Tag Archive | gay black men

We need more black gay storylines like Tariq & Kal Deserve Their Own Television Show.

Wow, the chemistry that Tariq and Kal have for each other is off the charts! It is disappointing that the LA Complex was cancelled after the first season. The most interesting storyline of course is the gay romance between Kal and Tariq. It was so refreshing to turn on my television and see a black gay couple falling in love. I didn’t agree with the way how the writers created conflict between Kal and Tariq. I believe there is still so many stories to be told.

1990 Paris Is Burning Classic Documentary About Gay & Latino gay men in NYC.

In the year 1990, American filmmaker Jennie Livingston decided to make a film about the black and latino gay men in New York City. Paris is Burning, is a classic gay documentary which looks at the lives of gay men of colour. Often in the media, the gay men of colour are ignored. However, in Paris is Burning, gay black and latino men are the stars of the film.

I love the fact the black and latino gay men in this movie are FIERCE!!!

The drag ball scenes are THE BEST PART of the movie! The drag balls are fantasy world for the drag queens they are able to live their fantasies of what they WISH their lives could be. It is a very interesting and important part of the film.

Paris is Burning teaches the audience the struggles that black and latino gay men endured New York City in the 1990s.

These men are BRAVE, they live their lives being openly gay in the early 1990s! Imagine, being black or latino and gay in the 1990! The world is a different place now, but there was even more homophobia back then.

This movie explores how gay and latino gay men negotiate between their race, gender, and sexual orientation. One person in the film says he has three strikes against him he’s black, male, and also gay. Paris is Burning also explores the problems black and latino drag queens experience such as racism, unemployment, poverty. Some of the men in the film turned to prostitution in order to pay their bills or even stealing.

Livingston did a great job with this movie, I wish there were more documentaries about gay men of colour in the public sphere.

The sad part about this movie is many of the men in Paris is Burning, are no longer with us they have passed. For instance, one person VENUS XTRAVANGANSA a Latino drag queen was murdered.

Paris is Burning was an important part of the emerging queer cinema and Livingston deserves credit for bring the stories of black and latino gay men to the masses.

General Hospital New Gay Character Felix Is A Racist Stereotypical Effeminate Stereotype!!

I have tried to get into the ABC soap General Hospital’s storyline with the new gay character Felix but I am apathetic towards him. I am conflicted about Felix because on the one hand I am pleased to see a gay black man on television.  Most of the gay and lesbian characters on television are white, middle to upper class professionals.

However, I am extremely disappointed with the General Hospital writers, why does Felix have to be such an offensive stereotype? Why can’t a gay black man be masculine on television? Why is Felix so effeminate? Felix sells cosmetics to pay for nursing school and he sometimes wears make up. Why can’t a gay black man be shown on television to be a real man? Are there really gay black men who act like this sissy Felix?

I am a gay black man and I don’t wear make up, or care about fashion or cosmetics. I also don’t hang out with women either. I have female acquaintances but I don’t spend my time listening to women complain about their love lives.

Some gay people say that effeminate gay characters are needed because not all gay men are masculine. However, since Felix is also a black character I am concerned he is being marginalized due to his race and sexual orientation. Is Felix going to have a boyfriend or a storyline of his own or is he just going to be the black gay guy who makes silly jokes?

On the internet, some people love Felix he says outrageous jokes usually relating to sex and he’s a snap queen. Felix is a dangerous and racist stereotype of a gay black man he is just someone to laugh at he’s a token character not to be taken seriously. Felix also has no life and he just listens to the white female characters complain about their love lives. It is so disappointing how black characters are treated on the daytime soaps. Why have black characters on soaps at all if they are just going to be racist stereotypical token characters?

Let’s be honest here, there is a paucity of powerful black characters already on daytime television gay and heterosexual. Black characters on the daytime soaps are basically used to support the white characters yet they don’t have their own storylines anymore.

On Days of Our Lives, since Lexie Carver died back in June 2012, her husband Abe, her son Theo, and brother Cameron have been pushed to the background.Renee Jones quit Days of Our Lives back in June 2012, she said she wanted to quit acting. However, Renee’s talent was wasted on Days of Our Lives because the writers focused most of the attention on the white actress Alison Sweeney. Jones character Lexie and James Reynolds character Abe in the past had incredible storylines.

Another black character on Days of Our Lives who deserves more screentime is Maxine. Unfortunately,  Maxine is the stereotypical black mammy. Maxine is fat, a  loudmouth,  sassy, and always listens to the problems of the white characters such as Daniel and Jennifer. Maxine has no love life, no family she’s just the faithful black mammy her  sole purpose is to make the white characters feel better about themselves. It is so racist and offensive in the year 2012, that a black female character such as Maxine has no complexity she’s just a token.

On Young & The Restless, the Winters family which is African American are segregated from the white cast. The Winters family doesn’t have any decent storylines and they are treated like garbage by the writers. When are black characters gay and straight going to be treated with respect on daytime television like their white counterparts? Or, are black characters just going to be treated like tokens. Now some people might argue, “well don’t complain, at least there are some black characters on daytime television.” However, what’s the point of having black tokens on daytime television when they have nothing interesting to do?

Blind Item: Q Tip Is A Closet Gay Rapper But He Doesn’t Want To Come Out Like Frank Ocean.

[Hollywood Street King] Today’s blind item is said to be one of the best rappers/producers in hip hop history. Don’t believe me… Ask Michael Rapaport.

He was crowned with his stage name by Afrika Baby Bam, who – like our blind item [subject] – is a suspected gay rapper.

As a fighter — He once knocked out a member of his rap group. Know why? Because his rap buddy, Phife Dawg, called him gay. Our mystery man also once broke a man’s jaw for disrespecting his BFF, Leonardo DiCaprio. As a lover — he’s been connected to known Hollywood beards, Janet Jackson and Nicole Kidman.

During the 90′s, our blind item [subject] changed his name to Kamaal Ibm John Fareed. This before critics questioned our blind item’s Muslim motive, with his mentioning about dreaming about Busta Rhymes on one of his tracks.

Gay rumors surrounding our blind item started to spread, leading he and his group to do damage control by dissing gays on wax. It was a song which Jive Records decided not to release, but the lyrics laid live.

Here is a portion of lyrics from that track: “There was Adam and Eve but someone make it look like it was Adam and Steve.”

Now, he’s signed to Kanye West. Together, these two rappers will tell you to expect a “Cruel Winter”.

Can you guess who I’m talking about?

My Guess: Q Tip

Clues:Kamaal Ibn John Fareed (born Jonathan Davis on April 10, 1970), better known by his stage name Q-Tip,

Q Tip was a member of a rap group called A Tribe Called Quest. 

Q Tip  female beards are Janet Jackson and Nicole Kidman who actually are just female friends helping a closeted homosexual out.

Q Tip is now on another closeted homosexual Kanye West’s label.

LA Times Article explores Q Tip & Leo Dicaprio’s intense friendship http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2008/11/nine-long-years.html

LA Complex Gay Storyline: Tariq & Kal Are Not Getting Back Together.

I know Kal was wrong for beating up his ex boyfriend Tariq but I must admit I want them to get back together. The scene inside Tariq’s apartment in Montreal is so emotional. I yearned to see Tariq and Kal have one last kiss.  I wish there was a television show specifically about gay black men. On American television this fall there are two gay shows NBC’s The New Normal and CBS Partners focus on white gay men. I believe it is time for network television to have a television show specifically about gay men of colour because this would be groundbreaking.

The paucity of queer men of colour’s storylines is deleterious because it erases our realities. I believe the Tariq and Kal storyline is positive specifically because they are both black gay men.

Although the LA Complex gay storyline is not perfect, it still illustrates to the audience that gay black men we do love each other. The negative aspect of the gay storyline is the violence which I still believe is pernicious. Couldn’t the writers have done something else to create conflict for Tariq and Kal? Why was it necessary for Kal to be violent and beat Tariq? I am concerned about the subliminal messages of racism about gay black men.

The writing is flawed because the audience needed to see Tariq’s journey from being a domestic violence victim to regaining his self confidence. The LA Complex writers only focused on Kal’s storyline because I guess it is more sensational to deal with a closeted gay rapper. I can’t help but think Tariq deserved more attention and screentime. I wanted to see Tariq go into therapy, speak at a domestic violence group, and battle with his conflicting emotions about Kal. The LA Complex writers robbed the audience of Tariq’s journey from pain to resolution.

The acting by Benjamin Watson and Andra Fuller is flawless. The facial expressions  of Watson and Fuller express the pain, regret, sadness, and unhappiness of their break up.

Kal clearly loves Tariq he knows he is wrong for physically abusing him. However, the sadness on Tariq’s face he held it together long enough and stayed strong he wants nothing to do with Kal.

After Kal left, Tariq cried it was heartbreaking to see him so upset because I believe he is torn. Tariq still loves Kal but he can’t forgive him.

I feel that Tariq and Kal have so much chemistry, passion, and love for each other. I believe this is a breakthrough storyline for television to have two young gay black men fall in love and out of love with each other.

I am sad that Tariq is gone because I believe he is the man for Kal. Kal is a work in progress, he still needs to deal with his internalized homophobia and self hatred. Tariq has already moved on he has a new boyfriend and Kal is dating the lawyer Chris. I think Chris is cute, he seems grounded, mature, and responsible, but I am not sure if Kal and Chris have a love connection? I feel that the desire, and love that Tariq and Kal is more powerful.

New LA Complex Episode: Kaldrick Is Confused About His Feelings For An Older Gay Black Man.

Well this is an interesting development, I thought Kaldrick’s sex scene with the hot lawyer was just going to be a one night stand. The lawyer is so hot he is gorgeous!  Wow I love the kiss!

I like the lawyer he’s an openly gay black man he is proud he’s not going to put up with Kaldrick’s bullshit!  I like this lawyer he’s very blunt and he’s not interested in dating a closet case he wants a meaningful relationship with another man.

I still think Kaldrick has more chemistry with Tariq because they are closer to the same age and life experiences. Tariq is a very sweet and sensitive young man and I think he can Kaldrick could grow together. However, I wonder if Tariq will ever forgive Kaldrick or if they can ever get back together?  Kal still isn’t over Tariq I think he still loves him.

This lawyer seems more mature, grounded, worldly and from a different social class than Kaldrick. Kaldrick is extremely immature and I think the lawyer sees right through Kaldrick he knows he has a lot of emotional baggage. I love it when the guy says to Kaldrick ” you need to start with this Tariq guy.”

LA Complex Season 2 Episode Three: Kal Confronts Someone From His Past.

I think this episode is the worst one so far in the Kal and Tariq gay storyline.  I feel the storyline needs to focus more on Tariq’s feelings and how he is going to overcome the pain of being attacked by his boyfriend. I am tired of Kal being portrayed as a violent thug and a dangerous black man. Where is the growth? Where is the transformation to Kal’s personality? I feel that Kal has not done enough to illustrate to the audience he is sorry about attacking Tariq. All I see is Kal feeling sorry for himself.

LA Complex Season 2 Episode 2: Kal Attempted Suicide & In The Hospital. He Admits To Himself He Is Homosexual.

In this episode Kal ends up in the hospital after his failed suicide attempt.For far too long television shows make coming out too simplistic that all a person needs to do is accept himself for being gay. However, let’s say if the individual coming out isn’t white and doesn’t identify with the narrative of the mainstream community about homosexuality?

I think this is where the power lies in the Kaldrick storyline because it can be extremely difficult for gay black men to come out. After a black gay man comes out which community is really going to support him? The mainstream white gay community has problems with racism and the black community has issues with homophobia.

The intersectionality of Kaldrick’s identity crosses multiple lines he isn’t just a black man or a gay man he is both.

The LA Complex has done a good job to illustrate that coming out is not easy for gay black men. Kal probably feels like he would be viewed as less than a man in the black community if he did come out of the closet. Of course, some black people are accepting of homosexuality but others are not. There is also a narrative that some black people believe that homosexuality is foreign to black culture.

Interesting Guardian Article: R&B Singer Frank Ocean Talks About His Sexuality But He Refuses To Declare If He Is Gay Or Bisexual.

Frank Ocean

Frank Ocean live at the Bowery Ballroom, New York in November 2011. Photograph: Chad Batka/Chad Batka/Corbis

Frank Ocean has had quite the week. “Yes,” he says, smiling, with a barely perceptible shake of the head, as if in mild disbelief. Then he nods: “Yes. But also awesome.” Two things have contributed to making his week awesome. There’s the surprise release of his second albumChannel Orange, a week before it was officially planned, which met with rabidly enthusiastic reviews comparing his idiosyncratic, narrative-heavy reimagining of soul and R&B to Prince and Stevie Wonder. Then there was the post on Tumblr in which he told, beautifully, the story of falling in love for the first time, with a man. “I don’t know what happens now, and that’s alrite,” he wrote.

 

  1. You can understand why Ocean might be feeling a little stunned. He’s suddenly the most talked-about man in music, though he hasn’t yet done much of the talking himself. He shuffles into a dressing room behind Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom nursing a herbal tea, and plays with it nervously, a hoodie wrapped around his neck like a scarf, before politely shaking my hand, all the time avoiding eye contact. He’s 24, relatively new to all of this, and suddenly the world wants to know his business.

Right now the old formula holds true: the less you know about him, the more you want to know. He’s managed to maintain a rare air of pop star mystery. “It’s not formulaic,” he says. “It’s not me necessarily trying to preserve mystique. It’s who I am. It’s how I prefer to move. I really don’t think that deeply about it at all, I swear I don’t. I’m just existing.”

‘Sure, evil exists, extremism exists. Somebody could commit a hate crime and hurt me … but they could do the same just because I’m black. Do you just not go outside your house?’

Frank Ocean PortraitThere’s a sense that impulse has driven Frank Ocean’s career so far. He emerged from two worlds: he was a successful songwriter for the likes of Brandy, Justin Bieber and Beyoncé; and he ran with Odd Future, though always seemed more mature than their mouthier shock tactics. It could be argued with conviction that he’s already eclipsed them. Packing up, broke, and driving away from his hometown of New Orleans, post-Katrina, to give it a shot as a songwriter in LA was a risk. Giving away his first album Nostalgia, Ultra for free was a risk (he put it online in 2011 without the knowledge of his label, Def Jam). Coming out was a risk.

“I won’t touch on risky, because that’s subjective,” he says. “People are just afraid of things too much. Afraid of things that don’t necessarily merit fear. Me putting Nostalgia out … what’s physically going to happen? Me saying what I said on my Tumblr last week? Sure, evil exists, extremism exists. Somebody could commit a hate crime and hurt me. But they could do the same just because I’m black. They could do the same just because I’m American. Do you just not go outside your house? Do you not drive your car because of the statistics? How else are you limiting your life for fear?”

Though he thinks of himself as existing outside of conventional music genres – and the broad ambition of new album Channel Orange touches on everything from Marvin Gaye to Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix – Ocean’s roots are in R&B and hip-hop, neither of which are known for their nurturing attitude towards the rainbow flag. Which makes what he just did seem remarkably courageous. “I don’t know,” he demurs, looking down. “A lot of people have said that since that news came out. I suppose a percentage of that act was because of altruism; because I was thinking of how I wished at 13 or 14 there was somebody I looked up to who would have said something like that, who would have been transparent in that way. But there’s another side of it that’s just about my own sanity and my ability to feel like I’m living a life where I’m not just successful on paper, but sure that I’m happy when I wake up in the morning, and not with this freakin’ boulder on my chest.”

‘I could have changed the words. But why? I feel it’s another time now. I have no interest in contributing to that, especially with my art – the one thing that I know will outlive me’

Frank Ocean CoachellaFrank at Coachella, 2012. Photograph: Paul R. Giunta/Paul R. Giunta/CorbisOcean didn’t come out spontaneously, though. He wrote his letter in December 2011, to include in the sleevenotes for Channel Orange, pre-empting any potential speculation that might arise from some of its songs obviously addressing men. “I knew that I was writing in a way that people would ask questions,” he explains. “I knew that my star was rising, and I knew that if I waited I would always have somebody that I respected be able to encourage me to wait longer, to not say it till who knows when.” He’s not one for playing the game, clearly. “It was important for me to know that when I go out on the road and I do these things, that I’m looking at people who are applauding because of an appreciation for me,” he says. “I don’t have many secrets, so if you know that, and you’re still applauding … it may be some sort of sick validation but it was important to me. When I heard people talking about certain, you know, ‘pronouns’ in the writing of the record, I just wanted to – like I said on the post – offer some clarity; clarify, before the fire got too wild and the conversation became too unfocused and murky.”

Later that evening, when he performs to a near-hysterical crowd, a line like “You’re so buff and so strong, I’m nervous … You run my mind, boy” sounds astonishingly subversive, hammering home how rarely we hear overtly same-sex songs, no matter what the genre. Asked why he didn’t fall back on the generic “you”, he shrugs: “When you write a song likeForrest Gump, the subject can’t be androgynous. It requires an unnecessary amount of effort. I don’t fear anybody … ” He laughs, making eye contact at last, his face lighting up, ” … at all. So, to answer your question, yes, I could have easily changed the words. But for what? I just feel like it’s just another time now. I have no interest in contributing to that, especially with my art. It’s the one thing that I know will outlive me and outlive my feelings. It will outlive my depressive seasons.”

These “depressive seasons”, he says, have been erased suddenly by his recent catharsis, but the bleakness of his music has been one of its most notable qualities. Drake and the Weeknd have peddled urban navel-gazing for a year or two, but Frank is on another level, telling dark cinematic stories with a screenwriter’s eye for character. Nostalgia, Ultra was full of unhappy souls: songs which initially appear to be sexy slow jams crumble under the weight of despair; take the refrain of Novocaine, “fuck me good, fuck me long, fuck me numb”, that final adverb joining grief to lust. Channel Orange has a fascination with decadence in the midst of decline, but its protagonists are equally sad and lost. The album’s narratives take in drug addicts, strippers, but also rich kids ruined by consumerism who end up dead or, at the least, on the receiving end of some vicious sarcasm: “Why see the world when you got the beach?” he sings on Sweet Life.

‘My grandfather was a mentor for NA and AA groups. I used to go to the meetings and hear the addicts: heroin and crack and alcohol. Stories like that influence a song like Crack Rock’

Frank Ocean landscapeOcean is unsure about what draws him to the darker side. “I honestly couldn’t tell you,” he finally says, after a long silence. “I would say, those were the colours I had to work with on those days.” Is it drawn from experience? “Absolutely. I mean, ‘experience’ is an interesting word. I just bear witness. For a song like Crack Rock, my grandfather, who had struggled to be a father for my mum and my uncle … his second chance at fatherhood was me. In his early-20s, he had a host of problems with addiction and substance abuse. When I knew him, he was a mentor for the NA and the AA groups. I used to go to the meetings and hear these stories from the addicts – heroin and crack and alcohol. So stories like that influence a song like that.” Some of his narratives are pure fantasy, he says. In the case of Pyramids’ epic first half this isn’t too surprising – it takes place in ancient Egypt – but that, too, twists itself into the story of a stripper providing for a pimp, and turns out to be rooted in real life. “I have actual pimps in my family in LA,” he chuckles. “It was fantasy built off that dynamic … but you can only write what you know to a point.”

The attention to detail that goes into his songs is astonishing. He sings Crack Rock with a hint of fractured breathiness that his sound engineer tried to iron out. “He said, ‘Are we really going to let this slide?’ And I was like, ‘Yes, because that’s how a smoker would sing.’” Music, more than any other art form, demands autobiography: we want our singers to be giving us authentic love or pain; we want to believe it’s first-hand. Fortunately, Frank Ocean is a natural-born storyteller.

When he talks about his music – how this bit here was influenced by Sly And The Family Stone, why that vocal retake happened, even the dying business model the industry is built on – he looks up, becoming animated, lively, and less shy. It would be easy to think that he’s reluctant to be famous – Vancouver tonight marks only his 10th solo gig – but when he left New Orleans in 2005, he changed his name from Lonny Breaux to Frank Ocean because he decided it would look better on magazine covers. (He also cares enough to have personally authorised the cover image for this week’s Guardian Guide.)

“I’ve always wanted to make a career in the arts, and I think that my only hope at doing that is to make it more about the work,” he says. But he could have been a successful songwriter anonymously – if it’s all about the music, why step out from behind the pen? “I enjoy singing my songs in front of people. I enjoy being involved in making the artwork for albums and stupid stuff like that. I wouldn’t be a part of [it] if I was just writing songs for others. And I said more about the music,” he grins, lest there be any doubt that he intends to be a star.

The journalist’s flight to Vancouver was paid for by Universal Records

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