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Louis Byrne - I Can I Am and I Will

Welcome to the ICIAIW 2022 July newsletter. This month’s newsletter will be a bit different to those that followed before it because in this newsletter, the ICIAIW founder, Louis Byrne, will open his heart and write a letter to you. No filter, no hiding, just pure honesty and heart.

Thank you

£5 off this month 
We want to give back to our ICIAIW community in this month’s newsletter by giving you £5 off the ICIAIW wellbeing journal. Use the code “ICIAIWNEWS5” at the check-out for your discount and start journaling today.


Working class special needs queer

I’m thrilled to share with you what has been happening in the world of the I Can I Am and I Will Identity Empowerment movement. As many of you know, I have been working on ICIAIW Empowerment Movement for over four years. My goal at the start of this epic movement was to become someone I felt proud of by honestly sharing my personal experiences, growth and lessons. We all have a story to tell, we all have limiting beliefs and anxiety and we all share mental health experiences. The message is clear, connect with yourself and thrive.

Each month I will write a personal letter to help you to understand the position where I come from and why it’s important to share these moments. The I Can I Am and I Will Identity Empowerment Movement has gained a huge reach of over 140 million people and is still growing. Everything we do has intention and meaning and comes from a place of honesty. It’s not always going to be an easy read, but we are in it together; for me, I value community and connection, which comes with honesty.

A Letter from Louis

So why am I here doing this, me a working-class special needs queer?
Firstly, all of the labels above were given to me by society, and they are all labels I've worked hard to accept and embrace. I Can I Am and I Will is about overcoming, building a community and connecting with others. Owning your identity and embracing who you are. Growing up, I was surrounded by trauma and abuse and, to top it off, being queer, which by the way, I didn't understand.
I was told I was queer before I knew what it meant. From my early memories as a child with an abusive stepfather who called me this, I tried all I could to be "normal" and to fit in and not to be different. There was a huge lack of queer representation, and I can honestly tell you this caused so much craziness in my life, I could never truly be myself. You begin to create a false reality; I was never fully satisfied and always full of want, need or desire. This led to a massive lack of self-esteem and self-abuse. Abuse with alcohol, drugs and sex pushed my body to the extreme limits and never being at rest. I reached what we all know as rock bottom, a place where you have two options to live or die. With this series of letters, I intend to share my learnings and how I got to a place of acceptance. I want to show you how I reached a place of joy within myself and my life. I give my word to be open and honest and to cut out the bullshit!
My rock bottom came gradually and slowly, and it crept in. I was having a breakdown, something I thought would be obvious to recognize, but you can't see it when you are in it. A breakdown for me was the inability to make good decisions and process my thoughts from a well round considered view. I couldn't cope with my life and lifestyle choices anymore. The way I had been living meant I was full to the brim with shame and regret, and I simply couldn't make good decisions for myself. Cycle after cycle of bad choices and behaviours left me feeling so isolated and upset. There was a period I would wake up in tears. I would wake up sad! Everything about my lifestyle was the opposite of self-care and well-being. When you are going through something like this, you are delusional about what is real, and you don't see what is happening to yourself and can't accept it.
One of the big things that happened in the lead-up to my rock bottom was a diagnosis on Christmas Eve of 2015. I was diagnosed as HIV positive, and I believe that a lack of self-esteem and self-respect and not truly understanding myself led me to this. My diagnosis made me more self-destructive, trying to block things out and not truly facing what I needed to face, but we will come back to that later. Around this time, when I was waking in tears every day, seven words came into my head I Can, I Am, and I Will, I had no idea just how powerful these words would be to my life, but they gave me hope. We are all led to believe that we have freedom of choice, or this is something we work towards, but my choices led me to so much destruction, and I couldn't get my head around this! I'm the one behaving and causing all of this for myself.
One of the first things that truly helped me with my self-discovery and recovery was journaling. I would never have believed that something so simple could profoundly impact my life, but I guess that's part of the delusion and lack of belief I was carrying with me. In fact, it is estimated we make over 35,000 choices every day (conscious & subconscious). This means that our conditioning, i.e., upbringing, schooling and energy, all form part of the programming surrounding us. Even inherited beliefs from your parents, grandparents and so on.
SHOCKER! We are all different, and these programmed choices will not always work for us. Journaling allows you to control your choices and make conscious choices for yourself. The simplest choices take 15 minutes daily to monitor, and as they say, seeing is believing. It was so hard to just get the pen to paper, and my mind was stopping me. I felt blocked and blank, but I just started to write and allowed it to happen.
Today almost five years later, I still journal; in fact, I've created a journal of my own with the ICIAIW community. I still have mind traps; what I mean by this is limiting beliefs or perceptions that may not be true. I still feel myself getting emotionally tied up, but I'm now able to pause and react the way I truly want to react and not in a way I've inherited that simply does not serve me.
Allowing yourself to focus on the fundamental of well-being and consciously connecting with yourself, creating small positive daily habits that create the bigger picture of wellbeing. Seeing a clear picture of my lifestyle and intake allowed me to understand that it's so important to look at our self-concept. Self-concept is the idea of who we believe we are and who we actually are. It's the doing that counts and the direction in which you're heading.
Connect to your true passion and do things that are full of intention and meaning. For me, this brings joy. Journaling helped me evaluate where I needed to make changes in my life, and being a positive representation of the queer community is sorting that. It is important to help people find their way through and see a different way of thinking. I love people, I love people's faces, and I'm very excited about a positive future.
To be continued ... click here to start journaling

MY JOURNAL – A poem from the ICIAIW community

My journal is my honesty
My journal is my truth
There have been passages from my adult life
And stories from my youth
I look back on my journey
And realise how far I’ve come
The past will not define me
From my demons, I will not run
I will face up to the problems that have once occurred,
And by writing in my journal, I allow myself to be heard.
During the summer season, we should be able to spread our wings and have a good time building meaningful connections. As the summer sun shines bright, it ignites a feeling inside many of us which can be hard to escape. This feeling is the “fear of missing out, AKA FOMO. So many of us feel the pressure to do things that we might not usually do in the hope of creating a summer buzz when in reality, we want to be ourselves and be free in the decisions we make without those pressures looming heavily on our souls. This summer, being part of the ICIAIW movement could be powerful for those individuals.
The re-set plan and the wellbeing journal allow you to have a safe space to speak openly about the pressures you might feel over the summer or in your everyday experiences. Write your truth and handle heard because your voice matters. Draw strength within all those moments you face, both good and bad. The ICIAW community is here to support you without judgement, and it is time to get yourself out of the wormhole and allow yourself to be the person you have always wanted to be.
Click here to re-set
Click here to start journaling set

Wellbeing – Happy pride 🌈

I made a trip to Nottingham to do a shoot with @vicky.mcclure for #ICIAIW

We are working on something special because we need to show our pride all year round❤️

Here’s a little preview of what we got up to. All to be revealed very soon. Thanks @liam_bundy 📸 jump faith pride people. As part of showing my pride a % of the T-shirt sales go to @stonewalluk

At Stonewall, we stand for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning and ace (LGBTQ+) people everywhere. We imagine a world where all LGBTQ+ people are free to be ourselves and can live our lives to the full.

@stellarrepresents @premierhairandmakeup @lorealpro_education_uki @lorealpro @britishbeautycouncil

#pride #pridemonth #pride🌈

We celebrated a Happy pride month 🌈 ICIAIW

Start living your life today, its never too late”
The beauty @kyledevolle for I Can I Am and I Will Identity Empowerment, own your identity embrace who you are.

Art Direction & hair @louisbyrneiciaiw @lorealpro_education_uki @lorealpro @lwprteam @premierhairandmakeup @stellarrepresents
#kyledevolle #pride #pridemonth

Fashion & Beauty

Find your own spotlight✨

The gorgeous @jasminebarbarin @imgmodels on the pages of @harpersbazaararabia

Photography @davidreissphotography

Casting @londondean

Styling @ursula_lake

Makeup @sonia_deveney

Hair @louisbyrneiciaiw @premierhairandmakeup using @lorealpro @lorealpro_education_uki @stellarrepresents @lwprteam

#hairbylouisbyrne #louisbyrnehair

Features & Articles

Me and mum attended L’Oréal Colour Trophy 2022.

ICIAIW & L’Oréal Professional are partners creating a positive Empowering community.

Own your identity embrace who you are; we all have a story to tell what’s yours? ✨

What a brilliant evening, I would like to give a huge thanks to my team @whatspeterdoingnow @marcramoshair for your hard work & @beatricedautzenberg @mteodoromc @lorealpro @luciehairandnow for the belief🙏🏼. Please check out the movement and the reset plan at

@lorealpro_education_uki @lwprteam @premierhairandmakeup @stellarrepresents @creativeheadmag

#ICIAIW #louisbyrne #louisbyrnehair #icaniamandiwill


It’s always an honor to be asked to judge the Most Wanted award #mwit22 🌈and I got to catch up with powerhouses Catherine Hancock & Amanda Nottage. The room was full of buzz and it was so good to see everyone there. Thanks @creativeheadmag for having me ✨ Community 👨🏻‍🤝‍👨🏼 hairdressers 💇🏻all investing in their futures 🔥

@creativeheadmag @lwprteam @stellarrepresents @lorealpro @lorealpro_education_uki @premierhairandmakeup

#mwit2022 #judge #hairbylouisbyrne #louisbyrnehair

Celebrity Hair
Podcasts #motivationaldisco

Motivation Disco 🎶✌🏼🧠

Brand new show Alert!! ✨ In this episode, I talk with Ian Watt, MR WA7T (aka Ian Watt), who grew up In Northern Ireland in the 80s and as you can imagine coming out as gay at that time was incredibly difficult/terrifying for him. Not only was Northern Ireland in the mix of their troubles, but the AIDS crisis was at its peak – something that vilified (predominantly) gay men even further. 🌈 Ian’s upbringing and sexuality have shaped much of this record, reflecting some of the album’s themes of dealing with this and grief.

The lead single “Home” is a beautiful combination of darkwave synths, trip-hop and beats, whilst the recent release “Sleeping Like a Star” is a brooding ballad that has some touches of 70’s psych sounds that sees MR WA7T’s beautiful lyrics and soothing vocals take centre stage. Together the singles give an idea of the direction of the debut album.

He has produced and remixed for everyone from Beyonce, Missy Elliott and Texas to Lana Del Rey, and was signed previously signed to Capitol Records US. Though he’d always planned to remain somewhat in the shadows, when the songs that make up “No Thread Leads Back To The Heart” started flowing out of him, it quickly became clear that it was finally time for Ian to take centre stage.

@mr_wa7t_ @islingtonradio

#motivationdisco #ICIAIW

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