A Savage over-generalization

My friends will tell you that I’m a big fan of Dan Savage. I’m a Savage LoveCast evangelist and I believe most people would benefit from listening to it regularly and reading his columns.

That said, I want to take issue with something he said on episode 365 of the podcast, which was published on Oct. 22.

If you fast forward to about the 17:25 mark in the podcast (click the link above to get to it), you’ll hear Dan Savage say this: “All straight guys have some girly shit going on, too. A little bit. And it terrifies them, because to be a straight guy is to not be a fag and not be a girl and anything girly or faggy that you’re interested in could explode your sexual identity.”

First, some context. Savage said that in response to a caller – a gay man – who wanted to find guys to date who conformed more to what we consider male heterosexual norms (watching sports and other such “manly” things), rather than what people tend to think of as gay male norms. The caller, in fact, said he’d like a guy who wouldn’t mind watching a basketball game occasionally.

But even with that context in mind, I still take issue with what Savage said. Why? Mostly because it’s a gross over-generalization on his part. I’m a straight guy. And I do enjoy a lot of that stereotypically heterosexual stuff that he was referring to. That said, I definitely have some of that stereotypically “girly shit” going on, as well. I love musicals (Well, some musicals. Andrew Lloyd Weber can die in a fire). My love for the music of Lady Gaga and Ke$ha is well-known. Stuff like that.

And you know what? I own it. I own every bit of it. It does not terrify me and I’m certainly not afraid that it’s going to “explode” my sexual identity in any way. And my straight guy friends with the same amount of “girly shit” going on? They also own it and are not afraid of it.

Dan, you’re usually dead on with all the advice you give and yes, there are straight guys who are “terrified” of the “girly shit” they like. But it’s certainly not all straight guys. Don’t stop doing what you do. Just think before you over-generalize.

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