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J Nelson Aviance
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J Nelson Aviance is a classically trained (opera) singer with a BA in Music and Gender Studies, an MM in Vocal Performance, is currently finishing his MA in Musicology, and has been a member of the House of Aviance since 2006. He has published an anthology of short stories, Three By Moonlight: A Collection of Werewolf Tales, and shopping around his first novel manuscript.

Entries by J Nelson Aviance

Mental Illness, Societal Oppression, and My Rebuttal to Bruce Levine

(2) Comments | Posted July 13, 2015 | 4:04 PM

In a recent piece posted on Salon.com, Bruce E. Levine made the bold statement that:

For nearly two decades, Big Pharma commercials have falsely told Americans that mental illness is associated with a chemical brain imbalance, but the truth is that mental illness and suicidality are associated...
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Madness, Music and Modernity: Studying Structural Oppression Through Musicology

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2015 | 11:51 PM

The title of this post is distinctly ideological and, I believe, holds implications for a discussion of the medicalization of madness and mental illness. In my work as a PhD student in Musicology and Cultural Studies, I have seen similarities in how madness was depicted in the arts and medical...

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My Prideful List of Favorites and Recommendations

(3) Comments | Posted June 25, 2015 | 12:54 AM

I have been ruminating over what to write in honor of LGBTQIA Pride. I wanted to put out some long overdue favorite people, artists, reviews, and recommendations for fiction and music. The following list and thoughts are in no particular order of rank or preference.

Actor/Actress: Laverne Cox
...

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The Dangerous Hypocrisy of the Right: The Josh Duggar Edition

(808) Comments | Posted June 2, 2015 | 12:26 PM

The rhetoric of religious freedom and the 'war on Christianity' -- so often used as a justification for discrimination against LGBTQ people -- has nothing to do with religion or faith. While it is painted to look like an argument for the freedom of conscience, it is a medieval attempt...

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Jeb Bush and His Blame Game

(7) Comments | Posted May 19, 2015 | 4:51 PM

Bush is the presumptive Republican nominee; at least, if you believe the narrative the media is spinning. Yet, he must overcome many hurdles besides his potential Republican rivals. For one, Republican support for Bush fluctuates, both because of the dynastic issue and because of some

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Pay Attention Queens: Why the Oklahoma Fraternity Fiasco Should Matter to Us

(4) Comments | Posted March 13, 2015 | 11:48 PM

...the Negro is...born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world -- a world which yields him no true self-consciousness... It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape...
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Being Masculine Doesn't Make You a Top: The Real Problem With Russell Tovey

(23) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 11:31 AM

The fury over Russell Tovey's comment about masculinity and its implied judgment of effeminate gay men is in full swing, as is the blowback from Tovey's defenders. I find it boring and largely useless. I actually find that most people are missing the real problem. It isn't Tovey's misguided valuing...

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Why the CW's 'The Flash' Is a Pretty Great Gay Show

(64) Comments | Posted February 13, 2015 | 8:36 AM

The CW has created a reboot of the '90s super hero show The Flash. The reboot reflects a lot of the changes we have seen in society - changes that have pushed awareness and acceptance of LGBT characters and diversity in casting. This reboot has also turned out...

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Bareback Culture, HIV, and Our Gay Future

(14) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 2:26 PM

I have commented several times on Facebook about my anxiety over the sudden popularity and push for widespread use of Truvada. To be clear, I'm not opposed to the use of Truvada, and I agree that it is an exciting development in fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, while some...

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So You Want to Be An Opera Singer?

(1) Comments | Posted September 2, 2014 | 12:51 PM

Not long ago, I wrote a piece about how college ranking systems aren't useful for students looking to go into music programs. Many people thought I was spot on; a few had criticism. Let me be clear -- many of the programs in the USA Today top 10 list are...

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Why College Music School Rankings Are All Wrong

(11) Comments | Posted August 25, 2014 | 4:37 PM

I have a history with researching music schools as a prospective student. Seeing the recent ranking of the "Top 10 Music Colleges in the United States" posted by USA Today brought back the feelings of confusion I experienced as a young person starting out in the field. Not...

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Sex, Intimacy, and Being Gay

(10) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 11:38 PM

I started to write this piece a few weeks ago but have since had to start over. I had a conversation with my best friend and found I wanted to shift focus. All of this came about because I read a few pieces on this site and others about how...

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Advice to Authors on Developing Characters

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2014 | 2:21 PM

As readers, we all want to be drawn in by characters. We want to empathize with them and be drawn in both sensually and emotionally. We want authors to write characters who take us on a journey and present us with questions that challenge our own beliefs and perceptions. And...

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Gays, Politics and the 2014 Midterms

(0) Comments | Posted July 27, 2014 | 10:01 AM

We all have friends who are politically apathetic. They post snarky memes and complain about how bad our political system is. They write status updates about how we no longer live in a democracy and how pointless it is to pretend your vote counts. These friends or acquaintances or frenemies...

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For As Much As It's Worth: Advice to Authors, part 1

(2) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 4:19 PM

I've published a collection of short stories that has been favorably reviewed and am hopeful of accruing mainstream publishing cred soon. Thus, what follows isn't anything so grandiose as "advice" so much as an essay on my own process and the things I currently believe about being a writer.

First...

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The Road to Equality in Media... So Far

(1) Comments | Posted July 22, 2014 | 12:33 PM

In the past couple decades, LGBTQ people have made huge steps forward into the world of media. Why is this important? Well, my thoughts are that the media -- for however it represents a virtual reality rather than actual reality -- both reflects our current attitudes and heavily influences them....

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I Am NOT Cisgendered

(175) Comments | Posted July 18, 2014 | 5:05 PM

I am NOT "cisgendered." I reject that label. Why? From what I've read, "cisgendered" is a label that began in academic discourse as a way of describing people who weren't trans. But the meaning of it was akin to what we might call "normatively gendered." That means your gender identity...

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A Gayish List of My Favorite Gay (Male) Romance Novels

(27) Comments | Posted June 24, 2014 | 12:32 PM

In honor of Pride month, I thought I'd write a post on my favorite fiction focused on gay characters. I primarily listen to and read urban fantasy/paranormal romance, though I sometimes read regular gay romance. There is a large niche market of fiction for the boys. One of the reasons...

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Elegy for Things We've Lost

(3) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 7:07 PM

I was recently in a really torn-up mood and went online to watch clips of Neil Patrick Harris hosting the Tonys and Emmys. I figured that if anyone could cheer me up, it would be NPH. One of the suggested links was to a Tony Award performance from Rent. I...

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Generation Nowhere

(0) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 9:14 PM

Reading Frank Bruni's recent op-ed column entitled "Dear Millennials, We're Sorry," you'll get the same self-serving back and forth between those apologizing for the arrogance of the 40+ crowd and their hubris, and the self-centered rantings of the ignorant "self-starters" -- those who are under the delusion that...

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