Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Indiana Professor Don Belton Murdered

Another week, another queer person of color murdered. Indiana University Professor Don Belton, who I knew from his time in Minneapolis, though I did not know him well, was murdered by Michael Griffin. Mr. Griffin accused Don of sexually assaulting him "twice" on Christmas Day. So he went to Don's house, with a hunting knife, and when Don didn't apologize, he stabbed the man at least five or six times in the back and then several times in front.

I call that premeditated murder. You don't go to someones house for an apology and bring a knife.

The reporting also included that the police found a journal in the professor's apartment that had an entry which read that he was "very happy" that someone named Michael entered his life. Now, I could be wrong, but unless someone is a pathological or serial rapist, they generally do not write journal entries about individuals they assaulted.

This sounds like someone got their dick sucked a couple of times, couldn't deal with their internal homophobia, and killed an innocent man. There is an investigation that will dig up the facts, but I am going to go ahead and say that based on the age difference, the obvious physical fitness of Mr. Griffin, and knowing Don's commitment to justice and community, it would be very difficult for Don to assault Mr. Griffin. And even if he had, inappropriate touching does not qualify anyone for a death sentence.

I am an assault survivor. I was assaulted twice as an adult. I understand that assault between men can happen. My heart and understanding goes out to assault survivors, particularly those that are men as we are made almost completely invisible in the domestic and sexual violence movements unless we are the perpetrators.

But I don't believe for a fucking second that Michael Griffin was assaulted by Don Belton. The facts, as they stand, do not add up. Perhaps my opinion will change, but I doubt it. Even in supposed gay panic cases, the murderer has killed while, during, or just after the sexual encounter. They don't go back, days later, with a bowie knife. That is the sign of a fucked up mind and some fucked up issues.

And, of course, who values the life of a black man? Let alone a queer black man? Who thinks twice about murdering those that society still often fails to value? Why do people still think, use, and triumph with the gay panic defense? If I murdered the woman that grabbed my dick at a nightclub in Virginia over the Thanksgiving holiday, would I have been able to get off based on a straight panic defense?

I am exhausted.

Rest in piece Don. Thank you for your contributions to education, your writing, and your spirit. You will be missed.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Ganymede #6 Released Featuring Poetry by Brandon Lacy Campos and Charlie Vazquez

GANYMEDE #6 issue now out
6x9² perfect bound paperback book, 272 pages

--DAVID SEDARIS on loving his man
--British gay author DENTON WELCH (1915-1948), enjoying a big cult following
in the UK, returns to America thanks to Ganymede: SIX sample stories over
three issues!
--The Dirt on the Duchess: From Charles Higham's new memoir, learn what
Chinese vaginal technique the Duchess of Windsor used to cure her man's
impotence. Who needs the throne of England when your wife makes you cum?
--EDMUND WHITE¹s new memoir ³City Boy² and other book and film reviews
--MY DIVA: six gay authors on the great divas they love
--a rare homo-erotic mystery story by ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON
--14 gay poets, 5 gay story writers, gay photographers and artists

POETRY by Edward Field, Walter Holland, Steven Cordova, Gregg Shapiro, R.
Nemo Hill, Stephen S. Mills, Brandon Lacy Campos, Jeff Mann, Lee Houck, Eric
Norris, Bryan Borland, Christopher S. Soden, Sergio Ortiz, Mark Milazzo
FICTION by Denton Welch, Charlie Vásquez, Cyrus Cassells, Wayne Hoffman,
Eric Karl Anderson, Andrew J. Peters
ART PORTFOLIO: Today¹s Painters of the Male Form
PHOTO PORTFOLIOS: Yannis Angel, Kent Mercurio, Jannis Tsipoulanis, Eric
Phillips, Lars Stephan

Details and readable sample pages:

Purchase (print or download):
If you order print or download before Dec. 31, Lulu offers 20% off by using
this code in checkout: HOHOHO

Contributors can receive a free electronic version of the compete issue
provided their email service can handle very large attachments of 10+ mb
(gmail and Road Runner can; most others cannot)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Shits and No Giggles

Let me tell you, spending a week and a half alternating between taking 40 shits a day to all of a sudden being backed up like the 101 in L.A. during rush hour is enough to make a man say fuck it and carve into his own intestines to install a homemade colostomy bag. Then just as I thought all was well, I developed a waterfall of snot down the back of my throat and what felt like a Satanic Christmas elf with a red hot dagger in the junction between my ear and my throat that went berserk every time I swallowed anything, including the snot fountain.

Of course, all of this happened as David and I threw our holiday party, which drew about 40 guests, and our holiday trip to Connecticut to spend time with the in-laws.

And that's when "stupid man syndrome" kicked up in my butt. Now, most normal human beings, around day three of peeing out of their anus, would get thee to a doctor's office. Not my stubborn ass. Since Urgent Cares are not popular in New York, I decided to tough it out the first weekend, so as to avoid the $75 co-pay at the ER. By Monday, the fountain had dried up, and I thought...MAN WINS AGAIN! Of course, the day we leave for CT, my ear decides to go Sarah Palin rogue, but at that point it was too late to go to the doctor, as we were on our way to CT. I figured it was just a little earache, and it would go away, so I ate about three bites of Christmas dinner (I must be the only idiot in the Christian world that lost weight with about 20 lbs of ham staring him in the face). Day before last I decided to self medicate. Turns out that enough vodka heals all wounds, or at least least numbs them to the point where you just don't care.

Oh but I did care yesterday morning.

When I woke up yesterday, the ear pain was back with a vengeance, and this time the mucus waterfall was non-stop, yum. Unfortunately, "stupid man syndrome" was still in full effect. I decided that I was going to tough it out. I laid back down to take a nap. Finally, when I realized that the Hell's Elves had built a full on mosh pit in my ear/throat, I decided to suck it up and ask David to take me to urgent care.

I rose only to discover that David had been summoned by the Spirit of Martha Stewart Past (before jail), and he was off to the yarn store. I offered up a great lament, as David is a big old Uptown Girl when it comes shopping. That one can disappear into a craft aisle for three days and sustain himself with the water he keeps in the nick knack hump on his back.

Thank the lord that he made it back swiftly.

We trucked to the urgent care and then got to sit in the waiting room for 45 minutes. Once in the back, I got to tell a crotchety nurse about my various systems, and then she asked me my doctor's name. I blanked. I seriously blinked at her and said ummmm, "Steve." And she said, "umm. Last name." I totally could not remember. Then I mentioned he was in Chelsea, and she gave me that, "Oh you are from the CITY," look and shuffled out of the room. By the time the doctor came in, I was eyeballing a tongue depressor and a bottle of rubbing alcohol wondering if I could just fix the situation myself. The doc listened to my chest and then stuck one of those giant swabs down my throat, which came out bright red and bloody. I almost fainted off the damn examination table. I hadn't realized that the Elves weren't moshing, they were butchering my throat and selling the flesh to Dwarves as beef jerky.


The doctor was about as pleasant as Nurse Evil. And then I made the ultimate mistake as I left the examination room. I wished him a Merry Christmas, to which he did not respond. Then I read his name on the prescription sheet. Score one for wishing a Merry Christmas to a Jew. I am so awesome.

I got my drugs, headed home, and evicted the elves. Stupid Man Syndrome gave way to No More Blood in the Throat Common Sense.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a phlegm free night.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Yesterday, Mo'nique received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in the movie "Precious," the film based on the novel Push by Sapphire. She deserved it. Indeed, Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, Lenny Kravitz, and Gabourey Sidibie should all just be handed Golden Globes and Oscars right now.

This movie was so good and so hard and so raw and so real that at times I felt as if I were a voyeur inside the real life of any number of young women that I see on any given day walking the streets of New York.

Precious deals with a range of issues from incest, physical abuse, teen pregnancy, literacy, HIV/AIDS, poverty, and race. The truth is that the American cinema rarely deals well with ONE of those issues, and most films that attempt to not only address more than one of these issues but also to demonstrate the very real interconnections between these issues and their attendant oppressions, usually the movie falls flat or has to resort to being a musical (Rent anyone?). This movie not only addresses these issues but maintains a realism that for anyone that has struggled with any of these issues, you feel as if your story is being told to you from the silver screen, and it is not always a comfortable feeling.

I saw this film with my friend Kenyon, and at one point, he just laid his hand on my leg in comfort, and I was glad to have him nearby. Watching this film with another person of African descent, someone that I know understands many of the issues discussed in this film, made all the difference. When the two young black women walked out of the movie after a particularly difficult scene, I didn't wonder why. Watching it is not for the weak of heart or for anyone that is not in a good head place and soul space.

But it is a movie that everyone should see. I think what made the movie work, and I came to this conclusion after a Facebook conversation with my friend Cindy, was that everyone in the movie was ridiculously humble. With the stars attached to this movie, it could have easily have become a Divafest. Anyone one of the megastars attached to the film could have out shined the newcomer, Sidibie, but they all understand that the story they were telling was greater than themselves. Hell, to be real, I knew Mariah Carey was in the movie, and I was staring right at her and did not register the woman on the screen with the pop star.

Do yourself a favor. Go and see Precious. I guarantee that no other movie that came out in 2009 is anywhere near the quality of this movie. Prepare for an Oscars sweep.