Thursday, June 26, 2008
MY CHAT WITH LEGENARY AND CARING DJ AND HIV WORKER
Once you meet BBOP you won’t help to be drawn to his personality, warm heart and humorous and generous spirit. Not only is he a great person, he’s one of many in the Black Gay Community who cares about keeping the community uplifted, educated and informed about programs, and what’s going on in the entertainment field, which he’s a part of with his Pride network, blog and h is online pod cast that plays Disco, R&B, and slow jams.
I had the opportunity to interview this legend at GMHC where he spoke about the meaning of his name, overcoming child abuse, working on his upcoming novel and the importance of gay community showing love and respect towards each other.
Q: Tell the viewers who is BBOP?
A: I’m 42 years old. Don’t look a day over 32. I’m a single Black Man. Independent. I own the Pride network, which is one of the fastest growing groups on the internet on Yahoo. The Pride network is a group of sharing. Whether it’s pornography, nude photos, public events. We also share progressive posting elements, and I’m the progressive poster.
SUPREMEWRITER: You have a unique name. How did you come up with your nickname and what does it stand for?
BBOP: OK. There were two transgender who had a click of transgender, but I didn’t fit in the transgender click transgender community. But they wanted me to be a part of their circle and they came up with the acronym, and what they came up with was BBOP, and when they broke it down, they came up with Beautiful Boys of Pride. Since then, the circle had broken up, and I took the acronym BBOP and I created a network out of it. I’m currently doing a spin-off of Da Doo Dirty Show, where with CJ Baker plays Hip-Hop and R&B. On the BBOP pod cast, I will be featuring House, Disco Classics and R&B.
SUPREMEWRITER: What inspired you to start your own pod cast?
BBOP” It was another way of sharing. That’s what I’m all about. I like to share everything. It’s there’s some information that some one can benefit from; I like to have that information too. Unlike the rest of the Gay community, who tends to be self-centered. If they have something, they don’t wanna share it.
SUPREMEWRITER: You brought up an interesting point about many in our community being self-centered. Especially when it comes to information concerning HIV/AIDS, housing and benefits. From your perspective, why those in the field choose not to share that information to those who can benefit from it?
BBOP: I don’t’ know what drives people to be self-centered. I’m a certified HIV counselor and it’s my job to give them the guidance they need. Especially the newly infected. It’s my job to give them the guidance they need to so they can provide for themselves. It’s about helping my people to become independent. It’s about helping my people they don’t know how to help themselves.
SUPREMEWRITER: What made you become an AIDS Activist and counselor?
BBOP: I’ve been working in the HIV field for 23 years. Not only am I the president of the company, I’m also the client. Ha-Ha. I’ve been HIV positive for 23 years, so it’s a passion of mine because I went through hard times. It was hard for me to get my self established. I had to get my own HRA. My own foods stamps. My own housing. My own HASA. I don’t want anybody to have to go through what I started studying HIV and STI’s to substance abuse. I’m working in case management. It was very important for me to help people acquire these things for themselves.
SUPREMEWRITER: How long you been in the entertainment field
BBOP: I’m not in the entertainment field anymore. Back in the day, I did a lot of performances. I performed as Billy Ocean. There’s a lot of transgender who perform as their idols. I performed as Billy Ocean. I even performed as Donna Summer, I would do these performances in competitions and win first place. It was another way for me to open myself very openly and honestly.
SUPREMEWRITER: You brought up an interesting point about performing as both your favorite female and male music idols. As we both know, there are many Openly Gay R&B and Pop Male singers and Rappers who want to get the exposure, but many Gay Pride organizations and organizers chose to hire and pay drag queens, as opposed to paying them. How do you feel about this subject?
BBOP: I think they need to hire them. Hire within. Support your people. Why are you hiring a transgender to give a performance; giving them that money. Giving them that break when there’s people you claim to care for that’s but you wanna give it to them. Give it to the people. That money wasn’t intended for the professional transgender community. The grant money you receive is intended for the community you serve! If the community is not getting the money it’s intended for then yes, I have a problem with it!
SUPREMEWRITER: With you running the network, hosting your show and doing counseling, how do you manage to balance your time?
BBOP: Oh balance is one of those things I’m trying to achieve. I preach about balance all the time, and I think it can be acquired. However it’s very difficult to acquire balance when you’re taking on too much. I’ve got six thousand members in my network, but the Beautiful Boy of Pride is connected to other networks, when I have sit there and go through emails. Balance is not impossible. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. Never take on more than what you can chew.
SUPREMEWRITER: You also write sensual, erotic stories. How did you get into writing those types of stories?
BBOP: Well it’s funny. I read B-Boy Blues by James Earl Hardy, and I was extremely inspired. I only read the one book, but I was inspired because he was writing this and I was thinking it. I have an exotic mind. What I think about it’s usually erotic, sensual and sexual. When I write my stories, my stories and part fact and part fictional. I’m hoping to publish my first book this year. My first title was “Down Low Drug Dealers Desire” about a drug dealer and guy who move into the neighborhood, and they develop a relationship. The local who moved into the area was struggling with drug addiction. That’s the realistic part, because I dealt with drug addiction for many years, so I always had this fantasy of being with this notoriously drug dealer. Not Nicky Barnes. I’m talking about a sexy, thug, scruffy drug dealer, so I moved into the towers. I’m not saying which towers; there was this dealer who lived next door to me. I’m not gonna give away the story. I like for you to get the story since I finished writing.
SUPREMEWRITER: If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you love to play the drug dealer?
BBOP I would love for Nick Cannon to play my drug dealer. (Laughs seductively). I want Nick Cannon to be by my side when I’m working down to red carpet.
SUPREMEWRITER: I hear he has a big dick.
BBOP: That’s what Mickey Day is always talking about. I want Nick Cannon to be by my side when I’m walking down the red carpet. I don’t care whether it’s a red carpet or blue carpet. I want Nick Cannon to be my side. Tell me something about my eyes (both laugh).
SUPREMEWRITER: How do you think you’re making an impact of the Gay Community?
BBOP: Oh my God. Just being me. By just being me. There’s so many people who see the way I am, and see what a free spirit I am, and see I don’t have a care in the world except supporting myself. (And) they be like how do I get to that level? How do I get to that level? Determination. Responsibility. Passion, independence, knowledge, education.
I started studying in the HIV field which is a passion of mine because people need to know where this disease came from; how it originated. How it’s being treated and how the hell we’re gonna knock it out. I think the biggest part is testing people and basically helping them get on their feet. When they get a positive reading, they don’t know what to do next, and if you don’t have a person who cares about them, they become lost. To love you until you love yourself. That was said at Phillip’s memorial. That’s a philosophy they got from me. How I love you until you love yourself. Watch me love myself.
SUPREMEWRITER: Where do you see yourself in the next 5 or 10 years?
BBOP: A noted author. A much bigger radio personality that I am. In a bigger apartment (laughs). Most likely, having a college degree. When I had to go out on my own, I had to support myself. There was no time for me to finish college. I had to leave the house because my stepfather didn’t like the fact that there was someone in the house who was HIV positive, so he made it extremely difficult for me and I wound up leaving my mother’s house against her will. I just could not live like that. I couldn’t live in an environment were my stepfather had to have his own fork, his own spoon, his own coffee cup, his own glass. He tormented me for my status and he died from it. What was he doing? Inquiring minds want to know. I never had the support that I needed. When my stepfather died, everybody knew he was dying, but nobody told me. I have an issue with my family because they knew. When my mother found out, she committed suicide and he died ten years later.
SUPREWMEWRITER: That’s deep.
BBOP: When I was talking about the lack of support I had in my family, I left out someone. My older brother. I can tell you what it’s like to be molested; abuse tortured over a period of ten years. What hurt me only made me stronger. The things that hurt me only made me stronger. I don’t want don’t want anybody to go through what I went through.