Savage promotes the nuclear family unit because he believes that it is a healthy model for everybody: gay couples, straight couples, children. But his cheerleading for heterosexuals goes even further. He always seems to be rooting for us. I believe that one of Savage's most notable qualities is the particular compassion he feels for straight men.
But Savage did not always feel so warmly. After a rough adolescence, he expected to find a little company in the theater department in college, and he was a bit perplexed, he recalls, to be "the only gay guy in the acting program." After college, "all these other guys in the acting program came out. That made me mad at straight people." Blaming straight people for closeted gay people does not make immediate sense, but remember that it was the mid-1980s, gay men were filling the graveyard, Ronald Reagan was doing nothing, and an out, proud gay identity was one possible munition against the enemy. If straight people were shaming gay people into the closet, fuck straight people.
"I started writing Savage Love still really mad at straight people," Savage says. "But getting their mail. . . . It's really straight guys who get the bum rap. The way straight people have redefined marriage, and the way they define sexuality, it's really unrealistic about male sexuality.
"And reading letters from straight guys made me hugely sympathetic to straight guys. And I was already sympathetic to straight women, because men are pigs and I sleep with men so know what that's like. I arrived sympathetic to straight women—I became sympathetic to straight men, reading these bat-shit letters from straight guys who were being terrorized and being driven crazy, because sex is scarce if you're a straight guy. It's not scarce if you have a pussy or if you're a fag. But if you're a straight guy?
"Straight guys run the world, but that includes the Taco Bell franchise. They're less free sexually than anybody else. The girl who eats pussy once or twice in college can tell her husband, and he's not going to believe she's a lesbian, and she is not going to be terrorized by that experience. But these poor straight guys, who meet the one guy who blips onto their sex radar, and they're devastated! They think no matter how much sex they've had with women, this is proof . . . because straight male sexuality is two negatives bundled together: it's to not be a woman and to not be a fag. So anything a straight guy might be interested in that is perceived as feminine or faggy is really destabilizing to their selves.
"After reading their letters for a couple years, I realized gay men and women were complicit in this too. If you've had sex once with a man, they say you're gay. Gay men want you to be gay—if you look like Tom Cruise. There is not a lot of speculation whether Seth Rogen is gay. I fucked women. Nobody ever says to me, 'Oh, you couldn't have done that if you weren't actually straight."'