To quote the infamous Alexyss K Tyler (Wilson) in the intro of Dinero Red’s Arrogant, “...If they close the front door then goddammit, you bust a hole in the wall! If they patch the wall up, goddammit, dig a hole in the muthafucking ground! If they fill the hole up in the ground, goddammit climb on the fucking roof! If they fix the roof, goddammit go to the back door! If they lock the back door, knock a hole in the goddamn wall! But reign, young man, reign! Stand up and take your throne! Don’t let nothing and nobody stop you or turn you around! As long as you’re breathing, YOU GET BACK UP! You might give out but don’t goddammit give up! Reign, young man, reign!”
A moment of transparency will reveal that whether or not Alexyss knows it, her feature on Dinero’s “Arrogant” served, and serves as our inspiration. We set out to create a space where we could discuss issues as they impact our community, a place where we could feature those who tirelessly dedicate their talents to not only painting a broader picture of us for those on the outside, but focus on providing empowerment from within as well. Not only did we want to give our collective takes on style and on love and relationships but we wanted to provide our readers with something we thought would be Essential- a monthly love letter to remind readers that their existences mattered. We’d like to think we’ve done all of that and maybe even a little bit more. We probably haven’t been as aggressive as we could be when it comes to certain topics, but we’ve still got plenty of room to grow.
As we close out this month’s round of updates (which are late, but you know….life) with our second annual Social Issue issue we can’t help but to feel the E N E R G Y that Alexyss demonstrated as she spoke power over Dinero. Our goal is to match that energy when it comes to our readers, when it comes to our Beauxs, when it comes to you. We’ve been very intentional with all of this from the beginning as we knew what it was we wanted to do. We knew what our message would be and how we would represent ourselves as a brand, but what we couldn’t settle on was a name. What would we call this place? What would stick? What would have the most impact?
After weeks of internal debate we decided on something that might be viewed as an imperative sentence, a command, and something that would tell our readers what to do. It's not “clean your room”, “pass the salt”, or “pay attention”. It’s Reign, Beaux. We added Lux because we thought it was cute...you know, since we’re being transparent. However, the internet tells us that “Lux” translates to “light”, so whatever. Reignbeaux is more than a play on the meteorological phenomenon the gay pride flag is based upon. It’s a directive, and one we found to be past due.
The rainbow flag was once meant to serve as a unifier among the LGBT community, but as many of us know, the rainbow has almost never been enough. As men of color we still find ourselves at the receiving end of racism, stigmatization and yes, even fetishization. The white LGBT community lacks intersectionality, and we constantly find ourselves being doubly excluded. The same gay white men who fight for LGBT specific rights and inclusion become mute when asked about whether or not our Black Lives Matter. They championed marriage equality but cowered and hid when the subject of racism or economic inequality reared their obnoxious heads.
They’ve white washed history by excluding the involvement of non-white Stonewall Riot participants, and have all but adopted some pretty concerning alt-right, white supremacist ways. We’re not making them a monolith (because we hate that kind of shit), but y’all know what it is. It’s the same reason many of them allowed their crowns to be shifted when we dared to add black and brown stripes to their “inclusive” pride flag- as if to remind us that it wasn’t ours to alter in the first place. It's pretty safe to say that they’re not all here for us--just our BBCs. We’re not here to bash as much as we’re here to talk about many of our collective experiences, and to further define who and what we’re here for, and that’s you.
Our goal is to serve as a constant reminder that you’re more than that snap meme they portray you to be, that you’re more than the spicy come back queen, and more than a designer fag. Our objective is to ensure that while you might leave your prepackaged lunch on the table as you head off to work, that you never forget your divinity; to reaffirm the gentlemen we know you can be, and to encourage you to exist beyond your sexuality.
We do this by dedicating our Front Page to hard hitting issues, issues that we know you can directly relate to through experience; by focusing our Love and Relationships on events as they specifically occur when it comes to our kind of love; and by featuring Beauxs who are as black as they are gay, and as gay as they are gifted. We work to ensure that you never forget that your role is more than the pastors and congregations know, and that your back is not a bridge for them to walk on. Your role as uncle, brother, son, and father, along with your black and brown existence, should never be diminished because you love or present differently. Failure to meet these goals is not an option we’re willing to accept for us, or for you.
Anyone who dares to tell you that it’s not us versus them has either never been one of us, or is striving to be one of them. They will never understand homophobia, racism, stigmatization, exclusion, abuse, and everything that comes with constantly living a life where you have to defend your existence. There is a whole world out there, and we are in it. We cannot allow ourselves to be limited to setting the table, just as we cannot allow ourselves to not be seated at it.
When more of us are included in areas in which we’ve been excluded from as a result of society’s opposition, their attempts to render us invisible are nullified, and that’s why we’re here. Our lives, our issues, and visibility matters, and it’s far past time that attention was paid. We strive to provide you with monthly reminders of this and though our approach may be viewed by some as being subtle, our unwavering commitment to reaffirm and speak power over you in a way similar to how Alexyss spoke power over her son, Dinero is real.
When more of us are included in areas in which we’ve been excluded from as a result of society’s opposition, their attempts to render us invisible are nullified, and that’s why we’re here. Our lives, our issues, and visibility matters, and it’s far past time that attention was paid. We strive to provide you with monthly reminders of this and though our approach may be viewed by some as being subtle, our unwavering commitment to reaffirm and speak power over you in a way similar to how Alexyss spoke power over her son, Dinero is real. We overstand the importance of giving our readers the chance to see themselves represented, which is why we’ve made it our social issue.
To wrap this month’s issue, we wanted to spend a little (more) time quoting Youtube’s “pussy pilot”, and hope that her (slightly altered) words stick to you harder than any form of discrimination “You are always a warrior, you are always a winner! Even when everybody said you wasn’t gonna be shit, even when your back was up against that wall…! I always looked you in your eyes and told you whenever a dick sucking mothafucking nigga wanna get in your goddamn face and talk you down, and try to make you think he’s better than you - AIN’T NO GODDAMN BODY BETTER THAN YOU!”, so reign, Beaux. Reign.
Remember this, always.