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Fag Hag Relationships: Then & Now

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Gay Guys - Fag Hag - BFF - Gay Friends

As a gay man, having a hag comes with the territory – sort of like “demons” in The Golden Compass. Since the beginning of time, fag hag relationships have lived among us. Think about it, where did the noblemen from Scotland borrow those skirts?

I love my hag: a jumpy, neurotic, fun-loving little red head girl from Bakersfield. Together, we’ve been through break ups, loss of virginity (not to each other, of course), and an occasional bar brawl. Through it all, we’ve had each other. Love you, pal!

When did it begin? Realistically, hundreds of years ago, these types of relationships had to be kept under wraps. Being gay obviously wasn’t a socially acceptable thing and women were mostly held captive in the kitchen by their husbands. It was just a matter of time before we found each other, lonely and desperate for someone to bitch too!

Rumor has it, the phrase actually started in England by the men and women in the Theater. Surprised? Now that you think about it, doesn’t the word “fag-hag” sound like British slang? Weird. In those days, people in the arts weren’t considered at all a part of normal society due to their bad choices of professions, excessive drinking, and immoral love-making. Yet within the companies of Shakespeare, arose the fag-hag – drunk, proud, and with lipstick on her teeth (At least that’s how mine would be).

The truth of the matter is that gays and the women that love them bring out the best in each other. He gives her all the emotional support she needs, while she offers her undying love and acceptance – which we all need. It’s a very beautiful thing.

People like Truman Capote and Harper Lee put it into perspective. They helped each other their entire life through the good and bad in their careers, and now their work stands as two of the most prolific American authors in the last one hundred years. Not bad!

In most recent years, shows like Will & Grace have done an amazing job showing Middle America how great it can be. However, one can say that although their relationship is the greatest kind, there are other types which are a bit more damaging – not all fag-hag relationships are great.

Every so often, you see one person that is clearly being used by the other. It’s sad to see. Usually it’s a really hot pretentious guy with a plain looking insecure girl, or vice versa. The hotter one tends to use the other for compliments or free dinners or rides to work. If this sounds like your relationship, I suggest you break up. Never is it beneficial to keep people like this around you, I don’t care how many hookups they have at the clubs.

Lately, the straight community has been welcoming the fag hag relationship. In fact, I’ve spoken to a lot of boyfriends whose girls have gay friends, and they love it! It gives their girlfriends a person to vent to, so they won’t need to bring their tension home. Every once in a while you will get the extremely jealous boyfriend – one that gets super pissed when he sees you dancing with her. Most men like that are only mad because they’re insecure with their relationship OR within themselves. Maybe he’s gay. Keep telling yourself that.

If it weren’t for fag hag relationships, who knows where we would be today? Gays might all still be in the closet. The women’s suffrage movement might never have happened. Seriously, tell me that Alice Paul didn’t have a gay man helping her make those signs…

Gay Discrimination Exists In The Workplace

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Gay Guys - Discrimination at Work - Gay Rights

You would think that our federal government has an anti-discriminatory law that protects homosexuals from getting fired or being harassed because of their orientation – guess what… it doesn’t!

Currently, 29 states in America do not have gay anti-discriminatory laws, which means they can refuse to hire them, hold their promotions, pay them less, and ignore office bullying – with NO consequences. Why haven’t people taken notice of this? It’s as if we have been focusing on other policies too much that an issue like this has been placed on the back burner.

Have you ever heard of ENDA?

ENDA stands for the Employment Non-discrimination Act. It’s legislation proposed to congress that would prohibit discrimination hiring and employment of sexual orientation or gender identification. ENDA has been introduced into every congress since 1994, and in 2007, gender identity protections were added to the bill. However, because they felt that they wouldn’t have had made it passed the House with the addition, they sadly took out the gender identity protections.

Thankfully, Rep. Barney Frank created a transgender-inclusive version of ENDA and introduced in 2011, followed by Sen. Jeff Merkley taking it to the Senate – and currently, Obama supports it’s passage.

Unfortunately, Obama has failed to issue an executive order that can end ALL gay discrimination. Nearly one-fourth of America lies under the scope of federal contracts. Before his election, it could have been a tactic to not bring this issue into the limelight – but is it just me, or does Obama need to get his act together with this issue?

Here’s a little gay history for you…

In the 1970s, it was a normal thing for police men to raid the gay bars, unexpectedly, and arrest all the patrons inside – including the bar owners. During this time of course, having gay sex was illegal! In some states, they wouldn’t even issue you a driver’s license if you were an admitted homosexual.

After they would raid the bars, the very next day in the newspaper would be all the names of the men arrested. If your employer saw your name in the paper, he could fire you on the spot. You have to understand that this wasn’t frowned upon, in fact, it was just the opposite. It was seen as a respectable thing to do to fire homosexual workers. In those days, when you were in the closet, you were in fact in the closet. It wasn’t even until 2003, through Lawrence vs. Texas, that gay sex became LEGAL in every state in the nation. That was just ten years ago! Will & Grace was in it’s sixth season.

Looking back at our constant battle for equality, it seems like we should be way further than where we are today. In a recent study lead by Harvard University researcher Andra Tilcsik, 1,700 resumes were sent out to entry-level jobs around the country. In half of them, it listed the applicant as being a part of a gay campus organization. The resumes that didn’t have gay affiliation was less likely to be called back, depending which region they were in. In Texas alone, it was three times as likely that they will not be contacting the gay applicants.

Why have we not been a part of this issues? Gay discrimination is alive and existing in more than half of the country. It’s crazy to think that this is happening, but it is! The generations before us that fought for gay rights did not finish their battle – they left it to us to complete.

Let’s move forward to protect every American: Gay, Straight, Bi, Transgender, and all that’s in between.

A Message To Parents And Their Gay Children

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Gay Guys - Parents Accepting Gay Children

Every parent wants what’s best for their child – happiness, joy, contentment, but there comes a time when it changes course and the need to want their child to be happy changes in to a protective mode. They don’t want their children to be different in fear that they will live a “harder life” so they grow an iron fist during adolescence to veer them in an acceptable direction. What they fail to see is that this can easily be interpreted by the child as a curse upon their authenticity, which leads to self despair.

It’s not rocket science to know that homosexuality isn’t a learned habit. It’s as natural as having brown hair. What is a learned habit is the acceptance of it, especially if you are raised in a home that perceives it as something wrong. As we grow into adulthood, we have to teach ourselves how to be okay with it until it eventually hits us that there was nothing wrong it in the first place – shouldn’t this already by innate inside us?

In today’s world, the “harder life” bit is getting more distant from reality. The new reality is that most people are becoming more and more accepting of gays in their community. If the protective mode dampens, will there be a new form of parenting in the near future?

The most important thing that a child needs from their parents is unconditional love, with no terms or conditions. The self-image they will have throughout their life will be much more acknowledged by them and will save a lot of confusing years of self-discovery and shame.

The most important thing for parents to do is to learn how to mourn the “dream”. The dream being their son with the wife, kids, and the dog in the background running through the swing sets. This is something that we Americans see as the standard of normalcy. No one will judge them, no one will point fingers, the government won’t tell them how to live. Do you think that this is how gay people live? If so, is this what you teach your children – to view gays as a segregated community? Perhaps it’s time to look inside yourself at your own opinions and stop assuming that everyone else thinks the same way, because most of them don’t.

Parents need to listen to their children and hear their problems. That is what they’re there for – to lead them in the right direction and help them make good choices, or else they’re going to get direction from other people which often leads to bad choices. Parents, take control. Set the foundation of trust early on in your children’s lives and become the representative of positivity.

As a gay man, it was difficult coming out to my parents at first. Once again, they had to mourn the “dream” in which they had for me. They had to rid themselves as the protector and trust that they had taught me well to protect myself. We must be patient with our parents. This mourning phase is completely natural and shouldn’t come as a surprise. Be prepared for it and know that, like all phases, it will pass. The only thing you have control over is your authenticity in this world.

If you are not your authentic self, you will not fulfill the potential that your life is meant to bring.

Love thyself, and the world will love you.

Stereotyping In The Gay Community

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Gay Guys - Discrimination within the gay communityg

The very thing that we’re so against – has it become a part of us now? The thought of the judged becoming the judgers rubs me the wrong way. You hear it all the time: Twinks, Bears, Cubs, Jocks, Queens– it’s a rainbow of labels that can build resentment. Will it start to affect the unity we are trying to portray to the world? How can we expect level-headed understanding when we can’t lead by example?

We know that judging people is wrong, but why do we do it? Because we’re men! A strange species, we are. For thousands of years, our mentality has been one of togetherness. Even when we were cavemen, hunting and gathering, we were pack people. Groups, companions, alliances, it’s in our biology – and as the centuries of body hair faded away, we started to see each other’s six packs and began the ultimate judgmental comparisons of whose is better… that’s my theory at least.

We’re visual. We see something and instantly create a fact, leaving opinions out of the equation. Adding to that idea, when you have a community of all gay men, it can be nearly impossible to have a shot at being looked at fairly. Instantly, the first thing we ask ourselves when we see each other is, “Are they attractive?” or “What do they look like naked?” or “I wonder what position they prefer?”

Top. Bottom. Versatile. Total Bottom. Total Top. There’s a judgment with every one of these terms that can either excite us or turn us off – and in some cases, create a negative perception towards that person. Sex is always on our minds, and it’s often the main source of judgmental assessments on others. If you can’t imagine sleeping with them, they aren’t as important. The result is the creation of sub-communities.

No other community has such divides. It’s interesting to think about where we came from. Forty years ago, there was a sense of togetherness – individuals united by discrimination from the world. Today it seems like we’ve veered a bit off track from what we had been fighting for.

Perhaps it might be time to start coming together again. It could give hope to in-the-closet teens that don’t feel accepted in the gay community. Do me a favor… look in the mirror – stop fixing your hair – okay, now look deeper. Are you really practicing what we preach?

Here’s my thought for the day: Leave the judging to Judge Judy

Alan Gendreau Could Be The First Openly Gay NFL Superstar!

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Gay Guys - Alan Gendreau - First Gay NFL Palyer

It’s happened folks. The gay wet dream of every high school gay boy has come true – the football hero is GAY. Well… potential football hero that is, if star kicker Alan Gendreau gets drafted to the NFL. Not only will Gendreau be one of the first openly gay professional football stars, but he could have the potential of being a huge leap forward in the coming-outs of future athletes.

Gendreau won’t be the first gay athlete, but he is the first openly gay football player going into the NFL in history. Most other “out” players have come out after the fact, not during the sport. In fact, Brendon Ayanbadejo, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, claimed that there will be four big NFL stars that will be coming out shortly – who are they?! The world is asking themselves.

Gendreau, who was shunned by the church when he was a teenager, has been open nearly all his life. All through high school and college football, he has never been in the closet. Apparently, his team didn’t give a hoot – could this be signs of the times? When asked about the support of his team on his sexuality, Gendreau replied, “They are totally fine with it.”

Football has always had a stigma attached, mostly because the macho jocks are the main bullies in high schools. They tease the gays in every feature film since cinema was invented, and what was first turning into a stereotype became just plain rules of High School. The football jocks picked on the gays, that was how it worked.

Gendreau talks about his football teams with much respect. “People don’t understand how close a team is,” he says. Well if he is going to bring millions of dollars to the league, which is what many sports analysts are saying, I wouldn’t care if he slept with scarecrows! The fact that he is getting so much press, the hype in numbers about his possible salary are circulating like wildfire.

He almost got into the NFL after he graduated from Middle Tennessee State a year ago. Scouts were watching him in particular, until something happened in that game which forced him to lose his cool – many players have since come out to say that it wasn’t his fault. Since then, he had left the game behind him until he decided to come back.

Thank God he did!

Gendreau might make a football fan out of me yet. These kinds of happenings are the very things we need to be doing more often. A successful football hero who is gay could give the heterosexual-homophobic community something to reconsider.

 

Is There Hope For The Boy Scouts?

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Gay Guys - Boy Scouts Ban on Gay Youths

People across the country are outraged at the proposed change of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) allowing gay members, but NOT scout leaders. Apparently, when you reach the age of 18, you are not allowed to be a scout anymore – since that’s the “adult” age cut off… but only if you’re gay.

Forget the fact that these scout leaders are hard-working men who want to make a difference in their community and give back to the future generations of their country – they’re gay. That means they’re pedophiles! At least that’s the logic behind this ridiculous ban.

The Scouts rule book called, “The Membership Standards Resolution” will read as follows: “No youth may be denied membership in the Boy Scouts of America on the basis of sexual orientation or preference alone.” This is a huge leap forward for the gay movement in terms of acceptance. BSA has never been a christian organization, but a community of team building. However, they might be headed in heaps of trouble.

Here’s how it happened: The organization put the proposed decision to a vote. The boy scouts (youth) voting for themselves and the scout leaders (adults) voting for themselves. Bing badaboom! It’s not a surprise that the younger generation was fine with allowing gays into the group, and the older – more conservative generation – did not.

Many parents, however, are now deciding to do something about the situation, thank God!

One parent, Dave McGrath, a former army intelligence officer, will bike side by side with his son Joe from Idaho Falls, Idaho to Irving, Texas. The 1,500 mile bike ride is a protest to stop the banning of gay scout leaders. McGrath’s identical twin brother is a gay Eagle Scout which means that he will not be allowed to lead a group of young boys after this proposed banning will pass.

Parents on the other side of the coin are arguing that gay boys will not be of sound mind to fulfill their duties – do you think it’s because the khaki shorts will be distracting to their fire making?

Listen, homophobia is created by nurture. The only reason why young boys are bullying other gay boys is because they are taught to think that homosexuality is disgusting, sinful, and will ultimately affect them somehow.

Boy scouts claim that they are an organization whose purpose is to build character. What message is this sending to their young men in uniforms? That only certain kinds of people are meant to lead. When you allow gay children and teens into your organization, but ban gay adults, aren’t you in turn brainwashing your young members into thinking that they are somehow destined the same fate?

Rework this logic – you’re beginning to sound like an oxymoron.

Emphasis on the Moron. 

LGBT Homeless Youth Rises To 40%

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Gay Guys - Homeless Gay Youth Teens Rising

40% is a shocking number to hear, especially today. It’s hard to wrap your head around, but what’s even harder is that although there are a good number of homeless shelters in the country, gay teenagers are still unaccepted. The homophobic tendencies that rage around a lot of minority groups in America become a barrier for young gay teens to seek help in these shelters. They don’t feel welcome and are forced out – back on the streets.

You see them every day. They’re on the corner begging for change, wanting some form of connection to you. You never think of where they’ve come from and the suffering that has become of them since they’ve been told that they aren’t good enough by the only unit that should matter: their families.

Thankfully, a lot of teenagers find refuge in the families of friends that are more accepting, but the stay is usually temporary. Then they’re off to emergency housing. But most housing in major cities have a limit of 90 days. What’s next after that?

They have been taught to hate themselves and view their thoughts as immoral, yet through it all they have emerged from the darkness to find comfort in each other and have become their own advocates to change governmental policies.

In New York City alone, LGBT youth make up the majority of the 4,000 homeless teenagers that sleep on the streets EVERY night. Many advocates for the homeless youth movement claim that the gay policies which have been enacted cater to adults, not teenagers. Gay marriage and Dont Ask Dont Tell are just a couple examples. Though they are amazing stepping stones for Gay Rights, why have we been ignoring the homeless?

Homeless teens can’t vote and they have no money, but money isn’t what they NEED. What they need are resources. In 2011, there were 250 beds for 3,800 homeless teens in New York, and guess what? There are waiting lists for these beds – long long long waiting lists.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, though a pioneer in passing gay marriage, was making budget cuts that would have taken away 100 of these beds. Thank God the city council dug in the budget to restore them back.

LGBT homeless teens are 7 times more likely to experience violence than the straight homeless community, and because they are usually bullied in other shelters, gay homeless shelters HAVE to expand. But where is the budget? Most of them rely heavily on donations since the budget they have from their cities are mediocre at best.

A nation is judged based on how they treat the poor. 40% is too high of a number and believe me, it is climbing. Due to the fact that most of the homeless can’t vote since they have no identification, the fight has to be with us. Most politicians don’t care for non-voters, it’s a sad truth.

This is one of the most horrific issues we have today, yet it is the one that is least likely to go anywhere unless we ban together. It shouldn’t happen in America. We are not a county of bullies, we are citizens of character. Together, we must stand up for the ones that are underneath the radar, lying hungry and helpless. When someone is falling, you pick them up.

So give out your hand.

Hook-Up Apps: Always On The “Grind”

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Gay Guys - Grindr - Gay Dating Apps

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past four years, the gay community has become not only easier to get laid, but there is virtually NO effort in doing so. Grindr has taken over the world and everyone is just a finger click away to finding the one night stand they’ve always wanted – till tomorrow, that is.

Has Grindr rebirthed a new kind of sexual revolution?

Keeping up your profile picture on Grindr isn’t hard – pose in front of the mirror, flex a bit, and type under the image these words: “Man for friends or fun. Face pic = no response.” Oh, sheer poetry.

I admit I’ve dabbled in an app or two (or three) – but I digress – have they become so overbearing in our culture that they’ve brainwashed our minds? Some people are online ALL DAY, falling in love with the men that they’re chatting with while their work productivity begins a slow decline into an abyss that can only be responded with that little ring: “Buh-dluup!”

I’m sure Joel Simkhai, the founder of Grindr, had no idea that this little app would be used by over 4 million users around the globe – 1 million of those being daily users. Seems like a few straighties are doing something naughty when they’re in their room “playing Xbox.”

When asked why they have a grindr, most gays would say, “It’s because I’m single.” That is a respectable answer, however a lot of users aren’t just there for hooking up, in fact they are there for the opposite – to find relationships…. ha! On an app where men are showing their pelvic muscles and chiseled backsides, I highly doubt that love is what they will find. That’s what OkCupid is for.

Is it just me, or has Grindr made it easier for gay guys to be more racist?

“No White”, “No Blacks”, “No Latinos”, “No Asians”. Eek! When the penis talks, it certainly makes a point. Temporary flings have always been in the gay community. The times when we used to meet at the flag pole in the park or the pier by the bay now seems comical.

It’s crazy when you’re going to get tested at the HIV clinic and every three minutes, you hear “Buh-dloop!” They just got another customer.

When a straight person discovers that we have this app, they’re always so shocked, yet to us, it has become not a big deal – Yeah. I hook up with strangers that I meet on my phone. So what?

Imagine if straight people had this app. Apparently, Joel Simkhai is working on a straight version entitled Project Amicus. In about three years, I imagine an entire world of casual sex happening everywhere. Do you think it would interfere with world peace?

If it does, I will be right there waiting… 25 feet from you.

Gays And The Church: United In Love

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It is sad that a normal occurrence in the church is the throwing out of homosexuals as members. I’ve seen it happen, I’ve experienced it, and I’ve once been guilty of it – years ago. In what seems like an awful defiant crime against morality is actually not, for the ultimate “betrayal” of God’s law is not that you’re gay, it’s that you allow others to take away your spirit.

We see on the news every day angry protesters (on either side) yelling and screaming their arguments about how the other is wrong. Amidst the cries of hate, there is a message – too blurred to hear – which is LOVE.

The Christians’ very purpose in life, according to the biblical belief they share, is spreading God’s message of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control – the fruit of the spirit, they call it. On the flip side of the coin, homosexuals are desperate for a voice. They’ve done nothing wrong in their eyes and all they want to do is love. Love who they want to love, love their country, and love who they are.

Love is the ultimate bond that ties our ever-fighting battle to the wrestling mats. Both argue that all they’re about is love and peace, yet we fight one another so viciously in hateful word vomit which we seem to regret later. I wonder if we stop and listen to each other – without violence, fighting, or judgments – we will realize that we have the same message.

Love is ultimately what makes the world go around. Not fame, success, or money (though I do love that song). Without it, we wouldn’t have realized our mistaken “logical” judgments of the Salem witch trials, slavery, segregation, and now… homosexuality. It’s funny how in every one of these examples, religion had played a role in supporting their arguments for them. When are we going to look underneath the words of the bible and see what lies?

The truth and the light are inside all of us, and no one has ever found it by being hateful or pointing fingers. Jesse Jackson said, “Don’t look down on anyone, unless you are helping them up.” I agree Reverend.

My message isn’t just for the church. There are plenty of gays that I know who are so burned by the church and it’s judgments that it has turned them completely toxic. Like a broken mirror, they’ve become a chipped version of themselves by letting the religious radicals scream their vitriol upon their character. They’ve soaked it till they were engulfed in self hatred, ultimately becoming their own weapon of revenge. What we need to realize is there are innocent people on either side.

If the gay community is going to change the government and the church’s opinions, it’s not going to be through hate, but with peace. Peace is contagious and it is the most unused form of compromise, yet we both claim that it’s what we do… so how do we start to practice what we preach? By changing the minds of the people in our OWN community.

Church members: talk to the friends in your congregation – become the cure, not the poison. Members of the gay community: speak with your friends who are hurt and feel abandoned by their religious past, and bring them up by showing that love and acceptance in this world, does exist.

We must start a dialogue that is not set up by fear. Fear prevents people from seeing anything else. It is only this kind of dialogue that will turn ideas into logic. We are afraid of things we don’t understand, so we have to make people understand. That’s America’s history – changing it’s mind. In fifty years, how great would it be to look back and wonder how this was even an issue.

We need to grow by experience and birth new truths that have been blinded by hate to realize that hate is only misunderstanding.

Can Two Gay Guys Be Best Friends?

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Thank God for besties. They’re always there for you in your time of need with no judgments or questions. Ideally, they have roughly the same tastes as you and have a similar life structure – which is what drew you to each other in the first place.

But what if you’re both gay guys? Would there start to be an attraction over time?

It’s not a secret that most gay guys befriend girls in their early years. They are, after all, the ones that listen the most and are usually the first ones to accept our sexuality. In high school, it’s most evident. You’re at the lunch table – the only boy in a group of girls – and it becomes clear that something is different.

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At this stage of your life, the first boys that show interest is most likely to become intimate. You’re not used to the attention of boys and it can be a little confusing. Some of us take that feeling all the way to adulthood, trust me. When you come out of the closet, you’re suddenly surrounded by masses of gay boys (too many to choose from) and the only feeling you’re used to expressing is either romantic interest or sexual interest. At what point does that habit break?

I’ve seen many gay best friends who have absolutely no sexual attraction to each other at all. They’re just besties, united together by similarities and they even try to fix each other up. What is the difference between them and other gay guys who can’t keep it in their pants when they’re around other gays? Maturity.

Sorry to break it, but maturity is the main reason why two gay guys can become best friends. If nothing but sex is on your mind when you are with a guy, in any circumstance, it might be time to move on to the next phase of manhood. Straight men ask me all the time: Is it hard to be best friends with a gay guy? Do you ever just fool around with each other, just because your gay? This is a ridiculous question – but to be honest, they bring up a solid point. Boys are boys, gay or straight. Sex is on our minds all the time, and when you add to the equation another similar mind, is it bound to lead to sex?

Even now, at 26, when I first meet a man in any situation, I check him out. Of course! There’s nothing wrong with that. However at this phase, it should be more self-contained. That phase is over with and people need to make appropriate choices. Companionship is the most important thing in life, and if you’re lucky to find it in another gay guy, that’s fantastic. If you think about it, it’s the greatest situation. Girls can get tired of going with you to gay clubs – they have needs too, you know.

With your gay friend, it’s pretty much non-spoken that when you go out, you’re going to a gay place. With girls, it’s always a question. The more gay friends you surround yourself with, in reality, the more likely you are to find your future boyfriend. Gay guys are more likely to listen to other gay guys, especially in romance. Sorry hags.

Don’t be afraid to welcome new gay guys in your life. It’s always great to have someone to connect with who has a similar lifestyle – there is more to talk about, and it leads to the best gossip with never-ending mimosas on a Sunday afternoon. Cheers!

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Online Dating In The Gay Community

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Gay Guys - Online Dating - Gay Dating

Television has made people so desperate to have a boyfriend that they’re going to interneting lengths at getting one. If I had a nickel for every time I heard one of my friends say, “I met my boyfriend on OkCupid” or “We found each other on Match.com,” I could buy a third-world country and populate it with gay penguins.

However, in the gay community, is it smart to create online dating for the masses? Most online sites that the gay community touches, sadly, turns into a hook up site. Suddenly your profile picture is a shirtless one of you in the bathroom and your profile reads: “Looking for Mr. Right now.” Is it possible to do online dating if you’re gay and the world is full of horny sausages?

Actually – the stats say it’s so! More gay people are meeting online than ever and when asked why they started online dating in the first place, a lot of them say, “It’s more comfortable.” Well yeah! Sitting at home in your bedroom with a cup of hot chocolate and watching Beaches on Netflix certainly can make someone comfortable when talking to the potential love of your life.

When you are out in gay areas with your friends, often times it can be intimidating because all the gay men usually look at is the hottest guy in the room – and most likely, it’s not you. It can be frustrating. Online dating can open up a whole can of communication that you might not have had if you met in a bar. You can skim through their pictures, read about their lives and where they’re going with it, and discover your interests without worrying about how to ask it.

When you are starting a relationship, the first encounter is everything – which is why I’m so hesitant about online dating. When you are on Grindr, chances are, you are not going to meet your future husband. If you are on an intentional hook-up app, you are starting the relationship off on a mistrusting note, because if he met you on a hook up app, what makes you think he won’t cheat on you with it too? That’s the theory at least.

In my research, out of all the online dating sites, the most successful appears to be OkCupid. It’s free so there are a lot more users, it asks great questions and you can compare the answers with yours, and they have a phone app which tells you how close they are (I think they stole that one from Grindr). But the most important quality about OkCupid is that it hasn’t turned into a hook up site! Shocked?

We have to face it. We’re not living in the stone age anymore. Thirty years ago, to meet gays you had to go to the bars or certain areas of the park on a Sunday. Gay online dating has exploded, but more than that, it has made people excited to start dating! Once you log in and see the hundreds of single gay guys in your area, it can give you more courage to get out there. I think it is a great thing!

The downside is, it is extremely easy to lie about things when you are online. This is why when you start talking to someone, it could be a good idea to get their whole name (on the sly) and google them. This is one of the questions on the site by the way, “Do you google a person before you meet them?” – my answer is always yes. You can’t be too safe when it comes to these sites.

In big metropolitan cities like Los Angeles, where everything is so spread out, online dating can be the best thing ever. You have to be open to it though! Don’t be afraid of something because it’s new. It will only prevent you from being open to new things. This is definitely the wave of the future, so you might as well get used to it.

The Green Lantern Is… Gay?!

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Guys DC Comics Green Lantern Green Lantern

In June 2013, the newest story of The Green Lantern will hit the stands – written by James Robertson and art by Nicola Scott. The new series is called Earth 2 and in it, not only is Allan Scott (aka: The Green Lantern) a much younger man, but he is GAY! Is anyone else praying that Ryan Reynolds will reprise his role?

Allan Scott first appeared seventy years ago in an alternate universe known as DC Comics. Ever since, he has become a huge fan favorite in the comic book world. For those of you who aren’t very familiar with the Green Lantern, let me give you some back story.

He first appeared as a formerly married man with two children. His weakness is wood (of all things) and he is the most powerful superhero in the world. Later on in the books, his son actually comes out as gay – something that Robertson had to sacrifice since in the new version, Allan Scott was a much younger man. So what’s the alternative? Make him gay of course!

When Robertson pitched the idea to DC Comics, they said yes without hesitation. Good job folks! In DC Comics’ history, there have been 7,200 Green Lantern appearances or books. I guess it’s better late than never.

Of course, a lot of moms are coming out of the woodwork to scream their outrage about it. The organization “One Million Moms” actually created a Facebook page to warn people about this atrocity, claiming that the Green Lantern has gone “pink” – oh no they didn’t!

Turns out, because of so many pro-gay comments, they took it down. It makes me curious as to what they are actually angry about. Obviously, a lot of young boys love comics. There just released images of Earth 2 where Allan Scott and his lover are kissing, and apparently they don’t want their sons to start puberty a little too early, if you know what I’m saying.

Listen, being gay is not contagious from a picture or a book. That’s like saying I’m going to become a wizard if I read too many Harry Potter books – if only it were true.

The fact that such a beloved superhero like the Green Lantern is coming out of the closet, will it open up the minds of young readers? Most comic books are full of violence and murder with macho masculine superheros as the one who saves the day.

About Earth 2, Robertson says, “Alan Scott is super-heroic, he’s super gallant, he’ll die for the earth, he’ll die for its people, he’s everything you want in a hero… he’s also gay.”

Given the fact that most young readers have been categorizing these attributes with heterosexuals all these years, it might change how they view gay people when they get older.

Now I’m just waiting for Barney to come out as a pansexual…

DOMA & RFMA: What Are They Exactly?

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Gay Guys - Obama - DOMA - Marriage Equality

It’s always beneficial, when you’re watching the news about what’s been happening in Washington with gay marriage, to break it down to smaller units so that we can actually KNOW what we are for and against. Many times, the facts get blurred as we watch our favorite news anchor tell the latest reports because we ourselves are not educated on the issue.

First of all, DOMA stands for the “Defense of Marriage Act” – and it’s not as friendly as it sounds. You’ve heard it on CNN and Fox News as the hottest topic in Washington. It’s all due to the appellate case United States vs. Windsor. Here’s some background information to put in your brains.

DOMA is a law that was enacted in 1996 by Bill Clinton (who now is pushing for it’s repeal). Though the law is rather complex, the real meat lies in Sections 2 & 3.

In Section 2, states are allowed to refuse recognized valid civil marriages of same sex couples – that one is obvious.

Here’s where it gets dirty…

In Section 3, it states that same sex couples cannot file their taxes jointly, cannot take unpaid leave from work to visit their sick partner, cannot receive spousal, mother/father, or surviving spouse benefits under Social Security, and cannot receive equal family health and pension benefits as federal civilian employees.

Now, since 1996 this has been the law of the land. When the 21st century came around, the terms “civil unions” became a part of our lives. Civil unions provide nearly all the benefits, honors, and privileges that marriage does – but only in the state. It’s because of DOMA that it is not recognized on a FEDERAL level, which means that everything in Section 3 will STILL affect them.

While all this was happening, an amazing couple named Edith Windsor and Thea Spyer were living in New York state – if you get a chance to watch their documentary called Edith and Thea: A Very Long Engagement, you will not regret it. They were together for forty years, married in Canada, and never stopped loving each other, even when Spyer became ill and handicapped the last ten years of their relationship.

When Spyer died, it was around the time that New York state legally recognized same sex marriages performed in OTHER jurisdictions, through the Marriage Equality Act – something that other states didn’t have. Despite that fact, Windsor was required to pay over $360,000 in federal estate taxes on Spyer’s estate – something that wouldn’t have happened had they been the opposite sex, since the federal law (DOMA) doesn’t hold them at the same status as opposite-sex couples recognized by their state.

So what did Spyer do? She appealed it, sending it all the way to The United States Supreme Court – who heard oral arguments from both sides on March 27, 2013. This was a crucial day because it could have resulted in the repealing of DOMA, something that RFMA has been trying to do since 2009.

RFMA is the “Respect For Marriage Act” – it was proposed in 2009, and backed by US Representative Bob Barr and (surprise, surprise!) President Bill Clinton.

RFMA repeals DOMA and restores the rights and benefits to couples, even if they travel out of state. However, it doesn’t FORCE states to recognize gay marriages and still looks to the government to equally apply its policy of looking to the states to decide whether they should recognize them.

Basically, it gives states the choice to recognize same sex marriage if they want too. If they DO recognize it and a couple is married in that state, it is valid. Then they will be under the full support of the federal government to claim their benefits, because DOMA would no longer exist.

Our entire history has been a battle. Battling for equality, battling for understanding, and battling for acceptance. Laws shouldn’t have power over our lives in this way – pay attention to what is happening. Let’s educate ourselves every day – it is only then that we can have the power to change our future.

Currently, United States vs. Windsor is still pending – who knows what will happen, but whatever the outcome may be, it is still a reminder that we are somehow seen “differently”. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to be viewed as anything but who I am.

An American.

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