Monday, November 15, 2010

Exce$$ And Greed PANIC Nov. 24th At Nowhere!

Ever wonder what those corporate moguls do behind closed doors...between the sheets...or in the boardroom when nobody's looking? After the mega-rich buy and sell their stocks and bonds, and get their bailouts, can money buy them the kind of experience us mere mortals can only fantasize about? On Wednesday, November 24th, at Club Nowhere, join us for a night of decadence and opulence as we present EXCE$$ and GREED PANIC! Reading their works are Penny Arcade, Nathan James, Kit Yan, Michael Hawley, Chadwick Moore, and Vinnie Bernard. So slip on your Rolex, get your finest mink stole, jump into your Maybach limo, and tell the chauffeur you are headed to the exclusive, ritzy Club Nowhere at 322 E. 14th Street, between First and Second Avenues. Our engagement begins promptly at eight o'clock in the evening. Black tie is optional. Books and other outre literature will be offered for your reading pleasure, as will fine cocktails, at market value.

You can RSVP here.

Hot stock tips are not required, but are appreciated. Start your Thanksgiving weekend off in high style! If you wish to mingle with the common folk, you can take the L train to First Avenue. See you there.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Celebrating Life, Stopping The BS (Bullying and Suicides) Today & Friday In NYC

In response to the tragic suicide of gay activist Joseph Jefferson over the weekend, and the recent, disturbing rash of other LGBT youth taking their lives around the country, there will be rallies and community events in NYC today and tomorrow. The first of these, a NO BS (Bullying and Suicide) rally, will begin at 5 PM today in Greenwich Village's Washington Square Park. Organized by Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD), and co-sponsored by a host of LGBT organizations, such as Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) and the Ali Forney Center, this rally will include appearances by LGBT community leaders and local elected officials. The one-hour rally is expected to draw a large turnout, in hopes of raising public awareness about the growing problem of bullying, homophobia, and suicide which are plaguing the LGBT community today.

Following the Washington Square rally, tomorrow evening will see the Celebrate Life/Stop The Madness event at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th Street, at 6 PM in the Kaplan 101 Auditorium. This event, honoring the lives of Jefferson and others who have recently died by suicide, seeks to remind us that there is hope and healing for our community, even in the face of tragedy and hatred. Celebrate Life/Stop The Madness is being put together by James Saunders, Laurence Pinckney, and Gay Men of African Descent. Featuring an all-star entertainment lineup, including Buttafly Soul, Tyra Allure, Jesse O, Renair Amin, Lester Greene, and many more, this event is not to be missed. There will be raffles and refreshments, and you can make a donation towards Joseph Jefferson's funeral. Grief couseling will also be available. There is lots of community support for this tribute to LGBT life, from (to name just a few) such luminaries as DJ Baker, DJ Fred Pierce, Ricky Day, Lee Soulja, Herndon Davis, GBM News, Rod 2.0, and of course, yours truly.

Both events can be reached via MTA New York City Transit.
For today's Rally in Washington Square Park, take an A, B, C, D, E, F, or M train to west 4th Street. Tomorrow, a 1, 2, 3, A, C, E, or L train to 14th Street will get you to the LGBT Center for Stop The Madness. I hope to see you at both these important functions!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

WATCH: Nathan Interviews Rodney Chester On GBM TV

Noah's Arc TV and movie star Rodney Chester talks with me about narrating Nefertiti Strong's For Faith, For Love, Forever, and how the Noah's Arc movie has helped to shape the dialogue on gay marriage. It's a GBM TV exclusive, and you'll only see it on the Nathan James Show!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tenth Suspect Arrested In Brutal Bronx Torture Of Gay Men

Sources within the NYPD today revealed a tenth man has been taken into custody in connection with the horrific torture and beating of three gay men in The Bronx last week. Jose Dominguez, 22, has been charged with a raft of felonies, all as hate crimes, including asssault, aggravated assault, and unlawful imprisonment. Dominguez allegedly took part with at least nine other members of the Latin King Goonies, a local street gang, in the forcible sodomy and torture of two 17-year-old and one 30-year-old-man. All three victims were gay. The atrocity, which garnered national headlines, has highlighted a recent spike in anti-gay assaults in the New York City area, including an attack on a gay patron inside the faned Stonewall Inn, birthplace of the LGBT righs movement. A source close to the investigation tells me that Dominguez' arrest is the latest, but likely not the last, as the ongoing investigation continues.

The brutal ordeal began for the three victims on the evening of October 3, when gang leaders heard rumors that one of the victims was gay. Over the course of a three hour period, the other two victims were found, and all three were stripped, beaten, forced to drink several cans of an alcohol-energy drink known as Four Loko, "confess" to being gay, and sodomized with a plunger handle and miniature baseball bat. The suspects, ranging in age from 16 to 23, and all were rounded up by the NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force over the past week.

If convicted, all the suspects, including three teens charged as adults, could face more than 25 years behind bars each. The tenth suspect, Dominguez, was arrested earlier today, and will be arraigned at Bronx Supreme Court.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

WATCH: Flash Mob "Die-IN" Against Homophobia At Grand Central Terminal

This past Friday evening, at the height of rush hour in the largest railroad station in the United States, I joined LGBT radio host DJ Baker and Cybersex: The Play creator Jason Duvall Hunter, in a civil-disobedience protest against gay-bashings, killings, and the deadly effects of socialized homophobia.

The protest was attended by approximately 200 demonstrators, who fell to the floor of the station's Main Concourse on a signal given just after 6 PM. The names of those who have been gay-bashed to death, or driven to suicide this year were read out, while we repeated the first names of the victims. In light of the upswing in local gay-bashing attacks here in NYC, including an utterly horrific atrocity in The Bronx last week, the need for such extreme expressions of outrage are readily apparent. I will continue to make such public statements until the day arrives when all of us in the LGBT community can live without fear.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Revival Of "The Colored Museum" Is Theatrical Tour-de-Force

A revival of George C. Wolfe's satirical stage play, The Colored Museum, began a three-night engagement yesterday at the South Oxford Space in Downtown Brooklyn.

Directed by Bill Johnson, a founder of the American Theatre Of Harlem and the Act Now Foundation, which produced this play. First produced in 1986, The Colored Museum is a darkly comedic look at Black life, with references to the ideas and issues that have grown up with the Black community, and how the world at large impacts its mores and contemporary culture. With a "nothing-is-sacred" approach, Johnson and his ensemble cast deliver an often hysterically funny performance, but not without a message about what's really happening with people of color. In a series of skits, a wide range of themes are explored, from "good hair", to the need to "put away" your blackness to succeed in a world demanding homogeneity.

In The Gospel According To Miss Roj, FranCisco Vegas brings the house down with his gender-non-conforming momologue which cracks wise at the often hypocritical demands of Black life, and his mannerisms and ad-libs make it an unforgettable scene. In Symbiosis, Michael Joseph Stith and Rafael Moreno look at how people of color must become smiling, corporate robots without cultural identity in order to succeed. Sharply done, it asks pointedly whether we can ever truly divorce ourselves from our personal histories. Hair Piece, delightfully acted by Angelique Chapman, Nihara Nichelle, and Jasmine Taylor, is a tongue-in-cheek look at the hair issue which bedevils so many women of color. Rounding out this excellent cast are Bea Jaye, Soyini Crenshaw, and Melissa Gibbs.

It's not easy to produce a revival that captures the essence and flair of the original play on which it is based, but Johnson and his cast pull it off beautifully. Before a standing-room crowd, their performances were polished and lively, and the little touches, like Vegas' visual gags between scenes, added just the right amount of joie de vivre that gave the show its playful, lighthearted tone. It's readily apparent that Johnson is able to renovate a 25-year-old play, making it accessible and relevant to 21st-century audiences. I award the show four stars, as much for the caliber of its production as for the work of its cast. The Colored Museum will run two more nights, tonight and tomorrow, at the South Oxford Space, 138 South Oxford Street in Brooklyn. Tickets for this 90-minute show are $15, and the theater can be reached by taking a 2,3,4,5,B,D,N,Q, or R train to Atlantic Avenue. Performances begin at 8 PM, with the doors open at 7:15. Go spend an evening in the Museum, and you'll find it worth the trip.

Pics from last night's performance:

Monday, October 4, 2010

You Are Loved Vigil: My Name Is NOT Nathan James Today

My name is not Nathan James today. It’s Tyler Clementi. It’s Asher Brown. It’s Billy Lucas. It’s Raymond Chase. It’s Seth Walsh. It’s Justin Aaberg. My name today is the name of every lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender person who has ever been ridiculed, harassed, beaten, told God hates them, ostracized, and driven to such despair they sought only the merciful relief from their torment by ending their own lives. My name today is the name of our LGBT youth, who suffer every day the apathy of a society which gives people permission to hate, permission to bully, and permission to inflict pain. When I hear that Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge, I want to say to the world, “Tyler did not jump.” He was pushed.

Tyler was pushed off that bridge by two people who thought it would be funny to publicly humiliate this gifted young man by splattering his sexual intimacies all over the Internet. They thought it would be funny to torment Tyler by making a vile mockery out of his sexual orientation. Tyler’s abusers were aided and abetted by society, which too often still considers the LGBT community to be deserving of all the hate it receives and all the pain it suffers. But, you know something? When I talk about society, I’m also saying, “that’s us.” We are still a part of the society that ridicules us, still part of the society that legislates against us, still a part of the society that says we are not normal. Because we are still part of this society, when our LGBT youth are pushed to the point of suicide, we don’t have to stand idly by and watch it happen. We can push back.

We can push back by voting for candidates who will enact anti-bullying measures with teeth. We can push back by working to make sure our schools and universities make it clear to everyone that bullying is unacceptable, period. We can push back by supporting all of our LGBT youth, and letting them know there is help, support, guidance, and love. We can push back by making a stand, today, that every life is precious, and that no gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender person should die because they just couldn’t take it any more. No, my name today is the name of everyone here. My name today is the name of every gay person who died by their own hand when the cruelty of those around them became too much to bear. My name is your name, and together, we will make sure no one ever forgets or ridicules our name again. God rest the souls of our departed friends, and God grant us the courage to do what we must to make sure our youth get the love and support they need.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The whole Long, tragic affair

By now, the ongoing story of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Bishop Eddie Long has spread like wildfire across the Internet and mainstream media. The founder and senior pastor of New Birth has preached that homosexuality is deserving of death, and the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil-rights organization, has characterized Bishop Long as "one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement". For twenty-five and more years, as Long built New Birth from a 300-member community church into the 25,000-member megachurch it is today, he has used hate as the mortar that holds the church's bricks together, fear as its rafters, and homophobia as its altar.

Almost predictably for a man who'd used such open and frank evil (to paraphrase Whitley Streiber), it seemed inevitable that Long would one day be exposed as the very thing he'd railed against from his pulpit all of his career. In the picture above, right out of A4A or BGC, is a very different Eddie Long from the much-lionized, public face of one of the most influential televangelists in America. As lawsuits from young, male parishioners of New Birth pile up, all charging the Bishop with using his wealth, position, and power to have sexual relationships with them, it's easy to say this is just another case of a hypocrite trying to hide his true self from the world by damning others like him. But church-sanctioned homophobia is a much deeper, more intractable problem than merely that of a self-loathing preacher. To start off with, Bishop Long doesn't run the church by himself. New Birth has a Board Of Directors, as any church of its size ought to. In a large corporation, one of the responsibilities of the Board is to perform oversight of the organization and its executives. As Senior Pastor, Bishop Long ostensibly served at the pleasure of the Board. I cannot fathom how the Board of Directors could have permitted Long to preach evil--in the form of constantly condemning gays and lesbians--unless the Board condoned and approved such vitriolic rantings. In other words, the entire management structure at New Birth aided and abetted Long in the damage he did throughout his eccelesiastical career.

Look at 13-year-old Asher Brown. He's a young man who was bullied to the point of suicide, after the constant abuse he suffered over being gay. He went home yesterday, picked up a gun, and shot himself in the head. This is the kind of damage people like Bishop Long do, when, as authority figures, they give their charges permission to hate. Parishioners at New Birth hear Long tell them that gays are immoral, abominable, and should be killed. How many of them then take that as God's official blessing to go out and harass, beat, or even kill gays and lesbians? How many get driven to such deep depression upon hearing that God hates them for what they are? How much blood stains Long's hands, and those of every single Board member who knew what Long was preaching, yet did not put a stop to it. The Rev. Irene Monroe, in a challenging thesis on homophobia in churches such as Long's, also makes the point that the hatred clergypersons like Long advocate, will return to visit them personally. Much as the revelations of Long's activities with vulnerable, fatherless young men of New Birth are teaching us, those who ask the most severe treatment for gays and lesbians often feel such punishments are for lesser souls than themselves, that their advocacy of hate is merely a smokescreen for their own frighful insecurities.

Here are Long's wages of hate. For filling his congregation with the spirit of intolerance, he is rewarded with wealth, privilege, and social status, which he then used to satisfy his true self--a frightened, closeted gay man, always watchful lest his "abominable nature" be shown to the world in detail. Perhaps it's true that Bishop Long is, himself, a victim of our homophobic society and culture, that he made, as many do, a decision to be on the "down-low", for the sake of his career and perqs. But to be closeted is one thing. To preach death to people just like yourself, and to compound that atrocity by seeking out the most vulnerable of your flock, and craftily waiting, grooming these young men all the while, and as soon as they reach the age of consent, pouncing on them with every resounce available to you, is truly beneath contempt. Even if all these young parishioners were gay, even if they accepted Long's gifts, trips, and all the other enticements with which Long drew them into his web, none of this relieves Long from his obligation as a church leader and an adult, to refrain from ANY inappropriate activities with them. All these men are now corrupted in their sexual thinking, because their encounters with Long occurred in a situation arising out of a gross imbalance of power.

If Long had his dalliances with older men, men in their thirties or so, who weren't barely out of childhood or adolescence (Long himself is 57), I might be inclined to say he was just another sad example of a man so fearfully filled with self-hate that a "down low" affair might be understandable. But the depth and scope of what Long has done here, is so beyond that, it staggers me. When the lawsuits go to court (if they ever do--I think these cases will all end in settlements, complete with gag orders), no person will be able to truly judge Bishop Long. No court of public opinion can adequately try him. for preaching the Devil's word--hatred--from his pulpit, while himself being an object of that same homophobia that pervades so many churches, Long will have to come before God's bar, and to God explain himself.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fire Island Will Never Be The Same Again!

Beginning this Friday, Fire Island Black Out returns to Cherry Grove for the eighth awesome year. This time, the beach will sizzle with hot new events, the incomparable Bump & Dip Dance/Pool Party, and many notables from the LGBT community! FIBO 2010 kicks off on Friday with a grand Cocktail Reception at the Hilton Garden Inn of Ronkonkoma, Long Island. Then it's off to Sunny Cherry Grove, Fire Island, for the first of two Days At The Beach.

You'll stop first at the FIBO Hospitality Tent, for your official admission bracelet, and you can even get a temporary, but stylish FIBO tattoo! There's a Beach volleyball tournament from 2-4 PM, with VERY cool prizes for the winning six-person team. At 4, look for GAY-lebrity and creator of the Christopher Street TV series, Dwight Allen O'Neal as he scours the beach for the most fabulous and ornate tent setup! The Tent-Judging contest is fierce, so do your tent up right and win the prize!

It wouldn't be a day at the beach without a good book, so FIBO didn't just bring books, their authors will be there, too! The Writers Panel will melt the Ice Palace beginning at 4:30. Hosted by me, Nathan James, the Panel brings together some of today's finest gay authors: Delvon Johnson, Taylor Siluwe, and J. Omarr. Join us for a provocative discussion about our work, the issues we explore in our books, and how they relate to you, and of course, we'll be signing all of our books for YOU!

After the Writers' Panel at 6:30, the incomparable ButtaFly Soul hosts the FIBO Poetry Slam and Spoken word Contest, featuring FIBO's own Dani. The audience picks the winners, so register to perform, and show us what you've got! Then , it's time to get your dancing and diving on at the Pool Party, beginning at 9, when DJ Calvin gets things pumping. But wait--there's more! Gospel and R&B sensation Tonex will do a "coming out" performance you won't soon forget!

On Sunday, when you wake up, get your grub on at the Hilton Garden with a "real" breakfast--all you can eat--for about $12, then head back to the beach for a relaxing Sunday by the waves. FIBO will conclude with a Sunset party, TBA. I'll be waiting for you in Cherry Grove!

The MTA Long Island Rail Road offers special one-day getaway packages to Cherry Grove from NYC's Penn Station. This includes round-trip train, taxi, and ferry fare. Click here for more details.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Don't Miss: Fire Island Black Out/EMBRACE Writers Panel, August 14!

The Ice Palace on Fire Island will melt, when the Fire Island Black Out/EMBRACE TV Writers Panel comes to Cherry Grove on Saturday, August 14th! Nathan joins acclaimed gay authors Delvon Johnson, Taylor Siluwe, and J. Omarr in a deep, provocative event that will leave you spellbound! We'll discuss our books and the important issues facing us which they explore. Of course, we'll also be selling and signing our books, the hottest reads in gay lit today! It all begins at 5 PM, only at FIBO! See you on the beach.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Between The Prides: Meet Authors Delvon Johnson and J. Omarr At Chi Chiz!

My good friends and fellow authors Delvon Johnson, writer of the critically-acclaimed novel, Love Yourself First, and J. Omarr, author of Masai and Justus, are coming to famous gay hangout Chi Chiz for a "Meet The Authors" book signing this Saturday.

After you've visited Harlem Pride, come down to the Village to meet Delvon and the cast of Love Yourself First: The Series, currently being developed for TV on the EMBRACE Network. Love Yourself First has enjoyed excellent reviews, and there are sequels on the way. It's Pride Week in NYC, and a visit to see Delvon and J. Omarr at Chi-Chiz is part of the rainbow of fun! The signing begins at 3 PM, this Saturday, June 26th. Chi-Chiz is on Greenwich Village's notorious Christopher Street, between Greenwich and Hudson. The PATH train stops right next door, or take a (1) train to Christopher Street. Fabulous!

CyberSex: The Play Comes To Broadway's Producers' Club July 10

CyberSex, a unique conceptual theatrical experience, will be showcased in a one-night only presentation at Broadway's Producers' Club. Directed by Jason Duvall Hunter and Bill Johnson, from Hunter's script, associate produced by Nathan James, and choroegraphed by FranCisco Vegas, this provocative stage play stars Harmonica Sunbeam, the irrepressible DJ Baker, and Alton Alburo. In Cyberspace, you can be anyone you want, except yourself! Tickets go on sale soon, stay tuned.

CineMatiQ Magazine Launches!

Here's a fresh new look at LGBT film and television, at a time when exciting new developments are occurring in these fields. CineMatiQ Magazine has officially launched with the Summer Online Preview Issue, featuring in-depth articles and interviews with LGBT luminaries such as filmmaker Rodney Evans, Roger Omeus, director of Finding Me: Truth, and DJ Baker, host of the upcoming late-night TV talk show Da Doo-Dirty Show LIVE. There's also an article by me, about gay marriage and the silver screen. Edited and published by Queer Black Cinema's Angel Brown, CineMatiQ is sure to be the go-to journal of all things on the big and small LGBT screens!

WATCH: 3LWTV's Lonnell Williams Visits The EMBRACE Family!

3LWTV's Lonnell Williams came to Brooklyn one rainy Sunday to meet and interview the EMBRACE TV Family. Watch the video and discover some of the people and programs of the new LGBT network, coming to cable TV on October 10!

EMBRACE Our Place!

A brand-new cable television network for and about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersexed (LGBTQQI) community is coming this fall, and things will never be the same! EMBRACE TV will feature all-original programming, a wide range of shows for everyone from ages 16-60, and will show our community to America, and the world, as we really are. Created by CEO Seanmichael Rodgers, the new network will launch all across the United States on October 10. Among the 26 shows in the starting lineup are Queendom, starring RuPaul's Drag Race winner BeBe Zahara Benet, DeMarco Majors' Living Your Truth On EMBRACE (LYTE), the late-night version of DJ Baker's popular Da Doo-Dirty Show, and the first-ever LGBT political roundup on television, EMBRACE Politics with Will & Nate (EPWN), which I host with Wilfredo Florentino.

Since late in December, the EMBRACE TV Family has been working extra-hard to make the new network the place on television for LGBTs and their allies. More than just a network, CEO Rodgers envisions EMBRACE as a community resource, in a time when the LGBT community faces profound life issues, ranging from coming out, to marriage, to HIV/AIDS, and serving in our country's armed forces, just to name a few. Long foreclosed from meaningful participation in contemporary American media, the LGBT community now has a new voice and face on TV. It's EMBRACE...Our Place!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

TOMORROW: See Screening Of Marriage Equality Film At LGBT Center

Tomorow night, at NYC's LGBT Center, you can enjoy the advance screening of a groundbreaking new film about same-sex marriage. Entitled For Faith, For Love, Forever, the film focuses on the progress (or lack thereof) in marriage-equality legislation before, during, and after the 2008 Presidential election. Directed by the acclaimed filmmaker Nefertiti Strong, and narrated by Rodney Chester, who played Alex Kirby on the unforgettable LOGO TV series Noah's Arc, the film takes a close look at how politics, homophobia, the church, and the LGBT community at large have all shaped the struggle for same-sex marriage.

The film screening will be followed by a panel discussion on Marriage Equality And The Black Church, moderated by Rodney Chester. The entire event is a collaborative effort between director Strong, FACES NY, and entertainment mogul Rick Pelzer. It begins at 6:30 PM in the Kaplan Auditorium 101 at the LGBT Center, 208 W. 13th Street in NYC. A donation of $10 is requested. Take a 1,2,3,or F train to 14th Street.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ford At Stonewall Dems: 'Like A Deer In The Headlights'

Update: Harold Ford, Jr., has announced he's not running for senate after all. I wonder below about his Sarah Palin moment at last week's Stonewall Democrats meeting, and draw your own conclusions:

Former Tennesee Rep. Harold Ford, Jr.(D-Tenn.), seeking to run this fall for Secretary Of state Hillary Clinton's old U.S. Senate seat, (currently held by Kirsten Gillibrand (D-Hudson), addressed the Stonewall Democrats last night. Ford, long known for his anti-gay voting record and policies, came to the NYC LGBT Center to attempt to gain support for his Senate run, and tell us how he'd "changed his mind" on key issues relevant to the LGBT community. It didn't go as planned for the Congressman at all.

Ford was asked questions on a wide range of topics, including one from gay Army Lt. Dan Choi, who remarked that electing the homophobic Ford "would be asking him to fire [LGBT rights supporter] Gillibrand, the same way the Army tried to fire me [as a gay soldier]". Ford admitted he was "wrong" to believe that gay marriage was "equitable" with civil unions, but during his sometimes rambling remarks (he lectured us on his wife's decision-making which brought him to New York), he did not state clear positions on key issues like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), or Don't Ask/Don't Tell (DADT). The audience was, at times, boisterous and vocal in its disapproval of Ford and his transparent attempt to win support from the approximately 250 people in the hall. Cries of "Liar!" and "Snake-Oil Ford!" could be heard throughout Ford's address.

Stonewall Democrats President Joe Hagelmann moderated the question-and-anser portion of the meeting, in which audience members gave him written questions for Ford to answer. Ford stumbled through queries on his voting record and poor HRC ratings on gay reights, and frequently said things like "you may not choose to vote for me". Yup. The final straw that broke the camel's back (and brought the house down, as Stonewall Dem VP Yetta Kurland later said to me), was my question to Rep. Ford. I asked him if he agreed with the 2003 Supreme Court decision in Lawrence v. Texas, a landmark ruling which said that "sodomy laws" making homosexuality illegal were unconstitutional. I felt that question on a key moment in the LGBT rights struggle was important, because Supreme Court justices are nominated by the President, but confirmed by the Senate. As a Senator, Ford might have to consider a Supreme Court nominee or two, and his thinking on Lawrence would be a good indicator of what kind of jurist he might (or might not) approve. Ford's response to my question? "Tell me what that decision is...I don't know that decision."

In the above video, the final segment of the meeting, (see the entire meeting's video here) watch beginning around 3:00, when Hagelmann reads my question to Ford. Ford has his "deer in the headlights" moment, then tells Hagelmann he doesn't know that decision. I'm the guy in the red shirt and ponytail, center screen, who jumps up, stunned, and calls Ford out on his ignorance as the audience gasps at this astonishing "Sarah Palin/Bush Doctrine" (as NCR's blog put it) display by Ford. After Corey Johnson from gay blog Towleroad explained the decision to Ford, Hagelmann tried to move to the next question (after I called Ford out AGAIN, my arm outstretched to drive my point home) but the audience had seen enough. Ford was hustled off the stage as pandemonium ensued, culminating in some fool running up to the front of the room and shooting off a "party popper".

After the political theater was over, I was interviewed by New York 1 News and several other media, about my question and Ford's dumbstruck response. (The NY1 footage aired last night on Inside City Hall, and yes, I missed it, too.) As I have jusat been picked up, along with my co-host Wilfredo Florentino, for a new political program on the EMBRACE TV Network, this dramatic exchange between me and Ford was a good start to my tenure with the network. It's not every day you get to catch a Congressman unprepared and tongue-tied. I daresay Rep. Ford will not be getting any LGBT votes--if he even decides to run after last night's fiasco. The truck has hit the deer.

(Photos:, New Civil Rights Movement)
(Video, David Badash)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Nathan James At SPEAK YOUR MYNE!

Last night, I performed selections from my books, Muscle Worshipers (featuring my short story Enchanted Morning, and The Devil's Details. Hosted by the incomparable Renair Amin, it was "All Erotica Night", and Billie's Black Restaurant was packed! I always love performing at Billie's, because the staff are welcoming, the food is excellent, and it's a place where they accept you as you are! The audiences there always show me much love, and it's a privilege to come up to 119th Street and join other wonderful, talented people in putting on a show that rocks the house.

(Apologies for the low light!)

Renair and co-hostess Essence Woodard kept things popping all night long! There were so many fantastic artists on stage, and I do believe last night's show was among the best Renair has ever put on. We celebrated Billie's Black bartender Malik Baldwin's birthday, and re-affirmed our lives and loves as proud LGBT artists. Big ups to Pmyner for making it all happen!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Famous And Fabulous: Delvon Johnson's B-Day Bash At Escuelita's

This Valentine's day, join all the famous and fabulous people who will grace Escuelita's for Love Yourself First author Delvon Johnson's 32nd Birthday Bash! Hosted by the incomparable Harmonica Sunbeam and featuring the Bleu Magazine Hotboyz, this is a party you won't soon forget. Escuelita's is located at 301 W. 39th Street between 8th and 9th Aves. in Midtown Manhattan. Beautiful people should plan to arrive beginning at 9 PM, take A,C,or E trains to 42 St/PABT. You can RSVP via Facebook here! Dress with class and style. Admission to Escuelita's is $10, but you can get in free by signing up for daily text messages from the club. See you there!

Nathan Reads "Thickness" LIVE at Double Pride Panic!

This is video of my live reading of my novella Thickness, from the Zane/Lee Hayes anthology Flesh To Flesh. Lee is developing this anthology into Flesh To Flesh: The Series. Enjoy this little glimpse into the "unapologetically raw" look at the lives and loves of gay men of color!

Monday, January 4, 2010

"Finding Me: Truth" Coming This Summer

Last spring, I joined several friends in participating as extras for the making of director Roger Omeus' movie, Finding Me: Truth. This is the sequel to Finding Me, the 2008 coming-of-age picture that introduces characters Faybien Allen, his friends and lover. In Finding Me: Truth, the story picks up once again, with the return of Faybien, Greg, Amera, and a few new faces as well. The continuing story is a welcome follow-on to the original movie, and it was a moving experience to see director (also writer and producer) Omeus and the cast working so hard to create a movie for and about our community. The Truth cast includes such fine actors as Ray Martell-Moore, Eric Joppy, Maurice Murrell, and Bry'Nt, and my day with them at Pier 59 Studios was a fascinating experience. Joining me in supporting the film as extras were DJ Baker of Da Doo-Dirty Show, NYC Socialites promoter Eric Parker, Maurice Runea Show host Maurice Runea, and model Corey Holder. Below, check out the movie trailer for the upcoming release of Finding Me: Truth this summer!

See you on the silver screen!

Hardy, Clay, Dean Pay Tribute To E. Lynn Harris

Gay-literature pioneer and acclaimed author E. Lynn Harris passed away last summer at age 54 of undiagnosed heart disease. Harris, who wrote groundbreaking novels which opened up the modern gay-literature genre, is widely considered to be an American literary icon. His sudden death shocked us all, as a genuine human treasure was removed from within our midst. Everette Lynn Harris was my own great literary influence, who encouraged me and befriended me, and made it possible for me to write and get published, when I had my own doubts about being able to do so. He often recalled his own difficulties in getting his very first book, Invisible Life, published in a time when American publishers shunned "gay-lit". He originally self-published that first book as a result, selling copies out of his car trunk, until someone noticed its stellar quality and persuaded publishers to take another look.

So began Harris' literary career, which spanned fifteen novels, eleven of which made the New York Times bestseller list. Now, in tribute to his life and career, three noted black gay authors, James Earl Hardy, Stanley Bennett Clay, and Terrance Dean have composed Visible Lives, three stories in homage to the gay-lit giant. It is fitting and proper that E. Lynn Harris be paid respect with a book written by his contemporaries, and all of us who write gay literature today are certainly indebted to Harris for opening the doors for us. Each of Visible Lives' three authors is accomplished in their own right as a wordsmith of the gay genre. James Earl Hardy is the author of the unforgettable B-Boy Blues series, Stanley Bennet Clay has given us In Search Of Pretty Young Black Men and Looker, and Terrance Dean penned the tell-all of gay life in L.A.'s music industry, Hiding In Hip Hop. These distinguished authors have created a fine salute to E. Lynn Harris, and I highly recommend you pick up a copy when it releases in May. You can pre-order one here.