#lgbthealth

HIV Diagnoses Rose Faster Among Young Gay, Bisexual Men, New Study Says

Do you think the youth of America are getting tested? Are teens and twenty somethings taking the responsibility and testing for HIV?

New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that HIV diagnoses are rising faster for young men who have sex with men (MSM) than for their older MSM peers. However, the extent to which the rates are being driven by increased testing or by an increase in transmission is unclear.

The CDC reported that between 2008-2016, the annual number of new HIV diagnoses among young MSM (those aged 13-29) increased by 3 percent per year, while decreasing 4 percent per year among MSM aged 30-49, and remaining virtually unchanged for MSM over the age of 50. Overall, the number of new infections among the youngest cohort of MSM was four times higher than among the 50-plus age group, MD Magazine reports. - mdmagazine.com

So are younger men getting tested more and therefore being diagnosed more?  Are the "older" men not getting tested as much?

Andrew Mitsch, MPH, an epidemiologist with the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, said the age-cohort disparities themselves were not a surprise, but he and his colleagues were struck by the size of the gaps. However, Mitsch told MD Magazine® the increase in diagnoses among young MSM might not be due to risky behavior.

“The increase in annual HIV diagnoses among younger gay and bisexual males might reflect increased HIV testing, in addition to ongoing transmission,” he said. “Our report suggests that the public health community and partners are reaching more members of this vulnerable group with HIV testing. It’s important to note, however, that some younger gay and bisexual males—like American Indian and Asian—are presenting at diagnosis with advanced immunosuppression.” - mdmagazine.com

But here in Wilton Manors, it seems every Friday and Saturday night there is at least one mobile testing center parked near one of the 14 gay bars on Wilton Drive. In my head, I'm thinking ... I hope the young men of our community are using this service.  Maybe I should just be thinking every gay man should be taking advantage of this service.  

Of course, when ever we mention HIV these days, the PrEP debate/usage comes up as well.

One issue hanging over the discussion is utilization rates of PrEP, the pre-exposure prophylactic. Overall usage remains very low and varies widely by region. A letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine earlier this month highlighted some of those disparities.

“[T]hough the CDC estimates that more than 1.1 million people in the United States would benefit from PrEP, it has been prescribed to less than 150,000 people since it went on the market,” wrote Robert H. Goldstein, MD, PhD, of Massachusetts General Hospital, and colleagues. “Of these prescriptions, nearly 75% went to white gay or bisexual men, predominantly those living in the Northeast or on the West Coast.”

Mitsch agreed that access to PrEP remains an issue, but he said awareness is also a challenge.
“There is still work to do to increase knowledge of PrEP among both health care providers and a broader population of people who would benefit from its use,” he said. - mdmagazine.com

The best thing for all of this is communication.  Communication with your doctors, with your partners, and even with your friends.  Even a heated debate is one where HIV/AIDS is being discussed. It's a topic, a worry, a concern that will be with us for many years to come. 

When was the last time you were tested?  I get tested twice every year, once in April (my birth month) and once at Thanksgiving. It's just easy for me to remember and it's now habit since 1998, when I became sexually active. And to be honest, there are years where I have more tests than sexual partners. 

Do you have a personal schedule for getting tested? Or do you wait until you think you might have "a scare" and then get tested?


h/t: mdmagazine.com

THE DISAPPOINTMENTS - New Web Series Focusing On An Overlooked LGBTQ Generation. Can You Relate?

At the age of 44, I've apparently passed into gay death as well as suffered normal mid-life crisis time. Neither one is promising at all. What is there to look forward to? Which one of my nieces or nephews is going to help make sure my old gay shell of am man is taken care of when I get older? Did I plan right so I don't need someone else's assistance.  Yep, they always said plan for later.  Well, later is coming up pretty soon. 

Someone must have heard my thoughts and concerns for a new web series is looking to address these issues?  Will they give me some pointers? Make me realize I am not alone? Do it all with a chuckle and maybe a cry?  I think all of the above.

Based on actual events, THE DISAPPOINTMENTS is a darkly comedic web series that looks at pivotal issues men face as they navigate their 50’s: What do you do when you realize that time is running short, the road behind you is longer than the road ahead, and your job, your relationship, or lack thereof, and your life has not turned out the way you had hoped and planned when you were young? 

Rocked by the suicide of one of their own, a successful television producer, these men are forced to face the failures and disappointments found in their own lives; the fallout from faltering careers, empty bank accounts, the scrambling to figure out how to reinvent themselves, and setting themselves up to survive in the decades yet to come.

What makes this series important and why it needs to be made is that is shines a light on a vital segment of the LGBTQ community -- a rapidly increasing population of LGBTQ aging boomers-- that currently isn’t reflected in mainstream media or even in gay culture.

The project launches this week with an Indiogogo campaign to raise funds for the production of entire first season. As of publication time, fundraising was of to a good healthy start.

Screenwriter Rich Burns, whose credits include Disney animated movies, a Netflix TV series, and a soon-to-be produced gay-themed WWII feature based on his Outfest Award-winning screenplay “The Dunes of Overveen, is the series creator. He states:

The idea came from a dark place, actually. A few of us were at dinner, talking about a good friend -- a gay Hollywood producer -- who, depressed and struggling with money and career problems, had taken his own life. And he wasn’t the first. We knew others who had done the same thing, all within the last couple of years. These were gay men in their 40’s and 50’s, all of them hitting that age and suddenly feeling hopeless.

The story is told through the author’s unique and darkly comedic voice. “The series is painfully funny. These characters identify where they’ve fallen short and then take desperate action to turn their disappointing lives around. Most of their choices are ill-advised and the results are often straight-up disastrous.” 

The characters on this journey include;

- a hot, silver fox-type screenwriter, who, aging and struggling in his career, hopes to keep himself afloat until that next script sells by moving in with a rich, gorgeous and much younger boyfriend,

- a former sitcom star from the early 80’s who lately has been performing in truncated Broadway shows on cruise ships,

-  an unemployed actor with an estranged daughter who finds himself to be an unemployed department store fragrance salesman after an ugly meltdown in the makeup aisle,

and a host of other colorful characters both gay and straight.

The cast of actors include:

- James Campbell, (Broadway’s Forever Plaid)

- Michael Corbett (Two time Emmy winner, one of the hosts of the TV show Extra, Broadway veteran and former Young and the Restless star)

- Tom Berklund (Broadway’s A Chorus Line, The Addams Family, The Normal Heart). 

Campbell says all the actors were all drawn to this project for different reasons.

"For me it’s an opportunity to bring to light, some of the struggles, hopes, dreams and fears which we all shared, but had not necessarily shared so openly.” Corbett agrees and adds: “I know so many friends and colleagues in the community that just aren’t ready or prepared for this next life chapter, and the scripts really take you on their journey as you cry and laugh at the same time.”

The series in currently in the fundraising stages and looking for even more support from the LQTBQ community to hit their goals and begin production.  The Indiegogo campaign launched this week to a very successful start. 

Why did the team decide to go the crowd fund raising route? According to Burns:

The landscape of television and movies is constantly shifting, with streaming services leading the charge. Content is king and more and more people are bypassing the traditional routes, taking matters into their own hands. And the results can be astonishingly good. Our team has been inspired by filmmakers who have broken with the traditional paths to financing in order to protect their creative integrity. Coming directly to the audience to crowdfund our budget allows us to do the same.

To learn more about the show and watch a teaser video that gives a hint of what’s to come, click this link -- and donate! livepage.apple.com . We'll also include the video below.

 

(Photos and information courtesy of 'The Disappointments')

Men: Breast Cancer Symptons You May Need To Look Out For

"Men think they don’t have breast tissue, but they do."

Those were words Dr. Kristen Fernandez, medical director of the breast center at the MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in Maryland shared with MensHealth.com

When I think of men and breast cancer, I think of two very different things, man boobs and 9/11. 

It was recently shared in the New York Post that over a dozen men who were near Ground Zero have breast cancer.

“I was a healthy man before,” said Silverstein, an Army veteran who has lived in Battery Park for 30 years.

The breast-cancer cases are just the latest tragic saga in the health woes of those who spent time at Ground Zero.

Nearly 10,000 people have suffered cancers linked to the toxic dust and smoke, the World Trade Center Health program reported. - New York Post

And of course having man boobs does not mean you are more susceptible to get breast cancer. It just means you have man boobs. Some more food for thought, when you develop glandular tissue in your breasts—as opposed to fat tissue—it's called gynecomastia. The culprits behind full-fledged man boobs largely have to do with your hormones (8 Things That Might Be Giving You Man Boobs - MensHealth.com)

Men have less breast tissue than women making the risk of breast cancer nearly nil, but it is still there.

We cis men of course have a bigger risk of testicular cancer, because, well, we have those round things down there, some even have three. The extra testicle is usually found in the left sac of the scrotum and it is often detected around age 18. Most often, men with polyorchidism will have three testicles but the record stands at five. We occasionally should check for pain or lumps in our basket of goodies, but how often do we check our breast tissue?


All people, whether male or female, are born with some breast cells and tissue. Even though males do not develop milk-producing breasts, a man’s breast cells and tissue can still develop cancer. Even so, male breast cancer is very rare. Less than one percent of all breast cancer cases develop in men, and only one in a thousand men will ever be diagnosed with breast cancer.

Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola. Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.  - Nationalbreastcancer.org


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  Do you know what to look out for?  Dr. Kristen Fernandez shared with MensHealth these four symptoms of breast cancer that guys should watch out for.

Lumps

Inverted Nipple

Nipple Discahrge

Open Sores

For more description on the above and the full article, head over to Menshealth.com.

When it comes to testicular cancer, do you need big or small ones?  Not at all.  So when it comes to the chest/breasts, fit or fat, big or small, do you check your breasts?  Let's take care of ourselves guys.

h/t:  Nationalbreastcancer.org, Menshealth.com, New York Post

 

How Much Do You Know About The Science Behind Who We Are?

Being a member of the rainbow family, it doesn't mean we know everything about other members, other letters of our alphabet soup. I have a lot to learn about the T,QQIAA, fluidity and so on. So when there is a chance to learn more, I take it.

What can science tell us about gender identity and gender dysphoria? This week AsapSCIENCE breaks down the science of being transgender in an educational and respectful way with the help of Gigi Gorgeous.

 

 

 

Of course, most of the people that are against us still believe that science cannot be used to explain science, dinosaurs, and global warming, but at least we can educate yourself.

  All photos are screen shots from The Science of Being Transgender ft. Gigi Gorgeous

Created by: Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown
Written by: Jodre Datu, Greg Brown and Mitch Moffit
Illustrated by: Max Simmons
Edited by: Sel Ghebrehiwot
Narrated by: Mitch Moffit

New York Aspiring Stripper Faces Life In Prison

New York Aspiring Stripper Faces Life In Prison


Geoffrey Tracy Claims Roommate Tried Molesting Him!

According to Back2Stonewall, Bodybuilder and Aspiring Stripper, Geoffrey Tracy stabbed his 50-year-old, gay roommate, Gregory Kanczes, last month in New York. Tracy pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense as he was being molested while he slept. Self-defense … but Kanczes was stabbed 16 times, hmm. Tracy has changed his story on the stab-ation and was stoned during the attack. It appears the two roommates slept in the same bed together.

Yikes! Talk about taking a roommate argument to the next level! I mean, sure, sometimes you truly blow your gasket when dishes are left in the sink for too long or the shower stains have gotten to be too much, but a sane, grown person would never actually murder their roommate.


 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Messy hair  don’t care  #happysunday

A post shared by Geoff Tracy (@geoffreytracy) on


Kanzces was taken to the hospital in critical condition and his current status remains unclear.

Tracy pleaded not guilty to attempted murder this week, even turning down a plea deal. If convicted, he’ll face life without parole.


This sounds like a tale as old as time in the gay community. A young-lost boy begins living with an older man with promises of a better life. The older “roommate” clearly wants more than just a platonic roommate and sex is put on the free-rent agreement.  There a desire and then a demand of some affection for his generosity, but unfortunately, the younger roommate just wants a place to crash.

We need to think using both heads people. Both parties may be in the wrong here. May the stabbing victim Kanzces have a quick recovery and hopefully Tracy will not be wielding a knife to end any arguments in the near future.


Writer’s Note: This is the opinion of one Instinct Contributor and does not reflect the views of Instinct Magazine itself or the other contributing Writers.

Back Door Prep: More Straight Men Are Anal Bleaching & Shaving. For The Same Reasons We Do?

How Spa-tastic are you?  Here's the grocery list of spa treatments I've had done at the hands of someone else.

  • Manicures - I've tried manicures twice, but I seem to get more hang nails after than I ever had before. Manis are permanently off my list. 
     
  • Pedicures - That is my go to treatment.  Give me a pedicure and that massage chair for 40 minutes and just take my money.  I'll gladly pay for a foot treatment at least once a month and I have even had one in an airport on a long lay-over and was well worth it.  Go ahead, buff those toe nails and maybe put a clear coat on.
     
  • Massages.  I'm a cheap man when it comes to massages and usually only get one if they are a gift from someone else (hint, hint).  One of the best I had was the 80-minute thermal energy massage in Punta Cana at the CHIC Resort (Travel Thursday: CHIC Resort Won Us Over With Its Staff, Relaxation, & Luxury).  I need to find that same treatment, but just more local and I will pay!
     
  • Facials - Well I am a bearded man so I did not think facials were worth it.  As part of my trip to Key west last month, I decided to try a facial at Ocean Key Resort & Spa (Travel Thursday: When Key West Calls, The Ocean Key Resort & Spa Has The Answer. ). Relaxing, cleansing, refreshing, and I would get it again.  For my first one, I went with a gentle facial and not a peel that I see some of my friends getting.  Maybe later.
     
  • Waxing - Can't do it.  It's not because of the pain, but instead, no matter all natural waxing or not, I break out like there's no tomorrow.  I don't need bacne/back acne, thanks.
     
  • Back buzz - (in place of the waxing) I'm guilty of having some extra extra back hair so usually 4 days or so before I travel to a place where my shirt may be off in public, I go into a friend's home salon and he buzzes my back.  He does other treatments and shavings there, but I've stuck with just the back for now.

Is that enough?   is that too much?  What else do you do?  Do you do more down there? Below the belt?

Related Post: What's the craziest naked thing you've done with a platonic friend?

I don't think any of those treatments make me more gay than the next guy or even more metrosexual.  I don't think any spa treatments reflect your Kinsey Scale number.  So when Menshealth.com shared a recent story about straight men getting anal bleaching done, I was like, "GOOD FOR THEM!"

Enrique Ramirez is a licensed esthetician. He’s been working in the salon industry for nearly two decades. Over the years, he’s provided a lot of different services to a lot of different people. But more recently, he’s been receiving inquiries from a specific demographic regarding a very specific service. More recently, he’s been getting straight guys asking about bleaching their butts.

For those who aren’t in the know, anal bleaching is a cosmetic procedure designed to lighten the color of the skin around the anus. (Porn, as well as the Kardashians, have been credited with helping to popularize the trend.) And while the procedure may seem extreme, not to mention costly (at his spa, the service costs $110 per session), the trend of below-the-belt grooming is not limited to his NYC-based clientele. And by "below the belt," we mean way below the belt. - Menshealth.com

Related Post: Shaving Your Butt. Looks Like Everyone Is Going There.

The numbers are on the rise for all men shaving more than their faces, shaving their boys, and making the other body opening more pearly white and we're not talking about the ears or the nose.

The Nivea for Men survey also found that almost 10% of guys regularly shaved their butts, and 24% admitted to having hopped on YouTube in search of instructions for how to do so safely. And they’re willing to enlist professionals to do the honors. - Menshealth.com

Head over to Menshealth.com to hear more about the Butt Reynolds and the Crack Daddy that one salon is offering at a new salon just for men that was opened because of the high demand and increase of male clients.

One salon owner says “I think anal [grooming] is becoming more accepted among men because women are more open to trying new sexual experiences, [pegging, bottoming, etc] and they want their men to be groomed."

Will I try anal bleaching?  Not sure.  I do keep the trunk of my car clean, even though no one ever uses it so maybe I should do the same for my body, just in case someone's junk needs to go in my trunk.


 

What is the extent of your grooming?

Are yu surprised that straight men are bleaching now?

Have you done anal bleaching and is it worth it?

 


h/t:  Menshealth.com

We Need to Stop and Give Thanks to Our Heroes. Moving MTV Video Gets Us in the Feels.

 

On August 23rd at 8/7c, Logo will be premiering Quiet Heroes, a documentary which focuses on two lesbian medical professionals who, during the peak of the AIDS crisis in Salt Lake City, become some of the only doctors willing to see AIDS patients in all of Utah. To connect the film to the modern-day HIV/AIDS epidemic, MTV created a short PSA that highlights the modern day “heroes” who, despite outsized stigma and fear, are supporting their friends and loved ones living with HIV.

 

The PSA video features 5 HIV+ young people who are boldly speaking out against the stigma that people living with HIV still face today. On camera, these young people are given the chance to thank a hero in their lives for helping them through difficult moments in their journey, and unbeknownst to them, their heroes are hidden on set listening to the beautiful, warm thank-yous.

 

 

 

To find ways to support people living with HIV, head to http://hero.mtv.com, and make sure to tune-in to the premiere of “Quiet Heroes” on August 23rd at 8/7c on Logo.

 

More information on Quiet Heroes is included below, and visit hero.MTV.com to find more ways that you can support those living with HIV.


 

About Quiet Heroes:

 

Dr. Kristen Ries, an infectious disease specialist, arrived in Salt Lake City on June 5, 1981—the same day the Centers for Disease Control first published a report on what would become known as AIDS. By the next year, Ries would encounter her first patient with the disease. Because of stigma and fear surrounding both AIDS and homosexuality, Ries and her eventual partner, physician assistant Maggie Snyder, became the only medical professionals in Utah willing to treat the growing number of people with HIV/AIDS. These patients, facing certain death in the early years of the epidemic, often had to keep their status a secret or risk ostracism from their families, workplaces, and religious communities.

 

Chronicles of the AIDS epidemic have typically focused on cities with large gay populations, like New York and San Francisco. Quiet Heroes instead reveals the impact of the disease on a less obvious, more conservative location—one that perhaps better mirrored the rest of the country at the time—as it shares the evocative story of these unheralded caregivers and their patients.

 

As part of the three-time Emmy Award-winning Logo Documentary Films, Quiet Heroes will make its broadcast debut on August 23rd at 8/7c. The film, which had its’ world premiere at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, is directed and produced by Jenny Mackenzie, Jared Ruga, and Amanda Stoddard. Pamela Post and Taj Paxton serve as executive producers from Logo Documentary Films.


H/t: to MTv.com and MPRM Communications for the press release and information.

Are We Aging Out Of Remembering The Emotional Fight Against AIDS?

Being 44, I was not even sexually active when the AIDS crisis was in full swing.  Graduating from high school in 92 and not being sexually active until 24, I didn't worry about HIV/AIDS.  But to be honest, maybe that's one of the reasons I was not sexually active earlier, the fear of HIV/AIDS. 

When talking with older friends, I've heard them tell the stories of losing loves and relatives to AIDS.  I don't have that personal connection to AIDS related deaths.  I think a lot of us do not have that personal history of death as now our friends and exes are living without that threat, without the worry of dieing from HIV/AIDS, but more worried about health care costs.  It's no longer a death sentence for us here in the United States which is an amazing thing, but it is still a diesase.

Gareth Johnson, from MainlyMale.com, caught up with Ron Dyer to talk about his memories and experiences with HIV.


When were you diagnosed as having contracted HIV?

It was 1994. I’d come home to Indiana after all of the the friends I knew had died — I thought it best to come home and face what future I had left in a familiar place.

I met my lover, and we started an upholstery business. It did well, and we finished raising his two children and my nephew.

My lover became ill in 1994. We were both diagnosed as being positive, and both given a year to live. He died in 1996.

What are some of your memories of those early days of the pandemic?

I was living in Dallas. I was was young, and doing the party life. I’d moved there in 1975. In 1981 I started hearing rumors of gay men becoming ill . It was no one I knew, so didn’t pay much attention. But later that year my roommate became ill, was hospitalized, and died overnight. It became very confusing.

After my roommate’s passing, many friends started passing and the gay community became frightened and targeted by the straight community. There’s something about that combination that has always put the backbone in the gay community — it was clear that we weren’t going to get help from the general public. Medical staff looked like they had just stepped out of a space ship, in some areas it was a problem to even have funeral services.

It took time, but with the support of some wonderful nurses and doctors, the gay community eventually had the time and space to fight for better medications, and better health care and disability.

What was the political climate at that time?

Many were fighting for their lives, and living very short lives, and taking their own lives in what they thought to be a dignified way — it was heart breaking. As far as I know, Ronald Reagan or his administration never once mentioned the pandemic that ravaged the world during his time in office.

The treatment landscape for HIV has evolved over the years. Do you think it’s important that young gay guys understand our community’s past experience with this virus?

It’s very important — not just that young people know the history of this disease, but how they’re able to live with the freedoms they have.

You can go on any hook-up site and put in your profile that you’ve been tested or that you’re on PrEP and no one questions you, they’re ready to hook-up . You put on your profile that you’re positive, and it’s no thanks. Honesty is not welcome.

The stigma of this virus is still hurting us.

Follow Ron Dyer on LinkedIn


We do need to remember our history.  We need to remember it so it does not repeat itself.  We need to realize what previous generations went through to help us get where we are today. Today, the fight involves pills and making sure costs are covered by health insurance. But as Dyer said, the HIV/AIDS stigma is still there.


Content republished with permission from Gareth Johnson

Originally from Australia, Gareth now lives in London. A non-smoker who loves to laugh, Gareth writes about all aspects of the LGBTQ experiences, with a particular passion for travel, sport, and films.

h/t: MailnyMale and Medium.com

Smoking and Vaping. Bigger in the LGBT Community? New Study on Teens Sheds Light on the Matter.

Is the jury still out on vaping?  Is it good for you?  Are there health risks? Does it actually help you quit smoking?  Are LGBT people vaping more than straight people?  Are people vaping that never smoked in the first place?

We'll have to wait and see about all of those questions above, but we're sure you have your own personal opinions about vaping.

But one question that has recently been answered is are members of the LGBT community vaping more than others?

A recent study by the Ohio Department of Health found that Ohio's gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender teens have substantially higher rates of e-cigarette use than straight youth. The study was conducted during the 2016-2017 school year.

  • LGB teens were far more likely to say they had vaped or smoked in the past 30 days than their straight or questioning counterparts.
     
  • Those who described themselves as transgender or gender nonconforming were far more likely to vape or smoke than their male and female peers.
     
  • Transgender teens used e-cigarettes at twice the rate of males or females, according to the survey.
     
  • Transgender or gender nonconforming were far more likely to vape or smoke than their male and female peers.

 

To feel a sense of belonging, to deal with stress, those were the two main reasons transgender students stated they vaped and/or smoked.

Are your LGBT friends smoking and vaping more than your straight ones?

Do you judge someone if they smoke or vape?

If you smoke or vape, do you feel judged?

 


h/t: Images from Cleveland.com

LOVELOUD 2018 - When In Utah, Let The Rainbow Flag Fly High

We were honored to be invited to the LOVELOUD Music Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Never being to Utah before, we had no idea what to expect from the festival, the city, or the state. What did we think of LOVELOUD 2018?  Here's some of my thoughts in video form.


I gave kudos to AT&T for donating the $1 Million to the LOVELOUD Festival and all of the causes the concert and weekend supports.  Some people when I mentioned AT&T sponsoring such a music festival jumped to the question, "Is this pink washing?"  This is where a corporation buys our attention with flashy colorful and supportive ads wanting us to move over to their side because they are waving a rainbow flag for 29.5 days during PRIDE month while not supporting other LGBTQ+ causes throughout the year and not supporting LGBTQ+ employees.  Would this be the case with AT&T?

Before I went to LOVELOUD, I asked to meet with AT&T VP of Advertising and Creative Services, Valerie Vargas, and asked her that pink washing question.  Instead of utilizing our banal term pink washing, she mentioned the phrase rainbow consumerism. She said she was aware of that practice by other companies, but AT&T had a vibrant and honest history of supporting and protecting the LGBTQ+ community.

AT&T was one of the first corporations in the country to adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation. That was in 1975.  Most states have not even accomplished that over 40 years later. Valerie hit on the other important LGBTQ+ / AT&T historical milestones that are also mentioned in this video.

I talked to Valerie about my own personal history with AT&T and hen asked her what's next for the company!  More music venues or more changes in policies and practices?  After she told me what was next, we came up with a quick little catch phrase for some AT&T employees in the near future - Trevor Trained.  AT&T is not just honestly supporting the rainbow, they're committed in helping.  Valerie stated AT&T had recently started a support and crisis program and already has a waiting list of employees desiring to be trained the same way that The Trevor Project workers are trained, to handle those tough calls from people that need help. My grin was quite large when I heard that AT&T was looking at ways to help our community, ways that will take time, more time than it takes to write a check. Keep up the good work AT&T. We need more corporations to step forward and not just do these things, but also tell the world they are doing these things.  AT&T has a large,far, and influential reach.

The AT&T support was evident everywhere, not just the signage, but the members of their corporation that were present.

Not to say they were outdone, but as mentioned in my vide above, the presence of Tim Cook shook!  For me at least, his being there and his speech were major highlights of the festival.  Here are Tim's words.

Over all, the concert was deemed a success.  There have been instances of complaints that the University of Utah was not structured to accommodate people in wheelchairs, the bathrooms were all not gender inclusive, and some trans attendees were confronted and misgendered. I was there, I saw that not all of the bathrooms were transgender, but there were some all-inclusive bathrooms as well as family bathrooms.  The elevators were just aas hard to find as the free water filling stations (it was so hot!), but once you found them, you knew where they were.

Dan Reynolds had this to say about the day.

 

 

My time in Utah was one to remember.  I'll talk more about the rest of my visit in Salt Lake City in a future Travel Thursday piece.

Going back to the beginning of the day, I was able to ask the last question of the panel discussion.  My question was, if you could ask anything of the media, since you have several LGBTQ+ and other outlets present, what would you ask the media to do to help your cause?

They all came together and stated the same thing ... make us be seen, allow us to be seen, assist LGBTQ+ performers and fellow citizens in being visible to the world.  We are everywhere, we are doing great things, we are great members of society, and we are great talents.  We exist.  Don't just report the bad things, but show that we are good, talented, and dedicated citizens. 

So, at the very end of this lengthy coverage, I will share the very up close, wowtastic, and shirtless videos and pictures of Dan Reynolds and Imagine Dragons (my camera wasn't the only thing that overheated as he took the stage), but before that, I want to share videos and pictures I took of the event with my new trusty camera, videos of fellow LGBTQ+ citizens performing for a good cause, our cause, society's cause (you can watch the whole concert here). As promised here's Kalen Allen's Blue Carpet interview followed by other performers and attendees.

KALEN ALLEN

 

 

VINCINT X PARSONS

 

 

TYLER GLENN - I seriously need to download more of his music!

 

 

JUSSIE SMOLLETT

 

 

KALEN ALLEN - in his Beyonce moment.

 

 

MIKE SHINODA - Ghosts

 

 

MARY LAMBERT - a smooth rendition of "Jessie's Girl"

 

 

ZEDD

 

 

GUS KENWORTHY

 

 

WRABEL - THE VILLAGE  - one of my favorite songs of all time.

 

 

THIS IS ME -  You can hear me talking to the proud dad of one of the singers as he stood behind me.

 

 

MALE DANCERS - A very moving performance.

 

 

 

and now .... IMAGINE DRAGONS!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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