Paddy Smyth was born with cerebral palsy. In a op0ed written for International Day of Persons with Disabilities he opens up about being disabled and the impact it’s had on his love life.
“My insecurities about having a disability included not feeling hot enough, not feeling like I was worth enough,” Smyth writes candidly.
“We live in a society where it’s all about the image you have. And I never fit into that ideal of a gay person.”
Smyth describes dating with a disability as “cutthroat.”
“Us gays can be bitches,” he says.
Recounting some of the conversations he’s had with guys while out on the scene, he writes:
Guys would be direct–they’d say ‘can you even have sex though, are you able to do it?’ or ‘it must be really difficult for you’. Hearing those things can be very disheartening. Disabled people are treated like babies, like newborns, people are very protective. I think that’s a lot of why they can’t find someone with a disability attractive–because society’s instinct is to protect them and keep them safe, like we’re going to shatter.
Apps like Grindr and SCRUFF aren’t much better.
Smyth says he could hide his disability on them for a while, but sooner or later “I’d have to have that weird conversation–‘I’m actually disabled’ and then guys would go ‘how disabled?’ and then it would turn into a thing where they would think I’d be worse than I am.”
When he wasn’t dealing with that, Smyth was fielding off guys who fetishized his disability.
“Sometimes for guys, I would have been a fantasy. They would be like–‘oh my god, you’re disabled’, so I could be a notch on the bedpost. They could fantasize about it–overpower me almost.”
Today, Smyth is in a relationship with a man who he says loves him for him and couldn’t care less about his disability.
Thinking about what advice he might give his younger self, he writes:
The advice I would give to my younger self would be to believe in myself more. And to not try so hard to fit in- to accept my own flag and fly it. And don’t be afraid not to be liked! Have the confidence in yourself to be okay with people not liking you.
We all know that stereotypes in the gay community is rampant and pervasive. A 19-year-old masculine bottom says he has problems keeping men’s attention as a black “extremely masc” bottom. He believes that it due to the face that he doesn’t conform to perceptions of what bottoms should look and act like.
“I’m the big black muscle guy that looks like a top,” he writes on Reddit. “I’m 19, but I’m beefy as hell, so most people think I’m in my late 20s. I’m also a complete submissive bitch, but most guys don’t expect that out of me. I’m not opposed to topping, but I only like to top guys that I know will be around for a while (like a FWB or a romantic interest). I’ve been told I’m handsome and all of that, but all guys want is the lightweight twink they can throw around. All of my hookups have called me a big dude in a good way, but it seems like it isn’t the dream. Plus, I’m black so everybody thinks I’m a top as well.”
This author would be glad that he is the dream for some men. “How rare of a species is this?” one wrote in a DataLounge forum thread about masc bottoms. “I think I’ve finally found one, and, damn, am I in heaven.”
“Masculine bottom porn suggestions most welcome,” commented another user.
On another DataLounge thread, someone asked if masculine guys bottoming is “hot or not.” Responses to that post included “very hot” and “the best.”
That addresses the perception that masculine men can’t be desired as bottoms, but what about the bias against black men as bottoms? Unfortunately, the Redditor is far from alone, and the fetishization of certain races is yet again to blame. Take this Thought Catalog essay titled “Dear White Gays: Not All Black Guys Are Tops.”
“I want you to know that when you approach me at the bar or online and you assume I’m a top, or that I’m hung, or that I’m hung and a top, I feel dehumanized,” the author writes. “It feels like you’re reducing me to a thing that can perform a service for you, not like a mutual bond, the way sex should be.
He concludes: “When you’re a black gay guy, bottoming is a political stance. It’s a small way of saying, I don’t want to play the game of upholding dehumanizing stereotypes and images. I don’t want to confirm media and cultural stereotypes about black ‘virile’ masculinity.”
Moral of the story: We should all just appreciate humanity in its all many forms, and, more specifically, men who have sex with men in all their many roles.
Rapper Ja Rule is being accused of transphobia after posting a photoshopped image of 50 Cent wearing make-up and a wig.
The image was posted on social media after 50 Cent bought 200 seats to Ja Rules concert, the goal was to make the venue look empty.
The two have been in a nearly 20-year feud.
He wrote in the caption: “What a show, 👏I mean just f***ing great. Do it again😆my kid went to the restroom. LOL #bellator #lecheminduroi.”
Ja Rule responded by posting three photos of 50 Cent either photoshopped as a woman or portrayed in a way that negatively suggested he had sex with trans women.
The rapper has since deleted two of the photos on Instagram, following backlash, but the image on Twitter is still online.
Ja Rule posted alongside the photoshopped image on Twitter: “This beef is a JOKE to everyone except this lil ape looking b***h… she mad mad!!! 😡😂🤣😭”
Social media users were quick to criticise Ja Rule over the images.
“So Ja Rule got back at 50 by ….. making jokes about the trans community,” one person wrote on Twitter
C-SPAN callers wasted no time in tearing about Christian hate group leader Tony Perkins live on television. Perkins is the leader of the Family Research Council, an extreme far-right group that portrays itself as a Christian charity.
One caller took Perkins to task for abandoning Christian values and principles such as love and helping others all to become a “worshipper of Trump.” Another caller wanted to know how they could support a person accused of adultery and sexual assault.
“I was an evangelical Christian,” Steve, a caller from North Carolina said. “But I gave that up. I went back to being a true Christian.”
“A true Christian follows the teachings of Jesus,” he continued. “Evangelicals have become paranoid, white Christians losing their country to minorities. They have only one goal and that is to keep America white and Christian. And that’s exactly opposite of what Christianity is. Christianity is about love and helping others and taking care of others.”
“The paranoid white Christians have now become worshippers of Donald Trump. They follow all of these false prophets out there living in $16 million houses, flying around in $10 million jets. They need to wake up. Jesus is love, not hate.”
Perkins wasted no time is hitting back saying: “I know we want to describe Jesus as all love,” the evangelical leader opined. “He is love, but he’s truth. And we cannot sacrifice his truth because if we do that, we’ll never experience his love.”
To make matters worse Perkins defended his support of our less-than-Christ-like President by stating Clinton’s policies are not Christian enough for their liking. “The choice was between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton,” Perkins replied. “Hillary Clinton openly supported policies that were antithetical to Christian beliefs. What were we to do?”
“Between that and Hillary Clinton, it is no-brainer,” Perkins added. “We supported him. We said we said we’re going to give you a chance. We don’t agree with what you [did] in the past. We think your lifestyle is anathema when it comes to the standards and values we embrace, but here is the choice. We gave him an opportunity, and he has not disappointed us.”
The support of Trump is solely based on the evangelical wish list and since Trump has checked most of the boxes that they demanded for their support. For example, he has placed far-right appointees to the Federal bench, attacked LGBT people and dismantled several civil rights protections.
Commentary - Hassan Shibly
Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson robbed, pistol-whipped, tortured, and left Matthew Shepard to die on a wooden ranch fence in Laramie, Wyo. A cyclist passing by — who first mistook Shepard for a scarecrow — discovered him in a coma 18 hours after the attack. Twenty years ago yesterday, Matthew Shepard died.
The murder of Matthew Shepard didn’t happen in a vacuum. McKinney and Henderson grew up in a culture permeated with hate crimes targeting minorities. Crimes motivated by bias don’t just affect the victims, but everyone who shares their identity. Minority groups must contend not only with finding their place in a society that looks, believes, and prays differently from them but also with the lingering threat of violence in the back of their mind.
In the years since Shepard’s death though, the LGBT community has organized and made significant gains in securing legal protections. One of the most significant advances — hate crimes legislation that expanded the federal definition to include sexual orientation and gender identity — was even named after Matthew Shepard. The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which I am a part of, supported the legislation that was signed into law by President Obama in 2009.
Regardless of our religious, political, ethnic, social, economic, or moral differences, we can all agree that violence expressed as a result of these differences can never be tolerated.
The law also removed a prerequisite that hate crimes related to the race, religion, or national origin involve the victim engaging in a federally protected activity like voting or going to school.
Out of a traumatic event, the movement against hate crimes achieved remarkable progress.
We’re now seeing a rise in hate again, from President Trump’s rampant Islamophobia, numerous synagogues defaced with swastikas, to white supremacists openly marching in Charlottesville are just a few examples of rising hate in our country.
But just like after Shepard’s murder, hate is not the totality of the story.
In the midst of the Trump’s administration attacks on minorities, we are currently witnessing a record number of minority candidates running for office and standing strong against hate. Over 90 Muslim-Americans are running in this election cycle. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar, the Democratic nominees for the House of Representatives in their respective districts, could be the first Muslim women in Congress.
These candidates proudly stand strong against hate targeting all minorities and are disturbing the cycle of hate in hopes of ensuring victims like Matthew Shepard did not lose their lives in vain. Violence against one person is violence against us all. As the Holy Quran teaches, “Whoever kills a soul, it is as though they have killed all humanity. And whoever saves a soul, it is as though they have saved all humanity.”
Our communities would rather be protagonists in the story of an inclusive America, rather than resign ourselves to live in fear of hate crimes.
We will also not be divided by politicians and pundits who seek to divide and conquer minority groups. We saw then-candidate Trump attempt to do this after the Pulse nightclub shooting. Yet what saw on the ground here in Florida is communities of all backgrounds coming together across our differences to stand united against all forms violence.
When black and brown Americans, the LGBT community, women, and religious minorities — as well as white, straight, men of goodwill — stand together for civil rights, we can’t be ignored. That’s why our opponents try so hard to divide us.
Twenty years after Matthew Shepard’s murder, my heart continues to break for victims of hate crimes. But I also know that they, along with Muslim-Americans and all others who face the brunt of white supremacy, see a better future for our country. We intend to make the founders’ commitment to equality real and are actively working across targeted communities to do just that.
Source: Shibly, Hassan. What’s Changed and What Hasn’t Since Mathew Shepard’s Murder. 13 October 2018. Advocate.
Nike announced that Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers' quarterback became a political lightning rod when he started kneeling during the national anthem to protest against police brutality, would be one of the new faces for Nike's "Just Do It" campaign.
As Part of the campaign, Kaepernick shared a meme on Instagram featuring his portrait along with the tagline "Believe in Something. Even if it means sacrificing everything" and Nike's "Just Do It" logo.
Surprise, surprise, white supremacists, and Trump supporters were not too happy about the ad. So many started to burn their tennis shoes and ripping apart their workout clothes in protest.
âSo now, they have decided to create their own transpohobic, racist, misogynistic meme's all to mock Kaepernick and his message and sharing them with pride on social media.
âComparing the athlete to Osama Bin Laden to the 9/11 terrorist attacks:
For years users on Scruff were required to list the color of their skin on their profile, which allowed for race-based filtering Scruff is now making the “ethnicity” field optional.
It appears this was a sudden change, why?
Eric Sliverberg, Scruff co-found and CEO now wants to do its part to end global racism. The app currently has over 12 million users in 180 countries.
“We recognize that the queer community of color faces discrimination and racism as part of their regular lives,” Silverberg says. “It is why Scruff is the only platform that vigorously enforces its community guidelines to ensure that harassment, racism, and abuse doesn’t happen, and if it does it is dealt with swiftly.”
We have to refute the claim that Scruff is the “only” app to “vigorously” combat racism and abuse. Chappy and Jack’d have been doing this for some time and Scruff is late to the party.
Silverberg adds that “what people are comfortable sharing changes, both as you use the app more and as social and cultural expectations evolve.”
To be honest this is quite a turnaround from what he told Buzzfeed in 2016 when Sliverberg tried to defend the app’s ethnicity filters, saying:
“Ultimately we wanted to build an app and a service that enables guys to find the kind of guys they’re into and for some people that include… That can mean many things to different people. Sometimes they have ethnic preferences, sometimes they have height/weight preferences, and sometimes people have body hair preferences.”
It’s only natural that people change, right?
This comes on the heels of Grindr announcement that it will be launching “kindr”, an initiative to combat racism, transphobia, and body-shaming (good luck on that one).
“Our upcoming ‘Kindr’ initiative, which is built around education, awareness and specific policy changes in the Grindr app, will serve as the first step of many Grindr will be taking to help foster a more inclusive and respectful community on our platform,” the hookup app said in a statement last month.
Silverberg was asked to comment about Kindr and told the Advocate: “Scruff has always had zero tolerance for abuse on its app, and diligently removes these kinds of accounts to create a safe platform for its users.”
To be honest it good to see popular hookup apps finally acknowledging and coming to terms that racism exists within the LGBTQ community and admitting that they might have some reasonability for some of it.
So, the question remains that after years of promoting sexual racism, would merely getting rid of one filter be enough? We will have to wait and see.
A U.K. man is bisexual and a Muslim. Not something you hear every day, Right!
Drew Dalton is a lecturer in sociology at the University of Sunderland and the chair of Hidayah, a support organization for LGBTQ Muslims. “I always felt I stood out a little bit on the ‘gay scene’ because I was bisexual,” 38-year-old Dalton tells Gay Star News in a fascinating interview. “Add on the Islam and you’ve got a hard road ahead of you.”
At 18 he came out as bisexual and converted to Islam years later of the tragic death of his best friend. “I’d lost my best friend, I was out of depth about my place in the world. You start to question a lot more things,” he recalls. “I needed some solace, so I started to think more about Islam.”
He admits that coming out as Muslim was more difficult than coming out as bi. “I felt that I was coming out twice,” he recalls. “Islam was a lot harder for me because you kind of internalizes the Islamophobia that exists.” He continues, “When I came out [as Muslim] on social media, I started to then feel the feedback. I was getting remarks like ‘how can you support a religion which kills gay people’ all this stuff.”
People told him that he was converting to the most “hated religion,” and even deleted him from their Facebook friends list. Dalton said “suggesting a person can’t be both LGBTQ and Muslim does a “disservice” to people living at that intersection. I think there’s an issue in the LGBTI community. We’ve got so used to the narrative of religion being wrong, that it’s oppressed people… we’re trapped in that narrative now.”
Dalton worries about young LGBTQ Muslims, for example, what happens when a young Pakistani man who is raised a Muslim comes out at 18, where does he go? Does he go back to his own Pakistani community and face the cultural beliefs that it’s wrong? Or does he go to the gay community who tells him “you can’t be Muslim because it’s a religion that oppresses us”.
He believes that it is possible to be queer and Muslim, and those who suggest otherwise is speaking from pure ignorance. “You can be both and you can be very proud to be both,” he argues.
Dalton wants other within the LGBTQ community to stop isolating their counterparts and embrace them. “We’re a minority within a minority,” he says. “We really need people who aren’t a Muslim to defend us.”
Threatening Facebook posts caused an Oklahoma school district had to temporarily shut down over horrific messages about a transgender student who used the girls’ bathroom. It appears that the 12-year old was threatened with castration. The messages were posted to a Facebook group page for parents of an Achille, Oklahoma school and within the messages called for the transgender student to be beaten and castrated.
Screenshots reveal the parents’ comments are now gaining attention, both within the United States and internationally; the hostility and violent rhetoric directed towards a child is upsetting to say the least.
Maddie, the 12-year old who had been using the staff restroom, used the girls’ restroom just once and that was enough to cause parents to respond like this:
“If he wants to be a female make him a female,” wrote Eddie Belcher, adding, “a good sharp knife will do the job really quick.” That reprehensible remark was liked twice.
Kevin Bickerstaff called for the student to be physically attacked, while also referring to her as “it”: “Just tell the kids to kick ass in the bathroom and it won’t want to come back!!”
Another parent, Seth Shelbie Cooper, echoed the violent threat, apparently bringing his own child into the mix by suggesting he attack Maddie. Sixteen people either liked or laughed at the troubling comment.
Maddie’s mother Brandy told local news that Maddie “hadn’t been told where the staff bathroom was.” “Before she was able to be told, she had to pee, so she used the girls’ bathroom one single time.”
When Brandy saw the comments on Facebook she rightfully feared for her child’s life. “That’s a threat against her life – that’s scary,” she said.
Brandy added: “She’s an awesome kid. To see any fear in her – I can’t explain how bad that hurts me.”
Achille ISD Superintendent Rick Beene told them: “We are putting in extra measures to help safeguard our students. “We appreciate all the concern for our Achille students. Our school is shut down until Wednesday for safety precautions. While I will not go into specifics, we have increased security.”
It’s really simple, if you’re black then, in my opinion, you should never use or say the n-word.
However gay porn star Bruno Bernal has “doubled down” after using the n-word. Even after widespread criticisms, he has suggested that those offended by his language should just “grow a thicker skin and be less sensitive.” Bernal used the n-word on Instagram to denigrate his African American barber.
Fans didn’t waste time calling out his blatant racism, therefore, he goes defensive and posted screenshots of negative comments that he received then suggested that he couldn’t possibly be racist because he dates black men.
So instead of letting the entire matter go, he’s now back posting about the topic. Sharing a message he received in support from a black fan (via NSFW blog Str8UpGayPorn);
Then he posted this reply:
Bernal would like to remind us of the “context of how [he] used it”: simply racially talk down to someone because of the way they speak. Whatever that’s supposed to mean.
The could be a lesson for Bernal to grow as a person, but then again that might just be wishful thinking. Men.com which planned to release a scene with Bernal this week has instead released a statement: “Due to recent events, the [Bruno Bernal] Men.com scene will not be promoted by us. We prefer that it also not be promoted by our affiliates. Moving forward, we will no longer be working with the actor involved in the recent events.”
Maybe Bernal should instead be more careful and sensitive of the works he chooses to use!