Aside from a brief text to JoeMyGod's Joe Jervis yesterday, Dan Savage has remained uncharacteristically mum on the series of glitter-bomb attacks lofted by activists critical of his past history with the trans community. On Tuesday, Dan took to his blog at Seattle's Slog to discuss the attacks in length. So, what does Dan have to say about the controversy that has been following him the past few weeks?
First, Dan accounts the second glitter-bombing from his perspective:
I was doing a "Savage Love Live" Q&A at UCI. People submit questions anonymously, just like they would for a regular column, using whatever language or terminology they're comfortable with. I read their questions aloud—verbatim—and offer some on-the-fly advice. Here's the complete transcript of my "transphobic" comments at UCI (the italics indicate when I'm reading the anonymously submitted question):
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—
It was at that moment—just as I was beginning to address the problem with the term "shemale"—that I was glitterbombed.
Dan goes on to defend himself, writing, "I did say 'shemale.' I read the question as-written, repeated the term in my response, and then used 'transexual' in place of 'shemale' ('transexual sex-worker,' 'transexual porn'), modeling the use of less offensive terms, before circling back to 'shemale' in order to unpack why some find it offensive. I never used the phrase 'freaky tranny porn.' I never said the word 'tranny' at UCI at all; indeed, I've made a conscious effort to stop using 'tranny' after the memo went out last year declaring the word an off-limits 'hate term.'
"As for 'freaky boy': that boy is a bit of a freak and anyone who reads my column knows that I'm pro-freak, pro-kink, pro-porn, pro-just-about-everything. I'm a freak myself, as I've said numerous times, I married a freak, some of my best friends are freaks. 'Freak,' in the context of 'Savage Love,' is a freakin' compliment."
Do you think Dan successfully made his case?