Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Catch Up Roll Out

PFLAG Programs Film Presentation
Did you know that there was a PFLAG chapter in the city? No. Well if you didn't now you do. PFLAG is the acronym for "Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays," which is a support entity for attendee to share their issues, challenges, triumphs and some times tragedies.
The local group meets monthly and now has embarked on offering a film presentation of the award winning "Before You Know It," through the film on demand service, GATHR Films. Currently pre-reserved tickets can be purchased to demonstrate support for the film's showing September 10 at the Chenal IMAX theater at 7:30pm  Tickets are only $10 per person.
However there's a little rub to this programming. In order to make this effort succeed all tickets must be purchased before the film will be shown. There are no tickets at the local box office only online at .  Got it. Go to this site and get your tickets.  In the meantime, as a public service, COP 24/7 is challenging all local groups to consider buying a block of tickets to offer to some gay elders that would enjoy this film while in like minded company.
This forum doesn't know exactly what the advertising campaign looked liked for this event, but we're doing what we can to support it. The film hits home as a "man of a certain" age who is well aware of the generational gaps that occur in the LGBTQ construct. Even as the "equality flags unfurl," unfortunately within the gay community, often times older gay men and women feel isolated or even feel left behind. Its an important issue that will be covered more on this forum and all media platforms that we work with. In closing, just so you know, "I'm getting older, but I'm oh so better about it." Check out PFLAG's Facebook post and don't forget to like our site as well. Do it today!!

What Did they Say?
The Talking Out Loud of FACEBOOK
Facebook LogoSurely you've seen it and thought to yourself? "WTF," were they thinking for posting this or that on Facebook. Even with filtering and or other company policing, as far as we are concerned its just about out of hand and often time goes into that "TMI" zone.  Even though COP 24/7 has a digital presence on this behemoth, which now has some compelling factoids as follows:
651,835,100 million active users on facebook. There are over 900 million objects ( pages groups events and community pages).There are more than 250 million active users currently accessing Facebook through their mobile devices

People on Facebook
  • More than 600 million active users
  • 50% of our active users log on to Facebook in any given day
  • Average user has 130 friends
  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook
Activity on Facebook
  • There are over 900 million objects that people interact with (pages, groups, events and community pages)
  • Average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events
  • Average user creates 90 pieces of content each month
  • More than 30 billion pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photo albums, etc.) shared each month.
And this is just the tip of its digital spear. The conversations on this social media town square can range from the mundane to the outrageous. I've seen folks actually post their post surgery pictures which caused me to ponder why? And the insipid rants, raves and ridiculous musing of what appear to be the many needy and melodramatic queens who need to vent their latest life disappointment. It doesn't stop there as there are now even FB catty fights or outbreaks that even involve some politicos such as Sen. Jason Rapert who has waged a tirade of wingnut talk that cause COP 24/7 to hit our "We're Crazy," button.

 It seems that almost anything and damn near anything from seeking cash assistance to folks calling out their bad penny relationship. It just goes on  and on and who knows where any of this will end. Well you also have to admit that there is also some usefulness in which certain causes, fund raising or other call to actions can utilize the platform. Therefore It seems that you have to take the good with the bad.

In the meantime, COP 24/7 want to encourage our readers to check out our Facebook page and "like" us. Then you can continue to enjoy the mayhem and daily does of Facebook tomfoolery.  

And now for this commercial moment...

This hit the inbox with great interest and curiosity to say the least. So we are off to further investigate just what's up with this "community advisory board," and exactly what is its purpose. Stay tuned next week as COP 24/7 spins the information big wheel including some insightful "throw back" content that needs a dust off and another look at.  Come on will not want to miss it.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Leaning In and Out Part 2

4 ways young adults can get covered this summer

          Young adults have several options for getting covered through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

1. Apply during a Special Enrollment Period

You may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period and not even know it. Did you recently get married, have a baby, adopt a child, or move? Did your student health plan just expire? If so, you may be able to get Marketplace coverage outside of Open Enrollment.

2. Apply for Medicaid and CHIP any time

You can enroll in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) any time of year. If you qualify, you can enroll right away.

3. Get covered on a parent's plan

You may be able to get covered under a parent’s health insurance plan until you turn 26. This is true even if you're married, not living at home, or not financially dependent on your parents. If you turn 26 and age off of a parent's plan, you qualify for a Special Enrollment Period.

4. Consider catastrophic health coverage

Protect yourself from the high costs of worst-case scenarios like accidents or serious illnesses. If you’re under 30, you can buy a catastrophic health plan that covers 3 primary care visits per year. Catastrophic plans cover these services and free preventive care before you meet your deductible.

 NASEM Announces CRIBB

Selected participants are beings sought to begin a Fellowship in January at the National African American MSM Leadership Conference on HIV/AIDS and other Health Disparities, which is hosted by NAESM.  The participants will have hands on activities and complete required assignments throughout the year. Possible candidates are asked to complete a community leadership project of their choosing with help from an assigned faculty member. Once the participants complete the program, they are eligible to attend a Rites of Passage ceremony where they are honored for their hard work and praised as new leaders to the Black gay community.

The 2015 conference is scheduled to take place during the MLK weekend January 15-18, 2015 at the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel located at One Hartsfield Centre Parkway Atlanta, GA. This conference will coincide with the H3/BGRG Summit scheduled to take place January 14, 2015. will offer another new and exciting opportunity for young Black gay men.

The selected individuals will participate in specifically designed workshops structured to increase their knowledge, skills, and leadership abilities in HIV/AIDS-related services, and/or other health disparities and social justice issues. The 2015 CRIBB Fellowship will enroll up to 12 candidates who are Black gay men, ages 18 to 25.

The purpose of the Fellowship is to provide these young men with not only leadership training, but also support that will strengthen their involvement in reducing HIV/AIDS, other Health Disparities and social justice inequities within the African American MSM community. In order to participate, the Fellows must complete an application process that includes completing demographic information, answering five essay questions, providing two letters of recommendations, and participating in personal interviews. For more information hit up the link

You can get The READ at local venues such as The Lobby Bar inside the Community Theater Complex on 7th Street. Check out Club 610, Adam & Eve's on University Avenue and  don't forget our online portal at Let us help get the word out about your business through advertising with us! Call 349-7777 for some great rates and special pricing. Show some pride and do it today!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Leaning IN and Out

Faster, Easier Cures for Hepatitis C

Transformative advances in drug treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration are giving the 3.2 million Americans with chronic hepatitis C a chance for a longer, healthier life without the virus. That’s welcome news for baby boomers—who make up three of four adults with the hepatitis C virus—and millions of other Americans, many of whom don’t yet know they are infected and carriers. Earlier this week there was a recognition of World Hepatitis Day to continue to elevate the public health response to a disease that impacts more than 400 million people globally. Much of this education elevation also is vitally needed in Arkansas which needs to further scale up its methods to address this health dilemma.

Hepatitis C can be cured, and today’s drug therapies are very effective and easier for patients to take, says Jeffrey S. Murray, M.D., the deputy director of the Division of Antiviral Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Murray is an internist who specializes in infectious diseases.
A Preventable and Curable Disease
Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) refers to a group of viral infections that affect the liver. The most common types are hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Each is caused by a different virus.
Hepatitis C is the most common chronic blood-borne infection in the United States. There is no vaccine for this disease, but hepatitis C can be prevented by avoiding behaviors that can spread the virus—including sharing needles, syringes or other equipment to inject drugs.

A diagnosis of hepatitis C no longer means months and months of painful drug injections, which for decades were the only option. Science is making strides in therapies, giving patients new alternatives.
“Interferon-based injections often make patients feel ill and give them flulike symptoms,” Murray says. The treatment by interferon also lasts six months to a year, and cures only 40% to 50% of hepatitis C patients.

“Patients with very advanced liver disease couldn’t take the traditional treatment because often those injections could make them worse,” he adds. “Now, patients can treat their hepatitis C with only pills– drug combinations that are faster and have a higher cure rate.”

Today’s pills have double the viral cure rates—90% to 100%—in just in 12 weeks’ time. Reducing the treatment from a year to three months is a huge advantage for people with hepatitis C, especially because it’s easier to swallow a pill than to get an injection, Murray says.

The new regimens include Sovaldi (sofosbuvir), which is the first drug approved to treat certain types of hepatitis C infection without the need to co-administer interferon. In recent years, FDA has also approved three protease inhibitors—Olysio (simeprevir), Victrelis (boceprevir) and Incivek (telaprevir)—to treat chronic hepatitis C virus infection. Olysio is a protease inhibitor that blocks a specific protein the hepatitis C virus needs to replicate. The drug is a component of a combination antiviral treatment regimen.

FDA provides information through a Hepatitis e-mail list, along with notices of upcoming public events, such as advisory committee meetings, and opportunities to comment on policies and issues that affect people with hepatitis B or C.

Better Together Taco Party Night

Saturday, August 2, 2014
The Centers at CAR
800 Scott St., Little Rock (inside First Presbyterian Church) 72201

Taco bar, sangria, community, fun and a photo booth.

CAR is a member of collaborative project called the Better Together Cohort, a collective of 8 Southern LGBTQ centric organizations brought together by Race Forward (formerly the Applied Research Center). Together we are working on a project called "We Are the South" collecting photos of the LGBTQ community and allies in our respective states. This fall we will do a coordinated national media drop, sharing who we are as LGBTQ and Ally Southerners!

We will also use these collected photos as a part of the education process for the "Add the Words" campaign regarding the importance of the inclusion of LGBTQ community in the state's civil rights law . "Add the Words" is a part of the Arkansans for Human and Civil Rights coalition's priority platform.

Attention all business, service and independent owners! The READ is looking for you! Let us help spread the word about how you can be of service to our readership in the LGBTQ community.
We value our local businesses and the impact and support that they have within the community. Call us today at 501-349-7777 to get your firm on board with celebrating your brand to our growing audience. Let us hear from you today!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Monday Roll Out

Creating Change 2015 Web site is Live!

The 27th Annual Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change climbs its way to the mile high city, Denver, CO Feb 4–Feb. 8, 2015. Creating Change is the premier annual organizing and skills-building event for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and our allies.

The Creating Change 2015 website is online now and ready for you to:

Creating Change 2015 registration will open next month in August. Sign up for our e-mail list so that you'll be the first to know when it opens.

We're really looking forward to building power, taking action and creating change with you in Denver!

COP 24/7 Special

National Gay Rights Group Hires Arkansas Director As Part Of Southern Campaign

As part of a campaign to expand protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people
in three southern states, an Arkansas director has been named for the Human Rights Campaign.
Kendra Johnson was introduced during a press conference at the capitol Monday and said LGBT people are particularly vulnerable in Arkansas.

"There are no non-discrimination protections in employment, housing or public accomodations. What does that mean? It means I can be kicked out of a restaurant for simply being a lesbian, or that a gay friend of mine can be fired just for being gay, or that a transgender woman can be kicked out of her apartment for simply being who she is," Johnson said. "That’s not right, and as Arkansans, we can do better than that."

State Rep. Warwick Sabin, a Democrat from Little Rock, says there are some supporters of expanding hate crime laws in the Arkansas Legislature, but that passage is a long shot, given the current balance of power.

"We have an uphill batter currently because just in the last regular session, we had to stave off some resolutions and other efforts to marginalize the LGBT community more than they already are, so we’re going to do everything we can and certainly we need more vocal support.  I think the organization of the HRC campaign and the opening of the office and the hiring of the state director will help us make progress toward that end," Sabin said.

The Arkansas office is being funded through an $8.5 million campaign to promote LGBT equality in Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi.

Johnson's hiring coincides with court fights that are underway at the federal and state level over Arkansas's ban on gay marriage.

The group also released results of a survey Monday, said to be the largest of LGBT Arkansans ever conducted, finding many report experiencing discrimination in employment, harassment in public establishments and at houses of worship.

"Mirror" Anthology Project Seeking Submissions, Announces Model Selection

A new anthology project under the working title of "Reflections of A Shattered Mirror," is ready to seek original content ranging from prose to essay concerning personal lived experiences in relation to social justice issues while embracing all aspects of an individuals LGBTQI journey and beyond. 

Mr. Dell Williams has agreed to serve as a cover model for the project. He will also be instrumental in spearheading the design and overall vibe of the cover art. He has had interest in modeling offering his life style impressions on Facebook and is a proud father of two daughters.

Submission's can be forwarded to for consideration which are now underway. Content can include high quality photo's, drawings, essay, white paper's and other graphic art work to support the overall themes of the publication. Currently we are seeking cover concepts that could be chosen for the work due for release in December.

The project was green lighted as a initiative of the Bush-Mallon Institute for Social Justice in collaboration with The National Association of Black and White Men Together, Inc.(  According to Executive Editor, C. Mabin the periodical will continue to explore the multi layered experiences of same gender loving men and women and the impact of coming out, homophobia, intimate partner violence, gender identity, long term partnership and assorted sub culture myths that are often languish in misinformation.

COP 24/7 is enthusiastic and excited at the forward motion of the project and will be updating as additional decision are concluded. Please stay tuned to this platform as well as on our new Facebook page ( ) Don't forget to "like" our page!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Fired Up Friday

Another week of pushing levers, trap doors, moving targets and all out mayhem in trying to juggle producing this forum while addressing the myriad of other activity that occur concurrent to just trying to have a life. Its not easy, and often times the road becomes vexing if not weary. Yet some how, for  some reason, we persevere forward until further notice. Who knew that this little experiment would be still around as many who joined the fray earlier have all but been forgotten. Ten years of a snap shot, time capsule, catalog or scrapbook of what was happening in the LGTBQ community and beyond. The legacy of COP 24/7 although presumed set, it will be up to others who discover or perhaps dissect it as to its value, impact or substance. Many thanks to the signed up subscribers and all those who inhabit the digital shadows for following. However for now, we are fired up and keeping it hot, live and otherwise...let's go for it shall we!

Just who Is in touch with the Arkansas Electorate

With the 2014 election cycle barreling down to a November show down. COP 24/7 can not express how important it is that the LGBTQ community must understand the power of the ballot box. This forum has preached and went on and on about who is at the policy table, why its important that there be ongoing teaching sessions about how the electorate works or how to access the entire delegate process in lieu of the fact that we have a Arkansas Stonewall Democrat chapter.

I went through this during the 2008 cycle and I had to learn the hard way that even though there's much lip service paid to a "LGBTQ Caucus," it appeared to be nothing more than window dressing. Basically due to the fact that there has been no asserting or no significant emphasis in engaging viable individuals to be apart of the process. Even though there was some half hearted effort from the ASWD, I felt no mentoring, guidance or financial support from that entity and despite my interest and a registered Democrat, I've had little to no interaction with this group. With that said, I fully understand that its a "two way" street and it seems that maybe it will be up to me to cross the street, again.

I find this even more alarming with the recent "voter suppression" measure that was passed requiring folks to have a valid ID to vote. This type of social injustice only resonated among the usual suspects such as the ACLU among a few others.

Just as a side note, Republican candidate Asa Hutchison was ensnared in this very aspect of the voting process, when he showed up to cast his vote without proper ID and was turned away from the polls.

Then Mr. Hutchinson demonstrated more "foot in mouth" and had another "I'm out of touch," moment earlier this week at the Farm Bureau debates in NWA. If you've seen his campaign Ads, Hutchinson attempts to portray himself as a "good old Arkansas country boy down on the farm." It would seem that if that who is "says" he is then by golly why play that charade to the hilt by being a card carrying member of the Farm Bureau or at least pretend to know.

In the meantime, if you are not registered to vote, COP 24/7 implores you to do so, especially as boat loads of "Dark Money" from outside of the state supporting candidates that this forum questions their knowledge or interest about the LGBTQ community. As the cycle continues to boil, watch COP 24/7 for more updates, issues, and voter information. Check out the Asa gaff and make your own determination as to who should be leading the state forward.

Arkansas Transgender Community Sends Delegates to Lobby Day in D.C.

Big congratulations to the Arkansas Trans Equality Coalition on supporting 14 delegates to the national lobby day earlier this month. It was among the largest delegations in attendance and a first for the Arkansas based Trans Equality Coalition.

The event was a joint project of National Center for Transgender Equality, Trans People of Color Coalition, Trans Latin@ Coalition, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, PFLAG National, Black Transmen, Inc., and Black Transwomen, Inc.

According to attendees the event was empowering and insightful as to current challenges, issues and policy movements directly affecting the trans community. Delegation members were able to speak with Rep. Bozeman and Rep. Cotton respectively concerning "talking points" concluded during their lobby training provided by organizers.

The organization has been mobilized with producing several town hall opportunities as a supportive element to engage a wider understanding of the trans community while preparing to participate in a forth coming annual assessment under the auspices of NCTE slated to be launched in early 2015.

According to group literature, the vision of the entity is to work toward advancing education, resources and inclusive communities for transgender and gender non-conforming Arkansans. NCTE Executive Director, Mara Keisling is scheduled for stops in Fayettville  and Little Rock in her multi-state tour to engage local groups and promote the national organization.

Now Available on news stands in local venues and businesses. Let us help celebrate your brand, service, organization or event through advertising in The READ. Call us at 349-7777 to hear about some of special pricing for upcoming issues. If you business would like to be a circulation point, don't hesitate to contact us. Do it today! Check us out on Facebook or

Thursday, July 24, 2014

And the Sights and Sound of COP 24/7 Continue

President Obama Signs a New Executive Order to Protect LGBT Workers

“Many of you have worked for a long time to see this day coming.”
Those were President Obama’s words to the audience in the East Room of the White House this morning, before he signed an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
At the signing, the President explained how, because of their “passionate advocacy and the irrefutable rightness of [their] cause, our government — government of the people, by the people, and for the people — will become just a little bit fairer.”

Today’s Executive Order amends Executive Order 11246, issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson, adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of protected categories in the existing Executive Order covering federal contractors.

“It doesn’t make much sense,” President Obama said, “but today in America, millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job, not because of anything they do or fail to do, but because of who they are — lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender. And that’s wrong.”

The President also pointed out that workplace equality is simply good business. Noting that most of the Fortune 500 companies already have nondiscrimination policies on their books, he explained that these policies help companies attract and retain the best talent. “Despite all that,” he said, “in too many states and in too many workplaces, simply being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender can still be a fireable offense.

There are people here today who’ve lost their jobs for that reason.” I firmly believe that it’s time to address this injustice for every American.

“I’m going to do what I can, with the authority I have, to act,” the President said. “The rest of you, of course, need to keep putting pressure on Congress to pass federal legislation that resolves this problem once and for all.” - — President Obama, July 21, 2014

And now for this commercial moment....

The Arkansas HIV Planning Group supports testing and counseling, linkages and retention in care optimums for all citizens of Arkansas. It is vitally important that the issue of HIV and AIDS continues to be apart of daily dialog as we are charged with decreasing infection rates.
Watch our Facebook page for updated information, widgets, locators and meeting information. Share your thoughts with us as we are all in the fight to end HIV. Check us today at

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Mid Week Mixer

Wow! Where the heck has July gone as we seemed to be speeding through 2014 with a vengeance. Its be a dizzying last three months for COP 24/7 as we've been on the road, making the rounds all while trying to keep this forum funky fresh! Its not been an easy feat and every now and then, it seems damn near impossible. Yet we continue to pump it out and kick up a notch to keep bringing you our special brand of "what's going on and more!"

PFLAG At the Movies: Before You Know It

Local organization PFLAG ( Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) is on the move to continue to offer unique programming to the area. Currently they are promoting the groundbreaking film, "Before You Know It," slated to be shown September 10 at the Chenal IMAX 9.

However there's twist, in order for this flick to appear in the city, they have to meet a goal of selling at least 52 tickets at $10 each.  As it stand at this post only "4" tickets have been reserved via the GATHR Film web portal that tracks their progress.

Perhaps PFLAG should have partnered with the local gay elder organizers or could have reached out to local Aging agencies to help with ticket sales. Doesn't help with thinking out of the box folks.

Although I would love to see this film, unfortunately COP 24/7 will be back on the road for this date. However, to assist COP 24/7 will sponsor up to two tickets from among the next 20 Facebook Likes we get to our page at . This forum subscribes to the thought that aging in the LGBTQ construct should not be a barrier to continue to making a difference or feeling connected. This issue has been explored on this forum and will continue to be examined in later post.

As an individual who has crossed that 50 threshold, I am never more invigorated, enthusiastic, empowered and engaged in my community. After all COP 24/7 has been up and running for 10, yes count em, ten years. Age is a number and not a mindset from where we stand as well as a part of our future work.

Meanwhile, according to the website, the subjects of the film BEFORE YOU KNOW IT are no ordinary senior citizens. They are go-go booted bar-hoppers, love struck activists, troublemaking baton twirlers, late night Internet cruisers, seasoned renegades and bold adventurers. They are also among the estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans over the age of 55 in the United States, many of whom face heightened levels of discrimination, neglect and exclusion.

But BEFORE is not a film about cold statistics and gloomy realities, it’s a film about generational trailblazers who have surmounted prejudice and defied expectation to form communities of strength, renewal and camaraderie – whether these communities be affable senior living facilities, lively activist enclaves or wacky queer bars brimming with glittered trinkets and colorful drag queens.

• Dennis is a gentle-hearted widower in his 70s who begins exploring his sexual identity and fondness for dressing in women’s clothing under the name “Dee.”
• Ty is an impassioned LGBT activist who hears nothing but wedding bells once gay marriage passes in New York.
• Robert “The Mouth” is a feisty bar owner who presses on when his neighborhood institution comes under threat.

Born before the Civil Rights era, these men have witnessed unbelievable change in their lifetimes: from the Stonewall Riots and gay liberation to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and Queer Nation to gay marriage and Lady Gaga. They have lived to become part of an unprecedented “out” elder generation.

BEFORE YOU KNOW IT focuses on the lives of these three vibrant gay seniors, and reminds us that while LGBT elders face a specific set of issues, aging and its challenges are universal.

An affirmation of life and human resilience told with refreshing humor and candor, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT confirms that you are never too old to reshape society.

The READ Hits the Streets

Local LGBTQ focused newspaper, The READ has hit the streets this week appearing in local
businesses and venues according to staffers at the publication. Tonya Estell, Editorial Director, stated, "in this issue we went for culture, travel and fashion content." She continued, " we had to work hard on getting this issue due to travel schedules and other organizational programming.

However, we came together as team to what we believe is another great issue of interest to our readers." The cover features Mr. Brandon Hood of the new FYI network's "BORN to Style" reality series. Hood, is quoted in the story as his experiences and journey to New York in search of his dream of being a stylist to the stars.

The newspaper was developed from a series of meetings, dialog, community conversations and focus groups that cited that the lack having such a paper in the area was seen as a priority. Under the LA Corp Publishing banner, the periodical was organized and developed to fulfill that void as call for by the LGBTQ community.

However, organizers are reporting that ongoing assessments of the newspaper have resulted in "mixed" signals ranging from pick up rates to advertising interest from local businesses. Estell commented, " we have had some success from ad sales but we certainly are setting no records for sales. We believe in our product which we know would be of service to highlighting area gay owned and operated businesses as well as those allies who seek sales in the gay community. We felt that since this was seen as a need we would garner more support. "

Also in the paper are sections on summer book reading, fashion tips and travel treats. The newspaper will be uploading the issue to its online presence at and can be found at many local outlets with the entire listing available on it Facebook page. For advertising information call 501-349-7777.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Keep it Coming COP 24/7

Gay Traveling: Can you make that a double or can I get a King?

Traveling as gay couple in certain parts of the world can be an experience. As me and mine have trekked across the country although not globally as yet, we've for some reason never really encountered any "double takes." Usually as I make the reservations I don't hesitate to ask for a King room among those non-smoking rooms that are most prevalent at hotel's nowadays.

However according to an article featured on the Advocate website, they cite a survey on the Gay Asia Travel website which found that some hotels still make it difficult for gay couples in that part of the world.

A recent survey of 350 respondents conducted by the Gay Asia Travel website found that 20 percent experienced a problem at a hotel because they were part of a same-sex couple. The main issue, according to survey-takers, is that the couples were given single, twin beds when they booked a double. That doesn't seem to be an issue in Las Vegas (see the city's latest commercial below). When myself and my partner visited that city after the aftermath of 9/11, we were openly welcomed as a "couple," at New York, New York hotel complex.

The desk agent was extremely friendly and moved to change our reservation to a "King Junior Suite." Fortunately we've experienced this same hospitality not only in other cities but earlier this year during a freak snow storm in Little Rock, the staff of the La Quinta Inn downtown quickly accommodated us again with a "King" room despite showing us at a moments notice. And yes even in small places such a Clovis, New Mexico or Fort Smith, we've not had any problems as yet to having our single bed request.

Other findings: 30 percent say they travel with a partner, while 54 percent take vacations alone; 16 percent travel with friends.

The top activities for gay Asian travelers is clubbing, followed by sightseeing, shopping, and hitting the beach. Visiting countries known to be LGBT-friendly or at least having a gay scene is very important to travelers, with Bangkok, Singapore, and Bali listed as the three top Asian destinations. Hopefully as time will have it, we will get a chance to venture abroad to see many of the places that often times we just dream about. Until then, we will continue to enjoy our stateside adventures while always reserving a king.

Follow #AIDS2014

Members of the global  HIV community will convene in Melbourne, Australia for 20th International AIDS Conference (IAC) 2014 Exit Disclaimer from Sunday, July 20-25, 2014. We extend our condolences to the loved ones of all those on board Malaysia Flight 17.

Throughout the week, will work to help you stay abreast of news and highlights from the conference. We will also provide daily video highlights from NIH’s Dr. Carl Dieffenbach and other senior government officials.
We encourage you to use social media to get the latest conference updates and share your thoughts and ideas about AIDS2014. Here’s a few ways to help you feel connected to what is happening at the conference:
  • Experience the conference and participate virtually, watching interviews with delegates, speakers, and world leaders on the International AIDS Society’s (IAS) YouTube Channel Exit DisclaimerYou will also be able to access recordings of all conference sessions through this page shortly after their actual presentation at the conference.
  • IAS will be tweeting using @AIDS2014 Exit Disclaimer and they encourage you to use #AIDS2014 to keep the conversation going.
  • Become a fan of AIDS2014 on Facebook Exit Disclaimer and stay in touch with the latest conference updates.
  • Join the AIDS 2014 LinkedIn Group, Exit Disclaimer  start new discussions and add your comments to existing threads.
  • Sign up to receive daily email recaps Exit Disclaimer from FHI360 of the key conversations from happening across the full five days of AIDS 2014
And don’t forget to follow at AIDS 2014!
Check out our Facebook page to find out where you can get your hands on the latest issue of
The READ!!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Sweeping through July

Alright folks, I've tired of those of you who quip to me "I'm bored with nothing to do." REALLY? Well that's not the case here at COP 24/7 where there's plenty to do and how! We've got our eyes and ears poised for the latest "what's really going on," and so much more. It seems that this forum can't catch its breathe as the work continues to keep on coming from all angles, levels and circles that often times we just don't know where to even start. So for those of you bored with nothing to do, at least you can stay locked and loaded with COP 24/7 as we keep churning out info that you might want to know in your boredom...

Social Security Dials Back Determination Letter Decision

This forum reported that Social Security would be opting to not forward verification letters to citizens starting Aug 1. However, it seems that Social Security is backpedaling on its decision to require mostSocial Security verification letters, required for things like mortgage approvals and applications for government assistance.
people to download their own

The agency had announced that beginning Aug. 1, those in need of these letters would have to sign up for a personal My Social Security account and have access to a computer and a printer, things that many people living in retirement don't have.

A recent report by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, critical of Social Security's decisions to close 64 field offices and 533 mobile offices, points out that in 2013, 5 million people visited Social Security offices to get verification letters to corroborate such things as their income or retirement status. While public access to computers is available in many community libraries, some libraries and Microsoft itself warn against entering sensitive information into a publicly available computer.

In reversing the decision to stop sending verification letters by postal mail, Acting Commissioner Carolyn W. Colvin said in a statement: "We appreciate the feedback from members of Congress, our community stakeholders and agency partners. We want to ensure that we meet the needs of our customers in a way that is convenient for them and also cost-effective and secure for all."

Response from those most concerned about the issue was positive. "I'm glad the Social Security Administration has listened to our seniors' concerns," Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., chairman of the Senate aging committee, told the Associated Press. "As the agency pushes more people online to conduct their business, we need to make sure our most vulnerable citizens are not being left high and dry."

International AIDS Conference goes "Down Under"

The 20th International AIDS Conference convening stepped of amidst the somber of the downing of flight MH 17 which was shot down from the skies last week over the Ukraine. The opening of the conference was filled with tributes and remembrances of six delegates who were lost on the ill-fated flight that resulted in 298 deaths. COP 24/7 joined in a joint statement from the Arkansas HIV Planning Group on its dismay and sadness at this unfortunate act of violence.

A one minute global moment of remembrance was held in their honor with eleven former, present and future Presidents of the International AIDS Society onstage together with representatives from those organizations who lost colleagues, the World Health Organization, AIDS Fonds, Stop AIDS Now, The Female Health Company, the Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development and members of the Dutch HIV research community

A letter of condolence and support was also read out by Mr Lambert Grijns, The Dutch Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and HIV/AIDS.

Condolence books are circulating onsite at the conference for the duration of the event. On Tuesday July 22 at 18.00 AEST, a Candelight Vigil will be held at Federation Square in the center of Melbourne.
Some 12,000 participants from all over the world have gathered in Melbourne for the start of the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014). Under the theme Stepping up the Pace, during the five days of the conference delegates will discuss the latest research developments and will further explore updates, strategies, and research developments from worldwide experts.

Among the specific "hot button" topics will be HIV cure strategies and challenges; HIV prevention via Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), Treatment as Prevention (TasP), and voluntary medical male circumcision; Tuberculosis and Hepatitis C co-infection; and HIV and hormonal contraception. In addition, several studies will discuss the impact of discriminatory laws and the costs related to HIV prevention and care.

At the AIDS 2014 Opening Sessions, speakers discussed the encouraging data related to access treatment and reducing new HIV infections, but reminded the audience that HIV is far from being defeated and that stigma and discrimination towards Key Affected Population pose a major barrier to the end of the epidemic. COP 24/7 will be serving up video feeds and other content from the conference throughout the week. This conference is among the most tech savvy to say the least. Although it would be good to be in the house, COP 24/7 will do what it can to bring you the next best thing to being their! Stay tuned....

HHS announces auto-enrollment plans for current Marketplace consumers for 2015

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) expects to announce its plans for helping existing Marketplace consumers get auto-enrolled for next year.  These plans would give existing consumers a simple way to remain in the same plan next year unless they want to shop for another plan and choose to make changes. This news also comes on the heels of news that now qualified IPA (In-person assisters) who were licensed for the 2014 roll out have been notified that there licenses will expire in September and will have to "reapply" as well as be retested to assist with the 2015 enrollment.

What's more interesting to this notification is the fact that most of those who were licensed in 2014 were tossed amidst the Arkansas legislatures back room dealing which sacrificed the jobs of those individuals, disallow the Arkansas Insurance Department to seek any additional funding to support outreach and enrollment activities as a political bribe to have the Health Care Independent Act proceed. It is now estimated that as of May 2014, 187,123 Arkansans were deemed eligible for the program resulting in 75% of those eligible. Yet there is still haters of the program that have vowed to repeal the measure.

“As we plan for open enrollment in year two and continue to build a sustainable long-term system, we are committed to simplifying the experience for consumers by allowing auto-enrollment,” said Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Secretary of HHS. “We are working to streamline the process for consumers wishing to remain in their current plan.”

In today’s health insurance market, the vast majority of consumers are generally auto-enrolled in their plan year after year.  For example, about 88 percent of employees receiving coverage through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program don’t choose to change plans and are instead auto-enrolled in their current plan with updated premiums and benefits.  These guidelines aim to bring the Marketplace in line with this practice in the existing insurance market.

As with existing open enrollment periods for employer-based coverage, consumers are strongly encouraged to use the open enrollment period as an opportunity to update their information and reevaluate their health coverage needs for the coming year.

Consumers always have the ability to return to the system for shopping, changing plans, or reporting life changes, or a change to their annual income to ensure they are getting the lowest cost possible on their monthly premium. And, to help ensure the program integrity of how taxpayer dollars are spent, while also protecting consumers from having to pay back tax credits they are no longer eligible for, under the approach that the Federally-facilitated Marketplace would use in 2015, the small number of consumers whose updated income information suggests they no longer qualify for a tax credit next year, will still be auto-enrolled in their current plan, but without a tax credit. State-based Marketplaces may take this approach as well, or propose an alternative.

Under the plans that HHS expects to announce today, consumers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace will receive notices from the Marketplace informing them how to update their information to get a tailored and updated tax credit that keeps up with any income changes. Consumers will receive information from their health insurance company about the premium and the amount they are eligible to save on their monthly bill close to the beginning of the open enrollment period, when they will be able to take action should they choose to do so.

“We are continuing to plan for a second open enrollment period, and as we do so, are mindful of our ongoing work to improve the Marketplace for consumers, offering families a way to make the choices that meet their health care needs year after year,” said Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

We are also announcing plans for additional flexibility for State-based Marketplaces in this area, including the ability for State-based Marketplaces to propose unique approaches that meet the specific needs of their State, while streamlining the consumer experience.


Friday, July 18, 2014

The Rise and Return of COP 24/7

COP 24/7 on the Road: From Here To Their and Back

In case you've missed it and of course I know you have not, COP 24/7 has been in the mix and out on the road for the past six weeks! We 've posted some real time coverage from various events,
shared much of our traveling adventures using our Facebook platform and thanking many of you for sharing your warm thoughts, well wishes and "attaboys," in support of our advocacy work. It all means so much to us as we don't just talk about what needs to be done, but walks that talk into action across Arkansas and beyond.

This forum has been adamant about Arkansans being at the table, a part of the statewide policy mix and making a difference as you can in you own distinctive communities. It is for this reason that we've changed our Facebook profile to share that message that "One person can do so much." It's true.
 Let's think about it for a moment. One person can...:
1. Subscribe to COP 24/7
2. Join and Donate to our Rainbow Circle of Friends
3. Volunteer time at a local community based organization.
4. Follow and "Like" us on Facebook
5.Offer to sponsor individuals who are seeking to represent at national conferences.
6.Write letters to Editor at the new LGBTQ focused newspaper, The READ.
7. Say "hello" to someone you don't know at a local venue.
8. Share a comment on COP 24/7.

So you can see "one" person can do much with what you have and then do more with a commitment to do so. As we continue to roll in the pride season, don't focus on what you can't do, but rather what you can! Do it today.

Speak Out Ambassadors Programs Interviews Locals

COP 24/7 is proud to announce that two members of STRILITE, Mr. John Barnes and Mr. Sonjay Johnson, have been interviewed as possible candidates for the Speak Out Youth Ambassador program sponsored by the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), Black AIDS Institute (BAI) and AIDS United, Greater Than AIDS ( The interviews and invites to young gay men and other men who have sex with men (MSM) to participate in a Speak Out Youth Workshop in Washington D.C this fall.

Speak Out is a new campaign by Greater Than AIDS that encourages more open communication
about HIV among gay and bisexual men in relationships, with health care providers and within the community generally. This opportunity also correlates with impending anthology project,"Reflections from a Shattered Mirror," supported by the Bush-Mallon Institute for Social Justice. The entity is a program of The National Association of Black and White Men Together.( )

The project is designed to gather submitted content from social media platforms around the impact of social justice issues, imagery and health disparities. The objective of the project is to continue to determined what is resonating among this population that may need to be incorporated into future messaging campaigns from education to linkage to care opportunities. The anthology project is scheduled to be released in December.

With an emphasis on creative utilization of social media as the cornerstone of the Speak Out program, NASTAD, BAI, AIDS United and Greater Than AIDS hopes to identify and train youth leaders to use the power of their personal stories to reduce the spread of HIV among young gay and bisexual men. Below is the video response Mr. Barnes submitted as part of the application process. COP 24/7 is extremely proud of these two gentlemen and will be supporting their efforts as the wave of emerging leaders.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Diveristy Swirl of COP 24/7

The Obama Pile On

Just what would you have the leader of the free world do, when he just can't seem to catch a break from almost anywhere. He's got a folks trying to sue him. A gridlocked Congress that is hell bent on making sure that if he's for it, then they are against it. Then there's all manner of mayhem breaking out including the recent boarder crisis with thousand's of children crossing the boarder to matters running afoul in Iraq.

Then you've got your basic "OH" ( Obama Haters) folks whom continue to spew and spread vile, repugnant and insipid rhetoric that often times falls into the ridiculous. Believe it or not, some of this "free speech" even rolls on the pages within the LGBTQ community. Certainly every one is entitled to their opinion but the level of disrespect for the office, the over to top assailment of his efforts and the lukewarm acknowledgement of the numerous accomplishments moved forward by his administration. June 20th President Obama  announce a rule that makes legally married same-sex couples eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act in all 50 states, a White House official said.

Currently, legally married couples are eligible for those benefits if they reside in a state in which same-sex marriage is legal. Obama is directing the Department of Labor to propose a rule extending the FMLA rights even to states where gay unions are not legal. This is the latest from the administration that also crafted the National HIV AIDS Strategy, marriage equality and naming numerous LGBTQ candidates to important administrative post.

 Despite poll numbers and the quest of his colleagues to deride past accomplishments and derail any future legislation to complete his term, President Obama although not perfect, he's taken what was dealt to his hand and done his best to know when to hold them and when to fold them. It's damn tough job and you seemed to be damned if you do and damned if you don't.

The WOE Show Features COP 24/7

Just what’s The WOE Show all about?  Well, it’s cutting-edge, probing, absorbing radio.  It explores and dissects controversial issues and topics, and features diverse and dynamic
individuals that impact the LGBTQ community and its allies.  To make things even more appealing, humor is strategically woven throughout. And coming this Sunday (July 13) COP 24/7 Executive Producer, Cornelius Mabin will be the featured guest.

For example, on any given Sunday, The WOE Show shines a bright light on intimate partner violence/abuse (IPV/A), or activism, or HIV/AIDS, or the political climate, or prison rape, or current affairs.  The WOE Show welcomes folks from all walks of life, who are either emerging or established in their particular professions/vocations:  authors, community organizers, adult industry performers, comedians, activists, musicians.  A truly eclectic group. 

The WOE Show is uncut and uncensored.  This enables listeners to get a “three-dimensional” picture of each guest, if you will. Check it out and all things "WOE" at and The Wyatt O'Brian Evans Official Fan Club on Facebook.

Including Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to the State Civil Right LawAs a part of the efforts for equality in Arkansas, CAR has been working with a coalition called Arkansans for Human and Civil Rights (AHCR). We have four priorities in this coalition:

•    Non-partisan electoral work
•    Racial Profiling Task Force
•    "Add the Words" to the Arkansas Civil Rights law to include sexual orientation and gender identity
•    Creating a Civil Rights Commission for Arkansas

CAR is a part of the team leading the “Add the Words” campaign. If you have a story about how you have been impacted in regard to housing, employment or public accommodations please contact us. We also continue to work on the creation of the Civil Rights Commission.

We are also seeking LGBTQ and Ally community members in every legislative district in the state who are interested in participating on this project. If you are interested please contact us and include your legislative district information as well as your current legislative representatives. Please indicate if they are up for re-election or in their terms. 

LGBT Outreach for Marketplace Special Enrollment Periods

Even though Open Enrollment has ended, certain life events qualify individuals to enroll in a Marketplace health plan outside Open Enrollment (learn more about the life events that qualify you for a Special Enrollment Period in the Health Insurance).

As part of ongoing efforts to raise awareness of what life events qualify individuals for special enrollment periods in the Health Insurance Marketplace and in honor of Pride Month, this week HHS released a series of graphics to help raise awareness through social media. Please consider sharing them with your followers on social media, if they are relevant. You can click on each picture to go to the original image:
New Coverage for Your FamilyAffordable Coverage For Your New Arrival
ACALGBTMarriedSay I Do to Health Coverage

Don't forget to follow our real time coverage of the NABWMT's national conference this week July 8-11, 2014 in Milwaukee! Follow us and like our Facebook page!

Monday, July 07, 2014

Let the Summer Sizzle Begin part 1

Welcome to post 1244 of Corneliusonpoint for 2014. Yes that's "one thousand, two hundred, four four entries of our effort to educate, inform and  engage Arkansas' LGBTQ community and beyond concerning an array of issues and content of interest. And what a job that has been since our inception in 2004. According to those fancy Blogger analytical gadgets, COP 24/7 has had over 98,707 page views and has been seen from as far away as the Ukraine and even a few hits from both Russia and China. Of course in those far away countries, this forum has no way of understanding exactly what has tweaked their interest however, we were made aware that some nefarious individuals did actually try to use this platform for unsavory purposes that totally caught us by surprised. Nonetheless, we continue to churn it out, with hopes that maybe any of these postings can perhaps make a difference in some one's life. If not, at least it can be a place to divert your eyes to find out what has grab our attention, enraged us, touch our soul or maybe piece that we thought you should just know about. Its all been right here at COP 24/7 for the last ten years. And now let's sizzle....

Arkansas Represents at NABWMT

The 2014 Convention Planning Committee for the 34th Annual Convention will be
held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, July 8-12, 2014
This year's theme is "Reflecting, Rekindling, Renewing"as the group continues to address issues around racism, sexism, homophobia and health disparities through a series of enlightenment sessions scheduled for the week.

COP 24/7 Executive Producer C. Mabin will present in regards to his literary project being supported via the entities Bush Mallon Institute for Social Justice. The effort will explore the connection of how social media has been instrumental in driving social justice issues and challenges around the world. The goal of the project is produce an anthology consisting of gathered material utilizing multiple social media platforms to demonstrate what issues resonate with both the groups online and offline membership as well as supporters of the group.

National Co-Chair Mr. Mark Behar announced that the conference will launch on Wednesday evening with a Meet and Greet Gathering at Ayzha (pronounced “asia”) Fine Arts Gallery and Boutique with the first ever Art Invitational by NABWMT artists and performers. Behar stated that, "this will be dazzling and this activity is kindly being supported by our friends and brothers of Midland Regional."

Thursday night:  Madam X Talent/No Talent Show at Warehouse/Hot Water, with an incredible sound system, stage, and lighting, with the organizations own in house music maker, DJ Doug.
Friday night: Film and discussion by director and a panel discussion by Queer Youth and Mentors at the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center.

In addition, guest presentations by Derek Spencer of Baltimore’s Jacques Initiative (courtesy of Gilead Pharmaceuticals), Dr. Tito Izard, CEO of one of the area’s largest inner city community centers about disparity of health care, Dr. Mo White, on LGBT relationships, Dr. Kendal Broad on her study of NABWMT and interracial relationships, a first ever color guard by LGBT Veterans, and  the group's signature black and white caucuses, and a first ever health fair. COP 24/7 Executive Producer C. Mabin will present in regards to his literary project being supported via the entities Bush Mallon Institute for Social Justice.

The Doubletree Hilton Downtown will serve as the host hotel and there will be outings to local venues and activities across the city. For more info check out there web site,

Community Paper Assess Pro's and Con's

With the recent launch of Arkansas' only statewide LGBTQ focused newspaper, The READ, of  which COP 24/7 has partnered to produce has taken a step back to assess it's impact and capabilities of fulfilling what the community insisted that was needed. So what has been learned so far? Well, its mixed signals to say the least.

 Despite a successful launch part held at The New 610 Lounge in May, the paper got off to a super start with a sponsorship from management of I-30 Liquor and has subsequently gotten ad support from a few area businesses.

Currently producers of the paper have reached out to a advertising specialist to offer capacity building around ad sales and techniques. However, building a ad base for a new product does take time yet, staff discussions have yield that although the paper would seem to be a natural fit for local LGBTQ venues, so far the result have been marginal to questionable as to the lackluster interest.

Editorial Director, Tonya Estell stated, "I'm somewhat puzzled to this situation. Although I realize that we are a new publication but so far we've put out two great papers that I particularly proud of." She continued, "With the addition of our advertising expert, I have hopes the we can build relationships with those gay owned and operated businesses. From my vantage point, I thought that this was what the LGBT community wanted and I expected businesses to be on board to demonstrate their support. We as a community can't continue to grow if there continues to be shortsightedness and pettiness of by gone incidents."

From a distribution angle, the paper has concluded that executing this task has it challenges and certainly issues when it come to circulating the paper in outlying areas such as Texarkana or northward to the Eureka Springs area. Locally the paper has been available in gathering spots and a variety of outlets such as Adam for Adam and Creegan's Pub. Also subscriptions are available or newspapers can be picked up at the group's offices at 401 North Maple Street in North Little Rock.

COP 24/7 has been aggressively promoting the product through its social media postings and using this platform to highlight scheduled content, pick up points and reach out to contributors for original content and or story ideas.  We are of the mindset that often times new products do need time to scale up their systems and getting their "groove" in order to move forward. This forum was apart the "chatter" and much ballyhooed discussion around "why the area did not have a local newspaper," and now that its is upon us, it would seem that copies would be flying from wherever they are placed.

Not to mention those who sell products, goods, and services would be chumping at the bit to get their brand out front and center into the community. One would think that with all those rushing to court house earlier this year to engage in the marriage equality decision would be needing all manner of services ranging from florist to financial planners. And so it goes as the staff of The READ will continue to do what has not been done while taking the Malcolm Gladwell, "David and Goliath,"
approach to solving problems outside the box as the underdog. For advertising information call 501-379-8203 or 501-349-7777.