I AM...

I am whatever YOU think I am until YOU get to KNOW me. This is true for everyone else too, of course.. so don't make assumptions about anyone or pass judgment; ask questions. You might just make a new friend.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

WATCH: NIKE RELEASE INSPIRING NEW VIDEO FEATURING TRANS VOGUER LEIOMY MALDONADO

Known as the Wonder Woman of Vogue, Leiomy Maldonado features in Nike’s new Be True ad.

Born and bred in the Bronx, New York, Maldonado was introduced to vogueing through the ball scene as a teenager.

By day, she works at the Dominican Women’s Development Center, a non-profit organization in Washington Heights.

She rose to fame after becoming the first transgender woman to compete on America’s Best Dance Troupe. She’s worked with artists such as Willow Smith, Icona Pop and Coco Rosie.

And now she can add ‘feature on a major advertising campaign’ to her resumé.

The beautiful narration to the video says: ‘Which angels gave you their wings? Which skies have you flown?
‘Go ahead, fly,’ it says.

Watch Leiomy Maldonado in Nike’s new Be True video


As part of Nike’s new Be True campaign, Nike will release exclusive styles with vibrant rainbow detailing.
Since 2012, Nike release a special collection as a nod to the LGBTI community.

Robert Goman, LBGT Network Leader at Nike said: ‘The key for us was to create something that people could unite around to show their support for LGBTQ athletes.

Sporting your rainbow in the gym or on a run became a way to feel like you belonged to something larger – you were connected to being “out” or being an ally.


‘The rainbow has and always will be incorporated into the BETRUE product in some way,’ he said.

SOURCE: GAY STAR NEWS

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

WHY EVERY GAY MAN SHOULD TEST PROUDLY TODAY

I almost went in disguise the first time I got tested. It felt like I was about to pull the trigger in a game of Russian Roulette. Was this the moment everything would come to a halt? Did I make a “mistake” along the way that I would regret forever? I could hear the voice of my youth pastor in my ear: “You have no one to blame but yourself, David.”
Where I’m from in the south, people don’t talk about HIV or sexually transmitted diseases unless you’re in health class. Even then it’s linked back to sex with an overlay of shame; the idea being if you have lots of sex you will catch an STI, so either lock the legs or prepare for a lifetime of damnation.

It wasn’t until after I had lived in Los Angeles for a year that I started to understand what being aware means. It didn’t matter if I was afraid (that’s not going to stop the virus). What mattered was my willingness to find out, to know my status and to act on it — whatever the results were. After all, it was certainly better than the alternative.

Refusing to get tested out of fear invites more fear. I learned that the hard way. Eventually it morphs into anxiety, paranoia, guilt, and shame; a vicious cycle that can be broken in the fifteen minutes it takes for a full HIV and other STIs checkup. I finally realized the obvious truth: I wasn’t afraid of getting tested, but rather the idea of testing positive. It felt much easier not to know. But ignorance isn't much protection.

Living in a state of unawareness is like trapping yourself in a fish bowl: it might be blissful, but your perspectives on the world will be blurred. In today’s Grindr-obsessed, sex on the go, instant gratification world we live in, knowing your status is the most responsible thing we can do to protect ourselves and our future partners. The only thing standing between us is the fear of HIV stigma.

No one wants to be part of the stigma, which is why getting tested every three to six months, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests, can be daunting (what if today is the day I get a positive result?). But it’s okay to be terrified of stigma, because it’s a bully. It has no benefit other than to puncture the progress of millions of lives fighting against being labeled as “dirty,” “unsafe,” or “slutty.” But like all bullies, stigma has a weakness.

When you look stigma directly in the face, it runs away. It disappears because all bullies are cowards. Afterwards you realize it wasn’t the stigma that had power over you, but rather the fear of facing it. The willingness to discover the truth becomes a springboard to courage. In the end you learn that the stigma was a lie.

HIV stigma corners us inside a box of fear. The more we tell ourselves it’s better “not to know” the heavier our shame weighs. Getting tested should never feel like we’re walking the green mile. We are taking control of our health by allowing ourselves to know, and knowledge is powerful — more powerful than fear. That is something to be proud of.

The first person you need on your side is you — not your sex partner, not your doctor, not your counselor, nor your therapist. You are the one who needs to stay on top of your health. These days it’s really not hard to do. All you have to do is know. Testing is an essential element, without it, you cannot take the steps you need to stay healthy. When we fight against ourselves, we’re always going to lose. It doesn’t matter what the results of a test might bring. The important part is being aware, because trust me it’s much better than living in a state of panic.

Life is a game of Russian Roulette. Every time we have sex we are taking a risk. The same goes for when we get in a car or simply getting out of bed. We are never going to control everything, but the one thing we can control is our awareness. With that, fear has no reason to exist. There are things we can do to stay on top of our health. Having PrEP as an option to prevent HIV contraction is a major leap forward in medicine, and it should be adopted unapologetically the same way getting tested should. 

HIV has not disappeared. We’ve just stopped talking about it. According to the CDC, if current diagnosis rates continue, one in six gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. It’s also estimated that in today’s world, one in seven gay and bisexual men already have HIV but don’t know it, because they refuse to get tested. Because of the lack of knowledge, they are unknowingly putting other men at risk for contracting the virus. But the good news is that getting on treatment and lowering your viral load to undetectable levels essentially makes you uninfectious, unable to transmit HIV. 

Sleeping with an HIV-positive person who is undetectable is much safer than sleeping with a guy who doesn’t know his status. Getting tested impacts more than one person. It produces a ripple effect in our community that encourages men to be empowered about our own sexual health, thus breaking free of the fish bowl. As a result, we invite clarity into our lives. And with clarity, fear has no power.


Get tested today. Proudly. 

SOURCE: HIV PLUS MAGAZINE

THE SEXY GAY PrEP VIDEO WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR

“PrEP is a prevention strategy that deals with sex, namely bareback sex,” says gay film student Chris Tipton-King, “and I got tired of people tip-toeing around that fact.” The young Bay Area resident had never seen a PrEP video that didn’t somehow sanitize sex or the desires of gay men. “Everything I had seen about PrEP just felt… awkward.”
And so, without a dime of governmental or pharmaceutical funding, Chris used an assignment for his master’s degree in cinema to create “The PrEP Project,” a four-part video series that speaks honestly – and quite explicitly – to gay men about their sex lives and why more of them should be using PrEP.

The result is the sexiest (and maybe funniest) video series on the topic anyone has produced to date. It’s exactly what PrEP advocates have been waiting for, because it isn’t beholden to stiff health department guidelines or even political correctness.


Stop everything and watch it right this minute, as long as your boss doesn’t mind some bare ass and explicit sex talk. Each episode is only five minutes.


Did I mention the series features leatherman sexpert Eric Paul Leue, as well as a gay porn star and a muscle boy also known as a drag performer? You’ve got to give points to Chris for pure resourcefulness. Better yet, aside from the eye candy, the series is adorably engaging.


The first classic prevention message that Chris refused to promote in the video was “use a condom every time.” The vast majority of people, gay or straight, do not use condoms consistently. “The rate of consistent condom use among gay men has been estimated to be as low as 17%,” Chris says, “and PrEP is the answer to that. But we still conflate condom use with morality, which just isn’t helpful.” Instead, the film speaks to the sex lives of gay men as they actually are.

The initial backlash against PrEP as an alternative to condoms – the “Truvada Whore” argument — doesn’t bother Chris. He knows where it comes from. “Condoms became an emotional topic,” he says, after a generation of mortality that provided no other options. “Now that there is an alternative, people have a hard time letting that message go.”


Rest assured, “The PrEP Project” outlines the risk of other sexually transmitted infections that can occur without condoms. It just refuses to draw a false equivalency between the consequences of HIV and those of other STI’s.

When the first video in the series launched on Facebook, it got more than 40,000 views in the first day. That is, until Facebook pulled it down for violating their irksome, often vague community standards. “That really pissed me off,” Chris admits. “I should have expected it because it is somewhat graphic sex, but I believe the people who pulled it didn’t like the message. It wasn’t about the sex. I got a lot of hate mail.”

Want to know more about PrEP or ask questions to experts and advocates? Check out the PrEP Facts: Rethinking HIV Prevention and Sex page on Facebook.


Mark S. King is the creator of My Fabulous Disease, where this first appeared.

SOURCE: HIV PLUS MAGAZINE

Monday, June 26, 2017

JUS' E-MAIL ME: HOW DO I MAKE HIM WORK FOR IT?

I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years. We live together, work full time jobs and are both in our twenties.  We used to have sex/foreplay every day but now it’s once a week – sometimes less.  He will masturbate and therefore doesn’t have an urge for intercourse with me, where as I would rather have it with him.


I have a high sex drive and really want it – if I masturbate he will get upset at me and he then holds sex off to punish me.  I’ve tried to address the issue and he claims the reason is because I don’t make him work for it.  In his opinion I am too eager – he would rather I let him make the move and made him chase me before he got his prize if you like. He would like me to tease him and get him desperate.  I don’t know what to do… is this a sign he would rather be single where he can get the chase?  What can I do to make him work for it?  I’m worried if I play hard to get he might just not try since he is already satisfied from masturbating and I will be left unsatisfied and worked up!

Have you ever been in this situation? 


What are your thoughts?

What advice would you give this person?


RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE: SEASON 9 - GRAND FINALE

I went into last night’s finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race truly torn on who I’d like to win. How could I possibly declare myself Team Trinity, Shea, Sasha or Peppermint when a case could be made for all four performers to take the crown? After a lot of hemming and hawing about the merits of season nine, the charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent has never been higher than this season’s final four.

Still, a queen must be crowned, and last night’s Grand Finale put a fun twist on the format that took full advantage of the final four. 
Last week’s reunion got a lot of catchup with the eliminated queens out of the way, so last night’s special could really focus on the finalists. It was such a smart move. I felt so much more invested in the ending without having to sit through Jaymes Mansfield or Kimora Blac telling us we haven’t seen the last of them, or whatever.

Instead, the first half of the episode was dedicated to one-on-one interviews with all four gals that endeared each one even more to the audience. Peppermint spoke about her experience as a trans woman (including a live appearance by friend Trace Lysette and a taped message from Laverne Cox, as well as a short appearance from made-over crew member Wintergreen). Sasha introduced us to Papa Velour and made a very funny and self-aware observation: “They say that if you look into a mirror and talk about sad things, I appear behind you to give you a queer history lesson.” (She also got a taped message from Katy Perry that made me audibly groan when she appeared on screen.)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

PUTTING PRIDE IN PERSPECTIVE

If you feel abandoned or cut off from spirit of pride, know that it is always there for you waiting for you to plug back in.

There may be times when we feel like our connection to the pride universe is closed. Maybe things don't seem to be going well in our day, or our lives, or we may feel out of our element. The truth is, this universe is always there for us. We know that we create our experience with our thoughts, and this is another way we need to make a conscious decision about how we want to experience life.
 It is up to us to do the work of making the connection, because nobody can do it for us, though sometimes this universe may send us wake-up calls. It takes much less energy to tap into the pride each of carry than to wait an entire year to celebrate who we are.


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