Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Thursday, January 15, 2009

You Inspire Me: Laura Calvo

The Stonewall Democrats of Oregon just announced in a press release the election of Laura Calvo as treasurer for the State of Oregon Democratic Party. Calvo is openly transgender and has been an advocate for the LGBT issues and a leader for the Democratic Party for many years.

This is one Latina woman that wears many hats. Prior to this election Calvo served as the treasurer of the Democratic GLBT Caucus, treasurer of the Multnomah County Democrat Party, regional director for the National Stonewall Democrats, and the secretary of the Democratic Party of Oregon's third congressional district. I'm exhausted just reading this list. But Calvo has managed to tirelessly serve and this election shows that her efforts are appreciated.

Congratulations to Calvo. I'm sure you will continue to be an example for the LGBT community and a tremendous leader for the Democratic party.

Monday, January 12, 2009

NAACP Going Pink

Last week, in an announcement coming from the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the NAACP announced the nominations for this years Image Awards. It was pleasing the see the inclusion of an out lesbian and two out gay men in the nomiations. Also included is a film focusing on a gay circle of friends, one of whom is planning on marrying his partner.

Congratulations go out to the movie Noah's Arc: Jumping the Broom. This film has been nominated for the category Outstanding Independent Motion Picture. The writer of the film, Patrik-Ian Polk has been nominated for Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture. All my friends know how much of a fan I was of the television series Noah's Arc (from which the movie is based) so I am pleased to see this phenomenal cast receive the nods they deserve for their great work. I will be watching with crossed fingers, legs, toes and eyes hoping the film and Patrik take home the trophies.

Also nominated for an award is newly out lesbian Wanda Sykes. She has been nominated in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. Her nomination is based on her part in the series "The New Adventures of Old Christine." Even before she publicly came out regarding her sexuality I was a huge fan of Wanda. I think everything she does is funny. Not sure why her short-lived sitcom wasn't more successful. So I'll also be pulling for Wanda when her category is announced.

Our final out nominee is not new to the NAACP Image Awards. E. Lynn Harris has been nominated in the category of Outstanding Literary Work for his novel Just Too Good To Be True. Now if you're reading this blog and you haven't heard of E. Lynn Harris or you haven't read any of his novels - stop reading now and go pick up Invisible Life (seriously stop reading now and go get it). This was Harris' first novel and it is the book that made me a fan for life. It was terrific and everything that has followed has been amazing. Interesting stories. Engaging characters. And enuff drama for your Mama. E. Lynn Harris always brings it. Congratulations to him and again I'll be ready to scream for him when I hear his name.

The awards will hosted by Academy Award winner Halle Berry and the newest hardworking man in showbusiness Tyler Perry and they will air Thursday, February 12, 8:00 - 10:00 PM Eastern. It's already on my calendar. I don't plan on missing this one.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Arizona Black AIDS Task Force

The Arizona Black AIDS Task force has announced its first meeting for 2009. The meeting will be held January 22, 2009 at the CAAHAZ - (Center for African-American Health Arizona) which is located at 1250 South 7th Street. And I'm proud to announce that I'll be serving as the new co-chair for the organization. So please come out and join us as we continue to battle this virus that has managed to disproportianately affect the African-American community.

The Task Force is a coalition made of various AIDS Service organizations, several churches and faith-based institutions, and many concerned community members interested in having an impact on how this disease if affecting black folks. So if you could attend or if know someone that may like to attend, please share this information with them.

I have a feeling the meeting will be filled with some remarkable energy as it will be held on he heels of a spectacular MLK holiday and the Inauguration of President Barack Obama. So maybe I'll see you there.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Real World New Season has TG Cast Member

Okay - so I'm NOT a fan of reality TV (American Idol doesn't count - LOL) but I have to admit, reality TV seems to be a big fan of the LGB and especially the T community. The new season of MTVs The Real World premiered this week. It seems the big news was the constant speculation about the orientation of Katelynn - the tomboyish girl.

Well Katelynn did disclose her secret to one cast member. She is transgender. This is definitely a first for the show. The remainder of the cast seemed to have figured this out (or I should say the cast seemed to come to this assumption) without her actually telling them. It should be interesting to see how this carries out in upcoming episodes. I haven't watched The Real World since the season in Philly with Karamo (I'm still debating if I'll watch this season).
I guess this is the new trend for reality TV. Right now I'm not sure if this is good or bad. Last year we saw Isis on America's Next Top Model and Laverne on I Want to Work for Diddy. My fear is that these these indivuals are on TV not because they are remarkable and deserving. The reality of reality TV is that these people are probably there for the shock value and for a degree of sensationalism that our LGB brothers and sisters don't bring anymore (let's face it - no one is shocked when someone comes as gay out on TV now).

But inspite of the reason for them being on these shows I feel like transgender visibility is a wonderful thing. If people see individuals that identify as TG maybe they'll learn that these are individuals that just want to live their lives with some degree of descency and respect. Maybe learning the histories and trials and witnessing the journies of these individuals will help end transphobia. With the growing number of transgender murders that happen every year - maybe one of these stories will help save a life.

Kudos to Katelynn for bringing your story to the tele and kudos to The Real World for making this bold step.

8 Years in Jail for Being Gay

Just when I thought things were taking a turn for the better in Africa (find out whats happening in South Africa) I learn this. In the country of Senegal nine gay men have been convicted for eight years for "criminal conspiracy and engaging in acts against the order of nature." According to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, the attorney for these men was allowed little access to the files of the individuals and no time to prepare for the case.

The arrest of the nine men happened on December 19, 2008 when police invaded the home of Diadji Diouf. Diouf is the head of AIDES Senegal, an AIDS Service organization in Senegal that provides HIV prevention services for gay men. He and eight guests were arrested and detained.

What adds insult to injury regarding this case, the maximum sentence for men found guilty on these charges should be five years. But because these men were working for or associated with an AIDS organization, an additional three years was added to the sentencing. Being apart of this criminal group allowed the court to add these years for criminal conspiracy.

Last year the UN called for a global decriminalization of homosexuality. This case is the pefect example of why this needs to happen. Yes - I get pissed every day that I can't marry my partner and that we still have to live with the ignorance and homophobia of the masses. But damn, atleast we won't be imprisoned for our "indecent" and "unnatural" acts.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Purple Haze Dancing to Single Ladies - Loved It!!!

I just saw video and loved loved loved it. It's the best single ladies remake since Shane Mercado set it off with Single Man Dancing to Single Ladies. Hats off to the Purple Haze. Go in boiz - go in.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

South Africa's Openly Gay Judge on High Court

Edwin Cameron has been appointed as a judge to the South African Constitutional Court, the highest court in the country. This appointment by President Mothlanthe is so remarkably groundbreaking as Cameron is openly gay and HIV positive. Cameron went public regarding his HIV status following the stabbing and stoning of Gugu Dlamini, an individual killed after she disclosed her status on a radio show.

Cameron has long been a leader in South Africa for civil rights. Prior to this appointment he served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Appeal where he used his power to advocate on behalf of the LGBT community and the HIV/ AIDS community. He has co-authored several books including Witness to AIDS, his personal memoir reflecting on his life as an HIV positive person and Defiant Desire: Gay and Lesbian Lives in South Africa. Last year he spoke before the International AIDS Conference in Mexico about the need for a global decriminalization of homosexuality stating this is needed to help with the fight against HIV.

This appointment was a very bold, progressive step by the South African President. The country is making tremendous strides towards equality for all its citizens. Congratulations to Cameron. I'm sure he will do a phenomenal job in his new position.