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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

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    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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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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