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Bad Tranny

January 9, 2003

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I am a single parent with a wonderful 15-year-old son. My son's father, my ex, is a gay man. We've accepted this and we love him dearly, but there are issues affecting my son that my ex is ignoring. My ex has also been diagnosed with HIV. This was heartbreaking news for all of us. Now my ex has announced that he is undergoing hormonal treatments to become a woman. He kept his therapy and the entire process a secret until two weeks ago. My son is deeply disturbed by this, and I don't know how to help him. Basically, he is angry.

I'm not saying that my ex should put his life on hold for us, but he has blatantly disregarded how his choices affect our son. Our son was told about his dad's sexuality when he was younger. But as he got older, he began to fully understand the hatred, bigotry, and ignorance in our society when it comes to having a gay loved one. Unfortunately, his father has flaunted his sexuality in inappropriate settings (school), and other children have noticed. I've explained to my ex that I'm not asking him to give up who he is, but to be more aware of how his behavior affects our son's life.

Dan, what can I do? My ex has hit us with one thing after another. My son is truly upset at the prospect of having two moms. I don't know how to make my ex see that it's not just about him.

Heartsore And Saddened

On the one hand, HAS, I want to tell your son that it's not his father's fault that some people are hateful and ignorant. Your ex shouldn't have to hide his sexuality at your son's school any more than my boyfriend and I hide our sexuality at our son's school. (We also don't flaunt our sexuality--i.e., we don't make out at parent-teacher conferences, and we don't wear those hi-fucking-larious "Pitcher" and "Catcher" T-shirts when we have his friends over for a playdate.) It simply isn't fair for your son to hold the existence of anti-gay bigots against his father, and I sincerely hope my son won't hold their existence against me.

On the other hand...

Divorced parents, gay dad, the HIV bombshell... and now, so suddenly, a woman. That's an awful lot for a high-school-age kid, especially a boy, to deal with. The tranny activists are going to jump down my throat for this, but... it seems to me that your ex could've put off the sex change until after his son was out of high school. One of the things parents are supposed to do is make sacrifices, big and small, for the sake of their children. And while I think people have a right to do pretty much as they please (and parents are people), I also believe that children have a right to some stability and constancy from the adults in their lives. Perhaps I'm a transphobic bigot, but I honestly think waiting a measly 36 months to cut your dick is a sacrifice any father should be willing to make for his 15-year-old son. Call me old-fashioned.

Unfortunately, your ex wasn't willing to make that sacrifice (selfish tranny!), or it never occurred to him to make that sacrifice (stupid tranny!). So what do you tell your son? Tell him his father can do what he likes--suck dick and flaunt it, get his dick cut off and flaunt that. If dear ol' Dad chooses to live as a woman, well, there's not a lot you or your son can do about it. But guess what? Your son is old enough to do what he likes, and if he chooses to live without speaking to or seeing his father, well, there's not a whole lot his father can do about that. If your son can't deal with having his dad/mom/whatever around right now, support him and tell his dad/mom/whatever to leave the two of you alone for the time being.

Don't get me wrong, HAS: I hope that in the long run your son eventually accepts his dad/mom/whatever and forgives his dad/ mom/whatever for being imperfect. When your son is an adult, he'll hopefully be able to forgive his dad/mom/whatever for his selfish decision to run off and have a sex-change operation when his only son, like all teenagers, was struggling with his own identity and didn't need to struggle with his father's identity.

From the tedious "Gor" fanatics in Yahoo! chatrooms to the cynics in charge of ALT.com, the web has been useless in helping me further my goal of finding a nice, non-fucked-up yuppie dominatrix. It would be easier for me to find a sadistic male master, I think, if I were gay. I am jealous of gay culture on this score, but bellyaching serves no purpose. Will I ever find an abusive female partner? Or are statistics working against me?

Sadly Undominated Bottom

Since sexually dominant women are rare, SUB, finding one can be difficult. So why not make one? Meet a nice, non-fucked-up yuppie woman, and once you've determined that you like her, let her know about your kinks. Don't be creepy about it; most sophisticated women, yuppie or otherwise, are aware that there are kinky men out there. So there's no need to make a tearful confession. Instead, initiate an upbeat, alcohol-fueled conversation about her turn-ons, your turn-ons, her wildest experiences, your wildest experiences, her ultimate fantasies, your ultimate fantasies, etc. You might have to repeat this process with two or three women before you meet one who is either willing or aching to abuse you. Good luck.

Every once in a while you print a letter from a desperate reader who needs help pulling off a hard-to-realize fantasy. I hope you'll help a nice, normal gay couple out. My boyfriend of five years wants to be ordered around and, um, fucked completely senseless by a hot, muscular, older, prematurely gray daddy type. (I'm not the daddy type myself, sadly.) My boyfriend is 29, with a beautiful face, a hot body, and the world's greatest butt--and he wants this daddy-type guy to be straight and/or married. I told you this was a tall order.

We've seen lots of letters in your column from "mostly" straight married guys who want some gay action on the side. If there's one out there reading this, we'd love to hear from him. We've been monogamous up to this point, we're HIV negative, and we're looking for total discretion. (We don't want our friends to know about this any more than our ideal straight guy, if he's out there, wants his wife to know about it.) If a good-looking, mostly straight, in-great-shape, gray-haired Savage Love fan out there wants the occasional boy on the side, he should drop us a note! For our sign-off, could you print our e-mail address? Thanks, Dan!

daddyformyboyfriend@yahoo.com

PS: You're probably wondering what's in this for me. My boyfriend will love me for making this happen, and I would really get off on watching.

Actually, daddyformyboyfriend@yahoo.com, I'm wondering what's in this for me. I guess it gets my good deed for the calendar year 2003 out of the way, but that's about it. You're welcome.

mail@savagelove.net

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1
You are a transphobic bigot. You start a campaign for kids who can't wait for their lives to get better and commit suicide because of it, yet you think someone who usually goes through even more harassment than a gay, lesbian, bisexual or questioning induvidual should keep waiting for a "measly" 3 years. You're so ridiculous.
I'm not even going to bother with your use of 'Tranny' being offensive.
Get your act together before you try to become the poster boy or role model for LGBT (exclude the 'T', though, nobody wants your help) youths. All you're really doing (if any of them can be bothered to read anything you have to say aside from your 'It Gets Better' shtick) is teaching even more hate. All those LGBQ kids out there will think they're in the clear, they're the norm, those trannies can take the slack for them, now! Don't ostracize the 'T' in LGBT, we're all equal, so quit being disgusting and offensive.
Posted by savageisajoke on October 7, 2010 at 1:12 AM · Report this
2
As the above poster said, "Tranny" is a pretty offensive term. I'm not saying that I disagree that she might have waited to transition in this situation, but I feel like you are being extremely trans-phobic. That second to last paragraph is just unbelievably insensitive.

Yes, high school is a very hard time for a teen to go through the process of having a father figure undergo a male-to-female transition, but I would at least think that you would treat her and the entire situation a little more delicately!

Three years is a long time when you're waiting to transition, and yes, it MAY have been better for her to take the hit and make a parental sacrifice for the well-being of her child, but I can't fault her for not waiting. Most times, transgender people have been waiting their entire lives, often times dealing with pretty awful feelings.

What if this letter had said that the father got divorced and then came out to them as gay, and the mother was complaining that he was putting their son through his coming out. Would you tell the father to stop flaunting his stupid 'ol dick around, stop being a selfish and stupid homo and wait 32 months before coming out? I didn't think so.

It's not that you suggest that she should have waited, it's the sarcasm that's offensive. Saying "Dear 'ol Dad,' the whole "selfish- and stupid-tranny" thing, and the whole reduction of a trans woman's identity and transition to "cut his dick off" is so insulting and made more so by the fact that it comes from a member of the LGBT "community".

It's often said that the T in LGBT is silent, and this is a pretty obvious example of that failure.
Posted by urmnothanks on October 8, 2010 at 8:30 PM · Report this
3
As the above poster said, "Tranny" is a pretty offensive term. I'm not saying that I disagree that she might have waited to transition in this situation, but I feel like you are being extremely trans-phobic. That second to last paragraph is just unbelievably insensitive.

Yes, high school is a very hard time for a teen to go through the process of having a father figure undergo a male-to-female transition, but I would at least think that you would treat her and the entire situation a little more delicately!

Three years is a long time when you're waiting to transition, and yes, it MAY have been better for her to take the hit and make a parental sacrifice for the well-being of her child, but I can't fault her for not waiting. Most times, transgender people have been waiting and dealing with pretty awful feelings their entire lives.

What if this letter had said that the father got divorced and then came out to them as gay, and the mother was complaining that he was putting their son through his coming out. Would you tell the father to stop flaunting his stupid 'ol dick around, stop being a selfish and stupid homo and wait 32 months before coming out? I don't think so. You might've given the same advice about waiting and making sacrifices, but would you have called him a queer, a fag or a homo? These terms are equivalent to tranny, shemale, ladyboy, etc. and you should know that.

It's not that you suggest that she should have waited, it's the sarcasm that's offensive. Saying "Dear 'ol Dad,' the whole "selfish- and stupid-tranny" thing, and the whole reduction of a trans woman's identity and transition to "cut his dick off" is so insulting and made more so by the fact that it comes from a member of the LGBT "community".

It's often said that the T in LGBT is silent, and this is a pretty obvious example of that failure.
More...
Posted by urmnothanks on October 8, 2010 at 8:34 PM · Report this
flipdisk 4
Seriously...your advice is worth shit. It's all good with the L, the G, the B, but not the T apparently.
Take away the transphobic bigot's internet, please. :)
Posted by flipdisk http://flipdisk.tumblr.com on October 9, 2010 at 12:10 AM · Report this
5
@1, 2 (twice), and 4, please STFU. Considering you had to go back 7.5(+) years to find "proof" that Dan is trans-phobic speaks for itself.
Posted by bassplayerguy on October 11, 2010 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Zack Dergen 6
First, bassplayerguy is right: this is from 2003, people! "It Gets Better" wasn't even around at the time, and we all grow. And if you've forgotten, Dan likes to reclaim so-called "offensive" terms. It's a common tactic, and one that some transsexual and transgendered people have used themselves with regard to the word "tranny."

Second, way to fail at nuance. Dan's letter to HAS was brilliant, and acknowledged the rights of everyone involved at all times. The MTF in question has every right to do as he wants, says Dan, but it is generally accepted that parents will make sacrifices for their children. Is that false? Of course it isn't. My parents both made sacrifices for me, and I'll make sacrifices for my children someday. And yes, sometimes they might even be of the self-stifling kind. It's just part of creating a new side to your multi-faceted self: the responsible parent side.
Posted by Zack Dergen on October 12, 2010 at 7:14 AM · Report this
7 Comment Pulled (Duplicate) Comment Policy
8
Also, the word "Tranny" being offensive is culturally specific to Americans, it is not inherently offensive. In London, people (Trannies and non-trannies) use the term Tranny all the time. They don't find it offensive - it is just a word.
Posted by Just Another Opinon on October 14, 2010 at 3:44 AM · Report this
9
WTF is wrong with you people?

Having kids is a major undertaking. It is a giving up of a certain amount of self to raise the kid(s) who didn't ask to be born.

Got married and had a kid with someone of the opposite gender, then figured out you're gay? That sucks. Divorce and try to keep things as smooth as possible for the kid.

Went out and got infected with HIV in this decade? If you weren't raped, fuck you. You are a fucking idiot. We all know how you get HIV and how to avoid it. You owe your kid a huge apology for being a fucking idiot.

Wanna change genders now? Maybe you should go away.

Do you have the right to do so? Yes.

Is it good for your kid? No.

This person has already made several decisions that have been hard on the kid. Continuing to do so is shitty. Just like if I divorced my wife and fucked a never ending stream of of bimbos in front of my kid, then got HIV because I was too much of an asshole to protect myself (and others) I would be a bad influence.

It's not about orientation or gender. It's about responsible behavior, and proper examples.

Getting HIV when you're old enough to have a teen, or flaunting sex, gay or straight at your kid's school are signs of someone who needs to get their shit together and maybe stay away from the kid.
Posted by Richard Cranium on October 14, 2010 at 10:29 PM · Report this
10
Yeah, doesn't life just suck. I'm not even putting a question mark on this one. Cause it's not a question. It's not an opinion, or an option. It's a fact of life.

So? What do you do with the facts of life? The logical choice would be to do what you're here for - LIVE. Deal with it, take it as it comes, do the best you can, and enjoy what's left. Don't want it that way? Fine, go kill yourself.

I don't believe anyone can be saved.
I don't believe anyone can be spared.

But,some(more probably most)of us like the IDEA of ourselves when we try. And we just LOVE it when it looks like we did "the good deed". That, however, never actually happens, not in the real live universe anyway. Ultimately, no one ever does anything because "of" or "for" anyone else. You do it all for you. Any other interpretation, besides being dishonest and unnatural, is just plain denial of the coincidental time/event overlaps, which we rationalize in our favor. Or if such may be our preference - to the contrary of our favor.

Final summation: who gives a shit if someone insults you, if your dad turns to a "mom", if a meteor falls on your car?

Of course, YOU do. Obviously, the punch can't be in that. Well, it's in the WHY. Why do you care? Naturally, you can't be indifferent - it's all about you, isn't it - but why would you ever think it's supposed to be different? And than there's the WHERE too. Where do all the expectations come from? Where did you gather your information? Finally, the big WHO? Who let you believe life doesn't suck? Who made you think that meteors don't fall on good christians, nice people have nice solid families, girls are never ever mistakenly born in male bodies and high school is a pleasant, safe environment.

If you find out, go shoot them (or don't). And not cause they bullshitted you out of any chance of understanding and accepting the facts of life. No, no, they've been lied to and brain washed as well. Shoot them (or don't) because they pretend to give a damn that you're all fucked up now, while they're actually having a ball in their personal little "I tango with misery scenario" and using you as a stunt while they're at it.

And when you're done (and even if you're not), try this for a change: You insult me (or don't), I insult you (or don't), but I don't like you anyway (or I do, but it's just too bad), so I go home and fuck someone I do like, or have at hand, who maybe doesn't like ME, but is willing to take it, or has nothing better to do, or we just like fucking and shut up about the rest. Than when you're finished, have a coke of your choice - because that's one of the rare things in life you can do something about - and think how TODAY sucks a little less than usual, cause you're not bulshitting yourself about caring about bullshit. The end.

P.S always wear sunscreen.
More...
Posted by chainee on October 19, 2010 at 6:33 AM · Report this
11
Yeah, doesn't life just suck. I'm not even putting a question mark on this one. Cause it's not a question. It's not an opinion, or an option. It's a fact of life.

So? What do you do with the facts of life? The logical choice would be to do what you're here for - LIVE. Deal with it, take it as it comes, do the best you can, and enjoy what's left. Don't want it that way? Fine, go kill yourself.

I don't believe anyone can be saved.
I don't believe anyone can be spared.

But,some(more probably most)of us like the IDEA of ourselves when we try. And we just LOVE it when it looks like we did "the good deed". That, however, never actually happens, not in the real live universe anyway. Ultimately, no one ever does anything because "of" or "for" anyone else. You do it all for you. Any other interpretation, besides being dishonest and unnatural, is just plain denial of the coincidental time/event overlaps, which we rationalize in our favor. Or if such may be our preference - to the contrary of our favor.

Final summation: who gives a shit if someone insults you, if your dad turns to a "mom", if a meteor falls on your car?

Of course, YOU do. Obviously, the punch can't be in that. Well, it's in the WHY. Why do you care? Naturally, you can't be indifferent - it's all about you, isn't it - but why would you ever think it's supposed to be different? And than there's the WHERE too. Where do all the expectations come from? Where did you gather your information? Finally, the big WHO? Who let you believe life doesn't suck? Who made you think that meteors don't fall on good christians, nice people have nice solid families, girls are never ever mistakenly born in male bodies and high school is a pleasant, safe environment.

If you find out, go shoot them (or don't). And not cause they bullshitted you out of any chance of understanding and accepting the facts of life. No, no, they've been lied to and brain washed as well. Shoot them (or don't) because they pretend to give a damn that you're all fucked up now, while they're actually having a ball in their personal little "I tango with misery scenario" and using you as a stunt while they're at it.

And when you're done (and even if you're not), try this for a change: You insult me (or don't), I insult you (or don't), but I don't like you anyway (or I do, but it's just too bad), so I go home and fuck someone I do like, or have at hand, who maybe doesn't like ME, but is willing to take it, or has nothing better to do, or we just like fucking and shut up about the rest. Than when you're finished, have a coke of your choice - because that's one of the rare things in life you can do something about - and think how TODAY sucks a little less than usual, cause you're not bulshitting yourself about caring about bullshit. The end.

P.S always wear sunscreen.
More...
Posted by chainee on October 19, 2010 at 6:33 AM · Report this
12
You wear yr trans-bigotry like a badge of honor Dan...shame on you and every cock-sucker who thinks like you!
Posted by Christine Martins on October 26, 2010 at 3:28 PM · Report this
13
You wear yr trans-bigotry like a badge of honor Dan...shame on you and every cock-sucker who thinks like you!
Posted by Christine Martins on October 26, 2010 at 3:30 PM · Report this
14
In the past, Dan's said some stuff about transpeople I wouldn't agree with, but (I'll get Hell for this, I know it) I wouldn't necessarily disagree in this case. Keep in mind I say this as a transperson... I know what I'm talking about.
If you're a teenager, and your body is actively in the process of developing and changing for the worst, then by all means, transition as soon as possible.
But if your body is already as developed as it'll get, is it really unreasonable to delay it by a few years, tops? I mean, the hormones take a while to have noticeable effect anyways. High schoolers are notoriously bigoted, and most transkids are in constant fear of violence in their schools. Is it far-fetched to imagine that maybe some of the dumber, more insecure students might treat the son of a "tranny" to the same violence? It's not even necessarily a matter of the kid's personal comfort. Depending on the area, it can be a matter of the kid's physical safety, which as a parent, you do have a duty to protect.
If the father/mother (not sure which term to use at this point) plans to avoid the school, and not be seen by the son's friends, that's one thing, and then I'd have to agree that whether or not it makes the kid angry, he's well within his rights to transition anytime. In matters that could directly impact the kid's safety though... it's a valid argument, is what I'm saying.

Side point to, to Dan... I haven't been through all the archives, so I don't know if it's been addressed... but I'd be really careful using "tranny". Lots of people find it offensive, and in this case, it didn't really add to your argument any more than "transgender" or "transperson", etc, would have. I'd really only use "tranny" when the term itself is being discussed.
Posted by André on November 1, 2010 at 1:37 PM · Report this
15
OMFG, BAD DAN!!! Hard to realize fantasy?!? Pa-fuckin-lease! Give me a fucking break. There are LOADS of married old (straight?) dudes who would love to pound the shit out of your BF. Dan you're going to help these guys? There are WAY harder kinks to satisfy out there! Like that guy right there looking for the dom straight girl?!? He-fuckin-lo. Help that man, not these guys who just have to stand on a street corner 10 minutes to get a guy to play Daddy. FUCK!

This rant was brought to you by audible.com the inter net's leader in spoken....
Posted by timbeecharmer on November 1, 2010 at 10:47 PM · Report this
16
Yeah, Dan, you are a trans bigot, and why the hell do you keep talking about George Bush vs Nadar vs Gore?

I also can't figure out how you managed to write so many columns in a week. It would take me 10 years to write this many columns.

I also can't figure out how in one column you hold a contest and then in the next column you already have the results of the contest. Its like a crazy time warp going on with these columns.
Posted by olshanski on January 19, 2011 at 2:49 PM · Report this
17
Go jump in a pit of spikes, Dan Savage. Go crawl through a nest of razor wire. You are a transphobic, cissexist, idiotic, misgendering bigot.
Posted by howishefamous on February 24, 2011 at 8:53 PM · Report this
18
LMAO
Goodness me. Some people have their panties in quite a knot. Get a life.

olshanski
*Face palm*
Posted by Riaan on July 13, 2011 at 7:09 AM · Report this
SlimJimPoisson 19
And what's with the double posts? Are the "Silent T" generation too eager to wait just a few seconds for the site to process their postings?
Posted by SlimJimPoisson on October 10, 2011 at 1:55 AM · Report this
Troy from IN 20
OK, to those still believing Dan Savage is not Transphobic, reread that letter. How do you think Dan would have responded if the Ex wouldn't have been Transgendered but instead just gay?
I'm guessing he would have asked exactly how he "flaunted his sexuality" and would have pointed out to the son how hard it was for his dad to come out.
There is nothing in the letter to indicate that the Ex is anywhere near "cutting his dick" (way to find the most offensive way to refer to reassignment surgery Dan) and Dan should have pointed out that transitioning is a long process and the son will have to come to terms about it.
Overall, this letter could have been Dan's chance to show the world he isn't Transphobic, instead he just gives the Trans activists more reasons to glitter bomb him.
Posted by Troy from IN http://bipaganman.tumblr.com/ on February 7, 2012 at 11:39 PM · Report this
21
what really gets me is that you say you knew that you would piss transpeople off, but you did it anyway, assuming that you know better than anybody else. and anything anyone in this comment section says--including this comment--is going to get ignored under that pretext, that no one from the transsexual community has anything of relevance to say and their feelings and opinions are meaningless.

if you weren't so completely wrapped up in yourself, you might realize that the intense vitriol you receive from the trans community is the anger felt by those who want to be able to ally with you but can't because of your dismissive bigotry. maybe you would have the guts to apologize and change your ways, like a decent, sane human being.

but no. you'll ignore this comment, just like all the others, and stay safely locked inside your rich gay yuppie bubble, insulated forever from all criticism or self-doubt.
Posted by objectivelycoolerthandansavage on February 8, 2012 at 2:46 PM · Report this
22
what really gets me is that you say you knew that you would piss transpeople off, but you did it anyway, assuming that you know better than anybody else. and anything anyone in this comment section says--including this comment--is going to get ignored under that pretext, that no one from the transsexual community has anything of relevance to say and their feelings and opinions are meaningless.

if you weren't so completely wrapped up in yourself, you might realize that the intense vitriol you receive from the trans community is the anger felt by those who want to be able to ally with you but can't because of your dismissive bigotry. maybe you would have the guts to apologize and change your ways, like a decent, sane human being.

but no. you'll ignore this comment, just like all the others, and stay safely locked inside your rich gay yuppie bubble, insulated forever from all criticism or self-doubt.
Posted by objectivelycoolerthandansavage on February 8, 2012 at 2:47 PM · Report this
23
"Perhaps I'm a transphobic bigot"

well, I prefer the term cissexist, but yeah. You are. What was your first clue? Was it your complete lack of respect for trans* identities? Or your utter disregard for the lived experiences of trans* people and/or those dealing with gender dysphoria?

I won't bombard you with facts about the many ways in which trans* people face oppression, you've been told before. At this point I expect nothing more from you than willful ignorance and purposeful misgendering. I'm so thankful you aren't representative of my experiences with the LGBTQ* community.

(For the record: I know this is old, but I only just had the misfortune of reading it.)
Posted by Cianan on February 8, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
24
"Perhaps I'm a transphobic bigot"

well, I prefer the term cissexist, but yeah. You are. What was your first clue? Was it your complete lack of respect for trans* identities? Or your utter disregard for the lived experiences of trans* people and/or those dealing with gender dysphoria?

I won't bombard you with facts about the many ways in which trans* people face oppression, you've been told before. At this point I expect nothing more from you than willful ignorance and purposeful misgendering. I'm so thankful you aren't representative of my experiences with the LGBTQ* community.

(For the record: I know this is old, but I only just had the misfortune of reading it.)
Posted by Cianan on February 8, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
25
I plead ignorant: did not know that "tranny" was offensive. Maybe Dan was attempting to take the power out of a negatively charged word, as he did by reclaiming "faggot" in his earliest columns.

Since ya'll are stunned by Dan's lack of senstitivity here, I'll just say this...I'm stunned by your lack of sensitivity to the kid. Three years is nothing. This kid is in pain. What dad does now will affect what SHOULD be the most important person in his/her life, and it will impact their relationship forever. Imagine this kid ten years later saying one of two things... "thanks for waiting" or... "why couldn't you wait three measley years?" He can create distance or gratitude here. And yes, I think he is being incredibly self-centered.
Dan's not transphobic, he's just a fucking GOOD parent. This guy/gal gave up the right to do whatever the hell he/she pleased when he made a kid. Deal with it.
Posted by portland scribe on February 10, 2012 at 5:46 PM · Report this
26
I think it's weird that so much importance is being given to the kid's feelings. He's at the same age as some of the readers and writers of Dan's column. He's a human being developing into adulthood and it's rare that anyone has parents that act in idealic ways. Guess what kid ... The world wasn't made for you. Buck up. If the kid was discovering his orientation we'd all be cheering for him and daring the parents to object. So what gives?
Posted by Sexykittymowmow on March 21, 2012 at 10:19 AM · Report this
27
Perish forbid that any member of the "trans" cult should put off their immediate gratification for their child's sake. Meh. Narcissism on parade, as usual.
Posted by Rose_Verbena on May 5, 2012 at 5:20 PM · Report this
28
Imagine you're a teenager. Now imagine you have problems. Imagine you blame your problems on your family.

This shouldn't be hard to imagine. All teenagers do this, and if you're honest with yourself, you probably remember examples of your behavior from when you were that age that meet this description.

So imagine what happens to you when you have to defend your father to friends, or whatever you call the people you have to interact with at school. Imagine the feelings of isolation. Imagine how you'd cope - shame? Anger? All of the above, directed at your dad, which only compounds the complexity of these feelings? think about how alone all of that would make you feel.

Furthermore, imagine what your reaction is when your father - someone who, in the midst of all this, you genuinely need him to be there for you as a role model, or at least a stable confidant, adviser, as a trustworthy friend, more than anyone - decides, during your sophomore year of high school, to start making drastic changes in his life. Imagine he starts redefining himself socially and personally, and then even physiologically, setting aside more and more of his time to undergo extensive hormone regimen and (possibly) also planning feminizing and genitoplastic surgery.

Dan Savage is not a transphobe - not in this situation, and not at all. You're reacting to your feelings about words he used that make you uncomfortable. You don't want to admit that these words have emotional power over you, so you're trying to make the argument that using certain words (such as "tranny") alone, or that using coarse, unflattering language (like in Savage's pithy characterization of the surgery - which granted, may have been a little distasteful) are sufficient to mark someone as a biggot. That way, you think you have a genuine example of prejudice to be angry about. It seems like you want this argument to be sound. So you seem to imagine that Savage is a biggot who makes exceptions for homosexuality only because that is his particular sexual taste.

And the reality is: he isn't a biggot, and he doesn't have exceptional views about himself or homosexuals in general. Don't like hearing the word "tranny"? Then don't read savage's column. He doesn't always use "nice" language. But you're way off base if that's your evidence that Savage hates transsexuals. I suppose that Savage and other homosexuals probably harbored a similar distaste for the word "faggot," but it didn't stop the man from opening every single column up until 1999 with the phrase "Hey Faggot!" He actually wanted to title his column "Hey, Faggot!" and would have if his publishers hadn't said no.

If defining categories of people with nasty words is enough to diagnose legitimate hatred for those groups, then Savage would seem to be directing hatred toward himself. So, extending this reasoning, you'll now find yourself grasping for an explanation as to why a self-hating homosexual would dedicate his life to writing a column geared for both a queer and heterosexual audience - and furthermore, why he would use such a column as a forum for acceptance, harmony and sexual health.

It's just my opinion here - but it seems to me that that dog won't hunt. Dan Savage may be one of the sanest people you know.

If anyone ended up a biggot as a result of this, I'm guessing it was this kid. If his divorcee dad went through with gender reassignment, that's one thing - but if he didn't go way out of his way and make a sincere, serious effort to try and salvage his relationship with his son (perhaps, even if he did make such an effort), then that kid may have developed some serious. issues. with transgendered people. Because every single transgendered person he meets in his adult life may have reminded him of that lonely, angry period when his dad wasn't there for him. And any and all resentment this kid had bottled up for his father over all this, I'm guessing he's gonna have a really, really hard time keeping all that baggage separate from his feelings about innocent transgendered strangers he meets in the course of his life.

Do yourself a justice and give Savage some credit. Don't be such a knee-jerk.
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Posted by RogerWorkman on December 9, 2012 at 8:25 PM · Report this
29
Of course that parent wasn’t going to wait another 36 months with their transition. That’s like asking a person with pneumonia to wait another 36 months for a cure. It’s selfish of the ex and the kid to not want this person to be happy. You have no fucking clue how depressing it it to have to wait for transitions to happen and/ or people to accept you. So it’s okay to lie about who you really are and be entirely miserable in life, as long as your kid’s still in high school?

Piss off.

But if I were you, I would, above all, figure out why the hell you are so transphobic. What are you frightened of? Why do you feel personally affronted? And why, above all, do you feel the need to inflict this condition of yours on the rest of the world? It makes you as bad as homophobic Bible belters, and at least they have their misguided pastors to blame, you have zero excuses.

So I hope you read this, you tosser.
Posted by shaunoftheliving on December 31, 2012 at 12:39 PM · Report this
30
I was pointed to this by a friend, and it is a disheartening read. Dan Savage seems to an example of someone who has gotten on board with gay rights because it is convenient for him, but fails to apply the ideas of equality and sensitivity to other vulnerable groups that still need help (ie, transgendered persons).
Posted by Think inclusively on May 12, 2013 at 11:15 AM · Report this
31
This is absolutely reeking with transphobia and as a transgendered man, I am disgusted. Kindly piss off the issues that myself and others are forced to deal with every bloody day or educate yourself on the topic.
Posted by togami on May 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM · Report this
32
I hope Dan knows better now, but there is a hole lot more to transition than SRS. SRS for some trans people isn't even part of it. And for the "delaying transition", are you serious? Can you imagine walking around with boobs, and people calling you Danielle for 3 YEARS?!?
Posted by J_Sunrise on July 31, 2013 at 2:14 PM · Report this
33
Dan, you are such a bigot. What qualifications do you have to discuss trans issues? I am so deeply offended by this. Read a book. Stop hating on trans people just because you identify with the gender you were assigned at birth. I assume with your involvement in the "It Gets Better" campaign you would not be writing something as invalidating and prejudiced as this has been. This is why so many trans people feel like they are abhorrent, abject, and unwelcome.
Posted by somtandercock on August 2, 2013 at 6:07 PM · Report this
34
Well this was a helluva while ago, but I'd like to take the position that Savage isn't a bigot, and that he doesn't "hate" transsexuals.
He just doesn't realize how hard their life is.
He also doesn't realize that most 30 something transsexuals have been mulling over their "bad" thoughts over being a woman for almost their WHOLE lives!
(it's a wee bit of a double-bind because there are a million excuses for not transitioning in your teens as well as your thirties)
He sadly does the stupid he/she/xie/zor/whatever thing, when "she" (without scare quotes) would be much shorter and more correct!
I think him being gay and using "tranny" is as defensible as a japanese man using "chink".
This post is partly for myself because I've been having FAGGY and TRANNY thoughts for a couple of years now, and I need to grow a backbone without turning into a loony tumblr user.
Sometimes I feel like I should "apologise for the sins of my transsexual people", but that's dumb.
haha look at me caring so much over an old post on the internet maybe there is something fucked up in our brains after all
Posted by Just some dumb idiot on September 10, 2013 at 6:34 PM · Report this
35
Holy shit! Will you self-pitying, paranoid, seeing-persecution-everywhere, crybabies get a fucking grip? Why are you being so self-centered that you can't admit that the kid in this situation has a few fucking rights too? When you become a parent you have a responsibility to your child to help them understand things, not to just do shit and expect them to deal with it because you are soooo much more important than they are. If the parent had tried to help the kid understand all of this, it wouldn't have been such a big problem.
Posted by M. Daisy on September 18, 2013 at 11:51 AM · Report this
36
^ Good point. Kid would know better how to handle this if the parent had a talk with him. And the mother can't really explain because she's been left out of the loop a lot too.
Posted by Same Dumb Idiot on September 19, 2013 at 9:02 PM · Report this
37
A possible simile for this ordeal could be:
Even a parent going through horrifying chemotherapy still owes it to their kid to explain why they look like shit, and not just come visit occasionally expecting the kid to be fine with it.
It really shouldn't take an anonymous comment on the internet to light such a simple bulb in my head.
Posted by Same Dumb Idiot on September 19, 2013 at 9:13 PM · Report this
38
This is such a controversial column and I'm agreeing some with both sides of the debate.

I think that Dan's language was transphobic and insensitive. While he uses similarly harsh language for EVERYBODY, it's particularly harsh to do so for a group that is still pretty early it's in civil rights movement and needs all the support it can get. It's been my impression that being respectful of trans issues in his language is something that Dan has worked on and improved, but this is an issue that I'm relatively new to and haven't done tons of research on.

The biggest problem with Dan's language being so transphobic is that people equate transphobic language with "You are saying that this person is bad because they are *trans*." I've done this before, and it's an easy mistake. But while this happens frequently, it's possible for the two to be separate.

"My son's father, my ex, is a gay man. We've accepted this and we love him dearly, but there are issues affecting my son that my ex is ignoring. " THIS is the issue. The problem is not that the father (now mother?) is trans and wants to transition, the issue is that she is ignoring the way her actions are affecting her son and not doing anything to protect him from some really difficult life changing stuff. Which is why Dan said one of the things she could have done to help out the son was wait on transitioning. I don't know that I agree with this idea, but I agree with the sentiment.

Divorce, HIV, transitioning, these are all things the father/now mother could be going through and still show some consideration and care for her son. If I were in position and I felt like I had too much to handle without unloading it on my son, I might take some space from my family until I had my shit together, after letting my kid know that I loved him and it was not his fault, and that I'd be back when I could be a better parent.

So, I think Dan handled this quite badly, but I think it's silly to assume that a column he wrote in 2003 necessarily represents his opinions now. People change. We count on that to further these civil rights movements. And it's important to remember that a trans person is still a person (that's the whole point!!!) which means they are still capable of making bad, hurtful decisions, just as they are capable of being wonderful awesome people.
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Posted by kellarules on April 5, 2014 at 5:42 PM · Report this

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