Utne Blogs > Literature

Tender Savage

by Staff


Tags: Great writing, Savage Love, Dan Savage, mother, column, eulogy, ode,

It turns out that sex advice columnists have feelings, too. Dan Savage, the author of the weekly Savage Love column syndicated in alternative weeklies and other publications nationwide, is widely read for his witty vulgarity, abundant sass, and stinging political asides, but generally not for his tender tributes to his mother. Until now. Savage’s April 3 column was a tour de force ode to his just-deceased mom, who clearly was a huge influence on her “total fag” son. After he came out as a teenager, he writes, “My mother came around fast and she came out swinging—rainbow stickers on her car, a PFLAG membership card in her wallet, and an ultimatum delivered to the whole family: Anyone who had a problem with me had a problem with her.” His public repayment of her allegiance is sweet and powerful.

Keith Goetzman