Category: that is so gay

sotd: Troye Sivan – Wild

Not often do I stumble on a new artist that completely takes me by storm, and I become instantly, obsessively, incessantly transfixed on their voice, their music, and need to hear everything I can get my hands on by them. Well, that’s exactly what happened when my buddy Jamie told me to listen to Troye Sivan. Sivan is a 20 year old, out, Australian actor, singer/songwriter who’s song Wild, which has a beautiful, hauntingly touching video, has me completely obsessed, and after hearing his two EPs, TRXYE and Wild, has me incredibly hungry to hear more from this incredibly talented young singer.

marriage equality, finally… love wins

Today, June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States decided the landmark case of OBERGEFELL v. HODGES, in which gay marriage was legalized nationally for all states in the United States. This recognizes all marriages that have occurred in states that were previously legal, and validates those marriages as legal in all states in the United States going forward. This is monumental.

Gay. Marriage. Is. Legal. Nationally.

My marriage is legal; not only in D.C., where we got married, but in Georgia, and every other state of the United States. This is an amazing day, and one that was a long time coming. Love truly did win.

Here’s a beautiful snippet of the statement issued by the court:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies
the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice,
and family. In forming a marital union, two people become
something greater than once they were. As some of
the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage
embodies a love that may endure even past death. It
would misunderstand these men and women to say they
disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do
respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its
fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned
to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s
oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the
eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.
The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth
Circuit is reversed.
It is so ordered.

It’s a happy day, for sure, and one that I am so glad is finally here. LOVE IS LOVE!!!

I’m coming out… I want the world to know…

Today is National Coming Out day! Today is a great day in which we look to our fellow gay community to celebrate being who you are, and letting everyone know how proud you are to be who you are. Coming out is the best way to not only be yourself, but also to bring visibility to the gay community as a whole; people get to see just how many of us there are among them. Coming out is a celebration, and a giant step in the life of any gay man, lesbian woman, trans individual, bisexual person, or questioning person.

Let’s not forget, however, that coming out is an intensely powerful statement, not only to oneself, but also to those around them. Coming out to yourself is a monumental step for every single LGBTQ person, and it is one that often takes years of struggle, soul searching, and coming to terms with your own identity. There are those of us that find it easy to come out, and there are those of us that struggle for years, even a lifetime, to either come out to ourselves, or to those around us (or both). Some people struggle with this more than others, and remember, especially on days like this, that they deserve our love and support, because they are grappling with understanding and embracing their very fundamental being.

I write about this so that people who have not come out, and thus cannot fully and truly understand the powerful ramifications coming out has to a queer person, can better grasp the magnitude of such a statement. I also write about this, so that we can share in understanding just how much of a celebration this day should be; and anyone’s coming out day, for that matter.

I. Am. Gay. While it’s something that seems so small and innocent, it is in fact something that is not only hard to say, but it can be almost impossible to accept for oneself, as well as for those around them.

Honor those that speak loudly about who they are, and be proud of those that represent us in the public eye. Applaud and celebrate those that find themselves, and are out and proud as gay, lesbian, trans, bi, and queer individuals; I can assure you that they did not come to this place lightly, and being who you are takes a ton of courage. This is something that should be celebrated when it happens for anyone, because it marks a monumental phase in someone’s life; the moment when they are finally free to be who they are. Never let yourself fall into the space of questioning why someone has not come out if you believe them to be LGBTQ, because coming out isn’t as easy for everyone; trust me, it took me quite a while to get here myself.

So let’s celebrate today for what it is; a statement, a purpose, an understanding that someone finally get’s to be themselves. There really is no better feeling than the moment when you can finally say to yourself, and to the world…

I’m gay and proud, damn it!

…AND, I want everyone to know!! Happy Coming Out day, everyone!

more hate from the catholic church

Check out this latest act of stupidity drowned in hate, from the Catholic Church: (h/t to my friend W. Scott for letting me know about this)

The Catholic Archdiocese of Washington said Wednesday that it will be unable to continue the social service programs it runs for the District if the city doesn’t change a proposed same-sex marriage law, a threat that could affect tens of thousands of people the church helps with adoption, homelessness and health care.

Under the bill, headed for a D.C. Council vote next month, religious organizations would not be required to perform or make space available for same-sex weddings. But they would have to obey city laws prohibiting discrimination against gay men and lesbians.

Fearful that they could be forced, among other things, to extend employee benefits to same-sex married couples, church officials said they would have no choice but to abandon their contracts with the city.

“If the city requires this, we can’t do it,” Susan Gibbs, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said Wednesday. “The city is saying in order to provide social services, you need to be secular. For us, that’s really a problem.”

They might as well have released a statement that said specifically, “We, the Catholic Church, hate the idea of gay people getting married so much, that we will turn our backs on the charity we provide to people that desperately need it. If you, the state that gives us some of the money that allows us to do that charity force us to follow your rules, we won’t provide those services anymore. Our hatred is so strong, that we are willing to publicly paint ourselves as haters just to prove how much we feel and want to perpetuate that hate. Hate, hate, hate; that is what we are all about. Erm, I don’t know how to end… I guess, Love, the Catholic Church.”

Now, the Catholic Church has a strong track record of doling out their own specifically interesting breed of hatred, so this isn’t really a surprise to me. However, it is highlighting the fact that if you didn’t think they could go lower, oh boy, you were wrong; there is no telling how low the Catholic Church will go in the name of hatred over what they decide is wrong. I am sure that Jesus would love the idea of turning your back on the needy just to prove a point, Catholic Church. Y’all truly are a “city on a hill”.

Finally, I do have to say, directly to the Catholic Church in DC; if you are so upset with being told to treat people equally, why not give up your tax exempt status, and stop receiving city funds? Additionally, the statement released accused this measure of ignoring religious freedom, which it doesn’t do; what it does, is it highlights the importance of following the covenant laid forth in the constitution, that there be a separation of church and state, and as such, one can practice which ever religion they want. If you don’t want the government making decisions, and “controlling” your religion, then stop accepting money from them and expecting differential treatment; you can’t have it both ways.

Tom Ford on gay marriage

This morning, I read this interview with Tom Ford, and I really liked some of the things he had to say; especially what he said about the gay marriage issue in this country. Tom Ford is my number one celebrity crush, so of course, any time I have a sliver of a good reason to do a post about him, I will. In fact, thinking about that, I don’t post about him nearly enough!

In the article, when he was asked if he would marry his partner of over 20 years, after being together for so long, Ford responded with:

Yes, when it becomes a federal law. Right now it doesn’t do any good in the states. A few weeks ago Richard had to go into the hospital for something, and I had to carry around all these legal documents saying I could make medical decisions for him. It was insane. The fact that we are not married in the federal sense means that if I were to die, he’d have to pay all these taxes on my estate and receive but a fraction of it and he’d have to alter his life —whereas if we were married, he wouldn’t have to face that burden. That’s disgusting. It’s wrong. But that said, I think I am in favor of terming what I’m talking about as a civil partnership. We all get so caught up with this word marriage. For me, the word marriage is something that a religion should decide. Just give me all the same rights. A civil partnership is what I’d like for everyone—heterosexual as well as homosexual. Call it what you like—it’s the rights that are important. Getting hung up with the semantics derails the cause we’re all fighting for.

It really resonated with me, because that is exactly the way that people should view it. If the word marriage makes it such a sticky and religious issue, take “marriage” out of it. Give us the rights, you can keep the religious mumbo jumbo; we don’t want that part of it anyway. Additionally, the government shouldn’t back religious practices anyway, so if this will get us equal rights, I am all for it.

I for one, am sick and tired of someone holding up a book and determining what rights I get to have because of what that book may or may not have told them to believe as the truth; the same book that also told them to love thy neighbor, and not pass judgment. Wrapping civil rights up in religious institutions is not only wrong, it is unconstitutional. When will our government take a stand, and stand up for us?

Maine votes against gay marriage: some thoughts

Yesterday, Maine’s vote sent a(nother) clear message to me: gay people do not matter to the majority of Americans. I am sure that many will argue that this is not the position of most Americans, but the message is too clear to ignore. Our civil rights are constantly up for debate, and constantly, we have them taken away. I cannot interpret that as anything other than a message that we do not matter; this society does not see fit to grant us the same rights and liberties as the rest of Americans.

It’s interesting, because this same society gladly takes our tax money, our contributions to society, and expects us to serve our country, but people continue to pass laws that reflect whether or not they feel “comfortable” with the “idea” of us getting married? Um, how does that work? That’s not just “unfair”, it’s un-American.

Isn’t the constitution supposed to grant freedom; not take it away? Additionally, isn’t the constitution supposed to protect us from the government making decisions about whether or not to strip us of our civil rights? Where are the values and principles that represent the underlying foundation of this nation? They are glaringly absent when you look at any vote for or against anyone’s civil rights. This bears repeating: voting for or against anyone’s rights goes against the very foundation of this country. We are all supposed to be free and equal. By putting this up for a vote, more than half of the people in Maine have gone against the foundation of our nation, and have made it clear that they feel as if it is okay to make the decision against gay people being equal.

Again, how does this make sense?

Every time we vote for or against the civil rights of any group of people in this country, especially minorities, we are sending a clear message that their rights do not matter. No one should ever have to campaign to have the popular vote determine whether or not they can have the same rights as everyone else. It’s just plain wrong.

Shame on 53% of Maine voters for believing that their opinion matters more than the rights of gays and lesbians living in Maine. Since this isn’t the first, and it will not be the last time that our rights are in the hands of those that wish to discriminate, I also say shame on any American who thinks that their opinion matters more than someone’s civil rights.

One final thing. In looking for the results of the vote this morning, I came across this article, and I have to comment on the quote from Jeff Flint:

Voters have a pretty good grasp about what they think marriage should be. It’s not that they’re discriminatory or bigoted. They just draw the line at what they think marriage should be.

Um, what? I’m sorry, but I will never allow anyone who says bullshit like this to have a free pass. If you are against gay marriage, you are against it because of discrimination; that is what you voted on. You voted specifically in order to discriminate against gay people. Jeff, just because you are able to some how twist your illogical thoughts into what you consider rational doesn’t not get you off the hook. You represent a discriminatory body of Americans that have “values” and beliefs that are most certainly based on bigotry. You can’t take away someone’s rights and say that you did it for “personal reasons” or “personal beliefs”, and then in the same breath say, “but I have nothing against them”. Perhaps he should actually look up the word discrimination, because I don’t think he understands the concept.

Perhaps he, and others like him, should keep their opinions to themselves, and stop using them to determine whether or not someone else should or should not have equal rights. Feel free to define marriage however you want; just don’t decide how I, or anyone else, has access to my civil rights.

a (queer) monday menagerie

Pride in Atlanta is this weekend, and I am kind of excited about being able to celebrate Pride weekend without the heat of June, and hopefully, without the torrential downpours that usually came along with it. Anyone going besides me?

This blog post about the (possibly diminished) potentiality of Adam Lambert’s success in the American conservative driven music market is a great read. When a queer artist doesn’t make it in the US music market, it’s difficult not to tie that to the fact that they are gay; especially when they can only be described as stellar (like him or not, Adam can really sing). If you look at artists like Will Young, Scissor Sisters, Mika, Westlife, and other queer artists that are hugely famous overseas that never get radio play here in the states, it gets even harder to not draw those same conclusions. While it was pretty clear that Adam lost American Idol because he was gay, as middle America was probably risking burning their houses down from all the rotary dialing in order to prevent that queer from beating the little straight guy, I hope that his sexuality doesn’t ruin his music career before it even starts. The boy is extremely talented, and I hope that he finds the success he deserves. Even more so, I wish American’s had more brains than they do drive to stamp out things they don’t understand, or things they equate to different, and therefore wrong.

This makes me want to puke. Seriously? Censoring a children’s book because a character has two moms? What the fuck is offensive about SOMETHING THAT HAPPENS IN REAL LIFE? Seriously, people that believe that this type of scenario is in any way offensive or “harming to them” needs to walk over and tell me in person so I can slap in the face like the fools they are. Seriously people, gay people and gay families are normal. Deal with it. If you want to “shelter” your child and your family from it, kindly pick up and go live in a shack in the woods where you won’t bother the rest of society, okay? (h/t to the the amazing jacksonpearce)

– Kind of related to the children’s book mentioned above, Towleroad reported about a gay family that made a video, acting out a book that is also getting a lot of negative attention because two princes get married and live happily ever after. This book is being slandered to spread hate in the Yes on One anti-gay marriage campaign in Maine. Here’s their video:

Not only was this video incredibly adorable, but they have made many more, using their family as a beautiful example of what is normal about gay families. I want to personally applaud those guys for what they are doing. Gay families are normal families, and the people behind these horrible campaigns like Prop 8, and now Prop 1 in Maine, should really take a look and see who’s lives they are messing with. The hypocrisy behind anyone saying they are anti-gay marriage because of “family values”, “morality”, and “protection of marriage” when everything they are doing against gay marriage is in spite of those very things, drives me insane. When will people learn to just butt out of our lives, and stop seeing who we are as offensive to them; especially when it has NO IMPACT on them in any way?

no 5SF this week, but some great news

As you may notice, there is no five song Friday occupying its regular slot this week; I have had a really bad week (from being sick to the hot water heater woes to school work overload), so I am taking a break. I need to write up my concert experience from Mat Kearney last Friday at the Center Stage (it was amazing), and edit like a million pictures I took at the show too, but I just don’t have any energy. Being sick is not something I do well, and hopefully, I will be back to full strength soon enough.

Hopefully, my weekend will be better than my week was.

With that being said, there is some great news that may signal a good weekend ahead: The Senate approved the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes bill on Thursday. While it bothers me somewhat that there were 29 who voted against it, I am more than happy this important legislation passed through the senate, and is on its way to becoming the real deal when Obama hopefully signs it into law. For those naysayers, I hope that you understand that the reason why it is important, is because these safe guards are already afforded to everyone else EXCEPT gay people. This is a real step in the direction towards gay people having equal civil rights, and it should be celebrated. Here’s to civil rights and equality for all… including gay people!!

must watch: Modern Family

Initially, it seems that it always takes me a while to get into anything that gets a lot of hype, and because of the pre-season buzz, Modern Family was no exception. However, thankfully, I saw the light early on in this case, and after last night’s hilarious episode, I can definitely say that the hype was right in this case; there is something truly wonderful about this show. The characters are all funny, they are developing them well on the show, and they all play off of one another as an ensemble masterfully. This show doesn’t feel like a “new show” at all.

I almost don’t want to compare it to anything, but I would definitely say that Modern Family bears many similarities to another great show, Arrested Development; perhaps most obviously in the way that it uses a hybrid mocumentary filming style in the story development (not to mention the laugh out loud hilarity found in each show). Shows and movies that use that form of story telling usually draw me in (Best in Show and Drop Dead Gorgeous are all time favorite movies of mine), and Modern Family is no exception. When you add that to the witty writing, and laugh out loud gags, I am confident in saying that that I have found a new must watch show of the fall 2009 season. It’s also extremely refreshing that there is a gay couple on the show, and that they are not just background characters, or stereotypical punchlines/token go-to’s for a laugh. I actually really like their characters, and I like even more that they are portrayed as normal; which, importantly, is what gay people are. Perhaps their characters will help further educate the people in America that still see us as “other” and “different” that we’re just normal people with normal lives; and that we might be the funniest ones around, too. ABC is getting all kinds of plus marks and gold stars from me in their portrayal of gay characters on prime time shows.

I’ve really enjoyed every episode of Modern Family that I’ve seen thus far, and I am excited to see what this show has in store for us. Wednesday nights at 9 just keep getting better and better.

madonna and me (too)

After reading Rich‘s excellent blog post, Madonna and Me, about his life-long experiences regarding Madonna, I felt compelled to share it (go read it!! It’s excellent!), and say something (well, a lot of somethings) about how it eerily mirrors my own feelings, and the reasons behind those feelings, about her.

I have always had a “thing” against Madonna, which is noticeably strange for someone who loves pop music as much as I do (seriously… two words: Britney Spears). I find it interesting, that it wasn’t until I read his post, that I put two and two together, and realize that I think at least a portion of my history of “hate” for Madonna comes from not wanting to like her because of who she is and what she represents.

For one, Madonna, like it or not, has a strong affiliation with the “idea” of being gay. I remember school when I was younger, and it was pretty much a given that on any day, I was going to be called a faggot/ sissy/ girl/ pussy/ fag at some point by someone; regardless of whether or not I was “queeny”, “faggy”, “girly”, or overtly “homosexual” in the slightest. It was just the way it was. It was my reality from pretty much the first day of elementary school, on up through the end of high school (even though it continued in college, it was noticeably changed). As a result, I tried really, really hard to stay away from anything that would further label me as what I was; and unfortunately, exactly what I didn’t want to be in any way, shape, or form. When those kids were calling me whatever their chosen gay-indicative expletive of the day was, they were labeling me as gay, and at the same time, indicating that being gay was not only “not okay”, but that it was really, really bad. As such, being gay was the last thing on the planet I wanted to be, even though I was; talk about inner conflict.

I remember when I was in middle school, and the song Vogue became popular, and a friend of mine named Nikki did the entire dance routine for our gym class during “dance week” (whoever thought that was a good idea should be tortured, because I got teased incessantly because of my even being preset that week). I remember loving the song, and really liking her performance, but I found myself cowardly wanting to shun Nikki for doing her dance, and in effect, distance myself from liking anything about it. I honestly think that this moment really shaped how I would feel about Madonna up until this very moment.

There is a part of me that definitely, whether I want to admit it or not, STILL has a shred of disdain for the fact that I am gay. Now, that is not to say that I “don’t like who I am”, or that I “hate myself for being gay”, because those vastly overstep the boundary of this disdain of which I speak. I’m saying that there is a part of me that dislikes the fact that I am the very thing that many people out there consider to be bad, wrong, and love to express their hatred for; which comes from growing up with people berating me with this very sentiment day in and day out. When I am riding in my car with the widows down, and I am playing something especially “gay”, I still always turn it down when someone pulls up next to me. There is something in me that will always remain guarded, and as such, I try to hide the fact that I am gay to random strangers sometimes. It sounds completely stupid when I say it out loud, but this is an example of the part of me that wants to hide the fact that I am gay, because of that disdain I have for it; which again, stems from being made fun of and judged as a child. The shitty part, is that I always find myself doing it again, because that disdain (however small it may be) lives on.

I realize now, that I have written off my feelings about Madonna as “hatred”, because other gay men seemingly follow her every foot step, and hang on her every word, and that disdain in me made me want to distance myself from anything that would paint me as so overtly gay. As I read Rich’s post, I found myself back in that auditorium, watching Nikki bravely perform to Vogue, wishing I could be as brave as she, but cowardly wishing that no one would see me enjoying her performance, for fear that I would be further berated for being a fag.

I hate that I let myself think this way, and I hate even more that this disdain exists within me, but at least I realize that I cannot let it make judgments about things such as liking Madonna for the rest of my life. Even though this is a small step towards totally making the aforementioned realization a reality, today I have identified the fact that my disdain for Madonna represents (at least in part) my personal turmoil with being gay, and the conflict I have had with it for as long as I can remember. I disliked her, openly hated her, and even mocked her because of what she represents and who she is. Yet the fact still remainded that Madonna is a woman who can do what she wants, and doesn’t get called a faggot because she takes dance classes, and enjoys extremely “gay”, poptastic music. She is a woman who has constantly put herself out there as a symbol of something “gay”, and while other gay men have lopped up everything she offered, I realize that I have shunned her because of what it would mean if I grabbed my spoon and joined the feast. Instead of hating her music, or disliking her as a person, I have been disliking what “liking her” would mean all of these years.

I have to say, that I didn’t expect a blog post about Madonna to open my eyes to something this deep, but I guess it goes to show that you never know who is going to turn a mirror on you, and show you who you really are inside. I hope that I can work on eliminating all final shreds of disdain for who I am someday; because I think that I would be a much happier person as a result. Now, one thing is for sure, I am going to go and enjoy some fucking Madonna; because save Ray of Light, she made had some great music, and it is high time I get caught up!

Finally, I want to extend a huge thank you to Rich for his post; great work all around.