Guest columists

14 11, 2021

HartStrings 12

By |2021-11-10T08:49:25-05:00November 14th, 2021|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“The Most Handsome Man in Harlem” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley A teacher,  model, and passionate patron of the arts,  Harold Jackman was particularly known for his involvement in the Harlem Renaissance and his dedication to preserving African American cultural artifacts. From the outside looking in, he was beautiful, yet elusive -– that’s the first impression one may have gotten [...]

17 10, 2021

Old School New Kid 26

By |2021-10-11T09:58:03-04:00October 17th, 2021|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“Summer Daze” Despite the challenges these past two summers have brought, this is still my favorite season of the year. This has been my time to chill and enjoy the outdoors, the open road, and the beauty of nature. As a child of the 1950s and early 1960s, this was a time for such treats [...]

12 09, 2021

Old School New Kid 25

By |2021-09-06T13:57:18-04:00September 12th, 2021|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“Tales of the 1940s B*tch” Are you a card-carrying geek/nerd? Have Mean Girls been giving you a hard time, past or present? Then have no fear. You have an avenger, a crusader, an advocate--the 1940s B*tch! Indeed, I own it; I inherited Dad's offbeat sense of humor. In my VSS365 Twitter community, I have had [...]

22 08, 2021

Honey, Let Me Tell You Something! 25

By |2021-08-23T02:26:18-04:00August 22nd, 2021|Categories: guest, Uncategorized|10 Comments

“Hello! My Name is Norman-- and I’m an Addict!” Guest Writer: R. L. Norman We just finished doing it and it felt soooooo good! Because of the pandemic, it had been over a year since I’d done it. Social distancing put a real damper on my possibilities of fulfilling my urges. But now I [...]

15 08, 2021

HartStrings 11

By |2021-08-11T08:25:10-04:00August 15th, 2021|Categories: guest|2 Comments

“Ribbon in the Sky” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley Detroit is known for a few things: being the home of the big three auto manufacturers (Ford, GM, Chrysler); the birthplace of Motown, the record label that introduced beloved singers and groups such as Marvin Gaye, India Arie, the Supremes, the Commodores, and Boys II Men to the world. [...]

25 07, 2021

Old School New Kid 24

By |2021-07-19T07:13:17-04:00July 25th, 2021|Categories: guest, Uncategorized|0 Comments

“To Thine Own Self” Guest Writer: W.D. Foster-Graham    June 2021 was certainly a big month in this household. Juneteenth is now a federal holiday. Father’s Day has special meaning for me. My husband and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary. And on a local level, I and another LGBT congregant had the honor of speaking at our [...]

11 07, 2021

HartStrings 10

By |2021-07-08T03:44:00-04:00July 11th, 2021|Categories: guest|0 Comments

Now and then, a talent graces the world with its appearance. It’s like a shooting star! And those who catch a glimpse are forever changed. This was the life of Franklyn Vincent Ellison Seales. Born on July 15, 1952, he was the fifth child of eight to Francis Seales, a government employee and [...]

20 06, 2021

Old School New Kid 23

By |2021-07-19T06:36:53-04:00June 20th, 2021|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“It Never Stops” Yes, June is Pride Month, in commemoration of the Stonewall riots that took place on June 27, 1969, and lasted three days. It was a time when LGBT folks said, “Enough,” and fought back against the police harassment that was a common practice for far too long. And leading the pack of social resistance [...]

30 05, 2021

Old School New Kid 22

By |2021-07-19T06:34:24-04:00May 30th, 2021|Categories: guest, Uncategorized|1 Comment

“Speaking in Retrospect” Recently on my Twitter feed, I was invited to do a “Quote Retweet,” attaching a black-and-white photo myself. I had to dig deep to find one; it is included in this post. From time to time, I have been asked variations of the following question: “If you could tell your younger self anything, what would [...]

23 05, 2021

HartStrings 9

By |2021-07-06T11:23:52-04:00May 23rd, 2021|Categories: guest, Uncategorized|0 Comments

“America’s Only Male Torch Singer” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley A torch song is a sentimental love song, typically one in which the singer laments an unrequited or lost love--either where one party is oblivious to the existence of the other, where one party has moved on, or where a romantic affair has affected the relationship.  The term [...]

25 04, 2021

Old School New Kid 21

By |2021-07-19T06:32:23-04:00April 25th, 2021|Categories: guest|0 Comments

“It’s Never Too Late” Spring is now in the air, and I am excited to have my first male/male romance novel, The Right to Be: A Christopher Family Novel, launched. As with the previous five novels in the series, it will be available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. For those who have been following my Old School [...]

18 04, 2021

HartStrings 8

By |2021-04-18T13:48:51-04:00April 18th, 2021|Categories: guest|1 Comment

“The Unimaginable” Guest Writer: Bishop Hartsel Clifton Shirley Emile Alphonse Griffith was born February 3, 1938, in St. Thomas, the U.S. Virgin Islands. In his teenage years, Griffith worked at a hat factory. On one particularly steamy day, the owner allowed him to work shirtless. That owner, a former amateur boxer, noticed Emile’s promising physique and took the [...]

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