Monday, June 30, 2014

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Go Ahead, Let Love Carry You Away... Live Fearlessly"

"And The Truth Shall Set You Free..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Imitation Of Life..."


If you've ever truly loved someone, then you've felt the intensity of this moment.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Maybe This Is Why...?"

Sometimes I wonder if this is why so many gay men find it so hard to form committed loving relationships... It seems that our 'gay culture' tells us that we've always got to search for physical perfection, we're always on the hunt for "Mr. Perfect" even when "Mr. Right" who's might not be an adonis is standing right in front of us.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Way Of All Love..."

"It's Not So Funny..."

A History of Michael Bay's Gay Jokes

Rich Juzwiak
June 26, 2014

Director Michael Bay is known for adding a certain bigoted flair to his big-budget box-office blockbusters. He's been called out repeatedly for what people perceive as misogyny and racism (mostly in his stereotypical portrayals of women and minorities), and especially homophobia. The video above focuses on that last point via a montage of the several different ways that Bay with gay sexuality (gay dogs in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), mistaken gay sexuality, effete gay stereotypes, perceived gay weakness, and everyone's favorite excuse to act like a raging, violent monster, gay panic. All are included above, which uses clips from seven movies Bay has directed and spans 1995's Bad Boys to 2013's Pain & Gain, in which Mark Wahlberg charmingly asks a group of children, "We got no homos in this gang, right?"

The fourth Transformers movie opens today, and it too contains a "a fey-voiced, mincing guy whom Wahlberg scares with his tough-talk," according to Gawker alum Richard Lawson in his Age of Extinction review for Vanity Fair. Because his latest movie about giant alien robots crashing together for almost three hours obviously wouldn't be complete without Bay's signature touch.


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"We Were Always There..."

"Then we were in love..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1731"

"Love Is Fun Too..."

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..."

"The Prince and the Gamekeeper's Son"
Digital photo manipulation
Marwane Pallas

Sunday, June 29, 2014

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Express Your Love... Live Fearlessly"

"Love And Life's Journeys..."

From the work of Chicago born photographer Richard Renaldi. Over the course of more than a decade, Richard has recorded images of himself and his partner Seth Boyd in their hotel rooms across the country and around the world for his project "Hotel Room Portraits."

I fell in love with these images from the very first time that I saw them.  There is something incredibly familiar and comforting in recognizing not only the love between Richard and Seth, but also the rigors of travel and the occasional weary eyes and tiredness that we all fall prey to.  Moreover, these photos reveal an intimacy and comfortableness that one finds only when two people are truly in love... They reveal "love and life's journeys."

Richard RenaldiRichard Renaldi was born in Chicago in 1968. He received his BFA in photography from New York University in 1990. Exhibitions of his photographs have been mounted in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. In 2006 Renaldi's first monograph, Figure and Ground, was published by the Aperture Foundation. His second monograph, Fall River Boys, was released in 2009. Richard Renaldi is the founder and publisher of Charles Lane Press.

"The Good News..."

 The Rev. Frank Schaefer at a news conference on Tuesday. He had been defrocked for
officiating at the wedding of his gay son.
Credit Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times
Methodists Reinstate Pastor, Deepening Church’s Rift Over Gays

Michael Paulson
June 24, 2014

A Methodist pastor who was defrocked because he presided at the wedding of his gay son is being reinstated in a startling reversal by a large Protestant denomination that, like many, is riven by disagreements over same-sex relationships.

A United Methodist Church appeals committee — a nine-member panel made up of laypeople and clergy members — said Tuesday that it had decided to overturn the ouster of the Rev. Frank Schaefer, who with three gay children and a determination to celebrate their relationships has become an unexpected champion of gay men and lesbians in church life.

The panel deemed the defrocking to be an illegitimate effort to punish Mr. Schaefer for his refusal to promise not to preside at another same-sex wedding.

Mr. Schaefer, 52, described himself as “totally elated” by the appeals panel decision, and he said he would celebrate in part by taking his son Tim, at whose same-sex wedding he officiated, to a White House gay pride event on Monday. Mr. Schaefer, who until his defrocking in December had been the pastor of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon, Pa., will resume his pastoral work next month in Santa Barbara, Calif., where Bishop Minerva G. CarcaƱo has offered him a position ministering to college students.

“Today there was a very clear and strong signal from the church, and that message is, ‘Change is on the way,’ ” Mr. Schaefer said in a telephone interview. “One day we will celebrate the fact that we have moved beyond this horrible chapter in our church’s life.”

But conservative Methodists were unhappy with the decision, and they said that talks about a schism in the denomination would now intensify. The United Methodist Church has about seven million members in the United States and four million more in other countries; it is theologically diverse, with prominent members including George W. Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

“This will be confirmation for traditionalists that we are deeply divided and may not be able to live together,” said the Rev. Rob Renfroe, the president of Good News, a United Methodist organization that opposes same-sex marriage. “When we have people who are not only disobedient, but who find a way to not have to keep the covenant they have made with the rest of the church, it helps us see that maybe we are so different that we’ve come to the end of the road together.”

The appeals panel’s decision comes as public opinion, the legal landscape and religious doctrines toward gay rights are rapidly changing, often with considerable conflict. Polls suggest that a majority of Americans now support same-sex marriage, and it is now legal in 19 states and Washington, D.C.

The religious world is deeply divided over whether and how to recognize same-sex relationships, and whether to ordain non celibate gay men and lesbians as clergy members. Liberal Christian and Jewish denominations have become increasingly supportive of gay men and lesbians and their relationships, while more conservative denominations have held to traditional teachings about sexuality and marriage.

The United Methodist Church’s official positions on same-sex relationships are clear: The denomination’s Book of Discipline defines marriage as between a man and a woman, declares homosexual practice to be “incompatible with Christian teaching” and forbids clergy members to perform same-sex weddings. The denomination also says it will not ordain “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.”

But there is significant resistance to those policies within the denomination. Hundreds of Methodist ministers have signed a statement saying they are willing to officiate at same-sex marriages, and some have done so; there are also clergy members who have declared themselves to be gay.

Other Methodist clergy members have faced sanctions for breaking the denomination’s rules — in 1999, the Rev. Jimmy Creech was defrocked for officiating at the marriage of two men — and Mr. Schaefer said that, when his son asked him in 2006 to preside at his wedding the next year, he knew he was risking his ministry.

“I really didn’t do this to make a rebellious statement — I did this as an act of love,” Mr. Schaefer said. “He had been harmed and hurt by the message of the church that said you can’t be homosexual and go to heaven — it threw him into such a spin that he was considering suicide — and had I said no to his request, it would have negated all the affirmations my wife and I had given him.”

From left, Brigitte Schaefer, her son Tim, and Tim’s husband, John Duncan,
at a ceremony for Mr. Schaefer this month.
Credit Josh Reynolds/Associated Press

Tim Schaefer, 30, who lives in Hull, Mass., said that he, too, had known the risks, but that “I had to ask him — he was my dad.”

“When the complaint came about, I really blamed myself, because I had put him in this position, but now I’ve grown to realize the problem is with the policies of the church,” the younger Mr. Schaefer said. He said he remained a United Methodist and was active in his local church, St. Nicholas, which welcomes gay worshipers.

As Mr. Schaefer’s case proceeded through the church’s appellate process, other disciplinary proceedings stalled. In New York, a Methodist bishop this year vowed to stop holding church trials in his region for ministers who perform same sex-marriages, and in Washington State, two ministers who had officiated at same-sex weddings were given relatively minor 24-hour suspensions.

The appeals panel that ordered Mr. Schaefer reinstated, called the Committee on Appeals for the Northeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church, issued its ruling four days after holding a nearly three-hour hearing on the case at a hotel near Baltimore.

At the hearing, the Rev. Christopher Fisher, an advocate for the church’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, argued that church courts had an obligation to uphold church law. But Mr. Schaefer’s advocate, the Rev. Scott Campbell, argued that the church’s trial court had erroneously sought to punish him for possible future misconduct.

The appeals panel did not question Mr. Schaefer’s guilt, and left in place a 30-day suspension, which it said Mr. Schaefer had served last fall, as punishment for violations of church law. But it said the defrocking — removing Mr. Schaefer’s clerical credentials — was wrong.

The decision by the appeals panel can be appealed to the church’s Judicial Council; it was not immediately clear whether church officials would choose to pursue that course.

The ruling is unlikely to end charges against Methodist ministers who officiate at same-sex weddings, according to the Rev. Ted A. Campbell, an associate professor of church history at Southern Methodist University.

“It still stands that performing a union of gay persons is a chargeable offense, and others could and probably will be removed for doing that,” Mr. Campbell said. But he also said the ruling would probably hasten talk of a split within the denomination.

Advocates for gay rights in the United Methodist Church said that in 2016, when its next general conference takes place, they would push for the church to remove the provisions of its law that ban same-sex weddings and the ordination of non celibate gay men and lesbians.

And there is some discussion within the church of a possible compromise, under which every congregation could decide whether to allow same-sex weddings, and every region could decide whether to ordain non celibate gay clergy members.

Emmarie Huetteman contributed reporting.

"In The News Today..."

Singapore’s Speakers Corner – a government designated protest zone and where
the rally has been held since 2009 – turned a sea of glittering pink with a bright
outline of a heart within the dot formation, at about 8pm.
Singapore's Pink Dot LGBT Rally Draws Record Numbers Despite Religious Opposition

A record number of 26,000 people turned up at Singapore's sixth Pink Dot rally on Saturday night to celebrate the 'freedom to love', according to organizers

Sylvia Tan
June 28, 2014

The rally this year received the most media coverage in the lead up to it as religious leaders from the Muslim and Christian communities as well as the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, National Council of Churches of Singapore and Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore separately issued press statements after a Muslim religious teacher launched a 'Wear White' campaign on Facebook to denounce the event and remind Muslims not to attend the rally.

Well-known anti-gay pastor Lawrence Khong of Faith Baptist Community Church publicly endorsed the campaign initiated by the Muslim religious teacher to protest the rally and encouraged his congregation to wear white for church services this weekend.

Organizers for the first time in six years hired almost 20 private security personnel in the event that there would be protesters but none came.

Pink Dot organizers said in a statement that the rally this year marks a coming of age for the movement that has championed inclusivity and diversity amid an increasingly volatile social landscape.

'It is very heartening to see the dot growing year on year,’ said spokesperson Paerin Choa referring to the attendance this year being more than ten times the number of the inaugural 2009 event and an increase from an estimated 21,000 people last year.

'We believe that this sends a strong message of love and acceptance, affirming that Singapore is a home for one and all, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity. We are, at the end of the day, one big national Family, and it is especially humbling this year, to see the sheer support we have received from Singaporeans from all walks of life.'

Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code makes sex between two men illegal although the law is not actively enforced.

The event kicked off with the inaugural Community Voices segment, where invited speakers from the LGBT community, and straight allies, shared stories on their personal challenges and touched on their hopes and dreams for a better and more compassionate Singapore.

Speakers included blogger and social commentator, Mr Miyagi; urban artist, Samantha Lo, known to many as SKLO; Leow Yangfa, Deputy Director of LGBT support group Oogachaga; lawyer and notable human rights advocate, M Ravi; outspoken university student and social volunteer, Melissa Tsang; Fanny Ler, a transgender woman, and her husband, Zack Ling.

Pink Dot corporate contributors also made a strong showing at the event, with contingents from giants Google, Barclays, J P Morgan, Goldman Sachs and BP.

Sylvia Tan is a reporter for Gay Star News and member of the Pink Dot Sg organizing committee.


Congratulations Singapore! 
These are the first steps to freedom and equality

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"And The Truth Shall Set You Free..."

Photo courtesy Patrick Haggerty, via NPR
Be Proud And Not Sneak: Dad's Advice To His Gay Son In The '50s

'Don't sneak. Because if you sneak, like you did today, it means you think you're doing the wrong thing. And if you run around spending your whole life thinking that you're doing the wrong thing, then you'll ruin your immortal soul,' says dad to son

Sylvia Tan
June 29, 2014

Patrick Haggerty, who grew up as a gay teenager in the 1950s in rural Washington, shared an important lesson about self-acceptance from his dad, a farmer who turned up in his school wearing dirty jeans and boots.

Haggerty, who is now 70, said he didn't know he was gay at the time, but says his father who he described as the 'patron saint of dads for sissies' knew what direction he was headed.

In a story he shared with OutLoud, an initiative by StoryCorps to preserve the stories of LGBT people, he said his father visited him in school after his brother told him that Patrick had covered his face with glitter prior to his performance during a school assembly.
When his dairy farmer father showed up, Patrick hid.

'It wasn't because of what I was wearing,' Haggerty says. 'It was because of what he was wearing.'

During the car ride home, his father called him out on his attempt to hide.

'My father says to me, "I was walking down the hall this morning, and I saw a kid that looked a lot like you ducking around the hall to avoid his dad. But I know it wasn't you, 'cause you would never do that to your dad,"' Haggerty recalls.

Patrick finally said, 'Well, Dad, did you have to wear your cow-crap jeans to my assembly?'
His father replied, 'Look, everybody knows I'm a dairy farmer. This is who I am. Now, how 'bout you? When you're an adult, who are you gonna go out with at night?'

Then, he gave his son some advice:

'Now, I'm gonna tell you something today, and you might not know what to think of it now, but you're gonna remember when you're a full-grown man: Don't sneak. Because if you sneak, like you did today, it means you think you're doing the wrong thing. And if you run around spending your whole life thinking that you're doing the wrong thing, then you'll ruin your immortal soul.'

Patrick continued: 'And out of all the things a father in 1959 could have told his gay son, my father tells me to be proud of myself and not sneak.'

'He knew where I was headed. And he knew that making me feel bad about it in any way was the wrong thing to do,' he adds. 'I had the patron saint of dads for sissies, and no, I didn't know at the time, but I know it now.'


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Sometimes In Advertising..."

"Same Gender Loving People - No 1730"

"Love Exists Everywhere In The World..."

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.

"A Thought To Ponder..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"The Artist's Corner..."

By Steve Walker

"The Truth About Lies And Deception..."

Now this is what's wrong with the teachings of so many religions... To convince someone to deny themselves the expression of their most innate and essential nature is to forever condemn them to a life of self-loathing misery and unhappiness.  Yet, these same religions claim that their whole purpose is to teach the universal truth of love...  The irony is more than I can bare at times.

"Fear Eats the Soul"

Saturday, June 28, 2014

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"They're Young, It's Just Love And It's Just Beautiful... Live Fearlessly"

"The GIFt of Love..."

Absence does makes the heart grow fonder...

"The Poet's Corner..."

"The dawn is breaking
A light shining through
You’re barely waking
And I’m tangled up in you"

Howie Day

"The Truth About Being Open About Who You Are..."

Nevada State Senator Kelvin Atkinson and partner Sherwood Howard

"It allows you to be free..."

"This Made Me Smile..."

"I think someone thinks just a bit too much of himself, even if he is right..."

"We Were Always There..."

"We loved to cuddle..."

"Sometimes In Advertising..."

"And The Truth Shall Set You Free..."

Finding Pride Twice: How I Came Out As Gay And Filipino
I had to come out twice in middle school. Once as gay, but first as a Filipino immigrant.

Matt Ortile
June 27, 2014

“When did you first move to America, Matt?” my teacher asked me — in front of my entire sixth-grade English class. She had called on me to read aloud from the short story we were studying and, apparently, was surprised that I somehow managed to read several paragraphs without a hitch.

“A few months ago,” I replied. It was my first year as a student in the U.S. after moving from the Philippines to Las Vegas.

“But your English is so wonderful!” she said, smiling.

“Well, our primary language of instruction in the Philippines is English.” It was my first instinct to throw shade, but I immediately felt my face grow hot.

In the tense silence, I asked to go to the bathroom. I could taste the salt in my tears on the walk over and locked myself in a stall until recess. It was the same defense tactic I deployed against bullies in gym class who called me “faggot.”

I’m sure my teacher meant well, but she might as well have said, “Your English is good for an immigrant.” It’s a variation on a phrase everyone in a minority group has had to hear. “She’s confident for a woman.” “He’s eloquent for a black guy.” “She’s pretty for a lesbian.” Our positive defining qualities are constantly tempered by the fact of difference. If you’re different, praise becomes patronizing.

I came out as gay to my mother the following year. We were on the road in her Ford Taurus, on the way to my 13th birthday party. She said she knew. Mothers always know, she told me. But the slight purse in her lips told me that mothers know something else.

“Natakot ako para sa ‘yo,” she said to me 10 years later, over my college graduation weekend. She, my stepfather, and I were reminiscing at dinner and our talk had turned to the day I came out. She confessed to me in her forthright Tagalog, “I was scared for you.”

We were already different when we moved to America, she said. Being Filipino immigrants, she knew there were obstacles, barriers in our way like the culture and the language. We already had thick, fresh-off-the-boat accents. Why did I have to go and add a lisp?

My coming-out had given the bullies in middle school an extended list of things to pick on: my accent, the foreign lunches I packed, the limpness of my wrists, my crush on the blonde, blue-eyed heartthrob of Swainston Middle School. America had provided no reprieve from the Filipino kids at my old all-boys Catholic school in Manila who wanted to expel me from campus because they thought I was a girl. There were a handful of supportive friends, both in the Philippines and in Las Vegas, most of them other kids who came out in college.

But for the longest time, the only cheerleader I had on my side was my mom, whether it was when we were in America together or via Skype from across the Pacific when she and my stepfather moved back to the Philippines. At dinner, they were alert and elated to be with me despite the jet lag and 24 hours of traveling from Manila to Poughkeepsie for my graduation. It wasn’t until I saw them standing in front of Vassar’s main building that I realized how far they had come. How far I had come.

“Natakot ako para sa ‘yo,” said my mother. She toasted her elderflower cocktail against mine and took a sip. She smiled. “But not anymore.”

The next morning, I walked up a stage, curling a rainbow-colored tassel around my fingers. I bowed in front of a woman with kind eyes and she put a lei over my head. It smelled sweet, bristling against the nape of my neck. I adjusted it and the rainbow tassel got caught in a flower. I was afraid if I tugged it out that the whole thing would fall apart. So I let them hang there as I stepped to the podium.

In the audience were many happy faces, other graduating seniors with leis, their parents with glistening eyes. I cleared my throat. I thanked the Asian Pacific Alumnae/i of Vassar College, reading the cue card tucked in the podium, for hosting the annual Lei Ceremony to welcome their newest members. Inductees into the APAVC were asked to say a few words, something about our experiences at school, something we thought the attendees might like to hear, something to say thanks.

Then I saw my stepfather in the front row, his camcorder in one hand and a handkerchief in the other. Next to him was my grinning mother. Her teeth gleamed like a white picket fence. Her cheeks were stained with Dior mascara and joy. She wasn’t scared for me anymore. So I thanked them.

I thanked her for not batting an eye and keeping her eyes on the road when I came out to her. I thanked him for accepting me, not as baggage from her first marriage, but as a son of his own. I thanked them for driving to my high school and barging into West Side Story rehearsal wielding my Vassar acceptance letter when really the only acceptance I needed, I’d already received twice over. For the financial and emotional sacrifices they’d made to send me to college across the country. For believing in my choice to stay in New York while they returned to the other side of the world, just a phone call away. For paying my phone bill.

I twirled my rainbow tassel at the end of my lei. I thanked myself for coming out when I did, for accepting myself when I did. I never had to worry about fitting in with others, instead busying myself with loving my own skin — being Filipino, being gay, being different. I’ve had 10 years of practice, becoming the first person in my family to finish school in America (as an English major, no less). It was an education I wouldn’t have done any other way.

As I stepped down and back into the audience, my parents stood up and applauded, leading others to take to their feet. My name was announced again: Matthew Manahan Ortile.

In the Filipino tradition, the middle name you receive is your mother’s maiden name. Roughly translated from Tagalog, manahan can mean “what is to be inherited.”

I like to think I got her pride.


"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1729"

"Hate Divides - Love Brings People Together..."

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..."

Oil on board
Andrew Potter

Friday, June 27, 2014

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"

"Love, Joy And Happiness... Live Fearlessly"

"This Made Me Smile..."

"Hilarity always ensues when the person ordering the sign is not a native english speaker..."

Translation: "Red Flower Restaurant"

"A Little Sane Advice..."

"Fear Eats the Soul"

"Sometimes In Advertising..."

Equality for All is Our Pride and Joy

June is Pride Month, and here at Ben & Jerry’s we’ve been supporting Marriage Equality for over 35 years. Our commitment to the LGBTQ community is grounded in our company’s core values, which include a deep respect for people inside and outside our company, and an unshakable belief that all people deserve full and equal civil rights.

"We Were Always There..."

"We knew our love was unmistakable..."

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