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NY Town Clerks Refuse To Sign Marriage Licenses

In: Reader 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: Reader 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: Reader 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: Reader 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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Recently I’ve encountered the exact same conversation over and over again when meeting new people.

NEW FRIEND: “You’re gay, right?”
ME: “Yes I am, why?”
NEW FRIEND: “I just figured, because you dance.”

I’ve come to wonder why people automatically assume that because I dance I must be gay. Why jump to that conclusion? I’ve been dancing since I was 9, but even before that I did karate as well as hockey and baseball. Why does dancing become a dead giveaway as opposed to the other sports in people’s minds? Is it cuz I’m surrounded by half naked woman as opposed to men a majority of the time? It seems much more homoerotic to be surrounded by hot, sweaty, grunting men…don’t you think? I’m confused as to what the contributing factor to the label on dance and male sexuality is. I’m not offended by the statement, just curious as to why it is that DANCE got the gay wrap.

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Fashion Up-And-Comer: Tony Pearce

In: Reader Submissions

What started out as drawing plants and animals has turned into a dream for up and coming fashion designer, Tony Pearce. An attainable dream driven by his passion and desire.

Born in the small town Barnstaple in North Devon England, 22 year old Tony has his sights set on woman’s fashion but has hopes to expand into men’s fashions and accessories. Tony moved around a lot as a child and moved in with his paternal grandparents after his mother passed away with breast cancer. It was there that Tony was given a patch of land and through his seeds of labor, he grew an interest in horticulture. Tony hopes to meld fashion with his second love of horticulture, hoping to utilize hemp and other organic materials into his clothing designs. He draws his design inspirations from plants and buildings. While working in the United States on a horticultural internship, Tony took notice of American fashion.

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OverChering

In: Reader Submissions

Cher needs a new bag of tricks.

As seamless and well-produced as her current incarnation is on stage at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, it’s yearning for one of the stunning reinventions the Grammy-winning music icon is so known for.

A change wouldn’t just be in the best interests of her loyal fans either as it appears that even the ageless wonder herself is in need of new energy, new drive and, of course, new costumes. As announced last month, Cher’s spectacle in Sin City winds down in February after a three-year stint in residence and the curtain is lowering none-too-soon.

No one can fault the performer for her show really. She is still in incredible visual shape – pulling off all of the skimpiest Bob Mackie outfits she has made famous over her 40 years in the spotlight. Her vocals sound far richer than before. The musical arrangements have been tailored to her maturing voice – and the resulting texture is undeniable.

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It Just Goes To Show You That Life Is Short…

In: Reader Submissions

I will start saying that as a gay man I had a pretty normal life as far as the gay scene in Toronto goes. I have spent most of my life in the Gay Ghetto (Wellesley and Church Street Area).

I moved away from home at 21 due to rising questions about my sexuality. My years were mostly lived in the closet, as most gay men in my age group did. I was a very shy boy so I was spared the one slot of GRIND which is now known as HIV/AIDS. I have had several boy friends, but my first real boyfriend ended up being abusive and needing the love of someone.

He isolated me from any of my friends I had, so I would be dependent on him and he took advantage of me. One night he got very angry and tried to choke me to death, but luckily I was able to get away and never return. I would see him and he stalked me for a while but I was free from the confines of being with him.

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