On this blog you I am going to share my world with you. What can you expect to find here -- First of all lots of sexy men, off all shapes and types, something for everyone, as I can find beauty in most men. You are going to find that I have a special fondness for Vintage Beefcake and Porn of the 60's, 70's, and 80's. Also, I love the average guy, and if you want to see yourself on here, just let me know. Be as daring as you like, as long as you are of age, let me help you share it with the world! Also, you are going to find many of my points of views, on pop culture, politics and our changing world. Look to see posts about pop culture, politics, entertainment, sex, etc. There is not any subject that I find as something I won't discuss or offer my point of view. Most of all, I hope you are going to enjoy what I post. ENJOY!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Colombia Government To Promote LGBT Equality In Peace Agreement With Rebel Fighters

"The changes that the country needs for peace-building cannot be possible without [recognizing and respecting] differences."
From: NewNowNext
 After nearly five decades of civil war, the Colombian government is finally moving closer to striking a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which officials say will include measures supporting the equality of women and LGBT people.

Exploratory meetings about a peaceful resolution between the two groups first began in 2011. Over the course of the next five years, the groups underwent extensive peace talks, which culminated in a ceasefire on June 23 of this year.

Once both parties agreed to the ceasefire, they began work on drafting a peace accord with UN officials in Havana.

 A preliminary draft of this accord was shared this past Sunday by UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Zainab Bangura, the UN’s top envoy for sex abuse in conflict.

As part of the agreement, the language will not only end South America’s last civil war, but will also “create conditions for women and people with diverse sexual identities to be able to access, on equal terms, the benefits of living in a country without armed conflict.”

In a statement, FARC said: “We are aware that the changes that the country needs for peace-building cannot be possible without a society that recognizes and respects differences, and in which stigmatization and gender-biased discrimination remain in the past.”

The agreement tackles this discrimination by increasing support of women’s rights organizations and the LGBTI movement, as well as by making it easier for both groups to obtain farmland.

 If the peace document is signed as is, it will mark a historic moment in conflict resolution. As Colombia’s Foreign Minister Maria Angela Holguin pointed out, “Putting gender in a peace agreement is a first…it has never before been done in [ending] a war.”

Once the government and FARC reach an agreement on the language in the document, it will go to the Colombian electorate for a public vote. Officials believe the groups are just weeks away from striking a final deal.

Since it first began in the early 1960s, the Colombian conflict has left 260,000 people dead, 45,000 missing and more than 6.5 million displaced.

Clay Aiken On Donald Trump: “This Campaign, For Him, Is Not About Being President”

"I feel, in person, he can be very gracious and very nice," says the former "Celebrity Apprentice" cast member.
From: NewNowNext
Clay Aiken thinks Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has a little more to do with the Republican nominee’s ego than his desire to change the country.

The American Idol contestant appeared on an episode of Netflix’s Chelsea this week, alongside other past Celebrity Apprentice contestants Khloe Kardashian, Lisa Lampanelli and Nene Leakes, to discuss what their former reality-show boss is really like.

Aiken felt Trump could be gracious in person, but that he’s ultimately a narcissist, adding that he doesn’t even think his campaign has anything to do with him wanting to be the president.

“I think it’s about having 100% name recognition, about being able to say he won, which I think he will probably do,” the openly gay star confessed. “And that’s frightening to me.”

Based on his own previous experience running for office, Aiken thinks that Trump is tapping into the members of society who are anti-politician and who are looking to elect someone outside the norm.

It’s that idea that has him nervous for Democrats, as he doesn’t think Hillary Clinton will be able to inspire enough people to get out and vote.

“They will stay home and it will end up being like Brexit in England, where we end up having Donald Trump, a clown president, for four years,” he said.

Check out the Chelsea clip below to find out what the rest of the panel has to say about the polarizing politician.

Chad Johnson Claims Fellow “Bachelorette” Suitor Is Gay

The feud between two of this season's favorites is heating up.
From: NewNowNext
A former contestant of ABC’s The Bachelorette tried “outing” another contestant during Monday night’s episode, tweeting that it was painful to watch him “pretend to like women” on the show.

The contestants, Chad Johnson and Robby Hayes, have been embroiled in conflict throughout the whole season, Us Weekly reports.

Johnson has apparently remained a fan favorite despite getting the boot from the show earlier this season, and gave ammunition to a vocal group of Hayes’ haters on Twitter when he tweeted the implication during last night’s episode, where Hayes was one of four finalists remaining on the show.

“If I have to watch @RobbyHHayes pretend to like women for one more second on #TheBachelorette, I’m gonna blow my head off,” he wrote, using the hashtag #TheBitchelorette.”

The inappropriate tweet has gone unchecked by mainstream media and only seemed to bolster a torrent of online bullying directed at Hayes.

Within the hour, Hayes tweeted back: “Been waiting for you to do that #mrirrelevant.”

Despite accusations that producers have ignored homophobia among cast members in the past, both ABC and The Bachelorette have not acknowledged the exchange.

40% Of Gay, Bi Men Not Using Condoms—And It Has Nothing To Do With PrEP

Up from 29% in 2005.
From: NewNowNext
 Results from a new study about condom usage have been released and the data shows that more and more gay and bisexual men are forgoing condoms when it comes to anal sex.

Scientists reviewed results gathered by The National HIV Behavioral Surveillance Survey, which asked over a thousand men in 21 cities in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014 whether or not they used a condom with their last anal sex partner.

 Between the years the survey was conducted from 2005 to 2014, the number of gay and bisexual men who reported not using a condom during sex rose from 29 to 41 percent.

“They found that declines in condom usage were seen across the board among men, whether or not their sexual partners were of the same HIV status and regardless of whether they knew their partners’ HIV status,” reports HIV Plus Magazine. “This led researchers to conclude that the lack of condom use cannot be explained by serosorting (only having sex with those of similar HIV status).”

Another conclusion is that condom usage has fallen since PrEP became available, but AIDSMap points out that the use of condoms has been falling for the past decade.

Of the men who participated in the survey, PrEP usage was reported by 0.5 percent of them in 2011. According to HIV Plus Magazine, “that number only rose to 3.5 percent of men in 2014, making it highly unlikely that the HIV prevention protocol played a significant role in the decline of condom use.”

“Our data suggests that condom use has decreased among [men who have sex with men] and that the trends are not explained by serosorting, seropositioning, PrEP use, or HIV treatment,” said the scientists who reviewed the data. They also worried that “the benefits of [antiretrovirals] in reducing transmission of HIV could be ’undermined,’ without increased promotion of condoms and access to PrEP.”

Bianca Del Rio, Sherry Vine And Jackie Beat Ain’t Afraid Of No Tucks

"Tuckbusters" is this summer's blockbuster-movie theme song.
From: NewNowNext
Tucking is a big part of being a drag queen, but what happens when a queen gets excited by all the half-naked guys in the club?

Just in time for the release of Ghostbusters, legendary queens Bianca Del Rio, Jackie Beat and Sherry Vine are tackling a big drag problem in their parody video, “Tuckbusters”.

Joined by Lady Red Couture, the fearless faux-females sing about those annoying moments “when your penis grows… in your pantyhose.”

Keep an eye out for Alyssa Edwards as a doctor, and a gaggle of Andrew Christian models tempting the ladies to bust their tucks.

Beyoncรฉ, Rihanna, Jennifer Hudson Join “23 Ways You Could Be Killed If You Are Black in America” Video

"Driving with a broken brakelight."
From: NewNowNext
A new video has surfaced featuring some of America’s biggest names calling out the outrageous circumstances under which African-Americans have been killed in the U.S.

Beyoncรฉ, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, Pink, Rihanna, Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, Rosario Dawson, Chris Rock many and others remind us of the deaths of Sandra Bland, who died in jail after failing to signal a lane change, and Ramarley Graham, who was shot and killed by police while running unarmed to the bathroom in his own home.

Tragically, there are many, many more examples cited in the video, produced by Mic. #23Ways

Betty Who Will “Love You Always Forever” In Her Sensual New Video

"Near and far, closer together, everywhere I will be with you."
From: NewNowNext
Queen of flash mob proposals, Betty Who has debuted a music video for her new song “I Love You Always Forever.”

Now for all you chil’ren out there, this slice of pop perfection is actually a cover of the 1996 hit by Donna Lewis– but Betty puts her own synth spin to it.

“I wanted to make a video that was like a soft moment and basically love people around me and explore that in a way,” she told Vogue.com. “That to me is what the song is about—loving someone unconditionally no matter what, and exploring the idea that love is unconditional no matter who you’re loving, whether it’s your dog or your mother or your best friend or boyfriend or girlfriend or husband.”

Watch the music video below where Ms. Who serves Kylie Minogue “All the Lovers” realness with men and women dressed all in white, rolling around and exploring each other’s bodies.

A New Campaign Urges TV Writers To Stop Killing Off Gay Characters

We don't want to "Bury Our Gays" anymore.
From: NewNowNext
 Earlier this year The CW’s The 100 killed off lesbian fan fave Lexa, prompting a firestorm of fan outrage.

Her death—and that of a number of other queer TV characters—has sparked a new social awareness campaign, LGBT Fans Deserve Better, which hopes get Hollywood to stop the trend in killing off gay and bi characters.

 The tired trope has resurfaced on many shows—an alarming number, especially considering how few gay/bi characters there are to begin with. Chicago Fire, Walking Dead, Orphan Black, Arrow, Jane the Virgin, Jessica Jones, Supernatural, Scream Queens, House of Cards, Ascension, Blindspot, The Shannara Chronicles, Under the Dome, Orange is the New Black and Syfy’s The Magicians.

Just this week, Danielle Cormack (Bea Smith) was stabbed to death on Netflix’s Wentworth.

“LGBT characters have long suffered and been erased in the media,” the group said in a statement. “When they are present on screen, they are often villainized, killed or subjected to violence and/or other negative tropes meant to teach a moral lesson: that being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or any other non-heterosexual or cissexual identity is not okay.”

The facts speak for themselves:

*31% of all LGBT+ female characters introduced between 1976-2016 are dead.

*38% were written off without resolution.

*Only 10% had a “happy ending.”

*In the 2015-2016 TV season, 13 out of 31 LGBT+ female characters were been killed.

The goal of the campaign is twofold—awareness and accountability.

“Ultimately, we want to work with media executives, showrunners, and writers to develop compelling stories with complex LGBT characters. However, If they keep perpetuating these tropes we will continue to hold them accountable because we know that LGBT characters can be as successful and profitable as any other.”

The group’s next step is a series of initiatives, including a t-shirt and promotion of the Lexa Pledge, which asks scriptwriters and others to promise to treat LGBT+ characters with more care.

For every Support Positive LGBT Representation t-shirt sold through August 6, LGBT Fans Deserve Better will donate 100% of the proceeds to The Trevor Project.

Before Grindr and Scruff: A brief oral history of gay men finding each other online

From: Fusion
 Over a hundred gay men descended upon the same Manhattan hotel last week for a “Scruff meet-up” of sorts, though probably not the kind you’re picturing. The gathering was held in honor of the sixth anniversary of Scruff: a geolocation-based mobile app that many gay men—as well as plenty of LGBTQ folks who don’t identify as gay men—use to meet other people for sex, dating, friendship, articles they’re writing, and even professional networking.

While apps like Scruff, Grindr, Tinder, and Jack’d have been accused of everything from “ruining romance” to killing off queer nightlife, I’d suggest we consider their place within a different legacy. LGBTQ people have long used digital spaces as a means of connecting with others like themselves. From pre-AOL message boards to the deepest pockets of social media, the internet gives queer and trans people the chance to create online communities and relationships that affirm their identities in a way that the straight, cisgender-dominant world they inhabit offline does not—although racism, internalized homophobia, and other IRL biases always find a way into these supposedly self-affirming spaces for marginalized people. Scruff et al. are simply among the latest technological means through which we’ve learned how to make those connections.

The Scruff partygoers at the Time Hotel’s LeGrande cocktail lounge last Thursday varied in age from their early twenties to mid-forties and beyond. I wondered what kind of stories they could tell about meeting other gay people in the pre-smartphone age.

Scruff VP of marketing Joey Dubรฉ (middle)
and drag entertainer Blake Deadly (far right) pose for the Scruff anniversary party photo booth
 “CompuServe,” a man named Doug told me when I asked him if he remembered the first online tool he ever used to meet other gay people like himself. “That’s how old I am!”

CompuServe was an internet service provider that was basically the AOL of the ’80s. It was later acquired by AOL, and—wait, we all know what AOL is, right? Oh, God. Anyway, Doug, who works as a system engineer at Scruff, described CompuServe as an almost “bulletin board”-like system with many chat rooms, a number of which were LGBTQ-oriented.

“This was all text-based chat,” he told me. “No pictures, no photos, no Skyping, no camming, or anything like that. It was very low level. If you did exchange photos, it would take a good 15 minutes [to download]. The early days!”

 From web 1.0 to whatever point oh we’re in now, the answers I got from guys at Scruff’s anniversary party told me a lot about the time period in which they each individually came out of the closet, or at least began exploring their sexual identity on their own terms. For Scruff founder and CEO Eric Silverberg and Scruff VP of marketing Joey Dubรฉ, picture the AOL chat rooms of the mid-’90s. For a man named Chris, who works in product management at an online retailer based in New York, and another man named Derek, a performer based in New York, that space was Craigslist’s M4M personals.

“I would go to [my high school’s] library and have an hour and a half on the computer…to see if there was someone who was interested in meeting me,” Derek told me while “Into You,” Ariana Grande’s song of the summer also-ran, attempted to drown him out. “The first person I ever met from the internet picked me up in his truck, and we went and saw Brokeback Mountain together in theaters.”

Let’s pause for a moment to silently scream in empathy at baby gay Derek’s terrible, horrible, no good, very well intentioned first gay movie date.

“It was the scariest thing in the world because we didn’t say a word to each other,” he continued. “Just pure stress and tension… That was the first time that I ever hooked up with someone.”

“Wait,” he added. “We didn’t even hook up.”

 A freelance film director I spoke with told me that in a time before Google Maps, much less gay sex apps, he once literally wandered the streets in the hopes of stumbling on a gay club. “I didn’t know any gay people at school, and there wasn’t any Grindr or Scruff,” he said. “I think if, at that time, there had been an app [like that], that would have made my experience much more positive.”

Being able to casually scroll through an endless, four-by-infinity grid of queer dudes within a 15-mile radius at the touch of a button would have definitely made those years more convenient. Take it from Blake Deadly, one of the Scruff anniversary party’s hired drag queen entertainers. At only 23 years old, Blake has been able to use apps like Tinder and Jack’d for as long as they’ve been of age.

“The first online dating app I ever had was Grindr,” Blake, who performs at bars and clubs all over Manhattan and Brooklyn, said. “I got Grindr when I was 18, so I guess I’ve never been an adult in the dating world without dating apps. Like, I’ve never had the experience of not having [them]… I always think about that because I can’t [imagine] what that would have been like to move to go to college or move somewhere new and just meet people in person. As long as I’ve been dating, there have been dating apps, and that’s totally informed how I interact with people.”

 I remember one time, when I was about 10 or 11 years old, my brother had forgotten to logout of his AOL account on my family’s desktop computer. He had wisely given himself our family’s master account, you see, meaning that he had zero parental controls restricting his web access. Knowing this, I began frantically typing in a bunch of super literal, super sexy website names like “dicks dot com” only to be met with inaccessible paywall after inaccessible paywall plastered with the waxed and tan bodies of men doing their best Queer as Folk cosplay. You won’t be surprised to hear that I—a boy who thought “dicks dot com” would be the hot website to check out—forgot to clear my browsing history before logging out of my older brother’s AOL account. He brought this up years later when he discovered my gay-identified MySpace profile in 2005, the very same MySpace profile my mom also found and confronted me about while driving me home from school.

And two years before that traumatic 30-minute car ride, most of which I seem to have blocked out of my memory, I came out on AIM to a fictional user my friends had created to catfish secrets out of me. (This was in 2003, so we wouldn’t have used the word “catfish” at the time.) A few days later, I made the news public—at least for everyone beyond my immediate family—with a post on LiveJournal.

Later that summer, I met up with a guy from the internet for the first time. We found each other on a website called Gaia Online. That fact has always blown my mind. Unlike the sites I’d later use to date and hook up with people, like PlanetOut, Gay.com, XY, and DList, Gaia Online was not in any way, shape, or form a gay dating site. It was a social networking community for pubescent anime freaks who’d outgrown Neopets, where they could play games, earn coins, and buy new outfits for their JRPG-derivative character sprites.

Something about my sprite’s pixellated angel wings and matching teal tuxedo must have caught this slightly older teenager’s eye, and we started DMing. Eventually, we learned that we both lived in the same small Central Massachusetts suburb and decided to meet up. I walked three miles across town, Ziploc baggie PB&J in hand, to join him on his lunch break. We sat in absolute silence for about 45 minutes as we painstakingly chewed our respective meals. Three months later, I went down on a classmate after he invited me over to his place over AIM.

As much as I hate to succumb to some normative understanding of teenage sexuality, there’s a part of me that still feels kind of embarrassed about meeting strange men off the internet. Embarrassed about disregarding every possible lesson To Catch a Predator sought to impart in the hopes of finding anyone to make out with me. Embarrassed about how my teenage self reacted to my own marginalization, essentially.

But I wasn’t the only one. There, standing in that hotel bar at the Scruff anniversary party, were more than one hundred other gay men who had traversed similar paths in the years before and after I joined my first queer community on LiveJournal or set the record straight on my non-straight sexuality via MySpace and Facebook’s profile settings. We all might have been freaky teenage deviants forging queer identities in less than acceptable ways using whatever contemporary technology we had at our disposal, but at least we were deviants together, even if we were on our own.

Avert Your Eyes : I really like these tattoos!

Barb From “Stranger Things” Is Keeping A Diary And You Have To Read It

Gay wit Justin Sayre wins Twitter again.
From: NewNowNext
 If you haven’t started binging Stranger Things, the Netflix series that mashes Steven Spielberg with Stephen King and serves it up on a plate of ’80s teen nostalgia, well.. we feel sorry for you.

The show is so good on so many levels, and presents us with a host of fresh new talents. Perhaps the greatest of which is Barb (Shannon Purser) the stern best friend a swoosh of copper hair and problematic thighs.

 Barb isn’t the popular girl, or the slutty girl, or the funny girl. She’s the loyal friend left behind when the popular girl blossoms into womanhood. She’s the downer who tells you going to the quarry with those boys from vocational school is a bad idea.

She’s US.

 “Barb is real—she reminds me of girls I actually knew in high school in the 80s,” says filmmaker/YA author Brian Sloan, who’s about halfway through Stranger Things.

“The quiet, smart ones who knew what was going on and didn’t care what other people thought of them. She’s not like a bad teen movie caricature of a nerd—Barb is a survivor in high school, which makes me think she can survive in the ’upside down’ and, using her no-nonsense smarts, somehow kick that monsters ass!”

Homages to Barb have popped up all over the Internet.

A photo posted by lamentertainment (@lamentertainment) on

A photo posted by Tennis Shoe Lochness (@tennesseeloveless) on

But perhaps the best is from queer wit and Friend of NNNN Justin Sayre, who’s been tweeting out fictionalized entries from Barb’s diary.

“10/1/82 There was that ham smell again today,” reads one entry. “What is going on? #BarbsDiary #StrangerThings”

“1/19/80 I know I was hesitant at first, but these Boy’s corduroys are just more flattering,” reads another. “#BarbsDiary #StrangerThings”

We’d like to think she wrote these in a Lisa Frank spiral notebook with Strawberry-scented stickers on top.

Man Threatening To Kill Gays With A Box Cutter Evades Police In Penn Station

Anti-gay assaults in New York City have been on the rise since 2013.
From: NewNowNext
 The NYPD is searching for a suspect who allegedly attacked two gay men with a box cutter on a busy sidewalk outside Penn Station Monday afternoon.

Police said the suspect approached two men in their early 20s as they were walking down Eighth Avenue near 33rd Street around 1:30pm and began yelling homophobic slurs in a “completely unprovoked” attack.

The suspect reportedly pulled a box cutter and threatened to kill the two men after they approached him and said they were calling 911.

Police described the suspect, who was captured on CCTV footage, as “a man in his 40s, 5 feet 7 inches, 180 pounds, with dreads; last seen wearing a green shirt, dark colored pants and glasses.”

 CBS New York reports the incident won’t help a growing concern among commuters in the neighborhood who view the “increase in the number of homeless and emotionally unstable people” around Penn Station as “threatening” or unsafe.

Mayor Bill de Blasio balked at the notion during a press conference Monday, claiming the city has a handle on the homelessness epidemic and “are already familiar with most of the [homeless] individuals” living around Penn Station.

The attack at Penn Station follows another anti-gay attack in the neighborhood on Sunday, July 17, when a gang of five men yelling anti-gay slurs beat a man coming out of a gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen, breaking his leg in two places.

Since 2013, anti-gay attacks have been on a steady rise in New York City. The number nearly doubled between 2012 and 2013.

The Great Condom Debate Of 2016

"I feel like the world is moving on without me, but I don’t want to get on that boat.”
From: NewNowNext
 My friend AJ, a 31-year-old artist who lives in Brooklyn, recently told me about a guy he’s started seeing. “Every time we tried to have sex, he would lose his erection as soon as the condom went on,” he explained.

“After three or four times, he told me that he’d been on PrEP almost two years and had become so used to sex without a condom that he couldn’t keep an erection with one on.”

“That’s not the only reason I stopped seeing him,” added AJ, who is HIV-negative and not on PrEP, but is seriously considering it. “But it didn’t help.”

 Welcome to gay life in 2016, when a divide is growing between gay men who are on PrEP and those who aren’t. And that divide, in turn, has lead to a divide between gay men who use condoms and those who don’t.

It’s perhaps the biggest condom divide since the very early 1980s, before it was definitively proven that HIV was spread through anal sex and that condoms could prevent transmission.

As someone who’s been HIV-positive and undetectable for 16 years, I’m shocked by the number of PrEP users I’ve met who are barebacking. Don’t get me wrong—I’ve certainly enjoyed it. With them on PrEP and me being undetectable, we’re doubly protected against HIV. And, let’s face it, sex without condoms just feels better. (HIV-positive guys gave up using condoms with other poz men long ago.)

 But the part of me that came of age in the 1980s can’t escape the concern that we as a community are courting disaster again.

Here in New York, negative guys still using condoms can feel like they’re being discriminated against. “I’ve found myself increasingly shut out of the sexual landscape,” says another friend, Manuel. “We’ve already got Grindr and the apps transforming gay interactions, and now there’s PrEP. I feel like the world is moving on without me, but I don’t want to get on that boat.”

 Manuel says he finds himself shying away from guys on PrEP even before they tell him their condom policy. “Their sexual policies are out of sync with mine.”

In the wake of the big international AIDS conference in South Africa last week, new research suggests a few things about this phenomenon:

1. There is yet more proof that HIV-positive people with undetectable viral loads are virtually incapable of transmitting the virus. One study didn’t find a single transmission among some 50,000 sexual acts between both hetero and gay couples.

2. PrEP use in the U.S. has skyrocketed but the majority of gay men on it are still older, white and concentrated in gay meccas like New York and San Francisco. That’s despite the fact that the highest rates of HIV remain among young men of color.

3. A large study in France and Canada found that taking PrEP even just four times a week (versus daily) is highly effective in preventing HIV. But it also found that once participants knew for sure that they were on PrEP and not a placebo, their amount of bareback sex rose dramatically.

So it’s no surprise that rates of STDs like syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia have exploded among gay men. (One survey showed that, of the 434,456 cases reported last year, 54,275 were among men who have sex with men, a 10% increase since 2014.)

 A friend who works in a medical clinic with a large gay clientele says his office has become a virtual STD-treatment mill—in fact they regularly run out of antibiotics to treat all the cases they see. For me, this has eerie echoes of Randy Shilts’ portrait of pre-AIDS gay New York in And the Band Played On.

“If there’s that much bareback sex going on,” he asks, “who’s to say that a super-drug-resistant syphilis or gonorrhea isn’t evolving? Or that we’re not right around a corner from a new deadly virus we don’t know about yet?”

He has a point: HIV circulated in the gay world for years before symptoms finally emerged, and guidelines about Zika transmission via sexual contact are constantly being updated.

 Another positive friend just received a painful penicillin shot to treat his syphilis. (Spoiler: it wasn’t in his arm) Still, he maintains, “I think sex was meant to be enjoyed without condoms.” He says he’s barely seen a condom in three years, with either positive or negative guys.

Some HIV-negative gay men say the pleasure of unprotected sex just isn’t worth the risk. “I’m not really keen on going on long-term medication just to bareback,” says Doug, a producer in L.A. “That doesn’t have enough value to me.”

But Doug is 47, and this condom divide is partly generational: “I’m a ’90s kid who was raised to be terrified of HIV/AIDS,” says my friend Ruben, 31.

 Ruben had bareback sex on PrEP but is now off it and looking to “open up” his current relationship to other partners.

“Even before PrEP,” he says, “I saw all my poz friends living normal healthy lives by taking just one pill a day, which made HIV lose its scare factor for me. PrEP even more so. Getting STDs made me reconsider bareback sex, but only briefly. To be honest, I just can’t see myself using condoms anymore.”

All of which leaves me feeling deeply conflicted: On the one hand, I love seeing gay men, young and old, feeling this freedom and sex-positivity after decades of equating intimacy with disease and death.

But, even though there’s no evidence we’re facing wholly untreatable STDs or are on the cusp of a new microbe with the lethality of HIV, I do worry. Are we creating the perfect sexual landscape for lightning-fast transmission?

The FDA Might Be Reconsidering Its One-Year Ban On Gay Blood Donation

As part of its assessment of current policy, the FDA is reaching out to the public for comment.
From: NewNowNext
 The Food & Drug Administration recently announced plans to seek advice on deferral policies for blood donations, hinting that it might be open to lifting its ban on receiving donations from gay and bisexual men.

The FDA made the announcement in a notice published through the Federal Register Tuesday.

In it, the administration calls for “interested persons” to “submit comments, supported by scientific evidence…regarding potential blood donor deferral policy options to reduce the risk of HIV transmission…including the feasibility of moving from the existing time-based deferrals…to the use of individual risk assessments.”

 Here, the “time-based deferrals” refer to the requirement that gay and bisexual men abstain from sex with other men for at least a year before donating blood.

This policy was implemented last year and replaced what was a lifetime prohibition on blood donations from gay men, originally conceived to control for HIV contamination in the blood supply before the advent of speedy and efficient HIV testing.

Now that it’s relatively simple to assess whether or not an individual has HIV, LGBT advocates believe its time for the FDA to lift its discriminatory abstinence requirement and replace it with individual risk assessments.

In the notice, the FDA asks respondents to answer the following six questions on just such a transition.

1 What questions would most effectively identify individuals at risk of transmitting HIV through blood donation?
2. Are there specific questions that could be asked that might best capture the recent risk of a donor acquiring HIV infection, such as within the 2 to 4 weeks immediately preceding blood donation?
3. How specific can the questions be regarding sexual practices while remaining understandable and acceptable to all blood donors? For example, could questions about specific sexual behaviors be asked if they helped to identify which donors should be at least temporarily deferred because of risk factors? To the extent the questions are explicit about sexual practices, how willing will donors be to answer such questions accurately?
4. Under what circumstances would a short deferral period for high risk behavior be appropriate? For each short deferral period identified, please specify the duration of the deferral and provide the scientific rationale.
5. What changes might be necessary within blood collection establishments to assure that accurate, individual HIV risk assessments are performed?
6. How best to design a potential study to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of alternative deferral options such as individual risk assessment?

U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the only out lesbian in Congress, said in a statement that the notice is an “encouraging” step forward in the fight to lift the ban.

“I have long fought to end discriminatory blood donation policies and improve them, including for healthy gay and bisexual men,” Baldwin remarked.

“It is encouraging that the FDA is taking another step forward to develop better blood donor policies that are grounded in science, don’t unfairly single out one group of individuals, and allow all healthy Americans to donate. I will continue to push for policies that secure our nation’s blood supply in a scientifically sound manner based on individual risk.”

The ban’s real life ramifications were felt this past June in the wake of the horrific mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Following the attack, dozens of LGBT individuals were turned away from local blood banks because of the FDA’s current policy.

In response to this, Baldwin, along with 24 other US Senators, penned a letter urging the Department of Health & Human Services to change its policy on blood donations. An additional letter was sent later with signatures from over 100 House lawmakers.

Sailor Caught On Instagram Forced To Come Out To His Squadron

"[He] walked up to me and said, 'I’m glad I’m not deploying with you, I wouldn’t trust a fag with my life."
From: NewNowNext

We’re in a post-Don’t Ask Don’t Tell world, but that doesn’t mean its always easy to be gay in the military. Conner Curnick hadn’t been planning on coming out to his fellow sailors last year, but when they uncovered his candid Instagrams, the cat was out of the bag.
I couldn't imagine a better day to post this. The #visibleme campaign is bringing to light the struggles of the #lgbt community. So here is my story- from around 11-12 years old, I knew I was gay. At first, I was really depressed and hid my feelings deep is thin myself, afraid to come to terms with who I really was. There were days I wished that I was never born. The struggle destroyed me emotionally. For the next several years I would simply hide my feelings- becoming more comfortable with them myself, but never admitting them to anyone. It took my years to even be able to say "I am gay" when I was alone. It wasn't until I was 18-19 that I finally accepted myself, but I was afraid of what the people around me thought. When I was 20 I finally came out. I finally reached the point that I didn't care what anyone thought and I was going to live he life I wanted. My support had been overwhelming amazing from my family and friends. While I still face hate and discrimination on an almost daily basis- I no longer let it bother me. I use it as fuel to become the best and strongest person I can be. #Instagay #selfie #dc #pride #navy
A photo posted by Conner Curnick (@cdcurnick) on

After he posted a photo with a guy he was seeing, his friends at the U.S. Naval Base in Pensacola confronted him.

‘Explain this,’ said one message on the post. “Curnick, are you gay?” asked another. “Don’t lie to us.”

In a first-person essay on Outsports, Curnic, a 22-year-old petty officer third class, admits “my biggest fear had come to fruition.”

Feeling scared and alone, he acknowledged the truth, telling them, “Yes, I’m gay.”

Thankfully, he says, the reactions “were overwhelmingly positive.”
A photo posted by Conner Curnick (@cdcurnick) on

“While I did lose a few friends, the ones closest to me became even closer—because I no longer had to lie about who I was… For the first time they knew what was really going on in my life.”

There have been some ugly moments.

“This past spring, in combat training before my deployment to Afghanistan, someone found out I was gay. [He] walked up to me and said, ’I’m glad I’m not deploying with you, I wouldn’t trust a fag with my life.’ This despite the fact I was one of the better marksmen and performers in my class.”
A photo posted by Conner Curnick (@cdcurnick) on

Curnick says he uses those negative comments “to fuel my fire to succeed in everything that I do.”

While his close friends and family have been supportive, Curnick admits the biggest problem was learning to love accept his authentic self.

I built a wall and never let anyone through. It was really tough at first, leading me to very dark places mentally. Reading coming out stories like the one I am writing — and how people were greeted with love and open arms — was what kept me going.

Originally enrolling in the Naval Special Warfare Program, one of the branch’s toughest, Curnick says homophobic slurs were a part of everyday life. “I distinctly remember one day when an instructor said, ’Oh look at those faggots,’ and then turned to us saying, ’Wait, it’s OK to be gay, YOU just can’t be gay.'”

He left the program and finally came out at age 21. “Since coming out, I have become a much happier, productive and successful person,” he says.

Deployed to the Middle East twice already, he’s received numerous commendations and was named Sailor of the Quarter at his command of 2,300 Sailors. He also continues to play water polo competitively and is working to start an group for LGBT sailors at Pensacola.

A photo posted by Conner Curnick (@cdcurnick) on

Nyle DiMarco Invented A New Taco And It Looks Delicious

Open up!
From: NewNowNext
 Nyle DiMarco is updating fans with shirtless selfies from his vacation in The Hamptons this week, and today he shared a new edible invention we’re dying to try ourselves.

Introducing the “Hamptons Taco” — a pancake with fruits rolled up inside.

DiMarco announced the new creation on Snapchat and then posted a video of himself chowing down on one — the first-ever Hamptons Taco in history?
It’s so beautiful.

The taco doesn’t look too bad either!

The 27-year-old model is taking a well-deserved break on the Eastern shore of Long Island this week after a busy couple years.

After becoming the first deaf winner of America’s Next Top Model, DiMarco danced his way to another major win on Dancing With the Stars in May.

Next stop, Top Chef?

More from Nyle’s week in The Hamptons below:

Kristin Chenoweth, Alan Cumming, Jane Fonda Appear In Hillary Clinton Music Video

The stars came together to create an a cappella cover of "Fight Song."
From: NewNowNext
 To celebrate Hillary Clinton’s official nomination as the Democratic party’s candidate for the 2016 election, the Democratic National Convention Committee released a special music video.

The video features dozens of celebrities belting out Rachel Platten’s hit “Fight Song” a cappella. In addition to Platten herself, it stars Hollywood heavyweights such as Jane Fonda, Eva Longoria and Elizabeth Banks as well as Broadway legends Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth and Alan Cumming.

According to a release from the DNC Committee, “Fight Song has been energizing Clinton supporters at events around the country throughout the campaign, and reinforces Clinton’s proven record of fighting for all Americans and her commitment to tackling the big challenges we face as a country as president.”

Participants include Aisha Tyler, Alan Cumming, America Ferrera, Ben Platt, Billy Porter, Chrissie Fit, Connie Britton, Elizabeth Banks, Ellen Greene, Esther Dean, Eva Longoria, Garrett Clayton, Hana Mae Lee, Ian Somerholder, Idina Menzel, Jaime King, Jane Fonda, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, John Michael Higgens, Josh Lucas, Julie Bowen, Kathy Najimy, Kelly Jackle, Kristin Chenoweth, Mandy Moore, Mary McCormack, Mary-Louise Parker, Mike Thompkins, Nikki Read, Rachel Platten, Renee Fleming, Rob Reiner, Shelley Regner, Sia, TR Knight.
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