The Gatekeeper's Collective (TGC)

IGNITING THE POWER OF BLACK SAME GENDER LOVE

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Kwanzaa Candle
                                                                    

Join The Gatekeepers Collective On Sunday, December 27 @ 4 PM in celebration of our harvest for this year

 
@ JMG’s Safe Space
730 Riverside Drive, Suite 9E

(Ent. On 150th St.) 





HAS GAY LIBERATION LIBERATED US?


Calling All Same Gender Loving (SGL), Lesbian, Gay, and Bi  Sisters:

In the wake of the Marriage Equality Amendment, and other sweeping changes wrought by the Gay and Lesbian Liberation Movement, it is clear that the relationship between the larger black community and the SGL/LGBT community has not shifted discernibly.  

That is, by-and-large, our black hetero family still hold us at the same distance, or with the same reservations, and consternation (if not, out-and-out disrespect) as they did before.  Which leads us to ask:

Has Gay Liberation liberated us?

To what extent do we, or don’t we, SGL Brothers and Sisters work, play, or engage with other on a regular, on-going basis?

To what extent do we engage each other as family, friends, intimates, allies, etcetera?

While there is no law that says we must embrace each other thusly, to the extent that we are not already doing so, how might our lives be better respectively and collectively if we did? 

Does our lack of desire for the opposite sex incapacitate us from collaboration?

What might happen if we came together to dialogue about such differences and commonalities as we observe respectively and collectively, on the way to building our own liberation movement?

Let’s find out, shall we?

SGL, Lesbian, and Bisexual Sisters,
please join
The Gatekeepers Collective onFriday, November 6 at 8 PM
@ JMG’s Safe Space
730 Riverside Drive, Suite 9E
(ent. on 150th St.)


Brothers, please invite all your SGL female friends and allies.

WHICH BLACK LIVES MATTER?
We Started the Movement, but When the Lives are SGL, Do They? - Dialogue between Hetero and Same Gender Loving Family Members

In their community-building quest, The Gatekeepers Collective kicked off the fall with a spirited dialogue about the Black Lives Matter Movement between same gender loving, and heterosexual community members.

Among questions the group considered included:

How would you characterize the circumstances of your life?

“My circumstance…I have been kind of privileged to have never faced a lot of direct racism, and to go through the whole school system and feel like I had a particular path…A false sense of security…In a class doing improv, someone asked what NWA was…Someone answered with the ‘N’ word…I realized I was one of two blacks among the group…[I had to let them know,] I can say that [but you can’t]…[I had always thought, if] I pull up my pants [I’d be safe from racism]…I [used to] buy into that mentality that, if you follow the rules, [you will be treated like anyone else]…”

“I never faced much racism growing up in Huston…I went to a mixed-race school… joined a mixed-race fraternity…dated white girls…In Huston, if you have money, you can live where you want to live…I came to New York…I lived in Bay Ridge [Brooklyn] because the place where I worked had a complex there…The apartment is taken [away] when they see that it’s me…Three times, Russian guys [on my job] got a loan…[When I applied, I was told] ‘You guys are lazy’…[I said,] ‘Dude, you know me, How can you say that?...[That changed my point of view]…”

“I consider my circumstances as doing very well…Everybody wants to be us…”

“…Being in perpetual bondage…[This is] my fourth year in New York…[I’ve] been organizing in the Black Lives Matter Movement for the last four years…Working to unshackle myself from my own internalized racism…”

“I grew up on the West Side of Cincinnati in a family of theologians and pastors…I’m an artist and theologian…My experience of being a black man in this country…[I always believed that] if I do the things that make me better…that lift me…that will make room for me…[Once] a girl said she was pregnant [by me]…I never saw the child…I sat in jail for what should have been a week, for six months [for non payment of child support]…There’ve been guys who’ve gone to prison for child support for years…My life didn’t say, this is a guy who creates a child and walks away form it…And, [fortunately] the judge saw that…[But, it took six months]…Sure people have called me nigger, but it doesn’t mean anything…I don’t own it…”

“The circumstances of my life, as dictated my white supremacy, and tempered by the love and wisdom of a family I chose beyond my own…I’m starting to see that the system that we’re a part of is dictated by white supremacy…”

“As a woman, I agree with that, but oftentimes, when I’m combating white supremacy, I have to look at how my brothers and sisters are internalizing it…People don’t see you as someone who still needs…Even though you have accomplished some things, you still suffer economically and other hardships…[You don’t stop needing each other]…”

“I consider myself a black racist…I don’t have anything against whites, yellow, or any one else…I just love blacks…I’m so frustrated…Sometimes, because we [live in] this country, we are indoctrinated [to not trust each other]…So, we’re not together…”

What is freedom?

"Freedom is the feeling of going out of your house and not being shot…I consider myself as very lucky…I’m from Brazil…I didn’t know what racism was until I came to America…My siblings and I were oppressed victims of racism, but we didn’t realize it…I wouldn’t have been able to go to college like I am now [had I not come here]…Despite all the troubles we face…[at least here, we can see what the problems we have to challenge are]…”

“A falsely accused man on death row was released and developed dementia, and still thinks he’s on death row…Freedom [is freedom] from trauma…”

“Freedom from interruption…Stop interrupting my life…”

“Being able to pass freedom down [to our progeny]…inclusion…Not just for one kind of person…To be able to have any kind of healing you need…”

“Freedom comes from power…It’s the twentieth anniversary of the Million Man March…Integration is the worst thing we ever did…”

“Growing up before the Civil Rights Movement, as a kid, my parents said, prepare for the future as if things are going to open up…I felt constrained…I think things have opened up to an extent…Before Stokely articulated Black Power [I didn’t have a clear sense of what freedom might look like]…I feel free now…Part of the freedom is that I reject anyone’s saying I’m not free…”

“It’s very difficult to define freedom without defining what freedom isn’t…Who you truly are as an individual…To be able to say that is important…You need to look at racism very much as a business…Who does it serve?...What does it [produce?]…We have to go after their money…We can’t be romantic about the race thing…We have to be very strategic…”

What, if any, perspective have you regarding the new marriage equality law?

“My initial thought was, it’s about time…In terms of anything you can fight for?...Sharpton said, you cannot legislate human rights… You can’t vote on whether some one can be human...”

“I looked at all the Facebook posts, and all the people who were crowing about marriage equality are not complaining about Transphobia…I went to a big fundraiser in Chicago [for marriage equality] that was peopled [solely] by white men…”

“We also need to look at legacy-building…”

“There’s an aspect [of the American Dream] that they didn’t have access to…[so, they fought for it]…”

“Racism and Capitalism have to be taken together…Power is going to stay in power…They’ll give a bone to you…[But, we have to ask ourselves,] what are we creating?...If we want to dismantle Capitalism…[we need to be clear about what we intend to replace it with]…”

“[I want to know,] how do we bridge the divide?...We were talking about black self-care…It really is [important]…You really do have to hold people’s hands when doing this work…We are living in a state of so much trauma that you have to hold each other’s hands…the need to be free of power [so] that I don’t need power to exist…The Marriage Equality Act registered on a very small level for me…[I thought about] President Obama’s legacy affecting change, and then I went online and saw how many people it affected…and I saw how this is really a great cracking open of people’s right to be human…”

“Yes, great…love it…But what I got from it as an African American person [was that] a certain group of people got together to squeeze Obama’s neck to gain political power…To squeeze somebody’s neck to gain political power…The right to be recognized as a full citizen in ways that we’re not [as African Americans]…”

“We were still dealing with repealing of the Voting Rights Act…I don’t understand the victory in totality…Who does this reality apply to?...”
“I was in Nantucket the day the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell [law] was repealed…they struck down Voting Rights…”

“This whole thing about marriage equality…The second word, ‘equality’…Who do we want to be equal to?...They got there because of us…You’ve got to monetize things…Equal to who?...To who?...We want to be all that we can be!...Look at the Jews…They’re not fighting for equality [they’re fighting to be all they can be, and they’re thriving]…”

“Ideas that don’t affirm and preserve life have no place…”

Facilitator mentions that the male and female heterosexual community members present would seem to be among the proverbial choir…progressives…and asks their perspectives about how to engage other hetero family members who still feel threatened by the idea of embracing and collaborating with SGL brothers and sisters in the movement for our collective liberation…As an example, he shares a strategy the group explored a few years ago titled, PDA (Public Displays of Affection) As A Same Gender Loving Liberation Strategy, wherein groups of SGL couples would hang out in perceived homosexist black community strongholds e.g., barbershops, churches, etc.

“Oftentimes, the same gender loving people I see kissing and holding hands in public are young people…”

“The power is lifting the shame…I saw a man kiss another man [on the train, and then get off]…I was concerned about his being safe as he went on his way…”

“Internalized homophobia, just as racism, and internalized racism can be insidious…I heard about Top 5…One of the jokes was that 100 of the guys slept with another guy…”

“A good idea for us about [the] PDA [campaign] is to have SGL couples and hetero couples embracing and expressing affection walking down the street to show how homosexuals and heterosexuals can come together…We still have to see how church hypocrisy [can be eroded]…The Bible speaks against gluttony, but, God knows there are a lot of fat folks in church…”

“If we can get beyond the theology of it…Love is at the center of it…If I love you, I can’t castigate you…”

“[Speaking of black ministers and marriage equality], why would you want someone to marry you [who doesn’t respect your right to marry]?...”

“Your belief system is valid for you…[but shouldn’t impede my rights]…”

“I agree with having different value systems [but, the law is the law]…”

“I don’t need to feel the way you do to respect you…”

“When you value me as the human being that I am, something will change…”

Facilitator asks if the assembled hetero community members would be willing to collaborate with TGC around expanding this dialogue in the larger black community…All agree and determine to reconvene in December…

IS THE MONSTER GONE?
With PrEP, and PEP for Negative Men, Undetectable Viral Loads for Positive Men, and AIDS Fatigue in the Middle, is HIV a Dead Issue?




New advances in the prevention and treatment of HIV are revolutionizing sex.

New smart phone apps like Grinder and Jacked are revolutionizing the availability of sex.

Meanwhile, the new incidence of HIV and AIDS among black men who love men continues to rise, unabated.

Are these advances a license to throw caution to the wind, or something potentially more ominous?

·      What’s our relationship to these trends? 
·      Are we in?
·      Do we want to be? 
·      If so, how can we ensure our safety?

Let’s explore the new sexual landscape together
@
The Gatekeepers Collective
on
Friday, October 2nd
@
JMG’s Safe Space
@
730 Riverside Drive, Suite 9E (ent. On 150th St.)
@
8 PM


A few weeks back, I re-read Toni Morrison’s bone-chilling first novel, The Bluest Eye, and it got me to thinking about fear. The main character is a little Black girl named Pecola, […]

WHICH BLACK LIVES MATTER?

We started the movement but,
when the lives are SGL, do they really matter?

Join us for an important dialogue with Hetero Family

BROTHERS, PLEASE INVITE HETEROSEXUAL MALE & FEMALE FRIENDS

·      What's so bad about homosexism?

·      Is homosexuality a threat to the black family?

·      If you are anti-homophobic, does that make you an oppressor too?

We will answer these and other questions, and take stock of our relationship to sexual diversity in the black community, post marriage equality
@
THE GATEKEEPERS COLLECTIVE
@
JMG’s Safe Space
730 Riverside Drive, Suite 9E
Ent. On 150th St.
@
8PM
on
Friday, September 4

Now that We’ve Found Love, What Are We Gonna’ Do with It?
or,
What does marriage equality mean to me, when you don’t recognize that BLACK LIVES MATTER?’

At the most recent Gatekeepers Collective caucus, Brothers considered the ramifications of the Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, in the same week that the first of a series of funerals is conducted in the wake of a Black church massacre.

Facilitator says, “When I was eight, I dreamed I was standing on top of a high hill with a man I had just married, and we were holding each other, looking down at the city below, feeling an extraordinary kind of happiness and peace…I woke up feeling disoriented and a little frightened…In the dream I had been a woman…That would become a recurring dream for me…I had done several years of therapy as an adult before I understood the reason I had been a woman in the dream was because, in the world in which we lived, that was the only way one could marry a man…But, I never dreamed that in my lifetime it would be possible for a man to marry another  man…And, now that we can, while I think it is a wonderful turn of events…a most marvelous paradigm shift, to be sure…I have to admit, I feel a little disoriented all over again…”

And with that, he asks the group, ‘What does marriage equality mean to us?’

Participants answer…

“I’m not really surprised, or elated…The big thing to me is the push back against marriage equality…like the Confederate flag…They say they’re celebrating their history…I don’t get that they don’t get that it’s [infringing] on other people’s rights… our right to just be…”

“The right to marry, for those who want to, they can…As for our people getting married, every time we see a Black person, it’s with a white person…I’m wondering if we will start seeing Black-on-Black love being expressed…Since I was gay, I was expected to have a White lover, in the community I grew up in…Piscataway…We were among five Black families in the community…The biggest stereotype in the Black community is that, if you’re gay, you’re sleeping with a White man…I’m hoping this is the starting point for all of us to see that we can love each other…As far as the flag, that’s their last stand…It’s a reminder…a threat to us that they can still do what they want to do to us [with impunity]…”

“I have a question…I’m not from America…What is the significance of the Confederate flag?...”

“It was used as a counterpoint to oppress [Black people]…”

“There was a Civil War between the South and the North…”

“If we take down the flag, does that mean that we’ve solved racism?...Slavery still exists in our bloodline…”

“How does this affect our ability to love each other?..."

“The Confederate Battle Flag, which is at the center of controversy today, is different from the Flags that represented the government of the Confederate States…[So, it's a false argument]...”

Facilitator says, “What is most problematic about the [flying Confederate] flag[s] is the symbolism… [they are] a constant reminder to Black people of our so-called place in the social order as slaves…[They are poised] to reinforce white supremacy, and Black domination, subjugation, dehumanization, exploitation, and some other negative "-ations"…If we will understand why the struggle to bring down those flags is still a matter of life and death, it is imperative that we understand the role symbols play in institutionalizing and maintaining systems and roles within systems…”

“We keep talking about being equal…What we should be shooting for is to be all that we can be… We may want to go another step [beyond marriage equality], where a man can have a man and a woman…What we should be concerned about is our own flag…the red, black, and green [Pan African] flag…They got their flag ‘cause of us…They got their flag because of our [stolen] labor…”

“We have so much other things we haven’t taken care of [before we start thinking about getting married]…I’m glad we can [get married, but]…Our health stats are still bad…Our economics are the poorest…Our money doesn’t circulate at all in our community…Civil Service jobs which had been stepping-stones into the middle class…token clerks, bus drivers…less and less Blacks [are getting them]…The assault on Black bodies…Tazing people, even when they’re running away from them…Even with cameras [capturing the action]…[Assaulting] Black boys and girls in bathing suits…It’s old wine in new bottles…[They’re still telling us] ‘You’re less than us’…”

“For those of us that identify as bisexual, if you marry a woman, it’s a big thing…excitement…[It] brings families together…And then, if I married a man, it would bring pride and joy, but also hurt about who wouldn’t come [to the wedding]…For years, going to Adodi and BMX…[They said marriage] was a hetero-normative construct, and how we should think of something better…Jonathan and David in the Bible…When I heard them speak so negatively about marriage, I wondered…If you have health, and all the money in the world, if you don’t have love, what do you have?...For me, the American flag is the same as the Confederate flag…When they drop bombs on people, what flag is flying?...The same [goes for] the rainbow flag…Like [another Brother said], we should have our own flag…Love is an intentional thing that we should learn as human beings…”

“We can allow ourselves to have a victory with our feeling like all our work is done…I remember growing up with the feelings of deviancy…While [the movement for marriage equality] was spearheaded by people who didn’t necessarily have us in mind, doesn’t mean it doesn’t benefit us…”

“Marriage is failing…Marriage may be obsolete…Why run into a house that’s on fire?...”

“The right to be married was not created for us…[Our ancestors were not allowed to marry]…Our parents struggled [within their marriages, to have their civil and human rights recognized]…”

“Anything that’s given to us, we should take advantage of…Yes, we have issues…We will always have issues…”

“As wonderful as marriage may be, in twenty-nine states, gay and lesbian people can still be fired from their jobs [for their sexual orientations]…” *

“I’m trying to understand why we feel the people who pushed for marriage equality weren’t thinking about us…People marry because they love each other…Marriage brings along with it all sorts of legal things…Monies can be transferred [and coalesced]…”

“When you look at [the struggle for] gay marriage, it looks like Civil and human rights with the NAACP…People asked, ‘Why are you fighting to desegregate the busses?’…It’s about rights…the choice…the option is now available that wasn’t before…the more options you have, the more freedom you have…If it’s going to take me a little longer to stop the tide of the killing of Black men, so be it…”

“As men…As Americans, we are in the best time we could be in, and be gay…Right now we can do whatever we want to do, and be with whoever we want to be with…I remember when I was 17, or 18-years-old, my best friend was a girl…We slept in the same bed…I told her I was gay, and she said, ‘So?’…”

“The mental, physical, and spiritual health are critical…Working on those things…and the desire, and hope, and expectation [is what will prime us to take advantage of this new right]…You started this conversation with a premonition you had at an early age…Dreams are the way we speak to ourselves about possibilities…In places like this, where we can unlearn the stigma of all the things we were told were not good about us…[We can learn] that we are worthy, and beautiful and know that it’s a process…love…[This is where we can prepare ourselves for this new possibility]…”

* In 32 states it is legal to fire people based on their sexual orientation

Topic For Friday, July 3rd, 2015:

Now That We've Found Love, What are We Gonna Do With It?

HAVE WE FOUND LOVE?  WHAT DO WE DO NEXT?
In the most extraordinary of ironies, in the same week that we celebrate the earthshaking Civil and Human Rights paradigm shift of Marriage Equality, many of us stand stupefied and horror-stricken at the devastating Human and Civil Rights throwback of a white supremacist Black church massacre.

- What does that say about where we've come, and where we have yet to go?

- How do we balance our Blackness and our same gender loving, gay, and bi-ness?  Or, do we have to?

- How, if at all, does our Blackness influence our expression of our sexuality, and our capacity to love and partner each other in committed relationships, let alone marriages?

- If BLACK LIVES REALLY DO MATTER, how do we account for the continuing disparities between ourselves and our heterosexual family members?

This coming Independence Day Eve, 
Friday, July 3rd @ 8:00 PM, 
Let’s strategize a new world order with us in it
at
The Gatekeeper's Collective
@
JMG's Safe Space
730 Riverside Drive (@ 150th Street)
Suite 9E
Harlem, New York City
8:00 PM

TRAVEL DIRECTIONS:
TAKE THE #1 TRAIN TO 145TH STREET STATION
OR THE M4, M5, M100 OR M101 BUS TO
149TH STREET & BROADWAY

BROTHERS ARE ASKED TO BRING A POTLUCK DISH AND / OR BEVERAGE



Also, please be advised...
The Gatekeepers Collective Community Action Announcement

In the wake of repeated acts of violence perpetrated against Black People by the police across America, on Saturday, July 11th, 2015, @ 2:00 PM The Gatekeepers Collective will participate in a community unification action.



We will distribute the small New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) pamphlet titled What To Do If You’re Stopped By the Police to educate the Harlem community on how to protect themselves during an encounter with the NYPD.  It tells you what to do if:
1) you are stopped, questioned, and/or frisked

2) you are stopped in a car

3) the police come to your home, or

4) if you arrested and taken to a police station.

Community members will gather at JMG’s Safe Space (@ 730 Riverside Drive, Ste. 9E) for a briefing and distribution of the pamphlets.

In various groups, we will proceed to the 145th Street and St. Nicholas Ave. (A,B,C,D); 145th Street and Lenox Ave. (3); 125th Street and St. Nicholas Ave. (A,B,C,D); and the 125th Street and Lenox Ave. (2,3) subway stations for approximately 60 minutes to distribute the pamphlets.

Please join us in this critically important action.
Please contact Dr. John “Martey” Young at 347-310-1794, DoctorJohnYoung@gmail.com if interested in participating.


PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!

SUMMARY: FILM SCREENING | PIER KIDS: The Life


Posing the question, “As SGL Black men, do we bear any responsibility to SGL/LGBT Black youth who have been discarded by their families and by society?”, The Gatekeepers Collective welcomed filmmaker, Elegance Bratton who screened excerpts from his film, PIER KIDS: The Life.

Bratton characterizes the experience he depicts in the film as the “perils of invisibility.” Attendees began responding:

“If you have an opportunity to impact a youth, even with just some words of encouragement, then [you should]…”

Facilitator says, “The thing is, whether or not any of us have ever parented, or wanted to parent, these youth are our children, and [talking to the youth present] our baby brothers and sisters, and, if we don’t take up the responsibility to help them, no one will…that said, the reason we’ve invited Elegance to share this important film is as an opportunity to take up the consideration…

If we wanted to, how might we help to bring ‘throwaway’ Black SGL, gay, bi, lesbian and Trans youth out of invisibility, and provide them adequate support and encouragement…a platform and resources by which to become as powerful as they can be?”

Bratton responds, “The HIV/AIDS Services Administration (HASA) program is the main hope of many of these young people…If you get the virus and get sick enough, you can be on a fast track to find housing [and other support services]…[One of the characters in the film] told me one day… ‘Every day I think to myself, why don’t I just get HIV?’…The infrastructure of hope is built around pathology and disease…”

“They’re trying to get AIDS?”

“That’s crazy…”

“It’s called 'bug chasing'…”

Facilitator says, “Yes, precisely…The circumstances under which our children are living is crazy…The choices with which they are faced are crazy…And, that we are not aware of, or engaged in efforts to support them is crazy…which is why we’re taking up this conversation…”

Talking about the value of the social sciences as tools for healing and empowerment, Bratton shares with the group that he intends to use income generated from his work to start “The Pier Kids Foundation…” He asks, “Imagine you’re the son of a crack-head who never said, ‘Did you do your homework?’…” He mentions that he has frequently urged these young people that “the most valuable thing they have [may be] their stories…”

A participant mentions, “The Jericho Project owns a new building in Brooklyn…some apartments are for vets and others are for youth who age-out of [the] foster care [system]…”

Bratton responds, “We need to figure out how we can do our own Jericho Project…There are 400,000 homeless youth, 60% of whom are LGBT, and 60% of those are Black and Brown…Silvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson were the first ones to stand up to the cops during the Stonewall rebellion…a lot of the Pier Kids are the children of Marsha P. Johnson and Silvia Rivera…”

“We need to buy houses…”

“We have our internal class issues [which we must take into account if we would hope to intervene in the lives of the Pier Kids effectively]…The way these young people talk and act, it’s very hard [for many of us] to identify with them…and they also don’t look very homeless, they way they dress…As we strategize to attempt to help them, it is important that we get the right people to help them deal with all the mental and spiritual brokenness they’re navigating…”

Facilitator says, “They are very proud, and part of their armor is their dress and their adornments, and their defensiveness [lest anyone ‘come for them’]…If they can help it, they will not provide opportunities for anyone to demean or belittle them…”

“Let’s not forget that when these kids are operating out of desperation, a lot of older men are preying on them, including some of the [Ball Community] Houses, which are operating as bordellos where everybody is for sale…”

“This is a marathon, not a sprint…”

Bratton urges, “When you’re watching porn, marveling at the shape of one of the asses, trust and believe, that’s a pier kid who someone threw away…I’m not saying that you shouldn’t watch porn, but [as a matter of perspective], it’s something to be aware of…”

“How has the pier changed from the time you were a youth out there, to now?...”

Bratton responds, “Marsha P. Johnson claimed Silvia Rivera, who died on the pier, as her gay daughter [as an homage]…The summer before Stonewall, a White guy went down to the pier and had sex with a Black guy…A White cop in plain clothes shot and killed both of them…The Mattachine Society took up the murder of the White guy…No one took up the murder of the Black guy…There’s no Gay Rights Movement without Silvia Rivera and Marsha P. Johnson…They are your gay parents…[Today] there’s a curfew on the pier [as efforts are made to further marginalize and erase the Pier Kids]…”

“We have to find ways to help the young Brothers and Sisters out there…”

“We always think we have to fix what is wrong when, if we would just listen sometimes…Just ask them, ‘What do you think?’…The answer is standing right in front of us…”


OUTING: Invisible Life The Musical: Join The Gatekeepers Collective (TGC) 


JOIN The Gatekeepers Collective (TGC) on Saturday, June 27th at 7:00pm at Harlem's World Famous Apollo Theater's Soundstage for the premiere run of E. Lynn Harris' Invisible Life the Musical. SEAT ARE LIMITED.

Purchase Tickets: HERE


Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of New York Times best-selling author E. Lynn Harris’ classic American love story INVISIBLE LIFE. This explosive Musical adaptation addresses the conflicts of Sexuality, Religion, HIV/AIDS and Family in America. Soul-stirring R&B mixed with Paradise Garage grooves, everybody will Sing, Vogue & Live!! RAYMOND, a college football player, dreams of a future as a lawyer and family man with his childhood sweetheart SELA, but is seduced into a Down-Low romance by star Quarterback, BASIL HENDERSON. Pressured by his Father to continue his NFL legacy, Raymond escapes to New York City and falls madly in love with a Broadway Diva, NICOLE. Raymond's scandal-reunion with Basil, and fashionista best friends KYLE & JJ, threatens his Perfect World and forces Raymond to Live his Life in Truth… 

A Broadway bound “promising musical-theater work-in-progress” praises Stephen Holden of The New York Times.

AEA Showcase Production
Casting by Wojcik | Seay Casting

Based on the novel Invisible Life by E. Lynn Harris
Book by Proteus Spann & Javon Johnson
Music & Lyrics: Motown Legends Ashford & Simpson
Additional Lyrics: Stanley Bennett Clay
Musical Director: e’Marcus Harper
Directed by: Proteus Spann & Javon Johnson
DJ: Teddy Douglas
Apollo Theater
253 West 125th Street
(between Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd. & Frederick Douglass Blvd.)
Harlem, New York City
GOOGLE MAPS

Purchase Tickets: HERE
or RSVP Tickets with Richard Pelzer at PelzerMEGA1@gmail.com



MORE ABOUT E. LYNN HARRIS
Everette Lynn Harris (June 20, 1955 – July 23, 2009) was an American author. Openly gay, he was best known for his depictions of African-American men who were on the down-low and closeted. He authored ten consecutive books that reached The New York Times Best Seller list, making him among the most successful African-American or gay authors of his era.

Harris' first novel, Invisible Life finished in 1991, was a coming-of-age story dealing with then-taboo topics. Most important was that it openly questioned sexual identity and told the story of main character Raymond Tyler. Tyler, torn between his married male lover and girlfriend Nicole, is a New York attorney struggling with identifying as a bisexual black man. He ultimately settles into a gay lifestyle, while much of the novel is dedicated to Tyler's reflection on that choice.


Watch Video Interview of E. Lynn Harris (October 2000)



Listen to Proteus Spann Producer & Director of Invisible Life The Musical 

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