Bestselling LGBTQ+ Memoir

Sunday Dinners, Moonshine, and Men is a moving memoir that touches on the common experience of acceptance and self-discovery throughout life. It is certain to strike a chord with readers of many backgrounds due to its universal themes and moving storytelling. Whether you’re struggling with questions of identity, family, or community, this memoir provides a timeless and relevant message of inspiration and hope.”

-The Book Revue

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Meet Tate Barkley

Tate Barkley is a speaker, author, educator, a 30-year practicing attorney and a founding partner of Bain & Barkley law firm in Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas and South Texas College of Law. In addition to his active law practice, he spent 20 years as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston, teaching Communications Law and Ethics, where he was awarded the School of Communications 2019 Valenti Award for Outstanding Teaching by a Lecturer.

Tate’s 24 year recovery journey has compelled him to write and speak about personal integrity, ethics, shame, self-acceptance, mental wellness, and resilience. His story demonstrates how shame and addiction can disrupt lives, businesses and institutions. He then shares the tools that have enabled him to embrace self-honesty and service to others as a means to long-term personal growth and resiliency. Tate’s energy, self-deprecation and sincerity provide a thoughtful and uplifting experience for his audiences.

His memoir, Sunday Dinners, Moonshine, and Men, published in September 2023, recounts Tate’s troubled relationship with his father and his journey to overcome his shame and the scarcity mindset that fueled his addictions and blocked his ability to find peace in his life. Tate offers readers a deeply personal account of his dysfunctional childhood, from the backwoods of North Carolina, to his family’s struggles with poverty in Central Florida, and their ultimate move to the boomtown of 1970s Houston, Texas. He details his attempts to control his escalating drinking and repress his sexuality as he became a successful attorney, only to hit rock bottom and lose it all. Tate’s story will resonate with readers as they follow his quest to accept himself and find peace.

Tate presently serves as President of the Board of Directors for Avenue Community Development Corp. in Houston, which is dedicated to providing affordable housing for veterans, seniors, and the working poor. He also serves on the board of the church council for Covenant Church, an ecumenical liberal Baptist congregation in Houston’s museum district. Tate is a past board member of the Texas Council for Advising and Planning for the Prevention and Treatment of Mental and Substance Abuse Disorders, and he formerly served on the Fort Bend Regional Council on Substance Abuse board, whose mission is to provide families and individuals the substance abuse prevention, education, and treatment services needed for positive change for themselves and the community. 

He resides in Houston, Texas with his husband of six years, Anson, and their dog, Emerson.

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Tate Barkley grew up in the small towns of North Carolina, where money was tight, dreams seldom came true, and family secrets were kept hidden. His Grandmother’s house was a sanctuary where he felt loved—and her big Sunday dinners nourished his stomach and his soul.

After his parents divorced, he discovered his mother’s new boyfriend, and eventual husband, was his biological father— a charming dreamer who would disappear for months at a time, leaving his family to fend for themselves.

As a teen, Tate began drinking. His father was a heavy drinker and he was always looking for ways to connect with him, for a way to hold on to the moment before he slipped away again. Drinking gave Tate a sense of calm, and it numbed him from the love he was missing in his life. After years of drinking, losing his law practice, and hitting rock bottom he realized he either needed to take responsibility and change—or he’d end up dead.

This is a Southern boy’s story of surviving in a good ole boys’ world. Tate fought his way back, ended a life built on lies, and forged a path to accept his true self—with or without his father’s love.

Successful Ethical Decision Making: Get What You Want Without Getting in Trouble book cover

In 2007, after Tate encountered difficulty finding an appropriate ethics text to use in his Communications and Ethics course at the University of Houston, he published his first book, Successful Ethical Decision Making: Get What You Want Without Getting in Trouble.

Written in the wake of the Enron and Madoff scandals, the book breaks down the process of making difficult decisions into easy-to-implement tactics that can be used by anyone in any situation, business, or personal.

This book provides detailed analysis on the way we approach critical decisions and how the choices we make  can forever change the direction of our lives, as well as those of the people around us, and often have an impact on countless others of which we are not even aware.

Successful Ethical Decision Making: Get What You Want Without Getting In Trouble introduces a time-tested protocol for making decisions that ensures that the most ethical choice will be found. Written as a step-by-step guide, the book seeks to teach its readers how to tap into their own personal ethical beliefs when making decisions and simplifies the concept of the fiduciary relationship, and the duties of loyalty, obedience and care, to make them applicable to readers no matter what their situation.

Optimism and humor pervade this text making it a quick and informative read. It is a concise guidebook for anyone seeking to make more effective decisions and reach their true potential in life.

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Tate is a dynamic, engaging speaker with a passion for sharing his personal stories of overcoming alcoholism, poverty and shame. His powerful, inspirational talks  provide his audiences with the tools for immediate change and long-term personal growth.

Tate has shared his story of recovery at Regional and National-level organizations dedicated to recovery, including the Texas Opioid Treatment Alliance. He has also spoken on ethics and situational decision making to a wide variety of organizations including: the VA Boston Healthcare System; the U.S. Forestry Service; the Texas Association of Appraisal Districts; American National Property & Casualty Insurance; Institute of Management Consultants; Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce; Universal North America Insurance Company; the Stonewall Lawyer’s Association; and, the Houston Association of  Certified Fraud Examiners, where he shared the stage with former Enron CFO and convicted felon, Andrew Fastow, who also speaks on the topic of business ethics.

For more information or to book Tate to speak at your event, please complete the form below.

Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny. -C.S. Lewis

Contact for Speaking Engagements

Tate has spoken to countless audiences in major corporations and not-for-profits across the United States, and in his home state of Texas, providing them with the tools they need to make better decisions in their business and personal lives. If your group has a need for a keynote speaker, please provide as much information about your group and your goals for your event on the form below. We will respond to your message as soon as possible.