Tag Archives: Gay Pride

THE ONE GUY THAT EVERY GAY MAN NEEDS IN HIS LIFE

MODERN GAY BLOG STRAIGHT LIFESTYLE BLOG

There is a special type of man that every gay guy needs in his life. This type of guy is an essential partner who can make the arduous journey through life that that little bit more pleasant. He will be there to console you during your breakups, dance with you to cheesy diva music on a night out and offer you advice from a completely unique perspective. He is the type of guy that you can talk to about things you can’t with your other guy friends and although you may say, “I love you” to each other, it is a very different type of love. There is a special type of man that every gay guy needs in his life and that is a straight male best friend.

It takes a straight man with special qualities to bestfriend a gay guy. The first quality required is an unwavering comfort in his own heterosexuality. Whether he’s sharing a bed with you on holiday in order to save money or dancing on a podium next to you with his shirt off, doing things that are perceived to be gay does not faze a straight guy who is comfortable in his own sexuality. He will feel comfortable walking down the street with his girlfriend hand-in-hand while you walk next to him with your boyfriend hand-in-hand. He’ll hug and kiss you hello and tell you that he misses you when he hasn’t seen you in a while. He will easily blend into a social situation where he’s the only straight guy, not flinching when your gay friends are being overly flirtatious or affectionate and he’ll relish the fact that you introduce him as your “token straight friend”. For him, being around gay guys is not a threat to his masculinity. As a matter of fact, it doesn’t even faze him at all.

A straight best friend doesn’t see sexuality as a defining aspect of your friendship. You are not his “gay best friend” and he is not your “straight best friend”, you are just mates. This is the second essential quality. While some straight girls excitingly seek a gay best friend as some sort of glitzy, novelty accessory, your best mate loves you for so much more than your sexuality. You share similar values and similar tastes in music, sports, humor, books and fashion. Together you can talk about similar experiences in love, relationships, heartache and it doesn’t matter that those experiences are between different genders. Some of these guys may have been your best friends from a time before puberty, when your sexuality was still dormant while others you may have only met after you came out. In both cases your different sexual preferences were never a factor on which your friendship was forged.

Much like with any other friendship, the most important quality that a straight man must possess in order to bestfriend a gay guy is loyalty. It is loyalty that ensures the longevity of any friendship, it is loyalty that helps a relationship survive the ups and downs of life and it is loyalty that binds male friends as brothers. Loyal friends are those who will be there when the club lights are turned on and when the music stops playing. It is during times of personal crisis such as health scares, deaths and depression that a loyal straight friend truly displays his mateship.

Having a straight man as a best friend also provides balance to one’s life. They provide a sounding board on which you can bounce ideas, problems and concerns and receive advice back from a different viewpoint. Often if we spend too much time within our own community, surrounded only by other gay guys we can become caught up in the drama of daily gay life. Having a neutral, outside party with whom we can confer is important for ensuring not only variety but also one’s own sanity. A straight male best friend is also a reminder that in a world where we have been judged, teased and chastised largely by other straight males, there are those in our midst who love, support and care for us regardless of our sexuality.

Image by Olaf Blecker

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43 LIES I TOLD MYSELF WHILE IN THE CLOSET

The proverbial ‘closet’, a dark place of shame, doubt and fear where almost every gay man and woman begins their journey. We keep ourselves locked deep in that closet, telling ourselves stories about why it’s safer inside than out. We tell these stories until the day comes when we have the courage to see them for what they really are, lies.

This is the list of 43 lies that I told myself while in the closet.

Modern Gay 43 lies I told myself in the closet

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MODERN GAY ADVOCATE: THE POWER OF SHARING

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I have always believed that sharing our personal stories is a means by which we can create social change and empower our gay community. I believe so strongly in this idea that it was the impetus for creating The Modern Gay Guide to Life. As a matter of fact, the UN Human Rights Office also believes that sharing our stories can create positive change for our community and so they created a video entitled ‘The Power of Sharing’.

Created for International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT) by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the emotive video focuses on the impact that each of us can have by sharing our own stories and by showing our support for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex friends, colleagues and family members.
 
“It’s quite easy to hate an idea, harder to hate a person,” said OHCHR’s Charles Radcliffe. “This video speaks to the power we all have within us — to share our own stories and to support our friends and family members in the face of prejudice. For everyone who can do so safely, IDAHOT provides a chance to start conversations within our own families and communities and to challenge the negative stereotypes that fuel homophobia and transphobia.”
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MODERN GAY STYLE: ANZ GAYTM

ANZ GayTM

ANZ, one of Australia’s largest banks has taken the concept of the “pink dollar” to a whole new level with the installation of “GAYTMS” to celebrate Sydney’s world famous Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. ANZ has commissioned artists to individually convert 10 ATMs into “GAYTMs” to celebrate their partnership with the Sydney Mardi Gras festival.

Decorated in colours, patterns and jewels inspired by LGBTI culture, each GAYTM tells a unique story. The artworks include the “Hello Sailor” GAYTM, designed to celebrate the Defence Force allowing its members to march in uniform for the first time last year and “Pride”, representing the rainbow, a symbol of diversity, amongst others all created in partnership with the LGBTI community.

2014 marks the eighth consecutive year that ANZ has partnered with Sydney Mardi Gras and this year the bank will donate ATM operator fees for non-ANZ cardholders from its GAYTMs during the festival to Twenty10, a not for profit organisation that supports young people and their family and friends who are dealing with gender and sexuality issues.

It is truly inspiring to see a major corporation such as ANZ embrace its LGBTI employees and customers. Mark Hand, Chair of ANZ Australia’s Diversity Council said: “This association is all about encouraging an environment where everyone feels comfortable being themselves at work. You don’t get the benefits of a diverse workforce if some people are expending vast amounts of energy pretending to be something they are not and trying to conform.

“We want the best people to work at our organisation and given how many people identify as LGBTI, we want to make sure that everyone feels welcome here at ANZ – regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Mr Hand said.

ANZ’s GAYTMs can be found in various Sydney locations on Oxford Street, Pitt Street, George Street, Castlereagh Street, Surry Hills and Bondi Junction. More information including a map of the GAYTM locations can be found by clicking here. ANZ will share photos and news about the GAYTMs through social media channels using #GAYTM.

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MODERN GAY PERSPECTIVE: OLDER GAYS AND YOUNGER BOYS

Willy-Vanderperre-Modern Gay

There is something disconcerting about older gay men enjoying the company of younger gay guys. While I realize that this isn’t a practice that is typical only to the gay community, there is something particularly unsettling about seeing a group of 60-year-old men socializing with boys 40 years their junior.

Recently I saw images of a group of gentlemen who were probably in their 60s, enjoying a spring day on a yacht surrounded by a dozen scantily dressed young guys who were no older than 23. The sight of the grey-chested men posing amongst the hairless bodies of the younger guys made me feel rather uncomfortable.  I wondered how these young guys had befriended the older men in the first place. I wondered how the older men were comfortable to be photographed in the company of guys who looked like their children. I wondered what the conversation would be like and I wondered what everyone on the yacht hoped to get out of the experience.

I never understood how young gay guys can be comfortable in these situations when they surely must be aware that the only reason they are included is to be the visual stimulation and sexual fantasy of their hosts. While I am completely pro intergenerational friendship, I find it hard to comprehend what a 20-year-old twink and a 60-year-old grandfather have in common. It would be wrong to assume that these boys don’t have legitimate friendships with these older gentlemen but the fact that they all looked adolescent, presented well in speedos and are known to be overly flirtatious makes we wonder on what grounds these “friendships” were formed.

Before you start accusing me of being a jaded, jealous gay I should make it clear that I critique these boys based on my own experiences with older men and women. When I was 18 years old and living on the east coast of America an older lady took me under her wing (so to speak) and taught me a thing or two about the female species. The only thing we had in common though was that her son and I both played football. When I was 19 years old I had my first encounter with a much older Southern gentleman who invited me to spend the summer with him on his plantation in Alabama. The only thing he and I had in common was that we both liked whiskey. Both these early experiences left a lasting impression on me. Although it was fun to be looked after and spoilt, there certainly was the feeling that I was indebted to this man and woman. The attention was exciting at first but that feeling quickly waned when I realized that these encounters were based on superficial characteristics and not on deeper, legitimate commonalities. They weren’t interested in my opinion or my values or my intelligence or my goals for the future; they were interested in something else.

When I was somewhat older and living in Milan I became even more aware of the older/younger gay man relationship. In Europe, particularly amongst the wealthier classes there is a culture of older married men having affairs with young handsome guys and in Milan there were plenty of rich old men and just as many young handsome guys. Although I never had any personal affairs with these men a few of my friends forged “special” relationships. I was often invited to join them and their older companions at complimentary dinners in extravagant restaurants, to sit at tables at the most exclusive clubs and to spend weekends lounging on yachts. This may sound appealing to some but for me they were uncomfortable experiences that I was unable to enjoy. To be frank, I felt like a prostitute. In return for my company I was offered food, alcohol and excessive experiences but there was always the underlying and unspoken expectation that at any time I would be called upon to offer more than my company. I couldn’t partake in this behavior and luckily I stopped it before I lost all of my dignity.

I wondered then and still do now, how some boys my age are so comfortable in these situations. Are they more confident in their sexuality or are they blinded by the gifts and attention? Are they ignorant to the real intentions of their older friends or are they willing participants? Why did I feel cheap and used while others seemed to revel in the company of older men? Maybe I have a stronger sense of dignity and self-worth or maybe I’m not secure enough with myself to enjoy the experience without worrying about the repercussions? Either way, I would suggest to any gay boy who finds themselves in a similar situation to ask themselves “what is this experience worth to me?”. If you’re happy to enjoy a free holiday in exchange for swanning around a pool in your speedos in front of 60-year old men then go for it but if you have the slightest intuitive doubt that something’s peculiar about the situation, rather stay home and enjoy the company of men from your own generation instead.

Image by Willy Vanderperre 

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5 MISCONCEPTIONS GAY BOYS HAVE ABOUT OTHER GAY BOYS

Modern Gay Male Models Life

And so the saying goes “the grass is always greener on the other side“. However, those who have actually taken the time to peer over the fence, will have noticed that this isn’t always the case. While it’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, gay boys seem to constantly benchmark themselves against other gay boys.  But is every other gay guy actually having a much better time than you?

In a bid to set the record straight, here are the 5 MISCONCEPTIONS GAY BOYS HAVE ABOUT OTHER GAY BOYS:

Modern Gay Sex Boys

1. Everyone is having more sex than you

You’re the only one not getting laid. While everyone else is having wild, passionate sex with handsome men all over the city you’re eating Ben and Jerry’s Choc Chip Cookie Dough and watching re-runs of Sex and the City.  If you’re in your early 20s you’re particularly worried that when you turn 30 your sex life is going  to shutdown faster than an Ed Hardy store.  NOT TRUE. A recent Australian study revealed that men in their 30’s have the most active sex lives amongst all age groups. If you’re in your 30s, don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that all your peers are out getting laid every night (it just means there’s a lot of sexually frustrated 20 year-olds).

Kurt Blaine Glee Gay Love

2. Everyone has been in a romantic relationship except for you

This one’s for all the young guys out there who complain that at 19 years-old they’ve never been in a romantic relationship. Boys, real life is not like an episode from Glee. Great relationships are actually hard to come by and don’t come with a pop soundtrack. When they do happen they’re amazing and the longer it takes to find one, the more you’ll appreciate it. Enjoy the journey and remember “you wont find love from someone else until you love yourself”.

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3. Everyone has a better social life than you do

Going out Tuesday-Sunday night does not make you a better person. It just makes you tired. While some boys are so stricken with FOMOOB (fear of missing out on boys) that they need to be on the scene nightly, the majority of people are happy to have a few nights in. We all have periods of time when we have no social plans and other times when we’re more popular than Lady Gaga on Twitter.  If you’ve got nowhere to be on Saturday night, don’t fret. Just grab a tub of Ben and Jerry’s Choc Chip Cookie Dough and put on Sex and the City.

Clueless Movie Gay Gif

4. Your friends get more attention from men than you do

Whether it’s on Instagram, in the club or at the gym, you feel that your friends get much more attention from men than you do. The truth is that while you’re too busy focusing on the people checking out your “hot” mate, you’re probably missing out on the guys looking at you. As my grandmother says, “every jar has a lid” and you’ll miss finding your lid if you spend too much time  benchmarking your attractiveness against others. Stop comparing yourself to your friends and if you can’t do that, then make some new friends.

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5. Everyone else is happy

This is the biggest misconception that gay men, straight men, women, children and everyone in between share. Life is full of ups and downs and no living person is excused from the vast array of human emotions, good and bad. Unfortunately modern technology has allowed us to edit out the crappy parts of our lives and repackage for the public an image we wish to portray. It’s not often we see a picture on Facebook of someone after they’ve had a terrible day or fought with a friend or eaten a tub of ice-cream (Ben and Jerry’s) or had their heart broken. Social media is not real life. Sometimes though real life isn’t any better as we’ve  been conditioned to pretend that everything is ok.  In actual fact we’re often just as confused, anxious and upset as each other.

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RULE NO. 20: YOU ARE BRAVER THAN YOU THINK

Jean-Francois-Carly

Nobody said that being gay is easy. You are constantly confronted by people who tell you that what you are doing is wrong, sinful, immoral and disgusting. You may have faced rejection from people important to you and all because of something that you had no control over. And yet you are still here.

You are much braver than you think.

Before you’ve even had the chance to “come out” you had to confront those daunting feelings inside of yourself.  The feelings of confusion, isolation and shame. You had to ask yourself “Am I normal?”. That took a lot of bravery.  As you grew older you may have been picked-on or bullied because other kids could tell that you were different.  It took inner strength to shield yourself from the taunting and to recover from the physical abuse.

Once you decided to share your feelings with another person you had to find the coverage to expose yourself, to be absolutely vulnerable without certainty of how they would react. That took courage that heterosexual people will never understand.  You then had to deal with the consequences of your coming out. This may have meant rejection from family, losing friends or being shunned by your community. That too, called for immense inner courage. And all the while you had to forge your own path with little empathy, guidance or direction from anyone else.

With all of the other crap that you have to deal, it’s important that you pause for a moment and realise the bravery and courage that you possess to have made it to this point. You are much braver than you think.

Image by: Jean-Francois Carly

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MODERN GAY TRAVEL: TEL AVIV PRIDE

Tel Aviv Pride

If you’re not in Tel Aviv this weekend then you’re missing out.

Tel Aviv Pride is celebrated throughout the month of June with beach parties, exhibitions, festivals, concerts and a city-wide Pride Parade which attracts over 20,000 international visitors. In 2012 Tel Aviv was named the ‘World’s Best Gay City’ and take it from someone who has visited the place 3 times, it certainly deserves the title. Not only are the men gorgeous but the vibe of the city is electric. It is often referred to as “the (other) city that never sleeps” due to the nighttime culture and general YOLO attitude of the Israeli people: I guess that’s a result of living in a hostile region where YOLO takes on a whole new meaning.

Israel has a very progressive attitude towards homosexuality, particularly when it comes to treatment of gays in the military. Openly gay soldiers serve without hindrance in all branches of the military. Discrimination against gay and lesbian soldiers in recruitment, placement and promotion is prohibited as is harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation.The military recognizes same-sex couples, including widows and widowers of the same-sex, while homosexuals have been allowed to serve openly since 1993.

Where else in the Middle East could you get away with this camp Pride video (without fear of persecution)?

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