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5 comments | Sunday, August 31, 2008

This post is a special feature on loldarian.com by activist/hip-hop artist Tim'm West. It originally appeared on AOL Black Voices on August 29th.

Hi Family! Introducing My 'Partner'
by Tim'm West

I am one of the lucky ones: lucky, brave or both. This July, I celebrated my 36th birthday in the company of family, friends, and my partner Dave. The term "partner" doesn't rest well in the ears of some black families, but I am lucky. My family loves me for who I am, no matter what.

A few years ago my small, tight-knit family, consisting of two sisters and four brothers, as well as extended family, started a reunion for the generations to come. This year, being only the second time we've met, I created an online listserve, "The Blessed Wests", to shorten the distance of time and space when we are not together.

This year, I took the initiative to set the tone for the "The Blessed Wests". A gay man, I realize that getting my family to honor my partnership with Dave, a man I have known since 2004, but have only been partnered with since early 2008, might take some time. At 31, Dave is pretty new to the whole "coming out" process. Encouraged by the security of my love, and my desire to no longer love "in hiding", I'm grateful that he trusts my guidance as we aspire to build a family: a commitment ceremony, a home, and adoption are aspirations we both share.

My family is a Christian family full of preacher-men and good church women. I respect their beliefs as they respect my decision to live my life as an out gay man.

I remain hopeful that my "family" will continue to honor the vast ways in which black families are constructed: second marriages, adopted children, long-standing friendships, and yes same-sex partnerships. After graduating at the top of my class with scholarships to some of our nation's premier colleges, and having been a very popular student leader and athlete, coming out to my mother during my freshman year of college filled in some of the missing pieces. The burden of silence I carried as a teen, the depression, the fasting and praying for "change," and the suicide attempts for "change" proved masochistic at best.

On Sunday we made the drive from Shreveport to the outskirts of Taylor, Arkansas; a small township without a traffic light between paper mills, oil wells, and chicken plants. It is believed that Bible belt Christians, in places where the fields grow high and the roads "go dirt", are the most homophobic. I have a different experience. We arrived to the Church and received hugs from my niece and nephew. My brother-in-law, one among a few ministers in my family warmly greeted both me and Dave. There was such comfort in Dave meeting the family.

After a marathon sermon of the preacher men of my family about what it means to build a "strong house" (Mark 3:25), we gathered at the same modest three-bedroom wooden house in which we were raised. If it was crowded as children, you can imagine how quickly it filled. Midnight Starr soul train lines, "seconds" of fried chicken and potato salad, and a game of Family Feud were highlights of the day. As my family harmonized on "Happy Birthday," to help me ring in my 36th year, I made a wish that the love Dave and I were experiencing would grow-wished that my young nieces, nephews, and cousins would be part of a family tradition in which they always knew that they are welcomed home.

My mother is the rock of my family. In her quiet resolve she understands what it means for love to conquer all. We have a relationship rooted in her prayerfulness and love. My father, divorced from my mother and unable to attend the reunion, taught me toughness. While he deliberately sought to raise strong, virile, heterosexual sons, we joke that he raised, among them, one strong, virile gay man. He's proud that he raised a strong man-- one strong enough to confront the truth of my sexuality and live with its consequences, among them a shamed and confused past that led to HIV infection in 1999. My father, the same man who called us "sissies" when we missed tackles or failed to get a rebound, suggests that he would like to perform my commitment ceremony, when that time comes. My brothers, sisters, and cousins will be there. They understood that I wouldn't be me if hiding my sexuality.

Our recent gathering embodies the sum total of all our trials and triumphs. I am healthy, nearly 10 years after HIV almost claimed my life. We smile, fuss, cook, and dance like most families at reunions. We presented a powerful example of what it means to love beyond the fear of what others think. At 36, I'm as happy as I have ever been. Twenty years after I sat on the same front porch where we recently celebrated, contemplating an end to my life, I can say with full resolve and with all parts of me present: It feels good to come home!

3 comments | Thursday, August 28, 2008

I am proud to announce that loldarian.com is an official media sponsor of the 12th Annual Atlanta Black Gay Pride in conjunction with Pure Heat Entertainment. Beginning on Friday, August 29th Pure Heat Entertainment will be giving music fans an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of their favorite performers. Scheduled to perform during Pride are rap artist Trina, R&B singer Keke Wyatt, Chilli from TLC, Cheri Dennis, Tweet, and Danity Kane just to name a few.

Recognizing that community service reaches beyond nightlife, Pure Heat Entertainment will also be feeding the homeless, sponsoring a voter registration drive, and offering rapid HIV/AIDS testing.

For a full list of events click here.

Of course I will be there to capture all of the excitement of Pride and will return next week with a full recap. For those of you who are coming to Atlanta from out of town please travel safely.

Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday weekend and an even better Black Gay Pride!

6 comments | Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Continuing with the theme of all things black and gay this week in anticipation of the kick off of the 12th Annual Atlanta Black Gay Pride, my attention shifted towards Miss Aisha, a young Atlanta-based female rapper who at first glance seemed like an unusual choice to be profiled on this site until I heard her single “Boys Kiss Boys”.

The title of the song alone is enough to either turn the average music listener off or just enough to entice them to hear exactly what this in your face rapper has to say lyrically on the subject.

Born and raised in New Orleans to a conservative family, Miss Aisha, who identifies as a heterosexual woman admits she didn’t always have the “live and let live” attitude towards gays and lesbians and would often judge, until being exposed to gays during a stint in the military after high school and later as an exotic dancer in New Orleans pre- Hurricane Katrina.

The inspiration for “Boys Kiss Boys” came after Miss Aisha read Terrance Dean’s book Hiding in Hip-Hop and out of her real life experiences with men who on the surface appeared to be completely heterosexual but enjoyed all of the pleasures commonly associated with gay sex.

Given the rampant homophobia that exists in mainstream hip-hop, the demonization of black gay men by the straight black community, and the purported lack of eligible men for black women, one would expect Miss Aisha to be on the defensive and less than kind to boys who kiss boys, but if Katy Perry can have a #1 Billboard hit where she croons “she kissed a girl and she liked it” then Miss Aisha can defy the angry & homophobic black woman stereotype and do the same. And boy does she ever!

While Perry’s delivery may be sweet and demure Miss Aisha’s flow is raw and uncensored.

I know that boys kiss boys
And I like when boys kiss boys
The world don’t understand
So they call them faggots
People what’s happening?

“I write from the heart and I would never write a song bashing somebody for who they are, because at the end of the day we’re all people”, says Miss Aisha who has yet to perform the controversial song live before an audience.

“Our community can be so judgmental”, according to Miss Aisha. “I lost a male friend of three years after he heard the song. I think he was afraid of being singled out and labeled a punk for being associated with me, but I had to write what I felt.

It took Miss Aisha only two days to pen the song and the final result is an explicit call for us to stand firm in who we are and to respect the differences that make us all unique, but in her own unique style and with just the right amount of profanity laid over an amazing beat.

The messenger may look a little different, but the importance of the message being delivered through a genre that reaches millions of people can change hearts and minds. Don’t you think?

Listen to Boys Kiss Boys here (NSFW)

Visit Miss Aisha on Myspace here

More about Miss Aisha:

She has been a rap artist for 8 years, and released a project online in 2007 titled "Gucci Girl Fly." With little promotion, she had success as an ITunes Indie Artist having 3 of her album's tracks on their Indie Top 10 Music Chart. Her musical inspiration came from her aunt Barbara George, who was an accomplished songwriter and performer in the 1960's with her BMI Award Winning Song, "I Know." The song, "Boys Kiss Boys" was produced Atlanta's own The Beat Squad – www.thebeatgame.com


I may be a little late on this one but the discussion was so thought provoking not to mention long overdue that I wanted to share it with as many people as possible. TV One's Black Men Revealed hosted by Ryan and Doug Stewart of the nationally syndicated radio show "2 Live Stews" recently tackled the subject of homosexuality, the down low phenomenon, and homophobia in the black church.

The panel included Dr. David Malebranche, assistant professor of medicine at Emory University and an expert in the field of HIV/AIDS, Kevin, who you may remember as the obnoxious "den mother" from Diddy's Making The Band a few seasons ago and Pastor DL Foster, ex-gay and creator of Gay Christian Movement Watch(who was on his best behavior for the cameras, visit his website to get to know the real DL).

Black Men Revealed prides itself on having real talk and they honestly didn't hold back during this show. Many thanks to Dr. Malebranche for speaking the truth and dispelling so many stereotypes and unfounded statistics. If you've ever wanted to see an example of a well adjusted positive and successful gay man then look no further than Dr. Malenbranche.

Get into the videos via loldarian.com affiliate Andre Allen at Andresflava.com.

0 comments | Sunday, August 24, 2008

It’s that time of year again! Labor day weekend is quickly approaching and whether you’re local or live as far away as California, Atlanta is definitely the place to be. Over 75,000 people are expected to arrive in the city to participate in the 12th Annual Atlanta Black Gay Pride festivities. In a year that has seen numerous black gay pride events cancelled from Seattle to Los Angeles, and the explosive last minute cancellation of New York’s Pride In The City, Atlanta attendees can breath a collective sigh of relief that the largest black gay pride event in the country will not face the same demise.

This year’s theme is “A Time To Act” and pride organizers are urging attendees who flock to the long list of parties offered during the weekend to exert the same energy and focus into one of the most important elections of our time as well as into issues that directly affect the LGBT community.

The list of scheduled events officially kicks off on Wednesday, August 27th with a candlelight vigil sponsored by pride organizers In The Life Atlanta at Tabernacle Baptist Church followed by the opening ceremony to be held on Friday, August 29th at the W Hotel in Midtown

Events at the hotel include a community luncheon, a kick-off town hall meeting, various workshops, and the popular Pride Marketplace that hosts more than 70 vendors from across the country.

For a complete list of scheduled events click here.

Below are a few events that I’m looking forward to attending and that I think you should consider too. Most of them lean towards the political or artistic aspect of Pride since I’m not into the club scene, however a performance by the ladies of Danity Kane may prompt my very first visit to Traxx Nightclub.

Saturday, August 30

The Second Annual State of Black Gay America Summit

The State of Black Gay America (SBGA) is slated for Saturday, August 30, at the Renaissance Hotel-Downtown, 590 W. Peachtree Street, Downtown Atlanta. The ticketed luncheon starts at 11:00 a.m. followed by the panel discussion (free to the public) at 1:00 p.m. The luncheon speaker is Actress / Community Activist Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Living In Our Pride Workshop Series
Cost: $ 5 day pass or $10 for weekend pass
Workshop series that explores the issues that face the Black LGBT community. Presenters from around the nation will present information on spirituality, financial wealth, building families, eroticism, personal growth, and politics for open dialogue. Each workshop session lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes and are held in intimate settings for eye-opening one-on-one discussion.

See Us In The Life Film Festival

SEE US IN THE LIFE FILM FESTIVAL is Atlanta’s premier festival for filmmakers, animators and artists whose work explores topics relevant to black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities.
Doors Open at 4pm.

Bobby Blake Book Signing

Adult film star Bobby Blake signs copies of his memoir “My Life In Porn” at Outwrite Bookstore at 8 PM

Traxx Pride Party featuring Danity Kane
Traxx Atlanta
1287 Columbia Drive, Decatur
10 PM-6 am

Sunday, August 31

Sunday Morning Worship Service
Vision Church of Atlanta
1240 Euclid Avenue, Atlanta

See Us In The Life Film Festival
First screening begins at 3 PM

For the Bible Tells Me So by Daniel Karslake [Documentary]- Presented by HRC, a discussion will follow.

Friends & Lovers by Maurice Jamal 
The sequel to Jamal’s hilarious debut film Ski Trip. Presented by Boi Nation & ITLA, this event takes place at Artistry, 942 Peachtree St. Doors Open at 5pm. Screening Starts at 6pm.For more info, visit: www.boi-nation.com. (Maurice Jamal and the cast will be present including American Idol finalist Anwar Robinson who makes his big screen debut in the film.)

In Case You Missed It:

Stand Up and Represent:Atlanta Black Gay Pride 2007
Pride 2007 Video (over 46,000 views on YouTube!)
Atlanta Black Gay Pride 2006
State Of Black Gay America Summit 2007 Video


I refrained from venting my frustration about the well earned reputation of Pride events being focused solely on parties and casual sex and less on creating change in our community in the previous post, so I'm using this post to let it all out. Feel free to disagree with me but this is how I see it.

This post originally appeared on The Quinch.com on my weekly Friday column Darian Out Loud.

For years Atlanta has hosted one of the largest black gay pride celebrations in the country. Black gays and lesbians from all over plan sometimes a year in advance to attend and we converge into the city using every means of transportation available, while simultaneously making it extremely difficult for anyone who is not attending Pride to book a hotel room as most hotels are filled to capacity.

Yes. We come out in record numbers. For an entire week there are parties, social gatherings, workshops (although sparsely attended), and more parties.

Piedmont Park and Lenox Mall are unofficially designated as ground zero for public displays of same gender affection. In the air there is a sweet smell of courage and defiance that is rarely seen during any other time of the year, even causing those from outside of the community to take notice.

Collectively we mask any shame or unwillingness we may have experienced to be open and affirming of who we are in our everyday lives and take up the mantra of Pride.

In recent years black gay pride organizers have worked diligently to get attendees to focus more on community building, our health, and the political aspect of Pride in an attempt to mobilize us to stand firmly in our truth in order to create the kind of change necessary to live more authentic lives.

But we all know Pride just isn’t that deep for most folks. For many of us it’s an opportunity to escape the confines of small towns where we’re often a triple minority and travel to large metropolitan cities to party until our bodies are forced to shut down from either too much alcohol or from sleep deprivation.

But is this all we should be contributing and receiving from Pride?

If half of the people who showed up to Atlanta Black Gay Pride supported organizations like The National Black Justice Coalition, the only national organization dedicated to working on behalf of the black LGBT community or The Black Aids Institute, one of the leading AIDS services organizations dedicated to stopping the increase of new HIV infections in black gay and bisexual men and heterosexual black women, then the limited view we have of Pride would go far beyond labor day weekend.

Our sexuality may be stigmatized, but collectively we can choose to end the silence that has plagued us when our lives are marginalized or used as a scapegoat by those who wish to do us harm. An annual organized event is not needed to do what is vital and necessary for the well being of our community when we have the ability to do it daily.

So what have you done today to feel proud?

Playing in the background
Proud-by Heather Smalls


Amidst a ton of negative speculation, myself included, LOGO has kept their word and transitioned their most popular scripted but cancelled series Noah's Arc into a full length feature film. I said that I would probably have to eat my words if the film ever materialized and yesterday Noah's Arc creator Patrik-Ian Polk affectionately reminded me that the time had come for me to do so.

The boys are back and I can't wait! LOGO officially announced the October 24th release date of Noah's Arc:Jumping The Broom on AfterElton.com. The film will be in limited distribution and a complete list of cities where it will be screened is expected to be announced in the upcoming weeks.

Polk describes the plot as a "romantic romp rife with drama that is all centered around a wedding". He has also been careful not to give away any details about which characters are actually tying the knot. But that didn't stop you guys from coming up with your own scenarios in a past post.

Check out my favorite scenario from a reader who calls herself Sexy Sagi below:

"Noah and Wade run off together; Dre vows revenge after being left at the altar;Wade discovers Dre was behind Noah's gay bashing; Chance and Eddie face trouble with someone from Eddie's past; Alex and Trey plan their future;Baby Gat reaches out to Noah;Quincy comforts Dre and gives him a surprising revelation; Guy returns seeking revenge!"

I guess we'll all have to run to see Noah's Arc when it opens on October 24th to find out. Catch a sneak peek below.


People usually don't believe me when I tell them the amount of hate mail I receive during any given week, but it's true. Most of the time I just shake my head and pity the poor soul that has allowed himself to harbor so much hatred towards an individual they don't even know. But a recent brief but heated exchange (on her part) with a young black woman named Tarchea was a brand new level of hatred towards me. Tarchea seems to think that I'm destroying the nation. Honestly, I didn't know I had that much power. LOL!

After watching my YouTube videoDefending B. Scott & Black Gay Men that I'm proud to say has been viewed over 16,000 times, Tarchea became so irate with my proud black gay ass that she had to set me straight...no pun intended. Well it didn't work. LOL!

For your amusement I've posted our full conversation for you below. Click on the image to enlarge. I'm only posting this to serve as a reminder the level of hatred that exists in the world towards our community and why it's so important to live open and authentic lives in order to educate uninformed people like Tarchea. God bless her!

In Case You Missed It:

Fan Mail...Well Not Really Part 1

2 comments | Wednesday, August 20, 2008

As if I needed a reason to be more enamored by my brothers across the pond; British singer/actor and sometimes model Leon Lopez has just given me another reason. British audiences are familiar with the work of this multi-talented artist from his work in the soap opera Brookside and his recurring role on Hollyoaks: In The City. Lopez first caught my on the pages of MOC (Men Of Color) London's amazing publication for gay men of color.

Lopez recently released his first single 'Love Got In The Way' from his debut album 'Movin On' and was a featured performer during London's recent black gay pride celebration.

Late last year Lopez was added to the list of talented performers to play the role of Tom Collins in the UK production of Jonathan Larson's RENT to rave reviews. The role was originated on Broadway in the mid nineties by Jesse L. Martin and will officially close next month.

Fans old and new can see Leon onstage currently in a limited run of the musical Piaf at the Donmar Warehouse in the London Borough of Camden.

Get into the eye candy above and Leon's video for his first single 'Love Got In The Way' below.


Contrary to popular belief that the black community is more homophobic than others and will be a formidable force in passing Proposition 8, the proposed amendment that would eliminate the civil right of same-sex couples to legally wed in California, a different story involving blacks and gay marriage surfaces out of the Golden State.

(from GBM News)

On Thursday August 21 from 6– 8:00pm, the newly formed public education group on same-sex marriage And Marriage For All (AM4A) will kick off its campaign to reach out to African-American communities throughout Northern California by hosting a panel discussion on the right to marry for same-sex couples. The panel will include African-American clergy, community leaders, elected officials and legal advocates, and will be held at First Congregational Church of Oakland at 2501 Harrison St.

“If you believe the majority of media portraits, you’d think that same-sex marriage is primarily an issue for middle to upper middle class, gay white folks” says Andrea Shorter, campaign director for AM4A. “The absence of diverse images and voices talking about this most fundamental right can make some people wrongly believe that the freedom to marry doesn't concern the African-American community. Of course, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Loving, committed, same-sex couples from many different backgrounds are all involved in the work required to secure the benefits of civil marriage for everyone in our community.”

Given the California Supreme Court’s recent decision legalizing same-sex marriage, Shorter and her fellow AM4A organizers believe that the time is right for this campaign. “The law clearly provides for the right to marriage for everyone, including committed, same-sex couples,” says Shorter. “Thankfully, there are many supportive clergy and faith leaders, respected community leaders, elected officials, and strong family allies within the African-American community who value inclusion, stand with these couples, and stand firmly against all forms of discrimination."

In Case You Missed It:
Respect Gay Marriage PSA
Right To Marry Arizona
Gay Marriage In Black & White
Blacks Still Not On Board With Gay Marriage
Black Gays and Lesbians Wed During Atlanta Pride Ceremony
Why Black Gays & Marriage Is Not An Oxymoron


Above is the CBS News report on the horrific murder of 18 year old Steven Parrish. A member of the Bloods gang who was beaten and stabbed to death in May by fellow gang members who believed Parrish was gay after discovering "suggestive" text messages Steven had sent to another male.

The gang members reportedly killed Parrish in order not to appear weak to other gangs for having a gay member. Parrish was killed four days before his high school graduation.

Rod 2.0 along with Jennifer McMenamin from The Baltimore Sun has all of the gruesome details.


It's off to a slow morning but this latest song by R&B singer Chris Brown is sure to turn a few heads and set the rumor mill on fire! Before I go any further you'll definitely want to peep the lyrics to the chorus below:

You coming with me boy
No need to resist
Won't be released until I'm good and finished
Can't let you leave now
So whatever whatever just won't work
I'm holding you captive

Lawd have mercy!! Is Chris Brown trying to tell us something? It looks like he's finally decided to let go of that beautiful chick Rihanna and play on our team! Let me stop. Actually this song was written by Chris Brown for The Pussycat Dolls and you can clearly hear him say "PCD" at the beginning of the track. But a man can dream. I don't feel so bad salivating over Chris Brown now that he's legal.

Chris sings the entire song on a demo that sounds like it could be rushed to radio today. It's a hot track that I'm sure I'll be bumping for the rest of the day on my iPod. Thanks for indulging me Chris and not changing the pronoun. The word boy just seems to roll off his tongue so easily. LOL!

Download Captive

Thanks B. !

3 comments | Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"The black gay community has no leadership". This is a statement that came up in a conversation I had with a young brother on yesterday who had recently come out and was literally searching for his identity through the club and bar scene. He had no idea what it meant to be black and gay in America or the challenges that lie ahead.

I was fortunate to discover a positive role model in one of the few openly black gay men on the national scene during my coming out. Today there is a void where he once stood. In a conversation a few years ago he reminded me that it was impossible for one person to speak for an entire community and we all had a voice and the ability to lead.

Since that conversation I've seen this truth manifest itself in my life and the lives of many black gay men who are coming out of the shadows and sharing their stories of being black and gay in America. Xem Van Adams is one of those men.

It all starts with us. Get into Xem's video above and click here to learn more about him.

Thanks Xem for allowing your light shine.

5 comments | Monday, August 18, 2008

This post was originally published in November of 2007 and turned out to be one of my favorites as well as one of the most discussed topics on black gay blogs around that time. It's almost been a year since I had the original conversation with "Roger" and after speaking with him last week a lot has changed in his life. I truly believe there's someone out there for all of us if we're just willing to be patient and work on ourselves so we're ready for him when he comes along.

New postings will resume on tomorrow. I'm still recovering from my weekend in Mexico City with Trey.

The Politics of Dating & The Reality of Being Alone

Black gay men are incapable of being in long term monogamous relationships. If you believe that statement then you're not alone, but if you don't then you're probably just as upset as you were the last hundred times that you heard this fiction disguised as fact spoken aloud.

It seems that many SGL men that I have come in contact with whether online or in person are convinced that their sexuality will only afford them meaningless sexual encounters, random online hookups, and loneliness. The potential to be involved in a committed relationship doesn't seem like an option for some when you're black and gay, but embracing the fear that one will be alone for the rest of his life is a reality that I think too many of us easily accept.

Allow me to illustrate further. One of my readers, let's call him Roger (not his real name) began instant messaging me on Yahoo a couple of months ago with a dilemma. Roger is attractive, educated, employed, masculine, HIV negative and a single father of a beautiful adopted boy, who's been successful in every area in his life except dating . In a world where internet hook-up sites have replaced old fashioned human connections, the lies, trickery, fake profiles, grammatical errors, and diminished hopes of genuine connections on sites like Black Gay Chat and Adam 4 Adam are all too common.

This is a conversation we had last night word for word that prompted me to address a topic that I think many gay men are grappling with, the politics of dating and the reality of being alone.

Roger: "I feel like many black gay guys that I almost dated would rather I be HIV positive, than be a father...just thinking that floored me."

Darian: "Damn that's messed up."

Roger: "Its like when I tell a guy on-line I'm a single dad they get all freaked out..."

Roger: "And I never thought guys would have this reaction."

Darian: "Those are the guys that you want to run from anyway."

Roger: "Yeah, I know. But it sucks being alone, especially when I have women hitting me up all the time."

If I'd been paying more attention to that last line then what happened next wouldn't have surprised me as much. Enter the beautiful heterosexual female who's looking for a husband and a gay man who desperately wants to settle down.

Roger:"So she said she was looking for a husband and I mean she is FINE !"

Darian: "Are you attracted to women?"

Roger: "Like...if I was ever going to be with a woman she would have to be a Beyonce looking chick."

Darian: "Oh Roger !"

Roger: "Really. I could be with an average guy and be attracted, but I have no attraction at all to average looking chicks."

Darian: "I'm about to lose my mind over here!"

Roger: "I mean on a scale of gayness, I'm like a 9." But she is a doctor, professional, educated, great conversationalist."

Darian: "But you do know that she doesn't have a penis?"

Roger: "I know. That crossed my mind."

Darian: "Are you bisexual?"

Roger: "I have never had sex with a woman...ever. I have never deeply kissed a woman before either."

Darian:"Neither have I and that's probably because we're GAYYYYYYYYYY!"

Roger: "I never really had the desire to do so." I'm just going through it emotionally right now. I'm not confused at all regarding my sexuality."

Darian:"Why are you even considering dating this woman?"

Roger: "I'm just SO tired of the superficiality and selfishness that many gay black men exhibit."

Darian: "You've been meeting the wrong gay men."

Roger: "For years now."

Now I'm no Dear Abby or Carrie Bradshaw but I know what it feels like to be alone and how easy it is to invite the wrong people into your life just to fill a void . Trust me...I've been there.But I don't think the answer to Roger's problem is to ride off into the sunset with a beautiful female doctor whose ideal mate is a heterosexual male. But how do we keep Roger and other black gay men from making this mistake that ultimately affects more people than the person that made the poor decision?

How can we as black gay men find suitable mates who want to share their lives in a committed relationship with another person? Is this a priority for black gay men? Does gay=loneliness ? Are black gay men built to maintain long term relationships? Or is it just a white thing?

To be continued...

7 comments | Friday, August 15, 2008

Yesterday's announcement of the inclusion of transgender female Isis Tsunami on the new season of America's Next Top Model via an exclusive interview with US Weekly sent the mainstream media and the blogosphere into overdrive.

The criticism was swift and hard for Isis as well as Tyra Banks and the producers. GLAAD sent out a call to action asking its supporters to condemn the crude and dehumanizing comments made by Fox News anchor Gregg Jarrett and Us Weekly Editor-at-Large Ian Drew.

While laughing and joking, Jarrett mocked Isis’ description of herself as a woman whose “cards were dealt differently,” and said, “That’s an understatement!” Drew referred to recent instances of transgender visibility on reality television as “The Crying Game ’08,” going on to call the show “America’s Next Top Tranny.” Drew then said that she doesn’t look any different from other contestants because “they are not exactly the most high-class group of women.” Throughout the segment, Jarrett switched back and forth between male and female pronouns, and both Jarrett and Drew suggested that Isis “fooled” people by “blending in.” They went on to make crude remarks about her genitalia and the pitch of her voice.

This type of crude behavior is unacceptable by any standard, after all Isis is a human being . But the sad part about it is Ian Drew is obviously a HOMOSEXUAL! It's one thing to have those outside of the community participate in trans bashing but it's an entirely different story when it happens from someone who should know better!

Below is just a sample of how people are reacting to Isis across the blogosphere courtesy of the resident idiots over at bossip.com under the headline "America's Next Top Tranny".

It's obvious that a little Transgender 101 is needed due to comments like those above and the obvious lack of exposure and education around transgender issues.

Let's just go ahead and get four of my pet peeves out of the way for all of the trans haters and then I'll break it all down.

1. Never under any circumstances refer to a transgender Male to Female as "he", "it", "he/she", or "she-male". It's offensive and inaccurate.

2. Whether you like it or not sexuality and gender identity expands far beyond heterosexuality, male and female. There is a gray area.

3.Transsexuals have existed from antiquity. Stop acting like they're new and we're living in our last days!

4. Stop erasing any doubt that you're homophobic and ignorant by opening your mouth and speaking. Read a book! (Other than the bible to support your hatred. I suggest reading one that you can actually comprehend.)

Class Is In Session:

What does transgender mean?

Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity (sense of themselves as male or female) or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex.

What is the difference between sex and gender?

Sex refers to biological status as male or female. It includes physical attributes such as sex chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, internal reproductive structures, and external genitalia. Gender is a term that is often used to refer to ways that people act, interact, or feel about themselves, which are associated with boys/men and girls/women. While aspects of biological sex are the same across different cultures, aspects of gender may not be.

Are cross-dressers and transvestites the same as being transgender?

No. Cross-dressers wear the clothing of the other sex. They vary in how completely they dress (from one article of clothing to fully cross-dressing) as well as in their motives for doing so. Some cross-dress to express cross-gender feelings or identities; others crossdress for fun, for emotional comfort, or for sexual arousal. The great majority of cross-dressers are biological males, most of whom are sexually attracted to women.

Drag queens and drag kings are, respectively, biological males and females who present part-time as members of the other sex primarily to perform or entertain. Their performances may include singing, lip-syncing, or dancing. Drag performers may or may not identify as transgender. Many drag queens and kings identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Is being transgender a mental disorder?

A psychological condition is considered a mental disorder only if it causes distress or disability. Many transgender people do not experience their transgender feelings and traits to be distressing or disabling, which implies that being transgender does not constitute a mental disorder per se. For these people, the significant problem is finding the resources, such as hormone treatment, surgery, and the social support they need, in order to express their gender identity and minimize discrimination. However, some transgender people do find their transgender feelings to be distressing or disabling. This is particularly true of transsexuals, who experience their gender identity as incongruent with their birth sex or with the gender role associated with that sex. This distressing feeling of incongruity is called gender dysphoria.

How can I be supportive of transgender family members, friends, or significant others?

• Educate yourself about transgender issues.

• Be aware of your attitudes concerning people with gender-atypical appearance or behavior.

• Use names and pronouns that are appropriate to the person’s gender presentation and identity; if in doubt, ask their preference.

• Don’t make assumptions about transgender people’s sexual orientation, desire for surgical or hormonal treatment, or other aspects of their identity or transition plans. If you have a reason to need to know, ask.


For my straight readers and those of you who have stumbled upon my site for the first time from links from other blogs, please take this post as an opportunity to learn about a segment of the population that has been marginalized and discriminated against even by some in the LGBT community. Isis Tsunami is a beautiful woman who obviously deserves to be where she is after overcoming many challenges. Let's cheer her on instead of tearing her down.

Write FOX News and let them know how outraged you are by their comments by clicking here.

Get into the broadcast that started this mess and the fierceness of Isis Tsunami below.

1 comments | Thursday, August 14, 2008

Just when I was about to give up on America's Next Top Model Tyra Banks has shown the world she knows how to keep interest in her long running modeling competition. Meet 22 year old contestant Isis, a receptionist from Prince George's County Maryland who will be making history as the shows first transgender model!

Isis will take to the runway with 13 other contestants as ANTM returns to the CW on September 3.

This seems to be the beginning of trans inclusion on reality television. Laverne Cox, also a transgender female is a contestant on "I Want To Work For Diddy" now airing on VH1.

Tyra Banks has a reputation for being an ally to the LGBT community so I'm not the least bit concerned with how Isis will be treated on the show. With very few visible trans people it's always a concern that they'll be exploited. Tyra has proven that she simply gets it. This is yet another opportunity to educate Americans about the lives of transgendered individuals.

The inclusion of Isis is being hailed by GLAAD president Neil Giuliano as "an unprecedented opportunity for a community that is underrepresented on television.

"We applaud Tyra Banks and The CW for making this historic visibility of transgender people possible," Giuliano said.

Make sure to catch Isis on the new season of America's Next Top model when it airs on September 3.

1 comments | Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Broadway and television star Sheryl Lee Ralph will deliver the keynote address at the second annual State Of Black Gay America Summit during the 12th Atlanta Black Gay Pride Celebration. Xtreme Entertainment Inc. along with In The Life Atlanta will present Mrs. Ralph along with a distinguished panel of speakers from across the nation to discuss politics, health disparities, faith and religion, marriage rights, and trans rights to name a few. The summit will take place on Saturday August 30, 2008 from 11AM-4PM at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Atlanta.

Sheryl Lee Ralph has been a longtime ally and outspoken activist for the black gay community. Her critically acclaimed one woman show "Sometimes I Cry" deals with the lives, and losses of women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.

I personally fell in love with Mrs. Ralph and her beautiful spirit all over again last year during an episode of Meet The Faith on BET as a panelist on "Homophobia in Black America" with Keith Boykin, Rev. E. Bernard Jordan and host Ian Smith. If you missed it I've re-posted the video below.

This year's SBGA Summit is definitely one you don't want to miss. But don't worry, for those of you who are not in Atlanta I will be bringing you exclusive coverage on loldarian.com.

Log onto thelionsdenatlanta to register for the summit and to check out highlights from last year.


It seems not a week goes by that there isn't some horrible story of anti-gay violence taking place in Jamaica. The island has earned it's reputation for being one of the most homophobic and dangerous places for black gays and lesbians. From the murder music of reggae artists Elephant Man, Sizzla, and T.O.K., homophobia is ingrained in Jamaican culture and sadly many of the islanders are unapologetic about their inhumane treatment of gays and lesbians and even towards those who they perceive to be.

So what causes this deep-seated hatred? It's a question that many people have asked but very few have gone to the source to find out. British comedian Stephen Amos does just that in a brilliant documentary titled "Batty Man" that is filmed between his home land in the U.K. and Jamaica.

Realizing the painful effect black homophobia has had in his life as a gay man Amos decides to incorporate coming out into his stand-up routine. The reaction he receives from blacks in the audience is downright chilling.

On the streets of Brixton, a borough in South London, volunteers are put to the test when they're asked to identify a gay man from a line-up of men who are all dressed differently, some preppy and others in thug drag. Their idea of what is stereotypically gay and the reality is the first step in shattering their stereotypes.

The contempt many black young people in the U.K. feel towards gays and lesbians isn't much different than it is here in the states. Sadly, many of the young people interviewed couldn't explain exactly why they held gays in lesbians in such disregard other than it's what they've been taught to believe by their parents or from scripture.

But whereas blacks openly disapproved in the U.K., Jamaicans were downright violent. Citing lyrics to popular reggae songs that called for gay men to be burned or killed with a bullet to the head, Amos found himself retreating back into the closet due to the imminent threat of danger posed by the level of homophobia in Jamaica.

Many attempts to interview gay Jamaicans failed due to the subject's fear of being identified and murdered based on his sexual orientation. One brave man does finally agree to appear on camera and his story is heartbreaking. Amos also finds an ally in Jamaica in one of the most unlikely of places and his words give life to an environment that can be deadly if you're gay or lesbian.

This documentary clearly shows how serious homophobia is in the black community and how it must be addressed with urgency. I highly recommend that you take about 55 minutes out of your day to watch "Batty Man" and to share it with your family and friends. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section.

Watch "Batty Man" here.


It's obvious my "in the meantime" diva has become Jennifer Hudson since my girl Janet has been missing in action the past few months as she rehearses for her new world tour. New pictures of the Academy Award winner have surfaced online shot by the amazing Atlanta based photographer Derek Blanks. Jennifer also appears on the new issue of Billboard Magazine. Let's hope that her new album is a huge success. Keeping my fingers crossed for you Jennifer.