Stuff You’ve Been Hearing About Dan Savage, Addressed

While we’ve talked about Michelle Bachmann’s politics, her family’s Christian counseling clinic, and her  glitter mishap, so far we’ve mostly shied away from what people are saying about her husband “seeming gay.” Something about it seems mean-spirited and they’s definitely some serious stereotyping going on.

On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart suggested that Marcus Bachmann might be gay because of how he danced; via twitter, Cher said he’s “GAYGAYGAYGAYGAYGAYGAYGAY Without Style!”; and on his podcast last week, Dan Savage mocked his voice and said he had a gay accent.

While it seems absurd to accuse Savage of homophobia (although I can’t say the same for biphobia, transphobia, or misogyny), there’s definitely something misguided in the way this is going down. Clearly Savage, Cher, and Stewart are trying to out Bachmann as a hypocrite–a gay man who lives as a heterosexual and practices reparative therapy in his clinic. The problem is that those who believe reorientation is possible don’t see that as hypocrisy, they see it as progress. Suggesting that Dr. Bachmann is gay is nothing but inflammatory drivel. It won’t change minds or create any meaningful discussion — it appeals to the lowest common denominator and guarantees attention. Frankly, the idea that the Bachmanns have screwy beliefs about, well, anything is old news. Savage and co. are taking easy shots at Bachmann — while at the same time alienating the very people who need support — to make a point that’s already been made over and over again. (To be fair, Jon Stewart is a comedian, making fun of the way people act and talk is more or less his job — but he’s not alone on this bandwagon.)

On Real Time with Bill Maher, Savage managed to sneak in a substantive well-placed jab, “You can’t pray away the gay, but you can torture a conflicted closet case to death, which is what they practice at clinics like Marcus Bachmann runs,” but not without mentioning that that’s “…when he’s not flitting around.”

Savage has never been quiet about his opinions. While I don’t always see eye to eye with him, it’s refreshing to see a gay person in the public eye who doesn’t tread lightly. You can’t argue that he doesn’t understand the implications of his words; it’s clear that he knows exactly what he’s saying, he just doesn’t always agree with you. In late June, the Sunday Times Magazine ran a profile on Savage that centered around his views on monogamy — namely that it’s not necessary for a successful marriage. The article spurred not just debate among readers, but a full-on blog blitzkrieg between Savage and David Badash of The New Civil Rights Movement.

Citing a Christian Post article (sidenote: nice use of scare quotes, guys!) that points to Savage’s beliefs about monogamy as a reason not to support marriage equality, Badash warned Savage that he should stop adding fuel to the conservative fire. Savage wrote back:

“I’m sorry about pissing you off by, you know, sharing my opinions and shit like that. But I’m not sorry about cranking up the haters. Yeah, the haters are worked up about Mark Oppenheimer’s piece in The New York Times Magazine. Haters gonna hate, as the kids say (or were recently saying), but it’s not like Maggie Gallagher is going to sign off on our full civil equality if we just behave.

We’re fighting for equal rights, sistergirlfriend, not a very special right to a bullshit double standard. Gay people don’t have to be on our best behaviors, as defined by you or Maggie or the Pope, to be entitled to our civil rights. They’re called rights, David, and not treats or trophies, for a reason: we don’t have to earn or win them. They’re already ours, technically, even if they’re not yet recognized.”

Badash responded by saying he’s got no problem with what Savage has to say, just that he’s saying it right now. Though Savage didn’t write back, he did defend his position on the Colbert Report. When Colbert, in character, accused him of being a gay person trying to “destroy marriage from the inside,” he had a solid response:

“Gay people are forcing straight people to admit that they redefined marriage decades ago. Marriage used to be a gendered institution, it used to be a property transaction where a man took possession of another man’s property, daughter became wife, and that’s not what marriage is any more… Marriage when straight people do it is a union of two autonomous equals, and they get to then define the marriage” 

Can we get a little more of this and a little less of Bachmann nonsense, please? But I guess calm, reasonable discussion doesn’t always pay the bills.

Though Badash believes that Savage lies on the radical fringe, Mark Oppenheimer, the author of the Times piece, makes a point of just how conservative he really is. Despite how Savage’s statements about monogamy have been spun, he’s not against it as a practice, only as the natural state of a marriage. He emphasizes once monogamy is removed as the default expectation, room for conversation opens up, promoting stronger marriages and stronger families. Removed from the context of his gay, non-monogamous marriage, his rhetoric isn’t so different from that used by conservatives who push family values. Savage’s old-fashionedness just might be what keeps him on top — and what irks me about him. It’s problematic for people who don’t fit into his retrofitted views. It makes suggestions about Dr. Bachmann look more like attacks on his inability to conform to male expectations than on his character.

I’ve got to admit that I understand both sides of the argument. On one hand, it makes sense to be quiet and play nice so that we don’t make our fight harder than it has to be. On the other hand, it is really helpful to hide some of our beliefs if they’re also progressive? While the debate is complicated, there’s at least one thing we can agree on: we all want equality.

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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

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71 Comments

  1. Michael Warner is a queer theorist who argues against gay marriage precisely because he thinks it requires LGBT people to behave and conform to certain norms and is in fact not liberating. I think its okay to discuss his argument, as well as what role monogamy(though, note practiced non-monogamy is different than legal recognition of plural/poly marriages, I personally am fine with legal recognition of whatever, but its an additional nuance).

    on calling Dr. Bachman gay…it seems wrong to me. I think the point people are trying to make is that he is leading a hypocritical lifestyle, or a life that is somehow false. But it seems awfully close to saying you shouldn’t like him BECAUSE he’s actually gay. Or as this article pointed out, is somewhat non-gender conforming. At the very least, it seems people want to force him to cop to being an ex-gay. I feel like that is his personal business and not something he should be forced to disclosed. Of course…when someone or their partner/spouse runs for president, everything comes out.

  2. I see no problem with going after Bachman. If Bachman wants to make public his views on homosexuality and him and his wife are actively fighting against gay rights…….then he’s free game.

    As for Dan Savage I still think he’s an asshole after he decided to blame the blacks after Prop 8.

    • I just have issues with the fact he makes fun of plenty of people at their expense is is genuinely hurtful to a lot of people.

      I’d describe him as a very vocally transphobic person (he completely invalidates the entire trans* experience). There are plenty of people who bill themselves as entertainers, and use that as a platform to spew their own ideas, agendas, and hate.

  3. First off: Dan Savage has never struck me as misogynistic. He advocates for women to be open about their sexuality and rejects a lot of the insidiuos cultural shaming bullshit which society pushing onto girls. Even though I do disagree with some of his comments about lesbianism, he’s been the catalyst in boradening my sexual horizon. I think it’s awesome he’s so positive about female sexuality (and sexuality in general. I thought I was totally “dirty” and “kinky” before I started listening to my podcasts but pretty soon I realised being kinky is awesome, and actually, I’m not even as kinky as a lotta people out there anyway so I need stop worrying).

    Anyway….

    Savage doesn’t go on and on about Bachmann. I agree it’s a cheap shot but I don’t think a comedian has any obligation to treat someone who is actively working against the gay movement, so I think he’s fair game.

    • It’s still important to note that even though he’s an advocate for female sexuality, he still doesn’t believe in bisexuality, regardless of the gender.

      Thanks, Dan. Glad to know who you really support in the LGBT*- community: just the G’s.

      ((If he’s since changed his stance on B, I’d be happy to read his current opinion.))

      • I’ve been listening to his podcast for a long time, and as far as I see, he does believe in bisexuality. He just makes little jokes about it sometimes. As he does about the gays, as he does about the lesbians, and straight people, and whoever.

      • Yeah, what HannahRhoslyn said. He definitely believes in the existence of bisexuals. His biphobia comes more from thinking that he has the right to be “skeptical” of young bisexuals because so many gay people try out a bi identity first, or from assuming that the fact that most bisexuals end up in opposite-sex couplings is because they want to reap the benefits of straight privilege (which, while certainly a contributing factor, is hardly the only one – the 9:1 ratio of straight to gay people probably also has a lot to do with it).

          • Exactly.

            What I think is ridiculous about his logic re: young bisexuals, though, is that the vast majority of people who come out as gay OR bi originally identify as straight. Does that mean we should be skeptical of teens who say they’re straight because, you know, most queers were once? It’s a little ridiculous.

            And the comparison he makes in the Bisexuality article to the Ted Haggard cases is really irritating. Sorry, but someone who has their own documented history of gay sex identifying as straight? That’s a little different from projecting your own personal history on someone who has shown no evidence that they are anything but bi.

          • I think you’re looking at it backwards. Savage’s logic is based on the “fact” (whether it’s true or not is certainly debatable) that the majority of young people who say they are bi eventually come out as gay. He wouldn’t be skeptical of young people who say they are straight, because the majority of young people who say there are straight usually ARE straight, and do not come out as gay/bi/otherwise queer.

          • I don’t think I’ve ever heard him say, though, that the majority of young bi people turn out to be gay. Simply that every gay guy he knows used to identify as bi, so that’s why he can question young bi people.

    • I feel the same about Savage. Once in a blue moon he’ll say something that makes me go, “Hmm”, but overall I’m on the same page. As a podcast listener for a few years, I don’t think he’s at ALL misogynistic. He promotes everyone seeking healthy, fulfilling, consensual sex, whatever they’re into.

      And I know I may get shit for this, but I like that he doesn’t tread lightly, that he’s not PC. Sometimes he may accidentally say something offensive, as we all do, or get something wrong, but it’s usually because he isn’t a lesbian or trans or bisexual or fill-in-the-blank, so he can’t fully understand. Sure he makes a little bisexual or lesbian joke sometimes, but to be honest, I often find them pretty funny.

      • I fell out of love with Dan Savage after Prop 8 and his poorly disguised racism against the black community. Given the demographics of my city, queer racism is pretty par for the course, but it was pretty painful to see a prominent gay figure using his platform to express this kind of (quickly debunked) bs. Since then I’ve always been on the alert.

        I don’t mind “non-PC” humor; I’m a huge fan of Stewart and Colbert. The difference between their humor and Savage’s is that it’s clearly marked as satire. Savage advertises himself as an advice columnist, not a satirist, so when he makes transphobic and biphobic remarks or talks about vaginas looking like a “smashed can of ham,” he appears to be rehashing these outdated and harmful ideas, not satirizing them. I think this is also the reason why Savage often begins or ends his columns with a (non)apology or explanation about his comments a week before.

        It’s okay if Savage makes jokes that aren’t PC, but as Laura wrote, he definetely knows what his words mean. Tim Wise once said that good humor is always directed “up.” Jesters should make fun of the king, not the peasants. It takes a really frank and thorough assessment of one’s own privilege to see if your humor is directed against those who are less privileged, and I think Savage really struggles with addressing his own privilege, making a lot of his comments seem really distasteful.

          • I posted a link elsewhere, but to be fair, most of the time when he says something completely wrong and offensive (such as black people caused prop 8) and people call him on it, he does change his mind and correct himself. The only thing he fights tooth-and-nail for is his extremely anti-fat beliefs.

          • The fact that he feels he can say that AND get away with it is the issue of being a privileged, white man. Sure he’s gay but he knows that most in the LGBT community that are out won’t say anything to him because he’s on some sort of pedestal. Personally, I don’t get it. Sure, he says SOME thing ever now and again that makes sense but then he counters it with asshattery.

            He is not sorry that he said it, he’s sorry that folks got mad about it. If no one said anything about it, I’m sure he wouldn’t have bothered about it.

            I’m black, I’m queer and I will go on record stating that Dan Savage doesn’t speak for me nor will I act like his voice is the only that is worth noting in the LGBT community.

          • “He is not sorry that he said it, he’s sorry that folks got mad about it.”

            SO TRUE. I remember reading anti-black sentiments in his columns years ago, sentiments he clearly never regretted. One that stuck out for me was a black guy who had written in to point out the potentially problematic nature of Ashton Kutcher’s show being titled ‘Punk’d’ due to its racial connotations, and Savage’s response was basically, ‘Nevermind this concern, you need to work out homophobia issues in the black community because it’s totally bigoted’. Even as a clueless white teenager I was really shocked to read that and I never took him seriously again.

          • You’re generally correct, but along with the anti-fat stuff he’s also been criticized repeatedly for his biphobic comments and he continues to insist that he’s completely in the right on them.

  4. I think that making vitriolic, self-agrandising low blows at anybody is base and childish and should not be employed as a tactic when trying to assert our equal rights. It makes our entire community look like a bunch of toddlers throwing a tantrum. I, for one, am quick to distance myself from anybody who resorts to name-calling and logically fallacious arguments that do nothing to further the causes I believe in.

  5. I think that Dan Savage…doesn’t pussyfoot around. Which I appreciate, much of the time.

    Interesting side note: My sister ran into him outside a restaurant in Seattle, told him about how my aunt outed me to my parents, and his advice for me was “the shitstorm can’t stop until the shitstorm starts.” Then he asked how old I was and she told him I was turning 24, and he was like “isn’t it about time anyway?”

    The man had a point.

    • Yeah, all of this. I listen to his podcast, because he *is* the only one saying a lot of the good stuff he says, but boy do I listen with a grain of salt whenever the caller isn’t a straight or gay cisdude. Savage is, at the end of the day, a cisguy, and while he tackles cisguy issues better than any other advice columnist I’m aware of, that’s ALL he’s the best at or, frankly, even that good at.

      When the caller’s a woman, trans, bi, fat, has a question that involves race, or in any other way deviates from either Savage himself OR the only group that “outprivileges” him (straight white cisguys)–forget it, his advice is a crapshoot at best and a horrible exercise in unexamined stereotypes at worst.

    • Anti-It-Gets-Better people really bug me, especially when they criticize aspects of Dan and Terry’s video. It’s not about Dan and Terry’s video. There are huge numbers of videos from all types of people–Religious people, people of color, disabled people, trans* people, poor people, and there is no message other than “I felt like you do once, and I don’t feel that way anymore so I know for a fact that even though it seems hopeless, it’s not. Please don’t kill yourself.”

      • Yeah, I feel like there’s a serious lack of research on the part of IGB critics who think it only represents one particular queer narrative. It doesn’t and it was never intended to; Savage wanted queer people (and straight allies) from all walks of life to contribute their stories. He actually included a video on there where the person said “it doesn’t always get better, but you get stronger.”

        If anything, the people complaining about IGB are the ones leaving out experiences; I’ve heard from multiple people that IGB does NO good and doesn’t apply to ANYONE. But it did get better for me. It got better for most people I know, actually. Not everyone, but even for those for whom it will stay the same, is it really that bad to give them hope, as Harvey Milk said? To keep them from killing themselves? While we all continue to help MAKE it better for everyone.

    • I’m not sure I could disagree more with that top post detailing the 10 reasons why the writer doesn’t like the it gets better videos.

      This one really got me though: “There is no infrastructure to catch you when your family reacts poorly. There is no truly benevolent queer family, waiting to catch you, ready to sacrifice so you can thrive.”

      SOMETIMES THERE IS. Somebody, somewhere cares about you. Every single one of you little baby queers.

      The negativity in that post is actually making me extremely angry.

      • I think we can agree, though, that sometimes there isn’t a support system to fall back on, and that having access to such a support system is a privilege. Yes?

        Like, I don’t think a young woman coming out in Iran is going to find many people willing or able to catch her.

      • Hmm, but knowing you have someone out there caring about you doesn’t necessarily help much in meeting material needs, right? Even the best support system often won’t provide what a family often will – shelter and food, school or college fees, a place to crash or a rent payment when you lose your job etc.

        I’m not saying all families provide this kind of support, but many do, and I think it can be better in many circumstances to wait until they can survive without it.

        • Sometimes friends can provide that support – sometimes friends are wealthier, sometimes friends have supportive families who can take you in. There’s no guarantee, but it’s possible.

          And we can work to create more of a support system for queer youth. My college recently started a full scholarship for LGBTQ students who have been cut off by parents due to their coming-out.

  6. The number-one problem with “we need to act a certain way while we’re fighting for xy rights, in order to appease bigots” is that, 99% of the time, the people targeted by that statement aren’t Dan Savage types. They aren’t white, they aren’t cisgendered, or if they are cis they aren’t gender conforming, they aren’t monogamous, they aren’t interested in having 2.5 kids and a dog ….

    White, gender-conforming GLBs are always quick to throw Ts and drag queens and genderqueers and pretty much anyone of color under the bus when it suits us (cf ENDA, HRC, any Pride committee anywhere, and, you know, EVERYTHING ELSE).

    Supporting the “we need to tone it down, you know, so we can be accepted!” really means “will you drag queens shut up and go away while WE get OUR rights, please?” So … fuck that.

    • >>Supporting the “we need to tone it down, you know, so we can be accepted!” really means “will you drag queens shut up and go away while WE get OUR rights, please?” So … fuck that.<<

      A-to the fucking-men on THAT! I remember, back in the 1980's, having a similar debate within the Neo-Pagan/Wiccan/Earth-Centred Spirituality movement about this very kind of thing. Only THEN, it was (uptight suburban) people wanting to distance themselves from the gay people in our midst.

      The argument went like this: the uptights would say that we (the Pagans) had enough work cut out for ourselves in trying to gain our civil rights, and that it could be undone if people thought we were in cahoots with "leather-clad, speedo-wearing queens prancing in some gay rights parade". They thought we should emphasize how "normal" most of us were ("normal"= hetero), and distance ourselves from LGBTQ people (usually by saying "well, we can't control who calls themselves "Pagan", but most of us aren't like *them*…")

      I was amongst those saying "bullshit". Not only was it WRONG, but I felt that playing into the hands of bigots would win us nothing in the long run, and that it would only alienate and fracture our community. "Our enemies may try to divide and conquer," I wrote at the time, "but dividing ourselves only does their work for them."

      Winning "rights" by standing on the backs of other oppressed people only transforms us from being oppressed to being oppressors. And when that happens, we become part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  7. The biggest problem I have with Dan Savage is that he’s the most visible face for the sort of work that he does/advice that he gives, so people assume that what he says is right and reflective of the LGBT community.

    In other words, he can say whatever the hell he wants, frankly, and I don’t care. Free country, blah blah blah. I mean, basically what he does is he gives advice for a living, and I don’t know what qualifies him more than other people to do that. He’s human? He’s had human experiences? I just wish people would take it with a grain of salt just like they would take the advice of anyone else on the planet and not treat him like he was some sort of sex expert genius or enlightened LGBT deity. He’s not, and he probably doesn’t share some of your views about your gender identity/sexual orientation/kinks/etc, and if at the end of the day you believe everything he says, you’re probably going to hate yourself.

    • This. I really like reading Savage Love, and I’m not one to completely lose respect for someone I’m otherwise a fan of because they said a *few* things I disagree with/find offensive.

      But the problem is that he isn’t just anyone, he’s basically become the somewhat-self-appointed spokesperson for Queer Nation. Not just him, of course, but It Gets Better was a pretty big deal and he has been granted considerable clout for that. So when he says stuff that is biphobic, transphobic, racist or whatever, it does do far more damage than if it was coming from just some run-of-the-mill queer blogger.

  8. I think it’s ok to label an action of his as homophobic. E.g. If an awesomely feminist friend were to call someone a slut, I’d call her out for saying something sexist. Mind the gap between labelling what someone is and what they say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0Ti-gkJiXc

    But seriously, I don’t get it with the hate against (allegedly) closeted homophobic gay people. Surely it’s no worse than straights who hate on us? At least they’ve got the excuse of internalised homophobia, and having to prove themselves and all that. Surely some degree of sympathy is in order?

    Oh no right because it’s not because they’re hypocritical, it’s because they’re ridiculous, right? Hence all the comments about his dancing, his ‘flitting’ and imitating his feminine voice and his lisp, right? So surprise surprise, they’re taking the piss out of him because of ‘feminine’ traits. Femme-shaming: that beautiful expression of so much misogyny, transphobia, and homophobia.

    • i didn’t not want to call it homophobic because he’s gay, i didn’t want to call it that because i don’t think that’s what it is. like you said, he’s point out feminine traits and making fun of them. it seems to me like he’s fine with gay, as long as it’s “normal gay” and not “queer gay.”

    • God yes the femme-shaming! Queer misogyny, awesome.

      I’ve never felt comfortable with ANYTHING that was along the lines of “zomg they are obviously GAY GAY GAY, just come out of the closet already”. I’m especially uncomfortable when it comes from other queer folks. It reinforces stereotypes and alienates those that don’t conform so neatly to them and are having a hard time being recognised as queer as a result. Also it assumes that sexuality and gender are neat boxes, that people can’t possibly have complicated identities or choose to honour or not honour certain urges or whatever. argh.

    • As a regular Savage Love reader, while I have more than a few issues with what he says, I don’t think he is a femme-shamer. I think what he is mocking is the fact that femmey, flamboyant closet cases think they can hide their sexuality in spite of so-called obvious evidence – not the femmey, flamboyant behavior itself.

    • Also, re: homophobic closet cases – I agree that we shouldn’t shame people further who are obviously hurting. But I think that when someone is making a career out of putting down gay people, making life even worse for people who are already in a lot of pain (especially when they know how this feels from being just like that) – then we have every right to point out their hypocrisy. Especially since a lot of the way people like Marcus Bachmann make life so much more painful for gay kids is to make them feel like they are completely alone in their feelings and their struggles, that no one else is like them. Pointing out their hypocrisy, when we see it, shows gay kids in conservative environments that homosexuality is alive and well even in the most inhospitable places.

  9. His “It Gets Better” project was genius. But I’m not a fan of anything else that’s come from him. I understand why people are trying to censor him while we’re fighting for our rights. But at the same time, it’s OUR rights. Our community is filled with so many bright people and ideas and I wouldn’t change any of it. Ugg, if people would just get their heads out of their ass and give us our rights this wouldn’t even matter to me.

  10. Yeah, I wasn’t completely a fan of the “It Gets Better” campaign because it was somewhat naive, but it seemed like he was operating from a good moral standpoint. I’m no stranger to being unable to access knowledge (simply because I don’t think of it being a white lesbian; while I work on white privilege, there’s so much I miss because of ignorance or lack of experience) and I think that Dan being a white male has a tendency to miss a lot of things. That said, pointing out the Bachmann’s obvious hypocrisy is completely warranted. Remember Ted Haggard and George Rekers? Once they were revealed to be TEH GAY they lost the vast majority of their influence. What could possibly be done otherwise? Ignore it? If this man feels even an ounce of the humiliation that he’s caused others to feel the media is justified.

  11. I can’t stand this man, some of the comments he has made about women (specifically lesbians) in the past are just vile. I hate that he is the unofficial voice of the LGBT community, ugh.

  12. There’s also the time a woman wrote to him, saying she’s been unable to sleep with her husband since she was sexually assaulted. His advice? You’re cruel and selfish, you’re emotionally abusing him and “you’re being a total shit” (direct quote). http://www.thestranger.com/seattle/SavageLove?oid=5253730

    I didn’t know who Dan Savage was until the It Gets Better campaign, which, while flawed, did a lot of good. But his streams of misogyny, transphobia, biphobia, fat hatred etc. cancels much of it out. If he wants things to get better for LGBT kids he also needs to look all the harmful, damaging, hateful messages he sends out to so many people.

    • I think you’re kind of taking that out of context. It wasn’t the fact that she had difficulty sleeping with her husband that was making her a “total shit”, it was the fact that she was sleeping with her boyfriend despite her husband’s feelings being hurt. I think that he had a point, even if he was too harsh in saying it.

      • I don’t think bringing up the boyfriend changes much. They were in an open relationship – the husband was fine with the arrangement until she wasn’t able to sleep with him. There are reasons (related to PTSD) why she may currently feel unable to have sex with husband and not her boyfriend. Dan Savage mentions none of these, focusing only on her husband’s needs and feelings, to the point of saying that she should have sex with him no matter how uncomfortable she is.

        The trouble with his response isn’t his tone, it’s that he sees the woman’s problem as “husband not getting the sex he is entitled to”.

  13. Ok, surely the ridiculous shit the Bachmanns do and say provides us with endless material to mock and tear apart without needing to resort to ad hominen attacks?

    I think that responding to arguments like ‘everyone is straight and homosexuality is a fixable sin / disorder’ with ‘OH YEAH WELL YOU’RE A HOMO’ is not the most powerful way to convince the world that queers are a-ok. In the short term it might discredit a particular adversary but in the long term we can do better.

  14. Why is our own community using “well, you’re gay” as an insult against someone? We can’t fight to dismantle stereotypes & get rid of things like “that’s so gay” when we turn around and essentially do the same thing. Not to mention the fact that we aren’t getting anywhere in terms of making an argument.

  15. I am so much less okay with the trope of “homophobic closet-case” after reading Sarah Schulman’s novel “The Child,” which points out that one of that trope’s effects is to let homophobic straights off the hook. Not that that pattern of internalized homophobia doesn’t exist, but it happens in a context, you know? There’s more work to do than mock a tormented gay dude, which the straight world is often more than happy to do for us.

    On another note, even ten years ago the idea of reaching out to queer teens one wasn’t related to was pretty unthinkable, mainly because of the “gay pedo predator” stereotype. So IGB is a huge step forward in how it owns a responsibility for young queer people. I would just hate to think that the adult queer community might decide that the extent of their obligation to young queer people is to make sure a fabulous queer adult life lies ahead for those who make it through. It won’t be enough for some young people. Even though for some it will make all the difference in the world.

  16. Dan Savage is a hateful bully who revels in his own privilege. This is the one area in which he can’t lord it over the lesser people, so he’s determined to get that fixed. He’s misogynistic, transphobic, biphobic, racist, fatphobic…Name a prejudice: he has it, will display it openly, and will throw a shit fit if called on it. I have friends who can personally testify to that.

    Dan Savage is in this for himself and people exactly like him; no one else. Just because he is gay does not mean we are on the same side.

    • He’s a scumbag all right.

      Even his ideas about polyamory seem skeezy, as they seem to be based on a really sexist, essentialist view of sexuality.

      Not to mention his hate-on for asexual people, where he seems to have created a bunch of bigoted assumptions, whole cloth, about people who have not existed as a group or identity for long enough to develop stereotypes.

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