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Archive for March, 2011

Freaky Boiz: Hurting or Helping the Cause?

Terracne "TTgotit" Wilson and Pierre "PrinceCharming" Phipps of Freaky Boiz in a photo from Wilsons Facebook page.

“I heard they gettin’ mad over Freaky Boiz’s ways. I think it’s cause we cute and we definitely gettin’ paid.” This quote from the top of the rapping duo Freaky Boiz’s latest remake, pretty much explains it all.

Pierre “PrinceCharming” Phipps and Terrance “TTgotit” Wilson—Chicago, Illinois natives and college students at Southern Illinois University—have started a firestorm of controversy on YouTube because of their risque renditions of popular rap songs. Their forte? Transforming charted hip-hop ditties into racy gay-loving tales of explicit sex-ploitation. The quote above comes from a remake of Nicki Minaj’s “Roman’s Revenge,” which is filled with homophobic and misogynistic rants by Eminem.

Phipps and Wilson have only posted three videos as the Freaky Boiz and already the fans and “haters” are pouring in. Many say their lyrics are extremely offensive and are perpetuating stereotypes of promiscuity and the “preying on straight men” misconceptions that are often associated with the black gay community. Most are simply offended by their risque and overly sexualized lyrics. While others are taking it a step further and saying the rappers are pushing the gay rights movement back 20 years.

Personally, I call foul on all the negative dialogue. Phipps and Wilson are no more offensive then the straight rappers that top the charts today. Most of Flo-Rida’s hit songs are parody’s of sexual acts (“Right Round,” “Low”). And have you listened to an unedited CD by Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, Drake, Kanye, Eminem or even Jay Z? It’s basically soft porn.

I actually dare to say that Freaky Boiz is groundbreaking. The LGBT hip-hop movement has been going strong for many years, trying to infiltrate mainstream hip-hop in order to make it less homophobic, but without much success. Freaky Boiz, though still underground, have been the first gay rappers I’ve seen that have the talent and modern tenacity to do so.

Their online popularity is starting to speak for itself. Their YouTube videos are well past 160,000 page views. Their Facebook pages combined sport over 7,000 friends and their Twitter accounts (@PrinceCharmingP and @Ttgotit) have over 6,000 followers. A pretty big feat for two guys from Illinois. Also both men are definitely unapologetically “out of the closet” when it comes to their online and stage personas, which is a refreshing, considering the “Down Low”-obsessed images that often represents the black gay community in the mainstream media.

If you look through some of their other videos on YouTube you’ll find a pretty poignant art house film about HIV, set to Destiny Child’s remake of “Emotions,” which shows they’re definitely fueled by talent. And based on their profiles the joke could be on us, as music may not even be their main focus. Wilson’s Facebook page says he’s a trained dancer with aspirations to make it a full time career. But their YouTube page is getting hit up for advertisement space, so they’re definitely “laughing all the way to the bank,” as they say.

So, yes, the Freaky Boiz are crude and brass, but isn’t that what mainstream rap is these days? And the real fact of the matter is, if Phipps and Wilson were Soulja Boy (who also got his start with racy lyrics on YouTube) they’d be well on their way to being signed by a major label.

You can check out all the Freaky Boiz remakes below:

RuPaul Recap: ‘RuPaul’s Hair Extravaganza’

Finally, an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race that makes sense. (I was beginning to wonder about you Ms. Paul. Christmas, nude shoots, live singing. For drag queens. Really???) Queens doing cray things with hair makes sense.

If you haven’t caught on yet, this week Ru had the queens constructing outrageously extravagant hairdos. In the Mini Challenge the five  remaining contestants had to quickly glue beach toys together to make a fabulous head piece, a challenge that Raja won (with crabs no less).

For the Main Challenge the queens had to take their hair teasing talents much further and create three different hair styles (a period look, a runway look and a fantasy/futuristic look). Many of the girls had issues up front, especially Shangela who conceded that her lack of experience with doing hair was giving her trouble. But then Ru came back and told them that they had to not only create three looks to go with their hair creations, but the futuristic/fantasy dress had to be completely made of hair. This of course throws the girls for a loop and all hell beaks loose. Manila nearly has a nervous breakdown and Yara, for some odd reason, starts loosing her mind and screeching and fluttering about the dressing room.(It was a strategic distraction ploy to knock the girls off their guard, according to Shangela. I just think she went crazy.)

The queens took to the runway, with special guests Fantasia (my girl!) and Wayne Brady (why???) and killed it. I thought this was fiercest runway show of the competition. And the full hair creations were nothing short of living art work. You can’t say these girls aren’t talented.

In the end it came down to Alexis and Shangela, who had to lip sync for their lives. And the God of Drag finally answered my prayers when she sent Ms. Wadley packing. But in a big (annoying) twist Ru ended the show saying she was going to have Santino and Michelle pick one queen to return next week. WHY!?!?!

Favorite Moment: The judges this week were a mess. First of all, Santino. I just couldn’t take any of his fashion comments seriously while he was wearing that outfit. A poncho and an over-sized cowboy hat, really? And Ru knew it too, which is why kept making fun of him, which she should have. And I did more than one spit take because of Wayne Brady’s naughty comments. He did know they were guys right? Michelle Visage was also in rare form and I loved it. (“I think that’s why Eddie Murphy gets into trouble.”) And I was just excited that Fantasia was there. Did anyone else perk up when she started singing. I was just waiting for her to take the stage during the lip sync and show them girls how it was really done! 

Runway Pick: How can you choose?! I was gagging over Manila’s bumble bee look, Yara’s scorpion hair piece and Raja’s overall rainbow concoction. At first I thought Raja was robbed when Yara won the Main Challenge. (I mean, didn’t it wreak of pity? It was her first win of the season.) But after looking back over the show, each of Yara’s three looks were very strong. Raja really only had two great looks out of three. 

My Pick to Win: (It’s time to get serious.) I still pick Raja to win though. The girl has been killing it all season.

Untucked: I think I’m falling in love with Raja. I don’t even care if she cheated. Per usual, the girls spend the Untucked episode bashing each others outfits, but my favorite part came at the end when Raja responded to Shangela leaving (“It was like a big weight had been lifted.”) and the big twist at the end of the show (“If Shangela pops out of a box again, I’m burning down the box.). She said exactly everything I was thinking.

Missed the episode? You can catch full episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Untucked online at Logotv.com!

Ohio Queers: CAUSE Conference 2011 explodes in Columbus this weekend

Equality Ohio’s ever popular CAUSE Conference returns to downtown Columbus this weekend for two days of rallies and workshops in an effort to bring together and nurture young LGBT activists from all over Ohio.

Here’s a brief description of CAUSE (College And University Students for Equality) according to the EO Web site:

The CAUSE conference is a summit for LGBT and allied leaders in the college and university community working for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality.  Come to Columbus to meet young leaders like yourself from all over Ohio!

This unique, two day summit sets out to inspire, empower, and support students and young leaders ages 18-24 working hard for equality in their communities.  If you are not between ages 18-24, but know someone who is, please pass along the message!

CAUSE takes place April 2-3 and is hosted by Columbus College of Art & Design at Columbus State Community College in The Center for Workforce Development – Ballroom (WD 435), 315 Cleveland Ave., Columbus.

Here’s a list of weekend’s workshops:

More than Make-Up – The Art of Drag

The Mirror Effect: Effective Outreach to Communities of Color

Three Steps to Organizing an On Campus Group

BRAVO workshop on LGBT Dating Violence

LGBT Diversity Dliemmas & LGBTQ and Emotional Intelligence

LGBTQ Activism 101: Taking Your First Steps Towards Equality

Transgender Legal Protections Against Employment Discrimination

Transgender 101 – The Transgender Student Experience

Trans & GenderQueer Inclusive Organizing

Girl Talk

LGBT Health Overview

The Many Dimensions of Human Sexuality

IDAHO 2011! & the Yogyakarta Principles

Intergenerational Dialogue: A Reflection on the Past and the Future

The Mirror Effect:  Effective Outreach to Communities of Color

LGBTIQ Health Advocacy

To register (registration is free) or for more information visit EqualityOhio.org.

Queer Film Spotlight: ‘Sasha’

Tim Bergmann and Sasa Kekez in 'Sasha'

Sasha is a German film written and directed by Dennis Todorovic that’s been making it’s way through the LGBT film festival to critical acclaim.

Here’s a brief description of the film from Amazon.com:

Sasha (Sasa Kekez), confronted with the everyday prejudice of his homophobic immigrant family, struggles with his urge to come out. When his beloved piano teacher Gebhard Weber (Tim Bergmann) plans to leave the city, the young man is heartbroken. The only person in whom he can confide his feelings is his best friend Jiao. After a failed audition, Sasha swears never to play piano again, but a consoling telephone call from Gebhard changes his mind and causes a turn of events. The next morning all secrets are exposed and only his brother’s intervention prevents Sasha’s father Vlado from shooting Gebhard dead. But the gun still goes off…

The story definitely features the tired coming out arc that’s been done to death, but many are saying Todorovic’s stylistic portrayal adds new life to the genre. Sasha was released last year in Germany, but has just been given a DVD release in the U.S. You can purchase it here.

Here’s the trailer:

Queer Corner Quickie #9: Ex-gay iPhone app, It Gets Better, Kill the Gays Bill, more DOMA updates, Broadway (male) Beauty Pageant

A quick roundup of this week’s gay happenings…

Video of the Week: Comedian Bryan Safi hilariously takes on the controversy over Exodus’ (an ex-gay ministry) iPhone app. Which has since been removed by Apple.

Dan Save and Terry Miller continue their press tour for It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living. ABC News did a profile on Dan Savage, his sex column and the It Gets Better Project. Savage also appeared on The Gayle King Show. And NPR did a amazing 45-minute interview about the book featuring both Dan and Terry. And over in Switzerland, producers are planning a new show based on the It Gets Better Project.

DOMA update: NOM’s hateful DOMA video | Prop8.org tears apart “facts” in NOM DOMA video | Another case builds against DOMA | NYT supports DOMA repeal | Senate hearings eminent on DOMA repeal

More video from the GLADD Media Awards: Russell Simmons accepts the Excellence in Media Award from presenter Al Sharpton.

Daniel Radcliffe to be honored by The Trevor Project for his unwavering support of the organization. Here he talks with the Associated Press about how humbled he is by the gesture.

Gay Bashing Report: Fifth man arrested for TriBeCa (NYC) gang assault | FBI is investigating Detroit man’s anti-gay attack, after he took his story to YouTube

The Ugandan Parliament has abandoned the Kill the Gays Bill, for now.

Lady Gaga accepts Randy Shilts Visibility Award at 2011 SLDN (Servicemembers Legal Defense Network) Dinner.

A NYC poet has written a book about my future hometown.

Maryland gender identity bill passes through committee 15-8.

Really Fox News!? (Sadly, I’ve come to expect nothing less from them.)

BBC’s popular Christopher Isherwood biopic Christopher and His Kind is set for a U.S. DVD release later this spring. Isherwood was a ground-breaking gay English author. The film showcases Isherwood’s coming-of-age story in thriving “gay Germany” just before Hitler’s Nazi invasion.

Photo of the Week: The 5th Annual Broadway Beauty Pageant was this week and the winner was Mr. Chicago (Michael Cusumano), pictured in the swimsuit competition below. The event benefits the Ali Forney Center in New York, a shelter for homeless GLBT teens. See more photos from the event at BroadwayWorld.com.

RuPaul Recap: ‘RuPaul-a-Palooza’

Manila from 'RuPaul's Drag Race'

O.K., so I have to admit I squealed a little when RuPaul called Shangela up to lip sync for her life this week. But much like life, my hopes were dashed in mere minutes when Carmen was kicked off instead of Miss Keep-It-Real. But much of the show was like this, as once again I think Ru set many of the girls up to fail from the beginning of the episode.

This week Ru had the queens record a specific type of remake of one of her own songs and then they had to perform them live in front of an audience. (You’re going to make drag queens actually singing? Really???) Of course this made rest of the episodes a mess on wheels.

Manila won the mini challenge (Ru-sical Chairs to some of Ms. Paul’s songs) and was allowed to be the first to pick which genre she was to sing. She then got to pick the order in which the rest of the girls made their choices, which caused a cat fight within itself when Manila didn’t choose the “Heathers” (Raja, Carmen) to pick first. (One thing’s for sure, this show doesn’t lack in pettiness.) The choices were disco (Manila), pop (Yara), country (Shangela), reggae (Carmen), hip-hop (Alexis) and punk (Raja).

I personally felt bad for that record producer. But somehow he did his auto-tune magic, because a lot of the girls sounded pretty good once they took the stage. As I groaned above, missteps by Carmen and Shangela landed them in the bottom two lip-syncing for their lives and Carmen was left with the short end of stick. In the end it came down to performance (Shangela’s shtick) and looks (Carmen’s forte), and it looks like this year Ru is looking for a performer.

Favorite Moment: The judges kept raving about Raja’s performance (who won the main challenge), but my favorite performance was Alexis’. She told Ru she was going to give Lil Kim realness and that’s exactly what she gave. (My favorite quote of this episode came from Shangela. In reference to Yara’s singing she said, “Maybe tone is lost in translation.” I couldn’t stop laughing.) Oh yeah, and judge Michelle Visage flashed the panel! Although I must agree, I think those rubber breasts are a mess on any drag queen.

Runway Pick: I loved Manilas’ golden disco look and her makeup/hair was flawless!

My Top 2: Raja, Manila

Untucked: Why does Shangela get so bent out of shape when the girls come after her when Ru asks who they think should leave? She’s the one always telling people to keep it real and then when they do they’re just “throwin’ shade.” And I so agree with Raja. Shangela cannot be the next drag superstar. She’s well behind everyone else when it comes to aesthetic and technique. But Carmen was in denial when she said the judges had never given her a bad critique. The judges have been reading her about her only relying on her looks since she got there.

Missed the episode? You can catch full episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Untucked online at Logotv.com!

‘It Gets Better’ officially released today! (My top 14 favorite IGB videos in honor of the book’s release)


It’s finally here! It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living hits bookstores today!

Based on the popular YouTube phenomenon kicked off by columnist/author Dan Savage and Terry Miller back in September in response to the eight teens who committed suicide that month because of anti-gay bullying. Today more than 10,000 messages of hope have been posted on YouTube and at the Web site ItGetsBetter.org, by people from all over the country including many celebrities and politicians (President Obama, Hilary Clinton, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Ellen DeGeneres, Suze Orman, Tim Gunn, Chris Colfer, Neil Patrick Harris, Madonna, Kesha, Jason Derulo, Justin Beiber, Chaz Bono, Perez Hilton, Andy Cohen, Kathy Griffin, Gabrielle Union, and the list goes on and on and on).


The book features about 100 people from various backgrounds, including household names and common folk. There are also a host of amazing writers who stepped up and added their voices, including Gregory Maguire and David Sedaris. Make sure you head to your local bookstore and pick up a copy. And as I may have mentioned once or twice, I’m also in the book!

Back in October I posted an It Gets Better video in an attempt to represent for the black gays growing up in small towns. Then late last year I got an email from Dutton (the book’s publisher) and was asked if they could use my video. It was transcribe and an email back-and-forth ensued during the editing process. Then a month or so ago I got an advanced copy of the book with my story appearing on page 264 and my name printed on the back next to the president himself. I still can’t believe it.

It’s been an amazing experience being apart of this book. I was on Fox 28 Columbus a couple weeks ago and appeared on 10tv Columbus this week to talk about my involvement with the book. I was also interviewed by a reporter from Outlook (Columbus’ lgbt publication) for a feature that’s going to run next month. I’ve gotten countless emails, messages comments and phone calls from people all over the world. My cousin even featured an interview with me about the book in her new blog. And I’m in the midst of planning two events to celebrate the book’s release that will take place in April. It’s all been a surreal whirlwind.

This book is for everyone and I behoove you to get a copy. And don’t just get a copy for yourself ,get one for the teenagers in your life. The kids who are bullied need to read this book for hope and the kids who do  the bullying need to read this book so they can see how they are affecting people’s lives. There are also resources in the book for teachers and parents on how to combat anti-gay bullying at home and in the classroom. (Check out my IGB video below.)

Also make sure you head over to ItGetsBetter.org and donate to the cause! Proceeds from the book will go to benefit organizations that support lgbt youth annually, including The Trevor Project (a 24-hour suicide hot line for lgbt youth). But the It Gets Better Project has also started a campaign to have book put in every library and school in America. If you go to ItGetsBettter.org and donate $25 they will send a book to a library or school of your choice.

Dan Savage and Terry Miller kick off the “It Gets Better” book tour in New York City today. Be sure to visit them and support the tour if you’re in the areas they’ll be stopping. (You can see a full list of cities on the tour here.)

If you live near Central Ohio, stay tuned to Queer-Corner.com for details about upcoming “It Gets Better” events. The Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Wexner Center for the Arts and Stonewall Columbus will be sponsoring an event April 14 at the Stonewall Columbus Center on High, 1160 N. High Street. There will be books for sale, equipment set up for people to make their own It Gets Better videos and a panel discussion on how we can make things better for victims of anti-gay bullying right now. Beehive Books in Delaware, Ohio, will also be hosting an event sponsored by ACT OUT Delaware at some point in April. More details on both events is forthcoming.

And lastly, in honor of the book’s release, here are some of my favorite It Gets Better videos:

President Obama

Forth Worth City Councilman Joel Burns

Frank Malaba (founder of It Will Get Better Africa)

It Gets Better Broadway (There’s an entire Web site dedicated to It Gets Better videos made by members of the Broadway community. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t already.)

Ellen DeGeneres

Comedians Jeffery Self and Guy Branum

Neil Patrick Harris

Chris Colfer

Tim Gunn

Michael Urie

The Cast of Brothers & Sisters

ComedySportz Los Angeles

The Wexner Center for the Arts

And of course, the two who started it all: Dan Savage & Terry Miller