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Savage, Dan (b. 1964)  
 
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Not everyone in the glbtq community has been enthusiastic about Savage's personal style. When Savage Love first appeared in a San Francisco alternative newspaper, activists protested, complaining that it perpetuated stereotypes of gay men as promiscuous. Savage also locked horns with Washington state activists in 1995 when he opposed the idea of putting a gay-rights proposal on the ballot because he believed that the initiative would have had no chance of passage and might set back the cause of achieving equality.

Although Savage's column was originally intended as a humorous source of sex advice, he has also used it to express his political opinions. An ardent foe of conservative Republicans, Savage nonetheless managed to be elected a Patrick Buchanan delegate to the King County Republican convention in 1996. He described his experiences in a barbed "GOP Journey" series of columns.

Sponsor Message.

In 2000 Savage, who was covering the Iowa caucuses for the on-line magazine Salon.com, "masqueraded as a volunteer" at the headquarters of anti-gay Presidential candidate Gary Bauer, who had compared gay marriage to terrorism. In his Salon piece Savage, who was suffering from the flu at the time, claimed to have licked some doorknobs at Bauer's headquarters in an obviously silly attempt to infect the candidate.

More seriously, Savage reported that he had voted (for Alan Keyes, no friend of glbtq rights either) in the caucuses, having used the address of his hotel to register at an election site. After the article appeared, he was charged with a felony. In November 2000 he pleaded guilty to fraudulent voting in a caucus, for which he received a sentence of one year of probation, fifty hours of community service, and a fine of $750.

In his column Savage has taken aim at other politicians inimical to glbtq rights, such as Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, who has called "defending marriage" (i.e., refusing legal recognition to the unions of gay men and lesbians) "the ultimate homeland security."

Despite his admitted lack of writing experience when he started as a columnist, Savage has produced work in a variety of genres.

Under the pseudonym Keenan Hollahan (a combination of his middle name and his grandmother's maiden name) he has written campy send-ups of plays such as Electra and Macbeth, the latter featuring a woman playing the title role and a man as Lady Macbeth. In 2001 he staged Egguus, a take-off on Peter Shaffer's Equus (1973), substituting chickens for horses as the teen-aged boy's obsession. The shows were produced in Seattle by the Greek Active theater troupe, which Savage founded.

Savage has also written two autobiographical books, The Kid: What Happened When My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant (1999) and The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family (2005). The first, for which he won the PEN USA West Award for creative non-fiction, chronicles the decision by Savage and his partner, Terry Miller, to become parents.

They chose open adoption--a process that involved meeting their child's birth mother and maintaining contact with her. The young woman who agreed to let the couple adopt her son was a drifter with a history of substance abuse.

The adoption tale is told with humor, but in The Kid Savage also writes movingly of the moment when he and Miller took the little boy as their own child. They named him Daryl (after Miller's father) Jude (the masculine form of the name of Savage's mother, Judy Sobiesk, who had remarried), and gave D.J., as they nicknamed him, his birth mother's surname.

About a year after the adoption, Savage and Miller met their son's biological father, who went by the street name Bacchus (real name Jacob) in a hotel near Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Shortly thereafter, the paternal grandfather called the adoptive couple to thank them for taking "good care of my grandson."

"The gay thing didn't appear to be an issue with Jacob or his father," wrote Savage in The Commitment. "It never came up."

To protest discriminatory marriage laws, Savage and a lesbian friend, Amy Jenniges, applied for and were granted a marriage license from the state of Washington in 2004. They held a wedding as a benefit for the Lambda Legal Foundation. At the reception they tore up the license instead of returning it to the county to have the marriage legally registered.

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