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    Calum Scott shares shirtless video while on tour

    Calum Scott has been making waves in the US with his music.

    The 29-year-old singer, who is currently touring with Pentatonix, has been showing off his toned physique in this new shirtless video.

    The former Britain’s Got Talent contestant shared a video of him drying his shirt after performing on stage at MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre.

    “This is what I have to do every night after being on stage, I have to dry my shirt with a hair dryer,” Calum says in the clip.

    “Oh the glamour.. 😂💦💨 #sweatyBetty,” he captioned the post on Instagram.

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    Cher announces all the deets about her new album Dancing Queen!

    Cher has been teasing an album of ABBA covers for a while and she’s certainly not one to break promises.

    ‘Dancing Queen’ is out on September 28 and her unique cover of Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man after Midnight) has already been released.

    The track list has also been confirmed:

    Dancing Queen
    Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)
    The Name Of The Game
    SOS
    Waterloo
    Mamma Mia
    Chiquitita
    Fernando
    The Winner Takes It All
    One Of Us

    In other Cher news, the icon is set to be awarded a Kennedy Center Honor on Dec. 2 in Washington DC.

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    Back To School Shopping – Gay AF Edition

    September is just around the corner, meaning twinks, jocks, otters and young teen boys alike are beginning their back to school shopping.

     

    Being gay is hard enough, but being absolutely fabulous and having to do back to school shopping is even HARDER. Lucky for you, GBB is breaking down the top 6 must have back to school items for gay boys alike.

     

     

     1. A Rainbow Flag, Rainbow Hat, Rainbow T-Shirt, Rainbow EVERYTHING

    Maybe Mrs. Jenkins just doesn’t get it, perhaps Tiffany still thinks she has a shot, maybe even your parents think you being gay was just a summer phase. Prove them all wrong by rocking an entire rainbow assembly for your first day of school. Nothing says “we’re queer and we’re here” quite like a rainbow ensemble.

     

    2. Shades

    Black Kimmy Schmidt GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    It’s so hard being the overdramatic friend. Make quick getaways and sarcastic remarks even more punctual by throwing on some shades and sashaying away.

     

    3. Ariana Grande’s Sweetener

     

    You won’t have “No Tears Left To Cry” in algebra class if you’re constantly streaming bops all day long. Teach your hetero peers a thing or two about pop culture royalty and treat their ears to this masterpiece – coming out August 17th.

     

    4. Condoms and Lube

    Honey, you know damn well that being the only out student at your school comes with some perks. Chad from physics may want to study after class, but we got a feeling he’ll want to study chemistry and human biology instead… Regardless, being prepared is always important!

     

    5. Travel Mug

    The only way to have constantly tea to spill whenever you want is to have a portable travel mug with your tea kept piping hot. The larger the travel mug, the larger the secrets it holds.

     

    6. A Crown

    Rihanna Crown GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

    Listen, sometimes people forget who the HBIC is. Whether you’re a freshman or a damn senior doing a victory lap – wear that crown with PRIDE, cause honey nobody works it just like you!

     

    *****

     

    YASSS QUEEN, SLAYYY THIS SCHOOL YEAR! Happy back to school shopping to all the queens out there, may it be as gay as possible.  Let us know how it goes by tweeting us @GayBoyBible.

     

     

      

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    Michigan Governor Candidates on LGBTQ Rights

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    Like many states this November, Michigan voters will choose their next governor. As the chief executive of the state, the governor has many responsibilities and oversees the state legislature. While Michigan has many, many pressing issues needing immediate attention (including Flint’s drinking water, a lackluster educational system, and the 65-year-old oil pipeline underneath the Mackinac Bridge) LGBTQ rights also need attention. Michigan has a rather fraught history of expanding civil rights to LGBTQ Michiganders. This gubernatorial election, however, may bring about long-overdue change.

    Because of state legislators’ reluctance, private corporations and smaller municipalities have enacted change to reflect growing citizen diversity. Currently in Michigan, discrimination depends on your ZIP code and your employer.  

    That is why this governor’s race is important for LGBTQ Michiganders. So, without further to do, let’s look at the main contenders for the Great Lake State’s governor through the lens of LGBTQ rights:

     

    Republicans

    Brian Calley
    Supports mental health reform and organized the Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force to combat the opioid epidemic (both of these issues disproportionately affect the LGBTQ community). Despite this, Calley has blocked legislation to expand the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect LGBTQ Michiganders.

     

    Patrick Colbeck
    Michigan state senator and aerospace engineer who has been endorsed by
    Ted Cruz and other GOP leaders. One of his guiding principles is to support the “Best Interests for All,” and in this video, he quotes the Michigan state constitution saying, “our laws are meant for the equal benefit of all citizens.” Well, except for LGBTQ citizens….Colbeck blatantly opposes LGBTQ rights, as made crystal clear in this document from his website. He offers school districts a template to resist federal guidance on LGBTQ anti-bullying policies.

    To give you a flavor of his views:

    “There is a significant body of evidence to suggest that the promotion of the LGBTQ lifestyle leads to a higher risk of contracting AIDS, shorter lifespans, and higher suicide rates”

    Jim Hines
    Obstetrician of 30 years and former chief of medical staff at Covenant HealthCare who has never held an elected office. Grounded in his Christian beliefs, as made evident in his blog, Hines believes the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision was “incorrect.” Interestingly, while Hines believes that companies can refuse “…services directly if something runs contrary to their scripture or scriptural belief,” he feels a personal responsibility, as an OB-GYN, to care for lesbian and transgender patients. On the transgender bathroom issue, Hines doesn’t take a firm stance. He says, “I believe such issues should be settled by local communities and school boards, with the privacy and security of the students as their main concern.”

    Bill Schuette
    Current Michigan Attorney General and former congressman, senator, Michigan Court of Appeals Judge, and director for the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Schuette has blocked the expansion of the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. In case that wasn’t enough, Schuette recently issued a formal opinion affirming legal LGBTQ discrimination statewide in this formal opinion:

    It is my opinion that the Michigan Civil Rights Commission’s Interpretative Statement, which concludes that the term ‘sex’ as used in the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act includes sexual orientation and gender identity, is invalid because it conflicts with the original intent of the Legislature as expressed in the plain language of the Act, and as interpreted by Michigan’s courts.

     

    And if that still wasn’t enough, Donald Trump endorsed him.

     

    Democrats

    Gretchen Whitmer
    Former state congresswoman, senator, and House Minority leader. Whitmer believes in expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and has promoted anti-bullying policies that protect LGBTQ students (the very policies Patrick Colbeck opposes). Before same-sex marriage was legalized, Whitmer supported same-sex couple benefits. She also supports comprehensive sex education, adoption rights, and the bathroom choice of transgender individuals.

    Abdul El-Sayed
    Former director of the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion. El-Sayed believes in expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act and promotes LGBTQ anti-bullying policies in schools. He also supports comprehensive sex education, adoption rights, decriminalization of HIV, and the bathroom choice of transgender individuals.

    Shri Thanedar
    Businessman and founder of Avomeen Analytical Services. Thanedar believes in expanding the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. He also supports comprehensive sex education, the elimination of gender identifiers on state ID cards, and “additional protections for transgender women.”

     

    Michigan’s primary election is Tuesday, August 7.

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    Love, Simon’s Not-So-Cute Relatability Issues

    “I’m just like you…”

    Said Simon Spier (portrayed by Nick Robinson) at the beginning of the groundbreaking film Love, Simon. The first major film to center on a gay love story tries to relate to a young adult audience, especially an LGBTQ audience.

    But does Simon accurately reflect most LGBTQ (more specifically, gay) youth in the United States? Can LGBTQ viewers relate to him in a meaningful way? Well, let’s first start with what the film did well.

    Love, Simon is a film that normalizes a gay love story without the tragedy that often accompanies such stories. Maybe that’s why critics and moviegoers alike fell in love with the film, giving it a 91% on rotten tomatoes. It’s a breath of fresh air in that LGBTQ youth can see a teen love story be just that, a teen love story. Sitting in the movie theatre, the audience’s collective “awwws” accompanied Simon’s kiss on the Ferris wheel, and their tears followed him when his mother gave her heartwarming speech. In the end, Love, Simon explores romance, friendship, and identity during the tumultuous teenage years.

    …but, are you?

    With that said, Love, Simon also excludes many LGBTQ experiences. The film takes place in a gay-friendly utopia; completely divorced from reality. With the exception of mild school bullying (which was resolved with a face-to-face apology), Simon’s world supports his sexuality. Below are some ways in which Simon’s world is different from many LGBTQ youths:

    1. Wealth.  Love, Simon was filmed in an upper-class Atlanta neighborhood with a median household income of $149,361 (compared to the national average of $55,322). This blatant wealth gap is disturbing, as many LGBTQ youths endure homelessness, have little access to resources, and are disproportionately burdened by debt.  Many LGBTQ youths cannot relate to a wealthy, white suburban family that has access to many resources.
    2. Acceptance. Everyone in this film is accepting. From school faculty, to family members, to friends, this film does not contain a hardline homophobe. This diverts from a world where nearly 40% of parents would be upset if their child came out as gay. Lack of acceptance, especially familial acceptance, can cause serious mental health issues. Additionally, gay conversion therapy is still widely legal across the U.S., subjecting minors to “corrective treatments.” The Spier family’s overwhelming acceptance of Simon is heartwarming but excludes the many LGBTQ youths who face mental health issues, internalized homophobia, and conversion therapy. To them, the Spier family is nothing like home.
    3. Homophobia. The only amount of homophobia present in the film was Simon’s father’s offhand jokes and school bullies. Before Simon even had a chance to intervene with the bullies, Ms. Albright (the drama teacher) stepped in and sent the credulous students to the principal’s office where they formally apologized. Simon’s father also apologizes for his insensitive jokes. But most LGBTQ individuals experience some form of unapologetic homophobia, and the laws and customs around the U.S. reflect this. For example, the state of Georgia (the movie’s setting) does not protect LGBTQ people in employment or hate crime laws. This is far from the gay-friendly suburbia presented to the audience.

    These problems are just the tip of the iceberg. Dating, sexual health, and body image issues are more uniquely gay problems that the movie does not address.

    With all of these issues in perspective, it’s easy to see how Simon does not portray most LGBTQ youth. Rather, Simon is Hollywood’s interpretation of what an easily marketable, safe, relatable-for-a-straight-audience gay male looks like. To be fair, nothing is wrong with the character of Simon. Rather, this easily-digestible gay romance can give straight audience members (and privileged LGBTQ individuals) a pat on the back. For all the allies watching, Love, Simon can be the sign that equality has been achieved. Look, a “normal” movie about a gay couple…look how happy everyone is…problem solved!

    But that is far from the truth. While enjoying the film, we must not forget all of those who still face violence, discrimination, and injustice for being themselves. We all desire love, acceptance, and belonging. For those like Simon, these things are easily attainable, but for others, it’s still an upward battle.

     

    What did you think of Love, Simon? Could you relate to the teenage protagonist? Let us know on Twitter using @GayBoyBible

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    What to do when you have a broken heart?

    The universe is a very funny thing.

    For some reason it is obsessed with balance, even to a minuscule level.

    Like cutting someone off in traffic and two minutes later, getting cut off in traffic.

    But there is balance in places you never even thought about or noticed.

    So what does a heartbreak have to do with balance? It has a lot to do with balance.

    First of all, the same exact thing does not need to happen to even the scales. The universe can even the scale in a different way, even though we would love to see that son of a b**** get what they deserve. You can have a pound of sand on one side of the scale and even the other side with a pound of feathers. When you get your heart broken, the universe gives you an amazing gift to even the scales. You’re probably thinking “how the hell is a broken heart a gift, this b**** is crazy.”

    I am crazy but that’s not the point. Getting your heart broken is not a gift, it’s what comes after that is a gift. Before your heart was broken, it was set to a certain thing or person. It is hard to change when your heart is set on something or someone.

    But when it gets broken, it is easier to change. You have the ability to get those broken pieces and create a new picture. You have the amazing ability to start from nothing. In a way, it’s a fresh start. But we have to be careful when we do so.

    Once we put down a piece, it stays there. Creating a picture with broken glass is very difficult for many reasons. One being that the shards are very sharp, you can’t be reckless because you’ll get cut.

    The other being that glass is fragile and if handled wrong, it can result into breaking even more. It takes time, patience, and self-love. Remember to always take your time and take care of your heart because you only have one.

    Life gives you this gift after heartbreak to change, to become a beautiful phoenix who rises straight from the ashes. But like any gift, it is our choice to accept it. Will you accept that gift?

    What are your thoughts? Let us know on Twitter using @GayBoyBible

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    Black AND Gay: Life of the Party!

    Do you know what’s fun? Being the only gay person at a party. Do you know what’s really fun? Being the only black AND gay person at a party.

    “Come out with us, you’re such a good dancer!” (Truth, but now there’s an expectation that if your moves aren’t up to snuff then you’ve made your friend look like a damn liar.)

    “You should meet my black gay friend, he’s so funny.” (Once again, this is true, but now there is the pressure to “perform” for an audience. Also, please stop referring to me as your black gay friend.)

    “I can’t believe you’re not coming out – lame.” (Sincerest apologies, but I wasn’t really feeling the black/gay minstrel show tonight. You can find old clips of In Living Color on YouTube, though.)

    Sometimes, (more and more often) there is a sense of dread that comes with meeting new people, especially straight white people, because of the anxiety that comes with knowing one is going to have to put on a show less they be considered a disappointment. Was the story you just told witty enough to do you credit but relatable enough as not to scare off the white heterosexuals? Were those dance moves good enough that Beyonce would be proud but not so advanced that Becky still feels like she could do them?

    Maybe the performance anxiety is just on us (or just me), but when your straight friend looks at you in horror when you tell her “I’m just not really in the mood to dance tonight. I’m just going to sip on my overpriced cocktail,” then chances are these feelings aren’t all completely in your head.

    When you’re gay, everyone expects you to have the latest info about…well, just about every damn thing.

    When you’re black, everyone expects you to know every dance move and be able to execute each one flawlessly. Oh, and you need to be able to perform them at any minute because straight white people just love “The Cupid Shuffle.”

    Straight white people, if you could maybe just expect less entertainment every single time that your gay friend, or your black friend, or your *GASP* black and gay friend hangs out with you, that would be nice. Most of us have no problem spilling tea or dancing the night away to whichever diva is fashionable at the time (Whitney forever), but sometimes we just want to sit at home like you do and watch 30 Rock.

    And by 30 Rock I really mean Living Single.

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    Madeira Gay Pride

    Madeira celebrates its second ever Gay Pride Festival on Saturday 6th October 2018. This looks set to become an annual event after the huge popularity of the inaugural pride march last year. 2018 promises to be even bigger, with celebrations scheduled over three days. Rooftop and pool parties are scheduled in locations throughout the city of Funchal. Boat cruises and the main Pride March are highlights, along with a host of other activities for every taste.

    Photo courtesy of AndyProPhoto, Gran Canaria

    Madeira doesn’t have a structured gay scene, as most of the cool, stylish bars in Funchal are gay friendly. The locals are all pretty laid back and most are accepting of the LGBT community on the island. If cruising is your thing, you’ll find lots of eye candy at night in the parks along the waterfront. During the day the Lido swimming complex is a must! This public swimming pool was newly renovated last year and attracts huge crowds on sunny days. It features fresh ocean water, communal hot showers, and diving platforms for plunges into the crystal clear ocean below.

    The perfect cruising site
    The Lido Swimming complex

    Situated opposite the Straights of Gibraltar, in the Atlantic Ocean, the weather is fabulous almost all year round. The locals boast of swimming in the sea on Christmas Day, however the best seasons are Spring and Autumn. This means the weather for this years Gay Pride festivities in early October should be perfect!

    No Longer Only for ‘Newlyweds and the Nearly Dead!’

    The Island is famous for its style and sophistication. Previously known as a holiday destination for ‘newly weds and the nearly dead’, due to its popularity with honeymooners and retirees, this scene is rapidly changing. There are now an enormous range of adventure and extreme activities for the younger traveller to enjoy. Try cannoning, off-road 4-wheel driving, deep-sea diving, game fishing or whale and dolphin watching. Choose from literally hundreds of walking trails through the mountains, all meticulously maintained, and at various levels of difficulty. Most of the food you will enjoy on Madeira is organic, and locally grown or caught. Choose from sumptuous seafood and beautifully seasoned meats. The lush semi-tropical fruits and vegetables are sublime, along with excellent quality locally produced wines and liquors. You can also book half-day cooking courses where you will learn to replicate the delicious local dishes!

    The Funchal Fruit and produce Market is open. seven days a week

    With so much to do in such an idyllic location, why not visit for a week either side of Pride? Indulge yourself and soak up the cool swag and vibe of this most special jewel of the Atlantic.

    For further information, on where to stay and what to do and see, visit

    https://www.gaymadeira.com

    https://www.gomadeira.co

     

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    The Promise of Pride and the Gay Community

    On a Night Out

    I have a story I want to tell you about pride and the queer community. A little over a week ago my partner and I were on a patio at a gay bar in Seattle. We were enjoying time with our friends and had plans to grab a late dinner afterwards. Our friend is Black, so is my partner and while I can pass for White, I am actually Chicano. My partner called to our friend that we were hungry and ready to leave. Now he was not shouting very loud and certainly not any louder than anyone else on the bar patio. So it surprised us when someone started shouting at my partner and his friend to be quiet.

    At first my partner, my friend, and I thought the guy was joking. But he continued to shout at my partner and our friend saying they were too loud. We noticed that of the 20 or so loud people on the patio, this guy barked his complaint at the two men to color. Some arguing took place. The fact that he was a white man telling the only men of color on the patio to be quiet was brought up. He then told my partner to get out of his country (not that it should matter but my partner, my friend, and I all happen to be American.) More shouting went on, some threats of violence got made, some scuffling took place and in the end the drunk White guy saying racist things took himself way from the patio.

    Upon Reflection…

    We left and got dinner and we spent the evening upset. Not because of the ignorant things the man had said to my partner and friend, we have all dealt with racism before and likely will again. Racism isn’t new in the gay community and it isn’t uncommon. Just ask anyone who was following the Philly inclusive gay pride flag debate. We were upset because on that patio were at least two people who we considered friends. They heard him tell my partner to get out of the country and heard the threats the guy made but were silent, yet observant. Of these friends, one identifies as white and the other, like me, can pass for white. Both claim to be advocates against racism in the queer community. But when they had the chance to say something, they did not. To put that in a broader context, when three members of their community who they claim to care about were met with intolerance and hate, they chose to allow it.

     

    Putting Words in Your Mouth

    It is clear that no one person speaks for the whole of the U.S. but this guy tried to do just that. As an American, he chose to speak for all of us who consider ourselves American and on our behalf told someone to get out of the country for challenging his racism. If we assume that he was speaking as a White person then he was speaking on behalf of all White people. If we remember that he was a White gay American then we need to remember that he was representing all of us who share part or all of that intersectional identity. In any case, he did not bother to ask anyone if he had their permission to speak for them. He just did it. And if you identify with any of those categories, he spoke for you. He put words into your mouth.

    Now if you were not there, you could not have corrected this. But if you were, if you saw it, if you heard the comments and saw the whole thing happen and said nothing then you sent a message. You let those of us hurt by that moment know that you are okay with it. Maybe you disapproved silently but your silence gave a lot of space for very vocal bigotry to exclude us. If you saw this and said nothing the you gave your consent to it.

    This is About Pride as History and Pride as Action

    For those who do not know, June is Pride month because it commemorates the Stonewall Riots. Early on June 28th in 1969 New York Police raided the Stonewall Inn located in Greenwich village. These raids were not uncommon in the 1950s and 60s in the US when gay sexuality was effectively made illegal by its association with wide ranging sodomy laws. Gay Bars were (and often still are) spaces where people could be themselves and live out loud without too much fear of arrest or homophobic violence. These spaces attracted people from very different racial, ethnic, and culture backgrounds. While they were refuges however, not safe havens. Police would regularly raid gay bars, Stonewall included, and charge them with solicitation of homosexual relations, a crime at the time. Police would also arrest men dressed in clothing they considered to be non-gender conforming with gender.

    On June 28th however, a Black trans woman named Martha P. Johnson refused this kind of homophobia and threw a shot glass as NYPD attempted to check the gender of the patrons of the Stonewall Inn. Inspired by the act of resistance, the diverse group at Stonewall began to resist as a group. This act of resistance attracted the attention of those people near Stonewall and Greenwich Village. A lot of those people were also queer and had similar experiences and were happy to join the uprising. The riot lasted for three days and were the first major coalition of queer activism in the 20th century. There’s a really great Drunk History episode about this.

    Community is a Queer Value

    Now I said I wanted to tell this story because it was Pride month. I am not asking for another Stonewall Riot over the drunk racist comments of some ignorant guy at the bar, but the stand that Marsha took that night are important to think about this year’s Pride season. LGBTQ people are not strangers to the feelings of alienation and exclusion. When Marsha threw that shot glass she made unity and the celebration of differences the bases for the Stonewall Riots and the footing upon which the queer community is built. But community doesn’t just happen. It has to be made and requires work.

    Community is a promise. For some of us, coming out meant losing family relationships, losing friends. For some it might have meant losing job opportunities or even being fired. That isolation and those risks are things that the gay community understands and often works to heal. Our community’s support allows us to love ourselves. To love who we chose. To thrive personally and professionally. That support has driven massive advancement of LGBTQ rights.

    That community was the promise that gave me the courage to come out back when I was 16. A promise that even if things went badly for me, somewhere out there were people who would accept and even love me. I thought of it as stable ground for me to land on if all my safety nets failed. When those people chose to stay silent and allow that man to be racist toward a member of their own community, it was like finding that the ground had fallen away under our feet.

    What can We Do?

    The queer community knows what it feels like to be excluded just like Bradlee Lewis wrote a few days ago. We take pride in the fact that we fight back against the bigotry, ignorance, and hate that exclude and commit ourselves to a community that catches us when others knock us down. That is what Pride means. When anybody harms our community it is your job to do something. You don’t need to hurl a shot glass but at least speak up. Make it clear that racism and hate are not welcome in our community. When someone puts words in your mouth like this guy did spit them out and correct the record. Go see if the person experiencing the hate is okay. Hate hurts and it will mean a lot to them to know that you’re there. Whatever you do, make it clear that hate and ignorance are not welcome in a community based on unity and understanding. Is it uncomfortable? Maybe. But if we forget the promise of Pride then we are nothing more that group of isolated victims. United in Pride, we are a fierce, diverse, and beautiful community remaking the world with love and support.

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    The Megan Markle Message

    I tuned in to watch Megan Markle get married, as i’m sure most of the country did. I was fully prepared to treat the viewing like an episode of E, live from the red carpet and critique their runway lewks. What I wasn’t prepared for was the sheer beauty of the day. Not just beauty of the dresses, the weather or the Beckham, but beauty of the theme, the message; of being ones authentic self.

    What this wedding represents is a watershed in the British psyche. Finally, a diverse member of the Royal household and an American divorcee to boot! This is a seismic shift. Could a same-sex Royal wedding be that far from reality?

    As I watched the day unfold, I saw an interview that really struck a chord with me. A young woman was being interviewed about Megan, who professed that Megan is being unashamedly, unapologetically authentic. She is not diluting her blackness, nor back-tracking on her desire to make progress on women’s rights or charity work.

    With so much diversity being represented on national TV, at a service that is probably the most entitled, white family on the planet, it was hard to disagree with this woman.

    Editing oneself

    As an LGBT person, editing myself is something I am all too familiar with. I have improved over the years. But what a lot of straight people do not realise is that we are continuously having to edit ourselves or ‘come-out’. To the shop assistant who asks if me and my partner are brothers, or cousins. To the Sky engineer who asks who i’m sharing my flat with, to the receptionist at the hotel who wants to make sure I made the right reservation for a double bed, the list goes on. We are constantly making that risk assessment as to whether or not it is safe to come out and what sort of reaction the other person is going to have. That constant risk assessment is detrimental to our authenticity and also our mental health.

    The damage it can do

    When I first started work, I wasn’t officially ‘out’ although some people knew, When colleagues would ask me what i’d got up to at the weekend, I would actively avoid discussing where i’d been and with whom. “Oh it was just a bar” i’d respond. “Yes, what bar? What was the name of it?” Quick! Think! Lie! “Err ‘All Bar one’ or some other generic city haunt i’d reply with.

    The truth was that I didn’t want anyone knowing that i’d been to the joiners arms or the George & Dragon playing tonsil tennis with a hot Spanish hairdresser who couldn’t speak a word of English. Not. A. Dickie. Bird (but could mack-off like a dream). It wasn’t their business i’d think. But actually, all that editing, thinking up alternate venues and scenario’s used to cause no end of anxiety, that perhaps one day I might slip up and my lie would be rumbled.

    I have a work colleague, a person of colour, whom I see go through the same struggle. They do not talk about their weekends, where they’ve been or who with. Probably because they don’t think it any of my business. Maybe they do not want to be their authentic self. Maybe they don’t think i’ll understand or appreciate their culture. Maybe they are experiencing a shame that comes with their authenticity, who knows? But what I do know, is that I can recognise something in their behaviour in what I have been through with editing myself.

    Now it is not up to me to say if that is right or wrong. As an observer, all I can do is think it is a pity they aren’t more comfortable. But, I don’t have the same lived experience as them, so I do not know their reasons for not being their authentic self. I do know however that one cause is a lack of BAME representation and role models in the main stream media. For decades.

    What I saw on the day of the royal wedding was an attempt at change by the institutions and the media, and I hope this is the start of something much bigger.

    And I hope the change has a positive impact on both LGBT and people of colour.

  • in ,

    Review: A Very English Scandal

    This evening sees the third and final part, of ‘A very English scandal’ – starring Hugh Grant and Ben Wishaw, air on BBC1.

    This story of Jeremy Thorpe – the leader of the UK’s liberal party (now morphed into the Liberal Democrats) who allegedly tried to have his gay lover, Norman Scott, murdered in the 1970’s, is unbelievably, not fiction but a true story.

    The story has been adapted by ‘Queen as folk’ writer and Doctor Who Russell T Davies, from the book of the same name which details thoroughly the events both prior to and following (the unsuccessful)attempt to kill Norman Scott.

    The series is a lighthearted and witty, but nonetheless fascinating – account of  these events and the era in which they took place; colorfully encapsulates the swinging 1960’s and the tumultuous 70’s.

    Hugh Grant makes a rare appearance on the small screen as the charismatic Thorpe – a bullishly ambitious character who was very popular with the public and came close to being deputy prime-minister in the mid-1970’s.

    Bringing a quintessentially British mixture of charm and ruthlessness to the role, Grant is perfect as the doomed politician.

    Thorpe was a master of manipulating and persuading people to do what he wanted – and wove a tangled web of secrets and lies, managing to pull the wool over many people’s eyes for years.

    He consistently denied any gay leanings or affair with Scott – despite a great deal of evidence and rumour to the contrary.

    Meanwhile, the superb Ben Wishaw plays the young man he seduced – the troubled ‘drifter’ Norman Scott, giving him a flamboyant but nervous feyness.

    We see the moment when he first crosses paths with Scott – as a naïve, but startling handsome stable boy while working for another older man of dubious moral fiber – in a scene where the shirtless Wishaw is watched by Thorpe as he washes down a horse.

    Thorpe was immediately attracted to the beauty of Scott, who for a while became a model in the swinging 60’s, then known by his real name as Norman Josiffe. He told him to get in contact him should he ever have any problems with his employer – a friend of Thorpe’s.

    The whole thing is delivered with a massive tongue in cheek, with the old-fashioned, upper class Britishness of the era totally played-up. This makes it very entertaining, although perhaps belies the seriousness of the whole affair

    Alex Jennings is brilliant as Thorpe’s right-hand man – the permanently bewildered and anxious looking Peter Bessell. A lay-preacher with terminal financial problems, he also had and an unstoppable eye for the ladies.

    Thorpe tries to get him to help with the murder plot but he eventually moved to the US to escape debts and eventually backs away from the fray – before being shafted by Thorpe who tries to point the finger on him as the instigator of the attempt.

    National treasure, and mum of Miranda in her sitcom, Patricia Hodge, plays the stern and eccentric be-monacled upper-classed mother of Thorpe, who we saw in episode 1 when he takes Scott and his dog Mrs Tish. to stay at her country home.

    In a particularly amusing scene, they sit down at a very formal looking dinner table complete with servant – to an austere meal of hard boiled eggs

    We subsequently see Thorpe trying to seduce a very frightened looking Scott in the bedroom next to his mother’s – with the graphic image of a tub of Vaseline next to the bed.

    He gives the younger man the nickname ‘Bunnies’ – a term that comes up in the subsequent letters he sends to Scott, that ultimate lead to a saga that runs for over a decade.

    Incredibly, the whole series of increasingly dramatic and fraught events essentially stem from a lost national insurance card which makes it difficult for Scott to find work – as he drifts from job to job, place to place and suffers from ongoing psychiatric problems.

    Thorpe promised to get him a new card and, in the process, has to term himself as Scott’s employer, for a time paying him an allowance.

    After the two fall out and part ways, the emotionally volatile Scott, brazenly open about his homosexuality during a time when it was illegal or just becoming legal but still largely a taboo; tells anyone who will listen about their alleged affair.

    This includes turning up at police stations, meeting other MP’s, and also writing to Thorpe’s mother. He is desperate for money, and perhaps – coming from a troubled background, desperate for love.

    However, in those days though people found it hard to believe that a ‘respectable’ member of the establishment would be gay, and even though there were persistent rumours around the houses of parliament about Thorpe’s private life, most (although not all) of those in authority were too afraid or unwilling to go there.

    Being the 1960’s, both men subsequently try getting married – to varying degrees of success.

    Thorpe hopes this means that the problem of Scott has gone away – but being unable to provide for the wife and child he has means that his liaison is short-lived as she returns to her disapproving wealthy parents (we saw her father dismissing the wedding and disdaining Scott as a ‘homosexual’ in a rather tactless speech at the reception).

    Thorpe meanwhile decides that he needs to have a wife at his side to boost his popularity in the polls. A suitable lady is swiftly found, and soon he is seen working the PR machine and declaring the wonders of a good woman to the media. Soon after his wife gives him a son.

    Tragically though, quite early into the marriage his first wife dies in car crash (he subsequently remarries)– with the suggestion that a phone call from Scott to his wife telling her of the affair with Thorpe, in another moment of financially desperation, coincided with her having nightmares and being unable to sleep, therefore causing her to be distracted at the wheel of her car on the motorway and an ensuing collision with a lorry.

    Perhaps Scott was not the only victim of Thorpe’s ruthless drive to the top.

    Meanwhile, Scott wouldn’t go away and kept cropping up trying to expose his affair with Thorpe – who with his political career continuing to rise, is shown to become increasingly paranoid about the threat of Scott derailing it and obsessed with finding a way to have him killed off.

    In the second episode we saw the botched attempt by hired hitman – Andy Newton which ultimately led to Thorpe and his co-conspirators trial- and despite their acquittal, his subsequent fall from grace.

    Clearly a buffoon, Newman however manages to convince Scott that someone has been sent from Canada to kill him, and he is in fact going to protect Scott from this.

    However, it all goes wrong after he drives Scott up to the Devon moors with the intent of shooting him. Scott brings Rinka, his beloved greyhound, but Newton has a phobia of dogs so in a panic shot the animal first.

    The gun then fails to go off when he aims it at Scott, who runs away before being picked up by a passing car. This would all seem so far-fetched if it didn’t actually happen.

    Newton subsequently spent two years in prison for being in posession of a fire arm but wasn’t found guilty of attempted murder.

    Following subsequent revelations however from Scott, Thorpe, his close friend David Holmes, and Peter Bessell were tried for conspiracy to murder in 1979.

    The trial was widely thought though to have been fixed, and despite a great deal of evidence against Thorpe and his alleged accomplishes, they were found not guilty.

    Thorpe’s political career however ended up in ruins and he was shunned by the Liberal party, despite campaigning to be awarded a peerage for the remainder of his life.

    While Scott appears a victim for much of the story, it’s worth noting he is the only person involved in the scandal still alive today – leading an apparently stable life in Devon with a coterie of animals (Grant said in an interview he helped Wishaw with the role and the two became quite good friends).

    Meanwhile Thorpe suffered from Parkinson’s disease for many years before his death in 2014. Maybe there is such thing as karma after all.

    As a footnote, the case has been reopened in light of interest around the TV show.

    Newton had been believed to be dead but now reports suggest otherwise. A programme made by the BBC’s Panorama about the case, at the time of the trial in 1979, never shown as seen as potentially too libelous at the time, will also be shown tonight on BBC4 after ‘A Very English Scandal’.

    Both programmes mark incredibly important events in British gay (and poltical) history, as well as being totally fascinating.

    The final part of ‘A Very English Scandal’ airs tonight on BBC1 at 9pm. The series is also available on BBC i-Player.

    ‘The Jeremy Thorpe Scandal’ will be shown at 10pm this evening BBC4.

    What are your thoughts on this story/programmes – let us know @gayboybible

     

  • in

    Everybody’s Still Talking About Jamie

    Jamie Campbell has a very unique story. One that is still being told after seven years and it keeps getting better! It all began when a defiant teenager took a very brave step and became an unlikely champion for the LGBT youth. Now, everybody’s talking about Jamie.

    The Documentary

    Back in 2011 a documentary aired on BBC3 about Jamie Campbell, a teenager from a small town in the North East of England. He was preparing for prom and like most people he wanted to go in style. There was, however, a twist. Jamie wanted to go in drag!

    The documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 was a wonderful inspiration and gave an insight of what it was like to be part of the younger LGBT generation of the time. Even just seven years ago, the world was completely different and a lot less accepting. In the intro to the documentary, Jamie says, of drag:

    “It’s not accepted. People look on it as something seedy or something disgusting because they don’t understand.”

    The documentary followed the run-up to the big day with his amazingly supportive mum and the help of Newcastle drag queens. Sadly it looked like it might all go wrong when the school told Jamie that he wouldn’t be allowed into the prom after “a parent complained.” Things took an emotional turn though and everybody, even kids who had bullied him previously, rallied around and defended him. They refused to go into the prom if Jamie couldn’t.

    It was a beautiful, uplifting story that showed the beginning of an era of change…it wouldn’t be until a few years later though, after a lot more change, that the story would continue.

    The Musical

    By 2017,the world has progressed. Suddenly drag is no longer frowned on, if anything it is celebrated! All thanks, arguably, to the success of RuPaul’s Drag Race which has elevated drag to a mainstream platform.

    It was in 2017 that the musical, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, hit the stage. With music by Dan Gillespie Sells from The Feeling and book by Tom MacRae, the musical is based on Jamie’s story. It is again, a beautiful, inspiring story and has been going strong on its run in London. It has won countless awards and been nominated for so many more including the coveted Oliviers.

    I mentioned in a previous article, that Everybody’s Talking About Jamie would be an exciting piece to watch out for. The story, even though times have changed, still has massive social, cultural and political implications. It is uplifting, feel-good and empowering. It is such an important, human piece of theatre that covers themes of sexuality, gender, religion and unconditional love.

    Now the story has progressed!

    The Film

    It has been announced that a film adaptation of the stage musical will be going into production in 2019! So far very little is known about the cast and whether the stage cast will reprise their roles for the film! It’s so exciting and important because it’s such a universal story and is all about having the strength to be who you want to be.

    As a huge fan of the soundtrack, it’s a film I’ll be counting down to. In the meantime, the stage show will be live-streamed to a selection of cinemas across the country on 5th July. It’s going to be absolutely unmissable!

    Other Musicals About Drag Queens:

    If you enjoy Jamie there are other musicals out there about Drag, which are very much worth checking out:

    Priscilla Queen of the Desert

    Priscilla is based on the 1994 film about two drag queens and a transgender woman travelling across the Australian outback in Priscilla, a bright pink bus. On the way they find hostility, love and family, all while having a whole lot of fun.

    Kinky Boots

    Kinky Boots has lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein so you know it’s going to be amazing. Based on the 2006 film, it tells the story of Charlie Price who inherits a failing shoe factory and teams up with a Drag Queen to create shoes for Queens!

    La Cage Aux Folles

    Based on the 1973 French play, this musical follows a gay couple, Georges who owns a nightclub and his drag queen lover, Albin, and the hilarious drama that ensues when one of their children brings their fianceé home to meet them. With a book, again by legendary, Harvey Fierstein it’s a timeless piece of theatre that is revived again and again. I mean, everybody knows the most empowering song ever created: I Am What I Am. 

    And one last mention goes, again, to a Harvey Fierstein creation.

    Torch Song Trilogy

    While not a musical, Torch Song Trilogy opens up with a stunning monologue that sets the scene for the rest of the play/film. It was well ahead of its time, a true piece of queer art and a show that everybody should see.

    While everybody’s talking about Jamie and drag, get involved with the conversation here

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    LGBTQ VS SPORT

    In the LGBT community except for marvelling at say Tom Daley’s abs we tend not to take much interest in sport: the Olympics, Football, Rugby and even the upcoming Word Cup. The out athletes tend to be followed by their good looks and brilliant personalities (I’m referring to you Adam Rippon you sassy legend) and not there sporting talent. Ask anyone who identifies, as LGBTQ and I would bet that hardly any would have a memorable sporting memory. Does the LGBT actually community avoid sport?

    My theory ranges from our experiences at school and sports general homophobia. At school PE can be a gay or lesbians worst nightmare. Weather we were not that athletically gifted perhaps or that the changing rooms were the place our young eyes could explore the feelings we were starting to develop. Sadly this can lead to bullying and might explain the aversion to sports by many even into adult life.

    Does the lack of interest come from bringing up hard memories of school day bullying? A look on Instagram and you can clearly see a gay mans obsession with the gym. Why not football or rugby to stay fit?  At most pride parades you will often see gay rugby, football and netball teams marching.

    When we look at music we have many artists to look up to and emulate. Sport however does not have so many options for LGBT people to look up to and those there is endure a difficult time. The media loves to bring our LGBT athletes down to out-dated stereotypes and focus on their sexuality. Tom Daley is fodder for the Daily Mail who has written shameful things about an Olympic medallist. Many sports have serious homophobic problems that must make it hard for any athlete to come out.

    We need to celebrate and support our out athletes for talent. They dedicate there lives to their profession so lets get behind them and encourage more LGBT sports stars and perhaps even try it ourselves.

    Agree? Disagree?

    Please tweet us at @GayBoyBible

  • in ,

    Bring Football Home for ALL the country

    If I was to ask any of my friends and you the GayBoyBible readers what is your most memorable moment in your life? Think for a second but would guess seeing Lady Gaga or Beyonce live, coming out, your first pride and the first time you went to Heaven. For me? The first time watching Manchester United live and the most unbelievable of goals. Yes, I am one of those gays who loves football. Not just the sight of Cristiano Ronaldo whipping his top off for his trademark Sì celebration. I love the beautiful game itself.

    We are close to the end of the tournament and this article started out very differently, perhaps even cynical. Paddypower have raised a huge amount for LGBT causes and the English FA endorsed the flag featured in this article. In my heart of hearts I wanted to believe but like many football never seamed to come home. Amazingly England just two wins away from being world champions in an unbelievable tournament. But why should the LGBT community care?

    Going into the tournament there are no out gay footballers representing their countries. While many of the countries heading to Russia have laws against being LGBT. In the UK Stonewall and the FA have been working together in recent years to stamp out homophobic terrace chants and also the brilliant rainbow laces campaign. The world’s richest and most televised league the English Premiership has at least addressed its LGBT fans but we still have no gay football player.

    Imagine for a second that instead of marrying Victoria that David Beckham had announced he was gay. Playing for the best team in the country and excelling for England it could have changed football forever. We had that icon. Justin Fashanu whose suicide 20 years marked the end of a troubled life as the only out gay British professional footballer.

    At London Pride this past Saturday the LGBT community and football fans mixed in a citywide celebration. Sadly there were a few morons around whose brains remained in the Stone Age and the disgusting antics of those vandalising an ambulance shamed a joyous country. I have many LGBT friends who watched and enjoyed the World Cup we are so close to ending so many years of hurt. Lets keep the special atmosphere where we mixed as one joyous nation going and all of us get behind (joke intended lol) OUR country. Because after all we all live on this amazing island that lets us love whom we love freely.

     

  • in

    Anxiety and Me.

    Gay.

    What are the first words that come to mind when hearing this one word? Anal? Homo? Maybe something more explicit, like cum-dumpster or bum-boy? How do you feel when you hear the word gay? How do you feel when you are referred to as one of the above?

    They are all titles that have been thrown my way prior too, and since coming out in 2011 (I’ve even got the tattoo to remind me of the date!). Now though, “gay” makes me feel something else entirely.

    When I hear the word gay, I think of myself naturally, but I also think of pride. Gay pride – the event, to be precise.

    You see, I have always had a slight fear of mingling with fellow gays, and I’ve never understood why. Perhaps the bullying I went through in my early to late teens, pounded into me (for lack of a better term) a deep sense of fear of being gay and all things associated with it. Only now writing this does it seem plausible… EPIPHANY?!

     

    Say whaaaaaat?

     

    WELL, NO MORE!

    I’m taking the plunge. My partner of 3 years and his horde of lesbians have convinced me that it’s nothing to fear, and it’s time to embrace and immerse myself in the culture to the fullest. This weekend, I’m going! I’ve done a lot of preaching to others since coming out that they should love and appreciate themselves unashamedly, and live how they wish provided it’s not hurting anyone. It’s time to start listening to my own wisdom.

    There are opinions in today’s’ world that we cannot control or change, and nervousness and anxiety are natural. However, at the age of 25, I’m deciding that my emotional response to things that I can’t control shouldn’t prevent me from engaging in enjoyable experiences. At risk of sounding cliche, I am going to “Feel the fear, and do it anyway”.

    My point is for any of you LGBT identifying people reading this that have anxieties relating to sexuality or social situations, a fear of being judged or teased for how they express themselves or the company they enjoy? I urge you to take risks and get used to feeling uncomfortable. Life isn’t plain sailing and if it was the journey would be dull.

    What do I feel when I hear the word gay? Absolute pride.

    You are a model and the world is your runway. Hopefully, I’ll see you there! Go get ’em, queens!
    Later!

    Dan

    Know the feeling? Let us know on twitter!! @GayBoyBible 

  • in

    Inappropriate Behavior Pool Party at Parliament Resort

    Inappropriate Behavior Pool Party

    Summer Pool Party? Sign me up!

    Congratulations! We’ve managed to survive one of the worst winters on record. It was cold, grey, and miserable most of the end of twenty-seventeen and the beginning of twenty-eighteen. People were huddled in their homes, hoping for the return of warm weather (those of you who enjoy outdoor sports like skiing and snowboarding … what’s wrong with you?) but now, there’s hope! Temperatures are starting to creep back towards warm, clothes are starting to get skimpier, and people are starting to plan their social calendars for summer twenty-eighteen. One of the first parties I’ve heard about is the Parliament Resort Inappropriate Behavior Pool Party in Augusta and it is shaping up to be one of the best of the season, if not the best.

    The Inappropriate Behavior Party

    Parliament House inappropriate behavior pool partyOn June eighth and ninth, twenty-eighteen, Parliament Resort in Augusta is the location of the absolute must-attend event of the summer season. Known for being the premier members-only gay resort in Georgia, Parliament Resort hosts all male gay events throughout the year for men looking to escape reality for a weekend (or sometimes longer) in addition to just being a place to relax. Combining that experience with the hot summer sun, sexy men in skimpy clothes, and a great atmosphere had me running to make my reservations. (Yes, we can have coffee while there)

    The Inappropriately Behaved Host

    sexy gay male resort mavericLuck is knowing quite a few truly good people in your life. One of those people for us happens to be the host of the Inappropriate Pool Party; Maveric (@MavericAtlanta on Twitter. You’re welcome). The first thing you notice about him is his physique but quickly, you find yourself noticing less skin and more heart. He has a positive energy, upbeat personality, and can make you feel like you’ve been friends forever with his very active social media engagements. He’s hosting the weekend event, including a night at Edge that is sure to include incredible music, high energy, and a few performers coming in for the weekend. Performers that you do not want to miss.

    The Well-Behaved Stars

    sexy pool partyRemember where we talked about knowing some truly good people? Some of those people also happen to be some of the sexiest you will ever lay your eyes on. Brace yourself, okay? Go get a drink, carb load, get a doctor’s note; do whatever you need to prepare. *disclaimer: author is not responsible for heart palpitations, light-headedness, or a sudden loss of financial stability as you rush to buy your reservations. Some of the stars expected to be splashing about are (from top left) Maveric, Cris Knight, Atlas Grant, Seth Knight, Vito Golden, and Hans Berlin. All of them are sexy, confident, and mouthwatering-levels of handsome.

    The author is not yet familiar with some of the stars, or their bodies of work, but is looking forward to a few. Hugging Hans Berlin (what? Our fascination for some of his adult scene work is legendary) and running our fingernails through Atlas Grant’s beard top the list of musts, right after spending a solid twenty to thirty minutes squealing in our room like a teenager at a Beatles concert. (okay fine, you’ll probably hear the same squealing during the seven-hour drive from Florida, too).

    Splash, Laugh, Relax

    If you aren’t a member of Parliament Resort, you’ll have to buy your tickets and make a reservation for staying at the resort. The tickets to the event are $35, plus your room. If you’re traveling with someone, buddy up in your room (or not. You know. Sometimes privacy is nice, too), but be sure to bring your fabulous self, a positive outlook, and hugs. We’ll be giving away hugs if you can find us!

    Can’t wait to see you there!

    Info:

    Inappropriate Behavior Pool Party
    June 8th & 9th 2018
    Parliament Resort
    1250 Gordon Hwy, Augusta, GA 30901
    706.722.1155

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    Brunch with Baby in the Gay Community, but like a Real Baby

    We have all been there. While considering what to do for that weekly tradition of the gay community, brunch, our phone pings with a message from a friend we have not seen in a while.

    “Hey, I miss you. Let’s get brunch.”

    “I miss you too” we text back, “Where and when?”

    “Sunday. Let’s pick some place kid friendly.”

    Shit! Thoughts of a boozy brunch at some fascinating little spot slip away at the notion of “kid friendly.” What does that even mean? Are bottomless mimosas “kid friendly?” Can we mention what we did and who we did it with last night and keep things “kid friendly?” What time do kid friendly brunches start? Nine o’clock? Eight o’clock! NO! Fingers slide across the screen of our phone to say something polite but in the negative.

    And let’s be real. Brunch with babies, like actual babies might not be amazing. They’re likely going to cry because babies cry. They’re likely going to need a lot of attention because they’re babies and can’t do things for themselves. We can’t relax and day drink with babies and spending a morning with a crying baby was not at all part of our plans for a Sunday morning.

    All of these are valid reason to say no to your friend. But before we push send on that “Oh, boo! I already have plans.” it is a good time to think about why you might want to say yes.

    First off, if you are part of a friend group that is around 25 years old and has some straight couples in it (and even if it doesn’t,) this won’t be the last time that one of them has a baby. In fact, it’s just starting. But it is worth considering that this person reaching out is your friend. They may show up with a baby instead of bubbly but they are still part of your life and part of our community.

    That friend reaching out with their baby crying in the background isn’t a chore, they’re someone who loves and cares for you and wants your love and attention. They are looking for love and support as their lives change.  The queer community is great at recognizing that need and well equipped to provide that empathy, love, and support. After all, being there for your friends through changing times is what makes our community strong, diverse, resilient, and fierce. Also, there’s brunch. So how could we make this work?

    Finding a “kid friendly” brunch spot might not be the right task for you. Toss the challenge to your friend. If they’re a parent they likely are plugged into a whole host of mommy blogs, parent focused Facebook groups, and baby newsletters, not to mention other newbie parents they met through those very resources. They might have an idea of a “kid friendly” place where everyone, baby included, can feel comfortable and part of the community.

    Be clear on what you want. If you want a place with drinks, say that. Make it clear that you want something kid friendly but not kid focused. There is a difference between a place with a kid’s menu and a place with a ball pit. If there are deal breakers for you like a dancing animal or singing clown (or no bar,) you should say that.

    Even so, your friend, who has been busy with doctor appointment, play dates, and other baby related things might not have had time to think about the reality or limitations of brunch with a baby. Maybe they want to return to one of your old haunts. Places you all used to frequent before the arrival of the little bundle of joy. But what if those are places that are clearly not intended for kids? In an adult gay world, there are some places that are for adult and only adults. That upscale roof-top cocktail bar with the breeze-in brunch buffet might not be a great choice, even if it is where you and your friend made and then blurred a lot of great memories. A campy drag queen brunch complete with show, isn’t a good choice either. The baby likely won’t appreciate a seven-foot-tall queen shouting over a boozed-up audience and the other dinners won’t appreciate a baby’s crying over whatever one liners the queen is cracking.

    Maybe you suggest your favorite coffee shop or diner instead. If you want to be helpful and not delve into mommy blogs yourself, you might introduce your friend and their child to the “Good for kids” filter on their Yelp app.

    Your friend should also have some realistic expectations. A venue that did not have a kid’s menu before their baby will not have one now that the baby has been born. A newly minted daddy or mommy might not realize that just because they can hang out at brunch for hours, their little one won’t want to.

    These are just some things to consider before you say yes or no to your friend and their baby, but here is one last one. Your friend’s life has changed. Just like ours has, and is, and will again. We should try to keep up and try to be open to changing with them. That is, after all what friendship, relationships, and love do over time, they change with us. We should remember what brunch is for, other than curing a hangover. It is a time to share our lives, a time to make community, a time to reconnect with old friends and build toward next week, next year, and our next steps. That’s why your friend is reaching out. And brunch with a baby, even a crying one, won’t be so bad. It isn’t like we have never thrown a tantrum about brunch before.

    What are your thoughts on how to keep up relationships and friendships as our lives change? Get in touch on Twitter @gayboybible

  • in ,

    Our Multigenerational Community

    As a society, we are (slowly) making progress on gender, ethnicity and LGBT issues. An issue which seems to be becoming more relevant is the multigenerational schism which has opened up, which no-one seems to be talking about.

    Do we need to talk about this?

    Yes we do. This may or may not come as a shock to you, but we have an ageing population – more people are living longer, than are being born to replenish stock. It’s true, look it up.

    This presents a serious problem for our already bursting-at-the seams healthcare but there are also social implications.

    There is a definite ‘us and them’ rhetoric which has emerged over the last few years. Millennials and Generation Z’s are blaming baby boomers for the housing crisis, Brexit, delays in the NHS, Shangela being robbed on RPDR and the list goes on. Baby-boomers and Generation Xers are paranoid the younger generations are going to steal their jobs, partners and parking spaces. But while we are busy blaming each other, we are not taking the time to be introspective and bring about a change with how we treat each other. 

    Discrimination

    Just last week at work an older colleague of mine was showing me some PowerPoint presentations, containing some company information I required for a project, but it wasn’t really what I was looking for. Further questioning by me, to try and get precisely what I was looking for, led to a frustrated and pointed response “the trouble with your generation is that you want everything immediately, like 5 minutes ago, just be a little patient”.

    Not only had they hurt my feelings, but they also really hurt my feet from dropping the broom; whilst sweeping generalisations about me and my generation. OK, in all honesty, they hadn’t really hurt my feelings, but it felt a bit unfair to me. Imagine if I had said something like ‘the trouble with your generation (nameless work colleague) is that you take too long to do things and don’t listen”. It wouldn’t have just been brushed off, would it? I would have expected to have had a few stern words with an HR rep about how my use of language was ageist and discriminatory.

    So why is it okay to put up with being the recipient of ageism and discriminatory language because you’re younger? Well, I don’t think it is, and I think it’s about high time we did something, as a society to bring the generations together, start working more collaboratively, harmoniously and productively. 

    At the time of the last celebrity Big Brother (it’s my thing, let it go) I had a conversation with an older work colleague about Ann Widdecombe’s traditionalist views. Their opinion was that; yes, while Ann’s views were out of date and offensive, they didn’t necessarily agree with them, but they thought we shouldn’t openly disagree or argue with Ann out of respect because she in an older person.

    Perhaps I am under the disillusion that respect is a two way street and that regardless of age, we should respect each others views, lifestyle, gender and wardrobe. Ann’s behaviour was way more disrespectful than anyone else in that house. Blatantly showing open disgust for the way Courtney acted and dressed and misgendering India Willoughby on more than one occasion was the epitome of disrespect.

    Why should everyone tip-toe around and edit themselves purely to keep someone who is older, happy? We should be free to disagree and also be free to be you and me.

    The workplace Microcosm 

    Now, i’d like you to brace yourself, as I am going to use the aforementioned broom to make some sweeping generalisations of my own. But this time, I will be doing so to make a more positive point and using the microcosm of the workplace as an example. 

    Generally, the new hires in any organisation are more likely to be; younger, more tech savvy, more enthusiastic, more open to taking risks, more energetic and happy challenge processes to make them more efficient, than their older colleagues. The existing workforce will be; older, less open to change and risk, more accepting of the ‘this is how it’s always been done’ culture but less tech-savvy than their younger counterparts.

    On the other hand, they have a wealth of knowledge and a network to know how to bring about change in an organisation. They know who to speak to, to make things happen and have a real understanding of the organisational culture, which is something the younger folk are lacking. 

    Generally, people tend to move up the career path in similar age groups and get less of a chance to work alongside other age groups. Imagine how great it would be If there were more opportunities for the different generations to come together and work more effectively, outside of the hierarchical management structure. They could; share ideas, build networks, learn what had worked/didn’t work before, adopt more flexible working styles and practices receive guidance and also talk about the challenges their age groups face. I’ve no doubt it would increase productivity and make for an all round better work environment.

    Now, imagine if we could transpose this model out into the LGBT community (which, for the most part, segregates the generations) to reap the same benefits. When I was in NYC a few years back, I noticed a stark contrast in the Gay scene there, compared to that of London’s. There was a far greater mix of ages in their bars, than in ours. It seems age has been somewhat fetishised in the UK – Twinks and Twunks in G.A.Y and Heaven, Daddies and Bears in Rupert st. and Barcode. Ne’er the twain shall meet. Sad.

    We have lost previous generations due to the AID’s crises of the 80’s and 90’s that could have provided support and guidance to the younger generation. As a result, it’s almost as if we no longer know how to get along with each other, or even want to. We are really missing out on the benefits of multigenerational collaboration.

    Society 

    In terms of societal progress – we’ve never had it so good! Yes it might be harder to own your own home, but at least we don’t have to stay closeted for fear of career suicide, like generations before us. There are more women and out-LGBT people in the workplace than ever before and we have just welcomed a biracial duchess into the Royal Family. Change is-a-comin’ for LGBT, ethnicity and gender. We’re all in this together for the long-haul, so let’s start working together. 

    It’s time to have the discussion about a Multigenerational society.  

    Do you have any thoughts about how we can collaborate more effectively, across the generations or any similar stories about generational discrimination you’d like to share with us? Then get in touch @gayboybible

  • in

    Transgender In Small-town America

    Many of us knew we were different early in life, even if we didn’t know how to explain it. Today, some children have a sense of gender identity so strong, they begin living it freely from an early age.  But for most previous generations, this confidence and safety of transgender expression didn’t exist. It certainly didn’t exist in places like southern, small-town America.

    Kendra, now fifty-one, knew she was different from about age eight. But she also knew that it wasn’t safe or possible to be herself. Born Kendal*, she lived the life expected of a straight, white man. Kendal married his high school sweetheart, got a job, bought a house, had two children, and in every way seemingly lived a “normal” life. On the surface, Kendal was manly, bearded, and interested in all things macho. He didn’t exactly scream “I’m transgender.” But inside, Kendra was screaming to escape the prison society created for her.

    After Kendal’s first wife died, he remarried a few years later. Kendra was still there, and increasingly as the years went on, she was unwilling to be quiet. Sometimes she could come out-expressing herself when Kendal secretly wore female undergarments. Sometimes she could don a wig in the privacy of her home and dress head to toe. But she’d always have to be put back, pushed back, and let Kendal back in the driver’s seat. 

    Kendal and his second wife, Carol*, began having marital problems, leading to Kendal admitting out loud who he really is. Kendra is the real person, Kendal is the façade. Carol and Kendal eventually separated. Kendra faced a literal life-or-death choice, and like too many others, considered suicide as a “solution.” Thankfully, she choose life. She came out to her family, starting with her younger, out gay brother, and then her children and parents. Her brother and her children accepted her unconditionally. Her parents weren’t thrilled, but they were accepting.

    Today, Kendra wakes up every morning, “fierce and fabulous” in a house she decorated. Like Clark Kent and his phone booth, Kendra’s house is the place where she is able to safely transform. Kendra has found support groups in a nearby city, and she is always shaved, toenails painted, ready to go when Kendal leaves the office.

    Kendra self-identifies as bisexual, and has no plans at this time to undergo gender confirmation surgery (information she volunteered). She is open to going on hormones one day, when the time is right for her. After two marriages, she’s looking for “a good friend, someone who has had a similar experience” but not necessarily a third marriage.

    Her biggest piece of advice is the importance of being true to yourself, “suppressing your identity is very damaging, but coming out has brought me peace and joy.” 

    The suppression of her identity has been personally expensive; coming out as a transgender woman has given her priceless freedom and happiness. I have known Kendal for twenty years, and now, I have the honor of getting to know Kendra.

    *Names changed for privacy. Photo and image courtesty of Pixabay.

    What are your thoughts? Let us know on Twitter using @GayBoyBible

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    Heteronormative mudder

    I recently took part in Tough Mudder, which is a “10-12 mile mud and obstacle course designed to drag you out of your comfort zone by testing your physical strength, stamina, and mental grit”. 

    https://toughmudder.co.uk/events/what-is-tough-mudder

    Apparently though, it is not for Gays or Girls.

    If trying to reach a remote field in the Oxfordshire countryside from London on a Sunday morning with rail engineering works going on, all before 8:30am and caffeine wasn’t traumatic enough, then the rude Sunday morning wake up call from the lycra-clad, bearded, muscular walking groins was.

     A bubble?

    Now maybe i’ve just lived in London too long and surrounded myself with liberal, snowflakey, Labour-voting, friends in a bubble of love and acceptance to even notice there is an alternative or perhaps outside of this bubble, anger and toxic masculinity are rife.

    During the warm up for this muddy, sporting event there were two instructors serving warm-up exercises, blended with the occasional inappropriate joke and a dash of offence. Category is: Eric Prydz ‘Call on me’ with sexual harassment and homophobic humour.

    There were two instructors, the first was bordering on ok, making us do a few awkward hip thrusts, sexual posturing, lip licking and prolonged eye contact with other contestants, but the sheer awkwardness was kind of funny. The second instructor (we’ll call him Oaf) was just offensive.

    Oaf made a few jokes about how ‘this is probably the only time you can get to touch someone this way and get away with it’. There were camp, feminine hand movements all over the show. High-pitched voices and extra weight added to the ’S’ sound while talking, to make it absolutely clear he was trying to be feminine. Just to clarify; I am not describing a Carry On sketch. I thought It wasn’t just homophobic but also misogynistic; what is funny about femininity? Why mock anything feminine let alone a feminine acting man?

    As part of the warm up, there was also a sort of comedy club routine where Oaf would call out people from the crowd, ask them where they came from, make a joke about how shit their town was etc etc, But then he called a man out in the audience, asked him who he had brought along for support, to which the gentleman responded ‘my girlfriend’. ‘What’s that?, your boyfriend?’  Oaf countered, which got a slight giggle from the audience…Just to clarify; we weren’t in a playground, this wasn’t 1991 and this was a field full of adults. 

    I just could not wrap my head around how this was funny, like where was the humour in a same-sex relationship? What is funny about two men together? Now I know, the classic knee jerk response would be along the lines of; ‘it was only banter, said in jest, meant no harm etc’ we’ve heard it all before, but in the absence of equality for LGBT people in the eyes of the law, even active discrimination and death sentences in some parts of the world; making an example of LGBT people to be the object of ridicule is anything but funny. Would it have been funny if Oaf had joked about his black or jewish partner? No, it bloody well wouldn’t have and quite rightly so! 

    Continuing the ‘comedy’ routine, Oaf then moved on to point out another man in the audience for kneeling down and how he’s ‘probably used to that’. Brilliant. Comedy. Gold. Again, I couldn’t see what was funny about a blowjob or perhaps it takes a less refined sense of humour, akin to fart jokes to see humour in the humble BJ.

    Throughout the day, I didn’t once hear a woman; straight, Lesbian or otherwise find humour in going down on each other, fingering each other or sexually harassing male contestants and come to think of it, I don’t think I ever have in my life. But this is behaviour we readily accept from men, wrongly so. It’s about time we start calling it out, not only for the benefit of the female population but also the males too! 

    After the warm up, I completed the course, which was exhilarating and pretty much got on with my life, but I could not shake this feeling that something wasn’t right or shirk this feeling of responsibility to speak up and say something. So, I wrote an email explaining my grievance to Tough Mudder and to their credit, they responded saying my complaint had been escalated to a senior complaints handler (final response still pending).

    The fact is that: LGBT people disproportionately suffer with mental health issues than non-LGBT people and this kind of humour and behaviour is one of the main culprits. 

    • LGBT+ people are at more risk of suicidal behaviour and self-harm than non-LGBT+ people. 
    • Gay and bisexual men are four times more likely to attempt suicide across their lifetime than the rest of the population. 
    • LGBT+ people are 11⁄2 times more likely to develop depression and anxiety compared to the rest of the population.

    Stats from https://www.rethink.org/resources/l/lgbtplus-mental-health-factsheet

    I know for a fact that I wasn’t the only Gay man in the audience that day and if I didn’t say anything, then I would feel invisible and that I didn’t matter. That we didn’t matter. Visibility of all types of gay people is the only way our community can break free of the shackles of heteronormativity. Until we all come out as our true, authentic selves and stop bounding round terms such as ‘straight acting’  and ’no fems’ and holding this notion of hyper masculinity up as the holy grail, can we ever be in a position of equality with our allies and make the LGBT mental health stats more on par with non-LGBT. In a society where 75% of suicide is male, it is not time to ‘man up’ but to ‘fix up’ and leave gender out of it. https://www.thecalmzone.net/help/get-help/suicide/

  • in ,

    Love Wins at Eurovision

    The Eurovision Song Contest is Gay Christmas. Let’s face it. It’s campy, it’s cheesy. It’s bright and colourful and fun…and it’s SO political! This year, perhaps more than most because a clear message has been sent out to countries that oppose LGBT rights and love wins at Eurovision!

    So, before we get to the political stuff, here’s a list of reasons that love has won this year’s Contest in Lisbon:

    1. Ryan O’Shaughnessy “Together”

    Irish competitor, Ryan O’ Shaughnessy brings a beautiful song about a relationship gone wrong. While the gender of the couple isn’t made explicit in the lyrics, it is on stage with a same-sex couple. It’s a gorgeous song with a powerful message conveyed through the dancers. This is one to watch out for and could be a dark horse in the competition. It’s also something we’ll come back to later when things get political.

    2. Saara Aalto “Monsters”

    The former X-Factor favourite, performing for Finland, recently came out as Lesbian and is happily engaged. While only recently having come out, Saara admits she has known who she is for a very long time and has been lucky enough to have never found it a problem. She is an absolute icon and her song, Monsters is a message about “Living life as you want, finding your strength, being brave as who you are and not being afraid to show it.”

    3. Netta “Toy”

    Israel’s entry is bright and crazy and camp! It’s all about empowerment. Netta, who won an OUTtv award for winning an LGBT fan vote, says when she sings it, “[she] thinks about bullying and all the people who try to bring you down because they’re afraid of you.”

    Does that sound familiar? As LGBT people, this is all too common for us.

    Netta also speaks very highly of the LGBT people in her life:

    “You hold me up. My whole team – my hair, my makeup, my costume, the writers of the song – are members of the gay community and I am lost without them. I’m grateful for the presence of the gay community in my life.”

     4. Jessika ft. Jenifer Brening “Who We Are”

    Sadly this song didn’t make it to the finals and was left hanging at the second semi-final. Again, it’s all about bullying and has spoken to the Eurovision audience, a majority of whom are LGBT. Like we established earlier, it is Gay Christmas

    It’s a shame the song didn’t go further because the message was strong and San Marino only got to apply through help of crowdfunding. It’s a little gem that deserved more love.

     5. Christabelle “Taboo”

    Again, another that didn’t quite hit the mark! Christabelle lost out on a place in the final with her song for Malta. Named, Taboo, Christabelle sang:

    “Let our guards down. It’s time to break the taboo. Before we become animals, animals. Echoes in my head, got to break the taboo. No we will never be criminals, criminals.”

    The song was not ever confirmed to be about LGBT people but the lyrics allude to it quite strongly. This song should have gone far but sadly failed to progress. It will, however, go down as one of the greats that never quite made it to the final.

    The video features some strong imagery that is reminiscent of a certain period in history and a particular political group, which parallels to modern day atrocities like the gay purge in Chechnya (something we’ll come back to soon)

     6. Mikolas Josef “Lie to Me”

    While the song has absolutely no LGBT themes it has shocked audiences by being quite explicit in its content. How can any self-respecting gay not appreciate this spectacle?

    Mikolas is pretty hot. Don’t “Lie to me” and say he isn’t.

    This Is Where It Gets Political.

    Politics is always a HUGE part of Eurovision and alliances between specific countries always play out practically the same every year. Last year we had the surprise of the UK actually doing better than usual thanks to the pity votes after Brexit. At least we made it into that left column last year after expecting to receive nil points and come last!

    This year, however, the political drama has really upped a notch.

    Firstly, while not competitors, China still get to watch Eurovision. It’s shown on Mango TV, a popular Chinese Channel. However, during the first semi-final they censored tattoos, rainbow flags in the audience and completely cut Ryan O’Shaughnessy’s song “Together” because of the two male dancers. This was all because Chinese authorities are beginning to take a Russian approach to LGBT media on the internet and on television. They restricted the posting of LGBT information on social media and online and have banned LGBT people from being shown on TV.

    The Albanian entry was cut too because of the singer’s tattoos thanks to the Chinese authorities’ decision to restrict the broadcast of “subculture elements” which tattoos apparently falls under. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

    The tables were turned during the second semi-final though, when the UK’s Eurovision host Rylan was talking to Ryan O’Shaughnessy about the subject and broke the news that the EBU had cancelled the contract with Mango TV.

    The statement released from the EBU is as follows:

    “On the 9th May, Chinese Broadcaster Mango TV broadcast the first Semi-Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest live but two performances were censored. This is not in line with the EBU’s values of universality and inclusivity and our proud tradition of celebrating diversity through music. It is with regret that we will therefore immediately be terminating our partnership with the broadcaster and they will not be permitted to broadcast the second Semi-Final or the Grand Final.”

    That told them.

    But that’s not all!

    Let’s talk about Russia!

    It is illegal to be gay in Russia. The Russian government has banned “homosexual propaganda.” So that’s anything that talks about LGBT life. Any information. Anything that might help or advise young people coming to terms with their sexuality. Anything. That’s writing, TV, film, internet.

    They have groups like “The Movement Against the Propaganda of Sexual Perversions” and many others who ensnare innocent victims on dating apps and lure them to locations where they proceed to torture, humiliate and sometimes even kill them. They often film and post these on the internet or send them to the victim’s families. The things they do are brutally violent. shaving hair, sexual assault with broken bottles, cutting them, forcing them to drink urine and that’s just the mild stuff.

    In Chechnya, a “gay purge,” led by Head of Chechnyan Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov has seen hundreds of gay people arrested and tortured in prisons. Some were released only to be murdered by their own relatives and others were killed by their own families before they could be imprisoned. This has been going on for a whole year and while some people have been lucky enough to escape, the purge continues with more LGBT people going missing daily. Even a high profile celebrity. The Russian government denies any and all knowledge of such activity. Kadyrov denied everything too, stating, quite ominously:

    “You cannot detain and persecute people who simply do not exist in the republic. If there were such people in Chechnya, the law-enforcement wouldn’t need to have anything to do with them because their relatives would send them somewhere from which there is no returning.”

    The whole scenario is very chilling. You can read more about what it’s like, from a survivor here.

    Back to Eurovision, Russia have been persistent and have come back each year without fail for the last 20 years! They have qualified every year since 1998, which, coincidentally was another HUGE year for LGBT representation when Israeli Trans icon, Dana International, won with her song, Diva!

    The last few years in particular, since Russia’s ban on homosexual propaganda in 2013, they’ve come on and we boo and we hiss,or we turn over and then come back when they’ve buggered off. Often Russia’s performance is marked as “toilet break time” because we know just how bad they treat LGBT people over there and we don’t want to give them the time of day. It’s something that has caused a fair bit of controversy.

    It will never quite make sense why Russia are so obsessed with Eurovision but hate LGBT people so vehemently. Still, amid their “homosexual propaganda” bans and their hate crimes rising, Russia have still been staples of the competition. Russia missed their performance last year for “political reasons” when the contest was held in Ukraine. Their entry, Julia Samoylova, was left feeling sad that she never got her chance to shine.

    However, Julia’s chance came this year! She had her moment.  The song was awful and the dress was a rip-off of the Estonian entry we saw in Semi-Final One. Despite being from the country that we despise, I’ll give her credit for going out there and giving it her all and proving that having a disability doesn’t have to stop people achieving their dreams. Maybe that’s too kind but it’s true.

    At the end of Semi-Final Two, the results came in and Russia was eliminated from the competition. This is an absolute first since the Semi-Finals were implemented. It’s ironic that another year where we have such strong LGBT imagery/icons in the competition being the year that Russia are kicked out by popular vote.

    It means that people are standing up and making their voices heard. China’s vile actions were not tolerated and Russia’s crimes have not gone unnoticed and they will not be forgiven. Still, while we can be angry at the country, we can’t forget that there are people over there, our fellow LGBT brothers and sisters, who urgently need our support, solidarity and any help we can give. Keep awareness up. Don’t let it go. Love wins at Eurovision. It’s up to us to make sure that love wins everywhere else.

    What are your thoughts on the finalists for Eurovision? Were you shocked that Russia didn’t make it through? Let us know on Twitter!

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    Lena Waithe: Attending the Met Gala with Pride

    The annual Met Gala took place last night (7th May) in New York City.

    The Met Gala is a funraiser for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute. It also marks the annual opening of the Institute’s fashion exhibit.

    The Gala is renowned for bringing A-listers together and producing iconic fashion moments, some honourable mentions including Rihanna, Madonna, Sarah Jessica Parker and Beyoncé.

    This year, the theme of the evening was Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, causing a stir online. Some thought this was appropriation of the Catholic religion, and others opposed the beliefs held by Catholicism.

    Catholicism isn’t exactly known for embracing homosexuality, in fact, the opposite is true. And as a result, Lena Waithe’s outfit garnered a lot of attention.

    The star wore a sleek black suit, draped in a rainbow flag, celebrating her community and her identity as a queer woman.

    Waithe is an Emmy award winning creator, working on series such as Master of None and The Chi. This was her first time attending the Met Gala, and she absolutely nailed it.

    A display of pride like this is even more necessary in America’s current political climate. Visibility and celebration are what cements the lives of queer people into the public consciousness. Waithe’s outfit isn’t only a look, it’s a statement.

    Waithe said to Vogue that:

    “When I saw the cape in person, I got emotional, not just because it was so stunning, but I knew we would be making a statement.”

    The piece was designed by Wes Gordon, creative director for Carolina Herrera, and made Waithe feel “like a gay goddess”.

    Fashion can be an incredible vehicle for politics, and Waithe flew the flag for the LGBT+ community at the Met Gala in the best way she could, by wearing the rainbow with pride.

    What do you think about the theme of this years Met Gala?

    Or, who was your pick for best dressed? Ours is Lena, obvs.

    Let us know @gayboybible

  • in

    Conversation: Get It Together, Mama

    The importance of conversation is easily one of the most overlooked aspects of dating, especially in the gay world (where dating can be super bleak as it is).

    But if you want coffee to turn into a future dinner date with TwinkLover45, it might be wise to review the ingredients for good conversation.

    Let’s define the problem.

    In Gustave Flaubert’s near-perfect novel Madame Bovary, the narrator describes Charles Bovary, the boring-ass husband of the protagonist, Emma Bovary, as the following:

    Charles’s conversation was as flat as sidewalk, a place of passage for the ideas of everyman; they wore drab everyday clothes, and they inspired neither laughter nor dreams.

    Harsh words, sure. But haven’t we all been there? We all know what flat conversation looks like, what it sounds like, and what it feels like. This is probably 90% of all Grindr dates, right? No wonder so many dates morph into hookups; we can’t stand to hear him bitch about his ex (okay he probably is crazy), or brag about his startup (that’ll probably fail in two months), or go on and on about how Laganja Estranja was an underrated queen (she wasn’t — she was rated just fine, thanks). Or, maybe he says nothing, and so we’re left with no alternative except to fill the silence with, well, sex.

    He isn’t always the problem.

    Let’s take a lesson from Katya: 

     

    The first rule of good conversation is to ensure that you, yourself, are interesting. If you don’t like that his conversation is “as flat as sidewalk” or that it fails to inspire “laughter [or] dreams,” then remember that it takes two to tango, mama, and fix the situation.

    How to be interesting (okay, that’s ambitious):

    The key to being interesting is to do, see, read, view, and think about interesting things. “Interests” are subjective, of course, but the quality of “being interesting” relates to the degree to which those around you enjoy being around you. This has nothing to do with IQ. We’re human beings who interact with the world, and this will inevitably result in some opinions, perceptions, and/or ideas. You don’t need a degree in English to chat about books, just like you don’t need a PhD in film studies to see that RuPaul’s Drag Race is the most radical form of television available nowadays.

    The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer said that “life swings like a pendulum backward and forward between pain and boredom.” We all hate both, but pain is more or less out of our hands, whereas boredom can be controlled by cultivating yourself to be interesting and to be interested in others.

    So, you need to have an interest or a passion, and preferably lots of them. You’ll be really interesting to someone if you can take your interests and find where they meet the other person’s. They like some band? Where do your music tastes overlap? They like some movie? Well, do you like it too? What about something similar? Educate yourself on things that matter to you. Always be curious. 

    Conversation, like life, is about connections. People want to feel validated, and you do as well. So, work together. And, hey, if that shared interest is simply (a) dick or (b) shirtless Chris Hemsworth, then you probably aren’t meant to be together. But at least try to make the pillow talk bearable after he cums on your back, darlings. 

    Any conversation tips? Tweet us @GayBoyBible

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