Playlist Live is just around the corner and we’re excited for all our amazing creators repping the #BBTVFam this May in Orlando! Justin Gerhard, host of The Gay Men Channel, is headed to Playlist Live for the first time and gave us the scoop on how his growing YouTube stardom has changed his life. Check out what Justin had to say for our Playlist Live Q&A series below!!
For viewers who aren’t already familiar with your content, what is your channel all about? Tell us a bit about yourself.
The Gay Men Channel is a network whose purpose is to bring more visibility to the LGBTQ+ community, creating content that showcases diversity, equality, humour, acceptance, and love. I release my vlog #GAYFORJUSTIN every week, and it covers everything from coming out, sounding too gay, discussing current events and pop culture, philosophy, sex education, and everything in between. I want everyone to learn something when they watch my videos, whether you are gay, straight, bi, trans, Christian, Muslim, Chinese, or Russian, and everything in between. In addition to my vlogs, I make music videos, short films, skits, and sketches – all catered to sharing stories about the lives of people who live in, or who are connected to the LGBTQ+ community.
What has been the biggest change in your life since becoming a YouTuber?
The biggest change I’ve noticed is being recognized, even here in Toronto. I love meeting the people who watch the channel and finally seeing what they are like in real life. I also feel a stronger sense of responsibility to keep creating gay content when I hear about the struggles my viewers are going through. I get messages from people all over the world, telling me about their struggles living as a gay person in places that aren’t as accepting as North America. I do my best to respond to everyone, though that part can be challenging at times. I also recognize that I am now a public figure for my community and everything I do is a representation of that community. I take that responsibility very seriously, and feel honoured to represent one of the most beautiful groups of people the world has ever seen!
What’s your favourite video (that you created)? Why?
My favourite video is a series I did with my parents about coming out. My sister is a lesbian, my brother is bi, and I’m gay, so it’s a very colourful family. I did a three-part series with my parents interviewing them before we came out, then another interview when we all came out, and the last was after we all came out – it dealt with how their feelings changed throughout the entire process. I’m incredibly proud of my parents for being advocates for the LGBTQ+ community because I think it’s so important for other parents and friends to see how they were able to accept all of their kids regardless of sexual orientation. We ended the series with a “It Gets Better” video with my entire family, which was always one of my dreams!
What do you want to say to the people watching your channel?
Keep an open mind and heart. Life is about learning and growing. We are constantly course-correcting, making mistakes, learning from them, and continuing to move forward. I want my viewers to feel represented and feel they have a safe place to explore different sides of their personality. Being gay is not as stereotypical as it was once labelled. It’s become one of the most diverse communities of people in the world.
Is this your first time attending Playlist Live? If not what’s your favorite memory from last year?
Yes, this is my first time going to Playlist, and I’ve heard amazing things from other people who have gone in past years.
How excited are you for Playlist Live? What are you looking forward to the most?
I’m so excited to be surrounded by fellow creators, networking, having a blast in the sunshine, going to Harry Potter Land, and connecting with people from around the world. Bring it on Playlist!!!!!