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Racism in Entertainment?

In: Reader Submissions

It seems that with globalization and multimedia reaching all parts of the world, that there would be far more ethnic diversity in the mainstream media, instead we still find that popular culture in the western world, despite a massive wave of immigration from Africa, Asia and South America, is still widely dominated by what is referred to as the “White face” of beauty.

The National Film Board of Canada, produced a series of short documentaries based on the theme of Racism in the Workplace. The film that I saw was called the Colour of Beauty, Racism in the Fashion industry, and focused around the battle of an already established and successful model Renee Thompson, in striving to become the next top face in the industry.

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In: Reader Submissions

It amazes me how much can change in a day, let alone a year. Change happens every single minute of every single hour of every single day and we don’t even realize it until we take a step back and review it detail by detail. Physical, mental and emotional change happens not only in ourselves, but the people we love, know a little and even the strangers we just pass by on the street.

Weight. Height. Age. Those are the most lethal of all the physical changes. It’s a constant bombardment of thoughts when you hear any of those words. Women of skelator looks are said to be the most beautiful and men of hulk-esque body structure are valued as prized possessions. Both genders are working their asses off to change into that EXACT category of being; to make that change. As quickly as you get there though, you can be swept into “THE DARK SIDE” once again and be the exact opposite of it. Pounds can always be gained and always be lost, it’s a forever changing thing. Height and age are a little more complex, you can’t reverse any of them, but they are always going to be a factor in what makes you…YOU. They can develop certain attitudes/personas (little man syndrome/giant douche-bag all-stars) and define people with such terms as “cougars” or “sharks”. It also pretty much narrows down the field for what career path you’ll most likely be taking (height) and what part of your career life you should be in/salary earning (age).

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When I first started working out my cardio workouts used to be pretty long – an hour on average. I took the “more is better” approach.  For the last ten years or so I’ve been doing what’s commonly referred to as high-intensity interval training, which is a “less is more” approach to cardio training.  And I’ve found it to be the most effective & efficient way to burn the most calories and stay lean, particularly if lean doesn’t come naturally to you. I’ll share with you what’s involved – and why it works, if you care. :)

High-intensity interval training is cardio that involves alternating segments of high intensity training (where you push pretty much as hard as you can), followed by a recovery period, typically of the same amount of time.  The only kind of cardio I do is outdoor running and it’s the kind I recommend for this type of training (I’ll run on a treadmill only if it’s snowing).  I start my run with a slow jog for 5 minutes (my warm up). When I hit the 5 minute mark, I start the timer on my watch – I have it set to beep every 30 seconds. I basically sprint flat out for 30 seconds, and then take 30 seconds to recover, usually jogging at a slow pace. You can walk if necessary, but it’s important to keep moving; when do you a sprint your body compensates by sending more blood to your legs, and if you suddenly stop moving your legs, the blood pools there. Once I’ve completed 10 intervals I cool down for 5 minutes by jogging at a slow pace.

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“Lets Just Be Friends”: A Girl’s Perspective

In: Reader Submissions

At least once in our lifetime, maybe even two or eight times for the really unlucky ones, you’re going to have to be on both the giving and receiving end of the “I think we should be friends” spiel. There are, of course, several variations and methods of delivering the bad news, but the one part that never changes is, “It’s not you, it’s me.”

I was recently dating this guy. We seemed to be hitting it off somewhat, but yet at some point a wall came up and things got awkward. He called me at work …..AT WORK….. one night to tell me that we were getting too close and he wasn’t looking for anything serious and that we “should just be friends”. He said it in a really rude manner and was very short on the phone. So of course the flaming red hair on my head combusted, and I retorted that I have enough friends, thank you, and hung up the phone. I get home from work a few days later, played out the usual routine of a glass of wine and stalking on facebook, and BAM there it is right in my face. The douche bags’ head line is “in a relationship” with a cute warm fuzzy feeling picture of him and his new girl. I managed to restrain myself and rise above by not writing the most spiteful nastiest message I could think of. I am an adult after all. So instead I guzzled the most delicious bottle of Santa Margerita Pinot Grigio that night and “slept” very well thank you.

So just out of curiosity, I recently asked my cousin’s husband over casual dinner, what all this hubbub was about. Why be so rude about it? He claims that this guy is self conscious because he knows he did something wrong and its his way of defending himself. Interesting. So he does have a conscience.

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When one thinks of bulimia, most people associate the female gender with this disorder. Of course, bulimia is not gender specific. But, given the nature of this disorder and that gay men tend to be more concerned with self-image and appearance than the typical straight guy, they are more likely to be susceptible to it. 

1998 was a year of great change in my life. I had been living in Canada for 5 years, and had never lived anywhere other than with my parents and brothers. That year, my parents decided that they were going to move back to South Africa. I was in the middle of my degree, and decided that I should stay and finish it. Both my brothers went back with my parents. I moved into an apartment by myself and was alone for the first time. I don’t really remember specifically what the trigger was: it was probably a combination of factors. But, I became obsessed with my body and what I ate. 

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As If We Didn’t Know: The Ups & Downs Of Coming Out

In: Reader Submissions

I know the news about Ricky Martin coming out is already old. After he came out I kept reading a lot of articles speculating that his career was going down hill, specially as a Latin star. As a Latin myself, I was quite content to see that someone like Martin came out. In my opinion this might help to stop ridiculous stereotypes and clichés.

However, that is not the point of my article. What triggered my curiosity is to know how much celebrities benefit from coming out vs. professionals or every day people.

The celebrities I will mention are not in order of importance or chronological order of them coming out; they are just a few examples of how they somehow benefited from coming out.

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New Edmonton Gay Club Flashes on the Scene

In: Reader Submissions

Attention Edmonton gays! There is a new club in town and its ready to make its mark as ‘Edmonton’s Hottest Gay Club’. I had the privilege of attending the opening last night and got a chance to speak to the owners. Here’s my two cents.

Flash Night Club is located in downtown Edmonton at 10018 105th St, just south of Jasper Avenue. This venue used to be an after-hours club titled Twilight before new management bought the property only a short two weeks ago. Flash will be Edmonton’s 4th Gay “nite club” joining the ranks of Prism (Primarily Lesbian), Play and Buddy’s.

I spoke to both Simon and Jeannine (managers and owners) who were busy mingling with the crowd. Both were so excited to see the house packed. Simon told me that this was such a quick flip and was even applying finishing touches up until 2 hours prior to opening. With only one week of promotion, the small but open club was filled with wall to wall excitement as the DJ played remixes of golden oldies and new faves.

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“Oh, You’re Part of the A-Gays…”

In: Reader Submissions

Me: “Uhm, I’m sorry?”
Guy: “Ya, you hang with the ‘tight shirt, hot body’ crew”
(Cough – he just said I was skinny, marry me! – cough)
Me: “Oh… uh, thank you?” (All the while, thinking to myself, “since when did being gay involve a social hierarchy?)

If you’ve seen Mean Girls (and hopefully all of you gays have, if not, gimme your gay card) then you’re familiar with the scene where Janice draws out the social map of North Shore High. Let me refresh your memory, “You’ve got your JV Jocks, Varsity Jocks, Sexually Overactive Band Geeks, Cool Asians, the best people you’ll ever meet and the worst. Beware of the plastics.” So this is all-good in a movie plot, in Jr High, definitely HS and occasionally creeps up in the college (university for you Northerners) years. But where is the line drawn when we can drop those titles and just be who we are with the friends we have? As much as I love Regina George, I’m not sure I want to be considered a “plastic.”

Now, us gays love to put titles on the types of guys in our community, anything from bears, to jocks and daddies to twinks. But these titles, at least for me, don’t carry any sort of social status, so when someone told me that I was included in what they considered the “A-Gays,” I was intrigued. When I asked him to explain what he meant, he just said that he had always noticed my group of friends, myself included, as the people who always dressed in the latest trends, always had worked-out bodies (who me? HA), were generally very attractive, were always laughing and looking like we have the times of our lives and so on and so on. On the one hand, I was flattered that someone had noticed things like that, but on the other hand, I was confused.

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