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Steve Hughes on the “straightness” of gay men, and the “gayness” of straight men.
“Straight, it’s the new gay.”
I’m not the kind of person who messes around when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. By the time I walk out the door, I’ve considered what I wore yesterday, the day before, and I often take into consideration what I want to wear tomorrow, so you can bet that I didn’t just throw on a purple sweater today because some Facebook group told me I should, even if it was created by GLAAD (who I’m pretty sure has the power to revoke your membership to the whole gay community if you piss them off. Like gay Republicans? I hear GLAAD took away their ability to give blowjobs. Just what I hear…)
I first heard about the “Wear Purple” Spirit Day in 2010, days after Tyler Clementi took his own life after being ‘outed’ on the Internet by his college roommate. His death marked the sixth suicide of a gay teenager over a matter of weeks, and the Wear Purple campaign was created to honor and remember those youth who were bullied to the point of believing that life was not worth living.
I will admit, I was somewhat skeptical of the Spirit Day at first. I knew my purple sweater wouldn’t bring Tyler, Billy, Asher, Seth, or Justin back to life, not to mention the thousands of unmentioned gay youths who died before them, and I thought that the gesture seemed shallow, to say the least. Kevin Paul, a writer for The McGill Daily, echoed these beliefs by saying, “I fail to see how dispersed masses wearing a shirt of a certain color for one day could pull a depressed teenager in a Midwestern high school accustomed to being thrown into lockers and called “faggot” away from the precipice of suicide.”
After much reflection, however, I came to realize that while my purple shirt didn’t have any magical qualities that would resurrect the dead, it did have a sort of power. Symbolic power. Wearing purple today shows the world that you do not tolerate bullying, harassment or hate crimes committed not only against LGBT youth, but against anyone. It’s true, the shirt in and of itself will not save a life, but it is a good way to spread awareness and show support. Today, the Facebook event has over 116,500 guests and the movement has garnered much attention from the media and noted celebrities, gay and straight alike.
People cannot fix problems if they are unaware of their existence, so while wearing a purple shirt isn’t the solution here, it is a step in the right direction toward finding one. What I like best about this campaign, however, is its ability to illustrate just how many people out there are willing to fight to make the world a better place. Seeing friends and family members being so compassionate and loving brings a smile to my face, and I can only imagine that others’ spirits are being lifted too. This movement highlights the fact that love really does triumph over hate, and (in my opinion) this alone is reason enough to wear purple today.
The Outs is by far my favorite gay web series on the internet right now. Don’t get me wrong, both Husbands and Hunting Season are very entertaining and worth watching too, but writer/director/actor Adam Goldman has created a wonderful show that is both heart-wrenching and laugh-out-loud funny and I simply can’t recommend it enough! Go watch it here!
Daniel Sloss on Russell Howard’s Good News Week
“Statistically I am gay. I mean, I’ve only ever played with one penis, mine. But I fucking loved it! I haven’t stopped playing with it since! I like 100% of penises I’ve ever played with! Where as I only like about 60% of the vaginas I’ve been in.”
“…At least there are some pretty cute guys. Does everyone ride their bike here, because I did not get the memo about all the sexy spandex attire. Oh yikes, there are some really not-cute guys too. Sweet mother of god, shower much? I’m just going to go ahead and make a sweeping statement that there are exactly two kinds of guys at the farmers market: unfairly hot guys who could grate organic cheese using their abs, and dirty dreadlocked guys who could grow organic cheese under their arms. Where do I belong in this spectrum!? I feel like I’m seconds away from an existential crisis. I knew I should have just gone to the grocery store.”
“I read through the statements that called for stewardship of time, talents, and resources; honoring God through modest dress; abstinence from excessive drinking, pre-marital sex, pornography, and homosexual practices. My fingers froze and the cursor stared me in the face, my heart sank to my belly. Not knowing what to do, I reached over to my phone, found the contact for Adam and dialed. I explained my hesitance in signing the document and asked him to clarify what constituted homosexual practices.
“Can I have a boyfriend?” He responded, “No.”
“Can I flirt with a guy?” Again, “No.”
“Can I hold hands?” The hesitation in his voice was noticeable as he voiced the last “No.”
Before ending the conversation he asked if I felt the position meant enough to deprive myself of those things- in that moment of defeat and shame, I didn’t have an answer.
I hung up the phone and wanted to disappear. I felt like the kid that didn’t get picked for middle school sports- not because I wasn’t good but because I had black hair.
This was the first time I was unable to do something because of who I am and it came from a community that I had reluctantly put a lot of trust in.”
Good or bad, I think our first kiss is important because it teaches us something about ourselves. Certainly, the mere fact that kissing is our first literal taste of physical romance makes the first one unforgettable, but I think every kiss holds a message that makes it meaningful as well. Upon comparing the lessons learned from kissing a girl for the first time to those gleaned from making out with what’s-his-name, I become more convinced that my middle school kiss mattered more. Sure, my first kiss with a guy taught me that a combination of body glitter and raspberry vodka never makes for a classy night, but the lessons I learned at thirteen years old were far more significant and have had a greater hand in shaping my philosophy on love and romance; gender and sexual orientation aside. My first kiss taught me that, every once and a while, we are granted perfect moments, that good things take time and are never rushed, and that you should always keep your expectations high, because when they’re met, you’ll realize you should never have to settle for anything less.
(And as an added bonus, here I am as one-half of the most impossibly sexy 13-year-old couple you’ve ever seen. I’m so, so lucky that we’re still best friends a decade later — we’re like family.)
Broadway star Rory O’Malley & his boyfriend Gerold Schroeder photographed for GAP’s “Be Bright, Be One” Ad Campaign.