July 31, 2012

Playboy Magazine : Sherlyn Chopra Is First Indian Playmate

Let's play a game. You have to name the most pissed Muslim in the world.

And no; it's not one of the millions of Muslim individuals that faced ignorance and bias in America after September 11, 2001 because people thought, "oh, well, a couple dozen of them were evil, so they all must be..."

Anyways. Give up?

The answer, in my opinion, is the father of Sherlyn Chopra; a Bollywood actress and the first Indian woman to appear in Playboy, as the company claims.

"I have become the first Indian to pose naked for Playboy and nobody can take away that achievement from me," Chopra, 28, told the BBC. "My sister is proud of my achievement. I haven't told anything to my mother, but I think I will visit her and tell her that she has to accept me the way I am."

She is set to appear in the November issue.

Run, Sherlyn! Hopefully you can beat the internet and deliver the news to your mother. I heard it only takes .00002 seconds for news to spread from one side of the world to the other.

Find out the Four Funny Reasons To Be A Slut!

The Berenstain Bears: We Have 99 Problems & A Bitch Is One

Well, it appears that some bears aren't too impressed with Dick-Fil-A -- and I ain't talking about overweight or muscular gay dudes when I say "bears."

In a letter posted on The Berenstain Bears website, the Berenstain family issued what looks like a press release that distances themselves from the homophobia company Chick-Fil-A.

Who needs a PR person?

Part of the letter reads:

"The Berenstain family does not at this time have control over whether this program proceeds or not. We hope those concerned about this issue will direct their comments toward HarperCollins and Chick-Fil-A."

This is in reference to a marketing campaign a year in the making.

My only question: When the fuck are Bert & Ernie putting out a press release to let us know that they were more than just "roommates?"

The Jim Henson Company Pulls Out & Doesn't Pray For Chick-Fil-A.

Toddler Banned From Pre-School For Having 2 Dads

I was going to put "religious" in the title, but decided against it because I assume my readers are smart enough to know that this was the case.

A 3-year-old was barred from attending a Christian school in the meth capital of America -- Albuquerque, New Mexico. Why? Cause the kid has two dudes for parents.

Hope Christian School. You suck.

A letter, which was sent to the two fathers, read:

“Same gender couples are inconsistent with scriptural lifestyle and biblical teachings,” and "Home life doesn't reflect the school's belief of what a biblical family lifestyle is."

Alright, alright. But... home life? If this kid was banned, then I have a few suggestions for Hope Christian School. They should ban the children of parents who have ever done the following:

1.  Swore
2.  Cut their facial hair
3.  Had premaritial sex
4.  Used birth control
5.  Divorced
6.  Got a tattoo
7.  Went to a psychic
8.  Gossiped
9.  Ate seafood

Makes sense to me.

Let's end the bigotry. 9 Myths About Gay Men.

July 30, 2012

Aurora: Guns Don't Kill People?

I'll hear you out this time,
Cause no one likes an ignorant person,

Guns don't kill people?

People do?
I'm listening,
I'm still here.

Some valid points,
I suppose,
But he didn't walk on across that stage in Aurora,
And address the crowd,
Talking loud to be heard.

"Excuse me,
Excuse me everyone,
I'm here to kill people,
Over a dozen,
And harm close to sixty,
Let me reiterate,
Not the guns,
Because guns don't kill people,
People do,
People like me."

And well,
I guess you were right,
But not entirely,
Because I suppose guns don't kill people.

Bullets do.

2012 Aurora Massacre: The Role Of God & Religion.

July 27, 2012

Amazon Founder Gives $2.5 Million To Marriage Equality In Washington Like A Boss

Yes, there is more to Washington state than Seattle. Oh, how I miss you Kurt Cobain.

Well, anyways, the founder of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, and his wife, MacKenzie, have contributed $2.5 million in support of gay marriage. The campaign to retain marriage equality is on the ballot in Washington this upcoming fall.

A recent article detailed how the donation occurred. This past Sunday, Jennifer Cast, who was one of Amazon’s earliest employees, sent an email to Mr. Bezos.

Cast is a lesbian and a mother of four children.

The email read:

“Jeff, I suspect you support marriage equality. I beg you not to sit on the sidelines and hope the vote goes our way. Help us make it so.”

The response was:

“Jen this is right for so many reasons. We’re in for $2.5 million. Jeff & MacKenzie.”

As I said. LIKE A BOSS. Now, find out Three Sex Positions Inspired By Seattle, Washington.

July 26, 2012

Sally Ride, First American Woman In Space, Dies At 61

Sally Ride, the first American woman to enter space, died on July 23, 2012 at the age of 61. Ride leaves behind inspiration for young girls and an amazing story for American history; among other notable contributions, she was also the only person to serve on both investigative panels for Challenger and Columbia.

Unbeknownst to many, she also leaves behind Tam O'Shaughnessy; her lesbian partner for over 27 years.

Welcome to America. Land of the free. Home of the brave.

You can be one of the first women in the history of the world to enter space, you can glance down at the earth below, and know that your lesbian partner won't receive benefits when you happen to die.

Rest in peace Sally Ride: May 26, 1951 to July 23, 2012.

July 25, 2012

Abortion Ban Stops Cancer Treatmeant For Teen

In the Dominican Republic, a 16-year-old girl is dying of cancer and a ban on abortion is stopping her from legally seeking treatment.

According to Article 37 of the Dominican constitution, "the right to life is inviolable from the moment of conception and until death." Dominican courts seemingly interpret this as a strict mandate against abortion. The article also abolished the death penalty in the country, which was passed in 2009.

The nine weeks pregnant teen would need aggressive chemotherapy treatment, which could possibly kill the fetus. The girls
name has not been released.

"How can it be possible that so much time is being wasted? That the treatment hasn't begun yet because they're still meeting, trying to decide if she has the right to receive the treatment to save her life -- that's unacceptable," said Lilliam Fondeur, a women's rights activist.

Chick-Fil-A Lies About The Hensen Company Withdrawl

Yesterday, I wrote how The Jim Hensen Company Pulled Out And Didn't Pray For Chick-Fil-A due to their homophobic business practices. Last Friday, The Jim Henson Company posted the following on their Facebook page:

"The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over 50 years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors," the statement said. "Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD."

According to a new sign posted inside Chick-Fil-A restaurants, there seems to be another reason for the split between the two companies. Allegedly, toys were "voluntarily recalled."

"Please be advised that there have not been any cases in which a child has actually been injured," one sign states, "however there have been some reports of children getting their fingers stuck in the holes of the puppets."

I'm not a religious person, but from what I do know, lying isn't very Christian. I think it may even be a sin. Sort of like being gay is a sin. And all sins are equal, right? I'm not sure about you, but I love a good dose of irony to get me through the afternoon.

Over 10,000 Couples Were Married In New Year During First Year Of Gay Marriage

Mayor Bloomberg of New York City announced on Tuesday that at least 7,184 same-sex couples had been married in New York City since July 24, 2011. A year ago this week, the Marriage Equality Act took effect, allowing people of the same gender to marry.

According to the State Health Department, as of mid July, at least 3,424 same-sex couples had received licenses outside of the New York City. For those of you not good at math (or are located down south), this is around 10,000 couples and 20,000 individuals.

Soon enough, we will be completely equal to straight couples as we start to get divorced.

July 24, 2012

The Jim Henson Company Pulls Out & Doesn't Pray For Chick-Fil-A

This past Friday, The Jim Henson Company announced that it dropped it's partnership with the homophobic company Chick-fil-A. The partnership would have included toys from the company's Creature Shop.

In a post on their Facebook page, the company said that it "has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors." The post also details how Lisa Henson, the CEO of the company, is a strong supporter of gay marriage. As a result, The Jim Henson Company will be donating the payment they received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD.

I'm surprised that Chick-fil-A was even associated the The Muppets franchise. 


July 23, 2012

One Year Of Marriage Equality In New York State

Last June, when I heard the news that marriage equality was going to be a reality in my home state of New York, I was a little buzzed and hanging out at the house of my then-boyfriend in Los Angeles.

Having been a gay rights activist in college, or at least contributing to the movement with my writing and working with various gay rights groups, I felt an intense burden lifted from my shoulders; it's a weird experience when something you have been working towards for years finally happens. It was one of the first times, too, that I realized that I could get married there, but not here.

The state of California has been tied up in court over gay marriage since 2004; the mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newson, ordered city clerks to issue licenses to same-sex couples close to ten years ago. In 2008, the citizens of the so-called "left-coast" chose to ban same-sex marriages though a vote.

I rejoiced with my boyfriend, and of course, had a celebratory glass of wine. After using the bathroom, I passed a beautiful framed photo of the Statue of Liberty; I walked up to it and kissed Ms. Liberty smack tab on the lips. A few minutes later, my boyfriend called from the other room, "uh, did you do something to this picture?"

Please note that he had some sort of obsession with cleaning to the extent that he would have water boarded dust bunnies if that was an option.

"Yeah. I kissed it" I replied.

"Oh. Well. Okay."

One year, 3,000 miles, and 2,999 boyfriends later, I'm back on the east coast and living in New York City. I oftentimes think about my future wedding; imagine the gay wedding in Sex And The City 2. Now think of the complete opposite of that.

Family, friends, and maybe a few old fuck buddies to spice things up a bit. My husband and I will both be in tuxes, but if he is of Chinese decent, I feel like me wearing a Vera Wang dress is not only acceptable, but expected.

Joking aside, tomorrow marks the first anniversary of same-sex marriage in New York state. Just know that I am one of the few gay individuals in this country that can say, "Yep, I can get married in my hometown of Buffalo if I wanted." I suppose I should be grateful I wasn't born an hour or so south in Pennsylvania; I guess I'd still be waiting.

July 22, 2012

2012 Aurora Massacre : The Role Of God And Religion

Shortly after midnight on July 20, 2012, James Eagan Holmes entered a screening of the film The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colorado; a suburb of Denver and mere miles of the Columbine Massacre of 1999. Holmes tossed tear gas and shot into the audience with multiple guns; ultimately killing 12 people and injuring close to 60 others. The 24-year-old Holmes was arrested a few minutes later in the parking lot.

As the aftermath unfolded, there seemed to be endless trend among news outlets, particularly on Sunday: the role of God, religion, and the beliefs of family and friends of the victims, in addition to the survivors. Of course, this article is not meant to criticize the beliefs of religious individuals, but why do we, as Americans, always cling to the misery and terror of these terrible events and try to make sense of it all?

Why must we chalk it up to God's plan, or something of that nature?

Thousands of people "thanked God" on September 11, 2001 because their subway was running late, or their child was sick, or they had too many glasses of wine the night before and decided to use up some sick days. Why did God, or why would God, chose them? Was he looking after them, and if so, why?

Each day, 250,000 to 300,000 people die worldwide.

After skimming dozens of articles from CNN, The New Yorker, NPR, and other seemingly legitimate news sites (sorry, Fox, but the only good thing you have going for you is Family Guy), I couldn't help but notice that the articles and interviews all followed a similar trend.

People, especially Americans, need to open their eyes, pick up a few books, and understand that the world is, sometimes, a disgusting and complicated place; we'd rather watch a video about a cute cat falling three stories and being caught by some guy then really understanding what's going on in Syria, or trying to grasp why child pornography is a staggering multi-billion dollar industry, or why America has the most active serial killers, or why our culture would rather see two men fight than see them hold hands.

America, and by far, this world is not some amazing utopia those of us in Generation Y were told it was; it's a distopia and terrible occurrences, such as the Aurora massacre, just sheds some light on what goes on throughout the world in a daily basis.

Over the years, I've learned that sometimes there are no answers. People are sick, they don't get the help they need, and the next thing you know, countless lives are shattered.

Idiots Of The Week: The Social Media Team At Celeb Boutique

It appears that Celeb Boutique, a European website that bills itself as a company with "a vision of bringing everyone 'celebrity style at high street prices' with exceptional value, style, quality, and fantastic customer service," may need to teach their workers how to use social media.

By now, everyone is well aware of the terrible massacre outside of Denver, Colorado. Aurora, the suburb in which it occurred, became a "trending" topic on twitter following the event. For people unaware of Twitter, or social media in general, a topic "trends" when it's popular, with one example being "this season finale of #ModernFamily is awesome." If a lot of people are watching the finale, and trending certain words, those words will be seen as "trending."

After the massacre, #Aurora was trending on Twitter due to the news of the event, as well as people tweeting prayers, well wishes, and condolences.

Although the company issued an apology - via tweet - they still deserve to be the Generation: (WH)Y? Idiots Of The Week.  If a word is trending, there is really no research needed; you just click on the word and show similar tweets. Of course, this was (I hope), a human error that ended up being ironic, and my own condolences go out to those affected by the tragedy.

Son Calls Bristol Palin & Sister Willow A "Faggot"

It looks like the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. In a recent episode of the reality series Bristol Palin: Life's A Tripp, American hillbilly royalty Bristol, and her sister, Willow, attempt to discipline Tripp, Bristol's son. After Bristol informs him that "God" is watching, he becomes even more upset and the gay slurs begin.

Toddler Tripp tells The Real Housewives Of Anchorage that he hates them and to, “Go away, you faggot.” The girls cover their mouths and begin to laugh.

But hey now; where did little Tripp learn that? Probably not from his father, Levi Johnston; as he should assume thousands of gay men have already jerked off to his naked pictures in Playgirl. Stuff like that makes people a little more liberal, you know? I was tempted to do the same, but once I remembered that his penis went into the deep and endless igloo that is Bristol's vagina, I decided against it.

In 2010, Willow had a few choice words for a student that was "talkin shit about my family" on Facebook. Then 16-years-old, Willow Palin was responding to an online critique of her mothers reality show, Sarah Palin's Alaska. On a classmates Facebook, she wrote:

"Haha your so gay. I have no idea who you are, But what I've seen pictures of, your disgusting ... My sister had a kid and is still hot ... Your such a faggot."

Make sure to check out the video clip of the incident and find out why Bristol Palin Was Influenced By The Virgin Mary In Regard To Her Same-Sex Marriage Beliefs.

July 21, 2012

Gay Is The New Normal

The New Normal, an upcoming NBC comedy series that airs in September, will invite Americans into the lives of two gay men as they plan a family. The premise involves a single mother who flees to California from Ohio and ultimately becomes a surrogate mother so a gay couple can start a family.

Of course, hate groups and people are already pissed. I'm pissed, too, but I suppose it's more jealousy; handsome actor Justin Bartha from The Hangover plays one half of the gay couple. If you look like Justin Bartha and are gay, please note that my contact information is on this website and I would be willing to have your baby. Or something along those lines.

Ryan Murphy and Allison Adler are the creators, so it's sure to be funny and witty. The trailer of the series is comedic and emotional; check out the website to learn more about the show and make sure to read A Letter To My Future Child.

Two Reasons Seth MacFarlane Is Cool & Family Guy Is One Of The Smartest Shows On T.V.

While in college, I had better things to do than watch television. And by things, I mean good looking guys that I met at a bar. Like most youth growing up in purgatory, also known as the suburbs of a rust belt city in Northeast America in the 1990's, my days were filled with school, sports practice, and extracurricular activities. Once home and exhausted, I would veg out in front of the televisions for a few hours. While my loyalty should be to The Simpsons, I have realized over the years that Family Guy is one of the smartest shows on television and that Seth MacFarlane is one cool dude.

1. Political & Social Satire. First off, this isn't a fucking thesis paper, so a lot of my references will be from episodes that I have no idea the name, when they aired, or any other useful information. I'm a great writer, right? Anyways, the overall satire and irony of the show is amazing. In one episode, the children end up being biracial and Stewie proclaims something along to lines of, "Oh goody. I'm half black and half white, so everyone will accept me when I grow up!" A lot of the reasons why this show is so intelligent is because, sadly, it depicts American culture - particularity the idiosyncrasies and passive aggressive mannerisms of the North - in a comedic manner; you laugh, feel bad for laughing, then think about why you laughed and then explore the political or social undertones of the joke, which are typically spot on and leads one to wonder what the fuck is wrong with America, or sometimes, why America is a great place to live.

2. The Gay Rights Movement & Activism. Family Guy often gets a bad reputation from gay rights and feminist groups for their portrayal of gay individuals and women. Oftentimes, these characters are "normal," probably the most level headed on the show, and it's the reactions of other heterosexual or male characters that get people fuming. In one episode, there is a debate and Peter looks over at his wife, Lois, and says he is surprised that she is contributing to the conversion because the kitchen still needs to be cleaned. Should we, as Americans, be mad at the writers on the show for this innocent scene, or are we mad because women are still treated this way to an extent?

Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and the voice of many of the characters, appears to be one of the most progressive and grounded men in Hollywood. He is an atheist, but has no problem with religion. A reoccurring theme on the show involves horrific events, such as war, the Holocaust, and the aftermath of September 11, 2001; while in Boston, he was supposed to be on the American Airlines Flight 11, the plane that ultimately crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

In an interview, MacFarlane said, "The only reason it hasn't really affected me as it maybe could have is I didn't really know that I was in any danger until after it was over, so I never had that panic moment. After the fact, it was sobering, but people have a lot of close calls; you're crossing the street and you almost get hit by a car... this one just happened to be related to something massive. I really can't let it affect me because I'm a comedy writer. I have to put that in the back of my head."

In regard to the gay rights movement, he is an active supporter of LGBT individuals, and a gay innuendo or gag is typically in every episode; many assume the baby, Stewie, is homosexual. Passionate about gay rights, he has said that it is "infuriating and idiotic" that two gay men "have to go through this fucking dog and pony act when they stop at a hotel and the guy behind the counter says, 'You want one room or two?' I'm incredibly passionate about my support for the gay community and what they're dealing with at this current point in time."

He went on to say, "Why is it that Johnny Spaghetti Stain in fucking Georgia can knock a woman up, legally be married to her, and then beat the shit out of her, but these two intelligent, sophisticated writers who have been together for 20 years can't get married?"

Thanks once again, Seth MacFarlane, for putting things into perspective. Make sure to check out the Funny Reasons Why Gays Should Not Marry and How Gay Dudes Can Help Straight Dudes Get Laid.

July 20, 2012

A New Space For LGBT Christians & Their Allies

Over the years, my religious views have evolved; both beautiful and terrible occurrences ultimately lead me away from religion and towards a life of spirituality and respect. I denounced my beliefs in the school newspaper at my Catholic college during my senior year (Religion Lost At Catholic College) and while living in Los Angeles, I contemplated how I will raise my future children; currently, I live as an Agnostic (At Odds With Religion. Again).

Although Christianity, or any other religion, do not coincide with my personal beliefs, I 100% support religious individuals that have the courage to embrace who they are, even when it's a conflict with their religion. At the end of the day, I have friends with are Muslim and Atheist and Catholic, but one link binds us together not only as friends, but humans: respect.

Learn about The Cornerstone Magazine from a new friend, Matt Cullen:

LGBT Christians and their allies now have a new space to read and share stories about their struggles and successes in maintaining loving relationships with their churches and families. The Cornerstone magazine hopes to become the “personal, cerebral, and newsy monthly for LGBT Christians.”

The Cornerstone hopes to give LGBT Christians facing emotional wounds and/or rejection (like the stone, and like Jesus) a renewed hope, a chance to become the foundation for an increasingly essential dialogue between LGBT Christians and their churches.

Additionally, The Cornerstone hopes to form a growing forum of voices from current scholars writing about religion and homosexuality, advocates such as ex-Jesuit John J. McNeill (author of The Church and the Homosexual), LGBTs of other faith traditions, and voices from many other parts of our culture—including film, music, art, and literature. Our future generations of LGBT Christians seek love, and all of us have a duty to build and protect that loving home and family together.

The first publication should be out by August 1st. Make sure to become a fan on Facebook! A few months ago, Christian celebrity and country singer Carrie Underwood came out in support of same-sex marriage and cited her religion as an influence. On the contrary, see how the president of Chick-fil-A is using his religious beliefs to defend his homophobia.

July 19, 2012

Two Ways Gay Dudes Can Help Straight Dudes Get Laid

Last week, one of the biggest bros in America -- Rob Gronkowski, tight end of the New England Patriots -- came out in support of the LGBT community by saying that he would be cool playing alongside a gay player in the National Football League. Of course he's a role model for straight dudes; he hangs out with porn stars and has already broke NFL records in his early 20's. Hell, he's a role model for me. So, why should heterosexual guys support gay men, and the LGBT movement as a whole? Let me tell you how we can help you get laid.

1.  Best Friends With Benefits. Have you ever noticed how close straight girls and their gay best friends are? If not, let me fill you in on a little secret; we are closer than two siblings down south, except we probably kiss each other a little less. Not to sound too cocky, but straight girls oftentimes idolize their gay counterparts, and they live vicariously through us. In general, we are a little bit more slutty and outgoing. Our straight girl best friends would probably fuck Grimace from McDonald's if we told them to; get on our good side at a bar or party, and you're in for a great night, brother man.

2.  We Will Go Back In The Closet On Some Occasions. Well, only to help out a friend. When I go out with my girlfriends, I often kill their game at the bar because guys think I'm their boyfriend. If out with a group of straight guys, gay guys like myself have no issue playing wing man with the girl that no one wants to fuck; to me, it's another girl to talk to that probably has a few hot gay friends, so it's a win-win for all sexualities involved. We won't disclose our preference for men until you and her hot ass friend are out the door and in a cab back to your place.

Are you a "real" gay guy? Find out: Signs You Are Not A Real Gay Guy.

You should become a fan of Generation: (WH)Y? on Facebook. If you are a hot gay dude, you should ask me on a date.

Interview With Mark Rudd : Former Member Of The Weather Underground

As the chairman of the Columbia University chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) during the student occupation and strike of April 1968, Mark Rudd began his journey as a controversial student activist. He was a regional and national organizer for SDS, elected in 1969, as the last National Secretary of that organization. He was a founder in 1970 of the Weather Underground, whose goal was for the violent overthrow of the government of the United States; ultimately, he was federal fugitive for over seven years.

After turning himself in to authorities in 1977, he became a community college math instructor and a full-time activist and organizer around peace, racial justice, environmental and union issues in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In 2009, Rudd published the political memoir Underground:  My Life in SDS and Weatherman.  He's currently organizing around building a progressive wing in the Democratic Party.

I spoke with Mark Rudd about his connections with the organization, how Generation Y can achieve political change through activism, and his suggestions on how us Millennials can advance the rights for those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community; the civil rights movement of our time.

Jeffrey Hartinger: Although we are nowhere close to the activism of the 1960's, many of us in Generation Y are using different approaches to fight for social change and equality. What is your view of the current youth culture?

Mark Rudd: Most of the organizing I've seen--aside from occasional direct action-- seems to be digital.  Clearly this is a vast improvement over communicating via phones and mimeograph machines, which is what we had.  Yet there also seems to be something missing. Malcolm Gladwell, in a 2010 article in the New Yorker entitled "Small Change," took up the question.  He pointed out the difference between what he called "strong ties," which are built on personal relationships among activists, and "weak ties," which are the type developed in digital media, where it's very easy to just press a "like" button or make a financial contribution.

I've come to the conclusion that all the great social movements of the twentieth century--women's suffrage, labor, the civil rights movement, anti-Vietnam War, the women's and gay rights and disability movements--all used a model of organizing that involved building personal relationships between people, developing leadership, creating broad coalitions.  I was exposed to this method when I joined the peace movement as an 18 year-old freshman at Columbia in 1965.  SDS members who had been raised in socialist, communist, and labor families had learned organizing as children and they taught the rest of us.  

The goal of all organizing is growth toward building a mass movement.  All the movements I mentioned above were mass movements, involving millions of people and therefore changing both social mores and governmental policy.  There's no other way.  My own history, of attempting guerrilla warfare as a means of sparking social change, is useful for learning what not to do.

My friends and I stopped organizing on college campuses, which we were relatively good at, in order to run around pretending to be guerrilla fighters, which had zero utility for building a movement.  

You might recall in the movie, Milk; Harvey started every speech he made with the sentence, "My name is Harvey Milk and I'm here to recruit you! "To recruit you" meant to move a person to the point where they will take action.  The usage comes directly out of the labor and civil rights and peace movements, which were contiguous in time with the gay rights movement.  They all were built on the tradition of an organizing model.  The problem your generation is facing is that that tradition has been lost because of the gap of the last forty or so years.  You haven't participated in actual mass movements being built.  This is a subject I could go on and on about.

JH: While you were with SDS, and then Weather Underground, was advocating for the rights of those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community ever on your radar?

MR: No, not at all.  The Weatherman faction of SDS and later the Weather Underground were particularly macho disasters, despite the fact that women were involved.  We were cultists of guns and "armed struggle," and fighting cops in the street.  It was especially ridiculous because most of us were middle class and didn't come from violent backgrounds.  We were posing as revolutionaries, which we thought needed to be hard and strong and tough communists.  Our images must have come from comic books.  Che Guevara was the ultimate hero to be emulated.

Heterosexual sex was the norm, though women were encouraged to have sex with other women to build intimacy.  Male gay friends of mine who were in the organization subsequently told me that they had to be very much in the closet.  Personally, I never broke my own taboos against sex with men.  There was plenty of group sex, though, which had undertones of male bonding via females.

The gay movement was just beginning in 1969 and most of us "socialist revolutionaries" in the Weathermen probably figured that socialism would take care of all problems of injustice and inequality.  We specifically said that about the women's movement, that it needed to be subordinated to the greater struggles for national liberation and socialism; I suspect we felt the same way about gay liberation.  Wait for socialism.

JH: In Underground:  My Life in SDS and Weatherman, you pointed out how some Jews who fled from Nazi Germany were now oppressing, in various ways, African-Americans and Latinos in and around New York City. Do you see any similarity with the LGBT individuals are treated?

MR: A slight correction in the way you posed the question:  I was not necessarily speaking of the same Jews who fled, but rather that Jews were persecuted in Europe and now Jews in New York (specifically the teachers' union) were opposing African-Americans and Latinos who wanted to organize for power in their own schools and communities.  I think your question is more about oppression than about the role of Jews:  yes, LGBT people are still discriminated against in much the same way as non-white minorities.  Hence the need for closets and for a mass movement to end all forms of discrimination.

At the onset of the gay movement, I thought that gay people were raising a fundamental critique of the nature of American society--that it is essentially macho and militaristic and competitive.  But that critique got subordinated to other issues, such as the right to serve in the military and the right to marry, which are essentially civil rights.  And the deep criticism of this macho society has gone by the way side.  I'm hoping that the gay movement will eventually come back to the criticism of our militaristic and competitive way of life.  I don't want my grandchildren to be raised in this nightmare.

JH: Although a painful time in your life, is there one positive thing you took away from your years as a fugitive?

MR: For about two years--1968 to 1970--I was posing as a revolutionary leader, making all sorts of ridiculous media statements and even carrying guns and strutting around.  All along I was just this nice Jewish kid from New Jersey suburbs.  Being underground for seven and a half years, when I had to survive as nobody and work as an unskilled laborer and live anonymously grounded me so that I could leave all that early craziness behind.  I saw what it was like to be down and out and at the bottom of society.  I never forgot that.  When it came time for me to take my place back in the upper middle class, I chose to be an instructor at a community college, so as to remain in touch with people at the bottom.

JH: In my opinion, America is not where it should be in regard to the rights of LGBT individuals. Do you have any advice for us Millennials?

MR: Study the history of successful mass movements in this country, including the gay rights movement, and learn how they were organized.  Figure out who the leaderships were, and what their strategies were and then raise the questions in your own organizing around goals, strategy, and tactics.  Myself, I've been studying the civil rights movement in the South, which is probably the greatest story of the 20th century in this country.  It was NOT one man with a dream.  That's the Disney version.  The truth is infinitely more complex.

Self-expression is not necessarily strategic.  It often can be, but alone it doesn't build a movement. People are brought into movements and moved to take action themselves through relationships, not by watching heroes.
Make sure to visit Mark Rudd on his website for more information. I would also strongly recommend his book,
Underground:  My Life in SDS and Weatherman, for an in depth look at various radical movements of the 1960's and beyond. In addition, if you are a member of Generation Y that is striving for social change, check out Examples On How To Use Writing To Protest, Petition, And Sway Opinions.

July 18, 2012

Three Important Lessons I Learned After College

At 23-years-old, I suppose I've accomplished a handful of goals that many individuals in Generation Y may long or hope for; I spent four years at an awesome college in an interesting city (Buffalo, New York), relocated to Southern California and had the cliche experience of "discovering myself" (Los Angeles, California), traveled the country for a few months and eventually settled back on the east coast; a place many claim is the center of the universe (New York, New York).

I'm not writing this article to say "hey, I'm a well traveled and cultured fuck" or reinforce that I already have a plethora of life experiences; I want to inform those in Generation Y on some things I have learned along the way.

1.  Your Goals Will Change. When I packed up my car, moved 3,000 miles from home, and took an internship in Los Angeles with The Advocate, I knew it was the first step in achieving the goals I set for myself while growing up; more importantly, the goals I set for myself when I was in college and more in touch with the person I hoped to become as an adult. While at Canisius College, I would flip through The Advocate and think, "Yes, this is what I'm supposed to be doing." After an amazing three months with the publication, I realized that yes, I should be writing, and yes, I want to work to inform and influence people regarding the LGBT community, but rehashing the news without any personal commentary or insight is not the type of writing that I wanted to do. Writing for the oldest LGBT publication in America is a major accomplishment in my life and it still puts a smile on my face when I think about the time I saw my first article in the magazine with a byline that read, "By Jeffrey Hartinger."

2. Your Relationships Will Change. Yeah, well of course, right? Not only that; the way you seek out new relationships will change, too. In college, one will have a variety of different friends - the ones you go out with, the ones you study with, the ones you associate with at house parties, the friends of the person you're dating, and so on. I went to a small, liberal arts college, and in my experience, there wasn't much crossover. However, when there was, those kids proved to be my closest friends -- and they still are today, even though we are all literally scattered in various cities in the United States and abroad. In New York City, especially, there is always so much going on and a million things you need to do, so when I encounter a friend who can throw back a few shots, as well as go to a coffee shop and debate politics and religion and other issues, I try hard to make that friendship last.

3.  Your Beliefs Will Change. Hopefully, for the better. In college, it's shocking how many people conform under the illusion of individuality. In reality, how many of us are actually independent? Are you? One negative of graduating from college is that one will now have more time for themselves. No longer are you with your friends or acquaintances from your first class until that late night snack at the dining hall. When I moved to Los Angeles, it was a little lonely at first, but I really had a few months to disconnect and establish what was important in my life, and the things I wanted to pursue without a little bird chirping in my ear. A few weeks ago, I wrote and urged people to Go To A Bar Alone, something I enjoy doing from time to time in New York City, even though I have a handful of friends here now.

Have You Been Brainwashed By The LGBT Community?

This November, Minnesotans will vote on a marriage amendment that has a major impact on gay residents. I came across this little gem that attempts to prove that Americans have been "brainwashed" about the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community in a variety of different ways. A large emphasis in this bizarre video was placed on how the entertainment industry is incorporating LGBT characters into television and movies. It's sort of like back in the 1980's when The Cosby Show brainwashed a generation of kids into believing that African-Americans can be lawyers and have a nice house and are normal. Shit, it looks as if I was brainwashed, too.

Please note that the statistics in this video are completely off. One notable difference is that the LGBT community makes up at least ten percent of the population; not two percent, as they claim,

Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy Confirms Anti-Gay Stance

Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A, recently told Baptist Press that the chain is "guilty as charged" of supporting the biblical definition of family. He went on to say that the company is “very much supportive of the family." Well, not if there are two chicks or two dicks. He meant the "biblical definition of the family unit."

According to a report by Equality Matters, the organization concluded that Chick-fil-A donated more than $3 million between 2003 and 2009 to anti-gay, Christian groups that oppose homosexuality and LGBT rights, such as same-sex marriage.

Each Sunday, the thousands of restaurants around the country are closed.

President Dan Cathy, of course, knows that as people become more progressive, they are more opt not to agree with the company.

"We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles," he said.

Many activists and celebrities were upset over the news, including Ed Helms from The Hangover and The Office. He said, "Chick-Fil-A doesn't like gay people? So lame. Hate to think what they do to the gay chickens! Lost a loyal fan" in a tweet. You can follow him at @EdHelms.

One Regular Sandwich, Hold The Bigotry & Hate

Johnson, a beautiful chef and cooking sensation, came up with a way to enjoy the food of Chick-Fil-A. Johnson offers cooking instructions and a substitute for those who crave one of the company's chicken sandwiches,  but don't want to patronize the restaurant. Why are gay men even eating at the restaurant in the first place? My only rationale is that they think the name is "Dick-Fil-A." Visit Johnson on Facebook for more information.

July 17, 2012

Is America Ready For A Red Headed Politician?

Funny Or Die, one of the funniest websites on the internet, has a new video in which Jesse Tyler Ferguson plays a politician that is finally "coming clean" about being part of the LGBT community. And this time, the "G" stands for "ginger."

In an obvious satire on gay politicians and their acceptance, Funny Or Die, once again, puts things into perspective in a humorous and ironic way. Make sure to check out the video entitled RED With Jesse Tyler Ferguson & Linda Cardellini. In addition, make sure to check out these humorous posts which involve those monsters that walk among us, also known as, red heads.

1.  Reasons To Have Sex With A Red Head

2.  My Red Head Phobia

3.  Three Reasons To Bang The Kool Aid Man -- he's red, so this counts, right?

Boy Scouts Uphold Ban On Gays

In a strange turn of events, it seems as if large group of men who wear short shorts and handkerchiefs, in addition to matching hats, do not want gay individuals to be a part of their organization. Oh, Boy Scouts. Do you guys get a badge for irony?

An 11-member committee was formed by high ranking Scout leaders in 2010 to deal with pressure involving those in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community who wanted to join. The committee "came to the conclusion that this policy is absolutely the best policy for the Boy Scouts," the organization' national spokesman, Deron Smith, told The Associated Press.

Most recently, Jennifer Tyrrell, an Ohio mother of a Cub Scout, was ousted as a Scout den mother because she is lesbian. This spawned a petition on Change.org which will be delivered to the Scouts' national headquarters in Irving, Texas, on Wednesday. Over 300,000 individuals have signed the petition that urges the organization to reinstate Tyrrell.

Of course, I would love to see inclusiveness and for the Boy Scouts to get rid of this terrible policy, but as a gay, former member Boy Scouts, it was the most fucking boring thing I have ever done in my life.

Sarah Silverman Wants To Scissor Mitt Romney Backer

As we all know, there are a few mega rich, conservative Republican men that live in America. Even more shocking is that almost all of them are white and donating to the campaign of Mitt Romney. Sure, the Obama administration has came up with a few fundraising ideas of their own - such as requesting people donate their wedding gift registry to help the growing gap - but leave it up to funny lady Sarah Silverman to come up with an alternative.

Sheldon Anderson, a 78-year-old living in Las Vegas, Nevada, has pledged to give Mitt Romney $100 million to defeat President Obama in the upcoming election. Silverman, in a video posted yesterday, proposed that she would have sexual relations with Anderson if he gave the money to Obama instead. It's a pretty funny video, so make sure to check it out!

Five Things Marissa Mayer Will Think On Her First Day As Yahoo CEO

Yesterday, I reported that Marissa Mayer, a longtime employee of Google, was named the CEO of Yahoo. For those of you who don't know, Google and Yahoo are pretty different companies, and I feel that Mayer will have some adjusting to do. Here are a few things she may think on her first day of work as CEO.

1.  What the fuck do you mean there are no free haircuts, sushi, and dry cleaning?

2. Why isn't Google working on my laptop?

3. This homepage still looks like shit.

4.  Sandy Carter? More like sandy vagina. That bitch at IBM can fuck off; I'm movin' on up, baby.

5. Gmail was a good idea. Should I propose Ymail? America is stupid and won't see the connection.

July 16, 2012

Rob Gronkowski Fine With Gay NFL Players

Rob Gronkowski, a football player for the New England Patriots, and I have a few things in common; we are both from Buffalo, New York, we are both 23-years-old, and ironically, we are both known for being "tight ends." And, well, speaking of anal sex, it seems as if Rob Gronkowski is "cool" with the idea of playing alongside a gay NFL player.

In a recent interview with OUTSPORTS, when asked how he would feel if one of his teammates came out of the closet this season, Gronkowski stated, "If that's how they are, that's how they are. I mean, we’re teammates so, as long as he’s being a good teammate and being respectful and everything, that’s cool."

Gronkowski already owns a variety of NFL records, including being the first tight end in NFL history to lead the league in receiving touchdowns for an entire season. Most recently, he posed nude for the cover of the "Body Issue" for ESPN.

From time to time, I have to think -- is everyone from Buffalo this cool? Yep.

As there are no openly gay athletes in American professional sports, are we slowly evolving to accept LGBT individuals in sports? Make sure to check out The Macho World Of Sports & Misconceptions.

Target Offers Same Sex Greeting Cards

Over the past few months, Target has been in hot water with individuals on both sides of the LGBT movement. Now, it appears, the company has joined other gay friendly companies such as JC Penney and Ray-Ban by "targeting" gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender consumers.

The various cards, which are made by Carlton Cards, are a unit of American Greetings. Spokeswoman Patrice Sadd said the company and Target jointly decided to offer "wedding cards relevant for everyone."

"Mr. & Mr." and "Two very special women, one very special love" are among the cards that are available. I wonder if they have one that says, "Sorry I had too much to drink, showed up to your East Village apartment around 4AM after sexting you all night, threw up on your roommates bed, made out with him, and then passed out in your bathroom, where I woke up sixteen hours later?" I, uh, need that card for, um, a friend.

The cards appeared in June, just one month after the company began selling T-shirts with gay pride themes. Two years earlier, Target drew a backlash for a donation of $150,000 that it made to a group backing Tom Emmer; a Republican gubernatorial candidate who opposed marriage equality.

Goodbye Google: Marissa Mayer Is The New CEO At Yahoo

What is typically the first response when you don't know the answer to something? I'll give you a hint -- it's not "I'll Yahoo it." Yahoo, which has struggled over the past few years, has just announced that Marissa Mayer, one of the original Google employees, will be the new CEO.

Mayer, who is married and has five kids at 37-years-old, is an awesome example for those of us in Generation Y. In 2009, she was named one of Glamour Magazine's Women Of The Year.

You go girl! Check out what her former employer, Google, is doing to advance the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals on an international level.

President Obama Wants Your Wedding Gifts

Oh, how I wish this could of came from team Romney, but unlike Fox News, I like to report the facts -- whether or not I agree with them. It appears that the Obama administration has a new fundraising scheme; and it's not a big hit.

“It’s a gift that we can all appreciate — and goes a lot further than a gravy bowl,” said campaign staffer Laura Wilson while announcing the initiative.

And what are they are asking for, exactly? Well, instead of a gift registry, they would like guests to donate money to the Obama campaign.

Campaign officials launched the initiative in June, which is the same month Obama raised just $71 million compared to Romney’s $100 million.

Hmmmm ... when did Obama say he supported same-sex marriage? What a funny coincidence.

Defense of Marriage Act Challenged By 83-Year-Old Lesbian Widow

On Monday, the ACLU filed a petition that asked the Supreme Court to hear a challenge against the Defense of Marriage Act. The lawsuit was brought by Edith Windsor; a 83-year-old widow living in New York.

The Defense of Marriage Act, also known as DOMA, was signed into law by President Bill Clinton in 1996. It is a United States federal law that defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman.

Windsor was forced to pay more than $363,000 in estate taxes because the government would not recognize her marriage to her late spouse, Thea Spyer. The couple, who lived together for more than 40 years, resided in New York City.

The couple married in Toronto in 2007 and when Spyer died in 2009, Windsor was forced to pay close to $400,000 in estate taxes. The lawsuit was filed 2010. Last year, the Obama administration said they would no longer defend DOMA.

Let's say no to DOMA, but yes to dome.

Happy 7/16 Day To Buffalo, New York

Alright, alright, it's not a real holiday, but since 716 is the area code of Buffalo, I figured that I would write a small post about my beloved hometown in Western New York.

Over the past year, I have written a lot about Buffalo. Are you not sure why I think it's so fucking cool? Find out in some of the most popular posts about Buffalo, New York!

1.  Reasons To Have Sex With Someone From Buffalo

2.  Five Signs I No Longer Live In Buffalo

3.  The Best Bars Of Buffalo

4.  Reasons LGBT People Should Visit Buffalo

The beautiful image in this post is from Buffalo artist Rita Argen Auerbach -- make sure to check out her amazing website.

Three Reasons You're Not Hot

Now, while I love to write about politics, activism, comedy, satire, and a variety of other topics, there is one thing I do not write about; exercise. And, well, fashion, but that's a given. We all know the only exercise I get is when I turn my Walk of Shames into Run of Shames. Over the past few months, I have become acquainted with Mark Fisher of Mark Fisher Fitness, and this is his first guest post for Generation: (WH)Y?. Enjoy!

Ouch!  What a dick!

Don’t worry, dear reader.  You’re totally hot.  If it were up to me, I’d just stare at you naked all day. I’m merely being incendiary with this post’s title.  Also, I was a bit concerned titling this post “I’d Love To Stare At You Naked All Day” would send the wrong message. 
While you are indeed quite hot, I bet you’re not as hot as you want to be.  And not in the “always room for improvement” way. 
I’ll just bet you’re making one of these classic mistakes below that are preventing you from reaching the zenith of your health and hotness potential.  Fear not, dear reader!  I shall now drop some knowledge bombs all over your face and you’ll be ready for that thong in no time!

You’re Trying To Out-Train Your Diet
– Ah yes.  We’ve all done it.  We’ve all had an evening (or a month) of nutritional indiscretions, then attempted to undo it by training our ass off the following week.  Sad to say… it doesn’t really work that well.  When seeking a life of health and hotness, there’s no amount of activity that can undo excessive caloric intake (this is science for “too much fucking food”).  If you want to be lean and mean, or even lean and kind, it’s important to make sure you’re not relying exclusively on training.

And just for the record, healthy food isn’t calorie free. I’m ALL for non-processed foods, but if you’re really looking to lean out, you’ll need to be mindful of the amount of food you’re eating.  By all accounts, a salad with avocado and walnuts and olive oil and dried fruit and sunflower seeds and some blue cheese is healthy as fuck.  But it could also be 1,200 calories.

You’re Not Using Progressive Training Strategies
- Another common error I see is folks working hard, but not working smart.  Nothing is more tragic than seeing folks working their ass off for hours every week pursuing strategies that will bear little fruit.

For one thing, cardio sucks.  Is it wrong to spend 5 hours a week on the treadmill?  No, it’s not “wrong.”  But for many people, it’s not very effective.  Not only will the repetitive impact lead to joint issues for many folks, but the body also tends to adapt to that particular movement and figures out how to do it without burning a ton of calories.  Wah wah.

Now if you’re weight training, you’re on the right path and you’re gonna see a better hotness return on your time and energy investment.  However, if you’re doing the same thing every workout, you’re again leaving a lot of potential on the table.  Particularly if your workout consists of wandering the gym, “doing the machines,” then getting bored because you’re not exactly sure what to do.

You’re Not Prioritizing Recovery
- You can only train as hard as you can recover.  And sad to say, the things one needs to do for recovery are decidedly unsexy.  Drinking lots of water, getting sufficient sleep, and getting massages and/or foam rolling your muscles are hardly anything most people get excited about.  That said… most folks are not super “excited” about brushing their teeth.  Nonetheless, I think we can all agree that you’ll eventually run into problems unless you spend some time on dental hygiene.  Plus as a rule, folks with teeth tend to be hotter than folks without teeth.

I hope these points provide some food for thought and help you honestly assess if your current fitness regime is doing the trick.  If you’re not happy with your physique, I invite you to heed these principles and use your time more effectively.  And should you find yourself unsure as to the best practices for health and hotness, ‘twould be an honor to hold you in our fitness arms and nurture you to glory.  Click the links in the bio to learn more about becoming a Fitness Ninja and piss off all your exes!
Make sure to become a fan of Mark on Facebook & follow him on Twitter. Also, don't forget to check out Four Reasons To Be A Slut, because sex burns calories, baby!


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