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.”

Out Olympian Adam Rippon Is Engaged!

Olympic bronze medalist Adam Rippon has announced he and his longtime boyfriend have become engaged
Adam Rippon (right) and Jussi-Pekka Kajaala are engaged (image via Instagram/Adam Rippon)

Out Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon has announced the happy news that he and his longtime boo Jussi-Pekka ‘JP’ Kajaala are now engaged.

“JP and I didn’t get to see each other for almost all of 2020 because of the pandemic,” said in a post on Instagram. “When there was finally a chance for me to go and see him in Finland, I jumped at it. I was there for a little over two months.”

Amid sharing jokes, shoveling snow, binge-watching The Crown, and even booting up for a little skating, “We bought ourselves some rings and said that magic word.. ‘duh!’ We got engaged.”

“I’m excited to marry JP because he’s just the best,” Rippon tells PEOPLE in an statement. “He’s kind, he’s funny, and he’s just as beautiful on the inside as he is on the out (which is a lot). He’s my cheerleader and I’m his. I just love him a lot.”

Leading up to the big moment, Rippon says the couple “did everything together.” They bought the rings together, picked them up together, and even simultaneously dropped down to a knee and popped the question in unison so they could both “be the one who proposed.”

“We went to a nice dinner and we did it at the same time,” the 31-year-old athlete told Good Morning America. “We did three, two, one, and we put the rings on.”

Rippon became a household name during the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he scored a bronze medal as part of Team USA. As a result, he became the first openly gay U.S. athlete to medal at the Olympics – and playfully declared himself ‘America’s sweetheart.’

It was while competing abroad that Rippon met his future fiancé on Tinder.

Since that time, the couple has been out and proud about their relationship.  Kajaala has appeared with Rippon on red carpets at events and shared moments on each others Instagram accounts.

Rippon, a longtime LGBTQ activist, says the exposure was done with a purpose.

“I think that representation and seeing people in different circumstances can help inspire,” he told GMA. “I think growing up, I never really saw myself getting married because I didn’t see how it would happen.”

“It was with JP, the first time I thought, ‘Oh yeah, I know the feeling I can marry somebody,’” he added.

The couple hasn’t picked a date yet, but Rippon says he’d be happy with a small, non-Olympic sized ceremony.

“I think what we are just going to do is wear some cool clothes, go to the courthouse, get married, come home and maybe go to Houston Steakhouse after and that will be that.”

Congratulations to the happy couple!

Former WWE Star Comes Out As Transgender Woman

Gabbi Alon Tuft
Former WWE star comes out as transgender in a deeply personal social media post.
Gabbi Alon Tuft (image via Instagram)

A former WWE wrestling star, who performed under the stage name ‘Tyler Reks,’ has come out as transgender. This is Gabbi Alon Tuft.

She shared the news with fans in a social media post on Thursday writing, “This is me. Unashamed, unabashedly me. This is the side of me that has hidden in the shadows, afraid and fearful of what the world would think; afraid of what my family, friends, and followers would say or do.”

“I am no longer afraid and I am no longer fearful,” she adds. “I can now say with confidence, that I love myself for WHO I am.”

“However,” she said, “the day I stopped caring about what other people thought, was the day I truly became limitless and allowed my authentic self to come into the light.”

From 2008 to 2014, Tuft was cheered by fans battling opponents in matches on major professional platforms including Raw, Smackdown and Wrestlemania.

Tuft finally retired in 2014 in order to spend more time with her wife Priscilla and their daughter. Since then, she and Priscilla created a fitness company, Body Spartan, which aims to “positively transform the body, mind and spirit of men and women through targeted video workouts, nutritional programs and motivational sessions.”

While that was the public side of Tuft’s life, privately she had been keeping a secret since childhood.

In an interview with EXTRA’s Billy Bush, she shared, “When I was 10… when my parents weren’t home, I would sneak into my mom’s closet and try out her clothes and it just felt right. But I suppressed it my whole life, just because of society, knowing that people didn’t accept it. So I pushed it down as far as I could.”

Tuft teased the announcement for several days on her Instagram account in a countdown featuring playing cards and photos of friends and family.

After calling the previous eight months “some of the darkest” of her life, Tuft thanked fans and social media followers today for “the incredible outpouring of support.”

“As I walked to my neighbor’s house yesterday, and for the first time since I began my transition, instead of walking with my head down in fear – I held it high, my fingers were no longer clenched and hiding my nails, and my hair was no longer hiding my face,” she wrote. “You have reaffirmed what I already knew, which is that we as humans truly are beings of love and light.”

The world of professional wrestling has seen very little in regard to performers coming out. In 2017, Anthony Bowens came out first as bisexual, and then as gay in 2019.

Top 10 Off-Kilter Things Said To Gay Dads

Two gay dads and their son
Two gay dads and their son
(stock photo via Depositphotos)

Ah, the things said to gay dads…

Robin Morgan-Bentley, a senior manager at Audible, and his husband became parents this past year. He shared via his Twitter account some of the somewhat awkward comments they’ve received as gay dads.

“Top 10 things actual people have said to me and my husband this year, as new gay dads,” writes the proud dad.

Some of the remarks are harmless but show a cluelessness: “Oh it’s lads’ day out today! So cute. Is mummy having the day off?”

There’s the eternal “Which of you is the real dad?”

Umm, they are both ‘real dads…’

Many folks seem to wonder about the absence of the child’s mother: “Is the mum still involved? It must be so hard for her”

Some people seem to think the year that was 2020 along with the pandemic might have a lasting effect on the boy.

There were those who apparently offered to help with the little guy:

But the oddest remark the dads encountered was a woman whose offer to help raised some eyebrows:

Clearly the men took it all in stride, and like good dads let their adorable little guy have the last word.

Folks in the Twitterverse acknowledged the awkwardness of the remarks but for the most part focused on the happiness being parents can bring.

Related – Teacher rants to student: Why would you be thankful for being adopted by gay dads?

Before Dating Apps Like Grindr There Was…The Hanky Code

What would the hanky code say about a red bandana in your right back pocket
(photo via Depositphotos)

On a Throwback Thursday note, I was recently reminded of the so-called Hanky code used predominately by gay men in the 1970s and 1980s as a method of sexual signaling.

Before we had dating apps like Scruff and Grindr to pretty much ‘lay it all out there’ in terms of what sexual practice, fetish or role one preferred, there was the hanky code. The practice was also referred to as the ‘bandana code’ or flagging.

Basically, men would stuff a colored bandana in their back pocket – left position meant you liked to take the top bunk or dominant role while right pocket wearers were letting the world know they preferred being on the receiving/passive side of the spectrum.

And there was a whole rainbow of interests to express interest in.

Stores that catered to gay men would sell a variety of bandanas along with free decoder lists so guys could make sure they were sending the appropriate signal.

A red hanky indicated an interest in fisting; light blue meant someone might be on the hunt for oral sex; a yellow bandana was a pretty obvious signal for watersports; and green would act as an advertisement for hustlers.

An early version of the hanky code
(screen capture via Wikipedia)

Of course, there was always the chance that a newbie gay might think the hanky thing was just a cool fashion choice. Inevitably, though, a friend would let them know what that brown bandana hanging from their right belt loop really meant.

Eventually, the hanky code became quite an extensive list of hues and shades differentiating to such a degree as to separate light blue, robin’s egg blue, teal blue and navy blue. It practically became its own language.

As time went on the hanky code became quite extensive in colors and shades
(image via Penn StateCC BY-SA 4.0 License)

Some credit a journalist for the Village Voice in early 1971 for coming up with the system while others say Alan Selby, founder of Mr. S Leather in San Francisco, created the first hanky code as a way to sell an accidental over-shipment of bandanas he received.

According to The History Project, the hanky code was predominately used early on by gay men interested in the BDSM movement or the leather subculture. But it soon started to spread into the queer mainstream by the 1970s.

But the nonverbal shorthand began to fall out of favor in the 1980s as anonymous sex habits grew to be frowned upon thanks to the HIV/AIDS epidemic and its devastating effects on our community.

Most trends tend to evolve over time, though, and by the 1990s a black and white checked bandana became a way to flag someone as embracing safe sex practices and HIV awareness.

As we moved into the digital age, with increased embracing of the internet, use of the hanky code eventually faded as more overt fashion choices regarding sexual predilections emerged in the gay community like leather harnesses, collars, and more.

But the hanky code is important to remember as a part of LGBTQ history beginning in the 1970s as we grew more confident about signaling not only our identity and visibility in public but also reflecting the queer zeitgeist through the years.

(photo: Muzzlesf, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons)

(h/t BosGuy)

Nurse Gets COVID, Raises $20K For Medical Bills, Then Heads Back To Parties?

Mike Schultz before and after COVID-19 in May 2020
(via Instagram)

You might remember Mike Schultz, a male nurse who got COVID last May after attending a circuit party, and shared photos of his drastic weight loss after weeks of battling the disease.

At the time, Schultz told BuzzFeed News:

I knew what I thought going in [about the coronavirus]. I didn’t think it was as serious as it was until after things started happening. I thought I was young enough for it not to affect me, and I know a lot of people think that.

I wanted to show it can happen to anyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, have preexisting conditions or not. It can affect you.

A GoFundMe campaign was set up to assist with his medical recovery bills. The crowdfunding effort raised over $20,000 shattering the initial $15,000 goal.

Mike Schultz scored over $20,000 in a GoFundMe campaign after contracting COVID-19

So, that might have been the end of the story – guy gets sick, fellow humans help him out – yay!

Except it appears Schultz headed back to the party scene shortly after recovering. And he recently expressed his enthusiasm for the New Year’s events that were planned in Puerto Vallarta for the circuit gays.

Mike Schultz was excited to head to Puerto Vallarta back in December

Some on Twitter now say Schultz denies going to PV but it certainly got some folks riled up that a healthcare professional, who had gone through COVID-19 (and received $20K from folks via GoFundMe) would consider heading back to the circuit scene for seconds.

In fact, the Instagram account GaysOverCovid, which has been highlighting irresponsible behavior by certain gays during the pandemic, has gotten under folks’ skin.

This weekend some circuit gays were promoting a reward on the Facebook group CircuitBitch for anyone who could ‘out’ the person running GaysOverCovid. According to reports, though, the post has been removed at this time.

Reward offered for outing GaysOverCovid

Schultz apparently chimed in on the conversation saying he might have a lead on who GaysOverCovid might be.

He also took his Instagram account private while adding, “Cyberbullying will not be tolerated.”

Things that make you go ‘hmm…’

Schultz commented that he might have a lead as to who GaysOverCovid might be

TheBearded_Nurse took his Instagram account private after being called out for heading back to the party circuit

(h/t Instinct)

Gay Party Boat In Puerto Vallarta Goes Down (And Not In A Good Way)

The gay party boat in Puerto Vallarta sank on New Year's Eve with 60 passengers onboard
The gay party boat in Puerto Vallarta sank on New Year's Eve with 60 passengers onboard
(image via OutAndAboutPV/Emilio Blanco)

I just saw on Twitter the gay party boat, PV Delice, that goes out on the ocean for hours as the gays merrily drink, drink, drink apparently capsized and sank to the bottom of the ocean.

The trouble began at about 5 pm on Thursday according to OutAndAboutPV. The boat, carrying approximately 60 people had begun its trip back to the dock when the boat took on water.

Emilio Blanco, visiting from Chicago, Illinois, shared photos from the disaster telling OutAndAboutPV, “It was like the Titanic, it went all down slowly.”

Blanco said he wasn’t sure what caused the gay party boat to go down, but did note that the ocean was “a bit choppy.”

Promotional image for gay party cruise

“I think the crew just didn’t know how to maneuver the catamaran very well,” he added. “We were about to sail back to Puerto Vallarta, but the catamaran barely moved.”

Fortunately, ten small boats responded to an SOS and showed up in time to help rescue passengers. Blanco shared that fortunately there were no injuries or deaths.

OutAndAboutPV reached out to the operators of PV Delice for comment but hasn’t heard back yet.

It’s been quite the week for the party gays in PV as Jeffrey Sanker’s annual White Party quietly went undercover and moved to a new location after the coronavirus surged in Puerto Vallarta.

A representative from Puerto Vallarta’s tourism board contacted me to let me know that the subsequent beach parties at Mantamar Beach Club, which were part of the Sanker extravaganza, were also canceled.

 

Circuit Gays At It Again, This Time Down In Rio

Rio's Revolution circuit party before the event was shut down
Rio's Revolution circuit party before the event was shut down
(screen capture via Instagram)

Circuit gays from all over the world found themselves party-free on Tuesday night when officials in Rio de Janeiro shut down the Festa Revolution event due to violations regarding health guidelines regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Globo News reports that approximately 2,000 attendees were ejected from the Faro Beach Club when the fire department determined the event had not been approved. While the organizer’s website communicated that health protocols would be followed photos and videos shared on social media clearly showed hardly any face masks to be seen.

And social distancing? Forget about it…

The Instagram account GaysOverCovid, which shares posts of gay men ignoring COVID restrictions, posted video of the event in full swing followed by officials shutting the party down.

The caption on Instagram read, “Revolution: ‘A sudden, complete, or marked change.’ The @revolutionparty in Rio got a revolution of their own tonight. Brazil ain’t playing. They Shut 👏🏻 It 👏🏻 Down. Now go home queens, and quarantine.”

GaysOverCovid also shared photos in their Instagram stories from the event posted throughout the day.

As you can see in the pics, there’s hardly a face mask to be found and folks are seriously not social distancing.

Rio's Revolution circuit party
(screen capture)

The party before canceled

Folks on Twitter also had some opinions about the possible super-spreader event.

One Twitter user shared video from a beach event with barely a face mask in sight. The clip was accompanied by the caption, “MY GOD! Look at CoronaFest that is happening THIS INSTANT in Rio !!! Revolution by Rosane Amaral. CARALEO, NO ONE WILL DO NADAAAAAAA ????”

A notice on Festa Revolution’s Facebook page posted today shared with followers the organizers had been evaluating and studying COVID-19 statistics since March, and in October the rate of infections appeared to be heading downward (according to the statement). In light of that, at the time, the organizers hoped to hold their annual party.

“However, due to the municipal decree published by the official city daily of the City of Rio de Janeiro on December 28, 2020 nº 48.322 in article 10, which provides that any license that was still pending authorization could no longer be issued, we have come to inform that the Revolution Party and The Original Brazilian Pool Party are temporarily DELAYED,” read the statement via Google Translate.

Continuing, the organizers cited Law No. 14.046/2020, “which states that organizers are dismissed from immediately refunding the values paid by consumers for reservations or events, shows and shows not held, we will make available the value of the ticket purchased in the form of a CREDIT for use in event future to be booked up to 24 months after the end of public calamity state.”

In related news, yesterday I reported about a similar event, White Party Puerto Vallarta, set to begin today. No word on if any changes in schedule have been made

According to Globo News, Brazil has recorded 7,577,890 cases of coronavirus and 192,716 deaths from COVID-19. In the past 24 hours alone, 1,075 deaths were added to the mounting death toll.

(source: Instagram)