Shanovia McKenzie brings you District Heat

Ready , Set , Create! During the time when Lesbian based web series have become the newest phenomenon every so often there are a few shows that have you holding on for dear life as you try to figure out what is going to happen next! Well ladies let me introduce to to “District Heat”, a show that makes being a thug sexy or at least tolerable for awhile.

Check out my latest interview with the woman behind the heat, Shanovia Mckenzie.

2015-07-18 09.16.17

First Lady Truth: Welcome to
Shanovia: Thank You, for having me.

First Lady Truth: Can you tell our readers what your role is on District Heat?
Shanovia: I am the Creator, Writer, Director, and Producer: also, at times, I’m a Videographer; so I definitely have my work cut out for me. Though, I try to stay away from the camera most of the time.

First Lady Truth: Lesbian Web series are a dime a dozen now a days. What made you want to join in the fun?
Shanovia: I’ve always enjoyed writing as a kid. My mother wrote on her spare time and I just naturally embraced that. When I saw the opportunity of being able to share my experiences, views, and concerns I had with the Lesbian Community I decided to create District Heat. I’ve always been private about my writings and I decided to share that with the community. It’s always great when people know they are not alone and someone has been in that very same situation. It is a movement I had to fulfill. I call it my “Purpose”.

First Lady Truth: What makes District Heat different from the others? Why should the community support / watch it?
Shanovia: District Heat is very realistic. It shows you how often limits are crossed, the faith we put in those we shouldn’t, the energy of love we share to the wrong people, and different obstacles we face as women. District Heat is also risky. Our sex scenes are “not real” However, we show you what we do as lesbians sexually. We don’t cut corners on those scenes. Now you stated earlier “Lesbian Web Series are a dime a dozen”. I disagree. It appears that way because there are many people now joining in on this movement and the buzz is spreading, but there’s not a lot. We do not have enough shows that our community can watch. There are millions of heterosexual films, programs, shows, movies, etc. that we can watch. How many do we have? The support is very important so we can efficiently say “Lesbian programs are everywhere and not just YouTube”. We need to be able to branch out onto cable, public tv, etc. That is my goal, my dream, my vision.2015-07-18 09.47.13

First Lady Truth: How far do you see District Heat going as a brand?
Shanovia: I see District Heat going very far. We are an umbrella for many things. District Heat the Lesbian Web Series is the first launching project of District Heat Productions. We have so much more to come. Ex: Music Videos and of course other future web series. We are just getting started.

First Lady Truth: The story line seems very realistic, how much of it comes from reality?
Shanovia: My favorite question. Let’s say about 75%. Being a great writer or just a writer in general comes from experiences and observation. Now, I’m not saying I personally have experienced all of these things, but I definitely have experienced some. So, sometimes I look at the show and say “Really, I went through that?” So, it’s great all together. I see myself on screen sometimes. That’s hilarious to me. One thing I will say is the show is powerful. I’ve written things that have come to life… People would say “Shanovia, what is going on?” Me “I have no idea. I’m just a writer, not a psychic.” Possibly a prophet. No, I’m kidding @prophet.

First Lady Truth: Have you ever found yourself at a point of wanting to quit?
Shanovia: Yes. Anything great has its toughest moments and biggest challenges. It’s not easy work at all, but it is well worth it. The support I have within my project alone is a blessing and it’s my constant motivation. The fans are my drive. I could never disappoint them. It’s not just about me, it’s so many people involved. The question is, will I ever quit? Never in a million years. This is my passion. This is what God wanted me to do, and my purpose I will fulfill.

First Lady Truth: How is the chemistry on set?
Shanovia: The chemistry is amazing!! We are truly a big family which means many things. We work very hard through the toughest moments, through the inclement weather, to last minute changes, and you would just be surprised of the things that we run across. The chemistry has to be great. I was worried about the sustaining that same chemistry with the newcomers, but I can sincerely say they are great. I have been very blessed to have such an awesome cast and crew.

First Lady Truth: What can you tell the fans about season 2?
Shanovia: We are coming soon… Some of the characters have grown a bit, facing new challenges, and we have a couple new story lines added. Of course the twist and turns. There will be surprises, so stay tuned…

First Lady Truth: Where can we indulge in the show?
Shanovia: As usual, you will be able to view “District Heat” on YouTube. We will also have a website that will have our content on. So, check us out world!!!


There you have it noodles!
Until we meet again!
Live, Love & Laugh


when water reaches 212 degrees fahrenheit it boils

the energy of the heat source

increases the already present kinetic energy

of the atoms…

the atoms begin to move faster

when the kinetic energy becomes too much

the atoms break…free

from the intermolecular attraction

of the liquid

escaping as gas

thus causing the water to boil

the unjust handling

of the most HIGH

precious gift

human beings

whose skin

has been kissed

by the sun

is the direct heat source

and the kinetic energy

within our very being

is at a place of unrest

because not all minds are enslaved

not all our brains are in chains

and now the tension comes to boil

the attraction is gone

muddy waters

still flow deep

and our respect we will keep

we are ready to break free

it seems as if the pre-amble

and the constitution came with a clause

if melanin is included

in a high degree

in your genetic encode

then you will be treated

with the highest disregard

you  will be used for your


to build from the ground up

you will be robbed of

your culture

your gifts used

to breed greed

because candidly

you are not


when we speak of humanity

and no single snowflake

in an avalanche

ever has to take


for its part in the

destruction it leaves

in its path

so don’t be surprised when we become rebellious

at what is happening to us

modern day genocide

this is Amerikkka

home of the brave

and home of the paid

home of the highly achieved

home of the hurt

and home of the deceived

place where we bandage

the issues instead of

solving the problem

the system…

the system is corrupt

the police are running amuck

actions show some leaders  are

morally bankrupt

free will is being misconstrued

no temperance

they allow hate to rule

one cheek

two cheeks

there are no more cheeks

to turn

the rage

has started to burn

there is a aching

in that place where

my heart use

to be when

I think of my country

and the pride I once had

for until all our people are

treated equally

this nation

will never see peace

for tensions have boiled over…

the water has reached 212 degrees fahrenheit…


The Civil Rights Act was passed by the Senate in 1964 and in 2015 it seems we are in the fight of our life for our CIVIL RIGHTS; the rights of individuals to receive equal treatment and to be free from unfair treatment or discrimination. Black people, Negros, African Americans whatever the term used to describe the community of people who range in different hues of browns and blacks have a history filled with oppression but our resilient spirit has never been conquered.  Our bodies have been enslaved even when our minds were not; physical abuse and separation from our families were the only tactics they could use to break our mental but never our spirit. We know all too well about overcoming what we do not comprehend is why the odds continue to be stacked against an entire race.

Fifty one years later my community is faced with the same injustices and cruel and unusual treatment faced by our ancestors long before ending slavery or the drafting of Civil Rights Act were even an idea. Our freedom, our safety, our right to pursue life, liberty and happiness has been compromised by the very people we support and place in positions of authority.

I will be the first to admit I have been naïve I saw the degree of differences in how similar situations, with the only varying variable being race/ethnicity, were handled in the media and not shown in the media but I told myself those events were isolated those actions were not indicative of how my community as a whole will be handled or viewed. I was sure the laws and Acts that have been adopted by my country would be applied equally with no respect to person, position or economic status but solely to ensure justice is served according to the injustice done and rendered swiftly. Oh how wrong I was, the system consistently fails an entire group of people, disregarded our rich history while trying to stomp out our presence as if our very existence is not engrained the infrastructure of this country.

Oppression of my people has been the motive for centuries and it holds true even in this the 21st century.  They want us to be afraid, afraid to listen to our music too loud, afraid to wear hoodies and defend ourselves even afraid to worship in church. Fear wants us in its hands so they attack us and before we can properly grieve they attack again knowing we are in a vulnerable state.  The negatives within our community are accentuated and the positives are negated and to add insult to injury they use our culture assimilations, like our style of dress and slang vernacular to perpetuate stereotypes created by media and society to further their own agenda. The blatant disrespect and disregard caused by the systematic oppression of the community especially the young black males must be addressed and the system must be changed.

In the song “Mystery of Iniquity”, Lauryn Hill asked, “Do we expect the system made for the elect to possibly judge correct properly serve and protect,” off of her MTV Unplugged 2.0 Live Album.  The answer is simple NO!! If the system states on paper there will be a level playing field with equal opportunity for all to live free and pursue the American Dream yet it is not applied equally then it is not worth the paper it is written on and the system itself is flawed.

There should be no need for a law that requires society to treat my community with respect, or a law that affords my community the same opportunities as any other ethnicity to succeed in life or a law that says do not shoot first we have a future. There should be no need for a law that requires someone to treat my community with humanity and when place in a situation where we are treated as anything less or an injustice is done against us we have the duty to resist, how we resist is what should frighten society.

Our community is not at liberty to ignore injustices as we live with them every day and we have the right to protect our families and ourselves and there is no man made law that changes that fact. We must save ourselves as we always have stop feeling like we arrived because they will change the standards as soon as we meet them so we need to be the ones that continue to set the bar. We need to realize our power in the vote and not just the primary elections but the general and mid elections as well. We as a community must educated ourselves know how the system works and the laws that govern us and finally we must feel anger, disgust and a level of discomfort so great that the only choice we have is to support our own community.

I am not saying that this will fix the system but SmOkE does believe if we find a common point where can start to effect change then we will be placed on a course that has to merge with greatness. I am angry and I am ready for change no more moments of silence it is time for us to scream and make them pay attention…who is with me?

“You cannot see through the smoke

but you will get through the smoke all you have to do is believe…”

See you around SmOkE is {ghost}…

Kryssy’s Fashion Korner: ED by Ellen DeGeneres

5 Things we love about Ellen:

1. Her ice blue eyes

2. Her comedic sense of humor

3. Her huge giving heart

4. Her amazing sense of style

5. She is just full of surprises


Ellen DeGeneres is a name that resonates across the world with a wide variety of people. For many years she has been gracing us with her comedic styling in everything we know to be Ellen including her work within the LGBT community. Through her own love story with Portia de Rossi, she has helped to promote the equality of love and the right to freely love the person of ones choosing. Ellen is also well known for her great sense of style. There is rarely a time Ellen does a show or makes an appearance and is not dressed to a tee. Most specifically her amazing blazers.

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi

Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi

When I tell you they are freshest thing I have ever seen, I mean that. I have seen some well-dressed men and she definitely does it better. Everybody knows that you can put a blazer on with pretty much everything and take a very casual look up a couple notches. Casual, comfort, versatility of an outfit that has no limitations and can be utilized in most if not all occasions. Blazers have become a prominent steeple in the fashion world as times continue to evolve. Blazers are worth everything today and is so diverse I couldn’t even begin to describe all the prominent styles, colors and designs.

2010 American Idol Awards

2010 American Idol Awards

One of the most recent business ventures being undertaken is her partnerships to create the lifestyle brand entitled ED, pronounced ‘Ed’. Obviously the name is the initials of the creator herself, but it is also a non-gender based name that still achieves the creative purpose but does not plaster her name all over. With her love of fashion, architecture and interior design, there is a great basis on which ED was built. Originally the brand was designed around the values, inspiration and styling of Ellen DeGeneres herself. This personal touch is what makes the line desirable to own. I mean who would not want to put on an Ellen D original?

Metallic gray suit over striped polo

Metallic gray suit over striped polo

Through her brand, ED encourages customers to explore and embrace their individuality and sense of style. For as long as I can remember, it has always been judged for a woman to wear means clothing and still maintain some sort of femininity. Being the trail blazer that she is, Ellen helped other women to feel more comfortable in the clothing of their choice and realize that yes, society does have an opinion about what we should look like but that it truly does not matter as long as you are happy. The clothing line released mid to late June, it has already taken off as well, if not better, as could be expected.

ED Solid Merino Tailored Jacket Price: $245

ED Solid Merino Tailored Jacket Price: $245

Within the lifestyle brand we can expect to see casual blazers, soft t-shirts, bomber jackets and slouchy sweaters that Ellen D. herself would wear proudly. Life imitates art/fashion and this particular lifestyle brand is one that will go down in history as one of the most simplistic menswear inspired project. Ellen had a hard time finding clothes in which she truly felt comfortable in and ultimately had the clothes she wore custom made to achieve all the levels of design and critique not currently available in women’s fashion. The response from the pieces was so great it inspired the motivation to design the classic fashion pieces. ED is a line that is not overly feminine or masculine but achieves the epitome of comfort and style.

ED Short Sleeve Polka Dot Chambray Price: $125

ED Short Sleeve Polka Dot Chambray Price: $125

ED Classic Stretch Cotton Pant  Price:$125

ED Classic Stretch Cotton Pant Price:$125

ED V-Neck Tennis Sweater Price: $145

ED V-Neck Tennis Sweater Price: $145

“Girls Like Us” lead Bethany Stanton

On a quiet Friday night I found myself looking for some entertainment. With “Between Women”, “Love of The Hustle”, “Studville TV” and “District Heat” being nowhere to be found I really thought I would die of boredom.That is until I typed “lesbian shows” into my YouTube search and came across “Girls like Us” by Anike Bay. The movie was filled with everyday life and even an occasional over acted moment or two. For the most part it kept my attention. So much so that I paid a couple dollars to watch part two.

After watching I decided to look up some of the actresses and do some research. I came across the profile of Ms. Bethany Stanton who played “Zoi”.

Well noodles you know I always get my woman, lol so here is my exclusive interview with “Zoi”. Enjoy!


First Lady Truth: Bethany Stanton, thank you for agreeing to this interview. It is a pleasure to have you with us.

First Lady Truth: I was first introduced to your work through “Girls like Us” and I have to admit after watching part 1 I immediately purchased part 2. How did you get involved with this project?
Bethany: One day, back when I was working at Best Buy in I think 2012, the writer/producer of “Girls like Us “Anike Bay, approached me. She told me that she felt I had what it took to play the lead in her upcoming film. We then immediately exchanged information and we’ve been a dynamic duo ever since. 

First Lady Truth: When did you first discover your ability to act?
Bethany: I realized I was great at acting once I began doing it.

First Lady Truth: How similar are you to the character that you play?
Bethany: In my past, I was very similar to “Zoi”, meaning I was really into playing the field. I enjoyed having multiple women at my whim. As I grow older I’m changing and I find myself seeking loyalty before anything else. These days I’d rather have one honest/faithful/loyal woman versus multiple women.

First Lady Truth: How has your life changed since “Girls like Us”?
Bethany: People sometimes recognize me when I’m out shopping or driving (yes, driving!) and tell me how much they enjoyed the film. I’ve also accumulated a small Facebook fan base.

First Lady Truth: Are you single? If so what is the hardest part about dating in Chicago?
Bethany: Yes, I am currently single. The hardest part about dating in Chicago is that either majority of the women are damaged meaning once you begin to try and date them and establish something, you have to repair and patch up someone else’s mistakes. The other problem is women in Chicago play a lot of games. Meaning they’ll lie and tell you what they want and are looking for but then around and it’s all a lie, or they’re looking for the same from everyone and not keeping it real.


First Lady Truth: Do you consider yourself to be superficial or are you looking for a woman of substance?
Bethany: Well no, I definitely do not consider myself to be superficial. I hope to find a woman in the future with similar morals as mine and that thinks as intricately as myself. So, yes, I prefer a woman of substance.

First Lady Truth: What other projects are you working on?
Bethany: Well right now I’m currently enrolled at Chicago State University, obtaining my bachelors. I work 70 hours per week on average. Hopefully by next year we can begin working on part 3 of “Girls like US”.

First Lady Truth: Are there any actresses within the LGBTQ community that you would like to work with?
Bethany: To be honest, I would like to collab and work with all the talented spirits in Chicago.

First Lady Truth: Where can your fans find you?
Bethany: Ladies find me on Facebook at *Bethany Nino Stanton*


Well there you have it ladies. I tried to get the juice for you while staying PG, Lmao. Be sure to check out her Facebook page because she definitely keeps it interesting.

Until we meet again …
Live, Love, Laugh

Common Sense…


Common sense

The basic ability

To comprehend

To possess

A sound understanding

As how life works

Yet so many

Lack or choose

Not to use

This basic ability

Which is a necessity

To do an everyday

Task as simple

As communicate

Then we are quick

To pass out an


Give them a pass

Common sense

Is not

Very common

Well pardon

My ignorance

How can you be the baddest

If you not even basic

I will wait…

To think and behave

In a reasonable way

I have to believe

Will be the trend one day

And people will be mindful

Of the things they say

And the things they do

Because intention

Does not matter

If your existence


That ignorance is bliss

And every opportunity

To turn up

You dare not miss

Instead of using


To learn and teach

Through experiences

You delude yourself

About the causes that

Leads to all the consequences

From the lack of self discipline

To apply the basic principle

Common sense

While getting lost

In the shuck and jive

With no regard

To how the community thrives

Leaving families

To be brought up

In a movement jam

To get caught up

In a system


Or victim

Leading from behind

Hustling backwards

Because you are acting

Instead of taking action

Disregarding opportunities

To build as if the

Future is not near

And your choices

Back then

Wont come around again

Because in your right now

You refuse to bend

And not follow

The trends

While making provisions

For the next generations

Doing common things

In an uncommon way

With common sense


Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back (singing the theme to the television show Welcome Back Kotter that probably showed my age…ha) the thoughts of SmOkE this week speaks on a form of basic intelligence we all possess yet we all do not utilize, common sense.

Common sense is born of human efforts and the capacity expands from interactions with others and life experiences. Common sense is a sign of wisdom, instinctive sensibility and of course basic intelligence. There is no doubt that common sense is instrumental in the processes of decision making, in situations where we need to be more sensible, discerning and wise than we are intelligent yet time and time again people do not rely on their common sense or any other form of intelligence before speaking or acting.

Common sense is a trait you develop through purposeful awareness and habit and in order to be aware enough to develop a habit one requires self-discipline, the self-discipline to do the right thing rather than seeking self gratification and doing what makes you feel good at the present moment.

Popular culture would lead one to believe be living is all about turning up and enjoying the moment be it the songs heard on the radio or the images seen in the media be it print or visual, from the stars to the fans the message is the same. It amazes me how many sad stories and tragic sudden events are a result of people’s common sense taking a leave of absence when it should have been front and center. We are all human and we will err but when one continues to make the same mistake it can no longer be call a mistake it is indeed a choice.  Children and teenagers are low on experience and are likely to make mistakes where we question if they have common sense but as we age we have less justification to act on impulse yet there seems to be a lot of “of age children” impersonating adults and not utilizing their common sense.

“You are beautiful but what does that common sense do?”

“You are basic” and “You are the baddest” two common and popular phrases spoken by many describing someone’s physical appearance or the presentation of someone’s physical appearance and the probability is very high that the baddest may very well be basic if you look beyond the outer and with more than your eyes.  When someone chooses not to learn from their experiences or those of others or not to apply knowledge gained from experiences I do not care how bad someone thinks they are they are indeed basic because they are passing on an opportunity to grow.

I have to believe people of substance will be the standard again one day and living beyond the moment will take a back seat and we will start living selfless instead of selfish. Likes and followers one day will stop being the motive and decent, peaceful living with thriving communities will be the example of winning.

By no means am I saying demonstrating this trait on a consistent basis gives a cure all nor does it guarantee success, but a lack of command of the basic ability,common sense, or to not to utilize it will bring a degree of difficulty to living that could have been avoided if self discipline would have been brought into play.

“You cannot see through the smoke but you will get through the smoke all you have to do is believe…”

See you around SmOkE is {ghost}…

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