The following is a reprint of a letter sent to the editor of the Seattle Stranger in response to its advocacy to "Boycott Utah"
Dear Dan Savage,
My name is Ryan Bradford and I'm a contributor to the Salt Lake City Weekly, the state's largest alt-weekly. As a fellow "journalist" (well, music writer... which demands as much journalistic respect as, say, a sex-advice columnist), I know you have to make bold statements to get people's attention and keep them engaged. I know that statements like "Boycott Utah", however outlandish that may be, will get people's attention. And in today's ever-polarizing political climate, it's a statement that seems to be catching on.
Here's my bold statement: Fuck you, Mr. Savage.
I'll be the first to say that boycotting Utah is easy - in light of the LDS Church's despicable involvement with Prop 8, I'm guessing it'd be easier to defend AIDS than our state. However, progress is not made through easy decisions, nor is it quick. Boycotting Utah is not addressing the elephant in the room -- it's holding it back while you hold its baby in a headlock; boycotting Utah is similarly cruel and bullying. And that's why my "fuck you" is personally directed at you.
I'm sure you already know how prominent your voice is in the gay and lesbian population, and when you say "Boycott Utah," people will listen. The Utah community hears you.
And this is what they hear: You've given up on them. In these harrowing times, the gay and lesbian population of Utah, my friends, need all the support they can get. They already have to endure a city where the majority doesn't accept them, but to know that the rest of America has turned their backs on them is pretty fucking shitty. Scapegoating is unbecoming and cowardly, and yeah, it's easy to blame an unpopular religion for the outcome of Prop 8, but we can't lose sight of those affected by our retaliation. If you continue to support a boycott of our state, then we can only assume that you're not only a hypocrite (your repeated call to "address the problem" while eagerly jumping on a campaign of alienation), but that bandwagoning means more to you than expressing compassion to those who need you right now.
So I'm sorry for the Fuck You I said earlier. In times of great political turmoil we often say things that we don't mean because of heightened emotions and whatnot. I sincerely hope your call to boycott Utah, and the lovely gay/lesbian culture within, is an example of that.