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Archive for the ‘lgbt people of color’ Category

The Other Side: Homo-Hop – The Revolution Will Be Auto-Tuned

I’ve been commissioned by Outlook Columbus, Central Ohio’s premiere lgbt publication, to write a new monthly column titled “The Other Side” that will offer stories and detailed analysis about the plights faced by gay people of color. I’ll be posting an excerpt from the story here each month with a link to the full story on Outlook’s Web site. Please support those who support us! 

The Freaky Boiz

When famed lyricist and singer Frank Ocean declared to the world that his first love was a man over the July 4th holiday weekend, the world went berserk.

Facebook became overrun with closed readings of the lyrics in his songs (is he talking about men or women?!?) and sensationalized speculation (is he gay or bisexual?!?). Gays across the country, who had never even heard of Frank Ocean, let alone his music, before seeing his name, chiseled jaw line and the words “gay” pasted across a Huffington Post headline, clamored to preorder his new CD, Channel Orange, on Amazon.com and set their DVR’s eagerly anticipating his first appearance post “coming out” on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

In just a matter of minutes Ocean became a gay icon, the first openly gay hip-hop artist in history…

Finish this article at OutlookColumbus.com

The Other Side: Paris Still Burns – Columbus’s Ballroom Tale

I’ve been commissioned by Outlook Columbus, Central Ohio’s premiere lgbt publication, to write a new monthly column titled “The Other Side” that will offer stories and detailed analysis about the plights faced by gay people of color. I’ll be posting an excerpt from the story here each month with a link to the full story on Outlook’s Web site. Please support those who support us! 

If you think that Madonna was the impetus for the flipping, dipping and face-defying poses that started the vogue style of dance that’s become the calling of the modern day ball scene, you’re sorely mistaken. Though Madge’s video was released the same year director Jennie Livingston finished the ball-culture defining 1991 film Paris is Burning, the ball scene had been voguing in New York City since the Harlem Renaissance.

“Long before Madonna, we were voguing in the back alleys,” said Ronald Murray, 37, a ballroom veteran, known in the scene as Father Drama Evisu.

Soon after Paris is Burning, the movement began making its way out of NYC, across the country and around the world. “The scene,” as it’s often called, made its way to Ohio in the mid 90s, but Columbus’ first official ball wasn’t organized until 2004 during the city’s first Black Pride celebration.

For those unfamiliar with the world of voguing and underground ballroom glamour, here’s a quick overview and history…

Finish this article at OutlookColumbus.com

Writing to Live: Four Authors You Need to Know

Excerpt from a piece I wrote for Outlook Columbus’ August 2012 issue. Visit www.outlookcolumbus.com for the full story. 

If I asked you to name 10 published authors who are LGBT and of color (without the help of Google) could you do it? How about if I broadened the scope to mainstream authors, directors and actors? Go ahead. I’ll wait.

After becoming completely depressed at failing the above exercise myself, I sought out to find published authors that are LGBT of color to add to my very short list. The search first led me to a friend, which then led to a Pandora’s box of possibilities. Our writers are out there. But unfortunately they often go unnoticed on a national level.

Here are the stories of four writers of which you should definitely take notice…

Finish this article at OutlookColumbus.com

Equality Ohio statement on NAACP’s endorsement of marriage equality

Equality Ohio applauds the decision of the NAACP this past weekend to support marriage equality for same-sex couples. Previously, only individual members of the organization spoke in support of the issue. Most remarkable is the fact that Board members voted to support the resolution 62 to 2.

The text of the resolution reads:

“The NAACP Constitution affirmatively states our objective to ensure the “political, educational, social and economic equality” of all people. Therefore, the NAACP has opposed and will continue to oppose any national, state, local policy or legislative initiative that seeks to codify discrimination or hatred into the law or to remove the Constitutional rights of LGBT citizens. We support marriage equality consistent with equal protection under the law provided under the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Further, we strongly affirm the religious freedoms of all people as protected by the First Amendment.”

“Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP’s support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution and equal protection of all people,” says Benjamin Todd Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP.

President Obama’s recent statement in support of full marriage equality was cited as the primary reason for the vote.

“As people around the country see loving and committed same-sex couples participate fully in their communities, it becomes harder to deny that these couples are entitled to full marriage equality,” says Ed Mullen, Executive Director of Equality Ohio. “It is great to have such a venerable civil rights organization as the NAACP stand with us as we seek full equality in Ohio and throughout the country.”

Equality Ohio also recognizes that this decision was made as a result of years of outreach to the NAACP and the work of many out LGBT members of the NAACP. We thank those leaders and activists who have been conducting outreach and education for many years on their success this weekend.

Equality Ohio advocates and educates to achieve fair treatment and equal opportunity for all Ohioans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. For more information, visit http://www.equalityohio.org or call us at (614) 224-0400 .

Why LGBT people of color in Ohio need to care about Lobby Day 2012

Equality Ohio is hosting their 7th annual Lobby Day this Wednesday and this year they’re making history when it comes to LGBT people of color.

EO’s regular day of community lobbying will go as planned, where they pull the Ohio LGBT community and their allies together to meet with various legislators at the Ohio Statehouse to discuss the legislative issues that effect the LGBT community. This year Lobby Day’s main focus is the Equality Housing and Employment Act and the Safe Schools Act.

After the regular 9-4 day of lobbying, EO has arranged a meeting with various LGBT of color community leaders and the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus at 4:45 p.m. This is the first time such a meeting has ever taken place.

Various speakers from the LGBT people of color community have been assembled (of which I am one) that will present our issues to the caucus in hopes that some common ground is reached in order to promote more visible allies among the OLBC.

LGBT people of color continue to be the most underrepresented and marginalized community in American society. Our HIV infection rates are the highest, we have the most LGBT homeless youth and our suicide rates are continuing to skyrocket because of the intense rejection we face from our churches and our families. It’s time to break this cycle.

A movement has started in this city with the creation of organizations like the Columbus Black Gay Men’s Coalition, the Greater Columbus Mpowerment Center, Traxx Columbus and Columbus Urban Pride. We have a mayor and a president who are publicly on our side. LGBT people of color are more visible in this city than ever before. It’s time to continue this mobilization into the Statehouse and demand our issues are heard and supported in this states legislature.

The only way this meeting is going to be a success is if we can show the caucus that we mean business and that our issues deserve their attention. We can do this by showing up. The more we have standing with us to represent us, the larger the impact we’ll have. Please consider joining us for this historic occasion.

We’re already making moves to end the stigma and invisibility. Now let’s start making it legal.

Lobby Day is this Wednesday, May 16. If you’re interested in attending the 4:45 p.m. meeting with the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus email Aaron Riley at rileyaaron@sbcglobal.net so that he can add you to the guest list. If you’d like to participate in all that Lobby Day has to offer visit www.EqualityOhio.org to register.

Queer Minded #6: Ohio Gay Marriage Petition Pt. 1

Queer Minded is a new online talk radio show that I host featuring local and national LGBT news and entertainment. Airing Fridays at 10 p.m. and podcasted at TalktainmentRadio.com! Visit Queer Minded on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube

Ed Mullen, Executive Director of Equality Ohio, talks about the organization’s issues with the Freedom to Marry Ohio gay marriage ballot initiative and why they chose to publicly air their grievances with the petition that’s currently circulating around Ohio.

Local writer Malcolm Varner also discusses his new book “Creating Positive Ripples: 100 Messages of Encouragement” and our Guest Host Stephanie Hnidka gives us the latest and hottest in local music news.

Next Ian James from Freedom to Marry will join us with an update on the petition and their response to Equality Ohio’s statements.

Listen at the link below!

http://www.talktainmentradio.com/podcasts/042312%20Queer%20Minded.mp3

The Other Side: On the Right ‘Traxx’ – Traxx Columbus is Just Getting Started

I’ve been commissioned by Outlook Columbus, Central Ohio’s premiere lgbt publication, to write a new monthly column titled “The Other Side” that will offer stories and detailed analysis about the plights faced by gay people of color. I’ll be posting an excerpt from the story here each month with a link to the full story on Outlook’s Web site. Please support those who support us! 

The Traxx Team: Roderick Simmons, Kim Godfreed and Brandon Chapman

This issue is dedicated to the people we love, but I thought I’d switch gears and talk about a place that’s started a love affair with Columbus residents all its own. Traxx Columbus has been in the city just over a year and has already made a pretty large mark.

If you’re a gay person of color living south of the Mason Dixon you’ve probably heard of Traxx. Traxx Atlanta started in 1989 as one of the first night clubs to cater specifically to LGBT people of color. What started as a simple space for black gay and lesbian college students to come together to listen to music that typically wasn’t played in mainstream gay establishments, soon became a Southern phenomenon.

Finish this article over at OutlookColumbus.com