Gay Black radio host Clay Cane once said, "when you are black and gay there is a particular duality that you live in. In my case, that double consciousness has allowed me to be as open and cosmopolitan as possible." He couldn't said it better. It is this quote that inspired me to start a new movement on the radio airwaves.
Too often we've seen gay Black men as the foolish comic relief on TV and radio shows such as The Rickey Smiley Morning show, Steve Harvey's morning radio show and the Tom Joyner Morning show. Gay life of all colors and hues on the airwaves has been lacking at best, and nonexistent at worse. Well, not any more.
Five years ago, I had this idea for a radio show that would move the gay Black male image from comedy to a respected and credible voice in mainstream media. “The Sip” unites four gay black men from diverse occupations and life journeys to embark on a quest to discover and report on everything from world headline news to pop culture - all from a Black LGBTQ perspective. Surprisingly, this is the first show of its kind in the country; what is arguably the world’s most progressive format to date. With LGBT rights swiftly diminishing across the country, especially in states like North Carolina and Mississippi, radio shows like "The Sip" are needed because the voices of black gay men and their perspectives on a broader platform are non-existent.
The cast is comprised of dynamic and candid personalities that discuss the crazy adventures that is our lives but keep it REAL about all things celebrity and open the library about politics and the happenings within the LGBT community and in different communities. Our mission is to educate, elevate and impact the ever changing landscape of equality on a local, national and global scale through conversation and dialogue with leaders, entertainers and every day LGBT people and their allies.
"The Sip" represents a face of black America often left to the sidelines or shrouded in the shadows," said David Dodd, co-host and executive producer for The Sip. "I decided to be a part of the show because...we need to be heard. Our lives are as equally impacted, if not moreso, by what is happening in the world. This is an extension of my contributions to the community that I belong to and that I will continue to serve.
Dodd is an award-winning executive with a decade of marketing, public relations, communications and community relations experience. Currently, serving on the board of the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, an organization that works to improve the health outcomes of African American gay and bisexual men, he hopes this show will change the way you view gay black men.
"On the show, we are going to get REAL about the issues - both locally and internationally," he said. "We are going to make you laugh. We are going to make you cry. It's a show that will have you thinking outside of the box."
At a time where gay and human rights are still battled daily, Isaac King, co-host of "The Sip," feels that their are many issues in the African American LGBTQ community that are specific to the gay black male.
"I want to shed some light on the issues that affect the people that look like me and the ones unlike myself," said King. "I mean, we are citizens of the world. As such, things that affect us are rarely addressed from our point of view. I want to be a conduit of change to ensure we all are represented on a local and global level. "
King is a renowned stylist that has represented artists for Ford Models where his clients included Harpo, Nike, Sears, Bloomingdale's, Miller Lite, Coors, Discover Card, GrubHub - to name few. He's styled projects for celebrities such as Nicki Minaj, R. Kelly, Snoop Dogg, Kenya Moore and Miss J. Alexander.
One of "The Sip's" goals is to remind people that gay life in the black community isn’t always a story of struggle and religious disenchantment but it is also wonderfully progressive. African-American gays and lesbians are achieving unprecedented success in life, love and career while representing our highest ideals: family, community and empowerment.
We're confident that our radio show is forging new ground, and we plan to bring LGBT issues to the forefront and reach across demographics. It is truly a show for everyone.
I believe for the LGBT and African-American communities the most important issue is equality — whether it is economically, health care or civil rights. Sometimes there is a disconnect between the gay community and blacks. Some African-Americans think the gay community are all white men. Some gays think that all black people are homophobic. We are committed to address all of these issues to start a dialogue within the community and around the world, and get to the root of it.
I can only hope that being ourselves, no matter who the listeners are, they will be inspired. We have no agenda that we are trying to push down people’s throat. We don’t believe people should think like us. All we can do is tell our truths, give our point of views — with some humor of course — and let others give theirs. On our show, people can respectfully agree to disagree. Even now, we're the ones that are inspired and informed by our listeners .
"I have aligned myself with this movement to give an assertive, yet vulnerable sentiment," said Andre Darey, co-host of The Sip. "This is an extension of my fondness of community development and self advocacy. When folks listen to our show, they will have the freedom to be, laugh, testify, disagree and feel valuable."
Darey planted seeds as an educator and youth advocate within secondary education. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Eastern Illinois University and a Master of Arts in Community Development from North Park University. He is the muse that brings this show together.
With only three engaging episodes under our belts thus far, we've had some remarkable guests be apart of our little show. The Prancing Elites were our inaugural guests, followed by Cook County State Attorney's Candidate Kim Foxx, we were on the ground in the Ivory Coast to discuss the terrorist attack that didn't get much media attention in the States and, last week, we were on the ground in North Carolina and Mississippi to learn more about the anti-gay laws that were passed into law. On our show, the conversation will sway from music to pop culture, to breaking news, to entertainment and social issues in not just the African-American life but everyone's.
Being a journalist for more than 15-years and truly understanding the industry, it is my duty as a journalist and human being to convey a sentiment of non-judgement in everything I do. "The Sip" holds that same mantra very seriously. We will approach everything and everyone with a non-judgmental attitude, and guarantee that we will always be our authentic selves and will never hide from the truth.
In the brilliant words of Clay Cane, "we aspire to be a James Baldwin with a pop culture twist!"
We invite you to join us as we sip on wine, examine black gay life, world news that affects all communities, through the voices and stories of those of us who live it. It’s a show for everyone to learn, live and grow.
Sean Emmett once told me that "Great humor is the unexpected variety." This new radio show promises to deliver that great humor in hot topics, entertainment news and even in our lives. But, with that, we will bring you hard, emotional, serious stories that will, we hope, change some lives.
We're dubbing the weekly two-hour LGBTQ radio talk show as the radio show to check out in 2016. "The Sip" is live every Friday night at 6pm to 8pm (CST) on Urban Broadcast Media, where you can stream worldwide at www.urbanbroadcastmedia.com, or download the UBM App. You can also learn more about The Sip on Facebook and follow our work on Twitter. And, listen to our past episodes on Mixcloud.
This week on "The Sip" we have the entire cast of 'An African City' - A steamy Ghanaian show that's extremely reminiscent of Sex and the City. If you have questions for them, post them on our Facebook and Twitter pages.
If you take anything away from this blog, take with you this: I love being all of who I am. In a nutshell, that's the message of our show. That's what we want our listeners to take away.
See you on Friday nights, Sipsters!
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Tags: An African City, Andre Darey, anti-gay laws, Bloomingdales, Chicago's Black Gay Men's Caucus, Clay Cane, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxxx, Coors, david dodd, Discover Card, Grub Hub, Harpo, Isaac King, James Baldwin, kenya moore, Kim Foxx, Lenox Magee, Miller Lite, Miss J. ALexander, Nicki Minaj, Nike, NPR, R. Kelly, Sean Emmett, Sears, Snoop Dogg, Steve Harvey's Morning Show, The Prancing Elite Project, The Prancing Elites, The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, The Sip, TheSipChi, Tom Joyner Morning Show, UBM Talk, Urban Broadcast Media