T.A., 22, He/Him/His

How do the media’s images of queerness relate to your own life? Do you see yourself in the media’s visions of queerness?

I don’t really see all of my experience reflected in the media. But that’s fine. I can relate to pieces of people like Kid Fury and Crissle of The Read who grew up as queer, black kids in the south. I can relate to pieces of Frank Ocean as a man who has had experiences with both men and women. I can relate to pieces of Janet Mock who has publicly acknowledged her privilege of passing. I’m definitely grateful to all these people, as they have collectively given me the confidence to come out and the power to become comfortable in my own skin. Yes, sometimes I wish that I saw my specific experience reflected in the media, but that’s alright. Maybe I can be a piece of someone else’s unique experience one day.

Do advertisements that feature queer/trans people make you want to support or buy those products?

Definitely, but that person has to have morals that align with mine also. Like, I’m not going to support a brand just because Caitlyn Jenner is on board.

Do you think brands who only release LGBTQ campaigns during Pride season are sincere in their support?

I think that many companies are mainly being smart about their business because they know the value of the queer dollar. So I appreciate companies showing support (genuine or not), but I definitely take it with a grain of salt.

Are you worried about your queerness hindering your getting a job?

Not necessarily. As a cis, masculine man, many people don’t realize that I’m queer unless I disclose it to them. With that being said, I realize that I’m extremely privileged in this way.