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on 08/24/2011 - 01:02 pm
For those of you who have written in with your Straighty questions, thank you! This is what I've learned so far.
1. Do gays love their pets more than straighties?
- Trick question! Gays certainly do have more pets. 71% vs 63% hetero, according to GayMatters.net
- Flamboyant + no children = Fabu-pets. Gays love dressing things up. You do the math!
- Do they go overboard? Possibly, but not always. My dogs/cat are my children and i have no problems admitting how much I adore them. And I do my fair share of online bragging and picture posting of my dogs, Pierre, Chico and Karma (see image). But still, I must secede. My gay buddies excel on Facebook at the number of photo ops and pet anecdotes they share about Fifi and Cooper, the chihuahuas dressed in his-and-hers matching gingham.
2. Why do the gay guys dress WAY better than me?
- Seriously, I would kill for the fashionista flair and style that many gay men proudly flaunt. Metro-sexual men can be runway divas themselves, but the GB&Ts that I know seem to have a serious knack for it. And for the life of me I can't figure out how they accessorize so effortlessly. It's truly an amazing thing to see if you are a straighty with a limited fashion sense, like myself, who wears whatever is on the top of the pile. I think the problem is that I have is that I haven’t seen The Devil Wears Prada. They swear by it.
3. What is a "gaydar" and why do I need one?
- Some LGBTQs are out front, playing up their sexual prowess like a 6 string quartet. However, some people in the community are rather hush-hush, so a straighty might not recognize homo-fabulous behavior when they see it. A tuned-in gaydar will allow more effective communication between you and the gay community.
- And second, let’s just pretend that you fall madly in love with your friend at work, school, whatever and they’re gay while you’re not. (Anne Hathaway can attest!) If you find yourself in this position, it can be a trying ordeal. So try to hone in your gaydar by reading gay-friendly news sources (Advocate.com, PinkNews.com) and watching gay-friendly programming (Ellen DeGeneres, The L Word, etc.) to avoid these costly crushes.
For additional info, here are some gay-friendly resources from GayborhoodApp.com!
Gay-friendly pet stores: http://www.gayborhoodapp.com/listing/results.php?keyword=pets&where=
This is Straighty Says, and I'll shoot it to you straight!
on 08/18/2011 - 12:02 pm
Family is our first entourage, so to speak. I come from your typical, straighty family - mom, dad, brother, sister - who liked to drink Italian wine and play board games That was us, defined. But definitions are very 20th Century.
So how do the new-age families, equipped with same-sex parents and gay-rights kids, handle all of the nuances of being a team? Here are a few things I picked up on the modern family and how it has shaped the LGBTQ world.
A family today might be two moms and two beautiful children who love Easter egg hunts (see photo). The family values are no different. The amount of love and devotion is just as real. My sources in the gay parenting community say that the biggest challenge they face today is not with the young kids so much as with the adults. “Believe it or not the childeren are the easy ones.” Marci Alt, CEO of Gayborhood App, comments. “It's the adults that are narrow minded and stubborn. Most of my daughters friends from school think it's really cool that she has 2 moms.”
Abigail Garner, who started FamiliesLikeMine.com, has written ”Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is” for kids of gay or questioning parents and what to do in this homo-hostile world. PFLAG - Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (www.pflag.org) is a guide for parents and friends who want to support their LGBTQ children, who face a whole other set of challenges and explorations.
So with the words of modern artist Bret Dennon, “Let’s make the most of this life.” Simple words that families can remember in the face of adversity! The family definition is the biggest difference, and to me, it just doesn’t seem as important at the end of the day.
This is Straighty Says, and I’ll shoot it to you straight!
on 08/10/2011 - 01:46 pm
I am SO pumped about this week’s Straighty topic...music! Music today is so diverse, so abundant, and downright fruity to boot. Thankfully, there is a rhythm, a sound and an emotion for every experience in life. Music can take us anywhere, so let’s ride back over the rainbow and see what we find.
I’m going to look deep on this one, considering the mass amounts of time I have spent in the Nashville music scene. I’ve been writing songs for years, so I know how important the message behind the song can be. Music can be healing like medicine, soothing like molasses. Let’s check out a few of the tunes that have rocked the LGBTQ world.
Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" was voted the most empowering song of the past decade for LGBT people. Across the board, I would say that this song has been an anthem for gays and straights alike. It almost makes me cry just thinking about the words, they carry such power and truth! The melody of this one is haunting and uplifting all at the same time. If you haven’t heard it, I’ve included a link to the video here for your listening pleasure. Get those tissues ready. Beautiful Video - http://youtu.be/eAfyFTzZDMM
“Raise Your Glass” by Pink and “Defying Gravity” (from the production of Wicked) are two more super empowering hits that cater to the LGBT community. They just plain ol’ feel good. Every time I hear “So raise your glass if you are wrong, in all the right ways!”, I can’t help but giggle. Our company’s CFO has Pink as his ringtone and I call him over and over just to hear it. I can’t get enough, it makes me wave my hands in the air!
Now at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, Elton John and Lady Gaga’s brought the music world full-circle with their duets and age-barrier defiance. Yes, they are both outlandish. Yes, they are both wacky and over the edge. And this is why we love them. They take “extraordinary” to the extreme, and can make even the oddest of us seem, well, normal. But as their performances show us, songs are one of the BEST ways to bring us all together. Gay, straight, weird or weirder, we can all sing along. Matter of fact, there are a whole slew of songs out there that our gay amigos and amigas have claimed for their own. See for yourself! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gay_anthem
George Michael, Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Madonna and The Village People have also written anthems for the gay community. Miley Cyrus is one of the youngest advocates who uses her celebrity status for the good. And last but not least, I just want to remember my good friend, Ricky Martin. Ok, we’re not actually friends. But I wish we were. It took Rick a long time to come out, and we Straighties wish he would go back in. J/k, more power to you, brother. Just keep singin’ those hits.
This is Straighty Says and I’ll shoot it to you straight!
on 08/03/2011 - 12:03 pm
Bullying, what a bitch.
I mean, as if being a teenager isn’t hard enough. Then add on top of it trying to come out of the closet to your friends, much less to the people who hate you anyway. Or the ones who just need somebody to hate. Bullying is the shameless harassment of a person in a less powerful position, and it is a nasty form of intimidation. Very ugly.
So what should someone do if they are being bullied for their sexual preference? I heard about the Trevor Project, so I went to their website to see what I could find out. If the pressure becomes so great that you or someone you know is considering suicide, call 866-4-U-TREVOR immediately for help. You can also go to this this website... http://www.thetrevorproject.org/ for answers to your frequently asked questions about bullying.
And yes, bullying is a terrible problem in our straight community too. But stats show that gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other youths, and 30 percent of all completed youth suicides are related to the issue of sexual identity. -Report to the Secretary's Task Force on Youth Suicide.
In high school, I never understood why my gay friends never came out of the closet. I’m sure the confusion about what to do in that situation was overwhelming. I would hate to think that any of my LGBTQ friends were afraid of their identity, much less afraid of their peers (our friends). But the truth is that more than 64 percent of LGBTQ students say they feel unsafe at school because of their sexual orientation. -GLSEN 2003 National School Climate Survey.
For Moms who are concerned that their kids might be in danger of bullying, http://www.bullycide.org/WandaProject.html is a great website full of information on protecting your children. The Give a Damn Campaign is another amazing resource for everybody who cares about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. This is a very cool project for all of you straighties and your beloved ‘mo’s! If you have more questions about bullying, be sure to check out http://www.wegiveadamn.org/ The Give a Damn Campaign is a project of the True Colors Fund, founded by Cyndi Lauper, which makes it mega-cool anyway.
So with that, I will pose the following questions. How can we help to stop this horrific act? What can we do to protect and enable our youth? What will it take to enhance, not stifle, a child’s experience in the public and private school systems? Can we make a difference? Of course we can!
The first thing to do is to speak up against hate or intolerance. If you see someone being bullied, whether gay, straight, black, white, STAND UP! Take action! Do something! Remember, physical violence is not the answer. Treat others as you want to be treated. Period. It’s not rocket science, people. Just be nice and care for others. Give a damn, if you will.
ABC’s “What Would You Do” has done several segments on the LGBTQ community. Thankfully, the results of their “bullying tests” have had some really positive results! Here is a segment on intolerance and what a complete stranger will do to protect the feelings of one lesbian couple and their children. http://youtu.be/Zhl9MLno424
Negative attitudes towards the gay community are no longer acceptable. As the gentleman in this video points out, there is a time and a place for sensitive subjects such as each persons’ lifestyle choice. We can help the LGBTQ community by supporting their decisions and being their voice of reason when they can’t seem to find the right words.
This is Straighty Says, and I’ll shoot it to you straight!