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4 comments | Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The wait is almost over for fans of the new black gay film Finding Me. For months the director Roger Omeus Jr. has been teasing fans with short clips of the movie and behind the scenes footage of the cast on YouTube. But if you're planning on making the trip to D.C. this Memorial Day Weekend the wait to see Finding Me will be officially over as the movie will make it's world premiere during the annual Black Gay Pride Celebration.

The official trailer has been released and for the first time you'll get to hear dialogue and become more familiar with the characters and the plot. I'm excited about this film and will definitely support it. Check out the official website here to see when Finding Me will be playing in your town and get into the trailer below.

from loldarian.com affiliate Rod 2.0

Good news for fans of The DL Chronicles. The hit television series has been renewed for a second season on here!, the premium gay cable television network.

The DL Chronicles is the first television series to explore black gay and bisexual men and the so-called "down low" subculture and was recently nominated for a GLAAD Media Award in the category of "Outstanding Television Movie or Mini-Series." The critically acclaimed series is written, directed and produced by partners Quincy LeNear and Deondray Gossett (MySpace) and first chatted up on Rod 2.0 in October 2005. It's a sexy show, but, more importantly it is very well written and has seamlessly made the transition from the film festival circuit to episodic television.

Apparently the second season will approach some of the hot button issues in the black gay community, such as "a high school student’s newfound gay relationship and its effects on his homophobic father, a reverend who questions his sexual identity and religious beliefs upon meeting a handsome stranger, and an interracial love story about two guys from different sides of the tracks." Sounds good and congratulations to Deondray and Quincy.

Check out a clip from episode Mark, one of my favorites from the first season below. You can also click here to watch a special discussion I hosted in Atlanta earlier this year with a panel of influential writers, activists, and musicians.


"We're in this box and in order to be in that box you have to be strong, you have to be tough, you have to have a lot of girls, you gotta have money, you gotta be a player or a pimp. You have to be in control, you have to dominate other men, other people. And if you're none of those things then you get called soft or a faggot or a pussy and nobody wants to be any of those things, so you stay in a box"-from The Masculinity Project

The Masculinity Project produced by The National Black Programming Consortium is soliciting the talent of filmmakers, visual artists, and audio producers to explore the critical question of masculinity in the African -American community.

The often seen media portrayals of black men as thugs and deadbeat dads have permeated itself into American culture and many within the hip-hop industry have done little to dispel these stereotypes. Unfortunately, many would agree that the violent and hyper -masculine images that have become synonymous with hip-hop has been embraced as an example of true black masculinity by some and further given truth to these awful and inaccurate stereotypes.

As an openly black gay man I've become accustomed to my masculinity being questioned simply because I don't fit the stereotype or adhere to the traditional expectations of the black man. I'm not married with two kids and a dog in the suburbs or I'm not on the street corner drinking a 40 and smoking weed, so therefore by some ridiculous standard as a black gay man I'm not even qualified to identify as a man. My same-sex attraction somehow disqualifies me and in some cases isolates me from the black community at large and my manhood.

I guess that would be the case if I didn't know any better, thankfully I do.

But what about other black gay men who wrestle with their sexuality and their place in the black community as strong men? We're all aware that if you're told you're an abomination or you're less than enough you'll start to believe it if you don't already know your worth. I think we've seen the destructive behaviors that result in SGL men who conform to heterosexual ideals, the most destructive being the down low phenomenon.

I encourage you all to visit The Masculinity Project website to view the video for yourself here. This is a topic that I find myself frequently addressing on this site as well as in real life conversations. I really think the definition of black masculinity needs to be broadened or at the very least not held up as negative stereotype that is to be lived up to.

In Case You Missed It:

When I Get My Timbs

I'm Not Gay, I'm A Real Man!

Darian Defends B. Scott & Black Gay Men

Hi-five to loldarian.com affiliate thebrotherlove.com


from loldarian.com affiliate Rod 2.0

A Tennessee high school principal is under fire for "outing" at least two black gay teenagers to parents, faculty staff and students. The incident happened at a college prep on the grounds of one of the nation's historically black colleges—and many HBCUs do not have a good track record with gay students.

Daphne Beasley is the principal of Hollis F. Price Middle College High School in South Memphis, which is located on the campus of HBCU LeMoyne-Owen College. Attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union have filed a lawsuit and say in September 2007, Principal Beasley went beyond her role as an educator and "sought out couples of all kinds to monitor them for public displays of affection."

"She compiled a list of names, which included students Andrew and Nicholas (last names omitted), based on information she received from teachers and students; the list was clearly visible to anyone who visited her office."

Of those that saw this list was Andrew's mother, Andrea. "I couldn't believe it when I went to meet with the principal and that list was right there by her desk where anyone could see it," she said. "African American people face enough obstacles to succeeding in this world and I want my son to have every opportunity he's worked so hard for. Our schools should be helping our children do well, not tearing them down for something like this."

The 11th grader Nicholas had just made the Dean's List and the honors students tells ABC 24 it was "frightening to see a list with my name on it where not just other teachers could see but students as well." ... I really feel that my personal privacy was invaded. I mean, Principal Beasley called my mother and outed me to my mother!"

The honor student underwent further humiliation and "verbal harassment, when taken out of the running for a class trip to New Orleans related to rebuilding efforts, as a risk to the school's image; Nicholas was told that there were fears he'd embarrass the school by engaging in 'inappropriate behavior.' " That shallow and callous behavior lends a new definition to "no child left behind."

Hollis F. Price Middle College High School was charted in 2004 in a collaborative effort with LeMoyne Owen College. Students can earn a high school diploma and two years of college credit. About 150 students are enrolled right now in grades 9 through 12.

from loldarian.com

Hollis F. Price Middle School's mission statement reads; "We believe that every member of our learning community has value and worth and has the right to be respected". So what happened Principal Beasley? Were these just words on paper that were never meant to be implemented?

Read the demand letter sent to the board of commissioners from the ACLU here. You can e-mail Principal Beasley at the following address: beasleyd@mcsk12.net.

Also check out the local news coverage from WMC-TV Memphis here. Many thanks to my reader Michael for the link.

3 comments | Sunday, April 27, 2008

Over the weekend ABC News aired a special involving two same-sex couples that descended upon Birmingham, Alabama, gay couple Kaolin and James who have been in a committed relationship for two years and married lesbian couple Ashby and Leslie who have been together for eight years.

The cameras captured the couples as they displayed public affection in a Birmingham park as onlookers stopped to gawk, shake their heads in disapproval, and even call the police.

Public displays of affection are quite common among heterosexual couples. On any given day a stroll through the park, a mall, or even onboard an airplane you’re bound to find two straight people who care about each other expressing their love publicly, sometimes to the extent where some might consider their behavior slightly pornographic.

Yet this simple luxury is not afforded to gay and lesbian couples, but is often taken for granted by straight couples who never have to think twice or fear for their safety when giving in to the natural desire to hold their partner’s hand or kiss in public.

ABC News presented a very different Birmingham than I’d seen over a year ago on the LOGO Network’s short lived reality program U.S. of ANT where we were introduced to an out black gay minister with a thriving congregation, a black transsexual female in an interracial relationship with an accepting mother-in-law, and all the signs pointing towards a progressive city in the middle of a red state.

Instead we saw just how deep intolerance runs not only in Birmingham but also across the country for gays and lesbians.

One of the most disturbing moments in the program occurs when a witness to Kaolin and James’ PDA decides to call the police to report the couple (as if they were committing a crime) and a police officer is actually dispatched to the scene.

“They said ya’ll was out here making out”, said the officer. Just don’t do that out in public”. Moments later the cop receives a phone call from his superior informing him that the gay couple were actors participating in a study spearheaded by ABC that changes his entire demeanor.

“Ya’ll seem to be alright, have a good one”. I wonder how the African-American officer would have handled the situation if Kaolin and James were a black couple.

By this time I was already fuming over what was taking place, but to add more fuel to the fire we witness the double standard of lesbian PDA that is often more acceptable in public if not damn near desirable by some testosterone driven straight men.

To be fair Ashby & Leslie receive some of the same looks of disapproval as the gay couple. One teenage girl looks repulsed and tells ABC that she’s “disgusted and just doesn’t want to see two people of the same sex kissing”.

A moment later a man walks up to the lesbian couple and introduces himself and his male friends who are obviously turned on by the couple.

No outright hostility and no phone call to the police are made.

Can we say obvious double standard? Hell yes! I’ve written about PDA before and I could get on my soapbox once again but I’m going to keep this short and sweet. PDA is a personal choice between two people. My partner and I actually choose not be affectionate in public, actually he chooses not to be and I’m constantly grabbing his hand or attempting to kiss him just to watch him squirm. But any couple gay or straight should have the right to express their love for each other without having to be concerned with their surroundings or a visit from the police.

It’s a shame that most people would rather see two men at war than holding hands. We’ve come a long way but we still have so much farther to go.

Watch the video below:


Happy Monday! I had the pleasure of spending the day in Guadalajara, Mexico last Saturday and jumped at the opportunity to send you guys a special message all the way from Mexico. I can't thank you enough for all of the support you've shown me over the past couple of years. The site continues to grow and the traffic has been increasing steadily over the past few months.

This video blog is my invitation to all of the readers who log on everyday but have yet to participate in the discussion. There is a comment link for every post so go ahead and take a few minutes and utilize your voice.

I love it when you agree with me but respect you even more when you don't. I know you're reading because I hear from you via e-mail all the time.

So go ahead and get into this video and do something wild when it's over... like leave a comment.

1 comments | Thursday, April 24, 2008

On Wednesday night I had the pleasure of attending the "No Mo No Homo" Initative at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Safe Space, a gay campus organization operated by some of the most intelligent and fearless young men I've ever met have been working diligently and often times against incredible odds to ensure that Morehouse College is a place where all men are accepted into the brotherhood and treated as equals regardless of their sexual orientation.

The week long initiative is aimed at increasing awareness of homophobia and heterosexism at Morehouse.

A honest and fiery panel discussion moderated by Michael Brewer with panelists Vincent Allen(Safe Space), Charles Baschum (formerly of HRC), and Morehouse faculty member Dr. Rome took place in The African American Hall of Fame inside M.L. KIng Chapel.

The first thirty minutes were devoted to prepared questions for the panelists via the moderator, but the conversation really got started when the floor was opened up for questions. The audience consisted of gay and lesbian students, straight allies and of course those who vehemently opposed homosexuality.

It wasn't long before religion and the "beautiful" story of Sodom & Gomorrah reared it's head. Emotions were high but the conversation remained respectful at all times.

I must commend the work of the members of Safe Space, it's because of their courage to be visible on campus that other gay students will not have to feel as if they cannot live authentically and still be considered strong Morehouse men.

I think it's also important to recognize Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, president of Morehouse College who was also in attendance. Dr. Franklin was the first Morehouse College president to attend a Safe Space function in 18 years.


If you answered yes to either of those questions and you'd like to share your story here on this site then I'm all ears. Simply click on the contact link at the top of this blog and reach out to me. Your story is important and one that I think many brothers in the community could benefit from. I look forward to speaking with you.


2 comments | Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In the words of my friend B. Scott, "Take me higher Lord!" Seandon is a beautiful model who has appeared in CLIK Magazine as well as New York's very impressive new Bleu Magazine.

He recently had a quick chat with the folks over at Bleu and this is what he had to say:

BLEU: Where are you from?

SEANDON: I was born in Brooklyn, New York, but raised in Harlem.

How long have you been modeling?

I have been modeling for a year. Besides modeling I'm also taking acting classes, looking to one day branch off into that field.

What inspires you?

What inspires me is this hard industry. It's not as easy as it seems but I love a challenge. But it's not really what inspires me it's who. First and for most God, my mother, my family and my good friends.


This is an amazing story that I came across last week in The New York Times but somehow it slipped under my radar. Thanks to Towleroad.com and my reader Tee Cee for bringing it to my attention.

via Towleroad.com

Star high school football player and former Tennessee linebacker Jackie Walker, who became the first African-American football player in the Southeastern Conference to be named an all-American and the first to captain an SEC team, and remains in NCAA record books for his interception touchdown record, is finally being recognized:

"Walker was gay, which he made no effort to hide after his senior season at Tennessee. That is why his name has faded from memory, according to his brother, Marshall, and several of his teammates and coaches. When Walker was dying of AIDS in 2002, his brother told him he would change that, pledging to help get him into the Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame. Walker laughed, convinced that it would never happen. Now, it appears that Marshall Walker’s promise has paid off. The Hall of Fame is expected to include Jackie Walker when it releases its latest class of inductees Sunday."

The NYT notes that Walker's openness about his sexuality likely also led to his axing from the San Francisco 49ers (who drafted him after college) before the season began.

Jamie Rotella, another Tennessee linebacker, spoke to the paper about learning of Walker's sexuality: "I was totally shocked. But it didn’t affect the way I admired and respected him. We were confused, but everybody had too much respect for Jackie, for his character as well as for his football play. Jackie was a private person, very humble. Whenever he did speak, his words were sincere, reflecting his character. He was a silent leader. He didn’t say much, but when he did, you listened."


I know what you're thinking, this guy would look right at home sipping on an apple martini in West Hollywood at The Abbey with the rest of the gays. But don't you dare give him your "gayest look"(channeling my inner Jay Leno) or ask this "actor" to play a gay character, he'll go ballistic and we have video footage to prove it.

Vicni, a former International Male catalog model( it doesn't get much gayer than an I.M. catalog) and current contestant on VH1's reality show Viva Hollywood, is competing with other spanish speaking actors for a television contract with Telemundo.

In a recent challenge Vicni was given a scene in which he had to perform a same-sex kiss and all hell broke loose! Vicni was so repulsed by the thought of playing a gay character he began packing his clothes to leave the show.

Guest judge Christian de la Fuente eventually talked Vicni out of leaving the show and Vinci essentially rewrote the scene to make his character straight, leaving scene partner Berto to carry the scene by himself.

Apparently Vicni didn't get the memo. Playing gay is how Hollywood actors show that they have serious acting chops nowadays. You're nobody in Hollywood until you've had your Brokeback moment. It's unfortunate that he allowed his homophobia to get in the way of the work. Isn't a real actor supposed to be able to separate fact from fiction?

Check out the clip below:


Just for kicks I decided to remind you guys of a few of the well know black actors who have played gay roles and have not suffered because of their choice.

Ving Rhames- Holiday Heart

Anthony Mackie- Brother to Brother

Micheal K. Williams- The Wire

Rockmond Dunbar-Punks/Dirty Laundry

Taye Diggs-Will&Grace

Wesley Snipes-Too Wong Fu:Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar

0 comments | Tuesday, April 22, 2008

There is definitely life after American Idol for finalists who failed to snatch the crown. The Broadway stage has become home to such popular contests as Tamyra Gray(RENT), Frenchie Davis(RENT), Clay Aiken(Spamalot), Lakisha Jones(The Color Purple), and even Fantasia Barrino, winner of season four who went on to star in The Color Purple as Miss Ceiley, grossing over 6 million dollars for the show.

Anwar Robinson is the latest contestant to lend his extraordinary talent to the cast of Jonathan Larson's pulitzer-prize winning musical RENT on tour. The show will play Atlanta's Fox Theater beginning April 25-27.

Robinson will be playing the role of Tom Collins, a sultry voiced college professor who is HIV positive and in love with a beautiful drag queen named Angel. Jesse L. Martin of the television drama Law & Order originated the role on Broadway .

If you're a RENThead like I am and you're in Atlanta then you don't want to miss this show. Time is also running out as the show will end it's twelve year run on Broadway when it closes this September.

And yes, Anwar will have a live onstage kiss with another man. Check out the clip below of the beautiful duet "I'll Cover You" sung by the original Tom Collins and Angel Jesse L. Martin and Wilson Jermaine Heredia.

And because this amateur couple lip-synching the duet was so damn cute I had to post their video too.


I've been craving for my dose of the disappearing diva Janet Jackson. While Madonna and Mariah Carey are in overdrive promoting their new albums, Janet has been almost invisible. So imagine my excitement when I came across an amazing interview given to Marc Malkin of E! Online.

Janet discusses her upcoming tour that kicks off on September 11, marriage, the gay community, HIV/AIDS, drag queens, and the gay rumors that refuse to go away. Read the entire article here.

Check out these highlights:

Who have been some of your favorite Janet Jackson drag queens?

It's awful because I can't remember their names, but one of them was at the Baton [Show Lounge] in Chicago. This was a few years ago. And she did a wonderful job. And another was not that long ago recently in Atlanta at the Jungle. She did a wonderful job as well.

Why do you think they do a good Janet? What's a good Janet drag queen?

They really study you. They truly study you. But you know, they pour it on more, which I absolutely love. They give more than I do and I love that. The first time I went to the Baton in Chicago and saw this show, I was with some of my [female] dancers. Afterward, I said to my dancers, "We've gotta pull up because these bitches are hitting it. They're giving so much femininity and we look like boys onstage." The next night we had a show and we were trying our hardest to ooze with that feminine touch.

Do you remember the first time someone told you there are rumors out there that you're gay?
I don't remember the first time, but it's been forever. Someone once said to me, "Doesn't that bother you?" And I was like, Why should it bother me?

What would you do if your boyfriend came home one day and said, "Honey, I've got something to tell you—I'm gay"?

I'd be upset because I want to be with him [Laughs.]. It's so funny because I joke with him that it drives me crazy to be a girl sometimes, so in my next life I'm going to come back as a guy and [he's] going to be my bitch. But if he liked guys, I would be crushed because I would want to be with him.

The AIDS epidemic started and then we were at the height of it when you started to hit the big time with albums like Rhythm Nation and Control. Do you remember when you first heard about the disease? Was it when you started losing friends?

I lost a lot of friends. Friends from the show Fame who I had danced with, some of the kids from Nasty, some of the kids who danced with my brothers who I knew. Makeup artists. I lost a lot of friends to AIDS and one who I absolutely adored so much. His name was Jose, and we worked a lot together in Europe. He would put these eyelashes on me that he would make from real hair. His sister would cut her hair so he could make these eyelashes. They were the most beautiful things. He was so much fun to be with. I had heard he was sick and he was passing, and it was just so sad. It's so sad.

Let's talk about gay marriage…

I think it should be legalized. I think it's about finding your soul mate. It's finding that person you connect with. But most people don't get it right. Look at me! The thing is, I don't know if I ever will or won't get married again. I'm very happy where I am. I just think I jinx marriages, but that's not going to stop me from loving.

You appeared in a PSA to combat hate crimes that was produced after 15-year-old Lawrence King was murdered in February because he was gay. Why was that so important to you?

That broke my heart. He was finally coming into his own and being himself and being OK with who he was. He was feeling good about that and not living in this shell and pretending to be someone else. He was letting all of that go and saying, "This is me." But being murdered for being who you are, for being real—we were crushed by that.


The Black LGBT community is about to take center stage in Baltimore as several hundred Black LGBT, their Straight allies, family and friends will gather along with over 50 national experts spanning 35 workshops, panel discussions, Q&As and receptions at the National Black Justice Coalition’s, Power of Us Conferencein Baltimore, April 24-25-26, 2008 at the Marriot Renaissance Harborplace Hotel.

The 3-day conference is a powerful statement for a community that is rarely portrayed in media and entertainment. From a political perspective, the National Black Justice Coalition has taken the lead in ensuring that Black LGBT no longer are victims of racism and homophobia.

Black LGBT Notables participating in the conference are:

Newly out State Legislator, Jason Bartlett, CT; Judge Darrin Gayles; Newark , NJ City Council Member, Dana Rone; Dr. David Malebranch, Emory University ; Wilton Manors, FL City Commissioner, Joe Angelo


Carey Sherrell (NBC Apprentice); Kathy Harris (BET College Hill); Ray Cunningham ( BET College Hill); Comic, Karen Williams; and Actor, Dale Guy Madison

The conference is also divided into three tracks:

Day 1– April 24, 2008: Health and Wellness Track
Focuses on Black Wellness including HIV/AIDS.

Day 2– April 25, 2008: 3rd Annual Black Church Summit
Focuses upon Black Church Homophobia

Day 3– April 26, 2008: Leadership Development and Mobilization Summit
Focuses on Black LGBT Politics, 2008 Presidential Race and Marriage Equality.

To read more about the conference click here.

To register click here.

7 comments | Sunday, April 20, 2008

On May 13th the release of author and former MTV executive Terrance Dean's memoir "Hiding In Hip Hop:On The Down Low in the Entertainment Industry from Music to Hollywood", is sure to cause a firestorm of controversy and spark a discussion about hip-hop artists who have built careers on their hyper-masculine and thuggish image while secretly leading double lives.

Ironically, in an industry much like professional sports, hip-hop is homophobic yet homo-erotic at the same time. It is no secret that gays exist in every occupation in society and hip-hop is no exception.

So why hasn't a major hip-hop artist come out? There's obvious reasons that the majority of people whether gay or straight would understand, one being we live in an extremely homophobic society, although progress is being made.

For many gay mainstream hip-hop artists coming out is not an option, however, living on the down low is.

"Hiding In Hip-Hop" uncovers a hidden and well-known unspoken secret. Deep within the confines of Hip-Hop is a prominent gay sub-culture. A world that industry insiders are keenly aware of, but choose to ignore.

According to Dean, "This book is filled with intrigue, sexy celebrity bed partners, abundance of drugs, and of course, the down low/gay men and celebrities in the entertainment industry.

This book is my voice, your voice, and many other voices of people who love Hip Hop, the black church, the black community, our families - our uncles, aunts, brothers, and sisters who are gay, or on the down low, says Dean.

You will find your own story within my story. Of course your jaws will drop. Most definitely you will laugh. You will certainly cry. And you will have outbursts. But, most importantly, you will think. It will create a dialogue and conversation so needed in our community, and world - Why are we afraid to talk about sex and sexuality in the black community? Why can't black gay men and women come "out" of the closet in entertainment?"

I have not read the book yet, but I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy. To pre-order Hiding in Hip Hop just click here. Keep your eyes open for an exclusive interview.


Last week I put out a call for help in finding author Rashid Darden and the call was answered. Thank you guys so much! Not only did I connect with Rashid but he was kind enough to send me an advanced copy of his soon-to-be released novel "Covenant" which I read in less than 48 hours. What an amazing read!

Covenant is Rashid's second book and is a continuation of the story from his debut novel "Lazarus". For those of you who have not read either book allow me to bring you up to speed.

Both books are set on the campus of Potomac University in Washington, D.C. and tell the story of Adrian Collins, an intelligent and highly respected college student who is coming to terms with his sexuality while pledging a traditional black fraternity, Beta Chi Phi. Amidst conservative and homophobic surroundings, Adrian is determined to be himself, experience love, and become a respected member of his fraternity.

The pledging process is not a cakewalk for Adrian as some of his brothers suspect that he might be gay. Adrian is frequently subjected to verbal and even physical abuse. But like Lazarus he continues to rise.

I know many gay brothers in traditional fraternities identify with the fear of coming out to or being outed by their brothers. Most black fraternities embrace Christianity as a foundation for their organization and have purposefully worked to exclude openly gay members.

So is there an alternative for openly gay brothers who don't want to retreat to the closet in order to experience brotherhood? Of course there is, actually there's hundreds of options. And I'm not talking about the MIAKA's. But here's just a few.

Take a moment and browse their websites to see what they have to offer. Remember there is always an alternative when you've been abused and rejected by traditional organizations. Be it a church or a fraternity, you should surround yourself with people who lift you up versus tearing you down.

A special thank you to Quan Rutledge, president of the Iota Chapter of Gamma Mu Phi in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Gamma Mu Phi Fraternity Inc.

Delta Phi Upsilon Fraternity Inc.

Kappa Psi Kappa Fraternity Inc.

And for my beautiful lesbian sisters- Beta Phi Omega Sorority Inc.


Take me higher Lord! I wrote about newly signed recording artist Steph Jones a couple of months ago and I think that particular post went unnoticed. I'm telling you guys, don't sleep on this brotha. Not only is he beautiful on the exterior, but he's beautiful inside and has an amazing voice to top it off. It just doesn't get any better than "Mr. Ordinary" himself.

Well my friend and loldarian.com affiliate B. Scott had an opportunity to welcome Steph Jones into his home and learn about his life and his music and of course it's all captured on video.

I loved Steph Jones and his music before, but seeing him in this video with B. Scott made me respect him even more. He is gifted and smart enough to know that embracing all of his fans regardless of race, class, or sexual orientation is the right thing to do. Gotta love a man who is secure enough with his sexuality to look past a person being gay to embrace them regardless. Steph rocks!

Make sure you check out Steph's music on his myspace page and get into the video above.


Former NSYNC member and budding gay activist Lance Bass has contributed his voice and celebrity to a new PSA against anti-gay bullying in schools. The ad produced by gay rights organization GLSEN was created for this year's Day of Silence, which commemorates those lost to anti-gay violence.

This year's Day Of Silence will honor Oxnard, California student Lawrence King who died from a gunshot wound inflicted by a classmate because he was gay.

In the PSA above, Bass insists that gays are “brothers and sisters” and that we must all work to educate the rest of the world.

Side note: While the death of Lawrence King was tragic and senseless, let's not forget about the death of Florida teen Simmie Williams who was gunned down shortly after King. There are no leads in his case and his killer is still on the loose.

1 comments | Friday, April 18, 2008

Hey people! Trey and I have returned from our mini-vacation in New Orleans and I'm slowly recovering from all of the food I've consumed over the past few days. New Orleans was everything I expected and more.

I'd like to thank all of you who left birthday wishes for me here or sent me an e-mail. I can't begin to tell you how special you all made me feel.

We crammed as much as we possibly could in 2 days, haunted tours, lunch on the Natchez steam boat, walking all over the French Quarter, and even a Hurricane Katrina Tour. Yes, we were the ultimate tourists.

Allow me to give some advice if you ever plan on visiting New Orleans.

1)You might want to skip the haunted tour because the marketing is a little misleading. Instead it should be called the haunted history tour, because all you get is 2 hours of stories from a knowledgeable tour guide that isn't the least bit scary.

2)If you plan on riding the streetcar go ahead and buy a day pass, you'll save a few bucks.

3)Be prepared to be confused as hell about which direction the streetcar is headed or which one to board. I swear riding the subway in NY is so much easier.

4)You have to go on the Natchez Steam Boat cruise for lunch or dinner. The ticket is a little pricey but the food is great and you'll learn a lot about the city. Make sure to bring a coat. I left mine at home and almost froze.

5) You must check out Clover Grill in The French Quarter for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The waiters are drag queens. Yes, I live!

Finally, you must go on the Hurricane Katrina tour. Seeing the damage Hurricane Katrina caused on TV was nothing compared to seeing it up close. Almost three years later New Orleans is in a state of recovery but there is still work to be done.

We had a chance to travel to the lower ninth ward and it was devastating. If you look closely to the pictures I've posted of the damaged homes you will see a brown water mark on the homes indicating how far the water rose. You can also see white or orange markings on the homes indicating the date of entry and the number of dead bodies or survivors found.

We did all of this stuff in a day. So I'm sure you know what we did when we made it back home. No not that! LOL! We went to sleep.

Have a great weekend and thanks again for all of your support. We'll meet again on Monday and it'll be business as usual.

5 comments | Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Monday! I will be missing in action this week as Trey and I travel to New Orleans to celebrate our birthdays. Trey will celebrate his birthday on tomorrow and I will celebrate my 28th birthday on Wednesday.

I've been all over the world but surprisingly I've never been to New Orleans, so I'm extremely excited about this trip. Initially I wanted to go to San Francisco(of course I wanted to go to the gayest place on earth...lol!) but Trey quickly overruled that decision. So we're headed down to the bayou.

I've promised myself that I wouldn't do any work or check a single e-mail while I'm on vacation. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

In case you're wondering, yes I will accept gifts. LOL! But I actually have a special offer for you guys from one of my readers, Mr. Gregory Chapman and The Gilt Groupe out of New York City. Check out the details below.

Things should be back to normal on Friday. Have a great week and be sure to check out the great offer from The Gilt Groupe.

On Wednesday April 16th, for the first time ever, Gilt Groupe, an invitation-only "sample sale" website which has been phenomenally successful offering women's fashion and luxury lifestyle brands at up to 70% off, will launch a store for men!

The first men's sale will be merchandise by designer John Varvatos, followed by Hickey on Friday, April 18, Dolce & Gabanna on Tuesday, April 22, and Lambertson Truex on Thursday, April 24.

The sales are first come, first serve, one day only, and the full collections of merchandise are always available at the start of the sales which begin at 12pm EST.

To join Gilt Groupe for free and to gain access to the men’s online store click here.


Update:Darius Cooke Mourns The Loss of Partner Keith Truesdale

The family of the late Keith Jamar Truesdale who was gunned down during a robbery at Popeye's Chicken on January, 22 in Woodbridge, VA can now begin to heal. Three men have been arrested for the botched robbery that left Truesdale dead after he failed to open the safe and shots were fired. The robbers left without any money.

Truesdale left behind a devoted partner, Darius Cooke of two years. Shortly before his death the couple had exchanged rings during a commitment ceremony and were settling into a new home.

Cooke saw Truesdale for the last time that day as he stopped by the restaurant to collect some of the paperwork needed for an upcoming move. After running some errands in the neighborhood, fate allowed Cooke to be in an adjacent bank parking lot as Truesdale took a break. He walked over and surprised Cooke.

''Damn, you're still here?'' Truesdale teased. ''You got everything you need?''

That was followed by a casual goodbye and Cooke's reply: ''I'll see you at home then.'' It would be the last words they would exchange, the last time they would see each other.

Thanks to my readers Mack & ImJusSayinIsAll for the update.


Now if this video doesn't make you wanna get up and dance then I don't know what will. One of my favorite choreographers Luam delivers some of her hottest choregraphy to one of my favorite tracks from Janet's CD Discipline.

Since Ms. Jackson has disappeared from the stage lately, I'm hoping Luam's fierceness will hold me until she returns. I think my dance mojo is coming back folks. Get into this video!

3 comments | Thursday, April 10, 2008

I had no intention of watching Bravo's new reality competition Step It Up and Dance, hosted by Elizabeth Berkley (Showgirls) and Broadway veteran choreographer Jerry Mitchell (Hairspray, La Cage aux Folles), but after the first five minutes I was hooked and James Alsop is to blame for my new addiction.

With the lack of black gay characters on scripted television shows, I think it's fair to say that when audiences have been exposed to gay people of color it's been through the format of reality TV. The short lived series Noah's Arc, Paul James on ABC's Greek, Michael Boatman on Spin City, Michael K. Williams on The Wire, and Taye Diggs' special appearance on Will & Grace being the exception. Yet most of these characters were either underdeveloped or the show itself was not given a chance to grow in order to have an impact on a broader audience.

Who could forget Karamo Brown's appearance on The Real World Philadelphia or Ray Cunningham on College Hill? These were black gay men who rejected the notion that they should be ashamed to be openly gay and chose to live truthfully in front of millions each week.

Well now you can add Charlotte, North Carolina native and dancer James Alsop to the list. He's beautiful, talented, flamboyant, and you're gonna love him. James was born to dance and as a contestant on Step It Up and Dance his infectious personality and amazing gift to captivate audiences has placed him as an early front-runner to claim the $100,000 prize.

While James' talent speaks volumes about who he is as a performer, he has been extremely forthcoming about who he is as a person, coming out in the very first episode with no obvious baggage about his sexuality, only confidence.

Yes he's a little flamboyant, and yes he wears scarves from time to time to accessorize his dance gear. I guess I've always had a soft spot for flamboyant men, because unlike their gay masculine counterpart they've never been able to hide, therefore they're usually tough as nails.

James counts Janet Jackson as his inspiration. "My first video image of Janet as a child was her Escapade video. I wanted to be one of those Africans in the video so bad. I wanted to shake one of those straw skirts! But don't tell my momma that."

Yet another reason for me to love this kid.

You can catch James on Step It Up and Dance on Bravo on Thursdays 11/10 C. But of course you know I've got a link for you to watch James in action now.

Click here.

Update: James was eliminated last night. I'm so sad. However, this is only the beginning for him. Keep dancing James.