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    November 14, 2007

    Trans character assassination

    Posted by: Chris

    Autumn_sandeen_long UPDATES: At the end of the post.

    The latest attempt at attacking my character by a transgender activist comes from Autumn Sandeen, who submitted a false and libelous post about me on Pam's House Blend. With the smug sarcasm we've come to know and love from so many of our trans activist sisters, Ms. Sandeen accuses me of plagiarizing her on the Richard Curtis cross-dressing blackmail scandal:

    I really liked Chris Crain's New York Blade article Cross-dressing and blogger hypocrisy. As well I should: It sounded a lot like The Hypocrites' Exposed Closets And The 'Flinch Factor'.

    After a few choice excerpts of Sandeen's earlier PHB post and my Blade column -- which was actually in both the Washington Blade and the New York Blade -- she concludes:

    The similarities seems between the two pieces seem so ... correlative? Perhaps I should mention here that my piece was posted here at PHB on November 1st, and Chris Crain's was posted on November 9th. Since we know Chris reads PHB, it really does look like I might really be doing all of the "thinnin around here, Baba Looey!"

    There are a few problems with Ms. Sandeen's false and libelous accusation. Not only would I never plagiarize -- much less borrow ideas from the likes of Autumn Sandeen -- the Blade column she responds to was based on a blog post I published on Oct. 31, one day before  Autumn Sandeen's Nov. 1 post she claims I copied.

    Also, I sent out the Blade column to dozens of newspaper editors (any of whom could confirm receipt) by email on Oct. 31 -- again, one day before  Autumn Sandeen's post:

        From:       [email protected]
        Subject:     A late-breaking column by Chris Crain about the Wash. gay blackmail scandal
        Date:     October 31, 2007 8:09:53 PM EDT

    Pam Spaulding has promised Sandeen's offending post will be taken down, and I appreciate the quick response. But since it was out there, it can't simply be erased. It ought to be retracted, by Ms. Sandeen herself, and an apology ought to be forthcoming.

    I have a great deal of respect with Pam Spaulding, and I do regularly visit the Blend, although to be honest I'm put off by all the smug nicknames they use for anyone they dub the enemy. I do not, however, read anything by Autumn Sandeen, who was responsible for several of the most hateful emails I've ever received over the course of a decade in the gay press. (Nothing I got from the Phelps clan can touch her!)

    It's unfortunate that Pam has chosen to give Sandeen's vitriol a larger pulpit than it ever would have on its own. The particular irony here is that Sandeen's attempted character assassination was based upon my having agreed with her -- well, actually, she agreed one day after me -- about how even media lefties treated the cross-dressing angle of the Curtis scandal for laughs.

    No good deed goes unpunished.

    UPDATE: Thank you to Kevin Naff, the Washington Blade editor, for publicly standing by my column in his own blog post today.

    UPDATE: Both Pam Spaulding and Autumn Sandeen have posted apologies alongside the original post.  That was the right way to handle the situation, and it is appreciated.



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    1. Double T on Nov 14, 2007 5:03:17 PM:

      I'm sorry to hear you come under such attacks. You would think that such energy could be better directed to some more constructive purpose.

    1. Lucrece on Nov 14, 2007 5:45:44 PM:

      Heh, yeah, I saw it, and I was wondering when were you going to respond.

    1. Jack Jett on Nov 14, 2007 10:11:59 PM:


      This comment got my attention...."although to be honest I'm put off by all the smug nicknames they use for anyone they dub the enemy".....

      When I questioned one of your blogs, I got this response from your boy in Brazil named Kev....

      "And rather than please shitbags like you, he chose correctly".....

      Some might consider "shitbag" a smug nickname and you certainly supported that.

      You know I love you more than life itself, but Pam Spaulding is awesome.

      Jack Jett


    1. Citizen Crain on Nov 14, 2007 10:33:13 PM:

      Jack, for someone who claims a thick skin you sure do nurse wounds for quite the length of time! My reference to "smug nicknames" on the Blend is their semi-permanent replacement of someone's actually name with a juvenile nickname. (Calling President Bush "Shrub" or "Chimp" or whatever name they use this week.)

      Hope that helps 'splain things.

    1. Double T on Nov 15, 2007 1:20:08 AM:

      I bet Autumn Sandeen is indeed the one doing all of the "thinnin around here, Baba Looey!"
      You should read some of her work. I bet she’s the one using YOUR material.
      Now that she has accused you and you have publicly acknowledged it.

      It would be difficult for you to now make the same charge against Fall or Autumn or whatever season she’s claiming to be.

      I could be totally wrong, but this looks like a “Trannie Touche’”
      I’m sure you’ll have more slander to come. They found one of your button.

      Feel free to delete this post if you think it will add fuel to their attack.

    1. Tim C on Nov 15, 2007 8:33:11 AM:

      Well, a couple of disclaimers have been added to the post at Pams's, but I wouldn't call it being taken down. The entire original post is still in place.

    1. Jack Jett on Nov 15, 2007 12:21:37 PM:


      So when folks disagree with Bush and call his "shrub" is bad.

      When folks disagree with Chris Crain and are called a "shitbag" ..that is good.

      Perhaps it is the Republican in you that doesn't allow you to see the hypocrisy.

      Listen, I am a nail that sticks out, I am at the bottom of the gay food chain, I am use to being bashed for my views, yet I don't allow it to stop me from bashing back. That is "thick skinned".

      It does seem that you really have it in for the transgender community.

      jack jett

    1. Lucrece on Nov 15, 2007 1:19:36 PM:

      One thing is name-calling, even viewpoint bashing, Jack; but accusations of plagiarism, especially against someone who has been involved in an editorial career, is another far more reproachable level of character assassination.

    1. Jack Jett on Nov 15, 2007 4:10:37 PM:


      Are these some of the smug comments that you are making reference to?

      f you're not familiar with it, Bilerico is a gay P.C. spinzone that talks a lot about "dialogue" so long as no one actually dissents…….Chris Crain

      The worst offenders were on the so-called Bilerico Project, a vanity site for Bil Browning (whoever he is)
      Chris Crain

      First there was Alex Blaze, a mouthy white 20-something with zero credentials who channels Dana Carvey's Church Lady…Chris Crain

      And this is your response when questioned about using a photo without permission.

      3) the fair use exception to copyright law allows me to use his photo on my site to illustrate who it is from your site I was talking about. It's called the First Amendment,

      Jack Jett

    1. Citizen Crain on Nov 15, 2007 4:41:49 PM:

      Jack, either you're willfully refusing to understand my point or I'm doing a really bad job of expressing myself. My point was about how on the Blend (and I've seen this on some other blogs, of all political stripes), the normal names for people, groups, political parties are regularly substituted for smug nicknames. Like "sHillary" for Hillary or "Shrub" for Bush.

      Yes, we're all guilty of being smug at times. And we've all probably engaged in some juvenile name-calling. But when you can't call someone or something by its name without a smirk to your amen-corner, then personally I find it very distracting, somewhat immature and just totally unnecessary.

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