The Sexist

Dan Brown Adds “Transgendering” to the Lexicon


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.


  1. #1

    Seriously, fuck Dan Brown. He's a shitty author and he's a cissexist.

    Don't read his books, they suck. The movies are slightly more livable, but after this idiocy? I'm going to speak with my money and not give it to him and his.

  2. #2

    One minor editorial correction: Sarah Liss works for CBC, not CBS.

  3. #3

    Thanks Michelle, I've corrected the post.

  4. #4

    actually it's not a noun.
    but i know what you mean.

  5. #5

    dan brown sucks, and is doing just as much (or more) as j.k. rowling to destroy 21t century literature.

  6. #6

    So what if he made a verb out of transgender? It makes some sense, and language changes all the time. The real problem is his ignorance of transpeople and his shitty writing.

  7. #7

    I agree with Don -- and Brown actually isn't the first person to use it:

    Hilton Als is pretty sympathetic, I think, to the cause of transpeople, so I don't think the word itself needs to be dismissed.

  8. #8

    Don, Amanda was an English major. Linguistic ignorance is to be expected.

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