So my Pop-Tart Pick this time round is an amazingly talented singer/songwriter from Vancouver, BC. Originally born in London, England, Tonye Aganaba was raised in Canada and eventually made Vancouver her home base. The video I found was a video project in partnership with the International Charity, Save The Children and their Everyone Campaign. Bringing awareness to the basic needs that are NOT being met in third world countries, and what we, EVERYONE, can do to make a difference.
I love when an artist takes the time out to help a cause. It shows that they’re doing their music because they really believe it can help others in some way. If you would like to check out more about Tonye you can visit her website www.tonyeaganaba.com
Some call it stalking, I call it flattery, tomato tomoto. I was chatting to my UK friend the other day and he was telling me about this new funny website called TubeCrush.net. When I visited I instantly found myself reminiscing about the days when I rode the tube in London to and from work. TubeCrush is a website where you can send in photos of boys you fancy and let others vote on them, Tweet them, and share them as well. I remember that my only thoughts while walking to the Tube were “God I hope there is some nice eye candy on the way to work today.” It can be so dreary down in the London tube system that it’s nice when you can look at something aesthetically pleasing on your way to work.
I never took photos of people on the tube but then again there wasn’t a website to send them into when I lived there. In local free papers they always had “missed connections” full of “BRN eyed boy with BRN hair, you were on the Piccadilly line at 1:24pm and got off at Manor House. We made eye contact the whole way. Call me!” Such a good laugh when there was nothing else to read. So far my favourite is titled “Gazing Beauty” and he is indeed a fit fellow.
So I think it’s been long enough that I should come out of the closet. Some of you may already be aware of a major project I have been working on to get off the ground called “The Diversity Project.” (This is also the reason I have been a little MIA.) The Diversity Project is first and foremost a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Diversity, Education, Understanding and Compassion for not only the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community but for anyone who has ever felt out of place or like they don’t fit in.
I launched the project on February 1st of this year and we have been getting some awesome attention. I was interviewed on CBC radio The Early Edition with host Rick Cluff, we’ve appeared in The Now, Tri-Cities News, Vancouver’s Xtra! and a few other publications including GayVancouver.com. One of the best things to come so far is the sponsorship from the local radio station The Beat 94.5. We have been working with them to create a PSA (Public Service Announcement) for the project to launch within the next month. I’ve heard it and I can tell you it’s AWESOME!
Anyone fancy some philandering? The Philanderer is the 500th production presented by the Arts Club Theatre Company in Vancouver since it was founded back in 1964. Over 120 years later and The Philanderer is still getting laughs for it’s dry, “I’m more intelligent that you are,” English humor. For those who don’t know what it means to “philander” Wikipedia describes it “for a man to have sexual intercourse with many women.” I know it’s not really our cup of tea but you can play make believe for this one.
Without ruining it for someone who may go and see the play itself I’m going to give you the skinny. Pretty much our main guy, Charteris, is a big giant slag (an English term for
slut) and wants to just philander about until he claims to have “fallen in love” with Grace. His last fling, Julia (who is totally cray-cray), doesn’t fancy this at all and turns up in Grace’s families house while Charteris is there and confronts the two.
So I know The Latency isn’t in the “pop” genre but I was cruising YouTube and found this video of them doing a cover of “Just The Way You Are” by Bruno Mars and thought it was awesome. You may know them by their hit “Tonight, I Love You” and currently I believe the guys are working on their next studio album. The band comes to us from good old Maple Ridge, BC, Canada and I did some digging and these guys are legit! The band was discovered by Tommy Mac from Hedley who ended up producing their first studio album. After that was said and done they all went on tour together, pretty awesome.
The best part about this band is they give back, and to our community! Bass guitar player Mathew Gendron owns his own socially conscious clothing line Grandview Apparel. Starting off with shirts mostly, he created the “ONE=LOVE” shirt which I think is sexy and holds a great message. Every time he sells one of these babies he takes a substantial amount of that sale and donates it to The Trevor Project, an organization dedicated to putting an end to suicides among LGBTQ youth. He also has some pretty awesome “Much Love” bracelets up for grabs. If you want to creep on this socially conscious cutie you can follow him on Twitter.
So I nearly lost my
shit cool when I found out about this. The cray-cray’s over at Exodus International, that “ex-gay” organization, had this to say on their website “Exodus International is the world’s largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by homosexuality. With over 35 years of ministry experience, Exodus is committed to encouraging, educating and equipping the Body of Christ to address the issue of homosexuality with grace and truth.” Also saying this about their new app “Receiving a 4+ rating from Apple (applications in this category contain no objectionable material), this application is designed to be a useful resource for men, women, parents, students, and ministry leaders.”
OK, WHAT the crazy town is going on at Apply that they can’t see the truth behind this hateful app!? Because I didn’t want to judge fully before I knew all the facts, I myself downloaded the app and just as quickly deleted that sucker. All I saw on it was hateful word after hateful word covered up by some lame attempts at pretending that “hate” isn’t what they’re saying. Like this quote off the website that made me shake my head, “Any way you look at it, homosexuality is simply part of human experience. It just happens. What you need to realize is that the human experience is in conflict with the way God created us. Exodus is an organization that believes that conflict is resolved in Jesus Christ, and we’re here to support those who are following him.” Excuse me? Did that just say pretty plain and simple that homosexuality is a choice? The only choice I personally see in being LGBT is whether or not to be true to yourself and live openly and happy or pretend that you’re not who you are and live the rest of your life hating yourself.
On February 28th, I had the pleasure of attending The Vancouver Men’s Chorus (VMC) video launch party for their contribution to the It Gets Better Project. The media release was held at CBC headquarters in Vancouver and kicked off with a few words from organizer Yogi Omar and then when into a quick speech from Jen Sung, Youth Outreach Coordinator for Out In Schools. Jen told a personal story of a time when she was leaving a club, walking hand in had with her girlfriend and was called a dyke. She recalled the feeling of anxiety attached to that word and all those fears came rushing back, all from one simple word. The story continued, tying in the importance of projects like “It Gets Better” and continual educational programs like Out In Schools that help prevent homophobia and bullying.
I commend the The Vancouver Men’s Chorus for contributing to the “It Gets Better” project and deciding to have a voice (and quite a nice musical one at that). With persistence we can one day put at stop to homophobia and bullying and I look forward to that day.
Recently I came across one of the most amazing websites that I have ever seen for youth under 25: DoSomething.org. I personally have been working a little bit with Do Something but I’ll save that for another time. On their website they describe themselves as “one of the largest organizations in the US [and Canada] that helps young people rock causes they care about. A driving force in creating a culture of volunteerism, DoSomething.org is on track to activate two million young people in 2011. By leveraging the web, television, mobile, and pop culture, DoSomething.org inspires, empowers and celebrates a generation of doers: teenagers who recognize the need to do something, believe in their ability to get it done, and then take action.”
After checking out their website I found out that Do Something isn’t just your average “Do Good” website. 1,229,579 teens took action last year through their programs. That’s insane! As a young person and someone who is actively working on a Do Something campaign I’ve found this website and the people there to be extremely helpful in questions that I’ve had. It’s really simple to start a Do Something Club, just go to their Clubs Page and it will walk you through step by step how to set one up. Even if you’ve already set up a program, charity, or cause that you are working on you can still create a club and then you can also apply for seed money and scholarships through the Do Something Program.