My Second Open Letter To Dan Savage (The One In Which I Up The Stakes)
Five months ago I wrote you an open letter, which I also had fowarded to you, the sites you appear on, and even one of your personal assistants. I never heard back from you.
I can’t say I’d have known what to do if you had. Judging by the immensity of ignorance you display in receiving criticism from others in the community, it is likely the only “response” I would receive by you is some one liner in one of your columns about “uppity trannies” and maybe some pseudolegal cease and desist from one of your assistants threatening to take me to “internet court”.
If I really wanted a response, though, I presume I could have ensured I received one. My previous open letter comes off as quirky fan mail. I link to some of my favorite quotes of yours. I ask you to partake in one of my favorite activities with me, as if we’re bros. To someone like you or whoever reads your fan mail, it’s likely to be indistinguishable from “HAI DAN SAVAGE MY NAME IS JETTA RAE I AM 7 YEARS OLD DO YOU LIKE ICE CREAM MAH FAVORITE IS CHOCOLATE CHIP I THINK MY DADDY PUTS THINGS IN HIS BUTT OKAY BYE BYE”.
The fault, I believe, lies partly in myself. My first open letter, while over the top in my claims and harsh in my criticisms, is simply not written in the same language you GLBrities of the community understand.
If I had written my letter like this:
“You are the first edition textbook example of an Uncle Bruce. You make a profit peddling yourself as some Carnac The Magnificent for the very breeder scum who read your article on Sunday and are back in my face on Monday, telling me I don’t have the right to marry, use a bathroom, be around minors or actually go into the store to buy a pair of jeans that fit. It’ll get better when you shut the fuck up.
I think you’ve gotten too comfortable with your celebrity. You forget what it’s like to fight for your right to exist, for your validation. Come with me. Let me remind you how that feels.”
I could have hooked that shit up. Bilerico would be blowing up my phone, Margaret Cho would have written a joke about me–instead of being “that girl that challenged Dan Savage to a wrestling match” everywhere I go, I’d be “that girl who has to stay 100 yards from Dan Savage at all times” because I know you’d have been on that shit. Because you can’t be bothered to respond to any criticism from the minority of your community unless there’s a chance your hair might get fussed (see also: the glitterbombings).
For the record, I don’t believe anything in the imaginary pull quote from above. I do not believe you or anyone else is an Uncle Bruce. Not only is that policing people’s relationships with their own sexual identity, but to sign my name to that idea would betray my personal activist philosophy of “do what thou wilt”. I don’t spend my weekends raising money for queer youth organizations and speaking at Trans 101 community college workshops because it makes the world a better place or benefits my community. I do for because of the pleasure I derive in doing the act. One day I will learn how to simulate the feeling I get from organizing with a pair of sex workers, a cash box, and a bucket of kale salad. Until then, have picket sign will travel.
And I won’t bother to explain why my wrestling is not a form of violence. Because you probably won’t get it, and that’s totally fine, because judging from the lack of response I get from conferences regarding my workshop proposals to teach queer academics the basics of grappling, nobody gets what I’m trying to do. If you don’t want to accept my challenge, I’m not going to harp on it. To do so would imply there is a hint of malice or anger in my calling you out.
I’m not angry, Mr. Savage. I just feel betrayed. You have done nothing but shit on my demographic in our community since you started writing your column, and when I tried to reach out to you, one moderately tolerated, semi-respected member of the community to another, you snubbed me. I offered you a chance to clear the air and assert yourself as an ally who has made mistakes but is coming from a good place, but you couldn’t give me the same courtesy afforded religious bigots and unsolicited cock pics.
If you won’t play me at my game, Mr. Savage, I’ll just play you at yours.
Starting this week, I will be soliciting, answering, and publishing questions from the general community on topics related to sex, LGBT identity/expression, and the other shit you deal with. I will post these Q&As on my blog and any blog that will feature me.
I may not be as trendy as you or command as full a trust of the mainstream community, Mr. Savage, but I assert that I can do with 10 readers what you can’t do with 1,000,000: PROVIDE ACTUAL INFORMATION ABOUT QUEER ISSUES THAT IS INCLUSIVE, SEX-POSITIVE AND ABOVE ALL, NOT SHITTY TOWARDS PEOPLE OUTSIDE OF MY LETTER OF THE ACRONYM.
For now, I will be content with establishing myself as an alternative to you, knowing with an opponent who spews shit like this:
Paradoxically, RAGE, going down on a shemale escort shores up your heterosexual bona fides. Gay guys don’t frequent and/or fellate shemale escorts (on purpose or by accident); getting with shemales is an entirely straight-male pursuit. So you can go right on identifying as straight, RAGE. Of course you aren’t totally straight—try thinking of yourself as something more than straight, not less—but you’re close enough that you can round yourself down to straight with a clear conscience. (Offer void the day you start blowing hemale escorts.)
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!).
Sorry, but avoiding bi guys is a good rule of thumb for gay men looking for long-term relationships. Outside of San Francisco’s alternate-universe bisexual community, there aren’t many bi guys who want or wind up in long-term, same-sex relationships — monogamous or not.
I’m a lesbian, and my girlfriend is bisexual and wants to have a three-way with a man. This makes me nervous. What should I do?
Get yourself a refillable Xanax prescription, or get yourself an actual lesbian girlfriend.
I’m done pretending that the handful of racist gay white men out there—and they’re out there, and I think they’re scum—are a bigger problem for African Americans, gay and straight, than the huge numbers of homophobic African Americans are for gay Americans, whatever their color.
I’ve practically already won without having written a single word. You fucking suck, dude.
When you’re ready to acknowledge me and my efforts, we can have a–column off? — and answer inquiries side by side and let the public judge who is the least problematic guru.
Buck up. Or don’t.
How do ya like me now, Mr. Savage? Is your e-mail working yet?
In the end, you were right all along. I think it just got better.
PLEASE PRESENT YOUR INQUIRIES TO BLACKDAHLIAPARTON@GMAIL.COM. IF YOU CANNOT THINK OF A PSEUDONYM, ONE WILL BE APPOINTED FOR YOU.