GBF-ing It

There are two things women can’t live without: rosé and GBFs. That’s just science. Likewise, we can’t live without our girlfriends. They provide the drinking, dancing, and dishing opportunities that our fellow gays can’t always deliver on. And you know, letting us vent when our love lives goes south. This is a special relationship, so let’s cut the crap and just own it.

As part of our collaboration with Galore Magazine, we had a chat with some of the Galore Girls and their GBFs and let them break down why their connection is errrrrything.

Luna Lovebad and Anthony

What’s your name?
Anthony.

How old are you?
27

What’s your sign?
Gemini.

Where are you from?
Chicago.

What’s your ideal date?
I would go dancing or go to a cute Airbnb together, like a nice “staycation”.

How did you and Luna Lovebad meet?
We met through Instagram!

What’s a personality trait you like about Luna?
I love that Luna gives zero fucks and has a loving nature.

Luna, what’s a personality trait that you like about Anthony?
He has a “down for whatever” attitude. And his pink hair.

Grace McKagan and Quentin Haarpaintner

What’s your name?
Quentin.

How old are you?
19

What’s your sign?
Scorpio.

Where are you from?
LA.

What’s your ideal date?
A hike that’s not too challenging, but it gives you something to look at and chat about. I don’t like being sedentary with someone I don’t know, so it helps to be moving around.

What’s a pick up line that always works on you when mingling or on a dating app?
When someone says “You look familiar” I always answer. Or if they say something like, “Were you at so and so’s party this weekend?” Or dropping mutual friends.

How did you and Grace meet?
We met in 7th grade.

What’s a personality trait you like about Grace?
Grace’s free spirit.

Grace what do you like about Quentin?
He’s always in a good mood and brings positive vibes everywhere.

Harmony and Vice

What’s your name?
Vice.

How old are you?
24

What’s your sign?
Gemini.

Where are you from?
Harbor City, CA but born in Hawaii.

What’s your ideal date?
A half-day at Six Flags riding roller coasters so we have an exciting time together, and we can get to know each other while we wait in line.

How did you and Harmony meet?
We met at a mutual friend’s party about a year ago.

What’s a personality trait you like about Harmony?
Her legs [laughs].

Harmony, what’s a personality trait that you like about Vice?
His energy.

See what Galore said about us here.

I Realized I was Gay While Playing Street Fighter II

Flashback to 1993: Jurassic Park had just been released, Madonna was touring the world with The Girlie Show, and Sylvester Stallone and Jean-Claude Van Damme were fighting baddies on TV with their fists of fury and kung-fu kicks.

The early 90’s also marked the time when amusement arcades saw one last resurgence in popularity, a renaissance for the business before the final surrender to the arrival of video game consoles and home entertainment. Thanks to the launch on the market of Japanese fighting games like Street Fighter II and Tekken, arcades were buzzing again with a new wave of enthusiastic players like me, geeky kids and preadolescent boys, taking our first steps into the world as fully-fledged gamers.

Like most 12-year-old boys back then, I loved spending most of my time surrounded by blinking “Insert Coin” signs and cacophonous 8-bit melodies blaring in loops from permanent demo modes. Unfortunately, my reserved personality and social awkwardness did not allow me to fully enjoy those coin-operated heavens of flashing lights. I ventured into the arcades by myself, circling around the machines like a timid tiny shark, watching the other kids play while I was nervously fiddling with the tokens in my pocket. I was too shy to ask someone to join me, and whenever it was my turn to play, I made sure no one was watching.

My gaming choices were the main reason for my lack of video game buddies. Whenever I played Street Fighter II, for instance, I always picked one and only one character: Chun-Li, the first successful and popular female protagonist in an action game. Her legacy paved the way for strong ladies like Lara Croft or Jill Valentine from Resident Evil. Chun-Li became my instant favorite, not only because of her iconic looks and powerful air attacks, but also because by choosing her I was able to explore unprecedented options of gender nonconformity.

The gaming world for me has always been a place where I could behave unconventionally without any real life consequences, and even if I was probably too young to clearly understand my blossoming sexual orientation, the adoption of such a strong woman to defeat legions of macho fighters felt amazingly satisfying. Unfortunately the other boys did not understand why I would use Chun-Li instead of the more popular options like Ryu or Ken. Older kids started teasing me. So the day one too many “f” words was thrown at me, I simply resolved to stop playing in front of other people, dreaming of the day I would find a gaming partner who would bear no judgement.

When I finally received Street Fighter II for my Super Nintendo console, it was one of the happiest times of my life. At last, I was able to find shelter in the privacy of my house – no more peer pressure, no more competition with aggressive adolescents. The enhanced graphics of the new 16-bit console were groundbreaking for the time, and I remember feeling reverential respect for the superbly detailed images, as well as an increasing familiarity with the group of exotic combatants that I controlled in the game. All of the sudden I could not keep my eyes away from the buff bodies on my TV screen. What was happening? Why did Ryu look so strong and seductive in the opening credits, with his bulging veiny biceps and the promise of chiseled muscles under his white kimono?

And why was this warm feeling of desire so similar to the mix of curiosity, attraction, and vague sense of envy that I felt every time I furtively glanced at the other boys at school during PE or in the gym’s changing room? The alluring victory poses of these digital fighters showed me a universe of powerful men with rock-hard abs and ripped torsos, a glimpse of an alternate reality where I was in total control, and where one day, possibly, I could have become as invincible as those aspirational demi-gods. At the time, I was not sure about the word that defined what or who I was, but I knew that my feelings for those moving pixels were powerful and real, and all I desired was to be able to share this passion with someone else, a kindred soul that could understand what was going through my mind. But it was 1993, and I was nothing but a lonely 12-year-old gaymer who felt like a single-player in a world of multiplayers.

Flash-forward to 2017, almost 25 years later. The gaymer community is rising quickly and establishing itself within popular culture, thanks to increased visibility and interconnectivity available through online gaming and forums. Despite most games still being marketed to white straight teenage boys, LGBTQ storylines and characters have been introduced to many mainstream video games, sending to the new generations of gaymers a message of inclusivity and hope. The Street Fighter franchise has landed its fifth chapter, and for the occasion Capcom has created a new character, a bearded and shirtless “hot Ryu”, who has had boys and girls alike screaming “Daddy!” at this new digital persona.

And there is a happy ending for my 12-year-old gaymer self, too. I have been lucky enough to find someone to love and play video games with, a guy who doesn’t judge me when I kick his ass at Street Fighter with my beloved female characters. The second player controller is not collecting dust on a shelf anymore, and I am now confident enough to send a message to those boys who made fun of me at the arcades back in the day.

Come and fight me, guys. Chun-Li and I are no longer afraid.

Un-hangover Yourself

You wake up gasping for breath like you’ve been shot, your mouth is dry like the desert, and what feels like razor blades falling down your ear canal is actually your alarm. The haze slightly subsides, the migraine begins to creep in, and you realize you have around thirty minutes to get your shit together and convince your boss you weren’t out all night, starting with your face.

Stay calm. Here are five beauty products to make you look like you’re a responsible adult that only had ‘one drink’.

1. Glamglow POWERMUD Dual Cleanse Treatment

I found Glamglow when I was traveling, and it honestly took around three years off my face in ten minutes. At first, I thought I was being ripped off, but it revolutionized my face regime. You can literally have seven shots of tequila, follow with double vodka sodas, and still have super clean velvety skin the next morning. So after cleansing your face with a facial cleanser and patting dry, this goes on!

2. Elemis SOS Survival Cream

It’s important to have a daily moisturizer and a backup moisturizer that can literally pump the elixir of youth back into your face. Elemis is formulated as a high performance, daily skin moisturizer, but this skin treatment cream is the optimum solution for sensitivity, irritation, dryness, and blemishes (naturally your perfect sidekick when you’re hungover AF). Once you have finished your face mask, tone, and then slap this baby all over your face and neck.

The powerful formula of marine extracts, lavender, and myrrh instantly soothes problem areas and leaves the skin perfectly hydrated and comfortable after a night of debauchery.

3. Visine Maximum Strength

This is going to be your best friend to get rid of the redness and irritation in your eyes. I recommend putting this in as soon as you’re awake so they’re crisp and hydrated. Don’t wait until you get to work. You might need a couple of rounds of it.

4. Quicksand by Hanz Defuko

This is for those of you who are lucky enough to pull of Viking length hair or something a bit more ’One Direction’ inspired. Quicksand will save you time so you can skip the ‘wet hair’ bit of drying your hair when it’s already a mission to stay alive.

Quicksand is one part styling wax and one part dry shampoo. The gritty formula contains diatomaceous earth, a soft granular rock similar to pumice that sucks up excess oil on the hair and scalp. So it’s perfect for oily, slept on hair.

5. Anything by Le Labo

Lastly after you shower, you need to have something beautiful to spray on your once disgusting self. I recommend Le Labo because their fragrances are so soulful and arresting, and people in your office will be so taken with your scent that they’ll hardly notice any other flaws.

Here are some extra home remedies that will help you (at no cost, only copious amounts of willpower) before crashing and after rising to help you get back to normal.

Before crashing:

  • Drink two pints of water to stop dehydration.
  • Take two painkillers to prevent a headache.

After rising:

  • Drink two more pints of water (your body needs it).
  • Eat a proper meal with carbs, fat, and sugar to absorb alcohol.
  • NO coffee. It’ll cause a headache and promote your old friend anxiety.
  • Eat plenty of fruits to rebalance sugar.
  • A simple breathing exercise and meditation can soothe the pain away.
  • Put two tablespoons in the freezer for 15 minutes, and then hold under your eyes until they are warm, this will minimize blood vessels and puffiness.

Or my personal fave recovery method? Sit in a bath of extremely hot water (for approx. 15 mins) until you sweat out all of your toxins, and then take an extremely cold shower to wake the system up. Shaving and a beard trim are also crucial.

Hang in there.