In the past, it was important for me to believe others perceived me as someone who knew where he was going in life. Someone who had a good life, a good career, knew everything to know about the world; someone to envy or at least, have an intellectual conversation with. It was a cover to prevent people from discovering the real me, that I was in the category of “other.” I’ll call that protection fear. In college, I learned that distance can help prevent people from getting to know too much about me and my experience leading into adulthood reinforced that: getting a new job in a new city, forgetting old friends to get new friends, not ever having enough time to call home. Distance and perfection, I carried them like hand guns. I was so used to flaunting them, that they became my hands. Slowly, I learned to let go of distance, but perfection I had to hold on to. Perfection, in its own right, is truth and truth is incontestable, until proven false and nothing is false anymore, only less true. Today, the most important person in my life, just called me shallow. Now I don’t know who to blame: me, him, or the world. The world, as in, the idea of things; how men think, survival; the rules of effective communicate; multi-tasking in a post-digital area; being a good boyfriend. A friend of mine worked at a national forest and had to learn deescalation techniques to take the fire out of heated situations. She would mimic the escalated persons behavior and recognize their feelings. It always worked. Why aren’t their deescalation manuals ready and available at bars? At this moment, looking back, I never knew where I was going.
Tag Archives: For Colored Boys
Kontrol is a lifestyle, fashion, and entertainment magazine, based out of Atlanta and features new writers and/or writing projects monthly. I am the new featured writer.
An excerpt from the interview is below:
Get to know Victor
Why did you choose to get involved in this project?
I wanted to be involved in the project, because I believe it is important to start having more open conversations in families where sexuality and/or sexual abuse are taboo. The book form is a great package to hand to someone and say read this and get back to me. Books make great gifts, for any occasion, and speak when people cannot. I know of so many households where kids, growing up, were not allowed to talk about being gay. Because if they talked about homosexuality, they were talking about sex and sex talks were a no-no. The feedback from the project has been overwhelming. Different readers saw themselves or found similarities in their experiences with specific pieces. I’ve had two readings in L.A. so far and people have come with their mothers or bought a copy for a relative with children. Someone even told me they were buying a copy for their job.
Read the full article at: http://www.kontrolmag.com/author-conversations-with-victor-yates-kontrolreads/
At the start of 2012, I experienced two major transitions: being accepted into a fiction writing program and moving from Long Beach to Inglewood. I knew the writing program would help me advance within writing, however I didn’t know what to expect. I had a publishing deal with a small publishing company, but I thought, why not workshop my book to get more eyes on the book. Their suggestions took the story from surface to being able to exist above the page. The story itself did not changed; I brought more of the contrast between race, immigrant life, religion, and identity out in front of the reader.
Beyond having breath breathed into my book, in 2012, I:
- Read at the West Hollywood Library on 12/8/12
- Was invited to read at the City of West Hollywood’s Pride Festival, “One City, One Pride” taking place in June 2013
- Was invited to White House Briefing for Black LGBT Emerging Leaders 2, 24, 2012
- Was invited to read at Soulful Salon, for In The Meantime, a LGBT community organization
- Started writing for Campus Circle Magazine
- Started writing for Qulture
- Started writing for GBM News
- Interviewed Frenchie Davis, DJ Danjazone (LMFAO’s Tour DJ), Diana King, DDm, and Orikl
- Wrote my first poetry review for a literary journal
- Submitted a fiction piece to one of my favorite literary journals
- Read at my first book fair, West Hollywood Book Fair
- Was published in the anthology, For Colored Boys
- Started working as an Editorial Assistant for a academic publisher
- Went to 10 author readings
On New Years Eve 2013, with a group of friends, I wrote down on paper what I did not like about 2012 and I burned it. With each new piece I completed, part of me was afraid to branch out and take my writing career to the next level (writing for a major magazine and be able to freelance write/edit for other publications). The paper turned from white, to egg-colored, to ashes in the fire pit in East L.A. While watching it burn, I reflected back on other details of 2012: I learned that I would be working for LAist.com (for the Spring term) and I made it to the Semifinalist round for the Point Foundation Graduate Scholarship. Also that I got the courage to submit new poetry to four literary magazines and I pitched an article idea to Essence magazine. No New Year’s Resolution to lose fat or be a better person, I want to reserve all my energy into writing. And whether or not all of those opportunities fall into place, I will keep striving to become a better writer and be part of the writing community.
At the West Hollywood Book Fair
What I wasn’t expecting walking into the Green Room, was to have a writing gig handed to me (an unusual one at that. that story will be told later). The West Hollywood Book Fair, on September 30, turned out to be what I imagined it would be, brain-candy for my literary sweet tooth.
I was reading my work at the same event with Deepak Chopra (Ageless Body, Timeless Mind), Heidi Durrow (The Girl Who Fell From the Sky), Douglas Kearney (Black Automaton), Gigi Levangie Grazer (The Starter Wife), and other respected authors.
The reading for, For Colored Boys, turned out better than expected too. Each L.A. contributor to the book showed as well as the actors.
When the microphone was handed to me, I froze. My speech, scribbled on notebook paper looked like German, werden, müssen, eigentlich, and the words I rehearsed came to me in spurts, Magnus Books, Keith, thank you, Skylight Bookstore. That wasn’t an intelligible sentence.
After I read my two poems published in the anthology, I searched the audience for signs or signals. Then I looked down the panel at these brilliant writers and actors, Jonathan Kidd, Antonio Brown, Doug Spearman, Stephen Anthony Williams III, Nic Few, and my fears of not being seen as a serious writer, floated up out of me and blew away like a soap-bubble.
It wasn’t until I got home and showered that I realized I signed my first autograph.
I can’t wait to read at the West Hollywood Library in December.
- 11th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair (victoryates.wordpress.com)
Nicholas Snow, of Snow Biz Now Radio, interviewed me on Monday about my writing and being in the highly acclaimed anthology, For Colored Boys, edited by Keith Boykin. Click HERE to listen to the show.
SnowbizNow airs approximately three hours a day, five days a week, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. PST. The show explores and reports adventures in the world of travel and entertainment, along with current events, sexuality, politics, lifestyle, health, fitness, spirituality, personal empowerment, pop culture and more.
The blurb from the website:
African-American, Latino, and Asian-American writers tell their own stories of coming of age, coming out, and coming home.
The new book, For Colored Boys, tells stories of real people coming of age, coming out, dealing with religion and spirituality, seeking love and relationships, finding their own identity in or out of the LGBT community, and creating their own sense of political empowerment. Contributor Victor Yates is a freelance writer. His new book, The Taste of Scars, is set to be released by AddisonCraft Publishing. Yates is the winner of the Elma Stuckey Writing Award (first place in poetry).
What would a conversation with best-selling spiritual writer Deepak Chopra, chef Rocco Dispirito, and original ‘Dream Girl’ Sheryl Lee Ralph sound like?
Find out at the 11th Annual West Hollywood Book Fair on September 30th, taking place at the resplendent West Hollywood Library. The event, co-produced by the City of West Hollywood and the Authentic Agency, takes place from 10am – 6pm, featuring 10 stages, a children’s theater, local Los Angeles writer’s panel, and writer’s workshop.
The stages include: Park Stage, Fiction Pavilion, Culinary Pavilion, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens Stage, Mystery, Comics & Sci-Fi Stage, LGBT Lounge, Poetry Corner, and Eclectic Café.
At last years Book Fair the West Hollywood Library was unveiled and this year promises more spectacle.
Highlights include: a conversation with writer Gigi Levangie Grazer, actress Lisa Rinna, and Beverly Hills Housewife Kyle Richards; author of ‘The Girl Who Fell From the Sky’ Heidi Durrow; actor Patt Morrison; and poet Douglas Kearney.
I’m reading at the Book Fair as well from an anthology I had two poems published in, For Colored Boys, edited by Keith Boykin and published by Magnus Books.
Where: West Hollywood Library
Address: 625 North San Vicente Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Reading Location: Toddlers, Tweens, and Teen Stage
Reading Time: 4:00-5:00
Book Signing: Immediately after reading (by contributors)
Book Signing Sponsor: SkyLight Bookstore