February 28, 2013

The Pope Has Resigned And I Have A Question

How many Popes have there been since the Earth was created 4.54 billion years ago?

Vassar College Raises Over $100K For The Trevor Project During Westboro Counter Protest

Over the past few weeks, the Westboro Baptist Church has been planning its protest of Vassar College, which they have been referring to as an "Ivy League Whorehouse."

The hate group doesn't even have their facts straight; although the school is ranked as one of the top schools in the country, it's not Ivy League.

From the website:

"God Hates Vassar College for following the satanic Zeitgeist by professing the soul-damning lie that it is 'OK to be gay.' That is what the men of Sodom and Gomorrah professed and we see how well that worked out for them. WBC will kindly warn everyone affiliated with Vassar College that the Lord that destroyed those ancient cities on the plain yet reigns. Repent or Perish!"

The protest occurred on February 28, 2013.

The awesome faculty, staff and students at Vassar have raised over $100,500 - surpassing their goal of $4,500.

The Trevor Project is a non-profit which is focused on suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.

February 27, 2013

Send IL Rep. Rita Mayfield An Email

Rita Mayfield, a Democrat from Waukegan, Illinois, announced that she will be tallying emails received for and against same-sex marriage.

Send her a quick email at mayfieldr@ilga.gov.

A bill legalizing gay marriage cleared the House Executive Committee this week and heads into the full House (no pun) where its expected to meet the toughest battle.

Illinois is a city in Chicago, or, something like that.

Dozens Of Major U.S. Companies Back Gay Marriage In Court

On Thursday, companies such as Apple, Facebook, eBay and Intel will submit an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, arguing that laws banning same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.

An amicus brief can come from parties not involved with the case, but the information presented can be used in an effort to assist any of the parties in court.

According to Fortune, the companies argue that the laws "send an unmistakeable signal that same-sex couples are in some way inferior to opposite-sex couples, a proposition that is anathema to amici's commitment to equality and fair treatment to all."

As of Tuesday, at least 60 companies were on board.

And the companies ain't impressed that they are limited in their hiring, suggesting that if "potential recruits or employees are members of a same-sex couple," they "may forgo the opportunity to work in California, and prefer other states (like Iowa, New York, and Massachusetts) or other nations (like Spain, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Portugal, or Belgium) where they can be married and obtain equal treatment and respect under the law."

No word yet on if Chick-Fil-A or Christian Mingle are part of the brief.

February 26, 2013

Must Buy: Cowpokes Bedding From Vice Merchants

Vice Merchants, a lifestyle brand that specializes in fine bedding and rebelliously luxe lifestyle products, has recently released the "Cowpokes" collection of bedding; paying homage to the homoerotic nature of early American life.

Good news: Generation:(WH)Y? readers get 10% off a purchase by using the discount code "GenY10" at checkout.

I had a chance to speak with Katie Commodore, the illustrator behind the design!

Jeffrey Hartinger: What was the motivation behind the farm setting?

Katie Commodore: We all got together to brainstorm the next pattern and decided to go with a traditional toile. My art has always been about usurping traditional mediums or styles and using them as a vehicle for portraying sexuality. So the idea of taking a traditional toile and using fun homoerotic imagery made perfect sense! Traditional toile, which first became fashionable in the 16th century, has images of pastoral scenes; what's more pastoral than cowboys and farm hands?

JH: Were other scenarios considered?

KC: Of course! Some of which we will make in the future! But there are only so many drawings I can work on at once!

JH: American Millennials are seemingly socially progressive, but like most of our country, there seems to be discomfort with nudity, erotica and sexually suggestive images. Why do you believe this to be true?

KC: I'm not sure I completely agree with that statement. Yes, America does tend to be a morally conservative country, but not so much that we're generally uncomfortable with sexually explicit images or nudity. This is the era of "50 Shades of Grey" and didn't you see those posters advertising the first season of "American Horror Story"? 

I think that culturally we like to pretend that we're still the product of the puritans, but we're have to admit that America is the main force behind the sex driven advertising and ideas that influence the world. 

And although none of us wants to think about our parents bringing out the toys at night, or our great-grandparents spanking and using bondage, this stuff isn't new. We didn't invent it. It will occur to everyone at some point that they didn't invent the blowjob in high school and sure as hell didn't invent the sex club, and when that dawns on you, there's nothing to be embarrassed by anymore. 

After all, grandma and grandpa used to do it too, and if our country values one thing, it's tradition.

Nick Hurley And Boyfriend Denied A Single Bed Hotel Room In London For Being Gay?

Nick Hurley, 22, and his boyfriend Gavin Maclean, 28, booked a room at the Thistle City Barbican hotel in London last Saturday night.

When they arrived, they were asked by the receptionist if they really wanted a single bed, according to Hurley.

They said yes, but the worker didn't seem impressed.

"He insisted on repeating that question," Hurley said. "I felt it was a way of him imposing his own stamp on the situation. I got a barbed vibe."

After awhile the hotel worker stated that there were no single bed rooms available; even though the gay couple had booked in advance. 

Was this thinly veiled homophobia, or the truth?

I spoke with Nick Hurley via email and asked him:

Do you believe what happened to you will ultimately be positive as it brings awareness to dormant homophobic in the travel industry?

"If anything positive has come from the last few days then I hope it is that as a society we will begin to take more time to think about sensitive issues of prejudice and particularly, in this case, homophobia. We've come far, but we've got one heck of a way to go still," said Hurley.

Millennials And The Use Of The Word "Faggot"

"I hope that the travel industry, amongst others, sits up and takes notice of the power of social media like twitter and ultimately that customers don't feel discriminated against or treated without the utmost sensitivity."

And it's not just in London.

In the United States, there seems to be similar occurrences that happen on a weekly basis; gays and lesbians are constantly denied services due to their sexuality.

Most recently, a lesbian couple in Oregon were denied service at a bakery because the owner said he did not agree with their "lifestyle."

"I know I am not alone in my homophobic treatment — and I'm aware that more, far worse, incidents are happening all over the world everyday, but I hope that by standing up and speaking out about my experience may cause organisations to start thinking about preventing this kind of thing from ever happening again. Ultimately, that's progress," Hurley added.

The CEO of the Thistle Hotels, Mike DeNoma, offered an apology and said the company would be looking into the complaint.

February 25, 2013

Through Windows At One Art Space: A Chat With Artist Michele Krauss

A great part about living in New York City is that one has access to inspiring people who create beautiful works of art.

I recently had a chance to speak with Michele Krauss; an artist originally from Chile who has traveled the world seeking inspiration for her unique creations.

Her most recent exhibit, Through Windows, is on view at One Art Space in TriBeCa until March 16, 2013. 

Jeffrey Hartinger: Are you inspired by social movements - particularly, the LGBT rights movement - in any of your work?

Michele Krauss: I am influenced by all social movements as a person. 

Consequentially that affects my work, but I do not concentrate in any movement in particular while I am painting. My inspiration as an artist are my surroundings. Physical and emotional ones.

I juxtapose movement and what is static also translated as a metaphor. But the interpretation of that I leave it to each person his own. What you see in my work might be completely different to any other person, included myself. Because I am profoundly influenced by my own experiences, that I am sure, are universal. That  it is why you might be touched in a certain way and someone else in another.

JH: As a young artist, did you have a mentor that helped shape your career?

MK: Thank you for the "as a young artist"! I am not that young anymore; even thought I think of myself many times trap in eternal 27. I didn't have a mentor to shape my career per se , but many instructors in art, architecture and design, as well as friends  that gave me invaluable knowledge to be able to find my way in my own style.

JH: What is your advice to aspiring Millennial artists in New York City?

MK: My advice would be my own mantra. Just believe in yourself, because if you don't... How do you expect others to do so? As long as you are genuine, that will transpire in your work. Keep yourself inspired and open minded. And never give up after failure, because in general that it is what will bring you success. And lastly... Enjoy what you do!

If you are in the New York City area, make sure to check out her exhibit! You can also visit her website.

February 19, 2013

Karl Rove As A Nazi? The Tea Party Apologizes

Anyone with an IQ over .0000001 knows that photoshopping anyone in Nazi garb is not going to go well; even if that person is the heinous Karl Rove.

The Tea Party Patriots have issued an apology to Mr. Rove after they sent out a fundraising email with him in a Nazi uniform.

“We apologize to Mr. Rove,” Jenny Beth Martin, the co-founder of the group, said in a statement. 

“While we may have strong disagreements with him on the future of conservatism, we want to be clear this imagery is absolutely unacceptable and are working to ensure this type of mistake doesn’t happen again.” 

The image was added by an outside vendor, Active Engagement.

The fundraising solicitation was titled, “Wipe the Smirk Off Karl Rove’s Face.”

Millions Of Gay Slurs On Twitter

There is no word yet on when an apology is expected from the Tea Party for being one of the most embarrassing political groups in history.

You Should Buy This Shirt From Brooklyn Industries

Brooklyn Industires is not only a progressive company, but they sell some pretty awesome shit!

This past summer, I attended a gay pride event at their Chelsea location, which was a pretty cool and well-attended event.

The "You Are Beautiful" shirt, which was designed last year, is an ever growing indication of the evolving times for same-sex marriage and the rights of LGBT Americans.

This year, Brooklyn Industry were able to add Maine, Washington, Maryland and Connecticut!

Buy the shirt for $34.00; yeah, it's a little pricey, but a portion of the proceeds go to the Ali Forney Center in New York City, which provides a safe place for LGBTQ youth.

February 18, 2013

I Dedicate This Post To ...

While finishing up my writing for the night, I realized that I was at 665 posts since I first starting blogging in Los Angeles during August 2011.

So, I dedicate article number 666, this post, to all my atheist and agnostic readers!

At Odds With Religion. Again.

You all ain't scared of no devil, right?!

HIV Rate In Israel Skyrockets 55% Since 2005

Israel’s Ministry of Health recently released new figures regarding HIV in Israel and the findings aren't cute.

The study indicates a 55% increase in HIV infections since 2005.

From 1981 t0 2011, there were 6,579 individuals who tested positive for HIV or AIDS.

Among the gay community, more than 20% of gay men reported having unprotected sex.

Dudes ... are you fucking stupid?

2012 Is Deadliest Year On Record For Journalists

In a recent interview with Gay Stars News, Shai Doitsh of the Israeli LGBT group Aguda said:

"The reason to the spike in HIV infection among the community has several factors; Firstly, the transformation of HIV/AIDS into a chronic manageable disease has decreased the fear effect. Secondly, this is 'the generation that did not experience the plague,' that is, young people that did not witness the eruption of the epidemic and the death of their dear ones. Thirdly, there is an increase in risk behavior, especially with recreational drugs and unprotected sex."

5 Reasons I Am Not Impressed With 2013 So Far

1. No one had the decency to ask John Hinckley, Jr. how he felt about Jodi Foster being a lesbian.

2. It appears that Mitt Romney fell off the face of the earth :/

3. Manti Te'o had his heart broken in one of the most elaborate pranks in the history of mankind.

4. Azealia Banks thinks it's okay to use the word "faggot" as a bisexual rapper.

5. I haven't been kicked out of a threesome yet this year.

Out & Equal At Work: From Closet To Corner Office

Sure, it's common place to see LGBT celebrities and entertainers in the spotlight, but what about the movers and shakers in business, finance, tourism and other industries?

As Millennials, the acceptance of homosexuality in the workplace seems to be evolving, but many people are not aware that you can be fired in dozens of states simply for being gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

I had a chance to read Out & Equal At Work: From Closet To Corner Office and I highly recommend it; particularly for those young professionals and budding entrepreneurs who want advice from established and successful business professionals.

"The anthology shows how advancing LGBT rights in the workplace helped advance Kayla Shell to her current role of Legal Director at Dell, how Maggie Stumpp found support as an executive at Prudential during her transition from male to female, how George Kalogridis bravely came out and worked his way to President of Disneyland Resort, and how some contributors dealt with multiple diversity issues like Rosalyn Taylor O’Neale, Chief Diversity Officer of Campbell Soup, as an African American woman and lesbian. Deborah Dagit, Chief Diversity Officer of Merck, shares her experience of being part of the differently-abled community and an ally to the LGBT community."

Out & Equal, founded by Selisse Berry, is a non-profit headquartered in San Francisco which is committed to ending employment discrimination for the LGBT community.

I recommend buying the book; it's a great subway read and if you can guess which gay dude I have the biggest crush on in the anthology, I'll give you my copy for free.

February 16, 2013

No African-American Nurses Need Apply

Well, sorta.

An African-American nurse in Flint, Michigan, is suing Hurley Medical Center for being reassigneed after a man scumbag requested that no blacks care for his child.

According to a complaint filed in January by Tonya Battle's attorney, it states that a man asked to speak to her supervisor and made the request.

He also flashed her a tattoo that resembled "a swastika of some kind."

43% Of Nurses Can't Find Work In America

According to the suit, the following was also written on the baby's medical chart:

"Please, no African-American nurses to care for ... baby per dad's request."

Battle has worked at the hospital for 25 years.

Everyone Should Be Watching Suburgatory

I came across Subugatory a few months ago and it's one of the funniest shows on television.

After being raised in New York City, high schooler Tessa moves with her father to the suburbs.

I probably would have titled the series "Hell," but Subugatory has a nice ring to it, too.

Watch it free on HULU.

February 15, 2013

Syracuse University Mascot Comes Out As Gay

In 2013, there has already been some notable coming out stories in regard to sports and it looks like Otto the Orange, the mascot of Syracuse University, is also part of the LGBT community.

Earlier this week, Sean Karson, the captain of the MIT baseball team, told his teammates he was gay.

In a statement given exclusively to Generation:(WH)Y?, Otto is described by an ex-lover as "an inconsiderate apple passing as an orange who has an obsession with spray tanning."

February 14, 2013

ABSOLUT Vodka Gives Nod to LGBT Couples On Valentine's Day

When I first moved to New York City, I worked for a LGBT marketing firm and one of our major clients was ABSOLUT Vodka.

I was always happy when I worked on the campaigns because the company has been a leading figure for LGBT equality since 1981.

On Valentine's Day, the company shared this image with the line "Love knows no boundaries. Like this if you believe ALL couples deserve a happy Valentine's Day."

Marketer On How America Subconsciously Evolves On LGBT Rights

The image was also shared on Twitter.

eHarmony Founder Says Gay Marriage Damaged Company

In 2008, a lawsuit forced Neil Clark Warren, the cofounder of the dating site eHarmony, to open his website to gay individuals.

The 78-year-old Christian says that gays put his life, and the lives of his workers, at jeopardy:

"I think this issue of same-sex marriage within the next five to 15 years will be no issue anymore. We've made too much of it. I'm tired of it. It has really damaged our company and when the attorney general of the state of New Jersey decided that we had to put up a same-sex site and we did it out of counsel that if we didn't do it we were not going to have any business in New Jersey — we literally had to hire guards to protect our lives because the people were so hurt and angry with us, were Christian people, who feel that it's a violation to scripture," he said in a profile on Yahoo News.

Warren, who is involved with the anti-LGBT group Focus On The Family, also touched upon how he wants other corportations to donate money in order "to do a really first class job of figuring out homosexuality. At the very best, it's been a painful way for a lot of people to have to live."

3 Signs That You Are Not A Real Gay Guy

It ain't that bad dude!

February 12, 2013

Amazing Oscar Hall Of Fame Paintings

Last June, I interviewed artist Gayle Kabaker after her beautiful painting, "June Brides," graced the cover of The New Yorker.

A Talk With Artist Gayle Kabaker

The painting was a subtle ode to marriage equality, as same-sex marriage was deemed legal that same week in New York state.

I had another chance to talk with her regarding her Oscar themed project.

Gayle Kabaker:

"I had an idea for The New Yorker sketchbook page - an Oscar Fashion Hall of Fame - where I'd paint some of the craziest outfits over the years. They were already all set for the Oscar's so i decided to have some un with this just for myself, and post daily a painting of either the craziest, most beautiful or what I might imagine some of the nominees  this year wearing. I decided to leave off the name of the actress - so far just women - to see if people could guess who it is and they are guessing correctly every time!"

Make sure to visit Gayle Kabaker on her website and check out her great paintings! You can find her on Facebook, too.

February 11, 2013

Did North Korea Conduct It's Third Nuclear Bomb Test?

AP Photo: Vincent Yu
I know the United States and North Korea has had a little bit of drama over the past few years, but they really need to relax.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported that on Tuesday in North Korea, a seismic disturbance occurred near the site of two previous nuclear tests.

The "earthquake" had a magnitude of 4.9 around the epicenter.

In a shocking turn of events, there were no reports of the disturbance from the state-run news agency.

"It's a nuclear test," Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, told CNN. "That magnitude and that location -- it's awfully unlikely it's anything else."

4 Reasons Why I Love Koreatown, Los Angeles

Or maybe, just maybe, they bought all the Gangnam Style CD's from North Korea and blew them up?

Captain Of MIT Baseball Team Comes Out As Gay

Once upon a time, I was a college student at a D1 school. 

A couple months after graduation, I started receiving emails, Facebook messages and texts from college friends and acquaintances telling me that they were gay.

I suppose I'm a little self-centered, because when a few good looking athletes contacted me, my first thought was:

"Come on dude, if you would have told me during college, I would have had a lot more fun."

I could have slowly evolved from dating and having sex with the "common folk" gays at my small, liberal arts college and became one of those female sports groupies in Ugg boots, a Northface and knock-off designer bag.

I've always wanted ruined, bleach blonde hair, but I digress.

In an interview with The Boston Herald, third-baseman and co-captain for MIT's baseball team, Sean Karson, described how he came out to his team.

“They came up and gave me high fives and said they’d have my back and everything,” he said. “It was so supportive, it was ridiculous."

As a sophomore, he had a .350 batting average.

4 Reasons To Be A Slut In College

He's cute and a chemisty and computer science major, so if baseball doesn't work out, he can always create an app that helps people make meth.

Lesbian Couple Accepts Offer By Duff Goldman Of Ace Of Cakes

Last week, I wrote about a Oregon couple that was denied service by a bakery due to their sexual orientation.

Aaron Klien, the owner of Sweet Cakes, a bakery in Gresham, Oregon, said that he objected due to his religious beliefs.

“If I have to be to, I guess, be penalized for my beliefs, then I guess, well, that’ll be what it is,” he said.

Celebrity baker and Ace Of Cakes star Duff Goldman heard about the incident and offered a free cake to the couple, in addition to saying that he would deliver it free of charge!

The couple, who has not been identified, has accepted the offer.

3 Funny Reasons Why Gays Should Not Marry

“We are especially thankful that LGBT-supportive companies have graciously offered their services to make our special day perfect,” they said in a statement.

Idiot Of The Week: Teacher Diana Medley

A special education, public school teacher in Indiana is leading a crusade against one of the most important issues so far in 2013: stopping gay and lesbian students from attending prom with their heterosexual classmates.

Diana Medley is the Generation:(W)HY? Idiot Of The Week!

Congratulations, girl.

"I believe that it was life circumstances and they chose to be that way; God created everyone equal. Homosexual students come to me with their problems, and I don't agree with them, but I care about them. It's the same thing with my special needs kids, I think God puts everyone in our lives for a reason. So the same goes for gays? Do you think they have a purpose in life?' No I honestly don't. Sorry, but I don't. I don't understand it. A gay person isn't going to come up and make some change unless it's to realize that it was a choice and they're choosing God," she said.

Medley, who does not believe that anyone is born gay, is attempting to plan a separate prom that excludes LGBT students.

Judging from those dark ass eyebrows, I do not believe that Medley was born a blonde.

February 9, 2013

True Life: I Pay Bills While Drinking

I'm not even sure if this is cashable, but I guess I'll find out in a week or so ...

Join Me Once A Week At Crime Library

I have a new gig where I write once a week for Crime Library; a website which details interesting and bizarre stories involving serial killers, gangsters, terrorists, spies and other creepy shit.

My first article, "Transgender Inmates In American Prisons: Is The Michelle Kosilek Case A Precedent For Gender Reassignment Surgery?," gives insight on how the rights of transgender individuals behind bars are evolving in America.

You can become a fan of Crime Library on Facebook & Twitter.

Duke, Asian-Themed Parties & Racism In Generation Y

Photo Credit: The Chronicle
On February 1, the Duke University chapter of Kappa Sigma fraternity decided to hold a party that poked fun at Asians.

The invitation that was emailed to students had controversial misspellings, such as "Herro Nice Duke Peope" and closed with "Chank You," among other lines that meant to play off Asian stereotypes.

Not only as this an ignorant idea, but why the fuck would you even consider having such a party as the Asian population at Duke is over 20%?

After growing up in a second or third rate version of a wannabe Stepford Wives-esque suburb, I spent four years living in a heavily African-American neighborhood in Buffalo, a year in Koreatown, Los Angeles and now, in New York City, I live in a heavily Hispanic area.

As a Millennial who has lived in various places and traveled throughout the US, in addition to attending a white, upper-middle class college, I have realized that each community - particularly the subgroups in Generation Y - has internalized racism, bias and homophobia.

It seems that a majority of Millennials do not act outwardly racist or homophobic, but after a few drinks or some weed, controversial comments start to creep out of the woodwork:

"I'm sorry, but I don't think any black people are attractive. Well, except Beyonce and Halle Berry, but they're not full, right?"

"Ah, that dude is such a fag! Oh, I don't mean fag that way, but like, he's an asshole."

Millennials & The Use Of The Word "Faggot"

"Why the fuck are there so many Asians in Times Square? This is so annoying."

While in Los Angeles, my neighborhood was considered "one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the United States" and had the highest concentration of Korean-Americans in the country, in addition to the most densely population.

After a few weeks, I felt a little awkward going to Asian restaurants or stores with my Hispanic roommate or other friends who were not Caucasian or Asian.

"Hey, is it just me, or were they just super nice to me and really rude to you?" I asked one day.

My Red Head Phobia

He told me that it was "like that all the time," and his father told him that ten to fifteen years earlier, many Asian establishments wouldn't acknowledge Hispanics.

As a writer and comedian (I'm funny sometimes, right?), I find it hard to walk the line when attempting to discuss issues involving homophobia and racism, but hopefully with these conversations, progress will be made and college kids will think, "Oh yeah, that party probably isn't a good idea."

Make sure to check out the 4 Reasons Why I Loved Living In Koreatown, Los Angeles, and for those of you who were invited to my Stereotype Party, it's canceled.


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