Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
While the album's emotional honesty makes it a compelling listen, West could've done more with the tracks. Some come across as too flat and don't match West's dynamic delivery. Other tracks, such as "Say You Will" lumber on for too long and disrupt the album's flow. And does Lil' Wayne have to be on everyone's album this year. I mean did 'Ye really pay $75,000 for that verse? Also it wouldn't have hurt to have dropped at least a couple of 16's.
These complaints aside, with 808's and Heartbreak, West drops the bravado and endless boasting to deliver his most personal and revealing work.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Yes today marks 22 years of life for me. Of course I plan to do the usual things (accept gifts, go out all night with friends, see family), but I'm also reflective on this b-day(hence the title).
As I laid in bed last night, I thought about just how far I've come. Four years ago, at 18, I was not excited about college and the future, and didn't have any sort of dreams or ambitions for myself. I was lonely, sad and closeted. I had no sense of my own identity, but simply shapeshifted my personality to the desires of what friends, family, church and God (I thought) wanted for me.
Add to that some heavy daily weed usage and you have the depressed, hot mess that was me.
One day something shifted though. One night, alone and thinking about my life in my dorm room, I realized that I could not name one person in my life who I was being completely honest with, who I showed my true self to. I had built up a wall of sarcasm and secrey so thick that no could see who I was.
Since that day of realization, I embarked on a journey of intense introspection and discovery.
I met and befriended other gay folks who were comfortable with themselves and secure in their sexuality, came out to close straight friends and got into endless fights (let's call them discussions:) about why my 'choice' wasn't one and why I wasn't going to burn in hell. Knots in my stomach churned as I told my brother who merely shrugged and said "Ok." I also had my first serious relationship, discovered the torture of long distance love, and gave up the ganga ghost.
Most importantly I finally began to truly seek my own relationship with God by re-examining my faith and everything I had been raised to believe about homosexuality, and read things that challenged my ideas and ultimately caused me to think critically about what I had been taught, and realize my views are just as valid as anyone else's. Calmness and clarity began to replace feelings of anxiety and desperation, as I tore down the walls I had spent most of my adolesence building.
As I sit here typing this however, neither me or my life is perfect. When I told my mother, she reacted the way I expected her to: she felt this was something that could be prayed away, and eventually God would make the heterosexual family man I was born to be. I was prepared for her reaction, but still saddened that her beliefs couldn't allow her to see the man I truly am. And I still haven't told my father or extended family members.
There are still moments when I find myself wanting to revert to old closet behaviors, like when someone asks me who braids my hair (my current boyfriend does:) or asks if I'm seeing anyone special. There are still moments when I find myself desiring others' approval. Unlearning 18 years (I came out at 19) of closet case behavior doesn't happen overnight, but I'm making progress.
At 22, my life isn't everything I want it to be yet, but it's light years away from what it once was. I have a desire now to not just survive, but LIVE.
For anyone who is where I was, I'm not gonna sugarcoat it for you: coming out is not easy. It's often awkward and uncomfortable, and you not always get the response you want. But in the end it's one of the most rewarding things you can do. Make sure you find people who will support you in your journey, and remember that only person who has to live your life is YOU. So you might as well be happy while you do it.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
For those not in the know, a little Transgender 101: Transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity(sense of themselves as male or female) or gender expression differs from that usually associated with their birth sex. Many transgender people live part-time or full-time as members of the other gender.
With the recent murder of Lateisha Green, a 22-year old transgendered woman, this event becomes even more poignant. While gays, lesbians and bisexuals certainly suffer discrimination and sometimes violence, transgenders face violence and prejudice not only from the straights, but sometimes from gays as well.
In addition antidiscrimination laws in most U.S. cities and states do not protect transgender people from discrimination based on gender identity or expression. While many of us cannot imagine what it must be like to feel that you were born in the wrong body, that's no excuse for hatred or ignorance.
The best weapon is education. To find out more information on transgender issues you go to www.apa.org/pi/lgbc/transgender
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Obama, McCain Meet To Discuss Reform
In a joint statement both men expressed their desire together on various challenges facing the nation:
At this defining moment in history, we believe that Americans of all parties want and need their leaders to come together and change the bad habits of Washington so that we can solve the common and urgent challenges of our time," the statement said.
"It is in this spirit that we had a productive conversation today about the need to launch a new era of reform where we take on government waste and bitter partisanship in Washington in order to restore trust in government, and bring back prosperity and opportunity for every hardworking American family," they said.
Michael Jackson Sued By Sheikh
An Arab monarch's son is suing Jackson for $7 million for an autobiography and album that he claims Jackson promised but never produced. Michael denies the charges and says the money was gift.
Hopefully everything will work out and Michael won't be in the poor house. In the future he better hit up Janet, Latoya or Rebie for money instead of Arab princes. Goodness knows Joe and the boys don't have a lot of coins to spare these days, if the news reports are true
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
One point continually cropping up in blog comments sections by white gays is asking how they could have better understood or engaged the black community on gay marriage. Airing more videos like this one(which never saw the light of day), would've been a good place to start.
Living Out Loud With Darian: The Prop 8 Commercial That Never Aired
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
“It’s just that every time that you turn on the TV, that sissy s**t is on,” Trick told AllHipHop.com. “And they act like its f**king okay. The world is changing for the worst when s**t like that happens. And I address that issue. I address it hard as hell.”
Monday, November 10, 2008
While Mrs. Bush gave Mrs. Obama a tour of the White, Obama and Bush discussed policies and transition matters.
The meeting is a tradition in politics when one family replaces another in the White House. While Bush's disapproval rating has soared to 76 percent, hopefully Obama won't meet the same fate. The current state of the country will definitely put his goodwill with much of the public to the test.
The Daily Voice: Obama, Bush meet in the White House
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
"Proposition 8 is not against any group in our society. Its sole focus is on preserving God's plan for people living upon this earth throughout time," Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, said in a statment Thursday.
"The Catholic Church understands that there are people who choose to live together in relationships other than traditional marriage. All of their spiritual, pastoral and civil rights should be respected, together with their membership in the Church," Mahony said.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said in a statment, "It is important to understand that this issue for the Church has always been about the sacred and divine institution of marriage: a union between a man and a woman."
Where do I start? I have no problem if any church refuses to marry a gay couple if it contradicts with their beliefs. That's their right. What I have a problem with is religious organizations wanting to have it both ways. They want to flex their political and financial muscles to legislate morality inside and outside the church.
If you don't want me saying 'I do' to another dude in your sanctuary, that's fine. But taking legal action to stop me from doing so outside of your church is a violation of mine and many others' civil rights. Because let's be real, tax breaks, visitation and property rights don't have much to do with Christ or crucifixes.
Secondly, the defense that no specific group was targeted is so transparent. What other group was being targeted? Martians? Oompa Loompas? I mean think about it; LGBT citizens are tax-paying citizens, yet we are denied a basic civil right, to marry another consenting adult because of someone else's interpretation of their religious scripture, and what they think God wants them to do.
Now ain't that bout a.....(you know the rest)!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
November 4, 2008.
A day that I'll tell my younger cousins, nieces or nephews ('cause I'm not havin' no kids, but that's a separate post) about. The day that a black man officially entered 1600 Pennslyvania Ave, a.k.a. the White House. The day when it seemed like America finally acknowledged its own diversity and sought move beyond divisive racial issues. As a black man, I couldn't be prouder.
But as a gay man, my joy is tempered with a hint of sadness. While the numbers haven't been fully calculated, it's more than likely that California voters will choose to eliminate the rights of their LGBT citizens by approving Proposition 8, which will define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Amendments have also been approved in Arizona and Florida, while gay couples' adoption rights have also been stripped in Arkansas.
To add insult to injury black voters voting overwhelmingly in favor of Proposition 8, with 70 percent of black voters saying yes.
I'm sure the mainstream organizations will be quick to blame the measure's passage on black homophobia, which is partly true. However blacks only make up about 6 percent of California's population, so even if 100 percent voted no, it would still have a good chance of passing.
I think the problem is two-fold.
One: We as black gays are invisible in many of our communities. We live in silence, afraid to come out to our friends and families, staying quiet as church mice when preachers blast us and blame us for AIDS and the barbershop council dismisses us. If we want things to change, we have to come out and declare ourselves worthy of respect and dignity. The best defense is an offense. People's hearts and minds change once they personally know someone who is gay. They are forced to confront their fears, their prejudices, and their own conscience.
Two: Mainstream (i.e. mostly white) gay organizations have to make more of an effort to reach out to the black community. Regular inclusion of black gays would be a nice start. Working with the National Black Justice Coalition, a black gay organization, would've also been good. Hell, recruiting Michael Eric Dyson to speak would have earned some cool points. I mean it's hard to educate blacks on why they should support your cause if the face of gay rights almost always looks like this:
The lack of black faces in gay rights groups only fuels the myth that gay=white. As long as the look of LGBT leadership remains lily white and black LGBTs remain invisible, the conservative segment of the black community can still sail along on the sea of denial that gays don't exist.
Translation: We need to get our sh*t together.
With all that said, I love Will & Grace, so no shade against Will with that pic LOL!