An Open Letter to Gay Guys Who Look Down On “Fem Guys”
Why Do Some Gay Guys Date…Themselves?
Straight Guys: What to do When You Get a “D**k Pic”
I Don’t Want to Go to Church. Stop Asking

Be *Insert Anything You Want to Be Here*…It’s #GLAADSpiritDay!!!!

PicMonkey Collage

What is so special about October 16, 2014?

People from all over the world are standing with LGBT youth and joining together to stop bullying.

According to GLAAD, this holiday began in 2010. “Observed annually since 2010, individuals, schools, organizations, corporations, and public figures wear purple, which symbolizes ‘spirit’ on the rainbow flag”.

Tons of celebrities have already joined in including every one’s fave, Laverne Cox, ABC Family, and many more!

Another cool addition to #spiritday? GLAAD has incorporated a web tool that can turn your profile picture purple on Twitter and Facebook!

Show your support and join us in #GLAADSpiritDay!

Gay Parenting and What the Child Has to Say About It

Mother Kiss Happy Child Bold & Sugar 2014

The media loves to talk about a child’s well-being when it comes to having gay or lesbian parents. How in the world will that boy know anything about masculinity with two dads and what about that little girl’s femininity with two moms? Think of the children! Sarcasm, of course, but the interesting thing is not many children are asked how they perceive their same-sex parents or the issues that encompass their lives. Society is caught up in how children are affected, but they’re just too busy to actually ask them. Continue Reading →

Do It To Prove It?

Dancing Hearts Bold & Sugar 2014

I have a friend who’s a reality show junkie. Admittedly, I’ve watched a fair share of the genre but as I’ve gotten older, I moved onto more scripted and critically acclaimed dramas and comedies. Not to say reality television doesn’t have it’s merits! It’s always an ice breaker for creating dialogue and great for pop culture references.

In this particular conversation, she was telling me about MTV’s show “Virgin Territory.” It profiles real individual’s experiences in love and sex. Some of the cast are waiting until marriage, looking to lose the “v-card” now, or just ready to take the next step with their significant other.

Our society is so fixated on everybody else’s sex. Are they having it; why aren’t they having it; how much and with whom? I have mixed feelings about MTV featuring a show about young people’s private matters. I think a dialogue about sex is so important. It’s been treated as such a taboo subject and there’s so much mis-education. However, I often criticize MTV’s approach.

Regardless, my recent conversation wasn’t about the actual existence of the show, it was about one of the cast members, Alec. At 21 years old, Alec came out to his friends and family on “Virgin Territory.” Welcomed and loved, he was then open and felt free to find a boyfriend and lose his virginity. However, he faced some interesting criticisms that my friend and I found rather offensive. During a night out, some of the gay men he encountered claimed he was not gay because he was a virgin.

While I believe the general public tends to have a difficult time wrapping their minds around issues of sexuality and gender, I’ve always had accepting and engaging conversations with other members of the LGBT* community. To me, it would seem that Alec’s lack of engagement hardly has any bearing on his sexual identity. No one has ever speculated that someone wasn’t straight because they’re a virgin. What about individuals who identify as bisexual but have never been in a homosexual relationship?

Granted, I haven’t seen the footage featured on “Virgin Territory” and this is simply conversational, but I’m very curious to know if other LGBT* individuals have experienced these criticisms or believe them to be true.

LBGT* Issues…Equal to All?

Fists Bold & Sugar 2014

There has been debate over an acronym that suits the LGBT* community as a whole. Inclusion is important, but this debate of an appropriate descriptor can be cumbersome and non-productive. Even still, another debate considering this acronym was brought to my attention: Why must these very different walks of life be grouped into one category?

After a few brief conversations, I realized and agree that not everyone under this “queer umbrella” is fighting for the same issues, or holding the same weight the media is to certain issues. Yet, the media groups everyone together as if all topics of discussion are important to every letter in our acronym. And then I got to thinking that perhaps this creates some erasure of other issues that are important.

While I’ve had mixed feelings in the past about some of the popular lists BuzzFeed publishes, I saw a great one today.

7 LGBT Issues That Matter More than Marriage

I think what I loved most about this list was the inclusion of intersectionality. Issues of race, gender, and income are real and simple visibility can potentially advantage or disadvantage any individual. For example, my gay, black friend doesn’t face the same concerns or potential disadvantages as by my bisexual, white friend. The fact that some people inherently have more privilege than others while navigating today’s society, is a legitimate concern in and outside the LGBT* community.

So, in a call to discussion, would you agree that the media’s grouping or focus on particular LGBT* concerns hinders the other efforts that fall outside the trending spotlight?

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: Four Years Later

Military Love Bold & Sugar 2014

When Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) was repealed in December of 2010 and fully implemented by October of 2011, military personnel were assured attitudes towards “out” soldiers would not change and every one should be treated the same. Four years later, I sought to explore if the military’s claim held true or if soldiers still feel fear or scrutiny in coming out.

Continue Reading →

National Coming Out Day Do’s and Don’ts

National Coming Out Day Bold & Sugar 2014

National Coming Out Day is October 11th!

National Coming Out Day has been celebrated for the past 26 years and has exceeded past our American borders to many other countries.  For some, it’s a wonderful opportunity, but for others it’s scary as hell!  Here’s a (non-exclusive) list of guidelines to pass on to friends and allies to navigate this Saturday. Continue Reading →

An Open Letter to All You Non-Feminists

Group Sketch Bold & Sugar 2014

Yes, this is yet another blog post about why you should call yourself a feminist. But before you roll your eyes and move on, maybe ask yourself “Why not?” You probably label yourself as a lot of other things that identify a particular belief or lifestyle. The media has probably stigmatized you one way or another yet you still stand proud, so why is “feminist” any different?

Continue Reading →

“Never Make a Permanent Decision from a Temporary Issue”. It’s National Suicide Prevention Month.

simone battle

Simone Battle, known as a member of pop group, GRL and a finalist on the X Factor in 2011, was born in Los Angeles… June 17, 1989…

On September 5th…. Simone was found dead in her West Hollywood home, according to the Los Angeles Times …it’s been ruled as suicide. She was only 25.

In light of Simone’s truly unfortunate death, it’s also National Suicide Prevention Week and National Suicide Prevention Month…

I’ve lost friends to suicide…as I’m sure most people have. I’ve heard people call it a “weak ultimatum”…

You never know what someone’s going through…ever. Some people face their demons differently and sometimes…life gets too hard for some to handle.

Your life is important…regardless of what you’re told or how you feel. You’re important. If you have no one else… You can always call the Suicide hotline (800) 273-8255.

Don’t make a permanent decision over temporary issues… Everything is going to be alright.

You are loved and You are important. Spread the word. It’s National Suicide Prevention week: September 7th-14th AND September is National Suicide Prevention Month.

Open Letter to Bullies

A guest wears an anti-bullying button, which is the logo of the documentary film "Bully" at its Los Angeles premiere in Hollywood

It was so easy back then to pick on me. I was honestly an easy target. I was short, feminine, and wore a high top fade with nice clothes and a pair of Jordans for nearly every outfit. I was that gay kid you loved to hate. I had several all-female friends, the type of girls who wouldn’t give you the time of day. To you, I had it all.

Yes, it was so easy back then to hate me instead of getting to know me. I endured years of being teased, ridiculed, even threatened not just because I was gay or because I was different but because you thought I had it all.

You weren’t there to see my emotional breakdown at the age of 13. You didn’t hold my hand in therapy as I worked to put myself back together, as if I had any business trying to do that on my own. You weren’t there when I came out to my father, who threatened to kill me. You weren’t there when I contemplated drowning myself because I just couldn’t deal with it anymore, living in a world where I random people hated me for no reason and wished ill of me and where family members threatened to murder you for being yourself.

I got the standard-level insults like “faggot”, “sissy”, and “queer” on an every day basis. In time, I learned to deal with those words, but it came with a price. I didn’t pursue sports for fear of being in the locker room with other boys who thought I would be checking them out, despite my desire to play sports such as football and basketball.

Back then, I couldn’t understand why you hated me so much. Had I done something to honestly deserve this? I was a quiet kid who kept to himself, who was at an awkward time in his teenage life and wanted to be left alone.

Even now, when I see you in supermarkets and shopping centers with your children, you stop and glare at me just like you did in all of those years. And my muscles still tense up a bit when you do. Here we are, adults in ours 20s, and you still have a problem with me? The person who maybe, at best, said 3 words to you from 6th all the way to 12th grade? I went through hell for 6 years simply because you had some strange anger-obsession with me and didn’t know how to deal with it.

But I became something so much more because of you. I dealt with the bullying from 6th grade all the way to my senior year in high school, and as time went on I came to understand my purpose in life, that people like me are necessary. Because they show people who they truly are. You wasted so much of your life hating mine. I couldn’t imagine living that way, allowing someone who has done nothing to you to have that much power over you.

I’ve learned that some of us are like mirrors. People look at us and see themselves for who they truly are on the inside. And instead of changing what they don’t like, they simply curse the mirror.

Get Into the KTookes Spot Interview: Creator and Host Kenneth Tookes!

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Last week, I had the opportunity to interview the extremely dope and innovative, Kenneth Tookes II. The host of the hot and fresh YouTube show, The KTookes Spot! The show is self-described as a show that “talks about life and entertainment news from my perspective mind! Giving you reviews on music, television shows, books, etc”. The KTookes Spot is indeed a well-rounded show in its own right, as it discusses everything in entertainment. Speaking with Tookes, I was pleasantly reminded that there are still vloggers that want to spread positive vibes and not just report any and everything for good “ratings” Get to know KTookes below!

Ayanna Alexander: If you had to give a brief description of yourself what would you say? Who exactly is Kenneth Tookes II?

Kenneth Tookes II: Okay. Who I am? I am very serious but funny. I’m brutally honest… But at the same time, I don’t want to be too serious. If I had to choose one, I would say sweet and honest. I’m shy but when people get to know me, I’m different.

AA: I’m the exact same way! I’m an introvert but then you get to know me and I’m loud *laughs*

KT: *laughs* right!

AA: Now, you have a show called The KTookes Spot. What is it and where did it start? Why did you choose to do this show?

KT: What made me start was because I got tired of seeing people talk about the same thing, ya know? I wanted to recognize Indie artists and hardworking celebs..I wanted to give them a chance to shine. I launched the show on December 2, 2012 and I love that I have control to talk about what I wanna talk about. I like doing album reviews. I like that everything is my own perspective. I don’t do this show to bash anybody..I mean why do that when you can be your true and honest self and be positive while doing it?

AA: How did you get started with The KTookes Spot?

KT: Good question! Brandy Norwood *chuckles*. I’m a huge Brandy fan! It’s like, she started very young and still wanted to figure out who she was. I mean she just felt like me…like a kindred spirit. So, I was able to start an episode on her and everything else just fell into place.

AA: *laughs* I love Brandy too! But describe your typical day on The KTookes Spot.

KT: Okay, let’s see. I write my show ideas in my composition book. I check the lighting and camera angles. I say a quick prayer and add a small pep talk. I record in my own house. Then, I promote it. Most importantly, I leave it alone. I mean, you film things and find mistakes after you send it and you’re afraid your audience won’t like it, but it is what it is, so I don’t touch it anymore after I send it out.

AA: What would you say to anyone who wants to have their own show? How would they get started?

KT: I’m still developing but make sure you have a concrete and plan! Have a blueprint. Be confident! People will judge you anyways. I was scared, but when I put my foot down, I felt better. What do you have to lose? Be comfortable with yourself and know your point.

AA:  Okay final question. Where does your buzz come from?

KT: Twitter *laughs* but I was also friends with celebs before twitter. Like when MySpace was hot? *laughs* I built many celeb frowns ships since I was a fan of music.

All in all, Kenneth Tookes II is a force to be reckoned with. He’s a self starter and a motivator, with a positive spirit. You’ll be hearing a lot more about him in the near future!

KTII

If you want to know more about KTookes, follow him on Twitter and Instagram and watch The KTookes Spot!