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05 April 2008

Is there such a thing as too much diversity? Controversy boils over regarding PRIDE HIGH!


I am going to make an admission here which will throw everyone for a loop. I am not attracted to most black men based on a racial bias.

I know what caused the major part of the bias. I was carjacked many years ago and beaten up pretty good but the jackass punks didn't get my car dammit! There was no way I was going to let two sixteen year old punks take my piece of shit car for a gang initiation. It is my car!

Unfortunately, because of that incident I could feel a racial prejudice start to develop. As a member of the clergy I knew that I had to stop it. Over the course of the next several days I literally felt through the power of prayer and submission of my will in the situation, my brain get slowly and methodically rewired to remove, not the memories but the emotions behind and surrounding the incident, which in turn gave the memories new meanings and a new story (similar to what happens in the Sacrament of (Reconciliation) Penance but in real time). So even though my mouth got rearranged and I have no equilibrium now (which sucks for genuflecting or bowing, btw), the prejudice that would have been fostered if not corrected has been removed but there is still a bias.

The difference between myself and someone who is a racist or prejudiced against any group is that I know the bias is there and confront it within myself first and then also in my community and social circles most of the time! Please don't misunderstand me, some of my best friends are and have been black. I just know I would never be bent by many of them over the couch or ride them into the sunrise.

The gentleman in the foreground of this picture above is very cute to me though. Not because of his body or of his cock and balls wanting to bust out of his Calvin's. But look at his eyes. See the way he supports his lover not just with his leg and torso but caressing the back of his head with his strong hand. That is beautiful! He is beautiful! One of the reasons I use black and white pictures (especially on the links page) is to illustrate romantic or intimate situations and stories on this blog by removing colour from the equation of love or sexuality towards another man by a man and the inherit beauty of the male body and spirit. Ironically though I am immensely attracted to Hispanics, Filipinos, Arabs (Afghani bois are so cute), Macedonians, Australians, and Slavic males and of course I will drool over most Caucasian country/ farm bois/ jocks or preps/ and your usual AnF model, with a few emo bois for flavor.

Tommy, keep challenging all the stereotypes across the board! Even mine.

I fully support the diversity within PRIDE HIGH and have done so on this blog forum and other sites several times and will not hesitate in doing so again and again until we all realize that it takes all colours of dirt and clay to form the Human body and each person regardless of race, social class, or ethnicity. We, each one of us, are all good and beautiful, no matter what anyone else says or thinks.

The underlying story and situations that PRIDE HIGH communicates travels beyond the multi classifying characteristics that make up an individual, culture, social group, community, or the people of this Country and happens everywhere, to all youth and young adults both gay and straight. We need to stop worrying about "giv'n our propers" and just be human with each other and enjoy the experiences, the adventures, the journey!

Join Me Along The Path To Peace,

MRev. Kenneth White Jnr., Editor
F6 ~ Fun Fag FAQs From Father Fozy


Last week, PRIDE HIGH selection as the LGBT comic book of the Week over on PinkKryptonite.com generated a lot of feedback. I ignored the negative comments that focused on the art and writing, since everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. However, there were comments about PRIDE HIGH being "too diverse" and artificial with characters who were "too politically picked." This isn’t the first time this has come up. So I decided to consolidate my thoughts on the issue so that in the future, I can just point people to a handy dandy url ;). Here’s my audio response, with a transcript:


Everyone is certainly entitled to their opinions. Not everyone will like the art or writing, and that’s okay. However, there have been several comments regarding the diversity found in PRIDE HIGH. I’d like to address those.

Mainstream comics tend to follow the "one degree of difference" rule. The "Latino hero" is usually straight. The rare "vegetarian hero" is usually white. Real life isn’t so simple. Kid Mischief is gay, Puerto Rican, and vegetarian because he shares those identities with his creator. Still, many writers either consciously or subconsciously portray certain identities as mutually exclusive.

Maybe the boarding school I attended was more diverse than most. My junior year, the boys’ varsity tennis team had a half-Iranian captain, a black & Korean 2nd seed (me), and an Indian girl who not only qualified for the boys’ team, but was 3rd seed. My close group of friends was just as diverse as the main characters of PRIDE HIGH. We didn’t become friends to match some ethnic checklist. We were just kids who enjoyed the company of other friendly, fun people, regardless of their backgrounds. So when people say that PRIDE HIGH's "characters are too diverse," that’s pretty much saying my friends and I are too diverse.

The team behind PRIDE HIGH didn’t pick our characters in an "attempt to please everyone." Having friends and family who are members of different ethnicities and cultures is part and parcel of our lives. The line-up includes:

Tommy Roddy, the creator: Black and Korean; Brian Ponce, the original artist: American Indian, Mexican, Puerto Rican, and White; Robert Rivera, the current artist: Filipino, Korean, and Spanish; Carl Hippensteel, the editor and Kid Mischief’s creator: Puerto Rican and White; Andrew Van Marle, the Dutch translator and Scotch Bonnet’s creator: Scottish and Dutch

When a predominantly straight, white creative team presents a comic book with predominantly straight, white characters, no one bats an eyelash. Their choice isn’t seen as political, but rather a natural extension of their perspective. Likewise, the kids of PRIDE HIGH are not "politically picked." Their creators are queer, multi-ethnic, multicultural individuals simply offering a reflection of our own lives.

We welcome everyone to experience a story from our perspective.

[The editor of Pink Kryptonite, Joveth Gonzalez, also offered his opinion:]


When we posted last week's LGBT Comic of the Week, Tommy Roddy's PRIDE HIGH, we had no idea how large the reaction would be from our readers. I believe that, to date, this has been our most commented on story in Pink Kryptonite's history. Tommy has posted his own response to the comments, but I felt the need to write something regarding some of the negative comments.

When I first started writing for PK, we didn't have as many resources to seek out LGBT creators and their work to be able to highlight them. But when we did come across an LGBT book, we held it to the same standards as any other book, and we were quick to dismiss them because they weren't "real" or "authentic" and didn't portray the world to our liking.

When I took over being editor of this site, I had to face my own prejudices and set of standards that I held to LGBT comic books. Facing so much specialized and intense adversity as a gay man, my world strictly became me against everyone else. Then when I met other gay men who shared the same interests and beliefs, it became my skewed perspective of what gay men should be like vs everyone else. What ended up happening was that I dismissed any gay person who didn't fit within the confines of my ideal. So of course when this type of thinking is applied to comic books, you could see how easy it is to dismiss something like Brian Andersen's So Super Duper. As I met more people outside of my comfort zone and witnessed how diverse we truly are as LGBT people, my attitude started to change.
Exposure to new ideas eases the dissolution of prejudices.

One of the major changes to the site that we made conscientiously was to grow and foster the LGBT comic book community by supporting the already small amount of LGBT books out there. Because LGBT characters are so rarely portrayed in mainstream comic books, it's been refreshing and interesting to read the wide spectrum of characterizations that these creators present to us. If
PRIDE HIGH isn't your cup of tea, don't read it. The benefit of having sites like Prism Comics, After Elton, The Gay League and Pink Kryptonite is that we are offering you many choices for you to pick and choose to your liking.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not everyone is entitled to delimit the advances of a minority without exploring all recourses for understanding.

Tommy's advancing the LGBT community. Whether you like it or not. It has people talking, and you my friends, are the proof.

F6's reporting on the PK spotlight and my tribute to PH
F6's Links: Comic and Animation Series or Projects

1 comment:

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give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?

give medals 4 killing men but 4 loving men they wish you were dead?
thanks to the sacrifice of many the scourge of Dont Ask Dont Tell in the land of the free and home of the brave will be gone by the end of June!!!!