Todd Glass Reminds Us How Hard It Can Be To Come Out

I caught an interview with comedian Todd Glass last night. He was on the Tonight Show promoting his new autobiography which touches on amongst other things his coming out story. Much to my surprise Glass came out of the closet in early 2012. How did I miss this? I did some digging and discovered the podcast where it began. Listening to him speak was both fascinating and heart breaking. For more than a year I’ve wanted to cover the topic of internalized homophobia. I’ve sat down and starting writing posts numerous times but always end up erasing everything. Until now I never found a successful way to tackle the subject without coming across as judgmental or preachy. Somehow growing up I avoided the shame that so often accompanies homosexuality therefore I felt that speaking on the subject would come across as inauthentic. To be clear, I say I’ve had very little shame as a point of clarification not a way to brag. The space that shame would’ve taken up was filled with plenty of other issues. I don’t believe one experience is better or worse than the other. Everyone has their own process. When I heard Todd Glass speak it gave me a connection and insight into the struggle of being proud of who you are. It should be mentioned that everything I’m going to talk about is referring to grown adults. Young people in school have a very different set of circumstances to deal with and staying closeted is a much different decision for them.

Internalized homophobia is a big word that can be thrown around without explanation. When I use the term I’m simply referring to the deep feelings of shame, fear, and hatred towards one’s self that forces a person to hide who they are. Not everyone wants to march in a parade waving a flag. Some people just tend to be more private than others. It’s an understandable choice that doesn’t automatically imply an internal struggle. The problem comes in when someone makes that choice based on fear or shame. I’ll use the work place as an example. There is a big difference between being a generally private person and denying who you are. I keep to myself at my office and opt out of socializing with coworkers. I like having a clear separation between work and home. With that in mind, I’ve never felt the need to announce my sexuality because honestly it has nothing to do with my job and it’s really none of their business. Unfortunately “It’s none of their business” is also a common excuse people hind behind when they are ashamed of who they are. Pretending to be straight out of shame is where the internalized homophobia comes into play. In my case I would never pretend ordeny who I am. I have a picture of my BF at my desk and if someone asks I am more than happy to talk about him. Beyond the office, internalized homophobia is a concept that can rear it’s ugly head in many ways. Everyone has that friend who gets unusually uncomfortable by overly flamboyant gay men. He doesn’t understand that just because he’s not attracted to them/us doesn’t explain his embarrassment and discomfort. Sadly it has more to do with his own insecurities. Once a person gets to a place of total acceptance and comfort inside, he realizes that everyone elses actions have nothing to do with him.

*Note this is a long interview but it’s worth listening to and because it was a podcast there is audio only.

This is the struggle I heard listening to the Todd Glass interview. He was obviously still terrified to make the big announcement. He couldn’t actually say the words “I’m gay.” The host had to do it for him. With the all the advances in equal rights coming out it still a very personal event. Many recent celebrities have come out in a more matter of fact way. Now a days by the time a celebrity talks openly about his sexuality he has worked through all his demons and issues. Telling the public is almost like the last pin to be knocked down. (Examples: Jim Parsons and Anderson Cooper) The lack of comfort is why I was drawn to Todd Glass. He talked about it while he himself was still in the midst of working through the process. This wasn’t a case where everyone behind the scenes has always known and he just put up appearances for the cameras. He was closeted to many of his dearest friends. He even maintained the classic ‘roommate’ lie. I was fascinated to hear a mature adult talk about his coming out process while he was going though it. You can hear the raw emotions as he tries to joke his way through his story. In an odd way I found his honesty very refreshing. So often coming out stories are told as a neat little anecdote from the past when all the emotions and pain have faded. It’s extremely rare to hear it as it’s happening and to hear his answers that are not always the politically correct script we are taught. I would love to hear him reflect back on the interview in five years and get his perspective. I hope by than he will have let go of so much of his shame and be more comfortable in his own skin. With his coming out Todd Glass shows the public another perspective of life as a gay man.

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Fuck Buddies vs Friends With Benefits

1. Fuck Buddy (noun)– A person you only have a sexual relationship with.

2. Friend with Benefits (noun)– A person who you get along with both in and out of clothes.

As we all know wanting sex and wanting a relationship are two very different things. When you’re happy and single it can be challenging looking for some quality actions. A fuck buddy or friend with benefits is an ideal but hard to find solution. The problem with either arrangement is that at some point someone is bound to want more than just sex. If the sex is great and you there is a genuine connection, it’s natural to wonder why you’re not dating that person? Romantic feelings are the beginning of the end for any casual sex arrangement.

Fuck Buddy

So how do you walk the fine line between sex and romance? My advise is to realize that your standards for fuck buddies need to be set lower than you’re standards for dating. A fuck buddy has to be someone you would never want to date under any circumstance. A shared fetish can help in the fuck buddy world. For example, you are extremely turned on by big round bubble butts and your fuck buddy is a man with the best ass you’ve ever seen. He’s a train wreck in life but his ass is all you’re concerned with. His general life messiness creates a natural barrier to any romantic feelings and keeps things strictly sexual. The truth about fuck buddies is the best candidates are guys who you are slightly embarrassed by. When you see them out on a Saturday night you give a polite smile and quickly turn to escape before your friends start asking too many questions. The best case scenario is he feels the exact same way about you. He may cringe at your wardrobe but he’ll never say no to your extra long tongue. You both share a strong physical connection and lack any desire to know each other outside of his bedroom.

On the surface it just sounds like you’re being a terrible person but trust me there is a method to the madness. If the guy in question was hot, funny, charming, and well adjusted it would blow up in your face. At some point feelings would get involved. Let’s be honest, if the person really is that great why wouldn’t you want more?

Friends with Benefits

An easy way to differentiate between a fuck buddy and a FWB is if you’d go get food with him after fucking. “Hey are you hungry? I’m craving Whataburger” would be said to a friend with benefits not a fuck buddy. A FWB is the guy who you genuinely enjoy in and out of clothes. There is a real friendship there and sex is just an added bonus. You’ll chat at parties, go see a movie and you’re not embarrassed if your friends find out that you’ve seen each other naked. A quality FWB is one of the hardest things on earth to set up. Seriously. Much like open relationships, not everyone is cut out for it. It’s the finest of fine lines. You must be sexually attracted to him, enjoy his non sexual company, and generally value him as a person BUT none of these feelings can be strong enough to lead to romantic attachment. Many successful FWB are when one or both men are in separate long term relationships. He loves his partner but likes some extra excitement on the side or maybe the partner travels a lot and he has a very high sex drive. For FWB to work, both men must be very secure and comfortable with the separation of sex and emotion. If you’re the type of person who could never imagine blowing your best buddy, then friends with benefits isn’t for you.

Sadly, even in the best case scenarios fuck buddies and friends with benefits have a natural expiration date.  You only have control over your emotions. The fuck buddy can have a change of heart at any point and realize he wants love. Your FWB might surprise you and find a monogamous boyfriend. Life often gets in the way of the delicate balancing act. If you’re lucky enough to have a regular fuck buddy or FWB enjoy it to the fullest. If you haven’t found that not-so-perfect perfect person yet be comforted to know that you just might not want causal sex. Sex with emotions and strings attached can be worth waiting for. 

Random Thoughts: iPhone Edition

I need new apps to add to my phone rotation. You’re phone rotation is the common pattern with which you check your most frequently used apps.  When you’re get up in the morning, when you sit on the toilet, when you’re waiting for a friend, there are usually certain apps you go to sometimes in a specific order. They’re the apps you check the most often and are the most addicted to. Every app designer and marketing big wig is trying their best to make it into your rotation. As soon as I unlock my phone I go to Facebook first, then Instagram, and finish with Mobli. Mobli is the newest addition to my rotation and it’s still in the “we’ll see” probationary period. Several apps have come and gone, Secret, Vine, and Twitter were all once integral parts of my rotation that I have since moved on from. I still have Twitter but I don’t use it as much. Vine and Secret have been completely deleted. I do check Tumblr and Growlr often but definitely not every day. I need something new. What’s in your phone rotation?
I’ve been using the Talk to Text feature a lot more lately. It’s especially helpful when I don’t know how to spell a work or are to lazy to type out a long word. (Responsibility for example)

I hope Apple comes out with a 32GB and 64GB G series phone. Either that or add a 90GB or 128GB phone and eliminate the 16GB model all together (making the 32GB the standard). 

I have a suggestion for the next iPhone update. I call it Work Mode.
The idea of Work Mode is to create an operational setting that provides extra security while at work. The easily turned on setting would be accessible from the locked screen similar to turning on Airplane mode. It’s first feature would be to stop text message previews. You would still get text message notifications but it would automatically turn off the preview in case your phone is visible when an inappropriate picture is received. Work Mode would also control the phone volume with the Total Off feature. As you probably already know, turning the ringer off does not turn the volume off for every feature. For example, as you’re scrolling through Facebook you accidentally tap a video in your feed. When the video plays it’s at full volume even though you thought your phone was on ‘silent.” Now everyone in your office turns as you scramble like a man to shut it down. With the Total Off feature, there would be no sound emitted from your phone. NONE. Even if you try and watch a video or listen to a song, your phone will be SILENT at all circumstances. The only way to hear something while your phone is in Work Mode would be to have headphones plugged in.
I hate the blue dot indicator that appears when an app has been updated. This dot should disappear within 12 or 24 hours.
Many people don’t realize that you can save GIFs to your camera roll on your iPhone. You save the GIF just like you were saving any standard picture. The key is that the GIF will not animate until you send it to someone. To be more specific, the GIF will not animate until you actually hit the send button. Only then will it come to life. (When the GIF is on your camera roll it will look like a standard frozen single image)

I’m sick of the “20 Things You Didn’t Know Your iPhone Could Do” articles. The information was interesting a year or two ago but everyone knows now. Thank you. In case you’re the one who missed it, I’ll summarize: close apps to save battery life, every text has a time stamp, your phone can be a level, and take pictures with your volume button.

Work Mode ™ and Total Off ™

10 Things Worse Than Jorts

Jorts might be the red headed step child of men’s fashion but here are 10 things worse than those denim disasters. 

1. Excessive Rings– I picture a skinny leather skinned retiree in Santa Fe who’s house is filled with too many hanging plants.

2. Rat Tail– A rat tail is disgusting regardless of of who’s head it’s on. Sorry but a great personality can’t over come it. A rat tail trumps everything. I associate rat tails with the backwoods rapists, the KKK and child molesters.

3. Dreadlocks on white people– I think I just found what trumps a rat tail.

https://youtube.googleapis.com/v/Sa0N3JtEE3o&source=uds 4. Swayed/Leather Fringe– Fringe always brings to mind to mind two classic 80’s movies. First Amanda Peterson as Cindy Mancini in Can’t Buy Me Love and second Mia Sara as Sloane in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. A white fringe jacket is the ultimate 80’s popular girl accessory. Like Mia Sara and Amanda Peterson, it too should be left in the 80’s. Also check out American Idol losers who are trying to sell their country rock street cred.

5. The Super Deep V-neck– A super deep v-neck tells the world,
“I work out. Look at my shaved tits. If you’re lucky you’ll get a nip slip.” If you need to show off your perky pecs do it with some tank top side boob.

6. All black– Anyone who only dresses in one color doesn’t have true style. They’re just lazy. Wearing all black says you’re either an emo goth groupie or you work at the mall. Be unique. Add some color to your life.

7. Long hair past age 30– Listen up aging rock stars. Young rockers are the only ones who can get away with long hair and even then you don’t really like it. You just put up with it because they’re young hot rock stars. There is no normal middle aged man who can pull off shoulder length locks. There’s a reason the white walkers are depicted as having long white stringy hair. It’s inherently creepy. A zombie with a buzz cut just isn’t believable.

8. Mesh tops– Were mesh tops ever in style? There’s even a Designing Women episode about a awful date with a guy in a mesh shirt. However this is what I picture Simon Cowell wearing as a young lady killer. Plus, where does one even buy a mesh shirt if you wanted one?

9. Velvetine Zip Up Blazers– So this really is just a one time occurrence I found at Undergear.com. But it’s so epic I needed to share. 

10. Anything Johnny Depp has ever worn– Kudos to the master. He’s a hobo pirate that needs to burn that stupid hat.

An Open Letter to Saturday Night Live

Good evening Lorne Michaels and cast of Saturday Night Live,
In the past few months since I cut cable television I have been surviving on reruns of your show. (I watch about two or three episodes a day) I thank you for keeping me entertained as Netflix Streaming has fewer and fewer quality options. I must also thank you for almost 4 decades worth of comedy. There is no other comedy in US history that has even come close to reaching your level of influence and longevity. I doubt in 1975, when the first episode aired anyone could have predicted what the future would hold for you. Many of our most loved comedians have passed through your doors at some point in their careers. During election season your skits have enormous impact on how we view each candidate. SNL will always live on in pop culture history.
When the world met the ‘not ready for prime time players’ in the mid 70’s the cast had a subversive and edgy feel to it. John Belushi and crew were there to break the rules and go against the establishment. However as the years went by SNL has become more and more established. Now that Law and Order is gone you are in fact the ultimate television establishment. The veterans on the block. While I understand having a rich history brings higher expectations and higher standards, I can’t help but feel that you’ve lost some of your edge. I can imaging sitting in on a writer’s meeting and hearing this response to a dirty joke “We’re Saturday Night Live, don’t you think that’s a little beneath us?” My advice would be to mix some more stupid jokes amongst intelligent and sophisticated humor. Crass comedy might feel like a cheap trick to get laughs… but it works. You want sketches that people will repost of Facebook. Remember the reoccurring skit The Californians? That’s a great example of a skit that was trying to be funny and fancy and ended up failing on the funny. While we’re on the subject, who thought that was worthy or repetitive comebacks? There’s no shame in getting down and dirty every so often.
Obviously a show that has lasted as long as you have is doing something right. However even the best machines needs a little clean up every so often and let’s face it, apart from a revolving door of goofy nerds very little has changed at studio 8H. I don’t intend for you to start from scratch and do a complete renovation so instead here are some suggestions to freshen up your aging program:
1. Fire some white guys. In Tina Fey’s book Bossy Pants she discussed how she was proud that during her time at Saturday Night Live she fought to give women and increased voice on the show. It’s sad that women are your diversity hires. The standard mix of Harvard nerds and goofball stand ups has given your show a very narrow point of reference. Here’s a quiz: Can you name any of the men below?

All three were cast members last season who never made any impression. I realize they probably never had a chance to break out of the crowd but we’ve got to thin out the herd somewhere. Goodbye Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, and Kyle Mooney. Unfortunately many of us look at these three pictures and think, “Who the hell are they? They were on the show last season? Really? Are you sure?”

2. You need a crazy fat guy. Similar to Jim Belushi and Chris Farley you need an outrageous chubby guy who is funny no matter what he does. Maybe include some extra diversity points by going with a Latin fatty like Gabriel Iglesias. 
3. More Kate McKinnon. She is the most valuable and under used cast member you have. If given the chance she could be the star of next season. WE LOVE MCKINNON!
4. Cut the show down to 60 minutes. I’ll be honest everything after Weekend Update is total crap. Axing the last half hour gives you the chance to focus on making the first 60 minutes funnier.

5. The musical guests are forgettable. The most memorable performances on SNL have been Lana Del Rey, Ashley Simpson, and Sinead O’Connor and none were remembered for great music. With that in mind limit all musical guests to one song regardless of how good you think they are.

6. Why are there no reoccurring sketches about Beyonce, Michelle Obama or the Kim Kardashian? They are three of the most famous women in the world. I could agree that Michelle might not be funny enough for a parody but the Kardashians are perfect. The evil crazy mom-ager Kris and future trans women Bruce Jenner… Come on it almost writes itself. As for Beyonce we’re all aware of the lack of a black woman on your cast for many many years. Thank god Sasheer was hired. Put her in a wig and get her to dance class.

In conclusion Saturday Night Live, you have accomplished a lot in your many years but you can’t rest on your (often questioned) reputation. White upper middle class comedy isn’t as broad reaching as it once was. Hopefully the 2014-15 season will continue with the recent diversification efforts. I look forward to see what September brings.

Sincerely
The Gay Gasp