Hang Man; Well, Hang Gay Man
Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni were 17 years old when the Iranian government put them to death by hanging, for what insiders say, was consensual gay sex. Since their July 2005 hanging as many as 14 other men have been put to death for the same reason. Iran has said the young men were put to death for kidnapping and rape to avoid embarrassment at their inability to eradicate homosexual behavior. On July 19, Outrage and International Day Against Homophobia, two groups strongly opposed to Iran’s anti-gay stand, have scheduled protests against Iran and its barbaric practices.
The number one killer of black men and women is lung cancer. It is estimated that black men are 50% more likely to develop lung cancer than their white counterparts. Even more disturbing is that smoking among black high school students has increased close to 80%, while white high school students showed just a 28% increase. Black men in New York City are said to be twice as likely to die of prostate cancer as their white counterparts – don’t ask me why, but just thinking about it makes me sore when I sit. Holding death-spot number two for black women is breast cancer. Here, New York showed black women were less likely to die of breast cancer than white women. Some attribute the phenomenon on better healthcare and screening involving Big Apple black women. Weight also plays a key role in accelerating some of these diseases; 64% of black women are said to be overweight.
Hot Shorts to Chill
Okay, maybe I’m too old to get risqué with the hot shorts and tank tops. Strangely, this summer wasn’t about what I was too old for or what I should drop and let go. This season is a let-go season filled with recapturing fun – well, recapturing it with some maturity. Last Saturday and Sunday the old crew partied like we were 20-something again. True, I should have nixed the Sunday party – especially when it got me home at 5 a.m. with just one hour to nap before getting ready for the office. Normally this would cause a deep-seated regret anchored in exhaustion, but this time around it was an exciting weekend packed with old-school laughs and walks down memory lane that even featured some of the old cast of characters. The weekend ended with a heart-felt conversation that gave credence to the hindsight is 20-20 theory. Looking back on over 20-years of life’s dramatic incidences we didn’t know whether to laugh ourselves into unconsciousness or cry with repentance at some of youth’s ignorant decisions. Saturday night the hot shorts created quite a stir and as I walked passed a full length mirror I saw a man that was having a great time and shucks… I still was pulling-off the look – guess the difference is that the guy looking back at me was a grown man.
The man/woman that you are… We’ve come such a long way. We’ve had some incredible laughs and some earth shattering sorrows. If you could identify the one great memory that warms your soul and the one horrific incident that extinguished the flame in your heart, what would you say they are? How have each of those extreme emotions affected you to this day?
Keep passin ‘the open windows…