Mighty Real: The New Gay Workout Anthems Playlist


[Please note that some of the visuals in the videos are NSFW – Not Safe for Work. YouTube usually requires a login before those who are over 18 can view them, but we can’t promise this will be the case. Some of the selections are Rated PG-13 due to language and imagery.]

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about working out to LGBTQ-inclusive anthems that puts a lil’ extra pep in my elliptical hyper-step.

Living by a gay-owned gym staffed by fab music lovers who know their stuff doesn’t hurt—but when you have your own playlist, you can take all your fab on the road, or stick it in your headphones and jog it out.

Need some suggestions? Thought you’d never ask.

The tracks below have either been co-opted by gay folks or penned and performed by them (mostly the latter). You’ll find some classics and discover some newbies.

Big Freedia – Azz Everywhere http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbR5wPpoOiw

In the words of George Clinton, “Free your mind and your ass will follow.” This track’s less about your bootie and more about your free spirited shaking of said behind. And that’s right Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s the TwerkMaster General, Big Freedia. Girlfriend brings the party on “Overdrive. Overdrive! Overdrive! When you take a ride!” Everything Big Freedia touches is dope. As the Queen Diva of New Orleans Sissy Bounce, she’s spent many years crafting her tracks and performance/recording skills to be at the top of the “bands that make you dance.” You don’t listen to this song—you DO THIS song. Don’t worry, she rocks it like a drill instructor all along the way—you won’t get lost, Boo.

September – Cry for You (Remix) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf1kcbFzWyI

A regular club and Pride performer, September works that Swedish pop thing in a sweet, coy little way. Interesting tidbit—the riff’s from Bronski Beat’s track “Smalltown Boy” (different playlist for a different day, but an absolutely riveting track about the struggles of coming out. September seems all coquettish, but the song’s saying in essence, “Eff off, Dear.” It’s not like she didn’t try. Mm-hm. She really tried. It’s just time to go. And you can shout that along with her at the top of your lungs in 3…2…

Sylvester: You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG2ixYJ79iE

You’d be surprised how many college kids aren’t aware of this track. The song used to be utilized as a joke in TV movies or films to wink-nudge at the audience that so and so character, vibe or environment is queer. (No.) Sandra Bernhard reclaimed the beauty of this track in-community by recording her rendition of it, as well as performing a shelarious routine declaring her love for Sylvester and coming up in his era. This is a song about freedom and authenticity—and the bass line, riff, and chorus just won’t quit.

Manila Luzon — “Hot Couture” official music video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gdbbHr1d2A

Consider this to be your water break or cool-down song, as it’s a bit more mellow. Sickenly scrumptious hook and lyrics about dressing yourself up in your own love. It’s a delight to watch Manila Luzon (and Mini-Manila Luzon) pay tribute to fashion *as* function and looking fierce doing it. The little storyline involving baby Luzon in the video is a bit of a misty-eyed sitch, and it’s something they didn’t have to add to a song that’s focused on fashion. Love. It.

Madonna – Don’t Stop (Smegster Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VSZIVCJ5ow

From all reports and regardless of past bisexual dalliances, Madonna is “Madonna-Sexual” and Super-Ego-centric–she’s been both loving and loathsome to queer folks including for whatever reasons, her out gay brother (sigh). Still, she’s family and her work keeps the emphasis on the “fun” part of dysfunctional (maybe not so much lately?). Anyway—in itself, “Don’t Stop” from “Bedtime Stories” is anthemic, but needs a little HI-NRG to keep your BPMs and heart rate up and healthy. We aim to please, so here you go. Can’t call this track a “refix,” as the original’s pretty damn delicious.

Hilary Duff – With Love (Rhv Vs. Dave Aude Club Mix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XZJE_xSC9pc

Hillary Duff’s kept a pretty even keel and steered clear of cray cray ex-child star drama. (No drag queen harassment or trolling tweets in sight). In fact, Ms. Duff’s set aside some “sweet time” to create some Think Before You Speak gay-ally PSAs (thanks guuurl).  As for this particular remix, the positive affirmations in the lyrics are undeniable. “Tell me I’m wrong, that I’m coming on way too strong. Don’t think I’ll be crushed. Just do it with love. Love, love, love!” We are divas—do we not bleed? Proceed with caution. Just do it with love.

George Michael – Outside http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwZAYdHcDtU Because George made the absolute best out of a terrible arrest, “Outside” makes today’s list. Never one to shy away from social commentary, this song’s about adventure and its subtext flirts with how Michael himself got popped for it. Albeit risky, he certainly went on an “adventure.” This track’s about play in its every connotation, finding the strength to collect yourself and sally forth again and again, and moving your body-body at the party-party.

The Bird and the Bee – Fcking Boyfriend (Peaches remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpAcqkX7O0Q

Are you asking him or telling him? Eh, same thing. “When you laid down with me, you never slept that night?” Come on. Poetry. Sheer electro-poetry bliss. Work it out.

Flawless (Go to the City) George Michael & The Ones (Mike’s Ultra Clean Extended Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYcTlot5evY

Shout it with me: “You’ve got to go to the city!”

Call it what you will—a coming out anthem, a runway ready hit for the children, or absolutely flawless. Here’s yet another track with, like, triply-lovely significance. The track was inspired by  a fantastic movie of the same name and it is indeed “Flawless.” The Ones are at the very least exceedingly queer-friendly (what? Like everyone has to present a card at the border? I’m not walkin’ around with a queer-counting clipboard), and George Michael’s “Flawless” is encouraging a dear friend (or perhaps his younger self) to leave a drab humdrum town and get out…for good. “Well you’ve got to think of somethin’, ’cause your job pays you nothing. But you’ve got the things God gave ya, so the music may yet be your savior…you’ve got to go to the city.” The Ones chime in “Like perfection. Like no other. Flawless. Absolutely flawless.” Mmm. Quelle motivational!

If I find out this song’s about Andrew Ridgely I will start crying tears of joy, right there on the elliptical stair-stepper. I swear before Yeezus I will.

Cazwell – Ice Cream Truck (Dee Jay Tatto Club Mix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Jr3okGlL4A

Brazilian-born and NYC bred, Cazwell is a prolific, hella-experienced rapper-producer, and his label’s got this naughty habit of populating his videos with eyefuls of scantily-clad models. Unheard of! Sure…anyway, the original video is cute, camp and somewhat ironic contraposed with the visual hotness you see here, but his remix amps things up just a notch or two. Qué sabor….

Extra Fun, Funny Goodies, & More Diva Tributes:

RuPaul – Jealous Of My Boogie (Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLemKdmoris

Looking So F*kin’ Good – RuPaul & DJ ShyBoy http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBG5R_EJ0SM

Depeche Mode – People are People Remix – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi5uWsI9G6g

Lady GaGa – Bad Romance (David Guetta Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_OkDzkSuvQ

Latrice Royale & Manila Luzon — The Chop (Official Music Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlHzdXFCJ-c

Willam & Rhea Litré in “Let’s Have a KaiKai” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfWeBYd7rkQ

Whitney Houston – It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Thunderpuss Remix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSOWUwRFwi0

Scissor Sisters – Filthy / Gorgeous http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4RcBZy2jZA

Ru Paul – Workout http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUjUF0mFJ9A

XELLE featuring Mimi Imfurst “Queen” Official Music Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLqW6n29TYE

WERQIN’ GIRL” Music Video by Shangela Laquifa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hArTHxRpKmM

Alyssa Edwards : Drop Dead Gorgeous (B. Ames Mix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oOC_VGuc6Sc

Donna Summer – Last Dance (long version) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW-3Hp1EVdQ [Tempo changes at 1:30]

Willow Smith – Whip My Hair http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymKLymvwD2U

Stardust Vs Madonna – Dance & Sing / Music Sounds Better With You Mashup (White Label Mix) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVZrCWNT-yA

Sahara Davenport (with Gomi)– Go Off (Official Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KziZUnSYRRA

The Ones – Flawless Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_e5oYqNRSM


George Michael – (Funny and funky) Go to the City Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgGDcn46aW8

“’Cause you’re beautiful. Like no other.”


Listen / work out to all these songs at once by clicking this playlist link.



Enough cardio for now, but we’ll bring you more. There will always be more.

Fave workout selections, anyone? (Heteronormative tracks, albums and playlists welcome.)

Randy, Oral Roberts’ Gay Grandson, Says: ‘#ItGetsBetter…and It’s Complicated.’


Close-Up – by A. R. Ammons

Are all these stones


I said

and the mountain



but reluctant to

admit my praise could move it much


shook a little

and rained a windrow ring of stones

to show

that it was so


Stone felled I got

up addled with dust


and shook


without much consequence


Obviously I said it doesn’t pay

to get too

close up to



and the mountain friendless wept

and said

it couldn’t help


Re-Imagining Religion: “Falling In Love Will Not Send You to Hell.”

                          – Randy Roberts Potts

“All students are required to sign a pledge stating they will live according to the university’s honor code. Prohibited activities include lying, cursing, smoking, drinking, and a range of sexual acts including homosexual behavior and sex outside marriage.”

                                                                   – Excerpt, ORU Student Codes , Oral Roberts University

Wouldn’t you know it: every time the “gay agenda” is reexamined, the “master plan” appears to become more and more normal on the face of it. Because it is.

“The gay agenda” is “the human agenda:” we all want love. Hope. Home. Family. We all desire the same things.

Back in 2010, Oral Roberts’ out, gay grandson Randy Roberts Potts read a letter to his closeted gay Uncle Ronnie (Oral Roberts’ eldest son) and recorded a viral video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYa0wi4XzeI) to honor Ronnie’s life, as unfortunately, his uncle had already passed away when Randy was just a kid (in June of 1982).

Randy’s irrepressible spirit remains to alchemize life’s tests and turn them into life’s testimonies.

In the video, after 2:38 minutes of silence (during which time we see the handwritten letter for his uncle), Potts reads a revelatory poem entitled “Close-Up” written by A. R. Ammons. Then, Randy moves into his own compelling testimony about the strange magic behind growing up with a gay uncle (around whom Randy’s mom was most captivated), and how it affected Potts himself.

We witness Potts as he entreats Ronnie’s spirit (for healing? For explanations?), “When my mother spoke of you, a look of awe lit up her face. You were the one voice in her life that could inhabit multiple worlds at once…. You stood for everything she was afraid I would become: gay, intellectual, and godless. And yet nothing caused my mother’s face to light up like your memory. I was jealous, and I always hoped to be you.”

Randy recounts following in his uncle’s footsteps simply by following his heart, and reminisces about the tragedy of losing a loved one who took his own life because he felt he had no options. No hope. Because he felt that life would not and could not get better.

“I’ve seen pain and loss and sorrow,” Potts continues. “I would have held you in my arms had I been a man at the time…. but there’s no one holding you, because you’re holding on to no one. And now I’m here sharing the same destiny…. your path and mine are crossed. They intersect…in some ridiculous dance.”

With a tonality not unlike Dylan Thomas’ “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight,” Potts brings us into present day. Yes, he is angry, but we can somehow see the light at the end of the tunnel, the burning hot flames of passion for living forever aglow in Randy’s heart. We somehow feel his uncle lives in some kind of virtual second life, through Randy.

Another “Gay Agenda,” Another Pleasant Valley Sunday.

Oral Roberts was the first and one of the biggest of the televangelists. He brought the Pentecostal faith to mainstream America, he started a self-named university, and of course lived a rich life through his relentless please for money from his followers. His grandson Randy Roberts Potts grew up with him…steeped in that really sheltered, Far Right Christian world. Now he’s following a calling like his grandfather, but with an unexpected message.”

Reporter Page Hopkins for MSNBC

In sharing his story with MSNBC, Potts did indeed reveal he’d felt suicidal too—coming out was unthinkable to him. Having married a woman and raising three children with her, Potts’ coming out narrative is a common one that always feels mysterious and new during the discovery process. He told Hopkins, “Honestly, I thought I was just a really good christian that I just didn’t sexualize women.”

Though Potts’ closeted gay uncle passed away when Randy was just a boy, as he unfolded the discoveries about Ronnie’s life, they paralleled discoveries of his own.

It is now Randy’s life mission to reach back across the table and minister tolerance and inclusiveness to evangelicals themselves. Potts informed Page Hopkins that he’s doing so non-publicly, holding confidential meetings with religious leaders and consulting with them regarding family cohesion, suicide prevention and myriad other positive effects of practicing religious tolerance.

In one of the most romantic and courageous activism campaigns out there, Potts and his partner are now conducting what they call an ongoing “performance project designed for conservative towns with visuals of domestic gay life.” Potts is setting up storefronts from town to town , choosing to put his normal day-in day-out familial relationships on display, in a performance art piece called—what else…

“…The Gay Agenda.



Reach out to Randy @randyrpotts and connect with ORU Out, ORU LGBTQ alumni and ombudsmen) at http://oru-out.tumblr.com.

To watch Potts’ It Gets Better video in its entirety, please click here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYa0wi4XzeI

Have you got time to sit and pray a while? Check out Randy Roberts Potts – Re-Imagining Religion Series at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9uYWf2WfPH8. During his ministerial speech in this video, Potts reveals that his brother is also gay and his family still ostracizes them both.


And for more information about suicide prevention and LGBTQIA resources and support, please visit the It Gets Better Project at http://www.itgetsbetter.org.






We Are Not Islands That Stand Alone


We are born unto this world as unique individuals. As we grow older we are taught the requisite skills that induce us to leave our families and embark into the world on our own, and to live our lives. During our lifetime we make countless choices; both trivial and life changing. Many people go through life thinking they are in control of their destiny and that they are islands in a sea of people that stand alone and separate from the influence of others, and the forces of nature and the universe.

In reality, however, we are not islands that stand alone. We may be unique but certainly not fully independent. We are not self-sufficient. We do not exist in a vacuum. We must rely on employers to pay us so we can buy food, shelter, and care for our families. We also rely on others to provide services to us and to help with our day-to-day tasks.

When we have problems many people think they can work through them on their own. While many do, it is always easier when you have someone else to bounce ideas off and to get advice on what should or should not be done. A psychiatrist or some other professional many times can help us see things more clearly and understand options that we cannot realize because we are so enmeshed in the mechanics of the issue.

In a more spiritual sense, we sometimes need others to help us facilitate changes within ourselves that we cannot do alone. There are folks out there with special gifts and all we have to do is ask for help and the right facilitator will appear to do that which is required at a particular moment in our lives.

In my 20’s there was a time when I was so depressed over my sexuality and fast coming to the realization that I was gay. I knew deep inside that I was not destined to have the life that fairy tales are made of. There would be no wife, no kids, or any of the things that go along with the traditional concept of marriage and family. This wrought so much havoc on my psyche that I did consider the unthinkable; I would take my own life and end it all.

What made me change my mind? What was it that stirred inside that allowed me to think more clearly and to think about what I was about to do? Yes, one would say that we humans have the innate ability to reason and think but what force allows us to reason and think for ourselves? Evolution of the species is an option but it is much more than that. It is grounded in a concept that many people cannot understand or want to understand. It is the spirit within us and the connection to the powers of the universe that guide us toward the path we are supposed to take but only if we make a cognizant choice to awaken and want to make the right choices necessary to move us forward.

Looking back on this instance and others in my life I have awakened to the influences of others and know the unseen power of the universe has brought me to a safe landing in calmer ports. Evolving to where I am at this point in my life, I now realize that my life was being guided and watched over by benevolent forces that I could not see or understand. For that I am eternally grateful and will not disappoint those that have placed their faith and trust in my ability to make the right decisions necessary to move forward to become the complete person I am supposed to be.

Many people never awaken to the power to change their own lives by tapping into a higher stream of consciousness. It is the power that induced me to not take my own life and eventually come out and not live a lie any longer. It is the power that gave me the courage to dispel most aspects of my fabricated life from spirituality to politics to how I perceived others in the context that was molded by someone else’s interpretation of how I should live my life. I awakened to the possibilities and the many opportunities in life only because I realized that I did not exist independently of the force of the universe that binds us together and creates a cohesion among us to do great things.

Free your mind to explore things that you never thought to explore. Delve within yourself with the help of capable facilitators that have gifts to unlock that which you cannot unlock on your own. Decide to travel to other people’s islands and get a feel for what others think and do and align yourselves with like-minded islands to create an unstoppable force of nature that can withstand any calamity or adversity that may arise.

No, we are not islands that stand alone.

Christie Bans Gay Conversion Therapy For Minors

N.J. Governor Bars Licensed Therapists from Using Therapy

Republican Governor Chris Christie on August 19, signed a bill into law that will ban conversion or gay-to-straight therapy for those younger than eighteen.  With this measure, New Jersey becomes the second state (California being the first) to ban therapy that seeks to turn gay teens straight. California, that passed a similar measure in 2012, hasn’t taken effect yet because of a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality.

Signing Note Accompanying the Bill

A potential 2016 Republican contender for presidency of the United States, Christie, a Catholic,  says he believes people are born gay and that homosexuality is not a sin.  He also stated that the health risks of trying to change a child’s sexual orientation outweigh concerns over the government setting limits on parental choice.

Problems with Conversion Therapy

“On the issues of medical treatment for children we must look to experts in the field to determine the relative risks and rewards,” he expounded. Citing a litany of potential ill effects of trying to change sexual orientation, including depression, suicide, substance abuse, social withdrawal, and decreased self-esteem. Christie stated : “ I believe that exposing children to these health risks without clear evidence of benefits that outweigh these serious risks is not appropriate.” Christie still has concerns about government limiting parental choice on the care and treatment of their own children.

Last July, the measure was passed by both Democrat-controlled Legislature last June, but it wasn’t definite that Christie would sign the bill into law.  But Christie believed the health concerns trumped issues over the government setting limits on parental choice. This view was  previously expressed by him. With this signing,  Christie, a centrist Republican, is seeking re-election in November and his compromise on this issue is indicative of his efforts to reach a broader base of voters, but not without offending social conservatives, according to political analyists.

Critics of Conversion Therapy

Former New Jersey Democratic Governor Jim McGreevey, who is gay, praised the measure based in “sound psychiatric research.” Openly gay Assembly member Tim Eustace, one of the bill’s sponsors, says conversion therapy amounts to “an insidious form of child abuse.”

The public became more skeptical of the therapy when Exodus International, a Christian group based in California, shuttered its doors last month after being in business for thirty-eight years. Alan Chambers, founder, apologized to gays for the harm he said his group had caused.

Proponents of Reparative Therapy

Chairman and founder of the Liberty Counsel, said the group plans to file suit soon to overturn the New Jersey statute, arguing in part  that “the law is an infringement on parental rights to raise their children the way they see fit or to seek counseling in the wake of traumatic events.  Staver added that the bill provides a “slippery slope of government infringing upon the First Amendment rights of counselors to provide, and patients to receive, counseling consistent with their religious beliefs.” John Tomichi of the League of American Families commented that the laws infringed on a parent’s right to decide the best treatment for his or her child.




Gay Wrestler Comes Out, Real This Time

Celebrities and high-profile figures coming out has become a careful publicity game, stars wanting to disclose their sexualities themselves when they want, and tabloids wanting to be the first to dish the dirt. It seems like WWE wrestler Darren Young wanted to take his coming out into his own hands when he told a shocked TMZ reporter <http://www.tmz.com/2013/08/15/darren-young-wwe-superstar-gay/> that he was gay after getting off of a plane at in Los Angeles.

On the subject of gay wrestlers and whether or not they could be successful in the WWE, Young said, “Absolutely. Look at me. I’m a WWE superstar and to be honest with you, I’ll tell you right now, I’m gay. And I’m happy. I’m very happy.” The reason for his coming out, TMZ later reported, came because of Young’s relationship with his boyfriend of two years. Maybe they’ll be tying the knot soon?

After coming out, Young got support from fellow wrestlers and his organization. Fellow WWE wrestler John Cena, congratulated Young for his coming out. He said he was proud of the wrestler for coming out and that it won’t—and shouldn’t—matter in or out of the ring, “as long as you’re entertaining.”

A representative at the WWE gave a statement <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/15/wwe-darren-young-gay_n_3761313.html>, saying that, “WWE is proud of Darren Young for being open about his sexuality, and we will continue to support him as a WWE Superstar. Today, in fact, Darren will be participating in one of our Be A Star anti-bullying rallies in Los Angeles to teach children how to create positive environments for everyone regardless of age, race, religion, or sexual orientation.”

Young, 33 whose real name is Fredrick Douglas Rosser, is considered the first openly active gay WWE wrestler to come out while with the company. United States wrestling has had several gay figures, but none who came out while employed as prominent figures. Orlando Jordan performed as a bisexual man while wrestling, a character that was based on his actual life, but never came out to the press while working for the WWE. And Chris Kanyon created a character who was openly homosexual which segued into him admitting that he was actually gay and wanted to remain closeted while preforming.

The WWE and other wrestling shows have used queer characters in their shows, but usually in negative ways. Most male characters exhibiting feminine or homosexual traits are cast as heels, or the villains, in matches. Many cross-dress. The character Goldust would be sexually lewd, groping opponents and expressing affection toward them in order to make them uncomfortable and lose.

One of the more popular gay story arches revolved around the tag-team Billy and Chuck, who started showing affection toward each other on stage after pairing up in 2001. They won two World Tag Team Championships, and then were scheduled to get married on air, in partnership with GLAAD. During the commitment ceremony, the duo declared that they were strictly heterosexual and that the wedding and relationship had all been a publicity stunt, enraging GLADD who denounced the WWE for leading them on.

It seems like good news for wrestling in the United States, whose male sports figures have been regarded as being behind the times in terms of coming out and being open about their sexuality. Just after coming out, WWE added Young to their 2K14 roster, and it will be his debut in a WWE video game. Young has been shocked by how much positive press his decision has been making, and is glad that he can be seen as a positive role model.

No Military Service For Gays In Iran, If You Can Take The Examinations

During the Vietnam War, it’s commonly joked that all you had to do was say that you were gay and you could avoid the draft. While this was somewhat true at the beginning, as the war progressed you might have had to convince a psychologist if they would even accept the admission at all. For compulsory military service in Iran, the decision of whether or not to reveal their queer identity has many consequences.

Akin to some countries around the world, males 18 years and older must serve in the military for two years in Iran, before or after their university experience. After serving each man is issued a document showing they completed their tour of duty. Without this, an Iranian man cannot legally buy or sell anything, participate in formal activities, be employed by the government, or obtain a passport. Further, many areas in the private sector recruit men specifically because they have served in the military.

Like in the U.S., men and their families try to get out of military service for various reasons. One way this does work is to declare being homosexual. Since this has to be determined, gay Iranian men will be sent to doctors to be examined, usually in the form of an invasive rectal exam. The idea is that if you are a bottom, then you are homosexual, and can be excused from military service. Tops, showing no physical signs of “homosexuality” are declared fit for service. Seems pretty inclusive, doesn’t it?

Sexuality in Iran works a little differently than in the U.S. and other Western nations. Remember former Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s, “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals, like in your country,” comment? Well, in his mind he was correct. He was speaking from the belief of his culture where homosexuality, as a state of equal desire, intimacy, and partnership between to people of the same gender, doesn’t make sense. In the U.S. we’ve gotten beyond sexual roles in relationships (for the most part) but there it makes a huge difference: the top is seen to be the true man and the bottom is equated with the status of a woman. And women can’t serve in the Iranian military.

So what to do with all of these men who have sex with men? Simple, give them operations so they become women. Since Ayatollah Khomeini passed a religious edit in 1979 authorizing sexual reassignment surgeries for “diagnosed transsexuals,” Iran has carried out the second highest number of them, only behind Thailand. This puts many people in an uncomfortable place: remain an openly gay man and risk public discrimination and possible execution, or go through with a surgery and live in a body that doesn’t feel like your own.

A religious cleric responsible for sexual reassignment surgeries, Hojatol Islam Muhammad Mehdi Kariminia elaborated on the topic, saying that, “The discussion [of transsexuals and sexual reassignment surgery] is fundamentally separate from a discussion regarding homosexuals. Absolutely not related. Homosexuals are doing something unnatural and against religion.”

If a man who requests exemption from military service is granted it, he receives an exemption card, which until recently defined the type of exemption based on color and description. Today they are all alike, except for the number of the section or addendum of penal code to which the exemption refers, making discrimination less likely.

Iran’s government and society shows no signs of becoming more tolerant. Hopefully any decisions you have to make this week won’t seem as daunting as those looking at their mandatory military services.


Discover Who It Is That Follows You

I am currently reading a book by DLuis Meyer entitled, “Coming Out in New York City.”  As I was chugging along through the book, I came to a chapter where DLuis’ main character talks about the feeling of being followed and how he would turn around and there would be no one there.  He eventually comes to the conclusion that it was HE that was following him; his own persona was in pursuit.

As I continued to read, I had to put the book down and reflect upon this statement that DLuis made.  A light went on inside of my head and I realized that maybe I was supposed to read this book now, at this point in time, because it truly meshes with what I am currently experiencing at the moment, in this journey of self-discovery and enlightenment that I am on.  I have had the book for literally a couple years now, but never read it.  One day, I picked it up from a pile of unread books, from the bottom of the pile in fact, and began reading it.  I have been enmeshed with the many messages of personal growth and self-discovery that DLuis’ main character experiences in his journey of coming out.

This book and my interest in the character’s personal reflections certainly segues into what I have been experiencing of late.  I have had an intense compulsion within my gut to broaden my self-reflection and discovery to a more intense level, through meditation and reparative healing (a.k.a. past life regression).  I have enlisted the guidance of two well know community leaders that specialize in each of these areas and will soon begin this new journey to discover who it is that follows me.  I believe it is the many manifestations of my very soul that have manifested in human form through the ages that are still with me in some form or fashion that guide my decisions; whether for good or bad, they are still with me.

Why this interest in discovering who follows me?  What purpose will it serve in this current form to know who my soul has been in the past?  I have always had a desire to delve within through meditation but never really gave any serious thought to reparative healing and how it would help to answer many questions I have or explain why I do what I do or have the feelings I have.  It is the pursuit of more enlightened thinking and an awakening of my consciousness that leads me to this next level of self-discovery and reflection and hopefully to connect things together, not necessarily to change how I am but to more fully understand how I am and what I do.

I firmly believe our souls are in a perpetual cycle of growth and evolution. It manifests repeatedly in order to fulfill a mission that may have been unfulfilled. To learn a lesson that was unlearned, or to impact someone’s life that was not impacted. For whatever reason, our lives are not our own. They are not a happenstance occurrence in the universe.  However, while we are living the current manifestation, some of the issues we experience can create undue confusion and concern, until the day we awaken and realize that it was all part of a grand scheme of existence and overcoming challenges that transcend many of our human existences.

In order to more fully explain what I am talking about, I shall provide some examples, some of which I have never told to anyone, not even my closest confidants but I feel it necessary to now divulge some of these issues I have faced in my life because I now realize that much of what I was doing was clearly the residual remnants of lives gone by.

First, I have always had an intense sexual drive, even in my youngest days before I knew what sex was all about.  Things would stir in me that I could not explain.  Sex and all its consequences have been a very big part of my life,and still is, and it has created situations that could have seriously jeopardized my reputation in my budding career and  with other people and how they looked upon me.  It was at one point in my life an addiction where I could not control what I was doing and the only thing on my mind was getting off wherever and however the method would be.  It caused me to not focus on things I should have been focusing on and created such a meandering, helpless feeling within, that it almost destroyed me.

I always thought this was directly related to my being gay and repressing my true identity for so long, that it created unhealthy sexual practices that could have seriously impacted my life.  But looking back on those days now, I can see it was much more than that.  I firmly believe that one of my past manifestations was a very sexually aggressive person and their sexual drive has carried over to this current form.  Maybe they were also a very homophobic persona who is now learning what it was actually like to be queer and what trauma they created in other people’s lives.  Who knows.

Another example I can pinpoint is that how the natural environment and its power has a draw upon me that settles my mind and and relaxes me, and I spiritually connect with being in the woods, listening to a stream, the birds, watching deer romp and all that comes along with it.  Could I have been at one time a Wiccan prince or princess?  A witch maybe?  Who knows.

A third example is my writing.  I love to write, and I seem to draw upon a power that brings forth words and thoughts from my head to the computer or paper upon which I am writing.  I myself, sometimes am in awe of what comes forth from my brain and say, “that certainly is not me that is writing this.”  Could I have been a writer in a past life, who wishes to continue that practice in this life?  Who knows.

These questions, along with some others, have gnawed at me for years and years, and created such anxiety and blissful peace within me simultaneously.  I believe we all need to heal and repair ourselves and reconcile the many components of our past lives that are carried forward into this current form.  My goal in doing this more intense self-reflection is not necessarily to change what I do or what I am, as I have learned to live and deal with much of what I have been challenged with, but it is more to understand it all and tie it together in order to move forward with what I need to do with the rest of the years I have.

We all must reach into our past, the past that we cannot see or comprehend, in order to discover who it is that follows us, impacting our lives, and that which has to be overcome in order to move forward in this current manifestation of our existence.

I would encourage you to delve deeper into your psyche and try to understand what it is that makes you tick.  Awaken yourselves to the possibilities and keep an open mind.  Yes it might be scary.  I certainly have some apprehension in doing what I am about to do, but I feel it is a necessary and logical step in my progression forward to becoming the best person I can be, and to be the person I was born to be to its fullest.

Ignite Your Passion

Throughout the course of history, the visions of great men and women before us who facilitated change in our lives for the better had one overriding characteristic in common while pursuing their aspirations. They were passionate about what they believed in. They set aside all risks and overcame many obstacles to achieve their desired result. Their passion for achieving their mission was always burning inside them. It was the source of energy to fuel their fires to forge ahead.

When someone is ignited with passion you can see the energy in their eyes. A passionate person sets aside all fear and blazes a trail for others to follow and does not look back and second guess their life’s choices. Their vision is their mission; their singleness of purpose. It is through their passion that others are swept up in the excitement of the passionate person’s objective. The passionate person is able to create an environment in which others easily enjoin themselves to the vision of what can be and willingly participate in the execution of the plan to bring the vision to fruition.

There are two types of passion; negative and positive. Negative passion is one that is grounded in tearing people down in order to lift others up. Negative passion is grounded in self-centeredness and ego, and the desire to control others. Negative passion does nothing but to create division and friction in order to fulfill an ill-conceived vision grounded in malevolence.

The forces of negative passion are hard at work to prevent the fulfillment of equality and justice for all in this great nation. Daily we see malevolent passion at work through the subjugation of queer Americans and other minorities to second class status with passage of discriminatory legislation and constitutional amendments, and legislation that makes it much more difficult to exercise one’s right to vote, without undue restriction. The right to privacy and choosing what is best for oneself is also under attack by those grounded in the fulfillment of malevolent ends.

Conversely, positive passion is grounded in lifting people up and creating an environment of equality and justice. When one is positively passionate, their vision is on the welfare of others and the desire to create unity and cohesion for the betterment of society as a whole. The vision is one that is grounded in benevolence and love for other human beings. Focus is on human dignity and trusting individuals to make choices that are best for them and encourages people to be who they were born to be.

Ignite your passion and ground it in positive energy to work for the betterment of society and to achieve equality and justice for all throughout this great country. Discover what drives you forward and excites you and sets your spirit on fire. Channel it toward whatever you feel is best for you.

We must also be cognizant that different people will have different levels of passion for what they believe and we must respect all individual efforts and support each other despite our difference of opinion and choice of method. If your passion compels you to simply contribute to an organization that works toward equality and you wish to defer your personal efforts to that organization to work on your behalf, then contribute whatever you feel is appropriate to match your passion level. If you desire to channel your passion through more vociferous means, then become an activist and shout your message freely and loudly to all that wish to hear it and do not fear repercussion, ridicule or admonishment by others for exercising a more vocal approach.

Regardless of how you wish to express your passion, do whatever is necessary to ignite your passion to a level you are comfortable with and that drives you forward to induce benevolent change. Society depends on passionate people grounded in positive energy to change the world for the better.

Have you ignited your passion? If not, what will it take for you to create the spark to set it on fire to burn brightly inside of you? Think about your life and where you are versus where you want to be. What will it take for you to set your passion on fire to achieve the person you want to be? Search within yourself and you will find the answer!

So. Ca. Dr. Considers Homosexuality a Disease

Gay Patient Offended At Outdated Diagnosis

A Southern California doctor in Torrance, California last week diagnosed an openly gay new patient after she did routine tests on  Matthew Moore, 46.  The tests revealed nothing out of the ordinary for Moore – high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a deficiency of B-12.

Surprising Diagnosis

Moore was not surprised at these findings – “normal for me.” It was what he saw on his report that flabbergasted him upon returning to the office of the doctor, who goes unnamed, in Manhattan Beach.  The doctor listed “Homosexual Behavior” as a chronic condition on Moore’s patient plan.

Offensive to Moore

According to the medical records obtained by KNBC4 the television station at which Moore was interviewed, the doctor had affixed code 302.0 to his “chronic” condition.  This code refers to homosexuality as a medical condition or illness, a chronic condition that was removed for the Diagnostic Manual for Psychiatrists in 1973.

Said Moore, “Here’s another way that gay people are lessened and made to feel less-than, and then as I thought about it and as I dealt with it, it angered me.”

Repeat Visit

Moore states that he does not plan on filing a lawsuit against the doctor, but decided to speak up for himself and other gay persons.  The doctor defended her position and said that homosexuality should be treated as a chronic illness and “it’s still up for debate on how to treat homosexuality “which she thought of as a disease.

Moore, disagreeing with the doctor, filed a complaint with the doctor’s office.  He demanded a return of his $30 co-pay, and received a letter apologizing: “ We would like to unequivocally state that the Torrance Memorial Physician Network (which runs the doctor’s office) does not view homosexuality as a disease or a chronic condition and we do not endorse or approve of the use of Code 302.0 as a diagnosis for homosexuality.”

“You Have to Speak Up”

Moore shared his story so others will learn from his experience. “Government tells us, often times, that we’re not equal. Many churches tell us that we are sinners. Doctors tell us we are sick.  And it’s gotta’ stop. If I was a fourteen year-old in a small town in Indiana, where I’m from, and I had a doctor tell me or my parents that I was sick because they thought I was gay, it would’ve been very damaging.”

Success Fit For a Queen: Queen Latifah’s New Talk Show & LGBT-Ally Strides

RT ‏@FlavorUnitEnt | Are you ready?? “@IAMQUEENLATIFAH-“I really think there’s space in daytime TV for a whole bunch of fun, some amazing music, and some heart.”

– A recent tweet from Queen Latifah’s promotions crew

When Queen Latifah walks, she’s always walking on the red carpet. Cheerful, elegant and reflective, she can also turn on a Hip Hop Head “mean mug” glance in a heartbeat. She’s a strong, gorgeous, proud—and many say Same Gender Loving—woman of color making great moves in this world.

Queen Latifah’s been spotted out and about over time with  rumored girlfriends (http://www.eurweb.com/2012/05/queen-latifah-lesbian-girlfriend-photo-galler), is often noticed partying in lesbian clubs, and made her first high-profile public appearance at last year’s  Long Beach Pride (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/04/queen-latifah-did-not-come-out-pride_n_1529566.html).

She’s making the press rounds to share fantastic professional news: “The Queen’s” new daytime TV talk show will begin airing on Sept. 16 and is co-produced by Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, who recently made headlines yet again for their frankness regarding open relationships.

In this world, when you’re an entertainer, news bytes such as these make front page news hand-in-hand. Still, unlike Will and Jada, Queen Latifah isn’t fazed: she’s keeping her personal life out of the spotlight, no matter what we think we know about it.

During a recent press junket, Latifah told THR, “I don’t feel the need to discuss my private life on this show or on any show. There’s the part of my life that the public and I share together. And there’s the part that’s mine to keep for myself. And that’s mine. For me.”

Encouraging self-love, self-acceptance, optimal nutrition (with her Jenny Craig low-pressure “Ideal Size” campaigns), and self-care with a stylish flair, Latifah’s less of a guru and more of a “Can-Do.” (“She did it, I can too.”

One thing’s for sure: her private life is private, and to know there’s an ally in our midst who got her start in Hip Hop (whatever her sexual orientation and preference) and builds a bridge across many cultures in such a way is definitely a good thing.

Find out more about Queen Latifah’s new show how at http://queenlatifah.com, and click here to watch her chat with THR at YouTube. ()

All hail the Queen! Send your congrats and big-ups to Queen Latifah @IAMQUEENLATIFAH.