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How To Cut Negative People Out Of Your Life

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Gay Guys - Cut Out the Bas Friends

There’s nothing worse than having a friend who is a downer. They’re the people who don’t appreciate the simple things in life, like you do. The ones who pull you down when you’re feeling happy or deliver bad news when you just received good news. These leeches are everywhere and you need to understand that as long as they are around you, you will always have more weight than necessary dragging behind you.

Life is hard as it is. We are always trying to find the best ways of coping with our own circumstances and when negativity rears it’s ugly face in, it will always reverse the progress we’ve made…. let me repeat that… It will always reverse the progress we’ve made. 

Here’s how you can tell if someone is bad for you: How do they make you feel? Do they make you feel bad? angry? depressed? guilty? self conscious? If you answered yes to any one of these things, why do you continue to put up with it? Is it the long history you’ve had with them? The need to have as many friends in your life as possible? Do you feel that this person will some how be good for your career down the road?

And it doesn’t even need to be how they make you feel. Sometimes it’s just how their personality is – flat out. If they are an angry person, an insecure person, a selfish person – guess what. You are going to wear yourself out so much trying to make them happy, that eventually their bad traits will rub off on YOU. It’s the natural law.

When we are young adults, it is the time when having negative people in our lives is most frequent.  These are the years where we grow into our personalities and start to make difficult choices. These choices will most likely affect us for the rest of our lives – and this includes choosing the people you wish to have around you. Bad influences will eventually pull you down so much that there is no other option but to cut them off. It’s a long and painful process to learn, but it’s a lesson that every person gets at one point or another. Whether you are the one doing the dumping or the one getting dumped… either way, you learn something about yourself.

Cutting someone off is never easy. It must be done cautiously, because the last thing you want is a guilty conscience. When it happens, it needs to be for the goodness of both you, not just for your own pretentious fulfillment.

The most mature way to handle this kind of situation is to give reasons why you’re deciding to distance yourself – without offending them. Say that for your own good, you need to be a part for while. Remind them that you love them, and that you need to break free to find yourself. The last thing you want to say are things like:

  • “You’re too toxic for me….”
  •  “You need to get your sh*t together… “

… or something as pretentious as

  • “You’re ruining my growth…”

These things make a person hate your guts and believe me, you don’t want that kind of energy hanging over your shoulders afterwards. With that sort of baggage, it’ll be like they never left and the whole thing would’ve been pointless. Your happiness is the most important thing here – that must ALWAYS come first. No matter how many restless nights you’ve spent thinking about the precise way to handle this kind of situation, the answer is always going to lie in your heart.

I like to call my heart my “Happy Compass.”

When you are in a situation with someone that doesn’t make you feel 100% yourself, like you are chipping away your true potential, and worse of all, like you are going backwards instead of moving ahead – think about it…

Your heart is saying that you are going in the wrong direction.

My Friend Is Depressed & Suicidal: What Do I Do?

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Gay Guys - What to do if a friend is suicidal

It is a constant battle when your friend is going through issues that will veer them into a state of depression and in some cases, suicidal thoughts. We feel like it’s happening to us and if we’re not cautious, it can affect our own self esteem as well. There’s no right answer in this situation, the only thing you can do is to be there for them and hopefully bring them back up from the emptiness they feel inside.

Depression and suicide are linked by loneliness. It is an empty place, absence of all feelings, and when you’re in it there is a sense of isolation. There is no place to turn to and your lonely mind forces you to believe that no one has your back, not even your family and closest friends.

Lately, the state of depression has been looked at as a biological disease and many psychologists agree. Some people just happened to be born with brains that prevent their neurotransmitters from functioning the way they ought to. These people are dealing with clinical depression. And depending on which one (serotonin, norepinephrine or dopamine), they will experience different effects like the lack of motivation and attention to things, loss of alertness and pleasure, anxiety and OCD, etc. These things together will create a downward spiral into loneliness and can be difficult to break free from. Not to mention when someone like this is put into an oppressing environment, it will create even more conflict.

Our society is a major factor in how we feel about ourselves. Especially during our early years, the affirmation that we’re “good enough” is important. An insecure person can be pulled into a state of depression when they are constantly being manipulated to think that they’re worthless. the only difference between a person like this and a person that mentioned above, is that they have a chance of pulling through. Not everyone will get better by cheering them up or being there for them. People with clinical depression are dealing with problems out of their control, it is best that they receive medical help. The best thing you can do is to convince them to get treatment.

Everyone in life goes through some depression – this is what being human is all about. However, the way a functioning brain works is that it will move us forward and distribute our neurotransmitters to areas that need them, ultimately bringing us out of it after a while (sometimes by changing our thinking patterns, we can move it along). People with clinical depression don’t have this ability. Be patient.

When our friends are sad, it can easily be reflected towards us. We want them to be happy, we want what’s best for them and when it doesn’t happen, we can take it to heart. What you need to do is figure out what kind of depression they are dealing with. This will allow you to find the best way of being there for them. Don’t let them get to the point where they contemplate suicide. As soon as they start to say things like that, it is time you should take the situation into your own hands.

Here’s the thing: when someone is depressed, they know it. It’s not like being crazy or selfish. People can feel it and are well aware of the emptiness they are dealing with, mostly because they have the rest of the world to compare themselves too. They’re not as lively as the rest of us, they don’t react the same and they are down when everyone is up, and sometimes they don’t know why. But they do know that it exists. Make sure they know that you’re aware of it too.

Have them discuss what they’re feeling, sometimes this can make the situation more clear to them when they say it out loud. Let them know that you are here if they ever need to vent. Life’s problems are an international language. Everyone can relate, and perhaps you might just have the perfect answer they need.

In the gay community,  teenagers are 5 times as likely to commit suicide. In a world where there is such homophobia, there is much more of the alternative. Love and support is all around us and it can easily be shut out by the sound of one voice. One voice who spews nothing but hate shouldn’t over rule the hundreds and millions of people that want to listen.

If you are dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts or have a friend that is, call the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386. The people a part of this organization want nothing to do but listen. You have outlets. You have friends. Don’t forget that.

Trevor Project

Call 1-866-488-7386

Chelsea Clinton Tackles HIV & Gay Marriage

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Gay Guys - Chelsea Clinton Supporting Gay Rights

On Tuesday, during an interview with the Associated Press, Chelsea Clinton stated she was going to become more involved in gay rights as well as health projects around the world, including distributing HIV drugs in Southeast Asia, specifically Myanmar.

During her trip this past week in Myanmar, Clinton she included herself in the initiative to provide water purification packets to areas with unsafe water supplies.

“My goal is always to do as much as I can in whatever area I’m working in,” she stated. This includes the gays! Clinton also said that she was committed to supporting gay rights, especially gay marriage.

“It just seems so fundamental to me,” says Clinton. “I’m able to marry the person I wanted to marry. That’s the fundamental human imperative. Those of us who have been lucky enough should expand these rights to others.”

Not only does she talk a good talk, but she also walks the walk. (I would say it’s more of a brisk “strut”)

Clinton has been tweeting like mad, supporting gay rights. Earlier this month she said it was “progress” that France’s new gay marriage law came into force and urged people to help build “an equitable world for all” while marking International Day Against Homophobia.

Looks like Mrs. Chelsea, or should I say Mrs. Marc Mezvinsky, is building up steam for equality. I just hope she doesn’t do what Bloomberg did and ban extra-large soft drinks. Even if she does, at least they’ll be gay friendly.

 

Gay “Depictions” In The Media

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Gay Guys - Gays Depicted on Television

The gays have always had a love/hate relationship with the media. I’m sure we can all agree that depictions of homosexuals in TV and film haven’t always been the best. It is, after all, a major vessel that will in turn motivate a kind of stereotype. We are how we’re depicted. It’s the magic power that is Hollywood.

The world of entertainment’s purpose is to cover the issues in which every day people are experiencing. Shakespeare once wrote in Hamlet, who was directing a group of actors in a scene, that their purpose was to “hold the mirror up to nature: to show virtue her feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure.” In other words, tell the stories as truthfully and as accurately as if they were reflecting our own souls, so that the audience will see it as an honest representation of their time.

In this time, our world is beginning to get a lot gay friendlier. We see it in our current legislation with gay marriage. We never would have imagined this progress had it not been for society’s confirmation with the gay community. As people slowly began to comprehend the thought that homosexuals existed, it was just a matter of time before it would veer its head in the political office. But what caused society to become more understanding? I’ll tell you: The Media. It has the first and last say. Always.

Here’s what we need to understand: The Media is God. Whatever they say is the truth, even if it’s a lie. When you see constant bashing of a community on the news or other outlets, of COURSE it is going to eventually change your mind if you don’t see any opposing forces to retract the idea. The people who work in media know this. The power is unbelievable – this is why celebrities have so much influence.

Someone in Idaho who has never met Tyra Banks will feel  like they know her simply because they watch her show every day. She becomes their best friend and eventually, whatever she says, they tend to side with. This is how media manipulation works. Now imagine if that source was delivering hateful slurs… the result is the creation of another nasty thinker.

So what has the media done for the gays? Since the beginning of the camera, gays have always been depicted as feminine, girly, and in some cases evil. When AIDS happened, the gay community was forcefully pulled by the media as the face of the disease. Though it took about twenty years, we are slowly starting to rid ourselves from that stigma. When Rock Hudson died of AIDS in 1985, not only did he create a new face for the disease, but for gay people as well. Suddenly we weren’t seen as disgusting, vile and immoral creatures, and AIDS wasn’t so much viewed as our “punishment” for such behavior. This will ultimately lead to the play Angels In America by Tony Kushner and Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks, both about AIDS… holding the mirror up to nature, eh?

When Ellen came out in 1997, it was one of the first major events in modern history that would change gay people’s depictions in the media forever. Not only did it allow middle America to embrace openly gay characters, but it paved the way for Will & Grace which opened doors of acceptance around the country.

With these new depictions of gay people on TV, it then created a stream of new thinking. Finally people understood that the gay community was not how they were depicted, and during that time marriage equality became a part of conversation. You see what the media can do?

Still although we’ve been seen in a positive light lately, is there still enough gay representation in Film and TV? And if there is, what kind of message are they telling young people?

The media has been both our greatest enemy and our best friend. Our stories need to be told accurately, and not by people who assume that they know everything about what it’s like to be gay in a homophobic society. The power that the media has can change our entire world, and we need to not take it lightly.

When it comes to gays in the media, in my opinion, we can’t have enough of them.

The Hip Hop World & Homosexuality

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Gay Guys - Hip Hop Community - Gay Black Guys

Since Hip Hop became an “in” thing in the early 80s, it was instantly all about the street cred, the raps, and the unspoken masculine attitude that is all a apart of it’s charm. It was the rough and tumble perspective that might have instantly created a distance between the gay community and the Hip Hop world. AIDS didn’t exactly help, in fact it probably widened the distance of the two communities to the point where the state of New Jersey could fit (literally).

In Hip Hop, it’s all about the street cred. and according to an interview with Nikki Minaj (who is bisexual), the Hip Hop community isn’t ready for a gay rapper, since they aren’t viewed as having street credit. However, she feels there will be one in her lifetime. I was surprised to find out that she’s not the only one that feels this way. Snoop Dog and Ice-T offered their support for Frank Ocean when he came out this past year, but still they stated in an interview with Salon.com that the hip hop community will find it hard to listen to a gay gangsta rapper and if a gangsta rapper came out of the closet right now, it would be a big thing.

To this day, there are many Hip Hop stars who don’t think highly of the gays. In the last month alone, three states have legalized gay marriage, one very famous basketball player has come out, and the acceptance of homosexuals has been released into the water supply.

Since the discussion of gay marriage, we have seen amazing support from the Hip Hop community, which is a little strange since a lot of these artists had homophobic slurs in their music. Russell Simmons, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Fat Joe, A$AP Rocky, and The Game have all expressed their support – but why now? Is it just a matter of joining the rest of the world and not wanting to get left behind or is it genuine?

The slow rise of support in the Hip Hop community started towards the beginning of the century when pioneer media personalities like the ones we’ve seen on Will & Grace or Ellen Degeneres created a mindset in the country. One of accepting gay people in their homes, and soon their hearts.

Since Hip Hop was started in urban cities, there has always been an underground base of creativity within their art. There’s an unspoken language they all share and understand, since most of the community can relate to the other as far as where they’ve been and come from. The spawn of homophobia began at the very beginning and has resonated since. Imagine the kids who listen to these kind of hateful slurs? They have no other idea in their heads except what their heroes tell them. However, most of the artists that have showed support have been the ones with the most vial and poisonous in the past. Better late than never?

Rapper 50 Cent once said that any man who didn’t enjoy sex with women should kill themselves. Not exactly an uplifting message. However, in 2012 he stated in an interview that he thought everyone should be happy and only a fool would go against same sex marriage at this point. In a more comical note, he also said that straight men might need organizations, in case they’re in an elevator and somebody decides to grab their “buns.”

One rapper turn-around story might possibly have caused more uproar than any. Eminem’s song “Criminal” made a long homophobic rant, saying “Hate fags? The answer’s yes.” However in the same song, he also said “Relax guys, I like gay man.” Is it causing mixed messages with people? The funniest thing about all this is that one of his best friends is none other than – wait for it – Elton John! Eminem supports gay marriage and told the New York Times that everyone should have the chance to be equally “miserable.” Thus says the best-selling rapper of all time.

So can the two worlds finally come to a means to an end? It seems we can, but the only thing that’s standing in our way is a pretend “image” that we are all trying to keep. Most of these artists at one point or another have said to the press that the reason why they are successful is because they are themselves. They are real. They are honest. They are authentic. Yet for years they have been pushing the need to KEEP people from being themselves by creating homophobic rhetoric.

It’s a new dawn when we see the Hip Hop community, which is quite possibly the most homophobic community out there, start to see the light of day… ?

Barebacking & HIV Is On The Rise!

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Gay Guys - HIV and AIDS Rise in Gay Community

Today, 50% of gay men say that they don’t use a condom consistently. Has the message of HIV prevention been working? Many seem to think that it hasn’t made a real effort in promoting the risks, factors, and  consequences of barebacking. The trend of barebacking has been rising since the invention of the hook-up app. The funny thing is, we have also been seeing an increase in HIV/AIDS statistics. Is there a connection?

According to a recent poll, 46.4% of gay guys who have used hook-ups admit to having bareback sex. 73% of them claimed it was acted out of “impulse.” In this generation, where gay sex is sold constantly as only a “promiscuous act,” it isn’t surprising that most young gay guys don’t feel the need to question.

Since the AIDS crisis twenty years ago, there has been an explosion of HIV testing clinics – more so in the last five years. Testing booths are in clothing stores, farmers markets, coffee shops, circuses, everywhere you go there are testing opportunities. Have these clinics become the only way of alleviating risks? Should we kiss condoms bye-bye?

Guys are guys and 100% of us do not like to wear a condom. It’s a fact. The only reason why the latex condom was invented was to protect the transmission of STDs and since fewer people are dying, the world thinks it’s much safer. It’s not! Every 9 and a half seconds, an American is infected with HIV.

Out of all the sub communities, none other has been affected more than the black community. In the United States, African Americans represent 14% of the population, yet they account for nearly HALF of the 1.2 million people in America living with HIV (men and women). The percentage hasn’t changed in nearly 20 years, yet the annual account of new HIV infections among blacks has increased about 600 per year. Although the act of barebacking is pretty equal among all communities, the fact that it is more prevalent in the black community is the reason why it has made a greater impact within it. The hispanic community is not too far behind. They represent 17% of people living with HIV (men and women) and are consistently rising.

These two communities are often thought to be the stereotypical “Down-Low” husband that spreads his infection to their wives without her knowing. We’ve all seen that Oprah episode… Is this a result of their homophobic culture? It’s not a surprise that it’s difficult to be gay in these two communities since a main trait among the culture is male masculinity. Do you think if we, as a country, made the idea of “masculine vs. feminine” less important that it might help more men be comfortable in coming out within these communities?

Between 2006 and 2009, there was a 46% increase in HIV among gay sex; it is 61% of all HIV cases, and it is constantly growing. The gay community has always been the poster child for HIV – yet we don’t really care, it seems. Barebacking has become a way of life now. There are groups who pride themselves in ONLY barebacking, and when asked their status, they are “unsure.” When have we reached the point that HIV is so blaze?

Ten years ago, you would be shunned out of the bedroom if you didn’t want to wear a condom. The mindset has evolutionized into an uncaring society. We have not cured this disease yet, so why are people surpassing the idea of safe sex? Our young people are now addicted to these hook-up apps and see them as not only a way to meet other gay guys, but a game. This is how they are exploring their “Coming-Out” years! Forget the times when you had to drive yourself to the nearest gay bar, ten miles away, and hope that no one sees you.

They have taken this time in their lives, where men are the most promiscuous, and made it digital. Their life has become a Playstation game with no fear of consequences. Now when someone reads that their sex partner is “clean” or “negative” on their Grindr profile, it has turned into a contractual signature. A working agreement.

Let’s be real with ourselves.

Being Gay In Law Enforcement

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Gay Guys - Gay Men in Law Enforement - Gay Cops

For decades it hasn’t been safe coming out in law enforcement. During the time of Stonewall and Harvey Milk, gays were literally persecuted at their occupations for being homosexual. Just imagine how it must have been like being a police officer, where your job is measured on how tough you are.

Within the last decade, there has been a stream of coming-outs within the police force. Since 23 states now have LGBT anti-discrimination occupational laws, men all over the country are feeling much more safer to come out as themselves – police officers included.

There have been many officers that have claimed they were victims of homophobic discrimination after they came out. They were denied certain extra jobs, they weren’t included in certain calls, and many other officers didn’t want to ride with them alone. However when it comes to lesbians in the task force, nearly 100% of the time, there is no amnesty. According to Gregory Miraglia, founder of the organization Coming Out From Behind The Badge, in his experience lesbians have a much easier time to come out in law enforcement because they represent a stereotypical idea of toughness and strength which is a more trusting asset to have as a police officer. More so than the stereotype of a gay man, which is feminine and weak.

Lesbians have been coming out for years with almost no issue. In jobs like the police force, fire department and the military where it is predominantly men, it’s not surprising. After all, it doesn’t really affect them right? The paranoia that most homophobic men have is that gay guys will hit on them or assume sexual attraction at one point. Being a police officer is tasking and requires a lot of character. It strikes me as odd that the very people who swear to serve and protect won’t even protect their own.

But it’s not just their colleagues that discriminate, it’s also the very people they are trying to protect. There have been reports of police officers trying to help someone in need, only having them be called a “Faggot” or “Homo” to their face, while their partners watch and do nothing to protect them.

In major cities like New York and Los Angeles, there have been many outings in the last decade. Some have ended well and others, not so much. Sgt. Ronald Crump was one such case. A few months ago, Crump received a settlement of $1.5 million after he sued LAPD due to discrimination. Crump was working in the media relations section until his Lieutenant transferred him to Skid Row, an area primarily known for their homeless population and crime. It’s an area that many officers do not want to patrol, yet it was forcefully given to Crump, who upon retaliating was delivered derogatory comments by his piers.

Lawsuits against police departments all around the country have been dismissed. Many claim that it’s because the city itself doesn’t want to create a bad reputation for their police force. So instead they would rather continue the discrimination?

Here’s a fun fact for you all. Some of the best police officers in recent history were gay. In fact, the most famous picture of the Boston Marathon bombings, where three officers are standing above an elderly man knocked off his feet. Remember that photo? The officer to the left is Javier Pagan, a Puerto Rican native who came out at 26 (one year after he joined the force). Not only that, but his partner is a retired NYPD sergeant who rescued many lives on September 11th.

Being gay has nothing to do with your ability to fight and serve for justice. The idea of being the “most macho” is really a fantasy. In fact, studies have shown that having too much of a macho attitude can lead to trouble since it can often disrupt logical thinking.

If you or anyone is a part of a law enforcement agency, take a look at Coming Out From Behind The Badge. You might find comfort in knowing that you are not the only one out there.

Sexting Your Way To The Top

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Gay Guys - Sexting Your Way to the Top - Gay Office

It can be argued that there is a new form of sexuality called, get ready for it:

“Success”xual

As a “Success”xual,  the only thing you are attracted to is success, no matter where it takes you. A man, a woman, an elder, a death-bed patient – if it brings them success, the “Success”xual will bend over quicker than a lampshade (pardon my french). It is typically an attractive person who knows they have the power to make anyone lust over them. It is this tool they use to climb the ladder to “Sex”cess. However what they fail to see is that it gives them a reputation, and not the good kind.

Nowadays, all it takes is a text message to get someone excited. A picture, a naughty demand, a sexual secret exchange, they all can become so addicting that it may get to be more exciting than the actual act itself. We’re safe behind the confines of our smart phones that we end up being better “writers” than sex enthusiasts.

The explosion of sexting has created a new wave of sexual acts that become permanent. You can’t delete a text, it is always going to be somewhere in the universe. A picture can now be sent to thousands (even millions) of people in a matter of seconds – is sexting really the smart way to go?

Young people who have had smart phones since the age of nine are used to it by now. They twiddle about their gadgets and send naughty innuendos and it doesn’t seem like a big deal. Most of these guys have made it a method of getting what they want out of people – and the funny thing is that it can actually work!

To men who are in the closet, it looks like the safest way of exploring your gayness. You’re not going out on the “down low” and coming back to your wife, you do not even need to give your phone number out now since there are so many hook up apps, and you don’t need to feel guilty about it since you can always delete them as if they never existed. Guess what – they will always have those pictures.

There are many cases of guys using sexting as a way of networking. Getting ahead by leading with sex has been around since the beginning of friction. It’s not a surprise that attractive people use it as an asset to gain power and climb the ladder to success – or “Sex”cess. 

From the people on the opposite end, resentment will ALWAYS ensue. People who work hard are often overlooked by people who are more attractive – it’s just the rule of life. Yet, I was surprised to find out that in most of these cases where people have CROSSED THE LINE into sexting and foreplay to gain momentum in their careers, it has failed. Sexting does not work (most of the time).

Flirting is one thing. Using your looks and charm to get ahead is a way better route, since YOU are the one that they are buying. When you “put out”, it is the SEX they are buying and that is all how they will see you. Sexting is extremely abundant in the business world. We’ve seen it time and time again, successful politicians and CEOs getting caught with their pants down (Remember Weiner-gate?).

In the gay world, it is extremely easy to use sex to get ahead. We are guys and sex is always in our minds – whether sleeping or awake – so it makes every situation vulnerable to the open invitation. As soon as it starts, the anticipation builds up steam and eventually when sex finally happens, it stalls. What else is there to build once the flirting is over with?

Gay Body Image: Love Your Reflection

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Gay Guys - Self Image - Body Image - Love Yourself

There is a problem arising in the gay community with our self-image. We are constantly ranked by our attractiveness everywhere we go. The gym, the supermarket, even the coffee shop. People underestimate the poison that these judgments give to other people. The next thing we know, we’re putting the bag of pretzels back on the shelf because they hot guy in aisle five gave us a look. Why do we give a F**k what people think of us?!

Our body image is everything and the need to please will never leave unless we see the need to breathe. (sounds like a Dr. Seuss rhyme, doesn’t it?)

For decades, gay men’s form of rebellion was wearing skimpy clothing and prancing around, showing as much skin as we can. There’s something about it that makes us feel free, since we’ve been so oppressed most of our lives. However now that society is gaining momentum in our acceptance, wearing rebellious clothes is no longer needed. Instead, we’ve taken that fashion and turned it into a class system based on type. How chiseled can you be?

“Oh – if you’re wearing a tank top and you don’t have a six pack, don’t bother…”

– Random gay guy on the street.

It’s absolutely nuts. In the ’70s, no one cared about body image. The sexiest thing in a man was confidence. Look at people like Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Burt Reynolds. At least these people had personalities. Their bodies weren’t the most amazing thing in the planet, but they had such confidence that made you look past all that. Guys nowadays are so into their bodies – every ripple, every angle – they have no idea how to hold a conversation. Now tell me people, why on earth would you want to be like that?

Your body image is only defined by YOU! Love yourself and realize how stupid the world is for not doing the same. Don’t let the world pass you by because you’re too busy worrying about the little droop under your chin. These things don’t matter. The best thing is that once you appreciate your body, you will start to see how ridiculous it all is. The people that judge aren’t judging you, but in fact they’re trying so hard to make others think that they’re better. It’s kind of pathetic.

You are unique. It’s not the world’s job to love you. I have always believed that you teach people how to treat you. Teach the world to give you respect and lead by example. They’re only going to follow you. Look in the mirror and love what you see, damn it! We’re stuck in this body for life – the least we can do is have a good time.

Life is the biggest lottery ticket in the universe. Just one sperm out of the millions made you. Think of the other “attempts” your parents had to conceive you. Now imagine their parents, and theirs, all the way back to the beginning of time – which ended up here. With you! There’s a reason why you’re here. Speak up for your own self. You are worthy because you were born. You’ve made it this far because you deserve it. And you’re going to thrive because you know you are.

Throw the tears away and dance.

How Do I Come Out At Work?

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Gay Guys - How to Come Out at Work

Everyone is petrified about this topic – there is a line between personal and professional that we are too scared to cross. What if they look at me differently? What if they treat me differently? What if they don’t want to hang out with me in the break room anymore? Will I get fired?

Sadly the truth is that many gay people in this country have a right to think these questions. Why? Because 29 states do not have our backs. ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) is still ongoing. What it would do is make it a federal law that no state would discriminate against the LGBT community.

Now with this in mind, of COURSE there is fear of coming out. If you are raising a family with your partner, you shouldn’t need to hide it. Coming out at work can be the most stressful decision if you are living in certain states, because then you are literally throwing yourself at the mercy of your employer. They are now “God” and will decide your fate. So depending on their views, it can be either good or ugly.

As someone who has worked in two different states – one being a state with no discrimination law – it is a completely different work environment. There is no office training on how to deal with discrimination nor harassment, and when a gay issue arises it is always a confusing thing. This can be traumatic for the employee.

Here are the 29 States that CAN discriminate against you if you are gay. They can fire you, refuse to hire you, refuse to give you a promotion, and ignore office bullying:

  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Wyoming
  • Nebraksa
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma
  • Texas
  • Missouri
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • Mississippi
  • Alabama
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Michigan
  • Indiana
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • West Virginia
  • Virginia
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina

…. Long list, huh?

Coming out at work should be a well thought out decision. You first must get to know the atmosphere in which you are working. The people, the moods, the environment and your boss. The benefits of being open are amazing and will only make your work quality better, but it is still is a problem with many people today.

Here is how you should go about it:

First, a great idea is to find someone who is a supporter of the LGBT community. One that you know won’t judge you if you come out to them. Be sure you know this person fairly well and keep it on the DL. Confide in them and trust them, be aware of the consequences if they tell on you – AND BE READY FOR IT, just in case. Get advice from them on how to deal with certain people.

Second, if you are ready to come out, be sure to do it in a slow process. Put a picture of your partner on your desk. Put an LGBT-related sticker on your chair. Create an open dialogue on issues. Get the information out as sly as possible. Make a plan!

Third, if you are preparing to go to a Christmas party or office activity, consider bringing your partner or boyfriend. The elephant in the room will only exist if you make it a problem. Most people won’t care if you don’t show that it bothers you. The truth is that if you are good at your job, most of the time the employees will overlook their own views.

Lastly, and most importantly, consider your relationship with your boss. Not being able to share an important part of your life with your coworkers is a big deal. Your employer however, is the most important person you need to consider. If they are a homophobic insensitive personality, perhaps you should go about coming out in a more fragile way. Don’t sacrifice the quality of your work for your bosses approval. Keep your work as high-standard as possible. That’s really all your boss cares about anyway. Once you prove yourself, it is likely that he/she will be more open.

Don’t fear! Being true to yourself is the most important thing you can do, both in and out of work. You should NEVER have to be scared to go to work. Getting fired because you are gay does happen, but it shouldn’t happen. People with a brain will know this, and this is what you need to understand. Just because the law has no protection in these states, doesn’t mean that it will happen to you. People have consciences. They know what’s right and wrong – and if they’re smart they will see the bigger picture, which is the productivity of you as an employee.

Most companies in these 29 states will not give seminars, won’t offer resources, and will never give presentations of gay bullying or harassment. Take it into your own hands and allow yourself to be your own voice.

Do what you know you need to do. Come out.

Masculine vs. Feminine: Battle Of The Testosterone

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Gay Guys - Masculine vs Feminine

Everyone has their preference of masculine men and feminine man. Most of the time, the preferences lie within our own form of manhood. If you’re feminine, chances are you’d be more compatible with the opposite and vice versa. But why does this matter in the end? We both have our strengths and weaknesses with either trait.

In the gay community, there’s a stigma that is evident in the back of our brains. It’s troubling to see that a lot of gay man are uncomfortable around super feminine gays – so what does that do to the fems? Gay society is supposed to be the group that is most accepting in all aspects. It’s not like femininity was exactly favored in high school. The most feminine person is usually the target in any group. They’re the most vulnerable and are the least likely to defend themselves due to their fragility.

You see it in movies, in TV shows, and in literature. Feminine guys are the butt of the joke. The pressure that comes with it is enormous since most people don’t take this kind of characteristic “seriously.” Why is that the way it is? Who made the rule that if you aren’t as butch as the rest of us, you are suddenly shunned to the back of the class system?

People like to use testosterone as a factor in this. Guess what. It’s not! Some of the most feminine guys I know are bald (which is the consequence of a high testosterone level). So there. We need to realize that it has nothing to do with our biology, it is just the way we are! Most of our personality is formed when we are between the ages of 2 and 5. During this time, we develop our likes and dislikes, tastes and preferences, & yes, masculine and feminine traits. Men are men. We are built the same in and out. There shouldn’t be a problem if someone is more “feminine” than the other.

Masculine men don’t have it easy either. Imagine being the one who is always under the radar, no one ever knowing their “Secret.” I’ve spoken to many men who have had the pressure to stay as masculine as they can at work or school in fear of someone finding out that they might be gay. When someone isn’t as obvious, it opens the door for other people to make gay jokes or slurs without ever knowing the truth.

WHY iS tHe pResSuRe so HIGH?!

We’re all gay, people! It’s like we have to make a gay scale of 1 – 10 to decide HOW gay we are. Ten being a “flamer” and 1 being “Straight-acting.” This whole stigma is rooted within us because of society’s preference. It’s all another ploy to please the world, yet again. Let’s get over what society thinks of us and just be ourselves. If we can’t accept it, then how are we going to let everyone else do the same? It starts with us.

Feminine men need to stop being portrayed as the weakling, because they’re not. Masculine men need to stop being viewed as the “correct” option, because it’s not. Both are trying desperately to please society that it’s driving us mad. The only answer is to stay true to who you are. Straight men, that are a little on the feminine side, are usually made fun of and called the “F” word for gay constantly (we know what word that is). We all know this to be true, so let’s stop the comparison and just learn to worry about ourselves alone.

Joy Behar gave us wise words to live by: So What! Who Cares?

What Do I Do When I’m Being Bullied?

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Gay Guys - Stop Gay Bullying

For anyone who is being bullied, you are not alone.

Nearly 77% of the population has said that they have been bullied in their lives. The sad part is that most of these people have taken that mindset of victimization with them their entire lives. Bullying is a problem in this country. We see it in suicide cases that make headline news, yet we fail to understand that there are many more stories – hundreds – every year that don’t reach the editing room of CNN.

It’s happening in our own backyards. They are our children, our nephews, our nieces, and us. If you’re being bullied, we know how you feel. We went through it ourselves. Did you know that 46% of guys have been in physical fights as a victim of bullying? Not only that:

  • Gay people are 4x as likely to get bullied than other kids.
  • Gay people are 5x more likely to skip school due to constant bullying.
  • 9 out of 10 LGBT students report bullying to authorities (Half are physically assaulted).
  • In 1 out of 3 reported cases, the school staff did NOTHING to resolve it.
  • 28% of all young students drop out of school because of bullying.

In today’s world, there are many kinds of bullying.

Emotional bullying – This is what happens when rumors begin about us, whether on purpose or accidental, and the result is used in an intentional way to hurt our feelings. This can be one of the most devastating because as young teenagers, we build our individuality. To have that seemingly rejected by the world can make us think that we are not good enough to be in it. It can happen face to face, behind our backs or worst of all, on the internet….

Cyber bullying – This has the potential to be the most aggravated, since it can happen anonymously. Usually when it happens, other people feel comfortable in joining in because they are safe behind their computer or smart phone. No one has to know who they are or how they actually feel, and the event can be made public in an instant.

  • 42% of ALL kids have been bullied online
  • 1 in 4 kids have been verbally attacked online.
  • 35% have been threatened.
  • 58% of ALL kids have reported that something mean had happened to them online.

Physical Bullying – It’s been happening since the beginning of time. Pushing, punching, shoving, and any other physical harm. Even if it’s not done to our bodies, the bully can damage your property and still be a physical bully.

So What Do We Do When We Are Being Bullied?

The thing you should do is be smart about it. Everyone can relate to the stomach-turning fear of the consequences. Are they going to find out? Is it going to get worse? If I don’t report it, will they end up doing something even more awful? Will the teachers do anything if I report it? We all understand. Keep in mind, adults were kids too and nothing breaks our hearts more than to see a victim of bullying.

What you need to do is NOT think of the consequences. Instead focus on the things that are in YOUR CONTROL:

  • Know The Bully – You know their tactics more than anyone. Understand what kind of bully they are – Physical, Emotional, or Cyber – and try to understand your situation. You can’t get out of a situation if you don’t know what kind you’re in. If it’s physical, there is no excuse to NOT report it. You should never feel like you are in physical danger. 
  • Avoid Them – The whole tactic your parents say about “just ignoring them” will only work for so long. Take it a step further. If you know what route they take in the hallways or streets, take another way to get wherever you need to go. This might seem like you are being a coward, but you’re not! There’s nothing wrong with avoiding confrontation. Keep in mind that the only reason they bully is to feel like they have power – don’t make them feel like they succeeded. Take your friend’s route next time, this way it doesn’t look like you are doing it on purpose.
  • Keep Your Cool – Try not to loose it in front of your bully. This is exactly what they want. It can be scary and unnerving, but all bullying is temporary, REMEMBER THIS. Soon they will find another victim, because eventually they will see that you are not feeding them anymore. Stand up for yourself, and let them know that what they’re trying to do is not working.
  • Find Their Weakness – Everyone has a weakness. Why? Because we’re human. The most important thing to understand is to NOT BECOME the bully. Instead, give them a taste of what they’re dishing to you. When you verbally insult them (typically in a funny way), you are acting as the antidote to their sickness. They will be “dethroned” in a sense, and understand finally that if they keep picking on you, they will risk another humiliating confrontation. Be ready for all kinds of reactions. It could be bad or good, but either way it will give the point across that you aren’t being bothered by them. 
  • Help And Defend Other Victims – Not only does this prevent other people from their own bullies, but you will also realize that you are not alone. When you stand up for other people, you will slowly develop courage. Courage that you will eventually gain enough of to stand up to your own bully. It’s like a boomerang. Help others to help yourself.

The next is my favorite, and also the most tactful…

  • Show Them Love – Some bullies pick on people and don’t care how the victim reacts at all. It’s just a way to unleash their frustration with their own lives. If this is your bully, then look at it as just that – a pathetic cry for help. Sometimes when we give our concern to the bully and offer love to them by saying things like “Are you okay with yourself?” or “Do you need someone to talk to?” or “Is everything alright, I’m concerned for you,” they will be completely thrown off balance. They’ll realize that perhaps you can see through their transparency and know that it’s all an act, and will be scared for what else you can see. This will make them stop using you as a punching bag. On the other hand, they could just think that you’re a total weirdo – either way, they will most likely lessen the bullying tremendously. See what I mean when I said tactful? 

The power of reporting your bully is crucial. Not only can it stop the bullying, but can also prevent the bully from targeting future students. You MUST REPORT the bullying if it gets to a bad place. No one should ever live in fear. Like I said before, adults used to be children – I know it’s hard to realize that, but it’s true.

If you know anyone that is gay, particularly an adult, try and reach out to them. Gay people know the struggles of being picked on for being gay and the aftermath it can have on us. Reach out to other gay people for support. If your school has a gay support group, join it and try to be involved as much as you can. If you are in the closet, reach out to the Trevor Project.

The Trevor Project talks to 30,000 teenagers over the phone every year who are being bullied, contemplating suicide, or knows other people who are being bullied and needs advice. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Call The TREVOR PROJECT at 1-866-488-7386.

Don’t take these burdens all on your own. There are people that can help you talk through it. When you allow it to build and build and build with no opportunity to release, it is going to eventually reach a point of no return. Talk to people. Venting to people about your issues can be the most beneficial thing you can do for your mental health. That’s why we adults spend hundreds of dollars on therapists. (It works)

Most people have been bullied at one point or another. We know what it’s like to walk in fear and feel helpless and small, but if there’s one thing that you must learn out of this situation, it’s to NOT LET ANYONE TAKE AWAY YOUR SPIRIT.

When you are targeted in school by a bully, most of the time it’s because you have something special that sticks out from the rest of the crowd. Above all, this should be what you hold on to. The things that make you different are the things that make you unique.

Being picked on is a selfish act. The bully is attempting to show how “powerful” they can be, but in retrospect it is only showing how pathetic they are. They cannot prove themselves any other way because they don’t have the ability to. They can’t rely on their personality to prove their self worth. They don’t have it. Feel sorry for them, because it’s pitiful.

Whatever they say to you is not worth your tears. It isn’t about you. It’s about them! All of their actions are a result of their insecurities. Insecurities that you shouldn’t let them transfer to you. You are better than that.

THIS IS NOT HOW IT WILL ALWAYS BE! 

IT DOES GET BETTER!

The Art of “Gay Flirting”

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Gay Guys - Art of Flirting - Gay Romance - Love

There’s something that comes with the territory of being a gay guy that can be used to our benefit. The fact that we’re gay, women automatically seem to find us sweet, funny, and cute as a Telly Tubby. The art of flirting with either sex is complex. Both require their own unique understanding of what they have to offer.

In the gay community, flirting is everywhere. We flirt with our best friends, our baristas, and even random telemarketers on the phone. But how can we use it to our advantage?

The most common occurrence I see on a daily basis is the “check out.” This is of course when two guys are passing each other on the street and give a couple more seconds of eye contact before they turn the corner  – we know nothing is ever going to happen, and the likely hood of us seeing each other again is slim. Why is flirting so common?

If you look at how women do it, it’s pretty incredible. Women know that they have assets. From an early age, they picked up on it. When puberty started, boys start looking at them in a different way and they realize, “Hmm… I can use this.” Soon they’re getting out of traffic tickets, failed classes, and paying bus fares.

Gay guys have this same trait, but we use it in another way. Our approach is different with women than it is for men.

With women, it’s more friendly-like. If dogs are a man’s best friend, then gay men are DEFINITELY women’s best friend, right? We know it, they know it – it’s sealed. Because we are more likely to be comfortable with them, we allow are gayness to truly show. I know that if I’m in a party full of women, I will be able to hold my own. Girls love their gays, and most of them use us as a chance to get to know the male species. Some tell you a bit about their boyfriends, show you pictures, both agree that he is hot and that she “totally” deserves him. This is a great asset to have as a gay guy.

Straight men are a bit more tricky. In a room full of dudes, there is bound to be at least one guy uncomfortable with gays. With this in mind, the gayness tends to come down a bit. Some gay guys can feel a little awkward at times, just because it’s questionable territory. However, it’s all about the conversation in this case. The funny thing is that men often use the gays as a chance to get to know the FEMALE species. They want to know what their woman is thinking, and that is the key to getting through. As long as you get past the first step – which is making sure they know that you aren’t flirting sexually with them – it is golden from there on out.

Flirting is all about charm, personality, and connection. Making sure someone feels like you are listening to them and being heard. This always makes them comfortable and more able to open up about things. Everyone has their own technique, and in bad cases they can abuse it till it becomes transparent. No person in this world likes to feel played, and throwing the flirt one too many times can be dangerous. Be cautious in your flirting adventures, you never know….

I might be the one you’re flirting with.

Working Out At The Gay Church

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Gay Guys - Going to Church - AKA the Gym

The gym has become the gay’s church. We sit, we bow, and we worship each other like deities. Working out has become such a part of the normal thing to do in the gay community that not having a gym membership automatically disqualifies you from society. I might be wrong, but I don’t think I am.

The gym is like a watering hole for all the attractive six pack loving gays in our local areas. They flock to the metal machines wearing shorts purposely set a couple inches higher than normal, then pretend like they’re listening to their ipod when they’re really trying to spot the ones that are looking at his legs. People have met their boyfriends, best friends, and even business partners at the gym. Why has it turned into the place to start relationships?

I’ve known gym rats that spend at least a couple hours a day at the gym, and I can guarantee you half of that time is spent checking himself out or looking at other people checking him out. Listen, the gym is for working out and if you want to hook up… well, go to the wet sauna located downstairs.

We all know that you will find the most attractive guys at the gym. That one’s obvious. But what if you’re not an Abercrombie model? You know who I’m talking about. The ones on the elliptical sweating down to their toes, praying that no one notices his shoe is untied.

The perception that gay guys are giving to the gym is preventing other (less healthy) people from going. They’re too afraid that they will get judged. The gym is not the place for judgments people! We’re sweating, we’re coughing, we’re making funny noises. It’s like drunk sex, you can only judge the effort.

Just walking up the tall gigantic staircase to the cardio room can be embarrassing. As soon as you see a hot muscled dude walk down with the sides of his shirt cut open, he looks past you towards the back where other guys are, hoping to spot a decent looking guy to meet in the sauna. The wet sauna that is – we all know what that means. The funny thing about being gay is that it’s so easy to get laid, it’s ridiculous. All we have to do is go into the wet sauna in any gym in America. Can you imagine straight guys doing that? Oh wait… they do. hehe.

Gyms are becoming more and more like a pretentious night club. Walking around with your towel, catching glimpses of people you’ve had conversations with before, yet ignoring them. It’s getting really annoying, and the thing is workout videos just aren’t cutting it. It’s kind of become mandatory to pay $50 – $75 a month to stay healthy. All this talk about staying fit with minimal working out is bogus.

Obesity is a major problem in this country and gyms are meant to give health back to humanity. So stop rolling your eyes at the people that are trying to get healthy. Don’t we want a world full of attractive people anyway? You are causing more problems than you realize. Duh!

Can Gay Guys And Straight Guys Be Besties?

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Gay Guys NEW Can Gays and Straight Men be Best Friends

You’ve seen it here first. I’m coining the phrase homo”bro”mance.

It’s a typical bromance, except one of them is gay. This is every straight man’s non-fantasy. Not that they wouldn’t be friends with gay guys. In fact in a recent poll 68% of straight guys have said that they wouldn’t have a problem being friends with other gay guys. According to OKCupid (and we all know what that is right?), 11% of straight guys said they have never had sex with a man before but would like too. Interesting…

What is it about straight guys that gay men like so much? I think it’s the masculinity of them. They’re a man’s man. No amount of gay parties will get you away from being attracted to good old testosterone. Most likely, it comes from our childhood as well. The guys we went to high school, even the bullies, stick in our minds today and when we see straight men being okay with gay guys, it could be a mental triumph of winning over the straight men from our past.

It wasn’t until recently that most straight guys were okay with gay society. Even just twenty years ago, there was a major disconnect between the two. Homophobia was starting to dwindle away and the people that were still trying to hold on to it tried as hard as they could, till it became “uncool” to be homophobic. (Thank you Madonna!)

Still I wonder, how do straight men think nowadays? More and more homo”bro”mances are spawning in every major city across the country. In a way, it could be a sick ego boost for them to have another good looking guy dig them sexually. They start to ask questions like “What do you think of my hair?” or “Do I need to start doing more sit ups?” These send complete mixed messages to us, then we start to wonder if they might have a thing for us.

But more often than not, the gay guy starts to fall for the straight guy first. Why do we this to ourselves? We know that it will never happen, yet we still have hope. This hope is always going to be the foundation of our heart ache. Even if they’re not completely straight, they still say that they are, which means they are hiding. It could also be that he is in the closet and they feel closer to the gay community when they are around gay men. In this case it might be a good idea to be the one to help him. But don’t get any ideas.

Men are men. Most of us need a pack to rest in. We are like wolves gnawing at the backside of society (some literally).

The homo”bro”mance is a funny thing. We both take what we need out of it and are left fulfilled. Somehow straight guys can feel a lot more accepted as part of society when they have a gay man near. We are, after all, a very cool accessory to have.

Like motorcycles, but more eco-friendly.

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