Isaam Sharef | Artist| Youtuber| Writer
Identity with LGBTQ Community
1. What does Pride mean to you?
Pride for me is loving me for exactly who I am. Despite the many ways people and society try to tell me otherwise, I take tremendous pride in myself and in my contributions to all the communities that I belong to.
2. Describe your relationship with the LGBTQ+ community, how close are you to it?
I work very closely to the LGBTQ+ community. whether it be in my role as an Outreach Worker in one of the leading HIV clinics in my community, or within the content, I create specifically for the LGBTQ+ community through my youtube channel, and mainly through my web series GAY CODE
3. What’s do you appreciate about being LGBTQ?
I appreciate the freedom and acceptance of oneself that gives people who are not within the community the permission to do the same. BE FREE, AND LOVE THEMSELVES.
4. What’s the number 1 misconception that grinds your ears about the LGBTQ community?
The idea of us as predators and sexual deviants.
5. I quite don’t understand this about our community, but I want to know more?
I don’t quite get “gender non-conforming” individuals. I haven’t wrapped my mind entirely around it. While it seems to be gender non-conforming, usually when I see it represented, I see someone who is conforming to a female aesthetic. I see individuals completely immersed in femininity and what that looks like to them.
6. Describe your coming out process in 3 words or less?
Forced, isolating, complicated
7. Who was the first out person you met, how did they impact your life?
The first out gay person I met was my cousin. She identified as bisexual, and while we never had any conversations about my sexuality, I saw a life for me, through her example, of everything that was available to me. That included a relationship, love, happiness, and success.
8.Any advice for those struggling with coming out?
Take away the pressure of having to explain or define your sexuality. It’s yours and you have to figure it out for yourself. True …coming out, give people permission to do the same, but you must explore all parts of your sexuality before u can clearly identify yourself…and remember….no one comes out as straight….so don’t feel the pressure to come out. You do it for you….and no one else
9 I feel most confident about “……….”
My capabilities……and they are endless.
10 What would you tell your younger gay self?
Focus on school…..clubs, pride parades, boys are fun and cute, but baby, you can avoid a lot of bullshit if you focus on education. Get your degree, figure out what your contribution is supposed to be now, not later…get that money…success is waiting for you.