Gay rights activist Dan Savage was showered with glitter on Monday while delivering a speech at the University of California at Irvine, according to Bilerico.
Savage was reportedly answering a student’s question about her boyfriend’s fondness of pornography featuring transgender women. Savage suggested her boyfriend was a freak while using the slur “shemale” and the phrase “freaky tranny porn.”
Two individuals then ran up and glitter bombed the sex columnist while shouting “transphobe.” One of the individuals was apprehended by police and arrested.
Savage later told the LGBT blog Joe My God that he only used the objectionable terms because the audience member had used them. He described the incident as “ridiculous.”
In the beginning of November, Savage was showered with glitter during the taping of his MTV show Savage U at the University of Oregon. The activists who glitter bombed him accused him of transphobia, racism and misogyny.
In a 2010 column, Savage satirically claimed that Republican Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna was transsexual as a way of insulting him.
In an interview with The New Civil Right Movement’s David Badash nearly a month before the incident, Savage denied being transphobic but admitted he “had a journey in the last 20 years” concerning transgender 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.”
The glitter bomb stunt was inspired by activist Nick Espinosa, who previously “glitter bombed” Marcus Bachmann’s clinic and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich. Although Gingrich at first brushed off the incident, he later told the New York Times that the act is “clearly an assault and should be treated as such.”