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  1. Last week
  2. Been on a date with your dream guy who then agrees to a second date? Wanna know how to keep him interested? Gays.com shows you how. Keep your nerve You need to keep things in perspective – and, above everything, don’t panic. If the first date went well, then there’s no reason not to think he won’t want to see you again. But the very worst thing you can do is start jumping ahead and predicting the future. Stay in the ‘now’ – focus on asking him out again, planning what you’ll suggest and how you’ll broach it. No Desperate Diana Coming across as desperate is not a good look and must be avoided at all costs. Play it cool; don’t let him know that you’re crazy for him. If he’s that gorgeous, he’ll be used to guys falling all over him. Make yourself stand out by being different. Give it some time – around 24 hours – before you contact him again – and when you do, don’t go into some humiliating diatribe about how magnificent he is and how you long for marriage and pregnancy. There are few things worse than an over eager queen. Keep him coming back for more Cultivate mystery Are you one of those guys who reveals absolutely everything about himself within the first 20 minutes of meeting a new date? No! Being “an open book” only makes you vulnerable. You need to tantalise him by being selective about what you reveal. Choose your language carefully – play with it, and you’ll see the fascination grow in his eyes. The trick is to drop just enough teasers to keep him on the edge of his seat – and coming back for more. Be seductive, intriguing, and a little bit dangerous. Big yourself up There are few things sexier than confidence. Have pride in your achievements and who you are. Talk about some of the things you’ve accomplished – but make sure you don’t over labour them; misplaced confidence or bragging is just plain common. But real confidence comes not from what comes out of your mouth but the way you hold yourself: your walk, your gestures, the spark in your eyes. Surprise is seductive Think carefully about what you want to do on the second date. From your first meeting with him, you’ll have picked up some information about his personality. Analyse it. Has he talked about the sort of things he likes to do, where he prefers to go? You’ll be able to glean a lot from his body language and how he has reacted to the things you’ve said. Run with this, and when asking him out again, choose something that is going to impress him, which taps into the sort of things he enjoys. But give it that extra edge – add something unexpected, exciting, a little quirky or zany – something which reflects who you are. That will not only create a talking point and laughter but fuel his interest in you. Confound his expectations, and you’ll get more of him! Chemistry and body language are important Keep your eyes on him We live in a world of instant gratification. Getting laid has never been easier – and there are so many different choices available. But if you meet someone you like, try and limit your time on the gay dating apps. Your focus should be on revving up the romantic and sexual tension. If you’re ready for a relationship – and you think you’ve found the perfect guy – you need to start doing things a little differently and slowly re-programming your brain so that it’s no longer stuck in the Town Bicycle setting. If you keep on doing the things you’ve always done, you’ll just get the same results. Make changes, adjust that thermostat – and things will get hot! Are you in the early stages of dating someone but are stuck in your head as to what to do? Head over to the forum and get some dating advice from the Gays.com community.
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  4. Gay marriage is transforming gay relationships and attitudes towards homosexuality. But what’s the reality for those who are tying the knot – and what do they say to critics of marriage equality? One year on since the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court that legalized same-sex marriage in the US, Alex Hopkins at Gays.com talks to some married men. Love, commitment and 'nesting' Tim, 51, Springfield, Missouri, USA. We got married because to show our love and commitment to one another – but also to give us legal protection, particularly the ability to co-adopt children. Gay marriage is not the same as straight marriage in the same way that my attraction to men doesn't make me female or take on a feminine persona or role as a gay man. Marriage gave us a sense of security that we didn't have before and a sense of recognition that we didn’t feel after our non-legal ceremony years before. My husband and I are now separated, but we live together to co-parent our four children. We’re attempting to do something we've heard referred to as 'nesting'. We’re looking into buying a second, smaller house in our neighbourhood, where I would live several days a week, and he would live on the other days. This way we can keep our children in the same house as they were raised in and live with them - but not always with each other. Getting married Dropping 'husband' into the conversation Mark, 41, Surrey, UK. My man and I got married in the summer of 2015. We only had one reason for doing so - love. But it also offered us the basic legal benefits anyone should be privy to. One of the harsh things we experienced not long after getting engaged was how our next-of-kin rights in medical situations were in no way assured. Nor were our pension and inheritance rights. My partner had an accident, and some subsequent lines of medical enquiry and blatant homophobia made it very apparent how our relationship status was not as valid as others. I find that gay critics of gay marriage to be slightly missing the point of equality. We can march for employment and age of consent rights, but we cannot fight for the equality of our love…? As for suggestions we’re copying some straight cliché – that just packs of blinkered bitterness, a fear of evolving and a strange equating of my marriage to be some sauna-closing, anti-Grindr statement. If some critics want to boil marriage down to a lazy, tired perceived oppression of women, then they might want to explain how that applies to two grown men. My marriage is both patriarchal and matriarchal. Maybe we should have a new word – fagtriarchal. Dropping the “H-bomb” (“husband”) into the conversation is still new to us. It packs an amusing punch when you use the word, often getting quicker responses as – for all the right reasons – most people don’t want to look like they have a problem with it. As a great many LGBT relationships increasingly prove to the wider world, all sorts of relationships, all kinds of headcounts in those relationships and all sorts of levels of commitment are ours to play with as we want. Gay folk wanting to get wed are redefining nothing more than their love for each other. Gay marriage can only strengthen gay sex, gay culture, gay love, gay identity and gay privilege. Marriage is just one kind of relationship Frederick, 35, from Bolivia, now living in London. We got a civil partnership in November 2010, and we’re planning to get married on our 10th anniversary. When we first met, my plan was to stay in London another six months and my partner were planning to go back to Czechoslovakia at the end of that year. After a period of living together, we realised we were meant to stay together, and we decided that marriage was the right thing to do. After renewing my visa once, the only solution for us to be together was to get a civil-partnership. We’ve never seen marriage as a patriarchal structure. It’s a legal instrument to protect our rights as a couple and as individuals. For us, marriage is the confirmation of love between two people regardless of sex or gender. Our relationship develops and changes every day. Even after eight years together we still manage to surprise each other. Marriage is just one kind of relationship. We all are human beings with the same rights and obligations. What we need to do is fight discrimination, teach mutual respect and break the moulds that are based on biological sex or gender. Have you got married? What does marriage mean to you? Share in the comments below.
  5. Alex Hopkins at Gays.com speaks to photojournalist Bradley Secker, whose documentation of the ground-breaking Mr Gay Syria contest reveals the hidden lives of LGBT refugees. “We gay Syrians are more than bodies being thrown from rooftops,” said 24-year-old Hussein, the winner of Mr Gay Syria – and focus of a new documentary uncovering the competition which took place in 2015. Hussein’s statement – a powerful challenge to the virulently anti-gay actions of ISIS – is at the heart of a story which shows gay Syrians in a non-victimising light, thereby decimating the control that the terrorist group have over the imagery which has so often defined a persecuted minority. Images of the Mr Gay Syria contest, by photojournalist Bradley Secker, who has been documenting the lives of LGBT asylum seekers for seven years, are the antithesis of the horrific photographs issued by ISIS. They depict gay Syrian men as full of hope and joy, celebrating friendship and freedom, even amid the seemingly endless suffering of the ongoing Syrian conflict. The idea for hosting Mr Gay Syria came from Secker’s long-time friend and journalist colleague Mahmoud Hassino. “Homosexuality is criminalised in Syria, although from my time in the country before the conflict I know that there was some degree of tolerance, despite what you may see online these days,” explains Secker. “like any country, Syria is diverse and Syrians have a huge range of opinions and values.” Secker sought to capture this diversity in his work. “The five contestants [in the contest] all fled Syria for their own reasons, mostly for safety from the armed conflict going on in Syria now, but some had from reasons to seek protection from various armed groups or the Syrian government,” Secker tells me. “There were threats against the community, and many individuals involved in it, including the organiser, but it went ahead anyway, and luckily without a hitch.” He adds that Hussein – who was crowned Mr Gay Syria on Valentine’s Day 2016 – “was fully aware of the risks that come with media attention and exposing oneself, but decided it was worth the risk to have his voice heard.” Since the previously closeted Hussein – a hairdresser, married with a young daughter – won the competition, Secker has followed him in his daily life. Hussein’s success, however, has brought much media attention, which has been both positive and negative, leading to some death threats. Mr Gay Syria - Crowdfunding teaser The other five men who competed have also faced significant challenges. Three are still in Istanbul, one is in Athena, and a third has been resettled in Norway through UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). “After the murder of two Syrian LGBTs last year (one gay man and one trans woman), Hussein and many in the LGBT diaspora here in Turkey feel much more vulnerable,” explains Secker. “Hussein has a case with the UNHCR and hopes to be resettled overseas as soon as possible.“ Then there are the immeasurable issues that the ongoing Syrian conflict has brought. “People are traumatised, anxious, paranoid, scared, but also hopeful, positive and optimistic,” says Secker. “There is a sense of unity amongst the Syrian gay community that I didn’t see so much in Syria, mostly due to the increased freedom of being in Istanbul, but the sense of loss and despair about the unknown fate for their futures hangs over everyone’s heads. “As with all the Syrians I’ve met and photographed since the start of this awful conflict, their lives have been turned upside-down. They need time and space to work out what their next move will be, while often also dealing with emotional loss, and struggling to survive financially in a new country.” If any good has come out of the murders which Secker mentions it is that since 2016 LGBT Syrians have been prioritised by the UNHCR, meaning that asylum cases are being processed much quicker than before, adds Secker. “These murders have made the powers that be realise that the threats are very real.” Now, with the release of the documentary film charting this ground-breaking contest, these men’s traumatic yet ultimately inspirational stories will reach a much wider audience - and how timely and vital this is. “This is a tale of courage, optimism and strength,” concludes Secker, “but also explaining the difficult realities of these men’s lives.” BOX MAGAZIN interviews Mahmoud Hassino (organiser of the Mr. Gay Syria contest)
  6. My 4favourite sex toys are my 8in vibrating dildo,9in pump up dildo ,18 double end dildo (which I can take 14in of it ) and my 6in butt plug
  7. waycay, Yeah I don't think our times are close... but I would like to talk! idk about you being with me, lol - perhaps there is is difference in meaning there.
  8. James Maker lived the rock and roll dream before reinventing himself as a prize-winning author. As his memoir Autofellatio is republished, he talks to Alex Hopkins at Gays.com about life as a pioneering artist. It takes a certain audacity to call your memoir Autofellatio, but then fearlessness and a disregard for the tedium of convention has always characterised James Maker. The book, which won the inaugural Polari First Book Prize in 2011, is this month republished by Inkandescent, a new publishing house committed to underrepresented ideas, subjects and voices. James Maker’s voice is undeniably unique – as is his experience. He grew up in south London and became close friends with Smith’s Frontman Morrissey, before going on to form his own bands, Raymonde and RPLA. Maker became that rarest of things: a gay man making it big in rock and roll. “In the 1980s, and unless you were Bronski Beat or recording Hi-NRG music, it was still highly inadvisable to be open about your sexuality if you were gay. I decided not to invent a story where I once had a girlfriend, but she died, leaving me permanently traumatised,” he tells me. “Then, in the 1990s, I formed a hard rock group which was signed by EMI and Warners. That was deliberate because hard rock is a tough place unless you’re painfully heterosexual.” All of this is detailed, with Maker’s usual deadpan wit, in Autofellatio. The republished book contains candid photographs, which span a fifty-year timeline, taking in everywhere from London to Valencia – two of the cities in which Maker has trod (often in dangerously high stilettos) a frequently provocative path as a singer-actor and even a dominatrix. “I am a case in accidentalism”, he says, explaining that he has rarely planned anything is his life. He has, however, repeatedly reinvented himself, defying the limits of what’s considered “normal” – both in mainstream and gay culture. This makes the anecdotes in Autofellatio not only hilarious but wise and inspirational. At a time when opportunities in both the music and publishing industry are shrinking, James Maker’s ‘Do It Yourself’ philosophy – the ethos of the Punk movement – is refreshing and important. It has, he says, been a mainstay in his life – and served him well. “I’ve had a couple of major record deals before, which can be good in that you have some muscle behind you. The downside is that many decisions are taken for you, sometimes including artwork. That doesn’t matter to some people, but it does to me: I’m choosy about which font appears under my face, or, indeed, across it. “The DIY ethos comes from a creative independence and the desire to see one’s work out there. Anybody can sit on a rejected manuscript for years and claim themselves a writer. But what’s the point if you’re not read, heard or seen? Record and publishing companies loathe to take the smallest risk, nowadays, but with the advance of technology you can now release your own single or album, or book, and be in complete artistic control of it.” Maker has certainly been busy. Not only has he written new chapters for the revised Autofellatio, but he’s been back in the studio and, alongside the memoir, is releasing an album of demo recordings, The Milwaukee Sessions, which were originally made in the 2000s. “Musically, it was quite a departure for me, it is more sparse and darker, but gives a platform to the voice which you don’t get with squealing guitars.” It certainly takes a rather unique individual – and talent – to write a song about gay serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer – and manage to make it both sinister, tender and exceptionally beautiful. But for Maker, taking risks is an integral part being an artist. There is, he believes, no time for anything else. What’s the point? For as he says in Autofellatio, “Apart from Lulu and herpes, everything else is swept away eventually.” James Maker’s latest single is Long Walk Home, a cover version of a song first recorded by Sandie Shaw. In August he plans to release another single, Saunders Ferry Lane. The iPad version of Autofellatio includes an MP3 of James Maker’s song Maitresse, and the video trailer for the book.
  9. hi music lover. I would also like to be with you and talk to it but it seems our time is not at the same time
  10. Also ( sorry, I did not see the other replies..) to MarkJB - Thank you!!! as for zoro1993 - I'm curious..! Heylo!
  11. Hii waycay, how are you?
  12. Hey, I was reading about genital piercings in the gays.com magazine as I've always wanted to get frenum piercing. Has anyone got any tips about aftercare?
  13. hi
  14. Encountering a magnificent Prince Albert can be enough to make some gay men’s eyes water – quite literally. If you’re brave enough to consider getting a bolt through your cock, what options are open to you – and how much pain and pleasure should you expect? Gays.com takes an unsparing look at genital piercings. The filthy Prince and lucky Queen? The history of the Prince Albert is somewhat mythical. As the same suggests, this piercing is often traced back to the husband of Queen Victoria. The tale goes that Albert wore one either as a dressing ring, in order to fit his wanger into the fashions of the day (so tight they left very little to the imagination), or perhaps even to pin back his foreskin to ensure that the great Regina herself didn’t get a mouthful of smegma when she burrowed into his undercarriage. Now there’s a thought! Whatever the reason, the Prince Albert remains the most famous of genital piercings. There are three types of Prince Alberts (and they all sound rather like contraptions you may use down the gym): the Captive Bead Ring, the Circular Barbell or the Bent Barbell. Or you could opt for a Prince Albert Wand – a hollow tube with a threaded cap at the end. It all depends on just how adventurous you are, but be warned, all could potentially reek some havoc on your partner’s fillings, so go easy! Frenum piercings: ladders of ecstasy This one’s located on the underside of your pulsating shaft – and you can even have a series of them in a neat little row, known as the Frenum Ladder. These are often to be found along the bottom of the shaft, but the most daring of men – and those who really want to make an impact, in more ways than one – place straight barbells along the sides too! Alternatively, if you’re after something nearer the bell end, you can go for a D-ring. It’s up to you have much space you leave between the different rungs of the ladder – and how much you stretch your piercings – yes, as you may imagine, that’s the more painful part! Getting hardcore The Apadravya piercing is as hardcore as it sounds – and given that it’s said to be possibly the most painful of the piercings, it is probably best left for the aficionados. This one goes pretty brutal: it goes straight through the head of your pork sword, right from top to bottom. Ouch! As we say, for the brave only – but it’s certainly one way of making a statement and banging him to rights. Some of the different types of genital piercings. Image: Pinterest. Ampallang piercings for ample pleasure? Another which is surely not for the faint hearted. Again, we’re talking of a piercing that goes right through your bell end – but this time from one side to the other. A word to the wise: this particular piercing can cause your partner a certain amount of discomfort, so you need to establish which sexual position works best for him – which is, of course, the perfect excuse to get experimenting again – as if you should need one! Pinning the perineum: Guiche piercings The perineum (the magical area between your balls and your bum) is one of the major male pleasure spots, and as such, it would be dreadfully remiss for there not to be a set of piercings specifically designed for this most vital of locations. Captive bead rings and circular barbells are the favourites here and form a lovely little (or indeed big) ladder which is just crying out for him to run his tongue (or indeed front teeth) up and down. A great trick to enhance your orgasm: hang a weight from the piercing on your bollocks which can delay your spunkathon – but only once the piercing is fully healed, naturally – otherwise you’re taking S&M to the most extreme possibilities!
  15. hey T, welcome!
  16. hi
  17. My name is T--(you'll have to inquire further about that..), I'm very new to this site, and I don't have a lot of access to the internet, but that's okay! I'm friendly, playful, and sarcastic, but rather shy usually... Self-defeating behavior and the like... I try to be very open-minded and am a good listener. Always looking to make new friends, and maybe more :3
  18. Alex Hopkins takes a look at the trials, tribulations and unexpected hilarity of trying to find a gay flatshare in London. I could tell that the room I was about to view was going to be far from “lovely” (as the online advert promised) when I entered the housing estate. It wasn’t so much the stinging nettles and mutant dandelions that snaked their way up to windows that had probably not been washed since 1976, but the door that had been kicked in and patched up with plywood and duct tape – always a red flag. Inside, the smell of damp mingled with mephedrone as a cockroach lumbered across the kitchen sink, so I rapidly made my excuses as 'agency' rep, Carlos (in oversized trackies, with a fag dangling from his mouth) told me that I’d be sharing with five other people. “All gays” and all for £700 a month plus bills “a bargain for the area,” apparently. Generation Rent My story is not unusual. I’m one of the 1.5 million “young” people who are predicted to be living in the private rented sector over the period to 2020, according to a 2011 study by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Home ownership in the UK is now at its lowest level for 30 years, with property prices soaring. According to a report by estate agent Knight Frank, a quarter of households in the UK will rent privately by 2021. Finding the “castle” that is supposed to be every Englishman’s home is not an option. The housing crisis in London – and New York and San Francisco – is particularly acute, making competition for a shared room frequently as cut-throat as an interview for a CEO position at a multinational corporation. My quest to put down roots has seen me boomerang from one part of London to another, with the same restlessness of a Vauxhall GHB queen on a weekend bender. In five years, I’ve moved home seven times – including a period of homelessness and couch surfing. The need to find deposits and cover necessary costs takes its toll – and that’s nothing compared to the emotional impact. Assessing your assets Being a gay man has, I’ve found, added to the challenge of finding an appropriate abode. The assumption that all gay guys over 35 have plenty of disposable income doesn’t necessarily apply to a freelance journalist. Shunned by letting agencies, the options are narrowed down to Spareroom and Gumtree – or, god forbid, the horror of “speed flat mating”, undoubtedly the ultimate last resort, and one which should only ever be contemplated after several shots of tequila. The alerts for vacancies in gay accommodation that have pinged into my inbox each morning over the years have brought their peculiar brand of joy. “I’m looking for a gay roommate to live with who is open to possibilities…” read one. Another was not as subtle: “small double available. No rent required – seeking someone who will explore all boundaries with me – and many others. "Totally genuine offer." More amusing still have been the repeated demands for me to send my “picture”. The first time this happened I naively replied, “you’ll see what I look like when I view the room,” but I now quip back “flaccid or hard – under harsh or soft lighting?” As I say, if you don’t learn to laugh your knickers off in this game you’re doomed. Gays and galloping prices Rents spiral in areas which the gays flock to, usually pricing out anyone who isn’t “a young professional” without a stable 9 to 5 job in finance or something similarly soul destroying. Then, of course, you have the added complications of identifying who the “party people” are. I’ve become increasingly skilled at spotting the not too well-hidden drugs paraphernalia and the spaced out “come bang my back door in” eyes. If I wanted to live in a knocking shop I might be better off taking a sleeping bag into the local sauna – at least I’d save on hot water, and with their 24/7 open doors policy accommodation costs would probably work out marginally cheaper than a converted living room with paper-thin walls in east London. But one can’t afford to become too despondent. Opportunities to meet new people, in what can be a lonely city, should always be embraced, and you never know who you’re going to hit it off with while inspecting the bathroom grouting of a chicken coup above a fish mongers in a dodgy part of south London. But after finally seeing the perfect house, and then being emailed by your potential flatmate to be told that you’re “lovely”, but he’s chosen someone else, you are entitled to feel a little peeved. Especially when said potential gay roommate later hits you up on Grindr and tells you, in a rather more explicit way – with added graphics – that your “loveliness” was why you didn’t get the room – but you are welcome to visit anytime. Thanks for that! What are your experiences of gay flatshares and house hunting? Share your stories below.
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  21. Protein powders are big business and beloved by gay guys – but they’re also a minefield with so many out there on the market. If you're about to embark on a fitness regime using protein shakes, Alex Hopkins looks at some of the different types of shakes out there. The Whey to go Whey is a by-product of cheese production – it’s also the most common ingredient to be found in Protein shakes. But did you know it’s broken down into three different types? Here they are: Concentrate This is the cheapest of the options and is mixed with water to create your shake. It contains around 80% protein but also contains lactose. It’s widely available on the high street. You’ll find a wide range of products as Protein World and Bulk Powders. Great ones to try are the Super Man range – with a name like that, who could resist? Or how about some protein porridge to kick start the day? Isolate A terrific way to boost your protein intake – this option contains around 90% protein. It has also cut out the fats and the carbs – result! If you’re lactose intolerant, this is probably the right choice for you, as it’s around 99% lactose-free. One issue: it doesn’t tend to mix as well as Concentrate. Check out MyProtein. Hydrolysate Another smart choice to ramp up your protein intake – Hydrolysate contains around 95% protein, though it’s the most expensive of the three options, and perhaps the least tasty. The real benefit of this one is that it’s fast absorbing, containing digestive enzymes. Perfect it you’re indulging in a full-on session – or even going at it twice a day! Find the best Hydrolysed formulas at Solgar – which places a real emphasis on nature. Lean Queen They say the idea body shape is to be lean, cutting down the body fat as much as possible. No mean feat! To lose weight, you need to curb the carbs – particularly in the evening. But for this to work you need to increase your protein intake – otherwise, the body, the cunning yet infuriating machine that it is, will sabotage your fitness plans by burning lean muscle for fuel. Don’t over complicate matters. Follow a balanced diet and use standard Whey protein – low in carbs, so go for Isolate or Hydrolysate. Still to the shakes and resist the temptation of the protein bars. They may be yummy, but they often contain added sugar. Protein Packed Muscling up Try not to fall into the trap of drinking more than two protein shakes per day – there’s no need. Have one post-workout and then one before you hit your sordid slumbers. Opt for a Casein-based protein before bed – as it takes six hours to digest. Protein-packed meals are essential, but on those days when you don’t have the energy to throw something tasty and nutritious together (though with all the exercise you’re doing and these nutrients you should, of course, have bundles of energy!), you can indulge in a meal replacement shake. For example, those offered by MyProtein’s Macro Meal. If you’re after a real protein boost (a mix of concentrate, isolate, hydrolysate and casein) go the whole hog treat yourself to a MyoFusion Advanced Protein – it tastes almost as lush as you will, once into your new fitness regime.
  22. Just north of dallas here, sherman texas! Message me boys!
  23. For over 30 years, The Pink Singers has been the UK’s longest running LGBT choir. But what does it mean to involved in such a group – and why is it needed more now than ever? Alex Hopkins at Gays.com talks to Pink Singers musical director, Murray Hipkin. “Singing has always been at the centre of human existence,” Murray Hipkin tells me. “It allows us to protest, grieve, worship, celebrate, entertain, provoke, soothe and to express solidarity with each other.” Formed in 1983, The Pink Singers have been at the forefront of some of the UK’s biggest gay rights battles, bringing people together, in harmony, through the unique power of song. The group meet every Sunday in central London, where they rehearse for four hours (followed by a visit to the local pub) in preparation for two concerts each year. The repertoire is staggeringly diverse. At the next show, on July 15th, they’ll be showcasing everything from Leonard Bernstein to Dusty Springfield and Handel – with some Lady Gaga thrown in. “We sing anything that we can get our hands on and our larynxes round,” Murray laughs. Murray’s journey into the Pink Singer reflects the diverse life experiences of its members. Feeling stranded in his childhood following the death of his mother, a sense of alienation drew him into the Evangelical church. He married young and had two children. Only later did he come out. “I’m doubly lucky to have found my Pinkie family where I can be a part of that history,” he says. “It gives me the fantastic opportunity of using my professional skills and experience to challenge and enable an incredible group of volunteer singers to stretch themselves musically - and have a positive impact on the choir family and in the wider community.” Murray began playing the piano at just five years old and has worked for many years as a member of the music staff at English National Opera, as well as serving as Musical Director on West End hits like 'The Sound of Music'. Even in such a bright career, however, he regards his work with the Pink Singers as one of the highlights. “It’s always great when someone comes to audition, and you realise that you can help them on their journey by inviting them into the group,” he enthuses. “As a shared experience, there’s nothing quite like singing - and in a choir such as the Pinkies, where we have another unique layer of shared experience, working hard, playing hard and harmonising hard (at every possible opportunity) becomes very special.” Pink Singers in concert, July 2011. During the 1980s and 1990s, the UK was a much more hostile place for LGBT people. Not only was there the endemic homophobia of Thatcher’s Britain to contend with, but also the fight against AIDS. Thirty years on, however, Murray believes the choir is as important as ever. “We need to face outward as well as inward. As battles have gradually been won here in the UK, the character and purpose of the choir have evolved, of course,” he explains. “We can never afford to forget what’s going on outside our little cocoon, and one of the things that I think sets the Pinkies apart from other similar groups is that we have always had a significant presence outside the UK.” Joining the choir enables its members to reach out to other LGBT people across the world – and standing in solidarity. Sixteen members have recently visited Seoul and Hong Kong, and last year a small group went to Taiwan to sing in a new LGBT choir festival. And then there is the Pinkies’ society-changing work with India. In the UK, 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England, but unfortunately, a version of this Victorian law remains in place in the Indian Penal Code (Section 377) criminalising tens of millions of people. Murray’s enthusiasm is infectious as he describes how the Pinkies have built bonds with LGBT Indians. The choir made contact with Rainbow Voices Mumbai, India’s first LGBT choir, and around 50 of them visited Mumbai in January, where they performed with them at the National Centre for Performing Arts and then marched with them in Mumbai Pride to support their protest against Section 377. In July – at this year’s Pride – Rainbow Voices Mumbai will be visiting London. “They’ll be singing with us on the main stage in Trafalgar Square, and taking part in our next concert, From Queer to Eternity,” Murray says. “I’m sure this will be a life-changing trip for all of them, and it is humbling to be part of it. Going to India changed me. Fifteen or so years ago I would never have imagined myself joining Pride marches in (so far) Athens, Lisbon, Reykjavik, Amsterdam and most recently, Mumbai, but I was there, and have the pictures to prove it! The Pink Singers has opened up a whole new world for me – and so many others.” To get involved with the Pink Singers, apply for an audition. The Pink Singers July 15th concert, From Queer to Eternity, is at London’s Cadogan Hall. Click on the image below for full details. Top image: Murray Hipkin by Nicola Swan.
  24. What is it about musicals that gay men so love? The Show Queen, or Musical Theatre Queen is as much a part of gay culture as camp, cottaging and classic Hollywood cinema. Alex Hopkins at Gays.com takes a deeper look at “The Show Queen”. Given the frenzied excitement which accompanied the return of Glenn Close as Norma Desmond in the Broadway revival of Sunset Boulevard this year, it seems that the Show Queen, at least, is still alive and well - and camping it up unashamedly on The Great White Way. But what exactly is it about musicals which still attracts scores of gay men? “For me, it’s about a character being so full of emotion at a certain point in a story that all they can do is sing,” says British playwright Jonathan Harvey. “When I was growing up my straight brother hated that bit, and I loved it.” Jonathan is known for the international hit play and film Beautiful Thing and TV show Gimme Gimme Gimme, but he is no stranger to musical theatre: he wrote the book for the 2001 Pet Shop Boys musical, Closer to Heaven. More recently, he has penned the only authorised musical about one of the biggest gay icons of all time, Dusty Springfield, which will premiere in the UK in 2018. As a writer, Jonathan feels the biggest challenge is to “make it seem normal that people burst out singing” – but it’s these “magical moments” which he believes appeal especially to gay men. And then, of course, there is the drama – often played out through the luminous figure of the diva, so cherished by gay men. Dusty Springfield. Vuonna 1968. Image: Wikipedia “Dusty was a star who had everything, lost it all with drink and drugs, then made a huge comeback, and just as she got it all back again was diagnosed with breast cancer and passed away,” explains Jonathan, pointing to the tumultuous rise and fall that gay men, in particular, seem to understand and take to their hearts. “It’s also to do with the camp enjoyment of wanting the leading lady to be uber demanding,” laughs Jonathan, though he says that in his experience few are. It’s a sentiment that Ian Stewart – a lifelong musical theatre fan, known to his friends as Velma after the lead character in Chicago – understands only too well. “The diva is the undoubted star,” he says, “Glamorous, professional and generous to their fellow performers and fans – and, yes, some others can be completely deluded bitches – and we love them for that!” Escapism and the feeling of being an outsider also seem to play a leading role in the appeal of musicals to gay men. “The glitzy world of musicals draws them in,” Ian says. “It often allows them to create a character for ourselves who is a Show Queen – while others imitate their show or movie idols.” Ian still treasures those special nights at the theatre, times which have allowed him, temporarily at least, to forget about the realities of what has often been a terrible and unfair world for him. Prince Edward Theatre in Old Compton Street, Soho, London UK. Now playing Aladdin. Photo: Shutterstock Jason Burridge is 26 years younger than Ian, but like him is a devoted musical theatre fan; indeed, his knowledge of shows is somewhat encyclopaedic, particularly the musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber. His all-time favourite ‘Diva’ is Elaine Paige, a performer who, he believes “when at her best, epitomises the sheer power and impact of acting through song”. A true show queen to Jason is a gay man who can “talk at quite a sophisticated level of discourse in terms of analysing and dissecting the art form”. Jason recognises such a creature immediately these days – for the last 15 years, he has inhabited online forums and discussion groups full of gay men obsessed with musical theatre. “You see gay men drawing endless comparisons and pitting of one woman against another on these sites,” he says. “It can be tiresome. Gays will always fight for their favourites to the death, and not many who are really into their music or theatre are willing to see things with balance or recognise the merits of all these women.” Jason’s observations tap into another, sometimes amusing, often vicious trait amongst some gay men: their love of a good feud – and “the ultimate feud is a diva feud, isn’t it?” Jason remarks with a wink. Magnificent Musicals Hello, Dolly! Gay icon extraordinaire returns to the Broadway stage as matchmaker extraordinaire Dolly Levi. Expect fabulosa gowns and La Midler’s unique charm and campery. Hamilton Mega hit Broadway musical about the life of American founding father, Alexander Hamilton. Sung through hip hop and rap – if that’s your bag. Coming to London soon. War Paint One for Diva loving Show Queens. Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole play rival makeup pioneers Elizabeth Arden and Helena Rubenstein on Broadway. Patti LuPone was infamously ‘let go’ from the 1994 Broadway production of Sunset Boulevard – before she even got to the stage when the role was given to Glenn Close. Divas, like scorned gay men, have long memories.  
  25. My nipples are also a sensitive spot for me. I even went a step further and got them pierced. Touch them and you can talk me into ANYTHING!
  26. I love to swallow then being told to lick it clean
  27. London’s annual Pride festival is the highlight of the gay calendar. Alex Hopkins from Gays.com looks at this year’s highlights. Pride in London Love Happens Here The theme of this year’s festival – in recognition of the 50-year anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales – is “Love Happens Here.” The festival runs from 24 June to 9 July. Organisers promise the “most vibrant Pride ever”, which will send a defiant message of solidarity to those countries across the world where LGBT people still live in fear of their lives. Photo: James Courley The Parade The Pride parade, the highlight of the festival, will occur on Saturday 8 July. It kicks off at 1pm and takes place through central London on the main thoroughfares, Oxford and Regent Street, finishing in Whitehall at around 4.30pm. The focal point, as ever, will be Trafalgar Square, scene of the Pride stage. Thousands are likely to attend in what promises to be a smorgasbord of colour and campery. Photo: Tate Britain Culture Vulture Understanding where we’ve come from is vital for us LGBT people – it means we’re connected and belong. This year’s Pride will be launched in conjunction with Tate Britain, which is currently hosting a superb exhibition dedicated to Queer British Art 1861 – 1967. The official launch event at Tate Britain is on 24 June and is free for all. Expect a thoroughly bona evening of music, talks and performance exploring our unique heritage. Photo: The Trading House For the ladies… It’s grandeur all the way for the ladies who like ladies as the former Bank of New Zealand, no less, hosts the official women’s after-party on Saturday 8 July. Bespoke cocktails will be served in the sumptuous colonial setting – the ideal establishment for women who mean business to put their feet up and take a well-earned break. Photo: Club Kali East meets West Club Kali celebrates the very best of Bollywood and Bhangra – with top 1980s tunes thrown into the mix. London Pride 2017 will see it mark an incredible 22 years. The theme of the night (Saturday 1 July) is Bollywood and Hollywood, so why not take this opportunity (as if you need one) to channel your favourite classic star for the night? Surfing Pride Party London Set for some surfing? Summer brings out all the hot bodies (even summer in London – keep your fingers and everything else crossed!). Head to Clerkenwell and Social (centrally located near Farringdon Tube) for the Southbank Surfing Pride Party on 8 July, where a heated outdoor terrace will prove the perfect setting for the ultimate outdoor Prosecco party. Pride Prom 2017. Photo: Pride in London Pride Prom! LGBT young people are our future – and recognising the need for safe spaces, the Mosaic LGBT Youth Centre give you the Pride Prom on 1 July, an event especially for under-18s. Alice in Wonderland is this year’s theme – and much inspiration is promised, through entertainment, music and dance, on the other side of that rainbowed mirror. London's Victoria Park. Photo: Victoria Park Friends Group Triple sandwiches galore… If parades and parties aren’t your bag, and you’re after some more chillout fun (no, not that kind of chillout – though there will be plenty of those too, no doubt), head over to east London’s Victoria Park on Sunday 2 July for the Pride picnic. Victoria Park is one of London’s most beautiful public spaces, and the day promises an eclectic programme with everything from dance to drag. The action is set around the magnificent Bandstand. Photo: Simon Bennett Showbiz spectacular! For several years now, London’s iconic Southbank has hosted London Wonderground, a vibrant fair-like space which offers entertainment for everyone. Head over to the Paradiso Spiegeltent on Monday 3 July for an intoxicating night of entertainment and music at the Pride in London Spectacular – the focus being on the diverse and dramatic range of talent from London’s LGBT community. Pride's Got Talent 2016 winner, Jack Feureisen. Photo: Pride in London Testing talent Finalists of this year’s Pride’s Got Talent – think X-Factor and America’s Got Talent, but gayer (is that possible?) – will take to the stage in Trafalgar Square on 8 July. Regular X-Factor judge Sinitta is billed as this year’s Pride’s Got Talent ‘Godmother’ – though, of course, by the time she takes to the stage, the most enjoyable part of the competition will be over: the schadenfreude that comes with wheedling out the car crashes in the earlier heats. Other unmissable Pride festivals this summer… Tel Aviv Pride: 4-10 June NYC Pride: 25 June Athens Pride: 10 June 



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