Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

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.