Editors Note

…The Urban LGBT Professional Class…

10422276_10206320314099185_8242990519864694208_nBy- DeoVonte “Deo” Means

On Sunday, I arose to text and pictures from Juan & Gee’s 4th annual Gentlemen’s Ball, held in ATL on that previous Saturday night. The Gentlemen’s ball has prodigiously become the annual beacon for the sophisticate of our community throughout the country and even internationally. I immediately passed the pics to my friends and I was initially impressed! As the day began to pass, the cocktails settled in and we perhaps became more analytical; we immediately realized that this was indeed attainable and not out of our reach to execute even better! The team saw multiple repeated suits from Zara (the black, cotton blend, brocade 3-pices- and most only had 2! Also was the Clandestine blue, Duchesse satin 2-piece); ill or untailored suits, scuffed up shoes and absolutely NO color! We debated back and forth on what is needed in our community to manifest this idea. How could we effectively re-spark this flame while doing it diplomatically? The fundamental genesis that we each kept coming to realize was that, any city that has a popping and provocative night life; has a very pronounced and profound professional class representation. NYC, D.C and ATL tends to lead right now. In Chicago and other cities, the professional class is often maligned, which leads them to withdraw from the mainstream community. They begin to utilize their knowledge, resources, and influence to establish a sub- community of those that only party together and in what appears to be refinement, beauty and bacchanalia. This act creates a tension, and they are often labeled “elitist’…Mentally, it becomes a war of Jihad!! “Good versus Evil!!!!!” But in reality, they are not elitist at all!…We are all in the same boat and fight the same fight. It’s merely that, some grew to embrace a mindset of upwardly mobility that extends beyond the traps, allurers and temptations of our lifestyle or geographic and socio-economic disparities. They face the real world, and placed their sites on real world ideas, thoughts, strategies, sacrifices, hard-work and dedication to produce real world success…or at least comfort. So why are they made to feel as if they are unaccountable and second class citizens when it comes to the stratagem, execution and product of our city night life- which is in desperate repair?

12191489_10206320313939181_5850267668653870957_nWhat is the Professional class…? Well see! That’s quite simple! Without using any big words; the “professional class” is comprised of that friend or person/s you see, whom is most vocal, focused and inclined by being gainfully employed and moving up….That’s the definition of upward mobility…This status is not given based upon income; rather mindset. A counter clerk at Macy’s with aspirations to one day becoming a Saks clientele specialist, is fam… A college student in school with aspirations is fam too! The beauty of you, is not the tangibles you possess right now, yet the strategies and plans you’re plotting and bringing to fruition. Surprisingly, we were not crowned Lord of Lords of the community by the Architect of the Universe. But He did bless us with a previous generation that served as unmitigated influences and mentors. This was an era unknown to microwave acknowledgement or status. The previous generation set the trends, standards and rubric. We as younglings, were challenged to meet it! They used their endowment to allow us to stand on their shoulders. They taught us the shady ways of the community and how to SERVE at night; but they also challenged us, not to make the same mistakes they made….rise above!….Be respected during the day too!…In reality, that’s all that really matter!…  “It is important that you are FIECRE and SEVERE in the night, but during the day you need to be intelligent, strategic and diligent!!!!” is exactly what I was told as a young lad. Embracing this feedback allowed us to become the people you see today. Although many of my peers are grossly successful and out-rank me, we still connect and give respect because fundamentally, we both embrace upward mobility and this mindset has changed our trajectory in life.

tumblr_nmisl4LsBn1qd9ql4o1_400Understandably, we as the professional class, cannot commit to weekly participation in the night clubs. Because once again, quite simple, when you’re working a 40 hour week and your attention is on personal growth; well you become a tab bit more cognoscente of where your dollars are slipping off to. You lack the desire to “club” weekly, and try to diversify the small funds you have available as disposable income into an experience that will be beneficial in not only your growth and culture; but also private, professional and nightlife. As you challenge your surroundings and become more and more exposed and accustomed to the finery and flow of the real world, well it becomes engrained and expected in every and anything you do. A night at dilapadated venues, poor customer service, trap music, men making their booty clap real hard on the wall while sweating profusiously, and hood antics; is not our idea of fun and does not possess the allure to even tempt us out to make that a night of investment.. We want experiences! We want shots that will make our colleagues envious! You can’t possibly ask a man of 33, that’s making 75K a year, with benefits and clad in Givenchy– to submit to the standards, judgements and acceptance of a child that’s 22, homeless, broke and hopeless, yet Escort and Ballroom fab! The fact that the weakest among you are now leading and setting the trends, is the sheer principal of ineffectiveness that’s shattering the entire diagram. In my city, 2003-2009 was Chicago’s “golden era.” It was our renaissance!! It was so much going on that everyone had to be here and leave their footprint. July 4th weekend was like a national urban LGBT holiday, in which everyone knew to be in Chicago….and my did they storm! Fast forward to 2015. NOBODY comes here except a few stragglers and ball kids. Our pride is comprised of locals and overly priced, ratcheet clubs. Why is this? The answer is, during this bygone time I speak of, the grown and sexy or professional class was dominate! They understood- in their brilliant minds- that people don’t spend money to come out weekly or travel annually for thots, booty shakers, and those whom are proficient in the art of hood masculine impersonation. But people WILL indeed use half their vacation time, savings and months’ income; to be in a place that’s is sanctioned and known for the sexy upwardly mobile professional class, which in turn, attracts the booty clapping entertainment.

tumblr_nkoz15LR2E1qf8fjao1_400It’s not my intent to degrade any part of our community. I’m merely challenging these local host promoters to review your data! As a business owner, I’m sure you’re receiving Excel spreadsheet data on your desk every Monday with logistics right? Well data shows that there is an imperative need to embrace the professional class in these major cities. Challenge yourselves, as sanctioned vessels of our community, to take it further- with same expectant and perfected endowment of our predecisors. The kids can always enjoy themselves, but it needs to be in the adult’s house. Perhaps we can use our connects to engage with and reestablish relationships with those gregarious professionals in our community that feels maligned? But right now, what we need most is for the professional class to step up and take on their endowment while being embraced and respected by the overall community as vested stakeholders. Perhaps we can continue to disenfranchise, segregate and distance ourselves from each other; but we would be so much better if we learned to come together, compromise, co-exist and challenge each other for greatness….Cheers to all….Deo…..








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