Thursday, July 23, 2015

Lead Me, Guide Me - A 30th Birthday!

Today I turned 30!

 A milestone for African-American men living in the United States. With the prevalence of ignorance to HIV-AIDS, unfriendly police officers (black and white) terrorizing our people, disease, homelessness, discriminatory high incarceration rates and host of prevalent issues plaguing  us, I am blessed. As I said my morning prayer, thanking the Lord for 3 decades on this planet, I shed a tear for many who did not make it, Ricky, Clarence and so many others who were making a difference in this world. I also remember family that I have lost in the last 30 years through cancer and violence.

I also remembered those who I may not speak to anymore, through loss of communication or other issues. Life is a puzzle; in less than 100 years we live to learn, and learn to live. As someone once said, when you stop learning, you stop living.

I am blessed to have a host of family and friends that I have been fortunate to have in my life. Each year, we learn and grow together.

This has been an amazing year for me. As a preachers kid, I am fortunate to have prayer warriors dating back decades who could only dream of the life I am fortunate to live. However, the journey is just beginning.

To 30 more years, and me celebrating your milestone birthdays!


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Few Good Men - Gay Dating & Relationships

Hey folks, I hope you are either halfway through your semester in school, enjoying spring break, staying medicated on Claritin for your allergies or just a lucky person. I feel like I have been lucky...and somewhat unlucky lately with a topic I haven't written about in awhile, dating.

I always try to tell people that dating does not equal a relationship. A relationship is when two people communicate that they want to become exclusive and that really, is only your business. However we live in the day of social media where status is affirmed through the likes, approval or even disapproval from friends and associates of a potential partner. I can only imagine what dating was like before social media. The word must have really gotten around slowly. I think it is one reason why relationships lasted longer then, than they do now.

I hate to assume, but I always assume that any attractive guy worth the time of day will have on average at least two guys interested in them. This comes with the territory of dating and where communication becomes crucial. Not assuming honestly, will probably leave you heart broken. I believe that if no communication is made at least once a day're plan B...or C. If you are lucky plan A or the only center of attention then making time for each other is fundamental if things are going to work. Dating, just like relationships are a game of give and take, compromise and letting your guard down which I will get into later in this blog. Dating should not be stressful or strenuous. It should be fun and filled with good times in getting to know one another. So what if you are really into them but they are not really into you? or vice versa? This is nothing but a recipe for disaster if this isn't communicated. I can speak from personal experience that leading someone on makes things so complicated when it shouldn't be. If there are other  potentials in the picture then that should be expressed so there will be no surprises in the long run.

So when things go wrong we acquire baggage. Understanding that we have been hurt by someone we were really into, some of us try to either rush into another "situationship" and or put up walls of protection. I have done the later. I wrote a couple of years ago about my dating situation. I have remained relatively out of the light of dating anyone seriously after a bad experience. From a few brief dates since then, I have learned that everyone is not for everybody. Whether one is out, in the closet, a socialite, a homebody, black, white or Latino - I believe chemistry trumps all. If there is no chemistry then that should be expressed and amicably move on.

This leads me to think that we must be true with ourselves. Do you really want a serious relationship? Or just someone to show off on social media? Is it seasonal or are you in for the long run? These are questions that we must be honest with ourselves before stringing someone along.

I will leave this post with a few lyrics from the song "Everybody Plays The Fool" by an old skool group, The Main Ingredient -

"Falling in love is such an easy thing to do
And there's no guarantee that the one you love
Is gonna love you"

Monday, March 16, 2015

DC Black Pride: Leadership Award!

I am honored to accept the 2015 DC Black Pride Leadership Award for those 30 years old and under! I was in the gym completing a 4 mile run when I received the call. I am humbled and honored that someone vetted me and saw the work I have done for the gay community and for the DC community for the last 10 years. It's amazing to just do the work I love to do, and on occasion, get a little recognition for it.

 Never would I have thought from those days of standing up for gay students at Morehouse in the student Senate to helping create an atmosphere at Morehouse through "Safe Space Week" including taking part in the National Day of Silence, National Coming Out Day and the Queer CafĂ©, along with taking part in the marches, vigils and other events that shed light to the fight for gay students. It has been moving to meet so many other young men and women through my times at the HRC's HBCU Summit where I found the most impact and powerful stories from fellow college students to creating a plan for fostering a better collegiate environment that respects the rights and interests of LGBT students. Two years ago I had the pleasure to visit the White House and Capitol Hill and take part through the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), listening and engaging leaders of the Obama White House on issues related to the LGBT community.

To my professional career of being a summer teacher and a mentor; serving under my now third mayor in the Office of Community Affairs in which we are cleaning up our city of litter and blighted properties and working with government and businesses in creating beautiful spaces. To presently taking part in the discussion in the Episcopal Church on homophobia and race relations and re-branding the Episcopal campus ministry in the Diocese of Washington and recently being appointed a board member of the Hope Foundation ReEntry Network group, It is truly a blessing.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Quick Guide to the Legalization of Marijuana in DC

It has been a while since I wrote a political blog so what better time to do one than now. I will try to break down a lot of the political jargon and give my opinion.

DC voters in November voted in what was called Initiative 71 to legalize marijuana in the District of Columbia. Initiative 71 made the use of up to two ounces of marijuana and the possession and cultivation of up to three marijuana plants legal.  When 70% of voters approved this on the November ballot, the DC government then began the process of figuring out how to manage what the voters willed in terms of sales and management. However since all laws in DC are subject to a 30 day review period in congress (only when congress is in session) House Republicans inserted a rider or a budget clause (a provision that can be added to a bill of a completely separate nature) to the omnibus spending bill that would stop the legalization of marijuana  in DC by preventing any federal or DC funds to enact it. The rider however, has a legal loophole. While the DC government cannot regulate the sale of marijuana (which if we did would be breaking federal law since they told us no) the voters decided this not the DC Council or the mayor therefore the law is self-enacting. A few house republicans have basically said, you know what we meant, but legally, DC has a point. Of course, this all means that if someone were to sue, it would ultimately be decided by the courts. some members of congress have threatened to take further legal action against the city but Mayor Bowser is standing firm in upholding what the residents of DC voted for. In order for the Mayor to be responsive to the self-enacting law, she sent out information that explains what DC residents can and cannot do with the marijuana.

Again, this is bigger than the use of marijuana. This comes back to DC being subject to the will of congress. This city is growing faster and thriving ( yet and has the population greater than 3 states however its residents have no vote in congress and not even a presence in the Senate. Most major capital cities have allowed their residents even this privilege but not the great United States.

President Obama released a couple of statements in support of DC and the legalization of marijuana as well as in support of DC budget autonomy (our city budget is also subject to the approval of congress while they can barely balance theirs).

If you read this blog, please call your voting and elected members of congress and ask that they support HR 317 which already has 107 cosponsors.

Monday, February 16, 2015

(DC CLUB AQUA) This Weekend 2-21-15