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Thursday, January 31, 2013

The End Of January...


"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."
Albert Camus

Today is the last day of January, 2013. Six weeks of the official meteorological season of winter are now over.  Ever so slowly, the hours of daylight are growing. The march towards the end of the cold, freezing and frozen time of the year progresses with the passing of each and every day. The optimist that I am convinces me that the "invincible summer" within me will sustain me through the remainder of these dreary days until the Spring arrives. 

That's what is good about the final day of January, 2013. This date marks the passing of the raw month and leaves only one full month left before March and the arrival of warming temperatures, longer days and Springtime! The fact that the upcoming month is also the shortest month of the year offers an additional consolation. Better times are steadily approaching.  Hope springs eternal. The new season of Spring isn't all that far away! 

I'm only too glad to see January 31, 2013! Happy January 31 to all!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Iam(A)ga(Y)te(K)eeper: New Home


Author Marc Clark and his blog, Iam(A)ga(Y)te(K)eeper, are now located back home here on Blogger.com. This blog was one of the very first gay blogs that I ever followed and for many years it was found on Blogger. Then, last year, Marc moved over to WordPress.com. After a brief residence there, it has moved again back to Blogger.com. Here's the new address: http://www.iamagaytekeeper.blogspot.com . Click on the link to visit his new home, add the addy to your favorites and to register as a follower.

I posted this information on a weekend entry at DQN In Northern Virginia back in early December. In case anyone missed it due to the winter holiday hustle and bustle, I'm sharing it again. Please stop in and wish Marc a warm "welcome back."

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!


The above graphic was created by artist Maurice Pegasi for his blog, Princes of the Alhambra, for a post in honor of Iam(A)ga(Y)te(K)eeper. Visit the artists' blog, another of my favorites, by clicking on the link here: http://www.mauricepegasi.blogspot.com .

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Commonwealth Of Virginia: Proof Why ENDA Is Necessary


Gay Judge In Virginia: Blind Justice 

For detailed background information on this post, please review previous entries on DQN In Northern Virginia: "Commonwealth of Virginia: Disgrace And Shame" (May 21, 2012), "Commonwealth of Virginia: Convoluted Logic" (May 22, 2012) and "Commonwealth of Virginia: Jump For Justice" (June 21, 2012).

The Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) has languished in the halls of the Congress for years now, unable to be passed by a majority of both Congressional houses. One of the protected classes under this legislation is the GLBT population. Religious extremists and ultra-right bigots argue that it's unnecessary because queer people aren't facing discrimination. Events transpiring in the Commonwealth of Virginia (my home state) House of Delegates this past year are proof positive that this protection is not only needed, it's absolutely mandatory if this country is to live up to its reputation as "land of the free."   

In May 2012, in the final days of the annual session of the Virginia General Assembly (legislative body), the House of Delegates (lower house), failed to approve the appointment of openly gay and Navy veteran Tracy Thorne-Begland, at that time Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Richmond, to the General District Court in the same city. Of 100 elected delegates, the official vote tally was 33 in favor (bipartisan), 31 against, ten abstentions and 26 legislators casting no vote whatsoever. The legislators arguing  in opposition publicly (and on legislative record) used the usual homophobic litany of "advancing the 'gay agenda' and homosexual recruitment."

Because the nomination wasn't passed by the House of Delegates, it never reached the state Senate for a vote. This blatant bigoted and discriminatory legislative action garnered the attention of both national and international media, broadcast and print, of both the GLBT and mainstream communities. The Virginia Bar Association, which had endorsed the appointment of Thorne-Begland, condemned the vote and publicly chastised the legislators. Even the archconservative and homophobic GOP Governor of Virginia was cornered into offering a lukewarm and weak "regret" over the incident.

By state law, when there is a vacancy on the judicial bench and the legislature is not in session, judges may convene and elect an interim appointee subject to legislative approval in the nest scheduled session. The City of Richmond jurists did just that, proving justice is indeed blind and handed to the state House of Delegates its ultimate insult: doing what is fair and right in the eyes of the law.

On June 14, 2012, after the legislators returned home, the judges of the City of Richmond Circuit Courts convened, flexed their collective muscle and unanimously voted to seat Tracy Thorne-Begland as probationary judge on the General District Court, 13th Judicial District located in the Manchester Courthouse in the City's southside. The indecisive legislators and ardent homophobes were forced to munch on that dish of the proverbial crow until the House was back in session in January, 2013.

Blind justice as practiced by the City of Richmond judges, the judicial and not the legislative arm of government, finally evolved into poetic justice when the Virginia General Assembly was called to order for its 2013 session this year. One of the first orders of business was the issue of either confirming or rejecting the Commonwealth's only openly gay judge. The moment of truth finally back in the collective laps of the legislature.  Having been publicly chastised and humiliated by their disgusting behavior last Spring, evidently the citizens had conveyed their displeasure to their respective representatives so history would not repeat itself.

The House of Delegates, despite an effort by GOP and other associated bigots, passed Tracy Thorne-Begland's nomination to the judiciary with a vote of 66-28 with one abstention and five representatives not voting.. The delegate vote was bipartisan with more than 30 GOP members opting to confirm. Not wanting to risk another embarrassing incident, the House of Delegates conducted the approval after a brief interview with the nominee and then a full vote.

The nomination bill then went directly to the state Senate where it was fast-tracked for a vote. The senators approved the nomination 28-0 with twelve GOP members not voting rather than publicly going on record as opposed to the candidate. Obviously, they were shamed by the earlier media exposure and also fearful of being labelled as "prejudiced" or worse. The homophobic GOP Governor did not hesitate to assent to the bill. Tracy Thorne-Begland is now an official openly-gay judge and no longer temporary.

This entire disgusting and hateful episode underscores the necessity of the Federal protection that ENDA provides. The "Jim Crow" mentality is alive and well in the "New" South and in a state just across the Potomac River from the national capital. Discrimination and marginalization persist even in this relatively new century just as it did in the old. Old habits always fade away slowly when there are no Federal prevention guidelines to guarantee equality for all.

The fact that this travesty of justice involved such blatant exclusion by a body of elected representatives only heightens the urgency of ENDA. It proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that stupid and stigma exist well beyond the perceived limits of the electoral process. The time for the passing of ENDA is now, before another similar incident occurs within the Commonwealth of Virginia or elsewhere.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!      

Monday, January 28, 2013

Nakation Planning


One of the fringe benefits of a cold and dreary January is that it allows time for researching and planning those wonderful nakations for the upcoming spring and summer seasons. Nothing provides a better distraction from the inclimate weather outside than perusing brochures and websites offering sun and surf thrills. It's comforting and uplifting to remember that warmer temperatures will once again return.

For the one's who prefer the cooler or colder climates, this is also the ideal time to plan those escapes to the Southern Hemisphere. With opposite seasons, it allows the pleasures of winter on a year-round basis. An endless adventure in the snow that eliminates the need for putting away the outerwear and accessories.  


I find comfort in browsing through travel and destination brochures, magazines and websites while the temperatures outside are freezing and harsh. It's a welcome distraction from dwelling on the misery beyond the walls of my condominium. Rather than focusing on the negative aspects of the winter season, as a heat-and-humidity man, I instead concentrate on planning for the fun times to be had in the very near future. A perfect exercise in attitude adjustment. 

Advance planning offers another distinct advantage for nakationers. Scheduling and booking this far ahead sometimes provides great savings. Several times, with the amount of money that I've received in discounts, I've been able to afford an additional holiday excursion to either a new destination or to an old, tried and true favorite. Another week in the sun to anticipate with better weather! 

Besides, what else is there to do on a cold winter's day? Bitch and moan about the arctic winds and the freezing temperatures? Even the mere act of contemplating warmer climates and times is far more productive than complaining about conditions over which we have no control. Plan ahead, avoid the last minute rush and then sit back and know for certain that those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer" are headed your way!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Equality Action Alert


NOM, those bigoted, extremist haters, are organizing a protest on March 26, 2013, the scheduled date for arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court over the challenge to California's Proposition 8 concerning marriage equality. Anyone within the vicinity of Washington DC, is encouraged to attend a counter queer action for marital equality for everyone.

Thanks to my blogger brother, Wonder Man at Maybe it's just me... blog for the heads-up notice on this upcoming community activist event. Visit his blog: http://www.southern4life.blogspot.com .

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

What A Week It Was...


President Obama's Second Inauguration is one that most of us will not ever forget. His speech didn't end all the discrimination and hatred by any means. But it did put the nation and the world on notice that our rights are indeed civil rights that can no longer be ignored. President Obama used both the prestige of his office and the prestige of the inaugural event to elevate our struggle for equality onto the national agenda.


I actively supported President Barack Obama in both 2008 and 2012. This past election, I voted early so that I could spend all day on Election Day nude, but I also proudly displayed my confidence in his ability to effectively guide our country.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Nude Hoops: A New Shirts And Skins Game



Here are the new rules and the new name for the game: a queer naturist/nudist twist on the tired old court scrimmage of Shirts & Skins! It's now known as Shirtless and Skins. One team plays wearing no jersey or shirt; the opposing team plays totally nude! The rules are essentially the same. Now, we all know for certain which team I'll be playing on! That one is a no-brainer!



No basketball court has ever seen the action that this innovative take on the stand-by competition will generate! The spectator bleachers will surely be packed to capacity. What better sight to behold than bouncing balls dribbling balls down the court?

The truth is, I have played nude B-ball before. It wasn't the modest Shirtless & Skins variety, but honest-to-goodness bare-assed naked basketball. All players were hanging loose and hanging free. The means we used to distinguish the teams was by wearing a bandanna around our necks. Reds versus blues, yellows versus greens, etc. Five man teams and ten men racing nude all over the court. That, my brothers, is basketball the way it was intended to be played!

And, while we're on the topic of hoops, how about a new makeover for the National Basketball Association (NBA) logo? Take a look at the proposal below! Got game?

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

In Appreciation And A Nude And Queer Friendly Retreat


I am truly grateful and humbled by all of the love shown to me during the past week of anniversary celebration here on DQN In Northern Virginia. I appreciate all of the congratulatory comments on each of the posts and the numerous emails awaiting me over the course of the days. I am deeply moved by the outpouring of kindness from all of you! Every act of support has made all the effort of the past three years worthwhile. Thank you!

Friendship is a truly remarkable experience for everyone involved. At times it tests our patience and saps our energy. However, more often than not, it brings to all of us innumerable rewards, treasures and benefits. Such is the case here. Your friendship is priceless. My love to all of you!  


I spent the anniversary weekend on a spiritual retreat. I left last Thursday, late morning, ahead of the approaching snowstorm, in order to be at the monastery/retreat center by noon on Friday. The site is located in a mountainous area of western Pennsylvania. The abbey is home to Eastern Orthodox monks. The retreat was the first offered in North America solely for queer Greek Orthodox men and their partners.

The weekend was refreshing and rejuvenating, focusing on what is good and productive about our Orthodox faith and traditions. There was a major emphasis on charitable acts, on compassion and on forgiveness for both perceived and real wrongs committed by others. In other words, what is affirming to us as gay men and on the positive aspects of religion. At no time did I sense any condemnation nor judgment from any of the monastic brothers.

This spiritual respite was a welcome change from the often hateful and hurtful environment that modern Christianity has become. I'm always bewildered and conflicted over how a belief system based on brotherhood, love and tolerance is consistently misrepresented and twisted by its followers and their leaders into one of exclusion, marginalization and violence. This four-day retreat was a true back-to-basics journey into what religion is all about.

During our recreation/leisure time daily, we were permitted to use the heated, indoor pool. As this was an all-male community (monastery) and an exclusively male retreat, nude swimming was allowed. Initially, my boyfriend and I were the only pair taking advantage of this. By the end of our first hour of  free time, others were also enjoying the aqua-nude opportunity. By Monday morning, more than half of the participants were swimming naked.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Another Year Of Blogging: Come Out Swinging


The year is still young, barely three weeks old, but there is another opportunity for nude beginnings. This past weekend, DQN In Northern Virginia observed its' third anniversary (January 19). Yesterday, the USA officially began the second administrative term of our 44th president, President Barack Hussein Obama. So, a new presidential administration and a fourth year of blogging occurring back-to-back. Yes, it isn't too late for a fresh start.

Obviously, I can't speak on President Obama's agenda. I wish him the best and I do know that he's doing what he can to improve and better our nation and its' citizens. That's the reason that I've supported him in two elections and volunteered for his campaign both times. I am confident of the man and his abilities.

On DQN In Northern Virginia, I am in a position to address. First and foremost, I am sincerely grateful to all of you who visit here for your loyalty and your support. I am truly humbled and overwhelmed. Three years ago, I couldn't even imagine what this experience would produce. I am honored to share it with all of you. Each one of you have made the challenges, the efforts, the frustrations and the labors worthwhile and have contributed to make the site here the success that it is. Thank you!

I began this blog with the purpose of providing a space for queer naturists/nudists that is affirming and informative. A site that presents a men who have sex with men nude perspective. Where we can find images of same gender loving nudity and information on issues affecting our fraternity. A secondary goal was to include concerns that face our broader gay community. We are, after all, a part of that group as well. This dual approach has, at times, been daunting and perhaps somewhat  overwhelming from my seat as the author. However, I hope it has offered a viewpoint not usually presented within the mainstream gay media.

In an effort to keep DQN In Northern Virginia interesting and relevant , each year I added a new feature. The first year, it was "Nude Novice Notes," a monthly piece  discussing topics that may be important to those new to queer nudism as well as to those who've been personally and/or socially naked for most of their adult lives.

The first year of this blog featured "Nude Novice Notes." A monthly series initially targeting those new to nudism but has evolved into attracting both "newbie" and veteran social nudes as well as those curious about living clothes free. The second year, "Nudecentric Briefs" was added. It focused on the world of nudity and issues of interest to those actually "living-the-life." Periodically, this segment, sometimes monthly and occasionally more often, contained milestones on various gay nudist groups and organizations. 

This past year, 2012, the third year of DQN In Northern Virginia, witnessed the addition of "Friday Footnotes," a feature published on an "as needed" basis to offer follow-up or updates on personalities, posts or topics previously contained on these pages. I also expanded this site with three new pages, the tabs located directly underneath the title bar above. The pages contain data on visual artists and their sites, nudist and queer resource sites and a page devoted to Deaf and queer culture. 

One of the planned "extras" for 2013, the fourth year, is another page, this one of quotes and proverbs relating to same gender loving men and practicing social nudist men. Development is underway and a publication date is planned for the arrival, or near arrival, of Spring, 2013. At this time, I'm still toying with some ideas for another novel addition. If anyone cares to offer a suggestion, please use the comment icon at the bottom of this entry or email me: dqn.nova@gmail.com.

Once again, I sincerely appreciate your support of DQN In Northern Virginia. 

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


"As long as one of us are oppressed, none of us are really free."
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968

Dr. King's convictions, deeds and legacy continue to inspire us all.
Let's all remember his actions and his words.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Anniversary Trilogy: Part III


It's the final day of DQN In Northern Virginia's Anniversary Weekend! Three years of clogging the wireless airwaves with celebrations, challenges, dreams, frustrations, ideas, manifestos, parties, rallies, realities and struggles of same gender loving nudity. It seems like only yesterday that I was waking up the morning after beginning this blog, thinking: What the hell have I gotten myself into?

So now, as this event draws to a close, I have a few final images and sentiments to share as a part of the occasion. It's been both a learning and rewarding experience, personally. What I'll forever recall the most is the outpouring of kindness, love and support from all of you over the past three years. I am eternally grateful and in your debt.

As a humble and small token of my appreciation, I give you these images of joy and happiness. I promise that I will give you my best efforts to make the upcoming year one of the best at DQN In Northern Virginia. There's no doubt it will be a chore; at the same time, it is also a labor of love.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Your kindness has inspired me.

In appreciation I dance. 

I tip my hat in a salute to you. 

And send to you my message of love. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Anniversary Trilogy: Part II


DQN IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA
JANUARY 19, 2010 - JANUARY 19, 2013

THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT!

IT HAS BEEN A MEMORABLE HONOR FOR ME!

CHAMPAGNE FOR EVERYONE!

HERE'S TO THE PAST THREE YEARS AND TO THE ONE AHEAD! 
PEACE! GET NAKED. ENJOY!






Friday, January 18, 2013

Anniversary Trilogy: Part I



About Me: Why DQN?


A new year and a new beginning. So why not another new adventure? Creating my own independent blog. I'm not new to blogging, I've blogged and co-authored on several other sites. However, this experience is new, exciting and a little intimidating. A creative and growth challenge. Also, another reason to exercise that organ that is stored inside my cranium! So, here goes!

For starters, Why DQN? Well, it's a small matter of self-identification. It's simply how I see myself in this huge complex world in which we live. First, D = Deaf. I am a Deaf man struggling to exist in a primarily hearing universe. Believe it or not, my Deafness does affect my worldview and how my world views me. I am culturally Deaf, so that is why the "d" in Deaf is capitalized.

Secondly, Q = Queer. I am a Queer/Same Gender Loving/Gay man struggling to survive in a primarily heterosexual society. My sexual orientation does impact my perspective on some issues and trust, it absolutely has a tremendous influence on how most of society, as a whole, perceives me! Personally, I prefer the identity of same gender loving (SGL). However, I use queer because initially, it was a pejorative term used to degrade that, through ownership, I can use to empower me and disempower those who wish to harm.

Thirdly, N = naturist/nudist. I am a man who prefers, enjoys, and thrives living textile-free (without clothes/clothing) in a predominantly textile environment. My nudity does sway how I interpret certain situations and it is very influential in how the broader culture judges me. As a naked man, however, these judgments don't prevent me from living naturally and honestly.

Finally, Northern Virginia is where this naked, queer Deaf man resides with his three marginalised communities. Specifically: Arlington, Virginia. Home of The Pentagon and of Arlington Cemetery, where the victims of decisions made inside The Pentagon are finally laid to rest.

This concludes my initial introduction of myself through explaining the title of this blog. Wow! The first step wasn't that difficult! I'll probably return for more! Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!


Author's Note: I like to repost this, my very first blog entry, every year for the anniversary of DQN In Northern Virginia. It helps to remind me both of the reasons and the emotions I had for beginning this journey. It also serves as introduction to any new readers here. This was originally published on Tuesday, January 19, 2010. For my Third Anniversary, it is the first installment of a trilogy of back-to-back postings for this occasion.

Also note that on the original, my customary ending, "Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!" was at the end of the final paragraph and not as the article closing.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Upcoming Holiday Weekend...Shed Your Clothes!


A fast approaching holiday weekend ! 
In the Washington, DC, metropolitan area, it's a four day weekend!
In all of the country, it's at least a three-day holiday!
Time for us all to celebrate free from the hindrance of those cumbersome clothes! 

In addition to the regular two-day weekend,
Monday is:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
January 21, 2013

Tuesday is President Obama's 
Second Term Inauguration Day.
January 22, 2013 


And add to the festivities for those two dates,
it's also
DQN In Northern Virginia's
Third Anniversary!
January 19, 2010-January 19, 2013
Anniversary posts Friday, Saturday and Sunday

So step out of those clothes and celebrate nude!

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

This One Might Bite Us On The...


Pastor Louis Giglio was invited by President Obama to deliver the invocation at his second inauguration next week. This was announced early last week and almost immediately the queer community was up-in-arms over his inclusion on the official program. Apparently, sometime in the mid-1990s, Mr. Giglio delivered a homily to his congregation condemning homosexuality as a sin. 

The furor mounted and by late last week, Mr. Giglio withdrew from the ceremony. Shortly thereafter, it was announced by the White House that he was officially not participating in the Inauguration. A sure victory for the GLBT community and their friends. But, was it really and at what price? Was it even worth the effort? 
 
President Obama has the privilege to invite whomever he pleases as a part of the inaugural program. His theme for this, his second term in office, is "Our People, Our Future." To me, this means one country, one direction. Our President has always been an advocate for equality and inclusion. After all, he is the President of the United States. He is the President of Us All. He isn't just the President of the GLBT community and our allies, he's the President of our haters and oppressors as well. Completely the opposite of his predecessor who was the President of "Only Those Who Think And Act Like Me."  
 
We all know that this President has embraced the GLBT population of this nation. He has proudly welcomed us and included us at the table. His stand on equality is and has always been, very open and very public. Hell, even his very public evolution on marriage equality cost him some voters and fueled his opposition in the recent election.  
 
Our President invited Mr. Giglio to deliver a prayer at the inaugural event knowing his past history. Mr. Giglio accepted the invitation knowing our President's beliefs and his support of diversity, fairness and inclusion. "Our People, Our Future" playing out on the national stage in full view of the country and the world. Americans coming together in hope of building a better world for us all. A weaving together of all the different threads that make up our national fabric.  
 
The tapestry of unity unravelled with the opposition of the GLBT constituency. All of this over an isolated sermon delivered almost twenty years ago; in a different age and a different time. We don't know if Mr. Giglio even believes the same way now. Hell, he, like President Obama, may even have evolved on this issue. Others have changed their outlook in the course of even twenty days. Mr. Giglio may even have changed his over the past decade or so. Or, maybe he hasn't. Regardless, even a misguided or unfounded belief, with no history of exclusion advocacy or segregationist policies, is hardly grounds for protesting a persons ability to offer a prayer for national unity. This is a brief invocation that few, if any, listen. It's not a public policy directive. There are far greater axes to grind and hurdles to overcome.
 
In my humble opinion, we wasted time and effort over a minor issue. We lost political capital and public support. Up until this point, we, the GLBT community, were the wronged. We were denied opportunity and freedom. Our people were under attack. Now, we are the ones excluding others. It's now our way or no way.
 
With this unfortunate incident, we have collectively lost our innocence. We've proved ourselves no different from the bigots, haters, oppressors and religious extremists who persecute us. We stooped down to their level. Now, we have to lie with the dogs.
 
I fear that's a high price to pay for such an empty, hallow gain.
 
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!  

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Nude Novice Notes: Stripping


COME ON OUT OF YOUR CLOSET OF CLOTHES AND WELCOME TO THE WORLD OF SOCIAL NUDITY! 


When I initiated this series, "Nude Novice Notes" on DQN In Northern Virginia, the purpose was to provide a resource for those among us beginning their journey into queer social nudism. An informational collection of topics potentially of interest and relevance to men exploring or just entering the clothes-free social environment. It was never intended to become a comprehensive authority or "how-to" guide to nude life or living.

Over the years, I've received a number of emails concerning nude etiquette and social nudity practices. Some I've answered individually and others I've addressed in features as a part of this series. Throughout this experience, I realized that this vehicle was also being used as a tool for some veteran or practiced social nudists as well as novices or newcomers. That's fine. Whatever is needed to increase personal comfort and confidence while engaging and interacting in the naturist culture can only be a good thing has always been my philosophy.

Several weeks ago, just before the winter holiday season, I received an email from a reader who identified himself as a practicing nudist for almost six years. His question, "I've been stripping in public for nude parties and I want to know, is there a correct way to get my clothes off? Shirt first, then pants or the other way? I'd like to know this." 

I'm not aware of any formal guidelines or protocol for removing clothing, in private or in public. I could be wrong, but I don't think that it really matters what items are shed first. Actually, if it's a social nudist setting, I'm fairly certain no one is even paying attention.

Most people have their own routine for dressing and undressing. It's whatever they're comfortable with and convenient for themselves. Usually, men take it off in the same order that they put it on. That's not a requirement in any case.

What's important isn't the ritual of stripping but the end result of the process. We're getting naked for the experience and the socialization with our queer brothers. Rather than concerning ourselves with the "how-to," it's better to focus on both the event and our friends. Just as no one is concerned with how others arrived at the party, no one is really thinking about how anyone removed their clothes.

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Campaign For Southern Equality


Every Southern state has passed an amendment to their respective constitution recognizing as valid only those marriages that are between one man and one woman. A thinly disguised injunction specifically aimed at  denying GLBT people the right to marry. Not really too much of a surprise considering that this is the good old Bible belt where clergy can preach exclusion and hatred of us sinners and then run off late at night and commit adultery with whomever (either gender) they damn well please. Lawmakers do the same and, in some cases, worse. Welcome to the New South.  

Before anyone jumps up and tries to lynch me, allow me to explain. I was born and live in Virginia, home of the capital city of the Old South. You know, the states that tried to secede from the USA over the issue of slavery, thinly disguised, once again, as state's rights of self-determination. Southerners have this innate ability to say one thing when they damn well mean something entirely different. One quarter cup half-truth, three quarters of a cup bullshit. 

There is now a movement afoot in the South that is turning that fine old Southern tradition of not saying what you really mean on its cotton-picking head. The Campaign For Southern Equality (CSE) is conducting grassroots initiatives throughout the Bible belt in an effort to change not only popular attitudes but the laws discriminating against the GLBT citizens as well. What's more, this advocacy is beginning to gain attention and followers.

The CSE is sponsoring the WE DO project. Beginning early in the new year, state by state, same gender loving couples throughout the southeastern USA have applied for and been denied marriage licenses. The action culminates this upcoming Thursday, January 17, 2013, when couples will apply for permits to marry at Arlington County Courthouse, Arlington, Virginia. Once refused, they and supporters will walk the 4.5 miles across the Memorial Bridge into Washington, DC, ending at the Jefferson Memorial and taking their vows there, in accordance with District of Columbia laws.

The purpose of the CSE's WE DO project is to call for full equality under federal law and to resist unjust state laws.  The goal is to bring and end to discrimination and exclusion from the guarantees provided by the USA Constitution.

The link to the CSE website: http://www.southernequality.org .

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!  


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Gay Inaugural Poet

Contemplation

Openly queer author, Richard Blanco, is the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Poet. His honor is not only historic because of his being same gender loving, he is likewise the first Hispanic/Latino selected and the youngest ever to serve in this capacity. The forty-four year old Blanco, pictured below, is the fifth official poet of an inauguration. 

Richard Blanco

The custom of having an inaugural poet was initiated by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. The next president to appoint one was Bill Clinton in both 1993 and 1997. The practice was again used by President Obama for his first swearing in in 2009. Many poetic works have been composed surrounding both presidents and their official oaths, but only three chief executives have featured them and their works at the official ceremony.

Richard Blanco was born in Spain of Cuban parents. He lives with his partner in Bethel, Maine. President Obama's inauguration theme of "Our People, Our Future," appeals to him. In an interview, he offered that he wanted to write of the "salt-of-the-earth sense that I think all Americans have, of hard work, we can work it out together, that incredible American spirit that after 200-plus years is still there." 

Of President Barack Obama, Blanco adds: "I totally related to his life story and the way he speaks of his family and of course, his multicultural background." As do the majority of Americans, our 2013 same gender loving brother and inaugural poet. 

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy! 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Super Bowl: Divisional Strip Off, 2013


The Great Strip-Off for Super Bowl 47 begins this weekend.
Divisional Play-Offs are both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday, January 12, 2013:
Baltimore Ravens vs. Denver Broncos
4:30 p.m.

Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers
8:00 p.m.

Sunday, January 13, 2013: 
Seattle Seahawks vs. Atlanta Falcons
1:00 p.m.

Houston Texans vs. New England Patriots
4:00 p.m. 

Super Bowl 47: Sunday, February 3, 2013
New Orleans, Louisiana
Mercedes-Benz Superdrome

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!


Friday, January 11, 2013

Friday Footnotes: Nhojj's Award, Smith Strips


For background information on this topic, please refer to the December 12, 2012, post here at DQN In Northern Virginia: "Nhojj: OUTMusic Awards Nominee."

Gay Musician Nhojj Wins Award 


Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosted the 2012 OUTMusic Awards (OMA) on December 16, 2012. Sponsored by the LGBT Academy of Recording Artists (LARA), the 8th annual event celebrated and honored another year of accomplishment and achievement in the queer musical entertainment industry. 

Nhojj, a previous award winner and the first black male to receive an OMA, was nominated in six different categories. The Guyana born artist, the son of a clergyman, is known for his diverse abilities and his GLBT affirming lyrics. His nominations this year were in the following areas: Best Producer: Live Your Life; Best R&B/Soul Song: Live Your Life; Best Jazz and Cabaret Song: You're A 10: Best Song on a Soundtrack (Instrumental): Finding Me Making Love; Biello-Martin Love Song: He & Him; Best Spiritual Song: Amazing Grace.

Nhojj received the OMA for Best R&B/Soul Song: Life Your Life, an honor he shared with BSlade for I'm Done (featuring Yummy Bingham). This year was the first-ever tie in that particular category. 

In an email, Nhojj offered to fans and followers, "I'm honored to share the 2012 OUTMusic Award for Best R&B/Soul Song with the amazing BSlade. I've admired this brother's courage and artistic vision for a long, long time, so I'm happy the universe saw fit to honor us together. Big congratulations once again to all the nominees and award recipients, much love to Diedra Meredith, everyone at LARA and all the volunteers for a special weekend. I'm still a little blown away about winning this award three years in a row."
 
Related to this success, the Black Gay Music Award nominees were announced this week. Nhojj received three nominations: Best Gay Male Solo, Best Gay Male R&B, and Best Song for My Brother.

Congratulations, Nhojj!  

Olympic Medalist Nude,  Once Again 


For background information on this posting, please refer to the December 14, 2012, entry here on DQN In Northern Virginia: "Friday Footnotes: Olympian Nude, Again." 

It's becoming apparent that Olympic gymnast Louis Smith is just as comfortable out of his clothes as he is wearing them! The 21 year-old Anglo-Caribbean mixed race UK champion holds numerous international titles in addition to the Bronze won in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics and the Silver he captured in London this past summer. His titles and honors are for his ability and proficiency on the pommel horse. 

In an interview with the British daily, Mirror, this past autumn, Smith stated: "I get lots of attention from females as well as males. Apparently, I'm a bit of a gay icon. I'd go nude for the Attitude (a British gay monthly) magazine. I'm not a shy guy when it comes to getting your kit off and taking pictures." 

Previously, Louis has posted semi-nude pictures of himself on social media while in Beijing in 2008. This past June, he posed nude along with other British Olympians in Cosmopolitan UK to benefit mens cancers awareness. 

Louis Smith is as good as his word as the above photograph proves. Published just in time for the festivities welcoming in the Nude Year! Welcome to the world of social nudity, brother Louis! 

Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!