it's time - australia tv ad

I’ve watched a lot of videos lately in support of marriage equality. But none is as beautiful as this one.

Sign the petition to end marriage discrimination in Australia here: http://www.getup.org.au/marriagematters or view the video & donate at this link.

The Australian campaign’s goal is to change Australia’s Marriage Act which currently defines marriage as between a man and a woman. It’s time to change this in Australia. It’s time to change this in America. I’m tired of waiting.

Read more: http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/national/getup-launches-gay-marriage-ad-20111128-1o2zw.html#ixzz1f4ktKcal

porn magazines in the airport

Over the holidays I tend to find myself in a lot of airports. With my family scattered across the United States, I frequently had layovers and long trips to make it home for the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday breaks. This year I flew home to Texas all the way from Berlin (and then again from Texas to Ohio to see some more family). As per usual, I had some time to kill in the airports which naturally led to your typical airport newsstands full of cheap paperbacks and glossy magazines.

porn magazines in the airport

Airports sell porn

I always noticed airport newsstands that sell porn but never thought too much about it. Then I became curious. Before flying out of Berlin last week I decided to take a quick walk-by of the pornography section. And, lo and behold, I actually found gay porn in an airport newsstand! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen this before (granted, I wasn’t always looking). A million times flying in America and I’d always notice the Playboys and Hustlers shrink-wrapped on the top-shelf, but I’d never see gay porn. Again, magazines are dying and all and I wasn’t always looking, but I was honestly a bit surprised to see some gay porn in a Berlin airport. Continue reading

advocate thanksgiving magazine covers

Lots of things happening in the news. Since it’s Thanksgiving today, I’ll just share some snippets:

Republicans plan to fight in New Hampshire just before the primary

Looks like Republicans are already gearing up to stop the latest bit of progress. As if the 2012 presidential campaign isn’t enough, Republicans are planning to introduce legislation repealing New Hampshire’s law which allows gay marriage. Ugh

The Advocate and it’s Thanksgiving magazine covers

The Advocate magazine shares some of its Thanksgiving-themed magazine covers from the years. They’re not very pretty.

England and Wales’ law allowing gay marriages in church

Earlier this month, the UK (specifically England and Wales) made it possible for gays to be wed in churches (by civil ceremony). Looks like there are some people who are about to put up a fight against that as well.

More homophobia in Africa — Cameroon jails men over gay sex

I’ve already shared my thoughts about Uganda, and now Cameroon is making news about its laws which make homosexuality illegal. Three men were sentenced to five years in prison for “homosexual acts.”

rainbow flag - coming out

In case you don’t know, I’m home in Dallas, Texas for the first time in 18 months after travelling around the world. It’s also the first time I’m home since coming out. I won’t lie that I was more than a bit nervous. Nervous about a lot of silly little things. Who had I told? Who hadn’t I told? Would I need to come out all over again?

I’m finally comfortable with who I am and not only that, but I’ve been living a regular (ie, non-travel) life in Berlin for the past five months. While finally living in a single place as an out gay male, a lot of things have gone through my mind. I couldn’t help but feel that I’d missed out on so much in life since I didn’t come out until my mid-20s. I realize that some people never feel this comfortable this early, but it seems to me that increasingly people come out sooner and sooner. Or maybe I’m just jealous.

Anyways, being home for the first time after coming out hasn’t been weird at all. The day before I left, I was more than nervous. I wished I had someone to come home with…a boyfriend to bring to dinner. Someone I could share my experience with while finally being me with the family. That part of the process of coming out has yet to happen…bringing home a boy.

Here’s a little snippet of a conversation I had with an old friend from high school:

friend: so why did you wait until recently to come out
me: i dunno. i guess i was only able to admit it to myself recently. finally felt comfortable with the idea
friend: cool. i bet <so and so> was crushed. didn’t you have a marriage pact with her?

So far home doesn’t feel any different. Besides getting a magazine in the mail from the Human Rights Campaign, there’s no mention of me being gay. No one’s asked me yet if I have a boyfriend…but that doesn’t seem strange to me because my family hardly ever used to ask when I’d come home if I had “met any girls.” But maybe that’s because they always knew I was looking at guys.

Meh. I’m glad to be home. I’m glad to be gay. I also read this nice little Q&A on UnicornBooty about coming home for the first holiday after coming out. Thought it was interesting.

human dignity trust - global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality around the world

I recently learned about the Human Dignity Trust – a global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality around the world by upholding international law. The organization is starting their international campaign by bringing the issue to court in Belize.

human dignity trust - global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality around the world

From travelling around the world I’ve seen how different homosexuality is treated in each and every country. Whether it’s marriage inequality in America or a surprising amount of gay and trans-sexual bars in Bangkok, the world is an incredibly diverse place politically. But there are certain things that are universal—human rights and equality.

I don’t know much about the Human Dignity Trust (do you? let me know in the comments…) but I like their objective:

The Human Dignity Trust works for the decriminalisation of consensual, private same-sex sexual conduct between adults through the application of settled, existing human rights law. The criminalisation of identity is a violation of the rights to privacy, dignity and equality protected in international human rights and constitutional law. The Trust seeks to have these laws upheld and respected.

I’ll be following this global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality closely. Just by making myself more aware of gay travel news by reading and following more sites focused for gay travellers, I’ve already learned a lot about the world.

transgender day of remembrance around the world

transgender day of remembrance around the world

I only learned today was the Transgender Day of Remembrance this afternoon. As usual, the Human Rights Campaign sums it up best:

November 20 is recognized as the national Transgender Day of Remembrance – an opportunity for communities to come together and mark the passing of transgender or those perceived to be transgender individuals who have been murdered because of hate.

Wikipedia further informed me that the national (or possibly international?) holiday was started to honor Rita Hester who was murdered in my old hometown of Allston, Massachusetts in 1998.

If you’re curious a bit more about the holiday, I highly recommend watching some of the videos from an article in the Huffington Post about the Transgender Day of Remembrance: 20 Trans Pioneers.

International events and marches in honor of the Transgender day of Remembrance can be found online at transgenderdor.org.

Screen shot 2011-11-18 at 12.34.59 PM

Over the summer I was in Berlin for the annual Fuck Parade. It’s one of the largest techno/electronic parades. It originally started as a protest against the Love Parade but seeing as how the Love Parade no longer happens, the Fuck Parade is basically the only techno street party that Berlin still has. Here’s a short video clip from the day.

Berlin’s Fuck Parade has a little bit of a history regarding gay and lesbian LGBT issues.  That was partly descended from the Love Parade. But, in the end, it’s basically just one very large party on a nice summer day. With LOUD music!

Dorothy Samuels writes for the New York Times: “Nearly 60 percent of Americans live in places that do not protect gay couples in any way.”

adam-birthday

 

Today is my 27th birthday. AHHHHHHH!!!!! I’m officially old. (By no one’s standards.)

In honor of me turning 27 today, here are 27 things I’ve done in my life that I think were pretty cool.

27 awesome things I’ve done before turning 27

  1. Studied abroad (in London and in Sydney)
  2. Went skydiving over the Great Barrier Reef and landed (safely) on a beach
  3. Backpacked India for 3 months (can’t wait to go back)
  4. Fell in love with a boy in Tel Aviv
  5. Went on a trip to Iceland for a long weekend from Boston
  6. Traveled to random American cities for various weekends to visit friends and family
  7. Started a travel blog
  8. Read a lot of great books (and seen a lot of great movies)
  9. Worked professionally as a graphic designer
  10. Lived, worked and studied in Boston for seven awesome years
  11. Volunteered/worked for a political nonprofit in Israel
  12. Learned to relax on the beaches of India
  13. Managed to get a “job” and live in Berlin
  14. Seen a hell of a lot of live bands and music gigs (and music festivals)
  15. Traveled to a bunch of places on the whim (Paris, Puerto Rico)
  16. Took a cab with strangers in the middle of a blizzard
  17. Went on an epic road trip with some friends as a teenager
  18. Saw the sunrise over Mt. Sinai in Egypt
  19. Studied at a great university that gave me plenty of opportunities (even if I didn’t take them all)
  20. Got a tattoo (two, actually!)
  21. Celebrated Songkran in Bangkok, Yom Kippur in Israel & Diwali in India
  22. Written down a lot of important memories (online and off)
  23. Learned to cook a few main meals (which can be surprisingly enjoyable)
  24. Been skinny dipping a few times…
  25. Finally overcame a few of my fears enough to be comfortable with myself
  26. I’ve met some truly incredible and interesting people over the years
  27. Backpacked around the world for 18 months!

Despite the fact that by turning 27 I’m now a year older, I’m actually quite proud to be me.

Gay Orbitz - facebook travel contest

Orbitz’s Gay Travel version of their website is currently running a contest (Nov 1-30). I recently won a Facebook travel contest last month, so you can be sure I’m going to enter this one as well!

The contest is only open to USA residents and the prize is two roundtrip airline tickets to Sydney, AUSTRALIA for their Gay Mardi Gras (plus $500 cash). Sydney’s Mardi Gras was the first “pride” parade I ever went to, though I wasn’t “out” at the time.

More details on the contest and to enter can be found here on Facebook. If you enter, be sure to write that Adam Groffman referred you :)