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The Raw(est) Brunch - Episode 1: Comparison, Judgement, Body Shame (Video)

Join hosts, Psychologist Dr Tony Ortega and Life Coach John Davisi as the two men discuss important topics in the gay community.  In the premier episode of The Raw(est) Brunch they'll be covering fear, comparison, judgement, and body shame! Enjoy the video below:

Q & A with the Men of BelAmi (Plus... Pics Gallery)

Written by Paper Mag

When it comes to global brand recognition, the men of BelAmi are superstars. 

Can You Guess Which 3 Southern States Have Thriving LGBT-Owned Businesses?

Written by Jeremy Quittner

It may come as no surprise that states where startups traditionally thrive are also good for LGBT -owned businesses. After all, such states typically have good business networks, access to venture capital, and other forms of financing that are all important to fostering business growth. But the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) found something else just as important is at play in the top five states for LGBT-owned small businesses: they’re being helped by much larger businesses in their area. California, New York, Texas, Florida and Georgia contain roughly half of all businesses that have an LGBT ownership certification, according to an NGLCC report. While these are all top states for startups in general, they are also home to numerous Fortune 500 companies whose diversity programs encourage LGBT-certified businesses, among other minority-owned businesses, to become part of their supply chains.

LGBT Businesses Contribute $1.7 Trillion to the American Economy

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Gay Dads: Justin & Brett on Life with Kids

Written by OutVisions

Starting at an early age, both Justin Mallard and Brett Rancourt knew they wanted to have kids. As they came to terms with their sexualities, accepting the fact they were gay, one of the biggest struggles they faced was the idea that being gay and having a family did not seem like a realistic reality.

Fast forward to adulthood and the two meet through an online dating site. “It was so refreshing to hear the words ‘I would love kids one day’ come out of Brett’s mouth,” recalls Justin of their first date. “Here I have this handsome, funny and smart man who also has the same family goals as me. I felt like I struck gold and our lives together began to move forward.” The couple, who live in Chilliwack, B.C., have twins, born through gestational surrogacy. Jordyn and Sawyer are now both a year old. 

How have yours and Brett’s lives changed since becoming parents?

Justin Mallard: I would not say they have changed drastically. As a parent you have to make some sacrifices, but with those sacrifices come great rewards. I find that mine and Brett’s time together has become even more exciting as we are now creating new moments, traditions and memories with our children.  As a couple Brett and I have an incredibly strong bond, commitment and love for each other. When we became parents this intensified even more and it’s been really amazing to see our relationship as a couple and as parents evolve to what it is today.

What’s surprised you most about parenthood?

Justin Mallard: The biggest surprise in parenthood for us is how much more love we have found within ourselves. The feeling I get inside when I think of our children is like nothing I have ever felt before. It’s an entire different kind of love that I didn’t know existed. When Brett and I met, it was true love between two people. Now with our children part of our lives that love has grown and expanded more than I ever knew possible.

What advice do you have for any potential dads out there thinking about taking the next step?

Justin Mallard: The biggest advice I could share is never give up on your dreams of parenthood.. There will be times were the idea of being a Dad feels out of reach, but with the right determination and dedication anything is possible.


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How 80's Sex Symbol Richard Gere Helped Launch The Armani Fashion Brand in Hollywood

Written by Tempe Nakiska

The look made waves on its own though it was Richard Gere’s Armani wardrobe in Paul Schrader’s American Gigolo (1980) that really cemented the designer’s place in Hollywood and properly introduced fashion to the concept of Hollywood dressing. For while Gere’s LA callboy Julian was endearing, the real publicity machine of the film was Gere himself. Armani got the hype potential. And though the film was costumed as a whole by Bernadene C. Mann, Gigolo itself was about Armani. Armani’s neutral toned, relaxed cuts framed a high flying LA lifestyle, but that was just the pretext. What was actually happening was branding in motion– on Gere, in Hollywood, on screen.

That Armani has gone on to outfit actors in over 200 films (highlights including gangster three pieces in The Untouchables, his and hers tailoring for Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman in Gattaca and Leonardo DiCaprio’s top dog pinstripes in The Wolf of Wall Street), pays testament to his devotion to fashion in film. READ MORE

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Homeless Queer Youth Are Lured Into Abusive & Exploitative Relationships - A Personal Essay

Written by Christian Hill

For the LGBT community, marriage equality is a huge win and further establishes that we are worthy of the same rights as everyone else. However, in my own reality, marriage has not been on the top of my list of priorities.

Working at Camden Area Health Education Center with LGBT youth, primarily YMSM (young men who have sex with men) of color, I witness them struggle to cope with abusive partners daily. The thing I hear over and over is: “I want to leave him, but I have nowhere else to go.” It is disheartening to know that these young people have to endure life-threatening situations just to have a place to sleep at night.

I myself have fallen victim to interpersonal violence and, until this moment, have never really spoken about it. At the age of 18 I found myself living with a guy I had only known for about six months, cutting classes, eventually dropping out of college, and abusing alcohol and marijuana daily.  During the first six months I didn’t notice, but this guy was already luring me with controlling mechanisms, and I naively thought he only wanted the best for me. It began with him telling me how much he wanted to see me and talk to me, so I’d always make myself available, either on the phone or in person at his house. As the relationship progressed, his feelings of “missing me” became manipulations, forcing me to be available at all times or suffer accusations of infidelity and being a “whore.” READ MORE

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Interview with Omar Sharif Jr.

In 2012, Omar Sharif Jr., the actor, media personality and campaigner used his public profile to come out as both gay and half Jewish, through a poignant letter in Advocate magazine. On its own, coming out in his native Egypt takes an immense amount of courage. Homosexuality isn’t specifically outlawed, but there are morality laws in place, carrying a sentence of up to 17 years in prison and, in recent years, the LGBT+ community has been the target of a fierce state-sponsored crackdown. Fearing persecution if he stayed, “Egypt’s favourite son” (as he was often called) was forced to leave Cairo and seek sanctuary in America. It would have been easy to retreat into the safe, relative obscurity his new home offered, but instead he recognized his platform and used it. Last year, he made more history by becoming the first openly gay man to discuss his sexuality on an Arabic news program. Not only was it his first appearance on Arabic TV, it was probably the first time many of those watching would have heard directly from a gay man. READ MORE

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Dorien Bryant - More Than Meets The Eye

Dorien Bryant is mighty fine! Here's some background information about the handsome and openly gay athlete plus his sexy shirtless pics! You're welcome. 😉

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ICYMI - Evan Rachel Wood Receives the HRC Visibility Award (Watch Video)

Earlier this year in February the Human Rights Campaign presented actor Evan Rachel Wood (Westworld) with the HRC Visibility Award at the 2017 HRC North Carolina Gala. She spoke of the importance of being seen & heard and shared powerful remarks about bisexual visibility. It was a beautiful speech! I was so inspired by her story. She spoke her truth and it was incredibly moving.

WATCH VIDEO: Evan Rachel Wood Receives the HRC Visibility Award

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2000 Year-Old Bronze Butt Plugs Prove Ancient Sex Was Lit

Written by Khal

I've always heard that if there's some new technology, the first industry to figure it out will be the porn industry. They've had the digital game on lock from webcams to virtual reality, but based on this treasure trove of dildos and butt plugs dating back to ancient China, it looks like the world has always flourished when it comes to new ways of getting your rocks off. While butt plugs are used more for sexual pleasure these days, the purpose of these jade plugs were a bit unique; they were said to "seal the body and keep in vital essences that can leak out during life and death," according to Fan Zhang, who is curating an exhibit with these finds. Basically, they don't want your chi leaking out in death, so the plug keeps it safely inside of you. READ MORE

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Steve Grand: Arty Sex Symbol

A picture is worth a thousand words, more or less, as I don't know how many times artist John Stofka had to write the words 'Steve Grand' to create this clever and awesome drawing of gay pop-rock singer, Steve Grand. Stofka ‏used a photo from Steve's recent shoot for OutClique Magazine as his inspiration (see below).
There's More To See - CLICK HERE

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Sexy Kevin Has A Message He'd Like To Share...

French male model Kevin needs to be spanked! 

Any volunteers? 

Daddy gets to go first though. 😜

Enjoy the sexy pics!

Carlos Freire: Shirtless Gallery

Brazilian male model Carlos Freire has a strong face and fine physique. 
He's always been one of my favorites. 
Enjoy this picture gallery of the handsome stud muffin.

News and Pop Culture Round-Up

LGBT Influencers Were Honored at the 6th Annual Gentlemen's Ball in Atlanta

LGBT leaders Derek J, Amiyah Scott, Tyra B, Julian Walker, Tarell Mccraney, Coriology, Charles Stephens and more were given their due praise by The Gentlemen’s Foundation at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. There were more events added this year to create a full weekend of mentorship and fellowship, including guest appearances by ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett, Bevy Smith, and more.  Enjoy photos from the arrivals & the main event here.

There's a Wave of Republicans Leaving Congress
Republicans are leaving office at a higher rate than in recent congresses, suggesting Democrats could pick up seats in the 2018 midterm elections. On Thursday it was Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte, the influential chairman of the House judiciary committee. Already, at least 25 Republicans have announced they are retiring, running for another office or resigning outright. They're leaving from all over the map, from southern New Jersey to southern New Mexico. Democrats need to pick up 24 seats to retake the majority from Republicans, who've had control of the House since 2011. READ MORE

Former Foster Mom of Teen Killed By His Own Father For Being Gay Speaks Out
Friends and family are remembering 14-year-old Giovanni Melton who police say was shot and killed by his own father, 53-year-old Wendell Melton. "Giovanni was abused physically and mentally and spiritually for many, many years," said Sonja Jones, Giovanni's former foster mom. Jones says she was told by another family member that part of the argument that led to the deadly shooting was over Giovanni's sexual orientation. Jones says Wendell Melton had problems with it. "He hated the fact that his son was gay," said Jones. "I'm sure that inside of his mind, he would rather have a dead son than a gay son." Jones says Wendell threatened his son before. Friends of Giovanni Melton remember an energetic teenager bringing smiles to everyone he met. READ MORE

Gay Rights Pioneer Ben Dillingham, 72, Dies After Losing Battling With Pancreatic Cancer

Ben Dillingham
Ben Dillingham, a retired Marine who became a political power broker clearing a path for pioneering gay office holders in Southern California, has died at his home in San Diego. He was 72. “He was the lodestar for those of us aspiring to serve in politics,” said state Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), who in 2014 became the first lesbian speaker of the state Assembly. Dillingham became the top aide for San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor after her election in 1986 and soon was “a beacon” to others, according to Christine Kehoe, a City Hall staffer elected to the City Council in 1993, the first acknowledged gay elected official in city history and later a state legislator. “He was a role model,” Kehoe said in a statement. “Ben never lost his Marine bearing, no matter what controversy swept through his office.”Dillingham later became a leader in community organizations dedicated to LGBT rights and to the fight against AIDS, which claimed the lives of three of his partners. “Until we all come out of the closet,” he once said, “it will not be safe for any of us.” READ MORE

Trump Is Racking Up An Appalling Civilian Death Count
In March alone, 1,000 died as a result of needless American wars. We can expect to see increasing numbers of civilian deaths as Trump continues the "war on terror" he inherited from his predecessors. Since Bush launched this war after 9/11, we have become more vulnerable to terrorism. Civilian killings heighten anger toward the United States and lead to stepped-up recruitment of those who would do us harm. READ MORE

LGBTQ Characters On TV Reach a Record High, Still Mostly White Men
GLAAD’s latest TV study found that LGBTQ characters will have a record high visibility this season, but that the majority of those characters are white and male. The “Where We Are On Tv” report counted LGBTQ characters across broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms for the 2017-18 season, and while broader representation has improved, there’s not much diversity within that progression. Among original streaming programs, for instance, GLAAD’s report found that 77% of the LGBTQ characters were white and, per Variety, “all three platforms tracked—broadcast, cable, and streaming originals—were lacking in LGBTQ characters of color.” On primetime broadcasts, women accounted for 43% of regular LGBTQ characters. So in generally-good-but-still-not-there-yet news. READ MORE

Man Beat and Robbed Gay Teenager - Then Posted It On Facebook
An 18-year-old Muskegon man is facing multiple charges in connection to the beating and robbery of a teenager in Muskegon Heights, Michigan. Authorities say Trevon Godbolt stripped and beat the victim during a robbery. The victim was targeted because he is gay, authorities said. Muskegon Heights Police Chief Joseph Thomas Jr. told 24 Hour News 8 the attack on the teen was recorded and posted on Facebook. Police determined from audio of that recording that the victim was beaten because of his sexuality. In the video, the attacker can be heard calling the victim gay and using the N-word and another expletive as he punched the victim. Police said the video was used to identify Godbolt as the suspect. Godbolt was charged with unarmed robbery and unlawful imprisonment. He pleaded not guilty. READ MORE

Emmy Winning Actor Rick Hearst to Guest Star on 'Dynasty'
Actor Rick Hearst announced on social media that he would be guest starring on the 12th episode of The CW's Dynasty. On Twitter, the actor used the hashtag #SenatorDaniels, giving a hint at his character, and later shared a photo of himself in costume from his dressing room. “My most challenging role yet,” he joked. “A conservative Republican.”

LGBTQ Americans Won't Be Counted in 2020 U.S. Census After All
LGBTQ advocacy groups are outraged after proposed questions regarding sexual orientation and gender identity were quickly removed Tuesday from a just-released draft of the 2020 U.S. Census. The U.S. Census Bureau, which is part of the Department of Commerce, is required to issue a list of categories it plans to track three years before the survey is conducted. Tuesday's list showed categories ranging from race and gender to the type of plumbing in homes and the length of a person's daily commute to work. Each category is followed by a table showing the federal agencies that rely on the data to make decisions about law enforcement, health care, equal employment opportunities and more. No previous U.S. Census has ever included LGBTQ Americans, which makes it challenging for federal agencies and researchers to accurately track the size, demographics and needs of the community. In addition, the more detailed American Community Survey also leaves out LGBTQ categories. "If the government doesn’t know how many LGBTQ people live in a community, how can it do its job to ensure we’re getting fair and adequate access to the rights, protections and services we need?" Meghan Maury, Criminal and Economic Justice Project Director at the National LGBTQ Task Force, asked in a statement Tuesday. READ MORE

Legendary Actor Nick Nolte Gets His ‘Walk of Fame’ Star

Nick Nolte
Nick Nolte kept a straight, bearded face while receiving his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The 76-year old “Prince of Tides” star has been in the business over 40 years and been nominated for an Oscar three times throughout his extensive career. His family showed up for the ceremony, and he gave a short speech where he discussed his admiration for the iconic Walk of Fame and the stars it immortalizes.

Teenager Charged After Mural of Pop Singer George Michael Was Defaced, Again
(Newton, Adelaide, South Australia) Police have charged a 16-year-old boy with graffiti after a controversial mural in Newtown was defaced with homophobic messages and crucifixes in yellow paint. A painting of George Michael and another of Tony Abbott and cardinal George Pell have been defaced several times in the past week, first being painted over and then amended with messages written over the top. Police say a group of young men were spotted graffitiing the murals yesterday afternoon and one was arrested when he was caught by police defacing the George Michael mural on Bray Street in Erskineville. The new graffiti shows crucifixes and homophobic messages in yellow spray paint on both of the murals. READ MORE

Skull Found in China Could Re-write 'Out of Africa' Theory of Human Evolution
A skull found in China could re-write our entire understanding of human evolution. That's according to scientists who have examined the important, ancient head and say that it proves the existing theory of how humans came to be is wrong. Most anthropologists believe that our species came about in Africa around 200,000 years ago – and that one group left around 80,000 years later before spreading across the world. But instead of humans purely coming out of Africa, the new research suggests that important characteristics of humans actually developed in east Asia. READ MORE

How 70's Teen Idol David Cassidy Outed Me
I was an ecstatic 12 year old when I picked up a Tiger Beat magazine in 1973 and read David Cassidy’s concert schedule. He was set to perform in Nashville. I ran screaming out of my bedroom, down the stairs to the kitchen where my mother was throwing Swanson’s frozen dinners in the oven and demanded to go to his concert. For weeks, I was reading every teen and pop magazine, scouring them for private details about David’s life…for any evidence that he was queer like me. I ripped every David Cassidy centerfold out of those magazines and meticulously arranged them on the wall behind my bed, a pyramid gallery of David worship in preparation for the big event. READ MORE

Former OK State Sen. Ralph Shortey Agrees To Plea Deal For Child Sex Trafficking
Former Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey, who was the Oklahoma state chair for Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, has agreed to a guilty plea of child sex trafficking after being caught offering to pay a 17-year-old boy for sexual “stuff” last March. Shortey, who was infamous for introducing strange legislation like banning human fetuses in food products (that happens?) has been married to his high school sweetheart since 2002.  READ MORE

ICYMI - It’s The First Gay Kiss in ‘Star Trek’ History, Y’all!
The latest incarnation of the Star Trek franchise features the first two canonical gay characters in Trek history (about damn time too!), Paul and Hugh, played by Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz. Rapp may get a bit more screen time as the ship’s engineer. But Cruz, as the ship’s doctor, gives the series an extra dose of sincerity. Oh, and the two are a happy couple! READ MORE

 MORE News and Pop Culture Round-Up

Out Musician Zeke Thomas Shares Why He Waited To Tell Anyone About Being Sexually Assaulted

Written by Jeffrey Masters

Zeke Thomas
Amid the growing onslaught of allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and other prominent figures, one thing is certain: there isn't a right or wrong way to respond after experiencing sexual assault. We also know that it's something that affects people across all demographics. Zeke Thomas, musician, DJ, and son of NBA great, Isaiah Thomas, knows this firsthand. In our conversation, he discussed how prevalent sexual assault is in the gay community, why he waited so long to tell anyone after his own experience, and why we need to stop shaming people who use Grindr.

Jeffrey Masters: Intellectually, I know that sexual assault and violence affects everybody — all types of people, all demographics — and yet it's still surprising to see someone like you talk about it.

Zeke Thomas: It definitely affects all groups of people, social demographics, races, creeds, everything. Being the first gay male to talk about it, and specifically as it relates to our community is something that I've taken on. I talked to Ebro on Hot 97. He's like 6'4" and big and he goes, "If that would have happened to me, I would have fucked them up." But that can't happen when you're drugged.

Jeffrey Masters: And this affects one in six men.

Zeke Thomas: One in six men have been sexually assaulted in their life. Literally, it's all around you at all times. It's something that men don't like to talk about. I may look like an athlete, but it's something that all types of men deal with. No matter your size or shape, you don't know that moment when you literally just have your whole essence taken away from you.

Jeffrey Masters: That's why it's likely under-reported, right?

Zeke Thomas: Definitely. A lot of people get ashamed. Mine was more so fear of media attention. I can remember growing up in a celebrity household and when I would get arrested for underage drinking, that would be a story. Myself being raped would have been a story, and I definitely regret not reporting it because many people don't have the opportunity to face their accuser.

Jeffrey Masters: How long was it before you told somebody?

Zeke Thomas: Before I told somebody, it was months. It was months. I told people in passing when I was high or drunk, but it wasn't a setting where it was believable, so to speak. When somebody says something powerful like that, you shouldn't take it lightly. You shouldn't take it as a joke, but we all do these things in joking matters. Many survivors have said to me, "I said it and then quickly backed away from it, and then nobody really followed up on it." It was that person who said, "I believe you," and did some investigating that really turned my life around.


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