By: Charreah Jackson
He may name bodily discharges after politicians and be brutally honest in his syndicated sex column “Savage Love,” but Dan Savage lets his softer side out to play in his new book, “The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family.”
Released in September, the book is an amusing and eerily familiar memoir of Savage and boyfriend Terry’s marriage dilemma as they approach their 10-year anniversary. Add into the mix the nation’s recent focus on
gay marriage, the couple’s 6-year-old adopted son, D.J., who opposes his
dads saying 1 Do/ Savage’s devout Catholic mother, and you have the
makings of a great read.
Dan and Terry flip flop with the idea of marrying to the last page, even fooling some readers with “The Commitment’s” twist of an ending.
“I felt compelled to write the book how (Terry and I) really felt/’ Savage
said. “It could have just as easily ended the other way.” As. the editor of Seattle’s “The Stranger” author of four books, columnist, partner and father,
Savage has his plate heaped high. Even so, Savage admits he and Terry-
are making plans to expand their family.
“When straight couples say they are gonna have another baby it usually means lots of sex,” he said. “For us, it means a lot of paperwork.”
Though Savage’s quick wit and humor make him a sex-advice favorite for the curious — gay or straight — he is serious when he shares how much things have progressed for the gay community since he came out more than 25 years ago.
According to Savage, when you came out back then. you risked losing
everything from your job to your family and becoming a social outcast.
“We’ve come so far, so fast. It’s thrilling. It’s disorienting,” Savage said.
For many, the thought of baring their most-private moments and
thoughts is terrifying. But for Savage writing “The Commitment” was
business as usual and holds an even greater purpose than a mere tell-all.
“When people know gay couples personally, they are not so afraid of
gay families,” he said. “(But) maybe you don’t live around gay people, so
you can meet a gay family though the book.”
Dan Savage may have to pay his son more money than he would like, as he and Terry agree to pay D.J. $1 for each curse word they say in an effort to cut back on the habit, and others may not think the couple’s “property of. . .” tattoos as the best way to express their love, but throughout his book and in his daily life Savage is only out to live his life as he — along with Terry, D.J. and Mom —see fit.
“You really have to listen to your body and heart. When people, and not just gay people, live a life that others want them to have, they only make themselves and (others) miserable. Only when you make yourself happy, can you make others happy.”
Whether readers love or hate the book, “The Commitment” is Dan’s story, and he chooses to let others inside the place closest to his heart —his family.