We had the good fortune of connecting with Girly-Vignike Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Girly-Vignike, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Growing up, I was told my sexuality would be a setback. Aside from a religious upbringing, there were many factors that played a role in how my sexuality would be perceived by family and friends. Guidance revolving around sexuality and LGBTQ African American role models were scarce. Throughout the formative years of high school, I didn’t allow my “coming-out” phase stop me from graduating as salutatorian with honors at the top of my class. Still questioning my sexuality and trying to understand how to navigate life as a “lesbian”, I carried out my college years searching for mentor-ship and answers. During that time, it wasn’t as widely accepted to be a black lesbian.

I believe that having the opportunity to see someone be successful and break stigmas has will have such a substantial influence on our community. ELITE and WHIIPPED Productions was created to spread artistic, social and professional awareness of Persons of Color within the LGBTQ community. It is to inspire, encourage, and connect people within the community.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Establishing a brand isn’t for the weak-hearted. You have to go after it with all of your heart; most importantly, you have to define your purpose. Being an executive producer means you not only have creative responsibility, but you are also responsible for the show’s financial backing. I utilized my 9-5 paychecks to fund my productions, risking all I had to bring the vision to life. Paying for venues, costumes, talent, staff, and anything needed to produce the show was running me dry. I had to realign my priorities and starve my distractions to build out a show that would represent and reflect my community.

The WHIIPPED Productions’ goal is to highlight the LGBTQIA+ community and spread awareness to all people about our culture, our stories, and our talents.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
ATL the LGBTQIA+ way

Good Eats:
-BlaqHaus ATL
-Slutty Vegan
-Cirque Blu Seafood House

Great Pours:
-Bar Vegan
-Energy Daiquiri Bar

Music Vibes:
-MSR My Sisters Room

Sunshine Fun
-Piedmont Park
-10th and Piedmont

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As an adolescent, my family didn’t agree with my sexual identity choice. The LGBTQIA+ family took me in and supported every event, production, and community event I produced. Had it not been for every cast remember, party-goer, and volunteer, none of my visions would have come to fruition. I learned that it’s not always bloodlines that make you family; it’s about those who show up for you in ways you didn’t expect. Family is about genuine love, respect, and care, no matter what you identify as. The love and support I receive on a day-to-day basis from my community fuel me to continue creating.


Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/girlytheceo/

Other: www.elitestigma.com

Image Credits
Cory Murray Markeith Jones

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