Meet The Real-Life Couple Set To Star In Lifetime’s Gay Holiday Movie

Actors Blake Lee (left) and Ben Lewis will star in Lifetime's "A Christmas Setup." The real-life couple have been married for Actors Blake Lee (left) and Ben Lewis will star in Lifetime’s “A Christmas Setup.” The real-life couple have been married for four years. 

Blake Lee and Ben Lewis have been cast in “The Christmas Setup,” which will be the network’s first yuletide offering to center on a same-sex romance.

Lifetime’s first holiday movie to center on a same-sex romance has found its leading men.

On Monday, the network announced that actors Blake Lee and Ben Lewis had signed to star in “The Christmas Setup.” Directed by Pat Mills, the film follows Hugo (played by Lewis), a New York corporate lawyer who plans to spend the holidays in Milwaukee with his mother, Kate (Fran Drescher), and best friend Madelyn (Ellen Wong). 

Kate then arranges for her son to run into a high school crush, Patrick (Lee), who has recently returned to Wisconsin after a successful stint in California’s Silicon Valley. As they enjoy the festive season together, Hugo and Patrick’s attraction to each other is undeniable. But as Hugo receives word of a big promotion requiring a move to London, he must decide what is most important to him.

In a case of art imitating life, Lee and Lewis are a real-life couple who married in 2016.  

“The Christmas Setup” will be featured among a spate of 30 new holiday-themed films in Lifetime’s “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime” lineup, set to kick off in October. It isn’t the network’s only diverse seasonal offering, either, as “A Sugar & Spice Holiday” will star Jacky Lai and Tony Giroux and focus on a Chinese American family.

Amy Winter, Lifetime’s head of programming, praised “The Christmas Setup” and “A Sugar & Spice Holiday” as “important additions” to the network’s lineup. 

“The world we create on camera should reflect the world we live in,” she said. in a Monday statement. Noting that Lifetime was working with GLAAD to ensure that “The Christmas Setup” represents a sensitive and accurate portrayal of an LGBTQ relationship, she added, “Our hope with these inclusive films and others is that people will see themselves while enjoying universally relatable holiday romances.”

The stars themselves expressed similar sentiments on social media. 

“There’s good-weird and bad-weird,” Lee, whose credits include a recurring stint on “Parks and Recreation,” wrote on Instagram Monday. “2020 has been bad-weird, but starring alongside my husband … in Lifetime’s first gay Christmas movie definitely qualifies as good-weird. In fact, it’s the most surreal, wonderful early Xmas gift I could ask for.”

Known for his roles in “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” and the CW’s “Arrow,” Lewis simply pledged to “make the yuletide GAY!”

Both Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel have pledged to diversity their lineup of holiday movies, which have been criticized for relying on heterosexual (and overwhelmingly white) stories. 

The tide appeared to turn somewhat last year when Lifetime included a gay couple (Brian Sills and Mark Ghanimé) as supporting characters in “Twinkle All the Way.” 

Though it was a small gesture, the movie’s inclusion of an LGBTQ narrative won praise from the Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman, who suggested it could “shake up these snowy, typically heterosexual worlds of love.” Other critics, however, urged screenwriters and producers to take the next step by placing a same-sex couple at the center of a holiday film. 

The Hallmark Channel is set to unveil an queer-themed Christmas movie of its own. Though no specifics have been confirmed, the network pledged to include “LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors” when announcing its holiday movie lineup in July.

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Check out the original story here: HuffPost Queer Voices.

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Dating Over 50: 8 Tips For Mature Gay Dating Success

Remember that very first date? Sweaty palms. Awkward conversation. You probably even had a curfew. Once you hit 50, at least the curfew is gone.

The dating landscape can be a difficult one for single gay seniors looking for love. Singles at gay bars and clubs tend to glamorize youthful, boyish looks while overlooking the silver foxes and bears on the dance floor. Such ageism can be disappointing, to say the least, but it’s not inescapable. There are growing pockets of senior gay men branching out into the social scene, living their best life, and defying the conventions of who’s hot and who’s not.

Your senior years can be full of love, romance, and adventure if you embrace your age and the wisdom it brings. The right date venues and strategies can give you access to a world of possibility and promise.

We’ve put together some tried-and-true gay dating tips for seniors who are getting back in the saddle and date again.

Use a gay dating site.

You’d be forgiven for wanting to avoid online gay dating, but the truth is it’s one of the easiest ways to meet people. Online gay dating is great for over 50s dating and has also come a long way since its early days, with many sites now catering specifically for people looking for a genuine romantic connection.

Though certain dating sites are free, you tend to get a more tailored service through a subscription service. If you’re a regular Gay Men News reader, you may benefit from signing up to Gay Dating Solutions, where you can browse the profiles of gay men in your age range who share your opinions on politics and world events.

Age is just a number; don’t be shy about it.

The first thing that you need to do when you’re using a dating site is to realize that your age is just a number. There are people in their 70s still working and there are retirees at 55.

You have to be truthful in everything that you put on the site. Nobody will care if you’re 61 instead of 55, but they don’t like being lied to.

Truth is the foundation of every great relationship, so you should make sure you embody that all the time. If you start out lying in a relationship, the chances are that you are going to be found out at some point. That action could undo everything that you’ve tried to do with your partner to make them willing to date you.  

Your age doesn’t define you one bit, so you should not be shy about sharing it right on your profile.

Don’t bond over your baggage.

Baggage bonding is when an early date shifts into deep conversation about some baggage you have in common. It starts off innocently with a question like “So what happened with your past relationships?” or “How has online dating been for you?” And off you go! You start comparing your horrific exes or your crazy awful dates.

Nothing positive can possibly come from this! Steer clear of these topics until you know each other better.

Freshen up your wardrobe.

Getting back into the dating scene is a great excuse to clear out your wardrobe and stock up on some stylish, well-fitting items that will make you feel fantastic.

Take clothes you haven’t worn in years to the charity shop to make room, and then invest in a couple of good-quality, non-workwear essentials – such as a smart coat, a good pair of jeans and a cashmere jumper – that you’ll wear for years. Feeling good in your clothes can do wonderful things for your self-confidence.

If you’re pretty clueless about fashion, consider hiring a personal shopper/stylist – a key benefit with this kind of service is that you can sit and relax while they scour the rails for you.

Do manage the date conversation.

Be the master of the segue if he talks too much, or the conversation swerves into uncomfortable topics. Make sure you get to talk about yourself in a meaningful way as well. If he walks away from the date having shared too much or hasn’t learned about you, then there won’t be a second date. Why is this up to you? Because you are better at it than he. Just do it, and you’ll both enjoy the date more.

Show up to your dates open, happy and being your already charming self. It will bring out the best in him and insure that you both have the best time possible. Remember, even if he is not Mr. I Love You, there is something valuable to learn from every date.

Start saying yes.

The guidance we’ve offered so far can essentially be summed up in one phrase: be more adventurous.

It can be difficult to break out of a routine that you’ve had for many years, but if you want to embark on a brand new relationship you’ll have to make some compromises on the way you live. The best way to do that is to get into the habit of going with the flow and generally saying “yes” to positive opportunities that fall into your lap.

And yes, that means taking your friends up on all those dinner-party invitations you may have been dodging.

Stay safe in the bedroom.

Returning to dating after a long period away can be challenging for a number of reasons – but many gay men in their fifties find it liberating when it comes to the bedroom. If you’ve been in a relationship for many years, having sex with a new person can be a real adventure.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things, but always remember the cardinal rule: use condoms and other forms of protection if you aren’t sure about your partner’s STI (sexually transmitted infection) status. You’d be surprised how common certain sexually transmitted infections are among the over-fifties.

Take your time.

Finally, always remember that it’s perfectly OK to take things slowly. While sex and relationships may not be a new experience, it can take time to feel comfortable with a new person.

Above all, remember that there’s no particular rush to meet somebody, and that it’s better to wait for the right kind of connection than to try and force something that’s not working.

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Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you! Don’t get fooled by free offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a FREE 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!

Sign-up now: www.gaydatingsolutions.com

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The Real Reason Straight Dudes Have Gay Sex But Still Identify as Straight

Desire and identity are two things that are often linked but don’t always have to go hand-in-hand. At least according to Robert Burriss, Ph.D.

Burriss is an evolutionary psychologist who studies human attraction and teaches at Basel University. In a new piece published by Psychology Todayhe explains the difference between desire and identity.

“A person can identify as straight but still desire or engage in sexual contact with persons of the same gender,” he writes.

He points to a recent study by Arielle Kuperberg of the University of North Carolina and Alicia Walker of Missouri State University, which looked at the sexual encounters of college students.

The study was conducted over the course of six years and surveyed about 24,000 adults. Of that 24,000, around 800 reported that their most recent hookup was with someone of the same gender.

Of those 800, 96 (12%) were straight-identifying men who engaged in gay hookups, and 2oo (25%) were straight-identifying women who engaged in lesbian hookups. It may not a huge number, but it’s certainly not insignificant either.

Digging even deeper into the study, researchers observed:

  • Of the 800, 29% said they had engaged in at least one same-sex experience before.
  •  22% said it was their first gay experience, and of that 22%, 70% said alcohol played a factor in the hookup.
  • 12% of women and 7% said they regularly attended religious services.
  • 9% said they didn’t enjoy the hookup.

Burriss says the study is helpful in understanding why people might engage in gay sex yet still identify as heterosexual, again going back to that idea of desire versus identity.

“Some are likely to be enacting social scripts and conforming to expected behavior,” he writes. “Others are likely to be exploring their sexuality and are either unwilling to adjust their identity to match their behavior, or feel that that their behavior does not fit within their identity.”

He continues, “The majority of these students are unlikely to be ‘closeted’ or secretly gay. Some will no doubt transition to a gay, lesbian, or bisexual identity, but others will continue to identify as straight.”

Burriss says further research tracking the college students into the next phases of their lives is now needed to get a more complete understanding of what impact desire plays on a person’s longterm identity.

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Check out the original story here: Queerty.

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Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you! Don’t get fooled by free offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a FREE 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!

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This College Football Star Came Out To Teammates By Literally Coming Out Of A Bedroom Closet

Jaden Vazquez, a sophomore linebacker from Bethlehem, Pa., had known he was bisexual for much of his life.

Last autumn, in the middle of the football season, Vazquez came to the realization that he just couldn’t hold back who he was anymore.

He had told some people back home, including his family, but more and more he felt he had to tell his football family at Fordham University.

After Vazquez came out to a few teammates, they encouraged him to come out to the whole team.

He agreed and shortly after National Coming Out Day, he uploaded a video on Instagram of himself literally coming out of a bedroom closet:

The video includes the caption: “As you can see it’s not easy for me to come out of the closet but here it is! I’m bisexual and I’m proud of who I am. Thank you to everyone who has ever supported me. I’ve struggled my entire life with self identity and I have finally found the strength to come out. Hope you enjoy the video.”

Looking back nearly a year later, Vazquez tells Outsports, “I’ve been pretty surprised to have zero negative reactions. A lot of people do get negative reactions when they come out, and that’s one thing I’m very fortunate about. My family is very open and loving and supporting, and my teammates are very open.”

Vazquez adds that everyone from his family to his teammates to his coaches were nothing but supportive.

“In football we do everything together,” he says. “You build strong bonds with people you struggle with every day through practice. And it creates the bond of family. At that point it doesn’t mater who the guy next to you is–his sexual orientation, his religion–you know the guy next to you has your back.”

Since coming out, Vazquez has taken a leadership role with Fordham Connect, a student-athlete support network that works to “erase the stigma around vulnerability and mental health in sport.” Vazquez says he works primarily with other LGBTQ students.

“We’re trying to have a safe space to talk about those things,” he says. “We know these are topics that are not really brought up in sports, because there’s this idea that you just play a sport. But the athletes are more than just athletes.”

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Check out the original story here: The Gaily Grind.

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Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you! Don’t get fooled by free offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a FREE 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!

Sign-up now: www.gaydatingsolutions.com

Download our mobile apps: https://appurl.io/jd0jaqp0

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How These Two Queer Men Blended Their Cultures for a Fairytale Wedding

A new tradition: A couple honors their Western heritages in an unique wedding.

There’s history in a name—multiple histories. This is what Cody McCook and Turner Free considered after they were married in August 2018. So, instead of going with one of their own last names, they took on a new one: AhTave, pulled from Cody’s family heritage in the Northern Ute tribe from the Uncompahgre Band. In the Ute language, AhTave means “new day” and was set to signify a reclamation of what the tribe had lost through colonization.

But the names weren’t the only culturally significant aspect of the couple’s nuptials, which came after meeting through Tinder in March 2016. First and foremost, the pair married in Colorado, where Cody’s tribe had lived before colonization. Turner’s suit nodded to his Western upbringing as it incorporated a cowboy hat, bolo tie and Saint Laurent Wyatt Harness boots. Cody, likewise wore traditional beaded moccasins, traditional otter hair ties, and an eagle feather.

“It was important for us to include our heritage because it represented where we came from to get to this place,” Cody says. The two married next to the Alta Lakes in Ophir, sitting on handmade benches provided by Turner’s family. During the ceremony, one of Cody’s cousins played a drum in a traditional tribal style while his grandfather performed a ceremonial smudge and prayer. “It was an amazing day where we were both represented fully and supported by our loved ones.”

Congratulations to Mr. and Mr. Cody and Turner AhTave.

Photos by Shelby Annemarie

A new tradition: A couple honors their Western heritages in an unique wedding.A new tradition: A couple honors their Western heritages in an unique wedding.
A new tradition: A couple honors their Western heritages in an unique wedding.A new tradition: A couple honors their Western heritages in an unique wedding.A new tradition: A couple honors their Western heritages in an unique wedding.A new tradition: A couple honors their Western heritages in an unique wedding.A new tradition: A couple honors their Western heritages in an unique wedding.A new tradition: A couple honors their Western heritages in an unique wedding.

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Check out the original story here: Out Magazine.

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Have you found the right one, or are you still searching?

Join a gay dating site where you can meet single guys from any town or city. Rely instead on Gay Dating Solutions to do the work for you! Don’t get fooled by free offers made by other sites. Gay Dating Solutions is offering a FREE 6 month promotion ABSOLUTELY no strings, request for credit card numbers, etc…it is the only site that is truly free to join!

Sign-up now: www.gaydatingsolutions.com

Download our mobile apps: https://appurl.io/jd0jaqp0

Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/GayDating101

Tweet us: twitter.com/GayDating101

Netflix Rolls Out Official Trailer for the Adaptation of Gay Classic ‘The Boys in the Band’ — WATCH

Netflix has released the official trailer for its upcoming adaptation of the Broadway revival of the late Mart Crowley‘s 1968 landmark play The Boys in the Band, co-produced by Ryan Murphy and directed, as on Broadway, by Joe Mantello. The film premieres on September 30. The film, about a group of gay […]

The post Netflix Rolls Out Official Trailer for the Adaptation of Gay Classic ‘The Boys in the Band’ — WATCH appeared first on Gay Men News.

What Does Being a “Power Bottom” Really Mean?

“Achieving power bottom status isn’t something that happens overnight.” As queer people, we’ve all heard the term “power bottom.” Its usage implies a superior bottom who can enthusiastically handle any dick of any size at any time. A power bottom is a bottom’s final evolution—the Charizard of taking dick, if […]

The post What Does Being a “Power Bottom” Really Mean? appeared first on Gay Men News.

12 Best Hobbies For Gay Couples That Can Strengthen Your Relationship

Spending quality time together is the backbone of any relationship. However, when a couple is together for a long period of time, things might turn boring or stuff that they do together gets quite repetitive. Well, do not worry because this article will bring you closer and strengthen your relationship, […]

The post 12 Best Hobbies For Gay Couples That Can Strengthen Your Relationship appeared first on Gay Men News.

13 Incredible Facts About Stonewall Legend and LGBT+ Rights Trailblazer Marsha P Johnson You Might Not Know

Marsha P Johnson, the trailblazing LGBT+ activist, played a vital part in the Stonewall Uprising of 1969 and dedicated her life to fighting for the rights of queer people. Were Johnson alive in 2020, she would be 75 years old and without doubt still on the frontlines of the battle for civil […]

The post 13 Incredible Facts About Stonewall Legend and LGBT+ Rights Trailblazer Marsha P Johnson You Might Not Know appeared first on Gay Men News.

Gay Couple’s Hilarious Video Message to The Jerk Who Stole Their Pride Flag Goes Viral

Speaking directly “to the person who stole the pride flag off our front porch,” the couple’s cute warning has swept Twitter. When a Chicago gay couple had the pride flag stolen off of their porch, they knew what they had to do. First, buy more flags. Like, a lot of […]

The post Gay Couple’s Hilarious Video Message to The Jerk Who Stole Their Pride Flag Goes Viral appeared first on Gay Men News.