Category Archives: Gay

Todd’s Love Story

On a gray day in the gray city of Jackson, Michigan, we met up with Todd at the fountain in the middle of the local mall. As we sat on one of the benches, Todd told us a story of unrequited desire and long-distance love. Please enjoy:

TODD: I guess I knew I was gay as early as 7th grade. All the other guys around me were starting to notice the girls and I was starting to notice them. Just last year, my sophomore year, there was this guy named Blake in one of my classes. That was the first time I actually completely admitted to myself a full-blown crush. And, of course, once that happened I kinda went a bit overboard and came very close to stalking him. Needless to say, I’m not exactly his favorite person anymore.

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Sarah, Queen of the ‘Net

We arrived at the People’s Food Co-Op in Ann Arbor, Michigan, just as Sarah was finishing her lunch break. With only 20 minutes before she had to go back, we did a high-speed interview in the employee room of the Co-Op. At least we had a chance to finally meet Sarah, who’s been a good friend and immense help to YGA over the past few months by emailing us every time a link is broken or a picture doesn’t load. If only we could get her on the YGA payroll.. If only we had a YGA payroll!

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(not so) Straight from the D

We met up with Andre and his smiling friend Joye at the smokiest cafe in all of central Michigan on the campus of Michigan State in East Lansing. Andre’s a freshman at Michigan State and was anxious to talk about growing up in the center of Detroit (aka “The D”) as a young gay guy. Here’s our chat:

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Flint Diner Experience

Flint, Michigan. Infamous for its depression. An ugly symbol of the fallout of capitalism. And yet life goes on, here. At Coty’s Westside Diner, the waitress served us vanilla cokes and greasy hamburgers. It couldn’t have been any more truly American. We met up with Rachel, Greg, and Kyle and chatted about their lives at the turn of the millennium here in Michigan’s once-great industrial center. It was a conversation we’ll remember for a long time.

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Sebewaing, Home of the Brave

Braden’s story is tough to listen to.

We didn’t know what to expect when, on the morning of November 13th, we met Braden in the Food Court of the Bay City Mall in Bay City, Michigan. Braden’s mother had driven him down to Bay City from their small town of Sebewaing, which is up the “thumb” along the bay coast about a half hour away.

The Bay City Mall was not crowded at 9:00AM, and we sorta stood out, mostly because we were the only young people there but also because Braden was wearing gold beads and had a fabulous leopard-skin purse. All the jeans-wearing mountain men at a neighboring table looked at us curiously while we brought out the computer and started talking with Braden.

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Dinner at the Ponderosa

The drive from Port Huron, Michigan to the small town of Clare is dark and chock full of dead deer. We were so hungry and ready for dinner by the time we were driving on that highway, even the dead deer looked strangely appetizing.

Fortunately, we had Ponderosa waiting for us. Seeing as how this was the north woods of Michigan in hunting season, we’d expected to encounter deer. What we hadn’t expected to encounter was a huge crowd of gay boys meeting us for Ponderosa buffet. Sure, we knew we’d be meeting up with Nick and “a friend or two,” but somehow – probably out of our prejudiced minds – we didn’t actually think that a bunch of happy, well-adjusted gay dudes would be living regular lives up here in Clare. Guess it goes to show you that young gay people really are everywhere.

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Little Library That Could

Well the Pride Library of the University of Western Ontario is one of the most extensive collections of GLBT literature, history, and more in all of Canada. People come from all over the world to use it for research on gay and lesbian issues. We were lucky to get the chance to speak with Professor James Miller, who created the library. Here’s our chat:

YGA: This place is amazing, professor. Tell us a bit about it.

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Joel, from the Other London

Back in Seattle, when we were on the Jef St. De Lore Show, Joel called from his home in London to say how much YGA had helped him out. It really made our day and he’s been an awesome friend for a while so it was special for us to finally meet him in person as we passed thru London on our way to Michigan.

He gave us a quick tour of his school, the University of Western Ontario, drove us around London a bit, and even introduced us to Professor James Miller, whose Pride Library is a Canadian gay landmark (see next article.)

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Mom, Dad, I’m a gay?

At the Triple-X Diner on Queen Street West in Toronto, the diner used as the model for Queer as Folk’s breakfast joint, we sat waiting for Josh to arrive. Now if you’ve ever tried to meet someone you’ve never seen a picture of, you know what it’s like when every person who makes eye contact with you could be the person you’re trying to meet up with. About twenty-five people looked our way thru the windows and somehow Mikey got saddled with walking up to each one of them people and saying, “hey…um…are you Josh?” Finally, #26 said yes.

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