Dan Savage | News | Transgender

Trans Activists Glitterbomb Dan Savage for, Among Other Things, Support of Marriage Equality

Dan Savage was glittered by transgender activists for the third time in recent months, Canada's XTRA reports:

SavageA group of six activists, who named themselves The Homomilitia for the event, said they confronted Savage as he entered the theatre through a back-alley entrance.

In an interview with Xtra after the confrontation, activist Fister Limp Wrist accused Savage of "ableist, racist, transphobic, fat-phobic, sero-phobic and rape-apologist attitudes and views." Activists handed audience members bright pink pamphlets outlining their accusations as they entered the theatre.

One of the attacks on Savage included a potentially injurious glass jar which was thrown at (and missed) his face. Savage says the attacks against him spring from a time when he "didn't have a firm understanding of the nuances of trans issues" according to XTRA, and he is now more reluctant to discuss them because of the attacks. In November, he defended himself against the attacks.

Said Savage:

It's clear from the transcript—and it's clear from the way that my remarks are being actively and maliciously misrepresented—that the people pushing this "Dan Savage is transphobic!" meme are not honest actors. False accusations of engaging hate speech are themselves a form hate speech—particularly in the hothouse environment of LGBT activism. Any honest reader of my column, like any honest person who attended my Q&A at UCI, knows that not only I am not transphobic, I'm pretty rabidly pro-trans.

Or: If I'm the enemy of trans people everywhere, trans people everywhere could use more enemies like me.

In the latest attack on Savage, the activists appear to be focusing on the fact that he supports marriage equality:

Queer activists have historically used glitter-bombing as a tactic against conservative politicians and high-profile anti-gay bigots, Vancouver protester Lavender Menace notes. Asked if she lumps Savage in with such people, she says people have different ways of contributing to oppressive systems.

"Savage is taking on being a speaker and leader in this movement. We have to take that into account," she adds. "He's part of a broader [group] of gay, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied gay men focused on gay-marriage priorities. We want to say those priorities are messed up."

Savage's audience took his side, the paper reports, offering him a long ovation, when he suggested, "If you have a disagreement with your allies, you discuss it. You don't attack them."

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  1. Can we glitter bomb the trans activists, please? They are really getting on my nerves.

    Posted by: Allen | Jan 24, 2012 10:39:33 AM

  2. These glitter-bombing idiots are just working against themselves and the cause. I don't get why they are g-bombing Savage for SUPPORTING marriage equality?

    Posted by: FernLaPlante | Jan 24, 2012 10:40:47 AM

  3. Well, the marriage equality priorities aren't messed up for me. I'm a 55 year old lesbian who has been in a relationship with my partner for two decades. I need and want the economic and legal protections of marriage. They have the right to say the priorities are messed up, and I have the right to disagree. If you have different priorities, then work for the change you desire. Don't throw crap in the face of an ally. I despise their behavior toward Dan Savage. Dan Savage is not the enemy.

    Posted by: carsson | Jan 24, 2012 10:41:30 AM

  4. Im getting tired of "Trans Activists", you are either 100% with them or 100% against them and they seem to have no middle ground. They are apparently not interested in working together, and neither am I really. Marriage is important to a lot of Gay and Lesbian and Bisexual couples, so that is our focus. We have made a grave mistake in this alphabet soup business. LGB is more than enough to handle. T and Q can handle their own business.

    Posted by: JWL | Jan 24, 2012 10:46:34 AM

  5. "Cis-gendered and able bodied?" Can I be excused if I don't understand a word of that?

    Posted by: Butch | Jan 24, 2012 10:54:08 AM

  6. As Savage states, in the past he made comments that were ignorant because he didn't have a good understanding of the trans community. However; people have informed him and he does try to speak out for trans issues on his podcast. He's not perfect, but no one is.

    I think it's a bit selfish of trans activists to be angry about him supporting marriage equality. He has to support himself and countless families like him. I know binational couples are a minority in the LGBT community, but where does marriage inequality leave them?

    Posted by: Tamayn Irraniah | Jan 24, 2012 10:54:42 AM

  7. Lunatic fringe.

    Posted by: Grady | Jan 24, 2012 10:57:22 AM

  8. I think this group of Trans-activist are wrong. Marriage equality is very important to many in the LGBT community, and I personally see it as a huge stepping stone to full equality, because it keeps the spotlight on.

    That said, I want to voice my support for the Trans community. These activists don't speak for the entire trans community, any more than ACT UP or LCR speak for all gay men. The trans people I know just want equality, and to not be treated as freaks. Which is pretty much what everyone else in the gay community wants too.

    Posted by: Jim | Jan 24, 2012 10:58:14 AM

  9. agreed, Butch. I don't know their language or their problems. It is time to let them take the reigns on their own issues. I do know that Cis is a word they've created to label men who were born as men and women who were born as women. Its a nonsensical word designed to label perfectly normal people who don't need a label. Its all very silly and gives them a word to throw back at us now that they are tired of hearing the word tranny. Except the word has no meaning to most of us and no weight and is something that most of us have to google to figure out.

    Posted by: JWL | Jan 24, 2012 10:59:25 AM

  10. Cutting out your eyes to spite your face. That should work well.

    Posted by: MattCA181 | Jan 24, 2012 11:03:05 AM

  11. Glitter bombing anyone for any reason (other than, say, their birthday) is assault and doesn't do anything but convince the people who disagree with you that they're right. There are better ways that don't disgrace your cause.

    Posted by: Stranded | Jan 24, 2012 11:04:13 AM

  12. I am very supportive of the trans community generally and their goals, and I don't think that most trans activists have that big a problem with Savage or marriage equality. I think this is an isolated group trying to find a way to get press for their unpopular views, and apparently they're succeeding. Maybe we should not see stories when the glitterbomb rationale is so absurd.

    Posted by: ColinATL | Jan 24, 2012 11:07:00 AM

  13. Agreed, T can take care of themselves. Their issues are incongruous and their behavior is demonstrably against what we are attempting to fight for. Their issues do not reflect my issues and while I agree that there is much needed progress to be made for trans rights, the T needs to address them singly.

    Posted by: Brian | Jan 24, 2012 11:10:46 AM

  14. Eff those trannies right in their fake gashes.

    Posted by: endo | Jan 24, 2012 11:12:53 AM

  15. These activists need to back up and look at this irrational pursuit of Dan Savage--the facts just don't back up their claim (racist? really?). They also need to look at their terminology which is more alienating than enlightening (cisgendered? how many people reading this would even know what that is?). I think they're actually losing sympathy at this point.

    Posted by: db | Jan 24, 2012 11:23:55 AM

  16. Towleroad, your headline is misleading. They said it was for Savage's prioritizing of marriage equality not for his support of it.

    Posted by: Tarun | Jan 24, 2012 11:32:39 AM

  17. All the Cis nonsense is ridiculous. If they don't want to be part of the LGBT community -- as they keep saying over and over again -- then they should just get the hell out of the way. ENDA could have passed years ago if it weren't for them. They're NOT gay (just ask them).

    If they're not part of the "gay community" (just read the posts on PHB), then let's drop the 'T' and make it simply LGB from now on.

    Posted by: Ninong | Jan 24, 2012 11:34:30 AM

  18. This is why it's occasionally very difficult to make progress on GLBTQ issues. If we're going to be fighting amongst ourselves and cannibalizing each other instead of focusing on our true enemies, how can we achieve anything?

    (By the way, where does a group like this get off dissing and denigrating people based on skin color, sexual orientation, or ability--even if Dan is white, gay, and able-bodied? Does that somehow make him "less" of a person to these activists? Isn't that also a form of intolerance, hatred, and discrimination?)

    Posted by: Dback | Jan 24, 2012 11:40:01 AM

  19. Glitter bombing is one thing. Attempted assault with a glass bottle is quite another. Dan clearly needs protection at these events now that the "protests" have escalated to potential bodily harm. Even though I myself am supportive of trans issues, the people who are doing this are way out of line. If I were Dan, I'd get some bodyguards... one more bottle thrown at him, and you'd end up with a beat-down followed by arrests and imprisonment. Dan's already conceded the initial point, and made amends. The attacks are now nothing more than harassment and endangerment, and should be dealt with as such.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jan 24, 2012 11:45:43 AM

  20. Just to be clear, someone calling himself "Fister Limp Wrist" is accusing Dan Savage of backward views. They should have glitter-bombed him with irony.

    Posted by: endo | Jan 24, 2012 11:52:00 AM

  21. Where can I get my "Evil Privileged Ableist Cisgender Gay White Male Same-sex Marriage Supporter" T-shirt?

    Posted by: Mik in Houston | Jan 24, 2012 11:53:22 AM

  22. LOL @ MIK - Perhaps you can get that t-shirt from Fister Limp Wrist.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Jan 24, 2012 12:03:07 PM

  23. Although I largely agree with all the comments here I do think it's important that as a community we remain committed to supporting a variety of viewpoints and perspectives when it comes to the battle for LGTBQ rights.

    There are many queer activists who feel the current struggles for gay rights (largely marriage equality and dont ask dont tell) represent a hetero-normalizing of the queer community. Why would we want to be part of two extremely conservative institutions?

    We shouldn't make a saint out Dan Savage but we shouldn't demonize him either. These types of protests are good in my mind because they are moments for the breath of ideas and thoughts WITHIN our community to come out. Lets not be myopic or worse yet, hegemonic when it comes to our politics.

    Posted by: Danny | Jan 24, 2012 12:05:14 PM

  24. This reminds me of a Kids in the Hall sketch: An art class is about to draw a live nude model (a beautiful woman), but suddenly the class starts complaining that she's too beautiful, tall, white, blonde, etc. Where are the poor models? the aged? the minority? the overweight? the sexually opressed? the infeeble? The professor responds with, "well... old fat black crippled dykes are hard to come by!"

    Posted by: Andy F. | Jan 24, 2012 12:07:02 PM

  25. The people are annoying.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Jan 24, 2012 12:13:23 PM

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