Given the current climate, I have decided to cover a series of interviews with members of the LGBTQ* Community over how things have changed for them in the last year. The answers may be positive or negative. Either way, I think it is important to showcase such things in order to move towards an equal future. As well as allowing questioning members feel safer in who they are. As well as bringing forth things that the main stream press are not a part of, after discovering someone very close to me was involved in an attack on a West Hollywood Bar that no one bothered to cover. Just because: Oh they are gay, so who cares.
The first of these interviews is with a lovely gentleman I met on twitter: Mr Birkholz.
1. Please give us an over view of who you are, and what you do.
My name is Bradley Birkholz and I’m an LGBT+ activist, YouTuber, drag queen, and actor/model/musician. I’m 20 years old and I’ve been publishing videos to my channel for roughly 2 years now and I focus on LGBT+ related content.
2. If you could like to, but please skip if you do not. Tell us about your label, or lack of one. And your personal 'coming out' story.
I identify as a homosexual, biromantic, demi-man. It’s a bit confusing, I know! I talk a lot about my coming out on my YouTube channel, and honestly, that’s the best place to hear it. That said, I will briefly paraphrase it: my coming out was a really challenging one, and my family rejected me a lot over their religious belief that I was a sinful disgrace. It was a very challenging time for me, but years later my relationship with my family is much better.
Coming out P1
Coming out P2
3. Please tell us the best and worst things you were ever told around 'coming out'.
I was told it would be better if I was dead and that I should “go fuck myself”.
4. How do you think attitudes have changed towards the community over the years?
As people understand LGBT identities and sexuality in general, they become less hostile towards them. As with many things throughout history, education and understanding breeds love and acceptance.
5. How do you think attitudes have changed this last year?
In some parts of the world, changes in attitude have been positive, but in the states change in attitude has been very negative with the rise of Trump’s administration.
6. How have the changes affected you personally? Have they hampered or helped you personally and in your career?
They haven’t affected my career much, but they’ve affected how safe I feel visiting home (California). I wrote an article about this which received national attention. Which you can read here:
7. Have you experienced any homophobic attitudes or attacks in the last year? (If you feel able to talk about them, please feel free to)
Luckily the only homophobia I’ve experienced in the last year has been from online comments on my YouTube channel, and they’ve been really just uneducated and pointless, nothing that massively affected me.
8. What do you think is most important for the Community to do right now?
I think protests, activism, and the spreading of messages of love and anti-bullying are more important than ever right now!
9. How do you think we can combat the current issues?
Protest and discourse are the most meaningful ways to combat global attitudes.
10. What one thing can you suggest that people do each day to try and make things better?
One small thing is just to be kind to those around you, and really try to empathise with other people’s lifestyles and understanding. The old saying, “walk a day in someone else’s shoes” comes to mind here!
11. Have you noticed any changes in local Gay bars or Prides you may have attended?
Gay bars and Prides globally have reacted to the hate of Donald Trump with their own activism and messages of love, and I think that’s beautiful.
12. Do you have any messages for our Community’s youth struggling with hate right now?
Get involved! Sharing a post on Facebook doesn’t count. ;)
13. Have you joined any charity work or taken on any projects to help during this troubled time?
I’ve been involved in LGBT+ charities The Terrance Higgins Trust, Just Like Us, and The Being Me Campaign, who are all doing great work to support the LGBT+ community. I’ve also used my own platform, as limited as it is, to share messages of positivity in these difficult times.
Thank you so much for your time, Mr Birkholz!
You can follow the adventures on twitter: