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    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May

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    The post City Slang: Margaret Doll Rod to play EP release show in May appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

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    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes

    “Neighbors wanted.” That’s the message on the homepage of buildingdetroit.org, a new website launched by the City of Detroit today to auction off city-owned homes to prospective buyers who pledge to fix them up and move in. “We are moving aggressively to take these abandoned homes and get families living in them again,” Mayor Mike Duggan said in a statement today. “There are a lot of people who would love to move into many of our neighborhoods. Knowing that other people are going to be buying and fixing up the other vacant homes at the same time will make it a lot easier for them to make that commitment.” The website to facilitate the auctions went live this afternoon. The first auction is scheduled to take place Monday, May 5. Officials said in a news release that one home will be auctioned per day, Monday through Friday. Fifteen homes are available for sale on the site, a dozen of which are in the East English Village neighborhood. Any Michigan resident, company, or organization that can do business in the state can bid, according to the website. Properties will be for sale for only one day, with bidding taking place from 8 […]

    The post Detroit launches website to auction city-owned homes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes

    In case you haven’t heard, two of the biggest names in film, Steven Spielberg and John Williams, are collaborating to put on a benefit concert for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra this summer. In case you wanted to go- well, you’re too damn late. The DSO says tickets to the June 14 concert were snapped up in a record-breaking 15 minutes after they went on sale at 9 a.m. today. The DSO has since released this statement to fans who didn’t snag seats: Our apologies to everyone who was unable to buy tickets this morning for our historic benefit concert featuring John Williams and Steven Spielberg. Despite increasing our phone and internet system capacity for the day, a surge of hundreds of ticket buyers purchased tickets in a matter of minutes, filling the phone lines and temporarily maxing out our web servers. After a one-hour pre-sale made available to donors and subscribers at 8am, we released additional seats at 9am to the general public, including seats available for as low as $30. All seats sold out immediately. The concert program seems nothing short of top notch: Williams will conduct the orchestra as it performs some of his most iconic tunes, such […]

    The post Tickets for Steven Spielberg, John Williams summer concert sell out in 15 minutes appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Father figures

It’s time for a gay sex talk

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Q: I’m a 37-year-old single father with a 14-year-old son. I’ve raised him on my own basically since birth, with help from some good friends and nearby family. Overall he’s a good kid: gets decent grades, rarely gets in trouble. Our relationship isn’t perfect — I work a lot and he’s a teenager, but no major issues. Over the past year, however, I have become increasingly convinced that he is gay. I’ve found gay porn on his laptop (yes, I snoop; I pay the bill and I’m his dad), he’s shown zero interest in girls, and he has always been a tad effeminate, though I know that’s probably an unfair stereotype. I have no problem with gay people and I support full equality for same-sex couples. And truly, if my son is gay, while I won’t pretend it’d be no big deal and not require a bit of mental adjustment, I’d love him and support him fully.

My son has a friend, let’s call him “Gomer,” who comes over often. Sometimes they’re here when I’m not, and often they’re alone together with the door closed. If Gomer were a girl, these things wouldn’t be allowed. I’ve had the (straight) sex talk with my son, and he knows that I don’t want him to be sexually active yet. But a friendship with a guy isn’t sexual … unless it is. I have no specific knowledge that anything has happened between them. Gomer is a nice kid, and I’ve met his parents. I have no problem with them hanging out. But if my son were gay, I would have a different, stricter set of rules regarding male friends. But how do I broach the subject?

He’s a sensitive kid, and I worry he’d lie or resent me. And if he’s not gay, I worry I could seriously damage our relationship and hurt his pride by suggesting he is. I’m swimming in unfamiliar waters here with no life vest. —Dad Under Duress

 

A: “In an ideal world, Dad Under Duress would take a slow and roundabout way to encourage his son to come out to him,” says John Schwartz, a correspondent for the New York Times, a father of three, and the author of Oddly Normal: One Family’s Struggle to Help Their Teenage Son Come to Terms with His Sexuality. “Instead of a direct confrontation — are you gay or what? — DUD could make gay issues a part of the day’s general conversation. Discuss issues like same-sex marriage and stories in the newspaper that bring up LGBT themes. In that middle ground between pushing and ignoring, his son might decide that his dad is safe to come out to.”

Whenever possible, queer kids should be allowed to reveal their sexuality on their own timetable, Schwartz emphasizes, but there are times when a parent has to force the issue. For instance, if a not-yet-out gay kid is in crisis, or if a parent stumbles over evidence that a not-yet-out gay kid is doing something risky, a parent can and should go the “are you gay or what?” route. In your case, DUD, you already know your son is gay — “Browsers don’t lie,” says Schwartz — and the fact that your son might be having sex in his room, thereby breaking dad’s house rules, may rise to the level of “are you gay or what?”

“If he’d tell a hetero boy to keep his door open, a gay boy should get the same message,” says Schwartz. “He’s not being the monster and he’s not being insensitive. He’s being the dad. He should keep in mind, though, that if his son is already having sex with his buddy, telling him he can’t do it at home is likely to send them off to places — to school, to a car — where getting caught could have bigger consequences than getting grounded.”

Let’s pause for a moment to recall why — generally speaking — parents frown on their straight kids having friends of the opposite sex in their bedrooms: An unplanned pregnancy can quickly derail two young lives. While a couple of gay boys can get into trouble, DUD, and while sexually transmitted infections are a concern, Gomer isn’t going to knock up your son. So if your gut tells you that your son isn’t ready and that he would be traumatized if you forced him to come out, DUD, you might wanna let him think he’s pulling one over on his clueless straight dad. There aren’t many perks to being a closeted gay teenager — a few sleepovers that the straight kids couldn’t get away with might be a small consolation.

John Schwartz shared your letter with Joseph Schwartz, the gay son whose coming-out story John tells in Oddly Normal. Joseph thinks it’s time for a gay sex talk.

“Gay kids need sex education more than straight ones,” Joseph tells his dad. While your son might have had sex education in school, even the best sex-ed classes focus on male-female. “There’s less reliable information about gay sex than there is about straight sex,” Joseph says, so gay kids turn to the Internet — or to porn — for information and, as Joseph points out, “half of it could be physically dangerous, and the rest is poorly explained.”

“If he’s lucky,” says Schwartz, “DUD lives near an LGBT center with a youth program, which will help his son find a community and also get a healthy dose of sex ed and risk reduction. If not, he could be in for an uncomfortable conversation or two. But the underlying message you’ll be sending is that you care, and that you’re the dad.”

Oddly Normal is a terrific book, and any parent with a queer kid should read it — and since any kid could be queer, that means every parent should read it. You can follow John Schwartz on Twitter @jswatz, and there’s a good interview with Joseph Schwartz at the Atlantic: tinyurl.com/oddlynormal.

 

 

      Q: What are the effects of perpetuating the myth that gay men should all be tanned and chiseled Adonises? Because that is all one sees. —Not All Adonises

 

A: In the last 24 hours of casual media consumption — cable news, daily papers, my Twitter feed, straight blogs, queer blogs — I’ve seen my fair share of tanned and chiseled Adonises. I’ve also seen pictures or video of Bayard Rustin, Barney Frank, Harvey Fierstein, Harvey Milk, Daniel Hernandez Jr., Ian McKellen, Evan Wolfson, Jinkx Monsoon, Jared Polis, Bruce Vilanch, Alan Turing, George Kalogridis and more. All great guys, all of whom have made or are making a difference (leading the civil rights movement, leading the LGBT rights movement, making art, telling jokes, helping to defeat Nazi Germany, pushing the boundaries of drag as an art form), but not one of whom was, is, or ever aspired to be an underwear model.

Images of perfect male bodies can fuel body-image issues in both gay and straight men. Gay men in particular are at higher risk of anorexia, bulimia, and “bigorexia,” aka muscle dysmorphia, aka “gay dude who lives at the gym.” So those images of tanned and chiseled Adonises can do harm. But if all one sees are images of tanned and chiseled Adonises, NAA, then that’s all one is looking for.

Yes, the media — gay and straight — focus too much on the young and the hot. But if you’re not seeing gay men of all ages, sizes, shapes, and colors, NAA, it’s because you’re choosing not to see them. Open your eyes.

Find Dan Savage’s weekly podcast every Tuesday atthestranger.com/savage. Order it now! Send letters to mail@savagelove.net or @fakedansavage on Twitter.

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