Sex columnist, author, and lecturer Dan Savage is in Pittsburgh this weekend for HUMP tour, a film festival which has garnered a bit of controversy locally. It's a festival of independently made adult films, which was originally slated to screen in Dormont. But because of a local ordinance, the festival will instead be shown in Lawrenceville.
Savage describes HUMP as a film festival of amateur porn that marries funny with sexy. The festival begins at 9 pm Friday at the Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville.
Savage is best known for his syndicated sex advice column, regularly featured in the Pittsburgh City Paper and the It Gets Better Project, created to inspire and give hope to LGBT teens.
“If you talk to a gay elder, a gay man 85 years old, and he’ll tell you that he thought he was the only boy on earth who felt that way. He thought he was the only gay person in the world. Nobody grows up that way anymore. Gay kids know that there are gay adults out there.”
But this new generation of LGBT youths still face many problems, which is why It Gets Better was created.
“There are gay kids out there, queer kids, lesbian, bi, trans kids who are being very viciously and brutally bullied and they know that there are healthy loved gay, lesbian, bi, trans people out there. They don’t know how you get to be one. And they don’t know that it gets better,” Savage said.
“They don’t know how it gets better for them as individuals. And what the ‘It Gets Better Project’ provides is for that bullied queer kid, the perspective and advice and wisdom of the adult."
Savage said the project is especially important for LGBT youth because unlike those who are bullied for because of race or faith, they can rely on parents or family who share the same qualities.
"But all too often a gay boy is being bullied at school, a lesbian girl who is getting bullied at school goes home to straight parents that they don’t feel they can open up to safely. Or more tragically, straight parents who are also bullying them,” Savage explained.
The It Gets Better program creates and maintains an archive of testimony, wisdom, and support along with a dialogue through the comment section of the YouTube videos. They also work in conjunction with organizations such as the Trevor Project and GLSEN.