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Love Requires Hard Work You Can’t Just Leave When Things Get Tough.

Love should have a sweet, sugary flavor. Not a bitter, rotten taste. It should make your life beautiful. It should help you experience things you’ve never felt before. Reach heights you never knew even existed. Fall into a divine sensation of ecstasy.

Love should bring out the best of you, help you grow. It should motivate you to open up and start seeing the world through your heart’s lenses. But, love also requires effort. It requires a lot of sacrifices.

Good relationships don’t just happen overnight.

When you love someone, you fight with all of your being to protect what you have. You put up with things that you personally don’t find enjoying. You accept compromises for the sake of the relationship. You embrace changes because it is the only way to go forward.

You don’t just leave whenever you experience a bit of drama. 

You can’t pretend to love someone, and then run for the hills whenever you have a little fight. It doesn’t work like that. You are either there, through thick and thin, holding hands and fearlessly walking through the hailstorm, or you don’t get attached at all.

I’m sorry but, love will never be only pink skies, warm hugs, careless mornings and cozy nights. There will be pain, there will be sorrow, anger, tears, drama, fights. And if you truly love the person besides you, you will do anything to get through those tough times.

Because when you truly love someone, you don’t give up at the first sign of inconvenience. You don’t throw everything away over on stupid disagreement. You don’t let your relationship fall apart over a silly argument.

When you truly love someone, you sit down and talk until everything is settled.

You fight, you scream, you cry, but you never give up. You give them a change to explain themselves. You share your opinions. You suggest a compromise. You think of everything you two could do to improve your relationship. You discuss until the sun comes up and night falls again.

But, whatever happens, you don’t give up without a fight.

Not if you really care about them.

Because when you love someone, and I mean really love them from the very depths of your heart, you stick with them. You don’t show up only when it feels convenient for you. You don’t hold their hand when they’re fine and then abandon them when they are at their most miserable. You don’t disappear when they need you and reappear when you need them.

When you really love someone, you don’t let them go through life alone. Whether it’s pain or happiness they experience, you are always there to hold their hand and let them know that it will all be well. You don’t let them suffer through it alone. You are in it together.

Because when you truly love someone, you believe that whatever it is that you’re experiencing, as long as you stick together and hold each other’s hand, you can survive it.
(Reprint from Stephanie Reeds on The Power of Silence website)
 


Advice for gay and bi men arranging to meet others via dating apps

Stay safe when meeting other people for the first time

Here is advice to bear in mind

• When arranging to meet someone for the first time, ask them for a phone number or email, and exchange an email or text with them first. If they refuse to give you an email or phone number, be very cautious of meeting them at all.
• Ask them for their Instagram, Facebook or other social media accounts, so you have an idea of their real identity. Let’s face it: most of us don’t use our real names on hook-up apps.
• Arrange to meet in a public place. This is perhaps obvious advice, but many guys ignore it and just arrange to turn up at someone’s house or apartment. Meeting at a nearby café, coffee shop or just a public landmark, is advisable – ideally with plenty of other people around.
Meeting for a drink or coffee means your less committed than a sit-down dinner. You can cut a meeting short much quicker if it’s not working for you.
• If someone offers to pick you up in a car and drive you to their apartment, be cautious. Where are they taking you? Why can’t you make your own way there? Again, arrange to meet somewhere public to check them out first before agreeing to get in their car and be driven somewhere.
• Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to talk in advance about each other’s expectations. You might think you’re simply meeting them for a date; they might be assuming you’re visiting for sex. It’s good to be clear about these things before meeting.
• Take a screenshot of their app profile – just in case you need it at a later date to make a complaint to the app creators or authorities but find it’s already been deleted. 

Your phone is your friend

• Do you have a trusted friend with whom you can share your GPS location? Many apps, including Find My Friends, Geozilla, Find my iPhone, FB Messenger’s Live Location feature and iMessage can allow you to do this. Some track you only for a temporary period, while others work until your phone is turned off or your battery dies.
Tell the friend where you are going, who you’re planning to meet and how long you think you might be gone.
• Make sure your phone is well charged. Having numbers programmed into your phone for local taxi companies is also not a bad idea.
• If you think you may need a phone call or text to rescue you from an awkward or undesirable date, maybe discuss having a code word to use with friends. This way they know you are on a date that you want to bring to an end; they can call or may be able to intervene.

‘Trust your gut instinct’

• Be extremely wary about accepting drugs from a stranger: you will not know their strength or dosage. Gay men have been raped and murdered after being drugged with GHB. Some didn’t even know they were being given a drink containing a drug. Also, know your limits when it comes to alcohol.
• Finally, trust your gut instinct. If you get a bad feeling about things, or the person is not what you were expecting, make your excuses and leave.

(Reprint from GSN, David Hudson)


5 Reasons Why Introverts Are Terrible At Dating

Dating can be hard for anyone. Its difficult to be in the right mood to meet new people, and even more difficult to be polite and not leave halfway through the date if its going wrong. Dating can be exhausting and would wear anyone out, and it takes a bigger toll on introverts. But there are some people who just don’t understand that. I’ve had many people look at me with a blank face when they’ve asked me to go somewhere, and I’ve said something along the lines of, ‘actually I was out all day yesterday and could do with a day at home to recharge, maybe some other time?’.

Having enough energy to engage with all your friends, family and the go on a date is difficult, but some people don’t understand why. So, Psych2Go shares with you, 5 reasons why dating is hard for introverts.

1) Overthinking
This is my number one reason why dating is so hard. If someone asks me on a date I’ll be fine, but give it 10 minutes and my brain goes off on one. I start to question why they would want to date me, what if I make a fool of myself, what if I’m too nervous and a hundred other ‘what if’ scenarios that make no sense. Obviously if someone asked me on a date they want to date me, but my brain enjoys irrational theorizing and that can ruin the whole experience. When the date actually comes around I don’t enjoy it because of all the ways I’ve ruined it in my head. Overthinking can be a real pain and makes it a struggle to even attempt dating.

2) Lack of understanding from partner
Like I said previously, I have tried to re-arrange a date because I just needed to spend some time alone. And the response I got was complete shock and a massive lack of understanding. He took it personally when all I wanted was time at home reading to recharge. Dating extroverts can be tricky, but dating an extrovert that doesn’t understand is even trickier.

3) You don’t enjoy small talk
It’s hardly a surprise that introverts hate small talk. Socializing for introverts can be challenging, nevermind being stuck with someone talking about how unusually nice the weather is. Small talk is boring, unmotivating and sometimes down right dull. Introverts get energised by having meaningful conversations, we want to connect with people and expand our knowledge. But with small talk that doesn’t happen, it can leave us feeling unfulfilled and like we’ve wasted time. And dating is full of small talk. Before you can get to the interesting parts you have to go through the whole “what have you been up to lately?”, “wasn’t it cold last week?,” and so on. It can put introverts of dating altogether.

4) Energy challenges
Introverts gather energy by spending time by themselves. It’s just the way we are. But if you’ve had a busy week socially and a date on the weekend, it’s going to be tough to handle. Its hard giving up your alone time to spend time with someone you’ve potentially never met. And it can also take up more energy to socialise with someone you don’t know so well because you need to be paying attention fully. It can make dating difficult as some people dont understand if you’ve had a busy week, you’ll want to be alone on the weekend.

5) State of mind
As an introvert, I have to be in the right state of mind to socialise. And to go on a date I have to be in a fantastic mood, my energy levels need to be up and I preferably need the weather to be decent. Ideally, I’d like to be the perfect mix of calm, collected but also excited. I’m pretty sure I’ve never been all three of those at once but you get the idea. For a date to go well I need to be feeling my best, and so do a lot of introverts. Because socialising draws so much energy (and so does meeting new people) we need to be brimming with the stuff to ensure we feel great throughout all of our date. You don’t want to be nodding off during desert!

Written by Jarvis-Gibson, L., Thought Catalogue


10 Tips For Dating Someone With A Mental Illness

Dating is like going into the unknown, not knowing what to expect but with hopes of finding someone to love who will love you back. It’s also scary, being that you are putting yourself there to a stranger. Another way of putting it, you are showing them your vulnerability. In many cases you are displaying your strengths and weaknesses. You are sharing personal things, maybe even your friends or family don’t know about you. 


There’s a belief out here, that it’s is easier to talk to strangers about what’s going on with you than love ones. However, a diagnosed mental illness, generally has been shared the ones you love and who love you knows. Now in dating, the question becomes, should you or should you not share it with someone you about to date and if so, when? Also, whether you’ve been or are on medication, either way, should this stranger know anything about it?

It’s fair and reasonable to say, there is a fear, if you share your mental diagnoses, you might scare someone who could possibly be a good fit for you. So, there are two things here, it is unfair to them and if the shoe were on the other foot, what would you do. The reality is, sooner or later, the truth will come out, not sharing it sooner, expecting once they get to know you, it would be a big deal. And, then again, it might be. Something to think about!

If you meet someone who has shared their mental diagnoses; below are some tips on how to handle something that isn’t familiar to you.

 

10 Tips For Dating Someone With A Mental Illness
(Reprint article by Dick Kannon)

1. Do not refer to your loved one, or others with a similar illness, as ‘the mentally ill’.
That term designates an otherness that this person already feels without an uneducated term adding to the mix. They are not the mentally ill. They are a person who happens to suffer from a mental illness.


2. Never call them crazy in the heat of the argument.
I’m serious, don’t do it. Said love one is already questioning their sanity, dealing with the prison that is their mind. Mental illness can be quite crippling, so it is best not to add to that.


3. Take them seriously.
When they are expressing their emotions, thoughts, ideas, and most importantly their convictions, take it for the beauty that it is worth. There will be constant reminders for them that their beliefs aren’t valuable due to their mental illness. Show your love by helping confirm that isn’t true.

4. When they hurt you, don’t retaliate.
There will come a time that their mental illness –whether it’s bipolar disorder, depression, attention deficit disorder, social anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, will manifest itself in their treatment of you. They will hurt you, sometimes indirectly through their suffering, or directly by lashing out at you on purpose. It is not your job to heal them. But, once you’ve made the decision to love them, you shouldn’t say the next hurtful sentence you can think of out loud. Trust me; it will only help them see the error of their ways and to subsequently seek treatment.

5. Not only is it not your job to heal them, you can’t heal them. So please don’t try.
You might think that you can, especially if you are a spouse or significant other. Maybe through the three-word sentence that is commonly used for expressing love. But no matter how many times a day you tell them you love them; their underlying pain and subsequent illness will not subside. In trying to heal them, you lose sight of the power of their illness and how best to help them receive therapy or treatment. Even with medication, therapy, or various other treatments, they are not being healed or cured. Think of their illness as a physical ailment, such as a broken limb, and their treatment as a cast. The cast will bring the limb back to a functionality that was limited by the physical ailment. But the bone will never be the way it was prior to being broken.

6. Don’t pass blame.
Does your loved one often exhibit impulsive or abusive behavior that often leads to negative consequences? Do their ‘lows’, incite lethargic behavior? Do they make irrational decisions? This is often so for those who suffer from mental illness. It may even cause friction in your relationship with them. But if you can, don’t pass blame to the point of separation. Then you both lose out. Instead of blame, or judgment, pass understanding, and if possible, empathy.

7. Show, don’t tell.
You love them. You wouldn’t take the time out to be reading this if there wasn’t someone in your mind that this article made you think of. But don’t tell them you love them, show them. There are many ways to show love and for a person grappling with mental illness, the acts of love may go unnoticed. The times that they are noticed however, are invaluable.

8. Don’t take them for granted.
Every day that anyone is here on this earth, living, is a blessing. Every day that a person who is plagued by mental illness is here on this earth, breathing, is a miracle. If you’re loved one is here with you, they are warriors for they are battling a fight many do not win. The decision to stay alive, in the midst of racing or abusive thoughts, minimal self-esteem, and feelings of hopelessness and/or worthlessness, is not an easy decision to make or to keep. But they have made and are keeping this decision, with you in mind. Be and show that you are grateful.

9. Remember that they are not their illness. Treat them as such.
Sometimes their actions will be ugly, especially during an argument or in the heat of a negative moment. But this person you love, a daughter, sister, brother, friend, crush, or significant other, is just that: you’re loved one. They are not their actions produced by their struggle within.

10. Love yourself first.
In the nine previous ‘steps,’ I have offered several ways that you can show your love. For this last step, but the most important of all, it is important to remember: you can’t truly love another without loving yourself first. That’s not to say you won’t need to make some sacrifices for the one you care about. Deciding to stay in the life of someone with an unseen disease will pose some sacrifices, for sure. But before you decide to actively love the individual, you need to take care of yourself first. When you are healthy and well, you can help others that much more. When you are healthy and well, the weight of their sickness won’t bury you.
That being said, may you find love, be loved and prosper. "

 


India Decriminalizes Gay Sex

September 6, 2018, is a historic day in India. After more than 150 years of anti-LGBT legislation, India's Supreme Court has struck down a colonial-era law criminalizing consensual gay sex.

The landmark verdict was announced in Delhi as jubilant crowds cheered and rights activists hugged one another, overcome with emotion. During British rule, a law was imposed on India’s citizens who had same-sex intercourse and carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.


Oakland LGBTQ Community Center celebrates its 1st Year Anniversary!

One year ago, tomorrow, September 7, 2017, the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center opens its doors in Oakland, California. The Center is a 501c(3) non-profit organization. It was founded by Jeff Myers and Joe Hawkins. Mr. Myers is the first Board President and previously worked as a volunteer coordinator with Oakland Pride. Joe Hawkins is also the center's first Executive Director. He is one of the co-founders of Oakland Pride and has been a longtime community organizer in Oakland.

Oakland LGBTQ Community Center’s Mission statement reads as follows, "The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center Inc. is committed to supporting and enhancing the well-being of LGBTQ individuals, our families and allies." The Center prides itself with having over 700 volunteers, and as of June of this year has provided supportive services to well over 2,000 community members and over 35 wellness-focused support groups.

Check Out Their Website


Making a match through knowing their Zodiac Sign fragrances.


Musk and Sandalwood for the adventurous and energetic born leaders.


Taurus: Patchouli and Oakmoss for the traditional, practical, talented artist.

Gemini: Vetiver and Jasmine for the curious and imaginative communicator.

Cancer: Sandalwood and Rose for the reliable, gentle and friendly caretaker

Leo: Rose and Jasmine for the graceful and dignified, one with a royal character.

Virgo: Frankincense and Sandalwood for the orderly and loyal serving friend.

Libra: Orange Blossom and Rose Geranium for the harmonious, charming and calm mediator.

Scorpio: Cinnamon and Jasmine for the shy and reserved, passionate lover.

Sagittarius: Clove and Patchouli for the idealistic and adventurous freedom fighter.

Capricorn: Myrrh and Violet for the faithful, ambitious, and determined person.

Aquarius: Violet & Vanilla for the eccentric and intuitive great thinkers.

Pisces: Amber and Sandalwood for the mysterious & emotional, those with a soft heart.


Fund Open to Independent Filmmakers and Entrepreneurs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 22, 2017

ATLANTA – Mayor Kasim Reed today announced the new Creative Industries Fund, a joint project between the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment and Invest Atlanta to assist independent content creators and creative entrepreneurs in the City of Atlanta.

The program offers loans with low interest rates and flexible repayment terms for local creative entrepreneurs to use for production, post-production, distribution, marketing outreach, touring, prototype development, product development and sales and attraction for their creative projects.

Applications for the Creative Industries Fund are open to independent content creators and creative entrepreneurs operating within the City of Atlanta who plan to create within the City of Atlanta, independent content creators and creative entrepreneurs registered as a business within the City of Atlanta, and independent record and management companies operating within the City of Atlanta, as well as their talent located within the city.

Applications for the Fund will be made through Invest Atlanta; a new Creative Industries Advisory Board will review the applications and make funding decisions. Awards will be made through Invest Atlanta, which will report on all approved awardees to the Invest Atlanta Economic Development Committee.


Grand Prize Singles Experience Venue Rendering is Revealed!

We just unveiled the artist rendering of the Grand Prize Singles Experience venue. It is breathtaking. In the lower part of the complex are two ballrooms (one converts into a swimming pool & deck) with retractable roofs. Also, in giving the red carpet treatment there's a bakery, flora, wedding and gift shops. Wait till you see our atrium illustration, coming soon!

In our upper level, there's our intimate theater at one end and our upscale restaurant "Couples"! Between these two beautiful spaces is our elegant lounge with two balconies. Not only is it a space to meet & greet but below the lounge there's a heated Olympic size pool & bar area to throw private parties. It's also a perfect spot to film a television, movie or music video scene!
Soon we will review how the local art colleges can have an opportunity to showcase their talents! Stay tuned...


My Short Story of Being an Extra on a Movie Set

By Cleon T. Day, III, CPS

Extra: "A background actor or extra is a performer in a film, television show, stage, musical, opera or ballet production, who appears in a nonspeaking or non-singing (silent) capacity, usually in the background (for example, in an audience or busy street scene."

I have been an extra on two films and two commercials back in the eighties. My first time working on a movie set began when a friend asked me if I would like to work as an extra. The film was being shot in an open field somewhere outside of Atlanta, and they were paying $75. It was during a weekday, so I took a vacation day from work.

“Go Tell It On The Mountain” starring late veteran actor Paul Winfield was the movie I’m to “star” in this day. It was a period film, 1035; the set was a dusty old backwoods town in the South with a dirt road running through it. I was given a period costume, a white long sleeve shirt with puffed sleeves, a pair of brown britches with brown suspenders, a brown wool jacket, brown boots and a wool cap.

Call time for extras was 12 o’clock noon. There were three scenes being shot that day. I was in the first and last scene. The entire shoot lasted 14 hours; we finished shooting at 2 a.m. in the morning. Of course, we weren’t told ahead of time how long it would be, and everyone wasn’t in all three scenes.
What I found to be most interesting in being on a movie set is the scene may be three to five minutes, however, the amount of the time spent in setting up camera shoots between each shoot. Of course, retakes (reshoots) are unavoidable but still, waiting around between takes does become tiresome. Although, we did have a table full of sweets and fruits to eat between takes and a meal break with catered food. The actors ate first and then the extras. I can’t remember what we ate but I do remember it tasted good, and we could have seconds!

As the day unfolded into the night the weather started getting colder, good thing I had a jacket. It was time to shoot the third scene so the director called on the remaining extras. He asked me to run past the storefronts because I was being chased. After the first take, “our” director told me I did well but for the camera I needed to slow down. He said, a “normal chase” run on camera looks like a flash and not a person. I told him okay. Then for the next take the director asked me to remove the jacket and now I was at the mercy of a cold night.

After two more shoots the director said “Cut, that’s a rap and thank you”! I just shot my first movie! Wow! I did get to see Paul Winfield shoot one scene, the second one and he was done for the day while I had to stay and finish the day’s shoot.

I can’t remember how long it took for the TV movie to come out but I was able to catch it. It was my hope neither of my two scenes ended up on the cutting floor. The first scene I shot showed me next to baskets of real fruit (which they told us not to take because there was polish on it to give it a gloss). I was sitting in a rocking chair on the porch of a local grocery store. I was still in it, yeah! In my last scene where I ran I got a surprise, after I had passed the storefronts there was some people yelling behind me. Oh my Lord, I was being chased by the Ku Klux Kalan. Their scene wasn’t filmed the same day I performed. It was funny! 

Couples Dining & Show

Couples, Dinner & Show is our premier dining restaurant offering a fusion cuisine and featuring the best talents in our community who may very well get their start here. Television and film productions will find it to be a beautiful space for filming a scene(s) with its innovating concept!

This unique dining experience has tables for what else, couples, its motto is Couples “where no one has to eat alone”. You can come in with a friend, a partner, a date, a spouse or come alone and if you’re open to it, we will seat you with another single person to get to know, separate bills of course! Remember, you don’t have to walk down the aisle with them; you’re just eatin’ and taking in a show.

We will have singers, musicians, dancers and entertainers from our community giving their all. Couples, Dinner & Show and other spaces throughout the complex will feature artwork in various forms, paint, pencil, pen, charcoal, photography, sculpture and other artistic work from the LGBT community.

It is a wonderful opportunity to market our talents to the world. Who knows, an artist work may be featured in a movie, television show or video shoot shot on site. We call Couples, Dinner & Show, very, very sexy! As in Tina Turner’s “Rollin’ Down the River”, sometimes we like it nice and easy and sometimes we like it nice and rough, rollin’ down the river”.

Our live dinner show is very, very adult, featuring male and female singers singing with a sexy twist. We won’t reveal it to you now; you have to see it to believe it. From time to time you may see a high profile singer performing a selection of their upcoming new songs.

Oh, we’re not leaving our audience out of the performances, in each act we will be involving members from our audience, of course, not forcibly but I can’t see why anyone would resist. Stay tuned!

Couples, Dinner & Show is also a location for dining scenes in a video, television and movie shoot. Catering is available to principals, extras, staff and production teams.


The Grand Prize Theater

Grand Prize Theater is a unique format for the film industry; television and movie scenes can be filmed, as well as videos can be shot. Also, it’s a wonderful space to hold focus groups or private movie screenings. 

It is a theater in the round with a hydraulic stage in the middle. Synergy is generated throughout the venue using couches rather than chairs for the guests. The design of the theater’s interior has been created to give an up close and personal feel.

The theater also serves as a private space where men can meet men without fear of any homophobia deterrence around. It is a unique way for men to meet the man they want to meet and having to experience “a fear of rejection”.

We’re keeping a lot under wraps and not revealing it now but stay tuned.  Oh but there is one thing more, there’s no charge to get in, compliments of our CEO!

The Grand Prize Theater Filming

Happy Couple

Wedding Bells Blues

We have two beautiful halls to wed and receive guests in for a reception. Filmmakers have a number of uses for these rooms, one even transforms into an indoor/outdoor pool & deck. The pool area is an excellent space to shoot a pool party music video!

“Here comes the Brides, here comes the Guys”! Wedding Bells Blues is not a space recently converted over from a place once refusing to marry same-sex couples to now marrying them since gays can now legally get married.

Wedding Bells Blues is an original, a place designed and focused on same-sex couples and welcoming of all couples! Our wedding packages are about you the couple; we are here to support you with your ideas!

You Ought to be in Movies; You Ought to be the Star

Grand Prize is a single experience for filmmakers to have some options in a free-standing facility, shooting in one location. Directors looking for unique settings The GPS Experience is just for you! Our premier restaurant, Couples, Dinner & Show, a sculpture shaped diamond in the sky elevated above the roof.

The GPS Experience has a green room for the principals and their entourage. We also have a game room are available to pass the time between shots. Catering is available for the production crew, principals and extras are also a plus. The facility also has an intimate theater in the round which seats 700. There are two Grand indoor/outdoor ballrooms, one converting into a pool and deck!

Couples, Dinner & Show has a touch of the upscale restaurants during the “Big Band Era” with the big stage, intimate seating and orchestra area. Although it’s scaled down, it still gives you feeling of a grand space. The dining room seats 500, which includes an enclosed balcony.

Singles Who Love Seeing Movies and Film Directors Who Love Making Them

The GPS Experience is an upscale mixed-use development facility providing a safe space for homosexuals to mingle in a non-bar and club environment. Spacious, yet intimate spaces have been designed for couples to meet, dine, date, swim, sunbathe, or have a grand wedding. The complex not only features social spaces but also has rental space for filming television & movie productions as well as shooting music videos.


Grand Prize Theater & More…

Grand Prize Theater is an intimate mix-use facility where a television commercial might be shot or a music video. From indie films to big movie productions to blockbuster’s sequels the theater can add that touch you may be looking for in a certain scene. It is a classy, state of the art production environment!

We created a flexible space to accommodate production wants and needs. The theater is so important to the Arts and having a facility to complement its vision is what we had in mind in our planning. This is a wonderful atmosphere not only for moving making but to hold prescreening and auditions! Keep making us laugh, cry and a little bit scared!

As we said earlier, the Grand Prize Theater is a mix use space. Its intimate setting is not only used by filming industry but also serves as a safe space for single men to meet and greet other single men. It’s hard for men to meet men without the fear of men whose orientation is hatred.

Sometimes men can tell “family” (men with the same sexual orientation) when they see them, but it still isn’t enough. The men might not feel comfortable to acknowledge their each other out in public. Being the initiator or on the receiving end, there’s a fear of being outed if approached which stops both of them from meeting one another! The Grand Prize Theater meeting space eliminates that fear!


Good advice from former President Barack Obama on marriage.

Good advice from former President Barack Obama on marriage.
A He has some great experience from his relationship with Michelle Obama to pull from.

Obama’s former communications director Dan Pfeiffer describes receiving some advice from President Obama on marriage. He said, “the president reportedly said that the “advice [he] gives everyone about marriage” is to ask yourself three questions about your potential spouse”.
Obama said, as the first question, “Is she someone you find interesting? You will spend more time with this person than anyone else for the rest of your life, and there is nothing more important than always wanting to hear what she has to say about things.”

Question two is. “Does she make you laugh?”. And the last question is, [in referring to a couple wanting children], “Do you think she will be a good mom”? Life is long. These are the things that really matter over the long term.”

While on Ellen DeGeneres’ show in 2015, First Lady Michelle Obama stated how to stay married. It’s something we hear all the time. Michelle said, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. She said of her husband “I kind of give him a pass”.

The couple’s advice is simple and yet something to deeply think about. Although, the questions were speaking in heterosexual terms, the president who supported Same-sex marriage and became the law of the land, could easily be applied to same-sex couples!

Grand Prize Singles Experience is a place where all single people can meet, become a couple, date, and begin to answer these questions for themselves!!


Supreme Court Sides With Colorado Baker Who Turned Away Gay Couple

Supreme Court Sides With Colorado Baker Who Turned Away Gay Couple
On Monday, June 4, 2018 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who had refused to create a wedding cake for a gay couple.

The court’s decision was narrow, which is a small nugget, given that it left open the larger question of whether a business can discriminate against gay men and lesbians based on rights protected by the First Amendment. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy’s gave the majority opinion. The Court's decision turned on the argument that the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which originally ruled against the baker, had been shown to be hostile to religion because of the remarks of one of its members.

At the same time, Justice Kennedy strongly reaffirmed protections for gay rights.

“The outcome of cases like this in other circumstances must await further elaboration in the courts,” he wrote, “all in the context of recognizing that these disputes must be resolved with tolerance, without undue disrespect to sincere religious beliefs, and without subjecting gay persons to indignities when they seek goods and services in an open market.”

Considering the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, it becomes clearer, there is a need for a place like the GPS Experience.

We are a LGBT base business organization leasing space to the film, television, and music industry, and providing safe welcoming spaces for the LGBT community. The GPS Experience has a place for community members to meet, dine, wed, and have private events.


Ant-Man and The Wasp

Ant-Man and The Wasp, sequel to 2015's Ant-Man, which made $178 million in the US, will be landing on the big screen this weekend. Directed by Peyton Reed, staring Paul Rudd as Ant-Man (Scott Lang), Evangeline Lilly as The Wasp (Hope van Dyne), Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, Michael Peña as Luis, and Atlanta’s own T.I. as Dave.

The movie also stars, Michelle Pfeiffer as the original Wasp (Janet van Dyne) and Lawrence Fishburne as Black Goliath (Bill Foster). This is another Marvel movie franchise shot in and around Atlanta.

Grand Prize Singles Experience plans to get in some of the action in the near future! "


An Open Letter to the LGBT Community

Grand Prize Singles Experience, LLC is not a political organization, however, when you are in a group that has been marginalized by society, it goes with the territory! In the challenging post-election anxiety we really don't know what's going to happen. Some of the things we have gained in the LGBT community, their allies and advocates may be in jeopardy.

One thing I do know, we're not going to let "them" roll back anything without a fight. In 2018 and the next 4 years there is going to be "the power of resistance" taking over if our rights are taken away or future rights are stopped. Power to the people!

On December 4th The Army Corps did not approve an easement necessary to permit the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The very loud outcry of resistance who have protested the oil pipeline over recent months was a big victory for the Native American tribes and thousands of others!

It can be done, despite this administration's possible attempts to rework The United States Constitution and president executive Orders! Stand with us, support LGBT entrepreneurs and invest in our community!
By Cleon T. Day, III, CPS
CEO Grand Prize Singles Experience, LLC


Grand Prize Lookin’ for a Winner, a Dating & Relationship Guide for Gay Men of Color

Book Review by author/Blogger/Georgia Voice Editor Darian Aaron

Are you tired of failed relationships? Tired of being lonely? Have you bought into the lie that same-gender relationships between men of color don't last? Are you determined to enter into a meaningful relationship in 2009? If you answered yes to any of those questions then you might want to pick up "Grand Prize, Lookin’ For A Winner!" by Atlanta author Cleon T. Day, III.

Day, a self-proclaimed dating expert has written a practical dating & relationship guide specifically for gay men of color. The book is filled with helpful common sense techniques that you'd think most couples would apply in order to maintain a healthy relationship, but it's these important techniques that often go unused that ultimately leads to the end of potentially successful relationships.

With chapters delving into dating etiquette, long-distance relationships, chemistry, compatibility, red flags, monogamy, and Polisivity- a term coined by Day himself to describe a different take on monogamy between a group of brothas committed to one another exclusively. Yeah you read right...a group! :)

Grand Prize, Lookin For A Winner may be just the guide you need to jump start your dating experience.

(Aaron is a member of the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists)


Georgia, Hollywood of the South?

The Georgia film industry is booming with over 33 TV shows and movies currently filming here. Marvel Cinematic Universe's last three movies were filmed in Atlanta. “Spider-Man," Ant-Man,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Captain America” were all filmed here! Three more Marvel films are coming soon out of ATL. Then there’s the Fast & Furious franchise, three of seven were filmed in Atlanta and are currently shooting its 8th movie with Georgia’s own native rapper Ludacris!

Georgia has been coined as “Hollywood of the South.” By one study, Georgia is behind the United Kingdom as the third largest film industry in the world. There are those in the industry who expect Georgia’s film industry to continue to grow where one day it may be the prime location for filmmaking in the world!

Besides the Peachtree Streets names, Atlanta is known as the “home of reality shows”, from the most watched housewives show franchises, the “Real Housewives of Atlanta”, to doctors and their wives reality show entitled “Married to Medicine, to the upcoming (2017) Daytime Divas, Atlanta is a reality. It’s also a test market for reality shows, recently trialing the reality show “The Preachers” earlier this year. If you can make it here, you can syndicate it anywhere!

“Dish Nation”, a popular entertainment news format syndicated television show is filmed here. Hosted by comedian Ricky Smiley and his team of national celebrities informing viewers of the trending gossip, reporting celebrity news, giving hilarious commentaries and having international stars gracing its studio.

There are very three popular shows from the dark side of the moon filmed here, “The Walking Dead”, The Vampire Diaries” and The Originals. By the way, one day a friend and I were at the Whole Foods on Ponce De Leon and saw actor/model Charles Michael Davis who portrays Marcel Gerard, a vampire turned by Klaus, his former protégé. We found Mr. Davis to be a very pleasant and genuine person!

You will see a number of celebrities spotting throughout Atlanta from the music, television and movie industry. In Atlanta, stars are able to move around freely without being bombarded by the paparazzi and aggressive fans, “Southern Comfort”! That’s a good reason for more celebrities to make Atlanta their second home!

The GPS Experience is an ideal shoot location, and will give you a taste of that “Southern Comfort”, making you feel at home!


Spotlight on Dating

A few people who have no problems getting dates may say to those who want to know their secret “It’s easy as pie.” Folks getting back on the LGBT dating scene may hear “It’s like riding a bicycle, you never forget.” However, baking a pie ain’t that easy for non-bakers and with age may easily come broken bones and longer healing. Plus, dating has gotten a whole lot more expensive nowadays.

According to a report by research firm IBISWorld, the dating industry is now worth about $2.2 billion, up 4.8% between 2013 and 2014, Of that, around $1.1 billion is from online dating, $576 million is from mobile apps such as Grindr and Tinder, and the rest is made up mainly of matchmakers and singles events. Nielsen market research firm states 10% of the U.S. population (Roughly 30 million) visit dating sites every month. Many people invest a lot of dollars to make a perfect match. The Grand Prize Singles Experience is a safe space where men can meet men and women can meet women. By the way, it won’t cost you a thing! Grand Prize Lookin’ for a Winner, a Dating & Relationship Guide for Gay Men of Color e-book supports you on your dating journey. Stay tuned for our launch date!

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the formation on the city’s first LGBTQ Advisory Board, advising the mayor on LGBTQ issues.

In her announcement, Mayor Bottoms stated.
“ I am proud to welcome our first full-time employee dedicated solely to liaising with our LGBTQ constituents, and I am equally proud to welcome such a distinguished group of community advocates and leaders to the City’s LGBTQ Advisory Board. ”

Atlanta Mayor Keisha lance Bottom’s LGBTQ Advisory Board, composed of citywide leaders and advocates, will serve as a liaison between the City Hall and residents of the LGBTQ community. It will be engaged in shaping the City’s policies and engagements Malik Brown, a HRC Board of Governors member has been appointed as the LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator. Mr. Brown will be the first full-time City of Atlanta official to focus on building a strong relationship between City Hall and Atlanta’s large LGBTQ community Brown, a lifelong Atlantan, has worked with the Human Rights Campaign and AID Atlanta, a non-profit organization focused on HIV & AIDS services, based in Atlanta.

(Atlanta received a score of 100 on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index, which examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are of LGBTQ people who live and work there.)".


BATWOMAN

Coming soon to television, Batwoman, is being developed by CW, adding to the network's collection of shows based on DC comics characters.

The TV adaptation of Batwoman is to become the first live-action superhero series with an openly gay lead character. Strangely enough, she was introduced in the 1950s as a love interest for Batman to dispel rumors of his own homosexuality. However, Batwoman has since become the highest-profile openly gay character of any DC comic.

Batwoman was reintroduced in 2006 as a gay woman called Kate Kane. The show's synopsis describes Kate Kane as an "out lesbian and highly trained street fighter primed to snuff out the failing city's criminal resurgence".

Her character is "armed with a passion for social justice and a flair for speaking her mind". However, she must "overcome her own demons" before emerging as a hero in Gotham City. Look for Batwoman coming into your timeslot soon…

Batwoman

LGBT People of Color introduced a new LGBT flag that’s Inclusive

AIn 1978, the rainbow flag was created by artist, designer, Vietnam War veteran and then-drag performer, Gilbert Baker. He was commissioned to create a flag by another gay icon, politician Harvey Milk, for San Francisco’s annual pride parade.
Within the flag, the different colors were meant to represent togetherness, since LGBT people come in all races, ages and genders, and rainbows are both natural and beautiful.


The flag was originally created with eight colors, but pink and turquoise were removed for production purposes, and since 1979 it has consisted of six colored stripes. The colors were determined to symbolize: life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), harmony/peace (blue), and spirit (purple/violet). During the late 1980s and early 1990s, a black stripe was sometimes used to represent the AIDS victims


A little over a year ago, June 2017 in Philadelphia, a new gay-rights symbol emerged: a pride flag with additional black and brown stripes above the rest of the rainbow. It was revealed at the Pride Month Kick-off event as part of a new campaign, More Color More Pride. developed by Tierney, a local ad agency that worked with Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs.


In an interview with Tierney Executive Director Amber Hikes, CNN’s Nancy Coleman writes, “The flag aims to recognize nonwhite LGBT communities as part of the broader pride movement, starting with the most visible and widely-recognized symbol of the LGBT community. 

LGBT flag

The stripes represent LGBT individuals of color, a group that can often be overlooked within the overall LGBT umbrella”.


The Spy Who Dumped Me, the Atlanta Connection

The Spy Who Dumped Me had its national-wide opening weekend.  It’s a action/comedy film directed by Susanna Fogel and co-written by David Iserson, starring Mila Kunis, Kate McKinnon, Justin Theroux, and Sam Heughan. 

Its storyline follows two friends who get chased through Europe by assassins after one of their ex-boyfriends turns out to be a CIA Filming was based in Budapest and will take in locations including Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna during the 10-week shoot. It also has an Atlanta connection.

The Spy Who Dumped Me needed to have some re-shoots.  Re-shoots happen when a movie entire scenes are redone, These shots occur months after the sets have been struck, the costumes and props have been stored, and all the cast and most of the crew have moved on to other projects. 

There it is, Atlanta gets in a picture again!


10 Signs of He’s/She’s not the One

1. Him: When he disrespects you like a customer service rep who has an attitude with you when you trying to settle a dispute …. You know, he’s not the one! 
Her: When she disrespects you by flirting with another woman right in from of your face like you’re Steve Wonder….. You know, she’s not the one!

2. Him: The first time he lays hands on you and he’s not in any clergy…. You know, he’s not the one! 
Her: The first time she hits you, says she’s sorry and you mouth off to her again and she hit’s you again, realizing you’re not recording a new hit, that it’s a broken record and you finally press stop!...... You know, she’s not the one!
3. Him: When, as a cheater you give him more than one pass and you’re not even playing football.…. You know, he’s not the one!

Her: When she cheats over and over again, like a card counter cheats in a Las Vegas casino and needs to be put out….. You know, she’s not the one!

4. Him: If he continues borrowing money from you, and he’s working three jobs but hasn’t paid you back once…. You know, he’s not the one!

Her: If between 24 - 48hrs she has borrowed a minimal of $50 (or maybe less) in the time of meeting her, run! Don’t even wait for receipts….. You know, she’s not the one!

5. Him: When his lies stand out more than his truths like he’s one of the three imposters on the television gameshow, “To tell the Truth” …. You know, he’s not the one.

Her: When you know she’s lying, remember this, that childhood game, called “going, Going… GONE! ….. You know, she’s not the one!


GEORGIA’S STILL ON OUR MIND

ATLANTA, GA Georgia is still on the minds of movie makers. But, at least this year, the Peach State will have to settle for second-place.

Georgia continues to be in first place as a filming location for top-grossing films. In 2017, 17 of the year's 100 top-grossing films. Worldwide, Canada came in number one with Georgia coming in second place, where 20 such movies were produced. In 2016, Georgia topped the list with 17 of the year's most popular features, beating out the United Kingdom, Canada and California.

Known as the Peach State, Georgia’s 15 top-grossing films out-sweeten formable places with California at 10, New York with six and Louisiana, five, according to the Film, L.A. compiled list.

Canada’s favorable money exchange rate and groundbreaking tax credits for movie productions made them an attractive location to film in 2017. Over a dozen U.S. states and 20 countries in Europe, South America, Africa, Asia and Australia were involved in the top 100 domestic grossing movies in 2017.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal spokesman John Vaughan stated, "As home to a record 455 film and television productions last year, Georgia remains a top destination for filmmakers and production companies. Gov. Deal is proud to see the success of this industry continue, as films and shows shot in Georgia generated more than $9.5 billion in total economic impact for every corner of the state during the last fiscal year."

Since building its film infrastructure, Georgia's entertainment-industry has been growing with film studios, sound stages, post-production facilities, creating new companies like The Grand Prize Singles Experience, LLC!


Tadd Fujikawa comes out

Former teenage golf prodigy Tadd Fujikawa comes out on World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10th) through his Instagram Account. The Hawaiian born native is the first male professional player to publicly announce he is gay. Read his powerful statement:

taddy808*PLEASE READ* Coincidentally, today is world suicide prevention day. However, I was going to share this regardless.

So...I'm gay. Many of you may have already known that.? I don't expect everyone to understand or accept me. But please be gracious enough to not push your beliefs on me or anyone in the LGBTQ community. My hope is this post will inspire each and every one of you to be more empathetic and loving towards one another.

I've been back and forth for a while about opening up about my sexuality. I thought that I didn't need to come out because it doesn't matter if anyone knows. But I remember how much other's stories have helped me in my darkest times to have hope. I spent way too long pretending, hiding, and hating who I was. I was always afraid of what others would think/say. 

I've struggled with my mental health for many years because of that and it put me in a really bad place. Now I'm standing up for myself and the rest of the LGBTQ community in hopes of being an inspiration and making a difference in someone's life. Although it's a lot more accepted in our society today, we still see children, teens, and adults being ridiculed and discriminated against for being the way we are. Some have even taken their lives because of it. As long as those things are still happening, I will continue to do my best to bring more awareness to this issue and to fight for equality. 

Whether the LGBTQ is what you support or not, we must liberate and encourage each other to be our best selves, whatever that may be. It's the only way we can make this world a better place for future generations.

I don't want this to be focused on me. I just want to spread love and acceptance to others who are in a similar situation. If anyone out there is struggling, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. YOU ARE LOVED AND YOU ARE ENOUGH...AS IS, EXACTLY AS YOU ARE!??

I can't wait for the day we all can live without feeling like we're different and excluded. A time where we don't have to come out, we can love the way we want to love and not be ashamed. We are all human and equal after all. So I dare you...spread love. Let's do our part to make this world a better place.


GRAND PRIZE MEET & GREETS

Some who migrated from large cities or small town had experience a good time, meeting people in the community, drinking, partying and experiencing the number of sights and sounds of the South. Even though they are informed by their friends and Atlantans, it’s not everything you see, they still come, why, because those who tell them that are still here.

Yes, ATL does have a lot to offer in way of it having a large diverse LGBT community and pockets to dwelt in with the number of Gay-friendly restaurants, shopping malls, and a few LGBT bars and dance clubs. So, there are plenty of opportunity to meet a stranger publicly or in private small parties and social events throughout the year.

Most of the public and private places to meet members in the LGBT community will cost an admission, a financial donation, a two-drink minimum or having to “make it rain”. And, being you’re in a place to meet the same-sex doesn’t mean, you’ll be out of your comfort zone. Grand Prize Singles offers you a place to meet & greet at no charge and a staff to get you out of your comfort zone! Check us out when we open! 


Life imitating Art or Art imitating Life