Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Monday, June 28, 2010

Divided We Fall

Tonight the LGBT community stood up on behalf of the Hispanic community in an effort to put an end to Senate Bill 1070. On the 41st anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, organizers against SB 1070 have launched 30 Days of Protest. Over the course of the next month there will be countless protests, prayer vigils, and marches to bring awareness to this civil rights issue. Those in attendance seemed proud that it was the LGBT community that was chosen to kick off the start of these awareness days. For me, it was great to see both communities standing in soladarity.

Everyone I spoke with seemed to be in consensus about one thing. SB1070 is an issue that all communities need to be aware of and speaking out about. Although this bill targets the Latino community we all know that hate is hate, no matter the guise. And when it is witnessed all need to stand up and take action. Those that sit in silence give permission to injustice.

I know there are many within the LGBT community that believe that this is not our issue but I take issue with this position. I take issue with this for two reasons. First there are members of the LGBT community that are also members of the Hispanic community. To turn a blind eye to our brothers and sisters would be denying our own. But the primary reason this reasoning does not fly is simply this - hatred is hatred. Whether you are a member of the targeted community are not, we cannot sit idly by and allow this to happen. Trust me, this many people would not be boycotting our state (externally and internally) if they were not genuinely pissed off. And they have very good reason to be pissed off.

To put it plain and simple, SB1070 will be used to target and harass the Latino community. Undocumented Canadians, Asians, Europeans or Africans will have nothing to worry about. They will not be getting the question, "Where are your papers?" So I'm proud to see other communities recognize the wrong in the bill and take action to end it. United We Stand; Divided We Fall.

On hand this evening were some distinguished leaders from both the LGBT community and the Hispanic community. Tom Simployt was one of the first to speak and he recited one of my all time favorite poems, First They Came. I think it is only appropriate to end with those powerful words . . .

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

and by that time no one was left to speak up."

The author of this poem is unknown but I will close with a question, "If we can not speak up for others, can we really expect others to speak up for us?"

Black AIDS Task Force Leadership Summit a Success

Last Saturday I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the first ever leadership summit hosted by the Arizona Black AIDS Task Force (AZBATF). This summit was created to recruit and train individuals interested in joining the fight against HIV. The African-American community has been hit hard by the HIV virus and this organization was created to address (and hopefully amend) the disproportianate impact this disease is having.

The purpose of the day was to create a speakers bureau for AZBATF. The day was developed to equip those in attendance with the knowledge and skills needed to comfortably address anyone about HIV/AIDS and its impact on black folks. We were informed on not only the history of HIV but also on the modes of transmission, the impact on Black women, the impact on men, and myths and fallacies about the disease.

The event was phenomenal. Some of of the biggest leaders in the HIV fight were on hand including MiAsia Pasha, RJ Shannon, and Kirk Baxter. Lunch was provided by Karim's, one the finest soul food restaurants known to Phoenix. There were representatives on hand from TERROS, the AZ State Dept. of Health Services, AZUSA Church Ministries and several other AIDS Service organizations and faith based organizations from Phoenix and Tucson. The diversity in the room was amazing and the energy and enthusiasm continued from breakfast to adjourning. Towards the end of the day several individuals were given the opportunity to put their newly acquired skills to the test. They delivered impromptu speeches to the room using the info they gained that day.

It was exciting to see this many people gathered for this amazing event and I'm personally looking forward to the next AZBATF program.

Friday, June 25, 2010

It's Been A Year

When I said it people didn't believe me. I knew when Michael died that there would be weird universal, gravitational, space/ time continuum changes that people would not be able to explain. And proof positive here it is. There is no way that it has been a year since we lost this tremendously talented man, but apparently people are saying that indeed 365 days have passed. Today marks the one year anniversary of the death of the King of Pop.

No matter what you thought of the man, you cannot deny the talent. The dancing. The voice. The videos. The fashion sense that was exclusive to the Moonwalker. The eccentric behaviour. The smile. The wave of the glove. The tossing of the hat. The philanthropy. The screaming. The crotch grabbing. The sha-mone.

If Michael was anything he was a showstopper. You loved him or you hated him; there was no middle ground. I loved him. I loved everything about him. And I miss him. I do believe the world slowed down just a bit after his death. The global influence this man had was/is unparalleled and I'm still saddened by the loss. I'm disappointed that there will be no more music, no more concerts, and no more moonwalking. Michael Jackson - rest in peace. You really are gone too soon.

Fantasia: Bittersweet

OMG - Fantasia looks amazing in her new video. VEVO premiered the video earlier today for Bittersweet which is the first singe from her new album "Back To Me" which is set for an August 10 release. I luv me so Fantasia and I can't wait for this album to come out.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Obama's LGBT Pride Reception

Last night the President threw a reception at the White House for the LGBT community. The party was held in honor of his proclamation of June being the official Pride month. Many elite from the gay community were on hand for the festivities.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


To all the members of the gay and bisexual community that have joined the fraternity of fatherhood, I hope you are enjoying this day that was set aside to celebrate you. It is unfortunate that there are still many out there that LGBT individuals cannot be good parents. There are even states with legislation in place that deny gay couples the right to adopt. But I'm proud to know many same gender loving dads that are doing a phenomenal job raising children. They have created the family they want and have not allowed society to define what they can and can not be. So for all those have decided to embrace the role of dad - to you I say, "Happy Father's Day!"

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Allen Greene for Senate?

Okay - thanks to Taylor from SGL Cafe for bringing this one to my attention. Apparently somehow the individual in the interview above, Allan Greene, has become the Democratic candidate for Senate for South Carolina. I'm all about getting fresh blood on Capital Hill but it is important that the person be intelligent, articulate, able to perform subject & verb agreement, able to actually complete a sentence. The person in this interview is not. The Democrats of SC have no asked Greene to withdraw from the race. What I want to know is how the hell he got in the race in the first place. WTF? How the hell did this happen. The person obviously has some kind of mental disconnect. If he is telling the truth in the interview when says he is not under the influence of anything then what he is demonstrating is some type of mental challenge that he may not necesarrily be aware of. Im embarassed for the Democratic candidate that lost to this man.

Freedom To Marry Video

Take the freedom to marry pledge now!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Malawi Couple Update

Thank you to the Wandering Caravan for updating me on this (this is why I love bloggers - you don't get info like this from mainstream media). Unless you've been living under a rock then you've probably heard about the gay couple in Malawi that were imprisoned and sentenced to fourteen (14) years for celebrating their relationship with a ceremony. The imprisoning and extremely harsh sentencing brought immediate international attention to this small country in central Africa. Their was harsh condemnation for such extreme measures befalling a couple that did nothing wrong.

I knew of the countries release of the couple. Caving from the global pressure and frequent critiques regarding this inhumane treatment, the Malawi government pardoned the couple and allowed them to leave the prison. But the two men were warned to immediately end their relationship or face re-arrest.

Well I just learned that the couple is no longer together. Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga went to their separate villages following there release and have since ended their relationship. But this was not a mutual decision. Monjeza has decided that he now wants to pursue a relationship with a woman and is no longer interested in a same-gender partner. Chimbalanga however has stated that he will remain gay. He also refutes Monjeza's statement that he was coerced into the gay relationship. According to Chimbalanga, "you cannot force love, and nobody forced him when we had our symbolic wedding in December."

For me this news is discouraging to hear. This couple endured so much because of their relationship that I was hoping their love for each other would have sustained following their release. But though I am disappointed in this news I totally understand. Really, what are your options when you are told if you stay in this relationship you will be arrested again? I applaud the courage of Chimbalanga to refuse to give in to the pressures of the law and "claim" heterosexuality when it is not his reality. But I can not say a single negative thing about his partner for attempting to assimilate in an effort to rid himself of the slurs, threats and violence he received constantly while in and most assuredly while out of prison.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


What the hell is up with this state that I call home? We have recently decided to become blatantly racist by waving our minority hating flag proudly. First we pass the Latino hating immigration law. Then we pass legislation that prohibits the teaching of ethnic studies. The finally our racism boils over when a town over reacts to a mural that contains a person of color.

Now the hatred continues. The mayor of Yuma can be seen in the video below responding to the recent rise in attention to Don't Ask, Don't Tell. This was recorded on Memorial Day weekend and he shares how he feels about "lacy drawed, limp wristed people" serving in the military. A year ago I would have been surprised by this but with hatred being the thread that holds Arizona together now I can only sit back and wonder what's next.

More Police Brutality

How is that people still hold police officers in such high esteem when videos like this continue to come out? People wonder why people of color are not fond of the men in blue, well this video is why . . .

Apparently the officer in question is sorry about what he said ("I'm gonna beat the fucking Mexian piss out of you Homie!") and he's sorry about what he did (kicking the victim in the head). The man on the ground in the video is totally innocent and the officers would eventually send him on his way. There is apparently an investigation into the incident by the Seattle police department.

My question is this - is the officer apologetic because of what he said and did or is he sorry because he got caught. Trust me on this one, if there were no video evidence this officer would be walking around laughing about the night in question.

Officers using excessive, unnecessary violence is nothing new (see here and here ). This is something that folks of color have known for some time. I don't be fooled and think that these are isolated incidents. This happens far more frequently that most would care to believe.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Gays Support Hispanic Community

Thousands stood up against SB1070 (Arizona Immigration Law) last weekend in a march that filled that streets for blocks and carried its ralliers from Indian School Park to the state's capital. I am pleased to see that the LGBT community is also standing up against this injustice and taking part in the protest. Martin Luther King stated so eloquently that "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." It is time that gays and lesbians stand up for causes outside of our own. So kudos to the HRC members that walked proudly and demonstrated their support at the immigration law march.