Friday, February 27, 2015

Hot Topic Friday and More

Hello Is this thing ON

Again," hello is this thing on?" Well let's hope so as the madness of the Arkansas legislature keeps putting our fair state on full blast across the globe. Yes my dear readers Arkansas has gone "viral," although we have had steep competition with "The Dress," and the Llama's on run that got folks in a damn near tizzy!

If you recall, this forum as usual went there to wax on about the recent "call to actions," around those pesky pieces of legislation. You know the ones' the now law, SB 202 and that other stupidity HB1228, the so-called “Conscience Protection Act” which suffered a key setback in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Just as a refresher in case you still trying to figure out "the dress" stuff, as written, the bill would allow individuals to sue government actors—including teachers, firefighters and police officers—if that individual believed that their personal religious beliefs were being violated.

Also just in case you had your head buried otherwise, there has been a slew of big facebook rants and as I pointed out, people from around the world pondering if Arkansas is a "hate state." OUCH! All this even brought NYC based and at large Journalist Steven Thrasher of The Guardian to the city in search of gay folks and anybody of any color who would talk about these matters. More on that next week too.

In the meantime, COP 24/7 applauded what had been done, but pondered about "big box" tactics such as high profile full page ads, palm cards and where was our TV spots from the "changing hearts and minds," folks.

Well we're not sure if they were listening but "viola," we witness the roll out on our local and totally gay friendly, KARK TV 4 yesterday. It was a well produced TV ad concerning this issue, hot off the editing board and slip streamed to our area and of course their website. We here at COP 24/7 are so glad that great minds think alike or whatever. Its so good to know that we too here in the state have really great ideas of how to advocate for ourselves given the resources to make it happen. But in the meantime, check out this video and as always your comments are encouraged and welcomed. I'm sure that there's more to come....stay tuned!

Empire VS This Is Luv
Launched on February 16th, GLAAD teamed up with You Belong Co-Founders, former NFL player Wade Davis and writer Darnell L. Moore along with the National Black Justice Coalition, Politini Media,, HRC Foundation (HRCF) and to launch “This Is Luv” (#ThisIsLuv), a multi-media campaign highlighting affirming LGBT love in Black communities and families.

So why was this done you ask? Thanks for asking. According to Wade on MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry Show, he stated that there needed to be response to both the perception that love dynamic images are in short supply in the black community plus the Black homophobia story line of the run away hit Empire over on none other than FOX. 

COP 24/7 had to go binge watching all eight episodes in one sitting to make sure that we stayed in the fruit loop with the children and many adults who are going totally stupid over this show. Anyway more about Empire in a later posting.

In the meantime, this campaign offers a counter-narrative to the prevalent idea that the African-American community is generally homophobic. Celebrities, writers, and advocates will share photos and video blogs about the supportive and caring relationships that have transcended sexual orientation or gender identity. This too is another hot topic that needs more mouth from COP 24/7 to come.

“Too many people within the Black LGBT community believe this myth and never allow themselves to be loved by their families,” says Wade Davis. “Our goal is make it known that love for Black LGBT people exists in our community.”

Advocates are increasingly becoming aware of the intersecting identities of being African-American and LGBGT as a focal point for discourse and healing.  A part of that process is intentionally documenting and celebrating loving relationships in Black families to deliberate

To see the portraits and testimonials go to
You can also post your pic of affirming love for Black LGBT people by their allies by using the hashtag #thisisluv and #blacklovematters.

Coming Next Week...

We've just learned some exciting news about LinQ for Life and you can learn about it here before anyone else does! We're going to spill the tea and you will not want to miss us!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Book Of Negroes

As February rolls to an end, this forum would be remiss in not acknowledging Black History Month, although we make it a duty to cover a wide range of topics concerning all people, it is important that we continue to celebrate out lived experiences, historical contributions as well as being
cognizant of our current barriers such as generational wealth, access to capital, and poverty to challenges of both crime and urban blight in our neighborhoods that must continued to be addressed.

Beginning with the December release of "Selma", which recalled the historic Pettis bridge march those who dared to do it, through January in which there were numerous programs profiled on OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and other local activities presented throughout the month which offered interesting perspectives as well as thought provoking discussions that would do much to educate most anyone. I found myself among such an array that, there was no way to catch them all. But of the many, one of the most interesting was BET's production of The Book of Negroes which had the backdrop of those enslaved, yet the soul of the production was from the viewpoint of its central character Aminata Diallo.

This beautifully told story captured me with its survival spirit as she recounted that her will and persistence was not to die a slave and to remember her fathers words of "find your way home." Even as this series has been already shown, in true BET fashion and due to its receptive audience, I am sure that it will be repeated. When announced, this forum will share that info. Below is a snapshot of a review of the show and some assorted facts in recognition of this heritage month.

Admiring Aminata Diallo comes easy in “The Book of Negroes.”

The hard part is is absorbing all she had to overcome after she was kidnapped as a child in 18th century Africa and sold into slavery.

“Book of Negroes,” a six-hour Black History Month miniseries, will be fairly compared to “Roots,” though it focuses on the life and times of Diallo rather than covering many generations.
Marvelously played by Aunjanue Ellis, Diallo is wrenched from a happy childhood to face the
untender mercies of a world where she is assumed to be no more than someone’s property.
It’s a cruel, cold awakening, and even some of the most well-meaning sympathizers fail to honor her human dignity.

Diallo finally flees to New York where she is caught in the whirlwind of the American Revolution and forced along with others to make a fateful choice.

Do they side with the British, who offer freedom from slavery, or with the rebels, whose own concept of freedom doesn’t seem to extend to black folks?
A powerful theme of “Book” stems from one of the last things Aminata’s father said: that she must always find her way home.

That’s the goal of almost everyone here, with a cast that includes Louis Gossett Jr. and Cuba Goodings Jr. But the path is never easy, and the news is never all good.
In a world where survival is victory, Aminata helps others survive as well. It’s an achievement as remarkable as the obstacles are chilling.

The Book of Negroes is a 2007 award-winning novel from Canadian writer Lawrence Hill. In the United States, Australia and New Zealand, the novel was published under the title Someone Knows My Name.

And from the Writer: Mr.Lawrence Hill

"I used The Book of Negroes as the title for my novel, in Canada, because it derives from a historical document of the same name kept by British naval officers at the tail end of the American Revolutionary War. It documents the 3,000 blacks who had served the King in the war and were fleeing Manhattan for Canada in 1783.

Unless you were in The Book of Negroes, you couldn't escape to Canada. My character, an African woman named Aminata Diallo whose story is based on this history, has to get into the book before she gets out.

In my country, few people have complained to me about the title, and nobody continues to do so after I explain its historical origins. I think it's partly because the word 'Negro' resonates differently in Canada. If you use it in Toronto or Montreal, you are probably just indicating publicly that you are out of touch with how people speak these days. But if you use it in Brooklyn or Boston, you are asking to have your nose broken. When I began touring with the novel in some of the major US cities, literary African-Americans kept approaching me and telling me it was a good thing indeed that the title had changed, because they would never have touched the book with its Canadian title."[1]

History Then & Now...

George Washington Carver (1864-1943)
George Washington Carver was born into slavery in southwestern Missouri during the Civil War. A only African-American student, eventually joining the faculty after graduating. He would then head the agriculture department at Tuskegee University, where he devised agricultural innovations, including new uses for peanuts and sweet potatoes, including oil, flour, and ink. His work paved the way for modern advances in biofuels and cleaning products. Gay rumors followed Carver at Tuskegee, which were not dispelled when he and his research assistant, Austin Wingate Curtis, Jr., began living together. Curtis worked hard after Carver's death to preserve his companion's legacy.
sickly child, Carver threw himself into education and was admitted to Iowa's Simpson College as the

Bayard Rustin (1912-1987)
Bayard Rustin was a leader in civil rights movement of the 20th century. In 1947 he planned the first awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Freedom Ride, which challenged segregation on interstate bus systems and inspired further such rides in the 1960s. Rustin combined his organizational skills with support for nonviolent resistance and
became a key adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. He was often arrested for his stances and spent two years in prison for refusing to register for the draft. Widely known as gay to his contemporaries, Rustin was also jailed for homosexual activity in 1953 and often attacked as a “pervert” by his political opponents. Although he rarely served as a public spokesman, his influence on civil rights never dimmed. Rustin died in 1987; 26 years later, President Obama

Dee Rees
Film director Dee Rees is behind the movie "Pariah," which follows a 17-year-old African American teenager struggling with her sexuality. The film was a hit at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Hump Day Spinning Wheels & More

Welcome to another COP 24/7 post where we spin the big wheel of "what's really going on!" And believe me, there's plenty and then some as the social media platforms have been lit up with rants, chatter and state bashing that this platform has non to happy about. So without any delay, lets dive in head first.

The LGBTQ Body Politic

In the past several weeks, this platform has been in a "call to action," swirl ranging from asking pesky questions about the "missing ADH awareness day funds," to sharing many conversations with like minded folks who want to know what can we do next. So what's next is anybody's guess. However here are a few updates to consider.

A Town Hall meeting sponsored by the Arkansas Stonewall Democrat Caucus is scheduled for 3/1/15, 4pm,  1500W 4th inside the AEA Building. Here you can hear from panelist such as Senator's David Johnson and Joyce Elliot, an overview of the bills and a brief Q & A session. Please note that SB 202 has already become law without the Governor's signature.
You can join the Facebook page, Arkansans United Against Unjust Laws, which has been launched to act as an information clearinghouse for activities related to laws that are discriminatory against Arkansas' LGBTQ community.

And of course this digital town square is and has always been available to everyone to share for the most part whatever is on their minds. Our call to actions are not reactionary to legislative sessions, but are ongoing calls about a bounty of intersectional issues and challenges facing this community including growing infrastructure, leadership pipeline, complacency and lack of motivation, racism, homophobia, economic disparity and this platforms resolve to continue to raise awareness about continuing HIV infection rates among young gay black men while seeking to enjoin new concepts designed to close the care continuum gap.

There you have it. A quick update on what you can still do to be in the know and discover what you can do to amplify you voice about it. So what you gonna do?

Gay Business Watch 2015, Part 2

With all the other breaking news, weather outbreaks and items trying to "cancel out" other items, we could not leave you hanging from our Gay Business series from last week. Despite the recent anti-gay legislation that hasn't put our state on blast, and folks decrying why the worlds largest retailer didn't step up more forcibly.

What COP 24/7 would like to ponder is what we perceive as a ongoing lackluster response from gay owned and operated businesses. 
There has always been a strained dynamic with local gay businesses that has way to much history to even begin here. 

Even as the opposing legislation had a "business bent," in regards to the gay community, where was the ballyhoo from the community business leaders similar to the "oh my God outrage," when the city was considering shutting light night club doors. You could hear the screed and decries that included hastily organized coalitions, full color Ads, newspaper interviews and closure threats to boot!  Yes it was all there for the taking.  So where has this "release the cracken," energy been toward this measure? It seems to be MIA (missing in action) because many don't or won't fee that it will affect their bottom lines.

This scenario has been prevalent and pervasive as local CBO's or entities have endlessly struggled, cajoled and grappled with utilizing whatever community resources could be garnered.  Even though this should be a two way street, often times its not. Such as the case for the recent closure of In's and Outz, which abruptly shuttered their doors at even the surprise of their employee.

Even as this business entered the market, it was plagued with numerous circumstances that ultimately became its demise. Such exotic retail ventures have never fared well in this city which we could attest to how such shops are perceived or positioned.

From our observation, there were problems with marketing, employee retention, management challenges and above all, a lack of customer base. Not everybody can fit into Andrew Christian underwear or otherwise, therefore, if you don't have more of what's needed, then sales speak for themselves. Especially when you don't engage your possible base.

With that said, this brings us back to "gay economics 101,' in regards to interaction of patrons and businesses whom value their customers instead of taking them for granted for any reason. In this new digital reality of smart phones, Bitcoin, Apple wallets, and door knock booty calls. Let's face it,  its a new day and way to play that will require business folk to redefine how to capture and keep LGBTQ folks community through the doors.

And now our COP 24/7 Zip Stream Video Clip


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow Voices Carry Tuesday

So where do we begin with this post? The groundhog spoke and Mother Nature delivered a wintry swath of snow complete with a take that folks cold snap!

Adding to that chilly situation also comes the fact that despite all the "call to actions," and many efforts to demand Governor Hutchinson to use his veto power to stop SB 202, he was having none of it. He did a "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil," move to allow the measure to seep its way to being a law. That's all folks.

Despite this situation, those who raised their voices, sent e-mails and all manner of public discourse should commend themselves for at least stepping up and doing their civic duty. I am posting a couple of items that I saw in reference to this situation below.

Bob Rogers wrote on Facebook:

"I used to be proud to be an Arkansan. Even though we were last in virtually every measurable category, we were hospitable to people of all types. Thanks to your complete lack of leadership on SB202 (and no doubt on HR1228 should it reach your desk) I am no longer proud. I'm not only not proud, but I'm afraid to be a gay Arkansan.
I am ashamed of you, and our legislature.
If there was any way for me to afford to move from the state I was born and raised in and returned to gladly to pursue my career with First Commercial Bank and later Regions Bank, I'd be out of here.
Sadly, that's not going to be possible. But I can assure you that I will with every fiber of my being persuade any business, professional, or social contact that I might influence that Arkansas is most assuredly not open for business; not welcoming to professional highly educated employees; and not a good place to continue higher education. In short, stay away from Arkansas, and by extension, any corporation, business, or university associated with this state. Bar None."

And then there's this...

M.M. Granger on Facebook:

This jackass. The state of Arkansas is officially entering the PREVIOUS CENTURY. But guess what - it won't last long! ANYONE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST BASED PURELY ON APPEARANCE - THAT IS A VIOLATION OF FEDERAL LAW.

If it happens to you, and you are not wearing rainbows or anything that specifically identifies you as LGBTQ, record it if you can. LAWSUIT!!!

Unfortunately, as a democratic republic we know that many people are just not engaged with many of the electorate processes. Its been highly reported that many citizens are not voting, know exactly who represents them, aware of the various branches of government and recently its been cited that a great deal of Americans probably couldn't pass the citizenship test that others must pass to become citizens. Wow!

What has happened is another valuable lesson on how lawmaking works or not works and just what it takes to address such matters. COP 24/7 applauds those who answered the call, but what's needed and is seriously lacking is a well oiled machine to at least give us a fighting chance. But we have to be clear that even with this, nothing is a sure thing here in our great state.

As noted, this type of structure requires a tremendous amount of resources that we have yet to muster. Local community based organizations are "struggling well," to stay afloat with their meager funding outlays, dedicated donors if any, scrappy fundraisers, and often times exasperated leadership. All of this effort falls in the "good intentions," bucket that has persisted for most of my life time. When good viable leaders, activist or advocates are identified or developed, we usually loose them to the siren call of gay meccas from coast to coast.

We seem not to get folks to "stick and stay," because we don't have the lure of "gayborhoods", the heat of the ATL, or big city living that takes every damn dime you can earn to keep living it as if you would die if you had to think of living in Arkansas.

We have suffered defeats before, yet we live to see another day. I'm not about bashing the state, abandoning it or allowing others to do so, but rather staying diligent to be apart of the solution rather than moving on to another perceived paradise state to have more expensive problems. It may not be what we want for now, but let's not stop trying! 

A COP 24/7 Zip Stream Moment...

“The Real Impact Project honors National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness day to all of the African Americans who in the midst of a life changing diagnosis such as HIV still manage to perform in front of the world’s stage.”
Arkansas RAPPS, Mobilizing Arkansas Brothers and all the Community Connectors across the state believe that we all must be on the team in 2015!
For testing and linkage or retention care information call 501-404-2400


Monday, February 23, 2015

The All About Monday Outpost

And we are on the last week of February from yet another wild and robust week before and starting out! Where has this month gone is almost beyond me, but its been one that has been totally off the chain with all manner of items ranging from breaking news from the "crazy" going on at the State House to the ongoing hoots and hollers on Facebook. Its was all there and some of it was here,and most likely an Oscar in our future is a long shot unless you are talking about the hot dog version.
So let's take another noise dive into "what's really going on.."

All About Oscar!

Yeah it was that time again for the yearly Hollywood honor its best and according to host Neil Patrick Harris quip, "whitest," night of those sharing their acting craft. Of course the evening was totally filled with what we've come to expect, glitz, glam, game faces, and the power of the Oscar winning song, "Glory," which soared with bravado about numerous social justice issues and messages that we've talked about on these very pages.

Actually I didn't watch the program in real time as I have in the past. There's a back story to all of this but you will have to read the "Reflections of A Shattered Mirror," project to get that one. In the meantime, I knew that the onslaught of recapping and Monday morning quarterbacking about "all things Oscar," would suffice. Since the award season gets going earlier, usually you can safely bet what will be the outcomes even as local movie reviewer Rene Shapiro called out the "award locks" prior to the show. Yet, from what understood from other talking heads, her predictions mirrored so much of what had already been said or known.

Nevertheless, this platforms applauds all the winners and even those loser's who got $150,000 swag bags, limo service to A-List parties all the while their people worked their I-phones for their next gig. If I only had people with an I-phone working to get my next gig...And so it goes.

All About CHER

And speaking of the Oscar's..., Oscar Winner and Icon Cher weighed in the on the crazy legislation (SB202) that has
now made it way to Governor Hutchinson's desk. Of course, you know that even though she may have been briefed, I'm sure that her "people," handled all the workings of getting it posted to social media. I have no doubt that she's still recovering from her 2014 tour cancelling illness but still running her empire nonetheless.

I guess that doesn't really matter since other than using e-blast, social media posting and all that's basically free, there has been no "funded media campaign," to thwart this measure. So if this is so dastardly and a great deal of area folks believe that these measures are just not good policy, then where the heck is the tsunami of billboard, mail pieces, radio & TV spots, palm cards and all manner of media needed to "change hearts and minds," about this type of governing. 

Well, the basic reason is "cash." There is little to no good old fashion currency flowing to support not only any of the above mentioned but many local community based organizations have no non-restricted funds to dedicate to battling those well heeled folks under the dome. Certainly this forum has been in the mix with the "call to action," sending out information, posting breaking updates and always "dressed to kill," for most social justice engagements.

Yet our area infrastructure is cash strapped as apparatuses that can unleash what it takes to either defeat or support measures in our best interest. Certainly using the internet has it advantages, but we can't deny it also has severe limitations as well. Alright we certainly appreciate the "shout out," from the mighty "Cher," machine with hopes that our own internal shouts will be heard not only about this legislation but about our own machine that needs attention.

All About Earl Young's Delta

Producing this forum takes much time and effort. I know that you think that it magically writes, edits, research and produce its self within the wink of an eye. Not. Its just not that simple nor has it been since it's inception all those years ago. With that said, there have been new fangled methods to assist and time manage your production schedule. However one of the most things needed is a fresh stream of content and I've found that Mr. Earl Young has begun to fill that need through his Arkansas Delta LGBTQ Newsletter e-blast.

As I've mentioned before, Young has a penchant to roll out a boat load of content ranging from pictures to links to interesting items that fall right into our wheelhouse. From his own personal page he list that he is retired and living in St. Louis. From what I gather he use to live in the Delta and has a passion for scouring cyberspace, getting it to his Facebook page lightening fast as matter of informing those still living in the area. The page touts that the newsletter covers stories of interest to LGBT persons in the 5-county Arkansas Mississippi Delta counties of Phillips, Arkansas, Monroe, Lee and Francis.

I love it when other's join us in our digital pursuits to share information, offer numerous viewpoints, connect our readers to great video content and do what we can to make a difference. Thanks Earl for your ongoing efforts to keep it coming. Its' appreciated. Check out his page at

And its all about Call to Action!!!

SB202 has made it to the Governor's desk. He has said he will neither sign, nor veto this law. 90 days after the end of the session, this bill will become law. COP 24/7 encourages our readers to keep the pressure on him about our opposition to this bill. It is suppose to becomes law today (Monday), but not enforceable until 90 days after the session. Yikes!!! Even as the snow falls and everybody else is getting to the house.

SB202 allows the legislature to selectively ignore the Arkansas standards of Home Rule, it violates the Equal Protections Clause and will generate lawsuits at the expense of taxpayers, will have a chilling effect on new Fortune 500 companies setting up business in the state, it will promote a "brain drain" as some of our best and brightest leave the state in search of more equitable climes. HB1228 contributes to these as well.

One more time, here's the folks that you can reach out too for this and to always stay in touch about legislation that could impact your life and beyond.

EMAIL ALL - Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee:

Senator Johnson -
Senator Woods -
Senator Rice -
Senator Elliott -
Senator Chesterfield -
Senator Burnett -
Senator Collins-Smith -
Senator Hutchinson -

Now please call and leave a message for your personal Senator - 1-501-682-2902

THEN! CALL the Governor (501) 682-2345 and express your opposition to SB202 and to HB1228.


Friday, February 20, 2015

Up Periscope Friday

This week has been one hell of a week both weather wise and otherwise when it comes to producing COP 24/7. Everyday the good in-box has been filled with "alerts," "sign-on this or that," and assorted "Psssst! have you heard," material. Often times I am not sure where to go with it all or does anybody really give a damn about whatever appears on this platform. Although there are some dedicated check in's, few die hearts and then there's those peer in from the comfort of their delegated safe zones. Nevertheless, we churn on and out with the latest from our information bounty. Let's dive in to see what's popping....

Gay Business Watch 2015: Part 2

Over the last few post we've explored a variety of topics related to the LGBTQ construct of businesses, community based organizations, venues, bars and other shaking and moving that has happened in the last six months and beyond. Stay tuned there's plenty to go around....

Arkansas AIDS Foundation Quivers 

Within the scope of our coverage, COP 24/7 has announced changes, updates, as well as highlighted
other discovered shake up's or otherwise that we certainly believe that our readers should know about.

One such update came from lots of chatter and other rumblings or should we say mumblings about operations going on at the long withstanding Arkansas AIDS Foundation, which bills itself as "Consortia- Care Of Arkansas." No time to explain this confusion, so we will just go with it for now.

This venerable agency that was conceived during the height of AIDS epidemic over 30 years ago, and has a long and winding storied history that most likely isn't totally chronicled anywhere as it should be to tell the story of the agency. However, in its current incarnation, it is under the helm of Ms. Portia Knowleton who has served as its Executive Director for at least the last six months.

Meanwhile, COP 24/7 has learned that she plans to depart this post come July 2015. During her brief tenure the organization has endured the lost of its core board of directors, steep learning curves, attempts at agency re-brand and now a internal lateral management change citing Case Manager, Mr.  L. Houston to assume leading the organization after her departure.

So why is this newsworthy? It was the process in which this matter was handled according to non-profit standards. Of course, you can do whatever the hell you want, but is it really in the best interest of the agency or is this nepotism to the high heaven.

As COP 24/7 has watched this possible train wreck in the making, this action comes on top of the group's ill fated "Runway to Awareness," event held last month and its impending "Walking For Red," slated for April 11th in Mac Arthur Park. Plus agency news as to their undetermined funding footing as a HOWPA sub grantee. The agency has floated an announcement of a "waiting list," until funding can be realized with no substantive foundation, additional grants or overall fundraising plan to sustain the organization concurrent to its city contract.

Even as all this quietly unfolds, this forum has been forthright about how the changing funding scene and how these shifts will definitely impact those offering services to those living with HIV or other health disparities. Securing the best possible candidate with HIV care acumen, leadership skills, community engagement and dynamic passion should have been apart of the equation to determine whomever is deemed its figurehead. It's been our experience that everybody's parchment doesn't always add up to what's needed to move matters ahead. There's plenty of evidence that "papers," don't always serve the best interest in serving the issues and challenges of HIV and AIDS in Arkansas. Stay tuned...

Still Calling You to ACTION!!!

If you haven't heard about this and all the "call to actions," that COP 24/7 has alerted you too, then let us encourage you, you and yes you too, to share your thoughts with our new Governor Hutchinson. He has decided to allow this bill to arrive at his desk and to sit on it with his signature. This move does not keep it from becoming a bad law. We don't have time, but I would suggest everybody sending the Governor a digital pen or even a "real pen," to veto this measure. No matter how you do it, feel free to share your outrage, opinion or back talk on this page. Now make some noise of any kind!
We dare ya!!!

Are you following us on Facebook Why not!! Do it today at

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Toss Up Chinese New Year Thursday

Senior Gays Talking Out Loud


It's apart of the process that everyone will eventually have to deal with or are currently dealing with. Its call aging, long in the tooth, getting old, going "golden pond," you get the picture. In our youth oriented crazed day of the "young and the beautiful," those of us who didn't quite fit that description or maybe at least didn't want our vanity to show, have a tendency to dread being assigned the tag of "the old girls."

Nevertheless, I've embraced this fact especially when a younger persons ask me, "hey did movies have sound when you were in school?" Or wonderful bits of youthful queery, "you are one of the oldest friends I have." And then there's the "just what did you all do back then for fun," questions that often leave me going WTF? No matter, I'm not sure that I was this insensitive or outright crass to chat up my then elders with such  conversation. I was more interested in how they survived, what was their emotional state and what advice if any they could advise me about. I will say that I didn't get much sage advice for those folks. There was no LGBTQ community center, focus groups, outreach or any significant programming that I can even remember. Let me make it real clear, Nothing.

Yet somehow I as Maya Angelou advises, "I walked the path and kept walking," through triumphs and tragedy to discover the authentic me. In the anthology project, 'Reflections of A Shattered Mirror," I hope to share some of those twist and turns of this journey such as those in the above video.

I've been asked that perhaps I should do a "Cornelius Master Class," similar to that Lady O show which features Icons and important folk. I like that idea much and will seek to build out the Reflections project to keep it on track with current trends. Although we have closed the submission window, If you have a pressing item that you think just needs to be apart of the project, please feel free to send it to . Until then, enjoy this poignant and heartfelt production from The LGBT Community Center of the Desert:
Subscribe to Davey! ♥
Follow Davey on Instagram:

Arkansans for Equality Seeks Content Contributors

Calling all bloggers, writers, ect. Anyone with a voice that wants to be heard! is the Call to Action from Arkansans for Equality in a recent Facebook post. According to organizers Christina Wang,
"I'm looking to share some equality stories for my group's webpage and facebook. We can't pay, but we offer a way to have your voice heard in the name of equality. They can be rants, blogs, opinion pieces."

Wang started Arkansans for Equality with Cathey Shoshone, who she states, "is one of the greatest co-chairs ever! "  Wang an frequent social media poster has expressed that she is"back and pissed off at how Arkansas has been turned into Arkanistan."
Continuing, "we want people to be heard. It's 2015 and we are still having to fight for rights as women, as lgbtq (allies, too), and as human beings.

Currently Wang and Shoshone, are working on numerous approaches and campaigns to amplify local voices through social media platforms with possible other media outlets to demonstrate the creativity around messaging about human, civil and social justice issues in Arkansas. Hit them up on Facebook for more information and watch this platform as we consider some partnership opportunities with this group.

Florida Lawmakers Wants Transgenders Not in his Bathroom

Florida State Rep. Frank Artiles (R) has introduced a bill that would prevent transgender people from using the restroom that matches their gender. According to HB 538, a trans person using the proper bathroom would commit a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to a year in jail or a $1,000 fine. This criminalization would “secure privacy and safety for all individuals.”

In addition to making it a crime to use the restroom, Artiles’ bill would also make it so that when transgender people use the restroom, they become “liable in a civil action to any person who is lawfully using the same single-sex public facility.” So, too, would the owner of any public accommodation be liable for civil action for allowing such usage.

Artiles rejects the idea that his bill paints the transgender community as “dangerous,” but he worries that Miami-Dade County’s new transgender-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance “creates a giant loophole for criminals, sexual deviants and sexual predators to walk into a shower, a woman’s locker room under the cover of law.”
He explained to the Miami Herald the situation he envisions: “A man such as myself can walk into the bathroom at LA Fitness while women are taking showers, changing, and simply walk in there. Someone can say, ‘What are you doing there?’ Under the ordinance, I don’t have to respond. It’s subjective. If I feel like a woman that day, I can be allowed to be in that locker room. I don’t know about you, but I find that disturbing.”

In a statement posted on his own blog, Artiles further explained that the bill is “not intended to discriminate against transgender [sic] or transsexuals.” Instead, he believes the gender identity protections include a “loop hole” that would protect “criminals, sexual deviants, pedophiles, and voyeurs.”

Gender identity is something that is consistent day-to-day. A man who only identifies as a woman only when he wants to engage in voyeurism would not be protected, and indeed, laws that protect against such invasions of privacy — and certainly those that protect against harassment — can be enforced against such a person as much as they ever were. Meanwhile, it is transgender people who actually worry about harassment in facilities like locker rooms, and they choose the gender designation that matches how they identify and present themselves for their own safety.

The Florida Democratic Party issued a statement Friday from openly gay Rep. David Richardson (D) condemning the “extreme bill.” Richardson noted that the bill would not only persecute trans people, but it would also deter business, concluding, “Putting the transgender community in harm’s way and hurting Florida’s economic competitiveness for partisan political reasons is simply unacceptable.”
Experts in states across the country where transgender protections have already been in place have debunked the myth of sexual predators exploiting these laws as “beyond specious.”


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Humpin Wednesday

Will Atlanta open its first LGBT school?

Teachers in Atlanta are trying to raise funds to set up a school for LGBT students and their families.
Atlanta teachers are trying to set up a private school for LGBT students and those from LGBT
families in the city. Can't even imagine the LRSD even attempting to take over this type of venture locally considering it's current state of affairs.

According to Pink News, the school will be called Pride School Atlanta, and already has a location but organizers are still trying to find funding.

The mission is to provide a safe space for the school’s students while allowing them to be open about who they are. It will take students from ages 3 to 14 years old.
Organizers hope to keep tuition down to £7800 a year per student. The school already has a location in the city, it will be running from a local Presbyterian Church.

Christian Zsilavetz, who is one of the organizers, said: “I want a place where queer and trans families can bring their kids and not have to worry about being the token lesbian family or the token gay family.”

The school is planned to open this autumn. Organizers say they have joined the fight for the school because they have seen LGBT students struggle with schoolwork after facing homophobic bullying.
“It’s an intentional safe space for kids for youth who want to learn and not have to worry about homophobic remarks every day.”

AIDS Watch 2015

52 Days AIDSWatchCongratulations to Ms.Tommie Lockett and Miss Raven Gray as state scholarship recipients that will join hundreds of HIV advocates from around the country in Washington DC on April 13 and 14, to educate Congress on HIV/AIDS and related policy. 

AIDSWatch provides participants with information on HIV/AIDS research, prevention, treatment, and related policy. Participants are trained in effective advocacy skills and are coached on how best to share this information with policymakers and their community. 

There is no cost to register for this event, but space is limited. Please register early. 
Learn more and register at: 

Gay Business Watch 2015, Part 1

Its been quite a time since this forum has done its "bar watch," bit. And with the passing of time, much has gone on that some may know, not care or staying unmotivated about it all since that's what most folks do anyway.

Nevertheless, let's do a recall and quick snapshot of  what "is or not," going on despite many folks ranting on about "why we don't have this or that." Usually these are the same folks who are nested out at or cuddling their web cams at home.

What did happen was a not just a circumcision and but a full on castration of the bar empire which included TraX's, Miss Kitty's and 610 Center that raucously ebbed and flowed with a range of entertainment offerings from "shot boys," to a really good dinner theater production.

Yet despite all the bluster, hype, and drama galore,  it couldn't be sustained resulting in a full implosion with the final domino falling January 31 with the closure of the NLR haunt, TraX's after a decade long run. 

So what happen?? Well this would require us getting out the big "wheel of see what had happen was," and spinning it like no tomorrow.  There's so much mash up, melt down, tall tales, and "he said- he said," to go around that it would take more time than we care too to share.

However, in a small nutshell, the ventures were well intentioned and were positioned as an alternative to other local options. As you know, you just can't please everyone and this was and still is the case. Of course doing business is wrought with challenges and barriers, but often time this patron stayed confused as to "which way was up about much of it."  There was the ever chaining "who is the bartender" game, "so here's another excuse as to why the beer tap is not working again," and to my utter disdain, "can I get this space wiped from the beer that was spilled here last night." 

Adding to this, I often times was conflicted in my social justice pursuits up against what I also suspect was some disturbing and often ties troubling internal issues that often gave me pause. Gay businesses should be held to the same standard that we as activist or advocates seek from non-gay owned or operated competitors. In my opinion, we can't demand equality, when we are not giving it to our own nor do our businesses reflect the diversity we are championing. 

In full disclosure, COP 24/7 actually engaged many of our readers and overall community in these establishments. For the record, COP 24/7 in 2007 hosted the first "Business Afterhours," to reach out to LGBT business folks to facilitate talk around forming a gay chamber concept. Well let's just say that the place is closed and there's no gay chamber either.

With all this said, it was amazing to hear locals, most whom barely supported any of these places, going on about how they will miss it and mumbling about things closing down and so forth. COP 24/7 has tirelessly expressed that "if we don't support these entities, then most likely they won't be around." This is just not only economics 101 but as businesses shuttered their doors, it's just plain old fact.  Next UP: In's and Out'z Vanishes without a Trace!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Fat Tuesday Mash Up

It's Fat Tuesday and the4 statewide icing is not making the "good times roll!" However, as folks slip slide away to their various destinations, this forum will skate our way through a mash up of the latest news making items and just plain old stuff. Let's not waste a moment as our COP 24/7 Fat Tuesday float comes on through...

Crazy Button Alert: The Mind of Jason Rapert is Loose...Again

With the recent sweep of Republicans into the statehouse, COP 24/7 started circling the wagons as our thoughts of "what could happen," went into overdrive. And just as we suspected, the "cray, cray" of the party has gone buck wild! Let's not forget those city ordinance and religious bills that have bee ushered without much opposition to be presented to the Gov. Hutchinson.

Who in turn has taken that, "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil," approach to possibly allowing the measures to become law without his pen stroke. Then if we can't be dealing with that madness, then we have none other than Jason Rapert talks out loud about "nuking Isis," Just for the record, here's exactly what has gone viral around the world no less.

"With ISIS spreading all over the Middle East and Africa and Islamic Extremists carrying out violence in Europe, The United Kingdom and even in the United States, I wonder why the civilized world just sits by when we have weapons that could wipe out these barbarians where they are concentrated? I believe it is time to annihilate the strongholds and pursue the rest till we have them all captured or killed. A strategically placed nuclear weapon would save the lives of our soldiers and quickly turn things around. It is time for the insanity to be stopped."
So just how do you "strategically place" a nuke to kill just the right people is beyond me. Hey Rapert did you not see any footage from Hiroshima or Nagasaki?  Of course we all are outraged at the savagery of these extremist and abhor their wrapping their murderous messages in the name of Islam. All of that is disgustingly sickening for all Americans who share the grief of those families who lost their loved ones to these thugs. Yet, Mr. Rapert, we can't go about the world literally "nuking" anyone and everywhere no matter the intensity. We can't kill out a zealot mindset such as these folks by raising "mushroom" clouds over those who are just as hopeful for an end to their horror and craven misuse of religion. Come on  Rapert, we are already on blast for the rest of the crazy, let's not add more fuel to the "they are crazy down their in Arkansas," fire.

More Calls to Action!!!

COP 24/7 has been on the forefront of calling folks to action and we ask your assistance with a sign-on letter to the Rehabilitation Services Administration for support across HIV and other policy and services communities concerned about employment and vocational rehabilitation services. We encourage those responding to sign-on, or with questions, to contact directly at markmisrok@workingpositive.netSign-ons are requested by Friday, February 20.

The National Working Positive Coalition is partnering with the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR) to advocate for the regulations now being developed to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) to maintain standards for a qualified and effective vocational rehabilitation counseling workforce.

Many people living with HIV, and other disabilities, need to be able to access effective vocational rehabilitation services to achieve their goals for employment. The state-federal vocational rehabilitation services system is the most comprehensive employment resource for people with disabilities. Services include access to benefits counseling, comprehensive rehabilitation evaluation to determine skills, interests, and abilities, as well as case management, vocational counseling, employment services, assistance with finding and keeping a job, and on the job and other training/education.
Although these services are available here in Arkansas, many living with HIV or other health disparities have not fully engaged their availability. Also many are not updated on disability laws in which individuals are allowed to be employed to a maximum.
The rules regarding working while collecting disability benefits are too complicated to give in one short article. The Social Security website at has a wealth of information about working while collecting benefits:
  • Working While Disabled at
  • 2002 Red Book on Employment Support at
    Rehabilitation counselors can also authorize medical referrals, job training, and supportive rehabilitation services, including mental health counseling, if these services will remove barriers to employment. Individuals with disabilities, including people living with HIV, often face significant barriers to employment including dealing with complex medical and psychological aspects of their diagnosis as well as social, educational, financial, legal, and vocational factors that can limit their ability to achieve viable employment outcomes that ensure continued access to care and improved economic and health outcomes.
    To adequately address the complex and interconnected issues of individuals with disabilities, including people living with HIV, we believe that vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors need to be appropriately trained and credentialed.

    2015 Will Be A Great Year For Entrepreneurship    

    By Rod Ford, Founder & Managing Partner of XCelerate Capital

    Based upon the solid year in private equity investing in 2014, I expect 2015 to be the best year since the “bubble” for venture and non-venture backed entrepreneurship.

    The easy access to powerful cloud-based tools and the proliferation of the “internet of things” is producing opportunities for unlimited ideation of new products and services to improve the quality of consumer lives.

    Specifically, I would like to highlight a couple of other factors whose unintended consequence will provide tailwinds for entrepreneurship.

    1. Government Policy
    Irrespective of your political views in politics, in 2014 we saw two federal policy changes that will enable entrepreneurs to enjoy greater independence and freedom. The affordable health-care act is modifying the behavior of individuals to take personal control of their own health-care needs rather than view health-care as a “benefit” of corporate employment. The outcome of this behavioral shift is that traditional employment is becoming less attractive. Secondly, more lenient immigration policies will allow a more diverse and larger audience the freedoms to pursue public entrepreneurship. Both of these policy shifts will drive an influx of entrepreneurs in 2015 and beyond.

    2. Tech Enablement
    Real-time and mobile services that keep workers connected to their cohorts have empowered a new segment of workforce that thrives on flexible and independent work. This has enabled those that aren’t able to (or simply don’t want to) work 9-5 jobs to enter the workforce and creates a prevalence of non-traditional careers. In 2014 in the U.S. alone, there were 18 million independent, non-traditional workers. Expect that number to increase at sharp rates in 2015.

    For the motivated entrepreneur, never has there been more favorable business conditions for launching a disruptive business. The cloud provides ready access to technology that proliferates scale and regional resources provide access to entrepreneurial programming, mentorship, and a pathway to funding.

    About XCelerate Capital

    XCelerate Capital is a Little Rock based first round venture capital investor focused on investing and assisting founder’s during the early stages of a startup company’s life. XCelerate’s partners respect and seek out entrepreneurs with product vision, customer insight, focused execution, and unwavering ambition. We are interested in companies with innovative products or services with potential for rapid growth within a sizable market. We invest in technologies we understand and founders we trust to partner in rapidly accelerating the growth of the company. For more information, visit

    Monday, February 16, 2015

    50 Shades of Frozen

    Whew!  Talking about a winter's bone! It rolled on us and actually there's no need for any back talk considering the rather uneventful winter season that has occurred. Let's just say that I was all about doing a riverside picnic over the weekend complete with a bucket of chicken. Meanwhile, as sleet and all manner of lady winter descend upon us, we can't ignore that there's still plenty of cray cray that going on all around us and beyond. So shall we dive in for the latest from COP 24/7?

    The Boiling Blood of HRC

    It was so interesting to get yet another of those HRC, alright let's keep it clear, Human Rights
    Campaign Fund, email edicts from its Washington D.C. pantheon where the scrolls are unrolled to enlighten the rest of us on "what say thee," about what's going on in the Netherlands outside the beltway.

    First off, does our native son Mr. Chad Griffin even know that this stuff is even being circulated by his minions to alert us in the outlands that his "blood is boiling," about whatever is going in our quaint state?  I must say that I am so envious of this big box apparatus and its ability to let messages fly that would make even Olivia Pope envious, that it is actually making my blood boil a bit too.

    A couple a weeks ago this platform alluded that we wanted to wax on about the whole HRC satellite mother ship descending upon our fair state with the company line of "changing hearts and minds," in the Natural State.

    They, being them folks who got the big bucks from the other folks who have even "bigger bucks," to go and help them Southerner's with all that ails them from being consider full citizens and stuff. Go down their and change them "hearts and minds," set up a office in the local non-profit Hive and make a difference. Now y'all be about it now!

    Sounds good, but is anybody feeling any different considering the recent actions of our legislature or not much else that obviously didn't get the "changing hearts and mind memo."  All kidding aside, what this forum thought Project One America should have been about was to infused the HRC kinetic harvest that's already in place from their own D.C, hive directly to affect the boots on the ground.

    How about taking a cue from your federal neighbor's and delegating those smart folks to the area with pallets of cash to increase the capacity of those who are already dealing with our crazy so perhaps we can do what it really takes which is use "cash" to change some hearts and minds.

    You know, full page ads in the local gay newspaper, perhaps banner ads on this site, billboards, TV spots or even folks dressed in maybe HRC costumes to dance about the streets of Little Rock like those cute Lady liberty or Android costumed folk. I'd be open to doing what they do in the Middle East, drop leaflets from the sky!  Can you imagine the talk or even maybe some chaining hearts and minds. Well we would hope so, but until then I guess we will have to deal with whatever....Oops there comes another HRC email...

    From One Call to Action to Another?

    You know we just can't make this shit up! As we announce a "call to action," we have to update on the other "calls," that we set in motion. To date, despite numerous efforts and outreach, it appears that we can't get any traction concerning the recent denials of local agencies seeking to offer Awareness Day activities back in 2014.  Yeah that's right, even the folks who were dismissed without any explanation seem to be "OK," with that and it doesn't matter.

    As we cover all that keeps popping off in the area, this situation really makes this forum ponder if these folks were really interested in the first place and gives us pause as to other motives for their
    submissions.  So are we to understand that they moved forward with jumping through the ADH hoops only to be told ain't nobody here interested in what you are talking about?  Really? 

    Despite any and all of this, there is still the question as to what happened to the 2014 awareness funding and what is the 2015 plan since it's apparent that there's still HIV infections occurring in the city amidst clinic workers whom apparently feel unobligated to be culturally sensitive, offer basic customer service or can we get really real, even give a damn whether you get serviced or not. Do we have folks with Syphilis or any other sexually transmitted infection and waiting for an appointment? I raise you a Sarah Palin "betcha," and call you a continuing correlation of STI's and HIV that fuel increased infection rates in the state. What you holding...

    A Stay Tuned Alert! 

    COP 24/7 has got some exciting news to share about none other than emerging community based organization LinQ for Life, Incorporated. We've been made aware of the entities surprising  meteoric surge forward that includes securing next wave STI training, collaborating on establishing its own laboratory access, positioned for federal funding, launching several beacons to raise its local profile and more Board of Director announcements!! It's been a tremendous roll out and COP 24/7 will be among the first to tell will not want to miss it!


    Friday, February 13, 2015

    The TGIF 13th COP 24/7 Edition

    As we've been informed, it seems that many readers are "just not in to reading stuff," and have advised us that we need more video content. Therefore, as we are not one not to disappoint, it is our desire to make good and deliver as much captured content as well as our own emerging original offerings.
    Let's face it, we are always up to a challenge to keep us on the "1's and 2's" of what the children are being all about. We want to make sure that "we live" for their needs to make things digitally move and groove. So, watch us move in that direction as we continue our journey to keep brining you more of what you should be looking for and more...!!

    The Journey of Chris James

    This forum has never been afraid to taking itself into spaces or standing in the gap of asking the who, what, when or where about a range of issues. Often times COP 24/7 finds itself discovering wonderment and talented individuals from many walks of life. Such is none other than, Mr. Chris James.

    His searing and soulful poetic voice takes us into the depths of not only his soul of those his generation whom feel they are voiceless. This platform has been keenly aware of his struggle to stand tall on his own timeline and at his insistence that he be authentically present and accounted for.

    He formerly published a local newspaper and is now and has been taking his living performance art all across Arkansas. On Saturday he will among other local luminaries to be recognized during the Love & History awards banquet sponsored by The Social Justice Institute of Philander Smith College and The New African Alliance in a night to highlight servants in our rich heritage. Congrats to Chris on this and the new House of Art coming to the Argenta District, March 6. In the meantime, take a moment to enjoy his vibe.

    And the Call to Action Continues...

    In case you've missed it and we can't imagine how or why. There is more action concerning the recent craziness at the state legislature as those dastardly bills that we've previously mentioned has all but sail through the governing body on their way to Governor Hutchinson's desk. Who by the way has said that he won't "veto," them but will all but do a "I don't see no stinking bill on my desk," move to allow the measures to become law without his signature. How easy that would be to dodge any responsibility for what his other comrades are doing in plain sight.

    With all that said, there is a petition on, asking Governor Hutchinson to veto SB202. Please sign and share with your friends and family. Of course, there's been other local visible  actions and the proverbial " Facebook big talk" from folks whom usually are "hiding in plain sight," so that no one will notice that they just might be gay. Oh No, me? 

    Anyway COP 24/7 has been all in the mix trying to hold our own here in the digital sphere while keeping our ear to the ground about what's up with all this overreach to continue boxing in folks who are not deemed "those folks and such." Stay tuned as we do our damn best to update and link you dear readers to the latest. In the meantime, do what you can to make your voices known to your elected officials.

    Join us in our efforts to keep talking about what's really going on. Join our Circle of Friends through our secured Pay Pal portal. Your valued contributions allow this forum to keep producing news of interest to the LGBTQ community and beyond. Can we count on you to donate today?