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Friday, April 27, 2007

Speaking Gigs

posted by on April 27 at 9:39 AM

This is why I go speak at colleges…

I’m a student at Western Washington University. I was at your Savage Love talk on this past Wednesday and I must say it was one of the most powerful talks that I have ever been too.

I first want to say, Thank you! One of the questions you answered was about people having a “gay voice.” All my life I have been know as a “sissy fag” and I’ve always tried, no matter what, to change my voice, my walk and my mannerisms. Even my gay friends thought I was a little bit much at times. Never in my entire life has anyone said to me that it’s ok to be a sissy and have the “gay voice” and it was natural and something I couldn’t control. No one.

You don’t know me personally or anything but hearing you say that made me feel finally accepted, and that I need not be ashamed of who I am. You don’t know how much it means to me to hear that told to me after years of trying to hide or change who I am. For that I am thankful.

I must also admit that I am what you would call a chicken-shit. I’m a college student at a very liberal university but I still can’t admit to some of my friends that I’m gay. But you have inspired me; I guess I have never really thought about the fact that if they don’t accept me that maybe I don’t want them as friends anymore. I need to be more honest and accepting of who I am if I wish to be happy.

Thank you very much. I wish I got a chance after the show to let you know how much of a positive impact your talk has had on my life but alas I promised to drive a friend home. I know you get lots of emails a day and I don’t know when you will see this but I just wanted to let you know that you in the course of a couple hours have truly impacted and made a difference in my life.

Okay, the money’s pretty good too. But this email really made the drive up to Bellingham worth it—and that’s saying something, considering that the boyfriend brought the poodle, which promptly got car sick and threw up all over my coat, computer bag, and the back seat, and the car stank—stank—of dog vomit all the way up to Bellingham and all the way down to Seattle.

RSS icon Comments


Not to get in a "suck Dan's D" contest, but I hope you do realize what a positive impact you have on a great number of people. I know it is easy to lose sight of this in the daily grind of traffic, petty disagreements, etc.

You're the best Dan Savage!!!!

Posted by Mike in MO | April 27, 2007 10:03 AM

Dogs get car sick?

He takes a dog prone to carsickness in the car?


Posted by ebsur | April 27, 2007 10:05 AM

The writer should know that if he's got That Voice, there's no need to worry about "coming out." Everybody already knows. : )

Posted by one dyke's two cents | April 27, 2007 10:12 AM

Oh please. In high school my girlfriend's step uncle was a small and effeminate man who was a florist. But he was definitely straight. I could tell by the way he looked at her. He just wanted to eat her fiery red bush.

Posted by Mr. Designer | April 27, 2007 10:36 AM

I have been reading Dan's column since I was about ten years old. I used to sneak copies of it while from the local alt-weekly in Denver while my mom taught a night class at the community college. I learned so much from Savage Love, not only in the way of "fetish-how-to" but also in terms of a general paradigm that embraced sexuality. For this reason, Dan Savage ranks among the top non-parental influences in my like. Thanks Dan!

Posted by Katie | April 27, 2007 10:38 AM

that is so nice.

Posted by josh | April 27, 2007 11:43 AM

Aw, that is sweet. Dan, you are a great influence. You taught me all there is to know about GGG.

Posted by Ginger haired looker | April 27, 2007 11:52 AM

Hey, Dan, so if talking to gay kids at local colleges gives you the warm fuzzies, why won't you do so at local high schools. Several of my students at a local school contacted you over the past year to talk to a group of GLTBQ and gay-friendly kids, but never heard as much as a response from you despite several inquiries. What gives?

Posted by Adam | April 27, 2007 12:28 PM

Hey, Adam...

I must have missed those emails. I would be happy to speak to kids at local high schools. Send me an email--but you have to keep after me. Arranging the college gigs are easier because, well, I don't arrange them. Someone books me, reminds me, nags me. I don't have to book myself. I'm disorganized.

Posted by Dan Savage | April 27, 2007 12:33 PM

Dan, you were awesome at WWU. Your talk was one of the best things I've seen there all year--my friends and I were surprised it was free.

And I've been reading your column for ages, too. You definitely helped me become more comfortable with sexuality in general. I had a pretty conservative upbringing, and your column normalized sex for me. And its just damn fun to read. Thanks.

Posted by Jen | April 27, 2007 1:21 PM

I must have missed those emails. i remember those emails. they were about projects they wanted to do or advice you had to give, and you posted them on slog and made fun of them while everyone ragged on how stupid the kids were.

Posted by I would be happy to speak to kids at local high schools... | April 27, 2007 1:59 PM

Yay Dan! Youre super cool! Now you know again how much we all heart you!

And you guys? My friends were at the speech that Dan gave to these wonderful young people (most of whom have never even SEEN a gay man before you guys, which makes it all the more touching that Dan would travel so far), but that he said some really interesting stuff about how blogs are signalling the death of print journalism.

So yay! to slog too! For signalling the death of print journalism!

Posted by Sam Chanderson | April 27, 2007 4:10 PM

@ 11: No, those emails were from kids asking me to do their homework for them--those emails come in every day, usually with a line at the end letting me know that their report is due in two days and I need to get back to them right away. Those emails I ignore (except for the one or two I've posted on Slog).

@ 12: Yes, Sam. I am a bad, bad man.

Posted by Dan Savage | April 27, 2007 5:40 PM

Years and years ago, my first boyfriend had an absolutely indescribable voice. It was a study in contrasts... very high, but somehow deep, very gay, but not necessarily effeminate. It was lyrical and unique and beautiful, and without a doubt, the most pleasant speaking voice I ever heard emitted by a human. He was young and semi-closeted, and he hated his voice. I didn't then (nor now) have a voice fetish, but his voice was certainly one of the things I loved about him. I made this clear to him, but he was hammered from all sides by folks and influences that said otherwise. He eventually found his way to a speech therapist, and wonder of wonders, one day he called me and I barely recognized him. Total transformation. He was 1,000 times happier and more confident with his new voice, which, I suppose is all that matters. Still, I think the world crushed something beautiful and I miss it dearly.

Posted by nightlifejitters | April 27, 2007 6:19 PM

shoulda flown.

Posted by jake | April 27, 2007 7:34 PM

@14: Aww. That's so sad.

Also, Dan, please come to University of Toronto!

Posted by Gloria | April 27, 2007 8:25 PM

That story is super-cute and heartwarming!

Posted by lawrence clark | April 28, 2007 2:06 AM
Posted by Jeremiah | May 7, 2007 6:17 PM

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