Tag Archives: black

Video: Proud Stories

Grand Park’s social media coordinator edited together this amazing video of Proud Stories. I am so honored that I was part of this inclusive and affirming event. My hairy mug makes an appearance at 1:26.

Victor Yates SOGIE Library Proud Stories

Q Youth Foundation’s SOGIE Human Library

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Reading at In The Meantime

The Black Artist Collective hosted Chris Cotton and I at In The Meantime in the Carl Bean House in the historic neighborhood of West Adams. The reading was significant to me because of the location. In the 80’s, when the AIDS epidemic first swept through the country, the Carl Bean House was a hospice were people went to die. Now, the property is owned by AIDS Health Foundation and the old management office space is leased by In The Meantime.

The reading was everything I hoped it would be – magical, emotional, and intimate.

It definitely prepared me for the next tour stops.

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South African blog, Queerlife Features “A Love Like Blood”

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South African blog, Queerlife featured “A Love Like Blood.” The blog bills itself as South Africa’s “largest Gay, lesbian, trans, bi and other queer folk portal.”

The post is copied below:

What happens when a Muslim family converts to Catholicism to be more American? Or, when a son removes himself from his family to avoid an honour killing? Or what about being pummeled, close to death, is confused as love?

Author Victor Yates answers these questions and more in A Love Like Blood. Half Somali and Cuban, 17-year old Carsten Tynes, deals with the intricacies of race, Americanism, syncretism, migration, and sexuality under his dying father’s abusive hand in A Love Like Blood. Set in 1998, his family relocates to Beverly Hills, MI to expand their photography business. His father has lung disease and promises to give him the business if he marries his ex-girlfriend. Faced with an unwanted marriage and the slow death of his father, Carsten retreats behind his camera. His camera becomes the loose thread that slowly unravels his relationship with his father and reveals the unseen world of “men who move at night.” However, it is his infatuation with his neighbor, Brett that severs the symbolic umbilical cord between his father and him. When death pushes his father and Brett together, he makes a dangerous decision to protect them.

Victor Yates was raised in Jacksonville, Florida and now lives in Los Angeles. His work has appeared in Windy City Times, Edge, and The Voice. As a graduate of the Creative Writing program at Otis College, he is the recipient of an Ahmanson Foundation grant. He is the winner of the Elma Stuckey Writing Award (1st place in poetry) at Morehouse College. He received an Oprah Winfrey scholarship and appeared on Oprah’s Surprise Spectacular show. Two of his poems were included in the anthology, “For Colored Boys,” which was edited by Keith Boykin. The anthology won the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Award. Continue reading

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Debut Novel News/Tour 2016

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Writing is isolation and the death of relationships. That is what I have learned since I began writing my first book, A Love Like Blood. I moved from my hometown, Jacksonville to Los Angeles to pursue my writing career and last month my novel was finally published.

I thought publishing was the most complicated part of the writing equation. Since getting the book in my hands, I have realized that publicity is a different beast altogether. Everyday I check my emails checking for interview, profile, review, social media, award, and reading notifications. And, because of my current full-time job I have not been able to develop the book tour. However, a tour is in the works. I will post more information when everything is finalized. Until then, the book is available on Amazon, Kindle (Kindle Unlimited users can download it for free), and CreateSpace. Tip: if you purchase through Amazon Prime, you get it in two days. Just cancel Prime afterwards.

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Video Q&A with Emerging LGBT Leader Carolyn Wysinger

The name Ruth Ellis may not be as familiar to you as Harvey Milk, but it should. Ellis, born in 1899, was the oldest living open lesbian and LGBT rights activist. Before she died in 2000, her life was documented in the film project, Living with Pride, directed by Yvonne Welbon. She came out as a lesbian in 1915 and in the 1920s she met Ceciline Franklin. They moved from Springfield, Illinois to Detroit, Michigan in 1937 and lived together for 30 years until Franklin’s death in 1973. During the three decades that they lived together, Ellis became the first American woman to own a printing business in Detroit and her home with Franklin became “a refuge for African-American gays and lesbians.”

Living with Pride: Ruth Ellis at 100 is being screened at the Art Exchange in Long Beach, this Sunday, starting at 5. Emerging LGBT leader, Carolyn Wysinger, is one of the key people responsible for putting together the screening.

Carolyn Wysinger is an activist, writer, and event coordinator, whose goal is to build bridges within the LGBT community. She earned her B.A. in English from California State University, Long Beach and her M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University. Organizations that she is involved with include: BUTCHVoices and Black Lesbians United. She is also active in the local Long Beach community as a member of the Leadership Long Beach Class of 2013 as well as a Member-At-Large of the Lambda Democrats.

Qulture writer Victor Yates spoke to Wysinger about the life of Ruth Ellis and Sistah Sinema as well as her community work.

Watch the video above to learn more about Wysinger and go to Qulture.org for more LGBT news and information.

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Duck Tape Diaries

United Kingdom: stamp

(Photo credit: Sem Paradeiro)

In the past, it was important for me to believe others perceived me as someone who knew where he was going in life. Someone who had a good life, a good career, knew everything to know about the world; someone to envy or at least, have an intellectual conversation with. It was a cover to prevent people from discovering the real me, that I was  in the category of “other.” I’ll call that protection fear. In college, I learned that distance can help prevent people from getting to know too much about me and my experience leading into adulthood reinforced that: getting a new job in a new city, forgetting old friends to get new friends, not ever having enough time to call home. Distance and perfection, I carried them like hand guns.  I was so used to flaunting them, that they became my hands. Slowly, I learned to let go of distance, but perfection I had to hold on to. Perfection, in its own right, is truth and truth is incontestable, until proven false and nothing is false anymore, only less true. Today, the most important person in my life, just called me shallow. Now I don’t know who to blame: me, him, or the world. The world, as in, the idea of things; how men think, survival; the rules of effective communicate; multi-tasking in a post-digital area; being a good boyfriend.  A friend of mine worked at a national forest and had to learn deescalation techniques to take the fire out of heated situations.  She would mimic the escalated persons behavior and recognize their feelings. It always worked. Why aren’t their deescalation manuals ready and available at bars? At this moment, looking back, I never knew where I was going.

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New article on SB 1172 or the gay cure bill

Assemblyman Lieu

Assemblyman Lieu (Photo credit: Barack Obama)

Over at Edge On The Net, I wrote an update on #sb1172 or the gay cure ban, sponsored by Senator Ted Lieu, which prevents mental health professionals (ex-gay counselors) from attempting to change the sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity of minors. An excerpt from the article is below:

Marea Murray, a social worker in San Francisco, sobbed uncontrollably when she learned that the governor of California had signed SB 1172 into law. Murray counsels clients of all genders and orientations on sexuality concerns and like a number of other mental health professionals, she has come to know people psychologically abused having undergone treatments thought to cure homosexuality. That is one of the many reasons why she worked through Gaylesta, a LGBT Psychotherapy Association, to mobilize supporters for the bill.

The bill specifically sought to prohibit professionals from using techniques to change gender expressions, gender identities, and/or sexual orientation for patients under eighteen.

After SB 1172 was approved, two lawsuits were brought against California, one filed by an ex-gay Aaron Bitzer, who is studying to be an ex-gay therapist. The therapist-in-training claimed the ban not only infringed on his rights to freedom of speech and religion, but also the ban prevented him from pursuing his profession. His lawsuit, led by Christian legal group Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), argued that “the law ignores young people who have same-sex attractions as a result of being victims of sexual abuse” and that lack of access to treatment will lead to irreparable harm.

Read more at: http://www.edgelosangeles.com/news/local/features//140531/implementation_of_california’s_gay_cure_ban_delayed_until_hearing

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