Sunday, October 30, 2005

Update: Dispeling rumors regarding the assault on Emanuel Xavier

There have been some questions regarding the post on Thursday about Emanuel Xavier being attacked on Tuesday. Out of respect for Emanuel's privacy I have let him communicate with me as he sees fit. Unfortunately, the news has carried elsewhere and some of the postings on other forums have even questioned whether Emanuel might have brought the beating upon himself by walking on a street alone at night.

When my friend Eddie Garzon was killed, I also heard some people in the community question if he had brought it upon himself by walking home alone that night, never mind that he had been accompanied, most of the way, by a friend. People: No one that I know wishes to bring a beating or death upon themselves, even if they are walking alone down a sidewalk at night. Despite being despicable, those comments unfortunately shine a light on the internalized-homophobia that still afflicts so many of us so that we would rather place blame on the person that was attacked rather than the actual people who did the beating.

Below is a reply that was just posted to the original entry which addresses this point as well as others and gives an update on how Emanuel is doing:

From: Leo Toro
Sent: Sun 10/30/2005 7:46 PM
Subject: [Blabbeando] Emanuel Xavier brutaly beaten, expected to recover

Emanuel would like to thank the many people who have sent him their love, prayers and support. He is healing both physically and emotionally. Medical examinations determined everything intact and he is scheduled to see an audiologist regarding questions and concerns over temporary hearing impairment.

I would like to personally take this time to dispel certain rumors. Though one of his poems recently appeared in the Almighty Latin King & Queen Nation newsletter, [the attack] was not an "initiation" by the Latin Kings or premeditated attack by a rival group. Emanuel is not affiliated with any gang. This was not a hate crime or biased attack. It was completely random. Emanuel happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. The incident occured on a street in Bushwick at around 8pm while Emanuel was on route to visit his mother. Despite a controversial past, Emanuel was not out hustling, buying or selling drugs or looking for trouble. He grew up, currently resides in Bushwick and has never feared walking the streets alone.

Emanuel has experienced much in life and has always persevered. He is a survivor and this unfortunate incident should only fuel his strength and courage to speak out against the injustices we all face in the world today.
Update: Gay City News Cover Story - Emanuel Xavier (November 15, 2005)

Updates: From the Vacilón to Luisma

Looking at past blog posts, I thought that it might be time to bring people up to date on some of the postings:

In Spanish Media No Longer Immune (Sat., Aug. 13, 2005) I commented on the rampant homophobia (and AIDS-phobia) that exists in Spanish-language radio and on past skits performed during one of New York City's top listened radio station, La Mega, and their morning show "El Vacilón de la Mañana" (in one a man sings about getting raped the night before and how he pines for more of the same, in another a man is told that he might have AIDS and might die in hours if he doesn't seek medical help, and in another a 5 year old kid whose dad called the station is encouraged to tell dirty and homophobic jokes on air). Undaunted by anyone or anything, subway posters started appearing this summer announcing an upcoming "Vacilón" movie with the legend "Con La Mega No Se Juega" (Don't play games with La Mega). Well, the movie's out and has been generally panned by all the reviews I have read (not that this was unexpected). Unfortunately, those listeners are certainly flocking to the movie screens as today's New York Times reports (the Times mentions some of the bawdiness but doesn't detail any of the truly offensive stuff that they put out there).

In "Argentina a Goo-Goo" (August 19, 2005), I reported on how Argentina was in thrall about a gay couple, Andrew and Martin Farach-Colton, and their twins. The couple, who currently live in New York but were mulling a move to Argentina, are already back in New York and were thrilled when they saw the posting on my blog. I have referred the Farach-Coltons to the Spanish-language newspaper Hoy for a possible upcoming article and will be having lunch soon with them as my schedule and theirs allow. It's actually a great story and I was glad to write about it here first.

In Another Gay Man Murdered (September 13, 2005), I commented on a story in El Diario La Prensa (and a blurb in the NY Times) about Oswaldo Hernandez, a gay Latino man who was stabbed to death in Washington Heights. Alas, there are no updates to give. Just another murder of a gay man that becomes a blip in the city's consciousness.

In Jass Stewart Update: On to the Nov. 8th Runoff Election (September 21, 2005), I spoke of the exciting mayoral race happening in Brockton, MA, where Jass Stewart might be poised to become Brockton's first gay mayor. This week, the campaign sent out messages requesting support for Jass's campaign. Even if you can donate $25 to the campaign, it will be much appreciated. To find out more about Jass go here.

Finally, in Luisma: 275 pounds of love, pure testosterone (October 17, 2005), we introduced you to Luisma Molinari, a big chunk of goofy Argentinian beef, and the ad he did for a car maker. No, we still have not been able to confirm is that is his real name or if he really plays for an Argentinian rugby team but it took RuggerJohnnyD (a new addition to my Personal List at the right of this column) to point out that, yes, there are links to outtakes of the commercial in the ad site. Just go here and click on "Mira el comercial" (watch the commercial). As the commercial loads, you can actually click on 5 short outtakes on the bottom of the screen. For a translation of the original ad, please click on the Luisma link above. For translation of the outtakes, get a Spanish-speaking friend to watch them with you.

Madonna, Shakira... Andrea Echeverri?

November will bring a new album from Madonna, who is seeking to regain some of her lost dance music status with "Confessions on a Dance Floor." The new single "Hung Up" is catchy, thanks to a prominent sample from ABBA's "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (A Man After Midnight)" and the video, which seemed a little underwhelming at first sight, grows on you with it's retro look and the "Flashdance" vs. "Ray of Light"-like dance floor sequences. Catch the video, the song and the remixes here while the lawyers get to and ban them from the site (the video is also here).

November also brings Vol. 2 of Shakira's two-album experiment in world domination begun earlier this year with the awfully titled Spanish-language "Fijación Oral" and now followed up with its equally awfully titled English-language counterpart "Oral Fixation." Both only share two songs in common and, surprisingly, it's not her smash single "La Tortura" which featured hottie Alejandro Sanz from Spain. Musically, "Don't Bother" - the new single - is actually the best song Shakira has released in quite a while with a rock edge that was missing in most of the last album. The video, which also premiered this week, is also one of Shakira's best. I simply love what the director did with the use of lighting in the car junk yard. Unfortunately it's the lyrics that strike the wrong note as Shakira delves one time too many into a soap opera-ish tale of a woman scorned taking vengance on her unfaithful lover (and what's up with the lines "she's the greatest cook and she's fat free" or "for you, I'd give up all I have and move to a Communist country"?). It's also a bit uncomfortable to watch someone who was lauded in Colombia for her musical talents as well as her beauty embrace the bimbo package that the United States music market has encouraged (as a matter of fact, fans are up in arms over the semi-nudity for the cover of her new album - pictured above - as this forum shows).

So, as the Shakira vs. Madonna new CD release dates approach, perhaps we should leave the marketing to them and focus instead on an album that will probably leave both of them in the dust at least artistically and musically. An ode from a mother to her three-year old daughter, Andrea Echeverri's self-titled Spanish-language debut album was released earlier this year remains one of my favorite albums of the year. It is also one of the most erotically assured albums I have ever about womanhood addressing, for example, the erotic fullfillment of giving birth. All that without pouring black tar on yourself or posing semi-naked for an album cover! Go figure! It is a mellow, sonically challenging, beautiful album that strikes moments of pure emotional power.

Three songs in particular always leave a lump on my throat and even some wetness around my eyes, "Fulgor," "Quedate" and "Menos Mal." They are basically love songs. A translation of "Menos Mal" follows:

"Menos Mal / Thank heaven"

Thank heaven you showed up
Thank heaven you convinced me
Thank heaven you are still here

Thank heaven we offended each other
Thank heaven we forgave each other
Thank heaven we gave each other another opportunity

Thank heaven we built
Thank heaven we decided
To continue 'til the end

Don't leave
Never will the bad be forgiving

Thank heaven we placed a bet
That we'd sow the little seeds
That we'd make each other laugh

Thank heaven we had fun
Like surprised children
Thank heaven together we felt the hunger to live

Thank heaven we connected
Thank heaven we made each other pregnant
Thank heaven we penetrated each other

Don't ever leave...

Friday, October 28, 2005

Dwan Prince goes home

Back in September, when I posted a series of entries on my thoughts on the 4th year anniversary of the murder of Eddie Garzon, I finished by trying to draw attention to other violent attacks against people in the community, most of which also received limited coverage by mainstream media - including Dwan Prince, who was beaten up into a coma on June 9th in Brooklyn by three men who did not like the fact he was gay.

A local news blurb by Andy Humm in this week's Gay City News brings us the great news that Dwan has actually left the hospital and gone home to continue his recovery. Accoring to the blurb, local television station WNBC reported that Dwan "is partially paralyzed and does not remember or understand the attack" and that he "will be undergoing rehabilitation for at least a year."

In the meantime, some of you have been posting replies to the news that Emanuel Xavier was also beaten up in Brooklyn earlier this week or sending me private messages expressing your concern and care. I have been forwarding these to Emanuel and I am sure he appreciates all the love. I will keep you posted on any developments in the next few days.

[Image above is from a vigil organized this past June 28 by Make the Road by Walking outside Brookdale Hospital, where Dwan spent the last few months, and of his mother Valerie Prinez, holding a picture of her son, courtesy of Gay City News]

UPDATE: Verdict in the brutal beating of Dwan Prince (March 28, 2006)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Gay City News: Fernando Ferrer for NYC Mayor


27 Oct - 2 Nov 2005



The era of constant opinion polling has accelerated and exacerbated a natural human tendency — to join a bandwagon, to be able to say you have gone with the winner.

Fernando Ferrer, the Democratic candidate for mayor, would appear today to face nearly insurmountable odds in his quest to unseat Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg on November 8. Down by double digits in the polls, he faces a billionaire opponent who refuses to participate in public campaign financing, saying he’s prepared to spend $100 million of his own money.

But the purpose of a newspaper endorsement—and indeed the duty of every voter—is not to rubber stamp the prevailing mood, it is to speak to principle, sometimes even to sail against the wind.

New York City has recently weighed three critical issues that could immeasurably enhance the lives of its gay, lesbian, and transgendered citizens. Michael Bloomberg, despite media sound bites that portray him as pro-gay, stands with the community on none of these challenges.

Fernando Ferrer in sharp contrast, has pledged his support on all of these issues—and his unstinting support for full marriage equality, dating back to 1996, speaks to his credibility.

Our community has embarked on an ambitious agenda of moving the nation toward an embrace of our full civil equality. We will not persuade political leaders to stand with us if we are not prepared to back those who offer us their unqualified support.

On the broader range of issues of concern to all New Yorkers, we believe that the mayor’s outsized campaign spending—coupled with an unchallenged aura surrounding Bloomberg’s accomplishments in the business world— have obscured some clear failures in his leadership. The mayor also skates by with many voters on a political sleight of hand—the nudge, nudge, wink, wink assurance that he is not really a Republican.

Ferrer Is Firm on LGBT Rights; Bloomberg Flip Flops

The mayor’s most egregious betrayal of gay New Yorkers came in his February decision to appeal a State Supreme Court ruling ordering the city clerk to issue same-sex marriage licenses. Bloomberg pleaded that he wanted to avoid the “chaos” that would result if gay marriages recognized by the city were later overturned by the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest.

With at least four other same-sex marriage cases working their way through the New York courts, New York City unions would someday surely be reviewed by the Court of Appeals. But, as Bloomberg critics, including Barney Frank, have pointed out, by blocking gay marriages in the city for now, the mayor has removed one of the most potent weapons we would have had in front of the high court— the prosaic existence of untold numbers of gay and lesbian families protecting their children’s welfare and their financial future through marriage.

Bloomberg used his appeal message to voice his personal support for gay marriage. The language of the city’s appeal, however, chock full of tired arguments about why equality should be denied us, suggests otherwise. In his first three years in office, Bloomberg professed to be agnostic on the issue, once cavalierly pointing to his own failure at marriage in wonder about what all the fuss is about. He promises to lobby his Republican allies in Albany on a marriage bill, but pressed on what efforts the mayor has made to date, his campaign argues, in Catch-22 fashion, that legislative effort is not appropriate because the matter is before the courts.

Bloomberg’s fancy footwork on marriage is of a piece with his shifting stance on a measure, passed by the City Council last year over his veto, that would ensure domestic partners of employees of contractors doing business with the city equal benefits treatment with workers’ spouses. Meeting with gay journalists in the summer of 2001, candidate Bloomberg pledged to support the measure, even saying he would stare down Cardinal Edward Egan should the Catholic Church raise religious objections. Within a week, he had retreated from the bravado about the archdiocese, and by the fall of 2002 had reversed himself completely. The city is now in court seeking to block implementation of the Equal Benefits Law.

Similarly, after refusing to have his Department of Education cooperate in the drafting of the Dignity for All Schools Act—which tackles the problem of harassment and bullying of public school students, including gay and transgendered kids, and was also passed over his veto—the mayor has taken the position that he need not implement the law.

While Bloomberg did sign the transgender rights law in the spring of 2002 and has taken steps to have out-of state marriages recognized by the city, his stance on issues of concern to our community pales in comparison to Ferrer’s.

The Democrat pledges to pull the marriage appeal, order the city clerk to issue licenses to same-sex couples immediately, and implement both the Dignity and the contractors laws.

The choice couldn’t be more stark. If we are serious about winning the marriage debate in this country, this is a moment to demonstrate political fidelity to our friends.

Bloomberg’s Corporate Style of Governance Is Overrated

It was fascinating this week to hear the mayor talk about how he hoped to become more engaged in the rebuilding efforts at Ground Zero. The revival of Lower Manhattan is obviously in the interest of all New Yorkers, but the slow pace there has not been the most troubling consequence of the mayor’s inattention; instead, it is the cost the city must bear because of the police department’s inability to articulate its security concerns about the sitting of the new Freedom Tower until this spring, roughly two years into the game.

Goldman Sachs, considered key to downtown’s revival, used security as pretext to abandon its plans to build a new headquarters across the street from Ground Zero.

When the Freedom Tower was finally re-sited in response to NYPD complaints, Goldman came back to the table—but only at the cost of $150 million in new city and state tax credits and $600 million in new, low-cost Liberty Bond financing, incentives now unavailable for other needed business inducements.

A key talking point in the mayor’s reelection campaign has been his success in wresting controls of the public schools from the old Board of Education, a victory for accountability to be sure. But, the verdict on Bloomberg’s stewardship of the schools is not yet in. Test scores have improved, but the city has been less successful in tackling the excessive high school dropout rate, and the mayor has completely booted the issue of bias harassment and bullying.

Bloomberg has been flat-out disingenuous on AIDS education, promising a new curriculum after a decade of advocate efforts, but refusing to issue details until after the election.

In March, Dr. Thomas Frieden, his health commissioner, warned AIDS activists, “I don’t know that we will be able to achieve everything that you would want or I would want.”

Michael Bloomberg Really Is a Republican

Many Democratic stalwarts have reconciled themselves to the potential for a second Bloomberg term by reasoning the mayor really isn’t a Republican. Don’t you believe them. In the past four years, according to The Times, Bloomberg has given more than $400,000 to Republican committees in Albany and Washington, made individual donations to President George W. Bush and two supporters of the antigay federal marriage amendment —Senator Richard Shelby and Representative Hal Rogers—and funded the 2004 Republican National Convention to the tune of $5 million.

Bloomberg’s greatest water carrying, however, came the last day of the convention, with the president in town to speak, when he defied a court order that found that at least 600 protesters had been held illegally —and off the streets—for inappropriately long periods of time, as the national news media focused on Republican unity.

November 8 provides the only opportunity to respond to that sort of leadership in New York, and is an ideal time for the LGBT community to stand up uncompromisingly for our rights. The only choice is Democrat Fernando Ferrer.

Emanuel Xavier brutally beaten, expected to recover

Emanuel Xavier at a recent police brutality protest

As far as exclusives go, this is not necessarily the type of news that you would want to hear. From the announcement that was just forwarded to this blog:
On the evening of Tuesday, October 25th, spoken word artist, openly queer activist and actor, Emanuel Xavier, was brutally beaten at random by a street gang in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn. On his way to visit his mother, currently struggling with cancer, the poet was surrounded by fifteen to twenty young Latino men and punched several times in the face. The crime has not been labeled a biased attack and - though one of his poems is set to appear in King’s Court, the Almighty Latin Kings Nation newsletter - no gang affiliation has been established and is unlikely. Though he declined hospitalization, initial statements described him as badly bruised with possible hearing damage to his right ear

Emanuel had shared news of the attack with a few people yesterday and I think he was struggling with how public to go with it. I know that in one instance in which a knife was held to my throat during a mugging that took place years ago, I also struggled with going public with it (I never did 'til now). Yesterday, I found myself sharing that experience with Emanuel as well as the surprising sense of rage that rushed through me when the mugger let me go, perhaps at having put myself in a dangerous situation in a dark alleyway, as my knees started shaking and almost let my body go.

Yesterday, I told Emanuel that he should eschew political correctness and only speak up if he wanted to do it and felt ready to talk about it and not necessarily because he is a public figure and should be expected to do so. But we also touched on the importance of raising awareness about violence in our communities, whether it's bias-related or not. Ultimately, I think that this last concern was what brought up this morning's statement from his publicist. So, if I didn't speak up back then when I got mugged, I am now doing so as well and applaud Emanuel for taking the lead.

I have previously blogged about the annual House of Xavier, but my admiration for Emanuel goes back a bit further, starting with the moment I picked up his amazing first book of poetry, Pier Queen. As someone of Latino heritage who nevertheless grew up in the United States and who spent hours in Manhattan's now gentrified West Side Piers - which was and still remains one of the few sites were queer youth of color congregate in this city - I felt the shock of having lived some of the same experiences that Emanuel so vividly expressed through his poems. A shock that I know others have also experienced since it's rare to see these words reflected on any page. Emanuel would go on to author Christ-Like and Americano, and edit a collection of spoken word poetry by different authors called Bullets and Butterflies. He has also appeared in HBO's Def Poetry Jam and the film The Ski Trip.

I will post updates as I get them and wish Emanuel a prompt and full recovery and the best for his mother as well.

UPDATES (click on hyper-links):

· October 30, 2005: Dispeling rumors regarding the assault on Emanuel Xavier (thanks Leo for the update)
· November 4, 2005: A Message from Emanuel Xavier
· November 15, 2005: Gay City News Cover Story - Emanuel Xavier
· January 15, 2006: Emanuel Xavier: New York Post OpEd
· January 27, 2006: This Saturday at the Bowery Poetry Club
· January 30, 2006: Butterflies with Emanuel Xavier and friends

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Once in a blue moon you see certain things align in a way that does not seem to be mere happenstance. In this instance, three Latino gay leaders are making their move to New York City and I hope that it will translate into increased national awareness about the Latino LGBT community.

Carlos Macias comes from Texas and worked for a major Spanish-language media conglomerate there. He joins GLAAD as their new People of Color Media Manager and brings extensive knowledge about Latino media and an eye for improving media coverage of POC LGBT issues.

Pedro Julio Serrano (pictured above), left his beloved Puerto Rico last night and is getting ready to begin work at Freedom to Marry, which was founded and is directed by the eminent legal expert, Evan Wolfson. Pedro is the first openly gay man to have run for political office in Puerto Rico and brings a wealth of knowledge and smarts to his new job. He has also sworn to continue to oversee the influential Puerto Rican LGBT organization he founded, Puerto Rico Para Tod@s (Puerto Rico for Everyone). I am lucky to count him as a friend.

Hugo Ovejero was among the founders of Entre Hermanos, the leading Latino LGBT advocacy organization in Seattle, Washington. Originally from Argentina, he has now chosen to make New York City his new home.

It must be incredibly hard to leave past accomplishments and face new challenges, particularly in a city as tough for newcomers as New York, but we wish all three the best of luck to all of them in their new endeavours.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Gay Rights Under Attack in Honduras

On August 27 of 2004, three organizations - Kukulcan, Colectivo Violeta and the Sampedrana Gay Community - became the first LGBT advocacy organizations to be granted non-profit status in Honduras after fifteen years of community lobbying for the designation.

The decision, which seemed at the time to be a milestone for the Honduran LGBT rights movement, acually smashed right into a little noticed phenomenon: The meteoric rise of the evangelical church throughout Latin America in the past few years.

On September 13, 2004, close to a hundred people marched through the streets of San Pedro at the call of the evangelical church with chants and signs that warned that recognizeing these organizations was the first step towards the recognition of same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples. Larger protests and organized mail-in campaigns followed.

Politicians, fearful of the religious back-lash, quickly began to draft a constitutional amendment that would ban both marriages between same-sex couples and adoptions by same-sex partners. In a stunning show of either a fear of - or pandering to - conservative religious forces, the amendment passed unanimously through Congress with a 128-0 vote (!). A second vote on the amendment, required by the constitution before its passage, came in March of this year with an equally lop-sided loss as the amendment enshrined into national law (ironically evangelical fundamentalists argued that they had to take action before the 'immorality' that defined society in the United States reached Honduras, when the truth is that it's actually fundamentalist evangelism that has spread from the United States throughout the area along with its virulent homophobia). Now, fresh off these victories, the religious right is now gunning for an order to invalidate the non-profit status of these LGBT organizations.

What brings me to comment on the issue today is an interview with Javier Medina, Director of KuKulcan (pictured above), which runs in today's issue of the Honduran newspaper Proceso.

Mr. Medina explains that the word KuKulcan is "associated with the name that the Maya people gave their highest god... [who] symbolized the start of any new stage in Maya life and represented the highest masculine deity."

He speaks of experiencing discrimination at previous jobs and being fired for being gay and of hospitals refusing to treat patients who self-identify as gay.

On the issue of marriage rights for same-sex couples, Mr. Medina says: "It's an issue we have not even contemplated, what's more, it was the church representatives who brought up the issue and made it relevant and - now that they have - why not consider it in the future?"

On God, he says: "I live my spirituality, I am not religious, I do believe in God... I do not believe in the Bible because it was written by men 90 years after the death of Christ, [and is based on a] translation from a dead language to a current language in the context of other writings."

On when he came out as being a gay man: "More than 20 years ago, in addition I am a public figure and why should I hide it?"

These are not easy times for gay people in Honduras. If you've read this far and are as outraged at the governmental trampling of their rights and the courage of people such as Javier Medina who are still willing to lead the fight I would urge everyone to take action by visiting this Amnesty International action alert page and following the steps to let the Honduran government how you feel about it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

100 Posts

I have reached that important milestone in blogging: This, the 100th post.

Had no idea what it would be like to open up a blog, I am also still unsure as to whether I've gone with it in the direction that I originally intended - or whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.

Seems a bit schizophrenic to go from the "
Nude Avenger," to a subway ad of a Miguel Cotto boxing match, to multi-part narrative of a friend's murder, to queer love and the Zapatista movement, to the death of a porn-star at Penn Station, to some good'ol ruminations on house music, to local politics (and that doesn't even take into account our latest and most recent find, Luisma!) .

But, more often than not, it's the stories that I haven't had the time to properly comment on or that I keep pushing aside for later that stick in my mind. Or the ones that I avoid commenting altogether because I might not feel comfortable sharing my feelings on a specific issue...yet.

All these years at work I have had to internalize my point of view in order to work with as wide a community as possible and one of the things that the blog has challenged me to do is to start opening those doors and put my thoughts out there. After so many years of holding things in, it feels a bit liberating but also still tentative.

I have made an effort to highlight things that capture my eye but are not necessarily in the general consciousness - with a few exceptions, of course (General rule of thumb: If you can set up a Google alert on a topic and get hundreds of stories on the subject, what is there for me to ad to the discussion?).

I have also felt the pull to just alert people to specific news stories related to the Latino LGBT community but, how different would that be from the internet e-mail list that I've coordinated for the past 5 years? Yet, the tremendous changes that have been going on in Latin America when it comes to LGBT rights are one of the invisible stories in these northern latitudes and blogging does provide a medium to publish about it (so expect

Then there's the pull to jump on a hot tip and pursue a trendy factoid that you know ill draw blog traffick (Ashton Kutcher marries Demi! Madonna releases album! Paris Hilton sucks!) that I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. Though those Kanye West posts came close.

But... I am glad that I seem to be sharing stuff that people want to read (over 10,000 people in three months can't be all bad!) and I hope I can keep some people interested enough to cehck back from time to time.

So far it's been fun. I'll keep it up until it's not. Or, at least, even if it's not fun, I'll stop when it becomes a chore.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Luisma: "275 pounds of love, pure testosterone"

Not sure that Luisma Molinari is a real rugby player (I looked him up on Google and he doesn't show up anywhere) but I crossed upon this television ad from Argentina and thought I'd share it.

Click here (and, once there you have, click on "Mira el Comercial" - Once you are there you can also download a better-definition media file to your computer).

For those who are Spanish-impaired, here is a lose translation:


Referee blows whistle and a rugby match ends, Argentine rugby player Luisma Molinari walks off the field pouring a bottle of water over his body. Catches two girls oggling, he looks back, girls are still oggling. Luisma talks directly to camera:

And yes, it's just like that: [People shout] Luisma! Idol! Rugby player! 275lbs of love! Pure testosterone!

He points at his bruised neck:

You know what this is? This is a hicky from a couple of nights ago.

But what could it be? Could it be this [point at his chest]? The fact I play rugby? Or the fact I'm so macho? I even had to get some business cards done!

He points at headband:

You call this a rag? Well, you put it on and you become an native. Me? [I put it on and become] Master of the Universe!

Let's look. They're probably still staring at me!

He looks back at the 2 girls and realizes they're looking at his car instead.

Alright! The car, me. Me, the car. We're like a pact of love! [he clasps his hands together]

He lets out a sigh dissapointed that the girls are not looking at him and walks off the screen. Voiceover talks about the merits of the car. Off-camera Luisma says:

Nico! Do you wanna ride?

[Funny ad, only thing that marrs it is the racisim that creeps in about others looking like an indian when wearing a headband]

In LGBTIA, "A" stands for the fab Elenamary

Using Talk Digger to keep abreast of who's linkinking to what I found out that Elenamary, a self-described straight Irish Xicana from Ohio and queer "ally" (hence the "A" in LGBTIA), had set up to share with her blog readers a list of Queer Latino Bloggeros out there. And - what do you know? - she listed Blabbeando (thanks Elenamary!).

So, without further ado, let me re-direct you to Elenamary's "A" and Queer Bloggeros post so you too can peruse a list of other gay Latinos and Latinas blogging out there in cyberspace.

As for the "I" in LGBTIA, well, I know what it stands for but I'll let you do the research (assuming everybody knows what "LGBT" stands for as well).

Oh! The horror...

What does it mean when your favorite new television show uses songs from your favorite album so far this year in two consecutive episodes as a soundtrack to the drama unfolding with one of your favorite characters on network television as played by one of your favorite actors? MUST mean something! But for the love of god I can't figure out what! The horror!

But when it's been a while since the United States music industry paid any attention to Roisin Murphy (or her former band Moloko, for that matter) - and I don't believe her album has even been picked for distribution in the United States - we must be thankful for small favors (and the exposure).

We must thank the TV show's Music Supervisor Alexandra "where-can-I-get-a job-like-that" Patsavas for her keen music taste and hope for more groovy tunage down the line.

And let's hope to see Roisin Murphy performing live in the United States sometime soon...

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Millions More Movement: The Invisible Speech

An excerpt from Keith Boykin's post from earlier today:

After eight months of discussion, four productive conversations with Minister Farrakhan and a heated exchange with Rev. Willie Wilson, the Millions More Movement March took place today and I was not allowed to speak... After I arrived at the VIP tent shortly after 8 in the morning, my colleague Donna Payne spoke directly to Rev. Willie Wilson backstage, and he informed her that no one from the National Black Justice Coalition would be speaking today. Donna told Rev. Wilson that he was violating our agreement, and Wilson replied that the agreement was void because the Coalition had not responded by Friday. That was not true... Rev. Wilson's excuse seemed a mere pretext to prevent us from speaking. Sadly, I am not surprised. He has been an obstacle to this process all along. Ever since his controversial July 3 sermon in which he blamed the rise of lesbianism for the problems in the black community, Rev. Wilson seems to have developed ill feelings toward the black gay community for responding to his attack. That was three months ago, and I had hoped to use my speech today to extend an olive branch to Rev. Wilson to move beyond our differences and heal our wounds, but his actions this morning made that impossible.

Read more here, including the speech that Keith prepared but was not able to deliver.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Bush job approval rating amongst blacks? 2%

I am afraid to ask but... what is the margin of error? Anything above 2% would bring it down to zero! More here, as for Bush in actual freefall, well, you can go and play here. (Thanks to Rod at Rod 2.0 for alerting me to this stunning poll number)

[Update: Margin of error is actually 3.4%. Read more here]

[Update #2: OK, maybe it's a little bit higher, but still dismal. Read more here]

Peru: So two guys walk into a church... or marriage, lies and videotape

Let's say that it took time for news to travel:

More than a month and a half ago, on August 25th, then 18-year old architecture student Marlon Rodriguez (l.) and 50-year old hairdreser Iván Guanilo (r.) walked into a Catholic church in Trujillo, Peru (a small town 485km north-east of Lima, according to the AP) and exchanged rings. Reverend Luis Enrique Mendoza Chavez oversaw the exchange and, according to the 60 Minutes-type show Panorama, became the first Catholic priest to officiate a marriage between a same-sex couple in Latin America.

News broke when Panorama ran footage of the wedding ceremony and reception on their October 9th nightcast.

In the video, according to, a beaming Iván said the couple had met at a disco: "I always dreamed about getting married."

Marlon for his part, said that he had only dated women before meeting Iván and admitted being initially confused about his feelings but eventually realized he was in love: "I am happy, that's why I asked him to marry me."

Except, no marriage took place.

In a press conference on Monday, in the wake of the behement Catholic church response that followed the airing of the video on Panorama, everything was denied:

"I was baptized by the Catholic church and always go to church - why [is Panorama] attacking me in this way?" said Iván, alleging that the footage was taken from a scene they were shooting for a movie called Love Doesn't Have Any Gender which he claimed was scheduled to be released in January of 2006.

According to El Comercio, Iván and Marlon only met through the filming of the movie, at the call of the film's director (and poet), Magdalena de la Fuente.

When Panorama broadcast the video, it did without the original audio track and only with running commentary from the anchorman which characterized as a real wedding ceremony.

To date, Panorama still insists that the report is correct. In an interview with RPP news, producer Almo Perez Luna is asked if the wedding ceremony was staged for a film and he responds:

Absurd... It's part of a ceremony to seal ther love. It's impossible that a movie would feature a real priest and people who never had acting experiencs. They are just scared, [the segments were never] maliciously edited.

But the RPP article goes on to say that Marlon also has claimed that he is not gay and was only acting as one for the film.

The Catholic church is alleging that people are trying to lift a "smoke screen" over the church in order to get gay marriage legalized in Peru.

Truth is that it seems that irresponsible journalism combined with the massive negative reaction that it has elicited from the Catholic church in Peru seems to have sealed any possibility that Peruvian gay couples will be able to marry any time soon.

What they do to gay politicians who support Mayor Bloomberg

The Politicker, recently named the best political blog by both the Village Voice AND the New York Press in their annual "Best of New York 2005" issues, floated a twin rumor a couple of weeks ago that former (and openly gay) Manhattan Borough President candidates Margarita Lopez and Brian Ellner were on the verge of endorsing Michael Bloomberg.

Brian's endorsement of Bloomberg (and announcement that he would be working for the Bloomberg campaign) came yesterday. Today, it was Margarita's turn.

Some in the NYC LGBT political world are apoplectic about their moves and the digitally re-touched campaign flyer above made enough rounds to be picked up in a story that runs in today's New York Post (which loves to see gays get all apoplectic and stuff).

I am sure that Brian Ellner, a smart and charismatic guy who might have ran for Manhattan Borough President too soon in a multi-candidate field, has his reasons to go for Bloomberg and he is entitled to them. As for Margarita, it was no secret that - of the Democratic City Council members - she undoubtedly had a close relationship with Bloomberg even before she announced her run for Manhattan Borough President. The fact that Fernando Ferrer did not ultimately endorse Margarita (and in fact was seen hanging out with another Latino Manhattan Borough President candidate, Adriano Espaillat), must have hurt deeply.

I was having a conversation with my boyfriend about Mike Bloomberg and gay issues and I told him that, while I disagreed with his stand on many of them, I did not think he was a homophobe. Which is why I dislike the kind of mud-slinging (including image above) that characterizes some exchanges in the NYC LGBT political community.

Brian and Margarita have made a desision and they are entitled to it. I still think that Ferrer will be better than Bloomberg on LGBT issues, part of why I am voting for him. But I also think there is room to allow these two community leaders to form their own opininion and go with Bloomberg.

UPDATE: Here is Gay City News' take on the endorsements which was just posted on their website.


Given the fact that "Life Changes" was one of my favorite albums from 2000, it should come as no surprise that I am here to rave about Ski Oakenfull's sophomore endeavour "Rising Son." What's surprising to me is that I had no idea that it had been released at all until I found it listed at an online shop (apparently it's been out since late Agust on superior house music label BBE records).

I won't say much else because you can read all about it here; watch a video of the lastest single - "So Beautiful" - here (at the bottom of the page); listen to snippets of most of the songs here; and hear the non-album exclusive, "New Orleans Under Attack" here.

Most importantly, you can buy it here or download tracks from the I-Tunes store by doing a search for the album. Come on, people, house music supports you, please support house music.

Sneak Peek: ...and, for those of you who can't wait until next week's release of the latest Depeche Mode album, "Playing the Angel," well, have we got some nifty news for you here.

Not enough? Well, how about Tori Amos singing that old 80's stalwart... uh... better you listen.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

That NYC subway terrorist threat...

By now, you have probably heard that one, possibly three Iraqui men were reported to be in the New York City, to push baby carriages filled with explosives down the crowded subway stations of New York City last Sunday, it being a Jewish holiday and all. 'Cept, none of it was true.

This had us waking up on Friday to a live CNN feed from Penn Station showing unidentified government security personnel wearing bright-yellow anti-bioterrorism hazmat suits while they prodded at something or other at one of the station's entrances.

Mind you, trains were apparently on schedule and train boarders just stood there with their morning coffee cups and bagels, staring non-chalantly at the bizarre scene. One thing is for sure, those New Yorkers certainly do their reputation proud: Logic would dictate that the lack of evacuation might mean that, dude, it was too late to evacuate! Then again, logic doesn't necessarily define Naw Yawker's attitudes. Bioterrorist threat? Fogettabaudit!

Yet, the reason why some of us were actually concerned - and this is something that I haven't seen mentioned in the developing bru-ha-ha about whether Mayor Bloomberg should have warned the public (despite the apparent flimsy evidence and on election debate night, non-the-less) - is that Bloomberg had always shown restraint in the past about similar terrorist warnings since 9/11.

While the nation as a whole was being terrorized by the Department of Homeland Security's fluctuating 'terror color code' scheme, Bloomberg kept calm and sometimes even contradicted some of the dire warnings coming from DC. So when Bloomberg decided to go public with the recent threats, he was banking on that sort of restrained credibility.

Some political consultants are 'shocked' that Bloomberg's Thursday press conference is being called into question and are using the ol' Bush trick of raising doubts about the patriotism of those who dare to ask.

Personally, I am glad that Bloomberg went public with the warning BUT he would have been better served if he had aknowledged from the start that the evidence was flimsy instead of 'credible.' As a result, any questions raised are totally on the mark. Specially since it appears the terror threats did wonders to increase the lead between Bloomberg and Ferrer as you will find out in this morning's newspapers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

TONIGHT on Logo: Latino Beginnings


Find out what it's like to be a minority within a minority. This documentary takes an in-depth look into the lives of gay Hispanics, a culture engrained in religion and machismo. Part of Logo's Real Momentum documentary series.

Check local listings for your cable channel line-up

Friday, October 07, 2005

When I got cruised: A blood and guts story

Checking out some magazines this morning at the local news-stand, I browsed through the latest Fangoria magazine - not a publication for the weak- stomached - since the cover promised some inside info on the new version of The Fog (the original is one of my guilty pleasures).

Throughout my adolescence I was a big fan of cerebral horror films and novels (not so much Friday the 13th kinda stuff but stuff like The Sender (which I can't find on DVD anywhere) and pretty much the entire oeuvre of Canadian filmmaker - and actor- David Cronenberg (been dying to watch his new film, A History of Violence and just ordered the special edition of his mind-fuck '80's film Videodrome).

Key among the stuff I liked was Clive Barker's trilogy of short-stories, "The Books of Blood," which heralded him as a major horror writer at a young age. They include "In the Hills, the Cities," the first 'mainstream' story I remember reading to feature a gay couple as the lead characters - something that struck a chord for someone grappling to understand his sexuality somewhere upstate New York. The story itself remains a stunner, I dare you to pick up a copy of "The Books of Blood" and read it (Other suggestions? My favorite Barker books are "Weaveworld" and the first volume of "Imajica" though he's been getting some attention lately for the series of children stories "Abarat").

Of course, he went on to write and direct the first "Hellraiser" film as well as other intriguing - if flawed films - such as "Nightbreed" and "The Lord of Illusions" (actually, "The Forbidden," a short story from his "In the Flesh" collection, went on to be adapted for the screen as "Candyman," which is a great film and features outstanding character actor Tony Todd and recent Oscar nominee Viginia Madsen).

Well, 1990 found me working at the old Doubleday bookstore at the Citicorp building in mid-town Manhattan and lucky me, they signed up Clive to do a book-signing for his "Great and Secret Show" novel. I've rarely been star-struck when I've had the opportunities to meet famous people but this was different. I still have worn-out paper-back versions of some of the books mentioned above - which he signed - and a signed promotional poster for "Show" still hangs from my apartment wall. Funny thing is that , even having read "In the Hills, the Cities," I still had no inkling that Clive Barker might be gay. So, even when he kept smiling at me and winking, I thought I was imagining things. So, yes, I got cruised by Clive Barker and the story now must be told!

Of course, he'd later make news by coming out: He and his partner, David Armstrong, have lived in Los Angeles for the past decade (that's David's photograph of Clive on this blog post as featured in this month's Fangoria).

The magazine itself has an article promoting his latest, Visions of Heaven and Hell, which reprints some of his illustrations. His personal site shows that Mr. Barker has not slowed down a bit.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Blabbeando in the news

Is it me or is Gay City News sporting a brand new logo? Spiffy, if you ask me.

That's not all, today's issue - already posted on-line - has an article by Andy Humm on the Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. (Ruben Diaz Agnostic on Mayor's Race) in which Diaz confirms that he will not be making an endorsement in the race, as he had told El Diario La Prensa a few days back as I reported earlier (the article also raises interesting issues about the Bloomberg campaign's refusal to answer questions on their own homophobic endorsers while trying to play up the tepid Diaz connection to Ferrer - so go read it now).

This week I have been a little stunned by how many people have come up to me and told me they've read my blog. Sometimes you don't realize how public a space this can actually be. It's fun to use PubSub to figure out if others are linking to your blog. Otherwise how was I to know that The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School took a liking to my post on Chile's LGBT pride?

This article, though, is the first time that Blabbeando has been quoted in the press although, alas, not by name. Pretty cool, no?

Now, remember that front-page New York Blade article which was purportedly about "New York's blogging elite" but actually turned out to bee one big free ad for the launch of Queerty? Well, both Queerty and Jossip have been down for a few hours. It's not that we are wishing them bad luck but what's up?

UPDATE: Glad to report that Queerty is back Though Jossip seems to still be on the blink. A legend on the Jossips site says:
As you've noticed, Jossip is offline due to some web hosting issues. We're as unhappy as you are, but leave the bitching to our hosting provider to us. Trust — they're getting enough from our mouth as it is. We hope to be back on shortly, and by "shortly" we mean yesterday. You'll be the first we tell, we promise. Thanks so much for your patience! Should you need to reach us for any reason, the email as always is

LGBT Political Leaders Support Fernando Ferrer - Photos

More photos of today's press conference here, will update post later with links to coverage.

UPDATE: Newsday - Bloomberg ducks chicken as Ferrer picks up endorsements

Fernando Ferrer: I will withdraw City's appeal to same-sex marriage ruling

Wednesday night, at a membership meeting of Marriage Equality New York, mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer came out swinging on the same-sex marriage issue as well as other LGBT concerns. Among the issues that Ferrer addressed:

On Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr.: "He does not support me, I have not asked for his support."

On Mayor Bloomberg's appeal of Judge Doris Ling-Cohan's ruling in favor of same-sex mariage: "Absolutely! As mayor I will withdraw the City's shameful court appeal of the same-sex marriage ruling [allowing same-sex couples to marry]"

On other issues: Ferrer also spoke passionately about the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA), the Reverend Diaz' misguided lawsuit against the Harvey Milk School, and the Equal Benefits Bill, which would require that businesses with a budget above $100,000 extend partner benefits to same-sex couples (which Bloomberg vetoed).

For more photos of tonight's meeting go here.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Meanwhile, accross the Hudson River...another Hispanic homophobe!

Ok, so we'd been a tad political as of late. But for this installment, we are leaving New York City - well, actually New York State for that matter - to focus on a tidbit related to New Jersey's gubernatorial race.

Today, the New Jersey Star-Ledger takes a look at how both the Republican candidate, Doug Forrester, and the Democratic contender, Jon Corzine, are making efforts to appeal for the Latino vote in New Jersey.

The article says that while Corzine has appointed Latino leaders to some high-ranking campaign positions (US Representative Robert Mendez is the co-chair of Corzine's campaign), Forrester aknowledges that he has no high-ranking Latinos on his campaign staff and has had to import high-profile out-of state Republican Hispanic politicians to help him campaign.

So, accoding to the article, on Monday there was Florida Senator Mel Martinez, walking down "
Bergenline Avenue in Union City with Forrester, acting as his unofficial translator [while] Forrester's staff handed out fliers in Spanish that, translated, read Strong family values, and pictured him with his wife and three children."

Hm, let's look back at some excerpts from a Miami Herald article published back on April
8th on Mel Martinez and his strong family values ("Schiavo memo trips rookie senator" by Lesley Clark):

The [Folorida Senate] campaign ads were bitterly divisive, even by the standards of a bare-knuckle primary, accusing the opponent of then Republican senatorial hopeful Mel Martinez of playing to the radical homosexual lobby.

Martinez blamed the ads on young Turks in his campaign and apologized to his GOP rival. Weeks later Martinez found himself again blaming a staff member after a press release from his campaign likened U.S. immigration agents to armed thugs for seizing Elián González from his Miami home in 2000.

Now, for the third time, Martinez finds himself under fire -- and blaming an aide for the conflagration. This time, Martinez said he has accepted the resignation of a staff member in his Senate office for penning the now-infamous political memo that suggested Republicans in Washington could use the plight of brain-damaged Terri Schiavo to bash Democrats, singling out Martinez's fellow Florida senator, Democrat Bill Nelson.

Trying to use the Schiavo family plight for political advantage, attacking a rival Republican as playing to the 'radical homosexual lobby,' and keeping a son from his Cuban father to get the conservative Cuban vote in Florida. Ah! Those kind of family values! I guess we now know what kind of help Forrester is bringing in to his NJ campaign.

And more on Mel Martinez anti-gay Senate campaing from a another Miami Herald article published on July 12, 2004 ("Senate candidate fights gay marriage" by Marc Caputo):

Mel Martinez stood near the altar Sunday evening and promised to fight the ''homosexual agenda,'' thereby positioning his U.S. Senate campaign on the right wing of what the faithful are calling the culture wars.

It is here, in places like the First Baptist Church of Orlando, that the religious right is drawing inspiration from preachers and politicians like Martinez, who promises to support the president's call for an unprecedented constitutional amendment seeking to define marriage only as the union of a man and a woman.

Though Martinez's position largely reflects the sentiment of the other Republican Senate candidates who are also campaigning under the steeple, his in-person campaign stop made the most of a captive audience of about 200 assembled to watch a political-religious sermon simulcast from a Tennessee church to houses of worship and radio stations across the nation.

Headlining the show were two of the biggest Christian crusaders for the amendment: James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, and Charles Colson, who established Prison Fellowship Ministries after serving time for his role in Watergate. They warned the thousands who presumably tuned in that, if left unchecked, activist judges and politicians would continue the culture war against Christianity. They predicted preachers would eventually be banned from even criticizing gays and that gay role playing would be taught in schools.

Enough said.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Still Voting for Fernando Ferrer

As Politicker posts sometimes are, there seems to have been less to the story about Ferrer and the homophobic Reverend Ruben Diaz, Sr. about which I wrote a few days back. Though the two appeared at a press conference, there was no endorsement by Diaz as rumored and no endorsement is apparently coming down the line as well. And after all is said and done, Ferrer still stands against the Reverend's positions on LGBT rights.

As political games go, the issue of Diaz is a sore point for me as a leader in the Latino LGBT community but I just keep looking at the comparissons between Bloomberg and Ferrer that Andy Humm made in last week's Gay City News and have to say that I might have jumped the gun. My vote remains with Fernando Ferrer.

As for Freddy, I got this today:

Dear Friends in the LGBT Community:

I am running for mayor to fight for our Democratic values and to build a city that works better for all of us, and I am asking for your support.

I have dedicated my career to fighting for economic and social justice for all New Yorkers. Sometimes this was not a popular position to take, but being popular is not necessarily being right and I have always known the difference. As Bronx Borough President, I created the first LGBT Advisory Council and funded the first Lavender Center in the Bronx. My office organized the first gay pride parade in the borough – and I led it as Grand Marshall.

I am running for Mayor now because, as a city, we can do better. We can be fairer, more inclusive, and we can make our city work better for more of us. We can do better than a Republican Mayor who donates millions of dollars to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, George Pataki and conservative Republicans throughout the country.

I’m running to build a city that works better for all of us:

  • That means standing firm in support of equal marriage rights for all New Yorkers – not, as Mike Bloomberg has done, appealing a historic State Supreme Court decision which would have expanded human rights and liberties.
  • That means standing up for equal pay and equal benefits for all New York couples – not, as Mike Bloomberg has done, failing to support the Equal Benefits Law and allowing our city to lag behind San Francisco, Los Angeles , Seattle and even Minneapolis, all of which have established equal benefits laws.
  • That means standing up for all of our kids by enforcing the Dignity for All Students Act - not, as Mike Bloomberg has done, reneging on a campaign promise to ensure that every student is treated with respect and free from bullying and taunts by promising to enforce the DASA and then callously vetoing it..
  • That means helping to protect all New Yorkers from the spread of HIV/AIDS by working to build permanent housing for infected low-income persons and educating all New Yorkers of the dangers of that disease.
  • And that means understanding that New York’s LGBT community is as diverse as any other. It includes the young and old, people of all ethnicities, native languages, incomes and neighborhoods.

Please join me. Together we can build a city that works better for all of us. But I need your help and support. And I need your voice, your energy, your time and your spirit.

Let us do better, together.


Fernando Ferrer

New Yorkers For Ferrer

14 East 38th Street ∙ 11th Floor ∙ New York, New York 10016
212-684-2005 ∙ fax 212-481-9505