Wednesday, August 31, 2005

"In the spirit, I AM"

This was an early self-portrait taken during a particularly difficult time in my life when i experienced a serious bout of depression. Through self-portraiture, i was able to process and document my pain and my emergence from the emotional rubble, confusion and angst.

The double-exposure was achieved in the film camera, and the inscription on the wall reads: "Don't worry be happy, the birds will sing again".

And they are.

Posted by True

"When, Where, How, Why"? Self-portait

I used to drive myself crazy with these questions about my life. Always looking ahead and overlooking the here and the now. Missing the journey for the destination. Now I practice being in the moment, and being aware of self!

This is a photographic image of projected image reflecting on a window, through a curtain.

Posted by True

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My boi "B"

I am fortunate and blessed enough to have Bill as my best friend. I am convinced he was sent to me as a I will cherish forever.

Posted by True

"Waiting", 2005

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"Reaching", 2005

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"Psychotropic I", 2005

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"Psychtropic II", 2005

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"Psychtropic III", 2005

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"Forty-Six Percent Self-portrait", HIV Prevention campaign to fight the spread of HIV in the black MSM community

According to the CDC:

46% of black men who have sex with men
are HIV positive.

Of that number,
two-thirds don't know their HIV status.

(Campaign Ad concept, photo and design by Ocean)

Posted by True

"Untitled New York City", 2005

Life is so fleeting that sometimes we forget to pause, breathe and take notice of the beauty and the pain, right in front of our eyes. It's as if we New Yorkers have a selective "gel" coating our eyeballs. Each coat selects what it wants to see and blur out the truth.

Posted by True

Monday, August 29, 2005

"Flowers for Rashawn", 2005

Posted by True

Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship

The Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship was established in the wake of the brutal murder of 19-year-old Rashawn Brazell, whose February 2005 murder touched many in the black gay community and beyond. The scholarship aims to provide a sustainable tribute to the slain teen by encouraging New York City high schoolers to think critically about the impact of intolerance and violence on our communities. Selection for this need-sensitive scholarship will be based on the student’s interest in the struggle against racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression, as well as their commitment to creating peace in the community by affirming diversity.

For more info about the scholarship and where to donate, vist

Rashawn Brazell

Posted by True

Rashawn Brazell's cremated remains in gold urn

Just a note: All of Rashawn's body parts have not been recovered and the killer remains at large.

Posted by True

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Rashawn Brazell Memorial Scholarship fund launch party! TONIGHT at Luke & Leroy's, NYC!!

Posted by True

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"Black hand against hard concrete", 2005

Dedicated to all my brothas in the struggle.

Posted by True

"When in doubt, follow your path", El Yunque Rain Forest, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Posted by True

"Forest refuge", El Yunque Rain Forest, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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"Foliage", El Yunque Rain Forest, San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Inland Empire

By Chris Levister

"There is latent homophobia in our community," says the Reverend Al
Sharpton. In classic Sharpton style the outspoken civil rights
activist is pointing the finger directly at what historically has
been a sanctuary for Black people: 'the church'.

"Black churches have not stepped up to the plate o­n HIV. Black
preachers walked arm in arm from Selma to Montgomery. Arm in arm we
were beaten, jailed, humiliated and dehumanized." Sharpton says,
sadly, o­n the issue of HIV many Black ministers have become the
oppressor." Sharpton accused some Black preachers of using their
pulpits to diminish the humanity of some rather than celebrate the
humanity of all.

"I'm going to challenge the homophobia in our own backyard," said
Sharpton. Alarmed by the staggering number of new cases of HIV/AIDS
in the African-American community, Rev. Sharpton is set to launch a
grassroots initiative designed to take the gloves off homophobia, a
problem, he says, has undoubtedly contributed to the spread of HIV
among Blacks.

Sharpton's national campaign is aimed at educating the public about
HIV/AIDS, while using his bully pulpit to caution against
discriminating against gays and lesbians. "We've turned our backs o­n
many of the very folks early civil rights activists fought and died

Sharpton plans to begin airing public service announcements o­n BET
and radio stations with predominately Black audiences that will train
a spotlight o­n the epidemic, a leading cause of death among African-
Americans, especially Black women. "I'm calling o­n Black preachers to
step to the line in confronting the issue of homophobia among African-
Americans." A topic long considered taboo, especially in the Black
religious community.

"This is an enormous leap for the Reverend to take," said Allen
Roskoff, a gay rights activist. Roskoff has known and worked with
Sharpton for more than 20 years. "It's high time that we all stand
together to fight bigotry and homophobia." He said Sharpton's
decision o­n the HIV issue will generate national attention to the
epidemic and save lives in the long-term.

Over the next year, the civil rights activist will conduct public
forums at churches and schools addressing the stigma that has long
surrounded the disease.

Sharpton's challenge is welcome news to Rev. Dr. Robert L. Fairley,
pastor of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. Earlier this year
Fairley ruffled feathers in the wider church community when he
publicly threw his support behind the use of latex condoms, safe sex
education, personal responsibility and greater church leadership to
stem the spread of AIDS. In June, Rev. Fairley, HIV/AIDS activists,
public health, and community leaders celebrated the opening of the
San Bernardino HIV/AIDS Resource Center housed in the New Hope Life

"Rev. Sharpton's national challenge encourages his peers to speak
out," says 32 year old Marcy Craig of San Bernardino. Craig was
diagnosed with HIV in 2003. Her husband of 8 years died of AIDS in
2004. Craig believes Sharpton's initiative will turn the spotlight o­n
pastors who preach homophobia.

"It's painful to sit in church and hear a pastor preach that HIV is
a "consequence of sinful behavior." Craig said, such uncompassionate
ministry encourages many African-American gays and lesbians, to hide
their sexual identity for fear of being rejected."

Marjorie Fields-Harris, the executive director of Sharpton's National
Action Network, will spearhead the fight homophobia initiative.

"It's a lot larger than preaching biblical doctrine and passing out
condoms," said Harris. "We have to address the social factors. We
intend to go into the churches and the community to address this
issue from a grassroots perspective."

During his presidential race last year, Sharpton was o­ne of the o­nly
candidates who publicly supported gay marriage, and earlier this year
at the request of Brian Ellner, an openly gay candidate running for
New York's Manhattan borough president, Sharpton marched in the
city's Gay Pride Parade.

"Rev. Sharpton can do enormous good o­n this issue." said Ellner "When
the Reverend speaks people listen. We need to get past the myths and
phobias. We are faced with the African-American community's greatest
challenge: Survival."

Reverand Al Sharpton, July 2005

Photographed at the International African Arts Festival, Commodore Barry Park, Brooklyn 2005.

I'm so glad I caught this moment. Reverand Sharpton has a great smile and an equally big heart.

Posted by True

"Flipper I", 20 August 2005, Riis beach

Posted by True

Vote for BROTHALUVA CAFE for Best Photo Weblog!

Vote For for Best Photo Weblog!

Featured (so far) on this site are:
-Art photos
-House of Latex Reality Ball
-HIV Campaigns
-Pride in the City (Blackout Arts series, Family day Picnic, Beach Party at Riis)
And more!
ALL photos by Ocean "bernard" Morisset except where indicated.

Vote TODAY! ONLY a few Days left!

Cast your vote at

Don't forget to check out all the photos on this site! All photos are created and copyrighted by Ocean! Scroll down and don't forget to look at the previous month's (August & July) photos! It's all about the "Brothaluva" community!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

"Flipper III", Riis Beach 20 August 2005

This was an amazingly flexible brotha cartwheeling and flipping on the beach. He was moving so quickly that he appeared as a streak of motion, just as you see it. I usually don't do much manipulation on my images, but the "flipper" series needed vivid color to intensify the passion, beauty and freeness of this brotha. That moment of breath, movement and flight is what i strive for in my life. To be Free and Purposeful.

With these two photographs, I wanted and achieved the feeling of a being a free spirit.
And for this fleeting moment,
I can finally breathe.

I think i'll print these on canvas. :-)

Posted by True

"Flipper II", Riis Beach 20 August 2005

Posted by True

46% Campaign to fight HIV in the MSM community

Posted by True

(Concept, Photo and Design by Ocean "bernard" Morisset)

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

46% of us = GENOCIDE!!

Leaders jolt black gay men against HIV
Christopher Curtis, PlanetOut Network

published Wednesday, August 17, 2005

According to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC), nearly half of African-American men who have sex
with men have been infected with HIV -- and a group of black leaders
is demanding action from the community.

The Black AIDS Institute published an open letter on Wednesday,
titled, "Nearly Half of Us May Already Be Infected. Who Gives a
Damn?" It noted that in June the CDC published a study showing 46
percent of black homosexual and bisexual men surveyed in five major
cities were already HIV-positive, an infection rate that was more
than twice the infection rate among men of other races.

"Forty-six percent isn't a catastrophe. It's genocide!" the letter
exclaimed. "To make matters worse, more than two-thirds of the HIV-
infected black men in the study were unaware of their infection.
That's right. Half of us may be infected and, of that half, two-
thirds don't know it and so almost certainly aren't doing anything
about it."

The open letter was signed by 51 leaders in the black gay community,
including "Noah's Arc" creator and executive producer Patrik-Ian
Polk, director/producer Paris Barclay and James Earl Hardy, author of
the "B-Boy Blues" series.

"Where is the outrage?" the leaders asked. "As far as we can tell,
following the CDC's announcement no black or gay media organizations
ran front-page stories. No civil rights organization marched in the
streets or called on policy makers to take action. No black
celebrities sponsored relief concerts. There wasn't even a call to
action issued by a black gay and lesbian organization!"
While the letter's writers admit charges of racism and homophobia
could be made, they "may be beside the point." During a town hall
meeting on the "state of black LGBT America" in Los Angeles in July,
the leaders noted, "AIDS was not even on the agenda."

"We have to start a national public discourse among ourselves about
this new AIDS reality. We must create a cultural shift to where
knowing your HIV status is the norm, where those of us who are
negative are committed to staying that way and where those of us who
are positive refuse to engage in behavior that might expose our
brothers to the virus," the leaders continued.

"We must all support each other in our collective and individual
campaigns to end the epidemic. Nothing short of an all-out
mobilization is acceptable. We must not allow any of the institutions
or businesses that we support to fail to do their part in ending this
epidemic. Most importantly, we must increase our visibility and
demand our rightful places in our communities," the letter added.

"There is a role for all parties to play -- government, the larger
black community, the white LGBT community, our society as a whole --
but we must be willing to hold ourselves accountable and responsible
for our own survival. How can black gay and bisexual or same-gender-
loving men ask others to respond if we continue to be so complacent
in the face of our own genocide?" the letter concluded.

Keith Boykin, president of the National Black Justice Coalition and
author of "Beyond the Down Low," also signed the letter. "It's time
for us to take action. Not the president, not Congress -- us," he
told the PlanetOut Network.

Boykin admitted he was not sure how much the letter would
accomplish. "I guess it depends on how widely this letter is
circulated. I'm hoping it will help black gay men to take care of

Ocean, New Year's Day 2005, Nassau Bahamas

Photography by Bill Harmon

Posted by True

Monday, August 22, 2005

"Ocean" by Michael Allan Moore

(Shooting at Pide In the City, 2005)

Posted by True

Portrait of a brotha with harness and collar, 2005

Posted by True

"Double-torso man", 2005

This image was achieved by a double exposure in the film camera (not photoshop). Though this was unplanned,i'm really feelin' the resulting image. Imagine black men with no bottom halves. What would we do if we were conjoined with a "twin" and made two torsos? for thought. :-)

Posted by True

"Protect your boi", HIV Prevention Campaign geared to black men in the leather community.

According to the CDC,
46% of black men who have sex with men
are HIV Positive (+).
Of that half,
two-thirds don't know their HIV status.

PROTECT your boi.

(Concept, photo and design by Ocean "bernard" Morisset, 2005)

Posted by True

46% HIV Awareness, Prevention and Testing Campaign-(Awareness)

According to the CDC,
46% of black men who have sex with men
are HIV Positive (+).
Of that half,
two-thirds don't know their HIV status.

When will we care?

(Concept, Photo and Design by Ocean "bernard" Morisset, 2005)

Posted by True

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Legendary House of Latex 14th annual Reality Ball

The House of Latex, is a legendary "house" that represents at balls and within the community. House of Latex was founded in 1989 at the Eddie Africa Ball when members of the ballroom community and empolyees of Gay Men's Health Crisis decided to make a change and work together. House of Latex supports the efforts of youth and young adults to stay healthy and prevent the spread of HIV.

While covering the event, I was pleased to hear several announcements of HIV prevention, video PSA's during the intermission, and HIV/STD testing on the upper floors of Roseland Ballroom.

I applaud the efforts of HOUSE OF LATEX for their work in the ballroom community. How else would we reach these youth?

I had a GREAT time covering the ball despite having less-than-ideal vantage points! This ball series serves as my continued committment to documenting all facets of the Black Gay community. Our history is important and needs to be documented.

Check out some highlights from the House of Latex Ball below!

To find out more about Balls or the House of Latex visit

The Legendary House of Latex 14th annual Reality Ball at Roseland, 2005

Posted by True

"Posing for the judges", House of Latex Reality Ball, 2005

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"Check out my pumps", House of Latex Reality Ball, 2005

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"Walking, Voguing, and Posing", House of Latex Reality Ball, 2005

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"Battle on the Runway", House of Latex Ball, 2005

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Ready for the "Bazaar" category, House of Latex ball, 2005

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Catwalk-ready. House of Latex Ball, Roseland 2005

I still can't tell you if this was a man or a woman!

Posted by True

Legendary House Mother Stephanie Milan snatches the trophy for, "Fem Queen Realness", House of Latex Ball, 2005

Posted by True

"Ready to attack the runway", House of Latex Ball, 2005

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"Catwalk-ready", House of Latex Ball, 2005

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"Walking the runway in couture", House of Latex Ball, 2005

Posted by True

Crowd at House of Latex Ball, Roseland 2005

Posted by True

One of the MC's (from the House of Mizrahi) shows off his voguing skills, House of Latex Ball

Posted by True

"...And hold that POSE!", House of Latex Ball, Roseland 2005

Posted by True

"Walking the runway", House of Latex Reality Ball, 2005

Posted by True

Category: Fem Queen Performance, House of Latex Ball, 2005

This category called for contestants to look like "video hoe's" and give fierce performance.

Posted by True

"Voguing for points!", House of Latex Ball, 2005

Caught in the moment of "fabulousness"

Posted by True

Josh walking the House of Latex ball (and wins) in the "Butch Queen Body" category, 2005

I was surprised to see one of my models walking the ball. I was real happy that he won the category!!

Posted by True

Josh on the roof

From one of our photo shoots together.

Posted by True

Fashion Designer Patricia Field, House of Latex Ball, 2005

She made "Carrie" and the girls from "Sex and the City" look good, but she always helps out the "children" in the ballroom community, including her own House of Fields.

Posted by True