By Tyler Curry
Originally published on Advocate.com May 09 2014 8:00 AM ET
If we are telling the truth, sometimes it is fun to sit around with our best friends and dish on our many dating disasters, terrible one-night blunders, and the wretched ex-boyfriends that we wish would disappear. We list the men to avoid, the behaviors we abhor, and the character flaws that we hate to admit we share. Regardless of how many catalogues filled with gruesome men that we compile, it is only in good fun. Because no matter how bad those men that we never want to meet may be, there are many more that are creating waves of change for the gay greater good.
These are the six gay men who are changing the world.
The Family Man
Whether it’s through surrogacy, adoption, or a stork from above, this diaper-toting trendsetter is blazing a trail straight through the PTA meetings and Cub Scout retreats. With his passion for fatherhood, The Family Man is showing the world that being gay doesn’t mean that you have to give up your desire to parent a child. This guy can do it all, from taking control in the boardroom to bringing snacks to the soccer games. His friends may be wary of his decision to ditch cocktail hour for the playground, but he is steadfast in his decision to lock it down, baby style. The Family Man is pushing past the selfish to get to the selfless, and we are all better for it.
The rainbow would be wasted on the gay community without The Artist to bring the colors together in sweet harmony. He creates tangible beauty with his many tools and immense talent, crafting pieces of splendor that have no price. The Artist has long been a pillar of the gay community, with many in history being heralded in a time when other homosexuals hid in the dark. His talent can manifest in many forms, but the artistic inclination of this gay man is undeniable. Today, he continues to inspire all of those around him with his vision for a more beautiful world. And thankfully, even if you can’t draw a straight line or tell your blues from your greens, the spirit of The Artist can still be found.
The Change Agent
We all recognize that work needs to be done in the fight for equal rights, but many or us simply fall short when it comes to doing it. We may give money here or volunteer there, but our hectic lives keep us from giving our whole selves to the cause. Thankfully, The Change Agent is there to pick up the slack. This man is organizing rallies, advocating for rights and informing the rest of us about what is affecting our lives. With a seemingly endless supply of energy, just looking at The Change Agent’s hectic schedule is enough to make most of us to lie down for a nap. Luckily, this man doesn’t have time for judgment. He keeps steadily working for all of us, but if we want to join him he will happily email you the information.
In a world of constant Real Housewives and gym photo updates, the hustler is doing what many of us swear we are going to start doing tomorrow: he is making it count. Similar to The Change Agent, The Hustler is putting in the work to make a difference, but this man is putting his stamp on the corporate world. This ball buster in business isn’t afraid to go up against the system that values the good ole boys over the gay boys. The Hustler is kicking down doors in his Prada loafers and making no apologies for bringing his husband to the Christmas party. We have all met those corporate gays who tone it down for the office. The Hustler turns it up.
As we all look forward for what is to come, it takes The Historian to keep our feet planted in the reality of where we started. So many young millennial gay men are unaware how much the social landscape has changed in their favor. Therefore, this perpetual student of the past helps keep the value of traditions and the legacy of those who have come before us so that we may never forget where we came from. For the millennial set, it can be hard to remember just how much of a fight it was to hold hands in public, kiss on screen, or even say “I do.” But The Historian will never let us forget, and he keeps us progressing on the path to equality. Just make sure to pay attention, because there will be a test.
While The Historian reminds us of where we came from, we owe the vision of what could one day be possible to The Dreamer. When gay men and women were huddled in dark, dank places, hiding their identities in fear of societal and judicial ramifications, this wide-eyed idealist believed that one day we could achieve respect among out heterosexual counterparts. The Dreamer inspired all of these other five gay men who are changing the world by making them believe that we deserve more and should settle for nothing less. And if you might be one of those other six gays, or another type you still owe this visionary a thank you every now and again.
If you are lucky, each one of these men will remind you of someone you have in your life. If so, let them know just how much you appreciate how they are changing all of our lives for the better. And if they are single, well…. What are you waiting for?
TYLER CURRY created the Needle Prick Project as an editorial and visual campaign to elicit a candid and open conversation on what it means to be HIV-positive today. To learn more about the Needle Prick Project, visit Facebook.com/getpricked or follow Tyler Curry on Facebook or Twitter at @iamtylercurry.