Ladies Who Lunch & Love all started in December 2010 when the ubiquitous impresario of media, Emil Wilbekin asked me to write a column for ESSENCE magazine online. Emil wanted me to talk about the uniqueness of my relationship with my fabulous girlfriends. The launch of the column coincided with the premiere of a TV show that I was on, “Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys” (I still hate the title) on Sundance Channel.
I never expected the show to be the well received hit that it was. I certainly never expected that I would go on to write that column for nearly five years. It was so much fun and it introduced me to an entirely new audience of people (both women and men). It also firmly placed me in the “relationship expert” sphere. Still, not one hundred percent sure that was accurate then or now, but people loved the advice I gave. Except for the brothers who accused me of telling secrets. LOL.
When I set out to write the book, it was a collection of short stories based on my most popular columns called, “The Girl’s Best Friend.” My editor, Cherise Fisher of THE SCRIBE’S WINDOW is the absolute best in the business. After reading the first draft of the book she pushed me to make it into a novel (and to change the name). I am so glad she did.
In celebration of the novel’s release next Tuesday and over the next couple of months. I will be reposting my most popular columns that inspired the themes of the book just as I originally wrote them. So many things have changed in five years – friends, locations, homes, goals, etc. One thing that hasn’t changed is my belief that LOVE is the core of our being. And, we are far better off when we give it and receive without end. I hope you enjoy them if it’s your first time reading or again, if it’s a revisit.
Here is the very first one (they were VERY long in the beginning – thanks Charli Penn for teaching me how to edit.):
GBF: GIRL’S BEST FRIEND
“WHY I’M EVERY GIRL’S BEST FRIEND”
By Nathan Hale Williams
I love black women! Particularly, I love strong, intelligent and loving black women. I guess you can say that I get it from my mother, the epitome of all of those wonderful, albeit somewhat cliché adjectives. The truth can become cliché at times, but the truth it remains.
My television show, Leading Women (formerly Real Life Divas), tells the triumphs and adversities of famous African-American women such as Dr. Maya Angelou, Susan Taylor, Iman, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Jill Scott and Yolanda Adams, to name a few. In too many instances, mainstream media overlooks the women profiled on my show despite their numerous accomplishments, global contributions and rich stories. As a people we know that we must celebrate us for us, which is why Essence remains necessary even as we assimilate and acculturate more into white society and culture. And yes, even when we have a black President.
My love for my mother, my grandmothers, my aunts and cousins translated into a love for my sisters. “Sisters” does not refer to my biological sisters – I’m an only child – nor does it reference the colloquial my “sistas” attached to women of African descent. For me, sisters refers to the women in my life who have over time and experience turned our friendships into relationships thicker than blood and deeper than mere ancestry; as Dr. Angelou says, these are my “sister-friends.”
I have been fortunate to build a bond with some of the fiercest and baddest women out there. They are truly my family – my sisters – and they are diverse in every way possible. Some I’ve known for almost 35 years. Others for a year. Some are housewives. Some are corporate moguls. Others are artists and comedians. Whatever their titles are they all share one thing (besides me) and that is their commitment to being excellent; mothers, daughters, sisters, wives, girlfriends and lovers.
Now, I don’t want you to get the impression that I’m that guy that only hangs around women. I don’t. I have great and lasting relationships with my boys – my brother-friends. As black men, we all too often get the short end of the stick. And, I am really worried about our young boys and their future. But, that’s another column for another magazine. With that said, it is my unique position as a black gay man who has great relationships with straight men as well as straight women that finds me always being asked for advice from my sister-friends about guys.
Now, I’m not Steve Harvey or the other guys that try to tell you what to do or what you’re doing wrong. Nor will you get any fashion or make-up tips from me. My perspective, however, has been one that has helped my sister-friends succeed in their relationships and in life, regardless of their titles, socio-economic or relationship status. Many of the topics will be humorous, with salacious-seeming titles, all the while giving you a little spirit and a lot hope. So my goal here is not to reinvent the Bible, but to offer a point of view that may help you too.
Hopefully, you will laugh and maybe even be able to apply something to your life. Most importantly, it’s about celebrating my strong, intelligent, and loving black women. It’s about celebrating YOU!
Week to week, we’ll discuss topics like: “Always Be A Maybe, Never A Yes!;” “A Video Vixen Is Not A Role Model;” “Brothas In The Hood Pay Bills – So Should Yours;” “Most Men Are Straight – Stop Trying To Make Them Gay;” “If He Married A Big Girl, Stay Big. If He Married A Skinny Girl, Don’t Get Big;” “The Business In Your Bedroom Has One Place – Your Bedroom;” and other fun topics examined from my view with the help of my sister-friends’ experiences.
And hopefully the things I’ve said to Andrea, Danielle, La, Crystal, Erica, Eva, Marja, Brandi, Raquel, and my momma too, will resonate as well as inspire, uplift and enlighten you. It will be fun and I look forward to all of your feedback and comments. And hey, you now have a new best friend…that you don’t have to call or send gifts.
WISHING YOU LOVE & CEASELESS JOY!