Thursday, July 09, 2015

Throw Back Zone: Circa 2009

All this week COP 24/7 has been zipping across various LGBT "zones" ranging from zones of safety to today's throwback Thursday zone. The following piece was posted in November 2009 and resonates even today as we've reported about the scale up of activities to survey, summit and gather data about the LGBTQ community as well as, the cultural and sensitivity level of those whom interact with this population.
Amazingly this post was just after the election of President Obama who had evolved around the marriage equality question which is now not up for debate as individual have been filing into court houses across Arkansas to get their marriage licenses. Yet with the massive culture shift since this piece, there still remains "elephants' in the room as to how these shifts have affected or impacted the "community," especially amidst continuing HIV infection rates among young Black men 13-24.
Concurrent to this circumstance, planning is moving forward with both Back to the Basics, July 18 and Pride in the City, July 23-26, ( see flier below)  and as yet another unconfirmed Community Gatekeeper meeting which will feature "real talk" components that will be designed to identify challenges, barriers and perhaps some solutions as to fragmentation and lack of integration within the SGL community. COP 24/7 will keep a keen eye out on these sessions and will report front and center as to their outcomes. In the meantime, let's do a throwback...  

They Kill Elephants-Don't They?: In past musings, I've mentioned that bell ringer advocates in this community give their all to raising awareness, issues, and consciousness concerning our sense of or lack of community in Little Rock. The task is an uphill battle wrought with trap doors that often leaves these diligent and committed individuals with raw nerve endings as they pursue the mission of activism. This is especially evident as funding cycles and grant proposal go into the deadline zone. In the Agenda for 2010 concerning Arkansas' LGBTQI as espoused by local NPO Living with/Affected By-Brotha & Sista's, I can sense the passionate frustration that is apart of the landscape of this type of work. As an "activist" in my own right, I too have embodied this frustration with what appears to be complacency and disconnect within our own body politic. Ms. DL's closer for that agenda speaks volumes and I believed that those words should be our lead for this posting. This forum has beat the drum slowly about how our lives are "full bodied" as we move through this journey. It's imperative that we embrace the "mind, body and soul," concept as a foundation to greater empowerment. The item is unedited and the opinion is owned by it's composer.

We are going into the second year of the re-emergence of Brothas & Sistas Incorporated. What was intended as HIV prevention has also become an assessment of the state of Arkansas’ LGBT community in and out of relation to HIV prevention. What we have found is “NEED”! We all need cultural competency to find out what we have in place so that we don’t re-invent the wheel. We need to know our own demographics because there is no need to ask for anything if we don’t know the amount we need. We need to have a working level of trust to be perceived as a unified front. We all need to see the bigger picture and what happens down the road if we do not do this now.
The LGBTQQ/SGL Youth are looking at us and if we don’t act appropriately they will be travelling down the same road of insanity to repeat this. The intergenerational gap must be filled! We must take on the opinion that a good leader makes more leaders. We have to realize that most of your revolutions are fought by the youth of that day. The leadership right now would simply be sending them to slaughter because we can’t even feed them. Some of us don’t even like them because they are different than we use to be. SO WHAT! We were different than our parents use to be. GET OVER IT!! If it’s not being ageist about the youth or visa- versa, it’s a race issue or a class issue. We seem to sit back and figure out every single way to separate each other. The only thing that should separate us at this moment is geography and Skype can take care of that.
Pick up your guns and kill all the rainbow elephants in the living room and let’s do something! The door is open to kill mine first.

Need to know your status?
Got questions about PReP?
Need free testing and counseling?
Call for an appointment at
check out our facebook page at


1 comment:

Diedra said...

That was five years ago. There are now three elephants in a smaller room.