Tag Archive | "TLC"

VIDEO: Boob-O-Meter Hits Atlanta

Dwayne Kinney, Digital Editor

Almost three years ago Amber Duncan met Ajeshia Marquez and it was love at first sight. Now the couple has decided to take their relationship to the next level and are planning a dream wedding. TLC filmed Duncan’s hunt for the perfect dress for “Say Yes To The Dress: Bridesmaids” airing this Friday, August 2 at 9 p.m.

For their special day the couple plans to exchange vows in Puerto Rico on a beautiful rooftop terrace. Standing in their way is the daunting task of selecting Duncan’s dress and the bridesmaid dresses. The two women are stuck in a battle of form versus function. Duncan wants a strapless dress that conveys the island atmosphere of Puerto Rico; however, Marquez wants bridesmaid dresses with straps so the girls can dance easily. Now throw in the unabashedly opinionated bridesmaids and their nuptial planning grinds to a halt.

Amber and AjeshiaDuncan and Marquez handle the stress with a heavy dose of fun and even created a “Boob-o-Meter” to help them with their decision. The couple considers themselves a funny duo and are often cutting up. During an interview with FENUXE, Duncan said, “It’s going to be a really funny show with a lot of boobs.”

But, it’s not all fun and games because the dress is a powerful symbol for the lovely ladies. “The right dress makes it feel real,” Marquez explained.

Weddings are notorious for creating stress; however, Duncan and Marquez have the additional stress of not being completely out to everyone. “I have some family members that don’t even know yet. They go to church like four days a week and I know they’ll probably never talk to me again. I’m just trying to decide whether I should tell them before Friday or not. I don’t know. It’s hard,” Duncan said. Marquez has also struggled to come out and worries how people will react to seeing her love displayed on national television.

In addition to disapproving family members the two women also worry how the show will affect their careers. “We both own our own businesses so sometimes I have to be careful with that. But, I do tell people because the more people find out how normal we are the better they’ll feel about the situation. It’s not fun having to hide it. You feel a lot better when everybody knows. You can be yourself,” Duncan explained.

Despite any naysayers in their lives, Duncan and Marquez have a wonderful group of friends who are supporting their big day and their TV debut. “Our friends cannot wait. I think they may be more excited than we are,” Duncan said.

Offering advice to other same-sex couples, Duncan said, “Go for it. If you want to do it and it is something you want to experience, just do it. I’ve been so surprised at how supportive people have been. Be true to yourself. Life is too short to hold back. It is important to let yourself be happy.”

So, how will the couple watch the premiere of their episode on TLC? “We’re having a party at a friends house and have about 40 people coming over,” Duncan said.

The couple will tie the knot on October 24 of this year. “It’s the day we first met. We’re going to keep the same anniversary,” Duncan explained.

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EXCLUSIVE: Honey Boo Boo star “Uncle Poodle” reveals: “My [HIV] test results came back positive.”

Honey Boo Boo's Uncle Poodle

Uncle Poodle

By Dino Thompson-Sarmiento

Lee Thompson faced a harsh reality when he was diagnosed with HIV in 2012. Now, Thompson – known to the world and his niece Alana (aka Honey Boo Boo) as Uncle Poodle – wants to lend his star power to combat bullying in schools and promote safe sex.

Dino: Lee, when did you find out about your HIV status?
Lee: I was adamant about getting my HIV status checked on a regular basis. On March 16, 2012, I tested negative. Then, in May of 2012 my test results came back positive. I knew it had been my boyfriend who infected me. I later learned he had been HIV positive and was not taking medication and had not bothered to tell me about it. I was advised that I should press charges and, hesitantly, I did. It was the right thing to do.

Dino: What happened to your ex?
Lee: He is serving a 5-year sentence. I would have been cool with his HIV status if he had been honest. I don’t have an issue with the disease. I would have known how to protect myself.

Dino: What is your message to folks having unsafe sex?
Lee: They are damn fools! They are playing Russian roulette; they are playing with their lives and that of their sexual partners.

Dino: When did you figure out you were gay?
Lee: When I was 16 I knew it. I went to my mother and told her. A mother almost always knows.

Dino: How did your immediate family take this news?
Lee: My mother was supportive from the beginning. My father struggled with it for about four years. I think one of the main reasons was that he wanted grandchildren from me. But when I was about 20 he told me he accepted me as I was.

Dino: Did you also come out in school? What were the repercussions?
Lee: I came out in school around 11th or 12th grade. It was definitely not easy for me. On a daily basis I was bullied in one way or another. There was name calling and physical harm all the way to the vandalizing of my car. Being bullied was just a part of my every day.

Dino: What do you advise youngsters to do if they are realizing they may be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender?
Lee: My advice is to seek out their parents or an adult they trust. I would not advise them to go public or share the information with their schools until they feel safe and comfortable. They will know when the time is right.

Dino: Do you have plans to contribute to anti-bullying campaigns as you did with GLAAD and promote safe sex, possibly even do talks in schools?
Lee: Definitely! I know what it is like to be bullied. I know what it is like to live with HIV. I can help and I want to.

Dino: What are your future plans in the television industry?
Lee: I want to have my own television show and highlight what it is like being gay in the south. I think I have a good story to tell.

Dino: One last question: where did the nickname “Uncle Poodle” come from?
Lee: From Alana. She calls all gay men “my poodles” and I am her Uncle Poodle.

I applaud Lee for his extraordinary giving nature and his bravery on standing up to bullies and living his authentic life. It hasn’t been easy for him. He has survived physical attacks — including a broken jaw and broken ribs — accepted his positive HIV status and helped prosecute the culprit, his former lover. In addition, he has overcome the challenges of instant fame. Yet, his focus is helping the LGBT community push forward. This is a man to be reckoned with. I salute you, Poodle; we should all be so lucky to call you uncle.

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