time, to the four corners of the earth, until you properly apologize. Which won’t do a lick of difference, because some people are never satisfied.

    Unless it’s OK this time. Who knows?

  73. Julia says

    Anastasia – I do know basic chemistry, but the fact that chemistry uses the prefix of cis is irrelevant (as is the fact that cis is a prefix in biology as well). That is like saying we can’t use the term trans in transgender because it is a prefix in the word transportation or again in chemistry and biology. This is just silly and ignores the way we use many words and the etiology of many terms.

    We use Latin words for a great deal of our words, transportation is actually just two Latin terms. As for your comments saying it’s origin frankly if you know anything about the evolution of language you would realize why that is not a valid point, we use tons of words that have odd origins.

    Regarding for your comment on gay people forcing non-gay people to use a term or a minority forcing a term on a majority, have you ever used the term straight? Because now majority of non-gay people use that term. Also I wouldn’t call cisgendered figurative, it is actually a rather concrete and literal.

    And if you don’t want to use the term cisgendered fine. I am betting it will end up become more and more common, as it has over the past decade. It is a very technically accurate, non judgmental term, and it is often very useful when discussing trans issues to have an antonym.

    And finally I don’t know what you are talking about the transsexual rhetorical model. First of all there is no consensus on what gender is among trans people, some hold that but not the majority in my experience. Transsexuals in particular usually say we have an innate gender identity and in this model the term means what I said earlier. Cisgendered means you gender has always been on the same side of your body, ie a match.

  74. Paul R says

    Words change and language evolves, certainly. But do not expect anyone to start using cisgendered. I mean come on. Maybe (MAYBE) 1 in 10 gay people are familiar with it. So that means 1 in 10,000 straight people are. And no one is using it.

    I support all people, especially minorities, but that’s crazy.

  75. says

    Julia — The term “straight” exists because their defection rate is so high, so they need a word to describe their loyalists. If ten percent of the population was reliably transexual and another 20-30 percent experimented or sometimes dabbled with it (?) at some point in their lives then we’d need a word for non-transexuals.

    Good luck with your etymological crusade, but “cis” has no future in the everyday vocabulary of sexuality because you can’t force people to use words for which they have no need. There is no need for a word meaning “the opposite of transexual” because non-transexuality rarely needs to be announced or explained in the day-to-day life of most people.

  76. Boston Bloke says

    Disapointed in Towleroad’s coverage of this story. Not one bit of evidence was presented to justify calling Savage transphobic. And I’m not sure why being Caucasian was mentioned. I can make judgments on my own thank you. Please, just present us the story, without the bias.

  77. says

    The mainstream and largely white gay male dominated LGBT community with all its white privilege, male privilege and in many cases, class privilege, does not take criticism and truth telling very well from within the ranks of the LGBT communities and particularly criticism and truth telling aimed at one of its anointed ones. This continues to be one one the enduring adolescent characteristics of the community.

  78. Paul R says

    @Boston Bloke: so where does the author’s post mention caucasian? Just wondering.

    @Sage: so all LGBT people are white, male, and rich? Sorry, guess that I missed that notice…probably because I’m so adolescent.

  79. Mike says

    How misguided of this glitterbomber. Fight the real enemies you pathetic idiot. Dan has done more for trans people than you ever will.

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