Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The New Lynch Mob

In the generation ahead of my own, the lynching of black people in America and black men in particular was a much feared act of terror. Anything from looking at whites the "wrong" way to accusations of rape would leave to a horrible murder of our people. The photographs of mutilated black men hanging from tree limbs exist in many historical collections today. In more than a few instances, the photos shows the genitals severed and then stuffed in the mouths of the victims. Fear of our blackness, hatred of our sexuality created a ghastly living hell for black men in America. All of these photos remind us of how inhuman one group of people with deep seated hatred of another race can perpetrate the most heinous crimes in humanity often without penalties of any kind.

Today, another black man is dead. He is one among a growing number of a new generation of men whose sexuality threatens the norm and triggers gross acts of violence. Just over a week ago, Michael Sandy, a 28 year old black, gay man from Brooklyn, was lured to an area by four men from his AOL instant messenger. But for Michael something went terribly wrong.

From the Daily News: "At some point, he broke free and ran onto the roadway, where he was struck by a car in the center lane, according to police. The driver of the car that struck Sandy did not stop. The assailants dragged his battered body off the highway—leaving him for dead only after one rifled through his pockets."
October 12th was Michael's 29th birthday but instead of celebrating with friends and family, Michael clung to life as his family struggled with the decision of whether to continue his life support. Eventually, they decided to let nature take its course and Michael Sandy died on October 13th. He is another victim of gay bashing, the new lynching offense in an America that must always find a new reason to hate.

There were memorials this week for Michael Sandy. Websites extolled his wonderful personality and the grief that his family must now endure. Michael was honest about himself and to those who knew him. His webpage at Friendster indicated his interest in meeting men. And because he chose to live honestly and forthrightly in a country that purports to value honesty and diversity and freedom, he now joins the ranks of victims to a cruel and mean "new lynch mob" intent on denying the right to live, love, and exist side-by-side in America.
Words of sympathy can hardly salve the wounds inflicted on his family. Nevertheless, I offer them along with a prayer that justice will be done in this instance and all of these gay bashings (new lynchings). For as long as this hatred exists for whatever reasons, America is diminished.

There has not been a great deal of press coverage in the mainstream about Michael's death and the surrounding circumstances. That is not uncommon these days as the black community and the greater society continue to try to ignore the presence of same gender loving black Americans. But it is incumbent upon you and me to give notice that these crimes "will not go quietly into the night." We must speak up, speak out, and speak boldly. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said that "a time comes when silence is betrayal." We cannot betray the Michael Sandys and the Rashawn Brazells of America. America cannot claim moral leadership in the world as long as it continues to shelter those who would lynch, bash, and murder its own people who simply choose to exist in truth and freedom.

Michael Sandy is gone. But he leaves behind some precious memories for those who may have known him. On is AOL messenger, Michael says:

"a real friend walks in when the rest of the world walks out."

Monday, September 11, 2006

I am still here

I know it has been a minute since I have written on this blog or posted on some others. To all of you who have sent emails or "what ups" I want to say thank you and that I appreciate you so very much. One of the things I have learned about blogging is that beyond the ruminations on sundry topics, there also exists the possibility to develop some very good friendships.

I have discovered some wonderful people on this journey that began for me in March 2005. No doubt some of you will be with me until our appointed time. I have no plans for an early departure, but I just wanted to say thanks for some great memories and conversations. One of the best things to have happened to me is to have started a conversation with someone on a blog (I have 2 going), have that conversation move to telephone, then to a meeting, and to open up the possibility for more.

I read just this weekend on a blog the question "Is it possible to be in a relationship where one person cares more than the other." I can say unequivocably yes, and I would further add that the one who cares more really needs to have a strong and realistic sense of how that relationship is constructed and where it is going to remain in it. This may seem like rambling now, and you may well have guessed that I find myself in just such a place. Nevertheless, it is based on honest conversation between us, and therefore we are both fully aware that this may never reach "the mountaintop."

I am not sure why we sometimes love so deeply those that we cannot have. His reasons are sound and valid. Doesn't make it hurt any less though when you feel your life has been changed in a way that cannot ever be restored. I am riding out a hurricane of emotions, but I know that inevitably the storm will pass and I will survive.

And while I cannot sing all of this song just yet, I believe it will happen for me with someone:

Larry Graham - "One In A Million You"
Love had played its games on me so long
I started to believe I'd never find anyone
Doubt had tried to convince me to give in,
said, "You can't win"
But one day the sun came a shinin· through
The rain had stopped and the skies were blue
And oh, what a revelation to see
Someone was saying "I love you" to me

A one in a million chance of a lifetime
And life showed compassion
And sent to me a stroke of love called "You"
A one in a million you
I was a lonely man with empty arms to fill
Then I found a piece of happiness to call my own
And life is worth livin·again
For to love you to me is to live

A one in a million chance of a lifetime
And life showed compassion
And sent to me a stroke of love called "You"
A one in a million you
A one in a million chance of a lifetime
And life showed compassion
And sent to me a stroke of love called "You"
One in a million you
A one in a million you

Hotep my friends.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Today Is My Birthday and ...

I will let you figure out my age since I am:

35 years 9 months younger than Walter Cronkite, age 89
31 years 1 month younger than Nancy Reagan, age 85
28 years 2 months younger than George Herbert Bush, age 82
20 years 11 months younger than Barbara Walters, age 74
18 years 9 months younger than Larry King, age 72
12 years 6 months younger than Ted Koppel, age 66
9 years 1 month younger than Geraldo Rivera, age 63
6 years 1 month younger than George W. Bush, age 60
1 year 1 month younger than Jesse Ventura, age 55
3 years 2 months older than Bill Gates, age 50
8 years 0 months older than Cal Ripken Jr., age 45
13 years 10 months older than Mike Tyson, age 40
17 years 11 months older than Jennifer Lopez, age 36
23 years 4 months older than Tiger Woods, age 30
29 years 10 months older than Prince William, age 24

and that I was:

49 years old at the time of the 9-11 attack on America
47 years old on the first day of Y2K
45 years old when Princess Diana was killed in a car crash
42 years old at the time of Oklahoma City bombing
41 years old when O. J. Simpson was charged with murder
40 years old at the time of the 93 bombing of the World Trade Center
38 years old when Operation Desert Storm began
37 years old during the fall of the Berlin Wall
33 years old when the space shuttle Challenger exploded
31 years old when Apple introduced the Macintosh
30 years old during Sally Ride's travel in space
28 years old when Pres. Reagan was shot by John Hinckley, Jr.
27 years old at the time the Iran hostage crisis began
23 years old on the U.S.'s bicentennial Fourth of July
21 years old when President Nixon left office
19 years old when Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace was shot
16 years old at the time the first man stepped on the moon
15 years old when Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated
12 years old during the Watts riot11 years old at the time President Kennedy was assassinated
7 years old when Hawaii was admitted as 50th of the United States
5 years old when the Soviet satellite Sputnik 1 was launched
not yet 1 year old at the end of the Korean War

Now how old am I?

Find out about your birthday!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

For Gays on the Streets, Survival Comes Before Pride

This article appeared a year ago (June 2004) in the NY Times. Sometimes, these issues get a minute of publicity and then fade from the public consciousness. I had an opportunity to observe firsthand the plight of some of these youth on the pier at the end of Christopher St. this spring. I also wrote about what I saw then.

In an effort to keep your attention on this serious issue facing our black, same gender loving youth, I remind you now of this article and encourage you to contribute your time, energy and money to help alleviate some their suffering and help give them a start toward being self sufficient black men. This is the story of OUR CHILDREN.


David Antoine's coming out last year did not exactly fill his family with pride. A few months shy of his high school graduation, Mr. Antoine said, his mother told him to pack his bags, and he was suddenly out on the icy streets of Brooklyn, his life stuffed into a trash bag, his bed the hard back of a subway car rumbling from one end of the city to the other.

Brian Murray is still trying to find his place in what is known as the gay community. A good night is the soft bed of a stranger and $100 in the morning. A bad night is an empty stomach, a park bench and the rousing jolt of a nightstick on his bare feet as he is ordered to move on.

Like Mr. Antoine and Mr. Murray, his friends, Michael Leatherbury, 25, would consider cheering his gay brothers and sisters marching down Fifth Avenue this afternoon if he had a few coins in his pocket and a place to call his own. No sense flirting with strangers, he says, when home is a lumpy cot in a city shelter. "Being homeless is not exactly conducive to dating," he says with a shrug. "These days, I'm not feeling very prideful."

Click here to read more....

From Fratman:

Step out of your comfort zone and do something to help someone who so desperately need your help. Find an organization that will feed, clothe and/or give a bed to these youth in your city or another. I suggest you start with GMAD. For more information about homelessness among homeless LGBT youth and a lists of shelters in your state, see the Safe Schools Coalition website. If you know of others, feel free to post them here in the comments section for others to see. Be sure to include contact information.


(Since I posted this, I have received one comment from the Captain. I hope you will also respond because as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has said:

"History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.")

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

One Nation Under Whose God?

I received this email with the usual request to pass it on. I do so not with the intention of the sender, but that you might see the homophobia that is so blatantly and disturbingly a part of the mindset of the principal and leader of a public school. Note the first group that he chooses to denigrate in the name of God:

"A statement that was read at a Tennessee football game This is a statement that was read over the PA system at the football game at Roane County High School, Kingston, Tennessee, by school Principal, Jody McLeod. "It has always been the custom at Roane County High School football games, to say a prayer and play the National Anthem, to honor God and Country." Due to a recent ruling by the Supreme Court, I am told that saying a Prayer is a violation of Federal Case Law. As I understand the law at this time, I can use this public facility to approve of sexual perversion and call it "an alternate lifestyle," and if someone is offended, that's OK. I can use it to condone sexual promiscuity, by dispensing condoms and calling it, "safe sex." If someone is offended, that's OK. I can even use this public facility to present the merits of killing an unborn baby as a "viable means of birth control." If someone is offended, no problem... I can designate a school day as "Earth Day" and involve students in activities to worship religiously and praise the goddess "Mother Earth" and call it "ecology." I can use literature, videos and presentations in the classroom that depict people with strong, traditional Christian convictions as "simple minded" and "ignorant" and call it "enlightenment." However, if anyone uses this facility to honor GOD and to ask HIM to Bless this event with safety and good sportsmanship, then Federal Case Law is violated. This appears to be inconsistent at best, and at worst, diabolical. Apparently, we are to be tolerant of everything and anyone, except GOD and HIS Commandments. Nevertheless, as a school principal, I frequently ask staff and students to abide by rules with which they do not necessarily agree. For me to do otherwise would be inconsistent at best, and at worst, hypocritical... I suffer from that affliction enough unintentionally. I certainly do not need to add an intentional transgression. For this reason, I shall "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," and ref rain from praying at this time. "However, if you feel inspired to honor, praise and thank GOD and ask HIM, in the name of JESUS, to Bless this event, please feel free to do so. As far as I know, that's not against the law----yet." One by one, the people in the stands bowed their heads, held hands with one another and began to pray. They prayed in the stands. They prayed in the team huddles. They prayed at the concession stand and they prayed in the Announcer's Box! The only place they didn't pray was in the Supreme Court of the United States of America - the Seat of "Justice" in the "one nation, under GOD." Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee, remembered what so many have forgotten. We are given the Freedom OF Religion, not the Freedom FROM Religion. Praise GOD that HIS remnant remains! "

A final word from the Fratman:

Somehow, Kingston, Tennessee forgot that we are all one people created in the image of God and commanded to love one another as He has loved us.

Shem hotep.

(Note: This entry was republished due to technical difficulties and the 2 original comments were lost. If I can retrieve them from emails, I will re-post them)

Two previous comments:

Wow, that really pissed me off. And the bit about environmentalism...? Wow. This lady's head is so far up her ass, I'm amazed anyone could understand what she was saying on the PA system. --Posted by Jeff Crowder to Seasoned_Yet_New_In_Da_Life at 7/10/2006 04:18:52 PM

Note to self: Never drive through or stop in Kingston, TN. --Posted by Bernie to Seasoned_Yet_New_In_Da_Life at 7/10/2006 05:34:10 AM

Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Human Rights Campaign Airs "Dirty Laundry"

Ok, now that I got your attention :

In January of this year while visiting DC, I had the unexpected pleasure of attending the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) luncheon for youth from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Aside from being in the presence of very vibrant youth who seem to be thoroughly enjoying themselves in this positive and affirming environment, and being in the room with one of my fav authors, Alphonso Morgan (the man is just plain handsome, props), and listening to an inspiring message delivered by Dr. Michael Lomax (United Negro College Fund), the occasion gave me an opportunity to learn more about the work of this pioneering organization.

There are 2 things that I want to call to your attention:

1. The HRC has a great publication on the website entitled "Resource Guide to Coming Out for African-Americans." It covers the spectrum from 'religious organizations' (hmmm, gay black buddhists?) to 'Black Prides' (yeah, I am going back to the ATL in Sept., holla) to 'Hotlines' (not the kind of party you thinking). There aren't very many things left in life that are free, but this guide is yours for the downloading from the Human Rights Campaign Website. Get it while it's hot.

2. The HRC is sponsoring previews of Maurice Jamal's new film "Dirty Laundry" in several cities. Check out the listings and the movie trailer on the HRC website. Although the schedule ends with September 2006, a reliable source (hey, the NY Times isn't the only one with them) tells me that Greensboro, NC may be an additional location in October. Stay tuned.

So, let me end by giving a mad shout out to Brandon Braud and the crew of tireless workers at HRC for the good work that you are doing for African-Americans in 'the life.'
Shem hotep.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

So Now It's Momma's Fault You're Gay

From the Los Angeles Times:
Study Links Male Gays, Birth of Older Brothers
A mother's antibodies may change with each boy, raising chances the next will be homosexual.
By Karen Kaplan
Times Staff WriterJune 27, 2006
Having one or more older brothers boosts the likelihood of a boy growing up to be gay — an effect due not to social factors, but biological events that occur in their mother's womb, according to a study published today.
In an analysis of 905 men and their siblings, Canadian psychologist Anthony Bogaert found no evidence that social interactions among family members played a role in determining whether a man was gay or straight.
The only significant factor was the number of times a mother had previously given birth to boys, according to the report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The so-called fraternal birth order effect is small: Each older brother increases the chances by 33%. Assuming the base rate of homosexuality among men is 2%, it would take 11 older brothers to give the next son about a 50-50 chance of being gay.
But at a time when, according to one survey, 42% of Americans consider homosexuality to be a lifestyle choice, the study provides more evidence of biology's role in determining sexuality."People are coming to realize that biology — in a broad sense of the word — does play an important role," said neurobiologist Simon LeVay, who has documented anatomical differences in the brains of gay and straight men. He is not connected with the study.
A 2003 survey found that 30% of Americans believed sexual orientation was innate and 14% said it was determined by upbringing, besides the 42% who considered it a lifestyle choice. That survey was conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
Polls show that people who believe sexual orientation is governed by biology tend to support gay rights, whereas those who consider it a choice don't, said Dr. Jack Drescher, who chaired the American Psychiatric Assn.'s Committee on Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Issues for six years. "The question of whether it's biological is playing a large role in the culture wars," said Drescher, who was not involved in the study. "Decisions about civil rights and marriage are all argued around this issue."In a previous study, Bogaert and his colleagues estimated that about one in seven gay men in North America — roughly 1 million people — could attribute their sexual orientation to fraternal birth order. Bogaert, a professor of community health sciences and psychology at Brock University in Ontario, said he didn't know what biological mechanism was behind the fraternal effect, which he and a colleague first identified 10 years ago. The leading theory is that women's bodies react to male fetuses' proteins as foreign, making antibodies to fight them, Bogaert said. Such antibodies could affect the developing fetus, and the more times a woman has carried boys, the stronger the antibody response would be. This theory, dubbed the maternal immunization hypothesis, was originally proposed in 1985 to explain why boys are more likely than girls to develop conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and dyslexia.
"We thought it might be an interesting explanation for this," Bogaert said.
Scientists have not found any antibodies that may be responsible, but Michigan State University neuroscientist Marc Breedlove is trying to identify them in pregnant mice.
"We would love to identify the protein that she is targeting, or find out which brain regions are being affected," said Breedlove, who coauthored a commentary that accompanies the study. "Right now, it's the only plausible mechanism we can think of.
"Scientists have found other genetic links to sexual orientation. For example, if one identical twin is gay, there is a 52% chance that the other twin — who has the same DNA — is gay, according to a 1991 report in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Among fraternal twins, who share about half their DNA, the figure drops to 22%, and for other brothers it is 9%, according to the study.
Bogaert first reported a link between sexual orientation and older brothers in a 1996 study conducted with Ray Blanchard, who runs the Clinical Sexology Program at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto. That finding has been replicated since then in other data on men in the U.S., Canada and Europe, as well as in data collected by the pioneering sex researcher Alfred Kinsey in the 1940s and 1950s.
In the new study, Bogaert's aim was to figure out whether older brothers influence the sexuality of younger ones through nature or nurture.
If the influence were due to social factors as the boys were growing up, he reasoned, then older brothers would have an impact as long as they were reared together. On the other hand, if the explanation hinged on prenatal biological factors, the physical presence of older brothers during childhood would be irrelevant. Bogaert collected biodemographic data on gay and straight men raised in families with various combinations of older and younger brothers and sisters. Some were full siblings, some shared only a mother or a father, some were step siblings, and some siblings were adopted.
"It doesn't seem to be that having an older brother around, regardless of whether that brother is a biological brother or a nonbiological brother, seems to have an effect on a man's sexual orientation," he said. "Biological older brothers, even ones they are not reared with, seem to be increasing the likelihood of male homosexuality.
"Previous studies have looked at the impact of older sisters on the chances of a girl growing up to be a lesbian, but they found no correlation. That result bolsters the maternal immunization theory, because female fetuses do not produce proteins that would be unfamiliar to pregnant women and thus prompt the production of antibodies.
From Fratman:
So what do you think of that?

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Homosexuality controversy lands another student outside the halls of learning. Jason Johnson, a sophomore at University of the Cumberlands got kicked out of school for being caught out of the closet.The 20-year-old theater major was expelled on April 6 because of his sexual orientation, as well as comments about his boyfriend that were shared on his MySpace.com blog.

The school’s spokesperson Larry Cockrum released a statement from Cumberlands President Jim Taylor saying the school had “followed our policies and procedures in keeping with our traditional denominational beliefs.” Homosexuality is not in alignment with the Christian based value system the Baptist college in Williamsburg, KY upholds.

However, Senior Jennifer Roberts told the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper, “I would consider Jason a Christian because so many of his values are Christian…. He embodies everything a friend should be. A lot of people are suffering because he is not here.” Cockrum maintained in the statement that, “We are different by design and are non-apologetic about our Christian beliefs.”

Because Johnson has retained an attorney, the school released an official statement on April 10 saying it would no longer comment on the decision. More openly gay collegians are experiencing scarlet-letter-styled scrutiny as evidence of what some consider their “sin” becomes transparent. According to Soulforce, a gay rights group, over 200 colleges and universities actively ban homosexual students.

Some schools with strict discipline toward gay students are John Brown University, in Siloam Springs, ARK, Baylor University in Dallas, TX, Mercer University in Atlanta, GA and North Central University in Minneapolis, MN.The Associated Press reports that the Kentucky Fairness Alliance, a pro-homosexual group, is appealing to Governor Ernie Fletcher to veto $11 million that state lawmakers have approved for scholarships and a pharmacy school at U of C. ‘Draw the line’ or ‘Bridge the Gap’As the temperature rises on gay rights issues, is America turning into a gay vs. straight society?

The Kentucky incident is just a snapshot of what is taking place in our society: gays are fighting for equal rights. In recent news the same sex marriage and domestic partnership arguments have hogged headlines with victories for both advocates and anti-gays.The erupting controversy lies in multi-faceted opinions from various religious, public and private institutions. Since the murder of 21-year-old Matthew Shepard, the University of Wyoming student who was killed in 1998 for being gay, there have been countless debates about treatment of homosexuals based in moral ideology and legal rights, some in the form of tolerance and some pertaining to acceptance.

Taking the “separate but equal” approach gay supporters have “drawn the line” by establishing all-gay schools and churches, for example. Yet, churches like the United Methodists church are attempting to “bridge the gap” in ad campaigns that embrace diversity. There is no simple solution for managing an imperfect society, yet tolerance seems to fall somewhere between “the line” and “the gap.” -- http://www.atlgospel.com/news/index.html

Further news on this story at: http://www.abpnews.com/944.article


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Our Nearly Invisible Queer Children

I had planned to write this entry about my travel to New York City this past week. I went to see the Color Purple on Broadway. It was indeed a powerful performance, and I will indeed blog about it later this week. But first, I have to talk about another powerful experience that occurred for me while in NYC. That was seeing same gender loving or queer kids (the labels don't much matter to them; they have more important things on their minds -- like surviving the night) congregated on the Pier at the end of Christopher St. in Manhattan.

Now I know that for New Yorkers, this is nothing new. I understand from my companion (I love you man for being there with me and opening my eyes) that these kids have been on that pier and in that vicinity for quite some time. Many are homeless and victimized by predators with money willing to lure them into prostitution. And so many succumb in desperation to eat and survive in the most powerful city in the country and arguably, the world.

Here are young adolescents with the promise of life already taken from them. They have been cast out by families that are homophobic or made to live in such unbearable conditions that it is preferable to face the unknowns of the street than to stay in physically and mentally abusive homes. And I watched them banding together for brotherhood, comradeship, support and security. They do not know where their next meal is coming from because they are not counted as protected clients of the vast social service agencies.

Their social interactions may be formed by the House Balls or Voguing or trading sexual favors for the essentials of survival. They are caught up in the porn industry where they risk their health for $200 to be able to eat and sleep for a few days/nights. The weather is getting warmer now. I suspect more will try to sleep on the streets as opposed to the few overcrowded shelters than try to give them a cramped space in the coldest weather.

The point is that these are our kids. They are not conservative republicans or liberal democrats. They are not "buppies" with Ivy league degrees scuffling for a place at the bottom of the corporate ladder on Wall Street. There are no trust funds to insure that they will survive to have a future beyond their childhoods; not even a vaccine to protect them from the scourges of sexual transmitted diseases that will rob them of their strength and ultimately of their lives. But there are those who instead of helping them would seek to marginalize them and sweep them further out of sight. Our actions may make the difference between a healthy life or a miserable survival at great costs.

I have written before about how my generation failed the succeeding generations by not providing the mentoring, nurturing and role modeling that was needed to help young black men of same sex desires transition to mentally healthy life. Now I hope that the next generation will not let the following generations have to carve out a place for themselves that is not healthy.

Small donations to worthwhile programs are a start. But even more, take on 1 or 2 guys and mentor them. Talk to them. Let them know that you care and love them. Make a financial donation to them, too. Buy some food, pay for a night's stay to get them off the street. Be an advocate for them; help them to fight the battles that they do not know how to fight for themselves.

And don't for one minute think this is a New York problem. You have only to look into the lives of "gutter punks" in New Orleans or the homeless kids in the Belmont neighborhood of Chicago or the homeless teens in your backyard.

1 John 4:7-11

[7] Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
[8] Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
[9] God's love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.
[10] In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
[11] Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.

Shem hotep.

Friday, April 28, 2006

The Ranks of the Free; Walking the Walk

You know it is much better to be able to speak from experience sometimes, to walk the walk as it were. Like other bloggers in this space, I have advocated safe sex and getting tested for HIV. You owe it to yourself and your partners to know your status if you have been or are active.

Back in December on World AIDS Day, I toyed with the idea of getting myself tested although I had not engaged in any high risk activities in years. Recently, I decided to become active again, so after a few encounters that led to quick lessons on STD's, I decided to take the full range of tests. There is no feeling in the world like hearing that you tested negative for HIV. I went on and had the test for syphillis as well since they were taking blood. Everything is looking good.I can assure you that I will sleep peacefully tonight. And so, I say to you who have not been tested, "JOIN THE RANKS WHO SLEEP PEACEFULLY. GET TESTED."

Meanwhile, here is a HIV knowledge test for you from the National HIV Testing Resources of the Centers for Disease Control.
Shem hotep.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Gas War

From: cleomanago@aol.com
Sent: Tuesday, April 11, 2006 2:33 PM
Subject: Someone's Gas War RecommendationSubject: GAS WAR
GAS WAR - an idea that WILL work
This was originally sent by a retired Coca Cola executive. It came from one of his engineer buddies who retired from Halliburton. It ' s worth your consideration.
Join the resistance!!!! I hear we are going to hit close to $4.00 a gallon by next summer and it might go higher!! Want gasoline prices to come down? We need to take some intelligent, united action. Phillip Hollsworth offered this good idea.
This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the "don't buy gas on a certain day" campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't continue to "hurt" ourselves by refusing to buy gas. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them.
BUT, whoever thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work. Please read on and join with us! By now you're probably thinking gasoline priced at about $1.50 is super cheap. Me too! It is currently $2.79 for regular unleaded in my town. Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us to think that the cost of a gallon of gas is CHEAP at $1.50 - $1.75, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the marketplace..... not sellers. With the price of gasoline going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of gas come down is if we hit someone in the pocketbook by not purchasing their gas! And, we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. How? Since we all rely on our cars, we can't just stop buying gas. But we CAN have an impact on gas prices if we all act together to force a price war.
Here's the idea:
For the rest of this year, DON'T purchase ANY gasoline from the two biggest companies (which now are one), EXXON and MOBIL. If they a re not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit.
I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you?
Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I suggest that we not buy from EXXON/MOBIL UNTIL THEY LOWER THEIR PRICES TO THE $1.30 RANGE AND KEEP THEM DOWN.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

March 7, 2005/2006

I have been away from my usual routine blogging for a while. Some of you noticed, others assumed it is just the way blogging goes. I remember another blogger telling me that older guys like me who are just discovering ourselves are like adolescents. That is so true. I was on a roll, having fun with no real attachments beyond some very close friends. Enjoying a few physical pleasures with no real commitment. Letting guys know that LTR was not in my plans. Well, the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.

March 7th was the one year anniversary of the death of someone who was very close to me. My life changed dramatically in 2005, because for the first time in 53 years, I truly felt alone and adrift. Then I happened onto gay novels, began meeting some novelists (go pre-order COVENANT by Rashid Darden, if you haven't already). From there it was meeting people, going to my first gay clubs, bars, dialoguing with some really good guys, and keeping my spirit/heart protected against getting to involved with anyone.

That is until March 7, 2006. Then I met J. He worked in an establishment that I frequented near my home, and I had seen him off and on for several months there. On this day, I placed myself in a position where I could at least talk to him. No plans other than a quick conversation. That conversation led to a meeting at my place that very night. He let me know that he was leaving the country at the end of March to return to his ex- with whom he felt a spiritual bond. That was cool with me.

But then the unexpected happened. I started caring more than he or I could afford. The die was cast and there was no changing of hisplans. I should have stepped away, but for some reason, I couldn't. We spent as much time together and he could afford and I could get from him. I think now that 'long term' or 'short term' is irrelevant, and that what is more important is the word 'relationship.' We had that indeed. I began to dread the approach of his departure date. I had never been in a male/male relationship beyond a few hours, and this was so totally new to me.
Well, what is worse is that we agreed to have a farewell time together on last Monday night. I rushed home to get ready for what I knew was our final date. He didn't answer his phone when I called at the agreed upon time. I fell asleep, woke up, went to his apt., but got no answer. The place was dark and looked as though he had moved out early. No good bye. Just gone.

So here I am. Older and wiser with an incredible experience. I knew from day one that it was limited to 3 weeks. I just didn't expect it to end the way that it did, but no one ever does. I have read and heard about the experiences of others who went through the same thing. I know I am not the first nor will I be the last. But, the end of innocence and adolescence has come.

Shem hotep.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

BET NEWS Presents The Down Low Exposed 03/28/06

From "Corey J." la_finest_homegrown@yahoo.com

Will you be tuning into the show? What are your comments on the "Down Low" lifestyle with men in general?

For perspective, I am also posting the reflections of Kenneth Winfrey on the topic of the "Down Low" lifestyle:

It is so sad that more and more black media outlets are perpetuating this hyperbole. Despite the CDC's overt detachment from the DL as a prevention paradigm, black women are still being told that they should be more concerned about a man's sexual orientation, rather than his sexual health. After all, safe sex is safe sex regardless of gender.

The contrast between the hyper-masculinity prevalent in our male culture, and the femininity associated with homosexuality, makes this a media favorite. As we affirm the image of black men as King Kong-like reckless dangerous hyper-sexed aggressors, the "gay" element allows us (as black folk) to continue our lethal disassociation with HIV into the domain of the "sexually perverse" and even the wrath of God...

What bothers me most, as a gay man, is the perpetuation of the myth that homosexuality is "responsible" for HIV. No new term has been coined to describe men who cheat with female prostitutes, men who use IV drugs, or even women who cheat on their male partners. Yet, we get the infamous "Down Low." The black man is, again, the poster child for what is wrong with the world. The black woman is, again, the poster child for victimization. The gay man is also, again, portrayed as a deviant element of the community that should be avoided at all costs.

...and we forget that a good reason these men are so "down low" and not "up high" or " 'out' and about" is that the black church has been obsessively emphatic in its stance that homosexuality is a greater sin, or even a disease itself. The drug slingin', crotch-grabbin', pimp-walkin', misogynistic Mandingo, with countless unprovided-for children by various women in his wake, is still more acceptable to us than a homosexual with just one significant other/life partner/lover. As we struggle for the cause of diversity as black people, we are actually very oppressive among ourselves when it comes to operating outside the stereotypes that were actually byproducts of the slavery that brought us here.

It's ironic that we talk about how same-sex marriage is a threat to the family, but I can't help but wonder what a threat the question of sexual orientation poses. Imagine a black wife waiting anxiously to put the kids to bed, or that rushes home from work, to do the unthinkable. That is, to question her black man's heterosexuality. [gasp!] Given that the matter is one that many black men work hard to evade all their lives, it's bound to create conflict. In a culture where men don't cross their legs, talk with their hands, or float too far above that bass-line in voice, to have the woman with whom you make love ask if you are gay must seem nearly surreal, as it should be...

Black America, let's get a grip

Kenneth Winfrey

Monday, March 20, 2006

I am still around

I'm still here, but focusing on EuropeBound right now. We have such a short time left together that we are making the most of it. I will be able to write more about us after March 30th. Until then, shem hotep.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Bare-backing dilemma: Ty Lattimore Speaks?

I am reposting this from Pure Black Beauty Yahoo Group. What are your thoughts? Post them here:

From Bernard Bradshaw:

"Surprise. A little controversy is stirring on this blog. From Sexandthe2ndcity:

Recently, I have been writing about the stupidity of having bareback sex with people you don't know.
I discussed the lack of responsibility that black pornographers (like Ty Lattimore) display when they produce bareback sex videos in 2006, when the rate of HIV is disproportionately affecting African-Americans.

I received the following letter from black pornstar Ty Lattimore:

To Whom it May Concern:

I recently was forwarded an email about me and my production company and the fact that I recently produced a bareback video. I do not know who Bernard Shaw [sic] is, nor do I really care. While controversy is not anything new to me nor typically spend time worrying about, I felt I would respond. I am very aware of the Hiv Rate of Black men. I was also aware that soume folks might be critical. My position is that consenting adults have the right to make any choice they choose. I find it hypocritical how many people chose to act like barebacking does not exist.

At no point do I recommend any sexual choices for anyone. I provide entertainment. My models and I made very conscious choices. Its also funny how many folks watch straight videos particulary because no condom is used. There are many other companies that only produce bareback films. My company produces some bareback and some with condoms.

But as with anything I produce whether its sex parties, video or etc....if its not for you then thats cool. Hit Delete. Just as some folks oppose bareback, there are folks who think all porn should be outlawed, or that sex parties are wrong. I always will believe that folks have a right to make their own choice. Just as you have the choice to not buy these things. Nobody is ever going to push their beliefs on me. A lot of men bareback, some occasionally, and other just want to see someone else do it. Either way, I produce what I want and what I think my audience wants to see.

Judging by the response, folks seem to like the movie. But better yet, you keep right on talking about it. Just make sure to include the website while you debating it!

Ty Lattimore

Response from Bernard Bradshaw at Sexandthe2ndcity:

For real Ty? I won't be including the website, buy an ad. Sadly, based on his response, it seems like money was his primary motivator when making a bareback video.

I'll make this simple. Ty missed the entire point. No one is arguing that consenting adults do not have the right to engage in bareback sex. That is your right to be stupid and fuck strangers without condoms. And I defend an individual's right to do that. But my critique was whether its responsible for a well known, sucessful, and respected black pornographer to create videos that make dangerous sexual activity between black men look sexy and appealing?

Personally, I don't think so. I think that we have responsibilities. It's not enough to say simply that you don't recommend any sexual choices for anyone and that you merely provide entertainment. That's irresponsible. Do you have a right to do it? Sure. Is it fucked up? Yes!

Also, Ty misses the point when he says that people are hypocritical when they choose to act like barebacking doesn't exist. In my post on barebacking, I not only acknowledge that barebacking is a sexy, and hot form of sex--but in fact its the best. But it is also the riskiest and most dangerous sex. So no one is pretending like barebacking doesn't exist, but does that mean we need to go out and celebrate it without discussing the real life, real world dangers that accompany it?

In some of the comments on my site, Ty goes on to say that other porn production houses produce black bareback videos--like Flavaworks which produces Cocodorm. I 100% agree, they do. And they are equally irresponsible.

However, one of the reasons why I pointed out Ty is because a reader of mine was surprised that Ty, a black man heading a porn house, would be irresponsible enough to create bareback porn. Flavaworks is not a black owned and operated business. That doesn't mean that they shouldn't be called out for being irresponsible, but if we can't expect our own black producers to be responsible to our communities of color--how are going to expect white producers of black gay porn to act responsibly?

Anyway, I'm exhausted. Keep making money sensationalizing the unsafe. "

Ok blog reader. You have read the exchange. So, how do you feel about bare-backing pornography? Hit me back with comments.

Shem hotep.

Friday, March 10, 2006

What's Up With the Fratman

A fellow blogger told me not long ago that when older guys start coming out, we are like adolescents. Well, guess what. He could not have been more right. I didn't have this much excitement and fun as an adolescent. And let me say thanks to all of you who have helped to make this possible - Rashid, Tandy, Callis, Maxim, Kenneth, Jai, No4real4real and others.

Now on to the business at hand. I have met "two persons of interest." One is a considerable distance away, and our hot & heavy budding relationship is confined (right now) to telephone, text, IM and emails. We intend to change all that real soon. The other is local, OMG HOT and a great lover (did I say that?). But he is moving to Europe at the end of this month and so....

Those are the two extraordinary men in my life right now. There are a few others who I can move up the chain (LOL) as vacancies arise. But please somebody tell me why guys get into telephone sex?? I get IM messages and a few calls asking for sex by phone from those that I have given my number to. One guy called me at 4 am on a work night! And we won't even go into the ones who put their webcams up for any and everybody to view (though I admit Gentle Alchemy has much to be proud of - oh my!).

So, I am learning a lot fast, ripping through my adolescence, already been played - still pissed about that one, and have had to permanently block someone from my IM who was falling in love. Geez, we ain't even met and he don't know me like that. And for those who put up a picture or send pics that are way out of date or when you weighed 80 lbs. less, please stop it. You will be found out. Dammit, if we meet, you gonna be found out. Btw, 4 those who know, I decided to decline the preacherman. Just didn't feel right, and I'm going with my intuition for right now.

Aiight, aiight. Didn't intend to get to bitchin. It's Friday and I got a date tonight. So don't call me, I'll call you (if I'm feelin you). Shem hotep.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


You may have noticed that I have not been posting as frequently as of late. Two reasons:

1. I haven't traveled or experienced anything noteworthy of late (and I don't want to waste your time), and

2. There is a "person of interest" in my life and I am spending the time to see where this relationship might go.

So as I sit at my computer on this sunny Sunday in the South, this poem comes to mind and I hope that it speaks to you in some way no matter what you may be going through:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

--Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Duke LGBT Alumni Network Membership Site

The Duke LGBT Alumni Network (DukeLAN) is an organization for Duke University alumni/ae, faculty, staff, and students from all Duke undergraduate, graduate, and professional schools. DukeLAN was formed in 2005 with the aim of connecting together alumni in various parts of the country and helping students find Duke LGBT connections while in school and after graduation. Individuals associated with UNC-Chapel Hill and similar/neighboring institutions are also welcome to join our email lists (guest membership). Those eligible for membership are invited to follow the membership link for information about registering online.

If you are a current DukeLAN member you may login if you know your password, or request your password if not.

If you are eligible for DukeLAN membership, but you are not yet a member, we invite you to apply for membership.

We welcome feedback from all visitors to our site.

This is the Membership Web Site of the Duke LGBT Alumni Network.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Tim Hardaway Before the NBA Weekend Party

Aiight. This is going to be short. Just click on the title for this post and go see for yo'self. And don't forget to come back a leave a comment.
Shem hotep.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

New Company Policy


Company Policy is as follows:

Dress Code
It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing Manolo Blahnik shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days
We will no longer accept a doctor's statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work. Personal Days Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturday & Sunday.

Bereavement Leave
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Toilet Use
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the "Chronic Offenders category". Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sanctioned under the company's mental health policy.

Lunch Break
Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that's all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

Author Unknown

(Just thought I would have a little fun today - Shem hotep)

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Murder suspect sentenced to life in prison

Murder suspect sentenced to life in prison

By John Stevenson, The Herald-Sun
February 9, 2006 8:12 pm

DURHAM -- Shelton Deangelo Epps was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole for what the judge called a "sickeningly opportunistic and atrocious" crime: The February 2004 shooting, beating and drowning death of a Franklinton man whose car was stolen.

Epps received an additional six- to eight-year prison term for kidnapping the victim, 23-year-old Sean Ethan Owen.

Jurors deliberated about 2 1/2 hours in Durham County Superior Court on Wednesday before finding Epps guilty of the homicide and kidnapping, and also of stealing Owen's car at gunpoint.

"Mr. Epps, the jury has spoken," Judge Michael Morgan told the convicted man Thursday.

The judge said it was tragic to send Epps, who was 21 at the time of the crimes, to prison for the rest of his days.

"But Mr. Epps, you're still alive," he added. "Mr. Owen is dead."

Evidence in Epps' nine-day trial indicated that he and two others lured Owen from Franklinton to Durham through a gay chat line, promising him homosexual sex but intending all along to take his car.

Owen was shot twice in the head, beaten and thrown into the Eno River at Old Farm City Park to drown.

"But for the aggressive assaults of [Epps], Sean Owen would perhaps still be alive," prosecutor Tracey Cline argued Thursday. "I believe he was the most aggressive as relates to the assaults on the victim."

A codefendant in the case, former Northern High School junior varsity football player Matthew Lawrence Taylor, was convicted of first-degree murder and related crimes last year and -- like Epps -- was sentenced to life in prison without parole plus six to eight years.

The third suspect, Derrick Arness Maiden Jr., was given a plea bargain for the reduced charge of second-degree murder in exchange for testimony against Epps and Taylor. He told jurors that Epps was the triggerman, although Epps said in his confession it was Taylor.

Maiden was sentenced Thursday to nine to almost 12 years in prison.

Prosecutor Cline said that Maiden, unlike many criminal defendants, came from a good, middle-class, hard-working family that sent him to school every day and "tried to raise him right."

However, he became involved with a bad crowd and didn't anticipate that things might get out of hand, according to Cline.

"Teenagers need to be careful when they think they're only getting involved in minor crime," she said. "In this case, Derrick Maiden thought he was just going to participate in a robbery. It turned out to be a murder. It messed up his whole life."

URL for this article: http://www.herald-sun.com/durham/4-699831.html

© Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. All material on heraldsun.com is copyrighted by The Durham Herald Company and may not be reproduced or redistributed in any medium except as provided in the site's Terms of Use.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Blogging Type

Your Blogging Type Is Clever and Witty

Of all blogging types, you're the best with words.

Almost every blog post you write has legendary quality.

You have a perverse sense of humor and often play devil's advocate.

Impatient and picky, you tend to go off on funny rants from time to time.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Excerpt from COVENANT by Rashid Darden

I woke up in bed next to a glassy-eyed stranger, not knowing who he was, but feeling oddly at ease with him.

“What the fuck?” I said softly. My eyes adjusted to the harsh rays of sunlight piercing my blinds until I was able to focus on the furry stranger in my bed. His eyes, genuinely made of glass, stared back at me, smiling – elated that he had been placed in my care.

“A damn teddy bear,” I grumbled, grinning on the inside. He wore a “Somebody at Potomac University Loves Me” shirt over his light brown fur. He wasn’t a large bear by any means, but large enough to be noticeable to the visitors of my room.

He did it again.

The last thing I remembered from the night before was talking to him, he who had stopped by unexpectedly just to say hello. I was already in bed when he came by. Heavy rapping at the door made me believe that one of my roommates had forgotten their key.

I swung the door open, surprised to see him standing there.

“Adrian,” he said, sizing me up in a deliberate floor-to-ceiling gesture with his head.

“Hey,” I said, feeling naked in my white sleeveless t-shirt, which clung tightly to my slender torso while my blue basketball shorts slung low on my hips, revealing the white FTL band of my boxer briefs.

“Can I come in?” he asked, peering around the door and trying to take a glance at my living room.

“Um,” I said, uncertain whether he was intent on breaking the pact before the school year had even begun.

“Dude, just for a minute,” he said. “You know I’m not going to go back on my promise. I just…I just had to see you before we…we…”

“Okay,” I interrupted. “You can stay for a while.”

I tried to hide my smile from him, so I quickly walked toward the kitchenette. “You want something to drink?”

“Naw,” he said, closing the door behind him. He sat down on the old brown couch and let his old, tattered gym bag fall to the floor at his feet while I got myself a glass of water. I sat in the gray cushioned chair across from him and slowly sipped my drink.

“You seem uncomfortable,” he said.

“Naw…just nervous, I guess.”

“Nervous?” he said, leaning forward on the couch, as close to me as he could without sliding off.

Support this
talented author and brother. Pre-order the book today!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The Week In Review

This was a week of highs and lows. The lows were tough but as my friend No4real4real says "I stomp with the big dawgs!" (Hell, if I could drop a few years, I would compete with him in the FLY category, too, but oh well -lol). There is some shyt going on at work where staff is doing a good job of undermining the boss. The bad thing is that the CEO is buying into it and the agency could lose the best person they have ever had. But you know how it is when folks want to do what they want to do and not what is good for the organization. They get together and create some chaos and confusion. Well I intend to do what I can to keep the boss in place. If I get fired, so what. I work because I want to now, and not because I have to.

Another low was getting played by someone I met first on my 360 blog and then in person. We seem to hit it off on our first brief meeting, agreed to get together again on Tuesday night (he chose the day and since he is an hour away from me, I booked a non-cancellable night at a hotel). You can guess the rest. I get there, check in, send a couple of text messages and hit his voicemail. No response. Now my friend Spiderman (love ya) told me to just forget it. But for me, I have to have closure, not revenge or spouting anger, just having my say. I did that, I ain't mad, just moving on.

Now the high came with someone else that I met on 360 (damn y'all. Check out all my hits and "friends"). A brotha could get a 'swelled head' over there. Anyway, I have a conversation going on with SupaTall. He's cool, closer in age (though there is still a few years), and knows how to use some technology. Oh by the way. Did I mention that he is cute as hell. The Fratman may have to do some traveling behind this one, but lesson learned. Meet in a neutral spot where both have in investment. Have a "jood" weekend (read some James Earl Hardy) and shem hotep.

PS: If you're wondering how the photo relates, it doesn't but good eye candi, huh.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Mrs. Coretta Scott King's Funeral Program


"I am convinced that if I had not had a wife with the fortitude, strength and calmness of Coretta, I could not have stood up amid the ordeals and tensions surrounding the Montgomery movement. I came to see the real meaning of that rather trite statement: 'A wife can either make or break a husband.' Coretta proved to be that type of wife with qualities to make a husband when he could have been so easily broken. In the darkest moments she always brought the light of hope." – Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Funeral Program

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Weekend in VA Beach

Damn VA Beach. I used to think you all had it going on, but this weekend was definitely a bust for me (well, almost - ). Since I didn't have anything going on this weekend, I decided to head for Virginia Beach. I will confess that my main reason for going was to eat at Capt. George's Seafood Buffet Restaurant. Since I was going to be in an area where I knew one of my fellow bloggers had recently moved to, I hit him up for a little planned meeting. I was really looking forward to that since he is one of the few who is close to my age (and we had never met). We agree that I will call when I get into my hotel room. He asked me to txt him. I did and got a msg back that he had to go to "bc" unexpectedly. Shyt.
So I get on the net to find out where sgl folks hang out in this town. Surely with Norfolk, Hampton, Newport News and VA Beach all tucked in the corner of Tidewater Virginia, there ought to be something happening on the weekend. Well, wherever it was happening, I didn't find it. The net talked up this place called "Klub Ambush " on S. Lynnhaven Rd. If you click the link, you will find the info just ain't there. No pictures or nothing. Shoulda been a clue. I found it in a parking lot of an old strip mall by a laundramat. Sat in the parking lot for a minute to scope out the clientele. Practically all Caucasion (no offense, just not who I want to party with), a great number of lesbians (can do anything for me), and a really small azzed place (I think my condo holds more folks, especially for intimacy).
Thank God I brought my reading material along with some DVD's (don't ask titles, I ain't telling, but thanks Maxim ). Also, more hotels are starting to provide free wireless internet, but the bandwith in this hotel was ridiculous. Kept losing the connection and the signal would decline and then increase. That is frustrating as hell! Either offer good service or none at all. Ok, back to the weekend. So now I am back to trying to salvage the weekend. I get this IM from someone who invites me to stop by on my way home. I did, we meet, his shyt is tight, looks promising. Beyond that - a gentleman never tells!
Shem hotep.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Police Hunt for Suspect in Gay Bar Attack By RAY HENRY

By RAY HENRY, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 5 minutes ago

The attack on three patrons at a gay bar was a crime against the entire city, the mayor said at a candlelight vigil outside the nightspot.
Mayor Scott Lang joined about 150 people Thursday night outside Puzzles Lounge, where a young man dressed all in black went on a rampage with a hatchet and a gun earlier in the day, wounding three patrons, including one critically. Police said the attack appeared to be a hate crime.
Authorities searched for 18-year-old Jacob D. Robida, who was wanted on charges of attempted murder, assault and civil-rights violations. He was still at large early Friday, police said.
Under heavy police presence, community members and local politicians denounced the attack at the vigil.
Gays have the right to gather in safety and without fear of violence, said Andrew Pollock, president of the Marriage Equality Coalition of the South Seacoast.
"When you take the rights away from one group, you are dehumanizing that group and making them more vulnerable to violence," he said.
According to court papers, Robida's mother told police that he briefly stopped by the house less than an hour after the brawl and was bleeding from the head. Officers found Nazi regalia in Robida's bedroom and anti-Semitic writings on the wall.
"Obviously we have a man who's dangerous, who's not rational, and he has weapons," prosecutor Paul Walsh Jr. said.
A bartender said it was around midnight when a teen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants walked into Puzzles, a gay nightspot in this historic seaport city of 94,000 people about 50 miles from Boston.
He flashed an apparently fake ID and ordered a drink, then asked if the place was a gay bar and was told it was, said the bartender, who asked to be identified only by his first name, Phillip, because of fear for his safety.
The bartender said the teen finished his drink and walked back to where two men were playing pool. He shoved one of them to the ground, then pulled a hatchet from his sweatshirt and began swinging at the man's head, cutting him, Phillip said.
Other patrons tackled the man, sending the hatchet sliding across the floor, the bartender said. Then the attacker pulled a gun, shot a man, and then fired another bullet into the chest of a patron who was leaving the bathroom, the bartender said.
He then ran off into the night.
Police recovered the hatchet and found a knife outside. The knife was not apparently used in the attack.
Authorities identified the injured men as Robert Perry, Alex Taylor and Luis Rosado. One has a gunshot wound to the chest, another a gunshot wound to the back and severe cuts to his face, and a third suffered multiple cuts, police said. They would not specify which man suffered which injuries.
All three victims remained hospitalized. Police said one was in critical condition, but would not say which man.
A family friend who answered the door at Robida's home said his mother had no comment.
Some patrons said there has been occasional low-level harassment at the bar over the years.
Puzzles has been egged, cars parked outside have had windows smashed and teenagers have thrown rocks and bricks at the building's facade for years, said Dan Sheteron, 51, who lives upstairs. Anti-gay graffiti often defaces the building.
"This doesn't surprise me," Sheteron said of the attack. "It was either going to be this or a firebomb through the front window."

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Pre-Order Now! COVENANT by Rashid Darden

On February 1, 2006, hundreds of fans of Rashid Darden’s critically acclaimed novel LAZARUS will be waiting in virtual lines to pre-order COVENANT. A continuation of the life of Adrian Collins, COVENANT is the most eagerly anticipated sequel this year.


Who will be the first to break?

ADRIAN is on a mission to heal himself from his emotional wounds....

ISAIAH is struggling to redefine himself....

Over the course of one summer these two men are united as friends - and more.


Pre-Order now...

About the Author:

Rashid Darden is a refreshing new voice in African-American and gay literature. He brings to his writings a flavor influenced by years of eclectic experiences, from studying in Moscow and London to competing in poetry slams in his native Washington, DC. A graduate of Georgetown University who is currently enjoying the challenges and rewards of independent publishing, Rashid's novels are Lazarus (2005) and Covenant (2006).

Robert Denson, III, Sunpiper Press, February 2005, said:

Rashid Darden paints an exquisite portrait of college life, urban youth and the secrets we all hold from the world...


(Stay tuned to www.oldgoldsoul.com for the unveiling of the cover, anotherdesign by the phenomenal Neil Wade!)

Shem hotep.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Good Read; Forget the Weekend Update

Ok. The weekend was not all that. I went to Oakland (for a business meeting). My two bois that I hoped to hook up with were either out-of-town or tied up handling bizness. Plus the weather kinda sucked, and I wasn't really feelin' jumping the train into San Francisco and going to the Castro district by myself. The most I did was work, catch a quick movie (Big Mama's House 2), and READ. Now, let's talk about that last one.

I know this is not a book review site, and I make no pretenses about it (although I will continue to shamelessly promote Rashid Darden, Fred Smith, Tim'm West, Lee Hayes, Keith Boykin and others that I feel deserve ya support - lol). Anyway, I left the novel that I was reading, Love the One You're With, by James Early Hardy in my car at the airport parking lot. So, I needed a replacement and popped into Waldenbooks in Monroe, NC to get something. Well, if you're into ready novels by gay authors, let me tell you that Monroe ain't the place to shop. I saw one book by E. Lynn Harris and that was their entire gay section. Didn't have time to get into nearby Charlotte, so I grabbed a novel with an interesting cover (but for the life of me, I can't remember the name of it) but the reading was ho-hum. Since I had a layover in DC, I popped into Borders to find something a little better. I was about to give up and leave when I spotted these novels by Carl Weber on the bottom shelf at the end of the fiction section (hey Carl, get a last name at the beginning of the alphabet brotha). I had just ordered his book titled "The Preacher's Son" but didn't have time to get into it yet. I figured it wouldn't hurt to read one of his older works since I hadn't read any of them. I picked up "Married Men" (published in 2001). A'iight, I admit that I am behind the times on this author and some of you may already have read him. If so, this post ain't for u.

Now, if you haven't read it, then let me tell you this book is FIRE. I got pulled into it right away and couldn't have made a better choice for my 5.5 hour flight from Dulles to Oakland. Hell, I would have turned on the light in the back seat of the taxi to keep on reading even after I landed. I don't want to spoil it for anybody, but let me tell you it has all of the things that are near and dear to my reading heart -- cheating spouses, baby mama drama, lying men, whorish women, lies, deception - (excuse me while I wipe my eyes). These four guys are thick as thieves and yet display that basic bond that binds so many of us in the black community as brothas. They have issues with each other, issues with each other's girlfriends, issues with each other's wives, but through it all, that which binds them together is greater than that which could break them apart. The four characters, Kyle, Wil, Allen and Jay each take turns telling the story. You will find that each of them is in us a bit, and you will also know somebody who acts just like them.

That's all I'm going to tell ya about this book. Like I said, this blog is not a book review site. Disclaimer: the opinions expressed here are purely my own whether you agree with them or not. I finished the 373 pages in a restaurant last night after getting back to NC. I know I will be reading more of this brotha's works. I think you ought to as well. If you've read it, comment here. If you haven't read it, go buy it and remember - you heard it here first!

I gotta a date for dinner, so I'm out.

Shem hotep.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Weekend in DC; Passionmarks II and all!

LOL, now that I have your attention. Not a whole lot to report on last weekend in DC. I hit Chocolate City Saturday afternoon with plans to attend the reception for Lee Hayes, author of Passionmarks and his new release, A Deeper Blue: Passionmarks II. The festivities took place at a spot called Indebleu near downtown DC. Traffic was a mess for Saturday night, and I would rather drive in NYC any old time. The only reason I took my car into town rather than using the subway was because I was meeting my cousin and his partner for dinner after the reception. But I'll come back to that.

As soon as I got to Indebleu, the first thing I thought was another X El bar. The furnishings reminded me a lot of the bar in NYC that I wrote about in November when I went with my boy, Maxim. But I think the reception attracted a different crowd and there were some truly hot bois in the space. As soon as I got into the room for the reception, a guy named Tony grabs my arm and introduces himself. At first, I'm kinda shocked as he wants to introduce me to Lee Hayes who is sitting at a table autographing books. I later learn from Tony that he is the event planner, so it was his gig to make sure everyone got to meet the author. I later enlisted him to take a picture of Lee and me (I'll have to post that later; used a throwaway camera rather than my digital).

Since all of the guys that I wanted to take were either sick, out of town, or busy, I didn't plan to stay long as I wouldn't know anyone in there. I was hoping to meet Bill whom I had met online and who told me earlier that he planned to be in the room. As it turned out, we missed each other by about 5 minutes. His friends didn't come with him, and he was late arriving. I did get a chance to holla at my alum, Tim'm West and his partner. Tim'm is one of the coolest kats in the family and I'm not just saying that becuz he might be reading this - lol. He is a down-to-earth, intellectual, hip-hop artist.

Ok, after 30 minutes I skip out to go meet Cousin and Goodboi at Union Station. Our original plans were to feast at B. Smith's restaurant in Union Station, but they were booked up for the evening. We headed uptown NW to Bus Boys and Poets. Some of you will remember that this is the spot where Tim'm hosted his Thursday evening Front Porch after a fire destroyed his usual space, Cafe Mawonaj. The place was jammed packed on Saturday night. The hostess told me it would take about 30 minutes to seat our party of 3. We moved over into the bookstore area to wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait. I checked several times to see if we were close to being seated and finally was told that the only parties leaving tables were 2's. There is no space to reconfigure for 3, and after waiting over an hour - WE LEFT. Since I am not a DC expert, I took my little party of 3 over to Dupont Circle. I had to circle the area for a minute to find a parking space, but I knew I was eating in Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe & Grill. As usual, it was a good eating experience and Cousin and I got to catch up on hislyfe, mylyfe and the gossip about our family lyfe. I even drove them back to Baltimore on Saturday night/Sunday morning. Among all of my kinfolks, Cousin is the best and not just becuz we have some habits in common - lol.

On Sunday morning, I had considered going to church with Spiderman, but after rolling back to my hotel in the pre-dawn hours, I wasn't really feeling an early morning service. After he called to check to see if I was still going, we agreed to get together for brunch, and I rolled back over for a few more minutes of blissful shuteye. Spiderman picked me up around 12 noon, and we headed to Luna Grill & Diner Shirlington to eat. I can't think of a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than sitting at a table with a phyne man who is both frat and friend, and Spiderman is all that plus (stop blushing Spiderman. You know it is true). And I wasn't the only one in the restaraunt feeling him, because Dude at another table kept giving him steady eye the whole time we were there. We kee-keed for a while b4 it was time for me to head back to the Old North State.

Well, gotta head to the day job. Will be in Oakland for the weekend. Anybody in O wanna show me the town, hit me on email. Will be there Friday/Saturday nights.

And now, get ready y'all:

COVENANT, the follow up novel to Rashid Darden's debut novel LAZARUS will be available for pre-order exclusively at http://www.oldgoldsoul.com on February 1, 2006.

Shem hotep.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Pegging (But he's str8, right?)

Yeah. Right. My friend, Spiderman and I, were just talking today about str8 boys who proclaim their heterosexuality all the while they are blowing your back out. Tonight while looking at "top" and "bottom" in wikipedia, I encountered this:

Pegging (sexual practice)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

A woman pegging a man doggy-style with a 4-strap harness and dildo, using the corner of the bed to adjust the height to that most comfortable for penetration
Pegging is a neologism invented in 2001 that describes a form of anal sex where a female uses a strap-on dildo to penetrate a heterosexual male's anus. This practice may be legally prohibited in places that have sodomy laws.
The origin of the term was a winning entry in a June 21, 2001 contest in Dan Savage's Savage Love sex advice column. In the column, it was a specifically heterosexual term; the competition was held after an observation was made that there was no common name for the practice of females penetrating heterosexual men with a dildo.

(Ok, now. Lemme get this straight. If a man gets penetrated with a strap-on dildo, he's still straight because a woman is doing it? Gimme a break!)

Shem hotep.