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We now live in a world where gay marines can do this:

7 Mar

HT Towelroad

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Bromo of the Week: Anderson Cooper

5 Jul

“The fact is, I’m gay.”

As we’re sure most of you know by now, Anderson Cooper has come out and said that he is gay.

In a blog post on his friend Andrew Sullivan’s blog, Anderson was asked to weigh in on the topic of gay people in the public eye and whether or not they should come out publicly.

In his reply, Anderson disclosed to the public that he is, in fact, gay and he explained a bit why he kept it quiet for so long.

On being a journalist:

” I’ve always believed that who a reporter votes for, what religion they are, who they love, should not be something they have to discuss publicly. As long as a journalist shows fairness and honesty in his or her work, their private life shouldn’t matter.”

On why it’s the right time to come out:

“It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something – something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.”

On being gay:

“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud.”

On bullying:

“…the tide of history only advances when people make themselves fully visible. There continue to be far too many incidences of bullying of young people, as well as discrimination and violence against people of all ages, based on their sexual orientation, and I believe there is value in making clear where I stand.”

Anderson is a well-known and respected journalist who kept his sexuality a secret for professional reasons. We are glad that he was able to come out publicly though, because he shares a very important message: you should never be ashamed of who you are.

And for that, Anderson Cooper is our Bromo of the Week.

Zealots Boycotting Oreo Because of a Picture

28 Jun

Get ready to blow a gasket.

Last night, Oreo posted the following the picture to their Facebook page:

What followed was a slew of homophobic and idiotic comments from assholes:

“Boo…This makes me sad that oreo’s support homosexuality.” – Toni Lipford, 1 Like.

“gays need to leave america.” – Dylan Arsenault, 3 Likes.

“This is absolutely disgusting. Your attempt to “normalize” the behaviour of homosexuals has cost you a customer.” – Desean Washington, 4 Likes.

“don’t support gays or the companies that do, and hell yea i’m a hater! being a fag is just wrong and always will be!!!! you should all be exiled to some island where you can all share aids together!! no more oreos for this family!!!!!” – Robert Hunter, 1 Like.

“Homosexual ‘love’ is not real love. ‘Greater love hath no man than to lay down his life his friends.’ — Jesus Christ. You are supporting the wrong things Oreo. Won’t be buying your cookies no mo’ in my house. ENjoy your new lack of sales!!!! :)” – Crystal Walker, 1 Like.

And that’s just a sample of them. Buzzfeed has compiled a list of them if you want to get your blood boiling even more.

Personally, I think Oreo is better off without these people. Actually, a lot of things would be better off without these people. But I’m not going to call for them to be exiled to an island where all bigots can share diseases together because that’s just wrong… and I’m not an asshole (I’m looking at you, Robert Hunter).

What really scares me though is most of these people are parents and have families. These are the “values” (and I really hate to use that word here) that they’re passing on to their children. “Homosexual love is not real love”!?!?! Where do they even come up with this shit?!

This morning, the Oreo page was flooded with more positive comments in support of the company’s stance on gay pride. Most of these commenters also denounced the ‘haters’ who will no longer be buying Oreos. Good riddance.

Thank you, Oreo, for taking a stand and for not backing down in the face of bigots and bullies.

Bromo of the Week: Kameron Slade

20 Jun

Kameron Slade, a grade 5 student at PS 195 in Queens, NY, won a class competition with a poignant speech in favour of gay marriage. He was meant to deliver it in front of the entire student body for the school-wide competition when his principal stepped in. Kameron was told that he was not allowed to deliver his speech because it was deemed inappropriate. Furthermore, he was told by his principle that he would be removed from the contest entirely if he did not change his topic.

“Like President Obama, I believe that all people should have the right to marry whoever they want,” his speech begins. “I believe that same-sex marriage should be accepted worldwide, and that parents and teachers should start to discuss these issues without shame to their students.”

After getting some publicity from local news channels, the school’s chancellor, Dennis Walcott, stepped in and gave Kameron permission to deliver his speech at a special assembly for 5th graders.

Kameron is our Bromo of the Week for his courage and understanding of love. Here is his speech in full, delivered to NY1:

Thank you Kameron and congratulations on a well-written speech!

Follow Monday

18 Jun

Happy Monday, Bros!

I was out of town this weekend, camping in the wilderness away from high rises, cramped street corners, and the TTC. All I had with me to stay in touch with civilization was my smartphone and Twitter app. Well apparently I’m not following any of the right accounts because I came home to a slew of news stories about special events, tragic accidents, and political mishaps. So this morning I did some research and compiled a list of five accounts you should be following if you want to keep up on all things Toronto and I thought I would share it with you. Now we can all stay informed and connected!

1) BlogTO
@BlogTO

You all know BlogTO. From restaurant reviews to movie listings, they’re covering everything Toronto. Follow them for a weekly calendar of events, archived photos of some of the city’s most beloved intersections, TTC updates, and much much more.

Yonge & Bloor, 1920s via @BlogTO

2) Pride Toronto
@PrideToronto

Pride Week is quickly approaching – how are you staying informed on what’s happening when? Follow @PrideToronto, the official Pride Toronto twitter account, for any information or notices you might need for Pride Week. And don’t just unfollow them after the week’s over. These guys stay active all year round, keeping you posted on the most current happenings and issues in the LGBT community.

3) Torontoist
@Torontoist

Torontoist is about Toronto and everything in it. It’s both a blog and a trusting news source. They love keeping Torontonians up-to-date on current events as soon as they happen. They live-tweeted the municipal budget and transport debates in their entirety. Their tweets include “in the news” & “to do today”, making sure every Torontonian is fully informed and never bored.

4) Queer Ontario
@queerontario

This one’s not unique to Toronto but since the LGBT community here is so huge, a large portion of Queer Ontario’s tweets are Toronto-related. Plus, they’re currently making a tour of the province stopping in at major city’s pride weeks, and it’s always fun to see how the rest of the province shows its pride! Follow this account to stay up-to-date on any federal, provincial, and municipal politics that are happening surrounding the LGBT community and the fight for our rights. They recently stayed very close to the passing of Toby’s Law as well as Ontario’s Accepting Schools Act.

5) Official TTC Tweets
@TTCnotices

We’ve all been there before. You’re running late for a meeting, pushing your way onto a subway train when the darned thing stops after 5 minutes. So you wait. And wait. And wait. Finally, an announcement is made that the train is delayed due to some sort of accident that is only vaguely described. Avoid this extremely frustrating situation next time by following @TTCnotices and giving it a quick check before you leave the house. They have up-to-date notices on delays, route diversions, and scheduled track maintenance. Trust me, a lot of frustrations with the TTC have been easily avoided due to my following of this account.

Why is the Queen Street streetcar always delayed?

What accounts do you follow to stay informed about Toronto? Share them in the comments sections below.

Toby’s Law Passes!

14 Jun

It was a historic day for Ontario.

Around noon on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, Queen’s Park unanimously voted in favor of amendments to the Ontario Human Rights code that would protect the rights of transgendered people in the province.

After four failed attempts in the last six years to make similar amendments, NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo was finally successful with the help of PC MPP Christine Elliott and Liberal MPP Yasir Naqvi. Anyone who follows our provincial politics (or any politics at all, for that matter) knows that it’s a rare occurrence that all three parties work amicably together and even more rare that an amendment of such a magnitude is passed unanimously. Clearly, this was an important issue to all MPPs, as it should be, and our response is: it’s about motherfucking time.

Cheri DiNovo and a dog. Like a bawse.

The transgender community has been struggling with inequality, having a hard time finding jobs, rental housing, and sometimes even health services. That’s right – health services. You know there’s something wrong when someone in our country is having a hard time finding health services.

Prior to the vote, the Ontario Human Rights code guarded against prejudice for “race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability.” We are proud to say that it now includes “gender identity” and “gender expression”.

Ontario is the first Canadian province to recognize gender identity in its human rights legislation. Today I can honestly say that I’m proud to be an Ontarian. Well done, government, well done.

In ‘The Real World’ Bromos Have a Cheat Code

16 May

Yesterday, Whatever published an interesting post framing the real world as a video game, and the difficulty setting as the minority status you are born. In an effort to help straight folks understand “privilege” without using the word, the author declared the easiest difficulty setting in the game as being “Straight White Male.”

Okay: In the role playing game known as The Real World, “Straight White Male” is the lowest difficulty setting there is.

This means that the default behaviors for almost all the non-player characters in the game are easier on you than they would be otherwise. The default barriers for completions of quests are lower. Your leveling-up thresholds come more quickly. You automatically gain entry to some parts of the map that others have to work for. The game is easier to play, automatically, and when you need help, by default it’s easier to get.

From a bromo perspective, this analogy holds water. While our status as a sexual and/or gender minority sometimes impacts our lives (usually when we come up against laws) being a bromo has its advantages. While we might not play on the lowest difficulty setting: a lot of us have the cheat code.

We don’t play the game as “Straight Male” – but we can if we want to. When entering dungeons, facing off with bosses, or just grinding to gain experience points, if the going gets tough we can hit pause, enter STRAIGHTGUY, and unlock the special abilities of that class of character. All abilities immediately gain +1. Right on!

Bro

10+ in Awesomeness

But of course, this trick isn’t perfect. When the code is engaged it slowly decreases your stats like Stamina and Health. Stress levels increase as you see your status levels drop, and you rush to make it through the quest. When you finally make it through and back to home base, your levels will return to nearly pre-code levels. Not much of a sacrifice, but it still takes its toll.

The post delivers another relevant kick of reality:

In The Real World, you don’t unlock any rewards or receive any benefit for playing on higher difficulty settings. The game is just harder, and potentially a lot less fun. And you say, okay, but what if I want to replay the game later on a higher difficulty setting, just to see what it’s like? Well, here’s the other thing about The Real World: You only get to play it once.

So, if you play with the cheat code on all of the time, you waste your chance at living an honest life. Safer? Easier? Probably. But surely we can use our special ability to reprogram the game for other people. Even without the cheat code many of the players will find us more relatable: so lets use that instead. By all means plug in the code if you’re in danger, but the rest of the time we have an opportunity.

Homophobia -1 to every non-playable character you encounter that reconsiders their view of what it means to be gay. Misogyny -1 when you call out your buddies for using derogatory language. Bigotry -1 when you stand up for our femmebros and tell people there is nothing wrong with being flamboyant. Transphobia -1 when your treat trans bros like bros, bro.

Our default setting may lead through a couple of difficult levels, but more importantly we can change the very fabric of the game. Get out there and play on, bromos.