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Life, Love, and LGBTQ+ Representation with Craig the Writer Stewart

Jun 25, 2024





Trigger Warning: Please listen with your best interest in mind


In this enlightening episode of Different Perspectivez, we welcome the multi-talented Craig the Writer Stewart who is known for his insightful memoirs and entrepreneurial ventures. This episode dives deep into Craig's personal experiences, the challenges and triumphs of being a black gay man, and his thoughts on representation and validation within the LGBTQ+ community.


You can listen to the full episode via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or YouTube.


Key Highlights:

  • Craig’s Early Life and Career:

    • Craig discusses his journey from Hampton University to Atlanta, writing and producing his stage play "A Day In The Life," and publishing his first memoir, "Words Never Spoken."


  • Representation and Validation:

    • A candid conversation about the importance of representation in media, particularly for black gay men, and the personal and societal validation that comes with it.

  • Relationships and Integrity:

    • Craig shares his views on dating, the qualities he values in a partner, and the challenges of seeking validation outside oneself.

  • Gerard Carmichael’s Reality Show:

    • Jennifer and Craig discuss the impact of Gerard Carmichael's show, its representation of black gay life, and the complexities of seeking familial acceptance.

  • Mental Health and Therapy:

    • Craig opens up about his own journey through therapy, the importance of addressing internalized issues, and the role of mental health in personal development.

  • Navigating the Gay Community:

    • Insights into the dynamics of the gay community, the underworld of discreet relationships, and the importance of self-acceptance and deprogramming internalized homophobia.

  • Future Projects:

    • Craig talks about his ongoing projects, including the upcoming seasons of his web series "Telling Our Stories" and his involvement in the T.S. Madison Starter House for trans women.


Craig the Writer Stewart

craigthewriterstewart.com

Say It In A Card: sayitinacard.com

CashApp: $TheWriter (Impeccable Works)

T.S. Madison Starter House: NAESM.org


Jennifer Wiley

https://www.thejenniferexperience.com/

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/thejenniferexp

Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/thejenniferexperience

TikTok - @thejenniferexp

LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/thejenniferexperience/


Until we meet again, we wish all our listeners well and peace. Thank you for tuning in to this important conversation.


 

Full episode transcript:

The Jennifer Experience: My guest today is Craig the Writer Stewart. Craig Stewart attended Hampton University and graduated with a degree in liberal arts. Following graduation, he relocated to Atlanta, where he wrote and produced a stage play entitled A Day In The Life that played before sold out audiences. In 2012, he released his first book Words Never Spoken: A Memoir. And in 2015, it was followed by the sequel, One Thing For Certain, Two Things For Sure: A Memoir, Continued. In his third release, So Much To Say: A Book of Quotes was released in 2017. Craig's fourth book, entitled A Book of Jewels for Personal Development, was released in 2020 of February, all of which carry a five star rating on Audible and Amazon. Stewart is also the founder of Say It In A Card Greeting Company, an online company and mobile app company. Ladies and gentlemen, Craig the Writer Stewart.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have a very, very, very special episode of Different Perspectivez today. I have the one, the only, the prestigious, the writer, I'm not going to call him a comedian, but I do think he is very comical in what he says and what he does. But I also think he's a very sincere, very good looking man too. For me to say that now y'all know, cause y'all know I have a beautiful wife, but this is a very good looking man. And I also want to highlight too, great representation of black gay men. Today, ladies and gentlemen, round of applause. I have Craig The Writer Stewart with me.

Craig the Writer: Hi, Jennifer.

The Jennifer Experience: Hi, Craig. How are you? 

Craig the Writer: I'm amazing. 

The Jennifer Experience: Listen, y'all. His skin is glowing. He looks fabulous. Looks fabulous. He has on a nice crisp white tee. He just looks fabulous.

Craig the Writer: Oh, thank you. I appreciate that. 

The Jennifer Experience: Upper body nice and cut. Just looking well groomed. Just fabulous.

Craig the Writer: Oh my God, you are too funny. I appreciate that. What a great welcome. 

The Jennifer Experience: All you out there, you need to take notes. Take notes now. Take notes. Cause listen, we gonna get into this and help y'all today. I've gotten some letters about having some real gay conversation, right? Because I do a lot of educational shows. So we're gonna have a real gay conversation about some real gay things.

Craig the Writer: Okay.

The Jennifer Experience: And set some of y'all free and help y'all. Okay, that's what we're gonna do today. And I called Craig on because I wanted y'all to have a different perspective on some things, because we have a whole lot going on in the world that I haven't got a chance to talk about on here and since it's Pride Month, I think we should talk about it. So, first of all, let's talk about Craig because everybody wants to know about Craig. So Craig, first of all, congratulations. The show that you were doing with T. S. Madison, y'all are doing spectacular on that show. I want to say as another LGBTQ person in the alphabet, y'all are just doing phenomenal.

Craig the Writer: Thank you so much.

The Jennifer Experience: Let me say that to both of you. Y'all are doing phenomenal. So you please give T. S. my best. Y'all are doing great.And to you, sir. Now, tell us your team. Where are you now in your life? What are you doing with yourself other than on this nationally syndicated show and making these appearances everywhere across America? What else are you doing with yourself these days?

Craig the Writer: Well, I mean, you know, before Fag Talk, I had published four books. The first two are memoirs. So it really is like my journey. Not just as a black gay person, but also just my journey as a creative, as an artist, as a writer, you know, when I first moved to Atlanta, I moved here to write music, you know, and then I got to a point where I realized that that wasn't paying the bills. And it was just like, one of those relationships I was trying to maintain that I knew I needed to walk away from, but I kept going back. You ever had one of those relationships where like, you know, the results aren't going to be different, but you keep going back expecting different? And so at some point I had to walk away from that relationship with music. I still love music. Deeply, and ironically, I was just in L. A. for my birthday, and I ended up co writing a song with a good friend of mine, her name is Kina. She was in Brownstone, she was the member who replaced one of the original members, but then she had her own career. She had a solo project called Kina, and her single was called Girl From The Gutter. And so it just kind of happened that when I was in L. A., she said, "Oh my God, you're here, I need help with this hook. And I don't know what to do with it." And so I ended up staying with her for a few nights and we got it cranked out and she actually just recorded it recently. That kind of made itself a full circle moment, but primarily I've been pushing these four books. The third book is a book of quotes. The fourth book, it's called Book of Jewels. And it's 11 chapters and I believe that those are the biggest life lessons that I've learned. Each chapter represents one of the biggest life lessons that I've learned. And then I have a greeting card business called Say It In A Card dot com and you can actually go to the website and read the cards, order the cards and we ship them to you. But what we're doing now is, I'm actually about to release a mobile app. And so you'll be able to go into the app store of your iPhone or your Android and download. Say It In A Card and you'll be able to send these greeting cards via text or email. You'll get to choose whether or not you want to send them via email or text. They'll open up just like an e vite if you ever sent somebody like an e vite where the card comes out of the envelope, sort of have like movement to it and that kind of thing. But we have breakup cards, troubled relationship cards, birthday cards, sympathy cards, you know, we have all of those kinds of cards. And so I really am passionate about that, and I'm looking forward to launching that, because I really think it could be groundbreaking, the fact that someone black, and then black and queer, who has a mobile app, that would really speak to this generation, because we've gotten really, really technical, you know, and most people communicate through text. Or social media. And so I really think that this is a great direction for Say It In A Card. So I'm really looking forward to that. 

The Jennifer Experience: Say It In A Card, y'all. Now, did y'all hear that? First of all, we fall short when it comes to cards because we go in Walgreens and go down to Little Hallmark Hall and pick a card and go on about our business. And now everybody, because I am a card person. Okay. I have cards that I received 20 years ago if they wouldn't destroy it in a fire.

Craig the Writer: I saved mine too. 

The Jennifer Experience: Yes. And we know Hallmark came out with their little mahogany, and that's about all people of color have. So now here you are, you have a black man, he just happens to be gay, but he is telling you he has a business. What's it called, Craig? 

Craig the Writer: Say It In A Card. 

The Jennifer Experience: Say It In A Card. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah, because there are people who still want a physical card. So you can go to the dot com. You can go to Say It In A Card dot com. You can read the cards and it will send you a physical card. But what's coming down the pipeline is the electronic version of those cards, you know, because some people, you know, have your last minute like me. Like sometimes I'm on my way to a birthday dinner and you got to stop and get a card or whatever.

The Jennifer Experience: That's what we do. 

Craig the Writer: You can send the card right from the dinner table. You're at the other end of the table at the restaurant and you can just send the card, you know what I mean? 

The Jennifer Experience: That's evolutionary, Craig. Congratulations. 

Craig the Writer: Thank you so much. So, yeah. So, Apple store, iOS has kind of delayed us a little bit, but we just got pushed through. So it should be launching, you know, soon in the next couple of weeks.

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. Well, listen, I'm going to be a subscriber because, I love me some cards. And now here's the thing. And even if you're a business person, you have to recognize your strengths. Okay. I hire writers.

Craig the Writer: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: I'm not, I am not shamed. I do, because there's things that I need written, right? And so, therefore, I make sure that I hire somebody to write my stuff. And I've been that person on the way to the graduation, to the birthday party, to the baby shower. I stop at Walgreens or CVS and get me a card real quick and slide through. I've been that person. I've been that person at the dinner table. I forgot to get a card.

Craig the Writer: Exactly. 

The Jennifer Experience: And then you don't want to slide the money without the card. Cause then that's tacky. 

Craig the Writer: Right? And so in this first version, well, we have room for growth too with the mobile app. Right. So like in version two, I want to make it possible for you to be able to attach a gift card. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, That's brilliant, Craig. 

Craig the Writer: So like, if you want to add like a Dunkin Donuts or Amazon gift card or Target gift card or whatever, you'll be able to do that in version two. So in this first version, we just wanted to get it out, spread it throughout social media. And then in version two, we'll nuance it. Just kind of like when you think about Instagram, when Instagram first started, the only thing you could do was add pictures. Well, now you can do reels and videos and like, you can go live, like, but that wasn't in version one. So we want to have room for it to grow and expand and, you know, to be nuanced. 

The Jennifer Experience: Yes. Okay. Well, listen, y'all, I will keep y'all updated on when this comes out because that's huge. 

Craig the Writer: Thank you. 

The Jennifer Experience: So now we have heard that Craig is an esteemed businessman. He has multiple projects in the, y'all just heard for yourselves. So now let's get to the other part that I know y'all want to know because y'all so nosy. Craig, are you single?

Craig the Writer: I am single. November will be two years.

The Jennifer Experience: Two years. Okay. So he's single and healed and whole and been single for a while. Okay. So what would your ideal person be, Craig?

Craig the Writer: Integral. Yeah. Integral. Integrity is really important to me. But also someone who has a sense of self, like not just be clear about who you are in terms of your sexuality and staying tall in that and own that. But it's also about really knowing your self worth and validating yourself, not seeking validation outside of yourself. Through social media, if you will, just being clear about who you are. I like to say, you know, you know your name, you know, I would like somebody who is really clear about, what their purpose is in life and be ambitious and enjoy what you do. Cause I think it's important to really love what you do. Some experiences that I've had in the past, I've encountered people who weren't really as passionate about what they do. And because I'm very passionate about what I do. Sometimes it, I wouldn't say that it becomes like a competitive type thing, but it becomes an envy type thing. Cause I'm really clear that people can be attracted to you. But they can sometimes be drawn to your dreams and drawn to your passion and not necessarily you. And what I found is the qualities that often draw people to us are often the same qualities that make them insecure once they're with us. I see people differently now and, you know, that's been one of those things that I've had to factor in. You know, in the whole landscape of dating now, because there are a lot of people who are just drawn to your energy, they're drawn to your light, they're not necessarily drawn to you, or they think that they want to be with somebody like you, but they can't really handle. The way that my work is set up. There are moments that I can sit and text and talk all through the day, but then there are moments where I can't. And I think that when you look at people in general, I just feel like a lot of people are really insecure. And there are a lot of people that are moving through life without a lot of direction. And so a lot of times their self esteem is attached or connected to text messaging. That's it. And so like a lot of times when people text you, they expect you to text back right away, you know, and sometimes I can do that, but sometimes I can't, you know, but your self worth and self esteem shouldn't be connected to how quickly somebody responds, you know, and I'm noticing that a lot of times people will think, well, if a person doesn't respond right away, that they're probably doing something else, or they're with someone else, or they have something to hide. And I'm like, well, what does that really say about you as a person, you know? And so people will say, well, you know, I want somebody who got their shit together but then when the person shows up who has their shit together, you can't really handle that because you really want somebody who goes to work from eight to four. They have a set schedule. You can clock where they are at every moment of the day, you know what I mean? Yeah. And so that, that doesn't really line up with people who are really driven. And I'm not even just speaking about myself, 

The Jennifer Experience: I mean that doesn't line up with with normal.

Craig the Writer: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: If you an entrepreneur you own a business I don't know how that would. 

Craig the Writer: Exactly. Exactly. So 

The Jennifer Experience: Well, and I'm glad that we talked about that because that leads into what I'm about to talk about your friend.

Craig the Writer: Who is that?

The Jennifer Experience: Mr.

Craig the Writer: Gerard Carmichael. Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: Listen, and I want to preface this with, you know, all of my shows are for educational purposes as a mental health professional. I want to be very clear before I say anything about Gerard, especially if you hear this Gerard. I hope you contact me because I really would love to help you and your family. So let me just put that out there.I personally, I'm not a gay man dating. Okay. However, I am a whole lesbian and, when I see Gerard's show, it is painful for me to watch. And it is painful for several reasons. Number one, it's horrifying to see,and I don't even know how to call what he is attempting to go through on television, but it's horrifying to see the different changes and different things that he's going through.It's horrifying to see the way that he has interacted with his parents and way his parents interacted with him. Again, as a mental health professional, I would dare to say that not a lot of healing took place from that show. And so that's also something that is alarming to me because people are watching that and it's, it's disturbing,

Craig the Writer: Mhm.

The Jennifer Experience: I'm also concerned with the people that see that and that is their only representation of black gay life. 

Craig the Writer: Mhm. 

So you're a man right now you're not the same age as Gerard so let's be very clear. Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: That's a whole nother situation because he's really acting like he's in his early 20s, the way he's behaving. So let's be clear,

Craig the Writer: He's 37. 

The Jennifer Experience: So the way he's behaving, most 37-year-old gay men that I know aren't doing all of that. So let me let you say your take, because I've heard your take several times

Craig the Writer: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: I really agree with a lot of what you say. Like I said, from a mental health perspective, I cringe when I see a lot of the stuff that I have seen on that show, because I've watched the whole series from the router to the tooter.

Craig the Writer: Yeah.So I feel a lot of things. One, I do think that it took a lot of courage for him to get on HBO Max. And put his life on display like that. Now. I don't know how much manufacturing or editing went into it. But from what was there, it looked pretty raw, from him, allowing us to see messages that he was receiving and sending on Grindr, the conversation that he had with his dad, even more so the conversation that he had with his mom. but I, I, I overall see a person that is seeking validation. And which goes back to what I was saying a moment ago, when you asked me, what do I look for when I'm dating? I see someone who's really seeking validation and when someone is desperate to be validated in the way that he seems to be, you can never really quench that thirst. 

The Jennifer Experience: What a buzzer. Say it again. What a buzzer.

Craig the Writer: Yeah, they have to quench that thirst. They have to find a way to quench that because a relationship isn't the answer and he's in a relationship now. And I think a lot of times people get into relationships looking for healing.

The Jennifer Experience: Would you even call that a relationship? Let's be clear. 

Craig the Writer: No, 

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. Thank you. 

Craig the Writer: But I think the validation he's seeking is that from his mom, you know, because, you know, based on that reality show. And his mom, according to them, they were both really, really close. They spoke every day. But then once he came out, the relationship became estranged, but it was very difficult watching it because he's paying for the house that his parents live in, but his mom would not allow him to bring someone he's dating to the house because she's not okay with the whole gay thing. On one hand, I can understand that because I do think that sometimes as queer people, we try to, and I say queer because I'm trying to be more inclusive of the LGBTQIA plus and all those other, 

The Jennifer Experience: Let's just be honest. We're black and we're gay and we know what that means.

Craig the Writer: Right. And so I just, I do sometimes think that we sometimes try to foresee our family and friends.Once we get to the point where we're clear that we're queer, it's like now all of a sudden you want everybody to be on the same ship and at the same point that you are. And what I always try to tell people is it took you a moment to accept yourself. You know, hence all those years that you were in the closet. It wasn't easy for you, so you have to give that same grace to your mom, or your best friend, or your cousin, or whomever it is. 

The Jennifer Experience: Cause if you look at some of his early specials before he had his teeth fixed and when he was making jokes about gay people be 

Craig the Writer: Yeah. You know, I think that sometimes he was just really inappropriate like, there was a moment on the show where he said to his mom, he loves his mother so much that he would suck a dick for it. Like, how do you say that? How do you say that to your own mom? 

The Jennifer Experience: Okay, so that's a great point. So that's one point I wanted to talk about too. So here's the thing. In real life, let's say you were heterosexual

Craig the Writer: and he still is a man. He wouldn't say

No.

The Jennifer Experience: I love my wife so much. That I want to eat her P. U. S. S. Y. Because I love you. So to me again. Here we go with the extreme, with the vulgarity, with stuff that is inappropriate that you really should have never said to your mother anyway. And then you want her to accept that foolery because that's what I'm going to call it. To me, that's Gerard flexing like saying, "okay, well, I got the money and I'm paying for y'all house so I can say what I want to say to you and you should accept it because it's what I'm doing." We as black people know that it don't work like that. And that's disrespectful. 

Craig the Writer: Right. But see, on the other side of that same coin, though, he describes how his father had an affair for most of their marriage. And how he himself, attended school with his father's illegitimate children. 

The Jennifer Experience: Yes, yes. 

Craig the Writer: And, Gerard didn't know. So it's like his mom was able to give grace to his father and remain in that marriage, but she can't seem to stomach her own son being gay. So it's like, how do you reconcile being okay with your husband creating a whole nother family in the same community, but you can't accept your own son, somebody that you birthed? Like that's the kind of shit that kind of rubs me the wrong way, but also it just 

The Jennifer Experience: I think it should rub you the wrong way, but I think we have to all put that into context too. I think the way that he layered that. So, first of all, we don't know exactly when she found that out.

Craig the Writer: Mm hmm.

The Jennifer Experience: We don't know exactly what happened between his mother and his father and how they found that out and when she actually knew. And honestly, from a therapeutic perspective, we can't compare the two things. I mean, we were assuming that they've known that he was gay for a while now, right? That's what we're assuming. We don't know why he's paying for their house. Did they ask him to pay for it? Or did he just decide when he made a lot of money, he wanted to pay for it?

Craig the Writer: Right.

The Jennifer Experience: You know, sometimes we get money and then we flex.

Craig the Writer: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: Then we try to buy the acceptance that we never had.

Craig the Writer: Correct. 

The Jennifer Experience: I suspect that he might've tried. He thought maybe 

Craig the Writer: Yeah, there probably was some of that, but it was probably also just that's just kind of the thing that you do for your parents once you make it, right? 

The Jennifer Experience: Right, right. But you should know you can't make your parents do nothing. You can't make it. It don't matter. Your real black parents don't care whether you paying for the house, the car or nothing else. They going to feel and think what they feel.

Craig the Writer: And she does.

The Jennifer Experience: and I'm not saying she's Right. Because I think she's very wrong. 

Craig the Writer: Right. The way that he illustrates the story, though, about the father, you know, it's like there was a conversation that happened at some point where, there was a realization that he had this other family that he was dealing with and she was well aware of it and she overlooked it she stayed in this marriage, you know, and, 

The Jennifer Experience: Well, from a woman's perspective, I doubt she overlooked a career. I'm pretty sure behind the scenes, that woman is toe up. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah, I'm not saying that they didn't bump heads, but she remained in that marriage, and he continued that relationship for a long time, even after she found out, but the thing that's most problematic for me, or that's equally problematic for me in that whole series, is he's clearly lonely, and on top of that loneliness, he's seeking validation through Grindr. He's looking for acceptance of his mom and his family through Grindr. And it's just like, every time this quote unquote boyfriend leaves, he jumps right on Grindr. And so it's just like, you're looking for affection through sex. You're reaching out and having sex with these strangers when the truth is you need a hug. You're looking for affection and you're going about it all the wrong way. 

The Jennifer Experience: He is trying to fill that void that his mother has left, and he will not be able to do that on Grindr. He needs to get off Grindr and him and his mother need to go to therapy.

Craig the Writer: They did go to therapy. They went to therapy on the show. 

The Jennifer Experience: They need to go to another one.

Craig the Writer: But what happens is, and this is why I said it was really brave of him to show that because he is just a demonstration of what so many gay men are in and doing. And I'm not even going to limit that to black gay men, gay men across the board, a lot of them are on these mobile apps seeking validation, seeking affection, seeking love, all of the above, through the guise of sex. And it's just like, so again, I think it's incredibly brave of him to show that. And so while a lot of people, you know, may have judged him and tore him down because he's dating white guys and that's all he was into. Or is in to, but there are a lot of people that are doing the same thing. I know people who are doing it. Once upon a time, it was me. I write about it in my first book. You know what I'm saying? For me, it wasn't seeking approval and validation from my family though, for me, it was connected to my career. There was a lack of movement in my career and finances at one point, and I was really, really frustrated by that. And so to pacify that pain, I was looking for validation through meeting people online. Now, for me, it wasn't an everyday thing where I was meeting people online and having sex. It wasn't that. But what I was doing every day was getting online just for the sake of getting validated through the messages. "Oh my God, you're so fine." "Oh my God. I just want you to hold me." "Oh my God I just want you to fuck me." So all of that kind of removed some of that numbness. It took my mind away, like some people use drugs, some people use alcohol, some people use food, some people use sex to numb that pain, to take your mind away from it, to escape. And so for me it wasn't the sex that I was escaping to, for me it was the instant gratification that I got from receiving those messages online. 

The Jennifer Experience: Filling that void is so important. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah. Because there are healthy ways to do it. 

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah. how we choose to fill it. And especially if we're going to choose to fill it in the public,

Craig the Writer: Mm hmm.

The Jennifer Experience: How we choose to fill it is so important. And the reason why I say I feel bad for him is because yes, I saw the therapist that he brought on and I saw the way that they tried to do it. And what I was thinking was. Whoever was producing that show and behind the scenes, I felt like they were using him for ratings to do certain things because I don't think in a real therapeutic world, that's the way that should have gone. There's a lot of missteps in all of that. I can't see any real therapist suggesting that he maintained any type of relationship when he cleared struggling with monogamy, period. He clearly is not even able to commit to anyone. And I mean, you know, black gay representation and what we see on TV.

Craig the Writer: Hmm. 

The Jennifer Experience: Sometimes it is not best to air out, the part of our lives that we are in the process of fixing. And sometimes that's because what we come out in the end is better than what we were before. And sometimes people cannot digest and understand that. We're living in a time where hate is so high. And when you give people additional reasons to hate you, I just, I find that disturbing. And when I hear a lot of people talk about Gerard Carmichael show, they are all disturbed. I mean, even with his mother when she said, "I love you, I mean, whether you're a murderer or a gay person," that horrified me. And I'm sure that triggered so many gay people when they heard that. And I'm sure Gerard Norris people was thinking, Oh, when she says this and we air this, this is going to trigger people. But I'm sure it triggered a whole lot of gay people whose parents have talked to them like that and they didn't know what to do after they heard that scene.

Craig the Writer: But, you know, I think that a couple of things, I think that in terms of the, him being in a relationship, I think it's impossible to be in a relationship when you're still seeking outside validation, which goes back to, 

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah, that's exactly what I'm saying. That's exactly what I'm saying. Monogamy is not going to happen.

Craig the Writer: Right? Because you can't stay focused on the person that you're in a relationship with because you're so busy trying to be stimulated by someone outside of yourself and outside of your relationship. But in terms of his mom, yes, that was cringy. But I do think that there's some information there that people watching can gather and maybe she can even see the error of her ways by watching that show back and hearing just how ridiculous she is. And the truth is, he didn't say anything that none of us haven't heard. Going to a black church, or hearing it from the black community, or hearing it from the black family with our own family or whomever, so it wasn't jarring for me in that way. It was just cringy for me because there are a lot of people, and since we're talking about Black people, there are a lot of Black people who are controlled by that same type of religious dogma. And for me, when I watched it, I saw a woman who's holding onto information that was given to her. It's like, where did you get this information from? Because even when they met with a pastor there on one of those episodes and he told her, "God didn't say that gay people were going to hell," like he corrected her on something and she tried to navigate and finagle. 

The Jennifer Experience: And I saw how she was looking at him like, 

Craig the Writer: Right, and so there were teachable moments there too and that's what I'm hoping that there are some teachable moments and that there will be some family members or parents who watch that show and saw themselves and saw how ridiculous they sound. But when I think about religion and how religion is carried out by so many black people and how black people pass down this idea that being gay or queer puts you on the wrong side with God. That is just not the case. But the truth is, when we think about the origins of religion, we have to think about how religion was passed down to us, you know what I mean? Like our ideas about Christianity were passed to us from white folks. It was Desmond Tutu who said, you know, and I'm paraphrasing, but, "when white folks showed up in Africa, we had all of the land, and they were holding the Bible. We closed our eyes, they had all of the land, and here we're standing there holding the Bible." And so, we have to think about how religion was used to control us. We have to think about how religion was used todehumanize us, and teach us, and program us to believe that we were lesser and that slavery was God's will. But then when you also think about how those Bible stories were passed down generationally, and if you start with Gerard Carmichael's mom, and you go to her mom, and then her mom's mom, and then her mom's mom, and then you go all the way back down to slavery. Somebody passed that stuff down. So it's like, do you believe this or were you taught to believe this? How much of that do you believe for yourself? And so for me, part of my own healing was separating what I was taught to believe about religion from what I know to be true for myself. And so I don't even subscribe to religion. Because religion has always been about man, and it's always been about control. And when you think about the wars that we've seen in this lifetime, most are connected to some sort of a religion. And some sort of religious group who thinks that their religion is superior, and you know, this, that, and the third. So I've separated myself from religion, and I attach myself more to spirituality.

The Jennifer Experience: Right. I think that overall, his show could be taken many different ways because if you can stomach the whole show to get to that part, because that's towards the end. So you have to stomach watching him do all those things, sucking on people feet and all it, you know, you have to stomach all of that. And if you can stomach all that to get to that part where she does talk to the pastor, then maybe you'll be able to see it. My suspicion is that a lot of people won't be able to stomach some of those first few scenes. And they will take that as though, "Oh, so this is what these black gay men are doing." That is not what all black gay men are doing. Especially, not at 37. 

Craig the Writer: But it would be intellectually lazy for someone to look at that show and think that all black gay men are doing it because for one,

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, Craig. No, no, no. Straight people think that all the time. 

Craig the Writer: Right. But what I'm saying is he's on that show, he's engaging with white men. It's not just gay, black gay men. That's why I said, this isn't a conversation that's limited to black gay men. This is the culture. This is a subculture. And so when I look at that show, I see a microcosm for what's happening in the gay community. 

The Jennifer Experience: And no, I'm saying that's what heterosexual people would think that that's what gay men are doing period. And what I'm saying is, that's not a good representation of what they're doing. Because I know plenty of this that that's not what they doing. And I'm gonna say not at 37, because I know plenty of 37 who have families, they work every day. They're just normal people trying to live a life. They're not out here on Grindr. Got one person coming different in every day.

Craig the Writer: I see that too, but I also don't think that he's in the minority. 

The Jennifer Experience: Really? 

Craig the Writer: I do not. I think that there are a lot of gay men, not just black. I think there are a lot of gay men who are into the things of the things.

The Jennifer Experience: Would you say the things are the things? 

Craig the Writer: Into the things of the things. And I think it's a secret community that oftentimes, other queer communities aren't privy to. Whether it's lesbians, or, you know what I mean? Or whether it's straight people, because I've said to my own female friends, like a lot of my female friends were like, "Oh, I got a gay guy that I want you to meet. You know, he's this, that, and the third." And I'm like, yeah, well, you can't really vet a gay guy for me because there are things that gay men get into that you don't even know anything about. Like there are secret lifestyles, like going back to me and I don't want to point fingers at anybody, but let me just make it personal. My first book, Words Never Spoken is called Words Never Spoken because they were things that I had never said, but it's a double entendre. It's also things that those of us in the community didn't speak about. And so when I had that whole secret life going on, like I would go out with my friends and nobody knew that I was chit chatting with people online. This is before mobile apps. This is when it was a dot com and I would be at home and I'd be on my computer and I would leave my computer up. Sometimes go to lunch or go to the gym with my friends or whatever. I'd leave that computer up and when I'd come back, I'd have 40 and 50 messages flashing and I would leave the computer up because I would want to catch a s many messages as I could. And then I'd come back and I'd go in and get validated by reading these messages. And sometimes I'd have sex, sometimes I would not, but all of the times I would read those messages and I would feel better about myself for the moment. And that's the thing about those mobile apps. And that's the things that I try to teach and talk about is, it's all momentary. And so like with these people who are getting on these apps now, and you're able to take the app with you on your phone, everywhere you go, there are people that are addicted to those apps and don't even realize it.

The Jennifer Experience: Wow.

Craig the Writer: They're so bored. And they don't even realize that it's instinctive now. It's just like when a person smokes cigarettes. Yes, they're addicted to the nicotine. But sometimes it's also the movement of the hand pulling that cigarette to your lips and then moving it away. There are studies that have shown that part of the addiction is the movement of the hand to the lips and then back away and then back again. You know what I mean? So I think the same is true for people who are just like, connected to these mobile apps and they'll be on the app for a few months and they'll delete it because they're frustrated with it and they're tired of the rejection and this that and the third or the hate that's on the apps and the internalized homophobia and whatever and then they'll get off of it for a few months and then they'll get back on it. It's an unspoken thing that a lot of other communities are not privy to.

The Jennifer Experience: Well, so let me ask you this thing. So what made you move on from that point in your life and where you stop needing to have the computer open and you come home and it's full of messages? 

Craig the Writer: I went to therapy. I went to therapy. And I'll be the first to tell you that it wasn't a decision that I just made to, "Oh, I need to go to therapy." I believe that God in the universe gives us everything that we need long before we know we need it. And so I was working at the time. I had a job at the time. And to make a very long story short, this was when I was getting Say It With A Card. com off the ground. This was when I was trying to build the website. So this was like early 2000s. This was, you know, it was back then. And so, I was working at this internet company. I was working for AT& T internet. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh wow we both worked for AT& T at one time. Go AT& T. 

Craig the Writer: So like I worked in the retention department. So when you call to cancel your internet service, it was my job to keep you as a customer. And so, I was hosting a greeting card party, just like people do Tupperware parties and stuff like that. But I was doing it for greeting cards. I had it catered. It was at a furniture store. And, you know, I invited people in. I had a live musician playing. And I was exhausted. I did it on a Saturday, but I was planning it and it was like a weekend event and I was exhausted by the time I went to work that Monday. Well, I didn't go to work. So I ended up calling in, but I needed 3 days off because I was tired. But then also, I was starting to get some traction with the greeting cards, and I was starting to move into different stores. And so I said, oh, my God, I was getting a taste of what it would feel like to be a true entrepreneur working for myself. So I called in and I said, I had a death in the family. So of course, with the death in the family, you get three days off. So when I returned to work on that fourth day, I was almost depressed. Like I could barely get through my shift. And because I had called in and said, I had a death in the family, my supervisor at the time thought that I was just struggling with grief. And she said to me, "well, listen, if you still have, you know, sick time available, then go ahead and take the time." You know, she said, "I understand, you know, just take the time that you need." And I didn't have any sick time available, but I was really passionate about what I was doing. And so I took the time off. Unbeknownst to me, again this is where it was just serendipitous, it was not something that was playing. It just fell into place because it was the universe and a higher force. Unbeknownst to me, when you're off seven days in a row, it automatically slipped into a short term disability case. Next thing I know, the company that handled our short term disability reached out to me and said, "Hey, yes, we noticed," you know, they rolled me right into a short term disability case. So I did not work for an entire year, but I still got 60 percent of my salary.

The Jennifer Experience: Right, that's how short term disability works y'all for those of you that don't know. 

Craig the Writer: But one of the requirements was I had to take my esther therapy.

The Jennifer Experience: You sure do, because you have to have doctor's notes to sign off on that. 

Craig the Writer: I was telling her that I was depressed and da, da, da, da. So I'm going to therapy just playing the game so I could keep getting my check and still get my greeting cards in the stores and this, 

The Jennifer Experience: And you mess around and got some real healing. 

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The Jennifer Experience: And you mess around and got some real healing. 

Craig the Writer: Messing around, I was sitting there playing with that lady, talking, when did Katrina happen? This is what year that was. That's the same year. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, that was a while back. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah. So I think that was like 2005. right. So this was 19 years ago, 19, 20 years ago. So long story short, I'm sitting there talking to her. And before I knew it, I said to her, " I've been meeting people that I don't know online and having sex." And even though, like I said, it wasn't an everyday thing. I don't believe that I was addicted to sex because I wasn't having sex every day. I was addicted to the allure of being online and these strangers saying to me, "Oh my God, you're so this, that, that, that," and you know, 

The Jennifer Experience: Hey, look, can I let you know, Craig, you're not the only person that has been addicted to that.

Craig the Writer: Yeah. And I think that that's what's happening with a lot of people now and they just haven't slowed down enough or paid close enough attention to their life to recognize and self diagnose. And so for me, even at that time, I said it to two of my friends. I said to two of my friends, I said, "I don't know what's happening. I said, I'm meeting people online." They laughed and they said, "Oh, child, we got to get you back into another relationship. And you just, fucking out of both legs of your underwear." Right. They made it a joke. It was really a cry for help. And I think that it's become so normal now in the community that people often just overlook it but I often try to say to people, "listen, I think this is what's happening to you or with you."

The Jennifer Experience: That's why I said, Gerard, if you listening, like this is not normal. Okay. And clearly, whoever was on your team, cause I also know people will use your story, will use your pain, will use your turmoil, will use your trauma, and they will make money off of you. And don't care two shits about your healing. They don't care if you get over it. What they care about is making money. There was a guy on his show who had his whole face covered.

Craig the Writer: He didn't want to be attached to that. 

The Jennifer Experience: I thought what he said was very true. He said, people are going to see this and they're going to dissect this and they're going to eat this up Yes, and he was absolutely right. And so my whole thing was not that everything on the show was bad, but I do feel like, if what you were trying to achieve was to get your parents to accept you, if what you were trying to achieve was to get some healing and like you talked about, you sat around and messed around and played into your stuff, but you got it done. If that's what you was really trying to get to, I don't think you was going to achieve it that way. Now you probably gained a whole lot of money off of that.

Craig the Writer: I also think that while his parents during the time of the filming, I don't know about now, I don't think his family turned that corner,

The Jennifer Experience: I don't think so at all. 

Craig the Writer: but I do think that the way that art works, I think that you know, when you put art out, your intentions may be behind it, but that doesn't mean that people are going to receive it the way that you intend for them to get it. So I still do think that there are people who may have gotten it. You know what I'm saying? Even though he sacrificed himself and he put himself out there and people criticized him and critiqued him, 

The Jennifer Experience: He sacrificed his family too, because we got to remember some people don't want cameras all up in they,

Craig the Writer: yeah, but I do think that it did some help because I do think that if people look at it critically, and look at it honestly, while I can separate, I think he has some identity issues, which I'll come back to that. I do think he has some identity issues as a black person. I do think that there will be some people who will be enlightened. There may be some gay men, black gay, white gay, Hispanic gay, whatever, who may watch the show and see themselves and see their dysfunction in jumping on Grindr. And you know what I mean? Cause I just feel like a lot of times. Gay men, overall, prioritize sex as if there's nothing else that's more important than sex. And not just sex, but sex with as many people as possible. Having sex with different people. 

The Jennifer Experience: Why is that? 

Craig the Writer: I don't know, I think it's sometimes connected to how long we were in the closet. I think sometimes it's like redemption, if you will, like, let me make up for all of those years that I suppressed the feelings. "Oh, he's gay too. Oh, he wants to fuck too. Oh, I can suck his dick. Oh, he can suck my dick. Oh, let me go ahead and do it." It's almost like you're making up for lost time. It's just kind of like a preacher's kid, like a little girl, a daughter who may have been sheltered and then she go away to college and then she's the campus whore. You know what I mean? So it just, I don't know. I think I just, again, that's why I'm saying like self worth is so important to me when I'm talking about dealing and dating someone like, have you done your work? Have you really looked at yourself? But going back to Gerard, I do want to say this cause I thought I, I kind of lost it and I thought about it again. When I first started watching it, I was kind of disappointed in a lot of black gay men were disappointed because it's like, "Oh, he, he is successful and he's making all this money and you know, he's not even interested in black guys." And I realized that two things in some instances, black gay men who move outside of the gay community, the black gay community and start dating outside of the community were made to feel othered by black people like he's from South Carolina. You see how religious his mother is. Just because she's saying to him on TV now that, you know, she thinks it's wrong. And, think about the subliminal messages that she probably sent throughout his childhood.

The Jennifer Experience: Think about what she didn't say. If she said that on TV, what do you think she said 

Craig the Writer: What I'm saying. Think about the unspoken. Think about her behavior. Think about the things he's witnessed her saying about other gay people. And I'm a person who believes your mother always knows. So even if she's sensed that he was gay, sometimes parents have a way of saying things to let you know without saying it directly to you. They want you to just kind of infer what they're saying. So, all of that could have pushed him out of the Black community. 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, it's reasons. Yeah.

Craig the Writer: Yeah, and sometimes, like I just had a conversation with Todrick Hall. Todrick Hall, you know, says some things that kind of enlightened me as well. You know, he's always been artistic. He's into musical art. He's into all of those things, and those things that are not necessarily things that black boys, gay or straight, are typically usually into. And so, he was made fun of, and you know, all of those things, and the black boys that he was interested in weren't interested in him. 

The Jennifer Experience: It appears that his type is that. That's what I got from when y'all interviewed him. I saw that. I saw that conversation with him. And what I got from that is that it appears that, the way that he grew up because I heard about the school that his mother put him into and he was into the arts and all that kind of stuff and it just appears that the way that he was reared and the people that he was around, those are the people that he is somewhat attracted to but even like the way that he kind of moves is in that realm of, you know what I'm trying to say like I could, see how he would be dating white. 

Craig the Writer: He grew up in a black neighborhood and he was going to a black school,

The Jennifer Experience: But then his mother moved.

Craig the Writer: But then his mother moved him because a white teacher called him a nigger. So then he went to a school that really nurtured his interest. His interests were musical arts and dance theater and all that other stuff. And so like, when you think about black boys in this country, black boys are often swayed from the arts. 

The Jennifer Experience: Right. And if they do like it, then black people normally think that's gay, gay, gay. So they don't 

Craig the Writer: Right, there's this idea that black people think that that's gay. And so, he gravitated to that stuff. As a kid, he was made fun of. There were black people who called him sissy, fag, punk, and made fun of him because he was into those things, and he was eccentric. They didn't hone and foster his eccentricities. And so, he felt pushed out of the black community. And then if you're interested in black boys who are not interested in you, then you got to go date who's interested in you and they were white boys. And so I think sometimes we are so quick to chastise someone and quick to label them as a sellout and this, that, and the third, and it's just not fair. And I think going back to Gerard Carmichael, like all of these black gay boys were on Twitter, tearing his ass up once he started releasing that reality show and you saw that he was only dealing with white boys. And in some instances, some Hispanic boys who were really, really light skinned, who looked white. There were a lot of black boys on Twitter, up and down Twitter, tearing him up, saying, well, damn, I don't even get a shot, da, da, da. But my thing is, he doesn't even fit the mold of what a lot of black boys go after, like he doesn't have body because he doesn't work out. He doesn't have swag, so it's like y'all need to stop. Y'all not even interested in him no way. So like now because he's a celebrity and he got some money. Now, all of a sudden you want to act like you've been deprived of an opportunity that you should that you would have wanted? Cut it out. Cut it out. You know what I mean? I just think that it's fair, like, now all of a sudden you want to make it seem like you've been swindled. Like, you know, you didn't get a shot that these white boys all of a sudden got a shot at. Like, no, that's not, that's not okay.

The Jennifer Experience: Well, Craig said it.

Craig the Writer: Yeah, I mean, it's true. 

The Jennifer Experience: I don't disagree with you. And I guess for me, you know, I think to each his own, whoever you choose to be attracted to is your personal business. When I say that I want to highlight appropriate gay representation, especially black gay representation, you can still be appropriate gay black representation and be with the white person. You can still date out your like, I don't, to me the subject is not dating outside your race. What you just said is very very true nobody wouldn't change it for Gerard, don't do that like this,

Craig the Writer: No, they were not. 

The Jennifer Experience: Let's not act like that. I'm just saying his show can be problematic to our community if we don't look at it through the right lens is what I think, because there's a lot of things that happen on that show that is triggering for people. It's a lot of stuff that happened on that show that can be looked at in the wrong light. We already know that if it's too men, it's nasty. But if it's two women, you know, it's freaky or it's interesting. So there's already a double standard when it comes to me in any way. And I don't even think that's fair. But then when you have shows like that they come out then it's like, "oh wow, so is that what gay men do? they just get on Grindr all day and they just," and so my thing is no, that's not all what gay men do. 

Craig the Writer: No, it's not 

The Jennifer Experience: There are plenty of gay men out here who are not doing that, who have done their work and who are doing big things. And so how in your, you know, impression, because you obviously you're a gay man who's doing great things, whether people know it or not. I'm just saying whether they know it or not, because even coming up with how you writing people cards for somebody like that's a genius thing.

Craig the Writer: Thank you. 

The Jennifer Experience: How do you think we change the future of how people perceive the LGBTQ community? Like, how do you think we change that? And when I say we, I mean us.

Craig the Writer: Yeah, yeah, all of us. I think it's through demonstration. I think it's through visibility. But see, and the answer to this is kind of connected to something else I was going to say about what Todrick and Don Lemon have both said. And that is, when you start to climb in your career, and I'm experiencing this now, and I'm not eccentric like Todrick, like I'm not, like I don't dress in drag, you know what I mean? Like I don't do all of those things. But because my work has made me more public, that is frightening for some gay men, black gay men. It's too out for them. I'm too visible for them. And so that's another reason why a Gerard or Don Lemon or a Todrick May, be forced, if you will, to date outside of the community because too few of us are out and standing in our truth because we're still concerned about what our co workers are going to think, or what our family is going to think, a grandmother or whomever. but to answer the question, I think that the way that we change the outlook is through visibility. We need to have more demonstrations. So like, there's also this thing that's going on now on black gay Twitter about Billy Porter and how he's showing up as representation, if you will, for black gay men. And a lot of people are pushing back on it because it's like, well, he doesn't represent us. And why is he pandering to white people? Like right now he's working on a biopic about James Baldwin 

The Jennifer Experience: I saw that. Mm hmm. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah, and he made the unfortunate mistake a few months ago, because we talked about this on Fag Talk, of saying he didn't really know much about James Baldwin, and he didn't know what James Baldwin would stand for, as it relates to what's happening in Palestine right now. And my thing is, 

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, he said that? 

Craig the Writer: Yeah, it's like, so why are you doing a biopic right now? Yeah, I don't understand that, but I think that it requires us to be visible and for us to be out. But there's still a lot of us who are not out. Like there are a lot of us who are doing great things, especially when you talk about it at the corporate level. It's easier for people to be out in entertainment, but a lot of people in the corporate world are not out. 

The Jennifer Experience: Listen. Let me tell y'all something. I am on LinkedIn almost every day, and I have engaging conversations with a whole lot of people who are 100 percent gay. They are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and they are out, but y'all would never know them because they're not on the TV. They're not on the internet making all these snide comments. They're not out here acting a certain type of way that y'all are accustomed to. So yes, I absolutely, I 100 percent agree with you, Craig, 100%. But I also wonder you know, why are they so reluctant to come further? And I want to say further out, because I think, you know, I mean, I look at that now. I mean, I know a lot of preachers in the church that are doing great ministry. They're doing good things for the church. 

Craig the Writer: There are a lot of times they're afraid. They're afraid that their bottom line will be affected and they're afraid of the perspective that society as a whole, how they view queer people. You know what I'm saying? It's the same reason why you have gospel artists

The Jennifer Experience: Uh oh., 

Craig the Writer: who pretend that they're straight. Because they're making gospel music. And we already know that there are a lot of 

The Jennifer Experience: they pretending or they're just not saying?

Craig the Writer: Both. You know what I mean? And so you have people who they understand that most people believe that being queer puts you on the wrong side with God. "So how are you performing gospel music? And who you think gonna buy that music? I'm a Christian woman. I'm a Christian man. I'm not buying that music and you out here doing this, that, and the third. Like, oh, absolutely not." It's the same reason Eddie Long never came out. We all knew that that nigga was gay. Like, I knew that decades ago. Like, literally, I knew that in 2002. 

The Jennifer Experience: I just wanna say I love Eddie. Long God rest his soul. I loved him. 

Craig the Writer: I think that that could have been a seminal moment in religion if he had come forward and said, "you know what, folks? We've gotten this sexuality thing all wrong. We owe the queer community an apology. We got this wrong. We've castigated them for reasons that make no sense." Sexuality is instinctive. It's how we're wired. It's not a choice, it's not a decision. So we, we have to reevaluate how we've been doing things. But my thing is that would have required him to have a conversation about, you know, his affinity for young boys. There were six or seven of those young boys that came forward. I believe it was just two of those boys out of those six or seven who knew each other. So the other four or five did not know each other. So how is it that they had almost identical stories? Two people who don't know each other can't tell the same lie.

The Jennifer Experience: Were they under 18 though?

Craig the Writer: No, I think they were like 20, 

The Jennifer Experience: Thank you. Cause people try to make it seem like he was molesting children.

Craig the Writer: Well, because it started when they were younger. When it came forward, I think they were maybe of age, but it started when they were younger. This wasn't the first time we've seen something like this, because James Cleveland did the same thing.

The Jennifer Experience: You know, I wish someone would do a documentary on James Cleve.

Craig the Writer: If they're going to do it, they need to do it honestly. If they're not going to do it honestly, they're not going to do it. 

The Jennifer Experience: Well, and it would prove a big point. He was truly the king of gospel, but he also was the queen.

Craig the Writer: But that is also why black folks stood by and said nothing. Black church folks, because quote unquote, he was the king of gospel. 

The Jennifer Experience: And he was the queen.

Craig the Writer: And we've been taught as black people, that you don't challenge the church, you don't challenge a man of God, because that's blasphemous, but that ain't nothing but control. That's to keep you quiet and keep you silent. 

The Jennifer Experience: I'm from the church and I challenged them quite a bit. They know me. And I'm still challenging them. And they hear me. They're listening to this right now. I'm challenging all of you to tell the truth because a lot of these preachers now that are especially coming out of seminary, they know the truth. They're just not telling the truth.

Craig the Writer: But it's also the reason why so many gay men have stories that begin the church. Their first sexual experience happened at church, 

The Jennifer Experience: That was going to be my next question. Where do you think the trauma that we as gay people hold on to? Cause I've talked to a lot of people recently with my book that just came out. Cause I did a book too. I was trying to follow in your footsteps, Craig. I'm trying to know, use your formula here. I did a book called Shades of Acceptance for Parents Coming Out. And I got a whole bunch of letters. with parents dealing with their children coming out and I also got the kids that have the trauma of coming out and people don't understand there's a trauma with that because we're afraid of what's going to happen when we say this is what we are.

Craig the Writer: I actually write about that. I think that's in my second book. I talk about there's a trauma that happens in the during, either while you're in the closet or during the coming out process. There's a trauma that happens. I think that's in One Thing For Certain, Two Things For Sure. 

The Jennifer Experience: Now y'all listening to y'all need to go get all these books. So y'all can know what Craig's talking about. Don't be emailing me. 

Craig the Writer: Craig The Writer Stewart dot com. 

The Jennifer Experience: Don't, be asking me about my book

Craig the Writer: Yeah. 

The Jennifer Experience: I mean, you can get my book too, but don't be asking me what it says in Craig's book. Cause I'm not going to tell you, I'm going to order my own copies. Y'all get y'all own copies.

Craig the Writer: I know. That's right. But they are audible too, because I know some people like to listen, you know, but here's the thing. There's a trauma that happens while you're in the closet or during the coming out process. And if it happens during the coming out process, it's sometimes connected. A lot of times connected to how your friends and family receive you or reject you. I think what happens is when we lock ourselves in that closet, we teach ourselves certain things. We teach ourselves how to cheat, how to sneak, how to hide, and how to lie, because we got to keep that lie going. Like when you're in the closet and you're pretending that you're a straight woman or you're a straight man, you know, you're doing a lot of acrobatic, lying about where you were going. Because, see, there's a period where

The Jennifer Experience: You lying about everything, really.

Craig the Writer: right, there's a period where you start to realize that, yes, I am in fact queer.

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah. 

Craig the Writer: And then you start to move into that identity. You start to have gay friends, you start moving in gay circles, and you got to separate that from that straight life that you've been leading. 

The Jennifer Experience: Cuz you got to be careful how you move. 

Craig the Writer: And so you got to separate them. And so there comes the lies. So then you start lying about where you were, where you've been, what you're doing, who you with. And then I think what happens is, when we come out of the closet and we start telling people that in fact we are gay and whatever, I think some, especially in the case of black, especially in the case of gay men, I can't say just black, especially in the case of gay men, I think that some forget that you don't have to continue to do that sneak and cheating, hiding and lying. And I think we bring some, many bring that same behavior into the relationships. They don't realize that they can abandon that type of behavior now. You're now living in your truth, and you don't have to do that. I can't speak for the lesbian community, I can only speak about my experience as a gay man, but I know that there are a lot of gay men that are moving throughout the community, who go to gay pride events, who have gay friends, who are in relationships, have been in relationships, you know, they live a gay life, but they still have yet to give themselves permission to be who they are.

The Jennifer Experience: Say that last part again. They still have what?

Craig the Writer: They still have yet to give themselves permission to be who they are. They're going to gay pride events. They go on to parties and all of their friends are gay. But there's still a psychology here that they haven't uncovered. They still haven't reconciled their sexuality with what they were raised to believe through the church or the black family, the black community. And I think that's part of the reason why sometimes our relationships end prematurely because, you know, on a subconscious level, you don't really think that it's supposed to last anyway. You know, and I think that what happens is, and I write about this in the second book too. What happens is we act on the feelings before we deal with the psychology behind the feelings. So you got folk out here sucking dick, having sex, jacking off, doing all this stuff, but you really haven't given yourself permission and told yourself that it's actually okay to be attracted to another man. You're doing the things, but you haven't really reconciled that, okay, this is okay. You know what I'm saying? I think we act in the reverse. I think if we dealt with the psychology behind it and really affirmed ourselves and gave ourselves permission to be who we are and whatever, and then move into the other, you know, facets of the community. I think things would be different, but we do it in the reverse. We sneak around. You got folk going to bookstores and parks and bath houses online just for the sake of the instant gratification.

The Jennifer Experience: Hmm. Mm. 

Craig the Writer: But secretly in the back of your mind, you feeling grieved about it. You feeling guilty that you didn't have sex with a man. You jumping in the shower, scrubbing yourself down because you think that it's wrong. And, you know, there's so much shame attached to it because you haven't given yourself permission.

The Jennifer Experience: Hmm.

Craig the Writer: You haven't told yourself that it's okay. And then we try to get into relationships with people and still battling, having this internal battle. It's like, you should have dealt with that psychology. So that's why you can't really have intimacy because you can't even fathom having an intimate conversation with another man about your feelings. You can't have intimate moments where you're just cuddling and just watching TV and kissing and just whatever, whatever, because it's wrong in your mind. You haven't deprogrammed that stuff.

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah, yeah.

Craig the Writer: And you're trying to have relationships and figure that shit out while you're in the relationship. And I think that's why our relationships are so contentious a lot of times. 

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah. I really hope y'all was listening and what you said applies to lesbians as well.

Craig the Writer: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: When I came out, it was a very confusing thing for me. The shame that goes into that, especially if you were raised in the church. But also something that really struck me that you said this idea in the back of our mind that really we're wrong in what we're doing. So what we're doing is we're going around carrying on, like in the back of our mind, we really know that it's wrong, but we're going to act a certain way and do a certain thing. And I can remember in the back of my mind thinking, "well, I know I'm a lesbian and I know I'm going to be with women and that's what it is," but in the back of my mind, I know that really I'm going against what God says, and so until I got to a place

Craig the Writer: Mm hmm.

The Jennifer Experience: where I reconciled my spirituality with with my sexuality, I reconciled and did my mental work.

Craig the Writer: Yes. That's what I'm talking about. The work. 

The Jennifer Experience: Because there's also some mental work that goes into that. Because when I first figured it out, I was not one of those people who was born a lesbian. When I first figured out, and when I fell in love with a woman and I knew that the feelings were totally different,

Craig the Writer: Hmm. Mm hmm.

The Jennifer Experience: It was nothing like I had ever felt before with the man.

Craig the Writer: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: It was scary.

Craig the Writer: Yeah. Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: Because I was like, what the hell is wrong with me? Like there, there was a change. Like y'all sing that song, a wonderful change had come over me and it was nothing that I could ignore. And it was the scariest thing in the world because I could not go to God with that at the time. At least I thought I could.

Craig the Writer: Right.

The Jennifer Experience: And I certainly couldn't go to the church. And see the caveat to that for those of you that really know me is that I fell in love with another preacher at my church. Me and her was sitting in the pulpit together because we was both preachers. So it was very difficult. People kind of caught on and knew, and I was in a position of whether I was going to be my authentic self and try to figure out what that was or whether I was going to cower down and go back. We also know that once you come out that closet, ain't no going back in. Once you free,

Craig the Writer: Well, well, gotta tell that to Donnie McClurkin.

The Jennifer Experience: Donnie McClurkin never came out the closet. Craig, don't do, Craig. 

Craig the Writer: Donnie ain't never went back in the closet.

The Jennifer Experience: Donnie is not out the closet. Stop that, Craig.

Craig the Writer: Oh, okay.

The Jennifer Experience: You think Donnie out the closet.

Craig the Writer: Donnie told y'all in interviews. 

The Jennifer Experience: Excuse me. Is this on? Is this mic on? 

Craig the Writer: Donnie has told y'all in interviews that, you know, he's had experiences with men, but he has been delivered. It's what he told y'all. 

The Jennifer Experience: Craig. So you think Donnie's out the closet, Craig?

Craig the Writer: I don't know what he is, but I know he, has an affinity for men. I know that. 

The Jennifer Experience: We agree on this, but I'm saying, do you, 

Craig the Writer: No, he ain't in no closet. Now, he might be, what I think is he wants us to believe that he's abstained from having sex with men, but that doesn't change your sexuality. I could decide right now that I'm going to abstain, but that doesn't mean that I'm straight now. I'm just not having sex anymore, but I don't even think that he's abstained. That's what I'm saying. 

The Jennifer Experience: That's what I'm saying. Do you think Donnie is currently dating men? 

Craig the Writer: I don't know about dating, but I think he's definitely probably engaging. Because again, why would he say that publicly? You're not about to affect his money. His audience is the church community, but see the story of redemption sells records and sells concert tickets. So he's okay with you all knowing that he quote unquote struggled with his sexuality at one time is which was what he wants us to believe. But, 

The Jennifer Experience: No one believes that. 

Craig the Writer: But church folk want to believe that he overcame it. They love a magic story. 

The Jennifer Experience: No one believes that.

Craig the Writer: They love a magic story. They love to believe that prayer is magic. And because he prayed it away, it's gone. But it goes back to what I said before. Sexuality is instinctive. It's how we're wired. It's not a choice. I could pray every day for the rest of my life to wake up tomorrow as a white person, because we can see what's happening in this country and around the world with racism that will never happen.

The Jennifer Experience: Well, in case he is listening, Donnie, we don't believe that

Craig the Writer: If I prayed every single day that I could just wake up to be white, so I don't have to stress of being black in this country. That's never going to happen. That doesn't mean that prayer doesn't work.

The Jennifer Experience: You're right. What I think is Donnie has admitted, that's all I think Donnie has done. Have you seen Donnie with a man?

Craig the Writer: No, I mean, but it's a lot of folk I ain't never seen a thing with a man. 

The Jennifer Experience: Well, no, what I'm simply saying is to me, Donnie has like, played in our face a little bit. 

Craig the Writer: He's in good company. You know what I mean? And I'm not going to out people, but I mean, cause we play like that over on Fag Talk, but I mean, you know, I'm not going to name any names. 

The Jennifer Experience: Listen, you're in the right place here because guess what? He is in good company And when I say he's played in our face, what I'm saying is for instance when he did unsung.

Craig the Writer: Correct. I think that's the thing where he said it. I think that's the one I'm talking about. 

The Jennifer Experience: Why would you acknowledge?

Craig the Writer: Because that's a way to sell gospel albums. It's a redemption story. I fell down and I got back up. He said he had been delivered. 

The Jennifer Experience: He said he'd been, oh, I didn't hear the deliver part. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah, he said he had been delivered. Yes.

The Jennifer Experience: I heard him say that he's never going to get married and it sounded like what he was saying to me, and I'm paraphrasing y'all, so don't try to quote me, but it sounded like what he was saying to me was, I'm never going to get married because I know deep down inside, I like peen.

Craig the Writer: And well, one of the things he said was he tried dating a woman or something, and he said something about,

The Jennifer Experience: And she was not a good match. 

Craig the Writer: She wasn't a good match. Right. He said that, 

The Jennifer Experience: And that's because a man is a match for him.

Craig the Writer: Correct. He's in denial. But see, that's just it. I don't even know if he's in denial.

The Jennifer Experience: He ain't in denial. That's why he said he wasn't going to get married because he knows. 

Craig the Writer: Right. I don't even know if he's in denial. I just think that's what he says publicly. You know what I'm saying? I think there are, there are conversations that, listen, don't even get me started on them church people. 

The Jennifer Experience: We all think Donnie is the queen. I don't know why. I mean, that's like public. I mean, that's just what it is. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah. And my thing is, but there are so many church stories. There are so many gospel artists. You said what?

The Jennifer Experience: Donnie, Donald. And then what's the other one? What's his name? Craig, like he don't know names 

Craig the Writer: Girl, you're not going to get me to sit here and out these people. Listen, Donnie has said that he's had experiences with men. Now, I don't know if the other people that you've mentioned have said that. I'm not saying I don't believe it. I'm just saying I don't know if I,

The Jennifer Experience: So see this is not outing to me because this is what we already know. 

Craig the Writer: Well, yeah. 

The Jennifer Experience: Gospel artists have already been outed. Most of them. The ones that don't have tapes out. The ones that haven't been caught, you know what I'm saying? So 

Craig the Writer: It's a slew of them. Okay.

The Jennifer Experience: Yes, that's right. I'm not saying anything that ain't already been said. 

Craig the Writer: Just think about your gospel male artists that have had hit songs in recent years. Okay. Past 10 years. Most of them are a part of the community, and some of them are married, but the thing is, that's just not a conversation that they're willing to have. And I'm just going to tell you, like, I know that there are church conventions and things that happen where the biggest orgies happen and sex parties. So, I mean, this is not new information. 

The Jennifer Experience: As a minister, you're right. That's what happens at the church conventions. Those are orgies. You're absolutely right. That is true.

Craig the Writer: Correct, and this is why I'm saying there's an underworld that a lot of people aren't aware of. Just like I was saying earlier, there's an underworld that there are some gay men, and I'm not saying all, because I'm not a part of that underworld, and I have friends who are not a part of that underworld. But there are things that happen in the quiet hours that people don't know about. You know what I mean? Like there's an underworld.

The Jennifer Experience: Mm hmm.

Craig the Writer: There's a sex underworld, things that happen, and people aren't aware of it. You know, there are a lot of people living these double lives. And then there are men who are living straight, identified lives. They have girlfriends or wives. 

The Jennifer Experience: I was just about to say. Are there still down low men?

Craig the Writer: Yes, they don't move in gay circles. They're not interested in having gay friends. They're not interested in going to gay clubs and parties. They only show up to have sex. So they may show up in these certain dark worlds, these underworlds that I'm talking about. They're not interested in having a relationship. They're not interested in intimacy. They just want to go fuck and then come on back home.

The Jennifer Experience: That's what a down low man would do. Yeah. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah. So that happens. And it happens in the church community.

The Jennifer Experience: I have some straight friends and they always ask me, how can they tell? And I'm like, if you have to ask me, if he gay, he gay. But I just wonder where did the down low men and be now? But they still around. Where do they be now? Did they be out there?

Craig the Writer: Well, a lot of them are on those apps that I was just talking about. They know how to find their way to those apps.

The Jennifer Experience: Oh, okay.

Craig the Writer: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. Okay. You have any suggestions for a straight woman who finds herself in a relationship with a down low man?

Craig the Writer: I mean, if she's not okay with him being bisexual, then she needs to leave.

The Jennifer Experience: Say it again, Craig.

Craig the Writer: She needs to leave because my thing is, it's one thing if there's a woman who's in a relationship with a man who's dealing with other women. I think in some instances, or who is attracted to women, who's only attracted to women is one thing. If you're with a guy and he may step out once, like it's a mistake and you find out that he cheated or he confesses that he cheated and dah, dah, dah.

The Jennifer Experience: Because once can be a mistake.

Craig the Writer: Correct. It's one thing to give that kind of guy a second chance. But if you find out that your guy has cheated with another guy, girl, hang it up. Because the truth is, he's seeking something that a woman can't give him. You understand what I'm saying? it's one thing if he's cheating with another woman, you know, for whatever reason that, cause I do believe that a lot of times when people cheat in those instances like that, it's not always about the person being more attractive or whatever it's sometimes they're seeking something. Sometimes it's about how that other person has made them feel. It's not always about them looking better or having a better body. it's usually about them being validated in some way, right? But if you are a woman and you're dating a guy and he's sleeping around with other men, yeah, you can't compete with that. 

The Jennifer Experience: Craig said, hang it up. 

Craig the Writer: Hang that up. Just hang that up. Hang it up. Like you can retire that. And I'm not a person that thinks that you should have to compete with anybody. Even if your man is dealing with other women and you don't think that he has the capacity to be loyal or faithful, then let that go too. But if you're involved with a man and you found out that he cheated on another man, go let that go because you cannot compete with, he is seeking something that you can never offer because your mechanics are just different. You know what I'm saying? This supersedes sexual position. Even if he's the top in the relationship, even if he ain't going to a man to get fucked, he is going after a man.

The Jennifer Experience: Thank you. Say that again. That's what they need. Listen, you helping the people. They need to hear this. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah. He's attracted to a man's anatomy. 

The Jennifer Experience: And that is different from a woman.

Craig the Writer: Right, and I don't care if you let him put it in your butt. You still listen. It's not the same. Not the same.

The Jennifer Experience: What if they have an arrangement?

Craig the Writer: Well, that's a whole different thing. Yeah. I mean, if you're okay with that, then that, you know, yeah,

The Jennifer Experience: You know, some marriages. You know, the husband might say, "Hey, I like a little, like a little something every now and again," 

Craig the Writer: Yeah. If you're okay with that, then so be it.

The Jennifer Experience: But if you catch him. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah, don't think that you can cure his attraction to that because you can't. I don't care how much you have sex. Because see, here's the thing. I dated a guy, and I talk about this in my first book. I dated a guy who was from Nashville. Well, he was from Memphis, but he lived in Nashville. And to make a long story short, he had been married before we met. 

The Jennifer Experience: To a woman. 

Craig the Writer: I think they've been divorced like a year. I said two, but they were divorced a year by the time I met him.

The Jennifer Experience: And he was married to a woman. 

Craig the Writer: He married a woman. He was married to a woman, but while he was dating her, he was fucking a pastor of a church who was married. And he was deeply rooted in the church too.

The Jennifer Experience: That makes sense. Okay. 

Craig the Writer: He would reach out to his fiance or wife at the time and say to her, "listen, I'm getting those urges again." You know, and she'd be like, "hurry up, come home, just come home, just get home real quick." And when he would go home, she'd be, you know, butt naked, you know, so that he could, you know, go ahead and have sex. But that hasn't satisfied him because he's attracted to a man. he may have gotten a nut, but the attraction is still there for a man.

The Jennifer Experience: Yes. Yes, yes, yes. So you gotta accept that, that's just not you. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah. Cause again, sexuality is instinctive. It's how we're wired. You know, and so eventually he left her, but a lot of people fool themselves in thinking that they can disguise their sexuality or hide behind a marriage. They think that if you get into a relationship with a woman or get married, that those feelings and thoughts, you can suppress it, but you can't, you can only suppress it for so long. And that's why you see pastors, or government officials who are passing legislation against queer people getting busted in a park or an airport bathroom because they live these straight, identified lives where they've suppressed the feelings for being with another man, and then they walk into an airport and they just can't control it no more, and they want to suck a dick in the airport. You know what I mean? Like, at some point, that overtakes you. And so people say all the time, well, why do they do it in the bathroom at an airport? Why? Because at some point, 

The Jennifer Experience: it's gonna come out. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah, you have no other tie to the gay community. So you find yourself in a gay bookstore.

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah.

Craig the Writer: Or in a bathroom somewhere. You know what I mean? So it's just like, you go find it where you can find it. It's what happened with, George Michael, God rest his soul. You remember he was in that, 

The Jennifer Experience: In that restroom and ate the policemen set them up and all that. He was like, wait a minute now. 

Craig the Writer: It's what happened with Kevin Campbell. He got arrested for soliciting oral sex from an undercover cop.

The Jennifer Experience: Yes. 

Craig the Writer: You know what I mean? So people always wonder, well, why would you risk your career? No, it wasn't intentional.

The Jennifer Experience: They didn't do it on purpose. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah, it was one of those things where those emotions and feelings just overtook them,

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but and that's the same thing as don't believe that you can get turned out. And I have had this discussion with so many women who have told me that they are curious about something and I said to them, listen, if you're curious. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah. 

The Jennifer Experience: If you're coming to me and telling me that you're curious, is this mic on? Listen to me. If y'all are curious,

Craig the Writer: Mm hmm. 

The Jennifer Experience: Just think about that for a minute. If you're coming to me, a full lesbian, and you telling me that you're curious,

Craig the Writer: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: Don't talk to me about somebody turning you, can't nobody turn you out, can't nobody bring that out to you that is not already in you. And it's the same thing for a man. No, heterosexual man, no straight man is going to get turned. 

Craig the Writer: Mm hmm. Yeah. 

The Jennifer Experience: It's just not happening. And what I tell women that come to me, I always tell them, listen, if you explore that curiosity, you're not coming back because I can tell you right now, once you go over there, you're not coming back.

Craig the Writer: Yeah.

The Jennifer Experience: So the fact that you even having this conversation with me tells me that it's something there.

Craig the Writer: Mm hmm.

The Jennifer Experience: But then the statistics now as as to how many people are there is

Craig the Writer: Are where? What do you mean?

The Jennifer Experience: How many people are bi, gay. 

Craig the Writer: Oh, okay. Well, I don't know if it's rising as much as people are just being more open about it. I think they were always there. You know what I mean? I think it's cause like, even when you look at trans people, like more people are coming out and identifying as trans and you have a lot of people saying, well, where did all these people come from? They learning this from seeing it on TV. No, people are just being more liberated. Because the world is a bit more, quote unquote, tolerant or accepting. 

The Jennifer Experience: People are becoming free, and they they're being true to themselves. And instead of us celebrating freedom and people being true to themselves and being authentic. We're trying to push people back, and that's what we shouldn't do. So I mean, I think overall, Craig, this conversation is going to set somebody free. And that's what Different Perspectivez is supposed to do. I think this has been an enlightening conversation. I want you to tell people how they can find you, where they can find you. Tell them your cash app because we believe in giving. Listen, we believe in giving on this podcast because y'all, Craig does work. He did work on the podcast, but he does work every day. And so I believe that you should support people. Especially when you listen to them and they enlighten you and they give you something. Because we love to get on this social media. On, like I said, Beyoncé's internet. We love to get on her internet. And then we listen to people and we get entertained. And then we don't get no coin. I don't want to operate like that. So I'm going to sew into Craig myself, but I want y'all to sew into Craig and y'all know y'all need some green cards. So Craig, tell him tell him about all your stuff. Tell him about it. 

Craig the Writer: Okay. Yeah, so everything you can find, on craigthewriterstewart.com. So you can purchase books from there, whether you want to purchase the audio version of the books, there's a link on my website that will take you to audible. com. but then also, if you want to purchase a physical copy, and I do sign all the books that I ship out. So again, that's Craig The Writer. The books are available on Amazon as well, because I know some people have Amazon gift cards or credits or whatever. They're also available on,e reader. So like if you have an iPad, craigthewriterstewart.com, that would take you to all my social networks as well, my merchandise. That'll take you to sayitinacard.com or you can go directly to sayitinacard.com yourself. But all of my social is craigthewriterstewart.Com. So my Instagram, my Twitter. my Patreon, which is my video diary that I show like behind the scenes stuff. I'm in the process right now of editing the third season of my web series called Telling Our Stories, where I have real conversations with black queer people. So the first season of Telling Our Stories is a conversation with black gay men and black lesbians. And we talk about the divide in the community. That series is on my YouTube channel, which of course you can get to from CraigTheWriterStewart. com. But my YouTube channel is CraigTheWriter. And then season two of Telling Our Stories is on my YouTube channel as well. And it took place in Paris. I moved to France for a brief time, and I had a conversation with black queer people there about the experience there. And then the third season, we're in the editing process now. It will release sometime this summer, probably in July. But this conversation is called Black Gay and Aging. Because I think that's a real problem in the Black gay male community in particular. You know, a lot of people are having difficulties and struggles with aging. And so the age range in this conversation, it was like myself and eight other guys. And the age range is from like 34 to 58. And so I think it was a great conversation. And then, Madison Starter House, it's called, it's called The T. S. Madison Starter House. I think they're gonna begin accepting applicants in the fall, but it's a transition home for black trans women, who are currently working in sex work and who want to get out of that. And so they'll have an opportunity to live in this housefor up to a year.The minimum I think is six months, but they'll be able to live a maximum of a year. They'll help them get into employment and transition out of sex work into, you know, the workforce. 

The Jennifer Experience: Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Yes. And, I have a nonprofit called She's Still Missing and we also help, women, people that have been trafficked, human trafficking victims, L-G-B-T-Q person. So I'm gonna reach out to that house and see if we can work together. But I wanna make sure that I highlighted all that, 'cause all that is brilliant stuff that. LGBTQ persons are doing. You actually moved to France for a year? Wow.

Craig the Writer: I did. I moved to Fransford. 

The Jennifer Experience: I'ma have to have Craig back for episode two, because there's so much to explore about Craig and see, this is the thing, again, I want to highlight, this is a very intelligent, how about say middle age? 

Craig the Writer: You tried it. 

The Jennifer Experience: He's still, 

Craig the Writer: I'm still young. 

The Jennifer Experience: He's still a rather young, intelligent black man who has traveled the world. He's lived in France. He's written books, very good representation. And he's not out here screwing everything that moves. This. See what I'm talking about? This 

Craig the Writer: I really want to pass a different court. 

The Jennifer Experience: Yeah, but see this what I'm saying, y'all won't highlight Craig. 

Craig the Writer: Yeah. 

The Jennifer Experience: Y'all will highlight people who are doing other things that aren't good, so I'm here to highlight Craig today, so y'all could see this, go to his website, patronize his business, spend your coin, because y'all spend coin everywhere else, y'all spend coin at Fendi, Gucci, all them other places. Go on, Hallmark done made all y'all money off cards. Let Craig make your money. Come on, lGBTQ people, because we have coins to spend. 

Craig the Writer: We do.

The Jennifer Experience: Come on now. So let's go on and give Craig our coin for our cards and our literature. Okay, because we read, we're people. And now all of you who are trying to date Craig, don't inbox me because I can't, I can't hook you up. But for the rest of us, let's highlight Craig and let's boost this up. Then I'm sure you can go to T. S. Madison website and donate to her house if you want to do that. 

Craig the Writer: That's through N-A-E-S-M. So it's National AIDS Education Services for Minorities, but it's NAESM.org. And you'll see the information over there about that. But you asked about the cash app. My Cashapp is The Writer. It's gonna come up and say Impeccable Works, which is my company, but it's The Writer.

The Jennifer Experience: Okay. So again, Craig, I thank you for your time. And today has been a great conversation. I hope we can have another one. I'm going to stay in touch with you and bug you anyway, whether you like it or not. So we have now have begun a great friendship, but this has been great. Thank you for showing us some appropriate phenomenal gay representation. I want you to encourage you to keep doing what you're doing. Keep writing, keep talking, keep being funny too. You're very comical, but, but also keep taking care of yourself because health is wealth and you look good, you look good. 

Craig the Writer: Thank you Yeah. Thank you so much. Thank you so much. 

The Jennifer Experience: And I don't usually tell men they look good, but you look good.

Craig the Writer: Thank you so much. Thank you.

The Jennifer Experience: So we just have loved having you and listen, happy pride to all of my brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ world. We love you. We'll see you soon. Take good care.

 Hello listeners, Jennifer here, host of Different Perspectivez. As we celebrate Pride Month, I want to take a moment to share something very special with all of you. Have you ever found yourself navigating the complex journey of parenthood after your child has said to you they're gay? It can be a challenging road to walk, but let me assure you, you're not alone. That's why I wrote the booklet Shades of Acceptance: Navigating Parenthood After Coming Out. In this heartfelt booklet, I share my own experiences along with practical advice. And compassionate guidance to help parents like you understand, accept, and support your LGBTQ plus children with love and authenticity, no matter how old they are, whether you're struggling with questions of faith, acceptance, or simply how to best support your child. Shades of Acceptance offers insight and wisdom to guide you on this journey. I encourage you to get your copy today. Head over to Amazon or my website, www.thejenniferexperience.Com to grab your copy today. As a matter of fact, I have a special treat for you. If you use the code PRIDE, P R I D E, you'll get 10 off either the e booklet or a physical copy. Let's make this Pride Month a celebration of love, understanding, and acceptance for all. Thank you for listening and remember, love is always the answer and love still conquers all. I love all of you. Take good care.​

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