Class / Disability / Feminism / LGBTQ / Race / Sex / TV

Capital D for Douchebag: Dan Savage

Dan Savage needs to stop teaching sex education, he needs to stop teaching about consent, he needs to stop punditing about sexuality and identity, he needs to stop pretending he’s an advocate, and he needs to stop doling out flip advice about people and relationships.

I understand he’s opened a lot of doors for people who formerly knew little to nothing about these issues, but as the radical politics of the 90s become more mainstream, it reveals just how bigoted Savage’s views actually are. Dan Savage has been glitter bombed on three separate occasions, by activists you think would be fighting for the same things. This is not the case. People are highly critical of Savage, and his “It Gets Better” campaign, for reasons that have been mentioned ad nauseum. All this shows is that the world is moving on without Dan Savage, and it’s really all for the best.

This is only the tip of the iceberg. Savage also has plenty to say about people with disabilities (although this article gives a different review of Savage’s Miracle!), race, Islamophobia, and women. But in case you were unclear about how terrible this guy is, here are some quotes, right from the source.

savage

On Bisexual People

“I’m not saying bi guys are bad people, or they don’t make great one-night stands. Bushes, bathhouses, and sleazy gay bars are crawling with bi guys. But if a guy wants more, he’ll have an easier time getting it from another gay man.”

“Sorry, but avoiding bi guys is a good rule of thumb for gay men looking for long-term relationships. Outside of San Francisco’s alternate-universe bisexual community, there aren’t many bi guys who want or wind up in long-term, same-sex relationships—monogamous or not” – “Pride & Prejudice,” December 1999

“Get yourself a refillable Xanax prescription, or get yourself an actual lesbian girlfriend.” – “This is Our Youth,” February 2009

“I do find some bisexuals scary, particularly the ones who are always accusing me of being bi-phobic.” – “Bisexuals: You Need to Come Out to Your Friends and Spouses—Now,” June 2011

On Trans* People

“Divorced parents, gay dad, the HIV bombshell… and now, so suddenly, a woman. That’s an awful lot for a high-school-age kid, especially a boy, to deal with. The tranny activists are going to jump down my throat for this, but… it seems to me that your ex could’ve put off the sex change until after his son was out of high school. One of the things parents are supposed to do is make sacrifices, big and small, for the sake of their children. And while I think people have a right to do pretty much as they please (and parents are people), I also believe that children have a right to some stability and constancy from the adults in their lives. Perhaps I’m a transphobic bigot, but I honestly think waiting a measly 36 months to cut your dick is a sacrifice any father should be willing to make for his 15-year-old son. Call me old-fashioned. […] When your son is an adult, he’ll hopefully be able to forgive his dad/mom/whatever for his selfish decision to run off and have a sex-change operation.” – “Bad Tranny,” January 2003

“Paradoxically, RAGE, going down on a shemale escort shores up your heterosexual bona fides. Gay guys don’t frequent and/or fellate shemale escorts (on purpose or by accident); getting with shemales is an entirely straight-male pursuit. So you can go right on identifying as straight, RAGE. Of course you aren’t totally straight—try thinking of yourself as something more than straight, not less—but you’re close enough that you can round yourself down to straight with a clear conscience. (Offer void the day you start blowing shemale escorts.)” – “Deep Thought,” March 2009

“Oh, and folks who want me to apologize for this: Okay, I will—after we raise at least 2K for Juin and his family. Otherwise, meh, I’ll just keep hating on trans people like the raging anti-trans beegoat that I am.” – The Stranger, March 2010

On Asexual People

“I appreciate the feedback, Stephanie, and I’m sorry I offended you. But… um… I couldn’t help but think, as I read your letter, that your boyfriend is either a fool or a fag. But if it works for you guys—if a romantic relationship devoid of sexual attraction and activity works for you guys—then it works for you guys. Who am I to argue with success?” – Savage Love, June 2009

“With all the minimally sexuals out there making normally sexuals miserable, NSNA, it should be obvious to all regular readers that there’s not exactly a shortage of people who aren’t interested in sex. With that being the case, why would you even contemplate inflicting yourself on a normally sexual person? Why not go find another minimally sexual person? You’ll be doing your minimally sexual self a favor, you’ll be doing your future minimally sexual partner a favor, and you’ll be doing all normally sexual persons everywhere a favor by removing two minimals—you and your future partner—from the dating pool.” – “Raw Dog,” February 2011

On Rape Survivors

“I’m extremely sorry that you were raped, DRARS, although your baseless accusations of rape make me doubt you when you claim to be a survivor of rape. The feminist bloggers are going to accuse me of thought crimes: If a woman says she was raped then, by God, she was raped. (Tell it to the lacrosse team.) But if my reaction to your letter is a thought crime, I can only plead entrapment: I wouldn’t have had these illegal thoughts if you hadn’t sent me such a stupid letter in the first place. […] Finally, DRARS, I hereby withdraw my consent for you to read Savage Love. If you continue to read my column against my will, well, we all know what word to apply to your actions.” – Savage Love, June 2007

“I’m sorry that you were sexually assaulted—that’s awful, PTSD, and I hope you went to the police and I hope you’re pressing charges. But I also hope you know that being the victim of sexual assault is not a Get Out of Being a Human Being Free card. Just because you’ve been victimized doesn’t mean you operate in an alternate moral universe where you’re not obligated to take other people’s feelings into consideration—particularly the feelings of people you profess to love and happen to be married to.” – “Double Trouble,” October 2010

115 thoughts on “Capital D for Douchebag: Dan Savage

  1. I encourage anyone who is unfamiliar with Mr. Savage to listen to the podcast and draw your own conclusions. He makes no claims to credentials. He regularly calls in experts when he is in over his head. He responds to individuals, not communities, and he welcomes alternate opinions. This, of course, is merely my opinion.
    Thank you for the food for thought. http://www.savagelovecast.com/

    • Just because his podcast is good doesn’t excuse the fact that he said these things (these are quotes taken directly from his column). This point seems pretty irrelevant.

      • Because encouraging people to make their own conclusions about a person is irrelevant? This article is just a lot of quote mining and thought policing. You could pretty much apply this same mantra to anyone by taking a few quotes out of context.

        • It’s irrelevant because it’s like you’re saying even though he’s said some horrible things, look at all the good things he’s said on his podcast! Does it change that he’s said horrible things in his column? Of course not! I’m not concerned with the okay things he’s said. I’m concerned with the horrible things he’s said. And I “quote mined” his column because the sources are easy to link to for context (and context doesn’t change how bad the quote is), and because he’s said so many horrible things, it was easy to find.

              • He’s a pragmatist. Unfortunately for you, you seem to see honesty as something bad? He’s entitled to his opinions and some of them aren’t wrong – perhaps a bit abrasive and crass, but have you not heard the man? Its not like he’s ever claimed to sugar coat anything.

  2. Ari,
    To start, you should have referred to your own article, “Media and Social Justice 101: How to Critique Responsibly” before immediately “derailing” your argument that DS “needs to stop” his professional, creative, and advocatory life because he has been supposedly glitter bombed three times by “activists” you chose to leave unnamed and assume your readers would “think” the alleged, unnamed glitter bombers would be fighting for the same things as DS. Though it was appropriate in starting a fallacious rant in attempt to scrutinize.
    I conducted a three-day interview with Dan Savage around 2000 after many years of him giving tongue-in-cheek, sarcastic, with a lil’ bit of tough love advice to millions of people of which I’m confident he helped many and surely entertained the vast majority who chose to read his work again and again. I saw him in several venues in that weekend, one-on-one during a long coffee shop discussion, at an all ages nightclub consoling and educating, and in a Hilton ballroom packed with mothers who were trying to deal with their own kid’s sexual orientations where he spoke with his mom and inspired a roomful of smiles and tears, and turned slouched shoulders into healthy, deep breathing raised shoulders and backs supporting relieved and I believe more open minded expressions on the faces of hundreds of parents of gay and bisexual kids. If I only judged from that weekend alone, which I’m not, I’d still be appalled at you calling someone “bigoted and idiotic” because “the radical politics of the 90s became more mainstream” so you want to throw a person away who was a productive voice in those radical politics that have become mainstream to the “generation of expert consumers” that inspire this website and your own writing.

    • I called him bigoted not because the radical politics of the 90s have become mainstream. The fact that they’re mainstream only highlights the bigotry he already had. I think it’s worth arguing that perhaps Dan Savage was exactly what the 90s needed, BUT it remains clear that Savage’s priorities, especially for the It Gets Better program, are for mainly privileged gay males. I.e., it gets better if you’re (often) a white, middle-to-upper-class, secular gay male. For a lot of trans*, asexual, bisexual, and underprivileged LGBTQ youth, the It Gets Better program doesn’t speak to them. Because it doesn’t get better for them. Transgendered youth still have some of the highest suicide rates in the country. But rather that address them, Savage has pretty openly displayed his transphobia, as well as contribute to the erasure of trans* and especially bisexual and asexual people through It Gets Better.

      • Dan’s said in an interview that It Gets Better is not meant to be about his experiences, but is a multi-vocal project in which a variety of voices can be heard. That you’re using the project and Dan’s identity synonymously just shows you’ve missed the point of it.

        For that matter, I’m pretty sure when they refer to “LGBT youth” in It Gets better, the B and T refer to bisexual and trans people. Your statement that it serves to erase those identities is unfounded.

        • It is not unfounded. I am not talking about Savage’s life. I’m talking about the lives of the privileged and how they get better while the lives of the unprivileged often do not, but the program itself focuses on people’s lives and how they get better. By default it focuses on the privileged. I actually linked a source about this in the beginning of my article so I’m not going to bother to explain further if you accuse me of just making stuff up.

          • It getting better being related to privilege is not exclusive to the LGBT community. Economic mobility, for example, is tied to parental wealth. It doesn’t seem fair to criticize IGB for a huge societal problem it can’t fix. No one would argue (I hope) that he should stop telling kids not to kill themselves. And no one criticizing IGB seems to be offering an alternative or better program.

            • That isn’t the issue. IGB is a good program. But it also underserves bisexual, trans*, and economically disadvantaged youth, and as such it isn’t a very good defense against criticism leveled at Savage regarding his statements and oversights on those groups.

              • But what is the solution? How could IGB be improved to better serve those groups?
                That’s what I don’t hear anyone saying.

                • That’s not the issue at hand. As presented in this comment (the one we’ve been responding to): http://beyoungandshutup.com/2013/12/04/capital-d-for-douchebag-dan-savage/comment-page-1/#comment-1296, IGB is being used as a defense for Dan Savage. It’s admirable that he’s doing such a thing, as I said before. But it doesn’t have anything to do with the shit he’s said about trans* people, bisexuals, rape survivors, racial minorities (https://twitter.com/fakedansavage/status/408328129174724608/photo/1), and asexuals. Because of the fact that IGB has shortcomings in various areas (due to its focus on mainstream sexual minorities like gay males and lesbians), it is not sufficient proof that Dan Savage isn’t a prick that gives bad and hurtful advice to members of these groups.

                  Truthfully, even if IGB DID do a good job addressing their issues, it wouldn’t really affect the criticism of what Savage has said, but there’s your explanation for why it’s completely irrelevant that we don’t have ideas for how to make IGB better.

  3. “Dan Savage needs to stop teaching sex education, he needs to stop teaching about consent, he needs to stop punditing about sexuality and identity, he needs to stop pretending he’s an advocate, and he needs to stop doling out flip advice about people and relationships.”
    As a gay male he has all the right to address gay male issues, the other issues he can shut up and be respectful of because they are not hitting his home.

    • And he also spoke out that he regretted having done that and has said, on numerous occasions, that he’s not going to offer opinions on those things any more because he’s not qualified to do so. It’s hard to take these arguments seriously when they are so obviously one-sided.

    • While short of an apology, he admits he was wrong in this video, and in fact that his approach to the Iraq War in 2002 and 2003 disqualifies him from ever taking a public stance on any issue of foreign policy. Those are his words. Here…
      http://vimeo.com/69554806

  4. Essentially, you are opposed to his exercising his right to free speech? Don’t like him, don’t read him. You don’t get to make those decisions for others. He isn’t your boss, your dad or your senator. He has no power over your life. There are millions of people in the world with horrible ideas and most of them have no power over you. Ignore people you don’t like who are 100% avoidable and quit policing the internet. This article is ridiculous.

    • Omg the fucking free speech argument. No I don’t LITERALLY think he should stop speaking or having a job. This post was a post to highlight all the ruin his having his job has caused because of how problematic his views are when he is upheld as a sex and relationship guru.

      • (put here for posterity)

        Let me just put it this way, nobody cried “free speech” in my Miley article when I had captioned a picture of her with “Miley STAHP.” But because Dan Savage is a radio darling, there’s absolutely no hesitation to. All I’m doing is pulling actual fucked up things that he said and using it to demonstrate how Savage privileges certain people of the LGBTQ community (the G part) while simultaneously contributing to the erasure and negative stereotypes of others. If you think that’s just me “making enemies” then it shows that you’re willing to overlook the fucked up things Savage has advocated for.

  5. I listen to Dan Savage. I like him for the most part. I also think he says some really stupid shit. But until someone is in my life causing me a problem and saying “Dan told me to”, why care? Show me the evidence that any of the statements above had an adverse effect on someone’s life and didn’t just hurt your wittle feelings.

    • Savage isn’t just some drunk dude on the train. It’s not the same as ignoring the drunk dude on the train. He’s a heavy hitting media influencer, and a big part of the way we see the LGBTQ community. And the fact that people are going around with major biphobia or transphobia and they think of themselves as progressive and liberal because they listen to Savage is a big deal. That’s why it’s important to call him out on his shit.

      • So you assume. Yet you provide not one real world example of an individual or group facing transphobia or biphobia because of Dan Savage.

        • Um, people have felt directly victimized by Dan Savage’s transphobia. The women he responded to clearly felt directly victimized by his rape apologism. All you have to do is google it. Do your research.

          • You said ” And the fact that people are going around with major biphobia or transphobia and they think of themselves as progressive and liberal because they listen to Savage is a big deal.” You’ve presented no evidence of that. As for the woman he responded to – she asked for his opinion. Don’t want it, don’t ask for it.

            • I live in a large city with a large lgbtq population, and attitudes of biphobia still persist in gay and straight communities, and most gay communities consider themselves progressive. I’ve personally had a relationship fail partially due to biphobia. There are talks and webpages that address biphobia. I don’t know why you are asking me to give you “proof” that biphobia exists. Shall I ask you to give me proof that it doesn’t? This is a thing unless you’ve been living under a rock.

              • “I, at first, thought that all it took to be a bigot was to say something bigoted . . .” It seems as though you still think that! Ari, whatever you attempted in this weak rant of an article would have been more successful if you had stayed out of the comment thread. You try to call people out on how sound their critical thinking is but stubbornly dismiss your own flawed arguments refusing to see how you can take your argument from valid to sound, you ignore your own biases, what appears to be jealousy for Dan Savages’ large platform in the way you respond to many of the comments, and continually misuse “phobia”. Where has DS shown fear or anxiety in the groups you are trying to advocate for (really just your own cliques in much larger groups that have found good advice and entertainment ffrom DS)? A phobia requires fear and/or anxiety. You seem, though I hope you’re not, to be filled with anxiety. BTW, I work with and have had numerous transgendered friends over the last 20 years who use and don’t mind at all the colloquial “tranny” and “shemale.” Not all of us consider their usage bigoted and certainly not phobic. JUSTAKIND, whoever you are, thank you for trying. I’m sorry you spent so much time on trying to expand Ari’s point of view. I think it will eventually settle into his, her, or his/her mind and come to sound, productive fruition at some point.

        • Dan Savage doesn’t have to be directly responsible for anything, that’s kind of the nature of prejudice, dogg. He’s in a position where he has a platform, and a platform based on his supposedly good advice on sex, relationships, and gender. By harboring the sentiments he does, and passing out the advice that he does, in his position as an expert (it does not matter whether or not he claims to be an expert, this is his JOB, and people turn to him), he’s perpetuating harmful stereotypes, slurs, and attitudes.

          To require something to be happening “because” of Dan Savage before he can be considered a bad guy is ridiculous. Societal prejudice feeds off of people like him, and it leaves NOBODY directly responsible; that’s why it’s so difficult to get rid of.

        • how does that even make sense. This argument is getting stupider. Most people do not care what a drunk guy on the train has to say. Far more people care about what a media pundit and advice columnist who has been on TV, routinely gives talks at universities, and has his own charitable organization has to say.

  6. I can’t even breathe I’m so, so angry. Thank you for posting this Ari. He has the right ot say whatever he wants, we have the right to call him out on it. <3

      • It goes to show that some people prefer to attach their allies rather than their enemies, because it’s safer. All of the moral superiority and outrage and none of the risk.

        • people attack their allies because it’s well-understood what is wrong with the enemies. you don’t see us attacking, say, rick santorum for his homophobia, because it’s so obvious and out in the open. even though he has much more power and probably does more damage, he’s largely ignored. not because he isn’t an enemy or threat, but because everyone knows it. dan savage is presenting himself as an ally with the right information, therefore it’s important that people within the movement scrutinize his words and behavior.

          a lot of people dan wants to help wouldn’t call him an ally, and that’s kind of the point here. he marginalizes people by giving bad information and holding bigoted views against them.

          there is no risk involved in saying mean shit about bigoted politicians, school administrators, or really anyone. we could get just as much moral superiority and outrage out of that as we do here, only we feel it wouldn’t do as much good.

        • Not calling your “allies” out is the problem with the Republican party today. We would be no better than them if we didn’t call out people who clam themselves our “allies” while they are not in fact being an ally as they put us down.

        • an no…it’s safer to preach to the choir, and defend someone in your community simply because they are in your community, even when they are wrong (again, refer to Republican party)

  7. I’m asking for proof to your argument that biphobia is caused by Dan Savage. You keep intentionally ignoring what I am asking. I am going to assume at this point that you have zero evidence that biphobia is caused by Dan Savage and wish you a good day.

    • How can one prove something like this? Here’s what I do know: biphobia exists. People listen to Dan Savage and take his advice. People praise Dan Savage for his progressive ideas. Dan Savage espouses biphobic and transphobic views. These are all things that matter. I’m sorry if it’s not enough for you that I haven’t conducted a peer reviewed study of biphobia in the greater Dan Savage community.

    • He’s being biphobic and encouraging others to be. He’s spread false stereotypes to his LARGE audience. You can love him as much as you like but he’s still a biphobic, transphobic bigot.

  8. Does anyone actually listen to his show? My girlfriend and I listen anytime we go on a road trip and we both love it. Most of these quotes are taken terribly out of context. Yes, sometimes he’s a sarcastic ass but he never says anything unnecessarily rude unless the person really needs to hear it. People who call in know he is rough around the edged, it’s not for light heart-to-heart conversation. He has spoken to many trans, bi, and asexual people on his show and he is always compassionate and understanding of their problems.

  9. None of these comments prove anything. The stories thy go along with them are missing. It’s like a bad tv show where need stations edit what someone says to help a cause or create a bad guy. He of course has no personal experience being trans, so he speaks from the role he knows; a parent. He never ignores the problems people call him with just because they say they’re trans or bi. So to say he’s trans or bi phobic is not even correct. People are just looking for a scapegoat to blame the LGBT problems on. And because he puts himself out there and has a big mouth about everything makes him the perfect target.

  10. Why not say that Dan is anti-gay too? He said “fag” in one of the articles you posted…

    I hope this was satire because if it wasn’t, I can’t imagine how miserable you must be.

    • Not really sure why people always jump to the conclusion that if you want to critique something you must be secretly unhappy. Writing for this website is a labor of love and is a lot of fun for me. But enough about me…

      The thing about using slurs is that if you’re not part of the oppressed group, there’s a good chance you’re not using it in a way that reappropriates the meaning into one of empowerment. And given the fact that Savage has actually said some oppressive things about trans* people WHILE also using the slur, is a good indication that it’s a source of transphobia.

      • Using this logic, then we should never again use the term LGBTQ because this cannot possibly be a “group” even in their own heads. Using your argument, if you’ve grown up thinking of yourself as part of the whole group and used the term “tranny” and “fag” then you’re wrong to do so and a bigot. This falls into the same thinking as the feminist argument that gay men should not have children in order to atone for all men’s sins against women. Congratulations! You have now mainstreamed to the point where you’re eating your own.

        • “shemale” is not a word that is acceptable, just as “nigger” isn’t. So by your logic, it’s ok for Dan to use the word “nigger”?! And I don’t know what feminist you’ve been speaking to, but no feminist I know feels that way. They certainly feel there is a lot of misogyny in the gay male community, and they are right.

          • I think what she’s getting at is that LGBT can’t be considered a group if it’s not okay for the groups under the LGBT umbrella to use the slurs owned by their fellow groups.
            Which isn’t true at all; compare LGBT to “People of Color”: it’s not okay for Tongans to use racial insults against Salvadorans, just because they happen to be in the same group of “non-mainstream ethnicity.”

  11. Ari,

    Let me get this straight, Dan tells people that they ought to consider the feelings of other people, and you are offended?

    Calling a transperson, bisexual, or victim of sexual assault selfish doesn’t make you a bigot…especially when said transperson, bisexual, or sexual assault victim is being selfish.

    It seems like you, Ari, are unable to accept that a member of a sexual minority group can be just as much of a D-bag as a member so a sexual majority.

  12. So, we have options here, LGBT community.

    You could do what this blog writer has done and ruthlessly shame a man for trying to help because some of his opinions are at best poorly worded and poorly thought out and sometimes reflective of an area of his life where he’s not as educated, attempting to make him look like the Devil and essentially trying to kill his readership out of spite and vengeance.

    OR you could be an actual human being with sympathy, explain why the ideas are wrong but understand ignorance doesn’t come from hate or fear but just that – ignorance. The concept of not knowing or understanding, and from that understand people who are simply ignorant CAN BE TAUGHT and in fact people like Dan Savage would probably be very open.

    I very much don’t like this new “social justice” idea which actually has NOTHING to do with making a change in society or advocacy or opening horizons, but in fact is just an excuse for people to tear down people they don’t like.

    Also, people aren’t “highly critical” of It Get’s Better. One news article which admits the core idea is good and one of your own blogs which completely misses the point doesn’t prove anything.

    Look at what you’re doing here. This won’t help the LGBT community.

    • If you’re complaining about posts not having the type of tone you want, then I can’t respond. BYSU exists to point out and articulate things that are wrong and problematic (including figures within liberal communities) and explain how these things are damaging. Shedding light on how even people’s heroes are problematic–especially if one’s hero is a great media influencer–is the first step in figuring out what we can do to create media more responsibly and be better advocates. I’m okay with saying that I’m not an advocate for Dan Savage if it means being a better advocate for the transpeople, asexual people, and bisexual people he has routinely erased.

      • This doesn’t explain how they are damaging. This doesn’t even explain what exactly is wrong with them. It insults the man, puts the quotes on a pedestal, and leaves it at that. That explains nothing. That is just shaming. Plain, straight out, shaming.

        And no, it’s not the first step in that. The first step in figuring out how to make media more responsible is by MAKING RESPONSIBLE MEDIA. This is not responsible media. This article has no substance. It has no explanation. There is nothing here and this article will not help trans, ace, or bi people and saying you don’t support one person doesn’t make you a better advocate for those people.

        THIS is the problem. THIS is why this article fails. Because it has nothing to do with responsible media. Has nothing to do with helping the community. It is a rant.

        And rants are fine. But you should be equally capable of recognizing when something is a rant, when something is just shaming, and when to step down. Stop trying to pass this off as some great article pushing social justice and responsible media. It is not. It was clearly never intended to be.

        Either say it is a rant, and leave it at that. Or take it down and replace it with something which is actually CRITICAL, meaning carefully takes every aspect into consideration and views them from an OBJECTIVE, NON-PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW. Meaning you don’t spend half the article accusing Dan Savage of being this or that. You spend the entire article examining his words and his views and that is IT. Responsible media means you never target the person, only the opinion. This article fails MISERABLY in that respect, and that is my problem.

        • Also BYSU is not a journalism site, so it does not aim to be objective. I aim to be a better ally to transpeople et al by not supporting a supposed “guru” or “expert” who does not support them in the first place, who is often chosen to speak for their community but then chooses to underserve them.

          • You wrote an article about responsible media and now you’re trying to say it’s “not meant to be objective”?

            At this point you’re doing the exact same thing Savage does. Trying to wave off your own faults as just “ignorance” and rather than face them, make it seem like they’re okay.

            You want responsible media. It starts with you. You can’t say “Well it’s not a journalism site” and then deny all responsibility. It’s not how it works.

            And by the way, taking my words out of context is cute. You’re shaming him by providing the quotes with no analysis, explanation or comment, and them coupling it with insults towards the MAN. It’s the lack of objectivity that makes it shaming.

            But you seem very concerned with trans issues specifically, I’ve noticed. Which just propagates my point I wanted to make earlier. Savage clearly doesn’t know much about the trans community. Few people do, unfortunately. But the trans community needs to stop responding with glitter bombs and articles like “Why You Should Hate Dan Savage” for two huge reasons. Because 1) the average person isn’t going to relate to it because the whole reason this is an issue is the average person doesn’t know a whole lot about the trans community and 2) because that same average person is going to get very alienated by articles like this by and actions like glitter bombing.

            You want to teach Savage and those average people about the trans community?

            Well you could start by not wasting your time insulting people and instead use that time constructively TOO TEACH PEOPLE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY. It’s complicated. In teaching people about the LGBT community it is one of the last communities people really truly understand (Ace might be the very last, depends on the person learning). But you’re not going to accomplish it this way. Use all of your time constructively. If you want to be a better advocate for trans people, then prove it. You don’t become a better advocate by hating people like Savage. You become a better advocate by actually ADVOCATING. You have this blog. This blog has some readers. Why not write some actually educational articles, instead of ones like this?

            • 1) Not all responsible media is objective. Responsible media can make an argument. It can pose a question. It can point out things that are wrong. Not all responsible media is objective journalism, and pardon the pun, but newsflash: not all “objective” journalism is really objective. Most news sources that present “both sides” of an argument, are actually creating a structure in which an argument only has two sides, when in fact, it is far more complicated. We can create responsible media by pointing at things that are not okay and saying “this is not okay,” and by saying “If you say bigoted things, you’re probably a bigot,” and by saying “Dan Savage’s ideas were once progressive, but now they’re outdated because he’s a bigot.”

              2) Also, attacking this article because it does not make an argument exactly the way you want it to, by being kind and reasonable and patient toward Dan Savage, a man who has clearly been very unkind and unreasonable and impatient toward communities that he supposedly speaks for, and then routinely underserves, is pretty unreasonable of you. But since you asked, I shall deliver by writing an analysis that should answer most if not all your questions, including your appeal for me to answer WHY none of this is okay.

              Why Dan Savage’s bigotry isn’t okay:

              Dan Savage has displayed, in his column (as well as elsewhere, but I did not link to it because it was not easy to link to), a number of instances of casual biphobia, transphobia, acephobia, and rape apologism, as seen in the quotes I have compiled. In the first section of my quotes, detailing Savage’s biphobia, you can see that he advocates discriminating based on sexuality, either by “avoiding bi guys” or getting “an actual lesbian girlfriend.”

              In section two, he addresses a spouse of a transperson and dictates what the transperson should be doing with their own body. He also uses the phrase “shemale,” which is derogatory.

              In section three, he suggests that asexual people should remove themselves from the dating pool, further emphasizing the idea that they do not belong in the community. In other instances of his podcast, he also talks about asexual people participating in Pride parades. He calls them “hilarious” because they are being proud for “the right to do nothing.” I was unfortunately unable to link to this because it’s not text, however, the quote highlights his lack of awareness of what exactly asexual people are vying for in their participation in the community, and opts instead to erase them.

              In the final section of my post, Dan Savage gives very flip answers to rape survivors, including disbelief that one of the readers has actually been raped. Given the way rape victims are often treated today, with little support, and often disbelief, this is harmful because it normalizes both the doubt and victim blaming that many rape victims have to face already, by law enforcement, family, friends, and even their rapists who do not understand what rape is.

              While Savage is a source of sex education, relationship advice, and sound identity politics for most laypeople, and while he is often looked up to as a relationship and sex expert and figure in the LGBTQ community, his casual biphobia, transphobia, acephobia, and rape apologism pose a huge problem to large sub-members of this community who feel that they are, in fact, underserved by Dan Savage. Because he has such a wide following, as well as listeners and readers who often seek out his advice and follow it, his problematic advice is made all the more problematic. It risks normalizing these phobias and making them mainstream in the LGBTQ community because Savage is looked up to.

              3) I’m not really concerned with alienating anyone. I don’t believe I have a responsibility not to alienate anyone. Guess what? Even the nicest blogs will alienate someone, or someone will appear out of nowhere and say they will not like the tone. I don’t really want to educate anyone on the tone argument, it’s as old as the Internet. I respect and welcome educational blogs, and nice blogs, but I am personally okay that I don’t have a very high Dan Savage tolerance. Also, it seems from quite a few of the comments here, that I have not alienated everyone. But that is irrelevant. All I want to do is point out why Dan Savage is pretty terrible, using his own quotes. It seems that I have accomplished this. Your last comment is sort of a “I don’t like how this blog sounds. Why not make it sound like another blog?” which is not something I’m interested in doing. I’m okay with the possibility that I’ve alienated some Dan Savage lovers through this blog. The only argument that would bother me is an argument that Dan Savage is not -phobic, or that Dan Savage’s -phobic ideas are not harmful, which would be impossible to argue at this point. I’m perfectly okay with people who listen to Dan Savage and discover interesting things he says, as LONG as they know that he has bigoted views on other issues, which are often overlooked or written off by liberal communities.

              • “I’m not really concerned with alienating anyone.” Then don’t write about sensitive issues.

                I was curious about the “ablist” comment by the way, because you presented only one example and it seemed from that example that the person complaining never SAW the play (and, it seems, isn’t deaf).

                So I did some additional research and found this:

                http://deafreview.com/deafreview-news/4-lessons-of-dan-savages-helen-keller-is-miracle-an-insult-or-an-ode-to-deaf-blind-individuals/

                Turns out it’s actually pretty pro-deaf in its portrayal.

                And this is why you should be objective. Because if you’re wrong about this, and wrongly called him an ableist based on that one false example, why should I believe anything else in your article?

                Stop pretending to care about the community if all you really want to do is call people bigots when they don’t do exactly what you want them to do. No one, not a single person, is saying what he said is okay.

                But what you said isn’t okay either. You are just as bad as him. Except whereas he is clearly just woefully ignorant and could probably be taught what is wrong and reform, I have been trying to tell you what is wrong for an hour and you are simply stubborn about it. You are just as bad as him, if not worse.

                Don’t pretend to be an activist unless you’re going to do actual activism. Shaming Dan Savage and saying he’s “dangerous” and pretending this, with no context, analysis, education, or anything remotely useful, is anything other than pandering to OTHER people who don’t like Dan Savage, or teaching people who have no opinion one way or another, not to change their views but to only HATE Dan Savage with no context, is not activism. You are not a better activist for this. And you need to stop. Because this is just as dangerous as anything Savage said because whereas Savage just gives ignorant advice, this creates vitriol in the community. This creates hatred. And that is FAR more dangerous than giving stupid advice.

                I think we’re done because I can tell you are too stubborn to admit when you have done something wrong. You are caught up in the worst part of the Internet – I am anonymous so if people tell me whats what I don’t have to listen. And that’s sad. Because you have a lot of potential to be a good activist if you didn’t waste your time on things like this.

                • Um, no, you’re missing the point. The reason why I’m not concerned about alienation is because if you write about sensitive issues, you will alienate people no matter what. Because it’s a sensitive issue.

                  Thank you for finding the article, by the way. I’ll update the ableist portion, if it needs it. Back to this:

                  What did I say exactly that wasn’t okay? That I used the word douchebag? I will agree with that, and take responsibility for it. I still think he’s a douchebag, though, and given the editorial nature of this blog, it’s fine to use, and it’s fine if other people have a problem with it. Also, I don’t know why you keep saying “no context,” as I repeated multiple times that I have provided context, and I’ve even provided the much-longed-for analysis of why espousing bigoted views to a large and fawning audience is not okay.

                  Lastly, I don’t believe you are the decider of what a “good activist” is, and it’s fine that I don’t have your approval.

                  • Personal insults are never fine to use, not in a context of wanting to fix a problem or commentate on their views.

                    Tell me, what is accomplished by insulting him. What is accomplished by calling him a douchebag.

                    The analysis needs to be in the article itself, not the comments, and again, shouldn’t be prefaced with “Dan Savage is a bigot” because THAT DOESN’T MATTER. You’re talking about his views and what’s wrong with the views and when you make personal insults it ignores the things a person does RIGHT. Insulting Hitler or Westboro Baptist Church is fine, because frankly they so rarely do anything right and what they do wrong is so MIND BOGGLINGLY wrong that it overshadows any good thing they could do.

                    That isn’t the case with Dan Savage. He does wrong things. He does good things. Clearly he is trying to be a good person even if he fails miserably sometimes and THAT is why you don’t use personal insults. Ever. Not in any context, unless the person is truly deserving of it. Doing it to allies just makes you look angry. It belittles your point.

                    Just to prove that point, we wouldn’t be having this conversation and in fact your comments wouldn’t be riddled with criticism if the original article didn’t include personal insults. If it had just been “HE’s said these things, and they’re wrong and here’s why and here’s a constructive way to deal with it” instead of “SAVAGE IS A BIGOT! HERE ARE QUOTES THAT SUPPORT WHY HE IS A BIGOT! BIGOT BIGOT BIGOT!” then we could get something accomplished. Unless you can tell me exactly how those personal insults are useful, take them out. Please. I implore you. Thank you for at least changing the ableist part, but the insults are my biggest problem (that was just a curiosity on my part when I noticed you didn’t have any quotes about it). As someone who has been insulted pretty viciously by the LGBT community for doing something as benign as saying we shouldn’t make fun of an ex-gay person because it’s likely to drive them farther in the closet, I know first hand how badly damaging it is to the community when we resort to in-fighting like this.

                    • Dan Savage does good things for people in his circle of the LGBTQ community. He and his program do a lot of bad for people outside of his circle. If your argument is devolving into “But look at the GOOD things!” then what am I supposed to say? Good job, Dan Savage, for the good things? This is essentially just you going back to the tone argument, and complaining that I’m not being soft enough on a guy who I term bigoted. And if you think “bigot” is an inappropriate insult, then we don’t have anything else to talk about here.

              • I hope my comment about Dan’s actions bullying queer youth in Seattle was posted. This is kind of difficult to comment on for some reason. On another note, Ari, I strongly agree with JUSTAKIND here. I really hope after some refection, you reread what his person said and make adjustments in your strategy.

                Dan Savage is not a friend to the majority of LGBTs, but we can do better in showing that to the world.

      • On top of what you have mentioned, he’s personally put up roadblocks for queer youth in Seattle by fighting their efforts to create a safe space on their terms. That’s direct action that affected the most disenfranchised LGBTs in his city. His actions were abhorrent. Instead of supporting them, he blogged about how it was a waste of city $ and fought them. He could have reached out, offered his help, but instead he went right to his bully pulpit.

        Yes, Dan Savage is on record bullying queer youth.

        The man is fricken famous for “helping” gay youth, but is on the record directly sabotaging queer youth for their activism in his city. I guess they were a bit too queer for him. I’m guessing if they wee all pretty white boys organizing via a gay fraternity, he wouldn’t have been fighting back.

        Over 3 years later it still disgusts me reading his articles about this. Directly fighting against the next generation of LGBT activists purely out of his selfishness to preserve the “sanctity” of his city.

        http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/04/12/dear-queer-youth-space-activists

        http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/04/13/dear-queer-youth-space-activists-cont

        http://queeryouthspace.org/

    • Don’t know why they’re irrelevant. They are very flip responses to rape victims which, considering how rape victims are treated today, with disbelief and little support, are harmful.

      • Because when you read his entire response to the woman who was responding about a previous question by a man, it is irrelevant especially when you pretty much wrote the article about the LGBT community and not rape.

        • No, I wrote the article about Savage’s “expertise.” Also, the reason for why I quoted that part is because of the reasons I stated in my last comment, which even with the context, doesn’t change.

          • In the context it actually does change considering he was being sarcastic to a woman who probably shouldn’t have put her nose in where it didn’t belong. On a regular basis Savage is sarcastic…sarcasm can be taken one of two ways:hilarious or offensive.

  13. There’s a difference between being “soft” and not being insulting. You’re more soft when all you do is resort to insults. Those are easy to ignore. Try being hyper critical of their VIEWS, that’s going to have a much deeper impact. I’m obsessing over the tone because the tone is wrong and you’re not getting it. Bigot IS an innappropriate insult when you use it to target someone who CLEARLY isn’t bigoted in every aspect, if at all. Like I said, he seems more ignorant to me, and ignorant is not the same as bigot. A bigot is someone who knows nothing and is proud of it. An ignorant person knows nothing but doesn’t even realize how little he knows. My argument isn’t “Well look at the good things!” My argument is, when you insult someone, it demeans them in EVERY facet of their life INCLUDING the good things.

    Negativity accomplishes nothing. Your way of looking at this man is to ignore the good and only see the bad, but that does NOTHING except make you and everyone around you ANGRY. Not the healthy, motivating kind of angry. The hateful, bitter angry that does nothing but divide this community.

      • Aw, so did you. By your own admission. “And if you think “bigot” is an inappropriate insult, then we don’t have anything else to talk about here.” is just as much a derailing comment as my concern with tone. Except my concern with tone is an actual concern and your comment was just a means to, again, try and dismiss criticisms against you. So either your definition of derailing is something you wrote JUST to try and deflect criticisms against yourself, or you are just as guilty of it as you think I am.

        • If you think tone is an important criticism, then that’s fine. I don’t think it’s an important criticism, and it’s certainly one that I’ve never been concerned with for as long as this website has existed. I also don’t think calling someone a bigot for saying bigoted things is a tone issue (as you seem to), or even an issue at all, so here is the crux of our argument, and what more is there to say?

          • Then don’t call yourself an activist. Or at least, don’t call your blogs activism or anything related.

            A rant is a rant, and a rant is fine, but it’s still a rant and has no place in activism.

            Activists do need to be concerned with their tone, they do need to be concerned with their audience, and they do need to be concerned with how they present themselves. They don’t insult others – their fight is about substance. If that’s what you do outside this blog, fine. But inside this blog, treat it like a rant, and stop defending it at this thing that’s going to expose the evils of the world and help people and make you a better activist. It is a diary to vent your frustrations. And until you START being concerned with things like tone and how to treat others, that’s all it’s going to be.

              • And neither do you. So maybe you should stop insisting Dan Savage is so bad at it. If you are able to declare Savage to be a bigot, then I can declare your opinion to not have a place in activism. Simple as that. You reap what you sow.

                • I, at first, thought that all it took to be a bigot was to say something bigoted, but it seems as though that the criteria is much different if someone LIKES them. My bad, O Great Activist Advisor, for not seeking your council before writing this. I hope my venerating and respectful, and not at all sarcastic tone makes up for the misgivings I had about activism and bigoted behavior!

                  • What it takes to be a bigot, like I said, is knowing that you are unaware of what a community goes through, and being PROUD of that fact. Bigotry is a conscious act – bigots don’t like the term, but they love being it. They love embodying it. Saying something “bigoted” doesn’t make a person a bigot, especially if that something stems from ignorance that isn’t willful.

                    Also kind of funny, again, you don’t like Savage’s sarcasm but you freely exercise it yourself.

                    • I never said I don’t like Savage’s sarcasm. Also, bigotry is NOT always conscious. Bigotry appears in the form of “I’m not a racist but [racism]” or “I’m not sexist, but [sexism]” all the while maintaining that the person is not these things that show otherwise. People get the idea that bigotry is only blatant. That’s wrong too, but these comments from Savage are as blatant as it gets. Now you say that bigotry must only be conscious as in “I am a bigot so I shall say this bigoted thing.” Also, you cannot blame Savage’s bigoted quotes on plain ignorance, or unwilling ignorance. The last transphobic quote was a response to people telling him he should apologize for another transphobic quote, which shows that he obviously is unwilling to learn how to be more sensitive to the transphobic community, and not say things that are transphobic.

                      But I don’t know where you got the idea that bigotry must be entirely conscious. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=buried-prejudice-the-bigot-in-your-brain&sc=rss

                    • I’m sorry, I got the idea from the fact that if it’s all the same then that means we’re grouping Westboro, Rick Santorum, and Rush Limbaugh in with an Joe Schmoe who just doesn’t know about the community or what is wrong and right.

                      And that is a problem. You can’t use the same term to describe people who are insulting and know they’re insulting and the people who just don’t know.

                    • YES! I AM grouping all those people. Why? Because EVERYONE can be a bigot. Even *gasp* LIBERALS! I know it can be hard for you to understand that some people can be more bigoted than others, and some people can be bigoted with more detail than others, but it doesn’t change the fact that they choose to say hateful things….one might say BIGOTED things!

                      Your response is like saying “So you’re saying George Washington and John Mayer are both racists! That’s preposterous! George Washington owned slaves for goodness sake!”

                    • Where on earth did the liberal comment come from? Why do you not understand the difference between saying bigoted things (something I never denied Savage did) and BEING a bigot. THIS IS THE ISSUE and THIS IS WHY I DON’T LIKE THE ARTICLE. Because you’re conflating a criticism of the STATEMENT with an insult on the person and pretending like they’re the same thing. Criticizing a statement is fine. Generalizing a handful of statements to make a judgement call on the person is NOT fine because it means you aren’t taking into account the persons ENTIRE action. THAT IS THE POINT I’M TRYING TO MAKE. It’s not hard.

                    • Dude, I gave you a source all about bigotry that occurs unconsciously. The problem here is your definition that it must be conscious and not out of ignorance, but you are getting into nebulous territory here. Insisting that you know his comments are purely out of ignorance is implying that you can somehow see into Dan Savage’s heart and know for sure that he’s ignorant and would otherwise be sensitive to the trans/bi/asexual communities. Except all I’m saying is I don’t need to see into anyone’s heart to know they shouldn’t have said something. And in fact, I pointed out that he has been called out multiple times and one of those quotes is a response to an appeal to an apology for some other transphobic comment he made. It is a dismissal of the apology and of the people who were victimized by the first thing he said. It shows that he in fact did not make the effort to reach out to the community when given the chance. If you plea ignorance then it is at least willful ignorance, which is a problem.

                      But what do I care about where the bigotry comes from? The Westboro Baptist Church is ignorant. When the WBC does what it does, and when Savage doles out discriminatory advice, both parties think they are being moral by doing so. The WBC is a group dedicated to willful ignorance, but they are not the only one. So where do you draw the line? Why do the guys you list get the bigot label and Dan Savage doesn’t in this case? Is it because you like Savage and don’t like the other party? Because that’s what it’s seeming to come down to when you keep talking like this. Is it because he’s done some good things before? Do the good things cancel out the bad things? Like I said, it’s nebulous territory.

                    • You don’t see into anyones heart and yet you called him not only bigoted but phobic. Clearly you think you DO. I don’t. Hence why I take the safe route, assume someone generally intends well.

                      You take the opposite. You are still judging him by what you don’t know, but you’re just choosing to be insulting about it. CALLING HIM ANY GENERAL INSULT IS ASSUMING WHAT IS IN HIS “HEART” (by the way, for someone who claims to know so much, why are you talking like a Disney character?)

                      Because Westboro universally seems to hate all people and TOTE their bigotry. Find me a place where Savage BRAGS about not liking trans or ace people, and you might have something. He doesn’t. He just doesn’t get the culture, and when it mixes with his general sarcasm he throws at everything, it gets worse.

                      We’re done here. You are far too stubborn and insulting to talk to. I’ve made this point, multiple time. If your life is really so sad, that you have to use your little blog to insult people, to judge them, to be the exact sort of person you claim to be against, then I feel sorry for you. If you can’t get why insults aren’t okay, go back to high school.

  14. Ari, you’re a nitwit. Just thought you should know, you took that last quote massively out of context; that guy was a total scumbag. The fact that they were abused was 100% tangential to their behavior; they were using it to justify their massively horrid actions.

    • If you bother to read any of he comments you will see that I included it. considering the way rape victims are treated in society (they are often dismissed), the “get out of being human free” card is just a very flip answer given to someone who’s gone through mental and physical trauma. there are definitely ways to bring up working out a couple’s differences and handling PTSD post-rape without implying that someone is trying to get out of being human.

  15. It seems to me that you are cherry picking his comments: an argument technique that rarely is effective. Perhaps instead of a list of quotes (out of context regardless of whether you provide links), you could provide actual evidence-based arguments for why he is wrong when saying these things? I see that you are trying to do this in your intro, but to me, that fact that 3 glitter bombings and two blogs don’t approve of Dan Savage doesn’t exactly provide “ad nauseum” proof that the whole world should stop listening. The blog links were at least informed opinions.

    This whole article was a waste of time.

  16. Umm…maybe I missed Jesus Christ and the Buddha commenting on this thread, but I’m pretty sure every single one of us has internalized bigotry and oppression to work through. I’m pretty sure everyone wakes up thinking they do the best they can to make the world a better place and I’m positive that every one of us fucks up. Especially when producing critique, thought and commentary in quantity. This applies equally to Ari and Dan. I agree that DS should do some work on his transphobia, his sexual-assault support techniques and his sassy diva attitude, but silencing him would be cutting off the nose of sex-literacy to spite its face. If you want to influence an influential person, treat them like a human and with respect-they may just respond with some understanding.

  17. Since you are getting so many comments from people who seem to be missing the point (I know, I know, it’s the comments), I just wanted to leave something here to be like THANK YOU for this post, good to have these links in one neat place, Dan Savage is an awful human being who needs to learn him some shit before he continues to “advise” the queer community at large. What an asshole.

    • Thank you. I spoke to some trans people on twitter who specifically said they read Savage’s advice when it first went up, and it made them feel like freaks, and it made them afraid to come out. An ally doesn’t do that shit.

  18. I read this essay and I read the links and I don’t feel like your argument is helped by the fact that these quotes are taken so out of context. Especially “The Stranger,” March 2010, which is actually a call for donations to help the family of a trans* teenager meet some basic living expenses. And Juin is the kind of young person you and many others argue that Savage’s work marginalizes and/or ignores.

    I’m not denying Savage’s white, male, gay, geographical, and class privilege. But when a writer has published literally thousands of articles over three decades, it’s not hard to build any kind of case against the author. And you selected verbiage that actually contradicts your point.

    When a writer like Savage becomes one of only a few voices who come to represent the LGBTQ community because of his acceptability to the wider culture, it’s a problem. The fact that there are very few representations of LGBTQ life that do not fit something very similar to Savage’s is a huge problem. But even with the valid critiques of the “It Get ‘s Better” project, I am absolutely certain he has saved lives. It’s a privilege to believe that nineties activism is no longer needed. Outside of a relatively small number of communities, some very basic acts of affirmation and dissemination of information are still necessary and needed. Of course Savage doesn’t cover all the bases. How could he?

    It’s fine to critique Savage. He needs to be critiqued. I’d suggest as a writer you do more than compile some poorly chosen quotes to support your argument. It’s too easy.

    It’s more voices we need. And even when dealing with painful truths and complex narratives, some of Savage’s dark wit and strong point of view (whether we agree with him or not) go a long way in building a wide readership.

  19. I don’t know you, Ari, and haven’t read a single thing you’ve ever written until today, when a link to this was posted through a spammy/fictitious name on a Dan Savage article link on FB … and I’ve gotta say, you sound like a whiny little whiner. Anyone who has strong opinions and talks as much as Dan Savage is going to offend somebody sometime. But he has helped people beyond a doubt. He just doesn’t suffer fools gladly, and I for one am glad of that. Why are you so ready to throw him under the bus?

    If you think his advice is so far off the mark, then start an advice show of your own, and fill in the gaps.

    • My advice is listen to the people who have been personally affected by Dan Savage, and don’t excuse him just because he’s been an advocate for the groups he’s actually qualified to speak for. As I mentioned in another comment, there are transpeople who have literally been afraid to come out because of his advice to certain transpeople to stay in the closet. This clashes with Savage’s advice to gay and bisexual people, whom he says need to come out. He also suggests that gay people should literally discriminate based on sexual orientation (using a “rule of thumb” to not date bi people, “bi guys will break your heart,” etc.), which clashes with his own perspectives on experiences as a gay male. Would he encourage straight people to discriminate against gays? I don’t know why you think this post is whiny (and frankly I don’t really care), since it’s 90% his quotes, but it serves to highlight the discrepancies in Savage’s beliefs where one person is well advocated for, while other people who fall under the LGBTQ umbrella are underserved.

      • ” . . .don’t excuse him just because he’s been an advocate for the groups he’s actually qualified to speak for.” WOW, it’s going to be quite a challenge to find a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered queer who, in your mind, is qualified to advocate for the LGBTQ community. While we’re at it, women, you are not qualified to advocate or even honestly comment on the male experience, you dark skin people, don’t you give light skin people opinions on their experiences, doctors/teachers and anyone in a role to give advice or opinion, you should only do that with your own “group.”

  20. It seems to me that DS angers some people because when two parties are in conflict, he does not reflexively take the side of the LGBT person involved. In other words, he advocates for people, not groups or identities. Somebody pointed this out at the top of the comments. For example, just because I am _____, it does not follow that I am right about every conflict I’m involved in about this aspect of my identity all the time. Sometimes I am totally wrong about ______ issues. Sometimes the other person’s individual needs trump my _____-ness. Dan Savage is wrong sometimes. And when he comes to realize he is wrong, he changes his stance. So for that he deserves my respect, even if I disagree with him. Most of those quotes of his are not bigotry as much as they are just blunt, painful opinions that are probably hard to hear. Hearing something bad about oneself is always hard to hear. That’s why there’s an age-old saying that “truth hurts”. When something doesn’t ring true for me, I can laugh and let it roll off my back. But if I glimpse my own behavior in a criticism, I tend to react like Ari is reacting to Savage.

  21. Why so much arguing folks? Dan has said what he’s said. And I do agree, he shouldn’t have his own newspaper section. He’ll keep his podcast or whatever other media he has regardless.

  22. Out of context quotes, outdated thoughts (because a bunch of the quotes are relatively ancient), and overt whining and name-calling? Surely you don’t think you’re swinging anyone on the fence your way. This article is bad and you should feel bad.

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