Monday, 14 January 2013


Every year brings new dimensions that enable us to see things within a kinder light, and with more perceptiveness. New Years are a gateway to what the future holds and to greater understanding as the story unfolds. With 2013 ahead- I've decided to take a hiatus from The Righteous Gay and my blogging in hopes that I may reconnect on a greater level with my story as it unfolds.

Looking back on 2012, I am left smiling in awe. Having come out on the 1st day of 2012, the entire year was a journey for myself and I was capable of sharing some of these experiences with you and all the viewers. When I came out, I never expected to start blogging and in turn help so many people. Blogging has been such a gratifying and self-therapeutic experience, and I have come to learn a lot about the gay community as well as about myself. I've come to find that even though the community has its many down-sides, it also has its many up-sides and that it's inevitably what you make of it. (A change in your perspective could be the difference between an ending and a new beginning.)

What I've learned about myself is that I can make a difference, as can you. You and I were both born into this world, and some day we will both leave it. How we fill our time here on earth may differ, but neither of us is more worthy of living than the other. The Righteous Gay became my platform/ my persona that ultimately helped me become more comfortable with my sexuality and allowed me to explore my dreams and hopes for the future, so it is with a heavy heart that I type this post, for it will be last for some time. But before I do take this break- I wanted to leave you all with this final message: 

Being gay is not the end of the world. It's not. You don't have to fit a stereotype if it's untrue to your being but you needn't feel ashamed if you do. Your sexuality, just as your color, creed and age doesn't make you a lesser human and it should never define you. (All these things will never detract from who you are as a person unless you let them.) Remember to never use your sexuality as an excuse or as a crutch and to never become a victim of others' misconceptions. Your sexuality should be a form of empowerment. But most importantly, remember it's not that serious. So you like someone of the same sex? So does every 1 in 10 people.  
Final Thought:
It may not seem thought provoking or inspirational- but my message is simple. It's clear. My greatest hope is that I may return to blogging at a later stage with a greater understanding, but before I get there- I must experience more. I wish you all the best as your story unfolds and thank you all for your kind words, support and love.

Gregory, The Righteous Gay

Monday, 3 December 2012

Homosexuality Unnatural?

So I've decided to address the "Homosexuality Is Unnatural" fallacy, yes- fallacy, in today's post. To support my argument, I am going to share with you a few stories and studies that help prove that homosexuality is in fact natural, and that no one should ever feel ashamed or unnatural for being true to their own being.

Usually, opponents would argue that homosexuality cannot be natural because only humans display homosexual "tendencies" and because homosexual couples cannot bear children. In fact, many homosexual people themselves find it even more difficult to accept their sexuality because they are influenced by this societal misconception- so today I want to set the record straight: HOMOSEXUALITY IS NATURAL.

Animals: It has been noted that close to 1500 species of animals display homosexual behavior. This behavior has been recorded in all types of animals, ranging from dolphins to worms. Within certain species this behavior can be temporary, whilst others practice same-sex behavior throughout their whole lives, such as dwarf chimpanzee. Male lions often partake in homosexual sex to strengthen the bond within their pride. Within a colony of Black-Headed Gulls, an estimated one-tenth of all pairs are lesbian. A study of the Bonobo, an African ape, suggests that 75% of sex is non-reproductive (between two same sexed apes). And the list goes on; Giraffes, Elephants, Spotted hyenas, Bottlenose dolphins, Black swans, Flamingos, American Bison, Dragonflies and many more!

Two Male Giraffes in Kenya
Black Swans

In some species, specifically within the bird kingdom, pairing between two males or females have been well documented. Homosexual behavior in penguins have been observed as early as 1911, the findings, which were considered too shocking for release at the time, were only released a century later and only published recently in June 2012.  In 2004 the New York Times reported a story of two Chinstrap Penguins, Roy and Silo, in New York's Central Park Zoo that hatched and raised a chick named Tango. Staff noted that the pair performed mating rituals as far back as in 1998, and after an attempt to hatch a rock in 1999, it was decided that they would allow Roy and Silo the opportunity to hatch an unsuccessfully looked after egg from another pair. In 1998 two male Griffon Vultures, named Dashik and Yehuda, built a nest together and took turns incubating an artificial egg, after 45 days, the zoo replaced the egg with a baby vulture which the two father vultures raised successfully in the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo in Israel.  

A Kid's book created about Roy and Silo

Whilst it's evident that gay couples, whether human or not, are perfectly capable of raising young, many still claim that our inability to produce offspring makes us unnatural. However there are many heterosexual couples with similar circumstances. Infertility. Infertility, also known as sterility, is the state of being unable to produce offspring (in woman it is the inability to conceive, and men the inability to impregnate). According to the Oxford Journals, 72.4 million woman are infertile. This means that there are thousands of heterosexual couples that are unable to have children due to infertility issues. This would then classify these heterosexual couples as unnatural too- which would then dismiss the theory of ONLY homosexual's being unnatural. Despite the couples who are infertile- there are also many heterosexual couples who never have children -by choice. Whether it be a conscious decision or an impairment- it is evident that not bearing children cannot be a valid indicator of whether something is natural or not. Regardless whether you are infertile, straight or gay- there are various methods that allow people the opportunity to raise children anyways, these methods include adoption and surrogacy.

Final Thought:
Having researched all the above information it became apparent to me that we as humans take sexuality far too serious. We are so quick to divide ourselves, and categorize one another- that we tend to look beyond the basics. Homosexuality is natural, just as bisexuality and heterosexuality is. Within these many animal species- there is no taxonomy. They are not excluded from the herd or picked on by other animals when they display homosexual behavior- and one of the reasons for this is because within their species homosexual behavior is not seen as a weakness, nor as an unfavorable trait/characteristic... It's just natural. And that's an important derivation that we ALL can make just by looking at nature, that being true to oneself is NEVER unnatural!

Check out this weeks Video of the Week here about this posts topic:


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Support Systems: Our Cornerstone

I once read that we are all the product of the love we receive. Such a profound statement.

Having come out on the 1st of January, I have constantly found myself comparing this year to the last, and without a doubt this has been the happiest I've ever been in my life. But what has changed? Apart from having the people in my life know that I am gay, my year has been relatively similar to the last. Earlier this year I found myself sifting through friends (as horrible as it may sound) deciding which I felt belonged, and I wanted, in my life. The process was long overdue. Having gone through high school I became so inclined to labeling acquaintances as friends, and mistook them as friendships which was ultimately more detrimental for myself. Luckily, I had come to realize this sooner than later, and slowly I have begun to decipher which friends are truly my FRIENDS.  

Through out this year I have been fortunate enough to meet gays from all walks of life. I have heard them tell their stories and I have listened, processed and begun to understand what makes the gay community so unique; our support systems. Just as each and everyone one of us is unique, so is our form of support. I like to refer to our support systems as our Cornerstone. For those of you that do not know; a Cornerstone is an important feature/quality on which a particular thing depends or is based. In this instance, you are the "particular thing" and your support system are those "important feature's" on which you depend.
This is a Cornerstone

I've come to realize that not everyone has been as fortunate as I, and nor will many people be as lucky. My family responded to my sexuality as any family SHOULD- with love and support, but not everyone's story is as sweet. I cannot sugar coat a story of a gay man loosing the love and support of his family- because there is nothing sweet about it- but I can tell you that there are other people who've made it against far greater odds. This is what brings me to today's post.

I've constantly spoke of how vital it is to remain positive throughout your darkest moments because there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a future for you. Sometimes all we need is someone to remind us about that light, someone to comfort us- someone to be our Cornerstone. That someone can be anyone. It can be a nurturing mother, a caring friend, an insightful teacher or even a helpful stranger. We build our own support systems to cater to our loads. We essentially have the ability to create a system strong enough to withstand the greatest loads, all we have to do is look in the right places. Many find support in their family and friends, but some are forced to find other means of support when their initial cornerstones no longer deem fit.

That's where the gay community comes in. Many are quick to dismiss the acceptance of the gay community, but seldom are we exposed to the supportive side that the gay community does have to offer. As body conscious and shallow as some gay men may be, there is one thing that unites the whole community and that is the struggle (whether internal or external) that we all endure. Through my interaction with other gays I have been welcomed with open arms, and I have been supported. I have come to realize that we as a community are the best suited to play one another's support because we have all endured similar conflicts. We are better adapted to be one another's Cornerstone. It is this exact reason that I suggest everyone reading this post reaches out as opposed to waits for help. Sometimes the strongest form of support is not one that shifts the load, but shares it.

 Final Thought:
Your support system are the people who help you realize that you're perfect the way you are, and you deserve to be loved. Not everyone is fortunate to still have their family on their side, but one thing I can promise is that you will find just as much love and support by the friends you make on your journey. Remember: "The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist."- Laurence Leamer.

If any of you want help/advice or even someone to talk to- email me:

"I wondered why somebody didn't do something.  Then I realized, I am somebody."  ~Author Unknown

I'd also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the people of America on Barack Obama's reinstatement  and for the same-sex marriage results in Maine, Minnesota and Maine- one more step to true equality!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Spirit Day: Looking Back & My Regret

In light of tomorrow being Spirit Day- I thought I'd take the opportunity to create a post for all the youth out there. The title of this post may seem misleading but should you keep reading it will all be put into perspective for you. 

Firstly, what is Spirit Day ? Spirit Day is day when people wear purple in support of LGBT youth who are victims of bullying, the day takes place annually on October 19th. Started in 2010 by a Canadian student- Brittany McMillan, Spirit Day has since become known internationally thanks to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The name of this day originates from the purple stripe of the Rainbow Flag (also known as the Gay Flag) which is said to represent "spirit" according to the creator of the flag- Gilbert Baker.

On a day such as Spirit Day- it is likely that one would share their stories of how they overcame bullying, and how it has made them a stronger person. Unfortunately, I am incapable of doing so. The reason I say "unfortunately" is because I was on the opposite end of the spectrum. Having attended an all boys school- I learned to reassert my "straightness" by verbally degrading homosexuals and what it meant to be gay. I would be lying if I told you that no one was offended or harmed by my immaturity and insensitivity, and for this- I carry a great amount of shame and regret. My actions were a result of my internalized fear of being who I am and although this does not justify my actions, it is what has led me to this weeks message:

Only the weak result to bullying, but the STRONG overcome it...

Should you find yourself the victim of bullying now or anytime in the future I want you to remember one thing: You're not alone. Despite their being millions of other victims who now stand taller and prouder than ever, there are also people (such as myself) that have come to realize that we were wrong- and that most of our actions were consequence of some internal obstacles we had yet to overcome (whether it was issues at home or within ourselves). More importantly- I want you to know that some of the world's most influential figures withstood hate and bullying too, and they're no different from you. 

On Spirit Day I will be wearing a purple ribbon in support of all the victims out there and hopefully I will be creating awareness. My greatest hope is that I get to bump into one of MY victims, someone who had endured MY hate, and for me to be allowed the opportunity to ask for forgiveness and show MY SUPPORT. And I am not alone, apart from the numerous celebrities that will be wearing purple, there are also various organizations such as The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation , You Can Play Project ,  It Gets Better"I Choose" Anti-Bullying Campaign and The Born This Way Foundation that will be out in full force combating bullying. Why don't you join us and show your support?!
Colin Farrell Stands Up AGAINST Bullying

For the first time ever, I will not be putting a Final Thought to my post, the reason being because I have yet to make my mind up. I will however be leaving a comment at a later stage- telling you how my day went and what the day meant to me. I wish you all a bully-free, happy Spirit Day and leave you with this video by Todrick Hall called It Gets Better. Check it out:

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

National Coming Out Day 2012

Hey everyone! Happy National Coming Out Day!

Today I thought I'd create a short post just to reiterate the importance of days such as National Coming Out Day- which is celebrated on the 11th of October. I have shared My Coming Out Story, and I have before mentioned sites such as RucomingOut where you can read others' stories. There is so much one can learn from others experiences and it allows for greater understanding and also displays various approaches from which you might learn a thing or two...

On a day like this, one is reminded of the stature of the LGBT community. There are millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender citizens around this world that will be celebrating their COMING OUT and being who they are. Essentially National Coming Out Day can be seen as a day to celebrate your sexuality and being true to yourself. National Coming Out Day(NCOD) was founded in 1988 by a psychologist Robert Eichberg in New Mexico. The date was chosen as it was the anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. After two years, in 1990, the day was already being celebrated in all 50 states of America and several other countries. Fast forward 24 years and it's a world wide event!

I recall this day last year: It was around this time that I had decided I wanted to come out, and I was just itching to shout out, "I'm GAY!". Fortunately, it never turned out that way and I took a more realistic approach to coming out, doing so only 3 months later. I feel it is important to remind you that you needn't come out on a day such as today if you feel uncomfortable with it. If today is not the day- then don't come out, rather just be thankful you are on this journey. However, being closeted should not inhibit you from celebrating on day such as today... Today is a celebration for surviving the name calling, the malicious remarks and all the hate you've endured. If you made it to today- you will make it through Coming Out.

Although today is a day of celebration, one should be reminded of the impact Coming Out has had on so many in the past. I ask that amidst the celebrations, you take a moment and remember all those who aren't as fortunate to be around celebrating a day such as today because of their circumstances. Also, take this opportunity to congratulate those who are open, as well as to educate others about NCOD.

Final Thought:
Today should be seen as a LGBT holiday! Whether open or closeted, today is a celebration of your sexuality and being true to yourself. Today marks the day when you look back and are reminded that it took a fighter to get where you stand today, and that same fighter will make it through tomorrow and the days, months and years that follow... (I have two videos to share: Diana Ross' I'm Coming Out and a video made for NCOD 2012) HAVE A GREAT NATIONAL COMING OUT DAY!!

National Coming Out Day 2012

A beautiful gay video of Diana Ross' -I'm Coming Out

Sunday, 30 September 2012

5 Steps To Coming Out

Now I know this post is probably going to turn heads simply because everyone's experiences are not exactly one in the same. Therefore I will put this disclaimer above:

Disclaimer: These steps, below mentioned, are of personal opinion. (I speak from personal experience- therefore it is advisable you take into consideration your own situation before applying these steps to your own.)

I have always maintained that coming out is an extremely personal experience, and no one should be forced to do so prior to the time they feel necessary. The issue should be addressed whenever YOU feel it need be. Having mentioned all the above, I have thought up 5 steps to help guide all those still closeted. It's important to bare in mind that these steps could take up anything from one month to 5 years...Ultimately you set the pace- and it should be one you're comfortable with.

I've said it before in My Coming Out Story : accepting yourself for who you are is pivotal. One needs to feel comfortable within their own skin before they can approach a situation like this. I believe what one should do is strip down what it means to be gay, layer by layer. Redefine the term "homosexual". Everyone is a victim to societal pressure- which has ultimately resulted in us having a preconceived idea of what it means to be homosexual. Throw that image away and reconstruct one from research and personal experience. To do so one can visit sites/blogs that display different sides of homosexuals that one is not exposed to on a regular basis. View the dynamics of a gay family on Gay Family Values or watch how openly gay athletes embrace their sexuality on the FEARLESS Project. Alternatively, one could speak to openly gay people about their experiences, exposure to successful homosexuals will allow you to realize your potential is never affected by your sexuality. Essentially you should become more comfortable with the term 'homosexual' and be able to associate/identify with it, without feeling ashamed or saddened.

This step goes hand in hand with the first. As you begin to come to terms with your sexuality it is vital you educate yourself for your own benefit as well as others'. This step is of importance because once you have come out, friends and family will turn to you with questions regarding this new information. Prepare yourself in advance by learning about homosexuality and it's relevance in your community. What does one educate themselves about? About the fundamental issues that relate to being gay, these include:
  • Your Rights. (Is it legal to identify as gay within your country/community, Can you marry, What are your rights within the working place, Are you legally allowed to adopt) All these questions should be contemplated prior to the time. 
  •  Health Issues. (Sexually Transmitted Diseases are, unfortunately, synonymous with the gay community- learn about them and prevention techniques/methods as well as possible post exposure treatments- such as P.E.P's. There are also many gay sport clubs within certain communities, as well as sites like Outsports and chat sites such as RealJock- which cater to gay men who show interests in sports and gym).  
  •  Benefits. (Contradictory to popular belief there are benefits to being openly gay. These vary from country to country. Competitions such as Mr Gay World are open to only gay contestants, also certain colleges/foundations offer bursaries and scholarships to openly gay students such as The Harvey Milk Scholarship. Apart from this, there are many businesses owned by gays that offer special prices to gay clients as well as support fellow gay owned/ gay-friendly businesses- it's a form of self sustainability) 
  • Other Aspects. Any other personal aspects that could be affected should also be researched. Perhaps it may relate to security or lifestyle changes, or even regarding relationships and sex life- which ever it may be, make sure it's not left out!
I've placed this step alone to highlight the importance of it. Ask QUESTIONS!! It's always great to speak to people who have had first hand experience, and to ask any possible questions you might have. Fortunately there are search engines which allow you to ask questions in the safety of your own home. Yahoo! Answers is a forum that allows people to post questions anonymously which can then be answered by random yet relevant people. (There are many other similar forums too). Alternatively, one could also email someone, such as myself or other bloggers/social figures, with their questions- these people needn't even be in the same country! By asking questions one can ensure more comfort and enlightenment in coming out, ultimately this an opportunity to reassure yourself about the future and what to expect.

Preparing to come out is a step neglected by many. When considering when to come out, one should consider as many aspects as possible, some of these aspects include:

  • When You Will Come Out. The date is of great importance, it is one aspect that could aid you in coming out. Remember: The day should be of slight importance to you and preferably not important to the family/people you are telling (I.e - Not Mom or Dad's birthday or a religious holiday if your family is religious). A neutral day is probably most suitable. NOTE: You MUST feel comfortable with the date, it should be done when you are READY!
  • Where You Will Come Out. Another aspect that you can play to your advantage is where you choose to tell your family/friends. By deciding on a place prior to the event, you are ultimately contemplating a place for everyone to digest the information you will be telling them. It's probably best to tell people in a more intimate environment if it's the first time. Remember: Social/Busy environments make it difficult for people to genuinely react, it also makes a situation more stressful, however for some these situations might be significantly better. You decide which is best because you know them best. 
  • How You Will Come Out. Probably the most contemplated aspect of Coming Out is How it'll be done. Practice what you will say before hand, to best prepare yourself. Remember: You want to come across sincere yet certain. Ultimately, you want to express that this is not a decision, but simply you pursuing a more authentic life, a life of fulfillment. You also want to reassure your family/friends that your intentions are not to break away, but to allow them a greater understanding of yourself. NOTE: You should expect the worst reactions, but hope for the best. This is a personal issue, do not deviate from the point: You are gay, and you want them to know this because they are of importance to you. It's advisable to let them know that you are here for any possible questions that may arise and that you want to help rather than rebel. Keep it as serious as possible and reassert your sureness, NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR BEING GAY!  
  • The Small Details. You want to be as prepared as possible for this day so don't overlook the small things. This is usually an emotional situation, one in-which you want to feel as comfortable as possible, so slip on your most comfortable clothes and favorite pair of shoes. Perhaps you could cook a meal, to reassure your commitment to the family. People are usually more susceptible when you've taken them into consideration, so you're more likely to have them respond positively if you've shown effort. Remember: The atmosphere plays on people's emotions too- make the atmosphere as comfortable as possible for both yourself and the recipients. 
  • THE BACKUP PLAN. Now you've prepared for the worst. In the case that your family/friends do not respond well- you want a plan to retire to. This could be a place to stay should your parents want you out the house or it could be a fellow LGBT member who has agreed to help you out. Remember: You have to take into consideration what you parents reaction could be, ESPECIALLY if you're solely dependent on them financially. Your backup plan doesn't necessarily have to be permanent, it just has to be reliable. 
As appealing as it may sound, in many instances it backfires. People may suggest that your boyfriend/girlfriend has influenced you into being gay (as pathetic and impossible as that sounds), they also may shift the blame/hate/anger onto him/her. Therefore, I would suggest you rather tell them without having your boyfriend/girlfriend present, this doesn't mean they cannot be around to console, comfort and reassure you at a later stage.

The last step of the process, and usually the toughest. Basically you have prepared to the fullest for this, provided you've followed the above steps and that you are certain this is the right time. Remember: There is only so much you can prepare for the unexpected. Coming Out is a turn out of events, a turn out that cannot be precisely predicted. (Hence why one would prepare for the worst). When those words are uttered, the world doesn't change, life doesn't become eccentric and other gay people don't come running in to kiss you- this is simply because sexuality does not define you, nor does it change the world. You may feel relieved or angry, just bare in mind that the emotions are temporary, and as time passes you will become happier with your decision. This is a personal experience that you are sharing with your loved ones, that does not mean they should prevent you from living your life. NOTE: That does not mean rush into things- that will only result in regret. Take things at your own pace, and remember IT GETS BETTER!!

Lastly, I have a brief summary of things you shouldn't do when coming out:
5 things not to do when coming out:
  • NEVER OUT SOMEONE ELSE. Regardless whether you've had the opportunity to come to terms or not, you should never "out" someone else without their consent. Coming Out should be kept personal, so there's no need to mention other closeted gay people. 
  • Do not belittle other gays, such as stereotypes, when you've come out. By saying you're not like other gays you are simply distracting/deviating from the issue at hand, and it's counterproductive if it's acceptance you seek. Besides, you may even befriend those exact stereotypes later in life (gay men can be so funny!). So be accepting!
  • Don't give GAY a negative connotation! When you've just come out you should rather expose your family/friends to the positive aspects as opposed to the negative aspects. You don't want them to associate GAY with being shameful. I'm not implying you should exclude them from the reality of being homosexual- I'm implying you should rather tell them which doors have opened rather than which have closed (because few have closed and more have opened). 
  • Don't expect everyone to accept it from the get-go. It will take time for people to come to terms with this. It has taken time for you to accept this- so allow them time and space to do the same. Also DO NOT give up hope, the most homophobic of people have changed in history. 
  • As mentioned above, NEVER APOLOGIZE FOR BEING GAY. This is not a decision, nor is it something to be ashamed or apologetic for, be proud of it!

Final Thought:
Read about others coming out stories, educate yourself and open yourself up to a more accepting society. Remember, if it's acceptance you seek, you have to learn to accept first. Being gay is a small game changer, your on a different team but the fields are the same, and so are the rules. Just remember- this is about you, and you set the pace. Nothing should prevent you from living your life genuinely. Being gay doesn't define who you are- but it definitely makes you a stronger person. Now go out there and live your life the way your heart always intended to!


(All links have been provided within the passage)

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

That's so GAY!

We've all heard it before. In all honesty, I am guilty of having used the phrase myself, and for this I am ashamed. Having attended an all boy school- colloquial phrases such as, "That's so gay", became a way of reasserting your "straightness". Or so I thought. Regardless whether the phrase is spoken in jest or with malicious intent, the phrase NEEDS TO STOP BEING SAID! Admittedly, this is not easy to achieve, so in response I have found a way to combat the affects one might feel when a phrase such as this one is said...

What if I told you That's So Gay could be considered a phrase of endearment? I'm not suggesting the community should adopt the phrase as some form of catch phrase, but we could change our perspective on the phrase itself. It's almost like Positive Negativity which I spoke of months back, just put into practice...

Before we begin, let me address/express my views on the phrase: That's So Gay. "That's So Gay" is a poorly coined phrase that I believe, indicates idiocy and the inability to articulate oneself (when using the phrase). Put more simply: It's So LAME. If I could have my way, the phrase would be wiped from this planet and using such a term would result in imprisonment... That's how opposed I am to it being said. I was once as naive as to believe that the term wouldn't harm others and I would only use the phrase in jest, however that was just my way of justifying the use of the phrase. Ultimately by disregarding/neglecting the situation, you make things worse. Fortunately, my perspective changed- and I now oppose the usage of the phrase. But can I change the worlds perspective?
Changing the world's perpective will be a difficult task. I feel that first hand experience would better affect individuals rather than typing a post and hoping the world will read it... Basically; I'm going to have change perceptions through interaction with other people, and so should you. But that is not what today's post is about... 

Today I'm going to be showing you how to counter the hurtfulness this phrase has with some facts that definitely make being gay- the BEST thing ever! It's inevitable that at some point we'll hear the phrase That's So Gay being said in an attempt to devalue or defame something or someone. The term is usually said with a negative connotation, but it should not mean that to you. Gay connotes/implies homosexual (ie attracted to the same gender), but if we're looking beyond it's definitive meaning- being gay can imply greater things too. For example:

  •  Apple Inc. (Makers of the Iphone, Ipod etc) are the largest publicly traded corporation in the world by market capitalization. Not only does the company openly support LGBT rights, but the CEO - Tim Cook, happens to be gay himself. He also is the world's highest paid CEO of 2012. That's So Gay: Being the WORLD'S highest paid CEO of the WORLD'S largest publicly traded corporation...

  • Pink Money. This is the term that refers to the purchasing power of the gay community. In 1998 the Worldwide value of pink money was $550 Billion. In 2012, for America alone, the purchasing power is expected to increase to $790 Billion. (In the US gay people are, on average, economically advantaged with 28% of gay households reported to have an income of + $50 000 annually). That's So Gay: Belonging to a community that has so much financial power that companies cater to their needs in order to secure their support...

  •  What would this post be without our straight allies? To name a few of the famous and straight celebrities on our side: Brad Pitt (actor), Pink (singer), Drew Barrymore (actress), Madonna (singer), Oprah Winfrey (talk show host), Steven Spielberg (film director), Ben Cohen (rugby player), Adam Levine (singer) and many more. Literally: Anne Hathaway, Colin Farrell, David Pocock (rugby player), Chris Kluwe (Footballer), Beyonce, JayZ, Josh Hutcherson, Jennifer Aniston, Cyndi Lauper, Hillary Duff, Rosario Dawson, Clint Eastwood, Charles Barkley, Kate Winslet, Sean Avery (hockey player), Daniel Radcliffe, Julianne Moore, Miley Cyrus, Sean Penn, Russel Simmons, Natalie Portman, George Clooney, Hudson Taylor (wrestler), Angelina Jolie, Kelly and Sharon Osbourne, Barbra Streisand, Justin Bieber, Joan Rivers, Desmond Tutu and Barack Obama. That's So Gay: Having most of Hollywood and a president support your rights (and your right to marry)...

  • Lastly: The Successful Gay People of today's society. Matthew Mitcham (Olympic gold medalist), Ellen Degeneres (Famous Talk show host), Marc Jacobs (fashion designer), Anderson Cooper (News anchor), Wanda Sykes (comedian), Perez Hilton (blogger), Gareth Thomas (rugby player) and Elton John (Famous singer) are all iconic in their fields of work, and in the LGBT community. That's So Gay: Becoming successful in your field of work, and leaving a legacy behind you...

All of these points essentially show how much we are at an advantage by being apart of the gay community...That's So Gay!

Final Thought:
Looking above, it makes it difficult to believe that the phrase could ever be used in a negative sense. Next time you hear someone make this offensive remark- pause, and remember: Being gay is NEVER a bad thing. Revise one of the points above mentioned, and recite it to yourself every time someone makes the remark That's So Gay. It's about time we associate being gay with being advantaged. More importantly: if you're still in school and phrases like these are thrown around regularly: just remember that most of these people are inexperienced and uneducated about the gay community. People's perceptions are likely to change once they mature, I know mine did.  

(click her name to see her blog)

(To Find the references used simply click the links provided in the points)

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Oscar Pistorius: The Golden Boy

80 000 cheers makes it impossible to deny that Oscar Pistorius, the South African blade runner, has grown to become a household name and a Paralympic ambassador - but is he more than just an advocate for the handicapped?

With the recent Paralympic Games being held in London - I have been captivated by all these inspiring athletes and their incredible stories, but none more so than Oscar Pistorius. Oscar Pistorius was born November 22, 1986 without a fibula in each of his legs. It was decided that Oscar's legs would be amputated below the knees before he learnt to walk- as this would allow greater receptivity in mobility later on in life, and evidently prove to be his strength rather than his weakness. Oscar initially played rugby, water polo and tennis in Pretoria Boys High School (the highschool I too attended), and it was only after a rugby injury that Oscar began running, for rehabilitation. The rest is, as they say, history... Currently Oscar holds the world record for the T44 400m, and also the T44 4x100m along with his fellow team mates. Oscar is also the ONLY double leg amputee EVER to compete on the Olympic track and make the Olympic final.

So how does this incredible athlete relate to being gay?

After watching the Paralympic games one evening I realized that being handicapped can be likened to being homosexual in many ways. (KEEP READING!) Not only are both handicapped people and homosexuals treated as second hand citizens, but we both have an internal obstacle to overcome. Just as Oscar, and many other disabled athletes had to overcome their impairments, we as homosexuals have to overcome our internalized fear of being who we are. In no way am I trivializing being either handicapped or homosexual - I am just comparing the struggles we both endure, just as our struggles have been compared to many other civil rights movements. This leads me to the relevance of Oscar Pistorius and his story on a blog intending to help gay youth come to terms with their sexuality. Oscar was born without a fibula in each leg and yet it hasn't prevented him from running, let alone walking. Being a double leg amputee, it would go without saying that Oscar has had a great amount of obstacles to overcome, not only physically but mentally too. Yet, here he stands, a handicapped athlete, challenging able bodied athletes at the sport.

Oscar at 2012 Olympic Games

So we're born gay, just as Oscar was born without fibulae, and here we stand confronted with this huge life obstacle we call sexuality, which in many ways scares us just as much as a physical defect. What do we do? We do what Oscar Pistorius has done, we make our weakness our strength. Oscar may be an advocate for The Paralympics, but he represents something far greater! Oscar represents the outcome of dedication, appreciation and passion, all things we as homosexuals need to adopt. Dedicate yourself to making your environment an LGBT friendlier one. Appreciate who you are, and this life you've been given- do so by making the most of every moment. Lastly, what ever you do- do so with passion. Passion is what drives you to obtain the unobtainable and achieve the impossible. Passion will guide you to what you heart desires.

Final Thought:
Regardless whether you agree that homosexuality and being handicapped are similar or not, you cannot deny that Oscar Pistorius has made the most of what he has. You are in no way different to Oscar, and there is nothing you cannot achieve. Oscar looked beyond the ability to walk- just as you should look beyond the obstacle of coming out. Dream big. Dream of an accepting world, living with the person you love and being authentic to yourself. If you can dream it, it's yours for the taking!

Oscar will be running his final race this evening in The London Paralympic games. I wish him all the best in the 400m race. He has definitely reshaped the way I see handicapped people, as well as myself!  

I'd like to show people that if you put the hard work in and you believe in yourself, then you can do whatever you want to. - OSCAR PISTORIUS

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Support At The VMA's

Tomorrow is the MTV Video Music Awards, so I thought I'd take the opportunity to share with you some artists that are worth reading about.

Music has been the one constant in my life. We all relate to music in different ways, and regardless whether it's rock, electronic or classical, music has been there for us through out time. Music tells a story and sometimes it just uplifts one's spirit. I know that many of you out there feel as though music may have saved your life, and I think to a certain degree we've all been just as moved. A combination of music and emotion.

Personally, I take more interest in an artist when they're more than just a famous figure with a great voice. When an artist shares their own vulnerability, their pain or even when they show their support- it allows me to greater connect. Today I will be sharing some artists that I feel are prevalent in the support of gay rights.

Although many people would suggest that artists who support human rights do so strategically to obtain more exposure/publicity (and ultimately a bigger fan base), they are also loosing a percentage of support by supporting gay rights. The reason I believe so many artists still show their support for the LGBT community is because it's the right thing to do. When you relate to music- you connect with an artist, and when you know that the artist supports you as a whole, it makes that connection so much more authentic.

Recently, some rather large names have been showing their true colors in support. Both Kanye West and JayZ spoke up for marriage equality when they backed Barack Obama in his announcement of support earlier this year. 50 Cent showed his support in a recent interview when talking about rapper Frank Ocean's sudden coming out. Adam Levine and Madonna (who both have a gay brother) are constantly standing up for the community as are divas; Cher, Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga, Cindy Lauper, Alanis Morissette, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Christina Aguilera. The support is endless, Lily Allen sings it in her song Fuck You, and Carly Rae Jepsen shows it in the recent hit, Call Me Maybe, music video . And if that wasn't enough, pop icons Miley Cyrus and Pink also share their support for the community too; with Miley getting inked in support of marriage equality and Pink having a gay wedding in her Raise Your Glass music video.

Miley's Marriage Equality Tattoo
Adam Levine and his brother Michael

Recently openly gay rapper Frank Ocean

Here I sit in the unfortunate position of not being able to share all these artists stories of support with you, simply because there is far too many. With some of the biggest names in the music industry mentioned it's hard to believe we still need support. And that's just the straight allies (as I like to call them). Lady Gaga, Sam Sparro, Ricky Martin, Elton John, Tracy Chapman, Mika, Adam Lambert, George Michael, Frank Ocean, Chris Willis, Michael Stipe (Lead singer of R.E.M), Kere Okereke (Lead singer of Bloc Party), Will Young, Lance Bass, Boy George, Freddy Mercury and all the boys of the group The Scissor Sisters are just some gay, lesbian and bisexual artists to date.When I look at this list I can't help but notice how many of these artists are SO INCREDIBLE at what they do and respectfully so.
Singer/Song-writer Sam Sparro

Bloc Party lead singer Kere Okereke

Final Thought:
After reading this star-filled blog post I want you to be left feeling in awe. Awe, because of the star power that backs the gay community and most importantly you. None of these artists are defined by their sexuality- and neither should you be. Their music, from which we gain pleasure and fulfillment is just a by-product of their amazing characters. You hear them on the radio, you play them on your ipod- and now you have them on your side.  As the late Freddy Mercury once sang, "open your eyes, look up to the skies and see."

If you're looking to find out other gay artists check out this Top 50 Gay Artist Post. Also- check out video of the week to see Mika speak out about love before performing a song OR watch Mariah Carey and Kylie Minogue's gay fans purpose on stage during their concerts. Alternatively you could watch the Carly Rae Jepsen and Pink music videos below.

I apologize if I have left any artists out, in all honesty there are far too many stories and people to share in this instance.

Monday, 27 August 2012

This is for you

Recently there has been letters from fathers to their sons that have been making their rounds on the Twittersphere and other social networking sites. The initial letter that sparked all of this was a letter James (a gay individual) received from his father, in which his father expressed that he had decided to disown James as a son (and as a result disassociate himself from James). This letter sparked 2 other letters, one from a heterosexual father to his hypothetically gay son and the other from a gay father to his two adoptive sons. It should be rather indicative that a letter would be appropriate for today's post. So here goes:

To All My Viewers

The recent letters that fathers have written to their sons has inspired me to leave a message to you to show my admiration for you in a more personal capacity. Coming to terms with your sexuality is a difficult process, and seldom are you ever congratulated for the courage, patience and perseverance you put in. Well this is my congratulations to you.

I realize life may seem tough at the moment. Looking around there's constant battles. Battles regarding the position homosexuals occupy in modern day society, whether it's marriage equality, adoption rights or even decriminalizing homosexuality. Living in a conservative community myself, I know that being authentic to oneself is much easier said than done, but isn't impossible. Personally, I have contemplated thoughts of suicide, running away and leaving everything I have behind. At that time, anything seemed better than confronting my sexuality and the attraction to members of the same sex. I had spent countless nights crying myself to sleep as thoughts of inadequacy filled my head; never getting to fulfill the role I believed I was meant to fulfill. Then came my shame. My shame in feeling the emotions I felt. I tried to suppress the thoughts and to dismiss the truth- but it all caught up with me eventually.

In pursuing this journey you may find yourself back at the starting line in many aspects of your life, but you'll find yourself at the beginning with other people just as yourself. These are the people who have cried at night with you- who felt just as alone as you did- who were ready to leave, yet here you stand, united. It's all trial and error, and you needn't feel ashamed of the mistakes you've made. Never think you're worthless or inadequate, regardless of what other peoples opinions are. I promise you a day will come, where you will look back and be thankful for the choice you made. The hurt and anger you feel now will dissipate as you begin to live your life the way your heart intended to live it. 

Finally, I want you to know that you are never alone. There's one person you can always rely on, and that person is you. As cliche` as it may sound, Mariah Carey says it best, "So when you feel like hope is gone look inside you and be strong, and you'll finally see the truth, that a hero lies in you." It's important you always remember that- THAT A HERO LIES IN YOU.

I wish you all the best on your journeys
Yours  sincerely- Greg 

Final Thought:
The letter may seem irrelevant to many of you yet to some it might speak great volumes. My intention was to let you know that all these emotions you might be experiencing are not irregular. Regardless your age, gender, race and religion- coming out is an emotional experience. So if you too sit up at night and cry till your tear ducts can't anymore, if you constantly thinking about how inadequate you think you are , even if you read this letter and wished you weren't gay- this is for you... No one said it would be easy- they said it'd be worth it. AND IT WILL BE!

If you have any personal questions or you need someone to talk to- do not hesitate to email me ( I keep my emails separate from the blog, private.