Dan Savage Talked Sex, Suicide, and Saviors at FIU
Dan Savage is known for being, well, a dick. Week after week his column "Savage Love" (featured in the New Times), tells confused advice seekers to DTMFA (dump the mother fucker already). From his advice to people with cheating spouses, sexual kinks, STDs, and so on, you really would think that Savage is, well, savage.
Last night at FIU's Biscayne Bay Campus (BBC), Savage revealed a side of himself that may surprise even longtime fans. Due to the rash of teenagers who committed suicide after experiencing anti-gay bullying, Savage started the It Gets Better Project.
Savage spoke about the project and the consequences of intolerance, and even though he cried several times throughout the evening, his liberal use of the words "fag," "dick," and "sex," gave the event a familiar feel. About 30 minutes into his speech, he said that he forgot what he was going to say and it would be better to have a conversation, so he opened the floor up to questions.
The idea behind the project is that if happy, successful people tell
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suffering teens and adults that life gets better, the idea of a better
future might deter them from committing suicide. These videos are being
made by all kinds of people, from Baptist ministers and Hilary Clinton
to Ke$ha, and Kim Kardashian. The goal is to get all kinds of people to
upload their own "it gets better" video. You can submit your own by
visiting the site.
One of the most memorable parts of the evening came when a woman from the audience told her story of watching the videos with her gay son in the intensive care unit, and the fact that even though she completely accepted her son, her husband hadn't come to terms with it yet. She asked Savage how her son could learn to forgive his father and Savage gave the audience some of the best advice for dealing with homophobic parents ever.
"When you're a kid and you're 5, 6, 7 years old and you scream at your parents that you hate them, that's a big thing. If you're the parent, you're like, wow. That really hurts. When your parents tell you hateful things, you have to forgive them the way they forgave you. You owe them."
Here is Dan's video:
He went on to say that if you come out of the closet and you're parents are being mean, intolerant, hateful, etc., that you give them a pass for one full year. "You have leverage and that leverage is you. Your person. You tell them that they have one year to say hateful things, ask stupid questions, ask questions about how gay people have sex, and if they don't stop after one year, you will be out of their life. They don't want that. They know in the back of their mind that one day you are going to be changing their diapers." Now, that's some real world advice.
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