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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.

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    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

     

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    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

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    Make the World Cup Gay!

    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 got kicked out 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.

    In 2018 the football World Cup heads to Russia where racism is going to be a serious problem for many teams but any type of LGBT phobia will not be addressed. Going into the tournament there are no out gay footballers representing there 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 worlds 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 nearly had that icon. Justin Fashanu whose suicide 20 years marked the end of a troubled life and the only out gay British professional footballer.

    So this summer GayBoyBible readers I call on you give the World Cup a watch, support England (trust me I know it may be futile) and lets have some football viewing parties in our gay bars across the UK. I promise you that being in a bar or pub and it erupting in joy is an amazing experience. If nothing else we can look good in football shirts and enjoy the beautiful game. And lets be honest some of the beautiful men!

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    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 

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    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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  • in

    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

  • in

    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

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    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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    Review: Coming Clean – Life as a Naked House Cleaner

    Watching a very shiny looking American man discussing experience of becoming a naked cleaner and the bizarre encounters this led to – in front of a small set dressed as a particularly kitsch living room, in an anonymous and intimate media office off Old Street. Just your average Friday night.

    Ethan Mechare is a TV presenter (MTV, VH1, TNT) and actor, originally from LA, who has devised a one-man ‘immersive’ show packed with humour and jaw dropping anecdotes – about his experiences as naked cleaner here in the UK. The show aims to open up discussion about fantasy and desire and encourage people to be less inhibited and uptight about such things.

    The old-fashioned euphemism for homosexual – ‘flamboyant’, seems particularly apt for Ethan; who has that kind of super-friendly slick charm that only American’s can have, combined with a knowing self-deprecating humour that is more typically English.

    The show begins with Ethan describing how he came to be a naked cleaner – his obsession with Oprah Winfrey and how inspired by the wisdom imparted by the talk show host in her monthly magazine (I never knew she had one) – he decided to put a mood board together to help him figure out what his true calling in life was.

    The images in his collage led him to the conclusion that – as he loved both being naked and cleaning – he should perhaps combine the two. And hence so he did.

    Except Ethan soon found that being a naked cleaner – perhaps unsurprisingly (although somehow it seemed a surprise to him), quickly led his clients to wanting more than just having the dirt and dust from their furniture. But, as he enjoyed the attention and it paid, he thought why not?

    Meanwhile, Ethan’s lack of shame and tongue -in-cheek, matter-of-fact attitude towards all this is very refreshing. No-one got hurt and there was a mutual exchange (so to speak) – everyone wins I guess you could say.

    The main body of the show consisted of Ethan recounting several particularly fascinating and amusing stories about some of his clients (he later drops it in with self-mocking candor that no-one ever hired him more than once)

    These included the ageing Essex ‘geezer’ whose wife had just died and who wanted to have sex with Ethan in his grown-up sons’ former bedroom – and who then subsequently also invited his male-model-eque looking ‘mate’ round to join in. The mind boggles.

    This leads Ethan to ponder the question – had this guy spent most of his life harboring these desires while living a ‘respectable’ married life, or had grief made him suddenly feel the urge to go wild and try new things?  And, how many people deny or hide their real sexual desires out of a sense of shame – depriving themselves of the chance to enjoy life to the full?

    Then there was the ex-soldier down in Surrey with one leg (a Prince Harry lookalike apparently) who wanted to watch Ethan clean naked on his hands and knees, while he simultaneously also invite another guy around and got it on with him. I mean it all goes on in suburbia doesn’t it? If only we could see behind closed doors – or maybe not.

    Ethan discussed the differences between British and American approaches to sexuality and asked the audience (he made it clear at the start of the show that he was keen for audience participation) – if perhaps his fellow countrymen were more upfront about their desires, while here we seem to prefer them more hidden and mysterious?

    In the nicest possible way, despite talking about how much he loves exhibition and masturbation, Ethan comes across as curiously a little sexless – perhaps more like a younger, leaner, cuter, Graham Norton than a hunky sex god.

    He’s an engaging character though, and while seemingly great lighthearted fun, ‘Coming Clean’ also throws up a few thought-provoking questions.

    If you’re hoping for nudity you will be mostly disappointed – the show is more camp than titillation – but *spoiler you may get a little surprise at the end.

    Coming Clean will run at various venues (homes, pubs, shops, cafes across the UK) from 6 April to 9 June (including The Glory, London 7 – 9 June).  Tickets available at http://comingcleantheshow.com/tickets/

    Do you think there are differences in the way Americans and Brits express sexual desire? Let us know on Twitter using @GayBoyBible

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    Let Them Eat Cake (But Not if They’re Gay)

    Gay Cake Row: The Story so far…

    It’s 9th May 2014. Gareth Lee goes to Ashers Bakery in Belfast to order a cake. Seems like any ordinary day – just a simple, mundane errand like most of us run on a daily basis. The cake had a simple message: “Support Marriage Equality.” The order is accepted, paid for and all is well…until two days later when Gareth receives a phone call saying the order will not be processed. Here begins one of the most divisive and passionate court cases in modern history.

    On one side, Mr. Lee and the entire LGBT community feel that they are being discriminated against. Ashers is a public business and offers a service, which they are, by law, supposed to provide regardless of race, sexuality, gender identity, etc.

    On the other side, a Christian family believe they are being discriminated against for being taken to court for not making a cake which “goes against their beliefs.”

    It is a tough argument. Both sides have strong cases.

    The Equality Commission wrote to Ashers about compensation in June 2014. By June 2015, over the three-day civil suit, it was revealed that Karen McArthur only took the order to avoid a confrontation. She knew that the order would not be carried out because it would contradict the company’s “religious beliefs.” Mr. Lee told how he was left feeling like a “lesser person” when his order was declined and the courts ruled that Ashers were discriminatory in the eyes of the law. They were ordered to pay costs of £500.

    Despite having broken the law and “unlawfully discriminated” against a customer, Ashers appeal the decision. They lost. No surprise there. After all…They. Broke. The. Law!

    Ashers then decide to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court. This is a monumental case. It’s the first time the Supreme Court will have assembled in Belfast. It is also the first time a Northern Irish court case has been live streamed.

    Around the world, all eyes are on the case and its developments. Opinions on the “Gay Cake Case” fill the internet and create schisms across Twitter. Believe it or not, there are even some LGBT people who take the side of the bakery! Some say they opposed the message, not the man (See LGBT activist, Peter Tatchell’s article in The Guardian here)

    While Peter makes valid points about Ashers opposing the message on the cake rather than Mr. Lee’s sexuality, the key issue is the homosexuality aspect of the slogan. For that reason, Ashers refusal to make the cake is prejudiced and that equals discrimination. It circles back to refusing a service based on sexual orientation.

     

    What Does It Mean For Us?

    As LGBT people we live in a troubling time. We are very lucky to have the rights that we have but they could easily be snatched away at any moment. This case just proves that while we are “tolerated” and “accepted” by society, we still don’t have the equality that we think we do. Northern Ireland, where this story takes place, for example, is a place where same-sex marriage is still banned. We are still subject to being looked down on, being treated as second class citizens and religion (which never actually condemned homosexuality) will often try to oppress us.

    Ashers use their “conscience” as their defense. The problem with that is, they are more worried about a God whose existence is yet to be fully confirmed, over a living, breathing human being who stands before them. Any real Christian would be absolutely fine with making a gay cake. After all, Christianity is all about loving one’s neighbour, being kind, respectful and being a good person. So where does all this vicious hatred come from? We all know those true Christian people who love us and support us no matter what and it’s not fair on them to be tarred with the same brush as those who don’t.

    At the end of the day, when it comes to discrimination, it’s the same as hate speech: If a statement crosses a line into victimising, shaming or hurting a person/group of people, then it loses all credibility. Ashers, who would happily make cakes supporting many other causes, just not same-sex marriage, have let their prejudice show and that is wrong. Would they have turned away an “anti-same-sex marriage” cake?

    Probably not.

    What are your opinions on the Gay Cake Row? Let us know and keep the conversation going on Twitter. Just remember, this is a very divisive subject, but let’s keep it respectful please.

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    Club Binary feat. DJ Denial

    The year is 2003, the scene is a small nightclub in one of the Shires just outside London. There is a vast array of bootcut jeans, tight v neck t shirts and highlighted spiked hair. It’s at that moment, when you’re at the bar, ordering a drink and the guys around you all seem to be ordering beer and the girls ordering wine, that you are faced with a decision. ‘What should I order?’. Do I want to fit in and be seen as ‘one of the guys’ or do I want to order a drink I actually like?! It’s all so Binary!! ‘’WKD blue please’’ I bellow at the bar person. I’ve gone for neither the masculine beer or feminine wine, but landed somewhere in-between. ‘Sod it’ I think, it’s metrosexual, I like it, and perhaps they’ll think i’m Bi anyway. Bi-now-gay-later, that’s better than full on gay, right?

    You might think it’s a bit silly that I just didn’t get the drink I wanted and liked; which was actually a Kir Royale and how can people tell someone’s sexuality from their drink order anyway?! Well, that might seem silly to you and me (now) but to a somewhat younger closeted homosexual in the noughties, it was a very different story…

    For me, it was at that moment, stood at that bar, wanting to order a different drink to everyone around me that the niggling feeling I had, that I was different for YEARS, that had haunted me, all came crashing down like the last level in Tetris (a vintage Candy Crush) in a sense of realisation that yes, I was different. My drink was different, I was different and in that straight club I felt different and like I didn’t belong. Pretty existential for a drink order wouldn’t you say?

    Fast forward to 2018 and it’s safe to say, not a huge amount has changed. Sure, we have moved on in society in terms of equality and acceptance but the same dilemma or realisation is occurring for thousands if not millions of LGBT people on a daily basis.

    The reason for this is quite simply; that we still live in a binary society. Black or white, gay or straight, man or woman, up or down, in or out etc. When, in reality there is so much more in between. Things are slowly changing and people are starting to realise that sexuality and gender are actually spectrums which do not belong in a single box. But the binary society and need to conform forced onto younger LGBT people is so damaging to their sense of self, belonging and self-esteem.

    As LGBT people it is our role and responsibility to understand, firstly that there are still some LGBT people in that straight nightclub/mare worrying about what drink they’re going to order for how they’ll be perceived. To also be patient and to understand that they might still be in the coat closet, or even Narnia. But secondly to let them know, as well as our Allies, (as well as people who don’t like us) that there is a whole cocktail bar from which I can select a drink and that I am the one drinking it and it will make no difference to them what I am drinking or how I am drinking it. It is my right as a gay man to dance to the Sugababes with a Kir Royale in hand, without fear of prejudice or persecution.

    Please let us know if you can relate to the above Nightclub/mare scenario and want to share your experience, by reaching us at @GayBoyBible.

  • in

    How Gay is Tom Daley?

    Since Tom Daley came out publicly in December 2013, people have been quick to say that they knew it.

    In a video on YouTube, Daley came out as pansexual, being attracted to people, rather than their gender. However, this was largely questioned, including by members of the LGBT community, as it was obvious he must be gay.

    What is it about Daley that makes people so sure about his sexuality? His appearance? His manner? His voice? The fact he is engaged to Dustin Lance Black? Why are people so quick to police his identity?

    Daley recently opened up to The Times about identifying as queer:

    “I am not 100 percent straight, I’m not 100 percent gay, I’m just queer. My generation, I think, are more fluid.”

    “The word a lot of people are using now is queer, instead of labelling yourself as lesbian, gay or transsexual. Queer is, like, a better word. It doesn’t define you, it’s questioning. People say, ‘You like boys,’ but I’ve liked girls too. My generation shouldn’t feel the need to be labelled; we are too obsessed by gender.” 

    Daley is correct, we are brought up with such a specific idea of what it means to be a boy or a girl, shaping our thoughts on our future relationships. The LGBT+ community struggles against society to blur the lines of cultural norms and break apart the binaries of gender and sexuality.

    We are now more enlightened to different sexualities and genders, for example being pansexual, non-binary or genderfluid. So with this being the case, why do we question Daley’s reluctance to identify as gay? If we encourage everyone to be their true selves, then why is there a difference in that Daley’s sexuality can be policed, simply because he’s a public figure?

    It’s possible that Daley identifying as pansexual is similar to gay men first coming out as bisexual. It’s a stepping stone, to feel more normal. It’s not so gay, if you still like girls… This is the experience of many gay men, hanging on to closet, before coming to terms with their gayness.

    However, to impose this on Daley is to invalidate pansexuality as a valid identity. If Daley says publicly that he is attracted to both men and women, and that he identifies as queer, then it’s not the public’s responsibility to question that. Especially people from within his own community.

    As much as someone may feel Daley presents himself in a way that they would define as definitely gay, that’s really none of their business. Having stereotypically gay qualities doesn’t make someone any more gay. Being gay isn’t a hierarchy, we are a part of a community and should be able to live in the way we feel in the moment, and support each other in society.

    You should identity however you please. If you identify one way, and then change your mind, that’s ok, too!

    Tom posted a photo of himself and Lance attending their baby shower on his instagram.

    👶🏼🚿 S U P R I S E B A B Y S H O W E R 👶🏼🚿

    A post shared by Tom Daley (@tomdaley) on

    Daley has been in a relationship with screenwriter Dustin Lance Black for almost 5 years. They were recently engaged, and revealed they are set to have their first child later this year. He’s living his life the way he wants to, and that’s the only thing that matters.

  • in

    Open Relationships: A Beginner’s Guide

         “It’s Ok, we’re in an open relationship”  is something that many in the gay community have heard at one point or another.  It seems that more and more gay couples are eager to jump in and give open relationships a shot. Unfortunately, without proper preparation, some end up bombing and exiting after their first outing. 

    Preparation is key to a successful open relationship. Here are the first steps to take to ensure a grand opening.
     
    1.Figure out why you are opening the relationship. 
    Open relationships can be tricky, and it’s important to have the right mentality and reasoning going into it. Like anything else, there are good and bad reasons to open up. Some people think of open relationships as a way to fix problems in a relationship. That’s like the gay equivalent of “having a baby will save our marriage.” If you are trying to open the relationship because you feel you might lose your partner if you don’t… they may already be lost. 
    If the problem is a bad sex life and you are trying to spice things up by opening the relationship, consider spicing up your sex life before you bring innocent people into the mix. Don’t expect other people to improve your sex life for you.  Chances are that it won’t happen, and it might create an unpleasant experience for everyone involved. If you can’t enjoy sex with each other, why would anyone else enjoy it?
                                                Image result for awkward gif
    Good reasons may include medical reasons. Maybe one partner has a condition that makes sex difficult or impossible, but still wants their partner to have their needs met. Maybe the relationship is so strong and secure that you don’t feel threatened by the thought of someone else pleasing your partner or the thought of being with other people might genuinely turn you both on. Perhaps you both have decided that traditional monogamy is not right for you, but still want to be together.  
    There are many good and bad reasons to open a relationship. The main thing to keep in mind is that a successful open relationship is one that will enhance a relationship, not “save” it. 
     
    2. Decide what kind of open relationship is right for you
    Will you be polyamorous and have full-blown relationships with others? A boyfriend swap? Will it be a play together sort of thing? Can you play apart? If playing apart, will it be a don’t ask don’t tell situation or full disclosure?     
                                                              Image result for hmmm gif
    Those are important things to consider. 
     
    3. Set boundaries, timelines, and guidelines. 
    What is acceptable and what isn’t?  Will it be all poles no holes? Is kissing acceptable? Rimming?
    Discuss every possible scenario and come up with boundaries that you can both agree on. Agree on when and where this is acceptable as well. Will you only do this on special occasions? Leap years? Every weekend?  Will you be able to do this at home or only on vacation? Also, don’t forget to agree on who is acceptable to be with and who is not.
    There are some people we might not feel comfortable sharing our partner with and that’s ok. 
    Friends? Coworkers? Paid professionals? Will you be able to play with them again or will it be one and done?
     
    4. Prepare to share. 
    Now that you have figured out why you want to open the relationship, the kind of open relationship you will have, and have set boundaries, its time to prepare. Confirm that this is something you both want and are ready for. Make sure to reassure each other of how much you love each other and value the relationship. Prepare yourselves mentally for what will happen. One way to do this is through incorporating fantasy talk (“it would be so hot to see you go down on someone”) into your foreplay beforehand. Doing this will let you both get used to the idea and see how you feel. 
    Agree on a safe word and safe physical cue to indicate to the other that you have reached your limit and need to stop. Physical cues are excellent as they will be discreet. A light tug on the earlobe could indicate to your partner that you are not comfortable and are ready to peace out.
     
    Congratulations!

    You are now ready to begin seeking out a third (or more) and make fantasy a reality.

    As you venture out, make sure to continue to check in with each other and take care of each other emotionally. Respect your boundaries and safe words/cues. This will build trust and make everyone feel more comfortable, safe and protected.  Check in once more after its over. It’s important to make sure you each know how you feel and what you will be comfortable with moving forward. Lastly, don’t forget to reconnect and do something special just for the two of you.

    Cheers to your big opening!

    xoxoCC

    Have an experience with open relationships you would like to share? Let us know on Twitter using@GayBoyBible

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    Riverdale Revives Carrie!

    Riverdale’s latest episode revived the musical version of Carrie and it was AMAZING! While the episode itself was great (no spoilers here) the musical numbers couldn’t have been more impressive. If only it could lead to a revival of the musical, which is an absolute hidden gem. At least this episode of the popular show will draw attention to an often overlooked musical.

    Beginning its life in the late 80’s, Carrie the Musical was based on Stephen King’s novel. The musical was written by Lawrence D. Cohen who penned the script for the 1976 film and Michael Gore who worked on Fame. The story follows Carrie White, a girl from a deeply religious home. Bullied both at school and at home, Carrie craves to be accepted but the onset of puberty brings an added extra to the usual awkwardness: Telekinetic powers.

    “A Night To Remember/In” from Riverdale’s Carrie adaptation:

    With the success of Riverdale showcasing Carrie to a larger audience, here is a list, in no particular order, of five lesser known musicals that deserve some attention:

    1. The Evil Dead

    Carrying on the classic horror theme, The Evil Dead is another musical based on the cult film that came before it. This musical takes the plot of all three Evil Dead movies and mashes them together to almost become its own creation. It is hilariously fun, gory and X-rated!

    For anyone not familiar with the Sam Raimi classic; the story centres around five college students who spend a weekend in an abandoned cabin in the woods where they come across the Necronomicon (Book of the Dead) and accidentally unleash the titular “Evil Dead.”

    After his friends are posessed, Ash has to fight back with his boomstick, chainsaw hand and quick wit to save the day and stop the demons taking over the world. The musical boasts a campy, quirky soundtrack including songs like All the Men in my Life Keep Getting Killed By Candarian Demons, Do the Necronomicon, What the F**k Was That? and many more, the comedic intent of the show is obviously clear.

    “Cabin in the Woods” from The Evil Dead:

     

    2. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

    Based on a real life story of a boy who decided he wanted to go to his school prom in drag. The BBC documentary Jamie: Drag Queen at 16 followed the emotional and heartwarming story back in 2011. Everybody’s Talking About Jamie takes that story to the stage.

    The musical is pretty new and will go on to be very well known. It premiered in February 2017 in Sheffield and has gone onto a permanent home in London at the Apollo Theatre. There will even be a live cinema screening across the UK on July 5th.

    With music written by Dan Gillespie Sells from The Feeling, lyrics and book by Tom MacRae (Doctor Who, Threesome) There is even a song by Sophie-Ellis Bextor!  It is a musical not to be missed.

    “Don’t Even Know It” from Everybody’s Talking About Jamie

     

    3. American Psycho 

    Based on the film and the book, the musical follows Patrick Bateman, a succesful businessman and murderer in 1980’s Manhattan. Matt Smith (Doctor Who) played Bateman in the London version of the show. It was his first stage appearance after wrapping as the iconic Time-Lord.

    The music is eighties inspired with some beautiful covers of songs like In the Air Tonight, True Faith and Everybody Wants to Rule the World. Not to mention some of the stunning original songs like Not a Common Man and the super catchy, early-Madonna-sounding You Are What You Wear.

    “Not A Common Man” from American Psycho

     

    4. Elisabeth: Das Musical

    This musical is a little different to the others in that it is entirely in German and is biographical. The plot revolves around the Empress of Austria, Elisabeth, and her obsession with Death, who appears in corporeal form for the purpose of the play. It takes us through Elisbeth’s life from her childhood, to her marriage and her eventual assassination at the hands of an Italian political activitst.

    It’s a very dark, heavy and political musical with themes of death and suicide and tension beneath a glossy surface. Youtube has versions with subtitles for anyone willing to give it a chance. The music is beautiful, haunting and unforgettable. It’s one of those stories where after the first few minutes, the language and subtitles go un-noticed because it’s completely gripping. It has run for nearly three decades in Austria and Germany which stands to prove how popular it is.

    “Ich Gehor Nur Mir” from Elisabeth: Das Musical

     

    5. Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels

    If you’re looking for a side-splitting comedy, rather than something dark and depressing then Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is for you. Again, based on the film, it follows the story of a con man who preys on vulnerable, rich women at an expensive resort. When he meets a young con man who isn’t very experienced, he takes him under his wing and they team up. No spoilers here if you’re not familiar with the plot but naturally, hilarity ensues.

    This musical began in September 2004, moved to Broadway in 2005 and was led by John Lithgow, who needs no introduction and Norbert Leo Butz. Musical theatre nerds will of course, most likely, recognise Butz as the original Fiyero in Wicked and his countless other roles.

    Trailer for Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels on West End

    There are so many musicals out there that deserve so much more attention than they get, but to create a full list of every single one of them would take far too long, so here are a few honourable mentions that didn’t quite make the list:

    Freaky Friday

    This one is based on the iconic Disney film about a mother and daughter’s body-swapping nightmare. Back on September 29th 2017, Disney Channel announced a TV adaptation of the stage musical! This is definitely one to watch out for!

    “All of This and Everything” from Freaky Friday

    The Hunchback of Notre Dame

    Another Disney musical! This time, based on the Disney film and using songs from the 1996 animated adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel. This version is darker, more serious and draws on more detail to make Frollo the horrific villain he should be. It has a beautiful soundtrack, well worth checking out. Not to mention, Ciara Renee is absolutely stunning as Esmerelda.

    “Rhythm of the Tambourine” from The Hunchback of Notre Dame

     

    Repo! The Genetic Opera

    Limited to a small release in 2008, the film was subject to negative reviews. Somehow it gained a following but, 10 years on, seems all but forgotten, despite absolutely iconic performances from Paris Hilton, Sarah Brightman, Anthony Stewart Head (Yes, Giles from Buffy) and Alexa PenaVega.

    Set in a futuristic world where organ transplants are almost necessary after a nasty epidemic of organ failure, Repo Men hunt down those who don’t keep up with payments for the surgery to reclaim the organs. The rest is crazy, dramatic, visually stunning and an absolute cult classic. If you’re interestedp in gothic, cyber-punk visions of the future, graphic gore and Paris Hilton’s face falling off this is for you. Yes. You read that right. Paris Hilton’s face. Falls. OFF!

     

    And here’s the song you won’t be to stop singing!

    “Zydrate Anatomy” from Repo! The Genetic Opera

     

    Love Never Dies

    The sequel to Phantom of the Opera follows Christine Daaè, her husband, Raoul and their son, Gustave being mysteriously summoned to Coney Island. When they arrive it seems that something much more sinister is going on. The scenario feels familiar and it isn’t long until the Phantom shows himself. He is still in love with Christine and won’t rest until he has her.

    Andrew Lloyd Webber had the idea in 1990 but didn’t write the music until 2007. When it finally released in 2009 it was harshly criticised and only had a short run. Fans of the original weren’t pleased that in the decade since we last saw the characters everything had changed. Raoul is now an alcoholic and his marriage to Christine was not the fairytale it once seemed…and that’s just the mildest of twists.

    It’s a gorgeous musical that was mostly overlooked. It did, thankfully, have a DVD release of the Australian stage performance which is definitely worth watching if you’re a fan.

    “Beneath A Moonless Sky” from Love Never Dies

    And now, last but not least, let’s not forget that this beauty is finally on its way!

    MEAN GIRLS!

    Having opened (AT LAST!) on Broadway on 8th April, the excitement is too much to handle!

    Have you heard of any of these musicals or are there any that aren’t on the list that you’d like to see? Let us know your favourites on Twitter @GayBoyBible and Facebook

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    Strictly Hetero

    Former Strictly Come Dancing star Gleb Savchenko is one of the hottest male professionals to have graced our screens on the BBC’s Saturday night staple.

    It’s easy to fall for his gorgeous face or his washboard abs, but in a recent interview with The Sun, we fell for him for a whole new reason.

    When asked about the topic of Strictly introducing same-sex couples, his response was perfect.

    “I would love to see same-sex couples. It would be amazing. We have same-sex couples competing in real dance championships and they do it so well. [It’s amazing] to see the energy and the chemistry and the vibe in the rehearsal room of two guys”.

    We love you, Gleb!

     

    It’s an interesting point that real dance competitions allow same-sex partners to compete. Often the argument is to preserve tradition, with ballroom and Latin dance telling a story between a man and a woman.

    If official ballroom championships have opened the doors to same-sex couples, then what’s holding back the BBC?

    Savchenko believes:

    “Producers are just scared to try new things and go in that direction. It should have been done a long time ago”.

    As is often the case when it comes to the mainstream, producers are likely hesitant to push Strictly’s boundaries in order to prevent its viewership declining. With Strictly being widely popular, there’s a risk that the audience won’t entirely accept such a progressive move.

     

    It’s interesting that a television vehicle as camp as Strictly would remain hesitant on embracing same-sex couples. It’s similar to the way figure skater Adam Rippon has been told his skating is too feminine. With the camp of Strictly’s glitter and glam, it’s curious that there’s a pressure to adhere to masculine and feminine ideals. (Rippon is set to appear on the upcoming Dancing With The Stars: Athletes in the US, where he is partnered with a female dancer.)

    It would be amazing to see same-sex couples compete on Strictly. Seeing two men/two women flip flop between gender roles and break barriers would be such a milestone.

    Previous professional dancer James Jordan has been bold in his stance against same-sex dance partnerships. He has expressed his views on Celebrity Big Brother, as well as on talk programmes like This Morning.

    “It would be a joke couple, people wouldn’t take it seriously. It would have to be a comedy value. I don’t think it would be two men dancing the sexy rumba, I don’t think it would work.”

     

    We disagree.

    While Jordan continues to insist that his comments aren’t homophobic, he has since been kicked off of the show. Hope you’re enjoying your Saturday nights indoors, babes.

    Other cast members have spoken out in favour of the addition of same-sex couples, including judge Craig Revel-Horwood, professional dancer Aljaz Skorjanec, and Jordan’s own wife, Ola Jordan.

    The Sun asked Gleb whether he would be open to competing with a male partner:

    “I just need a great person who’s easy to work with and really wants to be in the competition. I’m very open-minded and I wouldn’t mind doing it. I don’t give a fuck about what people think of me and what I do.”

    We are so ready!

    LGBT+ celebrities have always been welcome to compete on the show, including Julian Clary, Susan Calman and Russell Grant. However, they have always competed with a professional of the opposite sex.

    Calman reported at the time she was offended by the backlash over her decision not to dance with a woman. It’s by no means compulsory that LGBT+ stars should dance with a same-sex partner, but if they wish to do so, they should definitely have the option.

    It’s great to see Gleb speaking out on the issue, and we only love him more for it. He participated in just one season of Strictly back in 2015, partnered with TV presenter Anita Rani. The two had a great partnership, and eventually finished in 5th place, but we’d love to see more of him on our screens.

    Being an instant fan favourite, let’s hope we see his return for another shot at the glitter ball trophy. Perhaps even partnered with one very lucky man!

    Who would you like to see Gleb dance with? Let us know at @gayboybible

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    Years & Years Return

    While reviewing the latest Years & Years song Sanctify it is very hard not to turn this into a love letter to talented lead singer Olly Alexander. To keep my integrity I will try… Years & Years debut coming out album signalled a bold step forward musically and new track Sanctify tells of lead singer Olly Alexander’s past love.

    Telling the story of a relationship with a straight man is a bold choice for new music and not since George Michaels iconic Fastlove, has secret gay sex been put front and centre of a song. The religious feel to Sanctify tells of Alexander’s guilt and excitement that many gay men have experienced even coming across as confessional.

    Olly Alexander has grown confident in his vocals and as a songwriter shows plans to tell a more personal story in the upcoming album. His soulful voice really projects the conflicted nature of the relationship but also the passion.

    Sanctify has the familiar Years & Years sound with a somewhat haunting feel it celebrates the excitement of the relationship, adding to the song are two recently released remixes that no doubt will be heard in clubs everywhere particularly the fantastic Michael Calfans Prayer remix.

    Now the integrity might go out the window… The video is visually striking with a sci-fi feel; it resembles Blade Runner with humans kept for androids entertainment. Olly Alexander looks incredible his own unique style and flair on display complete with striking red hair. Olly dances to the brilliant choreography like an absolute DREAM moving hypnotically and mesmerising the watching Palo Santo elders.

    The new album cannot come quickly enough for us at GayBoyBible and from me personally Olly? Call me! Ok I tried…

    Listen to Sanctify http://YearsandYears.lnk.to/SanctifyTW

    Watch the video http://YearsandYears.lnk.to/SanctifyVid

    Did you enjoy Sanctify? Let us know on Twitter @Gayboybible

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