Bil Browning

Trans Mafia: Savage Glitterbombed Again

Filed By Bil Browning | January 23, 2012 8:16 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Dan Savage, glitterbomb, Joe Jervis, know your enemies, trans ally, trans mafia

Dan Savage was glitterbombed again by trans activists. If you think that Dan Savage is the worst enemy of the trans community, you're sadly mistaken. Thumbnail image for Dan SavageIf you think that throwing heavy objects at someone's head will make them a closer friend, you're an idiot. And if you think that you're garnering support for your cause by attacking someone over things said years ago when most of us have had to make adjustments to our thinking as we've come along the transgender road to acceptance, you didn't study the LGB history lessons at all.

In response to a written question from the Vancouver audience asking why he's the subject of denunciation by some trans activists, Savage spoke of the "journey" that society, including himself and other gays, have gone through in the two decades since he started his sex advice column.

Back then, he said, he didn't have a firm understanding of the nuances of trans issues. And as an activist, he said, he understands the effectiveness of public confrontation with public figures as a means of shining a spotlight on important issues, as ACT UP did on AIDS research funding and public policy.

But, he said, there was an element of opportunism in the glitter-bombings and denunciations that selectively pull quotes from past writings taken out of context. He routinely invites trans people, including Kate Bornstein and Buck Angel, to respond to questions from readers of his column - a breakthrough in educating people, he claimed.

"If I'm an enemy of trans people," he said, "then [the trans struggle for rights and recognition is] over; it's lost."

Understand the difference between your enemies, like Fox News columnists, and your friends, Savage said. "If you have a disagreement with your allies, you discuss it. You don't attack them," Savage said to very loud applause from his Vancouver audience. To attack allies over small differences is counterproductive in advancing the agenda, he added.

I've been called more nasty names and had more shit slung at me by trans activists than I have homophobes at this point. The result? I don't talk about trans issues much any more. So instead of forcing me to their viewpoint, they've lost a much more vocal advocate.

In a post about the incident today, Joe Jervis points his readers to an older Bilerico post by Austen Crowder called, "The 'Trans Mafia' Stifles Allies." I sent him an email to thank him for it. It should be required reading for everyone celebrating another glittering of a trans ally.

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