Moving to L.A. was scary. Not necessarily fear, but more like nervous excitement of the unfamiliar. Nervous about leaving behind a community that I had been in my entire life. I thought that I was looking for a community like that here. But I was wrong. To find what I was looking for meant not looking for the Denver scene in L.A. So I opened up to what the fresh flavor of SoCal’s queer community could bring! Enter Robyn Vie-Carpenter. An always smiling face to sherpa me in to the creative industry synonymous with Los Angeles: Queer style!!
Team Socialite has given me the opportunity to attend QueerX, OutFest, and the AT&T Filmmaker Mentorship Program. Looking back on all of these events, every experience has been inspiring, beautiful, heartening, and TONS OF FUN!!! I have made a TOP 8 (my favorite number) of what I have loved about being a part of #teamsocialite and being a part of these remarkable events. Through my queer lens; Let’s get into it!
8. Queer-friendly L.A. landmarks– From The London West Hollywood hotel, the Chinese Mann theatres, and Whisky a Go-Go to name a few. It has been really heartwarming to see so much wide spread acceptance from some of these famous L.A staples.
7. Sharing the Red Carpet glam! – Being my first year in L.A., home of the stars, the red carpet moments in Hollywood have been pretty exciting! And all the better to have so many beautiful queer creatives to talk to! Opportunities to stand face to face with Kathy Griffin, Dascha Polanco and many new and familiar faces: Marvelous!
6. All the free food and drinks! – Because..obviously. That being said, a few more vegan options at these things wouldn’t hurt. Just sayin.
5. Seeing queer visibility in music- Growing up, I’ve seen more queer acceptance on screen than I’ve ever seen on stage. That is all changing now. Watching artists like Davy Boi, Jordy and Pinkfly breaking far too long-held barriers on stage at Whisky was astounding.
4. Watching all of these films! – I have never considered myself to be a truly dedicated cinephile, but my love for a well done film is deep. Luckily, I saw aplenty throughout these events! My favorites were the many varying short films that I don’t imagine I would have had the chance to see without this fortuity. The brilliant talent that is housed in so many amazing people is simply remarkable. A fitting welcome to Tinseltown!
3. Front row seat to queer evolution – I know it sounds cliche to say that this is the voice of our future, but, it’s true. The fact of the matter is that entertainment plays a big role in where we absorb information from. Thus, it’s important to know who is telling the story. The “winners” historically tell the stories. These films and music artists are definitely showcasing the winners among this community.
2. Inner Inspiration – I know that this one could be pretty similar to #3, but I feel like the talent cannot be overstated. People here in L.A have a lot to show the world. Nothing more than what can be accomplished through dedication to your dream.
Whatever they must devote and give of themselves to tell a story that needs to be told, is given. By so many of the people here and from all over the world that come here. Queer people are stepping on the succ-esscalator towards whatever level or type of success they are hoping for. That is a dazzling reality to be in.
1. Getting to meet a long time hero – I must say that putting these experiences in any kind of order was really futile because without any of them, none of the rest could have taken place. But, sitting down to write this, one thing came to me with complete clarity. My number one was getting to meet and speak with Buck Angel. Working in adult stores in the earlyish 2000’s was when I first heard about a trans male adult film star. Here was this absolutely stunning, muscular, passing man making himself extremely vulnerable in every kind of way!
Just learning about transgender as a young queer, Buck touched me with his strength and thanks to Outfest and Team Socialite I was able to shake his hand, share a few laughs and express to him how much his presence really meant to my understanding of all aspects of the queer community.
That’s it! You can find out more about these fantastic events here. https://www.queerx.com/, https://festival.outfest.org/2019/, https://www.revolt.tv/news/2019/11/12/20961853/lena-waithe-att-filmmaker-mentorship-program .Thanks for sticking with me and I can’t wait to see, and tell you all about what’s next!