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Everyone Is Gay’s Valentines!

This Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be appropriate to tell you about just a few of the people who keep Everyone Is Gay running full steam ahead. Since this is a holiday about love, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate.

Kristine has helped us with design since the very day we were born. She creates so many of the amazing things you see on our merchandise and our website, including our tiny Kristin & Dannielle cartoons!

Vianey is one of our many (many, many!) incredible interns. She is committed, reliable, hilarious, and works on projects that range from gathering new data for The Parents Project to helping keep our Facebook and Wordpress up to date!

Broderick writes for our Second Opinions panel, and uses his own life experience to help broaden our reach, discussing discrimination, religion, race, and sexuality in his advice posts.

Lauren is the creator of the upcoming film WeExist, and is working hand-in-hand with us to help create an expansive trans* presence on both Everyone Is Gay and The Parents Project.

Laurel has supported us for as long as we can remember in as many ways as you might imagine. Using her experience with fundraising for UC Irvine, she manages our donor databases and keeps us focused on the important tasks at hand!

Justin. Oh, Justin. Justin supports Everyone Is Gay with his music, with his work, and with his whole damn heart. He has asked Everyone Is Gay to table at many Motion City Soundtrack shows, he has written us exclusive music, and he is always looking for new ways to help us keep the keepin on. *swoon*

Erika Lynn has worked with us in many ways, most notably as one of our main advisors during the writing of our book for parents. She hopped on many phone calls and thoroughly read, critiqued, and helped to guide the book - especially the chapter on gender - in vital ways.

Anna Livia brought us to her high school a couple of years ago, and has been an intern, a writer for Second Opinions, a member of our Youth Advisory Council, and the mind behind the expansive glossary you’ll soon see in our book. What doesn’t she do, you know?!

We ask all of you, lovely readers, to take a moment and send us a Valentine to thank any one (or all!) of these incredible individuals for their service and general badassery!! You can send Valentines to: Everyone Is Gay 237 Flatbush Avenue #153 Brooklyn NY 11217 – we will make sure they receive them!

How to Hack an Election
Andrés Sepúlveda rigged elections throughout Latin America for almost a decade. He tells his story for the first time.

Sepúlveda’s career began in 2005, and his first jobs were small—mostly defacing campaign websites and breaking into opponents’ donor databases. Within a few years he was assembling teams that spied, stole, and smeared on behalf of presidential campaigns across Latin America. He wasn’t cheap, but his services were extensive. For $12,000 a month, a customer hired a crew that could hack smartphones, spoof and clone Web pages, and send mass e-mails and texts. The premium package, at $20,000 a month, also included a full range of digital interception, attack, decryption, and defense. The jobs were carefully laundered through layers of middlemen and consultants. Sepúlveda says many of the candidates he helped might not even have known about his role; he says he met only a few.

His teams worked on presidential elections in Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Venezuela. Campaigns mentioned in this story were contacted through former and current spokespeople; none but Mexico’s PRI and the campaign of Guatemala’s National Advancement Party would comment.

As a child, he witnessed the violence of Colombia’s Marxist guerrillas. As an adult, he allied with a right wing emerging across Latin America. He believed his hacking was no more diabolical than the tactics of those he opposed, such as Hugo Chávez and Daniel Ortega.

Many of Sepúlveda’s efforts were unsuccessful, but he has enough wins that he might be able to claim as much influence over the political direction of modern Latin America as anyone in the 21st century. “My job was to do actions of dirty war and psychological operations, black propaganda, rumors—the whole dark side of politics that nobody knows exists but everyone can see,” he says in Spanish, while sitting at a small plastic table in an outdoor courtyard deep within the heavily fortified offices of Colombia’s attorney general’s office. He’s serving 10 years in prison for charges including use of malicious software, conspiracy to commit crime, violation of personal data, and espionage, related to hacking during Colombia’s 2014 presidential election. He has agreed to tell his full story for the first time, hoping to convince the public that he’s rehabilitated—and gather support for a reduced sentence.

Usually, he says, he was on the payroll of Juan José Rendón, a Miami-based political consultant who’s been called the Karl Rove of Latin America. Rendón denies using Sepúlveda for anything illegal, and categorically disputes the account Sepúlveda gave Bloomberg Businessweek of their relationship, but admits knowing him and using him to do website design. “If I talked to him maybe once or twice, it was in a group session about that, about the Web,” he says. “I don’t do illegal stuff at all. There is negative campaigning. They don’t like it—OK. But if it’s legal, I’m gonna do it. I’m not a saint, but I’m not a criminal.” While Sepúlveda’s policy was to destroy all data at the completion of a job, he left some documents with members of his hacking teams and other trusted third parties as a secret “insurance policy.”

Sepúlveda provided Bloomberg Businessweek with what he says are e-mails showing conversations between him, Rendón, and Rendón’s consulting firm concerning hacking and the progress of campaign-related cyber attacks. Rendón says the e-mails are fake. An analysis by an independent computer security firm said a sample of the e-mails they examined appeared authentic. Some of Sepúlveda’s descriptions of his actions match published accounts of events during various election campaigns, but other details couldn’t be independently verified. One person working on the campaign in Mexico, who asked not to be identified out of fear for his safety, substantially confirmed Sepúlveda’s accounts of his and Rendón’s roles in that election.

Sepúlveda says he was offered several political jobs in Spain, which he says he turned down because he was too busy. On the question of whether the U.S. presidential campaign is being tampered with, he is unequivocal. “I’m 100 percent sure it is,” he says.

also this is the best long-read you’ll find today