Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Show must go on....

Believe it or not, I'm sitting hospital bedside, 72 hours since I emerged from surgery at Saint Vincent's Infirmary, as apart of completing my reconstructive hip procedure that I began back in December 2006. Some say that I'm a real trooper, other's can't define it and then there are those who think I'm loosing my mind. However, the real source from which this type of "show must go on" attitude derives from my foundation in commitment, an attribute that many are not taking very seriously these days. Daily I continue to get more alarmed at the meager levels of commitment that are offered, ranging from business associates to friendships. Being committed is "not a wish I may or wish I might not" fancy, but rather part of the character building blocks to which you should be seeking to solidify your reputation. Professionally, staying committed plays a significant role in my networking efforts, ultimately allowing me to adequately service clients, resulting not only in financial profits, but also earning rewards of personal satisfaction. This should also hold true in our friendships and interpersonal relationships as well, especially since "lip service" to commitments is rampant and has become openly acceptable for a large majority of society. I remember mother's old adage that "you've got to stand for something or nothing at all," and this sage advice is slowly slipping away, while being surplused with a host of conveinent excuses or lackluster attempts to live up to one's word. The severity of this problem became evident to me in a conversation with a local community member who was exasperated at the rambling, meandering, waffling and flip-flopping from gay business prospects. The angnst went further as the need for "additional information vs. who else is being considered," was a ongoing roadblock. I concured that this area has progressed slowly because concepts and ideas are not easily adapted by local citizens. Furthermore, Central Arkansas has always been a transient hub with talented individuals moving here, observing the stymied local color and pressing on to the next major metro area with the hopes of finding a more fullfilling life. This ongoing exodus has impacted this community across the board and there seems to be no remedy. One such individual told me that he was moving for economic reasons, plus he felt that there was no real community to speak of. He further expounded that he tired of the hidden agendas, convoluted mindsets and above all "the overall lack of commitment." As my partner and myself socialize, I'm dazed at the stories and accounts that I hear from folks longing for what they title "what you guys have..a long term relationship." But achieving a relationship of that level takes what..."commitment!" Those couples with "three week anniversaries," or promise rings at 6 months are usually no longer involved the next time I meet them. Thusly, the proverbial catchall phrases are activated. When I ask what went wrong, "it's all about what the other person did, or I didn't really know them or I needed to move on to greener pastures." I recollect living in San Francisco in the early 80's and it was there that I learned to understand the meaning of true friendship. I realize that our lives are often frenzied filled days of meetings, making a living or taking care of business, but the young men that befriended me their taught me the importance of being a friend and how fragile those relationship can be. Unfortuantely, many of those persons have died, but the lessons learned have directly affected my life to this day. There's not a day that I don't think about both the good times and growing times when you learn what type of friendship you've developed or the foundation it creates for you later in life. If those men were still alive today most likely they would be here with me bedside, sharing concern, old stories and demonstrating what it takes in life...a lot of commitment.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

April still busting a Move...

A ClockWork Orange: version 2007

April 2007 has proved to be a shaker and mover from coast to coast. The recent tragedy at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, shocked our senses with overtones of "a clockwork orange," the disturbing 1962, Anthony Burgess novel which graphically details lawless youth on a un-hooked, deranged marauder of society. Flashing forward to 2007, the perpetrator, campus student, Cho-Seung Hui, sent a media package to television network NBC, outlining a manifesto to his pandemonium and murderous plans. Thusly,the 24/7 news frenzy was filled with every angle and as many viewpoints that could be explored, meanwhile, murder, mayhem and madness still rages on globally. Call it sensory overload or perhaps I've become desensitized to the carnage that daily fills the airwaves in my life. Often I find it almost to much to consume, due to it's over the top ongoing nature. It's almost unfathomable that each day the body count continues to mount from war torn Iraq to the streets of Little Rock. My heart is heavy ladden with condolences and sympathy for victims everywhere. Yet, by the grace of the creator we move on and trust that tomorrow will be a better day.

Himan leads Pride 07 Talent Line-up

Pride Lines Up: The Little Rock Pride Committee has announced it's line up for Pride 07, June 3, at the Riverfront pavillions. This years headliner will be Thumbcrown recording artist, Eric Himan. Also featured during the festival will be Brenda Lyons, Sally Miller, The Mob Kings and Pride Idol finalist. Himan latest CD, "Everywhere All at Once," is filled with thought provoking tunes sheathed in soulful Folk beats. Tunes such as Heart Clean, There's gotta be something Going On, and Kinda Hard, feel steeped in his personal experiences and circumstances. All five of his CDs were products of his own indie label, Thumbcrown. I personally found them all to quite catchy, especially the accompanying video for There's gotta be something Going On. Known as "the Bad Boy of folk," according to Philly's Metro news mag, Himan's music style includes solo acoustic guitar and piano, influenced by the trailblazer Etta James to today's music makers like Jellyfish. His U.S. Tour will cover cities such as Dallas, Seattle, San Francisco and a host of Pride events being held in Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh, PA and Hotlanta, GA. If you want to listen in and feel his vibe and see the video, you can do so at our newly pimped My Space site.( ) For more info call the PRIDE LINE at 501.859.0723 or and tell em you heard it here first!

Rodeo UP: Ridin Hard, the annual Gay Rodeo in the Rock kicks-off with a welcome party at Sidetracks, 4.20.07. Tickets for the State Fair Grounds event are $15 per day or $25 for the weekend. Dinner/ Dance package for $15 The host hotel is La Quinta Inn & Suites, ( 501.374.9000) Still need more info contact the Rodeo in the Rock HOTLINE: 501.590.6775 or the website,

Walkin Pride: The AIDS Walk soriee prelude will be held at the home of Upson and Aukstuolis, 4300 South Lookout, 4.27.07, 7-9 p.m. The $35.00 per person contribution will go to offset walk expenses. Reservations are encourage but not mandatory. Meanwhile, Celebration of Life is the theme for the Arkansas AIDS Foundation's Annual AIDS Walk, June 2, 2007 at the Clinton Presidential Library park from 10-4 p.m. This year's goal is an audacious, $50,000 for agency services, clients and programs. According to organizers, online sign-up, donations and group information will be available. A grand prize drawing for domestic tickets for two from Southwest Airlines will be awarded to the individual or group raising more than $300.00. Go to for updates.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

The Alphabet Soup Monte 2007

The Alphabet Soup Monte. What's that all about? Well it's those ubiquitious letters, GLBTQ that are used to encompass the various elements of the big gay tent society. Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed at trying to find the right mix or order. Is the "L" before the "G," ? When did the "Q" take it place in the order of things and if the "B" actually stand of Bixseual, where's the designation for Black or can it be interchanged at the beginning as necessary? All of this makes you go, "Hmmmmm?" Regardless of the order, the individuals under this cobbled together rainbow are the most important factor as well as the lives that they are leading. I have been emphatic that this forum has made a committment to highlight all, no matter where they may fall in the alphabet matrix. In true, Seasame Street fashion, today's posting will deal with the letter, "T" for Transgendered.

Transgendered 101: Advocate columinist, Joanne Herman is an outspoken authority on the various issues dealing with those who are making "transitions" in their lives. Her column and website, complete with video is a storehouse of information, links and portals. This celebrated

Darmouth graduate serves on the boards of The National Center for Transgendered and PointsFoundation, a scholarship organization designed to assist with the financial needs of those in educational pursuits. I was very impressed with her recent contribution concerning, Transexual Regrets and wanted to share an excerpt. The full article can found on her website,

Transsexual regret

When you know someone who's undergone sex-reassignment surgery, the possibility of regret may feel like the proverbial elephant in the room. But what is the prevalence of regret, and why does regret occur?

By Joanne Herman

the release of Renée Richards’ latest book, No Way Renée: The Second Half of My Notorious Life, the topic of transsexual regret has once again come out of the closet. Her book is primarily the story of her family, career, tennis, and social life. Yet in a pre-release interview with The New York Times, the reporter asked Richards if she regrets having had sex-reassignment surgery. And even though Richards said no, the headline was "The Lady Regrets." Why is there such curiosity about whether post-op transsexuals regret their surgery?
As background, transsexual people are but one part of the very diverse group under the transgender umbrella. Many transgender people actually do not undergo a gender transition. But a transsexual person, on the other hand, feels so strongly about having a gender identity at odds with his or her anatomy that he or she seeks medical intervention or physical change. Some transsexual people do not need sex-reassignment surgery (SRS) to resolve the incongruity, while others desire it but cannot afford it.

NCTE Lobbies Congress: The National Center for Transgender will take to Capitol Hill, May 15 in a continuing program to educate lawmakers about legislation impacting the transgender community.
According to Mara Keisling, Executive Director the group is poised to bring together the largest delegation of transgendered individuals ever at this event. NCTE is seeking a repeal of the impending Real ID ACT scheduled to be implemented in Spring 2008. This act could impact the T-community as follows:

It could make it almost or totally impossible for transgender people in some or all states to obtain accurate drivers' licenses causing a virtual inability to participate in everyday aspects of society such as driving, traveling on airplanes, purchasing alcohol or opening bank accounts;

It will expose transgender people to routine discrimination everywhere IDs are inspected, including in employment, in schools, purchasing goods or otherwise conducting business, at any security check-in, etc.

It would likely expose transgender people's personal medical information to databases accessible by all local state and federal law enforcement officers and others;
Because it would require every driver in the United States to renew their driver's license from scratch with proof of birth, residence and citizenship, those trans people who have acquired gender changes on licenses without proof of genital surgery could lose their accurate ID.

Also, the organization is seeking supporters for (ENDA) the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would address "gender identity," making it illegal to fire or not hire qualified individuals. Other measures to be outlined include the Local Law enforcement Hate Crime Prevention Act which would provide a conduit to local law enforcement agencies to deal with sexual orientation, identity, or disability crimes. The organization encourages everyone to contact their Congress represenative about these issues and express your self accordingly. For more information, including a on line petition and educational guide for download, go to there website: Locally you can contact, Arkansas Transgender's website:

If you are in Northwest Arkansas:

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Talking Out Loud Rewind

So now that we've exhaled and steadied ourselves, the next breath we take will go to heartedly thank, "J.D." who again perform food magic, beverage service by Hank and the management of Sidetracks for their continuing contributions to the area, plus the willingness to "stay the course." My life-partner, J.M. & New Horizons Restaurants, James of Jaybri, Inc., R.J., representing AAF, and Jordan representing LRPC for participating in the second Business Afterhours Project held April 12. This spirited effort was was a success because of one fact: it happened despite the odds. I, as well as, those who make attempts to affect change in the community have full knowledge of the insurmountable challenges, obstacles and gritty learning curve that exist in this city and state.

During the evening we openly discussed:

1. That new concepts take time to evolve, mature and become self sufficient.

2.The importance of professionalism vs. the lack of personal committment that is rampant within the community.

3. Competiting for the mindset of locals is a daunting task to undertake when they've either soley embraced complacent lifestyles, vibrant careers or consumed by the lavender trinity of drink, drag and desire.

4. The labyrith of Diversity juxtaposed to "political correctness" overload.

I applaud and thank those individuals who took a chance and responded to our open invitation that was circulated community wide using all networking platforms. Including personal contact, this forum, snail mail, e-mail, podcast announcements, flyers and message boards. The Business After Hours project is schedule for the second Thursday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. If you or your firm would like to host, contact and for info. In closing, we must continue to plant new seeds of thought, water them with promise and prune them with persistence. Wont you join us!

ME, U, and Shirley Q. In leiu of the Don Imus meltdown, I'm wondering where's the groundswell of outrage about acerbic comic, minstrel huckster, Charles Knipp's imfamous Shirley Q. Liquor show slated for a weekend performance in Hot Springs. As I recall the message boards were on fire just a few weeks ago concerning the Gay Adoptions issue at the Arkansas Legislature. My inbox was flooded with repetitive messages rallying the troups about Senate Bill 959, urging anyone and everyone to share their voices about this measure. But, I have yet to see a message posted or opinion piece created to denounce this prouduction which falls squarely in the arena of the diversity construct. Recently, I had a conversation with a community member who admitted to the lack of knowledge of SQL, the connotations behind his characterazations and the fact that Mr. Knipp, a Quaker Minister, is a White performer who uses urban makeup to create this dastardly visage. We agreed that this type of material promoted in a GLBT outlet is seriously problematic and insensitive at best. Futhermore, this very show has been condemed from coast to coast by roster of organizations and activist. As we deconstruct the double standards that Imus devotees proclaim, I beleive that the GLBTQ community needs to assess where the "line in the sand" is drawn as well. I realize that personal choice is a factor, but why isn't the alarm sounding for this madness. Are local entertainers lacking consciousness, cash poor, or so desperate to entertain anywhere that they will accept any behavior to be in the spotlight. Case in point, Miss Gay Arakansas US of A 2007, Dominique Sanchez will be having a benefit in this venue on April 20. As an African American where is his sense of offence to a show that demeans black women, culture and the realm of good taste. Perhaps the lights on at Casa Sanchez and nobody's home? If the pink flags are raised when bad legislation is proposed, certainly the flares should be set off when the minstrel show comes rolling into town.

Rocky Foundation: Rumors are swirling and unsubstantiated murmurs on the streets cite the Arkansas AIDS Foundation as a vessel with no rudder, rapidly approaching a titantic rubicon. Alledgedly these are some the going-ons: Dr. Dean Blevins will be resigning as Board President in July admist a non-functioning board of directors, over worked case workers, lack of cohesive objectives, direction and leadership vaccum. Last year Executive Director, Larry Dearmon hastitly resigned and the nation wide search has yielded no solid replacement. But meanwhile a host of benefits on behalf of the agency raged on from Little Rock to Hot Springs. Including the high profile, Simply Red event which no one wants to talk about, the looming issues of Medicare D and it's impact on clients, the fancy Community Awareness Dinner and more F-bombs to come. Is this the beginning of the end....stay tune maybe some body will set the record straight, if there's anyone left.
PDH Research Associates is conducting an opinion poll on behalf of the NGLTF on programming for the organization. Go to If you complete the form you will be entered for a drawing of a grand prize.
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Pursuit of Happiness...are we there yet?

Before Oprah, Anderson Cooper or the myraid of media outlets that rushed to announce the phenom known as The Secret, this weblog covered it months before. But, the now much talk about self help sensation is getting mixed reviews with some feeling that it's not all that. Fortunately, I'm not alone in my thinking according to Rev. Vilius Dundzila, Ph.D, who deconstructs the message and it's vibe to the LGBTQ community. I previewed the DVD and digested a lot of the rhetoric on it's website plus the "Secret Scrolls" that are sent to you via e-mail with a bit of skepticism. But keeping an open mind, this forum has been designed to be all about empowerment and resourcing materials that will make lives enriched to the fullest. I suggest that you evaluate the messages in this media package and make a decision for your self. Living "in the life" doesn't mean not taking responsibility for living. All to often, some community members fail to create substantial revenue streams, proper estate planning or establish proxies of their final wishes. It's vitally important that if you haven't thought about it, then do so. Locate the best professionals that can assist you with taking your life to the next level and your assets too! My final word sums it up like this: supporting other people in their happiness will eventually lead you to your own.

Not sold on The Secret There's no denying that The Secret has become a cultural phenomenon. But is its simplistic message harmful to LGBT people? By the Reverend Vilius Dundzila, Ph.DAn exclusive posted April 10, 2007

In the opening segments of the smash hit The Secret, the filmmakers demonstrate how the negative thoughts of gays attract homophobic attacks. A gay man experiences harassment and assaults at work and on his way home. He wants to be a stand-up comedian, but he's met only with ridicule. It's suggested that his problems will go away once he rids himself of negativity by focusing on good thoughts. Next thing you know, the man is seen smiling at work, flirting with someone on his way home, and knocking them dead at a comedy club.
I found it painful to watch the gay-bashing scenario followed by the proposed simplistic solution. Homophobia is a dangerous and very real problem. LGBT people are attacked and killed in this country. They are executed in Iraq and Iran, with tacit and sometimes even explicit government approval. Attackers cause hate crimes, not victims.
The premise of The Secret is that bad thoughts attract bad things, while good thoughts lead to wealth (specific individuals cited are among the world's richest 5%, a group that controls 80% of the world's wealth), rewarding careers, and fabulous relationships (no same-sex couples are depicted). Poverty and disease would vanish, according to this premise, if the poor and sick would just harbor good thoughts.
The materialistic and narcissistic messages of The Secret belittle whatever superficial spiritual teachings it hopes to offer. The movie makes no mention of loving one's neighbor or enacting justice. It makes no overtures toward feeding the hungry, clothing the needy, sheltering the homeless, or caring for the sick. The power of positive thinking will apparently take care of that. For example, a woman testifies that she cured herself of breast cancer not with radiation or chemotherapy but with good thoughts and funny movies. The implication is clear: If she did it, so can you. This miasmic view of disease blames patients for their illnesses. It's an old argument that's still used to blame gay men for AIDS. I have been living well with HIV for 22 years by the grace of God, positive thinking, and the medical miracle of highly active antiretroviral treatment.
The Secret does impart a few worthwhile spiritual practices. But its simplistic advice perpetuates antigay thinking—and invites criticism of the poor and the sick besides.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Still Exhaling...Part 4

Equal Opportunity Indignation

The recent fury and outrage concerning radio shock jock, Don Imus is just another signal that the issue of race in America is a continuing work in progress. His remark about members of the Rutgar's Women basketbal team as "tatooed..Nappy headed hos," is another notch in his long winded career of equal opportunity indignation. Meanwhile,the nation's progress to healing is constantly being hindered by those who make offensive statements, later regretting them with the proverbial, "I'm sorry." Ultimately, I keep asking, when will these individuals learn that this type of derogatory, inflamming, deameaning and thoughtless candor is simply unacceptable in today's society. Especially when directed toward determined youth dealing with a daily barrage of negative images and soundbites in our 24/7 world. This outrage is not just for the Imus situation, but rather unilaterally, involving a calvacade of characters who have found fortune, as well as, fame in promoting insensitivity and shock. This group would include but not exclusively, rapper Busta Ryhmes, B-baller Tim Hardaway, and minstrel show comic, Charles Knipp as Shirley Q. Liquor. Everyone is got a reasonable "explanation" for their shitck or position, cloaking themselves in the name of humor or growing pains. Imus stated on the Syndicated Al Sharpton show that,"we were trying to be funny..."
All my life, I've been faced with verbage and assaulting language which caused pain and internal torment. Usually, I tried to act as if I wasnt' hurt by retreating to the obscurity of the corner of my bedroom, while reading books describing far off places and mysterious cultures. I didn't know the appropriate responses or why folks used "words" to deflate people. However, their mission to stymie a person's self esteem was a target that was rarely missed and unlike today's round robin of apologies, most were not forthcoming to me. Yet, I'm proud to say that I've weathered those earlier storms, finding a staunch voice within myself supported by a sense of self worth that is now ready for any dog fight. I'm no stranger to accusations, character assassinations, misrepresentations and down right lies that litter my past or future. I remember the first time I was called, "nigger,' or the "faggot,' combination to add further hate to the insult. Somehow, I've survived to now champion free speech but I want to add my disgust to the chorus who believe that "the apology tours," slapping on the wrist suspensions or any other rambling mea culpas are indications that the "race"element is still the 1,000 pound elephant in the room that we refuse to see. Celebrated journalist Gwen Ifill, who has been victimized by past Imus shots, in which his show called her a "cleaning lady," wrote in an (4/10/07) New York Times Op Ed piece: " ...So here’s what this voice has to say for people who cannot grasp the notion of picking on people their own size: This country will only flourish once we consistently learn to applaud and encourage the young people who have to work harder just to achieve balance on the unequal playing field.
Let’s see if we can manage to build them up and reward them, rather than opting for the cheapest, easiest, most despicable shots." Thank you, one could have said it better.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Waiting to Exhale...part 3

I lived through the Go-Go 70's with wide eyed glee and amazement at the my new found surroundings and it's inhabitants. I could'nt believe how much fun everyone seemed to be having and seemingly their willingness to accept me into the circle of madness. I was living " the out life," complete with soundtrack featuring, Chic, Peaches and Herb, Ritche Family, Anita Ward, Thelma Houston and ubber group, The Village People. I didn't desire to be a member of the group, but rather exude the confidence and coolness aura that filled the air each time I heard their music. Flash forward 30 years and The Village People, despite personnel changes, lives on. Meanhwile landing as apart of the 2007 Hot Springs Music festival scheduled for this week. After all these years, this group has decided to grace the state with their presence and decades old music that revives our toe tapping 70's sensabilities. However, life ushers in growth, maturity and reassessment of one's journey even though the music continues to be apart of the backdrop. I experienced the blur of being the "Dancer at the Dance", yet the fatansy of me being a "Macho Man," has been retooled, as well as redefined over the years, ultimately taking me to a higher plane of deeper living and richer experiences. Even though time has moved on, I can still enjoy dancing to the oldies, just a bit slower.

GOOD TIMES: As posted before, the haunt at the intersection of Asher and Wright Avenue has been undergoing some upgrades. Apparently in our search for the BLGTQ community, we've discovered that many have either gone underground, hanging in straight clubs or either this place. Once known as The Spot party room, the venue is being renamed, GOOD TIMES , according to an unfinished sign out front. Question: what painter doesn't allow enough paint for his project, is beyond me? But I digress. I've been to this joint in the past with host Sylvia Delassandro and was befuddled at the operation, not to metinon a then, $20 dollar cover that got you very little value. Insiders have told us that this "party room," has become a crowd pleasing, weekend throw-down for women of color from around the Central Arkansas area. Now hosted by "Angie," this late night bash features Drag Kings & Queens, Quasi-pageants and R&B/ hip-hop dance energy. We might take another look in the near future. As we can determine, admission cost is $10, beverages are available and it opens somewhere around 11p.m. or so until it's over.

Business After Hours: It's right around the corner, April 12. The 2nd business Afterhours project will be hosted by at Sidetracks, 415 Main in North Litttle Rock. (501.244.0444) This event will coincide with the opening of the new ball park. Parking will be at a preminum. Sidetracks, has a trolly stop at it's front door. This would be a great alternative to driving. This Free networking event, featuring a mini-buffet, cash bar and fun is open to community at large. If you need info, contact us at

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Waiting to Exhale...part 2

April is busting out not only with furious pollen, but a host of items that have sparked my interest and should you as well. As I have stated before, the mission of The Body Politic is to enlighten, entertain and enpower our readers with stories from every faction of our global village. It's those "six degrees" of seperation that I can't ignore when deciding what's pertinent to this forum or the fact that the GLBTQ community, by it's very nature, crosses many bounderies and platforms within the information horn of plenty. With this in mind, we continue with "waiting to exhale..part 2"

Oh Terrence!: Academy Award nominee, Terrence Howard, "keeps it real" in the March issue of Essence magazine. The Hustle and Flow,star and recent focal point of the movie Pride, states that he's frankly about saying what's on his mind, no matter how personal or self depricating. Howard speaks candidly about his estranged wife, Lori with their on again, off again relationship and their children. He concludes that much of the destruction of their marriage was due to his falandering and boozing, which caused a marital meltdown. Despite his high flying career, including such movies as Crash, Four Brothers and Idlewidle, he addresses his tough guy and hard to work with M.O, as seen by producers and directors with the attitude that it's all about "what's right or necessary..." As a Jehovah's Witness, T.H. isn't shy about sharing his views about gays and religion in an online(3/07) Post Chronicle quote. “Do I agree with homosexuality? No, I’m a Bible-based young man. But I know the Bible also speaks about homosexuality with liars, adulterers, thieves. I’ve lied, I’ve cheated on my wife, I’ve stolen. So how can I judge somebody for something that’s mentioned in the same exact scripture?” Howard will be co-starring with Jodie Foster in the much anticipated , The Brave Ones, later this year and will continue to pursue his passions where ever they may lead him. Kay-sara, sara!
They've Got the Power. OUT Magazine has announced it's list of the 50 most powerful Gay and Lesbians in America. Unfortunatley, no one locally made the cut, not even moi, but there's always next year. The list although touting many heavy weights could only find two African Americans that have lavendar clout. Vouge Style Diva Emeritus, Leon Talley is number 45 and "A-list" Talent Agent, Benny Medina take the 48 spot. Coming in at #2 is Ubber CNN Anchor, Anderson "360" Cooper who reportedly commands a 4 Million dollar pay day for his globe trotting services. Massachusett's Politico, Barney Frank and now Chairman of the House Committee on Financial Services is #5. Movie powerhouse, Jodie Foster bows in at #43 and Million Dollar Money guru, Suze Orman is at lucky #13. To see the entire list go to !

IMUS is not for us. Don Imus has fallen victim to that dredded disease that's been infecting the celebrity set called the "open mouth and insert foot,"syndrome. Imus referred to a select few of the Rutgers Women's basketball team in racially tinted terms such as "Man they got some tattoos..., that's some nappy headed hos". The outarage has spread from statements from the institution to the National Association of Black Journalist. Fellow talk show host, Rev. Al Sharpton has called for picketing his studios and others have demanded that Imus be fired from his synidicated show also featured on MSNNBC. They have no further comments according to spokespersons.
Sidetracks 2: 415 Main was a buzz with party goers for the 2nd Anniversary of Sidetracks, held April 6, 2007. The venue was nicely decorated with tablecloth tables, champagne fountain and to everyone's delight, a sumptuous buffet prepared in a team effort led by JD. The crowning moment was the beautiful tier cake prepared by Beau which featured a lighted fountain underneath. The CorneliusOnpoint crew and TCJ productions were in the house shooting video and making merry with owners Jim and Phil. As we were doing impromtu interviews, each participant states that Sidetracks was not just a club, but was considered "their home away from home." After post production the videos will be posted on our new beta site. Watch for announcements.

Stonewall in Action: Arkansas's Stonewall Democrats has come alive with a host of both April and May activites. If you want to get first hand info, click to:
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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Waiting to Exhale...part 1

Life imitataing art or is art imitating life. That's the $100, 000 dollar question that I struggle with daily. The 24/7 media crush is such a force in our everyday lives, that the bombardment of breaking news, sorted facts, details, rumors and "just the facts mam" can be overwhelming for just one person. However, The Body Politic beat goes on, as I continue to bring you the most interesting people and the news they create.

Heartbreak Hotel: Superstar Diva, Whitney Houston has been given full child custody of Bobbie Kristina in her recent divorce proceedings from Bobby Brown. Houston who filed for divorce in 2006, stating irreconcilable difference, emphatically stated to the court, "He's unreliable," referencing Browns attitude towards his daughter. She also added," he says he will be there, but often he's not. He doesn't show up." The court cited that Ms. Houston is not seeking any spousal or child support from the 14 year marriage, as a means of expediting the final divorce decree to be finalize in late April. Houston wedded Brown in 1992. According to Clive Davis, her mentor/producer the singer is recording new music for an anticipated new CD.

Mcmillian and Wife: Terry Mcmillian, 55 and Jonathan Plummer, 32, never ending saga, continues with Mcmillian filing a 40 Million dollar suit against her former husband of six years. She alleges that Mr. Plummber has not followed court ordered measures, including contact with her. The suit is a laundry list of allegations that Mcmillian has openly described as "putting her in harms way and hurting her professional standing..." She vehemently decries that Plummer was a con man who used her to gain his U.S. citizenship, commit fraud and later an extortionist. Futhermore, Mcmillian has exhaled verbage in which she describes some gays as "heterophobes " and has often referred to Plummer as the" little faggot." Mcmillian has purportedly discussed her situation with everyone from Miss "Oprah," Congresswomen Maxine Waters to former President Clinton and anyone else who will listen. Plus she published a open essay about the matter in the The Honeymoon's Over Anthology. Meanwhile, Plummer, a hair designer has rebuffed the new allegations and lawsuit which includes his attorney, Delores Sargent. Citing that Mcmillian has continued her spewing publicly which has'nt lead to a cessation of hositilities. Stay tuned...
Quick Bytes:
Sidetracks 2nd Anniversary will be Friday April 6, 2007 The pre-party happy hour from 4-7 will get you in the mood for the Grand Party at 8 p.m. will be on site for live coverage and will post the festivites here!
Move over The L Word.. enter producer Amber Sharp with, Don't Go, as new series faturing lesbians of color. The show is is post productions and a official cast website will be launched soon. until then check out www.Dont' for more info.
Arkansas Literary Festival will feature a galaxy of notable writers ranging from Niki Giovanni to Andrew Holleran. To get the full schedule click to:
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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

AIDS 26: Lives lost and lessons still being learned

The 2007 Arkansas Legislature will end it's weaving and wobbling session this week and not a moment too soon as far as I'm concerned. These elected officials have proposed bills that have ranged from the insipid to the bombastic, yet with all these high jinxs the session did result in some noteworthy results. Senate Bill 959, Shawn Womack's crusade to usurp the Arkansas Supreme Court in an attempt to stave off those whom he deemed unfit to be foster parents, lost traction and ultimately failed due to parliamentary shadow boxing in the Judiciary committee. Without a "second" or any vocal support caused the measure to fade to black. However, I don't beleive this is the last we will hear from those who want to "save the children," from those dedicated folks who want to provide stability and most of all, love. Meanwhile, HB 2615, now entitled Act 842, establishing a Minority AIDS Task Force has been sent to the Gov's desk for signature. Spearheaded by Willie Hardy ( Dist. 5) and supported by a cross section of lawmakers, the bill sailed through without much brouhaha or scrunity. On the surface this creation has merits, goals and lofty ideas in continuing addressing the HIV/ AIDS dilemma in Arkansas's minority community and beyond. In case any of those 19 appointed individuals need a refresher or perhaps a clear picture of what's really going on. I've included a stark global assessment from, and wanted to note state statistics according to the ADHHS, from 1983-2004 Arkansas has had 6040 cases of which 42% or 1580 have died. Do we have room for more lives lost and lessons still being learned? I think not....stay tuned.

CDC Analysis states African Americans highest rate of HIV infections

African Americans are still the racial group mostly affected by HIV/AIDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of the estimated 184,991 adult and adolescent HIV infections diagnosed during 2001--2005, more than 51 percent occurred among blacks than among all other racial/ethnic populations combined. An estimated 62 percent of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses were among persons aged 25-44 years; in this age group, blacks accounted for 48 percent of new HIV/AIDS diagnoses.
“We have rates of HIV/AIDS among blacks in some American cities that are as high as in some countries in Africa,” said Dr. Robert Janssen, director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention at CDC in Atlanta. ”When you look at New York City and Washington, D.C., the rates among blacks are higher than Ghana, Senegal and Chad.”
The rate of prevalence for blacks in Washington, D.C., is 3 percent, based on the number of AIDS cases being reported. However, Janssen said the total rate is probably closer to 4.5 percent, if you add the HIV infections, which the district is currently not reporting.
While in New York, according to a New York Times article, about 50 percent of AIDS-related deaths in the city occur among black women, who account for 25 percent of the city's population. In addition, black women account for 34 percent of the city's new AIDS cases -- an increase from 12 percent twenty years ago -- and approximately one in five black men ages 40 to 49 living in the city is HIV-positive, according to the Times.
The HIV prevalence rate for Senegal, the HIV/AIDS rate for people 15-49 years olds us stable at .9 percent; 2.3 percent in Ghana and 4.8 in Chad. While in South Africa, the prevalence rate is 18.8 percent.
Janssen said there are probably several reasons for the increase, including more testing.
“In many cases, a higher proportion of black people are being tested than any other racial group,” Janssen said. ”We are doing a better job of encouraging African Americans to tests. Every African American between 13-64 years old should know their status and take steps not to infect others.”
HIV is still the leading causing of death for African American women 25-34 years old. Among black men who sleep with men (MSM), the annual HIV/AIDS diagnosis black/white ratio to ratio (RR) of 6.9 was higher than the Hispanic/white RR of 3.1. Among females, the black/white RR was 20.5, and the Hispanic/white RR was 5.4.
“Research indicates that blacks’ sexual behavior is no different than those of whites,” Janssen said. “The most important factor in the increasing number of HIV cases in the African American community is the prevalence of HIV in the community. Racial groups tend to have sex with members of their own racial group. The mere fact that prevalence is higher among black people means that a black person having sex with another black person is more likely to bump into someone who is HIV infected than white people are.”

Sharon Egiebor is the project editor for