About That Hate Crime I Committed at University of Chicago

Comments

202
I just want to speak up on behalf of college students everywhere: most of us don't make the news, because most of us aren't assholes. Yes, there are idiots like this on every campus, but they're a minority on the vast majority of campuses.
203
"It and its friend are young."

Good lord, that's all I needed to know. Whether straight, gay, bi...ect...many of us go through a phase of inordinate sensitivity while young. Being straight doesn't make you immune: too fat, too short, small boobs, big boobs, acne...you name it. We've all been there: giving strangers too much power over our feelings.

The key is to finally realize most people are most worried about their OWN shit - they are only really concerned about YOUR shit for the few seconds it took them to say something rude. Then YOU spend the next month festering over something THEY forgot about - because they went right back to worrying about THEIR shit, and have completely forgotten about you.
204
@184 - Offense is given and taken when none is intended all the time. Usually through ignorance or carelessness. But once you have been told, directly and explicitly, that a word is hurtful, then the continued use of that word is not unintentionally offensive.

@186 - Yes, demands for courtesy can be burdensome and feel abusive. I don't think asking someone to avoid using a single word, however, rises to that level. To demand a right to continue to be offensive is certainly a choice, but it is reminiscent of bigoted Christians demand to retain the right to speak offensively to and about homosexuals. How is it different for Dan, who has acknowledged that the word is hurtful and has stopped using the word in public contexts, to insist, aggressively, on using the word in a private conversation after being specifically asked not to use it by a participant in that conversation? C'mon, he could have replaced the word with anything. Again, I offer "Chuck Norris" as a substitute. That choice would have been sufficiently dismissive to the request while still complying with it.

And that's what this is really about. This is about being dismissive of someone's specific request that a word not be used. I'm sure that lots of people have a word that they would rather not hear and would regard it as provocative for someone to continue to use the word after they have been asked not to use it. I don't think any of us would like to have someone be so dismissive of our feelings or our requests. Yes, even if we have been obnoxious.

And that brings us to the next question. Was the goodwill exhausted? Possibly. I have little doubt that the offended party was obnoxious in any number of ways and I have little doubt that this person's attitude invited retaliation. The subsequent and frequent use of the one word that the person asked not be used would be a really tempting and delicious way of inflicting that revenge. It's just petty. It does nothing to advance the conversation and it feeds the distraction (as we've seen).

@191 - I'm not defending the qualifications of the offended party as an adult. In fact, let's stipulate that the person is not an adult. Would you do this to a child? If a child specifically asked you not to say a word, would you torture the child by incessantly repeating the word? How is that a positive? How is that a good thing that helps the child become an adult? How does it qualify you as an adult? Is this how we model adult behavior for children?
205
I seriously doubt "tranny" will ever be reclaimed. The drawbacks of homosexuality or blackness are entirely imposed by society, while transgenderism is an inherently shitty thing to have. I will never be proud or happy to have gender dysphoria. There are exceptions, people who enjoy experimenting with gender, but I suspect most trans people will always wish they were born cis regardless of social stigma. So instead of comparing "tranny" to "faggot" or "nigga", it's more like expecting "retarded" or "ugly" to be claimed.
206
@ 204, is there ever a time when we can dismiss someone's claims of hurt as oversensitivity, or possibly even manipulation? Is there a point where the hurt individual should instead bear the burden of courtesy and recognize that intent matters, and learn how to deal with the pain without requiring everyone in their life to avoid words with little historical use as denigrating a group of people?
207
@204

You are making generalised statements which ignore the facts in this particular case, and you are making assertions of fact which you cannot back up. For example, you claim that Dan 'aggressively' insisted on using a particular word. You present no evidence that Dan acted aggressively; you simply say it. You omit the fact that Dan and another speaker were discussing the history of the usage of the word and why some, though not all, trans people find it hurtful.

These are the sort of tactics used by people deliberately trying to derail discussion on the web, just as they are used by people deliberately trying to derail discussion within private meetings. If you think that people won't notice that fact then you need to get out more...
208
@ 204

It may have been a single word, but it was the one word that was most critical to specific point he was trying to make. It's a bit like saying "I don't mind you talking about your heritage, but please don't say the word 'Italian,' because I was raped and beaten by an Italian."

I suppose there are times when someone's feelings are rightfully dismissed, and to me this seems like one of them. We have to stand up to bullies, even ones with hurt feelings.
209
@178, darlin13- good idea- though think I'll just go with
Bogan. An Australian word , on the sweeter end of the Redneck continuum.
As in " Ya Bogan".
210
I think Dan should have simplified things.

His point is that "it" is possibly the most insulting slur to level at a t*.

Therefore, we should all stop using "it" in ANY context. 'It' is a triggering slur that denies people safe spaces.

So cut (that) out, immediately!
211
Seems to me if someone has the gall to accuse Dan Fucking Savage of hate crimes, he has the right to use both barrels while defending himself against these children.

The irony of "privilege" is that these kids think they have the right to determine what language is acceptable for everyone else.
212
#79, if you read the entire post (without stopping halfway through to check Facebook/Twitter) and didn't get the point, take a reading comprehension class at your local community college.
213
#103. I have never seen what I'd remotely call bullying.... So please elaborate

He doesn't bully anyone. Hasn't ever bullied anyone. I doubt very seriously that Peter will ever answer your question with anything specific.
214
@Charlie Mas: Offense is given and taken when none is intended all the time.

The fact that someone takes offense at something does not mean it is Offensive. If it did, then there'd be no gay marriage, no porn, no mixed-race marriage, no mini-skirts, no Huck Finn, no oral sex, no drinking, no cursing, no _______.

But once you have been told, directly and explicitly, that a word is hurtful, then the continued use of that word is not unintentionally offensive.

And once it has been reasonably pointed out in reply that a behavior is not hurtful in any sense beyond the accuser's own personal prejudices or hangups, then continued attempts by the accuser to control other people with spurious allegations of offense become an act of aggression.

The decision to concede to this form of aggression is usually matter of whether
a) you share the accuser's prejudice, or
b) you are a coward.
215
#204 The person was not a child. And I'm getting sick of ever extending 'youth' being trotted out as excuses for people who really should know better. College students aren't children, they may not be adults yet but it seems ridiculous to insist on treating someone who can vote, drive, and by porn, as a child who needs to be sheltered from the world around them.

How are they ever going to grow into someone with a stable identity if they never have to deal with being challenged in any way?
216
@215

They can't. Unfortunately they can't grasp that point; it is so much easier for them to run around screaming about vicious persecution when they don't know what vicious persecution really is. Hint: it isn't Dan Savage.

Once they venture out in the real world they are going to discover it the hard way...

217
@213

How can you be so sure that Dan has "never bullied anyone"? How can you make such a broad statement? I am glad you admire him but are you in position to say something like "never bullied anyone."? The very fact that so much of his work is about bullying might suggest that he knows something about the subject? Is extremely sensitive to it? Either side or another? Possibly?

Anyway, I don't think it's worth pursuing. It was far enough in the past so that I can characterize them as possibly isolated incidents. Dan has done great work and is being attacked now and I would prefer to defend him, not that he needs my help.

But just FYI I am not backing down; I know what I experienced. It's just not worth saying anything more.

And for context please do go back and see that my remark was in reference to @99's friends who disliked Dan "vehemently". I was wondering why.
218
@217

You have just made some very unpleasant allegations about Dan, and yet you announce you don't propose to discuss it further. As flounces go, this is a pretty cowardly one...
219
This is starting to become a major energy resource drain from within.

These kids need to get a history lesson and stop being entitled babies.

If people want to spend time fighting for their rights, then they should focus on real enemies and bigger targets, and stop taking pot shots at each other.

Listen carefully kids: DAN SAVAGE IS NOT THE ENEMY. GOT IT?

You could work on improving entire countries before attacking him. Try Russia. Try most of rural United States. Heck how about large parts of the African continent?

Really if there is any room for reflection, shame might be a logical feeling right now. Shame on you. Shame for attacking like a bully. Shame for being the enemy. Is there any room for true self pride when living a life of anger and entitled rage?

Learn to love a little and be more accepting. It's the broad spectrum of humanity that you should be striving to embrace. Look more at intention and allow yourself to become gracious and kind. That alone can change the world around you.

220
Dan Savage's piece is a brilliant and educational intervention that this student and others who imagine "offense" was committed should be grateful for.
221
UC grad '68. Bruno Bettelheim, Hannah Arendt, Milton Friedman, George Beadle, great diplomacy games in the lounge,NORC, common core, the great books, actual scholarship on real subjects, great discussions and disputes, Blackstone Rangers and Devil's Disciples, real fear of harm south of 59th and complete freedom of speech anywhere. It was great for a gay hick like me from the small town of Redneck Central.
Now by all accounts the place sucks. I stopped contributing in '72 yet still get calls and letters and glossy mags and will not give another dime no matter what.
Got interested in computers when we had to use punch cards to enter data. Have fun paying off those student loans with your degrees in black, queer, gender and other BS courses! What a bunch of losers.
222
My thoughts?

If Rick Santorum had used the word "tranny" and they objected, he would have simply blown off their concerns as meritless or overblown.

But if they make the same objection to a noted LGBTQ activist who is naturally sympathetic to their sensibilities, they can expect that he will give some deferential ground.

Therefore, the only pound of flesh attainable for this victimized group is from one of their strongest allies, not a right-wing homophobe with real political influence.
223
On an unrelated and totally hot note (re:the Instagram pic), Terry looks exactly like Guy Pearce, you lucky bastard!
224
My thoughts?

If Rick Santorum had used the word "tranny" and they objected, he would have simply blown off their concerns as meritless or overblown.

But if they make the same objection to a noted LGBTQ activist who is naturally sympathetic to their sensibilities, they can expect that he will give some deferential ground.

Therefore, the only pound of flesh attainable for this victimized group is from one of their strongest allies, not a right-wing homophobe with real political influence.
226
(sorry for the double post... registration was wonky)
227
@216 I think in the end that's the heart of this. A bunch of Peter Pans who want to extend childhood forever so they never, ever have to grow up and take responsibility for their own lives and choices.
229
@178: "I've never used "tranny" to describe anyone who is ID'ing themselves as trans gendered,"

Oh, now you've done it. You said "trans genderED" instead of "trans gender." Haven't you been paying attention? Transgender is the acceptable term, while Transgendered is a slur, you worthless, horrible bigot.

</sarcasm>
230
I didn't read every comment. Trans activism is in its infancy, and their movement is distilling it's voices and finding it's direction. They don't seem to have a rallying cause yet and are entirely dependant on siphoning money and influence from Big Gay.

This trans fringe we are seeing now is their liberation movement. Remember, liberation movements are ugly, controversial, messy, and cause backlash. Women, gays, and blacks all had fucking dirty liberation movement beginnings. Worthy leaders eventually rose to the top and became icons of history.

The birth of a movement is like the birth of anything - slow, painful, and bloody. Regular trans folks will eventually find a moderate leader to follow, and they will accomplish great things. It won't happen today.
231
@204: I think resorting to saying "Chuck Norris" is infantile.

Dan's response was spot on. Every time anyone in that room substituted the word "T-slur" -- or worse, the completely ridiculous "Chuck Norris" -- in place of "tranny" it is an absolute certainty that every single brain in the entire room was going to light up a set of neurons and were going to hear "tranny" inside their own heads. To not fire off the translation is to try and parse 'Chuck Norris' as a literal in that position, which renders the discussion completely content-free. So not saying it by saying something else is for all intents and purposes saying it anyway.

Further, to engage in these childish gymnastics specifically in the context of discussing why the word "tranny" has become unacceptable is to render the conversation absurd, as well as puerile. "Class, today, we are going to discuss why the word 'Chuck Norris' is unacceptable in polite company. And by 'Chuck Norris,' what I really mean is 'T-slur.' " Cripes. Straight out of a Monty Python sketch.

Calling this tactic out as irrational and juvenile, and refusing to kowtow to it, rather than trying to adopt it in order to show how stupid it is, is by far the mature, responsible and intellectually honest response.
232
It's strange that a newspaper that takes such glee at pointing out other's privilege, cultural appropriation, racist/sexist/homophobic actions/remarks, can be so self-righteous, self-centered and compassionless when it comes to cis-privilege. Dan you're 100% right in pointing out this persons logic flaw at getting upset at the word "tranny" but not "dyke" or "sissy". But did you stop to consider why this person was so hurt at the word "tranny", what experiences they have had as a transgender person that you could not experience as a cisgendered person to lead them to have such an emotional and not logically response to "tranny"? Privilege is not a litmus test. It's not a score card or check box. It's being able to experience the world in a easier way then someone else due to the conditions of your birth.

Checking your privilege is simply recognizing that you have it easier then someone who does not share your same genetics and recognizing that you don't share their experience, that it is their experience. Being an Ally means not rushing to judgment but listening to the person's experience and trying to have some compassion in understanding how it affects them. It's not arguing about being "right" or "wrong". You can disagree and still be an Ally, but you should be respectful in disagreeing. Dan it sounds like you didn't do that in this case, that you where more concerned with being "right" then trying to understand this transgendered person's experience and why the word "tranny" has such an emotional impact on them.

Some transgender people may prefer "it", some may prefer "their", and some may prefer "he/she". But Dan, you're not transgendered (For the record, I'm not either), so "tranny" isn't your word to reclaim. When a transgendered person who could've been beaten, screamed at, kicked out of the house, etc, all while being called "tranny" tells you that they have an emotional reaction to "tranny", it's not you word and it's not your place to tell them to get over it.

Instead of getting even more self-righteous, imagine how this could've been resolved if you would've just listen to the person and tried to understand their perspective.

Heck, you're so up on a self-righteous high horse you typed this:
"all without bothering to contact me for my side of the story. (That's not how we do journalism out here in the real world, Maroon."

Really Dan, does the Stranger contact every person they rant against in slog? Those pictures of "white" dudes wearing native headdresses at concerts, did they contact those people? Did Paul constant contact avril lavigne or any Japanese people before his "think piece"? Did you bother to contact every one you post about?....

So many problems in this world could be solved if people just stopped carrying about being right and instead just stop to listen to other people's experiences? Here's a hypothetical for your hypothetical. Say there's a sociology class where the straight white male professor decides to give a lecture about slurs. Throughout the lecture he drops the N-word, bitch, fag, tranny, etc. At the start of the lecture, a couple of people get emotional and leave. As the lecture goes on some more people leave. But some people stay for the end and aren't affected by it's just a lecture. Who's right in this case? Is anyone? Does the fact that one person could hear the lecture and not get emotional negative the feelings of those who do?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-55wC5dE…
http://www.pattonoswalt.com/index.cfm?id…
235
Look at all this is prime-cut, USDA certified raku trollbait that Dan wrote up, and she/he/it/they/whatthefuckever doesn't even bother to show. How rude of [ ].
236
What, someone landed on the moon, no way...
Dirtclustit, oh good hearted one- ignore em.
237
I've always really liked the word queer, even when it was still considered a pejorative, mainly because it made me think of the wyrds from mythology and I read somewhere that its pejorative use came about from a superstitious fear that all Queers had supernatural powers or were supernatural beings in disguise. The idea that we were all secretly magical beings living in a world not our own seemed beautiful and romantic to me and fit with the way I felt about myself.
238
Is over-dramatization a trade media career requirement, or what? To quote Idina Menzel (and I imagine you find her fabulous) "LET IT GO!" Think of it this way: Every time Sarah Palin opens her moose-hole, the rational folks roll their eyes and write it off as escaping gas from a moose-hole. We do not scream that we are victims. Neither are you. Some people are just crazy. They're here, they're nuts. Get used to it.
239
@205, no. You are not just your gender identity/ none of us are..Is your heart warm and loving?
Our self pride comes from our humanity.. Surely.
240
@ 232, whatever "it" experienced, "it" should be strong enough to tolerate its use in academic discussion regarding the use of the word "tranny" OR "it" should excuse itself and leave if "it" simply cannot do so at such a time.

Regarding your hypothetical, I have to ask if the audience had any forewarning of what was coming, and if so, did the lecturer use the words acedemically or not. If yes and yes, then those leaving may just be too sensitive.

You can't study these topics with any kind of gag order. If you research the Holocaust, you'll see and read about horrors that will turn your stomach and make you faint. If you attend a lecture about it, they may show slides of bulldozers pushing mountains of emaciated corpses into mass graves. That's very upsetting, but necessary to see in order to comprehend what happened. Some in the audience may want to leave because they're Jewish and/or had relatives who died in Nazi camps. That's fine. But what would you think if they call the lecture "hate speech" and start a petition protesting the lecturer, all the while giving the Holocaust denier who spoke in the same hall last week a free pass - no protests, no petitions, no demonstrations or editorials in the school paper?
241
Wow! Reading this gave me whiplash. As if my neck wasn't messed up enough already! I am totally with you on this, Doc. There are real, HUGE, life-as-we-know-it-threatening problems out there and that's what these little twerps piss their gender-non-specific panties over? Gimme a break!

Oh, that's right, conservatives consider "climate change" to be hate speech too.

I'm a soon to be 60 years old Queer Hippie Fag. I've earned that badge and wear it proudly.

Robert in Ojai
242
Wow! Reading this gave me whiplash. As if my neck wasn't messed up enough already! There are real, HUGE, life-as-we-know-it-threatening problems out there and that's what these little twerps piss their gender-non-specific panties over? Gimme a break!

Oh, that's right, conservatives consider "climate change" to be hate speech too...

I am a 60-years old Queer Hippie Fag and I wear that badge proudly. I've earned it.

Robear in Ojai
243
This thread demonstrates why we need nested comment replies and up voting. A lot of good points are being made but the format is a convoluted mess.
244
@243 Nested comments are a good idea, but upvoting leads to circlejerking echo chambers.
245
From the Aravois piece you linked to:
"The word “tranny” has been in the news of late, as some trans activists, but certainly not all, find the word offensive. It was a word that has long been used by pro-trans gays and straights alike. (I never used it, though I have younger friends who have and still do, and not with any animus — it’s the simply the word they use for trans people.)"

What Cox said at the event:
"I used to make jokes about trannies,”

Replaced "tranny" with any racial slur, and those sentences would not be ok if made by white people.
246
Oh God, how sad, all of it.
Dan, I am sorry these overly-sensitive 'pc' people are able to sulk and throw tantrums in your direction and affect you like that. You might not always get it right, but you surely try hard, and are no Rick Santorum. What the hell. Hugs to you..

I would never think to call a person 'it', and I am sure you wouldn't either, unless they had asked you to. What the hell could lead a person to want to call themselves an 'it', regardless of gender identity? I have to feel sad for them, that they chose that for themselves.

Most of the transgender people I know are MtoF, and identify as 'her', or vice versa, and identify as 'him', so I am less familiar with the middle ground, but I do understand why a person might not want to identify as either sex. Nobody's 100% anything, in my opinion. (Reminds me of the 'straight but curious' comments in previous weeks).

But surely people need to recognize when things are done in spite, and when they're done with no ill intent, and just a lack of knowledge, or in your case, an intelligent and historical point to be made.

Well done, Dan, nice writing. I am sorry for you that this even happened.

247
@ 245, at one time they were. It takes time to change language, and in the case of "tranny" we're at the very beginning stage.

My comment @240 was addresed to you. Do you have a response to it?
248
I shudder at the thought of "it" as a polite referential pronoun. It reminds me of Silence of the Lambs.

"'It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again'"
249
I'm so glad I went after an engineering degree instead of getting wrapped into the vapid bullshit that passes for so much of the liberal arts/social justice educational experience.
250
Idiocy is clearly independent of sexual orientations... It is indeed sad that you find these outbursts in a college forum.
251
Yes, there are many people in a state of distress...and these are young people who are probably on their own for the first time in their lives, learning about new things, trying on different identities, trying to figure out who they want to become as adults...some taking ridiculous and unworkable stances...trying to have the final say in their own lives.

All that is age appropriate behavior...we may want university students to be civil and/or conform to our expectations....yet isn't that the work of the parents....the professors....and the administration...the family minister?....LOL!
252
@59 It's not about what harm would be in not using the word. Freedom of expression is not about only expressing yourself when it's absolutely necessary.

I say this as a person who now lives in a country where it's legally banned to use obscene language in media, including movies and theater performances.
253
Chase, " and all I get to hear from you is noise and nonsense".
Is that your line? More poetry/ songs.
254
@ 232, Sometimes we have to realize that our personal damage or illogical terrors are our own burdens to deal with, and it's not the responsibility of others to protect us from them by burdening their own discourse to the point of absurdity. There are matters of degree in such things, and while Dan shouldn't "rush" to judgement, I think it's okay if he walks slowly towards it and then stands his ground when he gets there. Compassion is important, but 'right' and 'wrong' have to matter too.
255
I have no sympathy, you've been explicitly biphobic and transphobic in the past, are you surprised that people jump to conclusions?

Yes, I've read your biphobia letter, and you have the gaul to say that bisexuals are at fault for the shaddy treatment the gay community gives them (treatment you admit) because bisexuals aren't out, ignoring the fact that it is that same treatment that discourages bisexuals from coming out, and dear god you tried to justify being biased against partnering with bisexuals on the basis of closeted bisexual behavior (and let's face it, those exact same arguments applied to closeted gays as well), it means nothing for out bisexuals. Your implication that essentially the majority had a right to force the movement to do whatever it wanted was a classy touch.

Not convinced.
256
'TAKE BACK THE NIGHT!"
"Its not your night to take back!"
257
This new type of ultra-conservitve, fundamentalist thinking is doing no one in the trans-community any favors, and is not creating an atmosphere of friendliness that community REQUIRES to function. If you are that traumatized by the 'T' word, good luck in dealing with an ACTUAL situation where your survival or your community's survival is at stake. The people who rise up and do good in ANY community use skills that lift people, despite their own history of feeling excluded or hated. That requires maturity and skill, which this new breed of activists had better find before they alienate ANYONE who gets near them or the broader community that they mistakenly claim to represent.

Thanks Dan, for sharing your considerable and good-natured wisdom!
258
Hey, Mr. Savage. I have a request for you. Can I use your house? I mean, just like, come over. Use the bathroom. Sleep in your bed. Throw some parties. Take a long shower and use up all the hot water at awkward moments. Play loud music whenever your neighbors are trying to sleep.

No?

Okay. No one can say I don't respect when someone tells me no, I can't use their house.

So, I'm going to be over in a couple of days. But in respect to your feelings, I will loudly announce that I am NOT using your house while I proceed to use your house.

That's how it works, right? I can use whatever I want as long as I explain that I'm not using it?

Because that's what I'm seeing here. Saying that you've stopped using a word in an article that repeatedly contains that word is the utter height of disingenuousness. You want to be patted on the back for being progressive and given a pass for your behavior--past, current, and future--while not actually changing anything.
259
I don't have a dog in this fight - sounds to me like you and your adversary were both wrong and both being obnoxious. But this post is pretty low.

1) For someone who claims to have stopped using a word, you're using it a lot here.
If your reasons for not using that word are valid, then why don't those reasons apply here?

2) Taking a transperson to task about their use of pronouns. Do you also take people of colour to task about their choices? What you choose to call yourself is completely irrelevant.
Since when was "my friends are not offended so you are not allowed to be" a valid argument?

3) Picking on students is beneath you. You have all the power in this situation. Have a little decency.
260
I don't have a dog in this fight - sounds to me like you and your adversary were both wrong and both being obnoxious. But this post is pretty low.

1) For someone who claims to have stopped using a word, you're using it a lot here.
If your reasons for not using that word are valid, then why don't those reasons apply here?

2) Taking a transperson to task about their use of pronouns. Do you also take people of colour to task about their choices? What you choose to call yourself is completely irrelevant.
Since when was "my friends are not offended so you are not allowed to be" a valid argument?

3) Picking on students is beneath you. You have all the power in this situation. Have a little decency.
261
Geez, Dan. Someone asked you not to use the word "tranny" in a public address. You sure have expended a lot of breath justifying why you were right to carry on.
262
You think you have any right to use a word that you do not have to carry the weight of? You think that you have any right to suggest that someone's pronouns are inappropriate? You think you are an LGBT advocate after scaring a trans student out of your damn presentation? Excuse you. Actually, SHAME on you! You disgust me. How dare you enter spaces as a safe person or as an activist for the queer community. How dare you! How dare you childishly write an article attempting to console yourself, acting as if you did nothing wrong! Shame. This is disgusting coming from you and anyone defending your actions - oh btw, getting a single trans person to agree with you doesn't legitimate your hateful opinions and actions. Shame, just absolute shame! When will you learn!
264
"It" is a common gender neutral pronoun, just like singular "they". Those aren't slurs, they're pronouns. And some people choose to use "it" or "they" as personal pronouns. "It" can mean an object or a person, "they" can mean a group or one person. English is fun like that.

"Tranny" is a slur, and slurs are meant to hurt, dehumanize, and dismiss people.

"Dick" is what you're being by calling out and undermining an 18 year old trans kid in a nationally read column. Especially when, from your side, sounds like a kid just asked you to stop making it uncomfortable.

Good job being the adult in the room, Savage.
265
This whole story makes me roll me eyes.. at both Dan Savage and the student who walked out. All a bunch of cry babies. Sorry if I offended the diaper fetish community just now.
266
Whether or not the young person is "misguided" enough to call themselves "it" is beside the point when a grown man is dealing with an undergraduate. Stop bullying a teenager and move on.
267
I think it's dangerous to say that students shouldn't be able to contest that there was a hate crime in the seminar. Yes, it's supposed to be open and that's understandable, but shouldn't there always be a line? Indeed, it just seems as if these two have different ideas about where that line is drawn. As a student, I know how it feels to believe that I'm right, the world hates me, nobody gets it, and life is awful. Frankly, it's a terrible feeling! But, I also know it feels very similar to being queer in a hetero-normative society. I also know that as a youngster there was a point where I had to listen to someone older say either "it's okay, you're not crazy, your ideas have merit" or "my love, that was the stupidest thing you've ever done."

So, Dave Savage, if you'll ever read this:
I agree that it's an issue of age, but I don't agree with the way you handled it. Was there a time when you reached out to the student and tried to meet them on their level? I get that you're an adult, you're busy as shit, you're important and you shouldn't have to censor yourself. But, maybe that's the point of your work like "It Gets Better" (which was so helpful by the way, thank you). Just a moment of respect where you can try to teach and understand, rather than mock and prove wrong.

I mean, why would someone, anyone want to be called "it"? What is the source for their understanding of themselves in those terms? Maybe he has some logic that's harming himself, or maybe he's onto something, or maybe it doesn't matter as long as he feels better for a little while. After all, he's just a kid.
268
I think it's dangerous to say that students shouldn't be able to contest that there was a hate crime in the seminar. Yes, it's supposed to be open and that's understandable, but shouldn't there always be a line? Indeed, it just seems as if these two have different ideas about where that line is drawn. As a student, I know how it feels to believe that I'm right, the world hates me, nobody gets it, and life is awful. Frankly, it's a terrible feeling! But, I also know it feels very similar to being queer in a hetero-normative society. I also know that as a youngster there was a point where I had to listen to someone older say either "it's okay, you're not crazy, your ideas have merit" or "my love, that was the stupidest thing you've ever done."

So, Dave Savage, if you'll ever read this:
I agree that it's an issue of age, but I don't agree with the way you handled it. Was there a time when you reached out to the student and tried to meet them on their level? I get that you're an adult, you're busy as shit, you're important and you shouldn't have to censor yourself. But, maybe that's the point of your work like "It Gets Better" (which was so helpful by the way, thank you). Just a moment of respect where you can try to teach and understand, rather than mock and prove wrong.

I mean, why would someone, anyone want to be called "it"? What is the source for their understanding of themselves in those terms? Maybe he has some logic that's harming himself, or maybe he's onto something, or maybe it doesn't matter as long as he feels better for a little while. After all, he's just a kid.
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i feel better about leaving the u of c now
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Language is constructed of words that have the same or similar meanings to those who converse or read another's writing. One isn't forced to speak or write, nor is anyone forced to listen or read...information must entail cooperative effort. If what I say doesn't convey my meaning to you, who is at fault? I can string together any number of letters (which also need agreement) that has no meaning to me but could be offensive to another...NO way I could anticipate what it could mean to another.

Where does YOUR understanding of a word I used, whose meaning to me you don't know, constitute a hate crime?

Why does such a pleasurable activity such as intercourse have a nick name that can be offensive? ARE people crazy?
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@12 though I dislike necroposting immensely I couldn't help but notice your comment is hilariously fucking wrong. In fact: not only did Dan continue using the word in his columns before this particular article but he kept using it after too! Oops! http://www.thestranger.com/search?q=dan+…