Research Finds Steroid Use Much Higher Among Gay And Bisexual Teen Boys

AP Photo/Albany Times Union, Will Waldron, File

Twenty-one percent of boys who identify as gay or bisexual say they have used steroids. That’s compared to just 4% of straight boys, according to a study published by The American Academy of Pediatrics Journal that compares “the lifetime prevalence of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) misuse among sexual minority versus heterosexual US adolescent boys,” and attempts explain the differences.

Reasons for the increase in steroid use are unclear, but researchers say it’s possible gay and bisexual boys feel more pressure to have a muscular, stereotypical male physique or they think muscle-building will fend off bullies, according to the Associated Press.

Dr. Rob Garofalo, adolescent medicine chief at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, told the Associated Press the differences aren’t surprising, since it is known that gay youth often have “body image issues.” But, he said, “It is still shocking. These are dramatically high rates.”

In terms of moderate use, there were still differences between straight teens and gay or bi teens. For boys who take steroid pills or injections up to 40 times, 8% of gay or bi teens reported that amount, versus less than 2% of straight boys. For boys who take pills or injections more than 40 times, 4% of gay or bi boys reported that amount versus less than 1% of straight boys.

This data is from an analysis of government surveys from 2005 and 2007 taken from a pooled data set of the 14 jurisdictions. It involved 17,250 teen boys aged 16 on average; 635 boys, almost 4%, were gay or bisexual.

The journal said this is the first known study to to find a connection between AAS misuse and sexual orientation.

Steroids and teenagers are a bad combination. The Food and Drug Administration released a consumer update in November that stated the danger in taking steroids. They said side effects can include heart and liver problems, high blood pressure, acne, and aggressive behavior. Mood swings, unnatural muscle growth, and breast development in boys can occur if they abuse steroids.

Kids are often less open about using steroids than about drinking or smoking marijuana, but the study helps shed light on the issue, especially concerning gay and bi kids, Garofalo told the AP.

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First Look At The Film Depicting Poet Elizabeth Bishop And The Woman She Loved

1. Academy Award nominated filmmaker Bruno Barreto is giving audiences a closer look at a sprawling love affair in his film Reaching For The Moon.

2. The story follows the 1950s affair between American poet Elizabeth Bishop and Brazilian architect Lota de Macedo Soare.

Wolfe films

wolfe films


3. Suffering from writer’s block, Bishop (played by Miranda Otto) leaves New York City for Rio de Janeiro.

DADA films / Via Wolfe

4. There she finds an unlikely source of inspiration…

DADA films / Via Wolfe

5. … falling into a relationship with her polar-opposite, Soare (played by Glória Pires).

DADA Films / Via Wolfe

6. The film paints an intimate portrait of a complicated love affair that spans several decades, languages, and countries.

Wolfe Films

Wolfe films


7. Check out an exclusive clip:

Wolfe / Via DADA films

8. And learn more about the film here:

The award winning film opens in New York on November 8th and Los Angeles on November 29th.

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Beautiful Photographs Of Couples And Friends At Soweto Pride In South Africa

Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi

Zanele Muholi’s photographs are deceptively radical. A recipient of the 2013 Carnegie Fine International Prize, she regards her work as a visual documentation of black women and LGBTI experience as a form of advocacy. The joy and vibrant affection Muholi captured at this year’s Soweto Pride festivities are a counterpoint to the violence and homophobia South Africa’s LGBTI community continues to face.

On the way home from the Sowete celebration, a group of performers was reportedly threatened by a mob of 20 to 30 people just as they were getting into a taxi. The attackers jumped onto the car and attempted to break the windows in order to reach the victims. The performers were eventually able to escape uninjured but the attack underscores the significance of Pride which, all too often, is taken for granted.

In addition to photographing friends and couples attending the festivities, Zanele Muholi also filmed a short video to document Soweto Pride’s march and celebration.

Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi

Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi
Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi
Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi
Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi
Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi
Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi
Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi
Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi
Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi
Zandile Makhubu & Zanele Muholi

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Harvey Milk Day: Activists Keep His Spirit Alive

1. Today would have been Harvey Milk’s 83rd birthday.

file / AP

2. To mark the occasion, San Francisco city officials organized a reenactment of his famous “You’ve Got To Have Hope” speech:

Activist Sean Chapin, along with Andrea Shorter, Randall Mann, Sister Roma, Courtney Walsh, and Aaron Wimmer, produced a powerful reading of Harvey Milk’s famous speech at the top of the Castro in San Francisco.

3. Chapin writes:

“What came to be called ‘The Hope Speech’ was initially conceived as a stump address, wherein Milk attempted to embolden a strong GLBTQ nationalism within the Castro, while also appealing for an alliance with other disenfranchised groups and straight folks,” wrote Jason Edward Black and Charles E. Morris III in their anthology An Archive of Hope: Harvey Milk’s Speeches and Writings (University of California Press, 2013). Milk would revise the speech and recite it several more times at various appearances, according to the introduction written by Black and Morris to the version they included in their book. It was a defiant speech about gay self-acceptance that included Milk’s call for LGBT people to come out of the closet and inspire others to do so. For as Milk said, particularly of LGBT youth, “And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a place to go if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be alright.”

7. Watch full speech:

8. Harvey Milk Day is organized by the Harvey Milk Foundation and celebrated each year on May 22.

The Associated Press / AP

9. Listen to a recording of Harvey Milk delivering his speech:

h/t: Towleroad

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This Short Film Imagines What It Could Be Like For A Gay Olympian To Win In Sochi

1. This February, athletes from all around the world will compete in the Winter Olympic Games in Russia.

2. But Russia’s anti-gay propaganda laws threaten to make any LGBT visibility illegal.

3. So, what will happen if an out athlete becomes an Olympic champion?

4. What possible consequences could be faced from celebrating a victory with a loved one?


5. All Out, an organization which focuses on LGBT issues, tackles these questions in a short film released today entitled “Love Always Wins.”

6. The film depicts a figure skater receiving the gold medal…

7. … and in the arena she sees the only person she wants to share the moment with.

9. In a flash, she also realizes that this simple act is an impossibility for her.

10. The Co-Founder of All Out, Andre Banks, touched upon the important message of the film:

Russia’s law makes it unclear whether public displays of affection, coming out on television by mentioning an athlete’s loved one, or even hugging your partner after winning the gold medal could result in fines or deportation. Putin would like us to think gays and lesbians are welcome during the Olympics, but no one will feel safe and welcome while this law is in place.

11. The video closes with this simple but powerful tagline:

12. All Out is encouraging individuals to share the video using #LoveAlwaysWins to raise awareness about the laws in Russia.

The film calls on the International Olympic Committee to speak out and stand by its Olympic principles of non-discrimination, demanding the anti-gay laws are repealed before the 2014 Sochi Games commence.

13. Watch the entire short film:

You can also sign All Out’s petition here.

14. And catch some behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the short film:

Shot by Leighton Cox, the film features UK Dancing On Ice pros Frankie Poultney and Colin Ratushniak along with actresses Silvia Baltodano and Kate Hollowood.

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Almost 10 Percent Of People Worldwide Live With Marriage Equality

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

With full marriage equality in 14 jurisdictions in the United States in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling dismissing the California marriage case appeal, the Australian group Melbourne Ports Residents for Marriage Equality counts 607 million people worldwide living in places where same-sex couples can marry. That’s a little more than 8.5 percent of the roughly 7.1 billion people the U.S. Census Bureau estimates are currently living on Earth.

This percentage could get higher soon because it doesn’t yet count places where marriage bills are poised to pass, like the United Kingdom, or where marriage lawsuits are almost certain to prevail, such as in several Mexican states. It also doesn’t count several countries where same-sex couples can enter into civil unions, but not marriages.

The largest country on this list is Brazil, where a judicial ruling in May cleared the way for equal marriage rights. The U.S. clocks in at number two, since less than 100 million Americans live in states where same-sex couples can marry currently.

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Family Research Council Responds To Marriage Rulings With Choice Language

The Tag Line, In Case You Missed It:

The Logo, In Case You Missed It:

The Email From Tony Perkins:

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Joel McHale Is Super Flattered By Gay Rumors

1. Joel McHale, star of Community and host of The Soup, discussed dude crushes and flirtatious gay fans in his A-List Interview.

Jason Kempin / Getty Images

2. On the gay rumors:

Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images

3. On his boy crushes:

Jason Kempin / Getty Images

4. On the support of his gay fans:

Angela Weiss / Getty Images

5. On making gay jokes:

See the full interview here.

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The 10 Most Hated Lesbian And Bi Characters

10. Shana — Pretty Little Liars

There are many reasons we hate characters. Some of them are manipulative, some of them are obnoxious, and some just mess with characters we love. Shana is less horrible and more annoying — she’s kind of predatory, and almost definitely evil, but she doesn’t even get enough screen time to fill us with hate. Still, her definite sinister-ness gets her a place on this list. (What is she doing with Jenna? Mona? Why is she so secretive!) Plus, she hit on both Paige and Emily while they were dating.




9. Tori — Lost and Delirious

OK, this whole situation is complicated, and it’s hard not to feel for Tori too. She had her fair share of problems, and she’s totally cute. But SHE LEFT PIPER PERABO. AND THEN PIPER PERABO KILLED HERSELF. THAT IS UNFORGIVABLE.

8. Jessica Stein — Kissing Jessica Stein

Why did you have to do what you did, Jessica? You were totally cute with your “type A” personality and struggling to get over your internalized homophobia…and then you didn’t. You didn’t, and you fell for the creepiest man in the world, and you ripped out everyone’s hearts. We still can’t help but love you anyway.

7. Piper Chapman — Orange Is the New Black

She chose Larry. Also, she’s generally sort of selfish. But let’s admit it — a lot of us identify with her, so we’re really just hating ourselves. It’s OK. You can take it out on Piper. Because in the end, she chose Larry.




6. Kennedy — Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Let’s be honest, she’s really hated because she’s not Tara. But SHE’S NOT TARA, and her entire motivation is just to get in Willow’s pants, like, while Willow should be wearing black and mourning and not ever talking to any other woman again. How dare you try to touch her, Kennedy?



5. Tea — Skins U.S.

Some definitely love Tea and were very excited to have a lesbian-identified character on this short-lived version of Skins in the U.S. But she was downright awful. Sure, sleep around all you want, but when you cheat on a sweet girl with her best friend’s boyfriend, it’s over. Sure, explore your sexuality, Tea, but don’t be so horrible!



4. Marissa Cooper — The O.C.

Yeah, she’s so sad and all, but man was she one selfish girl. And high maintenance. And unsure of what she wanted. Basically, she is all of everyone’s worst ex-girlfriends rolled into one very pretty Mischa Barton. And WHY WOULD YOU BREAK UP WITH OLIVIA WILDE? The only reason that she’s not closer to No. 1 on this list is that we got to watch the two of them make out.



3. Maureen — Rent

OK, Maureen is hot, but that doesn’t mean she can just cheat on everyone who walks into her life and constantly use them and still expect everyone to be completely enamored of her. She should have been given up on as soon as she sang that annoying protest song. Go away, Maureen.

2. Tamsin — My Summer of Love

Come on. Why would you cast a goddess like Emily Blunt as such an evil, evil girl? She plays a lying, horrible person who toys with a poor budding lesbian’s heart, proving that love is forever ruined and nothing is real. NOTHING IS REAL.



1. Jenny Schecter — The L Word

If you google “most hated lesbian characters,” her Wikipedia page actually comes up. She’s the ultimate — manipulative, cheating, lying, exploitative, narcissistic, and attention-desperate woman. Plus, she ended up with Shane. So glad you’re out of our lives, Jenny. Never come back.

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What Is The “Gay Panic” Defense Really About?

On Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, the body of Marco McMillian, an out gay mayoral candidate in Clarksdale, Mississippi, was discovered in a levee. In a statement released today, McMillian’s family said that he was “beaten, dragged, and set afire.” Some have speculated that this murder was an example of “gay panic,” a type of legal defense that argues a murder was committed during a state of violent temporary insanity brought on by the gay victim’s advances. Critics of the term, however, say it places the blame on the victim.

David McConnell is the author of the new book American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men, which examines several cases of straight men murdering gay victims, presumably because of so-called “gay panic.” He spoke with BuzzFeed about his book, the McMillian case, and what we might learn from the intersection of desire and violence.

BuzzFeed: Many people argue that “gay panic” as a defense is a total cop-out. Based on your research, do you think the term is useful at all?

David McConnell: I don’t think “gay panic” is especially useful. There’s really no difference between “gay panic” and the surprise anyone might feel by learning, unexpectedly, that someone desires them. “Gay panic” is not and shouldn’t be a special category. It can be upsetting for men to be the object of unexpected, unwanted desire, but it can be upsetting for women too, and they have to deal with it much more frequently. As a legal defense, it’s certainly a cop-out. It’s complete bull.

Maybe one case I looked at seemed to be a genuine instance of “gay panic,” but even then, the perpetrator was deranged. He was depressive and had tried to commit suicide already. His sense of panic wasn’t about being gay. It was a generalized sort of embarrassed.

Furthermore, as a legal defense, “gay panic” doesn’t work. People think it used to be more successful. Historically, in the case of serious crimes like murder and assault, “gay panic” has never worked. Roman Navarro was murdered in 1965, and his two killers were young hustlers who tried, explicitly, a “gay panic” defense. No one believed them. So the real issue is that when we say “gay panic,” we put the focus on the group that’s been victimized and not on the source of the violence, which is really the nature of masculinity itself. And that’s what we really need to talk about.

BF: You visited convicted murderers all over the country and interviewed them in prison. How did that inform your perspective on “gay panic”?

DM: Well, now the idea of classifying these murders as hate crimes or instances of “gay panic” seems off to me. I’m not proposing that we start calling them “honor killings.” I just want the focus to move away from the victims and onto the perpetrators because I think these crimes are something that comes out of them, out of their behavior, their obsessions, their fears, their sense of the world. It’s not the fault of anybody who’s hurt or attacked, whether it’s a class or an individual. And I think if we start calling them hate crimes or “gay panic,” it absolves these guys, to some degree. Very often, panic or extreme emotion from any kind is absent from these murders. In many of the crimes I researched, the guy had a very intense reaction to homosexuality, but often it was crossed with anti-Semitism or a really vile kind of racism. In other words, it’s this generalized kind of hatred that’s [made them] lash out at anyone perceived to be weaker or a second-class citizen.

Author David McConnell Sean Sime

BF: You worked on this book for three years. How did the process of writing the book begin?

DM: There wasn’t a specific catalyst. For me, it was about this sense of myself as a guy, this sense of my own manhood. And, if anything, it was about a slight worry — not fear about being bullied myself — but about hurting others. It was about looking at those masculinity issues in myself.

When anybody — men and women — goes on a first date or picks up somebody, you immediately have that flicker of fear, and it’s especially true for gay people who go out and hook up. It used to happen to me. I’d meet somebody and then go home with them and it would pass through my mind: “I hope this is safe. I don’t want to get in trouble or anything like that.” This sense of danger is so present with anyone when it comes to sex. So, it’s important to look at that reality.

BF: In the McMillian case, the police department has already made it clear that they don’t believe this was a hate crime, which raises the issue of how we officially designate crimes. What is this back and forth over naming crimes really about?

DM: Naming is political. And I didn’t see my job as an entirely political one. What I was doing in the book was presenting an event in as clear and honest and truthful a way as I could. I didn’t want to rely on any accepted names at all, which is why I titled the book a name that’s slightly different from what we might have expected.

When the police in the McMillian case say, “Look, this is not a hate crime. It’s only a personal issue between two guys,” they’re actually making this a political decision for us. And I tried not to do that.

BF: Your boyfriend, Daryl, is actually from Mississippi, right?

DM: Yes. We’ve been to Clarksdale several times, and I love it. It’s one of the few Delta cities that has this incredibly vibrant culture and personality all of its own. So, for this to happen in Clarksdale is especially heartbreaking. And I didn’t know about McMillian before this, but he sounded like a truly wonderful guy.

I think a lot of people are going to look at this, without paying any sort of real attention to the story itself, and go, “Oh, African-American mayoral candidate, gay, Mississippi, racism, homophobia. Forget about it.” And dismiss the story. And that’s not right. We have to pay attention. We have to watch these stories develop.

BF: In addition to McMillian’s tragedy, there’s the story out of Mesquite, Texas, of the lesbian woman who was beaten unconscious after trying to defend her son from playground bullying. There seems to be a disconnect between all of the progress we’re seeing nationally regarding LGBT rights and instances of violence that continue to impact people in our community. With such a strong emphasis on marriage equality, are we becoming complacent regarding other issues?

DM: It’s an incredibly dangerous time both for civil rights and for gay rights. We’re having these overwhelming public successes, and yet, I get the sense that there’s also a simmering kind of resentment in response to that progress. Gay people have a tendency to fall into a political feedback loop. Everybody’s talking, but it doesn’t seem like there are very many new ideas.

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