Tag Archives: love

Giant Wooden Cross Chained To Gay Street In NYC As Intolerance Message Is Turned Into Something Beautiful.

Giant Wooden Cross Chained To Gay Street In NYC As Intolerant Message Is Turned Into Something Beautiful.

Giant Wooden Cross Chained To Gay Street In NYC As Intolerance Message Is Turned Into Something Beautiful.

A giant wooden cross mysteriously appeared on Good Friday in the epicenter of the gay community in the West Village on Gay Street chained and locked to an apartment gate. Over the next nine days, the owner of the cross” would return and chain the cross to different parts of the Gay Street making it impossible for others to move it.

Gay St. resident Micah Latter, whose gate the cross was first chained to, said “Whatever [this person’s] point, [it] was lost in translation. Their actions were pointless and annoying. To be honest, I’m a Christian, and the cross means, love, peace and hope. And it was clear the owner of this cross did not share those values.”

On Sunday, Latter and ten neighbors and friends gathered to paint the cross the colors of the rainbow flag. They drank champagne and changed the locks so the original owner can no longer move it ― they’re now calling it “The Love Cross.”

“For two hours on a Sunday, it was just random strangers, tourists, straight couples, gay couples, kids and neighbors spreading love, painting rainbows on a cross, getting to know our neighbors, and drinking champagne on Gay St. It was a magical NYC evening Latter said.

And as for the cross’ original owner who left it as a message of intolerance. The residents of Gay St. just have one message: “Sorry you can’t move the cross anymore. We added our own love lock to your chain and superglued both key holes. The Love Cross belongs to the street now, so thank you!”

PSA – John Cena: We Are All Americans “Love Has No Labels” – Video

John Cena, who muses on the meaning of patriotism, and the things should unite rather than divide us, in this remarkable new iteration of R/GA’s “Love Has No Labels” campaign for the Ad Council.

As he walks through a typical small American town, talking directly to the camera, the pro wrestler—who’s becoming a familiar face in the ad world these days—draws a line in the sand early on. Patriotism isn’t just pride in one’s country, he says. It’s love for it. And loving one’s country means embracing who and what the country really is—not what you might picture it to be.

Along the way, this small town turns out to be remarkably diverse—the essence of America itself—as we see citizens who are Latino, LGBT, Muslim, senior citizen, African American, disabled, and so on, all just as American as anyone else. The underlying message: To be a true patriot is to accept all Americans regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or ability.

In short, patriotism is love, Cena says, and love has no labels.

Website “Holiday Mom” Sends Messages of Love and Support To LGBT Youth and Adults During The Holiday Season

Holiday moms

 

A new website called “Your Holiday Mom ” has been launched to give LGBT youth and adults a virtual family to spend the holidays with — in addition to lots of love and support. Because no one should feel alone or unloved during the holidays. The site posts a new letter every day leading up to Christmas, and this year has 40 mothers participating.

“We are just family members who care and have created a way to show it during the often emotionally difficult holiday season,” writes Your Holiday Mom founder Robin Rice, who lost her brother to suicide thirty years ago because he feared he was gay. “Isn’t that what the season is supposed to be about—family, caring, and people coming together?” Rice writes. “We may have to do it in cyberspace, but we can still make a difference in someone’s life.”

On the site, the moms describe their own family holiday traditions, their children, and their family, seeking to make the readers feel included in the holiday fun and sending messages of love and acceptance.

Holiday Mom Sandi, whose family celebrates both Christmas and Hannukah, writes, “Know that although I don’t know you – that I do know you and am there for you. … Now please pass the potato latkes!”

“I’m here to tell you that you are amazing,” writes Holiday Mom Jennifer. “You are courageous. You are exactly who you are supposed to be.  If anyone believes otherwise, well then they are missing out on knowing how incredible you are.”

A beautiful and loving website that is guaranteed to restore your faith in man/womankind.

WARNING:  Bring plenty of Kleenex

Source: Bustle.com

Gay Ohio Couple Win Extension Recognizing Their Marriage, Court Date Set

Gay kiss

Last month we reported on the heart wrenching story Cincinnati, Ohio gay couple, John Arthur and Jim Obergefell following the Supreme Court’s historic overturning of section 3 of DOMA made a difficult journey to Maryland to be married.  John suffers from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease a terminal illness and is in constant pain.   Jim is his primary caregiver.  But despite the fact that John was unable to travel easily the couple persevered with the help of  donations from family members and others, the couple was able to charter a plane that cost $12,700 to fly to Maryland where they wed on the Tarmac before immediately turning around to go home..

Upon returning to Ohio, which has one of the strictest state DOMA’s on record the couple filed a federal suit against the state of Ohio challenging that state’s ban on same-sex marriage, stating that the way the law treats marriages between opposite-sex couples is unfairly different from the way it treats marriages between same-sex couples.

Jim Obergefell said in a release. “When (John Arthur) dies, his death certificate should reflect our marriage just like the records of all the other married couples in Ohio.“

Judge Timothy S. Black issued a temporary restraining order against the State of Ohio ORDERING County Celrks not to accept for recording a death certificate for John Arthur that does not record Mr. Arthur’s status at death as “married” and James Obergefell as his”surviving spouse.” if James passes away before the case is heard.

Yesterday Judge Black extended his previous order, which was set to expire in less than a week, until Dec. 31, which will protect John Arthur and James Obergefell’s marriage as their lawsuit against state and local authorities proceeds and scheduled oral arguments in the case for Dec. 18 and will decide after that whether to issue a permanent order against the state to recognize the couple’s marriage

Cincinnati Gay Couple Brings Lawsuit Against Ohio Over Gay Marriage Ban – Judge Issues TRO

Gay kiss

Cincinnati, Ohio couple, John Arthur and Jim Obergefell have gone through so much to prove their love for each other in the past 29 years.  And now they are going to go even further prove it again.

Following the Supreme Court’s historic overturning of section 3 of DOMA,  John and Jim made a difficult journey to Maryland to be married.  John suffers from ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease a terminal illness and is in constant pain. He has been unable to leave the couple’s home since March.  Jim is his primary caregiver.  But despite the fact that John was unable to travel easily the couple persevered with the help of  donations from family members and others, the couple was able to charter a plane that cost $12,700 to fly to Maryland where they wed on the Tarmac before immediately turning around to go home..

The couple is now going even further to prove their love and has filed a federal suit against the state of Ohio challenging that state’s ban on same-sex marriage,

ABC 5 reports:

“The suit, filed by the couple, states the way the law treats marriages between opposite-sex couples is unfairly different from the way it treats marriages between same-sex couples.

‘It’s blatant discrimination,’ said the couple’s attorney Al Gerhardstein. ‘It’s a denial of equal protection.’ The suit points to an example of a marriage between first cousins. In Ohio, it is illegal. But if first cousins go to another state and marry where it is legal, Ohio will recognize their out of state marriage as valid. ‘Equal protection demands that opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples should be treated the same,’ Gerhardstein said in a release. ‘John and James were validly married in Maryland. If they were an opposite sex couple, Ohio would recognize their marriage. Being a same-sex couple is no longer a good enough reason to deny them equal rights.'”

Jim stressed the role that John’s disease played in deciding to file the suit:

“We want nothing more than for our marriage to count in the place we call home,” Obergefell said in a release. “When (John Arthur) dies, his death certificate should reflect our marriage just like the records of all the other married couples in Ohio.

The case, once heard, will come before United States District Court Judge Timothy Black in Cincinnati, the couple’s hometown

 

UPDATE – Judge Timothy S. Black has issues a temporary restraining order against the State of Ohio in the matter in the case of the untimely passing of John Arthur before the case is heard and decided finding for John Arthur and Jim Obergefell.

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION FORA TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER

This is not a complicated case. The issue is whether the State of Ohio can discriminate against same sex marriages lawfully solemnized out of state, when Ohio law has historically and unambiguously provided that the validity of a marriage is determined by whether it complies with the law of the jurisdiction where it was celebrated.Throughout Ohio’s history, Ohio law has been clear: a marriage solemnized outside of Ohio is valid in Ohio if it is valid where solemnized. Thus, for example,under Ohio law, out-of-state marriages between first cousins are recognized by Ohio,even though Ohio law does not authorize marriages between first cousins. Likewise,under Ohio law, out of state marriages of minors are recognized by Ohio, even though Ohio law does not authorize marriages of minors.How then can Ohio, especially given the historical status of Ohio law, single out same sex marriages as ones it will not recognize? The short answer is that Ohio cannot at least not under the circumstances here. By treating lawful same sex marriages differently than it treats lawful opposite sex marriages (e.g., marriages of first cousins and marriages of minors), Ohio law, as applied to these Plaintiffs, likely violates the United States Constitution which guarantees that “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall … deny to any person within its jurisdiction equal protection of the laws.”The end result here and now is that the local Ohio Registrar of death certificates is here by ORDERED not to accept for recording a death certificate for John Arthur that does not record Mr. Arthur’s status at death as “married” and James Obergefell as hi s”surviving spouse.”

In addition to the alleged denial of Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights, the Court must also consider the fact that Mr. Arthur is in hospice care and death is imminent. Without a temporary restraining order, the official record of Mr. Arthur’s death, and the last official document recording his existence on earth, will incorrectly classify him as unmarried,despite his legal marriage to Mr. Obergefell. The death certificate will also incorrectly fail to record Mr. Obergefell as the “surviving spouse,” which status he lawfully enjoys.Furthermore, Mr. Arthur wants to be buried in his family plot at Spring Grove Cemetery.He also wants Mr. Obergefell to be buried next to him someday. The family plot directive limits those who may be interred in the plot to descendants and married spouses.Thus, without a temporary restraining order, Mr. Arthur’s burial may be delayed or his remains may have to be exhumed when this case is finally decided.

See Yankton SiouxTribe v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

, 209 F. Supp. 2d 1008, 1022 (D.S.D. 2002)(disruption of human remains can be irreparable harm).Finally, the uncertainty around this issue during Mr. Arthur’s final illness is the cause of extreme emotional hardship to the couple. Dying with an incorrect death certificate that prohibits Mr. Arthur from being buried with dignity constitutes irreparable harm. Furthermore, Mr. Arthur’s harm is irreparable because his injury is present now,while he is alive. A later decision allowing an amendment to the death certificate cannot intermediate the harm to Mr. Arthur, as he will have passed away. Moreover, there is absolutely no evidence that the State of Ohio or its citizens will be harmed by the issuance of an order temporarily restraining the enforcement of these provisions against the Plaintiffs in this case. No one beyond Plaintiffs themselves will be affected by such a limited order at all. Without an injunction, however, the harm to Plaintiffs is severe. Plaintiffs are not currently accorded the same dignity and recognition as similarly situated opposite-sex couples. Moreover, upon Mr. Arthur’s death,Plaintiffs’ legally valid marriage will be incorrectly recorded in Ohio as not existing.Balanced against this severe and irreparable harm to Plaintiffs is the truth that there is no evidence in the record that the issuance of a preliminary injunction would cause substantial harm to the public.

You can read the court document here in its entirety.

NY Judge Stops Deportation Hearing For Gay Bi-National Couple Minutes After DOMA Falls

Gay kiss

Just minutes after the Supreme Court (rightfully) struck down Article 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act for being un constitutional a NYC immigration judge  stopped the deportation proceedings for a gay Colombian man married to a U.S.  citizen.

The moments up to the proceedings being stopped were dramatic, says Lavi  Soloway, co-founder of the DOMA Project. “A copy of the 77-page Supreme Court  decision in United States v. Windsor was delivered to the court by our summer  intern, Gabe, who ran five blocks and made it in time for the decision to be  submitted to the Immigration Judge and to serve a copy on the Immigration &  Customs Enforcement Assistant Chief Counsel.” Soloway added that the ruling “was  still warm from the printer.”

Before the historic ruling Sean Brooks and his Colombian husband Steven’s marriage did not exist in the eyes of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Therefore, USCIS had cancelled Steven’s green card petition.

The ordeal for the couple started in 2011 when Sean, the American citizen, tried to file a green card petition for his husband based on their same-sex marriage. This left Steven in a visa limbo and vulnerable to deportation. Steven, who had not been back to Colombia for twelve years, applied to have his deportation cancelled based on the hardship that his deportation would incur on his spouse. The request was denied because federal law did not recognize same-sex couples.

Now because of the Supreme Court ruling roughly 24,700 other bi-national same-sex couples will no longer have to worry about being separated from their loved one because of DOMA

Brokenhearts Clubs and Vulnerabilities Show, These Are Our Valentine’s Day Woes

vday

We are officially in the season of love. A time we know will soon be perfumed with flowers that bloom and sweeten the air. The days become longer now and the sun greets us after a long hard day’s work. Our urges to hibernate from the cold ebb away and our mood is lighter with each passing day. We are more likely to seek out new people and places to go and endlessly imagine all we want to do when summer arrives. By nature, we as gay men are more expressive in how we show love and just become so much more livelier during this time of year. We begin to listen to more songs that speak to the beginning of love to welcome new possibilities…but this time is not all rosy.

Even though we love all aspects of love this is also the time of year when we measure our entire worth based on whether or not we have a relationship. The subject of love is always looming to the point that it feels like it’s taunting us because we are examining what love or lack there of, we have in our own lives. And we begin to dread the international day of love. A day that is penned as the day of expressing our love turns into a diatribe about shattered hearts from inflated egos of our exes. We being to relive betrayal from infidelities and show apathy towards love that did not last. We lament on missed opportunities that we fear may never grace us again, Love consumes us in every aspect of our lives around Valentine’s Day.

If we’re single, we incessantly examine if it is the men we’ve been pursuing in the past calendar year. So we begin this at first objective list of what we are looking for in our potential soulmate, with trepidation and fear. It starts off innocently enough. First we may wonder are we looking for the wrong attributes in a man, how that can be tough.  We ask if our standards too hard to obtain. Should we settle for the guy that completely lacks ambition but looks great naked, or should we abstain?  Is the city I live in just lacking in worthy men or can we never win at love again? And then we turn this one day into the biggest self-deprecating examination into our looks and personality.

Are we too fat? Too skinny? Too tall? Too short even in top hats? Too much or not enough muscle? Too little ambition with not enough hustle?  We will go on dissecting every single inch of our bodies with great care, to find a flaw that is not there.  Then we examine our faces as aging in the gay community is hardly granted any graces. We’ll ask if our eyes are too close/far apart, and if our noses are too big/small by just an ounce.

Are our brows too pronounced or are our ears too big by just an ounce. Do we allow our scruff to sprout or just all hair out. Should our clothes mismatch or is there another reason we can’t find the ultimate catch. We’ll pull at our lips to see if they’re gigantic or in desperate need of snips.  Is it our voice or a bad accessories choice, our walk our smile too wild, our laughs, our dancing has too much prancing… It all begins to sound like a bad rhyme in our heads.

We’ll ask ourselves if we’re too needy or too detached. We’ll begin to wonder if we’re not affectionate enough or if we flirt too much with other guys. Are we too political or not worldly enough. Maybe we’re just boring/bland or too adventurous and spontaneous. Ponder extensively if we don’t communicate enough or know when to leave well enough alone. Could it be we’re too dry or never takes anything seriously. Are we too trusting or should we have trusted our instincts. Maybe we’re too cocky or too insecure. Constantly questioning how our past is affecting our present.

No matter how much friends and loved ones convince us otherwise. Their words are hallow to us now and facetious to boot. We feel patronized because we want to see what the guys we pursue don’t like about us. We’ll listen to sad songs, write sad, dark poetry and darker clothes. We get angry at even the slightest mention of love, the one thing we crave with our entire being. All we crave is to feel anything other than this constant drive to fill this void placed in our hearts.

Single people aren’t the only ones that do this. If we’re in a relationship we are constantly evaluating if that relationship measures up to not only our standards but the standards of everyone else. Wondering how to spice things up and try new things. Speculating at how truthful those relationships that make everything seem easy when you have to put so much work into your own. Wondering why the passion has left your relationship. Maybe even if only for a minute wondering if the love has ended and you both settled for comfort.  Also, you’re wondering if he feels the same way. So the day of love becomes a critique of both yours and his performance up until this point.

I have been through all of these stages just like everyone else, especially when I first came out. So often we critique ourselves to our communities standards whether we blindly follow them or not. It resulted in bad hair experiments and excruciating muscle building regimes. Attempted a really bad clothing makeover. Stared at myself in the mirror off and on for hours readying myself for discovering something heinous that was preventing me from finding “the one”. Made a list and called my exes to see what I could’ve done differently. Secretly studying other happy couples seething at how effortlessly they made their relationship seem and comparing how my interactions with past loves measured up. Hey, I’m human just like everyone else.

I was examining what I’ve done right or did wrong in all aspects of my life for the pursuit of love. Wondering what other measures I could take to make myself more desirable both inside and out. Inspecting my body and my behavior to see what I thought others would see, through their eyes. I did this regardless of whether or not I was in a relationship or not. Constant speculation of failed relationships and lack of consistency when I had a boyfriend. All these negative thoughts about myself going round and round like a bad rhyme.

Then I remembered what love really was. How the beginning wraps you up in euphoria. How when he mentions your name you get week in the knees. How hearing his name can make your day infinitely better. The little things like small notes or buying your favorite brand of cereal to show you he cares. How kisses are electric and holding hands makes you feel immortal. How love gives you the strength you never thought you had. How you are more focused than ever on your dreams and making them come true for the both of you.

Or when after a long very difficult end to a relationship you are able to look at yourself in the mirror and smile. That even though you want love, your life is what you worked hard to make of it. That loved ones are there for you to make you laugh and smile. And even when you are not alone you are not lonely. All those moments came from confidence  They come not just from the fact that someone loves you, but also the belief that you are in fact worthy of love. And that you love yourself.

Both of those moments of strength came from self love. And as the depth of how I loved myself  grew so did the love I gave and received from others. The point of this is first to not let this day be a measurement of how successful you are in the arena of love. Too often, in the season of love, we forget to love ourselves because we are too busy evaluating what love is given to us. What constantly ask what kind of love we want in relationships, whether we’re looking for one or attempting to reinvent the one we’re currently in. Being single is not a weakness and being unhappy about some aspects of your relationships is not the end of love. And we should also remember to give the same kind of love we are seeking to ourselves.

 

Sex And The Social Media

I guess from the title you can tell where I got it from. But I must admit that I’m not an avid watcher or fan of Sex and the City. I don’t know if it’s customary for every gay man in existence to be able to quote every word or to even be able to embody a certain character. Maybe I’m being difficult with my subversion to labels but I’m trying to understand so I’ll go with it. And I was only half joking this idea on twitter but was surprised by the response of those that wanted me to write this, no matter how embarrassing for me it seems. So here it goes.

I took the past few days to familiarize myself with this cult classic that is so popular in the gay community. First off, I do know I’m no Carrie Bradshaw (obviously). I don’t live in the city that never sleeps. Fashion has never been something that I painstakenly examine and critique and I am probably the antithesis of glamour or style.

But like Carrie I am a romantic, hopeless or otherwise. I idealize love so much that sometimes I fail to recognize when real, authentic love is actually right in front of me. Missing signals and at the same time creating fire when there is none,all the while trying to find humor in the journey. But my question now becomes, can you find love and romance anywhere, and by anywhere I mean social media, like twitter, or even Grindr. Can love really strike anywhere?

well I’m a romantic so yes I believe you can find love anywhere, but how does it happen? Do the same steps take place that happen in real life? As gay men, we’re very visual when it comes to attraction and for some it all stops right there. That’s how we’re represented in the media and if I’m honest at times some of us do play into that. So a profile pick often serves as a definitive statement. But it’s love that we’re talking about here so looks are great but only relative.

You’d have to consider other things like what you have in common with each other. What kind of values does he hold himself and others accountable for (like leaving the cap off the toothpaste..and I am SO serious about that one). What is he passionate about and what does he want out of life. These are the same things we ask ourselves in real world scenarios too. We have to see if there’s a viable future if we begin to share our lives together. It sounds like this is harder to know when doing it through social media because more than likely dfistance is keeping you two apart. But I still believe possible but probably takes longer.

So the point basically is to examine whether love can truly be found via social media for the gay man. Maybe not even taking it to that level of love. Maybe just a genuine affection for one another despite not having the luxury 9f meeting each other yet. A real, sustaining, and amorous connection with someone whether it be distance or convenience is the question. Because we all know how easy it is to find a hookup as it doesn’t require much of anything but a location to meet up.

There’s a plethora of tips and advice of the does and don’ts all of pursuing love via the net.  It’s believed that this is how a significant number of us gay men meet significant others. There’s even coaches that specifically work with gay men to help guide you through providing helpful information. However, Gaylife.com seems to have the most rational and well thoughtout info for anyone even considering this as a possibility:

Get To Know Him First- this means  more than a first and last name. Make sure his information makes sense to you. I’ll add that getting another opinion from friends and loved ones is a good idea as well.

Protect Your Identity and Personal Information- DO NOT GIVE OUT INFO LIKE ADDRESS OR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER. Identity theft is real guys. Always protect it.

Leave a Trail- this is for when you actually have gotten to know him so tell someone if it ever advances to the point that you two met up

Get A Photo- again make sure he is who he says he is. 

Listen For Details-make sure the info he gives is consistent and don’t ever be afraid to ask questions. If he is hesitant to explain inconsistencies, he may have something to hide.

Meet In A Public Place- no dark allies or poorly lit clubs. Make sure you know the area.

Map An Exit- you can never be too cautious.

Know His Sexual History- this is important no matter how the two of you meet. Again, always protect yourself before doing anything. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Safety first.

I feel like there’s so much more to this topic than when I first began to write it. That there’s intricacies and nuances that I have barely scratched the surface on. I can list the tips and advice or even testimonials of those that have experienced this but it’s all subjective. I often vacillate with the notion but some feel it’s plausible.

But I do know one thing for sure that has come with great success and great failure in the arena of love. My own truth of finding love is that the most authentic thing one can do in the pursuit of romance or love is to be open to it. That no matter the venue or circumstance or position in life, always being open to the opportunity of love is what’s important. Worry about the where and how later.

How Long Does Gay Love Last? A Ridiculous Notion on Labels

When you fall in love, you always seem to remember the series of firsts you share. The first time he says something to makes you smile. The first song that makes you think of him. the first time  you lose all senses when your hands touch. The first late night stroll to unknown destinations while gazing upon the moon. The first time he says “I love you”. I’m certain that just the mention of is making you think of those first, just as I am while writing this.

Those moments stay fresh in the mind and all you can think of is forever with him. But how would you feel if someone told you that your love had an expiration date? That no matter what you did to foster communication and understanding that because of your sexuality, This love was on a clock that weould soon run out?

A few years ago in Time a man dissected his relationship with his partner to see if then being gay is what led to it’s downfall. The author ridiculously implies that through research that his relationship faltered because of their sexuality.What I find difficult to understand is did he ever question were the problems due to sexuality, or his absurd notion of what roles we serve in our relationships as gay men and women? To me,  it sounds like trying to be what he thought  one man has a dominant role while the other submissive is flawed.

Dr. Stuart F. Chen-Hayes an  Associate Professor of Counselor Education/School Counseling from National-Louis University  porvides a guide on dispelling  the myths surrounding gay s and lesbians in relationships.  Dr. Chen-Hayes discusses how LGB relationships have many if not almost all the same challenges and triumphs of straight couples.  It implies that sexuality effects the relationships of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals just as much as as in straight  relationships.

Even the title to this entry is so ridiculous to me . How can someone ever put a limit or encompass the experience of love onto someone? Could you imagine being told that your relationship has a time limit because of your sexuality? I’m sure those that oppose gay anything will try to breakdown every minute detail and stage of a gay relationship in order to make arguments that our relationships don’t last.

Studies on gay relationships is relatively new. But hopefully more research will reveal or label that our relationships are no different then straight couples. They can point out things you may not have realized that affect a relationship, But a study can’t tell you how to be yourself or measure hw long ANY love last between two people. In my not too important opinion, the only thing that determines how long love last is the two people in love. Sexuality is not a variant on how long a relationship can last.