Tag Archive | lgbtq

Happy Pride Month, Bitches!

out in the streets mural photo by gail worley
All Photos By Gail

The mural wall adjacent to the F Train Stop at Houston and lower Second Avenue is currently home to this energetic and celebratory Pride-themed photo mural by Dusty Rebel entitled Out in the Streets.

out in the streets mural photo by gail worley

You can read more about the Mural at This Link!

out in the streets mural photo by gail worley

Flame Con Postponed to 2021

flame con banner

Of all of the dozens of cool conventions and trade shows that have been canceled or postponed so far in 2020, this one really stings: Flame Con will not take place this year. We had an amazing and truly memorable time at 2019’s Flame Con, so we were really looking forward to this. Sigh. Here is an official statement from Flame Con Sponsors Geeks OUT:

An Update on Flame Con 2020
To our queer geeky community,

While this likely does not come as a surprise, it is with great sadness that we must announce the postponement of Flame Con 2020, due to concerns around COVID-19. Though Flame Con will not be held this year, we look forward to coming back, bigger and better, at the Times Square Sheraton on August 21-22, 2021!

Geeks OUT’s mission is to support out queer geek community near and far. While we were hopeful that the global situation would have begun to improve by the late spring, it would have been irresponsible to risk anyone’s well-being by hosting an event of Flame Con’s size in NY this August.

Our organization would not be what it is without all the hard work, time, and passion you all have given. That we have grown to this size is a testament to the fact that hope and creativity can bring a community to life. The Geeks OUT board and Flame Con Steering Committee are eternally grateful for you.

And, of course, all is not a wash! We are looking into ways we can continue to bring our community together this summer. Details on remote events, presented by Geeks OUT, shortly.

For more information on Geeks OUT visit This Link!

Pink Thing of The Day: The Men of Vacaya

Vacaya Gang By Gail Worley
Photo By Gail

This past January, I made my first trip to the New York Times Travel Show at the Javits Center, because I am always game for new experiences to bring you on this rad blog. The show was amazing, and it inspired me to consider traveling to all sorts of exotic lands that I had previously never even considered visiting. But for reasons that should not need explaining, I had the most fun visiting the L.G.B.T.Q. Travel Pavilion. It was there that I met the men of Vacaya, which is the only large-scale travel company on earth serving the entire LGBTQIAPK community (IAPK = Intersex, Asexual, Polygamous / Polyamorous, Kink). Vacaya was giving away a Gay Cruise, and since I have the single best story ever about a Gay Cruise (which was told to me a decade ago by my friends Ross and Scott), I had to share the story with them. They all agreed that is was excellent.

Also known as The Vacayans, these handsome guys were so friendly and adorable that I was compelled to snap this fantastic photo of them, smiling and looking awesome in their Pink T Shirts, to capture the moment. I joked that I was going to make them my Pink Thing of the Day, but then I thought ‘why the fuck not, just do it!’  If you were gay, wouldn’t you want  them to help you plan your next vacation? I sure would!

I realize that people may not be booking a lot of travel just at the moment, but, for all of my LGBTQ etc readers, when you are ready to venture out into the world again and want to plan your next adventure, please visit MyVacaya.com, and tell them the Worley Gig sent you.

Statue of Pink in The Financial District

Pink By Gillie and Marc
All Photos By Gail

While running errands on my lunch hour, I stumbled upon a set of ten larger-than-lifesize bronze statues of various women, who are easily recognizable as celebrities or otherwise influential public figures, which turned out to be part of Statues For Equality, a public art initiative by husband and wife artist team Gillie and Marc. Statues For Equality is a global mission to balance gender representation in public statues and honor women’s contribution to society. While the installation includes world-famous women such as Oprah Winfrey, Nicole KidmanJane Goodall, and Cate Blanchett, the figure that stood out for me the most was one of Pink, because, well, she’s a rock star! The plaque that can be seen to the right of each statue explains the many reasons for each woman’s inclusion in the project, and Pink’s has the following inscription:

“Twenty-first-century pop idol Pink is a three-time Grammy award winning singer and songwriter who has released seven studio albums, has 15 top ten singles, sold over 50 million albums worldwide, and sold out tours all over the world, making her one of the most widely respected and popular musicians across the globe.

Pink By Gillie and Marc
Installation View

As outstanding as she is influential, Pink received mass acclaim for her raw, honest, and subversive approach to pop music combined with her distinctive and commanding vocal performance that has inspired countless others to pick up a microphone and be themselves.

Outside of her highly decorated music career, Pink is a UNICEF Ambassador, an outspoken animal activist, LGBTQ advocate, and campaigner for women’s rights with a focus on body positivity and female representation.

Pink By Gillie and Marc

Standing tall in an Aster, a flower loved for its hardness and variety of blooming colors, Pink chose the Aster flower as a symbol of her diverse audience from around the world as well as her transformative career.

Pink By Gillie and Marc

Statues For Equality Can Currently Be Seen at 32 Old Slip in The Financial District, NYC, But It is Expected to Move On To Other Cities, So See These Fine Ladies While You Can!

My Rad Adventure At Flame Con 2019: A Photo Recap!

Superman Loves Batman
Let The Homoeroticism Begin! Art By J Caress Studio (All Photos By Gail)

By Gail Worley

Life in Manhattan is like living at Disneyland, with endless opportunities to immerse yourself in an experience that’s unique to this City. I’m always down for a new adventure, so when my convention-buddy Ken suggested that I try for Press credentials to attend Flame Con — which I had never heard of, but which he described to me as being “the LGBTQ Comic Con” —  obviously, there was no way in Hell I was to going to miss it. Happily, Flame Con organizers approved my badge, and Ken and I made plans to meet up at the Times Square Sheraton on a beautiful Saturday morning, where the convention floor would open to the press one hour before they started letting other attendees in. I am way more of a music geek than a comics geek, so I had absolutely no idea what to expect, but after about 30 minutes of absorbing the vibe, I arrived at this conclusion: Flame Con fucking rules!

Flame Con Signage

Organized by Geeks OUT, a non-profit that produces LGBTQ events at comic conventions, Flame Con is an annual two-day, multi-genre entertainment and comic convention focused on fans and creators of pop culture who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. That said, Flame Con is the most inclusive event I’ve ever attended — everyone is welcome — and you would have to be dead from the neck up to not have a fantastic time.

Tote Bag With Buttons

Beyond hundreds of artists, authors and assorted exhibitors, Flame Con also features panel discussions and workshops, but this post will focus on the rad exhibitor-floor action, because that’s where we spent most of our time. Now, as Frank N Furter once said, ‘Let me show you around!’

Flame Con Exhibitor Floor

Flame Con is a BFD! Launched in 2015, Flame Con is the first LGBTQ comic convention in New York City, and the largest LGBTQ comic convention in the world. No matter what pop culture passion you favor, you’ll find an insanely diverse selection of exhibitors showcasing LGBTQ-inclusive Comics, Graphic Novel, Anime, Manga, video games, movies, television and more! Most importantly, everyone is at Flame Con to have fun and let their freak flag fly!

Flame Con Fan

Look How Much Fun This Fan is Having?!

Art By Sam Schechter

The exhibitor floor is great place to chat up and expose yourself to the works of amazingly talented pop-culture artists. Since there were so many tables to visit (and we hit each one) the photos I chose for this post depict art that really spoke to me and my personal aesthetics. The above artwork of a teen devil and his cat, which is just fantastic, is by Sam Schechter.

Art By Joseph Giampietro

Wonder Woman is such a bad ass. She totally gets it: Dump sucks! Art by Joseph Giampietro.

Post Continues After the Jump!

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Happy Pride Month, NYC!

Have Some Pride By Royce Bannon
Photos By Gail

NYC has really gone all out for Pride Month and it is so great to see everybody getting into the spirit of love and unity.  With so much inspiring signage and art work popping up everywhere you look, it’s challenging to document even a small fraction of it, but I was walking home from brunch this past Saturday and passed by this storefront mural by Royce Bannon (AKA @Roycer_700), which currently resides on Avenue A near East 3rd Street. It appears to have gone up in the past few weeks specifically in honor of Pride Month and will like stay up as long as it can.

Have Some Pride By Royce Bannon

The Rainbow “Monsters” are Bannon’s signature characters, which he incorporates into much of his public artwork.

Royce Bannon Pride Mural

Happy Pride, Everyone!

Video Clip of The Week: Madison Daniel, “Love Is Love”

It is not in any way a bold statement that, in these times especially, there is no shortage of outlets where we can focus our positive energy and action. The world needs love, and it should not matter what that love looks like or what shape it takes. Bluntly put, we have more grievous issues to deal with than attempting to restrict an individual’s right to love whomever they choose. If you do not already get that, watch this simply beautiful new video from 20-year old Australian artist Madison Daniel for her song “Love Is Love,” and then tell me that it does not move you to soften your heart. I’ll wait.

Already a commercial hit in Australia, “Love Is Love” officially made its US debut by way of Spotify, and now via this inspiring music video. “Love Is Love” delves into why we as human beings need to rid ourselves and our world of judgement and bias, and allow our fellow human beings to love as they wish. The song was originally written by Madison in celebration of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Australia, an issue near and dear to the artist’s heart, but its message is worldwide and certainly relevant to the US political climate.

Follow Madison Daniel on Instagram at @Madsee. Enjoy!

Madison Daniel

Training to Be a Counselor? Check Out Four Areas of Specialism That Might Interest You!

Counselor with Patients
Image Source

If you are in the process of qualifying to be a counselor or therapist, it could be that you have had a specialism in mind since you started, and have always wanted to help people with a specific problem you can relate to for personal reasons, or to help a certain group such as children. However, for some people approaching their masters in counseling programs, all they know is that they feel that counseling is the right role for them, and they are not yet sure where they want to apply their skills specifically.

While you are studying, for instance if you are doing one of the excellent online masters programs in counseling available from Bradley University, the field of counseling you ultimately want to work in will influence which modules you study towards your degree It is therefore useful to think through some of the professional options you could choose while you are still a student.

Here are just four of the specialisms counselors can choose to give you an idea:

Relationship and Marriage Counseling

This is one of the best known fields in counseling, and one that is sought out by couples from all walks of life at all different stages in their relationships. What couples who go for relationship counseling tend to have in common is that they do want to work to save their troubled partnerships, however their issues can be very different.

Some may be trying to cope with major changes in their lives, such as having children. Others may be trying to get over something, such as one partner’s infidelity. Others still may not have a very specific problem but feel they are not as close as they used to be and want you to help them reconnect and communicate better.

Youth Counseling For LGBT Teens

Another area where counseling can be in high demand is for teens who are struggling with issues related to sexuality and gender identity. In these cases, the teens you speak to may be confused about their own preferences or gender identity, or may be sure of these things but facing issues with family and friends because of them.

Stress Counseling For Professionals

Another field of counseling that can be important to people is stress counseling. Many people in stressful jobs can suffer in terms of their mental health as a result of pressure and exhaustion, and seek out help for this.  Some companies even employ counselors to help their executives and other stressed out workers.

Addiction Rehabilitation Counseling

Counselors who work with people who are trying to overcome addictions, including drugs, alcohol, gambling and sex, can work either privately or in rehab facilities, and are often a very important part of the recovery process for these people. In a rehab setting, counselors tend to both see patients one on one and also lead group therapy sessions.

These are by no means the only specialisms you can consider, but will hopefully give you some ideas for fields that might interest you as you go on to become a professional therapist.

Happy NYC Pride 2016!

Rainbow MSG

Rainbow Madison Square Garden Photographed by Me on Saturday, June 25th at 10:00 PM

Cobi Moules, New Kid at Lyons Wier Gallery

NKOTB in Hell
New Kids in Hell: Jordan, Cobi, Donnie, Joey and Jonathan (All Photos By Gail)

An adoring fan’s childhood dreams of being part of the music group he once worshiped come to life in a most engaging way in Cobi Moules new body of work, New Kid, which opened last week at Lyons Wier Gallery. Working with existing images of the wildly popular early ’90s boy band New Kids on The Block — all taken from his collection of fan magazines, fold-out pin ups and trading cards — Moules has meticulously reproduced photographs of  the group —  Joey McIntyre, Donnie Wahlberg, and brothers Jonathan and Jordan Knight, while inserting himself into these contrived poses in place of fifth member Danny Wood. Thus Cobi Moules becomes the New Kid of the New Kids. Genius.

NKOTB Brick Wall

Growing up as a transgender boy, Cobi reveals that his love and admiration for NKOTB involved passionate fantasies of both being them and being with them; especially his favorite New Kid, Jordan. Because let’s face it, Jordan was the uber hottie, for sure.

New Kid Jordan

Let the homoeroticism begin!

New Kid Hot Dog

New Kid Bike

How fun is this? I mean, who among those reading this didn’t have crazy childhood fantasies about a band you loved? I know that when I was five years old, my plan was to marry Paul McCartney and join the Beatles. I was five.  Obviously that didn’t really work out for me, but that’s all the more reason that seeing Cobi’s adorably ecstatic face peering out from his terrific realist paintings, as he cuddles and cavorts with his favorite childhood band, is secretly thrilling. Because imaginative extrapolation allows the viewer to live through him.

New Kid Joey
Cobi and Joey

New Kid Bus
Cobi and Jonathan

There’s also this fun little animated gif!

New Kids Trading Cards 5

I especially loved the re-imagined collection of NKOTB Trading Cards!

New Kids Trading Cards 1

The one on the right is just insane.

New Kids Trading Cards 3

New Kids Trading Cards 4

So seriously great.

New Kid Group Ladder

I spoke with Cobi at the show’s opening reception, and he is a really nice guy, and obviously hugely talented. I will be interested to see what he does next.

Cobi Moules New Kid
Artist Cobi Moules Photographed at the Opening Reception with One of His New Kid Paintings

Clever, original, uniquely hilarious and very, very sweet, Cobi Mueles’ New Kid is our favorite exhibit of 2016 so far!

Cobi Moules’ New Kid will be on Exhibit Through March 5th, 2016 at Lyons Wier Gallery, Located 542 West 24th Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.

New Kids Street Sign