Don’t You Know That You’re Toxic?

This is my official “I had a date from hell and must share it” piece. I’ve been single for quite some time now, and have met guys from several different places – including the apps Grindr and Tinder. In my opinion, Grindr is for one thing. That’s just how I view it, and am pretty sure the majority of gay men who use it also do too. Tinder, on the other hand, is in a higher echelon – I feel it’s more conducive to dating and less sexually charged. I haven’t met too many guys off of either, but decided to meet a Tinder match face to face a few months ago, and it went from zero to crazy in a matter of hours.


He seemed like a normal guy. That’s what they all say, right? Well he truly did – I’ll go so far as saying that he works in the education field, so I assumed he had been properly vetted. I put him through my own vetting process, and decided it would be fine to meet up for beers. Mind you, I’m not a beer drinker at all, but he was and I thought “why not show him my masc side?” I found a hip brewery close to my house and stumbled into the crowded place in search of my newly found Tinder match. He was definitely handsome, was already at the bar, and had already had at least one drink. I suggested we get some light food, but once I saw fried mac ‘n’ cheese bites on the menu, that idea was over. I devoured my food, got seconds, and drank about three beers. I felt totally fine – almost sober. The conversation was great and I was attracted to him and curious about where things could go. So when we finished, I suggested we Uber back to my place.

Now before you kill me, ALL OF YOU (or most of you) HAVE DONE THIS BEFORE. I wasn’t planning on screwing him (even if I was, who cares?) but I wanted to have a couple more drinks and make out. I had the house to myself, so I had no concerns whatsoever. We arrived at my place and I gave him the tour, ending up in my kitchen kissing passionately against my counter. I suggested drinks, and he marveled at my bar selection, choosing to make an enormous martini. Halfway through drinking it, he changed. Something seemed off. I have been around a billion people who are intoxicated, but this was different from that. I realized the booze was a terrible idea, and that he was now drunk and maybe more.

I excused myself to the bathroom, at which point I texted a friend for some advice. He said he would come over and help break the tension and then offer him a ride home. I was relieved and had a plan. Suddenly I heard screaming, and I mean SCREAMING coming from the other room, and I heard my date on his phone. He was saying things such as “this was a horrible idea” and “why did I come out in the first place” and other bizarre phrases. He would pause and listen to his friend, and then keep firing back angry sentiments about myself and the night. At this point, I knew I might have to take measures into my own hands, which as a pretty strong guy, I’m not afraid to do. I emerged from my bathroom, expecting him to be ranting on his phone, when to my horror I noticed THERE WAS NO PHONE. He had been having an imaginary conversation, and I was now having a very real panic attack.

Dealing with “crazy” is completely different than dealing with a normal human being. I’m not a doctor, so I can’t say this man was crazy, but the behavior was extremely off, and I imagined he either took medication that doesn’t mix with alcohol, or did not take medication he should have. I knew my friend was on his way (thankfully he’s the same hunk that helped me save Christmas), and the best thing to do is try to soothe the crazy. I talked to him in a very rational calm manner, and he continued to lose it at me. He was very condescending, and very out of it. I needed a breath of fresh air, so I went on my balcony for a minute to “look at the stars.” Then he locked me outside.

I texted my friend and was like “omg this has gotten serious.” I updated him and he replied that he was like 25 minutes away. I wasn’t scared for my life, but I was freaked out for sure. I wanted back in my house more than anything, so I pantomimed through the sliding door and was smiling and doing anything I could do to get him to open sesame. It worked, and he let me back in and I acted as though nothing had happened. I turned to him and said “hey man, is there anything at all I could do for you?” His reply was “yes, can you play Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’?” I was dying inside, because moments before he had insulted my masculinity, and was now requesting Brit Brit to calm his ass down. I played “Toxic” as loud as possible, and when it was over, I played it again. And again, and again. It genuinely had a relaxing effect on him, so I was so down – ANYTHING at that point.

At least 10 “Toxic”s later, my friend texted that he had arrived. I surreptitiously answered the front door, and he came into the house and helped me command the situation. My “date” took one look at my stud pal and knew that the gig was up. He declined the ride offer, and insisted on driving himself home. At this point, I wasn’t going to argue with him, regardless of his state. I knew there were cops stationed up my street, and if he was driving while intoxicated, they’d get him. He hadn’t touched his martini in a while, and had to find his keys anyway, which mysteriously had vanished. An hour later – legitimately – a full hour, and he found his keys in one of my bathrooms. At least that’s what he claimed, who the hell knows if he even lost them in the first place. I was just THRILLED to send him home. He wasn’t drunk anymore, and his composure had changed again – this time to humiliation.

My friend and I closed the front door, sighed, and I told him all of the sordid details. We decided it might actually make for a good horror flick, but his character would most certainly have to die (and probably my cat). I blocked my mismatch on all social media, and texts as well. I knew he would never try to contact me again, but I’m a stickler for blocking. I went to bed way more precarious about dating than I ever have been, but woke up a lot more grounded. Weeks later, I was at my gym and “Toxic” came on. I had a post-traumatic stress reaction and bugged out, right there in the weight room. Then, gradually, I listened to Britney’s words of wisdom, picked up the dumbbells, and rocked the set like never before. I realized that I can handle any dating scenario now, and if I ever get freaked out again? It’s Britney, bitch.

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Politics

Supreme Court to Hear Major Case Concerning LGBTQ Foster Care Parents

The Supreme Court agreed to decide whether cities are allowed to exclude tax-funded adoption agencies from foster care systems if they refuse to work with gay couples.

In 2018, city officials in Philadelphia decided to exclude Catholic Social Services, which refuses to work with LGBTQ couples, from participating in its foster-care system. The agency sued, claiming religious discrimination, but the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously ruled against the agency, citing the need to comply with nondiscrimination policies.

The case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, follows a 2018 Supreme Court decision regarding a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. In that case, the court narrowly ruled that the baker bad been discriminated against, on religious grounds, by the state's civil rights commission. It did not decide the broader issue: whether an entity can be exempt from local non-discrimination ordinances on the basis of religious freedom.

The court — whose ideological center has shifted to the right since the addition of Justice Brett Kavanaugh in fall 2018 — may choose to do so now. Advocates quickly called on the court to consider the potential impact on the more than 400,000 children currently in the foster care system:

"We already have a severe shortage of foster families willing and able to open their hearts and homes to these children," said Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU LGBT & HIV Project. "Allowing foster care agencies to exclude qualified families based on religious requirements that have nothing to do with the ability to care for a child such as their sexual orientation or faith would make it even worse. We can't afford to have loving families turned away or deterred by the risk of discrimination."

"It is unconscionable to turn away prospective foster and adoptive families because they are LGBTQ, religious minorities, or for any other reason unrelated to their capacity to love and care for children," said HRC President Alphonso David. "We reject the suggestion that taxpayer-funded child welfare services should be allowed to put discrimination over a child's best interest. This case could also have implications for religious refusals that go far beyond child welfare. The Supreme Court must make it clear that freedom of religion does not include using taxpayer funds to further marginalize vulnerable communities."

The court may choose to override a 1990 decision, Employment Division v. Smith, which created the current standard for carving out religious exemptions. In that case, the court ruled that laws that target a specific faith, or express hostility towards certain beliefs, are unconstitutional — but this standard has long been abhorred by religious conservatives, who think it doesn't offer enough protections for religions. If the court does overrule Smith, it could have far-ranging consequences. " As noted on Slate, "it would allow anyone to demand a carve-out from laws that go against their religion, unless those laws are 'narrowly tailored' to serve a 'compelling government interest.'"

The four members of the court's conservative wing — Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh —have all signaled an openness to reconsider Smith. The ruling's fate, then, likely rests in the hands of the court's new swing vote, Chief Justice Roberts.

For more, read the full article on Slate.

Gay Dad Life

Dads Tell Us Their 'Gayest Moment Ever' as Parents

We may be dads — but we're still gay, damnit! And these "gayest moments ever," sent to us from our Instagram community, prove it.

Did your child know all the lyrics to Madonna songs by age 3? Do your kids critique all the red carpet lewks from the Tony Awards? Do you often have baby food, diapers, sparkling white wine, gourmet appetizer, and fresh cut flowers in your shopping cart — all in one trip? If you answered 'yes' to any of the above, you just might be... a gay dad.

We asked the dads in our Instagram community to share their gayest moments as a dad, ever, and their responses were just as hilarious as they were relatable.

Here's a great way to start the week...

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News

What's it Like to Be a Child of the 'Gayby Boom'?

Tosca Langbert, who grew up with two dads, writes a piece for the Harvard Business Review about what it's like being among the first children of the "Gayby Boom" to come of age.

We've previously written about the pressure on LGBTQ parents to appear perfect, given that so many in the United States still feel out families shouldn't exist in the first place. And we know this pressure trickles down to our kids. But In an article for the Harvard Business Review titled 'The Gayby Boom Is Here to Stay," author Tosca Langbert eloquently writes, from her perspective, about the experience of beingone of the first children to come of age during an era when LGBTQ parenthood is far more commonplace. She and her two siblings, she notes, "were raised in a family that was an impossibility only decades ago."

In the article, Langbert said she knew from a young age that her family was different from those of most of her peers, who had one a father and a mother. But otherwise, she writes, she didn't feel like her family differed much. "Like any other parents, Dad sat in the carpool lane after school and taught us how to ride our bikes," she writes, "while Papa took us to the movies on the weekends and separated the whites from the colors."

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Politics

Utah Bill Would Allow Gay Men to Enter Surrogacy Contracts

Rep. Patrice Arent of Utah is sponsoring a bill that will remove a provision that currently prohibits gay men from entering into commercial surrogacy contracts in the state.

Though Utah is not one of the three states that currently prohibit commercial surrogacy contracts, the state's current policy does specifically exclude gay men from doing so. That may soon changed, however, thanks to a bill in the state's legislature that was unanimously voted out of a House Committee that would remove that restriction.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek, a Democrat, was created in response to a ruling by the Utah Supreme Court this past August that found the ban on gay men unconstitutional.

Gay men have been excluded from legally entering surrogacy contracts due to a provision in the current law that requires medical evidence "that the intended mother is unable to bear a child or is unable to do so without unreasonable risk to her physical or mental health or to the unborn child," Rep. Arent told the Salt Lake Tribune — a requirement that clearly excludes gay male couples.

The state's original surrogacy law dates back to 2005, before same-sex marriage was legalized in the state, which accounts for the gendered language. Though the state's Supreme Court already ruled the provision unconstitutional, Rep Arent further told the Tribute that, "People do not look to Supreme Court opinions to figure out the law, they look to the code and the code should be constitutional."

Politics

Colorado Republicans Try and Fail to Outlaw LGBTQ Marriage and Adoption Rights

A bill introduced by four Republican state legislators in Colorado that would outlaw same-sex marriage and adoption rights was voted down.

The "Colorado Natural Marriage and Adoption Act," which would have outlawed gay marriage and adoption in the state of Colorado, was voted down in the state legislature this week. The bill was sponsored by Republican Rep. Stephen Humphrey and three of his conservative colleagues: Dave Williams, Shane Sandridge and Mark Baisley.

If enacted, the bill would have enforced "state law that marriage is between one man and one woman" and restrict "adoption of children by spouses in a marriage ... that consist of one man and one woman."

The bill, which had little chance of success, particularly in Colorado which has trended more progressive over the past several election cycles, was mostly symbolic, according to Sanridrge. "We all know this bill isn't gonna pass in this current left-wing environment," he told Colorado Public Radio. "It's to remind everyone, this is the ultimate way to conceive a child."

In a sign of how far we've come on the issue of LGBTQ marriage and parenting rights, most Republican legislators in the state did not endorse the bill.

Though the bill had little chance of passage, LGBTQ advocacy groups in the state are taking the threats seriously nonetheless. Daniel Ramos, director of the LGBTQ group One Colorado, told LGBTQ Nation that the bills were an attempt to return Colorado to its "hate status" of the 1990s, adding the aggressiveness of the measures were "a bit surprising."

Surrogacy for Gay Men

Dads Talk About Surrogacy Process in New Video for Northwest Surrogacy Center

The Northwest Surrogacy Center interviewed some of their gay dad clients for a video to celebrate their 25th anniversary of creating families through surrogacy!

Image: NWSC Clients

Last year, Northwest Surrogacy Center celebrated 25 years of helping parents realize their dreams. And they celebrated in style by inviting the families they've worked with over the past two and a half decades to join them!

At the party, they took the opportunity to film queer dads and dads-to-be, asking them a couple of questions: how did it feel holding your baby for the first time, and tell us about your relationship with your surrogate.

Watch the video below and get ready for the water works!

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Surrogacy for Gay Men

Campaign to Legalize Surrogacy in New York Heats Up with Competing Bills

Two competing bills — one backed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and another by Senator Liz Krueger with stricter provisions — are aiming to legalize surrogacy in New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is once again attempting to legalize commercial surrogacy in the state, which is still just one of three states in the country to forbid the practice.

"This antiquated law is repugnant to our values and we must repeal it once and for all and enact the nation's strongest protections for surrogates and parents choosing to take part in the surrogacy process," Governor Cuomo said in a statement in announcing a broader effort called Love Makes a Family. "This year we must pass gestational surrogacy and expedite the second parent adoption process to complete marriage and family equality."

Keep reading...

Fatherhood, the gay way

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