Thursday, April 26, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
A ClockWork Orange: version 2007
Himan leads Pride 07 Talent Line-up
Monday, April 16, 2007
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.
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.
Friday, April 13, 2007
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and www.sidetracksnlr.com 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.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
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 Advocate.com 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
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, Ms.Ifill...no one could have said it better.
Monday, April 09, 2007
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 CorneliusOnpoint.com 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 email@example.com.
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Saturday, April 07, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
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...
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
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 BlackAIDS.org