January 16, 2011

A message from your blog master

Hey everyone!

Before I say anything else, let me say loudly:


The blog started with me basically begging my gay Facebook friends for submissions (and about 6,000 page views on Wednesday night), to now 240,000+ page views! In just 7 short days, the response has been astounding - like, of TSUNAMI proportions! That's why I had to close off the submissions for a few days. It was overwhelming, to say the least!

"Born This Way" has been covered by Dan Savage, OMG! Blog, Towleroad, The Dallas Voice, World Of Wonder, The Advocate, Gay List Daily, and it got picked up on Yahoo News and countless other blog links and Facebook and Twitter postings. To say this blog has gone "viral" is like saying water is wet! It is all CRAZY, but beyond amazing!

The true beauty of this blog, is it's not about ME - it's about all of YOU!
I'm simply the vessel through which all of you get to share yourselves with the world. And while the pictures are obviously a big part of why people are responding, it's WAY MORE about  your personal stories. People from all over the world are seeing themselves in your photos and words.

Some important info on SUBMISSIONS:

I will be opening the submissions page in 24-48 hour blocks, depending on the amount that come in. While I have some extra time to devote to keeping this blog alive, I do have lots of other work I have to attend to on a daily basis. And daddy's got bills to pay with, ahem - real work! :)

SO, here's the deal: If you submit something, you MUST follow the guidelines on the submission page.
Meaning, the more you contribute in terms of writing, details, and providing short but thoughtful stories to go with the pic, the better your chances are to be posted up.

I've gotten too many submissions with like one-sentence descriptions, or not even the basic info such as your age in the pic, the date of the pic, or where the pic was shot. Which means I have to recontact that person and ask them for more details. And I just don't have the time to be chasing people down asking for updates or more information.

And I need you to be creative, witty, poignant, silly - and just HONEST.
That's what really resonates.

The blog has also started a flurry of discussion about "nature vs. nurture" and some anger that some of the pix are nothing but stereotypes, or fear that some of the pix of boys in drag just perpetuate the myth that all gay men do drag, etc. Really? Don't we all know that's simply not true? Sheesh...

This is my 2-cents about that: All humans are stereotypes, on some level.
And yes, some gay boys/men have feminine mannerisms, and some gay girls/women have masculine mannerisms. And oh yeah - MANY DON'T!
But trying to pretend those things aren't a part of gay culture is, well - denial? What we reveal of ourselves as children might be vastly different than how we turned out as adults. This is all true for beautiful masculine/femme straight kids, too.

And part of what this blog is about is all of us being able to OWN those things without shame or guilt - even if those are the feelings we had WHEN the photo was taken, or how we felt as kids. And please remember a very important thing about the submissions: There is no right and no wrong for what people choose to say, or what pic they submit.

"Born This Way" is about each person's truth, plain and simple.

And in terms of comments, they will all remain. The only comments I will remove, however, is anything insulting, mean-spirited, or homophobic.
I have no time for hatred or neanderthal homophobes on this site!

OK, now for a few FAQ:

1) When will I post MY pic and story?

It's coming soon! My wonderful sister just scanned a bunch of pix of me and I'm gonna see what little treasure I can find of myself. For now, enjoy this highly-geeky pic of me with wax teeth/lips.

2) Who is the cover boy, in the plaid jumpsuit?
I finally relocated him! His name is Dennis, and he'll be getting an extra-special posting soon, with a 2nd pic of his. As I've stated, just seeing that picture a few years ago was the beginning of this WHOLE idea coming to life for me. So, everyone, please:

Big, gay, round of applause for Dennis! :)

3) What is your background?
I'm a longtime club and radio DJ, first in Boston and in LA since 1988. Most famous (or perhaps infamous) of my club events is Dragstrip 66, which just celebrated its 18th Anniversary. I'm also a longtime music reviews writer. I worked at Warner Bros. Records and managed bands - Porno For Pyros & Extra Fancy - in the 90's. So my background is definitely music related. It's my first and number one passion. I've described myself as a "Promosexual" for over a decade now.

That's all for now. Much more to come, eh?
xo - Paul V., LA CA


Gur said...

Hello from (still sunny) Israel!
I have to say that your blog is brilliant. The concept is self explanatory, you see it you immidiately know what it says. It also stands against some serious cases of violence around the world against gay youngsters. This is the reason when I got it on Facebook, I had to send it to all my friends. As a journalist, I wanted to write a short piece about it, but couldn't find your contacts anywhere (YET!) IN ORDER TO INTERVIEW YOU.
Now that it's full with predominately gay men, I think it's time to find some transgenders and Lesbians as well. I saw some girls here, but I think there can be more. In short - keep up the good work, and for sure you'll hit 1 Million in no time. And do introduce yourself to me on FB. I don't have a twitter account:)
Gur Rosen, Tel-Aviv, Israel

Anonymous said...

Thank you for starting this blog. As I read your post about why you started it and what it means to you, I think my eyes may have leaked a little.

Here's to Nature!


Hilton said...

"And part of what this blog is about is all of us being able to OWN those things without shame or guilt" -- yes! Reading this blog has been one of the most healing things I've experienced recently. Thank you for starting it and, hopefully, continuing it. It's valuable.

Douglas said...

Love the blog, and love what you said in this post. I've laughed, cried, and cheered - which is about all I ask of life at this point.

Thank you, and BRAVO!

Cooper Koch @ Gay List Daily said...

Hey - Just wanted to give you a heads up that we wrote about your blog as the feature story in today's edition of Gay List Daily, which was emailed out to 20k people this morning. It's also available online at http://www.gaylistdaily.com/national/entries/toddlers_pre_teens_tiaras/

Great job on the blog! Love the concept!

Anonymous said...

This blog makes me cry every time I read it! It is SO beautiful. It is wonderful to see us not hiding anything and I LOVE that so many who contribute say they wouldn't change anything or that they love their parents or that their childhood was lovely. It is truly an ode to love both of family and to self. Beautiful beautiful beautiful.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say I absolutely love your blog. I am a straight ally, and I feel everyone needs to see your blog and celebrate all the contributors. Keep it up! :)

Cathy said...

I only uber-personally know/have-known two gay people. One I can think of very personal memories that tell the tale way back in our childhood, the other was a friends son, who loved to watch the Wizard of Oz with his Dorothy Hair on (a towell wrapped around his head) as a 4/5 year old.

Never gave any thought to the fact that either might have been gay back then. Never gave any thought to it as all.

Thanks for opening my eyes :).

Anonymous said...

I''m straight and don't have a special interest in your subject, but I love reading early bios and good writing generally. Your site rocks! Moving, funny, these guys are honest and witty. A blast and an education to read. Congrats!

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, excelent blog!! Just a few lines to tell that the online edition of Spanish newspaper "El Pais" has written about your blog in today's edition:
Cheers from Spain!
Jose Santiago

lisa said...

i love this blog and i love being a part of this blog! thank you for doing it and thank you for making sure that we all stay safe (by deleting ugly comments and the like).