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3 comments | Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Every now and then I break my self imposed rule of visiting the adult site MANDIVA.COM of only once a month. If you're not familiar with the site then you might be asking yourself why would I limit my visits, honestly when I look at the content on this page I get weak ! Go look for yourself.

So it was very surprising when I logged on and read that the Alabama creator of Mandiva was being threatened with legal action from the manager of Christian Keyes.

So who is Christian Keyes? According to his website he is an experienced actor, singer and songwriter standing over 6 feet and weighing 205 pounds. His debut album Day by Day is scheduled for release in August on his own label. He's also had roles in Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail and in the film version of Diary of A Mad Black Woman.

If you're like me and have seen both of these productions you probably still wouldn't recognize Mr. Keyes. However, if you read a variety of gay blogs or have taken off those annoying ass flyers from your windshield at the club, I'm sure you've seen countless photos of him shirtless and serving up a ton of sex appeal.

From the tone of his manager's e-mail to Mandiva it's clear that Christian's sexuality is in question and his camp is not happy about it all. On his myspace page he states, "Ladies, I am straight and single. I am not homophobic, and I respect everybody and their choices, but I DO NOT DATE MEN.

Now I don't know Mr. Keyes so I don't want to speculate about his sexuality, but I can say that I usually know a gay man when I see one and hanging with Tyler Perry doesn't exactly make you look overtly masculine, since we all know how "straight" he is. Have you guys noticed that Tyler always has a hot male lead or two in all of his productions? I digress.

One Mandiva reader left a comment that summed up this entire ridiculous stunt by Keyes' manager.

I have a question that I'm pretty sure I already know the answer too but I'm going to ask anyway. Hypothetically speaking, if Christian Keyes were openly gay and launched a career as a solo artist would it be considered career suicide in 2007?
Damn is it career suicide for me to post this? I'm sure his manager will be coming after me next! LOL!



Every now and then when it comes to gay issues Oprah gets it right. On Monday's show she interviewed two men raising 7 adopted children in Texas. The title of the show was appropriately named "Fascinating Families" .

Unfortunately I've only had the chance to view a 2 minute clip of the show, so if anyone has it please feel free to e-mail me the video. I knew this particular show was going to be a big moment for the LGBT community becuase my inbox was flooded with e-mails from the HRC and other bloggers.

I miss the old Oprah format when she allowed audience members to ask questions during the show, I guess that is what the after show is for now. If people played nice during the presentation of this gay family, they sure didn't hold back on Oprah's message board. Read for yourself here .

I have to commend Oprah for being inclusive and recognizing that gay families exist. All parents have the same goal whether they are gay or straight, to provide a loving home for children to learn and mature into responsible adults.



It has been said that writer/activist Jared Shuler and entertainment guru
Nathan Seven Scott dominate Black gay culture in New York City.
Well on February 5th these talented Black gay men will be launching their very own talk show via YouTube.

I spoke with Jared on yesterday and this is what he had to say about the show, "Its a show about two Black men on the rise, talking about love, life, relationships, being out and out foolish."

I haven't had the opportunity to speak with Nathan yet, but I know Jared and his personality so I'm anticipating great things from this show. If the show finds an audience who knows what will happen. Maybe LOGO will take another chance on Black talent, one can only wish.

Look out for Nathan and Jared on The & Show( yep, it's pronounced The and Show) on YouTube starting February 5th.



It seems that my post on the cancellation of Noah's Arc and the Black gay community is making it's way around the web.

I'm profiled on one of my favorite sitesWHATSTHET.COM . Make sure you guys swing through and check out the post and support this amazing site. WHATSTHET.COM should not be confused with that other site just for the record.

I also just completed an article on the Top 10 Gay Blogs to Watch in 2007 for my friend Ramone Johnson over at about.com . I'll be sure to let you guys know when it posts. If you have 14 minutes to listen to me talk you can also check out my new video blog for abovethelife.com .

I've reposted it here for all of you who are not members yet. Let me warn you, it's pretty personal. I was in one of those moods when I filmed it, I call it the male period. Why does the still shot on the video make me look like a deer caught in headlights? Press the play button quickly!


Not In My House

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7 comments | Sunday, January 28, 2007

This past week I began to see the world, the white gay community, and the black gay community for what it really is and to be honest with you I'm mad as hell !

On January 24th the news that many of us had been waiting for was finally announced, LOGO'S hit show Noah's Arc was not being renewed but a film was being planned instead to be released in 2008. This wil not be another post venting about the cancellation of the show, there has been enough of that on several other sites. Like many other people I am a fan of the show and I'm saddened by LOGO'S decision to pull the only representation of my community from their network.

Truth be told, Noah's Arc will never be seen at your local multiplex, it'll be lucky to go straight to DVD. No matter how you felt about the creative aspect of the show, for the first time there were Black gay men of color on television in lead roles for the entire world to see. It will probably be years before we ever see this happen again.

But the more I thought about the whole ordeal the more I realized that we as a community have a much bigger problem than the cancellation of the show. Not only did LOGO axe the show, they told us that our lives and our stories didn't matter in the process and it didn't deserve to air in the same line-up as old reruns of Queer As Folk and we just accepted it.

So what happens now? Let me guess...Black gays and lesbians revert back to their invisible status and can only be found on television when a script calls for a flamboyant hairstylist or a Terry McMillan type who has been deceived by her husband on the down low. Ding...Ding...Ding...Ding...Ding! Right answer.

Not in a million years would this have ever happened to Queer As Folk or Will & Grace. The white gay community supported those shows and would've raised hell if they're privileged white gay lives were not apart of mainstream America. Visibility creates an opporunity to educate and to gain tolerance and acceptance. Why haven't we as a community learned this yet?

Oh I know why, as long as Keith Boykin is out and proud he'll speak for all of us, right? I can't count the number of times I've heard this, as if one person can speak for the multitude.

We're ignored, trampled on, emotionally and physically abused because we don't allow people to know who we are. We've bought into the bullshit lie that our DNA is a tragic mistake and what we do should be kept in the dark. That's why we're not represented on television in a positive light, becuase we've been too ashamed to object to the stereotypical images Hollywood has fed us for so many years, sadly because many of us share the same opinion of ourselves.

We have to learn to support each other, we are the ones we've been waiting for.We have to stop the ridiculous discrimination within our own community, there will always be queens, trade, thug brothers and DL wannabes and every one of these people have a story to tell. The white gay community is going to take care of their own and make sure that they have a place at the table, how are we ever going to make it to the table to affect change if we can't come out of the damn closet?

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said," Our lives end the day we become silent about things that matter". Right now in this country our Black gay lives don't matter and we have allowed our family, the church, the media and a large segment of society to tell our stories for us becuase we're too afraid to tell them ourselves.

The closet is full and we're suffocating inside. Today we lost Noah's Arc, tomorrow it could be our lives.


3 comments | Thursday, January 25, 2007

I know this post is about 2 weeks to late, but I just saw Stomp The Yard last night and all I can say is damnnnnn! Don't ask me anything about the story line or if the plot was fully developed because honestly none of that mattered, at least not to me and my best friends who accompanied me to see the film.

I can't remember the last time I saw a film that revealed so much of the male body. I originally wanted to go and see Dreamgirls again for the fourth time but I was out voted. However, throughout the night as I was watching Columbus Short and Brian K. White I found myself channeling James Thunder Early and saying, "Help me Jesus!" .

The homoerotic elements in this film are unbelievable. I know many of the dancers who were involved in the movie and although they played the hetero role on screen I know what happens after the director says cut.

I would like to personally thank my girl Twinkie Byrd in LA for the flawless casting. Stomp The Yard won't be nominated for any major awards next year( ok...well they're sure to get a NAACP Image award nomination) but it sure did get my attention(no pun intended).


1 comments | Wednesday, January 24, 2007

About 50 students on the campus of Hampton University have been denied a charter for the second year in a row to form a gay -straight alliance they call SPEAK, Students Promoting Equality Action and Knowledge. President of Speak Sia Mensah was told by a school official that "there was no need for this group on campus".

"Gay and lesbian students have been increasingly visible on campus," she said, at a time when there's plenty of "homophobic sentiment" there. It is no secret that there's a large number of Black gay and lesbian students on the campuses of HBCU'S all over the country, Atlanta is a perfect example as is Hampton.

I don't find it surprising that students would encounter resistance from administrators, after all it is a deep rooted belief among many Black people that homosexuality doesn't exist in our community. So why would they see a need for this organization on campus since none of our people could possibly identify as gay or lesbian? Right? Wrong.

I'm sure the students are in for a fight, but I have a feeling under Mensah's leadership they will ultimately prevail.


The Bible Says

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I came across this video yesterday on myspace and I honestly thought it was a joke, but unfortunately it's not.

A musician, youth pastor and reformed homosexual named Donnie Davies has taken it upon himself to spread the message that "God hates fags" through his music. Sung over a catchy beat and delivered with a sinister smile, Davies gives me another reason to be embarrased about identifying as a christian in today's society. When did living a christian life give you the right to gay bash an entire community using the bible as a weapon?

I see a ridiculous pattern of behavior from all of the "reformed" ex-gays, they denounce who God designed them to be in order to conform to society's expectations of their lives and lash out at those of us who are able to live authentically.

You have to see this video to believe it. I'm so sick of people like Davies infecting the minds of people with their holy homophobia. When did God leave the throne and tell him or anyone else that he hated fa*** ? Let's not forget that this man is a pastor and most likely has gay youth in his congregation. My heart goes out to them as they will surely suffer as a result of his irresponsible and cruel behavior. Pastors in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, we all know the Ted Haggard story.

Let Donnie Davies know how you feel about his homophobic music video on his myspace page, you know he'll be hearing from me.


Update: Noah's Arc will not be returning to LOGO for a third season. Instead LOGO executives have decided to avoid protests from the Black gay community by announcing a film based on the popular series in 2008. In other words you can go ahead and cancel your subscription to LOGO because you won't be viewing any content that reflects your life. Bring on the Queer As Folk reruns.

If you read my post Random Questions...Play Along from yesterday, then you can share in my excitement that 2 of my questions have been answered in the past 24 hours. Jennifer Hudson got her Oscar nomination and word on the street is that Noah's Arc will be returning to LOGO for a third season...maybe!

There has been a lot of speculation regarding the renewal of the first scripted hit show on LOGO for a third season. It seems that the numerous e-mail campaigns and phone calls to LOGO by fans have actually worked...I think.

This summer we should all be wrapped up in the drama between Noah and Wade and the comedy of Alex once again...hopefully. Phrases like "What's the T" and "Gir" will be on the lips of gay children everywhere.

I'm really excited about the show's return and being able to see the growth of the show during the third season. Despite it's flaws the show seems to get better and better over time. Where else can you turn on the TV and watch characters who's experiences mirror your own?

Jensen Atwood who plays Wade recently gave a revealing interview on NPR . You can listen to it here . Many thanks to my good friend The Infamous JackEbrown for the heads up. Enjoy!


0 comments | Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I came across this letter on the site of fellow blogger Republic of T and decided to share it with you guys. With all of the rejection and pain experienced by gay and lesbian people by their parents and churches, I thought it would be nice to share a mother's acceptance and unconditional love for her child in this letter.

For everytime that you've been rejected and condemned for who you are, allow yourself to experience what it feels like to be loved for the person you are, a child of God.


This morning I woke up to the sweetest news, Jennifer Hudson is officially in the race to receive an Oscar . Everyone that has seen her performance in Dreamgirls unanimously believes she should win the Oscar next month, but we know Academy voters have a mind of their own. I don't want to play the race card but let's be honest about the Academy's history of nominating African-American performers.

The Color Purple received 11 nominations and not a single win, Angela Bassett was totally snubbed for the best actress award in 1993 for What's Love Got To Do With It and it took over 60 years for a Black woman to win a best actress award, Halle Berry was the first.

Jennifer Hudson's story is truly amazing. She has proven that there is life after American Idol and that life can be sweeter than winning the crown. I'm predicting this time next month she will have a Golden Globe and an Oscar on her shelf.

In related news the new solo "I Love You I Do", written specifically for Jennifer is nominated for best original song along with "Listen" and "Patience". I thought the mic would only belong to Beyonce on Oscar night but it looks like Jennifer will have two shining moments. I can't wait to hear the presenter say, "and the Oscar goes to Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls'!



1.Will Jennifer Hudson get an Oscar nomination today?

2. Why has Janet disappeared? I hope she's in tour rehearsals.

3. Why is the new show Dancelife on MTV such a damn joke?

4. Why can't a full time writing job just fall into my lap?

5. Why am I allowing fear to take over?

6. Why did it feel like I was meant to hear the sermon at church on Sunday?

7. Why can't The Captain love his black gay self as much as I love my black gay self?

8. When am I going to meet the one and does he exist? Have I met the one?

9. Why is change so uncomfortable?

10. Why isn't there more Black people on LOGO?

11. When are we going to find out if Noah's Arc is coming back?

12. When is Eddie Murphy going to stop pretending that he's actually interested in Tracey Edmonds?

13. When is Johnny Gill going to claim what's his and take Eddie back?

14.Why haven't Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland come out of hiding?

15. Where in the hell is Mya's new cd "Liberation"?

16. When will Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama realize they need to be on the same ticket?

17. Why haven't I received any messages on myspace today? Damn I thought I was popular!

18. Why is facebook growing on me?

19.Why didn't Isiah Washington keep his damn mouth closed?

20. Why do I want to learn how to fall on my back when I'm vogueing?

21. Why can I never hide the way I feel?

22.Why do I have to check my e-mail a million times a day? Am I addicted?

23. Why am I invisible to Southern Voice , don't they know I'm raw untapped talent? !

24.Why do I have to "Listen" to Beyonce at the Academy Awards instead of Jennifer Hudson?

25. Why didn't I realize how much fun I was having when I lived in New York City?

26. Why didn't I appreciate life as a child with no bills?

27. Why do I feel sorry for all of the straight women in Atlanta? Dating must be hard for them.

28. Why is Stephen on the Real World a closet homosexual?

29. Why am I going to see Dreamgirls for the fourth time?

30. Why does this clip of Kelly Clarkson and Fantasia lay me out?! Thanks Nova.

9 comments | Sunday, January 21, 2007

In the bible, Joshua said, "As far as for me AND my house, we will serve the Lord". That implies, anything that is in my house that is not approved or blessed by God cannot stay here and abide. So, with this in mind, parents have the right AND obligation to keep their faith pure and to purge their house if necessary.-"The Captain"

Translation: If you're the parent of a gay child the bible sanctions your decision to release your child to the streets to fend for himself because his sexuality deems him unworthy of your love and the love of God. Right? Wrong! Dead wrong!

When I posted the clip of the controversial Meshell Ndegeocello video "Leviticus Faggot" last week I knew that it would spark a dialogue. The content of the video sadly is a reality for many gay and lesbian teenagers in this country. LGBT youth are twice as likely to commit suicide or end up homeless than non-LGBT youth.

Whatever happened to unconditional love? My parents were not happy when I came out and they're still less than pleased, but one thing is for sure they would have never given me up to the streets, because until I turned 18 I was a minor and they're responsibility. I just don't understand how any loving parent could turn their child away because they love differently. Yet I know that it happens all the time.

The Captain has become somewhat of my blog stalker. He is a blogger(I won't provide a link to his page because he doesn't deserve one ) and a gay man that is incredibly unhappy with the gay card he's been dealt. If you read other gay blogs then I'm sure you've come across his self righteous, "Exodus International", "Donnie McClurkin", comments.

When are those people who profess to be Christians going to start acting christ-like? The God I serve and the bible I read is based on love and not hate. It amazes me that people can find a scripture to support any mean- spirited attack on another human being all in the name of God.

"Parent's have the right to purge their house if necessary". He speaks as if the child is a bunch of old clothes that have been accumulating in the closet that are too small for the owner to wear. We're talking about a living and breathing human being, not an oversized pair of pants. I've always wondered what parents think the end result of throwing their child out or disowning them because of their sexuality will be? Could this be the cure ? Or is this just the result of religion gone out of control?

The more I read The Captain's thoughts the more I'm convinced that it's worth it to live authentically, even at the risk of being kicked out or disowned. At least I won't be shackled down by the guilt of false religion.


1 comments | Friday, January 19, 2007

I'm sure by now everyone is aware of the Grey's Anatomy scandal involving Isaiah Washington and his use of the homophobic word "faggot" towards his recently out gay co-star T.R. Knight. Isaiah has repeatedly denied referring to T.R. by the horrible slur, but when asked during a Q&A session after the Golden Globes if he had indeed used the term, he allowed the word to roll off of his tongue like it was no big deal.

Sorry Isaiah, it's going to be kinda hard not to believe you're not harboring some homophobic feelings towards gay people after your innapropriate outburst in front of your cast and millions of tv viewers. Following the incident GLAAD demanded an apology from the Grey's Anatomy star.

While many are seeking his head on a platter, activist Jasmyne Cannick is in his corner and believes there is no proof that Isaiah ever used the word or is homophobic. You can read her post here , it's an interesting read.

For the record Isaiah has since apologized for his actions. His apology is below.

Jan. 18, 2007 — - Statement of apology from Isaiah Washington regarding his recent remarks and actions at the Golden Globes:

"I apologize to T.R., my colleagues, the fans of the show and especially the lesbian and gay community for using a word that is unacceptable in any context or circumstance. By repeating the word Monday night, I marred what should have been a perfect night for everyone who works on Grey's Anatomy. I can neither defend nor explain my behavior. I can also no longer deny to myself that there are issues I obviously need to examine within my own soul, and I've asked for help.

I know the power of words, especially those that demean. I realize that by using one filled with disrespect I have hurt more than T.R. and my colleagues. With one word, I've hurt everyone who has struggled for the respect so many of us take for granted. I welcome the chance to meet with leaders of the gay and lesbian community to apologize in person and to talk about what I can do to heal the wounds I've opened.

T.R.'s courage throughout this entire episode speaks to his tremendous character. I hold his talent, and T.R. as a person, in high esteem. I know a mere apology will not end this, and I intend to let my future actions prove my sincerity."

With a meeting scheduled with the President of GLAAD early next week, I'm sure he will be trying to salvage what's left of his career at this point. Word on the street is ABC has already started lookng for his replacement. I defenitely don't agree with his actions but I don't know if I'm ready to see him lose his job. Good roles don't come along everyday for actors of color in Hollywood, but I guess he should have considered that before he opened his mouth.

4 comments | Thursday, January 18, 2007

The year was 1996, I had just read Keith Boykin's One More River To Cross and in May of this year I would come out to my family. I was longing to surround myself with people who shared similar life experiences and I was searching tirelessly for television content that represented who I was and the man I was becoming. Noah's Arc, DL Chronicles, Brother to Brother, or the LOGO Network were not even a figment of their creators imagination at the time.

But there was talk of a video by Meshell Ndegeocello that was so controversial that it was banned from MTV and BET. The music networks refused to play the video for the single "Leviticus Faggot" because of the gay relationship between two black men depicted in the video. Until today I still had never seen this video. I'm convinced that you can find anything ever recorded on youtube. Almost 11 years later the video is just as relevant as I'm sure it was in 1996.

It's a video that I think every parent of a gay child should see and every person who believes that homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle should be forced to watch over and over. The final scene of the video proves otherwise. I wonder if any artist today would have the balls to do what Meshell did in 96 when the tolerance for SGL people was far less accepting than it is today?



Explosive! Funny! Gut-Wrenching! Thought Provoking! Tour de force! These are all adjectives used to describe the amazing artistry of actor Daniel Beaty . I had the pleasure of being his guest for the opening night performance of his incredible one man show "EMERGENCE-SEE" at the Rialto Center in Atlanta. In 90 minutes Daniel takes the audience on a journey portraying over 40 different characters without a sip of water or an intermission.

The action takes place on a slave ship that appears out of nowhere in front of the statue of liberty in New York. Daniel intertwines history, humor, slam poetry and the human condition in a one man effort that soars.

Trained at Yale University and The American Conservatory Theater, his perfect diction, smooth transitions, and powerful delivery is a testament to his years of training . I would not be surprised to hear about the Broadway debut of this extremely talented young man. With all of the movies turned musicals on Broadway, the great white way could benefit from the originality of "EMERGENCE-SEE" and the real-ness of it's creator Mr. Daniel Beaty.

After the show we had a chance to celebrate Daniel's opening performance with my friend Khalid and the staff of True Colors Theatre Company . Daniel has a few more shows left so if you're in Atlanta make sure you pick up a ticket to see his show, you won't be dissapointed.

January 18- 21
The Rialto Center at Georgia State
80 Forsyth Street, NW, Atlanta, GA, 30303.
Box office phone: 404-651-4727

February 2nd and 3rd at 8pm.
Kreeger Theater
Arena Stage
1101 Sixth Street, SW Washington, DC 20024
Box office phone: 202.488.3300

Tavis Smiley
February 10
State of the Union
Convocation Center
Hampton University
700 Emancipation Dr. Hampton, VA 23668
Or call 213.694.1883


I had ideas in my head for updates to the site for today but my mood wouldn't allow me to write. Somehow India Arie's Ready for Love found itself on repeat on my iPod. It's strange how a song can capture exactly how you're feeling or say the things you want to say but can't find the words. I'll be back soon.


0 comments | Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's not very often that you can go to the theater to see work that is truly original and life changing for the actors involved as well as the audience witnessing the performance. When I sat down in my seat at Aaron Davis Hall in Harlem, New York in the winter of 2006 to see Daniel Beaty's one man show "EMERGENCE-SEE", I had no idea that what I was about to see was far from ordinary.

The play takes place onboard a slave ship on the Hudson River and Daniel plays over 40 characters that seemingly evokes every emotion imagineable from a theatergoer. New York Theater.com critic Martin Denton had this to say about Daniel, "…Daniel Beaty's explosive, affecting solo play Emergence-See! may be the most important new American drama since Angels in America.

He recently finished a successful run at The Public Theater in New York City under the direction of Kenny Leon and will be bringing his electrifying show to Atlanta audiences this week.

The life of this brilliant young artist is just as inspiring as the amazing piece he has shared with audiences all over the country. Keith Boykin did a wonderful interview with Daniel late last year in which he talks about his childhood , the transition from the ghettos of Ohio to the halls of Yale University, and his current success with his new show. You can read it here .

So if you're in the Atlanta area this week be sure to catch Daniel Beaty in "EMERGENCE-SEE" . The performance info is listed below for all upcoming shows. I guarantee that it will be an evening you will never forget.

January 18- 21
The Rialto Center at Georgia State
80 Forsyth Street, NW, Atlanta, GA, 30303.
Box office phone: 404-651-4727

February 2nd and 3rd at 8pm.
Kreeger Theater
Arena Stage
1101 Sixth Street, SW Washington, DC 20024
Box office phone: 202.488.3300

Tavis Smiley
February 10
State of the Union
Convocation Center
Hampton University
700 Emancipation Dr. Hampton, VA 23668
Or call 213.694.1883


2 comments | Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Finally ! I've been waiting for weeks to say with certainty that the star of Dreamgirls Ms. Jennifer Hudson is a Golden Globe winner. Last night at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California Jennifer took home the first award of the evening for her performance as Effie White in Dreamgirls. This win was a major accomplishment for Jennifer who was visibly moved as she was giving her acceptance speech.

The Golden Globes has always been considered a great indicator for possible Oscar winners and this year I believe Jennifer is no exception. Her role and her real life story is the kind of drama that Oscar voters love and besides nobody else in her category can belt out "And I Am Telling You" and not mind looking ugly in the process!

This was truly a great theatrical moment when Jennifer's performance was so moving that it caused a wall to be broken down between her and the audience, with the end result being thunderous applause as if it were live theater. I believe this was the moment she claimed every award imagineable including the Oscar.

Jennifer wasn't the only cast member to go home with a Globe. Eddie Murphy won for his portrayal of singer James "Thunder Early". This win was long overdue for Eddie, he not only won for Dreamgirls but for every amazing movie he's made over his entire career that was overlooked by academy voters.

Unfortunately, Beyonce went home empty handed. I'm sure this was a hard pill for her to swallow. I have to be honest and say I really wanted her to win for "Listen" and I was shocked when Prince's name was announced for some song that I had never heard of and from some movie that just didn't matter in my big gay world. I guess Beyonce will have to revel in her countless music awards, platinum albums, and mega star status to ease the blow to her ego.

Last night belonged to Jennifer Hudson. Ladies and gentleman a star is born! Yesterday a Golden Globe, February 25th an Oscar.


3 comments | Sunday, January 14, 2007

So the time has come for me to stop pretending that my site is only on the radar of young Black SGL men. To my surprise people from all backgrounds are reading my blog and responding with praise and criticism, and my family is no exception.

Before I proceed any further, let me preface this by saying although I've been out to my immediate family since I was 16, none of my extended relatives have had the pleasure (or pain for some of them) of hearing my truth spoken from my mouth to their ears. I'm learning that my blog has outed me to many different relatives, friends, town gossips, messy church members, and countless other people who don't really matter.

I've never been a person who conducted his life based on other people's opinions. I know who I am and I've grown to a place where I'm comfortable in my own skin, but it's not so easy for some people who are close to me.

I was never a problem child, (a little too talkative in school) I got decent grades, I was involved in the arts, my parents never had to pick me up from jail, I never complained about going to church, I went to college, I support myself, and I'm consider a role model to my younger cousins. So what's the problem? It's that gay thing that I can't seem to shake, right?

That "G" word just ruins it all. Have you noticed that when you come out you automatically become a different person in the eyes of some people? I recently had someone imply during a conversation that I couldn't be considered a role model to my male cousins because of my sexual orientation. To say that this infuriated me would be an understatement.

You would think that if anyone were to judge your character accurately it would be family. It seems as soon as that "G" word is verbalized, stereotypical images of men in leather barebacking each other on top of a gay pride float in San Francisco are conjured up.

My blackness and my gayness does absolutely nothing to tarnish my image or my ability to be a suitable role model for young people or my future kids. I treat others the way I would like to be treated and I live my life honestly. This was my response to the young lady who thought otherwise. I think she was a little shocked that I countered her outrageous claim, I judged that by the silence that followed.


7 comments | Wednesday, January 10, 2007

In 2006 we witnessed Black pastors selling their pulpits to the highest bidders in return for fame, wealth, and political gain, often times at the expense of their gay and lesbian members.

Bishop Alfred Owens in a Palm Sunday service last year called for all of the real men to come forth, "not no faggots or no sissies, but some real men". Rev. Willie Nelson blamed rampant lesbianisim at his son's school as a reason why he couldn't get a date to his high school prom, Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth here in Atlanta even held a march a few years ago to "stand up" for traditional marriage and to shed light on the evil homosexual agenda.

But nothing could have prepared me for the stereotypical, homophobic, uninformed, and misguided words of another one of our Black pastors, Rev. Michael A. Stevens of University City Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Pastor Stevens has written Straight Up The Church's Official Response to Down Low Living. Originally the book was written as a response to J.L. King's controversial novel On The Down Low, but early on it seems Pastor Stevens decided it was not enough to just attack the down low brotha, but every gay man on the face of the earth regardless of how he identified himself. Gay, SGL, MSM(men who have sex with men), DL, bisexual, anyone that fell into any of these categories are considered the scum of the earth or in his words "half dead" .

For the record I do not condone down low behavior. I believe lies and deceit in any relationship is unhealthy and should be avoided whether the couples are straight or gay. But like so many ministers, Steven's goes on the holy attack without attempting to find out what causes down low behavior.

Has the church and the black community created an eviroment where it's safe to come out as a Black gay man? I don't think so. Better yet, has the church created an enviroment where real discussions about sexuality can take place?

In the introduction to his book Pastor Steven's writes, "This book is prayerfully written out of compassion and mercy for the many men of God whose lives have been blindly derailed and misaligned". And in the next breath he states" I don't care to help him, I really don't. My mind tells me he probably deserved everything that has happend to him, and I don't care to help him at all. Even as a pastor I think, Let him die!

These are words from a Pastor's mouth, a man of God. A respected leader in his community and a person that is most likely idolized by his congregation.

Throughout the book Steven's is incredibly obsessed with displays of hyper-masculinity in Black men and shamlessly refers to his upbringing in the church with "men who competively wore broaches and blouses; men who screeched with high pitch voices, wore a limp wrist, and walked real fast with chest elevated and pants a bit too tight-and then wondered why they were the target of crude jokes.

Since this book is the official response from the church according to Pastor Steven's, then it's fair to say that all clergymen believe that being gay is a "chosen lifestyle", and any man that falls short of the church's blue print for masculinity deserves whatever happens to him?

I'm so sick of Pastor's turning a house of prayer into a house of pain. The church was supposed to be the one place all of God's people could go to seek refuge, and this man is worried about the inclusion of gays and lesbians discrediting the Black church. We've always been there, contributing to your churches in many different capacities and often times sitting through your hateful sermons spoken in the name of God that was everything but Christ-like.

The fall of the Black church will not be on the hands of gays and lesbians. I have a few questions for the leaders of these mega- churches. How long did you think it would take before members stopped contributing to the million dollar salaries of pastors who go home to mansions and fly in private jets while they(members) pull up to low income housing? How long did you think it would take for people to realize the very things that you're preaching against in the world is happening in the church, starting in the pulpit on down to the elderly mother.

When did the measuring stick for a man's worth begin with him being dominant over his wife or partner and projecting little to no sensitivity in his interaction with others?

Today's Black gay men and women are a threat to Pastor Steven's and other clergy like him because some of us are TIRED of being the target of constant attacks, TIRED of separate but equal, TIRED of our existence being reduced to nothing, TIRED of our lives being misrepresented, TIRED of our families being taught to hate who we are because God said so, somebody has to counter this garbage disguised as religion.

So we love differently and in one state in America we can legally get married. The sky is still blue, George W. Bush still led us into war under false pretenses, and your heterosexual marriage made in heaven is still in tact for the time being. So Pastor Steven's the inaccurate portrayal of Black gays and lesbians in your book might work when you're preaching to your congregation, because God knows most black folks won't question out loud what a preacher says from the pulpit, but everyone won't buy it.

Could you entertain the thought for one minute that everyone in the world is biologically not heterosexual and God created them that way and is ok with that? Of course not, that would rock your theological world and cause you to re-think everything you've been taught. Funny how using your brain can be painful sometimes.


2 comments | Monday, January 08, 2007

The new issue of Clik magazine has finally arrived on newsstands and bookstores everywhere. This is a very special issue for me, not only because 25 prominent leaders in the Black Gay and SGL community are recognized, but because this magazine contains my very first published article as a writer.

Editor-In-Chief Dwight Powell trusted my ability to interview and write an article on 5 of the Elite 25 honorees. Singer Billy Porter, Filmaker Maurice Jamal, Author E. Lynn Harris, HIV/AIDS activist Rudy Carn, and last but not least Activist/Author/TV Host Keith Boykin.

These are all people that I admire and respect, but if you're a frequent reader of my site then you know how I feel about Keith, and I'm sure you're probably wondering if I maintained my composure during the interview. I can proudly say yes I did, I got it all out before I picked up the phone to call him( LOL !).

It was truly an honor to speak with these fearless leaders and to be in their presence at the awards show . People said that it couldn't be done, they said no one would come, they said no one cared, they were proved wrong.

Subscribe to Clik Magazine and receive a free copy of the collector's edition that includes my article. Just click here .



LOGO has been teasing me lately with the commercial for the 2004 critically acclaimed film Brother to Brother, directed by filmaker and writer Rodney Allen .

BROTHER TO BROTHER is the story of Perry (Mackie), a young black artist kicked out of his family home for being gay. Trapped between the worlds of the black community and the gay community, Perry searches for a connection in the real world. As his friend Marcus is performing his new poetry, an elderly man appears seemingly out of nowhere and begins reciting verse to them. He disappears just as quickly and elusively as he arrived. In his library research for a class project, Perry finds a book about the Harlem Renaissance and recognizes a poem—"Smoke, Lilies and Jade" by Bruce Nugent—as the same one that the man was reciting. Soon they encounter each other again at the homeless shelter where Perry works.

When Perry confronts Bruce about who he really is and begins to ask him about the Harlem Renaissance, the two men embark on a literal and metaphorical journey to the creative center for the younger, rebellious generation of the Harlem Renaissance. Although the house is now dilapidated, BROTHER TO BROTHER visits the landscape of Bruce's memories, which exposes Perry to the legacies and hardships of pioneering black authors. By witnessing the pride that Bruce and friends exuded, Perry begins to gain a stronger sense of identity.

On a network that caters to the gay community, it's still exciting when I see people of color represented. It's a possibility that yours truly will soon be seen on LOGO, so keep your fingers crossed. Brother to Brother will be a welcomed change from reruns of Queer As Folk and the lack of presence of their most popular scripted show. What was the name of that show again? Noah's Arc...now I remember.



First their was the Wade Robson Project and then their was So You Think You Can Dance on Fox, now MTV is back at it again with the new reality showDancelife . The brain child of celebrity Jennifer Lopez, the cameras follow six dancers as they struggle to book jobs as professional dancers in Los Angeles.

MTV gave viewers a sneak peek of the new show last night, unfortunately I was in front of my television to watch this unauthentic display of a dancers life in L.A. . I know what this is like first hand because I lived it for four years.

The trailer for this show is exciting and misleading at best. We see what is supposed to be reality coming through as an obviously scripted show with bad acting. The basic story line is that it's tough in LA and if you want fame you've got to earn it! Sound familiar? It's the same old recycled crap that we've seen before.

Celestina, a dancer that's featured on the show whom I've had the pleasure of working with during my days in LA. From the clothing store Express(yep, that was our survival job) to our 13 hour day on the set of Prince's Musicology video, she proves that hard work, talent, and a humble spirit does get you noticed in a sea of people who choose to act "Hollywood".

But the show wouldn't be exciting to watch if you didn't have the shady villain. Enter Blake McGrath , the epitome of every Hollywood stereotype imagineable. You might recognize Blake from the first season of So You Think You Can Dance, Britney Spear's Onyx Hotel Tour, and promo performances for Janet Jackson's new cd 20 Y.O. . He's talented and he makes sure that everyone knows it.

In the first episode he tells another dancer that "he's nothing and has no resume". I've had the unwanted pleasure of being in Blake's company a few times and the character he portrays on TV doesn't even come close to his horrible attitude in person. But there's no denying his talent. I'm just waiting for him to learn that he doesn't have to be a bitch to be successful.

The show premieres on January 15th on MTV. Maybe it will get better as the season progresses, or better yet maybe Blake, Nolan, and all the other guys featured will stop pretending that they interested in their female dance partners. It's hilarious! Now that alone is almost enough to make me want to continue watching.


3 comments | Sunday, January 07, 2007

Having grown up in the south all of my life I was exposed to many southern traditions. One of those traditions were the marching bands and football classics of HBCU's(Historically Black Colleges and Universities). I never went to these events to actually watch the football game, I couldn't be bothered, especially when the dancers were in the stands throwing off sequences!

Every Black college marching band has a line of female dancers, at Alabama State University they're called the Stingettes, at Southern University they're called the Dancing Dolls, and at Jackson State University they have the famous J-settes, the latter has inspired an underground spin off of their signature style among Black gay men across the south and mid-west.

These men command the dance floor at clubs and gay pride events all over the country. Last week I felt the urge to go clubbing and I ended up at Club 708 , hands down the most ghetto club that I've ever been to, but I digress.

I've seen the kids J'sette in the club before and my initial reaction was quite negative. As a professionaly trained dancer it makes me want to look away and hurl when I see people on the dance floor looking a hot mess and selling it with confidence.

They take over the floor and it becomes a show that I did not and would never pay to see. During my research on this underground phenomenon I was surprised to learn that there's "J-setting"(is that a word?) teams. These men get together and rehearse and take it to the clubs. Maybe I'm getting old, but who has the time to rehearse routines for the club with no compensation? Will this dance form be to the current generation what vogueing was for the legends?

It annoys me, yet I can't deny that it's entertaining. I'm not in L.A. anymore where hip hop reigned and dancers were freestyling and battling each other all night. I'm in the "Dirty South" and when you go out in Atlanta it's impossible not to hear "Walk Wit It", or some other "crunk" song with a little Beyonce thrown in the mix every now and then.

If you've never seen J'setting before then brace yourself for the clip below. There's also instructional clips available on youtube. Move all of your living room furniture and go at it !


0 comments | Thursday, January 04, 2007

GLAAD has compiled a list of the worst homophobic incidents that took place in the media in 2006. From Ann Coulter on MSNBC's Hardball referring to former Vice President Al Gore as a "fag", to Focus on The Family James Dobson's attack on Mary Cheney after she publicly announced her pregnancy.

GLAAD is committed to assuring that the lives of LGBT people are portrayed fairly and accurately in the media. You can read the complete list here as well as view video clips.

There was one clip in particular that I found to be extremely disturbing. During an exchange of "Brokeback Mountain" jokes on MSNBC's Imus in The Morning Show with Don Imus, he and guest Chris Matthews crossed the line more than once with their cruel homophobic remarks. Where was the FCC during this broadcast? Watch for yourself here .

With our country equally divided over whether or not to grant LGBT people the basic civil rights that every American is entitled to, we can only brace ourselves for more homophobia and political gay bashing as we become more outspoken heading into an election year.

I predict same-sex marriage will once again become the issue Republicans will use in an attempt to defeat their Democratic rivals. Daily Show host Jon Stewart allows one of their own to show what happens when decisions are based on homophobia and not research, experience, or logic. Enjoy!



It's official. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has confirmed that Beyonce will not be eligible for a nomination in the best original song category for "Listen". Beyonce is one four writers credited for penning the song that is a turning point for Knowles' character in the film Dreamgirls.

Academy rules states that only three writers can receive a trophy on Oscar night and the three who are included must contribute a large "percentage" into the song. Beyonce has said in the past that she would like to win a Golden Globe, Oscar, Emmy, and Tony during her career. All of which I think she may acquire at some point but not right now, it's simply just not her time.

I have to say I am a little disappointed that she's ineligible for the Oscar nomination. Listen is a great song and if she was instrumental in writing such a powerful song I believe she should be honored for her achievement, and this is coming from someone who definitely has a love/hate relationship with Ms. Sasha.

Meanwhile her co-star Jennifer Hudson continues to steal Beyonce's thunder while racking up on award nominations. Ms. Hudson currently has a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Effie White and it was just announced on yesterday that she has secured a Screen Actor's Guild nomination.
Not to forget the huge Oscar buzz surrounding her powerhouse performance in Dreamgirls.

Read what critics are saying about Jennifer below.



The amazing pic above is of New York dancer Anthony Wayne . Anthony has an impressive resume as a professional dancer having performed in such shows as Aida, CATS, Fame The Musical, Beauty and The Beast(in my hometown at The Alabama Shakespeare Festival) and currently in Swing ! at Houston Theater Under The Stars.

I love this pic and wanted to share it with everyone else. Close your eyes and leap! Defy gravity.


1 comments | Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year's Eve for many people this year was filled with family, fireworks, and well wishes for the next twelve months.

However, this was not the case at a New Year's house party filled with Black gay men on Chicago's southside. According toRod2.0 and other major news sources, masked gunmen entered the house around 5:30 A.M. through a backdoor and proceeded to shoot, eventually injuring six men. They were all later rushed to the hospital and are in stable condition, their injuries are believed to be non-life threatening.

But what was even more disturbing than the actual incident was the reaction of the neighbors. One young man said,""This ain't that type of neighborhood for them to be in. You know, they got to understand that they need to go back to the suburbs or wherever cause this is just like a regular, normal neighborhood for straight people."

We need to go back to the suburbs and we're not normal, according to this young Black man. I'm still too angry to even respond to the hateful act that was commited on early Monday morning. This act of violence has not been officially labeled a hate crime becuase the gunmen reportedly did not yell any anti-gay slurs. Keith Boykin and his readers sum it all up and ask really important questions that deserve to be answered. Where are our Black leaders when our lives are in jeopardy? Does our lives not matter because of who we love?

One comment really hit home with me and I wanted to include it here for you guys to read.

How unforunate that in 2007, black folks still believe - - through religion and tradition - - that homosexuality doesn't or can't exist in the black community. These blinders are the reason why AIDS has gotten out of control in our community. This is the reason why being "down low" has gotten glorification. What should the response be? I don't believe that we need a national response, because, folks don't connect with a story until they see themselves or someone they love. Perhaps, if we were to begin to allow our family deeper in our lives (yes including discussing who we date and love), outrage over this type of story would have occurred already. My point is that we (as individuals) have more power than we think/believe we do; and the power begins with having a discussion with our friends and family on how this story has hurt us. Let's deal with the white elephant in the room!!!! -James

It seems like I've heard this before. Happy New Year folks, it looks like our straight brothas still think it's okay to ignore our Blackness and play God by ending a life that they didn't give. How long are we going to allow our own people to act out due to their own ignorance and not suffer any consequences? We are the ones we've been waiting for, Jesse, Oprah, and Al are not coming to our rescue.

I'm willing to march the streets of Chicago in protest. Who will march with me? Our lives depend on it.


Actress Mo'nique recently showed her gratitude for the support of her gay fans in a statement she released to The Advocate Magazine, she was quoted saying"I told my publicist, 'You need to call The Advocate because that's my audience!' And for years you guys have stood behind me with your pom-poms, like, 'Sister, we got you.' And I love you for that."

I've always admired Mo'nique for her incredible ability to make me laugh, but in recent years it's been her loud confidence in her physique and the work she's done to help the self- esteem of so many other full figured women that has me singing her prasies. Not to forget all of the work she does to support HIV/AIDS causes. But when I read this quote all I could say to myself is" Yes! she gets it, it took Beyonce 10 years to realize if you want to have a long career you need the support of your gay fan base, but Mo gets it!

She definitely has my support.


2 comments | Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Recently I was shocked to learn that an old acquaintance is engaged to be married. Normally hearing news like this is exciting and sends me right into planning mode(yeah i've always wanted to get married, big white wedding...blah blah blah), but in this case I felt every emotion but joy. The groom to be happens to be gay and he is marrying a woman! Maybe you're asking yourself if he was possibly bisexual and just decided to settle down with a woman? Let me assure you that he has never been nor will he ever be bisexual or heterosexual for that matter, the man is as GAY as a hummingbird!

So why do many gay men feel the need to live out the heterosexual ideal and sacrifice living authentically? I've known plenty of Black men who were members of a previous church I attended that for whatever reason were unable to reconcile their sexuality with their faith and found themselves married to Susan when they longed to be married to Stan. Many times these relationships ended in divorce less than a year after they said their "I do's".

Is the pressure to conform to society's expectations of our lives that important that we would forsake our true feelings to please others? It's all too much for me to comprehend. Can someone please help me understand this nonsense?

We see it in the lives of celebrities as well. Two words, Star and Al. I've written about these two before. I'm aware that love can blind you, but somebody needs to pass Star a pair of glasses and some contacts! Who can forget the drama between Terry McMillan, aka Stella and her Jamaican trophy boy Jonathan Plummer, and that circus show that we were subjected to by Liza Minelli and David Gest.

I know living life as an out gay man in our culture bears it's burdens, but who has the time to put on a Oscar winning performance in their relationship everyday? Obviously some people are more willing to do it than others.

I was asked if I planned on attending the wedding. I think I'm going to take Brad and Angelina's position on marriage but take it a step further. I refuse to get married or attend another wedding until gay men stop marrying their girlfriends! And when I say "girlfriend" I mean in the "let's go shopping" and watch Sex and The City" reruns kind of way.