Thursday, May 28, 2009

Turned out?

Has Frankie been turned out?
These pictures were taken during Houston’s Gay pride, Splash.

“Frankie is crazier than a fish wit titties…”
-Momma Kenneth

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial day in the ATL...

Atlanta is not where it is at during the Memorial Day holiday. Memorial Day belongs to Miami. The vast majority of ATLiens spent the holiday in Miami at Sizzle or went out of town to visit family.

I spent the holiday at home. For me, this past weekend was filled with grading and preparing final exams.

I did see Star Trek (and I loved it).

I spent some quality time with Parker (we are deciding what we are doing with our lives, together).

I ate some barbecue and drank mojitos with Dees and Douglas (and laughed myself silly).

I spoke to Thirsty (finally, after three weeks, we are letting bygones be bygones).

And I bought the new Chrisette Michelle album, Epiphany. I think I like it.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bullying not to blame for suicide?

Yesterday a judge ruled that the suicide of was not a result of bullying.

What are you thoughts concerning this ruling? Was it a matter of the press not having enough facts initially or has the LBGT community been done a major injustice?

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution
Updated: 9:05 p.m. May 20, 2009

Over protests, district review denies boy was bullied
Former Atlanta Councilman Derrick Boazman one of two protesters arrested at press conference

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Eleven-year-old Jaheem Herrera got into one fight, maybe two. He had a dust-up with a friend over a pencil he took without asking. And on the day he killed himself, he got into a disturbance on the bus with another boy that got them both in trouble.

But Jaheem was not repeatedly bullied as his family claims, according to an internal review made public Wednesday by the DeKalb County School System.

Jaheem’s family and supporters immediately denounced the review, shouting “Shame!” as his mother, Masika Bermudez, wept into her hands.

Jaheem hanged himself at home April 16.

Bermudez has insisted he killed himself after being constantly bullied at Dunaire Elementary School in Stone Mountain and that she had complained to school officials several times.

Teachers have disputed those claims. On Wednesday, retired Fulton Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore, brought in to lead the review, said the school’s principal and other witnesses also disputed those claims.

Instead, Moore said, Bermudez indicated in brief conversations that she planned to move her family back to their native St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands and that she did not like how children treated each other here.

The review shows a boy dealing with complex emotions and a shifting home life.

And he attended a school with its own troubled dynamics — one in three students is chronically homeless; more than two-thirds don’t stay enrolled the whole year; and almost all qualify for free or reduced-price lunches.

“My conclusion is there is no evidence of bullying at Dunaire,” Moore said. “There is name-calling and teasing, but it is almost always done outside of any adult [being present]. There is a code of silence among the students.”

Moore said the teasing directed at Jaheem came the Monday after Spring Break — April 13 — when he brought a pink bookbag to school.

Students told him “that’s gay,” Moore said, although several students appeared confused about the word’s meaning. It was a word they used because everyone else did, although they told her their teachers it meant “happy.”

Jaheem got into some physical altercations at school but not repeatedly. The most serious came during the school’s holiday party in December, when he and another boy fought in a restroom. The boy got Jaheem into a “sleeper” hold and he passed out, just as Jaheem’s friend, who was aiming for the other boy, accidently kicked Jaheem in the head.

A staff member found out about that fight in January from other students. Both boys were suspended. Moore said the school’s principal held assemblies that month to reinforce the school’s code of conduct.

Moore said the principal also asked school police to talk to students. Police officers gave a presentation in February.

By most accounts, Jaheem seemed well-liked at school, had a B average in class and loved to draw, dance and do back flips.

He attended four schools in as many years, including stops in Gwinnett County and, last year, at a school on St. Croix.

He enrolled at Dunaire in August. His family had moved to an extended-stay motel within its attendance zone. They moved again in March to an apartment complex in unincorporated Decatur.

The death of his grandmother in October hit Jaheem hard. He also told a police officer during the presentation in February that his uncle had been a gang member and “died right in front of him.”

It is not clear whether school officials followed up on that claim. Moore said during her presentation that she would not discuss some details because of student privacy laws.

More than a dozen family members and supporters came to hear Moore make her presentation. Their reaction was swift and harsh.

The judge’s conclusion “makes her [Moore] a liar,” said Dunaire parent Monique McMiller, who complained that her son was bullied at the school last year and that Moore interviewed him for her report. “To come to a conclusion there’s no bullying, to drag that family underneath like that, is embarrassing.”

Police arrested two men on criminal trespass and obstruction charges: Derrick Boazman, a former Atlanta city councilman, and a man identified as Abdullah Jihad. It was not clear how either man is affiliated with the family.

The family’s lawyer last week filed an intent to sue the school system for “a substantial amount,” alleging negligence by Dunaire school officials.

Monday, May 18, 2009

One word to sum it all up...

Today, while running at the track, I realized something horrible. I have changed and it has not been for the better.

The word many of my college classmates would have used to describe me- ambitious. The word many of my college friends would have used to describe me- passionate. The word that came to mind today while sitting in church yesterday- directionless.

I graduated from high school third in my class, STAR student (designation for the student with the highest SAT/ACT in a graduating class), graduated from college with a 3.82 (4.0 in my major) and was named an inaugural Gates scholar and earned the highest GPA of any minority student in my graduating class in my perspective college. I earned my master’s degree in a year, completed a specialist degree in a year and a half (while working full time), was named teacher of the year, STAR teacher (designation for the teacher who had the most influence on the STAR student- see reference above- in a graduating class) and today I realize that I have absolutely no idea about where my career is headed.

I once had focus… real focus. I once had a clear plan for my life. I wanted to be a teacher and then become an administrator. I thought the sky was the limit.
What makes this directionless conundrum even more problematic is that the sky is still the limit. I have the degrees, the experience, the accolades and the certification to do a number of things. What I lack, however, is the plan... the direction... to be honest... the ambition.

I have some decisions to make.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

She was my queen in 1998...

I was just a little girl
Skinny legs, a press and curl
My mother always thought I'd be a star
But way before my record deal,
The streets that nurtured Lauryn Hill
Made sure that I'd never go too far
-Lauryn Hill's "Every Ghetto, Every City" lyrics

I just saw this picture and I was shocked. Have you guys seen this? Any thoughts?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Broker than Mattie Michael...

I just paid my bills for the month and I am so broke. I feel like Mattie Michael from The Women of Brewster Place.

Has anyone else seen this movie? It was so sad, but so funny.

The film, which starred Oprah Winfrey and a virtual who’s who of late 80’s early 90s black stars (Jackee, Cicely Tyson, Leon, Robin Givens), was about the various women who lived in a Chicago housing projects and featured two of television’s first lesbian women of color (roles played by Paula Kelley and Lonette McKey).

My favorite scene reads:

Theresa: Lorraine, you're a lesbian. Do you understand that word? A butch, a dyke, a lesbo, all those things that kid was shouting. Yes, I heard him! And you can run in all the basements in the world, and it won't change that, so why don't you accept it?

Lorraine: [angrily] I have accepted it! I've accepted it all my life, and it's nothing I'm ashamed of. I lost a father because I refused to be ashamed of it, but it doesn't make me different from anyone else in the world!

Theresa: It makes you damned different!

Lorraine: [jerking open bottom drawer of her dresser and pulling out her underwear] Do you see this? There are two things that have been constant in my life since I was sixteen years old: beige bras and oatmeal. The day before I first fell in love with a woman, I got up, had oatmeal for breakfast, and put on a beige bra. I was no different the day before or after that happened, Tee.

Theresa: And what did you do when you went to school that next day, Lorraine? Did you stand around the gym locker and swap stories with the other girls about this new love in your life, huh? While they were bragging about their boyfriends and the fifty dozen ways they had lost their virginity, did you jump in and say, 'Oh, but you should have seen the one I gave it up to last night?' Huh? Did you? Did you?
[grabbing Lorraine's underwear]

Theresa: You with your beige bras and oatmeal! Why didn't you stand in that locker room and pass around a picture of this great love in your life?

Lorraine: [quietly] Because they wouldn't have understood.

Theresa: That's right! There go your precious 'theys' again. They wouldn't undertand, not in Detroit, not on Brewster Place, not anywhere! And as long as they own the whole damn world, it's them and us, Sister! Them and us. And that spells different!

(you better say it!)

And right now my bank account spells broke!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Do you watch MTV's Taking the Stage?

I limit my television viewing to an hour a day throughout the week. One program that I always catch on DVR is MTV’s Taking the Stage. While this is a reality program (with probable reality backstage rigging), I actually find each episode really entertaining.

Featured on the show are two out kids dating, Malik and Matthew, and on this past week’s episode, their relationship drama unfolded and ended in their break-up.
I was really happy to see the actual dynamics of a gay relationship unfold.

Also featured on the show is this really cute kid, Tyler who is trying to show America the real definition of a player. Any thoughts on these attempts by Tyler?

Does any one else watch this show?

Do you think Tyler is a total drama queen (but not in a gay way)?

Do you think Mia can sing or is she just an Adele, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse wannabe?

Do you think Malik is gay because of those pink walls in his kitchen or are the walls in his kitchen pink because he is gay?