If you want to truly understand me, have a conversation with the mirrors in my bathroom and closet, the locks on my mother’s door, and my refrigerator.

I’m Ty Cole and this is my Crystal Stair.

Firmly rooted in my confidence, I know exactly who I am and what I represent. Headstrong in my disposition, my indisputable qualities have served as a natural filtration system that has attracted some and deterred others. Long story short, I’m straightforward and no-nonsense, right?

So how could I ever let my guard down?  Well, If you ask my mirrors… they’ll tell you. The mirrors watched me grow.

They’ll tell you about a proverbial love despite the verbal, mental and physical abuse I endured from my ex- boyfriend—that he could do no wrong.  They’ll show you how my steadfast demeanor gave way to an unsteady foundation, confidence gave way to timidity, and my independence turned into crippling dependency.  They’ll tell you of my mother’s three life-threatening heart surgeries, and the father that was there, but not always present.  They’ll sing to you the requiem of the journey of identity, sexuality, and most importantly…forgiveness.

It’s funny how something so reflective can be so transparent…

If you speak to the locks on my mother’s apartment doors, they won’t tell you about the security of the place, but rather the security in ownership. They’ll tell you what it means to grow and regroup from a divorced family and of a mother’s duty to provide safety to her family.

This brings us to the refrigerator… more than a place for communal midnight snack gatherings and excited leftover cravings.  The refrigerator housed the ingredients my mom used to drown out the woes of the world with the simmers and sautés of the magisterial, matriarchal magic we all know as dinner.  When dinner was served, so was knowledge.  Food transcended the palate and expanded to the mind, forging connections and webbing the sinews of what is the unbreakable bond between a mother, son and her family.

But mirrors also reflect light…

I’ve worked with the likes of Pandora Music and interviewed music recording artist Jacquees, and I find myself constantly navigating the volatile waters of the media industry and community.  My goals of launching my own line of Champagne and becoming a respected entertainment journalist are only as far as I make them.  I believe I exhibit this phoenix-like quality of rising from the ashes of insecurity and depressionI am changing my lifestyle around and for the better.  You can’t break me anymore as I will soar. I am loved, cherished, respected, and valued in all ways.

And so are you.