News | North Dakota

North Dakota's Newest Pin-up Gay


The boys over at The Awl have put together a benefit calendar for a 21-year-old North Dakotan gay activist named Zack:

"Zack P. is not from an out-of-touch family that is famous or rich or of political royalty. He is not a pointy-headed elitist coaster who knows what’s best for everyone. He carries no baggage from the 1960s. He’s young. He’s a hard-working guy from Middle America and he gets down and dirty politically and risks his neck for what he believes in. He should be the left’s future. He should be the left’s poster child, its goddamn sex symbol—not some actor who happens to lend his good looks to whatever 'awareness' campaign is hot. Zack is not the future America deserves but he's the one it needs. Zack should be one of this pitiful nation’s sexiest people."

Read more about it here.

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  1. "...pointy headed elitist coaster..." Wow. And apparently he's not above sounding a lot like Fox News when it suits him, too.
    Cute, but ... what's with all the creepy anti-this-that rhetoric?

    Posted by: JauntyJohn | Dec 10, 2009 11:37:11 AM

  2. benefit calendar?

    "All profits are for Zack P."


    Posted by: steve | Dec 10, 2009 11:58:23 AM

  3. Well it's not like he necessarily wrote the story about himself from his perspective.

    He's not Sarah Palin.

    Posted by: Marc C | Dec 10, 2009 12:01:56 PM

  4. All the hottest guys come from North and South Dakota. :)

    Posted by: Allen | Dec 10, 2009 12:19:15 PM

  5. Zack P did not write that quote. the guys who wrote it (follow the "here" link in this post - worth the read) are reacting to the hooha about Levi Johnston. they do have a point, tho as a pointy-headed elitist coaster i think it could have been said differently. but kudos to Zack for his activism (and his pure plains hotness.)

    Posted by: ant | Dec 10, 2009 12:24:15 PM

  6. where can we send him a check?...

    Posted by: alan brickman | Dec 10, 2009 12:25:13 PM

  7. By all means let's make this "pitiful" nation even more pitiful by rallying around some midwestern grease ball with little to no education who thinks drinking beer and working in a garage makes him butch.


    Posted by: Marty | Dec 10, 2009 12:28:45 PM

  8. that copy was written by Abe Sauer over at the Awl, not Zack himself. It should be taken with large grains of salt and snark.

    Posted by: Glenn | Dec 10, 2009 12:30:13 PM

  9. Even though I question the rather crude way they expressed it, I do think the author's take on this subject is valid. Basically gays in the US are a mixed bag from all walks of life, creed, color, class and profession. Yet the media and much of America just see us as plastic prissy over-sexed queers that do their hair or decorate living rooms. The more the people of this nation see us as the multi-faceted complex group that we really are the more they will be able to relate to us, and accept us.

    And top of that, the less reliant we are on politically motivated Gay interest groups the better. We as a group need to start uniting together under more "grass roots" organizations if we want to start creating effective change. We need to change the minds of our neighbors rather than some out-of-touch politician sitting on Capital Hill. Zack (and all of us really) really is the new face of our movement.

    Posted by: BVC | Dec 10, 2009 12:36:57 PM

  10. I love the whole "Real American" bullshit at that site. North Dakota is the #2 welfare state in the country behind DC, getting $2.03 for every $1 in taxes it gives to the feds. Meanwhile, in that pointy-head coastal elitist enclave that I live in, California, we get only 81 cents on the dollar. Woo hoo! Salt of the earth Upper Plains folks!

    So, I guess welfare queens aren't black women who go buy liquor in their limos, it's dudes working in car repair.

    I also love the "I want government to stay out of my life" crap, yeah, the next time your dreary fucking hellhole is flooded, I want you SD'ers to refuse federal help. And who does the guy that wrote that profile think is going to give the mo's living there any protection? Focus on the Family?

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Dec 10, 2009 12:39:21 PM

  11. Here's a positive story about a young, hard-working mid-western guy who - despite a few challenges - still stands up for what he believes.....and y'all still snark at him for something he didn't write?


    Sometimes I feel I should just stop reading the comments made by the Towle-"troll" commentators....but then hey! That would mean you bitches won.

    No way.

    This brown Jamaican bitch is here to make sure you don't sour a good thing for the rest of us.

    Posted by: CARIBTONY | Dec 10, 2009 12:41:35 PM

  12. Henry, buddy, chill a bit. I think you have to have been reading The Awl for a while to sort of get the spirit in which those comments were intended. The whole point of the write-up is that, in contrast to Levi Johnston, who gets tons of press for doing basically nothing (and I don't begrudge him that, mind you), this kid is actually out, proud, and fighting for his rights in a place where it ain't easy to do so. And he's every bit as cute, to boot!

    Anyway... even if you don't like Abe's snarky commentary, it's not Zack's fault.

    Posted by: Glenn | Dec 10, 2009 1:00:16 PM

  13. @ BVC "Zack (and all of us really) really is the new face of our movement."

    Seriously?! Cute, young white twinks are the NEW face of our movement? Funny, I thought they were the face of the old movement.


    That copy, if it's not being ironic, says a lot more about the author's biases than anything else.

    Posted by: Frozen North | Dec 10, 2009 1:18:35 PM

  14. I tell you one thing, you prissy spoiled coastal queens that think you're the salt of the gay goddamned earth wouldn't want to get into a fight with one of us Midwestern queens. And we do act like we have some common goddamned sense.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Dec 10, 2009 1:20:43 PM

  15. Tell you what, even as snarky as the blog is, it's absolutely 100% correct. Gay leadership in this country is absolutely elitist... ifg you don't look a certain way, make a certain income, have the right connections, and just the right PC attitude, you're not welcome. And yet here we have a kid taking chances and doing what he can where he can.

    And the author is also right. Gays around the country swoon over some guy whose claim to fame is knocking up a VP candidate's kid and then posing nude for Playgirl, and yet this young man, who isn't looking for 15 minutes of fame based on unsafe sex and his pecs, is getting slammed by some of you.

    I'd take Zach over half the crap I see being put out there as "gay role models" and "gay icons" any day.

    Posted by: DR | Dec 10, 2009 1:42:04 PM

  16. Welfare in the northern plains is largely for Indian reservations. The rest get farm subsidies.

    Posted by: anon | Dec 10, 2009 1:50:00 PM

  17. Are we really carrying on about this? We're criticizing whether someone like Zack should get support for being out and proud and doing something to advance the community, but we're rallying around Adam Lambert? Really?

    Posted by: Larry | Dec 10, 2009 2:00:02 PM

  18. Wow. Some'a you über-touchy, defensive "coastal queens" need to get back on your meds (or possibly cut back on them?) Coming from a similar location originally, I think Zack is a hell of an inspiration, standing up for himself (and others) in a place where it ain't that easy to do. I'd be happy to do what I can to help out a guy like that.

    Posted by: Nathanial | Dec 10, 2009 2:07:51 PM

  19. "Anyway... even if you don't like Abe's snarky commentary, it's not Zack's fault"

    Um, it sure as hell is. We're supposed to look up to this kid and I do admire him for what he does but his douchebag publicist, aka Gabe @ The Awl, undercuts any sympathy I have for him. I get that he was doing a compare and contrast between Levi and Zack, but, really, like JauntyJohn noted in the first comment, "pointy-headed coastal elites" is right out of the Beck/Hannity/O'Lielly playbook. It's that whole "This kid is from the middle of nowhere, he's defacto superior to people born in Manhattan and Santa Monica" attitude. Um, no.

    "you prissy spoiled coastal queens that think you're the salt of the gay goddamned earth wouldn't want to get into a fight with one of us Midwestern queens"

    Ooooohhhhh, look at her, all butch and stuff! I've got news for you CHITOWN Kev, assuming you live in the 3rd largest city in the country like your handle implies, I'm not buying that "Aw shucks, I'm just a down-to-earth ranch hand" bullshit. You live in Chicago, you're just as much an elite as anyone living in the NE Corridor or coastal California. Sorry.

    "Gays around the country swoon over some guy"

    Just because Andy posts almost as much as about Levi as he does fugly Jake Gyllenhaal doesn't mean the rest of us give a damn. Really.

    "Welfare in the northern plains is largely for Indian reservations. The rest get farm subsidies"

    Sorry, I worded that badly. I shouldn't have used the word "welfare", the stat I cited is simply how much a state sends to the feds in taxes vs. how much the feds send back, it doesn't matter if it's welfare or farm subsidies. Here's where I got my info from:

    Hmmmm.....notice something? Those salf-of-the-earth Midwesteners, you know those rough hewn manly men who don't rely on anyone nohow but get by because they're superior to us Coastal Elites, they're fucking whores, taking in more federal money than they pay out.

    Posted by: Henry Holland | Dec 10, 2009 2:18:51 PM

  20. I have a broad sense of humor and can roll with the snark (boring though a lot of it is now) as well as anyone. Point well taken that the kid didn't write the copy -- and he's cute and a laudable guy.
    The copy just seems weirdly, needlessly divisive is all. Pointing that out is hardly being sensitive. Kid deserves his props, but hold someone up on their merits, not as a platform for snide commentary. The Levi hooplah is not about someone being a role model, it's about the culture's obsession with seeing famous guy's dicks.

    Posted by: JauntyJohn | Dec 10, 2009 2:24:57 PM

  21. The impression I get from half the comments on this page is -- Awl is abso-fucking-lutely correct and some of the more loud-mouthed queens don't like to be snarked at. Well, bitches, if you can't handle it...

    This kid's message -- one he did not write -- is simple. "I'm here. I'm queer. What's the problem with that?" And he's doing it from an enclave of outright homophobia, where he's probably been fired for being who he is. Happens all the time so what's the big deal, right?

    He's ten times more the face of American gay than those queens on "Will and Grace" ever could have been and a hundred times more meaningful to the gay movement in this country than the metro-homos who run GLAAD and HRC and who've helped us take major steps backwards in our march for civil rights.

    So STFU. Buy the calendar -- each sale sends $6 to Zach, which is probably all he was being paid an hour at either of the jobs he lost. Support him and save your cracks for the egotistical idiots who claim to be the face of American gay. They deserve the criticism; Zack doesn't.

    Posted by: Kyle Sullivan | Dec 10, 2009 2:25:45 PM

  22. Actually, I live just north of Chicago. And I was born and raised in Detroit (Lord knows I couldn't wait to leave there!)

    But yes, there is a distinctive "coastal" way of prissiness and "it's all about me" that doesn't fly in Chicago. Yes, you're correct about the "elite" nature of Chicago to an extent, but it's nothing like what I hear from the mouths of the coastals and it's irritating.

    I get along waaaaay better with gays (or straights, of whatever background) from, say, Minneapolis or Cleveland or St. Louis or Iowa than I do with the LA's girls, the Frisco queens, and some of the the New Yorkers.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Dec 10, 2009 2:27:20 PM

  23. Didn't Sarah palin teach us that an education is not a bad thing?

    Jesus Christ.

    Posted by: Dan B | Dec 10, 2009 2:52:02 PM

  24. I think the majority of comments on here prove the The awl's point.

    Posted by: ousslander | Dec 10, 2009 4:19:50 PM

  25. @ Henry Holland

    Wooah. I gave you the benefit of the doubt. Went to read the piece and don't know why you're being so mean.

    He DOES work. He got sacked from his previous job because he was gay. He organises f*igging protests in North Dakota! What do YOU do?

    What an odd fellow you are...

    Posted by: Rowan | Dec 10, 2009 4:52:02 PM

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