Yesterday, CBS CBC News reporter Sarah Liss spent 12 hours of her life reading The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown‘s 509-page sequel to The Da Vinci Code. Only 45 minutes in, Liss comes across this Brown gem:
The act of tattooing one’s skin was a transformative declaration of power, an announcement to the world: I am in control of my own flesh. The intoxicating feeling of control derived from physical transformation had addicted millions to flesh-altering practices …. . . cosmetic surgery, body piercing, bodybuilding, and steroids . . . even bulimia and transgendering.
“Ugh,” writes Liss. “Sometimes, Dan Brown, loosely adapting Anthropology 101 texts for fiction just doesn’t work. Also, why do I get the sense you’ve never been tattooed—-or met a gender-variant person? Also: ‘transgendering’ is not a verb.”
Allow me to join in here: Fucking Dan Brown.
No, it’s not enough for him to casually and unnecessarily refer to transgender people as “addicts.” Too subtle. He must also lump them in with a laundry list of other “flesh-altering” sorts—-Barry Bonds, people who suffer from life-threatening eating disorders, and dudes with tribal calf tattoos—-then top it all off with an offensive make-believe word . . . which millions of people will surely read. God damnit! Fine: Just add it to the dictionary now. But please, don’t make Tom Hanks grow his hair out again. I’m begging you.