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February 2017

Why Aren't Heterosexuals Designated as SWSMBTQ?

Puzzled man

 

I scratch my head over the acronym LGBTQ because, like an "Everything" bagel, it seems to have all sorts of conditions attached to it.  "Straight", however, is left unadulterated.  In our era of political correctness how have heterosexuals escaped being referred to as SWSM?  And which governing body had the power to change the simple descriptor of "Gay" to alphabet soup?  For instance, why is, 'B' (bi-sexual) and 'Q' (questioning), part of LGBTQ, but not Straight?  After all, these letters indicate a person is uncertain, so shouldn't they fall into both sexual orientation camps?

 

Everything bagel

 

And as far as the 'T' (transsexual) is concerned, why is it attached only to LGBTQ - or not given its own standalone designation?  As I understand it, if a person transitions to the other gender, the gender they're attracted to doesn't also flip (going on the assumption that sexual orientation isn't a choice).  So, shouldn't hetero Tommy, whose girlfriend is hetero Sally, now be considered gay when he transitions to Tammy?  (Unless pre-transition Tommy was closeted and decided that becoming a woman was easier than coming out - Caitlyn Jenner, anyone?)  Likewise, when gay Greg, whose boyfriend is Esteban, transitions to Gerta, isn't she now straight?

 

Lgbtq 

 

It just seems that "the gays" get all of the baggage beyond "Gay" because the Heterosexual Establishment, like the Aryan Nation, wants to remain "pure"; therefore, any deviation from the norm must be part of the "other", i.e. Homosexuals.  How about we make a deal?  We'll continue to shoulder the grill-work of LGBTQ if heteros adopt the moniker SWSMBTQ.  Discuss.

 

Swsm

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Mirror, Mirror - Who Are the Fairest, Sexiest World Leaders of Them All?

President obama broad smile

 

Four years ago (in 2013) when I wrote a post about the sexiest world leaders my inspiration was Mexico's then newly-elected president, Enrique Pena Nieto (now famous for resisting Donald Trump's bullying).  Although he remains on the list, the inspiration for this year's revue of eye-catching heads of state is Canada's Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau - perhaps you've heard of him?  But then a few months after this post was published, France's new president, Emmanuel Macron, showed up.  Needless to say, with Barack Obama's eight years over, the US is no longer represented - but he gets this honorary photo.  Moving on, we begin with 15 elected heads of state followed by eight leaders born to royalty.  (Ages listed are as of March 2017.)

 

JUSTIN TRUDEAU

Prime Minister of Canada (population: 35 million)

Age: 45

Commentary:  One more reason for loving Canada.  I wouldn't call him handsome, he's more cute, in a towering (6'2"), Canadian Mountie kind of way.  Sort of reminds me of actor Luke Wilson.

 

Justin trudeau

 Justin trudeau pm of canada

 

EMMANUEL MACRON

President of France (67 million)

Age: 39/Height: 5'7"

Commentary: Like Trudeau, he exudes boyish charm, plus he has a French accent.  And he gets even more points for winning the battle of the handshake with Trump.

 

Emmanuel-Macron in a field

 Emmanuel macron-wintertime

 

ENRIQUE PENA NIETO

President of Mexico (122 million)

Age: 54/Height: 5'7"

Commentary:  A holdover from the previous post, he's the only leader on this list from the 27 nations with populations greater than 50 million.  At 5'6", he's one of the shorter presidents (comparable to Putin).  Not very popular, with lots of corruption baggage, but his standing has improved by standing up to the boorish behavior of Trump.

 

Enrique pena nieto

 Enrique pena nieto mexico president

 

ALEXIS TSIPRAS

Prime Minister of Greece (population: 11 million)

Age: 42

Commentary:  If you played word association, the word most likely to be chosen upon hearing Tsipras's name would likely be "embattled", as he tries to find ways of keeping the Greek economy afloat.  He's done wonders for the image of Greek men, showing the world that not everyone looks like Aristotle Onassis.

 

Alexis tsipras

 Alexis tsipras greek prime minister

 

EDI RAMA

Prime Minister of Albania (population: 2.8 million)

Age: 52

Commentary:  A former basketball star, at 6'7" he's the tallest of the world's heads of state.  Brings to mind action star Jason Statham.

 

Edi rama albania

 Edi rama prime minister of albania

 

ROSEN PLEVNELIEV

President of Bulgaria (population: 7 million)

Age: 52

Commentary:  Exudes boy-like cuteness rather than sex appeal.

 

Rosen plevneliev prez of bulgaria

 

Rosen plevneliev bulgaria

 

BOYKO BRISOV

Prime Minister of Bulgaria (population: 7 million)

Age: 57

Commentary:  If Bulgaria's president (above) isn't your cup of tea, perhaps its prime minister is more your type.  A six-foot bruiser,  he's known for his fondness for soccer and karate. 

 

Boyko borisov bulgaria

 Boyko-Borisov_3064104c

 

ANDREJ PLENKOVIC

Prime Minister of Croatia (population of 4.3 million)

Age: 46

Commentary:  Tall (6'3"), with a sexy, approachable intellectual look.  He was born in Zagreb, the same city as my maternal grandfather. 

 

Andrej-plenkovic-croatian-prime-minister 

 Andrej-plenkovic-759

 

BJARNI BENEDIKTSSON

Prime Minister of Iceland (population of 323,000)

Age: 47

Commentary: A bear of a man who may not age very well, but right now he's handsome in a civilized, Viking kind of way.  I especially like the second photo, which looks like it came from the pages of an Eddie Bauer or LL Bean catalog.

 

Iceland Prime Ministier Bjarni

 

Iceland Prime Ministier Bjarni casual

 

XAVIER BETTEL

Prime Minister of Luxembourg (population of 543,000)

Age: 44

Commentary: Openly gay, Bettel and his husband, Gauthier (married in 2015), get the award for Cutest Same-Sex Power Couple (UN Division).

 

Xavier bettel

 Xavier bettel and husband

 

MARK RUTTE

Prime Minister of the Netherlands (population of 17 million)

Age: 50

Commentary:  Dutch men, on average, are the tallest in the world and Mark Rutte lives up to that fact as he's a towering 6'5".  (Seeing a photo of him standing next to 5'7" Vladimir Putin, you may never think of Putin in the same menacing way.)  Still single, there have long been questions about his sexuality.

 

Mark+Rutte+Queen+Beatrix+Hosts+Dinner+Ahead+uX6h6MgwkYpl.

 Mark-Rutte-Holland-VVD-Free-Speech-Unlimited-240

 

PEDRO SANCHEZ

Prime Minister of Spain (population of 47 million)

Age: 46

Commentary: Another tall drink of water (6'3"), Sanchez recently assumed his position in May of 2018.  He named two openly gay politicians to his cabinet.

 

Pedro sanchez of spain

Pedro sanchez looking serious

 

ANDRZEJ DUDA

President of Poland (population of 39.5 million)

Age: 44

Commentary: Cute, in an elfin way.

 

Andrzej duda poland

 Andrzej duda poland president

 

ANTONIO COSTA

Prime Minister of Portugal (population of 10.5 million)

Age: 55

Commentary:  I don't know his political style, i.e., he could be a prick or corrupt, but with such a warm, avuncular glow, I'd be very surprised/disappointed if he were less than a gentleman.

  

 Antonio costa portugal pm

 Antoniocosta3

 

KLAUS IOHANNIS

President of Romania (population of 20 million)

Age: 57

Commentary:  Brings to mind what the star quarterback in high school now looks like 40 years later.

 

Klaus iohannis prez of romania

 Klaus iohannis romanian president

 

AND NOW, THE DISTINGUISHED ROYALS ...

 

KING PHILIPPE OF BELGIUM

Age: 56

Commentary: One word: Distinguished

 

King philippe of belgium with family

 King philippe of belgium younger

 

 

JIGME KHESAR NAMGYEL WANGCHUCK, KING OF BHUTAN

Age: 37

Commentary:  Exotic sex appeal, with eyes that look into the soul.

 

Jigme of bhutanl3 

 Jigme of bhutanl2

 

 

HENRI, GRAND DUKE OF LUXEMBOURG

Age: 61

Commentary: Great title, the Grand Duke exudes refinement.

 

Henri grand duke of luxembourg

  Henri grand duke of lux

 

 

PRINCES GUILLAUME & SEBASTIANE - LUXEMBOURG

Ages: 35 (Guillaume) and 24 (Sebastiane)

Commentary:  Sons of the Grand Duke, the apples don't fall very far from the tree.

 

Prince guillaume luxembourg

Prince sebastien

 

 

HAMDAN BIN MOHAMMED AL MALOMIN - CROWN PRINCE OF DUBAI

Age: 34

Commentary:  Heaven must be missing an angel...

 

Crown prince of dubai closeup

  Crown prince of dubai in pool

 

 

PRINCE CARL PHILIP OF SWEDEN

Age: 37

Commentary:  I never would have guessed that he was Swedish.

 

 Prince carl philip

 Prince carl philip of sweden stepping out of car

 

 

PRINCE HARRY - ENGLAND

Age: 32

Commentary:  His brother has always been the more serious, responsible one while Harry is the lovable and adorable one, but since turning 30 he seems to have come into his own.  Despite being 6"2", he's still the "little" brother, as Prince William is an inch taller.

 

Prince harry - happy

 Prince harry on people mag cover

 

 

 

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New Movie, "Paris 05:59", Explores Young Men & HIV in the 21st Century

Theo-and-hugo-quad-v1-copy

 

Aah, memories of young love.  The French film, Paris 05:59: Theo & Hugo, takes place over the course of two pre-dawn hours, and begins with an extended, explicit scene in a sex club, where Theo and Hugo meet and are smitten.  They leave together, but their giddy rapture is short lived when Hugo learns that Theo hadn't used a condom when he fucked him (and came in him) - and Hugo is positive.  Recriminations are cast, but the two immediately proceed to a nearby ER where Theo gets a 30-day package of anti-virals (the scene with the nurse has a very Afterschool Special feel to it).  As they slowly learn about each others' lives, they have occasional outbursts of anger and try to push the other away, but it's clear the two still want each other. 

 

Having lived through the AIDS crisis, getting educated about HIV and participating in a drug trial, I wasn't shaken by their plight (actually, I thought it was a bit overblown).  After all, Hugo was the receptive partner and his viral load was undetectable.  Still, I applaud the director for showing the angst these two young pups experienced since, nowadays, it seems this type of concern isn't prevalent, especially since the introduction of PrEP.  And this is the first movie I've seen in which the poz individual took the negative person to task for not sharing some responsibility for what happened, i.e. when Theo chose not to use a condom he could have asked Hugo about his HIV status.

 

Paris_559_01
Hugo making the call to the ER after revealing to Theo that he's positive. 

 

Bottom line, I liked the movie.  In addition to the film's first eighteen minutes (and the insistent, sleazy EDM track in the background) I enjoyed it for its realistic portrayal of youthful exuberance.  It brought to mind the times, back in my "salad days", when I went without sleep after encountering new-found love in the wee hours of the morning, which kept me energized after the sun came up.  Finally, I love Paris and hearing the French language - especially when spoken by two adorable characters like Theo and Hugo.

 

Paris0559theoandhugo1000x41

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When Grindr Came Calling - At the Office!

Grindr

 

This week began in an interesting fashion.  As I was shifting into work mode on Monday morning, a meeting reminder popped up on my laptop, and I did a double take when I read that Grindr was giving a presentation at my office (it would have been a spit-take if I hadn't already finished my coffee).  Yes, Grindr!  Of course, I was very curious to hear how Grindr would position itself (no pun intended).  Amusingly, its director of ad sales used the term "experiences" rather than "hook ups" to describe the app's primary purpose.  But he added that the service, especially in the nation's hinterlands, was also a vehicle for making friends and building social communities; I raised a skeptical eyebrow - was "social communities" code for "orgies"?

 

Sitting there I thought back to presentations I attended in the 1980s in which the ad sales director of GQ tried his best to downplay the magazine's substantial gay readership because, in those days, non-fashion advertisers weren't keen to be found in a publication with those type of readers (especially automakers).  And a magazine like The Advocate couldn't even get its foot in the door of an ad agency.  So that's why today's presentation was so refreshing, because here was Grindr, embracing its gay subscribers.  However, even in these more enlightened times, I wondered if any mainstream advertisers would be eager to be associated with an app that has a rather salacious reputation (to put it mildly) - as suggested by this snarky meme:

 

Grindr humor

 

Some interesting stats were shared with us: On average, a Grindr subscriber is on the app 56 minutes each day (compared to 8 minutes/day for the typical Tinder user) and checks it 35 times.  However, the best statistic was that, based on Grindr's location-based stats, the gayest spot in the world is the Starbucks at the corner of 52nd St. and 8th Ave. in Manhattan (and all these years I assumed the gayest spot was the Vatican)!

 

Starbucks 8th ave and 52nd st
This Starbucks ... Gayest Spot on Earth?

 

As I continued listening to the sales pitch my mind drifted off as I mused that Grindr seeking advertising partnerships would have been comparable to the Saint Mark's Baths doing the same in the 1970s.  Yes, we've certainly come far from the time when The Advocate felt compelled to remove its 'Personals' section in order to attract advertisers.  But have we lost something by having the tawdry side of our lives (although presented in an amusingly sanitized way by Grindr) appropriated by social media ?

 

NewYorkDazzle_GQNov1978
In the 1970s and '80s GQ had a difficult time attracting national advertisers because of its gay vibe.