Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dan Savage Glitter-Bombed by Trans Activist

You know how I hate glitter-bombing?  For several months now, GLBT activists have been throwing wads of glitter at politicians that they don't like.  This is what I think about glitter-bombing:
Glitter-bombing is kind of like binging on a box of donuts. You might feel really good while in the moment, but all you're left with afterwards is a powdery mess. It's an empty effort that only sets us back from our goal of equality. In other words, leave the glitter and the confetti at home next time and come up with a more effective and grown-up form of GLBT advocacy. For all our sake.
These days, you don't even have to be anti-GLBT to get glitter-bombed by GLBT activists.  Sex columnist and podcaster Dan Savage got glitter-bombed by a trans activist yesterday while filming his new "Savage U" MTV program:
Dan Savage is a transphobic and generally oppressive rich white cis gay man who came to Eugene, OR on Halloween weekend. The Dan Savage Welcoming Committee let him know that he can't be a douche with impunity.

On November 1st, 2011, an operative of the Dan Savage Welcoming Committee (DSWM) glitterbombed Dan while he was giving a Q&A at the University of Nike's Ford Alumni Center in Eugene, Oregon. During this session, the operative leapt to the stage and poured glitter over Dan's head as they shouted, "Dan Savage is a transphobe!" As they turned tail, they added, "Glitterbomb courtesy of the Dan Savage Welcoming Committee," and just before they got out the door, "He's a racist and misogynist and a rape-apologist, too!" The operative then fled the scene.

The DSWC is a memberless organization, and the only point of unity is that we have a problem with Dan Savage for anti-oppressive reasons. We encourage others who share our sentiments to let him know exactly how they feel wherever he goes. He has a huge voice due to his fame; we have to be creative to get heard over the din.
According to a comment on the linked article, Savage "endorses genocide in his language and attitudes" and "uses language and metaphors that have been used throughout history to encourage massacres and hate policies".  This particular commenter asserted that Savage "deserves" worse treatment than a glitter-bomb attack.  I understand that Savage hasn't always used the "right language", but I truly question why he of all people was targeted by this "group".

I listen to Dan Savage's "Savage Love" podcast.  Just last night, he gave what I believe was good advice about how to respectfully acknowledge the gender transition of a co-worker.  I've listened to his podcasts regularly for over a year and I haven't observed him to be trans phobic.  Then again, I'm listening to the show through my sensitivities, not others'.  I seriously don't get the assertions that he is either racist, misogynist, or a rape-enabler.

For the most part, I have been blog-hopping for much of the afternoon and I don't see much of anything productive that's come from this skit outside of gay men like myself questioning why Savage was glitter-bombed and anger by trans folks who accuse us of being fake allies. It's been suggested that Savage refrain from writing about trans people or responding to trans callers, which seems counter-productive.  Is it better for Savage to say nothing about trans people and their concerns and occasionally use the wrong words?  Perhaps, silence is indeed golden.

1 comment:

Ricardo said...

This form of political theater is hardly winning anybody over to the "trans" side. Rather, it seems to be backfiring.