Monday, April 30, 2012

The April Slip Away

The Gay Power List Unveils Movers and Shakers

The folks at done done it again. They've looked high and low for the "most powerful" gays in the land. They don't actually tell you how they arrived at the list but there's a interesting mix of entertainment types, personalities, tech gurus, journalist, and politicos. Many you  may know and most likely many you don't know or why they made the list. Does any of this really matter, well it depend on who you ask or why you are asking. On the list are individuals who have come out and a few who are sort of known as "gay" or gay leaning, whatever that means. Just to get things moving I'm going to list the "top 10," and we will offer a prize to the first person who can name all the folks in the accompanying picture which are of some of the folks on the list. Of course, I didn't make the cut and shame on them. It appears that its all about how much cash or your "Q" quotient and that's not for "queer" which makes you more significant among the public. I'm often surprised at how many people proclaim to "know me" or at some point feel it important to pretend to be in my orbit for one reason or another. I take it all in stride and usually do what I can to be as accessible and open to my fellowman. Am I a power broker, well of course I am even in my own mind. But so are you too, since we all must be the master of our destiny and forge a life course that will be gratifying to ourselves as well as gratifying to others. Feel you own power...see it...own it and make it so!  Here's's Top Ten:

1. Tim Cook
CEO, Apple, 51
2. Ellen Degeneres
Spokesperson/Talk-Show Host/Producer, 54
3. Peter Thiel
Venture Capitalist/Hedge Fund Manager, 44
4. Ryan Murphy
Writer/Director/Producer, 46
5. Rachel Maddow
TV Host/Political Commentator, 39
6. Anderson Cooper
Journalist/News Anchor/Talk-Show Host, 44
7. Rich Ross
Former Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, 49
8. Barry Diller
Chairman, IAC, 70
9. Shepard Smith
News Anchor, 48
10. Andy Cohen
TV Personality/Impresario, 44

The name that Gay Power person in the picture above will run through this Friday, May 4, 2012. The first set of correct answers will get some loot from our prize closet! Get busy and find out who's who and let us know here at COP 24/7!

Gay Youth Institute Explores Issues and Dilemmas

Over the weekend I was proud to participate in the Center for Artistic Revolutions first Youth Leadership Institute which comprised of games, workshops and expressions on many levels. Every time I attend or participate in programming of this nature, I never know what my take away will be. Usually I'm promoting my work with the Living and Affected Corporation and the mission of educating the public and marginalized communities on keeping their sexual lives healthy. Even though I did support that effort, but I also got a chance to sit in on a panel discussion entitled, "What's Race Got to Do with It."  The premise of the exercise was to speak to issues of identity and the various labels or makers that we often internalize. Not to mention the external forces which impact our lives and evolution. During the course of the workshop we were partnered with another participant who was to interview each other as a means of getting to know that person and embrace their identity. My partner, a beautiful young lady named "Bianca" allowed me to share some of my life experiences and adequately detailed our brief meeting as we shared a kindred spirit moment. During my interview session, I was totally surprised that at 19 she was experiencing racial rebuff and barriers due to her multi-cultural status. Her mother is of Asian descent and her African/ Native American father have been a source in which she could confide, but I felt that as a teenager as it is with most young folk, talking about it was probably a bit awkward.  In our conversation I discovered that "racism" is still a thorn that continues to prick our senses. Even more so, that despite the many challenges and issues championed by the LGBTQ community, racism among gay and lesbian people is prevalent. In our conversation, she mentioned that as a lesbian, she's experienced remarks such as "not interested in a dark skin women," or her "exotic" appearance was always being analyzed or commented upon. I asked her how she was dealing with this, and she stated that she speaks with siblings and does what she can to share it among friends. However, the issue of race seems to always come back around no matter what. Also during the workshop, I was invited to share more personally during the panel discussion as the moderator asked the question: "When has race and your sexuality intersected?" As I pondered the question, I realized that for myself my race and sexuality have intersected throughout my life. Whether it was my choice of partner or the activities that I may have pursued. In my comments I told the audience that although I had some struggles, I've always moved toward "living my life out loud," and encouraged them to unearth what's important to themselves individually and understand that being as authentic as possible to their vision will always best serve them. I closed by saying that I have so much hope and I'm counting on them to help change the future.  The day long event featured other games and empowerment sessions including a reception at the Central High Museum complex that were destined to uplift and teach the attendees on leadership skills and personal enrichment. Big props to CAR, its hard working ED, Randi R. and all the people behind the scenes who made it happen. I enjoyed myself and hope to come back as a future guest on your next activity. Its vitally important that more opportunities such as this be developed and included in other programming. I plan on seeking  how I can incorporate these young people during next July's national convention of The National Association of Black and White Men Together. If you've got ideas or suggestions don't hesitate to leave them in the comment section. Let me hear from you!

COP 24/7 Special
Upcoming Activist Seeks Support and Assistance
Greetings to all,

I wanted to take the time to let you all know how honored I am to announce that I have been accepted to be a volunteer at the 2012 International AIDS Conference. I will be attending 2 or 3 marches, visiting the Global Village, speaking with and listening to leaders from around the world, but I am most excited about meeting all the youth that are living with HIV/AIDS. This year they are focusing on the youth and what their dreams are and where they see themselves in the future. I want to be a part of their future and that is why I am excited to be working with them.

 Thanks to someone very special, my airplane ticket has been purchased. I will be staying with my cousin Kayla Sanders the entire week. That will save me on lodging expenses. She has agreed to be my taxi driver for the week. So, I think that it is only right that I give her gas money. She will be taking me to and from the conference everyday and to and from the airport. For one week, I am not sure how much gas is in Washington,DC, I was thinking of giving her at least $100 for gas (not to mention she is letting me stay at her house rent free, with shower and laundry access). I know that I will need $50 for my luggage, that is both ways. Then there is money for food. I am waiting to here back about some possible food vouchers. I am not sure how many or how much they are. I am thinking at least $10 a meal for ten days and 3 meals a day, that equals about $300.00. That is all the expenses that I can think of.

The total amount that I need to raise is = $450.00

If you would like to donate to my journey you can go to and donate on line. All those donations are tax deductible.

You may also send the donation directly to me at Kari Coffman

607 K Street

Barling, AR 72923

I will be opening a savings account just for this trip very shortly. I will let you all know about the food vouchers as well as the information on my savings account if you would rather put the money into that account.  
Thank you all for your support!!!

Kari Coffman
HIV/AIDS Advocate
Fort Smith, AR Chapter Representative for HIV Arkansas

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