Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Thursday, November 7, 2019

People Are Angry that Robyn Crawford Has Outed Whitney

Sooo . . .  here's my two cents on this story:

The rumors surrounding the relationship between Whitney Houston and Robyn Crawford have been around for years.  This story should come as a surprise to no one.  Robyn Crawford is finally telling her "truth" regarding her relationship with Whitney "The Voice" Houston.  I heard the news in the same place I get most of my news, on Facebook.  And I immediately went to see the comments regarding this revelation. I thought I would be viewing a plethora of "Child we already knew" and "Girl it's about time" comments.  Now, those were there.  But I must admit I was stunned by the theme of the thread which seemed to be more of a "I can NOT believe she is saying this.  Whitney did not speak on it so Robyn has no business speaking on it either!"

I will start with this, I do not believe people should out others.  There are few exceptions that I have to that rule.  One of those exceptions is when people in positions of power (ie politician) do things to harm the LGBT community, and then those individuals are discovered to be gay, I say OUT THEM AS LOUD AS POSSIBLE!"  

But I must also admit, I think this is another one of those places where I think it is okay!  Now you may disagree with me.  You may not like what I'm saying.  And that is okay.  We are all entitled to our opinions.  But Robyn has sat in silence for a mighty long time.  And Whitney went on to glory over seven years.  And Robyn feels like she needs to get this off of her chest.  I think a person show have that right.  If this is not being done out a spite or being vengeful or to make a fast dollar, then I think it is okay.  I believe that if Robyn were doing this for the money, she would have dropped this book many years ago.  I believe that she was just finally really to tell her story. And I believe every word of it.

And I will share this as well.  I huge part of why I believe Robyn is Whitney's mom.  Several years ago, Cissy Houston did an interview with Oprah Winfrey.  And Opray, being as frank and forthright as she as, asked Cissy what she thought of Robyn and Whitney's relationship and asked her how would she have felt if Whitney were gay.  Cissy's response to those questions made me realize why it was so easy for Whitney to stay closeted.  Cissy came off as very homophobic in her answers.  So long before Robyn released her memoir, that interview convinced me that there was something to the relationship between these two.

I for one am happy that this news is now out there.  This is not the first time someone has been outed posthumously and it won't be the last.  Luther Vandross was outed by BFF Patti Labelle after he died.  Nell Carter was outed by her partner after she died.  It has happened before and it will continue to happen.  So to Robyn, go tell it on the mountain. Over the hills and everywhere.

And if you want to know why I am convinced this is true, please check out the conversation below between Sissy and Oprah . . .

Congratulations Mayor Joyce Craig

I would like to extend a big happy and hearty congratulations to Manchester mayor Joyce Craig on her victory Tuesday night.  Mayor Craig will remain as the mayor of the Queen City.  And I for one am here for it.  I feel like you have to support those people that support you.  And I honestly do not know a great deal about this mayor, I do know these things . . . 

Mayor Joyce Craig is the first mayor in the history of this city to fly the LGBT Pride flag over city hall.  When asked by her constituents if she would honor Pride month by flying the flag, she did not hesitate.  And she invited the community out to witness the raising of the flag and to celebrate the significance of the day.  That I know because I was there to witness the raising of the flag.  

I know that when I attended the Manchester Transgender Rally and Picnic, she was there.  And she got on the microphone announced publicly that she was a supporter of our community and offered to help and serve in any way that she could.  I did not expect to see her there.  But she was there.

I know that the "We Are One Festival" (the Afro-Carribean festival held in Manchester) is the only festival that I am aware of that celebrates people of color in this city.  It is a day of food and fun.  It is a day of culture.  It is a day of fellowship.  And it is the only time in Manchester where I am surrounded by a sea of other black faces.  And I know that on the morning of the last "We Are One" event that I attended (a morning filled with clouds and rain), the mayor was there to welcome those in attendance and help kick-off the event.  

Joyce Craig.  Thank you for showing up and supporting the LGBT community in Manchester.  Thank you for supporting the people of color in Manchester.  Thank you for supporting immigrant and refugees. I think this is a mayor that recognizes the value in the diversity of our great city.  And for that I appreciate her.  And I am glad to see her in the office again!

Monday, September 23, 2019

A Poem About Cis White Privilege in the Gay Community

Well . . . he said what he said. And that's all I'm gone say!!!


Congratulations Mr. Porter

Billy Porter has made history at the 2019 Emmy's with remarkable win. Take the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Porter has become the first openly black male to win the award.  When he took the stage to accept the award he shared these words . . .

I gotta read! The category is love yall. Love! I am so overwhelmed to have lived long enough to see this day. James Baldwin said, 'It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I'd been taught about myself, and half believed, before I was able to walk on the Earth as though I had a right to be here. I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right.

Porter took home this award based on his portrayal of the character Pray Tell from the series Pose. If you have not yet seen the series, then treat yo-self and get into it. It is fiercely black and trans and queer and in yo face. The actors are brilliant. The music is fabulous. And it is wonderful to finally see black queerness reflected on the small screen.

Congratulations on your win Mr. Porter. He now has an Emmy and a Tony. His journy to EGOT has begun.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Recognizing A Native Son: James Baldwin's Home Become National Landbark

I have always felt James Baldwin and I are kindred spirits.  He was unapologetic about being black and gay.  He was a civil rights activist who was vocal about what he believe. He was a writer and penned some of the greatest narratives about the black experience in a racially divided  America. His birthday is August 2 and husband's birthday is August 2.  When asked who would I consider my role models, the big three are James Baldwin,  Langston Hughes and Bayard Rustin.  

So imagine how excited I was/ am to learn that his New York home has been added to the list of historic landmarks by the National Register of Historic Places.  Amanda Davis, project manager fore the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project championed this cause.  Let's applaud her efforts.  Earlier this year the governor of New York recognized Baldwin's home as both a state and city landmark. 

Baldwin's contributions to American history and African-American history can not be forgotten thanks to the countless books bearing his name like Notes of a Native Son, If Beale Street Could Talk, Giovanni's Room and The Fire Next Time.  And though that's the case, it is still exciting to see this recognition taking place.  It is truly well deserved.  

I Got That Gin In My System - Meeting Big Freedia

Last weekend I made my way up to Burlington, Vermont to see one of my all-time favorite hip-hop artists hit the stage.  I have been a fan of Big Freedia for quite some time. Long before she got her own TV show, long before she was main stream and everybody fell in love with her, long before she blew up, I was shaking my ass to her bounce music.  Down South, we called it booty music.  And booty music has long been a staple in my house.  I'm just happy that America is now catching on to this trend that the Dirty South has long been familiar with.

So though I have loved Freedia from a far, I have never had the chance to see her live.  Then my boo called me and said, "guess who's gonna be in town next Friday?"  The Queen of Bounce would be performing at the Higher Ground Ballroom in South Burlington.  I immediately went online to find tickets only to discover that they were all general admission. I purchased our tickets and quickly came to the several conclusions. 1) Chris and I are going to be the oldest people in the building. 2) This will be a packed house and probably won't be able to get anywhere near Big Freedia. 3) Maybe if we arrive early, we can secure a place close to the stage and the evening will probably be a bit more memorable.

Showtime was 9:00 PM and Chris and I arrived about quarter til the hour.  Seeing the few amount of cars in the parking lot initially had me wondering if we were at the wrong place.  But we made our way inside, and what did we find when we walked in the place . . .  Big Freedia was already on the premises and she was making her way around the room.  She was shaking hands, posing for selfies, and thanking everyone for coming out.  She was a class act.  Down to earth, humble and pleasant in person. After we got our picture with her I turned to Chris and said, "that alone was worth the price of admission."  

She was didn't stay out for a long time.  She was quickly rushed backstage after she made one circle around the venue.  But let's be real, she didn't have to do that.  She could have come in and immediately ran backstage.  But she is an artist that recognizes she is who she is because of her fans and I believe she recognizes that.  

Her performance was amazing.  She gave me everything  I wanted and then some.  I was on my feet all night (something I haven't done in a while).  But my night with Freedia gave me life.  Thank you Big Freedia for a terrific evening.  You were well worth the wait.

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?