1. Rick says

    Just looking at that photo makes me wonder anew why so few gay men ever seem to look like the proverbial boy next door (much less act like him). Beards, shaved heads, thick glasses….or something… so many cases…..

    Why? I don’t get it and I guess I never will.

  2. says

    because, RICK, these gay men aren’t terrified of straight people knowing that they’re gay. unlike you, who still lives a cowardly closeted life.

    you don’t need to get it. you’ll die in the closet your father demanded you stay in. it’s ok, you’re not missed.

    the song is beautiful, the vocal performances are stirring, and i got chills right down my spine.

    these are men who have lived and fought and MADE IT to adulthood, despite growing up in this overwhelmingly bigoted world culture. they’re an inspiration, and i thank them for lending their voices and faces to What Gay Is, which will undoubtedly inspire more people to find strength in who and what they are.

    very very very moving. thanks to all who continue to lend their voice, and give a Face to the LGBT Community, and helping open the doors for the next generations.

  3. Parallelogram says

    This is fantastic. The fact the it’s released during Lent is extra special. Clear parallels between the movements in this song and the Triduum. From the Last Supper to the Agony in the Garden to the Crucifixion to the Resurrection. Very nice.

  4. Sean in Dallas says

    I don’t know what RICK is looking at.

    I see a pretty typical cross section of guys. Except they’re not typical…they’re actually doing something for the greater good, as opposed to sitting in their jammies in Mommy’s basement, making intentionally inflammatory comments just to get the attention they so desperately seek because Daddy rejects them because they like to look at weenies.

  5. says

    Sean In Dallas, RICK is just bitterly seeing Openly Gay Men.

    he’s not one, so he complains about them.

    but yeah, you get it perfectly ūüėÄ

  6. Michael says

    The piece is about accepting one’s self and one another. So let’s start doing that, rather than comparing each other to the boy next door, or knocking those who are not ready to be out. :)

  7. Izzy says

    As an SFGMC Singer, I can say I’m shocked and slightly appalled by the hate going on on this page. Sean and Kiwi, it’s true that Rick is saying negative comments, but that doesn’t mean to send hate toward him.

    However, Rick, again, as an SFGMC Singer, I can honestly say you’re wrong. We have more than people with “beards, shaved heads and thick glasses”. Watch the video, and you’ll see our first two singers are what would be considered “boy next door”

    But really, are we still trying to live in a world where labels are for people as well? Isn’t that what we’re trying to get rid of in making this video? To make it so that gay isn’t a label, but a characteristic?

    Why do we insist on telling people that they fit into a certain label? And why do we continually call someone the “boy next door”, or “twink” or “bear”? We should be more into their mind and personality, and not their body type.

  8. melvin says

    Why does Rick Santorum keep posting here. Doesn’t he have campaigning to do?

    My only response to the vid is to wish, not for the first time, that I could carry a tune. Alas.

  9. says

    IZZY – Rick is a troll. “Rick” is one of the many aliases he uses to slander women, black people, and men he deems to be “effeminate”.

    make no mistake, the best contribution Rick could give to the LGBT Community would be to show us all his best Sylvia Plath and introduce his face to the back of an oven.

    Harsh? Whatever. All of his aliases spew the same insecure nonsense – if there’s an Out person who doesn’t reflect what he thinks he looks like he gets angry. Angry that someone he wants to believe is “weaker” than him is actually, and provably, worlds stronger.

  10. Rick says

    @Izzy I watched the video and, if I counted correctly 6 of the 10 soloists had beards and 2 of the others were wearing thick glasses.

    That is way beyond the proportions you would find in the general population…..and I don’t understand what any of that–or shaving one’s head–has to do with one’s sexual orientation.

    It is hard not to conclude, therefore, that, as with effeminacy, there is something about the gay experience (rather than about being attracted to other men sexually, per se) that causes unusual behavior.

    Groups of people get labeled, to use your phrase, because the general society looks at them and sees oddities that they don’t understand….and if I, as a gay man, myself, do not understand some of these oddities, then imagine how it appears to everyone else.

  11. Steve says

    If you are basing your idea of the “boy next door” on media impressions then you will always be disappointed. I think these men are a fine representation of the every day man. Funny, it turns out most of us look like the rest of the population in all their variety. What a surprise.

  12. says

    then you, RICK, can provide the URL wherein you show us, via webpage or your own youtube video, what YOU look like as a gay man.

    that you, yourself, continue to refuse to Come Out and give “a face to what gay is” instantly negates your supposed stance.

    you’re a fully-grown closeted adult. at what point are you finally going to grow a pair of balls and Stand Up to be Counted?

    peopel get labeled because wimps like you are still hiding in the closet, all because your pathetic bigot of a father never accepted you.

    be a real man and realize your dad was a piece of s**t – his resentment of you has nothing to do with “femmes” and everything to do with him being a lousy human being. a trait he passed on to you. classy.

  13. Izzy says

    Rick, I say it again;
    Is that not what we’re trying to get rid of? Labeling groups of people?

    Not only that, but I hardly believe any of these characteristics are oddities. I was hoping that that’d be understood, because we shouldn’t ostracize the ostracized even more.

  14. says

    folks, rather than engaging TrollRick in dialogue ask him instead to back up his claims – what’s stopping him from putting a face and name to What Gay Is?

    truly. dont’ talk to him. ask him to prove that he is what he says he is. and nothing more.

    he’ll run away like the wimp he is.

  15. says

    for real though – stop feeding these trolls with questions that they use to pathetically vent their misery. ask for proof.

    after all, why would a strong butch manly empowered masculine gay man refuse to stand up to be counted?

    because he’s none of those things.

  16. Christian says

    Rick, if the visual representation of our singers in the SFGMC is offensive to you, then perhaps you should play the video and then move it to the background so that you can be freed from focusing on the superficial frivolities of the appearance of our members and focus on the importance of the lyrics, a plea to distraught and heartbroken teenagers completely without hope to NOT KILL THEMSELVES IN A FIT OF DEPRESSION AND DESPAIR.

  17. says

    or RICK could post his own video and show what a strong masculine manly boy next door (barf) image he claims to be representing as a gay man.

    URL please?

  18. says

    one has to sadly laugh at a grown-adult closet case who claims that ‘effeminate guys and guys with shaved heads clearly have issues’

    right. because being a fully-grown adult who lives in the closet doesnt’ indicate massive issues….riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.

  19. Kevin says

    LOL! I guess I am a stereotypical gay man because I have thick glasses. Odd though, I thought my glasses had more to do with my being blind as a bat and not so much to do with my sexual orientation. Glad that’s cleared up.

  20. says

    Kevin, you should know by now that only weak effeminate queens wear thick glasses.

    real masculine men just walk around semi-blind and “squint” because squinting makes you look totes butch

  21. Marguerite Gautier says

    Lots of men, gay and straight, shave their heads as a graceful way of dealing with hair loss.

  22. Rick says

    @Steve My impression of the boy next door is….well…..the boys next door in the neighborhood I grew up in…..and the boys next door I went to high school with and the boys next door in my dormitory in college.

    @Christian I hate to have to tell you this, but what causes gay teenagers to despair and want to kill themselves is getting a glimpse of gay life and the prevailing gay culture and finding little or nothing in it to appeal to them. Instead, they see a lot of the “weirdness” I am referring to, which makes them uncomfortable and feel like social outcasts in the larger society….which they would not feel if they saw in gay life a lot of the same things (and men) that they see in the larger society.

    What a shock it must be to so many young men to discover their sexuality and come to terms with it….only to find out that so many gay men are, in fact, as “weird” as they have always been told they are–bearded, shaved-headed types, more often than not effeminate, rather than the kind of guys they have known all their lives.

    THAT is what is so devastating to so many…..

  23. jake says

    Monstrous piece of self-indulgent, sentimental, sanctimonious crap. No one ever heard the Bernstein Mass? That’s the tune. It doesn’t get better, it gets ripped off. Third rate music given a perf worthy of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Some good voices but everyone’s so thrilled with themselves I can’t bear to watch.

    This kind of mush does no one any good. Ugh.

    I was in San Francisco with a play and thought it a very provincial town but this is beyond provincial, this is a PTA meeting in Scarsdale.

  24. bonncaruso says

    I can only write as a straight ally that the work is truly beautiful, and as I also wrote on the youtube page, more importantly, beautifully sung. All of the elements of beaufiful singing, singing that touches the inside of the listener, are there and at a high niveau: intonation, legato, diction, agogic stress, ease of production (especially but not limited to Tenor I). Whoever coached the work did one helluva job. You can be proud of the results and the echo this work will leave in the ears and eyes of your listeners/viewers. It was a pleasure to hear you. Best to you in your future endeavors.

  25. says

    This message is neither honest nor adequate. Once again, it’s Dan Savage telling young LGBT folk that their lives will automatically get better, so they have to just “hang in there”. For the most butch and femme among us, it doesn’t “get better” . . . it often gets worse! We need strong advocacy, not self-serving patronization! Using music and video to pat oppressed people on the head is not the answer. Declaring war on heterosexual supremacy is! No small number of Dan Savage sycophants need to pick up Harry Belafonte’s superb autobiography MY SONG, and learn what kind of hard work it really takes to make life better for future generations. Harry, MLK and their Civil Rights movement colleagues had too much courage and integrity to go around telling victims of race-based brutality that “it gets better.”

  26. jim says

    How sad that this comment thread especially has turned out to be so negative, angry, confrontational and jaded.

    It seems as tho whenever Rick adds a comment, the whole thread gets hijacked and taken to a place that has absolutely NOTHING to do with the post.

    Sad. Just sad. And it’s getting more than a little boring.

  27. Christian says

    Stuffed Animal: So telling depressed and suicidal teenagers to not kill themselves is a dishonest message. I’ll make a note of that.

  28. Peter says

    Fascinating. On one hand we have someone telling us the video looks too gay; on the other, someone telling us the song is not gay enough.

    Rick and Jake, please cancel each other out. Thx.

  29. Markt says

    It is amazing how any commentary by Rick takes over. Ignoring his posts is probably the solution.
    I do love both his and Jake’s posts though. They have reactions that are honest and not completely foriegn to me. Yet I would not have said either.

  30. says

    there are some people who hate Dan Savage more than they care about promoting messages of Hope for LGBT people.

    the only thing stopping StuffedAnimal, and others, from making THEIR OWN VIDEO where they give a specific message of HOW to make life better, is their own bitter anger toward dan savage.

    Judge Judy often admonishes divorced and fighting parents with “you should love your children more than you hate your ex-spouse” – same goes for the angry miserable complainers here.

    ok, you don’t like Dan Savage. great, good for you. ok, you don’t like the song. great, good for you.

    what are YOU doing, specifically, to give messages of empowerment to youth, and their allies?

    StuffedAnimal hates dan savage more than he cares about sharing a specific message of Hope, and “Rick” complains that there aren’t enough “normal masculine gay men” for young people to see, yet he himself refuses to Come Out and represent….uh…whatever he thinks he is.

    both are about as useful as tits on a fish.

    and decidedly less sexually arousing.

  31. Necromancer says

    Kiwi – Thanks for keeping it real. Still Jake and Animal have points and these comments allow them to make them without mitigation.
    The peice was created and performed by adults with adults in mind. A vehicle for us to get teary eyed over what we’ve been through b/c we’re different. At 17 I would have killed myself if someone showed my what age and a lack of exercise would do to me in later years. I would not have identified with anyone in that video and that would have been a good thing. The videography has as much to do with that as the performers.
    One summer I was given 24 interns. The youngest had just graduated high school on his way to Dartmouth. He was very bright, very helpful and very gay. The work was in an important setting in NYC so although he was bullied it wasn’t articulated in a way that was specifically gay. But that was the reason (i.e., a lambasting from my boss for stopping to tap dance for a second). Before he left he thanked me for the exceptional experience he had and told me that I turned something that could have been horrible into “a great experience.” The last thing I would have done to reach him would have been to share that video. Also, 17 year olds don’t listen to funereal music and that’s a good thing, especially if suicide is a possibility.

  32. A Person says

    Please stop feeding the trolls. Your reactions bring them back. People say “wrong” things on the internet all the time.

    Catch people doing something right. Like making this music and video.

  33. TJ says


    I would have killed myself if some showed (me) what age and lack of exercise would do to me in later years?

    Really? You mean a beautiful, heart-felt performance makes you want to cringe? You think 17 year-olds are all perfectly formed and also irreparably vain and shallow? You also watched the video and judged how some of the performers looked (btw, when I watched, I saw a wide range of ages and physiques. I saw lots of beautiful men – heck, I thought they all were beautiful)? Really?

    I keep hearing a line: “Everybody has a heart. Except some people.”

  34. says

    TJ – it’s just the same old story. Those who do nothing love to anonymously complain about anything and everything that other people do.


  35. Necromancer says

    As a vehicle to inspire adults to do more it has possibilities. But it is not an example of how to reach at-risk youth. The gap between the generations is wide and takes particular effort to bridge. If that is happening here – great. I’m well past my teenage years so I’m not an expert. Try showing it around to ages 12 – 19 and see how they respond.

  36. TJ says

    Perhaps, for many, KIWI, what you say is true. But NECROMACER above postures that he has reached out and helped. Yet he completely dismisses the song and video because it showed too many fat old people. He characterizes the music as funereal. Did he listen to the lyrics?

    Maybe things have changed. Maybe all high school choirs are now “show” choirs covering Lady Gaga and Adele songs. But if they still sing choir -style, with all of the rich harmonies, perhaps some gay choir kid might just appreciate what this performance is about. Perhaps, even listen to the lyrics. Perhaps, that kid might spot all the “hotties” in that video, and even not be repulsed by all the old fatties. It could happen.

    And if you think it can’t happen, what are the positive suggestions you might have, even if you can’t produce an alternate video?

  37. says

    Out gays can’t win.

    they’re either “too femme”, or they get criticized for having “shaved heads and beards”

    i suppose some gay men are resentful that we’re not all as boring and charisma-deficient as they are.

    still, i’ll fight for any gay man’s right to be as boring as he wants to be.

    it’s just very telling that those who complain loudest also don’t ever show the examples they’re living and giving in their own lives.

    i’ve never understood the mindset of “i don’t identify with that because they don’t look like me”.

    how odd. i thought one of the beautiful things about being human was the ability to empathize and identify with others despite seeming differences, be they aesthetic or generational.

    but hey, i guess some people only care for what looks Exactly Like Them. If that’s the case they have only one option – make their own videos where they show Their Kind of Gay in hopes of inspiring others who are Like Them.

    you can’t blame others for nor “representing you” when you have no intention of standing up to be counted, raising your voice, and visibly representing YOURselves.

  38. Necromancer says

    I am like those guys. I made that clear. And when I try to reach out to the younger generation I know I must, from the start, overcome the superficial differences of age that often get in the way.

  39. says

    As a former San Franciscan, I saw a great many dear familiar faces in that video, watching it here from DOMA Exile with my husband in London it was hard not to get more that a little choked up. The SFGMC has done a brilliant, wonderful and incredibly powerful thing. Thanks guys… Well done.

  40. terryp says

    To all who suffer under this still very homophobic US. The SFGMC gives me hope, & strength we all need. we are beautiful ppl, try & love yourselfs more.Why can’t I stop crying….

  41. Necromancer says

    You can’t stop crying because you are completely self-involved. Wallowing in being a victim is all you have it appears. A piece that looks like a cancer-care commercial has made you feel sorry for yourself in the most delicious way. Enjoy it I guess – just stay away from at risk youth. If they have any standards at all they will kill themselves rather than be subjected to a lifetime of you and your ilk.

  42. Necromancer says

    oOps – sorry – drunken post. Of course memories can come back and haunt us. So sorry.

  43. terryp says

    I fogive you NECROMANCER I’ve stoped crying.I have many ppl I still love. Knowing this also gives me hope. Love is the most powerful thing we can give to each other. I’m so glad we have towleroad, I have learned so much. I hope this old man has a few more years to love. May the Great Spirit protect us all.