Bear Culture, its flag, and its beginnings

If you are gay, or just curious about bear culture and the community and would like to know more about it, then this blog post is for you. In this article, we’ll be talking all about this culture and its history in the LGBTQ leather scene.

Let’s start with some gay slang words, which often need explaining to the non-gays that you will encounter and speak to. We use these terms in a gay setting across all gay subcultures to some extent. So knowing them will help you better understand this article and encounters you may have with gay people. These are very relevant to the bear movement as they play a huge role in learning how we communicate with each other and how we partake in activities.

Gay Slang Dictionary 

  • Trade – casual partner of a gay man, or a hot man that you want to have sex with
  • Bear – a person who identifies as a member of the scene
  • Otter – thin and hairy men who identify with the community
  • Chaser – a person who seeks explicitly romantic relations with hairy trade. Chaser is used loosely amongst many subcultures of the gay community. We use it to describe someone who looks expressly for a certain type of person
  • Cub – a younger, often slimmer, and less hairy person who identifies with this subculture within the gay community
  • Wolf – a lean, muscular, and hairy man 
  • Bearspeak – jargon used amongst members of the community
  • Smooth – a person who is not hairy. We use this within all gay subcultures, and anyone gay should know this word and its connotations
  • Chub – overweight or obese gay man who identifies with the community or as part of chub culture. Chubs have some similarities in that they are heavyset, but they are not the same as bears

How did this LGBT subculture start?

A subculture, by definition, is a culture within a culture. That is simple enough to understand. However, gay subcultures have developed throughout our history, and many of them overlap each other. The most prominent overlap within a bear subculture setting is with the leather community, although they are distinct. It leaves us wondering how this culture developed and how it all began.

In 1987, Richard Bulger and Chris Nelson created and published the first BEAR magazine in San Francisco. At the time, no other magazines dedicated themselves solely to Bears. Men who are hairy, husky, or chasers of this male form.

They didn’t know they would create a whole subculture within the factions of the gay community. According to Dr. Les K. Wright, this culture was not a fad that would disappear anytime soon. His experience in the community is evident. He is a previous editor of “The Bear Book” and “The Bear Book II

A new kind of masculinity emerged in other places of the USA, too. It was present in Chicago, for example. John Burkle came out in the late 1970s in Chicago. He frequented leather bars where he would often be harassed about his weight. Finally, he found a home in Chicago’s leather bar scene. He slowly started to build a community of like-minded hairy gay men to create one of the largest events annually for this community.

Both communities developed simultaneously in opposing sides of the USA, and both were host to similar struggles that rampaged the gay community as a result of HIV and AIDS.

What is a gay bear?

This isn’t easy to define. Since the rise of the internet, you can find an amalgamation of ideas that explain what it means to be a part of bear culture.

Some people think it’s the physical attributes of this subculture. Things like being hairy, or having a belly and beard. However, other people seem to think it is more inclusive of adopting the attitude of gay bears around the globe.

Laid-back, approachable, and easy to talk to – a stark change to some other gay subcultures, specifically drag culture and circuit gays, both of which can come across as pretentious and arrogant.

Since its inception, the community has become more accepting of various body types, which means there is more inclusivity, yet at the same time more discrimination.

Sometimes gay wolves and otters can decide that they do not want to include husky, hairy, older men at events or bars. As a result, this is not the best way to define them. 

We can better define this area of gay culture by the community’s rugged and masculine expression. This is irrefutable gender expression amongst members of the community. Although members of this community tend to be middle class and affluent, they often choose to emulate blue-collar workers.

You should always ask self-identifying bears about their bear identity. Who knows, they may say because they love muscle bears or the bear lifestyle. 

Age Is Common Ground for bear culture

Ron Suresha, the author of “Bear on Bear”, has defined maturity as a common factor for identifying as a member of this community. This can be seen in his poems and literature anthologies about his culture.

This is very different from the fetishization of fatness that could easily have been argued to be the fundamental element of this culture when it was still developing from within leather culture. However, with the rise of other gay slang terms to describe other members within this community, it’s far-reaching to assume that this is the sole reason for the development of this subculture.

Like all subcultures, this developed out of the need to feel welcome and included. 

Access to society is the reason this culture exists. This is such a vital part of any gay subculture that bear culture now has a pride flag, and its creation is vastly different from the rainbow pride flag that we all know of.

What is the Bear flag, and who invented it?

The flag was created in response to the emerging subset of the LGBT bear culture specifically for bisexual and gay men to show that they belong to this culture-specific identity.

Craig Byrnes created the Brotherhood flag in 1995. The bear flag was designed with inclusion in mind, so it has a bear paw on the left side of the gay pride rainbow to show that they are a part of this community, and not an exclusion from gay culture. This culture takes pride in celebrating secondary characteristics of their look and place importance on body hair and facial hair.

bear pride flag with bear claw

That’s all for this edition of your dose of LBGTQ culture and gay slang terms. We hope you enjoyed learning about this subculture. If you enjoyed this, come back soon because we will discuss and explain all LGBTQ subcultures in-depth and provide a gay slang dictionary of terms used within them in our lifestyles area.

Until next time, have a gay day!

Framing Britney Spears: Conservatorships and Closets

The Free Britney campaign is an international effort to free pop icon Britney Spears, from her conservatorship. Free Britney advocates and we at GaySays argue that the singer should control her career and personal life. Free Britney also provides a platform for supporters to share their messages of support for the artist on social media. Supporters have even taken it upon themselves to release music videos, perform concerts, offer counseling services, or send cards to show their appreciation for all she has done as an ally and supporter of LGBT+ people worldwide. Conspiracy theories are abound, particularly relating to Jamie Spears, Lynne Spears, and her managers. The central fact of the matter is that a woman has had her civil liberties stripped away, her personal affairs mandated by court, and irreparable harm done to Ms. Spears herself.

Britney’s Meteoric Rise As A Gay Icon

Britney Spears is an icon to the LGBT+ community for several reasons. First off, she was one of the first mainstream celebrities to openly support gay rights and same-sex marriage when it wasn’t popular or accepted in America. As recently as 2017, she wrote a handwritten love letter to the LGBTQ community as part of Billboard Pride, which discussed her unwavering loyalty and appreciation for the community.

She had one of the first openly lesbian kisses on stage. The pop princess’ lip-locking with the queen of pop Madonna made headlines worldwide in 2003. Later in 2016, she advocated for support and change in the wake of the awful Pulse gay club shooting. She also signed an open letter against the proposal of anti-trans bills in Texas, making her one of the most crucial LGBTQ icons & allies.

Entertainment Industry Exploitation

Britney Spears’ virginal image as a Catholic schoolgirl and later transformation into a sex kitten during her relationship with Justin Timberlake represents gay people discovering their sexualities for the first time. The way the press vilified her for doing so is not dissimilar to reactions to gay representation in the media. While she was declaring to be a “Slave 4U” in pop music, gay men were fighting for their right to serve in the army as who they are.

It is not difficult to see how the press reaction to the pop star’s much-publicized 2007 breakdown was similar to comments about gay individuals. Comments on her “lewd” behavior could be found next to articles decrying gay marriage as the work of the devil. Britney’s breakdown, the result of extreme pressure and substantial detriment to her freedom, is not a million miles away from the experience of coming out and escaping the confines of the closet.

Free Britney Spears Like She Freed Us

We are Britney, we were her then, and she is us now. When the Free Britney campaign was launched in 2007 to support Spears during her public breakdown and later conservatorship, it became a rallying call for gay men who had been pushing against their cage door for decades. Reading articles about the Free Britney campaign, there is an overwhelming sense of recognition amongst many gay individuals. Britney Spears’s temporary conservatorship is not a million miles away from the restrictions that we face as gay individuals in a heterosexual world.

With the release of the documentary “Framing Britney Spears” earlier this year, the issues of Spears and her conservatorship were launched back into the spotlight. Many celebrities came out in support of Spears, including pop singer Miley Cyrus.

Free Britney carries the same meaning to Free Queer, Free Lesbian, and Free Gay. Under the control of rich, heterosexual males, we are put to our knees and forced to comply with the status quo. Britney is forced to perform; gay individuals are forced to play the role of heterosexual in a world where we are misunderstood and “don’t wanna be so protected”. Conspiracy theorists argue that she was forced into a psychiatric ward in a mental health facility in Beverly Hills by her father, Jamie Spears. This is not too dissimilar from gay conversion therapy and the mental health struggles that so many of us are afflicted with.

People who are gay need to be free of the barriers imposed on them by society to live happy lives. This includes being able to marry whomever they want and not feeling like they have a stigma placed upon their backs at all times. Like Britney, we think about the lack of autonomy over our own lives and feel the pressure of society on us. We may have control over own financial affairs, but we have no autonomy over the exploitation and degradation of our personal affairs.

In the words of Britney herself – “people can take everything away from you/But they can never take away your truth.” No longer can we sit and ask if the world “can handle” ours. Whatever the conspiracy theories say, there’s one thing that we can all agree on. It’s time that Britney herself, and gay individuals, are allowed to live their unapologetic truth in a way that frees them from the shackles of the closet and conservatorship.

Conversion Therapy Victimizes Gay Youth

Gay conversion therapy is a harmful practice that can lead to all sorts of emotional and physical abuse. We banned it in many states. In other states doctors speak out against this. They know conversion therapy does not work so they do not offer it.

However, there are still plenty of people out there who believe this is an effective way to help LGBT youth become straight. This article will outline how gay conversion therapy affects Gay Youth’s health, where it is legal and where it isn’t, why this is child abuse, and what we can do to stop it.

A History of Gay Conversion Therapy

Gay conversion therapy has been around for more than a century. Doctors subjected us to all sorts of treatments and attempted to change us. The “treatments” they give us include hypnosis, electroshock, and aversion training.

Aversion training is giving painful stimuli either on the skin or genitals. In this common practice doctors hurt us after showing us pictures to elicit a sexual response from us.

“Reparative therapy” is a broader term for any treatment that seeks to change someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity. 

This form of conversion can include talk therapy, prayer, acupuncture, medication, social interventions, or aversive conditioning techniques (like giving electric shocks).

In extreme cases doctors castrated us and gave us “heterosexual” testicles in a ploy to “cure” us of our homosexuality.

The Harmful Effects Gay Conversion Therapy Causes

We can begin with the mental effects of conversion therapy because they are the long last effects of undergoing this type of therapy.

PTSD can occur due to this therapy and has a long-lasting impact on the individuals subjected to the inhumane and abhorrent practice.

The Ozanne Foundation conducted a study on faith and sexuality. Of the 281 people surveyed, we see the effects of this on their mental health and the numbers and percentages staggeringly high.

Below is a list of mental trauma and its impact on these LGBTQ youth. To say the least, it is despairing.

70% of people surveyed experienced suicidal thought.

More than one in three people attempted suicide.

Depression and anxiety resulted in the need for medication eas experienced by almost 60% of LGBTQ youth exposed to conversion therapy practices.

Over 40% of people surged inflicted self-harm on themselves.

Almost a quarter of those questioned in the surgery developed eating disorders.

We need to fight against conversion therapy. The lifestyles we live are natural and no different than heterosexual lifestyles.

However, churches and religious organization teach that we are wrong for being ourselves. They brainwash people into thinking we are bad. 

This belief is entirely contrary to what we see in the animal kingdom, where we see even lions engaging in gay activity.

Reparative Therapy Is A Problem

The IFGE (Independent Forensics Expert Group) and IRCT (International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims) have stated that Conversion therapy is a global problem. It violates international treaties that protect citizens of the world from torture.

The IRCT calls for a ban on conversion, an archaic and awful practice that would significantly advance protections for LGBTQ+ youth.

You should know that even though this still happens, doctors and medical professionals widely condemn it.

Below there will be some images that should be disturbing. Paola Paredes undertook research in gay conversion therapy in Ecuador. She re-enacted some of the scenes described to her in interviews with victims of conversion therapy.

We included these images you understand what conversion therapy is like for gay people or trans people and elicit an emotional response for change.

We provided links where you can read more about this horrible practice and petition a change to better our society and focus on inclusivity rather can abuse.

A girl is beaten with a wire for failing to gather her belongings quickly enough.
A girl is beaten with a wire for failing to gather her belongings quickly enough.
A common practice where individuals are forced by to repent for their sins.
A common practice where individuals are forced by to repent for their sins.
Beaten, tied and sedated - people are taken to conversion therapy without consent.
Beaten, tied and sedated – people are taken to conversion therapy without consent.

What Can We do to Stop this?

People propose petitions on which call for banning conversion therapy in countries around the world. You can start by signing a petition or talking to your local government officials.

The next thing that we can do is stop supporting businesses that donate money or time to promote anti-LGBT rhetoric.

This list of companies support money to conversion therapy isn’t complete, but it is an excellent start to understanding where your money is going and how it might be being used to affect you or someone in your family negatively. 

The top offender is ATT which has donated over $2,755,000 to 193, anti-gay politicians.

Next, we need to focus on religious teaching.

Talk to your faith leader and discern their thoughts.

Then ask yourself, are you at the proper organization for your beliefs?

We can prevent childhood trauma, but many people highly indoctrinated in religious settings listen to their priests. Unfortunately, not all religious leaders agree with the words in this article. 

Finally, you can spread the word by sharing this post with anyone who needs to see it.

Don’t take this lightly. The effects of social isolation and results from this form of treatment are not experiences lightly. Sharing this hopefully convinces others to join the fight for the change that we all need and are looking for. 

I hope you all stay safe and can see why we need a change. If this article has upset you, I apologize, but I hope it can light a fire within you to fight for progression. We achieve more together than we do alone. Read more about our activism and help make a change.

As always, have a gay day!

Gay Discrimination is rainbow appropriation

In a medical setting, it is often difficult for Gay people to feel safe and comfortable. Gay discrimination from professionals stigmatizes us in these settings due to fear based on the misconception that Gay sex equals HIV transmission. ManyGay men face verbal abuse from healthcare providers and physical assault from other patients who share these misconceptions. 

The same issue occurs with Gay women within this setting, too. They receive both negative treatment and discrimination from their caretakers because of their sexuality. It’s time we stop this cycle of violence.

we all bleed the same color gay discrimination protest

Basic Rights We Are Denied

Let’s start with the most basic of rights stripped away from us. In America and many other countries around the world, we cannot donate blood.

In this blog post, I will discuss how we can stop gay discrimination through education about HIV prevention. This breaks down stereotypes associated with being Gay or LGBT+. It will help you understand repression and confront it.

The stigma comes from the fear of spreading HIV and aids. However, it does not matter who donates blood. Doctors check blood in all cases to make sure it is safe. Here is the full list of tests doctors do on blood before a transfusion.

The stringent rules applied to our Community specifically oppress us by excluding us from donating blood. They give us aspecific label which further puts a target on our back for discrimination. The label is MSM (men who have sex with men).

The next type of discrimination we face is a social stigma in hospitals, schools, and other government areas. Take note that not all doctors or hospitals treat us this way. Still, it happens with enough frequency that it caused the UK’s parliament to launch an ongoing inquiry into mistreatment amongst lgbtq+ individuals. Here are some interesting facts about our overall health, the services we receive, and their effects on our Community.

The mental effects of gay discrimination

  • Over half of the LGBTQ community has experienced depression in the last year.
  • Sixty-one percent of our community members have experienced anxiety.
  • Nearly one in four members of our Community heard shocking remarks about them in a healthcare setting.

The effects of gay discrimination our health and well-being and our personal lives in the process.

How does Gay discrimination affect our personal lives?

It affects our jobs. In some places, people fire us for being gay. In areas where this is not a legal action, the cause is usually specified as something other than your sexuality. This puts salt in the wound and further affects our mental health.

Gay discrimination affects our access to medical help. Doctors don’t see us as a priority. So we often spend more time trying to schedule appointments. If this were not bad enough, you have internal labels assigned to you that identify you as an LGBTQ individual once you can get an appointment.

It affects our access to healthcare coverage. Gay men, in particular, struggle with this because many of us lack the necessary reproductive organs that would allow them to obtain full coverage through insurance companies or public aid programs like Medicaid. Any pre-existing conditions can also exclude us from receiving quality treatment and care.

Lack of education in our lifestyle affects our youth which means they are not looking for long-term stable relationships that reduce the transmission of life-taking diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

All of these make us feel uncomfortable and less likely for us to be open about our sexuality. This can increase our stress levels, limit social networks that help us feel accepted, and negatively affect every facet of our health.

An Inclusive Solution

We need to require schools to teach inclusive sex education. Because we don’t teach it we can see rising HIV rates amongst LGBTQ youth. By introducing this in our schools, we can protect our youth and reduce the stigma attached to being gay and living a gay lifestyle.

Hospitals and other government entities worldwide need extensive training and an insight into the gay lifestyle through a fresh, up-to-date perspective. This type of training can include understanding the different sectors within our Community and appropriately respecting our boundaries by resolving misconceptions about our lifestyles.

Resources for Inclusive Medical Professionals

These issues are not going away, and they are adding fuel to the fire of oppression that we face daily for being ourselves. We must stop allowing people to treat us this way by choosing allies who support us instead of discriminate against us.

If you are in the USA, you can use GLMA’s online Provider Directory.

If you are in the UK, you can refer to the Terrence Higgins Trust for finding doctors and dentists that will not look at you in a negative light or label you internally.

I hope these resources can help you understand the need for inclusive medical professionals and provide you with the information you need to find a doctor that’s right for you and your health. I hope you use them to find doctors that treat you like a person and understand you. Get involved by becoming an activist.

Stay safe and as always, have a gay day!

LGBT Pronouns: A guide and why they matter

The LGBTQ+ community faces many struggles, and one of the most pressing is how to refer to someone who identifies as something other than male or female. LGBT pronouns make people feel welcome so we should use them correctly.

The first thing we need to do is understand why pronouns are important. To respect someone’s gender identity, you must be use their Correct pronouns because using wrong pronouns hurts feelings, and nobody wants to do that.

We use pronouns in place of nouns when referring to people–they help fill a void created by not using someone’s name. But, when it comes down to it, you’re either respecting pronouns or misgendering people; there isn’t an in-between option here!

Pronouns exist in every language, not just English. Keep reading so you understand common pronouns and how and why they are used around the world.

How do I respect LGBT pronouns?

If you’re unsure of someone’s LGBT pronouns, ask them. Do not simply assume the pronouns are male or female based on their appearance/masculine or feminine qualities. Use people’s preferred pronoun -whether it be he, she, they (singular), ze (singular), zie (plural) or neo-pronouns is common sense if you have a mindset of acceptance and openness.

For those unsure, a pronoun is a word that substitutes for a noun or a noun phrase in the sentence structure of an English language form. Pronouns can be classified by person (first-person, second-person, third-person). Third-person pronouns can be those that hurt others, so make sure you understand them!

Pronouns in an LGBTQ+ exclusivity context

First-person LGBT pronouns don’t change. They are still I, me and mine. Second person pronouns in the lgbtq+ context don’t change either. They’re still you and yours.

Third-person pronouns are tricky for some people to understand. They refer to a person you are mentioning during a conversation. You should use the third-person pronoun of that person’s choice. 

We also have neo-pronouns – which sounds like a big word, but the concept is simple if you have acceptance in mind.

What are Neo-pronouns?

Neo-pronouns are LGBT pronouns that can be combined with “he” or “she”. Some such are xe, zi, and co for people who don’t identify as a gender binary. Those in the LGBTQ+ community often use this to represent their identity better.

Some less known neo pronouns are used by people who identify themselves as agender, gender-fluid or neutrois.

Neo pronouns are also used by those in the autistic, asexual and neurodivergent communities to represent their identity better. Some neo pronouns besides xe and si are xem (singular) and zeir or zer (plural).

Neo-pronouns are important because they allow individuals to be represented appropriately. When the individual does not identify with a binary gender, it is inappropriate for someone else to assign them a pronoun without their consent.

Bun and bunself is another pronoun used by a person who does not identify as male or female.

The following is a list of neo-pronouns that one can identify with :

List of LBGT pronouns in a chart

ze, zir, zer (singular) and zeirs or zers (plural).

xe, xem (born female), xyr; per xis preference

hie/hir-self; per hie/hir own preference

muh-self; per muh own preference.

LGBT pronouns can seem like a lot for people new to inclusive vocabulary and how we speak and respect each other, but it’s not a new concept. People have recognized a third non-gender for centuries.

Are Third-Gender Pronouns New?

No, they aren’t. All around the world, people have used alternate pronouns for centuries, although many people in English speaking countries might not be aware. 

In Mesopotamian mythology, we see the earliest reference of a third gender. For example, the goddess Ninmah was looked at as neither male nor female. 

We also have evidence of “third gender” in Zapotec culture, specifically called muxe. Muxes are biologically male but live as women and often marry other men. They have roots in Mexico and you can read more about them on this fantastic and culturally rich blog wearequeerhere.

In North America, Native American tribes have long recognized gender fluidity with a third gender category: “two-spirit.” The Lakota tribe, for example, has four genders: male, female, feminine male (“winkte”), masculine female (“okanye”). 

The North American Mohawk tribe has three genders: masculine females and feminine males (known as “huhu”) and the third gender of neutrals. Neutrals have a female spirit but may adopt male dress and roles.

Some cultures have even more than three genders: the Bugis from Indonesia recognize five (masculine female or “calabai,” feminine male or “dodola,” androgynous person or “joko jogo”).

The third gender is seen amongst the hijra of India, kathoey in Thailand, and bakla of the Philippines. In the Hijra society in India, the hijras were born considered third sex and traditionally taken on feminine social roles such as dancer or, Jinthe kurgarra (a male who takes on a feminine identity) in the Andaman Islands and the fa’afafine in Samoa. 

In Africa, many tribes use more than two genders. For example, the Khoisan Tribes have four: male, female, hermaphrodite and nurupari (“manhood”). 

Gender-neutral pronouns are not specific to English

Argentina is leading the way for gender-neutral language in Spanish. The movements in the Spanish-speaking world are similar to those of English, with an added focus on sexual orientation and nonbinary genders.

Argentina is using “p/per” for a third gender (“los per”), while Chile has adopted “mxe” (pronounced meh) as its pronoun for non-binary.

Guarani is a language used by Indigenous peoples of South America. It has no specific gender-specific pronouns; however, they have nonbinary gendered ones: Ñande (feminine) or Nde’nde (masculine). 

Xier, xieser, xiem, xien, xies, xiese, xiesem. These are gender-neutral German pronouns that can be used instead of the gendered third-person singular system of sie/er (she/he), ihr/er, die/der. They offer a neutral means to refer to non-binary gender identities or do not prefer assigned female and male pronouns.

The genderless pronoun in Brazilian Portuguese: ou (feminine for “she” or “he”)

The Quechua language of Peru has no gender-specific pronouns.

How can we politely and conclusively ask someone their pronouns?

The biggest problem arising from using correct pronouns is not knowing how to ask someone their pronouns in an inclusive manner. The easiest solution is to ask, “What pronouns do you use?” politely. 

Some people find it easier to offer their pronoun first as a way of easing the process. However, we can also say: “I don’t presume your gender identity based on how I see you or what we have talked about before. What are your pronouns of choice?

As the LGBTQ community continues to grow and evolve, it is crucial that all people feel welcome. In this blog post, we’ve talked about how pronouns can help make your writing more inclusive of everyone in our society. We hope you have learned something new today! 

If you want to learn even more from us about being a queer ally, sign up for our newsletter below so we can keep you updated on what’s going on with lgbtq+ issues. Your email address will not be shared or sold to anyone else–we promise! Or check out our lifestyle blog. Thank you and as always, have a gay day!

What is a gay Activist and who are they?

Gay Activists Worldwide

The United States and the UK have many gay activists who fight for equality and justice. Everyday they fight for our rights. Elton John, an English gay activist, Lil Nas X, George Michael, and Laverne Cox are just a few who come to mind. In this list we never want to recognize those from different parts of the world. Why do their struggles never get told?

There are .any notable and successful members of the LGBT community in an all-out battle with their respective governments. Now let’s hear about them and their stories because they fight for equality and acceptance. 

In this list of famous LGBT artists and activists you’ll learn about less known activists with remarkable stories. We want you to keep reading to learn more and recognize them during this pride month. 

LGBT Prominence in the Middle East

It’s no secret that the Middle East is not the most gay-friendly, this is important. Some countries such as Iran and Brunei, governments slaughter us for being who we are.

For this reason, I think that makes the story of these artists that much more exciting and worthy of being shared. For those who may not know about them, here are some worlwide activists.

Çağla Akalın

Çağla Akalın model shoot

This trans gay activist, actress, and model making waves in the Middle East. She holds the first pageant title of any transgender person in Turkey won 2013 at the Miss queen competition.

Her activism is being outspoken about the oppression faced by the LGBTQ community living in Turkey. An online content platform even received a fine after having her on the show to talk about her experiences. 

Because of this she is an icon for the gay rights movement in the Middle East. She is more than worthy of this list.

Dalia Al-Faghal

Dalia Al Faghal instagram photo

Coming out as the first lesbian Egyptian is hard. Being gay in Egypt, like many countries in the Middle East, is illegal. 

The social stigma surrounding homosexuality is very prominent in the Middle East. They oppress so badly that a British man had his life support turned off in Cairo. After he died the country refused to send his body back to the UK. 

The gay activist Al Faghal grew up in Saudi Arabia then came out as lesbian and immediately faced backlash. People sent her death threats and messages comparing her to animals. Some even resorted to saying that she is the cause of the apocalypse.

Mashrou’ Leila

Mashrou Leila interview about lgbt rights

For starters, this is a band, not a person. They have a long history of being outspoken and political regarding gay rights in the Middle East. Originally from Lebanon, this band has had many concerts canceled. 

One concert in Egypt became a national scandal after videos and pictures of it were released. Simply for including the rainbow flag and people standing in solidarity, they got cancelled. In their music, they aim to give a voice to the voiceless.

Asian Allies and Human Rights Defenders

Many Asian countries accept and recognize diversity, but others greatly shun it. Here are some LGBT celebrities that break the mold and transcend the pitfalls of oppression in Asia.  

Leslie Cheung

Leslie Cheung with makeup

This gay activist deserves more credit as a true star. His activism and overtly gay music have inspired many in the Chinese-speaking world. Leslie showed gay people are positive and worthy of acceptance and equal rights. This same-sex marriage. 

His defining moment came in 1997. During a queer performance in he danced on stage intimately with a male dance to his song “red.”

In 1998 he received mockery at the Hong Kong film awards, describing a motion picture of his as vomit-inducing. 

After a long struggle with depression, he sadly committed suicide on April 1, 2003. You will always live on in our hearts as the pioneer that you are, Leslie!

Xian, Bin Xu

Xian Bin Xu smiling on a chair

This activist became inspired to begin fighting for our rights in China after studying abroad in the USA. She works for Common Language, an NGO, and is considered a driving factor in China’s LGBT movement. 

Ji Mi (吉米)

Ji mi Chinese celebrity

Ji Mi is often viewed as the first celebrity to publicly come out as gay in mainland China. This singer challenges the status quo with his music and movies. He founded a vocal school in 2000 geared at cosmetology and later developed his own cosmetics line. 

The LGBT Human Rights Watch of Europe

Pedro Zerolo

Pedro Zerolo speaking out for gay rights

Pedro zerolo ensured that Spain was one of the first countries in the world to recognize same-sex marriage. For his activism, he gained respect across all political factions.

Unfortunately, he passed away on June 9, 2015, from pancreatic cancer. This sent the nation’s LGBT people and those worldwide into a state of remembrance. Thank you, Pedro. We won’t forget your efforts.

Rosa Von Praunheim

Rosa van Praunheim gay director and artist

A gay director and artist who began fighting the good fight in 1967 and received an award for this short film titled “Pink Workers on Golden Street.” Through his works, he sought to inspire the apolitical members of our community into activism and encouraged them to come out of the closet. 

Rosa Von Praunheim understood the value and importance of standing together. We should not cower at the hands of homophobic people. Let’s challenge governments and institutions worldwide to accept us.

Lady Phyll

Lady Phyll black LGBT activist

Lady Phyll is a proud Black woman and British gay rights activist. She has challenged the notion of history in Britain and its teachings from a young age. 

She fights for fair representation of BAME and LGBT minorities. We don’t learn about this in history in the United Kingdom. This makes her a strong supporter of the civil rights movement.

She is worthy of this article because she is fighting for fair representation. Not for just one oppressed minority, but many. Her continuous searching for a coalition to human rights violations is applaudable.  

Gay Activist in the Americas

Claudia Lopéz

Caludia Lopez in front of fountain

Claudia López is Bogotá’s first openly gay mayor. Not to mention, the second most notable politician to hold office in her municipality.  She spent her career exposing corruption within the Colombian government. She brings to light the struggles of the LGBT people within the country. 

In December of 2019, she married her wife, representative Angelica Lozano Correa and took office in January of 2020. 

Keila Simpson

Keila Simpson Brazilian trans activist

As an activist of the LGBT movement since 1990, Keila Simpson leades the National Association of Transsexuals (ANTRA). She served as vice president of the Brazilian Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex (ABGLT) group in Brazil. 

She also served as the national council to combat LGBT discrimination in Brazil in 2013. As a result, she received the National Human Rights Award. This award is for outstanding service provided to the LGBT population in Brazil. 

She is continuing to fight for the LGBT population in Brazil. She serves as coordinator for the Center for the Promotion and Defense of LGBT rights(CPDD).   

Ilse Fuskova

Isle Fuskova LGBTQ activist

This well-known Argentine activist fights for both LGBT rights and women’s rights. She is also known for her activism. Her art and films and led her to come out of the closet on live television in Argentina. She’s currently 91 years meaning she has decades of activism fighting for equality. 

Australian Gay Civil Rights Activist

Andrea Pejic

Andrea Peji trans model

Andreja Pejić is an icon for LGBT individuals everywhere for a multitude of reasons. In 2011, she walked the runway for Marc Jacobs as the first androgynous supermodel, walking for male and female shows. She repeated this feat numerous times and later came out as transgender. 

As a result, Pejić was profiled by Vogue magazine. Later she signed a cosmetics contract with the internationally renowned brand. Making her the first openly transgender model to do so. She also became the first transgender woman to cover GQ magazine in 2016. 

Her visibility as a transgender supermodel has done wonders for advancing the acceptance of LGBT individuals in the fashion industry

Final Thoughts

These are just a few of the less well-known activists that are fighting for equality and human rights. It’s essential to recognize those who are doing great work. Because even if they don’t have fame, we would have no progress without them.

Do you know of any others that we can add to this list? Please let us know in the comments

As always, have a gay day!

Gay dating Stinks, use these tips to stay safe

For gays and bisexuals, gay dating is intimidating, scary, and sometimes deadly. 

In my experience, most gay men are only looking for a quick hookup before moving on to the next tightest hole. Or, they play a symphony on your heartstrings without consideration for your feelings or well-being. 

So, much like sex, gay dating is a massive pain in the ass at first. However, with time (and lots of practice), this becomes easier and less difficult. 

With that said, I’ve decided to write about how you can stay safe on your quest for love. Keep in mind; these are excellent tips to avoid heartbreak and bashing in the digital era of love. 

Tips for Gay Dating and Staying Safe Online

  1. Date people different from you

So, everyone knows that gay people are notoriously superficial. Who hasn’t received hate on Grindr for being too fem, fat, or for not being white? So, if you’re white and reading this, I’m sorry, but some of you can be pretty shady.

I know it is not all of you, but those who aren’t are less inclined to kick up a fuss than those who are. Newsflash, my fellow gays, you’re not alone in this struggle! 

My first tip is to think outside of the box like the good children we all want to be. Be open to different races, political ideologies and challenge the doctrines of conventional attractiveness. It will also increase your horizons and make it easier to find a long-term relationship.

2. Choose suitable dating apps

App stores in today’s world have become riddled with, dare I say it, crap, for choices when choosing a gay dating app to find potential matches.

Grindr is excellent for those interested in hookup culture. However, you can find the occasional sweetheart if you follow my first piece of advice. Tinder, Plenty of Fish, and eharmony are going to be your best bets for finding a long-lasting relationship. 

With that said, you should not limit yourself to the commonwealth prescriptive contexts of choosing a gay dating app based on the uses of most people. If you take this into account, your search for lasting love will be quicker and easier. 

gay dating apps to find love

3. Don’t meet without a virtual greet!

This sounded ludicrous to me when I first heard this. However, after a short video chat before meeting an uber idiot, I can promise you that it will make your meeting safer and weed out the chance of meeting someone who doesn’t give you a good vibe. 

In turn, you will evade frustrating and awkward circumstances in which you sip a coffee while pretending to give a hell about the babble produced from a less than suitable partner. 

As I always say, it’s better to try the milk before buying the cow. Tasting the sweetest milk can make purchasing the cow a more positive and exciting experience. So, drink up, buttercup!

4. Don’t plan far in advance

We’ve all done it, and canceling can make your first meeting a disaster and leave your date questioning your commitment. Be honest with your expectations and availability. If you have no intention of meeting someone, then don’t arrange a meeting with them.

Nobody likes gaslighting, and as we all know, had stinks. So don’t be a stinky fart in the mix of rose bushes meant to pick as potential mates.  It will devalue your reputation and make you seem like a zirconium stone amongst a trove of brilliantly gleaming diamonds.

5. Don’t focus on a beautiful face

It’s no secret that we love a hot guy with a six-pack, perfect teeth, and beautiful eyes, but what point is there in dating someone boring. 

At some point, this will make you want to blow your brains out, or at least become an alcoholic, in an attempt to deal with the lackluster stimulation provided in conversational circumstances. 

Also, it is essential to note that beauty is in the beholder’s eye, and attractiveness will increase over time if you foster your relationship with memorable experiences. 

6. Good sex doesn’t constitute a good relationship

Sex is fantastic. At the end of the day, though, well, it’s still just a shag. Sure, everyone wants to enjoy sex with their partner, and at the beginning of a relationship, this might seem like the most important. However, let’s focus on the previous point in this blog: to think about the long term and your relationship goals. 

Your relationship will have a shelf life of a year maximum if you are only in it for the hot lay. Yeah, it’s something that has been put on a pedestal by the gay community, but look at the number of sad, ostracized, and superficial gays that we all know in some capacity. 

7. Aim low and go high

I cannot think of anything better than going to a restaurant with low expectations and eating a meal that leaves my tastebuds yearning for more. 

I recommend the same for dating. Give it your all while keeping your expectations low, and you will surely leave the opportunity for your date to impress you at hand and easily accessible. 

8. Talk about what matters to you on the first date

This is a no-brainer. When your date starts asking what your sister does for work, you know you are in the friend zone, or worse, you’ll be ghosted when you take off and never hear from him again. 

Making yourself vulnerable is frightening but, just like anything in life, it will pay you with leaps and bounds of joy or at the least keep you from wondering why you aren’t receiving his messages a few days later. 

As a teacher and public speaker, I always think, “how can I make this time memorable for my audience?” I held true to this in my dating experiences and found a husband who can be annoying but doesn’t bore me with uninteresting topics that have no relevance to my life. 

9. Discuss values, not interests

Now, it’s important to explain myself here. It’s crucial to find someone who is engaging and likes the things you enjoy, but you also have comrades who can provide this entertainment. 

People who say you need to have similar interests as your romantic partner are just wrong. Your partner can have different pastimes and enjoy different activities as long as your values and goals are shared.

This is not negotiable in my book, and I recommend embracing this as part of your dating routine if you want success in finding a life partner. 

10.  Throw in the towel as needed

Dating is not a marathon. You will not reach your goal faster by making dating feel like a 40-hour workweek. No lie, date fatigue is absolute, and unlike dieting, it’s not something you want to push through. 

Don’t be afraid to take a rest to build up stamina before jumping back into the deep, deep pool of fish that could be potential partners. 

Once you’re ready, start looking again but always take time to care for yourself first, as anyone can see when you are not caring for yourself.  You can see more tips about the gay lifestyle in our other posts.

Wafting Away the Stench

I hope these tips can help you stay safe on your dating odyssey. Surely they can help your dating experience stink less than needed.

As always, have a gay day!

Queer culture, Joe Biden is our false messiah

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris jokers of queer culture.

It is beyond my understanding why queer culture overwhelmingly supports the Biden-Harris administration or the democratic party. Yet, they have not done much to help us. That’s without bringing transgender or intersex people into the equation. 

Meanwhile, we see that the gays fervently opposed the previous administration run by Donald Trump. However, he outrightly favored inclusivity and aimed to help keep gay people from discrimination throughout his time as president. 

The biased media in the United States is increasingly causing uproars and dividing the gay community. Its wider than the Red Sea when Moses led the Jews out of Egyptian slavery. I mean, Biden himself is single-handedly leading our chariot back to the dark ages. Not to mention, his vice president is a difficult choice for the LGBTQ community. 

In our age of increasingly available, on-demand media, it is crucial to know who is spewing biased inaccuracies. It’s important so we can protect ourselves against the attacks on our civil rights. He’s done nothing to help other problems that affect us such as gay conversion therapy.

Unfortunately, it leaves us asking: who does this and how?

Culprits that promote bias, not facts

More than a handful of websites spread bias as a fact. Many of them impose ideologies about politics and how they affect the gay community. 

On YouTube you can find leading information for “promoting inclusivity” through attacks on ideologies not based on fact. Rather they are an opinion of people feeling compelled to further the divide in our community. 

Please don’t take my word for it. Just look at these headlines. They include radical language to compel the viewer to elicit a specifically negative personal response. 

Let’s throw identity politics out the window for a moment. Instead, let’s take a long hard look at the facts at hand. We can understand how the Biden administration has plagued our community with false hope through years of oppression. 

Marriage equality is a political power play for Biden.

How does a wolf in sheep’s clothing become the top pick of the gay community for the presidency? It’s called exploitation, and we see it everywhere. Legislative efforts 

On January 20, 2021, Joe Biden made an executive order on preventing and combating discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.  This publication presents a stark contrast with his previous ideas regarding marriage, a fundamental right of ours as humans. 

His voting record proves this to be exploitative. For example, he voted along with 85 senators in favor of DOMA (The Defense Against Marriage Act). This defines marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. So they can be husband and wife. That refutes equality and same-sex marriage and shows he doesn’t care for queer culture.

Oh, how the tables turn when votes are needed to secure a presidency. The continual theme of exploitation is not present only in politics but in business and celebrity culture worldwide. At what point do we begin to reject this and say no more?

HIV prevention is irrelevant for Biden

HIV is the single most detrimental disease for gay men in the USA and the world as we know it. 

The soaring costs of health care puts effective treatment medications out of reach for many gay Americans. The lifetime bill associated with the virus tops $350,000, making access to treatment unobtainable by the average American. 

Around 1.2 million people in the USA infected people have this insidious virus. Unfortunately, over 10% of those infected have no clue they carry the virus. This has a detrimental impact on society as we know it. 

Biden’s incoming administration did expand Trump’s HIV prevention program and offered some protection, but not for the right reason. Rather than being a pioneer and making a change, he piggybacked off of the federal program started by Donald Trump.

The democratic national Convention then criticized him for this policy, stating it is “damaging the effort of fighting aids.” 

Why has the 46th president stolen this policy relating to protecting the LGBT community? It’s a simple and easy way to appear compassionate. It makes him appear to promote fair treatment while not contributing anything new to help our community. 

Biden’s promises arent to us, the members of the gay community

Joe Biden and his administration have committed to federal efforts to promote queer culture in America. They said they will do this by appointing officials and judges who represent us. A promising statement; however, without specificity, we are going to be left in the dark. 

So, why has there not been gun reform? It’s a prevalent issue in the states? Because the details of the reform is causing the delay. As you know, we can’t have reform without specificity. I’m not comparing the gun violence epidemic – an atrocity being committed almost daily in the USA – to gay rights. Still, the root of the issue in these two causes are astoundingly similar.

Biden has not confirmed who he will choose for council and lead different country sectors. How can we be sure that he has our best interest at heart? 

Without specificity, this is simply a ploy to win our vote. The Biden facade aims to convince us that he has our best interest in mind. Yet, he will do what he wishes behind closed doors. How convenient considering the private setting in which they occur. Also, how does that promote rights for our queer culture?

What can we do?

The words of Janet Jackson, an icon in queer culture, should reign king -“what have you done for me lately?”

Under the Biden-Kamala Administration, there were some legal protections offered to LGBT individuals. However, since his first day in office, Biden has done nothing to advance the rights of queer American people. 

This president and his administration are click-baiting votes by exploiting our already oppressed community. Acceptance of homosexuality is dwindling in the States, and anti-LGBTQ violence is on the rise. And yet, nothing is being done to challenge this. Human rights are just a playground for this government.

Don’t be affected by the media or the broad answers provided by Biden’s administration. Choose what’s best for you. I know that I don’t let them muddle my perception of what is best for me. 

So, from one gay to another, I hope you can understand my perspective. Biden hurts queer culture. You can read more about gay thoughts on politics here

Until next time, have a gay day!