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Friday's Connector: Dan Savage

October 6th, 2010
01:11 PM ET

As parts of the United States deal with a spate of teen suicides due to bullying, one person is doing his best to combat sexual discrimination and intolerance among teenage school children.

Dan Savage, the Seattle-based author and "Savage Love" advice columnist has launched a YouTube channel that allows gays, lesbians and their straight allies to post messages of encouragement to young teens and tweens questioning or struggling with their sexuality.

The site, launched September 15, features at least 200 videos and is part of an effort to deter gay youths from committing suicide.

There have been about 500,000 views of the channel so far, with more than 6,000 people subscribing to it.

Savage, considered one of few gay relationship columnists in the country, posted his own video September 21. In it, he and his partner named Terry share their own stories of growing up gay.

They talk about religious conflicts with family members, keeping secrets and facing unspeakable episodes of harassment in high school.

"What I want people to take away from this is that it gets better," Savage urged his viewers, "But you have to tough this period of your life out, and you have to live your life so that you’re around for it to get amazing — and it can.

Here's your chance to speak to Dan Savage on this new project.

Please leave your questions below and be sure to tell us where you're writing from.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Martha

    It is clear from the video that Dan and Terry are a couple, part of a family, basically so much more than "friends", as this article puts it. Isn't that a pretty relevant detail to the point of this whole project? Maybe the person who wrote this article should have watched the video.

    October 6, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  2. Mike

    Terry is Dan's husband, not merely his friend. They were married in Vancouver and have an adopted son together. The whole idea behind this entire campaign is to tell gay youths despairing in the face of an hostile world that they can find indeed find happiness, success, and love.

    Their video is a perfect example of this. They both struggled against intolerance in their youth. They both eventually overcame it, fell in love, and started a family, despite the fact that many people insist that it's impossible for gay people to have happy and healthy relationships.

    Isn't diminishing Dan's husband to the status of "friend" indicative of the whole problem here?

    October 6, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  3. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Daniel Keenan Savage and CNN friends,

    I would like an answer from Daniel Keenan Savage on the following questions:

    – How will you Improve the Lives of Sex-Change People who are Inappropriately Touch by Homeland Security at the International Airports and Bullied by Fellow Passengers?

    – How will you Improve the Live of gays, lesbians and transsexuals when studies show that the Risk of Sexual Transmitted Diseases(HIV/AIDS) among these people are VERY HIGH?

    – What can we expect from you in 2010?

    I am awaiting Daniel Keenan Savage’s replies.

    Greetings,
    Jurgen R. Brul
    Hometown: Paramaribo
    Country: Suriname

    October 6, 2010 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  4. Keira

    I'd like to ask Dan the following, how do we help change the mentality in small town America that a) it's OK to be gay and b) there's help out there if you're struggling with your sexual orientation? It's easy to be openly gay in cities like NY, LA, etc, but not necessarily an easy thing in smaller towns.

    Thank you for what you're doing! Continue fighting the good fight.

    Keira
    NY

    October 7, 2010 at 12:26 am | Reply
  5. Greg

    It seems like the tragedy at Rutgers is really going to mark a turning point in this fight against homophoia. do you think this is true? are you optimistic?

    October 8, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  6. Lucy

    Lucy – do you respect peopels right not to come out? There are some people who would rather just not deal with the public spotlight, but it doesn't mean they're ashamed.

    October 8, 2010 at 7:42 pm | Reply
  7. Musayyib ibrahim

    hi mr Dan in cnn connect the world, i delightely comment on ur effort, and tireless effort of cnn connect the world,of this great contribution to teenage yourth of the world,is a great gesture at this point,my fellow yourth of the world, try to fear God and remember ur final destiny of life,mrs becky wish job weldone.

    October 8, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Reply
  8. Patrick

    Join Michael and Marisa in the "It Gets Better" campaign to STOP bullying. The pre-teen sibling music duo share and urge their peers to stand up against bullying with their acoustic song "The Same."

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-500234

    October 12, 2010 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  9. jimmyboi2

    I've been working on this here in Orlando. I've been telling kids for years that it gets better... thank you, Dan Savage and family ! I like to think I've saved a few lives:

    http://jimmyboi2.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/dead-gay-teens-i-accuse/

    http://www.suite101.com/content/are-you-the-parent-of-a-gay-child-save-their-lives–a294775

    Y'all keep up the good fight. We WILL be treated as 100% citizens...just as we are forced to be 100% taxpayers regardless of our orientation !

    October 18, 2010 at 2:41 pm | Reply

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