The 2022 July-August PRIDE Issue featuring Dyllón Burnside

Page 1

JUL - AUG 2022


Dyllón Burnside POSE Star Releases New Music Of 2022 “Superpowers” ○ SINGE R ○ACTOR POSE and American Horror Stories talent Dyllón Burnside returns with his first new music of 2022, the inspirational Pride-themed anthem “Superpowers.” “Superpowers” is written by Dyllón Burnside, Jeremy Dussolliet and Tim Sommers, with production from the trio plus Kinetics and One Love.

2 0 2 2 Tr i s t a t e B L AC K MEMPHIS People, Purpose & Power “Better Together”


ROE VS. WA D E A Supreme Disser vice

CHOICES & Planned Parenthood TN & N. Mississippi speak out


TIMEEKAH MURPHY Celebrity Stylist Doing It Her Way in High Fashion & Streetwear





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.




BIKTARVY may cause serious side effects, including:

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%).

� 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.

ABOUT BIKTARVY 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: � dofetilide � rifampin � 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-the-

counter 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.

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 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 or call 1-800-GILEAD-5 � If you need help paying for your medicine,

visit for program information.

BIKTARVY, the BIKTARVY Logo, GILEAD, the GILEAD Logo, GSI, and KEEP ASPIRING are trademarks of Gilead Sciences, Inc., or its related companies. Version date: February 2021 © 2022 Gilead Sciences, Inc. All rights reserved. US-BVYC-0008 01/22




HIV TREATMENT * *Source: IQVIA NPA Weekly, 04/19/2019 through 05/28/2021.



Because HIV doesn’t change who you are. BIKTARVY® is a complete, 1-pill, once-a-day prescription medicine used to treat HIV-1 in certain adults. BIKTARVY does not cure HIV-1 or AIDS.

Ask your healthcare provider if BIKTARVY is right for you. ONE SMALL PILL, ONCE A DAY Pill shown not actual size (15 mm x 8 mm) | Featured patient compensated by Gilead.

Please see Important Facts about BIKTARVY, including important warnings, on the previous page and visit

Scan to see Dimitri’s story. THE UNLEASHED VOICE |



Ad Deadline August 12, 2022

Next Issue September | October 2022


08‐10 Cover Story Dyllón Burnside POSE Star 06 | Editor’s Letter Gwendolyn D. Clemons Live Before It’s Too Late!

07 | Editor’s Letter Dr. Davin D. Clemons What is PRIDE to Me?

14 | Spirituality Beth Trouy Living Your Truth Will Set You Free


Community News

Tristate Black Pride Memphis Arts + Education + Advocacy

16 | CHOICES 17 | PLANNED PARENTHOOD 21 | Community News Monica M. Pickett A Deeper Love

22 | Special Contributor Brodderick D. Roary Loving Your Authentic Self

11 20

Health & Wellness


Dr. Umieca Hankton Freedom in Living Authentically | CONTENTS

Fashion News Timeekah Murphy Celebrity Stylist

Shawn M. Clemons Administration/ Fashion Director

Gregory Graphics Layout/Design

Monika M. Pickett Guest Contributor

Monick Monell Talent Director & New York Correspondent

Whitney Johnson Chief Editor

Kyra Bonet St James-Cassadine Transgender Correspondent


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Listen honey, in the words of Beyoncé “I’m telling everybody, you won’t BREAK MY SOUL!” Palliative nurse Bronnie Ware just

bed had developed illnesses relating

“The Top Five Regrets of the Dying.”

they carried as a result. It’s important

released her highly acclaimed book Nurse Ware spent several years

working in palliative care, caring for

patients in the last 12 weeks of their

lives. During this time, she would record their dying epiphanies which gathered so much attention that she decided to write this book. As for me it certainly

grabbed my attention because one’s mortality is imminent.

THE 5 COMMON REGRETS OF THE DYING 1. I wish I’d had more courage to live a life true to myself, not the life

others expected of me. This is the

most common regret of all. As for me I refuse to give anyone power and

dominion over my life anymore. I lived under that cloud when I didn’t know any better but baby I am as free as

free can get. This number 1 regret of

Live ''Your'' Life Before It’s Too Late Gwendolyn D. Clemons MBA, MSM, PRC

Editor in Chief of TUV Media



the dying should definitely give pause and something to think about now that you know!

2. I wish I hadn’t work so hard. This regret may be hard to believe

to the bitterness and resentment

to speak your truth, even if you lose friends or relationship, please don’t bottle your feelings up, LET IT OUT! 4. I wish I stayed in touch. Ware

shared that people at the end of their lies also regretted losing

touch with friends and significant

others. We are all busy or take for

granted that tomorrow will also be here to do a thing. But none of us

know for sure so making a concerted effort now will eliminate the need for regretting such a matter now. I must do better with this one!

5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

Ware shared that may of her patients expressed that they were afraid

of change and stayed stuck in old

patterns and habits. Many failed to

realize that until the end of life that happiness was a choice. Life is a

fleeting moment, and then you wake

up to find that years have passed and that there are more days behind you than in front you!

because we are taught daily to

I don’t know about anyone reading

recorded fact that at the end of

that these 5 regrets gave me some

“GRIND!” Nevertheless, it’s a known life many regretted missing out on their children’s youth, partner’s

companionship, or stopping to smell the roses for themselves. Take out

the time you need folks for what you may deem the little things now.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings. It was reported that

many of the patients on their dying

this article, but I am here to tell you fuel and food for thought! I refuse to

let another day in my life go by where

I fail to acknowledge the person that I am because I am worried about what others think of me. In actuality, most

people aren’t probably thinking nothing

about you. I believe we anticipate things too much and create entire scenarios about this & that for no good reason.

Pride to me is surviving molestation,

image, after our likeness.” In my

trauma, church rejection, family

will be no PRIDE in self. But once this

rape, physical abuse, childhood

rejection, etc., well that’s the story of my life regarding my sexual

orientation and PRIDE. Many people think PRIDE is this huge party, with a parade going down the street,

shows with drag queens and drag kings performing but in actuality it’s more to the story than being Gay. I know the history of PRIDE is correlated to Stonewall but

trust and believe there were many

unreported Stonewall’s before this reported incident. No shade!!

PRIDE is respect for yourself and

not letting others define you solely

based off of your sexual orientation. Listen to me! You are more than your sexual orientation! You are

somebody special with gifts, talents, anointings and the world is awaiting

your arrival, so please stop listening to the naysayers. Now is the time

automatically comes in as self love, self conscious, black power


Because you are a God made in the image of BIG GOD! Message!!!!

PRIDE is also standing up for what’s right and doing what’s right in this

fight for equality for all human kind. But, this is even more true for the minority communities to realize.

In the words of the great Michael Jackson, “all I have to say is that they really don’t care about us!”

PRIDE is building our own tables

of financial resources, businesses, schools, churches, Black Wall

Street, entrepreneurship, etc; This

is the game changer and the power move that is needed in America in order to make power brokers respect our PRIDE! PERIODT! So, join the movement of

attention from the universe.

which is YOU! In the words of the

In this current movement of PRIDE in America and this era of our lives

it’s more important than ever to join the campaign of self affirmation.

Life is beautiful but life will screw

you up and spit you out without any apology. So, this self affirmation journey will be rewarding and

fulfilling which will help make you in the image of your creator. For

discovering the greatest love of all great Whitney Houston, “Because

the greatest love of all Is happening to me / I found the greatest love of all Inside of me / The greatest love

of all Is easy to achieve / Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love

of all / And if, by chance, that special place / That you've been dreaming

of Leads you to a lonely place / Find your strength in love.”

the Bible declares in 1 Samuel 16:7 – “For the Lord sees not as man

sees: man looks on the outward

appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Many LGBT


have and still are struggling to

believe that God loves them just

as the way they are. For the Bible

Dr. Davin D. Clemons

proclamation is realized the PRIDE

to wake up and go find your PRIDE

before someone else attracts your

What is PRIDE to Me?

opinion until this is realized there

declares in Genesis 1:26-27 – “Then God said, “Let us make man in our

I am truly Unleashed!! Say it loud “I’m BLACK GAY AND PROUD! EDITOR’S LETTER |


I wrote this song to my inner child. To the young man who was told that he was flawed because he was different. I learned that my differences were not a source of weakness but were, in fact, my Superpowers!

DYLLÓN BURNSIDE POSE and American Horror

Stories talent Dyllón Burnside returns with his first new music of 2022, the inspirational Pride-themed anthem “Superpowers.”

“Superpowers” is written by Dyllón

Burnside, Jeremy Dussolliet and Tim Sommers, with production from the trio plus Kinetics and One Love.



Q: How much of the character Ricky Evangelista that you played in POSE is relatable to the real you? I get this question a lot. Ricky and I are very different. We come from very different

backgrounds and have very different lived

that, that every project should be that way,

authentic and be approached with curiosity and ease. Doesn’t mean it will be easy!

Prideland was not easy to make at all! But

there was an ease about the process that

made it magical. I want that in everything I do.

experiences. I think what makes us similar is

that we are both artists and like all people, we both want to love and be loved.

Q: What are your newest projects since


POSE has ended? I have filmed two new series for streaming. American Horror Stories came out last summer, and my latest project will be

streaming in the fall 2022. I’ve also been working a lot on my music, developing

my sound with my producers, growing as

an artist and getting my project to a solid place. I’ve been touring, performing at

music festivals, producing video content for the songs. I’m also producing and

developing film/TV projects and doing a lot of advocacy work.

Q: How did the Prideland project come about and how do you feel about its success? Prideland was birthed out of my experience growing up in the South. My friend Jon

Reynaga approached me with the idea saying we should go down South and investigate what it’s like for LGBTQ+ folk living there. The success of the project was really

shocking. I never imagined we would win an Emmy award for it, I just thought this was

a really important thing to do and it was a

natural authentic expression. I learned from



@DyllonBurnside #BurnsideSuperpowers All Photos Of Dyllón Burnside BEXX FRANCOIS LLC

This song is for everyone who has been marginalized, bullied, or attacked because of who they are. It is an anthem for the strong, the survivors, for the everyday superheroes fighting on the battlefield of life.

By Umieca N. Hankton, Ph.D.

f I possessed the power to present each of you with a unique gift, it would be the gift of living

authentically and unapologetically. Why? There’s liberation in your truth and your

willingness to live audaciously and without pause permits others to do the same. However, living authentically requires a substantial amount of bravery, vulnerability, and a willingness to be

stretched outside your comfort zone. Liberation is freeing, but it’s not free. Undoubtedly, there is a cost to owning your narrative. Yet, despite

inflation, please consider the benefit(s) of paying the price to be made free by your truth.

Living authentically is an outward demonstration

of an inward reality. Living an authentic life means

who you are and what matters to you directly aligns with how you show up in the world for yourself and

others. It reflects the causes that touch your heart,

open your wallet, and move you to action. Those who walk in their liberating truth move with certainty and

their “yes” means yes, their “no” means no, and their

“you tried it” means tread lightly next time. One of my favorite quotes from Hamilton the Musical is, “Dying is easy; living is harder.” What an absolute truth, and yet, I witness so much vitality and vibrancy in those willing to risk it all to live their undeniable truth.

What are you ready to risk in order to remove the

• Be open to taking a deep dive into the most

inner parts of yourself and be willing to give voice to what you find.

• Seek support from those living healthy,

authentic, and vibrant lives. Take thorough

notes of what you observe and ask questions. • Consider both the costs and the benefits of living authentically. Take time to determine

what is acceptable to you, and how you want to show up in this world. If you must move slowly,

do so, but MOVE according to what honors and feels good to you.

• Take ownership of your narrative and engage in truth-telling. No one deserves to tell your

story but you, and who better to tell the story than the author.

• Create opportunities for yourself to try something

new. If you ask me, fear and bravery feel the same. So, ask yourself, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

You, my friend, will experience the fruits of

your intentional works when you openly live

your truth. Remember, living is an action verb. So let’s actively LIVE authentically,

unapologetically, and with vibrancy!

shackles placed on you by family, the church,

accepted your inner truth? What truth(s) have you

tried to smother or hide in hopes that others would

never discover? How are these hidden truths hurting you or preventing you from thriving?

. Hankton N a

h .D. ,P

more fully, if you bravely owned, nurtured, and

Umie c

society, or yourself? How could you live differently,

Time is indeed filled with swift transitions.

Your future self needs your present self to move into the position of readiness to thrive. Listen,

there are self-righteous supremacists in black coats working through the night to rob you of your right to live freely. But, once you decide to live your truth outwardly, participation in your physical and psychological liberation

takes place and the shackles of oppression and other people’s opinions loosen.

Dr. Hankton is a licensed clinical psychologist

and the executive director of UNH Counseling

Services. UNH Counseling Services is a private behavioral health agency that focuses on the

health and wellness of Black women, LGBTQ+, clergy, and college students. Dr. Hankton

provides clinical services to those located in TN, LA, TX, GA, WI, AL, D.C., IL, MN, & KY.



Freedom in Living







Majjicshoots Visuals by Amirah King THE UNLEASHED VOICE |


Living Your Truth Will Set You Free By Beth Trouy

There we are alone with God whose voice echoes in our

depths.” It says further that

we are obligated to follow our

conscience even if it does not align with those around us.

We are obligated to follow our conscience even if it opposes

teachings of the Church. In fact,

to fail to follow one’s conscience is a grievance and dishonor

to our Creator. Furthermore, it says, not following our moral

conscience is as much a sin as doing harm to another. For, we

are harming ourselves when we deny our inner truth.


he word truth doesn’t seem to have the indelible power

it once had even just a decade ago. Now, we all seem to be at odds, more than ever before,

in agreeing to what is the truth. I always thought that valid

statistics, video evidence, and

a trusted authority were all that

were needed to agree to fact. Not so anymore. We can manipulate stats to fit our opinion. We alter videos. We stretch the truth

to fit our platform. It’s hard to know where to turn, and who

to trust. Integrity seems to be

taking a back seat to influence

and popularity. How can we set

our moral compass when “True

North” seems to be negotiable? Growing up Catholic, I was

fortunate to have been taught

the process of discernment of inner truth. The beauty of this process is that my inner truth



may not be yours; even though

Statistically speaking, the

the same set of information,

is 6 to 8 times higher than the

we both may have been given

morals or teachings. Now don’t

let this confuse you to think this means you can make up your own statistics or version of

facts. No, this truth is more the

inner core of one’s conscience in discerning what one’s

personal truth of who we are

called to be in this world. For

people with sexual orientation

variances or gender dysphoria, figuring out this truth can be

life or death. Society can give a person a lot of conflicting information depending on

where you look. For someone

confused and unsure, knowing what is “right” and how best to find it, can be a trial. You

see, if we live the life we think others think we should, we aren’t really living at all.

suicide rate for LGBTQ persons national population and nearly 50% of transgenders attempt

suicide. Only in living our truth

as we are created, will we thrive. How then, do we know and

find our truth in a world full of conflicting information?

Finding truth today is a journey that requires careful research. Finding our inner truth can be

even more difficult with all the conflicting information. Is it

natural? Is it a defect? Being

misled by fake news, misguided

ministers and just bad theology, it can be nearly impossible to

discern. Add in some low self-

esteem and insecurity and it can

Unfortunately, churches can

be deadly. The best suggestion

for affirming information on

and go, as the Church says, to

many are leaving organized

alone with our Creator. In deep

Church also has its many, many

conversation with God, while

gender norms, but one area it

we have learned, we will know our

the examination and primacy

of our souls, we will know our

“conscience is a person’s most

passage can be found in section

be some of the worst sources

is to turn off the outer chatter

this subject. It’s no wonder so

our inner sanctuary where we are

religion altogether. The Catholic

contemplation, discernment and

faults regarding sexual and

sorting through the information

gets right is its teachings on

true selves. There, in the quiet

of conscience. It teaches that

truth. Interestingly enough, this

secret core and sanctuary.

1776 of the Catholic Catechism. The truth will set you free.

Prevent HIV with pride. There are many options to prevent HIV. Choose the method that works for you.


@StopHIVTogether • @StartTalkingHIV @CDCHIV • @StartTalkingHIV @CDC_HIV THE UNLEASHED VOICE |


Tennessee Six-Week Abortion Ban Takes Effect Court lifts block on six-week ban following Supreme Court ruling

will continue to see many, many

barriers to care – including

huge abortion deserts in parts of

people, and people with limited

states ban abortion, creating

this country resulting in serious

harm to people and their families. We will do everything we can to

maintain as much abortion access in Tennessee as possible—for as long as possible."

“Abortion bans rob people of

speak out

Tennessee & North Mississippi 16


six weeks into pregnancy took

“It is unconscionable that

the state before many people

abortion in their communities

today’s order, the Sixth Circuit

Parenthood remains committed

the law – granted nearly two years

and Mississippi access abortions

providers in the state – following

are open for non-judgmental

Friday overturning Roe v. Wade.

financial and logistical support."

at risk for banning or severely

"This is a dark day for Tennessean's

abortion after approximately

effect, prohibiting abortion in

Tennesseans will lose access to

even know they are pregnant. In

because of this decision. Planned

vacated an injunction blocking

to helping people in Tennessee

ago in a case filed by abortion

outside our state, and our doors

the Supreme Court’s decision last

information, resources, and

restricting access to abortion.

reproductive freedom," said

The case that initially blocked

and CEO of Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American

Civil Liberties Union, and the

ACLU of Tennessee on behalf of the Memphis Center for

Reproductive Health, Planned

Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, Knoxville

Center for Reproductive Health, carafem, and two individual

abortion providers in Tennessee. QUOTES FROM ATTORNEYS, ADVOCATES, AND PLAINTIFFS: “This is just the beginning,”

said Rabia Muqaddam, senior staff attorney at the Center

for Reproductive Rights. “We

the capitol, and to the ballot box, until we have the power to make

the best decisions for ourselves and our families."

for the communities we serve in

Ashley Coffield, president and

Tennessee and North Mississippi.

for Reproductive Rights,

our own bodies to the streets, to

their lives, and their futures,” said – Today, Tennessee’s ban on

this law was filed by the Center

will take the fight for control of

“This 6-week ban going into effect

CEO of Planned Parenthood of

Tennessee is one of many states

incomes. With our partners, we

their ability to make the decisions that are best for themselves,

06.28.2022 (PRESS RELEASE)

communities of color, young

Alexis McGill Johnson, president Federation of America. "They

have had their autonomy stolen

from them by politicians. We are exploring all options not only to

ensure that patients can access abortion, but to hold leaders

will be nothing short of devastating Tennessee,” said Melissa Grant,

chief operations officer, carafem. “Since the Supreme Court’s

decision, we have been flooded with phone calls from patients

urgently trying to find out their

options and our staff has worked around the clock to serve them. Unfortunately, this latest court decision means many will no

longer have any option other than carrying to term against their

will or fleeing the state if they

need care beyond six weeks in

pregnancy, before many even know they’re pregnant. In my more than 30 years in health care, nothing

has been as hard as turning away patients from the care they need

because politicians interfered with

private health care decisions. We’ll continue doing everything in our

power to serve patients up to six weeks of pregnancy.”

accountable for robbing the people of Tennessee and Mississippi of their rights. This is not over." "This six-week ban forces

people to carry pregnancies to term against their will and to

face the resulting life-altering consequences,” said Hedy

Weinberg, ACLU of Tennessee

executive director. “The ban will

disproportionately impact those

who have always faced systemic

Savannah Bearden Director of Communications Pronouns: she/her

Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi D: 901.725.3049 P: 866.711.1717

CHOICES to Expand to Carbondale, Illinois

Almost 4,000 people a year depend

Our legacy of responding to the

a clinic. But we’re taking action

and we will provide abortions in

now that CHOICES is expanding

our community who needs an

on CHOICES for abortion care,

Memphis up until the moment that these new bans go into effect.

Even then, CHOICES Memphis isn’t

needs of the community remains into Southern Illinois, and as such we’re proud to announce that in


05/09/2022 - Memphis, TN

– Today, CHOICES: Memphis

Center for Reproductive Health announced its plans to open a

clinic in Carbondale, IL in response to the impending abortion ban in TN. The new clinic will be

operational this year to provide

access to abortion care for people

in the Southeast, and the Memphis clinic will remain open continuing

going anywhere. Our Memphis

clinic will remain open to provide all the other important services,

ranging from no-cost birth control, gender affirming care, midwifery, and general reproductive health care. Marching boldly forward to care for our community is

simply who we are, and that’s why CHOICES is proud to announce that we are opening a clinic in Carbondale, Illinois.

addition to abortion care, our new Carbondale clinic will provide

gender affirming care from the first day we open our doors in August 2022. And we won’t stop there.

CHOICES is committed to being an

asset to the communities we serve,

and we believe deeply that abortion belongs within the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare. So, we’ve developed a phased approach

Reproductive Health, we pride

ourselves on our long history of

firsts in response to the needs of

our community. Founded in 1974, CHOICES was the first abortion

provider in Memphis. In the early 2000s, CHOICES accomplished more firsts for our community,

stop on the Amtrak line, this facility will be the Southernmost abortion provider in Illinois, a lifeline for

people in the Southeast who need an abortion. Moreover, Illinois is a

shining example of how states can protect abortion access and the

right to abortion without restriction. A 2019 state law protecting access to abortion makes the state, in the words of Gov. Pritzker, “beacon of hope for [people] who need reproductive health."

for transgender individuals,

incredible heart of the Carbondale

care for people living with HIV, and fertility assistance for same sex

couples. Most recently, CHOICES built the first birth center in

Memphis and became the first

nonprofit in the US to offer full-

spectrum reproductive health care,

ranging from abortion to midwiferybased birth and perinatal services, all under one roof.

community can be, and we have no doubt that we can make it through this storm together.

sexual and reproductive healthcare

The location is what originally

contraception and preconception

already know how powerful our

community. A three-hour drive

including introducing genderaffirming hormone therapy

dire, but not without hope. We

CHOICES is an independent,

is recognized as an essential

At CHOICES: Memphis Center for

The situation in Tennessee is

us to continue to provide abortion

from Memphis and Nashville and a

that will retain the right to abortion.

take all of us working together.


CHOICES envisions a world where

IL, the closest state to Tennessee

communities — and it’s going to

including a birth center.

care for folks in our Memphis

essential abortion care in Southern

they’re ready, and live in thriving


midwifery care. CHOICES’ bold

in Memphis and create access to

and patient-centered space when

at our new clinic with the goal of

becoming a full-spectrum provider,

to critical reproductive health care

need, build their families in a safe


Our new Carbondale clinic will allow

plan will ensure continued access

abortion can get the care they

to gradually increase services

to provide essential reproductive and sexual healthcare, including

so that every single person in

drew us to Carbondale, but the community is what let us know

we had found a second home for

CHOICES. Jennifer Pepper, CEO of CHOICES, stated, “We are excited

about the opportunity to serve the Carbondale area and surrounding

communities. We’ve been traveling to Carbondale since November of

2021 and could not have imagined a warmer welcome from the

community leaders, healthcare professionals, and nonprofits with whom we met.”

human right, and we will never stop working to realize our vision.

In Tennessee, you don’t need to look far to imagine what

abortion access will look like if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade. Abortion care is

already out of reach for so many people. Even though abortion

is legal, politicians have passed

laws and created obstacles that treat people differently. Young

people, people living in poverty, and people of color must work

twice as hard to make it past the

barriers to receive care. That need is going to grow in the wake of the

human rights crisis caused by lack of access to abortion care.

nonprofit reproductive health

clinic dedicated to empowering individuals in the Mid-South to

make informed choices for and

about their reproductive health.

Offering services such as abortion care, hormone management for

transgender patients, HIV testing and prevention, gynecological

wellness care, no-cost birth control, and midwife-led prenatal care

and births, CHOICES’ model of

comprehensive, patient-centered care is making waves in the

reproductive and sexual health

community. With the opening of

their new health and birth center in 2020, which includes the first

licensed birth center in Memphis, CHOICES became the only

nonprofit health care provider in the country to offer both birth services and abortion care under one roof.

We know that people with

privilege have the access and possibilities necessary to

overcome the barriers anti-

choice state lawmakers put in

place because they can afford to spend the money, take time off

work, arrange childcare, and do what they need to do to get to

Holly Calvasina Development Director (901)-274-3550 x 246







9:30 AM WTWV 8:30 PM WTWV


11:30 AM WTWV


Hype”, Bazaar, BET, Vogue,

Compulsive, Sheen, Paper,

Voyage LA, Influencer, Hello Beautiful, Essence, Travel Noire and more.

When Timeekah Murphy first realized she wanted to get

involved in fashion design, she was stationed at Fort Hood

Texas in the army and had no

idea she'd one day be designing

iconic pieces for stars like Cardi B and Beyoncé. At the time, she simply knew she wasn’t being represented as a masculine

female in the styles available. She carried this passion for

gender fluid fashion into the

I design clothing that everyone can feel comfortable in, be stylish and make heads turn all at the same time

creation of her own clothing

line, Alani Taylor, named after her daughter after her birth

Timeekah Murphy The Embodiment of Fashion & Entrepreneurial Success


imeekah Murphy (Army

Veteran, Celebrity Fashion

Designer, Actress, Influencer), the founder of Alani Taylor

that celebrates “reworked

proportions,” Alani Taylor Co. is geared as both a high fashion and luxury streetwear brand

bringing gender neutral fashion to the mainstream.

Q: What was your inspiration to start a fashion Line? A: “I started teaching myself how to sew because I didn’t

want to look like everyone else. I love androgynous fashion

and I’m a masculine woman,

so I wanted to be comfortable in my clothing and still know that I’m a woman.

Co., a luxury high fashion

that has designed for the

A: There are a lot of men and

as Beyoncé, Cardi B, Nick

that fit them in a comfortable

streetwear company owner

Androgynous Fashion Line?

most influential celebs such

women that can’t find clothes

Timeekah has been featured

on media outlets such as AT&T Dream in Black Future Maker Commercial, HBO Max “They


offers gender-free clothing

Q: Why did you create an

Cannon, Da Baby and more.


in 2016. The brand proudly

way. I get a lot of women all the time that come up to me and

say ‘I finally found clothing that

hides my curves as a masculine woman and I’m so glad.’ So,

they are more confident, they

walk with their head high, and they get that confidence they

always had inside. Clothes can make you stand tall or slouch.

Alani Taylor helps you stand tall with your head high.”

Q: What can one expect when buying Alani Taylor’s fashions? A: Alani Taylor’s high fashion line is high-end luxury with

designer price tags. It features dropper pants, jackets, and long shirts with plenty of

texture and layering in gender

fluid styles and bold colors. The streetwear line features shorts, pants, hoodies, and shirts that

come in unisex sizes, as well as

kidswear with similar cuts and a vibrant aesthetic.

For more info on Timeekah

Murphy and her brand, please visit her website:


A Deeper Love By Monika M. Pickett

his can’t be happening! Not now, God. Of all times…I

found myself unable to walk

unassisted two weeks from Pride. The constant pain in my legs

reminded me that something

as simple as an infection could

wreak havoc on my compromised immune system. My doctors

that my body and mind were tired. I felt like I was wasting

away, physically, mentally and

emotionally. Battling a chronic illness was taking its toll.

I didn’t know if I had any more

fight in me. I needed this win to keep from giving up.

hastily scheduled a battery of

I reminisced on my childhood. I

was having a flare up due to my

who liked other girls. I dreamt

tests to determine whether I

brain disorder, Neurosarcoidosis. My stomach dropped as

conversations of hospitalization and surgery surfaced.

I was running out of time. I threw myself into editing the final

draft of the third installment

of my Pretty Boy Blue trilogy,

The Evolution of Nikki Blue to

submit the draft to my publisher as my friend confirmed my live

reading on the first Saturday of

Gay Pride at his restaurant. That day happened to fall on my 55th

birthday. I was in awe of how God had lined people up in my life to

help make my dreams come true. The excitement was heightened by the impending birth of my

third grandchild. The thought of

my grandchild being born on my birthday was more than I could have ever dreamed of. Joy and adrenalin overshadowed the

I chose without judgement or

discrimination. I wanted to be a

role model for others who were struggling with their sexuality. I wanted to love and be loved,

freely. I longed to be an example of what is possible. I thought of my ancestors whose shoulders I stand on…like the late James Baldwin. Would he be proud of me for accomplishing all the

things society said I couldn’t? Would my existence dredge

up his experience of moving to Europe when his own country

did not celebrate him as a Black, gay author? I thought of LGBTQ

advocate and playwright, Lorraine Hansberry. Would she inspire me to pursue my dreams of

welled with tears as I admitted

helped pave the way for me to

become who I’m becoming. In that moment, I thought of my legacy. I realized that my legacy is not

my own. I thought of the deeper

love I have for my grandchildren, specifically the one who will be

my Gemini twin. Would he or she

rarely celebrated?

Mind” Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, forefront of the Stonewall Riots that incited a new era of the LGBTQ movement in 1969.

ka ni

M. Pi


have similar characteristics of

mine? Would they be as fearless

as I had been in my youth? When

I am long gone, my grandchildren will be able to boast that their

grandmother lived her authentic

life during a time when it was not widely accepted.

that pulsed through my body. I

boldly craft narratives that are

two Transgender women at the

canceling the event. My eyes

tell in their fight for equality. They

out and proud lesbian author to

Would she encourage me, an

concern that I was not well

mind. She begged me to consider

I imagine the stories they could

I woke up the morning of my event

I thought of Marsha “Pay it No

enough weighed heavily on my

available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

becoming a playwright?

pain as I remained determined

to achieve my goals. My sister’s

The Pretty Boy Blue trilogy is


was days away. Anxiety set in

of being able to love whomever


distract myself. The deadline to

thought I was the only little girl



and ignored the aches and pain smiled when I thought of God’s

Grace and Mercy. To celebrate my

55th birthday on the first Saturday of Gay Pride as I launched my

third novel, while waiting for my

grandchild to enter this world was a blessing I will cherish forever… and that is why this Pride has a deeper love for me.

Monika M. Pickett is a veteran of the United States Army. She is the author of the #1 International Best-Selling novel Pretty Boy Blue, Second Edition, and its sequel The Darkest Shade of Blue, and finally The Evolution of Nikki Blue the Trilogy is available on Amazon. Pickett is an advocate for the LGBTQ community. For more information on Monika M. Pickett, please visit,




Authentic S EL F By Brodderick D. Roary



The most important relationship you will ever have in life is the one you have with yourself.

they serve you or not. Are these

if you do not work on building


they kind and loving, are they

chances are you will not be


loving towards yourself and try

You can’t ignore the role

own best friend because the

this. Whether we are talking

thoughts good thoughts, are

empowering? If not, let them go and shift your focus from the

things you think are wrong with you to the things that are okay, towards those things that are

unique and beautiful about you. If you do not know what those

things are, go ask those closest to you and you will soon find

out what an incredible being they think you are.


need to cut yourself some slack. Do not be afraid to express


ou want someone out there to love you. But do you love

your authentic self? Can you

look in the mirror and honestly

say to yourself: ‘I love you?’ You cannot expect others to love

you when you do not even love

to start seeing yourself as your

forgiveness plays in all of

moment you do, you will realize there is no friendship more

valuable than the friendship you have with your own self.

What are the things you love

to do and what is keeping you from doing them? What are

the excuses you are using not to do them? Can you let go of

the excuses and start spoiling yourself from time to time? I think you can, and I also think you should allow yourself to BE HAPPY.

afraid to be who you are, and act


of people who act the way others

yourself and to grow. Take the


the way you feel. The world is full

Make the time to learn about

want them to and are not being

time to nurture your dreams

true to themselves … they do not have to live their life that way.

accept yourself completely and



speak your mind, and do not be

mirror back at you how poorly

Things You Can Do to Love Your Authentic Self

genuinely happy. Be kind and


I can tell you from my own

you yourself think of yourself.


yourself, do not be afraid to

yourself. For, in the end, you will only encounter people who will

and improving this relationship,

experience the moment you

the moment you start honoring your TRUTH, more and more

people will be drawn to you, and not only you will realize there is

being so harsh on yourself. Start

The most important relationship

own thoughts and see whether

one you have with yourself and

and that is perfectly fine, so stop


paying close attention to your

you will ever have in life is the

exercise it. Because by not

forgiving others, and yourself

you are keeping yourself from

experiencing and living life fully. Ask yourself:

• Who are the people you need to forgive, and why?

• Do you I need to forgive myself?

• Is there something from the past that has not yet been

healed because it has not yet been forgiven?

• Can I forgive them? • Can I forgive myself?

opening and life-changing way

time at all to waste on things

that hinder you from becoming

your authentic self. And all your focus, energy, and attention will be directed towards the improvement of yourself.

a happier and more fulfilling


why it is imperative that you

so, you will have little or no

making them happen. By doing

this love on to others.

You are not perfect, nobody is

power of forgiveness, and

When you forgive, you set

If you only do this one thing,


it is crucial to understand the

and goals; and commit to

so much about you to love, but you will also start projecting

about others, or only yourself,

yourself FREE. And an eye-

to see things would be to regard the people you need to forgive

as teachers of much-needed life lessons. This way it will become easier for you to forgive so that you can find the strength to

move on and enjoy your life.

I promise you, you will live

I hope these things will inspire

life. And many of the people

your heart a little so that you

around you will admire you and feel inspired by your actions and behaviors.

and empower you to open

can love yourself more. Being

yourself is the greatest gift you can give yourself and the world because the world needs more authentic and real souls.





INTERGENERATIONAL CONVERSATION PANEL SERIES A Live Webinar Series: 6:00 ‐ 7:00 pm CT July 14 ‐ August 11 ‐ September 8 The Turley Memphis Center at Rhodes College, in partnership with the Museum of Science and History (MoSH), presents a live webinar series where panelists come together to discuss important topics in the local and national LGBTQ+ community. This series is a part of the Memphis Proud: The Resilience of a Southern LGBTQ+ Community on exhibit at MoSH from June 4th to September 26th. These virtual conversations will be live at 6:00 pm CT on the second Thursday of each month from July to September. Register to receive login information for each panel.

How LGBTQ+ Community Spaces Changed in Memphis Thursday, July 14th @ 6 pm CT

This panel gives a look at the way that LGBTQ+ people have and continue to make a community in Memphis. The panel will cover the different social spaces that made huge impacts in Memphis as well as other ways in which LGBTQ+ people have made community, such as PRIDE and places like Meristem Book Store.

Registration Link

Rethinking the AIDS Epidemic: Detaching HIV/AIDS from the LGBTQ+ community Thursday, August 11th @ 6 pm CT

The HIV/AIDS crisis nearly led to the loss of an entire generation of LGBTQ+ people and has caused more to live in fear of physical intimacy. In addition to this internal loss, LGBTQ+ people still carry stigma created by fear mongering during the heat of the crisis by certain institutions. This panel will address the pain associated with the epidemic but also show a view forward of how we can stop the stigma and combat HIV/ AIDS as a country.

Registration Link

For more information contact: Iris Mercado at All events are free and open to the public. Reservations required. Co-Sponsored by the Department of History, the Chaplain's Office, LGBTQ+ Working Group, and the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program.



Loud and Proud, We Rise! Thursday, September 8th @ 6 pm CT

This panel is an opportunity to explore the different ways that frontline LGBTQ+ activists are fighting. These panelists represent different sides of LGBTQ+ activism which creates a diverse picture of what all the word "activism" can mean.

Registration Link