Awkward and awful questions that gay couples always seem to get asked are perfectly nailed in one video from Buzzfeed.
Awkward and awful questions that gay couples always seem to get asked are perfectly nailed in one video from Buzzfeed.
A new poll has found that the majority of Americans are satisfied with the current acceptance of the gay community. A record high of 60% of the US say they are happy with the level of acceptance of gays and lesbians in the country. However, 16% of Americans want to see more acceptance – while a worrying 14% want less, according to a new Gallup poll.
Words. You’re reading them now, you speak them all day long, and without them, the world would come to a screeching halt.
Words themselves are inert; mere symbols cobbled together so we can communicate the things in our shared experience that are intangible. So much of what we perceive cannot be expressed, but when we feel a connection with someone we search our cranial database to show what we’re feeling and hope they understand.
The power of words is one of the greatest gifts bestowed on mankind. We use words to express affection and hatred, to wound and to soothe, to teach and to preach. Words are alive and as Dumbledore said: “our most inexhaustible source of magic.”
As a writer, I depend on my words to paint a picture, to make a point or to convey the feelings of lust, heartbreak, triumph or pain. It astounds me what the combination of sounds and inflections that we write and speak can do to inspire emotion in others and ourselves.
Words are very important when conveying your true feelings and two of the most important feelings are the polar opposites, Love and Hate.
The word Love is particularly fascinating because we use it in its lesser form nearly every day: “I love that song!” “I love sushi!” “I love ‘How To Get Away With Murder!’” But when it comes time to use it in one of its most powerful forms – the expression of true romantic love – most people are terrified.
We fear saying we love someone for many different reasons; the most potent is the fear it won’t be reciprocated. Nothing hurts worse than saying you love someone and having them say something like: “yeah, you’re alright, I guess.”
Sure, Han Solo is a badass and can get away with saying “I know” to Princess Leia’s declaration of love, but in everyday life here in this galaxy, we want to hear someone say: “I love you, too.”
The fear of not getting the proper response can lead two people to wait and wait and wait for the other person to say it, and in the meantime, no one has said it, and no one knows the other’s true feelings.
Then there is the fear that what you have to say will be perceived as forced or corny or a well-rehearsed line. I consider myself lucky that with my creative mind I can come up with the occasional romantic sentence but even then people have perceived it as sappy. Do I really see fireworks when I kiss my boyfriend? Not literally, of course, but the mental imagery it conjures up helps me describe how he makes me feel.
Why do people worry that what they say will be considered poetic or sensitive or beautiful? Isn’t that what you want to hear from someone that loves you? It doesn’t have to be Yeats, for God’s sake, but merely saying: “when I have you in my arms I feel happier than I’ve ever felt before” is simple and sweet and quite frankly, pretty easy to say.
On the flipside, saying you hate something or someone is as easy as pie. How many times when you were a sullen, hormone-addled teenager did you tell your parents you hated them? You didn’t, really, but it sure felt like it – especially the time you were grounded for two weeks.
Marriage Equality USA and your Fresno Chapter are proud to announce a local, FREE celebration of 20 years of working together to accomplish our core mission of full marriage equality nationwide! We invite our current and former volunteers, donors, and allies who supported our work to join us as we celebrate our past, and as we close up shop.
Gay Fresno is proud to be part of this important work and help out at the event. Special thanks to The Painted Table.
WE’RE HERE! WE’RE QUEER! WE HAVE A NEW STUDENT BOOTH!
Please join the RAINBOW ALUMNI AND ALLIES CLUB as we present and dedicate a new booth to UNITED STUDENT PRIDE. The ceremony takes place on Wed. Jan. 20, 2016 at 5:30 PM in the Free Speech Area at Fresno State. A short program begins at 6:00 PM; to be followed by a no-host dinner and drinks at Fresno State's The Bucket Grill & Pub. Rain or shine.We hope to see you there. Bring a friend. And a camera. Donations always welcome. Parking passes are required at $3 each.
Different people have different “bucket lists” (things to see or do before one “kicks the bucket”).
Here is our Bucket List of places to visit in the United States for the LGBT traveler. These cities and towns are filled with Gay history in all forms, and several of them have a Gay history museum.
Fortunately, we have already been to all of these places, and we would highly recommend them to everyone.
This has for years been the epicenter for the Gay community. Many years ago it was THE place for all Gays to visit, and it still is. Although it has changed a lot, one must just see it in person to really get the feel of it. The Castro area has always been the place to be, filled with dozens of Gay bars and businesses. Years ago, it was the only place in the country where we could all be “ourselves” and enjoy everything. Luckily, in today’s world, we can usually be “ourselves” anywhere in the country. Still, we have visited San Francisco over a dozen times and never tire of it.
A great website is: www.sanfrancisco.travel/lgbt.
The Gay suburb of greater Los Angeles, the zip code 90069 only proves how Gay it is! Everywhere you turn, you see Gay, Gay and more GAY – from the Gay flags on businesses to men holding hands walking down the street while shopping.
For further information, go to: www.visitwesthollywood.com/special-interest/lgbt.
The place where Gay men and women retire and live. Once the home of Hollywood actors and actresses, it is now very Gay, and visitors always have a delightful time while they’re there.
An informative website is:www.visitgaypalmsprings.com/.
There are very few Gay Flags, and they don’t need any. Everyone gets along with everybody in this fabulously wonderful place.
Gays and Lesbians began going to Santa Fe years ago. The town has always been filled with authors, writers, poets, artists, sculptors, jewelry artisans and extremely interesting people.
We have been going there since 1982, and love it every time we return. It is just a completely different way of life there and very mesmerizing.
Find information at santafe.org/Visiting_Santa_Fe/GLBTQ_Travel/Gay_Lesbian_Events/.
Always Gay and still Gay, however, the cruise ships now dock there, so there is an influx of straight visitors all the time.
However, it is still a “must see” place for all Gays. There is a lot of Gay history there, and it is very exciting, historical and interesting.
Info online at www.fla-keys.com/keywest/gaykeywest.cfm.
Gays have been flocking to the beaches of Ft. Lauderdale for years and years. It has more than 150 Gay-owned hotels, bars, clubs, restaurants and businesses.
South Beach, on the east side of Miami, is filled with lots of hot men and the bars stay open all day and night.
Palm Beach, to the north of Ft. Lauderdale, is filled with some of the finest shops in the entire nation. Find it all at www.sunny.org/lgbt/.
If you have never been to New York City, go now!
Yes, it is expensive, but it is worth every bit of what you spend there. The shopping, restaurants, bars, Broadway shows, museums and galleries are things that you will remember forever.
Head out to the Hamptons and enjoy the good life.
Information online at www.nycgo.com/articles/gay-nyc
It is not like it was in the 1970s and ‘80s, but it is still a great place to visit. And yes, it is an island and you need to take a ferry over.
Get details online at fireisland.gaycities.com/
This was the place for all Gays to go to be themselves for years. Nearly the entire town was and is Gay.
P’town is a very small town. You do not need a car, so one can take the ferry from Boston to get there. However, it is a very scenic drive going around through Hyannis Port.
The website is ptown.org/
It is a very laid-back Gay resort town right on the ocean, and Gays have been going there for years.
What was once an artist colony turned into a Gay resort town years ago. There are plenty of Gay bed and breakfasts to stay in.
Find information at www.gayogunquit.com/
Before going to any of these resort towns and cities on this list, go to www.purpleroofs.com to find the perfect place for you to stay.
Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone.
Article republished with permission from The Gay Word.
A new gym catering to gay men is attempting to move forward to open in Fresno, but some neighbors are concerned that the addition will be a “magnet for trouble.”
That may be partly due to the fact that the new gym’s owner, Craig Harmon, is also the owner of “the Bunker,” an adult men for men sex club.
That club is set to close shortly to make room for California's new high speed rail project. Leaving some locals concerned that the 24-hour gym will turn into Harmon’s new sex club.
The owner has assured Fresno residents that that will not be happening, instead describing the new spot as a “gym with gay orientation to cater to the gay community.”
Locals who are taking issue with the proposal say that it is not necessarily what will go on inside the gym that bothers them, but rather the side effects of having a 24-hour club open in their residential neighborhood.
Shelly Cummings, who lives right next door to the site of the proposed gym, is one of those people, saying:
“I am not speaking against people who want to do things like that. Everybody can do what they want, but for the neighborhood, it being in the middle of a neighborhood with the crime that is bad down here in Tower like it is now, I can’t see anything good coming out of it. I see people getting hurt.”
Local business owner Richie Shields agrees, saying, “The people that go there and having fun, not a problem, but it’s the byproduct of that — the people that are walking around — maybe prostitution, littering, drug use, things like that, I don’t want to see.”
The Fresno Planning Commission plans to meet to decide on the issue once the staff has more time to research the proposal. We will provide updates on when the planning commission and city council add this to their agenda for public comments when it becomes available.
“Oh my God, you are such a slut.”
Has someone ever said that to you? And what were you doing when they did? I’ve heard it plenty of times, and usually for no valid reason.
“Slut” is one of those words that are continuously overused, like “diva” or “extreme;” the actual definition gets lost in the perception.
So I guess the real question here is: What constitutes sluttiness? Is it how you act, or is it what people think of how you acted? And where do we draw the line between what is and isn’t slutty?
In the dictionary, a slut is defined as a slovenly or promiscuous woman. I hate to break it to you, but I know a lot of well-dressed, fantastic people who are pretty damn slutty, and not all of them are women.
I figure since the term is supposed to apply to women, then gay men can definitely be sluts, because I hear them call each other “girrrrrl” every five minutes. And since these test subjects are where most of my research lies, I guess that’s the realm we’ll stay in. But that doesn’t exclude the rest of you who are out there sleeping around. You know who you are.
It’s a slippery slide to slutdom, and it usually begins at the dawn of your sexuality. You realize what you want and what kind of general package it comes in, but when you venture out into the world, that’s when you discover that there are a lot of flavors out there. And just like at Baskin-Robbins, you can dip your spoon into them and taste every single one. And why not? You need to explore your options now that you own your bright and shiny new sex life.
When I was a young gay pup in the ancient dark times before the Internet, it was, quite honestly, a bit of a chore: No online profiles to let me know exactly what a guy was into without a little trial and error – okay, a lot of trial and error.
Sure, it was a mystery what lay beneath the white-hot smile or the surfer’s body, but there wasn’t that much difference between then and now, when you have to unravel the mystery of why the guy you met online has totally misrepresented himself. The difference back then was that he was already standing in front of you, so at least you knew what he really looked like.
So here you are, a teenager or a twenty-something, experimenting with your sexuality as you stumble and fumble in the dark towards adulthood. Now, is that considered slutty? I wouldn’t say so, but if the argument is about the constant quest for the one who’s right for you or the certain type that gets you off, where is the cutoff date?
Aren’t we all experimenting throughout our lives until we find that mythical one who will prevent us from chasing after every piece of ass that passes us by?
For many people, the definition of slutty is the number of people you’ve been with. Now, as I was saying a moment ago, how does that apply to all of us searching, searching, searching for love or something like it, trying to connect with someone tangled in our sheets or kissing us across the console? We believe in our hearts, or whatever facsimile that holds our base emotions, that there is someone out there for all of us.
Whether or not we admit it, even the most jaded soul has fleeting moments of wonder: Is this it? Is this the one? Sometimes our hearts trick us by allowing us to believe that the V-shaped lifeguard we just met who is giving us a raging hard-on is the person we were meant to meet. But that’s not always your heart talking, kids.
As a man, I can say that more often than not, my dick is doing the driving. Wait – that was a poor choice of words. What I mean is, that sometimes my dick trumps my brain when it comes to making decisions. But the more I think about it, it seems that maybe they are working hand-in-hand. The animal part of our psyche tells us to hunt, to pounce, to seal the deal with someone we are drawn to before they escape.
Maybe it’s because our brain might decide at the last minute to bolt for the underbrush and the prey will disappear along with the opportunity to connect with someone physically and maybe, just maybe, emotionally. And even though it seems like the signals are coming from behind your button fly, the truth of the matter is, it’s still the brain that’s giving the orders, just like the Wizard hiding behind the curtain.
Let’s look at another touchstone that is often considered slutty: having sex with someone on the first date. Is that slutty? Or is it the norm? Because quite honestly, I can’t decide.
Maybe it’s the timing – they say it’s everything, you know. There’s sex on the first date, and then there’s doing it in the alley behind the bar a half hour after your first introductions. So I guess this could also apply to the location for your behavior. Some people say making out in a club is slutty. Some people say getting a blowjob in the bathroom at a club is slutty. So which is it? All of it? There has to be a line somewhere, and it seems to me that it’s pretty amorphous.
I have a feeling that it depends on who you ask. The answer I get from Johnny Skandros is going to be different from the one I get from Mike Huckabee. At least, I think it would be different. Your actions might make you seem slutty, but what about how you dress? Or what you do?
I have logged quite a few hours on a stripper pole, so believe me when I tell you I know whether or not it’s slutty to be shaking your jock in people’s faces. The truth is, the answer is “yes” and “no.” Because, just like certain people who condemn certain actions as slutty, certain people can elevate what I considered to be just another job to a full-blown, sky-high slut-o-rama.
Perception is not always reality. After all, it’s just using what you’ve got to make a living. Some people use their brains or their talent, and some people use their face or their body. You get what you get, so you might as well make it work in your favor.
On an equally superficial level, it goes without saying that how you dress doesn’t necessarily make you a slut either. Have we learned nothing from “The Accused?” I mean, besides the fact that Jodie Foster doesn’t have a lick of rhythm? People can be equally attracted to skintight t-shirts or shirts and ties, so transforming clothes into a barometer of someone’s promiscuity is ridiculous.
There is also the stigma of being labeled as a slut when it’s merely a rumor. These rumors are usually spread for a few different reasons. More often than not this scarlet letter is applied by people who want to keep the masses away from someone they can’t have or someone they have lost, and they figure if they tell the world how skanky this person is, then no one will go near them.
Unfortunately, this can backfire. We are always curious about the people of ill repute, aren’t we? And sometimes it just draws more people to this person, because everybody loves a sure thing, whether or not it’s the truth.
So, how do we decide what makes someone a slut? Is it going that extra mile? What I mean by that is, maybe it’s not how many partners you have, but how many you’ve had at one time? And how many is too many? Maybe it’s not who you are sleeping with but the selectiveness in which you do it.
Maybe it’s not remembering who you slept with in the first place. With enough whiskey it is possible to not be too rational in your decision-making process, but when the alcohol wears off, it might be more than a hangover you wake up to.
Could it be where you are when your dick does the talking? Having sex in the bedroom of someone on your first date is different than having sex in the Nordstrom fitting room, right?
When I started writing this, I thought surely I would come to a decision on what is or isn’t the mark of someone who acts like the proverbial slut. Now I realize that just like beauty, it’s truly in the eye of the beholder.
One of my favorite quotes from that crazy queen Oscar Wilde says: “Wickedness is a myth invented by good people to account for the curious attractiveness of others.” Now if that isn’t the truth, I don’t know what is.
Don’t we all secretly long to be wanton, unfettered beasts prowling in the night, searching for the narcotic contact of skin on skin? Sure, the dream is to have someone to come home to and someone to grow old with, but just like the animals we share this planet with, some of us are built to mate for life and some of us are not. Does that make you a slut? Or merely a wild animal?
And when and if you do meet that special someone, can you look past the people – no matter how many – that are in their past? And will they be able to return the favor?
I think that we should redefine what it means to be a slut, especially since no one seems to be able to decide on the rules. We all take different roads to get where we think we should be, whether that means you do the old school I-can’t-sleep-with-you-until-we’re-in-love route, or you sleep with every person you date until you find the right one, the journey is your own.
Every person that you encounter, sexually or otherwise, will teach you something about yourself, whether you realize it or not. As long as you are being safe, what’s the difference? It doesn’t mean someone that has a lot of sexual partners or engages in wild, erotic adventures with no remorse is a slut.
When it comes down to it, a slut is merely someone who is having more sex than you.
Article republished with permission from The Gay Word.
One of the most prominent stains on the reputation of the much-mythologized Reagan administration was its response, or lack of response, to the AIDS crisis as it began to ravage American cities in the early and mid-1980s. President Reagan famously (though, not famously enough) didn’t himself publicly mention AIDS until 1985, when more than 5,000 people, most of them gay men, had already been killed by the disease.
Join us on World AIDS Day, Tuesday, December 1st for the AIDS March & Rally in the Tower District. As we did last year, we'll start at the Fresno LGBT Community Center and march through the Tower District, in solidarity for World AIDS Day. We'll end up in front of the Tower Theater for a brief rally with local speakers and finally, a reading of names of those who we have lost to this terrible disease.
Meet up at the Fresno LGBT Community Center between 6 & 6:30PM on December 1st. The Center is located at 1067 N Fulton, in the Tower District, just down the street from the Tower Theater. The march will begin promptly at 6:30PM.
Candles will be provided to those in attendance. We will also be offering large AIDS ribbon replicas to be carried, as well red scarfs, while they last.
Once at the Tower Theater we will hear a few local speakers speak briefly, followed by the traditional reading of the names, recognizing those who have been lost.
I used to have an action figure – okay, it was a doll – of the Six-Million-Dollar Man.
What’s that? You say you don’t know who that is? Um, he’s kinda like a cyborg, I guess. Like the Terminator or a Cylon. Sort of. But a good guy. Anyway, he was a dude who had parts of his body replaced with robotics called ‘bionics” and he was a total player with his newscaster hairstyle, red tracksuit and matching sneakers.
He had fake skin on his arm that rolled up so you could remove his bionic parts and you could also look through the back of his head and see the world through his bionic eye. Sure, it made his face look strange, but it was super dope, especially to a nine-year-old kid.
Steve Austin had an arch enemy named Maskatron, who was an android with a removable face, much like the Fembots that plagued Steve’s bionic girlfriend, Jaime Sommers. (I’ll save her story for another day.) The opposing intricacy and simplicity of Maskatron would stick in my head into adulthood when I realized that maybe, just maybe, all the men I had been involved with were just like the evil Maskatron – different faces, but the same underneath.
Is that what happens in relationships? Do we get involved with the same people over and over again?
They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repetitively and expecting different results. So why do we search out the same people and expect anything to be different? I’m not talking about how you prefer a man who looks like your track coach, or the blonde and bronzed boy-next-door, or even the rough, muscular kid that bullied you in high school. That is merely an imprinted sexual attraction that may or may not hold a veritable hornet’s nest of psychoses underneath. All of that falls under the physicality that you desire and the eternal mystery of sexual attraction. What I’m talking about is what lies beneath.
So, how do you know if you are one of the people who are constantly recycling the same person? Well, the first thing you need to do is look inward. If you want to know what’s missing in you or what you are lacking, or even what your inner struggles are, all you have to do is look at who you are involved with.
The facts about our childhood affecting our relationships ring true. For example, there are people who search for a strong, silent type that mimics the emotional distance of their father. Or, someone who has abandonment issues will constantly rediscover people who will eventually abandon them or they themselves will do the abandoning. But why?
The answer is that we recreate our biggest struggles so we can finally succeed in overcoming them. If you can just reach the heart of someone who’s emotionally detached, it will be as if your father finally showed how much he loved you. If you can get the wayward rebel to stay with you, then your feelings that everyone will leave you will finally be assuaged. The truth is, you can only solve the problems you hold inside by dealing with them on your own.
Then there are those that seek out people with problems of any sort because it makes them feel needed as they struggle to help the one with the issues. This leads to a feeling of importance and satisfaction as they try to “fix” the lost or damaged individual. Unfortunately, people who are riddled with the most baggage usually seek out this kind of person so they can take advantage of the hero complex that will inevitably be thrust upon them. We seek out someone who plays our games because it gives comfort and familiarity, but it ultimately leads to a dissatisfying end.
The solution to this Sisyphus-style torture is to recognize your own role in this unending cycle and change your behavior to create a new path. And to do this, you must first ask yourself a simple question about your relationship that you may have already heard from a friend or colleague: “How’s that workin’ out for ya?”
If the answer is, “It’s not,” it might be a good time to switch gears and cut your losses without the myriad of excuses that come with the acknowledgment that your romance is dead in the water.
A step that you could take even before this one is to listen to your intuition. People will always tell you who they truly are if you choose to listen with more than just your ears. For example, a man that gives you all the signs that he’s not into relationships is more than likely not into relationships. It ain’t rocket science, kids.
Sure, people change, but are you the one that always seems to tell yourself that you’ll be the one to change them? That is asking for trouble from the get-go. If you want new and unexpected results, you have to try something or someone new and unexpected.
There are two things you have to know to remove yourself from the cycle you’re trapped in. First, you have to know your type. If something is familiar in the beginning of the relationship, maybe you should steer clear altogether, or change your approach entirely towards this person.
This goes hand-in-hand with the second step. Know your anxieties. Are you shy and quiet? That usually means you search out the opposite, which may be someone outgoing and confident, but it may also mean that they will be controlling as well. All you have to do is overcome your anxiety or hang-up and you won’t draw the wrong person by what you avoid.
We all have comfort zones, but if you step outside of them and stick to the new you, your world will change dramatically. Sure, there is the fear that you will shut a relationship down in the beginning by taking charge and becoming the person you want to be. But if your new flame rejects you for wanting more, isn’t that the kind of relationship you want to leave behind?
Casting off the shackles of the past is never easy; we look for familiarity in people because it brings us comfort and makes us believe we can conquer what we did wrong with our relationships in the past. But the past is gone, and the world is waiting for you to start anew.
Forget that this new guy looks like the boy you had an ill-fated crush on in junior high. Forget that this ice-cold heartbreaker might finally thaw in your hands. Step outside the infinity loop you’ve been trapped in and find freedom.
You will end up feeling like a million bucks – or maybe six million of them.
Article republished with permission from The Gay Word.