Queer Britain // TV That’s Snatching My Weave

So another one to watch guys. BBC Three just started a series called “Queer Britain” where they tackle different topics based on the LGBTQ perspective. I just got watching the first one and it’s always been a very enticing subject for me: Being Gay and Religious. Check out the first of the series below:

(Also how adorable is the host?)

Watching anything amazing? Sound off in the comments!

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Why Being Gay and a POC in America Sucks RN

November 8th 2016. Toronto, Canada. The constant weather changes seemed to take me for a spin and I tucked in early. I woke up safe in my bed still feeling a minimal level of anxiety of a Trump win. And when I checked my phone riddled with texts from outraged friends announcing his win my heart sank. In past blogs I’ve mentioned that I identify as a person of color. I am also a gay man. The dual fringe. But I surely didn’t feel close to the amount of dread that my American counterparts were feeling just across the border.

I don’t think Donald Trump is the only monster in this situation. Yes, his campaign trail to the White House is littered with racial slurs, sexist remarks, and Islamophobic quips. But he was not the one who punched innocent peaceful protesters. He did not personally spit in faces of those same people. He may have been the man with the megaphone but he was just chanting back what his audience was giving him.

What I fear the most for the people of color and LGBT communities in the States right now is the fact that him being elected as President just gave every racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe a baseball bat. And with that bat, a signed letter from the government that encourages this hateful behavior.

However, people of color are not going anywhere. The LGBT community is not going anywhere. Now is the opportunity to hold strong and stay together and remember that while this might be the current situation, we refuse to go backwards. This is the time our vigilance for injustice must be stricter and our voices to speak out to be louder. I know it’s not much, but I stand in support for all my POC/LGBT American brothers and sisters in this crucial time. Continue your fight. You’re far from being done.

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Gaycation title card

Gaycation // TV That’s Snatching My Weave //

Gaycation (VICE) is a documentary series that is hosted and created by actor Ellen Page and her friend Ian Daniel. It follows the two of them as they explore the world and uncover what the LGBT communities are like in different countries. Now in its second season, Gaycation really does give you a lens of the struggles of the communities on a global level and really helps you put life into perspective.

I know that as a gay man living in a metropolitan city in North America, I have it so good. Better yet, I am living in Canada which is a country that has publicly celebrated LGBT rights since the mid 90s and continues to present the same attitude for the rest of the community (including Transgender rights into the Human Rights code just this year).

Gaycation however has completely opened up my mind to the notion that we should not live as a community on just a local level. We need to see what the rest of the world struggles with and how we need to help change it. This season touched me many times – from watching the special on Orlando where they recorded the aftermath of the tragic shooting this past summer. Even seeing the episode on India exposed me to a South Asian community that is largely underexposed even here in Canada (In fact it got me thinking about a new hosting dynamic *wink wink*). It made me feel as though my journey in my own local community needs to focus on that. For anyone who is a part of the LGBT community or is interested in being educated on it, this series is a must watch.

Have you seen it? What are your thoughts?

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Cartoon of two people yelling into megaphones

History of the Word “Faggot”

I remember watching this scene in the first season of Louie a while back and it always really stuck with me

And while after doing a bit of my own research (aka Wikipedia) and realising there isn’t any hard evidence on this particular rumour, I did want to give the T on what the word “Faggot” means to the LGBT community. Check out what I had to say here:

What are your thoughts on this?

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“Sometimes, it’s more than that” // A Fight Against Homophobia and Transphobia //

I was lucky enough to work on a video project with The 519, an LGBTQI Community Centre in the heart of Toronto’s Church Street. The project was for Hear It Stop It, a camapign that addresses the use of transphobic and homophobic language use.

When approached for the project I was asked “why? What am I doing this for?” I simply felt I wanted to give back to my community with a project that matched my skillset. So I conceptualized this project and decided what I wanted to convey.

I believed that the concept for these videos should really strike a feeling for viewers who will then question their actions and then become advocates to continue the idea of “hearing and stopping” the perpetuation of homophobic and transphobic language use.

It is time we make a change, it’s time that people recognize sexuality is secondary to the many things that make you who you are. Fuck labels, and fuck people who try to define you, and put you down. We are all unicorns.

One of the most important things that should be understood not just by people outside our community but people within it that, there is no such thing as levels of homophobia. People may think that having a campaign against homophobic words is so insignificant where there are people being hunted and prosecuted for being gay in other countries.

There isn’t a point where one should be actionable over the other. The fact that homophbia exists, regardless of its degree of direct harm is what people should be trying to understand.

I was so grateful to hear stories that varied in degree, some of them being completely heartbreaking.

We do not realize how much hatred and lack of acceptance there is out in the world, so I was lucky that I was able to address this in these videos. I hope you like, share and pledge to no longer be a bystander to homophobic or transphobic language.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1… // Homophobia in Jamaica //

Today is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHOT). Today on May 17th 2014, homophobic violence is still so prevalent around the world.

My friend went to Jamaica recently and upon returning, she told us a story of when she was talking to a Jamaican resident about gays in the country:

He said to her,

if you ever see two men or women walk down the street holding hands, all you do is count down from 5.

5, 4, 3, 2, 1…pap pap. They’ll be dead in 5 seconds.

Jamaica along with many other countries around the world continue to perpetuate a strong culture of intolerance for homosexual activity to this day.

However, we are sometimes not even safe in our own backyards. People continue to be discriminated and violated based on their sexual preference in Canada as well. I am damn lucky that I live in a metropolitan city where I don’t have to worry about someone jumping me down a street, or being yelled homophobic slurs to every 5 minutes. (Though, even in a city as open and liberal as Toronto, there is still perpetuating homophobia). Not to demean or minimize gay-hate violence, but sometimes a knife through your chest is better than one to your name.

People are so quick to turn to words of hate that sting and bite harder than any weapon or physical attack. They hit to the core of a people who have gone through and continue to go through so much struggle to be understood and accepted widely.

My first reaction is to love those who are ignorant about what it means to be homosexual. To embrace their blind hate with words of understanding and persuasion.

The longer we allow this negative mindset to perpetuate generations, the longer it will take to become fully accepted. Here is my dream – having homophobia widely abolished before humanity begins to colonize on Mars. You may laugh and think, we are far ahead as a society – of course it would happen sooner than that. Think about it, which pony would you confidently bet on?

*Side note: It was actually my little brother who told me today is IDAHOT. It warms my heart because here it is, looking at the next generation in our lineage, and though I cannot speak to if I was never his brother, but knowing that this young man is growing up learning, appreciating and trying to understand gay culture really speaks volumes as to how quickly you can influence someone’s life for the better.*

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What You Present to the World // My Dear Gay Community //

What You Present to the World

Stop being so sexual. It’s a simple request.

I, as a gay man, understand the trials and tribulations of being gay but that does not mean we become animals in the process. Yes, we’ve told our stories to our friends and family. We had to sit them down, or write them a letter and pour our heart out to them. Essentially, we had to tell them the one thing that mattered: I like men.

When I go online, and want to chat with a guy, the first thing I don’t want to see before your face is a picture of your dick. Nor do I want to answer a question that has the words, “top”, “bottom”, or “into” in it. Tear yourself away from your mask of insecurities and do some good for your community.

You also may think, that this does not affect your interaction with the rest of the world – “It’s just online”. First of all: Why would you show pictures of your face and junk online and then assume that would never affect your real life? Are none of you aspiring to be successes? Secondly, acting a certain way online slowly but surely changes your attitude in the real world. Online, people tend to be more abrupt, crude, and perverted. If you don’t think that would change the way you act toward people in person, you’re sorely mistaken. Soon enough, you won’t know how to function around anyone.

Don’t think adding words like, “educated, professional, masc” enhance anything to a profile that showcases a picture of your bare headless torso. Be direct as to what you want and don’t be selfish, you can’t have it all.  And what’s with the discrimination? “blacks only, whites only, masc only”. Why are you setting that level of separation within your own community? There is such a thing as preference, but why put that out there like that? It is so inclusive and judgmental. The worst thing of it all is for the most part people are picking at things that people can’t change, like race or personality. There is something else people can’t change about themselves – homosexuality. And for that reason, you should be more aware and understanding of blanketing a particular population. Keep it to yourselves boys; no one needs to hear who you exclusively like to get fucked by.

In North America, we are in the golden age of being gay. Do not undo the great work of Harvey Milk and all gay rights activists that came before us by flashing your junk online. You might think, “Hey, none of your business. I do what I want with my life, I’m not bothering anyone.”

You are entirely incorrect. Unfortunately, (or as you should see it, fortunately) you are in fact a reflection of the gay community in all that you do. Whether it be winning a Pulitzer prize, or sucking a guy’s dick in the middle of the street during Pride week people are always watching. Yes, we are sexual, yes, we are free. But we are also human beings who are a part of a large community – the human race. You cannot perpetuate the stereotype that all gay men are over sexualized perverts. “Well aren’t you doing so with this post?” you may ask. Yes I am, but it’s because as a gay man, this is what I’ve seen. Can you imagine what impressionable and unexposed youth, men and women conclude when they see or hear these things? When you say, “I want to fuck” long before you say, “I want love”, whether or not it is true, as long as you live in this modern world you are a role model for someone. Think about that.

Read Part II Here.

Read Part III Here.


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