Friday, June 14, 2013

American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics, by Dan Savage

American Savage:

Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love and Politics

Author: Dan Savage

Publisher: Dutton Adult

Publication Date: May 28, 2013

I've been a fan of Dan Savage's weekly sex advice column, "Savage Love," for as long as I can remember. Well not literally, but for at least 10-15 years. I don't always agree with the advice but I love reading it. It's nice to know that there is such a shockingly wide array of human sexual experiences out there, and that everybody basically wants confirmation that happiness is possible, even for them. It all makes me feel so, well, normal. But more than that, I appreciate that there's an advice column that runs in newspapers all over North America that is so fiercely pro-LGBTQ, and that shows people that being gay is, well, pretty normal too.

American Savage is a little like "Savage Love" in that I don't always agree with Dan Savage's conclusions (his views on infidelity are a little challenging for me) but I very much enjoy reading them.

I particularly liked that he didn't presume his audience would know everything about him or get all his references, so he found ways throughout the book to explain the details without sounding pedantic or condescending.

And my favourite part of the book was when he talked about creating the It Gets Better project to help LGBTQ youth see hope for their futures. "You have got to give 'em hope," he says, quoting Harvey Milk. While the subject of "what to do about teen bullying" seems to be a favourite one these days, particularly among adults with task forces and committees, I love that Dan Savage went out and did something, and it was something hopeful. You've probably seen a thousand of those "It Gets Better" videos on YouTube, but here's one of my all-time favourite ones (after the break):

It Gets Better--B.D. Wong

Disclaimer: I received a digital galley of this book free from the publisher from NetGalley. I was not obliged to write a favourable review, or even any review at all. The opinions expressed are strictly my own.

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