Tobi Hill-Meyer

A Response to Dan Savage's Statement on Glitterings

Filed By Tobi Hill-Meyer | November 15, 2011 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Dan Savage, glitterbomb, glittering, trans ally, transphobia

This morning Dan Savage put out his own statement regarding the recent glitterings he has been the target of. To begin with, he shares the transcript and some of the Thumbnail image for Dan Savagedetails that my source apparently got wrong.

DAN: [READING FROM CARD] My boyfriend is straight but he enjoys anal sex and he asks me to make love to him in his butt all the time. [ASIDE:] You have no one to blame but yourself. [READING FROM CARD] Also, he likes watching she-male porn. Could you tell me why he is acting like this? [ANSWER:] Um, I'm gunna go out on a limb here and say it's because he likes shemale porn and he enjoys anal stimulation. He's acting like this because he's a very freaky boy. If you're into him, and you're willing to go there for him, there are a lot of straight guys who are into transexual sex-workers, transexual porn, she-males for lack of a better term, although some people think that's very offensive--

He does claim that he was about to address the problem with the term before being glittered, and I certainly want to give him props for using the terms "transexual sex-workers" and "transexual porn," all of which is much better than the last time I heard him discuss the subject. He spends the rest of the article parsing through the events of the evening without mentioning any of the other concerns that have been raised about him.

But here's the thing, I am pretty certain those individuals had planned this in advance. They weren't fans who just happened to have glitter on them and were so shocked by his words that evening that they jumped into action. I could point out that he wasn't simply reading from the card and used the term "she-male" twice after finishing the question, or that his phrasing "transsexual sex workers... she-males for lack of a better term," implies that he believes it is the better term, and that that's not a bad assumption to make given that previously he has preferred to use that term rather than "transsexual sex workers."

However, I've repeatedly been saying that while his use of derogatory slurs is one of the most visible issues, it is also one of the most minor. For some reason, it's the issue that everyone has been focusing on. Perhaps people are more used to discussing slurs. Perhaps it's easier to understand. Perhaps it's easier to claim people are being over sensitive. But the other transphobic assumptions and teachings are the more impactful ones. And these assumptions are still present, at least to a minor degree, in his statement today.

In my post on the subject earlier this month, I anticipated that many people would not be familiar with what those issues and assumptions are, and gave a fairly solid run down of the issues, primary in my mind among them, being the double standard upon which Dan makes it clear that trans women don't count as women in his mind. I also cited many other sources that similarly draw out the issues, which I'll list again here.

...his behavior has already been well documented by other bloggers, such as Masculine Toast, Bi Furious, Greta Christina, and FuckNoDanSavage...

While he corrects my source and points out that he never used the phrase "freaky tranny porn," he does point to where that perception came from: he said that a straight guy attracted to trans women was a "freaky boy." He also discusses how he is freak-positive and encourages people to embrace their freakiness. I can certainly agree with the sentiment, but again, this is a double standard. I don't believe I've ever heard him call someone a freak solely for being gay, and he certainly never called a straight guy a freak for watching lesbian porn. He may have been about to explain it how watching porn or anal sex is what makes him freaky, but we are left with impression that trans people are freaks, and anyone attracted to them are freaks too. It's a sentiment that is not hard to pick up from his other statements on the subject, and freak positive or not, that's a double standard.

Dan also gives the impression that he believes that trans people are so different or freaky that he will always be able to identify them as trans just by looking. He states definitively and without question that none of the glitterers were trans. Yet despite his certainty, he is quite wrong. My source at UC Invine recognized one of the two glitterers as a local trans-identified activist. Also, the Dan Savage Welcoming Committee from Oregon has posted their own response:

This is a bald-faced lie. Every member of DSWC Eugene is trans, including the woman who glittered Dan on November 1st. If we were to hazard a guess, we'd say that Dan probably harbors a lot of cissexist assumptions about what a trans person looks and sounds like (protip: there's as much variance among trans people as among cis people).

In response to the media about Dan, and as comments to his response, several of his fans have been slamming both trans activists and trans people in general. In an update he asks them not to -- again a great step in the right direction. But he needs to be acknowledge and be accountable for the fact that he has encouraged this type of response and many of them have learned it from him. In episode 207 of his podcast, he takes a call from someone who is exploring her attraction to trans and genderqueer people. She encounters someone who sounds like either a femme trans man or a non-binary genderqueer femme who only uses gender neutral pronouns. The caller accidentally uses the wrong gender term for them and after getting mad they avoided the caller. Dan then explains the "appropriate response" to being called out by trans activists.

He apparently didn't understand the situation here, because he seems to assume the individual involved is a trans woman. You would think Dan would know the difference between femme and female, and perhaps be aware that there are femme men out there who would prefer to spend their time with people who understand that they are indeed men (same thing for non-binary genderqueers having their gender understood). Yet he is so blinded by his preconceived notions of trans women who are hypersensitive and overreacting that he makes this response all about these hypothetical trans women rather than the actual people involved.

In his response he sites a lot of columns where he offers some pretty good advice around trans issues and trans people, but that doesn't change that his negative statements are still having an impact, such as all his fans who still believe this is the appropriate response to being called transphobic. In the discussions I've had in the past weeks, several people have tried to defend some of Dan's old work -- work that I'm pretty sure is what he was talking about when he says that he used to be transphobic. Yet his fans are still taking it as gospel and arguing that it is the right way approach trans people.

This is why Dan needs to be a part of a larger discussion. If he's grown as an ally in the past year, he needs to show it. He needs to spell out, for his fans and for his critics (and those of us who are both), which pieces of advice he gave that he now see as transphobic. He needs to spell out that people shouldn't take that advice anymore. He needs to make at least one actual apology - and I'm not counting the time he apologized to a non-trans person for calling them trans, he needs to apologize to actual trans people. He needs to do the hard ally work, be humble, sit down and listen to what people have to say. I went into detail about one instance here, and even now I'm cutting it short for space limitations. He needs to have conversations that can go as deep as necessary and cover as much as possible and so far he has cut off those conversations with his critics.

In closing, I want to give one piece of advice to the famed advice giver. Admitting your wrong is not the end of the world. Being criticized doesn't mean you are a horrible person. The best allies I know often gain more respect for how they handle themselves in situations where they are wrong than they do for how they handle themselves in situations where they are right. When it comes to steadfastly refusing to admit wrong doing and trying to discredit and dismiss your critics, sometimes the coverup is worse than the crime. Sometimes the coverup is the crime itself.


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Travelingman | November 15, 2011 7:34 PM

Now I know exactly why coming here is pointless. You don't even say oops sorry I got it wrong. Did you even bother to email or call Dan and ask for a comment? Reading this tripe just proves to me that you want to hate on Dan just because he is a Gay White Man. Cry.Me.A.River.

I did apologize as soon as I found out in an update on the other post. But if it makes you happy I'll apologize again. I used an eyewitness source that misremembered the context in which "freaky" had been used, it was not a reference to a type of porn, but instead a reference to someone who was attracted to trans people. Additionally, he apparently did not use the derogatory slur, "tranny," instead only using the worse derogatory slur "shemale." I sincerely apologize to Dan for any grief that this confusion has caused him.

Also, I would ask you to consider your double standard here. It's been years and Dan has yet to offer an apology to trans people for statements he acknowledges are transphobic, yet you still defend him. On the other hand, it's only been a handful of hours since my mistake came to light, and you're condemning me for what you thought was my lack of an apology.

Also, I can't speak for the rest of the trans community, but how many good things do I have to say about Dan before you stop thinking I am just consumed with hate for him? There is a gradient between hating someone and unquestioningly supporting everything they say. I've been a fan since I was a teenager, granted I had to stop reading/listening for a while because I couldn't stand the anti-trans, anti-bi, etc, etc, stuff he was advocating. The reason why I'm reporting on this so much is because I see it as an opportunity to influence actual change and improvement, not because I see it as an opportunity to take him down.

Travelingman | November 16, 2011 1:35 AM

Tobi do you really want to talk about the double standard here? You don't even bother to apologize on this post until you reply to my comment. I have seen the word privilege thrown around on both this post and your other posts regarding Dan Savage. As a writer on a mainstream LGBT blog you are writing from a point of privilege in that your posts receive a great deal of attention. Many people will read your posts and it will forever affect how they view Dan Savage as a part of the LGBT community. You didn't hesitate to be judge jury and executioner in your last post and even to some extent in this post about Dan.

Rather than write a mea culpa and offer an apology to Dan you wrote what I would call a "I am not sorry I disparaged him because he has said bad things in the past." article articulating just how appropriate it is for you to dislike him because he said x, y or z so many years ago and he didn't apologize for it in a way that you deem appropriate, now that is what I call audacity. Especially when you had a crappy source to begin with.

I am not a Dan Savage fan first of all. This all started for me because I got offended because I didn't like being called cis on a post regarding Dan. If Trans people are out to other the rest of us because we are not Trans then fine. Just don't be shocked when all of a sudden the only friends you have left are few and far between. Everyone, and I mean everyone has said things that they regret, Dan included, and me included.

It is this never ending foot stomping and outrage by the Trans community that many of us are sick of, especially when the story is proven wrong. Even then the bitterness is so obvious. It's like you want it to be true to validate your anger towards him.

Maybe before you write such a disparaging article in the future you will think twice about the ramifications of your words. Dan from what I have read is much more forgiving than most people. Just keep picking off your allies one at a time and someday the only company you will have in your fight for equality will be yourself.

>It is this never ending foot stomping and outrage by the Trans
>community that many of us are sick of

Please, please, I beg you...The foot stompers are not the majority.
There is a silent majority of transwomen who should not be thrown into this activist-pout-and-shout-mess.

Be objective with each transperson, there are many of us who are individuals, separate from this "foot stomping...Trans community".

Geena,
Here here and I posted the same on Rick's post over at Americagayblog before I came here. As a gay man who just recently realized the issues the transgendered community face I have become friends at least on Facebook with many transgendered individuals who don't mirror the actions of many on here. As a said on that post don't generalize a group by the loudest voices.

Travelingman | November 16, 2011 1:51 AM

Tobi do you really want to talk about the double standard here? You don't even bother to apologize on this post until you reply to my comment. I have seen the word privilege thrown around on both this post and your other posts regarding Dan Savage. As a writer on a mainstream LGBT blog you are writing from a point of privilege in that your posts receive a great deal of attention. Many people will read your posts and it will forever affect how they view Dan Savage as a part of the LGBT community. You didn't hesitate to be judge jury and executioner in your last post and even to some extent in this post about Dan.

Rather than write a mea culpa and offer an apology to Dan you wrote what I would call a "I am not sorry I disparaged him because he has said bad things in the past." article articulating just how appropriate it is for you to dislike him because he said x, y or z so many years ago and he didn't apologize for it in a way that you deem appropriate, now that is what I call audacity. Especially when you had a crappy source to begin with.

I am not a Dan Savage fan first of all. This all started for me because I got offended because I didn't like being called cis on a post regarding Dan. If Trans people are out to other the rest of us because we are not Trans then fine. Just don't be shocked when all of a sudden the only friends you have left are few and far between. Everyone, and I mean everyone has said things that they regret, Dan included, and me included.

It is this never ending foot stomping and outrage by the Trans community that many of us are sick of, especially when the story is proven wrong. Even then the bitterness is so obvious. It's like you want it to be true to validate your anger towards him.

Maybe before you write such a disparaging article in the future you will think twice about the ramifications of your words. Dan from what I have read is much more forgiving than most people. Just keep picking off your allies one at a time and someday the only company you will have in your fight for equality will be yourself.

Travelingman | November 16, 2011 7:22 PM

Check out your Glitterbomb lobbing whacko below wishing she had thrown a glass jar at Dan and then tell me that this person is not one major effed up nutjob.

@Tobi Hill-Meyer

This is hilarious:

"Also, I would ask you to consider your double standard here. It's been years and Dan has yet to offer an apology to trans people for statements he acknowledges are transphobic, yet you still defend him. On the other hand, it's only been a handful of hours since my mistake came to light, and you're condemning me for what you thought was my lack of an apology."

You feel like it's a double standard to be asked for a genuine apology because you feel Dan hasn't or won't.

Boo-freaking-Hoo. Grow up Tobi. You want to be seen as the smarter bigger person? Than act like it.

Write a separate post, with quotes from detailing how Dan HAS apologized already (numerous time now, you're so lazy and dishonest you haven't looked any of them up.) and actually had a number of columns dedicated to trans issues, including advice from trans people. He included at least 3 if not more essays in the IT GETS BETTER book from trans people, he even has Buck Angel "The Man WIth A Pussy" (Buck's words, not mine) on the itgetsbetter.org for all to see. He regularly writes about trans issues in smart meaningful ways for straight people who maybe don't "get" trans issues at all.

Write all that without the, "but hes still so mean!" bullshit at the end. Because that makes you look disingenuous and whiny.

Also you need to step back from this ROSE person who you are standing fully behind. Her violent rhetoric damages both hers and your reputations. She is literally saying: If you don't like what someone is saying it is okay to both act out violently against them, and ask for them to be be burned at the stake (i'm just assuming that because in her screed that YOU LINK she says she hope he "dies in a fire").

Think about if the tables were turned and a popular rightwing speaker said, "I think trans people don't exist, it's a choice, we should beat them into submission and wipe them, any way possible, from the face of the earth." Something tells me you would be up in arms immediately.

But because you can't see past your own smug nose on this, you just sit and wait for people to "forget" until the next time you want to whine and complain, as the language gestapo, about Dan's actual words (which he read from a card from the audience, then used again, to start teaching the kids about their improper usage) than about Dan's ACTUAL INTENT. Which was that HE IS ON YOUR SIDE.

So stop bitching moaning and whining about how we can't forgive you, or take you at your word. Until you can do that for another human being. I will be the first to say "Congratulations." and move on from this, when you grow up, act like a big girl (cis or trans or whatever) and unequivocally apologize for misrepresenting both facts and statements, and distance yourself from the violent rhetoric you are supporting.

Then the next time Savage does something, says something YOU DON"T LIKE, don't dredge up the past again. START FRESH. Take him on for what he said that moment. You'll get a better response than always dredging up past violations he has stepped away and evolved from. You'll see he can engage you much more pointedly then having to go backwards and always do back flips for you.

Also when he does something you do like, SAY SOMETHING.

Tobi, believe it or not you have the power here. You have the power to act big, and make an ally out of someone who you treat like an enemy (faint praise does not make you look kind, it makes you look like a bitchy teenager). With a little work I think you could come around to actually being great allies who could really work together. But you have to be willing to do a little work. I don't think Savage will do it. He's literally had glass bottles thrown at his head (I believe the Eugene commenter, over the nutcase Rose, who says it was glass) by a trans activist. I wouldn't be surprised if he just washed his hands of the trans community all together. Who would that really serve? No one.

Be the better person. Stop whinging. Apologize fully. Don't bring up the past. Repudiate violence in all forms. Take him at his word.

Then start fresh.

If you could do that, then I promise you the very next time he says something WHOSE INTENT is bad, wrong or ill-conceived (not just words - he needs those words to help educate, but INTENT), as long as you can keep from dredging up his past and things he has stepped back from after TWENTY YEARS OF WRITING, and focus on the "now". I will be on your side as well. That is how you MOVE FORWARD.

"Don't bring up the past" - that's always the advice from the LGB to trans women. Forget what was said yesterday/last year/whenever that we never actually acknowledged was a problem - we moved on, why can't you just trust us to not do those things we keep doing?

You claim Dan has apologized, I've been looking specifically for even vague apologies or explanations from good ole Dan for years now... nothing. No person is saying Dan hasn't said or done good things. The problem is that so many people are saying he never did/said/advised some really harmful stuff not so very long ago. The problem is that trans women are expected to just assume intentions when there is no clear consistent history of good intentions.

And, seriously - Dan says he discussed "When shemale is appropriate and when it isn't" with a trans guy!!?? That's was supposed to be some sort of "I'm aware of trans issues and have great relationships with trans people"... discussing a word used to/for about trans women witn another guy... really? Why not discuss the impact of that word and its use with someone who is actually directly targeted by it? THAT is part of the greater issue with Dan and an example of why so many trans women have a hard time trusting that he's "evolved".

Exactly what I'm talking about.

Hopefully Tobi will show herself to be bigger, and less petty than you.

Dan has shown by his actions, his frequent support of trans projects and individuals linked in some of the comments in this very blog, that he is not tran
s phobic.

What I am asking above is for Tobi to be bigger and less petty then Dan. I didn't ask it of you Laughing Rio T Girl. I don't expect it of you because you're not calling yourself a journalist. Tobi, by writing for this blog, though should e held up to higher standards.

It's also telling that you, as well, won't address Tobi's support of acts of violence, and violent rhetoric. To you it's all about Dans past, not his present, and you are showing support for violence by not repudiating it as well. Watch that attitude as it goes both ways. The murdered trans woman whose body was found this week in Michigan experienced this herself.

And yet to you it's all about Savage and his potty mouth.

Pretty shallow and pathetic.

Dan's present seems to be made up of discussing "shemale" with a trans guy and talking about when it is appropriate to use the term... so much for starting fresh.

I'll say again, Dan has done some great stuff and given good advice. He has also acted and spoken with utter disregard and then brushed off critics without really addressing any of the problems pointed out. If your neighbor cuts your grass a few times does that mean you can't complain when he dumps his trash in your yard?

You'll also note I have made no statement about the glittering or the person who did it. My only observations have been limited to the way Dan's history and relationship with trans people (particularly women) is being framed by you and others. Ignoring one set of comments and actions and inactions is hardly honest now is it? Tobi, on the other hand, has been quite willing to acknowledge when and where Dan has said/done some good stuff.

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Note from Bil: Had to zap this one for the personal attacks, UC. You've made your points pretty well before without all that. Stick to the facts to argue your case. You've got a good one.

Sorry Bill: I didn't mean to attack Mother Theresa, I'll leave her out of it this time. ;)

@Laughing Rio

QUOTE:

That self-righteous, attack-your-allies, too-angry-to-listen bug isn't unique to Ts; it's been documented in Ls, Gs, and Bs too. (I myself have succumbed on, oh, one or two occasions.) Also for the record: the day after my talk at UCI, I met and spoke with a trans student—hey there, C—and we had a perfectly delightful, perfectly rational, and mutually enlightening conversation about transphobia, porn, sex, whether "shemale" is ever okay, his coming out process (recent), my coming out process (not so much), and how he needs to stop smoking. (Really, C. Stop smoking.) It was the best conversation I had at UCI, it was a private conversation (it wasn't filmed), and it was with a trans man.

:UNQUOTE (sorry I don't know HTML)

He wasn't being dismissive with the Trans guy. They had a good conversation. He even has the guys personal health he's worried about - "Really, C. Stop smoking." Why would you immediately infer the negative? I think you are doing it out of spite to spread more false accusations, rumors and innuendo about Savage.

I agree with you. Lord knows the man is not a saint, (HE EVEN SAYS SO IN HIS QUOTE!) but he's hardly the devil you make him out to be. In fact you are falling into the description at the beginning of that quote "That self-righteous, attack-your-allies, too-angry-to-listen bug"

Take some word police anti-biotics and get rid of it. It is petty and immature.

Add to this the mere fact that you won't reject Rose Pedals violent rhetoric and acts is beyond the pale. "Oh! It's not for me to say (blush). That's Tobi's job...." That is garbage.

It is for EVERYONE'S benefit that we call out and reject violence either spoken or physical against any member of our community, no matter how great or small. That you can't bring yourself to do that is seriously warped and shows that you agree with her comments and intentions.

I hope it never comes back to haunt you. Like it did for the trans woman whose dead body was just found in Michigan this week.

You unfortunately can't say that about anyone else.

You're only use here is to keep stirring up the "Dan Savage is a mean old baddy!" meme of self-victimization. Good luck with that. So many people trans and cis, gay and straight, female and male have come to his side because they acknowledge now that you cannot rationalize with the people on the fringe of activism. That must really be irritating you.

You seem to be a grown up. Start acting like one.

/disengage

Dan may not have been dismissive with the trans guy, and that is really beside the point. Dan *has* been utterly dismissive of trans women who have tried to draw his attention to things that he has said and done that were harmful in a variety of ways. The issue with the trans guy has nothing to do with being dismissive - I'm sure Dan was utterly engaging and genuine. The specific issue is that they were discussing when and and how it is appropriate to use the word "shemale"... then using that conversation as some example of how great his relationship to trans folks is. It seems odd to me that a couple of guys talking about when and how it is appropriate to use a word that is really only used to describe trans women is a statement of solidarity with trans women.

You (and many others) also seem to want trans people to apply context to Dan's comments - generally a very good thing to do as intent and context are important. You (and many others) then want people to "forget the past" removing the context where much of anger being expressed can be found. So what is it? Do we apply context or do we remove context? Do we exist only acting and reacting to the moment or do we use history to identify trends and to apply meaning to events?

For the record - chucking a bottle at someone is shitty. The whole point to glittering someone is to draw attention to them in a way that is visual and essentially harmless. Even the appearance of actual physical violence undermines any real message one may have and is never ever appropriate in an act of protest.

I'm hardly on the fringe of activism. I simply have no reason to coddle and justify people with really mixed histories regarding trans issues just because they are LGB. I apply the exact same standards for LGB people that the LGB applied to straight people. I wonder why that is so hard to comprehend?

Wilberforce1 | November 16, 2011 7:13 PM

I cannot believe the arrogance. Bilerico makes up a story to make Savage look bad. The entire trans community piles on. Then Tobi expects him to admit that he is wrong.
'When it comes to steadfastly refusing to admit wrong doing and trying to discredit and dismiss your critics, sometimes the coverup is worse than the crime. Sometimes the coverup is the crime itself.'
Really, this site is off the scale disturbed. It's filled with self destructive folk spitting hatred at their gay male allies, much like at JMG where they spit contempt at our allies in the liberal church.
Queer self hatred has gotten too boring.

No Tobi,

You are parsing words here. He was using the term the questioner used. It was obvious he was about to unpack it. The idiots stopped him.

You did not apologize immediately, you said "i would like to". That is not an apology. You know better.

You are really coming off as petty, bilious and childish.

In the other post, I support how positive he has been on trans issues with links. You haven't even noticed them. Or you and your superiority complex won't bother. This just comes off as very smug.

And if Dan says that all the people who attacked him are bio females, I take him at his word. To be in the room you have to sign a release with an attached copy of your Drivers License/ID. So he and MTV would know. NOT YOU, once again taking in second hand hearsay.

This is very poor work you've done.

I don't see how a signed release and an ID means Dan is right that none of them were trans. Did the form ask if the person signing was trans? All a state ID proves is that the state views that person as the gender on the ID.

UCI Guy knew right then, though:

"@ Patrick Farley:

Just... ugh.

They were women. Born as women. With female genitalia. And Lesbian. None of them are trans. For what it's worth.

I'm not falling into this trap."

I kinda wondered how he knew what was in their pants, though. Perhaps b/c they were the 'Smith College Freshmen' types?

I imagine that the individuals involved know better than anyone else whether they are trans or not.

Also, I don't know if you've looked at your driver's license lately, but I've never seen one that said "Trans" on it. Does yours say "Not Trans"?

Tobi,

If you have blatant evidence that these activists are actually trans than you should present it. You can't just keep saying "I've been told" or "I know and Dan doesn't". That is not the way journalism works. By NOT doing this you are contributing to trans invisibility. And you look like a liar.

If you are afraid they will be hassled, that is their fault. They broke the law, by signing a contract, then breaking it. But a good journalist, would follow up their "facts" with "evidence".

They are protesters. As someone, who has supported various protests (Occupy Wall St. anyone?!?), they should know that if you protest, or act out in an act of protest, you should be prepared to deal with the fall-out. Philosophically and legally. But we actually haven't even heard from these people, because you are hiding them away.

But, as you can assume from my name, I go to UCIrvine, all three women are known to the small-ish lgbt community here. They have always presented themselves as bio female-gendered lesbians (though most of us would call them dumb lesbian activists at this point for ruining our name to the larger community, the kind that obfuscate that fact by all of a sudden changing their identity to the term "gender queer". lame.).

I would definitely believe Savage over you at this point. You're reporting (HAHAHA!) on this has been so dishonest, full of hearsay from your "eyewitness", and you keep posting tripe, that any reader who goes deeper can see is taken out of context. All this in your vendetta to impune Savage and his hard work for our whole community.

I don't know why you won't take Savage, (and me - I was there) at our words. You just keep bashing Dan Savage. It really looks immature and unprofessional. You are giving this blog, which doesn't have the best reputation (*) outside it's own pages, a very bad name.

Quit being childish and pony up with FACTS not OPINION.

BTW... Savage has written even more here: http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/11/16/more-damning-evidence-of-my-transphobia-emerges

* Seriously, you guys called The It Gets Better Project Google commercial "blood money". Do you know how crazy that sounds?!?!

Ah, so I was right.
Your claim that these people are not trans is because you do not consider their genders valid.

I don't know how many times I have to present this "evidence," you just don't seem to be reading it. But I'll spell it out carefully:

In response to Dan's recent post, the Dan Savage Welcoming Committee released another statement identifying themselves as all being trans and specifically identifying the woman who glittered Dan as trans.

I quoted their statement with a link back to it. In my response to your comment to you I linked to it a second time. What evidence more can you expect when the glitterer is making a public statement that they are trans? What evidence has Dan presented, other than his say so, that she is not?

Tobi,

So you're ONLY evidence that the persons who perpetrated this, against my eyewitness, and knowledge of the people who did this, is "because they say so"?

And you are taking as fact an anonymous blog post on a Portland blog as evidence?

This would not hold up ANYWHERE as being evidence as to the validity of their claims.

Also, have you seen the bottom of this post. Somebody claiming to be at the Eugene event says they know that activist as well.

Tobi, I implore you to think about your facts. You look really foolish now. No one would ever take "somebody anonymously told me" as fact or evidence.

Are you calling me a liar? I have told you in posts what I know of the Irvine activist. If they are trans, they must have decided that very night that they were trans, because THEY NEVER WERE BEFORE.

Do you know them all personally? Can you personally vouch for their validity? Or are you just taking them at what they have written to you, because the truth might be embarrassing? Do you personally know DSWC? Or are you just taking her at her word? Do you believe what the Eugene poster at the bottom of this roll then is lying? They say they know who the person is. Is the Eugene commenter a liar then?

I implore you Tobi, get to the bottom of the truth of your facts before just stating their true because you believe them to be true. Otherwise we can all stop believing anything you write at all.

It is becoming clearer and clearer that you are willing to bend over backwards to believe anonymous sources who want to do physical (throwing a glass bottle at his head) and reputational harm to Dan Savage, while not taking Savage at his word about his language that night, even though you have been faced with facts, both his transcripts, and my actual EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT of the event.

I never really thought about how petty some parts of the community could be before this whole episode. I'm young and in college and don't have much experience with group movements coming from a smaller town. But this in-fighting that you are largely orchestrating is a real turnoff to ever work for my own community. If this is what all LGBT communities are like, I don't think I ever will.

Yuck.

I honestly don't know how Dan Savage can deal with you people. He must have thicker skin than anyone I've ever met.

What the hell do you think is "proof" that someone is trans?

It is perfectly reasonable to think that somebody knows more about their own gender than some random person who has seen them around school and assumed they are a cis lesbian. And obviously has a thing against nonbinary people. Probably a lot of my classmates assume the same of me, since I don't have the energy to go around announcing my gender and orientation all day.

Also, your eyewitness was just as inaccurate as Tobi's source, according to Dan's transcript where he does refer to trans women using a slur when answering, not just quoting, the question.

I am the one who glittered Savage in Eugene, and I am a trans woman. Tobi knows this because she personally knows me, so lay off.

Tobi,

This is what you're standing behind?!? A person whose best wish for Dan is that he "dies in a fire" and wishes she had hit him in the face with a glass bottle?!? She herself says she is mentally ill. And this is the person you trust? How do you know she isn't going to track him down and try to kill him?

How low can you possible dredge this? You never apologized, and you are using this person's claims to back yourself up. You have absolutely disgraced yourself, all the other journalists on this blog, trans activists, and the LGBT community with not publicly denouncing this loon. If you knew this person as both you and she have stated, and you know she is mentally ill as she has stated, then you shouldn't even be giving her more attention.

What a pathetic disgrace.

You are below low. This is disgusting.

Travelingman | November 16, 2011 7:51 PM

Well Tobi did kinda apologize in one of her comments above but I couldn't agree with you more that she needs to denounce this Rose person and she needs to write a full apology to Dan in a separate piece. There have been two major pieces on Bilerico about this and it turns out that the person doing the glitterbombing is a full on nutcase. My apologies to all of the nutcases out there if the word nutcase is offensive to you. It really is disgusting how Tobi has twisted herself into a pretzel to justify still being angry with Dan and has not taken ownership for this crappy reporting.

Maybe it'd be easier for the folks likely to comment here is you made that audio so they could just copy-and-paste it into a reply? Does an excellent job of capturing their sentiments, and would save a lot of time.

Or maybe ppl could just post:

EPISODE 207!

I'm already sensing how the comments are trending on this piece, and I just can't keep my lips zipped on this one.

I think what's not being considered is that Tobi pursued the story for the right reasons, even though some of the facts were off. If you took out Dan Savage's name and substituted any other public gay person (fill in the blank gay celebrity for example), the subject would still stand if all the facts were in line. I've spoken to more sources than England's got tea leaves and what happened versus what they remembered often are a bit off. Not Tobi's fault, though I do think some thought needs to be employed in corroboration of facts going forward. Not for me to dictate, or anyone else: that's between Tobi and Bil.

Mistakes happen, and to Tobi's point made repeatedly Dan Savage has some work to do when it comes to the trans community, and alot of other people do too - (myself included). You'll never hear me use some of the slurs mentioned above, but am I as informed on trans issues as am I on LGB issues? Not. By. A. Long. Shot, and I admit that freely.

So, maybe that's the takeaway here: regardless of the potholes in the road from story to sideline to follow up if there ARE conversations happening like the self introspection I offered then maybe that's a good thing.

Well, and listening to the audio of Savage in the post above, really it seems like trans women taking Dan Savage to task is like feminists taking Howard stern to task: you just have to expect he is going to be crude and salacious and shooting for the lowest common denominator, shake your head, and move on to something more productive.

Growing up in the old south in the 60’s I had a front seat to American History and the Civil Rights era. I grew up in a household and family that was extremely bigoted. Language that was the norm in my home, was not acceptable in my second grade class. My second grade class was the first one in the county fully integrated with a non-white teacher teaching white and non-white children. (and while some may find that wording stilted, the truth is ‘non-white’ included Asian, Hispanic and Native American which in the segregated school system meant being going to a sub-standard school) (and yes, once the school system decided ‘integrated’ did in fact mean all kids, we had some new kids come to my class that were Korean, Brazilian, Seminole and Creek) With a class full of little rednecks who all grew up in households where every derogatory term was used…. Wellll, the first few weeks was an education of a different sort. We learned that the words we grew up with and used without thinking (hey, we were like 7) DID hurt those they were directed at. That our new friends feelings were hurt. We learned a lot of important lessons…
Where I work? We started a Pride organization and I was part of it for a while. Part of that included helping out when a Transgender employee transitioned at work. During our meetings, vernacular was used in an off handed manner that WAS disparaging. The people using it did not know that the words that they were using were offensive. I ended up writing a lexicon with definitions and notes on whether or not the word or phrase was problematic. Was there push back? Yes there was. One of the things I learned in second grade was people don’t like being called out in public or being told that they are wrong in front of their peers. Writing a lexicon was helpful to those who needed the information but, once again in second grade I found out that some people are just assholes who like to hurt people and will never refrain from using such abusive language.
To say that Mr. Savage is an ally to the Trans community while using troublesome language with complete disregard to the Trans community’s objections to said language….well, if he can't listen to community objections then I think maybe he’s got just a bit of Santorum stuck to the end of his nose.

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Dear, I know you think that "it's all about you," but there are these people called females, who are, like, 50% of the planet, and deserve some respect. You know, respect? Try that. It's all about FEMALES!

Please!!! Because they don't agree with your definition of female you have to chose to belittle them. You can believe whatever you want and I will continue to fight to make sure gender identity is included in public accomidations in MD because I respect ALL females including those whose bodies may not match their true identity.

Um, my definition of female? It's kind of the dictionary definition of female. If they were female, we wouldn't be having this conversation. They want to achieve legal status female. I support that, so long as nontrans people cannot claim legal status female. I fail to see why this poses any kind of problem for you or anyone who actually cares about women (and there are numerous women - cis and trans - who support this position).

It's really quite simple. You either are male-identified or you are female-identified. The constinued insistence on an overbroad definition of gender identity that renders any male who dons a dress "female" is deeply offensive and misogynist.

Here are my thoughts on the recetly passed Massachusetts law. Chew on this: The recently-enacted Massachusetts bill has this definition of "gender identity": “Gender identity” shall mean a person's gender-related identity, appearance or behavior, whether or not that gender-related identity, appearance or behavior is different from that traditionally associated with the person's physiology or assigned sex at birth. Gender-related identity may be shown by providing evidence including, but not limited to, medical history, care or treatment of the gender-related identity, consistent and uniform assertion of the gender-related identity or any other evidence that the gender-related identity is sincerely held, as part of a person's core identity; provided however, gender-related identity shall not be asserted for any improper purpose. See http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/House/H03810

I support this definition of gender identity as a reasonable compromise to ensure that nontrans people cannot take advantage of an overbroad definition of gender identity (that is, the first sentence in the definition above) that would allow said nontrans people unfettered access into female-only space.

I hope the Maryland General Assembly can pass a comprehensive gender identity anti-discrimination bill in 2012 (including public accommodations) that has a definition similar to this.

Congratulations to Massachusetts folx on their victory!

I'm not female identified or male identified.

You are assuming a gender binary, as well as a sex binary.

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Careful Cathy! Antonia has already dropped the *F*Bomb on you... a glitter bomb jar is bound to be next.

Although compared to being threatened w/a BASEBALL BAT... I'm sure a dyke can handle it.

Please Dieks it has nothing to do with Cathy being female. It has to do with the fact that Cathy has personally attacked people on here and other boards. There are many of us who have had run ins with her while she was the defender of EQMD and were attacked with some pretty hateful things. I think she has a thing against gay men and trans women.

Tim W... what happens on other boards has NOTHING to do w/Anotonia a WRITING CONTRIBUTOR AND REPRESENTATIVE here on TBP telling ANY woman to shut the fuck up.

That this is a self ID TG/TS woman... who has the privilege to do this to a to a NON TG/TS lesbian woman here in Bilirico comments is not lost on ANY long time reader.

Thank you, you seem to have missed the memo where it's appropriate to bully lesbians - so long as you are a transwoman. Yanno, because lesbians oppress transwomen. Or something.

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Yes, we dykes are tough - because, yanno, we've been "transgressing gender" since birth.

You say whaaaaaat??? You mean it's not all about being a lady, with men's shirts-short skirts and MAN I feel like a woman.

Well, since Om hasnt shown up, I guess we have a new triumvirate of dykes who hate trans women here. Nice to see balance maintained.

Oh Carol... are you just being girly "ditzy" again??

whew (swoons)...I...I...I, I just dont know, Dykes...the waves of MANly testosterone emanating from your pores are making me a but giddy, and I am not even naturally attracted to masculinity...perhaps I just need a real MOC to make me a woman...

please, be gentle with me, will you? I am used to femmy girls...

(giggles like the girly ditz she is)

Carol... do you have your legally hetero marriage wife's permission to flirt w/me like this? I know how you girrrly girls love to sneak around around on the internet.

Btw:: next time you SELF describe as "ditzy" as you do in several of your remarks...
Do. It. Slowly.

It's HOT!

Actually, it's a thing with us...she was telling me what to type, as we laughed our asses off...

mmmmmm, that do. it. slowly. thing....

mmmm, soooo HOT!

I may have to use my patriarchal authority and send her meek little ass to bed!

why dont you log into the internet where we sleazy trannies play and we can do a little cyber, just me and you? dont worry, chica, I am a bottom ;)

Carol... you have publicly IDd as TG/lesbian/bisexual woman. BUT you have all the privileges, rights, coverages/retirements of being in a long term heterosexual married relationship as in State/Federally protected male/female couple.

So I am TOTALLY taking you at your word and only quoting you... YOU are a "ditzy bottom".

Step the f**k off my F***ING petticoat. .
**curtsy**

As far as rights and privileges of a married couple go, that is unclear. The IRS will not accept a joint return from us. Indiana does. Oh, and we pay more taxes jointly than separately, and use TurboTax to do our taxes, so no extra costs for having several returns. I guess we'll have to wait until I die to see what SS does, or for her to get sick and in the hospital to see about visitation rights. My employer recognizes partners, so it's not an issue there.

"As far as rights and privileges of a married couple go, that is unclear..."

Well Carol.. then I suggest you spend the time putting down your retirement remote w/your poor toddled off to bed cis/hetero/legally married wife and perhaps FOCUS on things that affect you.

Lot's of us out here are living real lives w/out HALF the confused privileges you don't even know/appreciate you have.

THIS is NOT an on line game.
ALLY DOWN!!!

You don't get to start the game all over again.

Be careful what you ask for Dieks.

No worries Deena... I didn't come out till my 30's.
I've handled bigger d**ks.

Cathy - Stop demanding respect from others until you're willing to show some yourself. Look at the original comment you posted and you'll see why the same words pointed at you is suddenly not respectful. You're not that dense. You're just trying to cause problems. Knock it off.

Help me out, because I have no idea what you are talking about. Also, I would never expect respect on a Gay Blog.

I brought this up on my blog, but I think it's worth mentioning again: I know several trans people who only learned about this morning's Stranger article because Dan emailed links to people who signed yesterday's Change.org petition. I presume everyone who signed the petition received such an email. Perhaps he felt like this was an appropriate way to address the signatories' needs, or maybe he sees it as good PR. But some could see it as an intimidation - heck, I was a little nervous opening the email and I was expecting to get it - or at the very least arrogant, since his response amounted to "nuh uh, I'm a great ally."

Also, his use of the word "cissy" seemed awfully patronizing. I'm actually not sure how to take it...he's either mangling "cis" so that he can reclaim it as if it were a slur, or he's cool with being called cis and "cissy" is just part of his "freak positive" schtick. But it's such a hot conversation right now, I'm not sure how it helps matters.

Savage notes, "Some folks are slamming trans activists and trans people generally in the comments thread here and on some other blogs."

What might those "other blogs" be? Any links? I'm curious to read how this event has incited people to vent their transphobia under the cloak of glitter.

Come on people.... try Google.

Most of the Trans-phobic statements are more about the idiocy of this kind of ally-attacking activism, but they're pretty rough. I think on the whole this action by Rose Pedal and the other members of the Dan Savage Welcoming Committee is severely back-firing.

http://joemygod.blogspot.com/2011/11/dan-savage-fires-back-at-critics.html

http://www.towleroad.com/2011/11/dan-savage-gets-glittered-again-by-trans-activists-responds.html

http://gay.americablog.com/2011/11/dan-savage-glitter-bombed-again.html

http://gay.americablog.com/2011/11/transcript-shows-trans-activist-stopped.html

"Cissy" in the classic sense, as in someone who is a sissy. Gee-whiz is there anything Dan can utter with out some humans falling down in fits of anger?

I presumed he was doing it as a kind of pormanteau of "sissy" and "cisgender", but I see now that it does sometimes appear on its own as a homonym for "sissy". Not sure how I've missed that all this time, but it's good to know. Apologies for jumping to conclusions.

What a fricking COLOSSAL waste of time and energy spent villifying Dan Savage for being less then 100% PC perfect when addressing Trans concerns.

Is "trans" even ok to say? Or is this the gender that dare not speak it's name? Is a white gay clearly oppressor-enabling cis-male (ugh) such as myself even permitted to have an opinion on this? Or does my privilege (yeah the privilege of surviving severe bullying myself as a teen) automatically render me mute? Am I now at risk of attack by glitter because I may make a verbal mistake?

Honestly, this would be a joke, if it weren't so SAD for us as whatever type of 'community' we are as LGBTs. How about identifying some REAL enemies? You know, fundamentalists, lying republicans, ex-gay therapy programs (which are no friends to transpersons either) etc etc etc.

If any trans activist or ally is under the false assumption that Dan Savage plays ANY significant role in the preponderance of REAL anti-trans discrimination in this country, they are delusional.

Travelingman | November 16, 2011 3:13 AM

What you said and then some. :) Forgive me for my white gay privilege please. I have only spent the last 30 years getting over being sexually abused by my uncle, bullied at school and college and then working in a career that put me in close quarters with some of the straightest straight men alive. Somehow none of that matters to anyone just because I have a penis and the color of my skin is white, according to them I got a free ride even though I was raped as a child. Take your privilege and stuff it. People who throw that word around dont know nothing about people and are hoping to offend them by tossing that word around. It is that very "I have suffered more than you" crap that just does not fly with me when you haven't even bothered to get to know me or even ask me if I am white, or gay.

And yet as a white person (by your own words) you have it easier than a person of color; as a man you have it easier than a woman; as a cissexual person you have it easier than a transsexual person. That is what privilege MEANS. It means that a particular part of your identity is assumed "natural" or "normal" while a comparable part of someone else's identity is assumed "artificial" or "abnormal."

The problem with dealing with privilege in people who have had some rough shit or even outright oppression is that they assume that the aspect in which they are oppressed is the only aspect that matters. This is not true. I myself am trans, female and Pagan. These are disadvantaged aspects of my identity (in the sociological sense). However, I am also non-Hispanic white (of almost purely northern European ancestry, too), physically and mentally abled (though a little bit overweight from where I should be), fairly pretty (and thus assumed to be a cissexual female and allowed into women-only private spaces without questioning), and have managed to maintain virtually all of my family and network of friends through transition (and brother, if you don't think that's privilege, you don't know very many trans people). I have a fairly comprehensive education, and a middle-class background. I have no criminal record other than traffic violations. Those are privileges that I own. There are undoubtedly others I possess that I haven't been made aware of.

Wow. You are sure as hell making a lot of assumptions.

All white people have it easier than people of color?

All men have it easier than women?

All non-trans people have it easier than a transsexual person?

Must be nice to be able to box people into such nice square boxes.

Ever heard the words "ceteris paribus"?

Um, the second paragraph explicitly says that no one form of privilege can be considered in isolation.

Get off your high horse. I don't see anyone minimizing your suffering or claiming superior suffering to yours.

I'm a gay White male too, and when I say you're privileged, it's not an attack, or a claim that I've suffered more, or an attempt to offend. I've studied privilege, and sometimes my knowledge of it has some bearing on a conversation.

No more Bilerico for me. Such a lazy approach at fact finding, attacking the accuser on all levels, creating campaigns against said accuser (change.org), and then find out much of the original reporting was way off base, made up, but then still uses false info to make the same point... This blogger shows no integrity and shows no sense of responsiblity. If anything, blogs like this have done more harm to the trans movement and unity within the GLBT community then good. And I can't help but believe, after reading the lastest post, that is what the actual goal is.

Tobi, let's be clear here: Your source said that Dan Savage "freely used" words like "freaky tranny porn," when in fact he never said anything of the sort. Frankly, unless your friend is hard of hearing or has unusually poor listening skills, this is not simply a wee little mistake on his or her (if I recall, the source's sex/gender wasn't mentioned) part. It actually raises questions about this source's integrity and leads me to believe that he or she acted out of bad faith, either going in with such a huge, irrational bias that he or she was convinced that Savage said those things or even deliberately fabricating them.

@Mikeaz. I often wonder if the actual goal is occupy Bilerico.

Really, it seems that a De-Occupy Movement would be the better response, for everyone on any side of anything trans-related.

One more thing to add to my response to you above Tobi:

Seriously. Look at the comments on Savages post this morning. Here's the link for you again:

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/11/16/more-damning-evidence-of-my-transphobia-emerges

You want to find evidence of trans phobia out there, and now you have.

Because you and others who damn Savage without adequate evidence or by taking quotes out of context, or by using old writing of his that he has abandoned himself and apologized for as your evidence of his trans phobia: YOU have made even more people trans phobic.

Really. Look at those comments. And tell me how many minds you changed about Dan Savage being, as he says, "a bad bad man".

You should be ashamed, but all I see is your glee in rousing the rabble. So I'll take that on. I am ashamed for you.

Interesting...

When/where has Dan apologized for anything he has ever said/written, much less any of the comments to/about trans women and people who are attracted to us?

Also interesting is your perception that Tobi's articles *caused* people to be anti-trans. When the reality is, if you go to most LGB blogs just about every article/post about a trans issue or trans person will get the same comments with the same reasoning. Honestly, take a look on JMG or Queerty or AmericaBlog and read comments on any topic that touches on trans people, particularly trans-specific issues. Giving a target to direct long-standing bias that already exists is hardly *causing* anything...

Damascus O'Leary | November 17, 2011 10:00 PM

Here you go:

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/07/15/an-apology

It's not about the current kerfuffle, and indeed it's a whole 4 months old, which I know is an eternity in internets time. However, it's also the most abject apology I've ever seen on the internets. It also has the benefit of being the very first hit on the google for "dan savage apology", which shows me that you didn't even try to find out if he'd ever "apologized for anything he has ever said/written". So, good jorb?

Well, I did forget Dan's apology to Republicans - I'll sit corrected and wonder how great a guy he is to apologize to them while never apologizing to trans women and the men who date/love/screw/fantasize about us.

Well, that's b/c Republicans are the ultimate white gay men, it's just that they are all closeted.

Damascus O'Leary | November 16, 2011 12:23 PM

One complaint, and then I'm done with you:

"...his phrasing "transsexual sex workers... she-males for lack of a better term," implies that he believes it is the better term, and that that's not a bad assumption to make..."

That is the EXACT OPPOSITE of what "for lack of a better term" means and you know it. What it means is "this term is bad, but I can't think of a better one". You're just looking for reasons to be mad now, and twisting the facts to fit your narrative.

OK, just one more:

"My source at UC Invine recognized one of the two glitterers as a local trans-identified activist."

Why are you still citing your "source"? Is it because of their stellar record of accuracy and reliability, or because they're willing to just say whatever you want, anonymously, to support your arguments. How about this: according to my source, you like to torture kittens. There. I'd say my source is just as reliable as yours, based on the available evidence.

Oh, and congratulations on making an exciting new form of non-apology.

It implies that he thinks "shemale" is a better term than "transsexual sex worker." That is pretty obvious.

Damascus O'Leary | November 16, 2011 3:57 PM

I guess I read it as "there needs to be a better term, but this is the one that has been used." Recall that he's quoting the question here. But hey, maybe you see it differently because you're looking for a reason to be offended. I have to respect your point of view.

That was the part where he was answering the question, not quoting it.

Damascus O'Leary | November 16, 2011 4:16 PM

Ah, of course. I forgot that it's only grammatically correct to quote a particular source once per paragraph. My bad!

That's in Strunk and White, isn't it? Or was that one of George Bernard Shaw's things? I want to brush up on that rule now.

The point still remains that he knows better. Better terms are pretty obviously not lacking, since he had just used them.

Damascus O'Leary | November 16, 2011 4:40 PM

The point still remains that he was quoting the question again, defiantly flouting the rules of discourse.

Find a new bogeyman to throw glitter and bottles at. God knows there are people that deserve it more than poor old Savage, like most Republican politicians and a good many Democrats.

I must go, my people need me. Fight the real enemy.

Over on Savage's blog there is a great word being tossed around:

Lexophobic: whereby words are criticized rather than what is said, which misses the point that acceptance is gained by changing hearts and minds, not vocabulary choice. Someone claiming to diagnose transphobia on word choice alone, regardless of what was actually being said, and on the intention/context of the utterance, is not really helping advance his/her own cause.

This blog is SUPER lexophobic.

Damascus O'Leary | November 16, 2011 6:35 PM

Nice one, UCIG. I get a warm-fuzzy feeling when there's already a word for something I can't articulate about.

You're really reminding me of 9/11 truthers and other conspiracy theorists in that when you are faced with the facts you choose to ignore reality because it conflicts with your irrational opinion. This was like reading Andrew Breitbart, if he were a trans ally. Pure hyperbole. Leave the reporting to real journalists.

Eugene Oregon | November 16, 2011 2:10 PM

To all concerned,

I was at the Eugene, OR filming.

I hope this doesn't upset some of you.

I think DSWC is a bio female, and straight. My friends know her, and while they have gone to pains to say she is an ally of the LGBT community, she was wrong here. She has been known to be an ally in LGBT causes before, and is well liked. But this is really unfair to Mr. Savage.

I don't remember enough about the Eugene, OR speech to say whether Dan had said anything that night to deserve the glitter bomb. I do remember it happened early and she yelled something about being a rape apologist.

The thing I find really bad on her part is that she threw the large heavy glass container at his head after she threw the glitter. It made a very loud "clunk" when it hit the floor that could be heard throughout the auditorium. After the talk some other students looked and there was a dent in the stage floor where it hit. It barely missed Mr. Savage's head. If it would have hit him, she could have done serious damage to him. A concussion or worse. She doesn't seem to be showing any shame on the blog post that this author, has linked to, but this was seriously dangerous.

Just as the witness from the other school commented, once Mr. Savage was cleaned he went on with his conversation and we all laughed, groaned, blushed and had a really good time. Dan spent a few minutes talking about trans issues as well. All very sex positive.

Just thought you all should know. Someone out there is not telling the truth. Whether it is DSWC or the author of this post.

Go Ducks!

I am posting this in the other blog post as well.

You're talking about me, and while it's true that I'm a "bio" female, that's only because ALL PEOPLE ARE BIO. I am trans, and I am queer as fuck. Also, the jar was made of plastic, but at this point, I really do wish it had been made of glass.

Wow Rose. You're a total creep.

Wishing and trying to do physical harm to another human, regardless of who they are or what they say goes against everything I thought this community stood for.

This is who you're standing behind Tobi?!?

Wow. If opinions could be in the negatives for Tobi Hill-Meyer in my estimation they would be below zero. Just creepy.

Me? Yes, I'm a crazy insurrecto-bitch. Tobi has her own ideas, and don't assume you can know them simply by my own. Anyway, I'm letting go of the troll-bait now.

Travelingman | November 16, 2011 6:35 PM

If you think Dan is your biggest enemy you really do need psychological help. What a pathetic piece of work you are to say something like that. That you wish you had done more to physically harm him. I hope they track your sorry rear end down, arrest you and put you in jail.

I don't think he's my biggest enemy; just one who happened to be there and possess an annoyingly large amount of social capital. I would also really appreciate some psychological help, but you'll have to take that up with the U.S.'s failure of a health care industry. And frankly, in my opinion, wishing jail on someone is far worse than wishing violence on them.

There is another blog on this site titled "Battling Activist Burnout in the Trans Community". It's because of people like Rose.

Folks I am serious some of us trans-people have to start speaking up and say this behavior is wrong, immature, accomplishes little(if anything), and needs to be rejected by the sane amongst us.

Just some very very bad journalism here. Please do better.

Wow.

This is like Jerry Springer.

Or should I not mention him - he's a privileged, cis, straight, white male, after all?

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Are we to take from this that working in the sex industry somehow makes you a lesser person, or makes your identity less legitimate? I'm not seeing a slew of other ways to interpret this.

The biggest thing to take from Dana's post, and the one below, is what it says about the character of the person writing it.

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Hold on here. Dana, the answer is to speak up ourselves and be reasonable, persuasiveness individuals.

Let people engage in whatever sexual activity they choose. I don't hold that against anyone.

Dear Dana:

This is a a nasty personal attack and a derailing. Tobi has NEVER made a secret of her porn work. Ever. And you bringing it up as if she's supposed to be ashamed of it is really offensive. Nor have I ever seen Tobi ID herself as a "shemale." If it were at all up to me, you would be banned from this site for doing this and Bilerico would be a better place for it.

Rachel Bellum | November 16, 2011 8:31 PM

Dana I don't know if Tobi objects to this language or this link, but if you genuinely feel you have a legitimate point to make, couldn't you at least have done it in a less offensive way?

Just reading it made me feel bad.

Travelingman | November 16, 2011 8:51 PM

Ha.Ha.Ha. It is a.o.k for all of you shit stirrers to parse every word Dan has ever uttered and everything he has ever done but someone brings up something Tobi has done in her past and they should be banned for life. Check your self please.

Rachel Bellum | November 16, 2011 9:04 PM

To be fair, I believe the inconsistent behavior would be if people didn't object to Dana using the language and tactics Dan is being accused of using.

And I'll include myself among those acting inconsistently as I haven't said anything about Dan in these posts, but did question Dana's tactics. Does that make me a shit stirrer or not?

Dan is under criticism because he claims to be a voice for the LGBT community and yet has shown a fairly significant amount of insensitivity to the trans community; if you posture yourself as a representative of a people group, you can expect a negative reaction if those some of those people feel you have not only neglected them, but insulted them as well. As far as I can tell, Tobi has been firm with Dan, but not dismissive or insulting at all.

Tobi has been called out for something that has virtually no legitimate bearing on her journalistic credibility whatsoever, and it was done in such a way as to be excessively denigrating and disrespectful.

The two situations are really not comparable at all.

@ Redacted,

Please post a link in which Dan says he is the voice for the LGBT community. I have never seen this. Could you please direct me to a link? I googled that phrase and "Dan Savage" and didn't come up with anything. Could you please back up that statement that he has said that or claimed that?

@ Tobi,

Still waiting to hear why you are using the ramblings of an admittedly mentally ill woman who says she wants to see Dan Savage die in a fire and wants to physically harm him by throwing glass bottles in his face to back yourself up? Do you also feel this way?

So, it's been confirmed that Rose threw a glass jar at Dan Savage's head, with intent to do physical harm to him, and only regrets that she didn't do more damage.
Thus, she and her supporters believe it is ok to assault someone for not being 100% politically correct at all times.
Just checking.

From what I can tell:

The transsexuals on this thread are more critical of Dana for what she posted, than the individual who threw a bottle at a gay speaker, (which to be fair is actually a hate crime).

What does that tell you about the state of trans advocacy?

Damascus O'Leary | November 17, 2011 8:05 AM

Eeyup. I'm a trans ally too, although not an active one, and all this just makes me sad. Violent protest doesn't do anything good for the movement's image.

R.J.: Right on. Trying to be politically correct is a lot more important than succeeding 100% of the time. I happen to have married a transman, and I'm always thankful that he doesn't jump down my throat (figuratively!) when I don't get the pronouns right.

I'm a trans ally myself. I had a trans neighbor when I was a teenager and she was very patient about pronouns and explaining the process she was going through. Actually, I think she liked talking about it to people like my family who were sympathetic.
She was a much better representative from the trans community than many of the people I've encountered on the internet, many of whom will snap at you for any perceived slight. There's this meme going around that "if a trans person says you're transphobic, then you are," that seems like a huge crock to me. I've been accused of being transphobic by numerous internet-commenting trans activists for the crime of disagreeing with them on an issue. Of course, my disagreement comes out of transphobia and "cis privilege" rather than any of my own deeply held principles.
I feel strongly about the rights of every category in the LGBT community. Unfortunately, I avoid getting involved in community activism because there is a vocal minority, including Tobi and Rose, who make me want to scream.

This goes out to Steven above as well.

First, let me say that I originally supported the use of the prefix "cis". In reality it is useful in conversation to be able to use it to "say what you mean". Meaning "the opposite of trans". I also liked it's neutrality. It was neither positive or negative. It just meant "opposite".

BUT (I know, always a big but),

The way I have seen it used over the past year on this and other blogs full of trans activists is strictly as a derogative against mostly gay white men. It is nearly always written (or venomously spat out) like this: cis-gendered, privileged, gay, white male.

This immediately takes out the neutrality and adds in tons of negative context. The intent is meant to shame the cis-gendered out of commenting on anything trans.

You are cis: therefore trans-phobic.
You are privileged: therefore classist.
You are gay: therefore hetero-phobic.
You are white: therefore racist.
You are male: therefore misogynist.

That is the intent of it's usage on this blog and many others. It is meant to transfer victim-hood on those who have not changed their gender (notice I do not say "choose to" because I believe you can be born one gender and change to another because it is your "natural" gender. Gender is not a choice, just like sexuality is not). It is a game that some trans activists are playing. They say they want a neutral word to discuss "other", then sling it in your face when they're upset automatically bringing their own negative connotations to it.

That is when I stopped using "cis". The moment that the neutrality was taken out of it by trans activist/writers, and they started using it as a derogatory.

As we've seen with this whole post about Dan Savage's intent with his words, context and intent are important. If you leave out context (or are stopped from contextualizing by idiot mentally ill "activists"), or use a word with bad intent than you just shouldn't be using it at all. That is the way cis has been used by many trans activists. With bad intent.

The other thing that worries me about using a word to describe "other" or "opposite' of trans, is that you then give others the power to act out against you. You and I could be involved in a Trans-Pride or Trans-Visibility movement, but how would we feel if all of a sudden there was a Cis-Pride movement? Words are weird like that. What was once meant to be a neutral way of describing the opposite of trans is immediately flipped and changed to meaning "against" trans.

I guess I could see that it could be used in clinical, medical or academic ways.

But none of that applies to this blog. Here, and on others, it is meant to just add to a chorus of negatives that are thrown onto people who don't agree with you.

I hope that makes sense. That's the reason I find the word to be toxic, I took more time with this post then the other on this roll in response to another person. I hope it makes more sense.


Rachel Bellum | November 17, 2011 6:00 PM

Hi UCIGuy,

Thanks for leaving a detailed response regarding your feelings re cis. I find this topic very interesting for a number of reasons.

I agree that the word can be used in a dismissive manner much like some use straight (or hetero) in a dismissive manner.

If you don't mind another followup question, do you feel that instead of rejecting the word altogether you could react to the perceived intention instead of solely the use of the word? In part, I ask this because your comment seems to imply some acknowledgement that some word is going to used in at least some situations to describe this state of being.

You know, I'm not sure.

Like I said, if it was clinical or medical, for instance if you were comparing two patients, one trans and one cis, it would be helpful. Academically as well (all though gender/sexuality/race studies are fraught with word police as well, so it might just make people crazy there. Colleges seem to be a hotbed of PC awakening).

But if you mean in general conversation, say to unpack someone's intent when they say it at you? I don't know. It took me four paragraphs to unpack my own feelings. I can't imagine what I would say to someone if they came up to me and said, "You just feel that way because you're a cis-gendered, privileged, white, gay male." I personally wouldn't be able to unpack all that in the heat of debate. I mean which section of that do you take on first?!? The debate would turn into a "who's victim-ier than who".

And you know from this blog, you just can't say, "No I'm not!" That draws just as much ire.

I would assume the accuser would know this, and the reason they were using it is as a form of silencing real truthful and thoughtful debate.

So, honestly I throw my hands up. What to do? If it weren't used against so many people I'd say it was perfect in it's neutral form as a descriptive. I could see saying, "I am a cis-gendered male". But the dismissive tone that "you're cis-gendered" has on many trans activist blogs smacks of the kind of negativity that the word was meant to neutralize in the first place.

Therein lies the problem. The word that was meant to bring a little more harmony and understanding of identity ends up sowing more dischord.

Well, at least you and Damascus have found your purpose in life.

Though personally, I far prefer the one that Steve Martin found in The Jerk.

Rachel Bellum | November 17, 2011 10:26 PM

Not that I would ever take a conversaion off track or anything, but you did just mention one of my favorite movies which also happens to be unquestionalby one the most brilliant comedies ever: The Jerk.

I use the this is all I need and nothing else lines all the time and no one ever knows what I'm talking about. It's so lonely out there.

So do I and my hetero wife, and often even pick something up.

I mostly loved that movie for it's send-up or racism though, coming from a place where it was like water to fish. Oh, and...Bernadette Peters sitting really high in that dress with the snails on her plate...and, and...Stevve Martin asking what kind of fancy place couldnt keep the snails out of the food...

But dont worry, UCGuy and I arent having a conversation, so you arent interrupting. :)

Rachel Bellum | November 17, 2011 10:44 PM

HAHAHA. Am I getting cliched already? I do so hate to be impolite.

And yes, you have to be walking around picking stuff up as you say the lines. I don't know what people think I'm doing. No one ever asks. At least it makes me laugh. :)

We're old, me and my hetero wife, to whom I was married for decades as a MAN. We dont get up, we just pick up a remote and say, "All I need," then point to something else, and say, "and...and...and that (whatever)", and so forth. Really, we're so pathetic, in so many ways. And I am a horrid mimic. I can't even minstrel Steve Martin well, just a sad imposter.

Rachel Bellum | November 17, 2011 10:28 PM

Thanks.

Yeah college classrooms are tough. Especially as they are naturally full of people with relatively little experience with many of the subjects they are discussing who are for good reasons eager to begin applying that knowledge.

And I definitely agree that it's difficult to have a rational discussion in the middle of a heated debate and even worse if one side begins saying that the other has nothing to contribute. And yes, it's not uncommon for people of all sorts to use denials as some sort of confirmation of bias. I've been on the receiving side of it myself (even from members of the trans community). I wish I had an easy answer for these things. I'm pretty sure I would get famous off of it.

In the meantime, thanks for discussing this with me. I feel like I've learned something. Until these related threads started I had never really experienced someone objecting to the word cis just people basically saying they weren't familiar with its definition/intention. Of course you weren't the only person saying they didn't want to be referred to as cis: for instance I spoke briefly with Wilberforce1 who, not to put words in his mouth, seemed to share some of your concerns and have some others of his own as well.

To me cis just seems like such a natural solution that it is quite honestly difficult for me to understand why anyone would object (to the word not inappropriate usage), especially as it is describing something people already accept about themselves. But perhaps this is something that my pre-existing acceptance of trans colors.

Thanks Rachel,

I honestly thought you were going to yell at me.

That was a nice response. Something to think about. Thanks for being courteous.

Rachel Bellum | November 17, 2011 10:50 PM

Yeah, I think there has been lots to think about in these these posts.

Rachel Bellum | November 17, 2011 10:55 PM

I hope it's clear that I meant all the comments in these 3 "Dan" posts have provided a lot for anyone to ponder, not mine.

Leave me alone Carol, my sudden bout of humility is only interrupting myself!!! :)

I would like to apologize for my heated words last night but it infuriates me that that kind of porn exists. Search Google for "Transsexual Porn" and see what pops up. Basically Tranny and Shemale. This kind of crap actually helps to keep us oppressed. It tells people that transsexual women are just men with tits.

Well that doesn't bother me near as much as pornography involving women which is perpetuation of the patriarchy. I guess it depends on who is being objectified and oppressed and by whom.

Yeah, I'm way more bothered by "lesbian" porn made and consumed by men for men than I am porn with trans people made by trans people for trans people and the folks who love/date/screw us.

"It tells people that transsexual women are just men with tits." - Considering that I actually communicate with the population of men who use commercial "trans porn" this is totally NOT what they get from the material. Unlike, say Dan Savage, they don't automatically think they are "freaky" (in a good or bad way) or "more than straight" (??!!).

While the language of porn is absolutely providing us with some specific challenges that the LGB aren't facing and can't seem to get their heads around, I don't think trans porn, in and of itself, is a huge part of the problem. I think that porn as the only real access most people have to transsexual and transgender women is a problem.

Sounds like by 'women' you mean FAABS? Trans women not being women, then?

And actually part *of* the patriarchy?

I'm not looking for a fight here, just looking for clarification. I honestly don't much care what you think of trans women, and have a pretty good idea anyhows. I just prefer even the open hostility shown by the other ppl on this thread to the little snipes and insinuations you constantly make on trans threads.

I'm glad you aren't looking for a fight. Are you wanting clarification on porn fascination for women versus men? I'm no expert on that but in my experience you will seldom find hard porn in female occupied spaces whether that be an apartment or a social event. I happen to like Mr. Savage and I don't think he is phobic about trans. If he is phobic it is about NOM, Porno Pete and other dominionists. But I will bet that if you inspected his and Terry's home you would discover more than one example of hard porn. Porn is a huge worldwide industry that brings in billions and almost all of it is purchased by men according to studies I have seen.

Ok, nvm. I'm not doing that little dance with you again. I ask you a direct question, and you answer with some smug dodge. Or maybe I'm just a ditz and can't understand your deep, philosophical response. Either way, thanks for at least replying.

Carol I am very much a Ditz but not stupid. You ask "direct questions" typically as a facade to stage a tantrum from what I have observed. I agree we can't be good dance partners because our perspectives seem quite different. I tried to bring my response back around to Dan Savage who was the focus of this post.

Angela Brightfeather | November 17, 2011 11:38 AM

"Please post a link in which Dan says he is the voice for the LGBT community. I have never seen this. Could you please direct me to a link? I googled that phrase and "Dan Savage" and didn't come up with anything. Could you please back up that statement that he has said that or claimed that?"

Hey Guy,
If you were not just trolling around here on Bilerico, you would remember when "Dan your Man" was on MSNBC within 24 hours after the repeal of DADT and was introduced by Chris Matthews as someone who was commenting on behalf of the GLBT Community.

He "misspoke" (a word coined by one of our wonderful friends at HRC to cover up a lie), when trying his hardest to be inclusive, did includ Trans people serving in the military and implied that they would be benefitting from the repeal of DADT equally with GLB people and he was called out on this.

He has never recanted, apologized, or said that he misstated anything on that broadcast, to the best of my knowledge.

But that is just one incidence of many from the past, where he has had an "oops" about Trans people and their issues, or simply who they are.

What Dan needs is to check with someone who he might still consider a friend and who is Transgender, if he can find one, before he makes statements that represent or include Trans people. That way his foolishness might come to an end, he might get a better feel regarding exactly what an ally is, and everyone could go back to tackling some real problems beside his education about Trans people.

The one thing that bothers me about Dan is that he does not apologize when he does say something factually incorrect and damaging about Trans people. The only reason I can conceive might be the cause for this petulance is because he likes the attention and shares some kind of kinship to Newt Gingrich, who also likes to spin and turn a lot.

There must be video... ta-dah:

http://youtu.be/2WYWY3fnTlo

(Start at the 2 minute mark)

You'll notice neither Dan nor O'Donnell says anything about him being the spokesperson for the LGBT community. And in fact Dan specifically uses the word "TRANS" a number of time, and always includes the initial "T".

He does say, "What the LGBT community did was hold Obama's feet to the fire." He is just commenting on the community as a whole, not being its spokesmodel.

Don't make me do your work for you, that's lazy.

If a news channel has Dan on it's because he's quick on his feet, smart and funny. The LGBT movement needs more of that, unfortunately we get lazy and very un-funny, like many on this blog. If Dan made a mistake, and dropped the "T" it's because I'm sure being on camera, on a national show is a little un-nerving. Cut him some slack. I've seen both Joe Solomnese and other activists act like total twits on national tv. At least when Dan was on O'reilly he got Bill to say he wanted to go to a gay bath-house. That was brilliant. No one else can do it like Dan.

I have read Dan's apologies over the last few years. The man has been writing for twenty years. Don't you think you would have things you wrote twenty years ago that might not be flattering?

I won't look them up. I'll be as lazy as you.

This is just like Tobi. You can't move forward if you keep looking back. Stop doing that. You actually have a great ally in Savage, but when you keep harping on the past you do little service to yourself or the wider community (both T and LGB).

Here's an idea for all the people bothered by Savage. Start fresh, take him at his word. If he says he's evolved, then expect that he has. Take on every NEW transgression alone, without always bringing up things he said 10 years ago, or other people have misquoted or taken out of context (which Tobi is a pro at).

If you did that, you'd get much further than always just griping about what he said 5 years ago.


"Cathy, with the same degree of respect that you show others, please, just do your self a favor and shut the fuck up. Your insistent, panicky fear really just grates.
Thank you."

Classy Toni! Lovely to see a TBP contributor silencing women who are NOT TG/TS.

Please it has nothing having to do with her being female. It is the fact that Cathy has a track record of personally attacking people she disagrees with.

Tim, I have never met you, and don't know you. I take issue with your ANALYSIS because it is lacking.

Tim W. YOU. Are a funny GUY!
If you are not a guy... then I apologize for assuming as much by the TBP handle.

Please refrain any use of *F* or glitter bombs.

Do your homework. Toni hasn't been a contributor here for over a year now.

Bill w/all due respect and this INDEED being your website, I actually did my "homework" and fact checked... according to your own website Toni is a listed "author".

http://www.bilerico.com/contributors/dyssonance/

Unless you are stating that whatever Toni may have represented in the pass here as a TBP author... doesn't necessarily represent NOW?

Toni is listed as "alumni" on the list of contributors - http://www.bilerico.com/contributors/

Whatever opinions Toni may have are entirely her own.

I'm not a contributor. Indeed, my last post was a guest one, and I haven't been a contributor for well over a year.

I realize that my request might be a little strong for your taste, and I'm certain it is a bit strong for other people's tastes, but it is a suggestion made with exactly the same respect given to others by the individual I made the request of.

I find it fascinating that you use a classist attack, given that classism has done far more to harm women as a whole and silence them than my suggesting to one person who has made a concerted effort to silence trans women that she stop doing so could ever possibly do.

Apparently, in your world, women who are trans are not allowed to tell women who are not to shut up in a direct fashion and with equivalent respect.

I will keep that in mind going forward.

In deference to your proclaimed superiority and self gratifying hubris, I shall be a good sub-human in service to your poor little feelings and take my own advice as far as the rest of this thread is concerned.

Please tell me how I have ever "silenced" anyone. That's bogus. If you feel "silenced" because you don't have a response to the words that you and others say beyond "Cathy is a bigot," that speaks to the weakness of your argument.

Oh crap. Savage is at it again! When will his evil trans-phobic ways come to an end!!!

http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2011/11/17/sl-letter-of-the-day-my-sons-missing-out

Damascus O'Leary | November 17, 2011 9:47 PM

Despicable! The words "gender dysphoria" appeared somewhere in that column! Dan and his henchman Ryan must think that's a valid medical diagnosis, those transphobic bastards! I don't even care a little about the context! Activists, get your jars!

But seriously, that is a really sweet letter and response. I was actually a little disappointed Dan didn't write anything himself, but that warmed the old heart a little.

Hey Bil,

I'm officially off. Had a nice talk on here with a person about our feelings on cis, which was good and constructive, but the rest....

I just have to say, after looking into all this, I'm really disappointed in Tobi Hill-Meyer. It's now apparent from reading twitter that she and the Eugene glitter bomber Rose_pedals (who technically assaulted Dan by throwing a glass bottle at his face after blinding him with glitter) have known each other since at least last April if not longer. That Rose_pedals was her original source (of misinformation), and in fact they may have been sexually involved with each other. Here is Rose_pedals twitter feed: http://twitter.com/#!/rose_pedals

One can reasonably infer that she's known about this for quite awhile, has known the truth of what happened and never let on to her readers, instead blaming Savage and misleading the readers of your blog. You could even speculate that she knew the glitter bomber was going to do it, and if she knew the woman had mental issues didn't do anything to stop it.

It's clear from her own tweet (http://twitter.com/#!/Tobitastic) that she's not ready to grow up about it, and lay out how she was wrong and apologize ("I think I may take a break from this glittering news coverage for a while. It's wearing me out"). Wow. I wonder how Savage feels....

In her tweets, on her tumblr blog, on your blog she has never come out to say "sorry, I put words in his mouth he didn't say, and in fact made stuff up.", and she has not stopped or corrected the retweets, or corrected people on the comments on her posts when they are literally stuffing words into Dan's mouth that the transcripts from the film he has given don't show him saying. She has also not come clean about her own relationship with with the glitter bomber, which is seriously f'd up.

So I'm off. No other professional journal, newspaper or blog would let writers act like this. I trust you are not like this Bil, and I don't know if you are the owner or just the editor of the blog and don't really have control over any of the writers, but whoever does is running what looks to be like the lgbt version of a fox news blog.

Poking at people to start a fire, then running out of the house when it gets too hot and blaming the coals instead of your own actions for the destruction it causes is too hard to watch anymore. It reminds me of Palin's language after putting a target on the Arizona congresswoman's district, "I didn't mean fer ya ta shoot! Ya betcha!"

It's pretty crass.

Thanks again for your earlier response. Sorry it had to end like this.

Jaime Dunaway Jaime Dunaway | November 18, 2011 11:04 AM

You know, reading the sort of comments I'm seeing here and elsewhere is putting me off of glbt sites in general. Too much ego, hate and divisiveness. It doesn't seem like its about equality anymore, just selfishness and one upping the other. Its sad to see.

Are you just now recognizing that the LGBT community is not a monolithic entity? Please we are like the Democrat Party. Herding cats as they say.

Travelingman | November 18, 2011 6:25 PM

UCIrivneguy I couldn't agree with you more. I kept checking back to see when Tobi would either post and update to this blog that was an apology or that she would write a new blog post writing a retraction and full apology. Tobi is MIA for two days now and hasn't bothered to correct anything. What bothers me the most is that it hasn't been addressed by the main blog either. It is all just out there in the universe getting linked to by people who don't know the full truth. It is pathetic and shameful that it is not being addressed.

Hey Tobi, could it be that simply you are a petty nobody who has done little constructive in your life, and who is desperate for attention through public whining about how your betters have wronged you? That is how you come across to me, and I suspect, a great many others.