One Mo’ Time; BET Touches On the Down Low
How many conversations do you believe are necessary to address a growing problem in our minority community regarding sexual orientation and the sexual practices of adults in our culture? Who do we blame for the spread of HIV and other infectious diseases as a result of unprotected sex? Are gays the root cause of HIV infection in minority communities? Last night BET took on the issue head-on. The issue of men having sex with other men who still engage women, was front and center. Author Terry McMillan appeared on the program an angrily declared that although she has nothing against gay men, she resents her ex-husband for deceiving her for years and leading a duplicitous life. Repeatedly the topic of men being infected through same-sex encounters was addressed. Strangely, the main cause – unprotected sex – was not the focus of the program. Yes, you should get tested for HIV and your partner should be encouraged to join you in getting tested. Yes, you should share the results of your exams with each other. Yet the majority of minority women have taken the easy escape hatch that says I should blame him, instead of protecting myself. I’m baffled – disgusted really – that women are so vehemently attacking men who place them at risk when they place themselves at risk each time they choose to engage a man without using a condom. The program also touched on the reality of prison life and how incarcerated men sometimes engage in sex with each other either through forcible rape or simply out of satisfying the hormonal urges a man jailed for a long period of time may experience. What was most disturbing was the repeated message that it is a man’s “ethical and moral obligation” to tell his wife or girlfriend that he is engaging in unprotected sex with men. How about telling her you’re engaging in unprotected sex with other people – PERIOD. Call me protective of my own community, but it’s time we accept that HIV is not a gay or male-on-male disease. HIV and AIDS do not know a person’s sexual orientation. Be smart because the disease isn’t. Protect yourself. Now, if we can stop seeing minority women as victims and empower them to be vigilant, protect themselves and make intelligent choices we’ll really expose something of importance – life.
Shall We Dance?
Evelyn M., Carmen C. and a couple of other friends have started conversations about taking dance lessons to add to our work-out repertoire. We’re presently considering free salsa lessons at LQs on Wednesday nights and two other dance studios that feature Salsa, African dance and even belly dancing. We plan to begin our little foray into this exciting new work-out in mid April. We’ll keep our ME family abreast of what we come up with in the hopes that more of you will join in shaking those bodies into graceful and tight form.
God save us all. Religion is a hot button topic around the world and the root cause of death and destruction around the globe. Our belief in different Gods, the rules for salvation or how we interpret whichever holy book you read can set folks blood to boil. That said, how important are your religious beliefs when put to the test? If your life and/or the life of your family were at risk for your religious beliefs, would it change your tune? Do you find you conform your religious beliefs to fit your lifestyle? Is your belief in your God strong enough to validate living a less-than-comfortable life to live by the good book?
Keep passin’ the open windows…