RoddKlever.Com

Love. Transparency. Sincerity. Honesty

10 Things Gay Men Need To Start…

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1. Learning the Bible, Torah, or Quran….

As a Christian gay man people have used the biblical scriptures against me to discredit me from having rights and freedoms. To my credit I have done some studying of the bible and its interpretations. People seem to regularly use Leviticus 20:13 against us; “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.” *side eye… That was written in the Old Testament and widely known but an overlooked fact is that when Jesus returned he nullified the damnations we incurred as of results of our sins we committed. Just rest on that thought. Who really knows what Leviticus 20:13 was intended for? It could have been specifically aimed at the Greeks because of their homosexual behaviors especially during times of war where soldiers took an apprentice and they often had sexual relations with them. Also their over fifty English written versions of the Bible, which compounds the fact when kings like Henry VIII split from the catholic church to form his own Bible and augmented the bible. Which any man in power manipulated the text. More facts are that the Bible is in part not in full. Some gospels never made the book, for what reason I have no idea and this is the same book of scripture that white colonists used to validate 300 years of slavery. I know religion can be a scary topic, especially for gay men of color, but you have to know the tactics of your enemies and who will try to bring you down. Check this diagram below. This is what the Bible said about women and somehow they got rights, why haven’t we?

 

 
2. Training Your FagHags….

It’s nothing worst when you are out an a majority gay event and that one gay friend that always brings that one straight female friend who walks up to you without knowing you and says “Hey Queen, what’s tea? You look fabulous? What’s your name?” This nowadays will get you cussed out by me and several other gay men. Gay men come in all varying types of masculinity and femininity and not that I am against talking like that with someone I am cool with, but it’s rude coming from a stranger I don’t even know. I find that women think just because a few gay men tolerate them, that all of us will and do. Some gay men are very clear that they are very anti-women. My gay brothers if you are going to bring the occasional faghag out with you, make she is potty trained and doesn’t have diarrhea of the mouth. Also, this is unacceptable completely in the workplace.

 

 

3. Choosing Priorities, Over Clubs and Prides….

Now I am guilty of this one. Instead of spending my twenties club hopping from Thursday to Tuesday I should have been in school and trying to finish instead of scrambling for my Bachelors in my thirties (God knows if I knew then, what I know now). I recognize some gay men without a pot to barely piss in are actively running to every Pride and major club event they can get to. As gay men some of were blessed enough to conceive children because we settled into this lifestyle and the rest of us have to plan families. With that luxury we should be focused on getting money and being stable. I know you want to go to Pride, but this is where you meet in the middle. You save for one great extended trip and if you can make your local Pride which is more cost effective than traveling and paying for flights and sleep accommodation you can put that into your savings. We as gay people have very disposable incomes at times, but it’s nothing wrong with building a nest egg and insure your future with saving accounts, 401k’s and IRAs.

 

 

4. Marrying For Love, Not For Likes….

It’s been a considerable rise in gay marriage because of all the marriage equality bills and laws that have been passing. I think it is great, but why do we have to know and why are you investing to talk about your relationship in every way you possibly can in your personal post. It appears to me that people use their relationships to show off that someone actually cares about them, but what does that have to do with the rest of us? I feel like a marriage is private situation and I get the occasion photo, but I don’t know what you “cooked for bae” and I damn sure don’t give a fuck bae is a good man. Inadvertently some of gay men are silent auctioning their parents off to be snatched up by a much better man. Look we are happy you are married and in love, but we only want to hear from you on holidays and anniversaries. For my gay brothers that see it as inspirational, get a grip. Marriage is not a sweet deal, its 24 hour job, with no leave, no breaks, and co-dependent vacations. It is work and if you think it is all photo shoots, lovely post, and Instagram likes you are an idiot (there I said it).

 

 

5. Recognizing the Transgender Community….

What a coincidence that this is Transgender Remembrance Day where we recognize the trans men and women who have been murder or harmed in hate violence and crimes. People forget it is LGBT, not LGB. Transgender people rights are still under foot and their struggle is just as real. One in twelve trans people are killed in a violent crime and trans people have a 50% higher chance of being the victim of a hate crime than cis-gendered gay people. With all this said it is time to recognize and love or trans brothers and sisters. They are just as much family as the rest of us are.

 

 

6. Being Honest With Their HIV Statuses….

HIV isn’t spread through just unprotected sex, but through misinformation, lying, and ignorance. If you are HIV positive it is your due diligence to tell the person you are being sexually intimate with your status. In some states there are criminal laws, but there are still some states where there are not. Ultimately why would take the choice away from someone that was clearly taken from you? The only way we are going to beat this virus is if we are discussing it open it and honestly. We should take time to ask those questions and not to be afraid of rejection, besides who is really going to be mad at you because you gave them the choice to protect their health. Furthermore, if you are publicly worried about someone exposing you, just deny it. It’s your word against theirs. Little piece of advice my loves. It’s your responsibility to ask, it’s your responsibility to tell, and it’s your responsibility to protect yourself.

 

 

7. Coming to Peace with Our Families….

By the grace of God I was gifted with a family that was ok with my sexual orientation and didn’t lead to any major turmoil or loss of communication, but I know there are some of us who have lost touch with our families. Some of us it is completely or partially. We go through life missing a big part of ourselves. Family is so important as much as we think it’s not. At some point you may have to be the bigger person and reach back out them and see what you find. Parents change over time, some don’t, but you don’t want to keep going to bed at night thinking about it. If it is no reconciling at least you know, rather to continue to lose sleep.

 

 

8. Looking For Love Within….

Self-love is something that no one can give to you, but yourself. When you have the love within, you don’t search for things outside yourself to find completion. That can be material things, drugs/alcohol, sex, or empty romantic and platonic relationship. Spending time with you or keeping a journal was beneficial to my growth and embracing friendships with people who didn’t treat me as I wanted to be treated but as I should be treated as a perfect imperfect human being on this earth. Loving yourself requires that you don’t set boundaries but standards in your interactions and when they are unacceptable you simply do not interact. Self-love requires that you are patient with yourself and never see yourself as your worst enemy. It’s enough people out there trying to knock you down. So don’t line up side by side with them. Finally don’t be afraid to say no. It’s ok to say you can’t or aren’t ready to do something. Take your time in this life you have, it’s no one but you, your maker, and time. Enjoy yourself.

 

 

 

 

9. Loving On Our Feminine Brothers More….

Haphazardly we forget that without feminine, out, or drag queens where would our gay civil rights be today. We often forget and bash the feminine is the lower rank of gaydom, but we forget they have dressed us, made up our moms, decorated our homes, and even raised kids of their own. There just as an asset as anyone of us. Masculinity doesn’t mean you better than the next gay person; it is just a social attribute.  Remember no matter how different we are in this lifestyle we all play, played, and will play an essential part in it.

 

 

10. Accepting That They Are Not the “Cat Meow”….

For some reason when I go over dating profiles on gay dating/hookup sites and apps. Everyone always seems that they are offering something that none of us have seen or got before. As much as I pride uniqueness and being yourself, we all have ran across someone similar to another person we met in our lives prior to this current person. Nice bodies and big dicks are cute, hell masculine guys are cute, but when you start noticing the same lines on everyone’s page. You start to question, where is the originality and who are these clones? We have to understand that there is always someone better looking, more intelligent, richer, and a higher sexual prowess. Rather resting on the things that make us great. We should be finding other ways to be better as people and helping others to be better as well. It’s no harm when you are not only sharing the love, but sharing your greatness as well.

 

If I miss anything make sure you comment below.

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10 Things Gay Men Need To STOP…

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1. Chasing Straight Men…..

With a consider bevy of men in 2014 and beyond there is no need to chase men who identify socially as straight. Gay men run the gamut of feminine to very masculine, so you have a great selection out there. Straight men that you try to convert turn into you either getting cursed out and possibly harmed or if you do get him to “convert” he was never straight in the first place and now will be a regular headache for you because you going to have to hold his hand through the whole gay experience. Good luck with that.

 

 

2. Using Masculinity as a Badge of Honor…..

So many times on dating/hook up platform you see “masc”, “masculine”, “masc dudes only”, etc. When you say masculine what you saying exactly? Minimally you are saying that your mannerisms are that of a man. I have found masculinity is usually only contained to that theory. Doesn’t mean you are mature, act your age, are goal driven, or don’t act a bitch or brat when you don’t get your way. Also the idea is subjective. So man dudes have so many requirements for what they expect of the idea of masculinity. Some want you in the closet of that you don’t go to clubs or prides. Even how you dress is a factor. So I guess I am leaving my skinny jeans at home huh? I just suggest that it’s loose term and if you are going to use it, expect it not to be on the same accord as many and expect to negotiate on the idea of it.

3. Assuming There Are No Tops…..

As a professed “progressive bottom” I have never given weight to this theory. I have been having sex with men a little bit before my 22nd birthday and to this day I have had no problems getting laid, fucked, dicked down, poked, smashed off, or whatever euphemisms you use for anal sex. Now do I think a lot of total tops exist, absolutely not, but neither do a lot of total bottoms either. Most gay men seem to be versatile in varying iterations with varying stipulations. My motto is “If you can get a hard dick and you want to put it in my ass, I don’t care what your label is.” Summarily I just want someone who can penetrate me and penetrate me well, even if he labels him a total bottom. I really don’t care.

 

 

4. Discussing the Wacky Diva-lympics….

One of my personal and major turn off when conversing with gay men. I understand conversations about who is the best music artist, performer, or dancer of all time is, but getting into an all out, dragged out, exchanging of words over the talent and relevancy of divas like Beyoncé, Janet, Rihanna, or Nicki Minaj will not happen. The gay men who have half a brain will not have a dialogue with you and take you seriously, especially if you are just getting to know you. Some favor intellectual sluggish men, but they are usually good in the sack. You can’t take them around your friends because they will say something completely stupid.

 

 

5. Relying On That Body….

Now I would be bullshitting if I wasn’t guilty of this but I have relied on my body in social media to get what I want, but I have never relied on it at the dismissal of my intelligence. It is unfortunate when you guys who can amass hundreds of hits on a photo, but can’t form a complete sentence or articulate a thought on national news and events. Nothing is wrong with being gorgeous at all, but with people who are looking for love and something deeper. Pretty won’t last you long if you can’t communicate well or are goal oriented outside of your physique or beauty regimen.

 

 

6. Insulting Other Minorities….

We as LGBT people need to stop this in general. As a Black American and coming from a history of civil rights movements and slavery. I think it is mighty weird for me to insult another minority group after all we have been through. If anything as Black Americans we should be leading the charge for all minority justices and tolerances. Most of us are already double minorities we would think we would be more tolerant. It’s a great thing to be kind and to embrace people who aren’t like you and it still doesn’t mean because of these associates that you any less pro-black or pro-gay

 

 

7. Thinking All DL Men Are Married and Closeted Weirdoes….

There are many men who choose to keep their sexual preferences private for a multitude of reasons. Doesn’t mean necessarily that they aren’t fully gay, they just have other priorities. Being gay is primarily who you have a romantic and sexual interest in. When you have an important job or your family would shun you if you were gay. Being closeted is essential. Some people would easily say if they don’t love you let them go, but when it comes to families it is something that is easier said, than done. Don’t let Oprah and Terry Macmillan lead you on to believe that there is a crazy DL agenda. It’s more hype than anything and usually those that are married and cheating on their wives are only doing this with men in similar situations.

 

 

8. Pointless Competing….

I am me and you are you. I don’t know if competition in gay men is because of testosterone or estrogen, but regardless of what it is, it is a problem. Whether if we are competing for how many men we sleep with, who has the best body, who gets the most numbers or attention, or gets the most likes in social media. If the competition isn’t for betterment it’s pointless. Our attributes as human beings will never be equally yoked. We have all distinct strengths and weaknesses, which makes us unique and special. No one can compete with something that is one of a kind. I think people should celebrate their uniqueness and what they bring to the world rather being concerned about what others are doing. You are your only competition.

 

 

9. Slut Shaming….

As a grown man with a very active sex life, I really don’t appreciate when guys want to make me feel bad because I am sexually active. Coupled with the fact that I’m a bottom make it even worse. I get highly annoyed by “bottom feminization”. I don’t care about a person’s body count at 34 years old. If you are getting tested regularly (every 6 months for moderate freaks, every 3 months hardcore freaks), who I am to judge? When you are having sexual interactions and no one is getting harmed and everything is done within consent in a very sex positive manner. I don’t have an opinion. Regardless if you have slept with 5 or 100 men it only takes only 1 time to get HIV or an STI. If someone who slut shames you for being a consenting and responsible adult, they have no room in your bedroom.

 

 

10. Body Shaming….

We are born into different body types. Some of us are naturally slim, thick, athletic or in between each type. We all should love ourselves where we at. As a person who understand body dysmorphic disorder. I understand there are going to be times you look in the mirror that you are not going to be happy with what you see. When you hear comments like you “You are so skinny.” “No FATS.” “I hate gym rats.” Don’t get discouraged. We all are on a journey each day to love ourselves a little bit more. If you don’t like someone for how they look, don’t even speak to them if you can’t be kind enough to say no the properly. We all are human beings with feelings. We should respect each other’s differences, instead trying to tear each other apart because they aren’t like you.

 

 

If there is anything you thought I miss I would love your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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I Am LGBT

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This post comes in celebration of LGBT History Month.

Hi, my name is Rodd Klever. I am 34. I am an open black gay man. I am born and raised from the DC Metro area. I am one of eight, an uncle, grand uncle, and friend.

In recent months I have started contemplate my place in the gay universe and where did I exactly fit in. I know that I prefer a romantic and sexual interaction with men exclusively, but what does it mean to me to be gay exactly?

Being gay can be so many things in this day and age, but is so confining. I think because I have learned tolerance on all ends of this lifestyle. I remember when I started going to my first gay clubs and I was only eighteen. I was terrible afraid of everything. I remember the guys that would come onto me; I remember seeing my first drag queen, then my first transsexual. I remember feeling so awkward especially because I hung out with a lot of dom lesbians and lesbian clubs (those were the days). I do remember meeting my first best gay friend and hanging with him at clubs Thursdays to Tuesdays during the warmest times of the year and wearing half naked outfits and cowboy hats and fishnet tops with leather pants and properly placed safety pins. I’m sitting here smiling now because I remember how innocent those times were. I remember going to the club and dancing the night away with no alcohol in my system. I was off pure endorphins and the lovely fun factor. Life was so good.

Then things got weird.

Friends fell out, I haphazardly lost my virginity at 21 and 9 months (LOL), friends became HIV positive, and I was a victim of a vicious prank that had guys thinking I was an escort and calling me all hours of the day and night. Then the sex parties, the black gay prides, and several lovers. I even experienced my first break up around 24. My mid-twenties were like some backlash to balance out all the fun I had. It wasn’t fun anymore. I disappear for years like around 26. I made seldom visits to the club; I didn’t keep many gay male friends. I couldn’t sustain them for two reasons, either they were too competitive and insecure or they had their own set of friends and it was no room for me and I wasn’t in the mood to audition to be a friend either. Just as I formed my own niche I found myself to be more out of the loop and an outcast. Then around 27 I moved out on my own and no sooner I started a three year relationship with a closeted bi gentleman. He was my world and the valid, if not necessary turning point in my life, I owe him for who I am today. He helped me to find the balance between my sexuality and person I was before I was gay. It’s like I amalgamated the best of my past and my present in this awesome guy.

Then it got better.

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I started to develop friendships again. I didn’t have the need to socialize at gay venues, but I came out the house more. I found joy in simplicity. I uneventfully and amicably split from him, but it’s not a day I don’t think of what he did for me. We split on the eve of my 30th year on this year. I had cut my locs off and was moving again to save and work on my finances. I worked out, built this blog and identity and fast forward to 4 years later I am asking the question of all questions now. Who am I?

Being gay is lot deeper than sex, friends, clubs, prides, or lovers. I have experienced and seen a lot and loved it all. Being gay only minimizes who I am in the world. I prefer to associate myself with being LGBT. I love all aspects of the gay community and we all a necessary part of it regardless of how we want to be identified. Whether if we are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, pansexual, queer, masculine, feminine, Male to Female, Female to Male, dom, studs, butch, or non-identifying. We are all a part of this amazing world and undoubtable movement. We have to stand by each other and affirm that we belong and regardless of our race, gender, or geographical location we all are important.

 

Transparently,

R. Klever

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YouTube: Ask Klever……

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This is my chance to interact you ladies and gentlemen. I am answering your questions that you need clarity on. I would love to hear your questions. Make sure you watch the video for details and I hope to get some responses from you guys.

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R. Klever

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You Can’t F*ck Everybody

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So you are out at an event. You are dressed to the nines and smelling good and amazing. Your hair is fresh and you’re more confident than Mike Tyson in boxing match with Dr. Ruth. You know you got this tonight. You are nice and settled in the room, you came with the right friends. You mingle together a little and little apart. The night is going swimmingly well. You bump into someone indirectly and spill their drink. You see no other to apologize but to take to the bar and ask if you can make it up to them and get them whatever they were just drinking. This sparks a long and exciting conversation about a plethora of things. It is so many things that nothing is breaking you at all from this conversation.

You leave the bar and find a nice lounge area that is more intimate without a lot of distractions or noise. So you both are able to fully engage each other. You find you have so much in common and through your discussion you find out that this person can help you get your way to a goal that you have had on your mind for months, but had no clear shot to get to.

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There is a slight problem. You know you can definitely get ahead with your interactions with this person, but you want to fuck the brakes off them. Call yourself Meineke or Midas for now.

As a highly sexual person (not hypersexual) I find that I have run across this problem on a regular basis and especially in my twenties. After losing my virginity close to my time of turning 22, I fucked hard damn near until my thirties. When I hit my thirties things slowed down if not anything leveled off. When I started blogging and then becoming a YouTuber I decided that since I was trying to build a brand I needed to aware of my interactions and being a Washingtonian it is something bred in you to be aware of who you know, how you know them, and what is the purpose of your interactions. I didn’t want to lose my brand to a bad sexual liaison that went wrong. I know people are looking at me like; “Rodd Klever you are a nobody in social media and the blogosphere.”  and you couldn’t be more right. My awareness for this is for my future not necessarily my present. I know when people become successful (and I will be) they have enemies that will do anything to take them down and I don’t want to be a victim to that.

But I digress….

Sex is great. I love it can’t lie, but if me getting ahead in career by keeping my genitals in my pants is essential, I will be doing so. I also feel that sometimes you can miss out on great friendships by trying to screw everyone you meet. I am a believer in platonic friendship. I will admit some of my friends I would love to lay down the sexual law with but it is not beneficial to either. I just feel an hour and a half of unrestricted passion is not worth losing an awesome friend (unless we are drunk and we then can blame it on the alcohol). I am firm believer you meet people for a reason. They are to inspire change and new ideas. I think when it comes to your libido at a certain you have to be more discerning where lay your family jewels beyond health reasons.

So I leave you this question.

Would you rather have bang out amazing sex for one to three hours or make an additional 10K to 100K annually?

Transparently,

R. Klever

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Youtube: What Is Masculinity?

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Make sure you Comment, Subscribe, Share, and/or Like the post on the YouTube channel. Thank you all for your love and continual support.

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R.Klever

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Maybe the Last Time I Saw My Dad (What I Should Have Said)

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In February my paternal grandfather passed. He is the person I am named after and who represents the legacy I want to leave.

As a result of his passing I would have to go to his funeral which I did not want to partake in because of my bad relationship with my father.

I haven’t seen my father since 1995 and it was our last court proceedings for child support payment issues. At that time of my life I had a tremendous love for my father and I had high hopes that he and I would renew our relationship and have a bond. I will admit as a result of my father and I not having a relationship I have serious “daddy issues” and I think innately it is the cause why I have bonding issues with men socially, but I digress. Leading up to the funeral was an ordeal. I had only been in contact with my half-sister and to boot my younger half-brothers mother died within the same time so I had two funerals to go to in a week’s time. So I wasn’t in a really joyful mood because my stepmother’s death (now my father’s ex-wife) was so unexpected. My sister and I had been talking about the proceedings and my participation in them. I was asked if I would pall bearer my grandfather into the proceedings with my half-brothers and to stand with my siblings for a speech my sister (who is the eldest of my father’s children) would give.

I declined it all.

Only because my father was the one who suggested idea and was placing the suggestion to my sister to ask me. I was insulted because we had not spoken in almost two decades and he didn’t even have the courtesy to reach out to me personally to ask me. I was enraged, but I furthermore explained that I was not doing it because I did not want to give people the idea that we were one happy family and I did not want someone speaking on my behalf for the relationship that I had with my grandfather which my half siblings experience was very much different to mine and I know it could not equate at all to what I had to say.

I sat in that funeral conflicted the entire time just unnerved by my father. I was pissed, heartbroken, devastated, enraged, frustrated, upset, and invalidated. I felt everything at once so I walked out and stood in the hallway until it was done.

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Before that I realized the man resting in the casket is the one I was named after. I always wonder if God knew before we knew that he was the man I was going to look up to, but the secondary half of my genetic code who sat front row, front seat had all the glory at that moment and was seen as the tragic victim.

I don’t hate my father, but it is simply disdain. I wished every day of my life until I was sixteen that he and I would have a relationship. That I would get a dad and that he would come looking for me. In the sixteenth year of my life I found out some more truths of my father and the crimes he committed against my family. I realized then that our relationship was no longer repairable. Not only that but when I finally met one of my half-brothers and saw another of whom I have not seen since he was three I was immediately rebuffed. So now my little brother hates me and it appears that my other half-brother wants nothing to do with me as well currently. So which brings me all the way back to the funeral and being in a room full of siblings and relatives who don’t care for me and have no interest in me because my father kept us separated and didn’t try to build our relationship. I never had brothers either so that eats at me too. The straw that broke the camel’s back which led to me walking out was a conversation I had with a third cousin.

My half-sister introduced us and she said “Oh you have the same name as my cousin resting up there.” I followed up and said; “I know I am named after him.” The look on her face was puzzled and confused. She clearly had realized that she had not gotten the memo on something. So she plainly asked who I was related to. In my mind I’m like; “Really bitch? If she is telling you that I am her brother and that she is the daughter of the son of my grandfather and I am named after him completely from first name to surname. Who in the fuck do you think I am?” So I kindly explained that I am Leonard’s son. She asks the most idiotic question. “Why haven’t I met you before?”

*As the gears, spokes, do-dads, and springs because to rust, completely stop, and then explode….

I said to her kindly, “Oh love no one has.” She got up for a speech shortly, I listened to her speak of my grandfather, and that’s when I hit to the lobby.  Fuck my life though, my cell phone was dying, but luckily my niece came out to talk to me. I tried to explain my grievances, but I think no one understands how infuriated I was. No one understood how uncomfortable I was. I eventually just went outside grabbed some air. Still pissed, but I was masking better because my niece started to feel what I had been feeling for years. There is an unsurmountable tension between some of our relatives on my paternal side and it is thick. Eventually my brother in law and I got my niece calm and went inside. I decided well it’s time to go. I said goodbye to my brothers and gave my sister and niece a huge hug and began to walk to my car. Before I could cross the parking lot I hear….

“Why don’t you stay and eat son?”

I didn’t recognize the voice, because I haven’t heard it in years, but I knew no one had the right to call me son, but my dad.  I politely declined and said no thank you and that I was ok. He asked if I was sure as I was still inching to my car, but I continued to decline.

He says; “Take care of yourself.”

I reply; “I always have been.”

I got in my car and left. I had my opportunity to give him my mind, but today was not about him it was my grandfather, the man I was named after, the man I would want to be one day.

I had so much I wanted to say while I bashed his skull into the brick wall.

“Why didn’t you come find me?”

“What did you say to make my brothers hate me?”

“Why did you let me go without a fight?”

“Why did you hurt my family?”

“Why didn’t you ever love me?”

I think it will be the last time I will see him. I can’t say now I will attend his funeral.

The lesson from this is that a child from a broken home always has hope that their parents will return and if you have left your kids I promise you that they are still looking for you through the window and standing in the door of their heart and mind waiting for you to show back up. There is still always a swallow of hope. Even with me there is still a very, very small piece of me that yearns for a dad. It is an emptiness that really can’t be filled, but each day I get better at dealing with it.

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I will say in closing. As much as I have disdain for my father who provided genetically to my awesomeness I know the bible teaches us to honor thy mother and father, but the Ten Commandments said nothing about liking them.

Transparently,

R. Klever

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YouTube: The HookUp Series

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PART 1: HOW 2B A BETTER BOTTOM

PART 2: HOW 2B A BETTER TOP 2UR BOTTOM

PART 3: HOW 2 ONLINE HOOKUP

Make sure you Comment, Subscribe, Share, and/or Like the post on the YouTube channel. Thank you all for your love and continual support.

Transparently,

R.Klever

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Racial Irresponsibility and Unaccountability

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So it’s 2014 and all that had gone on over the past few years I am asking myself the question.

Are we here because we put ourselves here?

There is nothing that can validate a death, but post the civil rights era did we learn anything? Did we forget what our jobs were to be and to uphold the MLK and X perspectives, or did we become complacent and think that we were safe?

We are not living in a generation where we choose to acknowledge or are informed of our history and we don’t search for it either. I think as a race African Americans have to hold some accountability for not keeping the status quo of our race on the up and up (myself included). I took a African American studies class years ago and that blew the door wide open on race for me. I have been changed since, but realizing the hand we all play in the defamation of the black race is much deeper that our appearance. All the posting of WorldStarHipHop videos, all the “black people be like” anecdotes and memes, all the back and forth over light skin vs. dark skin, using religion to separate and fuel intolerance against each other is skimming the surface of our problems as a race. I find as a race we barely tolerate each other at times. The way we speak of each other, the way we stereotype each other, the idea that is there is a difference between “black people” and “niggas”, the way we separate ourselves from other races instead of doing what integration was built around. This is skimming the surface again of what the problems may be.

If we are ever going to have resolution to these problems and the “Emmitt Tilling” of the black race and our children specifically. We have to acknowledge our hand in the images of black culture as it stands in the United States of America. 

It is somehow conceptualized that we are equals in this country and that you and I are “free”, but as a close friend of mine says “Freedom ain’t free, everything cost you something.” I agree with the fact that she is right. This post is not about assessing my thoughts and opinions on the death of Mike Brown and the collective deaths of people of African descent by authoritative figures and police.

As you see I used a #IFIWASGUNNEDDOWN photo for the thumbnail of this post because I am against the idea of what it represents. People are using their photos from social media for admirable reasons but not really holding on to the truth of their photos. If we all were so concerned of how we were portrayed by mass media we would not use these photos in social media. If we were so concerned we take all our “negative images” off of social media but many of us haven’t nor plan to. There are several photos on my own social media sites/app that I know don’t show me in the best light, but that’s who I was at that moment and time in my life and I am not ashamed of it. I think it is further more to the argument that even though the media describes white suspects better than black victims we have control over our images and it is nothing they can do short altering them, which is highly unethical to do so. More On This Topic From The Huffington Post Click Here 

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Even with all that said, even beyond our photos we have to look at our physical presence in the world. All minorities are under the boot heel of some kind of stereotype or have been oppressed or have been in mass media under some kind of racial moniker or devalued because of their gender. I think as African-Americans either we are ignoring how society views us or we are simply not being told as children how the world views us. For instance, with women. Women have to be aware of their image, where they walk at night, and how they interact with men. I am by no means condoning rape shame or slut shame, but women have been on target about this for a long time. They know they have the freedom to dress anyway they choose, they know they can walk wherever they want, but they do know the variables they are dealing with. It can be anything from meeting a nice person, being asked their number, to being followed home, to being raped, to even worst to being gang raped, kidnapped, or murdered. Even though we are way behind on rape culture in our society women understand how perception takes a huge part in how they interact with the rest of the world. I wonder is it because we are men that we feel the need not to adapt. My mother never really had a solid conversation with about being a black man in society, but I eventually caught on to the idea on my own. I have been pulled over by cops without given a warrant or a ticket. I even had my car searched one time, even after another cop showed up on the scene who knew me and vouched me because he knew me personally they still went through my entire car only to find nothing.  

More here for that story here: 

At that point I was damn sure aware that race and our images were a problem and I think it lead to me subconsciously cutting my locs off which I had at the time of that incident. I’m not saying don’t walk around in your baggy jeans that are hanging halfway off your ass but be aware of the negative perception and attention it lends to. When we are dealing with cops we have to understand that the “rights” we have aren’t exclusive to us at the moment all those grievances during that moment we need to bring to the courtroom while we are still alive because clearly some law enforcement lack any qualms about killing us.

In closing, acknowledging where we stand in this country doesn’t mean we should be complacent and agree with but to acknowledge that is still work to be done and being reactive instead of proactive will bring us down quicker. Protesting properly is the way to start. Regardless of how the police are exacerbating this situation in Ferguson, we must be the bigger person. Nothing about what I am saying is making us as black people the culprit and that the deaths are all on our hands because black people do have considerable issues in this country gaining success because of the color of our skin and white privilege is a real issue in this country. I wish we could live in the country were we didn’t lose out on job opportunities because we have ethnic names, that I could wear my timbs and jeans anyway I wanted, that the darker that I am the more of a threat I am, and that we were all aware of how each other were being treated. Alas this is not the world we live in and since we are aware of that now, why aren’t all of us doing something to purport a better image of black culture?

Transparently,

R. Klever

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I Am…. The Low Maintenance Friend

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So that blogging break had been interesting and I am sure that I will continue writing about all the things I experienced during that time. I will say that in that time my social media interest seriously grew and I ran into a lot of people who weren’t just interested in what I was writing and recording but in befriending me? I found it kind of weird but I understood why eventually.

When it comes to friendships I view them with the same power and impact as a romantic relationship. I firmly believe that a friendship takes hard work on both ends and a real friend always meets you in the middle one way or another. I have had very few close friends as a result and furthermore I don’t honor friendships as easily. So spending my time on Facebook over the past few months I exchanged my number with a lot of people. I shared with some for sexual reasons, other for blogging/professional reasons, or some for actual friendship. I remember over a course of weeks I was getting people frustrated in my inbox because I hadn’t responded to their text or Kik messages in ample time to conduct a conversation. Not that I was not interested in getting to know them but I am not quick to the draw. I like to take my time and let things flow as naturally as possible. I don’t want to feel pressured to be in anyone’s space or cyber space. I am an independent person so a lot of times I want to be alone or in my own space. I don’t need to be entertained because I honestly entertain myself.

I have definitely noticed over the past few months of how needy people are for a friend. It is not even indicative of people who are transplants to a new city. It seems to be more people who are natives of their hometowns. I also notice that people try to build friendships as well on the basis of getting a discount or a hook up. I am pretty discerning when people try to use me because I do have real, quality friendships in my life right now. Friendships should be organic at all times. We have to naturally find each other’s space.

My best friendships have worked well when we didn’t need to be in each other spaces. We conduct lives grinding to our next goal and see each other when we can, but when we are together we make the most of it. There isn’t anything worse than seeing someone that you haven’t seen in a while and the first thing they say is; “Hey Stranger.” That is a surefire way to piss me off or make me distance myself from the friendship. I almost want to turn around and say; “I’m sorry I’m busy. I’m sorry I’m in school. I’m sorry I’m a part-time uncle. I’m sorry I had two deaths in the family and wrecked my car in two months.” (That really happened.) I understand that people want that “Sex In The City” formula of friendship and I have but I find it doesn’t work well with me. So I prefer friends I see some of the time not all of the time. It is just easier to keep my life on track and to pay attention to my goals.

 

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