Straight But Not Narrow

I came across information for the Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN) organization on SECRETGUYSTUFF’S BLOG. More about SBNN in a moment, but I did want to take a second to say that SECRETGUYSTUFF’S BLOG is one of the coolest blogs that I have come across in a long time.  It’s a blog about “It’s guys talking about guy stuff. You know, the inside stuff, the stuff we want to know about, the stuff we want to discuss, the experiences we want to share, and the questions we can’t ask our moms. So share it, dare it, enjoy it.” From discussions about lubes to masturbation myths to body hair to the various degrees of sexuality. It is a blog about all of the stuff that I wondered about as a teenager and young adult. I eventually found many of the answers on my own, but I wish this blog had been around back then. I still learn a few things here and there, and this blog is a fun way to learn about the secret guy stuff and it is also a bit nostalgic for those of us who have already experienced these points in our lives.  So before I begin to talk about SBNN, I wanted to introduce you guys to SECRETGUYSTUFF’S BLOG.

Straight But Not Narrow is an organization that was started by asking that very question.  There have been a number of great campaigns and charities that have recently emerged to show support to gay youth and teens. However, SBNN noticed one significant niche missing in the efforts. the message to the young, straight male. Its an unfortunate reality that most of the bullying and harassment that gay teens face comes from them. It is for this reason that we are building a campaign that is primarily directed to the young, straight male by using comedy and their peers to positively influence their views on LGBT teens.

SBNN was founded by Avan Jogia.  Avan, an actor, musician, writer, and big picture thinker. His idea, his passion, his voice started it all.

Back to school should be a fun time for everyone. The sad truth is, this can be a tough time for a LGBTQ students. Straight But Not Narrow are rally their troops to do their part in making sure this back to school is awesome for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.

They are asking allies to make a pledge.  Here’s the pledge:

“I will do my part to make sure this is a great school year for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you are gay, straight, or somewhere in between. Just be you, because it’s all good with me”. I’m Straight But Not Narrow (the last line is optional if, of course, it doesn’t apply to you).

SBNN has also had a series of YouTube videos to get their point across.  Here is one by Ryan Rottman (who I had to look up too, but he is very cute).

Ryan Rottman (born March 17, 1984) is an American actor. He is best known for his role as Joey Colvin on the TeenNick series Gigantic, which premiered October 8, 2010.  Ryan Rottman started his career in 2008 as an extra in the film The House Bunny. Before that he starred in the plays at Texas Tech University. In 2009, he appeared in films The Stuntman and The Open Road. Rottman’s other television credits are Viva Laughlin, Greek, Victorious and the webisode series Valley Peaks.

One of the most fascinating things that I have found while teaching at the conservative little private school where I teach is that I often hear the girls in the school say that they wished they had a “gay best friend.”  It is generally said in response to a homophobic comment from one of the boys in the class and sometimes it is just random.  They don’t know that I am gay, and it is probably better that way (mostly because of school politics), but the students know that I don’t tolerate derogatory language in my class in any form.  Therefore, it often gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when the girls put the guys in their places when they are being insensitive.  I also find it particularly funny that there are a few of the girls who have said that, who I am almost 100 percent sure that their male best friend is actually gay, they just don’t know it yet.  We have a few students at school who either have not yet admitted it to themselves or are still in the closet because of home and school prejudices.  I try my best to teach all of my students acceptance of those things they do not understand.  People are far too often scared of things they don’t understand and that fear turns into prejudices.  It is a sad state of affairs, but it is something that I am working to change.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

5 responses to “Straight But Not Narrow

  • fan of casey

    Joe: The secret guy stuff blog is a fun find, thanks for sharing.

  • silvereagle

    People are far too often scared of things they don't understand and that fear turns into prejudices. It is a sad state of affairs, but it is something that I am working to change. Thanks for your efforts for everyone!!! No doubt that you are on the right track, and your students will appreciate you for your work as they travel through life…And, althogh I am a bit mature for the Secret Guy site, I have marked it and learn if thinking of this generation is different than mine!

  • becca

    youare an awesome teacher for all you do to help your students. I for one try really hard to teach my son that everyone human and deserves respect regardless of there race,regilion or sexuality. I would that one day he grows up to be someone who will help change the world.

  • Tyler Stevens

    Joe,I am the owner of Secret Guy Stuff Blog and just wanted to thank you for all the kind and wonderful things you had to say about my blog. Super appreciate! I think your blog is awesome. It's really well written, insightful, articulate and very interesting. I check in often and find myself getting super absorbed in the all the cool things you're digging into.We're kind of in the same game of providing helpful information to the seekers out there. It's nice to know you're there. Let me know if there's anything I can do to help you out in the cause. I posted a feature about your blog on my blog as well.Well much love, and keep up the great work man. You are appreciated!

  • JoeBlow

    You're welcome, FOC.I do my best, silvereagle.I wish that more parents were like you, becca. The world would be a better place.Tyler, you have a wonderful blog and one that I look forward to reading each and every post. You are right that we are in the same game, which is providing knowledge, often little known knowledge to a wider audience. And thanks for the kind worlds you said about my blog.

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