T.J. Miller is the comedian who once played tech incubator Erlich Bachman on the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley. Miller quit that show and now finds himself in an unfortunate real-life dual role as a man accused of sexually assaulting and punching a woman and one accused of sending a highly transphobic e-mail to a trans woman. The T.J. Miller transphobic e-mail is surprising in its meanness.
The trans woman in question is film critic Danielle Solzman. According to Solzman, she and Miller became friends years ago after meeting at comedy clubs. When she first came out as trans in 2015, he was very supportive.
However, when searching for Miller’s personal website, Solzman found that the online description of the site included the phrase “tranny dumpster sex.” On Aug. 3, 2017, Solzman sent him an email mentioning the phrase and adding, “It’s very offensive,” particularly in the context of the ongoing murders of trans women.
A lot of people keep asking what I sent to TJ Miller. If you need the context, here's the email that I sent him. I'm including the screenshot of the tweet in which I found out about his use of a transphobic slur in his site's meta description. pic.twitter.com/0Kadh4hflZ
— Danielle Solzman (@DanielleSATM) December 20, 2017
The T.J. Miller transphobic e-mail, revealed
T.J. Miller’s transphobic email, posted by Solzman on Twitter, took offense at Solzman’s e-mail, called her a man, used her “deadname” (the name assigned to her at birth, rather than her chosen name) and denied her transgender identity:
You have merely confirmed what I always knew… this pursuit of transgender identity is nothing more than an opportunity for you to distinguish yourself as someone who is special, but what is really special is how retarded it is that you would ever think to attack me or say that I’ve been offensive.
Didn’t you used to think you were trying to be some sort of comedian? Didn’t you look towards the comedy and improvisation community for support? And now me, one of the only people who would respond, support and speak highly of you- you threw me shade? You call me offensive? Never contact me again you weird strange terrible man.
If you were bothered to look into anything that I’ve ever done you would find it not only have I had sex with transgender people, but I have donated widely to organizations that support their freedom.
They like every other human being is consistently persecuted, Meant to feel lonely and attacked for their offenses to nature. You just joining the ranks and pretending to be offended and suddenly finding purpose only to fucking turn on me, how is that progressive.
You’re not a transgender, you’re not a tranny — your a fucking asshole daniel. A fucking asshole.
I got this email in early August. I stayed quiet and while it's redacted, I'm too scared to name them for fear of legal threats against me. pic.twitter.com/J2kA5t1vW7
— Danielle Solzman (@DanielleSATM) September 27, 2017
Miller goes on to say that Solzman’s trans identity doesn’t allow her to be rude to her friends. He also tells Solzman never to contact him again, to own up to her role in pushing people away and then concludes by calling himself “Your former friend” and ending with the farewell, “Bye Daniel,” all of which seems over-reactive to Solzman’s initial two-sentence e-mail.
Having sex with transgender people or donating to pro-transgender organizations don’t pre-emptively absolve people of transphobia — you can do both and still be transphobic.
The explanation for the T.J. Miller transphobic email
Solzman reportedly sent the e-mail to The Huffington Post after hearing about the sexual assault allegation against Miller.
The Huffington Post says they confirmed the e-mail did in fact come from Miller and that Miller’s representative (who preferred to go unnamed) said that Miler was “admittedly going through some things” when he sent the email, but added, “This is not about him not liking transgender people. It’s about a specific issue he has with this person. Earlier that day he mentioned how much he supports that person.”