Month: July 2010

Back to the Grindr

Guess who’s all up on Grindr. Rarr… That’s right. Yours truly. And I’m only 0 feet away. Now if you don’t know what Grindr is than you’re probably not a gay man with an iPhone. And for those of you who aren’t that lucky, its basically an app that makes it really easy for men to hook up (how ever you might want to define that) with other men who are near by. Yup, it tells you how close you are and if they’re cut or uncut. Download it. Have fun. Its another great way to once again see everyone you already see at the three bars you frequent.

Anyway, when I first got Grindr. My name was like Tony! Toni! TonĂ©! and I probably had an artsy pic up or something. Didn’t chat with anyone. And shyly checked for cuties in my proximity, in the safe corners of the light-rail metro cars. So I got bored and deleted the thing.

But just recently, and in the midst of this whole GayTravel.com promotional e-tour extravaganza, I’ve found myself thinking outside of  la caja a little bit, with new ways to put my work out there. Or at least my name. My stats? My ISOs?

So I re-downloaded Grindr and threw my pic up, used my real name and even linked it to my facebook. Man, I wouldn’t think I would do something like that even two weeks ago. I’m like, you know, pretty all up in yo face most of the time. But there’s definitely an irritating conservative streak in my M.O. that keeps me from doing things like, say, meeting guys on apps specifically designed for hot and immediate NSA sex with neighbors. So when I do do something like this, I feel, like I’ve grown.

Now, you know those men who say they read the articles in Playboy? Well, I just might believe them because that’s kinda how I feel about my relationship with Grindr. You see, after I set up my account all pretty like, my iPhone crapped out on me and I had to replace it, along with my Grindr app and all of my local, little favorites. But the cool thing was that when I re-re-downloaded, I didn’t mark my location, so boom, all of a sudden I was connected to men from all over the world. I’m talking Brazil, France, Barcelona, Australia, China, Israel, Hawaii, my home state Cali, Colorado, and I even got a shout out from a New York friend in Istanbul. What can I say? I love meeting people from all around the world, especially men. But, I’m not going to lie, the torso pics are also fun.

An international gay men’s hub, right there in yellow and black and in the palm of my hands. Makes you want to reach out and touch someone. But the beauty of having Grindr friends from far, far away, is that you don’t have to. Touch ’em that is; unless you really want to I guess. But for me, for now, I just talk to them. Ask them questions. Make lame jokes until they block me. Ask them when they came out. Or why they haven’t. Where they like to go out. Are they monogamous? Do they have a wife? A girl friend? A boyfriend? No friends at all? A face pic? I ask them what they do for a living and what they want to do. And these guys tell me. They just spill it. And I do too, right back at them, all over their faces, and maybe even more than once. Why not, I’m a blogger after all. And these are just men, gay men, bi, str8, curious, discreet and loud and proud men who when it comes down to it really just want to connect. Just like I do.

I wonder if there is a Grindr out there for just people? Latino queer boy here… looking.

Fabulous familia

I have no shortage of truly fabulous people in my life. But damn you wouldn’t know it from my blog. So, I’m going to try to stuff it full of fabulosity to the extreme, a virtual extract if you will, of the splendor that is my circle, my loved ones, my homies, you guys.

This is my brother Eric and his jaina Jaenette.

And these are their adorable kids, Ariel and my newest little nephew London.

I know, it makes my heart swell with double rainbows just to think of them. And yes that is their prom picture. Tre fresh no? But as youthful as they look, no they did not try to pass their SATs while raising two beautiful kids. This weekend Jaenette celebrated her 25th birthday, which is today, with what I think was her very first prom. I wasn’t able to make and thus missed my opportunity to debut what would have been a most excellent prom outfit.

Oh well…

Happy birthday my bloggin’ momma.

Represent

I am surrounded by people who do amazing things everyday. Charis Elliott comes to mind. She runs her own non-profit, Las Otras Hermanas, which by the way has entered the blogosphere, she has an amazing kid named Afton, and besides all that she’s gorgeous.

There’s Jonathan and Leah, I just met them, but they came all the way out to Phoenix from Illinois just to canvas for the Democratic party. I’m supposed to be volunteering for them, but I don’t think I’ve quite pulled my weight just yet.

And then there’s Dan Cortez, I don’t even know his exact job title, but he was one of the first people I met in Phoenix and I have always looked up to him. This guy has his good name all up in everything from education and the arts, to issues affecting Latinos in the Southwest, eh hem, and he even makes a mean tequila squirt.

The list goes on, no doubt. All around me people are doing great work and I’m never lacking for inspiration. They make me want to do things, to be a part of something, a movement, a cause, a revolution. I mean I see a pretty flyer for a meeting to raise money for [insert marginalized people here] and I’ll go. I’ll brush my teeth. Put on my iPod. Get on the metro toward whatever church, office space, or living room I feel I have been called too, and fantasize the whole way there that I’m finally going to save the world.

I’ve always been a little driven by the idea that I have to take on a finite identity in order to do some good in this world. What is that identity? Do I have it in me to be a voice for immigration rights in Arizona? For gay marriage? Do I know enough about Phoenix restaurants to yelp? Should I take a stand against domestic violence? For the animal shelters? The homeless? Diabetes? And what about the decriminalization of marijuana? Am I queer enough? Should I just stick to writing?

These days I’ve focused my efforts on becoming the North American gay travel guru for GayTravel.com. What? I mean if that’s not a finite identity I don’t know what is. But, its different this time. I don’t know, maybe its the application process but something in me has changed. I’m ready for this. I have never had to put myself out there so much for a gig. I’ve done my own video editing. Suped the blog up a little, introduced myself to countless people, and asked for help from people who responded with nothing but love.

The real difference though, is in that I’ve figured out that the best thing I can do for any other cause out there is just be me. Dugaldo Estrada. If there’s one thing I’m good at its spreading the word. I love words. I want to use them as often as possible all over your faces.

Yes, I want to land this amazing travel writing job because its been a dream of mine since before I could even put the idea together. But more than wanting the job, I think I’m ready for the platfom. So I’m going to ask for help again. And this probably wont be the last time. If you have time in your day and you’re down to help out, please sign up at gaytravel.com and vote for me. I’m ready to represent, but I can’t do it with out you.

Friendly vibrations

I woke up this morning to find this in my inbox. It was sent to me by someone in one of my fiction classes. A pretty girl who wrote stories about cemetaries and lost boys on train stations. A girl I now consider my friend. I’m totally going to party with her (and/or nerd out on some fiction convo) as soon as possible.

So yesterday, I emailed everyone I could from my writing classes at ASU for help and for votes on GayTravel.com. Jessi promptly responded. She voted for me, left a comment on the my application page and hit me up on facebook. And then, as if that wasn’t enough she whipped this up in what? A matter of hours?

I have to say I was absolutely dumbstruck when I saw this. I hadn’t even cleaned the gunk out of my eyes yet. If you want to check out more of her work go directly to her blog Vibing On… She does promotional work for bands and I was just lucky enough to get in on that before this girl blows up. Come on Phoenix, and the rest of you for that matter, lets plaster her work all over the city. The cities that is.