Pride and Protest

Straight Guy,

I can't let June go by without another nod to Gay Pride. A little history: Most cities around the United States celebrate Gay Pride with parades and street fests in June. Then choice of month honors the Stonewall riots of June 1969. If you want to know more about Stonewall, read on, but it is generally considered to be what ignited the modern gay and lesbian rights movement.

I'm not exactly sure how I feel about Pride anymore. I suppose at one time I thought it was empowering... and a way to meet guys. Or mostly to look at guys. Now that I've been out for a long time, I'm not sure I need it. But, I think it is really important to let people know where they come from and who sacrificed for them.

No matter where and when, Pride has always been both a party and a protest: a way to celebrate and a way to have public expression.

When I read about the yesterday's marches for Gay rights in India, I feel ashamed that I hit Pride mostly hoping to see some hot guys and have a bit of fun. Read about Gay marches in India. These men and women risk their social standing and more to take a stand. I admire them.

-- Gay Guy

Gay Scale

I belong to a gym. Yep, I do. My gym has several locations. I guess they reflect the flavor of the neighborhood. The one I go to, or at least walk by, after work is very straight. The one in my neighborhood is pretty gay.

I've noticed that the scale in the gayer branch of the gym is "kinder" than the other scale. Not just once or twice, but almost always. Even with successive newly purchased scales, I am few pounds lighter in Boystown.

Is this on purpose? Is this a kind scale that's nice to me just because I am gay? Is it trying to reverse a decade of body image issues? Is it trying to give me a pep talk instead of straight talk?

--Gay Guy

Pander Ponder

Dear Readers,

Straight Guy is off on a well-deserved vacation. Our guest straight guy columnist is Straight in Upstate, a frequent commenter on posts here. If you want to join in on the conversation --and we hope you will--just hit the comments link.

"I had my annual accidental conversation with a true Conservative last week in the Raleigh, NC, airport on my way home from vacation. I know a few Republicans and some small “c” conservatives, but I rarely run into a hard-core capital “C”. Okay, so I live in a bubble - I think it’s called “freedom of association.” Anyway, this gentleman brought up the presidential campaign and his disgust that the best this great nation could offer in presidential candidates is Obama and McCain. He said he’ll think long and hard before voting for McCain; he’s not just handing in a blank check, so to speak, to the Republican party.

It raised a number of questions for me (a lapsed political science major): Is there a third-party Conservative, oiling the hinges on a campaign war chest, whom we haven’t heard about yet? How will this mood play out in McCain’s pick for vice-president? When is McCain going to start “butching up” for conservatives who don’t like him?

While I don’t have the answers (even if they’ve already appeared in Time and Newsweek - I haven’t been to my physician’s waiting room lately), I’m thinking it won’t bode well for GLBT folks and those who don’t think they’re evil incarnate. “Pander” isn’t just the Long Island name for a black and white Asian bear, it’s a ticket to the White House.

By September at the latest, and maybe early as July, we’ll hear a lot more about how gay marriage is destroying the fabric of the American family. Guess I’m just stupid - I thought it was screwing around on your spouse that did it.

Buckle up friends, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

--Straight in Upstate

Paging Mr. Borgnine and Mr. Beckham

The results are in from our grooming poll. Obviously, we need to set up our solo "natural" and "waxed" respondents for a day at the beach, just to see what happens.

--Straight Guy

We're All a-Twitter

Gay Guy informs me that the word "Twitter" is gay. But we are going to try it anyway. Not at all sure if it will stick. But we'll see how it goes.

Our updates are in the right hand column. Or, if your already tweeting, add us to your Twitter follow list.

One Parade a Year and Eight Shows a Week

Straight Guy,

In case you didn't know, June is the gayest month of the year. This weekend is the gayest weekend of the year. It's Gay Pride + the Tony Awards! Who could ask for anything more? It's a little over-exhilarating.

More on both later in the week.

--Gay Guy

Father's Day.... at Home Depot

Straight Guy,

Father's Day, of course, requires a Gay Guy post. Like almost all gay men I know, and probably all the straight men I know, too, I have a somewhat complicated relationship with my dad. It turns up in lots of different ways, including about my sexual orientation. As much of a cliche as it is, I think my dad feels guilty about what he might have prevented if he managed to really teach me how to throw a baseball.

I don't know if my dad understands what it means to be gay. Heck, I don't know if he understands me. But, we love each other and he's been very supportive.

We don't talk much about my sexual/emotional life, Dad and I; but, I doubt any men talk about that too much with their dads. The few times I've spoken with some passion about topics that matter to me, like gays in church and gay marriage, he's been a good listener. If he judges, he manages to keep it to himself.

My dad keeps everything to himself. He's very self-contained emotionally and physically. Very contained. Growing up, my brother and I invented a game to amuse ourselves when we were clothes shopping with our parents. It was called, "Is it Dad.... or is it a Mannequin?"

For about a decade, I worried about telling my dad about me being gay. I wasn't sure if he could accept it. In my mid-20s, I finally managed to stop him in the kitchen to tell him I had something important to talk with him about. I managed to blurt it all out in about 15 seconds. He paused, and told me he loved me and that nothing could change that. Then, about three seconds later, "Well, if you're done now, I was just on my way to the hardware store to look for some new screens for the side porch, and I think I'll just keep going."

--Gay Guy

New Research: What Happened in Vegas Probably Didn't Happen At All

Gay Guy,

The New York Times is implying that we straight guys may be exaggerating about our sex lives. But just because something can't be true doesn't mean it didn't happen, does it?

One survey, recently reported by the federal government, concluded that men had a median of seven female sex partners. Women had a median of four male sex partners. Another study... stated that men had 12.7 heterosexual partners in their lifetimes and women had 6.5.

But there is just one problem, mathematicians say. It is logically impossible for heterosexual men to have more partners on average than heterosexual women. Those survey results cannot be correct.

Once again, I'm pretty sure this research originated at my high school prom where the theme, if I remember correctly, was taken from the Bryan Adams song: "Let's Make This Night Last Forever, But Your Sexual Expectations Are Statistically Impossible."

Obviously, based on the data above, what I remember as a classic ".7", she only ranks as a ".5"... and I have to admit, that hurts.

--Straight Guy

Double-check your data and join the conversation by clicking "comments" below.

STD in the City

New data says that one in four New Yorkers has genital herpes. Yikes. Your guess is as good as mine.

Full story from Bloomberg News here.

--Straight Guy

Eye contact. I contact.

Straight Guy,

I had something of a fix up this week. Sadly, that in itself is worth a blog entry. Let's just say it's been a recession.

Anyway, there's nothing particularly straight or gay about dating. The ups and downs are probably pretty universal. I am sure this guy was very nice, at least he came recommended. He spent the hour checking out the room. Don't know if it was the TV, the waiter, other guys there, all the above, who knows. He had it down. His eyes would come back on me one second after I would look at him.

I guess it's really true that guys really get visually overstimulated.

--Gay Guy

Kiss and Sell

Katy Perry is all the buzz, with her new single "I Kissed a Girl" flying up to #2 on the ITunes chart this week. Her last single was a kiss-off to self-absorbed metrosexual boyfriends called "You're So Gay (and You Don't Even Like Boys)," so, obviously she's comfortable in her wheelhouse of edgy, gender-bending pop.

But this isn't really new and doesn't have the edge that "Frankie Goes to Hollywood" brought to the scene in the mid-eighties, or that David Bowie pioneered long before that. And, geez, Madonna (who apparently thinks Perry is great, FWIW) kissed Britney on stage way back in 03. Heck, even the recent pop girl duo Tatu had a whole "are they/aren't they?" vibe that I never saw resolved.

I don't know that this even classifies as "gay pop" as I'm sure the intended audience is much broader and straighter than that. With lines like "I tasted her cherry chapstick," who are they kidding? The video is, of course, a glam, soft core fantasy that ends in the familiar and tired motif: "It was all just a dream... or was it?"

Rock/pop videos should be hot. This just seems too easy to be truly controversial.

Let me ask, though. Does this male-fantasy-driven-pop-lesbianism do anything for gay rights? Or is it just a distraction?

--Straight Guy