Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Monday, December 14, 2009

black.womyn: You Inspire Me

I've been waiting for this film to arrive for sometime now and it finally showed up. My copy of black.womyn: conversations with lesbians of African descent arrived tonight and I just finished watching it. I've got three words to describe it. Pow-Wer-Ful. Black same-gender loving individuals are almost totally absent from film. That is why I totally embrace any opportunity to see LGBT people of color. Be it feature film or documentary, big screen or small screen, if there is a black gay or lesbian being featured, I try to support.

That being said, this film is phenomenal. Over fifty beautiful, intelligent, articulate and engaging black lesbians have a real conversation about what it means to wear these three titles - woman, black, lesbian. They talk about everything from coming out to gender roles and from homophobia to lesbian visibility. As a black gay man I can identify with many of the issues that were discussed. But I cannot speak to what it means to add gender to the equation. I relate to being same-gender loving. I can speak to being black. I cannot (and will not) pretend to understand the added weight of gender. But these womym do a remarkable job in telling their stores and relaying their truth.

I do feel however that the people that need to see this film probably never will. Black.womyn will most likely be watched by lesbians and gays (and most likely lesbians and gays of color). And thought I totally get why that will happen (because we do want to see ourselves reflected back from the screen) the relevence of this film goes beyond such a simplistic limitation. Black.womyn does a fantastic job giving visibility to an invisible community and more films like this one are needed. I can see this being a tool in college classrooms or in LGBT community centers across the country. Kudos to filmmaker Tiona McClodden for making the project happen. You did an amazing job.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Fed Up with Donnie McClurkin

Apparently I'm not the only one fed up with Donnie McClurkin. The men of BGM (Black Gay Men's Network) were so tired of Donnie McClurkin's rampant and out of control homophobic tyrades that they had to do something about it. What did they do? They took out a full page ad in the Metro NY. The ad basically delivers the powerful message that being Gay is a beautiful thing and is accepted in the eys of God.

Regarding hypocrisy in the pulpit the ad sends a message to all pastors which states, "it is time to stop abusing your gay, lesbian, bisexual and trangender sons and daughters." Thank you to the BGM for this line because that is exactly what these pastors are doing. This is spiritual abuse and they need to stop it. The damage they are doing to young LGBT individuals may be irreparable. Sadly enough I've witnessed firsthand that many individuals that are making these condemnations are same-gender loving themselves. I've been propositioned by so many married ministers that I've lost count. But every other Sunday they they feel compelled to preach anti-gay sermons.

The men of BGM had message specifically for Donnie that was not as vengeful as I would have been. Donnie loves to pick up the microphone and tell how he has been delivered from his homosexuality and then proceed to condemn anyone that may be living as gay or lesbian. "We love you my brother and in ways the traditional church cannot," says the BGM ad and it continues with, "We want to see you healed and whole. Whenever you are ready come home and we will love you."

I'm happy they are able to offer the words of welcome. I just can't do it. Donnie's messages of hate (and I just need to point out they come from a place of self-hate and lack of self-acceptance) have gone on for too long. I just don't have that love for him. I think he is doing more damage to the LGBT community than Rev. Fred Phelps.

There are so many LGBT men and women in the church seeking the comfort and love of God and Donnie McClurkin is denying them this. And in the process he sending the message to these individuals that their lives are sinful and should be changed. He is ruining lives and he needs to stop. And should he try to "come home" I would slam the door in his face.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Seriously? Georgia?

I swear, you can almost knock me down with a feather. Georgia just elected an African-American lesbian to its legislature. GEORGIA. Red state Georgia. Georgia on my mind Georgia. Home of Georgia peaches Georgia. As progressive as the city of Atlanta maybe, I still didn't think I'd see the day when this would happen. The rural areas of Georgia (and many residents of Hot-lanta itself) are very conservative so this victory is indeed a milestone. And I'm very happy it's finally happened.

Simone Bell is the woman that is making history. Her victory in a run-off election for the Atlanta area Georgia State Assembly seat is making news all across the country. But she remains very humble even after her win. “The historical aspect of this was never my goal. In fact, someone only brought that to my attention midway through the campaign.”

What is also very astounding to hear is that there was no organized opposition or smear campaigns on her candidacy centered on her sexual orientation. According to Bell, “Our district is very diverse and progressive in a lot of different ways, so attacking an LGBT candidate in this way wouldn’t have run well in this particular district."

As a state legislator, Bell said she would be focused on fighting further cuts in education and transportation in the state budget. Regarding LGBT issues, “We don’t have a lot of votes in the state legislature to do any progressive work, but in terms of being on the offense, I plan to work with the movable middle to work on making Georgia a better place" she said. "And I will fight hard against any legislation to take rights away from us on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Way to go Georgia and way to go Simone Bell. Congratulations!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today is World AIDS Day

Every 9 1/2 minutes someone is infected with HIV. For some reason we've come to the conclusion that HIV AIDS really isn't a problem anymore. But don't be fooled by the invisibility. People are still catching, getting ill and dying because of this virus. And a shout out to my black bruthas and sistahs, we seem to be especially vulnerable. Although we're only about 12% of the population of the US, we make up about half of all new HIV infections. Truth is HIV is still very much alive and well.

World AIDS Day is a day set aside to remember those we've lost and honor those living with this disease. The burden of the red ribbon for those infected and affected is devastating. There is still a lot of misinformation and stigma associated with HIV that causes many infected to hide in the shadows. People would rather not disclose for fear of what would happen should the info be discovered. Or they will distance themselves from loved ones so they don't have to deal.

HIV is too heavy a burden to carry alone. It takes its toll physically, mentally and emotionally and each of these aspects need to be addressed. So it's important to be open and honest with those close to you. There love and support will be essential.

And my advice to those that have someone close to you that is positive. There is no need to panic. If you're not sharing needles or having unprotected sex with the individual then there is no need to be afraid. HIV is not transmitted by touch or through the air.

Another truth we must face about this disease, many people living with HIV don't even know their true status. There is the assumption that since I was negative in my last test then I'm still negative (even though that last HIV test happened five years ago). So people believe there partners when they say, "I'm fine. I don't have HIV. I've been tested." And BAM, another person infected.

I want to encourage everyone to get tested. And I want to encourage everyone to get involved in the fight against HIV. Find an AIDS service organization and make a donation or volunteer your time. There are plenty of worthy non-profits out there that could use your help. And finally, get informed about HIV. Learn how best to avoid transmission. Learn what steps you need to take to take care of yourself should you discover your positive. And learn how be there for those in your life that are positive and need your support.

Monday, November 30, 2009

E Lynn - Oops He Did It Again

E. Lynn Harris has done it once again. His latest book, Mama Dearest, which was released posthumously, turned out to be another thrilling, drama-filled, fun and fabulous page turner. I just put the book down. This one was so good I wanted to spike it like a football. Mama Dearest is the follow up to Harris' Any Way the Wind Blows. Diva Yancey Braxton (and her seriously crazy mama) are back. Yancey is still vying for the spotlight. She wants desperately to be an A-list celebrity but is afraid her best days may be behind her. However, with the rise in popularity of reality TV, Yancey feels she may have found the venue to get her career back on track.

Harris' ability to make us sympathetic for the most self-centered and egotistical of individuals is terrific. For most of her life Yancey was cut-throat, manipulative and deceitful. She would do anything to get her way and to be the center of attention. But with this book the hard edges seem to be smoothing. You'll find as you read this that you actually are pulling for Yancey to bounce back and be successful. But there are many obstacles in the way. Mama is out of jail now (she tried to kill someone in the previous novel). A young, handsome, debonair individual has entered Yancey's life but he is very elusive about his background. And there is a remnant from her past that Yancey wants to forget that may come back to haunt her.

Love it. Love it. Love it. I was reading it in the lobby of my doctor's office and had one of those laugh out loud moments and I got a few stares from people (but I don't really care). If you're a fan of E. Lynn, please pick up Mama Dearest. And FYI, Basil Henderson, America's favorite bisexual and Yancey's ex-fiance, once again makes an appearnce. Go and grab your copy today.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Finally - Its Happening to Me

Love this video. Check it out.

Gay Gospel Artists

Is it possible to be gay and a Christian? Can I be a homosexual and have a spiritual life? If we were to listen to the advice of others we would probably answer these questions with a resounding no. I was told repeatedly in my church that homosexuals would never see the kingdom of God. Ironically several of the individuals that preached this message to me turned out to be same gender loving. Funny huh?

So is it possible for a gospel artist to come out of the closet and still have a career? Until recently I'd never heard of an out gospel artist. There have been rumors of many that were possibly closeted. Then there is Donnie McClurkin who claims to be delivered from his homosexual lifestyle by the "loving power of Jesus."

A couple of months ago gospel artist Tonex came out of the closet and I was so thrilled by this announcement. I was excited about him coming out and I was even more delighted to learn that he has not denounced his Christianity. He was quick to say that he can be gay and still have a relationship with God.

Today, while visiting AfterEllen.com I learned about another out gospel artist, Rizi Nasele Timane. Maybe this is the new trend. First hip hop and now Christian music. Gay musicians are boldly going where no homo would go befo. And it's a terrific thing. Having positive affirming role models who are comfortable in their skin and still able to press forward on their spiritual paths are needed in the LGBT community.

I know many LGBT individuals that describe themselves as "ex-Catholic" or "recovering Baptist." These are individuals that feel that they can no longer be associated with a church. Interesting since the church is a place that we should be able to go to for solace and balm. It should be the place we can go for support and encouragement. The church should not be a place that puts fear and damnation on the heart of its memebers. But we know that for many that is exactly what the church has become. For many of us the church has become one of the most judgemental and prejudice places we've encountered.

My thing is this, I don't have a problem with Christianity it's the Christians that generally give me grief. My relationship with my Saviour is just fine. But for some reason men want to deny me this. For some reason they feel it is okay to define my relationship with God for me. I've heard the quote from Leviticus too many times to remember. "Man shall not lie with man as he doe with woman." And although this same book also declares shaving your beard, eating seafood, and planting two crop in one garden as a sin also, the "man shall not lie with man . . ." is the only law that seems to be mentioned today. It seems our ministers are picking and choosing which laws they want to endorse. But I digress.

I want to say kudos to these two individuals for holding firm to their faith and still being able to come out as gay and lesbian. Two words to describe them - courage and conviction. Hopefully, following these trendsetters, we will see more individuals in gospel music come out. Get into the interview where Tonex comes out here. And check out (and order) music from Rizi here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Who's The Shit?

Work Bitch! It's finally here. The first video from Bebe Zahara Benet - season one winner of RuPaul's Drag Race. During the show I fell in luv with me some Bebe. Now I'm loving her song. I'm not sure what her future will hold. Will she release a full album? Or will she become a novelty act and fade away not be heard from anymore? Only time will tell. But for me, I'm pulling for Ms. Benet. Why? Cause she's the shit.

And guess who else is the shit. Right now I'm really feeling LeToya. LeToya is a former member of Destiny' Child but just recently she released her second solo album called Lady Love. This is the song that has me loving her right now. This is bound to be a club hit. Check out the video below to She Ain't Got Shit.

Gays Destined To Hell

It seems like all hell has broken loose for the mayor of Vallejo, CA after comments he made just found there way into the New York Times. Mayor Osby Davis stated in an interview that homosexuals commit sins and they we are destined for hell. Now he has found himself in the middle of a bit of controversy surrounding the comment. In his last race for the mayoral seat, he won the candidacy by just two votes. His opponent was an openly gay man.

Now Mayor Davis is stating that the comments were taken out of context. What I would like to know is exactly how that comment be miscontrued. Is there a way that gays are destined to hell be can be made to sound positive? I don't know about you, but I think that someone smart enough to hold the seat of mayor should also be smart enough to shut his mouth about issues like this. And being the mayor of a city in California, he should also be smart enought to know that a comment like this would offend many of his constituents. Sure he made into the office by two votes but I'm betting should be a reelection this is one incumbent that may not make it back into the office.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Uganda Wants To Kill Gays

The country of Uganda is at it again. Now they have proposed legislation that would criminalize the promotion of same-sex activity and impose the death penalty for "aggravated homosexuality." According to Paul Schindler (writer for The Villager), the proposed anti-homosexuality law would supplement existing legal prohibitions on “carnal knowledge of any person against the order of nature” – a measure already used to persecute openly gay men and lesbians there.The new measure specifically criminalizes same-sex conduct – ranging from sexual stimulation to “touching another person with the intention of committing the act of homosexuality” with a potential sentence of life imprisonment.

For those found guilty of “aggravated homosexuality” –– defined as sexual conduct by “serial offenders” as well as those who are HIV-positive –– the potential penalty is a death sentence. The law would also ban political action on behalf of the LGBT community and impose jail time or a stiff fine for any with knowledge of a known homosexual that does not report it within 24 hours.

OH MY GOD! There were just under 50 protestors present at the Uganda House (the nation's permanent mission to the United Nations in Manhattan) demanding that Uganda not implement such a hateful and homophobic law. But time will tell what Uganda does next. The homophobia in its culture is so inate and ingrained that I would not be surprised is we saw this measure actually become a law. Hopefully the UN will try to exert a little influence and pursuade the country to do the right thing.

Advocate Spotlight: Paul Stovall

Thank you to the Advocate for making me aware of another outgoing and influential black gay man doing his thang in Washington, D.C. Paul Stovall is an accomplished playwright and stage actor but is currently doing some side work for the White House. During the last presidential campaign he was in the streets making sure that Obama won the White House. Now he serves as an advance associate for the new administration.

What does his job entail? Stovall answers, "I’m the liaison between the White House and whatever city that the president, the first lady, or the vice president are planning to visit. So I’m there about 10 to 12 days in advance of them, working with our embassy and with the local media to arrange the media coverage."

How a person with this responsibility is able to pen, develop and perform another stage play is beyond me but that is exactly what he is doing. His new production CLEAR is the focus of the new article in the advocate. According to the writer it "I take the audience on a journey from my recognizing the adversity that’s inherent with being a black person to realizing the obstacle of my gay identity. Then I was in a horrible accident where I was shot and both my legs were paralyzed, so for a certain amount of time I was also in wheelchair. So I go from all that to now working for the first black president of the United States."

If I lived in New York I would so be attending this. But alas I reside in Phoenix, AZ. We're not totally void of culture but there are definitely opportunities here that can be explored. Kudos to Stovall for his many accomplishments and much success with CLEAR. Please get into the article by the advocate here.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Black Party 2009

Okay. So this post (and the next few) may be a bit dated but trust me when I say, I've have been waaay busy. October was one of the craziest months I've ever seen in my life. And it appears November won't have any mercy either. I've had several things lined up each weekend for the past month and half. When you have a husband, have two jobs, facilitate a weekly mens group, and chair a very active AIDS organization, when you add more things to your weekend you really do run out of time to do stuff - like blog.

One of the items that happened in October was the Black Party. The Men of Libra hold the black party each year and I swear it gets bigger and bigger everytime. It has evolved into a weekend long event and I tried to attend as many of the events as I could.

The Meet & Greet Friday night did me in. I'm embarassed to say this, I got so wasted Friday night that I was barely able to make it in to work on Saturday. And though I made it in I didn't make it through the day (I actually had to leave early because my hangover was so intense).

What I missed while at work on Saturday was the pool party. I heard there was much hottness in the house and I heard there was a hot body contest. Saturday night was the biggest event of the weekend - The Black Party. The DJ was serving. The drinks were flowing. The special entertainment (Nikki Jane) was hot. The whole night was festive.

Finally the weekend came to a close with a Bar-B-Que at Indian School Steele Park. Hanging out in the park is always the highlight of the weekend for me. I ran into several friends I hadn't seen in years and made quite a few new acquantances. Once again the Men of Libra gave the black LGBT community one of the biggest events held specifically for us in Phoenix and theydelivered it with a bang.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Michele De LaFreniere - You Inspire Me

My friend Dan shot me an email yesterday and told me. I didn't even know how to respond to his words, "Jason I don't know if you've heard. Michele passed away over the weekend." I am still shocked by the words. We've all known that Michele was fighting cancer but I really never contemplated the idea that we could lose her to it. If you've ever met Michele then you know that she is a figher. In her words, "a warrior." And if you've ever had the opportunity to watch her in action then you know that she means what she says.

I met Michele when we both ended up attending the City of Tempe Diversity Dialogues. The Diversity Dialogues is an opportunity to sit in a circle with people of different races, religions, ages, sexual orientations, and nationalities. Each week for six weeks you meet once with these people and discuss various topics. At the end of the process you usually come to the realization that no matter how diverse the background we all have more in common than we think.

Michele definetely stood out. She lived her life very openly and did not mind sharing about her youth, her marriage, her transitioning from male to female, and about her above average interest in bikes. She never shyed away from difficult questions and was always honest. I fell in love with the wild woman instantly and knew that in her I would have a friend and ally.

When I found out she had cancer I just knew this would be another in a long line of things she has overcome. Michele doesn't succumb to anything. Not society. Not family. Not gender. Not even a bar that wouldn't let her use the bathroom in peace. She faced every obstacle head on and was always victorious. Cancer (I thought) would never take her.

Then the email came and I'll say it again, I'm still in shock. Right now I can only be thankful for the time that this giant walked among us. I will always miss you Michele.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mariah Toasts Gay Couple

Mariah Carey loves the gays. And we love Mariah. At her show in Vegas she allowed a gay couple to come on stage and one of the guys proposes to his boyfriend. It's very cute and touching. Go Mariah - u on fire.

And oh by the way, if you have not picked up her latest CD, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, you are missing out.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy National Coming Out Day

This has been such a busy yet fulfilling weekend. Today (October 11) is National Coming Out Day and there were so many festivities happening this weekend. I promise I will fill you in on some of the details later. At this moment I only have the energy to say, "COME OUT, COME OUT, WHEREVER YOU ARE!!" I hope you had a terrific Coming Out Day and I hope something or someone has encouraged you to come out even more; or if you're straight to be more accepting and understanding of the struggles of the LGBT community.

President Barack Obama's speech before the Human Right's Campaign. His words continue to make me laugh, make me sad, give me hope and just take me on a emotional roller coaster. There is no denying that when it comes to words he is a master craftsman. I can't help it, I continue to get enthusiasticc everytime I hear him (even though it does seem that his words will never be followed by actioin). But I like many others am getting tired of the rhetoric. I think John StewartI said it best, "You're the President of the United States. If you've got too much on your plate then get a bigger plate."

My friends keep telling me that I should give him time because they feel that he will deliver on his promises. I will continue to be patient. And I'll continue to be a supporter. But as I sit idly by and be patient, more gay soldiers are being kicked out of the military. And they don't have time to be patient. As I sit patiently more of my LGB and T brothers and sisters continue to get fired because there is no employement discrimination that can save their jobs. They don't have the time to be patient. As I sit idly by violence against the gay and trans community continues to rise [and luckily we just received hate crime legislation from the U.S. House of Representatives]. These victims of violence don't have time to wait.

The thing is until you are affected by one of these issues then it just seems okay for us to give Barack Obama time. But some people simply can't wait anymore.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Barack Obama Wins Nobel Peace Prize

WOW!!! That's all I can say right now. The President of the United States Barack Obama just won the Nobel Peace Prize. He has been bestowed this prestigious honor because of "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." Despite my disappointments with the president's constant resistance to addresing LGBT issues I'm still proud of this prestigious accomplishment.

Is it possible to simultaneously proud and disappointed? That is seriously how I feel about the Obama. The first African-American president. Proud. Failure to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Disappointed. Winning the Nobel Peace Prize. Proud. Failure to end the Defense of Marriage Act. Disappointed. Carrying himself as an intelligent, sophisticated, articulate well-rounded family man. Proud. Remaining silent as hate crimes and employment discrimination against the LGBT community continues to rise. Disappointed.

At this moment I'm proud. But then again I haven't heard the CNN interview with Pam Spaulding that happened earlier tonight. I'm sure upon seeing it I'll be wearing a frown again. But for now I'll just put on my blinders and be happy for a moment. The picture above is one of my favorite photos of our president.

Men of Libra Present The Black Party

The Black Party is almost here. The Men of Libra are at it once again and their annual party is finally about to happen. If you've never attended the Black Party then you just don't know what you're missing. These boys really do know how to throw a party. This is the 5 year anniversary of the weekend long celebration and from what I'm hearing it's going to be bigger and better than ever.

Please check out their site http://www.theblackpartyaz.com/ to learn more about the festivities that await us. They will be flying in some off da chain entertainment. Tori Fixx, one of the premiere figures in Homo Hip Hop, will be in town. Club sensation Nikki Jane will also be in town. The weekend is gearing up to be one filled with hot boys, hot music and hot-ness.

To the Men of Libra - Kevin, Rod, Lamar and Corey, ya'll betta bring it. I know you will. Please visit their webpage to learn details of all the events that are coming up.

Mama Dearest In Stores

Just in case you haven't heard - E. Lynn Harris' latest novel Mama Dearest has been released. I just picked up my copy yesterday and I can't wait to get into this. It was a very bittersweet purchase. I'm still a bit saddened having to admit that E. Lynn Harris is no longer with us. Harris passed away several months ago from a heart attack. But atleast we get the pleasure of more writings by him (even if it is released posthumously).

E. Lynn was (is) handsdown the greatest black gay writer of his generation. His works are an inspiration for many. I've shared many times before that it was his first book, Invisible Life, that gave me the courage to come out as a black gay man in the South. I didn't know you could be Black, gay and out. I had heard of people that were two of the three but never all three. You could be Black and gay but not out. Or you could gay and out but not Black. All three - that was just not supposed to be done.

Today I live my life authentically, very comfortable in the skin I'm in. E. Lynn Harris played a big part in my achieving this level of comfort. I don't think I'm going too far by saying I owe him my life. I'm really excited about the new book because it is a follow up to one of my favorites by Harris, Not A Day Goes By. He is bringing back the diva Yancey Harrington Braxton and I'm sure they'll be an appearance by our favorite downlow brother Basil.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Harry Connick Jr. - U Go Boi

Yes - I am a big fan of Harry Cannick, Jr. Even before he started to appear on Will & Grace. Even before he became one of the biggest faces in the Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts. And following the clip below I'm even more of a fan. You see, I am a connoisseur of jazz music. Love, love, love jazz music. And I especially love a great piano player. Harrick Cannick is exactly that. And I'll add also - the man is pretty nice on the eyes also.

I guess in Fame terms he would be what is considered a triple threat. He can sing. He can play the piano. He can act. On all of his CD covers I swear he looks like a model straight out of the pages of GQ. Great face. Lean and statuesque build. And the hair is always perfect.

What brings him into the spotlight at this moment is his appearance on a talent show in the land down under. Apparently he agreed to be a judge on the Australian show Hey Hey It's Saturday. One group of performers decided it would be entertaining to perform in blackface. The group was supposed to be The Jackson 5 and it was supposed to be a tribute to Michael Jackson (it was attempt at humor). Well Connick wasn't laughing and he did not hesitate to inform everyone how offensive this skit would be if it were performed in the U.S. Please check out the video below.

If you watched the entire video then you noticed that Connick is being called a hypocrite because he once performed in black face on Saturday Nite Live. Well I for one think all men have certain redemptive rights and he is allowed to have learned from the mistakes he's made in the past. He seems sincere in his concern for how images of black people are presented. I applaud him for what he did and what he said.

Lee Daniels - The Advocate Interview

With his upcoming film Precious getting ready to hit the big screen, Lee Daniels just recently sat down with the Advocate for an interview. The openly gay director has some phenomenal films on his roster. And it seems with each new film he raises the bar more and more. To his credit thus far we've seen Monster's Ball - the hit which garnered Halle Berry an Oscar. The Woodsman - a rather dark film which allowed Kevin Bacon to enter the world of pedophilia as a recovering addict. Also he is the jewel behind Shadowboxer - this also dark piece of cinema starred Cuba Gooding Jr. and Helen Mirren as a pair of hired killers (and lovers).

The common thread to his films thus far is this - they are all great and they're all a bit dark. None of his films are feel good movies. Please don't go to see a Lee Daniels movie if you forgot to take you're Prozac. They're may be serious consequences. And from the looks of it Precious will hold true to form. If you're slightly depressed then this will not be the film for you.

Precious (based on the novel Push by Sapphire) is the story of young girl that has lived a very serious, very hard life. The movie will star Mariah Carey and Monique. And adding more stellar power to the credits Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey signed on as executive producers of the film. It is a film that I believe is shaping up to be one of Daniel's best. I can't wait til I have my ticket in hand for this one. If you have not seen the trailer please check it out here.

It's great to see Lee Daniels elevating his craft and becoming more and more of a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. I love the fact that he is achieving success in Tinseltown. A place where just recently it was stated you must be closeted in order to be on top. Well Daniels in on top of his game and as an out Black man that is amazing. He is a role model for me (and I'm sure for many others). Check out the Advocate interview here.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Beat Down Over a Dress Code!!!

Please take a look at this video. This special needs kid was beaten by a police officer because he didn't have his shirt tucked in. I'm gonna say that a second time. This kid was BEATEN by a POLICE OFFICER because he did have his SHIRT TUCKED IN. What the fuck is the world coming to? The police department and the school would not reply to questions from these reporters. But really what can they say. The video says it all.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Phoenix 2009 Rainbow Festival

Day One of the 2009 Phoenix Rainbow fest is behind me and I made it through it. I say it that way because for some crazy reason I went out there without eating breakfast. I arrived around noon and didn't leave until almost 5:30. And I didn't eat while I was there either. So around 5:00 I started wondering "why do I feel so faint." Then I realized, you big dummy - it's because you haven't eaten anything all day. You body needs fuel. So me and some friends left and grabbed some food at the Hob Knob. It was a great ending to a great day. Please check out some of the pics from the day in the video above.

Now I'm on my way back for day two. I'll start off the day with the AIDS Walk. 2 miles for a good cause and it's great exercise. What's terrific is the AIDS Walk leads right into the Rainbow Fest so the fun starts all over again. More pics to come tonight.

I'll holla . . .

Thursday, October 1, 2009

LGBT History Monty


Today is October 1 which means that this is the beginning of LGBT History month. I don't know about you, but this is already gearing up to be one of the most exciting months of the year for me. There are a plethora of events happening throughout the course of the month here in Phoenix. From our first weekend which is our annual AIDS Walk and Rainbow Fest to the very last day which is Halloween, a favorite holiday for many in our community.

As we reflect on LGBT history, I thinks it's important to note that it is not just comprised of events and persons long gone. There are people living and breathing and walking the planet right now that are making history as we speak. Pictured above in the far left on the photo are gay Hip Hop artist Tim'm West and Tori Fixx. They're both groundbreaking artists as they both tackle an industry (Hip Hop) which is famous for it's rampant homophobia. Tim'm and Tori have decided to pursue their passion for Hip Hop without hiding in the closet. They (and all other out Hip Hop artists) should be applauded and supported for their endeavors.

Regina Gazelle (pictured next to last in the pic above) is the founder of This Is H.O.W., the nations only all transgender halfway house. Regina saw a need that desperately had to be filled. Too many members of the trans community had turned to lifestyles that just were not healthy and they needed a way and a place to help them transition to something better that was safe and that understood their struggles. Since opening her doors about two years ago she has been able to save several individuals from a life a prosititution, drug abuse and crime. With many success stories graduating from H.O.W. some of these individuals say they owe their life to Regina.

I hope you plan on doing something this month to celebrate the individuals from our community that aspire to greatness. Find someone you know and thank them for the great work they're doing. Take some time to volunteer for a great cause or make a donation to a worthy charity that is the result of someone's exceptional efforts in the LGBT community. Read about some of the people in our past that have helped contribute to the accomplishments we have made. Watch Milk. Read Sister Outsider. Reflect on some of the poetry of Pat Parker. It's discouraging to know how many people do not know about the lives of Bayard Rustin or Oscar Wilde.

Please check out glbthistorymonth.com. Each year they do a wonderful job high-lighting key figures from the LGBT community (past and present) that are noteworthy. The site is fabulous and the individuals that are featured are a true reflection of our rainbow community. Black. White. Asian. Young. Old. Gay. Lesbian. Bi. Transgender. This is definitely not a view from one vantage point. Now go and start celebrating LGBT history.

Monday, September 28, 2009

This is deep. Tyra has a conversation with the sixteen year old that went through the exorcism to cast the homosexual demon out of his body. The teen now claims he is no longer gay following the "casting out of the unclean spirit." He does confess that he is still sexually attracted to men and the temptation seems to be something beyond his control. Also on the show are the prophet that performed the excorcism and her husband the overseer. According to them if you're homosexual, whether you act on your desires or not, you're still hell bound.

The prophet and overseer are so eager to throw out the "man shall not lie with man as he does with woman" verse from the Bible. But the prophet doesn't look like she'll turn down a meal from the church fish fry. But I don't hear her quoting that shell fish and catfish are also an abomination. And I'm sure the overseer hasn't eliminated pork from his diet, which also according to the Bible is sin. Is he on the train headed to Satan's den? And I hate to break this to the sixteen year old with the goatee, but shaving your facial hair, also a sin.

I'm so sick of these people from the church placing their judgement on my life. Luckily I'm now in a place where I don't care about what they think. But the reality is the harm they are causing in undeniable. Kids hear the judgement. They hear the ridicule. And they come to the conclusion that their life has no value. Unprotected sex? Okay. Dropping out of school? Okay. Drug use? All of these bad decisions don't matter because there is no concern for self preservation. Some decide that their life is not worth living so they decide to end it.

As a gay man (particularly as a gay man that grew up in the church) this show was very difficult to watch. It brought back too many uncomfortable memories. My prayer for this teenager that suffered through this excorcism is that he is delivered from this prophet and this church and that he can find comfort in accepting himself.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's a showdown. This is probably of interest only to those that were apart of the Greek system while in college. I was a brutha of Phi Beta Sigma. The royal blue and white. GOMAB!!! I can't believe I got excited by a commercial. But this one made me want to grab my cane and pull my step shoes out of the closet. I can't wait to learn more details.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

JANET: Make Me

Life for Janet has been very crazy lately. First there was the break-up with Jermaine Dupri. Then she went into the studio working with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis on her upcoming album. Then she lost her brother. The craziness and insane media frenzy and seemingly world shut down following his death was out of control. But Janet said it best at the funeral. For us he was a musical great. For the Jackson's he was family. Then came her tribute to her brother at the MTV VMAs. If you're like me you couldn't wait to see Janet on stage again, even though it was for a sad occassion. The day following her MTV performance she leaked a song from her upcoming album. I wanted to share it with you that same night but for some reason the site was down. Today is my first time checking back and it apparently the site is up and running again and the song is still available.

I'm so excited about her upcoming album. I've purchased every album since control (usually in the opening week). I love them all. Hopefully there is a tour to come also. Most of her fans were disappointed with the announcement that her last tour, Rock Wit U, was being cancelled shortly after it began. I'm a die hard fan and will be for life. Please check out her new song, Make Me here. And get into her MTV tribute to her brother below.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Last weekend I took a couple of hours of my time and went to see a film by my favorite closeted gay man, Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself. Let me tell you now, if you're not a fan of Tyler Perry movies then you are not going to enjoy this film. It is very Perry-esque. He is criticized by many as making the same type of film over and over again. But for me - I LOVED IT!!!

Okay - let me start with the cast. Taraji P. Henson. Mary J. Blige. Gladys Knight. Marvin Winans. The professionals are on top of their game in this one. But Gladys and Mary are known for their singing not their acting. I was wondering if they would be able to bring it to the big screen. They do not disappoint. Their acting skills are terrific. And it helps they both get a chance to pick up the mic and belt out a song or two. Same goes for gospel great Marvin Winans. Playing the role of a preacher was probably not that difficult for him but he shines the most for me when he is in his natural element, singing in front of the choir. Then there is this young lady that I'm seeing for the first time. To me she is the star of the movie. It is Ms. Hope Olaide Wilson. She is playing the part of a 16-year-old that is basically the sole care provider for her two little brothers. This girl made me weak and had me crying like a lil' school girl several times throughout the film.

Now let's talk about the music. Outside of the home of the leading lady, there are two places we see often in this movie. The club where she performs and the church. So there are several opportunities for someone to break into song. As I mentioned already you have two of R&Bs greatests in this film. Is there any doubt that the music would be stellar? My only disappointment about the music is that there is no soundtrack available just yet. Come on Tyler Perry, what are you waiting on? Give me the music.

The storyline is so moving. Taraji plays April, a lounge singer that enjoys her single life and her frequent visits from her boyfriend (that just happens to be a married man). Her life is interrupted when her sister's kids wind up at her front door with no place else to go. They were caught stealing from Madea and you know she don't play that. I will admit that the story is very predictable. I don't think you'll be surprised by the ending. It's a Tyler Perry film and he tends to stick one formula. Which is why he is constantly ridiculed by the critics. But I'm ain't mad a Tyler. If it's a formula that works then why mess with it. The film in moving and inspirational and laced with good ole Christian values - halleluyer! But is that bad. Lord knows with all the craziness in the world right now we need all the positive messages we can get. So I'm gonna encourage Tyler Perry to keep on keeping on. And when you look at the influence he now has in Hollywood and you look at his bank account - the man must be doing something right.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Color Purple Reunites Two Greats

The Color Purple is now playing in Atlanta and Fantasia Barrino has rejoined the cast reclaiming her role as Celie. But guess who was already in the touring show as Nettie. Child - it's Latoya London. Now just in case you don't know Fantasia and Latoya were friends and rivals in season three of American Idol - along with Jennifer Hudson. Although Fantasia would go on to win the show (and become my all-time favorite idol even to this day) she would remain friends with the other two divas. Season two had the most drama for me for the idols. There was this constant effort to intentionally cause tension between the three divas of that season (Fantasia, Latoya and Jennifer). But they luckily did not fall for it.

So now Fantasia and Latoya are together again working it out as sisters Nettie and Celie in this tour that I'm sure it is going to be phenomenal. In an interview Latoya recently did with Southern Voice magazine of Atlanta she talks about the same gender loving relationship between Celie and Shug Avery and she talks about her gay fans. “The show is very realistic,” she says. “It deals with real life issues — abuse, same sex love.” I only wish the tour was making its way to Phoenix. Get into the interview here.

Atlanta's LGBT liason for the police department [she's a black lesbian - I love that] speaks about her role in the ongoing investigation regarding the department's raid on the gay bar The Eagle. The claim was made that the bar was raided because undercover officers had witnessed customers of the bar engaging in sexual activity in the bar. Hopefully Officer Dani Lee Harris can do some damage control for the department.

David Archuleta on the AMLAs

This is the David I was pulling far in American Idol's seventh season. Unfortunately he didn't win. But he did go on to record his own CD and now here he is performing on the American Latin Music Awards. It was his first time performing at an Awards Show and his first time performing in Spanish. Well I must admit as a virgin to these categories he did amazingly well. Looking forward to more great things from this guy.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Gay Men as Two-Spirited - Great Video

Very powerful video about gay men as two-spirited individuals that are the gatekeepers and spiritual nourishers of a community. The individual speaking is from Egypt which is in itself a powerful testimony because we're constantly told that gay men in Africa must live a closeted life for their safety and their survival. Maybe that is the role of gay men in the southern part of the continent and not so much in the north in countries like Egypt or Morrocco (I don't know). But I am glad to have found this post and to have heard this man speak. Please watch the video and give me your feedback regarding his comments.

I really looking forward to picking up a copy of E. Patrick Johnson's book Pouring Tea: Black Gay Men of the South Tell Their Stories. Johnson interviewed several black gay men from this region and turned their stories into this book. Then he came to realization that he may be able to better retell their stories by way of dramatic interpretation. He has now turned his book into a one man show of the same name. Growing up in Alabama I'm sure I'm familiar with many of these stories. I'm excited about this next read.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

I had to post this video from the Daily Show that contains one of my favorite Representatives from my great home state of Arizona. I have a gay man's crush on Kristen Sinema. They enter her office at approximately 2:15 in the video and she appears somewhat startled. This clip happened because apparently our state has come up with this brilliant plan to sell the capital and rent it back from the owners. The whole video is funny.

Kanye West - I'm So Not Gay That I Can . . .

I was just listening to this interview with Kanye West and I was a bit concerned about where this conversation was going. He starts talking about bloggers and then the dialogue shifts to homosexuality. Kanye boasts that, "I don't like men. I'm not gay, and I'm so sure of that. I'm so sure that I'm not gay that I'll wear a pink watch. That I'll wear tight jeans. That I'll stand next to people who look gay. That I'll stand next to people who are gay. That I will go to dinner with a gay person. Just me - and that gay person." Well good for you Kanye for being straight. Big whoop. But as the continued I remember why I always end up siding with this man (ego and all).

The next few words out of his mouth were, "First of all what we need to get past as Black people especially is the concept that gay people are bad because if people accept them then the concept of being gay or being cool with someone gay wouldn't even matter." He goes on to compliment the gay people in his life for their genius. Get into the interview below.

Men In Motion - Next Book For My Shelf

Looks like I have to make another trip to Barnes & Nobles. Photographer François Rousseau enters the world of the male dancer in his new photo essay Men in Motion: The Art and Passion of the Male Dancer. Some images from the new book have been released. I must say, I like what I see so far. This is hot.

I'll look for you at the bookstore. The book will be released October 6.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

On the Next GREEK

More Gay Movies & Entertainment News

I'm so in love with Greek. Who knew that a show like this would be on ABC Family? And the only reason Im into the show is Calvin. The above video is for next weeks show. Child I can't wait.

Tim Hardaway Trying to Make Amends

A couple of years ago after John Ameachi came out of the closet (making him the first and still only NBA player to come out of the closet) Tim Hardaway immediately responded with some of the most homophobic and hateful comments about the gay community I've heard. His comments, just in case you don't recall, were as follows . . .

Well, you know I hate gay people, so I let it be known. I don't like gay people and I don't like to be around gay people. I am homophobic. I don't like it. It shouldn't be in the world or in the United States.

The backlash that followed was swift and harsh. The NBA immediately pulled him from some of the events at which he was supposed to appear. Public outcry was loud and few people held their tongues in stating how stupid and hateful his comments were. But Tim Hardaway dissappeared from our radar almost as quickly as he appeared. I don't think anyone forgot about what he did, but our focused quickly shifted to the next hot topic the media was forcing down our throats.

Hardaway did apologize for his comments but that was not media worthy so most people are unaware of this. Apologies are not really news worthy - so of course we're not going to hear about them. And he promised he would do what he could to make amends for any hurt he caused.

It looks like he's trying. According to David Wylie, a committee chairman for the Trevor Project of Miami, Tim Hardaway is offering to sponsor an event for the organization. The Trevor Project is a 24/7 crisis prevention helpline for gay and question youth and is considered by many to be one of the most important LGBT youth organizations in the country. According to Wylie, "His foundation approached us and just said, 'Hey, is there any way we can help?' He wasn't looking for PR."

Looks like Tim is trying to follow through on his commitment to remedy his relationship with the LGBT community. I think it's great that he is offering to help the Trevor Project but what I find most interesting is that there was no PR tied to this. While we don't know all details (their PR plan could have been to go to the media after the project) I still think its noteworthy that this action is being taken. Hardaway could have simply stuck to his hateful mindset and ignored us altogether. He is retired from the NBA so I don't know if there would have been a lot of additional backlash from his comments if he didn't do anything at all. So I for one want to applaud him for what he's doing. Hopeful he has changed the way he feels about gay people.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

My Patrick Swayze Tribute

Hope you like. I've always been a fan of Patrick Swayze. From The Outsiders to Ghost to To Wong Foo. I think he will always be most remembered for Dirty Dancing. That movie was fabulous and the soundtrack still gets me on my feet. I loved him in Road House (we got to see his ass in that one). I loved him alongside Whoopi in Ghost. He was probably my first white boy crush (guess I never got over it - I ended up marrying a white boy). I refused to include any of his more recent pictures. He looked very ill and I don't want to remember him that way. He may be gone but he'll never be forgotten.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mehcad Brooks: True Dat

In case you didn't know - the hottest thing on TV has been True Blood. I won't even lie, I just finished watching Season 1 for the fifth time and though Season 2 just ended I'm already on countdown to the release date. I love the fact that there is a black gay face on the show (that's what drew me to the show in the first place). But looks like there are more reasons for loving the show. Mehcad Brooks who plays Egg on True Blood just gave mad props to the gay marriage agenda.

Here is the quote from Michael, "I haven’t even gotten that far (thinking about settling down). But yeah, I want a wife, I want kids. The whole thing. But I’m also not even concerned with marrying somebody until it’s legal for everybody to get married. And what I mean by that is the whole Prop 8 thing. I find it really offensive. I just find it really problematic when you start throwing people’s rights away. Until we get our gay brothers and sisters back into a realm of consciousness that everyone else is in, it’s just not right. A woman who’s getting married — it’s probably going to be a gay man who made her dress, and a gay man who’s doing her hair and makeup, but he can’t get married. How messed up is that?"

And they say blacks folks hate gay people. Well there you have it - doesn't sound like hate to me. Great to hear reaffirming attitudes and action by our black straight allies. Contrary to popular opinion they do exist.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BEYONCE: I Hate that I Love Her

I talk sh*! about Beyonce all the time. She's was not the prettiest in Destiny's Child ( that honor goes to Kelly Rowland). She is soooo overexposed (I can't throw a stick out my front door without hitting something Beyonce influenced). She got a big ego (it's so big, it's so wide, it won't fit). I hate her. And then I hear a Beyonce song or I see her perform and I'm like - oh yeah, that's what it's all about. This bitch deserves performer of the century in my book - but if you ask me to repeat this I'll deny ever saying it. Get into her performce from tonight's MTV Awards below. She is the truth.

Interview with Chris Willis

I was just purusing thru the internet and landed up on PlanetOut.com. I found this terrific article with Atlanta's hometown boy Chris Willis. The video below is Chris performing with David Guetta (and just a quick sidebar - if you haven't picked up David's new CD One Love it is hot to def). I was excited to see this feature on PlanetOut and to learn a bit more about this singer/ songwriter. He has a terrific voice and I'm anxious to see what the future holds for this man.

In the interview he talks about his favorite restaurants, favorite bars and his attraction to LA Fitness. Check out the interview here.

Interesting News about Don't Ask Don't Tell

According to new data, Don't Ask Don't Tell doesn't just discriminate against gays. The numbers show an interesting trend. Although people of color make up only 29 % of the military, they account for 45% of those that have dismissed because of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. I find this very interesting. I guess since most of the people I see protesting and the soldiers that scream the loudest against the policies are not minorities. This is another reason I think I would like to see more out gays of color and straight allies in this fight for LGBT equality. We need to realize that inequality to the LGBT community hurts all races.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Stephon Marbury Is NOT Gay!!!

And I'm not either (LMFAO). Stephone Marbury has posted another video to YouTube and he continues to deny behing homosexual while simultaneously showing off his painted toenails complete with glitter highlite. That screams STRAIGHT to me. That's all I have to say on it. Check out the video below. Though he currently is an NBA free agent, videos like this make me wonder if any team will be willing to give this mental case a shot. But I get it child - the closet will drive a bitch batty. Check out his previous YouTube post here, where he breaks down crying about being picked up by other players and misunderstood.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Laughing OUT Loud: Stephen K. Amos

I'm loving Queerty more and more each week. Several weeks ago they gave us the story about five black, gay hip hop artist we should be paying attention to (you can read about them here). Now today, I just read a story about Stephen K. Amos. Amos is a out black comedian doing this his thing on the other side of the pond. And now he venturing here in the states making 'em laugh. The article poses an excellent question - "Where are all the black gay comedians?" They acknowledge the success of Wanda Sykes and rightfully so. Ms. Sykes is the premiere black gay comedian right now. But surely there are others. There are wonderfully successful black comedians (i.e. Kat Williams, Dave Chappelle). There are some terrific gay comedians (Ellen Degeneres is no doubt the leader of the pack). But surely Amos and Sykes are not the only two black gay comedians out there. Amos posed the question wondering why we don't see successful hybrids.

Well I can tell right now that there are definitely more black gay comedians out there. They are hitting the pavement, working the clubs, and touring the country. Unfortunately, it has been very difficult for these hard working individuals to break through to mainstream success. One of my favorite comedians is Andre Kelly. I first say Kelly about a year ago on Logo. I have two words to describe Kelly. Fun - NEE! I think I found him so hilarious because the stories about his family sounded so familiar. Check him out here.

Also thanks to Logo, I was pleased to learn about Karen Williams. Her stand up special "I Need a Snack" brought tears to my eyes. She talks about her experiences as a middle aged lesbian frustrated with the stupidity she encounters in with others - like youth, dating partners, and flight attendants. As I watch her it seems like I'm sitting in a room with a friend just listening to her share her stories. Watch a clip from Karen here.

Then there is the one and only Ebony Chunky Love. I have to tell you how I found out about Mr. Keith Price. Unless you're a African-American same gender loving person, then you probably have no idea how difficult it is to find films, books, or products that speak specifically to us. So one day I was on google browsing for black gay documentaries and his dvd was suddenly on my radar. As the host of his own satellite radio show, Keith is probably the most heard of of these other black gay comedians. He can be heard on Sirius OutQ radio. Check out the trailer to his dvd Ebony Chunky Love here.

Now I know there have to be more out there. If you know of any additional, please feel free to contact me and make me aware. I'd love to know about more.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Whitney's Back - Hear the Entire Album

I just finished listening to the new Whitney Houston CD and I feel comfortable saying this - the old Whitney is back! Several songs are just off da chain. Worth It is by far my favorite at this moment. I'm a romantic at heart and this song is a shout out to those people in love. Her cover of Donnie Hathoway's A Song for You is terrific - she speeds it up a bit but it works. I've played Salute about ten times already - this song just gives me strength. The entire CD is good but there are just some songs that stand out as much stronger than others, but I think over all you will be pleased with the entire package.

I'm very happy to see Whitney back making music again. She seems very happy and she seems be working very hard to clean up her life. I'm pulling for Whitney. I want her to continue to make powerful music and to live a drug-free, productive life. Right now she's making the rounds promoting the new CD and that's what she needs. I hope she is surrounding herself with positive people that can help her keep strong.

Whitney fans will be very pleased with the new album. Haters will always find something hateful to say and I know we will hear from plenty of them. Whitney - hold your head up. I'm gonna support you come whatever. I'm a fan for life. If you'd like to hear the entire new album please go here. I know you'll find something you like. One final question - don't she look her cousin Dionne Warwick in the picture above?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Vogue Evolution Continues to Bring It

Child, a bitch is busy, so I don't have the opportunity to watch TV on a regular. But I'm loving Vogue Evolution being a part of this season of America's Best Dance Crew. So I have to stay on top of their performances via YouTube (thank you to my friend Rod who continues to forward them to me as they come). These kids are serving. They are great dancers and I'm really pulling for them to win.

Witnesses Sought in Trans Murder

It always saddens me to write about another trans person being killed because it seems like I have to write about something like this atleast once a month. The latest happened in Washington D.C. Joshua Mack (aka Tyli'a "NaNa Boo" Mack) and a second transgender woman were found suffering from stab wounds at about 2:30 PM on Wednesday. Mack was pronounced dead approximately 30 minutes later at Howard University Hospital. The second unidentified victim is expected to survive her injuries.

Friends and family members of Mack are asking for anyone with info that may help catch the killer(s) to come forward because as of this moment there are no suspects. Acting Lt. Brett Parson, who oversees the D.C. police's Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit, said homicide investigators working on the case listed the incident as a "possible" hate crime. Police on Wednesday released a flyer displaying a photo of Mack and announcing they were offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for her death.

"All I want is the people to come forward and talk about it," said Beverlyn Mack, Tyli'a Mack's mother. "I don't like it because my child was born just like everyone else — through a mother's womb," she said. "And I don't think it's fair for other people to take other people's lives."

I've attended the Transgender Day of Remembrance several years in a row. At this remembrance, the trans community acknowledges the trans people that were killed over the course of the year. It seems that each year the list gets longer. So I'm left to wonder if we'll ever see the day when this madness will stop.

A Letter to the President

Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida has sent an open letter to President Obama about his want for an end to Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT). He stated that he is "deeply disappointed" that the ban on openly gay and lesbian military personnel has not be lifted. This letter is a follow up to a letter delivered to the President in late July calling for and end to the anti-gay process the military uses to keep LGBT soldiers in the closet. The intial letter was signed by 77 representatives and called DADT a "ridiculous, bigoted law."

According to the Advocate, "The Florida Democrat, who is the vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said he was also disappointed that President Obama had not responded to the initial letter. 'With the recent addition of 17,000 American troops to Afghanistan and the possibility of another request for even more troops from General McChrystal in the coming weeks, I am sure that you will agree that we cannot afford to lose any of our dedicated, highly qualified service members to 'don't ask, don't tell,'" he wrote in Thursday's letter.

I personally am hoping the President will soon follow through with the promises he made while running for office. As a candidate he seemed to be one of our greatest allies. Now I'm waiting to see that promise fulfilled.

Buju Banton Shows Cancelled

It's no secret that many Reggae and dance-hall artists are extremely homophobic. They're lyrics mock and insult the LGBT community. Some songs actually call for the beating and killing of gays and lesbians. Buju Banton is one of those artists. One line from his Battyman song [Battyman is the Jamaicaan slang for faggot] calls for people to "burn him up bad like an old tire wheel." Because of artists like Banton, many gay rights groups are protesting concerts by reggae and dancehall artists that are anti-gay. And many of these protest efforts are being effective.

Live Nation is a promotion group that had scheduled a series of concerts for Buju Banton. He was set to perform in Chicago, Las Angelos, Dallas and Houston and there were plans for future shows. However, gay rights advocates starting harassing the Beverly Hills based Live Nation about the violent anti-gay lyrics of Banton. I'm pleased to the say the group listened because they have cancelled all of these shows and are offering refunds to everyone that has purchased tickets. Way to go!!!

The Victory Fund Supports . . .

I've heard of the Victory Fund. I knew it was an advocacy group that supported LGBT candidates seeking political office. I was just browsing through Advocate.com and learned of several candidates that the fund is supporting (not just metaphorically but financially) in their bid for their respective offices. I was very pleased to learn of the 8 new candidates they're adding to there list of endorsees. Taking a look at the photo above I'm now excited to learn a bit more about the Victory Fund. Too often I learn of LGBT groups that are founded by and support only white gay males. But as I see this list of candidates (4 African-Americans, 2 women, and 1 Asian-American), it gives me hope that LGBT organizations are beginning to embrace the many different diverse backgrounds that make up our rainbow. I want to say thank you to the Victory Fund for this great work and good luck to all of these candidates.

And just who are these candidates? Well, the Victory Fund is offering financial support and advice to Daniel Dromm and Rosie Méndez, running for New York City Council seats representing Queens and Manhattan, respectively. Ken Reeves, running for Cambridge, Mass., city council; Amaad Rivera, hoping to secure a seat on the Springfield, Mass., city council; and Fred Chang, running for the Port Orchard, Wash., city council, also have the Victory Fund's support.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Confessions of A Bisexual

I was purusing through YouTube listening to my new favorite song On The Ocean by K'Jon. Then I found this video of a girl singing the song. As I was listening to her sing I noticed she had a post called, "Is Being Gay a Choice." Of course I had to check it out to see what she had to say. It's an interesting perspective. I do believe I was born this way but that's just me, I can't speak for all gay, lesbian and bi people. Choice or not, I'm just proud to see more and more black folks embracing who they are and being true to themselves. We can no longer live our lives concerned about what the next person thinks. Deborahsdaughter7 - thanx for sharing.

And oh yeah - great rendition of On the Ocean. You have a beautiful voice. For those that would like to hear her sing, check her out here.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Mayor To Be Married

Denise Simmons is the mayor of Cambridge, Massachussets. She is the first black lesbian in the country to hold the title mayor. Now, this dynamic woman has announced that next weekend she plans to marry her partner Mattie B. Hayes. Simmons released her wedding announcement by way of a press release to the local Cambridge media. She made this statement: “I believe this may be the very first African-American church to hold a same-gender wedding, and that’s something that just wouldn’t have happened years ago." Kudos to Mayor Simmons and her partner. I wish them years of marital bliss.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Lesbians Demand Equality

I want to say thank you to the Washington Blade for making me aware of this story. An African-American lesbian couple was asked to leave by a restaurant after embracing in front of its customers. Apparently, the Tastee Diner of Silver Springs, MD was not ready to deal with two strong black beautiful women showing affection to each other in public. The couple returned to stage a "kiss-in" which was very well attended. One demonstrator even brought her ten-year-old son to the demonstration and he was holding a sign in support of the couple. But now that the "kiss-in" is behind them, Aiyi'nah Ford and her partner Torian Brown will continue with their complaint by taking this issue to the Maryland Commission on Human Relations.

I have to admit, I am very pleased to see black folks spear-heading the fight for LGBT equality. The restaurant was very stupid in it's actions and I'm sure there will be consequences. We can only wait now to see how severe those consequences will be. Ms. Ford and Ms. Brown - go head with yourself. You make this black gay man proud. Please get into their video below.

Man or Woman? Runner's Gender in Doubt

Caster Semenya just blew away her competition in an 800M track competition in Berlin yesterday. She set a world record for speed and her nearest competitor was a whopping 2.45 seconds behind. Now, following this success and fame, comes the haters. Semenya's win is being contested by some of the others in the race. They are accusing her of being a boy. And now there are many demanding that this 18-year-old undergo a series of test to prove that she is a girl. They're not just trying to determine if she have a vagina. It sounds like they've all come to consensus on that question. They would like to run tests - might I add, a series of tests, to determine if she is 100% boy. There are suspicions (or I should say accusations) that she may have been born with genetalia of both sexes but now may be biologically female.

I can't believe the audacity of some people. Now that these people have lost they have to come up with every reason in the world why their failure is someone else's fault. So now, although Semenya may be all women biologically and was probably born all woman despite her accusers concerns, she has to endure this taunting and judgement while she is on the world stage. Lord, give her strength. She is going to need it. Her mother and her grandmother have verified her gender identity and if anyone should know I would think these women would. If I were her I would NOT consent to the testing. I know this will probably make even more people raise and eyebrow but fuck'em. She has proven herself to those that matter and in my humble opinion - the rest can just . . . well I won't go there. I'll just congratulations Semenya on your win.