Family Support Tied to Safer Sex for Young Gay Males: Study

Originally posted on *U.S. News & World Report

By Randy Dotinga, HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 15, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Young gay and bisexual males are less likely to engage in riskier sex if their families are supportive of the way they live, a small new study reveals.

However, while the study found an association between family support and safer sex practices, such as using condoms, it did not prove a cause-and-effect link.

Still, “youth had limited engagement in unsafe sex when the families were able to have open, reciprocal discussions that were low in disagreement. Close family connections seemed to provide a context for safety,” study author Michael LaSala, an associate professor and licensed clinical social worker at Rutgers University School of Social Work, said in a university news release.

The study is based on interviews with 38 gay and bisexual males aged 14 to 21 in several East Coast metropolitan areas. The researchers also interviewed parents and other caretakers of the participants.

Closeness between parents and kids seemed to be an important factor in whether the boys and men engaged in riskier sexual behaviors, such as not wearing condoms. Some study participants said their decisions about safer sex were influenced by discussions with parents about things like the use of condoms.

“We can’t discount the role of the family in protecting these young adults,” LaSala said. “One son said that it is his mom’s love that keeps him grounded. A family’s acceptance and open dialogue helps to encourage the young adult to take care of himself. So, for many families, the ties that bind could be a powerful motivator to stay safe.”

The study was published online recently in the Journal of Marital & Family Therapy.

‘Drag Race’ Girls Star In First Starbucks LGBT Commercial

*Originally posted on Huffington Post

By James Nichols

Well here’s one place we certainly didn’t think we’d see the “RuPaul’s Drag Race Girls” pop up.

Starbucks released what is reportedly its very first lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)-themed commercial this week starring the top two contestants from “Drag Race” season six: Adore Delano and Bianca Del Rio. The commercial is cheeky, fun and a little bit silly, but it’s nice to see these two gaining some more mainstream traction.

Starbucks has long been an ally to the queer community. Not only did the organization raise a Pride flag over its Seattle headquarters earlier this year, but the company’s CEO famously told an anti-gay shareholder that he was free to “sell [his] shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company” if he had a problem with the company’s pro-gay values.

The CatalystCon Opening Keynote Plenary Address

I’m about to fly to Washington DC in a couple of days for Catalyst Con East, where in addition to speaking in several sessions previously detailed, I’ll be on the panel for the CatalystCon Opening Keynote Plenary Address the night of Friday, March 15.

The panel will be moderated by the lovely Tristan Taormino (whose radio show I will be a guest on during the weekend).  My fellow panelists include Ducky Doolittle, Dr. Hernando Chaves, and Mireille Miller-Young.  I greatly admire each of the people I’m speaking with for their contributions towards modern sex education.

The Keynote is going to kickoff the convention and set the tone for the entire weekend.  We’ll cover an array of topics including battles over sex education, reproductive rights, gay marriage, obscenity, and pornography, and how each one plays a role in politics and society.  Of course each topic will be covered in more details during CatalystCon’s over 40 sessions.

For more information about CatalystCon East, visit the website at  I’m sure I’ll be tweeting about all the informative sessions and amazing speakers throughout the three days, so check out @thejessicadrake.  I’m also looking forward to posting a recap of the convention when I’m back home in LA.