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Ten Oaks Project: Camp Curl

In: Saturday Submissions

For those of you in Toronto and looking for something to entertain you on a Saturday afternoon, or if you’re not from Toronto and able to sponsor a spectacular cause, try the Ten Oaks Project and their CampCurl event coming up on November 12 between 1pm and 8pm at the Leaside Curling Club in Toronto.

The Ten Oaks Project is a not-for-profit charitable, volunteer-driven organization that engages and connects children and youth from LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirited, queer) communities. It operates Camp Ten Oaks, Canada’s first sleep-away camp for children and youth ages 8-17 from LGBTQ and/or non-traditional families, youth who are LGBTQ, and their allies. Camp Ten Oaks celebrated its seventh successful summer in August 2011, with over 60 attendees. The camp is a creative, safe space for campers to play, share experiences and explore themes important to their lives and their community – such as bullying and social justice.

CampCurl is a fundraising event in support of a great organization. Never curled before and want to learn in a relaxed environment? Have a few friends you want to spend some time with in support of a good cause? The CampCurl-a-Thon is the event for you! CampCurl-A-Thon offers novice and non-competitive participants a short lesson, a few hours of curling, and an après-curl social.

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Totally Gay Acting

In: Saturday Submissions

Gays are peculiar creatures, aren’t we? We’re a colourful lot with different types, sizes, colours and personalities. We come in all shapes, forms and packages, some more desirable to others than some, and one could even argue that all this abundance of gay choice is an absolutely fabulous thing. Different strokes, for different blokes and all that, eh?

And whilst I love choice as much as the next gay, I am absolutely astounded by how judgemental and critical we are as a community. And no, not necessarily of how judgemental we may be towards the ‘straights’, in retaliation to our own issues of being ‘accepted’ – but far more interesting and provocative, in terms of how judgemental we are towards our fellow gays. Let’s put it out there right at the start – we can be absolute bitches, can’t we? And yes, I know some of you are already thinking, ‘takes one, to know one’ – but indulge me for a few seconds longer.

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Top 10 Motivational Melodies

In: Music, Saturday Submissions

You’re fired, you’re in a funk and can’t get inspired, or you found out your lover’s a liar. We’ve all been there at one time in our lives. No matter what we do, things just don’t seem to slow down. Those days you want to scream in your car or cry with a vat of cookie dough on your lap. You want the quick fix not the fairytale inspired “it gets better” because who knows how long that might take.

Cue the motivational melodies: no matter what’s challenging you in your life these tracks have been there and done that and probably some more. Grab your homemade microphone and designer shades and scream along because for the next couple of minutes these songs will help wash the pain away and keep you on the path happiness. You might not be able to see the end of the road, but honestly, all jokes aside, things do get better and these musical pit stops will help you along your way. Enjoy!

Check out Warren’s Top 10 motivational tracks after the jump…

Atheism

In: Saturday Submissions

I’ve seen Homorazzi attack some religious actions or people but I’ve also seen defenses of certain faiths and of faith in general. I haven’t seen any in defense of faithlessness so I thought I’d try. I’ll start with my background.

I’m luckier than some in that my family’s faith and spirituality didn’t have much to say about my sexuality. However I wouldn’t call my experience positive. It was a stew of mismatched religious and metaphysical ideas; a broth of Buddhist Karma with chunks of Hindu reincarnation and spirit channeling seasoned with Unitarianism thickened with meditation and garnished with crystals. It might just stay funny but there was a darker side: apocalyptic prophecy.

I grew up with Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, Revelation and anything else that happened to be prophesying the apocalypse that week (now, of course, it’s the Mayan Calendar). I spent more time afraid of the end of the world when I was a kid than anyone should in their lifetime. I believed the end was near more thoroughly than any rapture-ready Christian only without the comforting notion that I’d be lifted into the sky before it all happened. All I had were stored beans and canned goods (how those were supposed to help with the end of the world was one among many inconsistencies I realized later on.) I have never been able to entirely rid myself of those fears and they’ll probably always be with me to some extent.

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NY Town Clerks Refuse To Sign Marriage Licenses

In: Saturday Submissions

So…you’re resigning, then? Oh. You’re being fired. That’s rough. Wait…you refuse to do your job and have the audacity throw a fit?

Unless you’re a town clerk in the middle of a firefight in Afghanistan and being ordered to kill an unarmed and defenseless civilian during the pursuit of your clerical duties, do you REALLY think you’re standing atop the ‘moral high ground’ on this one?

Been reading this new tactic of the extreme Conservatives for weeks now – I’ve had it. I’ve had *enough* of people refusing to do their job citing religious beliefs while simultaneously breaking both the law of the land – and obstructing human rights.

A bit overstated, or harsh?

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Loving Myself… For Being Pretty Damn Fabulous

In: Saturday Submissions

I’ve always known I was gay. From a very young age. It was something inexplicable, but always there. People ask me all the time, “so when did you become gay?” “Errrr, when I popped out of my Momma,” is what I reply, because honey, I was born this way (gay)!

Being gay is the easy bit. Accepting it and loving yourself is the harder bit.

I wrote the following many years ago, about feeling different, and coming out. Having rediscovered it, I wanted to share it with you. Its deeply personal, and only a very select few ever got to read the original at time of creation.

To anyone out there who reads this who may be a young question gay, lesbian, transgender or bisexual person. I can say that it does Get Better, and that it got so much better for me :)

Read my article after the jump…

Blood Donation Prejudice Towards The Gay Community

In: Saturday Submissions

Donate blood, save a life. We see the billboards. We see the ladies standing outside of college student centers lobbying to get people to come inside and donate blood. They stress the importance of giving blood and how anyone can do it. But what we don’t see is the use of prejudice to exclude certain people from receiving pride by giving blood. Now I know what many people may be thinking. The questions they ask are important to make sure that only healthy blood is being donated. But one question that sticks out that has no legitimate reason to be asked is “Male donors: have you had sex with another, even once, since 1977?” A criteria used to exclude homosexual men from giving blood based on the fear and homophobia that gay males are at a higher risk of contracting HIV than anyone else.

Most of the questions asked by blood donation organizations are to insure that only healthy blood is being donated. According the The American Red Cross, one must be healthy, at least 17 years of age, and weigh at least 110 pounds for women , 130 for men. Seems pretty easy right? Well wrong. According to the FDA once must feel healthy and not feel any pain or odd feelings, have never had hepatitis, tested negative for STD’s in the past 12 months, have not exchanged sex for drugs in the past 12 months, or had sex with someone who has done so, or used a needle to take unprescribed drugs. These seem like pretty legitimate questions, but the next question “Male donors: have you had sex with another, even once, since 1977” doesn’t seem to quite fit.

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Homophobic Homosexuals: A Starburst-Worthy Contradiction

In: Saturday Submissions

In a society where gays are hated by so many people, one would think that the community would stand together. Well, it’s more like one would hope. I know no one is perfect but homophobia in the homosexual community?? Homophobic homosexuals, that’s an oxymoron, right? That’s definitely a starburst worthy contradiction. Why would a gay hate another gay with so many straight (more like closeted) ignorant homophobes. I have first-hand experience with the situation because my two best friends are homophobic gays. Just my luck! But seriously, the two are really good friends that have been like family to me, but it has always dumbfounded my family and I that my two friends can be gay and homophobic.

Sometimes I wonder if I hadn’t been friends with one of them since I was 9 (now I’m 18) would we be friends today. I’m not “flamboyant.” I hate the term because it stereotypes over-zealous feminine gays, but it seems to be the term most people can relate to or understand. But I’m also not the type of guy who will pretend to be straight because I can get away with. I rock my Chanel, Coach, and Juicy Couture cell phone cases where ever (apparently that’s how girls find out I’m gay because they hit on me, until I text someone and they see it haha). My two best friends on the other hand will pretend they’re straight if they can get away with it.

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