Archive | November 2007

South Asian American Actors on television, is progress really taking place?

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What do Kal Penn Modi, Parminder Nagra, and Sendhil Ramamurthy all have in common? Let me give you a hint Kal Penn, Sendhil, and Parminder are all doctors on television. I was speaking to a friend on the telephone the other day and he pointed this out to me. My friend actually was a bit upset about this. My pal says that he would like to see South Asian American actors move beyond the TV doctor stereotype. It got me thinking is it a stereotype for South Asians to be doctors on TV? It is true it would be nice if South Asian American actors could play other roles on television and not just be the noble good doctor. I do think its positive to see young Asian American actors on television.

Parminder’s character Dr. Neela Rasgotra is perhaps the most complex out of the three. Dr. Rasgotra has professional life and a love life. Neela has grieved the death of her soldier husband, fallen in love with a coworker, and she is by no means perfect she is flawed and she is a multi dimensional person.

I have noticed that Sendhil Ramamurthy’s character Dr. Mohinder Suresh on the NBC hit Heroes is just kind of there. We know Mohinder has conflicts with his father not living up to his dad’s expectations. However, I think Mohinder only kissed a girl once on the show and then she died. Mohinder is one of the main characters on Heroes so why doesn’t he have a more complete storyline? We don’t really know him. When will Mohinder have a love life? The only “lovelife” Mohinder has is a homoerotic storyline that many bloggers have “suggested” is taking place between Mohinder and Matt Parkman. I do kind of see what the bloggers are saying Matt and Mohinder do have a chemistry. Matt and Mohinder play a kind of “my two dads” storyline taking care of young Molly. So will NBC allow Mohinder and Matt to become gay lovers? Is Mohinder straight or gay? Or is the homoerotic subtext just my mind wandering?

Kalpen Suresh Modi is also a doctor on the FOX program “House” his character is the intern Kutner. I don’t know what to think of Kalpen’s character since he hardly has a storyline. I was shocked. The only reason I even bother to watch “House” was because Kal Penn was on the program. Kalpen is the most famous intern on the show so its surprising to me that his character doesn’t have a storyline. Was it just stunt casting to get more viewers to watch House? The episodes I have watched Kunter is just the life of the party he never has anything to do that is serious of connected to the plot of the program. Kalpen was in the drama “The Namesake” this year so he is growing as an actor. It would be nice if Parminder and Sendhill got similar opportunities to demonstrate their acting skills beyond the limited characters they play on television.

Malcolm X Asks What Kind Of Black Person Are You?

Watching this clip of Malcolm X makes me realize the discussion about House Negroes and Field Negroes exists today. Of course we are all individuals we have a right to have divergent points of view and perspectives. I am not suggesting that there needs to be a collective mentality taking place. However, we cannot change the fact as the scholar bell hooks says race always matters. It doesn’t matter how much power or money you acquire to ignore race is to ignore reality.

  When I think about black people like Condoleezza Rice and Clarence Thomas its clear to me that  Malcolm X comments makes perfect sense. Sure, Rice and Thomas are blacks with very powerful positions in society but they also follow the status quo. Thomas and Rice certainly don’t give a damn about the black race all they care about is maintaining the power they have acquired. Malcolm X wasn’t perfect but he loved black people and he cared deeply about the black race.

Sex Tourism and Male Prostitution: European Women Travel to Africa In Search Of Young African Men For Sex

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Reuters published  a very interesting article that caught my attention today, it is about white women traveling to the third world chasing black men for sex. The piece is about old rich European women most likely from the United Kingdom traveling to Africa, Caribbean,  Latin America, in search of big black cock.

It is well known, the racist and sexist stereotype is black men like “rough sex” and this is a sexual thrill for sheltered  middle class white women.

The white women do not “respect” these young black males they just see them as sexual conquests people they can dispose and exploit for their sexual pleasure.

The media are so disingenuous! If  white women want to have sex with black men, then more power to them. However, let’s just be honest about sex tourism it exists for men and women. Sex tourism is not just a category for male tourists.

Notice the double standards in the mainstream media, in relation to sex tourism!

Sex tourism is not just “specific” to just “one gender”, yet the Occidental media has always framed this as a male only domain. We all have watched the documentaries about European or North American men traveling to Asia, Africa, or South America in search of young women for sex. Female sex tourism has gone on for decades yet now the mainstream media is finally focusing on the other side of sex tourism.

Why don’t the European women travel to India, China, South Korea, Japan, Nepal, Iran, Israel, Syria, or Jordan for sex? Why can’t white women date black men freely in the UK? Is interracial sex still a social taboo? It appears to be so!

Why do some white women make a decision to travel thousand of miles south to Africa, Latin America, or the Caribbean? What is the difference between Asian men and black men? I don’t read articles about white women traveling to China or Japan searching for Asian young men. What is so special about young African men?

The Reuters article discusses British women vacationing in Kenya in search of the big black penis. Have you heard about this trend? I bet you haven’t? I also believe some “feminists” are probably involved in sex tourism as well because they view it as “female empowerment”. It is the classic white heterosexual female victimhood. It is the classic attempts by some white heterosexual women utilizing their “gender” to downplay their racist and sexist views of young black male sexuality.

So here you have a bunch of hypocritical racist and misandrist feminists that will bash the male gender that engage in heterosexual sex tourism. However, when mainstream feminists engage in sex tourism and exploit young African men they suddenly are silent about their own bigotry and prejudices. It’s like talk about throwing stones in glass houses.

The rich Occidental women have egos as well they want to feel attractive and sexy. Society has consistently bashed European or North American men that engage in sex tourism yet the media let women off the hook? I think its a total double standard. The European women also want to feel “hot” since they cannot “attract” young white men in the UK or Europe they travel to a foreign destination to feel powerful and in control. It’s also well-known in Africa “whiteness” is viewed as a social signifier of power, money, and dominance. The European women feel compelled to travel to Africa in search of young black men because the power dynamics are in their favour.

It’s interesting, because in feminist circles the trend is always about women being the victims of sex tourism and that women are exploited. The feminists act as though women cannot be misandrist, racist, and sexist. The European women travel to Africa for sex are indeed sexist and racist because they view the black men as sex objects for white heterosexual female desire. The black men are not depicted as “equals”.

Also, this isn’t about love this is about bunch of old ladies that want quick and easy sexual gratification while taking advantage of poor young African men in the process. Let’s not dress this up as some kind of romantic tale this is clear and obvious misandry. However, the Reuters article makes it clear that Kenya’s tourism industry is not happy about this new “image of the country” as a sex tourism magnet.

Now European women have joined in seeking young black men in Africa for sex. There is no age limit to how far these western women will go to fulfill their sexual desires. You have to wonder? Aren’t there young white or black European men available for these women? So why the need to travel thousands of miles to Africa for a sexual encounter?

It’s obvious that sex tourism is “easier” for the European women to not only to have the sexual encounters with young African men but also to fulfill their “African sex fantasy”. After the sex, the European women can travel back to Europe or North America and talk to their girlfriends about their “amazing” sexual encounters on the “dark continent”.

I think more research needs to take place in this arena. Why don’t the feminists discuss this perspective? Or do feminists not want to discuss sex tourism from a female perspective because they fear it will “place” white western women in a negative light? Aren’t these poor young black men here being exploited as well?

The American author Terry McMillan, she is most famous black western woman that was involved in sex tourism. McMillan’s so-called “love affair” with her ex husband Jonathan Plummer started out as sex tourism. The western media attempted to make McMillan appear “empowered” that she traveled to Jamaica to “liberate” herself. The truth is Terry McMillan “traveled” to Jamaica in search of the Big Black Foreign Cock. Terry didn’t want to have sex with an African-American man she wanted to have sex with a foreign black man “outside” of the United States.

Let’s be real and honest here, McMillan went on vacation in Jamaica specifically to seek out a young black man for sex. McMillan basically “purchased” a young Jamaican man Jonathan Plummer brought her “product” back to the good old United States. Soon Terry’s husband became her sex slave. I think McMillan and her marketing team were aware of how to “spin” the fairy tale about how she fell in love with her much younger husband.

One of the reasons McMillan married Plummer because she was cognizant of the negative image of the sex tourism factor. The residue of the social stigma of an older woman searching for sex in the Caribbean was probably on her mind and she had books to sell. Jonathan was only in his early twenties when he met McMillan he was young and naive. Of course he jumped at the opportunity to leave poverty behind in Jamaica for a new life in America. Although McMillan attempted to dress up her sex tourism experience as a “love affair” I’m not buying it.

My perspective is, that McMillan and Plummer had an “agreement” about their so called relationship. McMillan wanted a young black man she could “control” and have sex with. Jonathan was basically a sex slave for Terry he had no say. Terry didn’t want Jonathan to have new friends or new experiences. Terry also used Jonathan as her “product” to help sell her “books” and her “brand”. McMillan’s relationship was framed as a new form of “feminism”.

I don’t view someone exploiting someone else as “feminism” yet the feminist community sure did. Oprah had Terry and Jonathan on her show and Terry paraded her husband as though he wasn’t even a person he was just a human vibrator toy she bought in the Caribbean. Terry was much older, more experienced, she had the financial resources and Jonathan all he had been his youth. Terry also made sure they had separate bank accounts. After being married for a while, Jonathan he grew up he wanted new life experiences and now Terry McMillan is “angry” that her much younger husband has left her. Terry was the one that got screwed in the end because she thought she could exploit Jonathan forever. Terry’s just bitter that her younger husband got sick of her. Is it liberating in feminist circles to exploit young black men just for sex?

Plummer wanted an opportunity for “freedom” in America. Plummer and McMillan used each other their relationship was basically a “transaction”. How could McMillan and Plummer just “fall in love” so quickly and she brings Jonathan back to the United States? I do not believe a word Terry says because she got a best selling novel and movie “Stella Got Her Groove Back” out of her sex tourism experience. Terry used her husband to get rich and now she doesn’t want to provide her ex husband with compensation even though he was the fuel to her so-called “best-selling” romance novel.

I also find it interesting the North American media had to present the “May/December love angle” about McMillan and Plummer’s relationship. McMillan and her marketing team knew they had to “frame” the relationship in a positive light to “hook” and “sell” it to her female reading audience. Why couldn’t Terry just be honest with the public? I remember watching SEX TV in Toronto there was an episode on this phenomenon of rich western black and white women travel to the Caribbean in search of the big black penis.

I had a few problems with the Reuters article. I thought it was racist of Reuters to make the assumption that “only” the young black men can have sexually transmitted diseases. The article made it crystal clear some of the European women did not want to use “condoms” they wanted to “feel” the experience of having sex with a black man. Just because the rich European women are “white”, and “senior citizens” doesn’t mean they cannot also have sexually transmitted diseases. Isn’t it possible the European women can also pass on infections to the young black men? I thought this section of the article was very offensive because it frames young African men once again as disease carriers and it places all the blame on them.

Why did Reuters frame the article as if STDs is just one way traffic? I think its obvious once again that the media “lens” to this story is the older European women are “unfortunate victims”. The section about “condoms use” makes it appear as though the European women are “lonely spinsters” that aren’t thinking clearly. The truth is the white females are adults they have agency over their own minds and bodies. When are women ever accountable for their own actions? Nobody forced the European women to travel to Africa they made that choice. The British females made the decision to travel thousands of miles to Africa for sex. The European women know exactly what they are doing. It’s so racist for Reuters to make it appear as though the white women have no say. The fact is the white women have all the power. The white women have the “money” and the young African men “don’t” so they obviously have the “control.” Sex tourism doesn’t just take place in Kenya other hot spots are Gambia, Nigeria, and South Africa as well.

The piece also ignored the “obvious” reasons Western women travel to Kenya, Nigeria, Gambia, or South Africa for sex. Sure, Reuters did explore the “exotic” factor a little bit. The truth is the “dark skin factor” wasn’t explored. Some people are attracted to “darker skinned” African men its a sexual turn on for some Westerners. In the Occidental societies its well-known that darker skinned black men are viewed as more “masculine.”

The Occidental world has a love/hate relationship with black men. Interracial sex between white women and black men is still seen as “taboo” in this world. Despite the hypocrisy the western media frame young black men as being sexually attractive but of course as “tainted.”

The anonymous factor is a major reason rich Western women travel to Africa for sex. No one will “know” the Western women went to Africa in search for sex with young black men. Just to make things clear I am not against sex between consenting adults people have a right to make their own decisions. I am also not against interracial sex. It’s clear the older European women have manifested these sexual desires for young black men but an interracial relationship is considered “wrong” in the UK. The sex with the young black men is framed as “licentious”, “illicit” and “dirty” because if there was nothing “wrong” with the interracial sex why the need for the women to have their names “changed” for the Reuters article? After all, the European women are adults and adults can have sex with other adults if the sex is consensual.

The western women can have their sexual conquest and eat their cake too. Second, sex tourism is “fuelled” by racism. The racist stereotypes about black male sexuality is obvious. The “erotic” factor the Reuters didn’t explore is that some Western people think young African men are naive and easier to exploit since they are poor. Why didn’t the Reuters article explore this angle a bit further?

Why don’t the old British women chase young white males in the UK for sex? I am sure there are plenty of young white men in Scotland, or Wales, or England, or Northern Ireland that are poor too. Why not travel to Spain, Italy, Germany, France, or some where in Europe for these sexual encounters? So why aren’t these white women interested in “younger” white men? Why travel all the way to Africa?

I think the answer is clear some people still believe in the racist, misandrist stereotypes that all African men have enormous “large penises”, “more stamina”, “sexual prowess” and are “better lovers.” Let’s just put the cards on the table here we know what people say privately about black male sexuality. The racist and misandrist stereotypes are also that black men we only think about sex all the time and that’s all we are good for. It is disgusting and incredibly racist that Reuters refused to look at the article from all sides. Why is there this racist and sexist double standard? The Reuters article didn’t explore the sexual stereotypes angle enough. I was very disappointed about that because that’s the “fire” the “impetus” for Western people to travel to Africa for sex. The white women travelled to Africa in search of the mythical Big Black Dick.

These western women are not wallflowers they know “exactly” what they are doing and they aren’t “victims” either. In fact the European women are the “oppressors” they are taking advantage of poor, innocent, young black men for their own sexual gratification. Some of the men these women are having sex with are minors and teenagers. Some of these European female tourists are pedophiles. The reason white females travel down “south” for sex tourism is the same reason white and black western men do it they think obtaining sex is easier with no strings attached. So why is the public’s knowledge about sex tourism so one-sided?

In the Occident young African, Caribbean, and Afro Latino men are viewed as poor, uneducated, and desperate for money. The young black men are easy victims for racist rich women looking to quick sex.The western women have the “money” and the black men have their “youth” and “beauty”. A transaction takes place this form of sex tourism is basically male prostitution. Yet you won’t read about this going on in many feminist journals that’s for sure.

Link to article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071126/lf_nm/kenya_sextourism_dc;_ylt=Atrnwmh6J7blJ.tzUMQWMamGWo14

Documentary: What Does It Mean To Be A Real Man?

In this clip from Jackson Katz’s documentary he explores the issue of masculinity and why it is considered palatable for men to be “violent”. Katz film investigates many issues about “why” men think we have to present this macho image. Its clear to me that society accepts male violence and tells men that in order to be real men the only acceptable emotion is anger. I don’t agree with everything in this clip of the documentary  but Katz does make some valid points.

I see it all the time on the bus, walking through the mall, on the subway, I see young men posturing trying to act hard. I’ve always wondered why do they do this? The documentary also explores the role that women have in this. Some women admire and want men that appear “macho” they consider this to be attractive. Also some females look down on men that are not “tough” or “aggressive.” I think that’s part of the appeal rapper such as 50 CENT has with young males. I love Kanye West because he illustrates that a man can be just be himself, show his emotions, and be real. I wish there were more positive images of black manhood out there.

Why are John Wayne and Steve McQueen so revered and popular? One can argue that Wayne and McQueen were just actors in films but they were also very masculine and dominant in their movies. I think a lot of men don’t want to admit it but there is so much pressure to be strong all the time. I find this emotionally and psychologically draining and I am glad I never tried to be that way. However, I have been criticized throughout my life for not being “macho” and “aggressive”. Men place a lot of pressure on other men to conform to gender roles.

Pop culture such as music videos and movies have a role. However, I think socialization is a big part of it. Its obvious society believes that men must be “dominant” or “in control” at all times to be real men. My perspective is that the education system has a serious role in shaping the minds of young males. I think this film is very interesting because I have fought with my emotions about what it means to be a real man my whole life. I remember when I was a kid I got called sissy, fag, wimp. I cry when I am depressed and sad I don’t hide my emotions although society says to be a real man we are supposed to.I was a very shy boy I didn’t really stand up for myself. I also recall my older brother verbally abusing me and I didn’t really feel that my parents stood up for me either.

Instead of turning my anger on to “others” I internalized my anger and hurt myself by not speaking out. People wonder why so many young men are dying? Its because in society some young men don’t know that it should be okay to “talk” about our feelings. You turn on the news and you watch and listen about more young men dying on the streets due to male violence. Men are killing and hurting other men and we just sit and watch. I think a real man is a man that can admit he has feelings and emotions that can feel hurt, feel pain, he can also cry.

Movie “This Christmas” and the internet

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                                                   Every single time a movie with an all black cast is released all hell breaks loose on the internet. I cannot believe the amount of  racist comments I have read and  the low rating scores on various internet websites for the new film “This Christmas”. Well at the end of the day all Hollywood cares about is profit.   “This Christmas” production budget was only $13 million the movie is already a hit and I hope it makes a lot of green. The good news for this film “This Christmas” is the box office is actually very good. I just checked www.boxofficemojo.com and the movie is actually doing quite well it has already made $8 million dollars in just two days and that doesn’t even include weekend box office numbers. Why is it so hard for some people to understand that black people we want to see movies about ourselves? I swear most Hollywood movies tend to have blacks as marginal characters in the background.

“This Christmas” is about a black middle class family in Los Angeles Loretta Devine is the mother, it also stars Regina King, Delroy Lindo, Chris Brown, and Sharon Leal. Regina King is playing “against” type in this movie she plays a submissive housewife with a cheating husband and she never went to college. Its nice to see Regina take on this role she was also amazing in “Ray” a few years back.

I think “maybe” Hollywood has finally realized that there is a lucrative black market that has been consistently ignored for years. I certainly hope this isn’t some kind of “deja vu” like ten years ago when “Waiting To Exhale”, “Soul Food”, and “The Best Man” were so successful at the box office  in the 1990s. Even though those black films were successful at the box office Hollywood didn’t take the “hint” that if they make movies with an all black cast these films “can” make money. Unfortunately, after the 1990s ended there were a lot of crappy date movies, stereotypical comedies that emerged this decade but it does look as though things are back on track. I think the next step of course is to move beyond the whole black “family comedy/drama” ensemble films to more serious and complex material. 

However, I honestly believe black films like “This Christmas” are so important because these films provide a different side to black life that often is ignored by Hollywood and that’s the black middle class. Sometimes people just want to be “entertained” at the movie theatre we don’t want a “lecture”,  or “preached to” we just want to escape our hectic lives and breathe for a moment. I think the black experience needs to develop and now move into other areas as well. I would love to see more science fiction movies with black leads, or black detective movies with black women in the lead. I think that would be interesting. If Hollywood would just realize that if the script is well written, they find the talented black actors, and they market the movie right it will find an audience.

Update: According to www.boxofficemojo.com  “This Christmas” is the number two movie in North America grossing over $27 million dollars.

Book Review: Buller Men and Batty Bwoys

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Is Canada a utopia paradise and the battle for gay rights are over? African Canadian scholar Wesley Crichlow shatters this misconception with his groundbreaking Buller Men and Batty Bwoys. My perspective is, Crichlow was unfairly criticized for not conducting “enough” research for his book when it was first published a few years ago.

Crichlow made the first step he wrote the book. It is often easy for some gay black men to attack Crichlow. Yet the question has to be asked, what are other gay black men doing to advance the rights of gay black Canadian men? Its pretty easy to hide in the closet or live in a glass closet in the ivory towers of universities and colleges isn’t it? It is very easy for gay black professors to write books about the black community but never discuss their own homosexuality in the public sphere?

I am so sick of these gay black cowards that roam free in the white gay community yet are suddenly silent about black community politics. Wesley Crichlow is no coward he is a real man and he is a brave black gay Canadian man for writing his book.

Crichlow’s book is a building block it is a step in the right direction. The mainstream and black communities are apathetic to the concerns of gay black Canadian men. Crichlow’s book finally provides some context into the reasons why this occurs.

Crichlow is a black gay Canadian activist, he fought for black gay rights in the city of Toronto for almost two decades. Although Crichlow has moved from Toronto he once owned a bookstore called “A Different Booklist”. “A Different Booklist” is still open today on Bathurst street in Toronto and is a very important store because its core focus is about providing a platform for black writers. Black Canadian writers we still encounter a patronizing, elitist, and racist Canadian publishing industry.

The title of the book “Buller Men and Batty Bwoys” refers to the Caribbean slang for “gay men”. A “Buller Man” or a “Batty Bwoy” is basically a man that engages in anal sex. The root term is offensive and derogatory because it stereotypes and reduces gay black men into sex objects and brands us as just being interested in sex.

Crichlow provides an account about his childhood growing up in Trinidad and how he struggled with his sexuality. He also discusses how he attempted to fit into the mainstream Canadian gay community and he encountered gay racism. Crichlow moved to Canada from his native Trinidad as a teenager in the year 1981.

The autobiographical elements in the book are a fascinating insights into Crichlow’s life and the misconceptions people have about Canada. I wish Crichlow had expanded more on this section of the book. I was curious I wanted to know more, about the real Wesley Crichlow? For instance, although white Canadian homosexuals are being praised for fighting for “gay rights”,  there is still silence to the racism gay people of colour experience in Canada. For instance, some gay people of colour will not participate in Toronto’s annual Gay Pride event because they view the focus is too white and Eurocentric.

The Canadian homosexual press usually ignore gay people of colour, rarely ever have any black gay artists on the cover of their magazine unless its black history month or it relates to sex. Crichlow’s book explores the issue that in Canada to be “gay” essentially means to be “white.”

Another issue, Crichlow explores, is the binary concept of how black Canadian gay men are consistently framed. Black gay men are viewed as the “entertainment” whether its for “sex” or for a “drag performance”. Young black gay men are stereotyped as overlty muscular, dark skinned sex whores for advertisments for “gay male events”.

Often these young black men have extremely big black penises, or gay black men are stereotyped as the freaky drag queen in a bright fright blonde wig such as Ru Paul. Where does this leave the regular gay black man that isn’t a stud or a drag queen?

Crichlow book is powerful because the reader learns that gay black men we are multi dimensional people with complex lives. Crichlow also explores the fact for many black Canadian gay men to be “gay” is not the focus our “lives”. We struggle with other forms of oppression such as misandry, sexism, and racism. Gay rights is not the only battle gay black Canadian men worry about. We are just trying to survive in a racist, misandrist, and anti black male Canadian society. We have more concerns to deal with then just being gay.

Crichlow’s book “Buller men and Batty Bowys” asks the question, why are gay black men ignored not just by the mainstream white gay community but also by the heterosexist black and Caribbean culture? Crichlow’s book investigates the issue of “Caribbean culture”. In America, black gays are more organized they have their own “black gay communities” in major cities such as Atlanta, Detroit, New York City, Washington D.C., Los Angeles. In Canada, there is no “black gay community.”

Crichlow’s book explores these “hidden men” by interviewing nineteen black men in Toronto and Halifax. The reader learns of the lengths black Caribbean/Canadian men endure to conceal their homosexuality. Yet unlike African American books published on homosexuality the reader will learn from one interview subject named “Bill” that many black Canadian gay men don’t use the “gay” label. Bill has a woman in Halifax, and two children yet he believes sex with men is fine because it’s just his personal business.

Another man Crichlow interviewed “Lennox”, he is also from Halifax is upset about the the virulent white gay racism against black gay men in his city. We learn from a young gay black man Neil that he hates the black community for it’s homophobia. According to Neil, black people are uncivilized and backwards. However, Laqueisha a transsexual receives love and support from her family despite the homophobia she encounters in the black community in Toronto. Crichlow peels beneath the surface about the social values and customs of the black Caribbean/African families.  He explores how black Canadian gay men are often forced to conform to compulsory heterosexuality by marrying women and staying in the closet.

For many gay black men in Canada, it is not an option to “come out”, and to “move” to the mainstream white community, because this is also “foreign” and not “home.”

The interviews,and Crichlow’s personal accounts of his history are the core strength of the book. Crichlow says he chose to write the book in the tradition of the “biomythography” just like his heroine the late black lesbian writer Audre Lorde.

Crichlow claims in the conclusion of the book he wants “change” to occur in the black community. Yet how many black people of Caribbean heritage heard about Crichlow’s book? Also, I discern from the academic tone of the book unfortunately, the way Crichlow writes indicates he may have lost his voice. Crichlow’s “audience” is not the “general public”, this book appears to be for an academic audience.

Despite, the “academic” narrative though Crichlow succeeds in crafting a book that is very unique specifically because the book deals with gay black Canadian men a population that has consistently been ignored by the racist, misandrist, homophobic, and heterosexist, Canadian society.

It was unfortunate there simply wasn’t enough publicity for this book. Crichlow’s book is a brave attempt to provide some insight into the lives of gay black Canadian men.

I was shocked that the University of Toronto press charged such a high price for the book. When I first reviewed “Buller Men And Batty Bwoys” I was amazed at the price of the book it cost $50 dollars. Nobody is going to pay $50 dollars for a book. I understand the University of Toronto press is an academic and scholar press. My view is, this is a complete disservice to the general public to price the book out of the marketplace.

Who is the real audience for Crichlow’s book? Was Crichlow’s book intended for the university student, the scholar, or the general person?

Crichlow’s book is strong when he provides an account about his own personal experiences. Some people may yawn and say “not another black gay man coming out book.” My answer is the more the better, especially when its about being black and gay outside of the United States.

I find too often black Canadians we tie ourselves too much to American culture and society. I enjoyed this book because it related to Canada and the issues taking place right here in this country. However, to be black and gay in Canada you are invisible in so many ways. We are consistently displaced.

Go visit the Canadian libraries or bookstores where are the books about us? Don’t our lives matter? Although gay rights has advanced in Canada, there still is the issue of “othering” that often takes place. Black gay Canadian men are viewed as “something else”, not “really gay”, and certainly not “a part” of the Canadian gay communities.

For instance, the Gay and Lesbian Archives in Toronto is all white, there is nothing about the lives and experiences of gay black men in their archives. Go visit the Archives for yourself and you will see exactly what I am saying.

Crichlow’s book is important because books are knowledge, power, and a written history. I don’t need the Gay And Lesbian Archives to give me validation that’s for sure.

Crichlow’s book is a written account it is a “part” of black gay Canadian history and that’s crucial. Language is powerful it is a system of expression its a way for voices to be heard.

Crichlow is cognizant of the “impetus” to publish this book to advance black gay Canadian studies. Black gay Canadian men we need our own “identity” that is distinct from “African Americans”.

Far too often in Canadian bookstores the shelves are stocked with books about black Americans. What does it mean to be gay, black, and Canadian? How do we negotiate between these identities?

Crichlow’s book is not perfect, but then what book is? Crichlow should be praised for taking the time, effort, energy, to writing a book about us about black gay Canadian men. Our lives do matter and despite the ideology that Canada is a utopia paradise the covert racism in Canadian societies is very real and ugly.

Crichlow’s book is a form of emancipation the book is tangible, real, and so are our lives. Visit your local public library or university library and read this book. I think you will learn something.

I am Applying To University Again For 2008 May Give Up Writing

I finally decided that I’m going to apply to university and work towards a second degree. One thing is for sure I’m definitely not making the same mistake twice. Why did I get a B.A. degree in history? I am so stupid!!! What was I thinking at the time? I think the first time around I just wanted to graduate and get the hell out of York University LOL!

I just wanted a B.A. degree and that’s definitely not the right way to think but that’s the truth. I don’t want to be a teacher. I can’t tolerate dealing with thirty brats screaming and yelling while I was trying to conduct a lesson. A B.A. in history is basically useless. I’m definitely going to apply to a journalism program but I’m also interested in screenwriting, theatre, and film. Maybe I can also take a creative writing course too? I think I’m going to make at least four choices this time around instead of the standard three. Maybe I will make five choices.

The competition I am sure will be fierce but I’ve got to try. I wonder if I can apply as a mature student even though I already have a B.A.? I am doing something wrong my life is not perfect?  All I know is I will not make the same mistake I made the first time around. Time is running out. I’m not getting any younger. I need an edge. Its obvious I am lacking something but what? What am I doing wrong? Why haven’t I gotten a second book published by now? I must be doing something incorrectly? But what? I’ve got to think about this a bit more. I have tried, and tried, and I am tired of trying!!!!

How do I make myself stand out? And writing maybe I should just give it up? Its so frustrating right now rejection after rejection. I think I am going to scream!!! I know I’m not supposed to bitch and complain but I’m going to anyway right now. I really wanted to do that reading at the University of Toronto yesterday. I was so excited about it. I was going to read some selections from “You Don’t Know Me” and also some new poetry. Maybe I should give up writing poetry? It is so frustrating to get poetry published and all these literary journals seem to think poets and writers have deep pockets? It costs a lot of money to send S.A.S.E. and pay for all that damn postage! Nobody seems to accept e-mail submissions anymore either!

My Reading At The University of Toronto Has Been Cancelled

I am kind of sad today because I was supposed to have a reading at the University of Toronto this afternoon at the St. George Campus. Dr. George Elliott Clarke  teaches a graduate class called African Canadian literature and he invited me last month to read from my poetry collection “You Don’t Know Me”. However,  last week Dr. Clarke cancelled my reading he explained that he had booked another writer from Ottawa at the exact same time. Dr. Clarke apologized for the mistake. Dr. Clarke says I might be able to have another reading in February 2008.

Interesting Article About South Asian Gay Men In The Star

Although, I write a lot about the struggles gay black men endure South Asian men also encounter similar battles with oppression. Black gay men in North America, we are visible in popular culture. I feel that the  images and representations of black gay men in the media are very stereotypical. South Asian men I  noticed are consistently ignored not just by the mainstream but also by North American gay communities.

I  read an article on the Toronto Star website, about South Asian gay men. I like the fact the article isn’t pessimistic or negative. The article is about hope,it is about South Asian gay men that desire to connect with other men of their own culture.

I started to think about a close friend of mine, he was born in India, and he is a Canadian citizen. I think he’s lonely sometimes and that he wants to connect with other South Asian gay men. I am black and I don’t speak Hindi, Urdu, Punjabi, or other Indo European languages. I feel at times that maybe I am too foreign for my friend? Maybe I am in the way?

I want my friend to have a connection with other South Asian gay men because I really believe it could boost his self esteem. My friend,is shy reserved kind of a person he isn’t outspoken like me. I’ve talked to him about attending various events and groups for South Asian gay men in the Toronto area but he seems indifferent to them. Perhaps he is still shy I don’t know? I am going to ask him about this.

However, he is not out to his family and he also being surreptitiously pressured to marry a woman by his father. I don’t know what that feels like because my parents know I’m gay. I certainly never have been pressured to date the opposite sex because I’m gay and I’m not sexually attracted to women.

Okay, maybe I should take that back. I do have a serious crush on Gabrielle Union!!! If you’ve read my blog you could tell LOL! I also have to admit I find the Williams Sisters to be sexy, and I do think Sanaa Lathan and Kerry Washington are just very sexy and gorgeous! So I cannot say I am totally not attracted to women. But that’s not the purpose of this blog entry so let me get back on track.

My friend, he is comfortable with his sexual orientation and his Indian identity. He  tells me that Indian culture is very patriarchal the man is the breadwinner and the male has to follow the status quo. Being gay and from South Asia is still considered socially unacceptable. I began thinking that in popular culture South Asian men have also been treated as though they are invisible by the gay community and by mainstream society. I think it is great that the Toronto Star article is raising awareness about the lives of South Asian gay men.

I  agree with the sentiments of the South Asian men in the Toronto Star article, North American gay culture is very “cold” it is true. I mean let me be blunt, Toronto doesn’t just have cold weather the men are cold too people are soulless here. Its the reason I rarely go the gay bars in Toronto. I mean why bother?

Link: http://www.thestar.com/DesiLife/article/265369

Golden Girls Season two: Dorothy and Sophia Tell Blanche Jean Is A Lesbian And She’s In Love With Rose

When I was a kid in the 1980s,I  watched The Golden Girls religiously. I just love this show! Although I didn’t understand all of the adult themes,  I just thought the comedy was hilarious! One of the episodes I have a vivid memory about is the “lesbian” episode in season two. In this episode, Dorothy’s old friend a beautiful woman Jean confides in Dorothy that she’s a lesbian and in love with Rose. Dorothy of course cannot keep the news to herself and in this clip she tells Sophia and eventually Blanche finds out. It is just s so funny when Sophia informs Blanche that Jean is a lesbian and she says “isn’t Danny Thomas one” LOL!!!

One of the things I love about The Golden Girls, is that the joke isn’t about “lesbianism”. The joke is about Blanche’s “ignorance” that she claims to be a “know it all” but she’s really not. Also, I remember this episode is about tolerance and understanding and Jean is not a stereotype of a lesbian. I thought it was refreshing that the show demonstrates that lesbians can be feminine, beautiful, sexy, and also of an advanced age.

I have to stop procrastinating and go purchase the Golden Girls on DVD ASAP!! I am surprised that the prices for the Golden Girls DVD are so high compared to other TV shows. The Golden Girls was the “original” Sex And The City. Although Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia, lived in Miami Florida  and not New York City the humor is just amazing. I find that the personalities of the four leads in Golden Girls is also extremely similar to that of Sex And The City.

The Golden Girls was one the best shows ever and the four stars are incredible veteran actresses. The reason the Golden Girls ended was not due to a drop in the ratings it was because Bea Arthur quit the show after the seventh season. The other Golden Girls tried to carry on in a sitcom called “Golden Palace” for one season in the year 1993 but the spark just wasn’t there they needed Bea. Golden Girls will live on forever. The Golden Girls was a great show because it showed that senior citizens can have sex, love, humor, and happiness and just live life like everyone else. I love this show. I can’t seem to find the Golden Girls anywhere on the TV in the Toronto area! I remember the reruns used to be on the Prime channel. I guess I already have one Christmas gift for myself I definitely have to buy!

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