Monday, June 28, 2004

911-The Movie

This movie was so so so great. I think that it placed light on this whole Iraq/Afgahnistan thing. Go See the movie!!!

Pride and Prejudice- ANGER

I've been in atlanta for about 10 years and have been working in the Black gay community since 1997. One of the things that I've noticed about white LGBT folks in atlant is that they are both unwilling to open their institutions to black lgbt folks and unwilling to aknowledge the institutions that black folks have created for themselves to fill the gaps. I guess your probably wondering what I'm talking about.

Well I'll try to tell you. Pride weekend, Atlanta Gay Pride weekend is an event taht is touted as Atlanta's pride event. However, there is a Black Gay Pride. The reason there is a Black Gay pride is becasue while Atlanta Pride is supposed to be an empowering experience for Gay people, it is rarely that for black gay people. From the focus of the vendors,to the diversity of the speakers, to the floats in the parade, to the genre of the music stages to the disposition of the park volunteers Atlanta Pride is often an experience that is disenfranchising for Black people. Thus Black people do not participate on any large scale in Atlanta pride. We go to Black gay prideso that we can be proud of our whole selves when we enter.

Recently I was challenged for not participating in white pride (as I will call it because this is what Black gay folks call it). Someone was upset that I had decide to direct my efforts at pride toward young Black gay men. I think it's important to mention here that I am paid to direct my efforts toward young black gay men. It was stated that, because I was going to act at pride in such a way that the majority of the folks that I came into contact with would be the folks that I am paid to come into caontact with, I was being a separatist. White people brought this accusation to my supervisors at my job. What is interesting to me about the willingness of these white people to bring this issue to my supervisors is the assertion that there reasoning was taht Pride needed diversity. I was striking to me that in an attempt to appear diverse these white people would try to force me, the black guy, to participate in these events,with threats to my job. I-fucking-ronic.

This is frustrating to me because I think that people are not willing to challenge racism. Black people are scared to do it because they don't want to be placed in the angry black gurl box that whites often place black folks in when they are willing to challenge or even aknowlege racism. The white folks won't do it because they don't see it, they are not the ones experienceing it. I am also frustrated because no matter how I try it seems that I cannot get away from institutionalized racism. I have removed myself from YP and moved into an agency where all of the people who I report to Directly or indirectly are BLACK. Racism is so powerful however, and white people have so much influence that they are able to threaten my lively hood from teers below wher my supervisors stand in the organization framework. Sometimes racism poses a threat from completely outside of the organizational structure.

I was under so much pressure this weekend (Pride 2004) to be seen in the park at the festival and to stay out there doing outreach even though it was storming. Why? Because the whitefolks were threatening my job and using accusations of seperatism and black anger to do it. Having been confronted about Pride I felt required to be in a place that it made little since for me to be in because it was said that I was being racist. Isn't that CRAZY? Since when did black folks get to be racist? Since when did we become responsible for the racial devide in american? Why the fuk am I responsible for diversity? Why the fuck can't they build diversity instead of looking to a single black guy or gurl to be responsible for such?

Why don't white people do the work to really make there organizations diverse, welcoming, inclusive instead of being angry at us for building organizatons that welcome and include us?

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Conference, Cards, and Counseling: A Day In The Life Of Me

I've been at a conference all week. The National HIV Prevention Leadership Summit. The conference is very relevant to my job. So I volunteered in order to avoid registration cost and such. I'll never enter such an arrangement again. This experience was a lesson in How not to manage volunteers. I attended only two sessions. Both sessions were about "Men On The DL." The reason I was so pissed by both of the sessions is because they were so indicative of the way that sensationalism can remove all logic from society. I mean we are HIV Prevention Professionals in a room jumping on the bad wagon of warning women against dangerous Black Gay Men who are out to infect them with HIV. It seems that we, as HIV prevention professionals, would spend our time and resources on warning women against having unprotected sexual intercourse with persons of positive or unknown HIV serostatus. This was not the case. I think that everyone is looking for a way to turn this into a catalyst to fame for themselves. To Late! JL King has already done this and the popular black media is not interested in anyone more qualified than he. He has them mesmerized. It’s sad really. So I made a lot of noise in the work shop sessions. Reminded everyone that we must begin to approach this topic more critically and analytically. I used the words un-pack this conversation. Easier to spell and understand. I warned them that black men have forever, since reconstruction in the south, been pictured as the owners of dangerous sexuality, that AIDS does not belong solely to Gay men and that a man's sex with another man does not automatically make him HIV positive. I also reminded them that in a social context were the media is granting gay men increased attention that it's probably not by accident that the attention granted white gay men comes through "Will and Grace", Queer Eye For the Straight Guy, and 101 television specials divided between MTV and VH1, while increased attention for Black Gay Men means Oprah talking about how we pose a threat to Black Women. It's a mess!

So I leave the conference with a couple of new friends and a couple of old friends to attend a party. On the way we stop, with our host, at the grocery store to pick up what's needed for the Rice and Peas, and some beverages. While in the grocery store I spent my time looking at the parade of beautiful black men that chose to use that grocery store that day. It was lots of fun. They had week coffee that they charged a fair price for. So I drank coffee while my friends shopped for coconut milk and par-boiled rice. We went from there to the home of our host, a lean bodied, brown skinned, dread lock wearing, Black Gay man who enjoys people enjoying the sight of his body. He spent most of the time at his house with his shirt off and his dick swinging back and forth through a thin pair of sweat pants. Fun! I looked plenty but got the feeling that touches from me would not have been welcomed. So I didn't touch. We played spades, drank rum and coke, vodka and cranberries, and spiked punch while eating barbeque baked chicken, rice and peas, and mac and cheese. It was a great time until a couple of brothaz walking through the final stages of a pre-mature relationship showed up with their 10 month long disagreement (the relationship) and turned the party into a counseling session for themselves. This is when the party became a mess and I realized how much I hate being drunk. Boy A has this control complex and bosses boy B around the entire time we are at the party. IT was ridiculous. He groped me in the kitchen while his boy friend presumably played cards in the other room. That is until the boyfriend responded to the silence in the kitchen by peeking in and found his boyfriend with his drunken hand about my waist. Awkward for me? Yes. So I took a sip of my rum and coke and retreated to the living room. When they returned they spent about ten minutes wrapped in a contrived, though distracting, embrace until the controlled one mentioned how unable he was to pay attention to the way the cards were being played. The controller jumped up in a drunken pathetic rage and screaming "Yeah, your right, I'm a fucking distraction!" We were successful at keeping the controlled engaged with the cards for about ten additional minutes until he stormed out of the room into the parking lot in fron of the party host's apartment. One of my friends followed, leaving the unfinished game of spades behind as well as the controller in the kitchen being attended to by several older gay men. Next out to the aid of the controlled was another friend named Mark then me several moments later. I went out of shear boredom and the lack of enthusiasm about going into the kitchen to chat with the controllers group. So I went outside for a walk that lasted for about 20 minutes and returned to join those trying to convince the controlled to dump the controller. I felt like I was singing with sweet honey n the rock. You know that song they do about domestic violence? I think it's called RUN. A sorry end to a party that had so much potential. It got even more sorry when we began discussing the end of the party. It was time to go. I would be leaving but the only person with a car was the controller and there was no room for me and my brother who was at the party with me. So I was told that I had to take a cab by someone who knew I had no money. So they had to give me money. Very uncomfortable for me. God I hate shit like that. So I had a night that started out really cool and ended really ummm, not cool.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

A good book

I think that I would rather have a good book than good sex. LOL I'm serious. I am reading this book now called My Soul To Keep by tanarive due. I really don't know if my assessment is acurate because it comes after the drudging work reading Alice Walker new Now Is The Time To Open Your Heart. The book is a lovely sentiment really but Alice has done much better. I mean there was not a single plot. The book has no plot. Can you imagine trying to read a book that has not a single plot to compell your reading onward. I don't think that this a a good direction for alice walker. I mean By the light of my father's smile had a very weak plot that did nothing for me and now this. Now is the time to write another good book. Really after Meridian, Temple, and Purple, let's not even talk about The THird Life of Grang Coapland. Aren't artist suposed to get better as time goes by? Not only is she really not a nice person, I've met her several times to get books autographed at signings and she is very un-friendly. She's said some pretty snyde things to me that she would probably not even remember, but I've always lived for her writing. I mean Grang Copeland was transformative. If every Black Man on the planet could read that 1 book I think that we would transform over night. But this.

At any rate I was talking about Tananarive Due's My Soul TO Keep. This book is wonderful. I mean Black Fantasy-Fiction. Who ever writes this. I mean with contemporary Black characters, references to black pop culture, and a mythology that deals with Black men from North Africa who have been bestowed with the gift of immortality through a ritual in which the "Blood of Christ" has been injected into them at the moment just before they died from ingesting poison laced bread. Now they move as a society of immortals bound together by blood and secrets. I love it. I've never read anything like it. Cept Octavia Butler of course. Alice walker touched that way a little with the Temple of My Familiar.

Any ways. I'm tired of writing more to come.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004


Yup I can see that this is going to be fun. I have to run because my ride is leaving me but I will be posting many ummm post here soon. Keep your eyes peeled people. This is a very exciting thing for me.