January 28, 2012

One Way To Get Out Of Homework

I loved college and going to class, but sometimes, more important things got into the way of my studies; such as going to happy hour, fuck buddies, and the occasional weekend trip out of town.  Over the years, I came up with creative ways to get out of homework assignments - or at least postpone them until I was not hungover / drunk anymore.  Here is my favorite tip for taking away some stress during cram time.

Online Submission - And no, I'm not talking about some dominant porn site.  At Canisius, a majority of professors wanted students to submit longer papers and assignments via ANGEL.  You write the paper, upload it to the class homepage, and the professor has a digital copy.  One day, I had a ten page paper that, of course, I left until the last day.  There was no fucking way I was going to get it done, and this professor was a little bitch, so I knew she wasn't going to accept it late. I did the only rational thing I could think of, which was uploading a document that read:

kwljekrwe  __S_DE+ fd=g-d=g= swdsdfsdfsdsdf sdfs w;werk; ----#$)@#()$@)#$)2 34203

A few days later, my professor sent me an email stating that my document must have been corrupted and my assignment didn't load.  I sent back a "oh, that's strange" email, attached the overdue assignment that I had finished (which, make sure you date a few days before the original was due), and a pseudo apology. If you go to a small school, only do this once per semester.  A larger school, twice per semester; professors talk, and you don't want to get caught, because quite honestly, this is a legit tip. 

January 27, 2012

I Lie About Being Irish

Thank fucking God I'm gay; otherwise, I would have no culture to cling to. All four of my grandparents took it upon themselves to disregard their ethnic groups and built loving families with someone that had a different heritage than them.  Selfish, right? Long story short -- I'm a mutt. I didn't really consider my roots until college when random people from Germany started adding me on Facebook.

Late one night, I called my mother and questioned her about our ancestors.

"Mom!  I have no identity!" I screamed into the phone before she could say hello.

"Oh God, Jeffrey.  What happened now?  If you tell me one more time you can't relate to other gay people at school, I'm hanging up the phone" she replied.

"Please, I hooked up with a gay that acted so straight last week he was basically acting gay again," I answered, "that dilemma was so last week."

"What does that even mean?" my mom questioned.

"Anyways. Like I was saying...what race am I?"

"What race? Do you mean ethnicity?"

"Yeah, same thing."

We started talking and I learned the truth.  I was basically a mix with mostly German roots. As I hung up the phone, I walked into my bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror.  I usually do this 50 to 75 times per day, but this time was a little different.  Looking back at me was a boy with no authentic heritage, no religion, and depending on how many crown and cokes I had that day, no dignity.

In college, the nights that I wasn’t at a bar during the week were spent: watching porn, writing for my school paper, or doing both at the same time.  Just kidding.  Well, not really.  Anyways, I decided to do some research.  I walked up the stairs to my bedroom – catching a glimpse of my ass in the mirror on the way up – and closed the door.

I did the only thing I could think of, which was to upload my photo into a celebrity doppelganger website, which would analyze my face and pop up with seven celebrities that I resembled the most.  A few friends used this on doppelganger day and used their number one match as their Facebook profile picture.  I told them that although it was a cool website, it would forever make me think they were an uglier version of a famous person, but I digress.

I uploaded the picture, and after an agonizing minute wait, my results popped up.  I was more anxious than the first time getting tested for a sexually transmitted disease.  Prior to this, my plan was to lie and say I was of whatever ethnicity my top few results were.  Also, during this thought process, I made a small mental note that this was one of the first times of my life that I realized I was crazy.  Or, as the kids say these days, “craa.”

Growing up, it had always annoyed the fuck out of me when people would say,“Yeah, well, I’m ten percent French, ten percent Irish, eight percent Canadian, seven percent this, twenty-two percent that … oh, my mom fucked an Asian during college, so I’m like one percent that, right?”  I didn’t want to act like this.  Also, the more time spent talking is less time spent drinking.  I clicked “view results” and was in shock.

My first match was Chow Yun-fat, also known as 周潤. He is a 56-year-old actor from Hong Kong.  What the fuck?  The next five people were Asian women and the last was Josh Hartnett.  Hmmmm.  Okay, as usual, this plan was such a bust.  However, although initially surprised, I did sort of look like my homegirl Chow, but no one was going to believe that I was Chinese.  And truth be told, I was still not over Pearl Harbor.  Wait, was that Japan?  Whatever.  I snorted a line of crushed up white rice to gain composure.

Do I look Irish?
Over the next few years, many Irish friends came into my life.  One of my best friends is named “Siobhan Maloney” for fucks sake – the only thing more Irish than that is a Leprechaun jerking off in a pot of gold on a cliff in Ireland while listening to The Cranberries on replay.  

At the end of my sophomore year at Canisius College, I was hired as a tutor in South Buffalo, a predominately Irish area that was filled with the culture I felt I was missing in my life.  This was it.  When people asked, I would tell them I was Irish.  Jeffrey O’Hartinger.  Many immigrants changed their names when they passed through Ellis Island, so why couldn’t that happen to me ancestors? I already drank a lot, so if I said “me” instead of “my,” I was to be easily believed.

The years went by and I really didn’t need to lie that much.  While applying for writing gigs a few days ago, I came across an ad that was seeking an Irish writer to write about culture, life, and all things Irish.  Of course, I sent my resume, cover letter, and writing sample.

After a night out in West Hollywood, I was a little buzzed when I arrived back to my hotel.  I checked my email and the woman had sent me back a response:

Thank you for your email. Before I go any further.
Can you tell me what kind of Irish connection you have or why you feel you might be able to contribute on this subject?

Shit.  This lady meant business.  And this wasn’t childs play anymore.  Her name was Grace.  SO IRISH!  Of course she knew I wasn’t one of her kind by my name.  So I sent her the following:

Hi Grace,

I know you may not tell from my last name, but I am 75% Irish.


Thanks,

Jeffrey

Why the fuck did I send that?  However, I am happy to say this will be my last lie.  Well, my last Irish related lie.  I don’t know where my Irish obsession comes from, why I want to be Irish, or why I have lied all of these years, but when thing is for sure: the truth is finally out.

I dedicate this post to Grace (who I emailed this article to and probably thinks I’m a lunatic), my Irish friends, and that 6’3 Irish guy from Boston I went home with from the bar when I first moved to Los Angeles.

Make sure to check out my Irish short story:  Why Aiden Felt Different. Also, what Irish person wouldn't love 4 Reasons To Be A Slut?

January 24, 2012

I Don't Haight Ashbury

Let's roll back to the 60's,
But we all have to climb that hill,
Are you coming down from that high?
The movement is just starting up.

The left,
The blacks,
The movement,
They call us the movement,
On the top of the hill,
Where Ashbury and Haight meet,
But it's more than that,
It's the whole city.

It's the whole fucking world dude,

But no one is doing a thing,
They never do shit,
Except watch our every move,
Cause they can't.

So yeah,

Maybe I do hate you,
Cause you don't have a spine,
Or worse,

A voice,
Different than the reasons for why you hate me,
I've figured that out,

But let's get one last thing straight,
I don't Haight Ashbury,
I love San Francisco.

My Obsession With Buffalo

According to some people, I have a slight obsession with my hometown back east: Buffalo, New York.  Most recently, my boss so eloquently described my admiration by stating, "I swear to God he could witness a back alley abortion take place in front of his very eyes and be reminded of some significant occasion that took place in Buffalo circa 1992." To perfectly honest, that probably would be the case, so I will take that statement as a compliment.

Spending four years in the city as a college student then moving to Los Angeles for close to a year, these different experiences not only put the two cities into great perspective, but the overall nature of the American city.  I talk about Buffalo a lot and L.A. to a smaller degree because, simply, these are my foundations for comparison in regard to other cities.  Sure, it may be a bit much when I compare and contrast different aspects of each city with Buffalo, but it's not only out of my love, it's out of my desire for the future.

I love writing, but I also love politics, urban planning, government, social movements ... the list goes on.  By understanding Buffalo as a classic, rust belt American city, in conjunction with my awesome journey to a couple dozen American cities over the next three months, it allows me to use my education and love of my hometown as a catalyst for change.

Do I love Buffalo?  Yeah.  Do I want to move back?  No, not really.  Well, at least not now.  I think another city is calling my name right now: San Francisco.  But, as always, only time will tell.

January 23, 2012

Why San Francisco Is So Gay

The Castro District
As the United States and other parts of the world become more diverse and gay friendly, many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals no longer need to seek refugee in San Francisco, New York, or Los Angeles.  However, forty years ago, San Francisco slowly developed into a gay safe haven for the LGBT community, and to an extent, became the only "gay mecca" in the world.  Have you ever wondered why?


As I have spent the past few days in the city, I was overwhelmed by the beauty, the hills, the people, and everything about this unique escape from the mediocrity of average American cities.  In college, I took a 1960s American History class and much time was devoted to the social and political movements; many which occurred in the bay area.  We touched upon the gay rights movement, which began to take off in the early 1970s, and I wondered why this one particular city had the highest concentration of LGBT individuals in the United States, and quite possibly, the world. Outside of class, I did a bit of research, and although it's not "proven," my professor stated that the following is the most widespread belief when I presented my findings in class.


View from the Farmers Market
It turns out that it has to do with the military.  World War II changed America in a plethora of ways; many women worked outside the home for the first time, African-Americans were fighting overseas, and for one of the first times, the armed forces sought out and dishonorably discharged homosexuals. San Francisco had a surge of discharges for this reason, as the city was a major point of departure - and return - for the war.


Most, given the oppressive social and political atmosphere of the time, stayed in San Francisco after their time fighting in the war, discharged or not. The next few decades would prove crucial for the LGBT movement in the United States and beyond, and as someone who is deeply interested in history, I thought it would be interesting to share this information with others.

January 22, 2012

Grown Up Problems

Growing up has never been easy - that's not some new found issue for those of us in Generation Y.  Yet, with growing technology that keeps us updated on the every move of our college friends, the troublesome economy, and adjusting to "the real world," many of us are taken aback a few months after we walk across stage and receive our diploma.  The following is a submission from a college friend of mine, Caitlin Krull, who writes to Generation: (WH)Y? from Austin, Texas.

Have you ever watched a movie where the popular kid walks down the hallway of his or her school, and in slow motion of course, high fives everyone that passes by? 

Hi, I'm Caitlin Krull, and that used to be me. 

Good ol' Canisius College, where everyone knows everyone. And you could go to bed, rest assured, that there was a piece of ass across the hall. But that was then, this is now. Life isn’t quite the same post college. Adult life brings new perspectives, new stressors, new responsibilities. Being an adult sucks  and here are my top 10 reasons why:
10. Where the fuck can I get my hands on some Adderall?
9.  I used to have friends. This year I’m thinking about getting a dog.
8.  I remember when the only shortness of breath I had was during an orgasm. Now I take the elevator; the stairs make me winded without the happy ending.
7.  I remember the days that I would watch the sunrise. On my walk home from the bar, of course. Now I'm lucky if I can stay awake late enough for the sun to set.
6. I never got hangovers before. Now it feels like I was tossed down a flight of stairs in a bag of bricks if I have more than two beers.
5. I am  now paying for my alcoholic tendencies. No, really ... I just got my first student loan bill.
4. Wait, you don’t want to go home with me? Oh, that’s your husband? Well, enjoy your drink anyways.  Where the hell did my college swagger go?
3. I thought apartments came furnished.  Looks like I'm sleeping on the floor for the first few weeks.
2. What do you mean I can’t swipe my ID and get free food?  That's bullshit.
1. In college my schedule was packed with girls. Now it is packed with company leads.

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Do you have a funny or serious submission?  Send it along for consideration.  The website gets around 2,000 hits a day from smart, interesting, and funny individuals from Generation Y -- so give them something to talk about!

January 20, 2012

Why I Care And Why You Should, Too

My father, a quiet and simple man, gave me advice in high school that I will always carry with me.  He said, "Jeffrey, never give up an opportunity to get to know someone; even if it's just for a few minutes."  Since then, my friends and family would always wonder why I struck up random conversations at coffee shops, bars, stores - or anywhere - for that matter.  Looking back, I suppose it was the aspiring journalist and activist in me, but then again, I had always been a curious child that asked "why" after discovering something new and was not content unless whatever adult I questioned explained my new obsession in detail.

For the most part, all of us in Generation Y used to be like that.  Yes, "used to," past tense.  It's common to be brushed aside as a kid, and after a while, one stops asking "why?"  Or, what I think is worse, they keep asking, but take "that's just because the way it is" for an answer.  Our generation is unlike the others before - we are like the activists of the 1960's, yet we have close and strong connections with our parents.  Again, like the baby boomers, we are liberal, educated, and large in numbers, but sadly, that progressive and forward-thinking mentality is lost because we think that's enough. It's not. We all think everyone is fighting on our behalf - but that's just it - not many people are.

I was given the amazing opportunity to travel the country for three months.  In Seattle and Portland - my first two cities - I've already met a variety of interesting people that have opened my eyes on a plethora of issues. Today, after I left the Occupy Portland scene downtown, I met Liz; a recently homeless woman who is three months sober. Her car was just towed, and since that was where she was living with her dog, she is planning on moving with her parents in Eastern Oregon.

"There's no jobs there, but it will help me get on my feet.  My car was the last thing I had, but I got one ticket, then another, and I couldn't afford them."

After I told her I had just moved from Los Angeles - where the price of an average parking ticket is around sixty dollars - she told me the lowest one she received was $65.00.  They doubled, then tippled,  and now she owes more she can fathom.

"You know, it was my fault, but, close to seventy dollars for one ticket?  I pleaded with them to make payment arrangements, but they didn't budge.  We're a poor state, Oregon, so I guess that helps them get money."

We talked for a little longer and touched upon her recovery from drugs and how addiction and the homeless population in Portland and the surrounding areas are closely connected.

"It never stops raining here, especially in the winter.  People are down on their luck, they become homeless, then live in their car.  They lose that, are on the streets, and to numb the pain and sickness, they start using drugs.  It's a sad cycle."

We talked a little more and I wished her luck.  I made my way back to my hotel, and looking back at a random talk I had in high school, I realized the importance of the advice my father gave me.

January 18, 2012

Reasons To Have Sex With A Jesuit College Student

As a graduate of Canisius College – a small, Jesuit school in Buffalo, New York – I’ve learned a few things since moving to the West Coast. People don’t know about my alma mater, they don’t know how to pronounce Canisius, and sometimes, people don’t even know where Buffalo is located.  “Oh, isn’t that like farm land outside of New York City?” What?  Anyways, a few weeks after relocating to Los Angeles, I started to respond with, “Well, it’s like a smaller version of Georgetown except in a smaller city and we don’t hide the fact that we’re religiously affiliated.”

A fan of Jesuit institutions, which I see as typically liberal, accepting, and progressive colleges and universities – 28 of them – throughout the United States, I wrote an article a few months ago entitled You Know You Went To A Jesuit Institution When … that was pretty popular with my Jesuit school bitches.  Now, I’m going a step further.  Here are my three reasons to have sex with some from a Jesuit school.

Reason One – Obsession With Sex. Yeah, for the most part, those attending Jesuit schools are horny and down to fuck. A majority of Jesuit schools charge close to $40,000 for tuition, fees, and room and board, so alas, a large amount of incoming freshman come from private schools, typically same-sex.  So, this works to the advantage of both gay and straight individuals. In most private high schools, it’s hard to be openly gay, so when one gets to their liberal Jesuit college or university, those bitches are going to want to fuck everyone in sight. 

For you straight beings, the suppression of the other sex over the past few years has taken its toll, and the minute mommy and daddy pull away in their BMW or Lexus, good old Johnny All-American and Suzie Prom-Queen are downing Jim Beam, shacking up in the local common room, and having as much fun as possible on a double-high bunk bed.  In simple speak – many years of downplaying ones sexual attraction will lead to liberal, kinky, and sex-obsessed co-eds. The next four years will be like a porno, except with smaller dicks, smaller boobs, and orgies only happen once in a while.

Reason Two – Strong Morals.  Although slutty, many kids at Jesuit schools have strong conservative beliefs, which for girls, works to your advantage.  Rich guy + lying and saying you are on the pill + pro-life parents = set for at least 18 years. You go girl!

Reason Three – Agnostic / Atheist Kids. As I said, many parents of Jesuit school kids are conservative, religious, and rich.  A funny thing about their kids are that, since they are so progressive and liberal, many students -  like myself – stop believing in religion.  As a result, you will no longer hear that annoying and cliche “OH MY GOD” scream when one climaxes.  However, since they are so educated and worldly, they make quote a martyr or scientist during that special, four second moment, which makes it a little awkward, but nonetheless, an escape from the norm.

January 17, 2012

SOPA. PIPA. WHAT?

Hey, ████████████████████████ and I thought, ██████████████████. Well, then I asked, ████████████ and ████████████ to the extent of ████████████████████████.  But, of course, ██████ and ████████████ which led me ████████████ and others ██████. Then someone ████████████████████████ and ██████████████████ to ██████.

Thanks  ██████████████████ a fan ████████████ website!

 ██████████████████

Goodbye Wikipedia

The international website is going to blackout for 24 hours.  Any college grad or alcoholic knows that blacking out for a few hours is sort of fun, but for 24 hours, that's a bit much, right? 

In response to the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act, also known as SOPA, that was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and Protect IP Act, also known as PIPA, in the United States Senate, this measure is the first time Wikipedia has been part of a "protest" of this form.  According to a public statement made from their website, released by Executive Director Sue Gardner, it states the following:

Today, the Wikipedia community announced its decision to black out the English-language Wikipedia for 24 hours, worldwide, beginning at 05:00 UTC on Wednesday, January 18 (you can read the statement from the Wikimedia Foundation here). The blackout is a protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate — that, if passed, would seriously damage the free and open Internet, including Wikipedia.
This will be the first time the English Wikipedia has ever staged a public protest of this nature, and it’s a decision that wasn’t lightly made. Here’s how it’s been described by the three Wikipedia administrators who formally facilitated the community’s discussion. From the public statement, signed by User:NuclearWarfare, User:Risker and User:Billinghurst:

It is the opinion of the English Wikipedia community that both of these bills, if passed, would be devastating to the free and open web.
Over the course of the past 72 hours, over 1800 Wikipedians have joined together to discuss proposed actions that the community might wish to take against SOPA and PIPA. This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation. The overwhelming majority of participants support community action to encourage greater public action in response to these two bills. Of the proposals considered by Wikipedians, those that would result in a “blackout” of the English Wikipedia, in concert with similar blackouts on other websites opposed to SOPA and PIPA, received the strongest support.
On careful review of this discussion, the closing administrators note the broad-based support for action from Wikipedians around the world, not just from within the United States. The primary objection to a global blackout came from those who preferred that the blackout be limited to readers from the United States, with the rest of the world seeing a simple banner notice instead. We also noted that roughly 55% of those supporting a blackout preferred that it be a global one, with many pointing to concerns about similar legislation in other nations.
In making this decision, Wikipedians will be criticized for seeming to abandon neutrality to take a political position. That’s a real, legitimate issue. We want people to trust Wikipedia, not worry that it is trying to propagandize them.
But although Wikipedia’s articles are neutral, its existence is not. As Wikimedia Foundation board member Kat Walsh wrote on one of our mailing lists recently,

We depend on a legal infrastructure that makes it possible for us to operate. And we depend on a legal infrastructure that also allows other sites to host user-contributed material, both information and expression. For the most part, Wikimedia projects are organizing and summarizing and collecting the world’s knowledge. We’re putting it in context, and showing people how to make to sense of it.
But that knowledge has to be published somewhere for anyone to find and use it. Where it can be censored without due process, it hurts the speaker, the public, and Wikimedia. Where you can only speak if you have sufficient resources to fight legal challenges, or if your views are pre-approved by someone who does, the same narrow set of ideas already popular will continue to be all anyone has meaningful access to.
The decision to shut down the English Wikipedia wasn’t made by me; it was made by editors, through a consensus decision-making process. But I support it.
Like Kat and the rest of the Wikimedia Foundation Board, I have increasingly begun to think of Wikipedia’s public voice, and the goodwill people have for Wikipedia, as a resource that wants to be used for the benefit of the public. Readers trust Wikipedia because they know that despite its faults, Wikipedia’s heart is in the right place. It’s not aiming to monetize their eyeballs or make them believe some particular thing, or sell them a product. Wikipedia has no hidden agenda: it just wants to be helpful. 

That’s less true of other sites. Most are commercially motivated: their purpose is to make money. That doesn’t mean they don’t have a desire to make the world a better place — many do! — but it does mean that their positions and actions need to be understood in the context of conflicting interests. 

My hope is that when Wikipedia shuts down on January 18, people will understand that we’re doing it for our readers. We support everyone’s right to freedom of thought and freedom of expression. We think everyone should have access to educational material on a wide range of subjects, even if they can’t pay for it. We believe in a free and open Internet where information can be shared without impediment. We believe that new proposed laws like SOPA and PIPA, and other similar laws under discussion inside and outside the United States — don’t advance the interests of the general public. You can read a very good list of reasons to oppose SOPA and PIPA here, from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. 

Why is this a global action, rather than US-only? And why now, if some American legislators appear to be in tactical retreat on SOPA? 

The reality is that we don’t think SOPA is going away, and PIPA is still quite active. Moreover, SOPA and PIPA are just indicators of a much broader problem. All around the world, we're seeing the development of legislation intended to fight online piracy, and regulate the Internet in other ways, that hurt online freedoms. Our concern extends beyond SOPA and PIPA: they are just part of the problem. We want the Internet to remain free and open, everywhere, for everyone. 

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Generation Y, let's raise awareness now before it's too late ...

January 15, 2012

Last Weekend In Los Angeles

It was 4:17PM on Saturday. In a strange turn of events, I was throwing up behind a dumpster while my friends were inside a trendy Mexican restaurant in the Silver Lake area of Los Angeles.

I would of handled it fine, but of course, some woman comes cruising past me looking for a parking spot while I'm throwing up the sushi I had the previous night. She gave me a dirty look and drove out of sight; alright bitch, you live in L.A., let's stop pretending you never saw something like this before. Anyways, I went to the bathroom, composed myself, and made my way back to the table.

The night before, it was my little "going away" outing in West Hollywood, and I may or may not of done the following after seven (fifteen) drinks:

1)  I was pushed out the EMERGENCY EXIT of the nightclub I didn't get hired for when I first moved to Los Angeles, only to walk back in and be accused of sneaking in, so I was scolded by the bouncer for ten minutes in front of a line of fifty people.

2)  Smashed my martini glass onto the floor because I said it was "too heavy" and "it tasted like shit."

3)  Ate four pieces of pizza and tossed my unfinished fifth piece into a crowded club, hitting some innocent gay boy in the back of the neck.

4)  Gave out my name and website URL address to one of the three guys I made out with at the bar ... on the envelope of some mail an ex-boyfriend recently sent me.

Alright, alright. It was my going away festivities; everyone deserves to let their hair down every now and then.  And as you all know, I have a very stressful 3 months traveling to over 40 cities as an assistant on a gay book tour.  Oh wait, what? Please note the sarcasm.

Having moved to Los Angeles directly after graduation this past May, I've really come to appreciate the few friends I have made here.  No matter what city one relocates to, good friends are hard to come by.  It's even harder after one graduates from college, especially one like mine; small, liberal, with intelligent kids that shared the same interests.  Once you leave that "college bubble," you're not in Kansas anymore, sister.

Tomorrow, I leave for Seattle; a city I have dreamed of visiting for at least the past decade.  I remember sitting in my room on the east coast while in middle school, writing in my journal, listening to Nirvana, and longing to visit Seattle and the west coast and striving for that adventure in life.

Looking back, another thing I used to constantly think about was my sexuality. Of course, those of us in Generation Y grew up on the verge of the LGBT rights movement, and like many kids, I was unsure of myself of how and when to come out of the closet, so to speak.

So, yeah, it does get better. Not all the time, but for the most part, it does get better.  It takes a long time to evolve from that shy, middle school kid living in a conservative suburb of Buffalo to a 22-year-old who moves to Los Angeles without a job, friend, or place to live, but guess what: it does happen.

For the next three months, I'll be blogging about my journey to each of the cities I visit, so I hope you keep up to date on my travels!

1st Openly Gay Contestant Vying For Miss California

It looks like an open lesbian is vying to be the next Miss California -- and I'm not talking about Clay Aiken. A few days ago, I stumbled across an enlightening article on Huffington Post which profiled Mollie Thomas, 19, of West Hollywood, California.  She comes from a traveling family and spent most of her childhood on the east coast.

As you can tell from the pictures, she is an absolutely gorgeous girl. I think it's a great indicator of Generation Y that we can have someone break the LGBT barrier on something as feminine as a beauty pageant, because of course, it's hard for some people to understand that gay men can be masculine and lesbians can be feminine.  Nonetheless, not only is she a beautiful girl, but she's done a bunch of service work all over the world, in addition to being a part time student at UCLA.


Let's wish her luck. With gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals from Generation Y taking a stride to do bigger and better things, they are not only making a difference for our generation, but for the kids that come after us. We keep inching closer and closer to a day where LGBT inequality is a thing of the past.  Oh, and by the way, I'm gay and almost got a boner from her pictures, so I have a strange feeling that Anne Heche may become a lesbian again. Just sayin'.

January 13, 2012

Three Funny Issues Of Gay Men


Every time I turn on the news or steal a copy of The Los Angeles Times from one of my neighbors, it seems that everyone is always complaining about how hard it is to be part of the LGBT community. Alright, enough with the drama you over dramatic little bitches. Sure, those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender have a lot of inequality when it comes to health care, marriage, adoption, and other important life components, but I would like to talk about the issues regarding gay men that no one seems to be talking about.  Here are my issues that straight guys don’t need to worry about.  Consider yourselves lucky, bro.

Dick Size – Well, all guys worry about dick size, but gay guys ain’t playing around when it comes to the size of your little pecker.  Remember that awkward moment in the high school locker room when you see another guys dick for the first time and compare yourself?  Now imagine having sex with them. Being gay, you have to worry about your dick size, the dick size of your new fuck buddy, the difference between your sizes, in addition to comparing his size to the people you’ve been with in the past and your hopes for future dick sizes down the line.  Needless to say, it’s exhausting, and I’ve passed out from thinking about it. The only time one should pass out thinking of dicks is being shocked at the Republicans who want to be the next President of the United States of America.

Relationships – Have you heard of six degrees of separation?  In the gay world, it’s one degree of separation.  I’d even say zero degrees of separation if that’s even possible. Straight guys, technically, you have 90% of females to choose from in an average dating pool, minus lesbians and undesirables.  For us gay men, we have 10% of the population; and if you try dating and banging the ex of one of your friends, or even a friend of a friend, that shit isn’t going to fly in a group of gay men.  If you do, you’ll always be considered “sloppy seconds Jeff,” or worse, “filthy fifths Ray.” And yeah, Ray, I’m talking about you.

Name – This one is the worst, at least in my opinion. You’re at a bar, feeling good, looking good, and you see a nice gentleman towards the end of the bar. You make your way over, introduce yourself, and smile. “Oh cool, we have the same name,” he responds.  No, not cool. Even though I’m egocentric and enjoy screaming my own name out during sex, it gets old fast.  I dated someone with the same name as me in college and we were nicknamed “The Gay Bobsey Twins.” The relationship ended when I asked if I could refer to him as “Ryan” during sex.  Well, to completely honest, I asked to call him “Ryan Gosling,” so maybe that’s why he got mad.

January 12, 2012

Leaving Los Angeles

I'm leaving Los Angeles,
The so-called City of Angeles,
Where dreams are made,
Crushed,
Where you're out,
Or in,
Or worse,
Where you're out,
But you think you're in.


Where am I?,
Not in Buffalo,
Not on the east coast,
But I'm heading back,
Well,
Not Buffalo,
But New York City,
Trading one big city for the next.


Can I be cliche for a second?
And say it was only yesterday,
When I went out the night before leaving,
And stayed out until 5AM the morning of my departure,
And rushed to pack up my car in the morning,
Because I was moving,
I was leaving,
I was going to Los Angeles.


I needed it,
And wanted it,
To be alone,
On the beach,
On the streets,
Finding my way,
Without anyone,
Even in a cold city,
Because believe it or not,
It's not that cold,
And it's not what people say it is.


All my shit is gone,
The apartment is a mess,
But I'm writing today,
And leaving in a few days,
Again,
Seattle,
Then Portland,
Austin down the line.


There are things you never forget,
But what they don't tell you,
Are the things you feel,
When you leave,
When you drive away,
And that moment when you think,
Here I am,
In this city,
With nothing but time,
And a little cash,
And no one to hold me back,
But myself,
And then you were off,
Cause enough people already stood in your way,
And you sure as fuck weren't going to be one of them.

Shit Gay Guys In The Closet Say


A few days ago, I came across the funny video sensation Shit Girls Say To Gay Guys, and as a result, I figured I would jump on the bandwagon with a rendition of my own. As a graduate of a Catholic college back east, I've met my fair share of closeted gay guys, and more times than once, found out I was dating one a few weeks into a relationship. Needless to say, it was NOT a highlight of my dating life.  So, here are a few things you may hear out of the mouths of closeted gay men.

"Yo dude, I'm not gay, I'm just drunk" - two seconds after climaxing from gay sex.

"Hey man, you know I'm straight and everything, but like, if I was gay, you would probably be my type" - you and a college bro have a moment of privacy at a frat party.

"Alright, just one more time, could you explain - in detail - what anal sex feels like?" - could have been just a curious straight guy, but the in detail part makes me a bit skeptical.

"Being gay is disgusting and gross and against God and against religion and it's not right" - no explanation needed.

"Receiving oral sex from a guy doesn't make me gay, does it?" - yeah, I think it does.

Signs You Are Not A Real Gay Guy.

The Gay First Impression

My good friend Justin And I. I met him at a
restaurant after ditching my date. Oooops.


Ah, the first impression. The moment where an individual forms an opinion based upon ones first interaction or worse, for those who are unattractive, the way one looks or dresses. For gay men, judgment is encrypted into our DNA; somewhat similar to how straight males seem like they are programmed to say “bro,” “dude,” and “man” before and after everything they say.

I resist the urge to roll my eyes when I hear something along the lines of, “I can’t believe they don’t like me because of what I’m wearing or the way I style my hair.” Well, on what other information would you like a first impression to be based upon? I confess that during college on the east coast, I was oftentimes guilty of judging people on image alone. I would wonder why close to 90% of all girls on campus, no matter the temperature or season, could be found in Ugg boots, leggings, a north face, and a designer bag, typically knock-off. All I could think was, “bitch, you are paying $40,000 a year to go here, how can you NOT afford a purse for a couple hundred dollars?”

For me personally, I am aware that I usually dress like a middle-aged, suburban soccer dad and that is something I have come to accept. My sweater pulled over a dress shirt and khaki combination is my statement that I am willing and comfortable giving to strangers. However, I am often mistaken for a straight nerd, which oftentimes messes me up when I’m trying to spit my game at a bar. I’m planning on wearing a “I am a certified homo” pin from now on whenever I am out in public.

With the exception of genetics, we are all in control of the way we look when we walk out of the house every morning. Those of you who are good-looking, thank your parents, and those of you who are ugly, take out another student loan or use your credit card to cover mild cosmetic surgery and take note of what is in style. Being judged on the way one looks is evident pretty much wherever there are human beings. Sure, it may be easy to say, “I want to live in a world where the way one looks does not matter”, but once you come back down to reality, it may be better to accept that some things will never change.

I know I sound superficial and harsh, but this is because for the most part, we as gay males are critical of everything around us, including outward appearances. That being said, I would never judge someone on disability, race, sex, and so on, but an ugly $15.00 polo from American Eagle one is sporting can easily be judged. We all know it can be replaced with a Tommy Hilfiger cardigan and a little credit card debt. I was actually a victim of “first impression rejection” a year or so ago when I visited Niagara Falls for a punk rock concert.

My best friend Siobhan and I. We met
the first day of senior year in college.
Familiar with soft rock and alternative venues, I wore what I would have to one my typical concerts, which on that fateful night, happened to be a bright yellow Ralph Lauren polo. Needless to say, I stuck out like a sore thumb, with the second brightest color at the concert being a dark shade of grey while everyone else was a sea of black and tattoos. I heard a few snide comments and jokes about what I was wearing and even laughed at myself, which I believe to be the key to a happy life.

I had a few drinks with the other concert goers, crowd surfed a time or two and sang along with the lyrics I have come to memorize. After a while, the comments stopped and I actually starting talking to a few of the people around me. We are all responsible for the way we are presented in society and no matter how superficial and annoying it may be, once people can see you are comfortable with yourself, the first impression usually goes out the window and what truly matters comes to the forefront: your personality.

January 10, 2012

Our Kid

It breaks my heart a little,
Not a lot,
Just a bit,
To know that down the line,
A few years from now,
I can't have a kid that's mine,
And yours,
Ours together.

Yeah,
It's selfish,
I suppose,
And it's one of the things,
That makes me sad,
But there's no changing it,
You know?,
So I might as well move on,
And get over it,
Cause it's not going to change.

Is anyone going to help me?
There's no helping myself,
When it comes down to it,
It's all on the back burner,
And I don't want to think of it anymore,
But the more I push it to the back of my head,
The more it comes out and pushes to the front,
Just what I didn't want to happpen.

So spit your politics,
And read me that Bible verse,
I'm fucking sick of it,
And I'm tired,
Cause when I'm done fighting my own battles,
I'll make an effort to listen to you,
But until then,
I have my own humanity and immorality to deal with,
And right now,
That's more than enough.

Interview with Arm The Animals Founder Matthew Heinemeyer

Arm The Animals, a trendy clothing line which donates a portion of their proceeds to animal rescues, is growing in popularity due to the drive of founders Matthew Heinemeyer and Danian Rios. As the mission of my website is to highlight the accomplishments of those in Generation Y, in addition giving background on current social movements, I was pleasantly surprised when I came across this company while shopping in Los Angeles. I spoke with Matthew about his role in animal activism and where he hopes to take the company in the future.
Jeffrey Hartinger: The mission of Arm The Animals is simple and to the point, which is to create hip clothing while gathering funds for animal rescues. What inspired you to fuse creative clothing design with animal activism?
Matthew Heinemeyer: Animals have played a big part in my life. Growing up, my family had dogs, cats, bunnies, etc. and I was born into that directly, so from day one – animals were family. My older sister Karen was a huge animal welfare advocate and literally spent her whole life saving, helping, and fostering unwanted animals.
In 2008, she passed away from a heart condition, and I felt fully compelled to do something to continue her good works and memory, but I wasn’t sure how… One day, the term “Arm The Animals” hit me like a bolt, so I looked it up online and nobody had ever registered it or used it – so I bought the URL and was off!

JH: Often, especially in the United States, it seems as if animal rights are downplayed among other social movements. How would you respond to individuals that claim that there are bigger issues in the world than saving the lives of a few animals?

MH: Honestly, I would agree with them, but only to a point: Activism is totally personal and very subjective; for one reason or another different people are compelled to get involved in different movements... this one just feels right to me. The plight of animals has always affected me personally and emotionally and if I had to pick a fight to jump into, it would be this one. Hopefully, there are enough good people driven in other directions of activism to help balance the scales and help reverse some of the insanity we have inflicted on this planet.
JH: Arm The Animals has quite the celebrity following; Ashley Greene, Shannon Elizabeth, and Mike Vogel, among countless others, are fans of the brand. Is there a particular celebrity or activist that you inspires you?
MH: Of course – lots of them. Every celebrity you see on our website or wearing our shirt totally supports our mission and has rescue pets themselves. They have been so cool to us and donated their time to help us out; I can’t thank them enough. As far as other celebrity activists, almost all of them could easily go on living their lives with plenty of money and never give anything back, but people like Betty White, Paul McCartney, Bob Barker, etc. are legends and they still continue to do events, raise funds, and truly make a difference. They actually care enough to leverage their celebrity to make a difference. That is amazing to me! 

JH: The goal of my website is to give a voice and source of entertainment to those in Generation Y, in addition to raising awareness on a social movement that is very important to me, which is to end discrimination and unfair treatment for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Do you believe the current youth culture is making positive and progressive strides for the LGBT community?
MH: I absolutely, positively do! This issue has always been so strange to me because I never really understood going after somebody simply because of who they were? I particularly remember showing my then 14 year old niece a news article about Gwen Araujo who was murdered in Heyward, CA in 2004 because she was Transgendered and she was utterly shocked and said, “Why would anyone kill her over that? It makes no sense!” That was a great answer to hear; her logic could literally not process a hate crime like that. 

All of my nieces and nephews all have openly LGBT friends and it’s truly is “no big deal”. They attend school openly and seem to have no problems – when they do, their friends defend them! That’s the biggest and best stride in my opinion because acceptance is one thing, defense is another. 

JH: The best advice you were ever given for starting a business and following your dreams?

MH: The best advice I can give is just do something… Get online and start going, talk to people, read as much as you can, do research, figure out a plan. There is so much to be done, you can never do enough, so the best thing one can do is know what they want to try and do before actually doing it. Business is a template, a system, and it’s been around for thousands of years; “business” is not the hard part - coming up with and executing an idea that is worth integrating into a business model is the hard part. Once you have a vision, do it and stick to it. I am very aware that I am not a great artists and tons of people said our shirts were not “good enough” or “too simple: or “not cool enough” to catch on, but I literally ignored them and I’m glad I did.

JH:  Any upcoming developments for Arm The Animals?
MH: Yes! Probably the biggest one yet! We have done this company on a shoestring budget and we progress and print only what we can afford. However, we found an incredible crowd funding platform called kickstarter.com and it allows us to make specialized items and offer them as gifts for people financially backing our company. What a better way to raise money than to take it out to the people who like what we are doing and understand our mission? We hope to raise enough money to develop and complete a full line for 2012. We want to make a ton of new shirts, a line of fleece and hoodies, various hats, beanies, stickers, posters, accessories, etc. Basically, everything our customers & fans have requested over the past year.

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Check out their Website, become a fan on Facebook, and follow Arm The Animals on Twitter!

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