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

Tuxedo Rebellion

February 1992 – I went on consecutive RSVP Caribbean winter cruises in 1991 and 1992. The cruise line used to require its mostly male passengers to dress up in tuxedoes for two dinners each cruise, an annoyance to some of us.

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We Are Family

1979-2017: My first relationship with another man began when I met Jim at the YMCA in 1979. I was 26, about to leave a job I hated, unsure of what would come next, and open to the steady influence of a sexy “older” man (He was 39.), who found me alluring.

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Hidden Costs

1981-2017: If I had to select one photo from my archives which personifies the devastation wrought upon my generation by the AIDS epidemic, it would have to be this one: a group of handsome and fit gay men in their late 20’s, smiling while posing on a beach (July / August 1981, as the discovery […]

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Muscle on the Rocks

August 1990: Gay Games III in Vancouver (British Columbia) in August 1990 was a transformative experience for me and many others: it was the first time in my life-long athletic career that I observed the marriage of sports and gay life being publicly celebrated and promoted.

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Summer in the Pines 1981

1981 – In this photo, I’m with my housemates and my weekend date from Boston (John Shade, with our arms around each other) on the beach in Fire Island Pines (August 1981). It was the first time I had taken a share for the summer. It was an innocent time. But, the discovery of a […]

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(Mine)shafted

  OCTOBER 1979: Shortly after I returned to Manhattan from my cross-country road trip spent trying to find my “gay self,” Bo, the guy I had been seeing in San Diego, and three of his friends (two of whom I’d also slept with) came to NYC for the Mr. Blueboy Contest (Blueboy was a Playgirl-like […]

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