Monday, November 27, 2006


The first annual observance of National Womens and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day was held March 10, 2006 reconizing the effects of the HIV epidemic has had globally and nationwide. As we participate in World AIDS Day Week of Action, Nov. 27-Dec 1,2006 we acknowledge that accountablity from the government and local officials is paramount in this ongoing struggle. It is estimated that African American Women account for 67% of AIDS diagnoses and that HIV is among the top four causes of death for this group. According to the CDC, women account for nearly 27% of all AIDS cases-a twenty point increase from 1985. In this spirit, we encourage everyone to contact their elected officials encourge them to support comprehensive prevention messages and funding for agencies serving the HIV/ AIDS Community. Remember...Stop AIDS, Now! is our call to action. Can we count on you.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

World AIDS Day 2006 - Accountablity NOW!

December 1, 2006 is World AIDS Day and the world stands united around theme: STOP AIDS- Keep the Promise...Accountability! We at The Body Politic have signed on to be apart of the World AIDS Action week, begining November 27-Dec 1. This citizen action has been to desinged to challenge our recently elected officials and incumbents on not forgetting the issue of AIDS in America as well as globally. This continuing call to action couldn't come at a greater time, since the Ryan White Reauthorization act has yet to clear Congress, meanwhile AIDS service organizations are assessing budgets and the impact of services offered. The AIDS time clock ticks incesantly denoting increasing infection rates found to be uniquely high in southern African American communites, especially Black Women. Youth from 18-24 are often missing educational opportunities, getting mixed messages or insufficient campagins to combat stigma and sterotypes that could unknowingly expose them to the virus. Current CDC reports verify that both Afircan Americans and Latinos once tested are unaware of there HIV status. This alarming trend has created additional challenges for prevention messages. The National Minority AIDS Council has complete a comprehensive overview including the use of condoms in prison environments. In Arkansas, immates receive treatment while incarcerated, but only receive 30 days worth of medication upon release. Additional consultation of these individuals or refferals for medical assistance has not been adequately monitored. We encourage you call, write, FAX or e-mail your representative to remind them that this issue is still vital, has far reaching affects in our communities as well as universally if we have no accountablity. Please bookmark our site for some compelling commentary, the most recent statistics and direct links to resources for your consideration. If you have stories or perspectives to share, do so at


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Cornelius' Divinci Code Part Deux

As Executive Producer of this forum, I make every attempt to gather as much news worthy or "infotainment" items to share with readers in the GLBT community and beyond. Our goal is to spotlight, highlight and incite awareness about specfic issues and scrutinize our status quo with an inquisitiveness that will allow us to see the big picture of our needs. It's apparent that within our diversity there is a definite "disconnect"; thus enabling fragmentation that deflates our impact accross the board. The Body Politic wants to address the "800 pound Elephant in the room" paradigm that get's whispered about but not spoken directly too. If we are to continue to evolve and find viable solutions, we will have to embrace a "no pain, no gain," attitude. Therefore, all cards are on the table in our reporting and posting. We encourage feedback, observations, crtiticism and your viewpoints under our big tent. And now the news...

We would like to thank those who responded to our post,"Benefits-R-Us. It seems that this struck a nerve and has some folks re-thinking our benefit-a-thon attempt to suport our local organizations in area bars. It's understandable that NPO's need additional assistance, but these organizations should step to the plate and seriously infuse energy to their strategic development think tanks as a means to add to the bottom line. Such committees should comprise of the most innovative and creative thinkers of the group with a distinct action plan, not social climbers who want to fill their resumes with prestige or other ineffective warm bodies. In actuality, may we suggest that they either attend seminars on development, seek capacity building facilitators or hire a professional. Passing the the hat via cover charges or staid programming needs some serious attention.

Now that we've talk about what should be done, let's explore what's being done in our local verison of the Divinci Code. Take for instance, the Simply Red event supposedly benefiting the Arkansas AIDS Foundation. Overall the intentions appear worthwhile, however, after seeing recent 30 second commercials (yes, I said commercials!) one has to assume that Simply Red, is an "AIDS organization" promoting an internal "fundraiser." Especially since this marketing piece doesn't mention the foundation as a beneficary but briefly references the crisis itself with more emphasis on seeing "the most beautiful people eating fabulous food and dancing the night away," with vociferous emcee, Rene Shaprio to boot. More to my surprise, this TV piece also prominently touts other sponsors including the Diamond State Rodeo. But, according to DSRA inside sources, they state that their group felt sorta "slighted" after donating 2006 rodeo proceeds (about $2,000) to the effort, but SR organizers didn't extend a sponsorship table but wanted to further "sell" DSRA members acess to the fun fest for an additional $1,000! All this from a stealth clique that has not adequately defined itself. Is it an auxillary of the Arkansas AIDS Foundation, a Non-profit unto itself, or civic minded do-gooders who have decided to have a great circut party as a cause celeb.

Ideas A-Plenty are causing some consternation in the community as our "Season of Giving" A-Go-Go continues with duplication or replication being the norm. The Factory nightclub, originator of the Babes in Toyland benefit scheduled for Dec. 9, invovles a new toy collection for distribution. However, a mutal effort has been launched by "other individuals" using NLR's Sidetracks as a drop off site and has some people simply confused. Every one get's a kick out giving to kids, but it's the adults who can't seem to coordinate or communicate is the problem. More participation is always better, but clarity is paramount to gain efficiency. I don't like a lot of meetings but new technology has given us a brave new world of reaching out and touching! Let's try it sometimes.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Just Be Thankful...for One!

Being Thankful seems so simple, yet so complex. Each day as I arise and thank the creator for the priviledge, I can't help but think that as day breaks around the world, some one else's reality is starkly different from my own. What would it feel like to awake to hunger, fear, desolation and bleakness that has become commonplace to the citizens of Dafur. How would I deal with the explosions and stench of death that swirls in the air for Iraqi's bewildered masses who find themselves in the constant grips of terror daily or the ongoing distress of 2 Billion people worldwide who have no access clean drinking water. My problems seem so insignificant when I'm trying to find something to watch from 125 channels, choose what to have for breakfast or why there seems to be so much junk mail for me to throw away. Meanwhile, so many are suffering throughout the world and indeed in my nation or perhaps just a few doors away. Our complacency and "being about our business" often doesn't remind us just how fortunate we are or demand that we stop and think about someone else. However, as the holiday season get's into full tilt, I plan to take a few minutes each day and focus on some one else's plight other than my own. In the past my partner and I have participated in a variety of food drives, fundraisers, and adopting children at Chirstmas. This year we want to expand that thought by raising awareness and encouraging others to open their minds, eyes and resources to make a difference in their own special way. One, is not a lonely number,but a starting place for change. One person can make a difference. One voice adds power to the chorus. One letter could start a movement and once your get started it may be hard to stop. As we give thanks around the world, let's remember that there may be "one" person who may need our help. Stay Healthy, Wealthy and Wise...!

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Shooting from the Hip!...Part 3

Our Shooting from the Hip post just couldn't cover everything in one post, therefore, we expanded it as a catch-all for those items that are just to smart to ignore. So with without hestitation we dive back into the fast facts and loose lips of the GLBT community and beyond...

We're Open!! Apparently the guys over at The Factory are determined to find a patron base somewhere by opening 7 days a week! The text messages are fluid and complete with club info concerning the nights offerings. The $10,000 question is where are the customers? What gives and where, oh where has the community gone, that the local establishments are befuddled as to what to do next to attract folks. Times they are a changin, but these shifts could be very detrimental to social life and may continue to keep folks at home. The resounding theme that we've heard lately from community members has been," there's nothing to go out for?" Say what!!

Benefits-R-Us: Our eyes are about to roll back in our heads at the unleashing of organizational benefits that have been scheduled or plan for the incoming months. We understand that many of these Non-Profits have skelton funding schemes at best but, exactly how many benefits can one community support. Especially since most yield very modest returns for the work they take to produce or significant branding of the group. Traditionally, most organizations have development coordinators and firm strategic plans to formulate future funding structures for the bottom line. I don't recall United Way or Heifer International using beefcake or other uninspired efforts to raise funds for the coffers. In full disclosure, I have been involved with this type of fundraising and became disenchanted with the lack of creativity and limited vision. Plus, I'm bored with too many meetings!

Talk about Blowin Up! Locally entertainers come and go, but stayin alive in the biz is tough. However, powerhouse Tionne Iman states that "he knows where's he's going and there's no stoping him, now!" Iman, a former city title holder and upcomming contestant in the US of A system has a sassy website, that's got "everything Tionne" and more. The site features a gallery, guest book and links to some of his favorite sites. We will look for more from Tionne, including an exclusive interview, as we shine our spot light on him in 07. We think it's gonna get hot in here!

The Names Project: The quilts of the Names Project continues as this organization is seeking additional panels representing African Americans lost to AIDS. The quilt is often used as a teaching tool and art form that travels the country. According to organizers, the project would like to solicit groups, individuals or relatives to submit contributions. The Names Project has source materials to assist any interested parties with completing a design.


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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Shooting from the Hip!...Part 2

Last week BRAVO, an unabashed promoter of gay oriented content, entered the November Sweeps with a salute to the Girls of Comedy. Such luminaries as Paula Poundstone, Caroline Rhea, and red carpet acid queen, Joan Rivers harpooned, lambasted and get down right bitchy on a array of topics. Ranging from breast malfunctions, being man challenged and oddities of the world at large. Oh how we all love a little dishy dirt, put down or catty insult to help us through the day and the GLBT community can be at the epic center of it all. Case in point, the recent insipid nastiness of Boy Geogre of Culture Club fame, drug arrest or New York street sweeper,( you be the judge). Who collected an award for writing a song that he actually collaborated on with band mates and his "Diva- art- thou" attitude in regards to the new lead gender-bender singer, SAM Butcher, (pictured) for the rivived group. The rebirth of Culture Club will include a mini UK tour in December, documentary, new single and DVD. Of course,United States CC fans are waiting with baited breath for concert date announcements. I saw a video clip of the bands showcase performance and thought that perhaps the magic is back despite and without,Miss Geogre. O.K.!

From the pageant files. It seems that the current "excellence symbol" needs some lessons in class or either a tin cup. Apparently, the reining queen has made no bones about his level of poverty since participating in the national pageant, despite the state pageant being hailed as offering the largest prize package in the system. Thusly he has spent a great deal of time informing any one about his dilemma who will listen. Recently this queen bee showed no grace by groveling his way into an "unbooked" performance at a local club, subsequently whinning about how little he was compensated by the audience. Whew! All this from a contestant ranked 45th out of 49 at nationals. Go figure.

Organization A-Go-Go. Ever since the indictment and eventual trial of Lola Thrower, Lee Langston, Malik Blackmon and Rev. Lamar "Save our Children" Wright, the community has been basically "mum" about the verdicts and it's impact on AIDS services. The sentencing was varied ranging from 3 month home detention for Langston to community service for the good reverend. However Thrower, considered the "La Bella" master mind of this NPO pyramid scheme was given jail time. I'm greatly saddend that her "facilitating" abilities and base knowledge of AIDS funding became skewed by benefiting each player with paltry sums of cash and graft. I can't imagine the rationale used to justify these acts and the overall embarassment one would endure from friends and family. Not to mention the direct scrunity that the rainbow community spews in gossip, twardry remarks and other unsundry allegations. On the other hand it's unfortuante that this funding, if used properly could have uniquely put Central Arkansas ahead of the curve in services for the AIDS community. The propsects of having job training, meeting space, additional core services and a host of probabilities have again slipped through our hands needlessly. Our community has such a need for creative leadership with vision that incidents such as this continues to stagnate progress and future development. Ain't it a bitch. More about this issue next post.

Seeing Simply Red. Apparently some who received invitations from Simply Red / Arkansas AIDS Foundation were confused as to the nature of the event or had the group gone through a name change. It would behoove these entities to get on the same page with how this event will be marketed and too whom. Also strangely a ticket link is provided to the Red event but not to the Awards event,or a mention note about where the awards will be held on this marathon day of fundraising. The RED invite touts Lawrence Hamiliton as a "honorary Chair" but some board members were mystified about Hamiliton, how he became chairperson or his "entertainment value". Talk about efforts that seem lost in translation. According to sources, one local bar owner balked at placing poster material in their establsihment stating that "this organization's overall support is lacking until they need something from us."
Can you say... Kitty Kat Meowwww!

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Friday, November 03, 2006

The Alphabet Soup Monte

Often when posting to this blog, I find that there are so many topics that need a mention that space and your attention span couldn't coexisist. I attempt to pack as much in to each segment, whether video, podcast, or the written word. Covering all aspects of a community is a daunting task, especially when that collective keeps expanding it's game face. The ubiquitous word "Gay" has mutated to a form of "Alphabet soup" that has supporters on all sides who support rearanging the order. Daily I read a variety of publications from coast to coast and the standards flucuate wildly without regard. Over the year's the evolution of this community has been staggering with many hard fought victories as well as disappointments. Thusly, we have been faced with the dilemma of finding terms of inclusiveness,which has given birth to LGBTQ. The Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual,Transgendered,Queer moniker is the new canopy that's suppose to represent the sum of all. It's a mouthful and often interchangeable depending on who you ask. With this in mind, it is our mission to outreach accross the alphabet spectrum as a conduit and clearinghouse of ideas, news, commentary, video, links and podcasts. It's important that we continue to analyze where we have been as a motivator for the direction in which we want to go. We stand committed to educate, update, and congratulate those who share our vision of human rights for all! And now the news...

NOVEMBER 7- DECISION 2006The mid-term elections are only 5 days away as of this post. We encourage everyone to cast their ballot and show your support to the candidate of your choice. If you need polling information contact county clerk or Take a friend to the Polls!

ARKANSAS DHSS TO VIEW CDC WEBCAST/ SATELLITE LINKThe Arkansas Department of Health & Human Services will host a viewing site for the CDC program, "Mobilizing against the HIV/ AIDS crisis among African Americans" on November 16 from 1-3 p.m. This broadcast will also be available via a webcast from using Windows Media player. The player can be downloaded for free from the same site. Seating will be limited. For more info call Courtney Hampton, site coordidnator @ 501.280.4205

The Ryan White Care Act (H.R.-6143) that was stalled after the recent congressional recess will be possiably reconsidered as Congress reconvenes after the mid-term elections. Stakeholders nationwide are alerting constituents to contact their representative with letters in favor of passing this measure. The bill has been embroiled in a dispute with metro areas opposed to a proposal by Rep.Bono who wanted the funding formula reanalyzed with additional funds to rural communities. HIV/AIDS tranmissions and infection rates, uniquely in the black community, have continued to increase in the south. The Body Politic urges all community members to send e-mails, faxs or phone calls to your representatives urging the reauthorization of the act. Most Arkansas organizations and the services the offer rely heavily on this federal funding source.For more information @

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TODAY TO MAKE YOU FEEL PROUD?All local community organizations are seeking volunteers for their upcoming projects or ongoing missions in activism. If you have some time or expertise, you should contact the following with your committed effort to the cause. / Stonewall Democrats of Arkansas / Center for Artistic Revolution

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