Views on pop culture through my eyes

Posts tagged ‘individuality’

Happy 4th Anniversary Kilt Man!

My how time flies! I am celebrating year 4 of this blog. What started as a casual thing, has turned into a fun hobby for me. I get to write about things that I like and am passionate about and share my views with the world. Like any muscle, writing is a muscle that needs to be exercised regularly. It has been challenging at times to continue to be original or creative, but I push on knowing that I am better for doing so. For a shy guy like me, this blog has allowed me a platform I never had before. I am grateful for readers like you taking the time to read, follow, share and like my posts. So what were the highlights of last year?Happy 4th Anniversary Kilt Man

On the TV landscape, I gave my opinion on which movie stars should be headed for the small screen. I predicted the winner of “American Idol” (again); and talked about what the problem with “The Voice” is and why it will never be “Idol.”

On the fashion front, I gave my opinion on why people are afraid of Speedos; and why should wear kilts for the holidays. I am all about self expression and marching to the beat of your own drum. Let the people see the real you.

I celebrated hunks on film, and those that I would love to see in kilts. Plus, I talked about the hunky men of New Kids on the Block, who just seem to get better with age.

My love of music brought us concertsreviews of Barry Gibb, Katy Perry and more. Plus, my love letter to Madonna about her new inspired album “Rebel Heart.” Inspired by the movie “Boyhood”, I did my own take on Black Albums from Boy Bands and Girl Groups.

Marriage equality continued it’s steady march thought 2014-15. Plus we are on the verge of the Supreme Court finally deciding things once and for all (at least we hope). But now these religious freedom laws are popping up all over. Get over it!

So what will the next year of this blog bring? Who knows! But I do know it will encompass all of me: the kilt-loving, music freak, who loves to go to the movies, go on hikes, goes to church, loves to take photos, and concerned citizen for social justice. And that’s just me off the top of my head! Don’t get me started. Thanks for being a part of this incredible journey on my blog.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

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Why Are People Afraid of Speedos?

I love Speedos… the original racing swimsuit. I love the fact that they are small and tight. That you get a nice tan when you wear one out to the beach or the pool. That they emphasize a man’s goodies: his manhood and his ass.Speedos at beach

So why is the USA so Speedo-phobic? This is the feeling I get from a lot of people. I think there are a number of factors at work here. First, prominent displays of sexuality are judged differently from males to females. Ladies are encouraged to wear skimpy bikini swimwear, even when they shouldn’t. I have seen some girls wear bikinis, because they have a big chest. Yet, they have cottage cheese thighs too.

When you look at the list of actresses that have done nude scenes, the list is very long. The same can’t be said for actors willing to do nude scenes or full frontal nudity. Why is this? It seems that taking their tops off allows actresses to be taken seriously.

Another reason for the Speedo phobia, is the fact that a lot of men let themselves go. If you knew that you had to wear Speedos at the beach or pool, maybe you would try harder to stay in shape. And you don’t have to have washboard abs to pull one off either. You can have some gut, and still look good too.

Guys are insecure about the size of their manhood, is another reason I hear for men not wanting to wear Speedos. You don’t have to be well hung to wear them. I have seen many guys who have average or small penises still look very nice in them.

Woman don’t want to see a guy’s junk, is one of the most ridiculous reasons I have heard for not wanting a man to wear Speedos. Women I know love guys, and their penises. The women who are “scarred” by seeing an outline of a man’s cock and balls in Speedos are those ladies that are probably afraid of sex, and only do it for their men in the dark.

And of course, the old standard: I am not gay, why would I wear one? I guess gay guys are more in touch with their bodies than straight men. You should wear one cause your girl likes how your body looks in one. And you get to show the world that all the time you have spent in the gym has paid off.

Summer is fast approaching. I know I will be rocking my Speedos at age 50, because I damn well feel like it. I hope to see more guys do it too.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Speedos lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Why Kilts Are for Me

For the past 10 years or so, I have been wearing a kilt almost daily. It has been one of the best times of my life honestly. I like being me, being Dan. And for a long time, I didn’t like me. Can I attribute that all to the fact that I like wearing kilts? I don’t think so. But one thing is for sure, I am not about to stop wearing them!DSCF1772

For me, it all started when I saw Utilikilts at the gay pride festival. I thought they looked cool, and started to look into getting one. I finally ordered one online, and haven’t looked back.

During those early kilt days, I wasn’t wearing it too much, just sometimes on the weekend or around the house. It took some getting used to honestly. But then I realized I could wear it so many different ways — dressed up for events, dressed down for hiking. So I started to wear it more and more.

I felt sexy and interesting. Someone I would want to talk to at a party. Yes, there were people staring, but more often than not people said I looked good, and wanted to know where I got it at. I know I started to feel better about myself.

I got another Utilikilt, and 2 more too. It was fun putting my outfits together, and having some fun with fashion. Something that I longed for, since I consider myself a creative person. It was refreshing that I was thinking outside the box of what a guy should dress like.

Also during the last 10 years, my relationship with my partner has deepened and my self-esteem and self-acceptance have increased. I love my life, and am happy I was able to survive those turbulent teen years. I am now a guy who is comfortable in his own skin.

So yeah, I get that I may get some stares with what I choose to wear. At this point in my life, I don’t give a fuck (excuse my language). This is me. It makes me happy and I know that I rock it.

I have gotten one nice dress kilt now, that I hope to get married in this year. Plus a leather one and another tartan sport kilt too. I know I will be getting more kilts in the future. So if you see a fun, life-loving guy out on the hiking trails, or at a concert in a kilt — be assured he is enjoying his life and living for himself.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and Real Men Wear Kilts lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Testimonies of Gratitude

I try my best to live in gratitude every minute of every day. I wanted to spotlight three things that I am grateful for:

Penpals
I have been fortunate to meet and get to know some great people over the years. These are people that I met through various pen pal programs over the years — from the Gay Center, fan clubs for Madonna and Janet, and others from the internet. I have only met 2 of them over the years, most of our communications have been via letters and later on via emails. One friend I have been writing to for almost 30 years and we have never met. I just want to say how much I appreciate their friendship and let them know how much I love them in my life.

Music
I can’t imagine a life without music. It makes me smile, makes me want to dance and sing along. Hearing certain songs brings great feelings about the time the song came out, who I was friends with, what we were doing. Others remind me of how lucky I am to have my partner. Others remind me of all the fun shows I have been to over the years, and how the performer was able to make a connection with the audience. I am grateful to my parents to exposing me to their favorites and having all those Christmas sing-alongs over the years.

Individuality
When I was young, I really felt different and that I didn’t fit in. I was the square peg in the round hole. I was the giraffe in the room — someone who would stand out in a  room and not for a good reason. But as I have gotten older, I have realized an important lesson. God does not make mistakes. He made me the beautiful and unique individual I am today. I don’t need to “fit in”; I can be the man I want to be, and I don’t have to conform to what society or religion expects me to be. I am Dan and that’s all there is to it.WhyConform

This is just a small sample of my gratitude list. Being grateful is a way of life in my life, I hope you make it one in yours.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Being Me

My lover has said to me — being with me is like always being on parade. He’s entitled to his opinion! I get what he said, but you know what — who doesn’t love a parade! Why not celebrate your life — and be the funky, crazy, unique person you were born to be. I can push the limits for sure. But at the end of the day, it is Dan being Dan. And why should I have to live by what someone else thinks of me? I know my life is better, when I just let myself be. God made me perfect as I am.DSCF1652

One of my personal heroes is Madonna. Here is a strong powerful individual who is not afraid to march to the beat of her own drum. I relate to her! I always felt like an outcast when I was growing up. I was never macho enough, good looking enough, not into sports, a bit of a nerd, and good at school. Plus I was shy too, which made it hard for me to make many friends.

Now here I am approaching 50, and comfortable in my own skin. So yeah, I like to rock a kilt, shave my head or have a mohawk. Plus I love female singers, boy bands, Speedos, and being with my lover intimately. God doesn’t make mistakes. He made me perfect as I am.

So yeah, I gave the neighbors and some strangers a show recently. I wore my black kilt, with purple knee socks and a purple shirt. And we got into a friend’s car that was blasting some old-school Madonna. So, yes, my lover may have been gay by association at that moment. But hey, I know I rocked the look, and thinking about it now makes me feel good and brings a smile to my face. It is good to be me.

I am glad I lived through those darker days, and now I can enjoy being me.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Kilt Q&A

As the owner of this blog, I thought I would answer some commonly asked questions that I often hear about kilts and kilt owners:KiltManinSoCal

When did you first start wearing kilts?
I bought my first Utilikilt about 12 years ago. I had seen them online and at various festivals too. I got up the courage to finally buy one and I have never gone back. From there I bought, another and then another. Now I have 4 Utilikilts and 1 Scottish kilt.

Do you have to be Scottish to wear one?
No. What first appealed to me, was that it was different and that it looked cool. It was stylish and had a bit of a rock & roll edge to it. I have Scottish ancestry on my mother’s side, but have only seen 1 photo of any family members in a kilt. I have since learned what clan the family was from (Gordon) and finally have a Scottish kilt in my family tartan (plaid) after wearing only Utilikilts for years.

What do you wear under your kilt?
Most times I go commando (regimental). But when I am going to be getting up and down a lot (like when I go to the Concerts in the Park, and often just sit on a blanket), or going to a more formal event, I will wear underwear.

What kilts do you recommend?
I done some investigating with kilts, since I am into them. Some of the companies I recommend are: Sport Kilt, Amerikilt, Utilikilts — my personal fav, Heritage of Scotland, Atlanta Kilts, UT Kilts, Bilt Kilt and Stumptown Kilts. I only have personal experience with Utilikilts and Atlanta Kilts, but the others defintitely have some nice products. Prices and styles vary.

Have you ever had sex in your kilt?
Yes, and it only happened once. It was when my partner and I went on a hike. We found a secluded spot, and it was nice to have the easy access. All I had to do was lift up the kilt… and the rest is in your imagination.

What do you do when someone calls it a skirt?
I will usually correct them depending on who is doing it and what the context is. Some people are not sure it is a kilt, if I am wearing a utility-type one. I have heard kids call it a skirt a few times as in “Daddy, why is that guy wearing a skirt?” But then, the parent will usually correct them and tell them it is kilt.

Any embarrassing situations happen while wearing it?
Not really. The closest I can think of is one time when I went to a Madonna concert. When I came out, it was raining, so I decided to run to the car. I definitely felt the kilt flip up as I was running. And no, there was no one else around. I was commando that night — which is best for all the dancing I did at the show.

Do you play (or where are) the bagpipes?
I have been asked this more times than I can count! No, I don’t play the bagpipes and have no interest in learning them. People don’t get that I like to wear kilts on a casual basis. There doesn’t have to be a special event or a Scottish festival for me to wear one.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Can’t Be Naked? Kilt It

As much as I love being naked, there are times you have to wear some clothes. Wearing a kilt is about as close to being naked as you can get. My love affair with kilts began over 10 years ago. I had seen kilts at various street fairs and gay pride festivals, and thought they looked cool. I finally got the nerve to order one over the net, and I haven’t looked back. Now a day doesn’t go by where I don’t wear a kilt. It fits me, I love how it feels and looks, and I know that I rock it too.Dan w/ Kilt Commando

Kilts are not for the faint-hearted. You have to have some balls so to speak to wear one. You definitely will be attracting attention to yourself — but so what? Why be normal? What fun is there in that! They are great conversation starters, and can be dressed up or dressed down to fit just about any situation. I have worn mine to weddings, parties, hiking, shopping, concerts and much more.

So where can I buy a kilt you ask? Here’s my list of the top kilt makers on the market — both utility kilts and traditional ones too.

Sport Kilt
Are you the sporty type? Then these kilts may be for you. They are the preferred kilts of athletes in the Highland Games. They are light-weight and comfortable, with a velcro closure and a touch of elastic in the waistband. Prices range from $59.50 to $89.50 for the original model. Available in traditional Scottish tartans (plaid) as well as some camo models too.

Amerikilt
Another good American kilt manufacturer is Amerikilt — The American Kilt. Great casual kilts, these kilts are typical utility-type kilts with a detachable sporran (pouch) made from the same cotton fabric. Solid colors are standard, but they do offer a tye-die version too. Prices range from $109 to $179 for their kilts.

Utilikilts
The most famous and one of the most stylish of the utility kilts are made in Seattle, WA. Their tagline is “We Sell Freedom.” These are the kilts that have been featured on “Survivor” and “True Blood.” They come in solid colors, as well as some nice camo versions also. The original comes with 2 large cargo pockets, and features a snap front. Prices range from $150 for the new standard, to $220 for the original version. Tux and leather versions are also available at much higher prices.

Heritage of Scotland
For traditionalists, this is the way to go. Actually made in the United Kingdom, they offer a wide range of Scottish kilts as well as all the accessories to go with it: shoes, sporran, jacket, shirt, socks, etc. So if you are planning on getting gay married, this may be the way to go. Packages range from $163 to $1000+ for deluxe outfits.

Atlanta Kilts
Not ready to commit to buying one? Well, how about renting one. This firm offers specials for full kilt outfit rentals, great for the entire wedding party.  Rentals start at just $45, and go up to $179 for the full outfit. They also sell the individual items too.

Other US-based kilt companies include: UT Kilts, Bilt Kilt and Stumptown Kilts.

One word of caution when ordering online: Please be sure to follow the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer. Your pant size does not necessarily coincide with sizing for kilts. I wouldn’t want you to order the wrong size now.

So when you have to throw on some clothes next time you leave the house, consider wearing a kilt. You won’t regret it, in fact, you may find the experience addictive. As for the age-old question, what do your wear under your kilt? Commando is the way to go — feels great, and don’t forget the easy access too. And like any good nudist, I am not afraid to show people either when they ask. Real men do wear kilts, and they look good doing it.

KiltManinSoCal is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

Top Ten Places to Wear a Kilt

As long time readers of this blog, you should know that one of my favorite items of clothing is my kilt. I am often seen around town wearing it. Yes, it took some getting used to… but now I barely give it a second thought when I put it on. So hear are the Top Ten places to wear a kilt:

Tartan kilt

  1. Concerts: You can be as dressy or playful with it as you want. I have worn it to fancy Christmas concerts (with sweater, shirt and tie), and to big arena rock shows like Lady GaGa too (with my mesh shirt). Great for dancing, and shows that you like to have a bit of a edge too.
  2. Nightclub: Did I mention it is confortable? And again shows off a man’s legs nicely and gets people guessing about what you are or are not wearing under it. I have heard of plenty of women buying drinks for guys in kilts. (Somebody’s got to be into that… now if it was cute guys… now that’s another story)
  3. Dinner Party: Dressier than jeans, but not as dressy as slacks, with a nice shirt and tie, you will be good to go. A great conversation starter, people take notice and love to ask what it’s all about. Hey, it’s comfortable, I’m artsy… I’m Scottish, etc.
  4. Wedding: Only did this once, and it was a gay wedding too. But it was a nice warm day, and I made sure that I coordinated the outfit with my partners. If they ever bring back gay marriage in California, I want to be married in one.
  5. The Mall: This I do on the regular…. Window shopping, going out to the movies/dinner, maybe even doing some real shopping too. I look good, and know that I make it work.
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Innocence and ‘In Your Face’

I have had this title for a while, and I am finally tackling it. It was said to my partner by a friend after spending the day with me at the gay pride parade. He was referring to me when he said it. I laughed when I heard it, and I agree with it.

Hollywood Bowl 2013

Hollywood Bowl 2013

People are complex. You can love your family and love violent video games. You can sing in the church choir but love heavy metal in the car. You can love eating a burger one day, and salads the rest of the week. I can love men, and love God.

I grew up in a strict Catholic household. We went to church every Sunday and holy day, plus I went to Catholic school for 13 years too. For grammar school, we had to wear uniforms. For high school, we had a strict dress code.

Sometimes I do like pressing buttons like my idol, Madonna. She has always been one to question the norm. She wore her underwear on the outside, with rosaries and crucifixes hanging down. She has danced and posed provocatively for the camera and on stage.

So as for me, I can be dressed in dockers and a dress shirt for work, and then I enjoy walking down Santa Monica Blvd in my Speedos for Gay Pride. I can be in jeans and a polo shirt some days, and other days I am in my kilt with a concert T-shirt and  a Mohawk. These are all the sides of what makes me Dan.

Am I doing something to be  ‘in your face’? Maybe. Nothing wrong with giving them something to talk about as the song says. When I wear my Speedos at the pool at the gym, that is expected. When I wear them to the pool at the apartment, it is a little different but still not unexpected. When I wear them to take the trash out when it’s 110 degrees in the Valley, then I am being a bit in your face. But hey, it’s hot! And hey, it’s me! Just being comfortable in my opinion. I don’t think they would want me to do that naked!

With the kilt, it is all about me being me. It just fits me. I am comfortable and feel good about myself.  I know it is not “the norm” but why should I be normal? I fought so hard over the years to fit in… when I realized I was born to stand out! I can dress very rocker kilt guy with boots and mesh shirt one day, and then I can dress it up with a shirt and tie and dress shoes for going to church.

As for the innocence thing, well, I think that goes back to me being sort of a shy and quiet person. I was never one to slut around, and I have been in a relationship for over 24 years. But hey, I enjoy flirting from time to time, and being sexy too. I still know who is going to be in my bed at night!

So I will keep living my life and giving people something to talk about. As Madonna says “Poor is the man whose pleasure depends on the permission of another.” So if you see me strutting down the street in a camo kilt with a shaved head, just know that I am comfortable in my own skin. I hope you are too.

Spice69man is a Los Angeles-based writer and designer. Be sure to check out the latest T-Shirts for sale here, including Marriage Equality and  Rock the Kilt lines. They make great gifts for friends, family and loved ones.

What’s Your Value in Society?

This is a tough question. How do you measure someone’s value in society? What is one person worth? And who is to determine my worth — my coworkers, my family, my peers, my neighbors, or the greater society of my state, country, world?What's Your Value in Society?

I have just finished the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. His impact on society and the world is great. But, I am left with the impression that he was not a very nice man, not even with his loved ones. He was often very difficult to get along with. I can’t say that Steve was a good person, or a likable one. I respect all that he accomplished and I am a lifelong Mac fan, but not a Steve Jobs fan after reading that book.

Do you have to have made millions of dollars? Or have invented something great? Or found a cure for cancer? Do you have to have raised some great kids? Or encouraged your spouse to greatness? Do you have to go to church every week? And have voted in every election?

I know for me, it has taken me a long time to say that I am valuable. I dealt with low self esteem and shyness issues for many years, not to mention the weight of being gay and Catholic. I felt so unworthy. I was a wallflower, someone in the background. Why did God make me the way that he did? I didn’t like me, let alone love me.

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