Wednesday, April 30, 2008

So, Do Straight People Make Bad Parents?

With polygamists and sex fiends running around I think the bar has been set low enough for parenthood that we shouldn't think twice about letting the boys in Boston adopt kids.

I personally couldn't rear children, one cross word and a scene like this would unfold:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

God Damn America?

That Barack Obama is still on the ticket after his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, has been exposed as a hate-mongering, Farrakhan-supporting, anti-American zealot is not surprising. Barack and his campaign have been given a free pass to fulfill what the conspiracy theorist in me thinks is a master plan to sabotage the Dems' bid for the White House.

Wright is on the attack after his protege has cast him out into the cold. No one puts baby in a corner, and in an address to the National Press Club in Washington, Wright declared that an attack on him is an attack on the Black Church, which is tantamount to resintating slavery. Again, not surprising seeing as my own criticism of Barack Obama has been beat back with accusations of my own latent racism.

But Wright does make an obvious point that has been overlooked in the discussion about his inciendiary remarks: The Black Church has had to evolve past slavery through Jim Crow through Katrina - issues that are impossible for the Black community to discuss without fervor.

Now, the sound bite that has everyone, including yours truly, up in arms is the "God damn America" statement Wright made in a video-recorded sermon. While it's unfortunate that Wright used "damn" as a verb, had he rattled off on the assaults against the Black community and dismissed it with "God damn America," as in "these God-damn kids are crazy," maybe things would be a little different.

Because, in reality, the Black community has a lot to be angry about. Just last week a jury acquitted three New York City police officers in the shooting death of an unarmed man in Queens. A barrage of bullets comes upon an unarmed person and no one is to blame...only in god damn America.

And as a gay man I find myself dismissing criminal acts against my community that are justified by "family values" and "religious" rhetoric with a simple "god damn America." Case in point: a comment was made yesterday, by a friend of mine who espouses some very right wing beliefs, against the Harvey Milk School here in New York. "Why should my tax dollars support a school for kids who are different? Tomorrow we'll have a school for kids who only like to wear yellow."

The ignorance and lack of historic context behind that statement - my friend didn't know who Harvey Milk was - was so astounding that I was actually left speechless. And forget historic context, just a few months ago a 15 year-old boy was shot to death in his school because he came out to one of his straight classmates and said he had a crush on him. That story made national headlines but obviously it doesn't justify creating some sort of safe place for at-risk teens.

It's that sort of callous indifference to abuses that are perpetrated on other people in this country who are deemed different and unworthy that can rattle one's patriotism, it's enough to make you throw your hands up in disbelief and say "god damn america."

For those of you who don't know who Harvey Milk is, he was a gay politician from San Francisco who was gunned down in 1978 along with the mayor of the city - by another politician who claimed that he suffered mood swings as a result of his Twinkie habit. The assassin, Daniel White, got only five years in prison. Which is more than the Sean Bell murderers got, but still...

And these are but a few of those inexplicable, consistent, hicups in the system that are worth rehashing because it seems America is on a high horse right now, shocked and appalled that anyone should be angry at the way this country operates. I'm not supporting Jeremiah Wright and his self-aggrandizing campaign, and I certainly don't support Farrakhan, but I understand where they're coming from.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Have Your Wedding Cake, Girl

The cover story of this week's New York Times Magazine is about a new trend that's emerging among gay 20-somethings in Boston: marriage.

It's certainly better than meth, but I wonder, are these boys charting a brave new course for the gay identity? Are their marriages a signal that the community should clean up its act, stop with all the parading and the lobbying because we've just closed on the cookie-cutter-home in the suburbs?

Cheeky Ward-and-June-Cleave-like photos pepper the 10 page story on the new gay pioneers who are hurrying to embrace the values that gay men have, historically, rejected. If the 70s were about Cruising, then the new millennium is going to be about My Best Friend's Wedding. As the article points out, the gay rights movement has been marked by a concerted effort to eschew the confines of suburban domesticity. But now that marriage is an option for some gay couples I wonder if popular gay identity was a "fine, I didn't want to be like you anyway" reaction to homophobia, when in reality many of us just wanted to marry the high school quarterback and register for goodies at Pottery Barn.

I have to say, reading the stories of these guys, who are all just about my age, was as uplifting as it was nauseating. I got the impression that these boys were talking about marriage with the same fervor they would reserve for the Sex and the City movie. "Hey girl, did you get the tickets to movie? OMG, I'm getting married BTW."

Granted, I never saw myself walking down the aisle, cutting a wedding cake or making sweeping professions of love before an audience. The last time I made such a public vow I had promised to hold true to the faith I was brought up with - that didn't go very well. However, I'm four years into my relationship with James and it's lovely. We even exchanged rings last year. I was 23 when we met and at the time I was absolutely OK with being single, but I definitely had my obsessive moments with men and I did panic, a lot, about what would become of me if I didn't find someone.

In that respect, I can relate with these boys' need to just skip the mine field of gay single life and just partner up with someone and get on with your life. I did that at 23 without knowing it and three vacations with both sets of families later, James and I are pretty much stuck with each other. I wouldn't have it any other way.

It bears repeating, however, that this isn't the norm for many gays in the U.S. While Massachusetts and New York are hotbeds of progressive thinking, there are many gays and lesbians for whom marriage and normalcy is just not an option. With that in mind, I think it is rather bold and exemplary that these young guys are seizing a hard-won right that goes just a little bit further in making us a legitimate part of American society.

And perhaps that nausea I felt while reading the article was my disbelief that this is really happening, that two men can get married, that it can be OK and the end of the world won't come upon us. So, who even cares how these marriages will work out?We all know the gays make for good TV, I can't wait for the Logo version of Divorce Court

Mariah and GCL Belong Together

After a very strong lobbying effort in the office last week, my boss gave me the gift of a lifetime by letting me participate in an event with Mariah Carey this past Friday at the Empire State Building.

The building was lit up in Mimi's fav colors: white, lavender and purple, in honor of her achievement as the biggest selling recording artist in history. Sidebar: This is another reason why homegirl is such a gay icon - who else would light up the most famous building in the world in pink, lavender and white?

Anyway, yours truly was on hand to capture the not-so-secret rendez vous on film for You Tube (You Tube). Mimi looked phenomenal, statuesque and radiant from achieving yet another career milestone - I was flush, exhausted and delirious following the prolonged encounter. It was one thing to see her up close, it was a completely different story to trail behind her and listen to her purr at her assistants and other members of her entourage.

I'm just that much closer to becoming a member of said entourage.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Shakira es un Class Act

Is education a human right? That's the question one of my fav singers, Shakira, posed Congress this week as part of her work on behalf of the Global Campaign for Education.

From AFP: Colombian-born pop sensation Shakira went before the US Congress Tuesday seeking support for legislation that would provide US aid for basic education programs for children in poor nations.

And just before addressing Congress, Shakira spoke with British PM Gordon Brown about her efforts with politicians like my homegirl Hillary to raise the level of U.S. spending on universal education from $456 million to $3 billion a year by 2012. Makes my week of meetings and memos seem abysmally unimportant.

You can listen to an interview with Shakira about the Education for All Act on NPR.

Though I'm not sure how voters are going to feel about pumping money into more foreign aid, there is no question that this is a worthy cause, and that Shakira is of a rare breed of entertainers who manages to keep her game classy and inspiring.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Yeah, You're Gonna Need a Shovel for This

DIG! Thus, according to televangelist Paula White, said Jesus. No matter the obstacle: government cheese, bad credit or failed marriage, so long's you got yourself a shovel, you can dig your way out of anything.

And no, stupid, Paula's not talking about a real shovel like the one she's wielding on stage in the clip above. A shovel, in times of adversity, is faith in God and his word, the Bible.

All of that sounds fine and good, and hey, Tyra is a fan, so if it's good enough for TB...

But what's interesting/frightening to me is the control these televangelists exert over people. The throngs of people waving around little plastic shovels in this clip is scary - it's one thing to encourage people to see a light at the end of the tunnel and to have faith that things will get better, but homegirl's sermon is nearly an hour of screaming, hyperventilating, tears and an exhortation to, well, dig.

And if you've read my blog before you know how I feel about throngs of aimless, hopeful people.

The fluffernutter sandwich that is religion today makes it possible for someone like Paula White to become a millionaire and that doesn't sit well with me. I'm almost OK with the self-help industry, but when it teters into profiteering from the Bible and Christianity, it becomes a business that is, by nature, corrupted by the negativity of all human pursuits.

What's even more offensive is that these lady preachers are so glammed up and fabulous that it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Ivana Trump had a revelation and started speaking in tongues and formed a church. Check out these ladies below on Trinity Broadcasting Network, it's like the B-version of The View. They're not talking about Jesus, they're promoting themselves in the most bawdy, tacky way - preening couldnt-make-it-in-Hollywood-types who have found an outlet for their personalities.

Don't get me wrong: I love me some bawdy women in high heels and diamonds, but I prefer to keep the bragging and hyperbole raunchy, not spiritual.

Maybe I'm old school in what I expect Christianity to be: humble, long suffering, temperate. That's what I learned in the church I eventually left, but it wasn't some bitter, twisted departure. I'd probably have stayed were it not for the gay thing.

On the flip side, and in defense of the ladies of the Lord, I do give them props for keeping their game classy. With all of the influences young girls have today, I guess I wouldn't mind if my daughter took a cue from Paula White instead of Hannah Montana.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hillary Clinton: In It to Win It

CNN just declared Hillary Clinton the winner of the Pennsylvania primary.

Now that the Democrats' candidates have been reduced to prize fighters, let's throw our support behind the candidate that had been counted out again, and again, and again.

We don't know the margin of victory yet, but a win is a win. And speaking of margins, W didn't win by a landslide in 2000 or 2004. So let's give Hillary her props.

Team Obama has a lot of money to burn on Indiana, but if he truly cares about change, if his supporters really want to win in November, then we have to reclaim our party from the trenches of entertainment television and mount our campaign against the Republicans.

We already know what the Republicans are going to say about Hillary: she's a socialist, she's a liar, she's pro-choice, bla bla bla. Think about how much we still don't know about Obama and when the right time would be, for the Republicans, to drop a bombshell.

Everyone LOVES to bash Hillary, but homegirl still comes out on top. So the Dems shouldn't worry about her electability, the Republicans should.

It All Comes Down to This

Twenty-one debates later, after embellished tales of sniper fire and calls for the destruction of America, the Democrats have one last chance, tonight, to become the party that wins the White House in November.

Those odds would be greater if Hillary Clinton finally won the party's nomination.

And while it's important for the Dems to nominate the most qualified candidate for the November elections, it's equally important for the bickering and in-fighting to end as of tonight. Whoever comes out on top in PA tonight should be declared the Democrats' nominee and the runner-up should concede defeat.

Not even the Kerry/Bush election of '04 riled up the public this much. That's because no one in their right mind saw America giving W another chance - the Dems took the election for granted and look where that got us.

Today the Dems are in a similar position. If you think John McCain, with his elder-foibles and aw-shucks demeanor can't creep into the White House, think again. People don't hate McCain the way they do Hillary or Barack. And in some ways, the Dems have undone the candidtates themselves. They've allowed turned the candidates into prize fighters and now everyone wants to see blood.

All of that has to stop tonight.

The Dems have one last chance, tonight, to be the party of change. Let's stop being the party that can't ever get its act straight - the hemming and hawing has cost us two elections. Let's support the candidate that was an integral part of the ONLY Democrat Presidency Americans in their 20s have ever known.

You want to know why I'm such a conservative (at times)? I've lived 20 years under Republican rule. Show me better.

Monday, April 21, 2008

All Poped Out

Pope Benedict XVI went back to Rome last night and relinquished control of the airwaves after a week of televangelizing. Granted, he just showed up here, the media did the televangelizing.

In the aftermath of the papal visit, during which reporters breathlessly recounted every last detail of Benedict's stay, two things stand out in my mind:

1 - Americans are in desperate need of spiritual guidance
2 - The media really whored themselves out and set the separation of church and state debate back a couple of hundred years

That America is devoid of a moral compass and needs God isn't a belief limited to crackpots in the Bible Belt. There's a reason why there are so many self-help books out there and why Americans flip flop between faiths - many of us are searching for something bigger than us to help us navigate these crazy times. In that context, I can appreciate why so many people, even disenchanted Catholics, are reeling over the first visit to the U.S. by the new Pontif.

The media blitz surrounding the Pope's visit, though, was unnecessary. All the screens at my gym were tuned in to the Pope's Mass at Yankee Stadium yesterday and I couldn't help but think that some weird, twisted force had taken over the press and turned them all into mouthpieces for the Church. Yes, coverage on the papal visit inclded mentions of sexual abuse by priests, but by all accounts the media couldn't get enough Benedict. Why? Isn't the press supposed to remain objective on issues of faith and politics? Why, then, did FOX and ABC and NY1 send their reporters for on-the-scene coverage and hours of live broadcasting from a Catholic mass? NY1 even had a priest from Opus Dei describing how the mass works -- you can't buy that kind of publicity! And I found that offensive. While Americans may need spiritual guidance I hardly think the Catholic Church has any moral authority on any of the issues of that affect humanity. That the media was so eager to be a part of the Vatican's PR campaign was disappointing and kind of frightening.

I guess things could be worse, we could be in Iran and the religious proaganda would be far more constant and ridiculous.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Do Straight People Make Bad Parents?

I've finally gotten around to understanding the hoopla surrounding the raid on a polygamist sect's compound in Texas. For the past two weeks the story has unfolded on the TV screens at my gym and on the front page of but I've been too busy to really care about a bunch of crazy white people.

But the story won't go away and after reading a couple of articles on what looks like a frightening network of men raping and "marrying" their cousins, sisters and aunts, and siring children with their victims, I got to thinking how silly it would be to use this wanton abuse of women and children as an argument against straight people and their qualifications to raise children.

Yes, the Little House on the Prairie ladies we've seen on TV are creepy, but they don't represent straight people as a whole.

Funny, then, how when it comes to issues like gay marriage and gay adoption, gays are somehow accountable for every homo or two's misdeeds. Words like "gay agenda" and "indoctrination," along with references to the Folsom Street Fair and white parties, are thrown into the mix whenever we want to create our own families and integrate ourselves into society. When two guys want to get married it's suddenly part of a master plan to topple the country til the streets run pink with cosmopolitans. When hundreds of hetero-polygamists remove themselves from society to rape and abuse women and children, however, it just makes people go "hmmm."

Though not all polygamists are living in obscurity. Some of them are out, loud and proud and know how to use PR to their advantage. Check out a press release from the National Polygamy Rights Movement here.

I'm glad this story is continuing to get play, and I love that it's happening at a time when the airwaves seem to have been taken over by the Vatican. On the eve of George Bush's departure, and the end of the Christian Right's eight years of rule, it's spectacular to watch the lofty institutes of marriage and "Christianity" unravel.

I'll drink to that.

My Poak Chops Hurt

Sorry I've copped out of serious posts these past few days. In the meantime, check out this HTM (hot tranny mess):

Friday, April 18, 2008

Are You On the Hot List?

Pix from last night's festivities at Mansion here in New York and the annual Conde Nast Traveler Hot List Party.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

What's the Point of Being a Democrat?

Three must-do's for the week:

Number 1: Read John Heilemann's cover story for New York Magazine: "Is John McCain Bob Dole?"

The more important question Heilemann asks, however, is about the relevance of the Democratic Party in the event that a Republican were to win this election.

"If you can’t beat a guy like this [McCain] in a year like this, with a vastly unpopular Republican war still ongoing and a Republican recession looming, what precisely is the point of you?"

My sentiments exactly. If the Dems want to be the Personality Party they should have sent out Howard Dean for another shot at the Oval Office. Remember all the youngins he inspired back in 2000 all the way through a spectacular breakdown that ended his campaign in less time than it takes to hock beer during the Super Bowl?

It doesn't seem like it. Barack is one false move away from rendering a November election redundant and McCain will just hobble on in to the White House at the end of the summer to start dropping off his winter coats.

But the Dems love an impossible dream, that's why they're still talking about pulling out of Iraq (not.gonna.happen.)and universal healthcare (not all Americans think access to healthcare is a human right, sad as that may be). That's why, in Bizarre-O Dem World, B. Hussein Obama is our party's ONLY shot at undoing eight years of Republican leadership. That our party lacks any basic appreciation of irony or historical context is very disappointing, but on this, and so many issues, the Dems have just got it wrong, wrong, wrong.

But don't take my word for it...

Number 2: Stay in tonight and tomorrow night, pour yourself some Hypnotiq and champagne and catch up with the John Adams series on HBO. Despite the blunders of our current government, I'm convinced we have the best government in the world. The foundation of the United States is the product of a unique moment in history and this miniseries captures the drama and severity of the Revolutionary era with stunning detail, superb dialogue and brilliant performances.

Number 3: Buy Mimi's new album E=MC2, download it to your iPod, and take a run along the Hudson River this glorious weekend. The album of the summer is out, touch my body, and things of that nature.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Blood Has No Sexual Orientation OR Gays Just Want to Belong

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service is in a row with local gays over the organization's decision to ban gay and bisexual men from donating blood.

The U.S. and Canada have a similar policy in place and all countries cite the alarming rate of STDs within the gay community for their stance on the issue.

Now, call me an idiot, but who the hell cares? I'm thrilled that no one wants my blood - I like it just where it is. And the thought of having it sucked out of me and packaged for future use doesn't seem like a God-given right.

While I'm disappointed that the thinking behind this law is based on the idea that gay men are just harbingers of disease and evil, the fact of the matter is that when you're gay and sexually active there are certain risks that are probably unique to your lifestyle. And on the off chance that one person might slip through the cracks, well, we all know how an epidemic can start and spread.

I think there are other challenges the gays have to fight anyway -- the right to give blood doesn't rank on my list.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Colombia on an Upswing

I took the shots above on my trip to Medellin, Colombia, in February. After a shockingly smooth ride up the Andes from my family's hometown of Cali, 10 hours through once guerrilla-laden roads whizzed along past coffee fields, rainbows and the soundtrack of 25 CDs purchased at a gas station for $25 US.

Medellin was once the most dangerous city in the world, back when Pablo Escobar and his henchmen ruled the country and its drug trade (someone had to keep the party going here in the States and in Europe and collect a profit on it). But 15 years after Pablito's death and the visionary leadership of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, the guerrillas are at bay and Colombia is ready to party.

But don't take my word for it, check out this post from New York Magazine:

Think Miami’s sexy? Try Medellín. Avianca Airlines ( regularly offers an extra ticket to a second Colombian city with round-trip purchase from JFK. Recover from the flight with a steam bath at the Hotel Porton Medellín (from $100 with breakfast; 574-313-2020 or If it’s Saturday night, air out your best jeans and follow the gorgeous crowd to Mangos (, a cowboy-themed discothèque with lamé-clad dancers wriggling to salsa, vallenato, and pop on multiple stages. Order a shot of Ron Medellín rum and ask someone, “Bailamos?”

I tried my luck at the Poblado Alejandria, in the city's tony Poblado District, and was not disappointed.

And if you're feeling adventurous, hop the 25 minute flight to Cali from Medellin (assuming you don't have time for the 10 hour drive) -- provided you've perfected your salsa skills. According to a recent article in The Economist, Cali is to salsa what Buenos Aires is to tango:

Cali, Colombia's third city, boasts perhaps the densest concentration of dance clubs in Latin America. Residents of Juanchito, a Cali suburb, are said to learn salsa as soon as they can walk. At weekends the clubs hold contests where dancers as young as six don glittering tuxedos, or high heels and lipgloss, to compete in frenetic dance routines.

So, bailamos?

The Power of Film

If ever James and I could be accused of being fabulous by association it was last week when our h-o-t friend Steve Mendelsohn, executive director Film Aid, invited us to his organization's annual gala at Capitale here in New York.

While we were unabashedly cheering for our friend Steve as he presided over the evening's festivities, we had to be a bit more demure while standing a few feet away from Christy Turlington and Danny Glover.

I did, however, allow myself to be a groupie and approached Valentino Achak Deng, the subject of Dave Eggers' acclaimed novel, What is the What?

Valentino was being honored that evening along with Danny Glover and other figures for their work in promoting the plight of refugees around the world.

Star-gazing and champagne aside, the evening was marked by moving images of life in refugee camps, where most people spend up to 18 years waiting to be resettled elsewhere or are allowed to return home.

Reading about the experiences of Achak Deng that week for my club, and then getting to meet him and chat briefly about his experiences, was unreal. I wanted to take a picture with him, but I thought that was explotitative. I didn't want to be all "You trekked through the jungle in absolute darkness and survived repeated attempts on your life, can I please have a picture with you for my Facebook page?"

And while I did capture some shots of Achack Deng, and other luminaries, to have asked for a photo with him wouldn't have been contrary, I think, to Film Aid's mission. In addition to bringing films to refugee camps, which is really bringing a few hours of hope and escape to the lives of the displaced, the organization is also leading a project that allows refugees to chronicle their lives on video and share these stories with the world.

Which is a great idea; after all, if you don't see and hear these people's stories, how will you ever get past the faceless throngs on the evening news and actually do something to help?

We can't all head up a non-profit and round up celebs, but we can certainly do with one less cosmo or weekend in St. Bart's - depending on how fabulous you are. If you're feeling generours, click here to donate to Film Aid.

The event was designed by Dalzell Productions of New York

Steve Mendelsohn, Executive Director, Film Aid

Danny Glover accepting his award.

Valentino Achak Deng

Christy Turlington

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Boycott the Olympics; Send Swimmers to Chelsea

As sure as I am that Barack Obama is the antichrist, I'm also certain that China is a hell pit of human rights and diplomatic transparency. There have been very public misgivings about the International Olympic Committee's decision to host the Olympic games in Beijing for quite some time, but as the games draw near, the movement against the Beijing games has become more angry and more visible.

And with good reason. In a matter of months, China's ruling Communist Party is going to pull off a spectacular PR coup that will use pandas and fireworks to shift the world's attention from their country's deplorable record on human rights and the environment - to name but two of China's faults. This, of course, wouldn't happen if the IOC had any sort of moral compass, but what can you expect from the people that gave Hitler the 1936 games and bemoaned the exclusion of South Africa from the 1972 games because of that nonsense situation called Apartheid?

So, China and the IOC are two evil pigs in a blanket and I absolutely support the boycotting of the games. Besides, I don't plan on being home much in August so they may as well play MASH and 227 on loop on all the networks for all I care.

But this does beg the question: where will all the hot swimmers go? On the off chance that I should need to turn on the TV this summer, it would be nice to see a Michael Phelps dash across the screen in a speedo. Him or some Aussie equivalent will do, but then, if there's no Olympics, where will I get my tighty swimsuit fix? I'd say Ptown or Fire Island but I really dislike gay people these days so I'm planning a connestoga wagon treak through Utah (let's discuss this later, James). So, while China trots out the pandas, I'll make ONE argument in support of the Olympics. See below.

* This last shot isn't from the Olympics, but it's close - it's from my fav movie, Swimfan.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Stuff Gay Men Like

One of my new fav sites is dedicated to listing out things that "Stuff Educated Black People Like." The site is in response to the hugely popular "Stuff White People Like," which has spawned a dozen "Stuff X People Like." But I couldn't find a comprehensive list of stuff that queer men like, so here's my top ten.

1. Fat Girls - Is there any other kind of fag hag? Fat girls are to gay men what Sweden was to the Jews during WWII. Think back to your high school days and it's likely that the only other person who defended your heterosexuality more than you was a fat girl whose prospects of scoring a man were as limited as yours. You shared twinkies, tears and VHS tapes of "My So Called Life" and tweezed each others eye brows. Now that you're both grown and are in and out of relationships, not much has changed.

2. Black Women - Spill a drink on a gay or stall his promotion at work and you're likely to get a head bob, eye roll and 180 degree twist of the right hand in exasperation from said victimized homosexual. Rage turns many a Mary, regardless of race, into a straight-up gangsta bitch.

3. Chuck Taylors - Whether they're the fancy John Varvatos variety or your classic $30 kind, gay men love their Chuck Taylors.

4. Khakis and Pastel - Said Chuck Taylors go perfectly with a crisp pair of khakis, a pastel colored button down and a smart blazer or cardigan. It's forever Easter by way of Jack McFarland for many mos.

5. Breakdowns - If you're a diva and need to boost your album sales, a spectacular breakdown is a sure fire way to corner the gay market. We love it all: exhaustion, drug abuse, incarceration, fainting and raspy-voiced confessions of sobriety. Come within an inch of your life (or go all the way for Legend status, hail Judy), and you'll be breakin' all sorts of box office/Billboard records.

6. Breakups - Everytime I meet a new group of gay men I always meet one Nelly who is proud to declare "Well I was with my ex for 10 years and we're still best friends." Said Nelly is all of 28, making the idea of co-dependence even more alarming and disgusting. Nonetheless, that's how many gays do.

7. Travel - The second thing gay men are most likely to brag about, after their sexploits, are the number of stamps on their passport. And every stamp likely has a story about a sexploit anyway. It seems that mos are always on the go. A New York gay won't consider visiting his parents in Queens or New Jersey for the day, but a weekend trip to Budapest or Adis Adaba will be given serious thought.

8. Premium Denim - Steroid use and manorexia make it really hard to find the right pair of crotch/butt grabbing denim. Fortunately, designers in Europe understand our body dysmorphia and have created denim that lifts, separates and hugs in our nether-360 region. At a hefty cost, of course, but it's one we're willing to pay.

9. Fitness - Not every gay is on juice, but many of us do spend an obscene amount of time at the gym. Today's health megaplexes are the gay agora...years from now, when the remains of Chelsea are unearthed, archaeologists will marvel at our steam rooms, weight machines and pilates studios.

10. The Internet - Raise your hand if you found a roommate, a job, a "date" and a couch on Craig's List -- all before your evening workout.