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Men In (Swim) Suits

Men In (Swim) Suits

By D. David Kinney 

Got your favorite swimsuit picked out for Joining Hearts 27 this weekend? If you’re looking for some divine inspiration we’re taking a look at some of our favorite looks from the Mercedes-Benz Swim Fashion Week in Miami.

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‘Surviving The Silence’

‘Surviving The Silence’

What would you do if your boss told you to fire someone because they were gay?

That’s what Col. Pat Thompson was told to do: preside over the dismissal of Col. Grethe Cammermeyer for being a lesbian. If her name sounds familiar you may have encountered her story in Serving In Silence”. The movie was executive-produced by Barbra Streisand and starred Glenn Close. Thompson faced an impossible choice: she could come out, then two of them would be discharged. Or, she could fulfill her duty in a way that allowed Col. Cammermeyer the best possible defense, even though it might raise suspicion about her own status.

Through “Surviving the Silence: Love and Impossible Choices” – a film-in-production by Atlanta-based, LGBT community leader Cindy L. Abel – Col. Pat Thompson’s story, hidden until now, will be widely told for the first time. In it, Col. Cammermeyer reveals why she considers her a courageous hero, crediting her for contributing to the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Col. Thompson and her wife of 30 years share how they created a home – with a secret passageway between bedrooms in case of overnight guests to whom they weren’t out – and stayed connected using a secret code during tours at the Pentagon or in Panama where phone calls could be tapped.

This heart-wrenching yet empowering film is raising funds on Kickstarter and donations of all sizes are needed and appreciated. For $10, your name will be in the film credits. For $25, you’ll also receive a personal thank-you note from Col. Thompson and Barbara Brass. The more you donate, the bigger the perks. Check out the clip below and decide how you can help share our history and the triumph of love over any obstacle.

 

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A New Queen Is Crowned

A New Queen Is Crowned

By D. David Kinney

Last Friday local drag artists from throughout the Atlanta area came together to compete in FENUXE’s annual Queen of Queens competition. The sheer amount of talent was overwhelming and all of the performers gave incredible performances. The top three performers were selected based on applause and they then competed in the final round for the judges. Ultimately, it was the beautiful Shavonna B. Brooks who was crowned this year’s Queen of Queens. Check out these photos from the fun event held at Burkhart’s Pub.

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Same-Sex Parents Celebrate National Parents Day

Same-Sex Parents Celebrate National Parents Day

By Dustin Shrader

Calling all gay dads! National Parents’ Day, Sunday, July 27th is about to commence. With the growing number of gay-parent households multiplying across the nation, it has become evident that the national holiday does not solely belong to heterosexual parents or even the typical nuclear family.

Based on a 2013 study by The Williams Institute, as many as six million American children and adults have an LGBT parent. Despite lesbian couples heading up a higher number of these households, gay dads are growing more and more with fervor. Two gay dads in particular, Brian Rosenberg and Ferd van Gameren are taking the initiative by storm to celebrate National Parent’s Day along with operating their website Gays With Kids.

Brian and Ferd are the epitome of an inspirational tale. Recently, celebrating their one-year wedding anniversary on June 20th, the day also symbolizes their landmark 21 year feat as a couple. The doting dads are parents to adopted five-year old Levi and almost four-year old twin daughters Ella and Sadie born via surrogacy. Their journey to fatherhood began about five years ago, initially proceeding with plans to adopt. “We felt that there were lots of children out there that needed parents,” Brian explains. However, their journey to parenthood was not without its bumps in the road.

“The adoption process took a long time,” Ferd laments. “With all the paperwork, background checks, courts etc. we realized that adoption might not be the way we would become dads.”

“Which led us to consider other ways to have a child,” interjects Brian. “So we decided to look into surrogacy. We signed the contract and gave the deposit. Unexpectedly three days afterward, we received a call about a little boy who had been born two days earlier up for adoption.”

Patience certainly has its fated rewards, gifting Brian and Ferd with not just one child but three children all within a year and a half span.

Not having any immediate family nearby to partake in the everyday joys, struggles and questions of raising young children, the newfound fathers realized they could not be the only ones in a similar situation. At this revelation, Gays With Kids was conceived.

“The inspiration behind Gays With Kids started after we visited several big retailers, noticing baby products that were mainly directed towards mothers. Products that were labeled ‘Kid tested. Mother approved.’ Seeing that we were the only men in these stores, we decided to go online and look for other gay dads who had run into this problem.”

In heading up Gays With Kids, Brian and Ferd have created an online community full of support and information catering to newly gay fathers, gay men considering becoming fathers or any topic associated with gay men and fatherhood. “We provided the platform and now we have over 20 gay bloggers using the site from all around the globe. We have a team of respected journalists, writers and individuals devoted to keeping the gay dad community updated, while feeling encouraged, inspired and supported in gay dad-hood.”

Not letting stereotypical gender roles factor into raising their children, Brian and Ferd rely solely on their partnership and teamwork. “We depend on each other,” Ferd said. Brian agreed stating that they are the perfect example of the recent study conducted by Australia’s University of Melbourne. The study’s research finds that children of gay and lesbian parents have better health and well-being in relation to their peers originating from heterosexual households. The study also highlights that same-sex parenting roles are based on an emphasis of the individual parent’s skills, while not conforming to the stigma of gender roles.

Currently, Brian’s and Ferd’s focus is the upcoming National Parent’s Day holiday. The two plan to take their adorable brood off to Provincetown Family Week, held July 26th through August 2nd in Provincetown, MA. Family Week is an event founded to provide a fun-filled environment for LGBT families.

“We are thrilled to celebrate with families just like us!” Brian exclaims. “Our lives are awesome. We became dads because we felt we needed to.”
Ferd agrees. “Before we became fathers we led a typical gay lifestyle. Surprisingly, after becoming dads we are the gayest we have ever been. We are both fathers and mothers and we would not have it any other way!”

Brian and Ferd invite everyone to check out Gays With Kids. Affectionately, referring to the site as “The New York Times for Gay Dads” the adoring fathers relay the message that any gay man or couple interested in becoming a parent should. “Gay men can be phenomenal parents.”

Phenomenal they can be indeed.

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