Twitter Facebook
Follow Grindr on
Download Learn More Gear Blog Events Press Contact Help

Grindr Blog

The official Grindr blog.
News and more from Team Grindr.

Grindrphiles: DCNittanyLion

Posted on May 29, 2012 by Grindr Team

The following interview was conducted by pop-culture poster boy, freelance blogger, and executive editor of Gunpowder & Gold Alexander Mayfair. It originally appeared on Washington, D.C.-based online magazine Brightest Young Gays.

I’m shivering, I’m exhausted, and the last thing I want to do is trek halfway across town.

OK, granted, Union Station is only five stops away and takes approximately 10 minutes to get to. But today is just not the day. It’s after 6 on Monday, and I can still feel the repercussions of my Easter Day antics from the day before. What I could really go for is a good PJ, couch and take-out session accompanied by tonight’s episode of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Instead, I find myself here on the metro, seated on a cold, dirty pleather seat, next to someone who either spent his day in a sauna fully dressed or has a deathly aversion to water.

Gawddamn, I’m being bitchy. I walk out of Union Station and text today’s interviewee, DCNittanyLion, to find out the specifics about this bar. My phone vibrates a couple seconds later, as I get a text that says, “Yep, 2nd & F ... it’s called Ebenezer.”

Second? Great -- just great. We’re supposed to be meeting in five minutes, and according to my calculations, I have a good 12 blocks to walk. I hurry up to the approaching intersection to find out where the hell I am, all the while, cursing his name. I roll my eyes and look up at the street sign. I’m at 2nd and F. Oh -- I’m actually directly across the street from Ebenezer. I walk in and immediately spot him. In person, his looks are striking. Suddenly, my spirits are miraculously lifted. We grab coffees and sit outside, enjoying the fading heat of the low sun.

Alexander: Given that patio season has just started, this question seems incredibly time-appropriate. Let’s say you were stuck on an island and you could only drink one cocktail for the rest of your life. What would it be and why?

DCNittanyLion: Well, if it was a tropical island, it would be a Plymouth Gin and Tonic. I was just in India, and they told me that you really don’t need to take the malaria pills. You just need to drink lots of Gin and Tonics because the quinine in the tonic is actually a good buffer against the malaria that mosquitoes carry, so it has a lot of benefits when you’re stuck on an island. You’re warding off mosquitoes while getting blissed on a regular basis.

Now if it was an island off a Norwegian fjord, it’s got to be scotch or bourbon -- that’s dark liquor territory. It would help you stay warmer. I would lean towards something like Basil Hayden.

Alexander: Basil Hayden?

DCNittanyLion: It’s a bourbon -- makes terrific Manhattans. For simplicity's sake, though, just straight -- no need for any other mixers or accoutrements.

Alexander: Gin and Tonic for its antimalarial properties -- how Bear Grylls of you. What if you were a music genre, what would you be?

DCNittanyLion: Absolutely straightforward hard rock, a little bit of punk and a little bit of melodic elements as well. My favorite music is simple: two guitars, bass and drum. It’s amazing how much power that basic arrangement can carry. You can just plug your guitar into GarageBand and, well, at least make noise. I can’t play like Jimi Hendrix by any means, but you can sound like James Taylor in one song, Led Zeppelin in another, and Nirvana in even another. I would just be pure rock ‘n’ roll.

Alexander: Bourbon and classic rock ... always a winning combo in my book. Specifically, though, what’s your song du jour? What song on your iPod has been stuck on repeat?

DCNittanyLion: There’s a song called “For Real” by Tricky. I’m not really sure what album it was originally on, but it’s on a collections album I got recently on iTunes. The song is a commentary on gangster culture and how a lot of hip hop artists kind of appropriate violent imagery in their appearance and in their lyrics. It has a kick-ass video, and it just has this groove and execution that kind of gets into your skull and doesn’t let go.

Alexander: Let’s talk dance icons. Who’s yours?

DCNittanyLion: Frankenstein. Yeah ... because I basically dance by stumbling around when I’m drunk. That’s basically it. That or one of those zombies from “Night of the Living Dead.” Pretty much.

Alexander: [laughing] That just may be my favorite answer so far. Speaking of awkward, let’s talk first dates. What was your most awkward first date?

DCNittanyLion: The only thing that really comes to mind is the first time I kissed a guy. It was my first year as a grad student at Penn State, and a group of us were out getting completely sh*tfaced one night, including this one guy that used to be in my dorm. We were leaving the bar, and it was pouring. We got up to the major intersection and most of my friends turned right, and then he and I turned left because he lived in the direction of my apartment. We got to his place, and he invited me up. Once inside, he puts on an REM album. I picked up the CD booklet and started flipping through it. It was one of these collections from REM that had a lot of their B sides, and there’s a picture of Michael Stipe in it when he actually had hair. This photo’s probably from 1984/85, and he just looks adorable in it. I said to Joe, “Michael Stipe looks so cute in this picture,” and he agreed.

Alexander: And you guys had never talked about being gay?

DCNittanyLion: No, but it’s been a legendary experience ever since [chuckles]! I guess it was awkward in the sense that I had a feeling that something was going to happen, but I wasn’t really sure. I wasn’t really sure what to do or say, but I guess I figured it out.

Alexander: So, awkward in the sense of first-kiss awkward?

DCNittanyLion: Yeah ... [flashes a crooked grin]

Alexander: Well, don’t worry. If it makes you feel any better, my teeth started chattering after my first kiss -- real smooth. Keeping on the romantic wavelength, answer me this ... Who would you rather: David Bowie or Iggy Pop?

DCNittanyLion: David Bowie. I have half of my back covered in a tattoo that is based on his song “Ashes to Ashes.” It also has the lightning bolt motif from his 1973 album “Aladdin Sane.” I did this because when I was around 10 or 11, I was going through my sister’s stuff, and I came across a book that had the dimensions of an LP. It was based on Bowie’s work from 1969 to 1980, and every chapter was an album. I remember flipping through it and stopping on the chapter for “Aladdin Sane,” where you saw that very androgynous, alien appearance. I had never seen anything like it. It just resonated with me in a very powerful way. I wasn’t even thinking about sex or sexuality at that age, but there was something about his appearance that was foreshadowing of my own development and my own sexuality that was really significant.

Alexander: I would love to have your memory. I can’t even remember what I did yesterday. Moving forward, let’s skip ahead 15, 20 years. You’ve just been elected president. What’s the first law you pass?

DCNittanyLion: I would sell the country to Norway because that’s the only way we’re going to save our asses. I mean, you’re a young guy; there’s no way you’re going to be able to retire. Our country is so broke, so far down the sh*tter. We don’t have our priorities straight. We’re just a very greedy, materialistic culture that spends money on violence and war. For what purpose? We’re at a point where we’re arguing about things that people didn’t argue about before, like education. So yeah, I’d sell the country to Norway and hoist the Norwegian flag in front of the White House because that’s a society that cares about its people and their welfare. Thirty years from now, I’ll be having margaritas on the Fjords. If there’s one benefit to climate change, it’s that it’ll be a hell of a lot hotter there [laughs].

Alexander: Now that's what you would call an aggressive domestic policy. Fill in the blank for me: _______ makes my mouth water.

DCNittanyLion: An unopened bottle of Plymouth Gin [chuckles]. Sad but true.

***

Despite the cool evening breeze, I decide to walk home. I pop in my headphones and get lost in thought. Like with every interview, I walk away truly impressed with the wide variety of people I get to meet.

To think, while I’m sipping on cocktails, hairspraying the highest pompadour possible, getting ready to see whatever DJ is spinning at UHall on Friday night; other people are at the National Stadium, watching baseball, and drinking beer. I’m not even sure under what other conditions our paths might ever cross, but I’m thankful for it. Had it not been for tonight, I might never discover what Basil Hayden is, listen to Bowie’s “Aladdin Sane,” or most importantly, realize how much I underutilize the word “fjord.”


Grindrphiles: Brant

Posted on May 21, 2012 by Grindr Team



The following interview was conducted by pop-culture poster boy, freelance blogger, and executive editor of Gunpowder & Gold Alexander Mayfair. It originally appeared on Washington, D.C.-based online magazine Brightest Young Gays.

It’s a beautiful spring day outside; the sun is shining, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and it’s only mid-March. It’s not even just beautiful, it’s actually hot.

I walk in the door and immediately start stripping off the layers. By the time I reach my bedroom, I’m down to my briefs, holding my button-down and suit jacket while shuffling with my pants around my ankles. I throw everything on the bed and turn on my music.

Diplo’s “Express Yourself” fills our apartment, and my room instantly becomes my private dance floor. Per usual, I’m running late and I have only about 20 minutes before I meet up with this week’s interviewee, Brant, at Point Chaud on 14th. I keep pulling clothes out, assessing them, and then throwing them on my bed in disapproval. Who knew that deciding on the perfect T-shirt and jort combo could be so hard? I finally decide on a black-on-black combo (surprise, surprise), grab my messenger bag and head out the door.

On the way there, I decide to text Brant to let him know what to look for. He responds with, “Green tee, jorts and what I’d like to pretend isn’t a purse.” I turn onto 14th from Riggs and spot him right away. He’s carrying a bright red canvas tote with “Keep Calm and Carry On” scrawled across the side. I can’t help but laugh. We look like mirror images of each other -- he’s the color to my all-black tee, jort, and bag combo. We walk into Point Chaud, order tea and crepes, and head back outside to sit and enjoy the delicious evening air.

Alexander: Alright, let’s start with the question everyone seems to like answering the most. If you were stuck on a desert island and you could only have one cocktail for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Brant: Uhhhh ... [hesitates] ... this is sooo gay, but probably a Cosmo. I don’t even like saying that; I feel like I’ve just watched "Sex and the City" for the first time when I say that. I really love Cointreau though -- I drink it straight. I work part-time at the Green Lantern and the bartenders there make fun of me for it. They’re always telling me that it’s not a drink when I ask for a Cointreau on the rocks. I ordered that at a restaurant once and later caught the waiter making fun of "the guy who ordered Cointreau on the rocks." It was really embarrassing, so now I get Cosmos if I want to have Cointreau.

Alexander: Well, that’s definitely ... different [laughs]. You mentioned "Sex and the City," so let’s talk soundtracks. If you were a music genre, what would you be?

Brant: Genres can’t be very eclectic. I’m a Gemini, so I don’t have a constant pace. Music is really important to me. If they didn’t have iPods, I’d still be walking around with a 32-CD disc case and my Discman -- like I did in high school. I had these huge headphones that made me look like a total idiot.

I would say I’m world music, though. I hate that label, but I really like international music. I’m thinking of the different places I work at. Sometimes I’m really up, and sometimes I’m not at all so it depends. I’ve got some really great Quebecois Celtic-sounding a capella, but then I also really love [Paris-based Italian-Egyptian diva] Dalida. She’s the greatest ever; I wish she wasn’t dead. People don’t know who she is, which is upsetting, but I always tell them she’s the best French disco queen.

Alexander: Dalida? Really? You certainly are full of surprises. Keeping the Saturday Night Fever alive, though, who’s your dance icon?

Brant: Robyn. Robyn live is the best experience I’ve had with music in my life -- I was in the very front. I was in the very front for Yelle, and there was no guard, so I was literally up against the stage, at her feet, and it still was not as good as being behind a guard for Robyn. She killed it. I feel like I just dance really well to her music, and I can just queen the f**k out. Oh, and I want her hair! I want her pixie haircut on a boy, but it just won’t work on me ever. My head’s too big! She has a tiny head.

Alexander: Well, apart from being a Robynhead, what’s the first thing that attracts you to someone?

Brant: This is going to sound weird, but how they interact with me. It’s not what a person has, like their eyes, but it can be the way they look at me, the way they carry themselves. If you maintain eye contact with me while we’re talking, that makes a huge difference -- regardless of how you look. You know what I mean? I mean, you may not be that attractive to me right away, but if we have an interaction that’s really successful, that can change things by leaps and bounds.

Alexander: An equal opportunist, I see.

Brant: I mean, I always want to say something like "eyes," but everyone has eyes. I guess I just don’t want to discredit anyone.

Alexander: Let’s talk dates. What was your most awkward first date?

Brant: This was when I was in high school and I used to have to report in with my parents -- tell them where I was going and what I was doing. I came out when I was 13, and I dated my first boy when I was 14. This was in high school, though, and I told my mom I was going out with one of my friends. When the guy came to pick me up, my mom immediately noticed that it wasn’t my friend’s car. She asked me who it was, and I had to tell her that is was this boy named Mark.  She made him come in and introduce himself. That was awkward because I was 17, and I had to have this 20-something-year-old come in to meet my mom.

He was super-gorgeous and suddenly my mom made us stay at my house. Upon seeing how handsome he was -- well, I don’t know if that was actually the reason, but it’s definitely how I perceived it -- she took us to my room, turned off the lights, and shut the door behind us. Basically, I got my mother’s permission to hook up with him. It was super-awkward.

Alexander: Wow! Way to go, Mom! So what’s your ideal vacation destination?

Brant: I want to say Paris, even though I've never been. My only experience outside the U.S. was in South Africa, and I think I'd like to see how I do with something a little more familiar. Since Thomas Jefferson was a Francophile, and Pierre L'Enfant was actually French, a lot of D.C.'s layout was inspired by the same things that inspired the design of the French capital, even though it's in a tertiary way. D.C. has the museums, the food, and the historical and political elements that I love, and I think Paris would offer those things as well, but with even more cute boys with accents.

Alexander: OK, Francophile, what makes your mouth water?

Brant: Spice. I love spicy foods and things that have a lot of flavor. Bland things have their place, of course, but I just cannot get enough of stuff that makes my eyes water as it goes down my throat. Spicy Italian food and Thai are really where it's at for me.

Alexander: And here I thought you’d say "French cuisine." Go figure. Let’s switch gears and talk literature. What was your last good read?

Brant: I don't know how I feel about this question because I love reading so much that what I read can vary greatly. I just read a linguistic study of Japanese and am now reading Julia Child's "My Life in France," both of which are excellent. Next up is either "Filosofía de la liberación latinoamericana" or "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen." I really love non-fiction, obviously.

Alexander: Finish this sentence for me: "In 2012, I’d like to see …"

Brant: More of the world.

***

After the interview, I rush home to pick up my straight roommate; he’s my plus-one to a dinner party that night. It’s past 8 p.m. by the time I clamber through the door, even though I've reminded him several times that day that we absolutely need to leave the apartment by no later than 7:45. He's sitting on the couch, freshly pressed button-down on, ready to go, while I try to convince him that in Gay World, time works differently. We end up getting there 45 minutes late, which I inform him is practically like being on time.

We sit down to a beautifully cooked Mediterranean meal with our British hosts to our left, our Italian friends to our right and a Uruguayan friend next to them. Ironically, my roommate and the cook are the only two homegrown Americans. As we feast on the decadence and enjoy glass after glass of red wine, I am reminded of Brant’s quest to explore more of the world. Granted, I never think you can see enough of the world, but I think that’s also one of my favorite parts of D.C. -- the world comes to you.

Check out the latest installment of Grindrphiles over at Brightest Young Gays.


Grindrphiles: Migs

Posted on May 14, 2012 by Grindr Team



The following interview was conducted by pop-culture poster boy, freelance blogger, and executive editor of Gunpowder & Gold Alexander Mayfair. It originally appeared on Washington, D.C.-based online magazine Brightest Young Gays.

I shift awkwardly on my bar stool.

“What do you call a bear that does drag? A brag?” Migs looks me straight in the eyes and erupts into a hearty roar of laughter. At this point, I decide I probably shouldn’t tell him that I googled “female bear” in an attempt to answer my own question on the way over here. It’s seven in the evening, and I am sipping on a Jack and Ginger at The Eagle -- perhaps the last place on earth I’d ever imagine myself on a Monday. I’ve only been here 15 minutes, but if it weren’t for Migs, I don’t know if I would have lasted this long.

In fact, walking up to the bar, it wasn’t apparent that it was even open until I pulled the handle. As I entered, it was like walking onto a movie set. Every single guy at the bar slowly turned around and gave me the once-over. Between my gray skinny jeans and my cute vintage messenger bag, it was, and still is, painfully clear that I am not a regular at this bear den. I tried to walk in as nonchalantly as possible but felt an incredible sense of relief the second I spotted Migs at the other end of the bar.

After a couple minutes of small talk, I buy us a round and head over to the only table in sight. I drag over a bar stool and set up shop. My computer turns on and I immediately dim the screen. Damn, in this somber setting, it seems move like a spotlight than a computer!




Alexander: So let’s start! If you were on a desert island and you could only have one cocktail for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Migs: Omigawd ... [thinks about it] I think for me, it would be a Bloody Mary. There’s something about having a Bloody Mary on a drunken morning ... well, after a drunken night, which ends up becoming a drunken morning because you’re having so many. They’re filling, so you don’t need to eat as much, but I do love the olives and the celery the most! The alcohol content is usually pretty high, and I have to say, they’re very relaxing. I like mine with a lot of hot sauce in them. I’m always asking for more hot sauce.

Alexander: Same goes for a Margarita, actually; a shot of Tabasco does wonders. Now what would you say your ideal Saturday night looks like?

Migs: Lately, my ideal Saturday night involves the gym. Usually I’m getting off work around 6 or 7, and then I’ll run to the gym and do some cardio or something. While I’m on the elliptical, I’m texting everyone trying to figure out what’s going on for the rest of the night. After that, I run home and freshen up. Then I usually start off with drinks somewhere with friends, probably Nellie’s or JR’s, and take it from there. Sometimes it’s somebody’s house, and we’re just talking, drinking, and watching YouTube clips.

Alexander: Sounds like you know how to make a night count! What if you were on "RuPaul’s Drag Race"? What would your drag name be?

Migs: This is great ... this is just great! My drag name already exists actually because I’ve dabbled in the make-up here and there, but it’s "Moka Loka Latte." It’s spelled with K’s.

Alexander: So you’re a Kardashian?

Migs: Right! I just look a lot better in drag than Khloe. The reason I spell it with a K is because one time I did this contest at a Latino club and the hostess only spoke Spanish. I wrote down my name, and then she asked me my name, and I even said “Moka Loka Latte.” She then reads off the list, and introduces me as “Mow-char Loka Latte.” Mochar, in Spanish, means “severed” or “chopped off,” so that doesn’t have a good connotation. From that point on, I’ve always spelled "mocha" with a K.

Alexander: Well, OK, Ms. Severed Mocha, tell me, what’s your song du jour? What song can you just not get enough of at the moment?

Migs: Ever since Whitney Houston died ...

Alexander: Bless her soul.

Migs: Amen! She has this song called “Oh Yes,” and anybody who can appreciate a really sexy kind of song should listen to that song. I didn’t even realize I had it on my iPod before, but it was on my playlist of “Every Single Whitney Houston Song Ever," and it’s just an amazing song. I just love it -- I could listen to it over and over again. That said, I love so many songs that sometimes they just get stuck on repeat over and over.

Alexander: Staying on the post-mortem path, what’s your obituary say?

Migs: "He is survived by his many ex-husbands, and all the kids they adopted. He served the public good for most of his career and in the end died doing what he loved doing best." We’ll just leave it at that. [erupts into laughter]

Alexander: Many ex-husbands, huh? What is it that first attracts you to the future ex-Mr. Migs?

Migs: This is going to sound very generic, but masculinity. I definitely look for masculinity in other men. That being said, however, masculinity can mean a lot of different things. It can mean a certain attitude, or a certain way a guy carries himself. It doesn’t just mean a deep voice and a hairy chest -- although those are great things to have! It can come out in the career they have or the way they dress. I mean, there are so many ways that translate that.

Alexander: What about role models? Who’s been your biggest inspiration?

Migs: I was lucky because when I came out at a young age, I immediately found several mentors, several adults who put me on a really good path. I would say one of my biggest mentors was my English teacher from high school because she helped me learn about process -- there’s a process to everything. That was sort of my first foray into politics. I wanted to do something at my high school, and she showed me how to get it done. She really helped me figure out a lot of things back then, things that still benefit me to this day.

Alexander: Finish this sentence for me: "My sanctuary in DC is ..."

Migs: The gym. I just go there and I’m in my own world. I never understand people who are looking for gym partners because I can’t go with somebody else, even a trainer. I’m not that interested because I want to do what I want to do and not what you’re going to tell me to do. I just want to be in my own little world. I’m not responsible to anybody; I’m not holding anyone back; I can turn my phone off and just listen to music and do my thing. So yeah, the gym is a sanctuary for me.

Alexander: Can you teach me your ways? I still dread it. Now onto food. The question is: to brunch or not to brunch? And where?

Migs: I’m all about brunch, and I’m a Nellie’s drag brunch fanatic! I love, love, love to take anyone who visits D.C. to drag brunch. First of all, the food is great. I love the food in general at Nellie's, but the buffet is amazing. People don’t realize that Nellie’s is half-owned by a Cuban couple. They also own a Cuban restaurant in Silver Spring (Md.), so the menu is delicious! Secondly, the servers are the drag show. So your servers will inevitably disappear and you’ll be left pining for a water or a mimosa until some other waitress brings it to you. Your waitress will be in the back, changing, getting ready to do her number. It’s brunch, it’s food, it’s music, peppered with a great little drag show with queens running in between the tables. I think it’s a wonderful production.

Alexander: You know, I still haven’t tried it. Sounds like something I definitely need check out, though. What about vacation? What’s your ideal vacation destination?

Migs: Puerto Rico! Puerto Rico! Puerto Rico! I’m not from there, but I love that you can just go and get a decent-priced hotel on the beach ... I mean, every hotel is on the beach there. There’s a little bit of a gay scene there -- there’s gay bars, gay hotels, gay beaches. There’s so many things you can do. I like to go there and just chill. When I go on vacation, I’m not one of those people who has a huge itinerary. Maybe there are two or three bars I want to go to, and maybe there’s this event I want to check out, but otherwise I’m on vacation, I don’t want to be on a schedule. So I want to go somewhere where I can lay on the beach, work on my tan, and drink pina coladas -- and that’s Puerto Rico!

***

I lollygag on the way home, enjoying one of the first spring nights. I turn on some Whitney and start thinking about the highlights from tonight’s interview. Like with most of the guys I interview, I leave feeling like we have more in common than meets the eye. I mean, I’ll be 27 soon enough ... maybe I’ll become a bear? I look down at my iPhone to switch songs and immediately start laughing. My bare forearm is staring straight back at me -- I guess there’s no such thing as a hairless bear, huh?

Check out the latest installment of Grindrphiles over at Brightest Young Gays.
 

Grindrphiles: Mcdoogleton

Posted on May 7, 2012 by Grindr Team



The following interview was conducted by pop-culture poster boy, freelance blogger, and executive editor of Gunpowder & Gold Alexander Mayfair. It originally appeared on Washington, D.C.-based online magazine Brightest Young Gays.

“Where should we go to brunch?” I keep shuffling across my roommate’s floor and throwing myself onto her futon. “What kind of brunch do you want?” I croak.

She almost seems offended by the question. Oh, that’s right -- her girlfriends are in town from North Carolina this weekend; bottomless brunch cocktails are clearly the priority.

I close my eyes and try to think of options. A block away from 17th and R and seriously sleep deprived, the only thing my mind keeps coming up with is Level One. She likes the idea, and I offer to make a reservation for her. Luck is on her side: There’s tons of walk-in space.

Within 10 minutes, all four girls are seated at a table inside. And, within an hour, seven men and three tables have been added to the mix. Several pitchers of Mimosas and several Bloody Marys later, I realize the goldmine I’m sitting on ... well, in. I whip my phone out and log on.

Chest, abs, chest and abs ... I pick the first face I see. I ask him if he’s familiar with Brightest Young Things. Then, I ask him if he’s familiar with Grindrphiles. Emboldened with liquid courage, I grab my glass and make my way over to the bar after spotting him. We chat, we laugh, we make plans for a Monday night interview at Jack Rose in Adams Morgan.

Two days later, we meet promptly at 8 p.m. We get settled in at the bar, and I take a sip of my Jack and Ginger as we dive into the interview:

Alexander: So, if you were stuck on a desert island and you could only have one cocktail for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Mcdoogleton: The same cocktail I drink wherever I go: a bourbon and diet. Because if I had my bourbon and diet, I’d never feel alone [laughs]. I mean, it’s kind of true, and it doesn’t even matter what kind of bourbon. It can even be rye.

Alexander: I’m starting to see why you picked this place. Outside of drinks, what does your ideal Saturday night look like?

Mcdoogleton: Well, I generally work Saturday nights 'cause I bartend. There are two of us, and I’m cut first because I open and the other one closes. So I’d like to leave exactly at 9 p.m. and either meet up with some friends next door at a different bar, have plans to go to a house party, or meet up with some friends downtown. If I have the Saturday off, I’m generally going to offer to cook at someone’s house so everyone has a full belly before we go out for a night of drinking.

Alexander: I’m sure your friends love that. Now if I say dance icon, you would say ...

Mcdoogleton: I would say Bob Fosse and Micheal Jackson. The reason that I consider them icons is because they both started with being classically trained and decided they wanted to be greater than that. They progressed the art of dance into new genres, which became completely stylistic and mimicked. People can say, “Oh, you’re doing a Fosse move,” or “Oh, you’re doing a Michael Jackson move.” I think that’s something completely respectable. To be able to move your body in a way that someone can say, “Oh, you’re doing that like him,” or “Oh, you’re doing that like her,” is definitely an art form. For example, Beyonce Knowles did a Fosse routine for "Single Ladies."

Alexander: She actually also did an MJ one in "Bootylicious," back in the days of Destiny’s Child. What about dating, though? What would you say is your top tip?

Mcdoogleton: It would be to know who your friends are and to know who your romantic interests are. You might get confused if someone is romantically interesting to you. They may be aesthetically pleasing and a charming person but turn out to be a great friend. Friends stick around when a relationship might fail. Knowing whether or not it’s appropriate to bridge that gap of friendship or relationship is a good thing to understand before you make a decision. You might end up losing a really awesome friend in the process of dating and breaking up, or you might have let a potential mate slip away thinking they’re just a friend.

Alexander: What about your most awkward first date?

Mcdoogleton: [Starts cackling] I’m laughing because I read Jamesson’s interview. My most awkward first date was, in fact, not a first date. I was in a mood where I wanted to go out by myself, and I went to a gay bar I don’t usually go to. I struck up a great conversation with a bartender and hung out with him all night. At the end of the night, we decided to swap numbers. I waited the standard five days, and asked him if he wanted to meet up for drinks the following week. [Ed. note: standard 5 days? That's just cruel.]

We met up and ended up having a great time. About an hour passed, and a really hot girl walked by, and he checked her out. I saw the look and asked, “Oh, you’re into chicks too?”

“Too?”

“You’re not gay?”

“No! I thought ... oh, we didn’t talk about that, did we?”

“No, we didn’t. So we’re not on a date now, are we?”

“No.”

“Well, guess who’s paying for their half now. I was going to pay for all of this until you told me we weren’t on a date.”

We’re still friends. It was an awkward moment, but nothing that four shots of Jameson -- two each -- fixed.

Alexander: Wow, that’s hilarious. I feel awkward after just listening to that. At least you guys have a great story! OK, moving on, what if you were president? What’s the first law you would pass?

Mcdoogleton: I would make it legal to smoke marijuana. I would do that because, first off, I think marijuana is pretty harmless. I think that the laws regulating it are completely archaic. It poses a lot less of a health risk than cigarettes or alcohol do. Not to mention the amount of tax you could generate from legalizing marijuana could do a lot for this country, especially when we’re so much in debt.

Alexander: What if you won the lottery? What’s the first thing you’d buy?

Mcdoogleton: The first thing I would buy is [financial services firm] J.G. Wentworth’s structured annuity and take the lump sum [bursts into giggles] ... 'cause I want my money now! Once I got my lump sum, the first thing I would buy would be a diversified portfolio in the stock market to ensure that the money would never be pissed away. I’m assuming your question is more along the lines of what tangible thing I would purchase, though. Once I ensured that my money was safe for a good long time and for future generations of my family, I would buy a home on each coast of the United States, an island home, and a home somewhere in Western Europe.

Alexander: Yes, please! I’ll have one of each, thank you. Now international villas aside, who would you say is your greatest inspiration?

Mcdoogleton: I would say my friend Nicole. I look up to her a lot. We’ve known each other for 11 years. I’ve never known anyone that long in my life that I’ve continually kept in touch with. I look up to her because we both went through some really tough times together. Even though she’s been faced with personal adversity, she’s followed her passion, and she’s a year and a half away from getting her doctorate in psychology. I can’t wait to call her Dr. Wagner, which we discussed at her celebration upon her acceptance into grad school. We asked if we were going to have to start calling her Dr. Wagner, and she said, "Don’t be ridiculous! You can just call me 'Doctor.'"

Alexander: Impressive, for sure. What about vacation? Where is your ideal vacation location?

Mcdoogleton: I really want to go to the Galapagos or Madagascar. I really just want to go to an island or location that has an ecosystem that is specific to itself, like Australia or New Zealand. The idea that there is life -- be it plant, animal, or people -- that is completely indigenous and completely all its own is very intriguing to me. I think I would have to go with the Galapagos, though, because it’s so fascinating to me.

Alexander: So what about reading? What was your last good read?

Mcdoogleton: “Good read,” to me, means something that I could engross myself in for more than a day or two. When I do read, it’s got to be an escape, so that means fantasy. I love the "Harry Potter" series, "Lord of the Rings," and "The Golden Compass." I tried to get into "The Wheel of Time," but it just got too complicated. I would say any series based in fantasy or science fiction. I loved the "Dune" series -- read all of those as well. It’s been more a means of escapism for me, a place where I don’t have to think about the things that are real but about things that someone else has created and what they look like in my head. So to definitively answer your question, the last one I read was "The Golden Compass."

***

Impressed, I went home that night and attempted to delve into a new book. After all, I couldn’t remember the last time I had read something that didn’t come in the form of a newspaper or off of a computer screen. I was passed out, mouth open, after page two, but thanks to Mcdoogleton, I have a renewed interest in diversifying my reading -- as well as learning more about the Galapagos. And bourbon.

Check out the latest installment of Grindrphiles over at Brightest Young Gays.


AIDS Walks 2012: We Need Your Help!

Posted on May 4, 2012 by Grindr Team



This spring, Grindr's trying to do a little something to benefit the gay community. So we're getting involved with three big AIDS Walks this year: AIDS Walk New York (May 20), The California Music Festival and AIDS Walk in Los Angeles (also May 20), and AIDS Walk San Francisco (July 15). We've partnered with each of the walks' organizers to raise money for AIDS service groups in each region. In LA, we're joining forces to get donations and do the walk with local gay health and HIV prevention organization Impulse Group.

But we can't make nearly as big of a difference by ourselves as we could with your help. There are two ways you can contribute: a) Donate $60 to join one of our teams, help us raise money, and do the walk with us; or b) simply make a donation in any denomination.

If you pledge $60 to the LA team, you'll not only get to do the walk with Impulse and Grindr but you'll also get to attend a pre-walk champagne meet-and-greet; enjoy complimentary food and drinks along the way; and get VIP access to a special reception during the concert.

If your loyalties lie with the Big Apple, join the team or contribute here. If you're partial to the City of Angels, join us or donate here. (Scroll down and click "Join Team" in the box if you want to register to walk.) If you're a Bay Area enthusiast, register or contribute here.

If you want to go the super-convenient, extra-easy route, you can just text "Grindr" to 20222 to directly donate $10 to the LA AIDS Walk.

No matter where you are, you can definitely contribute to the cause. So spread the word, join our team, or donate today!