I was lucky enough to get a few minutes to talk with sex columnist Dan Savage a few days before his presentation at the Pantages in Minneapolis. I just had to ask about his work on the bullying issue, his advice for marriage equality activists, and a general question about sex that would probably apply to alot of people, but which many people are not too forthcoming about. Here goes.
JT: Your It Gets Better Campaign has been widely praised for bringing attention to the problem of bullying and homophobia among young people.
DS: We’ve heard from hundreds of kids who’ve found resources for support, coping mechanisms, strategies that they’ve needed to survive, watching the videos. Nobody writes newspaper articles about kids who haven’t killed themselves. So alot of people don’t know this part of the It Gets Better story. It’s out there though for people to find. If you go to the Youtube videos and on Youtube and you look at the commentaries.
JT: What advice do you have for Minnesotans in the glbt community as we work to defeat this fall’s ballot measure to ban same sex marriage?
DS: The most important thing is for people to be out to their families. That’s what changes people. We need to use our superpower which is our ability to change the minds and hearts of our family members and our friends, by being out to them, by speaking to them. To know us is to not fear us.
JT: You’ve commented about how pornography can be like a replacement for actual human sexual contact. 20 years ago there was alot of dubious talk that porn equals violence against women, but it seems to have a passive effect on alot of men.
DS: Porn can be a problem in some people’s lives, just like alcohol, food, or sex can be a problem in some people’s lives. You have to look to where your amount of porn use or porn consumption is healthy or fulfilling. Or is it a distraction. If you’re prone to developing unrealistic expectations, porn may not be the best choice for you emotionally or sexually. It can really confuse people by (giving them) unrealistic expectations. Expecting your sex life to look like porn is like expecting your normal life to look like television or film. And most people get that. They know it’s just fantasy, not real sex. And that real sex will be great and fulfilling, but different, different from porn.
Dan Savage: Savage Love Live
Friday, June 22 at 8pm
Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Av., Minneapolis