Tricky Dick?

Straight Guy,

Richard Nixon in a gay relationship? All is can say on behalf of my people is No, no, no, no, no, no. Read it.

--Gay Guy

Then This Happened: Same Sex Sailor Smooch



Gay Guy,

I am trying to enjoy this -- for the excellent civil rights victory that it truly is -- without indulging in any stereotypical straight-guy objectification whatsoever.


Really trying. Because they deserve better than that.

99% there, but they're pretty cute. Dang.

Full story here.

--Straight Guy

FABulous News: Gay Granddads' Stork News

 

Straight Guy,

This vid's going around. It's built on an old joke: Every gay couple has a man and a woman in it. In this relationship, the 'female" half is just dying to be a grandma.


'Tis the season, so I will suck in my politics and just enjoy the overflowing joy.

--Gay Guy

Turning the Other Cheek . . . With Cheek



Straight Guy,

I meant to blog last week about Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's "Strong" ad, which is not only mean-spirited but also short on logic.  Rick, if you need to stoop this low, it's an admission that your campaign is in the toilet. If you haven't watched "Strong" you should. Bottom line: Both gays in the military and the Obama administration are waging a "war on religion." Who knew?

Perry's ad came out last Wednesday. The benefit of not finding time to blog about it last week is that the parodies keep rolling in. Appropriate to the season, Perry's vid is the gift that keeps giving. Check out the featured vid above from our friends at Funny or Die. God bless 'em. Whoops. Forgot. Only Rick Perry and his voting block know how God sees fit to bless. (You should probably watch the Perry ad before you watching the Funny or Die video.  

In the Funny or Die video, Jesus turns the other cheek. Best line: "What have gays in the military ever done to Rick Perry except keeping him safe while he executed the mentally retarded?" 

See . . .  witty AND logical.

Here's another laugh-out-loud Strong parody vid.  Watch it.

--Gay Guy

Gaydar Check: Dancer and Prancer Edition

 

Gay Guy, 

Love it or hate it, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is definitely the standout holiday song of the modern age. Hard to believe it's 17 years old now. Mariah won't let the royalties fade, though. This year, she's released a new duet and video where a courgarish Mariah sets her sights on Justin Bieber within a shopping frenzy and product-placement orgy. Ugh. (UPDATE: Here comes Bublé with his mellow 2011 version, too.)

The original has it's charms. But it's actually more retro than modern. Mariah and her producers found something timeless... like a lost track from a Phil Spector holiday-wall-of-sound session with the Ronettes. 

Some folks are helpless to resist. I read that Richard Curtis played it on a loop as he was scripting Love Actually, which garners similar love-it-or-hate-it sentiments. 

Let me know what you think of the videos above. Both have gone viral in the last few days. No need to label these as gay or straight (though I love how the guy in the second video -- aspiring musician Preston Leatherman -- spends a moment ogling the Victoria's Secret display, just to clarify). Let's file them under "Joy."

Heck, I'll even throw in this one from the shipmates on the Royal Navy's HMS Ocean. Plenty of playful female participants, but of course the men have to take it up a notch in terms of suggestive posing, implied nudity, and cross dressing. What is it with soldiers and lip-dubs to female artists, anyway?

This song isn't going anywhere. Happy holidays.

--Straight Guy

Lash Resort?

Straight Guy,

This gay guy needs some straight guy help.  I can't  get my imagination around this sign at the spa next door. 

From your vast straight guy body of female knowledge, what do "eyelash extensions" entail?


Like most gay men, I know a lot from women. Not necessarily about women, but from them. There's a difference, though my friend Kiki always notes that my perspectives on women's shoes prove that a gay guy is a girl's best friend. 


Anyway, no female in my address book has ever talked about extending her eyelashes.  So, SG, readers, anyone, please how does this work? Are longer lashes glued in between your own shorter ones? Are they growing off to the side? If they truly extend, how? Surely they can't be braided in like hair extensions. 


For $99, you should be able to get a caterpillar. 


To keep the gay quotient up, the sign sends me into song:

"Like a filly who is ready for a race
When I have a brand new hairdo
With my eyelashes all in curls
I float like the clouds on air do
I enjoy being a girl"


"I Enjoy Being a Girl" is sadly one of the few songs readily known from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Flower Drum Song.

--Gay Guy

Gee Whiz: Insert Joystick Joke Here

 

Gay Guy, 

In order to snark on this with the harshness it deserves, I'm going to have to pretend that I've never taken my iPad into the bathroom with me. 

Oh, never mind.

You can check out the past entries in our Gee Whiz series here.

--Straight Guy

Outside it is winter. But in here it's so hot.

Straight Guy,

This--and only this--could lure me into a store on Black Friday.

Extra charge for home delivery?

--Gay Guy

P.S.: Bonus points if you can name the musical from which I cribbed the headline.

Boyz n the Hoodie?

Straight Guy,

What happened to sweatshirts?

I don't mean style, color or availability. I mean what happened to the "hooded sweatshirt"  or "sweatshirt with a hood." It's all  "hoodies" now.  

Lest you think I live under a rock, I've heard of "hoodies." My nieces asked  for hoodies for Christmas a few years ago and  confirmed my suspicion about what a hoodie was. All good.


I was doing some online clothes browsing for myself this week and saw that more than one site had "hoodies" in the men's section. 


Ick.  Real men don't wear hoodies. Real men wear sweatshirts with hoods. When did a hoodie become something an adult man would wear?

My reaction surprises and bothers me. Being gay means a daily bumping up against what men are "supposed" to be/wear/say/do/want. There's some traditional straight guy stuff that I adopt and some that I reject. Why does "hoodie" sound like something that should not be worn by a man. I'm not a hoodie hater, I also was grossed out by a decade-long run of men's tank tops with straps that were dangerously close to make it a camisole top.

Shouldn't clothes go over my skin, not get under it?

Help! 

--Gay Guy

Ad Watch: Benetton Presidential Face Mashing


I am SHOCKED by this ad. Shocked that Benetton is still in business, that is. But I haven't been in the mall since last Christmas.  

Otherwise, ho hum. Benetton has leveraged this kind of high production value shock-vertising every few years. I'm not sure they can take much credit for moving the needle in terms of acceptance or awareness. They usually piss off more people than they convert, and that's not progress. 

http://unhate.benetton.com/  

Here's the idea this time: "Stop hating, if you were hating. Unhate is a message that invites us to consider that hate and love are not as far away from each other as we think. Actually, the two opposing sentiments are often in a delicate and unstable balance. Our campaign promotes a shift in the balance: don’t hate, Unhate." 

What? It's not that easy, Benetton. I can't just flip a switch and start loving Enya music and flan after all these years. Sometimes, we hate for the right reasons.

--Straight Guy

Things Straight Guy Hates Immediately: Paint Colors for Manly Men

Gay Guy, 

CIL Paints, which might be the Benjamin Moore of Canada, has just launched a line of paints for men. Manly men, to be specific.

Don't worry. The colors are the same, but the names have changed, so that dudes will feel more comfortable. See the chart at right: Their pea green hue "Juliet's Potion" becomes "Zombie Apocalypse," for example. 

Here's the logic from the company spokesperson: 
“When it comes to paint names, it’s all about the emotional connection and our research shows that men and women tend to relate to paint names differently... Studies show that while a larger percentage of women tend to choose paint colours for their home, it’s often men who give the colours a final nod... We’ve had the occasional person who thought it was a little bit condescending. But I’ve yet to see a funny ad campaign that is thrilling to 100% of the world.”   LINK

Whatever. This paint naming game has always been hackneyed and condescending. I work in design, give me a numerical PMS code or RGB percentage breakdown any day. Keep your "Stormy Seas" and "Beer Foam" system, please. 

And honestly, it's probably better to stick with natural tones, folks. I've been in a number of over-painted houses lately. Let's all chill out on the brightly colored "highlight walls."

--Straight Guy

And Then This Happened...

 

I hate to be negative about this noteworthy initiative, but isn't there is some irony in the fact that cycling can have a negative (or even permanent) impact on male fertility? [link

--Straight Guy

These Bitchy Words Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Straight Guy,

For some reason, The Sound of Music popped into my head this week. Maybe it is a sure sign that the holidays are upon us. 

Everyone knows the songs, but have you ever carefully listened to the dialogue? The Baroness has best lines. Here's an arch snippet. 

Baroness Schrader has Georg (Capt. von Trapp) firmly in her romantic/sexual sites. Things are going her way until the arrival of Maria, cutie nunster governess. Trying to get around the cock, I mean, road block that is Maria, the Baroness sweetly fastens her manicured claws around Georg, self deprecatingly describing herself:

"I am amusing, I suppose. I have the finest couturier in Vienna and a glittering circle of friends. I do give some rather gay parties. But take all that away and you have just wealthy, unattached little me.  . . . searching. . . . just like you." 


I don't know anything about writers Howard Lindsay or Russell Crouse, but something tells me one of them was gay.
 
--Gay Guy

Gay Guy Asks: Are You Stacked Against Me?

Straight Guy,

Just going through weeks of email that stacked up while we were crazy busy at work. I am embarrassed to say that this content tip from a reader is more than a month old. But still good.

I love the plethora of hot men calendars out there. They don't need to be porn-like to be fun. Remember, I have my hot priests 2012 calendar from my Roman holiday. Our reader sent in Men of the Stacks, hot librarians for 2012. Makes me want to check out some books, deliberately keep them until they are overdue, then have to pay the fine. 

I grew up using the public library on a regular basis. From junior high until I headed off to college, I was pretty much living there. It was a haven for a geeky kid more than it was an information source. I loved my college work-study job in the library, too. I am trying to get back into a library habit instead of just clicking on Amazon. 

Last week, I spent two days at a conference held in our city's main downtown library. I had only been in there a few times before. I have to say to was pretty impressed. Impressed that it functions as a semi-homeless shelter. The folks were pretty under control, but I don't know how the library staff comes in day after day and keeps their spirits up.

--Gay Guy

In the Genes? Gay Penguins Need to Collect Their Stud Fees?

Straight Guy,

Hope you are doing well under that sunny tropical sun. Remember to (re)apply that SPF40!

Readers--Straight Guy and I finally came off the work terror that has been mounting steadily for eight or nine months with a full-volume roar for eight or nine weeks. Things went fine.  Foolishly, we thought we'd wrap up a few projects, then resume normal programming, but last week was equally wild as the previous. 

SG is smart--he had booked plans to take the family out of town to someplace fun and warm. I am so jealous.

We've missed having time for blogging. To get back into the habit, here's news from the Toronto Zoo about Buddy and Pedro, two gay penguins. Well, no one knows for sure if they are gay, but the two lads are inseparable and they display mating rituals, complete with braying sounds.  Hot, right?

Here's the prob:  African Penguins are facing severely dwindling numbers. So, their "pair bonding" --such a sweet term!-- with each other needs to end so that their DNA can get it on with the ladies and keep the species alive. They are like stud penguins, I guess. 

This Noah's Ark stuff is a lot of work.

--Gay Guy

Man Walks Into a Bar . . .

Straight Guy,

This chalkboard was in front of a bar. "Male Bonding." Now that's how you get my attention.

So, what's the bar got up its sleeve? "Male Bonding": Name of a band? New drink? Live show? 

Drat: Looks like its a band.

I'm out of the loop, but intrigued.

SG, you're still a hipster. Any intelligence on this one?

--Gay Guy

 

The Hunt for Gay Athletes

Straight Guy,

Interesting Washington Post article on scholarships for out athletes

Most frightening place for gay high school athletes is the locker room. Don't have to be a jock for the locker room be no fun.

--Gay Guy

Media Watch: NYT Fashion, Men in Heels

Gay Guy, 

From the New York Times Fashion section, an article on the men who wear women's heels on the club scene. [A Tall Tale, but True: Men in Heels

It doesn't get into their sexuality, but one of the trendsetters complains: "I literally look at girls and think, you have so many options. You have jumpers, you have skirts, you have dresses, you have pants, you have shorts. Boys have pants and shorts. Or suits and a shirt." 

Wait. A lack of "jumpers" for men? Let's get right on that, garment industry. 

I'm not heavy into the club scene right now (or ever), but it sounds pretty competitive, fashion wise. You do what you have to do to stand out. If that's a jumper and high heels, go for it. But don't get confused. It's not drag! Another quote:
None of the men interviewed considered themselves to be in drag. “I always make it very clear that I am a man, and I’m not trying to portray an illusion to anybody,” Mr. Wagner said. Though some would call it a form of drag, he added, “As far as we’re concerned, this is just bringing a look to a club — which is what you are supposed to do.”
I knew by the end of the first paragraph there there would soon be a comparison to Napoleon and 18th century French aristocracy as examples of the proud tradition of men and heels. And that the current wearers would try to claim that the added height was the primary benefit. Sorry, no points awarded on either count. 

It's high fashion, where self-indulgence is required and form rules over function. Don't try to justify it. Own it. And then work it!

Yeah. There's some sarcasm here. But if I have a prejudice, it's against a club scene where folks, gay or straight, apparently have to go to great extreme and expense just to get noticed, because that's priority #1. I guess talking, drinking, and dancing are optional now. 

I realize that I couldn't be more out of touch than I am with these guys. And that they couldn't care less about my thoughts on their size 13 stilettos. 

Still, I will do my best to "bring a look" to work tomorrow. Probably something in the "function over form" category.

--Straight Guy

Cher Comic Book Unsucessfully Attempts to Bridge the Gay/Straight Divide


Straight guys still not interested. Her mutant superpowers and crime-fighting costume are impressive, though.

Via Dave Barry.

--Straight Guy

Media Watch: Men-Ups

May

Gay Guy, 

Check out Florida photographer Rion Sabean's Flickr stream for a project he's calling "Men-ups." Obviously it's a commentary on gender, and the ridiculousness of the iconic Vargas style pin-up. 

Or, maybe you think this is hot, too. 

I think it's interesting and humorous. But I'm not ready to indict the visual norms he is trying to spoof and undermine. They work for a reason. It's often a thin line between seduction and objectification. 

When Marilyn Monroe's skirt blows up, it's iconic in the same overly-stylized way. I didn't know until recently that the scene didn't even make it into the original release of "The Seven Year Itch." Too titillating for the time. But the image was simply too powerful to be ignored, and is now her most lasting visual. (Though this might take it too far.) 

I guess my take is that visual objectification isn't going anywhere, and the best we can do is to be thoughtful about what it means and how we consume it. That's a big step for a straight guy, right? 

Sabean is hoping to release these images in a 2012 calendar. I hope he does, and makes a ton of money. 

--Straight Guy

Things Gay Guy Does NOT Like to See in His Neighborhood

Straight Guy,

We had quite a little buzz in my neighborhood over the weekend. Apparently there was a bomb scare at the corner Starbucks. The police wouldn't give out much/any information, but they evacuated some buildings and blocked off a five block radius around my building. It was kind of like a movie scene--they even had city buses parked sideways to block the streets and create a buffer.

In my neighborhood, we're very interested in "suspicious packages."  Ahem.

You would think a sane person would say to himself, "Oh, a bomb threat within site of my front door. Hmmmm . . . perhaps I should 1) stay inside or 2) take the opportunity to get away for a while. But, no. Like a few dozen of my neighbors, I tried to get as close as possible to get the detail on the bomb-sniffing dogs and the bomb tech crew taking apart what looked like a computer bag.

Eventually it was "All clear." By that time, I had moved on my with my gay guy routine (ironing, Food Network, iron some more, Appletinis, ironing, etc.).

I feel sorry for the guy who left Starbucks, absentmindedly forgetting his bag. Or maybe he was in a rage because he'd been charged $8.59 for a pumpkin spice latte. 

--Gay Guy

Cupcake Kryptonite Cuts Super Manliness?

Straight Guy,

Take a read of this Washington Post article on "manly cities."

At 42 on a scale of 50 for manliness, guys in the nation's capital must be feel their Washington Monument shrinking.

Combos, maker of the ultimate Super Bowl snack bowl, ranked Washington's ample supply of cup cake shops among the factors that brought down the manly score. (I can't wait to tell my mom that it was probably her cup cakes that made me gay.)


Anyway, this sounds like a sweet/savory smack down.

What pushes up a city's macho measure? Professional sports teams, chicken wing restaurants and Western/cowboy apparel stores. Lordy.


Maybe this was an Onion article.

--Gay Guy

P.S.: A cupcake with "ganache" in its name is gay.

Gay Guy on Fall Fashion Fumbles: Specator. Sport.

Straight Guy,

I try not be be a stickler on silly fashion rules. That "No white after Labor Day" stuff. Admittedly, fashion rules seldom apply to men (mostly because fashion seldom applies to men). But I had to draw a line in the sidewalk this morning.

This (overly) dapper gent, replete with bow tie, was sporting spectators. Spectators! In September, I say! It's not summery anymore, let alone summer.

SG, stop pretending you know what spectators are and go here

To beat you to the question, no spectators in my closet. I am not man enough to pull off spectators.

On the topic of being man enough to pull off an out-there outfit, I've been meaning to blog about this Washington Post article on crazy-ass football uniforms. Every season, the look gets more extreme and attention-getting. Like a "Real Housewives" cast party. 

Fashion Fumble: These uniforms look like and 8 year old boy's Halloween costume. Which is maybe the point. 

I like this quote from the article: " . . .  a few years ago. . .  most teams had two uniforms--home and away--and all anyone needed was a pocket schedule to now which would be worn on a given Saturday in the fall, if they cared at all." 

SG, anyone, a little football fashion analysis for me?

--Gay Guy

Viral Video: Foos Fight Back!

 

Gay Guy,

When the deranged idiots from Westboro Baptist Church decided to encourage a boycott of the Foo Fighters concert in Kansas City, the Foos fought back. They pulled up to the protest on the back of a semi-truck (as their maybe-gay alter egos, the Clean Truckers) and brought a concert directly to the protesters. "Hot Buns" for everyone. (See previous post here.)

Here's Dave Grohl: "God Bless America! It takes all kinds... I don't care if you're black or white or purple or green, whether you're Pennsylvanian or Transylvanian, Lady Gaga or Lady Antebellum... men loving women and women loving men and men loving men and women loving women -- yeah you all know we like to watch that. But what I'd like to say is, God Bless America, y'all!" 


--Straight Guy

File This Under "Protest Too Much"


Three guys get matching "NO HOMO" tattoos (OMG! BFF!), drop trou, and choreograph a booty-pop pose to show them off to all their friends... This is the most fabulous definitely not-gay thing I've ever seen. Thumbs up, bros!

--Straight Guy

Media Watch: Gay Guy Says There IS Something Good About Rick Perry


Straight Guy, 

I don't care that this is photoshopped.

Don't they teach you not to eat a corn dog in public in candidate campaign school?

--Gay Guy

Viral Video: Hey Girl!

 

If you wondered what it might be like if Sassy Gay Friend (or the famous Honey Badger) was a Disney princess... 

--Straight Guy

Gay Guy, Straight Guy Get Good Advice

Straight Guy,

Over the weekend, I read some old magazines and moved them to the recycling bin. I really shouldn't have any subscriptions at all because I just let them pile up.

I flipped through an old Men's Journal and found this "Survival Skills" interview with the world's oldest man, Walter Breuning, who has since passed away at age 114.  Read an obit.

Breuning's advice is both endearing and practical, not Men's Journal's usual preening about how to wrestle an grizzly bear. Here's a bit from the interview:

Q: What skill should every man have?
A: The skill of being kind to people. In today’s world, everybody is mean to each other. But if you can help other people, you help yourself at the same time. You do, really. I used to walk all over town every morning after breakfast, and one day a lady stopped me and tied my loose shoestring. Well, I could’ve fallen down, you know. You see, it’s the little things.



Part of the reason that Men's Journal piles up unread in my home is that I don't have a lot of time and lively brain space these days.  Mostly, its because MJ is ridiculously packed with  features about men with too much testosterone. Think "I Lived for Six Months in the Arctic Circle Surviving Only a Pack of Beef Jerky." 


SG, what magazines do you get? Are they "straight."



--Gay Guy

That's Mr. Mirren to You, Buddy

Straight Guy,

I went to see the film The Debt this weekend, which I recommend. It's definitely tight and suspenseful--you could have heard a pin drop in the theater.

From the ads, I expected the film to star a gun-toting, ass-kicking Helen Mirren. But she's much more subtle.

I like Helen Mirren a lot. Who wouldn't. I've liked her movie roles, but none of them has gripped me as much as her role as Detective Inspector Jane Tennison in the U.K.'s ITV series Prime Suspect. She's tough.

Her toughness must inspired this post by Linda Holmes on the NPR blog Monkey See. Read it: "Twenty Iconic Male Movie Roles in Which Helen Mirren Would Have Ruled."  Thank you good friend and fellow blogger Knit Like You Mean It for sending along. 

 To excerpt: "How many roles written for men would have been, if tweaked appropriately . . . . perfect Helen Mirren vehicles?"

A woman as Bond? I can see it. What about you, SG? Any of these uber-male roles up for a woman to recast?

--Gay Guy

Video: Swim Team Was Never Like This

Straight Guy, 

A friend forwarded this video short by German director Kai Stanicke. It's pretty cool.

I like that it's about fluid sexuality, but even more I like that the shared sensuality/sexuality includes older people and folks with less-than-model-perfect bodies and faces.

Give it a watch and tell me what you think.

--Gay Guy

Viral Video: But Would I Still Respect Myself in the Morning?



Straight Guy,

This is the perfect solution to finding just the right spot AND awkward conversations when the deed is done.

It's not nice, but every time a boyfriend has told me to go fuck myself, I've always wanted to answer, "Then what would I need you for?"

--Gay Guy

Viral Video: Foo Fighters Hot Buns



Gay Guy,

Uncensored means naked man butt and truck-stop-shower-soap-dropping, so maybe NSFW.

Maybe it's the years of GG/SG blogging talking, but I'm starting to lose the ability to distinguish between irony, post-irony, mockery, meta, and slapstick.

I know that they know that I know... whatever.

Not that I wouldn't love to see a Foo Fighters concert, by the way.

--Straight Guy

News of the Week

Straight Guy,

Welcome  back. I hope your week of vacation was restful. 

I figure your kids might have buried you in sand, so you missed some good gay/straight-related news stories last week. Here's a brief selected round up:

--A bittersweet story: Jacques Beaumont, 86, and Richard Townsend, 72, wed after 39 years together. Both are in poor health and the wedding took place in their hospital room. God bless New York's new same-sex marriage law. Read the story.

--I Don't Got a Friend: Anti-gay marriage, social fascist and all-round bigot Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum outs himself on CNN that he has gay friends. Whether he talks and listens to them is a question mark. Read and watch.

Fast Endings: Tea Party backed Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell  walked of the Piers Morgan Show when he pressed her on her anti-gay marriage and Don't Ask, Don't Tell stances. Oh, Christine, you're such a troublemaker. Piers, you sold out your once-fine journalistic cred years ago, but you are making some recovery. Read and watch.

Enough of that, here's the real news from last week:

Dress  Code Drama:  A 61-year-old lifeguard takes a stance that he doesn't belong in a Speedo to do his job. Amen to that.  Read.


Best of all:

Shirt Situation: Because suddenly clothing and soft core porn purveyor Abercrombie and Fitch realized that Jersey Shore is a tacky show? Read.



--Gay Guy

GG|SG Advice Week: It Gets Better

We're reposting a few questions from readers this week. If you have a question, leave a comment or send us an e-mail. Anonymous questions allowed and encouraged.

Question from a reader (October 2010):
I am 16 years old, soon to be 17. I live in Michigan. I am writing this because I am not like many other 16 year olds. I say this because I don't have many friends and the friends that I do have are mainly girls. I go to an all-guy school. At school, all the guys talk about girls and what they want to do to them, and I have to fake something every time it comes to me. I am not like many of them there; I do not like to hang out with them because I find it very hard to talk to guys and hang out with them. When I am out with a girl, it just comes natural to me. I am constantly thinking about guys, I cannot help it no matter what I do about it. When a girl walks down the sidewalk, I don't even think to look at her. I am thinking about whether I am gay or straight on a daily basis, and it is making me miserable. I am not going out and having fun, my parents push me to, but I never do. I have thought about what to do or who to tell. I have never gone through with it. Every time I think about it I am disgusted about it. Also I do not know how my family and friends would act about it. I say to myself that I want to have a family and that makes me go back to thinking and wanting to be straight. Please help me and give me advice on what I should do?!!!!
GAY GUY RESPONDS: 

I wish I could be with you in person, because your questions are eating away at your self confidence. You would benefit from talking with a trusted adult friend, someone who will understand your feelings and keep your confidence. I think you'd feel better if you get your thoughts out of your head and share them out loud. My worries sound different, and usually not so burdensome, when I say them out loud. I understand this is hard to do when you are 16 going on 17. Is there a teacher or counselor at your school who you can trust? You won't be the first guy to bring them tough questions.

I didn't have many guy friends in high school either. Now I have a lot of guy friends -- both gay and straight, as this blog proves. Guys at 16 can be pretty gross: they have limited social skills, aren't all that mature or expressive, and are focused on finding their place in and navigating the competitive pecking order that guys live in.

Friendships are to be treasured and celebrated. Sounds like you are relegating your friendships to second-class status because the world keeps telling you that you should be hanging with guys.
Everyone needs friendships that make us feel seen, heard and appreciated. If your female friends help you feel good about yourself, then my advice is to go with it.

Can you take some initiative here? Straight Guy and I often hit basketball games together. I pay attention to some of the game, but spend a fair amount of time people-watching instead. What I value is spending time with a great friend, not necessarily the activity. Could you try "faking" it for an hour or two at school events just to see if the investment of time could pay off in you feeling more comfortable?

You think about guys all the time. The heart wants what the heart wants. You cannot "want" yourself into being straight or gay. I don't know how your romantic future will shake out, but I absolutely know that you will find people who will love you for who you are. I promise. And, lots of gay men, whether as couples or singles, adopt or find other ways to have families, so you don't have to give up that idea.

For now, my advice is to focus on building your self-esteem. Don't make yourself miserable. You are not alone, not even in that all-guy school of yours. You don't have to do anything or know everything right now; you might need to go off to college, get away from home, and meet a new and more mature group of friends to get some perspective on who you really are.

So, keep the faith, stop punishing yourself, feel good about all the special things that you are, keep breathing, try a few new things to see how they fit, stay in touch, and trust that you will be loved for you are.


STRAIGHT GUY RESPONDS: 


You're comfortable with girls but don't fantasize about them. You fantasize about guys, but can't connect with your straight friends. The facts end there. You're gay and you know it. Please stop wondering and wishing it could be different. That's torture. If you're in a spot where you can't act on it, just wait, like GG suggests. There will be many chapters in your life. You CAN have a family and a wide network of folks who "get" and support you as your authentic self.

Good news is you found us, so you have access to the internet. There are many resources out there that will let you know that (1) you are not alone, and (2) that your situation will improve. In fact, there's a massive campaign right now called "It Gets Better" (links below) where you can hear stories -- some from fabulous and famous people! -- about how hard it was when they were your age. You might feel tormented by your thoughts, or bullied by your friends, or trapped by your circumstances... but you CAN just wait it out. In a year, you'll be in a new place and might start to see more possibilities for yourself.

I know, it's hard NOW. But eventually, you will connect with folks. Folks who will like you and love you and enjoy your company... and you'll just be able to be yourself. I'm happy in my life, but Gay Guy has many more friends than I do. Dinner friends, party friends, book club friends, brunch friends, movie friends, work friends, volunteer friends, theater friends. It's crazy what he packs into a weekend, sometimes. Once in a while, he even includes me.

So, think long term. If you ever get to the point where you get desperate and feel like you can't take it anymore, please know that there are people who want to help you. The Trevor Project has an anonymous hotline set up to help gay teens deal with depression. They want to help. If you need some, let them try.

Good luck.
Here are some "It Gets Better" links:
homepage
facebook pageYouTube Channel

Here are some "It Gets Better" testimonials:
Sassy Gay Friend, Tim Gunn, Neil Patrick Harris, and a Texas councilman (believe it or not) Joel Burns

GG|SG Advice Week: Tweedle-Glee and Tweedle-Glum

We're reposting a few questions from readers this week. If you have a question, leave a comment or send us an e-mail. Anonymous questions allowed and encouraged.

Question from a reader (September 2010):
“Help. I'm 15 and I just came out to my older brother. He told me not to worry about being gay -- that there is nothing to be ashamed about. However, my twin brother found out, and now he keeps giving me the cold shoulder and teasing me. I love my brothers and sisters. I have one older brother, a twin brother, younger sister, and younger brother. I was hoping someone could give me advice how to get my twin brother to accept me like my older one did.”

GAY GUY RESPONDS: 

Jesse, I admire you. It takes a lot of bravery to be true to yourself and with those you love, especially when you know that what you have to say doesn’t always go over very well.

I suspect you already know this, but you can’t “get” anyone to accept you. Acceptance is work that we all have to do for ourselves. It’s not work that others can make us do, let alone succeed at.

Your twin is acting like a brat. My gut tells me that he has some catching up to do. You’ve been thinking about your orientation for a while; maybe he needs some time to get used to the idea.

Don't let the cold shoulder go on too long, and don’t let the teasing make you feel bad about yourself. This behavior is about your twin, not you. Your older brother can give you some good help and perspective.

Take comfort in knowing that you and your siblings have been raised in a loving, thoughtful way—your oldest brother as proof. That’s the best indicator you’ll find the acceptance that you want from the ones you love.

STRAIGHT GUY RESPONDS

I agree with GG's last point, the fact that your oldest brother is being supportive is an indicator that your family is on the right track. There's still more good news than bad in your situation.

We all see bits of ourselves in our siblings. I'm not a twin but had a couple of sets in my group of friends growing up. Some of the stereotypes are true. They can share a stronger connection and do seem to know what the other is thinking and feeling. Maybe this is the first time your twin has felt truly out of sync with you, and that might rattle him to point of pushing back. At 15, we can hardly judge him as an adult. As GG said, he's being a brat. But I'm not sure that's his permanent state. Every year will bring epic changes. He'll be a different person next year, and the year after that.

For now, just do what you can to let him know that he can still trust you. But also coolly inform him that his taunting isn't acceptable. Above all, he should respect your privacy and let you manage this information with your friends on your own. If not, that's a deal breaker.

I'll go one dangerous step further in my response, though. I don't know if you are fraternal or identical twins. If you are identical, then you share your genetic makeup. Both GG and I are believers in the gay gene (that it's not a choice). I'm just saying that the odds of a person being gay seem to be much higher if they have a gay twin. This does NOT mean that he is gay -- still probably not -- but you shouldn't be shocked if someday you run into him at a Pottery Barn outlet.

I could throw you a bunch of links to research, but I'm too scared to google "gay teen twins" and end up on yet another government watchlist. Oh, heck, here's a wikipedia link to get you started.

Maybe he knows or guesses at these odds and is just reacting out of fear of being pre-judged. "They've always been soooo alike, and did every single thing together, and now one of them is gay, so...."

Gay or straight (did I mention -- probably straight), maybe he's struggling with identity issues of his own now. I'm willing to transfer a smaller portion of sympathy to him, too.

Standard Straight Guy remedy applies: Take extra time and cut back on drama wherever possible. Good luck.

MORE GAY GUY SAYS: I agree with SG on the gene machine. I didn't want to write about it but SG thought it would be helpful to you. Do some searching to find solid information. That is to say, nothing from YouTube. I totally agree with SG that maybe your twin knows about the gene research, and he is feeling way uncomfortable, wherever his orientation lies. Keep the faith and please stay in touch.

AnothER Good Straight Guy

Straight Guy,

Once again, thanks for carrying the load here. I am feeling pretty burnt out. Work's a pain, too much going on, nothing gets accomplished. Don't know how you do it,

To top it all off, I am hunting and pecking across the keyboard with two fingers because my right hand is in a splint. Nothing major--much worse looking than the problem. Fractured a finger and need to keep it immobile for a while. Getting fixed up took three hours in the ER, an X-ray, and about three yards of gauze. 

During my ER time, I was a few yards away from a woman patient accompanied by a boyfriend. He gave straight guys everywhere a good name: very gentle, never stopped reassuring her (she was high drama) and had her little purse in his lap the whole time. Nice.

The ER is a freaky place. This one is in the high-rent section of town and it still gave me the creeps. 

--Gay Guy 

GG|SG Advice Week: Thanks for Sharing

We're reposting a few questions from readers this week. If you have a question, leave a comment or send us an e-mail. Anonymous questions allowed and encouraged.

Question from a reader (June 2009):
I met a straight guy (I'll call him Mark) at a men's personal growth workshop (1 day). Of the ten men there, I was the only gay guy. We all shared on some personal issues... most were struggling with relationship with a woman or their father/mother. I shared on the loss of my partner four years ago. They were all pretty cool and wanted to see the medal that I had which depicted my partner and me together.

Anyway, Mark and I shared some stuff that just resonated with each other... parallels between his breakup with his girlfriend and his struggle with his father. After the session he passed me a note saying that he could sense that my partner was with me. I gave him a small self-growth paperback that I had with me (which I had planned to give to him before his note to me).

We have emailed each other twice over the last few months since the retreat. For a straight guy, he freely shares about his own struggle with his life and father, etc. He is always hopeful in his sharing... hopeful about changes for himself, etc. I feel very privileged for this and want to keep up this relationship.... especially since I really don't have any straight friends with whom I have shared in this manner. My challenge is that I am afraid... afraid of trying so hard to have this relationship, afraid of rejection, etc, etc. (I know that some of this is possibly trying to make up for my life loss of a deeper acceptance by straight guys.) He said in his last email that he might want to get together for lunch sometime.

Any helpful suggestions or insights would be greatly appreciated.

Hanging in there.

--H.

P.S. I am much older than him, so maybe he might see me as a person with some additional lifetime experience?? Not sure.

GAY GUY RESPONDS:

Sorry to take some time to get back to you. Both SG and I have been out of town.

I hope that in the meantime you've gone ahead and had lunch with "Mark." He sounds like a gem of a guy, and I hope you are seizing the opportunity for a new friendship in your life.

I'm not a therapist, but here is how I would talk about this issue with a friend: We are all afraid of rejection, maybe that wound and fear that lives in each of us never completely heals. But, objectively speaking, Mark is signaling that he wants more with you. He's shared some e-mails, asked you to lunch, shows that he "gets" you.

I'm interested in a phrase that you used: that you are "afraid of trying so hard to have this relationship." I don't think you have to try -- it seems to be rolling out in front of you like a red carpet. Is it trying so hard to have the relationship, or wanting so much to have it.

My advice is, not to be too blunt, to get out of your own way here, and get a lunch or an after work beer on the calendar. Just accept this positive development and welcome it into your life.

Not sure what you mean by life loss of acceptance by straight guys, but, whatever you mean, I suspect it's a hangover from childhood. I think I have some trust issues with straight men, too, but I've found real joy from letting go and moving forward. We all grow up, don't we?

Much as I, with humor, use this forum to reinforce stereotypes of straight men as beer drinking, sports watching, emotionally stunted man-childs, they aren't. Straight Guy is a real gem, so are my friends John and David. My life is better with them in it. And, they "get" me better than some of my gay guy friends do.

Jump onto the red carpet Mark is rolling over to you. Let me know how it goes.


STRAIGHT GUY RESPONDS:

I don't see any need to fear rejection, when he's the one inviting you to lunch. If two people, who have room in their lives for new friends, find and connect with each other, then great. It might be temporary, or it might be long term, who knows? The one thing that will kill it is worrying too much.

I will say that the first thing that they should have taught you in a personal growth seminar for men (never been, sorry), is that you should always be moving away from unnecessary drama. It can be a self-indulgent trap. Right now I get the sense that your friendship is based on sharing your emotional selves, and sooner or later, someone will tire of that. Find some balance between sharing your deepest thoughts and, I don't know, playing pool or building a deck or something. Find something in common other than your inner struggles.

Not to minimize your (or anyone's) grief, but the goal is to respectfully move on at some point, right? Nothing better than having a good, trustworthy, friend to help you do that. Use them as counsel and confidant, sure, but also let them be a distraction from your inner monologue, and most importantly, trust them to tell you when it's time to buck up.

Buck up, dude.

GG|SG Advice Week: The Massage to Nowhere

We're reposting a few questions from readers this week. If you have a question, leave a comment or send us an e-mail. Anonymous questions allowed and encouraged.

Question from a reader (September 2008):
My roommate and I are best friends. To the point that we consider ourselves “platonic lovers” and really, a sort of couple. Also, we’re in a band together. The situation is weird to our friends, but we've learned to ignore all the questions. We don’t have sex, but we do sleep together and cuddle and massage each other. I'm the gay/bi one in the relationship. And sometimes I worry that the situation is more homoerotic than we like to think.


My friend has never given me the impression that he's turned on by our physical affection. And most of my closest friends in the past have been straight. Sort of intense “bromances.” So I don't think of sex and physical affection as linked. [I know this is probably some fear of intimacy quirk on my part...]


I don’t want to make my friend have same-sex desires. And I worry about his reputation being around me. And he has no previous history of being around gay guys. And I have spent very little time around men in “gay culture” settings. Question: are we kidding ourselves? One of our gal pals recently said “you two are in love, so have sex and get it over with.” Her comment pissed me off, but it stuck in my head.


The two of us are in love, in a way. But if we were to have sex, I’m very sure that our friendship would be ruined. But our “bonding time” -- as we refer to many hours spent in bed being physical but not sexual and chatting -- is suspicious to me. Yet him having a girlfriend only made him more affectionate. On the other hand, I get all my emotional and physical needs from him, so I don't even look at other guys. Am I in love but unable to face it?


I tell him I’m in love with him all the time. But I claim I don't want to have sex, and it's true. If you knew more about my sexual/romantic past with men and women you might understand more. Am I avoiding “the love task” by turning my friendships with straight guys into substitutes for real romance? In the past I consistently turned down approaches by straight guys who are curious. Then I have sought out sex with gay men I don't care about.


Just writing this email makes me feel weird. I know that life and love are sloppy… that all relationships are unique. And that you don't really know us, so it's hard to have input. But I thought the two of you might.


Anyway, just wanted your input.

STRAIGHT GUY RESPONDS: 


Oh, cripes. Your roommate has my subpar gaydar screaming like an air raid siren. Same with my dramadar, re: you. The fact that you are in a band means NOTHING. The fact that you felt the need to mention it up front speaks volumes about your need for attention.

Anyway, w
ho knew two mostly-gay dudes could cock-block each other into a masochistic stalemate? Instead of someone, anyone, making a move, you're putting all of your effort into maintaining an anguishing status quo. Maybe it's time to rip off the bandaid.

At some point, the bed-sharing, cuddling, and massaging (air raid! air raid!) gets to be too much for the rest of your friends to bear. You're living full-time in the boring, dialog-heavy, porn movie set-up that everyone hates (anything before the boom-chicka-wah-wah!). What your "gal pal" (ugh) meant to say was, "Get a room!" She's doing you a favor by trying to hit fast-forward.

  • Tip 1: No unattached adult is ever ambivalent about getting snuggled and rubbed in bed. If you haven't immediately jumped up and left the room, you're either turned on, being abused, or both. So, your roommate is either gay, bi, or catatonic.
  • Tip 2: Your roommate is more affectionate with you when he has a "girlfriend" because that's the only time he has cover, an alibi, and can better manage his denial.
  • Tip 3: This is one of the rare scenarios where getting wasted may be the solution rather than the problem. What happens when his inhibitions are lowest and you finally shut the eff up?
  • Tip 4: People who put "the love task" in quotes never get laid. Ever. Oh, crap!
Maybe you are damaged goods. I'm sorry, but who isn't? Maybe he's never coming out of his closet. Sorry about that, too. But don't trick yourself into thinking that you are complicated AND unique. You are in love with someone who might not be in love with you... yet. Wait, that's every romantic comedy ever made. How do they end, again? Personally, I know of many successful, long-term, romantic relationships initiated by "ruining the friendship."

It's really not about sexual orientation. You're obviously compatible and certainly sound gay or bi enough to me. It's about taking a chance and hoping for the best. I had a similar massage-to-nowhere problem with a girl in 8th grade. I made a move. Epic fail. It still hurts, but I wouldn't change a thing. Better to have groped and lost, than to have never groped at all.

All in all, I'm still betting on this relationship outlasting the band, which, I am absolutely sure, sucks.

What do you think GG?


GAY GUY RESPONDS:

Let me tell you a little story:

A couple of years ago, I dated a guy for about a month. Like a lot of things that start out red hot, it went cold fast. We, in the way that gay men do, stayed friends. Quite sincerely friends, as in zero lingering sexual tension. One evening he came over to watch TV -- to be precise a State of the Union address, which I specify only because that it must be the most sexless hour broadcast on TV in the course of a year. My TV was in the bedroom. See where this is going?

There we were, stretched out on my bed, fully clothed, shoes still on, not touching. We barely lasted five minutes before we had to call it off. It wasn't some whiff of prior desire raising its head. Lying within a yard of each other was just plain freaky and uncomfortable.

My point: Adult male friends do not sleep together, cuddle, or give massages to each other. Especially if at least one of them is straight. "Bonding time" is based on shared interests not shared body warmth. Adult men do not offer or accept cuddles or massages to anyone unless we mean business.

Here's a free life lesson for you: With the exception of going to work, a funeral, or wearing a sweater your mom knits you, people pretty much do what they want to do. Meaning your pal is exactly where he wants to be, doing exactly what he wants to do -- and so are you. You' re responsible for you own happiness; the only way you are cuddling up without knowing you are hurting yourself is if you are wearing an orange jumpsuit and missing your two front teeth.

I know my share about unrequited love, so in sympathy and with compassion, let me give you some tough love, step by step:

  • Your roommate has never let you know he's turned on by your mutual physical affection? He's not exactly pushing you away.
  • You cannot make someone else have same-sex desires. . . any kind of desire for that matter. If making same-sex desire was possible, I'd be lubing up with Michael Phelps.
  • Many hours spent in bed with you, then revs it up when he's dating a girl? Dr. Freud, call your office, you have a message.
  • Have you never checked him out during some of your massage sessions to see if he's throwing some wood? Never? Are you kidding me?
  • Yes, to answer your question, you are kidding yourself. You're not happy and you are not getting your emotional and physical needs met.
  • You tell him repeatedly that you are in love with him and he hasn't replied with a "Let's just keep it 'het'" conversation?
Sure, he's confused. Very confused. And so are you. I think you need to tell him the truth and ask for his truth in return. Maybe check in with a little therapy first. And, I mean that really kindly.

You asked for our input for a reason, which I assume is because we are a straight guy and a gay guy. Yep, Straight Guy has long been my best friend. I'd do anything I could for him, support him in any joy, sorrow, or trial. However, this does not include shaving his back.

Bert and Ernie Are Just Friends!

Gay Guy,

More than 7,000 fans want to see Bert and Ernie come out and get hitched. Here's a clip from last week's petition on change.org:

"They [kids] need to know that acceptance of their fellow human beings would indeed plant a seed of peace that will reverberate throughout the world. We are not asking that Sesame Street do anything crude or disrespectful. Only that they allow Bert & Ernie to marry or even add a transgender character to the show. It can be done in a tasteful way. Let us teach tolerance of those that are different."

Here's Sesame Street's formal response:

"Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation."

That seems about right to me. Besides, the wider Muppet family is full of variety, including the sexual kind. I guess that includes Gonzo's chicken fetish. In fact, we reported on openly gay Muppets in one our early posts (Mr. Piggy is a Diva, Too). But that show (Logo's Tinseltown) went nowhere.

Besides, who wants to see a "tasteful" wedding on Sesame Street? That's not how it works. Let's see Cookie Monster attack the wedding cake, and Grover as the worst server in the catering crew.

--Straight Guy

Gay/Straight Viral Video: John Stamos' Guide to Cuddling




Lauging at? Or laughing with?

Stamos is the spokesman for Project Cuddle, which works to protect and prevent abandoned babies. So maybe we'll cut him some slack.

--Straight Guy

Things Straight Guy Hates Immediately: Cosmo for Men


Gay Guy,

Let me know if you have any interest in paying for the new "Cosmo for Guys." 

It's a special e-reader version of the magazine targeted just for men. Look, I'll admit to reading a few articles from magazines like this when they've crossed my path. I'm sure women aren't above reading Men's Health, Esquire, or even Maxim if they find it in the waiting room, either.

I'm sure Cosmo has some of the beast headline writers in the biz. "Whisper This During Sex: The Hottest Thing You Can Say to a Naked Woman." Hells yeah, I'm intrigued. But would I subscribe for "$1.99 per issue, $3.99 per month or $19.99 per year"? That's laughable.

Cosmopolitan Magazine has a well-deserved reputation for sex polls and body image quizzes that make their target readers feel very inadequate (and consequently, hungry for more information). They also happen to objectify women way more than many men's magazines. Not just my opinion, I verified this with a female associate today.

My quick take: Cosmo is skanky know-it-all gossip. Sometimes she's fun to hang out with, but you won't feel good about yourself later. Maybe it's a great purchase at an airport newsstand, but you don't want to fill your bookshelf with back issues.

Now they want to come after guys, too? Cosmo claims that we're asking for it. According to them, men "frequently tell us that they love reading Cosmo because they're fascinated about what makes females tick and they want to know how to better please the women in their life."

Of course we're fascinated. But we aren't asking you for help, Cosmo.

Readers, help me out here. Alarming trend or guilty pleasure? Any women's magazines you WOULD like to see reworked for male audiences?

--Straight Guy

Ad Watch Update: SoBe, Surfrider, Chill Milk, Durex, Nissan


Readers,

Just uploaded a bunch of new stuff to the Gay Ads | Straight Ads tumblr. Something for everyone. Objectification in every flavor. That's not a blanket criticism, by the way.

I showed GG a couple of these, including the interactive Kate Upton SoBe staring contest. He had no idea who she was (answer: girl-next-door-type recently launched into supermodel sensation) and the conversation ground to a halt when he declared that "She's rather plain, isn't she?" 

Oh, Gay Guy. Promise you'll never change. 


Readers, check them out and let us know what you think.

--Straight Guy 


P.S.: The Surfrider foundation calendar (objectification for a cause!) is updated for 2011 and they took our 2010 criticisms to heart.

Checking In... About Checking Out

Straight Guy,

Thanks for bearing the load on the website. I've been pretty checked out of late. Things are fine, but I am cranky these days.

It's furnace hot here, I'm off my gym routine and on the wrong side of 160 lbs., work's busy and the new boss is a learning curve, my dad had a trip to the ER and a hospital overnighter, I haven't seen some important friends for a while, and I'm disgusted that my government can't get its shit together about this impending debt crisis but have to admit it looks too much like my own financial management for comfort. Wah, wah, wah. You get the idea.


Without doubt there are things that make me happy. Of course, number one on the list is that same-sex couples began marrying in New York State on Sunday. Read more. That's huge--both in terms of its importance and that New York is a huge state. That's a lot of wedding presents (Crate and Barrel thanks you) and more importantly lots of new couples and millions of people being influenced in new and personal ways. 

I got my first save-the-date wedding card for a New York wedding. Makes me happy.

--Gay Guy 

Gay Guy / Straight Guy Archive