Sunday, October 7, 2012

I've have never seen a more inspirational and moving video than this one in my life. It's a good watch! It definitely shows the progress the LGBTQ community has made in the past few years, but it also shows some struggles and barriers we still face. I hope all of you can watch this!
Credits to Ryan James Yezak for the amazing film!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Five Most Annoying Stereotypes of Gay Men

The Five Most Annoying Stereotypes of Gay Men

#5 - Gay men are overly promiscuous.

One major stereotype that gay men have faced since the gay rights movement began is that all they think about is having sex. Although gay pornography and television may project this image once in awhile, gay men are still similar to heterosexual people when it comes to the amount of time they think about sex or have sex. The outbreak of the HIV/AIDS disease was harshly directed towards the gay male community. For awhile, gay men were stereotyped to have HIV or AIDS. This judgement went along with the idea that gay men are sexually extroverted or perverted.

Personally, I have faced this stereotype on a frequent basis, a lot more than other stereotypes. I find that a lot of this narrow minded thinking comes from within my own LGBT community. Certain guys talk about others, spread rumors, and assume promiscuity of other guys out of jealousy or because the other guy is very attractive. I believe that just because you take care of yourself, look attractive, or work out doesn't mean you are a super sexual person!

#4 - Guys with high-pitched voices are gay, or all gay men have high-pitched voices. 

I have been asked multiple times by strangers, acquaintances, and friends, "Wait, if you're gay, then why don't you have a 'gay voice'?" 

Also, I've seen many straight men be harassed constantly because they have a higher-pitched voice. Just because your voice is a different pitch or tone than the regular, doesn't mean your sexual orientation is a certain kind. The stupidest assumption is that the pitch of man's voice describes your sexuality. 

Also, I don't have a high-pitched voice. I would described it as normal, not deep, not high. And I have also met other gay men who have a similar or deeper voice than I do. So pretty much, one of the most common and annoying stereotypes of gay men is...a high pitched voice.

#3 - Gay men love shopping, doing hair, doing make-up, etc.

I've been told "Drake, you're the worst gay man ever!" by many of my female friends. Do you know why? Because I hate shopping. Because I don't know anything about doing female hair and make-up. Just because I'm gay doesn't mean I can do you hair! I barely know how to do my hair and dress myself. 

I don't where and why many people assume that gay men enjoy certain activities, because I have not seen a correlation like this in my own personal experience. Most of my gay friends, ex-boyfriends, or acquaintances all like completely different and various things. Our hobbies are not limited to shopping. 

If anything, I can't stand shopping since I was tortured all of my life when my mom dragged me through TJ Max, Tuesday Morning, and Target for hours and hours on a weekly basis.

#2 - Gay men are feminine.

This is probably the most popular stereotype of gay men and one of the first actually. Gay men have always been scrutinized for losing at sports, hating anything outdoors, or being overly conscious of their grooming or hygiene. Gay men are often compared to girls in the way the act on a day to day basis. Not only is this completely untrue, it is also offensive and demeaning as a gay man.

#1 - Being gay is a mental disease.

This stereotype is not only misguided and incorrect, but also extremely offensive, discriminative, and horrific. It is a proven fact that homosexuality is not a mental disease since the APA (American Psychiatric Association) removed it from the official list in 1970. No research proves it to be a disability mentally or physically. The LGBTQ community already receives negative social reactions by society throughout their individual lives, a tough time reconciling relationships with family and friends after coming out, and discrimination in all forms by many who oppose their lifestyle. The last thing we need to have criticized is our mental and physical capacity. 

Does this not look like a 'man' to you?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Coming Out Story

My Coming Out Story - Drake Gamelin

I came out as openly gay in May 2011 as a Junior in high school. I did not intend on it being so early, I thought I would come out in college or something. Everyday before that life-changing day, I thought, how long do I have to wait? Well, on May 21st, 2011, that question was answered. 

I had not told a single soul about my true sexuality. Not one friend, family member, or even a guy. I dated girls frequently throughout middle school and high school. I'm not sure if I did that just to cover up my true sexuality or because I actually wanted a girlfriend. When my junior year came around, I was sick of not being able to express who I truly was. I needed people to reach out to. I didn't have the bravery to tell my friends or family. So I decided to reach out to strangers, a dangerous and dumb idea.

All I wanted was someone to help me, someone to talk to. I didn't want sex and I didn't want a boyfriend. That's what they wanted. I began going on craigslist, Grindr, and Facebook to meet other gay men. I was so oblivious that many of these methods were ways of achieving sexual fulfillment. I was so naive, I thought these websites were used to meet to people and just talk to them, but I realized most of them just wanted sex. I was easily influenced by many guys who tried to convince me to meet them in person. Thankfully, I never did. Every time I was about to, I flaked out. Many of my experiences just consisted of emails back and forth on my Yahoo account. 

The only place where my sexuality was out and open was my online mailing account. I knew if anyone read it, they would discover my true sexuality. Everything else about me was fake.   A lie. I was on and off of my email account over the course of two months. I began to get more careless with my "hidden treasure". I would leave my account signed on, I would keep my screens open, and I would release more information about myself. On May 20th, 2011, my cooking class went on a full day trip to Cedar Point, the amusement park. At home, my Yahoo account was still logged on. The screen was still open. My secret was right there, out and open, sitting at my house. That night, when I came back home, my parents were acting weird. They were quiet, like they had something to say. I went to bed, laid down. Five minutes in, my mom comes walking into my room and says "Drake, your father and I have to talk to you." I instantly know what she's saying. She went through my email. She knows everything. Her and my dad. Does my brother know?

I couldn't sleep that night. The next day my parents stayed home from work and I stayed home from school. I remember this day, every second of it. I woke up that morning and my mom and dad were sitting in the living room. I went over to the kitchen to make oatmeal, but my parents said "Sit over here, NOW."

This is what they said to me: "Drake, we don't care if you're gay. We just want you to be safe. Why are you talking to all of these older men?! Just be careful. We love you. Don't be afraid to be yourself because no matter what, we love you."

The amazing (and surprising) support of my parents gave me the strength to tell my friends and everyone that I saw that I was gay. Soon after that conversation, I called friend and after friend, telling them about my sexuality and what has happened. I ended up talking to over 100 people that day on the phone, this gloomy morning turned into a vibrant, special day for me. Every single person I talked to was supportive and gave me so much positivity. The next day at school I told more people, and by the end of the day the whole school almost knew.

I was the talk of the whole school for a week. But everything was so positive, I couldn't believe what I was hearing and seeing. I didn't experience any hatred or scrutiny from anyone, and if I did, it was someone that I barely knew. 

My coming out experience was the best experience of my entire life. It was exciting, relieving, amazing, and everything that you could dream of. My moral is be confident in who you are, don't let anyone change you, and just have a comfortable, optimistic view towards anything, and people will respect you. 

This post is dedicated to Shane, the best, most supportive brother ever!