Tuesday, October 22, 2013

AIDS Walk Washington - Saturday


Good afternoon people!

Yes I am still here, alive and well. I want to take a moment to ask for your support. I am participating in the AIDS Walk Washington this Saturday and if you are free to join us we would love that. If not, your generous donation to the non profit is also welcomed. You can sign up or donate at this link: http://www.aidswalkwashington.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.team&teamID=5414

Thanks

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hot Topics: Kendrick Lamar "King of New York", Lee Thompson Young "Jett Jackson" Dead at 29, Heavy Security at Theater in Silver Spring, MD for The Butler


 
 
 
 Lee Thompson Young
 
 Good day folks. A gloomy Monday afternoon here in the District, and sadly fitting for the news that broke a few hours ago about TV star Lee Thompson Young committing suicide. He is most known for his role as the Disney star and titled show "The Famous" Jett Jackson. Many of us in our early to late 20's remember watching his show as a kid. Thompson Young was a guy who seemingly stayed out of trouble and had a bright career ahead. He played in movies including Friday Night Lights, Akeelah and the Bee and if you're a horror fan like me, you will remember him in The Hills Have Eyes 2. He was currently playing the role of Barold Barry on Rizzoli and Isles, a crime drama that airs on TNT It is sad to see another successful young black man go, especially in the form of taking his own life. This goes to prove that no matter what heights of success you reach, you never know what someone is going through. Black men tend to keep a lot of stuff  "held in" to appear strong. We need to be able to express ourselves to someone. If it cannot be family and friends then to a complete stranger. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is a start. Additionally, if you are lucky to work in the government in some capacity, most offer anonymous help through various hotlines. Call your human resources department for more information. May he rest in peace.
 
 Kendrick Lamar
 
Kendrick Lamar or K DOT for the original fans had words for Jermaine Cole, Big KRITT, Wale, Pusha T, Meek Millz, A$AP Rocky, Drake, Big Sean, Jay Electron', Tyler and Mac Miller. The song Control made the airwaves last week and sent the rap game into a frenzy. Some would say Kendrick Lamar called these rappers out but after letting this all sink in, it's clear he's calling out for some friendly competition to give rap the push it really needs. I believe the rap industry has not been this hype in quite a while. Kendrick Lamar is a breathe of fresh air. We have heard a few responses to Kendrick's "call out" from people such as Joe Budden but no one has been able to catch the attention like Lamar did. What is next for the self proclaimed "King of New York?" What about the people Kendrick did not mention like Lil' Wayne? (Who should have been mentioned in my opinion).
 
 Regal Majestic 20 & IMAX Silver Spring, MD
 

The Regal Majestic Cinema in Silver Spring, MD came under fire this weekend for having what was described as a heavy level of police for the screening of Lee Daniels, The Butler. A woman by the name of Jennifer Flowers took to Twitter to tweet about her experience. There was allegedly armed guards in the theater room where the movie was showing. Regal Entertainment Group responded by saying: 
"They employs security personnel to ensure the safety all of our guests and staff. When a theatre experiences sold out showings of any feature, security will assist with crowd control and guest assistance throughout the facility, including auditoriums.

This weekend our Majestic theatre experienced a tremendous guest response to the feature "Lee Daniels' The Butler" such that additional showtimes were added to meet our guests' demands.
At no time did local management receive any guest complaints or concerns about our security or staff, who worked diligently to meet all of our guests' needs."

I just have to believe this is unprecedented. I have gone to see many hit movies on opening nights and NEVER have police officers or hired security stood watch of patrons as they watched a movie. Regal deserves to give everyone there a refund for that foolishness. Unless there was a specific threat, I can't see a justifiable reason for that obnoxious amount of security.



 
 
 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hot Topics: Darren Young, First WWE Wrestler to "Come Out", Lack of Identity Among Black/African-Americans


Good day all! It is RARE that I write a blog twice in a week but this week has been quite busy for what is normally a dry August summer.

First, you all know I am a big wrestling fan so I have to congratulate World Wrestling Entertainment Superstar Darren Young for his courage to come out as a black gay man. Darren, as a professional wrestler, is the first to come out while on the active WWE roster. There are other gay/bisexual wrestlers who are out, but was not active in WWE at the time. They include: Orlando Jordan, Chris Kanyon, Pat Patterson and Jim Barnett. Orlando Jordan is a black man and sadly Chris Kanyon committed suicide a few years later after coming out, stating he never felt welcomed as a gay man in wrestling.

The aspect of a gay wrestler is always a touchy one, as wrestling is a very physical sport. It will be interesting to see how the WWE handles Darrens wrestling character, or if it will affect his character at all. He is currently half of the tag team known as "The Primetime Players," with his tag team partner Titus O'Neil. Many wrestling fans remember the storyline of Billy & Chuck, two wrestlers who portrayed gay lovers...to the point of almost getting married on live TV. This is nothing new to WWE, as many fans believed wrestler Goldust, who would prance to the ring nearly in drag and would do certain moves in the ring that was questioning to say the least, was gay.

Darrens coming out may be the beginning of the atmosphere changing in professional wrestling, sports entertainment and another named added to the larger sports world of gay men and women.

Today I was at a community event and we ended up discussing politics, of course, and then came up a conversation about black identity. The person I was talking to says he see's himself as an African-American. Oddly enough, another friend of mine says he sees himself as a black American. Our people sadly lost our identity when we were hauled across the sea in slave ships. From that time to now, we at one point, garnered pride through fighting oppression and segregation. Negro spirituals, kept many of our ancestors at peace when hell was breaking loose around them. Then we come to 2013...pop culture seems to define our community. It seems to define what we wear, how we wear it, what we say and even how we live our lives. Our people, in general, lack a sense of history. There's a saying if one does not know your history, you are doomed to repeat it. This may very well be happening now, except we are oppressing ourselves.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Keith's Topics: Chris Brown, March on Washington, Donnie McClurkin and More

Good day folks! It's time I do another blog with my thoughts regarding a few current events brewing in the news and gossip wheel. First, I am sad to write that summer is almost over. I didn't get away but I plan on taking some time off in September (Atlanta) and later in the year. I am planning on visiting Puerto Rico next year, so I am definitely looking forward to that, as well.

Chris Brown stays in the news and I rarely comment on anything regarding him, as I am a fan of his music and talent, however I think he's at a stage, after dealing with so much, that he needs to take a break from society. He stated on Twitter last week that after his next album drops at the end of the month, it could be his last. A lot celebrities take breaks but not bow out of their industry. With Chris' talent he should be able to hop right back on the wagon when he does return...which I am sure he will for the record.

The news has been hitting up the local email list servs in DC all weekend regarding the Donnie McClurkin/Mayor Gray/March on Washington drama. Mayor Gray was allegedly pressured by gay rights activists to un-invite gospel singer Donnie McClurkin from the line up of talent from a concert this past weekend, citing that the "ex gay" singer's comments on homosexuality were offending. Mayor Gray's office says that the singer un-uninvited himself. No matter who did what, I find this situation to be a unique and touchy one to handle. McClurkin is a talented gospel singer who believes he has been ridden of homosexuality. As many, like myself, don't believe that is actually possible, we should still respect that stance and let him be. I have not heard the alleged comments he once made about homosexuality but again, he is there to sing, not to give a speech. I think the very liberal gay left wing can go too far with the battle against homophobia. I asked myself, would Dr. King have allowed a man such as this sing in his church or perform at the March on Washington? We all know Bayard Rustin, an openly black gay man who helped organize the March on Washington, was key so could an ex gay person not be as equal?

Speaking of the March on Washington we are coming up on the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest demonstrations for jobs, justice and equality that our nation has ever seen. Before the main events that will take place, DC will hold a rally meeting up at the DC War Memorial at 8:30 am on August 24th. As you know, the original rally focused on a myriad of issues and that included DC voting rights in congress and/or statehood/home rule. Residents and visitors will meet up in extremely high numbers to add a voice to the cause for the District of Columbia to become the 51st state. Dr. King was also a proponent for DC to have self governance. This link tells a pretty good detail of Dr. King and his involvement with the fight for DC. http://dcstatehoodyeswecan.org/j/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=407:dr-martin-luther-king-jr-and-the-district-of-columbia&catid=100:mlk-dc&Itemid=80

Football season is back! Yes I am a CowBOYS fan, which many find out of place but there are so many Cowboys fan in DC, I like to say DC stands for Dallas Cowboys. Lol. However, I'm looking forward to seeing how RGIII will be playing after a very serious injury to his knee last season. Tony Romo and the Cowboys take on the 2011-2012 Super Bowl champs and conference rival the New York Giants in the Sunday Night Football game opener in Dallas September 8th.

You know how to reach me Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.... all that social media stuff. Until next time...

KDJII

Monday, July 15, 2013

Being A Black Male in America - My Thoughts

 
 
The recent high profile case of George Zimmerman, a white-Hispanic male getting a not guilty verdict over the shooting death of a young black male, Trayvon Martin, as Martin was walking home from leaving the store has spurred emotions and tensions about race in America. Zimmerman saw this young man, wearing a hoodie walking in his neighborhood and thought he looked suspicious to the point of calling the police and the eventually shooting of Trayvon. Martin was profiled.

This profiling happens to black males and minorities all the time in the United States from the "stop and frisk" law in New York City to random stops of blacks driving in expensive cars. Just last year in New York City, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 532,911 times. In which, 473,644 were totally innocent (89 percent) and 284,229 were black (55 percent). These numbers alone in what some would say in a very liberal state shows that blacks and mostly black males are profiled everywhere. Need more evidence? In Chicago, 4 young black men who were interning with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition were stopped walking down a street and handcuffed randomly by police. Rainbow Push is filing a formal complaint with Chicago Police.

The death of Martin should be a wake up call to black males in America, that we need to step up and stand right with each other. We need to be in the lives of our children and not running away from the mother and child. We need to be in the classrooms and running the businesses, not wasting away in jail and prison. Yes, there will be struggle, but as Frederick Douglass once said, without struggle, there is not progress. We need to stop saying our ancestors paid my dues, so I will lay on my back and let the system take care of me. No, sir, there was and is the need for the intellectual strength of black males, young and old to foster new ideas and eradicate stereotypes. Our wives, husbands, children and families needs us. Our country needs us to help fight prejudice and racism, for we are as a whole, wasting away to a system that generally doesn't care about our plight with its institutional racism and should neither give us handouts to do so as the black women in our country are, in general, prospering from what is available. We need to prove to ourselves that we are an asset to the community, and an equal human being in society.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Keith's Topics: Pride, DC Mayoral Race, Obama at Morehouse


Hey folks, it's time for another blog entry where I cover a few topics in one. First, happy pride season to all! This weekend in DC from my experience and from what I have heard had massive turnouts at all of the events planned by the different promotions. I was at Love Saturday night to see Brandy. She performed two songs acapella and stayed around for a little while. While I have had the pleasure to meet her on a few occasions and see her perform, I'm sure many were disappointed that she did not do more. Across the way at Fur Lil' Kim did her thing . Miami Sizzle seems to have had a decent turnout, although many believe the tide is shifting back to DC. I see the two going back and forth over the years to come since to quote someone, "DC is coming back." One must understand why DC "left" in the first place. The wonderful Nationals baseball stadium is pretty much built where all the gay black clubs were in the city. Since those venues were shut down, DC lost pretty much all of its club presence on the black gay scene. Honestly to this day, there is a struggle, as promotions are renting out venues such as Aqua, Love, Fur and Muse amongst others to host their events. I wish that the promoters would get together with the boat loads of money they made this past weekend and invest into more permanent venues in the DC area. Speaking of pride in general, I'm looking forward to Capital Pride next weekend and NYC black pride at the end of June. I'll be sure to report the happenings of those events (as I remember them) Lol.

Well we are over a year away until DC residents go to the polls to elect a mayor and a few names have been thrown into the ring officially and unofficially. Tommy Wells, Ward 6 councilmember, Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 councilmember, and Jack Evans, At-Large have or will announce their candidacy. Mayor Gray has not announced plans yet. Assuming he does, I see vote splitting happening all over the 8 Wards, which could work in favor of the incumbent, Mayor Gray. As data shows, DC residents in certain Wards vote a certain type of way. The last special and general elections shows that. It is still too early to make a call on this one, overall, though let's get ready for the political machines to kick up their campaigns after the summer.

President Obama was the commencement speaker at my venerable institution, Morehouse a couple of weeks ago. For years the college has wanted him to come so it was only a matter of time before he did. Thanks to the help of Morehouse president Wilson, who was director of Obama's White House HBCU program's, I'm sure helped to expedite Obama's visit. President Obama gave an exhilarating speech, simply saying, there are no excuses to not achieve. Obama also acknowledged being good to your spouse, wife or partner. Being the former student Senator and member for the LGBT group SafeSpace at Morehouse from '04-'08, I couldn't have been prouder that he made that comment. Black men, gay and straight, struggle with homosexuality. It is no secret that black gay men attend and have attended Morehouse since maybe the founding of the college. As times change I am glad to see the work of my predecessors and those who have followed have kept the fight alive for dialogue and ideas to share on on not just tolerance but acceptance of the black gay man at Morehouse College and how that fits in with being a "Man or Morehouse" or a "Morehouse Man".

Until next time, you can reach me at:

Twitter: @KeithJonesJr
Instagram: MayorJonesJr




Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Gay Dating (Atlanta)



Good day people! I decided to write this blog based off a comment made by no one other than Sheree Whitfield, a former housewife from the Real Housewives of Atlanta on Watch What Happens Live! Sheree said that dating was hard in Atlanta. I retweeted that comment (@keithjonesjr) and it got a lot of attention.

Having spent a few years in Atlanta I can speak on the dating scene there. I don't think it is hard to date there. I think it is what you make it. Atlanta is a place where you can party every single day of the week. If you are tied into that club scene, you are not really considered the datable type. On the flip side, if you are holding down a job, party socially, have your own house/apartment and or car, then you are considered more datable. That's just my view. I agree with one of my Twitter followers who said I don't really have a bad story of someone I dated in Atlanta. Now DC on the other hand...just read my older blogs. I also have to add that dating in your hometown can be interesting/difficult. For a while, I thought it was just me who saw that perspective. However in looking at who my friends and associates have dated or coupled up with, very few share the same hometown. One of my Twitter followers said he lived in Atlanta for 18 years and has found no guys there he likes. I think another follower put it best when he said, "it was all either incompatibility or just wrong timing." That can summarize a lot of situations when it comes to dating anywhere. What are your experiences or views on gay dating or dating in Atlanta?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My View on the Morehouse College Rape Allegation


As you may know, four Morehouse College athlete students' were charged with rape of a Spelman student, which allegedly happened on campus. Morehouse College released a statement:
In March, there were two alleged assault incidents involving Morehouse students.
After the information was brought to the attention of campus police, the suspectswere identified and arrested.

While we cannot speak to specifics of these cases, our policies and procedures call for disciplinary actions against students who violate our code of conduct and the law, up to and including dismissal from the College.

Morehouse has a zero tolerance policy related to violence of any kind.  Violence is the very antithesis of the Morehouse ethos and the values of a Morehouse Man.
Morehouse College police are working with the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office and will continue to do so until these cases are resolved.

The college has also been in the news recently for replacing the baccalaureate speaker, an alum pastor from Philly, who criticized President Obama for not having enough black people in his cabinet. President Obama is the commencement speaker in May.

These are unique times at Morehouse; trying to define a classic image in a new era. This includes the type of students being admitted. I have said that admissions should tighten up requirements for students entering the college...even at the athletic level. There was an allegation of a Spelman student being raped a few years ago, however that case was refuted for not being true and never made the press. The allegations overall are a concern, as Morehouse students may need some sort of teaching on not only respecting each other, but also  respecting women and the consequences of engaging in illicit acts.

This may be the biggest case to come across Morehouse since the Greg Love incident in 2003. Mr. Love was attacked by a baseball bat for allegedly trying to look at another male student in the dorm showers. I met Greg a few times, most recently a couple of years ago in New York and he seems to be doing well. These cases go to show that sexuality both homo and hetero needs to continually be addressed from the administration level on down to the student peer group level. We live in a " highly sexualized society" so it only makes sense to educate and have dialogue with students about this.



 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Scorpio + Leo = ???? Part II

Folks, this blog series could go as long as the Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion episodes. I left off with the break-up. Last night I found out from him that he messed around twice during the two months we dated. We agreed to be "exclusively dating" which meant no sex with anyone else. I, of course, was taken aback. I was then infuriated when I remembered that he proposed  that we take things up a notch to boyfriend status. His insecurities got the best of him but my intuition keep me from a broken heart. It is sad though that we as black gay men cannot seem to find ourselves, in general, to be loyal. There will always be someone cuter, smarter, taller, shorter (if you like them like me) and attractive in the world. We must learn to realize that when you have a good thing, keep it, it can possibly take you far and beyond your wildest dreams.

I had the pleasure to meet one of his friends who is graduating law school. He was the president of the student body of the law school. He is also openly gay and very much engaged to his fiancee. They will be getting married right after his graduates law school. They are young and black. If anything, that couple reminds me that there is hope. This situation I was in makes all gay men right now seem bleek but they are what seems to be a rare example, that it works if you try.

So consequently I have cut ties with him and wished him the best in life. The saying goes, "you don't miss a good thing till it's gone."

Monday, April 29, 2013

Scorpio + Leo = ????

Fellow bloggers, I have come out of the smoke again to write another blog about my recent set of dating. Ironically enough this person I was dating has read my blog and Twitter page to learn more about it, I guess that makes sense. Anyway after a couple of months of dating, we had a few minor issues. I think we both were compatible in theory but practicality was a huge learning curve, which we both made some adjustments. In the end, I feel that he was more emotionally invested in this than me. I feel like our initial issues of him nitpicking and keeping track of time and dates of when I screwed up was an issue but an obstacle that was being overcome. I did not appreciate that stuff was thrown back in my face that was irrelevant to our current disagreement. I've never dated and had this many differences in such a short period of time. I by the way was no means perfect in this time of dating. The topic of being boyfriend and
 boyfriend was brought up. He felt that he would be more "secure" if we moved on from "exclusively dating. I was not at that point emotionally after two months that I wanted to make that jump. That's the point of dating, getting to know someone and if you think you can see yourself long term with that person then go for it. This was my two month evaluation. Although he is a great catch, two months or more down the line I think our strong personalities would generate more disagreements, which is just not healthy.

Friday, February 22, 2013

2013 White House Briefing for LGBT Emerging Leaders.


Yesterday, I had the pleasure and honor to attend the White House briefing for LGBT Emerging leaders, sponsored by the National Black Justice Coalition, the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay and Lesbian Task Force. The day included a White House tour of the East Wing, a trip to the Kennedy Caucus Room on Capitol Hill for introductions and the White House briefing at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. I have lived in DC essentially for 27 years and that was my first visit to the White House. I always said that if I was to visit the White House it would be for a purpose. Yesterday was that day. The three hosting organizations did a wonderful job of making that day possible.

The discussions and topics vary, but what stood out to me was the foster care programs in our country and how there is a movement to make the programs LGBT friendly. Placing children who may identify as gay, with affirming parents. Furthermore, once he or she becomes 21, making sure that the are prepared for life. In addition, finding the parents is a must.

The other interesting topic came up about our criminal justice system, as it relates to hate crimes. "The Obama administration is working and has implemented executive orders to protect the basic civil liberties of LBGT people," said a top Obama adviser. Yet, there is the need for so much change.

AIDS and HIV was another topic discussed. The statistics are startling. For example, 1 in 2 gay black men in Baltimore has HIV. In some areas in America, the numbers are as bad as sub-Saharan Africa. This topic gets as deep as the numbers. Why are gay black men and men/women who are transsexual have the highest number of reported cases? One example someone gave is that the medication is so great, and people are living longer so if they contract it, it's ok. I see it from a grassroots standpoint, Every person in that moment, when it's time to make a choice, which should be a no-brainer, that each time you choose to have unprotected sex, you are playing the Russian roulette  on your life.

Economic mobility for LGBT people was discussed. This referred to LGBT people owning their own businesses. There are a lot of programs the Obama administration will be funding this year to support this cause.

Overall, the briefing was great. It was good to see old and new faces. In a more personal note, I have spent years in the LGBT movement, from conferences to panels, to marching in parades, to hear people say all sorts of epithets mostly "Christian people." I was empowered again to keep up this fight. I am so glad that President Obama stands 100% behind LGBT people and the fight for equality, under law.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Blackberry 10, the Comeback of Blackberry?


Yesterday, I had the pleasure to attend the Blackberry Fan Event at Milk Studios in New York City. My friend won a contest which is received the new phone and I was fortunate to be invited. Blackberry still has a large following. I was amazed at how many people still use the Blackberry phones, truly loyal to the franchise. 

I had a chance to play with the Blackberry 10 and learn about its features. Many are pretty impressive such as video chat with the ability to share your screen with another caller, or the ability to have multi-video chat using Oovoo. The phones processor is strikingly fast. The design is what you would expect for a Blackberry phone, but with a sleek look and feel. The phone is available today in Canada, next month in the UK and March for the US.

Is Blackberry back? Well, assuming Blackberry was gone from the popular culture of phones in which the Apple iPhones have dominated I would say yes. Apple needs to get innovative with their next set of phones, as people will get tired of the minor changes made every release and out of curiosity, check out the Blackberry.

It was also nice that the CEO of Blackberry, Thorsten Heins stopped by to take a make a few remarks and took quite a few pictures with guests.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Happy 2013!


Happy New Year folks!

I am alive and well here in the District. I brought in the New Year in NYC with my best-friend and brother at a very posh spot in NYC called Parlor. I certainly, as always, had a great time in the "big apple". Most New Yorkers hate when folks call it that but whatever.

Anyway, I am still with the mayor's office, now going into my 3rd official year but 4th overall, as I started out as an intern.
 I am very much single. YES, I know you are wondering why? Well, I will save that for another blog.

So far, 2013 has been going well 17 days in. 2012 was a bittersweet year for me. I lost a lot of close people, including two former teachers', a few friends', and as you may have read, a family pet. I hope to go into 2013 strong and get past that, always keeping their lives and our shared memories to cherish forever.

I promise I will try to update this blog more (I pay $10 to renew the domain name every year). I seem to fail miserably at New Year's resolutions so I wont categorize that promise under that. I was surprised to hear that people actually read my blogs, Lol. I know a few of you do but I will just keep on writing with my  views and life experiences.