Over the past several years there have been numerous questions about my whereabouts and whether or not I am alive. Firstly, yes I am alive however in a very different form than I was many years ago. In 2018, I was the victim of a drunk driver/ car crash that changed both my life and my persons forever. The Uber car carrying me to a movie premiere in Atlanta that year crashed into an interstate sign just outside of Biloxi Mississippi.
The consequences of this crash would go on to be devastating as they would be heartbreaking. Many people over time have wondered why this news agency is largely operated in a so-called veil of secrecy, it is because following the crash those who helped make this ship possible decided it was best to essentially encase me in a glass bubble to protect me from the family in which I come from.
But I no longer have to hide. I was hidden because they would’ve used the crash against me and as a means to do the same to me as they’ve done to many members of my family — many of whom have fallen victim to drug abuse and other things as a result of their own family steamrolling their entire lives. My brother who I will not name is a prime example of this.
I was very young when Bazaar Daily started and truthfully never intended for it to get as large as it has. My coming-to-reality moment acknowledging I along with my friends had struck gold came after I escaped my 2011 abduction and later escape. I escaped an Alabama trailer park that summer after having been taken against my will (in an or else fashion) and largely was never seen again.
Before the kidnapping, I had already mapped out and staged my escape almost meticulously including college plans. Those plans were derailed until I escaped the trailer park in Semmes Alabama.
I escaped to New York City under the guise of night having stayed in town at the time only to help my older brother escape. We never saw our biological mother again after she forced us to go with her to Alabama or threatened to ensure we would never be able to live our lives the way we wanted to. There have been many versions of this story over the years because of her tall tales but she is responsible for having kidnapped me from (I won’t name the location) and taken me to Alabama.
This is the catalyst that led Bazaar Daily as a whole within its team to agree to cloak ourselves in secrecy for the sake of protecting ourselves and what we’ve built. In the years following, a series of tragic events took place that led to the decision that I would remain hidden until it was safe to entirely re-emerge. That time has come because I am tired of caping for people who have done god-awful things to me and have expected or demanded that I remain quiet or else.
I am no longer scared. When the car crash happened, I suffered a host of devastating consequences including PTSD which left me with terrifying flashbacks of the crash and some of the darkest things that have ever happened to me. Because of the crash I stayed hidden in the years that followed out of substantial and verifiable fear that my living with the consequences of a crash would be used against me to control my life and essentially strip me of the very brand I sacrificed everything to create for me and my friends.
My Mother whom I do not have an active relationship in any way is a documented manipulator and therefore I stay away out of fear she like mentioned above would go to great lengths to ruin my life.
In the past, I’ve spoken about this on here a few times. Without naming names, my family is/are not good people. Many had no idea I created Bazaar Daily when I was young because it was done in front of their face but behind their back. Nobody knew Bazaar Daily existed until sponsored gifts and toys started arriving as a kid and teenager some of which I was falsely accused of sleeping with older men to get. But that couldn’t have been anymore untrue.
I used this to my advantage to keep my family from discovering that behind their backs I launched myself into business and said business became the very escape hatch that I would use to escape the very family who pushed me to suicide. I was 14 when I attempted suicide for the first time by drinking a bottle of Victoria’s Secret perfume.
My Mom discovered that I was talking to a boy from school who happened to be Black. Both of my adopted parents are white as is my biological mother. This did not bode well and in the end, she made numerous extraordinarily racist comments about his skin color. It led to the attempt to take my life in the bathroom because if she could say that about a person she did not know — I could only imagine what she was saying about me behind my back.
I told myself after the suicide attempt which I by the grace of Allah managed to survive — that I would get out or I was going to die trying. I was not going to end up like my family or my older brother.
The crash helped me realize that I am a victim far more than I was capable of admitting to myself. After several years in therapy while in hiding, it took profound effort but I’ve learned to forgive myself for the things that have happened to me because I was always told they were my fault because I would not submit and comply and shut up.
I was never hidden for nefarious reasons or because we somehow are connected to bad people or dark money (I see the comments folks.) I had to go into hiding otherwise Bazaar Daily probably wouldn’t exist today. In the years following the crash, I’ve struggled with suicide ever since but not in a way that I would ever do it.
A previous interview by Taraji P Henson where she discusses that she simply needed to be honest that the idea of suicide has crossed her mind — is an example of the struggle I have. I love life and have always had an enormous zest for it and other people. Suicidal ideation has long been present because I struggle with the feeling of acceptance; anxiety, depression, and PTSD all of which are the result of severe childhood trauma and later a car crash that changed everything.
When I saw this interview a few years ago, it helped me realize that I when the time was right could emerge from hiding and be honest with not only myself but those around me and those who follow our magazines online. Because I don’t work for Starbucks and instead have an enormous duty to carry out as the Chairman of this organization I have quietly struggled with imposter syndrome in the past two years.
Outside of my few friends and my support team, I have no active support system or family. Both of my adopted parents walked out on me because I am half Black and happen to be gay. My biological mother is very controlling and manipulative — and my Godmother who I could trust betrayed me in the years following the crash.
Everyone who was supposed to be there left. I’m nowhere near perfect but that’s why I stayed hidden for so long. I stayed hidden routinely seeing a therapist in hopes that I could find myself again. After a lifetime of unimaginable trauma and later a car crash I would go on to finally live for myself.
Today, I am a happy healthy man with a great job about to turn 29 years old on Wednesday. Throughout my life, I was always told black people let alone gay people will never achieve anything. That I would end up behind bars like others and would amount to nothing. Today I stand as an adult, 12 years after my abduction, alive and stable and that is the greatest gift I’ve ever been given.
I am forever grateful for the online support over the years. Many of you have followed this magazine since the beginning when it was Fashion Bzaar. Through tragedy after tragedy many of you have reached out and in the end helped me and my friends triumph.
I want to say one more thing. I’ve been accused in the past of hiding things about myself. That’s simply not true. There has always just been people waiting in the shadows hoping I don’t decide one day to go live on the internet or pen an essay revealing some of the horrific things they’ve done. I was only hiding from the very people that nearly killed me and wouldn’t have batted an eye other than to blame me for it. But I am an adult now and no longer have to fear telling the truth about what people did to me.
I hope this clears up the confusion.