Friday, January 30, 2009

Being gay makes me blue.....sometimes

Most days, I am in an upbeat, pleasant mood. I usually accept life as it is and remain optimistic that better days will come. I spend most of my time meditating on what I do possess and try diligently not to lament about my deficiencies. I make a conscious effort to not obsess about my double minority status. I try not to be affected by homophobia, bigotry, ignorance, hypocrisy, poverty, or anything else that has the potential to upset my delicate equilibrium. Having been trained as a mental health professional, I am able to recognize when my reserves are waning before I reach the "empty" level. Despite all of the energy I invest, I am not immune to getting into a funk.

Sometimes it's hearing friends talk about their partners and children. Other times it's just plain 'ole loneliness or isolation. Although I am involved in a lot of activities, I do yearn for consistent human interaction. Writing and blogging are cool, but when I turn this computer off or put my pen down, I am left with me, myself, and I. This lifestyle can be so exhausting.

What to do? I learned from an atheist years ago that life is akin to being thrust into the middle of the ocean. When the waves come, we can fight or allow ourselves to be temporarily submerged. Then, when the tide has passed, we can return to the surface and breathe again.

I know there are things I can do to make myself more accessible. I could go back to the clubs or reactivate my Adam4Adam account. But why would I do such things? Instead, I will continue to believe in the infinite possibilities of the unknowable future. As my experience with "husband" has taught me, I can put myself in a position to be noticed, but I cannot MAKE anyone love me. While that's the case, I can still jam my ass off!

I'll Be (Jay-Z and Foxy Brown)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

North Carolina A&T Student Killed

Dennis Hayle, a senior at North Carolina A&T University was killed on January 25, 2009. A senior, campus leader, mentor, and member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated, Dennis was shot in the head while walking to his apartment at around 3:00 A.M. Thus far, police have not identified a motive or any suspects. He was 22 years old.

To say that the murder of a bright, promising man is senseless is an understatement. That he was struck down while in the process of ascending to greatness defies logic. While we'll never know what he may have accomplished, it appears that he positively impacted the lives of his family members, colleagues, classmates, and friends.

Perhaps I was compelled to write about Mr. Hayle because he hails from my hometown of Hempstead, New York. Maybe it's because his existence invalidated the myth of the shiftless, trifling, no-good, uneducated, directionless negro. In any event, I'm posting two videos pertaining to the crime. The pain in his mother's voice is very disconcerting. Please keep the Hayle family in your prayers.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

You're NOT welcome, but God bless you

I just started watching this documentary -"Equality U"- on the Logo television network. The documtary centers around 36 lgbt young adults who are combating homophobic policies on Christian college campuses across the United States. Similar to the Freedom Riders of the 1960, these folks ride a charter bus across the country and attempt to educates the individuals in decision-making positions. In the first episode, they travel to Lynchburg, Virginia and visit Liberty University, whose president (at that time) was none other than the late Reverend Jerry Falwell. To see all of the episodes, click here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My neck, my back, lick my p^&%# and my c@!%*

I had just moved to the ATL when Khia's song "My neck, my back" came out, and I never heard the uncensored version until a few minutes ago. This song is more explicit than anything Foxy or Kim ever put out. So much so that radio stations had to censor ever other word. I remember chicks were digging this song like nobody's business. After hearing rap artists repeatedly tell women to get on their knees and suck their dicks (and lick their balls), it was sort of cool to hear a woman put it down. Khia was raw with it. She is literally telling dudes how to eat her out. Pay attention: "First you got to put your neck into it. Don't stop, just do it do it. Then your roll your tongue from the crack back to the front." Although I haven't heard anything from her since then, she's left her mark on the hip-hop/rap game. Big ups to Ms. Khia!

My neck, my back

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I still love gospel music

I remember when "Shackles (Praise You)" came out in 2000. That song was off the chain. Despite being characterized as too contemporary by traditionalists, the song was played heavily in the clubs and on many R&B/hip-hop radio stations. I heard drug dealers singing the lyrics while posted up agaisnt buildings: "Took the shackles off my feet so I can dance. I just want to praise you. I just want to praise you. You broke the chains now I can lift my hands. And I'm gonna praise you. I'm gonna praise you." I couldn't believe gospel artists had recorded a song of this magnitude. They even used the molulator machine (i.e. T-Payne). The lyrics were uplifting, relevant, fresh, and encouraging.

I was somewhat disappointed when I learned about their views pertaining to homosexuality. I stopped listening to their music and anything recorded by Minister Donnie McClurkin and Kirk Franklin.

Then I got to thinking. Some people, regardless of how much scientific evidence is presented, will never view homosexuality as anything other than an abominable sin. It's up to me to determine if I will permit the opinions of other to impact my spirit. I am now able to answer that question emphatically: NO!. That being said, I can definitely give credit where it is due. Mary Mary has this song entitled "Get Up" that I am in love with. I heard it a few months ago when I was listening to the "Yolonda Adams Morning Show" while driving to work. The beat is strong enough to destroy speakers. I can definitely imagine this song being played in Traxx or some other gay club in the ATL.

So, I would like to thank Mary Mary for creating some wonderful music. I wish you two continued success.

Get Up

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm missing you

I don't think about loved ones who have departed very often. When I do, it's never a sad occasion. By the grace of God, I have only lost a handful of family members in my 31 years on Earth. The first significant person I lost was my aunt Katherine. A devout Jehovah's Witness, she succumed to lupus at the age of 37 in 1990. We didn't get a chance to pay our respects because we were living in New York at the time and the funeral was going to occur in Georgia. My aunt's husband called and told us she was going to be buried the next day. That messed my mother up for a minute.

The next person was my grandfather, Willie Earl Brown. He'd battled alcoholism for as long as I can remember. I recall visiting him when he and his common-law wife Mary (everybody called her "Sister") were in an inpatient rehabiliation center. Now that I'm older, I recognize that he drank in an effort to deal with his anxiety and emotional instability. From what I've been told, he suffered a nervous breakdown after my grandmother passed away at the age of 39, leaving behind five children (three were grown). He suffered a heart attack and died on March 18, 1992.

After that was my aunt Everlene. I didn't learn the correct spelling of her name until after she passed away. She was an expert in the art of whipping ass. My aunt didn't play. I loved her sweet potato pies, which she only made during the holidays. Me and my cousins would sneak into the kitchen and eat pie all night. I knew she had had angioplasty performed, but I didn't know she had heart problems. My aunt passed away unexpectedly (heart attack) during the summer of 1998.

Finally, my step-father, Steven Louis Owens, suffered a fatal heart attack on July 5, 2007. I certainly didn't see this one coming, as he had endured successful open heart surgery three months earlier. He was so upset that he could not attend my graduation from LSU that May. My mother was tempted not to come to Baton Rouge because she worried he would pass away in her absence. When I moved back home, he seemed to be in good health. Despite his medical illnesses (hypertension, diabetes, and end-stage renal failure), he was one of the most pleasant and generous people I've ever met. I'll never forget that day. I was sitting in the kitchen (like I am now) surfing the internet and looking for a job. He exited his room, walked down the hallway, went into the basement, and never came back upstairs. I had an industrial fan on, so I couldn't hear really well. However, I remember hearing someone yelp. Believing it was my uncle reacting to something he was watching on television, I continued with my internet search. When my mom came home (about 30 minutes later), she said something about chicken. Thinking she wanted me to get a pack of frozen wings from the freezer in the garage (we have two refrigerators), I went downstairs, turned the corner, and found my stepfather lying face down on the concrete floor. I called his name a few times, nudged him, and checked for a pulse. Nothing. I ran upstairs and knocked on my mother's bedroom door. My uncle heard what I had said and emerged from his bedroom in tears. My mother was a fuckin' trooper. While my uncle cried/prayed, she performed CPR on her husband until the firemen arrived. We all watched as they intubated him, stuck him with numerous needles, and hooked him up to the AED. They shocked him about three times. Nothing.

We prayed as I drove to the nearby hospital, even though I pretty much knew he was gone. When we got to the hospital, I hoped to see him in a recovery room. I hoped the EMS had performed a miracle while in route to the hospital. Instead, we were escorted to a room and told to wait for the doctor. When he was pronounced dead, they allowed us to see him. He was in a room right across the hall. His eyes were halfway open. He looked tired and peaceful at the same time. We took his bag of belongings home and began notifying family members.

So, those are some of the people I miss. What about you?

Missing You, by Diana Ross

Friday, January 02, 2009


Why does this word still affect me? It's not like I wasn't called it enough during my teens and early 20s. I remember my best friend's sister questioning why I took offense to her grown-ass uncle calling me a "lefty" when I was a senior in high school. "It's not the first time someone's thought you were gay," she said. If I didn't love her, I might have put my 18-year-old hands on her. Usually, I felt free in their home; there were times when they would have to subtly let me know that it was time for me to leave. However, when he was around, I felt anxious, paranoid, and every other uncomfortable emotion you can think of.

As I got older and entered the professional world, it became less acceptable for people to say such mean things. People may have PERCEIVED me as a homosexual, as evidenced by the absence of a girlfriend and presence of so-called effiminate mannerisms. However, they generally kept their opinions to themselves. When I was working for a very well-respected scientist, one of my co-workers informed me that he called me "soft." As educated and distinguished as he was/is, he was not immune to harboring negative thoughts about men who were not hypermasculine. Come to think of it, he thought negatively of everyone. Once he accused his nurse of having a "blond" moment after making a mistake, I didn't feel too bad.

Which brings me to today. After returning to work, I learned that one of my clients had become upset with me and called me a "faggot" and a "bitch." Thankfully, one of my other clients checked her, as well as a co-worker. What upsets me is that she did this in the presence of others. Why? Because she did not EARN a privilege she sought. While I have had clients yell and attack me for being young, I have never had one put me on blast. I have not seen her yet, but we will have a discussion. I will not tolerate this type of behavior. No way.

What is it about this word? Although I have only been called a nigger once, it didn't impact me deeply. Maybe it has to do with the fact that nigger is generalized to an entire group of people, whereas faggot can be used by anyone, including your own people. Why can this word negatively impact my mood and make me feel less than human (for a little while)? I have given up trying to determine how people are able to discern my sexuality. Chalk it up to good gaydar, which even I don't have. I guess my biggest concern is the possibility of being treated differently or being viewed negatively. Even as a grown man, I still don't like being talked about or laughed at. There, I said it.

I'm certain that as I continue to recover for a lifetime of verbal and emotional abuse, some of which was self-imposed, my internal reserves will become fortified. Until then, I'll go through the motions and take the punches that are thrown at me. Faggot may be an unpleasant word, but it will not destroy me. Not now. Not never.

Here's the video to a song that's been on my mind a lot today. Now, you have to be grown or into 80s music to remember this one.

Heaven Help Me