Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Do We See Ourselves As Second Class?

I was in a room of gay men tonight. The room was mostly men of color. Somehow we managed to fall into the subjects of gay marriage and gay parenting. This isn't the first time I've heard it, but there are actually gay men that feel that we should not have the right to marry. The reason I've received from these men is that they do not believe it is "of God" for a man to marry a man. To this I say - WTF?

There are also gay men that do not believe that gay men should be parents. The reasons for this seem to be more numerous. Some thought that the impact this would have on the kid would be too much. They felt the kids would be picked on because of the gay parents. Some felt that the roles the gay parents presented to the kids would be confusing. The feeling was that the kid would be totally lost about what it means to be masculine versus what it means to be feminine.

I'm not one to knock a persons opinions. We all have an opinion and whose to say what is right. But it seems to me that gay men that possess these beliefs struggles with self-worth. It just seems to me they are doubting the talents and values they own that could only add to the development of a young mind. I feel that they've allowed their morals to be shaped by some external factors (read heterosexual society) and they have not made these decisions based on their own abilities/ gifts. How do we as people get to a place where deny our own instinctual power and base our decisions on what others tell us? And more importantly - how do we move beyond this?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Just Watched Basquiat

Several friends of mine have been encouraging me to watch the movie Basquiat. I had two different opinions prior to getting a copy of the dvd. My friend Joye hated it and told me, "any black person who watches this and isn't utterly offended is just . . . " she wasn't able to complete her sentence. Then another friend Michelle saw it and thought it was terrific. Joye is black. Michelle is white. I say this because I find it interesting how two people of different races receive a movie in such different ways.

First all, let me tell you about Basquiat (just in case you don't know who he is). He was one of the greatest artists of our time. His rise to fame began when he was a graffiti artist tagging buildings around Manhattan. He would eventually become a household name in the art world and become a close, personal friend of Andy Warhol. He was claimed to be the first black artist of importance. He was also bisexual - although this truth about his life was not reflected in the movie.

The cast of the movie is virtual who's who of entertainment. It has David Bowie, Dennis Hopper, Courtney Love, Jeffrey Wright and the list just goes on. I can't believe this movie came out in 1996 and I'm just now getting around to viewing it. But on to my opinion of the movie - I think both Joye and Michelle are correct. The movie is both offensive and fabulous.

As a black man, there are definite offenses in the movie. Basquiat's agent at one point refered to him as "the voice from the gutter." What? Why does he have to be the voice from the gutter. Also, no one seemed able to accept Basquiat as a great artist. He was always referred to as a great black artist. In the movie Basquiat struggles with why his critics repeatedly did this. But this is the case for many great blacks (especially when we break into fields that typically have not be populated by black people). Tiger Woods is a great golfer. Venus and Serena are great tennis players. There race is not (should not) be an issue.

There is a Catch 22 to this. For some reason it's offensive when white people refer to these individuals as a great black whatever. But black people (and I'm guilty of this) love to see other members of our race successful. So when these success stories happen I love to tell their stories and to elevate them as examples of what is possible. Oprah. Barack. Tyler Perry. These individual's stories are more powerful to me because they are black. So I love to tell and revel in the stories of these black people.

Overall the movie is phenomenal for trying to tell the story of a great artist. But many great movies when disected have some truly offensive content. A couple of my all-time favorite movies are guilty of this. The Color Purple and Crash are movies that I LOVE. But if you aren't offended by some of the content in these movies then there is something wrong with you.

I will actually encourage people to see the movie, just to learn a bit more about the life of Jean Michel Basquit. I think everyone (black, white, brown and yello) will walk away with something. It is a good story (even though they did omit the truth about his sexuality).

People Remember E. Lynn Harris

His influence on the Black LGBT community cannot be measured. His books were incredible. Many black same gender-loving individuals are feeling a loss now that we don't have this dynamic person around anymore. And many are feeling compelled to share their emotions with us. Please check out some of the YouTube posts that have emerged since his passing.

Is Child Obesity Child Abuse?

What is this world coming to? A mom in South Carolina is being charged with criminal neglect. Her son weighs 555 pounds. This is a felony charge against the mom. I'll be the first to say that the mom has a responsiblity to see to the health and welfare of her child. But please watch the video. Mom works second and third shift to have the money to raise her son.

I know there will be some that say this is an assault on her because she's black. I'm sorry but that would be incorrect. This is assault on her because she's poor. She is doing what is within her resources to do. She was awarded a $30,000 scholarship to take her son to a facility to deals with overweight kids. She took him to the school and was turned away because they said they were not equiped to handle a kid that large. She admitted to having to buy fast food to feed her son. This is the case of many parents. Cost and convenience often times make fast food the only option.

This is an extreme situation. 555 pounds at 14 years old is just unheard of. But bringing felony charges against the mom is also extreme. Imagine the precedent that will be set if she is found guilty. Give the woman some help not a jail sentence.

Friday, July 24, 2009

E. Lynn Harris - Dead at 54

Best selling author E. Lynn Harris is dead. Harris was on tour on the West Coast promoting his latest book Basketball Jones. His cause of death is still unknown. His assistant has stated that he noticed that author's health had been deteriorating but he still proceeded with the tour. I was lucky enough to meet Harris when he visited Phoenix earlier this year in the beginning of this tour. I was so pleased to meet this man that has been a significant motivation in my life.

E. Lynn Harris was born in Flint, MI but eventually settled down in the South. He was the first male cheerleader at the University of Arkansas and would remain until his death a tremendous U. of A. Razorbacks fan. He would eventually return to the school as a visiting professor of the English department and to continue his support of the cheerleading program.

For me, and the same can probably be said for many black gay men, E. Lynn Harris was a tremendous inspiration. His first book, Invisible Life, really opened my eyes to many things. It was reading his book tht I realized that I could live my life as an OUT gay black man. I really didn't know you could do that.

I am truly saddened to hear this news. It is a sad day for the African-American LGBT community. One of our greatest is no longer with us. I will make certain I share any additional news and more info is learned.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

F*ck the Police - These are New York's Finest

What is about men in uniforms? Some of firemen of New York just premiered in Times Square their 2010 calendar. The calendar will raise money for the Staten Island University Hospital Burn Center. I don't know if you've even seen a flock of firemen but I can tell ya - it's hot. I think we need our Phoenix Fire Fighters to do something similar. What do you think?

Suspect Held for Seaman's Murder

The Navy finally has a suspect for the murder of Seaman August Provost. Provost's family has stated that they believe August was killed because he was gay. He had shared his concerns with his family that he had a fear that he would be outed to the military. Now Petty Officer Jonathan Campos is being held for the fatal shooting that took Provost's life. He is being charged with murder, arson, unlawful entry, and unlawful possession of a firearm. In spite of the accusations of the family, the Navy is insisting that Provost was not killed because he was gay.

Pageant Girls Gone Wild

I often times call into the question the external craziness and hysteria that the black LGBT community must endure. The homophobia from the black community drives me crazy. The racism from the LGBT community makes me mad. But child - we have our own issues that make me scratch my head too.

I was just doing my daily reading over at The Advocate to hear this strange, bizarre tale of a pageant gone terribly wrong. The two individuals pictured here have been arrested for what tthe Advocate refers to as a "gay pageant smackdown." According to the article, Leroy Tinch (to the left in the photo) was a contestant in the pageant. When judge Sebastian Latta cast a vote for a rival contestant, Tinch grabbed a trophy and proceeded to violently bash the judge. Even more confusing about the affair, not only was judge Latta attacked by contestant Tinch, but a fellow judge Anthony Johnson (on the right in the photo) also joined in on the attack.

Latta was hospitalized with a shattered jaw and a gashed forehead. Now I'll admit - I've been both contestant and judge for pageants. Yes honey I know - for many this is a serious matter. One girl cornered me outside a bar after reading my comments and learning that I didn't like her shoes. Yes - I was a little scared for my life and that was the last pageant that I ever judged. I will not be killed over some Payless sling-backs. But for real - is this serious enough to risk a man's life and your freedom. For most sane people the answer would be no, but the pageant world is not one with normal people.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

What to do about Jamaica?

Please don't read this post expecting an answer. I was excited when I learned that people were going to start boycotting this island famous for it's homophobic beatings and murders, homophobic legislature and just general overall homophobic culture. But then I learned that many gays and lesbians in Jamaica asked for an end to the boycotts because this tactic though designed to hurt the homophobic would also hurt the LGBT individuals on the island we would like to protect.

It's a Catch 22. Hurting those that cause harm will also hurt those we want to keep from danger. But what do you do when billboards like the one pictured above [this photo was recently taken in Jamaica] encourage violence towards gays and lesbians. In case you're unaware, a battyman is Jamaican slang for a gay man. So this advertisement is for a machete one could use to kill a homosexual. WTF?

Reflection: Pat Parker - Where Will You Be When They Come

I personally think Pat Parker is one of the greatest poets of the 20th Century (but I may be a bit biased). Listed below is an exert from one of my favorite poems - Where Will You Be When They Come. This poem played an enormous part in shaping my world into one of activism. Her words are like bullets. If you are the target they are going to hurt.
Every time we watched
a queer hassled in the
streets and said nothing --
It was an act of perversion.

Everytime we lied about
the boyfriend or girlfriend
at coffee break --
It was an act of perversion.

Everytime we heard,
"I don't mind gays
but why must they
be blatent?" and said nothing --
It was an act of perversion.

Everytime we let a lesbian mother
lose her child and did not fill
the courtroom --
It was an act of perversion.

Everytime we let straights
make out in our bars while
we couldn't touch because
of laws --
It was an act of perversion.

Everytime we put on the proper
clothes to go to a family
wedding and left our lovers
at home --
It was an act of perversion.

Everytime we heard
"Who I go to bed with
is my personal choice --
It's personal not political"
and said nothing --
It was an act of perversion.

Everytime we let straight relatives
bury our dead and push our
lovers away --
It was an act of perversion.

And they will come.
They will come for
the perverts.

They will come
They will come
to the cities
and to the land
to your front rooms
and in *your* closets.

They will come for
the perverts
and where will
you be?

10th Annual White Affair - DC Doing the Most

I don't know if you've visited 3LWTV but it's fabulous. I love Lonnell for keeping me filled in on all the events for LGBT people of color around the country (and around the world). I hate him because he's every where I want to be. But he does a terrific job capturing every place he visits on video.

His visit to DC for the 10th White Affair holds true to his mission - keeping the kids in the know. His latest post gives us a peek inside the White Affair. The event was presented by Al-Sura and it was HOT! The White Affair is a social networking evening that promotes HIV care and prevention. If you know anything about HIV and the African-American community - then you know that DC has one of the highest infect rates for black folks in the country. The White Affair had it all. Models. Singers. Authors. The entire event was top notch and I wish I could have been there.

Please check out Lonnell's video below:

Smooth Criminal - I'll Turn Myself In When My Breasts Heal

Here is another one for the WTF file. Mitchelle E. Anthony of Charlotte, NC has called the police department to say she will turn herself in for the robbery of a Family Dollar store after her breasts have healed. Anthony is transgender and apparently has recently had breast surgery. The theft in question is for $48 in Gain laundry detergent. She may be a thief but atleast she's a clean thief.

Black folks - we have got to do better. We have a brother in the White House. Forbes magazine just listed the most powerful people in entertainment and three of the top five were black. A black woman just took over as the new CEO of Xerox. I know we've come along way but still - stories like this way just make me want to hang my head in shame. Now I admit, I don't know her situation but really . . . Gain!. If you're gonna steal detergent, at least let it be Tide. Go to jail for the good stuff.

Mold Me LIke Clay

This is the reason I love Queerty. They give us some beautiful men to look at. The name of the model pictured below is Clay Williams. You can see the entire Queerty model spread here.

The Wedding is Off, But I'm Not GAY

NBA star Richard Jefferson has had gay rumors following him for years in spite of his five year relationship with Kesha Ni'Cole Nichols. The two were set to be married until Jefferson got cold feet and called the thing off - with an email. Now I didn't attend Ms. Evers school of etiquette but I know that breaking things off with your fiance with an email is just tacky. But he did eventually call her and they had a two hour conversation about their relationship and they did agree to remain friends.

Now, since his decision that there will be no wedding nuptials the gay rumors have started to fly off the chain again (much like the rumors against Kenny Chesney skyrocketed when Renee Zellweiger ended their four month marriage because of" fraud"). Now I don't know if the man is gay or not. Considering the fact that he is a star in the NBA, if he were gay I'm sure he feels it is in his best interest to claim that he isn't. An NBA locker room is not the place for coming out.

I won't pass judgement. I hope that Jefferson's tenure in the NBA is filled with success. And if he is gay, I hope that one day he fill get to a place where is comfortable sharing his truth with others. But the only person that has the right to out Richard Jefferson is Richard Jefferson. But if some scandalous pictures somehow leak believe me I'll be one of the first to tell you.

Damn Damn Damn for Mississippi Damned

Oh my God, I can't wait to see this film. This looks like one of those films all black folks need to see. And what I love is that it has a butch lesbian as one of the characters in the story. I love that. Now if we can just get folks in to go and support a film that has serious content and is not just about pretty people having sex or hilarity for the sake of hilarity. Don't get it twisted, I enjoy fluff movies with no substance as much as the next person but occasionally we have to get into something with some meaning. This is that something.

Dr. Lamont Hill says No Mo "No Homo"

Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, Fox news political contributor, is taking on popular culture and demanding an end to the "No Homo" phenomenon which he says he hears on a daily basis. Good for him - I guess. For me, the reality is that I hardly ever hear the phrase. I have heard it less than five times in my lifetime - and I have plenty of straight friends. And that's for real. I guess it's good that he wants to be an ally to the LGBT community by putting an end to a phrase that could be interpreted as homophobic. But there are real issues that our community is dealing with that we could use help with. I urge Dr. Hill to use his voice to spread the news about HIV, to bring awareness about the climb in hate crimes against our community, or to educate about the need of an Employment Nondiscrimination Act that would benefit the LGBT community. But every little bit helps so I still express a thank you to Lamont.

Henry Louis Gates Arrested?

If you've even seen any of his documentaries, then you know that Henry Louis Gates has got to be one of the most non-threatening black men in the country. He's up there with Barack Obama, Bryant Gumbel and Wayne Brady. So when I hear this story that he has been arrested for disorderly conduct I had to raise an eyebrow. Then I read a bit further into an article and I learn that he was arrested in his own home.

Here's how the story went down. Gates was returning home from China where he was filming yet another documentary. Upon reaching his home he had difficulty opening the door. Even his cab driver helped with prying the door open. A neighor witnessing the forceful entry into the house called the cops because she suspected this was a burglary. The officer that arrived to the house accused Gates of not being cooperative and arrested him. This is after Gates proved that he was indeed owner of the home.

Gates was cuffed and taken to the police department where he was held for approximately four hours. Fortunately he was released on $40 bond and the charges were dropped by the city of Cambridge. Unfortunately, this is an event that should have never happened in the first place. I'm sorry, once the officer learned that Gates was at home he should have turned and left. There is no reason at all for this to have happened. As long as Gates didn't threaten or attack the officer the officer had no reason to resolve to this.

But Gates is a brilliant man and he knows exactly why this happened. He's a black man. Cambriade mayor E. Denise Simmons (who by the way is the only African-American lesbian ever to hold the title of mayor) made this statement, "The incident did illustrate that Cambridge must continue finding ways to address matters of race and class in a frank, honest, and productive manner." She also went on to say she was "very pleased" that the charges were dropped.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Double Trouble: Twin Brother Bandits Doing Time

Why are so many porn stars in the news right now for crimes? These twins, Taleon and Keyontylie Goffney, who are famous for appearing in hardcore gay porn (including Blackballed 5) will be serving three to eight years for what has become known as the rooftop burglaries in Philadelphia. The 25 year old twins from New Jersey were arrested on February 19. They were charged with breaking into Moon's Beauty Shop at 9th and Washington streets in South Philadelphia and the adjoining Wings and More, using only a handsaw and ax to get in through the roofs of the establishments.

I was under the impression that porn paid well. It's sad that men as beautiful as these two had to resort to this. And it's sadder that they will be behind bars for the next few years. I understand that if you do the crime you must do the time. It's just that being behind bars takes them off the market so I can't get my hands on them, because they look yummy. But I'm sure they will make somebody at their correctional facility very happy.

Why I Love our Attorney General

Our Attorney General Eric Holder (and in case you didn't know - FYI, he is our first African-American Attorney General) wrote this letter to his senators. This letter is just one of the reasons I'm in love with this man.
"Dear Senators Reid and McConnell:
I understand that S. 909, the Matthew Shepard Hale Crimes Prevention Act, is now before the Senate in the form of an amendment to pending legislation. On behalf of the Administration I strongly urge the Senate to approve this vital legislation.

As I stated in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 25, hate crimes victimize not only individuals, but entire communities. Perpetrators of hate crimes seek to deny the humanity we all share, regardless of the color of our skin, the God to whom we pray, or whom we choose to love.

Bias-motivated acts of violence divide our communities, intimidate our most vulnerable citizens, and damage our collective spirit. The FBI reported 7,624 hate crime incidents in 2007, the latest year for which the FBI has compiled such data. Recent numbers also suggest that hate crimes against certain groups, such as individuals of Hispanic national origin, are on the rise. Between 1998 and 2007, more than 77,000 hate crime incidents were reported to the FBI. That is nearly one hate crime every hour of every day over the span of a decade.

Most hate crimes in the United States are investigated and prosecuted by our partners in state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and this legislation will not change that reality. Rather, this bill will give law enforcement authorities at all levels the tools they need to effectively investigate, prosecute and deter bias-motivated violence. First, it will enable the Department of Justice to provide our non-federal partners with technical, forensic, prosecutorial, and financial assistance to bolster their hate crimes enforcement efforts. Second, it will eliminate the antiquated and burdensome requirement under existing Federal law that prosecutors prove that a hate crime was motivated by a victim's participation in one of six enumerated federally protected activities. Third, it will expand coverage beyond violent acts motivated by actual or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin to those motivated by actual or perceived gender, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

Although local law enforcement agencies will continue to play the primary role in the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, federal jurisdiction is a necessary backstop. Federal resources may be better suited to address crimes involving multiple jurisdictions, and there may be times when local authorities request Federal involvement.

There also may be rare circumstances in which local officials are unable or unwilling to bring appropriate charges, or when prosecutions, even when successful, do not fully serve the interests of justice. At the same time, there are safeguards, both in the legislation and in the department's internal policies, to ensure that crimes will be prosecuted at the Federal level only when necessary to achieve justice in a particular case.

Some have raised concerns that Congress lacks the constitutional authority to enact this legislation, as well as concerns that it could infringe on First Amendment rights. The Department addressed these issues at length in a June 23, 2009, views letter to Senator Edward Kennedy. As we explain in that letter, the legislation is constitutional and would not infringe on First Amendment rights because it would criminalize no speech or association, but only bias-motivated violent acts resulting in bodily injury (or attempts to commit such violent acts). Finally, the legislation is carefully tailored to address violence targeting members of communities that have suffered a long history of bias and prejudice.

This Administration strongly supports S. 909, the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and I urge its passage without further delay. Now is the time to provide justice to victims of bias-motivated violence and to redouble our efforts to protect our communities from heinous acts of violence based on bigotry and prejudice."
I am pleased to see that Attorney General Holder is not afraid to address issues that many are afraid to discuss.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Famous LGBT African American

I felt like posting this after reading the article from the Advocate about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and their want to remove Rev. Eric Lee because of his alliance with the LGBT community. I was growing weary of both the homophobia and the racism. For some reason people tend to forget that there are people that are members of both communities (black and gay).

I also discovereed this great piece done by BlackVoices.com in June (which is gay pride month). They did a terrific job high-lighting some phenomenal black gay individuals. Check it out here . . . http://www.blackvoices.com/life-style/gay-african-americans

Are We Done Yet? Black Versus Gay Continues

Most people who know a little something about African-American history know about the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). This organization was founded by Bayard Rustin and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the late 50's. It was instrumental in coordinating the efforts of the black civil rights movement throughout the following decade. I just read an article in the Advocate which talks about current homophobic actions of the organization.

Apparently the president of the Los Angeles chapter of the SCLC is a bit too progressive for the group. Rev. Eric Lee has been a friend of the LGBT community for years. However, some of his more recent advocacy has placed him on the radar of other SCLC leadership. Rev. Lee was one of those individuals that worked hard to prevent the passage of Prop 8 in California. Because of this he has received notice from the national board of directors of the SCLC. They have threatened suspension or removal to this ally of our community.

But it's not the article itself that makes me weak. In reality, most people have not been aware of the SCLCs existence since the 70s. It's just not a group we pay much attention to nowadays. So although I am concerned about there homophobic stance, I don't think they have enough clout to be relevent today.

What makes me livid are the many comments I read regarding the article. It's not the homophobia of the black community thats raising my blood pressure. It's the racism of th LGBT community that's pissing me off. I have to share some of the comments.

Eric Hollander of L.A. writes:

Mike of Cincinnati writes:
Blacks are anti-gay. They always have been.

John from San Francisco write:
where do black people get off discriminating against anyone? do they have short term memory loss?

Okay, let me get this straight. This is an article about a black man that was an advocate for the LGBT community. He worked to stop the passage of Prop 8. But black people hate gays. He is being threated to be ousted by other leadership within the SCLC. But let's keep it real - the SCLC was founded by Bayard Rustin (a gay Black man) and Rev. Martin Luther King (a man that stood as an advocate for all oppressed people). Dr. King AND his wife Coretta would put a stop to this action of the SCLC if they were here today.

I'm getting tired of hearing that all black people hate gays. Is membership to the gay community excluded from Black people? I guess so because all black people hate gays. Have we not forgotten that there are many black leaders (and that is straight black leaders) that have been vocal about their alliance in our race for equality. Julian Bond has committed the entire NAACP to the cause of justice for gays and lesbians. But all black people hate gays. Of all 50 governors in this country, only two have been supporters of same-sex marriage since they took office. That would be the nations' two African-American governors. But all black people hate gays. Some of the greatest leaders we've seen in the gay community have been black. Historic leaders like James Baldwin and Barbara Jordan and contemporary leaders like Keith Boykin and Angela Davis have worked tremendously to advance our cause. But all black people hate gays.

It's difficult being a citizen of both villages (the black community and the gay commuity). It seems that often I'm pushed into a corner where people want me to decide which side I'm on. Well to paraphrase my favorite poet Audre Lourde, "I can't divide myself from myself." I cannot deny my blackness nor my gayness. I know there are gay people that don't like African-Americans. I also know that there are black folks that hate gays. But I refuse to define an entire group by the ignorance of a few (like the ignorant people that made these comment did).

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Kicked Out of the Closet

I've stated many times before that I've never been one for outing people. I think people should come out when they are ready. They shouldn't be forced out. But the forcing has already happened so I'm just here to report what went down. In the past two weeks two black gay actors have been forced out of the closet. Both are victims of scorned ex-lovers.

Terrell Carter's claim to fame has been the Madea movies. He has starred in stage productions of Tyler Perry's Madea's Class Reunion and Meet the Browns. He also appeared in the film adaptation of Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Now I'm sorry but the kids have always known that Tyler Perry was casting all of his productions with fine ass gay bruthas. There was a certain reoccuring theme in all his men - HOTNESS. I don't know if there was a casting couch involved with finding these men but if I asked my magic 8 ball it would say "all signs point to yes." I'm not surprised that Terrell is gay. I assumed so. I am surprised by turn of events surrounding his outing. A former lover with photos to back up his story is putting Terrell on blast all over the internet. He has posted pics of the two of them in bed together, kissing each other, and attending gay pride in Brazil.

Dorian Standberry of BET's College Hill was the other celebrity with some recent unfortunate luck. It seems someone hacked into his private email and Twitter account and gained access to celebrity phone numbers and nude photos of the star. These pics were also blasted all over the internet. Now I must admit - if someone is going to post nude pics of you without your knowledge or your permission, it can't hurt to be endowed as well as Dorian. I'm reminded of the old time spiritual - BETTER THAN BLESSED. You can see what I'm talking about by clicking here (please don't open at work).

I actually feel kinda sorry for these two men. Unfortunately the entertainment industry is one that is very harsh for black men period. Straight or gay, it's hard out there for bruthas. I was so pleased when Forbes made there list of the 100 most powerful people in entertainment. Three of the top five were black - Beyonce, Oprah and Tiger Woods. But while black men may be doing okay in sports but were still struggling in TV and film. Black GAY men generally have to hide to sexuality in order to be successful in Hollywood. I don't hate the players, I hate the game. These men were both rising stars but being pushed out of the closet will surely do some career damage.

HERO HIV Panel Discussion

Last night I attended a panel discussion hosted by our home town HEROs (Human & Equality Rights Organization). The panel was composed of six different individuals that were all HIV positive. Unlike most HIV discussion forums, this group stayed away from statistics and infection avoidance talks. They wanted to focus more on the social implications of the disease. So each person on the panel told there stores. They all gave us a glimpse in there world since they were infected.

Some of the stories I heard were simply horrific. The very first story I heard was from Corey. After coming out to his parents he was immediately told, "Please don't tell anyone from the church." His family was more concerned about how they would be viewed from church members than they were about there son's welfare. For many of us, one of the few things that comforts us in times of trouble is spirituality. And low and behold, Corey discovers he is HIV positive and he is denied his religion. Interesting how that happens.

Then came the story from Charles. His story was even more terrible. Everything changed after disclosing his HIV status to his family. He was told not to touch the kids (I guess there was a fear he could transmit the disease through a hug). At special family gatherings when everyone else was eating off the fine china, he was give paper plates and paper cups. And if there were ever an occasion when he had to go to the restroom it was immediately followed by the sing and toilet being bleached.

Matt told us about the emotional stress he went through after he discovered he cero-conversion. He went several years without having sex because he thought he would never be able to have intercourse ever again. He also believed he was not worthy of a relationship because he saw himself as damaged goods. It was the, "why would someone want to go with me" syndrome.

I want to say that luckily not all the stories were about rejection and depression. Some people told of how supportive there families were. But I have to say that there were more bad examples than good. But there was glimmer of hope in hearing the good. It was a powerful evening and I'm glad I was present to hear what the guys had to share. It can not be easy to stand before a group of people don't know and share these private, intimate stories about yourself. Everyone that attended walked away changed by the experience. Thanks to the guys of HERO for organizing this discussion. It was an amazing evening.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I just created this video to post to Facebook. It has friends from my past (high school and college), friends from today, and family. My life has spanned through several different chapters so hopefully this will give people a brief peak into the bizarre kalidescope that this is my life. I've lost several people really important to me through the years. My little brother (Mark) to cancer. My best friend's death is still a mystery to me (Victor). My frat brother and friend Dwayne Owes. College friend Tommy. My father (Eugene) and my maternal grandmother (Ulee). These are all individuals near and dear that are captured in this video. Hope you enjoy.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wanda Meets Sheneneh

OH my God. It finally happened. Everybody around my age has probably dreamed of a meeting between these two gender benders. Sheneneh (Martin Lawrence) and Wanda (Jaime Foxx) are two of the most hilarious men in dresses I've ever seen. I've always wanted to see these two share the stage together. If finally happened in this movie trailer spoof on the 2009 BET Awards. I only wish it were a real movie. I'd be there on opening night.