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Archive for the ‘Outlook Columbus’ 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…

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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…

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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

The Other Side: Multicultural Gay Love – Showing the World How to Make Love Work

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! 

Tommy & Arend

“A tiny all-white church in the rural South has voted to ban interracial couples from joining its flock, pitting members against each other in an argument over race. Members at the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church in Kentucky voted Sunday on the resolution, which says the church ‘does not condone interracial marriage.’”

When do you think the Associated Press printed the above story? 1952? 1975? How about 1986? Nope. It was December 1, 2011. Just four days after the story surfaced it was reported that the pastor declared the vote null and void because “the vote was not only discriminatory, but it was against the law.”

As someone who grew up in predominately white, rural Delaware, Ohio, I’m well aware of the fact that racism is still alive and well in America, but I was still taken aback by this story. The landmark Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia declared interracial marriage legal nearly 45 years ago in 1967, yet the jury of public opinion still seems to be out on this issue.

This led to me to ask, what about gay multicultural relationships? Racial disparity is definitely still a major issue within the LGBT community. As a black, gay male I definitely feel the sting of double discrimination on occasion. But are couples in multicultural gay relationships dealing with a “triple layer” of injustice?

I’m in a new relationship myself with someone of a different race, so personal curiosity paired with a professional propensity toward analyzing social trends led me on a quest to search out gay couples in such situations to see how they navigated the world of multicultural love.

Finish this article over at OutlookColumbus.com

The Other Side: AIDS in Black (Gay) America

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! 

Research by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that there are more new HIV infections among young black men who have sex with men (MSM) than any other racial or ethnic group of MSM. And that the number of new infections among young black gay men is nearly twice that of young white gay men.

This is a statistic that’s kept me up at the night for the better part of three years, when I first started volunteering in the prevention department at AIDS Resource Center Ohio, and has stumped decades of HIV prevention specialists and researchers from across the nation.

I recently took a full-time job with ARC Ohio’s newly developed Greater Columbus Mpowerment Center that will address this problem, and with National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day being February 7, outlook and I thought addressing this issue apropos. But hopefully by the end of this article you’ll realize this struggle is one that deserves your attention year-round.

Finish this article over at OutlookColumbus.com