Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kidnapping As A Tool

Maybe I'm just making light of a very serious issue, but the news media is highlighting several cases of men who have lost their children to mother's who have fled the country to places around the globe that do not participate in treaties to grant these fathers their paternal rights and help return those kids back home to the states. Repeatedly the camera pans to distraught fathers on a mission to be reunited with their babies. I'll admit that to date I've only seen White men featured in these news reports and it got me to wondering if maybe the key to bring about support and participation by Black and Latino men is to have baby mommas take the kids and leave the country to a place far, far away. Would Pablo suddenly appear on the Today Show pleading the return of his six kids to the states? Would Tyrell cry and beg that Katie Couric use her influence to have his four baby mommas bring Laisha, Ronquiece, Quaraisha and Lexus back to Wagner Houses? hmmm... The experiment is novel at best, but it begs the question of paternal rights and paternal drive.

On Blast
On average, are the Black and Latino communities doing enough to nurture the paternal drive in our boys?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getting It In

I was talking to a friend last night about how some folks appear in a desperate rush to nail everything that's moving. It's almost as though they see the aging process as the end of the line to a lifetime of 'getting it in'. We all know that humans - though we try to fight it by appropriating 'player' and 'cougar' titles - must follow the natural circle of life. The younger bull will eventally jostle into position and the droopy uddered cow will give way to the perky nippled one. I'm at that point in my life where I stand back and watch in wonder at why we wouldn't make a greater effort to make meaningful connections than simply resorting to doubling our bed partners. I'm not knocking getting laid; I'm just thinking that once you're no longer the hot breeder on the block does the evolution of your life and the beauty of blissful partnership ever come to mind. After our conversation I watched an episode of Golden Girls before going to bed and laughed at how ridiculous Rose Nylund would have looked running around and partying with the likes of Paris Hilton. Evolving...isn't it as important as getting it in?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Young Become the Old

It isn't a bad thing to age...well, gracefully. As my nephew celebrates his 14th birthday today I'm amazed at how fast time really goes by. Remembering the day he was born is as easy as my recalling last night's dinner. I rushed to the hospital to see his little crinkled face screaming at the top of his lungs. My sister was exhausted but celebrating the birth of her first baby. Four days later I moved to Maryland where I spent close to ten years; my life evolving; the experiences placed safely under my belt. I watched - sometimes from up close and sometimes from afar - as he grew, matured and became the handsome and brilliant young man he is today. He's taller than me and my prayer is that he reaches heights in his life that dwarf my own. Isn't that what life's about? The young become the old and it isn't such a bad thing when it means we get to watch the treasures that are our loved ones grow, mature and live.

On Blast
The circle of life...have you had the benefit of seeing it happen right before your eyes?

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mackenzie Phillips; Okay You Win

Yesterday's Oprah Show finally saw the queen of talk-and-one-upmanship frustrated with her inability to do Mackenzie Phillips one better after Phillips revealed that her childhood drug use and her incestuous relationship with her father, legendary John Phillips, started since her tender age of about 11. Mac's new book, High on Arrival, details the actor's start on drugs, her sexual encounter with Mick Jagger and her 10-year off-and-on sexual tryst with her dad. Throughout the show O appeared disgusted and uncomfortable at times asking questions that could have been phrased in a kinder, softer way. The relief for our Lady of Daytime came when surprise guest and former One Day At A Time cohost, Valerie Bertinelli joined Mac on stage to support her during this difficult revelation. Mac says that the book and subsequent interviews should unearth the hushed issue of incest that she believes oftentimes strives to protect the reputation of the abuser.

On Blast
Should the issue of incest be discussed openly, as it was in Mackenzie Phillip's book, or should this issue have remained within the walls of her family unit?

Keep passin' the open windows...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It Really Isn't a Contradiction

I haven't looked back on them, but throughout the years, I’ve had several blog posts that dealt with my reconciling my religious beliefs with my sexual orientation. As I watched yesterday's Tyra Show I was reminded of the ignorance, condescension and ungodly characteristics so prevalent in Christian churches. It stands to reason that folks who spend so much time close to the word of God and attending church services should be God filled and ready to impart that love to those around them. More often than not they are judgmental and ready to preach hell and brimstone; their interpretation of the Bible apparently fitting their lives perfectly, but sadly demanding that everyone else change some facet of their life to fit their belief of the word. What I ask all Christians to do is to believe in God, reflect his love and consider if they would serve God if HELL wasn't part of the equation. You see, when you serve God because you are appreciative of his son's sacrifice on the cross rather than the threat of the burning embers of hell, you can share his loving sacrifice with the world without looking down your nose at any of God's children. Reflect God and goodness and leave the relationship others have with God to them. You see, being Christian and gay isn’t a contradiction, but being Christian and judgmental is.

Keep passin the open windows...

Jesus Loves Jeff Just As He Is; Tyra Commentary

Commentary on Tuesday, September 22nd Tyra Show Guest; Jeffrey, 16


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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Before the Panicked Rush Begins

I'm a firm believer in doing all that's within your power to keep your job - including battling mass transit delays to get to work, but the stress New Yorkers exhibit trying to make their way to the office, I believe, rivals the panic of any other city in America. I'm learning to be still and breathe deeply believing that I'm precisely where I am supposed to be at any given moment. Sometimes I think we're rushing to the grave. Stop and consider that your delay may be divinely scheduled. You may be surprised to discover that your disturbed commute is the buffer between you and disaster.

Keep passin' the open windows..

Monday, September 21, 2009

Celebrate the Moments

Celebrate the moments of your life were the first few words from an International Coffee commercial. I remember that even back when I first heard those words that they made perfect sense. Last Friday a group of friends and I did just that. We left the office after a busy day and shared in dinner and dancing. The diversity of our group added to the spice of an already beautiful night. It doesn't happen often in NYC, but every so often folks can manage to escape their busy schedules and celebrate the moments of their lives. One day we'll look back and if we're lucky, these will be the instances we remember. A special thank you to Keith, Enid, Carmen, Leona, Mercy, Paula, Margaret, Isabel, Pumpkin, Evelyn, Clent, Wanda, Kisha, Liz, Martin and Fred for celebrating the moments of their lives with me.

Keep passin' the open windows...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Recurring Pain

I’ve talked about this subject on this blog, I’ve talked about it with my close friends and even BD has gotten an earful, but I still can’t get over the recurring pain of losing my friend Bobby. After a friendship that spanned 24 years, it stands to reason that I would have some issues with moving on…I just didn’t think it would be part of my daily thoughts. It took more than three months to take the program of his wake off the cocktail table in my living room. Finally, when my sister visited a week ago and asked why I still had the program out in the open, I looked down and I realized that it was painful to put my last memory of my friend in a drawer. His telephone number is still in my cell phone and as crazy as this is going to sound, I’m sometimes tempted to press “dial” in the hopes that we’re all wrong and Bobby answers. It’s a recurring pain. I know I live with more confidence and with less reservations because I feel that Bobby would have wanted to be here to enjoy these very moments…how dare I squander any of them away, right? I’ve never lost a friend I held this close, so I don’t know when the recurring pain will go away or if it will subside a bit. I miss our coming home from the club or an event and comparing stories. He would always remind me of the details I seemed to forget. “Bitch let’s hope I never die because you’ll have amnesia, “he’d say. Ironically, the one thing I’ll never forget is him and our friendship. I sometimes cry at movies, but I’m not a water sandwich when I recognize others need me to be strong. Consequently, I did a great job of not crying openly at Bobby’s wake. Yet privately writing this blog, I am brought to tears. Most of my blogs end with a point…an admonition….some advice…this one ends with nothing more than a longing for a friend that I can never speak to again. I guess I should accept that the recurring pain is Bobby’s last reminder.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Place

As I converse with friends and hear reactions to Oprah's Whitney Houston interview, I'm again grateful to where the Lord allows my spirit to be today. Was Whitney lying, covering, revealing or dodging? To be honest I felt, like many of us, she told as much of the truth to paint the picture she wanted portrayed. She understands that the obvious lies and omissions will no longer go over well with a public that has prayed for her deliverance and was smacked with her indifference in previous years. To effect a comeback she had to give what some felt they needed to hear. To simply see her recovered and doing well just wouldn't do. Yet the criticisms persist. We can't please everyone. I'm happy by Whitney's apparent place today - mentally, physically and spiritually. I recognize that my place is to enjoy her gift and leave all other speculations regarding her personal experience to her and the higher power in her life. I accept that her gift is what has been shared with me and that her celebrity is what her public has imposed.

Keep passin' the open windows...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Smear Tactics; Don't Die Of Shame

Anal cancer is over 35% more prevalent in gay men – 80% more prevalent for HIV+ men – and yet the shame of talking about having a simple male pap smear exam is avoided because of the shame of having a medical conversation about our ass. It’s really ironic, since gay men – many men in general – are big ass fans. Well, it’s high-time we seriously talk ass health. Gay African-American men have the highest increase for anal cancer and the lowest survival rates for the disease. Before the medical community included female pap smears for women over 18, cervical cancer had a higher death rate as well. The pap smear exam – for both men and women – screens for the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) one of the most common STDs in the world. To set you gentlemen at ease – the exam uses an eight inch q-tip (Dacron swab) inserted only 4 inches into your anal canal to collect a swab of cells. The exam is relatively pain free. Anal cancer is highly preventable and very treatable if caught in time.

So here are the facts…
** If you are a man who has sex with men, you should have a male pap smear
** If you have a history of anal or genital warts you should have a male pap smear
** 65% of men – 95% of HIV+ men – carry HPV in their anal canals
** There are more than 100 different subtypes of HPV
** HPV Subtypes 6 & 11 cause 90 percent of genital warts
** Subtypes 16 & 18 are far more dangerous because of their precancerous potential


We’ve become a community that openly speaks about our sexual trysts and the beauty of our bodies. Let’s become a community that also talks about keeping our bodies – and those of our family and friends – healthy for years to come.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Monday, September 14, 2009

This Battle Is Not Yours

Last night’s outburst from Kanye West at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards was not the first of his public speaking shockers. His well documented “George Bush doesn’t care about Black people,” left Americans with mouths agape. Somehow, some believed that it was high-time someone said what many at that time were thinking, but we didn’t really look ahead at how that same behavior - unchecked and encouraged – would become disastrous. Moreover, it’s one thing to feel courageous enough to take on the leader of the free world and something rather cowardly to snatch the microphone from a teenage girl making a nervous acceptance speech. West delivered an apology, but short of using a butter knife to sever his testicles and use them as click-clacks at the end of a wire hanger in front of the same millions who witnessed last night’s VMAs, it was too little too late. This leads us to the real point of this entire article, which is the importance of choosing your battles. It is my opinion that Kanye has a good heart, but because of circumstances unknown to us, he lacks the filter or gate that prevents him from championing every cause he deems before him. You see, he may have believed in his heart that Beyonce was suffering an injustice by having Taylor Swift win the first award for Best Video – Female, but somehow he should have saved his comments for his appearance at Jay Leno’s primetime premiere tonight. The stage would be his and he would be joined by none other than Mr. Beyonce himself, Jay Z. All said, it’s a mistake he will spend the rest of his career – assuming he still has one – apologizing for. Whether he's bringing attention to the folks who suffered at the hands of an apparently ambivalent President or he's taking a stand against-the-grain for millions of gays oppressed by the hip-hop community, West hasn’t always been the bad guy. Unfortunately, this little tirade may have been the greatest lesson of them all for West – Sometimes it’s best to WAIT and ANALYZE a situation thoroughly to insure that getting behind an issue or cause warrants your support. No, Beyonce doesn’t need West to sing her praises – she even went on to win for Song of the Year the very same evening – but not exercising appropriate decorum led West to make a fool of himself and diminish the power of his words. If we’re to learn anything it should be that all battles are NOT ours to fight and that pausing to ascertain which are worth fighting is the difference between being thought of a hero or a coward.

On Blast
Have you ever thought you were championing a worthy cause only to find out you were stepping out of line where your support was not warranted?

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Truth

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Living my truth is the most difficult, yet the most rewarding experience. I don't think I would've moved forward in my life - grown, fallen in love or felt satisfied - if I lived outside my truth. I may not always know the answers and it may one day feel that truth brings about an outcome that is different from what I hope for, but I know it is what should be. Truth will allow me to live my best life because all things are fertilized by that which is honest, real and irrefutable.

Keep passin’ the open windows…

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Transit Trauma

Riding NYC transit every day, I’ve come across a cast of characters not unlike any movie set in Hollywood. No make-up or costume department can duplicate the authentic horror stories that commute with me every day. This brings me to the boisterous, hairy-legged, gnarled-toed woman sitting in front of me on the train this morning. As the train conductor made an announcement about delays, the loud talking Monster Paws – heretofore referred to as MP – loudly chatted on her cell phone about anything and everything that crossed her mind this morning. Unfortunately, I had trouble hearing her, not for the saving grace of my IPod, but the distraction that was her unsettling bottom half. Women, pull your note pads and pens out now. Write this down. You DO NOT have to shave your legs, but if you choose to force them upon unsuspecting onlookers and reside in the developed world, we will ask you to forgo your rebellious Chubaka-esque style and partake in the following services:
** Shave or use a depilatory on any/all portions of your leg that will be exposed
** Wash your feet, trim your toe nails and run an alcohol soaked q-tip under the toe-nail tips
** Moisturize all exposed portions of your limbs; reapply as necessary

Of course you can ignore the general public’s idea of common sense and personal grooming, but be reminded that the picture you see here could be of you…on a more widely read venue.

Keep passin’ the open windows…