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. Also, he's donating his money to the Matthew Shepard Fund if he makes a bit!!??

    Urgh, you crazy commenters...

    Posted by: Rowan | Dec 10, 2009 4:58:14 PM

  2. Jesus, some of the commenters on this site are seriously mental. I understand if you don't like The Awl's brand of humor, but why all the venom for the poor kid? He's trying to make it work in the place where he was raised. I'd love to live in Alabama, but I live in NYC because I'm frankly not up for the challenge of attempting to change hearts and minds every time I leave the fucking house. I save it for holidays now. So the writer made a joke about coasters-- IT'S VALID, if not merely for the fact that people assume that he should want to move just because he's from a state that gets a disproportionate amount of federal funding yet is populated with fiscal conservatives. You don't love your home for its state politics. You love it because it's home.

    Posted by: Jeff | Dec 10, 2009 6:11:09 PM

  3. Zack has very nice hands...

    Posted by: jaragon | Dec 10, 2009 6:20:30 PM

  4. Wow. Hate much?

    I know Zack and he's a great guy. He's very enthusiastic about raising visibility and protesting anti-gay organizations up here in North Dakota. I don't think the author of the article really hates 'elitist coasters.' He's using hyperbole to highlight the reality of being gay in North Dakota. I lived in California for 4 years and it's quite a bit tougher to be out in ND.

    Zack is not our savior or poster boy, but he's a damn good, hard-working example. And super hot too, ha ha. Hotter in person even.

    Posted by: Connor | Dec 10, 2009 6:46:01 PM

  5. Oh yeah. About the welfare bit, the vast majority of that goes to reservations. Most non-reservation people in North Dakota are very much against the magnitude of welfare going to American Indians. (that's a whole different subject and I'm not expressing an opinion on it, ha ha!!!) The support for all that welfare really comes from the liberals of the area, actually...

    Posted by: Connor | Dec 10, 2009 6:51:15 PM

  6. Yeah, henry holland...change those crazypants!

    Most of you piss mops criticizing this kid and admittedly douchey hack's (which wasn't the guy pictured) rant are the ones fueling the johnston media circus--it. The kid seems just fine, and the writer has a point...I guess. SO buy a calender and stfu, coaster elites! And to that...barb, since when is it elitist to use coasters to protect the finish on furniture from water stains? about a reach. Or, go on one of those cam sites, and see more of him than

    Posted by: TANK | Dec 10, 2009 7:05:52 PM

  7. He´s downright handsome. Hope to see more o him in the future. I can only hope he did not have to hear all the nasty comments about him here.

    Posted by: Gabe R L | Dec 10, 2009 8:36:01 PM

  8. First of all, thank you to the site for giving Zack (and by extension, the ND situation) the credit it deserves.

    Regarding the "pointy-headed coaster" thing. I was lampooning the whole left (not just the gay movement) for a tendency to not get widely involved as activists in the "red" states (as they did during "the" Civil Rights movements a generation ago). Now it's more of an engagement-from-afar civil rights support (i.e., few non-gay students/activists travel en-mass to support gay movements in repressive states as non-black students/activists did a generation ago.) AND, I was (maybe poorly) referring to how the reactionary right characterizes support on the left ad how Zack is an antidote to this characterization.

    I am buoyed by he support here though. Zack deserves it. He's not saint. But he is a good person.

    But what is even more perplexing to me is that, today, media seems more focused what states are or are not allowing gay marriage when the whole idea of the kind of civil right discrimination-protections for fundamental work/home issues is still very contentious. Gay marriage? Fuck. That's great but what about basic constitutional rights to individual happiness (and protection) that STILL don't exist in many, many states.

    Posted by: Abe Sauer | Dec 10, 2009 8:57:54 PM

  9. Will some of that money we're being asked to send be used for hot bath water?

    I could get behind that, being an elitist east coaster.

    Seriously, I wish him well, I hope he makes a difference, even after The Awl gets tired of him and moves on.

    Posted by: jessejames | Dec 10, 2009 9:10:26 PM

  10. @Abe Sauer- I live in Indiana and I have been screaming that for a minute, marriage is really putting the cart before the horse in a decent amount of states (including this one where I could be evicted tomorrow for being gay or if I were not gay but my landlord thought I was)

    My big point is the blurb from the Awl is basically adding some of that "real america" crap to the same problem in the gay lib movement, basically the younger, whiter, male-r, and cuter you are the more clout you have. Why does this guy have to be sexually desirable to be worthwhile? If we just needed a benefit calendar why not pick any hot queer we could find, there's enough of them. I'm sure the Awl wouldn't be suggesting he be the poster boy if he had a cleft lip or had about 40 more lbs on him like the rest of the "real america" :b

    ~A pointy-headed midwesterner with and advanced degree and an opinion

    Posted by: Matt | Dec 11, 2009 1:01:11 AM

  11. "My big point is the blurb from the Awl is basically adding some of that "real america" crap to the same problem in the gay lib movement, basically the younger, whiter, male-r, and cuter you are the more clout you have. Why does this guy have to be sexually desirable to be worthwhile?"

    Yeah, too bad no one is saying any of that shit then huh? Why don't stop being such a self-indulgent whiny cunt and go spend some more time furiously beating yourself off over your framed "advanced degree". This is a 21 year old kid in the middle of shithole nowhere doing something so brave it makes me feel ashamed just to share the same state of residence as him. If you can't find something good to say about this guy or what he is doing for gay people in ND, kindly take this warm holiday invitation to go fuck yourself with a chainsaw. Have a nice day :) douche.

    Posted by: Blake | Dec 11, 2009 2:19:44 AM

  12. Sorry if I wasn't clear- didn't say anything negative about him, just wondering about the criteria gay ppl (gay media in specific) use to determine someone's worth. Hadn't heard anything about him til he showed some skin, all his clothed (and probably bundled up) activities previously had been pretty under the radar.

    Posted by: Matt | Dec 11, 2009 9:20:17 AM

  13. Matt: It's a fair point. But if i would have found a less attractive guy as the sole protest of a 1000-person tea party, it might have been different. But Zack was the ONLY one there. That's where it all started and I ran an article featuring him an at that time didn't even know that he was gay. So...

    Posted by: Abe Sauer | Dec 11, 2009 10:41:25 AM

  14. Touché- at least it's nice to find someone else that understands marriage equality is a little advanced considering that a lot of ppl in the US don't have basic discrimination protection

    Posted by: Matt | Dec 11, 2009 11:11:13 AM

  15. Wow!! It is truly amazing the different things people can garner from the same story. Everyday gays prove that they are as stupid, intolerant, mean-spirited, and ugly as the people who would deny them their civil rights.

    We have a beautiful young man in Zack P., quite ordinary in his physical being, quite extraordinary in his courage, his tenacity, to be out and pro-active for LGBT rights in a particularly dangerous part of this toxic nation, some like to call a free nation; and there are those who would denigrate and dismiss this sexy, intelligent, brave young man?


    It is so difficult to cover ground in our fight for civil rights when we have gays who align themselves with the gay-hating right, and when we have gays, whatever their political affiliations who are so willing to disparage a hard-working young man, almost a kid, who is five times the man than the idiots who put him down.

    Buy this mans calendar. Help a brother out. Drop him a line and let hm know that he is not alone in his fight. For Gods sake . . . grow up . . . grow a heart!!

    Posted by: Ricco | Dec 11, 2009 11:52:07 AM

  16. Just remember dear coasters before you become to persnickety... Iowa has gay marriage, CA and NY do not.

    Posted by: zeddy | Dec 11, 2009 12:16:12 PM

  17. I'm almost always amazed, though I should not be, at the way most posters on this site react to any news item. Here we have an item of interest from a state that does not have a large metropolitan city with a major "Gay" district. Here is just an everyday average American kid who happens to be gay in today’s society. He because he does not wish to hide, as many kids are forced to do, has come out and presented himself so other kids like him can see that they are not alone. Yet as always I see, generally from those in large metro gay areas, comments that are unkind. Instead of damning him for his courage place yourself in a situation like his. What would you do?

    I live in northeastern Florida and because of the rural region in which I reside there is nothing for teens to do. This County is one of the largest land wise yet one of the smallest in population, and poorest. There are no sizeable towns for over an hours travel in any direction. No movie theatres, no bowling alleys, no skating rinks, nothing. And yet we do have gay kids. Red-necks, yes. Yet I have discovered that some of the gays are also rednecks as city dwellers would refer to them. They work on cars, trucks, tractors and get greasy. The reason I state this is that in all of my travels around this country one thing remains constant. Not spoken loudly but it is always there. Kids in the rural areas are more accepting of their gay neighbors, friends and/or relatives than city kids.

    It is only the churches and the intervention from outside that causes kids as they grow older to turn against their former friends, relatives and neighbors because they are taught by the churches and outsiders to treat people of differences badly. And here on this Towleroad site I see so many self-righteous gays damning a kid from rural America for doing what they themselves had not the courage to do. This kid has just said he is gay, he is not showing his private parts or having public sex. Take off your makeup and dresses and just be a man. Who gives a crap who you sleep with behind closed doors, in the bedroom where it belongs not on the street. Be human!

    Posted by: Bear | Dec 11, 2009 4:47:58 PM

  18. Why did the author of that piece not only mention and link to Focus on the Family's website and one of their many lie-filled articles but also promote it as a "must-read report"?

    Posted by: Philip Wester | Dec 14, 2009 8:33:56 AM

  19. Are there any preview pix of the calendar. Does he show pink?

    Posted by: MoJo | Nov 16, 2010 1:40:54 PM

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