I don’t love Dan Savage because he openly discusses sex. I don’t love him for his witty, snappy humor. I don’t love him for “google Santorum”. I love him for his love. Yup, his love. Just do a youtube search, and listen to his speeches. If you don’t choke up listening to him talk about his mother’s death in “Returning to the Scene of the Crime”, you have no soul.
Dan Savage has a grace and dignity necessary for surviving the 21st century intact. His advice to queer youth, terrified of coming out to potentially/probably bigoted parents is sage, and again, filled with love. He doesn’t advise hiding, he doesn’t advise running away or divorcing these parents–he extols these kids to come out, and to tell their parents, “You have one year to have a tantrum, to say nasty things, to ask rude questions, and then your your time’s up. If you can’t love me, I will not be a part of your life.” Once these parents come out of their anger and fear, they will remember that this is their child, and will remember their love for their kid. And these kids need to remember their love for their parents.
“Model for them the Christian love and acceptance you want to see in them.” Thanks again, Dan! It is so easy to take the moral high road of being newly out: Turn away from religion and everything with which you were brought up. Many of us do, of course. We make great fun of the religion and political stances we grew up with, and it feels good to make fun of them. But we need to remember that the bad behavior of religious people doesn’t change the message of the religion. If you take another look at the New Testament, you will notice that the only people Jesus condemned were the hypocrites and money lenders. If he were here today, he would be on our side telling homophobes everywhere to chill out, and love their neighbors as themselves.
We are in a unique time and place in history. For the first time in western civilization, women have achieved equal rights to self determination. For queer people, we are in a place we haven’t been in this civilization ever. For all of us there is still tremendous work to do. Let us take a moment and reflect on how far we’ve come, and make the great strides forward with all the love we have.