Sunday, 26 September 2010
I remember the first time I heard of Venus Landin. It was well over a decade ago…I was producing and hosting a popular and legendary radio show, Les Chanteuses Africaines, at WRFG in Atlanta, Georgia. I heard of Venus in Atlanta’s vast black lesbian social circles...
Suddenly in 1993, a casual acquaintance became morbid headline news. Venus had been murdered by an ex-lover named Bisa Niambi. This black lesbian murder suicide stunned the city of Atlanta.
Later, Alice Walker made the local shock a global one when she penned a tribute and a special poem to Bisa in the acknowledgements and afterword of her classic book on female genital mutilation entitled “Warrior Marks: Female Genital Mutilation & The Sexual Binding of Women”. Alice mentioned that Bisa had been a gifted masseuse and a tragic cutter. She mentioned Bisa's visible wounds of self-mutilation that dulled her pain as she expertly practiced her profession. Alice even reprints Bisa's business card as a final tribute to her beloved reflexologist.
I was also haunted by the memory of Bisa. This sudden villainess had been a loyal fan who often phoned me in the studio at WRFG. I still think of her when I hear the songs she requested so often. Her voice was always lonely and tortured, even as she strove to sound mellow. Often she would chat briefly and intimately during those late night studio calls. I am a very spiritually sensitive person, protected always by legions of African angels. As Bisa thanked me for soothing her musically, or spoke of the incest that tortured her incessantly, I always felt an inexplicable sense of dread…
I am not a tragic lesbian. I have a wonderful, stable, loving family. I have never been molested. I came out to my entire family at age 22 and they love me unconditionally. I have been uniquely blessed academically and professionally. Yet, I always deeply felt Bisa's pain.
I was wounded when I heard the inevitable gossip that followed the fatalities. Everyone talked. Most grieved. Some of us grieved for both felled sisters. Even as we whispered about karma, players, consequences, infidelity, emotional abuses, and toxic connections, these two losses left voids in the collective soul of our black lesbian and gay Atlantan community.
Then, I had my own incident with Venus’s friend, Charlene Cothran. At that time, she was a leader of a lesbian events organization known as Hospitality Atlanta. They were hosting their first annual "Women of Color Business Expo". Curiously, they chose to request an interview at WRFG, on a reggae show hosted by a heterosexual, Rastafarian, female host named Afrikiti Kishi. Clandestinely, those members interviewed led Afrikiti to believe that they were not a lesbian organization.
After the show, typically rabid gaybashing Jamaicans went berserk. I was implicated by association as an openly gay member of the WRFG staff, who was strangely never contacted to arrange an interview. I was also obligated, as Afrikiti’s professional peer within a revered group of afrocentric radio rebels, known as Radio Free Griots, to defend a sister host.
Afrikiti and I respected each other as fellow afrocentric radio warriors then. That mutual respect put me in the precarious position of ethically aiding a heterosexual sister, by defending an unethical act against her by lesbians, in order to appease the unethical hatreds of rabid gay hating rastas. It was one of the most difficult and painful moments of my colorful life in Atlanta's radio scene from 1986 until 1996.
I allowed Afrikiti to address this deception on my show and clear her name with her gaybashing fans. Ironically and sadly, years later, I would resign with rage from the Radio Free Griots at WRFG, in the throes of a public war about homosexuality and their own constant gay bashing. My departure and our battles would garner personal bodyguards and national media attention. I won that war…
I went on to host Outlook at WIGO and appear frequently at WGST. I launched my website and column database, Eloquent Fury, online in 1992. Later, I relocated to Oakland, California where I produced and hosted Les Chanteuses Africaines at KPFA, KPFB, and KFCF… But, I will miss WRFG and the Radio Free Griots eternally, especially Afrikiti…
When Charlene relocated to Hamilton, New Jersey to begin a magazine dedicated to Venus, I sincerely wished her well. And, from a distance I watched that same entrepreneurial drive that fueled the foul incident at WRFG help make Venus magazine a great success. Until today, I was very proud of Charlene.
Now, I read that Charlene is no longer a lesbian and that Venus magazine will become a publication dedicated expressly to reformed homosexuals/“ex-gays.” Is this not a second brutal murder of the memory of the beloved lesbian Venus Landin? Is there any better way to buck dance on a grave? What better way to make a buck these days than by profiting from racist white neocon pimps of black preacher whores who would consider such a rag a literal literary godsend? Can’t you envision cover stories by T. D. Jakes and Jesse Jackson right now?
For the record, sex is not sexuality. Lots of curious, lonely, amoral, whorish, heterosexuals engage in homosexual sex daily. Some are porno stars or prostitutes. Some are just sick and tired of being abused by heterosexuals. Some are bored and bi-curious. Many of these persons pose as serial lesbians when they are truly sinister bisexuals. Many are selfish and abusive down low cowards who are completely homosexual and merely pose as bisexuals.
Sexuality is never a choice. Consensual sex is always a choice. Sexuality is a complex emotional identity. Sex is a simple physical act. The “ex-gay” myths that Venus magazine will now tout only add more confusion to these chaotic sexual frays. It encourages people to make impossible choices. It validates similarly fake choices already made by deceitful others.
Every “ex-gay” who was truly gay is still gay. They may never have gay sex again. But, they will always be gay. One can die a virgin and be a biological homosexual. Virtually every phony "ex-gay" always returns to gay sex and usually gets busted doing so. So, let us count the days until Charlene is caught creeping back to lesbian sex...
It is not necessary to demonize all gays to behave bisexually. Alice Walker did not bash ex-lover Tracy Chapman or all gays when she resumed a heterosexual love. Prince did not bash gays when he stopped tongue kissing Brown Mark on stage. Diana Ross and Cindy Birdsong did not bash gays when their lesbian affair was outed? So, why then does Charlene feel the need to bash and betray all gays as she optimistically hunts for a new man?!? Such gross excess drama usually signals deceit.
I never judge anyone by sexuality, race, or class. I will always judge everyone exclusively by their actions. As aforementioned, I have seen Charlene in entrepreneurial action before. She has now taken being unethical to a cosmic level. She has ruthlessly betrayed her readers. But, more importantly she has shockingly and brutally betrayed her friend Venus.
There is absolutely nothing godly about most religions and most religious people. Charlene’s latest act demonstrates that expertly. The only thing more loathsome than self-hatred is hating those who love you. Nothing could be more hateful to the readers who loved this magazine than to bastardize it, by grotesquely morphing it into a rag dedicated to the sheer fantasy of “ex-gays.”
Adding insult to injury, Charlene is daring to leave the name of a revered late lesbian at the magazine’s masthead. Even when she cannot love her lesbian self, Charlene has a duty to love those who loved her magazine and who love Venus. Keeping Venus’s name upon an “ex-gay” magazine is akin to owning a magazine that celebrates O. J. Simpson and naming it Malcolm X. It is like devoting a magazine to afrocentrism and naming it Michael Jackson. It is like dedicating a magazine to Nazis and calling it Africa. It is like dedicating a magazine to poverty and naming it Oprah. It is like dedicating a magazine to legitimate musical talent and naming it P-Diddy. It is like dedicating a magazine to feminism and calling it Eminem. It is like dedicating a magazine to gun control and calling it DMX...
God creates homosexuals in every living species. We proud out homosexuals are precisely who we are born to be. Charlene has the human right to live an ungodly lie. But, Venus died a lesbian, not a liar. An ethical person would kill the magazine and start anew with a new name more befitting a blasphemous, neocon-in-blackface, fantasy rag. Charlene has chosen to kill her legacy with gay readers and the memory of her dead lesbian friend Venus instead.
Charlene's sudden insanity has been created by some evil preachers who have convinced her that God hates gays as much as they do. God loves all of us just as we are. We are the homosexuals that God created us to be.
God is love. Gaybashers pretend that gays do not love each other. Gaybashers never even mention gay love. They are singularly and pornographically obsessed with gay sex. Now, as all neocon rags, Venus magazine will profit immensely by exclusively condemning gay sex. It will ignore gay love. Fortunately, the universal love of God is never so brazenly selective or amorally capitalist.
We live in an evil world. We need no more rabidly capitalist liars within it. It is filled with evil preacher pimps, who bash gays daily for passion and profit. Charlene has joined their mindlessly masochistic evil flocks. Her mangled magazine is her first official tithing to her new congregations. Her confused soul is the greatest debt paid. This entire ugly saga is further solid evidence that black gaybashers are indeed the most hateful of all.
Now, let the doors of the church say Amen…
Dear Venus and Bisa: May you both rest in peace…regardless…AB