“I think the worst and perhaps most damaging advice I ever gave was to Jake Shears who I met when he was 15 years old and he asked if he should come out to his parents and he described what was going on and who they were and what you know what he thought they might know. And after he told me everything I was like: “Oh, they know. They’re just waiting for you to tell them. You should tell them. Just come out to them. They’re waiting. They’re ready.” And he came out to them, and they didn’t know, and it was a big disaster, and they threatened to pull him out of school, and they were really angry and so he called me. I had a radio show, and he called me, and I got him off the air and got his mother’s phone number and called my mother and gave my mother Jake’s mother’s phone number and had my mom call his mom and yell at her. And it helped, but yeah, I gave him some really shitty advice”.
Daniel Savage is an American author, media pundit, journalist and newspaper editor. Savage writes the internationally syndicated relationship and sex advice column Savage Love. Its tone is frank in its discussion of sexuality, often humorous, and hostile to social conservatives. Savage has clashed with cultural conservatives on the right, and the gay establishment, on the left. He has also worked as a theater director, both under his real name and under the name Keenan Hollahan, using his middle name and his grandmother’s maiden name.
In 2010, Savage and his husband Terry Miller began the It Gets Better Campaign to help prevent suicide amongst young LGBT people in light of the suicide of 15-year-old Billy Lucas, who was bullied for his perceived sexual orientation. The project encourages adults, both LGBT and otherwise, to submit videos assuring gay teenagers that life can improve after bullying in early life.
As of October 22, 2012, over half a million people had takes the It Gets Better Pledge: Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other bullied teens by letting them know that it gets better.