Mike Balaban

Co-founder of bammer.co. See my Instagram page: @bammer47. Former international financier and cross-border consultant with a focus on Greater China. Serial non-profit board member and LGBTQ/political activist.

Mike Balaban's Stories

Pride and Protest: LGBTQ Pride Meets Black Lives Matter

The Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality took place this past weekend and was a spirited, enlivening, cultural melting pot comprising 50,000 enthusiastic participants, the ending of which was unfortunately marred by momentary police violence, somehow very fitting on the 51st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that happened only a few […]

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Black Lives Matter - Why We March

As we approach this year’s LGBTQ Pride commemoration on Sunday, the focus in most locations will be on supporting the Black community and opposing police brutality, two very important initiatives that have belatedly been embraced by a majority of people in the U.S., as well as many globally. I’ve been thinking about the LGBTQ civil […]

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Looking Back

Two recent developments refocused my attention on all the friends I lost to AIDS in the 80s and 90s. Recently, Peter Gorobetz, a teammate from my Gotham Volleyball League days in NYC in the early 90s, came to a BAMMER meet-up in Ft. Lauderdale, where he and his partner now reside. While reminiscing about the […]

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No More Swinging Dicks

SNAPSHOTS: When I was in Fort Lauderdale on a year-end vacation in 2014, a friend and I decided to stop by Swinging Richards, the Pompano Beach spinoff of an Atlanta institution. The Swinging Richards we visited was a large, fairly upscale-looking nightclub situated in a desolate warehouse district to avoid prying eyes. Inside, the club offered […]

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All American and Gay

1977—I hated my first job. I was spending long hours in a rigorous bank training program in Manhattan and, besides infrequent and random pick-ups in gay bars, I had little social life except with a few college fraternity brothers and their girlfriends and my fellow trainees. Frustrated with my situation, I decided one day to […]

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A Circle Of Friends

1964: Growing up in the Deep South in the 1950s and 1960s was what they call a character-building experience. For anyone like me, with a deeply hidden attraction to members of my own sex, it involved a constant cloaking of my true nature.

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Marking 25 years

In New York City, in the early 1990s, Gustavo Otto, a beautiful man who’d emigrated there from Chile, became my photographic muse. To be fair, it was hard to miss Gustavo, since he had one of the most beautiful derrieres I’d ever seen! Beyond that, he had a great energy which I loved to capture […]

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Hotlanta Hotmen

August 1991/1992: One of the more enjoyable phenomena to emerge from the 1980s, a challenging decade for gay men to say the least, were “circuit parties.” These were organized weekends taking place in various cities around the country and revolving around a specific theme party or event. For a few days, they provided gay men […]

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Unlimited Possibilities

March 1976: The year was 1975 and I was 23 at the time, living in D.C. I was working in the U.S. Treasury Department for a Republican administration and hiding my attraction to men from others, as well as from myself.

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A Tribute to Jackie Yordan

Jackie Yordan was, according to many who knew him, an “incredible sweetheart and an amazing person… He was truly one of the biggest heartthrobs of the period in New York. The thing about him was that he had no attitude at all and he couldn’t have been sweeter. So, everybody loved him. “And, he was […]

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