Tag Archive: Dan Savage
I turned the corner of the house and lay witness to a nightmare. My brother stumbled down the hill as a bus full of children screamed insults and threw trash out the window towards him. It was not just one or two bullies but a busload. I thought, “Why doesn’t the bus driver do something?” I decided to take action myself and told my mother, He never had to ride the bus after that. But was that really the solution? Who knows the horrors he went through in the hallways of his school. My brother was picked on his whole life. He never fit in with the crowd and others gained joy by his reactions to their abuse. My family didn’t speak of the incident because who wants to admit that they are bullied? Today I am admitting it.
Bullies sensed that insecurity in me. Growing up in Tennessee was not easy for me. The school and church I attended loved to feel superior by knocking me down. Being gay, adopted, left handed, skinny and nerdy left me an easy target. After a long day of being pushed into lockers and smacked in the head from the self-esteem building game “smear the queer” I returned to the safety of my home and paid it forward on my younger brother.
Things did get better. I left for college in Kentucky and hardly looked back. Finally there was a place where I could be different and for once that was a good thing. I learned how to live away from home and make my own life. Afterwards, I moved up north to Chicago where I could be accepted for the person I wanted to be. It was tough for me to finally come out to my family but through time things got better. I started working for a LGBT publication where I interview celebrities, authors such as Dan Savage. While preparing for the interview I was touched by his book and wondered, “Is it too late to have my take own It Gets Better moment?” The answer is no. We all have more stories to tell and hopefully this one helps one more person.
Recently, a policewoman looked at my license and said, “Weren’t you made fun of with that last name?” I stated, “Yes, although now I have a website NunnontheRun.com where I celebrate it but thanks for reminding me.”
Being syndicated nationally and having continued growing success has brought students writing to me and saying they are studying journalism to be like me. This is really the ultimate compliment. But I implore them, follow my footsteps and become whatever you want to be but don’t step on people to get there. Life will get better and it’s never too late to start.
Dan Savage the journalist and newspaper editor can now add activist to his resume. The man with many hats started off writing a sex advice column entitled Savage Love that eventually has led to him becoming an author of several books. The Chicago native has a new book It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living.
Jerry Nunn: Hi, Dan. It’s been a while since we talked last. You have now written a book with your husband Terry Miller. How did you get a hold of so many celebrities for the book?
Dan Savage: We put people on it. We had an assistant Ingrid Emerick, who came on the project just to work on the book. Through my agent and talking to people’s publicists we reached out to people. Everyone we asked said they would love to. It wasn’t difficult to get people to jump in and help.
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Looking back on this past year I was able to meet and interview some talented and amazing personalities in my column for Nunn on the Run.
Here is some great advice and quotes stars have said to me in 2010:
“How’s your cornholer?” (Lisa Lampanelli)
“I am sure you are much more of an expert than a married man or straight man, anyways.” (Kathy Griffin on blowjobs)
“I know that gays belong to Kathy, but any fall over, I’m going to take.” (Sarah Silverman)
“I have always forged my own unique path in the comedy and entertainment world” (Sandra Bernhard)
“I can’t do anything but tell a joke and steal a scene!” (Leslie Jordan)
“You are going to make me cry.” (Chely Wright)
“You made me cry…” (Meredith Baxter)
The Hard Times
“Read my bio and you tell me…” (Belinda Carlisle)
“Oh, I will go there!” (Alexis Stewart)
“Well, first of all, don’t suck. Don’t be bad at it.” (Dan Savage on writing)
“Everything has to be used for something” (Amy Sedaris)
“Don’t say you are a fan of theirs. It automatically puts you in the fan category with the celebrity.” (Lady Bunny)
“Hold the tape recorder closer to my mouth.” (Perez Hilton)
Full of Questions
“I will never forget that question.” (Natalie Merchant)
“I don’t really get that question.” (Ellen DeGeneres)
“I have no idea how to answer that question, let me get my husband on the phone.” (Carol Channing)
“It is the only place that I actually had a job.” (John Waters)
“Chicago is my favorite city still and it looks gorgeous.” (Laurie Metcalf)
“I love Chicago.” (Pam Grier)
“Let the gays go wild!” (Patti LaBelle)
“I’m slightly under the radar and I do think part of that is because I’m gay.” (Rufus Wainwright)
“I don’t define myself by only being gay just like I don’t define myself by only being Jewish.” (Nate Berkus)
“It definitely comes with some pressure.” (Adam Lambert)
“I think homophobia is really fucked up.” (Kate Nash)
“If there are gay men in the audience then you automatically get a great show.” (Joan Rivers)
“He is not forcing anything but making decent strides and moving things in the right direction.” (Wanda Sykes)
“There’s just nothing that a person in that position can do now, because it’s just been bought and sold.” (Melissa Etheridge)
“I am really angry about the fact that a cultured, intelligent black man cannot say that he is for gay marriage.” (Mario Cantone)
“It made me a lot of money. What about that?” (Olympia Dukakis on Moonstruck)
“Wouldn’t that be fun?” (Florence Henderson on hosting SNL)
“I say drag queen diet in the book because it sounds so good.” (RuPaul)
“RuPaul is just the most fabulous phenomenon.” (Lucy Lawless)
“Follow your dream and you can be who you want to be.” (Elton John)
“Thanks a million.” (Lily Tomlin)
Those are just some of the highlights and big moments. Looking forward to more exciting interviews with celebrities in 2011 Nunn on One!
Dan Savage is an advice columnist, author and newspaper editor. His column, Savage Love has been read by the LGBT community for years. The highly opinionated writer spoke to Nunn on the Run about his power from the pen.
Jerry Nunn: Hi, Dan. I have been reading your column for years. You were born in Chicago?
Dan Savage: Yes, in Rogers Park.
JN: That’s right where I live! Your goal was not to be a writer, correct?
DS: No, I studied theater in Chicago. I was writing this goofy sex column on the side and then it became my life.
JN: Similar to my life. You have a podcast, too?
DS: Yes, it’s right up there in the top 10 podcasts in the world right now. It is kind of crazy the way that it has taken off.
JN: How did you become connected with ICAH [ the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health ] ?
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