LGBTQ LOVE: Dawn Johnson

Name and Location Dawn Johnson – Los Angeles, California

  • How old were you when you “came out”? I was 31 when I came out publicly, 20 when I initially told my dad
  • How old were you when you knew that you were attracted to the same sex? I was 15 years old
  • How did your family react? My family has been very supportive of my lifestyle choices.
  • Do you label yourself? I label myself in private but not in public i.e., I know I’m an Aggressive Femme and not a stud or a regular femme.
  • What is one misconception about the LBGTQ “Lifestyle” that you want to get rid of? The misconception I would want to get rid of is that all people in the LGBTQ are dysfunctional due to being abused or hurt by the opposite sex.
  • How can you help the LGBTQ Youth? I think we can help the LGBTQ Youth by being examples of what healthy LGBTQ adults look like.
  • Do you think that you were born gay? I think I was born with the attraction to women, however was raised to believe that I should be with a man.
  • How do you feel about religion being the basis of homosexuality bashing?  I feel there are people who bash homosexuality from the religious sector who are only doing so because they are hiding their fear of being “outed”.
  • Do you have children? If yes, how do you “successfully” parent being LGBTQ?  I’m pregnant and plan to teach my children about all aspects of love so they can understand that there is no right and wrong if the love is real and pure.
  • How do you make sure that you are being positive? I choose my experiences and teach from the lessons I learn.

Pariah Review

Saint Louis finally got the movie… a couple of friends and I went on opening day… Not many people were there, I’ll say a good 20 people…… that’s pushing it. Of course there were more white people than African American… this is a movie that I feel everyone should see no matter your sexual orientation, however, I do feel that LBGTQ’s needs to see it more….These words are my opinions, please go watch the movie for yourself to get a better understanding.

Pariah:

http://focusfeatures.com/pariah/photos

Alike–played by Adepero Oduye, a young African American woman, senior year of high school, and apart of a family that is full of silent dysfunction.

Which starts with her parents.

Mother Audrey—played by Kim Wayans is overbearing and controlling.

Father Arthur—played by Charles Parnell non-existent because he does not want to be with mother. He’s a police officer and uses that to his advantage, and is never home.

Alike’s younger sister Sharonda—played by Sahra Melesse is the “prodigal” child according to her mother.. she happens to love being a “girl” …

Alike is identifying to be more masculine.

Alikes close friend, Laura—played by Pernell Walker a stud… who is in love with Alike but refuses to tell her (I was able to sense some liking from the first interaction).

Alike’s mother Audrey does not like Laura because she feels that she is influencing her in a negative way.  Audrey is odd, she has issues communicating, in a scene while she was at work on lunch, she is very uncomfortable being around people.  I believe it’s because of low and lack of self-esteem that she never handled from the past, plus having to deal with her husband cheating but not wanting to divorce, add that with her two children being aggravated with her.

Alike mother forces her to become friends with one of her co-workers daughter Bina—played by Aasha Davis, Audrey thinks Bina will have a “positive” influence on Alike… Bina however, is a wild child.  So much so that Bina ends up being Alike’s first and breaking her heart, because she just wanted to chill and have sex.  Even though Alike’s feelings were hurt, that moment was all of the confirmation that she needed.  She knew from that first kiss that the feelings she’d been having were indeed real.

Alike acknowledged that she was a lesbian.  She found her voice.

Her mother proceeds to beat her, Alike packs up some clothes and goes to stay with Laura.  Audrey goes on with life as if nothing happened and the next scene while they are eating dinner Sharonda mentions to her father that he needs to go find Alike.  Alike finds out that she can graduate high school early, and asks her father to sign the paperwork.  Alike goes to her mother’s job to tell her she loved her and to let her know of her plans, Audrey acts as if she is not there, and tells her she will pray for her then walks away.  Alike moves across country to attend a prestigious college writing program..

This film hits on many issues in the African American family..acting as if everything is alright when deep down you know it’s not. Numerous stereotypes are throughout this movie. Some of the stereotypes maybe true for some, but false for others. The point is light being shown on the issues in our families. Homosexuality is not a disease and I do not feel that it is wrong.  God made me and I know for a fact that he did not make any mistakes when he designed me. I know that the family issues when it comes to acknowledging your child is “different” and not going the way you want them to go are in my family. I have talked openly about how my family has responded to me coming out, although I have not been disowned, they have moments when the words they let come out of their mouth equate to diarrhea.  I have no control over that so I continue to live my life.. As it would be pleasing to God, not man.

Website link again… http://focusfeatures.com/pariah


LGBT LOVE: Danielle Pope


  • Name and Location – My name is Danielle Pope, I am 23 years old and a current resident of Virginia Beach, VA
  • How old were you when you “came out”? – I didn’t officially come out to my family until my junior year in high school, so I was 16/17 years old…Even though my attraction was exceedingly obvious at such a youthful age.
  • How old were you when you knew that you were attracted to the same sex? – At only 8 years old
  • How did your family react? – Oh Man! You would have thought the world was going to end. I have had my family tell me I am doomed to hell. My father had a strong disgust with my sexuality …  and still does till this very day. My grandparents suggest I seek a psychiatrist for my “issue”. My newly reformed mother doesn’t understand it … but at least she accepts it. As far as my sexuality and my family goes, I can only really confide in my sisters and my younger brother-they love me for me.
  • Do you label yourself? – Yes, I label myself confidently as a lesbian. No, I don’t believe that labels make the person because there are deeper treasures to me than just to be defined and enclosed to my sexuality. I do believe that in whatever you are or whatever you do … HAVE CONFIDENCE and have NO shame!
  • What is one misconception about the LBGTQ “Lifestyle” that you want to get rid of? – That gay people are supposed to look a certain way. It makes me cringe when people comment and infamously say “you’re too pretty to be gay”.
  • How can you help the LGBTQ Youth? – By being an inspiration by sharing my stories and my struggles. Showing them that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
  • Do you think that you were born gay? – Yes, he made me this way and it was without mistake.
  • How do you feel about religion being the basis of homosexuality bashing? – So many of these so-called and self titled Christians shed hate, judgment and cruelty on our lifestyles. I don’t understand how a place that is suppose to accept and love anyone can be so cold hearted and evil? It is sad, because we are children of God. Religion is a touchy topic…many feel that if they aren’t living right or up to specific standards that they are automatically sentenced to hell. What makes these people so much better than anyone in the LGBTQ community and gives anyone the right to ridicule our lives? God is the only judge.
  • Do you have children? If yes, how do you “successfully” parent being LGBTQ? – No, I don’t have any children. I plan on having some in the future!
  • How do you make sure that you are being positive? – I find joy in the little things life has to offer. As long as I have peace within myself, living life to the best of its ability, putting a smile on the faces of people that I love and uplifting others … then there’s no question in my positivity.
  • Where can we find you on the web? — You can find me along with my written articles on DMVculture.com (please check it out and support). Also, on Facebook- Danielle Pope Twitter-@culturalFEM and Instagram-@yourfavoritelesbian

 


Do YOU need HELP?

For Suicidal Thoughts or Actions?

Do you know someone who has made suicidal comments recently or in the past?

If so please take the time out to read this post and HELP…..

                                                                                                  Image Source

As someone who tried to commit suicide to end the pain I was going through at the time (I thank God daily that  I did not succeed), I always want to help others who are feeling suicidal. I work at a crisis call center for individuals who are suicidal or homicidal. I go out into the community to prevent suicides.  At times it does not always work.  They are too far depressed or was not able to get help sooner.

If you know someone who has said anything to you Suicidal please call the hotline number 1-800-273-8255 to get them some help even if they protest. Suicide is nothing to make light of..

If someone is coming to you saying “odd” things or acting “odd” it is usually a cry for help. Don’t let that cry go unheard. Some individuals don’t want to come out and say the words be it embarrassment or shame. I know that if my college roommate hadn’t walked in when she did, life would be different for me. I never went to my friends and said that I wanted to commit suicide… I was “all smiles and jokes” hurting and rotting on the inside…

If YOU reading this is going through hard times and you want to commit suicide to end the pain I BEG you to try to get help first and know that whatever you are going through right now will get better. You have to work at it and be patient. Please call that hotline number, it’s 24/7 so someone will be there to talk to you any time of the day.

Remember someone loves you. And that someone should start with YOU.

 

Here are some links that you can read to get familiar with suicide:

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

http://helpguide.org/mental/suicide_prevention.htm

http://healthmad.com/mental-health/myth-and-facts-about-suicide/

http://suicidehotlines.com/

http://suicidehotlines.com/national.html

That Suicidal Hotline Number again is 1-800-273-8255


LGBTQ vs. LGBTQ

Here is the guest post I did for Nicole Clark Read, Enjoy, and Comment

LGBTQ vs. LGBTQ

Stud on Stud

Femme on Femme

Stud on Femme

Transman on Femme

Transwoman on Stud

Stud on Transman

NEWSFLASH… IT DOES NOT MATTER…

Fighting.   Fighting because someone looked at your “lady” too long at the club.

Fighting because someone bumped into you and didn’t apologize at the club.

Fighting because your “lady” is flip at the mouth.

Fighting because your “lady” forced you to pop her ass because she kept badgering you.

Hate.  Hate because no one understands you.

Hate because you are tired of explaining why you love women.

Hate because someone else is doing better than you.

Hate because you are tired of being looked over.

These examples are simply real and not the end of the problems present in the LGBTQ community.

We are fighting heterosexuals, our family, our employers, AND our brothers and sisters who are just like us.   WHY though?   With all of the reports of gays being bullied, stalked, and killed because of being different one would think that we would stick together and love one another despite the differences we share sans our sexual orientation.

I remember hearing “just because one is gay, that does not mean they want to talk or be friends with someone else who is also gay” this statement is an understatement. Even though I do not like to admit… that statement makes sense…. To those who are close-minded and don’t want to think outside of the box. In the same regards…..the same goes for heterosexuals…..

However, heterosexuals have rights when it comes to the ones they love, they can get married, and be on their wife’s or husbands insurance at work etc.

Homosexuals cannot.

The “National Black Justice Coalition” (NBJC) is the leading organization that represents African Americans in the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered, and Queer community. NBJC is fighting for us, fighting old stereotypes and traditions.  They are going into the Schools, Churches, and HBCU Universities to get equal rights.  They are also fighting the GOVERNMENT.  These fights matter… Not the fighting that’s done because you have self-hatred that some chooses to spread among others.

Go look in the mirror to see who you are, really look deep because YOU have to live with whomever you are.  If you don’t like who you are then start fighting and hating THAT person…not someone who has done nothing to you.. While fighting the person you want to get ride of.. dig, dig, and dig to bring out a better person.    We must stop fighting each other because we cannot fight for our rights and ourselves as the same time. Spewing hate is the number one way to isolate yourself. When no one wants to be around you anymore, realize that it was you.

I challenge you to go on a positive journey starting RIGHT now and leave all of the hate and fighting behind you, it’s never too late to start over.  Here are some links where you can start to become a positive non hating/fighting individual:

http://pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com

http://www.nbjc.org

http://www.studology101.tv

http://imgaynowwhat.com

Thanks for reading, share with your friends and family. Go ahead and take baby steps to not become one of the LGBTQ members spreading hate…


Mentoring OUR Youth

When you sit back and think back to the years when you were in grade school through high school, what do you remember the most? DO you remember bullying, having sex in the corner stairwell hall, being made fun of because you didn’t have the “in” clothes, getting good grades, tutoring or getting tutored, being mentored by someone older ??

Now think about where you are now, and the conversations that your sisters, cousins, brothers, nephews, or nieces are having?

Are you worried that they are getting the wrong information?

I am… and I mentor..

When a teenager asks ‘What does fucking feel like” what should you say?  I can remember thinking about questions like this when I was a teenager.  I remember hearing my auntie telling me that sex is emotional and feels great when it is with the right person.  So again… what should we tell our young ladies when they ask questions like the one above?

 

Other questions I have been asked:

Can you take me to get an abortion?

Can you buy me some condoms?

Can you tell my mom that I am NOT having sex if she asks you?

What does getting and giving head feel like?

Is it okay to reuse condoms?

I thought sex is supposed to feel good, why does it hurt?

 

YOU get the point.. and these are questions from teens who are actively having sex and they are confused about the whole idea of having sex..

 

I have been mentoring since I was 15 with the neighborhood cheerleading team under my Aunt who was the head coach.  These girls were asking me questions about sex that I’d never heard of.. they just assumed that I knew and I am sure I led them the wrong way a couple of times. Butttt it was good to have older friends and to be smart. See I was in honor courses and the upperclassmen were in just about all of my classes soooo I learned and took notes… I first found out about orgasms, oral sex, SEX, and more SEX…You get the picture..(I truly don’t know if that was a good or bad thing..)

 

ANYWHOO…

 

When mentoring a young woman it is your job to provide her with the correct tools and mind frame to help her along her way.  I talk, do activities, give homework (and expect it to be done), and spend time.  I am consistent with them, and I let them know that nothing is off limits, meaning no questions or topics are too personal.  The purpose of me mentoring young women is to help shape and mold them into honest women of our future.  Our youth is hurting tremendously.. and Amber Cole is not the first teen to do something that her boyfriend asked of her because she thought she was in love, teens and “adults” do these type of behaviors daily. BUT the question is WHY are our teens feeling like they must give head or have sex to fit in.

 

I know that I am in the minority when I say that children should be sheltered… my grandmother raised me that way and I believe I came out just fine, of course I had a little bumps along the way, but her strictness was for the better. I grew up in Chicago…we know about the statistics for STDs, STIs, HIV/AIDS there..  I know live in St. Louis and the rates are astronomical in the high schools. These rates will NOT leave until we get real about mentoring, and teaching our teens safe sex and abstinence.

Think about how you can help a teenager out, and make sure that they are going to be prepared for this world that we are living in..

 

Thank you for reading..


Meet Kelli

Name and Location

Kelli Barnes from St. Louis

How old were you when you “came out”?

I came out when I was 21 or 22 years old

How old were you when you knew that you were attracted to the same sex?

I realized that I was attracted to the same sex when I was in high school.

How did your family react?

I had a mix of reactions from my family.  My mother is religious and is not accepting of her daughter being a lesbian.  We have had many disagreements and even periods of time where we were not talking because she was struggling with how to deal with it.  At this point she is better; I wouldn’t say she accepts it, but she tolerates it.  Hopefully we will get to the point where she accepts me completely.  I have some aunts that were very accepting…they had questions, but there was no judgment.

Do you label yourself?

If by label, you mean “femme” “stud” or “aggressive”, I would say yes.  I consider myself to be femme.

What is one misconception about the LBGTQ “Lifestyle” that you want to get rid of?

One misconception that I would get rid of, especially among lesbian relationships, is that someone has to be the “man” of the relationship.  I personally do not feel that heterosexual constraints should be placed on a lesbian relationship.  The implication that a woman has to play the role of man suggests that a lesbian relationship is somehow incomplete without a masculine presence.  This misconception shows how much people need to learn about the dynamics of a lesbian or any other LGBTQ relationship.

How can you help the LGBTQ Youth?

I feel that by being out and visible I am helping LGBTQ youth.  The more they see us being proud of who we are, they will realize they have nothing to be ashamed of.

Do you think that you were born gay?

I don’t know if I was born gay or not.  I believe that some people are, but I’m not sure if that applies to me.

How do you feel about religion being the basis of homosexuality bashing?

I feel that people who use religion to justify bashing or discriminating against homosexuals don’t know anything about God.  I believe that God created all of us in His divine image and therefore we all worthy of His love.  People use religion to justify the oppression of the minority because of fear and ignorance.  Until those people release that fear and ignorance they will continue to hide behind bible scriptures to make themselves feel valid in their hate.  It is my humble opinion that God does not want any of His children to be treated unfairly, regardless of their sexual orientation.

Do you have children? If yes, how do you “successfully” parent being LGBTQ?

I have a son.  My success as a parent really doesn’t have anything to do with me being a lesbian.  I’m trying to make sure that my son grows up to be respectful of himself and others, to have integrity and morals, to value his education, and to be a proud African American young man.  I would parent the same exact way if I were straight.

How do you make sure that you are being positive?

Being positive can be a struggle.  Going through stressful times can sometimes make keeping a positive attitude difficult.  However, I try to be mindful of my blessings and remind myself that valleys in my life are always an opportunity for growth. 

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me on twitter @Boho_Radical


Meet LaChelle

Name and location: LaChelle, Minneapolis, MN

How old were you when you thought about committing suicide?

I was about 15 years old when the thoughts started. I went through a long sporadic period of severe depression in my teens.

Did you go through with your thinking?

No. I never actually attempted suicide.

Did you have a suicide plan? If yes, what was it?

Not necessarily. There would be times I would think to myself that I should just do it. Most times I would think of just slitting my wrists and sitting in a bathtub. I never thought about writing a note or anything like that.

What was the reason you wanted to commit suicide?

I believe that once you enter adolescence you fully gain consciousness of yourself and you become aware of who you are. You may not fully know yourself but emotionally you begin to be very aware of your feelings and your surroundings.  At the time my mother was on drugs and my father was absent like he had always been. Now, I could say those factors at that time were the sole reasons I had begun to think of suicide but I believe the issue was far more deep rooted and as mentioned before I only became conscious of my emotional issues when I entered adolescence. My mother being on drugs was not a new development; I just finally became fully aware that she was. She had been in and out of rehab from 1989 (the year after I was born) up until a few years ago and she has been sober ever since (which I am so grateful for). I never saw my mom do the drugs, she made it a point to keep that image of her away from me. The problem was that when a person is on drugs, the relationship they have with that drug is more important than any other relationship. Simply put, physically and monetarily my mother was always there for me but emotionally she was not, she just did not have the strength. I was not your stereotypical child of a drug addict. I never was in foster care or in the care of random people & relatives, I never went without food or clothing, I never had to deal with the embarrassment of everyone knowing my mother was a drug addict; it was pretty much hidden from the outside world. I can say now that I am so grateful for that and even impressed that my mother manage to take such good care of me while succumbing to her illness. What tainted me and caused me emotional pain for so many years was the lack of nurturing. I did not have story time with my mom, she didn’t come to my conferences, and I didn’t get in trouble if I had a bad grade. She missed out on soccer games, choir concerts and that type of thing. Sometimes she did make an effort but they always tended to be passive. It was hard seeing kids with moms that were so enthusiastic about what they had going on and my mom just seemed like she could care less. It was like no one took an interest to me. My mom would go to work, come home, cook me dinner and go into her room or watch TV for the remainder of the night. There was no togetherness in the household. On top of that, my sister was 11 years older than me and living outside of the home raising her own child at a young age, so growing up for me was very lonely. I did not feel important or that I was special. I was spoiled and showered with toys and nice clothes to compensate for the lack of emotional care. Another factor had to be the absence of my father and the amount of damage he did when he was there. He was always in and out of my life; it all depended on my mom’s willingness to be with him. He was abusive, he abused my mother for several years and he did not care who saw him do it. I have very vivid and frightening memories of him beating her.  In a sense, those early childhood memories made me who I am because I was not fully able to develop into a person before I was exposed to those kinds of things. Getting back to the point, in my teenage years I went through a huge insecure “why doesn’t anybody love me?” phase. That lack of nurturing and hostile environment had me seeking love in others rather than looking for love in myself first; I didn’t know any better. Negative emotions really fueled me at the time. I hated my mom, my dad, myself, my life. I thought that everything that happened was my fault. I was always in trouble at school for fighting because I knew there would be no consequences at home; my mother did not care. My mom had to go back to rehab while I was in high school and I basically lived alone while she was away. We ended up losing our house and having to move into an apartment; I had to live with my older sister and at my aunt’s house a few times. I was unstable in pretty much any way you could think of. I felt like I was a burden, like everyone’s life would be so much better if I was not there. It was a very dark time for me. I hated the way I looked. I thought that I was ugly and stupid. I mutilated myself by cutting which was partly a release and partly a punishment for being who I was. I remember being frustrated with myself for not having the courage to just do it. All the while no one had the slightest idea what was going on in my head and that I woke up wanting to die every day. There was a huge amount of shame living inside of me. I was ashamed of my mother, my father, my depression and myself for even being born. I was the only child of the 3 my parents conceived that survived child birth; I used to think “why didn’t I die like the rest of them?”

Are you thankful that you did not succeed?

Yes.  100% thankful. I wouldn’t be able to share my story with others. Moreover, I would have died not even realizing how great of a person I am. I’ve been blessed with so many gifts and so many wonderful people that I thank God for everyday. It’s truly amazing to me.

Have you gotten therapy to help you with your past suicidal thoughts?

I never went to therapy. The thoughts were all very internal. I would share thoughts with a boyfriend (who had severe emotional issues as well) but never family or close friends, I didn’t want them to judge me and label me as crazy. I think being a Black woman in general it’s hard to be able to discuss your emotions and feelings without being branded as an “Angry Black Woman”. I’ve been vulnerable with people in the past who just used it against me later as a way to judge me and that hurts a lot. If you cannot be vulnerable with people who claim to love you then who can you be vulnerable with?

If you could say something to your younger self, what would it be?

It gets better. The things you are going through do not make you any less worthy or special than the next person. Your struggles will make you stronger and eventually you will grow from them, learn and maybe even inspire someone else who is going through the same thing that you are now. You are smart you are beautiful you have so much to give. You don’t need the validation of anyone to know this, not your parents, your friends, a guy or anyone else. Hold your head high.

Have you talked to your family and friends about your past suicide thoughts and/or attempts?

I have not. In my family, it is really hard to speak on all of our pain because there are still some unresolved issues as far as people being able to get over things that happened. Things have definitely gotten better. My mom and I are closer now which is a huge accomplishment but I know there are still some scars left that each and every one of us is battling with each day. I just focus on finding peace individually. The past is the past. I would not change it for anything because it made me who I am now.

How can you help youth who are feeling suicidal, have tried to commit suicide, and did not succeed?

Let them know that they are not alone. Even if there is no one in their life to show them love or help them feel special there is someone who loves them unconditionally and that is God. If you’re feeling weak, pray. That is truly what got me through everything. Sure, I could have called a suicide intervention line and gotten some help but what people can’t do that God can is give you peace of mind. ALWAYS have faith in God, no matter how low you are feeling. If you have faith that things will get better then they WILL get better.

What is your mind frame now?

Right now I am happy with my life. It’s not perfect by any means. I get lonely, I get stressed and overwhelmed. I’m working on goals to better myself, emotionally, financially, etc. but I’m still content and at peace with my life. There’s nothing more that I want or need to make me feel happy or at peace, anything extra is just a bonus. There are still some emotional struggles I find myself battling every now and again but as of now I’m just focusing on nurturing this newfound peace of mind so I can live my life as positively and happily as possible.

How is your self-worth and self-esteem?

They are great. Overcoming those obstacles and seeing my mom go through some of the things she did really helped shape them. In addition to that I have been hurt by plenty of people and that also showed me what I do and do not want and how I would like to be treated. There are things I know I will never stand for because of what I went through in the past.

Anything else you want to tell us?

If you’re going through something and you feel alone, know that you are not. Someone has seen your struggle and that someone overcame it, you can too. Don’t compare your life to others; you’ll never be happy. If you have an idea of what you think life should be like, dead it; there is no way to determine how life is really supposed to be. Once you realize that life is not perfect, it will start feeling like it is. Accept and embrace your struggles, if you don’t they will become who you are. Learn as you go, learn as your grow.

Where can we find you on the web?

http://www.theeclectanista.tumblr.com

 

 

 


Helping not Condemning

This situation brought to my attention on twitter about Amber Cole, I feel that I have to say my piece.. I found out about this 14-year-old child who has been misguided and I took up for her like she was my little sister, cousin, or mentee.  I did (and will do it again for someone else) so because grown women were calling her all types of names and saying that she “was a fast little (insert your derogatory word of choice)”  I did not and still do not agree with those statements.  Yes, she was filmed giving head to a young boy who was in her class outside and could have looked like she enjoyed it (I don’t know did not watch the video because I don’t feel that I should participate in watching child pornography)

Here are some reasons and questions as to why we know about her (and most importantly, why weren’t these students in school and why didn’t their prospective teachers notice they were missing):

  1. Ignorant little boys using technology and watching like it was a freak show.
  2. How has her life been so far growing up? Meaning was she molested, did she watch others have sex, was she taught about self-esteem, was she taught about self-worth, did her mother tell her she betta not be fucking but she heard and saw her mother doing the same. All of these scenarios should be included into the fact that she was acting out for attention.
  3. Was she bullied or made fun of?  This question matters because peer pressure is REAL in case none of you knew, also did this guy force her to come outside and give him head.  Force? Yes, force meaning he would tell people that she did it when she really did not so she would still be made fun of and ostracized so she went ahead and did it.  Now she is being called hoe/slut all over the United States.. (How soon do you GROWN people forget that you used to do the same activities.. Some of you gave head or was being fast and got caught kissing at school and was caught on the camera or you knew where the cameras were NOT placed and was able to get away with it.  How about looking in the mirror before condemning this child)

Now let’s talk about solutions so that there will not be another Amber Cole in this technology advanced world.

  1. Mentoring.  This is the number one way to help out our teens whom are misguided and look to the media whether it’s the television or internet for information.  This is truer that you may want to admit.  We have the boom of rappers talking about how they “banged some hoe” the night before.. have rappers talking about how  “you can have whatever you like” but you gotta do something for it be it sex or begging.  Think about how you can help one teen out instead of talking about how “fast they are”
  2. Blogging about positive things and posting it for teens to see. Going to places where they are and cutting out sheets of paper with your blog site, giving them five reasons why they should visit.  If you draw them in, you will have their attention.  Reading about self-worth, self-esteem, healthy relationships, safe sex, physical fitness, and etc will be a great outlet for them.
  3. Stop posting sex-a-pades and tips for teens to see.  Not saying you cannot be who you are, but limiting this can be a huge help for them.  Remember me saying that the internet is where they are going for information.
  4. Speaking about how to have healthy sex and relationships and talk about abstinence but NOT just that.  Telling a 16-year-old that they should not have sex is just like telling your 28-year-old self that you can’t have a cupcake.  Sex is going to happen so instead of ignoring it, how about we provide healthy avenues for them to come and ask questions. (It is being talked about in the most raunchiest detail as I type and you read this post)

All of these tips work, I know from experience have younger cousins and I have two mentee(s).  When you are a positive light you will draw individuals to you and our teens need more positive avenues.  They are not seeing enough, they have stressors coming across their eyes daily, from not being “cute” enough, “skinny” enough, “popular” enough, or “smart” enough.  When in reality these life lessons should be coming from home, BUT they are not.  Therefore, WE as a community have to step in to help.

Think about being apart of the solution and not problem.


Pitching Your Services

When you are a speaker and no one really knows who you are, getting your name out in a positive way is hard at first.  Yes, you send out emails and might get a response or two but you are not getting the responses you hope for.  You are putting yourself on the line for  your business and if you are a starving entrepreneur then you are REALLY praying for someone to respond to you.  After all you are not sending out pitch emails and proposals for fun or your health.  If you have sent out 5+ emails and no one has responded to you, there is someone wrong.  Maybe they feel that they don’t need the service, or  you have not sold yourself, and there are typos in your emails. Something!

When I would send out pitch emails and proposals I would either not get a response, or I would get something like “Javania, we would love to have you come and speak to our students but there is no money in the budget to pay you”.  Now maybe some schools, NPOs, or churches really  do not have money to pay but EVERY response should not be like that.

And then I would send “I am still willing to come and speak because I need the experience” (wrong move)

I went deep and figured out what I was doing wrong.

1. I talk too much.

2. What I thought was a proposal was NOT a proposal.

3. I did not make them feel as if they needed my services over all the other people who sent pitch/proposal emails.

4. I spoke about money first.

If this is you also, it’s time to make some changes and only you know those changes, or find an editor who can help you.  They are a life saver.

The changes I made are

1. Found a editor to edit what I was sending out.

2. Stopped pressuring myself to feel as if someone needed to respond to me. (They now know where to find me)

3. Left a lasting impression so that they will feel compelled to respond.

4. Let go and Let God.

When you have a service that is needed you breathe and live for your work, and people will come.  As long as you are authentic and real in your approach, they will feel like they just have to have someone from you. So put on your thinking cap and figure out how to change your approach and you will be amazed as how many people come knocking down your door.