glbtq: an encyclopedia of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender & queer culture
social sciences
special features
about glbtq


   member name
   Forgot Your Password?  
Not a Member Yet?  

  Advertising Opportunities
  Permissions & Licensing
  Terms of Service
  Privacy Policy






Alpha Index:  A-B  C-F  G-K  L-Q  R-S  T-Z

Subjects:  A-B  C-E  F-L  M-Z

Savage, Dan (b. 1964)  
page: 1  2  3  

That summer Savage and Miller, with the tenth anniversary of their partnership approaching, considered marriage themselves. Savage stated, "Terry and I are fans of the traditional family--our family is more traditional than most." Nevertheless, he and Miller were at first not sure if they wanted to wed. In The Commitment, blending reflections on serious issues, reminiscences of touching personal moments, and often hilarious accounts of the wedding-planning process, Savage traced the route that led the couple to marry in Vancouver, British Columbia in February 2005.

Savage also combined humor with a discussion of social issues in Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America (2002), his answer to "virtuecrats" like William J. Bennett (a notorious gambler), Robert Bork (the rejected U.S. Supreme Court nominee and author of Slouching toward Gomorrah, alluded to in Savage's title), and Patrick Buchanan (the failed Presidential candidate), who, he wrote, have "convinced themselves that the pursuit of happiness by less virtuous Americans is both a personal and a political attack." The book won the Lambda Literary Award for Humor.

"To explore the lives of virtuous sinners" Savage traveled to such American "Gomorrahs" as Dubuque, Iowa; Plano, Texas; and Buffalo Grove, Illinois, meeting gamblers, gluttons, and swingers, among others.

In the chapter on pride, Savage took on the San Francisco gay pride parade, charging that such events have become over-commercialized excuses for partying with abandon and do not, as supporters claim, give hope to glbtq youth nor honor the struggles of earlier generations of gay men and lesbians whose courageous stands paved the way and accomplished so much in the ongoing quest for equality.

Savage concluded, "While I can't stand the mush-brained pride rhetoric, the rainbow merchandise, and while I abhor the harm this rhetoric does to gay people and the confusion it sows among straights, what I can celebrate is the simple having of fun." Such comments have at times put Savage at odds with what he calls "the gay establishment."

Despite his acid critique, Savage did serve as a judge as the 2004 pride festival in Toronto, which he praised as "a more accurate reflection of gay life now." He also spoke at an associated event on gay parenting called "The Kids Are Alright."

Savage, who since 2001 has been the editor as well as a columnist for The Stranger, also writes commentaries for newspapers including the New York Times. In addition, he contributes to programs on National Public Radio, such as Weekend Edition and This American Life, and frequently appears as a guest on television news and talk shows, while also frequently touring the college lecture circuit.

In September 2010, moved by the suicide of Billy Lucas, a Greensburg, Indiana teenager who had been mercilessly bullied, Savage founded the "It Gets Better Project," a channel on YouTube that features videos of adult glbtq people who were bullied as teenagers reassuring young people that, however awful their predicament might seem at the time, "it gets better."

"I realized," Savage told a New York Times reporter, "that with things like YouTube and social media, we can talk directly to these kids. We can make an end run around the schools that don't protect them, from parents who want to keep gay kids isolated and churches that tell them that they are sinful or disordered."

The first video in the series features Savage and Miller, who were both bullied in high school, explaining how fulfilling life became after the left high school, met each other, and began their family.

Soon after its launch, the series went viral on the Internet and grew to include more than 100 videos. The urgency of the series was underlined by a rash of suicides by gay teenagers in September 2010.

Linda Rapp

  <previous page   page: 1  2  3    

Contact Us
Join the Discussion
Related Entries
More Entries by this contributor
A Bibliography on this Topic

Citation Information
More Entries about Literature

   Related Entries
social sciences >> Overview:  Adoption

Although there are frequently social and legal barriers to overcome, adoption is an important way in which lesbian and gay male couples create families.

literature >> Overview:  Camp

Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.

social sciences >> Overview:  Children of GLBTQ Parents

Over three decades of research has repeatedly shown that children of glbtq parents are no different from their peers reared in heterosexual families; recently queerspawn themselves have added their own voices to the discourse.

social sciences >> Overview:  Family

Many glbtq people reject a fixed definition of family imposed by society, and instead claim the right to define their own families as they choose.

literature >> Overview:  Humor

Like other minority groups, gay men and lesbians have had to develop both a particular sense of humor among themselves in order to make their marginal social status endurable and also a defensive awareness toward the rest of the world in order to disarm their adversaries with laughter.

literature >> Overview:  Journalism and Publishing

The gay and lesbian press is of prime importance in sustaining a frequently embattled minority and has been crucial in the development of a national mass movement for gay rights.

social sciences >> Overview:  Parades and Marches

Both parades and marches have served to render the glbtq community visible; whereas marches typically attempt to effect political change, parades and pride events affirm identity and community.

social sciences >> Overview:  Parenting

Even though glbtq people have been parents throughout history, recent political movements and advances in fertility technology have given rise to a much more visible and self-identified gay and lesbian parents.

literature >> Overview:  Political Blogs

The explosion of political blogs has served to multiply greatly the number of voices    participating in glbtq activism and to expedite the transmission of political information to glbtq communities.

arts >> Overview:  Radio

A product of the gay liberation movement spawned by the Stonewall rebellion, queer radio programming remains a significant source of entertainment and information for glbtq communities.

social sciences >> Overview:  Same-Sex Marriage

Lesbian and gay couples have been fighting for the freedom to marry since the dawn of the modern glbtq struggle for equality; despite some success abroad, progress toward same-sex marriage in the United States has been slow.

social sciences >> Overview:  Sexology

Sexology, the study of sex or of the interactions between the sexes, first emerged as a field of intellectual inquiry in the second half of the nineteenth century; its practitioners were the first to identify homosexuality as such and to speculate about its prevalence and etiology.

social sciences >> Overview:  Sissies

Although sometimes reviled by heterosexuals and homosexuals alike, the sissy has historically helped define gay culture, and has questioned the dominant constructions of sex and gender.

arts >> Bono, Chaz

The child of a famous show business couple, Chaz Bono has had to cope with family resistance and intense public scrutiny as he came out, first as a lesbian, then as a transgender man.

social sciences >> Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund

The largest glbtq legal advocacy group in the United States, the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund has been fighting for the civil rights of queer Americans and people with HIV/AIDS for over three decades.

social sciences >> Republican Party (United States)

The Republican Party of the United States has not been supportive of glbtq issues, despite the efforts of the Log Cabin Republicans.

arts >> Roberts, Thomas

One of only a few openly gay anchors on national television news, Thomas Roberts has emerged as a visible symbol of new opportunities for openly gay people in society generally, as well as in journalism in particular.

arts >> Scissor Sisters

The American pop band Scissor Sisters was spawned in New York City's gay club scene; frequently addressing issues of transgressive sexuality, the band has cultivated a large glbtq fan base.

arts >> Shaffer, Sir Peter

British dramatist Peter Shaffer emerged in the 1960s in the paradoxical guise of the last great twentieth-century poet of the numinous who was also capable of writing commercially successful plays that could be turned into equally successful films.


Gordon, Daphne, and Christopher Hutsul. "Don't Just Say It, Spray It!; Pride Parade Draws 1 Million Spectators and Marchers to Downtown T.O." Toronto Star (June 28, 2004): B1.

Parker-Pope, Tara. "Showing Gay Teenagers a Happy Future." The New York Times (September 22, 2010):

Robinson, Tasha. "The A.V. Club." (February 8, 2006).

Savage, Dan. The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family. New York: Dutton, 2005.

_____. "How to Be an Iowan for a Day." New York Times (January 7, 2004): A21.

_____. Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America. New York: Dutton, 2002.

Simon, Jim. "Savage Success--Seattle's Latest Cultural Export: A Gay Advice Columnist Who Offends Nearly Everyone." Seattle Times (July 21, 1996): 10.

Smith, Sid. "The Savage Within; How Did This North Side Catholic Boy, the Son of a Chicago Cop, Become America's Down-and-Dirty (and Gay) Sex Columnist--and Now, Defender of the Left?" Chicago Tribune (December 6, 2002): 1.

Trebay, Guy. "Live from the Wet Spot." Village Voice 43.41 (October 13, 1998): 51.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Savage, Dan  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2006  
    Date Last Updated October 3, 2010  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2006 glbtq, Inc.  


This Entry Copyright © 2006 glbtq, Inc. is produced by glbtq, Inc., 1130 West Adams Street, Chicago, IL   60607 glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.
Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.