Friday, January 31, 2014

Pop Goes this Friday

Houston Goes Big for Creating Change 2014

As technology would have it and as budget sometimes require, I had the wonderful experience of "being their" from my Big Chair. Where is this you ask? Well its Creating Change 2014 in none
other than "gayest city in Texas, Houston," according to organizers. In a high definition live stream, I was able to get the same big city welcome from the host committee as those feeling the love in the room. Of course I would love to have been there but nevertheless this was the next best thing. I certainly our Arkansas delegation from The Alliance is taking it all in and more.

Now what was even more amazing was some of the facts that were touted before the rousing speech by 3 time re-elected Mayor Mrs. Anise Parker and then the keynote speaker transgender
activist Lavern Cox (pictured) of "Orange is the new Black" cable television show. Cox was an ardent supporter of Ce Ce McDonald who was freed after a June 5, 2013 incident in which she was arrested after being slashed in the face by a individual in the aggressive homophobic crowd.

 Cox's speech spoke to her story and what she says is "loving a trans women is a revolutionary act." She also spoke to her teachable moment with Katie Couric as she educated Couric that "she was more than transition and surgery" conversations.

The host committee put together over 600 volunteers, yes volunteers! Then went on to organize a conference that registered over 4000 attendees while raising over $33,000 in 9 months as operating funds outside of major sponsors such as Southwest Airlines, Office Depot, Grey Goose and Wells Fargo. Now that's some corporate power to add to a total embrace my the city of Houston!

If you couldn't get to this years event, watching the live stream really takes you their!  Check it out at Just so you know that next years Creating Change is going mile high, literally in Denver Colorado 2015.

Don't forget to join STRILITE at Lounge 610, 610 Center Street in Downtown Little Rock for a Black HIV Awareness Day networking event, Feb. 7, 2014  Call 379-8203 for more information on how to get your VIP pass for special beverage pricing during this event. Call Today!!!  We are our Brother and Sister's Keeper! And don't you forget it!!!!

Man Show Coming to MK's

As time winds down to the March 1 closing, Miss Kitty's is going full steam with a full roster of events and shows. There has been some talk that other locations are being scouted, yet as of this post there's been no announcements or further details released. So with that said,  next up is The Man Show coming 2/1/14 featuring beef galore! If you don't have anything scheduled or need something to do, get on out to MK's before the final stage pulls out for the last time. Tell em COP 24/7 told you about it!

Need Affordable Care Act information? Call 349-7777 to get the facts on how you can get enrolled and get into care or remain in care today!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Another COP 24/7 OUT Post

POTUS Calls for a Better State of The Union

Earlier this week, President Obama took the bully pulpit of the U.S. Capitol to make the case that he believes that this year can be a break through year on variety of fronts.

He further illustrated his remarks while citing that better employment numbers, cited that the continuous rancor of the governing bodies must be dismissed, budget comprises and a laundry list of action items. Let's just hope that they were listening and will do something about it.

One of the highlight of his speech was taking on the state of the minimum wage situation in this country. He pointed out the value of raising the wage in its affects on the economy and boldly decided that through Executive Order he ordered government contractors to raise the wage to $10.10.

With this shoot from the hip action, President O has "triangulated" the issue causing those across the isle to scramble to find away to counterpoint his point of being against raising the minimum wage to more of a living wage. Since the speech, Republicans have done a 360 by forwarding a letter to citing that they have found some common ground to work from. Who would have thought it? I bet those Tea Party folks are rolling their eyes and waving their hands!

In case you missed it and I fear that perhaps many of you decided to go channel surfing instead. You can count on COP 24/7 to offer a link to his entire speech at non other than,

STRILITE Emerges to Recognize BHAAD

STRILITE, a mentoring and self efficacy program of The Living Affected Corporation will 
recognize Black HIV Awareness Day, Feb. 7, 2014 at 610 Lounge, 610 Center Street, 6:30 till 9 pm. The centerpiece of the evening will be a reunion of local models who participated in the Arkansas Department of Health's "Know Now" HIV/AIDS messaging campaign. The campaign was originated as a multi-tier prevention messaging attempt to continue to raise awareness to the importance of knowing one's status and accessing testing opportunities.

When the campaign was unveiled during a 2012 AIDS awareness even, members of STRILITE became disillusioned and discouraged to the lack of significant imagery that resonated with themselves and they felt did not address the population most affected which was Black gay men 13-24 according Center for Disease statistics. Currently advocates and activist have been alarmed to individuals whom have co-infections of Syphilis and HIV including many cases across Arkansas.

The group countered the release of the campaign with a "Know Not," rebuttal that went viral, causing ADH management to move to further investigate the misstep and concluded that a re-shoot of the campaign would occur using members of STRILITE as consults and participants.  "We were proud that we chose to speak truth to decision makers concerning the original campaign," said Kevin Holmes. He continued, " It is vital that we be about the business of striving to enlighten our brother's and sisters that HIV has not gone away and still knowing your status is important.

The evening will be filled with complimentary food, drinks specials, surprises and the models on hand to autograph their posters. Save the date and call 379-8203 to RSVP your VIP pass for special discounted drink specials. Stay tuned to this platform for the latest updates!!

Live From Houston

The Task Force is in Houston for the 26th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, the largest ever gathering of LGBT and allied activists, organizers and leaders! What they say is true, everything really is bigger in Texas and COP 24/7 hopes our delegation from UALR's The Alliance is taking it all in and more!

The Task Force will be streaming live video from our main stage, starting with tonight’s opening plenary session at 8:00 PM CT. Houston Mayor Annise Parker will welcome us to Houston, and the always funny Kate Clinton emcees. The fabulous Laverne Cox will deliver tonight’s opening keynote speech, so you’re not going to want to miss out!
In addition to tuning in live, I hope you’ll participate in the conversation online with #cc14 on Twitter and on our Facebook page. We're also posting daily highlight shows on our website, you can watch the first episode of Task Force TV here.

Click here to watch video from the conference and bookmark our livestream channel so that you can tune in all week long. 

Kudos to the Task Force being a trendsetter in bring the conference directly to your laptop, desktop or mobile device. Rock on Task Force and congratulations of 40 years of service to the LGBTQ community and beyond!!!! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

All That Wednesday

On the Road to Change: The Alliance Rolls

Congratulations to The Alliance of UALR on their quest to participate in Creating Change 2014 in Houston. The event is sponsored by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, January 29-February 2 will feature a dizzying array of topics, speakers, workshops, receptions and all manner of capacity building. COP 24/7 has been an ardent advocate that local activist and allies discover the power of networking during these empowerment opportunities. Furthermore, as fundraising goes, there should be a distinct funding stream that supports this type of activity. If you haven't attended a conference, these can be on the expensive side with ground transportation, registrations, and hotels.

The Alliance is a UALR organization for straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students to come together in an accepting, open environment designed to discuss topics related to both the gay and straight communities. The alliance is dedicated to promoting equality on campus, educating people, and providing social activities to build community while promoting the acceptance of all minorities on the UALR campus, plus work to fight discrimination by educating others on issues challenging the gay community.
The group meets every Wednesday at 3 in the DSC room 201R and offer a safe space to all students on campus while promoting equality and community. Check out their Facebook page and stay tuned as we hope the group will check in with COP 24/7 in real time!!
Using Social Media to Expand Outreach

In response to the rapidly approaching ACA open enrollment end date of March 31, COP 24/7 Executive Producer and licensed Assister C. Mabin will be doing a live Q & A session online this Friday from 10 am to 11:30 pm on the new COP 24/7 Facebook page!  This social media approach was created after learning about other navigators whom  helped a people get covered through, and had their stories shared through the Share your Story collection tool found here on the new “Got Covered” page. 
Those success stories featured help raise awareness about the Health Insurance Marketplace, and to help put a face and story to what affordable health coverage really means. If individuals are interested in participating in this element or need enrollment assistance call 501.349-7777
Digitally Yours from OnTrack
COP 24/7 is always proud to see any platform that seeking to capture information directly for the LGBTQ community. Especially those who have staying power, which is not for those with unable to stay focused or committed to the effort. The tabloid OnTrack has been chugging along and keeping it coming for a number of years since its inception as a print piece years back. Produced by the management of Trax's and the soon to be closed Miss Kitty's on March 1, instead of March 31 as posted by COP 24/7.
Usually the cover features a local such as cover boy Mr. Christopher Robinson or other notables that range from the royalty set to the establishment's clientele. Although some COP 24/7 items have been found on the pages of the magazine and a occasional passing shot, unfortunately we have yet to be a cover boy. Just sayin...
In the meantime, inside readers can find updates, announcements and links to either upcoming local events or those across the region. It can be an interesting read if you want to stay in the entertainment know or information loop. But to this point, even with tabloids such as this, there still seems to be some type of information disconnect.
Even with the advent of the social media "know it all" Facebook one would think that everybody should know everything. However this is still not the case. There has been much talk about some type of monthly or bi-monthly rag to fill the "info void" yet to date, no one has tackled this task. With that said, The Living Affected Corporation ( ) has produced a series of Resource Guides as well as, a signature publishing piece entitled, Omnibus which was a LGBT health journal. In the past there was, Out on the Town, Pink Spectrum, AGR Writes, The Advisor and as usual those that came and went with little to no notice. So what to do? Well, somebodies got to make a move and there's got to be mucho support to sustain it. Got ideas? Feel free to share them in our comment sections anytime. We love hearing from you!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Seeding the COP 24/7 Cloud

ADH Announces Ryan White/ ADAP  Policy Changes

The Arkansas Department of Health's Ryan White Part B and ADAP Program Manager, Tiffany
Vance has announced recent changes to the Ryan White Part B and AIDS Drug Assistance Program, commonly known as ADAP.

As, of Monday, January 20, 2014 the program increased the gross income criteria to 400% FPL for both Part B & ADAP services. Prior to the change the level stood at 200% FPL (Federal Poverty Level) which current client could not exceed to qualify for the programs.

According a released memo, with this change the program views these changes as an opportunity to assist more HIV positive Arkansans across the state. Those persons previously denied or discharged can be contacted to re-apply for services. Those persons currently in Transition to Discharge (TTD) will be able to remain on Part B and ADAP services.

Cornelius Mabin, Arkansas HIV Planning Group, Community Co-Chair said, "We have been awaiting this ruling in lieu of the Affordable Care Act roll out last year." He continued, " the significance of this move is again apart of the shifting landscape in health care and the continuum of care for those living with HIV and AIDS. Nevertheless, AHPG encourages consumers to be vigilant in being informed and educated as to options whether it be at  or seeking assistance through this policy change." For more information contact Miss Vance at 501.661-2745 concerning the RW/ADAP programs or for Affordable Care Act information and assistance call 501. 349-7777.

Arkansans to Attend AIDS Watch

Arkansas HIV Planning Group Co-Chair, Cornelius Mabin and local advocate, Mr. Lee Brown will be joining the largest annual national constituent-based advocacy event focused on HIV and AIDS in the United States, April 28-29 in Washington D.C.
as apart of AIDS Watch 2014.

A partnership of Treatment Access Expansion Project, AIDS United and the US People Living with HIV Caucus, AIDSWatch draws hundreds of HIV-positive advocates and their allies to Washington DC to educate Members of Congress and their staff about HIV/AIDS. All participants are provided with training on current science, legislative agendas, and conducting effective meetings with their elected representation.

Mabin serves as the Community Co-Chair of the Arkansas HIV Planning Group which seeks to decrease HIV infections across the state while monitoring the implementation of HIV/AIDS prevention education and interventions. "I am excited about this chance to again engage our Capitol Hill Representatives, said Mabin. "It is vitally important that the many issues surrounding HIV and AIDS not be lost despite the passage of the Affordable Care Act. The message I want to leave with policy makers will be one that speaks to the needs of many of their constituents." Brown stated, " I'm glad to get the opportunity to be apart of the Arkansas delegation to reach out to our elected officials to remind them their support is still needed around this chronic disease. I can't wait to meet other activist from around the country and enjoy the training being made available."

The next Arkansas HIV Planning Group meeting will commence on February 14,  from 10am - 1pm in the Arkansas Department of Health Auditorium, 4815 West Markham Street in Little Rock. This group is open to anyone and everyone interested in continuing to bring awareness around HIV and AIDS, additional health disparities and increasing the wellness of the community at large. Call for more information at 661-2942.

Statement from Sir Elton John on LGBT Law in Russia
I am deeply grateful for the support of the Russian people who have welcomed and accepted me in their country ever since I first visited in 1979.

On my last visit, in December 2013, I wondered whether the new legislation banning “homosexual propaganda” might have changed that. It hadn’t. I still felt the same warmth and welcome from the audiences that I have felt every time I have been in Russia.

On that trip I met with members of the LGBT community in Moscow. Although I was still welcomed as an openly gay foreigner, I wanted to really understand at first-hand what difference the legislation had made to Russian LGBT in their own country. What I heard reinforced all the media stories that have been circling since the propaganda bill became federal law: that vicious homophobia has been legitimised by this legislation and given extremists the cover to abuse people’s basic human rights.
EJ_RussiaThe people I met in Moscow – gay men and lesbians in their 20′s, 30′s and 40′s -  told me stories about receiving threats from vigilante groups who would “cure” them of homosexuality by dousing them with urine or beating them up.

One young man was stalked outside a gay club by someone posing as a taxi driver who tried to garrotte him with a guitar string because he was a “sodomite.”  Everyone shared stories of verbal and physical abuse – at work, in bars and restaurants or in the and restaurants or in the street – since the legislation came into force last June.  And, some of the vital work providing HIV prevention information to the gay community has been labeled “homosexual propaganda” and shut down.

It was very clear to me that although foreigners like myself who are visiting Russia are not affected by this new law (and President Putin has recently confirmed this), it is a very different story for those living inside the country. As Maria Maksakova told her fellow Russian MPs last month:  “We are seeing extremely negative consequences as a result of this law, with the growth of hate crimes.”

President Putin asserts that this was not the intention, but it is undoubtedly the effect that this law has had by promoting misunderstanding and ignorance. In particular, it is very disappointing that the law explicitly links homosexuality with child sex abuse, which countless studies have shown to be conclusively wrong.

The people I met in Moscow were decent, kind, patriotic men and women who had no thought of forcing their sexuality on anyone. Whatever the intention of Russia’s homosexuality and paedophilia propaganda laws, I am absolutely clear from my own personal experience that it is proving deeply dangerous to the LGBT community and deeply divisive to Russian society.  I would welcome the opportunity to introduce President Putin to some Russians who deserve to be heard, and who deserve to be treated in their own country with the same respect and warm welcome that I received on my last visit.

Tulsa Pride Produces Regional Conference

The inaugural Heartland Pride Summit, a regional conference of Pride Festival Organizers will take place February 7-9 2014 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

This conference is an official conference of InterPride Region 3, however you do not have to be an InterPride Region 3 member to attend.  Early Bird registration is free to the first 100 people by January 31, 2014 at Holiday Inn Tulsa City Center will serve as the host hotel and will offer a $89 per night rate for participants. Underground parking is free to hotel guest.
All activities will take place at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center at 621 East 4th Street.
This conference is specifically tailored to small to medium sized prides in the Midwest United States.  Learn from our subject matter experts, presenting on topics which matter to your Pride.  Mingle with the region’s allied elected officials, network with your fellow organizers, and enjoy the fantastic nightlife Tulsa has to offer. 

NEED AFFORDABLE INSURACE INFO? CALL 349-7777 to get the facts on how you may qualify for subsidies or tax credits. Do it Today!!! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Stay OUT of My Panties Part 2

GOP: Get Out my Panties!
Ladies and Gentlemen: Nina Turner Is In The Room

Firebrand Nina Turner caught my eye as a frequent guest on the Ed Show on MSNBC hosted by "let's work," Ed Schultz. Her swagger and ability to wield the good kings English as a weapon of mass destruction was awesome to myself. I learned a few new terms that I'll be using soon.

Especially since I love those who have no problem using their language skills to paint vivid picture while making the case around issues. Also Turner rolled with it last week as a guest on that other "diva with a mind" Melissa Harris Perry Show.  Currently Ms. Turner is running for Ohio Secretary of State after being appointed to a vacant Ohio Senate seat and two years later she was elected to the office. According to her campaign website ( ), she is a first generation college graduate, Nina earned an Associate of Arts degree from Cuyahoga Community
College before earning her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Cleveland State University and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Wilberforce University.

Turner thoroughly got my attention with her fierce GOP ( Get Out of My Panties) stance in reference to he counterparts across the isle who wanted to present efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. The action would have put Planned Parenthood at the bottom of the state's priority system for federal family planning funds. She has also been forthright speaking out concerning voter suppression tactics, economic parity in collective bargaining and most certain around reproductive justice issues. COP 24/7 is proud to introduce Mr. Tuner to our audience and hope that she keeps calling out folks while taking it to the next level. We need more Turners who believes in being a member of the party of the “Right Thing” above all else.

The Dog Whistle Chronicles: Who You Calling A Thug?

We can't go a week without checking in on the latest from the "Outrage Machine," that spews the latest dogma and or verbiage around what ain't right in the land. This week the target is Mr. Richard
Sherman, athlete extraordinaire as a defensive back of the Seattle Seahawks.

All of this brouhaha is centered on his end of game rant toward a fellow player in which Sherman "got loud" after making the winning maneuver that will send the team Super Bowl bound.  In other words, Sherman went off and went ham in his remarks concerning  the decisive Kaepernick interception by tipping away a pass intended for Crabtree, Sherman ran up and offered a handshake to Crabtree while yelling “Hell of a game, hell of a game.” Crabtree pushed Sherman away by the face mask.

And that's when the rant heard around the world got the "thug" treatment from talking heads all over the place. The outrage meter went into overdrive as folks did a NFL worthy pile on that resulted in the word thug being used some 625 times! Sherman himself was broadsided and said that he was "mind boggled" at the swift reaction to his statement. Furthermore in a CNN interview he stated that "He also said he was shocked by some of the racists responses he received." This is where we have the conundrum of is the word "Thug" being used as the new "N" word?

Sherman, who was his high school's salutatorian graduated from Stanford and started a masters degree there his final year playing football there. Yet none of this was seemed to matter in the discourse of demonizing his comments and the further mis-characterizations of exactly who Sherman really is. Although he admitted that his rant was intense trash talking that he now regrets but the vile and racist vomit flowed calling him ghetto gorilla, thug ape and those who even stated that he should be shot.

Ultimately this situation continues to dispel the notion that some how that racial tension in the land don't exist. Even though we've elected a Black man to the highest office in the world. he too has been personally called a "Thug," Travorn Martin was berated as "Thug like or wannabee," and countless other Black men deal with being seen as exhibiting "Thug" behavior or attitudes. Consequently this matter speaks to the plight of imagery of Black men both on the playing field as well as the Executive Board room.

For too long Black men have suffered from the stereotypical Mandingo image, feared social vigilante's W.E.B. Dubois, Malcolm X and Medgar Evers and now this population faces serious challenges around HIV infections, continuing economic disparities and increase violence throughout communities of color. Its alarming that no ounce of  "creative maladjusting" that King spoke to seems to matter. With that said, you can count on it that COP 24/7 ain't done with this one!

Need Information on the Affordable Care Act? Call 349-7777 to make your appointment to enroll or get educated. Do it today! Open enrollment continues until March 31, 2014!
Watch for our online chat coming soon!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Stay OUT of My Panties Part 1

Huckabee Up in Women's Panties

In the memorable words of former President Ronald Reagan,"...there you go again!" goes to failed
presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in reference to his comments about women's "libido's," during his speech at the RNC winter meeting. 

Say what? Yes read on...these folks have the gift of gab that keeps on giving.

The Huckster "opened mouth and inserted foot" when he argued that Democrats believe women are "helpless" and in need of government handouts and that Republicans want to empower women "to be something other than victims of their gender."

“Democrats want to insult the women of America by making them believe that they are helpless without 'Uncle Sugar' coming in and for providing for them a prescription each month for birth control because they cannot control their libido or reproductive system without the help of the government - then so be it," Huckabee said. Who the hell is "Uncle Sugar?" Is he saying that Uncle Sam got some sugar in his tank?

These poor Republicans just don't seem to get it as they continue to alienate women by calling them "sluts," talking about legitimate rape", pregnancies from rape are God given," "vaginal probes," and all manner of orchestrating policies to restrict any reproductive justice gains demanded by those over 8 Million women and counting who voted in 2004.

Just as a reminder Mr.Huckabee, your party has had a short list of programs under GOP attack including those helping women with parental leave, cancer screening, HIV testing, job training, supporting moms and babies, aging, nursing care, wage theft, fair pay and countless others that threaten women at all economic levels. Hey Huck, what does Janet have to say about keeping her libido in check. Keep up the good work mansplaining the GOP right out of existence.

"The Latino Gender Gap in US Politics"

Christina Bejarano, associate professor of political science at the University of Kansas 

Latino political participation in the United States is generally lower than the rest of the population, mainly due to their high proportion of youth and foreign born populations that are ineligible to vote. This dynamic is slowing changing, partly as a result of the rapidly growing Latino population in the United States.  Bejarano delves deeper into the complex gender differences for Latino political behavior. More specifically, it is a political analysis of the diverse U.S. Latino population and the interacting factors that can influence male and female differences in voting and policy attitudes. As the Latino population highlights their growing political sway, the major political parties have and will strategically mobilize and court the Latino electorate, Latinas in particular.
  Friday, January 31, 2014 at 12:00 p.m.

Where:  Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall
*Reserve your seats
emailing or calling (501) 683-5239.
Need Healthcare Information? You can get the facts and direct assistance by calling 349-7777 or hit up  Make your appointment to get your coverage today!!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trending Thursday

HIV Crossroads intersects with ACA

COP 24/7 continues to move forward with providing the latest information in our committed effort to "connect the dots," for our readers and subscribers concerned about the changing
healthcare landscape.

With each passing day, there are new developments and assorted shifts that require additional portals to share those updates. Enter The series called HIV Crossroads, from Janssen Pharmaceuticals which is making it exclusively available on 

This vital new resource is one among many that has been designed to follow the "trend" and or "shift to encourage consumers to be empowered in not only health decision but also access to pertinent information to make those choices. Visitors to the site can view a comprehensive overview of:

These materials are available for download, and we encourage you to reference them as the year goes on and clients experience the new health care landscape of the Affordable Care Act.

Fundraising A-Go Go

The news of the demise of MK's hasn't hampered the fundraising shows and whatever is scheduled before the doors reportedly close in March. So, get your straps together to come support Mr. Michael Kaplan, Mr. Leather Heartland 2014 on his quest to the Mr. International Leather competition in the windy city of Chicago later this year.

This dual fundraiser will also assist with funding Team Friendly which seeks to address the stigma around HIV and AIDS. Team Friendly members received voluntary counseling and testing training in an effort to assist with reducing infections while raising the information viral load of the community. COP 24/7 applauds Kaplan and Team Friendly on their mission to be apart of the endgame to HIV and AIDS.  Hit him up on Facebook and tell em you heard about it here first!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mid Week Hump Post Up

Capacity Building in the LGBTQ Community

This forum has covered topics from A to Z concerning the LGBTQ community and beyond.
Much of this space has been devoted to posting on how this community should move forward developing resources and utilizing streams of support from allies to corporations. COP 24/7 has shared a bounty of links, guest columns, features, and videos.

COP 24/7 put its money where it mouth was in sponsoring the first event Business After hours Networking event April 7, 2007 at the then, Sidetracks in North Little Rock. Consequently we supported events such as 2009's LR Pride Committee Community Picnic, Strengthening Gay Arkansas in conjunction to the first ever Midland Regional meeting of The National Association of Black and White Men Together (  in 2011. I can boldly state that COP 24/7 has been on the scene involved in addressing the issues around  building community, especially the "human capital" necessary to navigate the new equality horizons ahead.

On this platform I have discussed my own personal enrichment sessions sponsored by National Minority AIDS Council, ( which have been apart of my body of learned experiences in regards to my activism and advocacy work in the community. Being an effective advocate or community leader means immersing yourself into the issue of your choice, as well as, continuing a self learning mindset. Such educational pursuits intensifies your abilities to communicate the barriers and challenges of your issue while disseminating information to your affected population. Let's be clear, this takes work, commitment and temerity.

I thank you to those who have let me know personally how some of my work has affected you, encouraged you, emboldened you or gave you cause to be proud. I want you to know that each of you have God given talents that he has instilled in you to be of service to humanity. I've learned that it is those "diamonds in rough" of your life that you must notice, pick up and polish them to become beacons of energy and light that you need on your journey. Never underestimate the power of "one," in making change in our world.

Even though locally we have determined individual working on causes, what's alarming is the fact of "who is in the pipeline" to continue the work when others, like myself will soon exit the stage. Even more distressing is the fact that even though there's lots of fundraising going on, there doesn't appear to be a drive to raise funds as a foundation to educate or create the next generation of advocates nor building the necessary infrastructure to support them. Where is our Gay Health Clinic, Equality Center, Political Action Committee Headquarters or other resources that other cities now enjoy and many us are in awe when we visit such cities. Arkansas needs all of this and more. But who is going to do it is the question?

Last year The Arcus Foundation, a leading global foundation advancing pressing social justice and conservation issues, announced the Arcus LGBT Leadership Initiative, an array of resources to support leaders of the U.S. LGBT movement that would complement the Foundation’s grant making. Arcus’ intent is to maximize the caliber, connectedness and impact of the leaders who are advancing LGBT equality in the U.S by enhancing their skills and collaboration. It is my opinion that this type of opportunity and others such as Creating Change, Young Black Leadership Initiative, and US Conference on AIDS that need to be seriously promoted within the LGBTQ community.  including  discovering competent, responsible and commitment community members who could benefit from such training.

“History makes clear the fact that effective social justice movements require strong, skilled, collaborative leadership,” said Arcus Executive Director Kevin Jennings. “This investment in the health of the movement and environment in which our grantees are doing their work is material to our shared prospects for success.” I couldn't agree more. Its high time that we take a long hard look at what is being prioritized or perhaps sacrificed as the equality wave continues to move forward. Lend me your thoughts, observations, comments and solutions. The light is always on here at COP 24/7...


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Which Way did They Go Post

Just before we kick out our latest post, COP 24/7 needed to do a few housekeeping notes for our readers. This forum has been an open source as a "digital town square" for Arkansas' LGBTQI community as well as our reach beyond our boarders.

Since our inception there didn't seem a need for too many rules and regulations. But as time and technology moved on I needed to remind readers that I encourage acknowledge comments and or observations.

Usually as soon as these are posted, I move to moderate the comment usually without editing. I do reserve the right to determine if anything is totally out of bounds of either maliciousness or just basic taste. I have encouraged content contributions and continue to do so. If you are interested by all means share your concept, idea, or pitch as to what you would like to develop or share. This platform has a wide berth of acceptable topics and or issues. And last but not least, in this digital format, sometimes we experience hiccups that cause our content not to load correctly or at times depending on post schedule may require re-posting due to updates or otherwise. Thanks for stopping by, checking in, subscribing or carrying us with you on your mobile device. Come follow the leader with news, links, and more of what's really going on!

MLK Equality Conundrum

Yesterday's MLK Day of Service consisted of a host of programming, clean up opportunities, assorted faith based events and  the long running "Marade" sponsored by the King Commission. I've attended the "march/parade" several times in the past although never participated in the actual event due to scheduling or other conflicts. However, this year I was broadsided by an individual whom had close ties to the event who chatted me up as to his confusion and perplexed attitude to the response he received in an effort to assist organizers to further reach out to the LGBTQ community for participants.

According to his account, he attempted to inform his local contacts as to the opportunity to participate in the event, but found that only a marriage equality entity affirmed interest. He went on to state that he was given what he felt were excuses as to "not being prepared," or not having the right "banner" and other lackluster responses. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing," he said. Continuing, "what are we exactly trying to do as far as equality if we don't be visible when asked for. We can't ask to allies to support us if we don't support them." 

As I listened to his concern, this did strike a chord with me. I recalled seeing CAR's youth group last year, however, he was exactly right that the LGBTQ's lacking response and or readiness to step up when the time calls for it has been a missing link. Certainly I appreciated last year's 1st ever pride parade effort which was spearheaded by a determined group of individuals whom proved that anything is really possible. With that thought I began to assess that I don't think the local LGBTQ community really realizes to what extent the various opportunities exist to either participate or create programming within the LGBTQ community or otherwise.

I can attest that as I worked last year with the Our Diversity pride group, I did not encounter any resistance for city officials or vendors to assist with that event. If equality is what we seek then it should not be limited to Topic A or hot button B issue of the moment, but rather that equality should include answering the call for on-air interviews, letters to the Editor, call to actions, and any number of events that should embrace being seen front and center with allies or supporters that we call upon. So you want equality? Then understand what the price of that demand consist of and be prepared to step up to be OUT and Proud about it. Think about it....

Affordable Care Act Enrollment Rolls ON

In case you have forgotten or procrastinated, the Affordable Care Act open enrollment is still going on across the city. Just as a reminder, this new law requires that each citizen obtain or retain,  or 1-800-318-2596.

Even more eye opening is the fact that the LGBTQ community has a direct resource available from licensed IPA guides at The Living Affected Corporation that can meet with you for enrollment assistance either in their offices at 401 North Maple Street in North Little Rock or by appointment for mobile locations.

If you need information you can make that connection at 501.349.7777 or 501.379-8203. They are here to openly assist you with your questions, concerns, updates and challenges. Do it today, there are 70 days left in the open enrollment period!

Monday, January 20, 2014

MLK Monday

Wearing A Crown of Service

As we take a day to remember the journey and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, let us fully
understand that his life was dedicated to be of service for his fellowman. He collaborated and partnered with a kaleidoscope of activist and advocates in a non violent manner to hold up a mirror to America while stating that "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

Although much has transpired since his stirring Lincoln Memorial speech, to this day this nation is still grappling with glaring social injustices allowing their to be inequities steeped in the unequal distribution of wealth, racism, ageism, and sexism, economic inequality in which living wages are demonized, poor immigration policies which has allowed families to live in fear and embattled with a system that needs dire attention. Not to mention our national debt and political dysfunction.

Would King be happy with our current state? I believe that he would be deeply troubled and disturbed to his core at the level of Black on Black crime, continuing poverty, inner city blight and the constant drumbeat of war across the globe. Furthermore, I feel confident that he would abhor the epidemic of fatherless son's in the Black community which statistics supports demonstrates how this condition is resulting in fueling the pipeline to prison. Currently their are 24 Million children in American households without fathers.

He as I am dismayed that "thug" persona's and misogynistic lyrics that berate and denigrate women are being listened to as entertainment as if it doesn't matter. I cringe as I continue to learn how reaching for stardom or easy money is the order of the day for the young set even though I know that honest work complete with managing your resources can give you a quality of life. I think King would be perplexed to the fact that HIV and AIDS is still a present and clear danger among young Black men from 13-24 after three decades of intervention and prevention.

Yet despite those facts, King would be profoundly proud of the election of President Obama as well as the strides that have been achieved by many notables such as mega businessman Ervin Magic Johnson to trailblazers like Lavern Cox who has defied the notion that trans women of color will continue to be unseen or unheard citizens.

As a high school student I fondly remember my early years of developing my "social justice" junkie attitude. As the News Editor of our school paper The Constitution, I asked our sponsor to devote our supplement to the school paper entitled "The Amendment," to recognize Black History Month with profiles about both historical and then current popular Black people. Little did I know that producing that tabloid was not only a first but would get the attention of John H. Johnson of the Ebony publishing empire.I still revere a letter that Mr. Johnson sent to me commending me on the project as well as our feature of him in it.

Although Mr. Johnson has long since passed, that moment still reigns supreme to me to this day, just as remembering that King's clarion call of people to be of service fuels my daily walk. I'm somewhat annoyed at all the "King Day" sales or other marketing tie in's that evoke his namesake as a gimmicks that speak little to what he actually stood for.

I encourage any and all who may read this post, take a moment to stop and mediate on what you can do either volunteer, make a donation to a charity or cause of your choice, do a random act of kindness, or make a move to empower the powerless. In closing, "an individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to broader concerns of all humanity."


Friday, January 17, 2014

Another Friday Fall Forward

Ah technology! Either you love it or hate it and I simply love it! Even as a high school student all those years ago, I was fascinated as the "geek" kids talked about electronic wizardry and all manner of gadgets that at that time I had no imagination of what was to come. And yet, I have had the privilege to not only witness the explosion to new developments but took the challenge to not be on the wrong side of the digital divide. Not to mention understand that often times this new digital frontier has it up's and downs including many hiccups here on this platform.

Even as I hit the five decade mark, I decided that I still want to keep engaging the latest and greatest that will roll off the production lines. I've been fortunate to have younger individuals around me to who have not only encouraged but been teachers of which I valued. Its really true that you are never too old to learn something and I embrace that wholeheartedly. What can I say, COP 24/7 has allowed me to share my journey with my readers and I hope that you've enjoyed the ride thus far. Now let's go posting.

Who You Calling Gay Elder?

Earlier this week COP 24/7 posted an item concerning an upcoming event featuring the film Gen Silent which addresses aging issues in the LGBTQ community. Although the film is poignant and
gripping in its approach to the issue, as a man of a certain age, I've taken the mindset that I'm not going to get caught up in the "aged out" gay man mentality.

Certainly youth has it value among the lavender set, but I lean toward the wisdom that I've obtained, the courage that I have to keep moving forward and my well earned respect in the community.
 I'm on point to sailing into my second act of being fabulous. After coming through four surgeries, dealing with weight issues, ARV therapy and maintaining my mental health amidst all the madness that daily life brings, I Herby pronounce, "I'm Gucci."

Nevertheless, I also am fully aware of the pitfall, barriers and the many unfortunate issues around aging, not only in the gay community but beyond. Working in a long term care facility made me acutely sensitive to the needs as well as numerous dilemma facing those who enter such care or  perhaps require elder care in their homes.

Over the years I've had some serious thoughts as to my fate and what I need to do to prepare to offset possible scenarios including those inevitable funeral arrangements. I suggest that individuals learn about wills, estate planning, trust and especially who will speak for you if you can't do it for yourself. Assemble a team of competent and sensitive professionals who will "hear" you and not just be about the sales of financial products. Choose wisely and stay engaged as time moves on, you may have to update.

If you and your partner have not started discussing "what's really going on in your relationship," then by all means get started before something tragic steps up. that's the case need to talk about how all this plays in your daily lives plus what should be done in the case of one's untimely death. I've begun this process and encourage others to follow suit. No time for golden ;pond, love life and be about living it out loud and proud!

Trans Women of Color

The Case of Ce Ce Mcdonald

Chrisahaun Reed "CeCe" Mc Donald was release earlier this week after her harrowing ordeal of being imprisoned after being convicted of manslaughter in June 2012 and was sentenced to 41
months in prison for stabbing to death a man who attacked her and her friends in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She served 19 months and will be on parole in Hennepin County for the remainder of her sentence, which will end in February of next year.

Ms. Mc Donald is an African American transgender women of color activist whom has raised the disparities of the prison system and systemic policies that fail to address the challenges and barriers facing trans individuals.

The case involved a  bar patrons started shouting racial, homophobic and transphobic epithets. One woman broke a bear stein and sliced McDonald's face with it.  The wound later required 11 stitches.  During the ensuing brawl, Dean Schmitz, 47, ended up stabbed in the gut by a pair of shears belonging to McDonald, who was a fashion student.  McDonald pleaded guilty to the reduced charge of second-degree manslaughter in a plea deal which also involved paying for Schmitz' funeral expenses.

Schmitz' autopsy revealed that he had Nazi tattoos.

Arkansas fairs no better in understanding this segment of the LGBTQ community and also has glaring deficiencies from accessible health care services   to undeveloped mechanism to assess the needs of the trans community. In response to the lack of data on transgender concerns, a first ever survey tool for the Arkansas transgender and gender non-conforming community was launched in September 2013.

This ground breaking survey was developed in partnership with CAR’s GEAR (Gender Equality Arkansas) program and PFLAG Little Rock.

To date there has been no data regarding the concerns and needs of the Arkansas transgender and gender non-conforming community. The results of this survey will assist in providing information to support educational efforts with medical practitioners as well as advocating for a variety of equality based rights.

If you are transgender or gender non-conforming and residing in Arkansas, please take this survey. It takes about 30 minutes, but your contribution will provide an immeasurable amount of information that will ultimately help secure equitable care and protections.

For meeting dates and times, please call 501-244-9690, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or check out the GEAR page on Facebook.
Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up"
Author Paul Schmitz 
Paul Schmitz is the CEO of Public Allies, which has advanced the leadership of more than 5,000 diverse young adults to strengthen communities, nonprofits, and civic participation across the country. The author of "Everyone Leads: Building Leadership from the Community Up," Schmitz writes and speaks frequently on leadership, diversity, civic participation, social innovation, collective impact, and community building. He was selected by The Rockefeller Foundation as a Next Generation Leadership Fellow, has been recognized by The Nonprofit Times as one of the 50 most influential nonprofit leaders in the country, and is a recipient of Fast Company magazine’s Social Capitalist Award for innovation.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. *Book signing to follow
Where:  Clinton School of Public Service, Sturgis Hall
*Reserve your seats
emailing or calling (501) 683-5239.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Out Post Thursday

Syphilis and HIV: "A Twin Epidemic"

In a recent story featured on, the number of cases of primary and secondary syphilis in the United States increased 11.1% in 2012 with men — particularly gay and bisexual men —accounting for the spike entirely, according to the latest surveillance report on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This forum has openly speculated as to how this reports correlates to local rates, as well as, challenges and barriers that often preclude individuals from accessing STI ( Sexually Transmitted Infections)  testing services. COP 24/7 has inquired as to what is the statewide STI initiative in response to this information and what best practices or next steps are being developed, monitored or implemented to address this dilemma in Arkansas. As we continue to ask the questions, we will share the findings on this platform.

Published online this week, the annual report contains other discouraging news about STDs, as well as a few bright spots. Gonorrhea posted a 4% increase in 2012, most of that among men.

 In contrast, the number of reported chlamydia cases grew by a mere 0.7% in 2012, the smallest annual increase since nationwide reporting on this STD began. As with syphilis, the rise in chlamydia cases was exclusively a guy thing.

The anxiety about syphilis has been building for years. The rate of primary and secondary syphilis declined by almost 90% from 1990 to 2000 only to rise each year from 2001 to 2009. The number of cases decreased in 2010 and then plateaued in 2011 before resuming an upward trajectory in 2012.
The risk for syphilis varies by race and ethnicity as well as by sex and sexual orientation. The rate of primary and secondary syphilis in blacks was 6 times that in whites in 2012. For blacks and whites aged 15 to 19 years, the difference was 16-fold.

Dr. Llata stresses that while everyone is at risk of contracting an STD, some groups are at greater risk. For example, men who have sex with men (MSM) account for 75% of all primary and secondary syphilis cases, according to the agency. In 2012, the number of cases in this population increased 15% compared with 4% for men who have sex with women. The total number of primary and secondary syphilis cases in 2012 was 15,667.

The CDC calls the spike in syphilis infections in MSM "troubling," especially because this and other STDs can put an individual at a higher risk of acquiring or transmitting HIV infection.
The syphilis statistics also alarm Brad Stoner, MD, the president of the American Sexually Transmitted Diseases Association.

"It's a worrisome trend," said Dr. Stoner, an associate professor of medicine and anthropology at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. "The absolute numbers are low, but the rate increase is high. And so many MSM with syphilis also have HIV. It's a twin epidemic."
According to CDC surveillance data collected in several major cities, 4 in 10 MSM with syphilis are infected with HIV as well.

Marriage Equality: Looking for Mr. Goodbar

With all the movements around Marriage Equality popping all over the place and especially in places such as Oklahoma, Utah, and in our own back yard of Arkansas. I thought to myself, "self," If folks find
themselves ready to "jump the broom" when their time comes, shouldn't they be thinking about the signals of" Is that Mr. or Ms. Right" really the one!

So as an individual who has been in a LTC, I felt it may duty to take on this tongue in cheek task to share with readers what they need to or at least start to be thinking about! I adapted this story line from relationship guru Mr. Stephan who looked at it from the other side of the street.

#1. Mr. Right Has No Unresolved Issues

Past issues that have not been resolved are often referred to as baggage. That baggage can cause major problems down the road in your relationship. Common unresolved issues involve trust and self-esteem. For instance, if he has been cheated on in the past, and he has not dealt with that and let it go, then he may be holding on to feelings of anxiety and mistrust. Later on in your relationship that mistrust can manifest itself into blame, anger, and hurt because your relationship has not been built on trust (the backbone of a healthy relationship) due to his inability to completely trust you. If he has no issues, and has dealt with his past in a way that has allowed him to move on, then you get to start your relationship with a clean slate. This will allow you to move forward in a happy, baggage-free manner. Just be ready to sleep with one eye open! Trust me on this one.

#2. Mr. Right is Not Like Your Mother

Your mother gave you life and provided for you, but don't forget that your new partner might just be a "moma's boy." And you just might have to deal with it. Not to mention that his mother might be the "mother of all mother's" that you do not want to pursue a relationship with. In short, she may not be completely satisfied with the man who you are either but no matter your situation you got to work it
 out, then you and yours are going to have to talk it out. When you get the man, you get his moma and all the family that goes with it. Its package deal.

#3. Mr. Right is Not a Drama Queen

A drama queen is going to make your life miserable down the road until he loses the need for drama, which may or may not happen. Let's keep it real, many gay men go for the dramatics and then some. If you don't like drama, then don't do a drama queen for a man. Certain men are needy and other's have need to just be. Find out what you working with and make sure that what ever category he falls, that you are prepared to be their even when you don't think you can anymore. Being in love is one thing, but staying in love is another.

#4. Mr. Right Supports Your Dreams and Goals

The right man will support you in your life and the choices that you make. In fact, he may be the only one who supports you! That is the beauty of a happy, intimate, and successful relationship; you always have each other’s backs, even if the world around you falls apart. If he shows signs of being your biggest supporter, no matter what your dreams and goals are, then he is going to make you happy no matter which way your life turns. In a nutshell, get you a "hero" and not a "Zero!!"

#5. Mr. Right Makes You Laugh

He  may make you feel good and supported, but does he make you laugh? It is not enough that you make him laugh and feel good, he has to be able to return the favor. Life is better when you laugh your way through it, and having an intimate partner who can make you laugh will be a blessing when times get tough. And tough times are in every one’s future. Me and mine laugh out loud since we both have a bawdy and often time outrageous way of seeing how life goes on around us. We know that the world doesn't revolve around us but that we are just playing our part in it! Do some laughing today.

#6. Mr. Right is Optimistic

Do you want to spend your life reassuring a man, or would you rather have a man who looks at the cup half-full and needs little reassurance about the happiness in his life? Negative and sarcastic people may be funny or semi-grounding at first, but they will take their toll on your happiness in the end. Ensure your woman is willing to see the positive side of things on her own. This doesn’t mean that you won’t need to support him in times of trouble, but it does mean that he won’t spend his  life focused on the bad and negative, and bring you both down to hating each other.

In the end, if he displays the above six signs, the chances of you having a successful, happy relationship are much higher than if he doesn’t display them. The point is that Mr.right’ is a man who is going to make you happy for years to come, and if he doesn’t make you happy right now, then he probably won’t make you happy in the future. Listen up, you've been warned!  Go now and find the happiness that you deserve with the one that you've been waiting for! Happy Hunting!!

Need more relationship advice? Hit us up in our comment section or send your questions to  Do it before its too late or you make that mistake!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday All Hands on Deck

Republican Pork-a-Rama

Well it seems when you get rid of one there always seems to be another one crawling somewhere from a nearby crack. Yes it been revealed that another ethically challenge Republican is now under the hot glare of the press and hopefully the scorn of the electorate. That means you and me!

Who is this time? News sources on the web report that Republican state Rep. Mark Biviano of Searcy was one of only two applicants — and the only one from Arkansas — for a job worth as much as $119,000 a year to head an agency planning for a possible state health insurance exchange.

Biviano sponsored the legislation that created the Health Insurance Marketplace Board.

He couldn't be hired during his term of office, most likely, but that doesn't mean arrangements couldn't be made to postpone his hiring until the end of this year.

The Board, because of the small number of applicants, is seeking more.

Biviano's seeking a job he created — personal pork barreling, you might say — is a fitting act for a fellow we affectionately know as Bourbon and Bacon Biviano. That's after the name of the Capital Hotel fete Biviano attended shortly before an alleged hit-and-run incident.

Arkansas Times Max Brantley waxes on his blog pointing out, "I should add  that the shuffle of legislators to state jobs is a time-honored and bipartisan tradition in Arkansas. But help me readers: Can you remember another legislator who shuffled directly into a six-figure job he or she created?"

Just think about it this way, three years of a $100,000 job added to a number of years in state service as a legislator can up your annual public employee pension handsomely, since it is based on a combination of years of service and the three highest-paid years of compensation. Here we go again with another self serving politician elected by the people with his hands all in the pork barrel. It sounds like good work if you can get it!
Renegades Raising Funds

The venerable group Renegades for a Cause are back at it in 2014 with Lucie's Place being the recipient of their efforts. The event will step off at MK's, 1/17/14 with show time at 11pm. Lucie's Place will also team with The Living Affected Corporation in October for the duo's 2nd Annual Hair Affair. Stay locked and loaded to this site for updates!

2014 Gay & Lesbian critics award nominations announced

12 Years A Slave has been given yet another big Oscar boost after landing three nominations for the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association's 2014 Dorian Awards.

Director Steve McQueen's acclaimed movie's haul from Hollywood's gay community, includes Film of the Year.
The drama will go up against American Hustle, Blue Is the Warmest Color, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her and Laurence Anyways.
12 Years' star Chiwetel Ejiofor is nominated for Film Performance of the Year - Actor, and his co-star Lupita Nyong'o will compete for the Film Performance of the Year - Actress award. The Award season is off and running with the Golden Globes presented earlier this week and Screen Actors Guild to come. Have you seen all the nominated film? Got reviews or picks? Share them with COP 24/7 so we can see who's got the best eye for film winners!
Don't Forget that February 7th is Black HIV AIDS Awareness Day