Thursday, December 31, 2009

Exit: Stage Left

As many have said it before myself, "This is it." The final posting from CorneliusOnpoint. We came on the scene some four years ago and now we must step to the side in search of where our journey will take us next. It's been a tremendous experience producing this forum and serving as a conduit to information as we fullfilled our mission to empower, entertain and infotain the GLBTQ community and beyond. What can I say? We've touch all the basis ranging from male circumscion to Lisa Lampenelli. It all fell somewhere in the this chronicle, which will be apart of my personal legacy, intact infinite. Thank you readers, supports, haters and all those who came along with me at some point during my tenure. As I've said numerous times, I never imagined that I would putting down digitally for this length of time nor did I imagine that my passion would reverberate into the culture. I've called it like I saw it and there's no apology in being straightforward, whether you agreed or disagreed, it's all about the dialouge. We always need dialouge and discussion. This blog is a treasure trove, scroll or time capsule of not only what was really going on, but also holds some of my personal triumphs and tragedies. It's all here, even as I must go. Again, Thanks to all of you whom enjoy my carrying on and special brand of observations. I don't think theres much more to say except, "until next we meet in another place and time." I bid you peace, prosperity and much Love! I'm out!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spin Down to the Final Countdown

One day and counting til it's O-V-A! Yes, it's curtains for COP:24/7 as we make way for new and interesting ventures to come. It's been a great run and we've loved every moment as the GLBTQ communities gatekeeper to updates, commentary, video's, podcasts and news. What next you ask? Well, there are local groups that have newsletters, a net radio show and circulated alerts which will have to stand in the gap. It's a tall order to keep a daily blog producing on a daily basis, but we've done it and now here's one more parting shot before we go!

Random Thoughts: With every year ending I find my self checking out those Top Ten list of this or that. Not to mention those proverbial list of who's in, who's out and what's not hot! Over the years, I've seen and heard some of it all with a bit of the talk-talk ending up in this forum. In any case, no matter the chatter, the words flowing from this forum has always been about empowerment and challenges to the status quo. Randomly speaking I mused out loud about topics that even today I'm not sure if they've been adequately addresses or winning solutions considered. Here again are a few of those elephant in the room questions:
1. What happened to the proposed Community Center project that was touted by some women from the West Coast?

2. Exactly what was accomplished by the Fed Up Queers during their 15 minutes in the spotlight?

3. Is anyone home at the Little Rock Pride Committee??

4. Did the Gay Film Fest run out of films and the book club stop reading?

5. Who moved my cheese?

If you stop and think about it, will any of this matter in the grand scheme of things. But it you give it some thought, it certainly makes you go, "Hmmmmmm?"

BARWATCH: Let's face it, we've got choice and if you can't find a place that suits you, then you need to stay home. It's been 30 years of Discovery and it seems that the place just won't die. It was the place to be "gay" in the day and it's evolution into an anything goes atmosphere could not be avoided. Especially as local gay folk transitioned, ebbed and flowed as well as became nesters. Yet, the complex holds fond memories for myself and it will always be apart of my personal history. Of course there's been plenty others to come and go, such as The Filling Station, Plumtastics, Sgt. Prestons, Fifth Gear, Rumors, Garbo's, The Factory, Code Blue, CHAPS and others. Can you believe it all these are history? Therefore, the 7th Street Corridor featuring 610, OffCenter and Pulse are new kids on the block. Providing locals with the basic mix that's been bringing them in for years, booze, boys and beats. Luckily Sidetracks is still percolating and re-defining it's winning combination. UBU continues it stride as an alternate meeting place, complete with shows and special music performers. I congratulate them for having staying power and doing what they can for the community. STAR bar the latest game in town, will hopefully find it's chops, especially with their deck addition. I will find my way their on spring evenings and summer nights. If you don't know it, this city has some of the best outlets compared to any that I've seen in the big girl cities. We should be proud to have access to such facilities with out any hassle. Thanks to all those entrepreneur's whom have take the effort to stay in business, but we should always remember, if we don't do them, they may not be there for us.

DADT: I can't close out this blog, without saluting all the men and women of the armed services who are serving in the name of this country. Their comittment and dedication in these "theatres" of war are to be commended. Esepcially those who face the Don't Ask/ Don't Tell delimma that often forces good people out of the ranks despite the need for few good men and women. Hopefully, POTUS Obama will eventually get the support needed to overturn this barrier to those individuals who want to defend the stars and stripes without strife! Thanks to all of you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

On Point Round Up and Outpost

Moving like a breaking locomotive, faster than a drag show change and badder than another public figure mash up, it's COP:24/7 dashing for the sign off button come midnight 12.31.09! Here we are 2 days out and counting, but still not done with bringing you the latest updates, commentary, links, video and damn near anything else we can get packed into this forum. Let's not waste a second!

Quiet "Q" Nights: Hello out there!? Of course with the holidays wrapping up with this weeks 2K10 calendar turn, it's no surprise that local organizations have seemingly gone in hibernation. However, this forum wanted to throw out the last of that type of info before we bid you adu! So far, the groups with 2010 plans already in the works are as follows. First up, after the DSRA NYE Bash, the rodeo association has released it's January calender featuring a talent night and the next Remembrance Royalty Show slated for Jan. 30. 2010. Need a Bachelor for those cold nights? The Arkansas AIDS Foundation will begin a new year of fundraising on 1.29.2010, at the STAR Bar, 8-10p.m. $10.00 cover. Stonewall Democrat's will meet 1.28.2010 at 6p.m., Democratic HQ, 1300 W. Capital Ave, Little Rock, AR. The group is gently reminding members that their Annual Dues of $35 ($15 for students) may be mailed to Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Arkansas PO Box 250253 Little Rock, AR 72225. As a part of DYSC’s (Diverse Youth for Social Change) fund raising efforts they will host Sordid Lives, January 28, 2010 at the Weekend Theater Corner of Chester and 7th Silent Auction 6:00pm ,Curtain is at 7:30pm
Tickets are $25.00 – Call for tickets – 501-244-9690 or 501-258-3186 The event will support the group to attend the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Annual Creating Change Conference. Yet, these are only a few of the community organizations gearing up for 2010 and hopefully their efforts will be successful. During this forum's tenure I made an significant attempt to provide a "free" means to advertise local events including those I attended or due to scheduling wasn't present. There was no nepotism or implied pretense to posting, reviewing or lampooning events. This forum has always been about community and sometimes our under belly gets spotlighted for better or worse. I've chided organizations or individuals that "putting the word out" about whatever they are producing is vital to it's success. Unfortunately, COP:24/7 won't be apart of that mix in the near future, but perhaps we offered a teachable moment to whom produce such events as well as those who attend.

BarWatch A-Go-Go: I can't leave, I won't leave, I must not leave without at least one more round of BarWatch. 2009 has been quite a year for the local scene and this blog has been front and center for most of it, if not all of it! So let's recap shall we? Of course, we bid farewell to the defunct The Factory a bit back and Easy Street went on to reincarnation as Speakeasy: The Piano Bar which ebbed and flowed to an opening and fanfare, even though there's still some construction going on. I had some drawbacks about how this venture would fare, yet I hoped the best for all involved especially, Matriarch Miss M whom chatted me up with updates and frustrations but always eternally positive about making it work. Yet I've always got some little colorful ditty to share such as on 12.20.09, Me and my partner showed up for their Sunday Brunch to discover music blaring, doors locked and no one serving brunch! Also, I've been made aware that some patrons were quite miffed when their "valet parked" cars were parked illegally and unbeknownest to them they received pricey tickets. Allegedly the "tickets" were removed from the cars upon returning them to owners but subsequently they were contacted by a local parking lot entity about past due fines. All in all, the lounge has been another spot for an enjoyable evening of fun, drinks and people watching. Is there more, yes! The 7th Street Corridor, Sidetracks, The Complex and Star Bar to just to name a few. Come on back as we go to the wire...

Monday, December 28, 2009

Going for the Goldfinger

4 days and counting. Yes, my readers we are finally here, the final postings of CorneliusOnpoint. Am I somber, not hardly. Melancholy? Somewhat. Reflective. Sure. Locked and Loaded. You betcha. Since it's almost over, then let's not waste time because there's much to get into this forum before the clock strikes midnight, 12.31.09. Let's go...

AID$ Inc.: 2009 will certainly be remembered as the Year of the Ponzi scam. No one will forget Mr. Madoff and all those of his ilk including many other Americans who got fingered by loan officers, behemoth banks, unscrupulous real estate types, Big Pharma and industires that have nickeled and dimed us to death. With all that under our belts comes this gripping, disturbing and undoubtedly controversial documentary, House of Numbers, to be released widely come 2010. However, this film was shown in October at the Hot Springs Film Fest including the director Brent Leung. Subsequently also on December 3rd, 2009, courtsey of University of Central Arkansas’ Prism Organization. Brothas & Sistas / Living With Affected assisted in faciliating dialouge due to the nature of the information within the film. According to a synopsis, In 'House of Numbers,' an AIDS film like no other, the HIV/AIDS story is being rewritten. This is the first film to present the uncensored POVs of virtually all the major players; in their own settings, in their own words. It rocks the foundation upon which all conventional wisdom regarding HIV/AIDS is based. 'House of Numbers' could well be the opening volley in a battle to bring sanity and clarity to an epidemic gone awry. Unfortuatnely I was unable to get the local showing but as I watched the trailer, I found it extremely interesting and will see the entire production shortly. Yet even though it was presented locally, to date I have heard very little mentioned about the subject matter nor any real commentary from the ASO community. Surely, the premise that perhaps we've been duped about this "health dilemma," the ongoing fundraising, cost containments and everything HIV/AIDS would have at least garnered a whimper from say, ADH or AAF? Is it so , that this film was openly presented and no one has nothing to say about it? Did I miss the conversation or "white paper" issued from any ASO agency? Well, they may have not, but before I go, this forum will have our say. In the meantime, check out the trailer and their website, The film will be available on DVD in June 2010.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday's Away

Here we go again, the rush and bustle of getting all the holiday madness gathered for that special day. However, this year's economic bombshells, outrageous rising credit card rates and consumer's analyzing whether the really need another sweater or useless piece of junk is somewhat taking hold. Yet, I know that despite it all, the shopping frenzy will go on until the last minutes open stores. As for myself, I'm being extremely thrifty including offering words of wisdom as gifts which although not the latest gadget, they are lasting nuggets worth their weight in gold. I would like to thank all of you who have visited this site, shared your thoughts, considered my opinion as my personal viewpoint and mentioned my brand of news to others. This will be the last Holiday piece as we prepare for the final countdown to the ending come 12.31.09. Until then have a great holiday season and we will bounce next week on all circuits with everything including the kitchen sink. Come be with us as we take it home and then some...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Pointing the way from 2009

3 Days and counting until you discover weather you've been naughty or nice. It's X-MAS 2009 busting a move later this week and I'm getting these last few post for the week out before I take a couple days for the holiday. Don't forget the reason for the season and do your best to bless someone with a random act of kindness. If you do so, share with us and we'll tell you what we did to meet the challenge.

Living the L Word: I 've learned that the groundbreaking show, "The L Word," has become a cult favorite of the lesbian set and beyond. I've only caught the show a couple of times, but it had a "realness" to the story line and the characters seemed multi dimensional, not stereotypes of what someone contrived to believe "gay women" are all about. Especially since it's reported that the Lesbian community throws down about a 690 Billion Dollar market. I need to write a TV show, book or make a movie in the near future with those type Benjamin's floating around. Nevertheless, according to press releases, "it's the final season of the show that won our hearts and got us talking; the show that The New York Times called: "a Sapphic Playboy fantasia" for its unwavering dedication to portraying sexy lesbian characters in a steady stream of increasingly hot and wild story lines. Season 6 is wilder than ever as it revolves around the $64,000 question: "Who Killed Jenny?" Nope, that's not a spoiler — the first episode begins with that question and we spend the whole season in flashback leading up to the big event. And in the words of that great infectious theme song, Season 6 covers everything from: "Talking, Laughing, Loving, Breathing, Fighting, Fu**ing, Crying, Drinking, Writing, Winning, Losing, Cheating, Kissing, Thinking, Dreaming." And SO much more. Starring: Jennifer Beals, Pam Grier, Leisha Hailey, Laurel Holloman, Mia Kirshner, Katherine Moennig, Rachel Shelley, Daniela Sea, Rose Rollins, Marlee Matlin, Kate French. You can get all the DVD's from your favorite outlet on the Net or Wolf !

Liar ,Liar Pantsuit on Fire: It's the Rouge one herself, Sarah Palin, whom just seems to keep going like the energizer bunny with lipstick. She's been berated, maligned, lambasted, and parodied. But I believe that her ascent to the Biggest Political Liar Altar is just the pinnacle of Mrs. P's ebbing and blowing. Her "death panel and rationing rationale" if you want to call it that, is simply almost too much to for any one to bear. It seems that Palin who has begun to master the "double speak" metaphor mantle, should make almost anyone cringe. Except those who believe that she's got a viable viewpoint that suits their fancy and apparently their are few folks out there consuming her brand of "naked truth". On her Facebook bully pulpit/ oracle where she often post her tirades of reasons, causes me to gasp and shutter at the rambling, revisionist rhetoric that she spews for the latest news cycle. What can we say, every village idiot is in search of an audience, no matter how absurd the message or vision. I guess if we want her to fade into the background, it would do best to just ignore her rantings or anything else she's uttering. Since I'm signing off shortly, you won't hear nothing more about her from me. I can't speak for the rest of the media hounds who are ready to take her task at every turn. What feast she's going to be....

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice

It's the first day of Winter 2009, as the nation is gripped with it's first Noreaster roaring up the east coast and another system winding up off shore. Yet with all this weather as well as holiday hustle and bustle, this forum forges onward as we prepare to "wrap" later this month. Therefore, it's more, more, more and more of what you might be missing after December 31, 2009. But until then, sit back and take it all in....
Solstice This: Many years ago I was introduced to CSM, (Christian Science Monitor) by a wonderful professor whom open the door to my global perspective which has grown even more broader since that time. That vernerable newspaper has now basically gone digital, but still ranks among my top reading sources. I sampled a portion of this item concering the Soltice as a means of making sense of all this event. It's written by P.S. Spotts and you can find the entire artcle on their website,

At 5:47 p.m. Greenwich Mean Time (that's 12:47 p.m. Eastern Standard Time) Monday, the Northern Hemisphere marked the mid-point of another year, as measured by the sun's highest position each day above the horizon. On the winter solstice, the sun's maximum height above the horizon is at its lowest point in the sky for the year. It's the day with the fewest hours of sunlight this year.
Yes, this is showing a Northern Hemisphere bias. South of the equator, the day marks the most hours of sunlight of the year. So enjoy the austral summer, those of you below the equator. The rest of us? We'll be rooting for longer, warmer days.
The event, of course, owes its existence to the tilt of Earth's axis as the third rock from the Sun revolves around its parent star. Imagine that someone poked a suitably sharpened, oversized No. 2 pencil through the planet from the North Pole to the South Pole. Today, the eraser is pointed away from the sun by the largest angle of the year – some 23 degrees, 26 minutes off vertical, with vertical measured against the plane of the Earth's orbit.
Six months from now, that eraser will point toward the sun by the same angle, exposing the Northern Hemisphere to the longest period of sunlight in a day.
Editors note: Thanks to my east coast contact (K.R) whom supplies this forum with a host of notable articles and leads on topical issues related to the LGBTQ community and beyond. His contributions have been invaluable and always "Onpoint." Many thanks, guy!!

why two black D.C. pastors support gay marriage
By Dennis W. Wiley and Christine Y. Wiley (Washington Post)
Sunday, December 20, 2009
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon a couple of years ago, we entered the sanctuary at Covenant Baptist Church and took our places in front of the altar, just as we had countless times before in our more than 20 years as partners in ministry. We had been united in holy matrimony ourselves in the same spot where we now stood to unite others.
As the couple walked down the aisle, we recalled the previous evening's rehearsal, when we commended all the participants for their courage and prayed that God would be in our midst at the ceremony. When we pronounced the couple "partners for life," we felt our prayers had been answered. It was the same feeling we had experienced so many times before when asking for God's blessing of the union of a man and a woman. Only this time, the union was of a man and a man.
Our church is the first and only traditional black church in the District of Columbia to perform same-sex unions. We conducted our first two union ceremonies, one gay and one lesbian, in the summer of 2007. The rapid political developments that followed in our nation and our city have made us optimistic that by the summer of 2010, same-sex nuptials will be not only blessed by churches such as ours, but also sanctioned by law in the District.
On Tuesday, the D.C. Council voted to legalize same-sex marriage. This historic measure passed 11 to 2, with the two no votes cast by council members Yvette Alexander of Ward 7 and Marion Barry of Ward 8 -- the ward where our church sits. Both wards are east of the Anacostia River and have the highest percentages of black residents in the city. Both members said that the majority of their constituents, who live in the same communities where many of our parishioners live, do not support gay marriage.
We have seen the resistance that Alexander and Barry were talking about. We know it has deep cultural and historical roots. But we have also seen that this resistance is not stuck in concrete.
After that first ceremony in our church, we were pleased and relieved; many members and guests told us how beautiful the service had been. But not everyone who attended shared this feeling. After most of the guests left, one longtime parishioner approached us, shaking. In a voice filled with rage, she asked how we could desecrate the sanctuary with such an ungodly act. She vowed to no longer be a member of our church.
After leaving our congregation, she contacted denominational leaders and local newspapers, including The Washington Post, to complain about our "immoral" behavior. She also took us to court in an unsuccessful attempt to recoup two years of tithes because, in her opinion, we had misled her in presenting ourselves as a "real" Baptist church.
For us, the courage to perform same-sex unions is in keeping with the proudest traditions of our Baptist and congregational heritage. Within the Baptist tradition of freedom and autonomy, Covenant Baptist Church has a long history of progressive ministry emphasizing social justice, service to the community and inclusion.
Several years ago, our congregation unanimously adopted a vision statement that we recite together every Sunday morning as a reminder that "all are welcome, regardless of race, ethnicity, class, gender, age or sexual orientation." In leading our congregation to adopt this vision, we knew that one day we would face the question of same-sex marriage. We did not know how we would respond when the moment came. We didn't arrive at the altar for that first same-sex union ceremony in 2007 because the couple asked us to perform their wedding. Instead, an openly gay man, enrolled at a local seminary, had sought our church's endorsement in his quest to become ordained. We treated him just as we would any aspiring minister who needed our guidance and support: We asked him about his personal life. He revealed that he was living with his partner, also a church member, but that they had not made a lifetime commitment to each other. We could not ask the church to license him if he was living with someone -- male or female -- in an uncommitted relationship. After about a year of counseling, he and his partner were clear that they wanted to be together for life. The ball was then back in our court.
This couple did not press us to perform a union ceremony, nor did we encourage them to have one. If they had been heterosexual, their decision to make a permanent commitment to each other would have probably resulted in marriage. Since this couple were homosexual, however, what were their options? Not only was same-sex marriage illegal in the District, it was also forbidden in most churches and faith communities.
Through Bible study, reflection on theology and history, and experience, we had come to believe that it was unjust to deny same-sex couples the opportunity to consecrate their relationships in the same way that we allow opposite-sex couples to. Before the ceremony in the church, each of us had performed a same-sex union ceremony elsewhere. But this was our home. The church had voted to become an inclusive congregation. How could we justify treating same-sex couples as second-class citizens?
We knew what was in our hearts. But if the ceremony was to be held at Covenant, we had to present this matter to the congregation. We believed that a traditional up-and-down vote could be too divisive. We chose instead to seek some form of consensus.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Bounce Matrix

It's one of the last TGIF's for 2009. Can you believe it? Just where did this year get off too and was I present for all of it? Why certainly I was front and center of the breaking news, updates, commentaries, links, videos, podcast and everything else we could get posted to this forum. It's been a banner year for COP:24/7 as we prepared for the "fat lady to sing," come this December 31,2009. What a year, What a way to go out, but before we do, we've got more of what you should be looking for! Let's Roll...

Is it Health Care Yet?: At this point, the health care reform debate has made me simply sick. It's become a behemoth that seems to resemble something from Dr. Frankenstein's dungeon that being formed from body parts from unknown graves. I've listened, watched and read all that I can take and I'm still confused as to exactly what's coming down the pike. I'm not sure which facet makes me tremble more. Is it the 900 Billion/Trillion/ Zillion dollars that will be needed to fund the thing, or the fact that nothing about this madness will even began to affect those supposedly "millions of newly covered until-- Yikes!, "2014." Not to mention those slicing and dicing Medicare, Medicaid and Medical whatever that's being restructured as deficit offsets and those other fancy financial wranglings that are being bounced around like no body's business. Hey, Mr. Obama, if we don't get this thing right, it's not going to be pretty. Let's hope for the best.

Jeff Johnson's Truth on TJMS

I'm a huge fan of the Tom Joyner Morning Show heard locally on KOKY 102.1 which often keep me in stitches with their unique comedy bits and bites. Yet, with all the morning mayhem that they may heap upon their listening audience, there's always a good dose of sobering commentary for a early AM "teachable moment." I got this e-blast from the National Black Justice Coalition which lauded the commentary from Jeff Johnson on the recent election of Houston's first openly gay mayor whom endured some suttle gay baiting and homophobia from opponents. We are all to familiar in Arkansas with that tactic and it's smear affect that some voters buy into. Here's their e-blast citing his commentary on that historic election.

If you are having difficulty hearing the audio, please click here to use a more compatible file format.
We'd like to call your attention to a commentary from yesterday's Tom Joyner Morning Show, from regular TJMS commentator Jeff Johnson.This brief clip includes commentary on the great lengths some factions went to in trying (unsuccessfully) to prevent Houston's election of an openly lesbian mayor, which leads Jeff Johnson to call out what he sees as a crisis caused by the African American community's unwillingness to be honest about its own homophobia. The clip is less than six minutes long, but in that time Jeff speaks an awful lot of truth to those that may not always want to hear it.For those that don't know his work, Jeff Johnson is a Washington, DC based journalist, activist and commentator. He is the author of Everything I'm Not Made Me Everything I Am: Discovering Your Personal BEST and is chief correspondent for talk show The Truth With Jeff Johnson.This clip is an example of the type of dialogue we need - open and honest, and a call to action asking the Black community to "stop being afraid, and start being willing to understand." His willingness and courage in speaking truth to those who may not want to hear it is inspirational, energizing and deserving of our praise.

Shopping til you Drop: In case you've still not found that special gift for the naughty or nice person on your list. There's some great video or MP3's from our online partner, CD Universe. There release of The Men of Israel, caught my eye and may make it under the tree this season. It's being billed as one of the first video of it's type totally produced in the country featuring an all Israeli cast. Exactly what that means, I'm not sure, but from the info I read, that's beside the point. The cover boys are Avi Dar( left) Matan Shalev (center) and Jonathan Agassi (right) whom give you your yule tide logs and more on a digital dolby double disc. Try saying that 5 times. If you haven't hit our icon gateway to that site, you might want to check this out and all the other fascianting items that CD Universe offers. As I've looked over their catalog, there are numerous gadgets, lubes, toys and enhancement items that are affordable self entertainment. I have no doubts that you can discover something that will either fit in your stocking or under the tree.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Angles and Frames Thursday

2K10 Commeth:The days of 2009 are clicking quickly as we prepare for the last year of the decade of the 21st Century, 2010. With that deadline juxtaposed to our own pending "self destruct," timeline, it's calendar boy and girl time. Thanks to Blackbooks Online for giving me heads up on it's latest offerings and the many other items that are just right for stocking stuffing. If you need that little something extra for yourself or your special other you can get it from their website, Enter Coupon Code: TAGGED and receive 10% off your entire purchase. And don't forget to tell em you heard about it here.

Is there a Doctor in the House

With the Health care debate pot boiling in Congress and the American people in the cross hairs of the battle, there are many articles and stories that should be on your radar. I discovered one such item in Men's Health entitled , "8 Things your Doctor's not telling you." It's important that as consumers you be engaged with your practitioner to secure the best outcomes for your well being. Get educated and Get Empowered is the best prescription you can get.

Before the feds brought him down in 1996, Edwin Kokes had a pretty good racket. Mr. Kokes convinced people that he was, in fact, Dr. Kokes and had cured thousands of AIDS and cancer patients. He encouraged folks to stop their medications and buy his potions instead, including one called M-Bone. Its special ingredient? Sulfuric acid.
Even if your doctor isn't intentionally out to mislead you, we'll bet a box of tongue depressors that he is keeping you in the dark about certain things. These are secrets that can save you money, time, and even your life. Click here for 8 things you'll never hear from your doctor—unless you know what to ask.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ruby Fruit Wednesday

Medicare Expands List of Covered Preventive Services to IncludeHIV Screening Tests

As the healthcare debate ebbs and flows on Capital Hill, comes this interesting diversion from CMS which certainly broadsided myself as well as makes me wonder what took so long to decide this matter since we are now some 25 years into the HIV/AIDS delimma.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced its final decision to cover Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection screening forMedicare beneficiaries who are at increased risk for the infection,including women who are pregnant and Medicare beneficiaries of any age who voluntarily request the service. The decision is effective immediately.Under the recently passed Medicare Improvements for Patients and ProvidersAct of 2008 (MIPPA), CMS now has the flexibility of adding to Medicare'slist of covered preventive services, if certain requirements are met. Priorto this law, Medicare could only cover additional preventive screening tests when Congress authorized it to do so."Today's decision marks an important milestone in the history of theMedicare program," said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. "Beginning with expanding coverage for HIV screening, we can now work proactively as a program to help keep Medicare beneficiaries healthy and take a more activerole in evaluating the evidence for preventive services."Under MIPPA, CMS can consider whether Medicare should cover preventive services that Congress has not already deemed as covered or non-covered bylaw. Among other requirements, the new services must have been "strongly recommended" or "recommended" by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.For instance, the Task Force graded HIV screening as "strongly recommended"for certain groups. More information about the Task Force is availableonline at"Every adult should know their HIV status," said Dr. Howard K. Koh, HHSassistant secretary for health. "This decision by Medicare should help promote screening and save lives."CMS uses the national coverage determination (NCD) process to make decisionson these types of preventive services. This process provides transparency about the evidence that CMS considers when making its decisions and allowsopportunity for the public to comment on CMS'proposals."Medicare's coverage of HIV screening tests is an important step forward inprotecting beneficiaries from the potentially devastating andlife-threatening complications of HIV and Acquired immunodeficiency Syndrome(AIDS)," said CMS Acting Administrator Charlene Frizzera.AIDS is diagnosed when an HIV-infected person's immune system becomesseverely compromised or a person becomes ill with an HIV-related infection.Of the more than one million estimated to have the HIV infection, theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that about aquarter of them do not realize they are infected. Without treatment, AIDS develops within 8 to 10 years. While there is presently no cure for HIV,screening can help identify infected patients so that they can receivemedical treatment that could help delay the onset of AIDS for years.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tuesday's Panorama 2.0

What a wonderful world. Or so we would like to think, right? Well, what we really know is the fact that it certainly takes some chutzpa to navigate through the daily mine fields that face us. I should know, since I get out of bed and go to the grind stone with all I've got and then some. If you want it to happen in life, you've got to make it so. Thus, I do that each outing in this forum as bring you our unique brand of news, updates, commentary and what we think is really going on in central city and beyond. It's another COP:24/7 on our way out come this 12.31.09!! Let's roll with it...

Housing 4 U: Little Rock Housing Authority will be accepting applications December 15th starting at 8:00 am.
Applications will be accepted on line only.
1500 applications will be accepted, after reaching that total process will stop.
An ad ran in Arkansas Democrat on Sunday, December 6th and will run again this Sunday, December 13th.
LRHA provides publicly assisted housing comprised of traditional public housing, mixed finance sites and Section 8. We currently house more than 8,000 individuals. More than half of our residents live in Section 8 housing located throughout the City of Little Rock. LRHA provides Section 8 residents with a voucher to be used toward their rent; however, private landlords manage the properties.

Uganda to Drop Death Penalty, Life in Jail for Gays
By Fred Ojambo
editors note: In a previous post, I highlighted that MSNBC newscaster Rachel Maddow had reported this story as well as US connections. Here is the latest update on this issue reprinted from a Bloomberg website.
Dec. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Uganda will drop the death penalty and life imprisonment for gays in a refined version of an anti- gay bill expected to be ready for presentation to Parliament in two weeks, James Nsaba Buturo, the minister of ethics and integrity, said.
The draft bill, which is under consideration by a parliamentary committee, will drop the two punishments to attract the support of religious leaders who are opposed to these penalties, Buturo said today in a phone interview from the capital, Kampala.
Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati presented a private member’s bill on Oct. 14 which sought the death penalty and life imprisonment for gay people in the country. The Ugandan government supports the bill because homosexuality and lesbianism are “repugnant to the Ugandan culture,” Buturo said. Still, it favors a more refined set of punishments, he said.
In addition to formulating punishments for the gay people, the bill will also promote counseling to help “attract errant people to acceptable sexual orientation,” said Buturo.
The proposed legislation has attracted criticism from gay rights activists, both locally and internationally, who argue that the law would promote discrimination and hatred toward the gay community.
To contact the reporter on this story: Fred Ojambo in Kampala via the Johannesburg bureau at
Survey Says?: The Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison conducting research under the supervision of Dr. Bruce Wampold, invites individuals to participate in a research study investigating the impact of experiences with race/ethnicity and sexual orientation based violence on mental health. The study is seeking Black heterosexual males, White gay males, and Black gay males between the ages of 18 and 40 to participate in the online survey. The survey will take approximately 30 minutes to complete and is being facilitated by Doctoral Candidate Stephen L. Gresham, M.S. of the University of Wisconsin - Madison
Here's the link if you wish to participate. Tell em you heard about it here first! s.aspx?sm= t0f5r9WiRP0YgWHwAXCo8A_3d_3d

Monday, December 14, 2009

Holiday Voices Carry

We are making our list and checking it twice, as we prepare to pack this forum like a stuffed Truducken sitting pretty on the dinner table. It's gonna be fast paced, edgy and sometimes off the hook before this blog self destructs come 12.31.09. It's been a blast as we get busy this outing with holiday voices chiming in the background....let's see what up!

OH! Obama: It had to happen as it usually does in America. They discover you, laud you and then lambaste you until the next cycle comes around. It's the trashing of President B. Obama that's ramping up with vigor and rancor. The polls are making the rounds, not to mention the wagging tounges, talking heads and spin master working overtime. I knew that the haters would come with a vengenence but the tone along with visuals are more than earthy as far as I'm concerned. I'm all about free speech, yet some of the outcry is just plain old disrespectful to the office or the person. However, when one ascend to the office of POTUS, it comes with the territory, not matter how vile or sickening the messages. According to news sources, Mr. O's numbers are below the fifty percentile level and most likely the WH is certainly concerned with this apparent slide since January. With the health care debate becoming a "Picasso" piece of work that most Americans are yet to understand, unemployment ebbing and flowing, the economy seemingly stifled and wars raging, it's a full plate that's becoming unappetizing to say the least. O.K. Mr. President, what you gonna do?

Bonanza DSRA: Just in time for holiday shopping or maybe even saving, DSRA held it's Christmas Bonanza fundraiser, 12.12.09 with a cash payout for those participating in the raffle. I personally want to thank all those who purchased tickets from JM and myself as we solicited many of you during the lasts 4 weeks. We realize that sometimes it's getting hit up for these type of campaigns may seem intrusive, but fundraising is an essential endeavor keeping any organization functioning. Of course, if you didn't feel so incline to donate in this manner, you can always offer in-kind services, frequent traveler miles, or a fundraising idea of your own. We'd love to hear from you today! The big winners were as follows: 1st prize ($300.00), L. Cervantez, Little Rock, 2nd prize($200.00), Ian Bowles, Toronto, Canada, 3rd prize($100.00), Keith Huber, Ft. Lauderdale FL. Congratulations to these folks and their participation is most appreciated.

FACEBook ME: This forum has covered much ground since it's inception and joining the social network craze was a natural progression as we sought to enhance our appeal across the board and the response has been great. It appears that many of you spend much time accessing the behemoth, FaceBook as well as all the other competitors such as Myspace, Twitter and such. Yet, as I get many invitations, updates and all types musings, obviously this means of contact is the wave of the future and I learned this unilaterally while promoting the recent Royalty show. As we end this forum, perhaps I'll stay in touch on these networks to keep you updated on my latest. In the meantime, keep those friend request coming!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fallout Friday: The Remix

Even though this forum has covered many topics and been topical on numerous subjects, It's been a daunting task to get it all in, down, observed or mentioned. However, as I've looked back over the 600 plus postings from the last four years, goodness knows I've certainly gave it the damnest try. Therefore as we wind down to our final days of being Arkansas' only daily LGBTQ outpost for news, commentary, links, video and such and such, here's my latest for the scrapbook.

Holy Convocation!


He's been hailed as a gospel sensation, music golden boy, soul stirrer and now an out of the closet profit. The furor over Tonex has found it's way into the Frey of that other ex-gay gospel singer, Donnie McClurkin whom ranted earlier this year at the COGIC convocation in Memphis that “I see feminine men, feminine boys, everywhere I go. These young girls are just as bad as the boys in homosexuality, you don’t see it. They can hide … but there are some evil young hard butch girls.” He also spoke negatively about openly-gay gospel singer Tonex, calling him a “perversion” and referred to gay youth as “vampires.” However, Tonex has taken the high road in dealing with haters and honors as he continues to produce for his music ministry. In a interview reprinted on Entertainmentwire/ Black Voices he stated,"you know, it's not easy growing up in a Pentecostal/Evangelical church, where everyone is pretty much anti-gay, although it's common knowledge that some of the most anointed musicians and singer-songwriters have, or have dealt with, same-sex attraction at some point. For me, it was particularly taboo because of my upbringing and the ministerial call on my life. I then had to think about the repercussions of this revelation. But I knew I had to get free. That interview was cathartic for me.It turns out that was the very first time an award-winning mainstream gospel artist openly admitted these things about his or her sexual orientation. I didn't really think about that either until after the fact, when someone mentioned it to me. Believe me, that's nothing that I'm happy about. It actually kind of sucks. I had no blueprint; I was actually making one. I had no clue of what would happen; I would have to wait and see. People make telling the truth sound so easy, but it's not. Not because you don't know whether it's the right thing to do, but because you don't know what people are going to do with it once they hear it. And, more importantly, what part of the truth they really gonna hear." Meanwhile Mclurkin's (pictured left) rant went viral on You Tube (view it on YouTube It's an amazing piece of rhetoric and gushing testimony that left me breathless. The issue of gays, god and gospel has been hot topic even before the Tonex confession and I'm positive that the debate will rage on. This forum has presented numerous viewpoints and observations on the matter with the belief that every individual will eventually have to deal with God in their own fashion. This couldn't be more true, in lieu of the increase of bullying incidents, hate crimes and gay youth across the country in crisis. It's imperative that we find solutions and positive outcomes for this fragile faction of our culture beyond the shrill dogma of those whom spew condemnation instead of compassion.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Winter Mash Up and Then Some

The first day of Winter is actually December 21st but old man winter blew through the nation with a polar salvo that makes most folks forget about the global warming issue. Yet, as everyone gets prepared to settle in for those long winter nights, this forum will keeping churning it out until there's nothing left to churn come 12.31.09. Stay locked and loaded as we bring you all that we can muster in this winter mash up and then some...

TRMS On the Job: I don't know about you but if you've not seen Rachel Maddow in action during her MSNBC broadcast then you should. Her, Rachel Maddow Show, is spicy, tough, thought provoking and sometimes shoots from the hip with a take no prisoner style. Recently Maddow's show spotlighted American connections with Uganda's proposed law to legally dispose of homosexuals by hanging whom are seen as serial offenders or HIV infected involved in same-sex acts. The interviews were riveting and expose the lunacy of some foreign governments and their internal policies. Not to mention the "long arms" of American officials whom have either visited these countries in some favorable status or have other religious connections such as the nebulous entity, The Family that has been the subject of news reports swirling around it's Capitol Hill players. As I recall, I did not see this subject being approached on mainstream network newscast or above the fold in newspapers. However, Maddow wasn't deterred in calling anyone out and asking for their explanation on the subject. I've included a video clip of her efforts and congratulate Ms. Maddow on keeping it real as well as on point! You go Ms. Maddow, now this is some news....

NEW YEARS EVE: Got no plans? Then you should consider DSRA for your NYE activities. You can bet that you can get a bang for you buck with hospitality, food, fun, music, champagne and party favors. Get READY to Party, detail coming to this forum next week!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

An "HO, HO, HO, Which Way is Up Wednesday

Can you believe that it's only about 64 days to the Winter Olympics, 16 days before Christmas 2009, then a few more days until New Years Eve and the end of our four year run as Arkansas' only daily updating blogsite. Yes, this year has been one for my record book and I will not forget it as we move to the next level of adventure in our journey. Whew, can I get it all in before the fat lady sings? We'll just have to try to keep you updated, linked, and doused with all the latest for the GLBTQ community and beyond. Let's hurry and get this edition rolling....

Radio GA-GA: Even as I prepare to take my final bow, I'm glad to announce that Queer Frontier: The Next Generation has joined the media landscape as Arkansas's new LGBT Internet Radio Show featuring news, local music, Ideas and diveristy. I've listened in to the show showcased in the podcast vein which I'm proud to state this forum was a trailblazer in this arena with offering podcasting several years ago. Just what haven't we've done to stay connected to this community. Meanwhile, QF:TNG has at least 6 shows already prouduced with the featured podcasters, New Beginnings Linda Hull and Bryan Perry. Linda is the voice of the BIG LEZZIE WEATHER REPORT. According to their e-blast they want to feature local community members and allies and LOCAL talent poets, thinkers, musicians etc Please send all announcements
Urge your Federal Elected Officials to Support AIDS Housing
Housing remains an important issue for people living with HIV/AIDS including many in Arkansas who are also dealing with other recently announced cost containment dilemmas. The ongoing crisis in housing for people with HIV and those at risk of infection has been made even worse by the economic meltdown. The fact remains that permanent housing options are simply not available in most parts of the country, and the lack of affordable housing is an emergency situation for more vulnerable households such as low income people with HIV/AIDS. However, the Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA), the government agency that administers the Ryan White Program has reinstated a policy via a Final Policy Notice (73 Federal Register 10260, February 26, 2008 ) that would cap housing assistance in the Ryan White Care Act. People with HIV would have been restricted to just 24 months (2 years) of help over their lifetime, despite the steep challenges to finding and retaining healthy housing. This policy was initially introduced during the Bush administration but people living with HIV/AIDS, AIDS service organizations, housing and health advocates, and a number of members of Congress, fought back. They submitted comments in opposition to the proposed housing policy amendment -- and it was withdrawn. But now it's back! Should the policy be enacted, families receiving Ryan White housing assistance will begin to lose their housing on March 26, 2010 based on this policy--UNLESS WE TAKE ACTION TODAY AND TOMORROW.
Take Action: 1) Call the Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121 and ask for your Representative's office. Please do not contact Representative DeLauro unless she is in fact your legislator. Need to know who your Representative is? Click here: Ask for the housing staffer. Request that they ask your Representative to co-sign the HRSA Policy letter led by Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro(D-CT-3) calling on Secretary Sebelius to reconsider this amendment. Contact information for the staffer is set out in the "Dear Colleague" letter from Rep. DeLauro below:

HRSA HIV/AIDS Bureau (HAB) Policy Amendment Letter
Contact: Meghan Whealan-
From the desk of honorable Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro
Dear Colleague,I urge you to join me in a letter to Secretary Sebelius expressing our concern for a policy that would limit the ability of affordable, stable housing for those living with HIV/AIDS. Under the policy notice, published in February 2008 with an effective date of March 27, 2008, persons receiving Ryan White housing on that date will lose their housing assistance on March 26, 2010.For people coping with the affects of HIV/AIDS, stable housing is central to their ability to manage their disease and has a direct impact on their improved medical care. Housing status is one of the strongest predictors of health outcomes for People Living with HIV/AIDS. It is a more significant predictor than individual characteristics such as demographics, drug and alcohol use, and receipt of social services. Over time, access to housing enables access to care and the ability to stay in care-entry into HIV care, primary care visits, continuous care, and care that meets clinical practice standards.I hope you will consider joining me in this important letter.
For more information or to sign on, please contact Meghan Whealan on my staff at 5-3661 or by December 10, 2009.
Sincerely,Rosa L. DeLauro,
Member of Congress

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Everything is Everything: A 2.0 Tuesday Edition

I'm still recovering from last Saturday's Belle's & Boots Blow out Royalty Show featuring the DSRA Royalty Team. Sore muscles, apparel baggage about, assessing financial outcomes and all that comes with producing such an event. It's still eviden today and in eye shot as I go on to produce this edition. Again I ask, " how do I do all this and still have a life?" It's just mind boggling, as well as, sprinkled with my quiet storm calmness that I make it happen. Yes, that it's it, I make it happen in concert with my fellow Royalty members, DSRA membership and all of you whom have filled my life's journey thus far. If you are born to lead, then by all means do so, is my daily mantra. However, with that evening in our rear view mirror, it's onward and upward to what's really going on. It's time to dive in, let's go...

U, ME & HIV: "HIV in Arkansas" the annual AETN program featuring an updates, spotlights and discussion on the state of HIV/AIDS in Arkansas will air Friday, December 11Th at 6:30pm and Sunday, December 27Th at 10:30pm. The program produced by Kelly Duda take a overview of advocates, consumers, local ASO's and the impact that this disease is still having in Arkansas and throughout the south. I've seen it in previous incarnations and it's always worthwhile to take moment to refresh yourself about the facts before you get caught up in the fiction. Check you local listings for the stations in your area. If you check it out, feel free to bring your observations to this forum.

Diversity Mix-Down: As many of you know I get mucho e-mail and I do mean "MUCHO!" However, I make every attempt to read all of this info but often much of it goes to my File 13 bucket. Yet my attention was certainly grabbed by an invitation that was bounced via the Stonewall Democrats citing a "Peacemaker" forum 12.11.09 Dunbar Community Center, 5-7 p.m. facilitated by the United States Department of Justice. The forum is being billed as an "opportunity to share your issues, concerns, and interests to enhance race relations and improve access to services in our community." Even more eyeopening was that this was being coordinated by City Director Erma "Fingers" Hendrix (pictured) whom if you may recall was embroiled in a brouhaha earlier this year based on a statement that she allegedly quipped during the ill fated Day Center debate. It was reported, but not totally substantiated to my satisfaction that she implied that the center considered for the the old Job Corp building would attract those type of people namely "homosexuals." Of course, Mrs. Hendrix vehemently denied such a statement was uttered nor is she of that state of mind or a person of that pedigree. As she continued to deny it, the reports kept swirling in the media and the GLBTQ construct went viral with social network postings. According to Mrs. H. her phone went ringing off the wall and in the final analysis, the whole matter became a non-issue. And in typical "erruption fashion," everyone moved on as usual. No apologies issued, no resignations announced, no detectable resolution. So what are we to make of this outing from Hendrix? It's anyone's guess and most likely no one will really care in my estimation. I predict that there will be minimal attendence from the GLBTQ community, but I'd love to be proved wrong. I'm always glad when the community makes a showing. However, it's all so surreal that this event would be taking place as this state has barred it's GLBTQ citizens from marrying or adopting. Ultimately, the forum perhaps should be about,"where's the justice in that peacemaking?" Hey Mrs. Hendrix, since it appears that you are all about mending fences, how about a forum on "Community Homophobia" coordinated with some of our local activist and advocates? Or better yet, could we count on you to be a guest speaker at next years PRIDE 2010 event? It's just something to think about. Here's a quick reacap: UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE/Community Relations Services: The Departments “Peacemaker” for community conflict and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin. 5:00 P.M. – 7:00 P.M. FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2009
DUNBAR COMMUNITY CENTER 1101 W. 16TH STREET, Little Rock, Light hors d’oeuvres will be served. If you find you face in the place, I'd love to hear your observations or opinions.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Manic Monday Breakout

Wow! It's full throttle motion as COP:24/7 rolls toward the final countdown come December 31,2009. What a year it's been and this forum has gone up and beyond to keep the GLBTQ community updated and linked to the latest information from local color to national headlines. It's been a daunting task, but stepping to the plate has been a hallmark for this platform unilaterally. I've enjoyed your rants, criticism, observations and even your "silence" which has often driven the direction of our content. Here we go with only about 16 more editions of CorneliusOnpoint, so get it while you can....

DSRA Royalty Night: Let me began that this is going to be a biased post because I'm simply over the moon for the support that I was afforded to witness this weekend. THANK YOU my rainbow family for your outpouring during the Belles & Boots: An Evening of Royalty show featuring the 2010-11 DSRA Royalty Team, Mr. DSRA Jerry Lum and 1st Alternate Marvella. The benefit cast was a who's who of local entertainers including Champagne, Meranda M. Cherity, Crystal Love, Lana, Marco Delgato, Diva Denery and former Mr. DSRA Dan Scott. Even though we promoted the show with a vengeance, I was overwhelmed especially as friends whom I've not seen in years, answered the "call" to come join us in our fundraising effort for Rodeo in the Rock tentatively slated for April 30 - May 2, 2011. The evening which included a Silent Auction netted a impressive $2100.00 which will be utilized by the charitable organization for the impending rodeo and selected charity donation. Last year DSRA selected St. Judes Hospital as it's designated charity recipient. Also during the evening toys were collected for redistribution via another local entity. During competition I stated that my platform was all about refreshing DSRA within the community and outreaching to the diverse cultures that make up the "people Mosaic" of our area. This is just beginning of a journey that will be open to everyone and anyone. No matter how small the donation or talent. Our entire 2010 calendar will be announced shortly and I hope to see you all in the New Year. Good Work community!!!

Funding Streams 101: Since we are on the subject of money, this dropped in the e-mail bag and I wanted to pass it along for all of us in need of cash infusions for our various groups. I plan on either listening in or getting the MP3 for reference for my fundrasing chops. I've always stated that viable organization must discover, develop and design numerous funding streams for survival, especially in these challenging economic times. So, with that said check this opportunity out to empower your fundrasing efforts.
Building a Dynamic Grantseeking Calendar for 2010
Free Nonprofit 911® TeleconferenceTuesday, December 15 at 1 p.m. (eastern)
Too often we prepare grant proposals just because the opportunity appears on our doorstep. Too seldom do we develop a calendar that builds a comprehensive grantseeking schedule around a set of projects identified and blessed by our boards.
In this Nonprofit 911 Call with Cynthia M. Adams, CEO of GrantStation, you will learn:
How to establish your own grantseeking calendars for 2010
To uncover the right grant makers - private and government - for your programs and projects
To understand trends in corporate and foundation giving, as well as significant trends in government grants - stimulus funding as well as other federal and state programs
This will be a lively training call with an accompanying PowerPoint slides and worksheets for registrants. Register today to take the first step toward zeroing in on your fundraising plan and mix for the coming year!
Can't make it on the 15th? Register to receive a free MP3 audio and text transcript.
Our Speaker: Cynthia Adams
Cynthia Adams has been a fundraiser for over 35 years. Working directly for nonprofits and as a fundraising consultant, Ms. Adams specializes in building bridges between funders and grantseekers. She strongly believes that successful grantseeking requires a thorough understanding of the funders and sound knowledge of the playing field. Her life's work has been to level that playing field, creating an opportunity for all nonprofit organizations to access the wealth of grant opportunities throughout the world.
Don't forget to pause to remember Pearl Harbor Day and it's significance in our history. We support our troops and their ongoing service to our country.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Mid-Week Rush

One Night. One Voice. One Message. "HIV and AIDS wasn't just a gay disease, it's a human disease and always was a human disease..." Sheryl Lee Ralph. The centerpiece event of World AIDS Day 2009 featured Tony Nominated, Screen and TV star Sheryl Lee Ralph in her tour-de-force one woman show, "Sometimes I Cry" before a captivated audience last evening. In earlier post I had mused about obtaining tickets to the event and was pleasantly surprised as I was afforded the chance to catch this moving presentation held in the spacious Lucy Cabe Theater at the Wilwood Performing Arts park. Ralph took to the stage in complete darkness, appearing into the spotlight with a taped mouth, starkly gazing into the audience then suddenly snatching the tape from her mouth signifying the "silence" which some affected or infected individuals covet in this health dilemma. Ms. Ralph moved effortlessly as she reminisce of her Dreamgirls Broadway days, while citing the many deaths of friends and co-workers. "I witnessed the sickness and death. It was a sad time in America." she recalled. As a co-witness to that carnage, I concurred with her sentiments and at this point I knew that Ms. Ralph was going to bring it home. And she did just that. The show is centered around three characters from her own personal "sistah" chronicles which detail the "loves, lives and losses of women infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. She vividly describes an incontinent moment of a business/socialite, the harsh realities of a young women caught up in the foster system and the next door Sunday school teacher whom gets a second lust for life as a widow finds herself facing an HIV diagnosis. Each story is extremely frank and in your face artistry which Ms. Ralph dressed in all black uses unlike a ninja master. After the conclusion, she entertained a Q & A in which she mentioned about her travels, observations and her hopes for the future. I was simply thrilled that this presentation was offered in a joint venture with the Arkansas Department of Health and Minority Health Commission along with the Diva Foundation helmed by Ralph. Even though the "stories" were female centric, the message " care about yourself first!, should resonate across the board. As I surveyed the crowd, It was apparent that many of those hard to come by tickets had made it into the hands of predominately African American women which is not out of context since the show comes from a female prospective, but what did catch my attention was the fact that some of these attendess seemed to have secured "many" tickets of the reported 600 tickets distributed. In my seating area, one such lady had tickets for the much of row and commanded seats while fielding her cell phone with directions for those apparently lost in transition. After her guest arrived, I was further bemused when a one individual said," who's Sheryl Lee Ralph?" It was priceless. All this aside I didn't feel out of place nor did some of the other brothers in the house ranging from banker Charles Stewart to Dr. A. Williams. A big high-five along with capital Kudos to all involved in bringing this type of programming to the city. I want to also thank Mr. K. D, "D" and those gracious ladies on the door who provided a warm welcome from the onset. It's this type of event that I suggest that if you missed this one, you certainly should get to the next outing. In one final note, I had not been to Wildwood even though I had plans to do so. The theater is state of the art and I look forward to returning for their schedule of events. Simply put there's not a bad seat in the house as many of them are dedicated to prominent locals including my own seat which was in honor of none other than Jack Stephens. In the meantime, "Get the facts. Get involved. Get Tested. For more information click it to: or 1.800.CDC-INFO (232-4636)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

World AIDS Day 2009: Human Rights and Access to Treatment

World AIDS Day is held on 1 December every year and this forum since it's inception has been at the forefront of offering the latest information as well as break through concerning this ongoing health pandemic. For my self, this day causes me pause as I remember the countless friends, acquaintances, and those unknown but celebrated for their fight for life. Although WAD is an international day to raise awareness about HIV and AIDS around the world. The first World AIDS Day was celebrated on 1 December 1988. At that time, I was in full education mode attempting to stay updated on this disease that was sweeping across the landscape and continues to claim individuals daily. Yet as we reflect on those years of uncertainty, to date there have been new treatments, exciting research and affected individuals are discovering extended life within their regimens. This year’s theme for the day is “human rights and access to treatment”. The theme has been chosen to address the critical need to protect human rights and make HIV prevention, treatment, care and support accessible to all. Ironically this platform comes amidst the robust debate now percolating on Capitol Hill and on the hills of the recent health clinic held in Little Rock. In my opinion a public option within this corrosive health system must be considered and ultimately enacted to benefit all people. This nation can not continue to allow it's citizens to be rebuffed or mangled while in search of health care. Therefore, the theme acts as a call to countries to remove laws that discriminate against people living with HIV. UNAIDS and the World Health Organization released its annual AIDS Epidemic Update in November, indicating that 33.4 million people were living with HIV in 2008, up slightly from 2007. The higher figure is credited to increased availability to treatment allowing more people to live longer. Overall, the data indicates that new infections have dropped 17 percent over the past eight years. Despite areas of progress, children still account for 2.1 million of people living with HIV, although the number of deaths has declined. The number of children newly infected with HIV in 2008 was roughly 18% lower than in 2001. In Arkansas, the statistics show that infection rates are spiking within both the African American and Latino communities especially among Women and the 18-24 set. Complicating this paradigm comes funding shortfalls, dual infections, marginalized prevention messages and both covert as well as overt homophobia. As we remember those befallen, it's imperative that we continue to demand from our elected officials, health system, clergy and allies their unilateral support for those living with or affected by HIV/ AIDS. Get involved, Stay Educated, Become empowered. In closing, don't foget that you too can make a difference, so what are you gonna do....

Monday, November 30, 2009

COP CyberMonday

CYBER COP 24/7: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah! It's cyber monday and we are doing what we do best in bringing you the latest gizmo to circulate our brand of news. Check out our new newsbyte video featuring this weekend's Belles & Boots Show. So, don't spend all your dollars elsewhere, come on by and assist DSRA as we prepare for Rodeo in the Rock 2011 and beyond. If you can't make it, don't forget that your donations are always welcomed. Let's hear from you TODAY!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

And the COP Beat goes On until it's over....

It's a holiday week and this forum is blowing through the e-blast at a rapid pace as the countdown to the "fat lady singing" come this December 31 continues in full force. Ladies and Gents no waiting in aisle 3, so let's spill it shall we...

WAD 2009: In a past posting I mused about preparations for World AIDS Day 09 and what I felt was a lackluster line up of activities. However, out of no where came the word of Sheryl Lee Ralphs' (pictured) one woman show, "Sometimes I Cry", hit the airwaves in search of an audience. To my applause I thought that this event was stepping more to the plate for the occasion not to mention my personal taste. Although I had some head scratching about the venue being Wildwood Park For the Arts in far flung Western Pulaski County, but again I'm all about crossing boundaries, therefore why not. According to their website, they've got a state of the art facility which I assume will meet Ms. Ralphs expectations. So, I went in search of a ticket to this event only to discover that there was a "waiting list" after just a week of ads. A waiting list? I didn't realize that Ms. Ralph had such a following even though I realize that she has been a Broadway as well as TV star. Furthermore, I was intrigued if locals were aware of her one woman show or her HIV/AIDS activism since she's never made an appearance prior to her upcoming show. Nevertheless, I'm glad to know that there's such an interest, but with all that said, I'm still waiting on tickets. This is more confounding since the show is still being advertised on local radio even though there are supposedly no tickets available? What' up with this maneuver is any body's guess and I do mean anybody. Who knew that Wildwood's concert hall would be the place to be seen or this show such a hot World AIDS Day ticket. I'll keep you posted if I make the cut...

FACEBOOK Blow-UP: For awhile I was not involved with the Facebook mash up, but since I set up the page, it's been off the chain as the young set say. I've gotten hits from folks whom I haven't heard from, not sure how they even know me or seen in years! It's been the damnest thing and I've been loving it. Thanks to all who have "friended" me, sent me all types of shout-outs, gadgets, gizmos and what have you's. Social networking has truly proved it self as means to either get or stay connected. If you haven't seen the spot, then be sure and check it out soon. Hopefully we'll continue to check in even after we shut COP:24/7 down later this year.

Sunday Pulsar: Yes it's true that I get around on the circuit, but every now and then have good time that might have been overlooked. This is true of last Sunday nights outing to PULSE after the mega throw down that I heard about over at the Discovery Complex. Unfortunately, I can't be everywhere and I don't like standing in line for no length of time as well. Thus, I opted to catch Breanna Braxton and Crew, which I must say worked til their mugs almost fell off. The small crowd was uniquely festive including some NYC visitors that turned up the volume and Little Rock met them toe to toe. I was particular jarred by the "you call it and we do it" that the trio went into as the crowd shouted out favorites for the DJ to play. If you haven't had a chance to stop through PULSE on Sunday evenings for either their Beer Bust or show, then you might want to consider stepping out very soon. Tell them I told you about it all...

COP 24/7 Tickler: Have you heard the Belles and Boots promo announcement? Well, why not! It's posted on the top margin. Just click the EVOCA icon, adjust your volume and enjoy. Come on out to support. Isn't it all about community?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Number 602 and counting

602. Just what's significant about that number you wonder? Well, it's the number of this posting, meaning that this forum has produced Six Hundred Two versions of CorneliusOnpoint. Wow, that's a lot mouthing off, updating, factoids, and veribage that has passed through this portal in search of empowering our readers in the GLBTQ community and beyond. If you count the actual words, it's some where in the ballpark of over 100,000 words that have been delievered to this site over the last 4 years. How sweet it has been, especially as we prepared to take our final bow come December 31, 2009. But until then, let's see what's really going on....

Teachable Moments: The Center for Artistic Revolution will be sponsoring a workshop entitled, "Butch/Femme in Arkansas & Ourselves" on Monday, November 30 at 6:00 pm, 1st Presbyterian Church. The seesion will explore the words "butch and femme" which can bring a lot of images and thoughts to mind. Some say these are lesbian identities of the past. Others purport butch/femme identities are expanding to include various gender presentations and identities including transfolk, studs, AGs, and more. There will be a lively discussion and workshop on the history of butch/femme, the significance of these identities and roles today, and our own views on what butch/femme means in our lives and in our rural/southern queer movement. ALL are welcome to attend this workshop, including but not limited to butches, femmes, questioning, curious, and allies of ALL AGES. This event is FREE and will be followed by a social with a Potluck social at 8PM. The workshop will be facilitated by Amanda Harris. Amanda is a queer-southern-feminist-femme living in Brooklyn. Amanda organizes with Femme Family NYC, is a board member of Center for Artistic Revolution, and works with homeless queer youth in New York.

Benefits A-G-GO: As World AIDS Day approaches there are many activities churing aobut including an AIDS Benefit @ Club Pulse December 1st, hosted by the U.A.L.R. Alliance, 8:00PM-2:00AM. The door cover AND donations goes to the Arkansas AIDS Foundation, which is an endangered organization in our community that needs our help! So come out and support your community while enjoying great entertainment!The Go-Go Revolution Girls will be appearing! HOTT HOTT HOTT GIRLS! LIVE MUSIC (in Offcenter room) starring...JILL STRINGHAM's band ANGELYN JOLLEY's band

DRAG SHOW (in Pulse room) starring...Brittney Paige- MCBreeanna Braxton Paige Mshay Foster, Tionne Iman ,Diedra Winsor Walker, Blair Paige, Gino Murano, Valentino Rios, Johnny DeMarco, Marco Delgatto and SIMONE: Slam Poet

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Queer Frontier & Windmills 2.0

I know that Oprah's news of leaving the air has shaken the landscape, but I've been in preparations to conclude this forum long before she blasted her news. Even though it's not been 25 years, it's been a wonderful 4 years of offering my own personal brand of news related to the GLBTQ community and beyond. Who will take Miss O place is all that folks are talking about but who will take my place is what pertinent to this community. There is a lack of media covering this community or it's issues. Yes, there are some newsletters, webrings, group sites or what have you, but COP:24/7 has been the dominant force as the gatekeeper for such news. At this time, there have been some who have expressed interest but nothing has been confirmed. Only time will tell who or what will take up the mantle meanwhile taking it to the next level. Until then, as we continue the count down to 12.31.09, we will stay on point til the end.

VOICES CARRY: At every opportunity I'm thrilled for any interaction with readers or those who have valuable words to share. DL has been an ardent reader and supporter for this forum. I can always detect her passion in her writing and here's more of it for you to ponder and speculate. It's unedited and she owns the message.
Earlier this year, through his Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), President Obama announced there would be a series of Town Hall Community Discussions in a dozen locations around the US (and territories), in order to create a long overdue National AIDS Strategy. Jackson, Mississippi was one of the cities selected, and the meeting was held on November 16th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Jackson Medical Mall. I, along with several Arkansans went. This is what I said.
My name is Diedra J. Levi, Director of Brothas & Sistas Inc., an HIV Prevention and Community Enhancement team for the LGBT People of Color in Arkansas. I remember the day GRIDS became AIDS and that night I lost my first friend to this disease. Now, 25 years and over 200 funerals later, I am affected by AIDS.
The unmet need in Arkansas is 70% as opposed to the 30% national average. In prevention work we are told to encourage testing which creates a paradox. Of the 30% of people positive for HIV, 200 of them will be denied care as of the first of the year due to funding shortfalls. Positive people in care are the first line of defense in prevention. We in prevention ask why we should test anyone to only send them into depression, anxiety and a waiting list. The virus doesn’t wait, nor does it care about eligibility.
My question to the White House is; is bad weather the only thing that can deem a state a disaster area which triggers emergency funding? Without medication, T-cell counts go down, viral loads go up and so does the infection rate. There is no gap period for the virus. Can’t Arkansas be a disaster area by definition?
A disaster area is a region or a locale heavily damaged by either natural hazards, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, earthquakes, technological hazards including nuclear and radiation accidents, or sociological hazards like riots, terrorism or war. The population living there often experiences a loss of energy supply, food, services, and an increasing risk of disease. Declarations of disaster areas open up the affected areas for national or international aid.
We ask that you use this emergency plan criterion “If the disaster response is
beyond local and state capacity, federal resources may be activated” , and send emergency funding to save the lives of the citizen/voters of Arkansas.