i've always vehemently denied being 'a creative' for some reason, even after 10 years of literally creating stuff every day on youtube. but making stuff feels good. it doesn't have to end up going viral or in the damn MOMA, just make stuff & keep making stuff. bam!! suddenly the koons is you. buy ARTPOP on iTunes. (photo via @lukefontana)
how cool of a feeling to turn on some music, play with paint & paintbrushes & construction paper & tear shit up & figure out what style i like. (photo via @lukefontana)
yesterday i got some art supplies & printed out some pictures that @lukefontana took of me, & decided to take my insta theme into my own hands.
as the #ChosenFamily series comes to a close, i just want to say thank you. i've has the absolute honor of exploring coming out, expression through drag, honoring communities like Orlando, giving out queer advice, sharing the stories of LGBTQ+ refugees, having difficult & silly conversations with queer youtuber friends, and diving into our movement's history. ending with hearing the stories of the future made me so hopeful. thank you for embracing #ChosenFamily & for being a part of mine.
in my new video, i surprised viewers when they least expected it. hearing their stories touched my little gay soul & i'm honored to have them in my #ChosenFamily. so many hugs & tears & giggles & screams - go watch!! link in my bio!!
NEW VIDEO: SURPRISING FANS AT VIDCON [LINK IN BIO] - i spent all June sharing stories of queer resilience, but for my final video in the #ChosenFamily series, i wanted to hear YOUR stories. i set up a booth at VidCon, invited anyone & everyone to come be a part of it... but little did y'all know, i was behind the corner watching & listening!! ...and when y'all least expected it, i crept up behind & spooked the shit out of people, it was SO!! MUCH!! FUN!!
do you know Marsha? Sylvia? Kiyoshi? Harvey? sis, you better get acquainted!! this week's limited edition merch for a cause is the "Know Your History" design tee/sweater - with a portion of proceeds going to @HumanRightsCampaign, supporting their work as America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. check out the three color options & get one before it's gone: represent.com/tyler (each week there will be a new limited edition design, created with a queer artist. this design was made by the incredible @heyrooney)
In 1969, places like The Stonewall Inn were safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people, when simply existing was punishable by law. I’m partnering with @WHotels #QueerMeOut campaign to explore the importance of queer nightlife, both then & now. Historically, queer nightlife has meant shelter, community, and a celebration of identity & in my new video, I explore the significance of the Stonewall Riots, how queer nightlife fought back, & how LGBTQ+ people who simply came out for a night of dancing sparked an entire civil rights movement. #LoveTravels
48 years ago this week, the Stonewall Riots took place, marking the start of the modern day LGBTQ+ rights movement. In my new video [LINK IN BIO], I chatted with Tree Sequoia (@1969stonewall), a gay activist that was there the night it all began. I also discussed the significance of Stonewall with @janetmock, one of my favorite current day activists. To fight for our future, we must remember our history.
in my new #ChosenFamily video [LINK IN BIO], i invited some of my favorite queer creators to discuss some hot topics!! so honored to have friends like @kingsleyyy & @kylekriegerhair that are so inspiring, honest, & thoughtful. who are YOUR favorite LGBTQ+ creators that should be at my next queer brunch? (📸 via @lukefontana)
new video: "QUEER BRUNCH" - link in bio!! the internet has been a spectacular place for queer people to find people just like them. to discuss some queer topics, I invited some of my favorite queer internet stars over for brunch & giggly gossip. safe spaces to have open dialogues make ALL of us better, and listening is just as important as sharing our perspectives. (📸 by @lukefontana)
in my new #ChosenFamily video [LINK IN BIO], i invited some of my favorite queer creators to discuss some hot topics!! so honored to have friends like @kat_blaque @dylanmarron @harto that are so inspiring, honest, & thoughtful. who are YOUR favorite LGBTQ+ creators that should be at my next queer brunch? (📸 via @lukefontana)
in my new video [LINK IN BIO] i introduce y'all to Sharifa - a lesbian activist who fled Uganda to save her kids from being kidnapped. hearing her story as a queer refugee moved me. there are so many places around the world where LGBTQ+ people are not safe, & can be imprisoned or even killed for being themselves. in this episode of #ChosenFamily, we explore the lives of queer refugees, & why ALL refugees need our support. ❤️🌍💛🌏💜🌎💙
this week's limited edition merch for a cause is the "One World" design tee/sweater - with a portion of proceeds going to International Rescue Committee, supporting their work of easing the transition for refugees in need of support. hearing from Shadi & Sharifa about their experiences as LGBTQ+ refugees from Syria & Uganda opened my eyes & inspired me to do what i can to support people who are only looking for safety & the ability to live and love freely. check out the five color options & get one before it's gone: represent.com/tyler 🌍💛 (each week there will be a new limited edition design, created with a queer artist. this design was made by the incredible @masoncatt)
today is world refugee day, and to celebrate, i made a video [LINK IN BIO] all about LGBTQ+ refugees. meet Shadi, from Syria. his story of coming to america after persecution from friends & family was such a jarring personification of queer resilience. i was so honored to meet him & his fiancé Ian, who couldn’t be more in love. we spent the day cooking foods from Syria, and talking about what it means to be both gay and a refugee in trump’s america. take some time today to watch the video & hear his perspective.
ANNOUNCING: 5calls.org/tyler . “you can't just have a gay community, & you can't just have straight allies... you have to be activists, there isn't any other way around it." -Christine Leinonon, mother of Pulse shooting victim Christopher "Drew" Leinonon . when i spent the day with Christine for my video about the Pulse Shooting i uploaded this week, i was so moved by the passion she had for LGBTQ+ activism. whether it was for preventing gun violence or supporting transgender student rights, she knew it was vital that we ALL get involved. that’s why this month, i’m super proud to collaboriate with one of my favorite websites, 5 Calls. it's a website that makes calling your local government representatives super easy & gives you a script based on what you're passionate about. . just use http://5calls.org/tyler to let your senators & representatives know you care about issues specific to the LGBTQ+ community. let me know if you try it out!! not scary at all.
tomorrow is the last day to get this week's limited edition merch for a cause!! it's the "Coming Together" design tee/sweater - with a portion of proceeds going to The Dru Project, in memory of a victim of the Pulse shooting, supporting their work of creating safe spaces in schools. hearing about Dru from his best friend & mom inspired me so much - he seemed like the type of person i would have been honored to be friends with. check out the five color options & get one before it's gone: represent.com/tyler 💖 (each week there will be a new limited edition design, created with a queer artist. this design was made by the incredible @heyrooney)
In Friday's new video [LINK IN BIO], I talk about the role of being a proverbial big brother here on the Internet, & what it means to have an LGBTQ+ chosen family online! I give y'all some advice on queer questions like how to not be awkward around straight guys, & how to deal with homophobic grandparents. I especially love when digital chosen families get chances to meet in person, & be just as unapologetically themselves - here's a picture from my summer camp (gocamp17.com if you wanna come in August!) of us living our damn lives!! Also, can't wait to see some of y'all at VidCon next week, I'm sure there will be some special moments for my chosen family there... stay tuned!! 💜
Today marks one year since the terrible anti-LGBTQ+, anti-Latinx mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. While visiting Orlando last month, I wanted to talk to community leaders who have been angels for the community when it needed them most. I spent time with Terry, who taught me about the importance of places like The Center, the local Orlando LGBTQ+ resource center. I hung out with an inspiring group of local queer kids to learn about The Zebra Coalition, which provides safe space/housing for LGBTQ+ youth in Orlando. In the spirit of “Keep Dancing, Orlando,” I ended my trip by hosting a drag show night with local queens, benefiting onePULSE Foundation, which provides financial assistance to those affected by the shooting. I’m so grateful for the love & openness I witnessed while visiting Orlando. To hear the stories & meet the people I experienced while visiting, check out the new mini-doc on my YouTube channel - link in my bio.