Friday, June 29, 2007

Naia Honey Ferguson is College Bound!!!

Yesterday, I attended the high school graduation for the daughter of my late best friend, Kathy Jones-Ferguson. Actually as I write this, I feel odd about calling Kathy my best friend...because she was much more than that to me. She was more like a sister to me, we had been friends since 9th grade and after high school we stayed close and kept up with each other's lives frequently. We sang on choirs together, spent many a night sitting up late talking about our plans and our dreams. She was there with me as I tried to extricate myself from several abusive relationships. I remember when she was about to get married to someone that I instinctively KNEW wasn't worthy of her...I suffered through getting fitted for a GOD AWFUL Peach colored bridesmaid dress complete with HATS, PARASOLS, BUSTLES AND FINGERLESS GLOVES!!! GASP!!! (I can laugh at this now but I was truly frightened that I would actually have to wear that dress!!!). But she was in love and I was determined to be a good I put down my deposit and quietly got fitted for that damn can only imagine my relief when she realized she loved someone else and called off the wedding. lol....I never went near that bridal place again and I left that dress right on the hanger!!!! I was there when she got reacquainted with her soon to be new husband (another alumnus from JFK) and when she called me and told me she was pregnant with Naia (for whom this blog is really about).

We laughed and cried together and out of all the people in my life....SHE was THAT CHICK for me, the one who "knew where all the bodies were buried" in relation to my We were so close that when she was having trouble finding decent employment, I hired her as one of my assistants. My reasons for hiring her were purely selfish on my part. I knew that she really needed a job but I also I knew that this would be the perfect opportunity to see and talk to her every single day. It worked out beautifully and the five years or so that we worked together only made us closer. So it hurt me deeply to find out towards the end of year 3 of our working together that she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She worked until she could no longer take the pain and then went on disability. I saw her less and less after that but I tried to speak to her at least a couple of times a week when she felt up to it. The thing I loved the most about her was that throughout her illness...she never stopped fighting, she never let it get the best of her and she NEVER let it break her spirit. We even went wig shopping when she began to lose her hair to the chemotherapy.

I saw Kathy a few days before she died when I visited her at Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital (Where the employees for the CANCER hospital stand outside and smoke cigarettes on their and she flipped the script and wound up comforting me when I broke down at the sight of my beloved sister. I found out from her husband that they were about to try a new experimental treatment for her cancer that would either help cure her cancer or accelerate it's growth....they couldn't be sure of how she would react to it. I stayed with her until visiting hours were over, kissed her goodbye and told her that I loved her. She told me in her always soothing voice that everything would be okay and not to worry....she'd be fine.

I never saw her again.

Which brings me to her beautiful daughter Naia Honey Ferguson, who I tried to keep in touch with as much as I could and although I didn't see her as much as I may have liked (completely my fault) her dad was very good at keeping me updated on her life. I saw Naia again when her dad remarried and I was amazed at how much she had grown. Naia is a F.A.T. Girl like her mom and is absolutely beautiful and extremely talented. I ran into her dad on the street and he told me that she was getting ready to graduate and preparing for her prom. I made sure that my schedule was free because I certainly didn't want to miss her graduation.

Her graduation was held at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and Naia was the Salutorian. Naia is an exceptional poet, so I knew she was going to be good, but I was stunned at just how phenomenal she is at spoken word. Believe when I tell you that this young woman's gift for speech and the written word is absolutely BRILLIANT!!! (and I am not just saying this because she is my baby). I swear to you she delivered a welcome address that was better than any of the speeches that the adults delivered. I also found at that Miss Naia will be headed to Washington University on full 4 Year scholarship. I am so proud of my girl I could just burst!!! She got over $175,000 in scholarship monies and grants! You GO Girl!!!! She wants to be a child psychologist when she graduates and I have no doubt that she will get whatever it is that she wants.

I know her mama is doing backflips in heaven!

I know this post was a little wordy ya'll but I just wanted to take a moment to shout out a F.A.T. girl who knows that the world revolves around so much more than modeling.

Much success in all that you do Naia!

I love you chica and I am VERY proud of you!

"A gift has the ability to empower (whatever it might be)."

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

NYC Pride Weekend 2007 Wrap Up

Hey Family!!!

I think that this weekend past was the MOST COLORFUL weekend of my life thus! This was Gay Pride Weekend in New York City and I simply ADORE the "Pride Parade". But I kicked off my weekend by attending a surprise birthday for my home girl...the fabulous Miss Eda Francois! We arrived at this club called Rebel on 30th St at 11:30pm sharp for the surprise. The first person I saw was Eda's roommate Denise, who always greets me with love, and tonight was no different. Also in attendance was one of my favorite designers Douglas Says along with two friends. There were about 15 of us lined up and we were escorted inside the club. It was "ladies night" of course....cuz it was pride weekend ya'll!!! and the ladies came out in full force. There were some absolutely stunning women out that night and they represented to the fullest. The club used to be a rock club called Downtime back in the day, I used to sing there when I sang with a rock band called The Thrill Cycle. The club has been completely remodeled and is absolutely beautiful. It has three levels, comfy seating and sexy lighting. The guest of honor...Miss Eda beautifully attired in black, arrived with her partner Becky(who arranged the party) and to say she was surprised was an understatement. The sight of all of her friends brought tears to her eyes. We were on the third level where the dj was spinning primarily house music (which is my favorite as well as Miss Eda's). We partied until the wee hours of the morning (okay, i'mma keep it real....I partied until my damn knee gave out AND the DJ went for the record with the FIFTH REGGAE SET!!!! and I decided it was time for me to (I don't particularly care for reggae music....after about 4 songs....I am ready to you can imagine what FIVE SETS was doing to me). I said my goodbyes and quickly caught a taxi uptown.

For those of you who don't know it yet....I am a big ol' "Fag Hag" at heart. I have spent many a Halloween down in the village with my late "big Sista" Tommy watching the boys in drag carry on on the streets of Christopher. I remember the year me, Tommy & his friend Darnell went to the Halloween ball dressed as Dreamgirls (well,THEY we're wasn't!!!) and his other friend Miss Landy was dressed head to toe as Miss Coco Chanel (and Landy had the best legs I had ever seent!!! (yeah...I know that's ebonics!). It was hilarious (because women just don't over exaggerate everything like that) but it was also always a learning experience for me too. It was "the kids" on the pier along with Tommy who first encouraged me to walk a runway! I learned (and quite a bit from the boys at the balls who would "vogue" and "pose" on the runway back in the day. Lol, it was also Tommy, after a trip to the extremely popular (but now closed) gay bar, Two Potato and seeing more 6'8" straight looking dudes coming out of that bar, that I began introducing potential dates to and then wait for him to tell me his thoughts after they'd leave. He was always on point and had the best "gaydar" around. Unfortunately, all of my mentors are all gone now. But the memories of them and the wonderful times we shared always bring a smile to my face.

I picked up my home girl Deb at 103rd st and we took the #1 train down to 14th street where I stopped off to have a drink with my girl "Q" who was hawking copies of her new erotica books "Orchids" & "Orchids II". We sat at Merchant's bar on 7th avenue and had a couple of beers. We stayed and chatted for about an hour and the we (deb & I) walked the rest of the way downtown. We were headed towards the pier when I realized that PRIDEFest (the festival AFTER the parade) had been cancelled this year because they couldn't get permits from the city. So we made a U-Turn and headed back towards Seventh avenue (and back towards the parade)when I ran into jewelry designer Beverly Carter...who I hadn't seen in a very long time. Introductions were made and we decided to head over to Dragonfly where Eda, Becky & Denise were having brunch. I was really surprised to see Eda (because I thought she would never recover from Saturday night's events. But there she was looking as beautiful as ever and chowing down, getting prepared for the final night of Pride festivities. I chatted with them for a minute and then headed over to Crazy Nanny's where all the girls were hanging outside. And there were some beautiful sistas hanging outside ya'll! Of course as always I ran into some folks I knew and even some ladies who recognized me from the show. They all showed me mad love and it was real cool ya'll!! I saw more boys (all shapes & sizes) in 6 inch pumps this weekend, serving it up complete with legs to DIE FOR that were absolutely hurting my feelings!! I mean these kids had better bodies than I have had MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!!! Legs for days!!!! The floats were colorful and fun, the music was loud and up beat and the entire Village was transformed into one big dance party!!! This year I saw floats from Brazil (the Brazilians must have used all the silicone left in the country cuz they had more booty & boobs than most of the chicks I know!!!!), Peru, Canada, Italy, Venezuela and (a first for me....) even the RUSSIANS had a float! It was phenomenal!!! The parade and pride weekend have always been an event to look forward to. You walk around and run into folks you haven't seen in years who also came out to view the parade and to celebrate the history of being gay in New York City. It has always been the best time for me!

But alas, time has a way of changing things and although the spirit of the parade and the festival that follows is the same....the people who hang out on the pier now have changed drastically. The crowd is much younger with lots of attitude and just a little too quick on the draw to fight for hanging down on the pier like I normally would is not as appealing as it used to be for me. Just way too much drama from the younger folks. So I ended my Sunday watching the parade, having a few cocktail with my friends and heading home before the sun set (which for me, is usually when the drama begins).

But the weather was absolutely gorgeous (as opposed to last year when it rained all weekend) and folks were super friendly and gracious enough to pose for me whenever I wanted to take a picture, and that helped to make it a phenomenal weekend for me.

I am completely tuckered out but it's a happy kind of tired...believe me. I Wish you all coulda been there!


You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Monif C, Chaka Khan, Mo'Nique & Jill Scott

Last night I returned to Radio City Music Hall to hang out with Mo'Nique as she hosted the Jill Scott Concert. Last night Jill was phenomenal and I couldn't wait to see her again! But I was TOTALLY STOKED that Chaka Khan was on the bill tonight!!! But before I got there, I started my evening off by attending the grand opening of plus designer Monif C.'s new boutique in Manhattan. I arrived at around 6:45pm and the place was filled with my fabulous FAT sistas, balloons, beautiful clothing in a vibrant array of colors and designs. I was greeted by hostess/model Mia Amber who was dressed in a beautiful multicolored floor length dress. There was also custom made jewelry available courtesy of my home girl Lissa Esseling. I worked my way through the room to greet the always fabulous Audrey Smaltz (if you don't know who she her!!) The boutique is actually kinda small and it was very crowded and beginning to get I made my way out into the hall way where I ran into new plus sized designer Just Raymona of EnV.ny, Raymona designs all of the clothing I wear on FAT Chance and I was in an exquisite blue denim jumpsuit that she selected for the evening. Also in attendance were plus size legends, Lisa Scott & Teri Murray as were the design team of BGU (Big Girls United)...sisters Tasha Smith & Jeannie Ferguson. I hung out chatting and waiting for a friend who was VERY late and then I realized I was late needed to get over to Radio City ASAP. I said my good byes and swooped up Raymona who was kind enough to drop me off at the curb of the venue.

I got there in just enough time to catch the last 15 minutes of Robin Thicke's set...and let me tell you...he was REALLY good!!! I enjoyed listening to him sing and glide all around the stage. He ended his set with "Lost Without You" and every chick in the building was singing along with that little cutie! Mo'Nique came back on and kept the crowd doubled over with laughter as they set up the stage for Miss Chaka Khan....Chaka came out all dressed like Clan of The Cave Bear in black leather and fur and was HOLLERING!!!! I mean she was singing her face Anyway, she brought the house down when she ended her set with "I'm Every Woman" Baby, everybody in the building was on their feet, dancing & singing along with Chaka...I mean she OWNED that was an awesome thing to watch. Mo' came back out and got the crowd the give Miss Chaka a second standing ovation...she reminded the crowd that there was a time when "we" were not even allowed inside of Radio City Music Hall and to never was real deep ya'll.

But once the icing on the cake was Miss Jill Scott...who was just as great as she was the night before if not better. This time, I got to actually meet Miss Scott and I gotta tell ya'll...This is one pretty sista!! I could not stop looking at her....her face is flawless and her smile is one of the most magnificent I have ever seen. This sista is seriously beautiful ya'll...with an awesome pair of legs to boot!!! I also wasthiscloseto Tyler Perry who stopped to say hello to Mo & Jill in the dressing rooms and then...gasp!!! He stopped, put his hand on my shoulder, looked me in my eye and told me to have a great evening on the way out!!!...I was FLOORED!!!! lol. He's really cute.

Anyway, I was completely worn out from all this activity and I could not wait to hail a taxi and head uptown. But it was an amazing night that I won't soon forget!

Where your focus goes, your energy flows....What are YOU focused on today?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Jill Scott at Radio City Music Hall

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Verizon sponsored Jill Scott Concert Series at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. I snagged an All Access Pass and got to hang out backstage with Mo' and her team. Mo'Nique was the host for the evening and Musiq Soulchild was the opening act.

Mo' was hilarious as usual...kicking knowledge from topics ranging from disciplining your children to stories on how to keep your man...YOUR man! She was dressed magnificently as always, (Mad props to my sistafriend Ronda...Who keeps Mo' dressed to the nines!) in a beautiful black, spaghetti strapped dress, that was embossed with huge crystal colored jewels.

Musiq was good as well, although I had a few personal problems with the sound during his seemed like they hadn't soundchecked him earlier and the band was considerably louder than he was. I heard through the grapevine that he has "issues" with his height and is really uncomfortable around women who are taller than he is....(hmmm...he was standing right near me and he is pretty he must be uncomfortable around half the Anyway, I enjoy some of his songs but I wasn't really pleased with the way he was dressed. He had on this green, silk looking shirt and some bermuda shorts that just grazed his calves....with a tie with er....sneakers. In my opinion that outfit just wasn't flattering and only made him look shorter to me. I much prefer the "bohemian-soulster" look he wore in his first video for Aijuswannasing...or whatever that song is.

But baby! The icing on the cake was Miss Jill Scott! I have never seen her live before and she was absolutely amazing....this chick has a gift that is truly from the Gods!! She just stood center stage, opened her mouth and the most beautiful sounds emerged from her lips. She looked amazing, she had a multi colored green wrap dress, with a Pucci like print....And mama has great legs to boot!. Her background singers were totally on point, as was the band....obviously Miss Jill made HER Mo' joined Jill onstage during her last few songs and they had a "sing off" of sorts....Jill would hit a note and give Mo' the mike to follow....except that Mo' cannot sing. It was hilarious.

I also ran into the "Flow" of Floetry (the former big girl...she's lost quite a bit of weight) looking good backstage. I am definitely gonna go back tonight because joining Jill & Mo' tonight will be the Legendary Diva...Miss Chaka Khan!!! I am so PSYCHED!!!!!

Will holla back later with the details fam!


I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life's a bitch. You've got to go out and kick ass.