Dutchess of VH1’s Black Ink Crew Collaborated with “Time OUT Youth” to Connect with LBGTQ Community

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WRITTEN BY: Sheena Mashore

The Queen of Vh1’s Black Ink Crew gives back to the community by using her celebrity platform to help others. Time Out Youth organization is a safe haven for the LGBTQ youth community. Time OUT youth provides them with help, unconditional love, knowledge, and empowerment to conquer the world. Dutchess stated, “My brother is so amazing. He’s the reason why I wanted to share. I wanted to share with people how much no matter how different you are, you’re loved, appreciated, and how many people have closed minds and closed hearts that don’t get to see it and it’s ok. There are people that want to see that.”

She shared that her brother is a part of the LGBTQ community. Dutchess also discussed how her transition from North Carolina to New York was tough. She dealt with depression, anxiety, and home-sickness. Her family didn’t realize why she was acting out. Dutchess said, “even though we might not share the same story or your journey I share similar characteristics that have made my own journey.”

Due to the perception of her on reality tv, people treat her badly. She has dealt with cyberbullying and people wishing death on her. What people don’t realize is, reality tv takes weeks to show a 42-minute show with a production team that you don’t even know. She speaks on the incident between her and a cast mate on a Miami trip that took advantage of her while she was drunk. This incident took a toll on her because it reminds her of being molested as a child by a family member. Beyond her trials and tribulations, Dutchess she’s a great role model. She shows that you can overcome anything no matter what your past looks like.

Afterwards, she passed out journals to all of the teenagers and had them to read the front of it out loud. Then, the teenagers wrote something about themselves in the journal and they had to switch with others and read it out loud. Next, some wrote about what they had gone through. There were some kids that had been disowned, molested, and bullied, within their families and outsiders. Two young ladies, who tried to take their own lives have overcome their obstacles and will be graduating early from high school and heading to college at 16. Another young man, Max, will soon be publishing his second book.

Another speaker that was in attendance was transgender model Jizzle. Jizzle shared her story with everyone about dropping out of high school to look for work because she was kicked out of her home and then being fired from her job because she was using the women’s restroom. She has overcome a lot of adversities in her life and her foundation was faith. Jizzle’s grandmother told her she didn’t have to live the life that everyone wanted her to live. She’s now the first transgender model to ever walk in a heterosexual NY fashion show.

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Lawana Mayfield is the first openly gay representative of district 3 on the Charlotte City Council and the second African-American woman to serve. She was there to enlighten the guests on the issue of high suicide rates in the trans community. She expressed that everyone doesn’t know who their elected officials are married to. Everyone should be allowed to talk about their relationship and have their loved one’s pictures on their desk without being judged.

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Minorities and the LGBTQ community have the same issues due to the fact our voices are not being heard. Everyone needs to come together and use our voices and our money to invest within our own communities.

The Time Youth Out event finished with a raffle contest to win a henna tattoo from Dutchess the same night. The DJ had the music going while everyone danced and had a good time.

It’s a blessing for Charlotte, NC to have a celebrity who uses her platform to help and give back to the community.

Darshay K. Lampley is a Broadcast Journalism major and Creative Writing minor at Jacksonville State University. Upon graduating, she anticipates a lucrative career in the entertainment industry. Darshay is an entertainment journalist, on-air radio personality, and is currently writing her first book. Darshay believes that her ambition along with her strong faith in God will lead her down the pathway to success. "God is within her, she will not fail." Psalm 46:5

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