Scottish Soccer Player Zander Murray Comes Out + More LGBTQ News

Scottish soccer player Zander Murray comes out as gay
Zander Murray (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

Instinct Magazine: Scottish soccer player Zander Murray came out as gay over the weekend. The 30-year-old says being in the closet really wrecked havoc on his mental health.

But after attending a Pride event in Spain he noted, “The vibe was brilliant, and everyone was just being free and happy, and it was great to just be me.” Congratulations, Zander! Continue reading “Scottish Soccer Player Zander Murray Comes Out + More LGBTQ News”

TX Gov Blames Shootings On Mental Health But Cut $211M From HHS

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott put the blame for mass shootings directly on mental health issues in his state, but didn't mention cutting $211 million from the agency that oversees mental health in Texas.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott put the blame for mass shootings directly on mental health issues – not guns – after the deadly school shooting in Uvalde.

What he didn’t mention, though, was just a month before he had cut $211 million from the state department that oversees such services in the Lone Star state. Continue reading “TX Gov Blames Shootings On Mental Health But Cut $211M From HHS”

Buckingham Palace Breaks Silence After Prince Harry & Meghan Interview

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions)

After a compelling interview by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with Oprah Winfrey, Buckingham Palace has finally broken its silence after two days.

From the New York Times:

Buckingham Palace broke nearly 48 hours of silence Tuesday about a bombshell interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, saying “the whole royal family is saddened” and expressing concern about the issue of racism the couple had raised.

Assertions that a member of the royal family had raised concerns about the skin color of the couple’s son, Archie, and that a desperate Meghan had contemplated suicide dominated national discussion in Britain, where the interview with Oprah Winfrey was broadcast Monday evening.

On Tuesday, Piers Morgan, the co-host of “Good Morning Britain” on ITV news, who came under attack for saying he “didn’t believe a word” of the interview, resigned, the network said. Britain’s communications regulator received more than 41,000 complaints about his comment, it said.

Read the full article.

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

Congress is considering legislation that would require internet platforms to allow an algorithm-free version of the platform.

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)

Let’s All Say It Together – #EFF2020

I have to admit up front that I normally despise people doing the middle finger ‘f*ck you’ thing. It usually feels so base and so classless.

But, for weeks now, my fatigue and loathing for the year 2020 have been growing exponentially.

I don’t think I’ve ever noticed a single year being so incredibly full of bad news. And I know I’m not alone.

Check out these folks who indulge themselves in a bit of well-earned mental health self-care by expressing their thoughts on how 2020 has impacted them – from school closings to toilet paper hoarders, to lost loved ones, to the long list of ‘Karens’ we’ve endured during the pandemic and more.

Note – adult language here #duh

(h/t Boy Culture)

What Is The ‘Man Box’ And Do You Want To Be In It?

(stock image via Depositphotos)

A new study (published today in Preventative Medicine) found those men who hold more rigid beliefs about masculinity – including attitudes about acting tough, hypersexuality and homophobia – also tend toward bullying, sexual harassment, depression, and suicidal thoughts.

The researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children’s Hospital based their study on the “Man Box” report from 2017 conducted by Promundo, a global consortium that works to promote gender equality.

In the 1980s, activist Paul Kivel developed the “Act Like a Man Box” as a way to help men discuss how society can place pressures on men to act a certain way. Men “in the Man Box” are those who most internalize messages of having to ‘be tough’ in life or being hyper-dominant in sexual roles. Young men “outside the Man Box” are those who have broken out of the box and reject these ideas.

Dr. Robert Coulter, one of the new study’s co-authors, told Business Insider that for the purposes of their study, the “man box” is defined as a “rigid set of beliefs that men have to ascribe to in order to be a proper man.”

The 3,600+ male participants, aged 18-30, in the U.S., Mexico, and the U.K. were asked to rank on a scale of 1 to 4 (from “strongly disagree” to “strongly agree”) 15 statements regarding attitudes on self-sufficiency, hypersexuality, sexual prowess, gender roles, and homophobia.

Some of the statements included:

• “It is not good for a boy to be taught how to cook, sew, clean the house and take care of younger children”

• “Men should use violence to get respect, if necessary”

• “A ‘real man’ would never say no to sex”

• “A guy who spends a lot of time on his looks isn’t very manly”

The researchers found higher scores on the “man box” scale often indicated higher levels of verbal, online, or physical bullying as well as sexual harassment.

Additionally, men who landed higher on the “man box” scale were twice as likely to admit experiencing depression and/or suicidal thoughts.

The five statements that had the strongest associations with violence and poor mental health were:

1. A man shouldn’t have to do household chores.
2. Men should use violence to get respect if necessary.
3. A real man should have as many sexual partners as he can.
4. A man who talks a lot about his worries, fears, and problems shouldn’t really get respect.
5. A gay guy is not a “real man.”

In regard to that fourth statement, it makes sense that men who repress or tamp down personal concerns or emotions would be more likely to experience challenges in terms of mental health.

Dr. Coulter told Business Insider his research team was “quite surprised to see harmful masculinity is associated with negative outcomes (like depression and suicidal thoughts) for the men themselves.”

‘Harmful masculinity,’ sometimes referred to as ‘toxic masculinity,’ can be defined as damaging beliefs that can lead to strict, controlling, heteronormative and violent norms about what constitutes a ‘real man.’

The research team hopes their “man box” scale might be a tool for health care providers and public health workers to help “measure progress toward changing harmful stereotypes and advancing both gender equality and healthier versions of masculinity.”

(source: Business Insider)

Out Music: Paul Middleton ‘When Love Takes Over’

Out singer/songwriter Paul Middleton

In the wake of Pride festivals and celebrations around the world being canceled during Pride month, out UK singer Paul Middleton lifts spirits with an all-new cover of the Kelly Rowland and David Guetta hit track, ‘When Love Takes Over’ with a Pride-themed music video to celebrate Pride Month.

From Middleton:

With pride canceled and with the lockdown affecting everyone, I tried to capture what made people happy in their day to day lives and connect to the lyrics of the song.

From a mental health approach, we all have gone through tough times together. I wanted this video to show that by doing something positive and healthy for yourself it can have a great knock on effect.

From a pride perspective, I wanted to capture the colourful diversity and beauty in the scene. I am so grateful to these beautiful people that gave their time for this video. When love does take over – great things happen to you.

“When Love Takes Over” is now available to stream/download on all digital download sites.