The inability to deal with certain stress and emotions. That thing that causes you to feel defeated, powerless, depressed, and overwhelmed often comes from unchecked TRAUMA. And one of the most common places that trauma starts is during our childhood. Some of us can identify it and others may not. Some of us remember and some of us may not. We tend to internalize it and even give it a mind of its own. It paralyzes many of us and become a troublesome part of our lives. But what if we could do something about it? What if we recognized it and put in the work to check it and get through it. Here are 13 signs I’ve learned of Unchecked Trauma. – Maven Logik Lee, B.C.C., CMHT
INABILITY TO SET BOUNDARIES
ALWAYS SAYING YES
A PARALYZING NEED OF APPROVAL
TRYING TO FIX PEOPLE
SEEKING AND TOLERATING ABUSIVE PARTNERS
TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE
PUTTING OTHERS NEEDS BEFORE YOURS
DESPERATE NEED OF EXTERNAL VALIDATION
FEAR OF ABANDONMENT
LOSS OF SKILLS
DID I MISS ANY? Feel free to comment your experiences below.
Throughout the country there are folx going above and beyond to make our lives better. They inspire us. They motivate us. They connect us. They empower us. They teach us. They build us up. They push us. They encourage us. They fight for us. They believe in us.
There have been so many folx throughout this unpredictable year I’ve seen and heard make impact on every level of our society. No deed is too small to be acknowledged if you ask me. So I decided to take a moment out of each month and just share the faces of 8 leaders across the country. And here are the first!
Director of Community Engagement TG Justice Initiative, Human Rights Campaign
HIV + Advocate, Community Liaison, and Ballroom House Leader
Entrepreneur, Ballroom House Father, Dance Instructor, and Parent
HIV+ Advocate, Scholar, Sexual Health Researcher, and Social Worker
Senior De-Escalation Expert, Broad Street Ministry
Outreach Specialist, WPT Cares and long time Community liaison.
Outreach Specialist, Housing Works & Trans Activist
Founder of EMOTE Inc, Ballroom House Leader and BU Program Coordinator
Shai Lynn is a respect to past, existing in the present, and leads the future of R&B. Her voice is an impeccable blend of tone, flutter, variety, well placed rifts and rifts. She takes you on an emotional journey and lets you blossom with her. Check out her recent joint “Dont See It”
Gizzyy is an up and coming fem-cee and songstress with a raw yet alluring sound. She beautifully blends her flow and personal sound to create a distinct Gizzyy swag. She herself is a star in the undergound ball culture that has gradually fallen over to mainstream media. With her stunning sexiness and personal music taste Gizzyy is breaking barriers. Check out her new single “Cope” !
You could have spotted him around the world on tour with Rihanna flexing his unmatched danced skills. But did you know he had the music to match? Hurricane brings a fresh bop sound that isn’t overly complex and just right to make most of us music lovers move our shoulders and nod our heads. Check out his new song ” I Can Never Fall in Love”
I must admit it takes a lot to keep me intrigued on stage. And this emerging artist always brings his performances to life. His soulful voice and fusion sound is a good addition to anyone’s playlist. Check out his newest video “Tonight”
A visionary to say the least. This beautiful creative has crafted some of the most eye catching visuals I’ve seen from new artist. In fact I can’t even say she is new anymore. She is a pro. She understands R&B. Her music is lyrical accurate and puts some respect on those moments in our life that we search for soundtracks too.
This multi-instrumentalist beat master is creating a whole new chapter of groovy beats and fascinating sounds. His EP “Sorbert” caught my eye. Each song named after a different fruit magically brought each flavor to life. If you love instrumentals and bomb beats check him out.
When and why did you start ballroom? I joined Ballroom in 2013. I started as an event promoter with Banjee Ball and it was a few months after throwing my first couple Balls (which were very pre-school Ballroom) that I got bit by the vogue bug.
What does ballroom bring to your life? Community. Purpose. I’ve been a music artist for a very long time, and the music industry was always lacking something, which is why I kept searching. I found it in Ballroom.
Your greatest life accomplishment? In Life, creating my daughter. In Ballroom it was winning the 2017 Woman Voguer OTY in NY. The two are actually connected – I had set a goal post of winning a trophy in NY before getting pregnant. I had made my name traveling state to state walking OTA performance because at the time, other than in NY where all the Woman voguers resided, there were no Women’s performance categories. And I had some big wins. But when it came to NY, I was a last battle girl. I FINALLY won Grand Prize at the Ebony Ball in 2017 and got pregnant 4 days later. I was awarded Woman OTY the same week I announced my pregnancy.
What does the show Legendary mean to you? For me Legendary is about the stories that are getting told. The people of Ballroom have so much to share about Love and Loss.
If you could give the whole world one message today what would it be? Brand yourself. Figure out what it is that you LOVE to do and do it. And don’t get hung up on whether it makes you money or whether it manifests in the way you think it should manifest. If you are following your purpose the opportunities will surprise you.
How can we show you love? Wow, this is a hard question to answer. Letting me know that I belong in Ballroom as a cisgendered white woman.
Favorite Voguer: Starr Revlon Favorite Politician: Bernie Sanders Fruit or Veggies : Raspberries Favorite Movie : Desperately Seeking Susan A pet peeve: Liars Favorite song : Live to Tell by Madonna MJ or Prince: Prince A hidden talent: I’m a tap dancer!
Make no mistake Pusscee was the quarterback so to speak of the team this year but there were many team players. Rather it was Tae, James, Amor, Shy, Destiny and so on.
6. Vance Chanel
7. Spirit Ebony
8. Jeremy Revlon
9. Jourden Lanvin
10. Lanvin cast from “Legendary”
11. Heidi Labeiji
13. Rodney, Jamari and the House of Balmain Legendary Team
14. The Balmain MF Realness Line Up
The combination of Mitch, Hitman, JD, Shady, Meeko, Mekhi, Khaos, Rodney, JT and so on have blazed through BQ Realness. Rather its the far in end of Thug realness or getting down to business with Executive.
15. Precious 007
16. Karma Gucci
17. Logik 007
18. The M&M Garcon Girls
This dynamic duo is the new era of FF Runway. They are fierce, fashion forward, charismatic, and down right OVAH. Rather its popping out on social media or strutting on the floor this was definitely and M&M kind of year.
19. The Continued Rise of All American Runway
While All American Runway is no stranger to ballroom the category created by Devin Elite has certainly grown over the years. With folx from all regions crossing over and showing the world different styles and characters in the category. This year we’ve seen Xman West, Shady Balmain, Saint Mugler, Zo Balmain, Jay Moscow, CJ Lanvin, Berry Aga, Mekhi Balmain, Logik 007, Brodie Mugler, Zodiac Chanel, and many more setting up a AA Runway revolution.
20. Bianca Balmain
21. Bleu Balenciaga
22. Layla & Jamiyah Balmain
23. Lolita 007 & Honey Legendary Team
24. Jarrel Gucci and the House of Gucci
25. Medusa Balenciaga
26. The Raise of Virtual Ballroom
2020 brought us The Virtual Ball Scene. Innovative folks like Isla Ebony and Precious 007 took us to another place. Mother Toya Ebony & Father Kentrelle Gucci even gave us a major ball on 2 different platforms. Rather on Zoom or Bigo folx really participated and made the best of it. New personalities were created and a new day I the scene has begun.
27. The year of the New Houses and New Generation Legends
Several new houses made this list but there are so many more that flourished. For example the beautiful house of Margiela turned heads. Not only for the “We not going to go there moment” but for having one of the most well dressed houses in the scene.
And what about Legends like Barbie Makaveli and her new house. And even the houses that didn’t get to debut yet. Its a new day in ballroom and it’s amazing to see the generational stranglehold being broken.
28. Jerel West
29. JT Balmain
30. All members from The RWT Team performance teams
31. Khaos Ebony
32. The Raise of Ballroom Content & Media Creators
Throughout 2020 a plethora of innovative content creatives and videographers arose including Jay Garcon, Ball Voyeurs, Ballroom Reacts, Chronicle Images, Vogue Tip, Chris Got Footage, Just BallroomTV, and KB Vogue Clips
33. House REVAMPS
This year we saw the Houses of Revlon, Chanel, Khan, and Mizrahi revamp with new leadership and folx from the younger generation being part of the conversation. Leaders like Piggi & Jeremy Revlon, Taurus Khan, George Mizrahi, Derrick & Gee Gee Chanel and so on.
35. Prodigy Vogue Line Up
Man Man, Ty, Blu, Chi Chi and more! They completely captivated this year. Though there weren’t many balls to receive that live and in person energy they made every moment count. Man Man and Ty demolished every time that hit the floor. Its no doubt that Prodigy was in the conversation.
36. All cast members and special guest of HBO’s Legendary
37. Ballroom meets Only Fans
38. Continued resurgence of Detroit Ballroom Scene
39. The Larry’s
Lil Man & Larry Ebony
40. Leggoh Johvera & OTA Weekly
41. Legendary Omari & The House of Oricci
42. Miyah & Natasha Ebony
43. Gunner Tisci
44. Simone Margiela
45. Lanvin Runway Squad
46. Corey Lanvin
47. Lil James, Anthony & The House of West
48. THE YEAR OF THE COMMENTATORS:
Snookie West, Paris Blahnik, Chazzi West, Tree Ebony, Norman Ebony, Buddah Ebony, Lloyd Ebony & More
In your own words WHO IS VANCE and how did your story began in Ballroom? I grew up as a poor kid on the south side of Chicago. I was the oldest of 4. I struggled very early taking care of my younger siblings, because my parents were drug addicts. At roughly 16, I met the “Gay Community”. Subsequently, I was invited to a ball to walk School Boy realness! However, I fell in love with RUNWAY! It was when I met Milan Christopher, who showed me how to provide for myself, and I Officially became a Ball Kid! Years later, I was imprisoned, when someone who I looked at as family, lied on me, and cooperated with the feds, to give me up, so she wouldn’t do any time! I served 7 years. And, when I got out, I felt forgotten about. So I told myself you have to PUSH! And That is what my motivation is! DON’T FORGET ABOUT ME!
What are your Goals MOVING FORWARD in Ballroom? My goal moving forward is to become a House Parent. I want to be able to cultivate talent and preserve the “Old Ballroom” essence. And of course to be Legendary! I want to Beat the Unbeatable!
Coming back to ballroom years later.. what are your favorite moments? My favorite moments are coming off the stairway from heaven at Back To Basics, Studio 54 Edition. Even though I got chopped for missing my cat the building went up. Another would be winning Tag Team Runway in St. Louis with Japan. Coming in on those boards was so dope! And of course coming in on the Helicopter. I can say I made history.
What inspires you in Ballroom? The ability to shine, when we as a community didn’t have one! We took what we had, and made what we wanted; the opportunity to be proud of our talents.
What advice do you have for the next generation of Ballroom? Listen it is an abyss of uncertainties. You can easily become engulfed in the world of Ballroom. Before jumping off in, make sure you have anchors in your life that care enough about you to keep you grounded. Lofty dreams and a desire to be “That Bitch” will have you scamming, turning tricks, and compromising your ethics and morals to be on top. Though Ballroom has become much more than a Fantasy Island, if you steer clear of drama, focus on your goal, and stay on track, you can be a Ballroom great! You can find the gems of success and opportunity. Ballroom is producing some real stars! You can be a REAL STAR!
How does Ballroom connect to your present life? It’s keeping me polished! I came up in Ballroom when image was everything! And ballroom has shaped my idea of what I think about Image and Talent. There is a healthy amount of shade in Ballroom! That “healthy shade” pushes you to be better. And Ballroom pushes me to be what I know I can be.
For over 32 years folx from all walks of life have had amazing, memorable, and liberating moments at the iconic Attitudes Bar and Nightclub. People have danced, enjoy the show, threw back a few good drinks, and even had a tussle or two. For most of us that iconic club sign was The landmark that you had reached a part of the city that was welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community. And after many clubs have come and gone ATTITUDES was always there for us. So even though many folx will be sad. Some may share a tear and others may go look through the memories on social media. But I think we all appreciate the experiences and know that it couldn’t have come without a lot of hard work. This next chapter for the owners of this gift deserves all the good vibes in the world.
A MESSAGE FROM THE ICONIC ATTITUDES NIGHT CLUB:
To all our LGBTQIA+ Community in St. Louis and across the United States,
After 32 years, thousands of drinks, and wonderful times we will be closing our doors for good.
Attitudes will have it’s last call for alcohol on August 15, 2020.
Attitudes opened in August 1988 and Bonnie and I have had some of the best times of our lives at our club! We lived it, we loved it, and it was our baby.
One of my fondest memories of Attitudes will always be the nights that we would start off with only the Pub side open. It would be packed as guests waited anxiously to be let into the Club. At 10pm, we would open the Club doors with music playing, laser lights beaming and fog misting in the air. People scattered out searching for their table, for their spot that they owned for the night.
Life was Good!
But now, we are living in a time where we don’t know what the future looks like. So many businesses, especially in the hospitality industry, have been hit hard by this Pandemic. It has been rough, but we can’t thank our current staff enough for how hard they have been working during this time. They’ve worn Masks, followed CDC guidelines, and kept everyone safe! And all the while, they worked to provide some normalcy for you to enjoy a fun night out.
As many of you know our buildings have been for sale for a few years. We have accepted an offer and sold them. BUT! That is Buildings Only!
Everything IN Attitudes will be for sale. If you have any questions about the contents, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post more about the sale in a few days.
I would like to say thank you with all my heart to my business partner, Bonnie. She is the backbone of Attitudes. Bonnie worked tirelessly, decorating and cooking for all our special events. She did it all – and while wearing high heels!
If a fight broke out (and they did), Bonnie would kick off her heels and be right in it! Even in her 70’s she is still wearing her high heels! As we retire, and slow down a bit, I look forward to our future together. I’m not sure what it looks like in this world of uncertainty, but I bet it includes high heels!
Please stop by and see us and our staff. We will be open for 2 more weeks! We hope you have fond memories of Attitudes. As years go by and you want to share them with us and others we have created a Kudoboard where anyone can upload photos and videos to share their memories of Attitudes.
Attitudes was a special space and became an iconic place for so many. Remember what we said as you left for the night, “You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here!” Now is the time we will all leave and take our memories with us.
We sincerely thank each of you! It has been our pleasure to serve you for the last 32 years!
27 TABLES is an upstart catering company founded by Steve Townsend. This Young yet seasoned food-master from the Midwest has gradually elevated himself throughout his time in the food and hospitality industry. As a chef and cook at several restaurants overtime he manifested that he would soon have his own company. And he manifested with dedication and effort however no one could’ve foreseen is monumental 2020. This pandemic was mean and brutal and because of it the start up of 27 Tables was halted. And just like most challenges there are ways to overcome it. As I give you more about the foundation for this new company I also provide you with a link to help fund this worthy black owned business.
This fund seeks to provide start up cost to ensure that the vision comes to fruition.
The dining table has always been a symbol of many things at 27 Tables it symbolizes our values:
•Of honoring tradition, while embracing personal authenticity •Of growing the community through educating the next generation •Sharing love through hospitality.
We wanted to create a catering company to provide an enriching unique dining and fellowship experience that nourishes through knowledge, celebrates and supports community while creating lifelong memories.
Innovator Otto Orondaam is the founder of Slum2Schoool. This innovative alternative during the coronavirus pandemic has made it possible for 948 children to learn remotely. Otto is stopping at 948 he said his goal is to reach 10,000 kids this school year. And for him “Impossible is really nothing“.
As you can see via his official Twitter young R&B artist first known to the public stage as a contestant on the hit show NBC’s The Voice has officially came out as Bisexual. Avery appeared on the show 2012. Wilson has had a list of regional hits throughout the East Coast. He is currently signed to RCA Records with Clive Davis.
Over the years Avery Wilson has had many folks speculating and often times assuming they knew his sexual orientation. Of course to some folks this may not be a surprise. But the truth is sometimes it’s nothing better than doing things on your terms, on your time, in your own way.
Congratulations Mr. Wilson and hopefully this adds value to your story and career as an artist and entertainer. We know that there are tons of LGBTQ+ Male artist in R&B, Gospel, and soul Music who feel incapable of coming out so let’s hope you help crack the door for them.
In a straight forward Instagram post the Disney star revealed that she is indeed happy and married. She declares her wife as Mrs. Pearman-Maday.
This comes as a shock to folks that believed Raven’s queer admission a few years ago was merely a phase. And was a few weeks ago that an Instagram live with Da Baby sparked further doubt that the actress was still interested in women. During the live he (Da Baby) made various flirtatious gestures to the Cosby show actress. During the exchange she laughed, smiled, and even dashed a bit of I’m a boss at him. To some folks it seemed like Raven was going to take him up on the date offer. But it looks like it was just simple conversation.
Its clear 2020 has been a really heavy year. We have had one after another even to break our spirits. We long for happy moments and good news. So for Symone to give us a little sprinkle of joy its worth the party. Its Pride and a revolution for Black and brown Americans. There is hope when you see one of the most recognized black entertainers apologetically living in their truth.