AllMale.com Opens Up Online Dating For Gay Men

When it comes the greater acceptance of the LGBT community and the advancement of equal rights, it’s easy to get caught up in the frequent news stories regarding the social progress being made. However, while significant headway is being made in the court system regarding same-sex marriages, antiquated State laws are still governing many of the equality protections, or they are being hampered by enforcement agencies with an overly conservative point of view.

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“We have long been proponents of full equality nationwide,” said Sean of AllMale.com. “While we are continuing to see the country moving in the right direction, there are still far too many pockets of discrimination and places where being open about your homosexual identity is a difficult obstacle to overcome. That’s why we continue to put so much effort into the care and discretion that the All Male dating platform affords all of the men in our dating community online.”

If you are sitting in a big city or living in a metropolitan area, you may be surprised to hear how many places are still very discriminatory towards LGBT individuals. A fair amount of restrictions still exist that hinder the success and well-being of minorities. A couple of examples include obtaining employment or even leasing an apartment. Because many people are still unaware of these injustices, HBO host John Oliver even did an in-depth story about the difference between what people think should be true and what is actually happening in the country right now:



“We would love to live in a world where everyone could just go to the exact same dating site and be who they are without any repercussions socially,” added Sean.  “But that just isn’t the world we all live in… at least not yet. So as long as some people want to treat others as outsiders, everyone at www.AllMale.com will continue to offer a safe, secure and completely open environment online that is continuing to help men of all local areas, ethnicities and backgrounds to meet other like-minded men for romance, intimacy and more.”

Post contributed and authored by the AllMale.com Staff

Documentary: “What the Gays Gave Me”

This semester at the University of San Francisco, my film professor asked me to make a documentary about something I am passionate about; turns out I am passionate about gay men.
‘What the Gays Gave Me’ is a short documentary exploring the dynamic friendship between gay men and straight women. Upon moving to San Francisco for university in 2011, I soon realized I get along with gay men better than any other gender or sexuality, and started to wonder why that was. As my friendships grew and evolved into the wonderfully strong bonds they are today, my gay friends and I began to analyze just why we thought this type of friendship works so well.
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I finally got the chance to put our wine-inspired theories to the test with this documentary. We have all seen this type of relationship portrayed in the media in shows such as ‘Will and Grace’, and even the new movie ‘G.B.F’. The friendships are often times very stereotypical, where the gay man is portrayed as a fashion guru helping his ‘fag hag’ pick out the perfect outfit for her upcoming date. As a self-proclaimed ‘fag hag’, I wanted to show the world, well at least my little USF community, that there is so much more to this companionship.
Luckily my research brought me to Eric, who has been an incredible help to making this documentary into something more than a tale of two best friends. With his innovative quantitative research, and vast knowledge of this subject, I was able to gather enough evidence to show the relationship between gay men and straight women may just be one of the purest forms of friendship out there – due to the ability to build a solid foundation of trust based on the unbiased nature of the friendship itself.
With a big thanks to my amazing friends Taylor, Mark, Margret, and of course, Eric, I was able to complete a project that I am very proud of, and it represents a very large part of my life. Enjoy!
P.S. – I want to give a shout out to my amazing friend Luke Adkins, who was in New Zealand for the filming of the project and was unfortunately not able to make it in the documentary. I love you so very much!

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Brittney Montag is a media student at the University of San Francisco. 

Why are you still single?

Being a relationship consultant and lifecoach over the past seven years, I hear similar stories of men and women being left alone and deprived of love for numerous reasons. The newest on my “Why are you Still Single? A.k.a., Why are you Thirsty?” list: the Bitch Factor. It is a recent development or trend I’ve noticed, specifically amongst gay men. This is when your gay friend is such a judgmental and drama filled individual that they can’t even keep it to themselves – they must impose it upon other people (most notably like a few pop culture references: Perez Hilton, the cast of A*List Dallas & New York, or certain contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race).

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Over the past few years, many homosexual men have embraced the notion that, at times, it can be appropriate to embrace these unconventional social norms; most, even those not familiar with the culture, would deem this as inappropriate. But, in reality, it has always been inappropriate for your gay friend to act like this. Is it possible that this “bitch” factor would likely leave your straight female friends in the same “single and ready to mingle” party?  The answer is Yes.

Most suitors process their prospect’s friends, family, and living environment to get a better idea of who they are.  Within the strokes of a couple keys, you can learn the most intimate details of a person and their social circle by just knowing what to look for.  A woman’s closest friend’s attitude weighs heavy and, at times, can cause a person to lose interest. Why? Because you are the company you keep.  So for those men that embrace the “bitch factor” you are not only causing yourself to be single, but also you could be keeping your straight friends from finding a good mate. No one wants to deal with drama.

We all have basic interests: being loved, valued, and happy.  Don’t be the one with the “bitch factor” in your social circle.  Realize that you could be “winning” in all of your social circles if you left your “bitch factor” at the house.  Not only will it help you, but it could help your best pal in their relationships, as well.

Here are a few tips to keep you going down the right path:

1. Be comfortable – Most people are attracted to others that are comfortable in their own skin.  People more often cross paths with people that are insecure.  Don’t be ignored by your potential suitor, stand out!

2. Be confident – Be confident, not arrogant. Possessing this trait well get you noticed immediately but will also get you iced out if you don’t control yourself.

3. Have an opinion – No one ever wants just a “Yes” man.  Engage people often.

4. Be independent – Have your life on pace regardless of whom you come across. Why? Most people have people dependent on them personally or professionally. Don’t add more weight to their ship called “life”.

5. Be Open to Change, but offer stability – Ever heard the classic saying, “A house is not a home?” This is tricky but achievable.  We are all living an evolutionary lifestyle, but little things that never change are much appreciated.

6. Be the Company you want to keep – Negative people can be toxic. Not just for you, but for new relationships.

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My job is not to critic and spread negativity, it is to enhance and educate. As a relationship consultant, I cannot guarantee love or marriage, but I can ensure that I place individuals in a better position to receive love. If we all check our egos at the door, we have the ability to grow and evolve towards something greater. A man regardless of his sexual orientation should not be excused from good manners and a level of self-respect. Don’t jump off or burn the bridge, enhance and make it stronger so others may cross.

We thank Thomas for his guest post to Gay-Straight Relationships. Thomas Massaquoi is a life coach and relationship consultant in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. http://www.thomasmassaquoi.com/

The Closet

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Coming out of the closet is a big deal and is often characterized by anxiety. What was once intensely private is now open and public. With just a few words, coming out can forever alter many relationships; coming out can cost someone their job, friends, or family. Despite how big an event coming out is there is no written ritual or ceremony for how to do it. It can be spontaneous or preplanned, but one of the most common ways to come out is gather up people who are close and then say “I’m gay.” We tend to think of this even as some kind of revealing, but with all the background concerns going on, I don’t think people are actually informing anyone when they come out. I don’t think “I am gay” is a statement, I think it’s a tacit question: “I’m gay, will you accept me?”

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A natural approach to alleviate the difficulty of coming out is to try to create safe places and get straight allies to help. A good example of this outreach are the letters of acceptance family members have written and have gone viral over social media. I think this approach is laudable, but insufficient. So long as people who come out treat coming out as a huge life event—one that is told in hushed voices—then the very act of coming out supports the long term issues that make it difficult to come out in the first place. In short, the current way most people come out reflects two different desires: (1) the desire to admit to being LGBT and (2) the desire for it to not be a big deal. But so long as we treat being gay, or lesbian, or whatever else we come out about as something to admit, we directly interfere with not making it a big deal. We admit things we are not proud of or secretly ashamed of. I’m not sure how many people feel overtly ashamed of coming out, but I do imagine that most instances of coming out is prefaced by anxiety because there is this uncertainty as to whether or not the friendship can continue or the family remain intact. If we are truly trying to make coming out of the closet easier, we need to focus on why anything is admitted in the first place; we need to be concerned that there is a closet in the first place.

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Being out is sometimes contextual: someone can be out to her friends, but not her family, her family, but not her coworkers. Public knowledge in one context might have different consequences than the same public knowledge in another. Being out in to family might mean acceptance; being out in the workplace might mean finding a new job. So there are many times when public knowledge, or lack thereof, about sexual orientation is fairly important. Further, the occasion for that making certain facts public can also be relevant: going to a school dance, going on a date, or bringing someone home for the holidays. So what makes this kind of public knowledge different than coming out of the closet? In some sense these events are when sexual orientation is relevant and not that big of a deal. Talking about, or informing, others about sexual orientation in these contexts, and others like them, starts a very slow change in how we think about sexual orientation. Being a member of the LGBT community is no longer something we have to confess or admit, but rather simply just another part of identity that comes out in the right way.

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We thank returning guest blogger, Kurt Blankschaen, for contributing this post to Gay-Straight Relationships.

Shattering the “Gay Friend” Glass

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Recently I found myself out to lunch with a good reporter friend of mine when the Gay Friend glass shattered. We were talking about a good (and gay) writer friend of mine. My reporter friend asked, “Is he the one you met on set last summer?” The answer was no, he was referring to another good (and gay) model friend of mine. “Is he the one you went to high school with?” Wrong again. “Is he the one you took to Bass Hall a couple of months ago?” Nope, though a good guess, since the friend in question has accompanied me to Bass Hall before. The reporter looked at me for a moment and said, “Huh. You really have a lot of gay friends, don’t you?”

Well, my word. It’s not like I turn down friends because I’ve met my gay quota.

The reporter went on to explain that most women have one Gay Friend, or perhaps a Gay Friend that’s been upgraded to a Gay Husband. That’s when the glass shattered for me. He was absolutely right. Women tend to have one Gay Friend, a fact I had previously never questioned. He asked how many Gay Friends I have and I had to stop and think. It’s not like I’ve ever counted. Why should I have?

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This discussion at lunch was especially interesting to me since the reporter friend himself is also a “Gay Friend” of mine, not that I ever think of any of my friends with this title. Sadly, many women do. Why? For some, it is more of a status symbol than a friendship. These women feel trendy if they have a Gay Friend. In fact, I’ve known several women who actively seek the friendship of gay men simply for the sake of having a Gay Friend, the kind of social accessory that puts women in the Women Who Lunch category. One particular woman I know tried desperately to get her very own Gay Friend, but firmly (and publicly) sided with Chick-fil-A during the scandal last fall, thus severing ties with the Gay Friend she fought for so valiantly. When you see a friend as an accessory to your societal outfit, what happens when the seasons change and that style is no longer en vogue?

 

Readers of GayStraight.com, I ask you this: just how progressive are women who have one token Gay Friend? When we have friends for the love of their friendship – no matter if they’re straight or gay, male or female – then we’ll really be getting somewhere.

Katie-Rose Watson is a publicist in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and creator of The Rose Table.

Romantic Bad Luck

An open and uncomfortable secret for some gays and lesbians is that they sometimes develop crushes or fall in love with straight men and women. A simplistic answer is that there are more straights than gays and by a sad numbers game, this sort of thing just happens. Because these unrequited feelings are just romantic bad luck, the crush itself isn’t really a problem that needs to be addressed. The problem is solved by declaring it “not a problem.” This explanation, while well intended, ignores larger concerns and actually can make gays and lesbians worse off.

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Another explanation for what is going on is due to psychological factors in how people think about an ideal romance. We learn what a successful romance is by looking at romantic paradigm cases like Romeo and Juliet, Disney princesses, or even sitcoms like Friends or Sex and the City. Psychological studies show that people tend to misremember their own romantic experiences as versions of these paradigm cases1. For example, if a couple’s family does not like the significant other’s in-laws, the couple tends to exaggerate the fighting and may even imagine plots to break up the couple a la Romeo and Juliet. A couple that constantly breaks up and gets back together due to major differences like marriage, children, where to live, etc., may remember their experiences through a lens of Ross and Rachel rather than as they actually were.

Cheshire Calhoun, a philosopher who focuses on gay and lesbian identity, points out that the paradigm cases almost exclusively cast heterosexuals. Gays and lesbians, like anyone else, look to these models for guidance about what a genuine or authentic romance should be like but have psychological dissonance because the cast of characters they see, one man one woman, is different than the cast of characters they want, two men or two women. Homosexuals aren’t massively mistaken here, but rather are trying to build a romantic model with the best materials they have available, which just so happen to be heterosexual examples. I think when gays and lesbians do fall in love with straight counterparts, it is because they are trying to live out the romantic models they have grown up with as best they can.

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One way to help address this dissonance is to provide gays and lesbians with romantic models featuring gays and lesbians. Movies and TV shows are now making gay and lesbian relationships more common, and this is a good start, but none of these models have the kind of currency that the above romantic models have. In short, the more models that show functional gay and lesbian romances, the more likely the romantic substitution will get smaller.

References:

1. Averill, James R. and Boothroyd, Phyllis, “On Falling in Love in Conformance with the Romantic Ideal,” Motivation and Emotion, 1 (1977): 235-47. De Sousa, Ronald. The Rationality of Emotion. (Cambridge: MIT University Press, 1987), 181-184.

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We thank Kurt Blankschaen for contributing this post. Kurt is currently pursuing his PhD in philosophy at The University of Kansas.

Confessions of a “Fag Hag”

By: Ashley Hart

Personally, the term “fag hag” is something I will identify with only with friends. It has become an inside joke; immediately forgiven and accepted as fact. Outside of that relationship, it makes me feel like a creepy old witch who collects gay men like mail-order Precious Moments figurines. I didn’t hunt down gay men with Liza Minnelli tickets in hopes they would be my friends. Obvious gay man stereotype aside, it wasn’t a conscious decision to be a “fag hag.” I happen to come from a family where the LGTBQ community was accepted and during my undergraduate years my best friends happened to be gay. As a “fag hag” (please someone come up with a better term), I was subjected to stereotypes. Surely, I must have dated him before he came out a) as his cover or b) because I had no idea he was gay. Also, since I am a “fag hag” I am automatically a loud, broad-like character who struts around in extravagant clothes and is perpetually single.

fag hag buttonDear people of the world, do you like being put in a box because of a label? Me either.

There is a level of comfort that can be provided by gay men. Men and women think differently. Our approaches to various situations differ. By having a gay friend, I am able to discuss potential partners freely without having to worry whether or not there is sexual tension between him and myself. I have straight male friends and anytime I mention someone I’m interested in I am usually met with the responses “Why are you asking me?” and “I don’t know.” Meanwhile I talk to my gay friend and he will be bluntly honest, which is all I really need in the moment. Alternatively, we can be each other’s wing-people. There is no competition between us and there is no underlying reasons to purposely hinder our advances. It is not about gay and straight: it is about being genuine with another person.

The LGTBQ community has taken ownership over the word “Queer,” a word formerly used as a social slur. Overtime it has been embraced and has become a term that swiftly identifies one as a member of the LGTBQ community without need of further definition (or a break-down of an every-growing acronym). Meanwhile, the term “fag” is still looked down upon and considered derogatory. By forcing it into a cute rhyme scheme with the word “hag” (cue the Witch’s theme from The Wizard of Oz) you are forgiven the offense. It doesn’t make it better. It doesn’t even make sense. Two negatives may make a positive in math, but in a social setting, it just makes things awkward. It is like being outed as a gay man groupie, which you’re not. Meanwhile, straight men who are good friends with gay men are deemed “fag stags.” Why are they this majestic creature in the woods, and why are women becoming the fairy tale character who eats children?

So for your personal entertainment here is a list of other colloquialisms that seem to embrace a smattering of potentially offensive terms:

salkdfjlkStraight Man-Gay Man: “Fag Stag”

Straight Woman-Gay Man: “Fag Hag,” “Queen Bee,” “Homo Honey,” “Fruit Loop,” “Goldilocks,” “Flame Dame,” “Fairy Princess,” “Gabe,” “Cherry Fairy,” “Queer Dear,” “Gayboy Bunny” (this one is for the more attractive “fag hags” that are in stable relationships)

Lesbian Woman-Straight Man: “Dutch Boy”, “Lesbro”, “Dyke Tyke,” “Dikey Likey” (UK)

All Of The Above-Gay Men: “Fruit Flies”

A good rule of thumb is to use these terms with caution. Words have significant power and you do not want to abuse it. As a straight woman, I have a right to determine which title I identify with, just as much as other members of the LGTBQ community. For all intents and purposes, I am an Ally. I have to know you better before I tell you the intricacies of my private life.

 

Ashley Hart is a current graduate student at Florida State University. She is pursuing her master’s degree in literature and cultural studies.