Wednesday, December 31, 2008
However, I don't think of change just because Obama drilled that word (and hope) into the national consciousness, but because it has occurred time and time again in my own life throughout the year.
My relationship status changed from boyfriend to single to boyfriend again. I escaped the domiciles of the damned (also known as on-campus living) and settled into an apartment. And I finally decided to follow my gut and ditched private piano lessons to make voice my major instrument for my music performance minor degree.
On a deeper level, I think in '08 I finally began to truly express my emotions and share more of myself with people. For years my goal in life was to not feel anything--joy, sadness, anger, nothing--because to feel anything hurt too much. I just wanted to be numb, and an emotional wall and a steady supply of weed more than helped me accomplish that goal. But over the past two years, I realized that the more I allow myself to feel emotion and not run from it, the happier I've become. In other words, I've feel like I've come full circle.
Change not only happened to me however. One of my friends is about to become a father and has gotten a place with his baby mama, while another one has moved to Houston and gotten his own place. Everyone's either in a relationship, employed (or both) and seems to be moving forward with their lives. All this has made it harder for us to get together, a big change from a few years ago when we'd spend almost everyday together. But change is a part of life. Sometimes it can be scary, as is the case with my impending graduation next year. But ultimately I think we need it. Change shakes us out of our comfort zone, makes us reexamine who we are, what we believe and what we want out of life, and helps us move into the next phase of our journey.
Hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year. See you in '09.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Three out of four Americans are relieved President Bush is leaving office, according to a recent national poll. However, 23 percent said they will miss him (Must be rich folks).
You mean the same Mormon church that diligently worked to deny gay people their marriage rights? Yeah that church. LDS leaders said while they oppose marriage, they are in favor of other rights for LGBT citizens.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Born in South Carolina to a black and Cherokee mother and a white father, Kitt was sent to stay with relatives because her step father refused to take in a mixed race child. After moving to New York and briefly attending the High School of Performing Arts, she worked a series of odd jobs before becoming a part of the Katherine Dunham dance troupe. While dancing and singing in clubs around the world during the 1950s, she learned to sing in 12 languages, including French, Turkish and Spanish.
However Kitt could also be controversial. During a visit to the White House for a luncheon hosted by Ladybird Johnson in 1968, she bluntly told the First Lady and those present, "You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed. "They rebel in the street. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."
Because of her anti-war stance, Kitt primarily performed overseas for four years and was investigated by the FBI and the CIA, but eventually reappeared on Broadway plays such as "Timbuktu," "Cinderella," and "The Wild Party," and continued to release music, earning her Tony and Grammy nominations.
Eartha had an undeniable impact and influence on entertainment and paved the way for the black female artists of today. Diana Ross--who was heavily influenced by Eartha, which is easily seen in early Supremes performances-- Donna Summer, Janet, Beyonce, all of them owe their careers to Ms. Kitt. Rest in peace Eartha.
Get into the clips below:
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
This opinion reeks of not only ignorance, but carries an air of superiority. It's like saying "Of course I didn't choose to be straight. It's so natural to me. But you attention-seeking gays just love to be dramatic, self-loathing souls who live for being damned to hell and discriminated against by society. That's why you chose to be gay.
Whenever I hear people make the choice argument with statements like "Well if they didn't want to be discriminated against they shouldn't have chosen that lifestyle," or this gem from The Daily Voice comments section on an article called 'Is Gay the New Black?: "Don't get me wrong, people are people but homosexuality (lesbianism)(bestiality) is in fact sexual perversion and as such should not be thrusted upon the general population ...You choose to be so-called "gay" so deal with it," I wanted to scream 'WHEN DID YOU CHOOSE NOT TO BE GAY' from the depths of my soul.
Sexual orientation is not like being at a damn Fire Mountain buffet after Sunday service. It's not "Oh I'm tired of freakin fish. Let me slide over here and get some beef." A virgin who has never kissed another man is just as gay as someone whose banged everyone in the local gay bar. Sexual behavior and sexual orientation are different things. Any DL man could tell you that (but they wouldn't because... well then they wouldn't be very DL:).
What's so frustrating about talking to people who feel this way, besides arguing in circles, is that if scientists proved that there was gay gene tomorrow and that homosexuality and bisexuality are inborn, they would still be against LGBT folks. Just look what Rick "I got gay friends even though I support Prop 8" Warren had to say to Ann Curry about the subject:
Now I know I've already posted about Warren, and don't mean to paint him as a totally bad guy (even though he's not helping matters). He's done lots of good in regards to poverty and AIDS, and has donated profits from his books to help others. But his positions on homosexuality and gay rights are condescending and sickening.
Bottom Line: You think gays on their way to a doomsday demise where we'll spend all eternity roasting like marshmellows in the fires of hell? Fine. That's your right. But at least have enough common sense and empathy to know NO ONE would choose a life of ridicule, potential violence, loss of friends/church/family and discrimination just because of some sexual itch they had to scratch.
At this point it's hard to tell if she'll EVER come back. Her album's supposedly been "in the works" for over a year, if that song she did with Akon is any indication, it won't be the music her fans are hoping for. Now I'm not one of those who thinks Whitney's gonna come back sounding like it's 1991. Age and drugs have obviously had an affect. But doing a song with Akon. Whitney, gwarl, just don't.
One of my favorite bloggers, Clay Cane, hilariously sums up what it would take for full Whitney revival:
Also, Whitney needs to go on the Mama Oprah Show, not Diane Sawyer, Larry King, or Babs Walters — it has got to be Mama. Sit on America's favorite couch, grab Mama Oprah's hand, adjust the wig and let the tears storm! Let it all out, "I was an addict!”, "I was smoking crack!”, “Bobby Brown beat me!", “I should’ve been at the Legends Ball!” Whitney can lay her head in Mama Oprah’s bosom as she tells us the gritty stories of rolling around in a drug-induced comma, smelling like Malt Liquor and Bobby Brown's third sexual partner of the night.
Now, if Whitney really wants to rock-in the five million album sales range she will let out violent, racking sobs and say, “I was a neglectful mother.” Sit Bobbi Kristina on Oprah’s coach (hell, they did it for that awful Diane Sawyer interview!) and have Bobbi tell her story.If Whitney wants to go diamond (ten million plus) in the last segment there should be a reunion with her own mother, Cissy Houston. Mama Oprah will have a tear in her left eye as she says, "I was trying to reach you through prayer. But, now, you telling your story will save so many lives. Bravo Whit-ney Houstoooooooooon!"
White women in the audience will bawl!Black women will shake their fists at an angry sky at Bobby Brown!Women across the world will love her!Drag queens will pull out their vintage Whitney wigs!Record sales will skyrocket!This is the only way I believe Whitney could have a comeback. Otherwise, we will get a string of plastic interviews, weak vocal performances, a boring album and nail in the coffin of Whitney’s career. Clive, are you reading?
No much matter how much Bobby, blunts or baggies of coke (show me the receipts lol:) may have damaged her voice/reputation, Whitney Houston was/is one of the most amazing vocalists in pop music history. Here are some reminders in case you forgot:
Yeah I know she looks like a big string bean lol, but Whitney tears this song up.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Rick Warren:Oh I do. I just... For five thousand years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion - this is not a Christian issue. Buddhists, Muslims, the Jews, historically marriage is a man and a woman. And so I'm opposed to that. And the reason I supported Prop 8 really, was a free speech issue.
Because if it had.... First, the court overid the will of the people. But second, is, there were all kinds of threats that if you... that did not pass, then any pastor could be considered doing hate speech if he shared his views that he didn't think homosexuality was the most natural way for relationships. And that would be hate speech. To me, we should have freedom of speech. And you should be able to have freedom of speech to make your position, and I should be able to have freedom of speech to make my position. And can we do this in a civil way?
Here's another gem:
"The issue to me, I'm not opposed to that as much as I'm opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage."
Apparently Warren has no problem spreading misinformation about what marriage equality would do to pastors' freedom of speech. Which is absolutely nothing. Or comparing homosexuality to incest, pedophilia and polygamy. But of course this is the same man who feels atheists shouldn't be president.
This is not a good move for Obama. After running a campaign under a banner of inclusiveness and understanding, choosing Rick Warren comes off as an insult. How can you be a fierce advocate of LGBT rights but also invite a man who sees our sexuality and relationships as second rate? Who spreads lies about legislation that can make our lives easier? Oh well. The honeymoon had to end sometime. I guess it just ended a little earlier for LGBT folks.
Here's some video proof if the quotes don't convince you:
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Well I fell headlong into the rabbit hole and haven't been back since. For months afterward, I listened to album over and over again, understanding more and more of its concept of the its protagonists' transformation from a weak, passive follower (Wormboy) to a superhuman, megalomanic (Anti-Christ Superstar).
Anti-Christ Superstar marked the beginning stages of my spiritual evolution, as I started to think critically about religion and Christianity in particular. Although it would take years for these ideas to grow, the seeds had been planted.
My fascination went beyond the music. From the album's cover art, to the Dead to The World Tour stage show (thank God for the Internet:), to the music videos for the singles, the entire thing was Gesamtkunstwerk, a total work of art.
Although my Manson mania has subsided a bit since then, I can still see how the album has had an influence on my life.
After last week's conversation with my mother and the feelings it aroused, a line from "Man That You Fear," the album's closing track, came to mind: "The boy that you loved is the man that you fear."
Anti-Christ Superstar served as my spiritual re-awakening. Funny, it took a self-proclaimed Anti-Christ to make me discover God for myself. Get into some video clips below:
marilyn manson - the beautiful people
Marilyn Manson Tourniquet
Here's a funny clip with Manson from Clone High (Remember MTV before reality shows took over? *sigh*)
Marilyn Manson - The Food Pyramid
Sunday, December 14, 2008
While I've always been a casual fan of Brit at the most, I think the part of the reason people are chanting 'Britney's back' like choreographed zombies is because, for whatever reason, she's been heralded as heir to Madonna's throne (blasphemy!).
Truthfully I would nominate Pink or Christina Aguilera, who have continually reinvented themselves musically and visually over the years, and actually seem to have a say in their careers. Meanwhile, Britney's stayed on the 'I'm-so-hot-shaking-my thang-in-the-club-phase for pretty much her entire career. And while in the past you could at least count on ol' Brit to serve it up live, she just doesn't seem to have the fire in her eyes anymore. But hopefully she'll work her way back (I guess that's the optimist in me:).
Saturday, December 13, 2008
The book discusses everything, from the roots of black homophobia, the abysmal response of many black churches to the AIDS crisis, to analyzing the Sodom and Gomorrah story and the other scriptures used to condemn LGBT people and gay relationships. All of this definitely helped me when I was rethinking my attitudes towards my spirituality and sexuality. According to Amazon.com:
Griffin, an openly gay African American pastoral theologican and seminary professor, offers new approaches to understanding scripture and homosexuality through pastoal theology and black liberation theology. He provides a historical overview and crticial analysis of the black church and its current engagement with lesbian and gay Christians, and shares ways in which black churches can learn to reach out and confront all types of oppression no just race--in order to do the work of the black community. The book received a 2006 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Studies.
I've read the book multiple times, and recommend it to anyone trying to find their way out of the closet, or anyone whose just interested in the Bible and its history.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
First a little background: while at home for the Thanksgiving holidays, I went to the doctor's office for a little checkup. After spending an inumberable amount of minutes filling out forms, I was summoned to the doctor's room for the usual round of questions and tests. The questioning, however, inevitably led to the subject of sexual activity.
After confirming my nighttime activities were with men(a fact I would've DIED before admitting a few years ago), the doctor suggested I have a HIV test along with the usual cholesterol test. Long story short, they took blood, I waited, the results came back negative. I didn't tell my parents because that would open a Pandora's Box of questions that I'm not ready to answer just yet.
Lo and behold, my mother calls me yesterday to ask why the bill they received contained a charge for a HIV test. I dance around her questions and explain it was more a preventitive measure than a request on my part. My mother and I have a strange way of talking about sensitive subjects, especially when it comes to my personal life. I've never gotten into a screaming match with her in my entire life. Instead we both talk in vague tones but still know exactly what the other is insinuating or talking about.
Anyways, she's satisfied (or so I thought) with my explanation and hangs up. This afternoon however, I get call while in our yearbook editor-in-chief's office. My mother explains she's been thinking about what we talked about all day. She again questions why the doctor recommended I take an HIV test and not her when she went for similar checkup. I explained it's probably because she's older and married, while we both dance around the elephant in the room--the fact I'm having sex--like the Jacksons under the threat of a beatdown by Papa Joe.
She then gives me all the reasons, biblically, financially and health-wise, why I should wait to have sex until marriage. I respond by saying marriage isn't a guarantee against contracting HIV, that unproctected sex is what causes infection and precautions such as condoms and taking HIV tests with partners. We then get on the subject of God and choices. She asks me, in no uncertain terms, if I think it was wise to have sex, and if God would approve. I say yes.
In that moment, I came to the realization I am not my parents. I think she sensed it too. I could hear a slight worry in her voice, that the little boy who used to lay in her lap in church and play with her necklace and pick flowers for her from the backyard was turning into someone she didn't recognize. A man whose views disagreed with her own, and whose ideas about God and homosexuality no longer matched the ones she and my dad believed and spent 18 years instilling in me and my brother.
We both sense, or at least I do, that things will soon come to a head regarding my sexuality. No more vague conservations and half-truths, but a full unveiling of my private life and relationships, past and present. A time to share the struggles I faced growing up, the times I felt alone, scared and anxiety-ridden. The moment when both my parents will see fully the man that they raised and the life I've made for myself. A time when I will have to accept that we'll agree to disagree on a fundamental part of who I am, even though they will still love me as their son.
I probably came to this realization years ago, but tucked it away in the dark recesses of my mind. Acknowledging that my parents, my entire family, with the exception of my brother, may never accept my sexualty or my relationships hits me to the very core of my personality. I've always been a people pleasure and had a desire to be liked and approved of by everyone, which is probably why I was so closeted for so long. I spent years racking my brain, running my entire childhood and adolesence in my head to figure the root cause of my being bi(I usually say gay because I'm more attracted to men than women, and get tired of explaining it to people) so that I could be 'cured' and be acceptable to everyone. After coming out, I would sometimes rack my brain to figure how to win people over, to make them accept my sexuality.
I now realize that may never happen with some folks--including my parents. But that doesn't make it any less painful.
Don't forget that tomorrow, Dec. 1oth is Day Without A Gay (lol that sounds like some indie musical:). But seriously, this day is meant show how important LGBT folk are to America's economy and workforce. I understand everyone can't afford to take off work. Bills have to be paid and palms gotta be greased.
But there are other ways you can help:
2. Help seek out and post volunteer oportunities in your area.
- Local Gay-Straight Alliance
- Trevor Project/Helpline
- SPCAs (Pet Rescues)
- Local PFLAG Chapter
- Nursing Homes
- HIV/AIDS Services
- Big Brothers/Big Sisters
- Homeless Shelters
- Gay & Lesbian Centers
- Meals on Wheels
- Rehab Centers
- Local Schools
3. Educate others about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Currently it's still legal in 30 states to fire someone because of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. ENDA would make it this illegal. Here are two sites to find out more:
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force: ENDA Info
ACLU ENDA Page
Contact your member of the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
Contact your SENATORS.
6. Boycott by not spending your money on anything accept the necessities. ( That's my plan).
Monday, December 8, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
It was all good just a movie ago. Mortal Kombat Annihilation is one HOT MESS of a film from start to finish. First off whose idea was it to give Raiden, the f*cking god of thunder, a buzzcut? Second, who designed Baraka's mask? It looked like something you pick up for .99 cents next to the bootlegs at a gas station. Not to mention all the cheesy deaths and anti-climatic ending.
Another example of bad casting. Who decided Raul Julia should play the evil incarnate that is M. Bison? Bison is supposed to be larger than life (literally) and the embodiment of evil. I mean he killed my girl Chun-Li's dad for goodness sake. Besides that the movie, had no plot, too many characters and just plain sucked.
Super Mario Bros.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Florida's Gay Adoption Ban Declared Unconstitutional
Finally some good news. After the passage of Prop 8 and other anti-gay laws on Nov. 4, and the ensuing storm of finger pointing that followed, Miami Dade Circuit Judge Cindy Lederman ruled Tuesday that a "Florida man's sexual orientation should not preclude him from adopting his two foster children, effectively ruling unconstitutional a decades-old state law barring gays and lesbians from adopting children.," according to The Advocate's website.
The two young boys were previously living in an abusive home with crack-addicted parents before being removed by child services.Hilary Clinton Nominated as Secretary of State
I just knew that girl would find a way back into the White House. President-elect Barack Obama announced Clinton as his choice for Secretary of State. Despite a campaign that sometimes seemed to bring out the worst in his former rival, Obama said he was confident Clinton was right for the job.
"Hillary's appointment is a sign to friend and foe of the seriousness of my commitment to renew American diplomacy and restore our alliances," Obama said at a news conference in Chicago, Illinois. "I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton is the right person to lead our State Department and to work with me in tackling this ambitious foreign policy agenda."
Black Friday Turns Deadly
An employee was killed in a stampede as rush of customers smashed into a Long Island Wal-Mart on Friday. A 28-year old pregnant woman was also knocked to the floor, but did not suffer any serious injuries.
This is the epitome of a senseless tragedy. I hope the new plasma screens and i-pods were worth a human life.