Featured

13 SIGNS OF UNCHECKED CHILDHOOD TRAUMA

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

SOCIAL ANXIETY

PUTTING OTHERS NEEDS BEFORE YOURS

DESPERATE NEED OF EXTERNAL VALIDATION

FEAR OF ABANDONMENT

CODEPENDANCY

LOSS OF SKILLS

ADDICTIONS

DID I MISS ANY? Feel free to comment your experiences below.

Featured

8 LGBTQ+ LEADERS THAT MAKE ME KNOW IT! : DECEMBER 2020

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!

TORI COOPER

Director of Community Engagement TG Justice Initiative, Human Rights Campaign

KEITH HUGHES

HIV + Advocate, Community Liaison, and Ballroom House Leader

KENTRELE SHIPP

Entrepreneur, Ballroom House Father, Dance Instructor, and Parent

MARTEZ SMITH

HIV+ Advocate, Scholar, Sexual Health Researcher, and Social Worker

CHYNA PARKER

Senior De-Escalation Expert, Broad Street Ministry

DURRON BROWN

Outreach Specialist, WPT Cares and long time Community liaison.

TABYTHA GONZALEZ

Outreach Specialist, Housing Works & Trans Activist

EDDIE BENSON

Founder of EMOTE Inc, Ballroom House Leader and BU Program Coordinator

Featured

6 MUSIC ARTIST TO WATCH : The December Edition

SHAI LYNN

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

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” !

HURRICANE

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”

GOLLIDAY

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”

DREA VOCALZ

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.


Matthew Jamison

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.

Featured

Maven Lee interviews HBO MAX’s new show “LEGENDARY” star Isla Ebony of Purple Crush and the House of Ebony

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.

RAPID ROUND:

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!

CHECK LEGENDARY OUT MAY 27th on HBO MAX !

BELIEVE IT : Curtis McCann, A young chef with a belief, a vision, and a recipe for success!

“No one will believe in you like yourself.” A quote by McCann

It all started with a Catered by Curtis. A blossoming new business created by an ambitious entrepreneur. It was the brainchild of Curtis McCann. This skilled food artist would make waves with his tasty food and professional service. His Sunday Soul series was a hit and business was consistently moving. It was only a matter of time before folx wanted more!

After gifting folx with wonderful catered events and entertaining their tastebuds with good food Catered by Curtis was headed to new territory. His belief in his craft created space for an entire new vision.

After some deep brainstorming and building connections McCann opened Juanita’s Creole Soul Cafe in Dutchtown inside the Urban Eats commissary. He named the cafe after his grandmother Juanita. And on the menu you would find this absolutely amazing blind of creole and soul inspired food

Combining his experience in New Orleans and his upbringing on soul food he would bring St.Louis a well received gem.

After rave reviews and nods in various publications from Sauce Magazine to the Post-Dispatch this young chef had turned his vision into a success.

Through the last 2 years the world has endured through a tough season of pandemic woes and life changing realities. And even McCann took time to refresh and recharge to bring out his 2021 best.

Though currently running as a ghost kitchen Juanita’s will officially reopen March 12.

For catering and dinner services contact us at 314-405-4285 and email, creolesoulstl@gmail.com

BLACK QUEER ST. LOUIS and BLACK LGBTQ FOLX you should know !

Black LGBTQ St. Louis is powerful and plenty. It is rich in creative, visual, and performing arts, and full of empowerment and inspiration for us all.

It is home to a competitive Drag pageant community and a talented ballroom, vogue scene. Long lasting pageants like Mr and Miss Missouri State, Fannies, Cosmopolitan and premier balls like Meko Ebony’s Valentine Ball and One Night Only continue to flourish. Festivals like FemFest, St.Louis Black Pride, and WerQfest continue to create safe spaces and opportunities for the community and allies.

A multitude of our city’s finest movers and shakers are champions of this community. They are artists, entrepreneurs and everything in between.

Strengthening the community are several black founded community organizations: Williams & Associates, WPT Cares, MO Ho Justice and The Community Wellness Project.

They work to address issues in the community, build relationships, combat stigma, and strengthen self-love and pride for every LGBTQIA person of color.

Black queer folx have been a part of everyone’s black history regardless of affectional orientation, identity, or expression; influencing music, art, sports, literature, film, and science. It is very clear that the sky is not the limit for this limitless community. And fortunately enough, they welcome all.

Here are 102 BLACK LGBTQ ST.LOUISIANS YOU SHOW KNOW IN 2022

*** please note this list is in no specific order and is a reflection of folx currently residing in St.Louis, transplants of at least 2 years, and former residents with long standing influence.

*** There are far more than 100’s amazing LGBTQ FOLX to name this but a few of many!

*** feel free to add more in comments

  • Slumfest Artist of the Year, Rapper, Songwriter and FemFest Founder: Bates
  • CNN Political Commentator, BET Talk Show Host : Keith Boykin
  • Award Winning Professor, Visual & Performing Artist, and founder of The Justice Fleet : Cypress Amber Reign
  • Actress and Bad Girls Club Alum: Jonica “Blu” Booth
  • Playwright, Actor, Singer and founder of JPEK Creative Works: Joel P.E. King
  • TLT Productions, WerQfest Founder and Indie Artist: TreG
  • Actor, Host, and Personality: Byron Keaton
  • Netflix “Dragula” Star, Multi-Instrumentalist, Host, Activist and Q’UART Founder: Maxi Glamour
  • Drag and Male pageant winner: Silver Steele
  • Celebrity Make Up Artist and “Carta Works” owner: Dee Davis
  • Kode Redd Dance Studio Owner, COCA Instructor, legendary Dancer and International Choreographer: Anthony Redd Williams
  • Author, Poet, Councilwoman: Aja LaStarr Owens
  • Advocate and Educator: Tyrell Manning
  • Alderwoman, Tina Sweet-T Pihl
  • Model, Ballroom Leader, and Diva of the Grove Vanessa Frost
  • Activist, Artist, and Founder of MO-Ho Justice Jay Marie Hill
  • Dj and Entrepreneur:
  • Entrepreneur, Host, Drag legend, and founder of Missouri State: Vincent “Vicki Valentino” Tucker
  • Dj and Host: Rico Steez
  • Legendary Drag Queen, Activist, PRIDE St.Louis Board Member and Community Leader: Jordan “Dieta Pepsi” Braxton
  • Designer, Fashion Guru: Terrill Keith
  • Singer : Be.be
  • Drag Queen, Host, and Queen of the Divas of the Grove : Chastity Valentino
  • Rapper, Poet: LL Manny
  • Missouri State Founder and Legendary Host: Vicki Valentino
  • Legendary Community Leader and Educator: Lawrence Lewis
  • Singer & Songwriter: Golliday
  • Vogue Legend and Dancer: Jariya Ebony
  • International Dancer & Choreographer ( Lil Nas , Kehlani, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Tyler The Creator, Christina Aguilera) : Tramon Richard
  • Choreographer, Dancer, and Ballroom Standout: Kam Sanders
  • Ballroom Vogue phenomenon and Community leader: Spirit Ebony
  • Actor, Ballroom scene Leaders : Carvas “Raheem” Pickens
  • Filmmaker, Writer, and Creative prodigy : David Kirkman
  • Rapper, Producer and Songwriter: Bynk Bravado
  • Entrepreneur and Promoter: Shernise Jones
  • Designer and Drag Performer: Vontez “Simora Bonet” Williams
  • Rapper, Writer: KV the Writer
  • Choreographer and Dancer ( Rihanna, SZA, Sam Smith, Demi Lovato, Saweetie, Chloe x Halle) : Jamal Deandre
  • Singer and Songwriter: Jalisa Renay
  • Host, Entrepreneur, founder of PL Creatives : Paul Leon
  • Entrepreneur and owner of Paw Purfect Pet Grooming Salon : Pawl Simon
  • LGBT Community Leader, Kiki Ballroom Icon: Kece Ebony
  • Singer (Tonight Show with Jay Leno and contestant on American Idol) : Curtis Finch
  • Miss Legacy International Newcomer, Pageant Promoter and Drag Queen: Seianna Sanchez
  • Drag Entertainer and Creative: Robyn Hearts
  • Community Outreach Leader and Former Adult Film Actor : Trell “Lil Tyga” Chanel
  • National Pageant Queen, Drag Legend, Show Host, and Designer : Kitty Litter
  • Educator, Ballroom Legend, and Community leader: Joel “JD” Jackson
  • Art Curator, Organizer, and Activist: Kristian Blackmon
  • Educator and Founder of Williams & Associates : Erise Williams
  • Host, Pageant Promoter, and legendary Community leader: Danny “Pebbles” Sanders
  • Designer and Drag Legend: Ralph “Simpson” Moore
  • Educator and Community leader: Darius Rucker
  • Legendary Drag Performer: Alexis Principle
  • Entrepreneur and Chef: Curtis McCann
  • Rapper and Legendary Ballroom leader : Blanca Tha Bawdy
  • Drag Legend , Singer, and Dancer : Teiona Mazzaratie Steele
  • Entrepreneur, Singer and Educator: Jaqui Rogers
  • Singer and Songwriter: Frankie DoWop
  • Legendary Ballroom Face Diva, Former Miss Fannies, and Drag performer Extraordinaire: Ming Lee Chanel
  • Activist, Artist, and Organizer: Charles Buchanan
  • Educator and Entrepreneur: Javania Michelle
  • Legendary Drag Performer: Regina Aigner
  • Vocal Producer, Host, and Singer : Kourtney Harris
  • Male Drag Entertainer: Jabori Steele
  • Former Club Owner, Police Officer, and organizer of the legendary Fathers Day Picnic : Morris “Big Moe” Lewis
  • Drag Performer and Former Miss Missouri State: Jadakiss
  • Dancer, COCA Instructor, Ballroom Vogue standout: Fame Lee Chanel
  • Community Gate Keeper and Socialite: Durron “Javon” Brown
  • Entrepreneur, Overall Father of the House of Ambrosia, and Artist: Courtland “Fatha” Ambrosia
  • Entrepreneur, Spiritualist, Vogue Legend, and Performer: Paris Carson
  • Program Coordinator of Project Stop and Life Coach : Hezakiah Williams
  • Drag Legend and Host : Candy Principle
  • Educator, Mental Health Guru, Community leader and Co-creator of Pillow Talk : Steven “Lula Bell” Fields
  • Creative, DJ, Entrepreneur, and Artist: Joshua Harshaw
  • Educator and Artist: Christopher Thomas
  • Multi- Instrumentalist, Podcaster, Recording Artist, Entrepreneur, and Producer: Ben James Chandler
  • Designer (Tamron Hall Show) : Michael Shead
  • Rapper and Songwriter : Eric Donte
  • Alchemist: Shahil Ahaya
  • Poet, Rapper: Leethal
  • Founder of Inthelyfe St.Louis, Community Leaders, and former BPSTL President: Audrey AP Pearson
  • HIV Educator and organizer: Darne Guest
  • Male and Female Drag Performer and Community Outreach Worker: Lamont “Sharissa/Tiger” Wilson
  • Singer and Musician: Robert Dillard
  • President of Black Pride St.Louis: Randy Rafter
  • Legendary Commentator and founder of one of the longest running balls in ballroom history : Meko Burr
  • DJ, Icon and founder of St.Louis Ballroom Scene : Kevin Brock
  • Trans Activist: Amiyah Cole
  • Pastor of The Sanctuary: Romeo Parks-Weekly
  • Promotor : Peachez Jointer
  • Former Mr. Missouri State : Maze
  • Drag Performer and Ballroom standout : Essence Mazzaratie Gucci
  • Community Leader : Deandre F. Morris
  • Educator: Em Maxey
  • Up and coming Ball Legend, Singer, Activist: Miyonnee
  • Make Up Artist, Legendary ballroom figure, and Performer : Mechee Harper
  • Black Pride Board member and 1st Gentleman of The Sanctuary : Damion Parks- Weekly
  • Entrepreneur and Community Gate keeper: Latonya Kelly
  • Entrepreneur, Drag King, and Pageant Winner: Danny Tanner LePaige
  • Ballroom Legend and Travel Guru : Kellen “Denise” Myers
  • Actress and Trailblazer : Tyra Nicole
  • Trans Activist: Miyonnee Hickman
  • Drag Entertainer, Hospitality professional, and Socialite: Cheyenne Devereaux
  • Ballroom Standout and Entrepreneur: Chanel Ross
  • Delux Magazine’s : ML Hunt
  • Entertainer and Host : Sara Shay
  • St. Louis Post Dispatch’s : Kevin Johnson
  • Entrepreneur, Ballroom KIKI Scene Legend: Poonie Jay Harris
  • Host and Promoter: Raychel Haywood
  • Action St.Louis co- Founder: Kayla Reid
  • For the Culture Creator, Activist, Creative: Ohun Ashe

CHANGES MADE:

While it is clearly stated above the list that folx where not placed in order of prestige or importance it’s possible some folx weren’t aware . TO ENSURE that there’s NO CONFUSION Numbers we’re replaced with bullets in this piece so folx wouldn’t assume this is in any way competitive or attended to cause conflict. Also If anyone desires removal from acknowledgment please comment below.

THE HUMMINGBIRD OF BALLROOM : A quick look into the Iconic voice Legendary Kevin JZ Prodigy .. “Ranika” if your nasty!

There’s much that can be said about one of the most eclectic voices in Ballroom. But nothing more factual and true that it is one of the most distinct sounds most of us have ever heard. Sounds that became a part of a community’s language. Like their predecessor the voice of the Ballroom nation Selvin aka MC Debra … Kevin transcended the role of a commentator. They became lyricist. They produced real time tracks on the floor. And every time they gave a performer their own unique experience who knew they would be the soundtrack to the masses.

We might ask ourselves how does someone become so good? How does a person so masterfully align with your every movement? And I think part of that answer lies in their own creative performance.

You can’t deny their artistry on the floor. The soft and feminine fire. The dazzling drama. And the storytelling hands. And I think it’s clear that that connection between your movements, your mind, and your words is a powerful mix.

When Miss Ranika if you’re nasty vogues it’s at that moment their chanting makes even more sense. And the word that presents itself is CONNECTION !

The connection that they have with the audience and the performers is like no other. And your body moves at times without thought. Your hands get to going and your imaginary hair (if you don’t have any gets to shaken lol)

They have traveled the world. From big cities to small towns. Igniting the flame and getting insane. Making the girls go crazy in the brain. And all they wanna do is vogue in the name. In the name of Kevin JZ.

Now we have to be honest a culture might owe him a little money. Because when we couldn’t get him to our events we surely listened to him online. Chant after chant on YouTube would give them Millions of views. Imagine if Apple Music was around years ago. They may have single-handedly created a whole new genre in music. Hell I’d argue they still can.

And while we cannot go back in time for some things perhaps we should think more about what we can do in the present.

And I think while the public opinion in the majority might be largely clear … the ceremonial acknowledgement has got to come soon. Because we exist in a time where the unexpected has become the new normal.

My final thoughts are simple thank The Ballroom Gods for the voice of a decade. With you some of our greatest legends found their groove! To the Architect of a genre … WELL DONE!

Now check out a few quotes from folx in community who had this to say today:

“ The Voice of Philadelphia” and that’s exactly who they are. – Icon Niambi Prodigy

“There is no voice like Kevin’s. They are the master at what they do and their chants evoke an energy in you unlike any other. A true artist in control of their art.” – Legendary OVA Overseer Intyce Makaveli

They are the one that brings out my full performance it’s like they make my body do exactly what they say !!! – Legendary Indigo Ebony

“The Voice that changed vogue and created modern commentation with their rhythms, inflections and language; always duplicated, Kevin JZ is not a Legend, they are an ICON, and they are currently leading the way in defining a new American music genre.” – Up and Coming Legend Mother Isla Ebony

Your talent and style is something that has touched the hearts of ballroom for over 20 years and your legacy has been set in stone… a iconic voice that will always be here for generations to walk categories to in ballroom. – SE Commentator OTY Paris Blahnik

FAST FIVE with Activist and Artist Miyonnee Sateek Hickman

Who is MIYONNEE and what does that name mean to you?

Miyonnee: Miyonnee is a unique person just trying to make it! An artist, an advocate, a beautiful black Transgender goddess! What my name means to me is beauty, confidence, and strength!

If you could have any superpower what would it be?

Miyonnee: If I could have a superpower it would definitely have to be Teleportation! I gotta go…

What was your most challenging life experiences and how did you deal with it?

Miyonnee: My most challenging life experience to date was losing my best friend. It literally broke me, and changed my life as I knew it. I’m much better now though.

If the career of your dreams is in front of you in a box.. are you taking it or not?

Miyonnee: The career of my dreams is in front of me in a box am I taking it or not? The answer is Hell Yeah! It’s always been to be a singer! So absolutely!

If you could leave the world with one message that will last forever what would it be?

Miyonnee: If I could leave the world with one message that would last forever it would definitely be drink water! Mind your damn business! It’s for the best, less stress! And don’t forget to not only be the very best version of YOU, But bring that version in every single room you walk in!

FROM THE WRITER:

Miyonnee has carved a unique place in St.Louis history. She has known across the city as gifted muse with an angelic voice. But what many folks don’t know is that she housed and create a safe space for people LGBTQ & heterosexual. That’s right just like some saw saw on the hit shut “Pose”. Regardless if you know her from one way or the other.. or one that hasn’t been mentioned she certainly found her way into our cities black history.

They were NEVER INVISIBLE, you just needed to Open your Eyes & Believe them! – Maven Lee

They say today is Trans day of Visibility…..

And I get that.

But for me… at least in the greatest days of my life they are valuable everyday. I see them. I love them. I appreciate them. And I’m inspired by them.

These womxn and men of Trans experiences have completely reshaped how I see and view the world. They’ve rearranged my idea of what courage looks like.

I remember growing up with transwomxn in my late teens, early twenties. Kaarmen, Blanca, and Jhene were their names. They all were vastly different but each one made me feel seen. Each one had something about them that was fascinating and fearless. They became my life long sisters. How they made me feel seen, loved, and appreciated has been the shared experience ever since.

I remember the day I meet Marquise… Blahnik at the time. This man was so fine admittedly so and the glow he exuding was enamoring. He was strong. He was a gentleman. He was ambitious. He was casually yet boldly standing in his blackness. I saw a strong black man. In fact … he was “if strong black man” was a person for me. And I recall being told (not from him) … “ you know he is Trans”. For reason I felt a way about how they said that to me. I can’t tell you how much that moment lives on with me. Marquise was seen before anyone told me anything. I meet the man that mattered.

I remember meeting Vanessa Frost. And no I’m not talking about times before but the day I saw her eyes glisten. She was a flower blooming right in front of my eyes. Those days she would go to school and change clothes before the day started. The don’t tell my parent’s road trips to find her truth. I was seeing a girl becoming a young lady right in front of me. In those moments I became a big brother. A protector when I use to struggle to protect myself. And she just like those before her made me feel seen.

I remember meeting Sayer Johnson. Seeing him reach his arms out to others without hesitation. You could feel his heart. You became a witness to his integrity.

I remember meeting Tori Cooper. This strong black womxn. She embodies radiance and independence. You could see your mother. You could hear your aunt. And I felt safe.

I remember meeting Adonis Margiela. Focused. Driven. Honest. The brother I needed. Hearing him speak truth to power. Being fascinated by his dedication to not only visibility but respect.

I remember meeting Miyonnee Hickman. That voice. Musically connected and instantly attached. That angelic voice rings. The one who never closed her doors to anyone.

It’s the hugs from Jahaira that were full of unconditional love. The tough love of Amaya. The we will get through it sibling arguments with Giselle. The dedication of Toni Bryce. The passion of Gabrielle. The heart of Mariah. The strength of Jazelle. The love of Teiona. The fierceness of Laverne. The boldness of Tyra. The creativity of Jay Alexander. The elegance of Trace. And so on and so much more that make these men and womxn so important to me.

Because of them I see the world differently. Understanding how truly fluid and diverse the world really is. How it’s bigger than some of the biblical boxes I was taught to stay in. How it transcends the heteronormative society I was born into. The way gender is far more nuanced than body parts. To see folx exactly as there are in front of my face and love the unconditionally for it.

THE REINTRODUCTION OF MICHAEL REVLON : “My de-transition changed my life” A brief sit down with ballroom Legend Michael Revlon

I’m enamored by the transparency and bravery of this man. Gender expression and identity to some people is always more challenging than it supposed to be. It’s disappointingly difficult for some to allow folx to live their truths. And this is especially true for those that we assume it’s our business to understand in order to respect. All transitions can be tough. And for this superhuman to navigate two different transitions that both come with questions, opinions, and acts of bravery I am empowered. So from one legend to another I am proud, inspired, and privileged to share this space with you. Let’s go! – Maven Lee Margiela

1. MAVEN: I’m excited so excited to chat with you today! So before I start what name am I using? Mike or Michael?

MIKE: Mike Lowery is just my Facebook name. My birth name is Michael. Mike it’s just a cute nickname but Michael Allen is the person my mom gave birth to. Call me Mike today!

2. MAVEN: Who was Feminine Destruction/Amori ?

MIKE: Ciani Amori was a character I created to feel beautiful. It made feel like I mattered. I felt like I had life to live when I transformed into that character. As a young boy I didn’t feel special or attractive and I felt totally awkward . As Ciani people gave me compliments and credit for things pre-Ciani I felt invisible for.

3. MAVEN : What was the moment like when you decided to make this transition?

MIKE: It happened kinda randomly nothing was wrong really. As I grew older I just felt more and more incomplete and unfulfilled. What began as an escape started becoming a lie. I had a lot of shoulda , coulda , wouldas.

Because I rushed through my transition in the beginning I doubted I could do it. I wondered how I would be as a man. I went from a teenage boy to a female … it was tough.

4. MAVEN: What would you say to your Trans sisters as Mike?

MIKE : To my trans sisters, I love you. I respect you. I admire you. I know the path you are on. I know the struggle. Keep being you. Keep listening to that voice you heard that led you to being trans in the beginning. Let your heart guide you. If you are happy and comfortable in your transition that is great but if by chance you have any other feelings it’s ok to follow those to!

5. MAVEN: What motivated you to share your de-Transitioning experience with the world ?

MIKE: Had I have meet a person who had detransitioned before I transitioned I would have had a better outlook on things . At 17 I wanted to be a girl never thinking about my future, my health or anything long term I just thought for the moment ! Also I feel like the few people who I heard that detransitioned disappeared and lived a private life. It’s almost like they dropped of the face of the earth. I wanna be the one you see grow and be happy , productive and free! People need to see it’s possible . And I’m going to take on the challenge.

6. MAVEN: How has your de-transition affected your relationships with friends and family?

MIKE: It made them all better. Everyone who knew me really already knew how unique and different I was.

7. MAVEN: Does this change your ballroom experience?

MIKE : Mentally Detransitioning does change things a little with me in ballroom because Michael wasn’t there for all that. Michael is this quiet shy guy who got caught up in ballroom. He experienced the good, bad, and everything in-between. I still haven’t found the formula to balance my masculine and feminine energy yet and I don’t wanna be labeled. Until I figure that out I just laying low. And that’s why I haven’t really done much in ballroom since to be honest. But nothing can take away what I’ve done in ballroom and the positive benefits I reaped from it. I’ve traveled the entire country. I’ve met some of the best people. I gained a confidence that I may have never had. I had the strength of a warrior. And I’m still the Legendary one.

8. MAVEN: Do you feel supported In this process? And if so is it the Kiki or Mainstream ball scene that encourages more?

MIKE: I do l! Everyone has made this extremely easy for me. The love and support was epic . Way more easier than I thought it would in 2016 when I planned this detransition

9. MAVEN: What would you say to others who may have felt pressured into transitioning and are afraid to de-transition?

MIKE: It’s ok it happens to the best of us , but let’s move on from here. Transitioning is mental…. so let’s start by owning your own gender and not caring what others see or think of you as! It’s ok to have a change of heart and mind! It’s a very brave choice to do what’s best for you. People will try an push you in certain directions for other reasons than the right one for you. Go with your heart. Even if it means de-transition.

10. MAVEN: Is there something you’d like to share that we left out ? What wisdom can you share with us ?

MIKE : I’m here to listen to anyone. To talk to anyone. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you need to talk ! There was no one for me to reach out to and I had to do it all alone. That was tough. That was hard.

Now that I made it to the other side of a scary decision I am extremely happy with myself! I am proud of my scars and my journey. I have little regrets because transition and detransition made me into this super human individual who is built for anything !

Follow MICHAEL REVLON on Instagram

https://instagram.com/thee_king_of_destruction?igshid=18fagjqld0b42

LIL NAS X we deem you The Iconic King Nas X by Maven Lee

Last night will go down in history as the day a black queer man successfully empowered, changed, slapped, and said HELLO to the world all at once.

We were privileged to a short film shorter than a short film. And we still got everything we needed. A storyline from start to finish. And oh was it a story. The story than many LGBTQ folx know all to well.

But his story isn’t just about queerness but it’s the intersection of so many identities. It broke down barriers untouched by anyone else before him. He was a brown skin man. A young man. A masculine man. A feminine man. A queer man. A gay man. He spoke to his fears and took control of his mental wellness. He willed himself.

And with all the social and cultural impact there’s still more that makes it amazing !

Aside from the fact his sex appeal certainly resonated with men, women, and everyone in between. Dare I say he also blurred the lines of sexual orientation … because some of my heterosexual friends both male and female thought twice. He brought the creative genius to the Max.

Many of us have compared him to a male version of Missy or a gay version of Busta Rhymes. I challenged it. While it’s clear he’s been inspired he is now simply Lil Nas X In a lane of his own.

He used his creativity to challenge some of the toxic ideals of religion and heteronormative culture. And in the world like this boldness is how you get their attention.

As someone in the LGBT ballscene I can tell you he’s about to inspire us creatively for years to come.

Shared from his Instagram and Twitter

I can go on and on about how historic and iconic this is but this letter to himself says so much more.

Introducing the Iconic King Nas X!

Entrepreneur Maven Lee creates new Ballroom Experience for St. Louis

For some folks August 21st isn’t coming fast enough. The people in the city are excited for the new ball experience called ONE NIGHT ONLY .

This is one of the biggest balls the city has seen in years. There will be everything from food vendors to community organizations setting up tables. The event hopes to be an interactive and innovative experience like never before.

Maven Lee now a member of the Haus of Margiela is pulling out all the stops by putting all his energy into this sure to be wonderful experience.

St.Louis has flourished in the past and many folks believe it’s time to revitalize and rebuild. After years of being dormant and many not getting to reach their full potential its only right to put the feet to the fire.

With more information coming soon just know this ball is giving out over $3000 and bringing in some big names from around the country. Stay tuned for updated details and don’t be afraid to find the event : https://fb.me/e/5wTqf0Zee

THINGS TO DO WHEN LIVING SINGLE !

THINGS TO DO WHEN LIVING SINGLE 🌻

• Learn Yourself
• Explore More
• Get creative
• Make Mistakes
• Love your own company
• Learn accountability
• Create personal stability
• Release the spirit of Chasing Folx
• Develop, maintain, & protect standards
• Become the energy you want to attract
• Frame the focus on Haves not Have nots
• Set, reinforce, & appreciate boundaries
• Explore relationship alternatives
• Enjoy Yourself
• Travel the world
• Eat well, Eat good, Eat safe
• Find your special friends
• Be kind but never dumb

📷 : Chrys Willis Photography

The Juice with Maven Lee : “From Bars to Ballroom”-an interview with with Vance Supreme Moncler

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.

THE HISTORICAL HELICOPTER RUNWAY

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.