#MEFIRST SERIES FEATURED POWERHOUSE
Founder & CEO, GG Universe
Gary D. McCrear, or "GG" is a K-12 educator turned spiritual consultant currently based in Brooklyn, NY.
Originally from Conyers, GA Gary spent the majority of his formative years wanting to be of service and figuring out which way felt appropriate. A Morehouse College alum (dual Bachelor’s), giving back to his community and helping lead people to success via conversation, immersion and inclusion in foreign languages is what encouraged him to continue on to the University of Pittsburgh and graduate with a Masters of Arts in Hispanic Languages and Literatures. He went on to have a fruitful career in education as a Spanish teacher!
A self-taught spiritual consultant guided by trusted teachers, the development of his students and their identities as well as his own budding identity as a 'spiritual guide' to help people connect back to their 'true North' is what led him into coaching and working with people across the globe via tarot readings, self-help tools, and his healing work (reiki, Akashic records, candle magic, etc.). Gary hopes to be of service to people as a leader to help guide people towards self-actualization and seeing their dreams come true.
What does a week in the life of Gangsta Gurry look like? In what ways do you manage to put yourself first even through a busy schedule?
GangstaGurry: A week typically starts around the late morning, plugging and chugging in times to have conversations with people while responding to e-mails and making sure I'm following through with my mentees or candle work clients. I recently just took up a new data entry job, so I've been adding that new responsibility into my life and it's been proving to be such an adjustment after being out of the traditional workforce for a year! Between the hours of 11 AM - 9 PM for the majority of the week, I'm connecting with others and helping guide them through their day-to-day struggles while also turning into a fierce assistant to the managing director of a non-profit organization.
I do my best to put myself first with my busy schedule by taking naps! I've learned recently how important it is to my Human Design type to have those moments of recharge within my day to be fully present, and love to throw some meditative music on to give it a little razzle-dazzle!
Please tell us about your self-love journey! Has your sexuality influenced your self-love journey? If so, how?
GangstaGurry: My self-love journey has been a lifelong journey and is still ever-growing. Growing up as a gay Black man in the South, there's always been a lot of pressure to show up as hyper-masculine, independent, and extremely capable in ways that only "straight" men were able to be categorized as. I didn't really understand what self-love meant until I was in my early 20s. That was the time period that I had to grapple with my sexuality, which is effortlessly intertwined into the way I view and value myself.
My upbringing made me feel that my sexuality canceled out any successes that I had and that being 'discreet' with the fullness of myself was the proper way to be seen as a Black gay man in America. As I began to understand that as untrue, through my own lived experiences, acts of self-love grew the more I would feel the pride in talking about my demons, my shortcomings, and how they brought me to appreciate my own strength to make it through those battles.
It is often those journeys of self-love that lead us to come into our own. Does your journey inspire your creative pursuits?
GangstaGurry: This journey made me want to be able to share my voice in all of its uniqueness with others by also letting them know they're not alone. As a former teacher, it was always important to me not just to give students information but to connect with students in a way that let them know that I identified with them and wanted to hold space for them. Being able to talk people through their journeys and assist them through the fires in their own lives to help them achieve transformation is something I find absolute peace in being able to provide. It wasn't always a rainbow experience to endure the struggles of growing up and ascending, but community and affirmation are what saved me and I wanted to pass that onto others.
Labeling myself as a 'professional best friend' comes from us all wanting someone to talk to that we can unzip comfortably in front off and have those really deep connections of the soul with. It’s important to me to help mull over those musings and help with reminding our spirits that they need community and some fine-tuning to be affirmed and loved.
Can you tell us how becoming the 'hood magician' has impacted how you choose to show love to yourself?
GangstaGurry: I've taken magic and broken it down to make me love myself and the way I move. The 'hood magician' comes from me doing a lot of my spiritual work and candle setting to trap music and songs that have a very heavy bass line. It allows me to feel the energy of the song rising up inside of me to help me release some of the worries and stresses that I may be carrying and put them back into the Universe's hands.
Lighting candles with different intentions, using crystals, and incense to help me move some of those disorienting thoughts has been my salvation over the last few years. I know that being able to identify those lack mindsets and giving them light instead of letting them continue to hide in the annals of my mind is what has given me space to shine!
In what ways do you nurture your self-awareness? What role does it play in your self-love?
GangstaGurry: I do a LOT of writing for myself when I have space to. I have journaled ever since I was 10 years old (and still have all of my journals) and those moments where I am able to reflect on self has proven very helpful to have as artifacts to go back to at different times in my awareness. It helps me to reflect on my experiences in a more pointed manner, especially because I like to keep everything dated. This also helps me to see what things have changed, what remains the same and also use these reflections as topics of conversation with my friends and loved ones. It gives me the space to be super responsible for my emotions and growth because I'm regularly having that touchpoint with myself to know where I've come from and the direction of where I'm going.
What advice would you give a young queer person wanting to start their own self-love journey?
GangstaGurry: I would say that self-love truly comes from within, and it's all about you knowing yourself without the confines of other peoples' perceptions of you. It is sometimes hard to show up in the fullness of yourself when you are accustomed to having others' opinions dictate what you should be doing. Your truth comes first and relying on your own vibration is a major key to self-acceptance.
It's important to remember that your family or outsiders may not have the answers for you or the optics to be able to see the true essence of you the same way that you do. That is completely alright - it's more about how you see yourself and infusing those aspects of other peoples' thoughts that fit for you to dress up in if you so choose
You also don't have to be right all the time - this is a messy process and giving yourself grace along the way to figure it out is just as important as being a strong, fierce queer person who is able to see themselves in their fullness.
Learn more about GangstaGurry by keeping up with him on Instagram @gangstagurry! Stay up to date with his readings and upcoming events by visiting his website https://www.gangstagurry.me. Be sure to keep him in mind for your holistic healing needs. Thank you, Gary!