Saturday, July 7, 2012

A House Divided


Hello everyone...Some things internet goodies have hit me from left field this week and I have something to get off my chest. these may seem like unrelated events...but bear with me..they will make sense in the end.

The first event was a comment left on our Fourth of July BBQ video in which we asked our quests what they felt were the best and worst parts of being gay. Apparently that pushed one viewer over the line causing them to leave this comment:


Dear Depfox: what responsibility do you and your smug married friends take for single-handedly destroying the LGBT Community? The whole gay bar scene is dying (dead?) because self-appointed "Gay Representatives" such as yourselves claim all gays want to be married. Gays used to be a subversive, outrageous, promiscuous culture. Now, you want us all to mimic straight couples and live conservatively in the 'burbs in white picket fences with 2.5 kids. That is not my idea of liberation...
The simplest way I can say it is that the answer was found when we learned to stop calling it "gay marriage" and started calling it marriage equality. It is that notion of being treated no differently than the others in your family or culture that makes all the difference.

91 comments:

  1. Give him hell, Bryan. This is a great, well thought out article. And I agree with you, we're not looking to have all gay people live a married life. But for those of us who want it, let us have it!!

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  2. Thanks guys...reading it through just gets me all fires up again...arrgg! don't know how to make angry emoticon!! frustrated!
    Bryan

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  3. the guy who commented is such a misguided twat...who the hell does he think he is to define what the right definition of gay is for everyone? If you want to be a promiscuous bohemian that's fine, but it's also fine if you want to have a commited relationship and a family.

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  4. As usual Bry you have hit the nail on the head. I am a straight woman who can get married but doesn't wish to get married I have never wanted to get married...
    but I love that its my choice if I do want to get married if I had the desire ..... I cant see why if you want to get married why you shouldn't get married......
    no matter who you love.... in this day and age with so many definitions of what a family includes the idea that someone cant get married because of who they love is mind boggling..
    I am and was a single mother which caused discrimination of a different sort....even in this day and age....any way that was my 2 cents worth...
    Bella

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  5. Hi. You raise excellent points but I think you may have missed an important one. Rejecting gay marriage (and I'm calling it that deliberately because I want to be specific for a moment) is more that just saying "you can't have". It's saying "you don't deserve". It paints gay and lesbian people as something less than, it tells people "there's something wrong with being gay and to prove it we won't give you the things "normal" people have. That give people permission to bully, humiliate, kill. Every issue that says your less than must be broken down. More important than to be able to marry is the right to be able to marry because it says more than equality it says "you are equal". Regarding the transgendered stuff, after ten years of being "out" I still struggle with my own ghosts, to define who I am or what I am. I still suffer from internal struggles, trying to decide what's real about me and what's the result of wearing a mask of masculinity for so long. Sometimes I don't have enough energy to deal with that and societies pressures. I once said "if someone's on the edge... Don't push!". Society has a way of applying its own pressure to a situation that's already fraught. Holly xx

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  6. No, Bryan, I don’t think you’re wrong. We need to fight for all of our rights all at once. What sense, for example, does getting rid of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell in isolation make if all it ends up meaning is that gays have the right to protect and defend our second class citizen status? That’s a big motivation to serve. I just can’t wait to enlist. ;-P And having the right to marry whatever gender you please, but you’ll be fired from your job if you do? Ridiculous. And how so very Republican. No, fight for all our rights at once not only because it’s the right and most logical thing to do, but it’s the more effective strategy war-wise to bring your enemy down. Do you attack just one flank where they can concentrate their forces to repel you or do you surround them and let them have it on all fronts and crush them because they’re spread too thin to defend all fronts? I know which I would choose. And, boy, do they need crushing….

    Concerning your Depfox commenter: If he wants to be a promiscuous, coked-out bar fly with the fullest selection of venereal diseases available to mankind housed in his shorts, we’re not stopping him by fighting for marriage equality. If he wants to be the standard bearer and the face of what the heterosexual hate community despises most about gays and stereotypes us as being, I have complete confidence in his ability not to disappoint. If he wants to “liberate” himself into an early grave, fine. Just try not to be offended if we put on hazmats suits if you’re around us. No one is shoving a wedding ring and a white picket fence down his unwilling throat. We should have the right to choose how to live whether it’s Depfox-style or coked-out bar-whore style or somewhere in between.

    Concerning trans, I’m not that much up on it. I once heard there probably is a biological basis for gender dysphoria and my common sense tells me there has to be. No one would “choose” or “decide” to feel alien in their own body any more than we “decide” whatever sexual orientation we have. Just as it’s helpful when coming out as gay to explain that overwhelming majorities of self-identifying gays didn’t choose their orientations and also the science demonstrating it’s biologically caused, I would assume that somewhere there are similar statistics for trans people and scientific research that gender dysphoria is biologically caused too. If so, trans people need to use that information when they come out so it’s as much an intervention for the benefit of their bigoted listeners as it is a coming out for themselves. If their condition is demonstrably something they’re born with, that should help to gain better acceptance.

    I’ll need to watch this Sama video. Maybe do a Youtube search as well for “biological cause for transgenderism.” You got me curious now.

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    1. Bryan,

      I just stopped by the feed tab of Depfox and read Jay's reference about your topic here and how it made him cry. I bet the part that got to him was about Tallat having to leave his own country to be safe and to know love. If I had spent time with Tallat in person too, that part might have choked me up too. I think Tallat is adorable.

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    2. Bryan,

      I just saw your bartending video and it made me remember a bartending story of my own from my colorful past that I think you’d enjoy. This story will have a hallucinogenic twist. Try not to look so shocked! :-D Some years after my best friend from college got married, we had a little party over at his place. (He did continue to live in Omaha for a few years but later moved away to Missouri.) We were making homemade Margaritas but with a very special kind of tequila—Mescal. Mescal, as you may know, has the worm in the bottom. The worm is said to live in the Peyote cactus plant, which is the cactus where Peyote buttons come from (an organic psychedelic drug) and its synthetic counterpart, which I had a few times in college—mescaline. There is a legend about the worm: It’s supposed to give visions to whoever eats it. Given my past that you’re quite familiar with now, you know I would be all over this! :-D Both my friend and I wanted to put the legend to a test.

      But there was a problem…. By the time we got to the worm, we were both too drunk to make an accurate count of the worm’s ridges to make a perfectly even division and therefore perfectly even doses. We actually had a wooden cuttting board out, leaning over it, weaving one way and then the other, slurring our words (“Geawwwww dammiiii fugg’n worm!! :-D :-D ) and trying to carefully count those damn ridges but we kept getting a different number every time! :-D :-D Who knows how much time we spent trying to do this but, when you’re hammered, you’re motivated! :-D After quite some time, even we had to give up. So we actually had to have his wife to come out and do the worm ridge count for us and make the cut. :-D I washed my worm half down with something because I was too chicken to chew! :-D Turns out the legend behind the worm is false. Damn…. :-D Maybe just eating one half of a worm isn’t enough. Duly noted for next time! :-D

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  7. Again another great post Bryan and I don't think that you are wrong. I also think that the fight for equality is a multi-front fight, and that to ignore one front whether it be marriage, discrimination etc is foolish, as a win on any front only provides more ammunition to fight on the other fronts.

    As for the commenter he may want to live his life in the fashion that those that hate the gay community stereotypical view it, but that is not the only way that there is to live life as a gay person, and I would say that the popularity of your YouTube channel and this blog attest to that fact. I know that finding your YouTube channel made a big change for me, as it showed that what I had always wanted way before I realized that I was gay was possible, and that I did not have to live the life that your commenter seems to want to force on the rest of us. For him I have to say is that maybe that way of life is dying because more and more gay people are being able to live the lives that they have always wanted to.

    After all no one is forcing the "suburban dream" down their throats, But there are many out there like me for which the classic suburban american dream is what they want, and to clame that it is to copy straights is misguided and well to me insulting. It has nothing to do with copying straights and everything to do with fallowing ones own hart.

    I don't have much experience with the trans community but I think that you have hit that dead on the nail too. It is sad that even in the gay community there is even still a lot of hatred for and towards the Trans community. You would think that people that are and have been discriminated against would be better then to hate, but sadly that dose not seem to be true.

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  8. No Dave it certainly is not a choice. This will be graphic but bare with me...Once in a conversation with my friend Carina, we were talking about her taking hormones and the body changes that go with that and she mentioned that her penis had become nothing but a useless lump of flesh and that was ok with her...even relieving to some degree. Now me being male and very tied into that particular part of my body, those comments struck a deep note in me. In order to feel that way about your body...and give up sex and orgasm to boot speaks mounds to how much it meant to her and I don't think anyone would do that by choice...not even the most misguided willful choice. It was important to her to make the change by hell or high water.
    Bryan

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    1. Bryan,

      You know me pretty well now. You know I’m the last person you ever would need to warn about something being too graphic. From something I’ve heard, a trans woman doesn’t have to give up orgasm either. Surgically, the penis can be inverted into a newly created body cavity lined with the sensitive penile tissue to create astronomical orgasmic potential. I saw something on TV years ago, perhaps something like 60 Minutes, where a trans woman caught a cab and was talking to the driver about her results sexually post-surgery. She said her orgasms afterwards were much, much longer and way more intense. Real screamers I seem to recall her say. If Carina wasn’t getting off anymore, it's probably because she was still mid-transition. Had she lived to transition all the way, maybe she might have gotten that ability back.

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    2. i had a similar, if unwilling, conversation with my biological father. (there was no escape and i was not quite willing to kick her live out of my car at any speed) and yes when my ire is up and im feeling angry at her i do refer to her as an 'it' but that is person specific- with a long history behind it. my friend who is also trans, does not and will never get that from me.

      i have to agree, no surprise, with dave. i think it is better for everyone if we can be honest and discuss matter of factly about our biology. there is no shame in it and i think it would make certain conversations easier especially if there is something wrong with that biology on whatever level.

      as i have commented before there is so much more to sex than just poking and prodding and too many times we all forget it. refer back to that unwilling conversation i had and yeah, i dont care how good the lesbians are at oral. good for them though.

      talk about needing brain bleach!

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    3. You’re biological father is a trans woman? Is her transition complete? Is she still alive? You once spoke of losing your father to cancer. That must have been your step father(?) Is your relationship with her ever positive now?

      I had no idea the trans issue touched your life directly. It’s something tangible for you. For the rest of us, it’s usually almost an abstraction by comparison.

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    4. Steeldrago,

      I know you’ve seen the Out Late But Great video on gay biology. Just as the incidence of homosexuality among fraternal and identical twins is vastly higher than in the general population, your situation makes me now wonder if the odds of a parent who was born with gender dysphoria who later has biological offspring before beginning a transition process is significantly more likely to produce gay children than a parent who never had gender dysphoria. I’m going to guess the answer is yes.

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    5. actually, i spoke of losing my Dad to cancer. huge difference. for me Dad and Father are not interchangeable. yes, he was a step parent, and he did not have to be.

      yes she is, last i knew she had her surgery last year? perhaps this summer? not sure. we do have positive interaction when we interact, i refuse for it to be any other way. i have had enough negative from that one. ive had some good too but...
      while i have been touched by the trans issue personally, on a certain level it is still very abstract. i understand the majority of the emotions, even the being trapped in the wrong body - i add time as well. i just dont get the whole female thing (my exposure has been MtF) even on my 'radar' women usually are holes that i just cant quite read. i have learned that is a factor that verifies my maleness.

      i assume that is probly the case on the GD increasing the likely hood of homosexual children. i am also the fourth pregnancy.

      perhaps one day i will work on not holding on to certain things, but dammit, i forgive until im done and i speak plainly up to that point, i also speak not so plainly so that if they dont understand one they have the other.

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    6. In some YouTube videos other than the OutLateButGreat "epigenetics" video I gave you, I have heard that the fetus's testosterone is detected by his mother as a foreign substance and her body forms antibodies to it. And this effect, if I remember correctly, is increased with each subsequent birth. Interfere with the testosterone supply available to otherwise completely masculinize the brain and that could produce a gay child independently from any supposed "gay genes."

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    7. Once your father's transition is complete, what does he want you to call him/her? Or is something you both came to terms with much earlier in his transition?

      Are you in any way mad at him for transitioning? It's one thing to have an acquaintance or friend transition. But I'm mindful that emotionally it may be much harder to bear for your father to do this no matter how tolerant you otherwise are generally.

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    8. she would prefer 'dad' but i simply use paula or hey you.
      my rage at him had nothing to do with her transitioning. i did however get to have a certain clarity that her transition allowed after my brother's ex facilitated a conversation. i am no longer raging.
      if the gay comic geek reads these he can now see why(ish) i dont like his name.

      i dont know how accurate that is, it is a hypothesis floating around out there, cause people dont know the difference between a hypothesis and a theory. i dont really care 'why' i am gay i was satisfied that it is something i had no choice in. as a curiosity sure id be cool to know, but i wouldnt do anything to change it.

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    9. The real value of knowing why we’re gay is being able to more successfully refute the claims and beliefs of haters that being gay is a choice or reflects a moral failing or perversion on our part. Something which really is a moral failing is changeable but a core biological characteristic isn’t. And the more specific we can be as to the actual biological or genetic cause enhances our inherent believability that we really are born this way and can’t change it. And the more successfully a former hater can be persuaded that our gayness is nothing more than a variant birth outcome, the more likely he’ll shut the fuck up about it, leave us alone and stop trying to strip us of our civil rights through his holier-than-thou asshole complex he otherwise would have in a voting booth.

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    10. i disagree in the sense that i think the haters' brain would internally combust before accepting any view outside their bigoted hate filled worldview. half the time or more 'they' reject truth anyway-if they can even recognize it anymore. im not saying dont research the why, im simply saying fuck 'them' and their hate mongering and let them be devoured by the nearest dragons. and since i havent seen any news articles about dragons reappearing devouring bigots; then vote against them, be able to defend yourself against their crazy-whatever flavor, and fill your life with all the love you can because seeing us live a happy joyous life is by far the greatest threat to them that we can provide. o and dont give them any of your money and as little noticeable attention as possible.

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    11. If what you’ve just said is how the average hater’s brain really does work, then I’m in bigger potential trouble at work than even I thought. This is something you and I have been discussing for quite a while through direct e-mail. For the rest of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I work for a small car dealership where the salespeople do some socializing outside of work. I seem to be liked so far there and am perceived to be funny, but they think I’m straight at this point. One of them asked me what occupationally I was doing before and for how long and then I explained the last 15 years of caregiving with my mother prevented me from making a career move out of something I didn’t like and, I had I not had that responsibility over that period, I would have made the career switch I just made now some 15 years ago. I also added that the highly time consuming nature of taking care of my mom over that period pretty much cratered my social life. Making that omission may cause me problems in the future. My co-workers are the type who go to stripper clubs, etc. and are of a nature that, if I socialize with them, they may try to place me in situations which supposedly boost my chances of getting laid. Now, that’s all fine if you’re straight. But, if you’re gay, that can become a huge problem. Their hearts are in the right place and think they’re helping me. If these awkward situations come to pass though, they’re in fact doing enormous harm, but they don’t know that. These same people also make gay jokes among themselves and I’ve heard terms like “fag” and “homo” more than once.

      If they really do start placing me in these really awkward, uncomfortable situations, I may need to come out to them to get them to stop. And yet these people continually out themselves as bigots, so I know I’m dealing with problem people and there’s a heightened risk that a coming out to them could be high trauma. Yet, I haven’t engaged in hardcore straight pretending including acting like I enjoy stripper lap dances, etc. since college and the thought of having to go back to that is almost unbearable.

      My coworkers seem like hardcore partiers, and many of them tell funny tripping (acid and mushrooms) stories of their own from their own colorful pasts, so we have that in common. They seem too wild to be the churchy types, who are usually the most hateful and most difficult demographic group to deal with. But, Steeldrago, if what you say about haters instantly “brainbleaching” themselves when presented with information that challenges their worldview, that would suggest my hardsell coming out / bigot intervention strategy won’t work. And yet to just say “I’m gay” to people like this without any further explanation proving we’re born this way and don’t choose it would be worse. I guess my only hope with these people, should I ever come out to them, is that I have read them correctly that they are NOT hysterical Bible bangers. If correct, maybe they actually CAN retain the ability to really listen to me and not instantaneously hate me afterwards. In any event, I know I have to be really careful with these people and dropping “the gay bomb” on them has to be reserved as the very, very last resort.

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    12. hate can be a subversive parasite. they may not specifically realize they are hating. some do certainly but you being the clever guy that i am not can certainly turn them around in conversation. which can serve in many ways.
      just dont let the negativity of the situation overwhelm you. you are the authority in your life. come out or dont on your terms. you have said that your family knows and that may be enough at least for now.
      considering the jocularity of the situation, it takes some amazingly confident straight guys, usually, to be able to handle hearing about gay sex in the way that dudes talk to one another. cause you know as well as i do, its trolls and brag and vicarious living-not necessarily in that order. many blessings dave.

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    13. If I DO come out to them, I want them to feel like ignorant cavemen if they continue on with their bigoted attitude. I would impress on them forcefully that the only thing separating them from me is a more fortunate birth outcome. And their lives are inherently easier than mine because of it. Having been born straight, they are completely free to love whoever they want and not worry about anyone getting in their face. Not me. They never to have worry about being treated as a second class citizen. But I do. They never have to worry about being impeded from visiting their loved one in a hospital or making critical medical decisions in the event their loved one is too incapacitated to do it for herself. But I do. They never have to worry about vicious, ignorant theocratic swine trying to take their rights away by State Constitutional amendments. But I sure do.

      “You were fortunate enough, Mr. Bigot, to have been born on the strong side of the statistical odds when it comes to orientation. In other words, you happen to fall within the 95% group. But SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE has to be born into the other, less fortunate 5%. It happened to be me. And don’t think for one moment you couldn’t have been born into that 5% group yourself. You could! And then you would be me! And it wouldn’t have been anyone’s fault.”

      The one thing I would NOT do with them afterwards is to volunteer, without first being asked, graphic descriptions about what we do in the bedroom. So nothing about what I did to whoever or they did to me and how noisy we were, etc. Even if I can get them to be tolerant, I think doing that would be going too far. They shouldn’t be expected to be captive to such descriptions and not feel uncomfortable. That’s asking too much of them. I WILL answer some of their questions if they aren’t too offensive. I will NOT answer a question such as am I the man or the woman in a relationship or if I’m a top or a bottom. I WILL tell them there’s a third possibility called “versatile” but that it’s considered tacky to ask what specifically someone is. The only one needing to know that is my partner. If asked, I will say all the positional possibilities are identical, straight or gay, with the only exception that our “USB ports” are in slightly different locations. :-D :-D If I get “stool on the tool” comments, I’ll say we pre-flush so those odor and mess issues are eliminated and that their sex smells far, far worse than ours. They go down on and plug themselves into a body cavity that smells like rotten sushi and all of the external showering in the world can’t fix that. And I very much hope they never try to seek out and watch gay porn because I never want to be put in the position of having to explain or justify “rimming.” That would be intolerably awkward.

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    14. ty dave...'usb ports' i love the nerd talk....

      straight people rim too, it aint exclusively gay.. . .and neither is anal sex.

      the prostate is an amazing thing, they should try it sometime.

      'we both are' is a response to the 'man/woman' question ive enjoyed for years.

      that's a wee bit angsty sir...but i understand. i think we all do.

      its tacky to talk as they are anyway...just sayin'. (i mean, i know i say a lot here that many would say is tacky and crude and inappropriate but this aint work and there is a 'respect' given here that is different from work and from other people's)

      them forcing you to be captive to their sexcapades is equally not acceptable but i understand what your saying.

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    15. Yeah, I have USB ports on the brain. That's because techie car buyers want sophisticated audio features which includes a port to plug in their Ipods. The difference being, with the kind of "USB ports" I'm talking about, our "plug-in" devices are slightly different! :-D :-D

      Regarding sex talk, it's only the awkwardness of being gay and around them at the same time that might make listening to their sexcapades uncomfortable, because they might have some expectation that I’d reciprocate with torrid stories of my own. If they knew I was gay but were tolerant, I wouldn’t mind. My humor, as you can tell, can get pretty graphic and shocking and I can and will say anything, no matter how extreme or off the wall. So I’m well suited to tolerate graphic talk from them.

      I guess another point I can have ready to make if needed is about stereotypes. Any group who has stereotypes applied to them DOES have some people who actually fit that stereotype. But most within that group do NOT fit the stereotype. And the same is true with us. When it comes to gays, probably the first things straights think of are the fembots, twinks and drag queens. In other words, they expect an explosion of, to them, nauseating femininity from us. I can explain most of us aren’t like that. While most don’t necessarily have a bear’s burly hyper-masculinity, most of us have a regular guy look and sound to us. Most of us aren’t swishy, we don’t talk like thilly little boyth, we don’t go around saying everything is fabulous or fierce (or is it “fabulouth” or “fierth”? :-D ), we don’t dress any different than straight regular guys and, if they passed us in a grocery store, there’s nothing about us that would tip them off that we are gay. We’re just like everybody else with the one exception of who we’re attracted to.

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    16. Yeah, I just might tell them about the "Male G Spot" some day which comes standard on all men, not just the gay ones, and that they simply aren't getting all benefits they could out of their "factory-issued" equipment. Having sex with their girlfriends while wearing a vibrating buttplug will have them screaming as never before.

      Oops.... Being graphic again...Sorry...NOT!! :-D :-D

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    17. My coming out dilemma just got solved today, but in a way I never would have imagined. I got let go today, but not for anything lacking about me. Evidently, the car business is slowing and, it was decided—just in the last day—that the level of business our very small dealership was getting simply didn’t justify having 5 salespeople, so they decided to go with just 4 of the strongest performers at that time. If I had been a prodigy at what I was doing and, in just my fourth week with them, had outsold someone else in the office, it would be him being let go and not me. My boss is normally in the same room I am and has had ample opportunity to overhear me talking to potential customers by phone and he says I’m quite good at it. He also has observed me with live customers in the showroom and thinks I’m good with them in person too. Once I actually do get in front of a customer, he can report that I engage well with that buyer and have no difficulty getting them to like me. My boss says he can truthfully give me very strong recommendations. I asked him if he believed it was a miscalculation to have hired me or anyone else in the first place. He said no at the time but changing conditions on the ground made having five people too many to have.

      As for the remaining four, my boss has told me things will be tightened up with them too. In the office, they spend lots of chitchat time and appear to be just sitting around when they could have been spending the time banging the phones. That’s not going to be permitted to continue. My boss has admitted that I phone with far greater persistency than the others.

      I recently was called out of the blue by one of my new step sisters from Washington state and she wanted to know what was going on with me and how was I doing. We exchanged e-mail addresses and I came out to her because I wanted to be able to discuss the coming out awkwardness that I thought could be awaiting me at work. This constitutes a huge part of what’s going on with me now or could in the future and I very much wanted to be able to talk about that. She was very cool about my sexuality as I knew she would be and asked if I could get in another job where they were more accepting. Well, excessive job hopping does NOT look good on a resume and there’s no telling what a new workplace would be like relative to homophobia. It’s not like I can ask during an interview if he—my new boss—and the others in the office are homophobic, bigoted pricks. Any of us have to just take our chances in such situations and then just deal with whatever situation we find ourselves in the best that we can. Maybe there ARE some exceptionally gay-friendly industries out there but, if one’s experience and background ISN’T in line with what’s needed there, what difference does it make?

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    18. actually you can research the companies policies and views online nowadays, more or less. im really bad about doing it before hand but many companies even at ground level put it up for the world to see and you have to do some reading between the lines but it is usually there.
      you CAN ask what the companies views and policies are on diversity and what they do to encourage it. group think is very bad.
      sometimes the downfall of a sales business-in terms of employees- is failing to catch that the performance of the moment may not register on the long term shine of other employees. there are 'quiet' salesmen that no one really knows how they remain in the lead of their respective groups.
      while the unemployment line sucks, congrats on life taking you out of a situation that causing you grievous concern and stress. seems to me like its and opportunity for you.

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    19. Thanks, Steeldrago. You’re a good friend. We’ve talked about this way more through direct e-mail than what’s showing up here and you’ve always been there for me. I hope we’ll meet in person someday. There’s a monster of a hug with your name on it waiting for you. Maybe a kiss too. Woof! :-)

      Yes, I’m aware that some companies put their diversity policies online. I could also Google them on that topic. The Advocate some time ago had a Corporate Equality Index of companies scoring 100% for being LGBT-friendly. I have that list cut and pasted into a draft e-mail to myself that I keep on hand. While I suppose I CAN ask during an interview about their views on diversity and what they do to promote it, I think that would be tactically unwise. Think about it. Why would a white male applicant ask such a question if he WEREN’T gay? Sure, there are other diversity issues like race, religion and age, but those are already legally protected classifications and should be a nonissue. LGBT is the last remaining issue where it’s still legally okay to discriminate against. So asking that question in an interview is kind of giving myself away if the interviewer is sharp. I much prefer to keep my sexuality out of the workplace, at least initially. I’m inclined to reserve coming out at work only for those who prove themselves to have a tolerant nature or in those sticky situations like coworkers getting female strippers to grind all over me or attempts to set me up on blind heterosexual dates, etc.—the really uncomfortable, awkward kind of scenarios. Coming out in those later instances may be the only way to get coworkers to stop those kind of activities.

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    21. being a 'white male' applicant myself, i ask not just because of any relevance to myself (whether they realize it or not) but because i think everyone should ask, not just the ones it applies to-and yeah that can be a red flag in an interview, depending on how it is presented. racism and discrimination in the job world is still very much present regardless of any law to the contrary. partly because we as citizens say 'its illegal they cant do that' and thats it. and we give those businesses and people our attention and money anyway. sometimes you have no options.
      i am a firm believer in being the dumbest person in the room...which is quite frankly a bit hard. and i say that without hubris.

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    22. If you can ask the diversity question with comfort, good for you, but I am not such an animal. Yes, as you have commented before, I can be pretty clever but remember an interviewer is clever too. An interviewer needs to be skilled reading people. Notwithstanding your comment that you believe everyone should ask, the fact is most in an interview situation do NOT, which necessarily means those who actually do will stand out more. Being in my early 50’s, age discrimination can be a consideration but, in many ways, I look quite young for my age. So then we have this white guy—me—who can pass for anywhere from mid 30’s to early or mid 40’s, isn’t prematurely gray, isn’t fat as so many people my age are, and yet he asks the diversity question. I have to tell you, if I were the interviewer and I had a white male applicant who looks exactly like me asking the diversity question, I would be wondering why. All then I would have to do is glance at his left hand, if then visible, note the absence of a wedding ring, which more often than not WOULD be there for someone my age, and then maybe some lightbulbs would go off in my head. Maybe my applicant is gay. So an element of doubt has been planted in that interviewer’s mind and, unless he personally is super progressive socially as well as his company, any doubts are automatically resolved against the applicant, NOT in his favor. So, I still believe actually asking the diversity question CAN potentially damage my chances with that given employer and I’m too passive aggressive in these situations to give that employer any possible ammunition to use against me if I can avoid it.

      Delete
    23. lol...i dont disagree. i just think that if we all started asking then there would be obvious accountability going on in that regard. it is another one of those issues where the people who ask are asking usually because of application not because of values. there are other ways to get that information without dropping the diversity question and i have in the past used those methods more..after my hr class i have become more hardcore in certain things because we learned a lot about the interview process from the hr perspective. i am a moralist especially against hate mongering, wherever it is.

      Delete
    24. Sure, use those other means to get that information but don’t ask the interviewer that to his face. It would be different if the entire job-hunting public started spontaneously asking that flashmob style. While flashmob tactics might work in the context of flashcard-paddle mime protests outside certain people’s houses :-D :-D , I don’t think it translates well to the job interview.

      Delete
    25. It's a little different, since I reside in a state with strong sexual orientation workplace protections and I have a husband (through civil union), but I usually mention my husband in passing during my interview process, usually when I'm discussing my academic and work history, since they are intertwined with him.

      If there's the slightest hint of discomfort, I don't want to work for them. To date, that hasn't been an issue though.

      Delete
    26. Well, then you are incredibly lucky. I could never get away with that in backward, theocratic Nebraska. What state are you from?

      Are things so cool at work that you can bring your husband to office parties without your coworkers going all weird on you?

      Delete
    27. @ dave mahon
      dude...that is amazingly awesome. i personally have never been but i could be fired for the gay bomb with no recourse.

      Delete
  9. i can say naught but im right there on the same page with ya. one assists the other and while immediate priority must go to the issue of the moments greatest concern it takes all of these concerns to add up to full equality.
    i agree acceptance is not the fight, we can accept ourselves and we can build lives with people that accept us but we will never have acceptance from all quarters. no one does.
    we as a community must cooperate with ourselves, each of us. so long as we are wasting energy fighting one another we are taking much needed energy from the fight to be considered, under law, equal in all ways to those outside our diverse community. i dont mean to say more than if nothing else we must be able to say we agree to disagree and continue to work towards our common purpose, equal recognition, equal protection, equal responsibility, equally able to live, freely and in pursuit of happiness. and for all persons, once that happiness is found it should be fostered by all of society.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I see GFV as one perspective, one visible link in a chain of rights "to be" and "to receive equal treatment under the law". The promotion of "marriage equality" does not subsume the other issues. Nor have I seen a mandate in any of your videos or blogs. Just an example and a positive model.

    It is sad that some see that as a negative to the LGBT struggle. Please keep up the incredible work you are both doing. There is a lot of support and hopefully you are not always preaching to the choir.

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  11. Another incredible entry Bryan. It always amazes me how you can show your emotions through words. Sometimes I think you prepare this for weeks and then post. You can't be this perfect to write it down all at once!!

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    1. Hi Talat,

      Hope you are doing better. I want you to know that we haven’t forgotten you and still stand ready to help if and when you ever will allow it.

      I’m so happy for you that you’re in the UK now where you can be safe. And that is a place where you now can know love too. A world of opportunities is opening up for you now and I hope you’ll take advantage of them. How are you doing there? Making friends? Are Youtubers coming forward to introduce themselves yet? Many of us who see you in videos find you irresistible. Just flash that beautiful smile of yours and people will go crazy over you.

      I hope Jay has already told you, but The Right To Love movie is in reach of you later this summer in Manchester. August 23rd I believe. Go to www.r2lmovie.com , click on “Screenings” and follow the links. If you are feeling well enough by that time, I think you should make every effort to go. And, if Youtubers are introducing themselves to you in mass the way I hope they are, you should have no difficulty finding someone to go see it with. You’ll have so much fun if you do go.

      Take care there, sexy. :-)

      Love,
      Dave

      Delete
  12. if someone wants to marry he is shaping his identity, he is hyping his identity he is sharing his identity, not destroying anything! I don't get this guy the subversive commenter.. What should we aim for to be gay, wake up in the morning and.. eat grass? Is that outrageous enough? and that's liberation? I mean he can eat grass all that he wants but I don't see how you depfox or anyone marrying are stopping him! I really don't get a single word of the comment, and you depfox are the most subversive and outrageous guys in the world just as you are, LOVE!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I took hormones for about 5 years. The effect was my libido (need for sexual release) dropped to almost none. Erections (I'm pre-op) were impossible and orgasms were weak. Taking them lead to depression and I thought about suicide daily. Eventually, I stopped taking them and all these symptoms went away.

    Despit all that... I still want to go back on them again because it takes me a step near the gender I want/ need to be.

    There's a few things that the LGB share with the transgendered. One of them is the need to be who we are. Coming out as transgendered or gay/lesbian gives a feeling of being honest with the world and honest to yourself. A feeling that you are part of society not separated from it due to all the lies and deceit.

    Bryan if the friend of your friend wants to join me on Facebook.... Holly Anne Grainger xx

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  14. there is no words to discribe just how awesome this is! I couldn't agree more, Bryan. The way i see it, it's about being being anle to live our lives without being denied rights, without being killed for being gay, bi, trans, without people making up lies and misconceptions about LGBT, and without our children committing suicide! Want to be promicious commenter? Fine, but there's those who want to spend their lives with one person. I, as a bisexual, want to spend my life with one person for life.

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  15. The commenter did have a slight point but he didn't have to be so harsh about it. It seems as though everyone is just spitting venom at everyone else, even inside the gay community. It's so hard to come to a decision that everyones happy with...its probably even impossible. Anyway, the way you handled that comment was brilliant Bryan, a very enjoyable and thought provoking read as always.

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  16. I think the angry emoticon you were looking was this:

    (ノಠ益ಠ)ノ彡┻━┻

    (angry tosing table emoticon)

    On another subject. Awesome post but remember that anger leads to the dark side.

    Arcadio =)

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    1. but there is power in the rage...it burns so brightly and in the aftermath my enemies are dust..poor cleaner droid 12 will be missed, he was a cheeky fellow. tear..
      as a side note the emoticon looks like japanese..

      Delete
    2. tabble tosing, that reminds me of teresa giudice... and that thing looks like an angry bird

      Delete
  17. Okay..now I got it!! I can blame the closure of all of the fun gay bars in Cleveland on the Leffews!! You meanies!

    Being openly gay in the 60's and 70's usually meant leaving the burbs and moving to an urban gay ghetto..random sex and lots of drugs an alcohol. I am glad society has evolved and there are other options for people today.

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  18. Ah,at least your not getting sprayed with a high pressure fire hose..by a crazy man named Theophilus or getting attacked by police or getting tear gased thrown in your face or getting hanged..or sitting in the back of the bus.....like stfu this is nothing

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    1. i'm confused... who is supposed to "stfu"?

      Delete
    2. I’m guessing the “stfu” refers to gay people in general.

      Connor, by the kinds of comments you’re making here, it sounds like you’re black. Are you? And are the things you describe things that have happened to you? Relatives of yours? Your comments also sound like you might be straight as well. Are you? Because a gay person normally wouldn’t say what we go through is nothing.

      While I’ll agree the things you describe aren’t done to gay people in this country, I don’t think “shutting the fuck up” is an appropriate thing for us to be doing now. Staying quiet will just maintain the status quo, which sucks, frankly. Maybe we even need our own Malcolm X.

      There was a time, Connor, when things were done to us far, far worse than what you describe. But it didn’t happen in this country. It happened in Nazi Germany. We were exterminated too. Jews were made to wear yellow stars and we were made to wear pink triangles. We had sadistic medical experiments performed on us. In later years, we adopted the Nazi pink triangle symbol and transformed it into a symbol for gay liberation.

      And when it comes to marriage, Connor, we often don’t even have the “privilege” of sitting in the back of the bus. We get kicked off that bus entirely.

      Delete
  19. Hi GFV!
    I'm new to this blog and I'm commenting for the first time in regards to the comment a person made about you guys being the cause of the demise of gay bars.

    The "Rise & Fall" (if you will) of the gay bar scene can be interpreted in a positive light:

    Consider the following; here we are as gay people fighting for equality and acceptance and tolerance and integration. Well, from my own experience living in Phoenix Arizona, I can gladly say that the gay bar scene is struggling terribly to stay afloat. Why is that? Because nobody cares anymore if you are gay or straight here. You will find just as many gay men in straight bars in the city as you will in any gay bar. The straight community tolerates us now. The straight bar scene accepts gay men now. The 'straight' clubs see us gay people as nothing more outragious than the straight guy walking into the club plastered with crazy facial piercings and dyed hair and plastered with tattoos. The lines have now blurred between a supposed "straight scene" and supposed "gay scene". The tell-tell sign of a city that has successfully integrated and accepted it's gay citizens is the EVENTUAL lack of any gay scene.

    Just as there no longer exists a "women's voting-rights" scene or "Anti-Prohibition" scene or "Anti-slavery" scene; likewise, there will consequently be no "gay scene" as our rights slowly but most asuredly come our way. Is is the natural result and consequence when TRUE tolerance & GENUINE acceptance prevail in a society that once opposed a particular set of people.

    So die "gay scene", die quickly! For all of our sakes! :)

    (Love you guys! Your videos have been such a consolation)

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    1. Welcome Anonymous. Pretty profound comment of yours there. I think more is at work contributing to the demise of the gay bar scene than just increasing acceptance or even the increasing push for marriage equality, although I don’t think the later holds up as a reason. Marriage equality is just another option that gay people have depending on where they live. If marriage doesn’t interest you, fine. No one’s jamming it down your throat. Keep up with the bar scene if that’s one’s wish. I think the Internet and the emerging dating website phenomenon has done a huge part of the damage. We can post profiles, photos and set out exactly what we’re looking for. Technology is rendering the traditional gay bar somewhat obsolete.

      My only regret with the demise of the gay bar scene and integration of us into society as a whole is it’s hard to identify fellow “family members” in an integrated bar. Even a tolerant straight person feels uncomfortable being come on to by a gay guy and that’s perfectly understandable. I don’t want to make a mistake and hit on a straight guy either. Maybe these establishments should make available color-coded wrist bands. Rainbow for us and a solid dark color for straights. That would eliminate the “oops’s.”

      Delete
    2. @ Dave
      I'm a straight ally. I have a little advise for any straight guys going to a "gay" bar/club. My advise is : GO WITH A GAY FRIEND.
      I'm not much of a "cluber", but last New Year's Eve I went with a bunch of friends to the local bars/clubs, and to a "gay" bar/club to go dancing. Any way, to make a long boring story short :
      Your gay buddy can quietly explain to interested parties that their advances would be futile and even outright cock-block the more aggressive (or desperate, or drunk) types.

      Delete
    3. Mike,

      As a point of clarification, it's not about whether a gay guy's advance on a straight guy would be successful. Of course it wouldn't be. It's all about trying to prevent a mistake from being made in the first place. No gay guy wants to knowingly hit on a straight guy. It's a complete waste of his time and it puts him in danger should the straight guy came onto have a hot temper. Likewise, a gay guy feels equally uncomfortable when he gets hit on by a woman. Hence, the idea of color-coded wristbands. In the mixed company of an integrated bar, we can all get along better if we can somehow retain the ability to tell who's who.

      Delete
    4. the hanky code will come back in an updated fashion then..i mean we already have grindr and other apps for the new fones.

      take the compliment that being hit on is, everyone, especially when it is done poorly. lolz

      ive known some of the gay's that counter your statement dave...i am in line with you but not everyone is (on the straight person being targeted).

      Delete
  20. @Michael & @Dave
    “Color coded wrist bands” to denote one’s sexual orientation in a social setting? Why? For what purpose would it serve? How peculiar.
    “Hitting on” people in straight or gay bars? Is not the pseudo-social skill of “hitting on” people more suited for the amateurs and typical of the high school/college demographic? How dated.
    Are we not striving for our rights and integration into society? Wrist bands in a social setting denote ‘difference’, ‘other than’, ‘exception’, etc. Perhaps the prospect of people wearing wrist bands denoting one’s political persuasion would be likewise appropriate in a bar setting. This then would make it convenient for the gay Democrats from accidently “hitting” on the gay Republican at a bar. No, it would seem counterproductive to utilize wrist bands to denote one’s sexual persuasion or to denote anything else for that matter.
    It separates.
    As for the fear of “hitting on” a straight guy at a bar, this is a non-issue and a win-win situation for all involved. Consider this; a straight guy at a bar can never approach a woman without being suspected of having ulterior motives. This is not so for the gay guy who may unknowingly approach a straight guy with romantic intentions. In my personal experience, if I like a guy sitting at the straight bar, I pull up a stool beside him and strike up conversation like any social species would. From our conversation, I then ascertain if we have anything in common: if so great; if not then no worries (I wouldn’t want to date a gay guy if there were no commonalities anyway): At WORST you’ve enjoyed a simple chat with someone over a beer or at LEAST you’ve gained a friend or at BEST you’ve discovered he is gay as well. It’s a win-win situation. (Straight men at a bar do not have the luxury of the above scenario with their female counterparts. They constantly have the fear of being seen as a pervert. Behold the advantages of being male and gay!)
    I have had great experiences as a gay man in straight bars. For example, I became good hiking buddies with a straight guy I met at a regular bar. We hung out for many months and I never told him I was gay (nor straight for that matter).I was just glad to have made his acquaintance and friendship. Imagine my surprise when many months later he told me he was gay. More importantly he told me that he found me attractive and was wondering if I found him to be attractive. Skip a bunch of dialogue and before the sun even had a chance to set, we were lip locking and in full sexual swing. No description can reach how beautiful was the sex; we’d gotten to know each other for many months prior without the underlying subject of each other’s sexual orientation being a commonality. There was no pressure. And all this resulted from a simple, “Hello!” from me to him at a ‘straight’ bar.
    Therefore there are advantages of NOT knowing the sexual orientation of another man (i.e. avoid “colored wrist bands”); and do not underestimate the importance of ‘straight’ bars for gay men. “ENGAGING CONVERSATION “at straight bars may end up getting you more men in bed than “hitting on” gay guys at gay bars.

    But if ur simply looking for a mindless, drunken f**k then by all means stick to the gay bar; ur patronage may help keep its doors open for one more dying breathe before its eventual closure and demise.

    Love ya! :)

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    Replies
    1. OMG. That’s quite an argument and one that’s hard to poke holes in. Yes, those color-coded wristbands would denote difference when we’re trying to move toward a world where there is none. Maybe Steeldrago’s idea of bringing back the hanky code in some updated form is the better option. We could then retain the ability to tell who’s who without creating the obvious appearance of difference that you say we should get away from. And, no, I’m not the type looking for that drunken fuck notwithstanding that some things I’ve said may have created that impression. I want to love and be loved by the one I would have sex with. To me, sex without love is nothing more than a bong hit for your dick. I don’t want to have to settle for so little. I crave having that intense, emotional connection with someone too that we call love. And I don’t want to live my life without it.

      You were very lucky to have gained that friendship that you spent several months building and then have him come out to you and then have both of you attracted to each other. The most successful relationships probably are the ones where they began as friends. Those are the people who genuinely enjoy each other’s company all the time and not just in the bedroom grinding organs. This friend of yours you’ve described—do you now love him? Are you a couple now?

      Notwithstanding all you’ve said and how well you’ve argued your case—and, yes, you’ve done an awesome job—I still want to find people to date for LTR purposes—not mindless, drunken bar fucks—and I don’t want to waste a lot of time going down a lot of dead ends with people who turn out to be straight, which necessarily would happen in the scenario you’ve created. And I don’t know how to be time efficient in an increasingly integrated world without using gay dating websites. Sure, those tend to be quick hook up sites, but they can function just as well for the purposes I have in mind as long as I’m clear in my profile what I’m looking for. If you, as the one browsing my profile, are only interested in that quick bong hit for your dick and intend to throw me away afterwards like a used razor, do us both a favor and move on to the next profile.

      Say, Anonymous, you're pretty deep and I hope you stick around long term. Why don't you come up with a screen name other than "Anonymous" so we all know it's you? We potentially can have a lot of people posting here as "Anonymous" and it's much better to be able to recognize people as the individuals they really are.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous,

      Another point. Guys you meet in a straight bar are much more likely to be straight than gay and the only gays there who are inherently self-evident are the really feminine ones. With regular friends that you make there whose sexuality and ability to be tolerant, if straight, are unknown, don’t you feel a barrier between you and them that you don’t feel with a gay friend? Don’t you feel an impulse to be careful around them, avoiding certain conversational topics, etc.? Surely you don’t just gratuitously come out to everyone and anyone with no prior attempt to size them up tolerance-wise, i.e., try to observe them to see if they out themselves as homophobic bigots by making gay jokes, etc.?

      It’s not that such a straight friend isn’t a great guy and fun to be around but, with a gay friend who’s a platonic buddy of yours, ALL of the barriers come down. You both have had similar life experiences, similar struggles, have the ability to understand each other at a level utterly unachievable with a straight friend and can compare notes on a lot of different issues unique to us. That’s A LOT to bond over and at a deeper level. In a mixed environment when no one has a clue who’s what, it necessarily takes a lot longer to get to that level. Once you start making a lot of gay friends like I have here and get used to being more authentic more of the time, it’s hard to regress and resume navigating socially in a world which normally has no place for you, a world where you always have to be careful and “edit” yourself. At least, it’s a difficulty and awkwardness that I personally feel.

      Delete
    3. @Dave
      I appreciate that you view my comments as thoughtful and in-depth. After all, someone needs to elevate the minds of these sonsofbitches on this thread! Hahahahaha! (eh….that’s a joke.) :)
      So to ring it all in: The initial point I was making was that the tangible ‘gay scene’ is slowly dwindling (and for the better). Of course technology has picked up where the ‘gay scene’ has dropped off via social media like GRINDR and dating sites and this is practical although I am of the opinion that GRINDR seems a bit too deliberate; too immediate and non-organic even if one is looking for more than just a hook up. I’m mean seriously: I am shopping for tomatoes and cucumbers at my local grocery store and *bing!* my GRINDR app tells me that the guy across from me in produce is gay too(?) So what? If I like him I’ll strike up a conversation with him regardless because, as I mentioned before, within 5 minutes of engaging him I’ll have gained a friend, gained a boyfriend, or enjoyed a simple chat. It is all GAIN with nothing to lose! But I’ll save that for another topic. It is becoming more apparent in this thread that it is not really finding gay men in a ‘straight’ setting that is the challenge but rather the execution of the ART OF CONVERSATION (or the lack thereof). Excellent social skills trump dating one-liners any day. As for the application of hankies for gay men I say to you, “F**k dat s**t!” (How’s that for eloquent speech). I will not have a snot rag assist me in the acquisition of a husband. How archaic.
      To answer your question about my relationship with my hiking buddy: When I met him, prior to us becoming sexual, he was already making preparations to move to Chicago. Within weeks of us coming out to one another he moved. I was in no financial position at the time to move with him. We are still VERY good friends and he is currently dating a guy he has met in Chicago.
      The best way to find a person to f**k is to “mind-f**k” them first, that is, intellectually stimulate their minds with engaging conversation and then you will not only find gay men in a ‘straight’ setting but even lure ‘straight’ men into your bed! Believe me, I know this from experience. I’ve met many great straight guys who have never once considered being sexual with the same sex yet have allowed me to “do the honors” if you will because I provided an atmosphere for us to both get to know one another in a non-pretentious, non-sexual, non-aggressive way prior to us venturing into uncharted territory.
      But like I said, if one doesn’t want to engage in rewarding, non-sexual conversation at a ‘straight’ bar than the gay bar scene is ripe for the picking.

      Ciao! :)

      Delete
    4. “Elevate the minds of some of the sonsabitches on this thread”? That’s funny. Problem is I may have “elevated my mind” one time too many in my youth! :-D :-D I can’t seem to come all the way down. I well could be one of those bitch offspring you spoke of! :-D :-D. It was me who told that funny drunken tequila worm story above. I can be just as deep as you are in one moment and then funny in the next and I routinely switch roles on a dime. I guess that makes me complicated! :-D

      A Grindr app is that sensitive that it can tell you if the guy across from you in Produce is gay? Didn’t know that. Duly noted for future use! :-D Just kidding. Well, maybe not entirely…. :-D

      Conversationally, I have the gift of gab too. But I do have to report a difference in feel when I’m in an establishment around “my own people” as opposed to a overwhelmingly straight place. I don’t consider myself shy in the straight venue but, with all the barriers down in a gay one, I notice I’m a lot more outgoing. None of that pretend shit or avoiding topics crap that I feel in the straight venue is present in the gay one and I feel completely liberated to be fully myself and the result is I’m a lot more outgoing there. So, even as we move closer and closer to that integrated world, I don’t want the predominantly gay venues to completely disappear. And, no, I don’t just talk sex stuff in such a place. I talk about anything. The difference is in such a place I CAN get into some sexual subject matter if I choose without it getting all weird for everyone. Straights have straight sex banter among themselves and think nothing of it.

      Delete
    5. yes the hanky code is 'archaic' it is after all from a time when we needed to id one another in ways that were not obvious to the oblivious straights so that we did not go to jail, the nuthouse or get beaten to death. i dont really know that much about it myself, it is an interesting tidbit of history though. also it was not the only method developed, the earring thing was adopted from the navy.

      as a nerd, while i enjoy real conversation and can hold my own, it is difficult to initiate those conversations, its called my charisma score is only a point or two above average. i do agree that it is that non-threatening, not sexually aggressive manner that will lead to the all around win you speak of, mike.

      sometimes i am dumb as a box of rocks. i am still a dude requiring stupid guy stuff.
      while the mode is changing, there will continue to be predominantly gay venues.. we do still have that need for 'our own.'

      i dont much like bars anyway. a 30's style 'speak easy' would rock though.

      Delete
    6. ok, correction, my charisma score is probably about average but as a nerd i get a serious penalty in situations with non-nerds. at least a -4, possibly a -10. i desperately need those nat 20's on my side in those situations.

      Delete
    7. Steeldrago,

      I've been aware for some time that earrings had meaning for us, but have never been clear on the specifics. Which ear means top and which one means bottom? Do earrings on both ears then mean versatile?

      Delete
    8. if i recall correctly, it is the left ear pierced meant you were gay. back in the day, and in all the pirate movies, that guy you see scrubbing the hull of barnacles, he had the odious job of all things ick- including being the 'relief' for ALL of the sailors.

      as a dude with both ears pierced, who does switch hit, thats hilarious dave. and no that is not why i got my ears pierced.

      Delete
    9. Dave, the OriginalJuly 16, 2012 at 10:35 PM

      So left ear means gay but there is no top / bottom signaling through earrings? Are you sure about the second part? And earrings in both ears signals nothing gay-wise? I do NOT have ears pierced, partially because I know some of it has gay meaning and I don't know what I'm doing, so better not to go there at all until I do.

      Delete
    10. for awhile, i believe, in some places that went on and it flip flopped from one side to the other to both. i know there was color coding pre-gang associations.
      i am by no means an expert here, i mean i really dont know anything about harvey milk and some other names i cant think of. i know mapplethorpe for his art stuff..he was not a pornographer but many considered him to be (they are just afraid of the evil peen). i will share what i do know as it comes up, i welcome correction and true information.
      lolz, no i certainly am not indicating my proclivities with my piercings. i feel more me and some other more sanctified things. piercings and tatts mean what you want them to, even if you are buying into a group system. thats part of what makes them special. i do not advocate frivolous tats (i know we all have regrets but why be reminded of them everyday, unless it is a significant thing you must remember) and most piercing will heal over.
      do what thou wilt.

      Delete
  21. I find the disconnect fascinating. Here you are fighting for full social equality - equal treatment under the law and from society at large. And then your commenter comes along demanding special treatment, which is exactly what your opponents (like the American Family Association and Focus on the Family) rail against.

    The straight community simultaneously has people in the bar/club scene and soccer parents. Why can't the gay community have the same? Why shouldn't it have the same?

    Then again, I am more concerned about the loss of our booksellers than I am by that of the clubs. A place to get drunk and pick people up and generally be comfortable being yourself is a social tradition and the latter is becoming ever easier in mainstream society. The bookstores publish our history, which was already ravaged by the AIDS epidemic. So many people in our community don't know our own history and that does concern me.

    That said, the fact that both are flagging should be evidence enough that it is not the Marriage Equality movement causing the failing of the gay bars; there is a much bigger process at work.

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    1. “And then your commenter comes along demanding special treatment, which is exactly what your opponents (like the American Family Association and Focus on the Family) rail against.”

      Am I the commenter you’re referring to? It was me who originally was thinking out loud and came up with the idea of wristbands which, as the conversation evolved, I no longer think that’s such a great idea. I guess I’m not understanding why striving for full equality under both the law and society and still, somehow, retaining the ability to identify your own kind for dating purposes HAVE to be incompatible goals. Why would hoping that retaining some gay bars or similar venues to provide us a social space to let our guards down and be ourselves constitute “demanding special treatment?” And does that make me such an awful person to have such a hope?

      Sure, we have our own social spaces online such as this blog and I’m thankful to have it, but it isn’t enough alone. You can’t hug words on a screen or an image in a YouTube video….

      Sometimes larger cities have social organizations for gays that aren’t bars. You might have gay bowling leagues, for example. And if you watch the jasunmarkdotcom channel on YouTube, you may have heard that Jasun is part of a gay motorcycle gang. Kansas City, which is a couple hours or so away from where I live, has essentially a social fraternity for bears called the Kansas City Cave Bears. Now if Omaha, my hometown, had something like that, I would join up in a heartbeat. But we don’t, dammit. We have no coherent bear community at all here and that totally sucks if you like bears.

      Delete
  22. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xq0kVbhF3KA

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    1. Dave, the OriginalJuly 15, 2012 at 7:08 AM

      Holy shit! Three different Dave's on this thread? Great video. Dave, my last name starts with "F" too. Marriage equality is about civil rights, as you say, and NOT about culture. It need not and does not harm the gay bar scene. You might have even met your husband in a gay bar. And this will continue to be the case for others too.

      I am the Dave from Omaha who is the best known here and, whenever we get a number of Dave's on the same thread, I switch my screen name to "Dave, the Original" to maintain my own identity here. So all the postings you've seen above from a Dave, with the exception of a couple posted near the bottom, have been from me, the original Dave.

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  23. @Dave Mahon

    BTW good for you for referring to your other half as your husband even though that’s not what he is technically legally. Using the term “partner” inherently smacks of second-class citizenship and to use that terminology arguably is at some level acquiescing to that second-class citizenship your theocratic rivals have bestowed on you, even if they have granted you at least a little bit of relationship recognition. I wish everyone similarly situated would do as you have done. I’d like to see the word “partner” deleted from our vocabularies and replaced with “husband,” just as we have trained ourselves to say “marriage equality” and not “gay marriage” (to avoid helping creating the inference of special rights in the minds of haters) and SHOULD be saying “marriage discrimination” in place of “traditional marriage.”

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  24. Dave, the OriginalJuly 17, 2012 at 4:47 AM

    I’m merely curious about the earring thing. I have no intention of getting them anyway. Nor would I have any other piercings or tattoos because I don’t want any of the interference they can create as far as getting a job. And those “P.A.” piercings to one’s “package” so many gay men supposedly get…. How insane! And not in a good way this time…. Why would anyone do that to themselves?

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    1. oops again, lolz.
      i see that interference as small minded bigotry, many ethnic groups (and persons) have high esteem for certain tattoos and have deep, sincere positive regard for them assigning deeply spiritual beliefs to them. i've never 'fit' anyway so i will take the punk/biker attitude on that. the choices i or anyone else make for our own lives only affects the lives of others as much as they themselves allow. if you dont like something fine, no problem, respect that i disagree and i will do likewise. you hit a rant here...lolz
      i agree on the genital piercings- i have all the holes in my junk that are ever going to be put there intentionally. i am thinking of getting my nip pierced though. most people i know who have them are straight. also, NO ONE ever get a tongue piercing. it is horribly bad for your health. yeah its great for your partner but your teeth get damaged/destroyed, you introduce mouth germs directly into your blood stream, if you dont pay attention to the jewelry you get you can get some funky stuff from that. its bad, really bad.
      the only time ive ever had an issue about my piercings, to my face, was by a deputy who did a double take. im guessing he thought i was a partaker of illegal mind altering things. i was in a kind of ghetto situation so im not gonna fault him too far but A and B are not equal. two words- road trip!

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    2. Dave, the OriginalJuly 18, 2012 at 5:39 AM

      I personally am not bothered by tats and piercings. It’s been such a big thing for enough years now that I’ve gotten used to seeing them. It’s so widespread now and cuts across such much of society now that it no longer has that “lowlife” connotation it might have had in the past. I have seen instances where some people have overdone the tattoos to the point that it’s a distraction and damages their underlying attractiveness. For this reason, I really don’t like seeing tattoos on the face.

      Some tattoos and piercings, if done in moderation and good taste, I actually find sexy. For example, just as a well-kept mustache frames and enhances a beautiful smile, adding a stud piercing right under the lower lip as a add-on to the mustache and beard I find incredibly hot. It further frames a sexy smile. If you watch the 5AwesomeBears on YouTube, you might have noticed that “Mr. Nate” guy in later seasons. Now he’s a little fatter than what I’m normally attracted to, but he’s a darker Hispanic dude with unbelievably sexy, slightly droopy bedroom eyes and an outrageously hot smile that’s well-framed with both a mustache and a stud under his lower lip. I just drool over him.  If we could just take that beautiful face of his and stick it on top of a huge, hairy muscular body, that would be sheer perfection for me.

      Likewise, a stud earring on a black guy visually pops in a way impossible on a pale white dude and, if that black dude is already hot, that stud earring enhances him further, at least to me. I also like those jagged armband-like tattoos on a guy with big muscular arms because it enhances and draws attention to his muscularity. What I’m not fond of seeing though are tattoos that completely cover the arm. Part of what makes a muscle bear sexy are those big HAIRY arms and completely covering those arms with tattoos detracts from and conceals some of his sexiest features.

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    3. Dave, the OriginalJuly 18, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      I also think those bear claw tats a lot of bears get are sexy too. :-)

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  25. @ALL
    Fellas, endless talk of purposeless, meaningless tattoos and superfluous piercings, ‘adorning’ one’s nipples with rings….blah,blah,blah….etc.
    Wow, so tedious to the mind.
    Indeed, innumerable tattoos and numerous piercings on the human body are not foreign to many cultures; predominantly 3rd world countries. It goes as no surprise that such cultures are often featured in National Geographic documentaries not due to their profound civilized intellect but rather due to their pre-historic like behavior. Yet even these “pre-historic-like” people have a genuine, meaningful, authentic PURPOSE for such shocking visual displays of multiple tats and piercings. THEIR tats and piercings are representative of their tradition, spiritual beliefs and culture. In other words, for the tribesmen, tattoos and piercings are less about promoting the INDIVIDUAL and more about promoting their cultural tradition.

    OUR tattoos (bear claws, bicep barb wire, etc.) lack all of the above. OUR tattoos tend toward SELF promotion and zero historic purpose. We pine for these odd displays of self-promotion and cling to them like some security blanket. Just be yourself. Play to the tune of your own song and block out all the rest of the ‘background noise’ (i.e. piercings, tats, hanky codes, etc.).

    The greater the tats and piercings on a guy, the lesser the simplicity of heart he possesses.

    The irony about all of the above is that it now seems more apparent that perhaps it is the “pre-historic” folk of Africa that exhibit more sound judgment than we 21st century white-collared Europeans with our distorted obsession for generic tats and nipple rings.

    “It is not he who possesses the MOST that is wealthy but he who needs the LEAST.”

    Keep the tats! I’ll keep my body simple.

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    1. Dave, the OriginalJuly 18, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      Mike32,

      I’m no more interested in tattoos or piercings for myself than you are for yourself. My attitude toward them is rather liaise faire and my comments were only about which could be attractive, regardless of whether they have historical, cultural, religious or other “elevated” sources of redeeming value to them, and which are over-the-top and damage one’s appearance rather than possibly enhancing it. At least those kind of things get away from that stuffy, insufferable corporate sellout look. And, no, I have no desire to become a multi-colored peacock of snot rags…. :-D :-D And I was over thumb sucking, security blankies and whoobies by age 3. :-D :-D And I am being myself just fine. I appreciate your concern though…. :-D What I definitely am NOT into though is being super serious all the time. We have fun here and we make friends here and it can be that way for you too, but you have to want it. It’s up to you….

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    2. having shown a small portion of my rant earlier i will leave it at..i reject the reality of the christianazis that i grew up around and bite my thumb quite thoroughly at them all...also, neener neener nana boo boo ;P= (yes its puerile and that's the point)
      i will keep my bloody thumb off my altar cause i Dont do blood rites.

      i agree the vast majority of the tattoos and piercing we united states citizens get are ridiculously self serving, that is as much part of 'our' culture as anything else. it has also been a part of our culture to actively destroy anything 'not' or reduce it to meaningless drivel for the childish masses that are a result of children raising children (badly) because we desperately needed population to maintain let alone begin our own culture. which is why i am against gratuitous and frivolous tattoos.
      the art can be beautiful amazing pieces and there can be a deeply felt meaning and spiritual expression from the painful process of getting a tattoo or from a piercing, for some. if there is no room in your spirituality for humour then i fully believe that those are genuinely sad and deprived people; just as there should be room for a healthy and satisfying sexual experience, regardless of partner - assuming legal consent.

      which comes right back around to what bryan originally was talking about, full equal recognition under the law while living a life, freely pursuing happiness, whatever that may mean, if its filled with bar hopping anonymous sex (assuming your being responsible about it) finding that one other person, or three, that you will happily spend the rest of your life with and all of those social obligations. also if it means you get frivolous tattoos and piercings that shock others (i believe in the value of that shock-though some abuse it) or if you get none at all. your personal religious dogma or lack thereof is just that yours and we all have the right to it and the right to not be forced to follow doctrines that run contrary to our own moral compass...and that means that whether it is in government, business or society we have to be able to agree to disagree, take ourselves with a little humility and humour and focus on the things that we do have in common- as unlikely as that may seem at first glimpse or even third.
      seeing as my mom's an otter im still a son of a bitch.

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  26. @Dave, ‘El Originale’

    So I’m too serious for ya eh?...
    Guess I will not be successful in elevating the minds of u sonsofbitches afterall! Hahahahaha!

    Yeah, you’re right. I suppose it wouldn’t hurt for me to lighten up a bit and get a few genital piercings.

    Let the Beavis & Butthead-level humor begin!
    (BTW, I love the “…stuffy, insufferable corporate sellout look”. It’s HOT!!!)

    Luv ya Dave! :p

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  27. Can I interest you in a rotary sprinkler head to add onto your genital piercing? :-D :-D :-D Or would a “misting” attachment, like they use in the Produce section of a grocery store, be more to your liking? :-D :-D Or why don’t we all get P.A.’s, clip on mini windmill attachments, assemble together on a tall hill somewhere and then plug ourselves into the power grid! :-D :-D And I’m way, WAY sicker than Beevis and Butthead, dude! :-D :-D

    Seriously though—and you need to pay close attention because this sure won’t last for long—if you think the corporate look is hot, go to gaymaletube.com, type in either “Bruno Knight” or “Alex Marte” in the video search box and then choose the video saying MenAtPlay on it. The corporate look works best when the clothes are coming off as you’ll soon discover. Enjoy….

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    1. you just love those guys dont you dave? they're hot and all but jasun gives us some juicy other hotness for varieties sake (in terms of fantasy guys) and yeah older dudes do it better. lolz ];P

      i mean the new guy jake genesis is delicious!

      that rotary sprinkler could be interesting...perhaps you should submit that thought to oxballs for consideration.

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    2. Dave, the OriginalJuly 19, 2012 at 5:03 AM

      Older dudes do it better, eh? Two words: Bronson Gates. Two other words: Zach Spears. Plug in those as search phrases in the video search box at you know where. Those are two I’d like to drain like milk cows! :-D :-D Watch and I’m sure you’ll agree.

      Yes, I actually know what you’re talking about by your “oxballs reference.

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    3. Dave, the OriginalJuly 19, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      While the rotary sprinkler head might be a nice additional touch at a gay costume party, use in the bedroom could be problematic. Do you really want to include squeegeeing the ceiling as part of “post-game” cleanup? :-D Suit yourself, but I’m more low maintenance than that! :-D

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    4. lmao. meh, im a pig, i have no problem with a glow in the blicklight bedroom. plus that is an extremely hilarious image, guests walk in(not sure why they would but hey weird stuff happens with family and sex partners) hit the 'wrong switch' on the wall and the light changes and Everything glows softly- they then run screaming from the area or feel desperately the need for a shower. their statements would be 'but it always smells so 'normal'

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    5. Dave, the OriginalJuly 19, 2012 at 3:18 PM

      Well those glowing airborne droplets falling from the ceiling certainly would inspire them at minimum to wear a hat in your room! :-D Since you’re in the food and restaurant business, you know how important it is to warn customers with peanut allergies about possible exposure to traces of peanuts or peanut oil. So if your diet is rich in Planter’s Nuts, they might have to wear a Trojan body condom or a hazmat suit in your room after you’ve taken your rotary sprinkler head attachment out for a “spin” with a “guest” there! :-D :-D

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  28. Made me cry. Beautiful post.

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  29. I've just downloaded iStripper, and now I can watch the hottest virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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