We had the good fortune of connecting with Dewayne Queen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dewayne, how do you think about risk?
Before this pandemic, I wasn’t much of a risk taker. I knew what it was like not to be financially secure. So now that I’ve mastered it in my professional career of being a flight attendant for as long as I have I’ve fought everyday to keep it. Then this pandemic hit, and with it came uncertainty, and the unknown. For some, risk is birthed out of fear, tragedy, and/or the unknown. And what you will find most of the time is you’ve had the resources inside of you all along and fear was a stupid waste of time. Risk has truly helped me to explore parts of myself and my business that I didn’t know existed or that I was even capable of. You will also find until you give into risk, you will never know who’s watching you, cheering you on, or who’s been waiting for what you have to offer. It wasn’t until people started seeing the content I created with Swank Arts & Entertainment, giving space and a platform to the Black Community including the Black LGBTQIA+ Community and my Inside the Actor Studio-isk interview series that they begin to seek me out for other opportunities and other creative projects. Of course the risk was hearing things like “Everyone is creating some type of social media content why is yours different?,” “Is anyone really going to listen to what you have to say?,””Who do you think you are, Oprah?” And of course, I ignored these fear-filled questions and took the risk and Im truly glad I did. So while I sit at home, staying safe, and getting fatter, I embrace the risk because with it I know Im bound to run into meaningful purpose-filled creativity.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have to say I am most proud of staying true to myself and overcoming my fear of showing people who I really am. We often times walk around with a masks, no pun intended. lol We don’t want people to know certain things about us in fear of being judged. But one of the things Ive learned in being a public figure is contraire to popular believe, people are more alike than they are different. So why not let it all hang out in the beginning. Swank Arts and Entertainment is an ever evolving multi-media platform for the Black Community which includes the LGBTQIA+ experience. As a Proud Black Gay Man, I thought it was necessary to create a space where every part of me would be celebrated, embraced, loved, and accepted. but moreover create a space so we could tell our stories. Being transparent in front of a judgmental audience like social media is not an easy task but the one thing I always think about is what if there is a young queer member of our community who sees me and realizes their not alone. I wish I had had a me when I was growing up. So it is my goal to continue to push the envelop. Talk about what make others uncomfortable and to create a space for those that deserve to be heard
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Atlanta has some of the best places to patronize. The food and rich history of this city guarantees you will fall in love! Some of my favorite places to eat include Roc South Cuisine & Cocktails, The Atlanta Breakfast Club, and Le Petit Marché. But no trip to ATL is complete without visiting The King Center, Little Five Points, or The Aquarium.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am truly inspired by others stories and testimonials. Stories of triumph, overcoming, and healing. Our community is full of people who have a story to tell. The Black LGBTQIA+ community is filled with some of the strongest, most resilient, thick-skinned people you will ever meet. Our stories lace history at some of it’s most celebrated and mourned times. But yet we are silenced and often forgotten. Hence why I created a platform not only for our stories to be told but for ANYONE who needed a voice to be heard, a soapbox to stand on, and a place to be celebrated. I am not the only one that creates space here in Atlanta. I look to organizations like, The Vision Community Foundation, and He Is Valuable, Inc, just to name a few that are pillars in our community.
Instagram: @DewayneQ, @SwankArtsent
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dewayne.q, https://www.facebook.com/SwankArtsEnt/
SHARIF LAMAR PHOTOGRAPHY IG: @kellscanon
Nominate someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.