Blog

MBA Ally Challenge Update: Michigan, Harvard, Duke and UVA move up in rankings

March 28, 2014

  It's a busy spring here at Friendfactor! Our 2nd annual MBA Ally Challenge is in full swing, and the participants are in a mad race to the end of the academic year. Here's a quick update:   As of the end of February 2014, the 12 participating schools in the Challenge have: Activated 3,668   ...Continue Reading

“Friends CHOOSE to care”: One student’s experience of community at a Texas business school

March 27, 2014

  The following is a guest post from Fernando Gonzalez, a 2012 graduate of The McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. Two years ago I had the most loving experience of my life. It was just before National Coming Out Day, and even though I was an officer for MBA OUTsource (the   ...Continue Reading

NEW PROGRAM: The Friendfactor Workplace Ally Challenge has kicked off!

March 12, 2014

  Happy 2014, friends! If you haven't heard yet, Friendfactor's newest initiative, the Workplace Ally Challenge, kicked off in January. The Workplace Ally Challenge is a first-ever program challenging companies to engage as many  employees as possible in building LGBT-inclusive culture in their workplaces over the next 6 months. We're giving them the tools to   ...Continue Reading

3 Quick Ways to be an Active Trans Ally: Addressing Transphobia and Acknowledging Cisgender Privilege at Work and School

January 4, 2014

The following is a guest blog from Ali Fogarty, Friendfactor board member and doctoral student in Sociology at Stanford University, where she studies the discrimination experiences of trans and gender non-conforming people in the workplace.   Taylor wakes up dreading going to school each day.  She is picked on and bullied by the boys for   ...Continue Reading

MBA Ally Challenge standings updated, Columbia pulls into lead

December 12, 2013

The current standings in the MBA Ally Challenge have been updated to reflect year-end totals, and Columbia Business School has nabbed the top spot. All 12 participating schools have done groundbreaking work to mobilize their student bodies in support of the LGBT community this fall. They have activated over 2,800 students, an average of 26%   ...Continue Reading

Introducing the first-ever Workplace Ally Challenge

December 10, 2013

  After a successful year and a half of running our MBA Ally Challenge, Friendfactor is expanding our ally efforts into workplaces. We're launching the first-ever Workplace Ally Challenge in January 2014. And we want you to be a part of it. The Workplace Ally Challenge challenges businesses to engage as many employees as possible   ...Continue Reading

Initial MBA Ally Challenge standings released! Ross & Kellogg in the lead

November 8, 2013

The initial standings in the 2nd annual Friendfactor MBA Ally Challenge have been released!  The current leaders are: The Ross School of Business at Michigan, The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern, and The MIT Sloan School of Management. Participation has doubled since last year's inaugural Challenge, with 12 of the top 20 business schools   ...Continue Reading

MBA Ally Challenge Program Profile: UVA Darden

September 23, 2013

  As part of the 2nd annual Friendfactor MBA Ally Challenge, we’re profiling some of the most exemplary business school ally initiatives that are participating in this year’s Challenge. First up is last year’s 2nd place winner, The Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. By the numbers: Years in the MBA Ally   ...Continue Reading

Announcing the 2nd annual Friendfactor MBA Ally Challenge

September 19, 2013

  The second year of our nationwide MBA Ally Challenge is kicking off! Since the completion of our successful inaugural year, the results of which were profiled in Businessweek, the MBA Ally Challenge has more than doubled in size, with 13 top schools participating.  The MBA programs taking part this year are: Combined, these schools   ...Continue Reading

The Downside of Marriage Equality

August 8, 2013

  Re-posted from Joanne's recent op-ed in the Huffington Post:   DOMA is dead! Prop 8 is gone! So we're done with the LGBT thing, right? In the six weeks since the Supreme Court's historic rulings against DOMA and Proposition 8, I've heard lots of enthusiastic friends say, "So what's next now that we've achieved   ...Continue Reading

Beyond LGBT: Why the Trayvon Martin case is about all of us

July 23, 2013

  Friendfactor focuses on straight people because, too often, straight individuals like me don’t enter the conversation about LGBT equality. We think it’s “not our fight” or “doesn’t affect us,” or worse, it’s “not our place” to speak up. Being born heterosexual (and not transgender) hides from us the injustices of being LGBT in a   ...Continue Reading

Inaugural San Francisco Ally Networking Event – July 17

July 9, 2013

Psyched about the recent historic Supreme Court wins and the largest Pride celebration in San Francisco history? Want to know what’s next for the LGBT equality movement, and how you can help keep up the momentum? Join us at Friendfactor’s inaugural San Francisco Ally Networking Event! Meet fellow young professionals and join a community of   ...Continue Reading

MBA Ally Challenge covered in Businessweek

May 28, 2013

  The results of Friendfactor's 1st annual MBA Ally Challenge were covered last week by Bloomberg Businessweek.  Check out the great article on our challenge and the hardworking winners - Columbia, Darden, and Fuqua! http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-05-22/straight-support-for-lgbt-issues-is-tops-at-columbia-b-school

Results of the 1st annual MBA Ally Challenge!

May 20, 2013

  Friendfactor is pleased to announce the results and winners of the first-ever MBA Ally Challenge, a year-long friendly competition among business schools to build the most powerful and impactful ally engagement initiatives among their student bodies.  Schools were challenged to build ally programs that were evaluated on three criteria: Membership: The number of students   ...Continue Reading

“I got to see hope”: the impact of ally community

May 10, 2013

  A new guest blog from our friend Jamie Burke! About the Author: Jamie Burke is an All-American women’s rugby player. She is the second most-capped women’s player in the country, and captained the USA National Team at the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup. She is also a PhD candidate in Education at the University   ...Continue Reading

Building an ally community in person

April 30, 2013

At Friendfactor we’re building a movement of allies who actively work to make the world a more LGBT-inclusive place. In March we hosted a series of webinars to introduce people to what it means to be an ally – to be informed, visible, vocal, and active. Following these, we wanted to give folks a chance   ...Continue Reading

The story behind the elevator pitch: Why I’m an ally

April 9, 2013

  Friendfactor's Re-Founder Joanne Sprague shares her personal story of what drives her to work for equality. Re-posted from our friends at dot429.   As a social entrepreneur, I’m often asked why I decided to do what I do. And as a straight woman, I’m often asked why I picked LGBT equality as my focus.   ...Continue Reading

Gay, Straight, Bisexual: What the labels don’t tell us

April 2, 2013

  We are thrilled to publish our first re-launch guest blog post, by Dr. Jack Modell, a clinically trained psychiatrist turned pharmaceutical executive and lifelong ally for LGBT equality. Thanks to Dr. Modell for sharing his perspective from many years in this field of work.   Author's note: As an ally and psychiatrist, I am   ...Continue Reading

Why I’m scared that we’re going to win marriage equality

March 29, 2013

  I'm a little nervous right now. I'm nervous for the future of the LGBT equality movement. And my biggest anxiety is that we're going to win the Supreme Court cases on Prop 8 and DOMA.   I want marriage equality on the books as much as the next progressive, fair-minded person. But I'm worried   ...Continue Reading

To merge or to start from scratch? Friendfactor’s story through a lean startup lens

February 20, 2013

  Thanks to the folks at Lean Impact for providing a great new platform for dialogue on applying lean startup concepts to nonprofits! Here's a blog post we wrote about our experience bringing lean methodology to our recent merger decision (view the original post here).   When you run a startup in San Francisco, you   ...Continue Reading

Welcome to the new Friendfactor.

January 28, 2013

Hi friends! For those of you who have known Friendfactor for a while, you’ll know that we’ve been pretty dormant for the past year. We’ve been evaluating and analyzing our options for moving forward, and are excited to announce our ‘re-founding’ as a brand new organization: same name, same vision, 100% new strategy and programs.   ...Continue Reading

Action Alert: Join the Wait… What?! Campaign to Spread the Word about Equal Rights

October 11, 2011

Did you know your friends can be fired in 29 states, just for being gay? Surprised? So are lots of folks; equal rights are farther from reality than many of us would like to believe. Today is the annual celebration of National Coming Out Day. Thousands of people across the country are standing up for   ...Continue Reading

Guest Post: Out of the Mouths of Babes

October 10, 2011

Many thanks to our very first Guest-Blogger!  Sarah Powers is a freelance writer and mom of two. She lives in Arizona and blogs at Powers of Mine. One of the objectives behind this here Friendfactor blog is to help straight friends of gay folks lighten up a little. Don’t worry about not knowing what to say or   ...Continue Reading

Being a Friend: What to do when a co-worker tells hurtful gay jokes.

October 4, 2011

If you’re trying to figure out what to do when a co-worker tells inappropriate gay jokes at your office, the first thing you should know is that you’re not alone: 58% of gay people report hearing these things at work. Whether you hear someone directly disparaging another person because of their sexuality, or work someplace   ...Continue Reading

Resources: When you need to help your gay friends, these folks can help you.

October 3, 2011

With the recent rash of teen suicides as the result of bullying, helping out gay friends has been on a lot of people’s minds. The good news is, there are lots of great organizations, each staffed by dedicated and caring folks, which are giving their all to make the world a better place for all   ...Continue Reading

Know your News: Ffriday Link Round-Up!

September 30, 2011

The Friendfactor blog may have been quiet this week, but the world of gay news certainly was not! (We promise, the radio silence will be worth it... keep an ear out in early October... ) Here's your weekly cheat-sheet to catch you up for the weekend. In this edition:  mostly stuff about TV. But lots   ...Continue Reading

Know your News: Ffriday Link Round-Up!

September 23, 2011

Want to know the freshest news your gay friends will be talking about this weekend? Look no further! You’re a few short blurbs away from seeming super tapped-in with the world in which your friends live. This week: the world doesn't end when gay folks serve openly in the military, the freedom to marry receives   ...Continue Reading

Action Alert: Speak Up Against Bullying and Prevent Gay Teen Suicide

September 22, 2011

We see all too many stories of gay teen suicide cases in the news. This one is particularly horrifying. Jamey Rodemeyer was only 14 years old when he took his own life this week, after being relentlessly bullied for who he was. His story is all the more tragic because his struggle with this issue was   ...Continue Reading

The end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: ban on gay military service ends today!

September 20, 2011

"Repeal Day" celebrations are being held across the country in honor of the U.S. lifting its ban on gay military service today, Tuesday September 20th, 2011. The former policy, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," was originally intended as a compromise to allow gay citizens to serve, albeit from the closet (not a place I'd personally choose   ...Continue Reading

Fired for being gay, and suing Jesse Jackson over it.

September 19, 2011

There are still 29 states where there is no legal protection if you're fired for being gay. Luckily for Tommy R. Bennet, Illinois isn't one of them. Bennet, who worked for Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow PUSH coalition, is now suing the company, claiming he was fired for being gay. If these allegations are true (and   ...Continue Reading

Know your News: Ffriday Link Round-Up!

September 16, 2011

Want to know the freshest news your gay friends will be talking about this weekend? Look no further! You’re five stories away from seeming super tapped-in with the world in which your friends live. This week: Don’t Ask, Don’t tell ends with a whisper (not a bang), hospital visitation rights, and Australian passports that let   ...Continue Reading

An Archie Wedding to Remember: Gay Comic Character to Wed!

September 15, 2011

It's hard to peg him as the comicbook king of controversy, but we're about to see the third (third!) Archie wedding to make waves in recent news: the series' gay character, Kevin, will be getting married after returning home as a war hero. Interestingly, there hasn't yet been any huge public outcry against the portrayal   ...Continue Reading

Dick Cheney, and 53% of the country, support marriage for gay couples.

September 14, 2011

Words we never thought we'd read in the same sentence: Dick Cheney Gay Marriage Advocate. Perhaps this shouldn't come as such a surprise; attitudes about gay rights are (to borrow a term from president Obama) "evolving" faster than any equal rights issue in the nation's history, by some estimations. It was only a few months   ...Continue Reading

Action Alert: Tell the Sizzler, “Stop Attacking Gay Customers!”

September 13, 2011

Being a friend means not staying silent when somebody’s treating your friends badly. That’s why we’ve launched a petition on Change.org: so you can tell the Sizzler that discrimination and violence against gay customers won’t fly on your watch. Add your name now. The full story is in the petition, but here’s an excerpt that’ll   ...Continue Reading

In 29+ states, your friends can be evicted just for being gay.

September 12, 2011

It might not make the news very often, but housing discrimination against gay people is a huge problem in the US: In 29 states, there are absolutely no laws protecting your gay friends from being evicted or denied access to housing just because of who they are. A whopping 35 states don’t protect your trans   ...Continue Reading

Action Alert: Help NC block a constitutional amendment outlawing marriage for gay couples!

September 12, 2011

As we discussed last week, marriage for gay couples is an incredibly important issue in the gay rights movement in the USA. Not only does marriage confer more than 1,100 rights and protections, it allows our gay friends to participate fully in one of the most recognizable and important ceremonies in our adult lives. You   ...Continue Reading

Know your News: Ffriday Link Round-Up!

September 9, 2011

Want to know the freshest news your gay friends will be talking about this weekend? Look no further! You’re five stories away from seeming super tapped-in with the world in which your friends live. Without further ado, awesome students, celebrity wedding photos, and some much-needed glitter.   Because we can’t celebrate the victory for New   ...Continue Reading

Forming a Gay-Straight Alliance May Get Students Suspended

September 9, 2011

High school and college students are at an advantage if they want to support a gay friend: many of them can simply join a Gay-Straight Alliance. These clubs exist at educational institutions around the country (and the world) as safe-spaces where gay teens can mingle with each other, and with straight students who want to   ...Continue Reading

Why not just say “gay”? Your handy guide to decoding LGBT+

September 8, 2011

Many thanks to awesome Ffriend Will Cheval Jr. for help with this post! No, “LGBT” isn’t a special Morse Code signal; it’s a way to “simplify” the types of folks included in the gay, or LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, and trans), community. (With that many letters, could have fooled us too.) But these labels are   ...Continue Reading

UK Softens Restrictions on Gay Men Donating Blood

September 8, 2011

Did you know that in the US there's still a total ban on gay men donating blood? Well, men who have slept with another man since 1977... which adds bisexual men to the no-go list, but I suppose frees up those celibate since the death of disco. In any case, the United Kingdom is taking   ...Continue Reading

Gay Health glossed over by Med Schools

September 7, 2011

Your first reaction here may be that good health care is good health care, but suspend disbelief and read a little further: gay health issues are in many ways unique. Your friends are at risk if doctors aren't being properly trained to deal with the particular issues affecting the gay community. The obvious element of   ...Continue Reading

The M Word: Why Marriage for Gay Couples is Front Page News

September 6, 2011

Gay marriage: you've read about it. Probably more than most other gay issues. Here's why. Gay or straight, we’ve all been brought up to understand that marriage is a central moment in our lives. Some folks may reject that premise in adulthood – and more power to them – but for a lot of us   ...Continue Reading

The race begins: America could get its first openly gay Senator, Tammy Baldwin.

September 6, 2011

After 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin has officially announced her campaign to become America's first openly gay Senator. The race is expected to be one of the hottest in the country, so this potential influx of diversity into the country's most exclusive legislative body is far from a sure   ...Continue Reading

Another anti-bullying law in honor of a fallen gay student.

September 6, 2011

California is primed to join the growing list of states with a strong anti-bullying law, prompted by the suicide of a gay student, harassed to the breaking point at school. The bill has now passed through the State Assembly and Senate, and only needs Gov. Jerry Brown's signature to become law. Fittingly, it will be   ...Continue Reading

Ffriday Link Round-Up: Your quick guide to this week’s Gay-B-C’s

September 2, 2011

Want to know the freshest news your gay friends will be talking about this weekend? Look no further! You're five stories away from seeming super tapped-in with the world in which your friends live. Plus bonus tweets from Cher, worth their character-count in gold! Here's the gay news all straight friends need to make proper   ...Continue Reading

Gay dad can’t leave his kids with his husband OR ANY OTHER MAN, because discrimination makes no sense.

September 2, 2011

Imagine being half a decade past a difficult divorce. Imagine you've happily remarried, and finally feel you're in a place to request a change in custody arrangements so you can spend more time with your kids. Now imagine a judge not only denying your request for more family time, but ruling that from now on   ...Continue Reading

Jesse Tyler Ferguson: Best. Ffriend. Ever.

September 1, 2011

We're naming Jesse Tyler Ferguson gay best friend of the summer. If you love Modern Family (and who doesn’t), surely you love Jesse Tyler Ferguson, gay actor playing a gay dad, as much as I do. That’s one ginger who knows how to make anxiety look fun – a skill your humble correspondent would do   ...Continue Reading

Gay Catholic comes out at age 54, shares his journey to acceptance

September 1, 2011

Ron Bates, a now-openly Gay Catholic man who grew up in rural Minnesota and spent decades trying to repress his sexuality, is bravely sharing his story in the hopes of preventing others from experiencing the same sort of pain. Due to the extreme social pressures of his surroundings, Bates married a woman and stayed in   ...Continue Reading

Pro-gay T-shirt banned from Alabama High School

August 31, 2011

Dress codes: the bane of every teenager's existence. There's a clear line, though, between making sure midriffs are covered and stifling freedom of speech, which students in this country are still entitled to a certain modicum of. So why would school officials prevent a student from wearing a shirt that appropriately covered all necessary skin?   ...Continue Reading

Dancing with the Stars will feature Cher’s transgender son, Chaz Bono

August 31, 2011

Dancing With the Stars announced the cast of the lucky 13th season of their "too juicy not to watch" competitive cha-cha program last night! There are plenty of folks to get excited about (my girlfriend insists that Ronnie Artest is a Very Important Athlete about whom I should care), including the ever-provacative personalities Nancy Grace   ...Continue Reading

“I want to support my gay friend but worry about saying something offensive.”

August 30, 2011

Friendfactor couldn’t exist if there weren’t thousands of people out there thinking the first half of that sentence: I want to support my gay friends. Time and time again, though, I’ve had friends tell me the biggest barrier to getting involved is the fear of “doing it wrong.” They’re worried about saying something a gay   ...Continue Reading

Why it matters: the new, gay Apple CEO

August 30, 2011

(Sorry, you're going to have to give me just a few seconds to suppress the onslaught of "fruit" jokes trying to make their way out of my typin' fingers. Ok.) Who's on top at Apple is unquestionably a decision that matters to everyone -- whether you're a shareholder in the world's most powerful company or   ...Continue Reading

Four tips to make your gay friends feel comfortable at your wedding

August 30, 2011

A wedding is about the bride and groom (we’ll call them “Romeo and Juliet”) and they should be the center of the attention. But bringing my same sex “Plus One” (we’ll call her “Gorgeous”) to a wedding raises all kinds of self-conscious anxieties about the best way to throw rice, rock the open bar and   ...Continue Reading

Ffriday Link Roundup: Your quick guide to the week’s Gay-B-C’s

August 26, 2011

What do frozen yogurt, hurricanes, Kirsten Dunst, Maryland and inspiring activists have in common? Why, we're glad you asked. They're all part of this week's Ffriday Link Roundup, bringing you cocktail party sized bites of news stories that impact your gay friends. So, sit back, contemplate your topping of choice, and settle down for this   ...Continue Reading

Police won’t pursue Hate Crime charges despite gay slurs used during Iowa murder.

August 26, 2011

I won't claim to be a legal expert, but what exactly does it take for a beating to constitute a hate crime if using the word "fagg*t" and otherwise taunting the victim about his sexuality doesn't cut it? Any way you slice it, Marcellus Richard Andrews is dead and countless gay kids have heard about   ...Continue Reading

Mom can’t lead her son’s Boy Scout troop anymore because she’s gay.

August 25, 2011

After six years as a respected leader for the Cub Scouts, Denise Steele has been booted from heading up her son Jackson's Boy Scout troop simply because she's raising her children with another woman: The Boy Scouts of America organization says it believes that “open homosexuality is inconsistent with the values.” It also recommends that scout   ...Continue Reading

Should gay students disclose their sexuality in college applications?

August 25, 2011

Elmhurst College may be starting a trend by asking prospective students to indicate their sexual orientation on an application form, according to the Sun-Times: “Would you consider yourself to be a member of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered) community?” With that one line,[Elmhurst] became the first college in the country to ask potential students   ...Continue Reading

Funny Ladies Who Made an Impact – Thanks to these Amazing Celeb Friend-Setters

August 24, 2011

You certainly don’t have to have a prime-time standup special to help your friends win full legal freedoms… but it doesn’t hurt! On the two-month anniversary of New York legalizing marriage for gay couples, we wanted to give a shout out of sincere thanks to the comediennes and other inspiring stars who encouraged fans and   ...Continue Reading

My Friend Just Came Out To Me – Now What??

August 23, 2011

    Don’t panic! If your friend is coming out to you, you’re a person to be trusted. They wouldn’t be telling you something this personal (and, in many cases, difficult)  if they didn’t believe you’d handle it like a good friend. So trust your friend’s instincts: you’re gonna do great! Here’s a cheat sheet   ...Continue Reading

Do you live in one of the 29 states where your friends could be fired just for being gay?

August 22, 2011

Ten bucks says you caught this question today (and every other Monday ever): “What’d you do this weekend?” Innocent enough, right? If you’re like me, all you’ve got to talk about are naps, flea markets, maybe catching a show if my friends and I were feeling adventurous. Plus I’d probably mention spending time with my   ...Continue Reading

Ffriday Link Roundup: Your quick guide to the week’s Gay-B-C’s

August 19, 2011

Hey friends hey! Welcome to the first weekly installment of the Friendfactor Ffriday Link Roundup (for Ffriends, obviously). This is the place to come for the very most important stories affecting your gay friends’ lives this week, and a solid dose of just plain awesome info for folks who support gay folks. So without further   ...Continue Reading

How to spare your gay friends one hella awkward evening: avoid gay matchmaking.

August 16, 2011

Not quite our first full-fledged guest post, but our good friend Davey Wavey of Break the Illusion sent over this highly informative video for any well-meaning buddy of a gay person, and it's too good not to share. Davey probably doesn't want to date your one other gay friend.    Short version: gay matchmaking is tricky,   ...Continue Reading

Do you live in one of these five up & coming, gay-friendly neighborhoods?

August 10, 2011

Everybody knows if you’re looking for the freshest art, edgiest retail, and an all-around good time, you follow your gay* friends’ lead to the hottest spot in your urban area. But what if you don’t live in Chicago (where you obviously know to get off the red line in Boystown), can’t get to San Fran’s   ...Continue Reading

Five Sports Stars Prove that Standing Up for your Gay* Friends is Incredibly Attractive

July 25, 2011

Far be it from us to objectify anyone: man, woman, gay, straight, or other in any of those categories, but this feature on Out.com really leaves no wiggle room on the matter: athletes who stand up for their gay friends are hot.   Pictured: Ben Cohen, Hudson Taylor, Michael Irvin, Mike Chabala, and Nick Youngquest.   ...Continue Reading

The risk you took so your gay friends could get married.

July 22, 2011

If you've been following Friendfactor (or, you know, the news) for the past few months, you probably know that New York passed an historic bill last month granting your gay friends the freedom to marry. On Sunday, the law will go into effect, and hundreds of couples around the state will be turning out to   ...Continue Reading

How do I know if my gay* friend thinks our dinner plans are actually a date?

July 20, 2011

Straight from the Burning Questions module of the Friendfactor site, we bring you a real concern from a real friend who seems to be stuck in what might be a sticky situation with a gay or bi buddy. In the spirit of "there's no such thing as a stupid question" (and this one passes much   ...Continue Reading

Does it matter if Dumbledore is gay?

July 15, 2011

The first answer to this question is "not today, Dumbledore died two movies ago and you should be standing in line at the movie theater rather than putzing around on the internet." Fair enough! But in honor of the premier of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, we're revisiting the (non)controversy that rocked   ...Continue Reading

The Power of Your Purse: An Easy Way to Support your Gay* Friends

July 13, 2011

During the great New York marriage debate of aught-leven (working on it), you may have noticed a relatively new breed of op-eds voicing support for marriage equality: the economists. Forget about freedom, love, all *ahem* men being created equal... there's a dollars and cents argument to be made for expanding the wedding industry in your   ...Continue Reading

Burning Questions: Excerpt From Our Site Feature!

July 7, 2011

Do you have any burning questions you’re just dying to ask? I do, and they are all about Jennifer Lopez’s workout regimen (which Friendfactor sadly does not have any insider information on. Yet!). If you have burning questions about gay* people though, it can be awkward to ask them. That’s why we have our Burning   ...Continue Reading

Margaret Hoover: Straight Friend to the LGBT Movement

July 6, 2011

Margaret Hoover, great-grandaughter of Herbert Hoover (and great-great-grandaughter of Herbert Hoover’s parents!), is a straight supporter of gay marriage.  She is also a Republican strategist who frequently appears on The O'Reilly Factor—which makes her a little unusual, as LGBT supporters go. Hoover argues that she doesn't have to be unusual, though--gay marriage doesn't have to   ...Continue Reading

Surveys for NYC Callers and Friend-setters

July 6, 2011

We’re looking for feedback from Friend-setters, and from people who called their senators from our Friend-setter pages. We want you to tell us that the experience was fulfilling, that our tools are cutting-edge, and that you find yourself oddly attracted to everyone who works in our offices. Just kidding! We want really honest feedback from   ...Continue Reading

Gay Rights Group Vandalizes HRC Store, Has World’s Longest Name

July 1, 2011

A Human Rights Campaign store in Washington DC was recently vandalized, and a radical gay rights group is claiming responsibility for “splattering it with pink paint and painting ‘Stonewall’ on the sidewalk.” Half the reason I’m posting this story—what can I say, I’m a simple person—is because of the group’s name. They are called: The   ...Continue Reading

Meet the Best. Wedding Gift. Ever. Raffle Winner: Jason Hatton!

July 1, 2011

Quick announcement: Thanks to everyone who entered our Best. Wedding Gift. Ever. raffle! It’s one of those rare raffles that everyone kind of wins, since all of our gay* friends in New York now have the freedom to marry the person they love! Success all around. There's only one blender autographed by Jesse Tyler Ferguson,   ...Continue Reading

Presidents Wear Dresses Too!

June 30, 2011

Here’s an interesting blog post from Lisa Wade about the difference between gender non-conformity and homosexuality. Wade notes that despite the cute shtick of popular blog Born This Way, a little boy wearing a pink hairbow isn’t necessarily gay (just like a boy wearing a blue hairbow isn’t necessarily straight). She points out that a   ...Continue Reading

Senator Saland Discusses His Same-Sex Marriage Stance

June 29, 2011

Gay marriage passed in New York with the help of some unlikely allies. One of them was Republican Senator Stephen Saland, pictured here in front of what appears to be a very nice field of blurry flowers: Now that is the smile of someone who supports his gay friends and definitely does not have pollen   ...Continue Reading

UPDATE: New York’s New Freedom Index

June 28, 2011

Since the freedom to marry bill passed in New York, the state’s freedom index for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people has risen from 67% to 70%; for transgender people, it has risen from 50% to 53%. This is great news—three percent is nothing to scoff at. Imagine if 3% of a house fell on you--very   ...Continue Reading

Let’s Speculate About Gay Divorce?

June 28, 2011

Yesterday, The New York Times’ City room blog contemplated a social issue that doesn’t exist, but may exist sometime in the future: gay divorce. The article spends a lot of time explaining that couple sometimes break up—even couples with the mayor in them! Then we get to the real meat of the story: gay couples   ...Continue Reading

NYTimes Op-Ed on Friends, Factors, Gay Rights

June 27, 2011

In a New York Times op-ed on Saturday, Frank Bruni talks about how much gay rights have advanced since he was in college—when gay marriage wasn’t even talked about—and attributes the sea change to strong straight-gay friendships. In other words, friendship has been a factor. In other other words, Friendfactor! In voicing his support for   ...Continue Reading

Congrats, New York!/Take The Friendfactor Pledge

June 27, 2011

Congratulations, New York! In case you refuse to read any news source other than the Friendfactor blog, the freedom to marry bill passed Friday night, 33-29, just in time for Pride weekend. There's a lot to say about marriage and Pride and Pride's amazing synchronized flag twirling team (how were they SO GOOD?!), but I   ...Continue Reading

Keith Olbermann Supports Gay Marriage; Obama Supports Voting On Stuff

June 24, 2011

In his Thursday show, Keith Olbermann showed Obama’s latest stance on same-sex marriage (as stated at a Thursday LGBT gala), and then offered his personal comment on the gay marriage debate in New York. Olbermann argues that, regardless of Obama’s position (which is currently “Let’s vote on gay marriage... and then like whatever comes out   ...Continue Reading

Modern Families

June 23, 2011

In a profile ostensibly inspired by new census data (but probably actually inspired by how much all humans like Modern Family) the LA Times reported today on “nontraditional households.” The article opens with an in-depth look at 4-year-old Kate Eisenpresser-Davis and her “three mommies.” (Just to clarify: “three mommies” is a quote from a child.)   ...Continue Reading

The Stranger’s Queer Issue: Glee is a Pressing Social Issue (Sort Of)!

June 22, 2011

The Stranger just came out with its annual queer issue, a collection of articles about demographics (mostly LGBT-related demographics—although there is one floating article about undergraduates sleeping with their professors) who are “doing it wrong.” I thought the pieces about homophobes and (coming in a distant second) Glee were most interesting. David Schmader argues that   ...Continue Reading

John Huntsman: Republican Gay Rights Champion, or Regular Republican?

June 22, 2011

Republican presidential candidate John Huntsman  changed his position on the freedom to marry this week, according to The New Civil Rights Movement. Previously, Huntsman has presented himself as LGBT Republicans’ candidate; Charles Moran, a prominent Log Cabin Republican, endorsed his campaign with semi-depressing compliments: Moran wrote that Huntsman supported legislation that established civil unions for   ...Continue Reading

The New York Times’ “Ex-Gay” Profile

June 22, 2011

This article is a little old, and a little long, but I think it’s still post-worthy.  Last Thursday’s New York Times featured a feature by Benoit Denizet-Lewis titled “My Ex-Gay Friend,” profiling Michael Glatze. Glatze used to be a gay rights activist, working at a San Francisco magazine for gay men and committed to supporting   ...Continue Reading

Interpreting David Tyree’s Opposition to Same-Sex Marriage

June 21, 2011

Jemele Hill just wrote an interesting article for ESPN about football player David Tyree’s vocal opposition to same-sex marriage. Hill starts with a stark reminder that we are reading ESPN—no other news source would make this the second sentence of a David Tyree/freedom to marry article: Tyree, whose catch in Super Bowl XLII is among   ...Continue Reading

Rise Against’s New Collaboration with It Gets Better

June 21, 2011

Rise Against is rising against homophobia in their latest video for “Make It Stop (September’s Children)," a collaboration with the It Gets Better Project. (Watch the video here.) There's also an interesting behind the scenes clip, in which, among other things: Tim McIlrath, Rise Against’s lead singer, explains that the song is dedicated to “September’s Children,”   ...Continue Reading

Where does/should Obama stand on freedom to marry?

June 21, 2011

It seems like everyone is speculating about Obama's position on same-sex marriage. In Salon today, Alex Pareene argued that that Obama should come out for gay marriage already (literally—Pareene’s title is “Barack Obama should come out for gay marriage already”). Pareene notes that the only way the New York marriage bill will pass is with   ...Continue Reading

Van Jones on Labor and LGBT Movements

June 21, 2011

Environmental activist and ex-Obama cabinet member Van Jones just came out with a video with Colage that highlights some of the similarities between the labor movement and the LGBT movement, such as that they both start with L. (He doesn’t actually bring that up in the video—but luckily, I brought it up just now!) “We   ...Continue Reading

Maryland Marriage Update: So Close and yet So Far

March 4, 2011

I know that you, my faithful readers, have been following the campaign for Marriage Equality in MD with the sort of singular attention usually reserved for cats in a room with a tuna sandwich. And you know that you can still help enormously by going to www.MarylandPop.org and taking part in our Pop the Question   ...Continue Reading

No such thing as a stupid question.

March 1, 2011

Universal experience: the elephant in the room. Or if you prefer, the 800 pound gorilla. Either way, we’ve all found ourselves shooting the breeze or sharing drinks with friends when suddenly there’s a large figurative mammal silently glaring from the corner, because sometimes straight folks just don’t know what to do with a legitimate curiosity   ...Continue Reading

Your First Time: It Doesn’t have to be Scary

February 3, 2011

First time calling a legislator, that is. We unfortunately don’t have the authority to make promises about any other way you read that title. If you’ve already been over to www.MarylandPop.org and used our click-to-call tool to support your gay* friends in the first state South of the Mason-Dickson, you know how easy we’ve made   ...Continue Reading

Marylanders: Will You Pop the Question?

February 2, 2011

SB 116 doesn’t sound sexy. But it is. It’s the name of the senate bill that -- if passed -- will bring Marylanders one step closer to marriage equality. That means your gay* friends in the Old Line State will be able to marry the people they love. And it doesn’t get sexier than that.   ...Continue Reading

New Year, New Features!

January 19, 2011

It may or may not be the 19th of January, but the Friendfactor team believes it is most certainly not too late to get 2011 off on the right foot. Ladies, gentlemen, and Ffriends of all identities: we are pleased to introduce you to the new Freedom Map! Like a cowboy on a digital round-up,   ...Continue Reading

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repealed: Freedom Index Scores on the Rise.

December 22, 2010

Something historic happened this morning. President Obama signed the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, a 17-year old law that prohibited gay and lesbian Americans from openly serving in the military. For the repeal to be implemented, the Pentagon must first certify the legislation. This could take up to a year depending on how much   ...Continue Reading

Friendfactor Makes a “Splash” in NYC

December 7, 2010

A huge thank you and group hug for the 250+ “Ffriends” that turned out for Thursday’s Friendraiser at Splash in NYC. We raised more than $7,000 in critical funds for the Friendfactor Foundation—and met a club-load of amazing people and great friends. Thanks for your generosity, and for showing us that creating fun ways for   ...Continue Reading

Friendfactor: One of Yahoo’s Most Inspiring Acts of 2010!

December 2, 2010

What do Lady Gaga, hardboiled eggs and & Friendfactor all have in common? Yes, really. We're all on Yahoo's recently released "2010 Year in Review" lists! All of us at Friendfactor are thrilled to make the "Top 10 Inspiring Acts of 2010" list alongside some great company. The article features Brian Elliot, our Founder, and Patty   ...Continue Reading