Fired Up (Taken with Instagram)
Black Baccara roses for my favorite cousin’s wedding! So sad I have to miss it! At least I get to do her flowers! (Taken with Instagram)
Damon Wayans and I would rate movies using snaps. The fun of In Living Color was exposing black culture, and in that sketch, gay culture, that I don’t think America had ever seen at that point. I had already done Dreamgirls on Broadway, and being in a musical and working with other performers who were gay, I was privy to that vocabulary backstage. They were being themselves. So a lot of it was hijacked from what I heard in the theater and what was permeating around. Now at that time, if a gay person was going to read you — to tell you off — it was always accompanied by snaps. Now I don’t know if it was a gay thing, but it was also a very black thing.
Queer Community of Tennessee WAKE UP!
To LGBTQ Tennesseans:
Anti-gay groups at a national and state level demonize the queer community so much and so often that in Tennessee our houses are vandalized, or set ablaze, we are attacked, repeatedly, I mean repeatedly. No…repeatedly. And when we are hurt or sick, we’re barred from being by our partner’s bedside by uneducated (and unlawful) bigoted actions.
Sometimes we’re assaulted in school and sometimes we are assaulted by our schools. Sometimes by our family, sometimes by our church, sometimes by both. Sometimes while we’re in our churches. Sometimes by police. We’re murdered. It happens more than you might like to think. Sometimes we feel so terrible about our situation that we just want to give up. Although, some of our elected officials don’t believe it’s an issue.
There are elected officials who have called for violence against us. Some think we are mentally unhealthy. Some think we caused AIDS by having sex with monkeys. Some believe that if you don’t talk about us, then we don’t exist. Some think we are unfit parents.
The rate of reported anti-LGBT hate crimes spiked in 2009 in Tennessee. And according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, even though 2010 showed a decrease in the number of reported anti-LGBT hate crimes, if 2011 is any indication, the 2010 report was an anomaly not a trend.
Beyond that, a new study shows that in states like Tennessee where employment discrimination is still legal, LGBT employees in the public sector are more likely to face wage disparities with straight co-workers, more likely to be denied partner benefits, and more likely to live in POVERTY. Yes, public employees are 20% more likely to live in poverty just because of legal workplace discrimination. Pile this on top of the 1,138 federal rights denied LGBT families because of marriage inequality and you have a system stacked against us from the start.
My question to you is, what are you doing to help make our state better for the LGBTQ people of the future?
From the Republican National Convention, state Sen. Stacey Campfield has renewed a feud with the Legislature’s Black Caucus and brought criticism from a top state party official. On another front, Campfield’s nationally-publicized comments earlier this year on homosexuality — including that AIDs originated from a man having sexual relations with a monkey — was fodder for a Psychology Today blog post, which this week suggested that Campfield may be homophobic or possibly have issues with his own sexual orientation. It was Campfield’s comments regarding the group of black lawmakers that Adam Nickas, executive director of the state Republican Party, dismissed as “simply ridiculous.” Campfield had said a colleague’s reference to a rat’s rump in a rebuke to the Black Caucus has become a “catch phrase” among members of Tennessee’s delegation to the Republican National Convention.
Late night at the Cumberland Cnty Fair. @tndp @ofa_tn @barackobama (Taken with Instagram)
My experience as a young gay man was atypical I think. I was a funny, outgoing, gregarious kid. In elementary school, my older brother played sports and after a stint as a towel boy for our basketball team, I decided I would have way much more fun with the cheerleaders. Most all of the girls on the squad were friends of mine and I knew how to do most of the cheers anyway so I went for it. I made varsity my first year although, I started out as the mascot. We were the Tigers. So, for every game I would dress up as a large orange tiger and parade around the court and stands stirring up support and good will for our teams.
After the jump:
“I was never the victim of violence. I was never in physical danger. I never got into a fight at school. Even as an adult, I’ve never really been in fear for my safety. Until yesterday.”