Dan Savage in This American Life (video)

Dan Savage – writer, humorist, sex advice columnist, and gay activist – appears on This American Life, talking about growing up gay, and Catholic, and about the death of his mother a few years back and how it changed him.


This video is considered a Dan Savage classic.  I’d never seen it before. It’s terribly moving.

I’ve written before about Dan, and my great respect, and fondness, for him (I also interviewed Dan Savage on a Google Hangout on Air a few months ago about his new book, “American Savage.”)  I met Dan, virtually, back in 2000 while working on StopDrLaura.com, our campaign against Dr. Laura Schlessinger and her anti-gay prejudice.  Dan contacted me out of nowhere and offered to help.  And he did.

That was the beginning of a long working friendship that was finally consummated over dinner at a Thai/Japanese place just off of Dupont Circle in DC a few years back, and Dan was as fun and fascinating in person as he is by phone.  Just a wonderful friend to us all.  I can’t gush enough about the guy.  (And yeah, he really is that cute in person.)

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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6 Responses to “Dan Savage in This American Life (video)”

  1. cole3244 says:

    as an atheist i consider an agnostic to be lets say lacking courage, but its a start to a better place and a better day.

  2. jomicur says:

    My mother died of breast cancer which metastasized horribly. For the last two years of her life she was homebound and, except for rare moments, bedridden. She had been a quite devout Catholic her whole life, and I know it pained her deeply that she couldn’t go to Mass. When our parish priest made “pastoral visits” to hear her confession (yeah, like a sick old woman did much sinning) and give her communion, I know it meant the world to her.

    Then, inevitably, she died. And the parish priest, the same one who had visited her on her deathbed, refused to give her a church funeral because she hadn’t been to church for two years and hadn’t put anything in the collection basket. I couldn’t have cared any less, personally (I had long since “fallen away from the church,” as they always put it), but I knew a church funeral was what she would have wanted. So I confronted him. He was adamant; the rules were the rules. He actually had the nerve to tell me, “It’s not about the money.” I contacted an old friend of mine who had become a priest, and he arranged for a funeral at his church. So she got what she would have wanted, even though it wasn’t at the church she had always attended and had loved.

    And that was the last nail in the church, for me. I hadn’t “believed” or been a “practicing Catholic” for years, and there was never much chance I’d go back, but that priest struck me (and still does) as a perfect microcosm of the institution he served.

    I probably don’t need to add that a few years later he was caught screwing the altar boys–and quietly moved to another parish. The Catholic church? No thanks.

  3. Badgerite says:

    That was brilliant. And he is clearly the fine person that his mother would have wanted him to be. This should be mandatory viewing for all Bishops, Cardinals and Pope’s before they make stupid pronouncements based on political ideologies rather than Godly ones. And also for the non-Catholic Christian right.

  4. bandanajack says:

    i’ve said it many times before… men can make you cry. and i have often tried to speak that close to the bone in public ( i’m a recovering alky, its part of the package), but to be able to get through those moments when your throat is threatening to close the emotion is so strong, takes great personal will, will that i am seldom capable of.

  5. karmanot says:

    Sitting in the shadows, finding a child-like petition:”Dear God please……….” ascend into the beauty of Catholic esthetics and finding over and over again the absurdity of trusting a broken heart to magic makes once Catholics only guilty of humanity and the necessity of compassion. For all that many of us escaped the opulent reality and blatant lies to find freedom. —incredibly beautiful testament Dan.

  6. Phil says:

    That SO hits the nail right on the head!

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