Name: Guy Anthony
Profession: Activist, Author, CEO and Founder of Black, Gifted & Whole, Inc.
One Word That Describes You: Anomaly
What does being one of the BEMM 100 Men of Distinction mean to you?
It is an immense honor to be named one of BEMM, as I grew up reading Black Enterprise magazine and dreaming of one day appearing on its pages. Especially as an HIV positive black gay man living in America, we are often taught to move in silence; be invisible. The fact that you are giving someone like me a platform will undoubtedly allow little black gay boys around the country to continue to dream.
What are some examples of how you turned struggle into success?
James Baldwin said, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’ So, I decided to face my past and move on. I wrote a book celebrating young black gay men living with HIV in 2012 and decided to change the narrative of those infected by telling their stories from a place of vitality, and not morbidity. Through my organization, Black, Gifted & Whole; a nonprofit geared towards providing financial assistance to gay male students, we’ve been able to give a $2K scholarship to a young black gay man attending Morehouse College in the fall. People thought that what we were doing was foolish and that it would be difficult for us to gain access to high schools. We proved them wrong!
What is an important quality you look for in your relationships with others?
I crave honesty and integrity in everything I do and in everyone I befriend.
What are some immediate projects you are working on?
I have SO many things in the works! Currently, I’m planning a few events with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), Historically Black College & Universities’ (HBCU) Project (an open house for LGBTQ Safe spaces at the University of D.C.), and I have two dates confirmed for my #PositivelyBeautiful Book Tour. I keep myself busy with consulting gigs at various pharmaceutical companies.
What is the best advice you ever received?
One of my mentors, Craig Washington, told me that if we do not tell our own stories, then our stories die along with us, or others are left to determine the story about us. From that moment on, I knew I had to tell my story. I knew that what I went through would be therapeutic for other black boys around the world who were just like me. I knew I could not be silent about my disease.
What is some advice you have for other men who want to make a difference?
Be genuinely nice and welcoming to every single person you meet. A smile and a warm disposition can get you in doors your degree can’t. I also encourage men to speak life over themselves and to speak what you want into existence. Recently, Facebook reminded me of a status I created 5 years ago that read, ‘Within 5 years, I will be opening my own non-profit. Watch me.’ 5 years later, I run my own non-profit. Every single day for 5 years, I’ve been working towards this goal.
How do you prep for an important business meeting and/or event?
I usually center myself with about 30 minutes of yoga and simply trust that I’m at the table for a reason. That it is not by chance that a guy like me is sitting in the room with giants, and that no one in the world is like me, and THAT is my power.
As a busy Modern Man, how do you unwind on vacation?
Every weekend is a vacation for me! I advocate for self-care. My weekends are my own and all my friends know this. I always say that Saturdays are for adventures and Sundays are for cuddling. If I’m honest, I’ve never actually taken a vacation where I’ve done little to no work. The honest answer is that most young Modern Men, who are entrepreneurs, are never NOT working.
If you could travel and stay anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Anywhere? Cape Town, South Africa, for the beauty, the history and for the melanin.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Do your OWN thing on your OWN terms, and get what YOU came here for!
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.