What was ‘Coming out’ like for you?
Coming out for me really was not as traumatic as it has it has been for others, and I feel that I am blessed in that aspect.
For me, it was a liberating experience of self-realization as well as spirituality. I did not make a grand announcement, nor did I hide it. I just began to live in my truth.
When my mother found out my response was “If I had a new boyfriend would I have had to tell you” and she said “no.” I ended the conversation with “Then why make a big deal of a new girlfriend.” I felt that as long as I stood true to what I believed in others had a choice to fall in line, or not, but I was moving forward.
What would you say to your younger self if you were to come out again?
My younger self-lived for others. My younger self-did what made sense, and being a lesbian wasn’t in that equation. I would tell the younger me that being you will always be okay, and every experience is for a reason, you will figure it out. I wouldn’t change a thing.
What do you feel like society can do to help the youth of the LGBTQ community?
Society fails youth especially here in the United States. LGBTQ youth are disregarded to an extend as far as I am concerned. They are left to find other LGBTQ allies outside of the home, and in the streets to attach to and feel okay to be themselves.
There are some who cannot, and then they find refuge in the wrong crowds, and some find a darker fate of suicide because they cannot be themselves. For society to help our youth they need to accept our youth! They need to accept them, nurture them, and mold them into functioning members of society.
You’re all role model to the LGBTQ community but who is your role model within the LGBTQ community?
As weird as it may sound, I do not see myself as a role model to the community, though I can understand why I am and will be seen as such. There weren’t many out African American Lesbians when I looked up and out. But I distinctly remember how I felt when Ellen came out, and again when Rosie O’Donell did her All Aboard Gay family cruise and documentary.
I saw their determination to be okay in their own skin, and I loved it and them for it. Patrik-Ian Polk is another LGBTQ person that I until this day looks up to in the industry because of what he has done as a filmmaker and as a writer as an out gay African American man. I strive to be half the filmmaker he is.
Danielle Watkins, author, screen-writer, and film maker, was born and raised in Buffalo, New York. Growing up in Buffalo she was exposed to many different variations of the arts including stage, and film.
She began writing at the age of 9 starting with poems and short stories. In 2000, at the age of 15, Ms. Watkins had her first poem published in the “Poetry Gems” Collection presented by The Famous Poets Society. Her first novel “No Other Man (A Three Part Tragedy)” was released eleven years later on August 26, 2011. “No Other Man (A Three Part Tragedy)” was followed in succession by “Redeye (Book Two in the No Other Man Three Part Tragedy)”, “Forever Your Girl (Book Three in the No Other Man Three Part Tragedy)”, and “The Alyse Diaries Volume 1: Curious”; with the later released in August of 2014.
In May of 2013 she was officially announced as the head of the Creative Writing Department for M.PoWeR Productions LLC, based out of Atlanta, Georgia. In October of 2014 “BlacButterflii: The Saigon Ruse Story” premiered to a sold out crowd in Atlanta, Georgia. While “BlacButterflii: The Saigon Ruse Story” was in pre-production Watkins tried her hand at producing, writing, and directing a religious LGBT theme film entitled “Kisses in the Wind” which was screened at the 2015 Outreels Cincinnati Film Festival presented by the Cincinnati Film Society.
2015 yielded, two new web series one created and written by Ms. Watkins entitled “Sinful Paradise”, and another based on the novel by Natalie Simone entitled “Girls Just Don’t Do That”. 2015 closed out with another religious LGBT theme short film entitled “I’ve Seen Love Die”. January of 2016 marked another mile stone when Ms. Watkins launched her own production company Dream N 1 Productions, LLC. Based out of Las Vegas, Nevada. In late 2016, Dream N 1 Productions produced its first major production (though Dream N 1 Productions, LLC houses “Kisses in the Wind” as well as “I’ve Seen Love Die”) entitled “Parallel The Documentary” based on B. Danielle Watkins’ time in Paducah, Kentucky at the inaugural Cinema Systers Film Festival. “Parallel The Documentary” has since been screened in two countries overseas, as well as the most recent Black Hollywood Short Film Showcase in Los Angeles, California.
Finally, and most exciting of it all, in January 2017 the new series “3030” written and produced by, and starring Ms. Watkins wrapped. Basely based on real life events, “3030” has proven to take Ms. Watkins career to the next level. With these, and many more projects underway, Ms. Watkins has proven that being a novelist was just the beginning. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. She is a Graduate of Winston Salem State University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. With whom she held many positions, including a state executive board officer for the state of Nevada.