2010 in Review: Dan Savage
Author: Antonio Gonzalez Cerna
December 31, 2010
“Tell them it gets better.”
Perhaps the most powerful internet meme of the year was started by a Lambda Literary Award winning author: Dan Savage. In his highly influential column Savage Love, on Sept 23, 2010, reacting to the suicide news of several LGBT teens, Savage wrote his now famous call to arms: “…here’s what you can do… Make a video. Tell them it gets better.”
In only a few days, Savage’s YouTube video channel was filled with responses and reaction to It Gets Better.
Celebrities like Jake Sheers, Ke$ha, Adam Lambert, Jewel, Joel Madden, Perez Hilton, Zach Quinto, Sia, Michael Kors, Kim Kardashian, Michael Urie, Neil Patrick Harris, and others shared stories of support.
Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns gave a heartfelt message of hope. Even President Obama and the entire White House staff joined in.
Even today, new videos are published from groups like LGBT presidents in higher education, Cisco employees, Google employees, Facebook and Gap Inc employees.
For LLF, some of the most vital messages came from LGBT authors like Alex Sanchez, Sarah Waters, Stella Duffy, Lee Wind, Lee Lynch, Rachel Spangler, Nell Stark, Kim Baldwin, Greg Gerard, Kate Bornstein, Cheryl Rainfield, Chaz Bono, Suze Orman, Eddie Sarfaty, and Ellen Degeneres.
Dan Savage should get an award. He successfully launched a grass-roots campaign that (even months later) continues to send a positive message of hope to LGBTQ people everywhere (teens and adults alike).