Since the next iteration of the project is a portrait exhibit, it only seemed fitting that we prepare for it by launching our own Instagram profile! And in honor of the Stonewall, we launched it on June 28, 2019 which was the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Thanks to activists such as Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the LGBTQ+ community has access to rights today that were unheard of five decades ago. We must always remember those who came before us and helped us get to where we are today! I was lucky enough to visit NYC during World Pride 2019, and the love and solidarity that my friends and I felt was unparalleled.
STATING MY CLOSET CASE
"I don’t wanna be labeled. Bi is as close to (nervous laugh) an unlabeled label as I can get to. And you know some people say 'oh that’s just an excuse to be promiscuous'…"
Here is another actor's thoughts before the last workshop. (11/4/17)
My expectations for this workshop are to further immerse myself in the world of LGBTQ to understand how I can help further bridge the gap between people who are out and people who are close-minded.
Also my expectation is to make a safe environment for people to share and heal; to hopefully help someone who doesn't get it; to make them click. To understand. My expectation for this workshop is to help a few close-minded people be open-minded while providing a supportive environment for these young folks to share and understand who they are and know that that is okay. People love them and support them and there is nothing wrong with them. These are places where it is safe to be exactly who they are.
Wesley Slone, a student from my alma mater of Morehead State University recently contacted me after I was a guest speaker via video conference with SPECTRUM, the alliance on their campus. He was writing a research paper for class about the impact of social media, more specifically YouTube, on the next generation of LGBT youth. Here's a little excerpt with my quote in it!
For some people they are afraid to come out because they are afraid that they will be treated differently or not accepted. When they look on platforms like YouTube they see that they may be treated differently and sometimes not accepted but it’s okay. There are people that because they were different they could have the biggest impact on someone else’s life. As quoted by Jonathan Mayo, “These internet sensations have come out in personal video confessions blazing the trail for today's youth. Many of them have built their fan base as openly gay men right from the start such as Troy Sivan and Tyler Oakley. These brave individuals allow youth to feel represented in the media and not alone in the world.”, there are individuals like these that use their fame to trail blaze and show youth that they are accepted in the world.
I'd like to give a big shout out to SPECTRUM, the alliance on campus at my alma mater Morehead State University in eastern Kentucky. I was so honored to be their first guest speaker of the semester via Skype last night. They asked me all about Cleaning Closets and the work I do in the LGBTQ community. In fact, one of the students has asked me for a quote for one of their research papers. I just hope I can live up to my apparent reputation. These youth give me hope for the future. They play a major role in making the coming out process easier for everyone!