Saturday, December 31, 2016

Sexual Fitness Video (Action Bar) on The Kyle Phoenix Blog

Kyle Phoenix

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler on The Kyle Phoenix Blog (Liberation List Selection)

Parable of the Sower

Kindred by Octavia Butler on The Kyle Phoenix Blog (Liberation List Selection)

Praisesong for the Widow by Paule Marshall on The Kyle Phoenix Blog (Liberation List Selection)

“Astonishingly moving.”—Anne Tyler, New York Times Book Review
“A work of exceptional wisdom, maturity, and generosity, one in which the palpable humanity of its characters transcends any considerations of race or sex.”—Washington Post Book World
“There is no limit to the kind of readership to which this novel will appeal.”—Booklist
Avey Johnson—a black, middle-aged, middle-class widow given to hats, gloves, and pearls—has long since put behind her the Harlem of her childhood. Then on a cruise to the Caribbean with two friends, inspired by a troubling dream, she senses her life beginning to unravel—and in a panic packs her bag in the middle of the night and abandons her friends at the next port of call. The unexpected and beautiful adventure that follows provides Avey with the links to the culture and history she has so long disavowed.

The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara on The Kyle Phoenix Blog (Liberation List Selection)

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on The Kyle Phoenix Blog (Liberation List Selection)

Monday, December 26, 2016

Oprah's 2 Minute Advice on Failure/Success on The Kyle Phoenix Blog

Click above for a short video from Oprah, during a business seminar discussing the way to find meaning in failure, teh real meaning of failure and identifying your path.


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Nothing Really Matters on The Kyle Phoenix Blog

Butoh, the dance form, you'll see in this video is fascinating.  Jerky, provocative, evocative, sharp, alabaster, striking.  Married to the surrealistic imagery of the geisha, the concubine, the dojo is startling and amazing.  I actually have the Vogue magazine of Madonna from this period of her Asiatic/Japanese geisha period.  It's beautiful, hyper transformation.

Now to the song.  I've done a whole episode of The Kyle Phoenix Show on this song because it's simply a hip, pop tune, it's also poetry and at the same time a sutra.  Madonna's original intention was for it to be a sort of love letter to her daughter, to the transformative power of having a child in one's life and yet, for me at least, it's taken on an almost spiritual meaning and power.  I rock out to it and remind myself that....nothing really matters, love is all we need.


Male Belly Dancers Shake It Up in Istanbul on The Kyle Phoenix Blog

Because the world, men, dance, art comes in all forms!  Men of color in America, especially MSM are soooooooo concerned about masculinity and whether they appear feminine in truth or other's perception that it's easy to forget, there are tens of millions of men around the world who have bluntly, stopped giving a fuck.  

Look at the radiant joy in his eyes, his art, his face.


Son Of A Gun (Remix)-Janet Jackson featuring Missy Elliott & P. Diddy on The Kyle Phoenix Blog

Janet Jackson...I mean come on.  Anyone who knows me and knows that I have been an admirer of her work since day one (once running in a torrential rain storm to a record store for a copy of Rhythm Nation when it first came out).  Of course that she would be a featured artist on this blog.  And that's what I'm going to do,,..share some of the visual/video/media art that I like, respect, enjoy with you.

Now, Son of a Gun, featuring Carly Simon and Missy Elliot (yes, I have all of the remixes, even the one with P. Diddy) should've been a bigger hit than it was.  It wasn't the first single released from the album.  But this here...this is the work.  Now the video, the video does something unique.  It pays homage to the Orishas, Yoruban intermediaries in the spiritual world in a fantastical way.  It re-imagines how one would employ, entreat and have them assist in revenge against a smug 
son of a gun.


La Lupe "Don't Play That Song" on The Kyle Phoenix Blog

La Lupe was out of her the truest,m deepest sense of the word, in the best ways possible.  I was first exposed to her a few years ago watching a documentary and had to get as much of her work as possible.  The way in which she controls, changes, mangles, unravels and emotionalizes a song, not in her original tongue, and transforms it, we Americans so used to this tune, is amazing.


Eli Pope (Scandal) Monologue on The Kyle Phoenix Blog

Ok, Joe Morton is an amazing actor.  Absolute credit and accolades due for his role on scandal as Eli Pope, mastermind, father, intelligence chief.  But his monologue, his character is a black site prison, about to be tortured---and here comes the President to mock him is IT.  The epitome of true power as a character, a Black man on TV, unafraid of the President of the United States....because teh work he does is above the President's pay grade!  Even the mocking of having slept with his daughter is turned around in Pope's deft hands and turned into a weapon.  Let us not forget the master stroke usage of Summertime lyrics and Cicero's work about Nero.  With a complete self-allusion to the South, their situation, the lyrics of Summertime and looping back again to Nero!
Masterful as fiction and in acting.


Jennifer Lopez - Get Right on The Kyle Phoenix Blog


Beyoncé - Get Me Bodied (Timbaland Remix) ft. Voltio on The Kyle Phoenix Blog


Beyoncé - Upgrade U ft. Jay-Z on The Kyle Phoenix Blog


Beyoncé - Deja Vu ft. Jay-Z on The Kyle Phoenix Blog


Thursday, December 22, 2016

Black & Latino Men And Their Success by Kyle Phoenix

I've worked a lot over the years, towards my own personal version of success.  I've had the unique opportunity to have worked for several Black and Latino MSM organizations as a coordinator, a teacher, a counselor.  One of the things that comes up is the role of success as individuals and within the framework of dating and/or becoming a couple.  A point, a problem that comes up between men is the imbalance of success.  Men are socially taught to compete with one another, so what happens when you're emotionally and sexually tied to the competition?

I've had the experience of doing well, seemingly from the outside, we all look better, simpler, sleeker, more successful from the outside.  The work from the inside, the nights of unwavering focus, the hours working on projects is rarely seen by those who then look at the train in motion.  Even this, the world wide web of Kyle Phoenix in blogs, books, TV show, newsletters, magazines, book tours, classes, is like the tip of the iceberg to all the work and time I've had to put in.  So when old friends come back and make comments, suggest simplicity to my outcomes or worse yet, throw some shade onto it, I wonder, aloud and privately, if it's just man to man competition.  But then I got some green envied flack from a female friend too.  So it comes up between friends too.

But maybe what connects these observations and experiences is the target, an MSM Black man.  I wonder if within the paradigm of others thinking of me, was I suppose to ever be successful?  I mean I could be the bestie who goes to bars and strip joints and to shop with and go to the movies but was I suppose to ever move outside of that box?  Was I suppose to do more than go to a 9 to 5 job and earn a certain number and complain about my job and express constant misery at the rat race?  What was I suppose to be?

I remember when I would be counseling other men, couples, about this issue and I never thought so many in my life would attack, vanish minimize my own success.  I get so many accolades, from new friends, from strangers from grateful students....and that's fantastic.  But what about the past?  What I've learned so far is that success is a process of steps and in those steps you move from one frame to another, like a movie script.  In high school, my high school lover never moved from the neighborhood and I realized that then.  In college, several past loves have settled into being all the things they railed that they would never become---staid, boring, stuck in the rat race at jobs that don't even fit their degrees.  Then in my adult years---friends and lovers---have fallen into two categories----those who weren't doing what their highest success would be and those who were.  Now I see that there is a bridge, a choice, a path from which one you'll be.  The one trying to materialize your success and not.

There isn't much expected of MSM.  Beyond titillation and sex and fabulousness and occasionally activism, people, even MSM, expect very little of MSM, especially Black and Latino men,  Maybe school, maybe a job.  But definitely hung.  Definitely fabulousness.

So if you're out there, trying.  If you're trying to do something, something incredible.  Know this: they all can't come with you.  In fact, as I learned from Lisa Nichols, the doorway of change, of one's personal success is only big enough for one person to fit through.  You go through alone.  You go through the doorway, through a hallway for years, alone.  Maybe you come out on the other side and decide to go back, to retrieve relatives, old friends.  But a lot of them can't come.  That's the price of success, that's the secret of success: you have to know you can't bring most of the people you know with you.  That's what the guy you're with or want or pine for or dumped you knows---that in order to walk through the doorway to success in a business, in a marriage, in love out of the closet with you----he'd have to let so many people go that he'd be alone.

And most people are terrified of being alone.
The second price of success is you have to be able to tolerate, endure being alone.
The third price is this insight comes to you when you're through the doorway, when you're far enough through the hallway that when you look back, when old friends, relatives and perhaps eve new lovers yell at you from the threshold of your doorway to come back, to be with them, to let go of your efforts.  But maybe their words, their comments, your regrets are the last vestiges of ashes flaking off as you go to and become the new thing....that perhaps our strictly heterosexual counterparts aren't as lambasted from breaking the confines of.

Or perhaps they too have their own confines, it's just not as pronounced or sexuality related?

Kyle Phoenix

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Here’s What LGBT Life In The Middle East Is Really Like

“Oriented” follows the lives of three gay Palestinian friends determined to “change their reality.”
by Yasha Wallin

Watching his fluid movement through the streets, freedom is the first word that comes to mind. Yet the message of freedom is not typically what the West associates with being gay and Arab. But “Oriented,” released on iTunes to coincide with this summer’s Pride celebrations, is not your typical take on the Arab world.The brainchild of Jewish director Jake Witzenfeld, Oriented offers a candid view of LGBT life in the Middle East.
As the Israeli-Gaza conflict escalates in 2014, viewers follow Khader and his friends Fadi Daeem and Naeem Jiryes, all Palestinian, through the daily complexities in their world; waiting out incessant air raids, navigating family dynamics, and the moral implications of dating Jewish men.

And while Khader and his friends are free in many ways, they are also bound: bound by living as a Palestinian in Israel; being gay within sometimes conservative Arab communities; and bound by being labeled something they are not simply because of their religion, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. After screening “Oriented” in more than 100 theaters internationally, we spoke to Khader over Skype from Tel Aviv.

What would surprise Western viewers about what it’s like to be gay and Arab?
Regardless of the fact that we’re gay, [the film is] an opportunity for the world to see that you cannot rely on some small terror unit and call them Islam, call all of them Arabs or think that we’re eating the same, drinking the same, and praying the same. [Oriented] is the first time you can watch a movie that three gay Arabs are the heroes and not the victims. Usually it’s their family trying to kill them, they’re running away, etc. This is the first time you can see open-minded, really educated people that speak at least three languages, Arab gay guys who are actually not so far from the Western [way of] life and can talk at the same eye level as Western people.
As an Arab living in Israel, how much do you identify with the larger Arab world, especially the gay community?
I identify with almost 80 percent of the Arab world because there is at least 20 percent that I cannot even relate to. I’m talking about fanatic Islam and I’m talking about Muslims that are homophobic. But 80 percent of the Arab world today are fighting the same fight that Europe and America are fighting, the common people who just want to live in peace. I can relate to that totally.
The film shows the dynamic of co-existing with your boyfriend who is Jewish. What were the difficulties you went through as a Jewish/Palestinian couple?
I think you will be affected by politics and things that are happening around you. But does that mean it should ruin your relationship or have a huge argument about it? I don’t need politics when I’m having sex. Love is love.
What would it mean for you if there was a recognized Palestinian state?
We don’t really know. I can say for sure just one thing: that would make my life so much easier or maybe so much harder. But I would have just one cause to fight, over my sexual and personal identity. But because I’m living under the occupation, because I’m living in Israel, I need to talk about two things: the fight of being proud saying that I’m Palestinian without judgment, without racism or without people thinking that I’m going to kill them. The second thing is the fight over my sexual identity in front of my community. I’m not sure that I’m going to see it in our generation, but maybe in the future.
You’ve talked about the idea of “privileged gays,” people that have the luxury of looking for surrogates, getting married and doing all of those things. Can you elaborate?
It is a luxury. These are people who are coming from privileged countries. I don’t underestimate their struggle, and I’m sure that it’s super-hard to have a child with a surrogate, or get married. But to me, it’s just something that I could dream of. Israel/Tel Aviv is well-known as the gay capital of the Middle East. But until today, we don’t have one law to protect us. We cannot get married in Israel. We cannot have a surrogate in Israel. As gays, we don’t have any rights inside the only democracy in the Middle East.
We cannot get married in Israel. We cannot have a surrogate in Israel. As gays, we don’t have any rights inside the only democracy in the Middle East. 
After something like what happened in Orlando, do you feel that people in the U.S. are still in a “privileged” position?
I think that everybody has their own fight. I was so sad when I saw what happened in Orlando because the guy who did it was a Muslim and said he was in ISIS. I started to see a lot of articles and Facebook statuses about Islam—we need to bomb them, destroy them all—coming from within the LGBT society. That was so sad because we are Muslims and we are part of the LGBT community and you are calling for killing all of us. For sure, somebody needs to destroy ISIS. I’m into that. I want that to happen but you cannot blame all of us. We should fight them together.
How do you, and I—the individual—go about fighting them?
We need to start from the understanding that ISIS are not representing all of Islam. We will not participate in this game of Donald Trump, ISIS and I don’t know who. We shouldn’t all go right wing and hate each other. I will not hate Christians. I will not hate Americans. I will not hate English people because they are not from the European Union anymore and going right. Our generation really wants peace. I think that the first step is to say no to this whole system, to the government, to the people who are trying to separate us by our ethnicities, colors, and I don’t know what.
How frustrating is it for you that the Western World immediately associates anything Arab with Isis?
It is frustrating. It’s generalizing everything and you cannot really be yourself anymore. I wish that I could live in a utopic world where I could say, “I’m just gay” or “I’m just human.” But today when the West is turning its back on Arabs and on Islam and on humanity, you start to be afraid.
Why is very little, if any, mention of religion in the film?
While I am Muslim and Fadi and Naeem are Christians, we don’t talk about it inside of our relationship because we are not those kind of boys. We are human. We are not religious people. But for me, it’s super-important for me to say I’m Muslim because I want to show the world, the sheiks, the Muslim fanatics, that we have LGBTs and gays inside our community, to understand that we are here and we are not afraid.
A lot of the film takes place in Jaffa, one of my favorite places. Can you describe what the area is like?
It’s our little island three to five minutes from Tel Aviv, super quiet, super beautiful, with an amazing, historical past. I will say it in the gay language: “Jaffa, give me life.” I am from Jaffa, born and raised and the fact that I could live openly out from the closet in Jaffa and nobody will assault me or attack me, that shows you how the community can use the idea of what it means being gay. Three days ago I was walking in the street and there were two boys, 12 or 13 years old and one of them started mocking me saying, “Look, he’s gay.” Both of them were Arab, and the other kid looked at him and was saying, ““Dude, what do you care? He can do with his life whatever he wants.” For me, that was the point I understood that I can change my city. I can change the world if I changed this situation.