Rising Rainbows is a collaboration series created by YouTube star Davey Wavey, and proudly supported by us here at BBTV. Davey is one of the biggest online voices in the LGBTQ space, bringing awareness and advocacy to a number of issues within the community. Through the Rising Rainbows Scholarship, Davey is looking to put the spotlight on up-and-coming LGBTQ creators who exemplify the importance of being true to oneself, and sharing one’s experiences authentically and inspiringly. One by one, he’s flying a select few to film with him in LA, featuring them on his main channel with nearly one million subscribers tuning in. After collaborating with JD Dalton on the series’ first installment back in December, Davey returns this week with the scholarship’s second recipient – Darnelle Scott. Check out their collaboration videos and our behind-the-scenes look below.
Darnelle is a transgender female YouTuber in her final year of nursing school in Missouri. Her channel features her signature confessional vlogs, beauty tutorials, and much more. Inspired by earlier transgender pioneers like Gigi Gorgeous, Darnelle wanted to share her own experiences in the hopes of showing others it’s okay to be themselves. She sat down with us after filming with Davey to share her experiences with Rising Rainbows and tell us a bit more about herself.
In a few sentences, how would you sum up your channel?
My channel is focused around beauty and lifestyle. I do beauty tutorials and make videos about things pertinent to my lifestyle. I also do vlogs where I show most of what I do in my life.
What inspired you to start a channel on YouTube? Did you look up to any YouTubers in particular?
Numerous people inspired me to make YouTube videos such as iJustine, Gigi Gorgeous, and Elle Fowler. I really look up to Gigi because she has made me so much more comfortable being transgender. I wanted to start a YouTube channel because I wanted to share my story and help people like she has.
How do you decide what kind of videos you want to film each month?
Basically it’s random ideas that come to my mind. If I see something on the internet I like, for instance a makeup look, I will try to put my own twist on it. Most of the videos I make are viewer-requested. I do have a set schedule but the video ideas are pretty random, though they all center around lifestyle and beauty.
2015 was a pretty big year for the visibility of the transgender community. Have you found this visibility to have any effect on your own life?
My family has begun to really understand what I am going through because of Caitlyn Jenner (my family still has a way to go). Having someone who almost everyone knows come out is really inspiring to me. There is so much work still to be done though!
You’ve talked about not having many places to turn or seeing a major public presence from the transgender community when you were facing your own identity questions. What does it mean to you now to be a public community voice, especially for teens?
I think it is so awesome that I can help other LGBT community members. I know what it is like to have no one. Even if I can help just one person, that is absolutely amazing to me. The public needs more people like me to spread the message and stand up for the rights of the LGBT community.
Was it the same desire to help people that made you want to become a nurse?
Yes, I have always wanted to help people. I have a caring personality. I have had some awkward experiences with health care personnel not particularly being okay with me being trans. I think it is very important that people have health care workers out there that they can turn to who understand.
How did you manage to juggle filming with school? What’s your routine like on filming/editing days?
I find myself having to pre-film videos because nursing school takes so much out of me. My routine on Sunday’s is to wake up early, do my makeup, and start filming! I film up to three videos at once that I will set to publish later that week. It’s the only way to juggle school and YouTube and still provide fresh content to my viewers.
How did you first hear about the Rising Rainbows Program, and what made you want to apply?
I heard about it on Davey’s YouTube channel. I wanted to apply because I had a story to share. I wanted to share it with people like me. There aren’t many people in my life here in Missouri who understand what I am going through. I want to be heard, just as all of us do.
How are you preparing for the extra attention that comes with being in a Davey Wavey video?
I am kind of scared, haha. Just like anyone would be. It’s like walking into a stadium, auditorium, etc. and having to speak to 1000s of people. Eventually you get used to it but at first it’s overwhelming. So, I’m ready to take it on as it comes.
Being comfortable in your skin, and authentic in who you are, is something that shines through in your videos. What do you have to say to people out there trying to come to terms with their own identities?
For me, it took years and years to arrive at where I am now in terms of my identity. I went through so much depression and unhappiness that it is really unreal. I think it’s very important to sit down with yourself and really self-reflect. You don’t have to become comfortable overnight. I didn’t. Becoming 100% who you are is a scary task. There will come a day where you are just okay with yourself. You will know it when it comes. Even though you may not be okay right now, KNOW it will change. Your life will change. It does get better.
What’s next for Darnelle? Any future projects or goals for 2016 you want to share with your fans?
In 2016, I plan to graduate nursing school and move somewhere away from here! My fans should expect new fresh videos. I do plan on doing more collabs with other YouTubers this summer, so they should look out for that! I think more great opportunities will come in the future, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Finally, in the spirit of Rising Rainbows, is there another YouTuber out there who you’d like to shout out to?
I would like to give a shout-out to danielxmiller on YouTube! He has told so many awesome and empowering stories that should get more recognition! Sidebar: He’s really cute too, haha!
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