Dan Savage Opening General Session speaker at ALA Annual Conference

For Immediate Release
Tue, 04/19/2011

Contact:

Steve Zalusky

CHICAGO — The American Library Association (ALA) welcomes Dan Savage as the speaker for the Opening General Session at the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Savage will appear from 4 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. on Friday June 24, immediately preceding the All Conference Reception on the Exhibits floor.

Last summer the nation was rocked by a spate of gay teen suicides: youths who took their own lives because of bullying. Determined to do something, Dan Savage realized that the era of social media gave him the means to speak to them directly as never before. On Sept. 22, 2010, Dan and his husband Terry Miller uploaded a video to YouTube, where they spoke openly about the bullying they suffered as teenagers — and how they both went on to lead rewarding adult lives filled with joy, family and love. They encouraged friends and colleagues to speak out and upload their own videos. Twenty-four hours later, the second video was uploaded. By end of the week, they had received more than 1,000 videos. Less than a month later, Dan received a call from the White House: President Obama himself had made a video.

Six months later, www.itgetsbetter.org has evolved into a nonprofit organization and a national movement, with more than 10,000 videos. Savage and Miller are editors of the book “IT GETS BETTER: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living,” and Savage is the author of the syndicated column "Savage Love" and the editorial director of “The Stranger,” Seattle’s weekly newspaper.

Dan Savage and Terry Miller will sign copies of “It Gets Better” at the conclusion of the Opening General Session.

The Opening General Session is sponsored by Dutton Books.

The American Library Association is the voice of America's libraries and the millions of people who depend on them. With more than 63,000 members, the ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world and represents all types of libraries and library staff. The Annual Conference & Exhibition, the largest event for libraries, librarians and those who support them, will be held June 25-29 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

For more information regarding the Annual Conference, please visit www.alaannual.org.