The Toronto Raptors snapped a six-game losing streak with a 102-98 win over the Orlando Magic on Sunday. Guard Leandro Barbosa had some 14 points ... should be reason to celebrate, right?
In a light-hearted moment, Barbosa took the hand of teammate Reggie Evans enroute to the locker room. The innoucous image has caused a "no homo" gay panic backlash across the 'net.
Hundreds of gay-baiting comments were left on YouTube and other sites. YouTube commenting is now disabled but OutSports captured some of the flavor: "How romantic…ha, faggs." "Reggie Evans is GAY" "Not only does [head coach] jay triano have to deal with barnani and calderon but these fags has well! its a miracle they even won 21 games!"
The backlash against the ballers is reminiscent of the January 2008 University of Louisville incident. The image of two Louisvile players embracing produced hundreds of gay panic comments.
There is very unfortunate news today as yet another young gay man has taken his own life. Twenty-six-year-old Joseph Jefferson of Brooklyn, New York reportedly committed suicide on Saturday by hanging, friends and associates of the former gay youth activist and HIV peer educator tell Rod 2.0.
By most accounts, Jefferson was a true LGBT youth pioneer. The 2002 graduate of New York City's Harvey Milk High School later worked on HIV prevention and outreach for Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) and the now-shuttered People of Color in Crisis (POCC), New York City's leading HIV/AIDS groups for Black gay men. More recently, Joseph Jefferson was an assistant to Laurence Pinckney and James Saunders, New York City's popular Black LGBT event promoters, reports Nathan James. Jefferson was also active in New York City's colorful ballroom community.
"Joseph was truly a sweetheart," one friend who knew him well tells R20. "Extremely bright and impassioned about social justice causes... It's such a loss." The friend, who requests anonymity, adds that Joseph Jefferson seemed in good spirits and "showed no indications of being unusually depressed."
"As an advocate for LGBT youth, Mr. Jefferson surely made a positive impact on those he met and counseled. But this same nurturing and enrichment he offered to others, was absent in his own life to such a degree, that he felt the only way to deal with the pain of his existence was to end it," wrote author and activist Nathan James on Facebook.
At only 26-years-old, Joseph Jefferson was only beginning his journey in life and seemingly had so much to offer the community and other Black gay youth. Will this ever end? Will there ever be hope for young people such as Joseph Jefferson, Aiyisha Hassan, Raymond Chase and Tyler Clementi?
UPDATE: There will be a tribute tonight to Joseph Jefferson at the "I Love My Boo" forum at GMHC on West 24th Street in Manhattan.
There is a beautiful postscript to the story of Seanmichael Rodgers and
Damien Ramsey (aka singer-songwriter Dy'Ari), first seen on R20 at the National Equality March and later in AOL/BlackVoices. Seanmichael and Damien were joined in a beautiful wedding ceremony in New York City last weekend.
The ceremony was held at The Monkey on West 26th Street and attended by about 80 guests. The ceremony was officiated by the Rev. Kevin E. Taylor, the New Jersey-based pastor, activist and author with Unity Fellowship Church in New Brunswick. Says Rev Kev: "It was so wonderful to be a part of a ceremony where so many people—coworkers, a mother, a pair of sisters, friends in droves—who were so invested in the couples love."
Leslie "ButtaFly Soul" Taylor delivered spoken word and Ken Alston Jr. (Three Mo'
Tenors) serenaded the couple before a standing room only audience. Atlanta-based blogger Darian Aaron writes: "This was a momentous occasion in their lives, but it was also special for me as this was the very first same-sex ceremony I'd ever attended. It also marked the culmination of some of the best coverage I believe I've written on a black same-gender loving couple," he adds, referring to an interview in his popular
Up" series which lead to a profile of the couple at AOL BlackVoices. This was the first same-sex couple profiled at the black news and
According to prosecutors, Rodriguez admitted he and the other suspect Daniel Aleman confronted Price believing he was about to write his phone number on a wall in order to solicit other men. It was that confrontation that led to the beating. Prosecutors also say Rodriguez admitted to yelling anti-gay epithets while beating Price. Rodriguez's attorney says that his client never confessed and that the NYPD detectives basically put words in his client's mouth.
There's good news to report. Jack Price, the 49-year-old victim, had surgery Wednesday night and has been removed from the respirator. He is in stable condition.
Queens-based author and activist Nathan James has this news: "There
will be a March and rally protesting this horrendous attack on
Saturday, in Queens. The March begins at 2PM at College Point Blvd. and
20th Avenue, proceeds past the site of the attack, and culminates in a
Rally at Poppenhausen Playground on 14th Avenue. Take a 7 train to Main
Street, then Q65 bus to 20th Ave. I strongly encourage everyone in the
NYC area who can do so, to come out and make a bold statement against
The incident happened outside the IFE Lounge in Crown Heights on May 17. Jeannette Grey and Tiffany Jimenez say five NYPD officers shouted homophobic slurs and threw them to the ground. Jimenez told the Daily News: "I had no shoes and they threw me on my back. They're yelling at me, 'B---, get down!' I'm screaming and crying. I was shocked and angry and scared."
The NYPD denies the allegations, saying they responded to a fight. Their version: Jimenez was "highly intoxicated" and taken to Kings County Hospital. Jimenez says this did not happen.
Last month, the Kings County District Attorney's office assured the Audre Lorde Project, the Brooklyn-based LGBT-POC organization, "the charges against Jimenez would be dropped and [were] 'baseless.' " Monday morning at New York City Criminal Courts, just the opposite happened: The case was bound to a bench trial on August 17th.
Ejeris Dixon, Program Coordinator the Audre Lorde Project (seen with
black glasses) says she is "appalled" prosecutors reneged and adds:
"This is just another example of how the DAs relationship with the NYPD
leads to injustice for innocent New York citizens."
On May 19, a complaint was filed to NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau by Jimenez's uncle alleging
that she was the victim of unnecessary force and an anti-gay slur. That case is pending. Some have speculated the criminal case was continued to discredit Jimenez and her complaint.
Nathan James, the New York City-based author and activist, attended the Monday the pre-trial hearing and press conference and also finds it "incredible" the charges were not dropped. James tells Rod 2.0 the Jimenez case is yet another "deplorable demonstration of homophobia by he NYPD and the Brooklyn
Dist Attorney's office."
Two men are behind bars after the brutal attack on a 22-year-old transgender female walking down the street in St. Albans, Queens. Carmella Etienne, who has lived in the neighborhood for years, says the attack happened on the corner of 116th Avenue and 199th Street. Police and prosecutors say thugs attacked with rocks, beer bottles and even threatened to sodomize her with a baseball bat ... all while a crowd watched and did nothing.
Nathaniel Mims, 25, and Rasheed Thomas, 22, allegedly screamed anti-gay slurs and threatened to cut the woman's throat Wednesday night in St. Albans. They face charges of assault as a hate crime, menacing and harassment. "I didn't know you could get locked up for calling somebody names," Thomas said after his arrest, according to prosecutors. "I called her a bunch of names. I called her a [expletive deleted], but she didn't see me throw anything."
Etienne, hit in the leg, told cops she saw the men throwing things at her."They were yelling homophobic slurs at me. They threatened to kill me. Chunky rocks and empty beer bottles they were throwing at me," she said. "Don't ever walk that block anymore or we will slash your throat," one of the defendants said, according to cops.
The aspiring fashion designer.moved to Queens from Haiti six years ago and soon after began her transition. Etienne, who has medically and legally transitioned to female, was treated for a deep gash to her leg and has been released from hospital. She tells the Daily News: "The law will hopefully put them to justice. I love being myself."
Author and activist Nathan James lives only one block from where this happened and tells Rod 2.0: "I am so upset by this, because it once again reminds me that I cannot be out, proud, and safe walking the streets of my own neighborhood. God forbid I am being beaten by my neighbors—or their children—for
being gay, and people will stand around and watch it happen."
The suspects are being held on $5000 bail. They face up to 15 years in prison if convicted
Pride week kicks off in New York City with "Greet the Press", a panel discussion on the lack of black gay, traditional media outlets—and how many new media and social networking platforms are filling the void. The event was produced by Dwight O'Neal, Cornelius Jones and Nathan Scott (right), who also hosted, the New York City-based promoter and co-host of The AND Show, the popular black LGBT YouTube channel.
Baker, seen above with the microphone, tells Rod 2.0 that last night's event was "great" opportunity to network "but we needed more youth in the building, some new faces." Baker adds: "Our community has yet to [determine] how to gauge youths' needs. We know they are out there working on [media] projects. We need to stop talking about working together and start doing."
Author and activist Nathan James also attended the event. James tells Rod 2.0: "The exploration of new forms of media communication and its
relationship to the LGBT community of color is crucial to an
understanding of who we are. Kudos to 'Greet The Press' for raising our
Over the weekend, "hundreds of gay and lesbian books" written by authors from James Baldwin to E. Lynn Harris "simultaneously lost their sales rankings" as Amazon.com arbitrarily re-classified the titles as "adult". Author Mark R. Probst made the discovery while searching for his gay youth-themed novel The Filly. After contacting Amazon, he received this response:
In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature.
Much of the outrage spread across the internets via Twitter and by Sunday "it took just an hour for the hashtag #amazonfail to become the top trending topic on the site", Publishers Weekly reports.
Flesh to Flesh anthology edited by Lee Hayes, as well as some other titles, are now available. Contrary to the explanation given to Mark R. Probst, an Amazon spokesperson tells Publishers Weekly "a glitch had occurred in its sales ranking feature that was in the process of being fixed. The spokesperson added that there was no new adult policy." Glitch or not, making books harder to
find on the basis of their
content is never a good idea. And at the same time many LGBT titles were randomly de-ranked and re-classified as "adult", Amazon had "vibratorsand anal plugs available in their search system with sales ranks attached."
On the day of February 14, 2005, the 19-year-old black gay Brooklyn man left his home with his résumés prepared to go job hunting. He was never seen again. During the following weeks, parts of his dismembered limbs and were discovered in trash bags in a subway tunnel and in a recycling plant in Brooklyn. In the four year investigation there have been no leads and no arrests. "We still don't know where he got killed, or why," a senior
investigator told The New York Times on the one year anniversary. "It's