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The Daily Tar Heel

Dan Savage, It Gets Better founder, to speak at UNC Feb. 2

Books, films, music albums — all have been adapted for the stage. Come Feb. 2, newspaper columns can be added to the list.

Dan Savage, popular sex columnist and founder of the It Gets Better project, will host a live version of his regular column “Savage Love” at UNC and will answer audience-generated questions about love, sex and relationships.

The event, contracted to cost $18,500, is hosted by the Carolina Union Activities Board. CUAB’s activities are funded by student organizations fees of about $13 per student per year.

President Cierra Hinton said the group has been trying to bring Savage for the past two years, since It Gets Better began.

“This year’s board really got behind it and decided that this would be a good program,” she said.

Grace Peter, culture chairwoman for CUAB, said she wanted to bring Savage to campus because his advice is relevant.

“Topics like love and sex are issues that all college students have an opinion about,” she said.

Peter also said that Savage’s talk will not be for the sexually squeamish.

“It will definitely not be PG, Dan holds nothing back when giving his opinion,” she said.

But Savage’s candor shouldn’t scare people away, Peter said. “The topic of sex can be awkward or scary for some students to handle, so I urge people to come with an open mind,” she said.

The Internet-based It Gets Better project was founded by Savage and his husband in 2010 to prevent suicide among bullied LGBT youth.

The site propagates video messages in support of the LGBT movement that tell youth their lives will improve.

By the end of 2010, It Gets Better had raised more than $100,000.

Peter said that she wanted to bring Savage to UNC because of this support for the LGBT community.

“His activism has helped many LGBT youth to live their lives with courage and hope while being true to their identity,” Peter said.

Savage’s column, “Savage Love,” runs weekly in “The Stranger,” an independent newspaper printed in Seattle. He responds to letters mainly about sex and sexuality.

Contact the Arts Editor at arts@dailytarheel.com.

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