Pumpkin-Spiced MAGA Hats Are Where Autumn and Fashion Go to Die

There’s now a way to tell people that you love different color leaves but not different color people.

That’s because, I’m horrified to report, Donald Trump’s website is now selling pumpkin MAGA hats and I suddenly ache for the sweet relief of death.

To add fashion insult to injury, the hats are already sold out what a bummer! If they do go for sale again, these “proudly made in USA” hats are only $45. Unfortunately, to ensure delivery before Halloween, the deadline passed on October 23.

Somehow, the president is slower than Amazon Prime.

Comedian Samantha Bee already pointed out the irony of Trump, famous for his off-kilter complexion, making a hat featuring an orange ghoul.

‘100 Men’ Is A Countdown Of Our History

The conceit for Paul Oremland’s documentary 100 Men seems simple and provocative. The Kiwi filmmaker set out to run down the most memorable sexual encounters he’d experienced over his life. From furtive and illicit teenage run-ins in New Zealand to bathhouse meetups in London and everything in between. Rounding them down to one hundred may have been a challenge“the full list, I’m afraid, has a few more than a hundred men,” he told INTObut not quite as daunting as tracking some of them down to collectively help flesh out Oremland’s sexual history into an even more ambitious account of queer history travelogue.

Originally, the Like It Is director didn’t envision making this latest project so autobiographical. In fact, he first began doing several of the interviews that ended up in 100 Men as research for other documentaries he hoped to make. But once the New Zealand Film Commission heard of his still-taking-shape project, they suggested he put himself at the center of it all.

“It was the only way it was really going to work,” he shared. “I realized that just a list, it would’ve just become repetitive if it had been just literally a countdown. I realized the Film Commission was right and I had to own this, fess up, and just try and make more of the narrative of it. It was quite hard. It became more personal, but it was the only way it was going to work.”

That support pushed Oremland to structure what had until then merely been an ever-growing list of his past sexual exploits into a larger narrative. What emerged was a probing examination of queer intimacy through the latter half of the twentieth and the early twenty-first century. Winnowing, not to mention, remembering 100 experiences ended up becoming a kind of personal archeological endeavor. Oremland, as he shows in the film, went through old journals, diary entries, and even phone records to track down people he hadn’t seen in decades, some of whom he’d only met briefly but who’d left a lasting impression on him. Everyone from the Cornish fisherman he met via a phone line to the opera singer whose lithe body he could still remember decades later; from the married man with whom he had a bisexual threesome to the longtime partner with whom he’s built a life.

Intercutting interviews with many of these men with scenes from his own past films and programs, 100 Men tells a rather personal story that cannot help but echo the way attitudes about gay sex have shifted over the past few decades. Oremland was aware that such a venture risks shedding light on an aspect of the gay male community that can, in certain quarters, still elicit not just mere eye rolls but outright disapproval. “I wanted to do something that celebrated,” this kind of free-wheeling sexual freedom, “rather than constantly be judgmental of it.”

But as he found out while showing the film at Outfest in Los Angeles earlier this year, there are those who, even in 2017, bristle at such an open embrace of this brand of sex positivity. Or, in blunter terms, promiscuity. At a reception following the film’s screening, Oremland witnessed a heated debate about the film’s sexual politics between, surprisingly, a group of younger and older gays. Where the older group of gay men seemed to warm up to the kind of history Oremland weaves in his filmwith escapades in dark rooms, in cruising parks, and within the S scenethe younger men tut-tutted what they saw as an irresponsible and outdated vision of gay male life.

“Oh, that was the old days,” Oremland remembers one young gay man saying, “That’s how you had to live back then, but now that we’re accepted, we can be normal.” That word alone sent those around him reeling.

“In a way, he had this romantic ideal that he could now get married and live happily ever after. It’s quite interesting how that attitude seems to be more about the pressure on young people nowadays to conform, maybe even more perhaps than when I was growing up, in a strange sort of way.”

Those generational differences are amply explored in 100 Men. In the film, a young man scoffs at the thought of living in a gay ghetto like the Castro, which has long been a safe haven for young men like Oremland was when he visited San Francisco after growing up in parochial New Zealand, while another almost wistfully talks about wanting to find a boyfriend. The move towards this vision of conformity, which in itself points to the progress certain gay men around the world have fought for, is tempered by the world-weary wisdom proffered by older men in the film. In showing us well-adjusted gay men in their later years (most of whom were surprised by how well they were doing, Oremland admitted), 100 Men forces audiences to reckon with what younger generations can learn from those who have quite literally seen their queer lives bloom with possibilities.

And while promiscuity may be the underlying conceit of the film (to many, 100 men is perhaps too high a number for anyone to boast about), it also speaks to issues of companionship and intimacy that push beyond the limited ideas of coupledom that society at large still celebrates.

“The vast bulk of gay men that I know are in long-term, loving, good relationships. But they are not monogamous. I’m not saying that you can’t have monogamous relationships. It’s certainly not the experience of most of the gay men that I know. It’s important to state this because a lot of young people are going to be sadly disappointed. And in some ways, I understand.

My first boyfriendI thought we were going to live happily ever after in this wonderful, blissful, monogamous relationship. That was a million years ago and I still have that ideal, because that’s what I inherited from my mom and dad.”

Queered ideas of what a couple can look like remain, alas, steeped in judgment. Oremland shared that there had been several men he’d contacted for the doc who refrained from participating. One, in particular, cited his job as an excuse. He’s now a headmaster. And while he’s openly gay, he couldn’t fathom going on camera to talk about past sexual experiences or even discuss his open relationship with his husband. “Look, I wouldn’t want for my work colleagues to know about that,” he told Oremland. Such concern with respectability remains one of the many battles still being waged by gay men around the world.

The closet as we know it may slowly become a relic of the past, but there are new closets the community is still bringing down. And sex, as Oremland’s film and its reaction remind us, is at the very edge of that.

10 Campy Horror Flicks Every Gay Man Should See

Halloween is just a week away. In addition to putting together the perfect costume that blends sex appeal and cultural significance, it’s also time to partake in all our favorite Halloween traditions. One such time-honored tradition is a horror movie binge.

No, we’re not talking about Nightmare on Elm Street and I Know What You Did Last Summer, no matter how classic those titles may be. Even more essential to gay men this time of year is a specific subgenre of horror that’s lousy with camp. They’re more quotable one-liners than scares, but they’re all must-see cinema this time of year.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

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A couple gets stranded in the rain and is taken in by a gender-bending mad scientist who’s creating the perfect man. It’s a tale as old as time. Oh, and it’s a musical. Not only is this movie an essential viewing, but everyone should also go to a live performance at least once in their life.

The Witches of Eastwick

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Nothing’s quite as erotic as Cher, Susan Sarandon, and Michelle Pfeiffer living their most iconic ‘80s lives. Even the devil (as portrayed by Jack Nicholson) was bewitched by their big hair and satin negligees.

Beetlejuice

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Michael Keaton makes the afterlife look absurdly fun while Winona Ryder makes our teenage emo phases look incredibly tame. Oh, and Alec Baldwin in his prime makes dorky dad wear look irresistibly sexy.

Death Becomes Her

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Watching Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep duke it out to the death is even more interesting when neither of them can die. But with Bruce Willis and eternal beauty on the line, we’d throw our hats into the ring as well.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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The Sarah Michelle Gellar teen soap on the WB may be a classic but the original movie with Kristy Swanson turns the Valley girl camp up to a 10. Who can resist Luke Perry and logic like, “I have no sense of history? He wears a brown tie!”

Hocus Pocus

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This one’s a no-brainer. Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy play three witches who’ve come back from the dead in search of eternal youth and beauty. As much as we enjoyed it as children, it was basically written for gay men.

Serial Mom

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Kathleen Turner is the perfect housewife. But things like failing to recycle and wearing white after Labor Day just drive her to homicide. With John Waters behind the camera, this is cinematic gold.

The Craft

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The classic high school mean girls get a wicked new spin with Robin Tunney, Fairuza Balk, Neve Campbell, and Rachel True. If you haven’t lusted after Skeet Ulrich and wrapped a ribbon around some bitch’s photo while reciting a binding spell, you haven’t experience the greatness of this film.

Psycho Beach Party

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Charles Busch’s drag genius gets the cinematic treatment with this homage to ‘60s beach movies and ‘70s slasher flicks. This film has everything: split personalities, gay surfers, and a pre-famous Amy Adams.

Jennifer’s Body

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This one still hasn’t received the cult status it deserves. Diablo Cody’s hilarious one-liners are delivered perfectly by Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox. Amid the shameless camp, there’s also a steamy scene for our lesbian sisters.

Getting Messy With London Pop Agitator GIRLI

London-based pop anarchist GIRLI proudly wants you to know that she is a hot mess. In fact, she considers the label aspirational. “To be a hot mess, for me, is being completely messy but also super in control of your own self,” she explains to me over the phone while travelling to the British seaside town of Margate for a writing session. “For a lot of people, I think the term ‘hot mess’ is used to describe women in a negative way. They’ll be like, ‘She’s sweaty and out of control and all over the place.’ But I want to reclaim the term. I want it to be like, ‘Yeah I’m a hot mess. I’m dramatic and I’m mental, but I love it.’”

Part of this reclamation comes in the form of the singer’s latest EP, appropriately titled Hot Mess. It’s a continuation of two years’ hard work that has seen GIRLI the moniker for Milly Toomey disrupting what you might expect from a young pop upstart. Her music doesn’t shy away from topics of sexism and bigotry (“Girls Get Angry Too”), youthful nihilism and anxieties (“It Was My Party”), and relatable tales of drunken parties and modern takes on finding love (“Girl I Met On The Internet”).

Nearly always dressed head-to-toe in pink (and always sporting her signature hot pink hair), GIRLI’s mission isn’t to be confrontational. But if the themes that her music touches on makes people feel uncomfortable along the way, that’s okay with her. “If I’m singing a song about fancying a girl and you’re a homophobic person, then fuck yeah, I want you to feel uncomfortable,” she says. “I don’t go out there being like, ‘I want this song to make people feel really uncomfortable.’ But I also think it’s important to be open-minded because I know people in the past have responded to my songs going, ‘Ew, what the fuck is this?’ I kind of relish that. If I’m making songs that are polarizing like that then I know I’m doing the right thing.”

The songs might be polarizing thematically, but sonically they bang, often leaping from incredibly memorable pop hooks to the electronic and abrasive skittishness of PC Music or Major Lazer. It’s all tied together, however, by GIRLI’s rap-pop hybrid, delivered with a British nonchalance reminiscent of early Lily Allen or the Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner. In fact, the observational and satirical element those two artists exemplified is fundamental to GIRLI’s music. “Humour is one of the most relatable things,” she explains. “It’s a great way to connect with people.”

Take, for example, the happy-clappy and extremely pop “Mr 10PM Bedtime,” an attack on “anyone who gets at people for being young because they can’t remember what it was like” that arose after GIRLI had a few confrontations with a neighbor. “This guy was a complete twat. We would have one small gathering on a Friday or we’d have a party and let everyone know, and he’d still complain,” she recalls. “I remember feeling like this guy didn’t remember what it was like to be scared and confused and to want to party with your friends. In a way, I was feeling sorry for him more than anything. He clearly has lost some sort of light in him.”

If GIRLI’s humor and fuck-you attitude come across as arrogant, it’s on purpose. Even when she’s grappling with her own self-esteem on songs like “Neck Contour,” a track written after she made a list of all the things she aspired to be like, she’s doing it with her tongue firmly in her cheek. Although, she admits, it doesn’t make these insecurities any less real. “With GIRLI, people look at me and I’m wearing all this pink and I’m really opinionated and loud and they assume that I’m confident and that I must be totally fine with loving myself. But actually, it’s not really like that,” she confesses. “Like everyone else, I get nervous, I doubt myself, I have insecurities. A lot of the time the way I speak, make music, and dress is a retaliation; I’m saying, ‘Go on, look at me.’”

As “Neck Contour” suggests, many of these insecurities come from our intense and ever-growing co-dependence on social media and the internet, something that GIRLI describes as a “mind fuck.” She details the internal struggle she has with the internet, lamenting how we can “become numb” to something as horrific as Donald Trump’s election and how, even more bizarrely, it has become a meme. “If we used all the energy that we’re doing making memes and laughing at him to actually do something about it…it’s kind of crazy,” she adds. But of course, being a pop star means that you can’t log off and forgo digital communication; it’s an essential way to interact with fans. Although as GIRLI says, “I’d much rather be making music in the ‘90s where you didn’t have to deal with all that shit.”

The battle about the internet’s worth becomes apparent when we discuss things like the increased liberalism of millennials and Generation Z. For her, the internet has opened up essential discussions about gender, sexuality, and race. “I remember that things that are now accepted in my friendship group, like everyone’s pronouns or being trans, or the issue of race, or sexism, weren’t even discussed at school when I was there,” she states. “Sure, there were the more obvious things like, ‘are you being sexist? Are you being homophobic?’ There are so many complexities to things now, which I think is good because it means that we are questioning everything that we know and saying, ‘Why do we say that everyone has to have one gender?’ Or ‘Why do we say that there are three sexualities?’” It’s something that, she argues, older generations struggle with, even people as liberal as her parents. “You do forget that it can be a total mind fuck for an older generation to think about things that a younger generation growing up with the internet who would just say, ‘Yeah, that’s a thing.’”

The internet and social media, GIRLI says, have helped facilitate a new celebration of self-expression. “It’s a movement that the internet has helped spread that has then been picked up by artists or bands,” she explains, adding that young people she meets are unlikely to identify as just straight. “But I think the whole labels thing is weird because why do we need labels in the first place? I’m a human being and I fancy who I fancy,” she finishes, pointedly.

Lyrically, GIRLI’s music might be very relatable and songs like the incredibly catchy “Feel Okay” and “Can I Say Baby” have a universality about them as they addresses the anxieties about new relationships (even if the latter is about a boy GIRLI fancied who often wore women’s clothes). However, there is an inherent British quality to the music, from the references to the delivery. Does she ever feel the need to Americanize her sound to appeal to a wider audience? “I think not,” she replies, before listing off acts like Amy Winehouse and David Bowie, who remained quintessentially themselves while conquering the U.S.

“If someone wants to change their music because they think it might appeal to more people then that’s their choice,” she continues. “But I think what appeals to more people and what makes people stick around and listen to your music is if they know it’s genuine and if they know it comes from you. I’m not American, so why would I make American sounding music?”

Indeed, if there’s one thing that is fundamental to who GIRLI is as an artist, it’s that being true to yourself is the most important thing you can do. “If I look back at all the music I’ve released over the past two years, I can see how I’ve changed,” she says, our time together ending. “I think there’s a lot that I’ve learned about the type of music that I want to make, the kind of person I am, that I couldn’t have learned unless I’d released that material.”

“That’s one of the most interesting things about being an artist, “she adds. “You put stuff out and then you learn about yourself retrospectively.” Now isn’t that the truth.

GIRLI’s new EP Hot Mess is available now.

Oregon City Council Member Tells Gay Man: ‘I’ll Spit on Your Grave When You Die of AIDS’

An Oregon town has apologized after a member of its city council told a gay man to go die of AIDS.

Lou Nakapalau, who sits on the council of Echo City, reportedly harassed filmmaker Joe Wilson on Facebook in response to an article Wilson posted on workplace protections for transgender people. Nakapalau claimed that he was “sick of the LGBTQ crowd shoving their keyed up agenda down my throat.”

The ensuing conversation included a number of anti-gay epithets lobbed at Wilson, which were later deleted. Nakapalau subsequently began to threaten the documentarianwhose latest film, Kumu Hina, profiles a transgender woman in Hawaii.
“When you croak of AIDS (Anally Injected Death Serum),” the politician said, “I’ll spit on your grave!”

Nakapalau has yet to speak publicly on his comments, but the Echo City council voted during its most recent meeting to issue an apology to Wilson. The board claimed that Nakapalau’s remarks do not reflect the local government’s views of LGBTQ people.

“The Echo City Council would like to extend its sincerest apology to those who were offended […],” the council said in a statement. “Comments of individual council members on their personal social media accounts do not have any endorsement or approval of the council as a whole nor do they represent city policy.”

Echo City council member Robert Harris claimed that the apology was the “absolute least” the town can do to make amends to the LGBTQ community. Nakapalau was present for the decision and voted in favor of issuing the statement.

The mea culpa may not be enough for some.

Townsfolk turned up at the Echo City Council meeting to advocate that Nakapalau be removed from his position. Local resident Jenny Sullivan told the city’s leadership that she is “absolutely disgusted” by Nakapalau’s remarks.

“[A]ny self-respecting council would throw him off,” she said.

Add Gay Porn to the List of Things Making You Feel Bad About Your Body

Et tu, pornography?

As if being a person of size was not already difficult enough in the gay and bisexual communities, America or the Western world, there’s another thing telling queer men that our bodies are less-than-desirable: our beloved pornography.

According to a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, consuming more pornography during the week had a direct correlation to a negative body attitude, depression and anxiety in a sample of over 1,000 gay and bisexual men.

In an interview with Vice, Hunter College professor Jeffrey T. Parsons, one of the study’s researchers, did admit that there was more research to be done: the study didn’t differentiate between what kind of pornography people were watching, cataloguing all titillating videos as the same.

Of course, pornography is not the only thing contributing to a veritable epidemic of body dysmorphia among queer men. One 2005 study even went so far as to call “homosexuality” a risk factor for eating disorders in men.

Besides porn, images in gay media and other community members reinforce these svelte body standards. A 2011 study found that men in gay magazines were actually slimmer than men in ads targeting heterosexual people. And several studies have shown that gay and bisexual men are thinner on average than our straight counterparts. And you also have messages like “No fats, no fems,” that, while insidious and gross, pop up on t-shirts as if they are innocuous and cool.

Just as gay and bi men are subject to these images, studies have also shown that we perpetuate these standards to damaging effects. One 2012 study confirmed that gay men looking for relationships and hookups prized leanness and muscularity in their partners.

While negative body image is bad enough, researchers of this most recent study also found that negative body image, coupled with depression and anxiety, led some men to engage in sex that might put them at risk for HIV acquisition, and may even cause HIV-positive men to skip taking their HIV medication.

Parsons said this all stems from the stigma and discrimination many gay and bi men face on a daily basis.

“One Supreme Court decision didn’t reverse decades of discrimination,” Parsons told Vice. “If you add Trump’s daily threats to the LGBTQ community, and overlay that with the feeling ‘I feel bad about my body,’ the idea of then taking your HIV medications it’s like, well, maybe I’ll just put that aside because I’m feeling so depressed and anxious and unhappy with how I look. Some people really allow the negativity they feel in their body to limit how well they take care of their health.”

Photo credit: Torbakhopper/ Flickr

What To Do When Your BFF Is Hotter Than You

In this week’s Hola Papi!, the advice column by writer, Twitterer, and prolific Grindr user John Paul Brammer, a reader writes that his BFF is so amazing and great but has one problem:he’s too hot.

And our dear, dear reader is finding himself going unnoticed by the men around them when out, and his self-confidence is taking a hit. Thank goodness for Hola Papi!

If you want his advice, just email him [email protected] your question. Just be sure to include SPECIFICS, and don’t forget to start out your letter with Hola Papi!

_____

Hola Papi!

This has plagued my self-esteem for the past year or so. I’m at your typical NYC gay bar/rooftop/club/sausage hangout on a Saturday night with my best friend in tow. We do everything together, and he’s truly the best kind of company: he’s hilarious, he makes me feel energized and we can be our goofy selves together. Thing is, every time we walk into aforementioned gay hot spot, all eyes land on my friend, who we’ll call Scott.

Scott’s not my type sexually, but I definitely consider him very attractive with his icy blue eyes, square jaw, and glorious brown hair. I don’t consider myself sexy by any means. I’m probably a 7 on a good day, but Scott just oozes sexiness, charm and wit that it’s hard for me to be around him and have all the boys gravitate to him immediately. He gets hit on all the time while these men act like I don’t exist.

The fact that it’s always just the two of us brings this sense of competitiveness within me that I hate. I’m always comparing myself to him. I can’t help but feel down and even inferior to his extremely good looks. This only happens when we’re out meeting guys. Otherwise, I love spending time with him where I don’t feel like I’m invisible. How can I stop comparing myself to him whenever we’re out meeting guys? I accept that he’s better looking than me, but surely I can stop feeling so inferior to him?

Yours truly,
Silver Medal

 

Hi Ho Silver! Thank you for writing in. Though I must admit, I’m a bit disappointed. I was kind of hoping for a letter from Scott.

Kidding. I’M KIDDING! You are all equal in the eyes of Papi. Mostly because I have no idea who any of you are, and I get paid regardless of whether or not you like what I have to say. It’s the most beautiful dynamic I’ve ever had with men, truly.

Anyway, back to your problem. It immediately reminded me of this guy, Juan Pablo. I don’t mean myself (I am also Juan Pablo). I’m referring to a Juan Pablo with hundreds of thousands of Instagram followers who are strictly there to look at his face. This Juan Pablo has beautiful tattoos, ridiculously ripped forearms, and scruff on his chin that I’d love to sand myself down with until nothing remained of me.

Perhaps it’s that we’re both gay and we’re both Mexican and we both have the same name that makes it so tempting to compare myself to him. But when I do, Silver, let me tell youit does not feel great! Looking at him, I can’t decide if I want to be him or hook up with him, but I do know for sure that looking at him makes me feel worse about myself. Because when I see him, I see things I lack.

We gays tend to do this a lot: define ourselves in the negative, by the things we don’t have. Why? There’s no clear consensus, but it probably has something to do with being invalidated so early and often in life, which in turn inspires a drive to compensate with accolades and praise.

So with that in mind, the key to overcoming your issue is not winning a race against Scott, as I think you already know. You can have all the gay eyeballs in the room on you, but you ultimately won’t feel satisfied if your only metric for self-worth is dependent on strangers approving of you. Or, at least, you won’t feel satisfied for long.

They key is being mindful of your need for validation (which we all have, and is not an inherently unhealthy thing!) and managing your response to it when it crops up. And it will crop up. A lot. The high rates of eating disorders and anxiety in the gay community (and among heterosexual women as well) tell us that living under the tyranny of male approval is a one-way ticket to stress.

Were I a hacky self-help guru (and let’s be clear, I do plan to become one if I ever spin this shit into a talk show. Papi has bills to pay) I would tell you that you just need to be more confident and that it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

And there’s wisdom in that. Confidence, which is really just an attitude shift, can work wonders. And you know what? Your insides do matter a lot, your intelligence and your personality, your skeleton, your endocrine systemall great and important!

But the fact is, we do live in a world that values and rewards Scott and Hot Juan Pablo for having extremely symmetrical faces and square jaws. People really do get special advantages for their outsides. I have some of those advantages, in fact. And I bet you do too. So how do we cope?

It might sound a bit unorthodox, but I have a voice in my head whose job it is to remind me to not “compete” with other people. Whenever I’m stalking Hot Juan Pablo’s Instagram, or whenever I feel bitter that my hot gay friend always gets way more likes on his selfies, the voice pops up and says, “That has nothing to do with you.”

It’s my way of saying “no thank you” to the frequent requests to measure myself up to other people, my way of reminding myself that I’m on my own journey that isn’t more or less worthy than anyone else’s, and my way of saying, “mind your own damn business” to myself.

In all likelihood, these people I’m comparing myself to aren’t even thinking about me. But if they are, guess what? That has nothing to do with me. The good things about me, the things I like about myself, are not commodities to be compared and contrasted to others in order to determine their worth. If I think about them that way, I have lost something very important, and I have devalued myself.

I’m also not a big fan of this “scale” everyone is always talking about, upon which you have placed yourself at 7. Someone’s 7 is someone else’s 10, and someone else’s 4. It’s different for everyone, and putting people on a scale implies some consensus has been reached when in fact it’s way more subjective than that. Everyone maxes out at 6 in my world, for example, because that is as high as I can count.

And didn’t you say yourself that Beautiful Chiseled Blue-Eyed Scott isn’t even your type? Is your opinion less valid than someone else’s?

The other thing, Silver Medal, and I wanted to save this point until the end, is that when you find someone you really like and who really likes you, be it romantically or platonically, all that competition stuff won’t really matter. Because, well, that person won’t be a prizean object you won like a teddy bear at the county fair or something. That person will be a human being with a real connection to you.

All this to say, Silver, you don’t have to worry. You are someone else’s gold. Or, better yet, be your own gold. Or, best yet, devalue gold completely and create a moneyless gay utopia where we have no concept of currency and no need for rare metals or heterosexuality.

Just a thought!

Christian Fundamentalist Believes Gay Nazi Death Squads Were Responsible for Las Vegas Shooting

End times evangelist Rick Wiles thinks he knows who was really behind the Las Vegas shooting: LGBTQ people.

Wiles claimed during a Thursday broadcast of his TruNews radio program that the Oct. 1 tragedy, which resulted in the death of 59 people, was caused by secret “death squads” controlled by a “gay/lesbian Nazi regime.”

How does he know this? Because the security guard who stopped the gunman appeared on Ellen.

Jesus Campos, an officer patrolling the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino, was the first to apprehend 64-year-old Stephen Paddock as he fired on a crowd of concertgoers attending a three-day country music festival. Paddock had at least 47 firearms stashed in a hotel room on resort’s 32nd floor.

Wiles believes that the only reason that Campos appeared on Degeneres’ daytime program on Oct. 18 to discuss his heroic actions is because he might “spill the beans about the shooting timeline” if interviewed by a “real” journalist.

To translate: Because Degeneres is a lesbian, she won’t expose the gay conspiracy behind the shooting.

“I stand by my claim that this country has death squads,” Wiles said. “We have death squads in this country and it’s being run by a super secret agency, but there is participation at the state and local level. There will be a day that they tell law enforcement [officers] to execute your children right in front of you and they will do it.”

“America has become a Nazi state,” he continued. “The deep state is a Nazi state.”

Wiles, returning to a frequent talking point, further claimed that the Third Reich “was a militant homosexual fascist takeover.” He alleged that Hitler was “bisexual” and that the top leaders in the Nazi Party were gay men.

“That is what is taking place in America today,” Wiles said.

The claim that German fascism was a homosexual movement is patently untrue, especially given that gay men were among the minority populations sent off to the concentration camps. But this allegation has been propagated by numerous figures on the far right, including Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association.

But the Las Vegas shooting, which surpassed Pulse as the deadliest massacre in U.S. history, isn’t the first tragedy that Wiles has blamed on the LGBTQ community.

After the record devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey killed 77 people, Wiles said that the August storm was God punishing Houston for electing a lesbian mayor, Annise Parker. Parker, who stepped down in 2016, presided over the Texas town during the successful campaign to repeal the city’s LGBTQ inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance. Critics cited a debunked claim that the policy would allow trans people to target children in the bathroom.

“Here’s a city that has boasted of its LGBTQ devotion, its affinity for the sexual perversion movement in America,” the conspiracy theorist claimed. “They’re underwater.”

Wiles, though, has a long track record of saying absurd things about LGBTQ people.

The right-wing fundamentalist has said that the legalization of marriage equality would result in God sending a “fireball from space” to destroy earth and that Russia would nuke the United States over its support for LGBTQ rights. He also believes that gay people havecaused the widespread death of bees and are responsible for the massive droughts in California.

91-Year-Old Aboriginal Man Comes Out in Support of Same-Sex Marriage in Australia

The aboriginal community has a message for Australians: Say “Yes” to marriage equality.

A new campaign launched on Sunday urges supporters to vote in favor of a plebiscite supporting same-sex marriage Down Under. In the 90-second video, 91-year-old Harold Hunt explains that his experiences as a native Australian experiencing discrimination inspire his support for the freedom to marry.

“As a child, we were called boongs, n*****s, darkies, and we had restrictions on us,” Hunt explains. “[We] weren’t allowed to go into hotels. We’d go into a picture theater. You’d have to sit in a certain part of the theater, right up front and over to the sides.”

“I was 40 years of age when I was allowed to become an Australian citizen,” he continues.

Australia voted in 1967 to include Aboriginal Australians in the national census for the first time. Although the referendum is often believed to have allowed indigenous peoples the right to vote, that was established five years earlier. The referendum passed by an overwhelming majority: 90 percent favored allowing aboriginals to be counted as Australians.

Hunt believes it’s time for Australia to vote for equality again.

“I was treated different because I was aboriginal,” he claims. “We’re going to treat gay and lesbian people different. For why? Because of something that has nothing to do with them. The same as I had nothing to do with being aboriginal.

“That’s who they are,” Hunt adds.

Surveys have indicated that a wide margin of Australia’s indigenous population supports same-sex marriage. A poll published in The Conversation estimated that more than 69 percent of Aboriginal Australians are in favor of allowing LGBTQ couples to marry. This result contradicts a narrative pushed by the “No” campaign that legalizing marriage equality would be an affront to the religious beliefs of native peoples.

It’s worth noting that despite wide support for same-sex unions, turnout among aboriginals in the nonbinding plebiscite might be lower than these numbers would suggest.

Aboriginal Australians often speak several indigenous languages, and English is commonly a second or third tongue. Of the 669,900 people counted during the last Census, many may lack proficiency in the English language. Thus, a transgender resident of Tiwi Island called polling the indigenous population a “waste of time” in an August interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Hunt has yet to vote, but he claims that LGBTQ people can count on his support. “I’m voting ‘Yes’ because I think it’s the decent thing to do,” he claims.

Of the estimated 68 percent of Australians who have already cast a ballot in the plebiscite, the “Yes” campaign leads by a fair margin. A recent YouGov-Fifty Acres survey showed that 61 percent of early voters had favored allowing same-sex couples to marry, while 35 percent opposed marriage equality.

The plebiscite, which ends on Nov. 7, will advise the Australian parliament on whether to introduce a bill legalizing same-sex unions. The legislature, however, does not necessarily have to take the public’s recommendation.

Results of the poll are expected to be announced on Nov. 15.

Report: Is the White House Ignoring Questions from LGBTQ Media?

Does LGBTQ media not have a voice at the White House?

According to the Washington Blade’s White House correspondent, Chris Johnson, the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has “iced out” the Blade from asking questions.

Johnson relayed to readers that he had not been picked to ask a question since May, during the transition from former press secretary Sean Spicer, who Johnson said often called on the Blade.

“I see Sanders look directly at me as I raise my hand for a question, but she nonetheless skips me for another reporter, usually from a conservative, Trump-friendly outlet like Breitbart or Newsmax,” Johnson writes in the Blade.

Johnson called the White House’s policy on speaking to the Blade a “stark contrast” to the engaged effort to speak with the LGBTQ media outlet during the Obama years.

Johnson originally chalked it up to having more reporters in the room than in the previous administration. But, the Blade reports, after the outlet contacted Sanders, she reneged on a promise to call on Johnson at the next briefing.

“LGBT Americans deserve to have our questions answered at the White House regardless of which administration is in power and the freezing out of our publication must stop,” Johnson wrote.