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Archive for December, 2008|Monthly archive page

Equal4all’s 1st Holiday Giveaway: What Does Christmas Truly Mean to You?

In Being Gay, Dating, Giveaways, Relationships on December 17, 2008 at 2:24 am

rainbow christmas tree

Dear readers,

We are proud to announce Equal4all‘s very first giveaway! In order to qualify for our prize, you must answer this simple question: What does Christmas truly mean to you?  The contest will end at 2:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve – 12/24/084 winners will be chosen at random by the editor-in-chief. All answers must be filled in on equal4all.wordpress.com under the “comment” section of this post, and only 1 entry is allowed to be submitted per person.

This year’s holiday prize is graciously provided by GreetingCardUniverse.com. They are offering 6 free paper greeting cards to each of our winners – each winner will be notified by e-mail on 1/2/09 containing a promotion code to be used upon check-out when you place an order with GreetingCardUniverse.com.

GreetingCardUniverse.com, the largest paper greeting card store, offers unique cards you will NOT find at your local card store. See their Gay and Lesbian collection here.

Sound simple enough?

Please provide your contact e-mail address upon entering this contest.

Equal4all generally will collect your personal information directly from you. We may collect personal information about you when you contact us via telephone, fax and e-mail correspondence, or when you contact us in person. Equal4all will not sell your personal information to any third party, as we respect your privacy and the privacy of others. Your personal information will only be used by Equal4all.

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Recession-proof Parcels for your Boyfriend: Be Jolly and Save Some Cash!

In Being Gay, Dating, Music, Relationships on December 16, 2008 at 11:01 pm

gifts

 

So, yet again you have decided to wait until the last minute to find that “perfect” gift for your significant other.  Considering that the economy is in such dismay right now, you may also find it hard to pay for the more extravagant gifts that are out there.  Whatever your reasoning is, you only have a week to go – so here are some easy and inexpensive ways to let your man know you care.

 

Let the early bird catch the worm … you’re going for sales!!

 

I’ll start by saying that no one that I know of is enjoying their financial situation right now to some extent.  All of the holiday hype is aimed at getting people to pay the maximum for things because, usually, people will.  In addition, you’ve obviously already missed the madness that is “Black Friday.”  I suggest having a sit-down chat with your boyfriend and honestly explaining your monetary situation to him.  Then, suggest you wait until just after the holidays to snag up all of those great deals that occur between Christmas and New Year’s.  I have celebrated Christmas in January and February a few times now, and let me tell you, it works in everyone’s favor!

 

Make it a gift from the heart (not to sound too Hallmark!)

 

Whether you are just starting out with your new beau, or you’re married, nothing says loving like a sentimental gift – there are so many directions you can take this.  The only limit is really your imagination.  You can make a scrapbook including photos and memorabilia from trips you have taken, or a fabulous night out you two have had.  Throw in some poems, or even just words that you associate with him or that fit your personalities.  If the two of you have similar taste in music, or a special song, make a CD.  I know, I know, sounds kind of 80’s, but it will be appreciated.  Keep in mind, these things can be time consuming – so if you like the idea, you’d better start now!

 

The greatest gift of all … YOU!!

 

This one sounds kind of corny as well, but what’s wrong with offering yourself up as a present?  If the special someone in your life actually knows you, then he’ll more than likely know what kind of monetary stress you are under.  This one is easy.  First, go to any store you like and pick up a pad, index cards, and markers – any kind of inexpensive crafts, really.  Then … go to town! Make coupons for things your boyfriend has been asking for or desiring.  You can make it however you’d like – add movie nights, museum trips, special sexy games – heck, even doing the dishes! You are only limited by your creativity!

 

Find something he likes, and run with it!!

 

Unless your man is a cardboard cut-out, he probably has something that he is interested in.  So get out there and pick up a bunch of inexpensive things that you know he can use.  If he is a big coffee drinker, buy him some nice coffee and a new mug.  If he has television shows or movies that he likes, pick up a calendar or some sort of memorabilia about it.  Did you happen to land yourself a sports fan?  Then pick him up a baseball cap or sweatshirt of his favorite team.  There are tons of small gifts you can pick up for next to nothing that all together could make him very happy!!

 

As long as your guy understands your situation, anything you get him will be fine because it came from you.  It doesn’t always have to be some high-priced toy, or some new-age gadget.  Sometimes the best gifts come from the heart.  Hopefully some of these ideas can inspire you to stop worrying and still make this a great holiday for both you and the love of your life!

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Written by Scott Merwede, edited by J. Federico

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Milk – It Does a Gay Body Good!

In Being Gay, Gay Celebrity, Relationships on December 16, 2008 at 10:06 pm

milk1

It’s difficult to explain the feeling that comes over me when I am sitting in a movie theater and see two men kiss on screen.  To get the obvious out of the way, it’s as far removed from a sexual feeling as possible.  The first word that comes to mind: comfort. A voice whispering, “It’s okay.” All of my life I have been an avid movie-goer, hooked since I saw Ariel fall for Prince Eric in Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and yet in my twenty-two years I can remember only a handful of on-screen same-sex kisses; the number of those that weren’t overtly sexual, aggressive, or a punch line is even fewer.

Within the first five minutes of Gus Van Sant’s newest film, the biopic Milk, two of the largest male stars in the world, Sean Penn and James Franco, not only kiss on a subway platform moments after the opening credits have faded from view, but lay in bed together, playfully wiping cake on each other’s faces as Harvey Milk rings in his fortieth birthday.   “Forty years old, and I’ve yet to do something I’m proud of,” he says to his new companion.  The film, while not perfect, has much to be proud of; first and foremost its balance of portraying gay rights with the weight it deserves in today’s society, while also portraying the love between two men as something not to be gawked at.

It is this shading that makes Milk so important.  It is a reminder of how far we have come since the days of gay men being murdered in the streets of San Francisco.  And it is a reminder of how much further we have to go!

This movie has an enormous amount of weight on its shoulders, especially coming in the shadow of the devastating outcome of California’s Prop 8.   Iconic images of protests abound scene after scene, bringing to mind these recent struggles of the gay community. And while a thought running through my mind while watching the events unfold, was how much I wish the bigots of the world would be forced to sit down and watch the film – I know it would be as pointless as getting me to sit down and watch football.  (Some things just won’t happen.)   What it does accomplish, however, in the process of preaching to the choir, is it gives the young gay community, a somewhat ignorant bunch in which I place myself, an education about our history.

The life of a gay people in my generation includes a fair amount of strident optimism, bucking the norm and declaring the lack of mainstream acceptance as superfluous to our existence. We have our own magazines. We have our own bars. We get by fine without the support, right?    Some people do everything they can to distance themselves from conformity, defining themselves by their sexuality and donning sky-high wigs above piles of makeup.  To me, while mainstream acceptance has never been my mission in life, it also seems a bit like a defense mechanism to declare we’re fine without it; putting up a front because it’s a goal we know is unattainable – foolish even.

Seeing this first on screen kiss in what is, to my knowledge, the first mainstream movie about the gay rights movement, felt like my reawakening as a gay man.  Mainly because the love story in the midst of Harvey Milk’s empowering quest to be the first openly gay elected official in major office is presented with such delicacy and lack of salaciousness that it took my breath away.  We don’t see Harvey spitting on his dick and fucking his lover like the characters in Brokeback Mountain.  We see him making breakfast, taking photographs, walking up behind his lover and putting his arms around him on the street.   Its homosexuality portrayed in as innocent a way as those Disney heroines of my youth.  For brief moments, its homosexuality portrayed with an air of nonchalance.

That word, “nonchalance” exists in this movie because of how completely Penn throws himself into the character.  He is never a straight actor playing gay.  He is Harvey Milk.  But truth be told, however the love story is portrayed, little in Milk’s life—at least the chapters portrayed on screen—was nonchalant.

Milk’s mouth may as well have been a bullhorn.  From the moment he moved to San Francisco he found a platform for his politics, made up of a dash of the typical scheming that is commonplace in today’s political climate and a bucket of infectious passion, which he poured over anyone he came into contact with.

“I am Harvey Milk, and I want to recruit you,” he says while standing on a soapbox.  And for the duration of the movie, that’s exactly what he does.  By the time his assassination occurs—an event we know is coming since the beginning of the film—the on-screen Harvey Milk has managed to do for this generation what the real Milk did for his: inspire.  We are human beings deserving of the same rights as everyone else on this Earth.

Harvey Milk was one person with passion who was able to make a change.  We are all capable.  Our biggest foe is our own complacency (and, in this case, people with guns … which is why you won’t find me supporting gun rights anytime soon).  With a little work, we may be viewed as so regular that mainstream romantic comedies are made with two men as the leads.  Wishful thinking?  Perhaps.  But that’s just what Harvey Milk had.  And that’s everything.

Written by Matthew Murphy, edited by J. Federico

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