Biden & Emhoff Make Appearances During ‘It Gets Better’ Digital Pride

President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden
President Joe Biden makes appearance during It Gets Better Pride event

President Joe Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff each shared special messages for LGBTQ+ youth to remind them that they are not alone during today’s ‘It Gets Better: A Digital Pride Experience.’

“My administration, the Biden administration, will always stick up for you,” Biden told viewers. “We are committed to advancing equality. In the classroom, on the sports fields, at work, in our military, in our housing, in our healthcare system — everywhere — equity.”

The president also noted LGBTQ Americans he’s appointed to high level leadership roles including the first openly gay Cabinet Secretary, Pete Buttigieg and the first transgender person confirmed by the United States Senate, Dr. Rachel Levine.

This is not President Biden’s first video for the It Gets Better Project. In 2010, when the It Gets Better campaign was just getting its start in response to a string of suicides from LGBTQ+ youth, the then Vice President shared inspirational words and a message of support for the LGBTQ+ community — see his original video here.

Second Gentlemen Doug Emhoff told viewers: “When times are tough and the whole world feels like it’s closing in, the best thing you can do for yourself is just reach out to someone. Being strong, being brave, is to know when to ask for support.”

Emhoff added: “I promise you, there are people out there who love you just as you are — people who recognize that the qualities that make you unique and special are the characteristics that make our whole society beautiful and diverse… don’t ever feel like you’re in this by yourself because you’re not. Remember: it will get better.”

For the last decade, the It Gets Better Project has upheld a mission to empower, uplight and inspire the next generation of LGBTQ+ youth.

In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the organization celebrated Pride by hosting their first digital Pride event which garnered over 1.3M impressions. This year, they aim to reach even more LGBTQ+ youth around the globe while promoting and securing funds to sustain the life-affirming services the organization provides.

The 2021 talent line up features appearances by Kalen Allen, Mj Rodriguez, Laverne Cox, Aly & AJ, Zachary Quinto, Vincint, and Pabllo Vittar among others. Day One streamed live from the organization’s YouTube channel today, Wednesday, June 23rd and Day Two will air tomorrow, Thursday, June 24th from 11:00 AM PT – 3:00 PM PT.

 

Michael Henry On Gay Couples Who Look Alike

Michael Fariss plays twin roles in Michael Henry's new short film 'Twin F**ks'
Michael Fariss plays twin roles in Michael Henry's new short film 'Twin F**ks'
Michael Fariss (screen captures via YouTube)

Have you ever noticed some gay couples look like they are dating twin versions of themselves?

Some folks might use the term ‘doppelbangers’ but funny man Michael Henry has his own term for the scenario.

In his new short film, Henry is out walking in the park with Frank (Michael Fariss) who shares the news that he’s seeing someone new who is nothing like his usual boyfriends.

Declaring he’s totally over the “generic WeHo type,” Frank describes his new boo Hank as “rough around the edges,” “exotic,” and having “extra ‘cushion for the pushin.’”

But when Hank arrives, Henry can’t hide his reaction: ‘Y’all are twin f**ks! Clone twins! Doppelgängers!”

Funny man Michael Henry
Michael Henry (screen capture)

However, the new beaus completely disagree. Hank points out that Frank wears glasses, and Frank points to Hank’s scruff as another defining difference.

Henry’s take is that gays who dates guys who look like themselves are narcissists who just want to have sex with themselves.

Again, Hank & Frank contend they are ‘different.’

“Hank is fat,” whispers Frank. “He’s 185 and I’m 182.”

“And I wear hats,” Hank points out.

Cue the Elaine Stritch quote…

It is true that some gays are attracted to guys who might have similar tastes in clothes or grooming. But sometimes, current fads and fashions could play a part in the ‘twin’ equation, no?

What do you think, readers? Is it narcissistic to date someone who might look similar to yourself? Or is it just coincidence when a gay couple seems like twins?

Let me know in the comments section.

Biden Issues First Proclamation Recognizing Transgender Day Of Visibility

President Joe Biden signs documents in the Oval Office
President Joe Biden signs documents in the Oval Office
President Joe Biden (photo: public domain)

Acknowledging that “transgender Americans make our Nation more prosperous, vibrant, and strong,” Joe Biden becomes the first occupant of the Oval Office to issue a presidential proclamation recognizing Transgender Day of Visibility.

From the White House:

Today, we honor and celebrate the achievements and resiliency of transgender individuals and communities. Transgender Day of Visibility recognizes the generations of struggle, activism, and courage that have brought our country closer to full equality for transgender and gender non-binary people in the United States and around the world. Their trailblazing work has given countless transgender individuals the bravery to live openly and authentically. This hard-fought progress is also shaping an increasingly accepting world in which peers at school, teammates and coaches on the playing field, colleagues at work, and allies in every corner of society are standing in support and solidarity with the transgender community.

In spite of our progress in advancing civil rights for LGBTQ+ Americans, too many transgender people — adults and youth alike — still face systemic barriers to freedom and equality. Transgender Americans of all ages face high rates of violence, harassment, and discrimination. Nearly one in three transgender Americans have experienced homelessness at some point in life. Transgender Americans continue to face discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and public accommodations. The crisis of violence against transgender women, especially transgender women of color, is a stain on our Nation’s conscience.

The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to fulfilling the promise of America for all Americans by stamping out discrimination and delivering freedom and equality for all.

To ensure that the Federal Government protects the civil rights of transgender Americans, I signed, on my first day in office, an Executive Order on Preventing and Combating Discrimination on the Basis of Gender Identity or Sexual Orientation. Today, we are proud to celebrate Transgender Day of Visibility alongside barrier-breaking public servants, including the first openly transgender American to be confirmed by the United States Senate, and alongside patriotic transgender service members, who are once again able to proudly and openly serve their country. We also celebrate together with transgender Americans across the country who will benefit from our efforts to stop discrimination and advance inclusion for transgender Americans in housing, in credit and lending services, in the care we provide for our veterans, and more.

To more fully protect the civil rights of transgender Americans, we must pass the Equality Act and provide long overdue Federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act will deliver legal protections for LGBTQ+ Americans in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems. It will serve as a lasting legacy to the bravery and fortitude of the LGBTQ+ movement.

Vice President Harris and I affirm that transgender Americans make our Nation more prosperous, vibrant, and strong. I urge my fellow Americans to join us in uplifting the worth and dignity of every transgender person.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim March 31, 2021, as Transgender Day of Visibility. I call upon all Americans to join in the fight for full equality for all transgender people.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of March, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.

JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

Michael Henry: Which Is A Bigger Turn On – Confidence Or Vulnerability?

Funny/smart guy Michael Henry
Funny/smart guy Michael Henry
Michael Henry (screen capture)

During a perfectly socially-distanced afternoon in the park, funny guy Michael Henry has a question for John Hartman about the men he’s attracted to.

Before Henry can get to the question, though, we find out Hartman has an ‘issue’ with oversharing on a range of topics including erectile dysfunction, never tipping bartenders, and flatulence in libraries.

Anyway…

Henry is specifically curious to know if men’s confidence is a turn on for Hartman.

“The reason why I ask is because a good friend of mine told me his number one turn-on when it comes to men is confidence,” explains Henry. “And I thought, ’No, no, no, no, no, no.’”

But Hartman lands on the other side of this spectrum: “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, dummy. Who doesn’t love a confident man?”

Apparently, not Henry. Which leads Hartman to flip the script and ask, “What do you like then? Insecure, emotionally damaged men…like you?”

Ouch…

The discussion quickly turns into a pros and cons comparison of confidence vs. vulnerability. Henry finds men who are sure of themselves in work and life just fine, but really digs guys who are insecure about those things, too.

John Hartman
John Hartman (screen capture)

“Weirdo – I don’t want to hear about his insecurities,” says Hartman. “Don’t tell me you’re uncomfortable with your bald spot or your weight gain. Own it!”

“Nothing makes my d*ck more limp than a guy whining about his misfortunes,” he adds.

Hartman admits he’s drawn to a more stereotypic kind of guy as he rattles off qualities like “assertive,” “sturdy,” an achiever of “big things” with a deep voice, a beard and a three-piece suit…although now the conversation is more about masculinity and not confidence.

Obviously, attraction is more than a simple ‘this’ or ‘that’ equation. But Henry raises a valid question about how and what gay men find to be a turn-on.

I have to admit I’ve said for years confidence (not cockiness) is a definite turn-on for me.

Let me know in the comment section, readers – where does confidence land on your dating spectrum?

You can find more coverage of Michael Henry’s short queries on queer life here.

Protestant Adoption Agency Will Now Work With Same-Sex Couples

a lesbian couple with their child
a lesbian couple with their child
(image via iStock Photo)

Good news for same-sex couples considering adoption as the largest Protestant adoption and foster agency in the U.S. has announced it will now work with LGBTQ parents.

From The Hill:

The largest Protestant adoption and foster agency in the country has decided to open up its services to LGBTQ parents nationwide, a win for same-sex couples as several religious agencies have declined them services in the past, the company announced to staff Monday.

Chris Palusky, the president and chief executive of Bethany Christian Services, informed staff of the evangelical organization that the change would go into effect immediately, according to an email obtained by The New York Times. The adjustment comes as several cities and states have mandated that adoption agencies accept same-sex parents in order to receive government funding.

Previously, the Michigan-based organization in most states referred LGBTQ parents to different agencies, although the process was not official, Bethany leaders told the Times.

Read the full article here.

Top 10 U.S. Cities With Same-Sex Families

A gay couple with child
A gay couple with child
(image via Depositphotos)

A new report by the U.S. Census Bureau has crunched the numbers regarding the statistics on same-sex couple households in the nation.

First, the data shows there are about 980,000 same-sex households in the U.S. Of those, 58% were married and 42% were unmarried partners.

Among both the married and unmarried same-sex couples, there were more lesbian couples than gay couples.

The national average of same-sex households broken down by states is 1.5% with eleven states and the District of Columbia having higher percentages.

Washington, D.C. had the highest concentration in the country with 7.1% followed by Delaware (2.3%) and Oregon (2.2%) in the second and third positions.

Map of the U.S. showing concentration of same-sex households
(graphics via US Census Bureau)

The top 10 cities with the highest percentage of same-sex couples:

1. San Francisco, California
2. Portland, Oregon
3. Seattle, Washington
4. Orlando, Florida
5. Austin, Texas
6. Miami, Florida
7. Boston, Massachusetts
8. Denver, Colorado
9. Phoenix, Arizona
10. Baltimore, Maryland

AP News noted that three of the country’s largest metropolitan areas – New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago – didn’t make the top 10 list. While those cities have highly visible LGBTQ communities, due to the vast size of those metro areas the concentration of gay/lesbian households becomes diluted.

Gallup: More Americans Identify As LGBT Than Ever Before

Rainbow flags waving at LGBTQ Pride event

Rainbow flags waving at LGBTQ Pride event

New polling from Gallup shows 5.6% of adults in the U.S. identify as LGBT. That’s an increase from 4.5% shown in Gallup’s previous 2017 survey.

Currently, 86.7% of Americans say they are heterosexual or straight, and 7.6% do not answer the question about their sexual orientation. Gallup’s 2012-2017 data had roughly 5% “no opinion” responses.

Based on 15,000 interviews of Americans 18 or older, the identity question has been updated to allow respondents to indicate their precise sexual orientation. Previously, respondents could merely answer yes or no as to whether they identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

(graphic via Gallup)

Among LGBT adults – 54.6% identify as bisexual, 24.5% say they are gay, 11.7% raise their hands as lesbian, and 11.3% as transgender.

An additional 3.3% volunteer another non-heterosexual preference or term to describe their sexual orientation, such as queer or same-gender-loving.

Gallup notes that “younger generations are far more likely to consider themselves to be something other than heterosexual.”

This includes about one in six adult members of Generation Z (those aged 18 to 23 in 2020).

(graphic via Gallup)

Read more at Gallup.

Grindr Poll: How Has COVID Affected Your ‘Social’ Behaviors?

The popular gay dating app Grindr asked 10,000 users in the U.S., Brazil, Mexico, and India how their ‘socializing’ behaviors have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Just some of the results of the poll:

• 88% say discussing COVID safety helped them make a decision about whether or not to meet up with someone

• 69% say they’ve watched more porn

• 64% say they’ve been more likely to try new socially distant ways of meeting up

• 58% say they’re more interested in a long term relationship than they were before the pandemic

• 31% say they’ve hooked up with a mask on

• 71% say trading pictures and videos on Grindr helped them get off during the pandemic

• 59% of users say their sex drive has increased during the pandemic

• 48% say they’ve hooked up virtually during the pandemic

Head over to Grindr’s blog for more results from the survey.

Who’s been on Grindr lately? (stock image via Depositphotos)

Michael Henry: Straight Social Media Hunks Playing To The Gays

Is it wrong when straight social media influencers play to the gays for clicks?
Is it wrong when straight social media influencers play to the gays for clicks?
L-R Franko Stevens, Bryan Anderson (screen captures)

Michael Henry and Jeremy Howard are enjoying a perfectly social distanced walk in the park when they come upon a couple of “homiesexuals.” You know, the guys who like to “push the limits of their friendships together” on social media.

Wut?

To Henry, the hot straight dudes on Instagram or TikTok who show off their wares for clicks and follows are “gay baiting.”

But all Howard sees is just “a straight guy who takes videos with other straight guys in homoerotic situations for gay men’s attention, validation, and social media engagement purposes.”

Hmm…

Henry translates that as “following a TikTok trend” but Howard is a bit more generous.

“I think that what they are doing is showing that being gay is interesting, cool, and trendy,” says a clearly enthralled Howard.

Jeremy Howard and Michael Henry disagree on ‘homiesexuals’ (screen captures)

Henry wonders if that’s basically a form of cultural appropriation, but Howard disagrees (until he doesn’t).

“They’re just privileged people who are co-opting queer culture for their own use, benefit, and financial gain,” explains an increasingly moist Howard. “And it helps that they are so hot.”

Umm…

Clearly, a point is being made here. We all know there are lots of gay men who follow certain InstaHunks for the momentary eye-candy. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Sometimes, though, finding out one of these hotties is straight and clearly playing to the gays for their own gain (more followers = more endorsement deals) can burst a bit of the Insta-Illusion.

Tell us what you think, readers. Do straight social media figures who play up to queer men make a “joke” of the community, or are they “destigmatizing straight men being affectionate with each other?”

Or a combination of both?

By the way, Henry adds a disclaimer on YouTube: “The men playing the straight influencers (Franko Stevens and Bryan Anderson) are actually partners who live together which is why I felt comfortable having them be in close quarters with each other.”