New Jersey Supreme Court Says Same-Sex Marriages Can Begin

No one can stop an idea whose time has come, and that definitely applies to same sex marriage. The idea that two people cannot get married over something so basic is ridiculous. No matter who you are, you should be able to join hands and get married. From a legal standpoint, there are numerous rights that are given to those in a traditional marriage. Why shouldn’t same sex couples enjoy those policies as well? Indeed, you cannot even adopt together as a gay couple in some places. When will people realize that we deserve the same rights as everyone else, and you cannot use a religion to say that we cannot have secular rights? Gay marriage doesn’t threaten traditional marriage. We are more than happy to avoid getting married in a church, and many gay people are okay with following religious codes. We’d be happy with a courthouse wedding, to be perfectly honest.

Well, here’s some good news for a change: the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that the ban of same sex marriage is unconstitutional, and thus these marriages will begin taking place from the 21st of October onward.

New Jersey Supreme Court

This is an excellent time to be a resident of New Jersey. Of course, Governor Chris Christie isn’t quite pleased, and lost his bid for a delay.

Sorry, Governor, you don’t get to win this time. This is a magical time for gay people living in New Jersey. Have they ever considered that if they would just give us the same rights that they get to enjoy, we would back down?

This has bigger lesson and takeaways for the gay community at large. Our time is definitely here. More and more straight allies are standing up to say that the way we are treated is wrong. Don’t get sucked into the Westboro Baptist Church. They are extremists, and they’re going to get you mad. Focus on the love that straight people have for our cause. Focus on the devotion that they have to our rights.

And more importantly…treat them like people too. I know it’s hard to see them as your ally when so many have probably hurt you in the past. Let no innocent person bear the crimes of another person. Our legal system is based on this premise, and let’s face it — would you really want to pay the crimes of someone else? I sure wouldn’t.

If you see someone online from New Jersey involved in a same sex relationship, definitely pass them on the good news.

But what do you really think? Is there anything else that New Jersey needs to do for its growing gay community? Sound off in the comments!

LGBT Shortfilm

I was contacted by an aspiring filmmaker who just successfully completed a lesbian short film that was shot in New Jersey and New York.

“‘Reds & Blues’ takes place in Asbury Park, NJ in 1997. It is a visual journey into the thoughts of Daphne, who hasn’t gotten over the death of her girlfriend Haylie. Both couldn’t be together because of the manipulation from Haylie’s aunt Dolores who convinced Haylie to think she was in fact straight, which led to her suicide. Despite this fact, the suicide is not shown and it is all more of a visual collage.

My crew and I shot over 3 weekends and other weekdays at my Brooklyn apartment. We successfully funded our campaigns with private investors and indiegogo. Our very talented cast is from different NYC conservatories and our crew was formed by undergraduate students and alumni from the School of Visual Arts here in Manhattan.”

 

Would An All-Gay Environment Really Be Better

Here’s something you might not have thought about recently — what about an all gay environment? Yes, we’re being hypothetical here. It’s okay to dream and debate a few things that may never happen. Of course, if you have big dreams of building a community that’s nothing but gay people and their biggest supporters, then let’s see how well that would work out.

First and foremost, would an all gay environment magically solve all of the problems that you’re facing? Probably not. You see, you’re still going to have to deal with people being people. Gay or straight, there are just some behaviors that humans get into. You will still face fear, jealousy, envy, anger, sadness, loneliness, clique behavior…the list goes on and on. The trouble with Utopias is that in real life, they don’t work out. Someone will feel envy, someone will just not be able to deal with someone else. There is always a little trouble to be expected in a group. The media portrayal of all gays being catfighting maniacs is ridiculous, but the reality here is that the opposite is also ridiculous.

You cannot just assume that just because you’re going to be around other gay people that everything is going to run seamlessly. The key here is communication and understanding. Just as you want to be understood, you have to realize that other people want to be understood as well. Don’t give up on being able to connect with people.

The reality is that when e separate that far away from the world, we’re cutting ourselves out of opportunities. We can’t just assume that every straight person has a problem with us. Yes, there are people that just aren’t comfortable with gay people. You have people that are protesting against something that people have been doing for thousands of years — getting married.

If you aren’t keeping a journal, you very well should. It gives you a chance to dream of the life that you ultimately want. That can help you break away from getting so worked up with everyone and what they’re doing that you get discouraged. There is a time and a place for everything, but getting upset just takes away your power. Why not check into everything that you can do, today, to make yourself feel better?

Getting back to balance might not be easy, but gay teens; it’s exactly what we need to do!

Photography and the Gay Experience

Building your self confidence as a gay teen means that you need to think about anything and everything that’s going to keep you feeling happy, connected, and in love with everything around you. Sure, it’s never easy to hear that you have so much opposition to your lifestyle.

But here’s something that can really boost your life in a lot of ways — photography. Indeed, photography is something that is really core to the gay experience. We need more photos of what gay life really looks like.

I’m not talking about publicity photos from Ellen either. Don’t get me wrong, I love Ellen. I love what she does for the gay community. I love that she’s truly in love with Portia de Rossi, I love that she’s so committed to her lifestyle and making gay teens the subject of a lot of outreach. I love Dan Savage. I love George Takei. These are all incredible people. However, they can feel a little out of our reach as gay teens.

It can feel like we’re missing a big slice of gay life. Do normal people act like celebrities represent their real, everyday lives? Not really.

It’s time for us to take pictures of life as it unfolds. If you don’t have a camera right now, you should definitely get one. Your phone should also have a camera to capture those little moments while you are out and about. The more that you can plan these things out, the better off you will honestly be in the long run. It’s just time to really think about anything and everything that can really tie your experience together. The more that you plan; the better off you will truly prosper. But you have to keep your wits about you. You have to stay sharp. You have to stay focused. You have to think about anything and everything that could get in your way. You have to think about the people that make you unhappy — and then choose to be happy anyway.

Social networking can connect you to other gay youth. They will share their pictures of everyday life with you, and that’s what this is all about. We want to feel normal, because we are normal. If we continue to hide in the shadows and assume that what we’re doing is wrong, then we’re always going to be wrong. If we always look at the world of gay youth as something that’s wrong or separate, then we’re not going to go anywhere fast.

We deserve better, gay teens. In fact, you deserve better. You have to claim your good even when it hurts. Because without it, we just won’t go anywhere at all. That’s the whole point of all of the outreaches and the support groups.

If you’re feeling isolated and alone right now, you should know that it’s never too late to truly reach for something worthwhile. It’s never too late to feel loved and protected. Get help before things go out of hand. There are more people that love you than you can ever imagine!

Don’t Let Anyone Rush You Into Getting Sexual

If you’re thinking about your love life right now, don’t worry — you’re not the only one. Unfortunately, many guides for gay teens are written with the assumption that you’re already sexually active. Even though this may be the case for many gay teens, the reality is that there are some that still are waiting for the right person. That’s not a religious ideal at all. You should wait for someone that really takes your breath away. Sex should mean something — and we can be sex positive and still agree that there is definitely a time and a place for sexual activity.

First and foremost, you want to be on the right emotional footing yourself before you go out and have sex. It’s easy to attach more emotion than someone else has about the matter, which tends to backfire badly. You don’t want to feel like you are being pressured into something that you’re not ready for. A lot of gay teens put an enormous amount of pressure on themselves. They expect that they should be more ready to have sex, as if they have something to prove. If you know that you aren’t going to get the emotional connection that you need, then it’s perfectly okay to avoid sex. Some people are more into casual sex, but they aren’t putting a lot emotion into it. They know that they aren’t getting to have a life with that person. It’s just a physical attraction thing and it’ll pass on.

If you are going to wait, make sure that you still have other parts of the relationship down pat. Spend time that doesn’t involve touching and kissing with your partner. Let them know that you care about them. And if you’re not ready, you should be open about that form the very beginning. Our society has a high level of expectation when it comes to sex. We see it so much in the media that we expect that everyone is just having it. That’s not necessarily the case, and it’s perfectly okay to admit that.

At first, you might feel like you’re the only gay teen that isn’t having sex. But that’s just not true. There are plenty of gay teens that really aren’t having sex with anyone and everyone. They would rather wait till they have a stable relationship. You are well within your right to demand that someone respect you as a person before you take your clothes off.

However, you do want to make sure that you aren’t sending mixed messages. Sending photos that suggest nudity or even partial nudity can signal to some people that you might be ready for sex. If you’re just feeling out the waters here, that’s okay too. Remember that just because you’re not quite ready to have sex doesn’t mean that you aren’t a sexual human being. You’re probably already engaging in self-love, so why not expand it out when you’re ready? The point here is that it’s all about what you want and what you expect. The rest will come in good time!

As long as you are keeping your wits about you, there’s no reason why you can’t have a great time all of the time — whether you have sex or not!

Design Your Dream Life Today

Gay teens: your life is waiting for you! It’s hard to think that your life is ahead of you and filled with promise when there are so many people waiting in the wings to tear you down. That’s not something that you always want to face. You want to feel like you have the world ahead of you, but when everyone is telling you what a horrible person you are because you’re gay; it tends to take the wind out of your sails. You are much better than what people say you are, always remember that.

Now then, what can you do right now to get yourself back on track? You have to design your dream life. You want to push forward for the things that really matter to you. It’s better to think like this than feel like you’re utterly trapped with nowhere to go.

Many of us in our own inner circle went through humiliation after we came out of the closet. We didn’t want to feel like being gay was a bad thing. When you’re surrounded by people who are filled with hatred, it’s easy to feel isolated. So we bonded together and realized that it was time to either crumble to pieces or feel empowered that we could make it.

We had to think about the bigger picture. We had to think about all of the things that go into doing better and living better.

Designing your life can be as easy as picking up a piece of paper and a pen. You want to write down everything that you want to do with your life. Don’t think right now about what’s realistic and what’s not. It’s just time to dream again and feel like the entire world is right ahead of you. It’s important to feel like there’s nothing that can stop you from getting what you ultimately want to get. You have the power to have a great life as long as you can keep your focus up.

The best thing that you can do from here is to make sure that you think carefully on the type of path you have ahead of you.

Think about who you want in your life. What does your ideal gay partner look like? What are they into? What do they want from you? How do they feel about you? There’s something about writing this out that can really be relaxing. When you don’t let yourself rule out opportunities just because they aren’t here, you get to keep dreaming big.

Our opinion is that gay teens don’t dream big enough. They feel that their dreams aren’t going to come true because of their current situation. Could you move to a much more gay friendly city? Absolutely, you could.

You don’t even have to share this information with someone else. It can be part of your private world, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You don’t have to tell everyone what you’re really thinking. If you’re in a hostile situation, you don’t have to tell anyone. In fact, it can really mess up your chances in terms of getting out of the situation if people know what you’re ultimately trying to reach. They may try to make you feel bad emotionally or start problems for you. That’s something that you really want to avoid if you can help it.

Don’t feel like you have to always have everything worked out. Like we said before, it’s quite fine if you don’t really have all of the answers at the beginning. You can move forward slowly until you finally get where you want to go!

Deliver Yourself Out of Unhappiness – Find the Courage to Find Joy!

This is a topic that’s near and dear to our hearts: gay teen suicide. We all have read headlines showcasing young teens that have left this world far too soon. We’re outraged. We’re hurt. And we’re hopping mad.

But it starts before the suicide stage. We have to reach within ourselves as individuals before we really know how to heal anyone else. If you’re hurting right now, you might feel like it’s time to give up. When you feel surrounded by nothing but anger and fear from people that don’t take time to know you, it’s natural to feel discouraged. However, you have to make sure that you dip into the Self and heal what’s broken there.


You don’t have to settle for unhappiness if you don’t want to. It might sound like something that would really help you get through a hard life but that’s not the case at all. You need to make sure that you’re tapping into your own joy. You have to get out of your own way sometimes and let the joy come into your life.

Don’t walk around thinking that you have to do it on your own. In all of the suicide stories, there’s a distinct sense of isolation. Staying isolated is only going to give you time to think about everything that’s broken. Who wants that?

If you need a change of scenery, you might really want to think about moving to an area that’s much more gay friendly. No, it’s not a bad thing to escape your problems. There are just times where you need to break out of what people think you should do. You can’t live your whole life being afraid to get things done. Sometimes you just need to step out of your comfort zone. Why stay somewhere that you’re going to get mocked and made a fool of? If you can’t move now, then it’s time to save up until you can.

We know that it can take a while to be whole again, but it’s definitely worth looking into. How bad do you really want it, when you think about it? Fight hard today!

Caught a Partner Cheating – Find Relief Today

There’s a lot of overlap between the gay and straight community. We can be honest about that — if you’re thinking about the way you’re being treated in a relationship, you can bet your entire stack of dreamy teen idols that someone else is feeling the same way. Far too often, we think of ourselves as completely separate, and the issues that affect the straight community don’t affect us at all. But is that really the case? The reality here is that what happens in relationships hurts whether you’re gay or straight.

So if you wake up and find that your partner is cheating on you, you shouldn’t feel like you have to suffer in silence. Unfortunately a lot of gay teens think that they have to suffer in silence because everyone has been so critical of them. They feel that there’s just no way out, but that’s not the case at all. If you really want to make sure that you’re focusing on everything that’s important, you owe it to yourself to find healing for such a tough situation.

Getting help from gay-friendly friends and family is the name of the game. You want to run towards supportive people, not away from them. If you shut yourself off from the world, you’re going to be trapped with your thoughts. We can’t speak for everyone, but we know that when we’re left with way too much free time to think things through, we start imagining the worst.

It’s very typical to blame yourself and think that you will not have any type of options when it comes time to move on. You want to dwell in all of the hurt feelings, but that’s not something that really makes sense in your situation. It’s better to really think about everything that’s waiting for you, not the things that are holding you back.


Don’t feel like you were cheated on because you’re gay. Infidelity is something that actually happens to people from all backgrounds. That doesn’t mean that it hurts less, but you should take a little bit of comfort in knowing that you aren’t the only person in the world that has been cheated upon.

If you really want our advice, we think that you shouldn’t move backwards. Far too often, when your partner is caught they will want to try to tell you that it only happened once and it will never happen again. However, it’s been our experience that by the time you discover what’s really going on; they practically have a second relationship on the side. That may be too much for you, and there’s no one in the world that can force you to accept something that is outside your comfort zone. You have every right to a monogamous, loving relationship.

Talking it out with your ex is something that comes only after you’ve had some space away from the conflict at hand. Don’t try to talk to them late at night when you’re thinking about going to bed. Don’t talk to them when you’re drunk and you just want to numb the pain away. Don’t talk to them when you’re unhappy about everything else. Try to come to them on as neutral of ground as you can. Don’t sleep with them just because they ask for a second chance. It’s very easy to assume sex means love, but there are plenty of people that can sleep with you without having any type of bond to you. Is that fair? No, not really but it is what it is. You have to make sure that you’re protecting yourself as much as possible.

It hurts, gay teens. It’s a pain that just keeps hurting and eventually, time takes away the active sting. Yet you never really forget. While it’s true that you can stay with the person, you’re always going to wonder if they’ll keep their word or not. Once trust is broken, and it can feel like a lifetime passes before it’s restored.

As always, take care of you first and the rest will follow!

Why the Gay Community Still Needs Its Heroes

The gay community is growing and changing, as all communities do. The personal is political when you’re gay, and there’s never a day that you get to just sit back and be nonpolitical. After all, your very identity is tied to a political issue that is growing deeper and deeper. While many show support for gays, there are many that oppose even the right of gays to live anywhere that they chose, fearing that they will be a danger to their children. That’s definitely not a great way to strike up a conversation, now is it?

You want to always make sure that you’re thinking about your agenda, not just the political one. That actually brings us to our next subject — why the gay community needs its heroes.

It would be easy to say that the battle of gay rights has been won in many ways, since gay marriage does exist in many places. However, is that all we were fighting for? Absolutely not. It’s important to also have health care coverage for one’s domestic partner, as well as being able to adopt as a gay couple.


There’s also the very important issue of being able to get the same survivor’s benefits. When someone is married to you and they die, the rights of ownership are pretty clear because many things would be transferred to the spouse. Gays don’t have that right automatically.

It’s not just about contracts – it’s about the rights that everyone else has that we don’t.

We still need our heroes of the gay community raising the alarm, pointing out intolerance and actually making it clear that we aren’t just going to be quiet. If they want to take money from us to benefit society, why shouldn’t we have equal rights? We’re still expected to go to work, pay our taxes, do the right thing, and just shut up about intolerance. It just doesn’t work that way, because we’re not going to allow it so.

Sure, there are opponents of gay rights that wish we would just shut up, and they are more than willing to declare the battle over. They’ve thrown a few crumbs our way, right? Well, that’s not the way it’s going to be, thankfully.

As a gay teen, you’re going to have to deal with the fact that your life, whether you like it or not, is political. Its’ time to get informed — you can do it!

Top African American LBGT’s

We try to include as much as we can from all across the LGBT spectrum, so why not a listing of some amazing black LGBT icons? They are truly world influencers and have put their own stamp on what it means to be gay and black at the same time.

1. Carolyn Mobley


Here is an interesting example of Christian mercy in motion. Carolyn Mobley was the first woman to co-chair the African-American Lesbian/Gay Alliance — it’s a smaller part of the National Coalition of Black Lesbians and Gays. She was actually raised as a devout Christian, but get this…her church condoned her sexuality even though she was a Christian educator. The organization she served bridged the gap between the civil rights movement and the LGBT movement. Powerful!

2. Lorraine Hansberry


A lot of people were very shocked to find that yes, Lorraine Hansberry was indeed part of the LGBT community. She is the playwright and civil rights activist who wrote A Raisin in the Sun and gained immense popularity.

3. Josephine Baker


Red hot and wild in her heyday, Josephine Baker had it all — actor, singer, dancer, and all around entertainer. She fled to France in order to have more opportunities, but it didn’t stop her from becoming a worldwide sensation.

4. Sheryl Swoopes


A true LGBT icon in the sports world — she was the first woman that signed with the WBNA and paved the way for others to come after her. She has also won three Olympic gold medals and is an outspoken advocate of higher pay for female athletes around the sports world.

5. Wanda Sykes


While Ms. Sykes has only been openly gay in the media for a few years, she’s been a media darling for much longer than that. She is a stand up comedienne and an all around funny woman.

6. Andre Leon Talley


If you haven’t checked out Andre Leon Talley or know who he is, no problem! He is a top fashion icon in the industry, a man who has been a key part of Vogue and other fashion portals for many years. He is consulted, admired, and carries his own sense of style in a really big way. In his own way, he is also a spokesperson for the healthy at any size movement, given his proportions. He proves that you don’t have to be thin in order to be…well, fabulous!

Gays of color should have their own role models, because it can be hard to look into a community and not see anyone that looks like you. The black community has traditionally been very conservative and religious, which hasn’t always meant a lot of tolerance for its black gay youth and young adults. The tide is changing though, thanks to the stylish, powerful, and influential black LGBT’s of the past, present, and most certainly the future.