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0 comments | Friday, February 25, 2011

A few shots from Adam Bouska's NOH8 Campaign Atlanta photo shoot that took place last month during the MLK holiday weekend.

Atlanta activist, independent recording artist, and openly gay dad Anthony Antoine and his daughter Vogue. I love this shot because the relationship Anthony has with his daughter defies every single stereotype people like politician Mike Huckabee would have you to believe about gay parents and their children. Their family is no experiment.

Antoine and Vogue spoke to CNN last June about their relationship. Watch here.

The incredible Paris Eley of The Vision Church of Atlanta. Hands down one of the most prolific and affirming ministers I've ever witnessed. If you've never heard him speak then you should definitely watch this clip.


My good friend and creator of 3LWTV Mr. Lonnell Williams. Stand in your light! He's on the pulse of everything in the Black LGBT community. Get into his YouTube Channel for the best interviews for us and about us.

One word. Donato. Atlanta HIV/AIDS activist and prevention specialist for over ten years. I bet you wanna play tennis now, don't you? Lol!


Now this is something you don't see everyday. Apparently, Wells Fargo Bank is aware that there's black gay couples in the world and have actually included us in their marketing.

Son of Baldwin tips us to this great ad that reads:"With you when two accounts become one."

Love it!

Son of Baldwin makes this observation that even the so-called gay media consistently overlooks: "There's actually a corporation out there that acknowlegdes that two black men can be in a romantic, loving, intimate, nurturing and committed relationship with one another? "

Yes. And this isn't Wells Fargo's first time acknowledging black gay couples as they did so in 2005. Thanks for being inclusive Wells Fargo.


Former Arkansas Governor and potential 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mike Huckabee sat down with CNN's John King last night to publicly address his disdain for gays in virtually every area in society. If this "good ole boy" gets his way Don't Ask Don't Tell would be repealed, Defense of Marriage Act upheld, same-sex adoptions banned in all 50 states, and all gay and lesbian people quarantined. This man is dangerous and he cloaks his bigotry in religion. Sick.

"The job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us. The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual community. There is another small percentage who will never understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not openly manifest that hate. That's our job today: to control the extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment." Bayard Rustin; From Montgomery to Stonewall (1986)

Watch Huckabee "love the sinner and hate the sin" in the clip below:


Here's your first look at an extended trailer for the upcoming ballroom film Leave It On The Floor. Loldarian.com first reported on the film in January and it seems to be creating quite a buzz online.

Leave It On The Floor is choreographed by Frank Gaston with original music by Kim Burse. If those names sound familiar it's because those two hard-working individuals are the creative masterminds behind the success of superstar Beyonce Knowles.

Leave It On The Floor is set to be released in theaters in July. Get into the trailer below:

1 comments | Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Now this is rich. Watch anti-gay hate leader and president of the National Organization for Marriage Maggie Gallagher as she calls in to Fox News to wine about the Obama Administrations decision not to defend DOMA in court.

"This is an end-run really around our normal constitutional processes. And we’re going to be seeing a lot more of this by President Obama now that he faces a Republican-dominated Congress. Not only is he refusing to defend the law, but he has unilaterally declared that gay is like black... that orientation is subject to strict scrutiny."

Oh no she didn't! This was a not- so subliminal call to rally the troops, especially those social conservatives in the Black community who abhor anyone who intelligently points out the similarities between the civil rights and gay rights movements. Cue bigot Bishop Harry Jackson.

The gloves are coming off people.

Listen to Gallagher and Fox News anchor Megan Fox lose their minds in the clip below:


Loldarian.com received this important and breaking news on the Defense of Marriage Act moments ago via e-mail from the White House Media Affairs Office.

From Attorney General Eric Holder:

In the two years since this Administration took office, the Department of Justice has defended Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act on several occasions in federal court. Each of those cases evaluating Section 3 was considered in jurisdictions in which binding circuit court precedents hold that laws singling out people based on sexual orientation, as DOMA does, are constitutional if there is a rational basis for their enactment. While the President opposes DOMA and believes it should be repealed, the Department has defended it in court because we were able to advance reasonable arguments under that rational basis standard.

Section 3 of DOMA has now been challenged in the Second Circuit, however, which has no established or binding standard for how laws concerning sexual orientation should be treated. In these cases, the Administration faces for the first time the question of whether laws regarding sexual orientation are subject to the more permissive standard of review or whether a more rigorous standard, under which laws targeting minority groups with a history of discrimination are viewed with suspicion by the courts, should apply.

After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.

Consequently, the Department will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples in the two cases filed in the Second Circuit. We will, however, remain parties to the cases and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation. I have informed Members of Congress of this decision, so Members who wish to defend the statute may pursue that option. The Department will also work closely with the courts to ensure that Congress has a full and fair opportunity to participate in pending litigation.

2 comments | Monday, February 21, 2011

Atlanta's gay news weekly The Georgia Voice examines faith and religion in the LGBT community in it's latest issue, more specifically the infamous "clobber passages" used by the church to persecute LGBT people. How many times have you been told your sexual orientation is an abomination because God said so? But is that really what God said and does an abomination mean the same thing in modern culture as it did over two thousand years ago?

Sadly, many of us accept what we hear from the pulpit as fact and never pursue independent study of the scriptures, therefore we allow ourselves to be spiritually abused and separated from God because of man's interpretation. This is a serious problem in the African-American community and one that continually keeps us as LGBT people of color in bondage.

Below are a few highlights from The Georgia Voice's article on countering anti-gay religious arguments via What The Bible Does and Doesn't Say About Homosexuality, a Soulforce publication by Rev. Dr. Mel White.


If they say...

The Bible condemns homosexuality.

You can say... Jesus says nothing about same-sex behavior. The Jewish prophets are silent about homosexuality. Only six or seven of the Bible’s one million verses refer to same-sex behavior in any way — and none of these verses refer to homosexual orientation as it’s understood today.


If they say...

The Bible says God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.

You can say... This creation story is primarily about God, a story written to show the power of God who created the world. Because the text says it is “natural” that a man and a woman come together to create a new life, some people think this means gay or lesbian couples are “unnatural.” They read this interpretation into the text, even though the text is silent about all kinds of relationships that don’t lead to having children, like heterosexuals who are infertile or too old to have children. Are these relationships “unnatural”?


If they say...

God destroyed Sodom due to homosexuality. Genesis 19: Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. 5 And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.”(New King James Version)

You can say… Jesus and five Old Testament prophets all speak of the sins that led to the destruction of Sodom — and not one of them mentions homosexuality.

Listen to what Ezekiel 16:48-49 tell us: “This is the sin of Sodom; she and her suburbs had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not help or encourage the poor and needy.”

It was common for soldiers, thieves, and bullies to rape a fallen enemy, asserting their victory by dehumanizing and demeaning the vanquished. This act of raping an enemy is about power and revenge, not about homosexuality or homosexual orientation.


If they say...

Leviticus 18:6 reads: “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female. It is an abomination.” A similar verse occurs two chapters later, in Leviticus 20:13: “A man who sleeps with another man is an abomination and should be executed.”

You can say... Leviticus is a holiness code written 3,000 years ago. This code includes many of other outdated sexual laws (like stoning adulterers and brides who are not virgins, and executing a married couple for having sex during the woman’s period), and a lot more. It also includes prohibitions against round haircuts, tattoos, working on the Sabbath, wearing garments of mixed fabrics, eating pork or shellfish, getting your fortune told, and even playing with the skin of a pig. (There goes football!)

So what’s a holiness code? It’s a list of behaviors that people of faith find offensive in a certain place and time. In this case, the code was written for priests only, and its primary intent was to set the priests of Israel over and against priests of other cultures.

What about this word abomination that comes up in both passages? In Hebrew, “abominations” (TO’EBAH) are behaviors that people in a certain time and place consider tasteless or offensive. To the Jews an abomination was not a law, not something evil like rape or murder forbidden by the Ten Commandments.
Jesus and Paul both said the holiness code in Leviticus does not pertain to Christian believers.

Download a free PDF of What The Bible Does Say and Doesn't Say About Homosexuality here.

| Thursday, February 17, 2011

I first learned that I had the power to become, to define myself beyond the circumstance of my birth through the cultural pride my parents instilled in me and my brother. Our home was enriched with artifacts of black genius. There were books and albums of art titans such as Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, the Temptations, Coltrane and Labelle. There was the framed Free Angela Davis portrait posted so high the crown of her afro almost brushed our living room ceiling. Through the acknowledgement of record, this little black boy was shown his past and thus felt assured a place in the world. “When I speak of home, I mean not only the familial constellation from which I grew, but the entire Black community: the Black press, the Black church, Black academicians, the Black literati, and the Black left.”

But as the gnawing consciousness of my queerness grew so did a sense of dislocation from family and community, all that I considered home—a loss of place. I found little affirmation within and outside of this home for the self that time was quickly uncovering. “Where is my reflection?” For black sissies coming of age in the late 70’s, Baldwin was the sole homosexual male figure we could look to who had won admission within the guarded gates of respectable black culture. Just at the edge of those gates, embraced by fellow outsiders, Sylvester, the femme disco diva, helped broker a wider acceptance of gender fluidity that defined the emerging decade. But beyond Baldwin and Sylvester, there was little evidence in black or queer media that black gay men existed.

By the middle of the decade, a new generation of black gay men’s voices began arising in concert. We were writing, publishing work and building organizations that articulated our realities and placed footholds on cultural and political landscapes across the country. Joseph Beam editor of “In the Life: A Black Gay Anthology”, the 1986 pivotal black gay men’s collection stood squarely at the forefront of this nascent movement. The book which featured the work of 29 authors was the first compilation of openly gay black men’s writings. As such In the Life helped break stony ground for successive generations of black queer writers to publish work and build an indispensible canon that continues to deconstruct concepts of identity, love, gender, race, class, sexuality, family, class and the dynamics of power and privilege. None other than the fabulous Sylvester gave the compelling forward—“At times I cried just remembering how it is to be both black and gay during these truly difficult times. But here we are still proud and living, with a culture all our own.”

“I am most often rendered invisible, perceived as a threat to the family, or am tolerated if I am silent or inconspicuous.” With “In The Life”, Beam presented his daunting lot within heterosexist black society as a fundamental condition, a systemic marginalization endured by most black gay men. He called out the parallel exclusions from queer culture, listing the absences of black men from the books and magazines that occupied the shelves of Giovanni’s Room, where he worked. Like his close friend and colleague Essex Hemphill, Beam was emboldened by the work of lesbian feminists of color such as June Jordan, Barbara Smith and Cherrie Moraga. He knew that black gay men like their black lesbian sisters before them would have to chart their own path toward self determination and visibility, to discover their own power. “Visibility” he wrote, “is survival.” Beam pointed out that while the presence and participation of black gay men in all relationships and systems that make up black society is undeniable, in 1984 we were still largely unacknowledged and coerced into silence which perpetuated our erasure.

“The legacy we leave.” In order to nurture indeed to save black gay men’s lives, Beam knew that we had make our truths indelible by writing them in their fullness so that they may be shared and passed on. He likened the anthology to the very organization Hemphill wishes to start “to save my life” in Hemphill’s signature piece “For My Own Protection”. For Beam creating In The Life was much more than an expression of artistic vision or a showcase for black gay writers. In the face of racism, homophobia, violence, depression, isolation, dehumanization and of course AIDS, In The Life was an act of survival, a gift of love to feed those who had long hungered for their own self definition.

I can only wonder exactly what Sylvester meant in the “In The Life” forward when he mentioned living black and gay during those “truly difficult times.” I can recall with certainty and the added clarity of hard earned wisdom how hard those times were for me. It was in 1985 that at 25, I had developed symptoms of HIV infection, then a hopeless diagnosis. At that time, I was writing and performing poetry on my own and as part of an ensemble Us’s in the coffeehouses of the Village, midtown, and Fort Greene, Brooklyn. I discovered in the face of my threatened extinction that I am a writer and that writing more than any act might enable me to survive and leave something of use behind. By 1986, I had heard about Beam too late to respond to his call for manuscripts. That summer I had planned a trip to Philadelphia to see my friend Cynthia who was also a friend of his. She promised to introduce us and he and I even spoke over the phone. I remember his warmth and our mutual eagerness to meet in person. I had to cancel my trip for some forgotten reason. I was more than consoled by the autographed copy of this newly published work he mailed me. “For Craig (via Cynthia)” it reads. “The legacy we leave are the deeds we do. Joseph Beam 13 September 1987”.

I recall the skin prickling revelation as I turned from page to page that I was holding a precious piece of history in my hand. I was reading the works of living black gay men who were my contemporaries. “We are Black men who are proudly gay.” I had first seen Essex Hemphill at a reading featuring Audre Lorde and was immediately taken in. There was Assoto Saint, a mystical, witty character whom I met at a Blackheart Collective meeting, Craig G. Harris and Donald Woods, both New Yorkers whose local work I had admired. I knew that miraculous as it was, this was a beginning and that it offered me possibilities. By then Assoto and Donald had become active performers with Other Countries, a black gay mens collective that continued the tradition Beam largely made possible. How poetically sad and strange it is that Joseph Beam never lived to see much of what would unfold through the doors his efforts opened. On December 27, 1988, Beam died from AID related complications, less than a week following his legendary brother Sylvester.

The life that I lead now is an inherited privilege and my work a sacred commitment handed down from Joseph, Sylvester, Essex and all those wonder weaving brothers and sisters. I often hear Joseph’s voice in my own writing. His legacy is manifest through the work of G.Winston James, Marvin K. White, Adodi Muse and other artists he inspired. Upon the occasion of Black History Month 2011, let us commit to learn more and regard the legacy left by Joseph Fairchild Beam. Like many of my brothers his name continues to go unmentioned in recent documentaries and anthologies that recount black and lgbt liberation movements. Too few Black queer folk have a clue who he was and what he did for us. I recognize as a 50-something survivor of that generation I am here to tell the stories and name the names. What may the deeds Joseph accomplished over 20 years ago implore us to embark now? How might we as Joseph act to make sure that we all especially the young know our black gay heritage? Every day, I carry in my heart, I move and move others through Joseph’s resounding declaration. “The bottom line is this: We are Black men who are proudly gay. What we offer is our lives, our love, our visions. We are risin’ to the love we all need. We are coming home with our heads held up high.”

Craig Washington is an Atlanta resident and respected writer and community activist. Learn more about his life and work via his website here.


Photos: WhatsTheT.com

Who could forget the "former homosexual" and mother of the house of Cavalli turned pastor that took the internet by storm a few weeks ago.

LGBT internet radio hosts Sir Daniel and Drama Dupree managed to nab an in-depth interview with Pastor Ja'von Crockett on their newly re-vamped show on Beehive FM Radio. Crockett's interview with a local Atlanta Christian television show went viral after he proclaimed to be "free from the homosexual lifestyle."

During his interview on Better Days Radio Crockett comes off as a spokesperson for the anti-gay religious right, asserting that "the lifestyle" is filled with drugs, partying till dawn, and promiscuous sex. Crockett says his fear of dying from AIDS was one of the main motivating factors to change his sexual orientation. Yeah, because we all know heterosexuals aren't infected with HIV. Thankfully Sir Daniel doesn't let Crockett get away with spreading misinformation and challenges him directly.

Crockett's interview begins at the 1:10:39 mark in the clip below:

4 comments | Tuesday, February 15, 2011

An extended trailer for the forthcoming black gay reality series "Tha Life Atlanta" has been released and it's quite interesting. You may recall reading about Tha Life Atlanta on loldarian.com earlier this year after the cast made their first public appearance.

If the YouTube comments are any indication of how this show will be received by mainstream America then black gay men everywhere better get prepared for some fierce dialogue. I'll be watching with one eye closed. The network hosting the series has yet to be announced.

Watch the trailer HERE.

0 comments | Monday, February 14, 2011

If you live in Miami or any city in Southern Florida then be on the lookout for a new magazine focused specifically on SGL men of Color. MPOWER Magazine is an extension of Miami Men's MPOWERMENT Project, a unique organization created to inform, educate, and promote healthier lifestyles among young men who engage or may engage in risky sexual behaviors that make them susceptible to contracting STD's and HIV.

Yours truly is a staff writer for the magazine and I've contributed three articles in the current issue. I've posted a few scans and excerpts from the articles below since the magazine isn't online yet.

Diamond Taylor: Agent of Change: 25 year-old STD Prevention Researcher

An openly gay man, Taylor himself has felt the sting of judgement and rejection, placing him in a unique position to offer
compassion to those individuals' society has rendered unworthy.

At 21 he was kicked out of his family home after he revealed his sexual orientation to his conservative Bahamian family. "I was actually homeless for two months and I lived out of my car. It took a lot of time and a lot of tears {for his parents} to accept me for who I am and to realize that being gay is definitely not a choice," he says.

What got him through those difficult emotional days he says was "a lot of prayer and a lot of hope and belief that God would pull me through."

Life After Noah's Arc:

Our fascination with the groundbreaking black gay television series Noah's Arc didn't end after the abrupt cancellation of the hit show during it's second season nor after fans were extended invitations to witness Noah and Wade jump the broom during the 2008 theatrical release, for some their love and admiration of the men who brought our favorite characters to life only intensified. With DVD's of the original series becoming a staple in black same-gender loving households on par with Ebony and JET Magazines, and frequent reruns on LOGO, it came as no surprise that fans were curious to find out the "da-ga-ga" on the men behind the one name characters we fell in love with.

PrEp: A New Era in HIV Prevention?

PrEp is the latest strategy being used to prevent new HIV infections by the use of anti-retroviral drugs Viread and Truvada in negative individuals prior to sexual contact and possible exposure.

According to the Center for Disease Control the Botswana, Thailand, and Uganda trials are all assessing the effects of taking a daily pill on HIV risk behaviors, adherence to and acceptability of the regimen, and in cases where participants become HIV-infected, the resistance characteristics of the acquired virus.

More info at cdc.gov

1 comments | Sunday, February 13, 2011

"I'm not pulling any punches anymore. I'm Black, gay, and I love the Lord...and you can't take that away from me! You don't have to associate with me, but you can't take my God or my rights away because you don't agree with me". -Billy Porter, CLIK Magazine 2006

Loldarian.com favorite and phenomenal Broadway actor Billy Porter speaks on ending religious-based bigotry towards gay youth and adults in a special interview with The Advocate.

Porter, who is openly gay and Christian with strong ties to the Black church speaks from experience regarding the detrimental effects of religious bigotry on LGBT people.

"One of the problems that I see with religion as it relates to gay youth and gay in general is that...the bible is used as a tool and a weapon to promote bigotry and to promote hatred. It's a problem because our world is built on the foundation of religious beliefs, and when we sanction bigotry and hatred through religion, we say to the world that it's okay...and it just isn't", says Porter.

"There's a history of violence that comes as an outgrowth of the bible. When people who fear something that they don't understand can base their fear on religion it gives them license to lash out. I have been so affected by anti-gay religious discrimination because I longed for a very long time to just be accepted", he adds.

Porter appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005 on an episode titled 'When I Knew I Was Gay', he explained he had to come out to his mother three times.

"I come from a very religious background," he explains. "My mother is a Pentecostal preacher, and she just didn't want to hear it." After two failed attempts, Porter decided to bring home a man he was in love with. "It's not about you," he told his mom the third time. "It's about me. I have to live this."

Billy Porter can currently be seen in the hit Off-Broadway revival of Tony Kushner's Angels In America. Watch his interview with The Advocate below:

5 comments | Friday, February 11, 2011

February is the designated month during the year when we take time out to celebrate the contributions of great African-Americans, but the history of Black same-gender loving people and our contributions are largely ignored, not to mention our relationships. Our friends at No More Down Low TV have reminded us of an amazing photo collection we discovered online a while ago from historian Trent Kelly that captures same gender affection among Black men dating as far back as the 19th century.

No More Down Low TV interviewed Kelly via Skype from his home in Houston regarding his brilliant collection.

"I want the world to see the photographs. I want the black gay community to see the photographs and men in particular so they know they have a history to be proud of," says Kelly

Kelly has uploaded dozens of beautiful images of what appears to be Black same-gender loving couples in various states of embrace or implied closeness on his Flickr page and has appropriately named the collection "Hidden In The Open", most likely referring to the discretion the men had to utilize during a more conservative era.

While viewers of the photographs may or may not see two black men in love, Kelly reveals the inscriptions on the back of a photo of two sailors to be a little more descriptive.

"On the back of that particular photo he introduces the person sitting next to him as his "special friend", so it's pretty obvious the relationship between the two."

Simply incredible.

Watch No More Down Low TV's latest episode featuring the photo collection of Trent Kelly below:


There's no escaping the "born this way" mantra today. I've always believed this to be the case regarding sexual orientation but quite a few talented people are stepping up musically to send the message to the masses.

Lady Gaga's new single may be the talk of the industry today, but Valentino, Carl Bean, and even legendary musical couple Ashford and Simpson did it before her.

Theater performer and friend Timothy Ware tips loldarian.com to La Cage' Aux Folles star Terry Lavell's version of "Born This Way" penned by Ashford and Simpson.

The fierce Lavell delivers a soulful performance of the liberating song in his signature upper register while defying the rigid expectations of male gender conformity.

He sings- "I used to sneak and wear momma's high heels...I remember to this day how they made me feel. They said my voice was too high...I should act like a man and don't cry...but I'm tired of hiding what I'm all about...forgive me if I wanna shout it out!"

Yes! I live!

Valerie Simpson accompanies Lavell on keyboard and can be seen in the video as well as Nick Ashford cheering on all the fierceness.

Get into Terry Lavell's "Born This Way" below:


The highly anticipated lead single "Born This Way" from Lady Gaga's forthcoming album by the same name hit the airwaves today. The dance heavy track has been proclaimed to be the new gay anthem of liberation by Gaga and her camp. So does the song live up to the months of promotional hype? The jury is still out.

One thing is for sure it will be remixed to death and the boys in WeHo and Chelsea will be dancing shirtless in the club until the sun rises.

I love Gaga and her willingness to be an advocate for LGBT equality, but I can't help but love Valentino and Carl Bean's version of "Born This Way" a little more. I feel it in my soul when Bean belts, "I'm happy, carefree, and gay I was born this way!" Sadly, the message is muffled in Gaga's current version.

Listen to Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" here via ladygaganow.com.

And just in case you've never heard Carl Bean's version you can check it out here. You may want to turn your speakers all the way up for this one.

What do you think about Gaga's new single?

| Thursday, February 10, 2011

Traveling for most of the day. Hope to resume updates later this evening.

6 comments | Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Over 80 people from Atlanta's LGBT community gathered last night at Tabernacle Baptist Church, an LGBT affirming house of worship led by Rev. Dennis Meredith to discuss the impact of stigma as it relates to HIV, homophobia, and religion in the Black LGBT community.

The panel consisted of Dr. Edith Biggers (Fulton County Health Department), Pastor Paris Ealey (The Vision Church of Atlanta), Pastor Will Horn(The Power Center) and community activist and artist Anye Elite.

Panelists reiterated the need for prevention but drove home the need to eradicate internalized homophobia and stigma that often leads to destructive behaviors.

One audience member rose to urge people within our community to "get a little nosey". "As individuals we need to start getting a little nosey. We've got to stop having these surface relationships with people," he said. "When was the last time you pulled a friend to the side and asked him if he's had an HIV test?"

Ealey seized the opportunity to highlight the need for mentorship between older and younger LGBT's and the hypocrisy of the black church and it's effect on the self-esteem of gays and lesbians.

"Very intelligent people suspend their thinking processes when they come into church. Church is the only place where there is socially sanctioned retardation," says Ealey.

"You can come in here and spend forty-years and know no more when they roll you out of here than you knew when you walked in...and we're okay with that. So the church can start by telling the truth."

Watch footage from the town hall below:


This is great. Lesbian filmmaker Ochi has launched a series of interviews with everyday LGBT people of color as a part of her GriotFilms production company on YouTube.

I Am Who I Am: Darryl offers insight into the life of this 48 years young openly gay man who has been in a loving relationship with his partner Rodney for over twenty years and are now raising a child.

"Most children who end up without parents come from straight homes. They come from abusive homes...they come rom neglect. People wanna say that gays and lesbians shouldn't be raising children...well we didn't put these children out here, especially gay men. We didn't put these children out here that need love and attention and guidance," says Darryl.

"I don't look at us as a gay couple raising a child. I look at us as two black men trying to help another black child be successful in life."

Darryl also address the different dynamics in gay vs. heterosexual relationships and the pitfalls some gay men and lesbians encounter by trying to mimic heterosexual relationships.

Loldarian.com had the pleasure of interviewing and including Darryl and his partner Rodney in my upcoming book When Love Takes Over: A Celebration of SGL Couples of Color, and the life lessons and wisdom they've acquired individually and as a couple and are now sharing with the younger generation of LGBT's is extremely valuable.

Watch I Am Who I Am: Darryl below:


Each year on February 7th we recognize National Black HIV Awareness Day. Activist, acclaimed author, and friend to lodarian.com Terry Angel Mason shares his story of living with AIDS with Black Wellness Magazine Real Health. Mason also address HIV stigma and the damaging messages he learned from the church and what he's done to escape the bondage of religion in order to live a more authentic life in harmony with God as his total self.

"I was diagnosed not with HIV but with full blown AIDS ten years ago. When I was diagnosed it was a complete shock to me because I'd tested regularly and my responses were always negative. So when I was diagnosed with full blown AIDS and with just 95 T-cells...you could imagine the shock," says Mason.

"I was diagnosed when I was literally pastoring, and my first response was to hide it. It just wasn't the kind of thing you wanted to tell somebody...you have full blown AIDS and you're a pastor. But I decided I wouldn't hide it."

In His Own Words from Real Health Magazine:

Imagine, sitting in church for years, surrounded by hundreds of people (lonely and feeling rejected) hearing sermon after sermon, hating who I was and what I was, on the brink of suicide and a nervous breakdown. I was convinced that God detested the most important part of who I was and I felt trapped in a condition not of my own doing and hell-bound.

Now, here is the good news! Something happened to me, even in the midst of all this madness, I took the preacher at his word and developed a personal relationship with God. Now this presented a huge problem because the Creator that I came to know intimately, never condemned me for being gay and to my recollection, never even made a big deal out of it. This was quite a contrast to what I was hearing over the pulpit. When I felt rejected, He bathed me in the warmth of His love! When I was tempted to give up and end my life, He convinced me that I had everything to live for and assured me that He had a marvelous plan for my life!

In 2001, when I was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS, He never abandoned me, even when others said that my affliction was most certainly the result of my rebellious lifestyle and was without question, the wrath of God in full manifestation in my life! While I must confess to making some bad decisions while in my early 20's and 30's (that exposed me to the HIV virus), there are consequences that we ALL must face as a result of bad choices. God made one thing crystal clear to me: He loves me, wanted me well and wanted me to make choices that would not put me or anyone at risk of contracting any type of disease. This is the message that I pass on to everyone each time I have the opportunity to share my story. I tell people that the fact AIDS exists is no one individual's fault, but it is our fault, if we don't act responsibly and protect ourselves and individuals with whom we are intimate.

Watch Real Health Magazine's interview with Terry Angel Mason here.

Terry Angel Mason is an ordained minister, activist, and author of Love Won't Let Me Be Silent and the forthcoming They Say That I Am Broken. Read loldarian.com's review of Love Won't Let Me Be Silent here.


You may recall reading a post recently on loldarian.com about a New York Times article on same-sex parenting in the South. Newly released data from the Census Bureau found Jacksonville, Florida to be the home of the second largest population of gay parents in the country. Many of these households are headed by minority gay and lesbian couples.

CNN examines the dynamics and challenges experienced by gay families with lesbian couple Latisha Bines and Misty Gray who are raising three children.

"Hetero or homo it doesn't matter, either way it's a great support system", says Gray to CNN.

Much of the segment focuses on the volatile relationship between gays and the church, and of course in an effort to be "fair and balanced" CNN interviews conservative Bishop Vaughn McLaughlin of Potter's House Christian Fellowship in Jacksonville.

"I believe that the couples in the church should have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ that will bring a conviction that Jesus taught and the scriptures teach that marriage is between a man and a woman," says McLaughlin.

I'm sure he meant to say between a man and his three wives if we're to follow scripture to the letter, but who's checking facts.

According to the NY Times: About a third of lesbians are parents, and a fifth of gay men are. Advocacy groups argue that their children are some of society’s most vulnerable, with fewer legal protections and less health insurance than children of heterosexual parents.

Married same-sex parents face legal hurdles. Florida does not recognize same-sex marriage, and its domestic partnership recognition, while growing, is an uneven patchwork, and still leaves many spouses uninsured.

Watch the CNN segment below:

1 comments | Monday, February 07, 2011

It was the would-be Super bowl ad that went viral. "The Sauna" featuring a ripped and sweaty Black man and a seemingly not-so-shy Caucasian admirer sent the internet into a frenzy last week with it's gay overtones.

George King, the man who became the object of affection for his Dorito's co-star and thousands of admirers who viewed the ad recently spoke exclusively to No More Down Low TV.

The Los Angeles based personal trainer responds to the negative criticism he's received from some in the LGBT community who believes the ad perpetuates the stereotype of black male hyper-sexuality. King, who has no ambition of becoming a professional actor, agreed to do the spot as a favor to a friend and has no regrets about his participation.

While he admits his phone hasn't been ringing off the hook with offers to do more commercials he has enjoyed a surge in Facebook friend requests. And oh...I'm sure his many male admirers will love the fact that King is openly gay and has been since the age of 19. How can you not love a man who is attractive, fit, and comfortable in his own skin? And he's single too boys.

Get into No More Down Low TV's exclusive interview with George King below:

Thanks Calvin!

4 comments | Friday, February 04, 2011

“We allow each other space to breathe and just as easily enjoy the time we spend together everyday. We laugh at one another on a daily basis, and try our best to check in, ask questions and listen. We respect one another and our investment in this journey we share.” –Dwayne

Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Together for fourteen years

When Dwayne Jenkins 45, and Nathan Mitchell 46, met in the spring of 1996 at a Nashville CARES volunteer meeting it was supposed to be all business. They were focused on creating a safe and affirming group for same gender loving black men in their area and weren’t the least bit interested in finding “the one”, nor did it ever occur to either of them that the one could only be a few feet away.

“Each of us were just getting out of four year relationships and the thought of immediately jumping into another one was the last thing on my mind”, says Dwayne.

It was literally a dare that set the wheels of this inevitable romance in motion, a romance that was clearly obvious to the men witnessing the connection developing between Dwayne and Nathan but somehow escaped the two people involved.

“One night after a meeting, we all got together at someone’s apartment and ended up playing truth or dare. It was my turn and the “truth” question I accepted was; “Is there anyone in the group whom you are attracted to?”
When I answered no, Nathan somewhat loudly stated to the person next to him; “Damn! He didn’t even give any of us a chance!” I tried to back track, but someone shouted, “Oh don’t try and change your answer now!” Later as we walked and talked ahead of the others to our cars, we were told everyone could tell it was a done deal.”

“Honestly, after I asked Nathan out on our first “official date” to the .99 cents Movie Theater, I suspected we were right for each other. If a man doesn’t mind you taking him to a cheap movie, and sharing the snacks you snuck into the movies, drinks and all, he’s a keeper!”

“Within the first few months we both decided to wear rings”, says Nathan.

Like many states in America Dwayne and Nathan aren’t afforded the right to marry in Tennessee despite their level of commitment.

“If we were able to get all of the same financial benefits that heterosexual couples have I would consider getting married,” says Dwayne. “As it stands now, we’ve had three styles of commitment rings, a mortgage, and various other legal documents within our fourteen year relationship so it’s safe to say that we feel more than legal.”

“Each of us respects one another and our investment in this journey that we share. Beyond it all, we are best friends who truly cares for the well being of the other. Regardless of what the future holds, our friendship is the most important ingredient that keeps us together.”

Note: This Coupled Up entry is an excerpt from my forthcoming book When Love Takes Over: A Celebration of SGL Couples of Color arriving this spring.


"He must learn to love himself. He must be proud of who he is. He must live an authentic life. And if others cannot accept him then he must accept himself and demand the respect he should have."- Jeffery Gardere

Depression is a serious issue that many of us in the Black LGBT community deal with silently. After receiving numerous e-mails from readers dealing with this issue following a previous post I wanted to continue to shed light on this topic.

New York based author Antoine Craigwell is the driving force behind the forthcoming book Peering Into The Dark: A Look At Depression in Black Gay Men and the documentary You Are Not Alone.

"As a resource, it is to assist Black gay men struggling with the many different issues, including racism, discrimination, bigotry, stigma, sexual identity, sexual abuse, ostracism, and homophobia, to name a few; to know they are not alone and that they could rise above their circumstances," says Craigwell.

It seeks to give voice to the many Black gay men who live in pain and suffer in silence, and enables many Black gay men to know they are not alone and are stronger when they reach out for help - trusting, talking with someone, even a therapist," he adds.

The trailer for You Are Not Alone has been released and you may recognize quite a few familiar faces active on the NY gay political and entertainment scene; blogger and author Taylor Siluwe', radio show host DJ Baker (Da Doo Dirty Show), and community activist Carnell Ambrose all share their experiences with depression.

Watch the trailer below:

h/t NoMoreDownLowTv


Atlanta's local LGBT news weekly The Georgia Voice examines polyamory vs monogamy in gay relationships. Georgia Voice staff writer Dyana Bagby interviewed my partner Joseph and I who are in a committed monogamous relationship. Here's an excerpt:

From The Georgia Voice:

Darian Aaron, 30, and his boyfriend, Joseph Gates, 22, have been together six months. When they decided to commit to each other, they discussed monogamy and decided they would be exclusive to each other.

“We met on Twitter,” said Aaron, who blogs at Living Out Loud with Darian. “First we flirted publicly, then we started doing it in private.”

Their first date was for ice cream at Rita’s in Midtown and the couple is set to move in together in the fall.

“We did discuss monogamy and we both decided early on that we wanted to be with each other exclusively. We both understand how open relationships work. I believe there has to be a level of trust between two parties before that can happen,” said Aaron.

Bringing in a third party too soon may sabotage their relationship, Aaron added.

“We are still building that foundation for something we want to last a lifetime,” he said.

Gates acknowledged he is the jealous type — something that has to be dealt with carefully in polyamorous relationships — and can’t imagine Aaron with someone else. He also wants to prove to the world that two black gay men can be in a loving relationship, something he says is not visible in society.

“I want to break the stereotype. Me and Darian are an example that you can find two black gay men in love and that it’s a wonderful thing,” Gates said.

Aaron, who wrote a series of “Coupled Up” stories for his blog, has now written a book about black gay men in loving relationships that is tentatively set to be released this spring.

Monogamy is definitely a challenge for any relationship, Aaron said, not only for gay men. But in Atlanta, where there are “so many beautiful men,” it can be difficult to remain faithful to one person.

“This is part of an ongoing discussion I have with my friends,” Aaron said. “I got lucky that I met someone who is on the same page.”

Atlanta also has a “notorious reputation” as a place to go for quick, meaningless sex, Aaron said.

“It’s hard to come across a couple in a committed, loving relationship. And a lot of people are jaded,” he said.

For Gates, who said he looks forward to learning more about Aaron every day, their love is strong enough to combat the outside forces that may say their monogamous relationship is not the norm, especially among gay men.

“He has shown me that it is OK to live out loud, to be gay and proud,” Gates said. “He reassures me he loves me no matter what.”

For Aaron, Gates is an example of unconditional love.

“I love so much about him. He accepts me as I am, flaws and all,” he said.


If you enjoy independent films or movies dealing with the LGBT experience as it relates to minorities then I'm sure you're probably as frustrated as I am regarding the lack of films that speak directly to our experience. Every now and then I'll come across a film or two I haven't seen before online and I'm compelled to share them with you- such is the case with One on One and Close, two films I discovered on YouTube.

One On One is a short film that follows Alex and Trevor as they work out their relationship on and off the basketball court, after one of them asks the other to join a waltz class. One On One is written and directed by gay filmmaker Luis Fernando Midence.

Close is a 2011 Sundance Official Selection and although the characters in the film are heterosexual it definitely appeals to gay audiences. One night after a casual "visit," Angela is all but ready to leave Derek's apartment. Derek, however, is determined not to let her go without a fight. The short was written and directed by Tahir Jetter.

Get into both films and let me know your thoughts.