Thursday, July 13, 2017

Is Loving a Black Man a Revolutionary Act?

Is Loving a Black Man a Revolutionary Act?

Ashton P. Woods


*It should be noted that I am writing from my perspective, which is that of a Black, masculine presenting, same gender loving Atheist living with HIV. I will be writing about my thoughts and experiences as an activist, human and life in general. These posts will not be academic or even properly written in some of your opinions.


Black people are the most amazing humans to walk this earth and our love is revolutionary in ways that just cannot be measured. In terms of romance, Black men are some beautiful creatures, from our intellect to our immense emotional capacities, we are fucking beautiful. But, we don't say it enough. Why does our love HAVE to be a revolutionary act as opposed to something that should come natural? We have hang ups, preferences and likes that can be problematic, as well as our personal shit to contend with. So, when I ask the question,"Is Loving a Black Man a Revolutionary Act?" I am taking into consideration all of the societal bullshit place on us and the shit we place onto ourselves...

Society loves to cast Homosexuality as deviant, they call it homophobia. But, being homosexual while Black comes with its own set of circumstances and issues to deal with. Let, me start by saying that the collective Black community is not the most homophobic group in the world. Still, people who look like us can be vicious and downright annoying as fuck when they stand on their heterosexual soap box. Heteronormative society and the straight people (and those who like to walk in and out of the closet) who benefit from the privileges afforded by said society make it hard for love to be expressed freely and openly by same gender loving men.

Societal norms are heteronormative...

1. Heteronormative society has created stereotypes and boxes for same gender loving men, standards that tend to go by they measure their own relationships.

2. They reduce our complex feelings and emotions down to sex by asking the one question that makes my blood boil! Who is the man and the woman in the relationship?

3. All Black SGL men are supposed to be fem, which probably is one of THE root causes to effemiphobia among SGL men.

4. They ask if we want to be women because we identify as SGL, which is Transphobic or Anti trans as fuck.

We cannot measure ourselves by heteronormative standards! We just can't, but a lot of us do. It is highly sad and unfortunate that we do this to ourselves, because we self - internalize homophobia, and all the other oppressions that come with being Black & SGL. But here are some of the things that directly hinder us...

Interracial Dating:

We all have to start somewhere. I think that there was a moment that I almost fell into a trap of THINKING Black men couldn't handle a relationship with me. I kept seeing Black men I was attracted to exclusively with very light skinned Black men, non Black POC and White men. Been subjected to hearing they only date non Black people and even further say they only date White people. All of this as while being exposed to media on all formats that constantly show images of interracial relationships. As if  Black couples don't exist! We Exist!

I almost let this anti Blackness push me into doing the same thing a few years back. Yes black men are a hand full, but not enuf to cast them into the junk pile. I have said many times that interracial relationships don't bother me as long as the Black person is not anti Black. BUT. I have had visceral reactions to seeing Black men cling to their non Black partners when I come into the space.and their partners being more pro Black than them. it is a sad space to be in.

Effemiphobia:

Effemiphobia is the fear ^hate of men who are too effeminate in the societal view of what a true man should look, act, and speak like. In terms of being SGL, INTRA racial hate toward effeminate men is a huge issue.

"No fats, NO FEMS"


1. Certain folk like to be discreet, and I respect that until it becomes a prejudice. The side eyes and the smart ass remarks toward people who can't help but to be who THEY are.

2. I would submit that some are jealous because they put themselves on self imposed prison sentences that involve not expressing one's true self.

3.Some of you like the benefit of being seen as straight, able to walk in and out of the closet and having someone who could be their soulmate on their arm just can't be fem.

In my eyes these anti fem folks are fuck boys. I saw this posted on Facebook:

"What do you do with gay men/women who do not embrace the gay community? You love them thru. Everyone's journey is different!"


I found it to be true and problematic, because this person has many people connected to them who fit one of the 3 points that I made above. It really is easier said than done. I truly have a deep respect for people coming out as Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual (and other closets) in their own time. I dont believe in outing people. PERIOD. BUT I have no remorse or respect for those who benefit from the work and struggles of people (especially fems) who are out and  open with who they are while taking part in subjugating, bashing and stigmatizing us for being out at the same time. But then there are the ones who really need to have all the seats in the nearest stadium... The ones that walk into and out of their LGBT identities when it suits them. You see them in spaces full of pride and other spaces where they won't even acknowledge your presence. Then they tone police about one being too out, sticking to certain topics and etc... all the while silent as fuck on issues that affect us. These are folks I love from a distance. Also, I can't condone folks who knowingly walk into heteronormativity without issue, and uphold societal standards that are detrimental to both our Blackness and sexual orientations.

Body Image Standards

We have so many hang ups, unrealistic standards and stereotypes that SGL men face in our own community. It really is hard to be YOURSELF in this environment. Our body size, weight, height and looks are overly scrutinized on a constant basis. The stares, taunts and injustices that we face as Black folks is compounded when you add in this madness to the equation. What makes this worse is that a lot of it comes from within our own community and it is so insidious...

"NO FATS, No Fems"

The first time you saw someone begin a statement begin a statement with "no fats," how did you feel? I want you to think about that really hard. It's EVERYWHERE you go in terms of Apps and social media. When it comes to dating, well hook ups...Grindr, Jackd, Scruff, Growlr, other apps and websites are full of fatphobic assholes who clearly have self esteem issues.

Everyone has a RIGHT to their preferences to pleasure, but it becomes prejudice when you openly post it as if you HATE larger people. There is a better way to say things, not everyone is built to be a size 32 to 36 waist, not everyone is muscular and not everyone is able to workout due to disabilities. There are a host of things like ableism and etc that people perpetuate when someone says "no fats." Let people be! When was the last time you seen a thickem or a larger guy in porn?


Thick vs ACTUAL Thick 

You know what really grinds my gears? These big boy groups, FB pages, Reddits, blogs and etc that NEVER actually SHOW images of ACTUAL thick and larger men. It is sad to see these glamorized, oil slicked dudes that are fully muscular and "flawless instead of more dudes with not so smooth skin, actual body fat and etc. Just look at these google searches either really lean and sexualized or on the larger end satire and fat shaming....no in between. Its sad.


I personally posted this picture (below) to social media after being annoyed with what I see on a regular basis, FATphobia...


For those in the middle like me, we need to see more of this, more of ourselves.

Skinny Does Not Equal HIV


For those who like to talk bad about folks for being skinny, or thin...y'all need to stop. Often I see people on the smaller side get diagnosed with HIV by folks who buy the stereotypical image of what a 1980s AIDS patient was portrayed to look like. While most of the folks today don't progress from HIV to AIDS, HIV does not have a face, anyone of any size can have HIV! People have high metabolism and others have illnesses and its time that we become conscious of how we treat people.

Pretty privilege

It is something that must always be checked. Light skinned, Physically fit, pretty eyes, clear skin and a host of other features that people check off on a list for what appeals to them. These preferences can become prejudices, actually many are out right prejudices. It is sad that folks still treat those with darker skin tones with disregard. Colorism. Its sad that folks think that short stature equals weakness and tall equals strength....


I'm going to let Janet have the last word on this:

"Pretty privilege can give way to more popularity, higher grades, more positive work reviews, and career advancement. People who are considered pretty are more likely to be hired, have higher salaries, and are less likely to be found guilty and are sentenced less harshly. Pretty people are perceived as smarter, healthier and more competent, and people treat pretty people better. Pretty privilege is also conditional and is not often extended to women who are trans, black and brown, disabled, older, and/or overweight." - Janet Mock

HIV Stigma:

For a long time I hid my HIV status unless I knew that I will be sexually active and had always felt that it was no one's business. I walked right out of that closet, but I did not come out for me alone. I came for everyone who has been:

- Ostracized
- Made to feel nasty
- Made to feel contagious


I realized I and so many others hid (and for some, still hiding) this part of ourselves for YOUR comfort, for the random sessions of pseudo-intimacy or even for the goal of true romance. We can no longer sacrifice our sanity and unapologetic nature for the sake of being able to date, for sex or even true intimacy. I am fucking tired of explaining how this works after disclosing my status and I others like me are tired too. I'm tired of telling you how good and well I take care of myself in order to keep my health in check so YOU can feel comfortable about fucking...when you outchea doing all kinds of shit without "proper protection."

WE NEED PROTECTION FROM YOU!!!

HIV negative people are more dangerous to us than we are to them, sitting there judging us in your tiny little minds, deeming us to be promiscuous and hoeish. Just look at the posts on social media and conversations that are centered on the subject of HIV, and the stigma you all perpetuate is so fucking blatant.

"they are out sleeping with everyone and not disclosing their status"
"why do you even tell people?"
"You are too out about being POZ..."

HIV negative Negroes are comfortable and justify liking to fuck raw and random while claiming to be drug and disease free for random hookups and dont even know your actual damn health status. we should all be weary of doing anything with a dude who knows nothing about their status, it means they may have other STDs & STIs. Honestly, you should be ok with how you like to fuck, but don't stigmatize POZ people in the process.

We are not your secret.
We need to address this fear, this stigma about HIV that YOU, my fellow black SGL men have.
We need to have a real conversation about how this really works and how we hurt each other in the process.

Is loving a Black man a revolutionary act? In spite of all of the hindrances listed above and the ones not covered like religion and respect for Trans men, YES, it is a revolutionary act!


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Dear Gay Men of Color: Stop Begging Racist White Gay Men to love you.

A fellow blogger and friend was banned for THIRTY days on Facebook for sharing a PRO BLACK blog post that he published in March. I have been banned multiple times for the same reasons and WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED!

Dear Gay Men of Color: Stop Begging Racist White Gay Men to love you

By: Prince Royce Worthington

Adapted from: The Magical Beautiful Petty Black Prince


If I read another rambling think piece or watch another whiny YouTube video about some dejected and rejected Black Gay Man (or any other ethnicity of gay man for that matter) waxing poetic about how racist it is for White Gay Men to rebuke them based solely on race I am going to smash my head through a wall, seriously…

What is wrong with you people?

Are you that enamored by the white gaze and white supremacy that you will willingly subject yourselves to overt racism and constant microaggressions in order to be accepted by men who literally view you as a sexual fetish and nothing more?

Before I go into it please watch this video of an Asian Man (and a good looking fella at that) pleading with his “friends”–that he clearly wants to be more than just friends with–to stop being racist towards him and other Asian Gays…


Chile, I barely got through it. And if you search for them you will find a glut of these videos with men of color imploring their white counterparts to stop being racist towards them…

“White men, please stop objectifying me for my dick. I am a Black Man I am more than a dick.”

Or

“Dear White Men: Not all Asian Men are (insert every single Anti Asian sentiment that you’ve ever heard or seen in the gay community. Trust me there are a plethora of them)…

Or the most popular, which is clearly pandering, “Dear White Gay Men: Please stop basing your preferences on race.”

I’m sorry but I really don’t understand this foolishness. Perhaps it is because I’ve never willingly subjected myself to this. 99% of the men that I’ve dated (and still date) are Black Men (specifically other African Americans. Although I’ve dated a few dudes from abroad too). Overwhelmingly, that is what I am most attracted to and I’ve no shame in that. Granted, I’ve dated a couple of white men here and there but I wasn’t completely into the few I’ve dated so it fizzled. Primarily because, without fail, they would say and do certain things that were TOTALLY racist, and they had no clue until I came right out and told them, “Hey, that was fucked up.” So, to that end I refuse to put myself in that type of situation nor am I going to act as a race relations professor in a relationship. I want to experience: love, joy, sex, and romance in a relationship, not blocking microaggressions that will inevitably occur. Again, I am open to the possibility of interracial romance (especially if it is Chris Hemsworth. Uhm YUMMY); however, the white guy in question will have to be a super special snowflake amongst the intensely RACIST microcosm that is the Gay “Community.”

Many  gays seem to labor under this mass delusion that simply because they know what it is like to be excluded from hetero-normalcy that somehow they GET IT. They believe that they “get” what racism is, how it works, and that it can’t possibly ever be them. Most white people, gays in specific, believe that being a racist means dressing up in a Klan outfit, burning crosses, and saying “NIGGER” in front of a black person. Otherwise, it was just this horrible occurrence that was abolished when Lincoln freed the slaves and MLK said, “I have a dream.”

However, what we fail to understand is that, before we are gay, we come from the same White Supremacist pathology that saturates the united states of America (the globe for that matter, but for the sake of this writing I am using America for specificity). White Gay Men are still, first and foremost, White Men in a society that privileges Whiteness and Maleness, period. They grow up in the same culture that prioritizes whiteness and degenerates blackness. They grow up in the same racist communities that their heterosexual counterparts do. They have that same racist white uncle who makes anti Black/Asian/Mexican jokes at holiday dinners. Before anyone knows that they are gay they are first and foremost white, and by proxy, whiteness is central to their identity…

Which is why I do not understand you Black and Asian men, with your GRINDR accounts, looking to hook up with White Men (because in certain regions GRINDR is totally white) and being disgruntled when you see, “No Blacks, No Asians, No Fats, No Fems…Just a preference” on every other profile. What do you expect? The gay world prioritizes White Frat boys with blond hair and chiseled abs. You don’t fit into that all. Instead most of them see you as a fetish or potential flavor of the month. When they want to indulge their “Kink” more often than not you are the kink. But hey if you are one of those Negroes that enjoys being fetishized by white gay men then more power to you, nobody is stopping you. But be honest with yourself and stop placing this onus on racist white men.

Racist white men are going to do them (literally and figuratively). Racism, sexism, and all of the other isms do not impact them. They live in their little bubble where the only thing they’ve had to overcome is homophobia. So when that is no longer an issue why do you think that, all of a sudden, those who are raised in a macro-system that prioritizes them and denigrates YOU, they are going to give you their unrelenting support, including their asses, dicks, and hearts? No, that is not how racism and privilege work boo!

What I implore Black (the entire diaspora), Asian, Non White Latinos, and various others to do is to begin unpacking their own baggage. Why is it so important for you to acquire the affections and attentions of white men? Granted, this is a rhetorical question (we are all mired down in white supremacist pathology) but why don’t you stop to think about where it all comes from.

What would make you sit in a room full of white men and listen to, “Not to be racist but…” (and everything that follows will be vehemently racist) Why would you want to be viewed as just your Big Black Cock and how you fuck or your stereotypical ability to be the submissive Asian bottom? Moreover, why do you willingly and continuously reject beautiful men that look like you and have more in common with you just to acquire the white gaze.

If you say that, “It is just a preference” you are a damn liar. Preferences are acquired. They don’t happen in a vacuum. Preferences are like ice cream. I may PREFER vanilla but occasionally I am willing to try Strawberry and find that I like it too. Preferences can and do change and the idea that someone can be born and raised in a Black and or Asian community and suddenly grow up to ONLY “prefer” people who do not look like them as lovers and partners is indicative of a larger issue.

So before you write the next maudlin think piece about why racist white men don’t want you (easy, it’s because they’re are racist) ask yourself why you don’t want yourself. That is the most important inqueery (misspelling intentional. I just thought that was cute).

Prince

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Dear Houston City Council Member Dwight Boykins

Dear Houston City Council Member Dwight Boykins,

I saw you write a post on Facebook that made my blood boil just like the other times you did some disappointing shit. Here is what you said:

"Last night I had the opportunity to ride along with the Houston Police Department’s Southeast Station on their night shift from 10PM to 6AM. I did this to not only have a viewpoint of being a constituent within District D but also that of our law enforcement. My number one concern will always be the safety of my constituents but we also have to be sure to that we aren’t attacking law enforcement and it won’t be tolerated. This ride along gave me the opportunity to see first-hand what residents have to experience when approached by HPD and the relationship that they have with the community. I am also always looking for ways to improve safety by bridging the gap between the community and law enforcement, providing better lighting in dark areas, provide sidewalks so residents don’t have to walk in the street, and make sure that City Departments are aware of the everyday concerns of my constituents. I would like to thank Cpt. Deese and his team for taking me on their night shift and I look forward to continuing moving District D forward. Be on the lookout for more information from ABC 13."


I have a major issue with how you have stepped out on a limb to protect law enforcement, the Houston Police Department in this post after you shared concerns about the same police dept. last year. I am sure that you remember the murder of Alva Braziel at the height of a very bloody week. You told ABC-13 that "The biggest gorilla in the room is very clear. We need to put officers in neighborhoods that reflect the neighborhood." It is clear you came to the conclusion that white law enforcement officers are not healthy for your district, a majority BLACK district. But somehow your overnight ride along instantly changed your heart. Or is it that you tailor your statements for that moment in time, to maximize the optics that you somehow really care about your constituents?

You said that you "did this to not only have a viewpoint of being a constituent within District D but also that of our law enforcement." Did Ray Hunt get to you? Fuck the police, they volunteered for this job, it aint noble nor is it worthy of the halo you and many delusional folks give it. You were elected by the people of District D, so the idea that you have the audacity to say that your "number one concern will always be the safety of my constituents but we also have to be sure to that we aren’t attacking law enforcement and it won’t be tolerated." Who made you god (I am an Atheist, its lowercase on purpose) and GAVE you the right to deem what will and won't be tolerated? Law enforcement in Houston needs to be rudely awakened to the fact that they, like you, are accountable to us. They have been abusive and have hidden their wrong doings for years, decades and you expect us to change our hearts and mind because YOU will not tolerate what is a legal right of EVERY citizen? How exactly are we attacking the police? We demand justice Mr. Boykins, we are not asking and begging for it. FUCK THE POLICE.

Answer this for me, how exactly did "This ride along gave" you "the opportunity to see first-hand what residents have to experience when approached by HPD and the relationship that they have with the community." You were elected three times with the LIVED EXPERIENCE of a Black man, in a majority Black district. You are in fact Black, aren't you? you have had five years to hear from your voters about their experiences with the police and instead you go this route. The police does not have a good relationship with us, you are toeing the line for Mayor Turner's effort to give houston the image of being a welcoming city. Well guess what? We see you, I see you and I dont like what you are doing here. This is grounds to start a petition to trigger a recall on your ass. You have to be out of touch to think that "...providing better lighting in dark areas, provide sidewalks so residents don’t have to walk in the street, and make sure that City Departments are aware of the everyday concerns of my constituents," will be accomplished "by bridging the gap between the community and law enforcement."

You had YEARS to improve safety, provide better lighting in dark areas and provide sidewalks, among other things for residents of your district. I recall you being more concerned about being anti Trans and making accusations of there being an LGBT agenda, when those people you attacked showed you that they lived in your district and were Black. According to the Houston Press you never mentions sidewalk and lighting, you were discriminating:


Moving on, it seems that you are really only concerned about the prettier side of District D, where the museums and Hermann Park are. You only seem to care about safety when it comes to your white constituents and their discomfort with the homeless community. A community currently under attack by you and the rest of your elected buddies in the horseshoe at city hall. Remember that 90% of Houston's homeless is Black and you had this to say about people who only wish to get help?

It scares me that individuals walking around needing mental health counseling can approach my wife,” Boykins said.



So in crowded room with people anxious to hear solutions, Boykins and police brass told neighbors change will come by the end of the week." - KHOU

You have stood with white and conservatives more that those in your own district, and now you are fighting for cops instead of helping to get justice for Alva Braziel, and everyone else who lives in your district. Why aren't you talking to the County Commissioners Court, TXDOT and other entities that can help build infrastructure in your district? That's how you get sidewalks and better lighting, but it damn sure aint gonna improve the relationship of police and the Black community. Do your job instead of serving those special interests you contribute, after all you gave them money, so why aren't you using them to benefit your community? Let me remind you:


Going Back to 2004 you have donated to conservatives that have hurt the Black community, people with verifiable history of being anti Black racists, anti women, anti LGBT and now here you sit as a city council member doing their bidding. I sincerely hope not, but it looks that way. The time has come for you to do your job, and do it right for your voters. Tell your police friends and other interests that have your ear to sit in the back or we will make your life hell. Ride along with that.

Thanks

Ashton P. Woods
Black Lives Matter: Houston

Monday, April 3, 2017

God Aint Real & You Are Full Of Shit

The Chronicles Of An Angry Black Queer


It should be noted that I am writing from my perspective, which is that of a Black, masculine presenting gay man who happens to be an Atheist. I will be writing about my thoughts and experiences as an activist, human and life in general. These posts will not be academic or even properly written in some of your opinions.


Atheism - is the rejection of belief in the existence of deities.In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities.Most inclusively, atheism is the absence of belief that any deities exist. Atheism is contrasted with theism, which, in its most general form, is the belief that at least one deity exists.

Entry #10: God Aint Real & You Are Full Of Shit

.
Today a post was made that was perpetuating anti trans rhetoric and etcetera. There was a comment on this post that really set me off, because it is how EVERY Black Christian I have come across tends to act, save for a few. Christians think that they are so fucking smart that they tend to not listen to logic in situations where ever the conversation about gender identity and sexual orientation pop up. If this ain't you then you know someone who acts like this...



"They should take this child from here, she is confusing this of his true identity. Whatever your sexual preferences as an adult is your business. But when it comes to a child I think you should raise a child as a child whatever gender he or she may be. To confuse a child because your life is confusing is not fair. This is foolishness, and it's abuse in the highest degree to me. If this child was born a hermaphrodite it would be different but because you're making this child out to be something that he or she is not, is not acceptable. She needs to have some parenting classes and some counseling because this is far from normal as a mother to another mother" - Yvonne Brooks (random ass christian)

I got something for all of your asses, if that's the line of thinking that you deliberately wish to go with. I mean, the idea that anyone would want to take someone's child because the way they allow their child to grow while not endangering them is just fucked up. Who made you bible thumping Negroes the gender police and where did you get your degree to mislabel a person who is intersex in the age of google? Vacation bible school done got y'all all the fucked up. when will the respectability politics and the church die?! If y'all would say this shit, it is safe to assume that you all believe homosexuality, bisexuality and being trans is a choice. A choice that does not exist!

I knew when I was in Head Start that I was gay, same gender loving, or homosexual if ya feeling really froggy. What is it with you people being so quick to cry abuse because you see someone as a deviant? Someone different from your fucked up ass social norms, someone, people who are willing to live out loud in spite of your book of fairy dust and matching hats. Being homosexual, bisexual or trans is not a choice, it is simply who the fuck we are. keep the bible babble, sky daddy talk to your damn selves. I am seriously tired of the astronomical amounts of religious privilege you fucktards are pushing. I'm not even sorry for going off like this, we can't be nice to people like you, we are dying at your hand.

"...God did not create us to be confused or to be homosexual I believe in the word of God and I stand on the word of God so yes homosexuality is a choice." - Random Christian Dunce

Then, THEN, you lose your minds when one is unapologetically an Atheist. You call anyone different from you wicked, AS IF you were vested with power of never ending knowledge and judgment. Like your Wednesday/Sunday shit don't stank! You are the wicked ones, YOU don't get to choose who people should and shouldn't be. You are the reason, CHRISTIANS, YOU are the reason this world is so fucked up. Seek help, because the white man got you believing Jesus is real, he was effective when he beat it into us during slavery. you really believe that some "God sent his son into this sinful world to die for" us "and so that we might have a chance at eternal life..." don't you? Fuck that, how is this the reason for you to be good?

Quoting scriptures chosen for you by some mediocre white man, "John 3:16 For God so Love the world he gave his only begotten son." Yes I find that hard to believe, because love is the most powerful and passionate tool mankind has. Love was not given to us by some creator, LOVE is something that is pure, love is something that is tainted by Christianity to justify hate. You are not of love, you are a damn slave. If your deity was so powerful, it wouldn't need to be jealous. The only source I need to survive is food, water and good friends who respects EVERYONE'S humanity. Gone ask me "if God isn't real how are you breathing?" Easy, by inhaling air and exhaling carbon dioxide and while science is a far better measure of life, we aint here for that equation to white atheism when yall use that creation argument. Talmbout "We're not some creation that just mutated from the big bang that atheist or whomever believes. I just don't understand how or why people REFUSE to believe in God."

"...I, Black Atheist demand that you not question my existence or my humanity. I most definitely see religion and deity as separate, and in my view religion is a means of social control and domination for those who are in control of governments and other institutions that are used to govern the masses." - APW

If there was a God yall are its customer service reps and yall do a shitty job at retaining customers, see the list of closing churches..... www.google.com

FACT: G-d does not exist to me and never has and I make no apologies to those who may be offended.

FACT: We hide our status as Atheist, we attend churches, mosques, synagogues, and other various places of worship. We are often exposed to the constant barrage of G-d talk on in all mediums of daily life.

FACT: Society at large is problematic when it comes to religious privilege of various kinds.

FACT: We are still Black and we still experience the plight that comes with the birthright of Black skin in a racist society.

I will continue to speak out until we get to a place where we don't have worry about someone flexing their religious privilege. Where responding with chastisement about how THEIR G-d is the real deal and that we need to accept said G-d for our very survival will be frowned upon. When the time comes, we will no longer stand for being forced into a prayer circle or saying grace at a dinner. Mark my words, a time will come when religious privilege will cease to exist.

"Doing the right thing should not come with the idea or promise of reward from some non existent being for good deeds." - APW


THE DOORS OF THE CHURCH ARE NOW CLOSED, JUST REMEMBER...

God Aint Real & You Are Full Of Shit

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Anti - LGBT Hate Group Mass Resistance Launches New Chapter In Texas


Robert Oscar López Launches Texas Chapter of Anti - LGBT Hate Group



Today the Southern Poverty Law Center published a story about Mass Resistance, a longtime anti-LGBT hate group based in Massachusetts and its recent addition of Texas. The chapter was started by Robert Oscar López anti-LGBT activist this year, apparently in February around the time that the fight against Senate Bill 6 or  the “Bathroom Privacy Act.” SB6 is an anti - Trans bill that was swiftly passed by the Texas Senate and is now in the Texas House.

About Mass Resistance - Texas:


It seems as though they took the low budget route for their website by using a blog format, which should never be underestimated when it comes to bigots. This is their first blog post:


The main website for Mass Resistance give a bit more information about the Texas Chapter:


As you can see these bigots have a concept, a plan and they are meeting the same day as the HRC Houston Gala which is this saturday (April 1st)...

"On April 1, MassResistance Texas is holding a major pro-family training in Austin, which will include speakers from across the country. Titled, Stand for the Sanctity and Health of the Family: Action and Education Meeting," it will be held at the Oak Meadow Baptist Church in Austin.

If you are anywhere near this part of Texas on April 1, this is the place to be! A panel of experts and activists will arm citizens with tools to fight back on several fronts, including: LGBT school curriculum targeting young children; transgender policies in schools (including transgender bathroom access); and efforts to make Texans believe that the “gay marriage” issue is lost for good.

People will come out of this conference armed with the tools, information, and materials to take on the issues in the Legislature, schools, and the culture."

Reading through their websites, it seems as though the main target of this organization is the Human Rights Campaign. While me and HRC don't always see eye to eye, they are still part of my community and I will defend my community against the likes of them bigots. I have been supporter of HRC's Welcoming Schools program which is more about anti bullying than about normalizing the LGBT community or homosexuality to be specific. Inclusivity does not cause confusion, teaching inclusivity creates non hostile environment where children and teachers alike can operate. It seems like they want bigotry and hate to live on through children...

"Confronting the LGBT “Welcoming Schools”agenda in elementary schools!

MassResistance Texas has exposed the aggressive homosexual and transgender elementary school curriculum that is now being taught in many Texas schools. It is very frightening, and far beyond what most parents have ever imagined. Titled the “Welcoming Schools” curriculum, it was created and is being pushed into elementary schools by the national LGBT organization “Human Rights Campaign.” Some people have called this curriculum “demonic” and we would tend to agree.

A big part of this push involves training teachers how to intimidate conservative teachers into going along with it and how to subvert and confuse parents who find out about it and raise objections.

Corporations vs families: MassResistance is also helping our Texas chapter expose how many of the same corporations that are fighting SB6 are also funding the radical “Welcoming Schools” curriculum -- through their lavish corporate financial support of “Human Rights Campaign.” Corporations are “proud” of funding the LGBT agenda, and even brag about it. Most Texans (and most Americans) are unaware the extent of how anti-family and anti-child these corporations are."

Lopez was also very clear and concise about his opposition to HRC's program during his interview with Sandy Rios' radio show, here is the clip:


According to the SPLC "they will also put together a 12-week program to learn to counter the arguments of supporters of the curriculum." Now about Robert Oscar López..

"The MassResistance Texas chapter was started and is led by one of the most prominent pro-family people in America, Dr. Robert Oscar Lopez. He is an internationally known writer, scholar, and public speaker, and is a Professor of Humanities at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Ft. Worth.

Dr. Lopez has a unique understanding the LGBT lifestyle and its aggressive agenda.  He is an ex-“gay” and was raised by his mother with the help of her lesbian partner. He was previously a tenured professor at California State University Northridge. But as a result of his pro-family writings and his criticism of the LGBT movement, he was forced to resign after a long period of hostile threats and intimidation against him (and his family) by faculty, students, and even the administration."

Make no mistake, this is bigger than going after HRC in Texas, THIS group is still small, but those are the ones we have to watch. They will attempt to roll back all of our hard work towards equality, we must be ready.

TEXAS YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fuck You & Your HIV Stigma

"For a long time I hid my HIV status unless I knew that I will be sexually active and had always felt that it was no one's business. I walked right out of that closet, but I did not come out for me alone. I came for everyone who has been ostracized and made to feel nasty. We are not fucking nasty! We are not contagious! I realized I hid this part of myself for YOUR comfort, for the random sessions of pseudo-intimacy or even for the goal of true romance. I can no longer sacrifice my sanity and unapologetic nature for the sake of being able to date, for sex or even true intimacy..." - APW


Fuck You & Your HIV Stigma


Fuck you and I mean it, we have had decades to understand that HIV the virus that causes AIDS has been under control for some time now. YET, we still find a way to be willfully ignorant and inhumane towards those living with HIV and AIDS. I write this wondering if the stigma a lot of you push was institutional and systemic, or if yall are just naturally assholes.  It was in 1991 at 7 years old, that I first heard about HIV when Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV positive.

Before I continue, when I say institutional and systemic, I am speaking of government and community organizations like churches. I am sure that many Black folks were affected by the HIV/ AIDS epidemic. But, it wasn't until Magic Johnson held that press conference on November 7, 1991 and made a public announcement that he would retire immediately, HIV/AIDS was a very white and gay thing. The stigma that HIV/AIDS was a gay white disease completely overshadowed the catastrophic effects on the heterosexual community and the Black community as a whole.  At that time, it was said that a small percentage of HIV positive men had contracted it from heterosexual sex. With that percentage being so low (probably inaccurate reporting) Johnson was accused of being gay or bisexual, stigma...

"why do you even tell people?" - Random Idiot


It seems like people knew more about it back then as opposed to now. why is that? Even with all of this science, all of these organizations and educational materials out there it seems that we have come to a very dangerous pause. I am not referring to PrEP or raw sex, I am talking about the lack of outreach in the Black community. There are literally college students who are taking basic biology as a required course and cannot grasp HIV and how it works.  Does this make me an outlier? Or was it because I had better access? One thing is for sure, ONE THING...shit like this should not even be a thing, stigma...

"I see how dangerous you are when I read posts on social media and hear conversations that are centered on the subject of HIV, the stigma you all perpetuate is so fucking blatant. When you say shit like, "they are out sleeping with everyone and not disclosing their status" in such a general way, it stigmatizes us all." - APW


The first time I fully understood what HIV was, it was the fall of 1993.  I was around 8 or 9 years old and one day I caught a bug and I had to stay home from school. There was a soap opera on that I had been watching and It cut to a scene that made me ask a lot of questions to myself. It was a scene of a Straight white man laying in bed with family beside him as he spoke his last words. The cause of death was complications from AIDS, that weren't fully explored. Around this same time there was a Back girl group on the rise that went by the name of TLC, they wore condoms on their outfits in their music videos and it didn't hurt that they made some good ass music. Yes, the concept of safe sex existed back then. So what the hell happened?!

The whole idea that safe sex was as thing back then baffles the hell out of me now. It baffles me because depictions of Black folks dying from AIDS or living with HIV was kept to minimum. It baffles me because one of my favorite rappers Eazy E was diagnosed with AIDS. He announced his illness in a public statement on March 16, 1995 and 10 days later on March 26 died from complications of AIDS. Eazy was 30 years old at the time and not long after his death, that summer of 1995, TLC released a song and music video called Waterfalls that tackled violence and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. While the storyline with the Black man resonated with me, the scene with the white, straight couple spoke to me more. The woman convinced her partner not to use a condom and the next scene is him staring into the mirror and sees that he has an early symptom of AIDS visible on his face, in the form of Kaposi's Sarcoma. What frightened me is the small photo frame on the dresser showing or flashing images of all the people she had sex with. In the final scene with the couple, the man's face eerily faded from the picture as the woman was sitting alone on the bed. Then finally,  she fades away, inferring that they both died from AIDS...


The lyrics have always haunted me like an omen, my 10 year old self was scared shitless:

[Chorus]
Don't go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to
I know that you're gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you're moving too fast
[Verse 2]
Little precious has a natural obsession for temptation
But he just can't see
She gives him loving that his body can't handle
But all he can say is, "Baby it's good to me"
One day he goes and take a glimpse in the mirror
But he doesn't recognize his own face
His health is fading and he doesn't know why
Three letters took him to his final resting place
Y'all, don't hear me
[Chorus]
Don't go chasing waterfalls
Please stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to
I know that you're gonna have it your way or nothing at all
But I think you're moving too fast


While I accept the message that TLC put out there, in hindsight the representation of the Black man selling drugs and the depiction that promiscuity among women (and men) may have sent the wrong message to some. Looking at how people react to HIV in the present day, we have work to do! Because of stigma and misinformation we have lost great and talented people. Instead of lifting each other up, we have sought to demolish each other with slander, rumors, and even exposure. Take for example, a group that recently popped up for Black gay men on facebook. In a matter of days the group had over 20k members and in that short time it was full of HIV stigma until the admins removed the posts. I quietly joined the group and got some screenshots as this took place (here are a couple of the nice ones):



"I REFUSE to be your secret, whether you are POZ or not, we are in the eye of a storm and I am an activist with a very public life. we need to address this fear, this stigma about HIV that YOU, my fellow black gay men have. We need to have a real conversation about how this really works and how we hurt each other in the process."


To be honest, when dealing with HIV outside and within the Black community, stigma has a stronghold. The lack of HIV 101 plays a large part in why stigma is such a huge issue, it is saddening. It is one of the reasons that came out of the HIV closet, which was for everyone who has been ostracized and made to feel nasty.  While many of us who have HIV are healthier than most out in the general population, Black gay men die at a higher rate from HIV than those who are in the group where HIV infection is actually the highest. Now think about how the Black heterosexual community is affected, especially Black women. People living with HIV are not nasty people, we are not contagious, we are doctors, lawyers, teachers, students, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers! Yes, we are HIV positive and we live a healthy life, We are human beings and we exist. The data showing how HIV affects the Black community is staggering. So fuck you and your stigma.

HIV - stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It is the virus that can lead to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, or AIDS. Unlike some other viruses, the human body cannot get rid of HIV. That means that once you have HIV, you have it for life.

AIDS - HIV disease becomes AIDS when your immune system is seriously damaged. If you have less than 200 CD4+ cells or if your CD4 percentage is less than 14%, you have AIDS.

TRANSMISSION - Only certain fluids—blood, semen (cum), pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, and breast milk—from an HIV-infected person can transmit HIV. These fluids must come in contact with a mucous membrane or damaged tissue or be directly injected into the bloodstream (from a needle or syringe) for transmission to possibly occur. Mucous membranes can be found inside the rectum, the vagina, the opening of the penis, and the mouth.

In the United States, HIV is spread mainly by

Having sex with someone who has HIV. In general:
- Anal sex is the highest-risk sexual behavior. Receptive anal sex (bottoming) is riskier than insertive anal sex (topping).
- Vaginal sex is the second highest-risk sexual behavior.
- Having multiple sex partners or having other sexually transmitted infections can increase the risk of infection through sex.
Sharing needles, syringes, rinse water, or other equipment (works) used to prepare injection drugs with someone who has HIV.

SEROCONVERSION:

- Seroconversion is the period of time during which HIV antibodies develop and become detectable.
- Seroconversion generally takes place within a few weeks of initial infection.
- It is often, but not always, accompanied by flu-like symptoms including fever, rash, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes. These symptoms are not a reliable way to identify seroconversion or to diagnose HIV infection.

My name is Ashton P. Woods
&
I am HIV positive.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Trump's Federal Budget Proposal & How It Could Affect You


Recently the White House released their budget named "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again." It should be noted that this proposed budget is only a suggestion from the White House for Congress to possibly implement. Congress actually controls the federal budget, so these proposals may not be implemented. However, should the Republicans in congress implement this budget there will be massive cuts to departments and vital programs:
_______________________________________________________________

Proposed Discretionary Budget Changes, By Agency

All dollar amounts are in billions

DEPARTMENT/AGENCY
2017 BUDGET
2018 REQUEST
$ CHANGE
% CHANGE
Defense$521.7$574.0$52.310%
Veterans Affairs$74.5$78.9$4.46%
Health and Human Services$77.7$65.1-$12.6-16%
Education$68.2$59.0-$9.2-14%
Housing and Urban Development
HUD gross total (excluding receipts)$46.9$40.7-$6.2-13%
HUD receipts-$10.9-$9.0$1.9N/A
Homeland Security$41.3$44.1$2.87%
State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Treasury International Programs$38.0$27.1-$10.9-29%
Energy$29.7$28.0-$1.7-6%
National Nuclear Security Administration$12.5$13.9$1.411%
Other Energy$17.2$14.1-$3.1-18%
Justice
DOJ program level (excluding offsets)$28.8$27.7-$1.1-4%
DOJ mandatory spending changes (CHIMPs)-$8.5-$11.5-$2.9N/A
NASA$19.2$19.1-$0.2-1%
Agriculture$22.6$17.9-$4.7-21%
Transportation$18.6$16.2-$2.4-13%
Interior$13.2$11.6-$1.5-12%
Treasury$11.7$11.2-$0.5-4%
Labor$12.2$9.6-$2.5-21%
Commerce$9.2$7.8-$1.5-16%
Environmental Protection Agency$8.2$5.7-$2.6-31%
Army Corps of Engineers$6.0$5.0-$1.0-16%
Small Business Administration$0.9$0.8*-5%
General Services Administration$0.3$0.5$0.3N/A
Other agencies$29.4$26.5-$2.9-10%
Subtotal$1,068.1$1,065.4-$2.7-0.3%

Notes

* $50 million or less
_______________________________________________________________

As you can see Trump's Budget Slashes funding for several government agencies including, but not limited to the EPA, State, Agriculture, Labor,  Climate Change, Education, NASA, Energy, HUD and a host of others...


Some budget cuts that stand out:

- Housing and Urban Development (HUD)


- Education (DOE)


- Health and Human Services (HHS)


While there are proposed spending hikes and cuts, Trump wants to completely eliminate several programs vital to those are low income and lack access to better resources. These cuts would specifically eliminate 100 percent of funding for Arts, Humanities And Public Media:
  • National Endowment for the Arts. The NEA response:
"Statement from National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu on the FY 18 Budget

March 16, 2017

Today we learned that the President’s FY 2018 budget blueprint proposes the elimination of the National Endowment for the Arts. We are disappointed because we see our funding actively making a difference with individuals of all ages in thousands of communities, large, small, urban and rural, and in every Congressional District in the nation.

We understand that the President’s budget request is a first step in a very long budget process; as part of that process we are working with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to prepare information they have requested. At this time, the NEA continues to operate as usual and will do so until a new budget is enacted by Congress.

We expect this news to be an active topic of discussion among individuals and organizations that advocate for the arts. As a federal government agency, the NEA cannot engage in advocacy, either directly or indirectly. We will, however, continue our practice of educating about the NEA’s vital role in serving our nation’s communities."
  • National Endowment for the Humanities. Together, the two groups receive about $300 million annually. The NEH response:
"NEH Chairman William D. Adams Statement on the Proposed Elimination of NEH in FY18 Budget 

Washington, DC (March 16, 2017)  -- National Endowment for the Humanities Chairman William D. Adams released the following statement on the Trump administration’s proposed FY18 budget:

Today the Trump administration released its budget blueprint for the federal government for the upcoming fiscal year.  The budget requests no funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for fiscal year 2018, which begins on October 1.

We are greatly saddened to learn of this proposal for elimination, as NEH has made significant contributions to the public good over its 50-year history.  But as an agency of the executive branch, we answer to the President and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Therefore, we must abide by this budget request as this initial stage of the federal budget process gets under way. It will be up to Congress over the next several months to determine funding levels for fiscal year 2018. We will work closely with OMB in the coming months as the budget process continues. The agency is continuing its normal operations at this time.

Since its creation in 1965, NEH has established a significant record of achievement through its grant-making programs.  Over these five decades, NEH has awarded more than $5.3 billion for humanities projects through more than 63,000 grants.  That public investment has led to the creation of books, films, museum exhibits, and exciting discoveries. 

These grants have reached into every part of the country and provided humanities programs and experiences that benefit all of our citizens. Residents in Whitesburg, Kentucky are preserving the photographs and films of their local Appalachian region through Appalshop cultural center. Veterans returning from war in Iraq and Afghanistan connect with classic texts and the public through Aquila Theatre. Students, teachers and historians have access to the papers of Founding Father George Washington. Through these projects and thousands of others, the National Endowment for the Humanities has inspired and supported what is best in America."
  • Eliminate funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The CPB response: 
"Statement from CPB on the President’s Budget Proposal Eliminating Funding for Public Media

Mar 16, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 16, 2017) -- Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), made the following statement regarding the President’s proposed elimination of federal funding for public media.

“There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s educational and informational programming and services. The elimination of federal funding to CPB would initially devastate and ultimately destroy public media’s role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history, and promoting civil discussions – for Americans in both rural and urban communities.

Public media is one of America’s best investments. At approximately $1.35 per citizen per year, it pays huge dividends to every American. From expanding opportunity, beginning with proven children’s educational content to providing essential news and information as well as ensuring public safety and homeland security through emergency alerts, this vital investment strengthens our communities. It is especially critical for those living in small towns and in rural and underserved areas.

Viewers and listeners appreciate that public media is non-commercial and available for free to all Americans. We will work with the new Administration and Congress in raising awareness that elimination of federal funding to CPB begins the collapse of the public media system itself and the end of this essential national service.
  • The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps people pay utility bills and weatherize their homes.
  • The Community Development Block Grant (a HUD program).
    • Grants to Meals on Wheels would also likely be eliminated as part of the cuts to the Community Development Block Grant program. Their response:
"MEALS ON WHEELS AMERICA STATEMENT ON BUDGET BLUEPRINT

Mar 16, 2017

March 16, 2017 – Today, the President sent his Budget Blueprint, also known as the “skinny budget,” to Congress with a plan to release further details in the coming months. This blueprint focuses on discretionary spending levels for Fiscal Year 2018, and makes investments in defense programs, paid for through deep cuts to non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs, such as Meals on Wheels.

The portions of the President’s Budget that have been released so far call for the elimination of a number of federal programs, including the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), on which some local Meals on Wheels programs rely to deliver nutritious meals, safety checks and friendly visits to our nation’s most vulnerable seniors. 

Details on our network’s primary source of funding, the Older Americans Act, which has supported senior nutrition programs for 45 years, have not yet been released. This vital Act provides 35% of the total funding for Meals on Wheels (both congregate and home-delivered programs) nationally. With a stated 17.9% cut to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget, however, it is difficult to imagine a scenario in which these critical services would not be significantly and negatively impacted if enacted into law.

“The problem with a skinny budget is it is lean on details. So, while we don’t know the exact impact yet, cuts of any kind to these highly successful and leveraged programs would be a devastating blow to our ability to provide much-needed care for millions of vulnerable seniors in America, which in turn saves billions of dollars in reduced healthcare expenses” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO Meals on Wheels America.

The need is growing rapidly, and federal funding has not kept pace. The network is already serving 23 million fewer meals now than in 2005, and waiting lists are mounting in every state. At a time when increased funding is needed, we fear that the millions of seniors who rely on us every day for a nutritious meal, safety check and visit from a volunteer will be left behind.

This successful public-private partnership, for which every federal dollar is matched with about three dollars from other sources, enables at-risk seniors to stay out of more expensive healthcare settings and remain more healthy, safe and independent in their own homes, where they want to be. After all, we can provide a senior with Meals on Wheels for an entire year for roughly the same cost of an average one-day stay in the hospital or ten days in a nursing home."

  • Eliminating the Appalachian Regional Commission, which promotes economic development in the region stretching from northern Mississippi to western New York. Many counties in that swath heavily supported Trump in November.

Here is the proposed White House budget: