Sunday, September 30, 2012
Now, I looked up the word introvert to see if maybe I fall into that category. I keep to myself, isolate myself somewhat and just feel it is easier in guarding who I am. I don't have many friends but I have many people that claim to know the real me. That is how my life has been from childhood to now.
Now we get to the this weekend which was very insightful from a black centric point of view. There was a question of my personal connection to the black community as a gay man. I was to rate that connection on a scale from 1 to 10. This question started my electrons to fire because I know that many people has taken certain previewed aspects of my life and may get the wrong impression that I am not for my own people. One of those perceptions could come from my shyness and introversion.
Basically what I am writing here is that I really never learned to interact with people on a social level. I am learning that skill now, in my 30's, to become more comfortable in being around people especially my own black community. Stowing yourself away in isolation is not learning to deal and connect with people in the world. It surely is not the way to secure your person and yourself as a person.
For years I had not been apart of any community. Keeping to myself has ruined that natural connection that I should have especially with my own people, black and gay. That is why I dig deep into activism and advocacy. Nothing should be able to bring a community together more than solving the problems we all face together.
I guess the reason all of this has come up now is because I just got a sample of how young black gay men view the black gay community. A lot of the descriptive words were negative and it was not that the sample group I was around consciously believes all the descriptions given. It was the fact that when asked about black and gay and community these negative connotations were the first thing that came to the minds of the younger black gay generations I was accompanied with. I will write more about it later because this part of my weekend education did disturb me a little.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
There has been many rumors about how Publish America doesn't really publish books, overcharge for the books they sell on their site or take any ole' manuscript and don't do a good job editing. There have been a number of complaints against the company that you can find.
My take on the situation comes from my own personal experience with Publish America. I just believe you can't take anybody's word as gospel when it comes to the internet. Everybody will not have the same experience dealing the same company. I went on different sites and there are a number of complements to match the number of complaints.
When you are a first time author wanting to express yourself and have everyone see your vision, you do what you have to do at times. So far Publish America has kept to everything they said they would do contractually. They sent me my advance $1, they got all permission forms they need from me, every time I have contacted them they have gotten back to me in a timely manner and they have been courteous over the phone and in e-mail.
The only things that concerned is that the fact they needed my approval on an issue which I believe held up the project longer. They claim that normally they can have a book in review status within nine months and it has been that long. I am very patient, I am grateful they saw potential in my work because they are footing the bill and most of all I understand that I, as a first author, have lots of work to put in to make this venture successful.
I go in with my eyes open not expecting Publish America to do more than expected by the contract. For right now they get a 8.5 out of 10. I will keep you informed on the progress and trust me I will let you know if they slip up too.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
The woman to the left is Cindy Close and she was betrayed by a man that Marvin McMurrey who she believed was a close friend.
This all started some time back when McMurrey and Close had talked about being equal parents in raising a child together. Not as a relationship couple but as two good friends that would be loving parents to a child that she was give birth too.
So after some discussion she was made pregnant by in-vitro fertilization using anonymous donor eggs and of course the sperm came from McMurrey. Cindy Close had twins and soon as those babies were born McMurrey filed legal papers declaring Close to be just a surrogate mother and that is all.
If this story is true meaning you have a situation where a gay man, who never told this woman he was gay, befriended Close and tricked her into having these babies just to take them away; this man is truly sick.
This woman had babies. These are not items or possessions you can take away and say they are mine and everything is alright. This woman has feeling and a bond because they were two lives in her body for nine months growing and being nurtured by someone who loved them.
Let's really be honest. If feels like treachery and deception was used by McMurrey. If he was not so greedy and selfish he could see there is enough love for both of these children by all three individuals which consist of McMurrey, his boyfriend Phong Nguyen, and Cindy Close. They could work something out that does not involve the court if McMurrey was not being such a bastard at this juncture in the game.
I still feel sick that a member of the gay community, my community, is being such a cunt and asshole. I guess selfishness knows no bounds because he literally stepped on this woman to gain what he wanted, again if that is the case.
No matter who did what, the kids are the ones that suffer and being gay does not automatically make you a good person. But let's reserve judgement for the cunt until more information is found because he has to be the devil his due.
Monday, September 24, 2012
I have to admit the progress has been slow, not to mention I have seen the negative comments about not allowing Publish America to produce any of my work. They have some what of a bad reputation on the net but from one bad reputation to another, sometimes you have to experience things and people on your own so I decided to take that chance.
Now here I am getting an e-mail from the head of the design team telling me they feel my book is non-fiction. I told him that my books are fiction based from my reality. In my reality there is a lot of sex, drugs and rock & roll. Does not mean I get what I asked for.
I never said that everything in my reality is based in truth when it comes to my novellas. It would be irresponsible to use real people and their lives in my writing. Not everyone wants to be put on front street. Not to mention that the only people real in my book is the main character which is a drama filled derivative of me. Think of it as melodrama on steroids. But also the main character is someone whose life is based in a drug world and a lot of the people he encounters are pimps, drug dealers and drug users which he is considered to be a rent boy without even knowing it.
I wrote the book in journal form to expand upon the development of the character. That is the only way to know the main character because you never see his name. The whole book flips from past to present from memory to actuality to really puts you in the mind of real life. It jumbled and somewhat off center as reality most of the time is. So, to get an e-mail asking for written permission from real counterparts of the characters I created was a great compliment because there is no real counterparts.
In the first book every gay man I meet is named David because it is a common gay name. That was the way the main character keeps his secrets from everyone by calling all his sexual encounters David because he is very promiscuous.
When you get down to it, my books is just about a guy that has the dream always wanting to move to Atlanta so I based the book on my reality and not anyone else's lives. It is a mixed up collection of hodgepodge potpourri fictional events inspired by the nativity of my wet behind the ears self. But I am proud that people believe it to be true. It makes me feel good.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
I won't lie, it did get to me a little bit, at first, because I realized I was coming into a new world of writing, naked and going through trial by fire. I knew that I did not want formal training in the art of writing because I wanted to write unconditionally.
I have a message and I realized that if people are more concerned with grammar mistakes than reading the powerful message of unity that I feel will literally solve all the problems of the gay community then those are people I don't want in my corner.
Here is something that I did not realize that a good friend kept pointing out to me. I kept wondering why people would down someone just trying to express a message that is useful to a whole group of people. That is when someone told me those people might be jealous because I was getting noticed. When you are getting noticed that is something people want for themselves. In other words, I was becoming more popular and did not realize it.
I know I am not the best writer in the world, I have my own style, I have my own voice and it does not conform to the standards set by industry and learning. I am going to be me. I write unconditional as possible the same way I think, feel and speak. That is the easiest way I have found my voice and if that pisses you off then FUCK YOU.
There is the first lesson on surviving haters in anything that you do. I have been spending my time trying to find my voice and power which happens through breaking a lot of eggs, barriers and traditions. Some people don't care about that. Some people want to put you in the worst light because "bad light" travels faster than light-speed.
You keep finding you in anything that you do. Stay prayed up, head up and any type of "up" that is needed to keep your mind on track and focus. Haters don't care about the work that you do. They want to make themselves better by making you worse. Show haters, whatever you do, that you are the best at finding your place in life. At that point, haters are easy to knock off.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
New York media has been buzzing about gay couple Barrett Greene and Thomas Eng. These two members of the LGBTQ community are suing Amber Restaurant , a Asian-fusion establishment in New York’s West Village, over the allegation there wedding rehearsal dinner was terminated by a manager that found out the couple was gay.
According to the Huffington Post the owner’s son of the restaurant fired the employee that made the reservation, saying that he did not want any ‘gay parties’ at his establishment because they are “especially bad for feng shui”.
Let’s just say for kicks this statement is true. Why didn’t the manager just move the reservation to another location? Amber Restaurant seems to have several and one is just as good as any other. Also, why was this mix-up or inconvenience not explained to the couple? It just seems an honest mistake could have been cleared up with communication.
Also a lot of us probably thought that businesses have the right not to serve anyone they want. No one has to give a reason why. A business can refuse service if they don’t want your patronage or is that true? Well in the melting pot that is New York, the SONDA law protects from “actual or perceived” discrimination based on sexual orientation. That is a big stick to swing if you feel that prejudice has raised its ugly head in your pursuit of living a relatively normal and discriminatory free life.
Let’s be real in this situation. Court documents make it very clear that the manager of the Amber establishment made notice of the couple’s sexual orientation and that played a huge factor in the outcome of recent events. Not to encourage this behavior but it would have been easier for the manager just to lie and make up a story. That is how discrimination is done these days anyway.
Whether you are black, gay, Latino, short or whatever; if you don’t want a particular person of distinguishing difference to have the same equality, you make up any excuse that seem to fit. That is how present day prejudice works. No one outright shows there prejudice, out in the open, because of little things like litigation.
The lesson for the day is to treat people as you want to be treated and make no mistake, the LGBTQ is in a position to make examples and this case is going to be closely watched and supported by all members of the gay community.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
I am not mad at all because I knew a few things were going to happen when they saw the headline. Either I was going to be praised for my fearless, in your face writing style or I was going to be called a douche bag and sent into the corner with a dunce cap.
I do have to admit that the story itself made me a bit angry and I wanted to express what bigots and false people say behind our backs or when they smile in front of a gay person's face knowing they don't like us because we are gay.
The original title of my article was "Bad for feng shui is a polite way of saying 'no faggots allowed'". The only reason I used the word "faggot" was for realism and shock value because in the real world, that is what prejudice people call us. When businesses deny service to the gay community because of our sexual orientation that is the same as calling us "faggot" or any other slur that can easily roll off their tongue.
Why sugarcoat the fact that this type of thinking and apparent behavior is just that which is apparent. It is what it is and seeing that in bold letters, in black and white is something that reminds the gay community that people who do not share in the vision of equality has another vision for the LGBTQ and it starts with the word "faggot".
I say don't disrespect me by calling me gay if what you really want to do is call me a faggot. Don't insult my intelligence and the intelligence of my community if you have already disrespected us by discriminating against us but you want to call us "gay" to be politically correct.
Don't do us any favors by holding back because if true change is going to occur I rather face the harsh honesty than the courteous bullshit.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
A few things must be mentioned so there is a base understanding because there are some concepts which these two atheists consider different.
First they consider themselves “black” atheists which means they don’t believe in a God which now their mindset and energy is channeled to overturning global white supremacy. In other words, their efforts are to uplift and educate the black community to solve the problems facing the African-American nation to date.
Let’s step away from this reference for a moment and answer the question why is this topic is important to the gay community. For months this column has brought up the trend of gay Americans turning to Atheism for obvious reasons. When you have religion and God which are supposed to be saving elements in life, being used by those with anti-gay agendas then it is easy to see why gay people don’t want to believe in God. As a community gay people are being discriminated against by the repentatives of the most high so turning to Atheism seems to be a logical course of action for a lot of gay individuals. If this shift to Atheism is more than a trend, then the LGBTQ needs to be informed and cautious as to what is in store because some “enlightened” atheists are still prejudice against gay people.
So, let’s return to the concepts of the Black Atheists of Atlanta which if you are gay, you can’t be a black atheist by the standards set by Blackson and Ankhkakek. Being gay is the same as believing in God in the minds of these two and all that believe in the message these men convey. They believe both being gay and religion used to enslave black people and to halt the reproductive trail which black scholars consider the original path. That means, for all you black gay American that want to turn to Atheism, there is no place for you in Black Atheism so you have to turn to basic atheist groups like the Black Atheists of America or the Atheist Experience on You Tube.
But, here are a few funny things about this whole atheist understanding. Atheism is a lack of belief in a God. That is it, there is nothing to come too or try to find. All this talk about being a black atheist is just using Atheism as a platform for other agendas. In some circles they call it “Atheism Plus”. A lot of hate groups have used Atheism as a platform for years and many more will use the same format for years to come. It is the same as gay-rights in politics. Gay marriage is a platform for politicians to capture voters and not to further the liberty of gay Americans as it should be.
Now, before we go any further, the Black Atheists of Atlanta is neither a hate group nor homophobic but there is no doubt they are anti-gay. In fact the group supports conventions dealing with the “problem” of homosexuality in the black community. But isn’t labeling gay people a problem a large issue in the black community which ostracizes gay black people from the heritage they identify with?
It seems this is all a vicious cycle in some form. You throw off the shackles of religion to enlighten your mind and to step towards something that seems more unconditional. Now that your mind is “lighter” as a person you want to replace all that conditioning with finding yourself in some fashion. As a black gay person you revert back to the unity you are most comfortable with because being black, gay and atheist is terribly scary by yourself. You come to find out that there is no room for you at the black atheist table because they have conditions on your Atheism and they are very discriminatory.
Personally, there is some comfort in knowing that we don’t know everything and something soothing about enjoying the ignorance of believing something more powerful does. It definitely is a whole lot simpler and less hateful.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
With technology ever growing the capabilities of what one can do is almost endless, time gives way to the fact that more and more barriers are being breached and heights are being reached in order to obtain the all mighty dollar. They say the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world that he does not exist. If that is the case, how dangerous is it not to believe that in a city as big as Atlanta someone is not tracking your credit card number or monitoring your mobile broadband transmissions? How dangerous is it to believe there is no ghost in the shell?
For those that don’t know the reference “Ghost in the Shell” is one of the earliest Japanese anime that dealt with cyber-jacking, the ability to almost become one with a machine or information. What a lot of Atlanta residents fail to understand is that these sealed off boundaries surrounding your identities, banking information or even video has been broken by those are not frightened by the question “Should I?”
We are not talking about cyber avengers such as the hacktivist group Anonymous that use their gift to change the world on a global scale. We are mentioning those with the capability to peek in an out of closed doors and privacies of everyday people for profit. They prey upon the fact that no one has the innovative vision to see a smartphone as a gateway to people’s personal lives and without a thought, your personal business that you wanted to remained tucked away has been uploaded to be used for whatever reason.
Think about it for moment. If there are those that have the technology to ride by slowly and gather as much information as possible from credit card numbers, emails to text messages, across a wireless feed, would it be so hard to think there is a group in Atlanta that has taken this power to a whole other level.
We use mobile phones, laptops and wireless broadband means to transmit data every day.
It would make sense that anyone that understands this realm of technology would have an upper hand in a metropolis such as Atlanta. The real threat comes from the fact that no would believe that a group would work that much in secret, patience and effort to be a cyber-threat for money. Is it no wonder that Atlanta Police Department is rumored to be using such vigilantes in their surveillance circles to loop around the rights of its residents, criminal or not.
Again, just rumors that everyone has the right to disbelieve but have the right to be aware of. Nothing to be frightened of until it is you that is in the middle of the so-called cyber storm. Take it from someone who knows. If the way is possible then do not doubt that someone has figured out the means to reach those violating ends.
I see myself as a messenger to the gay community. I support the gay community with the message that we are a powerful people. No matter the background, no matter the circumstance, no matter the issue you face as a gay person; you are more powerful in this world than you can ever dreamed.
This message goes out to my friend Stanley who told me that he did not care if he woke up in the morning. That someone who has been kind to me and I would do anything in the world for, told me that it did not matter if he lives or dies. Basically that is unacceptable and I won't accept that as normal for anyone with a heart and mind big as my friend's.
This whole situation with him started me to thinking about how the gay community feels as a whole. There are those that will try and impede my message to the gay community. Also, there are some out there that don't want you to hear the message of unity and strength. I feel this is one of the problems that my friend encountered. There are some people out there that will do anything to discourage the message of unity and power we all need to hear.
For a moment, forget about this being an election year. When the dust settles on who is president this coming term what is left for gay people. All we have is each other and the support that we have gathered from people that understand the message.
The message is more powerful than the messenger and every last gay person has a message to send. Don't be silent. If there are advocates to silence then I am an ally to speech. I believe with all the conviction I can muster, there is no way in hell I am going to stop sending out the message and I hope that message is clear.