Wednesday, June 27, 2007

AIDS in Arkansas 2007

According to 2006 state Health and Human Service figures, there are 2988 Arkansans who have been identified as AIDS and 2480 with HIV infections. Official HIV reporting began in Arkansas in 1989 tracking cases statistically. However, at this date the state's system of testing is mandated by CDC regulations which is primarily name based reporting. Today I encourage you our readers to participate in National HIV Testing Day. Especially, if you have not been tested or perhaps need retesting to know your status. The Arkansas AIDS Foundation will be offering testing throughout the day at their local offices and other test sites will be available from agencies throughout the country. I've weathered this crisis from it's beginning, loosing a host of friends and acquaintances all to soon. However, we've been blessed with new science, drug development, easier regimens and individuals are living longer and stronger in the 21st centruy. If you don't know, get in the know by reviewing, sharing and passing on some of the material posted here or check out the links for additional information.

In 2007, who should be tested?...

CDC recommends HIV testing for those who have engaged in the
following behaviors that increase risk of HIV transmission:13,14
• injected drugs or steroids or shared equipment (such as needles,
syringes, works) with others
• had unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex with men who have sex
with men, multiple partners, or anonymous partners
• exchanged sex for drugs or money
• been diagnosed with or treated for hepatitis, tuberculosis, or a
sexually transmitted disease (STD), like syphilis
• had unprotected sex with anyone who falls into an above category,
or with someone whose history is unknown.

Advocates Scrapbook: Eric Camp, activist and AIDS survivor, has recapped his long term commitment to the struggles of equality and human rights. He has recounted many of his experiences in short video form as a living testament of his life's journey. I've known Eric for many years, feeling his passion and determination to be of service on many levels. I know personally that being an activist in any cause takes time and much moxie. Hat's off to you my friend...!!! These pieces are worthy of your viewing and consideration. Here are the links:

Standing in the GAP: The African American HIV University is a two-year intensive education and training program held in three segments. They include a 30-day HIV science academy and three 10-14 day trainings focusing on prevention health education, presentation development, and community mobilization, all of which are held in Los Angeles, and three six-month internships in which the fellows completed a range of assignments through their sponsoring organizations. The first cohort graduated in 2003.
Fellows are selected from HIV prevention and AIDS service organizations in the U.S. that serve the African American community. AAHU serves as a capacity building tool for these organizations in that their AAHU Fellow becomes a highly-trained HIV/AIDS science and mobilization specialist at minimal cost to the organization. The fellows also serve in their greater communities as in-house experts on HIV science, treatment and prevention.
The Black AIDS Institute was established to address HIV/AIDS health disparities by mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront the epidemic in their communities. Their motto describes a commitment to self-preservation: "Our People, Our Problem, Our Solution." If you are ready to take it to the next level, contact Sonya Taylor, training manager ( 213) 353.3610 Phill Wilson, serves as the Black AIDS Institue Executive Director.
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Monday, June 25, 2007

The 24/7 Catch Up under the Big Top... A Retake

Have you recovered yet? Well, I have and I'm back in the "Big Chair" gathering all the news, reviews, information, updates, the " Pride Hit and Misses," as well as a round up of everything that's everything in let's get started!

Domestics- R- Us/ The update: The Eurkea Springs Domestic Registry officially began accepting applications for it's local registry on Friday (6/22/07). There were at least 13 couples, which included Faith Tindle Swayer of the NWAGLCC, who filed into to the City Clerks office to receive their city embossed document citing their registration as domestic partners. Want can start the process by downloading the application then go to Eureka and file it. Viola! you're registered...Then when the magic is over you can go back to clerks office to get your domestic termination registration just as easy. All for just $35 or $20 a pop each. If you are in interested here are the links:

We got PRIDE 07!!

As the rainbow flags continue to unfurl across the nation, Little Rock concluded it's 2007 Pride Week celebration with It's Annual Turn-about Show featuring represenatives from each bar in various forms of drag. The show culminated a week worth of activities that covered a range of thought processes and demonstrated the versatility of the community overall. Even though I didn't make all the events, I tried to get a vibe or assessment from a broad spectrum of those who attended the weeks offerings.

Review: As a past Pride organizer, I can sympathize with those all over the state whom took the mantle of putting together another week of activites. Everyone involved should feel a sense of accomplishment and of course, pride. I salute each of you on the efforts. However in my opinion, each year it seems that resources, money and man power continue to be stumbling blocks to producing large festival events such as the Capital Pride affair at the Rivermarket. If the community wants to take pride to this level, they must understand the longistics and the intense advance planning that it will take to make this type of event happen in 2008. Work at this level becomes extremely taxing and leads to burn out of volunteers, board members and administration unilaterally. I suggest that each community began "Today" with sizing up, what worked or didn't work, respectively. Meanhwile, enlisting supporters early and gathering steam to start preparing for 08.

Pride Hits and Misses: I've acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that it takes to put on pride, I was so informed that each year also has a "learning curve" that must be respected. With that said, there were some great hits and few misses that I would be remiss in not mentioning despite the rainbow afterglow. Hit: I felt that Conway's GLBTQI communities determination to establish a pride tradition is certainly a hit. My first visit to their modest gathering was truly interesting, had good attendance and certainly lends itself to future growth. Good show, but some performers should have been limited to just one good number instead of mega-mixes that just go on and on. The police presence was more than adequate, I liked that Denny's of Conway offered discount coupons to everyone and gay marketing from MET Life insurance company were good signs that almost anything is possible if we just ask in time. Miss: No onsite food vendors available. ( Was I suppose to pack a lunch?)

Hit: The Factory scored with the Mr. & Miss Pride contest featuring royalty from all around including MGA 07. Also, their attempt to offer a variety of choices deserves a high-five. I think the addition of the staging area and acquring pageant rights will continue to add flavor to the place.

Miss: I was somewhat mystified by two events that had me scracthing my head. I read in the local entertainment tabloid Sync about the Cher impersonator scheduled for a thursday night(6/21) performance and a Free Sunday Brunch on (6/24). To my suprise I didn't really see a signifcant Bar promo push about the live show. Therefore, I was taken aback when sources reported that the entertainer look-alike showed up at Sidetracks prior to the thursday night concert in search of an audience! He took pictures with bar patrons, was "Cher" convincing and proceeded to empty the bar by inviting everyone to his show. You got to give him hustspa and many spunk points for finding folks to entertain. But most likely this was a far-reaching and probably expensive lesson to be learned by the new promoters that serious entertainers need much promotion and ballyhoo to get out the public. As for the advertised Brunch, I'm not sure what happened. I arrived around 1 p.m. to get pictures to include in our collage on this page(see below) but no one was home.

Hit: Sidetracks Family Reunion get's high marks for bridging old school folks with fostering an atmosphere to make new friends. They really believe in the their tag line "Welcome Home!" J.D. ( I vote as the real host with the mostest) and the merry ban of food preparers were throwin down some hot and bodacious catfish with all the fixins. If you came away hungry, it's your own damn fault! Keep up the good work guys and prosperity always to ya...

Miss: In the midst of the Sunday Kegger and cook-out, somehow I couldn't figure out what happend to the caravan. Did they leave without me or did it leave from some where else? Oh well...
Hit: I've got to give it to Easy Street for staying the course and trying to offer alternative entertainment. The hosting of the LGBT film festival gets kudos as well as M. Henderson for his free wheeling thinking.

Miss: I was somewhat confused with the listing of the birthday parties as "pride events." Maybe this was an inside joke that I didn't get.

Thanks to everyone who kept us in the loop on Pride 07. Below are pictures representing the week!

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Free Fall Friday

The news fall out from the week is just head spinning and there's no time to waste on the small talk. So, Get Set, Ready, Read......!

Eureka!: This just in from the Queer Coalition concerning the on again, off again Domestic Partnership Registry in the Ozarks. Earlier this week as posted here, Phillip Wilson an ardent opponent to the measure submitted certified signatures to halt the registry. However, legal wrangling, policy interpretation and other maneuvers will now allow the registry to move forward. Thusly, the Eureka Springs, Ark., Domestic Partnership Registry will begin Friday, June 22, 2007.
Applicants must appear in person with proof of age and the $35 registration fee in cash. Application forms are available click here . Certificates of Registry will not be mailed to applicants.
The City Clerk's office is in the City Hall, lower level of the Western Carroll County Courthouse, 44 S. Main. Office hours are 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Application forms for Termination of Domestic Partnership Registry are available click here. The fee for registration of a termination of a registered partnership is $20 in cash. With all that said let's also enter, caveat emptor, because these ceremonial registrations have no legal standing in Arkansas (or perhaps anywhere else for that matter) due to the Marriage Amendment passed several years ago.

Sneaky SICKO: I'm on Michael Moore's mail list and ususally gets first dibbs on what's up with his latest antics. This dropped in on 6/21/07 to alert me and others to a sneak preview of the documentry, SICKO, coming to a theatre to you on June 29. Unfortunately, Little Rock didn't make the cut to screen the film first. I'm just lovin the new age of video where everyone's a producer or creator, especially those who take a basic premise and go with it. It seems that everybody's in on it, including the Hillary Clinton campaign with it's Soprano bow to announce it's theme song. Meanwhile, the Sicko trailer get's the "nip and tuck" treatment and it's just too much fun. Hopefully, I can get in on the act with some self stylized videos and take offs on what's really going on in the near future.


Would you like to go to a sneak preview of my new film, "Sicko," before it opens on June 29th? Well, if you live anywhere near the 32 cities listed below, this Saturday night, June 23rd, our movie studio is going to hold sneak screenings of "Sicko" in 43 theaters across the country. I'd love for you to be one of the first to see it so, if you'd like, you can click here and order tickets now. We'd love to see you there.
Also, if you live in the New York City area we are opening the film tomorrow (Friday, June 22) exclusively at one theater, the AMC Lincoln Square for a first week run. The interest in the film is very high and theaters have been asking us to open it as soon as possible. Alright, already! It opens tomorrow in NYC, the sneak previews are Saturday around the country, and we open nationwide next Friday, the 29th.
Last night we screened "Sicko" for the members of Congress and the Senate in Washington, D.C. Earlier in the day we testified during a briefing in Congress called by the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. John Conyers, Jr. I brought with me some of the people who appear in the film to tell their stories -- and it was a powerful moment.
I will write again next week, before "Sicko" opens nationwide on the 29th. I'm so excited, after spending the last couple of years working on this film, that you all will finally be able to see it.
Michael Moore

P.S. Catch the sneak preview of "Sicko" in these cities this Saturday night, June 23rd:
Phoenix, AZSacramento, CASan Diego, CASan Francisco, CADenver, COWashington, D.C.Miami, FLTampa - St. Petersburg, FLAtlanta, GAChicago, ILIndianapolis, INKansas City, KSBaltimore, MDBoston, MADetroit, MIFlint, MIMinneapolis - St. Paul, MNSt. Louis, MOLas Vegas, NVAlbuquerque, NMAlbany, NYCleveland, OHColumbus, OHPortland, ORPhiladelphia, PAPittsburgh, PAAustin, TXDallas, TXHouston, TXSeattle, WATacoma, WAMilwaukee, WI
Order tickets online here:

Sidetracks Reunion: The fish will be frying or at least laying at the Annual Family Reunion and Fish Fry, 6-8 p.m. 6/23/07 on the Sidetracks patio. No cover or cost for this event, however donations ( food or cash) are welcomed. Guest will include fry originators, Jim Norcross and Richard Martin alias "Daddy and Ruth Ann," from Memphis. Pride week concludes with another patio Cook-out and Kegger on Sunday(6/24/07) plus the caravan to Backstreet for the Turn-a-bout show. The bar will open at Noon this weekend to get the parties started. Tell ya friends or go to for links and more menu info.
UBU Reunion: Don't forget about the weekend throwdowns at UBU, usually starting at 10 p.m. - until 824 West Capitol call 501.375-8580 for cover charge info and updates.
Drink specials, Hot music and beautiful people....what more do you need? Tell em we sent ya.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's coming up rainbows and lambdas!

Pride 07 continues to roll on and on with another June week filled with activites and hulaboo around the state. Even though 20 years has passed since my first hand involvement with Pride planning it seems that it's just as difficult and exhausting as ever. Of course, I will not make all the events as I use too, because other matters have commanded my attention. But as I reviewed the schedules, I realized that the choices were somewhat limited for my taste. Believe me, I've pub crawled more than I would like to admit, not really into more karaoke and my latest mid-life crisis doesn't include pillow fighting. Those of the cerebral set, usually find that activites appealing to individuals in search of "teachable moments" are in the minority when it come to local activites. Recently a community member firmly said, " we just wanna have fun...not think and stuff...!" Although I was somewhat taken aback, I realize that profound statements such as this seems to be the order of the day when it comes to this rainbow ritual. However, I'm not a party pooper, but would rather like to see a "party with more purpose," and empowerment. Oh well, there's always next year....

Pride Royalty: Congrats to Zia and Ken Iman as the Mr. & Miss Pride 2007. The two were selected at The Factory, (6/17) from a field of seven candidates vying for the title. Each expressed their desire for more unity and mutal cooperation within the community. The evening was capped with performances from Miss GayAmerica 2007, Luscious,(pictured) Miss US of A, Dominique Sanchez and Miss Gay Arkansas America, Raven St. James. In between performances, we had chance to briefly chat with Luscious, who was extremely cordial and genuinely excited to be sharing in the Pride event. Hailing from South Carolina, He stated that " despite his busy travel schedule, he's enjoyed meeting everyone each time he gets a chance to visit. He can't wait until next time."

Do you know your Rainbow history?

All across the country the rainbow flag has become a beacon of pride celebrations and festivals. However, many don't know what the colors of the flag stand for or it's history. Therefore I would like to share with you it's origins. Debuting in 1978 in the San Francisco Freedom Day Parade, the flag has become a readidly reconizable emblem of pride universally. Designed by Gilbert Baker, the flag's color bars represent an array of values embraced throughout the community.

RED: Life

ORANGE: Healing


GREEN: Nature


VIOLET: Spirit


Registry On Hold: The ordinance creating the Eureka Springs Domestic Partnership Registry scheduled for a June 22 launch has been stymied by anti-gay minister Phillip Wilson by submitting to the city clerk 147 signatures in opposition. The measure was unanimously approved by the Eureka Springs City Council, May 14 and according to advocates the proposal has broad based support from residents, tourist and church groups. The effects of this maneuver could have far reaching affects in a city with a vibrant tourist appeal, also about 25 per cent of local businesses being gay owned or managed which often host annual Diversity Weekends events. For more information:
In case you missed a posted pride schedule more info is available from !!
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

As the flags unfurl...Part 3

Each June, volunteers, organizers, supporters and organizations culminate their efforts to produce a week of events in the name of gay pride. However as revelry is often the centerpiece of these activites, everyone should take a moment to understand the basic who, what, when and where involved in the development of the movement. As we reflect on those events, we also continue our Lavender Light showcase offering another individual example of pride.

Pride History: Then and Now...

In June 1969, a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people rioted following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar at 43 Christopher Street, New York City. The late Miss Stephen Whittaker a transgender rights activist and founding member of both the Gay Liberation Front and the Gay Activists Alliance, is credited by many as the first to actually strike back at the police and, in doing so, spark the rebellion.

The Stonewall riots are generally considered to be the beginning of the modern gay movement. For example, activist L. Craig Schoonmaker claims to have coined the term "gay pride" in description of the 1969 Stonewall riots.[1]
Gay Liberation Front and Gay Activists Alliance in the early post-Stonewall era, coordinated the first month anniversary rally and then the "Christopher Street Gay Liberation Day March" on June 28, 1970 to commemorate the first year anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion.[2][3]
First year anniversary marches organized by other groups were also held in San Francisco and Los Angeles in 1970.
Howard also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around what is now known as Pride Day; this became the first of the extended annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world.
In New York and Atlanta the annual day of celebration to commemorate the Stonewall Riot came to be called Gay Liberation Day; in San Francisco and Los Angeles it was called Gay Freedom Day. Both names spread as more and more cities and towns started holding similar celebrations.
In the 1980s there was a major cultural shift in the Stonewall Riot commemorations. The previous loosely organized, bottom-up marches and parades were taken over by more organised and less radical elements of the gay community. The marches began dropping "Liberation" and "Freedom" from their names under pressure from more conservative members of the community, replacing them with the philosophy of "Gay Pride" (in the more liberal city of San Francisco, the name of the gay parade and celebration was not changed from Gay Freedom Day Parade to Gay Pride Day Parade until 1994). The Greek lambda symbol and the pink triangle which had been revolutionary symbols of the Gay Liberation Movement were tidied up and incorporated into the Gay Pride, or Pride, movement, providing some symbolic continuity with its more radical beginnings.


You only have to hear, Jassiel, to know that you must be talking about the dynamo dancer and a part of the budding entrepreneur team of The Factory nightclub. Recently we talked with him about his goals, aspirations, motivation and dreams as he reliquishes his title of Mr. Gay Pride 2006.

I asked him about his year as Mr. Pride and his advice to the next winner."It' s been a great year and I feel that I've done what I can for the community. I've participated in fundraising and tried to serve the title in the best way that I could". said Jassiel. He continued, "there's no prize or money that comes with it, but I feel that if you are selected, you should do your best to take it seriously. In the past, many winners have been involved just to win and then they either disappear or don't return to pass the title on." What do you feel was your biggest accomplishment? Cortez replied, " the whole year has been good, but completing the year was important to me and this is something that I would like to see other's do as well." According to Jassiel, he and his partner, Davey have big plans for the future of the club. First, they have completed a new lighting and staging area for large productions, also purchased the rights to Miss Arkansas US of A and Miss Twin Cities pageants. " These two pageants were available and we thought it was a good idea to become promoters," he said. " I have been to pageants and watched them so that I will know how to make it work. Also, I've talked to representatives of the Mr. Gay All-American contest about bringing a preliminary back to Arkansas. I just want to do what I can to offer community entertatiners a chance to show their talents and be proud." In closing, I asked Jassiel about his goals for the future and he said, " I want to continue to be active in the community, build the club's business and of course, stay open!"

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Friday, June 15, 2007

The Community "This- n - That" overview - Take 3

I've been saying that the revolution will be televised and the last time I looked, it's happening everyday. There's so much to post about that I just want to jump into frey without delay....

One by Land...Two by Sea....Raise the laterns!

They're Back...: Just as I predicted, those folks, you know them...the Arkansas Family Council and director Jerry Cox have announced there petition drive to make it illegal for gay people or unmarried citizens to participate in Arkansas's foster parent/adoption systems. According to their press release, Cox said " a final proposal isn't drafted, but will specifically prohibit same-sex couples from being adoptive or foster parents, not just target chohabiting couples." The drives premise is based on precedents set in Florida, Mississppi, and Utah, despite the defeat in the House Judiciary Committee during this year's legislative session. At least 61,000 signatures will be needed to put the measure on the 2008 ballot as well as being vetted by Attorney General Dustin Mc Daniel's office. On the homefront, local groups such as CAR and ASD have begun circling the wagons. We will keep you updated.

Rainbow Bombs: Just when we thought we've heard it all, then comes this from our own, U. S. Military. Berkeley, a California government watchdog deciphered from it's FOI request that the penatagon had considered in 1994 to developing a "Gay Bomb." Yes, I said, bomb. This mechanism would "be dropped on enemy combatants infusing them with hormones that would turn them into homosexual comandos and more interested in sex than fighting." This little ditty was budgeted at 78 million tax payer dollars, but allegdely was soundly rejected. Yeah right, sounds like a "don't ask - don't tell" tactic to me. Check out the video link to this story and watch in horror.

More Pride unfurling: I've been mystified by the various individuals who keep expressing to me that they are not getting information about pride activites being held around the state, even though Capitol Pride organizers have reported at least 1500 in attendance throughout the event. I realize that much effort have been put into promot-ing these activites, especially over the net, but somehow it's not translating for some reason. The electronic billboard on the Wilbur Mills interstate, now known as "I -630," announcing the pride event, gets kudos for visiability and creativity. (You too can have it for about $75.00.) Hopefully those backed up in traffic got an eye full. Meanwhile I've been informed that many in the community have been unable to hear my podcast or view video's because they are not tech savvy, lack dial up or high speed connections. Not to mention the time consuming madness of ever bouncing E-mail addresses, filters and changing ISP's of end users. If this is the case, I'm wondering just how to conduct a better form of outreach, data bases or create buzz when needed. Perhaps organizers should also consider using the airways, such as no-cost PSA's or being a featured guest on local chat show's such as KASN's Arkansas Alive or KATV's Good Morning Arkansas, to add to the PR arsenal.

4th Annual Conway Pride Parade & FestivalSaturday June 23, 2007 2pm
Sponsored by John Schenck & Robert Loyd in Association with CAR

Parade Line-up 2pm at the Pink House,1605 Robinson Ave., Conway, ARFestival location: Simon Park-next to City Hall 1201 Oak St.
Entertainers include:Featuring DJ Moon God Sally Miller The Mob Kings Michael Henderson Dreamfast Micah Qualls

Vendor information:Center for Artistic Revolution, CAR(501) 244-9690

3rd Annual AR LGBTQ Reel Attractions Film Festival.
June 23-24, 2007 - First film starts at 6:00pm
The festival will follow the pride event in Conway. The festival will be held in the Cabaret Room at Easy Street Piano Bar. Easy Street is located in downtown Little Rock at 307 W.7th Street. Donations for admission are accepted but not required. People of all ages are permitted into the event.

The Festival is Sponsored by:Cinema Pride, Easy Street Piano Bar, and University of Central Arkansas PRISM Special Guest 6 Time Emmy Award Winner: Stu Maddux
For more information and film schedule:

BLACK Pride 07: Brothers and Sisters around the nation are raising the red, black and green, demonstrating SGL pride with a host of activites and empowering sessions. If you are traveling this season, checking out one of these gathering could be oh so soulful!! Memphis, June 15-17, / Chicago, June 28-July 2/ New Orleans, July 26-29/St. Louis, August 17-19/ Atlanta, August 29-September 3/ Nashville, Oct. 26 -28, 2007

DSRA in Spotlight: The Diamond State Rodeo is on the move with a set of fundraising shows at ClubXLR8 in Ft. Smith, June 23 and a evening of birthday entertainment, Saturday, June 16 at the Hoffman road club house. Each engagement will feature Diamond Rose and friends. For more info. go to or

Champagne Birthday show: Champagne, featured entertainer at The Factory will be celebrating his Golden birthday, Saturday June 16 with friends and guest. Showtime is 11 p.m. We plan on dropping in to get a first hand take on the festivites. Stay tuned....

If it's happening or making news..we want to know about it first!

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Stuff bustin out all over....and more! part 3

Yes, it's still bustin out all over and the 24 hour news cycle is in overdrive with spining news, breaking news, too much news and of course "no news!" But I digress. However, as usual I've been on quest to discover our brand of information and issues that I believe you might want to know about. With that in mind, let the chips fall where they may....

Chasing Moore: It's obvious that not only is the medical industry bracing for SICKO, the Michael Moore doc to be release nationwide, June 29. But according to camp Moore, the Bush administration has continued an investigation into his trip to Cuba as chronicled in the movie even though he actually was approaching Gitmo Bay which is on "American" soil. The scene was shot to highlight 9/11 volunteers who were denied medical help in the states, juxtaposed to enemy combatants who are given first rate medical coverage a tax payer expense. Allegedly, Moore's trip is a possible violation of the dusty embargo that the U.S. has had against the island nation, although other certain criterias are allowed. Meanwhile, Moore has stashed a full length copy of the film in Canada for safe keeping in case the Feds come a knockin. I've seen all of Moore's film and I can't wait to see his take on the countries healthcare community. If we can nation build in foreign lands why can't we build a singlepayer healthcare system addressing prevention rather than acute care. I predict that a lot of folks are going to be sick about it.

Local Politico's on the move: We receieved this notice from Jada Walker, President of the local chapter of the Stonewall Democrats concerning upcoming meet and greets. I appreciate this organization keeping us updated. Hopefully as the schedule allows, I will get a chance to actually attend and give you readers some first hand impressions. Of course, I encourage you not to meet me their but get their first. It reads as follows:


A heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped to make Little Rock's PRIDE event at the RiverMarket such a great success.
It was so well organized and, well, crowded, with GLBTQ, our families, and our 'straight but not narrow' friends!
It was just fun all day.

The on-stage presentation of a Stonewall 'Friend of the Community' award to Senator Jim Argue for his work against SB 959
was a wonderful moment and we were thrilled that he and his wife could be there.

Of course, our very own former SDC president, Representative Kathy Webb, was at PRIDE as well and that made it even more special.
Those of you who worked the Stonewall Booth deserve a blue ribbon for your dedication - so thank you very much for that!

Please plan to join SDC at 6pm on Thursday June 21 at the Democratic Headquarters for a brief meeting and social hour.
We will discuss potential strategies for responding to the threatened election ballot initiative to 'ban unmarried adoptive/foster parents'.
Jada Walker, SDC President

ArkansasPride 07 continues: With Capitol Pride over, the pride season continues with celebrations throughout the state with local establishments offering stylized versions in their respective venues and cities. All the scheduling and information can be found at their websites and links. Stay tuned for our Pride round up.

Quick Links:

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Aint No Mountain high enough...

Each and every day I thank the supreme being for allowing me one more chance to add to my personal legacy. Amazingly we are reminded how precious life can be, not to mention that the sands of our individual hour glasses are shifting with each breaking dawn. I've previously stated that this forum has been designed to accentuate the postive but doesn't strive to be overtly politically correct. I am always on the lookout for those individuals that are demonstrating a committment to excellence from their own unique prospective and demanding their place at the table. Each week we will turn on the "Lavender Light Showcase" to highlight these persons and their efforts.

Lavender Light Showcase

Ladies and Gentlemen, Ms. Tona Brown...

About a month ago, I was reading an interesting article in The Advocate,( April 24,07) about a musician who had overcome the odds and was openly pursuing a career in the arts as a transperson. I was so inspired by her courage and tenacity, I knew I had to interview her for myself as a Lavender Light Showcase presentee. After submitting some base questions, Ms. Brown responded with delightful candor and as a beacon of pride.

Born in Virgina, Brown recalls her early years as a protogee, despite finances that were often challenging, somehow the family perserved allowing her to pursue her craft. Eventually learning violin and being accepted by the Governor's school for the Arts in High School where she came out as a gay male, she later entered college at Shenadoah Conservatory continuing to deal with her sexuality,but began taking voice clasess in search of her perfect pitch . At 27, she is a rising musical star in the toney world of opera and classical music with big plans on the horizon.

BP: What are your ultimate career goals?
Brown: To perform internationally in both solo and chamber music engagements. I wold also like to be a role model for other trans performers and people of color, helping others with my success...I would enjoy to take time off of performing every season to reach talented students.
BP: Who are your musical hereos?
Brown: Shirely Verret who I had the priviledge to met and interview for the St.Louis American last year. Others include but are not limited to Leontyne Price, Grace Brumbry, Issac Stern, Anne Sophie Mutter, Midori, and my mentor Darryl Huskey.
BP: How has music changed youf life?
Brown: Music has taken me around the world and exposed me to people of all walks of life. Music is the one medium that is universal and has no limitations or prejudice. I honestly don't know where I would've been without my love and work in music.
BP: Do you consider yourself a role model?
Brown: I consider myself a role mode for all people. I think that one can do anything they put their mind to. The only limits we have on our lives are ones we put on them. The skies are truly the limit and that is how I live my live and will continue to do so.
BP: What are your views on GLBTQ Pride?
Brown: Pride is something that I feel is within and doesn't have to be shown in a festival or march. You have to have pride within yourself and in order to survive in today's society.
BP: What would be your dream concert?
Brown: My dream concert would be a concert for thousands of people with my friends and fellow musicians featuring both vocal, instrumental, and chamber works. There are many musicians out there that never make it to mainstream that should be given a chance to be discovered and shine.
BP: How do you contribute to the community?
Brown: I started the Hampton Roads community orchestra, doing tours of elderly facilities, organizational benefits and free concerts allowing local performers opportunites to participate.

According to Ms. Brown, she's grateful for her relationship with her family, especially her mother, Sharon Brooks who has been supportive during her evolution as a transgendered person, meanwhile facing many racial obstacles that have been apart of her journey. Last year Tona toured with the Tranny Road Show and has plans for a CD of African American songs and spirituals.

We would like to thank Ms. Brown for her particpation and salute her as she realizes that "aint no mountain high enough, to keep you away from true success." She concluded with this note as follows:

Mr. Mabin,
Thank you very much for you interest in my story and spreading the word about my music and career to others. My information has been sent to a number of national publications so you might be reading about me in the near future or viewing me on one of these television programs.

Sincerely, Tona Brown


Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Revolution will be televised....Take 2

Let's storm the Bastille...well, maybe not, but perhaps tunning into the Revolution via whatever means necessary should be high on your list of "to do" things. In case you've been pulling a sleeping beauty routine, there's a lot happening all around us and it's not time to be sleep at the wheel. Your citizen participation or at least reaction is needed on a variety of fronts. Of course we can't get it all in on one post, but we will do our damnest to fast track as many of the hot topics right to your senses. Are you ready....let's get started.
Streamin to U: Corneliusonpoint's updated platform on is now streaming our favorite music mixes from Chicago's WCGI directly from our partner It is our goal to make that platform more of an entertainment outlet to compliment all of our online offerings. Unforutnately we've been made aware that some of the upgraded items, such as podcast or certain video's have not been accessable by readers due to lack of broadband being available unilaterally or cost factors. It is our hope that as technology continues to evolve, every community will get the hook up and be able to enjoy all elements of this exciting new medium. The Body Politic will primarily focus on the political landscape and world issues using podcast, video, commentary, continuing our unique brand of coverage on GLBTQ concerns and beyond. The live stream is going down at:

Don't Ask-Don't Tell: All of sudden each of the 08 Presidential contenders have become firm supporters of gays in the military or at least that's what they want us to think. The recent round of debates in Manchester, NH was a unifed front of prez wannabees raising their hands and taking a public stand on the inept DOD policy that has purged the forces of some it's most talented individuals. When Republicans were asked about DADT, they sat on there hands, avoiding the issue all together. Yet Senator Joe Biden's passion runneth over as he questioned whether any of the enlisted was actually asking, " are you gay?" Meanwhile, Hillary "in it to win it" Clinton echoing words of Republican stalwart Barry Goldwater, has mentioned that the boots on the ground don't need to know if someone is gay, but can they shoot straight." Touche, Hill. For myself, this war has been troublesome and I'm chagrined that with 3,505 service men and women killed, we can't seem to get past the fog of war or bite the bullet to end it. Each of these candidates have wonderful websites that allow vistors to fully express themselves. Obama is squarely camped on his positon that he's always opposed the war from it's inception. In an effort to brake from the pack, Edwards is calling folks out about their leadership skills and courage to take a more agressive stance. I encourage all of you to pay a visit and weigh in on what's bothering you most. This is an equal opportunity issue, watch the Republican debates and check those who bother you as well. Do it now!

Where's the Fence: an opponent organization to illegal immigration, has produced what I found to be a biting yet hilarious send up of the FED's grose attempt to fence out illegals on the southern border. The commerical is a take off on the Wendy's burger campaign, complete with three female senior citizens armed with binoculars asking the tag line, " Where's the Fence?...," even as they watch illegals run for the border. As ususal our semi-functioning government, continues bungling precious cash and bamboozling the project, causing only about 2 miles or so of the acutal fence to be completed. 700 miles was the rallying cry from the Bush Administration and lot's of techy-gizmos from Homeland security to boot, but what we really want to know is "Where's the Fence!" Check out the full segment below courtsey of You Tube and Personally I don't care where you stand on the issue, just take some action by calling your Senator and ask them if they've seen the fence.

For Arkansas:

U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln ( 202) 224-4843 U. S. Senator Mark Pryor (202) 224-2353


We are here, we are there and almost everywhere.....If you've got news, share it with us first!!

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Revolution will be televised....

Get Ready, Get Set, and stay tuned for revolutionary productions, television, commentary, documentary, and podcast that will take us to new heights or lows in our consciouness. Of course, I plan to bring it all to you in living color with our original take on what's really going on statewide and globally. In the immortal words of Joseph Mankiewicz by screen legend Bette Davis' character Margo Channing in All about Eve, "...fasten you seat belts, it's going to be bumpy night!"

And Healthcare for All. I hope everyone's ready to be sick about it. It's Micheal Moore's latest documentary outing, SICKO premiering June 29. Meanwhile a June 5, Oprah appearance will surely get the controversy started. Apparently Moore has gained support from Winfrey who has also decided that she will make national healthcare an initiative for 07. After returning from the Canne film festival, where this film was lauded as one his best, critics are raving, but healthcare officials are seething at this no-holes barred look at what healthcare has become in the U.S. According to sources, the United States is 37th in the world, just ahead of Slovenia. Where the hell is Slovenia anyway? I'm grateful that I was able to come through the system, warts and all, with my sanity not to mention good results. Yet, I'm alarmed to know that prisoners of Gitmo get free healthcare, however, mainland citizens are routinely denied needed procedures by insurance providers. We need Universal Healthcare in the U.S. Now!!

44 Blue Movies: Just in time for the Pride season, Turner Movie Classics presents, "Screened Out: gay images in films," presented in June on Monday's and Wednesday's. This 44 movie festival will cover films from silent to talkies using Richard Barrio's book, Screen Out: Playing Gay in Hollywood from Edison to Stonewall, as a backdrop. I suggest that if you love movies,you can't afford to miss out on this lavender history lesson.
Pink Spectrum Rising: James Porter and Shon DeArmon, publishers of the Pink Spectrum alternative magazine have shared with The Body Politic there impending plans for the now defunct magazine. After a hiatus, the two said that," they had never really given up on the venture." Also, "We heard from readers every where we would go and knew that people still wanted it." Porter cited that there was some "burn out" and the day to day hustle of putting the production together. He also said that," new equipment could possibly be donated and a lot of support would be needed to get things moving." DeArmon stated that there was no publishing date but would keep us updated.

Don't Take my I-Radio: I'm sounding the rally cry for all those who love Internet radio. It's been a good send as I've basically abandoned the terra firma stations that have a "I don't know that song," playlist to offer me. This is why we added the FM.1 stream on our Myspace platform( to allow our readers an alternative to the robotic "click and play formats" found locally. Also, we produce our own original podcast that can be found on this forum. I urge all listeners to call your Senators about the Internet Radio Act that will prevent internet radio stations and other webcasters to cease operations on July 15. This musical option is vital to new artist, breaking concepts, talk shows and those who are devout fans, such as my self. If you need more info go to

Ask you Senator about S1353, The Internet Radio Equality Act. Tell them you don't want the freedom of diverse music to stop on July 15 due to unfair royalty increases on webcasters or internet radio stations.

In Arkansas:

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (202) 224-4843
Sen. Mark Pryor (202) 224-2353
Rep. Vic Synder (202) 225-2506

ACT NOW...before it's too late

If you've got it...we'd love to hear about it. Feel free to leave us comment and share your two cents worth.