All Articles Tagged "LGBT"

“I Was Not Fun For 3 Years” Terry McMillan Talks About Forgiving Her Gay Ex Husband

July 3rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: Getty

Source: Getty

You don’t even have to have read Terry McMillan’s How Stella Got Her Groove Back to know her story. The art inspired by her life that was in a book, on the big screen and then all over television for the world to see when things went left. Most of us remember the episode of Oprah where McMillan confronted her gay ex husband Jonathan Plummer for the deception and betrayal of marrying her when he knew–or at least had an inkling–that he was gay.

The encounter was not exactly comfortable. You may remember that McMillan’s head was on lean the entire interview and there were more eye rolls than a little bit.

Obviously, the dissolution of a marriage is not easy on anyone but the circumstances behind the ending of this one and the way it played out in the public presumably made it even harder to get over.

But in this Sunday’s upcoming episode of OWN’s “Oprah: Where Are They Now,” McMillan seems to have gotten to that place.

In the video below she talks about the process of forgiving her ex husband.

“People do a lot of things to hurt each other but it takes a different kind of energy, positive energy to forgive someone. And I think mostly, It’s forgiving yourself because being angry is stupid. It really is stupid and it weighs you down and everybody around you feels it. I was not fun for three years.”

 

 

McMillan’s episode of “Oprah: Where Are They Now” airs this Sunday, July 6 at 9pm.

Digital Diversity: ‘Queer Women Who Tech’ Summit Opens Doors To Tech

June 24th, 2014 - By Janel Martinez
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lesbians who techFor many women, the technology world can be both a rewarding and cutthroat terrain. It’s no secret that the high-growth industry is run by white, straight males (many hailing from Ivy League institutions), which makes it challenging—if not impossible—to thrive in today’s ecosystem.

However, there’s been an immense movement to change the current stats and fill the tech-talent pipeline with more women. One organization is working to do that and create an inclusive environment for queer women in tech. Founded in December 2002 by Leanne Pittsford, Lesbians Who Tech works to build visibility and the number of queer women in tech and tech-related fields, as well as connect women to socially aware organizations.

Several months after the inaugural Lesbians Who Tech Summit, which gathered 800 queer women and allies, took place in San Francisco, it arrived in New York. More than 140 Indiegogo contributors and the leadership Pittsford helped bring the summit to the Big Apple last weekend. Taking place from June 20-22, attendees gathered at NYU Law School’s Tishman Auditorium to hear speakers such as digitalundivided’s Kathryn Finney, Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani and Politini co-hosts and power couple Aisha and Danielle Moodie-Mills address gender inequality in the tech industry.

“I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to live in a world run by men, “ said Saujani, during her “Social Good Pitch.” That sentiment was reflected among attendees and speakers, and why Lesbians Who Tech’s mission is crucial to changing the way women in tech are perceived.

The diversity data from big tech firms like Google, LinkedIn and Yahoo reveal the lack of African American, Latino and women across the board, but there’s no official reporting of discrimination or numbers acknowledging the LGBTQ community within these firms. But it’s that very reason the Queer Women Who Tech Summit is in existence and working to shift the paradigm.

Guests and speakers both received major takeaways from Queer Women Who Tech.

“This is really essential, and I’m glad that this conference is happening,” says Cheyenne Cook, audio visual content manager at Politini. “We really need to focus on the intersectionality of everyone’s identities and how they shape everything that we do… I’m glad this conference exists because it opens up conversations to talk about women, queer women, to create change and innovation in technology.”

Maureen Erokwu, founder and CEO of Vosmap, who pitched her company that is bringing Google’s Street View technology to businesses across the country, echoed the summit’s value. “I’d like to see more women of color in tech,” says Erokwu. “To increase the level of involvement, we’d simply have to get involved and support these very initiatives that promote the influence of women in tech.” The entrepreneur made sure to connect with attendees, speakers and sponsors, and walked away with meaningful connections, and even secured a meeting with a leading NYC-based tech organization.

Techies also had time to connect during the summit’s after party, sponsored by Gawker, brunch on Saturday, a day-long hackathon held at Etsy’s headquarters in Brooklyn and a sailing excursion on the Hudson River.

You can follow the movement on Facebook or Twitter (@lesbiantech) or peruse through the hashtag, #lwtsummit. For more, check out the Lesbians Who Tech website.

Going Both Ways: Celebrities You Didn’t Know Are Bisexual

June 18th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Check out this list of celebrities you didn't know are Bisexual

Source: WENN

Y’all seemed to love the gay or bisexual celebs who play straight roles story so much we had to do another one to let you know about the other bisexual celebrities out here, some of which are our favorites and some of which might just shock you. Check out the list and let us know who shocked you. 

Beyoncé’s Pastor Says Her Music Doesn’t Conflict With Christianity

June 3rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: theGrio.com

Source: theGrio.com

Beyoncé comes under fire from just about everybody. Parents think she’s too sexy. One feminist thinker likened her to a terrorist and conservative news pundits think she and she alone is the reason for teen pregnancy. And then there are the some Christians who’ve accused her of being everything from a hypocrite to a devil worshipper.

But Beyoncé’s pastor is defending her against all of that. In an interview with theGrio, Rudy Rasmus a humanitarian, cultural architect and author of the new book Love.Period.: When All Else Fails thinks that as an entertainer Beyoncé should have the artistic freedom to do what she feels.

The Knowles family and Kelly Rowland have been long-time members of the St. John’s United Methodist Church in downtown Houston where Resmus is co-pastor. He’s also the man who officiated Beyoncé and Jay Z’s wedding ceremony back in 2008.

In a sit down with theGrio, Rasmus shared everything from his thoughts on gay marriage and the black church (Hint: He believes couples of the same gender should be able to get married.), submission between man and wife, the state of Jay and Bey’s marriage, why he doesn’t take issue with the way Beyoncé presents herself in her music and the importance of love over everything else.

 

What are the ingredients for a successful marriage with a power couple like Jay Z and Beyoncé

Trust, love… And love is, in the marital relationship, it’s the same for any friendship. The text says that the wife should respect the husband. The text also says the husband should love the wife as unto the church. Now, a casual reading of that you could miss the fact that for that husband to love that wife as unto the church really means that that husband is willing to die for that wife. But that wife is prepared or capable or willing to respect the husband.

 

The marriage advice he’s given the Carters

I haven’t given them any advice. They are friends. Their relationship is healthy and life has been good.

 

Do Beyoncé’s lyrics and message contradict the purity of Christianity?

“I’ve been asked that question many times over the past 22 years, many times. And the answers is always the same. Beyoncé is a consummate entertainer, and an entertainer entertains. Is the entertainer’s entertainment an expression of that person’s life and reality? I don’t know. But I know when Arnold Schwarzenegger straps on a 30 caliber cannon and blows planes out of the sky, nobody asks the question, ‘Arnold why are you walking around for those 90 minutes in that suit with that 30 caliber cannon? What kind of person are you?’ I don’t think I’ve heard that question. But at the end of the day, Arnold Schwarzenegger is an entertainer. I think a person has the right to earn a living in the way that they are gifted, and I think that she is tremendously gifted and I think she expresses that gift in some amazing ways. I think the world would be void an extreme talent if we silenced her or censored her. I wouldn’t want my art censored.”

 

Will the LGBT community be embraced in the black church?

It’s gonna happen. As a matter fact, it’s an idea whose time has already come. It’s just taken the church a while to catch up. About 30 percent of my crowd is LGBT. And what I’ve realized is that there is one basic, common human need that every human being has, regardless to their sexual orientation, and that is acceptance.

 

Would you marry a same sex couple?

My denomination actually has a prohibition against doing so. It does, in the ordinances. But do I feel that same gendered people should be able to choose for themselves who they want to spend their lives with? I believe every human being deserves the opportunity to make that choice.

 

Love and what he wants readers to take away from his book

I want readers to understand that love never fails. The ancient text, we can call it the Bible says that you can know everything, you can even give everything, you can have everything but if you don’t have love, you have nothing.

 

You can watch Pastor Rasmus’ full interview in the video below.

 

“This Is What’s Wrong With The Church Now” Tank Blasts Gay Minister On Instagram

May 13th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Tank++rb

We told you Instagram’s Direct Message feature was going to cause some trouble. And though this is certainly not the first example of someone being put on blast, this one says quite a bit. Recently, one third of TGT, singer Tank, took a screenshot of one of his Instagram direct images and posted it on his account for all to see.

It was a man, who Tank says claimed to be a minister, exposing himself in a video. Tank didn’t delete the video or keep it to himself, he took a screen shot and posted this lengthy message on Instagram.

tank blasts gay minister

 

I first apologize for this image to all my fans and anybody who sees this! This man is claiming to be a minister and sends this to my DM!! This is what’s wrong with the church now! Misrepresentation of God and who he really is!! This is the devil operating in our sacred place! We can’t allow this ANYWHERE!! I have no problems with homosexuals BUT I do have a problem with this!! What message were you trying to send a straight man “minister”? I hope ur bishop everybody in ur congregation become aware of your actions! If you’ll send this to a celebrity God only knows what ur sending to kids and etc!! The devil is working and this is what it looks like! I won’t stand by and allow it to happen! I will take this down soon, BUT this serves as a warning to you perverts infiltrating our churches!! You’re not welcome!! I pray that God deals with you swiftly and accordingly!!

If you’ve ever been the recipient of an unsolicited genitalia picture, you know the disgust and violation Tank feels. And we don’t have to tell you that someone who claims to be a  man of God shouldn’t be sending video–not photos–but video of his wang to strangers. That’s wrong on a whole ‘nother level.

But we have to say that Tank took things a bit too far when he made the assumption that just because the man was gay and completely inappropriate, that he was automatically a pedophile. That’s a stretch and an unfair characterization to place on someone without proof. Literally, it’s one of the worst things you can call a person.

I will say he does bring up a good point about the church. Gay, straight or somewhere in between there is no part of the “church” game–or the common decency game–that would make it ok for you to send an unsolicited, unwanted picture of your junk. It’s no bueno. Still, I feel a way about Tank putting this man on blast like this. Was the man wrong? Sure. But Tank doesn’t know what type of scrutiny this man might suffer in this alleged church, if he is indeed outed in this way. Basically, I don’t know if Tank should have taken it upon himself to expose this man in what could potentially be a physically or emotionally damaging situation. Revealing his sexuality to his church members should have been a decision he made on his own, if he ever decided to do so.

What do you think about Tank’s comments? Do you think it was right for him to expose the man?

Update: Pastor Porsha Apologizes To Gay Community, Cynthia Calls Her Fickle

May 6th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 12.34.09 PM

 

UPDATE:

Porsha recently released a statement about comments made in the sermon saying this: “God loves all of His children. The sermon was shown not in its entirety, therefore the message was omitted. I apologize that those words hurt the LGBT community, my fans and my supporters. Life is a journey and I’m growing every day.” 

Seems fair, but it’ll be interesting to see how people respond to it. (I’m sure it’ll blow over soon.)

Cynthia on the other hand, doesn’t find Porsha to be too sincere. Cynthia says Porsha needs to pick one team or the other. She accuses Porsha of playing both sides, condemning them to hell one day and performing a gay clubs the next. Well, isn’t this poetic. Just this past Sunday on “Watch What Happens Live,” Porsha was saying Cynthia was the flip flopper who needed to get a mind of her own

Tables have turned. 

Thoughts on Porsha’s statement? Do you think she’s taking the LGBT’s community’s money while suggesting they need to be saved from themselves?

 

Porsha has lived quite a few lives. From video girl, to preacher, to reality tv star and now singer. What a whirlwind! Personally, I’d never heard that Porsha used to be a pastor, so I found this video TMZ recently dug up to be quite interesting, just for the simple fact of seeing Porsha behind the pulpit delivering God’s good news in that high-pitched squeaky voice of hers.

This three year old video from the High Praise Christina Center Ministeries in Georgia shows Porsha preaching, quite emphatically about the love God has for us and how we as Christians need to be sure to show that love to others. But the message became a little controversial when Porsha said Christians need to save hookers, drug dealers, suicidal people and gays and lesbians.

Her exact words:

“…And he did that because of our inequities. So don’t let the devil tell you, you ain’t worthy of God’s blessings. He wants to use you no matter what. That’s why we Christians supposed to be telling the hooker on the street, the drug dealer, the person in the hospital who’s trying to commit suicide, the gays the lesbians. We’re supposed to be trying to save them and tell them ‘You are worthy!’ God can use you. God can use me…”

So the issue obviously is that Porsha is equating being gay or lesbian as a sin and people who identify as such needing to be saved. Naturally, this type of thinking, though it’s blanketed in a message of acceptance and love is still problematic and being interpreted by some as clandestine hate. I can also see the argument that since the gays and lesbians have historically been regarded as unworthy, it’s time for us to start spreading a new message, period. Still there’s that saved part. People are arguing that Porsha, a southern girl, has probably been raised all her life to think and believe that homosexuality is a sin but at least she’s not saying these people should be condemned, just you know saved from themselves…so they won’t end up eternally damned.

Yikes.

It doesn’t look good but the only out Porsha has here is that this video was made three years ago and she can claim she no longer believes this or that she was arguing that we should no longer condemn this community and skip out on the saving them from themselves aspect of her message. She might not speak on it at all actually and pretend it never happened. TMZ said they reached out to her and no one responded. I wonder if Andy Cohen has seen this tape…

What do you think about this mini sermon? How do you interpret the message? Was Porsha saying being gay is a sin and these people need salvation or was this just a message against hate? Furthermore, do you find it strange that Porsha used to be a preacher? Do you think she needs a little saving of her own these days?

Watch a snippet of the sermon in the video below.

‘My Daughter Is In Her Religion:’ Monifah Says Daughter Still Disapproves Of Her Sexual Orientation

April 29th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Last season of “R&B Divas: Atlanta,” Monifah Carter’s daughter made it clear that she doesn’t approve of her mother’s sexual orientation. The reality star recently revealed to Wendy Williams that not much has changed.

“You know, my daughter is in her religion, into her Christianity and she is a 22-year-old who hasn’t experienced life yet fully,” she explained. “I had to just be a parent and be an example of the human being that I’d like her to be.”

Monifah also discussed exposing her life and her relationship to reality TV cameras.

“Not at all.It’ First of all, it’s real. It’s a part of my life,” she said. “I think it’s time to bring some normalcy. Love is love and that is it [as long as it’s healthy].”

As for how her daughter feels about her relationship being displayed on national television:

“She’s fine, it’s personal stuff. We respect one another and we love each other through. My life is going to continue. I’m going to live it how I see fit. I respect her, but she’s not the ruler.”

Watch Monifah’s interview below.

The Untold Story Of A Queer Woman Of Color: Q&A With Filmmaker JD Walker

October 11th, 2013 - By Deron Dalton
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JD-Walker

Filmmaker, JD Walker is raising funds (and awareness) for a film project in the pre-production stage — a coming out story, new to Hollywood. And that’s a story about a queer woman of color, Alyssa (Margaret Kemp, Children of God [2010]) and how she not only comes out, but  transitions and grows after her divorce and secret life with another woman. A story told through the lenses of her daughter, the film will focus on the impact of the divorce on the child, and how the mother and daughter come to terms with each other’s choices.

Walker, a black feminist writer who identifies with the queer community, won the 2013 Sundance Pitching Contest and raised more than her $25,000 goal for the film through a Kickstarter campaign. But other than traditional Hollywood struggling to take notice, Walker says some people don’t want to see another film tackling coming out.

“A lot of people complained that they don’t want to see or read about or hear another coming out story particularly in film. But every time we witness another teen suicide, another teen who is being bullied just because who they are, we know there is still work to be done,” Walker said. “Personally, I don’t think that the idea of telling another story about how homophobia impacts subjects or people of color… I don’t think that the story can ever get old. It’s important it’s told in a very unique way.”

Walker talks about the status of her upcoming film and about why stories reflecting the intersection 0f homophobia, racism, sexism and classism need to be told in an exclusive interview with MadameNoire’s Deron Dalton: 

MN: What inspired you to write and make The Postwoman?

JD Walker: “I have always been interested, both as a professor and black woman, in exploring black women’s quadruple oppression on screen and in literature and in writing. And that’s black women’s oppression by their gender, their race, their class and their sexuality. And I noticed over the years —  my background is as a journalist and a theatre major — that a lot of images I saw in traditional Hollywood didn’t reflect my reality, my cultural reality or even just my experiences as a woman of color. I really wanted to help humanize queer women of color on screen and to give more black women characters voice.”

“…When we look at traditional Hollywood cinema from as early as D.W. Griffith and Thomas Edison, we see three-different stereotypes of black women in cinema. And that is the black woman as mammy, the black woman as sapphire and the black woman as matriarch. Doing this film [is] a way for me to address social justice issues and to address homophobia and the importance of eradicating homophobia, racism, classism and sexism not only in the world, but specifically the African-American community.”

MN: How did you come up with the name and the story The Postwoman?

Walker: “I originally did a short film for the queer women of color film festival. I was offered an opportunity to take a free class for women filmmakers. It was originally a comedy. It was a short about a woman sitting on her balcony, and she sees this mysterious postal carrier woman walk by her. And it’s partly autobiographical because one afternoon in the summer, I was sitting on my balcony and I noticed a female postal worker delivering the mail quietly and her hat was tilted down low… and I couldn’t see her eyes. But then I started thinking because I’m writer about what’s her story. That’s how I got the title The Postwoman, but I’m not really fond of the title for a feature film so the title may change. The short screened at over 20 black film festivals [a combination of black pride and LGBT film festivals] between 2009 and 2011. The story just grew by word of mouth and that’s what really inspired me to begin screenwriting as a profession.”

MN: Usually the media representation of the LGBT community are images of white men, younger white men or just white men in general, do you feel there are enough coming out stories for people of color on film or on TV?

Walker: “I don’t think there are enough coming stories for people of color on TV or film, even GLAAD has documented that most of the scripted TV LGBT characters are white males. If you look at… any kind of LGBT distribution you’ll see that the stories are about white males mostly. Our stories don’t get told. I think it’s important we hear a multiplicity of voices. Not just the coming out experience, but what happens after that, how do people survive and grow in life.  There are so many great stories that independent black filmmakers produce that don’t make it to the mainstream or that people never see. And for me that’s painful.”

MN: What issues are highlighted in this film that interlink with real-life LGBT issues?

Walker: “First and foremost, we see the intersection of gender, race, class and sexuality in this film. I think that a lot of the films I’ve witnessed… we haven’t really seen how quadruple oppression can effect a subject or a character. Most of the films we seen about LGBT individuals are comedies featuring white males.”

MN: “Romantic comedies? I’ve written about it… for the Huffington Post… that gay formulaic comedy. You see an average-looking white guy hooking up with a really handsome-looking white guy and all their trials and tribulations in dating each other. That’s basically that formula.”

Walker: Laughs. “Somehow we can’t get around that. We have to get around that.”

MN: “I’m not going to lie to you. I do watch them all.” Laughs.

Walker: “I do too. I like them… and that’s all we have, but doesn’t mean we can’t demand more from our writers and to demand that they dig deeper and look at the realities of race, class and gender. I’m just trying to help to humanize black women characters on screen and to give more black women/actresses voices and depth. That’s the reason why I really decided to make this a dramatic feature film.”

Wentworth Miller Reveals He Tried To Commit Suicide Multiple Times Before Coming To Terms With Sexuality

September 9th, 2013 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Roger Eldemire / WENN

Roger Eldemire / WENN

We told you last month about handsome Prison Break star Wentworth Miller, 41, coming out as gay in an effort to protest treatment of LGBT men and women in Russia. Since then, he hasn’t said very much about his choice to do so. But just over the weekend, the actor spoke at a Human Rights Campaign dinner in Seattle and according to Us Weekly, revealed that he tried to commit suicide “more than once” while trying to come to grips with the fact that he was gay. He said the first time he tried to harm himself was when he was 15 years old:

“I waited until my family went away and I was alone in the house and I swallowed a bottle of pills. I don’t remember what happened over the next couple of days but I’m pretty sure come Monday morning I was on the bus back to school pretending everything was fine.”

He went on to discuss the battle it was to not appear to be different than what people expected him to be as both a young man and an adult in the public eye.

“Growing up I was a target. Speaking the right way, standing the right way, holding your wrist the right way. Every day was a test and there was a thousand ways to fail. A thousand ways to portray yourself to not live up to someone else’s standards of what was accepted.

I had multiple opportunities to speak my truth, which is that I was gay, but I chose not to. I was out privately to family and friends — publicly, I was not. I chose to lie — when I thought about the possibility of coming out, how that might impact me and the career I worked so hard for, I was filled with fear.”

Clearly that fear has since subsided. Kudos to Miller for sharing his story.

What do you think of what he had to say about his past struggles? 

How Young is Too Young to Come Out?

July 5th, 2013 - By Toya Sharee
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Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

 

I watched this video (Video Of Black Teens Rapping About Oral With Other Men Goes Viral, Radio Host Blames Single Black Mothers) a few weeks ago and I was confused more than anything.  I warn you, if you haven’t seen it.  It’s a bit graphic and features a group of pre-teen African-American boys rapping about their skills performing oral sex on other men. As graphic and offensive as the boys were I couldn’t figure out whether they were joking, embracing homosexuality or making a statement on their own sexuality. Initially I didn’t continue watching the radio host’s commentary about how these boys’ behavior was a result of single-motherhood because I wondered why someone was so quick to point blame.  What I witnessed was a group of boys much like the young men who would sit in my sexual health classes and immaturely ask me was it more safe to wear two condoms or can a woman get pregnant from butt sex.  They were obnoxious, curious and completely clueless.

I did eventually watch Tommy Sotomayor’s commentary and I didn’t get how he was contributing to the solution by agreeing that most black men ain’t ish and black mothers are genocide to our race (Sorry Tommy, I’ve got classrooms of young black men that disprove this theory).   The sex educator and ally in me was too busy cartwheeling that finally a group of young black men weren’t using derogatory names to refer to homosexuality or talking about being gay like it was dirty or repulsive. In fact, you might even get an impression that they were proud of it.  That’s something to be celebrated, right?  Even if it wasn’t in the most PG, politically correct language.

I was bothered more by the boys’ age in relation to them rapping so publicly about such sexually explicit acts.  I would have felt the same way if they were saying they were going to “filet mignon” some women’s private parts Lil’ Wayne style. But instead of knocking the boys’ sexual preferences or public displays of it, it sounds like what they needed was someone to sit down and talk to them about healthy sexuality and values not a radio DJ to get on a soapbox talking about how they would be failures at life because they were raised by single black women. It’s easy to talk about who is responsible for the problems in our community, but it’s quite a challenge to play an active role in the solution.

The video did begin to have me questioning how young is too young to come out?  I remember being curious about boys as early as seven-years-old, but is gay something you can’t truly claim until you’re older?  In all actuality, the first crush I remember having was a girl crush.  Sexuality was a foreign concept to my second-grade class and most of us were just beginning to figure out what “going together” or having a boyfriend or girlfriend even meant.  One day I decided to “propose” to my best friend and the class threw us a wedding during recess. Did I “like” girls.  Probably not.  At seven-years-old all I knew was that my best friend was pretty, funny and nice and I wanted to make sure we’d be friends forever and at the time a proposal was the only way to express that. I got down on one knee and all.  At 29, I’m confident enough to look back and know that I wasn’t a experiencing any first feelings as a lesbian.  I’m completely heterosexual as far as I know but I still wonder WTH was I thinking in second grade. This whole business of sexual attraction and relationships is confusing for adults, and for pre-teens it’s complete chaos.