Queer South African Film “The Wound” Earns Praise Globally, But Threats At Home

“The movie made everything public—even the very sensitive and secret things.”

 

Premiering at Sundance, John Trengove’s directorial debut, The Wound (Inxeba), is a brutal yet beautiful study in identity: Kwanda, a young gay South African, goes out into the wilderness to undergo Ulwaluko, a painful circumcision ritual and his rite of passage into the Xhosa tribe. But his desire to claim his manhood comes in conflict with the reality of his sexuality.

The film, which opened in the U.S. last week, has received wide critical acclaim—and comparisons to MoonlightVariety called it “sensitively nuanced” and “rich in… small, observational details” (It’s also earned a respectable 86% on Rotten Tomatoes.)

In South Africa, though, The Wound has faced protests from the Xhosa community, which claims it reveals too much about Ulwaluko.

“The movie made everything public—even the very sensitive and secret things,” Xhosa king Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu told The Times. “It is insulting to the tradition because it stripped the tradition of its secrecy and sacredness. This will provoke the wrath of ancestors. Attacking and insulting this custom is an attack to our ancestors.”

 

Sigcawu and members of the Congress of Traditional Leaders of South Africa, or Contralesa, are calling for The Wound to be banned and have lodged complaints with the country’s Film and Publication Board. King Sigcawu wants to talk to em>The Wound’s producers “amicably” before approaching the courts.

“His subjects are complaining. He is the custodian of custom and what is being dealt [with] in the film is custom,” his attorney, Matthew Mpahlwa told News24. “There’s a lot of panic among the amaXhosa people who have undertaken the rituals, some of the men mostly, and they called on the kingdom of the amaXhosa to intervene.”

Sigcawu has not, however, seen The Wound yet. “He’s seen [the] trailers and people are just shocked,” said Mpahlwa. “There is an extent [to] which freedom of expression can go.”

South Africans have also blasted The Wound on twitter.

 

Read more at: NewNowNext.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Five Interracial Dating Tips for Gay Men

Singles looking to mingle are increasingly crossing cultures to find their perfect partners. After all, love is love, right?

You may be from one culture and your potential boyfriend is from another. If your gay dating pool feels too small, it’s time to widen it. The fastest way to do that is by meeting people of different backgrounds. Gay dating can be awkward enough already when dating men from your culture so you can definitely expect awkward moments when bridging ethnicities. Take it all in stride and focus on seeing whether your values align, and you feel compatible and positive when you’re together.

 

Here are 5 Tips for Interracial Gay Dating:

 

Do Date The Person, Not The Race.

Race is not a part of you getting to know each other. There’s no need to dwell on it as a topic before you even get to know each other. You can address it but then move on. We are all much more than the color of skin we were born with. Discuss your dreams and aspirations, share your story, and get to know who you are, heart-to-heart.

Share, Don’t Compare.

One of the greatest joys of interracial dating is the opportunity to share cultural experiences with one another. Celebrate your differences and be intentional about sharing the foods, music, holidays and traditions you’ve grown up with. Talk about your childhoods and how you envision your culture playing into your future. If the relationship gets serious, how will you ensure that both backgrounds are honored?

Be sure to avoid comparisons that will leave one person’s family or culture looking less significant than the other. And don’t expect your ties to your family to be as weak or strong as your partner’s.

Be considerate as you learn about one another. Ask thoughtful questions, avoid jumping to conclusions, and be willing to have difficult conversations when cultures clash.

 

Don’t Date Fetishists.

If anyone approaches you saying, “it has always been my fantasy to date someone like you,” they are just seeking to experiment. You deserve more than being someone’s trial run. There is a difference between someone who has never dated interracially but is interested in you, and someone just looking to experiment.

You also don’t want anyone who is dating you to make a statement. The same goes for you. You’re in a relationship, not a statement.

 

If You Don’t Believe Racism Exists, Don’t Date Interracially.

While confined to the realms of “Whiteness,” a person can remain ignorant to the experiences of racism that constantly leave people of color feeling diminished and undervalued. This can sometimes translate into a lack of even awareness that racism exists and is experienced by others. A romantic relationship is supposed to provide a safe space for individuals to express their feelings and come to terms with their life experiences. For people of color who live in a White-dominated country, many of those experiences will be plagued by racism. A significant other who dismisses or trivializes those realities could never provide adequate support for their non-White partner in relationship. So, if you’re someone who believes we live in a post-racial society because we had a Black president, you probably won’t be the best long-term partner for a person of color.

 

Prove Them Wrong.

Silence your critics with love. Maybe the skeptics around you haven’t seen a beautiful, healthy, thriving interracial relationship. Treat each other well — and each other’s families well — and set an example of grace as family and friends slowly warm up to you and your partner.

 

Race, culture, customs and traditions play a very significant role in a relationship but with proper behavior, it wouldn’t be that complex to relate and adapt to it. But prior to dating someone of different race, consider the pros and cons of interracial dating. Make sure you are knowledgeable about his/her culture and that you are ready to overcome any challenges both emotionally and mentally.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Former Olympic Diver Gets Engaged To His Bodybuilder Boyfriend In Venice, Shares Love Story On Instagram

A former Olympic diver turned bear has just had one of the most romantic proposals imaginable.

Johan Jimmy Sjödin of Sweden competed for his country in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta in the men’s platform and springboard diving events. He quit the sport when he discovered his sexuality.

“I stopped diving when I was 20. I discovered I was gay and I wanted to finally have a social life,” Sjödin, 39, told Gay Star News.

“Growing up, I had no social life because I was training all the time. I moved to the U.S. when I was 17 to go to college on a scholarship, so when I came out and I was living in LA, I said, ‘Right, I’m going to focus on the next stage in my life.’”

Ever since, he has held odd jobs bartending and waiting before moving into fashion stylist work and then finally graphic design.

 

Sjödin would actually end up falling for a fellow graphic designer – Patrick Huber, 34, a German bodybuilder. The two met early last year.

“We met on Facebook a while back,” said Sjödin. “We chatted a bit and then we lost contact. I think he was seeing someone and I was seeing someone. We then started talking again and just hit it off. It was about 17 months ago. We live together in Munich.”

It seems 17 months was all Huber needed before he was convinced the two should seal the deal. About a week ago, he posted photos of his Venice proposal.

“It was a complete surprise. On the Wednesday night he told me to pack my bags because the next day he wanted to take me on a surprise trip somewhere I always wanted to go,” recalled Sjödin. “We ended up in Venice – somewhere I had said I’d always wanted to go. It was a really nice surprise, but I still had no idea it was going to be more than just a surprise weekend.”

 

Read more at: The Gaily Grind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gay Couples Who Play Together Stay Together

Just as playing contributes to physical health for children, the same can be said for emotional health of gay couples!

Research has found emotional intimacy to be a strong predictor of happy relationships. Emotional intimacy can be increased in many ways and among them is shared leisure activities, or playing! When gay couples engage in activities together they cultivate connection. Participating in shared leisure activities can decrease stress levels in relationships. Learning to play together contributes to establishing an intimate friendship. Friendships involve awareness of one another’s interests, quirks, passions and values. What better way to cultivate a greater friendship than playing together?

Looking at children play seems to flow naturally from a young and liberated sense of being, full of imagination and free from the cares of the world. So how can couples capture the spirit of play in their relationships? Play can be incorporated by use of games, humor, or any leisure activity. The specifics of play are not as important as the spirit behind it. It is important that in playing gay couples experience a collaborative sense of lightheartedness that contributes to a fun and pleasurable experience.

Engaging in shared activities as couples provide opportunities to have fun, enjoy one another’s presence and reconnect

Playing together in this way provides an influx of positive feelings regarding one’s partner that can contribute to an overall feeling of optimism concerning the relationship. When the relationship is perceived in a positive light, couples are more likely to give each other the benefit of the doubt, experience less escalation in conflict, and feel less adversarial toward each other.

So where do you begin?

Pursue a common interest, go on a walk, pull out a board game, or let loose and dance in the car just have fun being with your boyfriend! With a long to-do list and busy schedule you may think you have no time to stop and play but putting aside your everyday worries and letting loose with your partner, even just for a few minutes, is a worthwhile investment for yourself and your relationship.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This Gay Couple Shared a Photo with Their Baby and The Internet is Going Crazy

Dads Joshua and Jeremy decided to take their adorable new baby Anakin on a trip to see Mickey. Yes, they went to Walt Disney World.

But it wasn’t an adorable photo with a character or even a snap of the Salt Lake City family out in the park that’s got the internet going crazy. It’s a photo the three posted from the comfort of them napping that’s set the internet alight.

The three in bed shared this snap of them enjoying a well-earned sleep after a busy day walking around the park.

When shared via the Instagram page Gays With Kids, it wasn’t until a few short days later the entire world went crazy for Joshua, Jeremy and their little one. But, can you blame them? 

The photo shows the three in bed napping, while baby Anakin looks totally relaxed and adorable.

 

Joshua, a paramedic, and Jeremy, a nurse, met at work and officially tied the knot back in 2015. The pair – who also have a daughter that wasn’t included in the picture – sadly didn’t make it to Disney World. She stayed at home with grandma.

The image soon got everybody on the internet talking, with the photo going viral and being reposted across the world.

Some users commenting: “This is too sweet,” and “I’m crying, this is so adorable.”

We agree, it really is utterly adorable.

 

Read more at: Gay Times Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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In Praise of The Gay Daddy

Daddy has become synonymous with sex appeal and strength.

This essay is part of an ongoing series by the author about issues facing older gay men. If you’ve got a “Daddy Issue,” I want to hear about it. -DRT

 

I was walking down Eighth Avenue last week wondering why I was still alive—something I typically do every time I stroll the streets of Chelsea—a thought that makes me feel oddly younger than my 53 years. I’m a child again when I’m there, because my life has been reborn.

True, the stores and restaurants and crowds have almost all changed, and the people are mostly younger than I am, but I’m like that ghost who haunts his old neighborhood and who can’t let go and who has a permanent existence no matter the strife or wars or natural illnesses that wipe away citizens.

I wonder why I’m alive among mere mortals, living in a fountain of second youth, because, by all accounts, I was supposed to die. We all were. If the 20th Century couldn’t kill me, what can?

In another time, before hook-up apps and same-sex marriage and mainstream visibility and anti-bullying efforts and children and the military and rainbow-colored White Houses and presidential acceptance and TV and movie might, the predominant divinity was AIDS. It was a cruel deity and most of us were god-fearing.

Everyone died back then: Survivors were the odd men out. If you lived, miraculously, you ended up, like me, with no male role models, few gay friends, fear of sex, fear of falling in love, fear that your cock—your sexual identity—was poisonous, fear of someone hearing you cough.

But I did, we did, anyone reading this who’s over 50 did, and we’re the millennium Peter Pans—and not just because we get the reference.

After the era of G.A.Y. (Got Aids Yet), we’re living in a world that we dreamed about and fought for, and sometimes kicks us in the ass for surviving at all. The conundrum of gay life after a certain age is that we killed ourselves to get here yet we are often punished for daring to grow older.

Since we weren’t intended to live, there are times when it seems apparent no universal plans were constructed. No metaphorical insurance policies, no retirement visions, no husbands and homes to invest in—lab at the side, picket fence home, kids running around the Christmas tree—no plans beyond the Saturday night club, sex, and the Sunday night recovery. Monday only meant four borrowed time days until Friday. More puzzling, we’re reminded on a daily basis by younger men that we “missed the boat” and should stop acting like children when we were born with so many alternative options. And they were?

And, well I’ll be darned, we now have to deal with trivial life-threatening issues, like cancer and heart disease and a multitude of other killers. That’s just plain unfair when we spent our youth getting past the only one that mattered. We didn’t go to our annual physical worried about cholesterol levels.

The men of the eighties and nineties are the unwitting Lost Boys—missing children from Peter Pan and the vampire movie of the same title and castaways from that island TV show, with overlapping puzzles about an inexplicable crash survival circling forward and never quite latching on to a logical seat belt.

But men of a certain—and uncertain—age certainly aren’t just AIDS leftovers (remnants of the sudden departure from another Damon Lindelof series). We’re the last generation of gay men with no societal structure. We have no scripture except the one that told us we were all going to Hell. To all the men who ask me now if I want kids or marriage, nonchalantly, like they’re asking if I’d like fries with my burger, I always wonder if they know that, just a generation back, none of those options were seriously on the table. They were still in the political ether, as was the idea of conformity and integration and publications like this one.

Our gay fathers were busy identifying themselves amid the underground world of fabulousness—and often the carried-over self-loathing mirror. They needed to know who they were before thinking about what they could achieve, and my generation is on the cusp of both worlds. We’ve lived long enough to wear holocaust tattoos and we’re young enough to start a spanking-new family. Being a Daddy has so many connotations.

Since our own muddled bookkeeping, along with divinity’s bounced check, left us without a comprehensive road map, we’re still making things up as we go along. And that’s where it gets exciting. We might be illegals, but our experience makes up for lack of home.

 

Read more at: HuffPost Queer Voices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gay Dating 101: How to find Your Soulmate

Mention the word “soulmate” to a group of people and you’re bound to get a few eye rolls. The idea that there’s one magical person for you who you’ll fall in love with instantly and never disagree with is just not realistic.

Often soulmates appear in disguise. You might not be physically attracted to each other when you first meet, but there is a mysterious force pushing you forward that tells you this is “the right one” for you.

Although most people think of a soulmate as a perfect harmonious union of bliss, your true spiritual soulmate is the person who is intended to help you “complete yourself.”

For those of you struggling to find “the one”, here’s help…

 

Be clear about what you want

Most gay men have an idea of what they want based on past relationships. The key is to find the positive aspects you want in a soulmate, rather than the negative aspects. This can be difficult, but possible. Focus on the good things you want in a significant other, and this can help you in your search of how to find your soulmate.

 

Be your own self

You need to take the time to be the person you want to be, which does mean eliminating or at least dealing with the weaknesses you may have. If you are constantly focused on your own weaknesses, you will attract someone who has the same weaknesses. A relationship that is based on weaknesses rather than positives will die out quickly and not be fulfilling for either person. If you take the time to find yourself and be yourself, you will have better knowledge of what you want in a soulmate, and will be better equipped to deal with a relationship.

 

You know each other’s flaws and the benefits in them

Yes, it’s true. Our flaws have benefits. Every trait has a positive as well as a negative side. It’s the task of each person to always look for the good, even when things don’t look so good. There is usually a benefit to each flaw. Stubborn people are good decision makers. Overly organized people are great at paying bills on time.

 

Get out

If you are looking for your soulmate, then you are going to get yourself out there, which does mean meeting new people and participating in dates. This means that you should ask your friends or relatives if they have someone that they think may be a good match for you. In addition, attend various social functions and events you are interested in, as this could be a good way to meet someone who has the same interests.

 

You’ll know when you’ve met “the one”

Something deep inside tells you this is the perfect one for you. It’s as if there is a spiritual force pushing you to let go of everything you previously expected and to give of yourself completely.

 

Be ready to be surprised

When looking at how to find your soulmate, be sure that you are ready for surprises. Chances are, you are not going to see someone and automatically think that they are love at first sight. Instead, you should be ready to be surprised. You should also be prepared to fight for any relationship that you are going to have, even with your soulmate there are going to be times in which you have to work for it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

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Open Relationship or Monogamy: How Gay Couples Can Decide What’s Right for Them

Psychotherapist Michael Dale Kimmel has written a book for gay guys who are having trouble in their relationships

 

Monogamy or an open relationship… it’s a decision almost every gay man has found themselves weighing up at some stage in their life.

It’s also a topic which can provoke strong reactions. Some find the idea of sex with others outside of their relationship to contradict their notions of commitment and romance.

Others think maintaining lifelong monogamy is unrealistic or even unnatural.

‘A lot of relationships are quasi-monogamous’

With the advent of same-sex marriage, the challenges gay people face in maintaining long-term relationships in a heteronormative world have come into sharper focus

We’ve spent a long time campaigning for the same marriage rights as heterosexual people without asking whether the opposite-sex model of marriage is right for all.

That’s one of the assertions from San Diego-based psychotherapist Michael Dale Kimmel. He has just written a book, The Gay Man’s Guide to Open and Monogamous Marriage.

Kimmel has been counseling couples for 20 years and says one the reasons he wrote the book was from observing how few gay male couples are 100% monogamous.

‘From my own observation, I’d say about 50% are monogamous and a lot of relationships are quasi-monogamous. They’ll be monogamous but they’ll take home someone from a bar one night, or one guy will do things on a business trip.

‘The other thing is that I started doing workshops around five years ago, called “Monogamy or open relationship?” I’ve been doing workshops for a long time but this is by far the most popular workshop I ever did.

‘And people kept saying, “Where’s the book where we can read about this?”

 

Read more at: Gay Star News.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Jenny Boylan Shares Heartrending Stories From Trans Service Members on Twitter

In response to Trump’s ban on trans people in the military, Boylan curated stories from those who’ve served.

In response to Donald Trump’s repugnant announcement via a series of tweets Wednesday that he would ban trans people from serving in the military, author, professor, New York Times columnist, and trans activist Jenny Boylan tweeted a series of stories she collected from trans service members who wanted to share their experiences of being in the military.

While social media raged in response to Trump’s cynical, dangerous decision to reverse policy made under President Barack Obama’s administration that would allow trans people to serve, Boylan curated heartfelt testimonials from those who are serving or who had served the country with dignity and honor, something Trump used “bone spurs” as an excuse to get out of doing.

One of the stories pointed out that Trump chose the historic anniversary when President Harry Truman integrated people of color into the military while others vowed they would not go easily into the night.

Here are their stories.

Read more at: The Advocate Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sam Stanley Hits Back at Critics of His Relationship: ‘There’s a Lot of Hate From Other Gay People’

The former professional rugby player announced his engagement to his 59-year-old fiance earlier this year

 

Sam Stanley has hit back at critics of his relationship.

Earlier this year, the former professional rugby player announced his engagement to his long-term partner Laurence Hicks, 59, but some people couldn’t get their head around the couple’s age difference.

In a new interview, Sam has revealed that while he expected some judgement, he was stunned by how much of it came from the gay community.

Speaking to Queerty, he said: “I think if you’d caught the reaction to our engagement online most of the hate was from other gay people.

“That surprises me quite a lot with what gay people alone have to go through in terms of being judged. There’s a hell of a lot of judgement just within the gay community.

 

Sam’s fiance, Laurence, continued:  “Younger gay guys who are obviously not into generational relationships don’t get it at all, particularly the difference in body size.

“Funnily enough, most of our straight friends are very comfortable with it. We both know the intergenerational thing is not everyone’s cup of tea, but please don’t judge either of us without really knowing us or appreciating the love we have for each other and the joy we bring to each others lives,” he added.

Sam became the first English Rugby Union player to come out as a gay when he opened up about his sexuality in 2015.

 

Read more at: Attitude Magazine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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