HIV Criminalization & The Bareback Community

3 December 2010 | 22 Comments

The criminalization of HIV is a huge problem – especially for the bareback community because so many in the bareback community are poz and bareback sex is the leading cause of HIV infection. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while now you know I’m a huge advocate for personal responsibility. I believe it’s the neg guy’s responsibility to ask about status and protect himself as necessary. And I believe it’s the poz guy’s responsibility to not lie when a sex partner asks about his status (evading the question I can sorta understand in some situations, but outright lies are a huge no-no).

The problem is that too often the law doesn’t work that way – remarkably the neg guy isn’t responsible for his own health – all the blame gets put on the poz guy who can get sent off to jail because he didn’t answer a question that was never asked. But not only that… Poz guys can get put in jail even if there was no harm done and his accuser is still HIV negative.

The impact of stigma on the lives of real people is the topic in this week’s In The Life broadcast and they focus a lot on the criminalization of HIV. Take a few minutes and watch the video…

Continued in part two…

If you think the status quo is OK because a few states have gay marriage, think again. The program pointed out that Iowa has gay marriage, but they also have one of the most draconian HIV criminalization laws in the US.

With the US swinging right politically we’re going to see more of this sort of thing. While being a vocal radical isn’t everyone’s style, take the little day-to-day steps that, together, can make a big difference. Here’s a map showing the states that have criminalized HIV. Next time you take a vacation – go to one of the white states. New York and New England are a great place to go. 🙂  Or if you’re thinking of moving – pick a white state.

HIV criminalization map

Even if you’re not poz you should care about this because people you know are poz and (especially if you’re a barebacker) you could be poz at some point.

And don’t forget to bring HIV criminalization up in conversations with friends. Tell your friends the stories you saw in the videos… It could be you in those videos or it could be one of your friends…

See I Was Right: Racism Is A Big Part Of It…

15 September 2009 | 32 Comments

Back when Obama was running there were people who just couldn’t stand the thought of him getting elected – Obama gave them the willies. Back then I wondered out loud if racism wasn’t the reason for that type of opposition and a few of you slammed me for saying it. Well, it appears I wasn’t far from the mark and racism is at the root of “teabagger” movement that’s going on right now. It’s white people who can’t stand the idea that their President is black. We’re talking law and order, respect the commander and chief types who show nothing but contempt for their commander and chief. I’m not saying all teabaggers are racists, I’m saying that a good percentage of the most fervent teabaggers are indeed racists. The funny part is these people don’t like being called racists, yet there are almost no Blacks or Hispanics among them.

Take a look at this clip from Fox News – they go on and on about the race issue. They try to excuse it by saying “the majority of the US is white and middle and working class”, but the fact of the matter is the teabaggers are not representative of Americans…

So why is this relevant in the context of this blog? It’s because it’s all about bigotry and the same bigots who don’t like Obama ’cause he’s black (actually mixed race) don’t like you and me because we’re gay. George W. Bush won both elections because gay marriage was an issue in the campaign and the same haters who you see out at these protests are the same ones who got riled up back then. It’s not just about race, it’s about hatred and bigotry in general.

Those of you who are gay and support the teabaggers – please think twice. What comes around goes around and the hate you’re feeding on can come back and bite you or someone you care about in the form of gay bashing or employment discrimination.

The message here is all forms of hate and intolerance are wrong. (Intolerance of intolerance is a double negative and not the same as other forms of intolerance.) There is no room for intolerance in a civilized, multicultural society. If it doesn’t stop with us (a minority group), who is going to stop with? The sooner a live and let live attitude spreads the sooner people will stop being upset by us fucking in bars or sex clubs… The problem is the teabagger movement shows that’s a long way off. Many of those people aren’t going to change their minds, but their kids and grandkids might…

Honestly, when I see stuff like this I just wish New England and New York could split off from the rest of the country and form our own nation… We’ll even take Quebec!

But as they say, success is the best revenge. I’ll just keep my head down, work hard, live a comfortable life, fuck who I want how I want, and thank god I live in a generally sane place like NYC…


Wow, I write the post above and then it comes out a few hours later that President Carter feels the same way. He’s saying it with the experience of someone who cut his teeth in Southern politics during huge race wars. There aren’t too many other people with his level of credibility and experience who can speak on this issue. Listen to this clip – his words are worth hearing…

I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American. I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shared the South’s attitude toward minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans. And that racism inclination still exists. . . . It’s an abominable circumstance, and it grieves me and concerns me very deeply.

It’s just sad our country is going backwards like this, but in thinking about it – we’ve had some rough times in our country – we’ll get past this…

IMHO, Losing On Prop 8 Was Probably A Good Thing

7 November 2008 | 15 Comments

I know this post is going to be pretty controversial, but while I would have liked to see us win on Prop 8, after thinking about it for a few days, I think losing on Prop 8 is actually a good thing for our community.

The gay community used to be pretty political – in your face, and radical. We used to look bigots in the eyes and say “fuck you!” Now we look those bigot in the face and want to be like them. We’re running to the suburbs, setting up house like Ward and June Cleaver, and wanting those bigots to accept us.

Well, they’re bigots, why in the hell do we want their acceptance? Why should their acceptance matter? Why is it that our sense of self-worth is in their hands in the first place?

That’s why I think losing on Prop 8 is good for us. It’s a slap in the face to all the people in our community who are trying to be “straight-acting”.

Then there’s the 27% of the gay community that voted for McCain. They fit in there somewhere, but in a very complicated way… Needless to say, they horrify me. Only 15% of Manhattanites voted for McCain, how can nearly twice as many gay people vote for him? How is it that Manhattan is twice as liberal as the gay community?

Yes, I’m legally married, and I think we should have the right to marry and have our marriages fully recognized everywhere. I don’t want civil unions, I want marriage because “separate but equal” is always separate and never equal. [I’d love to get Obama in a room and have him, as an intelligent black man, look me in the eye and tell me that “separate but equal” is a good idea.]

While I want gay marriage, I don’t want our marriages to mimic straight marriages. There are those in our community who want marriage so they can be more like straight people, so they can be better in line with heterosexual norms. That’s just fucked up.

This summer I said I was really disappointed in Lambda Legal for telling gay people not to sue for their rights. I think the loss on Prop 8 sorta vindicates what I’m saying. I realize there’s legal strategy behind what they were saying and they didn’t want negative precidents, but for god’s sake 30 states have now made gay marriage illegal. We can’t even win equality in California where the Republican governor is fine with gay marriage. What does that tell us about the US right now? If you can’t win through being nice in a place like California, you’re fucked and it’s clearly the wrong strategy.

I think we should have a blitzkrieg of lawsuits and our rallying cry should be that we are not 2nd class citizens and we won’t just shut up and sit in the back of the bus. I think we need to hold friends accountable for how they vote, and even take it into our business lives and refuse to do business with bigots, when we’re able to do so financially.

I really like the fact that some people are talking about stripping the Mormon church of tax exempt status. We need to be in-your-face radicals. We need to make people see that it’s not acceptable to be bigots. For too long we’ve let the fundies take the battle to us. Let’s turn that around. Let’s show that you’re not “pro-life” if you start offensive wars that kill tens of thousands of people, and you’re not “pro-family” if you can’t respect loving, stable homes that happen to be gay, and you’re not “defending our children” if you don’t allow unmarried people to be foster and adoptive parents.

If you need a model for how a radical strategy works, just look back to ACT UP and the fight for AIDS treatment. ACT UP was throwing blood on people, but it raised the issue, made a point, and softened people up so they’d make deals with the moderates in our community. But now we have no radicals and the right wing extremists are painting our moderates as “too extreme” and “dangerous”. Well, let’s show them too extreme and dangerous so they can understand the difference.

Another Reason Why I’m Proud To Be A New Yorker

14 August 2008 | 2 Comments

Just saw this on Joe. My. God.

Ten New York Republican Senators have introduced legislation to the State Senate that will ban homophobic bullying in schools. The ‘Safe Schools for All Children Bill’ calls for training to help teachers identify and respond to bullying and places the responsibility of keeping tack on bullying cases with schools. The bill also includes protection for transgender students and teachers and a cyber-bullying stipulation.

In other words, even Republicans in New York understand that you need to protect gay kids. That’s so far ahead of so many places in the US – usually you just find that stuff in New York City, not new York State as a whole. Kudos to the NYS Senate!

I didn’t grow up here, but I’m still proud to call myself a New Yorker – it truly is a great state!

Manhunt Needs A Wakeup Call

14 August 2008 | 30 Comments

THE BOTTOM LINE: A portion of the money you give to Manhunt has gone and apparently will continue to go to conservative Republican causes.

Get this – the owner of Manhunt has given the legal maximum to the McCain campaign. If in the past we boycotted companies like Coors for working against gay rights, I think we need to hold members of our own community to an even higher standard – especially ones that make their money by facilitating gay sex!

So here’s what I’d like you to do… Use the customer service link on Manhunt to tell them what you think of their owner’s politics. They’re making $30 million a year off of us having sex, they should not be working against us.

Next, make it so your membership does not automatically renew – change it so you have to manually renew. If they haven’t fixed the problem by the time your membership renewal date rolls around, don’t pay them more until they’ve reversed their policies (a big contribution to the Democrats would be nice.)

And lastly, put something in your profile telling other people to write customer service as well. Let’s make it clear that if they want our money they cannot support people who don’t like gay people.

Yes, they have every right to be self-hating jerks, but not with our money. Use Adam4Adam instead (it’s free), or better yet BarebackRT – anything but Manhunt. Do not give your money to someone who is going to give even a cent of it to the Republicans and set our rights back even further!


Just to make things perfectly clear… Here is where McCain stands on gay rights vs say abortion rights (which we know Republicans hate) in terms of whether he’d consider a running mate who was pro-choice or pro-gay…

I think it’s a fundamental tenet of our party to be pro-life but that does not mean we exclude people from our party that are pro-choice. And I think Ridge is a great example of that. Far more so than Bloomberg, because Bloomberg is pro-gay rights, you know, a number of other issues.

So there you have it – being pro-gay is an anathema to the guy – pro-life he can live with (surprisingly), but not pro-gay – god forbid! Which explains why it’s unforgivable for the owner of Manhunt to give him money (in case there was any question).


Well, there’s been a big development… The guy who donated to McCain (Jonathan Crutchley) has stepped down from Manhunt’s board of directors. The problem is that he’s probably still the main recipient of Manhunt’s profits. To me, that’s a good first step, but it’s not over yet… I want to know when I give them money that none of it will get to Republicans.

A massive donation by Jonathan Crutchley to a very liberal gay cause would go a long way right now…


I had this whole blog post written which I’m not going to publish. The bottom line is Manhunt is a bit of a divided company. It appears the a majority shareholder (Larry Basile) is pretty liberal, but his co-founder (Jonathan Crutchley) is a Log Cabin Republican who gives to conservative causes. While Crutchley has stepped down he will continue to get a huge share of Manhunt’s profits and will continue to give to causes most of us abhor.

Manhunt (the company) is hiding behind the excuse that the company didn’t give the money, an individual did, but for me the bottom line is that money from customers is going to people and causes most of their customers have huge problems with. Yes, Crutchley has the right to give the money, but he shouldn’t expect his customers to want to give him more money to give to conservative causes.

The company is also being completely rude to their customers who object. If you put anything about it in your profile (like “I won’t fuck Republicans who give money to McCain”) they remove it and send a pissy message saying Manhunt is not a political forum. To me that’s bullshit. If their profits can go to conservative political causes, then they should at least allow funny polticial commentary in profiles. And for god’s sake – APOLOGIZE! The letter they send is so fucking harsh and never once acknowleges that people have a completely understandable reason for being mad at them.

Basically, given how they’ve handled the situation they’re saying what Crutchley did is reasonable. I have a big problem with that. They need to be on their knees apologizing for his actions and separating themselves from him. They really need to buy him out, bu I understand that takes time.

Here’s what I urge all of you to do…

  • Stop giving Manhunt money
  • Try out other hookup sites like BarebackRT and Adam4Adam
  • When you have to ask other Manhunt members to e-mail you pics, explain why you don’t have a paid membership.

IMHO, I don’t think a formal boycott of Manhunt will work. The issue is too complicated since there are liberals at Manhunt, and people feel sorry for the employees of Manhunt. As far as the employees I’m not too worried about them as a group – the jobs Manhunt will lose, some other hookup site will gain.

But don’t take this lying down… Please send a clear message that Jonathan Crutchley is a liability for Manhunt and the sooner they buy him out, the better…




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