Archive | November 2008

Time To Think About Christmas Gifts!

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Since December starts tomorrow I am starting to think about Christmas. I am not a religious person but I love Christmas time because I love giving my family and friends gifts. Sometimes of course I get gifts for myself as well.

I just realized I don’t own any cartoon classics such as Cinderella, Snow White, or Alice In Wonderland.  I simply must buy Alice In Wonderland the Disney movie on DVD.I  remember when I was a young boy and I loved it when Alice said “Mr. Rabbit, Mr. Rabbit”. I just love this movie. Alice she is so adorable, intelligent and sweet girl with a big imagination. I have been searching online for good deals at HMV, Best Buy, and Ebay.

Wanda Sykes Comes Out The Closet Declares She Is A Lesbian

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Now I know I am late but I just found out that African American comedian Wanda Sykes has come out of the closet declaring she is a lesbian. I was just surfing the internet checking out some hip hop message boards and most of the comments were “no surprise”, “so what” or “no big deal” that Wanda Sykes is a lesbian. I know this will sound controversial but I think the reason some black people don’t care about Wanda Sykes coming out is because she is not viewed as a threat.

Now can you imagine an A list gorgeous black actress or handsome A list black male actor coming out? I mean this would shock the world wouldn’t it? Now Wanda Sykes is a solid entertainer but she’s just not that big a star.

 Wanda decided to come out of the closet after the controversy over proposition 8 in the state of California. I doubt Wanda Sykes coming out will capture the black community’s attention because she just isn’t that big a star. I think when a really famous black actress or black male actor comes out then black people will really pay attention.

 I am surprised that Wanda is a lesbian I did not know. I still think it is good that Wanda decided to come out because there are so few black entertainers declaring their true sexual orientation. There is definitely homophobia in the black community this is true. I think pop culture is very important even though some people try to pretend that they don’t care about pop culture.

 I believe more black gay and lesbian public figures should come out of the closet.  The more famous people of colour coming out perhaps the image of homosexuality will change. The public image of homosexuality is still a Eurocentric one and more famous black stars need to come out to remind the public anyone can be gay or lesbian regardless of of their racial background. 

I don’t think Wanda’s declaration will hurt her career though since she’s not an A list star anyway. Wanda currently has a supporting role on the CBS sitcom “The New Adventures Of Old Christine”.

However, I still will the black audience be accepting of Wanda now? Since Wanda is a woman I think it is easier for female stars to come out then male stars. I just sense the public has an indifferent attitude towards lesbianism. I am not suggesting that the public is more  accepting of lesbianism. My perspective is  society still has a stronger fear of male homosexuality.

Racism, Misandry, & Homophobia The Real Reasons Noah’s Arc Wasn’t More Successful

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Since the issue of same sex marriage is a hot button issue in the United States I believe the producers behind Noah’s Arc “should” of made sure this movie had gotten a “wider” release. The quandary for Noah’s Arc is the issue of marketing the movie. How can a movie about young gay black men be marketed beyond the boundaries of the gay community? Unfortnately, I feel the issue of racism needs to be explored into the reasons why Noah’s Arc wasn’t more successful.

Of course, Noah’s Arc is a success because the television show and movie has broken down so many barriers. However, I believe Noah’s Arc deserved better. The show should of been on HBO or Showtime but it was on the American fringe gay channel MTV LOGO a few years ago.

I just found out the Noah’s Arc movie was recently released in the United States last month. According to box office mojo www.boxofficemojo.com  the domestic box office  for Noah’s Arc was only $482,000 dollars. I think the number is impressive given the fact Noah’s Arc did not receive a lot of media attention. Also, the movie was only released in a few cities in America.

Also remember  Noah’s Arc is groundbreaking it is the first black gay television show to ever air on American television. Noah’s Arc did not receive much media attention due to the intersection of racism, misandry, and homophobia. There is still a “fear” of gay black men in society and even within the North American gay communities. Black gay men we are often stereotyped as sex objects for white homosexual male desire or as drag queens. Was the issue a “fear” of black gay men loving each other?

It is rare in the media to see a movie about gay black men in love with “each other” and not in an interracial relationship with some white guy. It is very refreshing to see black gay love. It is a real eye opener for me because I rarely ever see gay black men or gay men of colour in love with each other.

Black gay men we encounter the deleterious hypocrisy and racism from white gays and homophobia from heterosexual black people. There is a constant tug of war with both communities wanting gay black men to “decide” which side we are on. However, race + gender + sexual orientation are all interconnected.

The television show and movie for Noah’s Arc placed black gay men in the center and no longer on the margins. Noah’s Arc demonstrates that young gay black men we are just like everyone else. The characters Noah his boyfriend Wade, and Noah’s friends Alex, Ricky, and Chance are best friends. I love Noah’s Arc because the gay male characters are not stereotypical bitchy queens or narcissistic gay men.

 The black media ignored Noah’s Arc because the show deals with “black gay men”.  Noah’s Arc has a special place in my heart because I feel the show relates to the life experiences of young black gay men. I give a lot of credit to Patrik Ian Polk the creator of Noah’s Arc he took the initiative to create his successful show. Patrik should be very proud of himself. I don’t know if Patrik Ian Polk knows this but he has helped so many young black gay men because we can see ourselves and not feel invisible.

Why wasn’t the cast of Noah’s Arc on Oprah? After all Oprah champions herself as being accepting of homosexuality. Noah’s Arc was an opportunity for Oprah to reach out to the heterosexual black commuinity and for a serious discussion about gay black men take place on her program. One argument is that the show Noah’s Arc wasn’t a huge hit and that’s why it did not receive Oprah’s attention. However,  Oprah could of done a wonderful episode in raising awareness about gay black men. It appears Oprah only wants to have shows on gay black men when something negative occurs.

Why wasn’t the cast of Noah’s Arc on the Tyra Banks Show? After all, Tyra Banks has gay black men on her show America’s Next Top Model. The only gay black men Tyra Banks wants on her show are stereotypical queens like Miss J or Jay Manuel.

The question has to be asked why wasn’t the cast of Noah’s Arc on the cover of “Ebony Magazine”? After all, I think we are all tired of Beyonce or Rihanna or any of those other black celebrities that grace the cover of Ebony. Ebony Magazine has over 1 million readers why couldn’t Ebony publish an article about Noah’s Arc? Why wasn’t there an article about Noah’s Arc in the black youth culture magazine Vibe? Why wasn’t Noah’s Arc on BET? I contacted BET a few years ago and I only received lip service.

There are so many misconceptions about black gay men and Noah’s Arc. Noah’s Arc should be on mainstream television the show was just that good. Noah’s Arc also was not dirty or slutty like Queer As Folk. The love scenes on Noah’s Arc was very tender and not overtly sexual. I guess the “taboo” is the issue still the idea of black men being in “love” with each other. Maybe the thought of black men actually “kissing” each other is still so shocking for some people in society?

 However, the Noah’s Arc movie had a limited release the question remains why? According to the information I have read the Noah’s Arc television show when it was on MTV LOGO a few years ago was a hit. I also learned that the DVD sales for Noah’s Arc was solid. Also, why wasn’t Noah’s Arc released in Toronto?

Why didn’t the Noah’s Arc movie receive an international release? I wish the movie was available in Toronto!  Toronto is the most important city in Canada yet it was unavailable for Canadian fans of the show. I guess I will have to wait until February 2009 to purchase a DVD copy of the movie.  Noah’s Arc was on MTV LOGO which is basically the white gay channel in the United States. The MTV LOGO promotions department obviously did not promote the program to reach a black audience. I remember when I purchased the first season of Noah’s Arc last year my sister was hooked. I also recall how “hard” it was to find the series. I basically had to investigate all across Toronto until I finally found the series. It is interesting that the white gay show “Queer As Folk” was given major media attention when it was on the American cable network Showtime.  The cast of “Queer As Folk” was even on CNN Larry King. The cast of Queer As Folk have been on the cover of all the major gay magazines such as Out & Advocate. It is interesting that the gay media have basically ignored Noah’s Arc. The gay audience is a niche market.

Noah’s Arc “could” of been successful if the heterosexual black community was aware of the program. I believe Noah’s Arc might of been a real good educational tool to the heterosexual black community. Gay black men we may be gay but we are still black. We go through the exact same issues black straight people go through such as dealing with life’s struggles, the friendships, relationships, love, happiness, sadness, and pain.

 I believe the producers behind Noah’s Arc should of attempted to reach the mainstream black community.  Maybe the people behind Noah’s Arc did try to reach out to the black and mainstream media but were ignored? Maybe MTV LOGO did try to reach out to the black media but encountered homophobia? The issue of homophobia in black communities across North America is a very serious issue. Everyone knows about the gay preacher or the gay pianist in the black church. Everyone has a gay uncle or cousin. It is ignorant when some people say that black people don’t know about gay people. Of course we do.

I just think it is very sad that the Noah’s Arc movie did not receive a wider release! I wish the Noah’s Arc movie was released in Toronto. Noah’s Arc has a cult following and the television show and movie deserved better.

Poem: Impossible Love By Orville Lloyd Douglas

Sometimes I wonder as I stare into the turbulent night’s sky

Is he real or does he have a  heart of stone?

Wondering if it wasn’t meant to be?

Honesty is more painful than being in limbo

His words  burns like fire and scars my spirit and soul

Yet I am attracted to this flame that hurts

This light that once burned bright that stings

This desire that is now extinguished

But why?

What was so special about him anyway?

This sunburst that causes confusion and doubt

Sometimes I think about his brown skin, his hairy chest, his strong legs,  his dark lips, next to mine

Sometimes I ponder as I twist and turn in my bed reaching out for him

Sometimes I wake up realizing it was just a mirage or  a vision

Are his sentences filled with dissemblance and veracity or lies?

Sometimes I realize this will never be

His words are deleterious the calm before the storm

What if? What if?

Was the conclusion  inevitable like a detour or a road block?

Can we survive the war of our families?

Navigate the bullets of self preservation?

Dodging the questions about the truth?

What if?

What if?

Sometimes I understand with my heart instead of my head

Wondering

What if?

What if?

LA Times Article: Are Society’s Perceptions Of Black Men Changing After Barack Obama’s Victory Last Week?

Here is an article about black men, masculinity, misandry, racism, and society. The LA Times article is very refreshing because it offers a black male perspective about what it means to be black and male in North America.
Here is the link to the article:

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-me-aftermath12-2008nov12,0,1967424.story?page=2

Omar Sachedina On City TV Is A Hunk!

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Everyone knows I love CNN’s Don Lemon I still love  Don he is simply gorgeous! I love, love, love, Don Lemon!  A few days ago I just discovered my latest male news anchor crush his name is Omar Sachedina. I was watching the news the other day and then I saw Omar on TV  he is a news anchor for City TV in Toronto. Let’s just say Omar got my attention. I don’t remember this guy has he been on City TV for a long time? Anyway, Omar is South Asian and he was born in Vancouver B.C. and his parents immigrated from Uganda.

 Yes I am sure Omar is straight but it doesn’t mean I can’t say the guy is a hunk! Omar is just so hot and to top it off this guy is a solid reporter as well. Of course Toronto has a lot of hot South Asian men but I have been thinking about visiting Vancouver B.C. next summer perhaps?

Venus Wins WTA Championships In Doha!!!

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Venus Williams won her 39th WTA tour title today and her first WTA Championships in Doha Qatar. Venus beat Vera Zvonareva of Russia 6-7 6-0- 6-2 to win the event.  In earlier rounds Venus defeated Jelena Jankovic, Serena Williams, Elena Dementieva, and Dinara Safina.  Well done Venus!

Dan Savage Is A Racist Typical Of White Gay Power Elite In North America!!!

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Well, Dan Savage is at it again, he is blaming the African American community in the state of California for voting for prop 8. Savage utilizes statistics that can be manipulated to advance his anti black agenda. For example,  Savage utilizes the statistic that  70% of blacks in the state of California voted for prop 8 automatically means all blacks are homophobic. Savage pathetic and ludicrous attempts to blame African Americans for voting for prop 8 only underscores the incredible racism some white gays have for black people. Only 6.2% of California’s population is African American.

According to exit polls, 53% of Hispanic voters also voted for prop 8. Does this mean that hispanics are suddenly pro gay? Also, there are more hispanics that live in California than blacks. Of course the statistic Savage loves is the fact 43% of white voters voted for prop 8. However, there is a larger white population in California than African American. Savage’s anger is not only misplaced it demonstrates his own bigotry.

It is the tired agenda of the white gay power elite to attempt to brand blacks as anti gay. However, when will the white gay elite such as Dan Savage admit they are anti black? When will the gay magazines such as Out or the Advocate publish articles about their anti black agenda?

Where was Dan Savage when the white gay comedian Charles Knipp discriminated against African Americans in California with his racist comedy act as routine as Shirley Q Liquor? Where was GLAAD? GLAAD only denounced Shirley Q Liquor after being pressured by black gay activists. Black gays proteststed Shirley Q Liquor while white gays laughed at his racist anti black jokes. When have the white gay power elite ever supported African American causes and issues? Yet suddenly, white homosexuals demand support from blacks?

Savage’s outburst is typical of the white gay power elite in North America, they think blacks owe them something for supporting Obama. There is a sense of “entitlement” some white queers have due to their white skin privilege.  However, by attacking the black communities this will not advance their agenda. Savage’s outburst will only create even more hostility, and of course more friction and miscommunication. Another quandary is, communities of colour still  view homosexuality as a part of white privilege and a part of the white matrix. The image society still has of gay people, is that all gay people are white. Some people still believe is that to be “gay” means to be “white”. Once again gays of colour are displaced due to racism.

In order, to bridge the gap between the white gays and black heterosexuals of course are the black gay activists. Black heterosexual people will not listen to Dan Savage, all they will see is another white man with white skin privilege. Although Dan Savage is a homosexual, he is still a white male, and still a part of the white  American majority. The only form of discrimination white homosexuals encounter is due to their sexual orientation. White homosexual men have male privilege and white skin privilege.

Of course, Savage ignores the fact that the majority of people that voted for prop 8 were drum roll please….white Americans. The question remains, why doesn’t Dan Savage challenge the homophobia in white heterosexual culture? The people in the power structure that create the anti gay marriage laws and discriminate against gays through legal channels are not African Americans but whites. Therefore, Dan Savage’s anger is misplaced. Savage should be challenging the white heterosexual community yet he chooses not to since they are the ones with the political power to discriminate against gays and lesbians.

Savage refuses to challenge white culture about the deleterious homophobia. Instead, Savage chooses to paint his brush with venom by attacking blacks because since he is a white male he believes he can “patronize” and “preach” to blacks about tolerance. However, Savage’s anger just proves he is a part of the problem not the solution.

Why is Savage attacking  only African Americans? The reason is due to white male skin privilege an issue that the powerful white elite in the United States refuse to acknowledge. White gay men in America although they are gay, they still have the social signifiers of gender and race due to being white and male. Savage also of course does not challenge the pernicious racism in the American gay community against gays of colour.

Of course, there is homophobia in African American communities, but there is also homophobia in white culture, Asian American culture, Native American culture as well. Just because the USA suddenly elected their first black president Barack Obama does not mean heterosexual African Americans are going to support white homosexuals.

Also, the prop 8 is a state  issue for the state of California it is not a federal issue. Why doesn’t Dan Savage challege the homophobia of religious white people in the state of California? After all, there are more whites that live in California than blacks.

If white gays want the support of communities of colour they first must acknowledge and deal with the pernicious racism within the gay commmunity. Although I am not American, I have spoken to African American gays and lesbians they tell me Dan Savage’s attitude is typical of white gay America.

Men Also Encounter Sexism In Society

Why does society act as though the word “sexism” is gender specific? Don’t people realize men we also encoutner sexism. For instance, I don’t see any “men’s press” or book publishers that only publish “male writers”. However, I do see numerous publishers that only publish female writers or only lesbian writers isn’t this sexist?

So why do some women act as though men also don’t encounter gender discrimination for being male? Of course we are discriminated just for being men. It just makes me want to scream at the top of my lungs when people suggest my life is “easier” due to being male that is such bullshit. First, I may be male but I am also a black gay male and I am Canadian. Did I mention I am openly gay too.

Sometimes, I wonder if I should tone down the subjects I write about? I write mostly non fiction and poetry and I do tend to write about homosexuality. I am diversifying my writing though. Maybe some book publishers re homophobic? Of course, I research the publishers first to make sure a particular publisher I submit my work to does publish gay writers.

 Now try to convince a literary agent to take me on? I get all kinds of comments such as “well you are black and some agents in Canada just don’t believe a black writer will sell.”

Another comment I have heard is “why don’t you try to find an American publisher.” Next, the American publisher will say “yes you are black but you are Canadian.” So I feel like there is a catch 22 going on here.  Well guess what visit any bookstore in Canada and I bet you will hardly see any books published by black Canadian writers. Sure, you will see an African American section but I am not African American I am a black Canadian there is a difference. Also, the black Canadian writers that do get published are all old.

Austin Clarke that man is 60 something years old, Dionne Brand she’s in her 50s. It seems to me to be a “writer” in Canada means you have to be “old”. The publishing industry was more open and egalitarian in the 1980s but guess what I was just a child in the 1980s. The Canadian book publishing industry now is all about “sure bets” and about making sure publishers make money. So what does someone in my situation do?

Can A Barack Obama Exist In Canada?

 

The United States presidential election is receiving attention from the media across the planet. The United States is the only superpower in the world. I think Barack Obama is an amazing man regardless of tomorrow’s result because he believes in himself. I wonder though why would Barack Obama want to become the president of the United States? I ask this question because I wonder about his family? I think Obama’s family time may be compromised in relation to politics.

I have been wondering though can a Barack Obama exist in Canada? Could it be possible for a black man to become the Prime Minister of Canada? Sadly the the answer right now I believe is no. Although the people of colour population in Canada is only 16% or about 5 million people out of 31 million I am not so sure.

Also whenever people of colour bring up the discussion of “race” in Canada the popular statement from the majority is “if you don’t like it here why don’t you move to America?” What is wrong with asking questions though? There are aspects of American culture I do not like such as the health care system, the racism, the violence, and legal system I can go on and on.

However, one thing I do like about America is the fact that I believe there are opportunities for blacks to really reach the top. Of course I have decisions to make in my own life but the more I think about it I think America despite its faults is a great nation.

Although Canada claims to be a multicultural nation in terms of the power structure  Canada is still white dominated. I also believe in America that Americans are more likely to be open in forming a dialogue around the issue of racism.  I think it is going to take a few more generations before we see real change in Canada. Also, in Canada most people of colour tend to live in urban areas and not in rural areas.

 For instance, in the city of Toronto the people of colour population is 52% however the mayor of Toronto is always white and the police chief of Toronto is always a white male. Most of the  top editors at the Canadian newspapers are mostly whites as well. The news is still from a Eurocentric perspective from a “white gaze” looking at the other.

 The Canadian media and pop culture is saturated with white Canadian cultural references as well. Although there are writers of colour in Canada making a splash many of these writers are old fossils that follow the status quo. Even in terms of politics the multicultural media in Toronto doesn’t take the mythical norm to task enough and there is an acquiescence as well.

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