What do you get when you mix DEAR ABBY with PENTHOUSE FORUM? SAVAGE
LOVE? Dan Savage has been dispensing advice to the lovelorn, the fetish-lorn, the poop-lorn, and everyone else for years. Then he put together a compilation book of some of his best/worst letters. Then he wrote another book about the experience of adopting a child with his boyfriend.
If that weren't enough, he was recently made editor of the Seattle weekly newspaper, the STRANGER, which is where, I believe, this whole column-business began.
It was time for kittenpants (with help from Corn
Mo and others) to pick his brain.
KP: Congratulations on your new job as Editor. What's it like to be the official boss at THE STRANGER (instead of an unofficial one)?
DS: Well, it's a thrill. Now I have to show up at editorial meetings, instead of just bitching about the outcome of them, and everyone is asking me for raises, and I can't stop thinking about how much I enjoyed the perks of being an unofficial boss...
KP: I hear you're a staunch anti-smoker. But in Europe, cigarettes are called "fags." How does that make you feel?
DS: Well, as much as I've enjoyed some of the fags I've had in mouth, knowing that in the UK cigarettes are called fags... well, you saw this one coming, right? It doesn't make me wanna smoke. You could call
cigarettes "Brad Pitt" and I'm still not going to put 'em in my mouth.
KP: Do you just laugh at the jackass letters that you get, or do some things still push your buttons?
DS: No, I just laugh--if I'm awake. For the most part, I only have to read the first line of a letter before I know if I'm going to 1. delete it or 2. respond to it.
KP: What letter has made you laugh the hardest?
DS: Hard to say. The guy who eats poop and doesn't floss, which bothered his poop-eating partner who did floss. That was pretty funny.
KP: What was harder for you: coming out to your parents or having them read your column in which you are oh-so-descriptive? I know that I can only comfortably write words like "pussy" and "cocksucking" because my mom and dad don't read kittenpants. I still can't put them in context of my own actions, just in case they do. Am I alone in this hang-up, or was it difficult for you at one time, as well?
DS: I kinda forget my parents are out there reading the column--and they do read it. but it's not about *my* sex life. I would have a harder time, I think, if my parents were reading about my sex life. So, to answer your question, coming out was much harder than knowing my parents are reading Savage Love. Dying is easy. Coming out is hard.