Eden’s Garden: Seven Questions with Seven King

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Edited by Genese Bristol

For the first time..THIS SUMMER!!

Normally when you think of a “transgender” person, you think “transgender woman”. Transgender women are starting to become regularly However, In comparison, the transgender male, has been missing and Seven King is out to change that.

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This summer, Mr. King, will release a web series about black transgender men: Eden’s GardenEden’s Garden is a dramedy that will depict the the issues that Black transgender men face. Issues such as homophobia, promiscuity and HIV/AIDS. Seven, sat down with SOULE to discuss  his groundbreaking show.

SOULE: Provide some background info on Seven King….Where were you raised and share little about your home life growing up?
I was born in Harlem and raised in the Bronx, New York. I traveled a lot during my younger years, because my parents divorced when I was seven. At that time my father purchased a house down south, while my mother remained in NY. I was raised in the city, but I still have southern roots. Besides that, I love nature, quiet nights, home cooked meals,  that southern hospitality and space that you don’t get in the city.
Growing up was not easy, there was a lot of dysfunction in the household between my parents. I identified with my gender as male at age four. I always was creative, talented and had a lot of fire inside. I felt like I was the black sheep of the family. I felt different, thought different and just knew from an early age, I was here for a greater purpose then I could think of at the time. I have an old soul, to be honest, and I feel like I been here before, on earth or else where. When I was 13, I decided to leave home. I learned a lot from making that decision and it changed me in ways that made me who I am today. 
SOULE: Who were your role models growing up and who influences you now, personally and professionally?
My role models growing up were anyone who changed the culture or stood for something. My favorite subject was History. I loved learning about political leaders like Huey P. Newton, Malcolm X, Buddha, and Ghandi. I also loved learning about the Harlem Renaissance. I was fascinated with artistic souls whether in music or the arts. To name a few, BB King, Michael Jackson, Patti Labelle, Erykah Badu. Musical movements like old school rock music, garage house music. I love the sounds of instruments. I’m inspired by those who dig in themselves to create anything that can be felt inwardly or mind enlightened differently. 
Professionally, I am inspired by anyone who never had a hand out and made something out of nothing [sic]. That’s what my life is about, taking sh*t and turning it into sugar. Never making excuses for the past and taking life into my own hands, by turning every negative into a positive. Immediately 50 Cent and  Tyler Perry come to mind. 
My Film production role models are Spike lee, Lee Daniels (for being comfortable to be a black proud gay man and just a creative genius) and directors and producers, who don’t water down the message and are not fearful to put the vision of the story on the screen regardless of criticism and the back lash from taking risk. 
I also feel that I am a role model to myself. I believe people go through different stages in life to get them to the point that they know who they are and what they are here for. I been through the ups and downs of life that gave me the solid core to who I am [sic]. I inspire to evolve and fight to be fearless in my art of screenplay writing and creating. I’m the Renaissance man you can say, I love the arts, from music, art, culture and writing. Well rounded man, I am. 
SOULE: How did you come up with the title Eden’s Garden and does it have any underlying meaning? 
I decided to name the show Eden’s Garden because the Garden of Eden is a universal story. Whether it is a story you believe in the story or not, I liked it conceptually as story about origins. I feel that gender identity has a origin for every person who may trans. For me it was at age 4, when I identified my gender to be male. 
The Garden of Eden has a mystery that carries on to this present time. In that garden, there could have been anything, then I think to myself, the story of trans men or transgender people could have been a story in that tale that’s never been told. Eden is one of the main characters within this series. Eden’s Garden is how I connected the two for the title name of the series.
SOULE: Do you think the world is ready for a show like Eden’s Garden? What do you hope the overall impact of Eden’s Garden will be?
If the world is ready or not, I created Eden’s Garden and I am showcasing it for the world to see. I feel in the media, there is a trans revolution going on, the timing is perfect for a show like this. Even though the Transgender story is being talked about a lot more now, the story of the trans-male is still invisible. America is a culture that has dynamic story [sic] when it comes to humans, race, politics and transitioning as a man of color is just one story that needs to be told. 
I wrote an explicit, heart felt and honest show, regarding the trans-male experience. I hope this show opens a window for the world to understand the individual that happens to be the trans-male. I hope this show connects people, I hope this show brings respect to people who choose to transition and live their life as any other person. I hope it brings understanding and clarity to people who still have narrowed views of the transgender experience. I hope people can see the perspective of the Black and Latino culture experience transitioning. 
SOULE: You are a part Hip Hop Royalty, being the child of Mr. Ness (American Hip Hop entertainer from the iconic hip hop group, Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five)  How will Eden’s Garden break the stereotypical ideals that exist in Hip Hop when it comes to the inclusion of LGBT community?
My father is an artist and I’m his child. No matter who you are connected to, you never know what cards you will be dealt. I happened to be assigned the opposite of my gender at birth, I changed that to the correct gender preference, which is male. I find myself having a lot of my fathers traits, specially with creating. 
Hip hop started out like folk telling, telling the story of people in the urban areas that the news probably would not cover cover. Over time Hip hop culture has evolved. I am just telling my own story, but through film. LGBT community made some major steps in America. The Trans community is the last on the chain to make major strides. It take individuals who identify from the transgender experience to speak up for their own stories, not others fighting for them. Hip hop is my love and it is cool that I was a descendant of hip hop royalty when I think about it. I am just creating my own legacy for Seven King. 
SOULE: How much of your own personal experiences are infused into storyline of Eden’s Garden and its’ characters?
I never noticed how much subconsciously I put of some of my experiences in my writing, until I have read it back. Writing is very therapeutic. Eden’s Garden has a few situations that I have gone through.
SOULE: There are so many budding filmmakers and content creators… What would you offer to people just starting out? What has been your greatest challenge in producing Eden’s Garden
The advice I can give to people inspiring to be film makers is to have “tunnel vision” for your goal. Learn how to master starting and finishing something. Many people, have multiple ideas but do not know how to finish what they start. Believe in your idea and vision when no one else will. Learn that everything is a process and that nothing comes overnight. You will be so focused, by the time you look up, your goal will be accomplished. 
Seven’s goal is to have Eden’s Garden picked up by a major network. Increase the funding for his project. Beyond Eden’s Garden, Seven plans to create additional revolutionary projects as well as expand his genre.
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Stay tuned on SOULE for more exclusive interviews of the cast of Eden’s Garden.
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Watch the latest trailer here:

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