Dan Savage has been speaking his mind and giving out advice for three decades. The celebrated author, journalist and advocate for the LGBTQ community has just released his tenth (10!!!!) book. This new book, Savage Love from A to Z, is in honor of the 30th anniversary of his Savage Love column. From that column Savage Lovecast was born.
Savage Love began in the Seattle weekly newspaper in 1991. The column was dedicated to answers questions about sex, love and relationships. An openly gay man discussing sex in such frank and honest language was unheard of at that time. Savages quickly resonated with readers and the mail started pouring in.
Savage has been together with his husband Terry Miller since 2005. They married in 2012. Together they started the It Gets Better foundation dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBTQ youth. Soon after they began the project it became a nationwide phenomenon with everyone from celebrities, athletes, and politicians creating and posting videos urging youth to not harm themselves, that life DOES in fact get better.
It’s not hyperbole to say that the amount of lives saved through this is immeasurable. My friends and I were honored to march in the NYC Gay Pride parade with them.
Savage spoke about his new book recently with NPR. When asked about what made his column different than others of the time he said,
What really distinguished my column — besides that I’m pretty pro what works for the couple, and if that’s monogamy, I’m pro, and if it’s nonmonogamy, I’m pro that — is that I let people use the language they actually use when they talk about sex with their friends in my column in print, which was really rare. You know, 30 years ago, everyone used this kind of Sanskrit, separate, distinct, archaic language when they talked about sex or relationships. … And I let people use the word they actually used in print.
He also spoke about why gay men might be better at sex than their straight counterparts,
I think what my readers get and what a lot of straight people sort of intuitively get is that your gay friends know a little bit more about sex than you do, and maybe are a little better at it than you are. And that’s not because we’re magic — although we are magic. It’s something else. Gay people have to communicate about sex. Straight people get to consent and stop talking about what happens next or what they want. And when two people of the same sex go to bed, they get to yes, they get to consent, and then they have to have a whole conversation about what’s going to happen. …
He elaborated on that theory,
Nothing makes you better at sex than communicating. Gay people have to communicate. Straight people can avoid communication and often do because sex is difficult to talk about. You can’t be gay if you can’t talk about difficult sexual issues, you know, you can’t come out to your family without confronting a difficult sexual issue. It makes it easier for us to have these conversations with our partners, and I think straight people have always kind of gotten that. That’s why it’s such a cliché for straight people to go to their gay friends with their sex problems or sex questions.
Savage also brought up the current cancel culture climate, and wanting the community to give credit to those who might not have been with us at the beginning,
It seems to me that if you want to bring people along, you got to give them credit where you’ve seen growth or change. And there’s a great example of that in the marriage equality movement. You know, we don’t yell at people who used to not support marriage equality for not supporting it soon enough and being wrong at the outset, like Obama in 2007. We’re grateful for his evolution and that he came around. We’re not still scolding him for where he was when he first ran for president.
It’s 2012, little closeted Jorge stumbles upon SavageU- googles who @fakedansavage is and finds a podcast that teaches him things no one else would because he lived in a very conservative southern town. #SavageLoveFromAToZ pic.twitter.com/xNr5QgT7ip
— Jorge (@JorgeVenture) September 29, 2021
Savage Love From A to Z, a collection of essays one with each letter of the alphabet, is out now.
We leave with Dan as a guest judge on season 4 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.