Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Friday, August 31, 2007

    You may not have heard of Ari Gold, but he is a part of pop history. He is the first pop artist to be openly gay from the start of his career.

    Check out my interview with Ari who has the new album Transport Systems, which is out October 2nd and he will be performing at Joe’s Pub in New York City on September 4th. Check out his MySpace for more information.

    Gold Standard: Talking with Ari Gold

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    Posted by Clay :: 6:03 PM :: 0 comments
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    Thursday, August 30, 2007



    CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE AUDIO OF THE SENATOR LARRY CRAIG ARREST I'm sure a house remix is hitting the clubs soon!

    Yesterday morning I was a guest on "The Santita Jackson Show", which is morning radio show based out of Chicago with Jesse Jackson's eldest daughter. We discussed the debacle of Senator Larry "Bathroom Stall" Craig, the Republican Idaho Senator who was charged with lewd conduct in a bathroom stall with another man...how very George Michael.

    Santita and I had an excellent conversation, along with her call-in guests, about another hypocritical Republican being blasted in the public eye and Sen. Craig's refusal to call himself gay.

    Firstly, I stressed that while I am disgusted at Sen. Craig for opposing gay rights and now caught pink-handed trying to wack his tacky in a bathroom, however, the compassionate part of me feels a bit sorry for Sen. Craig. Senator Craig is a symptom of a socially oppressive society. If you hate yourself and have shame, which is a deadly mindset, you are going to act out in unhealthy and dangerous ways. Shame is a horrible space to exist, which is obviously a space Senator Craig has been for a large part of his life and will probably remain. Also, keep in mind this is not Sen. Craig’s first bathroom rendezvous. According to an Idaho newspaper:

    "The most serious finding by the Statesman was the report by a professional man with close ties to Republican officials. The 40-year-old man reported having oral sex with Craig at Washington's Union Station, probably in 2004. The Statesman also spoke with a man who said Craig made a sexual advance toward him at the University of Idaho in 1967 and a man who said Craig 'cruised' him for sex in 1994 at the REI store in Boise."

    Now we have Senator Craig denying he is gay, which some people are mortified by. Why in gay-angel-food-cake-heaven would anyone expect a 62 year-old, rich, white man from Midvale, Idaho admit to being homosexual? There is no way the man would ever identify with being gay and I find it almost appalling that his refusal of saying he is gay is the shocker to many people. Senator Craig is not from the generation of Rosie O’Donnell and Ellen. Hell, according to the quote above he was trying to pick up boys at the University of Idaho before Stonewall happened! Merv Griffin couldn't even come out of the closet and he wasn't even a politician, just a television legend! To have the expectation of Senator Craig calling himself gay is a bit farfetched and missing a major point.

    What I brought up on the Santita Jackson show is that with Senator Craig, Mark Foley or Jim McGreevy no one is using the word "DL" nor blaming these rich white men for HIV/AIDS in their community—that is the boom-kat! These men, especially Senator Craig, are the definition of "DL" because not only are/were they lying to their family, but they are/were lying to the world.


    Is Senator Craig's wife, Suzanne Craig, running to get an HIV/AIDS test? Is HIV/AIDS crossing the minds of their three ADOPTED children...baby, Miss Larry could've even get it up to procreate.

    There is no mention of the “DL” because this is not an opportunity to criminalize black male sexuality. Consider this, if Senator Obama were caught attempting to get his freak on with another man he would instantly be labeled “DL” and blamed for half of the HIV/AIDS infections in Chicago. It's hypocrisy on every front.

    Be sure to click here to vote for this blog for Best LGBT Blog for the Black Weblog Awards--less than 24 hours to vote!

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 12 comments

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    Wednesday, August 29, 2007


    After the three kids in Newark who were shot and killed by alleged illegal immigrants and immigration being the new hot topic in political campaigns—it has got me to reminiscing about my taste of plantation life.

    I was raised in Washington State in my early childhood and grew up incredibly poor. Lawd, we was po' and at our very poorest, which was usually the end of the month, we would catch this savage, dirty, baby blue bus at four o'clock in the morning to a berry plantation. Yes, berry picking on plantations, similar to picking cotton. It was horrendous...my mother could never find a babysitter at four in the morning so I had to go with her, always in the summer and normally on the weekends.

    The berry plantations were filled with some poor whites, a few Native Americans, but overwhelmingly Mexican—the lowest class of people in Washington State. Many of the Mexicans were illegal immigrants and many of the poor whites were those on welfare. Berry plantations were one of the only places they could find a job under the table, which was paramount for the illegal Mexicans and poor whites (for those who didn't grew up below the poverty line—every dime you make on welfare you have to report, therefore, it's even more challenging to get off the system because they take the gross amount out of your check each month).

    Berry picking was basically slave labor…exhausting work for pennies.

    We would begin bright and Jim Crow early on a hellish, dusty bus ride to some deserted plantation that could've been the location for Roots. There was a never-ending field with rows and rows of berry patches surrounded by what looked like a fortress of thorns and leaves on each berry patch. Oh yes, you had to work to get those berries. God forbid you smashed one—that is a half a penny in the dirt!

    We had to pick as many berries as possible, filling up each massive crate; one crate would literally take about an hour and a half to fill. For each crate we would earn something to the effect of $5.00, which was pretty good for the early '80's—you could get some milk, butter and bread for your government cheese and still have change left over! However, if you ate their scraps for lunch (my mother always managed to bring some type of lunch) they would dock that out of your pay. Some of the people would get their first meal of the day during lunch on the berry plantations.


    Who are the people who owned the berry plantations? Take a wild guess...rich white men, stomping around the plantation making sure the poor folk were working for their pay.

    Digging our hands into the berry patches we would encounter thorns, freakish bugs, rough leaves and the stench of fertilizer. The sun was always blazing and you couldn't wear shorts or short sleeves shirts because the bugs would eat your raw skin.

    To ease the pain, sometimes we would break out into song as we were picking! No, it wasn't a Negro spiritual, but it would be something strange like a Christmas jingle, I guess to take us out of the heat and hellish environment.

    I would pick and pick with my mom telling me I could take a rest at anytime. Nonetheless, the deal was any parent who brought kids (there were tons of kids!) had to WORK...yes, this wasn't a daycare so even the children had to earn their "wage". My little hands would get pricked by the thorns, bugs flying under my shirt, the hot sun beaming on my brown face...by noon, and nearly delirious, I would basically pass out in the dirt.

    Whenever I think of immigration I think of the Mexicans I met on those berry plantations. Doing the work that people in Washington State would only do in their worst nightmare and enduring the terrible treatment from the plantation "owners". No matter how poor some whites were, and even some blacks, they would never do "that" type of labor. So the argument against immigration is always odd to me, similar to how many whites in the antebellum South thought that if slaves had freedom it would take away their jobs…black men are still below the poverty line.

    Whenever I hear the word “immigration” my small taste of plantation life pops to mind. Also, WHENEVER I see a raspberry (for some reason not strawberries or blueberries) I instantly think of standing in the heat, struggling to help my mom fill her crate up with berries so we could earn our five dollars.

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    Posted by Clay :: 3:29 AM :: 5 comments

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    Tuesday, August 28, 2007



    Buju Banton and Bounty Killer caused bit of a raucous this weekend due to their performance at Randalls Island and protests from LGBT activist.

    Is it me or is Miss Buju selling dirty, banjee boy face in the pic above? Hands all perched on the wall...lips slightly pursued...head cocked to the side like a Paris Hilton pose...that beast better emote! Anyway, check out my cover story on the reggae concert for the New York Blade.



    Dr. Hill killed it with this line:

    “When gay and lesbian bodies are on the line, everybody is a cultural relativist. In Iraq they say, ‘Oh, the women have no freedom—we have to fix that!’ In Jamaica they say, ‘Oh, let them do what they do.’ There’s no interest in protecting gay and lesbian bodies.”

    Also, check out a review of the concert from the New York Times:



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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 3 comments

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    Friday, August 24, 2007

    Six years ago tomorrow Aaliyah died in a fatal plane crash in the Bahamas. Aaliyah would've been 28 years-old.

    I was visiting Washington State at the time and on the front page of the paper there was a small image of Aaliyah. I was wondering—why in the hell is Aaliyah on the cover of a small town paper in Washington State? In the bottom right-hand corner it read, "R&B singer Aaliyah dies in plane crash." I was floored...I was an Aaliyah fan, but not a massive, hardcore dedicated fan. Still, Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number was the second CD I ever bought and her music represented the '90's, high school and those intricate memories that only a good drum-machined '90's song can bring up. Not to mention when Aaliyah came out with One in a Million it seemed like every drag queen in Philadelphia decided to plop their weave over one eye and wear dark shades!

    Once I got back to New York City I was even more shocked how many other people were affected by Aaliyah's death. I remember someone saying they went to her eulogy at Saint Ignatius Loyola Roman Catholic Church in Manhattan and even the hardest of thugs were bawling. I realized...Aaliyah was the first famous person from the R&B/hip-hop generation to pass. She suddenly turned into a Patsy Cline or a Ritchie Valens—two people who also died in plane crashes.

    Sure, Aaliyah wasn't a stunning singer, but I thought she understood her voice and did what she did well. Regardless of voice, there was something unique and refreshing a
    bout her and I can't remember anyone complaining Aaliyah couldn't sing, compared to how many of us are wounded by the likes of Cassie, Ciara and Rihanna. Aaliyah didn’t seem manufactured like the duds of today. Keep in mind, these were the days before R&B/hip-hop was completely capitalized and media was much different (could you imagine if there were blogs when Aaliyah illegally married R. Kelly? LAWD!).

    Those were the days when an R&B singer didn't need major pop success to have longevity—you could never fully crossover and still gain respect and a huge following. Aalliyah’s first number one hit wasn't till "Try Again" in 2000. She obviously had a grind, built her career since 1994 and had something creative to offer versus having the next hit record.

    I also loved how she was never caught up in the Brandy versus Monica battle, although she was their age and actually came out before them; it was as if she was on a different level. Even style wise, Aaliyah always wore her black with a mysterious vibe—she was the closest thing to Goth or rock that R&B was ever going to get.

    I can't believe it has been six years since her passing and I still rock Aaliyah's music like “Choosey Lover”, “Resolution” and of course “One in a Million”, which is a classic '90's R&B song.

    Pasted below is a clip from Queen of the Damned. A movie that was absolutely horrendous, but Aaliyah was flawless, taking on a role that was risky for an R&B princess. Oddly enough, the book Queen of the Damned was all about Aaliyah's character, Akasha, so I was deeply confused why they made this film about Lestat. However, Anne Rice, the writer of Queen of the Damned, said Aaliyah played Akasha exactly how she envisioned her to be. The scene is classic and not for one moment did I see Aaliyah. She was truly a gifted artist. Rest in peace.

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 17 comments

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    Thursday, August 23, 2007

    I've avoided doing posts about the latest season of Making the Band. The show has lost all creative energy after the Making the Band with the hip-hop group, which I lovingly referred to as "The Baps Show". Baps was truly the star, completely hood, wet and wavy weaves and slightly manish looks. Plus, she was great for the one-liners--who can forget, "Let 'em fight!" As she blinks her eyes, "Let 'em fight!"

    Making the Band 4 might as well be called Cocodrom 4 with a bun
    ch of boys trapped in a house by a rich, older daddy instructing their every move. In the beginning, I tried to ignore their mannerisms that are questionable because damn it, I’m progressive; I know mannerisms do not equal sexuality! However, when I had to digest a full season of ungodly arched eyebrows, the glitzy beads, bangles and jewels decorated on their outfits and crying over haircuts...when that loc-headed boy had to cut his mane off in the barber shop and started bawling -- I hollered! All I needed was Tyra to walk in and say how disrespectful he was to criticize the greatest stylist in the business.

    Plus, it didn't help that the most masculine person on the show was Laurie Ann and she was tossed away like a used up power-bottom!

    Now, the clip below takes the gay heaven cake. After a restless night, the boys awaken feeling a bit feisty. One of the quaffed young men says, "Let's get Q's ass." I guess without any lube they decided on just having a water balloon fight!


    They fill hot pink balloons with water and prance around the apartment having a wet and wild, shirtless cat fight. Watch the clip below as they shriek (get into the scream at 41 seconds!), holler and skedaddle in front of the cameras.



    Honestly, I don't know if any of these boys are gay. Lord knows if they were they would be more talented!


    The season finale of Making the Band 4 airs Sunday, August 26th at 10pm.

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 15 comments

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    Wednesday, August 22, 2007

    For all you dancers out there check out my story on the legendary Dance Theatre Workshop, which hones modern dance artists who are on the cutting edge of dance. The story is a feature on the organization's newest director, Stephen Greco. Click on the link below:

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    Posted by Clay :: 1:12 AM :: 0 comments
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    Tuesday, August 21, 2007

    This Saturday is the 16th Annual Latex Ball in New York City, an event not to be missed. You can be guaranteed a full scale production of creativity, glamour and community involvement. The theme is "Futuristic Carnival: The Show Most Go On". Here are the details:


    Saturday, August 25, 2007
    FREE ADMISSION
    The Roseland Ballroom
    239 West 52nd Street, NYC
    (between Broadway and 8th Avenue)
    DOORS OPEN AT 7PM


    Ball starts at 9:30pm

    I know some people have emailed me about others balls I have mentioned, wondering why it started so late and why I didn't inform them balls take three hours to start. With that said -- you decide the best time to attend! Nonetheless, if you are in New York City and haven't to a ball, or even been to a ball, this is the function to attend. Here are some of the categories you can look forward to:


    Femme Queen (transgender women) Performance
    Bedazzled Animal Print Effect. You have been genetically spliced. Bring it with your dainty human ways and your animalistic moves.


    Femme Queen (transgender women) Face
    Your FACE is the future- By 2050 most of the earth's land will be under water due to Global Warming. Fire and water will conquer the earth. You are the last woman to be crowned Queen of the new World. Bring us that look that will show us why your beauty made you Queen of the New World.


    Female Figure Runway
    The Futuristic Cotton Candy Girl- You've been playing in the carnival all day and now you need a break, a candy break! Bring it in a Futuristic Cotton Candy Girl effect and pump with your sweets.


    Also, congrats to the House of Blahnik who awarded their first Tony Milan Scholarship to Ajmar Millar known by his House/Ball friends as “Ajay Balenciaga". Ajay is pursuing his undergraduate education at Morehouse College, in Atlanta (GA) where he is a graduating senior and is an active member of Atlanta’s Ballroom community. Congrats to Ajay and everyone involved with the creation of Tony Milan Scholarship. This directly challenges that the ballroom scene is just a hot-bed of negativity!


    For more information about the Tony Milan Scholarship and how to apply in the future, please feel free to email the House of Blahnik at houseofblahnik@yahoo.com.

    For those of who may not be familar with a ball check out one of my favorite ball clips below of Neptune Prodigy and Alloura Blahnik for "hands performance."

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 1 comments

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    Monday, August 20, 2007

    Is Mandy Moore this generation's Pat Boone? The millisecond I heard Mandy Moore's version of Rihanna's "Umbrella" I thought of this scene from Dreamgirls:

    You can see similar scenes like this in The Five Heartbeats, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, Hairspray and countless other films. This is not to say Moore is stealing black music and making the song more popular, like Pat Boone did to Fat's Domino and Little Richard, but I find it extremely interesting how some people are reacting to this song like she turned "Umbrella" into the "Star Spangled Banner". There are rumors of Moore's version being a single.

    Rihanna is not a soul singer or a mucus membrane of a singer, but there is a distinct urban and slight Caribbean vibe to the song. Plus, being that white female artists have replaced even the most non-threatening black female singers, it is slightly disturbing Moore's song is getting so much praise. Also, am I the only who was perturbed when Mandy scrunched her face and said, "I don't tend to listen to this type of music, but you just can’t deny how melodic this song is." Really, girl? Out of her five albums that bombed wasn't Mandy's biggest hit an ultra-cheesy pop tune called "Candy"?

    Do you think anyone would care if Jill Scott covered Amy Winehouse's "Rehab"? If Fantasia remade Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" or if Jennifer Hudson sang Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats"?

    I like the song "Umbrella" and I know it is vapid R&B ditty. However, I didn't think it could get even more plastic and easy to digest. Take a look for yourself...

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 21 comments

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    Friday, August 17, 2007

    All About Eve
    Check out my cover story with Eve for HX Magazine. For all my New Yorkers you can pick up HX anywhere in the Village. Everyone else click on the link below for the full interview.

    Eve discusses her girl crush, how to battle a Lil' Kim drag queen, DL men in hip-hop, working with homophobic artist Sizzla and much more. Eve's new album Here I Am is in stores September 18th.

    All About Eve

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    Posted by Clay :: 1:17 PM :: 3 comments

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    Thursday, August 16, 2007

    The Invasion Movie Review
    From Disturbia to Hostel: Part II to Lindsay Lohan’s disaster I Know Who Killed Me—suspense movies are not having the best luck in 2007. In addition, whenever a suspense film is mixed with social commentary it demands the viewer to take the story even more seriously, which can sometimes be the biggest flaw. A perfect example is The Invasion, directed by Oliver Hirschbiegel, which is a remake of 1956’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers. However, The Invasion was more evading a good plotline, which was magnified by the always vague and robotox-ed Nicole Kidman.

    The Invasion is the story of an alien force/disease that is transforming the overworked people of D.C. into emotionless drones who stare into space with no soul…perfect role for Nicole Kidman. This “disease” is covered up as a case of the flu by the CDC, but when violent husbands are no longer beating their wives and children are being little demon-seeds—surely something is wrong.

    Nicole Kidman is Carol Bennell, a drug dealer—oops, sorry! A psychiatrist who dopes her patients up with endless supplies of meds with the hopes they won’t have too many of their coo-coo for the coco puff moments…get the irony? Carol is the equivalent of this alien disease, she makes everyone into drones with her pills…what a plot twist!

    When Miss Carol finds out that she is next to turn into a non-emotional, stiff, plastic actress – I mean, person! She fights back with one facial expression at a time to save herself and her son, played by Jackson Bond. I was mesmerized how Bond’s ten-year old face can make more facial movements than Kidman’s entire forehead!

    Chaos ensues as Barbie-esque Kidman skedaddles around D.C., fighting off the diseased, looking for a cure, popping pills and chugging Mountain Dew to stay awake (if you take a little nap the disease infects you). The Invasion could have easily been a Lifetime movie with the title Not Without My Son: The Carol Bennell Story.

    Okay, maybe I’m being too hard on the film, it wasn’t absolutely terrible.
    Plus, the film had some production problems, it took over two years to reach completion and was also reshot...two years? Reshoots? Who produced this film—Lauryn Hill?

    Regardless of the journey to make the film, The Invasion would have been more impactful if it was 1987 versus 2007. For example, the film reaches to take a political shift with running CNN footage and the hypocrisies of the government. After legendary movies like Outbreak and 28 Days Later a potentially good sci-fi horror flick transforms into a trite, predictable invasion of Hollywood trying to capitalize on the same storyline.

    The Invasion is not a total bore, as long as you lower your expectations to USA television network standards. There is enough choppy cut and edits to jump in your seat, great car chase scenes, uncountable flashbacks and a flock of evil little children that give the Children of the Corn a hot battle. I particularly loved when wholesome Kidman knocked one of the children right in the head!

    The “infected” are the biggest cackles with actors walking around as “emotionless”. The funniest moments are when the black actors portray emotionless—seeing Kidman’s loc-headed secretary acting as if she has no soul was like watching Gayle King look at a picture of Oprah and not get moist—it just wouldn’t happen! We also get quick glimpses of soulless D.C. thugs, which I found particularly amusing…many of them had the same facial expressions of our favorite barebacking porn stars!

    Forgive me, but I have to rant on Nicole Kidman’s face. Kidman is the “ideal” of beauty across the globe; however, I did not see one facial muscle in the entire film. It was as if she was one of those pictures on Conan O’Brien with just the lips moving!

    Do I recommend seeing The Invasion? There are moments of suspense, but once the films tries to get Discovery Channel-ish it completely falls apart. However, If you’re not paying then go see The Invasion with some friends, get loud in the theatre, feel free to answer your cell phone a few times, send a few texts and you’ll probably enjoy it. The most fun is leaving theatre and acting like you’re emotionless while walking the streets—if you forget how, just buy any of Nicole Kidman’s DVDs.

    ** ½ stars

    The Invasion hits theatres nationwide tomorrow, August 17th

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 10 comments

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    Wednesday, August 15, 2007

    I found a way to cure the Self-Hating Latin Fetish, or any ethnic/racial fetish. Go directly to the country!

    Let me stress, I never had a Latin fetish, but having just spent time on the Island of Hispaniola, if I did—it would officially be wiped away. After seeing immense third world poverty, machine guns at the entrance of restaurants, the evilest customer service next to an Iraqi public restroom at the Coral Hamaca in Boca Chica, tons of hustlers—basically anything that could have happened in Harlem! Don’t be fooled, this goes both ways—for all the Latins and white folks who think black Americans are some Mandingo fantasy, spend the night in North Philadelphia! Basically, there isn't much difference between any of us and to eroticize each other to our ethnicity or race is pointless.

    D.R. is a beautiful country with beautiful people, but it’s not paradise (not that I thought it was -- the myth of the Caribbean being a paradise was debunked when I went to Jamaica years ago). Here are just a few things I learned in the Dominican Republic.
    This is MY experience—I'm not saying every Dominican is this way (good or bad), so don't email me with the madness or use this entry as a source for an upcoming term paper (yes, I’ve gotten those emails too!).

    DOMINICANS ARE NOT JUST BLACK FOLKS WITH AN ACCENT
    Sorry people. I know some (especially those black men who just love to date Dominicans and say there is no difference) would like to think that Dominicans are just black folks with an accent, but I would beg to differ. Language, culture, religion, music—in every way shape and form they are not "black" as we know it in America. They will identify as Dominican, Latino, Islander, African, etc.—black might eventually make the list, but it’s pretty low on the list.

    Now of course I completely agree when someone who is Dominican, Puerto Rican, or Cuban says they are black. However, as I said in my Self-Hating Latin Fetish post, if I meet a Dominican who doesn't call themselves black, I am okay with it—I understand why they wouldn’t, especially going to the country and not spending everyday on a resort.

    Sure, a lot of Dominicans are dark-skinned; however, skin tone is not the only basis for race. To say all Dominicans and black Americans look alike is like saying all Asians look alike. Also, there were so many Dominicans I saw who in no ways looked “black.” If someone doesn’t look black in America, it is rare they will be identified as black. Yes, Dominicans are more African than black (for those who think the two are synonymous I don't have the strength to write a dissertation), I met some who were proud to say they were African...but black—HELL NO. I even know West Africans who do not call themselves black. Funny thing is African-Americans have less African retentions than Dominicans—therefore, that is what makes our culture so different. Yes, Dominicans are African, but they are not just black folks with an accent.

    THE DARKEST ARE THE POOREST
    Of course it wasn’t a shock. Most of D.R. seems to have issues with class rather than race, on the other hand, where you saw mainly poor people, there were dark-skinned people. I have met many black Americans who say that Dominicans in New York are racist (although I haven't experienced that), but what I realized is that the Dominicans who have the funds to move to New York are usually (not all) those who are from more of an upper-class background, therefore, their constructs of classism might translate to racism in the States.

    IS THE DOMINICANS HATE HAITIANS MYTH TRUE?
    One person cannot speak for an entire island, but I did ask, "You know how the rest of the world hates Americans because of President Bush. Do Dominicans feel the same?" One guy laughed and replied with, "No! The only people Dominicans hate are Haitians! Keep a Haitian 1,000 miles away from me!" Sad thing is if it wasn’t for the Haitian revolt in 1804, there would be no Dominican Republic. However, this is a structure from the ruling class to keep both third world countries oppressed.

    “BLACK AMERICANS ARE UGLY!”
    Oh yes, someone told me, "You are so attractive to be black American." Now, if this was a white person from Switzerland I might have gotten offended, but being that this person was darker than me it was almost comical. So, I asked him to elaborate, "Well, you don't act all hip-hop. I hate that!" Okay, if I was Dominican I would probably say the same, considering the only representation of black men in the media are thugs. Then he adds, "Plus, you have pink lips." "What?" I asked. "Pink lips! Black Americans have black lips—like Whoopi Goldberg!" I rolled my eyes and dunked my head in the ocean.

    DOMINICANS HATE THEMSELVES JUST AS MUCH AS BLACK FOLKS!
    Oh, yes, I used to be one of those who would say, “We as black people bring each other down the most. We hate on each other the most. We are like crabs in barrel”, blah, blah, blah…Some of the things I heard Dominicans say about each other—I thought I was listening to Klansmen whittling wood on a Georgia porch in 1863! When an older Dominican woman who left in the 1950's found out my friend and I were going to D.R. her response was, "Why would you want to go to that retched place!" Rest assured black folks, we are not the only self-hating group.

    GAY DOMINICANS
    I went to two gay clubs in D.R., Jay-Dees, a Latin version of Chi-Chis without the smell of fried chicken and Vaseline—I actually enjoyed myself. Also, Club Cha, owned by the legendary and beautiful Chachita Rubino, I had a great time. However, the clubs close at 2am so right when you are ready to get your life, lights out.

    D.R. has no homothugs, which was refreshing, but there was an "I'm so pretty vibe" where people would just stare and emote in tight jeans and gelled hair. When the men tried to approach me they would talk through my friend, one boy, who was as dainty as a fuchsia unicorn with black eye liner, said,"Bring him to me!"

    Another man said he was twenty-two and I explained he was too young. He replies with, "Love has no age"—giving me the exact lip quiver in Vanity’s "Under the Influence" video!

    I met one hustler who had four kids (showed me pictures of his kids) and a wife -- he claimed he could show me a good time and if my friend, who is a female, wanted a little "lickey-lickey" he could work that out too. I wondered if this type of man is labeled as "DL" in D.R. and blamed for the HIV/AIDS epidemic, like the States.

    Whenever I go out of the country I see how connected and similar we truly are. We don't need our race or ethnicity to be the same, but I wish our racial constructs in the States were similar to the Islands -- when you analyze race it's illogical and lost in translation.

    I will say this, my Negro side really acted up. The music to me was just so unfamiliar and I have to admit it…when they played Beyonce I nearly threw myself on the dance floor and reenacted the "Deja Vu" choreography because I was excited to hear American music!

    D.R. is such a beautiful country and for all of you who lust for the Latin boys, pasted below are pictures of strippers! Oh…sorry, the pics are carefully censored, but I’m sure this is enough—make sure you clean off your keyboard when you are done!

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 21 comments

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    Wednesday, August 08, 2007

    Check out my review of the Soul Food: Season Two DVD. As you all know, I love the show, but the DVD is dispicable slap in the face to any Soul Food fan. The DVD is in stores now.

    Considering the success of the show, one would think the second season DVD would be delivered with a little more fanfare to the show’s loyal followers. However, the DVD is blatantly slapped together with literally no special features and even the music altered from its original network airings. Looks like the big-wigs at Paramount are missing a little soul.

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 0 comments
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    Monday, August 06, 2007

    Before I begin let me just start with a disclaimer—no, this post isn’t about you! This is just an observation I’ve had in the black gay community. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

    From the moment I moved to New York City, almost ten years ago, I noticed many black gay/bisexual/chillin'/too-insecure-to-admit-it men who have a ridiculous fetish for Latin men. Yes, the feisty Latin lover...with the "pretty" hair, "fine" features and romantic accents. Yes, they call you "pa" and "papi", and might go half with you on a trip to their "native" island. Isn't it sexy?

    I found this peculiar, considering no ethnicity or race is particularly fascinating to me—maybe this is geographical. I grew up in two areas, Washington State and Philadelphia, one lily white, the other predominately black. The only "Latinos" I saw were Mexicans, who have little to no African descendants and looked nothing like me. Also, there were a small cluster of Puerto Ricans in Philadelphia. Nonetheless, my life was very black and white—I still can’t tell when someone is Jewish!

    I wasn’t socialized around Latinos, or more specifically, Caribbean Latinos. Actually, like many non-New Yorkers who moved to the city when they were older—I never heard of Dominicans until I moved to New York. Mind you, this is before the era of mass information and the internet at your fingertips.

    I first heard the term "Dominicans" from a black gay guy in New York—I thought he was talking about a group of porn stars! "Those Dominicans can f&!k! Those Dominicans can take some d%!k! Those Dominicans can suck some d%!k!!" I thought Dominicans were some major porn troupe! Come to find out it was just an ethnicity from the Island of Hispaniola.

    My non-sexual introduction to Latinos was people thinking I was Puerto Rican or Dominican…supposedly because of my hair texture and skin tone. I was a little offended being that I have so many family members from the South; there are tons of black people who are light-skinned with the same hair texture as mine. In addition, black folks come in all shades and textures—to my knowledge, I looked like every other black man I grew up with. In Philadelphia people rarely even thought I had a white parent, unless I told them. Other black people did not question my blackness, until I moved to New York City.

    Interestingly enough, it was rarely Latinos who thought I was Latino—it was black gay men. "Oh, I thought you were Latin, but you're just light-skinned." I suddenly became less appealing because I was just a common colored boy with a white mammy. I would even meet black gay men who pulled a Christina Aguilera and said, "Well, I'm a quarter Latin." Then there were the men who would cheer, "I'm dating a Puerto Rican guy!" As if they just won a shiny golden trophy with an uncut piece!

    What shocked me the most was to hear other black gay men rant about black gay men—sounding strikingly similar to hetero black women who complain about black men. "I'm tired of these niggas! They are all trifling! We're losing all the good black men to white men! I'm just gonna get me a Latin man!" I would hear arguments that Latinos are better men because they are more timely, more sexual in bed and even have better hygiene...hygiene? Does that Castilian blood make them stay in the shower longer? The self-hate had its own stench.

    Why do some black gay men eroticize Latin men the way some white woman have a Mandingo fantasy? I understand the argument that "Latinos are black too!" However, many Latinos do not identify as black and when leaving the states race is suddenly a construct that doesn't translate in many places across the globe.

    For example, I know Dominicans who do not identify as black and it doesn't bother me in the slightest. However, I’ve met some black folks who have this hysterical issue with it...well, baby if they don't call themselves black how does that affect us? Surely, they aren't “African-Americans” and black is a racial identity that just started being used as a political force in the 1960's. Why should a sixty-year old Puerto Rican woman call herself a black woman when her lifespan is older than the political term "black"?

    Oh, I guess it's a little different if it's a 25 year-old hot Latin man and you are a self-hating black man who thinks because he can't find love with another black man that it will suddenly be easier with Latin men. Baby, all those issues you have with black men are going to follow you from black to white to Asian to Latin. If you believe every black man is disgusting and trashy then that is exactly what you will find.

    I don't know if gay Latinos eroticize black men the same way some of us eroticize them...I have a feeling they don't. I remember a study years ago where various races/ethnicities were surveyed asking which race/ethnicity they identified with the most. The majority of whites identified with Asians, Asians identified with whites, blacks identified with Latinos and Latinos identified more with whites. No one identified more with blacks. Obviously, this isn’t true for every Latino, but I still believe this survey is relevant today.

    Of course there is nothing wrong with dating Latin men or dating outside your race. If you find someone who makes you happy through the madness of people out there then more power to you. Nonetheless, when you romanticize a whole sector of people while criticizing another sector of people and you are part of that people—somethin’ is ah’ brewin’ that’s a bit deeper than a natural attraction. Maybe you’re seeing yourself in the black men you date. It's challenging, compounded with being black in America, gay and maybe poor. Therefore, forming a union with someone who is a mirror image of yourself in physicality and socio-economic status might be a bit too heavy for the already wounded.

    This Latin fetish actually has nothing to do with Latinos, but more to do with self-hate. Many of us are still wrapped up in someone who is light-skinned or Anglo features. So why not go a step further and obsess over a different ethnicity because it makes you feel better about yourself that you can pull someone who is your ideal fantasy? Maybe it will make you more attractive, a little more exotic, a little more timely, a little better in bed, a little more clean...

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 39 comments

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