After Seeing Dan Savage Last Night

K and I went to Lincoln Hall last night to see Dan Savage talk about his new book, American Savage.

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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

 

10 thoughts on “After Seeing Dan Savage Last Night

  1. I’ve never thought of you as anything but brave. Don’t be overly self-critical, we all go through phases. I spent a very long time feeling shame and regret for being who I am/was- it’s useless.
    It’s seems you’ve crossed the line you drew for yourself in the sand. That’s a great moment, and a reason for celebration.

  2. I never read you as scared; in fact, i found you so confident and cool that i was intimidated when i first found your blog and it took me a while before i got the nerve to comment on one of your posts.

    My favorite part of this one: “I’m not scared anymore”

  3. Echoing all above comments, and adding that I hope he does take a look, because he’ll be missing out on a whole new level of awesome if he doesn’t 🙂

    -JC

    • Thanks, buddy. My email keeps getting bounced back; I’m awaiting an response from the webmaster on his server–I think his mailbox thinks I’m spam. Bummer.

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