Showing posts with label relationships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label relationships. Show all posts

Monday, March 7, 2016

Nice To See StevieB: Run Towards Something

By StevieB

Over dinner a friend was detailing the cycle she was in over breaking up, then getting back together with her girlfriend. This was a relationship where it seems impossible to create a solid, healthy connection, and seemed impossible to end and moving forward. It was explained as an endless cycle of mistrust and conflict. No matter how painful the situation was, it was explained that it felt safer to continue the conflict than simply committing to ending the connection. Like the idea of being single, ending a toxic relationship was simply life-ending terror. More terrifying then the endless emotional abuse, relationship rollercoaster that was over-taking her life.

This puzzled me. Like ending a relationship somehow is an indication of failure. Like having the strength to let go is less important than the perception of the outside world judging the relationship. It truly isn't a case of running away from a "good fight" it is a case of running towards a "good choice."

“You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.” ~Guy Finley

We have a tendency to crave and depend on external emotional support, we get this primarily from our relationships. Then, when we need emotional support because of our relationship, we feel there is nowhere to turn. We wait and re-live the same damaging issues over and over. Somehow expecting another external means of support,  so that we don't have to be strong. This is a means of bypassing the perceived lack of inner strength to rely on someone else’s. Meanwhile our inner voice continues  to scream that it is all wrong. This starts a vicious cycle of self-abuse. Feeling to weak to change your own situation, secretly wanting someone else to fix it.  Giving the conclusion that the problems and obstacles appear to be insurmountable.

What is needed is a possibility. A vision of what life could be. That safety and happiness can grow away from the confines of the relationship. Of any relationship, and on our own terms. This leads to a simple choice. A rational decision to seek happiness, and go search of it. The fear of ending a relationship is soon replaced by a unshakeable conviction that there was something better out there, and an unwillingness to ignore that knowledge. This rarely comes form external forces, but a commitment to one's own well-being. It’s about finding clarity on what you want instead. Giving yourself a goal to go toward rather than run away.

This post originally appeared on Steven Bennet's website Nice to See StevieB. Republished with permission.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Nice To See StevieB: Christmas Tree

By StevieB

To begin our celebration of Christmas, the roommate and I decided to head to the mountains in order to get our own live Christmas tree. We had decided that we would go massively overboard for Christmas this year, so this was the first step. This choice stemmed from me having just ending a nine year relationship with Mr. Scrooge himself, and the roommate, whom had roommates for years, never had his own celebration the way he wanted it to be done. First step? Go murder an innocent tree and drag it back to the house. I declared this trip into the woods triumphantly to the boy I’m dating, (still known as TMBBE, or “The most Beautiful boy ever” for the lack of a better nickname) as a normal, healthy super-Christmasy thing that normal people do. This is when he calmly informed me that he never had a Christmas tree before. Like ever…ever.

My mouth dropped open. I stammered. “Like growing up you never had a tree?” He flatly informed me that no, his family had never. The next question that came out of my mouth will forever be noted as the stupidest thing I have, or ever will say. Please note the stupidity level… I said…. “But… where did you put your Christmas presents?” Oh. My. God. There is not a more ignorant thing I possibly could of said at that point. And I said it. I was an ignorant baboon asking someone raised Hindu where they kept their Christmas presents if they didn’t have a tree. The Most Beautiful Boy Ever was polite in response to my stupidity.

What I learned is that if you take a grown man, who was raised Hindu, to a Christmas tree lot, and ask him to pick out any tree he wanted, you're going to see a lot of Christmas repression un-cork. It was non-gentile to Santa elf in 3.5 seconds. I have never had so much fun picking out a tree.

I had spent nine years with someone who saw Christmas as a hassle. A chore that involved assembling the same artificial tree over and over. Then, suddenly I was standing in a muddy field watching someone search for the perfect tree. I watched the grin on his face grow. A grin that comes from the magical act of family going to the tree lot and taking home for the perfect Christmas. I was cold, I was muddy. I was never so happy. 

This post originally appeared on Steven Bennet's website Nice to See StevieB. Republished with permission.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Tranifesto: Can a Gay Man Love a Trans Woman?

By Matt Kailey

A reader writes: “I am a gay man and have no doubts really about that. I was late in coming out after being married and having children. However, 15 months ago I started a relationship with a guy who I had met several years earlier and who also was previously married with children.

“After we had been dating for six or seven months, he started to talk about how he really liked dressing as a girl and felt he should have been born a girl. I did know he was always quite fem and liked fem things and that was part of my attraction to him.

“Well, now he is well into transition to her, including name change and hormone treatments, and is fully out to family and work. I have supported this transition because I loved/love him/her and know that it was making her happy and it was what she wanted.

“Now, though, I am having a real problem in my head as to how can it be that a gay guy is still fancying a girl. Is it an identity issue? What is going on in my mind? Can this relationship continue?

“We have talked about surgery and I have said I would not like her to have reassignment and she says that she doesn’t want it anyway. However, will that change in a year or two? Just struggling with where I am in this relationship.” 

Read more after the jump.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

For Success in Marriage, Treat It Like a Business?

As an immigrant from India who feels blessed to be an American citizen, Sukhjiwan Singh remains puzzled by the divorce rate here, estimated by in 2012 to be 40 to 50 percent. 

“I come from a time and place in which arranged marriages were common practice – and there was no dating allowed. It seems to me that our society today should have more successful marriages since singles can date here and get to know their future spouse before taking the plunge,” says Singh, CEO of a real estate firm, a mother of two and a happily married wife to her husband of 35 years.

Singh has extensive experience as a counselor to victims of domestic violence, which has piqued her fascination for what works, and what doesn’t work, when searching for a lifelong partner. 

“If you truly want to commit your life to a future husband or wife, but haven’t found him or her yet, there are many things you can do to ensure a successful marriage while testing the waters via dating,” say Singh, author of “Marriage and the Love Myth,” who offers tips for committing one’s life to the right person.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

5 Questions to Ask Yourself if You're Feeling Trapped in a Bad Relationship

It happens when we see politicians repeatedly make the same self-destructive mistakes - think former legislator Anthony Weiner’s repeated sexting scandals.

Or we hear friends complain repeatedly about the horrible job they’re “stuck” in.

Or, in a rare glimmer of insight, we wonder why we’re still hanging on to a “romance” that makes us miserable.

“When people seem mentally healthy and it looks like they could easily make a change that would make them happier, we’re absolutely baffled by why they don’t,” says Steven Jay Fogel, author of the new book Your Mind Is What Your Brain Does for a Living.

When you’re the “stuck” person, the why may seem more evident: You’re scared, or you think, “If I just keep doing the right things, it will all work out.”

Either way, it’s likely they—and you—aren’t making a conscious choice at all, Fogel says.

“We think we’re making decisions based on the present, but we’re usually not. We tend to operate on automatic pilot, responding to situations based on the coping strategies and thinking patterns we developed in childhood,” he says.

“When those strategies are dysfunctional, we just keep repeating the same behaviors over and over again.”

The good news is that we can learn to recognize that “default” thinking and rewire the brain to change it, says Fogel.

The cofounder of Westwood Financial Corp., one of the nation’s leading private commercial real estate owners, Fogel draws from decades of neuroscience and mindfulness research to offer solutions.

What can you do to get yourself unstuck? Get started, he suggests, by answering these questions—in writing:

• What is causing your pain? Think about whether you’re in a relationship or job that’s become less and less satisfying and increasingly painful over a long period. Describe in writing the elements of the relationship or situation that are persistently causing you pain and how long you’ve been experiencing these problems. Knowing that there are three ways to end your suffering - accept the situation, change it, or remove yourself from it - write down the reasons you’re staying even though you’re suffering and what is preventing you from choosing Door 1, 2 or 3.

• How are you interpreting your partner’s behavior? If you repeatedly fight about the same issues, describe the issues. Think about whether you’re unconsciously investing the issue with a meaning based on your “autopilot” thinking. For instance, if you’re arguing because your partner’s messy and ignores your requests to be neat, are you interpreting that as disrespect toward you? Do you further interpret that disrespect as a lack of love for you? Is it possible that your partner is just not a neat person and that has nothing to do with his feelings for you?

• Do you have impulsive autopilot behaviors that are causing problems? We can often check the impulses that stem from our autopilot brain just by stopping to think before we act. Bursts of anger are one example; suppressed anger that turns into passive-aggressive behavior is another.

• Do you feel shamed or blamed by your partner’s critical comments? Write down the comments accurately—as they were spoken. Then think mindfully about whether your partner was really shaming you or if you interpreted the comments in that way because of your own inner critic. If it was the former, have a conversation with the person about how you feel when this happens, and state that you’ll be more open to the feedback if the criticism can be expressed objectively.

• Did you bring a myth with you into the relationship? If so, describe the myth. For example, you might have believed that you will cure everything that’s wrong with the other person. Or that she will fix all of your problems. Describe how you came to believe that myth and what it would take for you to release it.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Matt Kailey on HuffPost Live This Afternoon

Award-winning author, blogger, teacher, and close personal friend Matt Kailey will appear on HuffPost Live: Meet the Gay Men Who Date Transmen this afternoon at 3:30pm (give or take a few minutes due to the live nature of the broadcast).

Joining Matt will be cartoonist Bill Roundy, author Elliot DeLine, and sex and relationship therapist Dr. Joe Kort. They will discuss the ins, outs, and “coming outs” of gay non-trans men dating gay trans men.

Kailey is author of Just Add Hormones: An Insider’s Guide to the Transsexual Experience and Teeny Weenies and Other Short Subjects and a frequent contributor to MileHighGayGuy. His award-winning blog, Tranifesto, celebrates five years in 2014.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tranifesto: Can a Gay Man Love a Trans Woman

By Matt Kailey

A reader writes: “I am a gay man and have no doubts really about that. I was late in coming out after being married and having children. However, 15 months ago I started a relationship with a guy who I had met several years earlier and who also was previously married with children.

“After we had been dating for six or seven months, he started to talk about how he really liked dressing as a girl and felt he should have been born a girl. I did know he was always quite fem and liked fem things and that was part of my attraction to him.

“Well, now he is well into transition to her, including name change and hormone treatments, and is fully out to family and work. I have supported this transition because I loved/love him/her and know that it was making her happy and it was what she wanted.

“Now, though, I am having a real problem in my head as to how can it be that a gay guy is still fancying a girl. Is it an identity issue? What is going on in my mind? Can this relationship continue?

“We have talked about surgery and I have said I would not like her to have reassignment and she says that she doesn’t want it anyway. However, will that change in a year or two? Just struggling with where I am in this relationship.”

Once again, labels are hanging us up. Remember that “gay” is just a label for your sexual orientation – it is not your sexual orientation. You have the label “gay” because you have a particular type of body and gender identity and you are attracted to people with the same type of body and gender identity.

Your attraction to this person started out in this way. It’s possible that if you had met this person after she had already transitioned, you would not have been attracted to her. But that’s not the case. So you fell in love with a person who a gay man (you) might have fallen in love with, and now she has changed, but you are still in love with her.

In my opinion, that does not mean that you are no longer gay. It just means you are in love with a particular person, and this person no longer meets a specific set of criteria that a gay man might look for when choosing a partner. But you’ve already chosen a partner – this person – and you are in love with her, so those criteria no longer matter.

I believe that you can retain your gay identity and continue to date this person and be very happy with her for the rest of your life. However, you need to understand that you will likely be seen by the world as a straight couple and be treated as such, so you will have to decide whether or not you can handle that.

In addition, she might resent you retaining your gay identity, because it might signal to her that you still see her as a man. This is a discussion that the two of you need to have. At this point, I think you do still see her as a man, at least to some extent, because you are using both male and female pronouns for her, but I’m not sure what she has asked you to do. It is possible that there will come a time when this will not be at all appropriate, and she will not want this, even if she is okay with it now. Again, have this discussion.

With regard to sex correction surgery, you have told her that you don’t want her to have it, and she has told you that she is not going to have it. Will she change her mind? It’s quite possible. She might change her mind about having surgery, and she also might change the ways in which she wants to interact with you sexually, whether or not she has surgery.

If that is a deal-breaker for you, then that is another discussion that you need to have – now and on an ongoing basis. She needs to know where she stands in this regard. Of course, it’s possible that if and when she does decide to have this surgery, it will no longer be a deal-breaker for you, because the relationship will be that important – but there are no guarantees of this, so again, have this discussion.

If a penis is important to you sexually, and at some point, she either no longer has one or no longer wants to use it in the ways that you would like, you can also discuss an open relationship, where you can get particular sexual needs met while remaining in the primary relationship. Be aware that this works both ways, and she can do the same. This arrangement is successful for many people, but you have to both be on board and you have to lay out the expectations and agreements beforehand.

I usually get this type of letter from lesbians who are dating trans men, and even though that is a different situation, I think that many of the same things hold true, so I am linking to a recent post I wrote called Can a Lesbian Date a Trans Man? I would suggest that you read that as well, along with the comments. I think it could be helpful.

The bottom line is that I absolutely think that this relationship can work, but, as always, ongoing communication is essential.

This post originally appeared on Matt Kailey's award-winning website Republished with permission.  

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Gay Vegans: A Valentine's Day Wedding!

By Dan Hanley

I had always hoped the day would come when Mike and I would legally be married.

On April 30, 2005 we got married here in Denver at our church with 160 friends and family joining us. We called it a "loving act of civil disobedience" which in the eyes of the government of Colorado and the US government is what it was. To me it was the best day of my life, marrying the love of my life, my best friend, and committing to him all that I am, good and bad. It is a day that I think of every day and will think of for the rest of my life.

Last year, marriage equality became the law of the land in many more states as well as the reality regarding federal recognition for couples married in those states. Mike and I began to talk about getting legally married. While in San Diego this summer, we decided that that was where we wanted to marry, specifically at Torrey Pines State Beach on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific.

We chatted with our amazing friends Jim and Lisa about it (they live there) and after some planning decided on February 14th as the date, with our friend Jim doing the honors. Mike and I will drive to San Diego from Lakewood on the 12th, get our marriage license on the 13th (also my birthday) and then get legal on the 14th!

I am so excited!

Although it will only be Mike, myself, Jim, Lisa and their two children, we intend to invite family and friends to think of us, to join us with their loving thoughts, at the time of the service. We have had the big wedding and this will be a quiet, loving ceremony, one that will end with Jim signing our marriage license! Just thinking about it is bringing tears to my eyes!

Our marriage will not be recognized in Colorado. We can get a civil union here if we want. We haven't decided on that yet.

The day after we'll head to Los Angeles for a celebration dinner with some friends, and then home.

We haven't set the time yet, but when we do I'll let you know. We would love, and be honored, to have you thinking of us when this happens.

Thanks for reading. And thanks for your constant kindness, love and support!

This post originally appeared on Dan Hanley's website The Gay Vegans. Republished with permission.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happily Ever After: A Gay Couple Celebrates 10 Years Together

By Todd Craig
Ten years ago, on New Year’s Day, my world collided with my husband’s world for the first time. Ten years, man. To some couples, like my parents and their 43 years together, I’m sure the number ten is a cute one - like a five year old’s drawing of a duckie; kind of cute.

And yet ten years doesn’t feel like a number to laugh at; it feels like a bigger milestone than the others. This is probably because it is bigger, but there’s something decidedly nice about being able to say that your couplehood has stood the test of a decade’s worth of time. That this boy fell in love with that boy, and they lived happily ever after. He and I are thoroughly connected now - a part of something larger than just ourselves - and the milestones, well, they do seem worth celebrating.

So here at the start of year ten, I began to reflect. Where did those previous nine years go?

For our first year, we dated feverishly. We talked on the phone constantly. We emailed love notes. We planned everything from our next dinner out to what color we wanted to paint the master bedroom in our retirement condo. We made out in the movie theater, and we humped like bunnies in the bedroom. We fell hard and fast for one another, and soon jobs switched, we moved in together, and I proposed. Looking back, I can’t remember a more fun year. I romanced; he swooned. We both were surprised at how we couldn’t stop smiling being around each other.

Year two entirely revolved around two things: buying a house and getting married. Individually, either one of these two tasks represents a stern challenge for a young relationship. Trying both at the same time? Well, you find out real quick like whether or not your relationship will stand the test of time. We faced down decisions for everything from doorknobs to DJs, and every decision carried another bill that needed paying. But by the end of the year, we were married and moved in and borderline bankrupt, but being young and in love in your new home made it worth all of the hassle. The financial worries garnered a few nervous laughs, but we knew that we’d figure everything out somehow.

In year three, like most young couples, we decided to start a family. For us, that meant starting the adoption process, one we were assured would take at least a year, but more likely two or more
according to our Denver adoption agency because we were a gay male couple. We started the process that summer, took the requisite parenting classes and wrote lots more checks. To our shock, surprise, and great joy, six months into the process - that November - we brought home our son, a beautiful infant boy.

Years four and five sped past in a blur of dirty diapers, empty formula bottles, and sleepless nights. We have pictures of these years documenting our efforts as parents. Our infant son looks adorable; we look like shell-shocked survivors of a zombie apocalypse. Apparently, we spent those years passing the baby back and forth between two far lesser versions of ourselves with uncombed hair, dubious personal hygiene, and wearing the same sweat pants and dirty t-shirts for days on end. We were sleep-deprived, money-short, and desperately trying to juggle jobs, bills, and baby while frantically gasping for sleep and sanity like a drowning swimmer gasps for air. Oftentimes, we didn’t know whether to laugh or cry when we looked at each other. The reality was that sometimes we did both.

By the time years six and seven wound down, we had found a rhythm and a rut of sorts. Wake up, jobs, dinner, sleep for us. Wake up, day care, dinner, story time, sleep for him. We paid the bills. We even hired a babysitter for the occasional night out. The bags under our eyes didn’t completely disappear, but the pictures from this time period demonstrate that we started putting on different clothes for different days.

In years eight and nine, we busted our rut as school replaced day care. Our son, now seven and conquering first grade, plays Legos, watches PBS cartoons, and masters such things as spelling and swim lessons. My husband and I are regularly too tired for regular nights out on the town, but we curl up with our laptops, watch DVDs together, and snuggle in on cold nights. We drink boxed wine. We order pizza on the weekends. Sometimes we go nuts and indulge in a soft pretzel at the mall. We hosted a family reunion this past summer. We’re even planning a vacation, our first together since our honeymoon in Hawaii.

So as we start year ten, we often marvel at how our house became a home, and how our first date became a family. I’m a husband, a father, a teacher, and a writer. He’s a husband, a mother, and a jewelry business’s administrator. Our son runs, jumps, sings, plays, and dreams of catching passes from Peyton Manning someday. My husband and I dream of a ranch house nestled against a remote hillside overlooking a nice patch of empty prairie. We feed the dogs, go to school plays, pay the bills, and make each other laugh. We laugh at first grade knock-knock jokes. We laugh at farts at the dinner table. We laugh at each other. As a family we get the giggles pretty often.

It occurs to me that I have no idea what the rest of year ten will be like, nor do I know anything about the decades after that. I don’t worry about it in the slightest, though. For now, it’s enough to be grateful for ten years of home, husband, son, dogs, dreams, love, and laughter.

In fact, after further consideration, maybe ten years is something to laugh at. After all, it is what we as family do best.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Chance to Enter to Win a $250 Neiman Marcus Gift Certificate From Pairings - Modern Introductions!

Okay. You WANT a great relationship. You're gay and in Colorado. You're tired of the bar scene. WIN a $250 Neiman Marcus gift certificate by answering this one, SO EASY question for the Pairings - Modern Introductions: "New Love in the New Year" Contest: What is the single biggest quality that has been missing in the people you have been meeting?" HURRY. Today's the last day to enter. You'll win! Feel me?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Put your Confidence On: How to look confident even when you’re not

by Charlee Brotherton

Not everyone is outgoing, outrageous and fearless – you know – those people we all envy. They walk into a room and the whole vibe of the room changes. The energy is catapulted up a couple of notches as they work the room with finesse and ease.

For those who fall into the ranks of “the rest of us” — well, let’s just say, most of us — tend to make less of an entrance. Instead of sweeping into the room, pausing for effect, and making heads turn, we slip inside unobtrusively, perhaps tugging at our clothes with regret about our choice of outfit for the night. Most of us enter the venue hoping to see at least one face among the crowd that shows a slight sign of recognition, or even a flicker of interest, as we squirm self-consciously in our seemingly “bad” outfit.

What do the outgoing, outrageous and fearless have that the “rest of us” don’t?

It’s self-confidence.

Building self-confidence is a process that whole books are written about by people with a Ph.D., M.S.W, M.S. or M.W. (By the way, what-the-heck is a M.S.W. or M.W., anyway?)

Who has time to read an entire book? You have an important event tomorrow night! You don’t have time to read the epic and highly entertaining “100 Steps to Being Self-Confident in 30-days.”

My hope is to put confidence in your hip pocket to take with you, wherever life takes you, and let it be a starting point to see how believing in yourself can transform into confidence. Here are some guidelines.

1. Be Prepared. Whatever the event, be prepared. Know where you’re going, know the time of the event, know the dress code and what the event will entail.

2. Pick out Your Clothes Ahead of Time. Don’t wait until the last minute to plan what to wear. Pick out something that you have felt empowered in when wearing it in the past.

3. Add a Fun Accessory to your Look. I love to add something to my outfit that will be noticed. Noticed in a good way. You’re looking for something interesting that will spark a conversation with others. My favorite hat, for instance, always gets noticed.

4. Say Positive Affirmations to Yourself. Write down a list of positive affirmations about yourself. Keep it close at hand. Read over it several times a day, and especially whenever you catch yourself experiencing negative self-talk. “I am interesting!” “I am a great friend!” “I am an excellent bowler!” Whatever it takes.

5. Catch Up on Current Events. You want to have some “go to” topics to discuss in idle conversation. You’re not only confident—you’re interesting!

6. Act with Confidence at the Event. If attending by yourself, enter the room with confidence, head up, eyes forward and with a nice smile on your face. Look for someone you know. If all else fails, give a wave to the back of the room. Everyone will assume you know someone in the back, or better than that, maybe a waiter will bring you a glass of Chardonnay! Work the room—don’t be afraid to mingle. Everyone will notice your cool purse or your silk tie. Make eye contact as you talk with people. Speak slowly and confidently.

7. Notice Others. Remember everyone got ready for the event just like you, probably feeling good about themselves, like you. Compliment others on their attire or accessories. This will open up a conversation.

8. Reflect. Once you are home, reflect on the evening. Make a note card of all the positive things that happened in the evenings. How you used these tips to build confidence. Keep the card in your desk to look back on for your next event. It will remind you of your confident self and put that negative talk in its place.

I don’t think the actress, Vanessa Hudgens, has a Ph.D., but I did enjoy her quote, “Confidence is key. Sometimes, you need to look like you’re confident even when you’re not.”

I hope these ideas boost your confidence and make for a memorable evening, with lots of good things happening that you subsequently took note of. Some of these things will be what you learned from me—but most, I assure you, will be what you figured out on your own from the remarkable new confident you!

Note to Self: New Year’s Resolution #4 – “Read the latest epic Self-Help Book on Building Confidence.”

Charlee Brotherton is Founder and CEO of Pairings: Modern Introductions, an upscale, personal matchmaking firm serving selective single gay men in the Denver Metro Area. 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Win Love (and Maybe a $250 Neiman Marcus Gift Certificate) With Pairings - Modern Introductions!

GREAT NEWS! You could be shopping at Neiman Marcus on Pairings - Modern Introductions! Yes, you read that right. Pairings - Modern Introductions will give away two $250 Neiman Marcus gift cards on New Year's Day, 2014. 

Simply "Like" their Facebook page and enter their Holiday Contest*. How do you enter, you ask? Answer the following question: "What is the single biggest quality that has been missing in the people you have been meeting?" 

Pairings - Modern Introductions will choose two lucky winners - you can be one! So what IS that quality that's been missing? 

*Pairings will be contacting contest entrants with special matchmaking package offers.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Life Lessons: A Gay Man Turns 30

By Todd Craig

In school, our favorite teachers were the ones who inherently understood you. They knew when you were struggling. They knew when to help and when to back off. They knew when you needed encouragement or an attaboy. Those teachers radiated kindness, compassion, and thoughtfulness as they escorted you through everything from cursive writing to graphing equations.

They just knew you.

Life is not that teacher.

Life’s lessons are usually cruel. Cold is a good adjective. Life doesn’t care about you, your feelings, or anything else for that matter. Life’s lesson is that you are the slowest gazelle in a field of lions.

Last weekend, my husband experienced one of those life lessons.

You see, last August he turned 30 – or in gay years 112. Thirty is a big milestone because it means you’re well beyond prom, cheap beer, and going out on Thursday nights amongst other things.

I can speak with authority on this subject because 30 for me was twelve years ago. (Side note #1: I realize this also means, as the great philosopher Billy Idol once opined, that I “rocked the cradle of love” when it came to selecting a husband. My response is: Yes. Yes I did.)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Ask Eric Anything: Why Are My Gay Friends So Intolerant Of My Bisexuality?

By Eric Kehela

With a passion for writing and performing, Eric uses his honed skills and intuition to guide, communicate and connect with the people around him. 

The best advice he can give is, “Grow from light and always find truth within you. Reach for the galaxies, shoot beyond the stars and always aim with your heart.”

Dear Eric,

I am a gay man who is also occasionally attracted to women.

I have no problem whatsoever with my sexuality but find myself constantly disappointed at the constant stream of biphobia I experience from my gay friends and acquaintances.

I always thought the gay community would be more understanding and accepting but find that my straight friends are much more accepting of this side of myself.

My questions for you are:

1.) How can I explain to my gay friends that their biphobic jokes and comments are hurtful and offensive

2.) Why do you think there is so much biphobia in the gay community? 

Sincerely, Ambiphilic

Dearest Ambiphilic

Now is the time for you to look deep within, whilst beginning to honor your values and that which matters most to you. 

Though the mundane reality may appear continuous and linear, there is much happening on a cosmic-spiritual-universal level, causing attitudes, behaviors and situations to manifest, furthermore leading people to separate and walk a different path. Be prepared to release the old and welcome the new. Be not resistant of change, or change will consume you. 

Moreover, regardless of your sexual identity, you deserve to be surrounded by true friends, as you are to be loved for who you are. Your happiness is what truly matters most in this experience, named life. If necessary, kindly remind your friends (in a tone which best demands positive attention), that negative verbiage is déclassé, not empowering and you will not engage in that form and style of communicative banter, laden with disparaging remarks towards individuals in the LGBTQ community, inclusive of yourself. 

Communicate with your friends and express your feelings; inasmuch, friends should be supportive and uplifting, not the contrary. Surround yourself with others whom genuinely value you. Why surround yourself with individuals who make you feel uncomfortable? It is best to be your own company, than to be with those who hurt your feelings. I remember an old phrase in Spanish, which roughly translates to, “Tell me who you are with, and I shall tell you who you are.” Though these words may appear judgmental, it is important for you to be aware of the energy of those around you, as their energy may not be suited for you after all. 

Biphobia exists where ignorance and fear reside. These phobias perpetuate the lack of knowledge. Be the change you wish to see in the community. Do a web search and find local organizations like ,, or go to The Center and create (or join) a group in hopes of educating and spreading awareness. You may just meet new and empowering friends. Move forward leaving the past and individuals who pressure you to be someone other than who you are best –YOU! 

In futurespect, remember like attracts like; therefore, how do you desire your life-path to manifest? Be certain to stand in your truth and remain true to yourself. Whether it be a man or woman, whom you choose to marry, how would you like your fairy tale to play out? I advise you to let go of that and those which no longer serve you and keep forward on your path towards fulfillment and happiness. It starts with you! 

Eric Kehela has worked as a life-coach and therapist and is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Professional Counseling. His goal is to make a difference and help others along the way. Click here to follow him on Twitter.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

For Gay Guys Who Are In Relationships (Or Want To Be): The Four P’s of Romantic Success

By Charlee Brotherton

I have the job of what could be called a modern day Yenta, a Matchmaker or Cupid. I am in the business of love. We don’t just celebrate the day of love once a year, we celebrate it 365 days a year. We have introduced thousands of single people with the hope that they will fall head-over-heels in love and live happily ever after.

Love really does make the world go round. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory actually states that a human being needs to love and be loved by others. Yes, we need love, but gay or straight, we all crave romance as well.

How do you sustain the wonderful feeling of romance in a relationship? Taking a closer look at our members and their stories, I have found that most relationships flourish through the regular, romantic gestures made by each partner. It’s quite simple; each is trying to please the other. By studying successful relationships, I’ve come up with what I call the “Four P’s of Romantic Success.”

Make Romance a “Priority”
First, decide today that you want to make romance a Priority in your relationship. By making this decision, you will begin thinking how you can make time for your partner and do things that will please them—just like when your relationship was new.

“Plan” Things to do Together

In the movies, romance is spontaneous and just happens. In reality, actors are following scripts, line by line. You don’t have to follow a script to be romantic, but some Planning sure will help. Remember, a great date doesn’t just happen, someone has to plan it. Start a romance file. Keep fun ideas that you and your partner can do together. The next time you are looking for something fun to do together, the answer will be right at your fingertips. And yes—we have all heard it before, set aside a date night just for the two of you. It really does work.

Engage Your “Playful” Side
Next, keep a Playful attitude. Romantic moments engage the playful side of us. Think back on your relationship when it was new. I bet there was a lot of laughter and kidding around. Lighten up, forget about the mortgage and your job—just find something fun to do together.

Be Willing to “Participate”
You have heard the saying, “It takes two to tango.” For romance to flourish, both partners must be willing to Participate. You can’t have fun if one person does not want to be romantic. It is a win-win situation when you both are in the game and participate.

By just following the Four P’s, making it a Priority, Planning, being Playful and Participating, you too can add romance to your relationship! You can go from a ho-hum relationship to one that is everything you want it to be … better than in the movies!

Charlee Brotherton is Founder and CEO of Pairings: Modern Introductions, an upscale, personal matchmaking firm serving selective single gay men in the Denver Metro Area.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, Make Me a Match: Upscale Gay Matchmaking Service Opens in Cherry Creek

Pairings - Modern Introductions has announced the opening of the company's new, upscale matchmaking service specifically for the Denver's gay community in Cherry Creek. 

"Our proven approach to personal matchmaking uses our clients' Pairings Profile along with their Pairings Personality Assessment--two tools with which their personal matchmaker hand selects introductions based on the criteria set by the client," says Charlee Brotherton, founder and CEO of Pairings - Modern Introductions. "Our matchmaker will call and pre-approve the details of each new introduction with each of our individual clients in advance. Our goal as personal matchmakers is to take the work out of finding love."

Brotherton's introduction services currently encompass 21 local offices in 11 states. During the past 13 years, her firm has introduced more than 100,000 couples and has been responsible for thousands of successful marriages and relationships.

Prior to joining Pairings, Vice President of Business Development Tressa O'Lear was an executive with a gay matchmaking firm in Texas. With more than 25 years' experience, O'Lear has managed 16 matchmaking offices in eight states, successfully matching thousands of couples. She has been active in the Austin Gay Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and participated in Austin Pride in 2013.

"Our new office next to Cherry Creek Shopping Center is fabulous and perfectly representative of our company culture and our clientele," says O'Lear. "We take pride in being the Rocky Mountain region's exclusive, upscale gay and lesbian matchmaking firm, located in one of its premier shopping environments."

Thursday, July 4, 2013

MileHighGayGuys Discuss DOMA and Marriage Equality: StevieB

By StevieB

How did I spend this amazing day? Well, it started as my phone blew up with the texts and phone calls. Friends wanting to share the amazing news of DOMA being ruled unconstitutional along with California’s Proposition 8 being tossed out on its head.

It made me feel like this--------------------------->

Reading the tweets, texts, and Facebook updates was the best part, my favorite was Moby, from The Moby Files blog, speaking of his boss letting him go early due to his excitement. It’s like Christmas, the 4th of July, and everyone’s birthday all rolled into one great day.

For me, today finally persuaded me to give in and acquiesce to a long held desire of the other half. It’s true. I gave in and finally hung his cow horns and caved-in converting one of the bathrooms into cowboy themed. Yee-Haw.

This post originally appeared on Steven Bennet's website Nice to See StevieB. Republished with permission.

Friday, June 28, 2013

MileHighGayGuys Discuss DOMA and Marriage Equality: David Smith

"One of the more exciting things in our progress and march for equality has happened this week with the Supreme Court ruling DOMA unconstitutional and striking down the appeal for Prop 8. Of course with the excitement of marriage being more equal; people want to get married! The problem many people are facing is that they don’t have someone they can get married to.

One of the key things I have learned in my quest in exercise and fitness is how internal beauty is reflected on the outside. You will often hear the same old story, “I don’t judge people based on looks,” or “Beauty is on the inside.” While it is true that beauty is on the inside, that doesn’t mean that you necessarily have it. I have seen way too many people in the community who constantly seek a companion, like they can’t live without one. A relationship ends, and two days later, another one begins. A week later they are in love and a week after that the relationship ends. However, when I look at what these people do together and apart, it equates to nothing more than cuddling and going out to bars. To me, that’s just not enough, it’s boring and it lacks substance.

Quite the opposite can occur when one might be so fixated on looks and aesthetics that they spend all their time at the gym and eat a practically anorexic diet to have the perfect body, yet when you talk to them they have absolutely nothing to say. Again, no substance and the conversation ends up nowhere.

We are all human and we all judge. Despite what people might say, EVERYBODY will judge people based on their looks--some of it is positive, some of it is negative--and there’s nothing wrong with that. As they say, first impressions are most important, how you appear and how you initially speak. It helps us decide who we might be most compatible with and attracted to. If you don’t take care of yourself in a healthy way you will have a hard time attracting someone. How can you attract someone? By taking control of your physical and mental health, doing things you enjoy, training hard for your goals and having fun! People who exercise and enjoy what they’re doing tend to have higher self-esteem, confidence, and are overall happier people. This is easily seen in the way they walk, talk and carry on throughout their day. Attitudes are contagious! Those who are happy and confident tend to be surrounded by happy and confident people whereas those who are sad, depressed and expect pity parties tend to be surrounded similar people.

Your body is a reflection of your mind and soul. When you take care of yourself it shows in your posture, your facial expressions, the way you interact with people, and in the attitude you have throughout your day. In addition to how it can make the body look, consistent exercise can also increase strength and stamina, raise energy levels, elevate your mood, increase confidence, give you a better attitude, and most important, help foster a  positive self-image. Those are all potential side effects of pursuing a healthy lifestyle and people tend to be surrounded by people like themselves, in this case, happy, healthy, good-looking people. Oftentimes those who look down and judge are merely exhibiting a reflection of themselves, not of the person they’re talking about. I personally don’t want to be around people who are negative like that. Negativity is irrelevant, in the end what does it matter? I mean, who cares? Someone who lives life where the sun doesn’t shine has no effect on my life, regardless of what their opinion of me is I will keep doing what I love.

In the end it’s all about personal responsibility. If you think “Oh, it’s because of him," chances are it’s really because of you yourself. Be willing to step back and look at yourself from a critical perspective and realize that everybody, including yourself, makes mistakes. You don't want to end up like Taylor Swift, writing bitter songs about your hundreds of exes. None of us are perfect. I don’t want to be perfect. Perfect is what the gym bunny with the super ripped abs is trying to be. In the end all the negativity is irrelevant. You are who you are and that’s all that matters, let your true self shine and do the things you want to do. Go out and have fun, work hard and let yourself enjoy all that the world has to offer. When you do that,  all the “extra” stuff will just happen naturally and you’ll find yourself in the company of great people."

MileHighGayGuys Discuss DOMA and Marriage Equality: John Hill

"Less than three days after a majority of Supreme Court justices found a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act indefensible, I find myself in Canada. Talk about perspective. Marriage equality is old hat up here, whether you are in a metropolis like Vancouver or a small town like Strathmore where I will be for the next three days.

Humans are an adaptive bunch: they may bitch and moan and complain about their current circumstances, but they make it through. That's how we got from swinging between trees to sitting in traffic. No matter how some people complain about marriage equality, they will come around. We as the LGBT community need to live our lives publicly and proudly so those who want us unequal cannot continue to point to the shadows and worry about what we might do with equality. Only then will they realize that we are not the threat they think we are. 

My partner of four years and I know that we will eventually be married, but it remains to be seen where that will occur. As the number of states that allow same-sex marriage increase, Colorado risks becoming a dinosaur to the world. Now is the time for us to push for a new Amendment to our Constitution that is inclusive instead of exclusive when it comes to marriage. Momentum is on our side, and we should now utilize that energy to create a climate where progressive-minded people will look to Colorado as a desirable place to be instead of one to be avoided. That is our challenge, but it is one that is achievable. We owe future generations this effort so they will never be ostracized for who they love and want to spend their lives with."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

In Defense of Fems

By Todd Craig
My husband rocks a Coach purse.  He loves his Capris.  His last mani-pedi featured a brilliant red paint on his toes and French tips on his fingernails.
Yes, my husband is unapologetically feminine.  He often times uses feminine pronouns to refer to himself.  He swishes into a room and put the flame into flaming gay.
And I love him for it.
Too often, I hear my single gay friends talking about how they want someone who’s straight-acting.  They want someone who’s a man’s man.  Someone with whom they can drink beer, watch sports, and have manly raunchy sex with.
What they don’t know is what they’re missing out on.
See, I used to think the same way.  The two men that I dated before my husband were both ex-Marines.  I told myself back then that same thing I hear so many other gays say: No fems.  And while I bounced from man to man, date to date, relationship to relationship, I held fast in that stance.
It never occurred to me that the reason I hadn’t found “the one” included my own prejudices.
Dating is tough.  You’re constantly putting yourself out there, trying find someone with whom to connect, make friends, laugh, dance, and fuck all night while spending too much money on expensive drinks, leaving your emotions open to heartbreak, and trying to avoid STDs.  Sometimes it can feel like Mission Impossible.
So why would I have been so stupid as to limit my playing field and make dating even more difficult?
After nearly a decade with my feminine husband, I’ve learned just how silly my personal discriminations were.  As we were dating, his mother surprised me with a question one day.  She asked me what I thought her son’s first job was as a young teenager growing up in the back country of South Carolina?  The answer?  He caught and gutted catfish by hand at a catfish farm. 
And I was going to guess Mary Kay representative.
Turns out that my husband has a little Field and Stream snuck in the depths of his Vogue self.  Who knew?
True Story #1:  When we moved my possessions to Colorado Springs after a whirlwind six months’ worth of dating, we rented a rather large truck and filled my car with whatever else didn’t fit.  I offered to drive the truck, but my fem husband-to-be politely declined.  On the trip down I25, my Honda Civic struggled mightily to keep up with the U-Haul for the first few miles.  By Castle Rock, the truck was long gone.  When I pulled into the parking lot of our new apartment, he was leaning against that big truck with his arms crossed.
“What took ya?” he asked.
“Umm… highway safety?  Reasonable speeds?”
“Man, fuck that,” he said smiling ear-to-ear and patting the hood of the U-Haul, “I made this big boy my bitch!”
"Huh," I remembered thinking.  The fem likes to barrel down the highway driving a loaded-to-the-brim mass of metal at ridiculous speeds.  Who knew?  Turns out that there’s nothing sexier that a fem boy with a bit of manly swagger.
Don’t think for a moment that my husband wishes he were a girl.  Yes, his favorite color is pink.  And yes, he’d rather plan a wedding than a Super Bowl party.  But trust me, my feminine husband is all man when and where it counts.
True Story #2:  During a financially tight month about three years ago, the power windows on my husband’s car quit on us.  It was the third or fourth such catastrophe to hit that month, and there wasn’t money left in the bank to pay for an expensive car repair.  I told him it was going to have to wait until next month. 
That next day while I was at work, I received a text from my husband.  He had sashayed his way into a local auto parts store, told them his problem, and bought a new motor for his window.  Apparently, the auto parts store employee walked him out to his car and showed him how to take apart his door and explained how he could wire the new motor into place.
I came home to find tools spread out on the garage floor and grease on his white undershirt and under his French tips.  “Look at this!” he exclaimed, hitting the button and making the window go up and down.
"Huh," I thought again.  “How much did this cost us?”
“Just $45 for the motor.  I took the door apart and installed it myself,” he said with more than a hint of pride.  I gotta admit the surprise of his automotive prowess, his white undershirt, and grease-stained manicured hands was a contradiction of masculine and feminine that was an almost ridiculous turn-on.
I’ve learned a lot from my husband over the last few years.  The biggest lesson is that what makes us male and female has little to do with what comprises masculine and feminine.  When I was single and dating, I was indeed one of those who didn’t want anything to do with overly feminine guys.
Then I met my husband.
Turns out that the living personification of swish can gut a fish.  He also drives a truck like a bad ass and doesn’t mind a little grease under his French tip manicure.  Had I not let go of my no-fems policy, I’d have missed out on the most amazing man I’ve ever known.
Of course, that would have saved me a few thousand dollars on Coach bags and nail salon visits over the years, but believe me, I just chalk those expenses up to the cost of happiness.  For I know now that sometimes in order to find your prince, you just might have consider a queen.