#lgbtcommunity

Is Calling Your Lover 'Daddy' on Father’s Day Weird?

Father's Day is coming up this Sunday, June 17th. It's traditionally a day where people celebrate the father in their lives, whether that be their actual dad, uncle, grandfather, and so on and so forth.

But does this also give gay men a reason to call their lover "daddy" on this national holiday (perhaps renaming it "National Daddy's Day"?) Furthermore, is it an excuse to celebrate it as well even though its technically designed for actual fathers and not a man(men) you are in a relationship/FWB situation with?

The term "daddy" has developed into so much more than a man's chronological age when it comes to them being put into this category. Recent studies have found that it is more of a state of mind, as well as other factors that include sexual positions, looks, and more. 

Outside of that, can you actually celebrate Father's Day with a man (or men) you call daddy? HUD App, a casual dating app with an honest approach to online dating, recently conducted a survey of 1,000 users on their use of pet names - or nicknames given by people to those who they have sex with, in relation to this question. 

This included a separate section strictly for men who identify as gay or bisexual. The first question they asked were "what do you think of people calling their partners daddy, papi, or papa?" The results were broken down into this:

  • 34.7 percent said "I like it."
  • 28.4 percent said "If my partner wanted to..."
  • 28.4 percent said "No thanks, not my style."
  • 8.4 percent said "Strictly in the bedroom."

The second question revolved around what pet name gay or bisexual men call their partner most often.

  • 52.6 percent said "Babe."
  • 29.5 percent said "I don't use pet names."
  • 11.6 percent said "Boo or Bae."
  • 2.1 percent said "Mommy, Momma or Mami."
  • 2.1 percent also said "Daddy, Papa or Papi."

It's interesting that so many men agree with people calling their partners any form of the word "daddy" yet so little of us actually use it. 

Do you plan on celebrating Father's Day with the "daddy" in your life?

 

 

Rotten Tomatoes Unveils Epic Lists for Pride Month!

Rotten Tomatoes' users have spoken out regarding what they think are the ten best LGBTQ films and television shows of the 2010's.

It is known for being one of the top websites for users to review movies and television shows, and has also drawn a major influence on whether both elements will fair well at the box office and on the small screen. Being certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes over a certain percentage generally means that success is on the way for what you produced.

Now they have curated a list of the best LGBTQ films and television shows since 2010 by their Tomatometer score. The diverse lists celebrate the best storytelling of the queer community from Academy Award and Emmy Award-winners to less well known foreign language projects. 

Take a look at what made the top 10 of both lists below:

TOP 10 LGBTQ FILMS OF THE 2010’s BY TOMATOMETER:

  1. God’s Own Country (2017) - Certified Fresh at 99%
  2. Moonlight (2016) - Certified Fresh at 98%
  3. BPM (2017) - Certified Fresh at 98%
  4. Tangerine (2015) - Certified Fresh at 97%
  5. Tomboy (2011) - Certified Fresh at 97%
  6. Call Me By Your Name (2016) - Certified Fresh at 95%
  7. Behind The Candelabra (2013) - Certified Fresh at 95%
  8. Carol (2015) - Certified Fresh at 95%
  9. Pariah (2011) – Certified Fresh at 94%
  10. A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica) (2018) – Certified Fresh at 94%

TOP 10 LGBTQ TV SHOWS OF THE 2000’s BY TOMATOMETER:

  1. Banana (2015) - Fresh at 100%
  2. The Fosters (2013 - 2018) Fresh at 97%
  3. Queer Eye (2018 - TBD) Certified Fresh at 96%
  4. Pose (2018 – TBD) Certified Fresh at 96%
  5. Orange is the New Black (2013 – TBD) Fresh at 91%
  6. Cucumber (2015) Fresh at 91%
  7. Looking (2014 – 2015) Fresh at 90%
  8. Will & Grace (2017 – TBD) Certified Fresh at 86%
  9. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (2018) - Certified Fresh at 86%
  10. Sense8 (2015 – 2018) Fresh at 86%

Rotten Tomatoes' editorial staff also named their 150 Best LGBT Movies of All Time.” For more information on Rotten Tomatoes, click here.

Justin Bieber Hugs and Comforts a Gay Fan

Justin Bieber showcased his support for one particular member of the LGBTQ in a really amazing way earlier this week.

A viral video has hit the web that shows the “Sorry” singer talking to a gay fan after leaving church. He’s surrounded by a ton of fans, one of which asks him if his church welcomes LGBTQ people.

“Isn’t your church, like, really inclusive of the gay community?” she asked. He told her that everyone is welcome.

She then opened up to him about recently coming out as queer and her struggles to find an inclusive church because of her own homophobia that she’s experienced in the Catholic community.

“Yeah, that breaks my heart for you,” he replied. "I’m so sorry. That’s not okay. If you ever want to come to any of the services, we’d love to have you in there. You’re more than welcome to come any time.”

Christian singer Trey Pearson, who fronts the band Everyday Sunday, challenged Justin on how his church operates, saying:

Pearson spoke to Billboard about it on Wednesday where he further discussed Hillsong and his beliefs that they are not really down for the LGBTQ community.

"I wonder where Justin Bieber stands, because he has a bunch of LGBT fans, but he goes to a church that is not affirming," Pearson said. "I wonder if he believes it’s wrong to be gay, because his church does. His church forced staff to step down at the New York Hillsong, people that were on the worship team, because they were gay and wanted to get married and be out publicly."

What does he suggest Justin do now?  "I think he could force the conversation. If you’re going to be so vocal for a church that does damage to at least thousands of LGBT lives, if you’re going to at least associate yourself with that, if you’re silent, then you’re an accomplice in it. You are part of that problem. I just want him to think that if he really does care about LGBT people and he’s going to stay with that church, then I think he needs to speak out about it and say something. If not, your silence is continuing to do damage just like everyone else’s that continue to allow churches like that to marginalize our community."

Justin has spoken up for the LGBTQ community in the past and his support for us. He was called "gay" on social media back in 2015, to which he replied "I'm not gay but even if I was that's not an insult."

New Hampshire Bans Two Major Anti-LGBT Issues

New Hampshire is giving us two more fantastic reasons to celebrate pride month.

They have officially outlawed gender-based discrimination as well as gay conversion therapy for minors. What's even more incredible is that the man who signed the bills banning this happens to be a Republican.

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu signed the corresponding bills (House Bill 1319, House Bill 587) into law on Friday, even though he did this against the advisement of his social conservative supporters and faith-based constituency according to local affiliate WMUR

He was, however, praised for doing this by civil libertarians and LGBTQ rights advocates who praised the Republican chief executive. 

“Discrimination – in any form – is unacceptable and runs contrary to New Hampshire’s Live Free or Die Spirit,” Sununu said in a statement after signing HB 1319. "If we really want to be the ‘Live Free or Die’ state, we must ensure that New Hampshire is a place where every person, regardless of their background, has an equal and full opportunity to pursue their dreams and to make a better life for themselves and their families."

“This bill will ensure equal rights, equal opportunity, and nondiscrimination protections in the areas of housing and employment," Sununu also said. The law takes effect on July 8th. New Hampshire will become the 19th state nationally to provide nondiscrimination protections on the basis of gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations. 

The transgender rights bill passed the New Hampshire House and Senate with all Democrats in favor and significant majority Republican support. The conversion therapy ban, on the other hand, passed the House, 179-171, and the Senate, 14-10.

Your Sign Doesn't Matter: All Gays Are Allowed Everywhere

A hardware store owner in Tennessee once again made national news yesterday because he decided to put back up a sign that read "No Gays Allowed" after the Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling this week. 

This is a pebble in what could eventually become bricks being thrown at this incredibly strong house that the LGBTQ community has built for decades, so its better to address this issue now than to let it fester and allow people like this owner to do what they are doing because they think they have the right to.

Here's the deal: I am not going back into the closet just because you feel like you are empowered to do these sorts of heinous acts given the political climate that we are in. This community didn't shut up when s**t like this was happening many decades ago, and we aren't shutting up now.

Let's take a look at the logical side of this sign, just for s***s and giggles. Do you really think it matters if someone is gay and they are looking to purchase an item FROM YOUR BUSINESS? They are in your store, they are an interested customer, their sexuality has nothing to do with it. This goes for a cake, a combination lock, a piece of pizza or anything else... you are there to sell your business not your religious beliefs (in my honest opinion).

It's truly disheartening how our community feels like we need to work at this all over again given how far we have come over the years. My sexuality has no influence on a purchase from your brand, the influence it should be having is the increase in cash flow that this homosexual is helping by buying what you are selling. Don't you get that? I don't for the life of me understand how homophobia has crawled itself from under the rug in the workplace in this sort of manner, when the logistics in all of it really doesn't make sense.

You want to practice homophobia in your home life and the people around you, then that's your unfortunate choice. But putting a sign up that says "No Gays Allowed" makes no sense when you don't even know who is gay and who isn't gay when they walk into your stores. Does your hardware location sell gay tracking devices so they know if a gay person is present? How would you even know if the customer that is there is truly a member of our community? Maybe think of these things before putting up a badly drawn piece of cardboard on your storefront. 

If what you are doing, though (and this goes for anyone who feels compelled to put up a similar homophobic piece) is strictly for your "own religious beliefs", then the resistance you will feel from our community will be present regardless. As stated before, we are not going to back down because of where we are politically. This does not equate, as the right side has called us, an "agenda" of sorts, its finally getting everyone in this entire world to realize after all this time that we are all the same underneath all of this and that our sexuality doesn't give you a free pass to hate. 

This was created by one of our Contributing Writers and does not reflect the opinion of Instinct Magazine or the other Contributing Writers when it comes to this subject. 

Zach Adam & Adam Joseph Battle Mental Illness in 'Gravity'

Multi-talented out musicians Zach Adam and Adam Joseph are uniting on the first single from Zach Adam’s new LGBTQ music label, Magic Town Media, and fans will not be able to escape their “Gravity.”  

“Adam and I have been collaborating for years as songwriters, but this is the first time we are releasing an original track together,” explains Zach Adam, the international music and video maker whose incredible skills on stage and in the recording booth have earned him the moniker as “gay music authority.”  “Originally, we had the idea to do a song about love being a force of nature but a new, deeper, meaning and feeling began to develop as we started laying down vocals in the studio.”    

“Suddenly, our love and break up song revealed a layer that might raise awareness and give comfort to those who need it most,” says Adam Joseph.  Written by the powerhouse duo and produced by Zach, “Gravity” is a soaring pop track about yearning to overcome addiction and depression.  It features Adam Joseph’s soulful tenor vocals over lush synths, sweeping choruses and intense percussion. It is the first release from Zach Adam’s new LGBTQ music label, Magic Town Media, as well as the first single from his upcoming album, and to gain attention across a wide array of dance floors and media platforms, Magic Town Media is supporting the record with a superstar collection of remixes and a captivating music video. “Zach Adam Feat. Adam Joseph: Gravity” is available now on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.

Zach Adam and Adam Joseph have had experience with depression and suicide, both personally and through people they loved. Says Zach, “We’re artists.  We feel things deeply and have had to go through the motions. I’m hoping this song and its music video spark a conversation about suicide and help to bring it out of the dark because change will only happen when the stigma loses its power.”

“It has taken me years to work through my serious battle with addiction and depression,” reveals Joseph.  “It is something I am still fighting today and will likely continue to do so for the rest of my life.  It’s not a feeling one can ever completely get over and that is why songs like ‘Gravity’ are so important.  They are tools of encouragement that help people like me by reminding us to keep moving forward.”

Adam Joseph is an award-winning vocalist, producer, recording engineer and songwriter. He has released two solo albums and been a featured vocalist on songs with Grammy nominated DJ/Producer Bob Sinclar, Wet Fingers, Plastik Funk, and Lem Springsteen of Mood II Swing.  He has been remixed by Bass Jackers, David Jones and Deeplomatik. Joseph has also written songs for #1 Billboard artists Inaya Day and Lea Lorien, among others. His latest viral smash, "Linda Evangelista,” featuring Aja from RuPaul’s Drag Race was featured on the reunion special of the popular Vh1 show. Adam Joseph has been featured in Billboard, OUT and Paper magazines, as well as The Village Voice, The LA Times and CNN.

Zach Adam, too, wears many hats.  He is an international songwriter, producer, instrumentalist, singer, photographer, director and music video producer. He’s the winner of the Billboard Pop Songwriting Award, Composer and Song Of The Year Awards,  and has had 17 number 1 hits in Asia and Europe as well as five Top 15 American Billboard hits. Zach has had success working in various genres with artists from Martha Wash, The First Ladies Of Disco, XELLE and Offer Nissim among many others. His most recent Billboard hit was “Light Beams” featuring Rony G. He also has a large Instagram following @zachadammusic.

“Zach and I started writing together a few years ago when I was still living in NYC,”  explains Adam Joseph. “I was a fan of the work he was doing with the group XELLE.  He kind of reminded me of myself except way better at everything. We started chatting online, then got together and clicked really fast from that first writing session.”

Many of their works have been recorded by other artists.  “Gravity” is the first to come along that Adam Joseph thought was right for him to sing on.   “Not only was it the perfect song for my register, it had a message I could connect with,” he says.  “With so many crises plaguing us from the opioid epidemic, teen bullying, trans rights, soldiers suffering PTSD… I really think the world needs ‘Gravity’ right now.   Its another gentle reminder that no one is alone in their struggle and that we must recognize our obstacles in order to overcome them.”

In addition to the radio version, Magic Town Media is releasing a remix package  for “Gravity” featuring dance versions of the song by DJ Pacifico, GSP, Max Grandon, Melodika, Angelino Loren, Pumpkin Spice, Thiago and Adam Joseph.

The accompanying music video was directed by Zach Adam and shot in New York.   Adam Jospeh flew in from Los Angeles and he and Zach shot it in two days.   “I will never forget how unhappy I was putting my face on that Brooklyn sidewalk,” Joseph admits.   “Just imagining how many dirty shoes and dogs that cement had seen before me was very unsettling but I sucked it up and did what I had to do.” 

“It was just one more thing that proved this multi talented guy can do it all,” laughs Zach. “Adam’s voice and energy shine brilliantly in ‘Gravity’ and I’m happy we did this together.”

Zach Adam Feat. Adam Joseph: Gravity” is available on iTunes. The “Gravity Remix Pack” is also available.  Follow Zach Adam on Instagram @zachadammusic and visit www.zachadam.com.

Life Ball 2018 Recap: 25 Years of Fighting AIDS & Celebrating Life

On Saturday, June 2nd, thousands gathered at Vienna City Hall for the 25th Anniversary of Life Ball, which included a star-studded LIFE+ Solidarity Gala, red carpet arrivals and action-packed Opening Ceremony. The worldwide televised spectacle presented by LIFE+ included messages of support, love, and acceptance along with a call to action to fight the taboo of HIV and AIDS in society, normalizing all HIV facilities and becoming part of the comprehensive health care, and to make knowing one’s immune status as natural as knowing one’s blood type.


 
VIPs in attendance included Paris Jackson who received the LIFE+ Award on behalf of the Elizabeth Taylor Aids Foundation (ETAF), Patti LaBelle who performed her Grammy Hall of Fame hit single, “Lady Marmalade” and a rendition of “Do-Re-Mi” as part of the themed program, amfAR’s EpicRide to Life Ball riders Adrien Brody, Ian Bohen, JR Bourne, Michiel Huisman, Gilles Marini and Katee Sackhoff, in addition to celebrity guests and participants including Caitlyn Jenner, Sophia Hutchins, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Osbourne, Kim Petras, Gigi Gorgeous, Nats Getty, August Getty, Yasmine Petty, Jeannie Mai, Patrika Darbo, Gus Kenworthy and more while Austrian superstars Conchita Wurst and Herbert Föttingerpresented the Opening show.

Video messages from Gwen Stefani, Bill Clinton and Elton John were featured during the opening ceremony which carried messages of support for the great work the LIFE+ organization and its international partner organizations have done in the fight against HIV and AIDS for the past 25 years. In addition, Charlize Theron who previously accepted the Swarovski Crystal of Hope Award on behalf of the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project on Thursday in Vienna, also appeared via video as part of the opening ceremony.


 
This year’s LIFE BALL signature fashion show, curated by Robert Rabensteinerfeatured new and archival pieces from 25 fashion houses presenting their ideas for the most beautiful day in life (wedding day) including stalwarts like Jean Paul Gaultier, Alberta Ferretti, Missoni, Roberto Cavalli, Dsquared2, N°21, Maison Schiaparelli, Vivienne Westwood, Thom Browne, Francesco Scognamiglio, Blumarin, Elie Saab, Diesel, Emilio Pucci, Kenzo Memento, Vionnet, Viktor & Rolf, Lavin, and Tostmann TrachtenGigi Gorgeous wore one of the featured designs and walked the runway with Nats Getty and this year’s models.


 
Earlier in the evening, Caitlyn Jenner and Sophia Hutchins along with other VIP guests attended the exclusive black-tie baroque-wedding themed LIFE+ Solidarity Gala which featured a Moët & Chandon champagne reception, a live auction of selected and unique items as well as special music performances by Rufus Wainwright and Patti Labelle.

 Additional highlights include:

On Saturday morning, LIFE BALL founder and organizer Gery Keszler hosted an international press conference at the Albertina Museum. The moderated discussion included partner organization spokespersons as well as the amfAR riders including Adrien Brody who expressed their commitments to the cause and highlight the activities of the supported projects. Video of Brody’s remarks can be viewed here. In addition, an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at Paris Jackson’s photoshoot for the Know Your Status was revealed as she joined Aiden Shaw and Eva Herzigová in the advertorial campaign.

On Friday, June 1st, LIFE BALL held a Welcome Reception for the weekend’s celebrity VIPs at the Le Meridien hotel and included Paris Jackson, Cailtyn Jenner, Gus Kenworthy, Kelly Osbourne, Gigi Gorgeous, and more.

On Friday, June 1st LIFE+ Celebration Concert took place at Vienna’s Burgtheater. The concert featured international opera stars, legendary singers and outstanding spoken performances by award-winning actors and doyens of the Burgtheater.

The LIFE BALL Next Gen Party closed out the festivities on Sunday June 3rd at Vienna’s City Hall including a panel discussion and hip party targeting HIV/AIDS awareness with teenagers 16 years and older.

ABOUT LIFE BALL:

Life Ball was the first AIDS charity event worldwide to take place in a governmental building, the Vienna City Hall, which still remains the ball’s venue. Since its premiere in 1993, Life Ball has been actively fighting the taboo of HIV and AIDS in society. Thus, life is celebrated at a glamorous party every year during Life Ball. Furthermore, discrimination and intolerance are rejected, and a loud signal for the fight against HIV and AIDS is transmitted, which may be heard far beyond national boundaries.
 
Life Ball has been organized by AIDS LIFE, now named LIFE+, an independent non-profit association founded in 1992. Its mission: to raise public awareness for HIV and AIDS, to light a beacon of solidarity with people affected by HIV/AIDS and to generate as much funds as possible to support help-projects in the world’s most affected regions.
 
The https://lifeplus.org/en/know-your-status-2/ Campaign is also a focal point of LIFE+ year-round initiatives. The campaign’s goal is to make knowing one’s immune status as natural as knowing one’s blood type. Only those who regularly check their immune status can get timely treatment or appropriate preventive care and stop unknowingly spreading the virus to others. Through Life Ball and additional yearly activities, LIFE+ works to raise funds to help those impacted by and living with HIV/AIDS and reduce stigma and discrimination.
 
As Austria’s biggest fund-raiser for HIV/AIDS projects, LIFE+ and its work has gained an important status on an international level as well. In the report Philanthropic Support to Address HIV/AIDS in 2016 by Funders Concerned About AIDS, LIFE+ was ranked 13th of all European fundraisers.

For more information on Life Ball, please click here.

R&B Crooner Benjamin Hey! Releases Video for 'Drank, Cup!'

He defines himself as "Black, blonde & bold," and "what the game has been missing," on his official bio. His name is Benjamin Hey! and his musical presence is one that you'll be getting to know as his star power continues to rise.

The Brooklyn native, who now calls New York City his home, has been gaining a ton of traction in the music industry due to his musical efforts that combine the powers of Usher, Michael Jackson and many more R&B crooners who have become legends in their own rights. Now, it's Ben's turn, as he just released another stellar effort that will definitely get the crowd going throughout pride and the rest of the summer.

The song is called "Drank Cup!" and the concept of it rings true to the title of the song. He is flanked by a couple of good looking dudes in the background, as the three of them party it up poolside to his irresistible track. Definitely one you'll want to bop your head to while cruising around with your hunties. 

See the clip below, and for more info on Benjamin Hey!, click here:

 

Instinct Exclusive with Burgeoning Actor & In-Demand Life Coach Frank Vignola

If you enjoy the looks and acting skills of Chris Meloni mixed with a side of helping people reach their best lives that they can, then you will probably end up with the super talented and handsome Frank Vignola.

Frank, who is based in the heart of New York City on the Upper East Side, has developed quite the name for himself in the acting world by landing key roles including The Blacklist: Redemption and The Six Degrees of Murder. Don't worry, his acting isn't always on the super dark side as he is able to bring out his comedy angle (which he honed his craft in at the William Esper Studio, T. Schreiber Studio and Upright Citizens Brigade) in roles like the short film Seeking: Jack Tripper.

He also finds himself as a part-time life coach, which works wonders especially in the world of New York City where people can last either a day or a lifetime here depending on how focused you can truly be. 

I sat down with Frank to see why acting is his passion, how Meryl can truly do no wrong (obviously), and how his acting and life coach skills have a way with intertwining with one another. 

So on your Instagram you call yourself an actor and a life coach. Have you ever thought of combining those for an Oscar-winning performance?

Coincidentally, these two roles in my life run parallel with one another. I have implemented so many acting techniques in my coaching, and I have even taught them to clients. Being a great actor means understanding yourself and others on a deeper level, which is such a big part of life...and coaching. And coaching has given me such an insight into character study and character development. It’s hard for me to imagine doing one without the other. They constantly aid and inspire one another.

 What started your love of acting, and who was your biggest inspiration in all of it?

My love for acting probably started as a kid, because I loved movies and often felt very connected to characters. A few affected me so deeply that I formed friendships with them in my head, drew pictures of them and even wrote about them. I want to be able to affect someone that deeply with my work. I want to inspire people, I want to make them laugh, cry...I want to make them think...question themselves. I want to disturb them. 

It doesn’t hurt that I’ve lived a crazy 36 years and that my journey to self-discovery has been all over the place. I’ve yet to be given a role where I haven’t been able to find myself in it...even the darker ones. In fact, the darker ones I often connect to the easiest!

I have so many inspirations, I’ll rattle off a few - I was a huge Bruce Willis fan. I wanted to be Bruce Willis. I collected all of his movies. I used to steal VHS tapes from the rental place and return blank tapes instead. Heath Ledger...man. I get upset when I talk about him. I wanted so much more, and he had so much more to give. Meryl Streep… she still can do no wrong to me. Anthony Hopkins, Bryan Cranston, Jared Leto, Julianne Moore, Emily Blunt, Javier Bardem, Charlize Theron, Daniel Day Lewis, just to name a few. 

Do you find it’s hard for gay men to be taken seriously still in the world of acting, especially when the ones who come out get relegated to roles that often don’t involve romance?

Love is love. I can fall in love with anyone, regardless of gender. Anyone who knows anything about acting should know that. If you’re cast based on your sexual preference, that’s bullshit. Is it hard for gay men? I don’t know honestly. And my career is still a baby. Right now, my guess is I’m going to be cast in plenty of romantic roles with women. And I’m confident that there will never be a fucking nanosecond that someone watching thinks “he’s not really into her” because I will be. Because that’s my job as an actor. Gay men need to be true to themselves and keep breaking these bullshit stereotypes. 

What has been your biggest accomplishment acting wise to date and why has that touched you more than others?

Every time I let myself go deeper than I did the last time, it feels like an accomplishment. As roles go, I once played a husband and father of three who was brutally murdered in his own home by his wife. I was fucked up over it for a few weeks after. I don’t know if it would happen that same way today, because I’ve learned how to dive deep into darkness all the while wearing a harness attached to a rope. 

Do you have a dream actor/actress, director or writer you are dying to work with?

I’m dying to work with hungry, passionate, creative people, and there’s a lot of them out there. Any of the ones I mentioned earlier would be amazing to work with. As far as writers and directors: Tarantino, Fincher, Scorsese, Fede Alvarez, James Wan, Eli Roth... Andres Muschietti did an amazing job in the 2017 It. There’s lots more. 

Tell us about your life coach angle and how you got involved in that.

I was a teen who used to cut himself and do drugs. I was on virtually every antidepressant and anxiety pill you can name. I had no self worth. I was bullied. After years of getting expelled from multiple schools, incarceration, group homes, rehabs, shelters, institutions and a few near-death experiences, I found my worth. That was a really long story condensed into like three dramatic sentences. But that’s it in a nutshell. I found my worth and fell in love with life. And now I help others do the same. It’s a part of me. I’m coach in many of my relationships in life, not just work. It’s who I am. 

What projects do you have that are currently in the works?

I’m getting some stubborn fat sucked out of my belly in a few weeks. I can’t wait. How’s that for vanity? Oh, and I’m working on an amazing fart compilation. The rest... stay tuned!

Ultimately, what is your biggest life goal that you have yet to achieve?

I’m achieving it. I just need a bigger platform to reach more people.

For more information on Frank Vignola, you can follow him on Instagram here or check out his official website here

One on One With Chef Extraordinaire Jonathan Bardzik!

Gay, handsome and can cook? Sign us up! Jonathan Bardzik has become one of the hottest chefs in and out of the Washington D.C. area, as his farm to table type of cuisine has lit up farmers markets, private gatherings, and even on the shelves at your local bookstore. 

He has developed a wonderful career for himself where he earns his coins by making other people happy and full. And who doesn't like that? He also is the author of three incredible cookbooks:  Simple Summer, Seasons to Taste, and Fresh and Magical Vinaigrettes, all of which are chock full of delicious recipes that you can make for your own friends, family or that special someone all year round.

What's even better about Jonathan is that he tells a story with his food. I've been apart of these types of events that he has hoted that have been nothing short of magical where he invites you into his table and gives you more than what is on the plate. It's a "culinary boner" if you will, as he is able to turn you on in so many ways when it comes to his cooking that you will have no choice but to leave a little sweaty and with a smile on your face.

Jonathan sat down with me at Instinct to discuss his rise in the culinary scene, including his inspirations, his major love affair with his sexy partner and how that began, and where he sees his booming career going in the future. Check it out. 

What got you into the culinary world in the first place?

I love cooking. And I love sharing the magic and joy of cooking with other people. So that’s why I started cooking seriously in my early 20’s. It took me almost 20 more years to figure out how to turn that passion into a career and where I fit in the culinary world as a storyteller, cook, keynote speaker and author.

Did you have any major inspirations growing up that helped shape you into the chef that you are today?

I know everyone says Mom, but it’s true.  Her greatest joy in life was being a mother and a homemaker. We didn’t have much money when I was young, so she gardened to grow most of our produce, Dad had chickens for fresh eggs and meat and Mom baked all the bread I ate until I was at least four years-old.

My first employer after college, Fred Dabney, was also a major influence. He did all the cooking at home and cooked well. I lived with he and his wife for a few months and we’d get to the house from work at 8 or 9 at night and he’d cook these amazing meals. I think it was my first example of someone cooking just because they loved to with no expectation that – as a mother or wife – that they had to.

Kathy Bugbee, the mother of my best friend Sandy, was the first person who demonstrated the importance of technique. I could follow these complex, sexy, foodie recipes, but she would throw a roast in the oven without looking at a recipe. I was in awe of just knowing how to cook something like that, and it’s all about technique.

How would you describe the foodie scene in Washington D.C. where you currently live?

D.C.’s food scene is a joy! This city has grown so much during the 15 years I’ve been here. In addition to the rich culinary history of the black community that has called this city home for generations, there is such an amazing community of restaurateurs and producers making everything from charcuterie to gin. When I travel home to western Mass, which also has a pretty amazing food and farming culture, I realize just how much access I have to cuts of meat, cheeses and so many other ingredients. This is a great place to cook and eat.

Do you find it harder for gay chefs to find their footing in the culinary industry?

I’ve never been a restaurant chef. My sense of that world is that it has been heavily male driven, like so many professions, and being gay, a woman, a person of color, have all presented challenges, but as our workforce changes more broadly I think it becomes easier – not easy – but easier.

For me, my early question was would my audiences accept me as a gay man talking about my husband and my life at home. The answer has been an unequivocal welcoming “yes.”

You've been with your partner Jason for many years now. Do you have a favorite dish that you made him that still brings back some incredible memories?

On our first anniversary I was in the middle of a ten-day business trip to Omaha, Nebraska, working 14-18 hour days. I sent a text message at about 10pm wishing him a happy anniversary. I never sent flowers and I returned home without a gift. Every year now I make up for that by making pan con tomate y jamón – Spanish tomato bread with ham, which was a favorite of Jason’s when we spent our honeymoon in Spain. I use $150 per pound jamón Ibérico de bellota – because that’s what you do every year when you forget your first anniversary. It’s a treat for us both.

What has been your proudest culinary moment to date?

Gosh, I have new ones all the time: catering a wedding for 150 on a farm without a kitchen, cooking at National Geographic and USDA, nailing a perfect Hollandaise sauce… My proudest might be the day my Mom and Dad looked through the PDF of my first book with me. It was truly a love letter to them and their marriage. We were all crying by the end.

Any chefs you are dying to work with?

So many! Every time I eat in a restaurant or watch an episode of the Mind of the Chef I think, “I would love to spend a couple hours, days, weeks in the kitchen or the office learning from them about cooking or business.” Local chef and restaurateur, Aaron Silverman of Michelin-starred Rose’s Luxury fame would be a pleasure to spend a few hours talking with how he develops plates and took the risk to open such unique and uniquely priced venues. Though not a chef, I would love to talk with Martha Stewart about personal branding and creating joy for others through food and entertaining.

Ultimately, what is your biggest goal in your culinary career and are you hopeful that it will come to fruition?

I would be proud to follow in the footsteps of people like Julia Child and Martha Stewart who have fundamentally changed America’s relationship with food. Specifically, I believe that life can and should be lived well, and that living well is within reach – across many economic levels - each and every day by preparing a simple meal, setting a table and sharing it with those you love, even – and maybe especially – when that is a table for one.

We broadly see food and cooking from perspectives of fear and competition. Learning is wonderful and rewarding, but we don’t need to be chefs at home, we just need to have fun! And food should stop being looked at as lethal or medicating – we’re all looking for the next miracle or life-threatening ingredient. Real food, whole ingredients, enjoyed in a balanced diet with moderation is healthy. The rest just needs to be delicious.

For more information on Jonathan Bardzik, please check out his official website here.

Pages