Thursday, January 31, 2013

"The Imitation Of Life..."



 "Postmortem" - a wonderfully crafted short film about fear, lost loves, commitment, infidelity and when people move on.  Featuring good acting, high production values and a mesmerizing sound track.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Same Gender Loving People - No 1237"


"Look - It's Me, You And Love...


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"And The Truth Shall Set You Free..."



Posted by an unidentified high schooler on Reddit.



"Fear Eats the Soul"




"This Made Me Smile.."


To Be Young And Free...


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"It's A Brave New World..."


Featured on page 48 of the current issue of Sports Illustrated.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Love Looks Like This..."



"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Truth About Hate..."


NFL Player In Upcoming Super Bowl Makes Hateful Anti-Gay Comments

I may be wrong, but I smell a good dose of internalized homophobia here... A review of online images of Mr. Culliver reveals that he demonstrates a great number of OGTs*

NFL Player, Chris Culliver, has said in an interview that he didn’t think there were any gay players on his team, and that they wouldn’t be welcome if there were.

The cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers said in an interview that gay NFL football players were not welcome, and should leave if there were.

He said: “I don’t do the gay guys man… I don’t do that. No, we don’t got no gay people on the team, they gotta get up out of here if they do.

“Can’t be with that sweet stuff. Nah…can’t be…in the locker room man. Nah,” he continued, reports Yahoo.

When asked whether if there were gay athletes, they would need to keep their sexuality a secret in the industry, Mr Culliver said: ”Yeah, come out 10 years later after that.”

All of this on the heels of the recent sensational revelation that former San Francisco 49's player Kwame Harris is gay.

Culliver has since issued the perfunctory media apology, but I think the genie may be out of the bottle in his case.  We'll have to watch and see.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


* "Obviously Gay Traits" (OGTs) - are mannerisms, behaviors and actions that are common markers stereotypical among gay men. Example include: hand talkers, tribal tattoos  verbal lisps, fastidious grooming habits, use of  flowery language and terms, stereotypical body language and movement patterns, and among some closeted gay men, vehemently homophobic comments and actions intended to deflect attention from their own sexual orientation.

"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Love Publicly Declared... Live Fearlessly"




Wednesday, January 30, 2013

"A Sign Of Truth..."


Humor is sometimes the best way to make your point...


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"And The Truth Shall Set You Free..."


An absolutely incredible documentary film by a Los Angeles high school senior, Devon Yaffe.

H/T: Towelroad


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"This Made Me Smile..."

You've probably seen these... but they're new to me.
The original from last year...

And Now...

The year's sequel... 
I love Europe.  I can't imagine authorities in any American city allowing something like this.



"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"To Love, Be Together In The World... Live Fearlessly"




"Love Looks Like This..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"


H/T: Towleroad


"In the News Today..."

Congratulations to Jim Nabors and his husband, Stan Cadwallader on their recent marriage in Washington state.  After 38 years together, Jim said, "I'm 82 and he's in his 60s and so we've been together for 38 years and I'm not ashamed of people knowing, it's just that it was such a personal thing, I didn't tell anybody," Nabors said. "I'm very happy that I've had a partner of 38 years and I feel very blessed. And, what can I tell you, I'm just very happy."

Read more about it at Huffington Post.

As a boy, I always looked forward to Jim's appearances on the Carol Burnett Show where he was always Carol's guest for the first show of the season.  As a little boy who didn't really understand why he felt so different, I nonetheless knew that I shared something in common with Jim Nabors and many of the other performers on the show (especially the Ernest Flatt Dancers).  I remember quite distinctly yearning to be one of those handsome dancers.




"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1236"


"Me, Him, Us - Love...


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"The Things That Love Says..."




"The Truth About Science Fiction..."



Those good folks at SKYNET DARPA are still at it...
This time I'm reminded of one of my favorite films, "Déjà Vu"  
"Snow White" seems a little less far fetched now...


SKYNET becomes self-aware in 2016!



"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Unintentionally Gay..."

The play on the field got a little rough that day...



"This Made Me Smile..."


The one and only, Cazwell... he's the gay Eminem of New York City


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"We Were Always There, Now Free To Love... Live Fearlessly"




"Sometimes In Advertising..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"



"In The News Today..."



Boy Scouts Reconsider No-Gays Policy

Associated Press
January 29, 2013

NEW YORK — The Boy Scouts of America may soon give sponsors of troops the authority to decide whether to accept gays as scouts and leaders — a potentially dramatic retreat from a controversial nationwide policy.

Under the change now being discussed, the different religious and civic groups that sponsor Scout units would be able to decide for themselves how to address the issue — either maintaining an exclusion of gays, as is now required of all units, or opening up their membership.

Gay rights activists were elated at the prospect of change, sensing another milestone to go along with recent advances for same-sex marriage and the end of the ban on gays serving openly in the military.

However, Southern Baptist leaders — who consider homosexuality a sin — were furious about the possible change and said its approval might encourage Southern Baptist churches to support other boys' organizations instead of the BSA.

Monday's announcement of the possible change comes after years of protests over the policy. Petition campaigns have prompted some corporations to suspend donations to the Boy Scouts.

Under the proposed change, said BSA spokesman Deron Smith, "the Boy Scouts would not, under any circumstances, dictate a position to units, members or parents."

Smith said the change could be announced as early as next week, after BSA's national board concludes a regularly scheduled meeting on Feb. 6. The meeting will be closed to the public.


The BSA, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010, has long excluded both gays and atheists. Smith said a change in the policy toward atheists was not being considered, and that the BSA continued to view "Duty to God" as one of its basic principles.

Protests over the no-gays policy gained momentum in 2000, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the BSA's right to exclude gays. Scout units lost sponsorships by public schools and other entities that adhered to nondiscrimination policies, and several local Scout councils made public their displeasure with the policy.

More recently, pressure surfaced on the Scouts' own national executive board. Two high-powered members — Ernst & Young CEO James Turley and AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson — indicated they would try to work from within to change the membership policy, which stood in contrast to their own companies' nondiscrimination policies.

Amid petition campaigns, shipping giant UPS Inc. and drug-manufacturer Merck announced that they were halting donations from their charitable foundations to the Boy Scouts as long as the no-gays policy was in force.

Also, local Scout officials drew widespread criticism in recent months for ousting Jennifer Tyrrell, a lesbian mom, as a den leader of her son's Cub Scout pack in Ohio and for refusing to approve an Eagle Scout application by Ryan Andresen, a California teen who came out as gay last fall.

Tyrrell said she's thrilled for parents and their children who have been excluded from Scouting and "for those who are in Scouts and hiding who they are."

"For me it's not just about the Boy Scouts of America, it's about equality," she told the Associated Press. "This is a step toward equality in all aspects."

Many of the protest campaigns, including one seeking Tyrrell's reinstatement, had been waged with help from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

"The Boy Scouts of America have heard from scouts, corporations and millions of Americans that discriminating against gay scouts and scout leaders is wrong," said Herndon Graddick, GLAAD's president. "Scouting is a valuable institution, and this change will only strengthen its core principles of fairness and respect."

The Scouts had reaffirmed the no-gays policy as recently as last year, and appeared to have strong backing from conservative religious denominations — notably the Mormons, Roman Catholics and Southern Baptists — which sponsor large numbers of Scout units. Under the proposed change, they could continue excluding gays.

Prior to Monday's announcement, the BSA conferred with some leaders of these religious groups, including the Rev. Frank Page, who leads the Southern Baptist Executive Committee.

According Roger S. Oldham, a spokesman for the executive committee, Page then wrote to the Scouts "expressing his tremendous dismay at the decision."

"They had been working for months on this proposal and just days before they informed us," Oldham said in a telephone interview. "We would anticipate that there would be a very significant backlash to this as churches re-evaluate whether Scouting comports with."

Neither the Catholic Church nor the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued official statements as to how they would respond.

But Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, "The bishops hope the Boy Scouts will continue to work under the Judeo-Christians principles upon which they were founded and under which they have served youth well."

*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1235"


"Love, Marriage And Freedom...


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



Monday, January 28, 2013

"The Truth About AIDS In Black America..."


Six years ago, this ground breaking documentary sought to cast light on the situation of HIV/AIDS in the black community in the US.  Sadly, little has changed and today in 2013 the epidemic continues to rage on.  As black people in America, we often chose to live in a culture of death and we seem to have little desire to change that... my hope in sharing this film is that we might begin to think in new ways about the truth of what it means to be: Black, Gay, Straight, Closeted, Religious, Silent.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Poet's Corner..."


True Love in this differs from gold and clay,
That to divide is not to take away.
Love is like understanding, that grows bright,
Gazing on many truths; 'tis like thy light,
Imagination! which from earth and sky,
And from the depths of human phantasy,
As from a thousand prisms and mirrors, fills
The Universe with glorious beams, and kills
Error, the worm, with many a sun-like arrow
Of its reverberated lightning.

Percy Bysshe Shelley


"A Love Song..."


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"Life And Love Is Beautiful... Live Fearlessly"



"This Made Me Smile..."

I love James Asal's "Adam and Andy" strip, he captures moments of everyday life perfectly... including this moment of hilarious double entendre.


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1234"


"I Love You Is Always Enough...


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



Sunday, January 27, 2013

"Because Fear Eats The Soul..."


From the television series, "The L.A. Complex"

In this "imitation of life, we find that "a life lived in fear is a life half-lived" and it is a life spent dying of the thirst for love, while destroying every opportunity to drink of love's eternal waters.




"Fear Eats the Soul"


"A Song For Sunday..."



"Let There Be Hope For Freedom And Justice..."





"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"The Dance Of Love Is Beautiful To Behold... Live Fearlessly"




"The Imitation Of Life..."


"I Love You, But I Can't..." - This short German film is a disturbing examination of the distance between love, truth, fear and self-acceptance.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1233"


"Love Is The Greatest Of Life's Joys...


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"The Truth About Progress..."


Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, right, and his family posed with John A. Boehner, left.


Openly Gay, and Openly Welcomed in Congress

By Jeremy W. Peters


WASHINGTON — When Mark Takano ran unsuccessfully for Congress twice in the early 1990s, his opponents tried to smear him as a “homosexual liberal” and a “nutzoid.” One of them even had pink fliers printed that asked, “A Congressman for Riverside ... Or San Francisco?”

When he ran again last year, he won by almost 20 points. “Flash forward 18 years,” Mr. Takano said recently, “and the very macho building tradesmen are behind me. I’m getting pictures with them in their hard hats.”

For decades, the words “gay” and “Congress” were usually seen together only in stories of scandal and shame: an arrest after an illicit proposition in an airport bathroom, accusations of trawling for sex on a phone service. When Gerry E. Studds came out 30 years ago, the first congressman to do so, it was only after an affair with a 17-year-old Congressional page was revealed.

But in the 113th Congress there are six openly gay or bisexual members in the House — a small but tangible sign that their presence at the highest levels of government is no longer something only whispered about. The Senate has its first lesbian, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. The lawmakers’ partners, no longer relegated to the shadows or introduced generically as “friends,” stood beside them on the House floor when they were sworn in this month. Their adopted children are attending Congressional retreats.

And this week they sat in President Obama’s presence as he insisted on equality for “our gay brothers and sisters,” words few of them ever expected to hear in a president’s Inaugural Address.

Congress has never been an accurate reflection of the country it serves. It remains far whiter, wealthier and more male than the nation’s population. But as their numbers in Congress gradually increase, there is a sense among these newcomers that they are forcing some of their colleagues to rethink gay rights and homosexuality. The presence of openly gay men and women and their families was a factor that many believe was decisive in turning the tide for states where same-sex marriage was legalized by legislatures. Seeing them helped put a human face on a concept that many legislators had thought about only in the abstract.

Yet even with the opportunities gay men, lesbians and bisexuals say their membership in Congress presents, their reception has not been a completely warm one. One of the first acts of the Republican-controlled House was to set aside funds to defend the 1996 law that prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages because the Obama administration has stopped supporting it. And not everyone seems completely comfortable with their presence, like members of a Christian prayer group who seemed taken aback at a recent Congressional retreat when one noted he was married to a man. But in some ways the most telling sign of the gay lawmakers’ advancement in Congress is the fact that their presence is now a little more routine.

“It’s becoming — ever so slowly — more than a novelty to be a gay member of Congress,” said Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island. Like all the openly gay, lesbian and bisexual members, Mr. Cicilline is a Democrat.

Representative Jared Polis of Colorado observed that it was not too long ago “when it was just Barney and Tammy.” He was referring to Ms. Baldwin, a member of the House before she was elected to the Senate, and Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who retired but was the first member of Congress to speak openly about his homosexuality.

“But with six of us” in the House, “it’s harder to keep track. And it’s always going to be assumed that there are gays and lesbians in the room,” added Mr. Polis, who has a young son with his partner and is the most senior gay member of the House. Together the six of them will lead a caucus that will champion gay rights and other equal protection issues. The other members will include Mr. Cicilline; Mr. Takano of California; Sean Patrick Maloney of New York; Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who is bisexual; and Mark Pocan of Wisconsin.

Mr. Pocan was elected to fill Ms. Baldwin’s House seat. In the last Congress, there were four openly gay or lesbian House members and none in the Senate.

The retirement of Mr. Frank, long the dominant voice on gay rights in Congress, also opens the door to some of the newer, fresher faces to take more visible and influential roles. “Barney Frank, who we all know and love, is one of those larger-than-life personalities,” Mr. Polis said. “But certainly the way I’d approach this is in a much more collaborative manner.”

Seven out of 535 is still relatively small. It equals just over 1 percent of the seats in the House and Senate.

“Seven isn’t great,” conceded Denis Dison, a senior strategist with the Victory Fund, which works to elect openly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people to public office.

Mr. Dison said he had recently added up the numbers of people who have served in Congress since the country’s birth. It added up to nearly 12,000, he said, and he can still count on both hands the number of those who were openly gay. “But there was an amazing leap forward in 2012 relative to history,” Mr. Dison added. “And in 2014 if two or three or four more out candidates are elected, this is not going to seem as big an accomplishment.”

The makeup of the Republican-controlled House shows just how much of a climb gay rights supporters face. The Human Rights Campaign said that it counts only 184 of 435 members as solid supporters on the issue. By contrast, it counts 220 — a majority — as opponents of gay rights.

In the Senate, the group says it considers 42 members opposed to gay rights and 42 in favor.

And the new gay members say there have been awkward moments. Mr. Pocan said that when he was at a recent retreat for new members, representatives from a Christian organization stopped in to ask him if he would be interested in attending one of their prayer groups. One of them asked him if his wife had accompanied him to the retreat. He is married and wears a ring.

“I said, ‘No, but my husband did,’ ” he recalled. An awkward pause followed. “Then she said, ‘Well, we have more offices to go to now.’ ”

For some of the gay members, their freshman orientation sessions were a reminder of just how unequally the law treats them, since the entity that cuts their paychecks and provides benefits — the United States government — is barred from recognizing their relationships.

“They would be explaining what your benefits were, then all of a sudden this embarrassed look would flash across their face like, ‘Oh, sorry. I guess this doesn’t apply to you,’ ” Mr. Maloney said.

At a ceremonial swearing-in this month by John A. Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House, standing alongside Mr. Maloney were his partner of 20 years and their three adopted children.


*****

It's becoming a brave new world...

"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Truth About Love..."


"Love Looks Like This..."


Saturday, January 26, 2013

"I Am Always Remembering..."


"I Am Always Remembering"

Weeks and months and years have passed away...
But I am always remembering.
The days and hours stream by the windows of my soul...
But I am always remembering.
The Moon waxes and wanes through the seasons and through the years...
But I am always remembering.
The wounded heart ceaselessly beats on...
But I am always remembering.
In moments of fearful anguish and in moments of peaceful solitude...
I am always remembering.


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Arc Of The Moral Universe..."


Spouses Club Relents, Says Lesbian Army Wife Can Be 'Full Member'

Courtesy Ashley Broadway Ashley Broadway, left, is pictured with her wife, Lt. Col. Heather Mack and their 2-year-old son.
Hours after same-sex Army wife Ashley Broadway was named Fort Bragg's 2013 “spouse of the year,” the on-base spouses club — that has for two months rebuffed Broadway's bid to join — fully reversed course and invited her "to become a full member," according to emails sent to NBC News and Broadway.

The decision comes one week after the Association of Bragg Officers' Spouses (ABOS) extended Broadway — who is married to Army Lt. Col. Heather Mack — a "special guest membership," an invitation she declined and called "extremely demeaning."

"After further reviewing the (club's) constitution, by-laws and internal procedures, the ABOS Board felt that in order to immediately support all military Officer spouses who are eligible for ABOS membership a more inclusive definition of spouse was needed. Therefore, any Spouse of an active duty commissioned or warrant Officer with a valid marriage certificate from any state or district in the United States is eligible for ABOS membership," the club's board said in a statement.

"ABOS does not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, national origin, age, disability, creed, or sexual orientation. ABOS would like to publicly invite Ms. Broadway to apply for full membership to ABOS. It is and always has been our mission to support all military families."

In an email to Broadway — shared with NBC News — the club said, "We would like to offer you to become a full member of ABOS."

"I will go ahead and submit my application," Broadway said in response to the invitation. "I need to educate some of the naysayers that are in that group and show them my family is just like their family."
In the online election held Tuesday, Broadway captured the Fort Bragg vote “by a country mile,” said Babette Maxwell, founder of Military Spouse magazine and the Military Spouse of the Year award. Ballot totals were not revealed.

As one of the 154 base-level winners, Broadway now is eligible to be nominated for Army “spouse of the year.”

“A lot of people who voted never me met or talked to me or knew me from Adam. I know it was a statement to the Obama Administration, to Secretary (of Defense Leon) Panetta, to Senator (Chuck) Hagel — if he is confirmed (as defense secretary) — to the Pentagon and, really, to America that, yes, she is a military spouse and she needs to be recognized,” Broadway told NBC News.

“There are things the government can do right now to make life a hell of a lot easier than what it is currently for those who are in same-sex marriages in the military,” she added. “It was a lot of people saying, ‘Enough’s enough.’ ”

Broadway’s rejection from the Fort Bragg officers’ spouses club sparked the U.S. Marine Corps to issue on Jan. 9 a pro-gay, branch-wide directive. On Jan. 16, her bid drew the Pentagon’s attention. The next day, the on-base spouses club offered Broadway a "special guest membership" – an invitation she declined, calling it “extremely demeaning.” 

Broadway married Mack, her 15-year companion, in November — their first chance to hold a formal ceremony after the 2011 repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” the policy that kept gays from openly serving in the military. The couple has a 2-year-old son and Mack gave birth to their second child, a daughter, on Tuesday. 

“People got one vote per email address — one ballot for the person you wanted to represent you. I think people would be unwilling to, quote-unquote, throw their vote away on simply doing what was popular,” Maxwell said. “There was a significant amount of meaning in what they were doing when they voted for Ashley.

“Removing her a bit from the press and recognition she’s received the last few months, Ashley — more importantly — has a platform to benefit a large number of spouses, and that’s what people want to see happen,” Maxwell added. “The winners are chosen based on their merits, their accomplishments and what they intend to do for the community in the year to come.”

Broadway has volunteered to tutor soldiers’ children in reading, briefed inbound Army families on local school districts, and helped transferring soldiers with housing-location decisions.

“When I was denied membership, I asked to speak to the club’s board. I was convinced that if they’d just sit down with me for half an hour, if I could talk to them about what I’ve been doing, what I’ll be doing in the future, they would see what an asset I would be to the group,” Broadway said.

The meeting was not granted.

“That was the most frustrating thing,” she said.

Before its decision late Friday to relent and offer Broadway full membership, the ABOS board had maintained Broadway was never rejected because “a formal application was never filed,” and that she simply had inquired about the eligibility of a same-sex spouse and was told the club would need “time to look at the issue.” 

Online voting for the next round of the 2013 Armed Forces Insurance Military Spouse of the Year — the branch level — will take place Feb. 5. The overall winner, elected from the branch finalists, will be revealed May 9.

"I never thought in a million years I would be the one to advance the cause. If that’s what it’s going to take to get attention for all the military same-sex spouses, then so be it," Broadway said. "But I do take this (Bragg 'spouse of the year' award) very seriously. And we'll see where it goes from here." 


******

"The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, but It Bends Toward Justice"
Dr. Martin Luther King


"Same Gender Loving People - No. 1232"


"The Moment Love Becomes Real...


Positive images of people like me... The truth of the matter is that we all need to see people like ourselves. So everyday, I'll post a photo, drawing or some other artwork that depicts Same Gender Loving People as what we are... Only Human.



"The Truth About Love..."


"Love Looks Like This..."


"The Truth About Family..."


As Colorado debates "civil unions," some unlikely supporters are coming out to make the case for more recognition of gay and lesbian relationships.  Significantly, we are finally seeing people of color tell their stories and let themselves be seen as a part of the GLBT culture.

"Fear Eats the Soul"


"The Artist's Corner..."

"La Vie en Rose"
Acrylic on canvas
Steve Walker



"This Made Me Smile..."


"Too Funny..."


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"We Couldn't Live In Fear, We Were In Love... Live Fearlessly"




Friday, January 25, 2013

"When You're Black And Gay..."


Gay African-American Youth Face Unique Challenges Coming Out to Families

mycentraljersey.com
January 23, 2013

NEW BRUNSWICK — Coming out to one’s family can be stressful, but gay black males face a unique set of personal, familial and social challenges.

“Parents and youths alike worry that gay men cannot meet the rigid expectations of exaggerated masculinity maintained by their families and communities,” said Michael C. LaSala, director of the Master of Social Work program at Rutgers University School of Social Work.

LaSala, an associate professor, recently completed an exploratory study of black gay youth and their families from urban neighborhoods in New York City and Philadelphia. The study, “African American Gay Youth and Their Families: Redefining Masculinity, Coping with Racism and Homophobia,” was published in the Journal of GLBT Family Studies and co-authored with Damien T. Frierson from Howard University. The research focused on gay black males, ages 19 to 25, and their families.

Gay black males struggle to cope with intersecting oppressions — racism, homophobia and sexism, said LaSala. They carry a “special stigma” that some straight black males may find particularly disturbing. “The world already sees you as less than others. By being gay, you’re further hurting the image of African-American men,” LaSala said is a common reaction among the male relatives of the black youth when they learn that their relative is gay.

“On a clinical level, targeted interventions, especially those that include the young man’s biological father or a father figure, can assist families to cope with what for many is an unexpected and troubling reality,” said LaSala, who works with gay youths and their families in private practice and outlines interventions for families in transition.

Child-rearing for the parents of a black son can be especially daunting, given the increased risk for poverty, HIV/AIDS and other illnesses and imprisonment faced by black men. Black parents often feel guilty when they learn their child is gay and many black gay youths, before coming out, distance themselves from their parents.


In his study, LaSala observed that many parents found that having a confidante with whom they could share emotions helped them to realize that their sons’ sexual orientation was not caused by faulty parenting, and that they risked losing their child if they could not accept his being gay.

Black parents may be less likely than whites to “mourn the loss of a normal life” for their gay sons, perhaps understanding that a normal life was less of a sure thing, according to LaSala, author of the book “Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families Adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child.”

“I found that parents of African-American gay youth said, ‘You have everything going against you as a black man. This is one more strike against you.’ Conversely, parents of white gay youth stated, ‘You have everything going for you — and now this!’” LaSala said.

Gender role concerns are a repetitive theme for young black men and their families. One young man in the study described the black community as very strict when it comes to homosexuality. “It’s a masculinity thing,” he said.

LaSala points to existing research that calls upon black men to be hypermasculine, a trait characterized by the absence of overt emotions or the appearance of vulnerability, as well as a readiness to have sex at any time. When gay blacks realize they don’t fit the stereotype, they often develop a sense of alienation, loneliness and anxiety, not knowing where they fit in.

LaSala recalls the words of a black single mother in the study who worried about gender expectations in her community: “You are told to be a man … and being a man does not mean you sleep with other men,” she said. “Being a man means you have a woman and you procreate and continue the family name.”

LaSala calls for more research to identify the needs of this understudied population. Education is key to resolving the clash between homosexuality and male gender role expectations in the black community. Social workers, therapists and community leaders need to better understand the multiple pressures on gay black youth to help families build stronger bonds.

The involvement of a young gay man’s biological father or a father figure can be crucial to relationship building. Too many family therapists and social workers accept the mother’s explanation that their son’s father “isn’t in the picture,” which is too easy a way out, according to LaSala.

“Family discussions can lead to expanded and more flexible views of masculinity, so clinicians must engage the youth’s father if at all possible,” he said. “A father is an essential part of the child’s history and can add a lot to the discussion.”

*******

"Fear Eats the Soul"




"The Truth About Black America..."

John McWhorter opines in the New York Daily News that "Gay Really Is The New Black..." and he goes on to explain why he believes that black Americans have a special responsibility to support GLBT civil rights.  It's a provocative and well thought out read that calls our attention to the truth about black America.

My favorite part was here where he points out that no black "A-listers" have yet come out:


I am reminded, as I write this, of gospel singer James Cleveland, whom I caught in a 1960s clip when I finally got to see the excellent gospel documentary “Rejoice and Shout” last week.

After about 30 seconds, I caught subtle gestures that suggested a certain something about the man. All I had to do was Google him. There it was, just as I suspected: Cleveland spent his life closeted.
In his time, he had to, like all public figures (and most private ones, for that matter). But the sad thing is that a James Cleveland today lives the same lie.

As do, almost certainly, three very prominent black Americans I am thinking of right now. One can’t be certain about them, obviously. But let me put it this way: The life histories of all three make it so that if it turned out they were straight, it would be extremely surprising.

One of them gets by with “It’s none of your business.” Another uses artfully gender-neutral language when talking about romance. With another, a longstanding and deafening silence has had a certain eloquence of its own.

There are white people corresponding to all three in the public pantheon who have long been public about being gay.

It is highly likely that the reticence of the above trio is at least partly due to fears of rejection by the black public.

One way we will know black America has fulfilled its responsibility in keeping the struggle alive for others is when figures such as the three above can own up to themselves in public — and their fellow black Americans are okay with it.

Read the whole piece here: Gay Is The New Black

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My top guesses on two of the three potentially closeted "A-listers" are:

Could this explain their absence from the Historic Inaugural festivities...?


"Fear Eats the Soul"


"Gay PDA Is Okay!"


"We Were Brave Because We Were In Love... Live Fearlessly"




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