LGBT-on-LGBT glitterbombing has arrived and gay activist Dan Savage is its first victim. With cameras for his MTV show Savage U rolling in the background during a visit to the University of Oregon's Eugene campus on Tuesday, trans activists glitterbombed the "It Gets Better" creator for his notorious transphobic history. But was the activism effective?
During the shimmering attack, the activist reportedly said, “Dan Savage is a transphobe! Glitterbomb courtesy of the Dan Savage Welcoming Committee. He’s a racist and misogynist and a rape-apologist, too!”
Following the show-stopper, the "Dan Savage Welcoming Committee" issued a press statement to Portland Independent Media:
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.
Dan himself hasn't exactly shunned the claims of transphobia in the past, though he has attempted to atone. In a recent interview with New Civil Rights Movement's David Badash, Dan says he's no longer transphobic.
"How do you disprove a charge like you’re transphobic? I’m not afraid of trans people… I certainly have had a journey in the last 20 years—as have we all—on trans issues. When I started writing Savage Love 20 years ago, and you can yank quotes 15, 18 years ago and flat them up today and say, ‘You know, that’s transphobic,’ I’d probably agree with you. 15 years ago I didn’t know as much as I know now–nor did anybody.”
There are certainly high-profile folks with even more intense transphobia that may have served as better targets for the attack, but by glitterbombing one of our own, is the DSWC instigating a conversation that needs to occur within the LGBT community? Or was this glitterbombing off-base and counterproductive?
Perhaps when Dan decides to talk about Tuesday's events, we'll have a better idea of what exactly the LGBT-on-LGBT attack accomplished.