Syndicated columnist Dan Savage wins Webby Award
Dan Savage, editorial director of The Stranger and a syndicated columnist in Seattle, will be presented a Webby Special Achievement Award in New York City this month for an online-video project aimed at stopping bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.
Dan Savage, editorial director of The Stranger and a syndicated columnist in Seattle, will be presented a Webby Special Achievement Award in New York City this month for an online-video project aimed at stopping bullying against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.
The Webby is considered the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet, from websites to online film and video.
Savage, 46, said he launched the "It Gets Better Project" last year in response to the suicides of 15-year-olds Justin Aaberg, of Andover, Minn., and Billy Lucas, of Greensburg, Ind. Both teens allegedly had been victims of anti-gay bullying.
In September 2010, Savage created a YouTube video with his partner Terry as a way to tell LGBT youth to stand up to bullying and to remind them that life does get better.
"It just occurred to me that we could reach out to LGBT kids on YouTube before they committed suicide," said Savage in a telephone interview on Thursday.
The project has inspired young people, celebrities and politicians to post their own videos online about bullying. Among them were President Obama, actor and talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres, actors Anne Hathaway and Colin Farrell, style maven Tim Gunn and pop singer Ke$ha.
The 15th annual Webby Awards will take place on June 13 at The Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City.
"The award is not for me, the award is for everyone that participated and made a video," said Savage.
To view the project or post a video go to: itgetsbetter.org.
To see a video of Savage discussing the project, go to: seati.ms/ikeVGQ.
The Webby Awards, established in 1996, are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.
Information in this article, originally published June 2, 2011, was corrected June 3, 2011. A previous version of this story said Dan Savage was 34. Savage is 46. When Savage was asked for his age, he lied to the reporter twice, both times telling her he was 34.
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