Friday, May 27, 2016

"The Views To Love..."









Love's first promise is to be together in the world...



"We Were Always There..."


"We hid our love right out in the open..."



"The Truth About Who We Are..."

photo by Kevin TruongAniket, Student, Mumbai, India

by thegaymenproject

photos by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Aniket, in his own words: "The time was magical when I had started unknowingly noticing the beautiful men around me, they were always there but something good had changed in me. It was neither a secret nor something I wanted to share with everyone; the experience was too personal for me. Probably it is the same for all the teenagers.
Eventually when my friends started to share similar experiences, I could not completely relate to them. I started slowly unfolding the fact that I was not attracted to women but I was too young and naive to speculate the ongoing experiences.
I can say today that I was always different while growing up than most of the kids; but it was the time I had started feeling the difference.
Around the same time, I had to go away from home for studying in another city. It was challenging to juggle life without family and the unarticulated secret; I could clearly see the projection of it on my academic performance.
The chaos around my sexuality and poor academic performance were pushing me into my hardest years, I was diagnosed with depression. Nothing seemed so blurred and heavy before, I thought I would be sucked into it. Pretending that the cause of the misery was not the unarticulated sexual attraction but the poor academic performance, I confessed about the depression to my parents. With family and medical support, I could get out of the depression to an extent. I had completely locked the doors of my sexual dilemma and I had focused on my academic performance, fortunately I could make it to the desired university that year.

I never could articulate my own sexual behavior as I had never seen or read anyone like me when I was growing up so ‘coming out’ was never into the picture for me. Apart from chaos around my sexual behavior, I knew that I was different (in a shameful way) so I was scared even thinking about it. Watching gay porn for twenty minutes in a day was the only time; I had to confront the truth. 

In the first semester at the university, an article written by a student talking about his homosexuality went viral. It was first time someone had spoken so loudly about his/her sexuality, everyone did not seem very receptive at once but this event was going to change the lives of many like me. I sneaked the newsletter in my room and read it making sure that no one caught me reading it. This was the first time someone had told me that I was okay and there were people like me in the world. I was thrilled to read it but afraid to face it. The same guy who had written the article had founded an LGBTQ resource group in the university campus with the help of a few professors and students. (It was one of the first LGBTQ resource groups in any Indian universities). The resource group was creating a positive space in the university and I was accepting myself bit by bit every day.
Almost after two years in the university, I met a fellow student on Facebook and we started dating. When we kissed for the very first time (yes, my first one!! ;)), I confronted the truth nakedly and told myself that there was no way to go back from the truth. It was just a month after that I had told my parents, my friends and the life seemed much lighter after taking it off my shoulders. (And I also volunteer for the LGBTQ resource group in the university from last two years!! yay!)
Mumbai is the most cosmopolitan city in India and yet most of the people in Mumbai do not even acknowledge the fact that homosexuality is part of the society around them. Homosexuality is not very visible in the crowded city; everything is behind the curtains here. Before the internet era, secret cruising spaces were the only way to meet other guys. Currently, Internet is providing safe space for all queer people to explore the possibilities.
The exposure to the liberal western policies regarding queer issues through social media is helping the younger generation of India to acknowledge and accept the queers around them.
Despite the fact that the post-colonial law against homosexuality still exists in India, there are a few organizations which are working hard to address the queer issues in Mumbai/India to normalize the stigma related to homosexuality. In response to it, Mumbai has the largest gay community in India which indulges in different events like yearly LGBTQ pride, queer film festival, protests and obviously parties.
I am very lucky that I am one of the very few people who have got the opportunity to be open about their sexuality in India. In a country like India where homosexuality was de-criminalized in 2013, merely living here openly as a queer person is considered to be heroic. With this privilege, I feel the responsibility to help the younger generation to be comfortable with them.
I have gone through the phase where I used to hate being gay but today, I say that it is one of the best things that happened to me. It was not the easiest time while dealing with sexuality but the time has shaped the way I think today. Most of the beliefs, I had been raised with were challenged and reformed on the way. I think my sexuality has been a spiritual accelerator which has helped me to understand my own depths.
As I said earlier, sexuality was one of the pioneering things which taught me to challenge my unjust beliefs, I am continuing on the path of restructuring my beliefs to make myself more comfortable in my own skin and in the world around.

And advice to my younger self: Be authentic to yourself.
"



"A Thought To Ponder..."


If you believe yourself unfortunate, because you have "loved and lost," perish the thought. One who has loved truly, can never lose entirely. Love is whimsical and temperamental. Its nature is ephemeral, and transitory. It comes when it pleases, and goes away without warning. Accept and enjoy it while it remains, but spend no time worrying about its departure. Worry will never bring it back.

- Napoleon Hill



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 2363"


"There Is Blissful Joy In A Lover's Kiss..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"The Artist's Corner..."


"Echo and Narcissus"
Oil on canvas
Sergio Cerchi



Thursday, May 26, 2016

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Only Love Is Brave... Live Fearlessly"




"It's True, Lovers Do Start To Look Alike..."


Amongst gay couples, it's often referred to as "A Boyfriend Twin"

"While you may be familiar with the old saying, “opposites attract,” in reality, what the heart wants is someone who resembles its owner and that resemblance increases the longer two lovebirds stay together.

University of Michigan psychologist Robert Zajonc conducted an experiment to test this phenomenon. He analyzed photographs of couples taken when they were newlyweds and photographs of the same couples taken 25 years later.

The results showed that the couples had grown to look more like each other over time. And, the happier that the couple said they were, the more likely they were to have increased in their physical similarity."


Read more about this interesting phenomenon here...


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"The Views To Love..."


Love and happiness...



"We Were Always There..."


"A wonderful moment of joy captured forever..."



"The Truth About Who We Are..."

photo by Kevin TruongMarc, Photographer, Berlin, Germany

by thegaymenproject

photos by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Marc, in his own words: "Whilst being gay certainly had an influence on my personality during my formative years, at this stage, being gay simply means that I am attracted to men, full stop ! (I could not possibly tell who I would have become, if I had been straight)

(With regards to challenges and successes) Ask me at my deathbed; life is fraught with challenges, failures and successes and I like it that way. Which ones really stand out in the end, it is too early to tell, hopefully.
(My coming out story) Lots of panic, anxiety & self-questioning. In the end, it all went well with those people who matter in my life.
(The gay community in Berlin) is rather lively… with lots of subcultures within the gay scene itself. Admittedly, I am not much into any of them.

(Advice to my younger self) Do the same all over again."



"Same Gender Loving People - No. 2362"


"Marriage Strengthens Love..."

Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"The Artist's Corner..."


"Reflection"
Oil on canvas
David Tanner



Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Love Is Beautiful... Live Fearlessly"




"The Truth About Love..."


The music that inspires the souls of lovers exists within themselves and the private universe they occupy. They share it with each other; they do not share it with the tribe or with society. The courage to hear that music and to honor it is one of the prerequisites of romantic love.

- Nathaniel Branden



"The Views To Love..."


Life is about love..."



"It's True, Lovers Do Start To Look Alike..."


Amongst gay couples, it's often referred to as "A Boyfriend Twin"

"While you may be familiar with the old saying, “opposites attract,” in reality, what the heart wants is someone who resembles its owner and that resemblance increases the longer two lovebirds stay together.

University of Michigan psychologist Robert Zajonc conducted an experiment to test this phenomenon. He analyzed photographs of couples taken when they were newlyweds and photographs of the same couples taken 25 years later.

The results showed that the couples had grown to look more like each other over time. And, the happier that the couple said they were, the more likely they were to have increased in their physical similarity."


Read more about this interesting phenomenon here...


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"The Truth About Who We Are..."

Jacob, Law Student, Vancouver B.C.

by thegaymenproject
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
photo by Kevin Truong
Jacob, in his own words: "It’s tough to say exactly what being gay means to me, but it has certainly changed over the years.

When I first realized I was gay, it felt like a clumsy label, a prescriptive definition that squeezed me in with a group I couldn’t relate to. Admittedly, I still don’t relate to much of the gay community, being recognized as the worst gay ever by friends. However as I grew older, my internalized homophobia died off and I was able to meet a multitude of amazing gay men. This has taught me that what being gay is follows from who gay men are; it’s a descriptive thing. I am part of the definition of what being gay means, and all men who identify as gay make up the whole. Seeing the big definition of being gay as a melange of smaller parts is working well for me.
Coming out was an interesting ride. I was raised in a very religious Evangelical Christian household. I was sent to a private school with prayer and chapel, and was the son of a minister. I was scared beyond belief at the prospect of being found out. Gay men only existed in my mind as phantoms of hollow and depraved lifestyles, with an agenda to destroy all that was good and wholesome. Feeling that those in my Christian community would view me as deeply dysfunctional if they knew I was gay, yet not being able to relate at all to the image of gay men I was presented with, the isolation felt extreme. Thankfully, I grew up as the internet boomed.
When I was 16, I found an online forum that was run for, and by, gay teenagers. This changed my life. I met people in the exact same boat as myself, and realized others were struggling with the same issues, the same doubts, and the same fears. It broke my sense of isolation. A group of friends formed and we supported each other as we came out to our families. I am still close with many of them nearly 10 years later, even though we all live far apart.
Despite the feeling that I was going to vomit before telling people, I am lucky that coming out was mostly positive, though something of a mixed bag. A couple friends' religious convictions created gulfs that made meaningful relationships impossible. My family members had some initial sadness over what they thought would be a hard life for me, but have ultimately been very supportive. Their love for me and who I am has never been called into question.

If I could give myself a little pep talk before coming out, I would stress how much love there was around me, and how that love would extend to every part of who I was and am. I’d also try to convince myself to loosen up a bit."



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