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283 posts categorized "MARRIAGE EQUALITY"

Jul 01 2016
6-PACK — Model's Suicide Jump + How Obama Helped One Man's Parents GET Gay Marriage + Zac's Muscle Gambit + 12 Days Sober, Racing 500+ Miles + British Chaos + Reporter In Racist Attack! Comments (0)

Jorge-IlichJorge Ilich RIP (Image via Instagram)

*widget boy cultureModel Jorge Ilich, a popular Andrew Christian face and body, leapt to his death from a Miami Beach high-rise Sunday night. Just 26.

*widget boy cultureHighly personal same-sex marriage story = another reason why we must have Hillary and must reject Trump.

*widget boy cultureZac Efron wants to lose THESE muscles for a movie? It better be a male Moonstruck.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 9.43.47 PM“The truth is: We all fall down sometimes ...” (Video still via YouTube @wickydkewl)

*widget boy cultureThis guy is 12 days sober in his journey against crystal meth ... and he's already doing an AIDS/LifeCycle Ride.

*widget boy cultureOafish Johnson—thought to be a shoo-in for PM of England—steps aside after close ally Gove stabs him in the back. Now? A chaotic dash for the reins.

*widget boy cultureInsane woman whose son was killed insults, assaults reporters on the scene, tosses racial slurs. Grace under pressure! VIDEO AFTER THE JUMP ...

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Jun 28 2016
6-PACK — Sally Field On Hillary Clinton's Likability + Hotel To Condo + SHE SAID YES! + Running-Shorts Peek + The Pope's Sorry/Not Sorry, Gays + Mississippi Learning: You Can't Deny Same-Sex Marriage Licenses! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureAbove: Sally Field tells it like it is regarding Hillary's likability: “She's not running to be everybody's friend. She's running to be the President of the United States.”

*widget boy cultureNYC's landmark Waldorf Astoria will close in 2017 so it can be turned into condos.

*widget boy cultureFire Dept. EMT proposed to her GF at NYC Pride March; I later heard her exclaiming to everyone, She said yes!"

*widget boy cultureYou can almost see up this dude's running shorts. Sorry if you like shaved pits—don't click here.

*widget boy cultureThe Pope says Catholics oughtta apologize for how gays have been treated, but he's still anti-quality. Period.

*widget boy cultureFederal judge: Mississippi clerks may not deny people same-sex marriage licenses out of personal religious concerns.

 

 
Finger On Pulse: NYC Pride March 2016 — With 100s Of Pictures! Comments (0)

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IMG_7509*All of the above! (All images in this post by Matthew Rettenmund, unless noted)

My day at the NYC Pride March was a beautiful reminder of my experience in life and of the fact that I'm always having new experiences in life ... and proof that my little body's slowing breaking down. Oh, my aching gay back!

READ: 100+ Sizzling Pics from the Adonis Lounge Go-Go Boy Float!

I was tapped to follow the stripper-drenched Adonis Lounge float, photographing the guys and the gays' reactions to them as we tooled through Manhattan, Screen Shot 2016-06-27 at 11.43.40 PMbut was told the night before—at a nude party, which are great fun when only the strippers and not the patrons provide the nudity—that I wouldn't be meeting then until 3 p.m. That blew my mind, as anyone marching in the parade usually meets up in the morning. This year, organizers seemed to get more realistic about when groups should assemble on the side streets in the 30s and 40s along Fifth Avenue to cut down on congestion and fatigue, but there was no way I wanted to miss the parade itself just because I was going to be in it, toward the end. [Pictured: Me with Angel (Image by Angel Jimez), me with Edward (Image courtesy of Edward Thomas)]

So, I woke up early, fed myself, pulled on my beloved Mildred Fierce T-shirt and hauled camera over to W. 41st St., which I picked IMG_7475*
because I read that was where a group featuring teen trans star Jazz Jennings would be meeting up and thought she'd be fun to shoot again. I never found her, but did find my pal Edward Thomas and his sister.

It was a great block on which to hang out, filled with plenty of beauties, interesting faces and spirited coppers—I was mixing it up with the Gay Officers Action League, where I met a lesbian couple in love with Varla Jean Merman (my shirt provided the conversation-starter), was handed my first NO when asking to take someone's picture (an all-but-naked man in a leather jockstrap, who apparently wasn't seeking attention) and fell in love several times.

IMG_7495*Copping out!

I don't have official press I.D., which isn't technically needed to cover a public event, but I'm always worried I'll be stopped when walking from float to float. Once our group poured onto Fifth, there was no turning back and I was able to march forward pretty far, to within a few groups of the very beginning of the parade (I had fun with the Hillary marchers, unaware that had I just stuck with them a few more blocks, I would've encountered the woman herself—oh, well, I did get Chelsea last year).

IMG_7470*The first one I fell for: The adorable Zico boy and his hairy legs.

Once I'd gotten way down from the 40s to the teens, I simply turned around and began slowly moving back against the tide in order to see as many marchers as possible.

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IMG_7555*Now cheer this!

It was a beautiful march—colorful, exuberant, and sunny—but it surprised me that it didn't feel as pregnant with purpose as I'd expected in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting. To be sure, there were countless expressions of solidarity and sorrow over the event, most prominently in the inclusion of Pulse owner Barbara Poma and the many WE ARE ORLANDO signs, but the parade didn't have a different vibe—it was just much, much longer. Maybe that was the Pulse effect, a rush to be a part of the bigger picture, even if more than a few moms back home were wishing their LGBT kids were not going to be quite so LGBT, quite so out in the open; I guess a lot more people wanted to send the message that they were deeply affected by Orlando, but wouldn't let that stop them from being themselves in public.

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IMG_7612*Many 49ers in the crowd

The other thing I noticed more so than ever, and that drives at least some people away from the otherwise energizing event, is the relentless corporatization of it. I have argued before, and it is still my belief, that big business marketing to us is not demonic, and that if we live in a capitalist society and are the target of marketers, that is a sign of respect for our importance, our power. Also, it's psychologically vastly important that everyday brands go out of their way to support the LGBT cause openly—even if I'm not sure whether Kiehl's is a top or a bottom (probably bottom), or in what stage of transitioning Facebook may be.

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IMG_7606*Case in point: Delta Airlines had human billboards ... and yet these two pics were among my favorite due to the marcher's joy.

I appreciate that the captains of industry understand that LGBT people are there customers and are not afraid to have our back on our biggest day of the year. Frankly, we'd have to buy from them anyway.

IMG_8674*The only thing they were selling was love.

That said, it's more and more of a killjoy to see so many marchers who were casted to walk attractively alongside and while wearing a logo. This fatiguing omnipresence of big business first hit me when I heard a team leader giving what sounded like shareholders speech before his company group's step-off, was compounded by running into a young friend who was being paid to participate (would he have even gone otherwise?) and was hammered home when, at the end of the draining day I was handed three rainbow bracelets—and upon closer inspection, discovered they advertised Wyndham Rewards. Womp-womp.

IMG_7436*Whether the message is from MasterCard or Harvey Milk, it's true: Acceptance does matter.

It's not moving, this businessy side of the parade, but on the other hand, I suppose it's the biggest pie in the face of every Anita Bryant ever that Walmart's with us, and that MasterCard is telling the world #AcceptanceMatters. Because it does, but who knew MasterCard would one day care?

I think what would help me get over the $$$ aspect is if the march could somehow encourage much smaller groups to have floats (at a discounted rate?) that were being judged for creativity and messaging. That way, I think people would be less inundated with pitches (including political ones) and the parade itself would only be more fun.

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IMG_7716*Their bodies are not your enemy.

In the past, I've also read a lot about people thinking the parade is too sexy, too about perfect bodies. I really don't get that at all. I hunted for those sexy IMG_7777*bodies, and while there were plenty on display, it sure didn't feel excessive. I recall other parades in decades past that felt far more decadent. (I later wound up on the dirtiest float in the entire procession, and it suck out like a sore thumb-job.) I also just unfriended a very intelligent but ridiculously politicized writer whose posts obsess over racism and sexism and homophobic in ways that are more self-parody than self-help. The straw that broke the homo's back was his declaration that he “hates” Gay Pride, partly due to a wrenching experience he had once (which I get) but mainly due to his feeling that all the lovely bodies are shaming him and telling him he isn't good enough.

I fully understand that twinge one can get when one sees a gaggle of ostentatiously sexy, mind-bogglingly muscled gay dudes in Speedos IMG_8111* acting like they were born that way, and there are definitely a lot of boys who, like too many girls have always done in order to seem less threatening to men, fake air-headedness and flash skin until it becomes who they are. But they are not the ones telling you you're not good enough by having great beauty, you're the one telling yourself that. Get over it, enjoy their beauty and—you know what?—enjoy what you've got, too. We are all born and we all die and any one of us can get shot in a club or get cancer or get gay-bashed or anything else you can imagine, so celebrating our fleeting sexiness should be an act of pleasure and defiance, not something to make us binge-eat a bag of doughnuts and declare our hatred for gay pride.

IMG_7754*Don't ever hate Pride.

All that said, I did have a blast playing photojournalist (surprising that I had about a half dozen people I asked for posed pictures decline), taking portraits, candids and landscapes of the gigantic, throbbing event from noon to 3. Ultimately, there is nothing else quite like a big-city LGBT parade, even if someone, somewhere is making a little cash off of it.

IMG_7543*See change!

By 3, I had made my way back to where the floats were waiting to make their way down Fifth, and found the Adonis Lounge's station. I spent several hours there—we didn't step off until something like 6!—and then spent another few slowly, ever so slowly, marching the entire route. But that's for another post.

IMG_7577*Looking at these women, who wouldn't wanna be a lesbian?

Enjoy some of my favorite photos, SHARE on social media and feel free to chime in if you see anyone you know ...

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Jun 26 2016
Marital Pride Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 6.26.33 PM(Video still via BKT-Films)

Check out this adorable video about the days leading up to a same-sex couple's wedding vows ...

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Jun 25 2016
Rights ON, Men!: New OLD DOGS & NEW TRICKS Mini-Movie Comments (0)

ODNT Rainbow Selfie(Image via Old Dogs & New Tricks)

Old Dogs & New Tricks wins for the best title: Its mini-movie, taking place in the context of the SCOTUS decision that granted us same-sex marriage, is called “Where Were You When the Rights Went On?”

Watch the entire thing after the jump ...

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Jun 17 2016
6-PACK — Melissa Etheridge's PULSE + Sen. Baldwin: THIS WAS A HATE CRIME + Republicans For Hillary + NEMESIS RISING Star To Wed + Beehive Creator, YA Author Die + Remembering Mother Jefferson! Comments (0)

*widget boy cultureABOVE: Melissa Etheridge debuts “Pulse,” her contribution to the LGBT cause in the wake of the mass shooting.

*widget boy cultureSen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin)—1st out person elected to the Senate—says of Orlando: “I want to stress that this was a hate crime.”

*widget boy cultureHighest-ranking Republican yet grudgingly declares he will back Hillary over Trump.

*widget boy cultureJoshua Miller, one of the twins from Logo's 2006 Jacob & Joshua: Nemesis Rising series, to get married on Saturday:

*widget boy cultureThe creator of the beehive hairdo has died at 98. Also RIP: Lois Duncan, YA suspense author of I Know What You Did Last Summer, has died at 82.

*widget boy cultureThis has to be a more loving, thorough tribute to Zara “Mother Jefferson” Cully than she received when she died 38 years ago!

Zara Cully Brown-1Zara Cully (Image via The Cully Family/CBS)

 
Jun 16 2016
Anderson Cooper On Pam Bondi: SHE'S EITHER MISTAKEN, OR SHE'S NOT TELLING THE TRUTH Comments (0)

Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 11.05.28 AMAnderson's “bitch, please” face is priceless! (Video still via CNN)

Florida A.G. Pam Bondi was ever-so-pissed when Anderson Cooper dogged her over the question of whether she—in arguing to defend her state's position against marriage equality—she used language that accused LGBT people of harming Florida. She denied it, even though the record shows she did just that. 

Cooper's point was clear: How can she now decry violence against LGBT people when she has professionally smeared us in the course of her duties?

Bondi pushed back, but Cooper isn't having it, saying:

But today, the Attorney General went on a radio show and made some claims about our interview that are just factually incorrect. Now, she's either mistaken, or she's not telling the truth.

In a video, Cooper held up all of his office's pre-interview notes, stressing that Bondi's claim that she only went on CNN to talk about scams in the wake of the mass shooting is bogus:

...I chose to ask her about comments she herself publicly has made on numerous other television-show appearances in just the last few days ... comments which seemed contradictory to her record in dealing with gays and lesbians in [Florida].

Cooper also zinged Bondi for lying in claiming that CNN edited out the beginning of her interview—pointing out that it aired live.

When Bondi absurdly accused Cooper of conducting an angry interview that ginned up hate and mistrust in her office, Cooper's expression said it all (see pic at top of this post). To that, he said:

I don't know Pam Bondi, personally. She seems like a nice person, actually. I don't think she has hate in her heart. But what I think doesn't matter—it's my job to hold people accountable, and if on Sunday a politician is talking about love and embracing quote our LGBT community, I don't think it's unfair to look at their record and see if they have actually ever spoken publicly that way before, which I've never heard her say. The fact is, Attorney General Bondi signed off on a 2014 federal court brief that claimed married gay people would quote impose significant public harm—harm. She spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayers money—gay and straight taxpayers' money—trying to keep gays and lesbians from getting the right to marry ... [T]he very right which allows gay spouses to bury their dead loves ones, that's a right that would not exist if Ms. Bondi had had her way. I think it's fair to ask her about that, there is an irony in that.

Cooper ends by saying he's seen love and unity among the Orlando LGBT community, not the hate Bondi claims she is receiving via e-mail. Poor lady, getting mean e-mail messages, and yet she didn't flinch when robustly trying to deny rights to the LGBT people in her state and was only too happy to say married gay people would harm Florida.

 
Jun 14 2016
6-PACK — Pulse Bartender/Drag Performer's Harrowing Story Of Escape + Video From Inside Pulse: Last Dance + WNBA Star's Personal Story + Anderson Cooper DESTROYS Pam Bondi On Live TV + Gay Blogger Puckers Up + Tegan & Sara In The Mix! Comments (0)

E3424933E2989260450556465152_1a429a39f67.3.1.mp4_XmiEAUklodj2451LamcfJSagN5ChTzo4XLRnYzKt.iz1LSwqxBs9_T3.xSqBvt5VMichael Belvedere (Image via Vine)

*widget boy culturePulse bartender Michael Belvedere aka drag performer Axel Andrews tells Billboard his harrowing story of survival, minute by minute.

*widget boy cultureVIDEO: The final night of partying at Pulse. It was Latin night, RuPaul's Drag Race star Kenya Michaels was onstage—so joyous.

*widget boy cultureWNBA guard/Orlando native Shavonte Zellous on the Pulse shooting, and how her sister narrowly avoided being in the center of it all.

*widget boy cultureAnderson Cooper goes after Florida's corrupt, anti-LGBT A.G. Pam Bondi HARD on live TV:

*widget boy cultureGay bloggers make out, too! Okay, an informal poll: Which one is the top, or are they versatile? I'll ask and get back to you with a reply.

*widget boy cultureCheck out Tegan & Sara's special Gay Pride Month mixtape, exclusively on Pandora.

Image001(Image via Pandora)

 


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