American Savage YouTube: What Should LGBT Adults Do When Coming Out to Their Parents?

Dan Savage attracts controversy, but he often gets it right, too.

On YouTube’s only channel devoted to social impact, TakePart TV, Savage hosts a series called “American Savage” in which he speaks on a number of topics with the hope of getting people (mostly millennials) active and involved with their communities.

Most often, Savage engages the topic of sexuality, which is his passion. In fact, Savage is the founder of the It Gets Better Project, which has encouraged hundreds of thousands of people (and quite a few celebrities and famous personalities as well) to post videos detailing their journey through bullying and coming out, providing hope and role models to those going through that difficult phase.

And it was in that vein that Savage gave one of his best pieces of advice yet.

Tackling the topic of adult LGBT individuals who want to come out to their parents, Savage told them to not be afraid of their parents’ rejection. Instead, he turned the tables. If your parents choose not to accept your sexuality or say homophobic things or insult you, they are acting like children throwing a tantrum, and you, as the responsible adult, cannot let them continue. Play your only card, he said, which is to say: “If you don’t love or accept me, I’m out of here.”

And then, Savage went on, if and when they do finally come around (he seems pretty confident that they will if you express that you’re not giving them a choice in the matter), you have to forgive them for anything they might have said or done that hurt you. You can ask them to apologize, but most of all, you have to be prepared to accept that apology.

The real lesson, in Savage’s words, can be summed up in three short words: “Love them back.”

Here’s the full video:


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Medha Chandorkar

As a junior at Georgetown University in Washington DC, I'm studying Government, Women's and Gender Studies, and Justice and Peace Studies. I'm interested in social justice issues, particularly women's rights in the developing world, and politics. Outside of school, I love dancing and reading, and I'm a huge TV / movie buff. In the future, I hope to become a lawyer but right now, I'm just focused on the moment.

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