Dan Savage studied theater and history at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and later co-founded Seattle’s Greek Active Theater. Since 1991 he’s been writing his internationally syndicated sex advice column, “Savage Love,” for the Seattle weekly The Stranger, where he was editor-in-chief from 2001 to 2007 and is now the editorial director. In 2010, Savage and his husband, Terry Miller, began the It Gets Better Project to address LGBTQ youth who were contemplating suicide to escape bullying. The project has been a major success worldwide, now offering thousands of personal video messages to struggling teenagers. In addition to regular appearances on major talk shows, Savage does a weekly podcast based on his sex column and is the author of several books, including The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant (1999); Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America (2002); and The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family (2005). His latest is American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics (2013).
Savage was named the 2013 Humanist of the Year for his long history of sex-positive writing, his advocacy of church-state separation, and support of LGBTQ youth. The following was adapted from his speech in accepting the award, presented on May 31, 2013, at the American Humanist Association’s annual conference in San Diego, California.