Edited By Attica Lundy Cooper
Today is my brother Larry’s birthday. He’s 39 years old today, and I was pleasantly surprised when he sent me a link to something on his birthday with his bio on it. The Ubuntu Biography Project is a facebook group where a collection of biographical tributes to SGL/LGBT/Queer Men and Women of African Descent. I saw my brother’s photo, and I began to smile from ear to ear.
Larry Wilson was born on this day, June 26, in 1977. He is a bestselling novelist, poet, professional model and community leader. He may be best known for his blockbuster novels written under his pen-name, Dapharoah69.
Born as Larry Curtis Wilson, Jr. in Salinas, California, he is the son of Larry Curtis Wilson, Sr., and his mother, Barbara Lynn McCray ( who at the time was a Government Employee and who has since then retired after twenty-four years of service). He is the second oldest child out of four on his father’s side, and the oldest child out of six on his mother’s side. His parents separated when he was fourteen months old, and he and his mother moved to Goulds, Florida. There, he attended Pine-Villa Elementary School and graduated from Miami Southridge Senior High School in June of 1995, and enrolled in the United States Army.
Larry Wilson started writing when he was six, prompted by his grandfather, retired Air Force Master Sergeant Luther Lee McCray, who replaced his children’s books with Reader’s Digest and National Geographic’s. He was reading about the world, studying the accompanying maps, and writing stories based on his imaginary adventures. Larry would go on to read all the books in his grandfather’s home by the age of 17.
While in school, teachers noticed Larry’s knack for spelling and writing, and encouraged him to pursue writing. He is a survivor of abuse who used his journals, which he referred to as his “imaginary friends”, to get him through the pain of silence and isolation. He won his first poetry invitational at the age of eight years old and went on to take first place the same year, 1985, at Miami Southridge, beating out freshman and seniors.
Because of his sexuality, Larry was bullied relentlessly by several of his male classmates throughout his 12 year experience in the Miami Dade County School system. He became quiet, timid, and introverted. But his writing became his refuge. As he became aware of his same-gender attraction, he also began to understand the depth of his family’s intolerant attitudes about homosexuality, so he hid his bisexual interests to appease others. He suffered sexual abuse, from age 6 through 10 by a trusted family member and was beaten to keep quiet. When he finally told several members of his family, they didn’t believe him, and he thereafter remained tight-lipped about the abuse. Larry never told his mother. The perpetrator told Larry he’d kill him and his mother if he talked, and Larry complied, afraid he would carry out his threat. He sacrificed himself to keep everyone happy while he suffered in silence. He says now “I didn’t love myself. I would become addicted to the abuse and I hated myself for it, for years”.
Larry became promiscuous, sleeping with adults to validate himself and when he went to church for healing, the Pastor and his wife abused him as well. When he turned sixteen he grew tired of it and stood up for himself, becoming verbal and ending that period of promiscuity. But he says it was not easy, and took a lot of prayer and writing to get him through it. He used his real-life experiences to create bestsellers that talked about his experiences through fiction, over the past decade.
After High School, he went to the Army. Following his discharge, he enrolled at City College in Miami, Florida where he made the Dean’s List with a 3.5 average his first semester. But a series of tragedies made his elation short lived. He would lose his best friend to gun violence in Portland, Oregon in July of 1995. He cooperated with authorities to bring his best friend’s killers to justice. But those killers retaliated in return, threatening to kill him. Molestation charges were brought up on Larry by the authorities as a result of the killer’s conspiracy against him for talking. And he was incarcerated at the Oregon State Penitentiary, along with his best friend’s murderers.
Larry used the time to hone his craft and wrote 45 books, including a six book vampire series that he wrote by hand. While he was incarcerated, his anthology, “Voices From Within” was selected by Body Positive Magazine as their Book of the Month spotlight. He was also selected to be an extra in the Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton movie “Bandits”, and became the Executive Director of Administration for HIV/AIDS Awareness Program (HAAP) the only HIV/AIDS non-profit organization of its kind in the nation at that time He was also a writer for “Outer Visions”, a prison publication featuring newsletters and short stories, and helped over 400 inmates obtain their High School Equivalency diplomas while serving as an English and Math tutor.
Larry recently completed a six volume vampire series, with book 1 “The Law of Beasts” slated for release in December of 2015. Writing under the name Dapharoah69, he is the author of the eight book series “The King of Erotica.” The first three “The King of Erotica” books soared into the Barnes and Noble.com Top 100 Bestseller List in February of 2009. Over 3 million people had read his work and acclaimed author E. Lynn Harris selected him to be a part of his “Basketball Jones Literary Café”, and posted a picture holding up “The King of Erotica 1” and his debut novel “Call Her Queen Hatshepsut”, which he reviewed before he passed away a few months later. You can find his books here:http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/dapharoah69
As his writing was finding success, and his future was beginning to look bright, Larry learned he tested positive for HIV in 2009. He used his undetectable status to further educate his readers and fans through his writing, as well as himself.
His novel “Call Her Queen Hatshepsut” was recognized by the African Americans on the Move Book Club, as their Book of the Month and The Book of the Year. He was also recognized as Male Author of the Year in 2010, and as Talent of the Year by Atlanta’s Meak Productions Talent Agency. He was interviewed by over 100 Blog Talk Radio programs, including by Lamont Carey, Dedan Tolbert, and on Cyrus Webb’s Conversation’s Live.
“Some Men Wear Panties,” was originally published without a contract, and Larry was forced to release it himself, with other books in the series slated for release later this year. He has more than 640 Five Star reviews, sold over two-hundred thousand copies by word of mouth, and his books have been featured in over one thousand book clubs worldwide.
Larry adds “I write to express myself. Everyone isn’t going to like my writing so I focus on creating stories that I love, hoping others can relate to them. As long as they get something from them then my job is done”.
In 2015, Larry won a modeling contract with The Miami Fashion Board in February, and was cast as an extra in “Alvin and the Chipmunks 4”, and in May he was cast as a police officer in Tyler Perry’s “If Loving You Is Wrong”, and did a Antonio Sadio fashion spread.
Larry will be honored in October of 2016 with the “Man of Integrity Award” from the Utopian Euphoria Foundation, for his post prison career and contributions that inspire others They recognize his tenacity and ability to overcome, as well as his inspiring testimony. He will also be recognized by NYS Senator Timothy Kennedy with a certificate honoring his community efforts.
He serves as the Miami Chapter President of the “Elite 300 Brotherhood”, a fraternal order that recognizes community service. Larry has completed a sequel to E. Lynn Harris’ “Basketball Jones” with a planned October 2016 release of “Karma’s a Basketball Bitch” created in conjunction with Kurt Hanson, who was AJ Richardson, from Book 1 of “Basketball Jones”.
Larry says “My faith in God, and faith in myself has gotten me through. I can’t go through something and not spread my testimony to help someone else. My life is my art. I do it with humbleness and humility. I have over thirty years of experience in the taboo subjects I talk and write about”.
We join Larry Wilson on this day to celebrate his 39th Birthday, and thank him for the impact of his powerful writing, for his resilience and inspiring determination, and for his many contributions to our community.
Copyright © MMXVI Stephen A. Maglott. Permission to share this biography or any portion thereof, on an online service or blog other than Facebook, must be granted in writing by yours truly (Stephen Maglott). Please feel free however, to share this post with others on Facebook.
* If you enjoy these biographical tributes to same-gender loving/Trans men and women of African descent, please “like” the Ubuntu Biography Project page! And then go back and select “Get Notifications”. (https://www.facebook.com/UbuntuBiographyProject) Thank you.
I am very proud of my brother Larry and thankful to the Ubuntu Biography Project page and writers. Larry can also be found on the On The Rise Radio’s blog talk radio show “Book Book”as a co-host where he interviews other authors and publishers as well as special guests and at On The Rise Magazine as a model, writer, editor and an event host, and has new offers each and every day. Stay tuned for more news about him. And if you happen to run into him, scream HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Happy Birthday Larry Curtis Wilson, Jr, The King Of Erotica.
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