Dan Savage's journey from alt-culture columnist to national sex guru

By David Accomazzo
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 2 | Posted Jul. 10, 2013

Share this Story:

Was it terrifying? Oh, it was. It was absolutely terrifying. Which is one of the things that drives me crazy about HIV educators, they run around saying fear-based education doesn’t work, and shame and guilt don’t work, and I’m like, oh no, I was there in the mid-’80s, and we were all terrified and deeply ashamed of some of the behaviors people engaged in that kind of laid out the welcome mat, or created the disease settings, that allowed AIDS to explode throughout the population. That did change everyone’s behavior. That fear and that shame worked like fucking gangbusters. It was rooted in reality. AIDS was legitimately terrifying then.

Have you been following this bacterial meningitis outbreak among gay men in New York City? Speaking of scary, yes I have! 

Does that in any way remind you of the ’80s? What’s interesting is the alacrity, the response from health officials to get out in front of it. … The same health agencies—new officials, same agencies—that were so slow to respond to HIV, so slow to warn people, have been out there saying, “Let’s have an abundance of caution this time,” instead of an abundance of apathy.

That’s what we didn’t see, we didn’t see health officials get out in front of it and speak directly and bluntly to gay men the way N.Y.C. health officials are now speaking bluntly to gay men.

The slowness of the response is what led to so many thousands of people getting infected and ending up dead.

That’s a sign of the times, right? Yeah, it’s a sign of the times in so many different ways. That we learned the lessons of HIV, and that gay people are more valued now. The reason why the response was so slow to HIV is because health officials, the media, politicians, they didn’t care whether gay men lived or died, but now they do. And that’s different and that’s gratifying.

David Accomazzo is an editor at the Boulder Weekly, where this interview first appeared.

Prev| Page: 1 2 3
Add to favoritesAdd to Favorites PrintPrint Send to friendSend to Friend

COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 2 of 2
Report Violation

1. cn2004 said... on Jul 10, 2013 at 01:26PM

“He's nothing but a smarmy, egotistical jerkoff. His one claim to fame is telling people how to best take it up the ass in an advice column. Pathetic human being.”

Report Violation

2. Diana Eberhardt said... on Jul 10, 2013 at 01:53PM

“Dan Savage is smart and funny, and has been extremely helpful to many people - and lifesaving to many, through the It Gets Better Project.
"Selling of the gay agenda"? Really? Are you shopping for it?
Hello, negative people: if you don't like what Dan Savage writes about, just don't read his column - or a column about him!”

ADD COMMENT

Rate:
(HTML and URLs prohibited)

Related Content

Here are 5 of the raunchiest, kinkiest and most bizarre Dan Savage questions we could find
By PW Staff

I have never addressed the gerbil issue, but now, this week and this week only, I am breaking my silence. To begin, I would like to make a controversial statement: I have never had a gerbil in my ass.