Articles tagged with: Lambda Literary Award winners
Dan Savage, author of the wildly popular sex advice column “Savage Love” and cofounder with his husband Terry Miller of the It Gets Better Project, returns to University of Alaska Anchorage on February 9, 2012 with his honest and funny question and answer session on everything sexual. Tickets available at UAATix starting January 20.
Dan Savage is an award-winning author, journalist, newspaper editor and political commentator. He launched the “It Gets Better” video project to combat bullying and prevent LGBT teen suicides. Bent Alaska presents his story as part of our celebration of LGBT History Month 2011, with thanks to the Equality Forum.
Dan Savage (born October 7, 1964) is an award-winning author, journalist, newspaper editor and political commentator. He launched the It Gets Better video project to combat bullying and prevent LGBT teen suicides.
Born in Chicago, Savage was the third of four children in an Irish Catholic family. He attended Quigley Prep, which Savage describes as “a Catholic high school for boys thinking of becoming priests.”
At 18, Savage came out to his family. After initially having a difficult time, they became supportive. Savage enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in theater.
In 1991, Savage’s sex-advice column, “Savage Love,” first appeared in The Stranger, an alternative weekly newspaper in Seattle. The internationally syndicated column has been called funny, sarcastic, informative and outrageous.
Savage’s columns were compiled into a book, Savage Love: Straight Answers from America’s Most Popular Sex Columnist (1998). He has also written The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant (1999) and The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family (2006) and won a Lambda Literary Award for Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America (2003).
In 2010, reacting to the suicides of bullied LGBT youth, Savage started the It Gets Better Project, which encourages adults to submit videos assuring gay teens that life gets better. As of 2011, the project generated more than 5,000 video submissions, including testimonials from President Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Tim Gunn, Anne Hathaway, Ke$ha and other celebrities. For creating It Gets Better, Savage received a Webby Special Achievement Award, the leading international award honoring online excellence. With his husband Terry Miller, Savage compiled a book based on It Gets Better videos, It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living, about which Bent Alaska wrote in March. Introducing the book, Savage expressed the frustration LGBT adults have had as they were forced to stand idly by while homophobic parents, ministers, teachers, and kids battered the bodies and spirits of LGBT youth:
The culture used to offer this deal to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people: You’re ours to torture until you’re eighteen. You will be bullied and tormented at school, at home, at church — until you’re eighteen. Then, you can do what you want. You can come out, you can move away, and maybe, if the damage we’ve done isn’t too severe, you can recover and build a life for yourself. There’s just one thing you can’t do after you turn eighteen: You can’t talk to the kids we’re still torturing, the LGBT teenagers being assaulted emotionally, physically, and spiritually in the same cities, schools, and churches you escaped from. And if you do attempt to talk to the kids we’re still torturing, we’ll impugn your motives, we’ll accuse you of being a pedophile or pederast, we’ll claim you’re trying to recruit children into “the gay lifestyle.”
That was the old order and it fell apart when the It Gets Better Project went viral. Suddenly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender adults all over the world — all over the world — were speaking to LGBT youth. We weren’t waiting for permission anymore. We found our voices.
Savage has been a contributor to Out magazine and HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” As a political commentator on LGBT issues, Savage has appeared frequently on CNN and MSNBC.
Savage and his husband Terry Miller, who married in 2005, live in Seattle with their adopted son.
The It Gets Better project got its start when Dan Savage and Terry Miller uploaded a video on September 21, 2010, in response to the suicides of teenagers bullied because they were, or were believed by their peers to be, gay. Watch: