1. Ray says

    There are some people here who think you’re hating if you say you dislike Savage but I have to say, I don’t like Savage.

    Surely to god there must be other writers, thinkers, thoughtful people who could go on and chat about these things without the same people always ready and willing to market themselves, their children, partners,and sex lives to make a buck.

    So boring!

  2. Alex Parrish says

    Savage does a lot of good for the community and is a good role-model. Yes — he is self-promoting but, for the most part, one must be so to get traction these days. I appreciate that you made an honest criticism and stated exactly why you don’t like him — we can agree to disagree. I am so friggin’ tired of haters who just mindlessly bash Savage for no good reason.

    Put me in the column of Dan’s Fans.

  3. ty says

    It’s easy to be an armchair quarterback, the thing with Dan Savage is that he is a sex advise columnist so he is highly aware of what makes people tick at a very base level. That means both gays and straights. In that regard he is an expert on human nature. That may not appeal to the more prudish gays, but for most of us, his comments are succinct and timely.

  4. Jay says

    The comment by Wilberforce above is absurd. In the first place, Savage is not very good looking (his husband Terry is the looker in the family), but he is a powerful speaker. He has described himself as an “accidental activist.” He didn’t want to be one, but when the corporate gay culture began ignoring things like the suicides of gay youth and failing to push Democrats on repeal of DADT, etc., someone had to speak up. He did so and nearly always has something interesting to say.

  5. Edward says

    Dan Savage annoys me because there is very little room in his universe for anyone who does not live and look and think like Dan Savage. Obviously he makes his living via snark, and sometimes it can be effective given the hate speech out there. I get that. But if you’re trans, bi, fat, female, a receiver in the bedroom, non-white, and/or in an exclusive LTR, then it’s hard not to read Savage as a self-righteous jerk much of the time.

  6. Cal says

    I have to disagree, Edward. Dan has certainly in the past said questionable things about all of the groups you reference, but as a consistent reader for 20 years now, I’ve found that over time he has opened his mind as much as he has asked others to open theirs. He is not bi-phobic, trans-phobic, anti-woman, racist, etc. If you think he is, you haven’t been keeping up with what he’s been saying in the last few years.

    And while he was popular for many years among a certain group, remember that his current national profile is due to starting the “It Gets Better Project.” He didn’t just jump in front of a news crew and start begging to be heard. The MSM has gone to HIM and asked him to speak and I think he’s done a damn good job of it especially for someone that didn’t start out pursuing the kind of visibility he now has.

    tl;dr – I like him.

  7. JJ says

    Several comments about Savage being some kind of prototype for a look we should aim for? No thanks. Thomas Roberts maybe, but Savage is just annoying, both in looks and persona.

  8. says

    Oh please, Edward. There’s room for everyone. The thing I like most about Dan Savage is that he owns his own opinions and encourages others to go out and think for themselves. He doesn’t lecture us from some self-created High and Mighty position. He never claims to have all the answers to everything. He’s just one dude.

  9. steve says

    I don’t see many other people standing up and speaking out like Dan Savage – I like him. I’d like a boyfriend that has a brain and convictions like him. He seems quite knowledgeable and thoughtful.

  10. says

    Dan Savage sure gets some gay men worked up. He’s smart, knows how to get attention, and is willing to call it as he sees it on national media. It’s easy to disagree with Dan (I certainly do sometimes), but a lot of people seem most offended by his success, hence some of the small, bitter comments.

  11. says

    Dan Savage sure gets some gay men worked up. He’s smart, knows how to get attention, and is willing to call it as he sees it on national media. It’s easy to disagree with Dan (I certainly do sometimes), but a lot of people seem most offended by his success, hence some of the small, bitter comments.

  12. dpfeb says

    @Ernie I’m not offended by his success. Unfortunatley, in this day in age you can be seen as successful for having a reality show. My problem with Dan Savage is that I have never seen the gay community call him, in public, on his sometime racist and biased views. I agree with a lot of what Dan Savage has to say but when you get into the weeds he bothers me and I can’t throw my support for him. I’m happy that he’s successful and in a happy relationship but so is Kim Kardashian.

  13. Tatts says

    Gotta disagree with Jay. Dan Savage is hot as hell.

    But then, deep down I’m real shallow.

    I read his column all the time and I am constantly amazed at how spot-on he is in his answers. Level-headed, intelligent, well-spoken, and hawt!

  14. Adam says

    There is no such thing as “mostly monogamous”. You’re either monogamous or you’re not.

    You can’t be “mostly pregnant”, either.

  15. Jim says

    I don’t see why people here are bashing Dan Savage. He fast on his feet, knows the issues and is a great fighter. I think he’s hot too, as if that matters. I’m so glad he’s on my side.

  16. Mike Ryan says

    I just plain love the guy. He is incredibly wise and experienced enough to know where to aim the axe. Along with many other gay celebrities, he is a fine role model.

  17. JG says

    He reeks lower-middle class. I think a lot of people get that vibe. He has the mongrel dog approach to male relationships–can’t have that monogamy. He’s fighting for everything our foes use against us. People who find him sexy, sadly, find everything male sexy. No doubt he’s a nice guy.

  18. Nik says

    @David Ehrenstein, I think Dan is a great advocate for middle class white gay men’s issues but he’s not much more than that. Don’t forget this was the same guy who publicly supported the Iraq War before it became unpopular to do so.

  19. says

    @dpfeb: I’d hardly compare Dan to the Kardashian clan–they’re a lot more famous for doing a lot less. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

    He’s certainly been called on his race comments around Prop 8–if people didn’t do it more publicly, what’s stopping them? (Though I’ve seen plenty of public criticism of Dan, as there should be. He”s far from infallible.) It’s the “reeks lower-middle class,” too good looking, not good looking enough, not monogamous enough comments that are petty jealousy poorly disguised as valid critiques.

  20. bructer says

    I might not agree with everything he says or believes, but I can’t say there is anyone I agree with 100%. But until you are ready to get up there and do what he is doing, your comments and especially the one about how he looks are just ridiculous and petty. Until you commit to the cause a vehemently as he has, I would suggest tempering your criticism to the facts instead of personal attacks.

  21. emjayay says

    Towleroad you are doing a stellar job with this blog. Now, if you only had thumbs up and down and/or Reply functions!

    Dan is smart and funny and honest and has less body fat and more muscle than you do. No one is perfect. “Reeks of lower middle class.” WTF? I know from lower middle class. Dan reeks of solidly middle/upper middle class, which is where he came from. He went to catholic prep school and was a history and theater major in college. His parents met at a catholic college and his mother later worked for about 20 years as a coordinator at Loyola University’s tutoring center. All very not lower middle class I’d say.

    Read Part Three of this Ira Glass piece, Dan talking about his mother.

  22. Markt says

    I think if you really care about race relations, the word racist shouldn’t be used just because someone discusses race. We all look to compare ourselves as superior to others. It’s part of being human and minorities are not exempt. Unfortunately minorities will be more likely to discriminate against other minorities. It’s been proven throughout history and around the world. I think it’s good to point this out.
    The reactions to Savage are jealousy mostly I think. I guess we all buck at having someone speak for our minority and thereby ourselves. It’s unlikely that someone will say things exactly as you would like. Savage is pretty good at being clear and hard hitting and yet leaving room for other viewpoints. Sometimes reading the comments on this blog make me wish i wasn’t gay.

  23. Bee Bop says

    What an embarrassment to our community. Please take your theater dee-gree and go back to managing a video store. Then shut up. You’re not qualified to give such important advice to those who are looking for answers. Unbelievable that people listen and pay him for such ridiculous dribble.

  24. gomez says

    savage is both at times intensely irritating (bis and trans) and sharp/admirable (it gets better). his half-subservient interview with “not particularly homophobic” (lol) dl hughley after the 2008 election is a good example

  25. Caliban says

    I don’t think some one is a “troll” because they dislike Dan Savage, but there are certainly some troll comments on this thread. “Reeks of lower middle class”?! LOL! Fan yourself, Aunt Pittypat! Fan Yourself!” Otherwise you might have to take to your fainting couch and be no good for the cotillion!

    Dan Savage started as a sex advice columnist for a little-known Seattle weekly newspaper. He was blatantly, almost aggressively gay, which (if you’ll remember) wasn’t exactly a recipe for success even a decade ago. But he was the sex columnist you could ask just about anything, so he ended up being widely syndicated. A writer and media personality who went after fame and some bucks when he got the opportunity?! SAY IT ISN’T SO!!!

    It’s funny to hear Thomas Roberts described as such a role model compared to that nasty Dan Savage when, before his fairly recent MSNBC rehabilitation, Roberts was best known as the CNN talking head who was fired after his full frontal Manhunt profile became public knowledge! (Nice penis, btw.)

    Dan Savage’s rise to “fame” has been rather organic really, starting as a lowly regional “celebrity” to syndicated columnist, to someone occasionally called on by cable news networks to be the “gay voice.” Oh and he’s written books. I’m sure that all his critics, having been offered money to write books, would have said “Keep that demon money!” Uh-huh. Right.

    Here’s the thing. Dan Savage is just as confrontational with the professional homophobes as he was with some guy writing in to ask how to get his girlfriend to “peg” him. He openly mocks them and doesn’t “respect” their position as die-hard Catholics (Santorum), Evangelicals (Tony Perkins, et al), or political affiliations. And that was an INCREDIBLE breath of fresh air after the endless pvssy-footing around of the mealy-mouthed Joe Solomnese DC-beltway professional “gay spokespersons” who were suddenly there without having done a single thing in the trenches of gay activism!

    So p!ss off with your “Dan Savage is just a fame wh0re BS”! You do HALF as much as he has, then we can talk!

    My ONLY beef with Dan Savage is that sometimes I think he doesn’t separate his roles as gay activist and sex advice columnist as well as he should. There may well be a conversation that needs to be had about whether monogamy is unrealistic. (And Savage has NEVER said ‘cheating is OK.’ What he’s said is that expectations should be realistic and relationship rules can and should be negotiated and agreed upon, but if you agree to it, stick to it. His appeal isn’t for ‘cheating’ but for realism and HONESTY.)

    But his spiel about monogamy, though honest and maybe needed, is a distraction when discussing gay marriage. It muddies the waters. Either be a spokesperson for “almost monogamous” OR for gay marriage, but when you combine the two it confuses the issues. Combine the two and it comes across like he’s saying that you can’t expect monogamy from men, especially gay men, which is counterproductive when arguing for marriage equality.

    Other than that I think he’s one of the best spokespeople we have. Yes, he used the word “tranny” a few times, then apologized when trans activists got hot under the collar, despite that fact that some trans people use that word themselves publicly themselves. Frankly I think that’s an excuse to “hate” Dan Savage when all your other arguments have failed. In one case he was OBVIOUSLY quoting someone else’s words, where THEY used the word “tranny,” and what was the hysterical response? “OMG! Dan Savage used the word “tranny!” Seriously, if that’s the worst complaint you’ve got, you’re digging for things to get “offended” about and maybe you need a hobby.

  26. Paul R says

    Yes there is such a thing as mostly monogamous. I dated someone for 17 years and (with permission) he slept with 3 other people and I think with 2 or 3 during that time. I wouldn’t call that an open relationship. There are many types of relationships, and cheating on someone behind their back is a lot worse than being open about it.

    One of my brothers doesn’t care if his wife sleeps with other men. They’ve had three-ways with men and women. My best female friend and her husband have hired sex workers. And so on. It’s a lot more common than you think. If it’s not your thing, fine. But nearly everyone, straight or gay, knows a couple who does “freaky” sexual things.

  27. Bob says

    Not perfect!
    Better spokesman than pretty much any of them out there.
    Good point about “They want us to be married in 1952″ — silly queens who are dying for respectability pile on him for this.

  28. Rob says

    I love Dan Savage. As the gay parent of three kids, one of them gay and bullied, I will tell you the “It Gets Better” videos, including Barack Obama’s, were a lifeline.

    Partner and I are happily ‘monogamish” and are happy to have out-loud validation of our relationship mechanics. We grow up seeing Disney movies that just aren’t us, and among straight people who look down their noses at that and then go do the same thing on the side.

    Go Dan, go! You have done a lot of good in this world, as most internet trolls have not.

  29. andrew says

    I like Thomas Roberts. Dan Savage: not so much. I especially disliked his adolescent and vulgar “anal sex juices” campaign against Rick Santorum, which I thought reflected badly on gay male sex. We in Pennsylvania, defeated the wingnut Santorum by over 700,000 votes in his last Senate race. He was defeated on the issues not on the adolescent tactics of folks like Savage.

  30. Bantis says

    While I commend Savage on his honesty, his argument that “gay marriage” is forced to follow the ideals of the 1950’s does nothing to further our cause. Like it or not, the world responds to and advocates “ideals” and while it is certainly true MANY “straight” marriages are not monogamous, these are not the examples anyone is touting when discussing ANY marriage, gay, straight, whatever.
    We all deserve the right to live our life as we see fit, but when advancing a cause, the “fringe”, no matter how harmless or slight, will get used against us EVERY TIME. Let’s get 100% equality on the books, then you can start talking about different-types of marriages.
    Personally, my partner and I have been together 8 years and are 100% monogamous because, for us, that’s marriage.

  31. says

    He makes terrific points.

    One point he has made, over and over again, is that he’s only a “spokesperson” by default. Meaning he does what he does because, frankly, nobody else is choosing to step up to the plate.

    He’s not a “self-appointed” anything – he has an opinion. He shares it.

    Anyone who wants to take his place is more than free to put their face and name and voice out there in the world wide web and do it.
    But to complain about him while you sit and type anonymously is…well… the reason he’s up there on national television speaking!

    Folks, read his book “The Commitment” – it’s funny, hilariously so, and moving and bracingly intelligent.

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