Dan Savage may be one of the most high-profile gay rights advocates in the nation -- but that didn't prevent him from reportedly being glitterbombed during a visit to the University of Oregon yesterday.
Though details of the incident are continuing to emerge, reports say a representative from the "Dan Savage Welcoming Committee" rushed the stage to douse the celebrity sex columnist with glitter. A statement from the group reads as follows:
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.
Savage, who was on hand to tape an installment of his MTV show "Savage U," has faced allegations of both being transphobic and biased against bisexuals in the past. In 2010, he openly criticized Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, noting, "It's staggering that Rob McKenna, a female-to-male transsexual, is making it harder for other FTMs (and MTFs) to access the life saving sex-reassignment surgery that allowed Rob to become the man he is today." (McKenna, who is married with four children, is not actually transgender). Similarly, Savage's earlier use of the term "shemale" in several of his "Savage Love" columns generated heat from transgender rights activists, as did his decision to title one piece "Bad Tranny."
Though he has yet to comment on the glitterbomb incident, Savage dismissed the allegations to David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement, noting that his view of the transgender community had shifted considerably in recent years. "How do you disprove a charge like you're transphobic? I'm not afraid of trans people," he said. "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. [Fifteen] years ago I didn’t know as much as I know now -- nor did anybody."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post incorrectly identified McKenna as being transgender. He is not.