Dan Savage, Journalist
b. October 7, 1964
“I thought, when I was a kid, that my mother and father would be devastated if I ever told them I was gay.”
Born in Chicago, Savage was the third of four children in an Irish Catholic family. He attended Quigley Prep, which Savage describes as “a Catholic high school for boys thinking of becoming priests.”
At 18, Savage came out to his family. After initially having a difficult time, they became supportive. Savage enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in theater.
In 1991, Savage’s sex-advice column, “Savage Love,” first appeared in The Stranger, an alternative weekly newspaper in Seattle. The internationally syndicated column has been called funny, sarcastic, informative and outrageous.
Savage’s columns were compiled into a book, “Savage Love: Straight Answers from America’s Most Popular Sex Columnist” (1998). He wrote “The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant” (1999). He won a Lambda Literary Award for his book “Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America” (2003).
In 2010, reacting to the suicides of bullied LGBT youth, Savage started “It Gets Better,” which encourages adults to submit videos assuring gay teens that life gets better. As of 2011, the project generated more than 5,000 video submissions, including testimonials from President Obama, Ellen DeGeneres, Tim Gunn, Anne Hathaway, Ke$ha and other celebrities.
For creating “It Gets Better,” Savage received a Webby Special Achievement Award, the leading international award honoring online excellence. He has been a contributor to Out magazine and HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” As a political commentator on LGBT issues, Savage has appeared frequently on CNN and MSNBC.