Dan Savage

On this date in 1964, gay rights activist and writer Daniel Keenan Savage was born in Chicago. Savage is famous for his sex advice column “Savage Love,” which is syndicated in more than 70 publications. He is also known and respected for his longtime advocacy for LGBT rights. He drew media attention in 2012 when he gave a talk to a conference of high school students and encouraged them to “ignore the bullshit in the bible about gay people.”

Savage earned degrees in theater and history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He later moved to Madison, Wis., where he met Tim Keck, the co-founder of the popular satirical newspaper The Onion in 1991. Keck asked Savage to write an advice column for the paper. Savage agreed and the column eventually became “Savage Love.”  

In 2010 he and his husband Terry Miller started the “It Gets Better” project in response to a series of teens who committed suicide because they were bullied about their sexual orientation. Over 150,000 people submitted videos encouraging LGBT teens that their lives will improve and they will find acceptance. The videos have received over 50 million views, and many prominent people such as President Barack Obama, Ellen DeGeneres and the singer Kesha submitted one.

Savage and Miller married in 2005 in British Columbia and renewed their vows in 2012 when Washington state legalized same-sex unions. They have a son, D.J., adopting him as an infant in 1998. D.J.’s homeless birth mother chose them from a group of 80 prospective parents profiled by a Washington-based agency.

Savage was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association in 2013, the same year he attended FFRF’s national convention to accept an Emperor Has No Clothes Award. (Read his acceptance speech, “The Day My Catholic Family Fell Apart Fast.”)

Freedom From Religion Foundation