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  2. Thanks for this report! I have been in India 25 years ago. And it was terrific and terrible at the same time. It was my first "far away from europe trip" and I was not educated enough, I think. And now I am very interested to visit it again. I did see that in Delhi and Kolkata/Calcutta are some gay spas they offering massage service and perhaps escorts. And at some escort-sites are a lot of profiles by good looking indians in Delhi and Mumbai. Could u give some advices to this?
  3. In NYC, the West Side Club and the East Side Club were always busy when I lived there. There was one on Wall Street but I forgot the name.
  4. It is easy to get bored of spending vacations in Europe, Argentina and the more exotic locations around the world. This is when most travelers think of coming to Asia for their next yearly vacation. For any LGBT + traveler, however, Asia is far from the ideal location for travel, unless the focus is on sightseeing and not LGBT services. If you or one of your friends is planning to drop in to India for a short while, there are things that are necessary to know before making the trip, if the plan is not to make the trip a disaster. India is almost a homophobic country. Though you will get a lot of eye candy in the form of her ancient heritage and monuments, it is not for you if you’re looking forward to a week of gay bars and partying. Homosexuality is illegal here, and PDA is an offence. If you’re caught doing PDA with your gay lover, you can easily expect a night or more in jail. Holding hands does not count, by the way, but you’ll be better off without it. Once you are clear about your objective for visiting India, choosing where all to visit is crucial, since the country is so huge and full of travelers’ havens that going to every tourist location in one trip is not possible. The first place you might want to look at is what is popularly known as The Golden Triangle – Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. All three cities overflow with Mughal heritage and monuments, famously the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Red Fort in Delhi and loads of Mahals in Jaipur. What to expect here? – Huge castles and fortresses, a lot of heat, a lot of traditionally dressed women – basically, a lot of India. You can also extend your trip to other cities in Rajasthan, such as Udaipur, if you can stand the heat and love Mughal architecture. And for travelers especially looking forward to gay activity, there are several bars in New Delhi that have a gay night once a week. Going south, there are cities like Mumbai, Kerala, Goa, Chennai, and a lot of hill stations like Kodaikanal and Ooty. While Mumbai has some spectacular monuments (and gay parties every now and then), like the Gateway of India, and museums, Chennai and nearby cities have some mind blowing temples. The architecture of these temples has been the primary attraction for tourists for years, all of whom can not get over the façade, the interior and just about everything about them. The immense scribbling on the façade by tourists is just proof that these temples are popular indeed! Goa is full of exotic beaches, great nightlife and very cheap alcohol. Coming to Kerala and the hill stations of South India, here is natural beauty if there ever is anywhere. Kerala is not known as “God’s Own Country” for no reason, after all. The scenery is refreshing, serene and breathtaking. Full of lush trees and beautiful lagoons (or backwaters), Kerala is the place for you if you want to de-stress. Northern India, too, has some scenic displays for the tourist. Leh, freezing cold, but fascinating, is a must visit for anyone looking for the perfect hill station. Then there is the disputed and terrorized territory of Jammu and Kashmir. Don’t call me crazy for this, but there isn’t much to fear while visiting the state, since the police patrol the area, and tourists visit it, all the time. If you are looking for a spiritual tour, you can probably visit the famous Badrinath and Kedarnath temples in the Himachal area and Vaishno Devi, one of the most popular Hindu temples anywhere, in J&K. Keep in mind that asking for gay parties and bars is something of a risk in India. It is better that you look for these in online forums and discussions, get in touch with a few local guys who know the gay scene here, and then make your move. Staying in hotels is not an issue in India, since men often share a room to cut down travel expenses. Just know that advertising your sexuality will only work against you here. The rest said, enjoy India!
  5. In contemporary times, the gay community across the world has got a larger space for expression in society. However, this does not in any way, reflect upon the genuine attitude that a large section of the population harbor for homosexuals. In fact, in most of the less developed parts of the world, as well as more broad-minded societies, people face discrimination and social seclusion based upon their sexual orientation. Often, the fear of facing rejection and silent condemnation from their peers, family or the general populace at large, leads homosexuals to suppress their homoerotic impulses or else get involved in clandestine relationships that rely upon secrecy to be successful. Either way, living such a life is not healthy for there is a constant sense of inadequacy in this nature of existence. It is thus advised by psychologists as well as gay activists that homosexuals should not hesitate to come out of the closet and express their sexual preference without any qualms. For homosexuals to be as unguarded about their sexual orientation as heterosexuals, they shall need the comfort of knowing that they will get part of, if not similar degree of acceptance as the latter. What gay people often do not realize is that keeping their homosexuality within wraps, they themselves are also conforming to the sexual stereotypes which they think society is burdening them with. If they are at peace with the reality of their sexual preference, the societal response should become a secondary concern. In fact, as more and more homosexuals have gone ahead and been candid about their orientation, the general public response has also undergone a change. As the active gay community becomes larger and stronger, they garner more respect and acceptance due to the very fact of being part of a more vast section of the population and not an extremely small minority. While a large number of gay people keep their homosexuality a secret due to societal pressures and insecurities, more often than not, it is also because they are comfortable with their own reality. However, they must realize that the root cause of such discomfort also goes back to the general conditioning that one receives in regard with sexuality and preferences from their very birth. What they need t realize is that it is better to come out and face reality rather than live a lie. Studies and statistics support the fact that most homosexuals have found themselves to feel happier and more secure once they have come out of the closet and declared their orientation with no hint of embarrassment or regret. It is important to realize that if a homosexual is fighting with their sexual impulses or keeping their orientation a secret, they are not at peace and are not probably living a very satisfactory life in that sense. It is often believed by the more vocal members of the gay community that they are better off risking undesirable societal reaction rather than living in a state of unhappiness, often even depression. The idea is that it is a fairer deal to risk unhappiness and be true to oneself, rather than be unhappy and live in denial or concealment. Moreover, as the gay community has become more vocal and active in fighting for its rights (pro gay marriage), a large part of the formerly indifferent or disdainful population has broadened their outlook, being more aware about the reality of homosexuality and sexual preference. As the world community gets more aware about this issue, they simultaneously become more sensitized towards the idea of accepting them as one of their own. It is therefore, a fair conclusion that homosexuals shall fare better if they are open about their sexual orientation. It shall not only help lighten their own mental burden but also contribute to the larger cause of gay activism that aims at changing the discriminatory attitude that society may harbor in regard with homosexuals. And in coming out of the closet, a gay person makes a decisive attempt to control their own life, which reflects personal growth and strength of character. For all the gay people in the world, go ahead and express yourselves, embrace your sexuality and let other’s notions of right and wrong affect your life.
  6. Are Christians against gays? Gay marriages have hardly ever received religious sanction, especially never so in the realms of Christian Catholicism. The Catholic Church has time and again, raised serious protests against the legalization and public acceptance of same-sex marital unions, across several regions of the world. Such religious condemnation is one of the main impediments in the battle being fought by the gay community across the world. The Catholic Church believes that homosexual relations are against the dictates of the Bible. God created the male and female anatomy such that they are physically complimentary to one another so that they can reproduce and procreate, producing human offspring for the progression of the species. However, same-sex relationships are not conducive to the idea of procreation, and are believed to have been condemned in some interpretations of Biblical texts. In that sense, gay unions are against the biological norms of nature and staunch Catholics consider them to be a violation of God’s establishment of a harmonious society. This is the basic argument put forward by the higher Catholic authorities as well as some followers of the religion as well. The Catholic opposition to gay marriage also drives strength from the fact that their conduct of religion is centered upon a very high view of marriage and human sexuality. Christian Scriptures are cited to reiterate the importance and significance of marital relations and human sexuality. The Book of Genesis is known to reflect that marriage and sexuality were designed such by God to be sacred gifts to mankind. “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him” (Gen. 2:18). “A man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh” (Gen. 2:24).” The above mentioned sections are often quoted to explain the religious sanctity of marriage as God had ordained. Male and female sexuality were to compliment one another so that they could unite in the Holy union of marriage. And since marriage for Catholics, is a Holy vocation, they hold it in reverence and thus try to defend it against “harm”, be it in terms of homosexuality or otherwise. The Catholic Church also believes that gay marriages are a detriment to society. In their argument and protect against the acceptance of same-sex marital unions, they interweave their religious and social concerns to put forward a stronger case. Since gay unions cannot facilitate procreation, they do not play any biological function is society which is supposed to be an important element of the entire marital institution. In consequence to this, the Church believes that the sanctity of a marriage between homosexuals is thus little, if not inconsequential. While the Catholic Church in its entirety is seen as an opposing force to gay marital union, there is a large body of Catholic Christians that does not react to the idea of same-sex marriages in the same manner. Some also argue that the Biblical references that are given to justify a Holy rejection of same-sex relations may not have been related to the question of homosexuality at all. This takes the religious debate into the arena of interpretation and reinterpretation of the Bible. However, since there is no way to judge upon the correctness of any Biblical interpretation, this debate is not expected to reach any concrete conclusion. This is however, not to say that Catholicism represents a complete an absolute boycott of the homosexual population of the world. Yes, the Catholic Church is not a proponent of homosexuality and same-sex marriages. However, a complete rejection of gay people and their lifestyle is not what the Catholic Church stands for either. The bottom line here is that Catholicism has been an opposing voice in the debate over gay marriages and their legalization. It cites religious as well as social factors as the basis for such a stance. But its view on gay marriages is not a complete reflection of the Catholic treatment of homosexuality. While the debate goes on and on, one can only wonder whether there shall ever be an effective conclusion to it, and if so, which voice shall emerge victorious.
  7. I sometimes get asked about what it’s like dating or living with an older gay man. I also get asked for tips and advice on how to deal with family and friends or how I dealt with my family and friends when they found out I was dating and in fact now living with a man 22 years older than myself. I have actually written about many of these questions and problems in my other articles here as the articles are all based on my personal experiences of mainly dating older men, as well as my life living with one for seven years now. However, a recent email inspired me to write some more on this subject and to try and address a few specific points that I may not have covered quite so clearly before. One of the problems or hurdles that you will face if you are involved in a relationship with a gay man where there is a significant age gap is how others will perceive that relationship. Another hurdle that you may face is how you think other people will perceive your relationship with an older or younger gay man. In my own life, the later point is actually the one that gave me the most problems. I actually gave myself more grief and worry about what other people might think than what actually happened and what these people actually do think about our relationship. These days, I don’t worry about people thinking negatively about our relationship because in the first place it’s not theirs and in the second place most people are too busy with their own problems and relationships to really be too concerned. I took me many years to get to this comfort point in my life; it wasn’t easy and I will admit that even to this day I sometimes have the occasional bit of anxiety. How could I have made things easier on myself? That’s something that I sometimes think about and the answer that keeps repeating itself is that I should have come out to my parents a lot earlier than when I did. But I was young and scared of what they might think or do and what my friends might think and do. As it turned out, I came out to my parents when I was older and at a pretty low point in my life, still scared of what everyone might say and do. To make thing just a little more interesting and difficult, the day I came out was also the day that they officially found out that I was living with an older man who was the same age as they were. Yes, they got a double whammy that day! I broke the news awkwardly to my mum first. I don’t remember exactly what either of us said, it’s all a blur but it basically went something like this… “Mum, you know how I’m renting a room from Ian and how I invite him to all our family get-togethers? Well he’s not really my landlord. He’s my lover and has been since I moved in with him”. A short pause of silence greets this revelation and then my mum responds with, “It’s OK; I kind of figured that might be the case”. After I left my parents place, my head still spinning at what I’d just done, I received a phone call from my Dad; “It’s OK son”, he said. I was elated! Years of guilt started lifting from my shoulders. I had begun the next phase of my life as a gay man of thirty something. I honestly don’t know what I would have done had this opportunity presented itself when I was younger, and in my early twenties; or nineteen for that matter. I do know that it was important to finally come out to my family and formally introduce the man who was my lover and partner. I was quite literally getting sick from hiding in the closet and hiding a relationship that was extremely important to me, as Ian wasn’t just some guy that I was occasionally going out with. My entire life was and is to this day revolving around him – we’re partners. Do we get strange looks or questions? Sure sometimes. But for the most part people are too busy to really concern themselves. For others that we meet it’s often a case of, “Oh well, that’s interesting, looks like it’s been good for both of you.” And still others are down right envious. In any event, it matters not what they think; what matters is us and our happiness.
  8. Gay chat rooms, Some guys love them, others loathe them. I’ll admit that I haven’t been active in the chat rooms for a few years. However, before I set about to writing this article I decided to cruise by a few chat rooms to see what the scoop is these days… Nothing much has really changed since my chat days; which could be a good thing or not. Chat rooms can be a good way to meet new guys. Sometimes these virtual meetings and hookups can actually lead to meeting guys in the flesh. I’ve actually made it that far a couple of times. Where things go from there, well, that’s up to you and the guy you happen to meet with. More often than not though, chat rooms tend to be a good place for a virtual quickie, or a good place to just socialize and chat with someone new about anything or nothing in particular. In my experience and observations, the emphasis tends to be on the virtual quickies and the hunt for virtual quickies. Timing is everything — I’ve been to chat rooms that are totally crowded and rocking. When I went back a day later — the same room would be totally dead. It all depends on the time of day or night, just how active the chat room will be and where in the world the guys are chatting from. By the way, most of the dating services that I recommend have chat rooms for their members. The chat rooms tend to be text based chat rooms were it’s one big free for all, with the ability to create a little private room for one-on-one text chats. Some also offer one-on-one video chat services. One of the things that I’ve noticed lately about the various portals that offer chat rooms is that in order to participate fully or to be able to use the full range of features that the site uses, prospective members are encouraged to upgrade their free chat accounts to a paid account. In fact, at MSN chat, which had quite a number of gay chat rooms, it doesn’t look like free members can do anything anymore other than lurk in the corner and watch people chat. You hd got to upgrade to a premium chat account which happens to also give you a premium Hotmail account. One of the reasons that the chat room providers are starting to charge money is to help cut down on the spammers who like to do fly by advertising in chat rooms. Chat rooms tend to be really expensive to run too as they use a lot of bandwidth and processes. In any event, I’ve been out collecting links to gay chat rooms, which I’ll list here. I’m working on a more comprehensive list or directory of places to chat and I’ll post it to this website when it’s completed. (For those guys that don’t know, Chat and Forums are two different things. Chat is real time, whilst forums are message boards where the conversation, topic or posts can last for quite some time.) Short List of A Few Popular Gay Chat Sites & Chat Rooms: All of these chat sites require registration — some may cost extra for full benefits. • Discort Gay Chat — Yes, there’s also quite a few gay chats going on here. See my note above… • Free Chat Now— Yes, there’s lots of gay chats and networking going on here. • Telegram Gay Chat— Predominately straight chat portal with quite a few gay chat rooms and chat boards. • Slack Gay Chat — Predominately straight chat portal with quite a few gay chat rooms and chat boards. Look in the Adult and Romance areas for the gay chat rooms… Also, check out my recommended dating sites for more chat rooms. I should also mention that many of the gay community sites that I feature at my gay links site have chat rooms as well. Now go and have yourself a bit of fun!
  9. Here are a few suggestions or tips, on what to take with you on a date. (These dating tips are in no particular order…). 1. Your humor – A must. Guys don’t want to go out with sour-pusses. 2. Condoms and lube. You never know, but it’s best to be prepared. Personally, I try to refrain from sex on the first date, as I’ve found it helpful to make the guy wait – Drive him crazy with anticipation. 3. Wear clean, neat, tidy and appropriate clothes. It’s really amazing just how many guys think they can get away with dirty underwear, shoes that are falling apart, or looking like a construction worker when they go to a really fancy restaurant. Take pride in your appearance. 4. A couple of questions or topics that you can talk about or use as conversation starters or conversation bridges. 5. Breath mints – Keep your breath fresh and pleasant please. 6. Pen & Paper – I rarely go anywhere without these; great for jotting down and exchanging email addresses, phone numbers, Instant Message handles, websites… 7. Emergency money. Long ago, I learned the value of taking change with me for pay phones. If you get in a bind you can call a friend or a relative. Of course if you’ve got a cell phone – even better. Just remember to turn it off so that you’re paying attention to your date and not to all those people who just have to call you. I’ve also found it helpful to carry enough cash to pay for at least my portion of any meal – even if I’ve been told that “it’s on him”. Wishing you joy and success on your dates,
  10. Going out on your first date with a guy or meeting a guy for the first time can be a bit of a nerve racking experience, especially if your one of those shy guys. Let me tell you something; I’m one of those shy guys. But, this is one shy guy who decided that unless he did something about it, he was never going to get laid or have a boyfriend if he didn’t get out there. Here’s my short list of the things that I have done or used in order to get over shyness, meet interesting guys and have a “successful first date”. But first, I’ve got to tell you, that I consider every date that I’ve ever gone on a success. Why? For starters, I’m still alive to talk and write about it. And because every date, no matter how lousy or dull was a learning experience and one more date that I DID go on. The important thing is to get out there and start meeting guys; start making friends and get off the couch or out of your bedroom. 6 Tips for Your Successful First Date 1. Have confidence in yourself, your abilities and that the date will go well. Guys are attracted to guys who have or exude confidence. Confidence is about knowing who you are, what you want and knowing that you’ll get it. 2. Don’t think of it as a date, think of it as meeting someone interesting, for lunch, dinner, drinks, coffee, or whatever it is you plan to do. By throwing away the “date” label you can get down to just having a pleasant outing with the guy with no “date expectations”. 3. Relax and just be you. Trying to conjure up some sort of false persona is pointless, you might impress yourself for a second or two and maybe even the other guy for a moment; until he figures out its all hype or “bull”. It’s OK to be you and if the other guy isn’t interested in you it’s no big deal, because there’s thousands and thousands of gay men out there. 4. Arrive a little bit early. I like to arrive at places a little early for a variety of reasons, but I’ve found it a helpful habit if I’m feeling a bit nervous or shy too. When you’re going out to a restaurant or a coffee shop, if you arrive a bit early you can go to the washroom without deserting your date, compose yourself, fix your hair, wash those sweaty palms and relieve yourself if necessary. Arriving a little early or exactly on time also means that you won’t be rushed and you won’t be puffing out excuses as to why you were late. It just makes things easier and less stressed initially. 5. Dress for the occasion and location. You don’t need to look like a Queer Eye for the Straight Guy makeover, but if you dress nicely and appropriately for the occasion and the location, you’ll not only look great, you’ll feel great. You’ll be confident that you’re in the right attire for wherever it is you’re going out to. And now, for my ultimate not-so-secret dating tip for shy guys… 6. Wear your “power underwear” when you go out on a date, especially your first date. If you don’t have a pair of “power underwear”, get some. The idea is to get something that makes you feel incredibly powerful and sexy. It doesn’t matter if you don’t end up in the sack or on the floor later on in the evening. Power underwear is something that can give the shy guy that extra little edge. Wishing you joy and dating success!
  11. However some of what seems to be positive attention about gay males seems to be negative in context. For example most females who view gay male dating is geared towards long lasting relationships. The idea that women engage in gay male dating for a short term sexual encounter and then expect the men to offer marriage in the next heat of the moment is a myth. It is further suggested that being gay is a poor choice of lifestyle because there is a higher than average failure rate in gay male relationships. When viewing hit television shows, it is interesting that the gay male character is never the normalverse, whether it be through on-screen as well as off-screen relationships. Remember the resistance that gay males are met with, their families and peers does nothing to encourage them to fall in love with the partner they perceive them selves to be with. They usually must put up with the humiliation of being bread winners and providers in communities which they perceive themselves to be inferior. Whilst being Labrador to cute and loving pets and attending puppy HAS outings, the straight females are lesbians and have girlfriends for company and in comfort. It might be a comical picture but the gay male is usually left out in relation to the heterosexual dating partner. Lesbian couple is seen as being petite and delightsome and not the strong yet tender gender we perceive the gay male to be at times. Relationships are tiring and hard work and can be a hassle and a challenge and in the end, most daters opt badly for love over the partner that they perceive as being better for them. Love is what a person must have for itself in order to give it the life to give to another person. Sometimes when the partner you have chosen is not falling for you, it is consideredImproper, and many millions of dollars is paid each year to settle claims out of court or tooodlesome couplewrong couplesout of relationships, where each of them thought that their pile controller was better than relational authority. These people have been exploited and thoroughly miserable. Con artists exploit human sentiments, love, trust, sexual preferences and family values using motives of greed. The burden of emotions like love is lighter for them than for individuals who are lonely or contented with their alternate lives. These people are less likely to engage in risky behaviors related to sexual behaviors and are less likely than heterosexuals to have homeless partners, or to engage in risk taking behaviors that could later lead to death. It is mandatory that parents, together with a life partner, encourage their children to marry within their own sex and to reject social pressure to have sex with an extra gender. It is also mandatory that each individual family member acknowledge that the decision to have sex must be made by two people who have been interacting for some time and who are comfortable with each other, with the understanding that the couple does not know everything about each other. A child, and a single mother in particular, does not need the pressure from his or her father, or the fear of losing his father’s approval, or the rumors from neighborhood, school, work, and in the temperature of public opinion to convince a decision that is not theirs to make. The child, and the single mother in particular, should be able to speak freely and clearly with each other about the desires of the child and the relationship the couple has…
  12. Much as I think online dating services are a great way to meet men, there is to a degree a darker side to these places. But then, you could also say the same about any other place that men go to meet other men. However, one of the things about online dating services, pick up spots, chat lines and other similar places, is that quite often one is given either complete anonymity or the sense of anonymity. Being anonymous can be nice, but with it comes an element of risk when it comes to finding dates online. Personally, I have never had any major problems arise from meeting with guys that I’ve found on the Internet. One of the reasons for such good fortune is because I’ve always used a pretty selective process in just who I’ll meet. I’ll admit that I haven’t always gone out with great guys as a result but I have been able to eliminate the truly questionable guys. Lets face it; all sorts of people log onto the Internet and some of those people are just plain creepy to say the least. I do know people that haven’t been as lucky as me. Fortunately, none of them met with actual violence. They did receive threats though; which was scary enough. I’ve read a lot of “rules for dating safely” and here’s the problem I have with most of them…They’re mostly one sided. For instance, it’s a little much to expect a guy to give you their phone number, (home and/or work) so that you can verify their story and existence, if you’re not willing to do the same. A lot of these tips or “rules” tell you to do just that — get their info but don’t give out your’s. Here’s my general rule of thumb…If you’re not willing to divulge some aspect of your life or a specific about yourself; don’t expect to receive that type of information from the other guy. The best piece of advice I can give you and one of the few hard and fast “dating safety rules” that I’ll give, is to use your best judgment and exercise some common sense; regardless of how you meet other men. Other Safety Tips You Might Want To Consider: • Ask for a recent photo of the guy; if you’ve got questions in your mind ask for photo ID. A friend of mine was starting to have serious questions about a guy they had been chatting to online…When asked for photo ID, the guy emailed my friend an obviously doctored driver’s license. The friend decided not to meet the guy and the threats started pouring in… • Agree to meet in a mutually chosen location; one that has a lot of other people around. • Let someone know that you’re going on a date with someone you’ve just met. Give them, (a friend possibly) the “Who, What, Where, When” details. • Write the details of your date down on a piece of paper and stick it to your fridge or someplace that people will find if the worst actually happens. • Try and find out a little about the other guys background or life; that way you can look for any inconsistencies either before or during the actual date. • Don’t go someplace or do something that you’re not comfortable with. • Trust your gut instincts! If something feels or sounds fishy; don’t ignore it. Actually, this rule isn’t optional — this is the second hard and fast rule that I’ll give. Remember, going on a date and meeting guys online is supposed to be fun but be careful out there so that you can keep on having fun meeting neat, interesting and sexy guys.
  13. Gay marriage has always been a hot topic in the past and will continue to be as more and more people finally come out and reveal themselves. Even more celebrity figures have been more brave and have racked up the courage to come out in front of a national audience. But what about the people, you know; the average straight people that exist in the world, how do they feel about gay marriages and homosexuality in general? Some people believe it’s a sickness, some believe that it conflicts with the same religions. How do you feel about gay marriages? There are countries that allow and support it, why not the others? It will take some time for other states to catch on to the fact of “equality”. Discrimination is always brought up with the topic of gay marriages and couples. Homosexuality is a very emotional topic for most people and we do not mean to offend anyone who comes to our site and reads the information we have. Throughout this site you will find more topics about gay marriage and factual data that is currently going on within the world and United States. Be sure to bookmark this site to follow up with us as we continue to grow.
  14. Gay marriages, often also referred to as same-sex marriages, have been a contentious issue all over the world, especially in countries, where both the debate and debaters are to interact at a very public forum. Over the years, many arguments have been put forward in support of and against the legalization of gay marriages, each based upon by a volley of opinions coming from different schools of thought. When examining the nature of debate over the question of legality regarding gay marriages, there are three main generic divisions within which the arguments regulate – biological, social and religious. If we consider the biological debate, the arguments from each side are not unexpectedly novel or unique. Those opposed to gay marriage argue that homosexuality is against the natural norms of procreation. The male and female species are anatomically designed to interact physically in harmony to lead to the creation of human off-springs. In that sense, the sexual interaction between the same sexes is against the laws of nature, and thus unacceptable in the social context of a healthy living community. On the other hand, gay activists propose that for those people who do not consider the lack of ability to procreate a set-back in any way, a homosexual relationship and its legal acceptance should not be an issue. While there are multiple sub-clauses to these arguments as well, the gist of the divergence lies in the question of procreation. The social and religious facets of this debate concerning same-sex marriages are largely so interlinked. People of the Catholic religious tradition belief that homosexuality is against the tenets of the Bible. Thus, those involved in gay relationships are in complete violation of the Christian religious ideology. l. Therefore, homosexuality and its legal sanction is not in any way a rejection or violation of any religious sensibilities. Either way, since there is no way in which to come upon an interpretation of the Bible that shall be acceptable to both the anti-gay and pro-gay sects of the agenda, it is hard to reach any nature of conclusion on this aspect of debate. The social aspect of the debate on homosexuality is somewhat linked with both the biological and religious debate. Those who are not in favor of legalizing of gay marriage argue that since homosexuality is ‘unnatural’ and ‘a desecration of Christian Dictates’, legalizing same-sex unions shall lead to the spread of this socio-sexual anomaly in society. Providing legal sanction to same-sex marriages shall cause more and more people to believe that homosexuality is not a deviation from what is healthy and desirable, thus leading to the degradation of society. Those in support of the legalizing gay marriage argue that sexual orientation may be either an inherent preference or a personal life-style choice. Either way, any free individual should be at liberty to indulge in a relationship of homosexual nature, just as people can free have heterosexual relationships. Since gay people are not in any way less human than heterosexuals, and nor do their relationships have lesser or more sanctity than those of the latter, there is no reason why their marital union should not be illegal. While there is no end to the debate on homosexuality and its legal sanction. While the judicial response has been varied in different regions, there is a general trend of homosexuality gaining more acceptances over the past decade. 1. In 2001, the Netherlands became the first country to legalize same-sex marriages. 2. Belgium followed suit in 2003 and granted equal rights to same-sex married couples. 3. Canada, In 2005, the Canadian Parliament passed legislation making same-sex marriage legal nationwide. 4. Spain, Also in 2005, a closely divided Spanish parliament agreed to do the same. 5. After South Africa‘s highest court ruled the country’s marriage laws violated the constitution’s guarantee of equal rights, parliament legalized same-sex marriage in 2006. 6. In 1993 Norway allowed gay couples to enter civil unions, but it took until 2008 for a Norway to pass a gender-neutral marriage law. 7. In 2009, Sweden voted overwhelmingly in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. 8. Iceland‘s parliament voted unanimously to legalize same-sex marriage in 2010. 9. Portugal has also allowed same-sex marriage since 2010, after legislation was originally challenged by the country’s president. 10. In 2010, Argentina became the first Latin American country to allow same-sex marriage. 11. Denmark‘s legalization came in 2012 after Queen Margrethe II gave her royal assent to the proposed legislation. 12. Uruguay passed legislation allowing same-sex marriage in 2013. 13. In 2013, New Zealand became the first country in the Asia-Pacific to legislate for same-sex marriage. 14. President Francois Hollande signed a measure legalizing marriage equality in France in 2013. 15. Brazil’s National Council of Justice ruled that same-sex couples should not be denied marriage licenses in 2013, allowing same-sex marriages to begin across the country. 16. England and Wales became the first countries in the UK to pass marriage equality in 2014. 17. Scotland voted overwhelmingly in favor of of legalizing same-sex marriage later in 2014. 18. Luxembourg overwhelmingly approved legislation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed and to adopt children that went into effect in 2015. 19. Finland approved a marriage equality bill in 2014. 20. Ireland became the first country to legalize same-sex marriage through a popular vote in 2015. 21. Greenland, the world’s biggest island, passed same-sex legislation in 2015. 22. The United States Supreme Court made marriage equality federal law in 2015. 23. Colombia became the fourth Latin American country to legalize same-sex marriage in 2016. 24. In 2017, Germany became the 15th European country to allow same-sex couples to wed. 25. In 2017, nearly all of Malta‘s parliament voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. 26. Australia legalized same-sex marriage in 2017 after lawmakers enacted the will of the majority of citizens who overwhelmingly voted for the measure by postal vote. 27. Taiwan made history on May 24, 2019, becoming the first place in Asia to pass laws on marriage equality. 28. Ecuador‘s highest court approved same-sex marriage in a 5-4 ruling. 29. Costa Rica became the first Central American country to legalize same-sex marriage on May 26, 2020.
  15. There are few set rules to this often harrowing experience, mostly there are merely guidelines based on the experiences of others, but from the knowledge of many of those experiences, including my own, this article has been written with an aim to help those considering “coming out”. Of the few rules there are, one hard and fast one is to always do what you think is best for you – but to do it considerately. Another is that before even contemplating coming out to anyone, especially to your family, you do need to be absolutely sure in yourself that you really are gay. Don’t base anything on just a few pleasurable experiences you may have had with someone of the same sex. Straight people do sometimes experiment (as many as two in every five males will have same-sex at some time in their lives – statistics that are a blessing to many a gay man) and they do often enjoy it – so be thoroughly sure before dropping what to some people might be a bombshell! Few will thank you later for a: “Whoops! I got it wrong!” Once you have completely accepted that you are gay then the whole coming out issue raises its ugly head. You will find yourself questioning: Do I really need to tell anyone? Should I try to keep it a secret? Should I tell my parents? And if so – both of them, or just one of them – at least at first? How about my brothers and sisters; the rest of the family; and my friends – should they all be told? Then there’s the people at work – do they need to know? Each person’s situation will be different, and only they will have the best idea of who, if anybody, they should tell. Some people will feel it is best to tell everyone – others to tell no-one. Some won’t want to tell either one, or both, of their parents because they “know” it would devastate them, or they would simply never understand, whilst others may conclude it is best to keep it under wraps at work. With friends, especially close ones, you may think you know who you could, and who you could not, confide in. It is you and you alone who will be the best judge of each situation, but you will need to have done some groundwork on which to base your conclusions. An obvious way if you are unsure of someone is to pass a casual non-judgemental comment on something gay that is in the newspaper or on the television (there’s usually something around most times) to see how they react. If you do decide to come out to someone, then this is no time to rush into anything. You will need to pick a good time to tell them – a time when neither of you are busy or are likely to be disturbed. Don’t be tempted to undertake the task when you, or they, are the worse for drink. Don’t prepare a speech or a lecture full of baffling statistics – just try to be your usual self and converse as you normally would. Do try to get it across that your coming out changes nothing, that you are still exactly the same person you were before telling them, and that the only one thing that has changed is that they now know your true sexuality. Assure them that you still love them / like them / need them the same as you always have done, and tell them that you hope upon hope that they can come to terms with your sexuality and accept you for what you really are, just as you had to. Do be prepared for questions, some of which you may not know the answers to – in which case be honest; don’t attempt to blag it. And do be prepared for the unexpected; for things to go badly wrong. They don’t often, but they can. If you are living with parents and you decide to tell them, then no matter how sure you may be that they will take it okay, it is sensible to have somewhere else lined up where you could stay for a while – just in case. This is one reason why my advice for anyone under sixteen is to wait until they are old enough to leave home. That way there are no legal complications if it all goes terribly wrong, life becomes unbearable, and they need to spend a few nights away from home. A major reason for a lot of people coming out is to stop all those embarrassing questions like: “When are you going to find a nice girl and settle down?” As this doesn’t usually apply to anyone in their early teens, a time when most lads still go “out with the boys” and anything they might do is likely to be seen as a fad or a mere phase that they are going through, it is probably prudent to wait for a few years. But whatever age you are, if you do come out and it does all go tits up it is imperative that you don’t get into a heated argument or a full blown row – be man enough to walk away. A little time will often improve matters, so make sure you stay in touch. Never burn your bridges. Worrying about how coming out might affect you, the way it may affect others sometimes gets overlooked. Here’s a few issues regarding your parents that you may need to understand and address: It is natural for mothers to eagerly look forward to their grandchildren and, especially if you are an only child, they may feel they are going to miss out on a large part of their lives. Occasionally a father may feel that his masculinity has been put in question by producing a gay son and there may be some, albeit even subconscious or hidden, resentment that you have made it public knowledge. Your parents, searching for a reason, may come to believe that you are gay directly as a result of them raising you incorrectly – they may hold themselves responsible and feel guilty. Unless you’re cruel and don’t care about your parents, these issues need addressing with a lot of love and support. Keep them involved in your life as much as possible, let them see that you are happy with your lifestyle, and be involved in their lives too, but do respect their wishes when it comes to meeting your gay boyfriends – some will want to meet them; some won’t in the early days but will come around to it later; and just a few will wish to carry on as if nothing had been said – with the word “gay” never mentioned again in front of them. In the event the coming out to your parents goes really badly, despite any animosity you need to remember (for they will) that you are still their son. They may hate your lifestyle, they may not understand it, they may not be able to come to terms with it, but they will always love you as their son even though they may tell you different and not be showing it at that time. Don’t give up on trying to build bridges – one day one will probably reach them. Whilst it is possible to come out to your parents, and sometimes even to the wider family, without others including your friends knowing about you, the reverse may not necessarily be as true. Unless you live away from your family and nobody that knows you works (goes to college / uni) where you do, in time there is a likelihood that rumour or word will get back to someone you would have preferred not to have known. It only takes one friend to unwittingly tell someone, perhaps someone who has revealed an interest in you, that you bat for the other side for the word to spread like wildfire as they do their “Did you know…?” bit to all their friends and family. Remember: once you have come out, even if it is to only one person, you no longer have a secret and you must be prepared for others to find out about you at any time. For this reason I have always considered it best to come out to everybody, but you may feel differently. There are some people who, when they weigh it all up, decide it is best for their circumstances to keep their sexuality a total secret and to not come out at all. It can work, but it’s not without some consequences. For years these people will have to suffer family and friends frequently asking them when they are going to meet the right girl and settle down. In time they may even find that strange liaisons are being arranged as they are invited to dinner parties and paired off at the table with an endless stream of left on the shelf girls. It can all get a bit embarrassing, and when that doesn’t work, and there’s still no girlfriend in sight, at least one person will at some time come right out with it and ask them point blank if they are gay. What then? Do they lie to them, and thereafter really live a lie? And if they do, how do they feel about lying to their friends and family – those people who love them? Sometimes not coming out can be as hard as actually coming out – only it lasts longer! I have particularly covered coming out to the parents and family most in this article because I believe them to be the most important – you cannot change your family whereas your friends you can, and probably will, change many times throughout your lifetime. If a friend can’t accept your sexuality, then how good a friend are they? You are better off finding another friend. And anyway, if you’ve come out, or are coming out, you’ll probably already have a lot of gay friends, or be seeking them, so the loss of an old friend won’t matter that much. Every year gay people are accepted a little more, and so every year it becomes a little easier for those considering coming out. Nevertheless to most faced with the task the experience can still be very unnerving – a little like a first flight in an aircraft or a first solo performance on stage to a massive audience, but more so. You know it’s all been done before; it’s done on a daily basis and rarely does anything go wrong. You know by all the odds that afterwards you will feel relieved, and proud of yourself – but even knowing all that doesn’t help you much. Some of the ways I benefited from coming out may help you: There was an instant relief that I didn’t have to hide anything anymore – I could be my true self. No more did I have to look over my shoulder and scan the street before going into a gay pub; no more did I have to check out who was in WH Smiths before buying the Gay Times; no more did the pictures on my walls have to reflect the straight world – up went the hunks! And no more did I have to cringe in horror in case someone I knew saw the obvious camp queen cooeying hello across the street at me. Then there was the pleasure of being able to tell a girl who had been after getting the pants off me for months that I was gay, instead of coming up with yet another excuse why we shouldn’t be doing it, and an even greater pleasure in putting on an outrageously camp voice (it’s not the usual me) to a good friend’s over-sexed and persistent wife who once more was playing tootsies under the table. “Dhaaarling! I’m gay and I don’t do fish suppers!” I screamed. He looked; she fled – and I was never bothered again. Getting back to the more serious side, being completely out it was no surprise to anyone when I turned up at all the works parties with my male partner. No more did I have to find excuses and miss out on such things – it also started a bit of a trend as two others began to bring their male partners along too! And with my partner, as an out gay couple, we were able to go to both of our respective family’s celebrations, weddings, funerals and Christmas parties as a part of that family. You could say that coming fully out allowed us to enjoy a normal life similar to that of any heterosexual couple – apart from that what we did in bed. All our neighbours accepted us. They loved our gay parties and barbecues to which we always invited them (some would even help out with the cooking and the preparations – we were no fools!) and they in return would invite us and many of our gay friends to their parties. I cannot imagine living my life in any other way than being totally out and honest. What you see is what you get, and if you don’t like it – tough! I know that not everybody will feel that my way could be their way, but if they are considering it and think it might be for them then I am living proof that it can work. There is so much I would not have done, and so much life I would have missed out on, had I remained even partially in the closet. A few tips: It will be easier to come out if you already have gay friends who will help and support you. If you have a boyfriend who is happy to come out with you (or is already out) it will be even easier. If you are setting up home with a partner, and you are out to your parents, get your mothers to help you move in – they’ll do all the outing needed to the neighbours and give you a “legitimacy” – you’ll have no problems. Finally, and I believe the most important tip of all: Always try to live your life with compassion, but the way that YOU want to live it. It is your life and yours alone – and you are only given the one. To waste even a moment of it is to miss so much. Be lucky!
  16. Dealing with homophobic people in general is difficult, but when those people are your family it hurts. Unfortunately, in most cases, you will not be able to change the views of your homophobic family members regarding your sexuality, especially if their homophobia stems from their religion. The best you can do is to temporarily distance yourself from said homophobic family members for two reasons: 1.) You need to get away from the toxicity and stress that your family members cause you due to your sexuality, and 2.) You need to take a step back and educate yourself on why your family members are the way they are so that you can fully understand their perspectives. It could be that it isn’t necessarily you they dislike, it’s the homosexual stereotypes and stigma. For most people, homophobia stems from a lack of factual knowledge about homosexuality. Once you’ve distanced yourself from your homophobic family members and taken a step back to understand their perspectives, then you can take the next steps in calmly confronting them on their behavior and educating them. Most conservative or religious people will not willingly seek out or accept factual information regarding sexuality, so please be sure to be mindful of this when confronting your family members on their homophobic behavior if they are conservative or religious. Understand that the homophobia will not go away in a day, a week, or in some cases, ever. Remember, the most you can do is to distance yourself, take a step back and understand their perspective, confront them and then educate them. After that, the rest is up to them. In life family is all that we have, so while it may be okay to temporarily distance yourself from your family in pursuit of ridding your life of homophobia, remember to not distance yourself from your family forever. Sometimes it takes distancing yourself from people for them to appreciate you and for them to realize that they are missing out on having you in their lives for such a trivial and ignorant reason; a reason that neither you nor they can change.
  17. 3 Tips For Choosing a Dating Site That’s Right For You: Any gay college stud has already seen the crowded field of dating sites available from any computer, laptop or mobile phone these days. If you haven’t discovered online dating, do yourself a favor and browse around a bit because it really does simplify a lot of the social requirements as compared to cruising the bar scene, and there aren’t any 21 and over requirements to get into a gay dating site the way there are at local campus pubs. The real question at this point is what makes one gay dating site better than another for your personal use? 1. It really ought to be free to try. If you reach a site and it starts asking you for money immediately, just go somewhere else. Yes, dating sites do deserve to earn a living just like anyone else providing a service, but all the good ones are free to try or at least give you some kind of limited trial access until you get a chance to decide if they fit your needs. Anyone saying, “give me 50 bucks and then I’ll show you what’s inside” these days isn’t a good option. 2. Inclusive is important. Some gay dating sites try to be so niche it’s absurd. If you really only want to date one very narrow kind of person, then I guess a site that only caters to “men who wear blue shoes on Wednesdays” might be a halfway decent choice, but dating (especially in your college years) should really be about exploring and opening yourself up to new experiences. That’s why more inclusive dating sites make sense, where you can get to know a variety of men from all different backgrounds, ages, ethnicities and more. 3. Size matters. Yeah, there are plenty of size queens who think the bulge of your blue jeans is what matters most, but when it comes to gay dating online, the size you really want to focus on is the size of the community you are joining. Why waste your time on some tiny dating site, talking to the same eighteen people, when you can be on a gay dating site, talking to thousands of people in your own local area and millions of people globally? The sooner you get into a free, inclusive and sizable dating community online, the faster your college gay dating experience will be able to exceed all of your own expectations. If you find great sites worth joining, be sure to contact us and let us know so we can include them in our own upcoming tips for gay men!
  18. Nicholas Yatromanolakis has made history by becoming Greece’s first openly gay minister in a cabinet reshuffle in the center-right government. Nicholas Yatromanolakis, 44, has been promoted from the position of general secretary at the ministry to become the new minister of culture. Alexis Patelis, the Greek Prime Minister’s chief economic advisor said in a tweet that, it was a “historic day for LGBTI+ representation, a big win for meritocracy and better decision-making through diversity”. “Congrats to Nicholas Yatromanolakis for showing you can be yourself and still succeed,” he added. “May others draw strength to live their life openly.” Nicholas Yatromanolakis’ Political Life Before entering politics in 2014 as a founding member of the now-defunct centrist party Potami, Yatromanolakis worked in marketing and communications for companies including Microsoft and has a masters in public policy from Harvard. “For a long time … I felt I had to choose and that there were identities that could never be compatible with one another,” said Yatromanolakis, who left To Potami in 2016 and joined the government in 2019. He rejected the suggestion that his appointment to the culture ministry might be viewed as tokenism. “People do not understand and see that the (cultural) sector… creates jobs, creates opportunities,” said Yatromanolakis, who used to work for a cultural center housing the country’s national opera and library. He said his priorities in the job included channeling state financial aid to people working in the arts during the pandemic. Asked what measures the government could take to support LGBTI+ people, Yatromanolakis said he wanted better implementation of existing anti-discrimination laws, including training in private companies and government bodies. “No person growing up should feel they have to choose between who they are and what they want to become in life,” he said. “I wish someone else was first before me … (but) if this helps people who have problems because of who they are … then it’s worth it.”
  19. Hot, steamy days in the upper deck. Beer swigged. Sleeveless T-shirts, biceps showing. The grunt of a pack of men in a football scrimmage on a late fall afternoon. The resigned and disappointed look on a rookie’s face when he realizes he’s been cut. Coaches named “Stud”. Cotton clothing for golf, rough wool for football. Cigars in the clubhouse. Taped ankles, buzz cuts, and the crunch of cleats in a sand-covered dugout. Admit it: these mainstay tools of contemporary sports cinema have a whole lot more potent effect on us than they do straight men. And I hate to assume, but I can’t see my old college roommate feeling the same way as I did when Rudy couldn’t get a break, or hit the lows I hit when Roy Hobbs re-aggravated his decades-old gunshot injury. While 90% of guys might not notice, the other 10% find such masculine drama, well, “inspiring.” So if a gay male sees more to a sports film, then which make the grade? What are the top sports flicks for the minority of us who can’t bear to watch Ollie’s foul shots in “Hoosiers” because we can’t reach into the screen to console the guy should he miss? Here are the most watchable sports movies for sports fans who, to borrow a phrase, “see a different game.” 10. “The Endless Summer” (1966). Ever felt totally out of your element but enjoyed what you were experiencing so much that the fascination stuck? That’s what happens here, unless this pseudo-documentary travelogue flick from the “Gidget” era happens to read like an autobiography. For the rest of the world, surf lingo, tactics, and sites remain a mystery, which is why this 34-year old film still pleases. An incredibly masculine, violently thrilling joyride around the world in search of the “perfect wave” with a team of bad boys from surfing’s golden age, “Endless Summer” begs the inevitable question: whatever happened to surfer fetishists? 9. “Tin Cup” (1996). At first glance, this is nothing more than “Bull Durham” on the links, a middle-of-the-road romantic comedy full of flirtatious one-liners between Kevin Costner and Rene Russo, hardly worth a mention for its relative absence of steam. But in a laid-back, witty way, this movie hits the heart, no matter the avalanche of corny straight-guy schmooze techniques and relatively inane script. A “date movie” if there ever was one, “Tin Cup” benefits from a weird, indescribable aura that surrounds every scene: the characters sweat, the sun is blinding, the landscape bakes. It’s a summer flick, and if you’ve ever played golf it’s a thriller, and it contains the most handsome, most loveable incarnation of Costner on film (for my money, anyway). Few times did I manage to escape its relatively oddball charms. 8.. “8 Seconds” (1994). There isn’t a man alive (that I’d identify with, anyway) who would pass up a chance to ride in Lane, Tuff, and Cody’s Caddy, across miles of deserted nothingness in search of a dream, listening to Cody’s cowboy poems, and feeling what it’s like to be a free man. Of course, what makes a rodeo man tick is the secret stuff of legend, but here’s a good peek inside, a highly underrated film with a surprisingly well-paced and patient performance by Luke Perry. He makes a great Lane Frost, right up to his tragic death, and you can’t help but feel it was somehow destined to end up that way. All the stud cowboy posturing aside (and there’s plenty of it), “8 Seconds” is a melancholy film about the things that drive each of us to chase a dream, and how we sometimes lose ourselves along the way. Highly recommended, not just for the boot set. 7. “Hoosiers” (1986). Time has not been kind to this much-revered Cinderella story of the smallest-town-makes-good Indiana state basketball champs of 1952. The warm, entertaining story I remember from years ago now seems so forced, the drama so painted, and the subplots ridiculously trite. The soundtrack humorously reminds me of the sort of melodramatic dreck that served as “tension-building” background noise for bad 1980s dramas like “Dallas” and “Dynasty” (as the music plays during the Sectionals game segment, I swear I expect Blake Carrington to stroll out on the court). But you don’t come here for the atmosphere, you come for the tear-jerking cheese, and it’s here. Basically, nothing more redeeming about this film is as powerful as the boys of the Hickory Huskers themselves, and they do stand the test of time. Ollie is still as nifty and cherubic as I remember, and Jimmy (the “franchise”) still opens my eyes as an awfully handsome farm-boy who carries the team on his back. These are the type of guys who get haircuts every Saturday, who wear their letter jackets every day of their high-school lives, and who you just KNOW have been up in the loft of the family barn with the cheerleaders, discovering what it’s like to be men and growing up accordingly. There simply isn’t a better cast of this sort who can evoke so many boyhood memories in a man and do so convincingly and tastefully. Despite the years, it’s a pleaser. 6. “Rudy” (1993). A college coach once chuckled while discussing this movie with me years ago, then turned deadly serious as he told me, “There’s a Rudy story in everyone’s life, I think.” It was a touching moment, and it makes sense: commitment, perseverance, and determination are what shape a man’s character, and Rudy Ruettiger became one in a hurry at Notre Dame despite incredible odds. What makes this film worthwhile is how incredibly masculine such characteristics become when related to a story of such heart-wrenching power. How else can you explain why this film has been known to make even the most manly of us cry, knowing that if Rudy gets cut, we won’t stand a chance at that job promotion or secret personal goal? Rudy did it, and so can we. Extras: Sean Astin in pads, Sean Astin in a letter jacket, and Sean Astin being carried off the field on his teammates’ shoulders (the real-life Ruettiger remains the only player the Irish have ever done that for). 5. “Bull Durham” (1988). Without a doubt the most overrated comedy in American cinematic history, “Durham” is nonetheless a touchstone for rabid masculinity, outrageously humorous philosophical takes on life and love, and the first in a long line of Costner man-pose flicks. The celebrated “church of baseball” jokes aside, this is one film that plays for a different audience on a level the other 90% will never understand. Cases in point: Costner’s curiously resigned but red-hot sexy cockiness, the humorous and respectfully engaging game scenes, and the whole “guys in the clubhouse” vibe that permeates the whole program. This is one hell of a man’s movie, and despite the groans from baseball purists, it does something phenomenally original with the theme that other baseball films can’t best. 4. “A River Runs Through It” (1992). If we could get what we wished for in an instant, who among us would not want to erase the painful parts of our pasts, selectively replace them with pillars of strength, with a family bond so ideal and strong it would cure every hurt, soothe every rough spot? It’s the stability, the sense of order out of chaos, the magnificent integrity of the subject matter here that almost erases any sense that this is a “sports movie” at all. For what ultimately happens in Norman MacLean’s autobiographical novella is a realization so profound, viewers are caught unaware, having witnessed the passing of a man’s world between generations, across ages and over our created distances. MacLean’s life gets the Robert Redford treatment here, and the effect is nothing short of stunning. The family of men in this film (with the father portrayed by Tom Skerritt, one of the most competent actors in modern cinema) endears itself to the viewer, allowing us to grow with the characters, through shared experiences of joy, adventure, and sadness. It’s about life, and family, and the search for an ideal way of living we can be happy pursuing. The cinematography is rich, the locations bright with inspiration. Just a marvelously moving movie about men. 3. “The Natural” (1984). Leave it to Barry Levinson to make a story so simple seem deeper than Redford’s eyes. As many times as I’ve watched this one, I can’t help but chant its many philosophical one-liners right into next week, mantras divine and justly so because of the source. This is the grand slam of sports movies, wherein dugouts are sanctuaries (christened by Wilford Brimley in a role he was born to play), drawing us into Roy Hobbs’ life story so effectively we actually WANT to cheer for him. The acting is superb: Robert Duvall in another of his subtle and outstanding performances; Glenn Close is a gem; even Kim Basinger turns a wimpy role into a performance worth remembering. But it’s the life lessons themselves that steal the show, such as this bomb dropped on Roy as he sits in a hospital bed, thinking about a life he wanted badly but instead settled for the one he lived: “We have two lives, the one we learn with, and the one we live afterward.” This movie isn’t just about men, a game, and a gift; it’s a movie about the essence of sport and life. A beautiful, captivating, and solemn story. 2. “Breaking Away” (1979). A bittersweet and engaging film set in small-town Indiana, starring a talented corps of pre-Brat Packers who out-perform their roles in a tale of adolescent bliss. Dennis Quaid (in what I remember was his first prominent role) still is a looker here, even with the Carter Administration-era ‘do, and Dennis Christopher became the guy who forced me to ask weird questions about myself years ago. There still is no greater story of a foursome of friends-til-the-death buddies than the Cutters, a crew so tight you’d swear there was more to those quarry swims than made the final reel. Hardly outdated, “Breaking Away” still gives me pause. 1. “Long Gone” (1987). About 8 years ago, one boring weekday night, a bunch of old fraternity buddies of mine and I went to Blockbuster with nothing in mind, and “Long Gone” somehow made it back with us by one pal’s popular demand. Turns out this 1987 HBO special, a low-budget pre-“Bull Durham” tale of a fictional minor-league team in Florida in the 1950’s, electrified me in such a way that I felt as though I was watching the best, most unabashedly homoerotic sports flick I’d ever seen. Nothing has since come close to besting it on several fronts. For starters, the team depicted is the Tampico Stogies, a squad whose uniforms are adorned with a cartoon of some studly Tom Of Finland – type character, cigar clenched between his teeth, up at the plate and meaning business. The whole team smokes cigars and plays ball with such masculine abandon (often simultaneously) it resembles my most secret fantasies of manhood gone wild. Then there are the actors, virile baseball men, sleeves deftly rolled up to just the right height for peeking, gorgeous and sunburnt, starring the highly underrated William Petersen as Stud Cantrell (you heard right), a daddy of a manager whose rough-around-the-edges demeanor makes the whole film. The music is vintage country, including some Hank Williams (Senior) that I’d forgotten was so erotic. The plot? It doesn’t hit the comedic highs of “Durham” itself, but you’ll see the resemblance, and given the distractions all over the place, you won’t care enough about its flaws not to get taken on its fun, charming ride. Suffice to say it’s a cigar and baseball fetishist’s dream come true, and I bet you can get it on Amazon.com (good luck finding it for rent anywhere). It’s one for the ages, and unintentionally the most endowed film about sports I’ve ever seen.
  20. 1. Copenhagen, Denmark I”ll start with a tribute to Denmark. In 1989 it became the first nation in the world to recognize registered same-sex partnerships. Visit its capital, Copenhagen, and have a drink at Europe’s oldest openly gay bar, Centralhjørnet. It opened in the 1950s. 2. New Zeland I’m proud to mention New Zealand. It’s a small country that refuses to be pushed around. It defied America by not allowing nuclear submarines stations or docking places. It passed same-sex marriage in 2013, leaving Australia behind. In 1998 New Zealand was the first country to adopt the label “Gay/Lesbian Friendly”in matters of tourism and business. It is the home of the talented Topp Twins. These lesbian twins have delighted audiences with comedy, yodeling and activist singing. They dress in drag and have audiences howling in the aisles. 3.Toronto, Canada In 2014, Toronto hosted World Pride. I was there and it was amazing. I watched police women in uniform holding hands with their girlfriends or wives. Same-sex marriage came to Canada in 2005. Spain just beat us by months. Toronto’s The Village, located in Church-Wellesley, is the cultural hub of the city, bursting with galleries, theatres and gay-friendly businesses. Home to events such as Pride Week Celebrations, Pride March and Dyke March, gay sub-culture has blossomed and thrived in The Village for decades and it will soon be home to the world’s first gay-focused athletic centre at 519 Church St. 4. Palm Springs, USA Located approximately 100 miles east of Los Angeles, Palm Springs is a sun-seeker’s paradise where the sun shines almost all year round and where the city has embraced everything gay. Palm Springs provides the LGBTQ traveller with an amazing array of outdoor activities, excellent shopping and dining, and the world’s best poolside lounging. Palm Springs also offers the largest volume of male- and female-only accommodation anywhere in the world (many of these places are clothing-optional). 5. Sitges, Spain Ole! Spain legalized same-sex marriage in 2005 despite forces from the Catholic Church trying to block it. History has made many Spaniards remember that the Church sided with the Fascist Dictator, General Franco, in Spain’s Civil War. The coastal city of Sitges rests approximately 35km southwest of Barcelona. Sitges is home to Spain’s first ever gay disco which opened back in the 1980s. 6. Berlin, Germany While Copenhagen may have the oldest “openly gay” bar, Berlin had discrete (sometimes hidden) gay bars that can date back to the 1920s. Gay flags are flown openly outside bars and restaurants. The districts of Schöneberg (which hosts Gay Pride), Kreuzberg and Prenzlauerberg provide a diverse range of clubs, bars and restaurants for sampling. With no ‘closing time’ in Berlin, the party never ends! 7. Skiathos, Mykonos, Lesbos -Greece When I think of Greece, I think of Sappho. Many lesbians have made the pilgrimage to the island of the goddess. Trish and I have placed it on our ‘bucket list’ of places to go. It was Jackie Onassis (wife of President Kennedy) who brought the island of Mykonos to world attention in the 1970s. Like so many Greek islands, Mykonos has it whitewashed houses flanked by the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. For a less hedonistic holiday, the sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and pine forested hills of Skiathos offer a relaxed and authentic experience for the LGBTQ traveller 8. New York City, USA The Stonewall riots that occurred in the late ’60s in Greenwich Village are synonymous with the birth of the modern gay-rights movement. The incredibly inclusive communities of the West Village, Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen provide a fabulous array of gay-friendly accommodation options. Littered with significant LGBTQ landmarks such as Christopher St, the Harvey Milk School, the Lesbian Herstory Archives and, hello, Broadway and the Theater District, New York is a gay traveller’s mecca. 9. Reykjavik, Iceland The world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavik, has been described as one of the friendliest places and most inclusive on Earth. In 2015, Reykjavik will host its 17th Gay Pride march (one of Europe’s oldest LGBTQ parades), and the 11th Bears on Ice event. Iceland also has some of the world’s most progressive laws. In 2006, same-sex couples were granted equal rights with their heterosexual counterparts without limitation. Wander behind waterfalls, descend into dormant volcanoes, or while away a day in one of the many geothermal lagoons – this is an adventurer’s paradise. 10. Montevideo, Uruguay What an accomplishment! Uruguay, the smallest of the South American countries, legalized same-sex marriage in 2013. It was beaten by Argentina, that legalized marriage equality in 2010. The relaxed attitude present in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo provides a brilliant juxtaposition to the hustle and bustle of the likes of Buenos Aires. Some of these places may be beyond your budget. However, there are ways to travel. Have you considered working on a cruise line? Would you exchange your home with a gay person(s).?
  21. First same-sex marriage officially approved in Bolivia For the first time in Bolivian history, a gay marriage was officially recognized. 48-year-old economist David Aruquipa and 46-year-old lawyer Guido Montano came out of the civil registry office, where they had returned empty-handed many times, this time with official marriage certificates. Aruquipa “Of course we are happy to be the first and to pave the way. But also this brings a lot of responsibility. “What we have achieved is only a first step towards the day when the diversity of Bolivia can fully reveal itself,” he said. For 3 Years Legal Struggle The couple, who met in the capital La Paz in 2008 and have lived together since then, first officially applied to get married in 2018. However, the authorities rejected their applications, citing Article 68 of the Constitution, which states that marriage can only be made between heterosexual couples. However, the couple appealed to the Constitutional Court of Bolivia against this decision. The Constitutional Court reversed the rejection of the couple’s marriage application last week. As a result, the civil registry office officially registered the marriage in compliance with the Constitutional Court’s decision, and thus, for the first time in Bolivia’s history, a same-sex marriage was officially recognized. The Netherlands became the first country where the marriage of same-sex couples was officially accepted with the enactment of the law that accepted same-sex marriages in the Parliament in 2000, and Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen had married four same-sex couples on April 1, 2001, when the law came into effect.
  22. Israel announced that it is to erect a monument in the honour of gay victims of the Holocaust, the first of its kind in the country. The memorial is to be completed in Meir Park, Tel Aviv later this year, and the first of its kind in Israel. Like other monuments around the world, it will feature a concrete pink triangle. Eran Lev said: “This will be the first and only memorial site in Israel to mention the victims of the Nazis who were persecuted for anything other than being Jewish. As a cosmopolitan city and an international gay centre, Tel Aviv will offer a memorial site that is universal in its essence. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not a monument, but a place — a place of quiet that will invite visitors to sit, contemplate, reflect and be in solitude. One of the first restrictions the Nazis imposed on the Jews was against going to public parks. We’re bringing that memory back into the public space.” August 2013
  23. In June 1976 the British gay newspaper Gay News published a poem, The love that dares not speak its name, by James Kirkup. Someone sent a copy to television campaigner Mary Whitehouse. She applied for a private prosecution for blasphemy in November and the prosecution began in December 1976. Gay News Ltd and Denis Lemon (the editor) were charged. The offending publication was “a blasphemous libel concerning the Christian religion, namely an obscene poem and illustration vilifying Christ in his life and in his crucifixion”. The Independent obituary for Mr Lemon notes: He published Kirkup’s poem in 1976 because he thought ‘the message and intention of the poem was to celebrate the absolute universality of God’s love’, although he admitted it was ‘probably not a great work of literature’. A fighting fund to defend the newspaper was set up. On 4 July 1977 proceedings opened at the Old Bailey. Margaret Drabble and Bernard Levin were allowed to appear as character witnesses on Lemon’s part. On 11 July Lemon and Gay News were found guilty. Gay News Ltd was fined £1,000. Denis Lemon was fined £500 and sentenced to nine months imprisonment, suspended. Costs of £7,763 were ordered. Gay News and Lemon appealed. On 21 February 1979 the Law Lords upheld the verdict. On 7 May 1982 The European Court of Human Rights decided the case was inadmissible. Denis Edward Lemon died from Aids related conditions in Exmouth on 21 July 1994.
  24. Nicholas Eden, 2nd Earl of Avon, was born on 3 October 1930 and died on 17 August 1985, from Aids. He was a British Conservative politician and was the younger son of former Prime Minister Anthony Eden and his first wife, Beatrice. He was educated at Eton. He succeeded in the earldom on the death of his father in 1977. His older brother was killed on active service in Burma. Nicholas Eden served under Margaret Thatcher as a Lord-in-Waiting from 1980 to 1983, as Under-Secretary of State for Energy from 1983 to 1984 and as Under-Secretary of State for the Environment from 1984 until shortly before his death in 1985. Lord Avon was unmarried and his titles died with him. He was openly gay.
  25. On Sept. 14, 1961 242 patrons, nearly all of them men, were packed into the Tay-Bush Inn at the Corner of Taylor and Bush in San Francisco. Gary Kamiya tells SF Gate what happened on that night. “The Tay-Bush was a one-room cafe that drew night owls who danced to its jukebox until dawn. Some walked up the hill from the theater district after the shows let out. At 3:15 that September morning, three undercover police officers in the bar gave a prearranged signal, the jukebox went silent, a loudspeaker outside blared and uniformed cops barged in. They began herding the patrons onto the sidewalk and arresting them. The headline on The Chronicle’s story the next day read, “Big Sex Raid – Cops Arrest 103.” The secondary headline said, “139 Get Away.” (Police later insisted only five or so had escaped.) The story called the raid “the biggest action of its kind in the history of the department.” Many of the arrestees were students, it said. “Others called themselves clerks, laborers, hairdressers; one said he was a psychologist. Police said the men were dancing together and kissing.” The raid “was reminiscent of the old speakeasy days of Prohibition,” The Chronicle wrote. “Three paddy wagons shuttled back and forth between the inn and the city prison – seven loads in all – and apartment house dwellers watched from their windows.” Most of the patrons were booked as “visitors to a disorderly house.” The bar’s owner, 27-year-old Robert Johnson, was booked on four counts, including “lewd and indecent acts” and “keeping a disorderly house.” Asked by a reporter if any “deviates” had been at his club that night, Johnson said, “Yes, of course. But we have a lot of show people and others – they like the New York atmosphere – you know, brick walls.” ” Despite having the names of the arrested printed in the papers, charges against all but two of those arrested were dropped. The raid – years before Stonewall – raised a political consciousness in the gay community. The Mattachine Society seized on the incident to push for civil rights. The Tay-Bush raid made the civil rights of gays and lesbians a legitimate subject for debate, and marked the beginning of the end of San Francisco’s crackdown on gay bars. The SFPD’s final attempt to repress gays took place on New Year’s Day 1965, when police raided an advocacy group’s masquerade ball at California Hall on Polk Street. Even John Shelley, the mayor, condemned the police action. San Francisco was now Gay.
  26. The lambda was selected as a symbol by the Gay Activists Alliance of New York in 1970, following the Stonewall Riots, and was declared the international symbol for gay and lesbian rights by the International Gay Rights Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1974. The lambda signifies unity under oppression. The Scottish Minorities Group hosted the first ever International Gay Rights Conference in Edinburgh from 18 to 22 December 1974. It was co-organised by Ian Dunn and Derek Ogg. Ian Dunn had organised the first meeting of what was to become the Scottish Minorities Group in 1969. Derek Ogg later founded Scottish AIDS Monitor in the 1980s. The conference tried to provide an international sharing of experience, so that delegates could find out the social, political and legal situation for men and women from other countriesm, and included sessions on the rights of young homosexuals and of gay women. The problem of lesbian invisibility was explicitly addressed by a delegate from Campaign Against Moral Persecution in New South Wales, Australia. Nearly 400 people attended the conference, which led in 1978 to the establishment of the International Gay Association, later to become the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA). The gay rights organization Lambda Legal and the American Lambda Literary Award derive their names from this symbol. Gay News offered a range of jewellery items featuring the Lambda symbol.


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