On March 30, Dan Savage, the syndicated sex columnist, visited the University of Pittsburgh to discuss "It Gets Better," in which LGBT adults and allies post online video messages for bullied gay teens. Savage is releasing a book collection of more than 100 of those stories. Also discussed: a former Pennsylvania Senator whose name is, thanks to a Savage-led Google-bomb, now a synonym for "the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex."
A full version of this interview can be found at http://tinyurl.com/cpsavage
The idea behind "It Gets Better" was to use social media to talk to kids directly. So why do a book?
I think books are magic. I've heard so many instances where somebody stumbled across a book at a time when they really needed to read that particular book. ... And it's a way to call schools out and say, "All right, you say you're doing what you can to let the queer kids ... know that they're supported by the administration. So shelve this book in the library."
Were you surprised to get a video from President Obama?
We were blown away. ... He looked right into the camera and said, "There's nothing wrong with you. There's something wrong with the people who are telling you there's something wrong with you." For many gay kids, those people are their parents, and their faith leaders. So the president of the United States is taking sides in a battle between a 14-year-old and his parents about his sexuality -- and siding with the kid. That's powerful.
Rick Santorum's career took off here. Do we have an obligation to do something about his presidential bid?
I think you've done enough ...[Y]ou handed Santorum his ass. There are two things he has to answer for in running for President: You lost your home state by 18 points ... and your name is a swear word.