Tag Archives: Yolo Akili

Quotes of the Week: Digging Deep

Patrick

picture at Gawker

Isn’t the point of having an affair is that you can pour champagne down someone’s ass and then drink it?
good question BeyoncesNoPantsDance

Christina that shit!
So mad I know what he meant and I didn’t even watch Eurovision.

What was Play-Doh thinking?
That mommy needs playtime too.
Zing!

Do you like waffles or pancakes?
Cakes. Always.
Jussie trolling his female fan base.

Who has dated a Puerto Rican man? Let’s share stories.
The replies!!

Cheryl Lynn and Anita [Baker] beefing is like your auntie’s spades game gone wrong and someone stood up.
#TeamAnita

I have encountered 10x more racism in the gay porn industry than in real life. From the models all the way to the studios. I’m tired of it.
Diesel Washington would be a great interview.

I don’t think people know what to do with a black girl who is free and a father who is fostering, rather than stifling, that freedom.
What If We Were Free?: Riley Curry and Blackgirl Freedom (Crunk Feminist Collective)

Music, like sex, can transport you.
cosign with Terry McMillan

Two passionate souls under the moon.
We can dance my love, under the heavens above, watch our world shed away to a brand new one. A new design that is faithful and true. A new life to share, a balance of me and you.
Something Beautiful

We don’t need me-too, we need new and different. And unless you’re gonna do new and different, stay where you are.
ReCode To Vox (The Leftsetz Letter)

Every place you are in can teach u something. Now if you want to learn it is another thing entirely.
Yolo Akili

For the first time in a long time, I don’t know what’s next. This should be interesting!
Marcus Bellamy

Review: Dear Dad

DearDad8PP SocialMediaPoster WatchItToday

Remember the documentary we told you about last year? It’s finally here and I’m happy to say it delivers as promised!

Dear Dad follows eight Black gay/same gender loving men tasked with writing a letter to their father. They discuss aspects of manhood and how their relationship with their father (or lack thereof) helped shaped their identity.

Director Chase Simmons assembled a great cast including Kevin Dwayne (one of my favorite YouTubers) and Gee Smalls (spoiler alert: who had a wife?!) They all have different stories, but it’s interesting to see common themes including expectations of masculinity, religion and internalized homophobia. One of the most interesting things to me was (if my count is right) only one cast member openly came out of the closet to their father. I remember in my masters program I was amazed by how many of the guys were outed by other people growing up.

Being the sex master I am, if I had any critique, I wanted to hear more about the guy’s sex life. I know some of the cast members are HIV+ from their other work; it would’ve been nice to hear questions regarding whether the relationship with their dad contributed to sexual risk behavior and sexual initiations. But like Ryan and Matthew from ADTV (who’s similar videos have subsequently been taken down) I can understand people don’t want to be the face of HIV (especially if they don’t work in public health.

Simmons adds layers to the narrative that are not only effective, but also relevant. The men have to read their letters at a location relevant their story. Some also talk about possibly giving their letters to their father, which opens another important discussion and healing.

Dear Dad should be required viewing for anyone who works with or loves Black gay/bisexual men. I’ve seen several works exploring this phenomenon in heterosexual identified Black men (Brick City being the example that sticks out), but few dealing with queer men.

You can watch Dear Dad at deardad.tv

There’s a great interview with Simmons (by Yolo Akili) at Black Voices.

And HuffPost Live had a great segment with Simmons, Akili and some of the cast to discuss the project. You can watch it here.

Quotes of the Week: Baby It’s Cold Outside

Handmade tampons

hand-crocheted tampons

I’m very anal about cleaning my sex toys.
Sex With Emily

Jesus F**king Christ what is going on here?
Melanie Amaro rebukes Satan on Twitter (Rickey.org)

(see what they both did there?)

The 2014 Orthodox Calendar has been released, and believe me, it’ll have you on your knees in prayer!
Sexy Priests Strip Down in 2014 Orthodox Calendar

What’s the straight version of Jack’d and Grindr? And why don’t gay people use the letter e? Is it like Bloods avoiding Cs?
NFLGoodwitch has questions

…funny how effeminate black gay men want to be white women and effeminate white gays want to be black women.
KiyoDandre via Twitter

LOL!!! the way he bounced off the car. Absolute madness.
commenter Los Blanc – Black Power Ranger stop (Son of Baldwin)

Nope, that doesn’t sound disturbing at all.
Lionsgate Is Hearing Offers for ‘Hunger Games’ Theme Parks (Rickey.org)

I don’t want to be race blind or gender blind. They matter!
Kerry Washington – For Cicely Tyson and Kerry Washington, Roles of a Lifetime (NY Times)

The contemporary cultural landscape supports a larger interpretation than the one we currently have, of female-masculinity and masculine-femininity. To believe otherwise is to be deceived by a myopic view which is influenced by capitalist gain and profit.
Casey Legler – I’m a woman who models men’s clothes. But this isn’t about gender

Living in denial has its comforts.
MTV’s Catfish Is the Embodiment of American Shame (Vulture)

A lot of attractive people are like nice cars with the check engine light on.
Men’s Humor on Twitter

Don’t crowdsource your self-esteem.
Don’t peer review it either!
via jerrika hinton Twitter

Compassion isn’t always spoken with unicorns & rainbows. Sometimes it comes with a python and a tarantula. And sometimes thats what u need.
Yolo Akili via Twitter

Am I The Kind of Man I Want?

“Are we the kind of boys we want? And if not, who will have we, if we won’t have us?” – Yolo Akili

The strangest thing happened.

I spent the last two years trying to make this South East Asian man love me back (at the level I was at) to no avail. Then suddenly I got what I wanted…in another person.

If you follow me on Twitter, you know I was searching for an assistant in early 2012. It was my first hire at work and (if possible) I really wanted to use the opportunity to award a young man of color an entry level non-profit position and the mentorship I sorely lacked the last few years. (There’s another post dealing with that whole process, but I’m unsure if I’ll ever publish it).

I ended up with a nice young man; he wasn’t that young, but I read him as such. He has a research background like myself, but lacked real world experience. It was a perfect opportunity and he was eager to learn.

At some point getting to know one another it became clear he was primarily attracted to Black men and wanted to get it in. I have this policy; no sex with people I work with/will see on a regular basis for business purposes. It’s just better for my sanity and I’ve seldom broken the rule.

But the timing was interesting. Considering on paper he was everything I was fighting for at the time, I couldn’t understand why I was so blah about him. Upon further reflection, I realized why I wasn’t attracted to him. The epiphany shook me to the core.

OMG. He’s me! The Filipino version of me. That’s why I’m not attracted to him!!

I immediately thought of the docu-poem by Yolo Akili. The first time I watched I was amazed most of the guys explicitly mentioned gender presentation. Ten years doing this work and I’m still amazed at the varying definitions of “masculine” and “feminine.”

Back to me, there was nothing “wrong” with my assistant. I wouldn’t stop if I saw him on the street, but he was definitely attractive in his own right. His mannerism and such swayed towards “feminine” but he has a strong personality and his interested varied like mine. Overall I would consider him androgynous. Of course race factored into all these assessments.

But it was his personality that had me intrigued:

He was funny, but in a goofy/quirky way (like me…although I’m more dry/sarcastic/bitchy).

He was very smart and driven (also like me, though I tend to wear it in a more elitist way).

And he was definitely a caretaker (like myself). For such a young person, he read more “old soul” than I do (and that’s saying a lot). Loyal and humble, he would make a great husband. But there was something missing: excitement.

And as much as I call myself boring in a self-deprecating way, to see it…to experience it personified in another person was an out of body experience to say the least.

When you have a long term romantic relationship with someone, but you never get a label, part of what they rob you of is feedback. No label means no accountability. The two “relationships” I’ve had since returning to New York, both intimate but unstructured, didn’t allow a space for the two men to critique me in a healthy way. I know how I felt about them, but no concrete language about how they felt about me. I can analyze their actions (and reactions), but they were both non-communicative, so not in their own words.

And it makes sense. The Bay Area was a hostile environment for me. It was unsafe, unsupportive…dare I say unloving. A specific version of Tony had to show up to survive that experience.

Which is a complete mindfuck because that’s not the version of Tony my undergrad friends know. That Tony was much more happy go lucky. It wasn’t until I was back in NY and the two groups started interacting more frequently that I even suspected something was wrong. Only then did unpacking the trauma that was my Masters program begin.

So am I the kind of man I want? Definitely. I love me, I get me. But not the version I thrusted upon this man for the last two years. That Tony was operating from a deficit. He was so starved for a genuine connection, when he found it that fateful night in Orlando, he became fixated on keeping it by any means necessary.

In Yolo’s poem the participant at 3:15 says he would date “a more masculine version of me.” I get that on a certain level. On one hand, I want someone with the same values, but to honor my Learner, I also want someone with a different background/interests. Dating interracially is the easiest way to find that (though clearly not the only way).

It’s easier to appreciate the time I had with Boston boy with this new lens. I can’t speak for him, but the situation makes a lot more sense now.

Spotlight: Yolo Akili

Yolo Elevator

“Gender socialization is trauma.” – Yolo Akili

Ever meet someone and it feels like you’ve known them your entire life?

This is going to sound crazy, but I knew Yolo Akili before I knew him.

Like many men I follow on Twitter, I started following him because I thought he was cute. He would show up in my timeline every so often with some good wisdom…it wasn’t until about a year later I realized I was already familiar with his work.

Most of the men I look up to are renaissance men. I was first introduced to Yolo around his work around race and sexuality (naturally), but I was delighted to find out his work crosses other arenas including spoken word, yoga and astrology. How many black/brown men can I have an intelligent (intersectional) conversation about Western astrology with?! I immediately booked a reading.

My full chart was hands down the best money I spent that year. It was recorded and was supposed to be a podcast, alas we lost it due to technical difficulties. But the Ah-ha moments will stay with me forever.

I also had the pleasure of watching Yolo teach an undergraduate class at Fordham university; you could see the light bulbs going off in folk’s mind. I’ve been doing this work for so long, I take for granted most people will never take a sexuality/gender studies course (let alone with an instructor who can infuse critical race theory into the mix). Many students in the class began to unpack that very night.

His new book, Dear Universe: Letters Of Affirmation & Empowerment For All of Us has been my saving grace this year. When people get on my nerves and I have the urge to ruin their self esteem, Yolo reminds me to “give people back their crazy.”

We need more of this.
We need more people engaging in this work, especially LGBT people of color.
We need more Yolo.

You can find out more information about Yolo at YoloAkili.com including astrological services. Highly recommended if you’re into that sort of thing.

There’s a great interview with Yolo regarding his talk at the Queer Astrology Conference in San Francisco (of course). More about compatibility and power soon.

And Dear Universe can be purchased here. Makes a great gift!

Quotes of the Week: Summer Shitshow

joeychip.jpg
Joey Lawrence: Chippendale

Girl you suckin’ dick you can’t trust!
Overheard by Trent Jackson

There’s no “I” in gangbang.
Right about that Juven

You can take it baby, I believe in you!
Steve Pena coaching husband Brent Everett who didn’t want to bottom yesterday, lol

I wanted him to fuck me no matter what. And no consequence seemed insurmountable.
Rolando (rock.paper.sissy)

Sometimes I just wanna karate chop people in the street.
I would love to see that Derrick

None of the new interns are ticklish, so that was awkward.
Same here Conan

The only way I’m buying a laptop that starts at $2200 is if it blows me when I get lonely.
@bingethinker isn’t getting the new Mackbook Pro with retina display

I wish Prometheus was called Alien: Havana Nights.
Brian Lynch via Twitter

Something tells me The New Green Lantern will have brown smudges on his power ring.
This is why we can’t have nice things like gay superheros

I dunno how young girls be messin wit these lil boys. Them MFers stink.
Absolutely true Gary. Ugh

Fake tits, fake lips, fake lashes, fake hair, fake nails…and these hoes out here looking for a “REAL” man. Smh
Humor or Truth via Twitter

Happily dating/fucking the same partner without making it “official.” #2012
Amidion may be on to something here

It’s okay to be wrong. It’s not okay, however, to not acknowledge it.
Gabe Bondoc via Twitter

Gemini will distance themselves if they end up in pointless situations or among people who are not engaging.
Indeed we do

I don’t always tell people I’m cutting them off. I’ll just silently do it.
The best way to do it really

Sometimes the way to heal yourself is by expressing your rage.
Yolo Akili via Twitter

I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. I’m not compromising that to fit into this ideal gay American image. Even if it means no one will want me.
I’m with you Ranity

It’s nice to feel wanted.
Isn’t it Ruben?