Saturday, October 07, 2017

Happy Birthday to Sex Advisor, Activist Dan Savage

Born on this day, October 7, in 1964, Dan Savage is a journalist, media pundit, and LGBT activist. He writes Savage Love, a syndicated relationship and sex advice column. He is also known for starting, with his husband Terry Miller, the "It Gets Better Project" to help prevent suicide among LGBT youth.

Savage (under the name Keenan Hollohan, combining his middle name and his paternal grandmother's maiden name) was a founder of Seattle's Greek Active Theater. Much of the group's work were queer interpretations of classic works, such as a tragicomic Macbeth with both the title character and Lady Macbeth played by performers of the opposite sex. In March 2001, he directed his own Egguus at Consolidated Works, a parody of Peter Shaffer's 1973 play Equus which exchanged a fixation on horses for a fixation on chickens.

The Savage Lovecast is a weekly audio podcast based on the column "Savage Love." It features Savage answering anonymous questions left by callers on an answering machine. He also consults with doctors, sex therapists, and other experts for answers to questions he calls "above my pay grade." It is routinely rated as the top podcast in the iTunes "Health" category and in the top 20 of all podcasts overall.

Based on an idea by Dan Savage (who also served as executive producer), the ABC-TV series, The Real O'Neals starring Noah Galvin debuted in 2016. The series chronicles the lives of a close-knit, Irish-American Chicago Catholic family. In the pilot episode, the family's image is shattered when their secrets are revealed to the community: middle child Kenny is gay, oldest child Jimmy is anorexic, youngest child Shannon is running a money scam and might be atheist, and parents Eileen and Pat are no longer in love and wish to divorce. The series lasted for two seasons before its cancellation.

After Rick Santorum, then a U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, made comments in 2003 to a reporter comparing homosexual sex to bestiality and incest, Savage assailed Santorum in his column. Later, he sponsored a contest that led to the term santorum being used to refer to "the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes a byproduct of anal sex".

Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, have one adopted son, D.J. Savage and Miller were married in Canada in 2005. Following the 2012 legalization of same-sex marriage in Washington state, he and Miller were part of the first group of 11 couples to receive Washington state marriage licenses.

Below is an interview with Savage from CBS Sunday Morning on how "It Gets Better Project" got started.

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