Social Media as a Tool to Tell Our Story, and Change Hearts and Minds

A Huffington Post article highlights how social media has helped to bring out a change in attitude, if not doctrine, within the Mormon faith:

The phrase ‘gay Mormon’ was not part of our vocabulary prior to 2011,” said the evening’s organizer, Mitch Mayne, before the event. “And if we did say it, it was fringe and full of stereotypes, like we were all hiding in the closet and full of self-loathing or we were out of the church entirely and putting on body glitter and Speedos.”

That has since changed — as demonstrated by the standing-room-only crowd that included more than a half-dozen local Mormon officials. Today, many people who identify as both Mormon and LGBT are gaining acceptance within the wider LDS church and culture.

Many credit Mayne, 43, with fostering this change when he became the first publicly gay Mormon executive secretary – a leadership position in service of a bishop – in 2011, a post he held for more than two years in a church that has an all-volunteer, all-male clergy.

The first tool in Mayne’s arsenal? Social media

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Bullying, Discipline and LGBTQ Persons of Color

The Huffington Post reports on two issue brief released in October 2014 from the GSA Network and Crossroads Collaborative groups that show Lesbian Gay Bisexual,  Transgender and  Questioning youths of color experience bullying and discipline in disproportionate numbers:

The groups began conducting their research in early 2012 through a series of surveys and focus groups, finding that LGBTQ and gender non-conforming youth of color reported often feeling singled out by school authorities and feeling blamed when they spoke up about bullying. The term gender non-conforming youth can include any student who does “not conform to stereotypical expectations of what it means to be and to look like a male or a female,” according to one of the reports.

“Our research shows that LGBTQ youth of color in particular face persistent and frequent harassment and bias-based bullying from peers and school staff as well as increased surveillance and policing, relatively greater incidents of

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Random Eye Candy: ‘Men’s Health’ Coverman Noah Galloway

Cover Men's Health MagazineMen’s Health magazine has always provided a lot eye candy with the attractive athletes, television and film guys that grace their cover, but for the first time ever, the coverman is a reader.

Noah Galloway is Men’s Health’s 2014 Ultimate Health Guy; gracing the November 2014 issue. Ultimate Health Guy was a contest from the magazine to highlight the regular workout Joe. Noah was chosen from over 1200 entries in the contest (click on the photo to get a closer look at this Alabama babe).

Fans of Men’s Health know Noah as the cover guy on our November issue. Out of the 1200 men who entered our first Ultimate Men’s Health Guy contest, Noah stood apart, becoming the first reader ever to appear on our cover.

It might seem like an honor for him to get this opportunity, but really, the bigger honor is for us. Noah was Continue reading

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Music Video Review: Matt Alber’s ‘Handsome Man’

What I like about this video is the interaction between the two men in the video is a little more realistic to how gay relationships relationships actually are. The two men cuddle, hug, kiss, touch and undress one another in a morning afterglow.

Often in media, our portrayals with our partners are much more chaste; think Drake Jensen’s ‘On My Way to Finding You’ or Tom Goss’s ‘Lover.’ Both, those videos take a more conservative approach to there subjects: hugging, hand-holding and kissing that is just brief enough to make the viewer aware that these men are more than just friends or family.

I am glad to see that we are moving more in a direction of depicting ourselves as a truer reflection of who we are. I am glad we are feeling more comfortable with ourselves and our own sexuality to not stuff it in the closet even though we may be out on an intellectual or social level. It’s one more thing that makes us truly equal and not second-class.

Learn more about Matt Alber

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Concert Review: Keith Urban’s ‘Raise ‘Em Up’ Tour

If you’ve got money to see a Keith Urban concert, do it! This man puts on quite a show. I went to see him at the Xfinity Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts (former Great Woods for us old timers) July 26, 2014. Urban played for two-plus hours. He went on just before 9pm and played up until just after 11pm. At concerts, you often hear artists say they’ll play all night long; mostly that’s just to get a cheer from the crowd, with Urban, that statement was just about true. So much so that toward the end I actually found myself thinking, ‘I hope he doesn’t play too much longer ‘cuz I’d like to go home soon.’

During his set, Urban played mostly up-beat tunes with a slower one thrown in here or there. “Love Somebody Like You” and “Long Hot Summer” all part of the set list. During one of the small handful of times that Urban played something slower, he got the crowd revved up with the standard “Are you ready to have a good time?”; “Are you ready to party?”, which he followed up with “Good, ‘cuz we’re going to play a slow one” before launching into “Making Memories of Us.”

Three-quarters of the way through the concert, Continue reading

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My Labels for Raven Symoné: Beautiful, Intelligent, Well Spoken

Raven Symoné had Oprah Winfrey just about falling out of her chair when she said that she didn’t want to labeled African-American. In the same sentence, Raven also said that she did not want to be labeled gay either; (1:15 below) though she is in a relationship with a woman.

While many gay people may not have fallen out of their chairs at this statement from Raven Symoné, I’m sure there were few eye rolls at this comment. But isn’t this what we all want?

While we may not want to be seen as a “human who loves humans”, don’t we all want to be seen as just human? Continue reading

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Men on PrEP; in Their Own Words

The Advocate magazine interviewed six men who are taking PrEP (Pre-exposure Prophylaxis) as a HIV infection preventative. The men interviewed are single, coupled and serodiscordant couples (one HIV positive; the other negative). All discuss what made them decide to take PrEP as well as if they have encountered any stigma because of their decision. Men on PrEP can be viewed by the community as engaging in risky, promiscuous sex.

photo via The Advocate

Damon L. Jacobs
43
New York, New York
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Have you encountered stigma? If so, how have you addressed it?
I have encountered incredible stigma because of being so open about using Truvada as PrEP. I handle it by remembering the truth: This is a way to prevent HIV. When getting attacked by others, I stick to scientific facts versus moralistic opinions. Also, I remember conversations with my friends and loved ones who died from AIDS. They wanted me to live, they wanted me to thrive, they wanted me to fight. They would have taken PrEP to stay alive if they had had the choice. I speak out for them, as much as for myself. That makes the stigma and attacks tolerable

photo via The Advocate

David Grodsky
44
San Francisco
Regulatory Compliance Analyst

When did you decide to start taking PrEP, and what prompted the decision? Continue reading

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