Editorâ€™s Letter: Stop Complaining Hey yaâ€™ll, we are back for another week, another issue. Issue 5, Thank you for continuing this journey with me. The reason I titled this letter Stop Complaining is I am tried of people complaining to me, you, and others. I recently posted on my FaceBook Page about a customer/ friend complaining about being lonely and how old he his, so another lonely customer came in and I tried to get them to go out for coffee or at least exchange phone number but he said no he likes Latin men. Then he asked me not to hook him up. We as people need to stop complaining about how miserable life is and change it we are in a new year. A new President . A new Season. Get with the program and Stop Complaining about what you donâ€™t have and got in life. Cause there is always someone else that has it worst than you. Remember in all thy getting, get understanding. Take a little time this week to read Xem Van Adams Interview and Lamar Ariel. I love both of these men and I believe they are going to do something great in the community. Please send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be Blessed, Cleavester Brooks Editor In Chief
Features 10 Xem Van Adams Unplugged & Uncensored 6 Quick Bites with Lamar Ariel In Every Issue 2 Editorâ€™s Letter 4 Ask Nathan 7 Scott
Ask Nathan Hello Nathan, I am a 21 year old male coming into the life of being gay and I haven't had sex with a male. I am more into fashion,money, and things like that. If a man wants to be intimate with me he will have to pay me. any advice will help with this situation of coming into the life. Yours truly Carlos aka A lost kid Dear Carlos: I hear you loud and clear about coming into this new life style. I also hear that you only feel that a man is worthy of your companionship if he pays you. Well right away it sounds to me like early stages of escorting. Escorting is a line of business that can prove to be addictive and dangerous. Addictive because of the money and dangerous because you have no way of fully knowing who you are dealing with. Also, there are health risks involved. Having sex with random people increases your chances of contracting an STD.
Seek out guidance from someone older than you who can be supportive in your "coming out" process. Locate a gay and lesbian center in your area and meet other young adults your age. You are not alone and you deserve to be loved.
Quick Bites with Lamar Ariel
Who is Lamar Ariel? Lamar Ariel is a twenty-something, hyper-observational, introspective, creative, and uniquely-normal guy. What was life like growing up? I had a blast growing up. I had tons of friends, adults who adored me, and a variety of creative outlets that helped develop the person that I am today. Throw clarinet lessons in a bowl, sprinkle them with soccer and tennis camps, fold in ballet and jazz dance classes, and bake for 350 degrees in a musical theatre lined pan. How did you get your start in writing? Writing has been primarily a hobby with the exception of the proposal writing I have been hired to do professionally. Did you always know that you want to be a writer? No. All I ever wanted to be was a Care Bear and perhaps Lion-O. Unfortunately, everything else is still not as interesting. I started sharing my letters with friends and based on their responses completed the necessary research to publish â€œReady to Male.â€?
What is your writing style? Is it day or night? When the spirit hits? I definitely prefer to write at night. The external is quiet and my internal is at its loudest. What do you want to accomplish with this book Ready to Male?
I hope “Ready to Male” encourages folks to write their own letters and enjoy the process of letting their minds drift from one layer of their identity to the next. I find letters incredibly healing, rewarding, and most importantly an awesome tool for benchmarking personal and emotional progress. What advice would you give to future writer? I would say, “Write what you want to write and avoid “the box” at all costs. The box is full. However, the areas outside it, on top of it, and nearby have plenty of availability. What is your book about? Are you in the process of writing another book? Ready to Male infuses elements of short story and memoir writing styles to provide a snapshot of the ongoing journey to creatively examine rather than dismiss personal thoughts. Using humor, wordplay, poetry, and a healthy dose of sarcasm, each chapter of Ready to Male contains exaggerated interpretations of real life experiences. The work provides an intimate vessel for eavesdropping on my attempt to make sense of my emotions and the rapidly changing world around me. “Ready to Male: Part 2” is in the works. It will be a combination of short stories and letters. Continue On 10 pg
What do you want your legacy to be about when you leave this earth? I hope my legacy creates a long list of people who knew and could easily tell you how much I loved them. How do the people get in contact with you? Facebook, myspace, and through my website: www.readytomale.com Where can they purchase the book? www.readytomale.com Thank you so much. Do you have any final words? Nope
Xem Van Adams Unplugged and Uncensored A Cleavester Brooks Interview Cleavester: Who is Xem Van Adams? Xem VanAdams is a Writer, Blogger, Filmmaker & Activist, of sorts. Writing is my passion, for Ive been doing it since the tender age of eight, when I won Honorable Mention in the Center Stage Young Playwrights contest. I have used my years of experiences and circumstances to deliver a Voice of Hope, Reason, Explanation and Direction to the Gay community, at large. I try to allow my Trials, Struggles and Tribulations to serve as life lessons for those who are standing alongside me, as well as those who are coming behind me. It's my duty and a large part of my responsibility. What was life like growing up for you? What kind of child were you? I grew up in the Northwest area of Baltimore, Maryland. My parents ALWAYS encouraged me to speak my mind, as my father would say daily, 'Represent the family name well.' I was always taught to be self-expressive and confident in myself. Those lessons have saturated my existence for the larger part of my life. I was supported to take verbal and physical stands against issues I supported and concepts that I did not agree with. In high school, I was voted Most Outgoing, Most Outspoken and Rebel WITH a Cause. I know in my spirit that my parents contributed greatly to my ability to be so abrupt, honest, candid and true to self. I met a lot of students in Film School who had to work 3 and 4 jobs to pay tuition because their parents did not support their gifts and passions. My parents, family and friends always championed my talents and creativity. When did you actually discover who you were? Did you always know you were gay when you were little or is that something you stepped into in you adulthood? Um, I realized I was gay by the time I hit middle school. I realized I was gay when I found myself spending a lot of time afterschool thinking about dudes(lol the both of us) in ways in which I knew I wasn't 'suppose' to. It was the second semester of my sixth grade year when I started taking gym and having to change in the locker
room alongside my male classmates. I found myself having certain thoughts that I knew everyone wasn't necessarily having. I felt very uncomfortable, and spent hours, alone, praying for God to relieve me of these feelings. It was a tough period that I tried to bury by dating girls and becoming sexually active at the age of fourteen.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to find themselves, especially those who have heard the pastor say it’s wrong, it’s abomination. What advice would you give to those negative voices? It's My BELIEF that everyone has a comfort zone. For me, my comfort zone is writing, music and being self expressive, publicly. For some, their comfort zone could be singing, taking a bath, walking for hours, exercising, eating, or in my mother's case, cooking. Once an individual discovers their passion, it can be used as a healthy and normal escape. Coming to terms with your sexuality or trying to find peace in your differences amongst a sea of individuals, can be extremely difficult. Even as it concerns race, class, and socioeconomic status, finding ones place often times presents difficulty. I am blessed in that my parents did not force us to attend church on Sundays. We were taught to pray and believe in God, but religion was not forced upon us. As a result, I don’t know the feeling, as a youth, to have a minister or preacher, telling me that I’m inferior to others because of my sexual preferences. I fear for the young men and young women of our community who have to endure such Hatred at the hands of the Church, and then to receive a double dose within the confines of their Homes. Do you see yourself having little Xem’s in the future? (LoL) Definitely, I’ve wanted children ever since I was a child, myself. I do want children. A lot of my friends have started having children over the
last 2 to 3 years and Ive spent time with them during our weekends and days off. I want to expose my children to the same ways of life, that my parents did for me. I want my children to feel FREE to be themselves, despite societal barriers and backlash. I want to raise children who are PROUD of themselves, their family, their Dreams and Accomplishments. Too many children aren't nurtured, and therefore, grow up to be afraid, misguided, closed minded and bitter to the core. What is your take on the Obama presidency? While Im proud of the fact that I am a living bystandee of this significant moment in time, I don’t think the black community is truly following what is going on, politically. I think they have become so consumed with the notion of having a black president that they have begun to ignore the fundamentals of his daily decisions. People are so focused on the fact that there is this black face; this black man in office. The overall political, economic and cultural climate in the world isn't being totally enveloped by the people. Obama is being forced and under obligation to make certain decisions, which further supports my philosophy that no one man is given power to reign supreme in any political office. Regardless of whose elected to office there is no one man who will be given the power to truly change the status of this country. A president stands as a shifting and transitional symbol. I don’t think people truly understand and embrace that idea. I’m more so proud of what Obama stands for in regards to him being physically present in the white house. If you could live anywhere in the world. Where would it be and Why? Wow, it’s really funny I was sharing with my friend this week that I am not well traveled. I aspire to travel the World. My first stop is going to be London. The furthest that Ive traveled in my young life is Los Angeles, California. I’ve never traveled outside of the country. Sadly, I don’t have a passport either. When I look back at my life and all that I have accomplished, one thing I’m sad about is not traveling outside the country. It is something I want to do in the next two to three years. I do want to say that my feet have touched the grounds and earth in every content. Ultimate Goal. Why did you leave Los Angeles? Financially, I was unable to live with my own two feet planted firmly on the ground. I don’t want to say I wasn't comfortable, because I was comfortable doing what I love. I was writing, full-time for The Hitt Music Group/Drive Music as a Staff Writer in the A & R department. Financially, however, I didn’t feel comfortable accepting money from my family every month,
just to make ends meet. Bringing home nearly $20,000.00 less than I was making living in Baltimore, but having to spend double in living expenses, really began to take a toll. The experience, however, has helped me to rediscover my passion for writing, blogging & filming. I have continued everything I was doing in California, here in Baltimore. Why do you think everyone wants to be a celebrity? A lot of individuals are out of touch with themselves and uncomfortable with the true essence of their being. For them, being recognized in the world by strangers gives them a false sense of self. I tell people all the time that Iâ€™m not a celebrity. When I am Famous, it will be in due part to the screenplay that Im working on now, and not because of a Blog or Youtube Videos. This is an unexpected stop on my journey to be where I truly WANT to be. There are thousands of individuals who watch my Videos and who send me messages on MySpace, FaceBook, Twitter and YouTube. However, none of it goes to my head or makes me feel 'entitled' because Iâ€™ve been doing all of this, my entire life. There is nothing new in what I do now. The only DIFFERENCE is that instead of my audience being hundreds in Baltimore, DC and Virginia, the viewership has grown into thousands from across the country and beyond. My friends and family will tell you that Blogging, Speaking, and Filming has always saturated my life. The scale and platform upon which I stand at this point just happens to be a bit larger. By no means does it make me a 'Celebrity'. Why did you call B. Scott out? Recently, in March of 2009, I received a Facebook note from a young man who was struggling with Coming Out to his family. I posted a Note on my MySpace and FaceBook page regarding B. Scott's neglect to respond to this young mans letter, as well as those letters and notes sent to him from the Gay teenagers and young adults of our community. I receive hundreds of messages, daily, from young men, especially, who tell me that B.Scott does not respond to any of their emails, messages, etc. People won't admit it Publicly, but their are also a LOT of Gay Bloggers, Publications, Reporters, etc. whose messages to B. Scott go Ignored. In turn, I receive messages that begin, 'I know that you're not going to reply, for Ive already attempted to reach out to B.Scott.....'. It simply BOTHERS me that given this position in the community, that there are individuals who don't necessarily filter through their 'Fan-Mail', to address those who are truly crying out for help and guidance. People will argue that B. Scott isn't simply for the Gay Community, and I can respect that notion. However, many of the young men and women in our community look to us for that sense of support, and I simply find it hard to believe that there isn't TIME to directly respond to their calls of urgency. I do not dislike B. Scott. I watch his videos when I can, just as I watch Derrick Briggs and everyone else. I support B. Scott's hustle as well. I
only wish that we could sometimes see the young, humbled man that first began on this mission in 2007. It's so Disappointing, however, that I received MANY 'Private' messages supporting my stance, and no one wanted to Publicly state their claims, similar to my own. It's okay though because Im use to being the one who actually Opens His Mouth. ...and I was NOT the individual who posted the note in his Community or his Website; wherever it was posted. Will we so you on American Idol? No, I realize I wasnâ€™t blessed with the gift of song, so the answer is no. I Love Make-Pretend Singing. I think we All Do. Thank you so much Xem. Go to:www.xemvanadams.com
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