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10 comments | Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It is with a heavy heart that I report the loss of an incredible person and dancer Mr. Gabriel Paige. Gabriel's life expired on July 15th in Los Angeles and his body was laid to rest last week surrounded by family and friends in his hometown of Chicago. The cause of death is unknown at this time.

This is a devastating loss to the L.A. dance community. Many of you may recognize Gabriel as one of Britney Spears' longtime back-up dancers. Gabriel was with Britney from the very beginning and his beautiful technique and well defined body was frequently showcased in the singer's music videos as well as her live tours.

I had the pleasure of working with Gabriel a few years ago on an episode of MAD TV and he was simply a joy to be around. I always admired his skill and his ability to masterfully navigate through the demanding challenges the entertainment business presented dancers in Hollywood. Dancers usually work the hardest and get very little to no recognition.

I'm happy Gabriel was able to see many of his dreams come true before God called him home. He will truly be missed.

4 comments | Tuesday, July 29, 2008

During National HIV Testing Day GBM News journalist and Baltimore resident Justin Smith revealed one of the most private aspects of his life in a very unconventional way, his HIV status via YouTube.

Justin has courageously given a face to a disease that so many African-Americans are living with, many of whom are unaware of their status, choose not to know, or wait until it's too late to seek treatment. Viewers get to experience all of his ups and downs while living with the disease. From deciding which medication regimen to take to dealing with depression and the side effects from the drugs.

I had an opportunity to chat with Justin last night and he was just as engaging as I imagined he would be.

Justin on finding out about his status:

"I woke up one morning and popped up out of bed and literally threw up 5 times, twice on the side of my bed, two more times on the bathroom floor and once in the toilet. I knew something was wrong so I went to get tested at Us Helping Us, People Into Living Inc. in D.C. and my test came back positive. I didn't think I was going to die. My first thought was that I'd never be able to have children".

On taking combination therapy:

"After being positive for 2 years my doctor decided that it was time for me to start meds when my T-cell count fell to 261. I take three pills a day once a day, Truvada, Reyataz,and Norvir. Unfortunately, I'm resistant to Atripla, the one pill a day regimen and I've suffered from side effects but my body is adjusting now. I've seen what meds can do to a persons body and I have to be honest... I'm scared".

On why he chose to do the YouTube journal:

"I didn't see a lot of representation from African-American gay men who were HIV positive who were putting themselves out there. People need to know that this disease is real and it's killing us. My doctors suggested that I keep a diary to record my feelings and I decided that I would take it a step further and record a video to help others".

On his YouTube journal's impact:

"You wouldn't believe the e-mails that I've been receiving. A 19 year old kid wrote me and said that he'd never known anyone else with HIV, especially anyone black. He went on to tell me how he became infected and how he was depressed and contemplating suicide until he began surfing the net and came across my videos. He said, "now I know someone else like me and I know I'm not alone."


There's a lot happening around the country in terms of marriage equality and if you're a regular reader then you already know I'm an advocate for the civil rights of gays and lesbians to legally wed. So much so I'm putting my feet and my big mouth into action on the ground. Below are a few stories that are making headlines.


Soulforce Q is proud to introduce Right to Marry Arizona. Arizona is the first state to defeat a constitutional anti-marriage amendment which returns on the ballots this November.

In August 8th through August 16th, Soulforce Q team of Equality Walkers will set out to engage Phoenix in supporting marriage equality. These young adults will cover 96 miles on foot, the number of years Arizona has been a state without equal protection for its LGBT citizens, throughout the city. They will stop at city halls, local congregations and senior adult communities to share stories of those affected by the anti-marriage legislature.

I'm pleased to announce that I've been invited to participate by Soulforce in Right To Marry Arizona and will be traveling to Phoenix next week. Yea!

Opponents of gay marriage say they'll sue over changed wording in Proposition 8 -L.A. Times

The Secretary of State recently changed the word in the anti-gay ballot measure proposition 8 to accurately reflect the fact that it would actually remove a right from many Californians. The language was changed from “to provide that only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” to the more accurate “eliminate the right of same-sex couples to marry.” Now, gay marriage foes are suing to have the language changed back to what it was originally.

Victory! House passes 1913 law repeal in roll call vote-Bay Windows

The bill to repeal the 1913 law is on its way to Governor Deval Patrick, who will sign it into law. The bill cleared a final hurdle t when the House of Representatives passed the bill on a roll call vote after about 25 minutes of debate. The vote was 118-35, with five members not voting. The Senate passed the repeal bill on a voice vote with no fanfare or dissent on July 15.

Bruce Bastian donates $1 million to defeating California marriage amendment -HRC Back Story

Angel Investor: Utah's Bruce Bastian, a member of HRC's Board of Directors, announced at HRC's San Francisco Gala Dinner on Saturday that he will donate $1 million to the campaign against Proposition 8, the ballot amendment to overturn marriage equality in California. With more than three months to go before election day, the outside money on both sides of the ballot battle will just keep coming.

Minnesota to Follow Mass. and Calif. in Same-Sex Marriage? -The Advocate

Minnesota’s gay and lesbian couples have begun organizing a lawsuit similar to the ones that overturned same-sex marriage bans in Massachusetts and California, the Twin Cities’ Daily Planet reported Sunday.

“Gays and lesbians face legal costs to get legal documents such as hospital visitation, care decisions, and so on -- all that are granted by marriage,” Duane Benson told the Planet. Benson and his partner, Doug, are one of the couples looking to sue the state.

“We want a critical mass of couples involved,” Doug told the Planet. So far, the Bensons are joined by three other couples and are hoping for a group of nearly 30 couples by August 15 in order to bring a successful suit.

NJ: Garden State Equality nabs Commercial Closet Award -Pam's House Blend

Pop the cork of the champagne bottle for Garden State Equality for its Commercial Closet Association Award for the year's Outstanding Nonprofit Campaign! The Think Equal ad for marriage equality, produced by Blue Jersey and Kaplan Thaler, aired with a grant from Freedom to Marry on cable TV stations in New Jersey. Here's the winning ad honored at the 4th Annual Images in Advertising Awards:

Check this one out too:


Yeah I titled this post queer tube. What? I embrace my corny-ness. LOL! I've been trying to figure out a way to share some of my favorite You Tube videos with you guys and this post is what I came up with. People send me videos all of the time, some of which are worth sharing with everyone I come in contact with. Get into a few of them below:

Christopher Street

Dwight O'Neal and his talented cast has just released a new trailer for the upcoming series Christopher Street and I'm loving it!

Boys Perform Beyonce Freakum Dress Song!

Lawd have mercy! I wasn't even this out in high school and I've always been a proud homo.

Family Business

A down low tale live on stage. Gotta love it.

Jerry Springer - Gay Black Men On the Low

Promise you'll forgive me for posting this video because I know it's wrong on so many levels!


It seems everybody has an opinion on CNN's two-night special Black In America. Last week I posted a review of journalist Clay Cane's thoughts that ended up being pretty controversial and this week NBJC's Chief Executive Officer H. Alexander Robinson is blasting the news network for having the audacity to examine HIV/AIDS with no mention of black gay men, lesbians, or transgender individuals. I'm just glad somebody is speaking out and that it's coming from NBJC.

An excerpt:

I have heard the arguments that one CNN special could not be all things to all people, or cover all the aspects of the complex issues facing America and her Black citizens. However, when it comes to their presentation of the Black family and HIV/AIDS, their efforts were an exercise in journalistic malpractice.
How could you possibly have an honest exposé on HIV and AIDS in Black America and fail to mention Black gay men?

HIV respects neither race, gender, class or sexual orientation, but Black gay men remain the most heavily impacted by the disease and we have largely carried the weight of the HIV prevention message on our backs from the beginning until now. Of course we had allies and partners but let's get real- it was Black gay men who led on Black AIDS--and we are still leading.

What was the thinking of the documentary's editors which allowed the series to side-step the issue of men who have sex with men and women without disclosing their sexual practices with their partners? What of the ravages of drug use and addition left unchecked during our endless war on drugs? The disproportionate numbers of HIV infections in Washington, DC noted in the series can be traced in no small part to our failure to adequately address the drug use and needle sharing habits of addicts.

When addressing the issue of the many Black children who are being raised by single parents, CNN seem to suggest first that only Black women were raising our children alone- ignoring the significant number of Black men both gay and non-gay who are raising children. CNN renders invisible the thousands of children being raised by two loving parents in same-sex couples.

...In almost every segment there was an opportunity to bring Black gay men, lesbian women, bisexuals and transgender men and women into the discussion.

Yet there was nothing, not even a suggestion that we exist.

Read the entire article here via The Bilerico Project.

3 comments | Sunday, July 27, 2008

You may not know her now but you will. My inbox was flooded over the weekend with information on a special young lady who is without a doubt being positioned to be the next big reality star. Laverne Cox is a New York entertainer who has been chosen to appear as a contestant on P. Diddy's reality show "I Want To Work for Diddy" premiering August 4th on VH1.

The show will follow 13 contestants as they participate in challenges designed to see if they have what it takes to become Diddy's personal assistant.

But there is something that sets Laverne apart from the other contestants besides her undeniable beauty, strong work ethic, and determination to succeed. Laverne Cox is a transsexual. Yep, you read it right. And while she may not be the first to ever appear on television, I have a feeling she will be the talk of water coolers and beauty salons all over the country.

There is already speculation around P. Diddy's motives for casting Laverne on his show since she is sure to send the ratings through the roof. Will she be exploited or will she be treated with the respect and dignity deserving of every human being? Television like society doesn't have a great track record when it comes to understanding trans people so I guess we'll have to watch and see.

I'll definitely be tuning in but with one eye open and one eye closed. Are you planning on watching Diddy's new show?

9 comments | Friday, July 25, 2008

Loldarian.com affiliate and journalist Clay Cane knocked the ball out of the park with his review of CNN's Black In America special. Clay asks one important question that I think many of us in the black gay community were asking ourselves during the two-night special, "Where were the gays"? I had to cross post his review here because he said everything I wanted to say but with his amazing "Clay-isms".

Black in America Forgot the Gays
by Clay Cane

I was not expecting a whole segment on the gays, but I figured there would be some mention of homophobia at least for a millisecond in CNN’s four-hour Black in America special.

Black in America, which aired this past Wednesday and Thursday, focused solely on the straights and it seemed its solution for all problems was to go back to the nuclear family: "We need more marriage!" "We need a man and woman in the house!" "Go back to church!"

Marriage is not going to save the black family, marriage isn't for everyone. What will save the black community is education, policy (Amazing how CNN barely mentioned policies that are destroying black schools and neighborhoods. Some of these predicaments are completely out of our control.), and condoms. Yes, as Dorothy from The Golden Girls said, “Condoms! Condoms! Condoms!”

Jumpin’ jehosafats! The straights are f*ckin' and saying f*ck it to condoms! One young girl had a baby by a young man who already had another baby by a different woman, and the young girl had TWINS on the way by a different man. In another segment, a 31 year-old man had two kids, lived in the projects and quit college because he had to care for his children. One man had ten children and didn’t raise any of them—damn! All that f*ckin' and obviously no one is using a condom. You know what happens when gay men don't use condoms and contract HIV? They are criminalized for being dirty, sinful, and getting what they deserve. The straights don’t use condoms, they pop out a few kids, and they are victims of poverty.

No wonder the HIV/AIDS rate is so high among black women, they aren't using condoms... Black in America didn't have one segment on contraception just, "Get married! Go to church! Stay out of jail!"

I know this might be hard for some of the straights and the self-hating gays to understand, but it’s peculiar to me when the topic of HIV/AIDS is addressed in the black community, but sexuality is not mentioned. In one segment, Soledad O'Brien was grilling a black preacher on why his church is not directly dealing with HIV/AIDS, even when people in his congregation are infected. The preacher looked dumbfounded saying that was something they needed to work on. I was waiting for O'Brien to say something to the effect of "Is it because if you talked about HIV/AIDS you might have to talk about sexuality?" Considering some of the shadefest questions O'Brien was throwing at people, I’m surprised she didn’t.

The reason why the black church isn't discussing HIV/AIDS isn't because it accidentally fell off the list after donating money for the annual gospel choir church trip to Atlanta, D.C., and New York (where absolutely NO homosexuals would be… uh-huh)—it’s because of sexuality! If the Jim Crow Jesus preachers didn’t view HIV/AIDS as a gay issue, it would be topic number one. The black church is as criminal as President Ronald Reagan for ignoring the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Whether or not the straights get it, there are many results of homophobia. Families being torn a part, delusional black women who think the reason why they don't have a man is because of gays, and ignorant assumptions about HIV/AIDS. Of course HIV/AIDS isn't a gay thing, but I think if the black community were accepting of the gay community, who are queening up in church every week, we could get a stronger grip on the disease. History has proved, it’s been gay people who have made strides with HIV/AIDS. The black community needs the gay community to combat this disease.

Well, there was one gay person in Black in America. Just for a few seconds, there was a quick image of a young man dancing in a hot pink dancer's suit! However, looks like the family pulled a Dick Cheney and didn't allow him to be shown to the public. All of the other kids were interviewed except for him.

Overall, I thought Black in America was a good special. I loved the segments on Michael Eric Dyson, how challenging it is for a black man to find a job, and the lengths single mothers go to take care of their kids. I would argue black folks need to stop thinking the solutions to our problems are marriage and church. Maybe if we let go of some of the archaic values of the church, focused more on contraception, owning our businesses, challenging policy, and accepting every faction of the black community, we would effectively progress.


Atlanta's Southern Voice along with The Washington Blade has taken a close look at the issue of gay marriage over the past couple of weeks from the perspective of black and white Americans. I highlighted their efforts in a post on this site last week and thought it was necessary to follow up. This week SOVO examines the role religion and politics plays in shaping one's views of the controversial issue. Below are excerpts from the article that I highly recommend you read in full.

Rev. Dr. Kenneth Samuels of Victory For the World Church in Stone Mountain, Georgia a straight ally to the LGBT community contributed to this article and as always his thoughts are a breath of fresh air.

The Pew Research Center found in 2006 that 52 percent of black Protestants consider homosexuality “just the way that some people prefer to live,” rather than an innate orientation. According to the survey, 22 percent of white mainline Protestants say the same.

The survey also found that only 20 percent of black Protestants say homosexuality is something people are born with, and 60 percent say that homosexuality can be changed.

Many pastors adhere to what they consider a literalist view of the Bible, a view that Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel of Victory For the World Church in Stone Mountain said is wrong.

“If you are going to be a Biblical literalist, you have to be a sexist, a warmonger, you are probably a polygamist,” Samuel, who is straight, said. “We have changed our thinking on so many issues — divorce, women preachers — but we haven’t been willing to change our feelings on homosexuality? That’s unfair.”

Cuc Vu, chief diversity officer for the Human Rights Campaign, said education therefore becomes essential to securing new support.

“The reality is that many members of the African-American community believe you can choose to be gay, but you cannot choose to be black,” Vu said. “We need to create safer spaces for African-American GLBT people to come out and challenge the perception in the African-American community that there are no gay black people.”

Openly gay pastor Rev. Troy Sanders of preach2me.com said the root of the issue lies in education.

“The crux of the argument cannot be gay marriage or even marriage rights; it has to be addressing homophobia,” he said. “If someone considers homosexuality as a mental disorder they will consider anything that comes out of a same gender loving relationship as wrong.”

In an ironic twist we have a black heterosexual pastor stepping out on a limb to achieve equality for the LGBT community and then we have a white theater performer who has just contributed over 18k to support California's anti-gay mariage amendment. Yep, you read it right. Justin Caster is a former Chicago cast member of the hit musical Wicked and his father is the CEO of The Caster Group who owns A1 Storage. So the 18k Justin contributed was probably pocket change, but regardless he did it to hurt the very same people that he no doubt worked with during his days in Wicked.

Loldarian.com affiliate Jeremy over at Good As You has the entire story as well as a ridiculous letter from Justin explaining his self-homo hatred. Get into it here as well as the amazing and well thought out comments from his readers.

3 comments | Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's that time of the week again. There's a lot of interesting stories in the news and here are a few that I think are must reads.

CNN Presents: Black In America - CNN

CNN Presents: Black in America continues with "The Black Woman & Family." Soledad O'Brien explores the varied experiences of black women and families and investigates the disturbing statistics of single parenthood, racial disparities between students and the devastating toll of HIV/AIDS. O'Brien reports on the progress of black women in the workplace and the status of the black middle class.

I'm saving my thoughts on this highly anticipated series until it has come to an end. I must say that I was overjoyed that the usual gay bashing didn't occur when the topic of HIV/AIDS among black women and the increasingly high rate of unmarried black women well into their 40's was discussed.

Tonight the series will examine black men. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Black, Gay Group Bridging Divide - Queerty

Racism and homophobia, some believe, are so completely and utterly different that drawing a comparison between the two amounts to a mortal political sin. That’s a perfectly reasonable argument. Race and sexuality have exceedingly divergent histories in the United States, and thus result in entirely different emotional experiences. White people can’t understand anti-black sentiment anymore than straight people can comprehend homophobia.

Black, gay people have felt both, of course, which puts the National Black Justice Coalition in a precarious position.

Straddling the civil and gay divide, the DC-based non-profit hopes to bridge the divide between the respective rights movements. And, in many ways, they are succeeding.

Robaire Watson: gay, black and served openly under DADT - Pam's House Blend

Robaire Watson seemed to have designed his own personal freedom by sheer willpower and personality. During the early 1990s, it also helped that there was an expectation in the military that President Clinton would issue an executive order allowing gay and lesbian patriots to serve openly. It did not happen, but in many commands there had been a preparedness to enable those who did their jobs well to be able to serve without discrimination.

Petty Officer Watson and many others benefited from that brief bubble in time when some commands demonstrated that they could make it happen without difficulty. When the Don't Ask Don't Tell law was passed, his shipmates told him, "Watson, we don't have to ask and we don't have to tell."

..."I'm very fortunate that I was able to be openly gay and live my life accordingly during active duty," he said, "I want other men and women who enter the armed forces who are gay to be able to live their lives just as openly as their straight counterparts and when they become veterans to be treated with dignity and respect."

South has 52 percent of HIV cases - The Montgomery Advertiser

Kathie Hiers, the director of AIDS Alabama, said that the South always has been the part of the nation hardest hit by sexually transmitted diseases for a variety of reasons.

"Our states are often financially poor, with less than adequate Medicaid programs; our educational systems are not up to par; the South has more poverty than an y other regions; we have more rural areas, which causes transportation problems; and stigma is more pronounced," she said.

"Our churches need to become more involved, rather than just preaching abstinence and sticking their heads in the sands," she said. "We need to do a lot of HIV testing, so that people who have the disease can learn how to take care of their bodies and how not to transmit the disease."

Sherri Shepard talks about multiple abortions - The Daily Voice

Sherri Shepherd, a co-host on ABC's "The View," opened up today to reveal that she has had several abortions. The comment came in response to an interview published in a black Christian magazine called Precious Times.

Prompted by co-host Whoopi Goldberg, Shepherd explained her quote that "I've had more abortions than I can count." She said "Jesus had forgiven me," and wasn't being "flippant" about abortions and wasn't "glamorizing" it. "I wanted people to know that not everybody's perfect," Shepherd said.

Shepherd also caused a bit of controversy after the magazine quoted her in a statement that suggested that her boss, Barbara Walters, could be saved by evangelicals. "Oh sometimes I say, 'Lord, Juanita Bynum or Joyce Myers would be so good at this table.' They could lay hands on Barbara Walters and get her saved," Shepherd told the magazine.

Speaking on "The View" today, Shepherd said she had spoken to Barbara Walters and Walters laughed.

Do you think Sherri's days are numbered on The View after her latest embarrassing statements?

7 comments | Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Update: 7/28 The Human Rights Campaign has just confirmed via their Back Story blog that Nike has pulled their latest controversial ad campaign. The move came after criticism surfaced on various GLBT and sports blogs according to HRC.

Images from the new Nike ad campaign have surfaced online and the reviews are definitely mixed. Most of the shots show two men in an aggressive game of basketball with one player's face buried in the crotch of his opponent with the subtitles" That Ain't Right", " Punks Jump Up", "Isn't That Cute", and "Now You Know".

I'm not entirely convinced that Nike set out to create homophobic advertising to promote their products, after all this is a game where men are constantly walking around the court slapping each other on the ass. But for those people who tend to over analyze everything(I'm guilty) these ads will definitely have a double meaning.

Is the campaign completely harmless or completely homophobic? I guess it depends on who you're talking to. What do you think?


If you're a frequent reader of this blog then you know I'm a huge Janet Jackson fan and I have been since I was about six years old. I will do my best to refrain from using profanity in this post despite the fact I'm mad as hell! Does that word count?

Many of you may already know that Justin Timberlake was tapped to host this years ESPY Awards in Los Angeles and always the consummate performer he decided to joke about the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" from the 2004 Super Bowl.

Not funny.

Obviously "Timberfake" thinks because four years has passed and he apologized swiftly in order to receive his first Grammy award as a solo artist that it's appropriate to joke about an incident in which he participated in and came out unscathed. Meanwhile Janet's career has suffered greatly and has yet to fully rebound.

Fortunately for Justin Janet has class and has never publicly called him out for leaving her to take all of the heat.

I never understood why the public was so quick to forgive and forget about the role Justin played in this incident. This stunt he pulled at the ESPY's in an attempt to generate laughter in my opinion was in very poor taste.

But I guess when black artists, producers, and black music consumers continuously shower Timberlake with praise for his musical efforts (which are so reminiscent of Elvis Presley) then he gets a ghetto pass to behave as he chooses, even when it comes to disrespecting a black female artist who happens to be a living legend.

I'm sure a lot of people found his little act funny but I wasn't one of them.

Check out the clip below as well as the recent federal court ruling on the FCC fine against CBS. Looks like Janet will be having the last laugh.

Thanks Jeff!

0 comments | Monday, July 21, 2008

It's the second day of the week and I already feel like I've been neglecting you. I'm on a deadline for a brand new project that I will share with you later on in the week and my feet has yet to touch American soil. As soon as I accomplish both of those tasks I shall return. Hopefully sooner than later. Stay tuned!

3 comments | Sunday, July 20, 2008

The sounds of hip hop and R&B blaring from The Artistry (formerly The Sweet Low-Down) in midtown Atlanta on July 20th could not be contained within the building nor the excitement of all who were in attendance to brush elbows with Jensen Atwood, star of the successful, yet short lived LOGO series Noah’s Arc and Dante’s Cove on the here! Network.

Jensen Atwood enters into a party already in progress, but with one glance of his signature cornrows, chiseled abs, and infectious smile it’s obvious the party has just begun.

In town to support the release of his new 16- month calendar titled “Jensen Atwood on White”, shot by photographer Jerris Madison and produced by Men of Eros.

The calendar is beautifully shot and cleverly designed by Madison who includes Atwood, Rockmond Dunbar, Brian K. White, and Henry Simmons to his roster of clients. But fans will no doubt fall in love with every sexy shot he’s captured of Atwood in this spectacular calendar. And Atwood owns every ounce of sex appeal that has both men and women falling over themselves to get a piece of this sexy actor.

It’s that sex appeal combined with Atwood’s ability to tell a story that will no doubt move calendars and draw a huge audience this fall when the highly anticipated film “Noah’s Arc: Jumping The Broom” is released.

I had an opportunity to sit down with Jensen Atwood shortly before he received his fans and always a true professional he was engaging and quite easy on the eyes.

Jensen on the inspiration for the calendar:

“It actually came about because the fans were demanding it. And this calendar was shot with my fans in mind”, says Atwood.

On the release of Noah’s Arc: Straight to DVD or a theatrical release?

“Noah’s Arc will definitely be shown in theaters across the country”, says Atwood. “We’re in the process of narrowing down which cities will screen the film”.

On Dante’s Cove currently running on the here! Network:

“I’ve been asked to return for the fourth season and I was thrilled to sign on for another season. So you can expect to see more of me on Dante’s Cove once the new season begins,” says Atwood.

To say this man is busy would be an understatement. I was also privy to a career move that is sure to take all of Atwood’s fans by surprise and garner the star new ones. You’ll just have to wait a little bit longer to find out exactly what this talented actor is going to do next.

But for now you’ll be able to enjoy Jensen Atwood over the next 16 months in his amazing new calendar that was created especially with you in mind.

A special thank you to Jerris Madison,Charles Stephens, and Dereck Wallace.

Order your copy of Jensen Atwood Men on White at menoferos.com

0 comments | Friday, July 18, 2008

Gay filmmaker Kirk-Shannon Butts is riding the wave of the success of his debut film BLUEPRINT all the way from Harlem to Hollywood. The film has screened at dozens of film festivals across the U.S. and abroad and has earned Shannon- Butts an arm full of accolades.

Named "The Visionary" on the Out 100 list by Out Magazine in 2007 Shannon- Butts is also remaining true to the title in his position as Men's Editor for Glamour Magazine. He recently was granted VIP access to fashion mogul Kimora Lee Simmons' new 'Fabulosity' line for JCPenney.

While the reviews and the relevancy of the' Baby Phat' and 'Fabulosity' fashion lines may be mixed- people can't seem to get enough of Shannon-Butts.

Uptown Magazine recently included him on their "35 Stars To Watch" list and ON Magazine's Peter Canavese declares, “Shannon-Butts’ makes a good case to be the GLBT Spike Lee.”

Upcoming screenings for BLUEPRINT include Oakland International Black LGBT Film Festival in August and Africa in the Picture (The Netherlands) in September.

You might remember reading about BLUEPRINT on this site's list of black gay films to see from a post earlier this year. If you haven't seen it yet then by all means check it out when it comes to your area. BLUEPRINT is slated for a fall 2008 release.

Check out the trailer below:


The Washington Blade along with Alexander H. Robinson, President of The National Black Justice Coalition reveals some rather sad but not surprising data on the attitudes of African-Americans towards marriage equality.

While it seems other communities are being educated about the lives of gays and lesbians and are moving towards equality, as many as two thirds of African-Americans are defiant and not only reject gay marriage but any legal recognition for gay couples including civil unions.

Released in April, the National Black Justice Coalition report notes that blacks “are virtually the only constituency in the country that has not become more supportive over the last dozen years” of gay rights.

It says Asian-Pacific Islanders showed the highest rate of support for gay marriage or civil unions at 55 percent. Support among whites was at 46 percent, among Latinos at 35 percent and among blacks at 23 percent.

The report notes those findings reflected “strong gains in each of these groups except for blacks.”

Of course these findings have sparked a huge debate among those who have long believed blacks were more homophobic than other groups and even more likely to harass or become physical with persons who identified openly as LGBT. But it's important to note that LGBT people face challenges with acceptance from all communities.

Several prominent, straight black leaders have tried to help drum up support for same-sex unions.

Among those who have announced support for gay marriage are Coretta Scott King, the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. who died in 2006; activist and former Democratic presidential candidate Rev. Al Sharpton; and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a prominent civil rights leader.

Julian Bond, chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, also is an ardent supporter of equal rights for gays.

“Many gays, many lesbians, worked side by side with me in the civil rights movement,” he said in 2005. “Am I supposed to tell them now thanks for risking their lives and their limbs to help me win my rights but that they are excluded because of the circumstances of their birth? Not a chance.”

Robinson said gay rights activists working to win new allies often are challenged to overcome the suspicions and fears that are held by many black Americans.

"They see it as about much more than marriage. It’s about trying to normalize homosexuals and homosexual behavior. You have to understand how much of a threat that, potentially, these numbers suggest we’re under. I can’t help but fear that if left unchecked, that this will begin to erode support for other measures of protecting gay and lesbian people, because that’s how prejudice works,” Robinson said.

4 comments | Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'm only posting this because I believe laughter is food for the soul and believe me there's plenty in this video that will make make you want to say "Girl pleazzzzzeeeeee"!

Al Reynolds, ex-husband of outspoken talk show host Star Jones has taken to YouTube like so many D-list celebrities have to clear his name and he wants everyone to know he is not a homosexual and the rumors have affected his professional and personal life immensely.

So why then would anyone believe that sweet Al could possibly be gay?

"Look at me. I take very care in my clothes. I dress nice. I’m from the South. We used to dress up to go to church. My mother had six kids. We used to have to line up before we left the house to go to church. It was very important that we were dressed nice. That our shoes were clean, that our hair was combed, that our teeth were brushed. That we presented ourselves as a Reynolds, because that’s what we were. And I kind of transport that into my adult life. So when you see me out, I’m gonna be immaculate. I’m gonna be clean. I’m gonna dress nice. I’m gonna look good.

You know some people, they call that kind of soft. Okay. I’ve been called soft before and that’s okay. Some people, as of late, call that metrosexual. I can live with it. Cause it’s not gonna stop. Every time I go to an event, I’m gonna look my best. My mother used to tell me that you look cleaner than the board of health, and I used to say to her ‘ all right that means my job is done. That means I got the okay to leave.", said Al.

Take me higher Lord! Of course comments and embedding for this video on YouTube have been conveniently disabled. He would have to hire a staff to moderate those comments.

Watch the video here.

1 comments | Tuesday, July 15, 2008

No he's not a porn star. But with a name like Demarco Majors along with his chiseled abs and killer smile, one couldn't resist being led to having x-rated thoughts. You may not know him now but you will.

This Evansville, Indiana born basketball player is gearing up to share his life and intense athleticism on the court in LOGO's new series Shirts & Skins, formerly known as Rockdogs after the award winning Gay Games team.

Following in the footsteps of professional basketball's first openly gay player John Amaechi, Majors is bold, beautiful, talented, and unapologetically gay. In addition to playing basketball he also owns his own team, the Oakland Phantoms representing the city of Oakland, California.

I've written about the upcoming series on this site in the past, and if you can't tell I'm eagerly anticipating the debut.

The show will follow the sexy and talented teammates as they prepare to uphold their city's(San Francisco) three-generation legacy of international gay games gold medal, and national tournament wins.

I'm excited about the message Demarco and his teammates will be sending to the rest of the world with this project. Gay men come in a variety of colors and are in every profession imaginable, and sports is no exception.

Get into the videos below and learn more about Shirts and Skins and Demarco Majors directly from the man himself.


Here are some of the stories in the news that have caught my attention over the past 24 hours. Get into them.

Homophobe in Denial Wins Lawsuit(Clay Cane)

Well, just when you think the Brits are more progressive—you have Lillian Ladele, a marriage registrar in North London who refused to marry same sex couples even after civil partnerships were given legal recognition in 2005. Ladele, a staunch Christian, rants, "Gay rights should not be used as an excuse to bully and harass people over their religious beliefs."

The Assassination of Barack Obama: Freedom of expression or racism?(Sandra Rose)

A controversial art exhibit was raided and shut down before it could be viewed in NYC yesterday.

According to the NY Times blog: Cityroom, Boston-born performance artist, Yazmany Arboleda, tried to set up a provocative art exhibition in a vacant storefront on West 40th Street in Midtown Manhattan with the title, “The Assassination of Hillary Clinton/The Assassination of Barack Obama”.

The artist thought his racist views were protected under the Constitution because he was expressing himself through his art. Wrong.

Massachusetts Senate passes repeal of 1913 marriage law

The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill yesterday that would repeal a 1913 state law that prevents gay and lesbian couples from most other states from marrying in Massachusetts.

The bill, which had the support of Senate President Therese Murray, passed with no objections on a voice vote. Proponents of the repeal called the 1913 law archaic and discriminatory.

"There are very few laws on the books that I can say that I'm ashamed that they're on the books," said State Senator Mark Montigny, a New Bedford Democrat. He said he opposed the law because of the "immorality of discrimination."

"This is a very simple law, contrived in shame, and it exists in shame and we ought to wipe it off the books," he said.


Durant by Robert Durant launched March of 2007. The brand is the brain child of its CEO Mr. Robert Durant. The goal of the brand is to bring Urban Couture Knits to forefront of every mans closet. The time has come to throw those oversize t-shirts to the back of the closet and replace them with fashion knits that can be worn with a suit, slacks or with your favorite pair of designer jeans.


Songbird Brandy is gearing up for the release of her new album, and it seems as though she’s got the internet going nuts with this new promo shot that’s leaked. Just a few days ago, she also released a bit of the new material that she’s been in the studio working on, a track entitled “List,” (listen HERE) that also Brandy fans were going up for.

'America's Best Dance Crew 2': Exclusive peek at Janet Jackson episode(L.A. Times)

Randy Jackson's best dance crews will have to get their rhythm on next week on MTV when they will be tasked with stepping to Miss Janet Jackson's hit songs.

We understand that the remaining six crews are digging deep into the Janet Jackson crates, spinning to "Control," "Nasty," "If," "All Nite (Don't Stop)," "I Get Lonely" and "Black Cat."

For the show finale, all the crews will "break color lines" and perform together to Jackson's "Rhythm Nation." Can you hear it? "We are a nation of no geographic boundaries . . . ." Clip reels of Janet's greatest dance moves were given to the crews for inspiration.



Ok. Well this isn't news but it definitely put a smile on my face.


L.A. audiences were received a special treat last weekend when writer/director Maurice Jamal(Ski Trip/Dirty Laundry) debuted his latest work "Friends and Lovers" before a packed house during L.A.'s annual gay and lesbian film festival Outfest.

Friends and Lover's picks up where Jamal's 2004 indie favorite The Ski Trip left off. The film is part romantic comedy, part drama, part Hollywood spoof and all signature Jamal.

The story follows the lives, loves and mishaps of three diverse couples living in Los Angeles, and their eccentric circle of friends.

With two successful feature films under his belt and such heavyweight actors as Loretta Devine, Jennifer Lewis, and Rockmond Dunbar appearing in his films, Jamal has become the director every actor in Hollywood is eager to work with.

Many cast members from the original Ski Trip return for this sequel, but there's also performances by Benjamin Patterson (Noah's Arc),Anwar Robinson(American Idol, RENT),Tonex'(Grammy Winning Gospel Artist),Frenchie Davis(American Idol, RENT),Jackee Harry(227, Sister Sister) and Jason Stuart(Drop Dead Gorgeous).

Friends and Lover's was shot over fourteen days in L.A. and serves as an introduction to a television series by the same title that Jamal hopes to bring to audiences this fall.

"Friends and Lovers has the potential to become a welcome addition to any network's programming platform", according to L.A. critic Sarah Holbert.

"I would love for Friends and Lovers to find a home on television. It would certainly alter the results of our Network Responsibility Index, where we find that, among LGBT characters, gay white men continually dominate the TV landscape, year after year. With a diverse cast -- both in race and orientation -- there are characters to which most viewers can relate. And even if one doesn't have a person to latch onto, the snappy dialogue and clever one-liners will keep a viewer coming back, week after week."

Friends and Lovers is currently running at the Fairfax 1 Theater in Los Angeles.

Watch Maurice Jamal talk about his new film here.

Pics courtesy of Pink Mafia Radio