Actor and celebrity stylist Miss Lawrence and activist Mariah Moore joined each other for a conversation centered around self love, the LGBTQ community and allyship during the Beauty Carnival experience at the 2021 ESSENCE Festival of Culture.
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Miss Lawrence began the conversation with a powerful statement, recalling the teachings of his mother. Miss Lawrence shared that he was taught to never be a liar and that allowed him to never lie about who he was. “I always knew that regardless of what anybody thinks, family or the outside world, I knew that the Almighty had my back and I walked with that armor through life.”
The two got real about their journeys of self love and acceptance in their environment and community. Check out the lessons they shared below and watch the video above to hear the full conversation.
- The Love We Receive Help Us Love Ourselves
Miss Lawrence shared that the love that was given to him from his mother, sister and grandmother ultimately shaped who he became as a person. “I learned a lot by watching Black women,” he said. “That’s where “Miss Lawrence” was born; it came from the love and acceptance I experienced.”
- You Don’t Have To Run From Your Environment, You Can Create A Better One Growing up in the South, Mariah expressed her fascination with New York and how Sex in the City reruns grew her desire to move to the city. “ I had the opportunity to go and I learned it was just a fantasy,” she said. “They say if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere, but the reality is if you can make it in New Orleans, you can make it anywhere. I didn’t need to run away from the city that created and molded me. I needed to activate and make my city better and create the city I wanted myself and future generations to live in.”
- Create More Spaces For True Allyship Within the LGBTQIA Community
It’s no secret that the LGBTQ community, specifically the Black community, are constantly fighting for rights and equal opportunities. “Being an ally is being able to speak positively and in a concerned and educated way when we’re not in the room,” Mariah shared. “And being able to bring us into spaces we can’t occupy. Being able to learn and unlearn some things you thought you knew.”
- Pour Back Into Black Women
Mariah unapologetically stated that Black women consistently show up, but it’s time for others to do the same. “Black women, we’re always first to the fight,” she noted. “And we’re always willing to put skin in the game and everyone else should be willing to do that for us.”
- Invite The LGBTQIA Community To The Table
Miss Lawrence delivered a powerful word and shared that it goes beyond inviting them to the table, but to also let them be actively involved. “Allowing us into spaces like this at the family table or the family picnic is not only a start but go above and beyond and allow us to pick our seat when we get there,” he said. “Don’t pick our seat for us, don’t serve us the leftovers because it makes you look like a better leader. Let’s always make sure that we’re all sharing the same communal plate and dishes that are being served.”
Before wrapping, Miss Lawrence shared the message that the community is stronger when everyone comes together and no one is left behind.
“We are so much stronger together. Nobody knows what love, heartache and pain is better than Black people, so we have to be very conscious and careful to make sure we don’t inflict that on each other by not raising conversations and having conversations with one another. “