🏘 Small Town, Big Dreams 🎇

Living your truth isn’t easy. It’s an internal battle, a fight to be who you are, regardless of what others think. As a young person, it’s daunting to come out as what others perceive as different, as a pariah, and voicing your dreams that are bigger than the town you live in can lead to ridicule, taunting, and words whispered that you’ll never make it.

But as you get older, as you become wiser, you realize that you can live your truth and be loved for who you are. You can chase your dreams, even when others say it’s impossible. And anyone who doesn’t support your truth, your dreams, is nothing more than a tiny speedbump on the road of life and not worth fretting over.

Blake Henry is living his truth and chasing his dreams, and his road to National Showman has been paved with obstacles, but through hard work, determination, and perseverance, he is inching closer to walking across that stage.

This is his story. This is his truth.

How was it growing up in a small community, where your dreams are bigger than the small town you come from?

Growing up here in a small town was actually great in ways. I feel it taught me to love and trust people and not take things for granted. But it was also challenging to be who I truly was living in a small country town. I had seen people before me that came out that we’re treated so badly just because they were gay and it caused them to leave town. When I finally came out it was because I wanted to live my truth and be who I actually was and not live a fake life. I was always the same person but I felt like I was lying to myself and everyone else.

When I came out I was 17 years old my friends had taken me to a club called The Connection in Louisville I obviously had to sneak in cause I was too young. That is when I first saw the art of Drag. I saw queens such as Terri Vanessa Coleman, Hurricane Summers, Syimone, and Vanessa Demornay. There were also male entertainers Landy Saavedra and Mykul Jay Valentine. I used to say someday I want to do that but never thought I actually would.

As far as dreams, I always wanted to do something bigger. I knew there was more in life for me besides growing up here in Greensburg and living a traditional life. I knew that simply wasn’t for me. I had many dreams. The first thing I wanted was to be a parent. In 2014, I moved from Greensburg to Indianapolis to improve my career as a restaurant manager because I wanted to bring in enough income to eventually start a family. Things didn’t go as planned but it did happen in 2016 after I moved to Louisville. 2016 was a big year for me – I started performing and soon as I got my feet wet performing, I found out Zaidyn was coming along. Other dreams I had were to make a difference not only in the LGBTQIA+ community but my local community. Back when I first came out as gay, the gay clubs and bars were about making people feel welcomed and like family but now it’s just not the same. I strive to use the platform I have to make people feel like they have someone. It’s not easy being a part of our community. Many of us lose our blood family because they don’t agree with our lives. Many people of the LGBTQIA+ community commit suicide because of how they are treated for being who they are or because they don’t feel comfortable coming out or because they think bad about themselves because sometimes that’s what society puts in our heads. If I can make a few people feel better about themselves, I might encounter someone and it saves their life.

What has it taken to get to Nationals?


As far as Nationals it’s taken A LOT to get to this point. When I started performing I didn’t think I would get into pageants and I did. Pageants are very expensive and after winning two pageants – Mr. Bar Complex and Mr. Lexington Pride – I finally decided I wanted to do a National pageant. The National Showman pageant stuck out to me because it’s about costumes, rhinestones, furs, jewelry, etc. and that’s a lot of the things my stage persona presents. I’ve been preparing for this pageant for about 2 years it’s been very time-consuming and of course, not one thing has gone how I planned. It’s been very stressful but pageants teach performers discipline, endurance, and professionalism.

What does winning the title mean for you?

Winning this title means a lot to me. It will give me a platform in my community. I want to bridge the gap between the “gay” and “straight” community. I want people to see us for who we are as individuals not just our sexuality. Winning this title will help me grow further as a performer and travel and become the face of business for the system. Reigning as a National titleholder is a big responsibility. You have to be approachable and social, but also helpful and have skills to grow a business because that’s what pageantry is.

What’s it like being a single parent while chasing your dreams?

Being a single parent while chasing my dreams is very hard. Anyone that is a single parent has it hard. It’s a challenge. I have to juggle my time and be able to switch between tasks like crazy. Having a 4-year-old that’s very demanding while preparing for shows or pageants is tough. When you are performing people see you on stage for 5-8 minutes or so at a time. What they don’t see is how it took 2 weeks to rhinestone the costume you are wearing, or how long it took to pick the perfect costume for the number you are doing, or even how long it took you to present the performance you want to give for the number exactly how you want it received. I have to be able to do all those things plus take care of my child. I find myself constantly having a project to work on in my free time so when he is occupied doing something I can take a few moments to work on something. Or I just stay up most of the night if I’m pushing a time limit. I wouldn’t change it for the world though.

You can support Blake and his dream of becoming the next National Showman by sending donations to him through:

CashApp: $RomanYoung2005

Venmo: @RomanYoung2005

PayPal: bhenry05@hotmail.com

 

💍 Family by Marriage, Sisters by Choice ❤️

Family isn’t defined by blood. It’s defined by the people in a person’s life that care about them. That are invested in them. That wish for their happiness. That cheer them on. That cheer them up. It’s the people that are there when the storms blow in and the waters are rough. We became family through marriage, but we are sisters by choice.

Throughout the years, I’ve seen your struggles, your heartache, your darkest moments. I’ve seen you define your self-worth by a man that never deserved you. Anyone can find a leech to stick to their right ass cheek. But you deserve more than that. Expect rainbows, sunshine, laughter, love, and acceptance. That’s the least you deserve. And if a man doesn’t give it to you, don’t just walk away… run.

Giving everything you have – your heart, your home, your joy – to someone who didn’t appreciate it is in the past.  Leave it in the past.

You are strong. You are beautiful. You are funny. You are a hard worker. You are a great mom. You deserve the best. 

Believe it.

No man or person should treat you as an option. As someone to call when he or she needs or wants something. As someone to run to when he or she chooses to.

That’s not love. That’s not friendship. 

Love and friendship should be reciprocal. It isn’t always one person picking up a phone to call the other. It isn’t always one person making an effort while the other stands idly by. If it isn’t reciprocal, if there isn’t any effort made by the other person, you don’t need it.

We are family by marriage, but we became sisters by choice. Ride or die. Someone to call that won’t talk you out of a bad idea, but will promise to bail you out of jail. Someone who will stand by with the camera ready to roll as a woman rudely blocks an entire aisle in Wal-Mart. Someone who will dive into a pool, chest flop, and come up smiling, just to see you do it. 

Life’s meant to be filled with laughter. To be enjoyed. To be treasured.

I wish that for you.

Always. 💕

Tiff

💥Crashing & Burning🔥 Hello, Thirties

If you’re in your twenties, enjoy your youthful looks and resilient body, because one day, that shit’s gonna be gone, and no matter how much you fight to get it back, your metabolism, AKA Beth, is gonna straight up laugh in your face and add a flab of fat underneath your neck and give you a whole new perspective on the word ‘jowl’. To add icing to that ham-hock neck of yours, if you try to run like you used to, your once-upon-a-time resilient muscles, AKA Jane, is gonna make you think you have it in you, then she’s gonna shred your muscles like it’s pulled pork, and you’ll be out of commission for weeks… if not months.

Getting older is painful. Beth and Jane don’t cooperate like they used to. If you even look at a cupcake Beth slows down, pops five pounds on your right ass cheek, and wipes the sweat off her forehead like she performed some great mission that saved mankind. Jane isn’t much better. If you lift your leg in an attempt to use a stepstool, Jane freaks the f*ck out, and yanks on your hamstring. You land with a resounding thud on your derriere as you scream like a toddler clinging to a toy they can’t have. 

Shit gets real when you creep toward your forties. 

Your medicine cabinet, the one you barely used, gets crammed with medicines and ointments you’d never heard of before. The Pepto commercials you laughed at… that pink shit’s now your right hand girl. Tums turns into a nightly event. Bengay becomes a new, smelly friend you use like deodorant. 

The funny thing is… if you’re reading this and you’re in your twenties… you think it’ll never happen to you. 

You run five miles a day. 

You eat healthy.

You drink water.

You’re invincible. 

Bwah ha ha ha…saddle up, cowgirl. 

I used to be you. Then Beth and Jane showed up and showed out. Now, I’m hitting up a swimming pool to avoid Jane rupturing my muscles. I’m eating Built Bars and tracking my food on an app as I try to out maneuver Beth’s fat-adding wand that she swishes around like it’s magic fairy dust.

Your thirties are the years you began crashing and burning. You realize how frail you truly are. You’ll have dumb nights where you think you can drink like you did in your early twenties, then Ronda shows up and smacks the shit out of you, giving you a hangover like you’d never had before. Your stomach’s on fire and churns twenty-four hours later, your head pounds, your freakin’ eyeballs hurt. 

So, I’m going to enjoy the last few years of my thirties with Beth, Jane, and Ronda as I try to mentally prepare myself for what’s to come in my forties. 

If you’re in your twenties, live it up, y’all.

~Ms. Write Life~

Follow me on:

Twitter – @mswritelife05

TikTok – @mswritelife05

Instagram – @mswritelife05

Bearded Man-Child 🧔

Green-blue eyes sparkle with mischievousness as freckled arms wrap around me, a wiry tawny beard jabs my hair, and my body stiffens. 

“Hug me,” he demands.

 I pat his arm with one hand. 

“That’s not a hug,” he scoffs. “Both hands.”

My arms hang loosely around him as he declares, “You suck at giving hugs.”

I snorted. “I’d give better hugs if you didn’t shit yourself every time you hugged me.”

That’s just a snippet of one of the conversations my eighteen-year-old son and I have. He hugs at home, leaving silent-but-deadly presents that linger like a dead carcass on the side of the road on a mid-July afternoon. He thinks it’s hilarious. I don’t. 

But to be fair – he gets it honest.

My dad’s the epitome of professionalism when he’s at work. The man is a hazard with any tools, can’t change a tire, struggles tying on a fishing lure. He can, however, leave a trail of deadly fumes in his wake. Something he enjoys doing in his own home as he passes by an unexpecting victim. 

My son learned from the expert crop duster, dropping gas like farmers drop pesticides. But when you fight your way out of the fumes, the bearded man-child has a softer side.

Professional Crop Dusters

He called me yesterday morning asking if I wanted anything to eat. I wasn’t even hungry, but I ordered a sausage biscuit. If my kid offers to pick me up something to eat, and he’s paying for it, I’m ordering something. I don’t care if I vomit afterward. He doesn’t usually buy me breakfast.

Maybe it’s because he walks across the stage this week. Maybe the spokes are turning in his brain, and he’s realizing life’s about to change. He’s no longer a toddler who can hold my hand as he stumbles through life. It’s his life. His choices. There will be mistakes. There will be failures. There will be disappointment. There will be tears. There will be storms. But in the midst of all that, he has an anchor. He has his family.

One thing I’ve tried to instill in my son is that family is forever. There will be people who walk into his life that he thinks will always be there, and they’ll eventually fade out of his life. But… he will always have a home to go to. He will always have an ear to listen to his woes. He will always have his family. When chaos ensues, we will be his anchor.

Today, I’ve been rambling around my house, straightening up, cleaning anything that catches my eye. Pictures hang on my walls. Pictures of my son as a toddler, as a child, as a teenager, as a bearded man-child. Tears prick the back of my eyelids. I scrub the granite countertop, avoiding his face smiling at me through the years.

He’ll walk across the stage tonight, grab the diploma held out to him, and he’ll slide the green-gold tassel dangling from his cap from one side to the other. I’ll paint my face, adding a dash of blush, eyeliner, mascara, knowing that I’ll not make it through the ceremony without crying.

I’ve barely avoided crying as I’ve walked around my home. The ghost of memories cling to every corner, hang from every wall.

Today… I’m a wreck. Tonight… I’ll still be a wreck.

Part of my heart, part of my hopes and dreams, part of my soul is venturing into the world. May he spread his wings and soar. May he fight for the impossible and make it possible. May he stand for what he believes in, even if it means standing alone. May he find joy, love, and peace as he branches off on his own.

More than anything, may he always find his way home.

~Tiff~

To My Son on Graduation Day

It’s hard to believe it’s here already. Graduation. When I first held you, eighteen years seemed so far away. Then, I blinked and my baby boy turned into a full-bearded young man.

Parenting doesn’t mean perfect. I didn’t always get everything right. But one thing I did get right was you. Even at nineteen-years-old and scared out of my mind, I never regretted having you. I regretted my choices that would negatively impact you. My boy. My innocent child. I was young, dumb, and didn’t have a clue. Until you were placed into my arms.

I am the woman I am today because of you. One look into your eyes lit a fire inside my soul. I wanted more for you than I wanted for myself. I stopped walking down deadend streets. I reflected on my actions. On my life. And I changed. For you. Because of you.

 Love doesn’t mean perfect, baby. It’s a flawed, beautiful thing wrapped in emotional highs and lows. But family is everything. When it feels like everything you’ve worked for is crashing down around you, your family will be there to hold you up. They will be your rock. Your encouragement. Family first. Always.

Don’t be afraid to chase your dreams. Don’t be afraid to fail. But most of all, don’t be afraid to love. If I fail at everything else in life, I will take my last breath knowing that I never failed at loving you or your brother.

 I have so many hopes for you. But no matter what path you take, no matter how many times you stumble, I will be here to cheer you on or pick you up. Love you. Always and forever.

Baby Blues (J’s Song)

            ~❤️ Mama~

 

🤬Quitting Chocolate🍫

My partner in crime, my incognito redneck husband, decided to quit smoking. Great, right? Suuure, it is. Don’t let Sharon – AKA the optimism fairy – fool you. It sounds great. Fantabulous, even. But this chick isn’t holding her breath. Not this time. Sharon’s gonna have to sprinkle her optimism fairy dust on some other fool. ✨

As he’s splayed out on the recliner, peering down his phone while he lines up his next shot on some game he’s playing, he casually mentions he hasn’t smoked in three days. My mind races as I do a play-by-play of the last few days, and I can’t recall him rambling to the front porch light one up. Maybe he hasn’t smoked in a few days. But instead of encouraging him, I snorted in disbelief. 

I didn’t mean to… the sh*t just came out. Before you write me off, just stay with me for a minute. 

Several years ago, the man quit smoking and hadn’t smoked a single cigarette for two weeks, then he told me he needed to wean off of them instead of quitting cold turkey. You wanna know what happened? He weaned right back on them. He made up for the two weeks he didn’t smoke in one day. Not. Even. Kidding.

Anyway, he glances over at me, and the honest fairy 🧚‍♀️, Ruth, flutters on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, and the hard, ugly truth vomits from my mouth. Fairies are evil little b*tches. Don’t listen to them. Ever.

My sexy, patient husband listens to me as I smile sweetly at him, and I point out the cold, hard facts from the past. That’s right, gents. Us women, we remember everything… until the last breath rattles from our body. Tread lightly.

Two weeks pass, and the man still hasn’t smoked a cigarette. He hasn’t been a grumbling bear tearing through the house as the nicotine withdrawals hit him. I’m a bit shocked, and I now tell him how proud I am of his accomplishment. He mentions buying himself something as a reward, which I whole-heartedly agree to. He discusses how much money we’re saving a year, what others things we can buy or go do with the cost savings, and I’m beaming at him, nodding my head, eyes are sparkly and sh*t. Then he drops the mother luvin’ bomb on me…

Think of how much money we’d save if you gave up chocolate.

I blink once. 

Twice. 

My smile falters as I scan his face. This fool is serious. I stomped one foot like an angry toddler as I told him it’d never happen. I need chocolate. Hormones are angry, vicious monsters that need to be fed from time to time. It’s safer for everyone in our household.

He held up his hands, backed up a step, and agreed.

His life almost ended, and he knew it. Smart man.

Y’all didn’t read the title and really think I was quitting 🍫, did you? Blasphemy. It shall never happen. Ever. BFFs for life.

~Tiff~

Not Today, Glitter Tits

My eighteen-year-old is exhausting. He was once the five-year-old who asked question after question after question. We would be stuck in the mother*ckn car for TEN hours, and he would ask a question. I would answer it. Then, I would hear this: 

Why?

👀🤯

I would smile, take a deep breath, and answer his question.

Silence. 

I sigh with relief, open a book, and…

Why?

🤬 <- That’s what was going through my mind.

That cute, blonde-headed boy with blue-green eyes was exhausting. I should’ve realized it was a sign of what my future would look like. He’s the hugger who leaves a dust of shit clinging in the air, suffocating you as he walks away. He’s the person who clicks his pen the entire time you’re speaking with him. Annoying. As. F*ck.

Recently, I made the decision to get the Covid vaccination. I’ve heard all the conspiracy theories… I’m getting the devil’s mark injected into me… I’m going to die in six months… population control at its finest… Yada, yada, yada. Look, y’all, I don’t care if you choose not to get vaccinated. I follow the beat of my own drum, and I’m gonna do me. Period. Like it, or leave it. IDGAF. 

Anyway, after I tell my eldest son… the annoying gremlin… that I’m getting the Covid vaccination, this is the text I get:

I had just taken a drink, and I splattered that sh*t all over my car. F******ck.

My kid’s annoying, but he’s funny… sometimes.

After a scheduling fiasco, I was eventually stabbed in my arm. Afterward, I sat in the chair, and I somehow managed not to pass out. #score

Later that night, my annoying gremlin wants me to pick him up from my sister’s after I explicitly told him earlier in the day I had homework, and I wasn’t going to pick him up hours later. He was either going home with me, or I’d pick him up tomorrow. And… this is the text I get:

I snorted. Rolled my eyes. Not today, glitter tits. Not today.

~Tiff~

Gremlin Wars

If you’ve been following my blog for a minute, you know I’m stuck in a house filled with testosterone. I’m flying solo. When you’re the only estrogen in the house, you have to do some dirty sh*t to survive. For example, when the eldest gremlin is annoying me and is being a straight up dick, I tell him I’m flowin’ hard as I shove my hand down my underwear, pull it out and attempt to wipe it on him. Sounds disgusting, right? It absofuckinglutely is. That’s the point. His @$$ got up and moved. He left me alone. My hand might’ve smelled a little fishy, might’ve been tinged pink, but I had peace and quiet. #winning

After the eldest gremlin’s shenanigan’s this past week, I’ve turned up my game. B*tch ain’t gonna know what hit him. I’m struttin’ around like, What? You wanna take a shitty picture of me and draw a motherf*ckn dick in front of my face? That’s cool. I got you.

After I came up with brilliant idea to shave my feminine area, keep whatever came off, and sprinkle that sh*t like fairy dust over him while he’s asleep, I’ve used that sh*t to mess with his head. Here’s a snippet of the first conversation:

In the last picture, he’s trying to figure out if I’m telling the truth or not. Doesn’t matter. It’s in his head, and every time he finds one of his wiry beard hairs in his bed, the thought’s gonna cross his mind that it might be from his momma’s nether regions. Bwah ha ha. Get some, punk.

This morning, I’ve been busy. I’ve been in meetings. I have a job. I don’t get to look at my cell phone every second of the day. This fool has been sending me text messages to call the school to let him check out.

Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Boy, please. 

This morning’s conversation for your reading pleasure:

Needless to say, I didn’t call the school. 

The moral of this blog is… Don’t f*ck with your momma, bruh. She’s ruthless. #GremlinWars #MommasGotGame #FairyDust

~Tiff~

Glam On

Growing up, I had a rockin’ Grams who had a bright, beautiful soul that radiated kindness. She was unabashedly who she was, and she accepted people for who they were. There are so many instances that I remember her going into a store, seeing an employee who was having a bad day, and she made it her mission to cheer them up. Her bright blue eyes twinkled, she smiled, and her cheerful British accent floated throughout the store. She could call someone a dickhead and make it sound nice. She was an unconventional grandma, but she was absolute perfection.

 It wasn’t abnormal for her to tease a family member and call them a ‘bloody bastard’, which would be appalling by some community standards, but it incited laughter and love. She was the one person that we could all go to, leave our souls bared, and she would love us regardless of how many poor decisions we made. That’s love in its purest form. 

As human beings, we put so many restrictions on others around us – how they should act, what they should say, what they shouldn’t say, how they should look, how they shouldn’t look – and it’s absolutely exhausting. I’m at the point in my life where I’m stripping away the layers of who everyone else thinks I should be or need to be. I’m going to do me. Be me. Accept it… or leave it. 

 I live in a small community, and yes, there are a few people with small minds. But… there’s a whole lotta good people, and sometimes, it is easy to let those few small minds cast stones that stick with us for longer than they should. I personally believe that if someone is gay, transgender, or… whatever they are, they should be treated the same as everyone else. They are not pariahs or outcasts. If a young girl isn’t married, and she has a kid, it isn’t the end of the world, and she doesn’t need criticism and judgement. She needs encouragement and love. If there’s a mixed kid, they don’t need to be ostracized or made to feel like they are less simply due to their skin tone. Their mom and dad are free to love each other – regardless of what race they are. When you see a kid’s surname, do not write them off, and label them based on the actions of other people in their family. See past all the bias. Just live and love. It’s that simple. 

I also don’t believe women should cater to men simply because they feel obligated to. We are no longer staying at home and solely taking care of our families. We are in the workforce, and bringing home the bacon, so why should we have to cook and serve a man? It’s just not in me, y’all. My gram’s blood runs thick in my veins, and I just can’t do it. My marriage is a partnership, and I have a sexy @$$ husband who isn’t afraid to wash clothes or load the dishwasher. You want to get laid by your wife? Keep the roses, and wash the mother*ckn dishes, bruh. 

#micdrop

I’m choosing to live my life according to my own rules. My grams was unconventional, but she was freakin’ awesome, and she’s glammin’ her angel wings. Now, I have one of the last voicemails she left me embedded in a sign on my wall. I can listen to it by simply scanning the QR code. How freakin’ cool is that?

To those feeling suffocated… stop being oppressed by people who will never be part of your life, anyway. Be you. Do you. You’re beautiful. You’re enough. If you’ve experienced feeling judged or have been treated inferior, feel free to drop into the comment section. I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences.

And, if you need some awesome jewelry to go with your bad@$$ self, check out Unique Twist Jewelry here:

https://uniquetwistjewelry.com

~Tiff~

Gremlin Shenanigans

Y’all… my son, eldest gremlin, might die before he graduates. I’m in the midst of one of the hardest weeks of my MBA, creating book pitches, finessing query letters, yada, yada… you get the point. And this fool straight up takes a pic of me in my shittiest form – no makeup, hair all f*cked up, double chin’s pronounced, and my face – IDK what that look is. To make matters worse, he doodles on it and sends it to my mother*ckn sister who shares it with my mom… and this is the text I receive:

Sexy, huh? Jerk.

Anyway, that was the gift I was given after taking time out of my busy day to move the savings account out of my name and solely into his, and getting a checking account opened in his name. He has checks and a debit card now… sh*t’s getting real up in here. On the ride home, I was telling him he needed to keep some of the money saved to where if his car needs tire or breaks down, he can cover it. Momma’s not paying for repairs. Momma’s not covering overdraft fees, either. Welcome to #adulting.

After seeing the picture, I’m tempted to shave my feminine area, keep whatever comes off, wait until he’s asleep, and sprinkle that sh*t like fairy dust. *Boom* He thinks he’s got jokes. Momma’s been around a minute, and that b*tch plays dirty.

Game on.

~Tiff~

Game on.

~Tiff~

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