Archive | February 2008

Jensen Atwood May Not Return For Noah’s Arc Movie?

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I just heard that Jensen Atwood the gorgeous talented actor from Noah’s Arc may not return for the movie. According, to Jensen’s Myspace blog, he says that he isn’t certain if he will return for the film. The rumor is that Shemar Moore may replace Jensen. Isn’t Shemar Moore kind of old the guy is almost forty?

Of course, Shemar Moore is attractive , but he’s not very good at romantic comedies his acting comes across as stale, dry, lacking layers, complexity, and wooden.When people think of Shemar Moore, they think he’s an attractive man nobody thinks he’s a solid dramatic actor.

If Shemar doesn’t get his act together when his looks fade he may be out of work. Shemar has always been typecast in just about every movie he’s been in as the hot guy. Perhaps, Shemar wants to be in the Noah’s Arc movie to demonstrate he has range?

The character Wade, on Noah’s Arc, is a tough role in relation to acting. Wade has a strong masculinity yet he is also vulnerable. Shemar Moore never impressed me with his acting. I just don’t think Shemar has the range or talent to pull this performance off.

Also would Shemar be comfortable kissing another black man? Shouldn’t a younger actor such as Jensen Atwood be cast? Also, isn’t Shemar upset about the so called gay rumors? Wouldn’t the gay rumors just fuel the fire if Shemar was starring in the Noah’s Arc movie?

The quandary, for the Noah’s Arc movie, is how can the film reach a larger audience? LOGO wants the movie to make money but I am not sure Shemar Moore is “famous” enough anyway to attract a larger audience anyway. Shemar Moore has been on a few soaps, a few supporting roles in films, and on a CBS show “Criminal Intent” but he’s never been a leading man.

Gay people already know about Noah’s Arc and perhaps a few heterosexual women. However, the dilemma for the marketing team for the Noah’s Arc movie is how can the movie grow and reach other demographics? Can Noah’s Arc reach the lucrative heterosexual black audience such as the Tyler Perry crowd?

The dilemma, for black gay and lesbian entertainment are the barriers in relation to race, gender, and sexual orientation.

Race is an issue, because some people won’t watch the film because it has a black cast. The gender and sexual orientation is another issue because how many black heterosexual women want to watch a movie about black gay men falling in love? How many black heterosexual men would watch the film? Can some black females handle seeing gorgeous and sexy black males kissing on screen? Will it upset them?

I think since Jensen Atwood developed an audience with his character the sexy, mysterious Wade he should be cast in the film. Now of course, this is just my opinion but remember Hollywood is a business and it is profit driven.

Remember earlier this week Sean Combs ruined “A Raisin In The Sun” with his horrible acting? Well the ratings are in and despite Combs ludicrous performance the movie had a respectable ratings of 12.7 million viewers on ABC.

I will admit, I am sure some people tuned in just to see if Combs can act. LOGO doesn’t want the movie to be released in just a few hundred theaters and pull in a low box office. Also, how many people know about Noah’s Arc anyway?

Black Gay Teenager Brutally Murdered While Wearing A Dress

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A seventeen year old black gay teenager Simmie Williams Jr was brutally murdered in Fort Lauderdale Florida on February 23nd 2008 at 12:45 am. Williams was minding his own business walking down the street and was gunned down. Williams was shot to death while wearing a dress. Williams mother knew her son was gay and loved her son. Williams was planning to obtain his GED and apply to culinary school.

This is such a tragic and disgusting act of violence against a young gay person. Where is the outrage? There have been rumours that Williams may have been a male prostitute. Witnesses say they heard Williams in a heated argument with two men and homophobic slurs were hurled at him. However, there is absolutely no concrete evidence to prove Williams was a prostitute.

The LGBT Democratic Caucus plan a vigil and rally today at 4:30pm at 1000 Sistrunk Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale to call attention to violence against gays and lesbians in Florida. Williams death underscores the dangers that black gay teens encounter in a world that is heterosexist, homophobic, racist, and also against people that don’t conform to society’s rigid gender roles. Black gay teens encounter a quandary due to their age, race, and sexual orientation that heterosexual teenagers do not. Straight teens can meet at school, at the local library, at the mall, in the public sphere. Black gay youth also encounter homophobia from heterosexual blacks and racism from a hostile mainstream white gay community. Where do gay black teens turn when the gay community rejects them?

Since homophobia and racism is so entrenched in North America black gay teens encounter more barriers that haven’t broken down fast enough. Black gay teens often have a difficult time negotiating between the public and private sphere. High schools across the United States have developed gay and straight alliances to help alleviate this dilemma.

However the quandary is some homophobic people utilize religion as a weapon. Gays and lesbians have to fight in court against heterosexist organizations in order to have safe spaces available for gay teens. Gay and straight alliances are imperative because most gay social spaces in North America are reserved for adults. The gay bars, clubs, and bathhouses in America bar anyone under the age of consent. Gay teens don’t have access to the gay epicenter.

Williams death highlights another issue did he have access to counseling or social network programs? Some cities and towns in North America do not have gay and lesbian youth centers or programs for gay youth. Fort Lauderdale is considered a gay tourist city. However, were specific programs available for black gay youth? The question remains where do gay teens turn to when when they may feel isolated, alienated, confused, depressed, or seeking attention and want to make friends?

The internet is a new tool on the information superhighway for gay teens to connect with each other. However, the internet can also be a dangerous place for teenagers since sadistic pedophiles surf the net looking for impressionable youth . Transgendered youth encounter even more barriers including transphobia from the gay community and heterosexual society.

One argument is that Williams could of been more cautious walking around in public in a dress. However, Williams was only seventeen years old and unlike heterosexual teenagers gay teens encounter the crushing force of homophobia from a hostile society. Another point to consider is perhaps Williams was comfortable enough with himself that he had the courage to wear a dress in the public sphere. Also, the United States is a democracy and people should have the freedom to dress anyway they want without judgment, prejudice, or the threat of potential violence.

The Female Writers That Inspire Me To Write

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Today my sister and I decided to visit the local bookstore. I wandered to the poetry section. I was surprised to see a copy of my book “You Don’t Know Me” on the shelf. My sister was shocked as well. Feelings of sadness and despair washed over me as I picked up a copy of “You Don’t Know Me”. I just wish “You Don’t Know Me” was better it could of been so much better. I wonder if this is it? Will I ever get another book published? Am I doomed forever I wonder?

My sister decided to purchase a copy of Tupac Shakur’s poetry book “The Rose That Grew From Concrete”. I was impressed with Tupac’s poetry especially the poem about his close friend Jada Pinkett Smith. I decided to buy a book of selected poems by Emily Dickinson because I am a fan of her work.

I never really thought about writing until I started university. Very few male writers actually interest me and I don’t know why? The only male writers I have read a lot are James Baldwin and Langston Hughes perhaps its due to the black gay male connection? Most of the writers I read tend to be female. I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and he says I liked depressed and suicidal female writers a lot. I laughed I never thought about this before. I don’t think Evelyn Lau’s literary work is suicidal although her work does tend to be very depressing. Lau writes with such clarity about fractured male and female heterosexual relationships. I love Lau’s short story collection “Choose Me” every single story is written with great precision.

Lorraine Hansberry has a very special place in my heart because her play “A Raisin In The Sun” was the first broadway play produced by a black lesbian playwright. Although Hansberry had to conceal her lesbianism due to male supremacy and heterosexism. I gained an appreciation for theater when I read Hansberry’s work. Some people forget that Hansberry actually wrote a second successful play “The Sign In Sidney Bustein’s Window” ran for 100 performances and closed the night she died on March January 12th 1965.

I have read a few of E Lynn Harris books he’s certainly a good writer but he writes from a perspective I find a bit too much like a soap opera. I prefer to read books that are more pragmatic and realistic. Harris books are about rich blacks that have amazing jobs, always fly first class and basically are celebrities. I guess for some people they like this kind of fantasy writing but this doesn’t interest me. I do like Harris first novel “Invisible Life” I feel this is his best and most honest book. I wonder why Harris has never gotten the mainstream attention that Terry McMillan has? Harris book sales are incredible he sells a ton of books and yet none of his books have been made into movies yet. I wonder why?

I wouldn’t say I only like reading works by female writers and poets that are depressed. Emily Dickinson was an incredible poet. My favorite poem by Dickinson is “The Chariot”. Dickinson became reclusive later on in her life and may have suffered from depression. Although I feel a connection to this form of writing. I will admit I love Angelina Weld Grimke’s poetry and yes her poetry does tend to be depressing but so honest and true. I also love Evelyn Lau’s poetry she is a young Canadian feminist writer and poet. Lau actually is very famous in Canada she because a superstar in the Canadian literary world at the tender age of eighteen in the year 1989.

Of course I cannot forget about Zora Neale Hurston she’s perhaps the most controversial writer I have ever read in my life. Hurston’s memoir “Dust Tracks On A Road” is pure fiction. A lot of scholars have bashed Hurston for writing her autobiography. It is true Zora does lie about her age, where she was born, and a few other things. However, some scholars ignore the fact Zora’s publisher had the ultimate control she wasn’t able to publish everything she had written on her own terms.

Evelyn Lau’s first book “Runaway: Diary Of A Street Kid” is a depressing tale about the two years she spent living on the streets of Vancouver as a prostitute. Lau wrote a second memoir in 2001 “Inside Out A Reflection Of A Life So Far” looking back on her past experiences. Lau also explores about the turmoil she endured in her life dealing with father figures, the literary battle with an ex lover, eating disorders, depression, and about the present. The odd thing about Evelyn Lau is she always ignores the issue of race in her writing. In Lau’s fiction and sometimes even in her non fiction she always concentrates on white society. I am also interested in learning about Lau’s views about race from an Asian Canadian woman’s perspective.

I have a fascination with Anne Sexton I never understood why Sylvia Plath is considered more famous then Sexton? I always felt Anne Sexton was a bit underrated and she was the superior poet.

I used to be a big Terry McMillan fan until I realized this woman is bat crazy and bonkers and not in a good way. Terry’s last novel “The Interruption of Everything” was so sloppy and poorly written. The characters weren’t developed enough, the narrative was slow and the book dragged a bit.

Two writers that I read often are Makeda Silvera and Dionne Brand. Silvera and Brand are both black Canadian lesbians and they both have been instrumental in bringing the black lesbian experience to the masses. Silvera used to run her own publishing company in the 1990s called “Sister Visions Press”. Brand is one of Canada’s most successful black woman writers ever. Brand’s poetry is just amazing but I love her fiction and non fiction works too.

CD Review: Discipline

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The atrocious and ludicrous reviews I have read about Janet Jackson’s stunning new album “Discipline” makes me cringe. It is obvious some journalists have no objectivity and clearly are unprofessional. A critic needs to think about the audience and demographics an artist is trying to reach. Why don’t some music journalists just be honest and state that they hate Janet Jackson? Some critics are too esoteric they have this pretentious attitude that their views are the only perspectives that are acceptable.  The Entertainment Weekly review of Janet’s latest CD “Discipline” was just lazy journalism and has zero credibility. Some people just don’t have any perspective and are treating Janet Jackson so unfairly.

When Madonna was extremely sexual in the early 1990s with “Erotica” she encountered a major backlash from the mainstream press. Madonna is a shrewd business woman she transformed her image in order to maintain “respectability” and her popularity by “softening” her image. People also immediately forget Madonna also had a bomb 2003 “American Life” only went gold. I think Madonna became more boring and less relevant. The white media praised Madonna for toning down her sexual image and claimed she was “maturing”.

I think the anger the white media have against Janet Jackson is misplaced. The black press has always been more balanced in their views about Janet Jackson. 20 Y.O. was a crappy album and I think even Janet Jackson would admit this. However, Janet Jackson isn’t “withdrawing” or “softening” her image at all for anybody. When male singers sing explicit songs nobody says they are acting desperate or trying too hard to be sexual. So why are different standards applied to female singers? It appears to me the media is still extremely sexist against women expressing their sexuality. Some people are uncomfortable with female sexuality but that’s their problem. Janet Jackson is a grown ass woman and she has the freedom to express herself anyway she wants.

In fact, Janet is continuing on her own path singing the songs she wants to sing she’s not letting anyone tell her what to do. I applaud Janet Jackson for refusing to allow anyone to stop her from expressing herself through her music. The media need to stop complaining about Janet Jackson and get with the program. Janet Jackson has always been a very provocative artist.

One of the most important aspects of any Janet Jackson CD are the numerous interludes this is Janet’s trademark. Some people complain the interludes are “boring” but where have these people been all these years? Janet Jackson’s albums always have interludes she is interested in providing some context and perspective to her songs. “Discipline” is Janet’s strongest album this decade. Many artists have attempted to copy Janet but there is one and only Janet Jackson. I think the interludes allows the listener to understand Janet’s personality better.

There are times on this album that Janet sounds like her brother Michael. The ballad “Can’t B good” reminds me of a Michael Jackson song. Janet is vulnerable on this song questioning herself about a relationship that didn’t work. Sometimes when Janet sings she reminds me of her older brother. Another wicked track “Never Letchu Go” Janet vocals are strong. The ballad “Greatest X” is about heartbreak it is a beautiful song. The S&M song “Discipline” is a mellifluous slow burn that some conservative people may not appreciate since the lyrics are steamy and sexy . Another ballad I love is “Curtains” the song has a wonderful beat. The mid tempo song “The 1″ with Janet and Missy Elliott is so playful, cute, and cool I love the funky beat.

I can admit due to my own ingrained sexism since I was raised in the Occidental world that sexuality is viewed as being reserved for young people. If Janet Jackson wants to sing about having multiple orgasms then she has the right to. Thank goodness Janet’s enjoying sex and she’s just letting us know about it. If Janet Jackson wants to moan about masturbation then more power to her. If Janet wants to sing about the various sexual positions she has sex then good for her. We all masturbate, we all have sex, and we all try various different sexual positions. I don’t see the big deal here.

Sometimes I wonder if there is a subversive message that the mainstream is fearful of black female sexuality? Since the days of slavery black women have had a tug of war of being viewed as licentious or being pristine. Why can’t a black woman be confident about her sexuality and not be depicted as a loose or fallen woman? I don’t think Janet is stereotyping black women at all by discussing sex and I don’t think its just a marketing tactic either.

Male sexuality is never scorned men are granted permission to discuss sex until we die. Why are there double standards for women? Sex is beautiful and America is still a puritanical nation that attempts to force female sexuality into certain categories. Janet Jackson is 41 years old and girlfriend works out she has an amazing body. Janet takes care of herself she has a right to flaunt her sexuality if she wants to.

It is obvious to the discerning eye that some people in the media have an axe to grind and a vendetta against Janet Jackson because she’s a Jackson. Thankfully for all Janet Jackson fans she has learned from the mistakes from Damita Jo, and 20 Y.O. I believe Damita Jo is an underrated album but the media crucified Janet Jackson and branded her with the Scarlet Letter after the 2004 Super Bowl. Damita Jo according to the RIAA has shipped platinum and sold about 1 million copies. 20 Y.O. was a flop it was only certified gold. 20 Y.O. was definitely a sloppy album with only a few solid songs such as “Take Care”, “So Excited”, “Get It On Me”, and “Enjoy”.

Janet has made some drastic changes and I am glad she has the courage to move forward in her career . Discipline is a blend between the old Janet Jackson sound and a new fresh R&B sound. First, Janet’s long time producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are gone. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis are wonderful producers but their time has passed. Janet has worked with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis for over twenty years and her sound was starting to become stale and dry. It was a shrewd move on Janet’s part to hire producers such as Johnta Austin, Rodney Jerkins, The Dream, Tricky Stewart, Stargate, Shea Taylor, Ne Yo, and her boyfriend Jermaine Dupri to work on the album. Janet has also switched record labels she left Virgin for Island. Virgin America disrespected Janet Jackson when they didn’t campaign hard enough to generate publicity for Janet’s last two albums Damita Jo, and 20 Y.O.

Jackson is a legend and people need to let the Super Bowl incident die and move on. One thing I don’t understand why Justin Timberlake never received the same treatment as Janet Jackson? Justin was the aggressor he rips off Janet’s top yet Janet gets all the grief. Once again, the white man is the stud while the black woman is scorned. The mainstream media are demonstrating the pernicious racism and sexism against black women. Why is Janet still being treated like she is Hester Prynne? I respect Janet because unlike some stars she doesn’t air her dirty laundry to the press. For example, Janet was married for nine years yet kept her marriage secret. Janet is an icon and she deserves our respect for all her hard work in transforming pop culture for black entertainers. Janet seems so humble and so sweet and has a very interesting personality I have always found her to be mysterious. Janet also seems to genuinely love her fans she comes across as a real person unlike certain pop stars.

Janet Jackson is very rare in the entertainment industry she has a very famous brother Michael Jackson and yet she emerged from Michael’s shadow to become an international superstar. Janet’s father Joe Jackson pushed Janet into becoming a singer in the year 1982 and finally in 1985 she fired Joe and became independent. The rest is history. Every superstar has times in their career when their record sales goes down nobody stays on top forever.

So many young female singers such as Beyonce, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Simpson, Rihanna, and Ciara have all been influenced by Janet Jackson. Janet Jackson was the first modern black female pop star that had the hard baseline grooves, mixed with the pop sound. Janet has evolved over the years. The bottom line is Janet Jackson is going to talk about sex and she doesn’t care what the media or public has to say. I think this CD “Discipline” demonstrates Janet is very confident about herself and this is a very effervescent CD.

The album is mostly club bangers and mid tempo songs but this is Janet Jackson’s strength. I wonder what some reviewers want from Janet? Janet Jackson has never been about saving the world or about the environment. Janet has already had hit songs about racism, homophobia, sexism, family discord, and domestic violence.

The first five songs are club bangers “Feedback”, “Rollercoaster”, “Luv”, “Rock With U”, and “2nite”. I also love the mid tempo songs such as “What’s Ur name”, “So Much Betta”. I hope Janet decides to go on tour this year. The production is incredible, this album represents the real Janet Jackson. Discipline is definitely a solid CD and I definitely recommend that people purchase a copy. Welcome back Janet Jackson!

Blair Underwood Is Still A Hunk! Watch Blair on HBO “In Treatment”

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My crush on Blair Underwood started in the late 1980s when I was just a kid. I remember watching L.A. Law and I was mesmerized in a trance with Blair. I love Blair so much. I imagined one day Blair and I would be married. I can picture our wedding in Los Angeles because Toronto is just so cold right now. The wedding would take place in June on a bright Saturday afternoon. The sunlight would shine on us during our moment of true happiness. Our glorious day would take place in a garden with violins, cellos, violas, playing softly in the background. We are wearing matching tuxedos and Blair kisses me gently on my lips our destiny sealed forever.

Fantasies are always fun and Blair is so cute, so talented he was amazing on L.A. Law. I mean look at this man he is so sexy with his sweet chocolate lips. Blair never did have another breakout role although he does work consistently. I always wondered why Blair never became a superstar like Will Smith or Denzel Washington? Smith and Washington are definitely attractive but I find both to be kind of bland and boring. Blair is just so sexy and kind of mysterious too. I kind of wish Blair had taken on more complex roles when he was younger.

Blair is back on television on a new HBO show called “In Treatment”.For most of Blair’s career his characters have always been the perfect black man. I must admit there was a time when I was sick of Blair Underwood because he simply wasn’t choosing the right roles. I understand Blair wanted to take on positive roles but every actor needs some diversity. I think for a while Blair was typecast as the noble black man.

I am so pleased that on Blair’s new show “In Treatment” his character Alex is more layered, complex, and not perfect. Blair’s character Alex is a navy fighter pilot with a troubled past. The format of the show is Gabriel Byrne the psychiatrist meets regularly with five patients and Blair’s character Alex is one of his patients. I sincerely hope Blair continues to take on more challenging roles.

Which Man Should Be Leader Of The Liberal Party? The Choice Is Obvious

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Although Stephane Dion is the current leader of the Liberal party I just don’t believe Dion has the confidence of the Canadian population. Can the liberals defeat the Conservative Party of Canada in a Federal election? Maybe anything is possible in Canadian politics. However, Stephane Dion doesn’t strike me as a strong leader. Dion comes across as insecure he is not certain where he is leading the federal Liberal party. Dion comes across as an annoying nerd. Dion isn’t a strong man he is not leadership material.

I think the Liberal party should of chosen Gerard Kennedy as their leader. The Liberal party made a huge mistake by not choosing Kennedy. Kennedy could of attracted more demographics such as the feminist, youth, and gay communities. Kennedy understand social issues he used to be the executive director of the Daily Bread Food Bank in Toronto. Kennedy cares about the disadvantaged. Dion hasn’t impressed me at all and there have been rumors that another Federal election could be on the horizon very soon.

Amelie Mauresmo: A Woman At A Crossroads

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French Tennis superstar Amelie Mauresmo admitted to the French sports magazine L’Equipe recently that she is considering retirement. I have feelings of sadness when I heard about Amelie’s frustration with her career. I wonder if Amelie is satisfied? After all Amelie is now a tennis champion and her place in women’s tennis history is secure. For a long time the media labeled Amelie as a consistent choker unable to win the grand slams. Amelie even wondered prior to 2006 if she ever would become a champion.

Amelie’s ranking has dropped significantly she is currently ranked number twenty nine in the world. Amelie had a horrible 2007 she only won one WTA title an event in Antwerp Belgium, lost in the fourth round at Wimbledon, and she also skipped the US Open. It is important to point out Amelie wasn’t injured when she skipped the US Open she decided not to play due to lack of motivation. I think Amelie should perhaps limit her schedule to keep herself fresh this year. The WTA tour is a real grind the women travel all over the world to play tennis. I think Amelie should concentrate on only the big events to try to acquire more ranking points. I also am suggesting to Amelie perhaps she can play some tier III events to boost her confidence. If Amelie can win the smaller events maybe this will give her some mental strength back?

One of the complaints tennis fans have about Amelie is her tendency to give up when things get tough. Amelie is a champion she has proven she is no flake she is for real. All tennis champions have times in their career when things aren’t going well. Venus, Serena, Maria, Justine, Lindsay, they all have had droughts it happens. I am not a professional athlete and I am sure Amelie’s disappointing results must be frustrating for her.

However, I also notice Amelie has been playing a more defensive game in the past year. Amelie is at her best when she is charging the net serving and volleying not when she is on the baseline chipping back slice backhands. Where is the aggression from Amelie? Why isn’t Amelie returning back to a more assertive game that carried her to two grand slam titles in 2006? I remember Amelie used to be fearless on the court blasting powerful forehands, backhands, hitting huge serves and knocking off volleys.

I believe Amelie can compete with the Williams Sisters, Justine Henin, and Maria Sharapova she’s got the game. It is foolish for the mainstream media to count Amelie Mauresmo out she is the kind of player that has the experience to win slams. Amelie can be very dangerous if her game does get on track and she connects with the ball. All Amelie needs to do is win some events and her confidence will be restored.

I always have a soft spot for Amelie Mauresmo because she is the first player in the current generation to declare she is a lesbian. Unlike the male tennis players the women’s tennis tour is so much more mature because women seem to be more understanding around issues of sexuality. I am not suggesting some heterosexual women cannot be homophobic because this is definitely not the case. However, I also believe that men force other males to remain in a rigid form of masculinity. The gay male tennis players live in fear due to heterosexual men.

Where are the gay male tennis players? Why are the gay men on the ATP Tour cowards? There have been rumours for years about certain Spanish and French males tennis players hiding their homosexuality. However, there has never been any clear confirmation that the Spaniards or the French men are gay. If the lesbians can come out and become tennis champions why can’t the gay male tennis players come out too? Tennis is not a team sport professional tennis is an individual sport. Wouldn’t it be easier for a gay male tennis player to come out in tennis then a team sport? So why are the gay male tennis pros still reticent and the women are so courageous?

The women on the WTA Tour don’t that care Amelie is a lesbian in fact they respect Amelie so much and like her. Amelie has never lied or denied she is a lesbian and soon the attention of the media returned to her tennis. Although I am a gay man I think it takes so much courage to come out and Amelie came out to the world.

The WTA Tour has a history of lesbianism dating back to the 1960s. Former Wimbledon and Us Open champion Maria Bueno and American Darlene Hard were lesbian lovers.  Virginia Wade the last British woman to ever win Wimbledon in 1977  has been rumored for years being a closeted lesbian. It wasn’t until the 1980 when Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King came out of the closet as lesbian tennis champions. At the 2006 Australian Open the Australian player Renee Stubbs came out to the Melbourne newspaper The Age. Stubbs disclosed that she used to date American Lisa Raymond. Spaniard and former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez is a lesbian and she used to date American Gigi Fernandez back in the 1990s. There are rumors that Jana Novotna and Hana Mandlikova used to be lesbian lovers. In fact, another rumor is that Russian player Svetlana Kuznetsova is a lesbian and the Australian tennis player Samantha Stosur is also a lesbian.

I think it is important when the champions come out of the closet because it demonstrates gay people can compete at the highest levels in professional sports. So where are the gay male tennis champions? The late great Bill Tilden can’t be the only gay man to ever play the game? There simply has to be more gay male tennis champions? So why are men immature and cowards and women aren’t?

There has been some homophobia on the WTA tour when Amelie came out in 1999 I remember Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis were so homophobic making fun of Amelie’s appearance and claiming she wasn’t feminine enough. If you look at Amelie Mauresmo she is more feminine then Davenport that’s for sure. Aren’t women tennis players athletes? So why the double standard in relation to male and female athletes? Ana Ivanovic said it best you can’t be wearing make up and trying to look sexy when you are sweating on the tennis court.

Tracy Austin the termagant tennis analyst also made a homophobic comment during the 2006 US OPEN on USA Network. I was so disgusted with Austin comparing Amelie to the new tennis ingenue Maria Sharapova. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder I don’t understand the big deal about Sharapova’s looks? Big deal, Maria is tall and blonde and yes she’s a solid player but so is Amelie. Amelie has a gentle side to her personality she is actually quite slender also. There are plenty of women on the WTA tour that are bigger then Amelie Mauresmo.

Amelie’s breakthrough year was 2006 she was the top player in the world and won the Australian Open and Wimbledon championships. Amelie’s confidence is gone she hasn’t fully mentally recovered from the appendix surgery she had last year. I still believe Amelie can win more slams but it is all up to her.

The French Open commences in May but the pressure is so intense in France for Amelie to win the event. Amelie always crumbles under the pressure in Paris she has never advanced beyond the French Open quarterfinals in her career. Belgian Justine Henin has won the French Open four times in the past five years. Amelie is one of the few women that can defeat Justine on the clay. I hope Amelie continues to play she shouldn’t retire at the age of twenty eight I still believe she can win another slam.

Why Is Playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s Lesbianism Still A Secret In 2008?

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The ABC television movie, “A Raisin In The Sun,” will be broadcast on February 25th 2008 at 8:00pm. The television film fulfills the black quota for “black history month”. Pop star Sean Combs. is the protagonist Walter Lee Younger. The title of the movie refers to black gay poet Langston Hughes poem “Harlem”.

African American lesbian playwright Lorraine Hansberry’s legendary play, once again, will be brought back to television to reach a new generation next week. Hansberry was the first black lesbian playwright to have a play produced on Broadway in 1959. “A Raisin In the Sun” was a huge success for Hansberry and launched her career.

The general public of course does not know that Lorraine Hansberry was a lesbian due to homophobia. Why is black lesbianism considered “private” yet “heterosexuality” is a part of the public domain? Although Hansberry married a white Jewish man, Robert Nemiroff in 1953, the couple separated in 1957 and divorced in 1964.Hansberry was conscious of her lesbian identity and she negotiated between the public and private spheres. Black lesbians encountered racism from the mainstream, white gay culture, and also persecution from heterosexual blacks.

Lorraine Hansberry’s lesbian identity emerges from the articles she wrote for the lesbian publication “The Ladder” in the late 1950s. Hansberry did not use her full name when she wrote articles for “The Ladder” she used her initials L.H. instead. In the 1950s, in America, gays and lesbians lived in fear due to witch hunts against homosexuals. Black lesbian women encountered a triple form of oppression in relation to their race, gender, and sexual orientation.

Can you imagine the difficulties black lesbians endured in the 1950s? Homosexuality was still considered a mental illness that can be cured. The topic of human sexuality was still taboo in the 1950s. America was sexually repressed due to heterosexual male domination and male supremacy. The racial and sexual apartheid existed in the United States and black lesbians lived in constant danger due to racism, sexism and homophobia. The civil rights and gay movements did not gather strength until the 1960s.

Black lesbians encountered racism from white lesbians and were barred from entering white lesbian bars and establishments during the 1950s. Black lesbians also endured gender discrimination due to being women and unwanted sexual advances of dangerous, violent, and hostile heterosexual men.

Hansberry was indeed a lesbian but this important component of black queer history should not be erased by the homophobic Occidental world. Heterosexual black publications always ignore the important fact Hansberry was a lesbian. I didn’t know Lorraine Hansberry was a lesbian until I read lesbian activist, feminist, poet, and writer Adrienne Rich’s incisive essay “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”. Rich’s analysis is correct society attempts to erase, diminish, and destroy the contributions of lesbians in many ways. I believe the silence about Lorraine Hansberry’s lesbianism is due to the negative attitude that still exists against homosexuals.

Why is the term lesbianism treated like a scatological word? One argument is some straights believe “it doesn’t matter” and if people discover that Lorraine Hansberry was a black lesbian it might “scare people off” from watching the movie. Why is there this invisible code and this silent barrier? If black lesbian emancipation is to occur why is black lesbianism still a social taboo? Society appears to have a love and hate relationship with lesbianism.

The political, cultural, social, and artistic merits of black lesbians such as Lorraine Hansberry must be celebrated and not treated as some shameful abhorrent secret. It is the year 2008 so why are we still reticent? Why hasn’t this final chasm been shattered and the truth still shrouded in silence? Lorraine Hansberry proves that black gay people care about the black community.

Often heterosexual blacks believe black gays and lesbians only focus on sexual orientation and ignore race. Lorraine Hansberry proves through art that she was cognizant of the racial, social and political polemics blacks endured during the civil rights era. “A Raisin In The Sun”, is about a fictional story about a black family struggling to survive in 1950s Chicago at a time when America’s social and racial apartheid was at full strength.

Virtually all the articles published about “A Raisin In The Sun” always mentions Lorraine Hansberry’s race and her gender but excludes her sexual orientation. The question is why? It appears in the year 2008 homophobia reigns supreme. Lesbianism is more then just a sexual act there is more to lesbianism then just sex. Lesbians are women that are not sexually attracted to men but there is an illogical fear of lesbianism in society that lesbians are anti male.

Lorraine Hansberry lived a double life a life where she constantly was in fear that the heterosexist matrix would discriminate against her since she was a black lesbian. The real Lorraine Hansberry is blurred between the printed lines of “A Raisin In The Sun”. The sentences, paragraphs, thoughts, feelings, emotions, and doubt, lives in Lorraine Hansberry’s groundbreaking play. “A Raisin In The Sun” is about emancipation and personal determination I believe this also relates to the struggles gays and lesbians encounter. Perhaps Hansberry used her play as a metaphor to explore the internal struggles she endured during her own life?

Lorraine Hansberry’s incredible groundbreaking play proves that black gay and lesbian people were cognizant of the struggles blacks endured in the mid 20th century. Hansberry wanted to bring a greater awareness to the incredible racism, sexism, and economic discrimination African Americans experienced in the United States.

Lorraine Hansberry is very important she shattered an artistic and cultural barrier in the performing arts. It is such a disservice to ignore Hansberry was a lesbian. Lorraine Hansberry’s lesbian identity should not be concealed in the shadows and be treated as an afterthought. I believe it is imperative, and crucial that there be a dialogue about how Hansberry’s play relates to her lesbian identity. It is simply disgraceful that the mainstream press to ignore and attempt to erase the importance of lesbianism in Lorraine Hansberry’s life and art.

The articles Lorraine Hansberry wrote for “The Ladder” are very passionate and powerful she wrote about the struggles she endured as a black lesbian woman in the mid 20th century. Legendary African American actors Ruby Dee and Sidney Poitier were the stars of the original stage version of the play and the 1961 feature film. Sadly, Lorraine Hansberry died in her prime at the tender age of thirty four in 1965 due to pancreatic cancer. Lorraine Hansberry died at a very young age she was such an incredible talent.

The press have showered the movie with a lot of praise saying the three hour film is a testament of Hansberry’s incredible talent. The cast includes Phylicia Rashad, Sanaa Lathan, Audra McDonald, and the omnipotent Sean Combs. I will admit I might take a peek at the movie. However, I am not impressed that Sean Combs or P Diddy or whatever that guy calls himself is the star of the film. I wanted a younger black male actor to be the star of the movie.

The crisis in black Hollywood is the paucity of film roles available for young black actors. I am sure some black actors are seething right now that Sean Combs is the star of the film. In white Hollywood you rarely ever see a “singer” attain a prestigious movie role these days. Can you imagine Jon Bon Jovi as the star in a movie about Elvis? So why is there a double standard for black Hollywood? Why do untalented bottom feeders such as Sean Combs get to the be star of such an important movie?

I really feel for the talented young black male actors that are training hard at various universities, colleges, theater programs, across North America and the world. The only reason Sean Combs was hired is due to greed. The producers and director behind the television film believe Combs can generate huge ratings for ABC television. ABC television will hype this movie to the maximum I just believe a talented and much younger black actor should of chosen for the male lead.

The lead in “A Raisin In The Sun” Walter Lee Younger is a young black man and Sean Combs is thirty eight years old. Since Combs in thirty eight one argument is he can bring “maturity” to the role. However, I believe the feeling of naivety and optimism is diminished for the character Walter Lee Younger due to Combs advanced age.

A younger black male actor possibly someone between the ages of twenty five to perhaps thirty two should of been chosen for the role. Combs is simply not talented enough and too old for the part. Combs is also a rap artist he’s a wannabe actor he is not a serious dramatic actor. I have so much sympathy for the talented black actors that want to become stars in Hollywood but are not given the opportunity.

Why does Hollywood continue to insult the audience and cast these talentless flakes such as Sean Combs in such prestigious roles? The barriers for black actors in Hollywood are incredible there are limited opportunities to advance up the Hollywood star system. Twenty five years ago perhaps an unknown black male actor would of been chosen for the lead role. Hollywood is profit driven and the ideology is since Sean Combs already is successful in various demographics his fans will fans will flock to watch the movie. However, does talent not matter anymore?

Why do young blacks in Hollywood have to always be singers or dancers in order to breakthrough and get the big movie roles? Beyonce just won the lead role in a biopic about the legendary singer Etta James. I cringe because Beyonce is not an actress she needs acting lessons. Beyonce cannot act she requires an acting coach and numerous hours to learning the craft of acting.

Young talented unknown black actors are being disrespected and ignored. A young black male actor with talent would of been electrifying in the role of Walter Lee Younger. A young black actor could of brought pathos, complexity, sensitivity, and range to this very important role. Unfortunately, Hollywood is now all about profit margins, ratings, and the craft of acting is now secondary. The only glimmer of hope is that young people will learn more about Lorraine Hansberry and gain an appreciation for her incredible talent.

Barack Obama Is The Presidential Candidate Not The Black Candidate.

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Tavis Smiley is a well respected African American journalist, host, and author. Smiley recently criticized Barack Obama for not attending a black summit event in the state of Louisiana. Smiley has a tendency to be loquacious, petulant, and stubborn when he doesn’t get his way.

Senator Obama’s campaign team stated he was busy but Michelle Obama could still attend the event. Tavis Smiley was unimpressed he wanted Barack Obama at the black summit so he could acquire more media attention, more publicity, and make more money.

Smiley has always acted as though he’s one of the “voices” of the African American community in the United States and that his views always matter most. Smiley’s true colours are emerging he’s a self righteous man. It is also very disconcerting that Smiley’s outburst against Senator Obama was basically Smiley pouting like a child and having a tantrum. Senator Obama is taking some criticism because Smiley claims he is snubbing him and not focusing on black issues. Senator Obama is trying to win the democratic party nomination he doesn’t have time to focus on Tavis Smiley. Smiley has an incredible ego and he is clearly a hindrance in Obama’s path to the White House.

It is obvious that Tavis Smiley obviously doesn’t get it. I have noticed the old civil rights guard don’t like Senator Obama and they feel he has to “prove” his blackness. I just think this is perfidious and just plain ludicrous. Senator Obama is a very shrewd politician he realizes he cannot become a polarizing figure such as Al Sharpton, Tavis Smiley, Andrew Young, or Jesse Jackson.

Tavis Smiley is an important member of the black media and although he is passionate about black issues he does comes across as confrontational at times. Senator Obama is the exact opposite. Senator Obama’s approach is perceptive he is aware of the fact the less inimical he is the better. Obama is all about “inclusion”he is about “change” and his less forceful approach actually engages voters across various racial groups. People don’t want to hear a candidate complain about what its like to be “black” all the time. The voters care about what a politician can “do” for “them”.

In politics the message is just as important as the image and perception. The reason Senator Obama is doing well is not because he’s some magic Negro or some house Negro. Senator Obama is succeeding because he is able to discern that although he is a black man he has to reach a larger demographic of voters. Senator Obama wouldn’t be doing so well if he just had the African American vote. Senator Obama has won in Maine, Iowa, Washington State, Hawaii, and Nebraska all these states have large white populations. Senator Obama is connecting with whites, blacks, Asians, and even Latino voters.

Senator Obama also did not attend the Jena Six march in Jena Louisiana last year either and I am glad he didn’t. Senator Clinton didn’t attend the Jena Six protest march why didn’t the black civil rights leaders complain about her? Why is Senator Obama being singled out just because he’s black? Why don’t the old black civil rights guard attack the Clintons why are they singling out Obama?

Senator Obama is in a race to make history and I think it is disgraceful and abhorrent that Tavis Smiley and the old civil rights guard are attacking Senator Obama like this. I think this also proves that some black people we are our own worst enemies. It isn’t just the Clintons, and the Republican party that are attacking Senator Obama it is also other black people.

Now of course the black race is not a monolithic group divergent points of views must exist. However, I resent the fact that Tavis Smiley, Andrew Young, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and the old black civil rights guard think they have a “right” to preach to Senator Obama. Why can’t the old civil rights guard step off? My goodness, let Barack Obama do his own thing the brother clearly knows what he is doing he doesn’t need “advice” from the old guard. Senator Obama is clearly from a different generation he’s not playing the victim card game.

Remember last year during the Jena Six march in Louisiana Jesse Jackson was infuriated that Senator Obama didn’t attend the march and claimed he’s “trying to act like he’s white.” The Occidental media had a field day with Jesse Jackson’s illogical and also self serving comments. The press love it when the black elite have public feuds. I really believe that Tavis Smiley is wrong here.

The reason the old black civil rights guard detest Senator Obama so much is because he is an independent thinker. Senator Obama is focusing on “everyone” not just black people. Senator Obama has made it clear he is a black man and he is also married to a black woman. I love the fact that Senator Obama isn’t just following the collective thinking of the old black civil rights guard. The slave mentality of the old black civil rights guard is to “support” the Clintons. Senator Obama clearly loves black people and the black race.

The great African American sociologist and writer W.E.B. Du Bois wrote in his groundbreaking book “The Souls Of Black Folk” over a century ago about “double consciousness”. The black politicians in the public sphere are cognizant of the fact the white media are carefully scrutinizing everything they say or do. The white gaze will pounce on Senator Obama and he doesn’t want this to happen. Senator Obama has been cautious but also assertive when he needs to be.

Hillary Clinton has the advantage of white skin privilege and the currency of whiteness she can attend black and white events. When Hillary Clinton attends a black event it appears that she’s trying to “gain” the support of blacks and the black vote. However, the Occidental press will manipulate the situation if Senator Obama attends a black event and claim he’s just all about “black issues”. It is important to discern the tactics of the mainstream.

Black people live in separate spheres the public and the private. Senator Obama is intelligent he understands the white lens are constantly watching him. The mainstream North American media are placing greater emphasis on Senator Obama trying to create a pathology about him and make him fearful to white voters. In society whenever a black person reaches a level of prominence the mainstream have always attempted to push the black individual back. The Clintons, and the various civil rights leaders are a part of the “system” they don’t want change to occur. Barack Obama is important he is demonstrating to young voters that people of colour can dream and hopefully smash the glass ceiling.

The Clintons and the black civil rights leaders are also not a part of the new generation they are the status quo. The old guard needs to realize their time has passed. It is a brand new day and a time for the new generation to emerge. Senator Clinton and the old black civil rights guard are fearful of Senator Obama and they are trying to find some form of “weakness” so they can attack him.

Senator Barack Obama already won the state of Louisiana he is trying to gain support across various racial demographics. The Clintons have always attempted to marginalize Senator Obama as just “the black candidate” and to strike a fear in white, Asian, and Latino voters. Senator Obama and his campaign organizers are intelligent they realize that Obama has to appear as though he isn’t just focused on “black issues” but “all issues”. Senator Obama is trying to become the first African American president in the United States history. Tavis Smiley and the old civil rights guard are a bit inimical they don’t understand the concerns of the younger black generation and Senator Obama does. It is time for Tavis Smiley to shut up and fall back!

Watch Out For Duplicitious Editors!!!

Last week Friday I was excited because an American editor said he wanted to publish an article I had written. My work has already been published in Toronto that’s not exactly a big thrill anymore. I must confess I do like getting my work published internationally. The only condition was that I had to reduce the word count for the opinion article to 800 words. I immediately asked the editor politely about the payment schedule for the article. I was stupid I admit this now I should of asked for a contract.

I did not receive a response from the editor until this morning. I believe a writer should be paid for writing. I do not believe in writing for free this isn’t charity this is business. I worked really hard on my article all weekend. All weekend I slaved over the article trying to make it coherent. Next, on Sunday afternoon I e-mailed the finished piece to the editor. However, this morning the editor e-mails me back and he now claims that his publication doesn’t pay for opinion articles.

Next, this tacky editor has the audacity to ask if I am still interested in having the piece published for free? I refused because I believe it is a matter of principle. Why should I write for free? What am I getting out of it? I’ve written for free before I’m not doing that anymore. I’ve been writing for a while now and I refuse to be taken advantage of.

I am sure everyone knows by now that I do have a temper I admit this. I can be a real nasty bitch if I am pissed off about something. I don’t think I react sometimes when I am angry and it can get ugly. Let’s just say I am a work in progress. I am cognizant of the fact that getting angry doesn’t always solve something. However, sometimes I believe anger is justified.

However, I quickly called my good friend this morning to calm down and diffuse the situation. I don’t know how he does it but my friend he always has such a positive personality. He just makes me feel good and helps me put my thoughts and emotions into perspective. I also asked my friend for some advice he was in a hurry because he was getting ready for a lecture. We didn’t have any time for one of our usual two to three hour phone conversations. Today our conversation was short only forty five minutes. Anyway, my friend told me to just try to calm down. He told me it is okay to be angry. However, my friend said just make my point to the editor without resorting to swearing. So I e-mailed the editor back I was “polite” but I let the editor know I did not appreciate his unprofessionalism.

Next, the editor replied back claiming there must of been some “confusion” and that the publication does not pay for opinion articles. The editor is a liar there was no confusion he just wasn’t honest from the start. Why couldn’t the editor just be honest with me? Why lie? Why lie to me and lead me on? I am so sick of this shit. However, I can admit that I am partially at fault because I should of asked for a contract instead of asking about the “payment schedule”. I think the word “payment schedule” is pretty clear though? I definitely inquired about payment I made sure I let the editor know I don’t write for free.

I am so stupid to not realize at the time this is the oldest trick in the book. A legitimate editor will discuss contracts and payment immediately after they accept an article for publication. I should of known the delayed response from the editor is proof of his nefarious character. I know from prior experience this is not how the publishing world works. I am at fault, my article didn’t get published but at least I didn’t allow this editor to undermine me and get away with it. I will continue to pitch my piece to other publications and hopefully it will be published soon and hopefully I will get paid for my work as well. I wonder if I am the only one that goes through this kind of bullshit?

PS. If you are a professional editor reading my blog and are honest about payment then feel free to contact me. I write about anything and everything. I specifically write about the intersection of pop culture, sexuality, race, class, and gender. I also have written about sports I know a lot about professional tennis and also have an understanding of Canadian and American politics.

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