Category Archives: Celebrations

Never Too Late To Grow: 30-Tools Of Empowerment Gareth Bryant & LaTisha Bradford

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This is my 1st-Book. Myself, along with my Co-Author, LaTisha Bradford-We’ve published this to provide Readers with something pragmatic: to look within themselves introspectively, objectively: reflecting upon their Lives. I’m personally very excited concerning this Publication. I’ve been writing for a Long-Time. However, I never really expected that I’d be at this Literary-Level, authoring Literature/Books. This is truly a Watershed-Moment for me personally, because it stands as a Magnanimous-Accomplishment within my Life. To be an Author is such a Monumental-Feat. Most People don’t get to be Authors. So, this is something for me an Accomplishment/Achievement, the Ability to share something with the World which is real, tangible, and has the Potential/Capability to improve the Lives of anyone who chooses to read my Book. Our Purpose for even writing this Book is because both my Co-Author & I saw as well as felt the Neccessity to highlight Life-Experience as a Stepping-Stone towards Progression, Evolution, Improvement, etc. So that any Person reading this Book can potentially reflect upon their own Lives & draw from our Book ways to look at themselves as those whom still possess the Capabilities&Abilities to grow, regardless to what Space/Place, Age, Career, Situation which they’re currently within. The Book itself is exclusively meant to provide Hope, along with Practical-Tools to improve one’s Self, at one’s on Pace, at one’s own Time, without Judgmentalism, Criticism, Ridicule, etc. And, I’m confident that we’ve been able to accomplish this as such.

To order “Never Too Late Too Grow”:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1797099256?ref_=pe_3052080_397514860

The Reason Why Khabib Is A Muslim-Hero

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In the Tradition of Cassius Clay (later known as Muhammad Ali [May Allah mercify him]), Khabib Nurmagomedov has taken the World by storm. He’s not only proven his Fighting-Skills to be Top-Notch, or that his Athletism is Unmatched within the UFC Professional-Arena-He’s offered more to the World than his current Undefeated-Record…he’s offered his very High-Profile, Unapologetic-Adherence to al-Islām. (As a Personality/Celebrity especially) being a Muslim is most definitely smothered with Islāmophobia, Scrutiny, Ridicule, etc. This is particularly true regarding where Khabib hails from: Dagestan, a Semi-Autonomous Region of the Russian Federation (Former USSR/Soviet Union). This Region, within the Greater Caucasus-Region of Asia, has had 2 Major-Legacies: al-Islām & Military-Resistance. As far back as atleast the 17th-Century, C.E., Dagestan has fought against being Militarily-Annexed by Russia. As a Result, the Muslims of Dagestan have historically evolved their Culture around Fighting-Spirit, Fighting-Skill, something which most of the Muslim-World has totally forfeited for Countless-Reasons. In fact, Dagestan is probably one of the only Places within the Muslim-World where just about every Able-Bodied Muslim-Male is 💯%-Ready for al-Qitāl/al-Jihād (Combat/Armed-Struggle)…yes, I said Jihād, the “J-Word”, if you don’t like it, then too bad for you…🤓😁😎

And, so much like Cassius Clay, Khabib Nurmagomedov evolved both religiously & personally out of Centuries worth of Theft, Rape, Murder, courtesy of Imperialism, Xenophobia, Islāmophobia, etc. via the Power of the Machine. So, of course, him being the Container of historical Spiritual/Psycho-Emotional Trauma, you can/should expect a Prize-Fighter to react in Ways which any other Muslim (who has never had Fights, never lived under Systemic-Oppression, never constantly/consistently lived under threat of Active-Wafare, etc.) wouldn’t behave (perhaps prior to as well as after a Fight), especially after fighting an Opponent like Conor McGreggor who blatantly attacked Khabib spiritually, psycho-emotionally, went out of his Way to directly/overtly mock al-Islām, his Family, his Home, etc. Ironically, there were/are many Muslims who’ve (instead of being happy, grateful, that such a High-Profile Muslim stuck it to such a High-Profile Islāmophobe) resorted to criticizing the Character of Khabib, as though he possessed absolutely 0 Islāmic-Character before, which is completely Unjust, Unfair, Dishonest, and Muslim-Coonish. Cassius Clay faced the exact same Scrutiny, when he refused to accept Military-Conscription Orders/the Draft to fight in the Vietnam-War. Also, Chris Jackson (Mahmoud Abdul Rauf), when he refused to stand for the Flag & National-Anthem of the United States, because of the Oppressive-Actions of the US-Government (via American Law-Enforcement & the American Judicial-System specifically) against Afro-Americans, which ironically hasn’t really changed that much since he was a Basketball-Player for the NBA: he was tarred&feathered even by Fellow-Muslims, accused of being “Unpatriotic”.

It’s almost as though the Muslim-Male is supposed to be afraid of his own Shadow…to just merely be Emmasculated within the Mundane, at any/all Levels. Well, Khabib has sparked something very special within the Psyche of the Muslim-Male, in Ways which no `Ālim/Scholar, no Imām/Religious-Leader, no Shaykh/Religious-Teacher, etc. has been able to do as of late. His mere presence, as a Visible-Muslim, is empowering to countless Muslim-Men, he represents Strength while the Muslim-World dwells pitifully in an unprecedented Duration of utter Weakness.

All in all, regardless to how one either favors or banes him: Khabib Nurmagomedov has without any Doubt has envigorated Generations of upcoming Muslim-Youth, Muslim-Men especially, to rise to the Occassion & to train to resist.

Gareth Bryant

1440, AH./2018, C.E.

What I’ve Finally Learned From Ramadhan:

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Ramadhan of 1437/2016 will always be the year I’ve come to terms with what this month really stands for. To many Muslims, it’s a way to get closer to the proximity of Allah’s Mercy, for Others it’s a reason to fraternize with fellow Muslims in ways that’s not necessarily available at other times of the year, for some it’s an excuse to attempt to get in shape/lose weight, for some it’s the ideal situation to indulge in some Free-Food at various Mosques. But, for me personally, I’ve forced myself to search more indepthly, just to see what can be found within this month.

What I’ve come to realize is that Ramadhan for so many of us is to attempt to be a “Super-Muslim”…only during the Month of Ramadhan, and/or only during the last 9/10 Days of Ramadhan, in the hopes of catching what’s known as Laylat-al-Qadr/the Night of Decree, in which the reward for it is similar to worshipping Allah for 83 years.(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.97, V.3) For so many Muslims, we wait for this time of year to pretend to be “Super-Pious”: praying, giving Charity, being nice, etc., more than in other times of the year. However, many of us have this all wrong. My personal-assessment is that Ramadhan serves exclusively as a period of Spiritual-Purging. I liken this month to the etymology of the Arabic-Noun Fitnah…the word Fitnah, meaning “Problem”, “Conflict”, “Drama”, “Trial/Tribulation”, etc., comes from Gold/Silver Smithing.(Lisan-ul-`Arab: Lexicon of the Arabic-Language) Because Gold & Silver is from deep beneath the Earth and/or embedded within Mountains: oftentimes these metals themselves are meshed which earthly materials, which diminish their value.

So, then what’s to be done about it? The Gold/Silver must be melted down, and then be forged into a purer substance. But, to do that, these metals need to be placed under extreme temperatures, thousands of degrees, in order to melt them, so that the turbid materials attached to these metals can be sifted away. And, this is exactly what Ramadhan is to me, a way to sift through all of our turbidity, so that we can be forged into purer types of People. We must allow ourselves to be placed into the heat of Hunger, Thirst, denial of our natural inclinations towards: Sexual-Intercourse, Anger, Revenge, Violence, etc. & all other things which naturally make us…well, Humans. The entire purpose for us to be Spiritually-Smithed is so that we can truly be worthy of the Favor of Allah, which is His Mercy, Guidance, via us acquiring Piety (holding ourselves accountable to refrain from all that Allah has made temporarily Mahrum/Prohibited, as well as things which Allah has made Mahrum at all times).(Noble-Qur’an: Chpt.2, V.183)

For some/many, you’ve probably already come to this conclusion, without me even having to write this. But, I’ve deemed it necessary, because it’s something that I’ve come to the realization of, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who hasn’t truly gotten the point of what Ramadhan truly stands for. Ramadhan, by its nature, isn’t for us to get things right all in one month, because that’s not even realistic. Rather, it’s a time to really dig through one’s self, to reflect upon what makes you work vs. what makes you halt…what makes you strong vs. what makes you weak…what makes you resist vs. what makes you sin, etc. I now have a greater understanding of who I am, as a Muslim, as just simply a Human-Being.

Everyday is like a fierce Internal-Fight: a perfect mixture or even an imbalance of spiritual victories & defeats-Resisting what just naturally comes to you, what automatically feels good and feels right, and struggling to rise above all of that to be someone greater, someone higher. It’s about sacrificing what you think & feel is for you, in order to please you, and really trying your best to replace that mindset with doing what’s expected of you from Allah, in order to please Him. Since arriving at this particular epiphany, in my journey as a Muslim, I’ve attained a better sense of how I am to improve and what I allow myself to still fall victim to. I’ve truly honed in on remaining more conscious of what drives me more towards Obedience vs. Disobedience to Allah. This is what I’ve been allowed to learn during Ramadhan, through the Mercy of Allah.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

Muhammad Ali: One of the Greatest

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Cassius Marcellus Clay, Cassius X, Muhammad Ali…
…born & raised in the South: Louisville, Kentucky.

No matter what you called him, he defined himself…
…he proved he was the best, he was always top-shelf.

Olympic Gold-Medalist with Boxing-Titles…
…he had so many Opponents, but no Rivals.

He was never afraid to stand-up to Oppression…
…always willing to improve a Person’s situation.

He denied accepting the Military-Draft…
…he refused to be a paver of the Warpath.

And, later on became a Muslim in 1975…
…he gave us strength to keep Islam alive.

The World never forgot the way he won back his Belts…
…everywhere he went, greeted by the screams and yells.

A Father and Husband to some, but a Big-Brother to us all…
…he acknowledge the best in all of us, both great and small.

He’s known as Number-One in our eyes…
…despite Parkinson’s-Disease taking rise.

Never letting any of his ailments defeat him…
…till his dying day, he taught us how to win.

Gareth Bryant/2016

 

 

 

 

 

Meki-Vee Fashion: Struting the Runway for Charitry

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Strut for a Purpose

When we think of Fashion, typically: many things come to mind, like Runways, Fabrics, Colors, Fashion-Weeks all over the Planet, sponsored by the titans of the Fashion & various other industries. What does not, however, come across our minds is the thought of Charity. No matter how noble Philanthropy is, in an industry as fast-paced & focused on materialism, presence, the desire to look great at all times, being charitable really doesn’t fit the typical profile. But, fortunately, there exists fashion companies such as Meki-Vee.

Meki-Vee fashion production has just completed their very first charity fashion show. The Meki-Vee team truly pride themselves on giving back to the community and making a difference in the lives of others. This year, as they’ve prepare for the production of their fashion show, they desired to place important focus on their philanthropic efforts to raise monies for healthcare facilities, which is centered on helping children receive medical care from various illnesses, which is exactly why they believe Queens General Hospital is the ideal facilities for people to donate to, because of all this hospital does in Queens, NY.

For more info. about both Meki-Vee & Queens General Hospital:

When it comes to the Fashion-Scene: Fashion Avenue News sets the Streets of New York ablaze!!!

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I had the privilege of being able to attend a recent event hosted by Fashion Avenue News. And, let me tell you something, they know how to party & how to throw a party. Their fashion designers pulled some really great exhibitions, along with some great models, which melted the runway, with every step that they took on it. It was truly a marvelous experience, to say the least. I, myself, being an infant, having to grow-up really fast, within the Modeling-World, was very keen on the extent of professionalism at this event, as well as superior accommodations at a very swank hotel, right in Midtown, Manhattan. Also, the different types of connections that one can & does make at these types of events are among the key attractions & benefits of even coming to these types of events in the first place.

Events like this just scream exposure: there were high-class designers & fashion notables, there were in-house connects from places like the Mercedes Benz Fashion-Show, which holds annual shows during Fashion-Week in NYC, right within Bryant Park, which I was personally invited to attend, which is like super-duper awesome!!! Yeah!!! The whole night, I was linkin’ up with photographers, fellow models, notables, all sorts of personalities, to forge fashion-alliances, to start building something real for myself, my career. Fashion Avenue News is where it’s at, and they know how to bring people together, for all things fashion, to enjoy the releases of new styles & trends as well as introducing fresh modeling-talent & start-up clothing companies to the public-sphere. I feel that if I’m to be somebody in the Fashion-World, then, I definitely need to make Fashion Avenue News events among my top-priorities.

For more info. about Fashion Avenue News:

http://WWW.fashionavenuenews.com

Gareth Bryant/2014

The Reason why Presidential Iftar-Celebrations during Ramadhan are a No-Go:

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Author’s-Note:
The following is a statement from Tariq Ramadan, an internationally-renown Socio-Political Scholar/Commentator, particularly of the Muslim/Arab-World, concerning the experience of attending a typical White House Iftar-Celebration, hosted by a United States President.

It was supposed to be an evening where the American President showed respect to a religious community, to the millions of American Muslims who have been fasting during the sacred month of Ramadan.

It was supposed to be a political expression of respect. It ended up being a political instrumentalisation of (voluntarily) trapped Muslim leaders listening to President Obama justify the massacre of hundreds of Palestinians, declaring Israel has the right to defend itself. One wonders what is the relationship between the Iftar celebration and Israel ? What is the US administration’s implicit-explicit intention in putting the Muslim leaders in such an embarrassing situation? To test their loyalty or rather their capacity to compromise or betray? They obviously remained silent.

The Israeli ambassador, Mr. Ron Dermer, also invited (why?), was actually the first to speak. One must remember what he said about Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims : Palestinians have “a cultural tendency towards belligerency” that is “deeply embedded in the culture of the Arab world and its foremost religion”. This is the man who was invited to celebrate Iftar with the Muslims meanwhile his Government is destroying Gaza. From the White House he tweeted, triumphantly : “@WhiteHouse for Iftar dinner. Appreciate strong statement there by President Obama about Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Obviously Muslim leaders didn’t tweet. It was enough of an honor for them to be invited to the White House and to have met the President. An honor, truly, dear Muslim leaders? Ordinary Muslims (and proponents of justice and dignity from other religions) in the US and around the world, as well as Palestinians, might think differently.

Imaginative-Reasoning:

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Imagine a Chessboard, without pieces…
…or, a Dissertation, without a Thesis.

What if the Homeo had no stasis…
…the World’s weather no phases?

Try to picture the Arctic-Circle, with no Ice-Caps…
…and, all of the Animals extinct, not coming back.

Let’s think of a Planet without compliance…
…filled with hypocrisy, apathy and violence.

Be warned, these are realities yet to come…
…because, we forfeited Humanity being one.

1-God, 1-Destiny, 1-Purpose, 1-Plan…
…securing the welfare of our fellow man.

Just picture a cold Heart, with no Chambers…
…or, living our entire lives with just strangers.

Try to see in ya mind, Hustlers, without a grind…
…or, the 1-Eyed King deceiving & ruling the blind.

Let’s pretend that Poverty is at an end…
…that People selflessly give and spend.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful that a Woman didn’t have to sell her body, in order to seek a Man’s love…
…or, that a Man honor a Woman in marriage, instead of wrapping her round his hand, like a glove?

What if all People looked beyond the skin-color of another…
…and, that we only saw others as our sisters & our brothers?

How great would it be, if we were all were free…
…all People safe from the ugly claws of tyranny?

If only every Man were granted his due from his labor, his daily-bread…
…and, that he not resort to robbing, or shooting someone, in the head.

What if Muhammad had never ventured into the Cave of Hira’…
…to receive Revelation which made living life so much clearer?

What if the Children of Israel never attempted to kill Jesus…
…what if he stayed long enough for his miracles to reach us?

What if David didn’t have the courage to defeat Goliath…
…or, the Army of Saul hadn’t have received the triumph?

What if Moses never went atop Mount-Sinai & saw the Burning-Bush…
…or, if the one who took him from water never bothered to take a look?

Imagine Abraham never leaving Ishmael in the Arabian-Desert…
…would they’ve built the Ka`bah or learn joy after suffering hurt?

Think if Noah was never saved from the Great-Flood, by building the Ark…
…would Humanity have survived, or, would we have still been in the dark?

Think about how it would be, had Adam & Eve had never eaten from that Tree…
…would we know whether we’d spend our entire existence in Paradise with glee?

It would be wonderful, to witness the change that so many fought & died for…
…I guess that’s just wishful-thinking, unless we’re willing to fight & die for more.

Gareth Bryant/2014

INSHALLAH Clothing: It’s a Brand that takes a stand

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ICC #9
Author’s-Note:
We’re here with X.L. Lawrence, who commonly refers to himself as XL Abdullah, Founder & CEO of INSHALLAH CLOTHING, giving Islamic-Fashion an ever evolving definition, with all kinds of trendy, cool, looks, People of all walks of life can purchase & enjoy-He’s a Fashion-Designer, Humanitarian, and all-around great guy. I’ve decided to interview him, as to what makes him tick, from a fashion perspective & here’s what I’ve got for you.
ICC #1
G.B.: How old were you when you decided that Fashion was your thing, that it was something which you really acquired a true passion for?

X.L.: I guess during High School when I visited a college adviser to help me figure out what schools I should look into. I know I always like art and clothing but never thought about fashion per say but after speaking with councilor realize how much I did like fashion. I always dressed a little different from the rest of my peers. I always liked taking items and making them my own.

 

ICC #2

G.B.: As a Muslim, first and foremost, how important is Fashion, from an Islamic perspective, in your eyes?

 

X.L.: It’s very important. And important for a number of reasons. First here in America most have a stereotypes about what they think Muslims look like. LOL…Even some Muslims have set ideas about how they think Muslims should look like and dress. These ideas don’t make sense being just like Christians, Jews etc… Muslims are made up of every ethnicity, race, social classes etc… Yeah we have what is called Sunnah ( the ways of the prophet Mohammad -PBUH ) but every Muslim don’t follow every Sunnah. Some grow beards, some don’t. Some women cover their heads, some don’t. So why think everyone wears the same clothing. WE DON’T !!! With that being said, I design clothing that reflect young America. Clothing that reflect young American Muslims. Clothing that is relevant to all on some level.

ICC #3
G.B.: When did you decide that making a clothing line was what you really wanted to do?
X.L.: Ironically, I’ve been in the footwear business for 15yrs and designed for a few different companies and brand and always said I wouldn’t design clothing. Too many people doing it or trying to do it. For me it was a turn off. LOL.. But after reverting to Islam Allah revealed a few things to me in a number of ways made me realize this is what he wanted me to do.
ICC #4
G.B.: Who/what inspired you to actually get this clothing line started?
X.L.: My inspiration for INSHALLAH CLOTHING actually came from a place of empathy. One day I was on the subway when I saw a Hijabi sister sitting on the train with her down. A first I didn’t think much about it but after 10 minutes of her sitting there with her head down I began to wonder if there was something wrong. After 15mins I began to feel a sense of discomfort coming from her. I wonder why and began to check out her surroundings before I came to realize it was because people were looking at her in a negative way. I was hoping to make eye contact with her to let her know she had a brother there if needed but that opportunity never came.
This touched me and mad me sad. I began to say Allah I wish there was something I could have done to change that situation. The next morning after prayers I began to think about what I had saw on the subway and said to Allah again, I wish there was something I could have done to change that situation. Within second a idea for a tshirt came to me and I ran to my computer and start designing it. It said I LOVE NEW YORK with NEW YORK being in Arabic. Below in small letter said NEW YORK in English for those who may not know Arabic. I felt this tshirt would have spoken for the hijabi sister on the subway that day and made her feel a little more at ease. And INSHALLAH CLOTHING began.
INSHALLAH Clothing #1
G.B.: Why did you choose to name your clothing line “Inshallah”?
X.L.: I truly believe everything is Inshallah (If Allah willing) and want to give glory to Allah/God for everything that happens with this brand, good or bad.
INSHALLAH Clothing #2
G.B.: What makes you stand-out among other Muslim clothing brands, both past & present?

X.L.: I believe our brand isn’t just for Muslims but for all people that believe in term or phrase INSHALLAH so our brand is more universal. Our brand is created with a more universal message and approach.

ICC #5
G.B.: Every clothing brand wants to represent concepts, ideas, ideals, etc. So, with that being said, what do you want your brand to represent, what concepts, ideas, ideals, do you want people to take away from, while supportingInshallahClothing?
X.L.: That they are wearing and supporting a brand that stands for awareness, understanding, unity and peace.
A brand that give credit and glory to whom it belongs to. A brand that will change the world by changing its perspective on the things they may have never known before.
ICC #6
G.B.: Do you want your brand to be pigeon-hold as a “Muslim-Brand” (exclusive to only Muslims), or do you want it to just be universally recognized as a brand (that anyone/everyone can enjoy)?
X.L.: I think I’ve answered that already.. LOL…
ICC #7
G.B.: Do you think/believe or hope that Inshallah Clothing can/will be a driving-force to represent Islam in a more positive light, within the Fashion Industry, in the Public-Sphere, among Muslims, etc.?
X.L.: Yes, I truly do. And believe that’s why Allah/God gave me this vision.
G.B.: Okay, let’s talk just about you, as an individual, now: Since the recent event in your neighborhood, regarding the Man that you helped to identify for Police, who was a Sex-Offender, tell us, how does it feel to be a Real-Life Hero?

X.L.: My last name is Abdullah which means slave or servant of Allah/God. My act of helping is just a natural action of being a servant of Allah/God. So I’m no hero I’m just a Muslim (one who submits to Allah/God ) .

G.B.: There are, unfortunately, sadly, many ugly misconceptions, stereotypes about Islam & Muslims. But, when people like you prove all of those untruths wrong, how powerful, do you believe, is that impact, in the Public-Eye, to have them see Muslims whom are the exact opposite of the negativity which they are constantly bombarded with vie the Media?

X.L.: Some may stay stuck in their misconceptions and some will step back and reanalyze things. The more good that is displayed by us Muslims the more we have a chance to make people reanalyze what they think they know or  about us.

G.B.: As a Muslim, as a Father, how important is it for you to have play a positive role in making sure that Criminals, such as the person whom you had confronted, were & are always confronted by members of the Community?

X.L.: As a father I’m so glad I confronted the criminal as I did. Now I feel a little that my wife and daughter along with the rest of the community is a little safer.

G.B.: What would you like your legacy, as the founder of Inshallah Clothing, to be, or have you even thought that far ahead yet?
X.L.: To have been someone that created a brand that creates dialogue, creates unity, and in return changes the world and world of fashion.

For more information about him & his clothing-line, please, visit here:

http://www.inshallahclothing.com

MTV think they Slick:

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Look Different

I find it very ironic that MTV slid in the Homosexual agenda, along with the issue of their recent Anti-Bias campaign. Oftentimes, too often, actually, members of the Homosexual-Community (LGBTQ if you will) attempt to equate Sexual-Preference with natural, normal, genetic-traits, like skin-color, etc., and/or to equate Sexual-Preference (context-clue hint: there’s a very important reason why “preference” is within the construct-phrase “Sexual-Preference” because “preference” means “choice”) with natural, normal, Ethnic-Background/Identity, as to state that Homosexuality is an “innate-thing”, that’s unchosen…well, that’s really not fair to couple Socio-Sexual Bias along with Socio-Ethnic Bias, because socio-ethnic biases are never correct; however, certain socio-sexual biases are correct. For example: If a Child-Molestor, or a Rapist, or one who indulges in Bestiality, etc., were advocating for acceptance, for their respective sexual-pathologies, stating that their respective sexual-pathologies were normal, natural, innate, etc., would anyone of intelligence/conscience take these types of individuals seriously?!!! Of course not. And, I, for one, deem it very pathetic when the Homosexual-Community often (again too often) compares discrimination against them, based upon their own personal-choices, based upon obvious desire-driven agendas, with factors of Human make-up, both genetic determined & Humanly constructed ethnically/socio-culturally. Besides, the Sex And The City actress, Cynthia Nixon, has already let the cat-out-of-the-bag, when she publicly stated that she chose to be Homosexual, and that’s why the LGBT lobby tried to pressure her to retract her statement, even to the extent of trying to sue her in Court, and had they won against her, that would’ve set a very negative precedent, in promoting an agenda that’s already been proven biased in Nature, because, Cynthia Nixon was black-balled by the LGBT (the victim of “Discrimination” & “Bias” if you will), simply because she was honest about the conversation.

Gareth Bryant/2014