I know lots of queers, and especially trans folks, who have a problem with Dan Savage. Myself, I’m a fan. I’ve read his column since the “Hey Faggot” days, and although I might not always agree with him, I’m sure glad he’s on my side. And yes, even as a trans person, I do believe he’s on my side.
I don’t like turning my back on allies for discrepancies with my ideologies. And he is an ally, a powerful one, to the queer community. And he reminded me of something last night: I have a right to my own opinions, my own voice. In fact, using my own true voice is the only way to be brave and honest in this world.
As I was searching through my old posts last night, looking for drafts to expand upon, I realized, especially in my (very) old posts, I sound like a scared little bitch.
What I mean is, I was so afraid of offending the invisible online trans community I sound like I’m holding a goddamn tea party when I’m talking about being trans. My tone is so unoffensive, well, I find it offensive. I find it offensive because it is unauthentic. And so my tone, along with the content, is something I will be looking forward to altering as I revise older posts and send them off to be considered by different audiences. I understand why I sounded so scared: I was scared, scared of identifying as trans, scared of what that meant for my life. But I’m not scared anymore, so it’s time to take the interesting ideas I had back then and give them a little support, a little confidence, a good brushing off and squinting at.
After his speaking engagement, Dan stuck around and signed books for us. When I met him, I introduced myself, identified myself as a trans guy, and gave him the url to this here blog. I invited him to drop by and see what this guy is up to. Who knows if he will; he does have like a bazillion fans, but I was proud of myself for looking Dan Savage in the eye, shaking his hand, and telling him I’m trans, I’m a writer, and I have a blog of worth. And, it was my first act of writerly self-promotion. Rad.
Be nice to yourselves,
Your Pal Eli