Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

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.