I was bored, and at a shopping mall. I went into a Chapters, a huge bookstore chain in Canada. I love to mill about in Chapters and peruse interesting books and seeing what’s popular.
I made my way to the back of the store, and in the tiny LGBTQIA(Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual) section, my faith in humanity was struck down. There was a clear spot on the shelf for Dan Savage‘s latest book, American Savage. To make matters worse, it was obvious that the stack of books was once thicker, and now only one copy remained. I can only assume this means that people are picking up American Savage, paying for it, and reading it. I absolutely detest, straight to my core,(possibly too fervently) Dan Savage. I believe that he should have been charged for hate speech a long time ago and that Indigo Books & Music Inc. should not sell his books. I beg of you, !ndigo, to dispose of your stock of American Savage. I plan on directly contacting the company later with my complaint.
“It is not crazy when you meet a bi person to wonder if they are really bi. It isn’t disrespectful. It is rational.” Dan Savage in an interview.
Many people don’t understand my beef with Dan Savage. First off, he’s a loose cannon, making intolerant remarks often–he once said, “(GPC Candidate Carl Romanelli) should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.” It doesn’t matter who Romanelli is, I don’t want to support someone who speaks so violently. Savage is well-known amongst writers as someone who bullies people who criticize him in columns and blogs(He patronizingly laments the “hordes of angry bisexuals” who send him mail). Savage has a long-standing reputation of Bi Erasure(a form of Biphobia diminishing and denying Bisexuality): stating that bisexual men don’t exist, that gay people should not date bisexuals, and that bisexuals should only date other bisexuals(source). He blames Biphobia on bisexuals not coming out of the closet to prove stereotypes wrong– when things would change drastically if people like him, with a large audience, would stop enforcing negative assumtions around bisexuality. In the past he has also been critiqued for using the term “tranny,” which is generally considered a slur against trans people. The worst part is that, as a well-liked figure, people believe his unfair statements.
Dan Savage has built his career on inflammatory rants and crassly stated opinions via a popular sex and relationships advice column. He entertains people, much like how we all love to hate Donald Trump bumble and rave about certain groups of people. The difference is that Savage is perceived as a good role-model partly because of his activism and the It Gets Better Project. Still, it’s not okay to spread harmful judgements about people he knows nothing about. Bisexuals and their allies want to stop feeling rejected from the gay, lesbian, and trans community. Their sexuality is valid, and I hope !ndigo and other bookstores can reflect that truth by refusing to provide a podium for hatred.
Everyone needs to hold Dan Savage to account for his hurtful words.