October 22nd, 2017

andrew potter

2017 GRL convention... restoring my faith in the LGBT community

So yes, for once I want to write something out of my live and let live policy... but in the end is not so far. And be aware, this is a looong post. Before coming to this year GRL 2017, my 7th (they told me I'm among the more or less 20 people that joined all the GRLs so far), I was of the idea that this one was to be the last one. I did not enjoy much Kansas City, maybe it was me and not the convention, maybe it was the fact it happened few days after I was grilled and served to the social media, with my life questioned and the Rainbow Awards demoted, but yes, that did not pass unnoticed to me, and left scars. So I was not in the better disposition for this year convention. And as soon as I arrived, I read posts about how people were complaining due to the inclusion of erotica, BDSM and other hard core elements in the convention... Now, I'm the first to say BDSM is not my cup of tea, that I do not read erotica cause, I already skip the sex scenes from my romance books, if I read an erotica, it would be basically skipping half if not more of the book, but hey guys and girls, do you know the concept of "inclusion"? is a very nice concept, and if you grilled me since I was not including the Asexual in an LGBT award (that now is actually LGBTA), more or less the same people should not complain if erotica or BDSM or pornography is included as well. Inclusion is not written with an "except" notice at the end. Inclusion is all or nothing. And now I want to tell you my personal experience and the reason why I consider this GRL a nice experience that I will remember fondly. I usually skip the thursday night event, that is usually a naughty party. The first year in New Orleans I spent all the night talking outside in the balcony with someone while inside they told me were happening the most naughy things. This year, from the description of the event, I wasn't expecting anything different, but I happened to be curious since one of the panelists, R.j. Sebastian​, had a connection with a friend of mine, Jesse Archer​, and also since he was in a long-term relationship with his husband, Jake Jaxson​, and having written a book about long-term LGBT couples, of course it was something that picked my interest. Tell you the truth, I did know what Cocky Boys are about (A Thing of Beauty won 2nd place in the Visual Artist category of the Rainbow Awards 3 years ago) but I had never seen one of the movies. Read above, I skip the sex scenes in the books, can you imagine that maybe I'm not really interested in porn, BUT I do like the aesthetic of nudity if it's well done. So I went, but I told my mom, who was at the GRL with me, better if you stay in the room. And my idea was to just have a feeling of the situation and if I did not like it, to just go back to my room. First surprise: the panel room was nicely set up, with totally innocent pins on the tables (so innocent that my mom used them the day after, and my mom is 75 years old...) and some red and blue decorations, red and blues ballons and just one big poster with the name Cocky Boys and nothing else. Susan Lee​ acted as moderator (very good job) and she first interviewed R.J. and Jake, and it was all about how they met, how they started to do pornography, the quality they wanted to achieve in what they do. The first thing you noticed was how humble they were, not cocky at all, and even a little shy. Then three of their actors joined the panel, and yes, they were all good looking boys, toned and sculpted, maybe yes, they were more cockys, but they talked about their families, their motivations in doing this job, and also how you can meet your love interest while doing it. After the panel the night was to continue with dance and music, but first R.J. Sebastian offered to take pictures with the three boys... poor guys I'm not sure they realized what was expecting them: a huge line of people so long that it took all the time they had, up until 1 am to finish. And I remained until the end since I wanted to see if they really were to take all those pictures (mind you, for free) and yes, they did. It was clear they were tired but no one was rejected and each single photo was staged and time was spent to make the one asking for a photo feeling welcomed. So yes, after a specific treatment I received from part of the "inclusive" LGBT community, it restored a little bit of my faith in the above mentioned community to see that indeed, there are (still) really good people. And maybe, after all, I will check out what these Cocky Boys are about... if I was not a fan/subscriber before, I maybe be today, and I'm sure many other in the panel will do the same.

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