Review: The Commitment and The Kid

Cover of "The Kid: What Happened After My...

Cover via Amazon

One of the great discoveries I made upon moving to Baltimore and picking up the local alternative weekly was the wonderfully hilarious Savage Love, which quickly became my favorite column. Over the years since, Savage has continued to be funny and thought-provoking, sometimes fiercely and wickedly (NSFW) political, even before his recent founding of and success with the It Gets Better project.

In that project’s inaugural video, viewers meet Dan and Terry, Savage’s husband, but readers of Savage’s books already know Terry, especially if you’ve read The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family or The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided to Go Get Pregnant, where Savage recounts their initial romance and its evolution into their long-standing partnership, including adopting their son, DJ.

If you are a fan of the columns, I would definitely recommend the books, but I also think they would be highly accessibly even if you’re unfamiliar with Savage’s work. I found both memoirs to alternate between moments of poignant honesty and vivid portraits of the unconventional family they have built together. And sure, The Commitment also includes some talk of threeways and a young man with a birthday-cake-related fetish, but this coexists alongside moments like the one towards the end of The Kid where Savage’s amazing and hilarious mother presents the matching “I heart my daddy” bibs she’s bought for their baby, which is when I tear up every time.

I almost wrote here that most importantly, the books offer authentic portraits of gay men parenting, loving and living together, which is such a brave and explicitly political act in a world where people often see queer stereotypes more than queer friends or neighbors. But then I realized that Savage would probably mock me mercilessly for writing something so overly sincere and then tell a witty anecdote that expressed the point much more clearly anyway, so I’ll insist that you go buy the books instead.

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2 Comments

Filed under Favorites, reviews

2 responses to “Review: The Commitment and The Kid

  1. She Started It

    I read both books without having ever read the column. I loved them!

    • Anjali, if you want to know why the sweetness of the books is a little surprising, try the columns (but be prepared for various sexual hijinks and dilemmas).

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