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Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:05 AM

Dan Savage: All-American


from the Detroit Metro Times:



Dan Savage: All-American
Longtime sex columnist on fatherhood, ethics, politics and freedom

By Michael Jackman
Published: November 28, 2012


Dan Savage would be the first to admit that, when he started his column 20-plus years ago, he had no idea he'd be where he is today. Roving the country doing speaking tours, maintaining a weekly schedule with his podcast, author of several books, writer of opinion columns for such newspapers as The New York Times, Savage has slipped the sultry bonds of sex advice to become something more, a sort of ethicist for the growing progressive wing of American culture. Few writers enjoy such wide readership, or have created so many recent coinages, such as "DTMFA," "GGG" and, perhaps most notably, "Santorum."

Similarly, how could Savage have known two brief decades ago what the world would be like today? With marriage equality gaining increasing acceptance (according to Marriage Equality USA, 48 percent of Americans live in states, counties or cities that recognize legal relationships beyond one-man-one-woman), and the gays and lesbians entering the mainstream of American life to a greater extent than ever before, the LGBT community has made remarkable strides since the early 1990s. And even straight culture has become less priggish during that time, with a young generation that's better educated about sexuality, more sex-positive in outlook, and largely viewing sexual expression as a human right.

And that's largely thanks to, well, folks like Dan Savage, who've bypassed our hysterical national puritanism and addressed sex with a candor that has leveled the playing field for all of us gay and straight in the name of freedom. Frankly, what could be more all-American than that?

.........(snip)..........

mt: Now that you've said it, I'm sure now we can tune into YouTube in two or three weeks and it'll probably be there. (laughter) Did you always have kind of a keen interest in morality?

Savage: Well I was raised Catholic, my dad was a preacher and a Catholic deacon and my mom was a Catholic lay minister and ... I'm in my 40s, and there were a lot of adults around my house when I was a kid, in the late '60s and early '70s, when I was first becoming conscious, arguing about the civil rights movement, arguing about the women's rights movement social justice movements, for lack of a better phrase. Debates about politics were always really present. One of my earliest memories is my mother and father having a knock-down, drag-out argument about Watergate and Richard Nixon. That's part of what passed for entertainment in my family. We argued about politics over the dinner table and everybody debated everything and my grandfather, with whom we lived, was a newspaperman, so the house was full of newspapers and it was how you passed the time between high school and death, arguing about politics and stuff. Basically, yeah, my parents kind of instilled an interest in morality. And the intersection of morality and politics I find kind of fascinating. Being gay, sex is inherently interesting because sex is the central mystery of your existence, sex is what sets you off and it's the problem you have to solve: "Why am I this when most people are that?" Sexuality can lead to a sort of estrangement from your family, it can bring you into conflict with the faith in which you were raised, and you do a lot of thinking about it. You can't avoid it. Every gay person, no matter how poorly educated they are, is in their soul a philosopher because they stand there going, "Why me? How'd this happen?" ....................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://metrotimes.com/news/dan-savage-all-american-1.1408987



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