Thursday, August 27, 2009

Madonna Takes One For The Gays and Gypsies

Madonna took some heat from the crowd in Romania for defending gyspies(why do people hate them anyway?) and of course, the gays. While some news outlets are reporting that thousands jeered, to me it really sounds like only few may have, or at least folks who were close to the camera. Madge's speech was also met with some cheers as well. I hate that my girl got booed, but at least it was for a good cause. Get into the clip below:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

R.I.P. Aaliayh

It's hard to believe it's been 8 years since Aaliyah died. I can still remember waking up on that Sunday morning, turning on MTV and watching in disbelief as the vj explained she had died in a plane crash and celebrities shared memories of the singer. There is not one Aaliyah song that I did not like. And all of them, some of which are 15 years old, still sound fresh. Although she didn't have a booming voice, Aaliyah carved out her own signature sound, style and persona. There's still no one in R&B quite like her.

Rest in peace Aaliyah.

That's Not Cool....

"You gay!" were the words he shouted when me and friend passed by a house in our neighborhood. Nineteen at the time and "out" for less than a year, the word still cut like a knife when I heard it. I looked up and gave him a hard, icy stare as we rounded the corner and continued our walk. But little did we know, their harassment wasn't over. Two other boys caught up with us on their bikes and started trailing us. The loudmouth of the duo started spouting stupidity such as "It's not cool to be gay," "Who the man in the relationship?" (making the assumption my friend and I were lovers) and "Why ya'll wanna be gay?"

Since these were 15-17 year-olds we were dealing with, we quickly responded with a barrage of sarcastic, witty retorts and continued on our way. A few days later, and taking another walk through our neighborhood, we saw the same group of guys walking towards us. Looking at us with a mix of bemusement, disgust and contempt, remarks such as "Uggh faggots," "That's not's not cool to be gay," and curiously enough "Ya'll could suck my dick." Again I merely shook my head and dismissed them as young ignorant fools.

One night walking back to my friend's house we passed by one of our hecklers' house, where the group was playing basketball. As we made our way down the street, I looked back to find that the main instigator was following us. He came up behind and once spat his mantra "Man it's not cool to be gay," I responded by asking him what the fuck his problem was and why he care so much, while my friend said similar sentiments. We were reaching the end of our patience with this dude. He then grabbed my jacket and a tug of war ensued. Seeing how stupid this was (and how the jacket was cheap old anyway) I released it and we continued walking. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain on the back of my head. This guy had punched me.

I whipped around to find him jumping back and forth his hands up in a boxing positions, looking like the mascot for Notre Dame. Like all good cowards his friends quickly joined him and stood behind him, waiting for me to make a move. I thought to myself I can't believe this. I will knock you the fuck out! I was so in my own thoughts that I could barely hear his commands that we "get our faggot-ass on out of here" or something to that effect. I debated whether I should fight or not, and decided I didn't want to go to jail for pummeling a minor.
So we rounded the corner and continue back to my friend's house. But it wasn't over. The ringleader and his lackies ran up the street to us, walking side by side with us. The leader said "I don't like gay people," in a voice that rang with pure hatred. "Don't come on our street no mo'" he said. "Alright" I replied, still trying to diffuse the situation. Little did I know that they were done talking, and we were soon in a 2 on 5 fight in the middle of the street.

I saw my friend duck and dodge and swing at one of the attackers before he slipped and went down, and was stomped several times. I soon found myself surrounded by group of three, dodging and evading swings before being hit in the nose. The voice on the other of that fist exclaimed "Ooh I stuck that nigga," as I slipped on someone's wet grass and was subsequently stomped. A bystander, known to everyone in the neighborhood as "Blue Eyes" merely stood there and said "That's fucked up" with a smug smirk on his face. After they finished and quickly went back down the street. (On a side note, most if not all of the attackers attended church. I believe this probably supported their attitude towards us and emboldened them to 'put the punks in their place.')

As I walked back to my friend's place minus one shoe and a bloody nose, my body trembled with rage. The fact that two of the attackers had been to my house years earlier to play video games and hang out further contributed to my fury. As we reached my car, my friend and I traded revenge plots. My first thought was to run them all over, stuff their corpses in my trunk, and dump them in a ditch. His plan consisted of us ridin' up on them with baseball bats and swinging to the fence on their asses. Another thought was slashing the tires on of the guy's tires.
It was the first time in my life I'd seriously considered murder. I finally understood what could make someone feel so angry that they'd want to take another human life. It is the feeling that you've been so humiliated, so violated and so betrayed by what someone has done to you that simply beating them up or insulting them back isn't enough. The only way the situation can be resolved is for that person to not exist anymore. There is no room for compromise or discussion. They have to go.

We did discuss calling the police, but decided against it because of the cause of the attack. I know it doesn't make sense, but at the time both he and I were still deeply in the closet to our families, and reporting the incident would have led to questions I just wasn't ready to answer at that time. I think many victims of gay bashing don't report for this very reason, or they feel the police and their family won't be supportive. The closet makes you do strange shit. But I digress.

For days after we were jumped, I sank into a funk that varied between blind rage and deep depression. I knew homophobia existed and felt some of its sting before, but never had I been so closely aquainted with it. It truly hurt me to know that a stranger could hate you so much for something that had nothing to do with them. That event forever changed who I am.

Needless to say, none of those things happened that night or I wouldn't be writing this post.

However we still had something in store for them. And once some of our friends came back in town we sprung into action. We convinced a friend of ours to pour some sugar down the tank of one of our attackers' car. Unfortunately his gas cap had a lock, so his mother's car had to take one for the team. As we drove off I couldn't help but hum "A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down!" I know it was an awful thing to do, but at the time I wasn't thinking straight. My mind was completely clouded by revenge. I also used a label maker from work and had the same friend (he was very good at stalking about in the night) stick below the license plate on the same guy's car. I wish I could've seen the look on his face when he was babbling about b.s. with his friends and saw the words "platinum dicksucker" in all caps on his car. Things really started to heat up when we all rode by one of guy's house, blasting music and mean mugging the whole group as we rounded the curb at two miles an hour.

Of course, as the saying goes, if you fight fire with fire everyone gets burned. One night I let one of my friends drive and we ended up behind the guy's car. Since this was shortly after we placed the sticker on his vehicle, we rode his tail all the way down the street, trying to examine our handiwork. After he cut us off at a corner, opened his door and gave us glare. To speed things up a bit this led to a showdown at my friends house with at 12-15 people fighting in the front yard, and only ended after one of my friends called the police and the guys scattered like roaches. In the melee however, my car suffered a huge dent, which cost around $600 to fix. In the weeks that followed, two of the guys (not the main instigator) personally apologized to me and my friend and one of them ended up becoming a passing aquaintance. As far as I know, we've all moved on.

In hindsight, I would have never taken things as far as they went, or allowed my friends to. All that drama wasn't worth it. Through all that chaos, nothing got resolved. It wasn't until we actually talked that things got worked out. If I had to do it all again, I would've just called the police, filed a report, and done whatever I needed to do to make sure they were punished for they did.

Later on, I can't remember exactly when, it might've been a few months or weeks later, my friend's sister informed me the main instigator had been jumped outside the local movie theater. I didn't feel overjoyed or particularly sad for his predicament. After all, jumping folks and picking fights, that's not cool.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Say What?

I just have to shake my head. Bishop Harry Jackson, who in the past has repeatedly spoken out against gay rights, now says that Obama's health care reform will discriminate against the wealthy. Yes you read that right. Never mind the millions who don't have adequate care or get rejected by insurance companies because of pre-existing conditions such as yeast infections. Its folks who are worth millions of dollars that will be really suffering. Even though Obama has made it clear that folks who want to keep their current health care provider can do so. Honestly I don't even think Paris Hilton, as self-absorbed as she is, would ever utter such foolishness. Get into the clip below:

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lovers and Friends...

Anyone who has ever been a relationship knows the moment things become serious, tension with close friends can start. As you and your significant other grow closer and spend more time together, creating your own intricate language of code words and inside jokes, your friends might start to see you as becoming distant, having less time to hangout, and or, as some in my circle succinctly put it "You don't fuck with us anymore."

Since my first serious relationship was a long distance affair, I really didn't have to deal this fact. But since me and my current boyfriend have gotten closer, this fact has become increasingly clear. Two friends in particular feel I have less time for them and don't hangout as much as I used to. I'll admit this is true. It's difficult to balance close friends and maintain a romantic relationship. I'll also admit that a flaw of mine is that I tend to focus my attention, emotions etc., on those I come in constant contact with. In other words, if someone is not part of my daily job/sex life/side interests then I tend to communicate with them less. It isn't out of malice or anger. If anyone of these people were in danger or fell ill I'd be at their bedside in a heartbeat. But this is a flaw nonetheless.

With all that being said, a friend of mine recently spent a weekend in the hospital with swollen arms. He's also part of the community choir I'm in. Since he was absent for both events we had to sing at, everyone in the group called his cell phones and tried to text him. I ran into his brother at church and he had no idea of his whereabouts either. Finally he texted a choir member yesterday about his two-day ordeal. Being concerned, I called his phone, which he actually answered for a change. His response to my questions about how he was doing were cold and confusing. He said I called "too late", despite the fact that only his mother, who lives in California, was the only one who knew what happened. After he said that I "needed to hang out with my new family," (i.e. my boyfriend and other choir members) in a dismissive tone. Needless to say, I was highly pissed off and responded with a simple "Alright," and hung up before I said what was really on my mind.

Now like I've said before, I'm not always the best at keeping in touch. But communication is a two-way street. And over the past few months, his side of the road has gotten some deep-ass potholes and speed bumps. Everytime I've called this person, they don't pick up and never call back. I text them to find out what's going on with them, they never responded. I attempt to chat online, with no response. This person also has their own significant other, yet whenever I ask how their relationship is going and ask about things I've heard through his brother (who's also a friend of mine), I get shallow, indirect answers. It's like he doesn't trust me anymore. I'm not asking he divulge every detail of his day, but it seems a wall has been built up.

However, whatever's going on in his life is no excuse for what I was met with on the phone yesterday. Granted we may not hang out all day every day like we used to, but I still have love him and really don't know why he's pulled away from not only me, but the rest of our mutual friends and his family. As I said before, he's also in a relationship and said he understands that our friendship would change somewhat since we have other stuff going on.

I guess my question is how does anyone else handle the tension that occurs when you try to maintain friendships and a relationship?

Leave comments please and don't hold back.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Quote of The Day: Lady Gaga

For her cover story with Out Magazine, Ms. Gaga detailed how she laid down the law of the rainbow land with Kanye West before the two went out on tour.

"Before agreeing to tour with Kanye West this fall, Gaga told the rapper, 'I just want to be clear before we decide to do this together: I’m gay. My music is gay. My show is gay. And I love that it’s gay. And I love my gay fans and they’re all going to be coming to our show. And it’s going to remain gay.' That’s another clause in the Gagaland constitution: Gay culture shall gush undiluted into the rapids of society. It shall not be co-opted, fancified, dolled up, or Uncle Tommed. 'I very much want to inject gay culture into the mainstream,' she says, 'It’s not an underground tool for me. It’s my whole life. So I always sort of joke the real motivation is to just turn the world gay.'

Just another reason to love Lady Gaga.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chris Rock and "Good Hair"

This should be interesting. Chris Rock takes on the subject of black hair in this documentary set to be released in October. And ya'll know black folks got issues when it comes to our hair lol. Watch the trailer below:

Sunday, August 9, 2009

New Music: Whitney Houston "Million Dollar Bill"

Take a listen to Nippy's new song "Million Dollar Bill." I love it. The song has an old school, funk/club/house vibe to it. If this is any indication of the rest Whitney's new album I Look To You, then she might have comeback on her hands. Listen to the track here.

Are Horror Movies Anti-Christian?

Lest anyone think this is some kind of moralistic, finger-pointing rant, let me explain. I don't mean anti-Christian in the sense of slasher flicks glorifying gore and violence. If anything scary movies at least promote the idea of abstinence: lose your virginity, you lose your head! After all, those are the rules! But I digress. Last night I was watching Scream, one of my favorite horror flicks, at my man's house, when this curious thought popped into my mind. As the last scene played with Neve Campbell a.k.a Sidney Prescott, popping a cap in her psycho boyfriend Billy's head, I noticed something about many of the scary movies I love for the first time.

From Friday the 13th and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Jeeper's Creepers and Halloween rarely, if ever, do you see any of the characters pray or call on God (or any diety for that matter) to save them from the horrible situation they've found themselves in. I mean if there were anytime to get on your knees or lift up holy hands it would be when a seemingly indestructible mass murdering psychopath is after you and hell bent on slicing you to bits (or in Freddy's case killing you in your dreams). In pretty much every single scary movie I watched the characters that survive do so because of their own ingenuity and courage in the face of indescribable fear.

Think about it: when Sidney finally learned the truth about her boyfriend and her mother's death, she didn't wallow in the corner praying and speaking in tongues hoping to be spared. Miss girl got up and took care of business. She found the resolve to defend her and her friends' lives from within, not from an outside source. When Jessica Biel saw her friends get slaughtered by Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (the remake, not the original:), she relied on her own cunning to get the hell out of that house. Obviously The Excorcist is an exception to this rule, but for the most part, if you want to survive in a slasher flick you're left to your own devices.

Don't get me wrong. This not an attack on Christianity or any other religion. This is just an observation that many horror films, whether consciously or not, emphasis the triumph of the human spirit and will to survive over unspeakable evil. The day isn't saved by an all-powerful deity, but by ordinary folks forced to react to extraordinarily awful circumstances. Simply put, the main characters are their own saviors, which ultimately undermines the whole idea of God coming to people's rescue in times of trouble.

Of course this is all my hyper-analytical analysis. I, like most of the movie-going public, primarily go to see these films to get scared out of my mind and be entertained, and I doubt that Wes Craven or Rob Zombie thought that deeply when creating Scream or The Devil's Rejects. But I'm suprised more conservative Christians don't realize this subversive element in horror films. But then again it's only a movie. Or is it;)?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Trans-Inclusive ENDA Introduced in Senate

This is promising news. Sen. Jeff Merkley introduced a fully inclusive version of ENDA to the Senate Wednesday, making it the first time a bill that includes trangendered people has been brought to the Senate.

Merkley, a first-term senator, said his sponsorship of the bill stems from his personal belief in fairness and equality.

“For me, one of the huge issues that I’ve cared a lot about is equality under the law and fairness to all Americans, and this was just a core part of the way I view the world,” he said.

Merkley said he was designated as the lead sponsor of ENDA because he championed a similar non-discrimination bill in Oregon as a lawmaker in the state House, as well as legislation enacting domestic partnerships in Oregon.

As of Wednesday, Merkley had 37 co-sponsors to the legislation, including Sens. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), according to a statement released by Merkley’s office.

Merkley is a member of the Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee, which would hold hearings on the legislation and fine-tune the bill before it reaches the Senate floor. But whether the committee will hold hearings on the legislation, Merkley said, has “yet to be addressed.”

“That is certainly one of the things that I’ll be pursuing with Sen. Dodd and with Sen. Kennedy’s team,” Merkley said.

Hearings for the House version of the bill are expected to begin in September.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Advocate Analyzes Obama

I'm going to be honest. I expected to read the Advocate's cover story, hear some self-absorbed rich queens from Castro and Chelsea whine about how Obama has been a complete disappointment and how all gays should've voted for Hilary, and fire off an angry rant-and-rave style post.

But, in my opinion, the article was more nuanced than that. While the writer certainly brought up or criticized the Obama administration for certain past actions, like the horrendous DOMA brief and inviting Rick Warren to speak at his inauguration, much of the article was about the gay community itself. It was more a challenge to LGBT folks to look in the mirror than a laundry list of complaints.

In my personal opinion there is still reason to be hopeful about Obama's stance on gay issues. I still believe the president is a friend to the gay community and will push for issues that affect us, such as hate crimes legislation. Again the man has only been in office only eight months, and I would like to be assured that the economy is on the upswing and health care is more affordable. Being able to marry or serve in the miliary, while certainly important, won't mean much if I'm dead broke because I can't find a job or sick as a dog because I can't afford health care.

While gays should definitely hold Obama accountable for his campaign promises and maintain a critical eye, I feel it's far too early to strike a "woe-is-me" pose.

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