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8 comments | Monday, November 30, 2009

Where do you go as an LGBT person of color where you're allowed to be exactly who you are and not fear for your safety? If you live in a major city the answer is most likely your local gay and lesbian center or "gayborhood".

But what if you're black and gay and the world you thought would welcome you as you are turns out to be just as bad as the hostile environment you're trying to escape? This is a problem facing many black Chicago LGBT youth who are retreating from their homophobic neighborhoods on the South and West sides to the heavily gay populated Boystown only to face more obstacles.

The Chicago Tribune reports:

When Antonio Jones walks down Halsted Street in Boystown, he feels more at home here than he did in his old Garfield Park neighborhood, where he used to worry about thugs attacking him for being bisexual.

But all is not bliss for Jones in Boystown either. That's because the 21-year-old college student, who often travels down Halsted wearing baggy pants and a dark coat, knows that -- in an ironic twist -- some residents now view him as a thug.

For a couple of years, this section of the Lakeview community has been trying to figure out how to deal with the young gay men from the city's South and West sides who come to Boystown to visit the Center on Halsted, whose youth programs for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community make them feel safe, affirmed and valued.

Sometimes the young men leave the center and hang out on the corners in the community, which some residents and patrons of Halsted's gay bars have found off-putting, even along this street known for its colorful and lively night life.

Jim Ludwig, who owns Roscoe's Tavern, a local gay bar, is the president of Triangle Neighbors and a board member of the Northalsted Business Alliance. Some gay patrons also have complained about the youth.

"It's not a race thing, it's a cultural adaptation thing," Ludwig told me. "It's a youth rebellion thing. We're at a loss in trying to figure out what's a good thing for these kids to be doing other than congregating on the corner. Sometimes there are 50 kids. But it's only a handful that doesn't have the social skills regarding sidewalk etiquette, so it intimidates customers and residents."

And black trans youth many of whom are homeless and unemployed have an even tougher time. Chicago Now profiles 21 year-old trans female Adrianna King.

King, born a male and in transition to becoming a woman, said she was turned away from Lakeview homeless shelters because management feared she'd be harassed by other boarders. She said she spent the summer sleeping in parks, abandoned buildings, "L" trains and on the lakefront. When nowhere felt safe, King walked all night through Lakeview's streets, waiting until the Center on Halsted opened so she could crash on its couches.

"I worry, 'How are people going to view me? What do I have to offer?'" said King, who each day heads to the Center on Halsted to see friends and talk to her case manager about jobs. Finding a job is one of the greatest challenges--and a reason so many transgender people are homeless.

The youth, for their part, say they're often the targets of crime--and transgender people, in particular, are vulnerable, as they're more visually different and their mainstream acceptance lags far behind that of gays and lesbians.

"We see a lot of verbal and physical violence against trans youth," said Gabriel Ervin, a youth resource advocate at the Broadway Youth Center. "It's still OK to be outright transphobic."

Thanks Bernie


It seems every year there's a video that goes viral of a young gender non-conforming male,usually of color, that causes an uproar amongst the heterosexual population. It wasn't that long ago that a seven year old African-American boy was captured on video performing his best impression of Beyonce's "Irreplaceable" complete with all of the attitude of "Sasha Fierce". What may have begun as an innocent routine by a talented boy quickly became a target for scrutiny & anti-gay condemnation.

Such is the case in two videos currently making the rounds on the internet showcasing the voguing skills of two young boys. The pair fearlessly executes the dip, duck walk, and signature hand movements that have become synonymous with voguing and ballroom culture, but not everyone is giving these kids tens across the board.

Here's a sampling of comments from YouTube:

"this borderlines child abuse"

"I hope the authorities are watching this. Take this child AWAY ASAP"

"well...we know where this is headed."

"Let him discover his own identity. These children could not be gay but YOU have put in their because they have a little femininity they should be called "girl" If these children are not gay you have created monsters."

"This is disgusting, and being flagged immediately. Give the children time to comprehend their preference, don't force it on them by applauding them when they engage in VOGUE, which EVERYONE knows was created by and is exclusive to the GAY COMMUNITY. Imagine these children growing up and being exposed to the same type of ridicule/discrimination, you fags who are applauding them do, all because they thought VOGUING in our society is fully accepted."

Child abuse? Disgusting? Monsters? Who knew a 42 second clip of two obviously talented kids voguing could cause such strong reactions. And when did any sort of dancing or self expression become an indicator of one's sexual orientation?

I'm sure a 40-ounce in one hand, multiple baby mamas, and a criminal record a mile long would earn the respect of those objecting to these young boys voguing and they would never question their manhood.

This just goes to show how deep the hatred runs for gay men in this country that sick attitudes like the ones above are being projected onto children. And there are those who have the nerve to say "being gay is in". Yeah, right.

Watch the videos below:


This is so touching. Independent openly gay artist Adam Joseph covers CeCe Penniston's 90's dance hit "Finally" and uses marriage equality as the backdrop for this beautiful video.

The video stars Lars Stephan and Stuart Perkins as an interracial couple on the morning of their wedding ceremony and NY drag performer Erickatoure Aviance.

You may be familiar with Joseph's soulful single "Flow With My Soul" that received plenty of airplay on LOGO's Pop Lab.

In this video for "Finally" he definitely tugs on the heart strings and hits all of the right notes. Get into it.

h/t JoeMyGod


The editorial hits on the LGBT community by the Washington Post has become quite frequent as of late and don't seem to be letting up anytime soon. Over the last couple of months Washington Post writers have written glowing editorials almost praising the work of NOM's Brian Brown and anti-gay bully Bishop Harry Jackson. Over the weekend Post writer Taylor Harris penned
an arrogant piece attacking Dr. Julian Bond's support of marriage equality and his idea that blacks should be the last group opposing civil rights for gays and lesbians.

From The Washington Post:

"Black people, of all people, should not oppose equality," Julian Bond, the chairman of the NAACP, declared at the National Equality March in Washington.

To be clear, Bond has used this line several times, and when he says "equality," he isn't talking about the right to vote, the right to eat at a public restaurant, the right to attend an integrated school or the right to a fair trial. He is talking about the right to change the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples.

With all due respect, which Bond certainly deserves, this black person doesn't agree. And neither do two-thirds of black Protestants, according to an Oct. 9 Pew Research Center poll. Echoing President Lyndon Johnson's words at the signing of the Voting Rights Act, Bond said, gay marriage "must come; it is right that it should come. And when it has, you will find that a burden has been lifted from your shoulders."

Perhaps Bond fails to realize that he is unfairly requiring another form of "two-ness" among African Americans. Already, being both an American and black is difficult, as W.E.B. DuBois wrote. But so is being an African American and a Christian.

Oh really? Try being African-American, gay and Christian Mr. Harris. This oppression olympics that some of our people insist on playing in an effort to keep other minorities from achieving equality under the law because we think we've "overcome" is so tired. When will those who oppose equality realize that inevitably it will come and history will not be kind to them in the end?

Ironically, the D.C. City Council is set to cast the first of two votes on pending legislation that would grant equal marriage rights to same-sex couples in the district on December 1. The legislation is expected to easily pass.

| Thursday, November 26, 2009

Loldarian.com would like to take a moment to wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving! Your support of this blog means the world to me. It is my hope that you will be able to bring all of who you are to the dinner table with your family this holiday season. Enjoy and be safe!


10 comments | Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Over the past couple of weeks a number of disturbing hate crimes against young gay men have been reported and a newly released report by The Federal Bureau of Investigation states hate crimes based on sexual orientation have the largest increase of nearly 11 percent.

The deaths of 19 year old Jorge Steven López Mercado of Puerto Rico and 16 year old Jason Mattison of Baltimore have been particularly gruesome. Mercado's body was found decapitated, dismembered, and burned while Mattison's body was stabbed repeatedly in the neck and throat and stuffed in a closet to be left for dead.

Are you aware of these stories? If you don't frequent gay blogs then you're probably not since the mainstream media has failed to bring any national attention to these crimes.

Mercado and Mattison were human beings who hadn't even begun to live their lives and were taken away from their loved ones simply based on their sexual orientation.

Contrary to the opinion a few misguided and bigoted individuals, victims are targeted based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression and when these crimes happen its not in our best interest to remain silent because it can happen to any of us.


When will we as a Christian nation stop promoting biblical based fear and hatred that leads to violence and start embracing God's greatest commandment- love?

It's always wrong to hate but it's never wrong to love.

Fellow blogger Shawn QT and member of The Five Black Guys reenacts what has been an unfortunate and often deadly reality for LGBT identified people or even those who are assumed to be in the video below.

"The underlying problem we are faced with is to choose between our sexual identity and our race. The reality is that we cannot choose because both are intrinsic to us. One cannot be hidden while the other cannot be denied. Sadly, in today's world, for black people who are "flamboyant" whether gay or straight or just more bookish or more sensitive or even academic (or for girls more sporty) we cannot escape the "accusation" that we are gay.

Homosexuality is as natural as eyesight. It is not a choice. It cannot be denied or made subject to one's race no more than you can change your place of birth.

In many ways black people are the last people to celebrate prejudice against homosexuality and for this we should be ashamed. We are systematically harming our own. If you are black and reading this you probably assume there is no lesbian, gay or bisexual person in your family. Has it occurred to you that your mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, son or daughter might be "one of them"?

If we don't look out for our own we cannot complain when others lecture us about our prejudices.

An excerpt from Black, Gay...& Invisible by British journalist and activist Topher Campbell as it appeared in the UK Guardian


Either you love her, hate her, or you're totally confused by her- regardless most people can't wait to see what this breakout artist and friend of the gays is going to do next.

Lady GaGa recently sat down with Toure' on Fuse TV's On The Record and when the topic of homophobia in hip-hop came up she had this to say:

"I feel even just in the music industry that there's very public misogynistic and homophobic behavior. When I hear one of the most famous rappers in the world say something homophobic on the radio, I want people to yell at him. I don't have to say who because they know who they are. It's not just hip-hop, it's everywhere. It's wrong. I'm not trying to create and generate more hatred in the world...I just want to generate awareness. It's always wrong to hate but it's never wrong to love."

A woman after my gay heart. Get into Lady GaGa's interview with Toure' in the clip below:

In case you missed Lady GaGa's electrifying AMA performance you can watch it here.

| Monday, November 23, 2009

Posting will most likely be extremely light today as most of my day will be spent traveling. Should be back up to speed tomorrow morning.


Pop icon Janet Jackson kicked off the American Music Awards in a major way last night with a medley of hits from her latest release "Number Ones" including the new single "Make Me" during a 7 minute dance driven performance that was clearly one of the best performances of the night.

Janet may have her fair share of critics but her undeniable talent, stage presence, and longevity in the music industry is to be studied by the current divas in training.

Watch a living legend kill it at 43 years old in the clip below:

2 comments | Friday, November 20, 2009

Jayron Martin, a 16 year old high school freshman who was beaten with a metal pipe by a classmate while eight others watched last week is afraid to return to school. The openly gay 16 year old tells Houston's KHOU-TV that before the incident happened he begeed two principals at his school and the school bus driver for help but to no avail.

“All they kept saying was, ‘We going to get you. We going to fight you,’ and all that and so when they started coming after me they were like, ‘You’re not going to be gay anymore.’ They just kept hitting me,” Jayron said.

"I'm disgusted", Jayron's mother Lakenya Martin tells KHOU-TV. “When the child does what they’re supposed to do and the adult doesn’t, what are you supposed to say then? How do you make him feel comfortable? How do you give him back that sense of security."

The beating finally ended when a neighbor pointed a shotgun at the attackers and cocked it. One of Martin’s attackers, another 16-year-old, has been arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

This is the third hate crime in the past week that has caught the attention of the media all of which involved people of color. Puerto Rican teen George Mercado was decpaitated, dismembered, and burned and 16 year old Jason Mattison of Baltimore was raped, stabbed in the neck and throat and stuffed in a closet. When will the violence end?

Watch a video report below:

Thanks Stone


A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a panel discussion on the intersection of race, sexuality, and homophobia at Georgia State University and was struck by the story of a beautiful transgender woman named Somiaya who shared her experience as a victim of a hate crime.

It's not surprising that non-LGBT communities know very little about the experience of trans people but it's incredibly disheartening to see the lack of awareness and respect within our own community when it comes to our trans brothers and sisters. The "T" may be apart of the acronym but the people who identify as trans are often misunderstood and even further marginalized as evident in this thread.

Not to forget that trans identified people are frequently the targets of vicious hate crimes and workplace discrimination.

Somiaya tells a heart wrenching tale of an incident that thankfully didn't result in death as so many attacks on LGBT people have, yet the reaction of those who watched the incident occur and offered no assistance is enough to make anyone with the smallest ounce of compassion hurl.

Today is the National Transgender Day of Rememberance and I will do my part to make sure the "T" is represented on this blog consistently and not just on this day every year.

Get into the video below:


The wait is almost over. The boys from the successful web series "Drama Queenz" is returning to YouTube for their second season on November 29.

Thousands of viewers across the country fell in love with the ten minute webisodes that offered a look into the lives of Jeremiah, Preston, & Davis as they navigated through life, love, and auditioning in New York City.

Writer/creator Dane Joseph promises to deliver "ten minutes of fun, friends, and fierce" and if season one and the newly released trailer is any indication of what's to come then he's on target to deliver.

YouTube faithfuls may also recognize sexy dancer/actor Marcus Bellamy, a new addition to the cast in the trailer. If it's eye candy you want then Marcus does not disappoint.

If you haven't seen season one of Drama Queenz then do yourself a favor and get caught up before the season 2 premiere. I promise you it's the best show not on TV, although it should be.

Get into the new trailer below:

And if you're in NYC on November 29 come out and celebrate the season 2 launch with the cast:

340 W. 50th St. btw 8th and 9th Ave. in New World Stages

2 comments | Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CNN's Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer reports on the "un-christ like" behavior of the DC Catholic church and their threat to cut off crucial social service programs that help thousands of residents with adoption, homelessness, and health care if the DC City Council approves pending legislation granting marriage equality to same-sex couples in the district as expected on December 1.

And spotlight hungry Bishop Harry Jackson, one of the chief organizers among black clergy opposing the marriage equality bill continues his anti-gay crusade with the help of a glowing article in today's Washington Post.

The money quote: "Some of the smartest people I knew in college were gay," he says. "Some black students I knew who were gay were off-the-charts smart. I don't know of anybody black who says, 'I hate gay people.' We're more accepting generally. But you overlap that -- homosexuality and gay marriage -- with broken families, and we don't know how to put it back together."

So now according to Bishop Jackson gay folks & same-sex marriage are the reasons black babies are born out of wedlock, divorce is rampant, and the black family is in a "free-fall". I had no earthly idea we had that much power, but thanks for letting me know Harry.

If you missed Bishop Jackson's testimony against marriage equality during the DC City Council hearings and the smack down from David Catania, do yourself a favor and watch it here.


Another week another hate crime.

Friends and family are mourning the death of 15 year old gay Baltimore student Jason Mattison Jr. who was found dead on November 10. Mattison was raped, gagged with a pillowcase, stabbed repeatedly in the head and throat, and shoved into an upstairs closet of his aunt's home where he was staying after leaving his mother's residence for undisclosed reasons.

Dante Parrish, 35, a longtime family friend has been charged with first degree murder. A Baltimore police spokesman would say only that Jason "was staying at his aunt's house." It was there that Jason met Parrish, with whom the spokesman said the teen had a "forced sexual relationship." Parrish who has a criminal past plead guilty to second-degree murder in the shooting of a Maryland man in March 1999.

From The Baltimore Sun:

Wanda Williams, his paternal grandmother, one of the first Jason confided in about being gay and who handed him a few dollars now and then for food and clothes, questioned how other relatives could have allowed the boy to be in the same house with Parrish, given his violent past.

"I haven't cried so much this entire life," Williams said. "My grandson hollering for help and there is nobody there to help him."

When Jason came out as gay, there was some dissension in the family and though Williams said she stood by her grandson, his declaration caught her off guard.

"I accepted his sexual preferences," she said. "But I told him, 'You're young and don't understand life.' I told him, 'Plenty of young women would love to be with you.' He said he likes boys. Young people don't like to listen to adults, but I told him I'm not going to push him away."

Many of his friends learned of Jason's death from rumors on MySpace. They didn't believe it until they arrived at school and found his chair empty and a somber English teacher to break the tragic news.

Jason was one of the most popular kids at school, his English teacher said, always first to class, always first to the cafeteria, where students fought to sit at his table, always first to turn in his homework and always getting near-perfect grades.

Jason wanted to be a pediatrician. Today he is being buried and will never have the chance to fulfill his dream.


The second annual Jackson, Mississippi Black Gay Pride Celebration scheduled to kick off tomorrow and commence on Sunday with author and keynote speaker Bishop Terry Angel Mason (Love Won't Let Me Be Silent) of Los Angeles has been created with good intentions to address the health disparities amongst LGBT people of color in Jackson- but good intentions haven't stopped a fierce amount of opposition in this bible belt state.

A recent article in Mississippi's Clarion Ledger detailing the purpose of the Pride event and the reaction from some Jackson residents clearly articulates the lack of progress on LGBT issues in rural communities and the gays and lesbians who suffer from a lack of support, medical attention, and an environment conducive to living openly and honestly.

"We've noticed a growing health trend in this community of LGBT people who did not seek medical attention because they feared discrimination", says Dorlisa Hutton, program manager for My Brother's Keeper Center for Community Based HIV Prevention, a co-sponsor of Jackson Pride.

A scheduled Black Pride Prayer Breakfast featuring Bishop Mason and his message of religious inclusion and empowerment for Jackson's gay community has more than ruffled a few feathers among conservative fundamentalists.

Clarion Ledger commenter "Obrewsky" states: "Homosexuals, lesbians and transsexual-genders,et al, suffer from a form of mental illness. They are delusional and have succumbed themselves to a hedonistic abnormal lifestyle. They are not happy people. There's nothing GAY about being GAY."

Mason tells the Clarion Ledger: "Some Christians think being gay is a choice like a cigarette habit, but it is not," he said. "When an individual who is gay comes to Christ, his spirit is born again just like any other Christian's spirit is born again.

"The problem is many Christians think that a born-again experience should immediately deliver the person from being gay. It does not.

"The church says God is saying, 'Give up being gay.' No, God is telling me to be a holy man."

Many hold the view that the creation of a black gay pride celebration in Jackson and the presence of an openly gay bishop who challenges the stereotypical views of gays and lesbians will do very little to decrease the persistent homophobia that exists in the south. But if nothing else, Mason and Pride organizers will be sending a message to Jackson's LGBT youth that they are not alone as they face the difficulties of coming out in a hostile environment towards LGBT people.

For info relating to Jackson Black Gay Pride visit the official website here.

2 comments | Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bebe Zahara Benet, winner of LOGO's wildly successful Rupaul's Drag Race knew she'd have some big shoes to fill when she won the crown during the first season if she were to ever have the cultural impact of her mentor RuPaul. Well she hasn't stopped working since the cameras stopped rolling and she's determined to make the most out of her crown.

From headlining the Absolut Pride Tour after Drag Race wrapped to shooting a video for her first single appropriately titled "I'm The Shit", Benet is following the RuPaul playbok and making some rules of her own along the way. She also becomes one of the latest gay people of color included on the Out 100 list for 2009.

Benet gives fans a behind the scenes look at the making of her latest project on YouTube and she's serving a whole lot of fierceness complete with dancers, over the top fashions, and a ridiculous track created to burn the dance floor.

Fans of Drag Race, which was covered extensively during season 1 on loldarian.com, can begin the countdown as the second season is set to hit the tube in early 2010. LOGO has partnered with loldarian.com to bring you exclusive info and sneak peeks from season 2.

Get into Bebe and all her fabulousness in the video below:

This is the life. On a long overdue trip to Los Angeles and I'm finally getting a chance to experience Delta's GoGo inflight internet. I'll be updating the blog from 36,000 feet over the next couple of hours or however long my MacBook Pro battery will last. I'm hoping long enough to at least get a few items posted. Now if the airlines could only install power outlets at the seats this 4 hour flight would be over in no time. Alright enough of my rambling that's what I have Twitter for:). LA here I come!

5 comments | Monday, November 16, 2009

It seems the entire motion picture industry and audiences across the country are praising the new Lee Daniels film "Precious" based on the book Push by Sapphire and starring Monique as an abusive mother and Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe as an overweight, abused, and illiterate victim of incest. It can be argued that a film with a predominantly African-American cast hasn't been this anticipated since Dreamgirls in 2006 and at the helm of this cinematic gem is Daniels- an openly black gay man.

While this fact has been somewhat ignored by the media and definitely not mentioned in conversation among the minorities who are flocking to the theater in droves to see the film, Daniels is using the films attention to describe his experience as a gay man of color in countless interviews and it's not always pretty.

"In the Black American community, homophobia is rampant, says Daniels to Clay Cane of Bet.com. " I think it is very difficult to be out, gay and Black. I feel very much alone, especially amongst my people. It's a very lonely place. I'm not going to live a f*cking lie. I'd rather get stoned, be made fun of and take a bullet." He adds, "It's not cute being out, but it's a really important part of the story that I think is overlooked."

Daniels’, says there was "zero tolerance" for gays in the southwest Philadelphia neighborhood where he grew up. He recalled, “I was beat up, and I went away to a white world that was more tolerant. I don’t want to know what I would have become if I’d stayed where I was. In our culture, homosexuality is so bashed, and I think that’s what f*cked me up.”

Daniels masterfully infuses what he calls a "gay sensibility" into Precious by featuring two lesbian characters that are void of stereotypes and forces the audience who may have held negative views towards gays and lesbians to look at them differently.

What does it say about our community that one of our own felt he needed to "go away to a white world" in order to live authentically?

Daniels was recently included in Out Magazine's annual Out 100 list. Precious opens nationwide on November 20.


Out Magazine is slowly rolling out it's annual Out 100 list of the most influential gay and lesbian people during 2009 and making the list is international artist Kehinde Wiley. You may not be familiar with this artists name or even his face but his stunning work has appeared all over the place from New York to Brazil.

A 2001 MFA graduate of Yale University, Wiley is known for his unique brand of art where old European portraiture meets modern hip-hop culture. Much of his art is inspired by and consists of everyday people found in his New York city neighborhood. His work challenges the perception of black men as hyper-masculine and hyper-sexual beings by using soft backdrops.

"As a culture we've in some ways codified the decorative as belonging to the feminine, and I am depicting young black men who are perceived as being hyper-sexual with a propensity towards sports and anti-social behavior- these things are codified as being very masculine-and by juxtaposing that with something seen as being feminine I think we sort of blast through both type of super nova that lays bare the absurdity of these codes to begin with."

I implore you to visit Kehinde Wiley's official website to watch him talk about his art and his creative process by clicking on the media link. It would be time well spent.


Employees of Atlanta gay publications Southern Voice and David Atlanta Magazine were shocked when they arrived to work this morning to find a notice taped to the front door informing them they were no longer employed by Windows Media, LLC and operations had been closed down effective immediately.

Project Q Atlanta reports:

A three-sentence notice was posted to the front door of the Window Media office in Atlanta before employees arrived Monday morning. It was signed by Publisher Steve Myers and longtime Window executive Mike Kitchens.

It is with GREAT regret that we must inform you that effective immediately, the operations of Window Media, LLC and Unite Media, LLC have closed down.

Please return to this office on WEDNESDAY, November 18th, 2009 at 11:00 AM to collect personal belongings and to receive information on your separation stipulations. Please bring boxes and/or containers that will allow you to collect all your personal belongings at one time.


Steve Myers
Mike Kitchens

The websites to the publications, which were online early Monday, were shut down by 8:30 a.m. Visitors to the sites received an “unexpected error” message.

Window Media owns Southern Voice, David, the storied Washington Blade, Houston Voice, South Florida Blade and 411 Magazine.

In Atlanta, the company employed more than two-dozen people.

This closure ends a long battle with a federal receivership and major changes at the top tier executive level of Windows Media.

This is a sad day for LGBT news consumers, gay bloggers who depended on these publications, and the dozens of people who are now unemployed, especially in Georgia where our unemployment rate has already reached 10%.


I've never been a big Mariah Carey fan (you all know my loyalty lies with Janet) or a "LAMB" as her fans are affectionately called, but she's been playing the gay card lately for my adoration and it just might be working.

In her latest video for the remake of The Foreigner's 1985 hit "I Wanna Know What Love Is", Carey prominently features a black gay couple seen close together numerous times throughout the video. At one point the couple looks lovingly into each other's eyes leading me to believe they're more than just friends.

Isn't it sad that there's so few black gay characters on television that a couple in a Mariah Carey music video excites me? Sigh. But I digress. "I Want To Know What Love Is" is directed by celebrated hip-hop music video director Hype Williams.

You may recall Mariah sharing the stage during a Las Vegas concert last month with two Canadian gay fans, one of which proposed to his partner in front of thousands as Carey looked on and offered a toast. Between all of Carey's gay goodwill and a stellar interview with B. Scott that changed the way I viewed the diva, I just may become a LAMB in training.

Get into the video for Carey's latest single below:

Thanks Automatic Prince


After a five year hiatus from the ballroom scene the legendary House of Xtravaganza returned to the ballroom floor over the weekend during the Moda Ball in New York City. The popular underground competition between predominantly black and latino gay men for decades has served as a rite of passage and refuge from the harsh realities of being a double minority.

Ballroom culture and the highly artistic and athletic dance form know as voguing received national attention after pop icon Madonna ushered it into the mainstream and the subsequent release of the documentary Paris is Burning in the early 90's.

While the ball scene and those who frequent balls have acquired sketchy reputations over the years, breakout artists have also emerged like the late Willi Ninja(pictured above-middle) & Octavia St. Laurent Mizrahi. AIDS has taken the lives of many of the legendary ballroom children but a few still remain. Father Jose Xtravaganza(pictured above-right) is one of the survivors and used the ballroom to catapult him into a professional dance career that earned him a spot on Madonna's Blond Ambition Tour. He recalls meeting Madonna for the first time and auditioning for the tour during a recent interview with Black Book Magazine.

From Black Book Magazine:

Jose:So I was friends with her (Debi Mazar) from that club scene. And she was always Madonna’s friend and hair stylist, confidante, whatever. And Debi’s like, “I’m bringing Madonna to the club. You better be there, Saturday night, at the Sound Factory.” So I’m like, “Yeah, whatever. You’re gonna bring Madonna, whatever.” So it just so happens that she did. Sound Factory, at its peak ... it was New York City at its best. I was very fortunate to be there, to witness all of this. It was amazing.

So I see this woman sitting on top of a speaker, with a long trench coat and all of her hair under a newspaper boy’s hat. Very stylish. And Debi’s like, “Someone would like to meet you. I told her all about you, and how you do this vogue thing, and she wants to meet you.” And, I’m like “Noooooooo.” And she’s like, “Yeah, come.” So she brings me to Madonna, who’s sitting on the speaker. “This is Madonna. Madonna, meet Jose.” And I say, “Hi, nice to meet you.” And I shake her hand. And right off the bat, she says, “I heard you’re the shit. I heard you’re the one that can do this vogue thing. And I wanna see.”

And I was like, “Uh I’m not really dressed for it,” cause remember, you’re voguing, you want to be able to move, because a lot of the things incorporate this movement on the floor. And I remember being really well dressed, because it’s what you did in New York City at that time—you got dressed up and went to the club. So Madonna made someone in her entourage take their jeans off and give them to me, so that I can take off the slacks that I had on. So me and my friend Lewis ended up performing, auditioning for her right then and there, on the spot. It was like, “Okay now? On cue, on command? Whatever you say.” And we did it, and she invited us to the audition—it was 5,000 dancers to beat, in New York City alone, you know? Only seven were going, only seven spots. I went Friday night to the club, and I went to the audition Saturday morning. And she was there, and we were late.

Carmen: Like always ...

Jose: And she stopped everything. She was like, “Oh the divas, the vogue divas are here? Okay.” And I remember going to the back, and she was like, “No, you two to the front.” We were so amazed by her, as she was by us. It was amazing.

Watch Jose Xtravganza in a classic clip at the height of the ballroom era below:

Old School Xtravaganza

Old School Ballroom DVD | MySpace Video

| Monday, November 09, 2009

Update 11/13: I'd like to thank everyone who has e-mailed, called, tweeted, and sent me messages of concern on Facebook. The love has been overwhelming during what has been a very challenging week for me. Things are starting to return to normal on my end and although I'm itching to return I'm going to wait and start fresh on Monday.

But how about that Donnie McClurkin? Get ready to LIVE OUT LOUD in a big way on Monday!

I'll be absent from the blog for a few days to work out some personal things. If you read loldarian.com regularly then you know I take pride in the articles that are posted herein and I don't post junk just for the sake of having fresh material at the top of the page. I appreciate all of your support and the countless e-mails that have been pouring in. This will not be a long hiatus but it's necessary that I take care of myself first in order to continue to deliver the standard of material that you've become accustomed too. Thanks for your patience and understanding. Be back soon.

11 comments | Friday, November 06, 2009

If you were fortunate enough to attend The National Equality March or have seen photos from the event then chances are you've seen Damien & Seanmichael; they're what I'd like to call the unofficial black gay poster couple of the march. When I saw their photo I knew I had to find out more about them.

By Damien & Seanmichael being present together in DC on that historic day they were, perhaps unknowingly, defying stereotypes commonly associated with black gay men. They were present, politically aware, politically involved, out of the closet, in love and committed to each other for all the world to see.

Both are involved in the music industry, Seanmichael behind the scenes as a producer and Damien, better known to fans as Dy'Ari (pronounced diary) out front as a singer. But it's the beautiful music they're making together as a couple that we're celebrating as they become the latest to be featured on Coupled Up.

This also marks the first time a video montage has been created for this series since it began on loldarian.com

Many thanks to Damien & Seanmichael for sharing their love with us.

4 comments | Thursday, November 05, 2009

Black gay activist and DC For Marriage president Michael Crawford spoke out against Maine's recent decision to reject marriage equality at the DC rally held on Wednesday in Dupont Circle. DC was one of many cities that staged protests in the aftermath of the Maine vote. However, this rally had an unexpected visit from Maggie Gallagher, head of National Organization for Marriage, the group behind Proposition 8 in California and Question 1 in Maine.

Crawford wasted no time calling Gallagher and NOM out:

"I'm here today to tell you Maggie... I'm sorry but you cannot stop marriage equality here in our nation's capital. The National Organization for Marriage and Bishop Harry Jackson have come into our city and they are spreading a bunch of fear based lies. And you know what we should do right? We should take a play from Joe WIlson's book look them in the eye and tell them-you lie!"

We're gonna call them out. We're gonna let them know exactly what we think of them, exactly what we think of their lies and exactly how DC feels about our neighbors and our friends".

And who said there weren't any black gay men willing to be visible in the fight for equality? Get into Michael Crawford's rousing rally speech in the video below.

h/t JoeMyGod


I don't think there's anyone who loves to see himself on television more than publicity whore (yeah I said it) Bishop Harry Jackson.

Jackson and his cronies at The National Organization for Marriage are beginning their media blitz to praise Maine voters for stripping away the rights of same-sex couples to legally wed and to continue to promote fear and bible-based bigotry across the airwaves.

MSNBC's Contessa Brewer asked Bishop Jackson why he and others who oppose marriage equality aren't exerting the same energy to end divorce. "We are teaching, training, having interventions...we're definitely aggressive. Positively preventing the destruction of marriage and then also positively intervening in helping those who are struggling in their relationships", says Jackson.

Yeah right. Brewer's follow up question is golden and catches Bishop Jackson in his lie. According to Bishop Jackson marriage is on life support because gays want to marry and then indirectly blames gay men for 40% of black women in DC who will never marry.

How many of my straight black female readers want to marry gay men? I'm guessing none. But maybe I should take a poll. This man is the epitome of lunacy.