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But I wish the column had more substance, too.
I would like to add my statement to the project.
He is sexually involved with a woman who is in a committed relationship with another man, with the full consent of all involved. Sounds like a poly relationship to me.
In memory of those who have taken their lives, it would be great if you could leave room at the end of Savage Love for an It Gets Better Moment, asking readers to write in with something positive about their queer lives.
@7: I agree: "poly"=multiple; "amory"=loving. And the consent of all parties is implicit by contrast to "cheating"/"adultery". She's getting sex or "lovin'" from more than one person. So it's polyamory.
I can only hope that the perpetrators are prosecuted to the full extent of the law (good luck) but at least they are both 18 and will have this crime on their records for the rest of their life AND that It Gets Better will help other teens (many of whom may be just starting to embrace their sexuality) to not feel like their only recourse is to end their life.
@20: There's one up there already with two teachers who have their faces covered, and tell their story with a series of written-on cards that they flip through.
20: You had the bandanna-faced teachers, you can use a mask if you like, or you can focus on "high school was shit, things are better now" angle. Although personally, I think that if you still think you have to hide who you are, that undermines the basic message of the project.
CTOACN: The rules placed on everything and the guy's bad vibes make me think this is a newbie poly relationship that's full of newbie poly mistakes. Lots of people who are down with the idea of fucking/dating other people themselves don't feel quite so hot when the reality of their partner dating/fucking other people kicks in.
Watch both of them. If he passive-aggressively cockblocks you, or if she passive-aggressively queen bees you, that's nature's way of saying that this isn't going to work out. Get out until the two of them figure themselves out first.
What a great idea. I loved the video from the repentant bully that now does charity work in the Castro, and a hundred others.
Thanks again, Dan and Terry.
Horribly, it's too late for him, but good on ya Dan, for starting it. It will save lives. I just know it.
Horribly, it's too late for him. But the videos will save lives, I just know it. Good job.
Dan! I live in Louisville via Chicago via Seattle via Boston. I used to wait on you at Boom Noodle actually
Point is.. the advice columnist here is egregious. So, so, so, so, so lame. My girlfriend and I miss you (she's from here but had you in the Dig in Boston and Reader in Chicago). I know we can read you online but it's not the same.
As you know, Kentucky could use you. Save these heathens!
Good Job Dan.
I just forwarded the cornerstone video(Dan & Terry's) to my 58 year old mother for approval and to aid this movement in going viral.
At present, there is one openly gay person in my family; my cousin, a rather successful Nurse Practicioner; and whom has been in a very happy relationship for (to my knowledge) 12 years(queue jealousy).
Regardless of the degree of saturation of LGBT in the media or my family; I give credit to my mother as the one person who established my cognitive acceptance of 'non traditional' families/lifestyles.
A brief personal history: the family on my father's side are devout Catholics (including myself and the aforementioned cousin).
At any rate, I was taught acceptance at an early age. Born in 1980, I was caught admist in a sea of 'weirdness" - our country's contagious involvement in the eternal MidEast conflict and the Advent of the AIDS plague were the news headlines of my youth. My grandmother passed away three years ago with nary a bad feeling towards any member of my family due to this unified love and acceptance.
In this respect, I am proud to say that the majority of my family are EXTREMELY ACCEPTING of my cousin's and other pursueants of an 'alternative lifestyle."
It has been my family's influence that created an open-minded individual in myself and my sibling. Since an early age, I have been titled "wierd," or different. It may be due to the fact that I am a friendly introvert, or any combinations of various reasons (according to Myers-Briggs I am an INTP).
In conclusion, I would like to state that I am rather jealous of all people whom are able to categorize themselves. The reason is that I am yet unable to find my fit within a specific group of people.
Alas, the acceptance of all differences is growing in this country, whether it be race or sexuality. So I am hopeful that people like myself (whom appear to be "normal") and those who have marked differences, are accepted and welcomed in our society without reserve.
Post Script- I would like to thank Terry (and everyone else) for posting an "It Gets Better" video. It was AWESOME to see you both talk about how you met and your family. I am a hopeless romantic.
A friend noticed my rantings on facebook about all the recent suicides and suggested that I watch some videos from the It Gets Better Project. I am going to share some of those videos in training entry-level-therapists for working with sexual minorities. That and the first 5 minutes of your podcast about the project.
My dissertation is on bisexuality and your callers are courageous in opening up to you! Thank you for your work... I am so glad that you are out there!! I am going to share you with EVERYONE.... now don't you feel like the dirty slut! <3 <3 <3 Stephany
Suicide sucks, yes. It fucks up families, leaves friends wondering if they could have helped if they'd only known, makes everyone who loved the deceased feel hollow and empty. I get it.
Further, I'm for gay marriage and gay adoption and against teen suicide, straight or gay or whatever. But I don't read this column for two to three weeks of teen suicide PSAs, I read it because I want to know about the dude who caught his dick in a bear trap in service to some memorable, esoteric kink.
I doubt Dan's going to hemmorhage readers doing this, but if there are any other mostly vanilla straight dudes reading this, I'm pretty sure they'll get tired of it too.
You may think suicide prevention columns are much more important than peeing on people columns, but you're wrong. I'm fairly sure most of the people who read Savage Love in their local alternative rag are straight, if only because most people in general are straight. Demographically speaking, we're the ones who put food on Dan's table. When he panders exclusively to his gay base with columns about how they can make videos for at-risk gay teens while pointedly excluding those breeders who pay his rent, and in fact devotes the majority of the space in his column to evangelize gay suicide prevention for two weeks in a row, we breeders get bored and offended, and eventually we head for the exits.
You want to keep us happy. Keep that in mind. If not for us, this column would have a much smaller fanbase and a whole lot less political power.
And, of course, Dan was obviously lying when he pointed out that straight people are often the victims of homophobic bullying, and when he said that one of the most recent victims to turn to suicide was very possibly straight.
This bothered me when I woke up this morning. I'm just so confused and angry.
I thought things were getting better for homosexuals in the US. I suppose I'll consider this my wake up call.
I really hate the party line that insists that "polyamory is about having a spiritual/emotional connection with more than one person." Yes, it can involve that. But it also can involve casual sex (I see "swinging" as a mostly heteronormative subset that falls under the larger umbrella of "polyamory"). For me, the salient factor is fluidity... I'm free to define my relationships in a way that works for me, and my partners.
If we are trying to promote tolerance and sex-positivity, it does not behoove us to distinguish casual sex as less than committed sex. And these things themselves are not discrete categories, but fluid and changeable.
And: "You may think suicide prevention columns are much more important than peeing on people columns, but you're wrong."
When you say "important," you're talking about ad revenue. That's not the same meaning I would attach to "important" in this case.
Most of the regular folks I meet who claim to be poly are just the same old horndogs as before, they get mad if they don't get laid the same night, and they don't value the companionship or feelings of their partners UNLESS they're getting laid whenever they want it. The old fashioned word for this was "cad" and it applies to women as well as men. They view sex as a commodity rather than as a gift.
For me at least polyamory, like some other forms of love, implies acceptance and even gratitude. That could mean acceptance of other people as human beings, whose company is valuable at all times regardless of activity. So I could be in a "poly" relationship with someone where we rarely had sex. But for most of us on the street outside of these poly workshops, sex seems to be the MAIN or ONLY component of the connection.
(#44): What an excellent example of assumed heteronormative, patriarchal privilege! Two things here - first, I don't recall you being dis-invited to participate in It Gets Better. I, for one, have chosen to not post a video for fear of co-opting a discursive space intended for gay adults to tell gay teens about the fabulous gay lives they can have after high school, but there are also videos from straight people who were themselves bullied or were/are allies of kids who were/are bullied, one of which Dan featured on Slog. Second, while you might "get irritated and a little offended" at what you perceive to be a space that is not including you, you have to understand that as a straight man, institutionalized systems of power operate to privilege you. This is probably most of the reason you feel offended - people generally don't tell you "No, you can't participate," in contrast to all of the persons belonging to marked social groups, who are regularly pushed out of various social fora. Ultimately I agree that any sort of divisive tactic with respect to groups or identities (Identity Politics) is not ideal, but until we dismantle the INSTITUTIONAL vectors of oppression, identity politics and group-only discursive spaces for the oppressed are necessary as some of the few methods for combating these institutional practices.
Get the fuck over yourself: lots of people hear "No" every day and manage to deal. You can handle it every once in a while.
I would argue that those people are perhaps assholes, but still poly as long as they're communicating honestly with their partners. If they're communicating the message you are getting from them, they're probably not having much luck in the poly community. On the other hand, if they're not communicating honestly, but being manipulative and opportunistic, that's not poly because it's not consensual. Manipulation is coercion, and I agree with you that it voids any poly cred.
My point is that polyamory is inclusive, not exclusive. We conduct ourselves with mutual respect for everyone's relationship choices, as long as those choices are executed respectfully.
"What he said" and "Rock on!"
Dan, you may have addressed this bigot already, but if not, he deserves your attention:
Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell is stalking the student assembly president of the University of Michigan.
You've nailed it on the head!
Dang white men complaining.
Dan doesn't spend all his time pimping causes but when he does it's something important.
Maybe that guy in #41 and 42 is just a troll, trying to bait us all. With a name like Happy the Homophobe he must be intentionally cruel. Well, so what. That's not most of Dan's readers!
Personally, unless it's a cuckolding situation, I maintain the best threesome method is have the boy pick the other boy, have the girl pick the other girl. It saves a lot of hassle.
So you whiner rejects that want to get back to jacking off on other people's kinks can go whine to yourself in the corner, because the vast majority of Dan's audience are decent human beings, whatever their orientation - be that sexual or political, and care enough about human beings other than themselves to be OK with a bit of their weekly entertainment being donated to saving lives.
I have to say, though, it sounds like a great deal for the gal. I just don't see what you're getting out of it....except all worked up.
evening in the UK this, bullying is too much.
While I understand that you want to participate, I don’t think being offended is a proper response. It’s like if someone wanted to start a movement showing how women can have successful careers. Having a man show up and say, “I have a successful career!” would not be helpful. Yes, it’s great that the man has a successful career. No one is denying it. But the whole point is to show that just because you are a woman doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful career.
I’m straight. I was bulled. I suffered from depression. I was suicidal. Some of the things people are talking about in their videos (the fear invoked by just walking by the building where I was bullied, etc etc) really speak to me. But do you know what I had that gay kids often don’t? Successful role models. When a gay kid is bullied because they are gay, they might never have seen a real person who was gay and survived the bullying to go on to a better life. For all that it was terrible for me to be bullied, I regularly saw people just like me who had survived bullying like the bullying I had gone through. This Project is an attempt to give gay kids what I already had.
Mich Ass't Attorney General cyberbullies gay student body president
Michigan Assistant Attorney General Andrew Shirvell has become so fixated on a particular gay University of Michigan student that he runs a blog about the student called "Chris Armstrong Watch."
Roger Ebert writes:
Study Shirvell closely here [video abo. You may, as I do, see a prim, repressed, rigid fanatic. As Cooper pointedly asks, would you want this man representing you? Cooper refers to Shirvell representing a hypothetical gay person. I am straight, and I gotta tell you, I wouldn't even want to be on the same internet with him.
Gave him a hug and was glad I could now meet the person his was dating. (Who is awesome!! My husband and I have altered our will to leave our daughter to Uncle Andy and Uncle John if anything happens to us. They are the best.) He finally felt complete to our family.
EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE THIS.
Any term which describes some group of people is both inclusive and exclusive. If it were only inclusive, it would apply to everyone. If it were only exclusive, it would apply to nobody.
'Polyamory' has a definition, and it excludes those people who don't fit the definition, and includes those who do. Lots of people who use it (including me) use it to mean loving relationships, not ones which are only sexual. When someone else uses it and I don't have context, though, I understand that they may be using it (from my point of view) 'incorrectly'.
That said, even the dictionary guys can't agree (Oxford says 'sexual', Merriam-Webster says 'romantic'), so I suppose it's still up for grabs.
We would love to see more gay women post, but thanks to all who have told your story. Each and every one gives kids like my daughter (and even more, the kids that don"t have supportive friends and parents) encouragement and strength.
Talk to each of them, individually and privately, about what they want out of it. It might be a cuckolding-lite fetish; it might be the girlfriend having whipped her boy so hard he claims he doesn't mind, or it might be the boyfriend wanting an excuse to break up with the girl. And those are the simple possibilities... it's so easy for things to be so much more screwed up than those choices.
If you feel like something's not right about the two of them (if you get a different impression about this arrangement from either of them individually), you don't have to be there when their relationship goes to hell. And if everything is on the up-and-up, wouldn't you be happier knowing exactly where each of the other people in this stands?
For what it's worth, both of my friends who drove me to the hospital when I got my nose broken for smarting off to my dad were gay as a Christmas carol. I love them and I miss them now that I've moved away.
here you go!
not sure how to add it to the channel, though
"New research shows campuses have not become significantly safer for students and faculty who are not straight. Sue Rankin, a Penn State professor, talks to Ari Shapiro about her research into gay, lesbian and transgender issues on college campuses."
Carefully choose a college or university to go to if you're les/bi/gay/transgendered. I went to a really conservative college, and only told five people (four of them profs in one of the most liberal departments at the school) about my status. I still had a positive college experience, but things would've been quite different if I'd gone someplace where I felt safer being my true self with more people.
I can see why Dan wants people to focus more on positive outcomes in their videos, but I can also see why people would be inclined to focus on the negative side of things.
It just makes me ill the whole thing. People need to think on the consequences of their actions as clearly we as a community are not reaching those of us most at risk and in need of help. A little kindness and common sense can save a life. Such waste:
God Bless you all.
Is it or isn't it polyamory? I'd say a real polyamorous relationship would include honest dialogue between the participants with at least loosely defined boundaries; that it would exclude a threesome where one of the participants not only doesn't understand the rules, but doesn't even understand what game he's playing.
CTOACN, I believe you're actually being dominated by this guy. You are one of his submissives. A role that you don't fully comprehend and seemingly don't desire to play. That pair has their own kinks and set of rules- you're simply along for their ride- a tool.
You want time alone with this chick and are not getting it. Why not? Because, dude, she already has a boyfriend! It's not poly, it's not a 'friends with benefits" scenario, and it doesn't seem to be satisfying to you --which could then extend to, it's not healthy for you. If it were healthy, you'd be discussing your desires with the two of them rather than on an advice blog.
To gloss over these facts doesn't help gay teens learn how to cope with the inevitable alienation or harassment they will likely face at some point in their lives. And those facts don't change as we get older. In fact, I think they actually get worse because folks don’t have as much compassion for mature people and they don’t see their homosexuality as “a phase they’re going through.” However, what does change for the better is our ability to stand up to discrimination, but this takes a strong sense of self, love of self and others, education, and independence. The latter is something you're not addressing head-on, I think. If you're going to set an example for the gay community, Mr. Savage, then you should acknowledge to gay teens that you’re financially independent, which makes a difference because you don't have to rely on others for income or sustainability. I say this mostly because in your post you encourage us to speak about our positive experiences as opposed to the bullying we’ve faced, but most gays and lesbians, or anyone for that matter, are not so privileged as to be financially independent, or should I say, wealthy. In other words, you don't have to face systemic discrimination; you can simply walk away from it without suffering debilitating financial consequences as a result. Sure it gets better - if you're rich - no doubt! ‘Got fired from your job 'cause you're gay? Whatever! Paris sounds nice this time of year... Go there!’ That's not real life for most people. I guess my point is that the "It Gets Better" campaign is a good thing, but let's just be real about the potential consequences most gays and lesbians will likely face by being “out.”
I'll do my part by saying that my being gay actually spurred my desire to earn an education because, initially, I chose to see myth for what it really is – a human constructed value-based belief system. As a result, I chose to study mostly science and history to broaden my own paradigm, and this has helped me to be a stronger person emotionally and intellectually. I've also been open about my sexuality since I was a young teen because I don’t think anyone’s opinion is any greater than my own – especially if it’s about me! And it doesn’t hurt that I grew up in the Netherlands and Germany, a much more accepting environment for homosexuals than say a rural small town in the Midwest, which I’ve also lived in. I also love studying astronomy, which helps people think outside of the box. In any event, I don't care what other people think regarding my sexuality, which has served me well. But it’s also cost me some family members, “friends,” and I've had to quit a few good paying jobs here and there along the way, as I refuse to accept crumbs, as Larry Kramer would say. That’s been the cost of maintaining my dignity. And I’m not alone. I understand the campaign isn’t all about this; it’s about helping gay teens overcome suicidal thoughts by focusing on how life gets better – I get that – and as I’ve already said, those efforts trump my cynicism. But I also want gay teens to be prepared for a harsh reality that sometimes homophobia will put obstacles in their way. I think speaking truths is the best way to lend a hand and help them forge and don the armor they will need to survive and grow in this world. I think this comes from relating real-world life experiences. Does it get better? Yes and no. Our ability to withstand discrimination gets better as we age, but homophobia remains as vigilant as ever. Regardless, suicide is not the way out. It’s just an end with no coming back. Finito! And even a cynic like me must admit that life is too precious to throw away and can be pretty damn good, all in all. There are hills and valleys along the way. The valleys stink, but the highs are awesome and worth the ride - and they’re more powerful than the lows! Fortunately, memory tends to be kind. So stick around, it’s well worth it. You’re worth it. I’ve been in the same relationship for 15 years with the love of my life – that alone has been worth it! If I was to plop dead tomorrow I would go with a smile on my face because I loved myself and that love radiates to others – and it feels really good. Okay kids… go run and play now. Lecture over.
Oh yeah! Thanks to Dan too!!
There's nothing wrong with that per se, but it ignores the reality that high school for a lot of people (myself included) is/was hellish.
You do NOT have to be gay to get bullied in high school. You don't even have to be black (or some other minority) in a predominantly white school. You just have to be a teeny-tiny bit different.
In my high school, if you weren't Mormon, if you were being raised by a single parent, and especially if you were poor -- you got beat down regularly by the popular/athletic "in" crowd.
How about instead of telling GLBT teens it gets better, you tell ALL the kids that?
Case in point:
Being young and slutty isn't exotic - it's normal behavior. Good times, good times.
CTOACN sounds like a bit of a pussy, as does the 'cuckold'.
Either steal the girlfriend or stop fingerbanging her, shithead.
Indiana's rough. The 'normal' young people try like hell to get out as soon as they can, so it would suck to be a sexual minority.
They also had to choose a power word and she chose free. Seeing the emotion she felt with that word really moved me and as superficial as most of the show can be, that episode really highlight diversity and how it should be valued.
This points to the the complexity of dealing bullying; it isn't just a dichotomous phenomenon where there are only aggressors and victims.
Dan isn't trying to solve all bullying here he's trying to give gay teens hope.
Gay teens are at a far greater risk for suicide and it is completely appropriate for the focus of this project to be on them. If you are unhappy with the myriad of programs that focus on ending bullying and teen suicide I'd suggest you start your own project that has a more general focus.
JOIN "WANK AGAINST CHRISTINE O'DONNELL" A project dedicated to masturbating against tea partier Christine O'Donnell.
Sir, you must deserve much of the credit for raising such a good one. Thanks very much for your comment.