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Six Things Hillary Clinton Has To Do To Prove She Really Values Our Vote

HillaryClinton_2326613bHillary Clinton is announcing that she’s running for president, which is a surprise of a magnitude unsurpassed since Barry Manilow wed another man. Clinton has been considered a candidate since Election Night 2012, and in the absence of any declared rivals, enters the race as the inevitable nominee.

Things can always go sideways for her, but no one else has the campaign apparatus, name recognition and resume to match hers. There is Vice President Joe Biden, but he hasn’t put together the team necessary for a campaign. There’s Martin O’Malley, and if you said, who’s that?, you just identified the main problem the former Maryland governor faces.

But just because Hillary is inevitable doesn’t mean she should take the LGBT vote for granted. Granted, the Republican alternative is too grim to imagine. Still, that doesn’t mean that Hillary should just expect us to line up at the polls for her. Here are five things that Clinton needs to do to prove that she is serious about wanting our vote.

1. Explain why she was so late to embrace marriage equality. Clinton didn’t get around to announcing her support for marriage equality until March 2013, just three months before the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision, six months after the Democratic party included it in its platform and ten months after President Obama announced his support for it. What took so long? Republican Sen. Rob Portman announced his support for gay marriage three days before. It’s kind of sad that Clinton was so tardy that she was upstaged by a Republican, and a conservative one at that.

2. Prove she’s not defensive about LGBT issues. One of the low-lights of Hillary’s pre-announcement tour was her disastrous interview with Terry Gross on NPR. What should have been a simple question about whether Clinton felt constrained in her support for marriage equality because of politics turned into a defensive crouch by the candidate. Clinton felt insulted by the suggestion and her response boiled down to “I’m proud of what I’ve done.” And that was not in a hostile interview. It’s worrisome that a thoughtful question somehow leads to an unnecessary outburst. Hillary is going to have to prove that that’s an exception, not the rule.

3. Get personal. Who are the gay and lesbian people in Hillary’s life? Who educated her about LGBT issues? What are the stories that changed her mind about gay rights? Right now, the answer is, who knows? One of Clinton’s flaws as a candidate is that she’s so cautious that she doesn’t get personal the way that Joe Biden does. But it also suggests–fairly or not–that Clinton isn’t entirely comfortable talking about the issue. Getting personal would put that problem to rest.

4. Make it clear she doesn’t share Bill’s tactics. Clinton is her own person, but she came into politics as the wife of Bill Clinton, the man who signed DOMA into law and then advertised it on Christian radio stations. Sad to say, such shamelessness worked for the first President Clinton. Did Hillary learn that same lesson? She needs to explain to us how she loves Bill, but she will follow her own path. That means not selling us out if it’s convenient.

5. Address the lesbian rumors. The right-wing has long speculated (or perhaps fantasized is the appropriate word) that Clinton is a closeted lesbian. Clinton has never really addressed the rumors head on. She should. But how she should will be revealing. If she’s defensive and treats the accusation as a slur, that would be a bad sign. If she uses it as an opportunity to educate the public while poking some fun at her foes, that would be a good sign. She should start practicing now, because someone is bound to ask that question on the campaign trail.

6. Tell us how she’s going to extend President Obama’s legacy. The country is a better (but not perfect) place for LGBT citizens because of Barack Obama’s presidency. Marriage equality, the repeal of DADT, an nondiscrimination executive order–each is a major accomplishment, but put them altogether into a single presidency, and it’s a remarkable legacy. How will Clinton extend that legacy? She needs to come up with specific goals, not just platitudes. Will it be expanding the Clinton Doctrine that she outlined as Secretary of State? Will it be taking on transgender issues?

Clinton has big shoes to fill. She has to say how she’s going to do it.

 

Hungarian man convicted in Florida in gay sex slave prostitution ring

Andras VassAndras Janos Vass, 25, faces a minimum of 21 years behind bars and a maximum of 155 years in prison after a Miami jury convicted him late Thursday of human trafficking and racketeering.

Shape Up: Chest, Biceps, and Abs: Meet Your Maker(s)

Group-Shot1-360x2211It’s a fundamental human quest to like what we see in the mirror: we want to know our hair isn’t out of place, that there’s nothing in our teeth, and that we look physically fit—at least to a degree.  Yet the muscles we see in the mirror (often referred to as “mirror muscles,” creatively enough), don’t tell the whole story.  When we dig a little deeper—or even turn to the side—we see some major plot twists we missed when we were getting lost in our own eyes and/or pecs. 

In fact, I guarantee you that when your focus is on your pecs, biceps, and abdominal muscles for years, months, or even weeks on end, taking a selfie with your back facing the mirror would resemble a haunted house—screams included. 

Before I tell you how to fix this, you need to understand that a functional, well-balanced physique is an aesthetically sound physique, and this applies to the entire 360 degrees of our bodies.  After all, we exist in three dimensions, not two. 

So here’s an anatomy lesson (well, a G-rated one): in real life, muscles don’t operate in a vacuum.  There will never be a time, for example, where your bicep will execute an entire motion without the help of other muscles.  Why, then, would you spend countless hours trying to get a big bicep when a) you’re not getting any stronger anywhere else, and b) the rest of your body is staying the same or even atrophying (as we all do naturally up to a pound a year after the age of 26)?

unnamedMoreover, working the front part of your body duplicates repetitive motions in our everyday lives to a harmful extent.  As modern humans, we’re constantly reaching forward with our arms and legs, whether we’re sitting, driving, eating, or even reading Queerty articles on our phones or tablets.  This repetitive series of movements results in tightness that pulls our shoulders and hips forward, producing slouchy, less-than-confident-looking posture. 

The remedy?  Work your backside, or “posterior chain,” just as much as your front (“anterior chain”), if not more.

Here’s how to get your ‘back groove’ back, in three easy steps:

Get off the bench. 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: no one ever got a good, strong butt by sitting on it.  Do as much of your workout as possible standing, not sitting.

Activate. 

So you’re standing up.   Awesome!  Now perform some band walk drills—these will activate your glutes, which are critical to sound squats, deadlifts, and lunges, as well as any standing overhead work.  Follow this drill up with single-leg Romanian deadlifts for increased leg stability and balance, and incorporate [in-gym] hip thrusts to work your glutes in conjunction with your hamstrings, back, and core.     

Pull, baby, pull. 

Want to be strong at picking objects off of the ground?  Great!  Try your hands (sic) at barbell deadlifts, as they involve your entire posterior chain; there is in fact no single lift as  demanding with regards to the neuromuscular system as the deadlift.   Want to be stronger at pulling objects (sic) closer to you?  Great!  Try out some bent-over or even squat rows, to strengthen your lats while engaging and strengthening your glutes simultaneously.  A delightful secondary perk to pulling motions, might I add, is a worked, firm, and functional bicep.

So give your backside some loving today, and let me know how it goes! 

Enjoy The Best Of David Beckham’s Underwear

Beckham5Everyone knows David Beckham as something more than a professional soccer player. He’s a sex symbol too, without a doubt. And while this is largely attributed to his physique, no sex symbol has been deemed as such without a sense of style. The new David Beckham Bodywear 2015 collection is further proof of Beckham’s fashion sense. And why The Underwear Expert knows David Beckham as a stylish man before anything else.

David Beckham Bodywear is updated for Spring with fresh takes on timeless underwear designs. On one pair, a navy waistband brings the common white boxer brief back from the dead, an accent that owns the design with intelligence.

The best pair from the new David Beckham Bodywear 2015 collection, though, is a grey and white striped boxer brief. This Underwear Expert exclusive by Jerrad Matthew captures the boxer brief on model Zachary Dare. A white waistband and seams brighten the white horizontal stripes and the pair overall, especially around the pouch. The rear has a slightly darker look. The white seams are thinner than the pouch’s trim, and compete less with the grey. It’s bright for Spring, and casually stylish for any day of the year.

You can find more on David Beckham Bodywear by H&M at The Underwear Expert.

Beckham4 Beckham3 Beckham5 Beckham2

Photo Credit: Jerrad Matthew Exclusively for The Underwear Expert

Dan Savage On How To Make A Crowd-Pleasing NSFW Video

dan-savageWhen Dan Savage is not busy tempting Republicans with oral sex offers, he is watching the best–and worst–of amateur porn, sometimes for 10 straight hours. That’s because for the last 12 years, Savage and his team at Seattle’s The Stranger newspaper have been curating Hump!, an indie film festival showcasing sexy and quirky short movies that are most definitely NSFW.

Starting this month, Savage is bringing the best of Hump! submissions on tour to sex-positive cinemas all over the country. The films are only shown in theaters and are never made available online to ensure that filmmakers and actors are able to fully express every inch of themselves, without the stigma of having “done porn.”

The featured selections run the gamut. While a few of the films go the traditional porn-erotica route and include explicit acts of non-simulated intercourse, others are more jovial and light-hearted. Animated movies about how silly our genitals look, musicals about kinky fetishes and faux documentaries about being sexually attracted to centaurs have been crowd-pleasers in Hump! festival past.

This year, “Glory Hole,” a documentary about an elderly couple who met at a cruising spot and one of Savage’s favorite submissions, was an unexpected emotional hit when it was originally screened in Seattle and Portland about how lasting relationship can surface in even the most unlikely places.

We spoke to Savage and got him to dish out a few tips on how we can make our best Hump!-worthy porn debuts…

11017828_1007894689243625_5622982770172872961_nFollow you fetish: “The best films are made by people doing what they love and are really personal,” Savage said. “We want the festival to be diverse in gender expression and representation. Queer and straight and trans and cis and kinky and vanilla.”

No 50 Shades of Grey parodies: “We have this strange thing happen every year, like something is in the water and we’ll get lots of film that are very similar,” Savage said. “One year we got five different James Bond parodies. And they were all really good, but we can’t put five James Bond parodies in the show. Two years after that we got all these films with lesbian and bi women all of which incorporated fruits and vegetables. We had a lot of zombie porn the first few years.”

Don’t imitate commercial pornography: “What sets us apart from mainstream porn is that the people making the films are sharing their turn-ons and they’re doing something they’re passionate about,” Savage said. “People who hate to watch commercial porn because they think it’s dehumanizing, love Hump.” 

Don’t worry about production value: “You don’t have to be a filmmaker, you don’t have to have a professional crew you just have to have something interesting and beautiful and funny and hot that really speaks to you and that you want to share with people. There are films that have been literally shot on people’s iPhones and they are grainy without much lighting or much sound quality but they’re great.”

Be open to straight folks watching your movie: At the Hump screenings we have straight guys watching hardcore gay porn and you have gay boys watching lesbian cunnilingus on the giant silver screen. At first all anybody can see are the differences: what’s not their turn-on, what’s not the plumbing they want in their own beds. After 15 minutes in, everyone is cheering and laughing and people start to see what’s the same: the passion, the lust, the sense of humor, the vulnerability, the desire. Everything that’s going on underneath the different plumbing.

The Hump! film festival is currently on tour in select cities across the country.

Oscar Raymundo is the creator of Confessions of a Boy Toy.

The overlooked Indiana outcomes that could haunt the Christian Right

Thousands of opponents of Indiana Senate Bill 101, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, gathered on the lawn of the Indiana State House to rally against that legislation Saturday, March 28, 2015. Republican Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill Thursday prohibiting state laws that "substantially burden" a person's ability to follow his or her religious beliefs.There is something about recent events in Indiana that may not be immediately obvious. The national outcry in the wake of the signing of the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) by Governor Mike Pence (R) was not only an important moment in the struggle against LGBTQ non-discrimination, but it is a transformational moment in our national conversation about religious liberty.

Channing Tatum Says Magic Mike Cast Took Penis Enlargement Pills For Sequel

Channing-Tatum-Reveals-Magic-Mike-Sequel-Plot-SecretsNo plot. Just a bunch of naked dudes sitting around doing dude stuff. We read all the message boards, and people were like, ‘Less story. Less plot. Just dudes’ things.’ And we listened to that. Basically, we all were taking penis-enlargement pills since the last one, so we weren’t worried about what temperature the room was when we came out to do our dances. That’s what XXL means.”

 

Actor-producer Channing Tatum chatting/joking with EW about the plot of the upcoming stripper epic sequel Magic Mike XXL

Florist at center of LGBT rights storm: ‘I’m a little grain of sand’

Barronelle StutzmanBarronelle Stutzman of Arlene's Flowers refused the flowers for a gay couple's wedding in 2013, and her actions were among the first in what has become a nationwide quandary for bakers and others who believe same-sex marriage conflicts with their religious beliefs.

7 lies about LGBT musicians we need to stop telling immediately

Sam Smith accepts the award for best new artist at the 57th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, in Los Angeles.When Sam Smith offhandedly told a U.K. tabloid that he doesn't like Tinder or Grindr as a way to meet men, the media wrecked him. Gawker came to the absurd conclusion, via thinly veiled homophobia, that since he doesn't personally use those apps, Smith's gay conservatism is a clever ruse to sell albums by not being "too gay."

Rebel Heart: Madonna’s Most High Profile BFF Breakups And What We Can All Learn From Them

Screen shot 2015-04-10 at 4.12.06 PMSandra Bernhard and Andy Cohen recently sat down to critique Madonna’s latest music video “Ghosttown” on Watch What Happens Live.

Of course, anyone who knows anything is aware that, once upon a time, Madge and Sandy were thick as thieves. Back in the late ’80s and early ’90s, the pair were often spotted running around New York City together, making joint appearances on The David Letterman Show, and, at one point, even rumored to be lesbian lovers.

“She came to my show in 1988, came backstage, and then we started hanging out,” Bernhard told Wendy Williams back in 2010. “We would go out, we would have a genuinely great time, and I think we were a really good example of two women being friends.”

Then one day, that all abruptly ended.

“I like to maintain my friendships,” Bernhard said. “But, you know, certain people can’t handle those kinds of friendships.”

Of course, Sandra Bernhard isn’t the only close confidant Madonna has dropped for seemingly no apparent reason. The rebel heart has a long history of ditching her pals.

Scroll down for some of Madonna’s most high profile BFF breakups…

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Gwyneth Paltrow

There was a period in the mid-2000’s when Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow were practically joined at the hip. Both were blonde American women living in the U.K. who possessed an air of cultural superiority sophistication. They could frequently be seen gossiping over lunch, working out together, or attending fashion shows, where they snickered at the models from the front row. Then something happened. And now they hate each other.

Rumor has it the falling out occurred when Madonna fired their shared personal trainer, Tracy Anderson, then told Gwyneth she should, too. When Gwyneth refused, Madonna terminated their friendship contract. In 2011, Paltrow alluded to the feud on her blog Goop when she wrote about an “insufferable” friend who left her feeling “drained, empty and belittled.”

The moral of the story: Nobody belittles Gwyneth Paltrow. And absolutely nobody crosses Madonna!

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Niki Haris

Niki Haris sang backup for Madge from 1987 to 2001, appearing in the Who’s That Girl Tour in 1987, Blond Ambition Tour in 1990, The Girlie Show Tour in 1993, and The Drowned World Tour in 2001, as well as in the documentary Truth or Dare, and music videos “Vogue” and “Music.” Then in 2004, she was inexplicably replaced in Madonna’s Re-Invention Tour.

At the time, Haris’s publicist claimed the backup singer had chosen to sit out the tour because she wanted to “focus on her solo career and family,” but insiders said she wasn’t asked to participate after allegedly making off-handed comments about Madge to the press.

In 2009, Haris kinda sorta opened up about what happened, telling an interviewer that “maybe there was some drama” but that ultimately Madonna is “a gem” and she was grateful for having worked with her. “Of course, my ego was involved: ‘Oh, she don’t want me no more!’ But at the end of the day, she gave me the greatest gift,” Haris said.

Unfortunately, these kind words about her former boss still didn’t land her a spot in the 2012 MDNA Tour.

The moral of the story: Once you cross over to the bad side of Madge, there’s no going back.

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Christopher Ciccione

In 2008, Madonna’s younger brother Christopher published a tell-all book called Life With My Sister Madonna. Naturally, the “Keep It Together” songwriter wasn’t pleased.

The gloves came off as Christopher, who had worked with Madonna in a variety of capacities over the course of two decades — from backup dancer, to personal assistant, to interior designer — dished about his complex relationship with his famous sister, her career failures, her marriages, and her lack of boundaries when it came to making money, going so far as to accuse her of exploiting their mother’s death in the documentary Truth or Dare.

The book, which reached #2 on the New York Times Bestseller List, was packed with jabs at Madonna’s age, negative personality traits, parenting skills, and inability to truly love. As a result, the singer didn’t speak to her brother for several years. When asked about the book in an interview recently, she it was “very hurtful” but said she and her brother have since made up.

The moral of the story: Madonna’s not the only member of the Ciccone clan who will do anything for a buck.

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Donna De Lory

Donna De Lory was Madge’s other longtime backup singer, who, like Niki Haris, began working with her in 1987 and appeared in every one of her world tours, as well as several of her music videos, up until 2007. De Lory loyally stood alongside Madonna as she went from pop starlet to music icon to mother to Kabbalist. And that’s when things seemed to go awry for the duo.

“Kabbalah, all of a sudden, was mandatory,” De Lory recalled in a 2013 interview. “I thought it couldn’t hurt, but it wasn’t my belief system per se. However, two times the teacher tied on the red-string, and two times I watched it untie and come off me. They tie these things and knot them and they aren’t supposed to come off for a long time. After it came off two times on its own, I figured that I didn’t need that to protect me.”

Coincidentally, after De Lory decided Kabbalah wasn’t for her, she wasn’t asked back for Lady M’s 2008 Sticky & Sweet Tour.

“Even though she is very wealthy and very famous,” De Lory said, “Madonna is still human and, like all of us, she is trying to figure it all out.”

The moral of the story: Wear the fucking red bracelet!

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Demi Moore

Just like Gwyneth, there was a time when Madonna and Demi Moore were BFFs. When they were younger they’d go nightclubbing together. As they got older they’d go to Kabbalah class together. The women had plenty in common. They both rich. They were both famous. And they both had a taste for younger fellas. But when Demi’s relationship with her younger beau Ashton Kutcher ended, so did her friendship with Madge.

The story goes: Around the time of Ashton and Demi’s split, Ashton signed with Madonna’s long-time manager Guy Oseary. When forced to choose between her relationship with Demi or her business partnership with Guy, Madonna went where the money was and dropped Demi from her Christmas card list.

Talk about getting the shit end of the stick. Poor Demi lost her boyfriend and her best friend all in one fell swoop.

The moral of the story: Money can’t buy you class.

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Liz Smith

So what’s with Madonna ditching all her best buddies anyway? We think iconic celebrity columnist Liz Smith explains it best. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the 92-year-old veteran reporter opened up about her friendship with Madonna, saying: “She’s an extremely talented, deeply complicated woman. We were close for a while, or as close as anyone can get to her.”

Related stories:

Madonna Makes Her Stand-Up Comedy Debut, But We Laughed More At Her New Song

Madonna Survives Nuclear Holocaust, Still Looks Fabulous Tango-ing With Terrence Howard In ‘Ghosttown’

Madonna Likens Ageism To Homophobia, Has A Message For The Haters