Changes is one of two comedies Sternin and Ventimilia have sold to ABC through their overall deal at ABC Studios. The other is a multi-camera sitcom based on the adolescent memories of journalist/activist Dan Savage. It explores a contemporary family that comes together by falling apart. ABC Studios-based Di Bonaventura TV is producing, with Lorenzo Di Bonaventura, Dan McDermott, Savage and Brian Pines executive producing with Sternin and Ventimilia.
It’s a funny story, how the wiseass gay theater kid at the video store became America’s most trusted and outspoken sex advocate.
Through his sex column, “Savage Love,” Dan Savage has become one of the highest-profile gay figures in the country, a tireless and fearless advocate of a liberalized philosophy on sex and relationships. People think of different sexualities as opposing baseball teams; Savage has been coaching all sides for 22 years now. He’s crass, unapologetic, fearless and wise. He’s what Dr. Ruth would have been had she grown up watching Internet porn.
Broach the most difficult topics in the world with sex columnist and author Dan Savage –we’re talking every kind of sex imaginable including the kinds that involve animals, children and feces (seriously, this exists) — and he has no problem talking about any of it.
Just so long as he’s behind a computer screen or telephone receiver. “I’m very brave behind my computer,” he says.
But ask if any of the tens of thousands of questions he has received over the years have ever given him an idea in bed and suddenly he’s…shy? And seriously turning various shades of crimson. “I get all freaked out,” he says of people confronting him in person on personal matters. “I’m shy.”
NEW YORK, N.Y. – It’s been quite a run for Dan Savage, what with all the podcasting and tweeting and in-your-face defending of marriage equality.
Between speaking gigs, radio and TV appearances and the syndicated sex-advice column he writes from a desk that belonged to Ann Landers, Savage managed another book, “American Savage,” out this week from Dutton.
Savage, 48, looks back on his mom, who died in 2008, takes us into his rationale for why cheating may just save your marriage and offers a glimpse of life at home with husband Terry Miller and their 15-year-old son.
Reconciliation is at the heart of everything Savage writes and says. He’s not throwing bombs at all. Or rather, if he is, they are bombs aimed at shaking up small minds to extend traditional institutions to people considered outside them. Beneath its often caustic wit, “American Savage” is on a healing mission. It’s about unification. That effort starts immediately. On the first page, Savage dedicates the book: “For my father, who lives in a red state, watches Fox News, and votes Republican — but loves me and mine just the same.”
When you’re as divisive a figure as sex-advice columnist extraordinaire Dan Savage, you’ve got to be able to have a sense of humor about yourself. “That some people really, really, really hate me is hilarious,” the 48-year-old It Gets Better founder laughs. But he says he doesn’t want to bask too much in the glory of others’ loathing. “I’m trying not to be in love with that because that’s dangerous,” he says. “You think, ‘oh, these people hate me; I must be doing good work.’” With any luck, Savage won’t have to deal with the haters when the Seattle resident makes a cross-country trek to New York for a sold out, one-on-one discussion with conservative political blogger (and fellow gay) Andrew Sullivan at the New York Public Library as part of the Live from the NYPL series of talks. The event, which coincides with the release of Savage’s most recent advice tome, American Savage, will serve as an opportunity for him to riff on many of the topics he covers in his book—everything from health care to religion, from gun control to marriage equality.
America’s most in-your-face sex columnist and gay-rights activist comes out swinging in these pugnacious, hilarious essays.
Savage is that rarity, a liberal—verging on radical—who defends his positions with steel-trap logic and scornful humor laced with profanity and stripped of politically correct cant. But in his own way he’s a champion of “family values,” which emerge in warm domestic scenes with his husband and son, in moving reflections on his mother’s death, and in his common-sense understanding of sexual fulfillment as an anchor for stable relationships. Underneath Savage’s scabrous, bomb-throwing exterior beats the heart of a softie.
Sex columnist and It Gets Better Project co-founder Dan Savage will host his second 60-minute MTV special, featuring stories of LGBT youth who’ve come out to their family.
Savage tells Mashable that MTV’s young audience — not just LGBT kids who may be experiencing bullying — are his target for the special.
“We’ll reach more people with our hour long specials on MTV, because that’s the power of TV, it’s where middle schoolers and high schoolers are,” Savage says. “We’re not just reaching LGBT kids on MTV. We always want to acknowledge and normalize the queer kids, but straight kids will also see it and they’re potential perpetrators or bystanders to bullying.”
Excerpted from “Dan Savage: The First Gay Celebrity”
Dan Savage is a public-radio personality, a leading anti-bullying activist, a star of MTV and a prominent tormentor of Republicans. But in the beginning he was a sex columnist. His column “Savage Love” made its debut in the first issue of the Stranger, the Seattle alt-weekly, on Sept. 23, 1991, and soon would change the world of sex advice — a world dominated, at the time, by the relatively timid Dr. Ruth and the once-popular “Ask Isadora.” Now that “Savage Love” is over 20 years old, it’s worth looking back at what the self-described “faggot from Seattle” has wrought.
“At the beginning, it was going to be a joke,” Savage tells me, when I visit him in Seattle. Our day-long conversation has moved from his office at the Stranger, where he sits at Ann Landers’ old desk, which he bought at auction, to the cafe in the back of the Elliott Bay Book Co., a Seattle institution where other customers nod at Savage hopefully, hoping he will recognize them. “We weren’t getting paid. I was going to do this as a lark for a few months then move back to Berlin” — where he had been living with his boyfriend. In the first column, the readers’ letters were written by colleagues at the Stranger, and they all began with the jokey address “Hey, faggot.” That was the last time fellow staffers had to write the letters; soon there was steady mail from readers, who picked up on Savage’s preferred salutation.
This piece is excerpted from Dan Savage’s foreword to the new Penguin Classics edition of Merle Miller’s On Being Different: What It Means to Be a Homosexual, out this month.
Terry found a vacation rental for us in Hawaii.
The house was just steps from the beach—a very important detail for my husband—and it had sixbedrooms. We invited two other couples, both gay, to join us. Our 13-year-old son invited two of his friends, both straight, to join his boring gay dads and their boring gay friends at the beach for two weeks. Their parents were thrilled
I was sitting on a beach on that vacation in the summer of 2011, exactly 40 years after Merle Miller’s essay “What It Means to Be a Homosexual” first appeared in the New York Times Magazine, when I opened On Being Different, the book Miller adapted from that essay. As my son and his friends roughhoused in the surf with Terry and the livelier halves of the two couples who joined us, I read this passage:
A man who was once a friend, maybe my best friend, the survivor of five marriages, the father of nine, not too long ago told me that his eldest son was coming to my house on Saturday: “Now, please try not to make a pass at him.”