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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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Domestic Violence: It Happens in Gay Relationships Too

Extra stress in gay relationships may raise risk of domestic violence.

 

Domestic violence occurs at least as frequently, and likely even more so, between gay relationships compared to opposite-sex couples, according to recent studies.

Previous studies, when analyzed together, indicate that domestic violence affects 25 percent to 75 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual individuals. However, a lack of representative data and underreporting of abuse paints an incomplete picture of the true landscape, suggesting even higher rates. An estimated one in four heterosexual women experience domestic abuse, with rates significantly lower for heterosexual men.

“Evidence suggests that the minority stress model may explain these high prevalence rates,” said senior author Richard Carroll, associate professor in psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and a psychologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. “Domestic violence is exacerbated because same-sex couples are dealing with the additional stress of being a sexual minority. This leads to reluctance to address domestic violence issues.”

Domestic violence — sometimes called intimate partner violence — is physical, sexual or psychological harm occurring between current or former intimate partners.

Research concerning the issue began in the 1970s in response to the women’s movement, but traditionally studies focused on women abused by men in opposite-sex relationships.

“There has been a lot of research on domestic violence but it hasn’t looked as carefully at the subgroup of same-sex couples,” Carroll said. “Another obstacle is getting the appropriate samples because of the stigma that has been attached to sexual orientation. In the past, individuals were reluctant to talk about it.”

Of the research that has examined same-sex domestic violence, most has concentrated on lesbians rather than gay men and bisexuals.

“Men may not want to see themselves as the victim, to present themselves as un-masculine and unable to defend themselves,” Carroll said.

He suggests that homosexual men and women may not report domestic violence for fear of discrimination and being blamed for abuse from a partner. They also may worry about their sexual orientation being revealed before they’re comfortable with it.

Mental health services for people involved in abusive same-sex relationships are becoming more common, but this population still faces obstacles in accessing help, reports the paper.

“We need to educate health care providers about the presence of this problem and remind them to assess for it in homosexual relationships, just as they would for heterosexual patients,” Carroll said. “The hope is that with increasingly deeper acceptance, the stress and stigma will disappear for these individuals so they can get the help they need.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Every LGBTQ Rights Group You’ve Ever Heard Of Opposes Two Of Trump’s Judicial Picks

Gay rights activists gather outside the US Supreme Court building in Washington, DC on June 26, 2013. The US Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a controversial federal law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, in a major victory for supporters of same-sex marriage.The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) had denied married gay and lesbian couples in the United States the same rights and benefits that straight couples have long taken for granted. AFP PHOTO / MLADEN ANTONOV (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

John Bush and Damien Schiff “would cause grave harm” to LGBTQ people and women, reads a new letter to senators.

 

WASHINGTON ― A whopping 27 LGBTQ rights groups on Monday urged the Senate to reject two of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees, John Bush and Damien Schiff.

In a letter to all senators, groups including Lambda Legal and the Human Rights Campaign say both nominees’ views on civil rights “are fundamentally at odds with the notion that LGBT people are entitled to equality, liberty, justice and dignity under the law.”

Bush, a Kentucky lawyer up for a lifetime seat on the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has applauded critics of same-sex marriage and compared abortion to slavery, calling them “the two greatest tragedies in our country.” Schiff, an attorney up for a 15-year seat on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, has said LGBTQ anti-bullying efforts are akin to “teaching ‘gayness’ in schools,” and argued that states should be allowed to criminalize “consensual sodomy.”

“Although neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Schiff has any judicial experience, their public statements and writings have repeatedly demonstrated not only an extraordinary lack of judgment but also plain contempt for the rights of LGBT Americans, people living with HIV, women, and other vulnerable populations,” reads the letter, which goes into specifics on each count.

Read more at HuffPost Queer Voices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make Your Love Last: 7 Tips for a Strong Relationship

It takes more than love for your relationship to work.

Although love is the foundation of any happy romantic gay relationship, love is not enough. In order to have a healthy relationship, both parties have to be willing to work on it.

Most gay couples strive to have a successful and rewarding relationship, yet it is normal for gay couples to have ups and downs. To meet these challenges, and to keep your relationship healthy and happy, you need to work at it. Relationships are like bank accounts – if there are fewer deposits than withdrawals, you will run into difficulties.

 

Here are some tips that may help you improve your relationship (and be better prepared to meet the challenges along the way).

1. Have fun

Gay couples who engage in exciting and enjoyable activities together have greater relationship satisfaction from before to after the shared activity.

2. Develop empathy and really listen to each other

Good communication often starts with a desire to understand other points of view. How many arguments have you had that have just spiraled out of control because no one is really listening or attempting to understand? I think one of the most important things we can all do, whether for a relationship or not, is to develop a strong sense of empathy and compassion. Grudge-holding, bitter thoughts and and negativity towards others will only backfire if you hold onto it.

3. Appreciate the little things

When you’ve been together for quite a while, it might seem easy to take your partner for granted. Say “thank you” more, tell them you love them, or send cute texts (in moderation of course). Let your partner know how much he means to you so they never feel taken for granted. This is probably one of the most important tips for a strong relationship.

4. Learn from arguments

Accept that arguments will happen, and try to resolve them with respect. The strongest predictor of a breakup is ‘contempt’, which is any action whereby your partner feels ‘put down’ by you, whether it is the tone of your voice or what you say. In arguments, we sometimes become overwhelmed and this often leads to behaviors that harm our relationship.

5. Have good sex

Increasing research is pointing to a great sex life as predicting better relationship satisfaction—but not the other way around.

6. Give your partner space

The philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer used porcupines to explain a dilemma which often exists in human relationships. Two porcupines trying to keep warm will move closer to one another. However, if they get too close they prick each other with their spines.

The same thing happens in human relationships: we want closeness, but we also want space. The key is to find that sweet spot at which we feel the warmth that comes from being in a relationship, while at the same time allowing each partner to have enough space so that neither one feels like they’re being pricked by the other’s spines (feelings of lost individuality, feeling crowded, and so on).

7. Have a good relationship with yourself

The relationship you have with yourself is arguably the foundation on which your other relationships are built, and studies are supporting this notion. High self-esteem predicts better relationship satisfaction, and high self-esteem of both partners is an even better predictor of strong relationship satisfaction. Moreover, people with high self-esteem appear to respond more constructively and positively during conflict when they think their partner is committed to the relationship, whereas people with low self-esteem don’t do this even when they believe their partner is committed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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