ART: Take His Word: Dan Savage Knows ‘It Gets Better’
Outspoken and unapologetic about his views on sex, culture and politics, Seattle-based syndicated columnist and provocateur Dan Savage raised a few eyebrows at Bryant Park’s Reading Room series. But, that’s a good thing. The author/activist discussed everything from gay marriage and raising a tech-savvy teen in today’s society to a seismic shift in public awareness due to the Internet, noting that his advice column has become less about how to use butt plugs and more about situational ethics.
Mark Oppenheimer, journalist, essayist and author of Dan Savage:The First Gay Celebrity, hosted last week’s event at Bryant Park. A book signing followed, giving fans a chance to briefly chat with Savage under a canopy of trees. American Savage: Insights, Slights & Fights on Faith, Sex, Love & Politics has been called one of the best books of the summer by Publishers Weekly. Savage also is the New York Times best-selling author of the book that inspired the Emmy-award winning campaign, It Gets Better.
The original Reading Room began in 1935 as a public response to Depression Era job losses in New York, according to its website. “Many people did not have anywhere to go during the day, and no prospects for jobs,” the site explains. “The New York Public Library opened the “Open Air Library” to give these out-of-work businessmen and intellectuals a place to go where they did not need money, a valid address, a library card, or any identification to enjoy the reading materials.”
I’m glad this program is going strong and encourages a public forum for candid, insightful discussion. The need remains valid as ever. Savage’s recent appearance came on the heels of more anti-gay attacks reported in New York, following a string of assaults in May, including Mark Carson, a gay man shot to death in Greenwich Village.
It Gets Better Project: http://www.itgetsbetter.org/
Bryant Park: http://www.bryantpark.org/