Sex columnist savages conservatives on gays

Nitesh Srivastava

Sex columnist Dan Savage on Tuesday led the charge for gays to fight back with his weapons of choice — humor and sex.

“(Gays) can do crystal meth and go to parties, or we can fight, or we can leave and go to Canada,” said Savage to a crowd of about 175 people in the McCormick Auditorium in Norris University Center.

The “Savage Love” columnist and gay-rights activist talked about a “high-profile war” conservatives wage on gays and answered questions from the audience that ranged from the danger of political apathy to sex advice for gay couples.

“The most important thing for gays and lesbians is just to be out, but that’s not enough,” said Savage, who was at NU as part of Rainbow Alliance’s Rainbow Week. “We have to support people who are pro-gay and who are apathetic (to gays), and most of them are Democrats. We have to not be so pure.”

Savage said he knew people who would not support pro-gay political candidates because the candidates also supported genetically modified foods.

“Fine, we can eat wholesome foods in the camps when they round us up,” he said, evoking laughter from the audience.

He compared the situation the gay community currently faces to that of Jews in Nazi Germany, listing recent state laws aimed at restricting rights. Virginia, he said, recently passed a law forbidding documents such as wills between gay couples. Savage said the only previous time such consenting agreements between adults had been forbidden was during slavery.

He also said efforts to restrict gay rights are a distraction from a broader attempt to restrict freedoms from heterosexuals — such as divorce, pornography and masturbation.

“The war on us is a war on sexual freedom,” he said. “There are more straight people having sex than gay people. There are more straight people masturbating than gay people.”

But Savage said conservatives won’t win. The fight will either be like World War I, “where the lines move very slow and everyone has the flu,” or like Vietnam, “where behind the lines they’re losing, whether they know it or not,” he said.

Students posed questions to Savage either by raising their hands or passing questions anonymously via note cards. One card had a question asking him to talk about lesbian sex.

“Talking about sex. Isn’t that lesbian sex?” Savage said. “I’m all for lesbian sex, but I don’t like to picture it. I think a vagina looks like a canned ham dropped from a great height.”

Savage used the question to discuss the issue of sex in general and monogamy among gays.

“Why don’t straight guys act like gay guys?” he said. “Because straight women won’t. I think what gay guys lack is some sense of cooties. You have to find your inner canned ham.”

Savage, who is a parent, also said gays should promote a healthy family environment.

“Straight culture isn’t built around instant, easily-available sex,” he said. “Unfortunately, gay culture is.”

Corey Robinson, a Weinberg junior and social chairman of Rainbow Alliance, said he didn’t agree with all of Savage’s points but still found him informative and funny.

“He had good points about gay politics,” he said. “Because he’s a sex columnist, I’d have liked him to talk about sex more. His comment about vaginas was very Freudian. I liked that he was not afraid to bash the conservative right like they bash us.”

During the speech, one student asked if Savage’s theatrics against conservatives were the best way to promote gay rights. Savage said opponents of gay rights simply want gays to disappear.

“Theatrics lets them know that they’re going to have to live with us forever,” he said.

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