Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Do We Need Another Wave?

Mood Tune: I'm Every Woman by Chaka Khan (YouTube)

Have the SUV, soccer practice, working a 50+ week at home or in an office, and a Costco Card become the American Dream that has replaced our desire for true gender equality in the U.S.?

Considering that we haven't had a woman president in the U.S., women's rights to choose are still pretty much goverened by men, LGBT hate crimes are on the rise in big cities, women are still the majority of rape victims and survivors, and women earn less than men for the same work... do we need another wave of feminism?

Such ideas are pondered in the new anthology, We Don't Need Another Wave: Dispatches From the Next Generation of Feminists, edited by Melody Berger, and featuring contributions from Jessica Hoffmann, Stephanie Abraham, Dean Spade, and Alix Olson among others. It's published on Seal Press.

And next week in Los Angeles, Melody and several contributors to the anthology, will be pondering the questions, "Why aren't more women, LGBT folk, and people in general feminists today?" during a panel on the future of the feminist movement in L.A. and beyond on November 9 at Cal State L.A.

What do you think? Do we need another wave?

Monday, October 30, 2006

The Hunt for Food & Booze & Men

Mood Tune: This Time I Know It's For Real by Donna Summer (YouTube)

Three of my favorite things... food, booze, Donna Summer, errr, um men. DS is a fave though.

And this weekend I feasted on two of the three -- with two birthday parties and a baby shower. Uh, no booze at the latter. But afterwards... another party. Why am I reverting to my favorite college drink -- midori sour with a splash of vodka? Soooo 19-year-old sophomore.

Anyhoo, the holiday shopping season is upon us. And this little doozie, Food & Booze, edited by Michelle Wildgen and published by Tin House, would be a nice treat under your/my tree. It's an ode to, you guessed it, food and booze.

Two quick little quotes from essays in Food & Booze: Elissa Schappell quotes Dorothy Parker in "Ode to a Martini" -- "I like to have a martini/Two at the very most --/After three in under the table/After four I'm under the host." Or this one from Chris Offut's essay, "There are two kinds of writers, you will hear people say, the ones who drink and ones who quit."


There's another kind of holiday shopping going on too. Shopping for men. And my friend Clay Cane has followed up one of my faves by him, Halloween and the Hunt, with another Clay classic, The Hunt: Part Deux. Good stuff on black gay relationships that everyone can relate to.

Clay's writing is phenomenal and his upcoming novel, Ball-Shaped World, is going to be a hit.

Anyhoo, hope your hunt for food, booze, and men is a success. This time I know it's for real.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Oh Well. Clik. The Core.

Mood Tube: The Winner Takes It All by ABBA (YouTube link)

Oh well. Tigers lost. I was kinda looking forward to a Detroit comeback... seems like that's the eternal theme of Detroiters.


Went to two great parties yesterday. I thought I'd only make one because both were on opposite sides of Los Angeles -- one in Pasadena, one in Long Beach. Made both and both were fun. Happy Birthday Joe (Pasadena) and Sabrina (Long Beach).

OK. Something else. I got an email that I made the short-list for Clik Magazine's Elite 25 (who have contributed to black LGBT life in the U.S.) Talk about a nice surprise! Now, that short-list of 75+ nominees will soon be narrowed to 25. It's an honor to make the short-list... and it's nice to see the other men and women on the list-- congrats! Many are friends of mine. Makes you realize that a lot of people are making a difference... and that's always a good thing.

I've been a little skimpy on the workouts lately. Maybe averaging 3 sessions a week. Maybe if I had a core trainer like Oprah's Core Coach, I'd force myself to work out a little bit more. What an incentive!

Oh well. Off to the office. A baby shower. And whatever the weekend brings.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Macho Paradox

Heard about this book. Think it's a good one to add to your collection.

The Macho Paradox by Jackson Katz.

It looks at why some men hurt women and how all men can help. Heard a great interview with the author early this morning.

There is a printable list on the website featuring 10 Things Men Can Do To Prevent Gender Violence. Print it out and post it in your workspace. Give one to your boss.

While women face the brunt of violence and bias in our male-dominated world, including the LGBT community, men can play a large role in challenging and ending the practices that subordinate women.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tracy Chapman Kinda Day

Mood Tune: Baby Can I Hold You by Tracy Chapman (YouTube link)

This is one of my favorites by Tracy Chapman... but if you're really looking for a beautiful BEAUTIFUL love song, you gotta hear her song "The Promise" on the New Beginning CD.

Feeling in a Tracy Chapman kinda mood today.

Monday, October 23, 2006

If Beale Street Could Talk

A literary classic that I'll be picking up very soon.

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin.

A few millions more might be picking it up too, as Essence Magazine has selected the book as its latest Book Club pick.

At the heart is a love story between Tish and Fonny, a young couple in NYC -- Harlem to be exact. But issues of police intimidation, pregnancy, separation, racism, and many other social issues come between their love and relationship.

More review on ChickenBones Journal by Robert Detweiler or 1974 New York Times Review by Joyce Carol Oates. (Reader discretion of reviews always advised, as there may be some details revealed you may not want to know right away.)

I've read a few novels by James Baldwin, but not Beale Street. Totally looking forward to it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Go Tigers!

Mood Tune: Jump by Aretha Franklin (YouTube link)

Go Detroit Tigers... The Big D loves a good time... and when you win, the whole city (my hometown) is gone jump! :-)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

On Blast

Mood TV: Dominique Meets Alexis on Dynasty (YouTube link)...

(Thanks to my boy, Eric B., a fellow Dynasty-lover who I flake on sometimes... you deserve to put ME on blast... still love ya!)

Ugly Betty has become the must-see LGBT TV this season, especially with scenes such as the one pictured left, when Wilhemina (Vanessa Williams) oh-so-subtly read Betty (America Ferrera) last week during a staff meeting.

Well, it wasn't that subtle. It actually was kinda sad. I've been on the not-cool end of things before... and survived. Still, it doesn't feel nice.

Anyway, you can always catch up with Ugly Betty during your "lunch breaks" at your desk. ABC airs the full episodes online after they've been broadcast on TV. Hopefully your boss won't put you on blast.

And if s/he does, you can pull a Dominique or Alexis... and try to get the last word in.

Exes and No's

Mood Tune: Inside by Monica (YouTube link).

Whether s/he was a supermodel, a supermarket clerk, or a super psychologist, we often wonder what the ONE before or after us is like.

Pondering such questions and dilemmas is the new book, Was She Pretty? .

It's a series of short stories and pics and other anecdotes of how we sometimes fixate/thing/wonder about the one who was just before us... or the one who replaces us. The book is by Leanne Shapton.

Such an interesting and fascinating thing... We all do it.

Don't you?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sexy Blog

Mood Tune: Private Dancer by Tina Turner (YouTube link)

Well, I guess I'd better start living up to the title. Brainwash Cafe has listed Simply Fred as one of the 10 Blogs for a Sexier You. Uh, that's me?!?!?

And I thought the hotties at Hoodsworld or Most Proper were sexy.

Thanks for the mention Brainwash Cafe. That's way cool.

Now, who'd like their private dance first?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Post Traumatic Syndrome: Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary

If you're in the L.A. area, you should think about attending this free event next Monday, October 23, 2006.

Dr. Joy DeGruy Leary explores the historical and current impact that slavery as a historical trauma has had on African American and U.S. culture in her lecture, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome.

She will speak at Cal State L.A. on Monday, October 23, 2006 at 6:15 pm in the Golden Eagle Ballroom, 3rd floor, Golden Eagle Building. (additional information here)

Dr. Leary’s Theory of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome suggests that centuries of slavery followed by systemic racism and oppression have resulted in multigenerational adaptive behaviors, some of which have been positive and reflective of resilience, and others that are detrimental and destructive.

I've always loved hearing Dr. Leary on KJLH's Front Page radio show. She speaks truth to power... and to those not-in-power who need to hear a thing or two about themselves.

Have a good one.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Black Gays. Black Churches.

Mood Tune: You Brought The Sunshine by The Clark Sisters (YouTube link)

This morning I caught what sounded to be a pretty balanced review of a new book discussing black churches and LGBT issues.

The review by Jacque Reid on the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

The book... Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in Black Churches by Rev. Horace L. Griffin.

Not a new topic, but a very necessary book in these times. What's particularly telling is 1) the review was very balanced and without all the jeering that usually goes along by co-hosts on the LGBT topic; and 2) that Jacque Reid apparently has a new job with the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

Don't forget the rally and memorial for Michael Sandy, the NYC hate-crime victim who died last week. It's tonight at 5 pm at NYC City Hall. Info on Keith Boykin and Jasmyne Cannick sites.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Isn't It Ironic?

Found this bit on Monica Jackson's blog tonight.

Via the St. Petersburg Times: "It's vile," said Rep. Mark Foley, R-West Palm Beach. "It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."

This was Mark Foley being quoted a few years ago, 1998 to be exact, during the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky thing. Yeah, the same Mark Foley who allegedly sent a naughty text message or two to underage male pages working in D.C.

Funny how the tables turn. Shows we all gotta curb the urge to judge others... at least down a notch or two, because one day it could be us in the hot seat. And being in the hot seat ain't pretty.

Hate Crimes Still Happen

Mood Tune: I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack (YouTube link)

If you're in the NYC area on Monday, October 16, you should try and attend the rally at New York City Hall at 5 pm, in honor/memory of the recent black/LGBT hate crime death of Michael Sandy.

Information at Keith Boykin's site and also Jasmyne Cannick's site or any NYC-area news site.

But it all started out as an alleged meeting on the Internet, which led to a meeting at a NYC-area park, which led to an attempted robbery, a beating, a car accident, and a discovery that the gentlemen who lured Michael Sandy into a romantic liaison online were not who they said they were at all. Now, Michael Sandy is dead as a result of his injuries.

The National Black Justice Coalition is one of the organizations sponsoring the Monday 5 pm rally, and it is a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black same-gender-loving, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people. The Coalition works with our communities and our allies for social justice, equality, and an end to racism and homophobia.

The whole situation just continues my feeling that life is precious, that we take so many of our family and friends for granted, and that things can happen so randomly and quickly and unpredictably in our lives. I listen to that I Hope You Dance song on occasion to remind and motivate me around that fact.

Make it a good day for you and yours.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Mood Tune: Get Together by Madonna (YouTube link)

Geez, what a week I've had. Super busy.

Not sure how the time flew so fast, and though I worked very hard in the day job, it seems that for every item I crossed off my to-do list, three more items popped up in their place. I'm juggling a lot of plates in my professional life.

Writing... I'm juggling with the idea of abandoning yet another manuscript that I'm about 130 pages into writing. Too many characters, too many points of view. I was very ambitious with my initial idea, but when it comes down to it... I don't feel like juggling all those characters in my head anymore. Ewwww. So lame, huh. I can't stay loyal to my manuscripts. Does that say something about me? If I stay with this manuscript, I know it's going straight to The Rejector Pile. Maybe not.

Looking forward to a concert tonight in Hollywood. Should be a fun time. Uh, but my personal life, and all the juggling I've been doing... may come to a head this evening. I've been hanging/talking with a couple of new guys. Got voice mails from two of them wondering if I'm going to the show, what time I'm arriving, it'll be cool to meet/hook up this evening. Uh, I planned to go solo with a platonic friend of mine.

Though I seem to do it well, I struggle with juggling several things at once. Especially more than one date.


Thursday, October 12, 2006


A quickie for you... for me.

Told you about the pageant I was asked to judge last week. I never got around to writing about the experience. It was fun.

You can read about the Quest Pageant on my friend Noel Alumit's blog. There's a few pics of me and the other judges.

So swamped at work. Had to get this quickie in, though. You know how it is sometimes ;-)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Aspiring Authors. Get Your Manuscript Read.

Via Tayari Jones...

If you're an aspiring author with a completed manuscript, author Nichelle Tramble is offering a full manuscript critique for bid on Ebay (it's for a great cause Love Without Boundaries).

Monday, October 09, 2006

More Hot Gay Drama

Mood Tune: Congratulations by Vesta (YouTube link)

Now that the Noah's Arc season is over, what ever shall we do to keep ourselves occupied?

What is the gay appeal of, or affinity to, Erica Kane? Drucilla Winters? Dr. Marlena Evans? Barbara Ryan? Or Alexis Morrell-Carrington-Colby-Dexter-Rowan?

Why do people assume daytime drama fans are lonely housewives or the elderly?

Which daytime drama has the most realistic gay teen clik and representation? (Surprisingly, As The World Turns).

All of these questions and more are answered in Daniel R. Coleridge's new book, The Q Guide to Soap Operas.

Fun facts. Drama bits. And all that is gay about your favorite daytime dramas. And if in the L.A. area, Daniel R. Coleridge, is doing a signing at one of my fave bookstores, A Different Light, on Wednesday October 11.

Until next time, continue your search for tomorrow...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Hot Bedroom

Mood Tune: Alone by Heart (YouTube link)

A little after midnight in L.A. Time for bed. I WISH this were my bed I was about to get into. Out of my budget this lifetime, but maybe someone in L.A. has this and is willing to let me bedsit. Hmmm :-)

The Cube from Ralph Lauren Home Collection. Will set you back about 44k. That's all.

Good night.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hot Gay Drama

Mood Tune: I May Hate Myself in the Morning by Lee Ann Womack (YouTube link).

There's nothing like Hot Gay Drama, and I don't know what's hotter.

The real stuff: The Republicans, Sexy Instant Messages, and Young Boys. Not cool, messing with minors. Not cool letting politics get in the way of a real investivation. I mean, it's minors.

The on screen stuff: Noah's Arc season finale. Hot. Nice unexpected twists. Hot bathroom scene.

The other real stuff: Noah's Arc season finale party at Metro. Hot and Cute. And lots of black LGBT who's who in the house, including the couple I think is just too hot and too cute.

Or The 1988 Boys. Cracks emerging in the power clik, that I'm going to help seal. One gossips that another has to always be in the spotlight. The other gossips the same about the accuser. I think they just like each other. The whole thin line, love, hate, blah blah blah. I keep telling them black gay boys gotta stick together, regardless.

Hot Gay Drama aside, the Internet can be a place of research and community for some. It can also be a place where our kids are taken advantage of by adults who should know better. For more information, check out the National Center for Missing and Exploited Kids site to find out about related topics.

Anyway, hope you have a hot day today. And if there's a little bit of drama, that's okay. My aunt Betty used to tell me, given the chance between right and wrong, always choose wrong because it's more fun!

We'll see about that...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Back From The Brink.

I don't think I told you that a few weeks ago while driving to LAX (our airport in L.A.), the traffic on the 10 Freeway near Crenshaw was stopped in one direction because there was a suicidal person standing on the ledge of the freeway, with two officers holding her legs and another two holding her shoulders so that she wouldn't jump.

At first, I was a little disappointed. Naively so. Though I've had my own share of struggles, self esteem issues, things (and breakups) I thought were bad at the time, I never considered suicide. Never an option. I always thought, knew, believed, had faith that no matter how bad things seemed, there was always a light and a better day and times ahead.

And better days came... then some bad days... but then more better days. Untreated or undiagnosed mental illness aside, there are always solutions for coping with life's struggles. I think.

Anyway, heard Oprah's doing a show today about people who tried to commit suicide but survived... and what life means to the now. Haven't seen the show yet. After work. Hope it's inspirational and that the people see their lives as a gift now.

Also, heard about this book: Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks, and other Outlaws by activist Kate Bornstein. Heard about it on my favorite podcast, Feast of Fools. The book and show focus specifically on LGBT community issues. We've all heard the correlation between suicide and the struggle with sexual orientation identity.

Related facts and stats on suicide can be found on the NAMI website.

I've been thinking about this subject lately -- not suicide, but how we role model and mentor people so they don't feel like going to the edge -- as new first-year students take on their role as college students. You know, the 1988 Boys I told you about. College can be hard, no matter how great a school district you came from. I'm amazed at the number of young people who WANT mentors and someone to just be there.

And my advice to them... college is supposed to be hard, you're supposed to be poor, you're supposed to be tired, you're supposed to work hard, and you're supposed to play hard too all while in college. And you're supposed to reach out for help when you need it while here. Because these four years of college struggle are paving the way for the life you want at age 30, 40 and beyond.

Anyway, I don't know what happened to that woman on the 10 Freeway overpass. But I hope they managed to save her and get her the help she needs.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Pageant Judge

Mood Television: Vanessa Williams' Miss America 1984 crowning (YouTube link)

Yeah, I'm a little bit of a pageant dork and junkie, but loved finding the Vanessa Williams crowning moment. (And her morning after winning interview on the Today Show... another YouTube link)

And this coming weekend I'll get the opportunity to contribute to someone else's crowning moment, in a sense.

I'll be one of a half-dozen or so "celebrity judges" at the fifth annual Quest Pageant, run and funded by the Asian Pacific AIDS Intervention Team (APAIT), which takes place Saturday, October 7 at L.A.s Little Tokyo George & Sakaye Aratani/Japanese American Theatre. Frontiers Magazine, L.A., did a great story on the upcoming event.

The goals of the pageant: raise money and awareness for HIV/AIDS, empower the transgender community, and work the crowd. Last year's pageant raised $21,000. Sabel Samone, will hand over her crown this Saturday night.

Tickets are $20 general/$40 VIP in advance... slightly higher at the door. Visit APAIT's site for more information. And thanks Noel for getting me hooked up with a great gig this weekend.

So excited!