I would imagine that if I were given an unlimited budget for my own version of Oprah’s Legends Ball, I would have to ask Mr. Preston Bailey to be both my event designer as well as one of the legends in my profession I’d fête. An impossible task, but an expression of my profound appreciation for someone who has inspired me as an events professional.

To see Mr. Bailey appear on Oprah several times and see his work for celebrities such as the late Joan Rivers, LeBron James, and many others, inspired me as a young man seeking his own place in events. Buying and reading his books over the years has brought me joy and continued encouragement, thinking my ideas were not too lofty or too small.

As a young black gay man, it was a delight to see someone who looked just like me doing what I love. Mr. Bailey is worthy to be honored during LGBTQ History Month as living, thriving history.

That said, thank you, Mr. Bailey. I am grateful that you were brave and courageous enough to begin your own business. I am grateful that you followed your dreams, giving me the courage to do the same.

Anthony