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6 comments | Friday, May 27, 2011

D.C. comedian and activist Sampson McCormick is continuing to use his platform to confront homophobia and dispel myths regarding gay and lesbian people in the African-American community. You may remember the touching mother's day video McCormick recorded with his mother that was featured on loldarian.com earlier this month. In his latest video, McCormick interviews Reggie and Dorine Jackson, a married pastoral team who shares a very different opinion regarding homosexuality.

"It's beginning to spread and people are beginning to accept it," says Reggie Jackson when asked for his opinion about homosexuality in the black church.

The Jacksons (not to be confused with superstar family) don't stray from the conflicting conservative idea of "love the sinner but hate the sin", but they even take it a step further and expound on their belief that the cause of homosexuality is due to "gay demons." Now this is when I had to turn the video off and return later to finish. Kudos to McCormick for being able to continue the interview and to all involved for handling such a divisive topic from a mature and calm place.

Money quote from McCormick: "Some black people are so spiritual until they're just no earthly good."

Get into the interview below. Thoughts?

h/t SGL Weekly

1 comments | Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Out Music Awards were held in New York City last night celebrating the best in music by openly gay artists. The city and my twitter feed were all a buzz after the performance by friend to loldarian.com B. Slade (formerly Tonex'). Slade performed "Mighty Real", a high energy tribute to the late disco diva Sylvester and brought the house down!

B. Slade's newest album "Diesel" will be released on June 19 and New York City fans were treated to a special listening party and performance at Billie's Black in Harlem over the weekend. Loldarian.com was in attendance and brings you a clip from this standing room only appearance. His last name is appropriate because he SLAYS every time he steps on stage!

Get into the magic and the madness that is B. Slade below!


A very important story was overlooked by much of the blogosphere and the mainstream media last week during the very high profile coming out of CNN anchor Don Lemon. Janet Mock, a web editor and writer for People.com revealed to colleagues and the world last week that she is transgender. A native Hawaiian, born to an African-American father and a Hawaiian mother as a little boy named Charles, Mock revealed her story in a moving piece in Marie Claire Magazine and recounts her difficulty as a transgender teen.

From Marie Claire

By the end of my freshman year in high school, I was regularly wearing women's clothes to school. But the fallout was swift and merciless. Fag! I can see your balls! The insults reverberated off the lockers and echoed down the school hallways. Though I was never physically threatened and never feared for my safety, the harassment was relentless. Not a moment went by that wasn't accompanied by a taunt, a slur, a cruel reminder that my classmates could not, would not, see me as I saw myself. "You're making people uncomfortable," one vice principal said while he looked me over with disdain. Soon he gave me an ultimatum: Wear a skirt to school again and get sent home for the day. But it was too late to turn back. I liked how I looked as a young woman, even though it meant exposing myself to ridicule. After that, I held my head high as I strode through the hallways in my miniskirts, past the haters who called me a freak, past the teachers who looked on disapprovingly, and past the vice principal who routinely sent me home.

I highly recommend that you click on the Marie Claire link and read Mock's story in it's entirety.She has come a long way since those painful days in high school. Mock has also recorded a video for the It Gets Better Project, you can watch it below.


The boys of the hit YouTube web series Drama Queenz are on their way back! Check out this hilarious promo for season 3 as characters Jeremiah, Preston, and Davis travel back to 1991 to recreate one of the most memorable TV moments from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Actress Janet Hubert-Whitten would be proud. Hold on, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!

4 comments | Friday, May 20, 2011

Blogger and friend to loldarian.com Son of Baldwin responds to the highly publicized coming out of CNN anchor Don Lemon and the bitter criticism of Lemon's coming out by activist Cleo Manago. I believe this is worth discussing.

From Son of Baldwin:

I have no evidence of this other than my own experiences, but I tend to believe that black gay men who either criticize or express apathy (or antipathy) toward other gay black men who "come out" are doing so out of one of two things: fear or shame. Or, perhaps, both.

I believe that the black men who aren't out to friends or family feel a kind of pressure to do so when other black gay men come out; they feel implicated and called out by the action of the black gay man who announces himself. In order to resist that force, they try to delegitimize the coming out experience by recasting it as something unnecessary or undesirable; as a sign of weakness or selfishness; as something reserved only for white gay men. They play up the benefits of a heterosexual facade and ridicule those who either cannot or will not maintain the facade.

By viewing "coming out" in this light, those who don't want to come out can feel undisturbed by their decision while simultaneously pretending that their position is the courageous one. But, in fact, it takes no courage at all to pretend to be straight or to completely hide your true sexuality for fear of judgment or violence; it may be convenient, but it isn't brave. It's easy to point at the fellow who comes out, who refuses to abide by fear or the shame inflicted upon him by others, and say, "So? What do you want, a medal?" (Or, in some cases, "Why does he have to draw attention to himself??" by which they mean, "Why does he have to draw attention to me??")

I don't think black gay men who come out want a medal. I think they want to be loved, accepted, and respected for who they are in the same way their heterosexual brothers who announce they're getting married to the woman of their dreams are. The opposition says, of course, that "Sex is a private matter!"

Someone should tell that to all the heterosexual couples who have had incredibly public weddings for the last 2000 years. Because isn't that what a wedding is, at its core: a public announcement of one's romantic and sexual commitments? Why then should only some members of society be entitled to that privilege?

0 comments | Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Joy Behar had the privilege of scoring the second primetime interview with newly out CNN anchor Don Lemon last night on HLN. Lemon revealed his reasons for coming out, the reaction from co-workers and fans and why it's incredibly difficult to come out in the black community. Not surprisingly, the conversation turned towards the down-low, thankfully Lemon handled the topic perfectly.

In related news, author and activist Herndon Davis reports on the "virtual blackout" regarding Lemon's coming out story in the black press and offers up this question as food for thought:

"If Black America could embrace, accept and defend a convicted dog fighter, a suspected murderer and suspected pedophiles in the name of Michael Vick, OJ Simpson, Michael Jackson and R. Kelly then why could it not further embrace, accept and defend an educated, articulate, highly visible and very successful cable news anchor in the name of Don Lemon? So far black community praise for Don Lemon's coming out has been lukewarm to tepid to say the least. Although lauded within black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) circles, his monumental step has barely registered a peep on black mainstream media radars."

Watch Don Lemon on The Joy Behar Show in the clip below:

In anticipation of Finding Me:Truth, the sequel to the highly successful indie film Finding Me, comes music from the motion picture soundtrack. Openly gay artists and loldarian.com favorites Nhojj and Marck Angel appear on the soundtrack along with many other gifted musical artists.

Fans of the Finding Me franchise will be happy to know the sequel will be distributed by TLA Releasing and screened in select theaters across the country.

Preview and download the entire soundtrack here. You can also check out the newly released trailer below. Finding Me: Truth DVD's will be available from TLA Releasing in September.

10 comments | Monday, May 16, 2011

It was a blind item that ran on countless gossip blogs last week, but now CNN Anchor Don Lemon is putting all of the rumors to rest by coming out as gay in his new memoir Transparent in stores on June 16. Lemon will become one of three openly gay anchors on network news along with MSNBC's Rachel Maddow and Thomas Roberts. Lemon shared his very personal decision to disclose his sexuality and why it took him so long during an interview with The New York Times.

The New York Times reports:

Mr. Lemon has not made a secret of his sexual orientation in his work life; many of his CNN co-workers and managers have long been aware that he is gay. But he still acknowledged that going public in his book carries certain risks.

“I’m scared,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’m talking about something that people might shun me for, ostracize me for.”

Even beyond whatever effect his revelation might have on his television career, Mr. Lemon said he recognized this step carried special risk for him as a black man.

“It’s quite different for an African-American male,” he said. “It’s about the worst thing you can be in black culture. You’re taught you have to be a man; you have to be masculine. In the black community they think you can pray the gay away.” He said he believed the negative reaction to male homosexuality had to do with the history of discrimination that still affects many black Americans, as well as the attitudes of some black women.

“You’re afraid that black women will say the same things they do about how black men should be dating black women.” He added, “I guess this makes me a double minority now.”

In a press release Lemon reveals his struggle to tell one of the most important black women in his life about his sexuality-his mother.

"There was a time when I was terrified of revealing these things to the person I love most in this world - my own mother. But when I finally mustered the courage to tell her that I had been molested as a child and that I was born gay, my life began to change in positive ways that I never imagined possible. Yet I still chose to keep those secrets hidden from the world. I, like most gay people, lived a life of fear. Fear that if some employers, co-workers, friends, neighbors and family members learned of my sexuality, I would be shunned, mocked and ostracized. It is a burden that millions of people carry with them every single day.

And sadly, while the mockery and ostracizing are realized by millions of people every day, I truly believe it doesn’t have to happen and that’s why I feel compelled to share what I’ve written in Transparent.

As a journalist I believe that part of my mission is to shed light onto dark places. So, the disclosure of this information does not inhibit in any way my ability to be the professional, fair and objective journalist I have always been."

Lemon has already begun to receive enormous support from fans and members of the gay community. Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend made it very clear about her support of Lemon and the support she expects him to receive from the gay community.

"Let me be one to say it loud and clear - we have your back, Don. Coming out is a life-changing event, be it to yourself, those close to your or to the public at large. You'll never know how many young black gay or lesbian people you are giving the strength to do the same. It's one step at a time, and all need to bolster themselves for the possible consequences -- good and bad. But no one ever regrets coming out in the end.

As a gay black man, Don Lemon's coming out is particularly powerful -- it will generate conversations that have only recently been broached about the double minority status of being gay and a person of color."

Lemon is dedicating Transparent to former Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi. Clementi took his own life last year by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after his sexual encounter with another male student was streamed on the internet.

"I do have to say that the more people who come out, the better it is for everyone, certainly for the Tyler Clementis of the world", says Lemon.

“I think if I had seen more people like me who are out and proud, it wouldn’t have taken me 45 years to say it,” Mr. Lemon said, “to walk in the truth.”

Bravo Don! Bravo!

1 comments | Wednesday, May 11, 2011

This is great to see. Carolina Panthers linebacker Nic Harris becomes the latest of only a handful of professional football players to come out in support of marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. Harris has lent his face and celebrity to Adam Bouska's NOH8 Campaign, a silent protest against the passage of Proposition 8, the amendment that banned recognition of gay marriage in California.

"Mr. Harris is one of at least three American professional football players in recent years to openly express his support for marriage equality, following Baltimore Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo and Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita", according to Gay Persons of Color.

"Only three NFLers in the league's 89 year history have publicly acknowledged their gayness, and this occurred after their professional football careers had ended. They are David Kopay, Roy Simmons, and Esera Tuaolo."

Kudos to Harris for being a straight black ally who is unafraid to stand up for equality for all regardless of sexual orientation.

3 comments | Monday, May 09, 2011

Openly gay filmmaker David Barclay Moore has a new work in progress dealing with the intersection of sex and race. The 1:26 trailer is an eye full and reenforced what I already knew about myself sexually...LOL! I can't even pretend that I've even heard of some of the stuff the guy in the video is talking about. I can't wait until this project is complete. Get into the trailer below (NSFW).

h/t Bernie


Veteran Broadway performer and activist Cornelius Jones stars in a new PSA for hivtestnow.org currently airing on LOGO. Jones starred as Simba in Disney's The Lion King on Broadway and speaks on one of his most challenging roles to date: living with HIV.

"As an actor I'm constantly pushing myself...playing new parts and embodying different characters. In life I take on many roles as well; artist, mentor, and humanitarian. But perhaps the most challenging role yet is being HIV positive. But because I know my status I remain disciplined. I stay fit, I stay strong, and I stay balanced. I try to live life fully and openly. Get tested and know your status."

Love the message and the messenger. You may recall reading about Jones on loldarian.com back in 2009 during the debut of his one-man show Flag Boy, a theatrical event chronicling his experiences as a black gay man.

Watch Cornelius Jones in the PSA below:


Pop singer Jason Derulo strips down for the June issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine to raise awareness for testicular cancer. TheKara DioGuardi protege' also tweeted in advance of the photo's release that this one was "for the ladies." The tweet conveniently disappeared from Derulo's timeline and was replaced by the one below.

Yeah, I'm sure that shot was taken with the ladies in mind. Derulo is a graduate of The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City where I also attended. We both majored in musical theater.

Derulo has a new album on the way titled Don't Wanna Go Home. I'm sure a little nude shot never hurts album promo. What do you think about Derulo's assets?


Sexy R&B singer Marck Angel returns with his latest single and video for"Deep", a track featured in the sequel of the hit indie film Finding Me: Truth. The New York based openly gay artist heats up the small screen with some help from openly gay rapper and Truth co-star Bry'nt.

The casting is impeccable as the two have amazing chemistry onscreen. Angel's musical influences are evident throughout his work as he channels the vocal stylings of Ralph Tresvant and El Debarge with his signature soft countertenor. A beautiful beach serves as the romantic backdrop for Deep and Angel delivers with effective and clean choreography.

Watch Marck Angel and Bry'nt in Deep below. Learn more about Marck Angel here.

0 comments | Tuesday, May 03, 2011

It's that time again. If you missed the debut of choreographer Daryl Foster's all-male dance production LIFT last year then you don't want to make the same mistake in 2011.

LIFT is a bold concept that brings men to the forefront of dance for an intimate look into the private, and not-so-private lives of the men we all know. This year’s show brings the work of nine diverse male choreographers to the stage; presenting dance styles ranging from contemporary to hip hop.

After its successful 2010 sold-out debut, LIFT returns to the Woodruff Arts Center and unveils a 2-day run May 6 & 7, 2011.

“LIFT is a project whose time has come," Atlanta choreographer and LIFT founder Daryl Foster tells loldarian.com. “The South has a history of cultivating great artists only to lose them to larger cities like New York or L.A; now Atlanta welcomes its turn." You may recall our interview with Foster prior to the debut of LIFT last year. You can watch it here.

Joining Foster in LIFT again this year is Juel Lane, an Atlanta native and creator of the memorable same-sex duet in last year's show featured on loldarian.com.

This year’s showings are May 6 at 8 p.m., May 7 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. For more information on LIFT at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta May 6 & 7, 2011 and its upcoming projects, please visit www.liftdance.org.

Watch the men of LIFT in a SICKENING promo video below. Beware of the eye candy.

Lift Dance 2011 promo from T. Lynne Pixley on Vimeo.

The Center for Disease Control and Living Out Loud with Darian have teamed up to make sure black gay men are being proactive about our sexual health. You may have noticed the banner on the right side of the blog questioning your HIV status. If you don't know your status simply click on the banner to find a testing site in your area.

Did you know:

• More than 1 million people in the United States are living with HIV.

• Of those 1 million people living with HIV, 1 out of 5 do not know they are infected. (People who have HIV but don't know it can unknowingly pass the virus to their partners).

• It is important for everyone to get the facts, talk about HIV/AIDS with partners and loved ones, reduce risk behaviors, and get tested to learn their HIV status.

• Put yourself to the test. CDC recommends that gay and bisexual men be tested for HIV at least annually. Men with multiple partners or anonymous partners, and men who have sex while using drugs or whose partner engages in these activities, should be tested more frequently (every 3-6 months).

• Check and recheck. Knowing and rechecking your HIV status is a critical step toward stopping HIV transmission, because if you know you are infected, you can take steps to protect your partners. Also, if you are infected, the sooner you find out, the sooner you can receive life-extending treatment.

Speaking of treatment. Did you know the guidelines for starting anti-retroviral therapy has changed?

When the CD4 cell count—the number of T-cells in a cubic millimeter or milliliter of blood—drops below 200, the immune system is considered to be "compromised" and you are at a higher risk of experiencing an AIDS-related opportunistic infection, like Pneumocystis pneumonia. In fact, immune system damage can occur at even higher CD4 cell levels. In turn, experts suggest that HIV treatment be started well before the CD4 count drops below 200; it is generally recommended that antiretroviral therapy be started once the CD4 count falls below 500. Some experts even recommend starting treatment when the CD4 count is above 500; basically, as soon as possible after HIV diagnosed. (Source)

I urge all loldarian.com readers to get tested for HIV. If you're negative continue to take steps to protect yourself. If you're positive take the steps to get the necessary medical care you need to survive. As cliche' as it may sound- an HIV/AIDS diagnosis is challenging but is no longer the death sentence it used to be. Standing still and not taking a proactive approach to your health is not an option. Choose life.

• Call 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit www.hivtest.org to find HIV testing locations near you.