The gay rights movement has a pit bull, and his name is Dan Savage. The Seattle-based sex columnist has been in the spotlight with his It Gets Better campaign for gay youths, his Rick Santorum "awareness" movement and his new MTV show, "Savage U." Savage rapped with us prior to a live taping of his "Savage Love" podcast Friday at the Pantages Theatre, which comes in the midst of Pride.
Q: Were you surprised to hear that there's a proposed anti-gay marriage amendment on Minnesota ballots this fall?
A: No, I'm not surprised. I think Minnesota needs to realize that our impression of Minnesota outside the state is now largely shaped by Michele Bachmann, you know what I mean? So it's not surprising that there's a bunch of batshit conservative, Republican douche bags sloshing around in your state, based on the most prominent Minnesota politician on the national stage -- who is, unfortunately, not Mondale anymore, it's Bachmann.
Q: Outside of the Bible, why do you think straight people have such a hard time with gay marriage?
A: Because of butt sex. What you often find is something called instinctive revulsion -- the idea of two dudes doing it. If you totaled up all the anal sex that happens over this coming weekend, the vast majority would be straight men fucking straight women in the ass. And that's what it all boils down to: [Straight people] will recognize that same-sex couples have just as much love, they're just as devoted, just as caring. They'll concede, maybe reluctantly, that we should be able to see each other in the hospital, maybe in a medical emergency. They have this block when it comes to the final step, which is recognizing that our love and our sex does everything that their love and their sex does, with the exception of making babies. It's almost that procreative exoneration. Straight people have a lot more sex than they have babies. But a lot of them, the bigoted ones, look at heterosexual relationships and they see something that transcends human sexuality because of procreation. They look at us, and they just see a bunch of dirty butt fuckers.
Q: Do all of the proposed anti-gay marriage amendments these days represent a last stand for cultural conservatives?
A: They look at the polls out and they're losing the younger generation. They're ruining Christianity's brand in the United States by making it synonymous with anti-gay hatred. When you force people to choose between their gay children -- friends, relative, parents -- and your brand of Christianity, they're going to choose their friends and relatives over your brand of Christianity. You can't call it a death rattle quite yet, but this is the last stand and they're not gonna win -- and they know it.
Q: Is there any truth to the notion that the excess at Pride parades actually hurts gay rights?
A: Everyone constantly says that drag queens, leather guys and mouthy motherfuckers like me keep setting the gay rights movement back. And yet we've made such tremendous strides -- quicker progress than any other social justice movement in the history of ... everything -- despite the Pride parades. And I would say because of the Pride parades, because of the excess. They've really desensitized people to the demagoguery about our sex lives.
I think when we get out there and say we're dads in Dockers and we're also party boys in jockstraps, I think that's empowering. You're telling the truth to straight people about what it means to be gay. There's a spectrum, just like there are Hooters and "Girls Gone Wild," and then there are Barbara Bushes and Michele Bachmanns.