Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Monday, October 1, 2018

It's LGBT History Month!

Our history is made up of heroes and sheroes, villians and vixens. We are, will be, and have been writers, artists, politicians and scientists. Athletes and activists, teachers and soldiers.  Our history is complex and it is simple.  You may try to keep us out of the history books, but we've always been there.  From ancient civilization to today and through tomorrow.  Our stories are global and our stories are in every small town.  We are the trend setters and the style creators.  And we're all as unique and different and beautiful as the colors that represent us in the rainbow flag.  


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

She Said What She Meant and Meant What She Said


Wow!  Janet Hubert does not hold back. People are now calling her crazy and bitter.  Some are saying she has mental issues.  Many people are saying she just needs to get over it [referring to her hatred towards Will Smith]. As I started watching the video I just couldn't stop watching it.  And I figured I would just share my two cents.

As I watched the video I started thinking to myself - wow maybe these people who are calling her angry and bitter are on to something.  But perhaps she has a right to feel this way.  She was starring in one the biggest shows on television when her career came to an abrupt end.  Will Smith says she was fired and claims she was very difficult to work with.  Alfonso Ribeiro collaborated his accusation that the termination was not voluntary.  Hubert has been very adamant that she was not fired and says Will is spreading lies about her.  But since her role on the Fresh Prince ended, Hubert has been unsuccessful in her attempts to return to the big screen and the small screen.

The first time I watched the video I was unaware that her son recently attempted suicide.  I won't even pretend to know what it feels like for a mom that have to deal with something like this.  In the video she shares how she has struggled to find work, spent time penniless and homeless, and suffered trying to provide some security for her family with these lack of resources.  She mentions how her son has suffered as a result of Will's lies. 

Knowing the fate of her son and hearing about the financial consequences of "being fired", can I blame her for feeling the way she does.  They say "time heals all things" and maybe one day Hubert (the better Aunt Viv) will forgive and forget. People keep saying, "it's been over twenty years." But who can put a timeline on resentment when people have wronged you.  I still get in my feelings when I think about some of the things people did to me when  I was young.

That being said, I also can't be mad at Will Smith.  He was a kid when this feud between him and Hubert began.  He is not the same person he was when this all began.  Hopefully, if he did do something wrong, he has learned from it. And if he did do something wrong, he should probably apologize for it.  But I'm not the same person I was five years ago, so who knows how much of an evolution he's been through over the course of two decades. 

It's an unfortunate situation.  I love Janet Hubert as an actress.  I wish to see her and her Black Girl Magic back on TV again.  I love Will Smith. He's handsome, intelligent, insightful and successful. I wish these two could bury the hatchet but I don't think that's going to happen.  I will continue to be a fan of them both. 

If you have a few minutes, please check out her video.  This is the voice of a woman scorned and I think she's hurting because her family is hurting.  I'm praying for her and her family and I wish her well in her career.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

The Queen My Lord Is Dead


Aretha was, is, and will always be one of my favorites.  I can't say the announcement of her death caught me by surprise.  The news had already spread that her health was waning and her family was concerned about her well-being.  But although we knew she wasn't doing well, I'm still mourning this loss.  Aretha's music makes me happy, makes me dance, and makes me cry. To remember The Queen of Soul, I want to list some of her best songs (in my humble opinion) . . .

6. Rock Steady.  Love, love, love this cut.  Let's call this song exactly what it is . . .

5. A Deeper Love (PRIDE).  This song, which has become an LGBT anthem, gets me moving everytime I hear it.


4. I Knew You Were Waiting (duet with George Michael).  Maybe I'm biased towards this one because I used to love watching my drag favorites, Ms. Ebony and Clayton McKee, perform this number.


3. How I Got Over.  This is one of my all-time favorite gospel songs.  Aretha slays on this one!


2. I Say A Little Prayer For You.  Let's be honest, Aretha had the better version of this song.  Now I love Dione's version as well, but Auntie Ree Ree did it best. 


1. RESPECT.  Hands down her biggest and most recognizable hit, this song still will go down for many as her best.


Janet's New Jam "Made For Now"


Janet's new video "Made For Now" featuring Daddy Yankee just dropped.  Needless to say, I'm in love with it.  But let's be real, it's Ms. Jackson, she can do no wrong by me.  I haven't heard any news of a new album but this new single has me hopeful  that a new CD is not far off.  Fresh off the heals of her State of the World tour, I'm surprised we have new music and new video by her already.  But I ain't complaining. Anytime I hear of a new Janet project I just scream, "Shut up and take my money!"

"Made For Now" is Janet's signature sound.  She's not experimenting with something new.  She's not trying to reinvent herself.  This is classic Janet and I am here for it.  Mother is giving me life.  Although this is very much a dance track, Janet doesn't bust a move until well over two minutes into the video. But let's be real, Janet is 52 years young.  Honey, she is leaving the dancing to the kids.

I'm loving the Afro-Carribean inspired fashions.  I love the videography.  And after all these years, I'm still loving Janet.  Please get into the video below . . .

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Male Cheerleaders Coming To The NFL


Hold up, wait a minute, let me put some . . .  male cheerleaders in it?!?  Did I hear that right, are there going to be male cheerleaders in the NFL this season? Looks like the answer is a resounding yes.  Both the Saint Louis Rams and the New Orleans Saints will have men on the sidelines with their upcoming cheer squads. The Saint Louis Rams (the team that also gave us Michael Sam - the first openly gay recruit to make it to the NFL) will have Napoleon Jinnies and Quinton Peron and the Saints will be home to Jesse Hernandez.

The story has been flying through the media posing the question is America ready for this.  Truth be told, I don't think anyone is going to care.  Now I'm happy for these men and wish them long and successful careers with their respective teams.  But do I believe anyone is going to bat an eye when they see a guy dancing on the sidelines?  Not really.  People concerns this years will continue to be will my team make it to the Superbowl and are the black guys kneeling during the National Anthem!

I know several brave men that were the first male cheerleaders to step up and cheer on their high school squads and they received hella backlash.  But that was in the 80s - a totally different time when Reagan was in the White House, The Golden Girls was on TV, and Prince and Michael Jackson ruled the radio. Times have changed.  We've had male cheerleaders on college squads for years.  It is long overdue for the NFL to do the same.   Male cheerleaders are no longer taboo.  So KUDOS to these two teams for welcoming these amazing men to their stadiums.

I'll close with this, I've been ready for this to happen in the NFL since I saw this happen at an Arizona Rattlers game (to see things get real, jump forward 45 seconds in the video) . . .

Monday, August 13, 2018

I'm Excited About Batwoman, BUT . . .


It's just been announced that out lesbian Ruby Rose has been tapped to play the lesbian superhero Batwoman on the CW this Fall.  Several articles I've read have stated this is the first time we will see an LGBT superhero on the small screen.  Now I'm a geek and an out & proud gay man, so I'm super excited about this announcement.  But can we please stop rewriting history just to make this story sound more interesting.  Batwoman will not be our first out superhero.  The Black Canary from CW's Arrow has been out for several seasons now.  And, quiet as it's kept, we witnessed history in the making earlier this year with the phenomenal series Black Lightning. Annisa (superhero name - Thunder) was an out lesbian that show as well.  

While I'm also excited about the fact that we have a member of the LGBT community playing the part of Batgirl, this is also not the first time a same-gender loving actor has put on the spandex to play the role of hero.  The actor that plays Kid Flash, Keiynan Lonsdale, on the CW series The Flash came out as bisexual in 2017. So there's that.

Can we just give a shout out to the CW for taking these bold steps and being inclusive of LGBT individuals in there universe of heroes?  I am proud to applaud the arrival of Batwoman (a girl loving Batwoman at that) to television.  I can't wait to see how she is incorporated in the cast of DC shows I love.  But let's not disregard and disrespect the fantastic heroes that came before her that have already made the realm of CW heroes a welcoming place for queer folks.   

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Todrick Hall: Forbidden

Last weekend  I made my way down to Boston to see Todrick Hall as he tours with Forbidden, his latest visual album. After seeing him on stage I must say my opinion of him has not changed.  Todrick Hall is the most creative, most imaginative, most talented young man in the game right now.

Forbidden tells the story of a young man that grows up in Nacirema Falls.  In Nacirema homosexuality is the norm, and black folks are the more powerful and influential in society.  Todrick's character was raised by the mayors of the town and he grows up to be rather affluent himself.  

Everything is going great for this young man until he makes one dreadful mistake.  He falls in love with a girl.  In a world where gay is the status quo and where everyone judges you based on status, going against the norm could mean losing everything, including your freedom.  And while many may not catch it, cause we now live in a time where marriage equality is the law of the land, it wasn't that long ago where homosexuality was a crime.  Yes, let's not forget that there was a time when loving someone was a revolutionary act because it was an illegal act. And let's not get too comfortable.  Remember, these rights can be taken away just as easily as they were given.  But I digress.

I didn't sit down to watch the YouTube film that accompanies this album until after I saw him on stage.  After seeing this, I loved Forbidden even more.  The songs are infectious  I didn't realize how poignant and relevant these songs are on social issues until I saw it on screen.  Race relations.  Police brutality.  Todrick isn't afraid to go there (and in such a clever and unthreatening way that people can't help but get it). And can we talk about the cameos.  Jennifer Lewis.  Cheryl Lee Ralph. Tiffany Haddish. Doug Spearman.  Brandy.  Forbidden is a gay man's wish list for BFFs.

I won't go on forever talking about the greatness of Forbidden and the fabulousness of Todrick.  But I love this kid.  If you get the opportunity to see him when he comes to a city near you, do yourself a favor and go see him. You won't regret it. If you still have not had a chance to see the film on YouTube, please check it out below.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Do You Really Want a Relationship?


I just recently saw the latest rant from a single friend of mine on Facebook.  He was going on and on about how he is so over the gay scene, about how most men are just whores who aren't looking for love, about how no one is worthy of trust, and about how he will probably be single for the rest of his life.  I know this individual well enough to know that while he may be projecting fault for his lack of relationship on others, most of the blame for this void in coupling falls squarely on his lap.

While I reflected on this for a moment, it dawned on me that this may be true for many of my gay friends.  I know several men (and some women) who refuse to date a man that is shorter than them.  I know individuals that have dismissed a potential mate because they don't make enough money.  Sometimes they aren't fine enough.  Sometimes they aren't cute enough.  I've seen men label someone as their boyfriend and after their first fight they go their separate ways.  And these fights can be over things as trivial as, "Did you like the movie?" 

For countless men I know, their first time meeting someone comes from a hook up site.  The reality is we're living in the days of Grindr, Craigslist, and Plenty of Fish.  For many friends I have, when they meet someone, they have seen the other person's dick long before they have ever heard their voice or seen their face. And we must address the aspects here that make people quickly dismiss others.  I personally feel people need time to get to know what turns on someone else sexually.  But in this age of free and omnipresent porn, if the sex isn't mind-blowing on the night they meet, there will never be an opportunity for a second "date."

So let's be real!  How can someone ever be good enough to make it to relationship material?  Their was a time when people were concerned about "do we have the same values."  Today's concern's are more along the lines of, "He said he's a top, but he only has six and half inches!"

It's time to have a real long, internal conversation.  Why do you think relationships always fall just out of your grasp?  You say there are no good men in the dating pool, but aren't you in the dating pool?  If you have great qualities and characteristics, don't you feel that there may be others out there who are good and descent as well?  You may never honestly be able to answer these questions if your "dating" life cycle is limited to shallow and superficial standards, dick pics, random hook-ups.  Could the problem be you?

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Confessions of a Black Queer In New England


A.K.A. "I'm Coming Out.  I Want the World To Know!"  I've been living in Manchester, NH for just over six months and I must say, it's been an interesting journey.  I wake up every morning still happy I made the move because I wake up next to a person I am still very much in love with.  After months of searching I have finally found employment.  Thanks to friendly neighbors, classes, and work, I am starting to develop some friends in this new area, so I'm grateful for that as well.

But I must admit, there is still a lot I'm longing for in this new place called home.  As a black gay man, it's so difficult to be totally comfortable in a place that is so white and so straight.  Manchester has nothing to offer the LGBT community outside of it's two gay bars.  I am over 40 and I am in a relationship.  The bars have nothing of interest for me. I would love to see a community center.  Gay and lesbian organizations.  Hell, I'd even be happy just to see an LGBT book club. 

When I lived in Arizona I thought there were very few black people.  We were only 4 percent of the state, but at least in Phoenix, we made up 12% of the city. Many folks (black folks included) prefer to live in a more urban area so we were a higher part of the population in the city. There weren't as many black folks as what I was used to growing up in the South, but at least we were represented .  And though there wasn't a plethora of black faces, there was an abundance of brown faces.  So it was still nice to see quite a diverse population.  Here in New Hampshire, it is just white.  White. White. White!

On a positive note, this state is way more progressive than Alabama or Arizona.  That helps.  A LOT!  But it would still be inviting if there some LGBT organizations or if I saw more black people on my commute to work.  But alas, it is what it is.

Maybe I'll develop something to fill some of the voids I've witnessed during my short tenure here.  Time will tell.  I'm keeping busy and I've got my boo, so for now I'm good.  But after few months I just wanted to vent about what I've observed.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Jume 30 - Keke Palmer: Renaissance Woman



We will end our June celebration (LGBT Pride month and Black Music month) with a look at Keke Palmer.  She will forever be little Akeelah from Akeelah and the Bee for me.  But this little talent has blossomed into one fierce little diva who is killing it in everything she touches and in everything she tries. She is way more than a triple threat. She has tried her hand on the big screen, the small screen, the stage, and the recording studio and she's nailed them all.

Let's start with the big screen.  Keke made her film debut in Barbershop 2: Back in Business.  The little actress was suddenly working alongside some of the big names like Queen Latifah and Ice Cube.  But it would be her second feature that would be her claim to fame.  America fell in love with her in the lead role as Akeelah, the young girl on a mission to win the National Spelling Bee.  Other staring roles for her include Madea's Family Reunion, Joyful Noise, and Winx Club: The Secret of the Lost Kingdom.  Television shows featuring Keke include Knights of the South Bronx, Jump In, Rag, and my personal favorite - Scream Queens. She would also play the role of Rozonda "Chili" Thomas in the VH1 biopic "CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story. For her role in the Nickelodeon  show, True Jackson, VP, she earned $20,000 per episode making her the forth highest paid child star on television.  

In 2014, it was announced that Keke would be the first African-American to star at Cinderella on Broadway.  In October of 2015, she joined the cast of the Fox production of Grease Live.  In spite of all of this success as actress, music is her first love and her main calling.


Keke's first released album, So Uncool, draws influences from some of her pop favorites like Ciara, Janet Jackson, Brandy, and Whitney Houston.  In 2016 she released her a previously unreleased album she recorded at the age of 16 which she would call "Waited to Exhale." Please get into her video to "Wind Up" below . . . 

June 29 - Johnny Mathis: Classic Balladeer


In 2017, in an interview with Us magazine, Johnny Mathis discussed something he has been silent about in over three decades.  His sexuality. In 1982, also with Us magazine, Mathis came out by stating "Homosexuality is a way of life I've grown accustomed to."  Following that article he went silent on this issue.  

He shared in this recent interview that the reason he wouldn't discuss the issue was because of the numerous threats he received after he came out.  But he appears once again ready to address this issue.  In the new write up he claims, "I come from San Francisco.  It's not unusual to be gay in San Francisco.  I've had some girlfriends, some boyfriends, just like most people.  But  I never got married for instance.  I knew that I was gay."

He also mentions that part of the reason for his silence was generational.  Speaking publicly about being gay was just not something people from his generation would do.  

In 2003, the Academy for Arts and Sciences awarded Mathis the Lifetime Achievement Award.  He has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for three seperate recording including "Chance Are" 1998, "Misty" 2002 and "It's Not for Me to Say" 2008.

Please check out one of my all time Mathis favorites, his duet with Deniece Williams, "Too Much, Too Little, Too Late."


June 28 - Bobby Debarge: Falsetta For the Gods

As a member of one of the most recognizable R&B families ever, Bobby Debarge's last name is one that immediately makes people pause for a moment and flashback to times of "real music."As one of the lead vocalist in Motown's sensational group, Switch, Bobby's was the voice that made the Debarge name famous.

While the group was basking in the success of some of their hits such as "There'll Never Be" and "I Call Your Name," Bobby was simultaneously dealing with his demons.  He was heavily addicted to drugs, bearing the shame of of growing up the victim of sexual abuse, and trying desperately to live openly as bisexual whle publicly being one half of one of the most famous R&B relationships there was.  He was dating LaToya Jackson.  The Debarge's and the Jackson's were the two biggest names there were in R&B. These two were Motown royalty and the entire country loved the fact that these two beautiful people were a couple.

Unfortunately Bobby would never win his fight with drugs.  He would struggle with this addiction his entire life.  In 1988 he was sentenced to five years in prison for drug trafficking.  He revealed to his family before going to prison that he had acquire HIV.  In 1995, Bobby became gravely ill and his family sent him to hospice.  He died on August 16, 1995 from HIV related complications.

His little brother El, probably the most famous of the Debarge clan, has stated that he wishes his voice was as smooth as his brother Bobby's.  Switch's song "There'll Never Be" is still played often in my home and in my car.  Please check out Switch's performance of this hit on Soul Train . . . 


June 27 - Meshell Ndegeocello: Birth Mother of NeoSoul


"If that's your boyfriend, if that's your boyfriend, if that's your boyfriend, he wasn't last night."  That is the hook of the very song I ever heard by Meshell.  I remember it vividly.  I was in college and this anthem of infidelity was bumping everywhere on campus. It was quite the hit. I was not aware that this young lady and ushering in a new wave of music that would eventually wear the title "NeoSoul."

Meshell was born Michelle Lynn Johnson but adopted the surname Ndegeocello which means "free like a bird" in Swahili.  Her biggest hit to this date is her duet with John Cougar Mellancamp.  "Wild Nights" was their cover of the Van Morrison hit.  This song would reach number 3 on the Billboard charts.  She has also collaborated with such greats as Herbie Hancock, Madonna and Chaka Khan.  

Since 1993 she has released 11 studio albums and her twelfth is scheduled for release in November of this year.  In addition to her studio albums, she has released quite a bit of music that is featured in the soundtracks of movies.  Some of those include How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Love and Basketball, The Best Man, and Tyler Perry's Daddy's Little Girls. My favorite song by her would be a song from one of those soundtracks.  It is simply called "Untitled."  Get into it below . . . 


June 26 - Kevin Aviance: Din Da Da

In 2016, Kevin Aviance made the 93 slot on the list of most successful dance artists of all time. A drag personality known the whole world over, he has worked with the likes of Janet Jackson and Whitney Houston and even appeared in Madonna's "Secrets" video. 

Kevin has been able to carve a bit of a niche for himself in music and on film.  Some of his hits include "Rhythm Is My Bitch," "Cunty," and "Strut."  And some movie titles to his credit include, Punks, Naked Fame and also Freaks, Glam Gods and Rockstars.

He began his career as a drag performer but moved far beyond the queen just prancing on the floor and lip syncing to the songs of others.  He was determined to make his own music, develop his own sound, and build a brand for himself as a gender bending, non conforming performing artist.

Despite his success, his fame would not hide him from ignorance and violence.  In 2006 while leaving a bar in New York City, he would become the victim of a hate crime.  Outside of the East Village bar called Phoenix, he was robbed and beaten.  The attack would require him to have his jaw wired shut for over a month.  He also suffered from a fractured knee and neck injuries.  

Please get into one of my favorite songs by him below . . .