Tag Archives: BOBBY SMITH

Bits Of BS

BitsofBS 3

“Shady BS” 

Guest Writer:  Bobby Smith

     A white CIS woman and a Black SGL man are leaving a business meeting together. The woman tries to hail a cab for both of them to share; however, a cab is not obtained until the man attempts to hail one.

     The woman chalks it up to old school misogyny until she notices the male driver is making flirtatious eyes at her associate. She then smiles and states to the man riding beside her, “We’ve come a long way, haven’t we?”

     The lives of same gender loving people of color have improved in many ways over recent decades. Multitudes of new doors are open to those of us who openly identify as same gender loving. I sometimes wonder if, in making sure that we are adorned in coats befitting the status of the doors we’re entering, our egos have made us blind to the value of someone pulling our coattails. Are all the fractures that remain in our communities the result of external social elements or do the chasms remain due to limited internal assessment?

     I ask this question as someone who has never forgotten the value of a good “read.” Back in the day, you could be “read for filth”* but only if the person reading you was respected and if you were actually slipping in the action(s) being addressed in the reading. I differ reading from the “shade” in today’s terminology because serving shade seems to be solely for the purpose of giving slight to another individual or entity. The response to shade is to throw more shade.

     When one is read, there are two options: 1.) Read back based on inaccuracy of the accusation or, 2.) accept the reading and check your behavior so no one else would be able to read you ever again (well, at least not for exactly the same faux pas). People who were known as ones who would read you up and down were community members who served as unofficial auditors in our community life. We didn’t easily fight in the streets and the clubs or leave our “besties” hanging to be the next notch on a non-relationship-material’s bedpost because we knew we would get read.

     As throwing shade has evolved, it appears (to me and a few others) that we have developed a narcissistic focus. How dare anyone check us on our etiquette, work performance, civic actions, ethics, or even whether our noses are booger-free!  The best of readers are very much aware that they are subject to be read too. A developed ability to throw shade makes one impervious to other’s shade.

     Nowadays, certain community presence or status can make one impervious to being read. This impunity stunts the growth of our community. How can we strengthen something while providing a hiding place for faults in the blind spot of our egos?

     This is my BitsofBS for this month. I guess it can be classified as an attempt at a slight read. I am open to be read for my statements. I view readings as a gift. Either a valid point will be made and I will be educated (betterment) as a result, or a comment will be so sideways and ignorant that I will have the opportunity to construct a good “clapback” (entertainment).

     I just hope at least one peruser of this column is inspired to lend a different ear to the source of reprimand, minding the possibility that whoever is mouthing those words is actually someone who cares enough to attempt bettering a friend by holding them up to a higher standard.    

     To note:  if you are in the dark as to what being “read for filth” is, click here.

 

 BITS OF BS


 Bobby Smith advocates unapologetically, incorporating LGBTQ orientation into one’s total identity (as opposed to the other way around). He lives in Atlanta with his husband. “Mr. BS” has been a social activist/writer in the HIV/AIDS, mental health, and LGBTQ rights arenas for over twenty five years. Catch more glimpses of his focus of thought by liking the Know No Oppressive Thinking Facebook page–https://www.facebook.com/1.KNOTand by reading some of his prose at https://wordsfromtheb.wordpress.com/And, you mail email Bobby at:  bitsofbs@outlook.com

Bits Of BS

BitsofBS 2

HIV Taboo BS

Guest Writer: Bobby Smith 

Are our actions saying only the lives of celebs like #MagicJohnson or #CharlieSheen matter after a HIV-positive diagnosis?

     I “went straight” after the maternal matriarch of my family–my great grandmother–passed on to a higher plane.  You see, I broke up with the high school crush I had connected with six years after graduating. Then, I entered into a heterosexual marriage–in concession to the perception that the only source of purely unconditional love had left me all alone.

    Shortly after exchanging vows, I moved my family to Atlanta, “JOJA” (Say it out loud if you don’t get it!) where events unfolded that “straightened me back out” – leaving me with no other option but to face and accept the sexual orientation that had been evident in my life since early childhood. One of my first orders of business was to reconnect with my ex and apologize for a breakup to which he had no culpability.

     Unfortunately, I was unable to locate him.  I later discovered, however, that he had moved back in with his mother; at which point, suddenly, all former social contacts had been severed. 

     As a result, no one in our social circles knew he had passed until well after his interment.  In the late ‘80s, when someone who was gay, under thirty years of age, earning an income well above minimum wage in a high-demand vocation moves back to the family home, odds were heavily in favor of  correctly deducing that some health crisis was instrumental in that situation.  I thought about the loneliness and alienation my beautiful ex must have experienced in his final days. 

     That prompted me to begin volunteering in the HIV arena.

    As a HIV-negative person, I had little to offer besides companionship.  I wasn’t afraid to touch someone who was positive, or drink and eat what was offered to me in the homes of people who were treated as lepers.  My “meager” offerings were treasures to people who had become accustomed to the paucity of handshakes and hugs, to people whose relatives forced them to eat off paper plates and sit on plastic placed on furniture in their own childhood homes, to people who settled for avoiding the public by remaining inside their homes – waiting to die, and then also having to endure the emotional torment of trying to cope with the mistreatment of others, which was due to rampant fear bred by the culture of ignorance that existed back then.

     Nowadays, I cringe when I see comments in reaction to posts by men such as Kyle Goffney, who show themselves as making informed decisions, armed with knowledge of PREP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, the use of anti-HIV medication that keeps HIV-negative individuals from becoming infected)–and the true risk associated with “undetectables.” Several oppose promoting PREP because they strongly believe that our entire LGBTQ community will succumb to barbaric wantonness without the discipline of HIV taboo (stigma).

     Others preserve HIV taboo (stigma) by denouncing the studies proving the low transmission rates by those who maintain an undetectable status because the transmission rates are not zero, while simultaneously passing out condoms at events and socials.  NEWSFLASH!  Condoms carry close to the same risk as unprotected sex with an undetectable. Combine using a condom with someone who is undetectable, and the risk approaches that of abstinence (100%).

     Instead of preserving the draconian fears that birthed HIV criminalization laws, our community needs to change its attitude that an undetectable status is as deadly as an untreated, undiagnosed HIV+ status.  Get tested!  If your result is positive, then adopt and follow a treatment plan you can stick with so that you can obtain an undetectable viral load.

     And if your result is negative, update your information by reading the current facts available athttp://j.mp/namaidsmap_factsheet or http://j.mp/PARTNER_studyQA  Don’t miss your opportunity to possibly meet “Mr. Right” because you’re “Mr. Wrong Information.”

 

Scorn

BitsofBS Pt 2 Nov REVISED Poem Image


Bobby Smith advocates unapologetically, incorporating LGBTQ orientation into one’s total identity (as opposed to the other way around). He lives in Atlanta with his husband. “Mr. BS” has been a social activist/writer in the HIV/AIDS, mental health, and LGBTQ rights arenas for over twenty five years. Catch more glimpses of his focus of thought by liking the Know No Oppressive Thinking Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/1.KNOT and by reading some of his prose at https://wordsfromtheb.wordpress.com/And, you mail email Bobby at:  bitsofbs@outlook.com

Bits Of BS

BitsofBS

Closeted Pride BS

Guest Writer: Bobby Smith 

     Gays, Lesbians, Transgenders, Queers, Genderfluids, Bisexuals, Pansexuals, and Same Gender Loving people are no longer just the whispers coyly cultivated on lips shielded by mischievous hands. Freedom to Marry, an American coalition committed to winning and keeping the freedom to marry for same-gender couples, reports that 20 nations have approved the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.

     American media has realized what was once considered only taboo is now the bankrolls of success. When I look out across the world, I see a community that has earned its Pride. However, when I look through the other end of the telescope, it appears that Pride sometimes is less evident or non-existent.

     Free Dictionary.com defines Pride as “a sense of one’s own proper dignity or value; self-respect.” In spite of the strides our community has made to garner more respect from the masses, behaviors are prevalent that show we may be missing the mark in nurturing the same expansion of respect to the home grounds within our LBGTQ community.

     Internalized homophobia is still evident in how many are still closeted, under the guise of “professionalism” or “privacy.” Coming out doesn’t (always) mean donning a rainbow wig and running with a flaming torch through the streets. Coming out is simply refusing to sidestep any part of yourself just because it differs from someone else’s norm. You may not consider yourself to be closeted.  Yet, you never sit on the same side of a booth with your significant other; you use clinical gender-camouflaging terms including “spouse” during general conversation; your place of worship sends two newsletters to an address–although the tithes for both members come from the same account; you only interact with those who are “obviously” gay or transgender in safe zones, such as affirming churches or HIV charity rallies.

     Our community is a reflection of ourselves. There is, at least, a little bit of lesbian, a little bit of flaming queen, a little bit of Black SGL activist, a little bit of gender nonconformist in all of us. Many in the heterosexual communities have come to realize this in becoming allies. Why do we, ourselves, miss this message in keeping lines drawn between lesbians and gays, between tops and bottoms, between “passables” and “non-passables,” between gender-conforming and gender-liberated, and even between races or social classes? The fight to become accepted in the world’s community as a whole seems ironic when members of the marginalized preserve margins by maneuvering through social networks exclusive of some of their own.

     By failing to learn and know history specific to our culture, many of us fall short in exercising Pride. Knowing every Bette Davis movie, the plot of every Golden Girls episode, or the winners of every season of RuPaul’s Drag Race may be impressive, but lacks connection to the rich history that belongs to us.  Pride insists that we acquaint ourselves with the achievements of our LGBTQ community, and celebrating the accomplishments of lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders, genderqueers and gays equally.

     Our sisters and brothers have made many noteworthy contributions to society in areas beyond Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) activism.   Development of your “bragging rights” is as easy as using an internet search engine, taking LGBTQ studies courses at a local university, or visiting the LGBT Institute at The Center for Civil and Human Rights, located in Atlanta, Georgia.

     Take these “Bits of BS (Bobby Smith) to heart over the next month, and make me prouder than I already am of my LGBTQ community. Feel free to email me  any topics you’d like for me to highlight.  Or, leave a comment regarding how your pride is flourishing!

Reprimand


Bobby Smith advocates unapologetically, incorporating LGBTQ orientation into one’s total identity (as opposed to the other way around). He lives in Atlanta with his husband. “Mr. BS” has been a social activist/writer in the HIV/AIDS, mental health, and LGBTQ rights arenas for over twenty five years. Catch more glimpses of his focus of thought by liking the Know No Oppressive Thinking Facebook page — https://www.facebook.com/1.KNOT and by reading some of his prose at https://wordsfromtheb.wordpress.com/And, you mail email Bobby at:  bitsofbs@outlook.com

BOBBY SMITH

BitsofBS

     Since more than NINETY (90) Nations are making WYATTEVANS.COM the Go-To-It Destination for News, Features and Entertainment for the LGBTQ Community and its Allies, I’ve had to “crank up the heat!”   Hey:  it’s only fitting!

     To that end, on this FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, I welcome yet another Special Columnist to WYATTEVANS.COMHe’s Mr. BOBBY SMITH, who for more than two decades has been a social activist/writer in the HIV/AIDS, mental health, and LGBTQ rights arenas.

     Mr. Smith advocates unapologetically, incorporating LGBTQ orientation into one’s total identity (as opposed to the other way around).  Bobby is the founder of Know No Oppressive Thinking (K.N.O.T.), Inc.  Based in Atlanta, Georgia, this organization “was formed as a vehicle to assist in supporting healthy development within LGBTQ communities of color.  K.N.O.T. challenges everyone to look at what may not be the prettiest side of us in order to discover the true treasure that always exists in all of us.” 

     K.N.O.T.’s mission “is to actively identify and address issues that create the disconnections that exist in our community between other communities and among ourselves.”  Visit: www.facebook.com/1.KNOT. 

     WYATTEVANS.COM is proud and excited that Bobby will share his poignant, profound and unique insight and take on behaviors and issues that are so substantively important to, and have such critical impact on LGBTQ persons of color. 

     No doubt about it:  WYATTEVANS.COM is the Go-To-It Destination for News, Features and Entertainment for the LGBTQ Community and its Allies!