March 29, 2012

Hard Pink Balls & Santorum

Rick Santorum, a man that some may argue is the epitome of manliness, stopped a young boy from using a pink bowling ball during a campaign appearance in Wisconsin on Wednesday.

"Friends don't let friends use pink balls.  You're not goona use the pink ball.  We're not goona let you do that."

Mr. Santorum must have been so exhausted from bowling because he was too tired to tell a little girl playing with a Tonka truck to "put that thing down and get in the fucking kitchen and make a sandwich, bitch."

Marcus Bachmann most likely thought: Hey, it's OK to like balls, just don't let anyone know about it.

March 27, 2012

ABSOLUT Outrageous NYC

As one not too familiar with the hit Logo show Rupaul’s Drag Race, which is now in its fourth season, I was looking forward to attending a viewing party at a popular NYC hotspot; Boxers. Located in Chelsea, the venue is dubbed a gay sports bar that has an awesome lounge area, pool tables, and a small back patio.  One perk of the bar is that bartenders are very good looking, in addition to being very kind and friendly; after the hustle and bustle of a New York City work day, no one really feels like getting sass while ordering a drink.

As I arrived to the party around 8PM, it was already packed with New Yorkers looking to root on their favorite contestants; and some already were, as signs that read “Let’s Go Phi Phi!” and “Chad Michaels: Let’s Do This!” were visible as I made my way through the crowd.  The presence of ABSOLUT Vodka, long known for their progressive marketing and inclusion of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, was seen throughout Boxers as cocktails were served in lighted glasses that read “ABSOLUT OUTrageous;” the tag line for the 30th anniversary of the company advertising to LGBT consumers.  Their first ad appeared in The Advocate in 1981.

A few minutes into the show, I was already hooked by the witty banter and hilarious comments from the contestants. In addition, RuPaul still looks like one of the fiercest drag queens I have ever seen in my life. The atmosphere of the bar was also great; as cheering and booing were accompanied by ABSOLUT drink specials and cotton candy that was passed around Boxers.  Before the event, I was already a huge fan of ABSOLUT Vodka, but now I can also say that I am a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

March 23, 2012

Buffalo Guy In New York

On March 20, I rang in my 23rd birthday in Buffalo with a big glass of chocolate milk while sending out a couple dozen emails to potential landlords in New York City.  Very chic and crazy, I know, I know.  Moving from Los Angeles to New York was probably one of the more stressful things I have done in my life, but it is possible; if you are dumb enough to think that things will fall into your lap, then you aren’t smart enough to be doing those things in the first place.

Since I start my job in Manhattan on Monday, I figured I should hit the ground running in regard to an apartment search.  I arrived on the 21st, checked out places on the 22nd, and put a deposit down on the 23rd: LIKE A BOSS.  It’s located in Queens and until I move in on the first of April, I’m staying with one of my best friends, Michelle, and her awesome roommates, Megan and Ciara.  Hopefully they consider me “one of the girls.”

While celebrating my apartment find, I considered two options: go to a happy hour or pig out by ordering a hearty meal from a food truck.  Although I love to drink, I enjoy eating even more.  If I ever write a memoir, it will most likely be titled The Hunger Games.  Shit, I think there is already a book out by that name?  Whatever.  As I made my way to relax in Union Square with lamb over rice overflowing from a white container, I noticed a bunch of Occupy protesters were organized in the area.

Screaming, nice weather, a bunch of people, police, and car honking; my kind of relaxation.

Having relocated to Los Angeles close to a year before, I always, for some reason, felt like the move would be temporary.  It never quite felt like “home,” even though I loved living there and had an amazing experience.  Even after a few days, New York City already felt like it fit.  Like I fit.

As I finished up my lunch and got ready to leave, I was hit by a stray water balloon.  Yep, I’m home.
---

While in Los Angeles, I had to opportunity to visit the Occupy LA camp a day before it was broken up.  Take a moment to check it out!

March 19, 2012

Gorilla Escapes From Buffalo Zoo

A gorilla escaped from the Buffalo Zoo.
The creature was tranquilized and according to a source, was "the second most drugged up animal in Western New York, just behind Carl Paladino."

No word yet on why the gorilla tried to escape, but rumor has it that the animal was en route to The Old Pink for a steak sandwich.  In other news, P.E.T.A. will now have something to talk about for the next year and a half.

March 14, 2012

Goodbye Los Angeles, Hello NYC

After spending eight months living in Los Angeles and close to two months traveling the United States as an assistant on a book tour, I am finally happy to announce that I will be relocating once again to New York City, also known as, the big sister of Buffalo.  Well, that's what I call it. 

Over the past few years, my interest and participation in the LGBT movement has increased and evolved; when my position with the book tour was drawing to a close, I knew I wanted to find a job that incorporated writing, social media, public relations, marketing and event planning while still impacting those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.  I knew this seemed like too much to ask for in a job - especially during a recession - but thankfully, I was wrong.

I finished my assistant position at the start of March and went to Buffalo to research job openings, submit applications, and visit my family and friends that I have not seen a lot of over the past year or so.  I applied to various positions, had a few call backs, and then came across what seemed to be my dream job : a position with the LGBT marketing firm SPI Marketing, which was founded in 1996 and is located in Manhattan.  I applied, went to New York to interview, and eventually, was hired for the position.

Los Angeles was a beautiful and amazing place; in a way, my time spent writing for The Advocate and further discovering my love for writing helped open my eyes to the aspect that yes, I can write and yes, I write well, but when it comes down to it, I needed a change of pace career wise in order to be completely happy.

Will I continue to write for my blog?  Of course, all the time.  Will I continue my columns?  Yes, for sure.  I am excited to build a career with SPI Marketing and start to build a life in New York City; I always try my hardest not to sound cliche, but I'm sure it's going to be one heck of a ride.

March 13, 2012

Second Best

Beat down,
The men,
The cars,
The stores,
Everything,
And it's just a bleep in history,
But everyone left.

The clocks stopped ticking,
The even though the doors of the factory were locked,
The smoke still billowed out,
Into the sky and off to the east,
As the men went off to the west,
To the north,
To the south,
And I suppose to the east, too,
Cause the smoke never stopped following them,
No matter what path they took.

I know your grandfather worked there,
And I know your dad was fired from there,
Or let go,
I also know your brother had to move away from there,
But I know you're washing away that grime,
And all that pain,
Cause I have a feeling about what's going to happen next.

And your son is going to love living here,
And his kids won't want to leave,
When it all comes down to it,
Just like before,
It's just a bleep,
In history,
In time,
And I can't waste all my time wishing for something else,
Cause that's not going to change a thing.

March 12, 2012

What Makes A City?

After living in Los Angeles for a few months, I finally had a few friends and I met them at a bar in the hip area of Silverlake, which is a creative enclave for artists, musicians, and writers.  Above all, it's where the cutest gay men in the L.A. area could be found on the weekend, so I was sold instantly.  Being new to the city - and close to 3,000 miles from home - I was very proactive while trying to meet new people in an attempt to build a life on the west coast.

I ordered a drink from the bar and I went to find my new friends.  As we were catching up on the back patio, my friend Justin introduced me to a new group of people.

"Hey guys, this is my friend Jeff," Justin said.  "He's from Buffalo."

"Ugh.  Buffalo?  As in, Buffalo, New York?  I suppose you're glad to escape that hell hole."

The phrase was muttered from a Hispanic dude that looked like he was an wannabe extra in a Katy Perry music video that didn't quite make the cut.

Instead of being rude, I asked him what wonderful and international city he happened to be a native of; when he said Toronto, which is less than an hour and a half from Buffalo, I assumed he had the opportunity to visit the "hell hole" that I called my hometown on a variety of occasions.

"Oh, I've never been there," he replied, "but of course, I've heard the stories.  Dirty, not a lot of people, boring.  You know."

We talked for a few more minutes and I let the conversation fizzle out; not because he wasn't a fan of Buffalo, but because I really wasn't interested in talking with a person who had the nerve to introduce himself in the manner he did.  And quite honestly, I'm not a huge fan of Toronto and I've been there a few times.

Over the past few years, I've often asked myself ... What makes a city?  Is it the population?  The culture?  The location?  Well, of course, it's a unique combination of a variety of elements, but after living in Los Angeles for close to a year and traveling to over a dozen cities over the past few months, I've come to realize that the largest city in the country can be just as fun as the 70th and the 110th ... it's really all depends.

Sure, who wouldn't like to live in an international city like New York, Paris, or London?  But, when it comes down to it, there is one thing I know for sure; no matter where one lives or where they are from, if they think they are better than the place they came from or the place they live, I wouldn't really want to be friends with them, anyways.

March 2, 2012

A Male Insight On Reproductive Rights In The United States

Like most heterosexual women, I’ve nervously listened to the latest news regarding the birth drama and President Obama; and no, I’m not talking about the rumors that he was born in a terrorist camp somewhere in Afghanistan or whatever those involved with the "birther movement” claim.

Of course, as an agnostic educated at a progressive Catholic college, I find it appalling that, as per usual, those influenced heavily by their religion are using their political influence and making this a case of religious freedom; most of these politicians are men.  Over the past few decades, there has been a phrase used in trying to undermine the role of males in regard to reproductive rights.  And quite honestly, it needs to stop being used.

For those of you who say, “Well, he’s a man, he should have no right at all when it comes to abortion or birth control or reproductive rights,” I think it’s time for you to realize that yes, he does have a right and to an extent, he should have a right.  Do males, like myself, who support progressive health care options for women have a “right” to state our beliefs? Or are our thoughts and beliefs deemed acceptable because they are in line with a majority of females?

We, as Americans, elect those in government in order for them to make decisions that are deemed in the best interest of the citizens.  Does this always happen?  No.  Should it?  Yes.  If one goes along the mentality of “they are not directly connected to this cause,” such as, advocating for or against abortion as a male, where does the slippery slope end?  Should only African-Americans vote and voice concerns on issues relating to the civil rights movement?  Are heterosexual individuals to be left out as the modern gay rights movement comes to a head?  What about immigration?

It’s a mans world; an aspect that is very true even in the LGBT community.  Lesbians, and even feminine gay males, are often pushed to the side when it comes to politics and privilege.  The issue of birth control and the health of women needs to be progressive and funded by the government, but I believe the fight for this cause is being lessened by those caught up in the aspect that males are making a majority of these decisions.

I hope those of us in Generation Y can see the real issue at hand.  This is one that not only relates to the rights of women, but countless other areas, especially in regard to the LGBT movement and gay rights.  Politicians, no longer, should be able to use their religious beliefs as motivators for social issues. It’s fine to be Catholic or Christian or Atheist or whatever; you do you, we’ll do us.  But when a politician believes that it’s OK to infuse religion with government, that’s where we need to draw the line as a modern society.

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