Bradley Fowler Turns Life around
Posted by pozlife on December 31, 2006
Gay Ex-con Empowers LGBT Community
By Herndon Davis
He spent a total of 19 years in prison having been involved in a variety of schemes from counterfeiting checks to identity theft. He was also a gay teenager whose mother kicked him out of the house when he soon found himself engaging in prostitution and further being mentored by the wrong crowd.
His name is Bradley Fowler, someone whose life surely should have had a wretched and sad ending, but instead his future has become far greater than his past. Today, Bradley is a two-time author whose latest book “I’m Me And I’m Proud, You Should Be Too” is sure to become an anthem of self-help, inspiration and healing for the gay community at large.
“I have not overcome my trials. Life is a trial within itself. Once I am no longer living, then I have overcome my trials. But, for the trials that I once had to endure, it took belief in God and my faith that there was something better for me beyond the darkness, I had succumbed to,” explains Fowler.
In fact, he has served three different stints within the prison system, a victim of falling back into the wrong crowd combined with the desperation to make ends meet. It is through this experience and his deeply seated faith in God that his wisdom flows throughout the pages of his book as someone who has indeed been lifted beyond the darkness of his life.
While in federal prison, he began researching various topics to write about. Having grown up in a Baptist environment, Fowler explains that he had “always kept God in my heart and mind, even when I was indulging in criminal activity. I had studied Theology many of times during my years of incarceration, Islam, Scientology, Hinduism and Spirituality.”
“One day, while sitting over at the prison chapel listening to Bishop T.D. Jakes, I was moved so much, tears streamed down my face. I knew GOD was reestablishing my mind frame because I no longer desired a lot of the things I once did, and I welcomed the change. I immediately threw myself into studying the Bible, but not in a group setting, but by allowing the spiritual realm to conduct my research.”
As a result of his intense personal theological study Fowler has now produced his newest book titled “I’m Me And I’m Proud, You Should Be Too,” an anthology of essays and personal accounts from his own life plus from the lives of contributing authors, most notably Richard Hatch from CBS’ “Survivor.”
“I elected to write this particular book as a means to enlighten the LGBT community on my distaste of what I have come to witness over the years. But more importantly, I wanted to express what I feel is important to the gay community to acknowledge and expose our weaknesses, that society utilizes to continually attempt to defeat LGBT people with.
The book is very insightful and extremely educational, which will allow mainstream society the opportunity to see the LGBT community in a different light.”
Tough Topics and Viable Solutions
Fowler digs deeply into an array of topics dealing with the LGBT experience. One look at the chapter titles makes it clear that he’s left few stones unturned. He first starts with “Coming Out,” then onward to “Family Orientation Empowerment.” He then skips to “Religious Dogma,” and breezes into “Soul Mating,” while making sure we remember the “HIV/AIDS Epidemic,” before finally tackling “Gay Segregation.”
He explains that “I felt it was needed to discuss the images portrayed by the LGBT community and how we could possibly eliminate a great deal of our issues with society, if we took a deeper look at our own actions and see what we are putting out there.
People treat you according to the way you treat yourself. And when dealing with ignorance, on any level, you can avoid a lot of problems, when you are capable of adapting to your surroundings. Not camouflaging who you are, but presenting who [you are] in a manner that is respectful enough to gain the respect needed.”
In fact the book’s introduction explains that “focusing on GLBT issues within the family seem to be an even greater matter most endure, we have taken the initiative to pour our lives out on paper to share with you, the experiences we both endured with our own families, over the years.
Some of these experiences have been grueling, sometimes unbearable; however, in spite of our trials and hurdles, we have overcome and know that you too, can do the same.”
For A Much Greater Cause
The creation of “I’m Me And I’m Proud, You Should Be Too,” is actually a collaboration between Bradley Fowler and The William-Harold AIDS Project which was founded earlier this year by Bruce G. Chaundy, for the sole purpose of assisting those infected and affected by the HIV/AIDS virus. Half of the proceeds gained from the sell of the book will be donated to fund the services within AIDS Project.
More information can be found about the organization’s work at http://www.whapi.org
To hear an online radio interview of Bradley Fowler, click here!
Herndon Davis is an author, lecturer, and TV/Radio Host. He can be reached directly at www.herndondavis.com