Written by Bryan T. Clark
Can somebody please pinch me! Is it really 2019? I have to say, 2018 brought me more excitement then I wanted. You know what they say, “be careful what you ask for.” Good and bad, I came through it all this year and believe I am a better man for it today. How much “stuff” was thrown at you in 2018?
I was once told that there are no ‘good experiences’ or ‘bad experiences’, just ‘experiences.’ Each experience means something, and it us up to me to learn and understand the value of the experience. Sometimes, I have found this difficult to do in the midst of what I once would have called a ‘bad experience’. Often times, once some time has passed, I am able to reflect back on the incident and say, “Oh I get it now. Had that not have happened, this (something good) couldn’t have happened.” I think a good expression to better sum this reflection up is Phoenix Rises From The Ashes.
Is it Karma, Destiny, Faith, or God’s will that moves our life experiences forward? It is an individual choice about how we choose to define it in our own lives. It does make me wonder though, what if I hadn’t been where I was on the day that I met my spouse? How much of my life right now would be different had we not met? I don’t believe I can actually answer this question, but I do see the beauty in my life because of the life we have made together. It was just one of those chance meetings, where two people happen to be in the same space, at the same time and something beautiful happened!
Many years ago, when I wrote my first book, I had no inspiration to be a published author, nor did I know I would be writing a second, third, or fourth book. I just enjoyed writing. Now, five years later, with the loving encouragement and support of my husband, I am publishing my fifth book! In the beginning, I had no idea this was to be my journey.
In my next book, titled, Escaping Camp Roosevelt, I tackle the notion of Rising from the Ashes. The journey is a look into some of the darkest and most challenging corners of the human condition through the eyes of a homeless LGBTQ youth. This novel manages to contrast the anguish of depression and hopelessness with the loving light of humanity and generosity. It is a story of one’s own journey from despair to finding love.
The more I researched and wrote this story, the more my eyes were opened to the magnitude of the problems of youth homelessness, specifically, the lack of resources available to the community of homeless LGBTQ youth who are living on the streets. Twenty six percent of gay youth who come out before the age of eighteen are kicked out of their homes and end up living on the street! LGBTQ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ youth. These statistics are staggering and alarming!
I didn’t want to just write another fictional story about this problem, I also wanted to do something about it. I believe that at the end of this very short amount of time that any of us have on this earth, we each should be able to ask ourselves a very simple question, “Did I make a difference?”
Although I am still in talks with various organizations that provide services to homeless LGBTQ youth, my plan is to donate the first year’s royalties of Escaping Camp Roosevelt to an organization that recognizes and directly serves our homeless LGBTQ youth.
I’m excited about this project and can’t wait to share more with you in the months to come about the organization I select, as well as how we, together, can hopefully lift the darkness from the lives of homeless LGBTQ youth. If you want to be a participant in this wonderful journey, all you have to do is buy the book. It is my hope that this is one of those movements, where collectively, we will make a difference in the lives of our community’s youth who so desperately need our compassion, love and support.