My dinner party with 5 famous people: #4 Dan Savage

I’ve decided to take a cue from the classic college application question: If you could have dinner with five famous people (alive or dead) who would they be and why? It’s a good question because it shows what you value in a person, and what you hope to gain from the interaction. So without further ado, here’s the fourth person I would invite: Dan Savage.

Dan Savage and me at a diner

Dan Savage and me at a diner

There are many reasons why I love Dan Savage. He is the host of the hilarious sex column and podcast, Savage Love, the creator of the catty “Santorum” campaign, and, most significantly, the impetus for the inspiring It Gets Better campaign.

It Gets Better started when Dan was so upset about the recent rate of suicides in the young LGBT community that he posted a youtube video with his partner, Terry Miller, in an effort to reach out to youth and let them know that it won’t always be this hard. They shared horrifying stories of abuse in high school (from kids and adults) and then some really beautiful stories about being a loving couple and feeling accepted. The people who love them chose to accept them, and the people who didn’t accept them faded away.

Their basic message is that they can understand how abuse and isolation can make someone want to commit suicide, but then that person will miss out on the best parts of their lives if they give up. Don’t let the bigots and bullies win. Since this initial video, there have been over 50,000 videos added. Lots of them were done by celebrities, politicians, and authors. If a 14 year old boy in Spokane, Nebraska was feeling depressed because he is gay and getting bullied for it, imagine jumping on the internet and joining such a loving, supportive community. So, thank you, Dan Savage!

I love that Dan Savage is so straight forward and so foul-mouthed. The basic message of all of his work is to keep an open-mind and accept every part of the people you love.

I would seat Dan next to Oprah since they both spread a message of love and acceptance. I’d serve him some fish and chips and beer.

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