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Zach Stafford
Zach Stafford is a Tennessee writer living in Chicago. He can be found
writing for various media outlets, both on-and-offline. While not writing
he works in HIV prevention and research. Feel free to tweet him at

Entries by Zach Stafford

Dionte Greene: Gay, Black and Unsolved

(3) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 2:55 PM

Early November 2014, I received an email from a colleague, Randall Jenson, who works for the Kansas City Anti-Violence Project, alerting me that in Missouri, not too far from Ferguson, another black man had died.

And it felt like no one cared.

On the early morning of Halloween, Dionte Greene,...

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It's Time to End the Gay Blood Ban

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2014 | 6:12 PM

The first time I tried to give blood, I was turned away.

It was my freshman year of college. A friend in my dorm told me about an on-campus blood drive and asked me to go with her. I've never been good at blood draws, so I'd never tried to...

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Top Privilege?

(49) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 9:48 PM

It's common knowledge that if you are a bottom and plan on having sex, then you shouldn't eat at Chipotle. I cannot count the number of times I have been chatting with friends about where we should eat and someone mentions Chipotle, forcing someone else to chime in, "Girl you...

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Didn't Ask? Don't Share

(7) Comments | Posted June 13, 2013 | 12:12 PM

If you are under 30, have an online dating presence, and have ever opened the messages you receive online, you've probably encountered a d*ck pic before.

It's the infamous picture that resides in the deepest, darkest parts of a man's phone, waiting to be released to sometimes unexpected recipients at...

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The Words We Yell When We're Angry

(5) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 1:58 PM

The other day I was on my way back to my office from a few meetings that morning. There was nothing specifically extraordinary about this day. The sun was out, Chicago was busy, and I was at work, again.

As I rode the train back to my office I...

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A-One, a-Two-hoo, a-HPV!

(2) Comments | Posted June 7, 2013 | 12:15 PM

When I hear the word "cunnilingus," I think about the popular Tootsie Pop owl that came to fame in the 1970s. You know, the one from the original commercials for the popular candy, who is asked, "Mr. Owl, how many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll...

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Meet Vera Stark Shows Us Hollywood's Past and Present Race Problems

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2013 | 1:08 PM

Over the years, many have argued -- and argued quite well -- that Hollywood is plagued with racism.

In their 2011 New York Times article, "Hollywood's Whiteout," staff film critics Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott wrote:

[Race] in American cinema has rarely been a matter of...
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Drowning in Wool

(4) Comments | Posted March 19, 2013 | 3:50 PM

In high school, I was obsessed with planning what I was going to wear to school every day.

The nights before classes I would spend hours upon hours sorting through clothes, losing myself in the depths of my closet. I would stage at least three different options on my...

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Online Dating: Location, Location, Location

(0) Comments | Posted March 13, 2013 | 2:57 PM

Growing up, my father liked to offer up little sayings whenever he got a chance, which to this day my sister and I can repeat at the drop of a hat.

One of his favorites was: how do you expect to g-e-t unless you a-s-k. And for a while...

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'Monogamish': Two Is Company, but Is Three Really a Crowd?

(79) Comments | Posted February 27, 2013 | 8:22 PM

When I think about dating and relationships, especially when talking with friends, I tend to come to the same conclusion: Monogamy isn't possible. I feel that in the gay world, no matter how committed a couple appears to be, or how beautiful their life together looks, or even how perfect...

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"You Look Like President Obama": Reflection on Identity During Black History Month

(5) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 9:19 AM

The first time some one compared me to our current president was when I was 18 and he was running for office back in early 2008. I was working at a catering company and did pastries, desserts and all those other delicious things, and this specific day I was working...

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If a Gay Boy Marries a Straight Girl, Can He Still Be Considered Gay?

(50) Comments | Posted January 28, 2013 | 4:09 PM

In college I met a girl. She has long, brown hair with matching brown eyes. She has a personality that brightens my world, and her laughter is contagious. During our freshman year of college, I would routinely come down to her dorm room, which sat below mine, and crawl into...

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3 New Year's Resolutions for the LGBT Community

(20) Comments | Posted December 27, 2012 | 6:16 PM

In 2012, we saw great strides for the LGBT community here in United States. We saw marriage equality reach more and more states, taking effect in 2013 and bringing us closer each day to full marriage equity across the board. At the end of 2011 we saw Don't...

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Should Your Boyfriend Be on Grindr?

(84) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 12:02 PM

When I'm on Grindr and I come across someone I know who has a boyfriend, I usually giggle. And after I stop giggling, I usually take a screen shot. I do that not because I am going to tell this person's boyfriend or post it on Facebook but...

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Hey! Stop Talking, You Woman! The Attack on Katherine Fenton

(448) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 7:00 PM

This morning I woke up to check my Twitter feed and learned the name of the conservative right's newest target: Katherine Fenton.

For those of you who watched the second presidential debate this past week, you may remember Fenton as the young women who brought up the sad truth...

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Coming Out of the Digital Closet

(7) Comments | Posted October 11, 2012 | 10:12 AM

Recently I got to speak with Alden Peters, a documentary filmmaker based in New York City. He is currently working on what looks to be a truly wonderful documentary, Coming Out, which captures footage of him coming out to family and friends. From the trailers and information Peters shared about...

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Guilt Isn't a Job Benefit

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2012 | 5:12 PM

Congratulations! You were able to get a job in this economy when everyone else seems to be looking everywhere and finding nothing.

You probably worked hard for this position. Or had a stroke of luck. Or maybe it's a family favor. In the end you found gainful employment, so well...

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Remembering My Internet Boyfriend

(2) Comments | Posted August 28, 2012 | 8:02 PM

The other night, while at dinner with my roommate and a friend, the subject of Lena Dunham's show Girls came up. At the time, I had not seen the show, which has caused quite the ruckus this past year, but I told my friend that due to her deep infatuation...

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The 5 Types of People You Meet on Grindr

(36) Comments | Posted August 20, 2012 | 4:59 PM

I spend a lot of time on Grindr, not for recreational uses but for more scholarly pursuits. Through my research online in many gay digital spaces, I have noticed trends in the ways that gay men are presenting themselves online and how their online identities are operating through many media,...

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Can We Stop Using the 'Fat' Argument?

(2) Comments | Posted August 14, 2012 | 12:47 PM

In the wake of the Chick-fil-A drama there has been a counter argument against the fast-food chain emerge from many folks, gay men specifically, that has me a little mad. I cannot seem to escape the generally gross and hurtful argument, "If being gay is a choice, then why are...

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