Pull up a seat and have a steaming cup with me as we discuss issues central to the west-indian community, the african-american community and the LGBT community.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Aww, man! :(

One of my favorites (Alexandrea) went home last night after I voted for her and everything!

I'm a bit too distraght to post now so here's a quick, 60 second video that explains it all:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

And Tango Makes Three

This book by Justin Richardson has been on the market for almost three years now but since it was a recent topic of discussion it on The View, with Sherry stating it would be "too much" for her three year old son Jeffrey, I thought it was worth a re-visit.

Just looking at the three ultra-cute penguins on the cover, one might never suspect that this book topped the ALA's (American Library Association) list of 'most challenged books' in 2006. In other words, it was banned big time! Why? well because the two adult penguins on the front cover, are not a male and female raising their adorable baby; they're two male penguins raising an adopted baby.

The children's book (ages 4-8) tells the touching true story of Roy and Silo, two male penguins that live at the Central Park zoo in New York City. Zookeepers were astonished to discover that not only did Roy and Silo seem to spend all their time together,they built a nest and tried to hatch an egg by sitting on a large rock they'd placed in their nest.

They exhibit what in penguin parlance is called "ecstatic behavior": That is,
they entwine their necks, they vocalize to each other, they have sex. Silo
and Roy are, to anthropomorphize a bit, gay penguins. - Dinita Smith, New
York Times. 02/07/04.

This behavior prompted zookeepers to give Roy and Silo one of two eggs that were fertilized by a mixed-gender penguin couple. Since the biological parents could not care for the extra egg anyway, the keepers thought they would see what Roy and Silo would do with it. Well, they immediately sat on it and looked after it with extreme care,taking turns sitting on it until it hatched.When it did, they feed it tenderly and looked after the little female penguin who was named Tango, just as well as a male and female penguin could.

Now, I have not read the book as yet but according to the research I've been doing, it seems like a touching story about the power of love and could also be used to teach about adoption-nothing scandalous about it! In fact, with my sister and her husband's permission, I would love to give it as a gift to my neice or nephew once he/she is born in a few months. It teaches children diversity and acceptance and helps them to understand that there are many different types of families that exist in this world and ALL of them are capable of love.

My question is, why would this book be banned if it's based on a true story about animals who did what was seemingly natural to them which was love each other and love this baby that they were put in charge of? Like Whoopi said when she responded to Sherry on the view: children are most likely not going to take away from this book that these penguins are gay; what they're gonna take from it, is that the penguin was loved and was given the chance to grow up with real parents rather than set under a lamp or something to be hatched that way.

I read one review that had the gall to say that reading this to their child would threaten the sanctity of his marriage to his wife.

My question again is ..how exactly? How could teaching your child tolerance threaten anything?

And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson: if you're not afraid of cute,"gay" penguins,I urge you to give it a read. I will.

Girls Night:Another disappointment.

Just like I predicted, they did the same as the guys- picked horrible songs! I mean, it was 70's night and like Randy said, the 70's was full of great music but the girls didn't do much better in terms of finding songs that fit them and/or were interesting. That's all I have to say about that.

Here are the ladies I have my eye on DESPITE the bad song choices of last night:

Alexan-drea...Ooooh the way her name is pronounced annoys me but I really like her.She's also a local girl from Georgia and I think she's really got something but the judges don't seem to like her very much. I notice Randy,Paula and Simon (don't their names sound like they could be a group of folk singers from the 60's?) really like the idea of pigeon-holding contestants into one genre- either you're country,pop,rock...or a soul singer and when you don't choose one or the other they're none too happy. Alexandrea, however, is unique; she changes it up everytime we see her and I hope that doesn't change. I actually liked her song choice last night - She chose Chicago's 'If you leave me Now' and I thought she did a brilliant arrangement with it and sounded great but I don't know if it will be enough to keep her in the competition - especially when the judges just don't seem to 'get' her.Brooke is a sweetie.She's so pure and 'down home'-ish. I really like the simplicity of her sound.She isn't pretentious about it.She just sings.Last night she sang 'You're so vain', strumming away on a guitar and it was great! I think she'll stick around.

Even if you don't like her style of music, (I do. I love rocker chicks.They're sexy), you have to love her energy and her complete comfortability on stage. She walks out there and completely 'rocks it' like she owns the place everytime. The other contestants can learn a lot from her - the majority of them just just stand in one spot like they're afraid they'll fall off the stage. The judges usually dig her but last night they were not feeling her song choice or her look- they thought it was all a bit too over the top.

Carly's voice is breathtakingly clear and flawless. It's beautiful to me what she seems to be able to do with it. I hope she makes it to the finals because I don't think we've seen the best she has to offer. I have no idea what she sang last night but she is very talented and quite interesting to me. I don't have a whole lot to say about Asia'h except, I think she's quite talented (not to mention very easy on the eyes) and I hope she steps up her game because she has the potential to do big things but will America see that potential? Not unless she picks better songs, and performs more.

Come on ladies. Don't make me eat my words about this better one of the best seasons of Idol in a long time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Raisins and Idols?

No, there's not a new American Idol cereal on the market chock full of raisins, I'm just combining
my 'American Idol' and 'Raisin in the sun' re-cap since I didn't get to blog yesterday.
I'll start with 'A Raisin in the Sun':

You know, as excited as I was about watching it, I did with great skepticism. After all, the actors had some big shoes to fill and to have Diddy at the helm? well, let's just say, I didn't expect much. But, I'm happy to say I was pleasantly surprised. Did Diddy's performance rival Sidney's? Not even close! But, I was proud of him because I could tell he worked really hard and you have to respect that.

All the actors did an impressive job.The gorgeous Sanaa Lathan and Audra McDonald are both exceptional as Beneatha and Ruth. But for me, the star of the production was Phylicia Rashad. I must admit, although I know she's won Image Awards and has been nominated for Emmys, I wasn't very familiar with her work outside of the Cosby Show.She reallllly delivered as Mrs.Younger, the Matriarch of the family; every scene she was in captivated me.I loved her.

I'm so glad they brought this to Primetime so a whole new generation could fall in love with this story.

And something I forgot to mention in my previous post:the producer of the film,Craig Zadan is a gay man. Something else that's little known by most of us: African American playwright, Lorraine Hansbury, who wrote 'A Raisin in the Sun', and was also the first black woman to have a play brought to broadway, was a lesbian.

Boys Night Review

Last night was boys night and the theme was 70's music (last week was 60's). How was it? Lemme say the word, 'underwhelmed' comes to mind for me. Yes, the performances were slightly better than last week at least, but then again that's not saying very much. These guys definitely need a course in 'song picking 101' because I just don't understand what's going through their minds.

Of course there are a few bright spots that made last night somewhat bareable.Here are my two favorites from the boys side:

How cute is he? Adorable!What is he like, 12? Aww.Cuteness aside though, the boy's voice is no joke. He can really sing! But more than that, his control is impeccable and his voice is so pure.Randy's right, he sings with a maturity that well surpasses his age. I'd be willing to bet that he listens to a lot of R&B music because if I'm not mistaken, I hear some soul emanating from his riffs and transitions. He is my clear favorite of the boys right now and even though I'm holding off on officially predicting my season 7 'winner' until we get down to the final twelve, don't be surprised if young master Archuleta's name shows up again very soon.

My girlfriend made a joke last night about there being ten 'David's' in the competition this year :)Well, she's close...there are actually three. David Hernandez is my second favorite one. From way back at the hollywood auditions, he and David Archuleta (above) have just stood out to me. They clearly have voices that are not only good enough to actually generate record sales in the future.. they seem to have that oh so important, 'it' factor about them that just grabs your attention and causes them to stand a part from the rest. Hernandez has some work to do especially if he wants to keep up with Archuleta and some of the better girls in the competition but he has shown on more than one occassion that he can take criticism and make the necessary improvements.He's definitely one to watch.

Okay, I didn't plan to do this but since we're on the subject of my favorites, let me throw in my least favorites:

Danny, I hate to do this to ya especially 'cuz I know you're a member of the family but I just have two words for you: 'Talent Deficient'.

I just have one word for you Jason: BORING!

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Raisin in the Sun

By Vanessa Juarez
For those with Oscar-speech fatigue, you can catch some stellar performances in, yes, a TV movie on ABC tonight. It's called A Raisin in the Sun (read the EW review). Maybe you've heard of it — the 1959 Lorraine Hansberry play about African-American upward mobility that was remade as a Sidney Poitier film a year later and again revived on Broadway in 2004. Reprising their stage roles for the adaptation are Sean Combs, Audra McDonald, Phylicia Rashad, and Sanaa Lathan. They play the Youngers, a family trying to find their American dream while living on Chicago's South Side in the 1950s. When Lena (Rashad) finally gets the $10,000 life insurance check she's been waiting for, they have to work out how it gets spent. Walter Lee Jr. (Combs) has his heart set on starting a business, his wife Ruth (McDonald) simply wants a bigger home that doesn't creak and has a bathroom of its own, and his sister Beneatha (Lathan) wants to finish up college so she can become a doctor. Rounding out the troupe is John Stamos, who plays Mr. Linder, the neighborhood association rep who hasn't, let's just say, seen the light.
Yes!! I've been waiting to see this for sometime now so I'm delighted it's being brought to TV. The original movie starring Ruby Dee and fellow Bahamian (woot,woot) Sidney Poitier, is still one of my favorite movies of all time. The story is really touching and I suggested to several people, in anticipation of this premiere, that they go out and rent the original. It will change your life.
As a black person in these post-modern times, with the very real possibility of a black man becoming president, this story, written so brilliantly by Lorraine Hansbury really hits hard and reminds us of from whence we came. If you haven't yet, you have to see Poitier's performance which earned him a Golden Globe nomination in 1962 (was I even a gleam in my father's eye back then to know what else was nominated? Of course not, but, still I think he should have won). Check out this scene, one of the best in the whole movie, watch the passion in every move, facial expression and gesture Sidney makes.

Whoooo, powerful!! And that Bahamian accent really came out when he got mad! :)
After seeing that again just now, I'm slightly worried about what 'Diddy' will do in the same role especially since I'm not his biggest fan. Of course, I'm sure he can't begin to compare to Sidney, I mean, who can? But to his credit, the reviews say he did a fine job. I even heard that when he started the play on broadway he had an exact replica of the set built in his home so that he could practice every day after performing in the show. Pretty impressive. I also heard he's even better in the movie than he was in the play. I guess I'll see for myself tonight tonight at 8pm. I'm very excited.

Today's 'Ain't That the Truth!'

Top 12 Reasons Why Homosexuals Shouldn't Be Allowed to Marry:

1. Homosexuality is not natural, much like left handedness.

2. Heterosexual marriages are valid because they produce children. Infertile couples and old people can't legally get married because the world needs more children.

3. Obviously, gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

4. Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage is allowed, since Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage was meaningful.

5. Heterosexual marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are property, blacks can't marry whites, and divorce is illegal.

6. Gay marriage should be decided by people, not the courts, because the majority-elected legislatures, not courts, have historically protected the rights of the minorities.

7. Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

8. Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

9. Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

10. Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why single parents are forbidden to raise children.

11. Gay marriage will change the foundation of society. Heterosexual marriage has been around for a long time, and we could never adapt to new social norms because we haven't adapted to things like cars or longer lifespans.

12. Civil unions, providing most of the same benefits as marriage with a different name are better, because a "seperate but equal" institution isalways constitutional. Seperate schools for African-Americans worked just as well as separate marriages for gays and lesbians will.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Goodbye Joanne! My heartfelt letter.

Dear Joanne,

I miss you already. You know I don't care about any of those other people ousted from 'Idol' last night but you...you just didn't deserve it. Let me be honest with you, since (in my mind) we know each other personally from way back - you remember, ever since we shared that heated glance while I was shopping at Ashley Stewart with the girlfriend and you were staring down all seductive-like from that poster above the jeans rack. I thought you were gorgeous. You had everything I find physically attractive in a woman: beautiful eyes, amazing dimples punctuating a radiant smile and the curves that could make a mere mortal lesbian weak. If, my gorgeous girlfriend weren't standing right beside me possessing all those qualities plus a bunch more....who knows, maybe we could've had something Joanne..maybe. But we're still good friends so I must tell you, your rendition of 'Say a little Prayer' did not make my knees buckle. I don't know if the nerves got ya, or maybe it was a touch of that flu going around that we heard so much about. It just wasn't your best performance.

But should you have been eliminated? No way! Especially not on the first night! Afterall ,you have more talent tucked inside of one of those cute, little dimples than most of those girls could ever have! You should've stuck around until the end. This is just so unfair. You know what Joanne, I blame myself. I should've supported you more. I should've called in to vote but we both know shoula, coulda, woulda's won't do either of us any good now. What we have to do next is move on. At least we still have each other right? What do you say we get together sometime soon, you know... to talk. Same place, same time? I'll meet you over at the Jeans rack.

your faithful friend,


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Ready to Recant My Idol Statement?

Heck No!

I do admit that the performances weren't up to par at all these past two nights. The era for song choice was the sixties but most people just didn't seem to 'get it'. Both the guys and the girls let me down by picking horrible songs that were either boring or didn't match their ranges, or allowing their nerves to get the best of them on stage. I couldn't believe some of the songs they chose because when I think of the sixties, I think:

Sooo many great songs to choose from and people picked.. craaaaaaaap. But I still maintain that there is some great talent in this group.I just hope those who remain after tonight's cut can get their acts together.

Six Days 'til Gavin...

February 27th: The Roxy, Atlanta,GA.

Banner 2 Banner 1 go!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Search for A Superstar Continues

Despite the ratings being the lowest ever! I must say, seven seasons in and I am still a devoted American Idol fan. I understand why some people may have deserted the show though . Let's face it, the talent has gotten weaker and weaker every season but for those of you who don't know...Idol is BACK baby! I've been watching the auditions diligently and my keen eye for talent tells me that the competition this year is fierce and reminiscent of the first season! I am so excited! I know I'll be parked in front of my TV, waiting to see what this new group of young people will be bringing to the stage tonight, will you?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Saartjie 'Sarah' Bartmaan : The "Hottentot Venus" Story

File This One Under Fascinating and Disturbing.

To the victims of the latest university shooting:

May you rest in peace.

To the injured and the mourning families left behind:

May God give you the strength to endure the long journey ahead.

And to the rest of us watching from the sidelines of an ever-worsening world:

May God be with us all.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

In Honor of Valentine's Day: Five things I'm LOVING at the moment.(Fave Fives)

I plan to make the 'top five things I'm loving right now' a regular (most likely monthly) feature of this blog and I thought, 'what better day to kick off the first count-down than Valentine's Day?' So.. here we go:

Number 5: Mario's 3 Album -GO!

Mario just may be one of the most underrated artists on the music scene right now. Ever since he was 15 the young man's been churning out hits that defy his age and set him far apart from the other young men in the industry. For one thing, Mario can sing - His vocals are no joke and are definitely not studio created or enhanced; he keeps his clothes on and when he was kid his lyrics reflected that by being age appropriate. Now that he can both legally drink and vote, his latest cd 'Go' pulls no punches and displays his grown man talent. Not only does he deliver stellar vocal performances on 'Go', he wrote and produced much of the album. He deals with some really personal aspects of his life on it too, including his mom's much publicized battle with addiction. I love this cd so much I've burned several copies for the house, car and it's downloaded on to my MP3 player . I have to say, I loved his second album Turning Point a little better but 'Go' comes in a close second and I'M LOVING IT.

Number 4: Noah's Arc on DVD

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I know I'm way behind the eight ball with this one but I'm getting caught up as quickly as I can. I don't have LOGO (yet) so I wasn't introduced to Noah's Arc until recently after reading Darian's blog. It seemed interesting so I added it to my blockbuster queue. Season 1 came in the mail and my girlfriend and I settled in to watch the first episode.For me, it was just so-so at first. I thought the characters were a bit too sterotypical and one-demensional.But then, as we kept watching I began to change my mind. The story lines really started to draw me in and not only was I pleasantly surprised that I was wrong, I begun to really fall in love with Noah,Wade,Eddie,Ricky,Chance and the rest. Fancy me, a lesbian falling in love with a bunch of men :) Noooo, it wasn't that kind of party but now I'm definitely hooked. The second season is on it's way and I can't wait.Picture me waiting patiently by the mailbox.

Number 3: - Fresh to Order Restaurant

Whenever you can combine delicious and nutritious you have a happy customer in me. Fresh to order (F2O) is a wonderful and affordable new lunch and dinner spot. They specialize in their awesome salads served with a warm and sweet croissant, but also have panini's, pork,steak,tofu and mashed potatoes.The restaurant's atmosphere is worth the trip but if you don't feel like leaving the house, they deliver as well as offer take-out. My favorite salad so far is the Club with ale-laced chicken tenders,golden raisins,crispy bacon,avocadoes,crunchy almonds and tomatoes all resting on baby greens .Yum.

Number 2: The Griddler

I love to cook and if I do say so, I'm pretty darn good at it. But, anything that can make my life easier is welcomed at anytime. I love this machine. You can make pretty much anything on it. A friend of mine won a similiar device at an office party one year and the first time I tried it I was in love. I vowed I would get one so over the holidays my girlfriend and I did our research and discovered the Griddler which makes my friend's machine look like a toy.The features on this thing are incredible. I love being able to cook my eggs,pancakes and bacon all at once for breakfast,make panini's for lunch, and then grill up chicken and veggies for dinner all on one gorgeous machine that is so good looking I keep it displayed on the counter. I'm in love.

Number 1: Blogger, Internet Phenom and Supreme Diva, B.Scott

Love Muffins Get Into This: B.Scott is So Splendiferous! I was wayyyy behind the eight-ball on this young man. I discovered him about a month ago while browsing through YouTube on one particularly boring afternoon after a long day of job hunting. Something drew me to one of his videos, I pressed play and Take me Higher Lord, I've been pressing play ever since! I was hooked and immediately proceeded to turn everyone I talked to after that day into a Love Muffin as well. His website is my new guilty pleasure and I check it several times a day..I can't help but smile when I see he's created a new video and I sometimes watch them more than once. What can I say? He's B.Scottttttttttttt. If you don't recognize all the refrences I'm making then, trust me you're, like I was, living under a rock because B.Scott has not only taken over YouTube, he's poised to take over Hollywood very soon and the buzz about him just keeps growing. What is it about him exactly? Where do I begin? He's Hilarious. He's Spiritual and being a former tiny tot for Christ myself, I'm very attracted to that. He's intelligent, Charming, Honest,Consistent (he keeps that page poppin' several times a day) but most of all - and this is the main thing that distinguishes him from the pack of celebrity bloggers/personalities - he's Positive.

My girlfriend is a big Perez fan but I've never been able to really get into him; I find him to be rather cruel at times, most times in fact. I don't necessarily judge him for that though, afterall, being a jerk seems to be popular in today's society right now. It's just not my thing. That's why stumbling across B.Scott was such a breath of fresh air. He's still honest as can be but he's not spirit-crushing, demoralizing and just plain mean to the celebrities he dishes about on a daily basis. Even when there's seemingly nothing positive to say in a situation, you better believe B.Scott will find it, even if it's just "well, at least her shoes are cute." From a Faithful Love Muffin, thank you B.Scott for being unapologetically who you are, keep up the good work and I can't wait to see what the future holds for you.

Happy Valentine's Day..

Here's a song my Valentine and I love...

The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson

Thank you for taking me the way I am babe.

I love you....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Gavin's Back

Finally, Finally, Finally... my boy's Gavin Degraw's back poised to drop another hot album and not a moment too soon. Oh how I've missed him from the radio! Here it is a whole five years after Chariot was released and I still play it constantly because it is just soooooooo good - beginning to end which we all know is rare. Check out the widget at the bottom of the page to hear his new single 'In love with a Girl.' Annnnnnnnnnd best of all, if you'll be in Atlanta area later on this month, he'll be having a really intimate concert at the Roxy Theatre on February 27th to promote the new album and of course to hit us up with some of the old songs too. Get your tickets now.
I'm Soooo excited! Yay Gavin!

I have a confession.

I love Reggae.

I do. What can I say? And not just Reggae, Soca, Rake n' Scrape, Calypso, etc. Basically any and all Caribbean music. Why do I love it? Other than the fact that it sounds good, it's part of my culture. Born and raised in the Bahamas, I was exposed to this kind of music before I was exposed to my ABC's. I listened to it all the time and recited the lyrics, all the lyrics - good or bad - with ease. Back then I didn't know any better but now that I do listening to some of it makes me feel nauseous and even worse, guilty. It's no secret Reggae and many other genres of West-Indian/Caribbean music, (but Reggae in particular) spouts homophobic lyrics more than Keith Sweat's lyrics spout, "baby don't leave me, baby come back to me, baby, baby please", so as a lesbian woman, I'm left cringing through most of the songs.

In recent years I've gone through my music collection and tossed much of the really bad stuff, the stuff that really boils my blood. But, if I'm completely honest, there are many cd's I've left untouched because it's just so hard to part with music or anything that re-connects you to your culture, (minus the anti-gay lyrics of course), especially when you're living in another country far from it. So I'm left to keep hoping and praying that talented artists like Buju, Beenie, Bounty Killer, Elephant Man and the rest would wisen up and realize that their homophobic lyrics are beginning to cause them good money in cancelled concerts all over the world and just stop hating. Maybe one day.

All is not lost though , I still have a lot of great Reggae to listen to in the meantime, The King Bob, Beres Hammond, Glenn Washington, Tanya Stephens and many more.
Not only is Tanya my all time favorite Caribbean female artist, she has always been socially conscious and has spoken out against racism, violence and homophobia through her music. Her example is refreshing and I'm sure it will be followed in the future or at least spark her young, Caribbean fans to think. My favorite Tanya album is Gangsta Blues but her last album, Rebelution comes in a close second. Tanya if you're out there, it's time for another album! Rebelution is going on two years old and we miss your words of wisdom on the Reggae scene! Here's a song from Rebelution called 'Do you still care?' that emcompasses her views on racism, homophobia and hate in general.

Where Bubba Grew Up, Kept his tobacco chewed up,And when they used to hang ropes, they always kep two up,Had crosses burnin all night like the church blew up,And if you didnt look like them, they would fuck you up.

Time passed, and Bubba turned 40 years old,And all them Jack Daniels started taking a toll,Seem like Bubba was about to make a final bow,None of his friends from the clan couldnt help him now.Family gathered at his bedside, ready to sing the blues,When the doctor rushed in and said "Ive got some news!!!""The good news is, Bubba, Ive found you a liver, only bad news is, it belongs to a Nigger"

Do you still care, about the texture of his hair or the cocoa brown colour of his skin,Do you still care, do you still give a damn now you're in the predicament you're in,Do you still care, does it still mean a lot now,You're the one who's needin the help,Do you still care, do you still find it hard to love your neighbour as you love yourself now,Tell me why cant you accept me as I am,Just as I am now.

Where Bigga grew up, boys were supposed to be tough,Girls were trophies every man always kept a few of,When he was hurt and the tears would sting in his eyes,His mother said "Stop di noise, yuh a girl? real boys dont cry!"He learned in order to be a man he had to know how to fight,And had some very difinitive rules bout whats wrong or right,He never had the luxury of being able to choose,So to him for being different, there was no excuse.

Bigga was hustling on the corner, makin some cash,When he bumped into some beef that he had from the past,He watched the guns raise and the bullets fly in disbelief,As his friends all jumped in their rides,Left him in the gutter didnt care if he died,He was rescued by a car with plates that said 'Gay Pride',It would have been fatal,A shot in your head,They saved your life, though you always said "Chi-chi fi dead!!"

Now do you care, bout the clothes that they wear,Would you rather if they left you there,Do you still care what your friends wanna think if they see you hangin out with a queer,Do you still care, does it still mean a lot now, you're the one who's needin the help,Do you still care, do you still find it hard to love your neighbour as you love yourself now,Tell me why cant you accept me as I am,Just as I am now.

And thats the reason why, war cant cease,If yuh nuh look like me, me ago pop mi piece,And thats the reason why we cant get along,If yuh nuh do it my way then you doin it wrong,And thats the reason why, Iraqui babies gonna cry,And more Palestinians and Isrealies gonna die,Thats the reason why the world is in pain,We say we want peace fi reign, but a bullets again,Now tell me why cant you accept me as I am,Just the way I am now,Tell me why cant you accept me as I am,Just the way I am woah................

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You..wrap it up too Ladies.

Safe sex was something I didn't think about much in my whoring....ahem..excuse me, I meant in my younger days. This is a long article but definitely worth the read especially considering the new middle-school lesbian population (yeah I was shocked too) who think just because they're having sex with another female that they are safe from STD's.

The STD Words: A Sobering Look at Safer Sex for Lesbians and Bisexual WomenThe Naked Truth Article Date: 02/12/2008
By Tracey Stevens & Kathy Wunder

Kathy and I were watching the show Cashmere Mafia, which has four powerful women as main characters, including one who is a lesbian coming out. The four characters were sitting at a swank restaurant discussing Juliet Draper's husband's affair with Cilla Grey. Juliet says: "I sure as hell don't want to end up like one of those angry, drunken, WASPs in an Edward Albee play­"
Zoe Burden cuts in with "Did you see the one where the husband cheated on the wife with a goat?"

To which Juliet replies "I would rather it have been a goat than Cilla Grey. At least it would have saved me the STD Screenings..."
The first thing I thought about was that it has long been speculated that Syphilis started when lonely shepherds got a bit too familiar with members of their wooly flock, but then my mind went to the fact that the character on Cashmere Mafia was actually talking about SAFER SEX!
This lead my brain to the biggest complaint I've had about many lesbian movies and popular shows like The L Word. No matter how much finger-action and lickity-splittin' goes on, you never see characters using Safer Sex practices, and many openly portray risky behaviors, like having unprotected sex with both women and men.

Take the following L Word Characters for example: Tina traipsing back into Straightdom then hightailing it to Lesboworld after seeing her boyfriend clipping his toenails in the living room; then there's bisexual Alice doing women and a man who claims HE is a lesbian; and the sweet but totally sex-addicted Shane, who got-off two sisters and THEIR MOTHER at the third sister's wedding!
Now don't get us wrong, Kathy and I LOVE The L Word, but graphic scenes of unsafe sex totally give the wrong impression, especially to newly out lesbians who think that there is no way women can catch sexually transmitted diseases from each other.

The fact is that lesbians can be infected with STDs by having unsafe sex with other lesbians, or with bisexuals who have been exposed through sex with men; sharing needles from IV drug use; piercing or tattooing without the proper sterilization techniques; having unsafe sex with men prior to realizing they are lesbian; or having unscreened artificial insemination and/or blood transfusions. Many STDs are transmitted when blood, vaginal fluids (including menstruation), breast milk, or semen from an infected person enters your body or blood-stream.

How to protect yourself: Before becoming intimate, it's up to both partners to ask each other the following question: in the past five years have you or your partner, or ex-partners, participated in unsafe behaviors listed in the previous paragraph? If so, you may want to have a general blood screening and an AIDS test. Wait 3-6 months after your last risky behavior and have a second test. Ask your health-care professional for the latest information on STDs including AIDS, and find out the best way to protect both you and your partner from a potentially deadly virus.

Handy items for safer sex: Latex gloves and Finger Cots can be purchased at most drug and medical supply stores, and you can also buy gloves in bulk at larger discount stores. These protective barriers are essential to use if either partner has a cut or sore on her finger, hand, mouth, vagina, or anus. These items are great for all kinds of activities, from clitoral stimulation to vaginal or anal penetration. Make sure to change them between vaginal and anal penetration, and also make sure your fingernails are not jagged, which can snag and cut the latex or your partner's skin. If your partner tends to 'flood with love', then stick to the full latex gloves, ­they are safer.

Dental dams are five-inch square pieces of latex that can be purchased at medical supply stores. Because unprotected oral sex is risky behavior, dental dams of some kind are essential. You can place the whole square over your partner's genitals, holding it yourself, or have your partner hold the top while you hold the bottom. Mark the dam with an ink pen to make sure you don't use the wrong side if you happen to put it down, and throw away your dams after one use. If you or your partner has trouble feeling stimulus through the barrier, you can apply a water-based lubricant to the genital area beneath the dental dam. Single-ply plastic wrap from the grocery store can also be used as a dental dam. Make sure it is non-porous plastic wrap, not microwavable plastic wrap. Just remember, like latex, plastic wrap can rip, so always be careful.
If you use dildos or dildo shaped vibrators, then condoms are a good thing to use. Instead of having to jump out of bed to wash shared toys, just carefully peel off the used condom and slip on a new one. Always pinch the air out of the end before rolling it on, because trapped air bubbles can cause a condom to break. You may also want to use a water-based lubricant to reduce friction, which can also cause breakage. If you are bisexual, use of lubricants with spermicidal agents can harm certain condoms.

Safe, Risky, and Unsafe Behaviors:
Safe Behavoirs include: hugging; massaging her everywhere but there; masturbation or watching her masturbate; phone sex; sharing fantasies; using vibrators or sex toys, but not sharing them without washing or changing the condom; dry kissing—no tonguing; or tribadism—rubbing your body on hers without vaginal fluids, blood, or breast milk exchanged.
Risky Behaviors include: French kissing, especially if you have a sore in your mouth or your gums bleed after brushing or flossing. Make sure to wait 30 minutes before kissing your partner if your gums bleed. Shared hand-to-genital contact with finger cots, gloves, or dental dams can be risky if a tear occurs in the latex: Oral sex while using a barrier can also be risky if the barrier moves or tears. Inserting your fist into your partner's vagina or rectum is always risky because of the pressure it puts on vaginal or intestinal tissues. Also, exchanging sex toys without washing them or using fresh condoms, any form of S&M or rough sex that involves piercing or shaving, or any sort of blood-letting are very risky behaviors.

Unsafe behaviors include: oral sex without a barrier; ingesting female fluids or ejaculate; sharing dildos or vibrators without a condom or without changing condoms in between users; licking the anal area without a dental dam or plastic wrap; fisting; any kind of unprotected sex with a man including oral, vaginal, or anal sex; sharing needles whether for drugs, piercing, or tattooing.
Drug or alcohol use prior to or during sex can impair your judgment to the point of not using safer sex practices. Passion is a wonderful thing, but not quite wonderful enough to die for. Worldwide, millions of people have perished from STDs, especially AIDS. Kathy and I personally knew over 20 people who died from AIDs, both men and women, and we know lesbians who have contracted Chlamydia, Hepatitis B, Herpes, and Genital Warts. Many STDs will stay in your body for the rest of your life, so please be safe and don't become one of the statistics.

Tracey Stevens and Kathy Wunder are the co-authors of Lesbian Sex Tips: A Guide for Anyone Who Wants to Bring Pleasure to the Woman She (Or He) Loves and How to be a Happy Lesbian: A Coming Out Guide. Their website, www.AmazingDreamsPublishing.com, provides more than 1,000 free community services for lesbian and bisexual women worldwide. Contact Tracey & Kathy at www.amazingdreamspublishing.com/contactform.html.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ain't That the Truth!

From time to time, I'll highlight something in this blog that is so insightful within itself that I have no further comment or additive but to say, "Ain't that the truth!" It doesn't necessarily have to be something particularly profound - just something that strikes a chord within me at that moment.

Here's something that struck me today, an animation I found while browsing on FaceBook. Enjoy.

My Top Ten Grammy Moments

The Grammy Awards turned 50 in grand style last night with a show that dazzled and thrilled audiences with many highs and very few lows. The Grammy’s haven’t been this good in years! Before the show started my girlfriend and I were reminiscing about when as children we would count down the days ‘til the Grammy’s with great anticipation, gathering around the T.V. to watch with delight as all our favorites brought the house down. We also remarked about how, as we grew, the Grammy’s, and awards shows on the whole just got …well, stale. It’s like the powers to be in the awards show hierarchies just stopped caring and so the Grammy’s suffered. Boring performances, long, drawn out speeches from people you’d rather not hear from or who shouldn’t have won in the first place and overall yawn-dom. But, in honor of half a century in existence, last night’s stellar show really raised the bar and brought restored the former glory of the Grammy’s. I enjoyed virtually every moment of the three and a half hour show and could find very little flaws… so here are the top ten moments that made me smile.

10) Stevie Wonder Introduces Alicia Keys – Seeing Stevie always makes me smile and last night was no exception as he introduced Alicia Keys’ second musical number of the night. He’ll always be my favorite artist of all time not only because of his exceptional talent but because of his outstanding spirit. Whenever I see him he’s smiling and has this magnetic energy about him. Despite being a living legend and a twenty-five time Grammy winner himself, he’s always been one to give the younger artists their due. I’m sure Alicia was smiling behind the curtain as Stevie belted out the chorus of ‘No-One’ and of course played a little of the harmonica to go with. What a tribute.

9) Frank Sinatra – The show opened with Frank in a room full of the first Grammys back in 1958. He talked about what good music means to us and how Grammys were created to reward that. “…It’s called a Grammy. They’re voted once a year by the members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences; not for selling a million records mind you, you get ‘bread’ for that; this is for contribution to the art of recording.” I’m a sucker for stuff like that...looking back ‘from whence we came’. Always touches me. He and Alicia Keys then performed a duet afterwards that didn’t really get me going but to each his own.

8) Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and John Foggerty – Since the general theme of the night seemed to be, ‘remembering our roots’ , it seemed only fitting to have some of the living founders of Rock and Roll perform some of their greatest hits. They were good too. The old guys still got it!

7) WOW Gospel – I love Gospel music and you just can’t get much better than Aretha Franklin who is the queen of soul but also a gospel veteran too, combined with fellow Gospel vets BeBe Winans and the Clark Sisters. Israel Houghton and his crew represented as well as Madison Bumblebee who I had never heard of until last night but they brought the horns, I mean they really brought the horns! Awesome! I have no idea who invited Trinity 5:7 to the party, seemed like they were just thrown in at the end and I could barely hear them over the powerful voices of the others, but hey, good for them.

6) Rihanna and Morris Day and the Time’s performance – I heart Rihanna, it’s no secret. The girl is gorgeous, talented and a fellow West-Indian! The fact that she keeps her nose clean in the dirty world of Hollywood makes me very proud. I hope she keeps it up. Her performance with Morris Day and the Time was one of the ones that really got me rockin’ in my seat. When they broke out the Michael, “Ma ma se Ma ma sa Ma ma cosa …” I was like, whattttttttt, those old guys still have energy and almost outshone Rihanna you could be their daughter! Very good performance.

5) The Beatles Tribute – No one can deny the enormous contribution the Beatles have made to music. Talk about still being relevant today? They are truly a band our kids and grandkids will be listening to long after we’re gone. Their tribute last night was good….it could’ve been better but good. I loved at the end when some of the members of the Across the Universe cast came out to sing ‘Let it Be’ . I think that song chokes everyone up. They did a wonderful job in the movie and a wonderful job last night.

4) Josh Groban/ Andrea Bocelli performance – ‘The Prayer’ is one of my favorite songs. I can see why it’s been re-recorded by artists of various genres, it’s so beautiful and inspirational. Andrea Bocelli does it best though. His voice is so angelic. Josh Groban sang with him and they dedicated the number to everyone we’ve lost in the music industry last year and especially to Pavorotti.

3) Kanye/Daft Punk – Kanye’s performance of ‘ Stronger’ is always one to watch. His energy is unmatched and that cockiness, although annoying off-stage, really captivates onstage. Daft Punk joined him in their first live performance of the song. They all wore glow in the dark outfits which was also pretty tight. But it was Kanye’s emotional tribute to his mom that really struck a chord. He slowed down his song ‘Mama’ and really belted it out. Can you say, Pass the tissues?

2) Beyonce and Tina – My ex-baby’s mama Beyonce really never lets me down. She’s beautiful, talented, sexy as all hell and I’m really digging her new hair…. But last night she and Tina really performed! It was so good to see Tina back on stage and besides missing one or two minor steps, she was in great form. It doesn’t seem like she’ll be ‘passing the torch’ any time soon, she’s still such an energetic performer. Wonderful!

1) Amy Winehouse – Amy’s performance via Satellite was by far the show-stopper in last night’s show and that’s saying a lot since the show was such a good one. They’d been hyping her performance all night and deliberately kept it until the very last so I was a little worried that it would be severely overrated. I think many of us were even more worried that Amy wasn’t quite ready to hit the stage again since she’s still in recovery – no one wanted to see another “Britney at the MTV Awards- like Debacle” . But Amy proved she’s no Britney. Her performances of ‘Rehab’ and ‘You know I’m no good’ killed! Sure, she wasn’t 100% the Amy we all know she could be but it’s really promising to see her on her way back. I was so proud of her and happy she took home her five Grammys. She deserved them; ‘Back to Black’ is a fierce album. Now let’s all say a prayer that the props she was showered with last night helps Amy finish cleaning up her act and get back to giving us incredible music.

So the Grammys this year pleasantly surprised me and I really enjoyed it.
*SideBar* Wouldn’t it have been nice to see Whitney perform though?
Hmm, maybe next year. Until then, we hope.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Black People, Black People, Black People...we have got to do better.

I just got through with the most un-professional phone interview ever. Well, let me be fair, the sista was semi-professional when she was actually..... on the phone. She must have put me on hold a good twelve times during the course of a twenty-minute conversation! Okay maybe I'm exaggerating slightly but it really was too many times for an interview. Then she had the nerve to put me on hold - and I'm not exaggerating this time - a good ten minutes! If I didn't want the job so badly, I would've hung up because I don't even wait on the line longer than 45 seconds for my precious mother who carried me for nine months and then brought me into this cold, cruel world! I mean, I was beginning to fall asleep!
When she finally came back on the line she apologized and explained that there was an emergency she had to take care of and that was fine, I understood that but I'll be damned if she didnt put me on hold one time to say goodbye to her friend. She was like, "okay girlllllllllllllll, have a good weekend...see ya mondayyyyyyy". I never rolled my eyes so much in my entire life! While I was on hold I had a lot of time to think and I thought back to the message she left on my machine yesterday and I remembered not being able to hear her clearly because she was SNACKING!!? What the heck?

*note to self...breathe....woo-sah... woooooo-sahhhhhhhh... andddddd.... all better..

I hope this writing this entry won't jinx me...(excuse me while I knock on wood, throw some salt over my shoulder and rub my head and tummy at the same time) like I said I neeeeeeeed this job. So if you come across this entry sometime this weekend or early next week, please say a little prayer for me. I'll definitely be saying a little prayer for all you...

Enjoy this old school Aretha and have a splendid weekend.

What have I given up for 40 days of Lent?

Caffeine.That means, No Coffee, No Tea, No Soda. Not so rough right? hmmm...maybe. maybe not. You know that saying, "you never miss the water 'till the well runs dry?" that's exactly how I'm feeling right now. I woke up this morning with the worst tea craving ever and I believe it was for no other reason than because I couldn't have it. This may prove a challenge. Oh well, at least I can get my coffee here.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

One Punk Under God.

A few weeks ago I was flipping through channels looking for something to watch while I munched on my morning cereal. I came across a program on the Sundance Channel called 'One Punk under God' and the title intrigued me as much as the fact that it was a reality series did. Anyone that knows me will attest to the fact that I'm a true "reality junkie". I'm almost ashamed to admit it but it's true; I'll watch almost any reality show - call it a guilty pleasure if you will. So I sat back, pulled a throw blanket over my knees, got really comfortable and settled in to watch an episode or two of One Punk. Film crews followed Jay Bakker, you know son of Jim and the late Tammy-Faye Bakker? founders of the once incredibly successful PTL (Praise The Lord) ministries back in the 80's?The couple who were probably the most recognizable faces of Televangelism until they fell from grace after Jim's sex-scandal and then the accounting fraud that put him prison? Yeah them.

Well Jay has had his own unique ministry and his own church, 'Revolution', with branches in Charlotte, New York and here in Atlanta for years now . His ministry reaches out to the outcasts; people who've been thrown away by the traditional church. On his website and printed in bold letters on the flyers he hands out you'll find the statement, "As Christians, we're sorry for being self-righteous judgemental bastards"; Amen. Those are healing words to 'punks' like him, drug addicts, people who've given up on the church and now... gays, lesbians and transgendered people.

I watched in awe as the film crew caught Jay fighting hard with himself over the rhetoric he, and many of us, have grown up with that says being gay is a sin, an abomination and an automatic ticket to hell. Being a straight man, growing up in the pentecoastal movement and now pastoring a straight congregation, it wasn't easy for him to broach the idea to his congregants and famous family that something in his spirit was telling him it was all a lie. I could feel the tension through the screen the day he decided to tell them he would be opening his church doors to the LGBT community(by this time I'm about 5 episodes in and I'm hooked!) . I mean he was visibly sweating and you could hear a pin drop in the room. But, at the end of the sermon most of his predominately white congregation told him he had their support and that they were willing to embrace gays and lesbians in their church.

Watch what happened when he took it to a predominantly black church:

hmmm... They were all 'Amen-ing' and 'Yes Lord-ing' until the word 'gay' came out of his mouth. I gotta say, I was really embarrassed by their reaction. Especially after he said, "It’s…It’s…hard for me when people who’ve been through such persecution and been judged against …all of a sudden they don’t want freedom for anybody else". Ain't that the truth? Then he threw in an MLK quote too...stepping on even more toes. I swear black people have got to be the most hypocritical people on Earth! I wonder how many of them went home and really thought about what he said. I wonder how many of them were ashamed. Was there even one?

Thank God for Jay Bakker.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Deaths of Two Prominent Bahamian Men Still Unsolved.

Famed Bahamian Designer Harl Taylor was found brutally murdered in his home in Nassau on November 18th of last year. He was rumored to have been found naked in a crime scene dripping with blood after having been stabbed multiple times.Harl was a brilliant hand-bag designer who used 'home-grown' Bahamian products such as sea-shells and straw to produce beautiful and creative designs that caught the attention of buyers around the world including American celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Naomi Campbell.

One day before Taylor's body was found, Professor Thaddeus McDonald, Dean of social and educational studies at the College of the Bahamas was also found murdered. 'Dr.Mac' as he was known by his students, was bludgeoned to death with an electric clothing iron in his home. McDonald was a well loved and respected lecturer famous for his open-door policy with his students who could call on him at any time.

These two talented and prominent men were also rumored to have been homosexuals. I use the word 'rumored' because no one's ever openly gay in the Bahamas. There, as in many other Caribbean countries, being gay is practically a crime within itself so it's no surprise police have been slow to come up with any leads in their cases. These two men are not among the first to be killed after gay rumors circulated around them - another teacher, Barrie Best was also found stabbed in his home and police officer Sgt. Kevin Williams was found shot. There are still no leads in any of these crimes. Who knows how many more murders of gay men and women have been swept under the rug or conveniently forgotten? Unfortunately, I doubt these will be the last.
Rest In Peace gentlemen.