Category: body image

Straight White Guy Festival; Confessions of a Bareback Top; Tim Gunn on Trans Models

Straight White Guy Festival

There are fliers popping all over a park in Columbus, Ohio that read, “Straight White Guy Festival,” and they claim the event will take place September 20th. This is also the same park where they have the gay pride event annually. It seems to be some kind of statement, though, and no one seems sure if this is actually going to happen. So far, no one has applied for a permit to hold this festival for straight white guys.

If the fliers are legitimate, it wouldn’t be the first push for an apparent heterosexual counterpart to LGBT Pride. In 2011, Brazilian resident Carlos Apolinario argued for Sao Paolo to adopt a “Heterosexual Pride Day” as “a protest against the privileges the gay community enjoys.”

Students at some Catholic school in in Illinois have taken to wearing “Straight Pride” T-shirts, you know, to show how gays are such big time sinners.

What I find interesting is that being that this entire world is, and has been for as long as anyone can remember, run by straight white men who have most of the power, privilege, and control, they would actually need their own festival. Compared to what daily life is like for most gay people in the US fighting for basic equal rights, EVERY single day of the week is a festival for straight white guys.

You can read more here.

I feel sorry for the students at that Catholic school. The odds are they’ll regret wearing these T-shirts one day in the future…as soon as they get out into the real world and realize how limited their lives were in Catholic school. I went for 12 years. I’m speaking from experience.  

Side note: I haven’t always been the biggest fan of gay pride events, mainly because so many straight people who own businesses have been making so much money on them. After gay pride is over, the businesses take down the rainbow flag and the year long festival for straight white guys begins again. It’s interesting to observe.

Confessions of a Bareback Top

This next link dates back to 2006, and I remember reviewing this blog (and others like it) back when I worked for It was a blog about a guy…a gay top…who claimed to be running around New York having bareback sex as much as he could, with as many willing bareback bottoms as he could get. The article is actually an interview with the blogger…the bareback top…but I find the blogging aspect of this more interesting than the content, eight years later.

First, here’s one question and answer:

Has anyone ever tried to take a photo of you? Are you worried about being outed (as a bareback)?

People have asked to see my photo. In the beginning, I sent my photo out to maybe 3-4 people but regretted it! Now, I dont send my photo – ever. There are many guys who email me and want to meet up and have sex with me without even SEEING my photo. The problem is then that they know me – they can identify me – and thats not good.

I am very worried about being outed as a “barebacker” because it has such a horrible stigmatism attached to it. Look at the comments posted on Gawker alone – nothing but bashing, etc. The funny thing is that most of my hook ups have bareback sex. That is the reality. This summer I had bareback sex with 2 guys who were notable “safe sex” advocates. So, again, it takes two.

I’m not even going to comment on the sex here. My only focus is the blog and the blogger. This wasn’t the first anon blog of this kind back then, but if you go to the link now you’ll only find this.
I’ve seen them come and go this way so many times I’ve lost count. I think there was even one that was turned into a book by a desperate small LGBT publisher who went out of business anyway. Who knows if any of this was ever real? No one can actually make that claim legitimately. But at least, for the most part, blogging has grown a lot since those days and I hope it continues.

Tim Gunn on Trans Models

Tim Gunn of Project Runway claims he has issues with trans women models on the runway. He says this has everything to do with the difference between the way men and women are shaped, physically, and then makes a few interesting comments about body image.

‘So, to be looking at women’s fashion on a tall, skinny guy with no hips, there’s no way you can project yourself into those clothes,’ he says. ‘It underscores all of those body issues that we know women have,”

Gunn adds. ‘It’s the world telling us that there’s something wrong with us and that we’d look better in our clothes and the world would think us more beautiful if we looked like this. I think it’s horrible.’

Correct me if I’m wrong, please, but aren’t ALL runway models so stick thin you wonder how often they shove their fingers down their throats each day? Seriously. This is about body image? No one promotes the concept of unrealistic body image more than the modeling industry. They do this with men and women. Unfortunately, most of us fall for it every single time.

Frankly, I have mixed feelings about Tim Gunn, and I’ve had them since I first saw him kissing butt on Oprah.

You can read more here.

Chase of a Holy Ghost
by Ryan Field
The Ghost and Mr. Moore
by Ryan Field

Brooke Birmingham & Shape Magazine; Gay Writer Labels; Johnny Weir AGAIN

Brooke Birmingham & Shape Magazine

There’s a blogger,, who has been writing about her incredible weight loss journey online since 2009 and she lost a considerable amount of weight. In the process, she’s inspired thousands. Someone at Shape Magazine discovered her and wanted to share her story with more people who they thought would be interested in her success story. They exchanged a few e-mails, the blogger sent an innocent photo, and Shape Magazine ultimately rejected her because she was wearing a bikini top in the photo and Shape claims they don’t use photos like that. They wanted her to send another photo fully clothed.

I don’t read Shape Magazine…or anything like that because I think they are stupid…but the blogger claims that Shape uses photos of men and women in bikinis all the time. The blogger wrote this:

Again, not happy about it. I was to be a part of their Success Stories feature on the website, where there are women in bikinis. Why all of the sudden was it ‘their policy’?

I did a simple search myself to see what the Shape Magazine web site looks like and I found several photos, right up front, with women wearing something similar to the blogger’s photo…and a few other photos at Shape with women wearing far less. There’s one I saw on the sidebar of a woman in a bikini bottom that looks more like a band aid. In fact, there is even one of that hideous, untalented creature, Bethenny Frankel, the high profile reality TV name from fresh hell, wearing a hot pink bikini on a beach. I can’t post their content here legally, and I’m not trashing my blog with a screen shot of Frankel, but you can check it out with this quick link.

The diet blogger has shared the innocent photo she sent to Shape on her blog, screen shots of her e-mail correspondence with Shape Magazine and you can read Shape’s comments about not posting photos with bikinis, verbatim.

But I think this is the most important part of the blogger’s most recent post discussing all this. She’s been honest and up front:

The whole thing still really frustrates me because I don’t feel like my body was given the same respect as others on their site. Why all of the sudden is it their policy to have fully clothed people? The reporter stated that she wasn’t sure if someone had complained about the previous photos to Shape or not. But in my eyes if someone is complaining about them featuring women in bikinis, then again they shouldn’t have them anywhere on the site.

If anything, the should want my picture on their site. My body is real, not photoshopped or hidden because I feel like I should be ashamed. This is a body after losing 172 pounds, a body that has done amazing things, and looks AMAZING in a freaking bikini.

You can read the blogger’s full post here. And here’s an article about it on Yahoo.

My only comment comes from a blogger’s POV. As a blogger I often post things you wouldn’t normally see in larger magazines or web sites like Shape. Partly because they don’t let you say fuck there and partly because I don’t like censorship of any kind. Magazines like Shape are selling a brand and an image and there’s always a spin and a twist. This kind of old time advertising, branding, and journalism has been going on since the early part of the last century and I think bloggers like me) are sick of it and they are fighting back in their own small ways. I think readers are, too. So as a blogger supporting another blogger I would just like to say thank you to Brooke for standing up for her right to free speech and for standing up for her personal beliefs. She may or may not know it, but this goes way deeper than diet. This is about integrity and censorship.

I think Shape Magazine, and all other publications in the floundering magazine industry, should focus less on repulsive names like Frankel and really pay closer attention to what people are interested in reading about now. I agree with Brooke and I think they would have been doing their readership a service by posting the feature and using Brooke’s original photo.

Gay Labels

I often post about how many gay men tend to remain blank for most of their lives on their sexuality, especially gay men in the public eye. And most especially successful gay male writers. If you are openly gay you are expected to write gay content. If no one knows you can write about anything you want and no one will question you. This piece about playwright, Alan Bennett, is a good example of this. For most of his life and career he didn’t want to be labeled gay.

‘My objection about people knowing more about one’s private life was that I didn’t want to be put in a pigeonhole,’ he said, in a celebration of his career on a his regrets of not being more open about his sexuality earlier.

You can read more here, where Bennett mentions a few of his regrets.

The odd twist here is that gay men like Bennett are the ones we need the most because they help break the stereotypes. I don’t think Bethenny Frankel would dare to treat Bennett like a pet poodle.

Johnny Weir AGAIN

I almost didn’t post about this. I just want him to go away. But because I have been posting about Johnny Weir’s odd marriage/divorce to Victor Voronov I guess I should do a follow up. I even know how to spell Voronov without looking it up anymore, unfortunately.

Anyway, after several public shitstorms that garnered them both a great deal of unwarranted attention, Weir and his husband have decided to reconcile. And Weir tweeted about it. (How else?) Can’t you just picture him sitting there rewriting the tweet over and over again before he enters it.

‘My husband and I have happily reconciled,’ Weir tweeted. ‘Please respect our privacy and integrity at this time.’

Yes, Weir actually used the word integrity. This is coming from a man who thought it was more important to support the Russian Olympics than it was to support equal rights for gays.

You can read more here .   


Gays and Steroids; Gay Teen Killed with Skateboard; 250 Words

Gays and Steroids

This article interests me because I don’t think I’ve ever seen it addressed so openly before. It talks about how gay adolescents are more likely to use steroids than straight adolescents. And even though I usually don’t like articles that draw conclusions like this, I have to admit I wasn’t surprised in this case. Think of the aging circuit boy living in a warm climate all year round now who still can’t put down the steroids to save his soul. I remember noticing this trend in the 90’s, where a nice-looking gay man would suddenly appear bigger, more muscular, and take on an almost superhuman look. They never offered an explanation about the sudden transformation and no one asked. But we all knew it wasn’t because they were working out harder.

Overall, 21 percent of gay or bisexual boys said they had ever used steroids, versus 4 percent of straight boys. The difference was similar among those who reported moderate use – taking steroid pills or injections up to 40 times: 8 percent of gay or bi teens reported that amount, versus less than 2 percent of straight boys. The heaviest use – 40 or more times – was reported by 4 percent of gays or bi boys, compared with less than 1 percent of straight teens.

The peer pressure and body image issue in the gay community is as strong as it is with women. In many cases I’ve seen first hand the air-brushed muscular body we see in male magazines is an obsession, not to mention a race against the clock to remain young and muscular forever. The article goes on to state that this group needs to be studied in more depth.

They have no idea the side effects they will face down the line. I’ve seen that, too. It doesn’t end well for the steroid crowd.

You can read more here.

Gay Teen Killed with Skateboard

A gay teenager was humiliated and beaten to death in Brazil by a group/gang of young men between the ages of 16- 23 years old.

The gay teen was on his way home after partying in the famous LGBT area of Frei Caneca in Sao Paulo.

When the gang confronted their victim, they stripped him of his shoes, mobile phone and public transport ticket before he was punched, kicked and repeatedly hit on the head with a skateboard.

The gang has a history of targeting gays in the area. This time it turned out to be fatal.

You can read more here.

250 Words

I’m linking to this new web site about book publishing by Simon & Schuster on the side bar if anyone wants to check it out in the future. If you scroll down I try to keep an updated list of web sites I find interesting at all times because I often do that when I go out looking at other blogs myself. If you’re using a mobile device I think you have to go to the web version, though.

 The site will publish original essays by authors, as well as interviews, reviews and commentary about the publishing business. The site will include stories and interviews with authors across the industry, not just those published by Simon & Schuster.

You can read more about it here. And check out the site yourselves, here. I’m glad to see it. We’re lacking these things in publishing and it will give authors at least some kind of platform. I’m assuming all pieces will be around 250 words in length.

The Cheney Sisters!! Joan Rivers Fights Back

The Cheney Sisters!!

Former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s daughters, Liz and Mary Cheney, are at odds over gay marriage. Mary Cheney is a lesbian and she’s married to Heather Poe (in the article I’m linking to they refer to Poe as Cheney’s “partner,” not wife…must have been written in a state where marriage isn’t legal yet) and Liz Cheney is running for office in Wyoming and she made a statement recently stating she’s for the traditional definition of marriage between one man and one woman.

Vice-President Cheney issued this statement:

“This is an issue we have dealt with privately for many years, and we are pained to see it become public,” the statement reads, according to NBC. “Since it has, one thing should be clear. Liz has always believed in the traditional definition of marriage. She has also always treated her sister and her sister’s family with love and respect, exactly as she should have done. Compassion is called for, even when there is a disagreement about such a fundamental matter and Liz’s many kindnesses shouldn’t be used to distort her position.”

The Vice-President does support gay marriage in states where it’s legal.

Evidently, Liz Cheney doesn’t and she’s going to not only go down on the wrong side of history she’s going to be remembered as the woman who stabbed her own gay sister in the back to get a vote.

You can read more here. It’s actually one of the saddest things I’ve read in a long time.

Joan Rivers Fights Back

When I saw this I wanted to post about it, and not because of the actual content, but more from a social media POV. I’ve started to see a lot of high profile people slam each other on social media, as if this is their new voice…and vehicle…to say and do whatever they want. In this case, Jennifer Lawrence decided to slam Joan Rivers and Rivers’ TV show, Fashion Police, because Lawrence, thin as a rail, thinks FP is promoting the wrong body image for women. Rivers fought back this time.

Lawrence said:

‘The world has this idea that if you don’t look like an airbrushed perfect model. You have to see past it. You look how you look, you have to be comfortable,’ she said during the Q&A.

‘What are you going to do? Be hungry every single day to make other people happy? That’s just dumb.’

Rivers took to Twitter:

Calling out the Hunger Games star, the 80-year-old nastily spat: ‘It’s funny how Jennifer Lawrence loved @E_FashionPolice during Awards Season when we were complimenting her every single week…

You can read more tweets from Rivers here. But I think it’s interesting that the article states Rivers “spat,” and Lawrence “shared her refreshingly candid views.” Now if that’s not biased I don’t know what is.

And I didn’t notice Lawrence looking a pound overweight. I could get a grasp on this coming from Gabourey Sidibe, and even feel the need to support her. But coming from privileged Lawrence it loses luster, so to speak.

You know, I happen to agree with the First Lady, Michelle Obama, on this topic. We should be conscious of everything we eat, and not for vanity reasons or body image. We should be eating for health and if looking good and being thin is a side effect of that I don’t see how being hungry can hurt. We have a serious issue with weight and medical issues in the US, and as people get older these issues due to weight only get worse. But Lawrence only seems concerned with body image. But more important, Lawrence mentions women only with regard to body image, as if this doesn’t even affect men. Has anyone else seen all the ads for ripped bodies and washboard abs? They hock men with unrealistic photos and images that most likely aren’t even real. Maybe I’m the only one. Maybe this is just a woman’s issue. (That’s sarcasm)

But back to my original point. Last week I saw a male C-list celebrity slam Miley Cyrus for the way she dresses and the way she acts, on facebook. I doubt Cyrus saw this because this guy isn’t important enough to make big news, however, if she had seen it she would have been justified in fighting back. In other words, now in the age of social media when people are so free to throw the first proverbial punch online they need to be prepared for what they might get in retaliation. I personally learned that lesson a long time ago on a smaller scale in the writing community and I’ve had things happen to me where I would react in a totally different way now.