[New Music Video] Jazmine Sullivan - "Holdin' You Down (Goin' In Circles)"

(Songstress: Jazmine Sullivan)


Remember when RnB was funky and made you want to get down? Jazmine Sullivan takes us back with her Missy Elliot-produced single, "Holdin' You Down (Goin' In Circles)."

Peep the homage to House Party toward the end.

The Outsider

(Son of an Igbo soldier: John Amaechi)

Towleroad sat down with the super-intelligent, super-sexy John Amaechi to talk about what life's been like for him after becoming the first and only openly gay former NBA player.

Choice excerpts from the interview:

SP: Now that it's been a few years, how does it feel to be the first NBA player to publicly come out of the closet?

JA: I have to be honest that I rarely think of that aspect, not because it was a bad experience - in fact, it was resoundingly the opposite, but I try to stay in the moment and now the issues facing the LGBT community feel so much bigger than any one professional athlete. On reflection, and in talking to people from workplaces and schools in parts of the US, parts of Africa and Eastern Europe, that I have spoken to in the last few years, I had it easy.

SP: A study in the UK found that the majority of soccer fans in that country are ready to support an openly gay player. How close do you think basketball fans in the US are to feeling that way?

JA: I have to tell you that the geek in me looked at that survey and it is really lacking in a number of the reliability and validity aspects you need in really good research. That being said, I do agree that the open-mindedness and general acceptance of difference (especially LGBT) in the UK is better than ever before, even amongst fans. I think that many fans in the US already feel that way, and are simply “waiting” to be explicitly told it’s ok to lose the machismo, bullshit, “no homo" attitude, by enough people in authority, including current straight players, owners, etc. However, America is different from the UK in that you still suffer from people actively creating and maintaining anti-LGBT laws, and that informs the attitudes of fans: "if gays are banned from adopting in my state there must be something wrong with them, right?”

SP: You recently told the Manchester Evening News: “I get into trouble sometimes with the gay community by saying it is not the job of sports stars in the closet to come out. That is not how change happens. For an under-prepared and psychologically stunted individual who plays sports at a high level to come out before they are ready is like being born prematurely.” At what point do you think a sports star is ready to come out?

JA: I think there are probably 5,000 mainstream professional athletes in the US, maybe 500 of them are LGBT, I just don’t think that is a key demographic in the quest for change. Some are “stunted” as I mentioned - not as many as I made out in that article in fairness - but I think it is a just a plot device we like to have in our mind that if a big enough star came out the fans would stop being homophobic, the family research council would rethink it’s policies and all would be well.

I was in Cologne for the gay games and I spoke to person after person - all from southern or central states in fairness - who were not out at work: high school teachers (a LOT of teachers) , several IT technicians, two journalists, a TV production person and others... all of whom felt it dangerous in one way or another for them to be out at work - all of whom said that gay athletes should come out even though they felt they couldn’t. When all teachers, engineers, etc, etc feel safe to come out, maybe then the argument for professional athletes to do the same would not ring with so much hypocrisy. A gay sportsman coming out just isn’t going to have the impact you think. Young people are mostly already won over in terms of LGBT human rights, and those with the real power, aren’t going to be swayed by an athlete, because they aren’t swayed by the hate crimes statistics, they aren’t swayed by the genuine love of gay couples and they aren’t swayed by the logical argument for equality.

SP: How close to you think we are to having an an active, openly gay player in the NBA?

JA: One could be outed at any second, but not close otherwise. Also, we should note that lots of professional athletes are out in the same way that many in the LGBT community are out. They are out to family and/or close friends, to some of their team mates and coaches, but not to the universe - they are no more “In the closet than the numerous (a majority?) of LGBT people on-line whose profile obscures their face and says “out to everyone except family” or “not out at work."

SP: What's your relationship today like with your former teammates? Have any of them ended the friendship because of your sexuality?

JA: I keep in touch with some, most don’t keep in touch and made it clear that they didn’t want people to think they were gay, some are gay and think I am too under scrutiny to be associated with without the risk that they are outed too. It is also fair to say that I might be just the kind of guy that whether straight or gay, my team mates didn’t want to keep in touch with - I can be difficult.

SP: Have you ever had any kind of romantic relationship with a player in the NBA?

JA: Not romantic, no.

Heh. That last answer is telling, no?

No Name in the Street

 Don't call us gay (even if we only have sex with other men).

I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is exclusively homosexual. He said that he doesn't like the label "gay," nor does he consider himself gay because for him the label hinges not upon sexual actions, but on how one lives his life.

In his estimation, he can have sex with as many dudes as he likes, but as long as he doesn't make it public, as long as he doesn't enter into heterosexual-like courtships with these fellows, as long as romance doesn't enter into the equation, as long as there is no femininity involved, as long as he's black, as long as the idea of marrying or building families with these men remains silly at best and repulsive at worst, as long as the encounters amount to a "homeboys with benefits" situation: He ain't gay.

When I asked him what, then, would he call men who had sexual relations--exclusively--with other men, he said, "Just a regular dude."

Some might say he's simply internalized homophobia, that he wants to waddle like a duck, quack like a duck, swim like a duck, but be called a bicycle--and they might be right. But then again, there also might be some interesting sociopolitical underpinnings to his point of view.

I found the situation fascinating for three reasons:
1. I liked the idea of someone rejecting a social label and insisting upon defining himself.

2. I also understood his rejection to be coming from a place of deep and abiding shame: People of color can be some of the most homophobic people on the planet and I can completely understand a black man refusing to identify in a way that would alienate him from his tribe.

3. He not only perceived gayness as weak and unmanly, but he also perceived it as un-black.
I talked a little bit about this before when discussing the Pashtuns from Afghanistan, whose sexual identities baffled American soldiers.  There seems to be this idea among various peoples of color that gayness is a white thing, that it was forced upon slaves by their perverted white masters and it spread among African peoples like a disease.

That's utter bullshit, of course. And over at Mother Jones, Titania Kumeh breaks down the history of homosexuality and people of color in response to the homophobic mess going on in Uganda (white people may not have exported homosexuality, but they're damn sure exporting homophobia).

She points to a terrific historical affidavit that traces gay marriage and same-sex relationships all the way back to ancient Egypt.  

So much for the myth of pre-colonization, African exclusive-heterosexuality.

Follow Ms Kumeh on Twitter.

Hypocrites Always Want to Play Innocent XXVII

 (Ken Mehlman: Hypocrite!)

These damn closeted gay Republicans who act against the interests of the LGBT community. When will they ever learn?

This time it's Ken Mehlman, the former Republican party chairman who spearheaded so many initiatives against LGBT individuals it's mind-boggling.  He's come out of the closet now that there's no risk, now that he has no influence, now that he's got no political power.

Mother Jones kind of did all the work for me and compiled the comments of critics who read him for blood.

From Joe. My. God:
Mehlman's crimes against his own people are motherfucking LEGION....We can be sure that GOProud and the Log Cabin Republicans are positively drooling over the prospect of welcoming Mehlman onto their boards of directors. VOMIT.

From Mike Rogers of BlogActive:
I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for being the architect of the 2004 Bush reelection campaign. I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for his role in developing strategy that resulted in George W. Bush threatening to veto ENDA or any bill containing hate crimes laws. I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for the pressing of two Federal Marriage Amendments as political tools. I want to hear from Ken that he is sorry for developing the 72-hour strategy, using homophobic churches to become political arms of the GOP before Election Day. And those state marriage amendments. I want to hear him apologize for every one of those, too.

And then there is one other little thing. You see, while you and I had the horrible feelings of being treated so poorly by our President, while teens were receiving the messaging 'gay is bad' giving them 'permission' to gay bash, while our rights were being stripped away state by state, Ken was out there laughing all the way to the bank. So, if Ken is really sorry, and he very well may be, then all he needs to do is sell his condo and donate the funds to the causes he worked against so hard for all those years. He's done a lot of damage to a lot of organizations, while making a lot of money. A LOT of money. It's time to put his money where his mouth is. Ken Mehlman is sitting in a $3,770,000.00 (that's $3.77 million) condo in Chelsea while we have lost our right to marry in almost 40 states.

THEN, and only then, should Mehlman be welcomed into our community.

In his own defense, Mehlman had this to say:
I can't change the fact that I wasn't in this place personally when I was in politics, and I genuinely regret that. It was very hard, personally.
(Translation: Do you know how much fucking money I made by selling you dykes, fags and trannies down the river for the Bush administration? Shit! And all I had to do was keep my dick-riding activities on the hush? That was a small price to pay. And you activist bitches wanted mess with my money because of some tired fucking principles? Fuck you!)

Yeah. Fuck you too, Mehlman.

Hypocritical bastard.

Random Cuties!

How TF do I exchange blogs???

I've had this blog for a little bit over a year now, and I STILL HAVE NO EFFIN' IDEA HOW TO EXCHANGE LINKS!! Help a brotha out, because I get emails asking for me to exchange links with blah blah blah but I have no idea how to do it. So, enjoy the pics, but someone puh-leeeezzee answer this damn question for me!

(P.S. Pic 1, 2, and 4 helped me get through hella lonely nights...) ;)






American Psycho

The Negro enslaved by his inferiority, the white man enslaved by his superiority alike behave in accordance with a neurotic orientation. 
- Frantz Fanon

There is, apparently, a thin line between fucking and humiliation.

That should come as no surprise.  After all, the same word that we use to describe sexual intercourse also means: to treat unfairly or harshly; to express anger, disgust, or peremptory rejection; to characterize one who is annoying or contemptible; to shirk one's duty; to act stupidly or carelessly; to cause trouble, mess up, bungle, botch, or ruin; to behave in a frivolous or meddlesome way; to not to care at all.

While I cannot attack the historical accuracy of these photographs (black Africans were kidnapped, chained, bought, inspected, defiled, degraded, and sold--right here in America--in precisely the manner reenacted above), I am astounded that any modern black man would willingly debase himself by his participation. But perhaps I shouldn't be.

On the adult site XTube, he calls himself "NastyAzzNig."  His profile lists but one turn on: "Freaky white tops who know how to put a nigga in his place." He is an apparition, a fable, a fiction.  And with no apparent tether, is it any wonder that he floated into the nothingness depicted in the photographs?

I feel an odd combination of pity and contempt for him. It is extremely unfortunate that he--and the many others like him who, while less obvious in their quests for self-destruction, are no less committed to it--has fallen prey to the myths that have been long sparked the imaginations of whites and terrorized the lives of blacks.  But myths, by their very nature, are distortion or outright deception.  And there is always grave danger in believing--or, moreover, exalting--things that are not true: He who believes in fairy tales will believe in anything and is, therefore, capable of anything.  This black man's treason lies not in his sexual orientation or passivity, but rather in his absolute assuredness that he is the lie that they told him.

The photographs are insipid; provocative only in that they bring to the surface, plainly, what many of us--black and white--think when we see an "interracial" couple; striking only in how publicly the participants expose their psychoses--and the country's.  The terror of the photographs is, solely, this:

What if they are acting only as their natures command?

Nature or nurture, NastyAzzNig is a blight to the ancestors and to posterity.

If self-annihilation is what he seeks, part of me wishes that he has the courage to see it through to the end. Then, at the very least, the two white men in the photo would be left only with each other to destroy.

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