You’re quiet out there now that your leader is gone. Don’t expect us to lower the volume while celebrating this victory.

Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

It’s funny how an election changes situations.

Many of you have been uncharacteristically quiet over the last couple of days, or maybe Facebook’s algorithm gods are just sparing my sanity. Either way, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the silence right now. Crickets all over.

Unfortunately, posts from some of you popped up all through Election Day/ week, when President-elect Joe Biden pulled ahead of Donald Trump in those crucial swing states. You started to plead with everyone to suddenly get along and sing “Kumbaya.” …


The Emmy-winning drama reminded us that gay White men aren’t the center of the LGBTQ universe

Clockwise from top: Billy Porter, Mj Rodriguez, Dominique Jackson. Photos: FX

“Live. Werk. Pose.”

From the day it debuted on our television screens in 2018, announcing itself with those three words, Pose simultaneously told LGBTQ+ history and made it. The FX drama celebrated the same 1980s New York City underground ball and drag culture that the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning explored nearly three decades earlier to ecstatic reviews.

Paris Is Burning is a groundbreaking piece of cinema that gave LGBTQ+ people of color the unprecedented screen time that made the mainstreaming of RuPaul and his Drag Race possible. Similarly, Pose — which recently completed its three-season run — was a…


If it were 1860, we all know what side of the slavery debate you’d be on.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US president (Photo: flickr), and Donald Trump, the 45th (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

I’ve always found the various versions of that saying to be somewhat trite (as I do most sloganeering), but in recent months, the idea of history repeating has been gaining resonance for me. It’s why I cringe every time I hear Republican politicians defending the honor of the so-called Grand Old Party or bemoaning its devolution into the cult of Donald Trump by describing it as the party of Abraham Lincoln.

Clearly they haven’t learned from history, and for that, we all are doomed to repeat it. Today’s Republican…


Because a permanent tan can get you killed.

Photo: flickr

My husband gave me the idea for this article one afternoon when his skin was on fire.

Earlier that morning, he’d spent five minutes in a solarium at the gym, hoping to tan his body to a slightly darker shade than its natural creamy hue. As he later explained, he was prepping his skin for our upcoming belated honeymoon cruise to Mexico. If he arrived on the ship looking as pale as Casper the Friendly Ghost, he’d probably burn so quickly he’d spend the first half of the cruise in excruciating pain and the second shedding peeling skin everywhere.

I…


10 musical testaments to the power of positive thinking.

Photo: freepik

I’m no eternal optimist. I’m a hardened realist. I keep it real and realistic: Life is tough, and then you die. The end.

That said, hope does spring eternal — at least it does for me. Just because the glass is half empty doesn’t mean you can’t fill it up again. As Meryl Streep’s Clarissa Vaughan discovered too late in The Hours, happiness is embracing possibility. It’s harboring hope and keeping the faith, even if what dreams may come don’t always come true.

Despite the flame of hope flickering within, when it comes to music, I tend to gravitate toward…


Bad hair day? Blame it on the big, bad Democrats.

GOP US Reps Marjorie Taylor Greene (Photo: C-SPAN) and Matt Gaetz (Photo: YouTube)

It’s become an all-too-familiar battle cry in the GOP, a primal scream that makes my ears bleed. “Mommy, the Democrats are being mean to me!” Hush, little babies.

Whenever things don’t go their way or they’re facing potential consequences for their actions, Republicans cross their arms, stomp their feet, and play victim. They live to assign blame to someone else that’s out to destroy them, frequently falling back on the same stale scapegoats: Democrats and the “liberal” news media. …


With a glass of Chardonnay and a few minutes to do a deep Google search, you can “confirm” pretty much anything.

Photo: Pixabay

Remember when doing research meant actually doing the work? You had to drag yourself out of bed, head to the library, and spend hours poring over books about Marcel Proust and the significance of Remembrance of Things Past. Oh, and you had to read the damn thing, too. Good luck with that.

Ah, those golden, olden college days — some of the best years of my life.

The art of doing research has changed considerably since the ’90s. It’s no longer much of an art, and it doesn’t require much effort. All you need is a glass of Chardonnay and…


I’m angry too, but that might not be why I’m raising my voice.

Photo: freepik/@kues1

Jonah Hill recently came between my husband and me. Actually, neither one of us has met the actor, but we ended up fighting over him anyway.

To be accurate, we had a heated discussion about Hill — more specifically, about whether a shirtless picture the Daily Mail ran of him in February qualified as fat-shaming. The argument was really over our different arguing styles. We’re both passionate and hyper-sensitive with a tendency to get defensive pretty easily (like most humans), but when things heat up, I’m typically the loudest. …


Recalling the uncomfortable experience of seeing discrimination targeting dark-skinned people who don’t look like me

The Israeli West Bank barrier. Photo: Jeremy Helligar

When you’re Black in America, you spend your life getting used to being singled out. It happens with White friends, teachers, colleagues, bosses, business owners, employees, and law enforcement. But decades of experiencing the world as an outsider didn’t prepare me for the way I’d feel when I witnessed ethnic profiling strictly as an observer for the first time.

It happened in 2013 during my monthlong stint living in Israel. As the authorities paced the buses I took on my round trip from Jerusalem to the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, I squirmed in my seat and prayed I wouldn’t be…


The 68-year-old soul goddess is the Glenn Close of music legends.

Photo: Store norske leksikon/Creative Commons

Chaka, Chaka, Chaka, Chaka Khan.

She’s officially the Glenn Close of music legends. On May 12, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2021 inductees, and the legendary R&B singer found herself in what has become an all-too-familiar place: not on the list. She’d previously been nominated twice as a solo artist and four times with her old band Rufus. This year, as a seventh-time “Performers” nominee (third time solo), Chaka, 68, once again got passed over for more commercially and critically correct choices: Carole King, Foo Fighters, The Go-Go’s, Jay-Z, Tina Turner, and Todd Rundgren.

Chaka’s seventh…

Jeremy Helligar

Brother Son Husband Friend Loner Minimalist World Traveler. Author of “Is It True What They Say About Black Men?” and “Storms in Africa” https://rb.gy/3mthoj

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