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5 comments | Thursday, November 30, 2006

Last Saturday's Clik Awards in Atlanta was an event that I don't think I will ever forget. There were hundreds of Black gay and lesbian people in one room who gathered to honor their own, it was truly a monumental event to say the least. There was no drama, no shade, and no ulterior motives other than to celebrate the achievements of 25 SGL pioneers.

However the drama has started online with many angry lesbian bloggers who feel that the lack of female presence(Jasmyne Cannick and Lisa C. Moore being the exception) at the event was done intentionally.

How I wish that everyone in our community could be on the same page for once. I think we're all aware that there's hundreds of hardworking gay and lesbian people who are active in the community who did not receive an award last weekend. There were over 150 people nominated and only 25 people received awards, it would have been impossible to recognize all of these individuals in one night.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I'm in no way suggesting that their feelings aren't valid, however I believe that the show was a wonderful example of unity and the slander that has occured following the event against the Clik publication from people within our own community is a shame.

Dwight Powell, Editor of Clik Magazine has released the following statement addressing the concerned bloggers:

Hello Angela and gays and lesbians everywhere. I thank you for your post and am in agreement with almost all that was written. I truly understand how you feel.

You might know that Clik Magazine is a predominantly male publication. It has been for some time now. Our audience is 95% male, and our content is almost 100% male oriented and focused. It's a market that I know and have been working with since 1998.

Initially when I started work on the Clik Honors, it was to be a reflection of the entire SGL community. I reached out to almost every lesbian opinion leaders in our community. You noted that you were one that I contacted. The only person that responded was Jasmyne Cannick. I do understand the hesitation, since our magazine is male focused, but the invitation was extended. Since then, our focus became more male oriented due to the fact that that's where the interest was coming from. As the event got closer... say late September, early October, ladies started calling the magazine to get involved. For the most part the nomination process was almost over, but we made it known that nominations for all sexes can be made on line.

It’s is a bit unfortunate however, that I and my magazine are being mishandled by some in the media because of the lack of support from the lesbian community. Our intent was to make this an event that all could be a part of and enjoy…. But we did not get your support in time. We are extremely excited and 2007 and the possibilities it holds for this and future events. We will make another, but even stronger attempt to create a much more balanced show. There are many, many women as you’ve noted that are deserving of recognition.

I do look forward to working with you in 2007 should you be able to find the time.

Dwight Powell

2 comments | Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Are you tired of all of the sites targeted at Black gay and same gender loving men that seem to only have one goal,meaningless casual sex? Abovethelife.com provides an alternative to the usual dating sites that we frequent from time to time(i.e Blkgaychat and Adam 4 Adam), don't pretend like you've never been to these sites. lol !

Wil, the creator and his staff have created a site that is free from the overt sexual nature of other websites and have decided to focus on fostering dialogue between same gender loving men and women and promoting healthy relationships.

The site was formerly known as X-clusivity, but closed down for a brief period of time and reopened under the new name in October. There's currently 3,784 users in the Abovethelife community.

One section of the site that instantly grabbed my attention was the Life Blog section. This is where bloggers, many of whom are published writers have the opportunity to discuss issues relevant to the Black gay community. Each week there is a different blogger, and I'm proud to say that yours truly will be featured during the first week of every month. My colleagues Jonathan and Jared will be featured the second and fourth week in every month.

So if you're looking to join a community that's different from all the rest I recommend that you give Abovethelife.com a try.

I've posted my first video blog for the site and Jared's blog as well for you to watch. I hope you enjoy what you see.

Warning: Jared's smile is breathtaking !


I'm sure we're all aware of the overwhelming popularity of the social networking site myspace.com . I'm addicted to myspace and I'm constantly checking my messages and updating my profile . Originally I joined the site strictly for entertainment but it has turned into a very valuable networking tool.

So imagine how shocked and offended I was when I learned that someone had taken the myspace concept and created niggaspace , "a place for niggas".

With the current racial climate in our country at a boiling level due to the irresponsible and racist behavior of Seinfeld actor
Michael Richards, the usage of the N word has once again become the topic for heated debates across the country.

What I want to know is why in the hell would anyone create this site much less join? The creator calls himself Tyrone( Tom's black ghetto brother) and he writes this disclaimer on the site:

This site is in no way meant to be racist.

A common endearing term used by many black people is, "nigga" not to be confused with a different and offensive term, "nigger". The word, "nigga" is in rap songs, daily conversations, on TV, etc. yet the word still has so much mixed emotions attached. One of my intentions is for this word to no longer have such mixed emotions. Part of my intention for this site is for the word nigga to embody images of brotherhood, and fraternity rather than images of ignorance and hate.

How great would it be, if the mixed emotions that this word carries along with it, were stripped down to something more positive? Only positive.

Of course there are going to be two sides to this, but just know that intentions are noble. So create an account, and start the revolution!


Although his intentions may be good it still does not take away from the fact that the history that is attached to the N word is a painful one that conjures up images of lynchings, beatings, fire hoses, dog attacks, and years of Jim Crow after slavery ended.

It's unfortunate that in the black community a word that dehumanized our people for centuries is now considered a term of endearment and is almost an unspoken requirement in hip-hop music if you want a platinum album.

I'm not completely off the hook, I've used the word in conversation before but I must say that it's a word that I'm determined to remove from my vocabulary. We should be focused on uplifting one another and not using the word from "masa's" mouth that was meant to kill our spirit and make us feel inferior.

I can just imagine Tyrone sitting on the front porch with his boys on a Friday, bored, with nothing to do and then all of a sudden he says, "I think I'll create nigga space, after all niggas need a space too". Tyrone we need to talk.


After taking a day off due to writer's block, I thought I would come back with some eye candy to brighten your day. If it doesn't make you smile rest assured I'm beaming from cheek to cheek(no pun intended) !

3 comments | Sunday, November 26, 2006

Finally, an award show for us and by us. On Saturday evening at the beautiful Fox Theater in midtown Atlanta hundreds of Black gay and lesbian people gathered to honor our own for achievements in politics, community activism, literature, film, and music.

For years the contributions of same gender loving people in these areas have gone unrecognized until now. The vision of editor-in-chief Dwight Powell of Clik Magazine assembled some of the most powerful and influential people at the forefront in the fight for visibility and equality for Black LGBT people.

To say that I was in the midst of greatness would be an understatement. Keith Boykin, E. Lynn Harris, Patrick Ian-Polk, Duane Cramer, Billy Porter, Kevin Aviance, and numerous others were all in the same room, many said that this could not be done, but they were proven wrong.

It was impossible not to feel the love and pride that circulated throughout the room. Many honorees agreed that the feeling of being honored by members of their own community meant more to them than words could ever express. We are the ones we've been waiting on.

It was a night I will never forget. I walked away inspired and empowered to continue the work that I've started in the footsteps of all of the trailblazers who have come before me, many of whom I was priveleged to stand beside on this night.

This is only the beginning...the best is yet to come.

Many thanks to my friend and entertainment writer LT for the additional photos.


1 comments | Thursday, November 23, 2006

Just taking a moment to send some light and love your way. I pray that your Thanksgiving is filled with love from family and friends. Take a moment to be thankful for all of your blessings.

Living Out Loud with Darian will be going on hiatus until next week to enjoy the holidays with my family and my partner in Alabama.

Look for a full recap of the Clik Awards next week. Until then have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!


9 comments | Tuesday, November 21, 2006

If you come across the new issue of HIV PLUS Magazine or The Advocate you will probably see a familiar face. My friend and fellow blogger
Jonathan Perry is featured as one of the 8 people who are changing the way the world views HIV and the people who are living with the disease.

Jonathan has been apart of the fight to increase awareness and provide the necessary information to young people to spare them from learning about HIV the hard way. Lately his focus has been less on prevention but on hope and inspiring people to become apart of a solution to eradicate this virus that has affected so many people within the Black community.

"Education is still good. Abstinence, monogamy, and condoms are still good. But, a vaccine is is our best hope for ending this awful pandemic. We are who we have been waiting for. It is [Black] people who are going to have to move beyond the things we have allowed, so easily to beset us", said Jonathan.

I'm really close to Jonathan(he's actually sitting right next to me as I'm typing) and I know the person behind the magazine layouts and the Oprah Winfrey Show. I would never tell him this in person because it would go to his head, but I'm really proud of him. It takes courage to reveal something so personal to complete strangers.

So go grab a copy of these two magazines and support one of our own. If I have to listen to him revel in his "newfound celebrity" you should too. LOL !

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There's very few shows on LOGO that I look forward to watching now that the second season of Noah's Arc has ended, so you would have to imagine how excited I was when I came across another person of color on a network that caters to a largely white gay audience.

I'm not complaining, I love LOGO, just stating the facts. On the newest episode of Coming Out Stories we're introduced to Black lesbian rapper Trish aka Feloni. Feloni is in the process of releasing her debut album in which the lyrical content is heavy on the lesbian side. After listening to her single "I Took Your Bit**", there should be no doubt in the listeners mind that she is same-sex attracted.

The only problem is that Feloni has not come out to her father or her brother Floyd, aka "Pookie"(does every black person have someone in their family named Pookie?). She eventually works up the courage to come out and once she does she's shocked by the acceptance that she receives from her dad and her conservative brother.

It all seemed to good to be true to me. It amazes me that some families accept their kids right away and others struggle for acceptance and respect for years. The latter being my experience.

This example of unconditional love from a family further dispells the myth that Blacks are more homophobic than Whites. There's open minded people in our community who would rather think with their heads instead of relying on religious dogma to determine whether or not to accept their lesbian and gay relatives.

I wish this was everyone's coming out story.

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Last night Michael Richards appeared on the David Letterman Show to apologize for his racist comments during a performance at the Laugh Factory in L.A. . Jerry Seinfeld, his co-star from the 90's hit tv show was on hand to offer support for his career challenged racist friend.

Richards did his best to offer a sincere apology to the "Afro- American" community. Will somebody please tell this man we haven't been "Afro-American" since the afro went out of style.

There is no excuse for the behavior he exhibited on stage, a real comedian would have kept his cool and found a humorous way to deal with hecklers from the audience. His career as he knew it before should be over. Where is the outrage from the black community? Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton where are you now?

This just goes to show that racisim is still alive and well in this country.

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1 comments | Monday, November 20, 2006

Michael Richards of the hit show "Seinfeld" recently made an appearnace at the Laugh Factory in L.A. and to the surprise of many of the people in attendance began to shout the racial slur "nigger" at two African -American gentlemen in the audience.

This was caught on tape just as he began his racial tirade. You can watch the video here .

Just when I thought I had seen it all. Many thanks to my friend Jasmyne Cannick for bringing this story to my attention.

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Last week South Africa's Parliament legalized same-sex marriage giving all couples the opportunity to have their unions legally recognized by the officials in their country.

Although this is a step in the right direction for securing equality for all lesbian and gays in South Africa , the outright homophobia, discrimination, and violence is far from over.

In an article written by Associated Press writer Terry Leonard he evokes a quote from Donna Smith, the head of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women and a member of the Coalition of African Lesbians that rang so true for me that I wanted everyone to hear it.

"What is un-African is homophobia," said Smith. "Some people believe homosexuality is an idea brought here by the white man. But it has always been here. What the white man brought was homophobia clothed in religious doctrines that we did not have before."

Just ponder on that quote for a minute. It's so profound that I'm having a hard time getting my thoughts together to write a response. I'm sure it will come in time and I will explore her quote more in depth. Meanwhile, please feel free to leave your comments. I'm interested to know your thoughts as well.



What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore—
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

This poem written by Langston Hughes served as the inspiration for the title of the award winning play A Raisin In The Sun by lesbian playwright Lorraine Hansberry .

A Raisin in the Sun portrays a few weeks in the life of the Youngers, an African-American family living on the South Side of Chicago in the 1950s. When the play opens, the Youngers are about to receive an insurance check for $10,000.

This money comes from the deceased Mr. Younger’s life insurance policy. Each of the adult members of the family has an idea as to what he or she would like to do with this money. The matriarch of the family, Mama, wants to buy a house to fulfill a dream she shared with her husband. Mama’s son, Walter Lee, would rather use the money to invest in a liquor store with his friends. He believes that the investment will solve the family’s financial problems forever.

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing this production live on the campus of Alabama State University . This show holds a special place in my heart for 2 reasons. As a 12 year old I won my very first professional job playing the role of Travis Younger in this show at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival . Years later my 12 year old cousin Howard was given the opportunity to play the same role I performed 13 years ago. Talk about coming full circle.

The talent in the show was amazing. Very few people know about the talent that exists in the south. It's very common to search New York and L.A. for undiscovered talent, but I must admit that the south is a hub for raw talent.

Being apart of "Raisin" again after 13 years was an amazing experience. This was the beginning of my life as an artist. If you have not seen the film adaptation starring Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands, and Claudia McNeil, run to your nearest Blockbuster and rent it. It's a piece of our black history that changed American theater forever.



They say we have an agenda. They say we want "special rights". Rights that are available to every other citizen like protection against discrimination in the workplace, housing, healthcare, and allow me to be bold and say the right to have a legally sanctioned marriage between two committed adults.

Well I came across a post by a brotha on AOL who goes by the screen name NLJACKSONSTCROIX and he exposes the "homosexual agenda". It's a funny twist on the right wings attempt to scare the majority into continuing to opress gay Americans. Enjoy!

6 a.m. Gym

8 a.m. Breakfast (oatmeal and eggwhites)

9 a.m. Hair appointment

10 a.m. Shopping (Macy’s or Nordstrom)

12 p.m. Brunch

2 p.m.
(1) Assume complete control of U.S. Federal, state, and local
governments,as well as all the other national governments

(2) Destroy all healthy marriages

(3) Replace all school counselors in grades K-12 with militant
homosexuals who seek to recruit children for the homosexual

(4) Bulldoze all houses of worship

(5) Seize control of Internet and all other media

(6) Be utterly fabulous

3 p.m. Beauty treatment to prevent facial wrinkles from the stresses of world conquest, followed by aromatherapy

4 p.m. Cocktails

5 p.m. Light dinner (soup, salad with arugula & balsamic vinegar dressing,Chardonnay)

8 p.m. Theater

10 p.m. Cocktails in a charming neighborhood bistro

12 a.m. Bed (du jour)


7 comments | Friday, November 17, 2006

He had a stroke. That’s what we had been told, a major stroke that would dramatically alter his life if he was lucky enough to come out of the coma that he was in as a result of his failing health.

The family quickly rushed to his side in his hospital room showing their usual support when a family member falls ill.
So when the phone rang and the person on the other end told my mom my cousin had indeed had a stroke, I just assumed she was re-stating old information, but she wasn’t done.

I heard my mom say, “he has AIDS”. Everything in the world came to a stand still and silence immediately came over everyone in the room. This was the first time that anyone in my immediate family had ever been known to have “it” as some family members refer to HIV/AIDS.

I knew I would have to spend the rest of the evening educating my family on the facts about “it”, the only problem was they refused to talk about it after the announcement was made, or at least not to their gay son. “It” became the topic of conversation for everyone my mother talked to on the phone. “I don’t know what kinda life he was leading”, I overheard her say.

My heart begins to race, my tongue is dry and my head starts to ache. I’m starting to have an anxiety attack. This rarely happens to me but I’ve experienced it before and it’s scary.

Did my mother think he deserved to have this disease? Even worse, did she think that she or anyone else was immune to contracting HIV?

Damn! Speak up Darian! Don’t allow her to continue walking around uninformed, but I can’t speak. My heart is now beating at an aggressive pace and I’m thinking about my cousin who I haven’t seen in years laying in a hospital bed with “it”.
No one is making any plans to drop everything and rush to his side now.

My God is this really happening? He’s our blood. Whatever happened to “a family that prays together stays together”? I guess that only looks good on the front of a family reunion T-shirt.

Don’t they know that could be anyone in our family lying up in that bed? AIDS looks like my grandmother, my uncle, my sister, and me.

I’m disappointed. Disappointed that a person dealing with any disease that doesn’t bare the title HIV/AIDS is deemed worthy of compassion and the person living with AIDS is better off being quarantined.

But more than anything I’m disappointed in myself. My cousin needed me to speak up for him and all I could do was worry about not making the moment any more uncomfortable for my mom.

I’ll be by his side in the morning.


0 comments | Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Yesterday I received an e-mail from fellow blogger and activist Jasmyne Cannick notifying me of her appearance on NPR Radio where she would be discussing same-sex marriage.

I've heard Jasmyne's commentary on this issue before and I align myself with her views on equality for gay and lesbian couples who seek to legalize their unions. However, I had not been exposesd to Joseph Phillips' views on homosexuality and same sex marriage.

You may remember Joseph from his roles on The Cosby Show and General Hospital. Recently he has positioned himself as a conservative Black Republican who holds George Bush and his administration in high regard. His comments on homosexuals and same sex marriage I found to be highly offensive and completely off target. You can listen to his views here .

One point that he attempted to drive home that I would like to dissect here is the belief that gays and lesbians are seeking majority approval to sanction our unions in order to be equivalent to heterosexual marriage.

I personally believe this is one of the reasons why a large portion of Americans reject the idea of same - sex marriage. If we are allowed to legalize our unions then they will be forced to respect and treat us like human beings. People like Joseph C. Phillips is so caught up in the "Leave It To Beaver" family image that it's impossible for him to see that the look of family has changed dramatically over the last 50 years and can encompass 2 parents, single parents, and even gay parents.

Contrary to the twisted rhetoric he speaks on NPR, the legalization of gay marriage will not lead to rampant polygamy or requests for man to marry his dog! This has got to be the most ridiculous scare tactic Joseph and his Republican cronies have used to scare the American public into banning gay marriage. And what's sad is that in some parts of the country this tactic has worked. People fear what they don't understand.

As a tax paying citizen the government doesn't have the right to tell me who I can love and legally commit my life too. As a black man who comes from a history of oppression, Joseph's comments were shameful and knee deep in a Republican puddle of hypocritical bullshit.



I found this clip of Janet on the Tyra Banks show and I thought I would share it with you guys. The show doesn't air until next week, so thank God for youtube. The clip took me back to the first time I met Janet. I was emotional then and I was emotional after watching this clip.

Enjoy !



I'm sure by now everyone is talking about O.J. Simpson's new book, "If I Did It, Here's How". In this new book O. J. describes how he would have commited the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ronald Goldman, murders he was accquited of in 1994 after the trial of the century.

I've experienced a myriad of emotions today surrounding the re-emergence of O.J. and this obvious attempt to make a buck by releasing this book. Why is he embarrasing the black community yet again? Damn ! I just wish he would go somewhere and hide in his personal prison called his "home".

Why is he revisiting the events in his life that has obviously caused so many people so much pain and death for Nicole and Ron?

I came across a great blog by famed comedian Adele Givens . Her post is funny and thought provoking. I highly recommend you read it as well as my comment to Adele and her response.

O.J. is scheduled to have an unrestricted interview on November 27 & 29 on Fox news.



Next weekend in Atlanta at the gorgeous Fox Theater, legendary drag performer RuPaul will receive Clik Magazine's Icon award.

RuPaul first hit the scene in 1992 with her international hit Supermodel . The beat was infectious, but the sight of a seven foot tall black drag queen on national television was alarming to some and the beginning of a revolution for others.

In the early 90's Americans were just starting to acknowledge publicly that gay people were apart of the American culture, however there was almost always a white face attached to "gayness", and then there was RuPaul.

I can remember staying up late to watch her on The Arsenio Hall Show, I was amazed at her beauty and her courage to live life openly and on her own terms. In a community where we put so much emphasis on the black man owning his masculinity, (sometimes to our own detriment) here was RuPaul on national TV in full drag and looking fierce!

How many drag queens can you say have topped the Billboard Charts, hosted her own show on VH1, signed a lucrative deal as the face of MAC cosmetics, and earned respect and fans all over the world? Not many.

RuPaul always shares a message of self love whenever she speaks in public and I think this statement is so true, ""Learn to love yourself, 'cuz if you can't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?"

Rupaul, a true gay icon.



The L.A. based Black Aids Institute under the leadership of founder and executive director Phil Wilson will celebrate the achievements of Noah's Arc creator Patrick Ian-Polk , photographer Duane Cramer , and singer Dionne Warwick for their contributions in the fight to educate people through their work about HIV/AIDS.

They will be honored at the 6th Annual Heroes In The Struggle Gala and Reception at 6 P.M. on November 16th at The Director's Guild of America in L.A. . The theme of this years event is "That's What Friends Are Still For", a tribute to the 80's recording with Dionne Warwick and friends that benefited AIDS research.

Art for some people can be considered purely entertainment, but the best art mirrors life and is thought provoking and educational. Through film, photography, and music these artists have used their natural abilities for a greater cause. We salute these Heroes In The Struggle.



Dreamgirls can easily be considered the most anticipated film of 2006. Starring Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Jammie Foxx and introducing the diva that should've received top billing, Ms. Jennifer Hudson . Also completing the cast is talented Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose .

The story is loosely based on the life of Diana Ross and the Supremes, and chronicles the rise and fall a dynamic female trio.

Dreamgirls was first introduced to the world as a musical in the early 80's on Broadway under the brilliant direction of the late Michael Bennett. It made stars out of Jennifer Holiday Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Loretta Devine.

The publicity for Dreamgirls has gone into full speed with the new ladies gracing the cover of Ebony and Entertainment magazines this month. A road show is also planned in major cities to promote the film. Dreamgirls is scheduled to be released nationwide on Christmas Day.

There is no way this movie won't take the number #1 spot on opening weekend. Get ready for a ton of Oscar nominations and Ms. Knowles' performance of the original song Listen on the night of the show. That's just my prediction.

Word on the street is that Ms. Diana Ross is not pleased with the storyline or the fact Beyonce is portraying her in the film. What's a great movie without a little controversy? I'm excited and will be up early Christmas morning to get my ticket. This film is going to be a gay man's paradise!


1 comments | Tuesday, November 14, 2006

April 23,2006

I recently received an e-mail from a very close friend on the east coast, and in this e-mail he spoke about his desire to have a relationship with God and to worship with other believers, but was afraid to attend church because of the rampant homophobia that is so prevalent in the Black church.

Being raised in a Black baptist church in the south, I couldn't begin to tell you the number of fire and brimstone sermons or more recently "Brokeback" jokes I've had to listen to. God has always been apart of my life and I decided very early that I would not let man or his interpretation of scripture separate me from a relationship with God.

As I read his e-mail I began to think back to a time when I hadn't begun my spiritual walk and how it hurt me to the core whenever I heard ministers speak about my "lifestyle" as an "abomination" or referred to me as a "person posessed with a demonic spirit" . The church was supposed to be the one place where you could go and feel safe, where you were welcomed to come as you are to worship in spirit and in truth, except if you're gay.

For years gay people have played a vital role in the black church, on the usher board, in the choir, directing the choir, hell there would be no music on Sunday mornings if we weren't there, and even the pulpit. My last serious relationship was with a minister, and I've been approached by several others. So why is the church so unfriendly towards gay people? I'm sure almost all would say the answer lies within the word of God. It just baffles me how people pick and choose scriptures to use to persecute others and disregard one of God's greatest teachings, love.

For far too long we've sat in silence as our souls have been damned to hell, even at times shouting "amen" in response to the homophobic venom coming from the pulpit. My people often make the mistake of playing church and getting caught up in religion and not a real praying relationship with God, and in the process we use others as a scapegoat to cover our own sins, and we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

If I had to give my friend some advice it would simply be this: You are a child of God, created in his image and born to give him praise. He knew you and who you were going to be when you were in your mothers womb, the source of your faith should never be in your pastor or man but in Jesus. The real church should be in your heart and not the building.


1 comments | Monday, November 13, 2006

Adventures with Trent

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Over the weekend I had the pleasure of hosting my "celebrity" friend Trent Jackson in Atlanta. I don't know why, but whenever I'm around Trent The Queen In Me always seems to come out !

It was a weekend filled with laughter and of course I had to capture the events on tape to share with you guys. Hopefully you will enjoy Trent and all of the many personalities that live within him as much as I do.



3 comments | Sunday, November 12, 2006

After more than 15 years of leading the fight for eqaulity for black gay and lesbian people, Keith Boykin announced last week that he is retiring from the work that has impacted the lives of thousands of people.

I was given the news during a telephone conversation with Keith a few weeks ago and my first reaction was that of disbelief. I immediately began to think of many selfish reasons why I didn't want Keith to disappear from the front lines. Who would we look to for leadership? What about the young people who may be struggling to walk in truth who haven't yet been exposed to Keith and his work? I wanted him to continue until he was burnt out, and then I wanted him to work some more.

The truth is, now is the time for Keith to move into the next phase of his life, to add even more great accomplishments to his already impressive resume .

I jokingly admit to my friends that I want to be Keith Boykin when I grow up and there's always some truth behind every joke.

Keith exemplifies what it means to be a fearless leader. There are those who fight online, and in line, but there's not too many people who have the courage to fight on the front line. Keith has been that person for many years, from his work in The White House, to The National Black Justice Coalition and the more recent LifeBeat Campaign, he has unintentionally been the voice for a community of people that has been opressed into silence.

So will Keith disappear? What's next? Keith had the following to say about his future,

"I remain fully committed to the values and principles that first drove me to this work a decade and a half ago. But at 41 years old, I believe there are more effective ways for me to make a difference at this point in my life. I still plan to speak on the lecture circuit, to write, to be politically active, and to work with the media. I'm still doing the show on BET, I'm developing another new TV show, and I'm currently working on two new books, one of which will be my first novel."

The question remains, who will pick up the mantle? Their are hundreds of people out in the field doing important work in order to make life better for black gays and lesbians in this country, just take a look at the nominees for the Clik Awards. Still, you have to wonder who will this person be?

There's no doubt that he or she will have some big shoes to fill.

Keith allow me to say publicly that if you never write another book, lead a campaign, or speak at another event, you have touched my life and the lives of so many people who may have been lost or on a never ending journey to self acceptance. You may not have chosen to be an activist, but it's in your blood, you had no choice in the matter, you were just born to do it.

Rest up. So now the baton has been passed...


0 comments | Saturday, November 11, 2006

Janet turned in another solid perormance yesterday on the Ellen Degeneres show. I thought I would post her performances of Nasty and So Excited for those of you who missed it or who saw it but just can't seem to get enough. I definitely fall into the last category. Look out for Janet on the Tyra Banks show later this month and on The Billboard Awards in early December. Many thanks to my friend Jeff for e-mailing me the videos.



2 comments | Friday, November 10, 2006

With the success of Justin's Timberlake new album, the endless media coverage, and his upcoming tour, as a hardcore Janet fan I had to speak out about the forgotten presence of Justin Timber-Fake on that fateful day in Houston in 2004.

There is obviously a double standard when it comes to the infamous Super Bowl performance that could have ruined both of their careers, some people would say that Janet's career has been ruined if you look at the album sales for her last 2 projects. Even after a nationally televised apology she has yet to recover from the backlash following one of the best performances of her career that was sadly upstaged by the wardrobe malfunction.

On the other hand, Justin Timberlake has been easily forgiven and almost escaped all of the scrutiny that followed the performance. The first sign that Justin had no backbone was immediately following the incident when he should have come to Janet's aide and supported her, instead he did what he had to do to protect his career and allowed his personal integrity and loyalty to his friend to take a back seat.

He reminds me of a black R&B singer in white face. There was a time when record companies worked to give their "Negro"
artists crossover appeal to white audiences, now Justin is on heavy rotation on BET, MTV, and urban radio and I have to wonder if his team strategized around appealing his music to ethnic audiences.

I give his production team( i.e. Timbaland & Pharell) more credit for the sound Justin displays post NSYNC, he obviously identifies with Black music along with a long list of White artists who have copied the Black sound over the years.

But why has he been granted a "continue with your career card" and Janet has been deemed a flop an irrelevant?

I won't even get into Janet's achievements over the past 2 decades, no matter how you feel about her talent I think it goes without saying she's an icon that has secured her place in music history. Today's artists dream about experiencing the kind of success Janet has had for the past 20 years.

Where will Justin be 20 years from now? How many lives will he touch or change for the better as a result of his music?

It's one sick double standard if you ask me, but as long as his beats are hot we will continue to watch his anglo twist on a minstrel show. I'd much rather support Usher.



It has been confirmed by family members to BET News that Gerald Levert has indeed passed away at his home in Cleveland Ohio from a massive heart attack, he was 40 years old.

Gerald was apart of the 1990's group Levert and also found success as a memebr of LSG along with Johnny Gill and Keith Sweat.

He will be missed.




2 comments | Thursday, November 09, 2006

It's that time of year again, Thanksgiving and Christmas is quickly approaching and in a black family that means it's time to go home to enjoy food and family, and in most cases show up to the dinner table with your significant other. But what do you do if you're gay and you're either not out to your family or your family refuses to acknowledge that you could possibly have a love interest?

I'm sure we've all lived through uncomfortable conversations with family members asking questions about the person of the opposite gender they expected you to bring home. What is a same gender loving person to do in this situation?

Well this is my plan. I will be driving home for the Annual Turkey Day Classic and dinner at my parents with three of my friends, Jonathan , Tramaine , and her girlfriend Riley.

My mom is estatic about the fact that Tramaine is coming home with me, finally she gets to experience the lie that has played out in her head for years, me showing up to dinner with a woman. I do consider Tramaine my girl/friend but not in the same sense that her actual girlfriend does.

It's definitely going to be an interesting dinner. Four same gender loving people in a room with people who don't understand who we are and refuses to acknowledge the truth even when it's staring them dead in the face.

There's this great T-shirt that reads "I'm not gay, but my boyfriend is". Wouldn't that be a sight to behold as I asked for bread?

I really want to believe that one day my family will embrace me and my boyfriend as two individuals who care deeply about each other. They believed I was just going through a phase, well that phase has been going on since the second grade.

Maybe they'll surprise me and act differently this time, I guess I'll soon find out.

By the way, did I tell you he's coming to dinner?

To be continued....



The day after the election was sweeter for me than hearing the Dems had regained control of the House on Tuesday night. As if that were not enough, the American people slapped George Bush and his party in the face by also giving the "liberal" Democrats control of the Senate . Did I fail to mention Rumsfeld is out too? !

I can honestly say that I'm proud to be an American. It took half of the country some time to come around but I guess better late than never.

I would like for everyone to watch the above video of Beyonce( yeah...I know she's annoying) singing the national anthem at The Super Bowl and bask in the beauty of being an American emancipated from Republican bs.

Enjoy !


1 comments | Wednesday, November 08, 2006

After 12 years of failed Republican leadership in the House the Democrats have once again regained control in Washington.

Finally, the issues that affect everyday Americans will finally get the attention that it deserves. I hate that it took a tragic war, numerous Republican scandals, and lie after lie from the Bush administration for the public to realize that George W. Bush and the GOP is bad for America.

But tonight voters sent a strong message to Bush and his cronies that enough is enough! It's time for America to move in a new direction, and that direction has to come from real leaders who govern according to the constitution and not according to the ideology of James Dobson and Jerry Falwell.

The Republicans pride themselves in being a "religious" party. Well tonight I think they know that Democrats pray too and God listens and answers prayers, even if you're a Democrat.

There's still a lot of work to be done, but I will rest easier at night knowing that their won't be people on the hill plotting their next election win at my black gay expense.

Here's to 2008, may the next President be everything that George Bush wasn't...especially a Democrat.



The Democrats may have taken over the House but gay bashing at the polls reigned supreme in Republican fashion in three states.

Voters in South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin all voted to sign discrimination into their state constitution banning the possibility of marriage to comitted same sex couples . I can't say that I'm surprised, but you always hope that compassion and common sense would overule fear and ignorance.

Last I checked the constitution was put in place to expand the rights of Americans, not deprive them of rights, especially the right that's afforded to every other American.

When same -sex marriage was upheld in Massachusetts the Republican party told us that gay marriage would hurt the children and threaten traditional marriage. Well I don't have any kids (yet) but I do have cousins that are in grade school and they're lives have not been affected, and the state of traditional marriage is still the same, married one day and divorced the next.

Are gay people the last minority it's ok to hate in this country? I know in my lifetime the acceptable climate of discrimination towards gays in America will change. I just hope it will be sooner than later.