Waste not, Want not

Occasionally we love to just show you all something cool if we stumble across it, which is exactly what’s happened here so bear with us people.

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In the UK alone, over 34 million water bottles are used every day with only around 50% of them being recycles which in turn has a huge impact on the environment. However, to combat this Skipping Rocks Lab have created ‘OOHO’.

‘OOHO’ is an edible alternative to plastic bottles. It’s formed of a flexible spherical membrane created from seaweed and contains a liquid mix of water, chloride and brown algae extract which aims to hydrate whilst remaining tasty.

Each water module has a shelf life of between 4 – 6 weeks before it begins to decompose, much like a piece of fruit. However, they can be coloured and flavoured in a variety of different combinations. Additionally, they are cheaper to produce than plastic. Although, currently, they are only available at select events although, we expect they could have the potential to become part of our everyday lives.

What do you guys think?

Take a look at the video below to find out more…

A rare glimpse of the powerful, peaceful man

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Yoga has for a long time been seen as being for women. This is only further backed when we take a look at mainstream media, in magazine and tv advertisements depicting woman practicing in beautiful elegant and often ‘feminine’ poses. However, LA based photographer Amy Goalen also saw this and thought it was time for a change.

She began by simply photographing her own yoga instructor, who was male. From this she realised the images exuded strength and a peaceful element. Subsequently, with the aid of writer Julian DeVoe they created the book ‘Inside the Warrior – The Masculine side of Yoga’.

Throughout this project, she explains how she enjoys photographing men of all ages and body types. And one of the most rewarding aspects is the ability to produce stunning images, that even the subjects are surprised at, by only using their body and practice.

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Her images are beautiful, showing a powerful yet serene side of the masculine form that is not often seen in mainstream media.

Take a further look at her work @amygpics

Let us know what you think…

Everybody has a Story – Day 10

Firstly, we apologize for not uploading any new content for a while. We have been extremely busy working on new content.

However, today is the final day of our Everybody has a Story segment. Our final day come from Leeds (UK) born Harry. Harry has asked to remain anonymous for the purposes of this interview.

Firstly, how old are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m 23 and a student nurse.

Please can you give us a brief background about your life?

I had a fairly normal upbringing to be honest. Being gay was never really considered an issue as such but I went to a catholic school growing up so it wasn’t really discussed a whole lot. The only thing that sometimes made it a little difficult was that ‘gay’ was seen as a negative term. It would be batted around then playground calling one another gay with extremely negative connotations.

When did you realize you were gay?

I realized I was gay at about 16. I knew for a while before that something was a bit different but it took me a while to fit that jigsaw piece into place and realize myself. Only once I’d fully realized myself could I then begin to tell others.

When and how did you come out?

I chose to come out quite a while after I realized myself. I waited until the right time, till I felt comfortable and it was ‘safest’ to do so. I remember I told my best friend first. Then after that I didn’t really sit down and tell people, I just snuck it into conversation and no one really batted an eyelid.

Have you ever experienced any discrimination due to your sexuality?

Like I said, I chose when to come out carefully. I remember a classmate at school came out very early at about 15/16 and was relentlessly bullied for it. I think it was just an immature ignorance around the people around him. Otherwise, personally I’ve only had the odd thing shouted. It’s Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve was a personal favorite. (Maybe if it was Steve he wouldn’t have fucked up like Eve….just sayin’).

If you could give your younger self, or anyone else currently struggling with their sexuality what (if any) advice could you give them?

As cheesy and cliche as it sounds just be true to yourself. Make sure you’re as comfortable as you can be in yourself first before you tell others.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Harry for his help with this project and for his frank honesty and wish him all the best for the future!

Everybody has a Story – Day 9

Welcome to day nine of our ten day feature – Everyone has a Story.

Our ninth entry come from Berlin based Florian. Here’s his story…

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  1. Firstly, how old are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m 35 years old and I’m a nurse, leading a psychiatric ward.

  1. Please can you give us a brief background about your life?

I was born in a little village in the south of Germany, on the border to France and Luxembourg.

I actually didn’t have a view really when growing up, just because no one in my circle of family or friends were gay, so it was just never bought up.

  1. When did you realize you were gay?

When I was 12 or 13 I realized I liked men but for a while I thought, maybe I’m bisexual.

  1. When and how did you come out?

I came out when I was 25, I had a few girlfriends before then, but I wasn’t practically happy. I always thought, if I fell in love with a guy, I would come out. And I did.

  1. Have you ever experienced any discrimination due to your sexuality?

Never at work or with friends and family. But I have with just random people on the street, I’ve been holding a guy’s hand and been called a faggot before.

  1. If you could give your younger self, or anyone else currently struggling with their sexuality what (if any) advice could you give them?

Be whatever and whoever you are, the people that are around you love you, and they love you no matter what. Because ultimately, only being yourself will make you happy.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Florian for his help with this project and for his frank honesty.

If you’d like to keep up to date with Florian, follow him on Instagram @fkfbrln

Everybody has a Story – Day 8

Welcome to day eight of our ten day feature – Everybody has a Story.

Our eighth entry come from Brazil born Miguel Albino. Here’s his story…

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  1. Firstly, how old are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m 28 and I work in Manchester (UK) as a Portuguese and English translator and teacher.

  1. Please can you give us a brief background about your life?

I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and that’s where I was brought up until I moved to the UK when I was 22. Growing up, homosexuality was something I was deeply ashamed of and wouldn’t dream of discussing with anybody. Because my family were so religious it just wasn’t acceptable, up until a particular age I was terrified of them finding out.

  1. When did you realise you were gay?

I’ve always known it, since the age of 6 probably. I didn’t know exactly what it was or even why, but I’ve liked boys since forever.

  1. When and how did you come out?

I came out at the age of 18 when I went to university and it was very casual. I told my mum and she was just like ‘yeah whatever, as long as I get to become a grandmother at some point, I don’t mind’. And that was a huge relief.

  1. Have you ever experienced any discrimination due to your sexuality?

Nothing other than children picking on me when I was little because of my mannerisms. I was always in a very privileged upper class bubble in Rio, where people didn’t really care about sexuality or things like that as long as you came from a “good” family. This was only in Brazil though, when I got to the UK i wasn’t in the ‘upper class’ at all.

  1. If you could give your younger self, or anyone else currently struggling with their sexuality what (if any) advice could you give them?

Trust your loved ones, don’t just assume they’ll hate you for being you!

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Miguel for his help with this project and for his frank honesty.

If you’d like to keep up to date with Miguel, follow him on Instagram @aboutmiguel

 

 

 

 

Everybody has a story – Day 7

Welcome to day seven of our ten day feature – Everybody has a Story.

Our seventh entry comes from Texas born Alessandro Del Toro. Here’s his story…

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  1. Firstly, how old are you and what do you do for a living?

I am 30 years old. I am an adult film actor, model, and dancer. I am also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I work full time at a community mental health centre and also have a small private practice on the side.

  1. Please can you give us a brief background about your life?

I grew up in a very homophobic community in rural Texas. My parents were Texan Republican, with traditional Mexican values (as much of a paradox as that may seem). Our town was small, so gossiping was a way of life. To make matters worse, my mother and grandmother were devout Pentecostal Christians. We attended church a total of 4 times per week. Everything around me told me that the best option was to deny my true identity, but I’ve never been much of a conformist.

  1. When did you realise you were gay?

I realized I was gay very early on in life. I remember as far back as age six being so confused by my attraction to boys. I had no idea what being gay was, or that it was even a possibility, but I had such a strong attraction to boys that I thought I must be a girl. Over the years, it became evident to me that I was different, and I did not know how to contain it or deny it, nor did I want to learn how.

  1. When and how did you come out?

The very first person I told about my questioning sexuality was my girlfriend at the age of 14.  It felt weird to open up to her about it, but she was my best friend and I knew she would help me make sense of what I was feeling. She helped me out in order to decipher what I was feeling. Eventually, through talking to her I figured out what I was really feeling.

Eventually, I was able to come out to other friends during my sophomore year (around 19 years old), and I eventually came out publicly later that year, including my parents. But perhaps my ultimate coming out was when I did my first adult film. Within a few months everybody in my hometown knew!

  1. Have you ever experienced any discrimination due to your sexuality?

Growing up in rural Texas, I definitely felt alienated by my sexuality. There is a stifling environment here in the town, where people just don’t seem to understand. I faced opposition at home when I first came out. That was perhaps the most disheartening. Over the years my family’s resistance has taken many forms. It started as rejection, turned into denial, followed by tolerance, and only just recently reached acceptance.

I also felt chastised by the church. It’s difficult to grow up in an environment where church and religion play such a central role and not to take those messages said in sermons personally. I felt shunned when I heard the “word of God,” and eventually started to feel as if the church was not for me.

Furthermore, I took political oppression very personally. I remember being 14 when I watched Massachusetts become the first state to gain marriage equality. It was the first time that I became aware that I did not have the same rights as my straight counter parts. As an adult, I rode the emotional rollercoaster of having marriage equality in my new state of California, only to have it repealed by Proposition 8 (this stated marriage was only recognised by the state if it were between a man and a woman). I worked hard canvassing door to door, working the phone banks, and rallying in opposition of this.

As I told my story to people over and over, many of them strangers, I felt harsh opposition and faced the reality that many people did not see me as equal. The 2013 Supreme Court decision that struck down Proposition 8 was a huge step in the right direction, as far as California went, but it would be a long two years of ups and downs as I saw state after state get the same rights as I now had, some of them later taken away by a higher court. It wasn’t until the federal government granted the freedom to marry for all that I started to feel equally protected. So, in short, I’ve felt discrimination for the majority of my life.

  1. If you could give your younger self, or anyone else currently struggling with their sexuality what (if any) advice could you give them?

The single most important piece of advice that I can give to a younger me, or any young person out there struggling with their sexuality is: “Your life matters.”  Growing up in a world that doesn’t always mirror that has left us susceptible to anxiety, depression, and higher risk for drug addiction, alcoholism and suicide. I, like many others succumbed to the effects of homophobic oppression and endured many years of affliction. I spent so many years of my early adulthood trying to address and rectify the pain I had endured as a child.

First, I covered my weak inner child with strong muscles. I decorated my body with tattoos, to mask the ugliness I felt inside. I beautified the outside, thinking that would ensure that I felt loved. I continued that journey when I started to heal mentally. I addressed my inner hate, I learned how to mend my broken relationships, and I learned to make better choices. While I reached a state of peace that I had never felt before, I felt compelled to continue my journey. I went back to my spiritual roots in search of something greater. It is here in the last layer of healing, that I feel we become the most powerful. I encourage other young people to find their inner light, connect with it, and share it with others.

We are not just a valuable part of society, but an essential part of it. As LGBT individuals we have within us the capacity to emanate creativity, we hold a different perspective, and we have great capacity for compassion. So, my advice is to go out into the world and be you. Your life has purpose and meaning, and your suffering has not been in vain. That pain can be fuel to the fire of desire to make a difference.

My journey, for example, has brought me back to Texas. I proudly serve as the president of Eagle Pass SAFE (Sexual Advocacy For Everyone). It is the only LGBT-affirmative organization in the Southwest Texas rural area.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Alessandro for his help with this project and for his frank honesty.

If you’d like to keep up to date with Michael, follow him on Instagram  @AlessandroDToro, or on Facebook facbook.com/alessandrodeltorox or on Twitter @AlessandroDToro

Also, if you’d like to learn more about our EP SAFE visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/LGBTQEPTX/

And if you would like to donate to their cause, to aid them in becoming a non-profit organization visit their GoFundMe page:

https://www.gofundme.com/epsafe