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Behind The Cast

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Today (October 11th) is ‘National Coming Out Day,” internationally observed civil awareness day for coming out and for discussion for those in the LGBT community. Even though the name says national, this day is officially recognized in Australia, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, New Zealand, Croatia, Poland, and the United Kingdom (on October 12th in the UK).

Earlier on in our Homorazzi experience, many of us each took the time to share our “coming out” story with you, giving you a little bit of insight as to our own backgrounds and experiences in the hope that you could relate, and for any of you in the closet, you may even be inspired to come out yourself. Each person went through their own journey in coming out. Some early on, some later in life, some went well and some had some bumps along the way. One cast member even came out only to discover that his sister was a lesbian! I’ve also included our cast “It Gets Better” video as well, in case you’ve missed it. Many of our coming out stories are discussed in our video. Stay tuned for more coming out stories from our writers that haven’t shared them yet (Feel free to send them over, guys)!

Happy “National Coming Out Day”! Feel free to check out our coming out experiences below.

Our coming out stories after the jump…

We thought posting this over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend would be perfect. Quite a while back, Stephen, Brian, Redd, Saleem, Patrick and myself spent a Sunday afternoon/evening assisting our favorite local charity. If you’re fans of the site, “Friends For Life” may sound familiar. During our “Pride Weekend Kickoff Penthouse Party“, we managed to raise $500 from the event. This time we wanted to donate our time and do something more personal.

Originally, Kevin had approached Patrick and myself with regards to volunteering our time to prepare a Sunday dinner. We didn’t even hesitate for a second and immediately jumped on board. We originally booked a date in August to serve dinner. Unfortunately, due to a kitchen renovation, our scheduled day was pushed back to November. With Kevin spearheading that project and the postponement, I completely forgot about it until the three week email reminder I received from one of the Friends for Life coordinators.

Kevin then moved to Toronto, leaving Patrick and I to begin to freak out a little because neither of us really cook all that much, let alone for almost 30 people. I was advised by Kevin that 5-7 people would be ideal to help out with the event as it can get quite cramp and hot in the kitchen. Once we sent out the email asking for volunteers, we received the interest we needed to pull off this task- and some of them even had cooking experience. Now the biggest hurdle was what to make? When it comes to most things, I like to think I can provide some useful input BUT NOT when it comes to cooking. I’m not a very picky or discerning eater, so you can just imagine if left to my own devices what would result from my cooking.

watch our video, look at pics and try out the recipes we used

So I did it! I opened up an online store called DearDani in partnership with a friend and Macroblu (the company I work for) for cute little things. I’ve been working on this for the last several months and our initial offerings are cute little post it notes, fun greeting cards and the super fun & unique Misfit Dolls.

DearDani specializes in one-of-a-kind gifts and homewares. We aim to offer you product lines that will capture your heart and mind. Thanks in advance for your support!

Use code: FREESHIP on checkout and get FREE SHIPPING from August 15 to September 15!

Dani, my dog, is the mascot for the website. Follow all his social links below for special offers, coupon codes and updates:

Like DearDani on FaceBook

Follow Dani on Twitter

Follow Dani on TUMBLR

Follow Dani on Pinterest

Follow Dani on Instagram

What are The Misfits? Find out more on the next part of the post.

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The thing that always shocks and surprises me about New York is the sheer volume of life. No matter how many times I go to the gorgeous and seemingly insurmountable Big Apple, I’m always in awe of the energy and breadth of things to do and see, so I make a point of going somewhere completely different everytime I go so that I don’t feel like I’m retracing my steps and wasting my time.

On a recent trip to the east coast, Donovan, Brian, and myself hit up some night life, something I’ve failed to do to the full degree in NYC. The trip took us to areas off the beaten tourist path, staying at the wonderful Hotel on Rivington in the Lower East Side, and avoiding Times Square for once, except to run (nearly late), into one of the last performances of Priscilla, we poked our heads into neighbourhoods of Chelsea and Hells Kitchen for spots to eat and drink and dance.

Bob Pontarelli now owns not just one, but three of the biggest hot spots for gay night life in NYC, and it didn’t take long to figure out why his two bars, Barracuda and Industry, and his restaurant Elmo, were so popular.

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We’re back with another episode of ‘Homorazzi‘, airing today on OUTtv, but we’ve got the full episode for you here below. This is our fifth episode and the first one to air in HD on television. The panel consists of (from left to right): Tommy, Nic, Patrick, and Adam.

In this episode we cover various topics including Paris Hilton‘s DJing debut, Magic Mike, steroid use in the gay community, and some advice about pride parties this summer from Tommy. He has a lot of experience with pride being that he puts on many events and sees a lot.

Also, find out which one of these cast members used to date, who has a swollen ankle and why, who just got back from vacation, and whose been doing “Needles“. Huh? Enjoy the episode below!

Watch our new episode after the jump…

Last night I attended 519′s Starry Night event at the Greenspace on Church. It was a great way to kick off Pride among friends. Here are a few photos I took with Instagram at the private event from 7pm to 8pm where food, bubbly and vodka was served and I even spotted some local tv personalities, politicians etc. It was great starting the weekend off with an early party seeing as some of us have to work today.

Five years ago, the Board of The 519 endeavoured to create a chic, intimate, fabulous party for Toronto’s LGBTQ community – an opportunity to kick-off Pride weekend among celebrities, politicians, artists, activists, and members and friends of The 519. Starry Night was born, and with the support of BMO Financial Group and Cineplex Media, it has grown to become the must-attend event of Toronto’s Pride calendar. Last year ‘1001 Starry Nights’ drew more than 2,800 people to Cawthra Square Park throughout the evening.

Check out some photos I took at the event on the next part of the post.

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So I was recently encouraged by fellow cast member Patrick to write a Behind The Cast for myself. I never really thought of doing it because I didn’t feel like it went with Homorazzi but seeing as Patrick thought it would be a good idea, here I am! This is a coming out story of sorts (and here I was thinking I’d been there, done that). I recently started filling people in that I’m a psychic. I’ve been doing it for quite a while on a small scale for friends and family mostly but also through referrals. I came out in a big way just recently when I did a big post on my personal blog, Discovering Your Truth, about my psychic work. That post got the most hits my site has ever gotten in one single day so I knew something was about to change in my life. All of a sudden all of my friends and co-workers wanted to book sessions with me and I have been booked solid for the past few weeks. It’s crazy! I was so scared about being ridiculed or criticized by my friends and co-workers but it has been the complete opposite. I guess I should have learnt from my coming out that it would be a good thing (as my was very positive and supportive) but I still had that fear in me. Now talking about it on here is an even BIGGER step because I know what our numbers are for this site and trust me, they are A LOT bigger than my little personal blog. I know that I’m putting myself out there to be mocked and questioned and have my confidence shaken but after Patrick’s little message to me I took that as a sign to just get over my fears and do it.

To many of us are living our lives for other people or in fear of what other people will think about us. As gay men we already know what it’s like to be fearful of being “different” and many of us have already dealt with some of the harsh realities of coming out. I now realize that my playing small about who I am and what I can do was helping no one and as one of my life focuses is on helping others that wasn’t cutting the bread any more. I find that a lot of people are very complacent in their lives the way they are, they don’t want to “rock the boat” so to speak so they keep a lot of who they are on the inside. This goes for everyone out there. So many people are afraid of trying new things, saying what they really think, make a change in their life because they think the people closest to them will in some way make them feel bad about their choice. And you know what, I don’t blame them, you know why? Because so many of us reinforce this horrible habit of trying to knock other people down when they need us to life them up the most. Why is it that when someone achieves something great or has an awesome idea to do something there is always that people who tells them “Oh that’s great but I think you should play it safe and…” and it’s always because they “love” us.

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I’ve been so busy with condo arrangements that I haven’t had the chance to write a regular post letely. I’ve decided to put some roots down by purchasing a pre-construction condominium in the West End. With the help of my real estate agent, we found this new development in the up and coming neighborhood on Ossington Street (Toronto). The development is a 6-storey building with 9 to 10 foot ceiling loft units. I’m excited to be able to pick the finishes that I want. It will be completed in a couple of years.

Summer is just around the corner and to prepare, I’ve purchased a new bike to get around the city since Toronto is much larger than Vancouver, it does take time to get to places even with transit. I figured the bike will be handy to get to and from work so I can be home as fast as I can and relax by the pool in the afternoon. I also bought a pair of rollerblades as another alternative. I figured in the Summer I’ll be spending less time indoor and at the gym so I might as well get some exercise while I’m out and about.

Check out some shots of the display suite of 109 Oz and the floor plan on the next part of the post.

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