Friday, June 20, 2014

Book Club Friday: American Savage

One of my successful goals of my birthday weekend was to spend a lot of time reading, preferably a book from my Summer Book Challenge. While I couldn't find my original choice of Dan Savage's The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family at my local elibrary, I was able to check out a copy of American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics.

book review of Dan Savage's latest collection of essays
From Amazon: On the heels of his Emmy-winning It Gets Better campaign, columnist and provocateur Dan Savage weighs in on such diverse issues as healthcare, gun control, and marriage equality with characteristic straight talk and humor.

Dan Savage is famous--and to some, infamous--for many reasons. To name just a few: he's the author of America's leading sex advice column, the frank and expletive-filled "Savage Love;" co-founder of the Emmy Award-winning "It Gets Better Project," a YouTube campaign aimed at LGBT youth that swept the globe in 2010; and he wrote the groundbreaking 1999 memoir The Kid about adopting a son with his partner (now husband) Terry, which helped inspire same-sex couples nationwide to adopt.

Dan has long been an advocate for marriage equality and LGBT rights, and AMERICAN SAVAGE contains some of his most personal and reflective essays on those subjects to date.

The Beautiful: Dan's chapter on his mother and Catholicism made me cry, several times, in fact. It was raw and honest and much more emotional than I was expecting. 

The Awesome: Everything on the Bible and homophobia and bullying and "the Bible got slavery wrong, so maybe it got human sexuality wrong" is just awesome. Kudos.

The Rage-Inducing: WTF are you doing blaming biphobia on bisexual people?! Are you fucking kidding me?! Maybe instead of telling us to come out more, completely ignoring the fact that we deal with the same conservative families and religions that piss on gay and lesbian people, with the added bonus of gays and lesbians pissing on us, you should tell gay and lesbian teenagers and 20-somethings to stop calling themselves bisexual. It's not the fault of the bisexual community that some gay people use our sexual orientation as a stepping stone to admitting their own sexual orientation. And even if they DO decide to do that, we need to take people at their word when they label themselves.  

Overall, it was fast and interesting read, filled with excellent footnotes and academic citations. He backs up much of what he says with outside sources, which made this nerd very happy. 

*Why yes, that's an Amazon Affiliate link on the book picture 


  1. Yeah, I never understand the whole "bisexual people are just confused/lying to themselves" thing. If I were a lesbian, I'd just tell you so, loudly and proudly, but I like women AND men. I'm not confused about that. If other people are confused or uncomfortable, that's too bad. I don't have to change the way my brain works to suit anybody else.

  2. I think Dan Savage is definitely an interesting person. I even remember getting caught up in a few episodes of his MTV tv show. I know this isn't necessarily the type of book I normally pick up, but I still think it be kind of fun to read.


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