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| Tuesday, June 28, 2011




During a trip to New York City last month I had the pleasure of being interviewed by my friend and fellow blogger Andre Allen of Andresflava, prior to the release of my literary debut: When Love Takes Over: A Celebration of SGL Couples of Color. We chat about the process of writing the book, the inspiration behind it and current black gay events.


I'm extremely proud of this book and I'm so appreciative of all the people who have supported it since it's release earlier this month. Get into our interview below and be sure to order your copy if you haven't already.






Order When Love Takes Over: A Celebration of SGL Couples of Color here:


iUniverse.com


Amazon.com


Barnes & Noble.com


Borders.com


ATL: Outwrite Bookstore In store & Online


1 comments | Saturday, June 25, 2011




The New York Senate approved marriage equality in the Empire State with a vote of 33-29 with bipartisan support.


Today’s decision is about New York’s loving and committed gay and lesbian couples who want to make a lifelong promise to love and take care of each other and their families. Marriage equality in New York allows them to do just that. -GLAAD


Happy Pride!


8 comments | Thursday, June 23, 2011




Image: Project Q Atlanta


Openly gay CNN anchor Don Lemon made an appearance at Outwrite Bookstore in Atlanta last night in support of his new memoir Transparent. Lemon spoke to a packed and enthusiastic crowd in Atlanta's gay district. Lemon took questions from the audience after speaking candidly about the process of writing Transparent, his decision to come out and the reaction of family, friends, and fans. One particular question gave Lemon the opportunity to discuss black gay men, the black gay community, and the religious bigotry that exists in the church around homosexuality.


I had the opportunity to speak with Lemon briefly and he was just as warm and engaging as I thought he'd be. He also left with a copy of my new book: When Love Takes Over: A Celebration of SGL Couples of Color.


Get into his response in the video below:


9 comments | Monday, June 06, 2011




“The love shared between eighteen black same-gender loving couples emerges out of the shadows and into the light. The time has come for black love to be recognized in its totality…and the time is now.”


I am thrilled to announce that the book that caused my long hiatus from the blog last year is now available for purchase. When Love Takes Over: A Celebration of SGL Couples of Color is based on the popular Coupled Up series from loldarian.com and exclusively profiles eighteen African-American gay couples who are in committed long-term relationships. The couples detail how they met, their journey towards self-acceptance, liberation and ultimately how they fell in love and maintain their relationships. All the while defying the myth that two black men are incapable of loving each other for a lifetime.


The arrival of this book is timely and necessary. The gay and mainstream media has largely ignored black same-gender loving men who have formed nurturing and long-term relationships, even worse; the love shared between these brave men have often been met with hostility from individuals within their own community. But finally, the diversity that exists within both the African-American and gay communities are laid out in the pages of “When Love Takes Over” for the entire world to see.


Early buzz for When Love Takes Over:


What is so powerful about black love is its strength, beauty, and power. Darian has done a superb job in showcasing this with his amazing images of black gay love in this fantastic and prolific book, When Love Takes Over. What a wonderful tribute in celebrating ‘us’ and showing ‘us’ what it looks like, and how it can be done! – Terrance Dean, best-selling author Hiding In Hip Hop; Straight FromYour Gay Best Friend; Reclaim Your Power; and Visible Lives


“When Love Takes Over: A Celebration of SGL Couples of Color is a first of its kind, celebrating an overlooked group in the LGBT community. However, its focus of love transcends race and sexuality, people from all backgrounds can appreciate the book’s sincerity and storytelling.”-Clay Cane Journalist, BET


"Because Black SGL men are often depicted as only being worthy of attention and affection if we are desired by or partnered with white gay men-not to mention demonized as Black America's sexual boogeymen-I was tickled to tears flipping through When Love Takes Over. I count some of the couples profiled as close friends and spiritual brothers, and have even witnessed them exchanging vows. No matter how ling they've been together, no matter how many years may separate them, and no matter what trials they've had to endure, the message is always the same and one we should never forget; loving each other is not only a natural thing, it's a beautiful thing."-James Earl Hardy, author of the bestselling B-Boy Blues series


Watch When Love Takes Over cover models Seanmichael and Damien Rodgers in their Coupled Up video below:





Order When Love Takes Over: A Celebration of SGL Couples of Color here:


iUniverse.com


Amazon.com


Barnes & Noble.com


Borders.com


In Atlanta: Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse (Available in-store and online)

2 comments | Sunday, June 05, 2011




I recently had the pleasure of chatting it up with black gay author Lee Hayes. Hayes is one of my favorite authors in the African-American gay fiction genre. He has just released his latest novel The Bad Seed which has only cemented my love affair with his incredible talent.


The Bad Seed is composed of two novellas or short stories in one novel. "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" is about a cosmetically beautiful but emotionally damaged young man who marries a wealthy older man to go from rags to riches. After beginning an illicit affair with his husband's attorney, he decides that he would rather enjoy the amenities of limitless money minus the husband. He will stop at nothing to see his husband six feet under so that he can dance on his grave, toasting with expensive champagne.


In "Crazy In Love", a hyper-sexual seventeen-year-old high school boy develops a fatalistic crush on his reclusive high school English teacher. When the teacher rebuff's the boy's advances, all hell breaks loose-and the upstanding teacher's life is put on the line. Hell hath no fury...


Hayes and I talked about the inspiration for the book, what sets his work apart from others in his genre, and the creation of the two leading characters Blues and Brandon.


Darian: What was your inspiration for The Bad Seed?


Lee: I think I was really intrigued by creating a story about characters typically you wouldn't like. I wanted to explore the darker side of things. And as we know in life sometimes you run across some bad seeds, and they have stories just like everyone else. I was really interested in writing a story about them because sometimes the bad seed wins.


Darian: You've explored murder and fatal obsession before in some of your previous novels like The Messiah. Do you find these themes fascinating to write about?


Lee: When it comes to gay literature I don't like to write about the same common themes. Down-low and coming out stories have their place but I think it's been done a lot. I think there's so many things we can write about as gay authors. I personally kinda tilt on the darker side of things. I've always been a horror movie buff, so I think my writing tends to explore the darker side of literature.


Darian: What was your process for creating the two protagonists Blues and Brandon in The Bad Seed?


Lee: Well I don't want you to think I'm crazy or I'm murderous (Laughs) but you really have to become your character. You really have to put yourself in the mindset of this character and really become this person and think and feel as they would. Sometimes it's difficult for writers to do that, but in order to create realistic characters writers have to have that ability or the story will suffer.


Darian: You dedicated the book to anyone who has ever been misunderstood. Do you think the characters Blues and Brandon and people like them are often misunderstood?


Lee: To a certain extent I think we're all misunderstood. No one will ever completely know us the way we know ourselves. Blues went through some pretty bad stuff as a child and he did some bad things as well. Moving from adolescence in to adulthood and marrying his husband...he clearly lost his way. Instead of taking the time to get the help he needed to deal with his issues he chose a different route. Even with Brandon, he has a lot of issues that I don't even think he understands.


Darian: Is there anything in particular that you want readers to take away from The Bad Seed or your work in general?


Lee: Generally speaking I want to provide people with an outlet to step away from the world to have a good time and to be entertained. All of my novels have been very gay centered and when people read my books I want them to really start seeing gay people as a part of the world. I hate using the word normal because it's just a terrible word. Being gay is just as normal as anything else. I tend not to make it a big deal in my books because some people are gay and some people are not. It's just that simple.


Darian: How can people purchase a copy of The Bad Seed?


Lee: If readers want an autographed copy they can get it from my website, www. leehayes.info. It's also available at B. Dalton, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and pretty much wherever books are sold.


The Bad Seed is definitely one to be included on your summer reading list. It's a page turner!

6 comments | Friday, June 03, 2011




Apparently there's no stopping B. Scott. The openly gay internet sensation is venturing into music with his latest single and video "Kiss Kiss". The sexy video for the 90's inspired dance track is a throwback to days gone by. One listen will take you back to partying at the now defunct Limelight nightclub in New York City.





In his usual fashion, B. Scott blurs the lines between male and female and ramps up his androgynous beauty and the jewelry in Kiss Kiss. Get into the video and his sexy co-star in the clip below. You better work B!





13 comments | Thursday, June 02, 2011




Image: Lonnell Williams


Our latest article appearing in Miami's mPower Magazine.


As the winter months disappear and summer approaches, the change in weather provides the perfect opportunity to strip off all the layers and wear as little as possible as you revel in the compliments of both male and female admirers as they fawn over your chiseled physique. There’s a list of beach parties, cookouts, and annual events on your calendar and none of it will start until you arrive. Your biggest dilemma is making sure your chosen wardrobe for the weekend will turn heads the minute you step out of your hotel room-pardon me-your suite. You’re black, gay, single, sexy, and free and you have a plethora of choices, from the breathtaking beaches of Miami and the sexy men of Sizzle, to the sinful allure of Tempted 2 Touch in Las Vegas, to the exotic island of the Dominican Republic, home of Inferno DR. Everything you could possibly want in a vacation experience and more is at your fingertips; men, sex, drugs, alcohol and HIV, an undesirable party favor but available nonetheless.


Black gay circuit parties have long held a reputation for offering more than is appropriate to be placed on advertisements. The organized and costly events taking place during the day may be a draw for some, but the prospect of experiencing multiple sexual encounters over the course of the weekend is at the top of the “to do list” for many attendees. It should be understood that with any large gathering of people the opportunity to engage in sexual intercourse is always present, besides we are sexual beings with a desire to connect on an intimate level. But with every unprotected sexual encounter there’s a risk of being infected with a sexually transmitted disease, and in the case of black gay men who are heavily impacted by HIV, circuit parties catering to this population can easily become a hotbed for transmission. Well, at least that’s one theory.


“Information about safe sex is ubiquitous now…having fun does not equal risking your life,” says Atlanta resident Jon Rico.





Access to accurate information about HIV transmission may be easier to find thirty years into the epidemic, but when you add condom fatigue, complacency, and an environment conducive to a more relaxed approach towards safe sex the results can be detrimental.


“People need to take responsibility for their own actions and protect themselves,” says long-time Sizzle attendee Daniel Hudson. “Circuit organizers should not be held responsible for the promiscuity of their patrons.” But there is also a point of view held by an increasingly growing number of people who believe promoters should take as much of an interest in prevention as they do their bottom line.


Dwight Powell, CEO of Sizzle Miami, the largest circuit party catering to black gay and bisexual men annually over Memorial Day Weekend, rejects the idea that promoters should play dual roles as party planners and prevention specialists.


“I realized a long time ago that it’s difficult to not only take on the much needed task of HIV prevention at Sizzle, but also to do it well. I have resolved to the fact that this important task should be taken on by agencies that do this type of work all day every day,” says Powell.


“Sizzle Miami has always partnered with Empower U, a non-profit agency here in Miami steadily at work in the fight against the disease,” Powell adds.





While efforts to curb new infections across the board are imperative and should continue until a cure is found, a flaw of human beings to blame external forces for what plagues us is perhaps more of a distraction than the solution we so desperately need.


Michael Slaughter, CEO of Inclusivity Inc., a Georgia based company that provides outdoor retreats for gay men of color shares a similar mindset. “Circuit parties just concentrate the existing issues in one place making it appear to be a source when in fact it’s not. Individual fear of rejection and starvation for affection are more likely to cause individuals to make unsafe choices than circuit parties themselves.”


This is a theory that is worth exploring. It’s been said that a barrier towards reducing new HIV infections in black gay men revolves around the issue of self-worth. If one isn’t strong enough to reject the negative messages spewed from the heterosexual black community of gays as hell-bound abominations, chances are that individual will be less likely to use a condom consistently, if at all, since he believes his life had little or no value to begin with. Therein lies the root of the problem that is often overlooked when discussing the effects of circuit parties on HIV. The latter appears to only be a symptom of the more widespread diseases of homophobia and low self- esteem, which drives black gay men to engage in self-destructive behavior in spite of the risks.


As cliché’ as it sounds we are our brother’s keeper. And while it shouldn’t be expected to make personal decisions for adults regarding their individual sexual health, we must begin to love each other and ourselves past fleeting orgasms and meaningless sexual encounters. The euphoria of circuit parties is only temporary, but the decisions we make in the heat of the moment are permanent. Will you be able to live with your decision once the party ends?

2 comments







Novo Novus Productions home of the hit web series Drama Queenz brings us a new web series Fade In: Inspiring Stories of Homeless LGBTQ Youth.


From Novo Novus:


The series is designed not only to bring awareness to the fact that 35-40% of runaway or homeless youth in New York identify as being LGBTQ, but also to provide & promote a positive light forward for teens struggling with their identities due to personal, social, and familial factors.


Each episode of FADE IN is 5 minutes and is based around a different virtue (e.g. beauty, acceptance, compassion, faith), with several youth discussing an uplifting story that relates to said virtue Through smiles and laughter, tears and heartbreak, these touching tales shine a light on the truths of those forced to live in darkness.





“The Novo Novus team was deeply troubled to learn that LGBTQ youth are disproportionately affected by homelessness in the U.S.,” says FADE IN Executive Producer Dane Joseph to loldarian.com. “We wanted to give these young people a unique voice in a way that both inspires action and confirms their worth.”


Watch the trailer and first episode of Fade In below:





6 comments




How many times have you logged on to websites created specifically for black gay men only to be turned off by their overt sexual nature and a virtual environment dismissive of establishing meaningful relationships? I'm sure many of you have even tossed around the idea of creating a website with your BFF's that would offer something different than what is currently available to gay men of color. Well, HeMeetsHim.com aims to be just what many of you who are single have been looking for. I call it the anti BGC/A4A.


In an interview with Black Gay Men's Blog, 26 year-old Victor, creator of HeMeetsHim.com explains why he decided to create the site.


"I had been having conversations with friends about how hard it was to meet people in this lifestyle, who weren’t just about sex and who wanted healthy relationships and so I started doing some research online(because everyone is online on social networking and dating sites), to see what was out there. I realized there was nothing for people like me, who aren’t solely sexually driven. All we have are the Adams, BGCs and Men4Nows – nothing really for those looking for relationships. With the high rates of HIV and STDs in our community, I think it is important to have another option, so we are not saying to young black gay men, that casual sex is all this lifestyle is about. And so HeMeetsHim was born."


So I'm sure you're wondering what sets HeMeetsHim.com apart from those other sites. Here's your answer:


"If you want to hook-up, those sites will always be available, but if you want something solid and substantial, that’s where my site comes into play. I’m trying to target those who are looking to date and build and fall in love, that aspect of dating, not just the sex, but also intimacy, where there is an emotional connection to the other person."





HeMeetsHim.com is free to join but also offers premium features that require a subscription. You can check out the site by clicking here or on the HeMeetsHim.com banner on the right side of the blog. Here's to a new era in online black gay dating. Tell a friend.

3 comments




This is amazing. Atlanta based vocalist and producer Erik Dillard has created his own version of Marsha Ambrosius critically acclaimed video "Far Away". Ambrosius took the bold step to address homophobia and suicide in the black community on a national stage when she showed a relationship between two black gay men and one partner's ultimate demise in the groundbreaking video.


Dillard has taken Ambrosius vision a step further by introducing what he calls "church hurt" into his video. The black church, the epicenter of black life has become a source of visceral pain for those who identify as LGBT. Dillard masterfully tells the story of many black LGBT people who have suffered spiritual abuse from the church because of their sexual orientation.





The views for Dillard's version are increasing daily and people are having passionate responses similar to Ambrosius version.


TheKarkay says: "This video is exactly the Truth of the matter. What I find interesting is many that are involved in the behavior are upset that light is being shed on them. This is not about blaming the church. Hello! We are the church! This is not down low but low down behavior. If Church leadership preaching in the name of Jesus would do what Jesus did- not condemn anyone- but welcome everyone. Maybe just maybe folks wouldn't hide and be ashamed. Keep on doing what you're doing I'm with you."





Watch Far Away (The Church Version) below and be sure to share it with your friends and family.


3 comments | Wednesday, June 01, 2011




I bet many of you had never even heard of rapper Lil B prior to his decision to name his upcoming album "I'm Gay." The rapper broke the news back in April onstage at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. The self-identified heterosexual,who denies being gay, says he hopes his album title serves as a lesson in tolerance in order to show people that “words don’t mean s**t.”


Many people are skeptical about Lil B's motives including The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). “As a lyricist, Lil B knows that words matter. Slurs have the power to fuel intolerance. We hope that Lil B’s album title is not just a gimmick, and is really a sincere attempt to be an ally. He has the platform and the voice. We hope he uses it in a positive way.”


In recent days CNN has examined the growing controversy surrounding Lil B's album title. Gavin Godfrey hosts a discussion with openly gay hip-hop blogger and good friend Gyant (GyantUnplugged), who recently came out via Twitter and openly gay author Terrance Dean (Hiding in Hip-Hop) on a CNN podcast. Listen here.





Gyant on Lil B: "If you're really saying you want to bridge the gaps then I want to see you perform at Bulldogs or some gay club. I wanna see you marching in support of gay rights. I wanna see you involved in the gay community. If I don't see any of that then your actions are not backing up your words. Therefore, it means nothing. Therefore, you are simply trying to sell an album."



Terrance Dean believes that Lil B's motives are sincere. " I think that he is genuinely sincere. He wants to bridge the LGBT community and the black and brown communities together and create this dialogue to show the dangers of homophobia and what it has created."





Lil B tells CNN that following the announcement to name his album "I'm Gay" he received death threats.


"Mainly, a lot of them are on Twitter, saying that they're going to kill me for being gay, and they're going to kill me for being homosexual even though I'm not homosexual. I don't like men. They're saying they're going to bash my head in. They're calling me f-----. That's all right, because I did this with the pure intention in my heart to help people, and I didn't do this for promotional reasons. I did because there needs to be someone brave enough to do it, brave enough to speak up and have the right reasonings of doing it."

2 comments




Civil union licences are officially available today to gay and lesbian couples in Chicago after legislation passed last December granting gay and lesbian couples most of the benefits of marriage through the "marriage-lite" institution.


According to @cookcountyclerk, black lesbian couple Lakeesha Harris and Janean Watkins of Chicago were first in line at midnight to receive their license. The perks of being first in line: the couple will avoid paying the thirty dollar fee and will receive a gift bag. However, they will have to wait a day before they can engage in a public ceremony.





Watch a local news report in the clip below via The Chicago Tribune. View a photo slide show of many of the first couples granted civil unions here. Congrats ladies!


 


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