Monday, August 31, 2009

Party with your favorite GAYWOOD Stars in ATL for Labor Day 09


I think that it is really great how with the advancement of technology we have advanced different areas of our lives. One area that is really booming is the arena of creation; with creation we have all taken the Internet by storm. Individuals have created their own soaps, news shows, 106 and Parks, and Entertainment Tonight. Along with creating independent programing, the independent self made celebrities are growing rapidly creating what I like to call IndieWOOD and GAYWOOD. For all of you Atlanta patrons for In the Life Atlanta Labor Day weekend PRIDE celebration you have the wonderful opportunity to meet and greet your favorite online stars, please enjoy these two videos brought to you by the Skorpian Show and 3LWTV.



The New Face of LGBT Talent Management



Who said that just because you are an out artist that you will never have a career in the entertainment world? Meak Productions is changing that false reality one client at a time. Meak Productions is built on a foundation of providing LGBT talent with work in the entertainment world and has already established a very successful roster of entertainers with their own reality shows, TV series, books, plays, successful hit music, and who are hosting events across the globe. Based in Atlanta, GA this production Mecca has talent from around the globe and are growing daily. I had the opportunity to pry within this company that also represents me and found out some great inside scoop about this talent agency and Production Company from the CEO himself.


1.So who is Miko Evans? And what do you do?
I’m a 14 year Entrepreneur and Multi-Talented Artist born & raised in Atlanta, GA with a degree in Music/Entertainment Business Management from the Art Institute of Atlanta. I’m the founder of 2 businesses, one focuses on providing consulting solutions and services to Micro-Enterprises and the Small Business Community in the Atlanta area and abroad, the other is the World’s First LGBT EXCLUSIVE Talent Agency, Casting and Production Company, known as Meak Productions.

2. So tell The FUTURE about your company?
How Long have you been around?Meak Productions has been around in its current state since Spring of 2003. The actual conception of the name was only going to be used as a parent company of an Adult Model website project intitled, Bussy2000.com, which was created Summer of 1999. After years of development and spiritual maturity, I was inspired to take Meak Productions to another level.The future of Meak Productions is to be internationally known and abroad. We want to become a symbol of Inspiration, Hope and Motivation for all LGBT Artists & Talent around the world who are looking for a company that excepts them for who they are without compromise, and who want to change the way the Media presents LGBT Culture and people in the community.We have a variety of projects IN HOUSE that we are working on to assist in the future development of our Vision. Many projects are listed in our Projects section of our website.

3. What made you decide to focus on LGBT artists?
During the development of the Vision, I was very concerned about how LGBT people in the media was being portrayed and presented in the Arts and abroad. As an Artist myself (Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Visual Artist) who happened to be Same Gender Loving, I noticed how a lot of barriers over the years were being broken in the Entertainment Industry concerning LGBT Culture and people. However, it was not enough.With the success of Ellen Degeneres, RuPaul, and some others before the start of LOGO, HereTV, and other LGBT Television Networks today, I felt that it was time for a Vision of this nature to be manifested. I felt that with all of the LGBT Talent that is in the Industry, and listening to the stories of others about how they had to suppress who they are in order to get that BIG BREAK, there should be something in place where Talent shouldn’t have to SELL OUT in order to FIT IN.I thought about how much of a blessing this Vision was going to be for other Out LGBT Artists, and how much of an impact it was going to make on our LGBT Youth.

4. What are some of the projects you are currently producing?
Besides are Monthly & Quarterly marketing campaigns which features the latest Talent on our Roster, we also have launched our New Music Department and New Record Label, Meak Pro Music as a result of the marketing success of our 1st 2 CD single remix projects sponsored for 2 of our Music Artists.Our 3rd CD Single remix project for Dairon Skye (Our Music Talent of the Month-Fall Quarter 2008) is scheduled to debut on August 29, 2009 on the Exceptional Radio Network featuring R&B and House Remixes produced by yours truly.Our 4th & 5th CD Single remix projects are scheduled for Fall 09 and Winter 2010 featuring Marlowe Rainbow (Mr. January 2009) and Todd Vaughan (Our Newest Talent on the Roster)Our greatest accomplishment for this year will be our first Talent Workshop entitled, “I’m Gay, I’m Talented. Now What?” This workshop will be a part of the 13th Annual Atlanta Black Gay Pride Celebration this Labor Day Weekend in Atlanta, GA. It will feature in-depth discussions and education on how to successfully break into the Entertainment Business as an OUT Artist.Lastly, we are introducing our New Talents of the Month for August 2009, Jesse Braxton Hilton (Professional Model), and September 2009, Le’Son Ivory (Professional Actor, Model & Choreographer – Star of the hit Gay DVD Drama Series, The Closet).

5. Which artist is currently the most sought after?
At this time, it’s hard to say. We are still a growing company and we are registering talents at least every quarter. One of the challenges were getting the public used to the fact that there is a company such as ours. Many are still amazed they we exist. We just recently started to book talent a few Talent for this year’s Atlanta Black Pride. We hope more opportunities will come as a result of this. We want the entertainment business public to realize who we are, why we exist and what we are here to offer.

6. Do you work based on submissions or do you seek after hot LGBT talent?
Actually it is both. We do quarterly casting calls online via our MySpace, Twitter and Facebook outlets. All Talent interested in being a part of our Vision are required to visit our website and register online via our Online Talent Application, plus submit a Bio and Professional Photos and / or Headshots.Once that happens, we select the Talent based on their level of experience, quality of performance, and level of professionalism and integrity, which is VERY important in business. A wholesome attitude and approach to life is the ingredients to a healthy and successful career.

7. What is your Entertainment mantra?
Our formula for success is PROFESSIONALISM, EQUALITY and INTEGRITY. We want to showcase quality and wholesome Talent in a diverse and equal way. When you see a lot of LGBT images in the Media, all you see is the Stereotype and mostly the European Gay Images. You don’t see enough of Black, Latino and Asian images, nor Transgender operating as everyday people in various walks of life.Our goal is to correct this so that those coming behind us can have an eclectic and wholesome spectrum of our community.

8. What do you require from your talent?
I require that my Talent be SERIOUS and PASSIONATE about their Art, Talent and Career as a successful performing and visual artist. I require that they are wholesome, down to earth and professional. All Talent must realize that you must invest in your own careers. No one can do this for you. I also require that they be comfortable and confident in their own skin and sexuality. It is up to you if labeled as a Gay Artist, not the media or the entertainment industry. Also, realize that at the end of the day, THIS IS BUSINESS. We must learn to separate personal from professional.



Meak Productions will be LIVE and IN FULL EFFECT at the 13th Annual Atlanta Black Gay Pride Celebration. September 4 - 7, 2009 - Grand Hyatt Atlanta in Buckhead featuring a Talent Workshop: "I'm Gay, I'm Talented! Now What? Sunday September 6, from 1:30 PM - 2:45 PM
If you are looking for talent management they are requesting that you come prepared with a headshot and resume, talent scouting will be taking place all weekend long.

Dwight Allen O'Neal on 3LWTV- Dating Dwight Teaser


Check me out on 3LWTV with Lonnell Williams with my BESTIE Jimmy Grant as I talk about the launch of my series Christopher Street TV and I talk about my rules of dating, how appropriate right before the launch of "Dating Dwight!" If you want to date Dwight or want to find out more info about Christopher Street TV, please email me at Dwight@chritopherstreettv.com...

Christopher Street TV Screening in Atlanta
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Time:
5:00pm - 6:30pm
Location:
Grand Hyatt Buckhead
Street:
3300 Peachtree Rd NE
THIS EVENT IS OFFICIALLY APART OF IN THE LIFE ATLANTA

Please enjoy the video as I cut up with my two good friends Jimmy and Lonnell... ENJOY!!!!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hugh Hefner, Gay Rights Pioneer





An upcoming documentary about Playboy founder Hugh Hefner reveals information about his earlier years, including his early advocacy for gay inclusiveness.
When Esquire rejected a science-fiction short story by Charles Beaumont that depicted a world where heterosexuals were in the minority, Hefner accepted the piece and published it in a 1955 edition of Playboy, then still a relatively new publication.

After letters of outrage at Beaumont's "The Crooked Man" poured in, Hefner addressed readers. "If it was wrong to persecute heterosexuals in a homosexual society," he wrote in response, "then the reverse was wrong, too."
Even now, the twice-divorced 83-year-old entrepreneur, famous for his numerous romantic exploits over the years, tells
The Daily Beast that gay marriage isn't hurting anyone.

"Without question, love in its various permutations is what we need more of in this world," he said. "The idea that the concept of marriage will be sullied by same-sex marriage is ridiculous. Heterosexuals haven't been doing that well at it on their own."
The documentary, Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel, will premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September.

Michelle Garcia
The Advocate

Coming soon...BOYPUSSY!



Dear Diary,

Everyday, we comb the streets draped in psuedo-masculine drag. Donned in designer labels showing off our swag. Lips barely part to acknowledge, on the city's bustling stre
ets. Plotting our seduction hoping to prey beneath the sheets.

Our eyes meet uncertain of each others game. Never been taught to look eye to eye so we look away with shame. Stolen glances become temporary works of art. Lives intertwined yet worlds apart. Mirrored thoughts, filled with with relentless pain and voyeuristic lust. Digitizing our arousal with an eagerness to bust.

Hormones rage, as passwords and screen names become our entry into the underground. Faceless images hungry for attention, receive shameful disgrace. Our consciousness takes us to a site named after the man from whom we borrow our sins.
Exposed our naked stature. Asses and dicks, escorts, raw seekers and tranny chicks. Skinny boys, fat men, black and white. Dial-toned messages inviting uncharted perils into the night. A hot body to satiate the loneliness behind the blank stares into our screens. Who have we become? Who do we seem? Creatures of habit and hating from within. Stealing sips of rawness, skin to skin.

We know to protect ourselves, we have all seen the signs. To the education we are numb, we've lost our minds, but the cases, they seem so rare. One thing that's safe to say is: we just don't care.

BOYPUSSY

Saturday, August 29, 2009

We're Growing!


We are seeking responsible, creative and budding filmmakers for our upcoming film series. If you have your own camera, drop us a line, we would like to talk to you. Email us at: thefutureforward@gmail.com.

Friday, August 28, 2009

WATM - GLAAD Rooftop Party




"Maybe It's Made for... MEN!"


written by Deshawn Moody
The Future Media Partner Boys and Clothes Magazine

Riddle me this, Riddle me that, who said that women were the only ones to contour? Ask Mens Style Editor, Deshawn Moody of
Boys and Clothes Magazine.

Are girls the only ones taught how to apply makeup and how to look flawless? What if little boys were taught during puberty how to properly cover up those blemishes? There probably would be a lot of men purchasing make-up along with their razors. I know that some of you guys out there would say that’s not your thing, but let’s bring the ball in your court. To all you Facebook, MySpace and Twitter models out there….to be a signed model and be ready for your close up Mr. Deville, you will need make-up. Many high paid actors, celebrities, basketball players and moguls wear make-up before stepping out on set or that next red carpet event. It’s no shame in making themselves looks flawless along with the ladies.

Since the dawning of the equal rights movement we were all considered as one. So why would a daily regimen for some be only of the female gender? Some may add as little as a few strokes of lash blast that’s sure to get everyone’s attention. Others may even have their daily regimen of full on powder to contour those cheeks. If you wear make-up would is that gay?

“Why is something so simplistic a big issue in society and of the male and female persuasion”? , asks Keon Nickie, professional dancer (Deeply Rooted Productions) and a fan of make-up for men. “Who says that women are the only ones who can hide their imperfections everyday”? Is make-up something that many may perceive that only gay guys indulge in? Some may not know but a few of the top rated make-up distributors for women carry product for men as well.

From Clinique to even Jean Paul Gaultier, have had the masses jumping aboard the contour train. Would you date a man that wears make-up? What if on some dates he was a little late because he spent too much time in the mirror applying his matte powder? Is there a rule that says they can’t make the light hit them in all the right spots? I don’t think that people would stop and say, maybe it’s Maybeline.

Make-up for men, would you rock it or chile stop it? Is make-up for men a stereotypical drag?

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Notes from Nathan - From Online to Offline


We live in a fast paced world, that’s pretty evident. We have also become very distracted in our day-to-day living. We have access to pretty much any and everything throughout the course of the day.

I remember a time when I had to wait until I got home to speak to my friends, now they can catch me as long as I have my cell phone in my immediate possession. With modern technology there is almost no way to fully escape. They even have devices where your friends can track your location. Now that is absolutely insane and I refuse to buy into that one.


Don’t get me wrong, I love facebook! It has allowed me to contact people that I have lost contact for almost 20 years. However, as of late, I have found myself sitting in front of my computer talking to those very people and checking for updates as if they were important! I am an entrepreneur and business owner, left to generate clients and my own income. Surely there are things that I could be doing rather than chatting away with people that ultimately are equally distracted.

I have a client who told me that he is glued to his television and computer while his social life is pretty non-existent and his living quarters is a total wreck. So, I ask “when was the last time you cleaned your room?” or “when was the last time you invited your facebook friends to join you offline for coffee or just a walk in the park?” We don’t even realize that these distractions, while seemingly bringing us closer together, are ultimately keeping us apart. Why? It’s because we choose to stay within the confines of our living quarters therefore not stepping outside of our comfort zones. Our social skills are lost and we are unable to have the connections that we deep down inside yearn for. So, today I invite you to not let your distractions become bad habits. Get out there and be social!

Here is the challenge. Over the next two weeks, extend an invitation to meet someone offline. This should be someone that you have never before met in person. Another option is to pick up the phone and have a real conversation, this would be effective for those connections that don’t reside in the same state as you. I invite any of you to give me a call. And don’t make it about making a romantic connection just a HUMAN CONNECTION. We all need love!

Nathan Seven Scott
917-771-6611

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Now Online!



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Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Liberation through Education - Wake Forrest University FREE MA/MBA Program"




Education is an essential component of liberating ourselves from our personal mental purgatory. Last year, I returned to Grad School at New York University's Gallatin School for Individualized Study. In pursuit of the M.A., I must say that over the past 3 semesters I have learned so much about how the world operates and how I function as living being. This has been one of the most monumental moments in my life. Pursing an M.A. can be a bit of a challenge due to the heavy reading loads of theory, however, once you begin to break-through the theory and understand its application to your specific concentration and the worldly menatility in the function of power and control, you will begin to understand the strength and importance of education.

I often speak on m
oments being featured in major Media publications as being monumental, and now it is my duty to place the importance of education on this platform because I have been changed. I'm better informed and I have more options in this life...and I'm not just talking about financial options. It's the mentality of freedom!

Bob Marley
once said,
"
Emancipate yourself from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our mind."

Today, I sh
are with you an opportunity to educate yourself for Liberation. I received an email in my inbox a few days ago from a friend and I had to share with The FUTURE. There's a unique MA/MBA program being offered at Wake Forest University. AND its FREE!!! FUTURE friends and allies I invite you to take a look into this opportunity and pass the information along to your family, friends, and network.

If you find this information isn't for you, I invite you to continue your search in liberating yourself.





FREE MASTERS PROGRAM AT WAKE FOREST





Message from Derrick S. Boone, Ph.D.:


Greetings, I wanted to let you know about a great opportunity here at Wake Forest where you can get a FREE education and get PAID while you're doing it. Our Dean of the Schools of Business is the former CEO of PepsiCo and very committed to diversity. He's gone around to his CEO friends, who have agreed to donate a bunch of money to pay tuition and fees, provide a stipend, and a job, to diverse students. The details are below. The problem is, response to the program has been dismal! As a faculty member, I would be embarrassed for him to have to tell his CEO friends, "thanks so much for your donation, but unfortunately I have to give it back because we couldn't find Any students who wanted it." So, I need your help. Please contact me if you, or ANYONE you know is interested in the program. I want to help out as many young scholars as I can. Don't worry about whether or not you (or they) have taken the GMAT, etc. All you need to do at this point is JUST APPLY.


About the Program: The Master of Art in Management program is designed specifically for liberal arts majors only. The MA degree program is a 10 month intense study of the basic functional areas of Business. After graduation and working for approximately two years, all MA graduates are eligible to apply to Wake Forest as part of the MA/MBA joint degree program and get the MBA in one year. The new Dean, Steve Reinemund, has created a new scholarship for diverse students pursuing the MA degree called the Corporate Fellowship.


The Corporate Fellowship provides full tuition and a $21,000 stipend to cover living expenses. Additionally, each Corporate Fellow will participate in a practicum. The practicum has two components, educational and professional development. Each student will be assigned a mentor that is a high level executive with their sponsor corporation. The mentor will oversee an educational project covering 4 of the functional areas of business using their own corporation as the subject. The student will visit the corporation 3 - 4 times during the program to present his/her results of their research project. Additionally, the "professional development" component of the fellowship provides career coaching and leadership development for the students.


"The goal for the corporation is to be able to groom and hopefully, hire a top candidate from a diverse background for their organization. Of course, there is no obligation that the students accept any offer of employment. Still, the student benefits, even if they are not ultimately hired by their sponsor corporation in that they have the MA degree and the type of experience that will make them more marketable." -Joyce Norfleet

Roy Byrd, III
Finance Specialist
GPSC Americas Finance
e-mail:
roy.byrd-iii@hp.com

Derrick S. Boone, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Marketing
Room 3139 Worrell Professional Center
Babcock
Graduate School of Management

Wake Forest University
1834 Wake Forest Drive

Winston-Salem , NC 27109-8758

email: derrick.boone@...

Web Site:
http://mba.wfu.edu/
Phone: (336)..758.4475;
Toll-free: (866) 925-3622;
Fax: 336.758.4514

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What's the CONTROVERSY now?


Branding Your Innerself…

'Could it be that nothing builds customer loyalty like a little controversy? It sure seems that way sometimes. For example, have you ever noticed that whenever The Future (us) TheFutureForward.net run articles with "Black Pride" or “ Party” or even “Pride Parties” in the headline, reader comments flow like water - from both the Twitteries and the wake-me-when-it's-over crowd.

This speaks to the power of polarization, putting something out there that immediately evokes strong feelings from the audience, one way or the other. Either you're "for it" or "against it." No in between. Polarization is a natural progression of knowing your customers and single-mindedly focusing on doing everything possible to appeal to them, getting into their heads and figuring how to best connect with them. And to heck with anybody else. If you're speaking relevantly to your audience, you really don't care about the rest of the universe. If you're selling haircare products, you don't care about the muscle heads in Miami. If you're selling a crop herbicide, you don't care about the barista in Berkeley. If you sell hunting rifles, you don't concern yourself with the pacifist in Pasadena. And if you're selling Speedos, well, I'd be surprised if you ran an ad in AARP Magazine.
And if that happens to rub some folks the wrong way, so what?
Martin Lindstom, in his book Buy-ology, which focuses on the science of neuro-marketing to explain why we purchase the products we do, concludes that the reason for the runaway success of the Calvin Klein jeans featuring a 14-year-old Brooke Shields isn't what we first thought. It wasn't the sex that sold. It was the controversy. Too many marketers, though, avoid polarization. Why stir up any controversy? Why would we put anything out there that someone might find a bit off-putting? Imagine the letters! Nothing came between Brooke and her Calvin's...

If you think about it, attempting to avoid polarization is really just another way of trying to be all things to all people. And as we learned on the first day of Marketing 101, that doesn't work. The thing is, if you put something out there that really resonates with your audience (and it's authentic), and someone who is not your target weighs in with their dissatisfaction, it'll probably incite your customers to come to your defense. The "controversy" surrounding your messaging gives your loyal customers permission to enter the conversation and stick up for you. Be wary, though. Creating controversy for controversy sake doesn't necessarily polarize people. It just pisses them off. Taste matters. And if your target market sees your "faux controversy" as a misguided attempt to get some cheap ink, you're a goner.
The most effective controversy is the kind that comes to you, rather than you looking for it. When Benetton caused a stir with its ads a decade ago showing AIDS patients, the company did it as a way of supporting that cause, not necessarily to shock or alienate the public at large. Yet, here we are discussing it years later. How many other fashion ads from that era can you say you remember?

In this age, when people are bombarded with literally thousands of options and thousands of selling messages every day, you need to engineer something into your products, its positioning or it communications to keep from fading into that bland gray morass.
After all, at a beauty pageant, no one remembers Miss Congeniality.

Is She a SHE?

Written by: Cathal Kelly

The Toronto Star

Fifty years ago, it was done with a peek under a dressing gown. Today, sex testing for athletes involves a panel of medical practitioners addressing a host of biological and psychological issues. "It's complicated, very complicated, because of the shades of grey at the centre," said Dr. Robert McCormack, chief medical officer of Canada's Olympic teams.
Those shades of grey include genetic, physiological and social differences than can make it difficult – even from a scientific viewpoint – to decide where to draw the line between a woman and a man.


Citing those concerns, the Canadian Association of Sports Medicine recommended generalized gender verification be scrapped more than 10 years ago. But the practice continues, albeit in a more specialized, rarely used form.

The issue was thrust into the spotlight this week by the case of 18-year-old South African runner Caster Semenya. The teen has a muscular build, wispy facial hair and a deep voice. More importantly, she has burst onto the world running scene. Even before she trotted to easy victory in the 800-metre event at the world track and field championships on Wednesday, an ugly whisper campaign had begun. That prompted the International Association of Athletics Federations to open an investigation into Semenya's sexual identity. It has left the IAAF baffled. "At this stage, it's confusing," IAAF secretary-general Pierre Weiss said following Semenya's gold medal performance. "Personally, I have no clue what's going on. I rely on and trust our doctors."
Photo: South Africa's Caster Semenya celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's 800-metre in Berlin, Aug. 19, 2009. -AP

The suggestion that Semanya is biologically a man has prompted anger from her family.
"I raised her and I have never doubted her gender," Semenya's father, Jacob, said. "She is a woman and I can repeat that a million times." One of the runner's cousins said Semenya had been teased throughout school for her looks. Her headmaster said he had wrongly assumed she was a boy until Grade 11. While that humiliation plays out on a world stage, Semenya is keeping silent and continuing to undergo testing.

"While I feel terribly for this young girl, it's almost worse if this is just hanging out there as an accusation," said McCormack. As recently as 20 years ago, female athletes competing at large international events were expected to carry a gender verification card. However, the test widely used to obtain the card – a cheek swab – often produced false negatives. The practice came to be seen as unreliable and prejudicial. General testing was widely abandoned before the turn of the century. Read the entire story -

TheStar.com

Kid Vlogs From Apple Store, We Smell a New Commercial Campaign


Kids. They grow up so fast these days, with the Twitter and the MySpace and Tamagotchi and sports drinks. You've gotta hand it to them, though: they've got their technology and they know how to use it.Which is why the dense YouTube account of Nicholifavs, filled with a kid who vlogs exclusively from New York City's Fifth Avenue Apple Store, is merely a natural progression in the realm of Things Kids Do Now. If, indeed, this is a viral marketing ploy by Apple, then hats off. And if it isn't, Apple had better snatch him up quick. Justin Long, meet your match. Photo: Lil Mogul



Update 9/20/09: The internet has spoken! Since our original post, things have really started to take off for 13-year-old Nicholi White from Harlem, New York. After
growing interest and coverage online, Good Morning America featured Nicholi's videos, touting him as "YouTube's Newest Star." Most recently, White was profiled in the New York Post where he talks about his newfound web "celebrity": I'm blowing up... I'm going back to school on Sept. 9, and I can't wait. I'm going to show my teachers.

Aside from school, what's next for Nicholi? Well
according to a video posted this week, he's headed to Los Angeles. Nothing has been confirmed, but the New York Post claims that "the likes of Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah have also come calling."We'll keep you updated on things as they unfold, although I'm sure simply subscribing to his YouTube channel will provide all the breaking news straight from White -- where he thrives -- at the Apple store.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

How Dare You Suggest That?

How Dare You Suggest That?

by Nathan James

I awoke this morning to a report describing the opposition, by some prominent Black clergymen, to the proposed repeal of the Defense Of Marriage Act (DOMA). The Rev. Dr. LaSimba Gray was also quoted in the New York Times as saying he, and members of his Black Coalition against Gay Marriage, were against the repeal of DOMA, and equality for gays and lesbians. “In all my 40 years of civil-rights work, I’ve never seen a gay water fountain and I’ve never seen a gay entrance to a building.” In a post on political blogger Taylor Siluwe’s website, further commentary indicates that Gray’s members were “offended” by the idea that the “black and gay communities are somehow connected”.


Now, I have written in the past that the LGBT and black communities were not only connected with one another, but that both owe each other all the benefits they enjoy today. For this, of course, I have been flogged unmercifully, as if it were set in stone somewhere that blacks and gays were mutually exclusive, and never the twain shall meet. At the risk of more public flogging, I stand by my position, and I enlist the historical record to aid in my defense. I think that the record speaks very well for itself.


It’s 1955, Rosa Parks has defied Jim Crow and refused to give her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white person, as the law required in those days. In response to her arrest, the local black community turned to a 26-year-old minister of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Martin Luther King, Jr. Meetings are held to devise a plan of action. Seeking guidance and direction on how to find the most effective means of protest, Rev. King looks to one Bayard Rustin, a black, gay advocate and strategist whose writings on nonviolence have impressed the young preacher. The fact that Rustin is gay, does not discourage King one iota. King knows that Rustin is the go-to man in matters of protest and petition.


Rustin travels to meet with King that year, and the counsel King receives from a gay man of color is crucial to the birth of the modern civil-rights movement, and establishes nonviolence as the means of protest. Rustin thus changes the course of history, and all people of color who live today, free of Jim Crow’s awful depredations, may add Rustin’s name to those to be thanked for their efforts.


Two years later, American literary icon James Baldwin writes and publishes the homoerotic novel Giovanni’s Room, establishing himself as a gifted writer of early gay lit. The book is banned from publication in the United States, but becomes a wild bestseller in Europe. Baldwin becomes known as both a gifted author of color and a gay man. These facts, however, do not deter Rev. King from seeking out and including Baldwin prominently in the civil-rights struggle during the 1960s. The FBI, in an attempt to separate King from men like Baldwin and Rustin, quietly warns King that both men are gay. King replies “I will not refuse the help of such wise and gifted men. As much as anyone, they have given our cause meaning and direction.” When his words are picked up by the Associated Press, the nominating committee for the Nobel Peace Prize begins to understand that here is a man worthy of their accolades.


These are matters of undeniable fact, available for research by anyone with an Internet connection and an interest in the historical record. In spite of this, people continue to have the attitude that I speak heresy, whenever I cite the record. It is a mystery to me why so many people of color are “offended” by the idea that blacks and gays might ever share commonalities in their history. Gay men and women of color have contributed so much to the advancement of all people of color, that they are inextricably linked to the shared history of both. Conversely, people of color, through their tenacious and diligent struggles for equality, have opened the doors of tolerance for the LGBT community which would have remained locked, perhaps indefinitely.


In my studies of the art and literature of the civil-rights era, I find so many contributions to black history by gays and lesbians of color, it’s amazing. The great examination of the black experience of those days comes alive in the works of Langston Hughes, Paul Robeson, Audre Lorde, James Baldwin, and numerous others. Their cries for social justice, together with the activities of Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael, Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Rosa Parks, and the whole roll call of the era, all suggest a great need for acceptance of diversity. The sexual orientation of any or all of these great people was not an issue. Achieving the equality promised by our Constitution was the issue.


So, “how dare I suggest” a common history between people of color and the gays and lesbians among them? What issue do I address that is so uncomfortable to some? Perhaps there has never been a “gay water fountain”, or a “gay building entrance”. Yet there were barriers to equality for gays every bit as formidable as the legal and structural barriers faced by blacks under Jim Crow. There was a time when sodomy laws forbade homosexual activity in all but two states. There was a time when homosexuality was considered a mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. There were no visible, structural barriers for gays because gays were considered to be deviant, criminal, and antisocial by their very existence, regardless of their color.


As people of color suffered under Jim Crow’s reign of subjugation and terror, gays of color suffered those hardships, plus the added stigma of being black and gay. To this day, debate rages over the need for, and type of, legal protection gays and lesbians should receive. This brings me back to the beginning of this essay. Legislation such as the Gender Employment Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) and the repeal of DOMA are needed to afford the Constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law. For people of color to wish denial of these protections to a subset of their own community, is appalling. Some people are quick to deny the struggle, perseverance and triumph of those who came before them, and whose history they all share. In so doing, they diminish the value of the whole enterprise. How dare I suggest that!

Flesh to Flesh Casting



The Flesh To Flesh anthology which includes my novella, Thickness, is being developed into a film series! Editor and acclaimed black gay author Lee Hayes will be holding a Casting Call for the first episode, Swingin', Saturday, August 29. Details are as follows:

Flesh to Flesh- An Erotic Series is a thriller that takes a bold and unapologetic view at the real lives of African- American gay men and lesbians. Episode 1, Swingin', focuses on a male couple in a long-term relationship who decides to spice up their sex life and the consequences that follows.

CHARACTER BREAKDOWNS:

ANTHONY DIX, African-American male, late-twenties, clean-cut, good looking; a bit conservative;

JAMAL PHILLIPS, African-American male, mid-twenties, masculine with tattoos on his arm, handsome; not afraid of taking chances, slightly manipulative and sexually adventurous;

AHMAD ARMSTRONG, African-American male, late twenties, good-looking, sophisticated and very polished; carries himself in a haughty manner;

MONICA RANDALL African-American female, beautiful, edgy and stylish, in her mid-upper twenties; very personable;

ERIC STEWART African-American male, late twenties, with a toned and solid body, a bit unpolished/rough around the edges;

MARCUS JOHNSON, African-American male, mid-thirties, very distinguished-looking and charming, good body;

JAYCENT TUPPER, African-American male mid-thirties, very attractive with a beautiful smile;

ZANDAR PAIGE - African-American male, early-mid twenties, extremely good-looking and masculine; walks with a bad boy swagger and knows what he likes.

DATE: August 29 -30, 2009
TIME: Saturday, 11 am - 7 PM; Sunday, 11 am - 3 PM
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
MORE: All auditions will be by appointment only. Please submit Acting Resume and Photos to: fleshtofleshcasting@gmail.com.
Flesh To Flesh is the groundbreaking erotic anthology about the lives and loves of gay men of color. Featuring works by twenty of today's best gay writers, including Lee Hayes, L.M. Ross, Nathan James, Dayne Avery, Rodney Lofton and Tim'm West, this hugely popular release from Simon & Schuster has earned stellar reviews and a tremendous following. Now comes Flesh To Flesh: The Series, based on the stories and themes of the original anthology. This exciting new show will captivate and titillate, and bring to life the "unapologetically raw" realities of gay men of color!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Wanted: Young Entrepreneurs - $25,000 startup Up For Grabs

Wanted: Young Entrepreneurs Advancing Social Change. Reply to: mtvU and NYSE Euronext
By:
Ray Pellecchia
File Under:
NYSE Euronext

Ah, to be young. To be young, and have an idea. To be young, have an idea, and have it make the world a better place. To be young, have an idea that makes the world a better place, and have do something with MTV besides watching it. To be young, ... um, sorry, got carried away.


This looks like a cool program. Hope you'll consider participating or passing along to someone else if you (like me) don't meet the eligibility criteria (he said, squinting through his old-man reading glasses).

Read the entire story from the press release issued today:
MTV’s 24-hour college network
mtvU and NYSE Euronext today launched “Movers & Changers,” a nationwide challenge to uncover the country’s next social entrepreneurs who are poised to make a positive impact on society through their innovative business concepts. Competition finalists will be featured in the new mtvU “Movers & Changers” short-form series, premiering Monday, November 23rd on mtvU, and compete for the ultimate prize of $25,000 in start-up money and the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ring the Opening Bell(SM) at the New York Stock Exchange.

Relationships and Marriage; Is THIS Community Ready?


Relationships and Marriage; Is THIS Community Ready?
By Giovanni Centurione

Now that the Pride Parades have ended and the politics are back to campaigning, are we in the LGBT Community still interested in Marriage Equality? Do we even know what a REAL Relationship is?

I find it irritating and sad every time I hear from those in this community that say they want a boyfriend or they want a girlfriend. BUT, ask them what is important to them and the answer is all the same; depends on how the sex is, dick size, he or she got money, etc. And this is all based on their first date... Well call me old fashion, but maby this is WHY YOU ARE SINGLE???? If you don't take the time to get to know someone for who they are first, how will you know if you actually have anything to talk about after sex? If your going to jump in the sack as soon as you meet, is it EVER not awkward waking up the next day and not knowing what to talk about? And are you NOT surprised when they don't call back? Maby this is the reason WHY YOU ARE SINGLE????

It's not just the 18 year old's that have this problem, I have witnessed 30 and 40 somethings with the same issues. Many in this community don't know how to get out of that stereotyped sex object craze and start looking at people for who they are. Yeah, looks are a plus, but talk to that good looking guy or girl first. See what they are interested in. Do you click intellectually? or is it going to solely be based on random sex? If so, then don't complain of being single or not having the right to get married.


As far as fighting for Gay Marriage (which I haven't heard anything since Pride ended) ,Why not start learning HOW to have a relationship first. Do most of you know what true love is? Or is it simply a lust for you? If Marriage was offered today for this community, would you take advantage of it simply for the publicity and free gifts? or would it actually be because you LOVE your partner?

I really find it nerve racking, tasteless and find myself sometimes ashamed to be a part of a community that wants a right, but makes it obvious they wouldn't know how to use it correctly if it were available. My point being, we need to learn how to approach, start and hold long lasting, relationships before we fight for that right such as Marriage for the LGBT Community.

Gun Buyback Programs in the US

I am writing with regards to your gun buyback program. First, I wonder, who is paying for this? Do you really think this will help? Don’t you think we need to ease the violence by bringing jobs back into the inner city?

If you think about it, do you really think the “criminals” are going to drop off their guns for money? If they do, don’t you think they are just going to use that free money to purchase a new gun? And isn’t it true that most of the guns that have been turned in the past have been outdated and brought in by people who just don’t feel like they need a gun the house anymore? And isn’t the murder rate in Buffalo higher as of today than all of 2008? So how is your gun buyback program effective?

If I were in power, here’s what my solution would be. I would first get involved with the city business and economic development leaders and create a plan to re-develop all of Buffalo’s commercial and residential neighborhoods. During this process, promote Buffalo to national and international businesses with special deals to lure them in. Not just office jobs, but national retailers to fill the old commercial districts. Can you imagine the Broadway Fillmore area or Jefferson Avenue having a Barnes & Noble? Starbucks? Gap? etc.? Empty side streets filled in with townhouses instead of the plastic suburban types that are currently going up everywhere. When you offer jobs, better housing and neighborhoods that offer more than just a corner store or a church, then that makes an area feel vibrant and safe.

If you create a plan, one that brings in jobs and cleaner, more efficient neighborhoods instead of tearing everything down and letting the leftovers rot away, then you see crime go down. When there is progress and hope, people will take notice. Right now, the city is losing its population, the East Side is a war zone and several other areas in the city are just as bad or starting to be. You can’t expect a wimpy campaign like a gun buyback to help stop the violence. You have to give a reason not to commit the crimes that lead to murder. That’s cleaning up the neighborhoods (not by leveling it all off) by developing them, bringing jobs and having more officers on foot to stop the petty crimes before they lead to the murders.

It’s time to really put your foot down, Mr. Brown, and start acting like a leader instead of following the status quo that is just making living in Buffalo much worse. This is why I moved away.

Giovanni Centurione

Tweet This with Drama Dupree

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "National Public Radio (NPR) features FlagBoy"




NPR - Life on The Fringes: Performers In The First Person

featuring Cornelius Jones Jr. and FlagBoy


Last month I performed FlagBoy at DC's Capital Fringe Festival, not knowing who would show up I had an awesome turnout. Self-producing any show can be a bit of a challenge, especially when your producing efforts are over 200 miles away from the actual venue. However, the power of the internet and word of mouth can go a long way.

DC's Fringe Festival producers were truly amazing to me. I was offered numerous press opportunities with Washington City Paper, On Tap Magazine, The Washington Blade, DC Theater Scene, and National Public Radio (NPR). Yes NPR!!!! FlagBoy made NPR. A lil black gay boy from the south sharing his story with NPR. Truly a huge milestone in my career...heck, my life!


Nervous? Of course! When I received the phone call from Trey Graham of NPR, a cyclone of perspiration flooded the white t-shirt I had on at that
moment. Trey told me that he was doing a story on how solo-peformers manage to make a living by working the Fringe Festival circuit across the US. Taken aback by this, because FlagBoy is a little over a year old in the touring market. For a second, I thought...you want FlagBoy??? Then as we sat and discussed FlagBoy's journey over the past year, I realized that FlagBoy has had quite a run and quite a fringe journey. Although, technically, Capital Fringe was FlagBoy's first official Fringe Festival, it has played numerous Fringe-like Festivals such as The Midtown International Theater Festival, The Left Out Festival, and one-night ventures at small venues in NYC, Delaware, and Connecticut, which makes it all a fringe!

Thank you Trey and NPR for including my story.
I invite you guys over to NPR's website to watch the audio/visual slideshow:










http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=111812501&sc=emaf



Life on The Fringes: Performers In The First Person

Life On The Fringes: Performers In The First Person


featuring
Kevin Thornton - Sex, Dreams, and Self-Control
Cornelius Jones Jr. - FlagBoy
Ed Hammel - The Terrorism of Everday Life

Some solo performers manage to make a living by working a Fringe Festival circuit that spans North America, from Orlando, Fla., to Vancouver, British Columbia. NPR stopped by the Capital Fringe Festival and asked three artists to introduce themselves.

Queen Latifah ft. Missy Elliott - Fast Car in a Mustang

The Queen made a wish...Ford Motor Company commanded. Latifah, already a proud owner of a '65 Mustang, wished to drive the car in the extended music video for her new song 'Fast Cars' featuring Missy Elliot.
There are certain cars throughout history that have their own identity. They become synonymous with feeling and energy, an event in your life,” says Latifah. “A Mustang is a Mustang; the car is timeless.”

On June 24, 2009, Latifah took a detour from promoting her new album to head to the New Jersey Motorsports Park, where Colin Braun and the 2010 Mustang were waiting for her. “Are you ready,” Braun asked her. She held on tight while he white-knuckled her through a few hot laps and then Latifah joked, “It’s time to conquer this track,” before she threw on her own helmet and experienced the raw power and handling of the new 2010 Mustang.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Lil Mogul's FIRST Interview - The World of MEGA

Last week, I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Craig “BBop” Gibson of The Pride Network & Pride Cast Show. To be totally honored, I found it interesting to have people seeking me out to hear about my career path and personal stories as an entrepreneur. As an entertainment manager and sometime publicist (I say sometime cuz I don’t view myself as a PR guy; however, it is on the job description to getting the job done), I prep clients for this type of thing. With media facts and talking points, it was alil nerve-racking for me.

BBop made the experiences easy for a brutha. Midway through the interview I started to reminisce on the past 15 years. My internship at Elite Models, my leap in the world of entertainment as an entrepreneur with my first business partner Jason Campbell, business associates, models, talent, clients, all my ups and downs. I had a chance to think about all the careers I help launch, all the places I have been
and the great projects I had the opportunity to work on.

Photos

Top: Lil Mogul & Model Madison
Center: Makeup Artist Sam Fine, Actress Vanessa L. Williams, Lil Mogul, Hairstylist Oscar James & Actor Al Bayon
Bottom: Booker Catherine, Booker Kat, Booker Bobbie Morais, Photographer James Hicks & Lil Mogul

It was a day to stop and look out. As Shug Avery once said, "I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don't notice it."

I must agree. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Craig “BBop” Gibson for giving me the opportunity to take time out to reflect on the past, soak in the present and plan for a continuous successful future while enjoying the journey of the MEGA World of Lil Mogul.

Listen to the interview here:
(My interview starts 41 minutes into the show)
Photo Top: Supermodel Tyra Banks in the early 90's with Sam Fine & Lil Mogul plotting an entertainment takeoff.

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