Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Gay Old Time....

I stumbled across this insightful CNN clip about LGBT seniors sharing their stories about growing up, early relationships, coming out later in life, caring for elderly lovers and growing old as an openly gay person. Definitely some food for thought. Watch below (The gal above isn't in the clip, but it's a fun pic lol!).

Conrad Murray Sentenced To Four Years For Involuntary Manslaughter

Monday, November 28, 2011

Tyler Perry Writes Open Letter To Penn State Sexual Abuse Victim

Via Rod 2.0 

Ok, so you're probably thinking "Two Tyler Perry posts back to back? Gurl what's up?" But unlike the my previous one about Perry's new TV show, this one is shade free. While anyone who's been reading my blog for more than a minute knows I have issues with TP's oeuvre, I gotta give praise when praise is due.

Perry wrote a touching letter to the former 11-year-old boy who spoke about the alleged sexual abuse committed by Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky. Now a teenager, the boy has been forced to leave school due to bullying from other students. In the letter, Perry talks about his own childhood abuse:

"I was a very poor young black boy in New Orleans, just a face without a name, swimming in a sea of poverty trying to survive. Forget about living, I was just trying to exist. I was enduring a lot of the same things that you’ve come forward and said happened to you, and it was awful. I felt so powerless. I knew what was happening to me, but unlike you, I couldn’t speak about it because no one saw me. I was invisible and my voice was inaudible.

So to think that you, when you were only 11 years old, spoke up—you are my hero! I’m so proud of you. You have nothing to be ashamed of. I want you to know you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s not your fault. Please know that you were chosen by a monster. You didn’t choose him. You didn’t ask for it and, most of all, you didn’t deserve it."

Read the full letter HERE.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tyler Perry Debuts New Sitcom "For Better Or Worse"

Tyler Perry seems intent on turning TBS into 24-hour a day Perry vision, and the new series "For Better Or Worse" starring Michael Jai White and Tasha in reprisals of their Why Did I Get Married roles, is the latest step in his master plan. I haven't seen the new show, which debuted last night, but from the clips I've watched it does look interesting. Hopefully they won't have Tasha Smith screaming like a banshee all over the place (I loved her in the first film, but by the end of the second I wanted to reach into the screen and put a muzzle on her:).

But even if the series is a dud like House Of Payne and Meet The Browns, at least I'll have one reason to keep tuning in. *Clears voice and speaks like Lela Rochon in Waiting To Exhale:* MICHAEL!
Watching two clips below (speaking of Waiting To Exhale, Ms. Perry just had to live out her Bernandine fantasy through Angela) and see what I'm talking about:

Random Jam: General Public "Tenderness"

Twangy guitars, twinkling melodic bells, handclap and shimmering synths meet melancholy lyrics about romantic insecurity in the way only an 80's pop song can in General Public's "Tenderness," a.k.a the closing song from Clueless. I know I wasn't the only one who caught it on TV Thanksgiving Day lol! Get into it below.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Google Sets Transgender "Gold Standard"

Google has stepped its game up in increasing health care coverage for its transgender employees in the U.S., with other companies expected to follow suit.

Announced internally by company officials Friday and effective immediately, transition-related procedures such as genital surgery and facial feminization for trans women and pectoral surgery for transgender man will be covered under the updated benefits, which are in compliance with the World Professional Association for Transgender Health's standards of care.

According to WPATH such procedures can be considered medical necessities because of “unique clinical situation of a given patient’s condition and life situation,” according to the organization's seventh version of care standards, published in September.

Google spokesman Jordan Newman told The Advocate "“As the WPATH Standards of Care are considered the highest standards of care for transgender individuals, we agreed to cover the full range of procedures under WPATH.”

The company also plans to more than double the maximum amount for transgender health care benefits from $35,000 to $75,000. Right now there is no timeline for when Google when extend the new benefits to its international employees.

Jamey Rodemeyer's Bullies Not Charged: Police Say Not Enough Proof of Harassment Found

Police have closed the case of Jamey Rodemeyer, saying that they were unable to prosecute any of his bullies because of lack of evidence. Outrageous.

Rodemeyer killed himself in September after facing bullying that he "could never escape,” he said in posts on the Internet. But Amherst, N.Y.,  police chief John Askey said that despite the 14-year-old's complaints online about bullying, there wasn't enough evidence of what happened, and the bullying couldn't be pinned to any single student.

For example, police told TheBuffalo News that they had investigated five incidents at North High School and found none had been reported to authorities, leaving investigators to rely on secondhand information.

"In most cases, you need a victim and a complaint," Askey told the News, noting that he isn't satisfied with the outcome. 

Read the rest HERE.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Birthday To Me!

It's my B-day today, so I'd incorporate a little Madge into the celebration by posting the Truth Or Dare clip of her nasty, hilarious birthday poem to one of her minions. Not exactly a birthday serenade, but it's the next best thing lol. Enjoy.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lest We Forget....

Today is the International Transgender Day of Remembrance. Cities around the world in countries such as  Australia, Canada, the United States, France and Greece  are holding events to honor transgendered individuals who've lost their lives. View the full list of events HERE.

Friday, November 18, 2011

'Unhate' Ads Spark Controversy

Benetton's (am I the only one who thought they went out with the 80's lol) new "Unhate" campaign has ruffled more than a few feathers since it debuted a few days ago. The ads, which feature political and religious leaders swapping saliva in a photoshopped kisses include President Barack Obama, Pope Benedict XVI, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and more, have sparked outrage across the globe. Vatican City's reaction was particularly vitriolic, calling for the ads to removed immediately.

Of course, Benetton using socially-conscious ads is nothing new. But as VIBE's Krystal Holmes pointed out, how much good are the ads actually doing if they are pulled down so quickly and heavily criticized?  Discuss.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eye Candy: Morris Chestnut

Ahhhh yes. Morris Chestnut. Like my first celeb crush Ken Griffey Jr., my attraction to Ricky has a little back story behind it. Like most black families every month our house received a copy of Ebony. Most of the time I'd flip through the magazine then forget about it. But one month when I was a burgeoning teen queen (pun intended lol) of about 13 or 14 it arrived at our mailbox. An Ebony cover featuring the twin titans of phine, Morris Chestnut and Shemar Moore (Obviously the editors had been proactive in ensuring they'd capture dark chocolate and caramel lovers). Shemar was cool, but Morris was on another level! Chile those lips. That smile. Those broad shoulders. Those biceps. It was lust at first sight.

I immediately snatched the magazine up and raced to my bedroom, salivating over the cover and pics (and there weren't even any shirtless shots!). Usually after I had my fill, I'd put the mag back in its place. But every day after school I'd scoop it up and go through the same routine, until my mother threw it out with the other old issues. I remember being so frustrated that I couldn't find it lol. Luckily through reruns on BET, I was able to see Morris in The Best Man, Boyz N The Hood, Two Can Play That Game and so on. All I can say is that I couldn't have been Taye Diggs and wished I was Vivica! Anyway, get into some pics below (not many shirtless ones, but you know I tried my best!).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Jon Stewart On The Penn State Scandal

It's about time someone spoke the truth about this mess. Watch below.

Body of Missing Detroit Trans Teen Found

Sorry about being late on this guys. Sadly the charred remains of Shelley, the 19-year-old Detroit trans female reported missing two weeks ago, were found near I-94.

Henry Hilliard Jr., 19, also known as Shelley or Treasure, was last seen at 1:20 a.m. on Oct. 23 in the 900 block of Longfellow, wearing a silver dress. The 19-year-old had several piercings and tattoos, including one of cherries on the upper right arm.

Chief Investigator Albert Samuels of the Medical Examiner's office was able to connect the cherry tattoo to the information provided by police to make a match, said spokesman Dennis Niemiec.

Police said they're investigating Hilliard's death as a homicide.

I hope they catch and severely punish whoever did this to Shelley.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Detroit Police Still Searching For Missing Transgender Teen

Authorities in Detroit are still searching for 19-year-old Henry Hillard Jr., a trans teen who goes by the names Shelley or Treasure. The Detroit Free Press reports she "was last seen at 1:20 a.m. October 23 when a cab driver she often used for transportation dropped her off at home."

"Hilliard’s mother, Lyniece Nelson, said three men were waiting for the teenager when she arrived home. Immediately after the cab drove away, a concerned Hilliard reportedly phoned the driver.

According to the article, the driver heard Hilliard ask “What are you doing?” before screaming “No!” The phone was then reportedly dropped as the driver heard “a few muffling noises” before the phone went dead. By the time the driver returned to the home, Hilliard and the three men were gone."

If anyone has information on the case, they are asked to call Detroit Police at (313) 596-2200 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-SPEAKUP.

Read the full article HERE.

Oh Snap! Eddie Murphy Quits As Oscar Host

Eddie Murphy has decided to drop out as host of the 84th Academy Awards, following the resignation of his friend Brett Ratner in the wake of "rehearsal is for fags" gate. Chile, what would Johnny Gill say?

Murphy released a statement but didn’t give a specific reason for his departure. “First and foremost I want to say that I completely understand and support each party’s decision with regard to a change of producers for this year’s Academy Awards ceremony,” Murphy says. “I was truly looking forward to being a part of the show that our production team and writers were just starting to develop, but I’m sure that the new production team and host will do an equally great job.”

“I appreciate how Eddie feels about losing his creative partner, Brett Ratner, and we all wish him well,” says Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in a statement.

 Sounds like Eddie just wants to bow out so he won't be forced to comment on Ratner's comments. Would a simple "He shouldn't have said that," be so wrong? Oh well. Maybe they can get Kathy Griffin, Chris Rock or Neil Patrick Harris to host.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Music: Madonna "Give Me All Your Love"

You know I couldn't just ignore this blessed pop cultural event-Madge's newest single/song-in-the works has leaked. And I have to say I love it! It's great that she's shifted gears from club-ready, bass heavy music to a pop/rock sound. "Give Me All Your Love" sounds like "Burning Up" meets "Beautiful Stranger." Don't know those previous two cuts? Then get on up your Madonna game and get into "Give Me All Your Love" below.

To Chi Chi, Thanks For Everything....

Emmy-winning actor, John Leguizamo, has lent his voice as part of the HRC's Marriage Equality campaign, which previously featured Newark mayor Cory Booker, Academy Award-winning actress Mo’Nique, and NAACP chairman emeritus Julian Bond.

In the video, Leguizamo says "Loving, committed couples should be able to marry the person they love and protect their families. Nothing is more important than family and nothing says family like marriage." The actor is the first Latino to film a spot for the campaign, which plans to release targeted videos that include Republicans for Marriage Equality, African-Americans for Marriage Equality, Latinos for Marriage Equality, and Elected Officials for Marriage Equality in the coming months. View the clip below.

Google, Microsoft, Starbucks Say DOMA Hurts Business

Now this a new angle on the gay marriage debate. According to The Advocate, last Thursday top companies like Google, Microsoft, and Starbucks filed a brief legally documenting their opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act, saying the law "forces" them to waste time and resources. Apparently discrimination doesn't make sense or cents:

The companies say DOMA "forces" them "to investigate the gender of the spouses of our lawfully married employees and then to single out those employees with a same-sex spouse." For example, HIPPA laws usually consider marriage a "qualifying event" that automatically enrolls a spouse in an employee's health insurance. Companies now spend time and money weeding out any gay employees who get married.

If companies don't want to discriminate, because it hurts their recruiting efforts or they're just opposed to it in principle, then DOMA causes a bunch of "workarounds" that come with wasteful administrative costs of their own.

Companies complain that when a same-sex couple legally marries, it requires them "to maintain two sets of books." That's because the couple is considered married under state law but not married under federal law. "The double entries ripple through human resources, payroll, and benefits administration," they write.

Some of the companies have had to pay consultants to jury-rig systems used to track benefits and taxes so they can accommodate the double records. "These dual regimes have spawned an industry of costly compliance specialists," they complain.

The brief said the law is especially hard on small businesses, who often don't have the money to hire consultants, which in turn may cause them not to hire qualified employees who have a same-sex spouse.

Read the full article, as well as a complete list of companies that signed the brief, HERE.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Random Diva Tribute: Shirley Manson

Being that Garbage is gearing up for a new album in 2012, I figured it was good a time as any to give props to the ferocious Scottish goddess that is Shirley Manson. For whatever reason, I've always viewed Shirley and Gwen Stefani as being linked in some way. Perhaps it's because they're both frontwomen and their respective bands blew up around the same time. Either way, I've always viewed Shirley as the spice to Gwen's sugar.

While Gwen was cool in non-threatening way, at least on the surface--she can get introspective and down and dirty on occasion--Shirley displayed the flipside to Stefani's easygoing, bubbly persona.  True, Gwenny Gwen could scream, mosh and curse with the best of ska boys, but Shirley was/is a whole other creature.  Chile, Ms. Manson worked the stage like a panther, prowling around in her combat books or stilettos, her flaming red hair framing her alabaster skin or pulled back into a severe pony tail.

Meanwhile the dramatic, goth-inspired makeup painted across her face made her look both beautiful and tough. You didn't know whether she wanted to kiss you or rip you to shreds. This also carries over into her vocal delivery, which can wail alongside the electronic bleeps and thunderous riffs one minute, be sleek and sexy the next, or pull back the layers to display haunting vulnerability.

Here's hoping to a No Doubt/Garbage co-headlining tour, so I can get the best of both worlds. Get into a few of my fav Garbage vids/performance below.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Music: Amy Winehouse Ft. Nas "Like Smoke"

 The first offering from Amy Winehouse's posthumous third album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures has appeared. "Like Smoke" works the familiar jazzy/retro-soul groove the late singer perfected on 2006's Back To Black, with some killer verses from Nas. Taken a listen below.

How Would Your Life Be Different If Homophobia Didn't Exist?

"What do you think your life would be like, without homophobia, racism, or sexism? A study featured in the journal of Sexuality Research and Social Policy asked the very question to 400 LGBT New Yorkers (wow it really is a gay mecca:). Well I'm not a Yankee, but I'll give it a shot. Perhaps the best the way to go about it is to simply make a list.

In a world without homophobia:

  1. I'd be able to hold my boyfriend's hand in public or give him a quick peck on the cheek without worrying about who is watching and what may happen. 
  2.  I wouldn't have to think about whether or not to be 'out' at work.
  3.  I wouldn't have had to feel (and sometimes still feel) estranged from my immediate and extended family. 
  4. I wouldn't have drifted into heavy drug use (I'm not gonna lie and say I never would've experimented), or struggled with depression throughout my teenage years.
  5. I wouldn't have to think about who would actually attend my wedding.
  6. I wouldn't have to had to sit through a church service on pins and needles, hoping that a preacher wouldn't spew out some anti-gay diatribe.
  7. I wouldn't have to had to hide who I was in order to work in the church.
  8. It wouldn't have to taken me as long to feel comfortable in my skin.
  9. I would've been able to date and fully enjoy my adolescence like my straight relatives/friend.
  10. I would have never been physically assaulted because of my sexuality.
I'm sure I could think of more, but I'll stop there. True, homophobia has caused me significant pain in my short lifetime. But on the other hand, without the adversity I faced along the way, would I be the same person I am today? Would I ever had found my voice if I was never forced to stand up for myself against the church, friends and family? Of course, in a world without any -isms, there would be no need to assert myself and my orientation because everyone I encounter would accept it without question. So I guess it's a catch-22.

When it comes to sexism, I guess I've been affected by it in the sense that some take my sexual orientation as a sign of weakness, or wanting to be woman. Or, like a lot of guys, I've at times been afraid to be too outwardly emotional or too supportive of anything that could be construed as feminine out of fear being scorned. Think about it: whenever guys (especially straight/wannbe homothug type guys) want to compliment another guy, what do they always say? "Man that's cool/badass/tight/fly." Anything else leaves room for 'pauses,' 'no homos,' 'that's gays' or whatever other idiotic phrases are currently in vogue to question one's manhood.

As far as racism, it's hard to say.  Of course, there's the obvious: black people as a whole would be on better socioeconomic footing with white people, as there would've been no imperialism, slavery, or Jim Crow. We wouldn't have as many hang-ups about our African features (i.e hair, noses, lips, skin etc.). The entire course of America's (and much of the world's) history would be altered. There would be no more fear of racial profiling by police, or feeling that you have to bite your tongue in certain environments, particularly a work/mixed social setting, out of fear being labeled an "angry black man/woman."

But aside from those last two instances, it's hard to think how my life would be different in a truly post-racial society on a day-to-day level. Firstly, like many in our generation, attack dogs, lynchings, separate bathrooms and fire hoses seem like the archaic, barbaric images of a long ago era. Secondly, I can barely think of any examples where I'd heard a white person intentionally say something racist to my face or within ear shot. For the most part, we've been insulated from the more overt displays racism that our parents/grandparents had to witness or endure.

Unlike homophobia, your church, family and the larger black community more often than not nurture, inform you about and show you how to deal with racism, give examples (or serve as examples themselves) of those who've succeed in spite of it, and support you when you encounter it. That same safety net is not there when it comes to being gay and dealing with homophobia. Or at least it wasn't for me.

So how do you think your life would be different in an -ism free world? Discuss.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Random Jam: Whitney Houston "Fine"

One of Whitney's more low key, and IMO, underrated jams. Get into below.

New Rules Cutting Crack Cocaine Sentences Go Into Effect

Sick Chickens....

The next you feel your stomach crying out for Chick-Fil-A's waffle fries, think twice. According The Advocate, the Georgia-based organization donated nearly 2 million dollars to anti-gay organizations back in 2009.

Chick-fil-A president Dan Cathy has said that his company doesn't carry an "agenda against anyone," but it's hard to believe that after considering their "philanthropy." Some of the groups the corporation has contributed to through WinShape, the side company created in 1984 for corporate giving, include organizations that not only actively work to end marriage equality, but also groups that attempt to "convert" gay people and one that's considered a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Here are some of WinShape's contributions, according to tax records from 2009:

- Marriage & Family Legacy Fund: $994,199
- Fellowship of Christian Athletes: $480,000
- National Christian Foundation: $240,000
- Focus on the Family: $12,500
- Eagle Forum: $5,000
- Exodus International: $1,000
- Family Research Council: $1,000

While some of the names listed are no surprise, I'm sure I'm not the only one who did a double take when I saw Fellowship of Christian Athletes. FCA? Isn't that just about high school jocks reading the Bible and praying together to score touchdowns and sink three-pointers? Apparently not, as the organization has held conferences where leaders claim people have been "delivered" from homosexuality, and even feature an ex-gay story (a dykedelic P.E. coach) on their website.

View the full extent of Chick-Fil-A's benefactors' activities over at Equality Matters.

WATCH: Julian Bond For Marriage Equality

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The 1%

I thought this was so hilarious and had to post it. For the record Big Will did not post this lol. But if he wants to show me the 1 percent lifestyle I'm ready!
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