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3 comments | Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Last Tuesday a groundbreaking discussion centered around race and homophobia in the entertainment industry took place in Los Angeles at The Writer's Guild West moderated by actress, straight ally and activist Sheryl Lee Ralph.

Flipping The Script: Beyond Black Homophobia in Hollywood included eight panelists who, as writers, directors, producers and actors, each play different parts in the Hollywood machine that is responsible for the portrayal (or lack thereof) of black LGBT portrayals in television and film.

On deck were out directors Maurice Jamal(Dirty Laundry), Quincy LeNear and Deondray Gossett (The DL Chronicles), Emmy winning producer-director Paris Barclay, Tajamika Paxton (GLAAD Entertainment Media Director), actor Wilson Cruz, writer Jasmine Love, Demetrius Bady(WGA writer/director) and Tim McNeal (VP of Talent Development and Diversity/Disney)

Edge reports:

Actress/writer/director Sheryl Lee Ralph moderated. Dressed in a sharp red pantsuit and exhibiting (at times) an even sharper tongue, she cut to the chase with her first question: "Why do you think we’re not having the conversation about homophobia?"

One panelist thought the conversation was not being had for broader reasons within the African American community. "African Americans in general don’t like to talk about our challenges in public," said Maurice Jamal, a writer-director-actor with credits including Chappelle’s Show. "We don’t like to air our ’dirty laundry’ for people to see. We’ve always been that way whether it’s been racism, whether it is domestic violence in the home, even when it comes to issues of poverty."

Jamal also said that another generality is the code of silence in the African American community regarding homosexuality.

"In the African American community, being gay has been seen as a challenge," he said. "(And) as a problem, so it’s not something that we’re talking about in the general sense. It’s certainly not something we’re talking about because we want to keep it quiet and kept away."

While it’s doubtful that anyone expected answers that can abruptly end homophobia, for those trying to find a place for their voice - not to mention employment - within black Hollywood, the point of the night was to get the conversation heard by as many people that would listen. Bady, for one, said post-panel that he felt that the event was a resounding success.

However, while Bady was surprised by those who didn’t want to participate in the conversation. There was little support for the panel in the gay press itself, specifically The Advocate.

"I was livid that The Advocate did not send a representative and did not inquire about what we were doing. I reached out to them several times. They have a record of ignoring black gay people. We buy their magazine just like everyone else. I started reaching out to the Advocate in January... and they had absolutely no interest in anything that we’re doing... that pissed me off."

And that's exactly why black gay blogs exist because of mainstream gay publications refusal to be inclusive. Sad.

Get into a preview of the forthcoming documentary Nothing Personal featuring many of the panelists from Flipping The Script below:

1 comments | Monday, March 29, 2010

The men of Morehouse College and Safe Space, the official campus gay organization made history last week by hosting the first ever P.R.I.D.E. Week on campus. Internet and TV personality B. Scott headlined Out and In The Spotlight: a panel discussion that also featured longtime activist Cleo Monago,Tahji Iman and Reva Iman before a capacity crowd.

In one of the best moments of the panel B. Scott takes on Morehouse's controversial dress code that made national news last year and respectfully disagreed with Monago who seemed to be in favor of the dress code. The exchange begins around the 4:30 mark.

P.R.I.D.E. Week also featured LGBT movie screenings, HIV testing, an Equality Ball, and the return of LGBT Christian organization Soulforce's Equality RIde.

Get into video of the panel discussion below via Drama Dupree. Photos courtesy of WhatsTheT.com.


Well it was years in the making but today pop singer Ricky Martin finally addressed the elephant in the room and came out via his official website. I think we can go ahead and add him to the Lance Bass' and Clay Aiken's of the world and say we already knew.

Martin wrote a heartfelt letter explaining his journey and his decision to disclose his truth. Read it below.

Every individual has to come out in his or her own time. Welcome to the club Ricky!

A few months ago I decided to write my memoirs, a project I knew was going to bring me closer to an amazing turning point in my life. From the moment I wrote the first phrase I was sure the book was the tool that was going to help me free myself from things I was carrying within me for a long time. Things that were too heavy for me to keep inside. Writing this account of my life, I got very close to my truth. And thisis something worth celebrating.

For many years, there has been only one place where I am in touch with my emotions fearlessly and that's the stage. Being on stage fills my soul in many ways, almost completely. It's my vice. The music, the lights and the roar of the audience are elements that make me feel capable of anything. This rush of adrenaline is incredibly addictive. I don't ever want to stop feeling these emotions. But it is serenity that brings me to where I'm at right now. An amazing emotional place of comprehension, reflection and enlightenment. At this moment I'm feeling the same freedom I usually feel only on stage, without a doubt, I need to share.

Many people told me: "Ricky it's not important", "it's not worth it", "all the years you've worked and everything you've built will collapse", "many people in the world are not ready to accept your truth, your reality, your nature". Because all this advice came from people who I love dearly, I decided to move on with my life not sharing with the world my entire truth. Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage. Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions.

If someone asked me today, "Ricky, what are you afraid of?" I would answer "the blood that runs through the streets of countries at war...child slavery, terrorism...the cynicism of some people in positions of power, the misinterpretation of faith." But fear of my truth? Not at all! On the contrary, It fills me with strength and courage. This is just what I need especially now that I am the father of two beautiful boys that are so full of light and who with their outlook teach me new things every day. To keep living as I did up until today would be to indirectly diminish the glow that my kids where born with. Enough is enough. This has to change. This was not supposed to happen 5 or 10 years ago, it is supposed to happen now. Today is my day, this is my time, and this is my moment.

These years in silence and reflection made me stronger and reminded me that acceptance has to come from within and that this kind of truth gives me the power to conquer emotions I didn't even know existed.

What will happen from now on? It doesn't matter. I can only focus on what's happening to me in this moment. The word "happiness" takes on a new meaning for me as of today. It has been a very intense process. Every word that I write in this letter is born out of love, acceptance, detachment and real contentment. Writing this is a solid step towards my inner peace and vital part of my evolution.

I am proud to say that I am a fortunate homosexual man. I am very blessed to be who I am.

And for a little flashback: The Grammy performance that introduced Ricky Martin to American audiences. We gays are so talented.

3 comments | Friday, March 26, 2010

There's an interesting piece on the importance of social networking for people living with HIV/AIDS in the current issue of HIV Plus Magazine. One of the cover models, Justin B. Terry-Smith is a longtime friend of loldarian.com. You may recall watching Justin's HIV Journal, a YouTube show launched by Terry-Smith that gives real insight into the life of a positive person. Cameras follow Justin to doctors visits and viewers get to witness the ups and downs of anti-retroviral medication.

“I looked around and I didn’t see any young African-American gay men reaching out online. No one else was doing this,” he tells HIV Plus.

From HIV Plus:

“What most people do when they’ve been diagnosed is to jump onto Google and start trying to find as much information as they can,” says Philadelphian Robert Breining about the role the Internet plays in most HIVers’ lives. “But people want more than all that medical information. They want to talk with someone like themselves -- who is feeling the same pain and experiencing the same feelings. So I started thinking, Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place like Facebook or MySpace for HIV-positive people where they could do all of that?”

In October 2007, Breining launched POZIAM, a free website where users post profiles and photos, send personalized notes, use online chat, create their own blogs, and access message boards.

But the relative anonymity of cyberspace also has a significant downside -- the ability for social media users, even onetime visitors to a site, to leave offensive public comments. That very situation almost derailed Terry-Smith’s online video blog, “Justin’s HIV Journal,” shortly after his very first entry.

“The first comment I got was horrible,” Terry-Smith recalls. “A guy basically said, ‘So you got poked by a dirty dick. So what?’ I almost took the video down because I thought those were the only kinds of comments I was going to get. But then, maybe two minutes later, I got a comment from someone who loved the blog and planned to keep following it. Then I got another comment like that, then another.”

Watch a PSA from Justin below:

| Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sorry for the absence I'm a bit under the weather. Taking some time off to rest and get myself back together. Hope to be up and running again soon.

2 comments | Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Out actor Daryl Stephens has given one of his most revealing and uninhibited interviews to fellow gay blogger AKA William. The Noah's Arc alum dishes on his new gig in a revival of Mart Crowley's play The Boys In The Band, making music on his MacBook, the demands on openly gay entertainers to become activists, coming out and who he thinks is the greatest threat to LGBT people.

Stephens and his lips were just seen on the blog last week along with other notable black gay men as participants in the "We Can Do It!' Campaign.

From AKA William:

Daryl on Boys In The Band:

‘Boys In the Band’ is a play written by Mart Crowley in 1968 about a group of gay men in New York. The piece was very groundbreaking for the time because it depicted the lives and relationships of gay men in ways that had never been on stage before. It was a huge hit with gay audiences when it ran off Broadway and then it went to Broadway and (straight) people loved it too! But by the time it was made into a film in 1970, I think a lot of gay rights activists saw the piece as as ’self-loathing.’

It’s always touchy when you’re shedding light on a group of people for the first time, because often times, that group doesn’t want to see themselves… in that light. (I’m reminded of all the flack we got from gay black men when Noah’s Arc first happened. “Why are they all so queeny?”) The closet is alive and well 40 years later and a lot of that so-called self-loathing still exists. So director Jason Crain has decided to make this version of the play “timeless” (where most productions keep it set in 1968) to point out how many of these issues are still plaguing gay men and will continue to plague us until we figure out how to love ourselves and take care of each other.

Daryl on a gay artist's obligations to the fight for equal rights:

I think that the best thing an artist can do is be true to themselves… on whatever level is most beneficial to their art. I think we’re SO starved for gay role models that we want every single gay person in the public eye to be speaking up for the cause. But that’s not really what art is about. That’s not show-business. Not every gay person is built to be an activist. And not every gay artist is going to see the so-called gay movement as relevant to their work. For people to expect every actor and musician to come out and jump on the marriage equality bandwagon is ridiculous. Hopeful, yes. Well-intentioned, sure. But it’s still ridiculous. Coming out is a very personal thing. And to me, bullying people out of the closet is counter-productive to the big picture. All we’re doing is highlighting people’s shame. Making gay lascivious. Tabloid-fodder.

The only people we want on the front lines of this so-called movement are the people who are comfortable enough with themselves to stand up to that level of public scrutiny. Wilson Cruz, for example… is so well-spoken and so on top of the issues. And he’s a great example of someone who came out when he was ready and made the choice, when he was ready, to be vocal about his life and work activism into his career path. Not everybody can pull that off. Coming out to the guy in the next cubicle is not the same as coming out while you’re on a brand new, ad-sponsored network show. I’m sorry, but it just isn’t. In a perfect world, we’d all be well-adjusted and honest and ready to fight the good fight. But in the real world, we need to respect people’s lives and let them find their own path on the journey. I think coming out to the guy in the next cubicle is better for the civil rights movement than being the editor of a gay magazine and tearing down a young gay artist and his PR machine for being careful around the issue of his sexuality.

Daryl on Donnie McClurkin:

Donnie McClurkin is the new definition of EVIL. Gay black men who go into the church preaching about how homosexuality is sin, lying about how they’ve been ‘cured of their sin’ by loving Jesus Christ and then vilifying all the men and women who are honoring their truth and living their lives with integrity and dignity–it’s absolutely sickening to me. The conservative black church has been so backwards on this whole issue. I mean, from a sociological perspective, I guess I get it. Black folks have been held down for so long in American society that it must be instinctual to seek out anyone else on that level and try and keep them lower. You see it on playgrounds. The little kids who get picked on turn around and pick on the smaller kids just to make themselves seem ‘bigger’ in the eyes of the kids who were picking on them in the first place. It’s just so pathetic and sad for adults to be doing this shit in this day and age.

And when you look at the way HIV and AIDS is spreading through this community who has chosen denial and shame as their sole response to the REALITY of gay sex, it’s heartbreaking that so few people are stepping up to talk some sense into these folks. Intolerance is the new religion and it seems to be spreading like syphillis in the black community. Pustulating, scabbing over and infecting everything around it. It really is hideous.


AOL Black Voices is reporting that Tyler Perry has finally announced casting for the highly anticipated film adaptation of Ntozake Shange's hit Broadway play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Was Enuf".

AOL Black Voices reports:

At last night's premiere for his latest film, ''Why Did I Get Married Too?,' the black box-office maverick revealed that the cast will include Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Jurnee Smollett, Kimberly Elise, Kerry Washington, and Macy Gray.

Based on Ntozake Shange's award-winning 1975 play, the film is scheduled to shoot in June in New York with a possible winter 2010/ 2011 release date.

The riveting play, consisting of a series of poems performed through a cast of nameless women, known only by a color -- deal with such subjects as love, abandonment, rape, and abortion, garnered much acclaim, becoming the toast of Broadway when it opened at The Booth Theater in 1976.

This project has been entrenched in controversy since news broke last year that Tyler Perry would be the director responsible for bringing this masterpiece that is so important to black women everywhere to the big screen. A simple google search will result in countless articles doubting Perry's ability to masterfully tackle such an important piece of work. And there was plenty of venting on Twitter this morning when I began a discussion about the casting. See for yourself below.

What happened to Oprah Winfrey being involved in this project? I was actually looking forward to seeing her on the big screen again. Let's keep our fingers crossed and pray that Tyler Perry does this film justice, otherwise black women are going to revolt.

4 comments | Monday, March 22, 2010

Yesterday I had the privilege of witnessing the beautiful union between Damien & Seanmichael Rodgers in New York City. It goes without saying that this was a momentous occasion in their lives, but it was also special for me as this was the very first same-sex ceremony I'd ever attended and it also marked the culmination of some of the best coverage I believe I've ever written on a black same-gender loving couple.

Damien & Seanmichael graciously accepted my offer to participate in our Coupled Up series last September as well as serve as the centerpiece for the popular and controversial AOL Black Voices piece: Damian & Seanmichael: An Untold Black Love Story.

The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Kevin E. Taylor of the LGBT affirming Unity Fellowship Church in New Brunswick, NJ. The amazing and anointed Ken Alston Jr. (Three Mo' Tenors) serenaded the couple vocally before a standing room only audience who gathered to celebrate their union.

Since I never leave home without my camera, I captured a few photos and video footage of the ceremony for you to experience. It's next to impossible to watch the video without crying tears of joy.

Congratulations to the happy couple!

4 comments | Friday, March 19, 2010

Atlanta DJ Ryan Cameron of V-103 launched the world premiere of Janet Jackson's new single "Nothing" earlier today courtesy of Jermaine Dupri. Dupri, who produced the track, tweeted yesterday that the official release date would be on March 30th but to the surprise of thousands of fans who have been waiting impatiently for the single to leak gave us all a huge surprise.

V-103 phone lines were blowing up here in Atlanta after the single aired. Ms. Jackson is still in CONTROL!

Get into a low quality radio rip courtesy of my iPhone and car stereo speakers...don't ask. LOL!


Noah's Arc alum's Daryl Stephens and Wilson Cruz are one of several recognizable faces participating in Open Artist Movement's "We Can Do It Campaign!".

"We Can Do It!" is a photo campaign to build solidarity and personal strength through positive messaging. The goal is to bring to life modern iconic individuals, by depicting them as powerful and not victims in support of the global LGBT movement worldwide.

Power couple and directing duo Quincy LeNear and Deondray Gossett of The DL Chronicles are also apart of the campaign.

The images above are available for purchase by visiting the Open Artist Movement store online.


Loldarian.com favorite Ms. Janet Jackson appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last evening to promote the April 2nd release of her new film, "Why Did I Get Married Too" co-starring Jill Scott & Tyler Perry.

This is one of many scheduled appearances for Janet as promotion for the film begins to pick up. She and director/co-star Tyler Perry will be guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show on the day of the films release.

A short emotional clip involving Janet's character from WDIGM Too along with the other female leads was shown during her visit to The Tonight Show.

According to a twitter update from Jermaine Dupri, "Nothing", the theme song for WDIGM Too recorded by Janet will be released on March 30.

Get into the interview below:

2 comments | Thursday, March 18, 2010

Former NBA player Winston Bennett is making headlines and becoming the topic of discussion around water coolers all across America for admitting his past transgressions with sexual addiction. During an interview with ESPN Bennett reveals he slept with an average of 90 women per month.

“In terms of the amount of women I had at my disposal, one was never enough. three and four in a day was very typical for me, said Bennet.

"It was so wonder that I could practice or do anything else because I was so consumed with gratifying me. I had sex with three or four in a day, being three or four different women in a day. It may not be an every day occurrence but it happened so much that it’s almost an average. Multiply 30 X 3 and you have 90 women in a month.

It’s hard to say which one I loved more. Was it basketball or was it sex? Because I spent a great deal of either time having sex, cruising for sex, calling for sex or looking for sex."

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the diagnosis of sexual addiction and if it really exists. The View spent an entire episode yesterday with addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky dedicated to many forms of addiction including sexual addiction.

According to Bennett his insatiable sexual appetite caused him to cheat on his wife before and during their marriage, even the day after they were married. Bennett's wife tells a heartbreaking story of her own failed suicide attempt fueled by her husband's sexual behavior.

While Bennett's admission may feel like a load lifted off his chest not everyone is pleased with how he's handling this publicly.

Dr. Boyce Watkins from AOL Black Voices writes:

Finally, the idea that Bennett is confessing his sexual sins on national television only serves to support the stereotype of the black male athlete as an oversexed animal completely devoid of personal responsibility. Rather than doing a national media tour, perhaps Winston needs to go somewhere and reflect on his lifelong commitment to ridiculous behavior. Winston Bennett doesn't represent me, and he is not anyone's role model. His story is one of the saddest I've heard this month.

Get into Bennett''s story below:


My love hate/relationship with Beyonce' continues and today I guess she's falling into the love column. Mrs. Knowles-Carter joined Alicia Keys onstage last night at Madison Square Garden in New York City during a stop on Keys' current Freedom Tour to perform the forthcoming single "Put It In A Love Song".

You may recall seeing images of the pair on location in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil all over the internet last month as they filmed the video for the uptempo single. Reaction to the collaboration has been mixed but I must admit I'm loving it!

Reportedly, the highly anticipated video scheduled to be released this month has been pushed back until April in an effort to let the media hype from Lady GaGa's "Telephone" video to die down. I'll definitely be checking for it when it drops.

Get into a fan made clip of the ladies onstage at The Garden below before YouTube pulls it.


We've got to stop encouraging behavior like this in the black church. I bet after he took his seat his mother said "baby you sang that song!" Watch the choir members behind him.

5 comments | Tuesday, March 16, 2010

After a brief absence Coupled Up returns to loldarian.com and I'm thrilled to share with you the beautiful 14 year relationship of Atlanta residents Phillip and Derek.

Not only is it important to me that Coupled Up shows gay men of color in committed relationships, but it's also important that the the wisdom couples such as Phillip & Derek can provide is accessible to those of us who wish to enter into healthy same-sex relationships, even in cities like Atlanta where this can be a challenge.

Phillip and Derek are another example that black gay love is real, attainable, and long-lasting. This is their story.

Phillip & Derek on how they met and how long they've been together:

Phillip: We met at a club in Chicago called The Convent. "Lil Derek" was there with my roommates best friend and we all hung out that night. He was the most adorable thing I had ever seen. He had on this fishermans hat that looked like Paddington Bear and I told him how attractive he was and that I was going to make him my lover. That was 14 years ago this May 16th.

Derek: When we met I lived in Chicago and I was trying my hand at pageantry and entertainment. We met at one of the show bars on a Monday night named "The Convent". I had a fishing hat on that was low over my eyes. As I tried to watch the show, I could feel him watching me. It Just so happened that we had mutual friends that introduced us and the rest is living history.
May 16th 2010 makes 14yrs of the best times of my life and counting. My anniversary with my soulmate.

Phillip & Derek on the possibility of their relationship becoming long-term:

Phillip: Honestly, I knew that night that I wanted to get to know him, but never did I imagine us making it this long from that one night. However, as time progressed I saw in him the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

Derek: We dated for about 6 months with me living in Chicago and Phillip living in Gary, IN. At first I thought, wow thats far, but the more we talked and hung out, the shorter the distance became. The rides became shorter.

Reflecting on the early possibility of their relationship becoming serious:

Phillip: I knew that the relationship was serious the morning I was awaken by my roommate saying, " Lil Derek is sleep in his car in the driveway". He had driven the 45 minutes to my house so he would be the first thing I saw when I awoke. We dated for 6 months and on a whim decided to pack up, leave our established lives as individuals and move to Kingsland, GA to start a life together. I swear to this day - that decision was the best thing to ever happen for us. Starting over as one unit gave us the chance to get to know each other with no interference from the negativity of gay life. We became friends which made us better lovers.

Derek:I knew he was the one for me when I wanted to move out of town. I wanted to move and have a change in my life. I wanted to just start over and see what life was like on my own as my own man. Without looking back, Phillip packed up his house and just asked me where and when. We only had each other and we became best friends and I knew he was my soulmate.

Phillip & Derek on the reaction of family & friends after coming out individually & as a couple:

Phillip: I come from a VERY religious family. I'm a P.K. (Preacher's Kid), so coming out was never a desire. When it did happen, it was not because of me but rather a friend. Adding two and two together, simply landed me on the other side of the door. I'm glad to say however, that my family has since come around and simply loves me for me.

My four brothers and one sister as well as my mothers sister accept my relationship with Derek for what it is..... besides them, WHO CARES! Dereks family on the other hand, accept me like I was born into their family (lol).

Derek: Well I came out when I was fourteen, so I can't say my family rolled out the gay welcoming mat. I lived with my grandparents, who grew up in a time when being gay was frowned upon. Time and prayer mends all. They love me to death and now can't stop talking about thier grandsons. My family likes Phillip more than they like me (lol). When I call or get calls from my family, they ask for Phillip before asking for me.

When Phillip first came around, my family didn't know what to think or how to take it. Like anything worth having, he and I worked on it and them. He is now my moms other son, my dad's son- in -law. LOL - when I hear them refer to him in that way - son- in- law I just can't stop smiling from the inside out.

Phillip & Derek on the myth that committed black gay couples are non-existent & success depends on dating another race:

Phillip: I believe that black gay men are too easily swayed in matters of the heart because there is an unspoken tradition of allowing a sneaky little third party into the relationship called "friends". We tend to be influenced by what is thought, said, and viewed by our friends. Instead of basing decisions on how we as individuals feel, we tend to lean more towards the advice of our friends. Many times the advice is drenched in jealousy, bitterness, and lonliness.

We were young when we started dating, but decided early in our relationship that BREAKING UP WAS NOT AN OPTION. It was a committed relationship in terms of us committing to argue until the problem was resolved. Go to sleep mad if needed. Sleep in seperate rooms if needed, but to ALWAYS be friends and stay together.

Our counterparts stay together because they understand this and they seperate friends from "The Man". Its very possible for black gay men to achieve relationship longevity together but it has to be a conscious decision. We've made it this far because we wanted too.

Derek: In black society as a whole we spend so much time looking at the experation date on everything. I feel if you are always looking for something to expire and never enjoy the contents or true shelf life of something, it does just that...expire. We as black men expect the end but never put forth an effort to prevent the end, but it is possible-look at us. When people hear how long we've been together, they are always so shocked. I dont understand why since we've worked and continue to work at being here and staying together.

Phillip & Derek on the obstacles of maintaining a healthy relationship:

Phillip: Being a Flight Attendant has created a communication barrier at times because in my field we communicate differently than the rest of the world.. I am expected to be a mind reader and adapt to the situation as it arises and changes to achieve the outcome that I desire. Not being able to switch to a more realistic thought process at home has been our biggest obstacle. I know how to smile and give the emotion being desired even when thats not the emotion I feel. I'm fortunate that Derek knows my heart and understands me.

Derek: Communication has been the hardest part for us. We were so young when we got together. It has been a tug of war for some years but through trial and error , we've finally got it. There is nothing at all we can't or wont talk about. We both have strong personalities and didn't understand how to communicate, but the older we get the stronger we connect.

Phillip & Derek on marriage:

Phillip: We have discussed getting married, but not for the purpose of being legally recognized. We have been togehter for so long that a piece of paper could do nothing for us. Our everday lives are lived as a married couple. I feel the legal aspect is simply resolved by sitting down and drafting a living will and establishing documentation that entitles Derek to make medical, financial decisions on my behalf should I not be able to do so on my own. I'd like to have a ceromony simply to share with family and friends.

Derek: We are both spiritual people. We believe that what we have, could only come from God. We had planned on having a big ceromony just for our family and some close friends, however key pillars in our lives became ill and are no longer with us. We were doing it for them and to have them there to share that moment with us. They were the most important people in our lives. We never have had the ceromony. From a legal stand point however we do have documents in place that legally allow Phillip to make choices for me and vice versa. We also have matching bands that were got on our 7th anniversary so for all intents and purposes WE ARE HAPPILY MARRIED.

Phillip & Derek on starting a family:

We have no plans to adopt but have started a surrogate family if you will. We have what our community refers to as gay kids. We have 5 sons and 2 daughters. For those of you who may not understand, a gay child is simply a younger gay person whom you take under your wing and become a mentor of sorts (See Paris is Burning....... but note WE ARE NOT BALL KIDS...lol)
We also have 4 dogs (2 ten year olds and 2 nine month olds).

Phillip & Derek on the role religion/spirituality has in their relationship:

Phillip: As I have stated , I was raised in the church and have not strayed from God. I believe that my life is a testament of my faith and the relationship I have with him. I am blessed to share a fire for God with my partner. We recognize how fortunate and blessed we are and thank God for it everyday.

Derek: We accept God as being the most important thing in our lives. We know that he has given us purpose and that we alone must understand and live a life pleasing to HIM..... again I say HIM and not Man.

And finally...

Phillip & Derek on keeping the flame burning after being together for fourteen years:

Phillip: When you have been together as long as we have, it's easy to forget the "hows" and "whens" of your history. But there are moments that are with you forever. I always try and create moments for him so that when he's in that moment he realizes how much I love him and that I am here to be his Ever After.

Derek: We are forever venturing to places and experiences that keep us intrigued with one another. We step outside our comfort zones and try new things. As I have said before, there is nothing that I cannot or will not talk to Phillip about and because we have that between us, theres always that fire!

"Hate has no place in the house of God. No one should be excluded from our love, our compassion or our concern because of race or gender, faith or ethnicity — or because of their sexual orientation. Nor should anyone be excluded from health care on any of these grounds. In my country of South Africa, we struggled for years against the evil system of apartheid that divided human beings, children of the same God, by racial classification and then denied many of them fundamental human rights. We knew this was wrong. Thankfully, the world supported us in our struggle for freedom and dignity.

It is time to stand up against another wrong.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are part of so many families. They are part of the human family. They are part of God’s family. And of course they are part of the African family."

An excerpt from an open letter published in The Washington Post on March 12, 2010 by Bishop Desmond TuTu. Read the entire letter via Black Gay Gossip.


A report on news that broke over the weekend of Air Force Sergeant Jene Newsome who has been honorably discharged after an Iowa marriage license was allegedly spotted on the kitchen table of her Rapid City, South Dakota home by police.

KOTA News reports:

Last November, police went to Jene' Newsome's Rapid City home to serve an out-of-state warrant on Cheryl Hutson, who lived at the same house.

When police couldn't find Hutson they called Newsome at Ellsworth Air Force Base for help. "I got several phone calls from an officer asking me to come home," Newsome said.

After delaying for several hours Newsome finally arrived home to find the police and Hutson inside. Since Newsome wasn't wanted for anything, you would think her involvement was over. "Other than them trying to get me to help them out, I wasn't involved at all," she said.

But police noticed an Iowa marriage certificate showing that the two women were married. Despite the fact that the marriage had nothing to do with the arrest, Officer Jeremy Stauffacher and Detective Tom Garinger sent that information to the Ellsworth AFB Office of Special Investigations.

This prompted the military to discharge Newsome for violating the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays in the military.

Newsome believes that the police did this as payback because she didn't help them arrest her wife. "He (a police officer) informed me that he saw a marriage certificate on the kitchen table and he said he knew how the military worked and he'd let OSI handle it," Newsome explained.

According to Census data "black women with same-sex partners serve in the military at 11 times the rate of women overall." The Department of Defense reports black lesbians are discharged under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" at three times the rate that they serve", notes blogger Rod McCullom of Rod 2.0.

Newsome and the American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint against the western South Dakota police department, claiming the officers violated her privacy when they informed the military about her sexual orientation.

Watch a video report below:

Thanks Cedric

The 21st Annual GLAAD Media Awards were held on March 13, 2010 at the Marriott Marquis in New York City. The event was hosted by Tony Award winner Alan Cumming. Here are a few recognizable faces from the red carpet. A complete list of winners can be found here.

Vogue Evolution (America's Best Dance Crew) & Saharah Davenport (RuPaul's Drag Race)

Academy Award Winner Jeffrey Fletcher (Best Adapted Screenplay: Precious)

Joy Behar (The View;Joy Behar Show) Excellence In Media Recipient

Jay Manuel (America's Next Top Model)

Cynthia Nixon (Sex & The City) Vito Russo Award Recipient

Rosie Perez

LZ Granderson (ESPN Columnist; 2009 GLAAD Award Winner) Isaiah, and Steve Huesing

John Moauro, Brandon Pearson, Chasten Harmon and Tommar Wilson (Cast members from the Broadway musical HAIR)


I can't even believe we're still having this conversation in the post-Madonna era. Hasn't this all been done before and during a much more conservative time in America?

Lady GaGa and the innocently sweet Beyonce' have ruffled quite a few feathers with the release of the sexually charged video for GaGa's single"Telephone". Reportedly, the video was banned on MTV late last week but the music channel now seems to be back pedaling.

"Faux News" anchor Megyn Kelly along with Sandy Rios of The Culture Campaign nearly lost their minds during a segment in which they completely trashed GaGa's newest creation and explains why the video and the artist is harming children. "Oh lawd what about the kids?!"

"You think you've seen it all...but wait there's more", said Rios.

"And this time we have to speculate on whether she has a male member or not or whether it's been cut off or not. And then they do a mass murder at the the end. And then we've got Beyonce' and GaGa as gay lesbian lovers. It's disgusting Megan! I wouldn't under any circumstance allow my children to buy Lady GaGa cd's or listen to them and I would explain to them why. This is just poison in the minds of our kids".

Watch all of the crazy below:

Trouble viewing the video? Click here.


A day of hot topics on The View yesterday found the ladies giving considerable airtime to two stories involving gay and lesbian people that are currently dominating the news cycle.

Constance McMillen, an 18-year old openly lesbian Itawamba County Agricultural High School student in Jackson, Mississippi made national news last week when her school board decided to cancel her prom rather than grant her request to attend with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. The American Civil Liberties Union has since filed a discrimination lawsuit and McMillen has taken her case before the national news media.

In Boulder, Colorado the Catholic church has come under fire for rejecting the re-enrollment of two children co-parented by a lesbian couple. Yes, the same Catholic Church which has been embroiled in sex abuse scandals for years and is currently back in the news again for the same SIN. The archbishop of Denver is defending the decision and tells CNN "people with a different understanding of marriage and family life "have other, excellent options for education and should see in them the better course for their children."

Please take notice when you watch the clip from The View that Sherri and Elisabeth actually come down on the right side of a gay issue for once. And despite Sherri's large number of "close gay friends" she manages to control her usual contorted facial expressions and hypocritical bible beating.

And I must say the thunderous applause from the audience in support of these two issues is wonderful. The hot topic segment begins around the 2:20 mark.


The beginning of 2010 is shaping up to be quite a year for transgender women of color on television with two network reality shows in the pipeline and the most high profile show, "Transform Me" starring breakout star of I Want To Work For Diddy, Laverne Cox on VH1.

"Transform Me", which premiered last night, follows Cox and fellow transgender fashionistas Jamie Clayton and Nina Poon across the country as they offer their makeover subjects much more than meets the eye.

The fellow Alabama native recently spoke with The Advocate about "Transform Me", what she brings to the table, and the responsibility she feels to portray trans women in a positive light as the first trans woman of color to appear on reality television.

From The Advocate:

Advocate:Each man on the Queer Eye makeover team brought his own individual expertise to the mix. As for your Transform Me costars, Jamie is a successful makeup artist and Nina is a fashion expert and model. What do you bring to the makeover table?

Laverne: I deal with what’s going on on the inside. It’s always been my belief that if we let ourselves go or if we’re stuck in a rut aesthetically, there’s something psychological or emotional that’s keeping us from making a change. If you don’t deal with the root of the problem, changing somebody’s hair and makeup doesn’t make a difference. Much of my own transformation has been about more than the outside; it’s been about letting go of the old, bad notions I had about myself.

Advocate: Your makeover subjects don’t know you’re trans women until you show up at their doors. What’s the reasoning behind that choice?

Laverne: There aren’t a lot of transgender people on television, so the reactions our makeover subjects might have to us might mirror the reactions that America might have to us. The makeover subjects may raise the same questions America has about transgender folks. We didn’t tell them ahead of time because we wanted truthful reactions when they met us. All but one of the women had never met anyone transgender before.

Advocate: With your participation on I Want to Work for Diddy, you became the first African-American trans woman on a reality show. Are you comfortable being a role model for the trans community?

Laverne: The term “role model” seems ridiculous to me, but I am aware that I’ve inspired some other transgender girls — like Jaila Simms, who won Diddy’s Making His Band. That’s a big deal to me, so I take it seriously. I do feel a certain responsibility to my community, but I’m a human being, so I have flaws and I’m going to make mistakes, which has to be OK. So many black transgender women wrote to me when I was on I Want to Work for Diddy and said they’d never seen any black trans woman represented on television as professional and articulate. It’s not usually so positive or uplifting when we see black trans women in the media.

Advocate: You’ve played a number of transgender prostitutes, including your recent guest spots on Bored to Death and Law & Order. Is it frustrating that the few roles offered to trans women are so often hookers?

Laverne: Well, that’s why I started producing. I realized that people weren’t writing complicated roles for transgender actresses, so I needed to start creating roles for myself. I’m happy to be in the reality realm, but there still aren’t many acting roles written for us that go beyond prostitutes, particularly for transgender women of color.

But as an artist, I try not to judge a character, like, “Oh, she’s a prostitute, so I can’t play that.” That’s ridiculous, because there are transgender women who are prostitutes, and that doesn’t mean these characters aren’t human beings. I try to bring humanity to whatever role I play. It can get frustrating, though. I remember one day I was so excited that I had three auditions, but in every single one I was playing a hooker. It’s really sad that this is what the industry thinks of us, but I believe it can and will change. Baby steps.

Watch the full premiere episode of "Transform Me" below: