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2 comments | Wednesday, February 28, 2007



The past few weeks for John Amaechi have been a rollercoaster ride that is definitely not for the faint of heart. His decision to disclose his sexuality has been met with mixed reactions from the public, the GLBT community, and of course the NBA, specifically Tim Hardaway.

I recently had the pleasure to meet John at a book signing for Man In The Middle, and although I'd been impressed with his numerous television appearances, I walked away from the event very proud to know that he is out in the world speaking about issues that are important to me in such a positive and articulate manner.

Let's be honest, his 6'9 frame, dashing good looks, athletic prowess, and masculinity defies most common stereotypes that are believed to be true about gay men. Throughout the night John repeatedly down played his role in sparking the conversation around sexuality in America and the NBA, suggesting that we as non-celebrities are much braver in our everyday lives.

Amid negative criticism and even death threats by some, John Amaechi is affecting change in our world and causing people to re-examine their thoughts around sexuality and the treatment of GLBT people.

In the days leading up to John's appearance I filmed a video blog for abovethelife.com on the effects of homophobia and my response to the Tim Hardaway scandal. At the end of the video there is footage from John's appearance here in Atlanta. It was filmed outside on a windy day, so try to ignore the wind as it will quickly pass. I look forward to reading your comments.

Enjoy!

The Effects of Homophobia

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By now I'm sure we've all seen the pictures of the new AKA's from Texas Southern University in Houston. I blogged about this group last week out of pure curiousity and with hopes that I would acquire more information about their controversial image.

These men have caused quite a negative reaction on college campuses, within the GLBT community, and more famously on the message boards of BET.COM , the homophobic sister site to blackplanet.com .

For the record I do applaud these men and any man who is bold enough to live their life openly and without shame, but I do not condone their lack of creativity and the outright rip off of the real women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc.

Their actions have re-enforced so many awful stereotypes about our community that heterosexuals believe to be true. If they were worried about inclusiveness in traditional fraternities, there's many gay fraternities on campuses all over this country that they could have pledged. So I don't understand why they would choose to disrespect the legacy and image of the women who are rightful members of the real AKA Inc.

I regret that so many people have turned this into a gay issue because it's not. I really think that it's more of a theft issue, if these men were straight and adopted the colors and symbols of AKA they would simply be thieves and out of line.

I actually made an attempt to contact this member of MIAKA in order to get his side of the story but was unsuccessful.

I came across a comment on bet.com left by a real member of AKA that I felt compelled to share with everyone. It's very well written and I think it should be read by every member of MIAKA.

Comment from A proud member of AKA:

Dear MIAKA's,
I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (who is definitely old school - over 40 years of age) and I must say that my e-mail is not filled with hate but with sincere confusion.

I understand your reverence and respect for my organization as it is well founded.  Similarly I also understand the need on your part, and others like you, to want to copy what we have created and done in your quest to re-create an established and leading organization where  you (as a Gay man) will be able to find acceptance.

My confusion lies with the following....1. In an age where our black men (and race) face many challenges regarding a historical lack of identity (it's been stolen from us from the time our ancestor's feet touched the US shores) this action (creating the MIAKA's and an unofficial and unrecognized chapter/organization) has and will to further set back the "cause" as now some of our males are consciously choosing to identify with a women's organization?  Why would you, and others who think like you choose to do this?2. If you are pursuing the further establishment of gay rights why not start a gay male fraternity and/or trans-sexual sorority?3.  If you truly respect and think you understand the foundation and principles on which Alpha Kappa Alpha was founded you will remember and honor that it is for women (in addition to other principles) only.  

Why are the MIAKA's or these men choosing to disrespect the integrity of what AKA's founders intended by your actions?  Our founders would not and their descendants (who are my Sorors) do not approve.4.  Historically, in this country, we as a race continue to take a back seat in every area and I am concerned that your group has not considered the far reaching impact that this has to our race and the message that it sends to the establishment.  Not to consider the heretofore is irresponsible.  Didn't any one think of this?  You DO have a responsibility to our race and to other black men. 

Now those (in the majority) that are already "confused" and believe what they see and read in the media are REALLY going to think that our black men are confused and in trouble.  Whether we chose to admit it or not, our actions to have far reaching implications.5.  AKA's have long supported and will continue to support the rights of  "all" and remain in service to all mankind, but there is a way to approach inclusion.  Was this not considered before hand?  What was the thought process that was used? 

Alpha Kappa Alpha was and is the first African-American sorority; there is no other like us.  Please strongly consider the impact to AKA (nationally), to yourselves and to our race.  You do have a responsibility to be responsible.  Alpha Kappa Alpha is not to be used as the vehicle for gay social change.  Your time, talents and efforts may be better served by the establishment of your own "unique and different" organization that can and would/will be supported by ours (and the rest of the national black pan-hellenic council). 

As you strive to create a reputable name for your group please remember your audience, your mission and that all successful organizations were and are "original."  If your mission and intentions are sound and intend to "honor" AKA,  please cease and desist your activities.

Sincerely,
A proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

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I have to say it's not very often that I'm blown away by anything that Beyonce' does, personally I think she's over exposed and in need of a long vacation. She and Daddy Matthew insist on shoving Ms. Get Me Bodied down our throats 24/7, but I digress.

Her new video with Latin sensation Shakira is pure fire!!!!! The single is called Beautiful Liar and the song itself is just mediocre but the video makes up for the music lacks.

I had no idea how much they resembled each other, at times I couldn't tell who was who. This is actually a key element in the video along with non-stop pelvic thrusts from Beyonce and Shakira on the floor, the wall, and in the rain! Lawd have mercy! These women are hot and this is coming from a person who loves Black men!

This is the type of video Beyonce should have made for all of the other club bangers she released off of B'day. Take a look for yourself here .

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This April Broadway will gain a new star when Fantasia join the cast of
The Color Purple . Fantasia will be playing the lead role of Miss Ceilie, a role that won Whoopi Goldberg an Oscar nomination and Broadway original cast member LaChanze a Tony award.

Fantasia recently made television appearances on American Idol and the Oprah Winfrey show to announce her broadway debut and she did so by belting out a beautiful song titled "I'm Here" from the show.

Fantasia's acting skills may be a little questionable, but there is no doubt the girl can sing! I feel a trip to New York coming on, probably in June just in time for Pride.

Her rendition of the song that sealed LaChanze's Tony win is amazing! Thanks for the mpeg Jeff!

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It's been almost seven years since Janet graced the silver screen in Nutty Professor II and sources have confirmed that she has just signed on to star in the film adaptation of Tyler's hit play Why Did I Get Married .

Production is set to start in early March in Vancouver B.C. and Atlanta. I have to say for all of her die hard fans who were anticipating her new tour the news is bittersweet. With her involvement in this project I think it's safe to assume the tour has been cancelled.

I'm sending good thoughts her way as she makes the transition from Virgin Records to Universal Music Group. As for the film, let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best, it is a Tyler Perry production.

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8 comments | Sunday, February 25, 2007

It was my intent to post new content on my site today. I've waited for weeks to write" Academy Award winner" Jennifer Hudson in front of her name, but sometimes life gets in the way and updating a blog or continuing the fight for equality for gays and lesbians must take a back seat.

Yesterday morning I woke up to a phone call from my mother explaining to me that my 18 year old cousin had been shot and killed. I don't understand why this happend to such a good kid. Randy was never a violent person, maybe a little outspoken like most people in our family, but never violent.

I'm still in shock and expecting to wake up from this horrible nightmare, but I've never been the type to not deal in reality, so I know I must begin to process the truth.

After a trip home to Alabama to be with my family I hope to be up and running again in a few days. Please keep us in your prayers.

-Darian

0 comments | Friday, February 23, 2007




I've always admired and respected the activism of Jasmyne Cannick, however I have not always agreed with her. But this time my sister is dead on with her response to the New York Blade's editorial questioning GLAAD's decision to condemn Shirley Q. Liquor.

The following is written by Jasmyne Cannick and can be read on jasmynecannick.com :


Just when I thought it was safe to close up shop for the weekend and getready for the Oscars, the New York Blade, a gay newspaper, publishes an editorial entitled "GLAAD's New Act," questioning GLAAD's recent statements regarding Shirley Q. Liquor. And at the risk of never being published by the Blade again, I have something to say to them.

The problem as the Blade sees it, is that the mission of GLAAD is to see to the images of the LGBT community in the media. After applauding GLAAD president Neil Giuliano for taking a stand against racism, in the very next paragraph they questioned though whether or not the Shirley Q. Liquor incident has risen to the level of visibility that warranted them to issue a statement in the first place.

So which is it? Either you're happy they took a stand or you're not is the way that I see it. Regarding the strength or visibility as they referred to it of the campaign against Shirley Q. Liquor.

During the height of the Liquor campaign I went on the Michael Signorile Show on Sirius OutQ, this after doing a dozen or so national Black radio shows mind you, including the Bev Smith Show and the Al Sharpton Show. And among my many pet peeves with this particular interview, including the fact that Michael said the "N" word on air and I had to tell him that as a white man that wasn't advisable under any context, Michael said to me that because GLAAD issued a statement criticizing Liquor that it really launched the campaign. I had to politely correct him and explain that the gay community, namely the more progressive white gay community, was just getting on board but that the Black media had been driving this campaign from day one with reports daily on American Urban Radio Network, XM station The Power 169, Radio One stations, BET.com, BlackAmericaWeb.com, and of course the Electronic Urban Report, Eurweb.com.

My point was that long before GLAAD decided to get involved and do the right thing, Blacks all over the country had been mobilized and were speaking up and out about the Liquor show. As a matter of fact, I give credit to the success of the show cancellations to the Black media and Black people for calling, faxing, and emailing the club's. That's how the shows were shut down, not because of GLAAD's press release.

My point regarding the Blade editorial questioning the visibility of the Liquor controversy is that it may not have been on their gaydar but it was front and center in Black America, a place many white gays don't often go. And had they taken the time to Google Shirley Q. Liquor's name under News, they might have been able to see the various Black newspapers and Internet
sites that reported on it before asking a question that in my opinion reeks of white superiority.

Regarding the mission of GLAAD.

The mission of GLAAD says that they are "dedicated to promoting and ensuring fair, accurate and inclusive representation of people and events in the media as a means of eliminating homophobia and discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation." Last time I checked, gay did not mean white. And while it's hard to tell sometimes with what we see in the media, this is a point that must be driven home.

Do you know why GLAAD created a People of Color Media Program focusing, for the most part, on Spanish language media and as they put it, Communities of African Descent (i.e. Blacks)?

Here's a hint.

It wasn't because they wanted to. No. It was because of the ferocious criticism they had been receiving (and continue to receive) from Latino and Black gays. Not so much from the Latino's anymore I suspect given the incredible amount of resources they have put into their Spanish language program, including the creation of separate media award categories to make sure that they are represented. It's the "Communities of African Descent" Program that's very questionable these days.

But back to the question of why their People of Color Program was created. GLAAD wanted to reach out and try to squelch a lot of the criticism it was facing from people like you and me. They thought by doing this they could easily point to the resources from their over $10 million budget and say "hey, we're doing something for you people."

But it isn't that easy.

A Communities of African Descent People of Color Program that in my opinion for the most part is dormant and invisible on all fronts, doesn't mean that GLAAD can't be asked to take up issues considered to be important to the people that they claim to represent, Black gays (i.e. Paris Hilton, Shirley Q. Liquor). The same-gender loving community was absolutely warranted in their request for GLAAD to issue a statement.

Fact, Charles Knipp is a self described white gay man.

Fact, Knipp's character Shirley Q. Liquor is a Black woman.

Fact, white gay men and women for the most part make up the majority of
Knipp's audiences all over the country.

Fact, this issue was being played out on the media, maybe not media GLAAD
was aware of, but it was being talked about.

So let's put it all together and see what we get.

White + gay + male + promoting negative stereotypes of Black women + media =
GLAAD.

The idea that somehow GLAAD strayed from it's mission by criticizing Knipp's Shirley Q. Liquor character is preposterous. Like I said earlier, they should have been jumped on this bandwagon and spared us all a lot of late night blogging sessions. And it's not only GLAAD, HRC, and the Task Force should have issued statements as well.

The editorial then goes on to say, "Knipp's performances across the country, including New York City, have been met with outrage and protests, often resulting in shows being canceled. This is understandable since the Shirley Q. Liquor character is built on controversial images many consider racist and offensive. But it is possible for an artist or performer to use such
loaded images and stereotypes to uncover truths."

Let me help the Blade out here.

No, it is not possible for Charles Knipp, a white man, to help heal years of mistreatment and racism at the hands of his people by putting on a wig, speaking Ebonics, and in blackface.

Can't get much clearer and concise than that, but I'll try.

There is nothing remotely uplifting about Knipp's act and I wish people
would stop defending his character with the tired argument that he's trying
to heal the nation.

The only thing Knipp is trying to heal is the hole in his pocket from all of the money he makes off of degrading Black people.

To the Blade: What is uplifting and truthful about a woman with 19 kids, who doesn't know who the father of her children is, and names them after sexually transmitted diseases like Gonorrhea?

Too hard for you, try this one. What is uplifting about mocking a holiday that many Blacks celebrate and consider sacred?

What the Blade fails to realize is that all of the so-called gay organizations that claim to represent and work for all in the gay community are officially on notice. They are on notice that they don't set the agenda for us as Black gay folks, we set the agenda. We had 20 years of them setting the agenda and what did we get?

Last year, we got a Black gay man still not buried after nearly a month of lying around the morgue even though his very life is the reason why some of these organizations are in existence today. We got a 29-year-old Black man dead on his birthday after being brutally attacked in what was obviously a hate crime, and even though his name was Michael, the last name wasn't Shepard and he wasn't from Laramie so his death went unnoticed by the so-called gay community. That's what we got.
But not in 2007 and not on my watch.

Shirley Q. Liquor is just the beginning. All of this putting our images on your website and marketing materials so that you look diverse, knowing good and damn well that you're not, is over. If you want to truly represent all of us, and since you refuse to give the Black gay organizations the chance to do it by out bidding them every time, then you will be held accountable.

The Shirley Q. Liquor controversy is a perfect example of accountability. It may not have resonated with the white gay donors of GLAAD, but it resonated with the Black gay constituents of GLAAD which successfully lobbied GLAAD to issue a statement.

Get over it and on to the next, because chances are there will be something else.

P.S. And don't worry, we're holding the Black civil rights groups
accountable too.

Right on Jasmyne ! Right On !

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12 comments | Thursday, February 22, 2007





Since I started writing my blog I've received e-mail from all over the country and as far away as London and South Africa, but this particular e-mail came from an unlikely source, a relative. As I've stated before my blog has outed me to many people in my family indirectly, and the new relationship between my cousin Shaun and I has become really interesting...actually exciting and honest.

Shaun introduced me to the new AKA's of Texas Southern University. As you can see from the pictures, these AKA's appear to be a little different from the ladies you may be accustomed to seeing in the pink and green on Black college campuses. They are in fact Black gay men and it seems that they have formed their own organization patterned after the ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc. .

The thought of a group of SGL Black men being bold enough to be this out on the campus of an HBCU really intrigued me. From what I've been told the sisters of AKA at TSU are not flattered by the new male version of their beloved organization. Historically Black colleges are rooted in tradition and have not always been kind to SGL people, so for these men to be a visible presence on campus despite the expected backlash is quite courageous.

I tried to get in contact with the person who originally sent out the mass e-mail about these men but I never received a response. There's still a lot I don't know about the new AKA's and for some reason I'm beyond curious. I have a feeling that this post will reach one of the members and I will be receiving an e-mail very soon, that's how it always seems to work with me. I'll keep you updated.

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Ms. Janet Jackson has finally come out of hiding recently to attend a Pre-Oscar party thrown by Jamie Foxx for Oscar nomineeJennifer Hudson . It seems inevitable that Jennifer will walk away with the Oscar for best supporting actress on Sunday, there hasn't been this much buzz around a performance in years.

The three J's, Janet, Jennifer, and Jamie all looked amazing. Janet was escorted yet again by her choreographerGil Duldulao. We've been seeing a lot of Gil lately on the red carpet and a lot less of Jermaine, hopefully there's not any trouble in paradise.

At 40 years old Janet's beauty continues to amaze me. It's probably a good thing I wasn't present at this party because I'm not sure if I would have been able to hold it together, Janet and Jennifer in the same room would have sent me into celebrity overload!

Only 2 days left until Academy Award nominee Jennifer Hudson becomes Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson. I don't know about you but I'm gonna start dreaming a little bigger.

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I've sat and watched the Britney Spears tragedy unfold over the past few months and I never felt a need to write about her life until the recent custody battle started over her offspring with Kevin Federline. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was once a huge Britney fan. Most commercial dancers in L.A. love her and at one point considered her the artist to dance for next to Janet Jackson.

It's obvious that Britney has received too much to soon and she is desperately crying out for help. This just proves that money doesn't always bring happiness, it can actually make a once normal and boring life a lot worse.

In the mix off all of the chaos in Britney's world right now are two beautiful children, both born to parents who obviously didn't consider the huge responsibility of parenthood and how it would change their once glamorous Hollywood lives.

Forgive me for what I'm about to say, but I couldn't help but think to myself how dsyfunctional this "traditional household" is and the households of many "normal" families in this country. Is this the perfect family unit that President Bush, James Dobson, and every other bigoted right wing politician are always talking about?

I've always believed that just because you can pro-create doesn't mean that you should. I really wish Britney would have reached for some birth control or made her trailer park looking husband run to the 7-Eleven for a pack of Trojans.

It's insulting that adoption agencies deny gay couples the right everyday to raise children in loving and productive homes when Britney and K-Fed consistently make a mockery out of what is considered to be normal and the "ideal" environment in which to raise children.

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5 comments | Wednesday, February 21, 2007



Hey Guys! I've reposted one of my first video blogs for abovethelife.com for you to view. Some of you may have already seen this video, but I felt a need to repost it after the recent homophobic attacks on our community. In this video I talk about the importance of living life authentically.

I attended a wonderful discussion on the effects of homophobia last night and I've sat in front of my computer for the past 45 minutes attempting to convey my experience through words with no luck.

I do have quite a lot to say on the subject and I'm sure I will by this time next week. I will be speaking with John Amaechi in a few days and posting a new video blog dealing with this issue.

I want to share with you a few quotes that really hit home for me during the panel discussion, hopefully they will mean something to you as well.

"Don't allow people to steal your light, because your light will illuminate their darkness"- Anonymous

"I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood". -Audre Lorde

"Your silence will not protect you". - Audre Lorde

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6 comments | Monday, February 19, 2007



I've been a member of the African-American networking and entertainment site blackplanet.com for about 6 months now and I've probably logged on less than 10 times.I'd heard about the extreme level of homophobia displayed by members in online forums, but none of the stories

I'd heard could have possibly prepared me for experiencing first hand the harsh and hateful language used by my straight brothers and sisters.

Tim Hardaway's recent outburst had everyone from the NBA comissioner to the average Joe commenting on whether or not his statements were appropriate.

There's not enough space on this page to list all of the derogatory, undeducated, stereotypical, and misguided comments made about the gay community on this site. But their were 3 points about the gay community that the majority seemed to all agree on:

1)Being gay is a choice. So therefore we're asking to be insulted, treated like second class citizens, and bashed or even killed.

I can't speak for anyone else but I never chose to be gay, but I did choose not to live a lie. I'm still waiting for someone straight to tell me the day, time, and what the weather was like the day they chose to be straight. I'm not holding my breath.

2)Gays shouldn't compare the civil rights movement to the gay rights movement.

Now this is a touchy subject. There's undeniably similarities as well as differences, but many straight folks fail to realize Black gays sat in at lunch counters in protest, marched from Selma to Montgomery, and lost their lives fighting for freedom too.

3)Gays can't control their sexual desires. What if they hit on me?

This stereotypical bullshit is the oldest and most laughable form of "gay panic". FYI: we have standards and we don't hop on the first thing we see. Don't flatter yourself.

I found myself getting so upset after reading these comments I had to respond, but instead of posting a public comment I decided to write a few brothers personally who's perception of our community was way off in left field. I've posted one conversation below just as it transpired. This blackplanet member seems to suffer from a common problem on this site, poor grammar and serious spelling errors.

My Note:
I just read many of the comments that you left regarding the Tim Hardaway controversy and something in my spirit directed me to respond to you personally.

In 2007 you would think that Tim Hardaway, a Black man, would be sensitive to the oppression experienced by another minority in this country since he has first hand knowledge of what it feels like to be discriminated against.

Your comments come from a place of ignorance that's rooted in stereotypes and hyper-masculinity.

You are entitled to feel however you choose about homosexuality, but you should never condone hatred towards any of God's people. I assume you're a christian, when people participate in hate speech they usually follow it up with a scripture.

I challenge you to have a conversation with a Black gay man and learn about his struggles and triumphs. Don't allow fear and stereotypes to shape your view of a group of people that you have yet to dialogue with.

Darian
loldarian.blogspot.com

The Response:
I really dont care for your struggles and triumphs, a challenge is a waiste of time and pointless, I can care less for a gay man and his lifestyle, you may call it as hate and ignorance, if thats what you see hey Im all for that,and if you could read and pay attention, I never condoned hatred, I stated in another forum I agree with what hardaway said but I dont agree with hatred, so read my forum again. As far as the scriptures goes, you know what God said about homosexuality, but yet you want to go against what he said so you can suit your little gay lifestyle come on man, who are you fooling.

I know you guys are wondering why in the hell I'm attempting to change the minds of people who are apart of this particular online community? You're not alone because I've asked myself that question a million times. The only explanation I can give is that hopefully by me presenting my life as an out Black SGL man and not someone on the down low or a person meeting their stereotypical expectations of gay life, I will plant a seed that will at least cause them to question their homophobia.

One can only wish.

Read how nasty it gets at blackplanet.com

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It's a new week so you know that means there's a new episode of The & Show with Nathan and Jared .

The boys continue the discussion from last week as they compare the differences between the black and white gay experience, but of course in a way that only those two can, with plenty of expletives and humor. If you enjoy the show make sure you drop the guys an e-mail at The&Show@gmail.com .

Enjoy!

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2 comments | Sunday, February 18, 2007





Every year in the month of February we celebrate the lives and achievements of prominent African-Americans who have made an impact on the world. Many of these people were same gender loving, but this aspect of their lives were often never recorded in history books and definitely never celebrated. But this week in Atlanta that will all change.

The PHYRE project aims to ensure that the truth about African-American LGBT persons is known, understood, and celebrated. PHYRE, based in Atlanta, Georgia, is honoring African-American history by dedicating the week of February 18, 2007 - February 24, 2007 to celebrating and remembering lesbian, gay, and bisexual African-American women and men who too have shaped the American mosaic through their contributions in politics, social justice, film, art, music dance, religion, and literature.

The organizers plan on making this tribute an annual event that is rooted in Atlanta, but stretches across all communities in the United States, with hopes that within Black History month, America will dedicate one week to honor the contributions of its black lesbian, gay, and bisexual past. All events will be free of charge and open to the public.

I will definitely be attending the panel discussion on Question Homophobia on Wednesday night. If you're in Atlanta don't miss this opportunity to engage other SGL brothas and sistas in dialogue that is instrumental to moving our community forward. Check out the links provided for a complete list of activities.

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It seems that rapper 50 Cent seems to think that using the N & f words in any context should be considered a term of endearment to the person on the opposite end receiving the slurs, and he had no problem using them freely in an interview on CNN.

50 says, "When I say it I don't mean it as a direct thing against someone, I'm just using it as slang. In the neighborhood I'll say nigga you a faggot, but it doesn't mean it's bad...bad is good".

I swear between Tim Hardaway and 50 Cent's broken english they should both become poster boys for pursuing an education.

It seems as if 50 is attempting to project himself as gay friendly or at the least tolerant. But if you've followed 50's career then you know he is nothing of the sort, as proven in this article .

Tim Hardaway's comments were definitely out of line and innapropriate, but I must say that it has started a dialogue and given the gay community the chance to tackle homophobia and educate people in the process.

I will be covering homophobia in the media all week and the continued reaction from celebrities, the silence of Black organizations, and the straight online community from blackplanet.com .

I've posted the clip of 50 Cent's comments on CNN for you to view thanks to my friend Jeff .

50 Cent on CNN

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On Valentine's day I received an e-mail from the Human Rights Campaign that displayed beautiful images of gay and lesbian couples. I was thrilled upon opening the e-mail because I knew I would see relationships that mirrored my own and those of my friends, sadly this was not the case. As I watched the slideshow I found myself saying, "okay the next picture has to be of a black couple", needless to say a black couple was not included and my hopes were quickly diminished.

You would think the HRC would at least pretend to be diverse, right? I could really go off on a tangent about the lack of diversity within mainstream gay organizations but I will refrain for now. I decided to create my own slideshow of couples that I either know personally or through mutual friends. These images empower me and give me hope for a healthy committed relationship, hopefully in the near future.

Let's hope next year the HRC will recognize that GLBT love comes in many different colors . I'll even let them borrow some of my pictures.

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I received a phone call from my good friend Tramaine a couple of days ago alerting me to a new exercise dvd by a beautiful dancer that we both worked with during our days in L.A. . If you've never heard of Sean Thompson allow me to introduce him to you.

My first impression of Sean was wrapped in thoughts that I'm too embarrased to write in this post, but I'm sure you can use your imagination to gauge my thoughts after seeing his signature abs up close and personal. Lawd have mercy!!

Sean has just released a new hip-hop instructional dvd that promises to provide results without the pain and stress of an intense workout. Viewers will learn 3 hot hip-hop routines and burn calories and increase their metabolism in the process.

Well that's all fine and good, but have I mentioned how HOT Sean is?!!! If you haven't already noticed this post is not an advertisement for Hip Hop Abs but just an opportunity for me to share my new crush .

On top of being sexy and talented Sean is also a very sweet guy. It's always great to see a dancer create their own opportunities outside of the usual cattle calls. Congratulations Sean!

0 comments | Thursday, February 15, 2007



Over the past 24 hours message boards and news outlets have been on fire with comments in reaction to Tim Hardaway's homophobic statements about gay people. He has since issued two different apologies that range from being completely insincere to being so articulate and thoughtful that it's obvious it was written by someone else.

Let's examine the apology that was obviously crafted by a team of people who are working overtime to salvage what's left of his career at this point.

"As an African-American, I know all too well the negative thoughts and feelings hatred and bigotry cause," "I regret and apologize for the statements that I made that have certainly caused the same kinds of feelings and reactions. "I especially apologize to my fans, friends and family in Miami and Chicago. I am committed to examining my feelings and will recognize, appreciate and respect the differences among people in our society," he said. "I regret any embarrassment I have caused the league on the eve of one of their greatest annual events."

Translation: I still hate you gay people and I'm sorry that I expressed my feelings publicly, but my agent and publicist have instructed me to apologize or run the risk of losing all of the material posessions that I've acquired that make me feel like a man.

Tim's actions are disturbing on so many different levels. I've heard many different people say they respect him for being honest enought to share his homophobic feelings in public, at least we know where he stands. I think we're all aware that many players in the NBA share the same views, but the difference is they haven't chosen to display their intense hatred for a group of people in front of the entire world.

The part of this drama that I think is so unfortuante is that he's discriminating against his own people. Has he not noticed that the NBA is overwhelmingly dominated by African-American males? Black people in this country are all too familiar with the effects of bigotry and oppression, yet homophobic statements, often times supported by religion consistently emerge from our community, it makes absolutely no sense.

One of Hardaway's main concerns is having to share a locker room with a gay teammate. I'm beginning to wonder along with Dallas Maverick's Mark Cuban if "maybe he just broke up with his boyfriend and is really angry", not to mention confused about his own sexuality. It baffles me that some straight men believe that all gay men will automatically be attracted to them and desire a sexual relationship. News flash, we're picky and we're aware of your "shortcomings" Tim!

I agree with the opinions of many activists that he should feel the seriousness of his statements in his pocket. The National Black Justice Coalition quickly released a statement condemning his actions." It is obvious that from the workplace to the basketball courts, gay people continue to be brunt of aggression and attacks from others intolerant of who we are.

We hope that Mr. Hardaway will come to understand the gravity of his words, words that if put into action incite physical violence. We at NBJC reach out to Tim and invite him to become part of the solution and not the catalyst which causes the problem. NBJC is officially inviting Tim Hardaway to attend our 2nd Annual Black Church Summit in Philadelphia where Black churches from across the country will gather to discuss how to combat homophobia within the Black community." -Alexander Robinson

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Oscar nominee Jennifer Hudson's star continues to rise. After gracing the cover of almost every major magazine including Vogue, Jennifer is now the new covergirl for LIFE magazine.

It seems that winning American Idol isn't necessarily a good thing. Can someone please tell me what happened to Reuben or that "Soul Patrol" guy? I digress. I'm extremely pleased with the outcome of these photos, I personally thought the Vogue photos didn't capture Jennifer's true beauty. Let's not even talk about the cover shot with her mouth wide open..Lawd have mercy!

Jennifer's scheduled to perform "I Love You I Do" on the night of the Oscar's, but rumors are circulating that she along with back up singers Beyonce and Anika Noni Rose will be singing I'm Not Going/And I Am Telling You. This is one rumor that I hope is true.

Meanwhile, the original Effie White Ms. Jennifer Holiday will be singing her signature song for E! during the Oscar pre-show . I love me some Jennifer Hudson but you've got to respect the woman who created the role. I've posted a little reminder of what Ms. Holiday is capable of just in case you've forgotten. Many thanks to O1lt.com for the photos. Enjoy!

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I'm still laughing at this one!! Thanks Marisa

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It seems that John Amaechi's coming out has brought out the worst in retired Miami Heat player Tim Hardaway. In a recent radio interview when Tim was asked how he would deal with an openly gay player he had this to say, "First of all I wouldn't want them on my team. And second of all, if he was on my team, you know, I would really distance myself from him because, uh, I don't think that is right. I don't think he should be in the locker room while we are in the locker room, and it's just a whole lot of other things and I wouldn't even be a part of that."

Later in the interview Hardaway goes even further to say that if an openly gay player was on his team he should be traded even if his skills on the court were an asset to the team. I'm completely outraged that he would have the audacity as a Black man who comes from a history of oppression to spew this kind of hate towards another minority group.

There is no doubt that this is how he feels about same gender loving people. He did not hold back and there will be no amount of rehab to fix the damage that has been done as a result of his actions.

When did it become okay to display your hatred towards gays or any other group in a national setting? Hardaway should be stripped immediately of any endorsement deals or public appearances. Is this the kind of person the NBA wants to represent their league?

Hardaway may not want to deal with the fact that gay players exist in professional sports, but the truth is we do and either both sides will learn to co-exist or players like Hardaway can mouth off and end up looking like the true "faggot" in the end!

Check out the video below.

0 comments | Wednesday, February 14, 2007




I've been hesitant to write about the newly outed retired basketball star John Amaechi, simply because over the last week he has become the topic of conversation everywhere from blogs, to newspapers and of course television.

In a weird way he has become the new gay spokesperson for masculinity. We all know that gay people exist in professional sports, but the climate in the NFL and the NBA has never been safe for a gay person to come out. John Amaechi has done what many players in the past and present wish they would have had the courage to do. I'm only waiting for the one brave individual who will come out while he's an active player and change the league forever.

John Amaechi's coming out has forced the extremely homophobic NBA to deal with the issue of homosexuality and the reality that their might come a time when they will have to deal with an openly gay player. The reactions have been mixed, from total acceptance to the old fear that a gay man would "hit on me" in the locker room.

Over the past few days John has revealed the death threat's he's received via e-mail, "I have received emails that would make you sick. "I'm doing this for the high school (American football) quarterback who is thinking about sticking his head in a noose because he can't come to grips with the fact he's gay.

With all of the progress our community has made when it comes to debunking stereotypes we still have a long way to go.

John Amaechi will be signing copies of his new book Man In The Middle at Outwrite Bookstore on February 28th at 8 PM in Atlanta.

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As I was trying to make sense of everything that transpired last weekend with the small controversy surrounding two gospel artists that I'd written about last week, I became inundated with comments and phone calls from people who were either appalled by my statements or shared the same views as I did.

Through this experience I began to really understand the effect religion and the church has on a person's life, particularly in the African-American community. On Sunday I joined a church I'd been visiting regularly since I moved to Atlanta. The Vision Church of Atlanta is a GLBT affirming church that embraces all of God's children regardless of who they are and where they are in their walk with Christ.

I often talk about living life authentically and sometimes that means going against what is considered "normal" in order to be true to yourself. I've come to realize that this simple act of courage is easier said than done for some SGL people and for many different reasons.

I attempted to pour my feelings into writing, but my thoughts were running together. I later came across a video featuring spoken word artist and activist Kenneth Morrison that summed up exactly what I was feeling.

At 13 is a poem that was written in memory of Kenneth's friend Devon who comitted suicide at 13 years of age. Everything that I was feeling about the church, the Black community and the effects of internalized homophobia within the gay community were spoken through the brilliance of Kenneth Morrison.

Some of us are tired of fighting

But I'm fighting because I'm tired

I'm tired of my existence being underrated

I'm tired of my freedoms being postdated

Living as the most hated

-Kenneth Morrison

0 comments | Tuesday, February 13, 2007




New talk show hosts Jared and Nathan Seven Scott are at it again with the second episode of their hilarious creation The & Show.

In this episode the duo looks at the differences between the White and Black gay communities, specifically the club scene.

Nathan also serves up some high fashion that would rival anything worn by Noah in the first two seasons of Noah's Arc.

He wears it with confidence and Jared and the camera crew don't hold back their opinions. Take some time out of your day to laugh with these two talented brothas. You'll be glad you did.

11 comments | Sunday, February 11, 2007


Over the weekend I received an e-mail from gospel singer Ricky Dillard's manager Will Bogle, regarding a post that I wrote about an incident that occured involvingTye Tribbett at a benefit for Ricky Dillard last week here in Atlanta.

If you've followed my blog from the beginning then you know it's not a gossip site and I don't waste my time on "outing" people. However, from time to time I will state the obvious or what is known to be true about certain individuals who aren't as forthcoming as others.

After reading Will's e-mail I decided to remove the post, a decision that I regret, but I had given him my word and I was not about to go back on it. After all we do live in a country where we take pride in having freedom of speech and on my blog I'm free to express my opinions without being regulated by anyone.

I paid close attention to everything he had to say in his e-mail and responded, but it wasn't until after I had sent the e-mail that a much bigger question/dilemma presented itself that I think needs to be discussed. I've posted Will's e-mail and my response here for everyone to read in an effort to be fair and balanced, but there's always two sides to every story and then there's the truth.

Will's E-mail
This message is intended for Mr. Darian Aaron.

Periodically, I come across numerous alleged incidents, fabricated accountings and untruthful stories...however, yours is most inaccurate. My name is Will Bogle and I'm pleased to manage and represent Mr. Ricky Dillard. I was informed of your page by a gay constituent who was also amazed by the extent of your dissertation. I do applaud your efforts to inform your community with news that you may deem relevant...however, I can not, in good faith, idly allow such ridiculous accusations to be made about my client or his friend and brother, Mr.Tyrone Tribbett.

Obviously, you were not at the benefit for Mr. Dillard, which is how you were able to grossly distort the verbiage and the intentions of both Mr.Tribbett and Mr. Dillard. Mr. Tribbett believes in his message for deliverance and Godly reconciliation...and he made it meticulously clear that nothing that he stated was directed to Mr. Dillard personally.

My request is that you immediately amend your postings, as it gives our fans and supporters a very jaded view of the actual events during the benefit service for Mr. Dillard. Slander is not God's desire for His people, nor is it in the best interest of brotherly commeraderie. I'm available at (he provided his phone number), should you have any further comments or concerns.

Kindly,
WiLL BoGLe
Manager ~ Ricky Dillard & the New Generation Chorale

My Response:
This message is intended for Mr. Will Bogle.

I just received your e-mail regarding my post about Tye Tribbett and your client Ricky Dillard and I have to say that it was not my intention to slander Mr. Dillard in any way, I do believe I did just the opposite.

I did not claim to be present the night of the benefit, I actually wrote that I learned of this incident through a friend who was in attendance. You stated that Tye's message was one of deliverance and Godly reconciliation and was not directed towards Ricky personally.

I have never met Ricky, but I respect his work and obvious calling to the ministry. But if he identifies as a same gender loving Black man in private or public , when his "brother" took the mic to speak his distorted message of God's word to all of the homosexual men and women in that church, Ricky was not excluded regardless if Tye Tribbett singled him out or not.

Journalistic integrity is extremely important to me and for that reason alone I will remove the post. I make no apologies for speaking out against Tye Tribbet's homophobic message and for commending Ricky for having the courage to be an openly gay face in an industry filled with closeted men .

I'm available at (I provided my phone number) should you have any further comments or concerns.

Darian Aaron
Living Out Loud with Darian

All weekend I thought about what had transpired as a result of my post and it caused me to examine the Black church (yet again) and it's treatment of gays and lesbians and the many gospel artists who identify as SGL in silence.

It goes without saying that the Black church has played a major role in shaping who we are as a community, through slavery, Jim Crow and the injustices we face in the 21st century, our relationship with God and the church has been paramount. I think the same thing can be said for gospel music. I can remember the first time I felt a connection with God, it wasn't after hearing the pastor in the country church I grew up in "hoop and holler", it was when I heard John P. Kee and the New Life Community Choir sing "Show Up"! There was something about gospel music that caught my attention and made a relationship with God seem accessible even at my young age.

Later on I would realize that gospel music was the one aspect of the Black church where I was free to praise God openly and honestly without experiencing the condemnation of the "word". As I came into my own and embraced my sexuality and the backlash from the church for identifying openly as such, I couldn't help but notice all of the gay men and women who were at the forefront of the gospel music industry. We've all seen them in church, on tv, we own their cd's, everyone whispers about them, they're flamboyant, attractive, talented, anointed and unmarried.

Praise and worship would not be the same if gay brotha or sister so and so was not leading the choir and bringing souls to Christ. The music in a Black church can ruin the worship experience if the choir is not on point and whoever wants to argue with that can do so all day long but that's just a fact.

We've always been apart of the church, we sit and listen to ministers damn our souls to hell and preach conversion through prayer Sunday after Sunday in silence. Meanwhile, our self -esteem plummets and we allow man to convince us that we won't have access to the kingdomn of God because of who we are. I'm personally sick of this lie and I'm sick of all of the men who "AMEN" this religious dogma and then retire home to feel the touch of their boyfriend.

How many gospel artists do you know that fall into this category? Probably too many too count. But of course no one in the church or the gospel music industry will have a problem with your homosexuality as long as you don't talk about it.

Translation: We'll let you sing in the choir,even let you hold the title of minister of music, buy your cd's, and enjoy the presence of God as a result of your gift, but the moment you admit you're a homosexual you might as well be Lucifer himself.

I'm not calling for every closeted gay man in gospel music to come out, I understand that they are at risk of losing their fan base and their livelihood. But I am challenging them to be sensitive to the fight for tolerance, acceptance, and equality on the behalf of those of us who love exactly as they do but out in the open.

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Ok, so I'm going to make this post Grammy review short and sweet because I'm sure everyone in the blogosphere will be talking about the show today. The highlights for me were watching Mary J. Blige, Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, and Justin Timberlake perform with "My Grammy Moment" contest winner Robyn Troup.

So with all of those performances combined it probably totaled about thirty minutes of air time. So what did I think about the other two and a half hours of the show? Well I just hope they create a much more entertaining show next year. Go over to O1LT.com if you want to read a hilarious review of the show.

Enjoy the pics from the red carpet and the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy celebration.

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UNEQ magazine formerly known as Ballroom Rockstar kicked off it's official launch last week for their new magazine in New York City. On the cover is producer and BET's My Two Cents co-host Crystal McCrary Anthony and fashion designer B. Michael . Inside the magazine you'll be able to see yours truly in an article written by Herndon Davis. I'm included in a list of 27 Emerging Gay Leaders under 27.

I have not seen a copy of the magazine yet because it's in limited release. So if anyone in New York City would like to pick one up for me I would be forever grateful. Being included in this list is truly an honor. Many thanks to Herndon Davis and the staff at UNEQ magazine.

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Last May I had a wonderful opportunity to witness the passion and activism of Johnny Guaylupo at the Campaign to End Aids Youth Action Institute in Chicago. Johnny has been on the front lines fighting for proper access to drugs for HIV positive individuals here in the U.S. as well as abroad.

Born and raised on the tough streets of New York City, Johnny was diagnosed with HIV at 17 years old, he is now 25. In an interview with the British publicationPositive Nation, he reveals his early struggle coping with the disease, his sexuality, and his mother's drug abuse.

Johnny's story is so amazing because he is an example of what can be accomplished by choosing life even in the midst of HIV/AIDS. 8 years later he is still going strong with an undetectable viral load and a CD4 count of 900.

Take a moment to read his story here , it will inspire you.

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I recently made the 2 hour trip home to Montgomery to visit my family for a couple of days. I don't usually stay for very long because I don't want to give my family any time to start acting crazy and Alabama is not at the top of my list of places to visit.

During my time there I paid a visit to my old high school, I can hardly believe that my 10 year high school reunion is coming up. Once I entered the dance department old memories of sweat, tears, and dreams began to resurface. It was here that my passion for performing began to cultivate.

One of my teachers talked me into teaching class to his current students and I couldn't refuse. It's so funny to me when I go back home and I teach or I talk to students about my experiences in the business and they treat me like I'm a star.

It's actually not until I talk to people who aspire to do the things that I've done and go to the places where I've been that I stop and reflect on my professional accomplishments. Usually I'm always working hard to get to the next level and I forget about the goals that I've achieved. The old saying is true "you're only as good as your last gig". Working with Prince and R. Kelly were definitely career highlights for me. Damn just gettng out of Montgomery was an achievement!

Lately I haven't been feeling like a dancer because writing has occupied so much of my time, but for one day the dancer in me resurfaced and it was an amazing feeling. I've posted a clip of the combination I choreographed for class for you guys to view. Be gentle, the kids in the class are young and somewhat lyrical in their dance style, so hip-hop was a challenge. LOL

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0 comments | Saturday, February 10, 2007



Peter John Gomes is a prominent African American preacher and theologian at Harvard University's Divinity School.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1942, Gomes graduated from Bates College in 1965 and Harvard Divinity School in 1968. He also spent time at the University of Cambridge and is now an Honorary Fellow of Emmanuel College, where The Gomes Lectureship is established in his name.

Gomes was ordained as an American Baptist minister by the First Baptist Church of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and is a leading expert on early American religion. Since 1970, he has served in the Memorial Church of Harvard University; and since 1974 as Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church. Gomes currently serves as a trustee of Bates College.

A member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and the Faculty of Divinity of Harvard University, Professor Gomes holds degrees from Bates College and from Harvard Divinity School and honorary degrees from thirty American colleges. He is a political conservative.

Widely regarded as one of America’s most distinguished preachers, Professor Gomes has fulfilled preaching and lecturing engagements throughout the United States and Great Britain. He was named Clergy of the Year in 1998 by Religion and American Life. His New York Times and national best-selling books, The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart and Sermons, the Book of Wisdom for Daily Living, were published by William Morrow & Company. He has published in total ten volumes of sermons, as well as numerous articles and papers.

Gomes surprised many when he revealed in 1991 that he is gay, and has since become an advocate for wider acceptance of homosexuality in American society. However, he has stated that he has remained celibate.

A lifelong Republican, Gomes offered prayers at the inagurals of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush. However, in August 2006 he moved his registration to Democrat, supporting the gubernatorial candidacy of Deval Patrick. (Gomes, 2006 source : Wikipedia)

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3 comments | Tuesday, February 06, 2007



Bloggers are all a buzz about the new book deal signed by former MTV producer Terrance Dean. In this tell all memoir Dean discusses his relationships with closeted rappers in the music and film industry. It is appropriately titled "Hiding in Hip-Hop: Confessions of a Down Low Brother in the Entertainment Industry.

According to O1LT.com, when reached by phone, Dean declined to discuss the book, but a spokeswoman for the publisher said it will identify Dean's closeted exes without naming them. "Let's put it this way: You'll know who they are," she promised. "It's a no-holds- barred look at Hollywood and hip-hop and who's living on the down-low."

Despite the images that rappers portray in front of the camera, it is no secret that homosexuality exists in hip-hop just like it does in every other profession in America. I'm sure this book is going to create a huge workload for a lot of publicists, they're going to have to work overtime to keep their artists sexuality from being questioned.

Wouldn't you hate to be one of the closeted rappers who made the mistake of "playing" with Terrance Dean? All I can say is ,"come out... come out... wherever you are" !

I've compiled a list of potential artists that could be mentioned in this book. Feel free to comment and leave your list, as I'm sure I overlooked some people. They're below on the TV screen where I'm sure they will be this time next year, but for a totally different reason.

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