An in-depth conversation about what’s really going on in Tennessee and what’s at stake!
THE ENLIGHTENMENT ISSUE
FOR YOUR LIFE
April is MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH
Dr. Umieca N. Hankton talks Stress Warning Signs & Stress Tips
Trans-Activists and LGBTQ Organizations speak about in support of those affected by the proposed Drag Ban and Anti-LGBTQ legislation being proposed in Tennessee + +
DRAG IS NOT A CRIME.
It’s Expressive Art
IMPORTANT FACTS FOR BIKTARVY®
This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY and does not replace talking to your healthcare provider about your condition and your treatment.
MOST IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT BIKTARVY
BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including:
� Worsening of hepatitis B (HBV) infection. Your healthcare provider will test you for HBV. If you have both HIV-1 and HBV, your HBV may suddenly get worse if you stop taking BIKTARVY. Do not stop taking BIKTARVY without first talking to your healthcare provider, as they will need to check your health regularly for several months, and may give you HBV medicine.
BIKTARVY is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in adults and children who weigh at least 55 pounds. It can either be used in people who have never taken HIV-1 medicines before, or people who are replacing their current HIV-1 medicines and whose healthcare provider determines they meet certain requirements.
BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS. HIV-1 is the virus that causes AIDS.
Do NOT take BIKTARVY if you also take a medicine that contains:
� any other medicines to treat HIV-1
BEFORE TAKING BIKTARVY
Tell your healthcare provider if you:
� Have or have had any kidney or liver problems, including hepatitis infection.
� Have any other health problems.
� Are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. It is not known if BIKTARVY can harm your unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you become pregnant while taking BIKTARVY.
� Are breastfeeding (nursing) or plan to breastfeed. Do not breastfeed. HIV-1 can be passed to the baby in breast milk.
Tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take:
� Keep a list that includes all prescription and over-thecounter medicines, antacids, laxatives, vitamins, and herbal supplements, and show it to your healthcare provider and pharmacist.
� BIKTARVY and other medicines may affect each other. Ask your healthcare provider and pharmacist about medicines that interact with BIKTARVY, and ask if it is safe to take BIKTARVY with all your other medicines.
POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF BIKTARVY
BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including:
� Those in the “Most Important Information About BIKTARVY” section.
� Changes in your immune system. Your immune system may get stronger and begin to fight infections that may have been hidden in your body. Tell your healthcare provider if you have any new symptoms after you start taking BIKTARVY.
� Kidney problems, including kidney failure. Your healthcare provider should do blood and urine tests to check your kidneys. If you develop new or worse kidney problems, they may tell you to stop taking BIKTARVY.
� Too much lactic acid in your blood (lactic acidosis) which is a serious but rare medical emergency that can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: weakness or being more tired than usual, unusual muscle pain, being short of breath or fast breathing, stomach pain with nausea and vomiting, cold or blue hands and feet, feel dizzy or lightheaded, or a fast or abnormal heartbeat.
� Severe liver problems, which in rare cases can lead to death. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you get these symptoms: skin or the white part of your eyes turns yellow, dark “tea-colored” urine, light-colored stools, loss of appetite for several days or longer, nausea, or stomach-area pain.
� The most common side effects of BIKTARVY in clinical studies were diarrhea (6%), nausea (6%), and headache (5%).
These are not all the possible side effects of BIKTARVY. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have any new symptoms while taking BIKTARVY.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.FDA.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Your healthcare provider will need to do tests to monitor your health before and during treatment with BIKTARVY.
HOW TO TAKE BIKTARVY
Take BIKTARVY 1 time each day with or without food.
GET MORE INFORMATION
� This is only a brief summary of important information about BIKTARVY. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to learn more.
� Go to BIKTARVY.com or call 1-800-GILEAD-5
� If you need help paying for your medicine, visit BIKTARVY.com for program information.
We Need All Hands On Deck!
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
THEY CAME FOR ME, AND THERE WAS NO ONE LEFT TO SPEAK OUT FOR ME!
"First they came ..." is the poetic form of a 1946 post-war confessional prose by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). It is about the silence of German intellectuals and certain clergy—including, by his own admission, Niemöller himself—following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent incremental purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Many variations and adaptations in the spirit of the original have been published in the English language. It deals with themes of persecution, guilt, repentance, and personal responsibility.
In 2023, I find this poem to be a poignant reminder of darker days ahead for those of us deemed “the least of these.” Even though the Bible explicitly champion those of us deemed less than, the powers to be does not. One does not have to wonder what is taking place in the U.S. regarding the blatant attacks on women, interracial couples, same-sex marriage, antiLGBQ folxs, and the Transgender community by the Republican party. All you have to do is revisit history particular in the Southern U.S. region and there lies your answers. For those of us on the front line fighting for FREEDOMS, we are urging those of you on the sideline watching to be keenly aware. These laws and attempts to roll back progressive advancements are calculated and intentionally executed. They have been aggressively introduced in Republican led legislations since 2016 after the 2nd term of President Barack Obama.
This is our urgent plea to anyone who have been watching or reading the headlines about these egregious legislative laws since 2023 began. “WE NEED ALL HANDS ON DECK!” Let’s not be like the German Lutheran Pastor Martin Niemöller in our time of need and there is no one left to help us fight!Gwendolyn D. Clemons MBA, PRC, Editor-in-Chief
ANTI-LGBTQ LAWS SWEEPING THE STATE OF TENNESSEE
PRESS RELEASE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
A recent report has been released by the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) where they are tracking 450 new anti-LGBTQ bills. These laws are reaching a historic level of attacks on LGBTQI+ people across the country. Nearly 300 of these laws are targeting kids, "these bills are not about expanding health care, making schools safer, or addressing our mental health crisis," stated White House Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre. https://www.aclu.org/legislativeattacks-on-lgbtq-rights.
In our home state of Tennessee some of our elected officials have proposed and are advancing 26 of these anti-LGBTQI+ laws, with anticipation of them being signed by Governor Bill Lee into laws.
These anti-LGBTQI+ laws does not come without repercussions. LGBTQI+ Americans, especially the Trans Community is experiencing alarming levels in depression, suicidal ideation, and victims in hate crimes. In addition, to introducing antiLGBTQ+ legislation. Tennessee Governor Bill Lee directed the TN Dept. of Health to reject the use of available federal funds for HIV prevention services which is estimated around $9 Million dollars. The loss of funding such as this decision amounts to bankruptcy for an organization such as ours, who operates on a budget less than $200,000 a year.
Relationship Unleashed staff, board members and volunteers
are committed to fighting for equality for all Americans under the law. Equal rights and equal protections are one of the bedrock principles of our democracy in our country. LGBTQI+ people are deserving of protection and full access to equality no matter where we live.
It is our hope that you will stand with all marginalized and oppressed people to stop these attacks against an already vulnerable community. This is why your financial support is needed for the LGBTQI+ Community now more than ever!Gwendolyn D. Clemons M.B.A., PRC, Executive Director
First they came for the Communists, and I did not speak out Because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
It turns out that even 150 years ago, legislators wanted to police gender expression in public spaces. LGBTQ Tennesseans. Advocates worry that recently passed legislation restricting drag performances in public spaces in Tennessee could be used to discriminate against them and fuel the slew of similar laws being proposed in other states.
· The bill that passed in Tennessee last week restricts "adult cabaret performances" in public or in the presence of children, and bans them from occurring within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, or places of worship.
· This was passed alongside separate legislation that bans transgender minors in Tennessee from receiving gender-affirming care like puberty blockers, hormones, and surgery.
· As of a month ago, at least 9 GOP-led state legislatures were pushing similar anti-drag bills.
Those found violating the antidrag law face misdemeanor charges in the first instance, punishable by a fine up to $2,500 and/or up to a year in jail. Those found for subsequent violations face a felony charge, punishable by up to six years in jail.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
Laws restricting gender expression in public and in private have been around in the U.S. for more than 100 years, with one in New York only just being repealed in 2021.
Critics say the Tennessee bill is so constitutionally vague there is little clarity about what falls under the jurisdiction of the ban, making business owners, performers and others uncertain of what could come next.
Others say the laws will be used to target queer Tennesseans everywhere: "It's ... this subtle and sinister way to further criminalize just being trans," ACLU of Tennessee's Henry Seaton told NPR earlier this month.
Tennessee Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, the drafter of the state's drag show bill, told NPR in a statement, "Just as current law prohibits strip clubs from admitting children, this legislation would also prohibit sexually suggestive drag shows from being performed on public property, or on any non-age-restricted private property where a minor could be present."
Violations face a felony charge, punishable by up to six years in jail.
DRAG CISNOTA RIME
Numerous celebs, including Elliot Page, Melissa McCarthy and Maren Morris, have also spoken out against bills banning drag performances. The bills have popped up in several other states including Florida, Arizona, Texas, and others, alongside other anti-LGBTQ legislation being seen across the country. You’ve been entertained by drag your whole life. Don’t pretend it’s a problem now said RuPaul! Several of Nashville's biggest stars are taking to the stage on March 20 for a "Love Rising" concert to raise money in protest of anti-LGBTQ laws in the state.
More than 388 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in 2023 alone!
Tennessee state Sen. Jack Johnson, a sponsor of the bill banning public drag performances, said in a tweet this month that the law "gives confidence to parents that they can take their kids to a public or private show and will not be blindsided by a sexualized performance."
according to the ACLU, including transgender bathroom bans, genderaffirming care bans, and more.
N OT DRAG IS A CRIME
IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL OPINION HOW WILL THE BAN ON DRAG PERFORMANCES HURTING THOSE IN THIS INDUSTRY?
A: It will cause a major impact because this is a job for a lot of people. So now these same people may lose everything they own.
AS A PERSON WHO COMPETES IN THE PAGEANTRY SYSTEMS, WHAT BARRIERS WILL A DRAG PERFORMANCE BAN POSE ON BOTH MALE AND FEMALE IMPERSONATORS?
A: This will affect not only the competitors, but also the people who host the pageant so now there goes the unemployment rate going up again.
THE INTERNATIONAL VOGUE PAGEANTRY
WHEN HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF A CHILD BEING HARMED BY SOMEONE PERFORMING IN DRAG?
A: Never. As a child a Drag Queen helped my mom when she couldn’t feed me and my brothers. And because of that same drag queen my success in life is owed to him/her.
IF YOU COULD SPEAK WITH THOSE WHO VOTED FOR THIS
BILL WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?
A: I would say that Tennessee has bigger problems for you all to be addressing as opposed to adults performing in Drag. How about you all look at how to stop poverty, stop sex trafficking, stop homelessness, stop drug abuse, stop gun violence, stop racial discrimination. But don’t stop Drag because it saved my life, and many others like me.
MONICA DUPREE MONICA DUPREE MONICA DUPREE
many ways. Our contestants are already calling out of concern about the bill. They are wondering how things will turn out if they choose to compete. Also, a lot of patrons would choose to stay home being concerned of being arrested or our event being raided by the police. One advantage
they are in a safe environment and many people choose this art form as a real job. Any type of ban on the art form in the way we express ourselves will hurt a lot of people financially. There is a lot of concern of those that participate in our pageants, some are scared and don't know what to expect.
just about drag shows some organizations help in educating about important things like HIV prevention, HIV treatment, and HIV Services, mental health issues; etc. In actuality, we believe that this bill is wrong, and it is very unconstitutional.
What in the is happening?By Dr. Umieca N. Hankton
Let's talk STRESS since April is National Stress Awareness Month. Stress is the body's normal reaction to situations and events perceived as threatening or potentially threatening. Stress manifests differently from person to person and the symptoms may increase based on the frequency, intensity, and duration of the stress-inducing situation. Experiencing stress isn't problematic. Stress is necessary for our survival as it alerts us to danger. However, stress becomes troubling when it goes unmanaged and shifts stress to distress. There are varying types of stress: acute, episodic, and chronic. Acute stress lasts for a brief period of time. Usually, after an acute stressor ends, the mind and body return to a calm state relatively quickly. Episodic stress occurs when
WARNING SIGNS OF STRESS
one experiences acute stress frequently and typically resulting from stressful career demands, multiple life strains, or unresolved issues that appear to go away but return. Eventually, an accumulation of unmanaged episodic high-intensity stressors becomes chronic, lasting more prolonged periods, thus negatively impacting the body. Unmanaged chronic stress compromises one's physical and psychological health. What happens to your mind and body when you are stressed? How do you manage your life stressors to prevent stress from becoming distress? When was the last time you took PTO? If you struggle to answer these questions, now is a good time to stop and consider how stress impacts your body, emotions, thoughts, and actions?
Awareness of how stress impacts the body physically, psychologically, and behaviorally provides multiple opportunities to manage stress strategically. A commitment to managing stress daily is a form of self-care. As you review the stress management tips listed here, grab your calendar and decide how, when, and where you will practice these strategies. Successful stress management requires planning. While we all desire to live a stress-free life, the reality is that there is no such thing as stress-free; however, it is possible to stress less!
STRESS MANAGEMENT TIPS
٠ Exercise/Stretch regularly
٠ Practice progressive muscle relaxation
٠ Soak in the tub with Epsom salt
٠ Eat Healthier foods
٠ Create a sleep hygiene
٠ Schedule a massage
٠ Consider chiropractic, acupuncture, or reiki services
٠ Take medication(s) as prescribed
٠ Rest often
٠ Have enjoyable sex. Sex counts as exercise!
٠ Talk to your doctor about the benefits of Vitamin D
٠ Acknowledge your feelings/mood
٠ Journal your experiences
٠ Establish healthy boundaries with self and others
٠ Ask for help/support from others
٠ Temporarily delegate responsibilities
٠ Practice grounding exercises
٠ Breathe deeply
٠ Prioritize your needs first
٠ Call a trusted friend
٠ Permit yourself to slow down
٠ Listen to music that moves the soul.
٠ Dance or sing freely to your favorite song
٠ Engage in spiritual practices/ soul-care
٠ Schedule THERAPY appointment(s)
MENTAL (COGNITIVE) BEHAVIORAL
٠ Keep a gratitude journal
٠ Set Intentions for the day/week
٠ Read/recite positive affirmations
٠ Take a brief wellness break as often as needed
٠ Engage in positive visualizations
٠ Purchase and nurture greenery/ garden
٠ Identify "what's going right in the moment."
PHYSICAL EMOTIONAL MENTAL (COGNITIVE) BEHAVIORAL
٠ Muscle Tension
٠ Gastrointestinal issues
٠ Chest discomfort
٠ Elevations in heart rate
٠ High blood pressure
٠ High blood sugar levels
٠ Fluctuations in weight and appetite, including craving sweets
٠ Changes in sleep
٠ Decreased libido
٠ Unexplained physical aches
٠ Compromised immune system
٠ Auto-immune flares
٠ Constant worrying
٠ Panic attacks
٠ Intense urge to cry/crying
٠ Depressed mood
٠ Low motivation
٠ Feeling inadequate
٠ Racing thoughts
٠ Negative self-talk
٠ Overly critical
٠ Suicidal thoughts
٠ Concentration difficulties
٠ Lowered self-esteem
٠ Losing track of time
٠ Emotional eating
٠ Excessive alcohol/drug consumption
٠ Avoidance of responsibilities or procrastinating
٠ Sleeping more/less
٠ Excessive spending
٠ Disengaged from pleasurable activities
٠ Frequent arguing
٠ Physical/verbal aggression
٠ Missing deadlines
٠ De-prioritizing self
٠ Practice self-compassion
٠ Call 988 for support when you feel emotionally distressed or suicidal
٠ Take a mental health day (really, it’s okay to call out for a day or two).
٠ Learn to say "NO."
٠ Connect with people who pour into you
٠ Keep healthy snacks/food around to prevent mindless eating/overeating
٠ Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption during high stress periods
٠ Unplug from non-essential duties by a specific time each day
٠ Check your calendar daily to avoid missing deadlines or essential responsibilities
٠ Prioritize self-care
٠ Schedule time to unwind daily
٠ Rest/Take a sabbath
Dr. Umieca N. Hankton is a licensed clinical psychologist and owner of UNH Counseling Services. Dr. Hankton's clinical interests include the mental health and wellness of Black women, LGBTQ+, clergy, and college students. Clinical services are available to those located in TN, LA, TX, GA, AL, D.C., & IL. To learn about the services offered, please call 901-300-9082.
ReclaimingBy Beth Trouy
Thinkingof women’s history, I was recently researching the pay inequity between women and men with the hopes of seeing the gap narrowing. As the most recent and disappointing data appeared on my screen, the stern voice of Maxine Waters saying, “Reclaiming my time,” rang in my ears. Although she was speaking on another subject, she was putting up a similar fight in resisting the “mansplaining” happening in Congress that day nearly six years ago. Everyone remembers seeing this woman of great conviction unfazed, speaking truth to injustice. This pay gap is a glaring injustice, too, and seeing that it STILL exists, well, there must be some serious mansplaining going on to justify these numbers. It is time women speak up like Maxine has and demand to be heard. It is time for women to reclaim our time, our talent, and our value.
The US Census Bureau, Pew Research, and the US Government Accounting Office all report that in 202021, there was still nearly a 20 percent gap in women’s pay versus men’s for the same jobs. Women continue to earn only 83 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts.
For women in management, it gets worse. Female managers receive 23 percent less than men, and for women who own their own businesses, it’s the worst at 31 percent less. Apparently, the more assertive, ambitious, and driven a woman might be, the more it will cost her. Oh, and if that woman has darker skin, it becomes 37-42 percent less. Women, and yes, men as well, should be disgusted with this data. I include men as well because we are their mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters, and surely, they agree that it should be equal pay for equal work!
Why are these pay gaps still present? Why, or more precisely, “Y”? In my view, it’s because we women do not have one, I suppose-a Y that is, in our DNA. There does not appear to be any other answer other than genes
and the XX, XY distinction. How did this happen? Personally, blame Genesis and the writers of the silly creation story (and it is just a story, you know!).
It was hardly 100 years ago that we women could finally vote in the United States and only 60 years ago that we could have their own bank account without a man co-signing. If only Eve had not been created from the generously donated rib of Adam and then eaten that apple to ruin it for all mankind, she might not have been branded as the fallen and weaker sex. From the very beginning of time, women were placed as second-class citizens behind men, possibly because of Eve’s failure to resist temptation. I doubt we would be having this gender pay discussion today had the story been written differently. Think about it: what if Adam had
come from the bosom of Eve and he had taken the apple from Satan? Truth be told, the story makes more sense that men came from women, and it was a man who wanted to be like God. But history is always written by the winners, and since the Bible was completely written by men, here we are with women still trying to find our rightful place of equality.
Like Maxine Waters, it takes a clear, persistent, and firm voice to get someone’s attention. Let the world hear our collective voice that we are reclaiming our time and our story. We reclaim the right to be paid as much as our male coworkers. We also reclaim the right to be assertive, ambitious, and outspoken without being labeled as a bitch or too emotional. We reclaim the right to be leaders by our own merit without the rumor that we must have slept with the boss to get our titles. We reclaim the right to be treated with the same respect and dignity regardless of whether we have a Y chromosome or not. You can keep that apple and the rib, too; we refuse to be second-class citizens in the country we helped raise. And if I can pick our spokesperson, I’d say that Maxine Waters can do the talking.
Dr. Davin D. Clemons
As I sit and ponder on how to express myself in this “Empowerment Edition of The Unleashed Voice Magazine” with over 340 Anti-LGBTQ+ Bills at the State Level, 150 of which target transgender people highest number on record. Currently in my home State of Tennessee the legislators have passed the first law in the country banning drag shows and a proposal on the state floor of Tennessee House attempting to require a license for Drag performers. The word “Empowerment” is more important than ever because we all experience
that you could be great at – can be hugely empowering in itself. Building on those strengths, and knowing how to deal with your limitations, can give you an even bigger boost. Understanding yourself better is a core aspect of emotional intelligence, a key skill in the workplace. Developing your emotional intelligence allows you to see how your emotions and behavior affect the people around you. This will likely make it easier for you to get others "on board" to help you to achieve your goals.
self-empowerment in different ways, depending on our personalities and our circumstances. With all of the circumstances surrounding our LGBTQ+ people we must stand strong and tall knowing who’s and whose you are! When you feel that you lack power, your confidence and self-esteem can take a knock, too.
Developing your self-awareness can help you to understand why you feel this way, and to take charge of your emotions and actions. Start by considering your locus of control the extent to which you believe that you are the master of your own destiny, or that your outcomes are determined by external forces, people or events. Understanding this distinction can enable you to take responsibility for your own empowerment, and to adopt a mindset that fosters learning and growth. Then, analyze your strengths and weaknesses. Listing all of the things that you're good at – and
So, now is the time to get to know yourself because before things will get worse before they will get any better and if you are not sure about whose you are then you will be vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy. For the bible declares in Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Christian warfare consists of a spiritual strategy fought with supernatural weapons against an unseen enemy. The opposition is real but not visible to the naked eye. Beneath the surface, an invisible spiritual battle is raging. We fight this war not with tangible weapons like guns and ammunition, nor with bodily defenses such as kicks and punches, but by daily putting on the whole armor of God, always praying, standing firm in the Word of God, and staying alert.
So, KNOW YOURSELF!!!!
CAN YOU TELL US WHAT SEPARATES YOUR MUSIC FROM EVERYONE ELSE? FOR EXAMPLE, I HEAR YOU SPEAK ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS WHICH IS VERY IMPORTANT.
A: I believe what separates my music from other music is the fact that I care about what I say, and I care about how it feels and care what frequency it vibrates on. I care about my music. My music is an extension of me because I created it. I’m not trying to impress people, I'm doing what I’m supposed to do, I don’t care about trends.
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF AS AN ENLIGHTENMENT THINKER?
A: I know that I am an enlightened light being in real
life. Some people choose to be enlightened, and some people are just born. That way they don’t have a choice. These people are who you refer to as the last of a dying breed. Cherish them!
SHARE WITH US YOUR OUTLOOK OF THE FUTURE IN YOUR JOURNEY
A: Mental intellectual spiritual and vibrational ascension. And honestly, I’m on a journey of not giving a fuck about things that don’t assist me with that.
IS THERE SOMEONE YOU LOOK UP TO IN YOUR LIFE THAT HELPS PUSH YOU TO BE CREATIVE?
A: Absolutely, my inner child, my guides, my ancestors, the source.
SHARE WITH US EVERYTHING ELSE YOU ARE CREATING SUCH AS PRODUCTS, TRAVELING AND NEW PROJECTS.
A: Of course. I’m releasing an album but I’m going to release each song one by one. I have a record coming out on March 3 called “Altars”. It's more like a tribute to my ancestors and acknowledgement. I’m focusing on being free in my self-expression so I can come out with hip-hop, R&B, Pop, who knows I am meant to create, so I can’t box myself in.
we now offer virtual therapy sessions with an amazing African American Psychologist that handpicked myself. It’s hard out here and I know there are many people like me who don’t like to talk to people, but sometimes we need to. We made these sessions affordable because we really want to help our people.
YOU ARE A GREAT STORYTELLER IN YOUR MUSIC. CAN YOU SHARE A STORY WITH US ABOUT AN OBSTACLE YOU'VE OVERCAME?
STORYTELLING HAS SHOWN IT HAS HEALED AND GIVEN REPRESENTATION TO MANY WHO SEE THEMSELF IN OTHER SHOES.By Monick Monell, NY Correspondent
Also, touching on what you said earlier about mental health. There are now services available on my website to people who need therapy. At indigobypharaohloco.com
A: Gratitude. I actually had a recent one that haven’t talked about. And before go into this, I have all of my receipts. I was working with some execs from Quincy Jones Production, and they linked me with someone who was producing for NBA YoungBoy at the time I was confused, but I entertained it. He was Caucasian, and a Jew but I digress. He told me that I needed to speak the lingo and talk about pretty much drugs, sex, killing, and money. I just couldn’t believe that this Caucasian man had the audacity to feel comfortable enough to say that to me. Well, my answer was inevitably no so those doors closed for me. And because I refuse to sell out like all communication
was done. Right after that, dropped “Mirror Mirror” which was pretty much a middle finger to all of them. They knew that ha, ha, ha, ha! Well, I went into a depression. Because what other company would understand my creativity more than that one? I started questioning myself, and I couldn’t say anything because I would sound bitter, and people would probably think I was lying. I was in a dark place. The people around me, closest to me, were showing their true colors after that as well. It wasn’t until I spoke with Chukes Art he’s the dopest sculptor I’ve ever seen. That's his name on Instagram as well. He told me to never sell out and never conform, and to make those motherfuckers conform to me and he gave me a salute. That was like the first person who acknowledged the fact that I didn’t sell out, that shit means something. Fuck the money, fuck the fame if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. I fasted 40 days right before that. I had a Judas in my life
A rose is always going to be beautiful, even when it dies. The moral of that for me was fuck everybody and what they’re thinking and feeling. I have to do me, and I have to let shit go that doesn’t fit. It’s an ebb and flow to my life. And I will always refuse to kiss ass for recognition. I’ve added the name Melaneezus Christ to my persona.
HAS THERE BEEN A SHIFT IN YOUR MUSIC AND RIGHT MINDFULNESS AS YOU ARE EVOLVING?
A: Absolutely as you will hear on March 3 when the first song to my album drops. You will be hearing so much more from me, and I appreciate your support. I appreciate the entire Pharaoh Loco community. Thank you all for sticking by me and knowing that I will never sell out. I got us. Stay tuned. Rest in peace, Moe. I love you.
My music is an extension of me because I created it. I’m not trying to impress people, I'm doing what I’m supposed to do, I don’t care about trends.PHARAOH LOCO @pharaoh_loco
Rebirth, New Beginnings & ChangeBy Brodderick D. Roary
SO WHY DO I LOVE SPRING
SO MUCH? It’s because it represents rebirth, new beginnings, and change. It is when mother nature wakes up from her slumber and showers us with her love and abundance. The birds are chirping, the butterflies are fluttering, the bees are buzzing, and the fragrant flowers are blooming. And let us not forget the sun — kissing us with its loving rays.
The wintry weather has dissipated, and the sun emerges from behind gray Winter skies, and shines its marvelous light while extracting humans and nature from our Winter hibernation. The beauty of Spring triggers a sense of fulfillment, love, and happiness. It is amazing to see the world come alive and experience the joy and positive vibes that it brings. To witness mother nature’s artwork as she paints her masterpiece laced with her beauty, grace, and love.
Just like nature, our lives are cyclical. We ebb and flow with the changing tides, and as with
the seasons, our moods, and emotions pivot throughout the year. For me, Spring lifts my spirit, like every butterfly emerging from the cocoon rising to face the beauty of each day — rebirth, renewal, and change. Change can be scary but embracing change can create new adventures in our lives.
Spring represents a change in the flow of life, and as journey, I have grown to resist less and embrace what life brings. Spring is a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be. A reminder that change is inevitable and the only constant, and it is up to us to choose how we welcome change into our lives.
Spring is the best time of year for out with the old and in with the new. Along these lines, you may be taking the time to physically clean out your living space, pack up winter gear, and prepare for the warmer climate. You may also be thinking of dusting the house and opening some windows to let a breath of fresh air through the house. These are all great things to plan as you prepare to transition from winter to spring. This time of year, is also a great opportunity for personal transformation.
To help you on your way, here are five tips to identify, assess, and let go of old mindsets and
make room for new ones that will support positive changes in your life.
MAKE TIME AND SPACE FOR YOURSELF
Time and space do not just mean making time for yourself and the things you love to do. To get into a deeper state of self-awareness, you’ll want to set aside time without distractions—to detach from the nonstop electronic and social demands of daily life. Therefore, this also means carving out the time away from your smartphone, access to social media, and the steady stream of texts, calls, and emails.
Now that you have the time and space for yourself, start to take inventory of where you are in life.
٠ What is working in my life, and what’s not?
٠ What could be improved?
٠ What do I really want?
٠ What may be holding me back from what I really want?
As you go through these questions, consider any roadblocks that are keeping you from being where you want to be. Don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself in identifying where those roadblocks are coming from—whether externally or within your own state of
mind. Often the things that hold us back are our own fears or doubts, such as:
٠ Lack of self-worth
٠ Lack of confidence
٠ Lack of motivation
٠ Feeling overwhelmed
٠ Fear of failure
٠ Fear of commitment to yourself
٠ Fear of rejection
٠ Lack of patience
٠ Fear of asking for help
Write down any limiting beliefs about yourself that may be a roadblock for your personal growth. Make a list of all the things that you would like to work on and another list of all the mental roadblocks that hold you back from your full potential.
SET YOUR INTENTION
Setting your intention is the practice of conscious action in your life. Your intention can help to guide your every action as you move through your days, so the outcome is not left up to chance.
During your transformation, you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, or on a progress plateau. Remember not to beat yourself up when this happens. Setbacks are a normal part of the process.
As you go forward to refresh your mindset for spring, remember that the most important thing you can do is to start your practice—even if it’s just one small step—and keep at it one day at a time.
AS A DRAG ENTERTAINER WHO HAS BUILT A CAREER PERFORMING AS MISS SOPHIA AROUND THE WORLD. HOW WOULD A PROPOSED DRAG BAN AFFECT YOU FINANCIALLY ON BOOKING GIGS IN TENNESSEE?
A: I look forward to performing in Memphis as a drag entertainer at least 3 times a year. One of the bookings is an annual event TRI-STATE BLACK PRIDE. Financially it would be me taking a huge pay cut in the month of June. I'm an independent contractor and my budget is weekly gigs and monthly bookings, so the months with PRIDE EVENTS lets me breathe a little easier, because that's a weekend gigs, so that is a deposit, tips and final payment that would be slashed from my budget, not to mention the relationship that I have built with the patrons over the years, it's an ole school homecoming revival fun filled drag show that we look forward to every year.
The Real Miss Sophia
IN YOUR YEARS OF PERFORMING HAVE YOU EVER KNOWN OF CHILDREN BEING HARMED AT A DRAG SHOW?
A: In all my years performing at drag shows I have never seen or heard of a child been hurt, scared, humiliated, or harmed in any way. This is another way The Republican Party uses the LGBTQ+ Community to distract people from the real issues we face, like the RESTROOM BILLS. They are on the Frontline fighting the gay community to protect the children from us, with false narratives and what if situations with no evidence. But these same children are being shot in schools, malls, church, playground, restaurants, house parties, beaches, and theme parks, are all real
factual situations and they are silent on GUN REFORM TO PROTECT THE CHILDREN.
A man in a wig and make-up offers more protection to children than a republican in a suit and tie.
WHAT IS THE SENTIMENT FROM DRAG PERFORMANCES ABOUT WHAT IS HAPPENING IN TENNESSEE?
A: The sentiment of the entertainers in the LGBTQI+ Community know that Memphis is not the only state attacking drag shows, drag queen story hour is under attack as well, the state of Florida, Texas, Louisiana etc. All red states have a history of attacking the gay community during a big election year and always have us on their agenda during a Presidential election. These attacks on us are not about protecting the children, they're about POWER.By TUV Staff & Sophia McIntosh
Ask yourself this question, do you think a person that don't fight to protect themselves during and after the January 6th attack on Capitol Hill, have one once of courage to protect any of us. It's easy to feed lies to other people that hate the gay community as much as you do, rather than tell the truth about the economy, gun safety, prison reform, police brutally, social security reform, voters rights, tax reform and the list goes on and on, but sadly the LGBTQI+ know that STONEWALL was a start, and we are still in this fight.
The narrative is that we (LGBTQ+ Community) harm children, but the Mayor of College Park, Maryland resigned last week after he was arrested for CHILD PORNOGRAPHY.