Dear Dr. Tharp: Please Set Me Gay!

Many of you may have had questions that you wanted to ask but were afraid to ask of your gay friends. This post is in response to some of those questions.

After Jacob and I celebrated our wedding in Massachusetts last year and our commitment ceremony here in Texas, I had many a question from my straight friends about proper etiquette when addressing us. This post is in response to many of those questions in the hopes of educating my straight friends and to bring mirth and laughter to my gay friends.

Now I know for many of you this topic may be very confusing, but I am here to set you all gay. Therefore, I am now putting on my Emily Post hat.

Dear Dr. Tharp,  Dr. Flores, or is it Dr Tharp-Flores?: What is the proper way to address a newly gay married couple?

One of the first questions that I got and one that I have had repeatedly asked is if I was to now be addressed as Dr. Flores or if Jacob was now Professor Tharp. Not only would this be confusing to those in both our professional environments, but one can only imagine the male posturing that would occur as to who would assume which last name.

I love Jacob very much and I am very proud to be his husband, but I suppose that the proper etiquette for a gay married couple is new and treacherous waters for some. First of all, most married gay couples continue to keep their names the same. Now on rare occasion I have seen a hyphen utilized, but that does tend to be more common in the lesbian variety of marriage. Often if we are using surnames, we tend to refer to ourselves as the Tharp-Flores household. However, most gay families as ourselves choose to maintain our current surnames. I guess we are much like those independent women out there that once they get married they still prefer to use their own last names. I am still my own man after all!

Dear Dr. Tharp: I am inviting this wonderful gay married couple to my daughter’s wedding.  How do I address the invitation?

When addressing a gay couple say on an invitation it is always proper to use both names. For example, if you wish to invite us to your daughter’s wedding and want one of those fabulous Tiffany presents that we gays are known for giving, you should address the invitation properly. It should read: Dr. Bruce Tharp and Mr. Jacob Flores and family. I still like to insist that the highest title comes first. (Sorry Jacob.)

A comment from Jacob: As editor-in-chief of this blog, here is my response–Age always precedes beauty. 

Dear Dr. Tharp: When you meet a gay married couple, what is the proper way to find out which one is the wife and which one is the husband?

Yes, I have actually been asked if I was the wife in the relationship. Now I may be the chief cook in the family, but I am still all man as is Jacob! In the English language, we still use specific gender oriented words and we are both HUSBAND. Jacob and I were pronounced at our wedding in Massachusetts as husband and husband. Asking a gay man if he is the wife is akin to asking if he is the “top” or “bottom.” (If you are unsure of those last two terms, please google them because this is a family column. If you are still confused, message me and I will set you gay, or perhaps I will save this for a future PG-13 column.) When in doubt, the best rule to follow is: don’t be rude!

Dear Dr. Tharp: I know this gay couple that were married in Massachusetts, but they live in Texas. There, marriage isn’t real is it?

Now this question, and yes I have been asked this question, really gets my ire up. Jacob and I are in a loving and committed relationship. We believe in until death do us part. We believe in until sickness and health, and we believe in for better or for worse. We raise our family together. We sit at the dinner table and hold hands with our children and say grace. Our marriage is as real as anyone else’s! We, in fact, are so proud of our marriage certificate and what it represents that we have it framed and we proudly display it in our home. How many straight couples actually know where their marriage certificate is at this very moment? Yes, we may live in a state that does not recognize the very special commitment that we have made to one another, but we anxiously await the day for the other forty four states including our own to get with the program!

I hope that his has set many of you gay and has helped to begin your navigation in proper gay etiquette.  If any of you have questions, please don’t hesitate to send me questions on this site and I will do my best to answer them in future posts.  I am always happy to set my straight friends gay!

Ann Coulter: It’s Okay to Boo a Soldier

No doubt, many of you have already heard about the audience, who booed a gay soldier, at the GOP debate. The soldier in question, Stephen Hill, serves in Iraq and asked the panel if, elected president, they “plan[ned] to circumvent the progress that has been made for gay and lesbian soldiers in the military?” At this point, the booing commenced.

I’ve been angry about this for days, so I couldn’t write about it right away. I needed time to cool down and process.

Then, I read today on Towleroad (another blog site) about Ann Coulter (one of my least favorite people in the world). She is actually praising the booing of the soldier. Click here if you can stomach reading her column.

According to La Coulter: “It is beyond absurd to demand that Republican candidates pledge not to consider altering a recent rule change overturning a military policy that had been in effect from the beginning of warfare until the last few weeks of the 111th Congress. Of course there was booing for that!”

In her column, she “claims” the booing was not in response to the soldier being gay but about him not wanting a republican presidential administration to overturn the repeal of DADT. I believe that as much as I believe that one day Ann Coulter will ride in a parade car with RuPaul as Grand Marshall of the NYC gay pride parade in 2012.

Sorry, Ann, but some of us “liberal cry babies” don’t buy the bull your shoveling. Heap that pile of manure over on FOX News, thanks.

However, as a logical person I will concede the possibility that the disrespectful drove of conservatives might have also been booing the question as much as the soldier. And in this country (the one that soldiers gay and straight fight for), Freedom of Speech is one of our most cherished rights–even in the form of scorn at a persecuted minority.

But these people, the ones who booed Hill, these would be the same people to spout if YOU DON’T SUPPORT THE TROOPS, YOU DON’T SUPPORT AMERICA!

Who’s not supporting the troops or America now? That would be you, you bunch of booing boobs, with Ann Coulter, the biggest boob of them all, riding the train of discord all the way to the bank.

It’s preposterous to think gay soldiers are ineffective (or lead to the uprising of a Fourth Reich, according to Ann’s comment in her column) for the sole reason that they sleep with someone of the same gender! Sex, whether gay or straight, doesn’t lead to decreased morale or destroyed unit cohesion. Sex, for most people I know, only increases morale and unity. But only if you do it right. If you believe otherwise (and have to boo about it), maybe it’s sexual frustration more than anything else. Actually, that would explain a lot about Ann Coulter’s bad mood all these years!

But I digress. Sex has been occurring in the military since “the beginning of warfare” to quote Coulter. Whether you want to believe it or not, gays have been in the military since the beginning. They are just tired of having to hide who they are. So when Coulter says “that not talking about your sex life with your co-workers is not lying about who you are. In fact, many Americans manage quite easily to go days and days without talking about their sex lives with co-workers,” she is once again not seeing the forest for the trees. Admitting your a homosexual is not talking about your sex life. Is your colleague at work talking about his/her sex life when that person announces that he/she is getting married? Of course not! Talking about sex at work, whether it’s on a military base or at a small business, is inappropriate, whether or not you’re gay or straight. Admitting who you love isn’t about sex or about being inappropriate; it’s about being proud of who you love and who you are! It’s what makes us human.

Apparently, that’s not a lesson Ann Coulter or her booing friends have learned.

And, finally, in regards to Ann’s last comment that the “hysterical sobbing” of liberals on the subject of the audience booing the gay soldier “blocks reason,” I shall only say this. We aren’t sobbing; we are simply angry, and you’re just upset because you can’t keep us in the closet anymore.

Now dry you’re eyes and stopping crying about that!

Top 5 Lessons Learned from Olivia Newton-John’s Films/Music

Yesterday, one of the most important women of my childhood celebrated a birthday–Olivia Newton-John. (This would have been posted yesterday, but my hosting server crashed. My apologies, Olivia!)

I imagine there are many gay men who also fell in love with ONJ in their youths. Not only was she beautiful but she was amazingly talented, and her songs bewitched me the first moment I heard her open her mouth. I still remember when I first saw her in Grease on the big screen. With my mother sitting next to me munching on popcorn and nachos, I was transfixed upon seeing her playing on the beach as Sandy with John Travolta’s Danny. The song “Love is a Many Splendored Thing” played in the background of our first glimpse at their burgeoning love.

I was hooked. I had to shush my mother for interrupting the dialogue, when she asked if I wanted some popcorn.

For a young boy struggling with his sexual identity, she was my first official fag hag, before I even knew what that was or meant. Her fresh, innocent face and gorgeous blue eyes had me hopelessly devoted to her. After Grease, I watched every movie she starred in (okay, there were only three others, but I anxiously awaited each one), I collected every single vinyl record she ever put out, and I danced and sang to her tunes in the privacy of my own room. She was my BFF, and she knew exactly what I was feeling. When she sang, she did so just for me–to help me get through those tough times in life.

So, for her 63rd birthday, I decided to write some lessons I learned from the Australian-born singer/actor’s career in film and music.

Lesson #1 from Grease’s Sandy: Bad boys LOVE the innocent type, but they like them even more if they occasionally take a ride on the wild side.

  • Being a good boy at heart (Those of you who know me well can stop laughing! I am a good boy!), I knew I needed to adapt my image if I wanted the boys I liked to actually take any interest in me. While I didn’t immediately adopt those lessons at the time of my youth, when I grew up I knew exactly what I had to do. Men enjoy trash for sowing their wild oats AKA Rizzo and Cha Cha DiGregorio, but when it’s time to settle down, they want the tart wrapped up in a helping of sweet. So, during my single days (and a bit still today), I was the good boy capable of hopeless devotion but who was also known to don leather pants, smoke, and make the boy strip off his sweater for a mere chance of singing “We Go Together” with me. And, eventually, I found my own husband, a mixture of the good and the bad himself, and who must’ve watched Grease a lot too!

Lesson #2 from Xanadu’s Kira: When you play hard to get and act aloof, the boy wants you that much more!

  • As the mythological muse in this not-well-received movie, ONJ’s character remained just out of reach of her intended Sonny Malone played by Michael Beck. That drove him crazy! He pursued her relentlessly, even challenging her father Zeus, for merely a chance of spending one more moment with her. Lesson quickly learned. I realized men, no matter how much I loved them, had very short attention spans. You give them everything they want, and they lose interest quickly. But when there’s a challenge, something for them to overcome, they will run whatever obstacle course you place before them for the mere chance to get to you. And let’s face it, we’re all worth a challenge. Some boys failed the challenges. They were promptly eliminated and sent packing. But, eventually, you meet the boy who overcomes all the obstacles until he finally reaches you. When that happens, even if your father is Zeus, you know you’re good for eternity just like I am.

Lesson #3 from Two of a Kind’s Debbie: When you sacrifice all for love, incredible things can happen.

  • Even though this ONJ movie took some serious hits from critics, her character still taught me a lot. ONJ played a good girl turned bank robber, and she clashed with fellow bank robber Zack AKA her Grease co-star John Travolta. They spent the movie trying to outdo each other and falling in love, and it was their love that eventually saved the world. (Apparently, the devil and God struck up a bargain. If God didn’t find true love on the planet, then the devil would be granted dominion over the Earth.Yeah, I know, it sounds awful, but lessons can be learned from awful too!) Thanks to her character’s selflessness, I learned that for the sake of true love you sometimes have to put everything, your reputation and even your life, on the line. After all, it’s not true love if you’re not willing to do that!

Lesson #4 from ONJ’s “Physical” video: You can’t win them all!

  • I’m sure many of you have seen the steamy video I’m mentioning. In it, ONJ is training some rotund fellows at the gym, all the while singing about more than just physical education. However, once her work is complete and the boys are sculpted masses of superb man flesh, the boys fall for each other and not her. While it was a hard lesson to learn in life, it was one that everyone needs to accept. No matter how attractive we might make ourselves and no matter what we might do to catch the attention of that guy, sometimes, he might just not be into you. That is no reason to fret, though. Men are like tissues. When one leaves, another pops up as ONJ found out at the end of her video. That lesson helped me through many a heartbreak, so if heartbreak happens to you again, be confident that just beyond the gym room door (or bar door, or club door, or whatever other doors you open), the right man is waiting on the other side. We all find him. Eventually.

Lesson #5 from It’s My Party’s Lina: A good friend is always there–no matter what!

  • In this movie, ONJ played the best friend to Eric Robert’s Nick. Nick was dying of AIDS and rather than continue to live in pain, he wanted to end his life on his own terms. ONJ’s Lina didn’t want him to do it. She begged him not to do it, but he went through it anyway. She didn’t like it, and she was deeply sad to watch him do it, but she stayed by his side–a true blue friend indeed. This was a lesson that I try to hold true. I have friends, some of whom have changed drastically, and though the distance between us may now be great, I will be here when those friends need me again. True friendship is not a ship that should be missed. Once you board it, you’re on it for life!

Looking at these lessons I’ve learned, it’s easy to see that I am indeed a fan of Olivia Newton-John, and I always will be. She was there for a fat, insecure kid who grew into a man I think she would be proud of.

So for her 63rd birthday, I want to thank you personally, Olivia (we are on a first name basis now), for the lessons on love, life, and friendship you taught me throughout your career. They have shaped me into the person I am, and I love you for it. I will always be Hopelessly Devoted to You!

YouTube Preview Image

Top 5 Reasons People Choose to be Gay by FCKH8.com

I ran across this video from an activist organization aptly named FCKH8. (Visit their website by clicking here.)

The video’s message is strongly worded and if you are easily offended by vulgarity, then you shouldn’t watch it, and, well, if you are, you probably won’t be reading this post anyway, so my warning is probably moot.

What I find promising about this video is what it tells me about our future. The video stars many younger people (and by that I mean younger than someone of my almost forty years). These youth are angry, and they are taking a stand against the people who continue to spread hate and intolerance in our country. By taking this campaign under their wings, they have assembled merchandise to be sold in support of FCKingH8 and raised awareness about how hateful many conservative politicians and religious sects are being, in other words the individuals and organizations that have grown stagnant and resistant to change.

And their audience isn’t me or you or those in charge. They are speaking to the youth of the nation, the twenty something and younger crowd. They are speaking to the future leaders, and they use language and images that appeal to the younger generation’s mindset.

Their voices are crude, and their demeanor is flippant, but their message is clear. For them, the time for hate is long over, and since they will be taking over the country and the world when the ultra conservatives retire and/or die off, they are letting the nation know that when it’s there turn to be in power, our nation will be what our forefathers wanted it to be–a place where the downtrodden and the outcast are welcome and embraced with arms wide open.

If you like this video on Facebook and tweet it on Twitter, their campaign will donate up to $10,000 for organizations that help GLBT youth, a worthwhile endeavor indeed. So view the video, like it, tweet it, and share it.

Before you click, be advised one more time: many F-bombs ahead!

When Children Become Super Villains!

I love my daughter. More than anything or anyone else in this entire world. There are days when my love for my daughter fills me so completely that I sometimes feel like I could actually fly. When we car dance to a song playing on the radio on the way to school and I hear her laugh at me, bullets could bounce off my chest. When she tells me she loves me or reaches out to hold my hand (in front of her friends or anyone else), my heart swells to twice its size, and I feel more powerful than a locomotive.

In short, my daughter’s love transforms me into Superman. She takes the ordinary, every day “Clark Kent” type of man I am, and she makes me into something better than I was (or could have ever been) before she first entered my life. She is the yellow sun in my universe that grants me the special powers I need to be her father–to love her and protect her with my very life.

Unfortunately, that same sweet girl who grants me the powers is also the one who turns into my arch nemesis!

Now, many of you out there are wondering WTH? But let me see if I can explain.

If you’re a parent (and I know you’re out there because I can hear you sighing in frustration), there are times when these precious little people in our lives, who are typically our brightest joys, can transform into creatures any good superhero must battle.

Bizarro

Me am not you!

One popular villain they can become, for instance, is Bizarro. You see, Bizarro was the villain who came from a world that was the complete opposite of Superman. Sometimes that is exactly what our children become–our polar opposites. Where we are industrious, logical, and rational beings, they have the tendency to attack us with moments of absolute sloth, idiocy, and irrationality that threatens the very fabric of our universe.

We fly into the fray, hoping to alleviate the situation with words of encouragement, motivation, and logic that would typically solve any problem in the rational Superman world. But in the Bizarro world of our children, words of encouragement become criticism, motivation transforms into nitpicking, and logic is, well, meaningless. They bat us aside with a roll of the eyes, and once those eyes roll, the gloves are off. And it’s time for yet another Superman vs. Bizarro battle!

Brainiac

DaaaAAAd! I'm like totally smarter than you!

As difficult as Bizarro is to deal with, he pales in comparison to when our children become Braniac. For Superman, Brainiac is an extraterrestrial cyborg of artificial intelligence capable of using his superior knowledge to lay waste not only to the beloved man in red and blue but also to the planet. How many of you have had a child who believed she/he suddenly developed an intelligence to rival your own? They have all the right answers. They know exactly what the world expects from them, and we know nothing. No, that’s too much. We are simply drooling idiots stealing precious air away from our shrewd children. When Brainiac rears her ugly head, spouting off exactly how smart she is, it’s time for Superman to use his super breath to freeze her up and shut her down.

Parasite

I want ALL your energy, DAD! ALL!

When our children become the villain known as The Parasite, it is one of the most draining (pun intended) battles of the season. The super villain Parasite steals the energy and powers of Superman. Our children often do the same to us. We come home already exhausted from a long day of work that we barely have enough energy to uncork the first bottle of wine when our children descend upon us. They have school supplies that must be picked up, they have an assignment they need help with, there’s a surprise dance rehearsal they are now late for, or they forgot something at school that they need right now.

And like the good superheroes we are, we give them what little reserves we have, we fulfill the requests that parents must fulfill, but when we ask them to take out the garbage, or wash dishes, or pick up their own clothes, they are too busy or too tired. They have sapped all our strength, left us with nothing, and then have the audacity to say they are tired and too busy, while they are dancing in their rooms listening to music on the iPods we purchased for them. At those times, The Parasite finds himself caught in a swirling tornado as Superman suddenly finds the energy needed to run circles around the energy stealer and take back everything they took from us. At least until they can appreciate it later.

Now, I’m hoping that many of you parents out there know exactly what I’m talking about. There must be Wonder Women out there using their lassoes of truth to cut through the lies their children spout. I’m sure there are even Batmen, who try to stay one step ahead of their very clever children who attempt to outwit them at every turn.

I write this for you, for all parents who wage into battle every day. You are not alone! I feel your pain, and I too fight the good fight. While I love my child, and I know you other parental superheroes out there love yours, we have to don our costumes and do battle. It’s for their sakes as much as ours.

NY Archbishop’s Veiled Threat: Gay Marriage Equals Church-State Conflict

New York Catholic Archbishop Timothy Dolan, in a letter sent to the Obama Administration on Friday, threatens that if Obama continues to withhold support for DOMA or a federal ban on gay marriage that it could “precipitate a national conflict between church and state of enormous proportions.”

The Archbishop’s veiled threat intrigues me.

Swiss Guard Assembled

The Swiss Guard, wielding their pikes, are ready for war

Is there some underground movement in the works, stockpiling ammunition and awaiting word from the Archbishop or his General, Pope Benedict? At this moment, are priests and nuns engaged in pike-wielding combat training, supervised by the brightly colored Swiss Guard? Are altar boys and girls being used to courier messages from the pulpit to the budding revolutionaries sitting in the pews every Sunday morning? Are Roman Catholics, and those who have thrown support behind their crusade, merely waiting for the opportune moment to usher in a new holy war?

Archbishop Dolan’s strongly worded letter to Obama definitely indicates that plans are being set in motion to deal with Obama and his future Administration decisions. Most likely, the Catholic Church will simply throw its considerable weight and perhaps even resources behind a Republican presidential nominee who is more amenable to conservative Catholic views.

But what if that’s not the case? What if the Archbishop spilled beans not yet meant to be spilt? What if his slip of the tongue revealed a hidden Catholic agenda? What if right now the nation stands at a precipice of war?

It’s not like the Catholic Church hasn’t declared war before or done some pretty vile things to guarantee the spread of the one true religion. Remember the Crusades? The Spanish Inquisition? (“what a thrill!”)

Whose to say Pope Benedict isn’t sitting on his golden throne, kicking back in his Prada shoes, and plotting the demise of American liberalism? Popes (and those who serve them) have done worse things throughout history, such as commit murder, desecrate the graves of former popes, and engage in acts of simony, licentiousness, and violence.

Nuns with Guns

Nuns with guns and ready to kick @$$

Still, the image of nuns advancing down streets in their wimples and habits carrying weapons or squads of gun-toting priests and bishops battling the scourge of the “gay agenda” is far too comical to believe. It’s just as ridiculous to imagine as the prospect of gay marriage, which is all about allowing two consenting adults to live in love together, as being the single event that sparked a “conflict between church and state of enormous proportions,” according to Dolan.

Religious people who claim marriage is a religious sacrament only fail to understand that marriage is also a civil right.

Our nation, any nation, has the right, through laws passed by the consent of the majority, to define what the word is, just as they have defined criminal activity, discrimination, and slavery. No one is asking the Catholic Church or any church to change what they believe marriage or anything else to be. Their rituals are theirs alone! We are simply asking that their religious definitions not be applied to those who don’t support them. There is a separation of Church and State for a reason. (Just dig through the history books and look at our humble beginnings if you need to remember why.)

I would like to ask Archbishop Dolan to be just as respectful of what I believe as he wants me, and others, to be respectful of his. Threats, veiled or otherwise, seem counterproductive and a bit childish.

Instead of clinging to anger and hate, I prefer to embrace what Jesus asked me to embrace–faith, hope, and love. I have faith that God’s message will one day be made clear to all of us by God himself. I have hope that a better future will be fashioned by our children, who prove to be far more tolerant and accepting than the generations that preceded them, and I’m confident that in the end, love will be all that matters.

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus at a Gay Bar

First of all, I would like to thank Jacob for allowing me be a guest writer on his blog. Second of all, this topic is one near and very dear to my heart.

I firmly believe that if Jesus Christ were to return to earth that he would not be hanging at the big mega churches like Lakewood in Houston nor do I think that he would be appearing with Pat Robertson on the 700 club. I don’t think Jesus would be visiting either The Vatican or the The Holy Land.  Jesus would very simply be hanging out at a gay bar.

Now I am sure the notion of Jesus in a gay bar has many of you spinning your heads right now and getting ready to spit green soup, but I believe that the Son of Man would be hanging out at Oilcan Harry’s, Splash, or South Beach.  First of all, people of all walks of life flock to gay clubs: gay, transgendered, bisexual, fruit flies, and even (gasp!) straight men Now come on my straight male brethren, fess up, you know your girl has dragged you to a gay club at least once.  People flock to the gay clubs because they know that they serve the best drinks, have the best music, and perhaps most importantly ALL are accepted.

Unlike, the above named religious institutions, gay clubs offer a place where the disenfranchised, the undesirables, and those looking for respite from a judgmental and persecutory world can escape.  What better place for Jesus to hang out?  Though on his first visit to our little blue planet he did spend time in religious institutions the majority of his time was actually spent with the disenfranchised, the undesirables, and those looking for respite from a judgmental and persecutory world.

When I first came out of the closet (which is a completely different story and Jacob will not let me go on forever unfortunately, so maybe another time) finally accepting who I was and feeling truly comfortable in my skin for the first time ever, I felt liberated, but then the barrage began. I was ridiculed, taunted, and told how sinful that I was. I was chastised and shunned being told that I was going to hell! WTF?? Fortunately, I was strong in my faith and God was there to lead and guide me in this tough time, and I also attended my first gay bar.  Now this was the place that I felt accepted and loved.  I was confused.  Shouldn’t I have felt this way in my own church?

I did much research on homosexuality and my religion, and I was able to accept that one did not exclude the other, and today I am still able to practice my religion, be a proud homosexual, and feel comfortable both in gay bars and my church.

I unfortunately found myself to be quite the rarity in the homosexual community. Finding spiritual homosexual persons is rare, but to find a practicing spiritual gay person is even rarer. Why is that? Many of my gay friends grew up like me in religious homes, but they have turned away from their spiritual upbringing. I was saddened that I was in such a minority.

I believe the simple answer to this question lies in an encounter I had with a dear sweet friend a few years after I had come out. I’m not sure what the conversation was about, but my friend made a blanket statement. My friend said, “we [gays] are all going to hell anyway…”  Those of you who know me can only imagine my indignation, and I quickly set my friend correct (not straight because conversion therapy is just wrong), but from his comment I suddenly realized a very important fact. People in the gay community as a whole believe we are all going to hell. This is what they have been told. Not only by their families, but by their churches. Now not all churches are as such, but judgment has been passed and in the gay community we are barraged with propaganda of how churches hate us and shun us. I get it now. No one wants to go anyplace where they feel unsafe and certainly are not wanted.  They want to go to a gay bar! The doors of many churches have been closed to us for centuries. Is not religion supposed to minister to the needy and to the unchurched? Is not God the only one that is to pass judgment?

I think that if religious institutions were to make their houses of worship more Christ like, aka, like a gay bar and welcome the GLBT community into the church that they would finally be fulfilling a much needed mission on this earth. Our GLBT community needs some spirituality and they need God’s love.  Churches might actually feed a few more souls and in turn the church during the holidays would be decorated immaculately, beautiful tenors will be heard from the choir loft, and your potlucks would be fabulous!

So, if Christ were to come back and walk the earth today you know where he would be?  (And I firmly believe it!!)  He would be at a gay bar. Think about it!

What to Wear? What to Wear?

As some of you may or may not know, Fashion Week in New York City has ended. Right now, fashionistas all over the nation are scrambling to add the unique couture they watched sashay down the runway into their already overcrowded closets.

While I am certainly not a fashionista (by any stretch of the imagination), I thought it would be fun to see what new and innovative fashion I might see in the spring and perchance try to mimic within my own humble budget.

Jeremy Scott’s Spring Collection provided me with my first interesting idea. (Click here to see his complete spring line, courtesy of Style.com.)

Jeremy Scott Spring 2012

Got milk and ass less chaps?

This was the first to really catch my eye. I always wondered what it might be like to party in a pasture with a herd of Holstein cattle (they’re black and white, by the way.) Thanks to Jeremy Scott, I need to wonder no longer. Since Holstein cattle are typically found in Europe (the Netherlands to be specific), I can cancel my trek abroad to live this experience. I simply need to find some relatively inexpensive chaps and a kicking vest. Since I live in Texas, not too big of a problem for me. After that, it’s a simple process to dye them black and white and break out my black leather jockstrap, and I’m all set.

Once that’s done, I need to find an appropriate venue to wear my new bovine inspired ensemble. I’m thinking of wearing it the next time the family and I head to Chic-Fil-A. The chicken sandwich chain is known for their popular advertisements with comical cattle begging hungry patrons to eat chicken. I should blend right in.

Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci

Too hot for pants? Try a kilt!

The next look to catch my eye was from the Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci collection. To me, this looks like a good alternative for those hot Texas days when you have to dress up but you just don’t want to wear pants. In the summer, I often bemoan having to go to work or to a formal occasion and wear long pants. In Texas, sometimes it’s just too darn hot!

Well, this design allows me the option to not only dress up but stay cool. Thankfully the garment comes in white. As a bonus, the cool Triffid looking design spreads in vibrant colors across the fabric, which creates such an eye-catching design that most people won’t realize your legs are bare!

The skirt separate, I mean, the manly kilt companion piece completes the unique look that inspires both a matching baseball cap (to keep the sun out of your eyes) and might even inspire some creative footwear choices, such as something in a Manolo Blahnik, perhaps.

This outwit would be perfect for a beach side wedding or any event where dress up is encouraged during those steamy months. (For more outfits for the spring by Givenchy click here.)

All I would really need to replicate this is a long sleeve white shirt and a skirt, tie-dye it, and I’m good to go.

MEN Thierry Mugler Spring 2012

But I AM wearing a shirt

Now, if you’re like me, sometimes you just don’t know what to wear to a club. So many club scenes these days almost require the absence of a shirt once you hit the dance floor. I’m always a little too self conscious for that but feel pressured (sometimes by someone trying to take my shirt off) to join the crowd.

This next outfit brought to us from the Thierry Mugler Spring 2012 collection (click here to see more pictures) solves my dilemma (and perhaps yours) perfectly. Now I can both wear a shirt while at the same time not wear a shirt. With this outfit, I will fit in with the non-shirt wearing party boys but still feel appropriately covered and maintain my modesty, which is a must!

Also, I hate when looks at the club are over done and over thought. This one is neither. No thinking is really required. Just slip into the non-shirt, put on the leather shorts (that rest under the leather jockstrap for the Jeremy Scott ensemble), slip your feet into a pair of shiny black shoes from your closet and PRESTO instant fabulousness!

Obviously, this would also be easy to recreate. Find a long sleeve shirt that fits you snugly in the arms and shoulder area and just cut the rest of it out. Since most of us have a pair of leather shorts and black shoes anyway, this would be a rather inexpensive and easy duplication.

With just those three designers, I already have new ideas for casual wear, formal wear, and club wear. Recreating them should be a breeze with only scissors, some fashion dyes, and the black leather sundries already in our closets.

I simply can’t wait for spring now!

Allergic to Marital Aids?

I’m sure many of you are wondering about the topic of this blog post today? Is he referring to being allergic to couple’s counseling or something else? It couldn’t possibly be what I think it is. Could it?

Well, it is!

Recently, thanks to a light-hearted and quite comical conversation with a dear sweet friend who shall forever remain anonymous (so don’t ask!), I stumbled upon a topic that I just had to write about. With his consent (and with a thousand promises guaranteeing the safety of his identity), I decided to do just that.

What do you do when you realize, at probably one of the most inopportune moments imaginable, that you have suddenly developed an allergy to latex?

If you’re like my friend, at first you wonder just what hell is going on and then, well, you panic!

You see, my friend had no idea he had such an allergy. He’s gone pretty much his entire life using latex products (quite extensively) without such a reaction as what happened recently. For academic purposes only (and for a bit o’ humor), I will provide you with some of the details (in very G-rated form), so you will know the signs in case it happens to you.

He was in the middle of a “situation” where the use of latex was sanctioned and agreed upon. At first, the use of the object involving latex progressed swimmingly as it had before. Then, not so usual events started to occur. His nose became twitchy and he started to sneeze, almost uncontrollably. A few minutes later, after trying to work past the breathing issues, some discomfort and itching started to occur in some rather private places. Like a trooper, he tried to forage ahead, determined not to let a runny nose or some slight irritation interrupt the progress made so far.

After awhile, though, the irritation turned to a burning sensation, and the runny nose became serious tracheal problems with his throat closing shut.

Now, imagine, as I did, finding yourself in this predicament. You’re in a rather intimate posture. You can’t breath because you’re throat is swelling shut, and your secret garden has suddenly been set upon by an out-of-control wildfire. (I was in stitches by this point, too!)

Eventually, the pain became too much for my chum to bear, so he politely excused himself from the situation and sprinted to the restroom. After a quick inspection, he realized the area in question was splotchy red and swollen, and he fought the need to scoot around the room like a dog trying to dislodge something from his bum. At first, he thought he caught some particularly virulent STD that infected upon contact, but then realized quite astutely that the culprit was the latex. Prior to the admission of the latex into the party, the shindig had been a blast. After the latex, BAM, party over! Not many people I know wish to continue such festivities with red, splotchy skin, painful irritation, and uncontrollably sneezing.

His latex allergy brought the entire soiree to a screeching halt!

So, that begs the question: if this happens to me, what do I do?

  1. Well, first you need to fix your breathing. Take an antihistamine. If you’re home, this should be easy to find. If you’re at a friend’s house, (as embarrassing as it might be) ask for one. It will be more embarrassing to pass out from constricted air ways than to admit you need an allergy pill. If no antihistamines are to be found, skip to step 2. (You will hit step 2 anyway).
  2. Jump in the shower. Scrub to make sure all parts of your skin that may have come into contact with the latex are washed clean. Make sure you do a thorough job too.
  3. Put out the fire. Find a steroid cream (such as Cortaid or any other Corticosteroid) and apply generously to the area. Never use the creams internally; they are for external use only. Once again, most houses (and friend’s houses) have this readily available in the medicine cabinet. If not, skip to step 4.
  4. Head to your local pharmacy retailer. Purchase a steroid cream and antihistamine and use them immediately (either in the bathroom of said pharmacy or in the privacy of your own home.)
  5. Laugh about the experience with your party partner (if he or she is still around) or vow never to see said individual again.
What should we learn from this?
  • Obviously, allergic reactions are serious offenses and can be dangerous. They could lead to a full body reaction called anaphylaxis, which might prove fatal and is most definitely not a laughing matter.
  • It’s also important to know that allergic reaction to latex (or other substances and/or foods) is possible even if you have never been allergic to it before. Many adults develop new allergies over their lifetimes, so it’s a good idea to get an allergy test every few years to see if you’re body has suddenly decided it no longer likes something it never had a problem with. (Similar to your current reaction to your ex!)
So I’m allergic to latex. What now?
  • Many marital aids exist that are not made from latex, such as those comprised of 100% silicone, hard plastic, acrylic, stainless steel, or glass. From the research I’ve done (on the web, not through actual sampling), those products work just as well (if not better according to some comments I’ve found). You can find a veritable cornucopia of said devices by clicking here. (Site called The Pleasure Chest, so definitely NSFW). Be wary of anything with the word “blend” in it as it may have latex as part of the composition or as part of the assembly or packing. If you decide to purchase such a product like a “silicone blend,” keep some steroid cream and an antihistamine handy just in case!
  • Additionally, various latex free condoms are also for sale by many popular and trustworthy brands. Those can also be found by clicking on the link above.
As you can see, if you find you have a latex allergy, the party is not necessarily over (as my friend learned). You just have to switch up the party favors and then invite a new or special friend to the get-together. Then, let the good times roll!

 

DADT Repealed 9/20/2011

Finally, after too many years of hiding and living in secret, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is over. A letter distributed to troops today made the repeal official to soldiers on American soil and abroad. (click here to read the letter as reported in The Washington Post).

The letter, signed by Raymond T. Odiemo, General of the United States Army; Raymond F. Chandler III, Sergeant Major of the Army; and Jeff M. McHugh, Secretary of the Army, states that “The law is repealed” and “from this day forward, gay and lesbian Soldiers may serve in our Army with the dignity and respect they deserve.”

It’s about time! Dignity and respect have long been denied to our gay brothers and sisters in the military. They have proudly served their country, fulfilling integral, and sometimes dangerous, roles that have kept our country safe from those who would do us harm. And at the end of the day, when their bodies were tired, bruised, and/or battered, they were denied a basic comfort most everyone else, including me, takes for granted.

They couldn’t really go home. Not to the home that we think about, where our spouse waits to make the horrors of the day better with a kind word or a soothing touch. Their homes were a charade they created to keep their military careers safe, so they could return to the front lines and bleed for us again while we slept safely next to our significant other.

That will no longer be the case.

Now, they can truly go home after an awful day and receive the love and support we all take for granted because their homes will no longer be shrouded in secrecy or fear.

That will, no doubt, be one of the greatest gifts they ever received.