The Werk: 5 Ways to Stay Sane When You’re Unemployed

Being unemployed doesn’t mean you aren’t busy getting your hustle on. Remember that life is a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and when you “eat your frog” or do the thing you dread the most, first thing in the morning, the rest of the day is smooth sailing. Here are a few things I’ve learned in the down times (and trust me…we’ve all been there):

1. Wake up and slay

First thing in the morning, looking for a job is your job, and this is the time where you research the companies you think you would be interested in working with. If you aren’t getting any bites, redo your resume on a different template. Apply for jobs and reach out to your network via Linkedin and e-mails. Don’t rule out temp agencies or volunteering. Remember that your network is your net worth.

2. ASK ASK ASK

The worst response you will get is a “no,” and when that happens just move on to the next. Ask your friends or network for informational meetings about their field/profession and company. Pick their brain. People want to help you. Hell, the universe is cheering for you and you should cheer for yourself, too. Everyone loves a happy ending and the feeling that they made a difference in your story/life. But sorry gurl, a closed mouth doesn’t get fed, and most people don’t read minds. So speak up and ask for whatever you need.

3. Have an attitude of gratitude

Fantasize about that dream job with that dream company. What will you be wearing? How will your co-workers interact with you? What kind of car will you drive? What comfortable living arrangements will this afford you? See you, as your future self. Don’t think or dwell on past mistakes or failures. Instead, remember all of your successes. Write them down so you don’t forget and read it daily. The second a negative thought comes to mind redirect that thought and think about all the good things coming into your life. C’mon, you have access to clean water and the internet to find that dream job. Priorities, people!

4. Meditation keeps you off the medication

Now is the time for a different kind of work: inner work. It’s a proven fact that 1 hour of meditation is equal to 7 hours of mental/physical work. Find a quiet spot in your pad, sit or lay down, and get clear. Use some background music if it helps. And don’t worry about quieting the mind, over time, with practice you will become a master jedi.

5. End your day with a lewk

Make sure you’re alone when you do this, so no one thinks you’ve lost your mind. Look into a mirror and appreciate yourself for everything you accomplished for the day: “Hello (insert name here), you handsome stud. Today was an awesome day, you woke up, and you slayed!” Say all of the good things you did that day like eating healthy, staying within your budget, helping someone in need, applying for 20 jobs, etc. Then tell yourself about tomorrow and what you want to accomplish.

Need some work/life advice with plenty of real talk mixed in? Pop a question on our kween Millie Naire at [email protected].

Poland Steps Their Game Up

The Polish parliamentary elections in 2011 were a milestone for the rights of LGBTQ people in the country. Anna Grodzka became the first openly transgender representative to be elected to the parliament. Robert Biedroń, the founder of Poland’s largest LGBTQ organization Campaign Against Homophobia (Kampania Przeciw Homofobii), was also elected, becoming the first openly gay representative. That year, it was looking like things might finally be opening up in Poland, but things have dramatically changed since then.

In the 2015 election, the right-wing nationalist party Law and Justice (Prawo i Sprawiedliwość) won, maintaining close contacts with the Catholic Church and nationalists. This election has to be put in a broader European context of the expanding populist movements. Other examples include the election of Viktor Orban in Hungary, Brexit, support for Marine Le Pen in France, and the growing nationalist movement in Sweden. It is also a continuation of trends that we’ve always had at home. In some ways, the already conservative Polish society has been radicalized even more. The noticeably increasing scale of hate crimes towards various groups, including LGBTQ people, is one of the most important challenges facing our movement. Until now, no regulations regarding civil partnerships or same-sex marriages have been introduced in Poland. But that also means we have no rights to risk – nothing can be taken away when you have nothing.

Personally, I’ve experienced a number of situations in which I almost became the victim of violence. While working for Campaign Against Homophobia, I experienced attacks on our office twice. A group of three aggressive men tried to break into the office, shouting vulgar words. Also, I’ve faced verbal abuse on the street and in the park numerous times when walking openly with my French partner. To be honest, I have never encountered so much aggression in my life as in the past two years. We are both close to leaving Poland, just as many other people have done.

A recent study conducted by Campaign Against Homophobia shows that gays and transgender people are groups that are the most exposed to violence. Attacks against LGBTQ victims are not condemned by representatives of state institutions. But LGBTQ people are not the only group that has become the target of increased attacks. Migrants and people of color have become increasingly cautious as well.

Paradoxically, this environment has created new opportunities. For a long time, gay and bisexual men have developed safe social networks, meeting places, clubs, and friendly services. Unfortunately, this has not always been true for queer women and trans people. Back then, these two separate worlds existed side by side, rarely crossing over. My impression is that even the lack of partnerships did not bother them so much. But something changed after the 2015 elections. The political situation in which sexual, national, and ethnic minorities are victimized and accused of every evil in the world has encouraged the dormant LGBTQ movement to act.

I use this word, movement, in the sense of a broad and active community, not just a small set of busy activists. One example is the Equality Parade that takes place every year in Warsaw, which hit record numbers of attendants in 2016. How many times have you heard that pride events do more harm than good in countries where being LGBTQ is frowned upon? Fortunately, in Poland, I hear it less and less frequently. People also realize that support for LGBTQ organizations can bring real change for them. NGOs are reporting a rapidly growing interest in financial support.

Another very important change is taking place in terms of alliances made with other movements. Black protests (Czarny protest) overwhelmed Poland in October 2016, in response to planned changes in abortion law. The Democracy Defense Committee (KOD) was born just after the 2015 elections. Both are examples of solidarity among groups that have sometimes worked separately – men and women, gay and straight, old and young. The power of such unified actions is much greater and more difficult for the authorities to suppress.

From the Polish perspective, the conservative movements happening in other countries now are especially sad because I know firsthand what these political decisions can lead to. Poland has rarely been a “role model” for other countries, but this time it should be a warning bell and an example of how to build solidarity among discriminated groups.

Now Pose! 20 Insta Lewk Queens

There are so many disgustingly talented queens who do not get the recognition that they deserve. They are redefining, recreating, and revolutionizing what drag entails. No longer is it about appearing as fishy as possible, (although who doesn’t love being served some tuna from time to time?). It’s about appearing bigger.

So here are 20 queens – or more specifically, some Lewk Queens – who are straight-up slaying:

1.Eggz Benedictt

Brooklyn-based queen Eggz Benedictt serves legs for days and a face beat for the gods. She currently hosts two parties in New York City, Gotham at Webster Hall and Code Red.

2.Penny Tentiary

You could describe Penny Tentiary’s drag brand as Four Loko. She’s a Boston-based queen whose home bar is Club Café.

3.Imp Queen

Only one word to describe this Chicago-based queen: Iconic.

4.Lucy Stoole

Lucy is another Chicago-based queen. As she (correctly) describes herself, she is an “international black-bearded beauty.”

5.Karen From Finance

This Australian queen isn’t so much a lewk queen as much as she’s a campy comedy queen, but her name is so hilarious that she deserves to be included.

6.James Majesty

James is a Seattle-based queen, and she’s unbelievably gorgeous. Her face is flawless.

7.Pulp Friction

Pulp Friction is Providence’s premiere glitter beard queen. Her home drag bar is EGO.

8.Xochi Mochi

Los Angeles’ Xochi Mochi is a “Killer Klown from Outer Space.” Her looks evoke two parts terror and one part arousal.

9.Loris L.A.

Loris was born in Zurich, Switzerland, but now is a local L.A. Queen. Her looks truly embody the intergalactic femme fatale.

10.Crème Fatale

Crème Fatale is a San Francisco queen who’s makeup is always soft, yet powerful. She always looks gorjuuuus.

11.Avery Goodlay

This Providence queen serves body-ody-ody.

12.Luke Harris

Luke is a London Club Kid. If looks could kill, we’d all be dead. Luke’s looks are mind-blowingly creative.

13.Rify Royalty

Rify doesn’t feel confined by gender. This NYC queen is both hyper-masculine and feminine serving you all the genders.

14.The Vixen

This Chicago queen not only serves face and body, but she also brings down the house when she performs.

15.Evah Destruction

Just look at this Atlanta queen’s face. LOOK AT IT. She evenly rocks both long and short hair lewks.

16.Severity Stone

The first thing you’ll notice about this Boston-based queen is how tall she is. When she wears heels, Severity towers at nearly seven feet. She slays when it comes to goth lewks.

17.Ariel Versace

Ariel Versace is a Philadelphia-based queen who describes herself as, “Jersey’s life-size Bratz Doll.” She does big hair better than any queen currently out there.

18.Phallic Cunt

She lives in New York City, and her looks are fire; serving diverse concepts from greasy pizza to straight up monster.

19.Sarah Palegic

Sarah is a New England lady queen who’s a local in both the Boston and Providence scenes. She is actually paraplegic, and her wheelchair is not a prop. Her makeup is always, and I mean always, lit.

20.Ellis Atlantis

Ellis is the final queen on our list. She is a London queen whose lips you can’t help but envy.

5 Online Pickup Lines Better Than ‘Hey’ & ‘Looking?’

Today, I conducted a little experiment. I left my Grindr app opened all day to collect as many messages as I could. As I sit here writing, I’m looking at 20 messages. Ten of them begin with “Hey,” five of them open with “Hi,” and the others are a mix of nudes and a compliment.

I’m flattered, and I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but how boring, right?

If my average-looking self is receiving 20 messages a day, imagine how many messages the hottie you’ve been hitting up for months is receiving. Probably in the 100s.

You have to stand out – yes, even if you’re keepin’ it casual.

Here are five pick-up approaches that have proven successful for me over the years. Take what you like and leave the rest.

Pose a question based on their profile

Your goal is to spark a conversation and get the other person talking. Find something in their profile and ask them about it.

“Hi, who’s your favorite Will Grace character?” or “You’re a NY native? Where in the city were you born?”

Be creative with your compliments

If you notice his eyes, chances are everyone else has, and it’s possible he’s been getting compliments on them his whole life. So, saying “nice eyes” or “I love guys with blue eyes,” will probably make him roll them at his screen. Same with calling him sexy or hot or handsome…soooo original.

Compliment his smile: “Wow, you have a beautiful smile. Your father must have been a dentist.” Or if he’s standing there shirtless with nothing but a towel: “Wow! That’s a lucky towel!”

See what I mean? Be creative, be witty, show some charisma.

Ask him what his three biggest turn-ons are

If you’re looking to cut right to the chase and you get the sense that he is too, you could go with the stale, “Looking?” or you could try something more original. Ask him what three things turn him on the most. This is a more sophisticated way of asking him what he’s into sexually. It also forces him to say something more than just “bottom.”

Introduce yourself

It’s a little off-putting when a person messages you and bombards you with question after question. Unless this is the beginning of a cops and robbers scene, let’s make the conversation a two-way street.

Try introducing yourself first. You know how to do that, right? Say your name, where you’re visiting from and what you’re after. This is called “leveling the playing field.”

Use an emoji or Gaymoji

This is my go-to trick when I come across a profile that makes me a little misty down there. I shoot him a message with three heart-eyed emojis. It’s a goofy way of saying “Holy shit you’re hot!” If his profile really knocks me down, I might send three engagement rings. Don’t be afraid to be silly, and again, charismatic.

Lamar Dawson is a pop culture junkie living in Manhattan. Follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

GTFO: Vancouver

Run out of excuses to party? How about Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation? Get up to Vancouver and fill your lungs with some seriously fresh air, explore the incredible food scene, down a cocktail or two, find a messy dance floor, and recover on a sandy beach adorned with nakedness (or a hike amongst the redwoods). Local stunner Allan Lal takes us on a spin around the city he calls home.

Eat

La Brasserie

Great dining in the Davie Village that isn’t a chain restaurant. Small but cute interior and an open kitchen set up so you can see your delicious Franco-German food being made.

1091 Davie St.

Rodney’s Oyster Bar

Time for a good old slurrrrp! An amazing oyster and seafood place. Go to the one in Yaletown for a more chill environment. The staff is basically a gay boy’s fantasy.

1228 Hamilton St.

Twisted Fork

Nothing over the top, but it’s a very cute place near the edge of the Davie Village doing “slightly French” food. Brunch here is perfect. The size helps with the local and family feel.

1147 Granville St.

Chambar

Spoil yourself at this perfect payday treat. Book a table ahead for weekends and order anything, because you won’t be disappointed.

568 Beatty St.

Drink

The Fountainhead

The Cheers of Vancouvercome enough times and they’ll all know your name, and most likely your embarrassing stories too. Right in the heart of Davie Village and close to all the bars, it’s a perfect warm-up spot.

1025 Davie St.

1181

A trendier place in the gay village to get drinks started for a night out. A bit upscale with a chic layout and a cool crowd. Oh, and did anyone notice the seriously hot shirtless bartenders (especially manager Todd)?

1181 Davie St.

The Keefer

Great Asian themed decor and amazing custom cocktails…their Rosemary Gimlet is a gift from the heavens. They are also known for a random celebrity sighting at times.

135 Keefer St.

The Diamond

In the heart of beautiful Gastown, it’s definitely worth leaving the gay strip for some awesome drinks and hanging out with the cool kids.

6 Powell St.

Dance

Junction

Definitely the place when you’re in the Top 40 mood. A younger crowd for sure, but all types stop by. Everyone loves to hate on it, but after midnight, even the loudest naysayers are messy on the dance floor.

1138 Davie St.

Pumpjack Pub aka “PJ’s”

With the new revamp, everyone is going here. Great music, huge dance floor, and enough throwbacks to its leather/fetish past to keep it interesting. And who doesn’t love strippers in showers with big “personalities”?

1167 Davie St.

XY

The new kid on the block…if that new kid has been around forever. But XY keeps changing its name and look. The new look is classy, gurrrrl! A perfect night out to dance dance dance and not give a damn.

1216 Bute St.

Numbers

An old classic in the village. A fun multi-story club with a diverse crowd. Never pretentious with weekend lines and the small dance floor makes it easy to get close with the guy you were eyeing at the bar.

1042 Davie St.

The Cobalt

Proof that gays can fix anything. Started as a “divey” straight bar and turned into a busy establishment with a grunge feel in the heart of the growing East Van satellite gay scene. Some of the best monthly parties happen here, but the highlight for many is Man Up – our very own multi-gender drag spectacular and queer dance party.

917 Main St.

Fun times with the locals…

Gay Trivia on Mondays at the Junction is always fun with a local crowd and good people. Drag queen bingo at Celebrities gets you through hump day. Numbers has karaoke all week on the top floor if that’s your thing, or if it’s your thing after copious amounts of liquid courage.

Time to strip…

When summer is finally here, the beaches don’t disappoint. Skip the tourist trap of English Bay and make the short trek to nearby Third Beach Serenely isolated away from family crowds and you never have to look too far to find a hottie tanning. If you’re up for an adventure and crossing a bridge, then historic Wreck Beach is a must. Touted as one of the largest nude beaches in North America, the crowd is very mixed and chill. Easily the best spot to let a summer daze take hold and let the hours melt by.

Read more at the Vancouver Tourism website.

Special thanks to Allan Lalfor giving us the low-down.

A Cher-tastic Birthday: Her Best Movie Roles

She may be best known for her eclectic discography, dazzling wardrobe, and reputation as a bona fide gay icon, but Cher has also racked up an impressive number of acting roles and even an Academy Award.

The star may have played witches, widows, and, of course, herself over the last five decades, but recent reports revealed a change of direction in the form of a movie re-enactment of the Flint water crisis that exposed thousands to lead contamination.

Family issues eventually put a halt to Cher’s long-awaited return to our screens, leaving fans questioning whether or not she will ever take another movie role. Never fear, though – there are plenty of gems buried in her expansive filmography. You’ve probably seen the likes of Mask and Mermaids, but in honor of her birthday, here are just a few of our other favorites.

Silkwood

The star’s acting career kicked off with a few musical cameos and a starring role in 1969’s Chastity, but it wasn’t until over a decade later that she began to attract critical acclaim. Released in 1983, Silkwood chronicles the fight for the rights of workers exposed to nuclear radiation at an Oklahoma power plant. Cher stands out in her role as Dolly; not only does she prove her acting prowess, she shines in a movie that ultimately becomes about the power of female friendship. Furthermore, the fact that she portrays a lesbian is almost beside the point – it adds another layer to Dolly’s personality but never dominates it.

Moonstruck

Perhaps Cher’s most memorable movie role – or, at least, her most memorable line – came in 1987 when she played Loretta, an Italian-American widow torn between her fiancé and his younger brother, in Moonstruck. Set in Brooklyn Heights, the movie sees the star, with her iconic black perm and a distinctive Italian New Yorker accent, work a series of low-key looks – the key exception being the black strapless gown she wears to a decidedly high-key date with her fiancé’s brother.

The movie is also refreshing in the sense that the female character has all the autonomy – despite her superstitions, Cher plays a strong woman whose affair actually works out pretty well for her. Then, of course, there’s the iconic scenein which she slaps Ronny for declaring his love. The star issues a sharp, concise response which went on to be imitated by drag queens worldwide: “Snap out of it!”

The Witches of Eastwick

This light-hearted, campy tale of three witches united to destroy one man is definitely worth a watch. As is often the case with films involving witches, there are countless metaphors to be found; not only are the women outcast for their so-called promiscuity, they’re seduced by a sexist and pushed to rivalry. That is, however, until they discover their skills and reinforce the age-old metaphor of the power of a scorned woman.

The standout scene comes when Cher, who plays witch Alex, rejects Daryl (before being manipulated by him) with a slew of verbal insultsincluding the deliciously concise: “You have no taste, a lousy sense of humor and you smell.” Ironically enough, there were problems on set – in a later interview, the star revealed that she quit on-set before returning and that the producers had assumed the women would embody the stand-offish diva persona on set. Unsurprisingly, this wasn’t the case.

Burlesque

Burlesque isn’t exactly critically-acclaimed. Some have called it “horrible”, whereas even Cher herselfsaid, “It wasn’t a good film. It had a few good moments, but I didn’t even like my performance that much.” That being said, it’s camp, it’s occasionally so bad that it’s brilliant and it spawned a soundtrack – and one particularly killer song– which went on to win a Golden Globe. It may not be an emotive masterpiece à la Silkwood, but it’s Cher. And Christina Aguilera. In a film. Together.

The storyline follows the standard formula – Ali, played by Aguilera, is a young girl with big dreams who quit her job to become a superstar. She stumbles upon a burlesque club run by Tess, played by Cher, and is initially rejected before seizing an opportunity to showcase her talent and gain the recognition of her dreams. It’s not exactly new ground, but let’s be clear once again – it’s two musical legends on screen together accompanied by an award-winning soundtrack. There’s also a scene which sees Cher smash a window with a crowbar. What’s not to love?

Tea With Mussolini

Cher has played the maternal role on various occasions, but maybe the most nuanced – and, undoubtedly, fabulous – matriarch she has played is American widow Elsa in Tea With Mussolini. In the movie, Elsa is sophisticated and wealthy, both qualities which she channels into establishing a trust fund for Luca, the son of a disinterested father and a recently-deceased mother. Things quickly get tricky when he falls for Elsa, quickly becoming envious of her new lover – just another complicated role.

Not only does she play the role of a heroine against a background of war and political violence, she again depicts a nuanced character still worthy of celebration in an industry often guilty of stereotyping women. Not only that, Cher has consistently starred in films which feature gay, lesbian and trans characters who are more layered than we – unfortunately – are used to seeing on screen. Complex sexual identities are often part and parcel of a Cher movie; perhaps one of the reasons she’s still so widely celebrated within the LGBTQ community.

The New Lil’ Poundcake Doll is Vile AF

For those of you fortunate enough to gag on the utter spectacularness of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season Two, you witnessed Alaska Thunderfuck come into her (filthy) own and basically run away with the competition. A drag star re-born, you could say.

But the true fans remember the flashes of brilliance that got her to where she is now in Season Five, when, during a fateful mini-challenge, she gave birth to the shitshow that is Lil’ Poundcake, a totally deranged beauty pageant contestant. And somehow, in the midst of releasing two albums, a YA novel, and performing around the world, Alaska was able to make a throbbing 13.5 inch doll of what has clearly become a cult character. You know, if the cult was into mentally unstable white trash. Oh, and did we mention it talks? The bitch talks.

For those of you who that think Barbie is for basic bitches (because she is), Lil’ Poundcake is def up your alley. We spent a good part of the day playing with her posable middle finger and pressing on her bloated belly to hear such loving phrases as, “You’re not my real dad and you never will be,” “Ouch! You squeezed me really hard,” and our personal fave, “My name’s Lil’ Poundcake and I’m a straight-up motherfucking dick pig.” (Because she is.)

Are we selling this for you? Good.

Lil’ Poundcake is available now and in limited supply, so get your butt to Alaska’s online store pronto to score your own piece of terror before she’s gone.

All or Nothing: Europe’s Troubled History of Recognizing Trans People

When I started my career as a trans activist in 2003, sterilization was seen as something that just “came with the territory” of being a trans person. Both my native Germany and the Netherlands, where I lived at the time, made it an explicit requirement for legal gender recognition, i.e. my ability to change the gender marker on my paperwork. Sterilization in this context means infertility through surgery, such as a hysterectomy (for trans men) or removal of the testicles (for trans women).

Back then, that seemed logical to most. After all, what was once called “transsexualism” was understood to be a desperate need to transition from one neatly defined gender to the (only) other neatly defined gender, including a desire to get rid of reproductive organs. These notions were internalized by doctors and trans patients alike and went unquestioned, even by virtually all of the trans people I met in support groups.

But how did we get there?

Access to transition care in Western Europe developed something like this: trans people sought hormones and surgeries, then found providers (often outside the mainstream) who were willing to do it. Doctors became convinced by the first narrative they heard, there were only two genders and these individuals required a change from one to the other. Trans people then shared that same narrative with their peers, who in turn used it again to get the health care they also sought. Over time the “standard” trans story became entrenched, including the crucial element that all trans people wanted, or needed, every available surgery so as to be “completely the other” gender. Ultimately, that version of a trans story was not only the desired story but the obligatory one.

Doctors actively rejected those individuals who did not fit, making non-binary trans people, as well as others, unable to access the health care they needed without also undergoing treatments they did not need or want.

Another part of that narrative was the belief that all trans people sought to live as “stealth” a life as possible – i.e. without being visible to anybody as a trans person. To facilitate this invisible life – which was heavily promoted by doctors – trans people needed identity documents that showed their self-identified gender.

There was no real choice between fertility and being recognized as a person before the law. I needed a job, and therefore proper ID – so I did what I had to do.

Parliamentary documentation does not tell us much about the reasoning that went into explicitly requiring sterilization (this would be a fun project for a historian!). But I believe that it was written into law following the same eugenic thinking that forced involuntary sterilizations on other marginalized communities such as Roma, poor people, and people with disabilities. It is rooted in a belief that some lives are socially undesirable and simply not worth living, and so must be prevented, even eradicated. But the act of taking a treatment protocol based on a narrative that fit the identities of some people and turning it into a piece of law that applied to all was a factor as well. Sterilization is a necessary or desired part of medical care for some trans people. This is perfectly reasonable provided that those individuals can make an informed decision about their fertility. For their legal treatment, however, mandatory sterilization or any other medical requirement becomes a human rights violation, especially when it is codified as a precondition for an unrelated benefit – such as an updated identity document.

The judgment of the European Court of Human Rights last month is a major victory and fulfills a vow that I made to myself when I started out as a trans activist: to ensure that no one else was subjected to the coercion that led to my own sterilization. I am deeply grateful to everybody who joined in to make this vision a reality, in ways both big and small – but most of all I am grateful for their work in also envisioning a world free from policing of fertility.

Now that we have prevented new generations of trans people’s exposure to this wrong, our governments must right what was done to us. A full apology and reparations are the least they can do.

—-

Justus Eisfeld is the co-founder of Transgender Netwerk Nederland, Transgender Europe, and Global Action for Trans* Equality, and helped develop the UN interagency statement “Eliminating forced, coercive and otherwise involuntary sterilization.”

#HairGoals: Styles That Make The Cut

We all know a friend who’s had the same haircut for years. It’s almost like they wake up in the morning and put the same wig on every day. But it’s time to look in the mirror and ask yourself: “Whooooooo is that gurl I seeeeee?” Are YOU the friend who’s stuck in a hair rut? We get it, hair is tricky and change can be terrifying, but when you’re ready to take a move from Mulan’s playbook and change up your look, here are some hot summer #HairGoals to help you get inspired.

Shaggy

Grab your sex wax and lube up your longboard. Surfer coolness is casual and no-fuss, so this look requires a great haircut with minimal styling and product. The shaggy cut works well with all hair textures, but pulling this off will require a conversation with your hairstylist about what cut will complement your hair texture and face shape. Think 70’s Brazilian surfer spending the summer eating tacos on Venice beach. If styling your hair with salt air isn’t a realistic option, a great sea salt spray applied on wet hair will achieve the same effect. It will give your hair a little grit so you can just run your fingers through it when you need to re-amp your volume. Just add tacos.

Photo credit: Marlon Teixeira

Photo credit: Yassine Rahalby John Balsom

Mid-length

The hardest part of this style is growing it out. Only the very patient (or very lazy) will achieve this coveted, grungy look. Once you reach your desired length, just add some grooming cream and go. This cut looks the best with no structure. Slick it back and then let it fall for a total 90’s throwback!

Photo credit: @iblamejordan

Photo credit: Sang Woo Kim by Giovanni Martins

Photo credit: Dylan Jagger Lee by Damon BakerShaved Skin Fade

Shaving off your hair can be very liberating. And a good skin fade is undeniably sexy. This is a great option for anyone who needs a low maintenance option for a hot summer. Have a conversation with your barber about where your fade should start: low, medium, or high. A skin fade should blend out to just skin. This look requires minimal product, but we recommend a great scalp clarifying shampoo and, of course, sunscreen. Without the hair that’s usually acting as your SPF, your skin will now be directly exposed to the sun. Before you leave, be sure to schedule your next visit to the barber in three to four weeks– fades may be simple to wear, but the key to maintaining this look is keeping it sharp.

Photo credit: Zayn by Adrain DennisBleach Blonde  

When in doubt, bleach it out. Every gay man should bleach his hair for a summer. It feels edgy and cool; you can’t not feel like a badass. But, gurl, please leave this to a professional. There are many hair shades of oh-hell-no before you get to a yes! The best part is when you start to tire of the bleached-out blonde look, it’s super easy to transition to a color. We love the bleached out sea foam green on Frank Ocean. A blonde-specific shampoo will help you keep your blonde brighter for longer, but only use it every four washes to avoid drying out your hair.

Photo credit: Justin Bieber

Photo credit: Lucky Blue Smith by Steven Khan