Tag Archives: blatino

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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Video: East Los High Actress Tracy Perez talks about Jennifer Lopez, Meryl Streep, the Industry, and HIV

Actress Tracy Perez from the hit Hulu show, “East Los High” speaks to Camp Hollywood Heart in Malibu Hills about Jennifer Lopez, Meryl Streep, being Latina in the entertainment industry, how to break into the industry, and what it means to play a character with HIV on the show.

“East Los High” is a drama series produced and written by Carlos Portugal about teens growing up in East Los Angeles from the American-Latino perspective. The show is the only all-Latino cast show on Hulu.

Perez plays Vanessa De La Cruz. In Season 1 Episode 1 her character is videotaped having sex in a parked car and the video goes viral. The show also stars Janine Larina, Gabriel Chavarria, and Alicia Sixtos.

The founder of The Wall-Las Memorias Project, Richard Zaldivar spoke before Perez at the event. Zaldivar discussed the important of HIV/AIDS advocacy and why the The Wall-Las Memorias Project was important to build in East Los Angeles. Perez’s character contracts HIV from having unprotected sex.

Watch the video to learn more about Tracy Perez and her controversial character.

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Reading at West Hollywood Library

West Hollywood Library Grand Opening & Dedication

West Hollywood Library (Photo credit: City of West Hollywood)

Recently I read from For Colored Boys at the West Hollywood Library with Antonio Brown and Jonathan Kidd (contributors to the anthology), and actor Jorge Ortiz. I edited and posted the reading on YouTube; please watch the videos and comment. I will be reading again at the West Hollywood Library during  the City of West Hollywood’s ‘One City/One Pride’ Festival in June.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Question and Answer Session

Stay tuned for more information on the West Hollywood Library reading in June.

US iTunes, App Store, iBookstore, and Mac App Store

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Vincent (Starry Starry Night): Folky McLean song inspires black nerd

Don McLean Performing Vincent (Starry Starry Night)

Vincent (Starry Starry Night) by Don McLean

Starry starry night, paint your palette blue and grey
Look out on a summer’s day with eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills, sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills, in colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for you sanity How you tried to set them free
They would not listen they did not know how, perhaps they’ll listen now

Starry starry night, flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue
Colors changing hue, morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand

For they could not love you, but still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight, on that starry starry night

You took your life as lovers often do,
But I could have told you, Vincent,
This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you

Starry, starry night, portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls with eyes that watch the world and can’t forget.
Like the stranger that you’ve met, the ragged man in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose, lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know what you tried to say to me
How you suffered for you sanity How you tried to set them free

They would not listen they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will.

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Filed under Art, The Written Word

writing for the new gay black male writer

Her Name Was Wendy

Image by vasta via Flickr

yesterday it just felt like this thing was missing from out of my body. i just wanted to sleep. i couldn’t.

i started writing a book, the taste of scars, four years ago. did i think it would take this long? no. four years is a long time. i graduated college in four years. i was in ann arbor working at the downtown public library circled by published authors, how-to books and hadn’t heard from a guy i was talking to. books became my significant other (i hate that term) after he stopped calling me. i was walking to another library, on campus at umich. it was late evening. i saw a guy, probably a college student, walking my way. his face was shadowed. a cigarette twitched on the side of his mouth. he pulled out a lighter and lit his cigarette. seeing that inspired me to write my first sentence. virginia wolfe started writing her books waiting to get a first sentence.

i started writing. i knew the book would be auto-fiction. based off actual experiences but fictionalized.

how does someone who has never written a book write a book?

how does someone who has never taken a fiction-writing class write a book?

i didn’t ask those questions before i started writing. i should have. all writers should.

i didn’t know what i was doing. my sentences read like the romantic poets and writers my senior year high school teacher loved reading to us. jargon connected to jargon. reading it now, the first draft, i had no idea what i was saying. i wasn’t writing for my generation (my editor told me that). writing for your generation is important as a writer. your audience will get bored if they can’t follow your ideas.

over a hundred drafts later i’m done.

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Resources for Black Gay and Lesbian Writers

The Damaged Good, G. Winston James
The Damaged Good, G. Winston James
  • Redbone Press (LGBT Black publishing house based in Washington, D.C)
  • Cleis Press (Largest LGBT small indie press)
  • Strebor (Author Zane’s imprint with Simon & Schuster)
  • Alyson Books (Largest LGBT commercial press)
  • Vintage Entity Press (Small chapbook press with an impressive collection of Black gay and lesbian authors)
  • Tugson Press (Very small Black and Gay publisher found by Leo Shelton)



  • Pulse (based out of New York, through GMAD, a black urban magazine)
  • Bleu (based out of New York, a black urban magazine)
  • Swerv (based out of DC, a black urban magazine)
  • SGL Weekly (a one man team based out of LA, a black urban magazine)
  • Curve (a mainstream lesbian magazine with celebrity interviews, news, politics, pop culture, style, travel, social issues and entertainment)
  • Callaloo (a non-gay-specific literary and cultural journal of the African Diaspora based at Texas A&M)
  • David (mainstream Atlanta-based print magazine)
  • Gay Chicago Magazine (an online-based mainstream magazine)
  • Mary: A Literary Quarterly (a literary magazine published quarterly that showcases queer/gay writings of artistic merit started by Black-nerd cutie William Johnson)
  • HotSpots Magazine (Florida’s largest gay publication covering news and events in South Florida)
  • Ambiente Magazine (The first & only LGBT publication offered in English, Spanish & Portuguese, produced bi-monthly, offered free of charge, and distributed digitally around the globe to thousands of our readers)


  • Windy City Times (a Chicago-based print newspaper)


  • Cave Canem (non gay-specific but gay friendly Black poetry retreat  at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg and workshops in NYC)


  • Fire and Ink (Devoted to increasing the understanding, visibility and awareness of the works of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender writers of African descent and heritage normally held in October)
  • Atlanta Queer Literary Festival (an all-encompassing literary festival held in June)
  • Saints and Sinners (an all-encompassing New Orleans literary festival)


Check out the companion piece to this article All Things Black, Art-sy and Gay: Resources for Black LGBT Artists featuring film festivals, bookstores, networking organizations, and additional websites.

**Will update every month**


Filed under lgbt resources, The Written Word

3 new query letters or my vision board sucks

Downtown Los Angeles as seen from my American ...

Image via Wikipedia

I read “The Secret” about a year ago. In Secret, the author suggests that the secret to everything you want in life can be yours and the way to get it is to change your mind. Or change the way you see yourself.

Bend yourself, not the spoon.

If you think you’re a writer you will be a writer. You have to visualize, conceptualize, and do things necessary to get your writing published.

One step is to create a vision board. Put the things you want most in life on a board (my board is a wall). You’ll see the board everyday and it will make the universe realign and give you what you want.

The things I want:

  • I want a literary agent
  • I want to be published
  • I want to pay off my credit cards
  • I want to move to Los Angeles
  • I want to visit Brazil

It’s getting harder and harder not to get discouraged. I sent a query letter to an agent at 10:30am today. She wrote me back in 5 minutes.

Apologies not for me.

I want a life without waiting for someone else to tell me I’m worthy. I want a life without worrying how I am going to pay my rent. Some days, as a gay black man, it seems easier to escape everything. Move away from the city. Move to Spain or Brazil and start running drugs or stripping or surfing or selling ass on a webcam.

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