February 29, 2012

Are Gays Too Judgmental?

The funny thing about stereotypes is that often times, those in a minority group who do not embody certain characteristics, such as “flamboyant” for gay males and “butch” for lesbians, often become pitted against those in a minority group who do happen to possess certain qualities, characteristics, and mannerisms that, to an extent, make some stereotypes “true.”

Over the years, I have noticed a stark contrast among those in the LGBT community, particularly when it comes to outward appearance, personality, and even the way people carry themselves.  Sure, I often joke that I prefer Soundgarden over Britney Spears and other tidbits that help diffuse common misconceptions about gay males, but a few weeks ago, a gay acquaintance made a comment while I was visiting New York City that helped put things further into perspective for me.

“Oh my God.  Did you see that gay guy up there?  He’s acting like such a girl.  Why do people need to act like that?”

Well, I thought out loud, why shouldn’t he act like that?

When I informed people I was gay during my freshman year at Canisius College, it was a liberating and positive process, but in a way, I often felt at odds with how to act and behave, in addition to navigating new friendships with LGBT and heterosexual individuals alike.  I learned that, although I personally like dating and building relationships with guys that are masculine and share the same interests as me, what does it matter if gay guys do want to act feminine?  What does it matter if someone wants to listen to Madonna as he cruises around the city in a pink convertible?  It doesn’t matter, and quite honestly, the divide among “straight-acting” gay men and “feminine-acting” gay men is actually a detriment to not only friendships and possible relationships, but the success of the current LGBT movement.

This divide is not only significant to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, but all minority groups within the United States and beyond.  Although I’ve said it a few times during college, I don’t think it’s a good idea to say things such as, “Yeah, I’m gay, but I don’t really relate to the LGBT community.”  As a 17-year-old who enjoyed sports and flannel over pop concerts and dance clubs, at the time, it seemed like an acceptable thing to say.  But now, as a gay young adult on the cusp of his 23rd birthday, it would sound simply ignorant and uneducated to say such a thing.

Yes, sexuality does link us gay folks together in a different way than heterosexual people, but at the core of it, how many of the billions of straight men and women “relate” to their community?  And with all the subgroups; does anyone really relate on all aspects when one sits down and considers the overwhelmingly diversity of the modern world?

Stereotypes, no matter how true or false, are often rooted is misconceptions and ignorance.  If an individual hears someone who is part of a minority group ridiculing others in that said group, it helps deteriorate the harmony and togetherness the LGBT movement has been fighting for over the past few decades.  So, next time you see that “flamboyant” gay guy or that “masculine” gay dude, don’t say something like, “oh, of course you’re gay” or “oh, I couldn’t tell you were gay,” because at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if they like Stone Temple Pilots or P!nk or dyed hair or baseball caps; it matters who they are.  Simple as that.

Don't let stereotypes impact your opinion; check out 9 Myths About Gay Men.

The Last Word

After I wrote the letter,
I tossed out the pen,
Put on two stamps,
Just in case,
And wrote your name,
And the last place you lived,
A few miles outside of Los Angeles.

I think you still live there,
But either way,
I didn’t put my name on the front,
Or my address,
Because then I can go on,
Pretending that you got it,
Or thinking that you really did get it,
Because, as usual,
I got the last word,
In one way or another.

I think that was that problem,
One of the problems,
That both of us needed that last word,
That one last jab,
That last laugh,
Because when I look back,
There were a lot of lasts,
But not a lot of firsts.

I put on one more stamp,
It was the only one left,
So why not?
Maybe you’ll think it’s something important,
With crisp writing,
Your name so perfectly written,
Because it took me six times to get it right,
And I wonder if anyone found the envelopes in the trash,
If they would think I was crazy.

I think I’m on the move again,
And you’re probably on the go,
So I grab another pen,
Another color,
And write,
“Somewhere in the states,
But maybe not,”
And toss the letter into the box,
Walking towards another coffee shop in this terrible weather,
Wondering if anyone has ever sent me a letter like this, too.

February 27, 2012

Online Dating Labels

As I arrived to my mothers house, she wanted me to take a peak at her new online dating profile.  After a few minutes, I informed her that it was not a good idea to use swear words or to have a majority of her profile in capital letters. I then let out a little gasp when I saw the top of her page, which listed her basic information.

Among other lies, it listed that she was "Catholic" and an "occasional smoker."

This, of course, was used in describing a woman who has never picked up a bible or put down a cigarette until it was inhaled to the base.

"Mom, you need to remove those lines.  You are not Catholic and you smoke constantly" I said.

"I believe in God and I don't smoke a lot" she replied as thick smoke escaped from her mouth and nose.  I think some may have even came out of her left ear, but it was too hard to tell for sure.

After twenty minutes of debate, I decided to end the discussion. 

Having been single for the past year or so, the dating life of my mother has not been the greatest and if she wants to stretch the truth a bit to find "Mr. Right," then so be it.  Ironically enough, my 45-year-old straight mother and I, her 22-year-old gay son, often swap stories similar stories about the highs and lows of dating.  Most of the time, we agree that all guys suck; gay dudes a little bit more than straight ones.  No pun intended.

As I considered the role of modern dating yet again, it appeared as if labels are ruling the online dating world; from Match.com to dating applications on smart phones to hook up sites.  No longer, it seems, do people get to know each other as they used to in previous generations; which is not necessarily a bad thing.  It appears that it's much more simple to scan through a list of potential suitors and compare and contrasts their perks and flaws.  On some sites, such as those catered to the gay male community, people actually go to the effort of requesting that individuals do not contact them if they are "black," "Asian," or "flamboyant," among others.

Dating sites are actually cool if you use them the right way.  Don't give away too much information, don't lie, and if worst comes to worse, there is usually a box of cheap wine on sale at your neighborhood liquor store.  And for those of you who have seen me on Grindr, I will come clean right now; I am actually 5'8.5, not 5'9.

Best Looking American Cities

Over the past few years, I had the amazing opportunity to visit a couple dozen cities throughout the United States.  Due to movies, television, and entertainment publications, a majority of America believes that the best looking individuals live in major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  Guess what?  They don't.  

I'm a fond believer that you should not judge people on they way they look, but if you do anyways, here are my top 20 best looking American cities.  This is just my opinion, so calm the fuck down in advance. Thanks!

20) Albuquerque, New Mexico
Des Moines, Iowa
18) Phoenix, Arizona
17) Las Vegas, Nevada
16) Orlando, Florida
15) Seattle, Washington
14) San Diego, California
13) Tampa, Florida
12) Houston, Texas
11) Portland, Oregon
10) Miami, Flordia
9) Denver, Colorado
8) San Francisco, California
7) Dallas, Texas

6) New York, New York
5) Buffalo, New York
4) Fayetteville, Arkansas
3) Chicago, Illinois
2) Los Angeles, California
1) Austin, Texas

February 25, 2012

Putting Things In Perspective

Just as I thought, traveling the country for a month and a half really helped put things into perspective for me.  Of course, it was amazing to see awesome cities such as San Francisco and Austin, in addition to more than a dozen others, but it was also an eye opening experience to go to the towns and cities I would have otherwise never visited.  At the end of the book tour, it turned out that I had one of the best times in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Yeah, Arkansas. 

My job helped me realize and further understand that cities should not be judged by population size; I was in some of the largest cities in the country and there was almost nothing to do and the culture seemed close to non-existent.  As I have relocated back to Buffalo for the time being to seek employment on the east coast, I am beyond excited to be back with family, friends, and the awesome folks of the Queen City.  Having been in town for only a few days, the friendly demeanor, great food, and beautiful architecture has made me fall in love further with the city that I called home for a majority of my life.

My travels and work experience over the past few months also helped me realize my love for investigative journalism, social media, and political activism.  Quite honestly, being in a different city every few days influenced me to form the opinion that life is quite … pointless.  Not pointless in a jaded or suicidal sense, but pointless in the theory that there is no real meaning to life.  This, I suppose, makes life that much more interesting, as I believe that one should go out and seek what excites and infuriates them.

For me, I realized my love for writing at a young age, probably around middle school.  I didn’t fully embrace it until I reached college, but one instance will forever stick out in my mind; I don’t think it was the first time that I knew I was going to be a writer, but it was one of the first times that I knew other people would try to tear me down.  Sadly, I learned that also involved teachers.

I was in seventh grade and our class was learning about the Civil War.  My teacher, the miserable fuck that he was, actually showed a sign of creativity and allowed us unique options for our final reports.  Instead of the regular research project, one of the options he suggested involved having us students write a short story about the Civil War.  Even at a young age, I was overly excited about history, in addition to writing, so this seemed like the perfect assignment for me. 

Over the next few days, I crafted my first short story; the assignment was told in the first person and depicted a young African-American man watching his family as they get sold to different white families at a slave auction.  It made me uncomfortable to write it, but in a way, I felt as if I was finally giving a voice to thousands of past slaves; even if my teacher in suburban Buffalo was the only person to read it.  I turned in the paper and anxiously waited for the response of my teacher.

I got a response, but not one that I expected.  A week later, I was watching a volleyball game in the middle school gym after school as my teacher approached me.  I noticed that he had my paper in his hand.  He motioned me into the hallway and said that he wanted to talk about the assignment.  As we got into the hall, he told me that if I admitted to plagiarism, I would simply get a zero for the assignment with no possibility of earning the points back.  If I denied plagiarism, we would tell my principal and my football coach and make sure I didn’t partake in my upcoming football game that day.  When I asked him why he believed that I didn’t write it, he responded, “Do you really expect me to believe that you wrote this?  How would you know the details of a slave auction?”

I just looked at him and my young self pondered how someone so ignorant and stupid was employed in a respectable school district.  Instead of telling him there was a popular new search engine named “Google” and a library full of history books for research, I told him that he should do whatever he saw fit and I would see him in class on Monday.

He ended up going directly to the coaches’ office and demanding that I be benched for plagiarism.  When my coach asked where I stole the work from, my teacher said that he did not know but he would get to the bottom of it.  Of course, it was not plagiarized, and of course, I was not benched, but the situation helped me understand – years later – that no matter what career or path or creative endeavors one pursues, the old saying proves to be true every time : those who abandon their dreams will discourage yours.

Over the years, I have become particularly inspired by historical fiction.  Take a moment to check out some of my recent work below:

The Friend Of Leon - Taking place in 1901 Buffalo, New York, a closeted lesbian of high society becomes involved in one of the biggest scandals in the history of the city.
The Day Before - A terrible act of violence is unbeknownst to a couple who cut themselves off from technology for a few days.
The Radical Relationship - Follow the day of two small town individuals in what society deems a "radical relationship."

February 15, 2012

Oklahoma Buffalo

You wrote a letter,
To a newspaper in Buffalo,
Mere hours before you were killed.

You said sorry,

And it was the first time,
The first time you said that word.

Your religious beliefs,

Were stated,
Which now are the same as mine.

I watched when it happened,

Or the aftermath of what happened,
And never considered,
That you were a kid once, too.

That you grew up,
That you were raised,
Not too far from the town I was in,

A quiet suburb,
A place where my sister now lives.

I connected,

With the kids,
Cause I was a kid,
And I wondered why?

But the television went off,

And I watched it again the next day,
Then went about life as I knew it.

The world went on,

Another terrible thing happened,
Then another,
Then a few more,
Then I grew up.

I arrived to the double city,
Not New York,

But Oklahoma,
But with a New York connection,
A Buffalo connection,
In more ways than one.

I sat in a book store,

Not too far from where it happened,
And I opened a book,
And there were the kids.

Maybe not the ones I saw years before,

But the kids were there.

I flipped through the pages,

Then walked outside,
And saw a beautiful Buffalo.

One that represents the city of Oklahoma,

The state of Oklahoma,
Because if anything,
Some thing,
One thing,
From Buffalo,

Sure as hell isn't going to define these people.

Things I've Learned As A Young Adult

Ah, the ups and downs of growing up in a First World Country.  As I turn 23-years-old next month - which is like 58 in gay years - I've been reflecting on some aspects of my life and the small lessons I have learned along the way.  As always, I learned the hard way, so I hope some of my minor setbacks will help you.

Lesson One - Appearance.  It's Wednesday morning.  You wake up, jump in the shower, and jam out to your favorite Third Eye Blind song on repeat.  Well, that's what I do when I'm in a good mood.  You have a big date with a handsome guy or beautiful girl that upcoming Friday night and you are super excited.  You've been looking good and you are happy for a night on the town; and if things go well, a night on your date.  You get out of the shower and check out that cute face of yours in the mirror; only to see you have a major pimple budding smack dab in the middle of your face or on your forehead.  You know it's going to get bigger and not be gone by Friday.  This is what I learned; whatever you do, DO NOT try to pop it if it's not ready.  I got so worked up one time before a date that I tried to pop a pimple that was not ready and it looked five times worse.  So, composure yourself, you cute son of a bitch; one little (well, big) pimple is not the best thing to have for a big date, but making it worse is not going to help either.

Lesson Tw0 - Parents.  A cool thing about those of us in Generation Y - for the most part - is that our relationships with our parents are considered the best in comparison to any generation before us.  Growing up, I was close with my parents, but often at odds to fill them in on personal aspects of my life.  When I moved away to college - and particularly when I moved 3,000 miles away to Los Angeles - I came to realize that some of the best advice came from my parents.  For some, you may need to ask them to "cut the crap and tell me how you really feel," which most will be more than happy to give advice.  Also, in my experience, honestly with your parents works the best, too.  When I was dating someone close to fifteen years older than me, I knew my rents were not going to be especially enthused, but by having an open dialogue with them from the start, is caused for less stress and conflict down the line.

Lesson Three - Money. Let me be blunt with this one; don't be a cheap bastard.  There is a fine line between frugal and cheap.  Since I was seventeen, I've supported myself and like any college student or young adult, there were times I was so broke that I considered prostitution or porn.  Just kidding.  Well, not really.  Anyways, if you grab a friends drink at a bar or pick up their lunch special at brunch, don't sweat it.  In the grand scheme of life, is five or ten bucks that big of a deal? And if so, do you really consider this person a friend is you can't buy them a drink every now and then?  It's college.  It's happy hour.  It's a night out.  I'm sure you'll get that drink or dinner bought for you down the line, so get over it.  Or don't go out for a night on the town if your that stressed about cash flow, dude.

February 13, 2012

Five Days In Los Angeles

Everyone smokes pot in California,
You said as you tossed me your passport,
I caught it in my right hand,
And as I flipped it open with the other,
I noticed it had a lot more pages than mine.

How weird,
I thought to myself,
Then I said it out loud,
As I opened to the first stamp,
My birthday,
March 20th.

I was a little buzzed,
Or faded,
Or whatever they call it.

You know,

You paused,
I was almost gone twice when I was over there,
You took the passport back,
And pointed to a stamp,
Then another,

You said something about a bomb,

A blown tire,
I noticed a scar,
But I noticed it now,
And I wonder why you told me,
We just met.

You kissed me,
We got to our feet,
I tasted marijuana on your breath,
And quite honestly,
I enjoyed it.

I kissed you again.

Fuck man,

Of course you are just visiting,
You said as we walked back to your car,
And as we drove down Santa Monica Boulevard,
I kept thinking about the moment I cracked open your passport,
And I wondered where I was off to next,
And how many more pages you would fill.

I Want An Engagement Ring

A few weeks ago, I was on Twitter when I tweeted the line, “Dear future husband: I would like an engagement ring.  Much love, Jeffrey.”  I had a few responses, such as “you are too funny,” and I was a little confused; did these Twitter bitches think I was kidding?  I brought up the situation to my friend over the phone and he said he understood.

“Oh, that’s cool,” he said, “like you and your husband will buy engagement rings for each other?”

“No.  Just me, actually. I wouldn’t get him one.” I responded.

We started laughing, but again, I was serious. 

As the acceptance of the LGBT community grows and gay relationships and marriages become more “mainstream” than they ever have been in United States history, I believe many individuals – gay and straight – must understand that the partnerships of gay men and lesbians vary just as much as our heterosexual counterparts.

I turn 23-years-old next month, and recently, I reflected on my first gay relationships and now, years later, I am confronted with a wide range of boyfriends and varying types of relationships.  As I’ve stated in the past, I believe those of us in Generation Y Should Date A Shitload Of People; not only to understand the type of person you want to be with, but also type of relationship you want to be in.

So, I suppose, if I had to simply explain my relationship preferences, I would consider myself “a straight girl trapped in the body of a straight man.”  I like stereotypical guy stuff, but then again, while in a relationship, I enjoy being pursued, wined and dined, asked out on dates, called back first, and uh, other stuff, but I won’t get too graphic in regard to my sex life. You all know I’m not one to kiss and tell.   

Maybe my relationship expectation has something to do with the fact that I am borderline self-centered and a creative type, but whatever.

I believe that before any successful relationship is possible, one must come to terms with what one is seeking from a potential suitor.  So yeah, I guess when it comes down to it, I don’t want some expensive ring; I want my partner to propose to me.  Give me a bent ring out of a Cracker Jack box, because for me, that’s not what it’s about. Well actually, don't give me a ring from the Cracker Jack box, but something moderately priced is OK.

February 11, 2012

Girls Night Out In Austin

I met Caitlin the summer going into my senior year at Canisius College.  I was stumbling out of a bar around 4AM when I saw a lanky blonde and a petite Hispanic woman walking very suggestively down the street together.  I recognized the white girl from my school, and as we are both gay, I was confused at why her and I weren’t friends.  Over the next few months, we became friendly with each other, but for one reason or another, she and I never went out for drinks while studying in Buffalo; even though both of us were in the early stages of alcoholism.

After graduation, she moved to Austin and I moved to Los Angeles, so I was extremely happy when I found out I would be visiting Austin for a week for my job.  We met up a few times early in my visit, and when Thursday rolled around, I knew we had to have a “girls night out” before I left on Friday.  I texted her and told her to meet me downtown at a coffee shop and we would figure out what to do.  “Wear your Canisius sweater.  I’m wearing mine,” I added.

Caitlin arrived downtown about an hour or so later and I finished up my work as we gossiped.  I informed her that in honor of black history month, I wanted to hook up with an African-American man that looked like Oprah.  A few hours later, I would cause a minor scene at the bar that involved homosexuals from a variety of different races.  See what happens when I try to do something nice?

We went to a great happy hour a few blocks away where the restaurant was practically giving away PBR for free.  They were only a dollar!  Fuck yeah, dude.  We had around four or five beers and I was pretty buzzed.  I wanted to add a touch of class to the scene so I drank my beer with a straw.  I confided in Caitlin that, up until a few hours ago, I confused the Texas flag with the Confederate flag and was extremely nervous being in the city as a gay male with a growing interest in ethnic (black) men.

“Jeff, why are you chugging your PBR?” the tall lesbian asked.

“I’m stressed” I replied.

“About what?  You travel to a new city every few days and only work a few hours a day, if any.”

“I feel like a gay nomad.  But, speaking of, let’s get out of here.  I need to drop these advertisements off at gay bars before we head out tonight.”

We made our way down the street and I noticed a few rainbow flags.  I asked Caitlin if she thought it was a gay establishment.  After she asked if I was stupid, I gave her a few advertisements and told her to go put them in the bar.

Ironically, even though I write about personal details of my life on a daily basis, I get shy from time to time.  In addition, I did chug half a dozen PBR with a straw and didn’t want to risk a burp.  I waited outside for a few minutes and when I walked in the bar to find Caitlin, I noticed her chatting with a strapping man in a suit. 

“Wow, look at you,” he said, “you sure are handsome. Are you two friends?”

We started talking and flirting, and a few minutes later, a cute lesbian was at his side.  He offered to buy us a round of shots.  Then another.  Then another.  Then another.  After the 4th shot, Caitlin leaned over and whispered, “Just think.  If we were ugly, we’d be sober right now.”  I suppose she was right, and as if on cue, the handsome Texas lawyer paid me another cute compliment.  We continued to flirt and I politely refused a fifth shot.

“You know,” he slurred, “I am probably old enough to be your dad.”

“How old are you?” I asked.


“Well, it’s your lucky day, David.  I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t fuck anyone older than my parents and it just so happens my mother is forty-five.  Maybe fate is real.”

I was actually serious, but everyone in the general area stopped talking and looked in my direction.  His face went blank so I excused myself to the bathroom to compose myself.  Well, when else would I have an opportunity to bang a hot Texas lawyer?  I’m a family oriented gay dude and I’m not getting any younger! While taking a piss, I imagined a gay version of Debbie Does Dallas with yours truly in the lead role.  As I walked back to the group, I pondered if I was an alcoholic and a reverse pedophile.

Even though David “bought” all the shots, he made his lesbian friend pay the tab.  I didn’t care; not like it was my money.  We all walked outside and the older gay duo made their way up the street.  I told Caitlin that I didn’t think it was a good idea to get trashed before 7PM, especially since I had my laptop with me and that every drink I consumed from that point forward would drastically increase my chances of being a whore.

“I’m having fun, but let’s pass the rest of this shit out then go back to your apartment.  We can pregame then go out in a few hours” I said.

We walked into a different bar and David yelled out to us to come join them for another drink.  Caitlin and I looked at each other and made our way towards the bar that he and his lesbian sidekick had chosen. 

“You know, if you weren’t leaving tomorrow, I’d kiss you” he said after a few more drinks. I laughed and kissed him.  I did the quick math and realized that when he was my age, I was negative twenty-two.  Whatever.  I told myself I would stop making out in bars after my freshman year of college, but like most things in life, sometimes things don’t go quite according to plan.

When David excused himself to the bathroom, I wondered if he was the type of lawyer who did lines of coke off the toilet seat.  I ate half an Adderall at the gay pride parade earlier this year in Los Angeles and called my mother the next morning and told her I was a pill head and that big city life had corrupted me.  I snapped out of my little daydream as a black guy around my age yanked me away from the bar.

“Hey!  I need your help.  Did you see that guy that walked past me?  We used to date.  I want to make him jealous.  Just stand here and talk and I’ll laugh” he said quickly.

I was going to refuse as I do not believe in playing love games, but it dawned on me that this could be my contribution to black history month.  I really wanted to hook up with the alcoholic lawyer and he was white, so the Oprah plan I had devised in the coffee shop earlier that day was out the window.  I simply smiled and said OK.

“Here he comes” said the caramel-skinned man.

Of course.

“Dude,” I said, “I’m just going to come out and say it.  I’ve been making out with him for the past fifteen minutes.  In all honestly, just get over it.” I said and made my way over to a vacant table.  Sometimes, I don’t feel like being part of a bizarre, sitcom-esque awkward situation, so I nip it in the bud right away.

The lawyer made his way over to me and was starting to get touchy-feely.  The black guy was watching and Caitlin tried to get him to relax.  I heard him tell her, “You must be new in town.  Do you have any idea who my parents are?” She replied, “Dude, I don’t give a fuck.”

David and I were in mid-conversation when he put his hand up to my face.

“Not to be rude, but my main interest is him,” he said as he pointed over to a Hispanic guy with a backpack that looked like a slightly older version of Dora The Explorers cousin.  “I hope you have a good rest of the night.  Bye.”

What the fuck?  I really didn’t care, but it was honestly out of nowhere.  This shit was getting too multicultural, too fast.  Whatever.  I was called handsome approximately 37 times, had over a dozen drinks and shots bought for me, and kissed a good-looking lawyer who was possibly a couple months younger than my mother.

I glanced over at Caitlin, she chugged the rest of her vodka, and we walked out the door with our heads held high.  Little did we know, it was only the start of our night.  Stay tuned.

February 5, 2012

Why You Should Go On Dates While Traveling

Another city, another guy, another God damn fucking hangover.  Over the past two weeks, I've been to seven cities, and for the upcoming week, Mark and I head to Austin, Dallas, and Houston for the next few stops on his book tour.  

Some cities - such as Seattle and Portland - left little free time for me, but for the rest of the west coast venues, a few studs happened to catch my eye.  And I may have banged one of them, oooooops.  Rumor has it I'm a little easy after 1.5 crown and cokes.  Why must people start rumors?  I'm easy with or without alcohol.

The funny thing about traveling is that most people are afraid to open up to another person due to the fear of getting too close and then having to end ones fling as your little vacation is over.  For those of us in Generation Y, the possibility of us finding a relationship - or potentially, love - with someone from our hometown or college town is there, but in my opinion, the aspect of crossing paths with a potential mate is high when one is on the road, traveling, or studying abroad.

So, even though you are in town for a week, or even a few days, get those phone numbers.  Go on a date.  Go grab a fucking cup of coffee.  Sure, you may be a couple hundred or a couple thousand miles from home, but that doesn't mean the real world is put on hold.  Life is about taking chances and getting to know other people, because in the process, you may cross paths with someone that stays in your life for some time.  Or, at bare minimum, a guaranteed fuck buddy in a distant city.

Byron Brown: Join Mayors For The Freedom To Marry

Every city I visit, I let them know why I love my hometown of Buffalo, New York so much.  From time to time, I've also been known to incorporate Buffalo Wing Dip into a few sex acts, but I'm not getting into that right now.  Living in the Hamlin Park neighborhood of Buffalo for my four years spent at Canisius College, I can recall almost a dozen times where Mrs. Brown was outside in her nightgown at 2AM screaming for drunk college kids to get off her lawn.  Oh, the good old days.

Anyways, there is a cool new initiative by Freedom To Marry, a national gay rights organization that strives to end marriage inequality, for which close to 120 mayors across the country have signed on to show their support for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.  As I have lived in Los Angeles for the past eight months, I was very happy to see that my current mayor, Antonio Villaraigosa, was a chair to the cause.  He joins the mayors from New York City, Houston, Boston, and San Diego.

I went through the complete list and was happy to see other New York State mayors from Rochester, Niagara Falls, Ithaca, Binghamton, Yonkers,  and various others.  But, no Buffalo.  What?

I ask you this :  Please take a moment and send Mayor Brown a quick email to show him that you, as a Buffalonian, support marriage equality for the LGBT community.  Yes, gay marriage is legal in New York State, but in order for these rights to become national, the LGBT community needs support on all levels.  Also, please repost this and share on social media - and hopefully - Mayor Byron Brown will notice and add his name to the cause! 

I am usually a man of many words, but I sent a simple and to the point email: 


Please read the following link and join this campaign to end marriage discrimination.


As a liberal, progressive, and educated city, your stance represents the views of many Buffalonians.

Thank you very much,

Jeffrey Hartinger
Buffalo Native, Canisius College alum

Thanks a bunch!  Here is the email to contact the mayor: 


Snail Mail 
Mayor Byron Brown
201 City Hall
Buffalo, New York 14202 

The Movement

They say each movement is different,
And to an extent,
That's true,
But the bewilderment falls upon me,
When I watch those clips from the early 60's,
And how people justified their actions.

Those white kids from Berkeley,
Taking a bus across the bay,
Over to San Francisco,
And demanding rights for the blacks,
As they paraded around the dining room,
Of a prestigious hotel near the water.

The gays in the village,
That tossed a few words,
Then a few fists,
Then a few bricks,
Because God damn it,
They weren't going to jail,
They weren't leaving Stonewall,
For no reason at all.

There was a reason,
Because they were gay,
And some may say,
The movement began,
Right then and there.

But it began before,
Years before,
But our society defines a movement,
Only when lines are crossed,
Or windows smashed,
But the underground work has been going on,
For years,
For decades.

Open a fucking history book,
And read about marriage,
And how love is viewed in America,
And the rest of the world,
Because I find it quite ironic,
Very ironic,
That some people think I'm misguided,
For loving another man,
Cause when it all comes down to it,
Even with all this prejudice,
And all this hate,
I think I'm just one of the lucky few.

February 4, 2012

Why Gays Do Not Merit Marriage

As I traveled today from Phoenix, Arizona to Albuquerque, New Mexico, I had the 90's music on high, the windows down, and I tried to put my phone away for a few hours as I glanced out the passenger window endlessly.  I got bored after some time and decided to check up on political news.  

Of course; another day, another homophobic comment.

At an recent event at William Woods University in Missouri, Rick Santorum stated Friday that LGBT individuals do not merit the "privilege" of marriage and gay marriage does not benefit society in the same way as heterosexual ones. 

OK - this man does not merit the privilege of being on television as he looks like Danny Tanner from Full House and a deranged clown fucked and he was the bobble-headed byproduct - and I'm getting sick of listening to him.  Well, the little bitch recently received only 12% support in Nevada; ironically, the estimated amount of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals in the United States.

As a gay male, I would like to state my reasons of why gay and lesbian couples do not merit marriage.

Reason One - Economy.  Alright, alright. I'm going to come clean right now.  Although we are in the midst of a recession, the gays - myself included - are downright troublesome to the recovery of the United States.  Since my student loan bills can only be deferred for so long, I've made a pact with myself to only bang guys that are the same weight and height as me.  Why?  Because everyone knows - homophobic politicians included -that all great marriages stem from a great lay, and by eventually being in a relationship with a guy the same size as me, this will save me money when it comes to buying clothes and shoes and other male necessities; we can just share everything.  Allow us to marry?  Whoa dude, now we're in murky water, cause the sharing of items will just get worse. Gays don't merit marriage because they will ruin the economy, duh! 

Reason Two - American Dream. I'm so embarrassed that I am part of the LGBT community.  We are a community that has slowly ruined the American Dream!  Right?  Every family in the United States has two committed parents, three kids, two cars, one dog, and a fucking partridge in a pear tree.  Gays do not merit marriage because we will throw off the dynamic of the 300 plus million Americans.  If gays get married, long gone will be the white picket fences and the mediocrity of suburbia.  Also - domestic violence may rise as gay husbands and lesbian wives debate what 1950's stereotype they will become, as conservative republicans assume modern America is a scene from Leave It To Beaver.  Newsflash.  It's not.

February 1, 2012

One Reason Why Tom Brady Does Not Like Buffalo

Ironically enough, I was checking out of a hotel in San Diego when I checked my smart phone.  As a Buffalonian who is admittedly in love with his hometown back east, I glanced down at my Facebook app to see that a few people had posted about Tom Brady and Buffalo.  When I looked further, I read an article about how Brady doesn't want to bang Gisele Bundchen in any hotel in Buffalo.  Or something like that. How rude, dude.

While it's not that big of a deal, people must understand one thing:  people from Buffalo love Buffalo.  I lived in one of the most fabulous cities in the country for close to a year - Los Angeles - and I am currently traveling the United States for three months.  And I still love that little fuck Buffalo.  I'm sick of people picking on Buffalo.  We didn't do anything to anyone.  Well, not usually.

Tom Brady - your dad didn't follow you to Iraq when you were starting your career - he accompanied you to one of the friendliest cities in the country, so don't paint him at a saint.  Or a patriot.  From now on, I will dedicate articles to individuals who talk shit about Buffalo.  This one is for you, Tom Brady, and just an FYI: I would jerk off to your wife before I came out of the closet.  It didn't work.  Now I can't even watch the Victoria Secret Fashion Show because I flashback to the 10th grade when I would fantasize about some dude then switch over to Gisele for the final four seconds.  Not too fun.

So, Tom Brady, please do not pick on Buffalo again.  I don't even watch sports and know you threw four fucking interceptions while playing the Buffalo Bills, so get over yourself, sister. We know that's the only reason you made your little snide comment.  As a guy who has slept with a lot of tourists - and has seen the ins and outs of Buffalo accommodations - I can say, wholeheartedly, that they are all top notch.

Shit I Should Have Said

Once again, a funny guest post from my college friend Caitlin Krull.  We almost banged while students at Canisius College, but as we are both gay, she and I decided against it.  Well, there was that one time we split three bottles of Ketel One and woke up naked in a pile of Jim Steak Out wrappers, but I won't get into that.  Exam week is stressful, you know? Enjoy this funny post from the 3rd most popular lesbian ever in the United States; behind Ellen DeGeneres and Eleanor Roosevelt, of course.

We have all done it.  And alas, we all regret it each time it is done. And the best part is; we will do it again and again and again. What is "it," you ask?

How many times have you left without saying exactly what was on your mind? So many questions left unanswered and so many thoughts left swirrling through your mind. We all know that we should just be honest and say what's on our mind.  Right?  But when it comes down to it, most of us tuck our balls between our legs, metaphorically speaking of course. Or not.

I am a woman - well I have a vagina,  at least -who always claims that I live with no regrets. However, I suppose that I am also a hypocrite. I do live with regrets. And the regrets that eat at me the most, no pun intended, come from not saying exactly what is on my mind.

So, here it is: My diary of the shit I never said. I can only hope that the right people read this and are smart enough to figure it out. I refrained from using names for their sake.  You're welcome, bitches.

1. You still remain number one on my list of best kissers. I'm just glad the girl sleeping in my bed didn't hear us making out in the other room.  That could of made things complicated.

2. Was she worth shutting me out for? Because I actually considered dating you; even after I found out you were not a very good kisser. Like, at all. For me, that is saying a lot, sister!

3. I'm sorry I cheated on you. Multiple times.  With multiple people.

4. All your kids aside; was it just a phase? Or would you still run away with me? 

5. You are still on my to-do list.

6. Are you happy with your marriage? Like TRULY happy. Or is it just a show, like it was the whole time you two were dating? 

7. If you didn't fall in love with me, I would have liked you more. 

8. I wish you had a different name. 

9. Does it hurt to get your nose broken? I may have asked this, I don't remember though. I was too drunk.

10. Sorry I never called you back.

11. That orgasm COULDN'T have been real. I know mine wasn't, bitch.

12. You were my favorite person to hook up with in the bathroom at bars. 

13. Payback is a bitch, huh? 

14. I used to hook up with you. Then I would go across the hall to someone else. Sorry. Can I get an "amen" for Catholic colleges?

15. "Someone I used to know" - Gotye. Go listen to it. FIGURE IT OUT ALREADY! Christ, I cannot post this song on facebook many more times without you acknowledging it...

As you can tell from number fifteen, I think Cailtin is trying to shack up with an old fling.  Well, you go girl!  Are you funny?  Send me something to consider -- if you are a hot dude, you have better chances.


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