Meet Me Halfway (University of Wisconsin Press, 2015), the fiction debut by Jennifer Morales is subtitled “Milwaukee Stories.” Because of that, Milwaukee is as much a character in the book as high school students Johnquell and Taquan, Johnquell’s mother Gloria and his aunt Bee-Bee, elderly Frances and Mrs. Czernicki, dedicated teacher Mrs. Charles, or any of the people who populate Morales’ stories. Most of the stories are set in present-day Milwaukee, although “Prelude to a Revolution” takes us back to the late 1960s, setting the tone for the racially divided city of today. I spoke with Jennifer in April 2014 before she embarked on a book tour for Meet Me Halfway.
Coming in at number eight on Out Magazine’s Most Eligible Bachelors of 2015, gay singer/songwriter Steve Grand may be single but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t millions of men (and probably some women) who are in love with him. In return, Grand, who made his name singing about unrequited love in his hit single / YouTube video “All American Boy,” has unleashed a bounty of love on his fans (who helped him raise funds via a Kickstarter campaign) with the release of his long-awaited full-length album All American Boy (Stevegrand.com).
Y-Love (aka Yitz Jordan)’s claim to fame is being the first gay, black, Hasidic Jewish rapper in the industry. In the first grade, California-born, Baltimore-bred Yitz developed a fascination with Judaism, converting formally at the age of twenty-two. That same year, he studied at an Israeli yeshiva and began rapping at the local club. His unique blend of English, Hebrew, Yiddish, Aramaic, Arabic and Latin words made him practically an overnight sensation in Jerusalem. A year later, he and his fellow emcee (who granted him his stage name) moved to Brooklyn, where he remains to this day, although he returns home to Maryland as often as he can.
Do you have trouble telling a bear from an otter? Let John Waters help.
“The bear community is a community that all gay people know what they are, but no straight people do,” he says. “Bears are middle-aged, overweight gay men, and they like it. They are hairy and they like cubs, which are younger versions. And then there are otters, people who aren’t fat or hairy yet but will be.”
Perhaps the first gay white rapper and break dancer to gain a national following, Cazwell is a born entertainer. With a surprisingly sophisticated sense of humor and apparently not a single shirt in his wardrobe, Cazwell wryly parodies New York club culture with sizzling energy, dazzling moves, and lots of eye candy. His outrageous and sexy music videos, usually featuring barely-clad dancers from the New York club scene, have a tendency to go viral. “Ice Cream Truck,” with such quintessential Cazwell lyrics as, “I’ll show you my drumstick / It will make your eyes gleam,” has scored 3.7 million hits since it debuted three years ago. Other hits include “I Seen Beyoncé at Burger King,” “All Over Your Face,” “Rice and Beans,” and “No Selfie Control.” I spoke with Cazwell, who recently launched the Ice Cream Truck underwear line (Icecreamtruck.bigcartel.com), about his career and more in May 2015.
REACHING OUT TO THE GAY AND LESBIAN COMMUNITY?
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