For gay rights activist Carlos Brandt, visibility is an essential part towards achieving equality. Check out the Carlos Brandt interview here.
In many ways, it makes sense that the Miami-based Carlos Brandt would advocate for increased visibility, education and access to information as key ways of achieving gay rights. His professional background is in PR and communication, incorporating brand visibility next to viral marketing, campaigns and communications media.
Utilising his professional experience, Carlos has created an amazing social media platform, (including a recently launched YouTube channel), to advocate for the issues he believes in. (You can find all the links to Carlos’ social media platforms at the end of the interview).
One of the things I really like about Carlos’ approach is that it’s a lot more subtle and nuanced than the ‘angry activist’ tone that some people take. That is an effective strategy that may work for some people and I’m not in any way criticising or judging that approach. It’s just that Carlos’ approach also seems to work.
What shines through with Carlos is still a powerful message, yet it’s presented in a way that feels like a genuine, honest and thoughtful expression of who he truly is. Perhaps that’s what makes his message so powerful, and this brand of activism so effective and accessible to so many people all around the world.
And activism, whether it’s for the gay community, women’s rights or refugees and immigrants, is now at the political forefront more than ever in the Trump Era.
Perhaps some of us thought the fight was over, or at least almost won. Or perhaps we thought that gay rights were an inevitable eventuality, one that we didn’t have to actually go out and fight for. And perhaps some of us were lulled into a false sense of security that once we attain rights, they can’t be taken away from us.
If we thought those things before, I think many of us have now, woken the fuck up.
So, I wanted to reach out to Carlos to find out more about what it means to an activist in these somewhat paradoxical, confusing and yes, even scary times, what his thoughts on the future direction of the gay movement are, and I also learnt more about a really cool project he’s working on too. Check out the interview below.
Carlos Brandt interview:
Little Gay Blog – Thanks for your time Carlos. You’re an LGBTIQ activist. What made you decide to become an activist in the first place?
Visibility. We need more faces, we need as a community, be out there making noise and I wanna be part of that noise.
I came from a culture where being LGBTIQ is just wrong. It’s just a vox populi secret that no one talk about. In Latin America there are just a few role models to look up to, plus an ideology full of stereotypes. That made me realise that more than ever, we need to show our faces.
I want to do everything to change the game and scream “We are here, we are not going anywhere”.
While a lot of progress has been made in terms of gay rights in recent years, there’s still a lot to keep fighting for. In your opinion, what are some of the most important issues facing the gay community at the moment?
Violence and discrimination.
Yes, it’s 2017 and we’re still talking and fighting about this. The LGBT community experience high rates compared to straight cisgender people and meanwhile we are living a “gender revolution”, transgender rights is another subject over the table.
Job discrimination for sexual orientation or gender identity still lack of federal protection and it’s here where the people – you and me – need to take over and do something.
One issue within the gay community is that of apathy. It seems that many in the gay community either don’t want to fight for our rights, or don’t know how to. What advice would you give to someone thinking about getting involved about how they can actually start?
The reason behind marriage equality being legal in our country today is because of a riot that start in 1969. Going through Marsha P. Johnson, Harvey Milk and so many others, we are here thanks to them.
We are the fighters of the next generation. We are the future of those that are growing up to live in a world with less prejudice and more acceptance.
We need to realise that getting involved is the key to the change. People can start in their own communities, their own neighbourhoods or with friends and spread in a local way, what is happening in the LGBT community.
Share your story. Social media is another way to express yourself, that’s in your hands. It’s free and it can reach the entire world. Maybe you can save a life or inspire someone.
Information is the key. Human Rights Campaign have one of the most complete sites about LGBT issues and offer many ways to be involved.
Can you tell me more about your own Zero LGBT project?
ZERO is a project that I’ve been working on this past year. Talking about that visibility, I want to create a coffee table book showing the faces that are doing something for our community.
Education is the key, Information is a bridge. We know the famous ones, but what about those behind the desk of a non profit organisation fighting for our rights or that transgender military person that is fighting for our country?
I want to tell stories and inspire others to realise that we have to be together and fight together. The book will be out in 2018 (or maybe a little earlier).
I’ve been working on a t-shirt line called “BECAUSE I AM” to create social awareness about LGBT rights around the world. The profit from the sales of each shirt will be gifted to different organisations. Check my social media for updates about it! (Links at the bottom of the article).
And lastly, here are 5 quick and personal questions for you:
Last TV show you binge watched?
RuPaul Drag Race all over.
How would your best friend describe you in 3 words?
Creative, multitasking and foolish
What’s the last book you read?
The Velvet Rage by Alan Downs
#1 destination on your bucket list?