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Dan Savage

Dan SavageAKA Daniel Keenan Savage

Born: 7-Oct-1964
Birthplace: Chicago, IL

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Gay [1]
Occupation: Columnist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Weekly sex columnist

Dan Savage grew up in "a loud, argumentative, and very Catholic" family, and came out as gay as fruit cocktail.

In 1991 he was the night manager at an independent video store in Madison, Wisconsin, when a co-worker told him he was planning to move to Seattle and start a new alternative newspaper. Savage, a self-described "pushy busybody", replied, "You have to have an advice column. Everybody hates them, but everybody reads them". And suddenly Savage, who'd never considered himself a writer before, was a snarky "Dear Abby" for the sexually active.

Savage's column, "Savage Love", first appeared in 1991, in the first issue of The Stranger. Readers of any sexual persuasion were invited to seek Savage's pithy advice with the salutation "Hey faggot", an attempt by Savage to make the word more socially acceptable. In 1999, Savage announced he'd grown weary of "Hey faggot", possibly because a lot of readers thought "Hey faggot" not "Savage Love" was the name of the column.

The once-a-week column is funny, informative, outrageous, non-judgmental toward consenting sex acts, and very judgmental toward moronic letter-writers. "Savage Love" is now syndicated to better alternative weeklies across America.

In 2000, Savage posed as a volunteer for homophobic Republican Gary Bauer's presidential campaign. Savage, who had the flu, said he'd licked doorknobs, staplers, and coffee cups in the campaign's Iowa office, and handed Bauer a slobbery pen, all in an effort to make Bauer sick. The story made a lot of people sick, and Bauer's Iowa campaign manager got the flu around that time. Savage also said he'd registered and voted, which is voter fraud, since he lives in Seattle, not Iowa. Savage later said much of the article was fictitious, but he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was sentenced 50 hours of community service.

In 2003, Savage used his column to make a very special political statement about Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn), a very straight politician who seems at least as interested in homosexuality as Savage is. In an interview with Associated Press, Santorum had gone on a tirade about homosexuality, explaining that he doesn't hate homosexuals, as long as they don't act on their "deviant" desires; that laws against cocksucking protect the fabric of society; and that there's no Constitutional right to privacy in one's own home, concluding, "If the Supreme Court says that you have a right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything". Finally, though he hadn't been asked about marriage, Santorum explained that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, "not, you know, man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be".

When Santorum paused to take a breath, AP's reporter was close to speechless. "I'm sorry", said the unnamed journalist, "I didn't think I was going to talk about 'man on dog' with a United States senator. It's sort of freaking me out".

It sort of freaked out Savage, too, and for several weeks he ran a contest in his column to determine what kink-related act or item should be named in Santorum's honor. The winning definition canonized santorum as "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex". This remains the top Google result in searches for "santorum", which might be a problem as the ex-Senator ponders a run for the White House.

Savage made headlines with another initiative in 2010, responding to a wave of suicides among gay teens and teens taunted as suspected gays by launching the "It Gets Better" project, a YouTube page where gay elders offer words of encouragement and hopefulness to gay youth. "Dying is easy," says Savage. "Coming out is hard."

He is the author of Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins And The Pursuit Of Happiness In America, Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist, and The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant. The latter tells how Savage and his boyfriend adopted their son from his willing mother, a "spare-changing gutter punk".

In addition to writing his column, Savage is now the editor of The Stranger, a Seattle alt-weekly. He's also active in theater, directing queer plays as Keenan Hollahan. Keenan is Savage's middle name, and Hollahan is his grandmother's maiden name.


[1] David Gudelunas, Confidential to America: Newspaper Advice Columns and Sexual Education (2007), page 162, "the openly gay Savage posed as a volunteer for the Gary Bauer campaign in order to infect the homophobic Republican candidate with a case of the flu while documenting his experience with Salon.com."

Husband: Terry Miller (m. 2005, one son)
Son: Daryl Jude "DJ" Pierce (b. 1998, adopted)

    John Kerry for President
    Kerry Victory 2004

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Making the Boys (18-Jul-2009) · Himself

Author of books:
It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living (2011)


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