Today is the last day of January!
Today is the last day of January! We are ending the month of with an extremely transparent and inspirational interview from Pink Productions CEO and Founder, Bri’Ann Stephens. She’s going to drench you all in her truths and leave you feeling encouraged.
Most times, young girls learn about sex during a sex ed class or they are given “the talk” from their parents. Well, my first encounter with sex was watching porn at the age of six. I may be getting too far ahead. Growing up, I lived with my mom, her two sisters and their kids (my cousins). We lived in a nice house. Before that, I sort of remember we lived in another house with my grandmother. It wasn’t until after she passed that my mom and her sister bought a house of their own. My mom gave birth to me at the age of 19. She was a single mom, similar to her two sisters. Three women raising their three kids. A couple of years later my aunt Tracy gave birth to a daughter, but before then it was just the three of us. I was the youngest, the baby of the bunch. We were the cool cousins, the cousins all the other cousins wanted to be around. We were popular in the neighborhood growing up and everything. However, because our parents worked to make sure we were taken care of, many times my older cousins were left in charge. With no real authority, we basically did whatever we wanted. That was the time I was introduced to porn, watching it simply because that’s what all the older kids wanted to watch. I also knew it was something we had to keep a secret from our parents. So I did. Other than that, we always had fun. My cousins were always making a game out of something. Because I didn’t want to be left behind, I always made sure I learned what they learned and played what they played. My great grandmother was huge on family. The last Sunday of every month we would have bible study (something we still do). Each Christmas, we would meet 12 days prior and participate in a variety of activities, called the 12 Days of Christmas. My family is huge on having a true relationship with Christ and my great grandmother believed that memorizing bible scriptures were vital. Even now, I know all of the books of the bible. I think our family prides ourselves on the fact that we are really close. We find any excuse to spend time together, no matter the occasion, and there are a lot of us (my great grandmother gave birth to 7 girls). So growing up, my childhood was pretty amazing. I didn’t notice how being introduced to sex at a young age would have such a huge effect on me today.
I didn’t think I was the prettiest girl growing up. I actually thought I was pretty average, but in middle school, guys were giving me attention I wasn’t use to and I loved it. In middle school, I would always tell guys what they wanted to hear, what they liked to hear, without ever truly acting on anything. Guys loved “phone sex”, so I entertained it. The guys who were attracted to me were always significantly older than me, and I think it made me feel accomplished. It assured me, in a sense, that I was beautiful. Blind to the fact that most guys just wanted sex. I encountered sex young, but the first time I chose to engage in it willingly, I was in 8th grade. Older guys made me feel as if I was more mature than I really was. I didn’t have the confidence on my own, so boys gave me what I needed. Many boys told me I was beautiful, I found my assurance in them. I craved the assurance. So if that meant compromising what I knew to be right, I was willing to do it, because no other man was telling me I was worth more. My mother got married when I was in 5th grade, but for a long time I was without a father. Even though my step father is an amazing man, by the time he came around I already had my own way of doing things. I’d never met my biological father. I never wanted to.
I switched schools a lot growing up. In 6th grade alone, I attended three different middle schools. 7th grade I went to another new school. 8th grade? You guessed it, a different school. I was used to adjusting and also used to making new friends. I have always been a social butterfly. In 11th grade, I switched schools again. I was lucky to graduate from that school, Lamar High School, at which I met my biological brother. Crazy story. A close friend of the family was into real-estate and she crossed paths with my biological father. He then told her how his son played football for Lamar High School. I was in English class when I asked some of the football players if a ‘Jason Routte’ played football at Lamar. No one knew who I was talking about, until one guy said “Yeah, I know Jason, he goes to Carnegie, but plays football for us… You want to meet him?” I wanted to meet my brother. So we set it up. I met my brother and it was love at first sight. I love my brother. That same day my biological father decided it was a good time to show up to the school also. We met, we spent some time together over the years, but he is still not ready to be a father, and who am I to force him to?
My junior year of high school, I began to experiment with my sexuality, dating women. I had entertained the idea before, but never seriously. Once I began dating women, and being sexual with women, it was something I couldn’t control. I couldn’t stop and I didn’t want to. I went from simply actively having sex with women to being in actual relationships. It was becoming my lifestyle. It actually became my lifestyle. For about 5 years of my life, I considered myself “gay.” I didn’t want to be with a man emotionally. The only thing a man could do for me was stimulate my body. Women were more appealing to my mind, so I latched onto women. Around that time, I was completely lost. I would write poetry on and off because it seemed to be the only thing constant in my life. I found a comfort in women, drugs, sex, and being “the fun girl.” Everyone loved me. I didn’t think I was flawed. I knew my life wasn’t perfect, but I enjoyed the spontaneous thrill of not knowing what was going to happen next. My life was always up and down. I was always moving into a new home, new school, making new friends, meeting new guys. Everything was always new. I loved new. I hated being understood, because I was never understood. I didn’t even understand myself. However, I wanted clarity and I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be the woman God designed me to be. I knew continuing a life of conforming to my fleshly desires wasn’t the answer.
God has always been a big part of my life. I always managed to pray regardless of my life choices and circumstances. I have a praying mother, and nothing is stronger. I always found myself hitting rock bottom, God would pick me back up, and I would go back to my old ways just to fall again. I was tired of falling. I wanted God. I have friends who are extremely successful in their lives and I always wondered why. The answer was always Christ. God literally had to break me completely down in order for him to build me, brand new. It wasn’t until I completely decided to surrender to God that I realized he was greater than whatever had me bound. It was a little after I turned 22 that my thirst for Christ grew stronger. I began to study the word more, pray more, and actually change the way I was living, practicing faith. Trusting that even though I don’t know how it’s going to happen, God will make it happen. I haven’t dated a woman in 10 months now and I don’t have the desire to. Once I focused more on God, he started to reveal to me who I really was and that I was never who I convinced myself I was. I am a queen. I am beautiful. I love poetry and art. I desire to marry a man chasing after Christ. I want to lead others towards Christ because of how amazing he is and how he has given me such a powerful testimony. Today, I’ve lost many friends. I don’t do any of the things I use to do, even the music I listen to has changed and I love it. I love God for giving me purpose regardless of my disobedience. A lot of times people think a relationship with Christ stops you from living, but I know firsthand: a relationship with Christ is the beginning of life.
My goal for now, and the future, is to dedicate my life to my ministry. I am also a poet, and I mainly write about uplifting. God gave me the vision for Pink Productions about 6-7 months ago and I was excited to be a vessel. I aspire to change the world of women–the way we support one another and the way we interact with one another–with Pink Productions. I want women to be vulnerable enough to tell their stories to encourage other women who may be dealing with similar obstacles. I want to boast about the women going after their dreams full force. I want Pink Productions to be a company that supports women in all aspects. Pink Productions is growing rapidly and I am excited about where God is taking us. I am excited about the future of women. I want to own multiple companies while still being able to write and perform my poetry. I want to get married and have children one day and I want to be active in my children’s lives. I also aspire to learn more about God and strengthen my relationship with him daily. My goal is to grow and be the woman I was born to be. A leader. A great leader.
I encourage women to be transparent and true to their flaws and use them as motivation to elevate higher. I know we all go through things, but that is not an excuse to live a life of meritocracy. Whatever it is you’re passionate about, chase after it full speed. If you want 100% of your blessings, you can’t put in 50% of the work. You are beautiful. Don’t look for your confirmation in men, sex, women, drugs, partying, or whatever your “pain reliever” is. Your confirmation comes from Christ, when you know who HE has called you to be, no one else can manipulate you. I encourage you all to be leaders; to be greater than what the world says you are. It’s okay to fall down, we all get knocked down sometimes. “Cry. It’s okay to visit that place. Just do not live there. It’s not safe to stay.” - Drenched. You have to always get back up. You will get back up.
The CEO ended the month amazing and set the tone for February! We hope everyone will be brave enough to share their truths and encourage others on their journey! If you have any questions for Bri’Ann or would like to be featured contact us.