Stop me if you've heard this one. Dan Savage walks into a high school journalists' conference, and talks like... well, like Dan Savage. He uses a word that is technically an obscenity—"bullshit"—but is, in today's crude culture, considered so mild that its use wouldn't even get a movie rated PG-13. He happens to use it referring to some of what you can find in the Bible—you know, not eating shellfish, not mixing cotton and linen in the same garment, stoning to death any woman who's not a virgin when she marries, banning gay male sex while okaying slavery. Some students walk out to show their disapproval, a perfectly acceptable free speech action. And for some reason, this becomes a nationwide scandal.
Seriously? People, the man is a sex columnist. He's famous for redefining the word "Santorum" into an entirely new kind of obscenity after the good Senator ranted about "man on man, man on dog" sex. What did the high school journalists think he was going to be like in person? Sure, his brilliant "It Gets Better" campaign is a mission to save young gay people, especially young men, from the self-hatred that can scar you once you've been brutally bullied, beaten, despised, snickered at on Facebook, gossiped about in person, and otherwise tormented. That kind of life-saving mission might make him seem to be on the side of Dudley Do-Right. But he's still Dan Savage. You invite him to your conference, and that's what you get: the full Savage.
He apologized for using the word "bullshit" but not for what he meant to say. Good for him. Meanwhile, it appears that another gay teen killed himself after being bullied, this one in Utah. That's an obscenity.
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