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    The Shrinking Gay Ghetto

    Picture this.

    It’s 1986. I just moved to Sydney. I’m in a taxi on Saturday night. I don’t remember where I’m going but I do remember stopping at a red light. I look out my passenger window and see a footpath filled with homosexual men. I’m in my twenties and so are most of them. We’re all in crisp trendy shirts and stone wash denim. The emphasis is on looking young. We weren’t known as twinks then. Youth was the look.

    I ask the driver what street this is. He tells me it’s Oxford Street and adds a homophobic remark. I gaze at this magical strip, hoping I don’t forget its name and that I’m able to find my way back here.

    My affair begins.

    I came from a smaller seaside town with one gay nightclub, so I was already an expert in chatting to and dancing with a potential one-night stand. Here, there was a smorgasbord. Various clubs. Trashier nights. And a street that would make me proud of my sexuality in a city that cherished its gays, at least in its urban settings.

    Fortunately, I wasn’t a baby-boomer. I was Gen X. The violent battles happened before I frolicked down the street and let my dick guide me. I reaped the rewards long before I knew what rights the previous generation fought for.

    In 1990, I met the man I only just married this year. Oxford Street was where we spent most of our courting days. We danced to house tunes with our straight and gay friends, interpreting each lyric in our moves. This was our version of heaven.

    So, what happened to the gay ghetto?

    Late last decade, something radically changed. At the time we had visitors from Dublin expecting to see the world-famous Sydney Gay scene. We had to tell them it no longer existed. Their own Dublin scene was bigger.

    My own generation had settled and moved into the suburbs and the next generation felt freer. They didn’t have to go out to pick up. With a click of a mouse, a one night stand was as easy as getting a pizza delivered. So, the need to congregate and live a shared underground experience was the first casualty of our wider acceptance.

    Those that never had it, don’t miss it.

    It’s just a sign of the times. Our Air BnB host in New York said the same thing. The rainbow has left the gay ghettos.

    In Sydney, there are pockets of Oxford Street where you can still enjoy queer life. Outside of the famous strip, The Imperial Hotel in Enmore (the bar that features in the opening shot of ‘Pricilla, Queen of the Desert’) has reinvented itself as a great place to experience the current gay scene in this city. Even the Mardi Gras festival has many theatre and art events away from Oxford Street.

    In the twenty-first century, we’re diverse. We no longer need to find self-acceptance in a ghetto of like-minded people. This is the case in larger cities. But knowing there are some remnants of a gay ghetto in your town is still a comforting thought.

    I hope they never disappear completely as you never know when you might need them again.

    So, that’s the scene in Sydney at the moment. What’s the scene like in your part of the planet? Tweet us at @GayBoyBible and let us know.

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    How to go about a gay divorce

    Nobody can deny that gay marriage has transformed the way we live. Now, when we find a partner that we want to settle down with, we can ask for their hand in marriage and enjoy a long, happy and stable life just like any other couple. But just like any other couple, not every marriage has a happy ever after ending – divorce, unfortunately, could be a real possibility.

    If you think you have hit the end of the road with your partner and want to file for divorce, then there is lots that you need to take into consideration.

    Below, we’ve put together some of the things that you should do if you and your partner are considering a gay divorce…

    Consider marriage counselling

    Before you call it a day and decide to go your separate ways, it may be worth speaking with a marriage counselor, who can guide you through challenges in your relationship and help you overcome them.

    Of course, in circumstances such as infidelity, the chances are that you won’t want anything to do with your partner, but if you have simply ‘fallen out of love’ or you are arguing about things that really aren’t important, speaking with an impartial expert could help you to see things in a different light, and come to realize you want to remain married.

    Take some time apart

    Something else that you could consider if you’re considering a divorce is spending some time away from your partner. Whether you’re stressed with work, you’ve been going through a rough patch or you’re simply sick of the sight of one another, a week or two’s absence may be all you need to reignite the passion and get back to being a loving, happy gay couple.

    Accept that the relationship is over

    If you cannot get over your differences and find a way forward, the sad reality is that you may have to accept that the relationship is over. Sit down, discuss all of your options, and make a decision as a couple to end the relationship and get started on your gay divorce.

    If one side is adamant that you’re going to remain together but the other wants to separate, then exercise caution, be clear on your feelings, and try not to lead your partner on. It is best to be open, upfront and honest if you want to remain friends or at least on speaking terms.

    Tell your loved ones

    Once you have made the decision to divorce, let your friends and family know the bad news. It may seem too soon or that you want to keep it private, but speaking with your loved ones is a great way to get some much-needed support when you need it most.

    Don’t bottle it all in: let everyone know, and you can then move forward and grieve the end of your relationship.

    Start divorce proceedings

    Finally, start divorce proceedings once you have separated. Find a divorce attorney in your local city that offers gay divorce, and work together to make the proceedings as painless and as straightforward as possible.

    It makes sense to work together outside of the lawyer’s office to discuss exactly how you want the divorce to work – if you can agree on who gets what, you will be able to enter a meeting with a clear head, an understanding of each others’ needs, and without letting your emotion get in the way.

    There’s no denying that a gay divorce will be mentally and emotionally draining, but with a strong support network and a positive mental attitude, you’ll be able to get through it and enjoy life on the other side.

    Whatever situation you’re in, we wish you the very best of luck.

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    Ain’t runnin’ from myself no more

    The only running I tend to do is firmly in the opposite direction to my problems, but since I turned (whispers) 35, I’ve made a conscious effort to make positive changes in my life. I’ll cover them in blogs to come, but the latest change, or should that be ‘challenge’, is committing to running the Virgin London Marathon in April 2019.

    In my head it’s *only* 26-and-a-bit laps around my local park, assuming the ice cream van isn’t there. I manage those three laps most weeks on my Park Run. True I spend most of those chasing after the Lycra-clad, bearded guy I sometimes see at the gym, but I stay upright, I don’t stop, I come in the top 50% of runners and (eventually) I can breathe normally again.

    I’ve never particularly loved running. Running is what other people do, the ones that can wear grey to the gym and not panic about sweat patches, the lunatics that like to exert instead of extending hour after hour watching episodes of Drag Race seen numerous times before. I’m not one of those people.

    So why am I volunteering to run for hours on end, braving the winter months in training, pounding the pavements in adverse weather, slotting in runs when I could be slotting in spins around the RVT?

    It’s simple. This weekend marks the 30th anniversary of World AIDS Day, a global, united fight against HIV, showing support to the community, our community, to those living with HIV and in memory of those who we lost to AIDS-related sicknesses. Next year will mark the 35th year since the virus was first identified. In the entire time I’ve been alive that virus has ravaged its way to become one of the world’s most destructive pandemics in medical history.

    So, to answer my earlier question. Easy. I’m running the London Marathon in aid of Terence Higgins Trust.

    THT are the UK’s leading HIV and sexual health charity, working tirelessly to help end HIV transmissions, improve sexual health, support those living with HIV and allow them to live in a world where their voices can be heard. For this year’s World AIDS Day they’re working towards zero transmission and, most importantly, zero stigma. It takes an army of people at THT to continue their amazing work, and it’s my turn and time to give back.

    Without becoming one of those annoying running-types, I’ll keep you posted, I’ll no doubt post thirsty selfies on Instagram as the ice cream shed eventually begins, and, most importantly, let you know how you can help by donating in due course. For now though, it’s one last trip around the chocolate aisle.

    Wish me luck, the training starts tomorrow…

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    Why Mariah Carey’s Christmas Album is (Still) Festive AF

    Yes, festive gays. Mariah and her dulcet (whistle) tones didn’t just deck her halls with bows of high notes on the iconic ‘All I Want For Christmas’, she went the whole pigs-in-blanket and released an album featuring 38 Santa-soaked minutes of joy. Here’s why her 24-year-old masterpiece needs to punctuate your festive season.

    Silent Night
    MC takes it up the octave flanked by a gospel choir in a remake of the carol classic. Even a festive husk will be moved.

    All I Want For Christmas Is You
    Who doesn’t cavort around in a low-cut Santa outfit looking for a big-bellied, bearded gentleman whilst trying to hit a high note? Just us? As you were.

    O Holy Night
    Take that Busta Rhymes (and Mimi’s ill-advised visor in the video). Please note, this track contains notes no longer within her reach.

    “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
    If you’re single, bitter and on your second bowl of Baileys-and-Coco Pops, skip this track. If you’d rather not ‘deck the halls’ and deck him instead, fill your festive snow boots.

    Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)
    Time to jerk the tear ducts. After the joyful hope of the previous track Mariah’s sad. And now we are too.

    Joy to the World
    But it’s okay. The gospel choir has come back in from the cold and they’re here to cheer you up, avec driving disco beats. We defy you not to dance around in your onesie.

    Jesus Born on This Day
    MC lets some slightly-off-key little ones join her on guest vocals in probably the blandest of all the tracks on an otherwise masterpiece.

    Santa Claus is Coming to Town
    Poppers o’clock, the album’s highlight. Toybox piano lullabies give way to shaking bells and the promise of a sack emptying. Santa be praised.

    Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
    And indeed they do. Features a festive key change executed by harp. You’re welcome.

    Jesus Oh What a Wonderful Child
    The nativity story told with soul, two key changes, a tempo adjustment and an open invite from Mimi to take you to church. Halleloo.

    Give praise gays. Buy it, stream it, listen and love it. Happy Christmas, in Excelsis Gay-O.

    Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You Tour is at London’s O2 on Tuesday 11 December

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    Theatre: HOLD

    HOLD play promo image

    A new play, debuting in London this week, will examine controlling and coercive behaviour in a gay male relationship; tackling a controversial and previously under-discussed subject.

    HOLD by Richard Chilver also explores shame, internalised homophobia and the unique set of emotional and psychological dynamics that underpin gay male relationships.

    Figures from Stonewall UK show that a staggering 49% of all gay and bisexual men have experienced at least one issue of a domestic abuse from a partner or family member since the age of 16, figures which highlight the relevance of opening up dialogue around such issues.

    The play introduces Adam, an experienced gay man in his 30s, and his younger, less experienced partner (so-called ‘baby gay’) Marc. It explores the role that chemsex as well as violence plays in their relationship and challenges what perceptions of abuse might be, suggesting that it may not always be obvious to the partner on the receiving end that abuse is what they are experiencing.

    Former Attitude editor and author of Straight Jacket: How to be gay and happy, Matthew Todd, has acted as a script editor on the production, directed by Alex Vendittelli of the salon: collective, based in London.

    Matthew said “Gay relationships have a unique set of power dynamics, and the complex psycho -social and emotional issues gay men deal with from their childhoods and into adulthood, have only started to be more-widely discussed very recently. I’m really happy to have met with the writer and producers and given feedback on a script that takes a look at these, that will hopefully open-up further dialogue among the LGBTQ+ community and beyond”

    Richard Chilver set out to raise questions about how domestic abuse is established not only in gay partnerships but in all relationships; Richard said: “I am trying to show that no one is inherently bad, but that social and emotional isolation can help perpetuate the cycle of abuse”.

    HOLD aims to push boundaries with the subject matter and also with the art form. Both the roles of Marc and Adam are played by the same actor (Jonathan Milshaw). The casting symbolises the duality we all have in our characters, how each half of a partnership has the capacity to switch roles, and the emotional proximity and co-dependence which can exist within an abusive relationship.

    Director Alex Vendittelli said: “In working closely together on this piece Richard and I have both challenged our perceptions of relationships and stereotypes. It’s not a comfortable story, but our intention is to generate honest and open discussion for audiences of any sexuality. Despite the serious nature of the subject matter there is also some lightness and humour in the story, and ultimately it offers hope and redemption.”

    The play will initially be performed as a rehearsed reading at venues in London and Colchester. Essex. Post-show feedback and audience discussion will feed into a full production with the aim of a 2019 tour

    Catch HOLD this Sunday 18 and Monday 19 November at Theatre 503, Battersea, London and Friday 23 November at Lakeside Theatre, Colchester, Essex.

    For further info and to book tickets go to: https://thesaloncollective.org/hold/

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    Will He Like Me? A Gay Love Story

    Broadway showtunes and American Standards are some of the most familiar songs in the English speaking world. While the LGBTQ community have given much to these songs and the stories they are part of, we’ve had to imagine for ourselves that they tell our stories. In “Will He Like Me?” accomplished Grammy nominated singer Philip Chaffin takes iconic music from different stage and film sources and reframes it to celebrate a gay male love story. The work is a project of love-in every sense-completed with Chaffin’s husband Tommy Krasker as producer.
    At first, hearing a man sing “It’s a Nice Face” or “Cooking Breakfast for the One I Love” might seem like an artistic tribute to good songs. But Chaffin’s singing isn’t just a tribute or covers meant to showcase a talented voice. Rather, it’s an intentionally woven story of a man in love with another man. Unabashed, confident and relatable, he chooses songs that bringing to mind an honest picture of gay men in love. The giddy first feelings; the minor (or maybe major!) irritations that getting to know someone bring out; the hard-won steadfast love that grows from fully sharing a life together and finally the inevitable high price anyone pays for having a genuine and mortal love.
    While Chaffin’s vocals are golden, the instrumentals are impressively full and marry with his voice perfectly. It’s a great and moving story. You can buy the album here: http://www.psclassics.com and get a taste of it on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTdIoPbXyBPfUUXkxAfWm8A
    Have you listened to the album? What’s your take? Tell us on Twitter using @GayBoyBible.
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    Politics and Queerness

    It seems like every time a ‘conservative’ president in office, queerness is put in jeopardizing positions. We witness today a threatening environment to the gay community in the U.S.A. We cannot blame this completely on current president Donald Trump. He and his policies are a powerful source of the stress the gay community is going through, however. This does not only apply in the States, but also worldwide.

    Power and influence can normalize hate

    Hate breeds more hate and brings it from the shadows. The display of it at power’s highest peak is but a sounding alarm for more hateful voices to join in. Take for example the tsunami of sexual harassment scandals Trump’s administration helped bring to light. On one hand, the forces opposing his rise to power pushed victims to come forward. On the other, Trump’s troubling past with women excites a chain of copycats. If you’re a thief, you will steal in secrecy. When you meet other thieves, you will start to steal together. It’s the simple human search for comfort. A sin’s heft is easier to bear by two than it is by one.

    Similarly, worldwide, Trump’s decisions are affecting LGBTQ communities. This may be more prevalent in third world countries. It is not, however, limited to those communities only. Bigotry exists everywhere. If the source calling for it can provide power to allow its growth, bigotry will respond.

    Politics, religion and queerness

    It is easier for religion and queerness to coexist than it is for politics and queerness to do so. While this might sound crazy, it might actually be true. With allegations of election rigging, does democracy truly exist? Aren’t systems that are run based on religion a form of dictatorship? Hasn’t power been associated with corruption throughout history? Most importantly, isn’t politics a game of harnessing power? Additionally, religion is for the most part a choice at some point. The existence of government is not. Religious leaders do not have the power politicians have. This obviously does not apply to religion-based governments.

    For LGBTQ communities to become truly equal to the rest of society, democracy is a key must. It is simply but a form of tolerance of others’ lives. Democracy is accepting difference. It is recognizing diversity as a tool for progress. Without it, queerness cannot exist, at least not without fear.

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    Konrad Juengling is out fighting for LGBTQ+ rights in the US

    Writer and influential gay rights activist Konrad Juengling has hit headlines in recent weeks, having appeared in magazines like Gay Star News to discuss his ‘coming out’ as an atheist.

    The 31-year-old, who was born in Oregon and is now living in Idaho, said that he is “now everything that he despised as a teenager: liberal, gay, atheist, and sometimes-vegan”. The journalist and author, who has had articles published on LGBT issues in The Washington Blade, Purple Unions, Q Center, GayRVA and more, also commented on the negative backlash from his LGBTQ+ activism, telling Gay Star News that he received countless abuse from men on social media, and that despite talking to powerful lawmakers, he is yet to see positive change.

    Juengling, whose family is originally from Germany, studied at Portland State University, where he received a Bachelors of Psychology, with a Minor in Women, Gender & Sexualities Studies. He has worked at The Clarion, a student newspaper in North Salem High School, as a reporter, and has since served as a paid journalist for The Portland State Vanguard on a column called Just A Phase, which ran through 2013. In 2015, the author was awarded Huffington Post’s Unicorn of the Week award for his activism and fight against Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom Restoration Act’ bill.

    His activism

    Konrad’s activism focuses on equal rights for LGBT people, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, repealing the blood ban for gay men, non-discrimination ordinances, ethical consumerism, and supporting liberal politicians.

    Frustrated by Indiana state legislators, who voted for the state’s religious freedom bill, Konrad took the decision to register domain names for Republican State Reps Martin Carbaugh, Dale Devon, Douglas Gutwein, Kathy Kreag Richardson, Don Lehe and Donna Schaibley, directing them to websites about LGBT issues hosted by the Human Rights Campaign.

    Konrad was also incredibly vocal during the 2016 Presidential Election, telling Gay Star News that he “made an Amazon wish list with LGBT-related items for people to buy which would be sent to Ted Cruz’s office,” and that “they were gay educational items, and items related to gay rights in general, to remind Cruz he has LGBT constituents as well. For example, there were unicorn blow up pool toys, etc.” These are just two of Konrad’s many impressive stunts to raise awareness for LGBT issues, and he promises that he’ll continue to fight for equality in America.

    Juengling, who is an alum of Boise State University, also endorsed Paulette Jordan for the Governor of Idaho, and even wrote a satirical children’s book about Jeb Bush so he wouldn’t get the 2016 nomination for president. Called Jed’s ABCs, the book focused on The Republican presidential candidate’s policies, included quotes from Jeb, such as the infamous “Should sodomy be elevated to the same constitutional status as race and religion? My answer is no.”

    The future

    It’s been a busy few years for Konrad, but he tells Gay Boy Bible in an exclusive chat that he isn’t done yet. “For 2020, I’d like to see a presidential bid by Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or Cory Booker, and that’s something that I want to support publicly and help people to get behind. I’m ready to make some noise and start discussions.”

    Whatever Konrad decides to put his weight behind next, there’s no doubting that he’ll continue to challenge public opinions and make a real change.

    Stick with GBB for more soon.

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    Self Care and Self Awarwness

    When Mr. Big jilted Carrie on their wedding day, her three friends canceled their plans and flew with her to Mexico on what was supposed to be her honeymoon. Many of us, however, are not fortunate enough to have the luxury of traveling after a traumatizing or stressful situation. Many of us don’t have the luxury of loyal friends these days, even.

    Furthermore, while it seems like it is for some Instagram stars, god knows life is nowhere near as glamorous or fun as a Sex and the City movie. How do these guys do it? How can they get up, get fresh and snap that picture with the lovely view, snatched body and sexy expression?

    First of all, stop comparing yourself to others. Each one of us is going their own path here.  While some of us have more privilege, none of us have to be anybody’s second choice, especially their own. What you have to do is develop self awareness; know yourself. If you’re a young gay man, don’t be so hard on yourself. The stressful situations in your life always seem like the end of the world when you’re younger, and that’s not due to age. It’s simply due to the fact that generally age accumulates experiences. The more experiences you have, the better you’ll get at handling challenging situations. Then you’ll know yourself better–develop that self awareness.

    Self awareness will help you stay calm on bad days. On those days, by the time your most pressing responsibilities are completed, you will know what you have to do to make up for the bad time. Some of us like to Netflix and chill, others might want a drink with friends. Whatever it is that makes you happy, or relieves the tension, you’ll know and do. Self care truly comes from knowing what makes you zig and what makes you zag; what makes you happy and what makes you sad.

    Whether you’re a “day at the spa” kind of gay man, or a “Spiderman on PS4” kind of gay man, figure it out ASAP and start making time for it. Don’t forget to keep trying new things.  Save a budget, even a small one for monthly shopping. Going to stores and spending your hard-earned money is something you deserve.

    Self care is not limited to a massage or a manicure, it really is about giving the most important person in your life—you—the quality time they deserve.

    How do you take care of yourself? Let us know on twitter @GayBoyBible

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    WTF Dates

    “I met up with a guy who was SUPER hairy…

    and while we were talking, things with him started to get a little weird. So, I asked him if I was what he was expecting. He told me no and wanted balloons and a cupcake. Okay, weird right? He then leans over on the dinner table, looking over his shoulder, and OMG. Sooo much ear hair. Girl, it was sticking out of his EAR! He puts his finger in his ear and starts to twirl it! Twirled his ear hair! NOPE. END OF DATE! The date lasted, maybe, fifteen minutes and never have left one quickly before. He blocked me on Scruff after we met.”

    —DUSTIN D.

     

    “Years ago, I went on a date with a guy from rural MN…

    We went to some greasy spoon diner way out in the middle of nowhere. While there, I spilled my beverage on his lap and he spilled ketchup on mine. He also stole a pair of shoes from my car but left five silver rings behind.”

    —JOE B.

     

    “Just before entering the restaurant…

    A heroin needle fell out of my dates coat pocket as he got out of my car and casually picked it up saying nothing. After we got into the restaurant, I excused myself to the bathroom. I beelined for my car only to find he left his phone on the passenger seat. So, I army crawled passed the windows to the host stand where I informed the young lady what was going on and that I needed five minutes to make a getaway. Crying on the way home, I felt completely unlovable and worthless.”

    —MATTHEW G.

    “I met a guy for drinks at a pub when I was living in Sydney, Australia…

    We chatted for an hour and thought things were going well. He looks across the room and sees someone using sign language and asks if I could excuse him for a short while so he could practice his sign language with this person. I said yes. Forty minutes later, I am still sitting by myself and him still chatting with this guy. I found it so humiliating, so I just got up and left.

    —MARK F.

     

    “Had a date with a super cute man in uniform—paramedic…

    “It was a mutual decision to meet up at the Olive Garden as we both have a love for Italian food. We were laughing, cracking jokes, and just being overall cute with one another when he suddenly had something to confess to me. My date told me he ran a background check to make sure I wasn’t a murder or psychopath. He began to laugh thinking it was funny and stopped when he noticed I wasn’t laughing along with him. He paid for the dinner and I never text him back.

    —DAVID H.

     

    Send us your worst date via twitter @GayBoyBible or

    Email us: hello@gayboybible.com

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    5 Gay Fashion Trends to Try ASAP After Coming Out

    If you haven’t come out yet to your friends or family, your current wardrobe could feel more like a burden than a form of self-expression, especially if you love men’s fashion. As much as clothing helps us define who we are, it can just as much act like a guard for who we aren’t.

    You might’ve consciously avoided certain trendy clothing styles in the past that are popular among gay fashion trends, like tight t-shirts or short shorts, for fear of what others might think or say about you. But with October 11 (National Coming Out Day) right around the corner, maybe you’re finally ready to change all that.

    Even though this is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever do in life, there’s nothing that a little gay fashion can’t fix to add some good vibes to your new direction in life. Your clothes are another way of reinstating your identity so you should have fun with it! If you’ve always wanted to wear cropped tees or chunky bracelets, then now’s the time to discover your style and werk it.

    Fortunately, you can even find gay clothing stores online now, like Differio, so you can snag that perfect statement piece to celebrate your coming-out journey. We’ve gathered some trends in gay apparel that are worth trying for any of your future Pride outfits and beyond.

    Skinny Jeans

    If you were raised in a heteronormative upbringing, men’s skinny jeans were probably one of those “gay fashion” trends you consciously avoided. Even though almost every famous man on television wears them, unfortunately, there’s still a stigma around them depending on where you live or whom you’re with. If this sounds like you, then there’s no time like the present to snag a new pair of super skinny jeans for men. Yes, super skinny.

    Meggings

    You’ve probably seen some guys wearing men’s leggings while exercising at the gym or running on the street. Also known as meggings, some prefer to layer their leggings under shorts, while others choose to wear them casually with combat boots. Whichever way you decide to style them, any pair of leggings for men will definitely make a statement in and out of the gym.

    Male Rompers

    It seems like men’s rompers are everywhere and nowhere at the same time. Everyone’s talking about them, but it’s not as easy to find them in mainstream menswear stores. Among online gay men’s clothing stores, Differio.com is one of the few websites that actually sell a few stylish picks.  The real beauty of the male romper is that you don’t need to scramble around your room for 20 minutes trying to mix and match tops and bottoms.

    Utility Kilts

    If you’ve never seen trendy men’s kilts before, you’re probably picturing a plaid, Scottish or Irish kilt. The kilt style we’re talking about is actually quite different from the traditional ones. Today’s utility kilts are designed with cargo pockets on the sides and can be worn with casualwear, not just special occasions. As one of the boldest bottoms among gay apparel, they’re designed in a variety of looks from leather to denim to camo.

    Gay Underwear

    You might be more used to the conventional boxers or briefs, but there’s way more styles to choose from among gay underwear. From male lingerie to lace thongs, gay underwear is just another discreet staple among gay fashion that you can add to your wardrobe. You can experiment with cheeky looks, like mens jockstraps and thongs, or go for something delicately sexy like boxer briefs in mesh or floral print.

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    Ask Allister #1: Love and relationship advice

    Kevin, Cody, and Dillian Write…

    Q_“Can long distance relationships also apply to long distance in time? Not necessarily geographically distant, but not seeing one another for several weeks at a time. How does one deal with that insecurity?

    A_In new relationships, all we want to do is spend our free time together—the honeymoon stage as society has classified it to be. There’s no rush! Take this time to balance out work, friends, my time, dating, and of course family. Everyone in your life will appreciate this as well. The insecurity part is simply fearing if we let too much time pass, since the last rendezvous, the other party will lose interest and move on. Throw that mindset out the window! You have to remember the two of you still have lives to lead and were doing so before signing on the relationship dotted line. Send him texts every now and then during the space letting him know you’re thinking about him and can’t wait to spend time. Not only will this squash any insecurities you have, but it will also make the person you’re seeing feel very important to you in a subtle way.

     

    Q_“I’m undetectable and haven’t told the person I’m currently seeing. We’re waiting on the physical part of the relationship until we get to know each other better…is there an easy way of letting him know?”


    A_First things first, kudos on being honest with your partner. Takes large amounts of bravery to come forward with something very personal. Unfortunately, there’s really no easy way of letting a partner know of your status. But, the way the conversation is handled may lessen the blow. Avoid the texting route as this needs to be a direct face to face interaction. Once alone with him, ask what he knows about the status of Undetectable. Your partner may know more about it then realized and become supportive. If he responds negatively, note he’s one person out of billions. Allow him time to digest the new found information. Over time, reactions can shift.

     

    Q_“Which is better, taking a guy out for dinner or make him dinner on the first date?”

     


    A_If you possess culinary skills like those of Emeril Lagasse or Gordon Ramsey, break out the pots and pans my friend! It comes down to comfortability and what you’re trying to convey. Taking someone of interest out to dinner shows money isn’t an issue, but at the same time have to worry about other people around the two of you including the waiter/waitress who may interrupt a really great conversation. Cooking dinner for your first date creates a much more intimate surrounding. Nothing beats a fabulous home-cooked meal showing your date you can put in the effort. Trust, as well, plays a huge factor when allowing a complete stranger into your home. Either way, you can’t lose.

     

    Ask your question via twitter @GayBoyBible or Email us: hello@gayboybible.com

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    Kylie Minogue to perform at Glastonbury Festival

    Kylie Minogue has been booked to perform at next year’s Glastonbury Festival.

    The 50-year-old singer was due to perform at the legendary music show 12 years ago but was forced to pull out a month before when she discovered that she had breast cancer.

    Now, more than a decade on, she will finally get her chance to perform solo at the event as she has reportedly been secured for the Legends slot on the Pyramid stage on the Sunday night.

    A festival insider told The Sun newspaper: “Kylie had to pull out of Glastonbury in 2005 just a month before she was due to appear so this performance will be a very emotional and poignant moment for her. She jumped at the opportunity to appear next year and it is the perfect way to celebrate her career.”

    Kylie has previously made her desire to perform at the event known, saying: “When I was supposed to do it I think I would have been the first solo female to headline in however many years it was, so I was really proud of that at that time. Obviously it didn’t happen.

    “So yes, it would be amazing and very emotional to be standing there and doing what I didn’t get to do all those years ago, for sure.”

    Kylie has performed at Glastonbury before, appearing on stage with the Scissor Sisters back in 2010.

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    Vote in this years #FFMAwards here:

    Fit Famous Males Awards are back and this year the TV/Online Personality category has split into two and there are two new additions… Most Stylish Man and Bromance of the Year! (This doesn’t have to just be a pair)

    Each year the awards get bigger and bigger and that’s all down to you fans and we reckon that this year will be the best yet!

    So how do the awards work?

    Like last year you can vote numerous times in each category…but you can skip a category if you are unsure or just don’t want to vote!

    When on social media make sure you use the hashtag #FFMAwards to help us monitor who you are voting for online too and tag @FitFamousMales in it too. If you’re focusing just on the Fittest Male Category – don’t forget that we’ll be doing a top 100 countdown so make sure you use the #FFMCountdown hashtag for that.

    Don’t forget to ask friends, family and other fans to get involved by sharing this voting page on social media. If we like how creative your campaigns and posts are, you could be rewarded additional points – last year we were so impressed with how active some people were we felt this year they should be rewarded too!

    Voting will be closed on 16th December and once counted and verified the results will be published.

    [polldaddy type=”iframe” survey=”424690FDC34DF1BC” height=”auto” domain=”philipceleb” id=”fit-famous-males-awards”]

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    Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

    Mamma Mia 2 cast

    Over 35 years since they split, ABBA’s music continues to sell in huge quantities and be discovered by new generations around the world. The stage musical of ‘Mamma Mia’ – built around their best-known tracks has been a worldwide success for 20 years, and the film based on this also did pretty well ten years ago.

    On top of this, we also now have the unexpected excitement of two imminent brand-new ABBA tracks due just before Christmas – to launch their forthcoming ‘virtual’ tour. This summer, in a move that could be seen as ‘milking it’ – we finally got a sequel to the first film – ‘Mamma-Mia – Here we go again’. But is it any good?

    From the off, the new film feels like a slicker, bigger-budget affair. The plot is more fully-developed than the it’s predecessor (which was wafer-thin), and the standard of the choreography and singing feel superior.

    The story flips between 1979, where we follow the young Donna (Meryl Streep’s character in the first film) played by Lily James, as she graduates from university and makes her way across Europe in pursuit of her ‘destiny’ on the Greek island of Kalokairi; and the present day – where we learn that Donna has sadly passed away, and her daughter Sophie is trying to revamp her mother’s restaurant for a grand reopening.

    The film opens with Sophie – once again played by Amanda Seyfried, having an emotional phone conversation with Sky (Dominic Cooper), her other half, who is in New York on some kind of chef/hotel training scheme. He tells her that he can’t return to Greece for the reopening of the restaurant, cue poor Sophie getting all weepy and singing a rather maudlin version of ‘Thank-you for the Music’.

    Switching back to 1979, we see the young Donna and her two best friends – Tanya and Rosie, their younger selves played brilliantly Jessica Keenan Wyn and Alexa Davies respectively; about to leave university, reflecting on their good times together and preparing to embark on their futures.

    Lily James absolutely shines as the young Donna, bringing a cheeky sassiness to the role – contrasting with the demurer vulnerability of Amanda Seyfriend. * Sophie/Amanda and Sky/Dominic do seem perhaps just a tad wet and lifeless in comparison to the 1979 characters.

    There is a fantastically cheesy/brilliantly choreographed scene for Donna’s graduation, with the sublime – Celia Imrie, a great English actress, making an appearance as the vice chancellor of the university.

    With all the best-known ABBA songs used for the first film, it was time to drag out some of the more obscure album tracks for this movie.  If you’re not a hardcore ABBA fan then you might think ‘what on earth is this?’ – but if you are familiar with their wider back catalogue, then it’s rather lovely to hear the likes of ‘When I kissed the teacher’, as we get to here.

    The whole film and cast just brims with personality, everyone from Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth to the hilariously camp Christine Baranski – returning as the present-day Tanya; radiates humour and fun.  Julie Walters is also back at her side as the homely, slightly downtrodden present-day Rosie. You do get the sense the cast really had a whale of a time making this film.

    There are some great one-liners throughout, and Baranski gets quite a few of them. She delivers one such gem when Tanya and Rosie arrive in Greece to support Sophie with the restaurant opening.

    Their jeep breaks down on the mountain road (there is also some breathtaking scenery in the film) and they come face to face with a dashing older gentleman from the island – named erm’ Fernando (more of him later), as Tanya vampishly lowers her shades and exclaims “be still my beating vagina”.

    The younger versions of Tanya and Rosie are spot on, with Keenan Wyn looking spookily like Baranski; while Davies has the cute charm of Walter’s Rosie’ to a tee – “I think cake may be my soulmate” she declares in one scene (I hear you girlfriend).

    We see the young Donna making her way across Europe – while in the process of her journey meeting younger versions of Harry/Sam/Bill, aka the future Sophie’s’ three ‘Dad’s.

    First, she stops off in Paris – where she stumbles into the charmingly-gawky’ young Harry, played by W1A’s’ Hugh Skinner, with what is rapidly becoming his trademark awkward-posh-boy style.

    ‘Our Last Summer’ from the Swedish’ quartet’s’ classic ‘Super Trouper’ album plays neatly (the lyrics of the song tell of a youthful romance in Paris with a guy named Harry) in the background as he and Sophie jaunt through the French capital in fabulously 70’s garb of flares, wing collars and platforms.

    As Sophie arrives in Greece and attempts to make her way to the Kalakoairi – she meets the young Bill, played with lots of cheek and charm by Josh Dylan. Bill gives Donna an, erm ‘ride’ on his boat to the Greek Island, and as she teases and flirts with his affections he launches into ‘Why did it have to be me’ – arguably one of ABBA’s naffer songs (Bjorn turns on lead vocals were never among their finest moments). However, even this relative dud finds life here.

    Before too long blonde Bill is also history, and on her arrival on the Island – Donna meets the young Sam (the Pierce Brosnan ‘Dad’) – played by the also rather easy on the eye Jeremy Irvine; a newly qualified architect who is running away from impending responsibility and a mapped-out life. (Donna gets through these men at quite a rate it has to be said, but hey, this was the ‘permissive’ ‘70’s)

    However, Sam it turns out is a bit of a cad as Donna discovers he has a fiancé back in England and he soon too becomes history – not before we get to see him deliver an actually-rather-touching version of ‘Knowing me, knowing you’.

    Later, when she has settled in Greece– Donna discovers there is a consequence to all this when she learns is pregnant and faces life as a single-mother; but not to fear – her two besties soon turn up to lend support.

    Meanwhile back in the current day, Sophie is up against it to get the restaurant reopened. Will Sky come back for reopening? Will her other two Dad’s make it (only one– Sam aka Pierce Brosnan has turned up so far with Bill and Harry apparently otherwise engaged). Well this is Hollywood, of course they will/can.

    The reopening is inevitably all comes together at the last minute, and just when you think think the film has peaked and can’t get any camper– Cher, playing Sophie’s reluctant glam-mother makes a grand appearance via helicopter; looking both fabulous and frighteningly unreal.

    In the final scene, Meryl’s Streep makes a comeback as a ghost – here it all gets perhaps a little cloying and schmaltzy; but does provide a nice, neat finish to the film.

    The closing credits provide one last magnificent burst of fabulousness – with Cher radiantly singing ‘Super Trouper’ while perched upon a podium, with the entire cast appearing to dance around her looking like they are having the time of their lives, busting moves of varying degrees of laughability and proficiency.

    While Josh Dylan and Jeremy Irvine do their best to look sexy, Hugh Skinner embraces the ridiculousness with his exaggeratedly daft dancing. Meanwhile, Dominic Cooper finally succeeds in actually looking kind of hot. And Cher, well Cher just looks like she’s queen of the goddamn universe.

    Of course, Mamma Mia- Here we go again’ is predictable and corny, but its also immensely uplifting and entertaining – and with those songs you really can’t go wrong.

    If you watch this film and don’t smile lots/shed a few cheeky tears/laugh out loud– you are clearly either a robot, or no longer breathing.

    Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is currently in cinemas worldwide.

    What are your thoughts on the film – let us know @gayboybible

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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

    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

  • in ,

    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.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8eTWZ80z9EE&w=560&h=315]

    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

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9wdMJmuBlA&w=560&h=315]

    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.

    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-pMeR2lnlo&w=560&h=315]

    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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