There’s more to The Gay Beards than just glitter, flowers and artistic beard props. Check out the interview with Brian and Johnathan below.
OK, so if you’re like me, there’a a good chance that the first thing you notice about The Gay Beards is quite unsurprisingly, their beards. They are quite literally, works of art. Both guys rock impressively long beards.
Little did they know that by adding some glitter, flowers, food, paint and pretty much anything else you can think of to their beards, they would become major social media stars and creators of the glitter beard trend. But that’s exactly what happened.
Childhood friends Brian Delaurenti and Johnathan Dahl are The Gay Beards.
I recently had the chance to interview them and get to know a bit more about them. Part of me was curious about the artistry and the beauty of the images they create. If you follow them on social media, you’ll quickly see just how imaginative, creative and beautiful their images are.
But there was something more. One thing that really interested me (and it became apparent to me watching their YouTube videos actually), is that these guys are actually really authentic, free, out and proud. That struck me because we still unfortunately live in a world where those traits aren’t always celebrated as they should be.
Yet here you have two guys who are doing their own thing, having a great time doing it and taking the whole world along with them for a ride. I’m super happy Brian and Johnathan took the time to speak with me (thanks guys!), and I hope you enjoy the interview!
Little Gay Blog – When, how and why did you guys come with ‘The Gay Beards’?
We came up with the concept back in July of 2014 when our beards were only about 6 months old.
One day a good friend of ours was hanging with us in our garden (we are avid gardeners) and asked us to put some flowers in our beards so he could take some photos. Initially we were turned off by the idea, however after some coaxing, we gave in to his artistic demands. After seeing the images, we thought they were pretty rad and posted them to our personal social media accounts.
The response from our friends and family was overwhelming, and thus we began to wonder, what else can we put in our beards? From that point on, the rest was history.
As for the “why?” – Johnathan and I have always been creative souls that feed off of one another’s passions. We wanted to create a brand that represented positivity, humour and encouragement for others to go out and be whoever it is that would make them happy.
As long as we helped even one person to smile, that was a job well done for us.
Beards are hugely popular at the moment. Have you guys always been into beards – and given that so many trends fade over time, what sort of future do you see for beards?
Beards are indeed quite the hot commodity these days. With that being said though, both of us suspect their trendiness won’t be going away anytime soon. Often beards are associated with the “hipster” movement, however even Abe Lincoln rocked a beard.
Perhaps they may not be a topic of conversation for the next decade to come, but at some point or another every man (and even a few woman) are curious about growing a beard.
As for us, we just want to encourage everyone and anyone to give it a try. Plus, regardless of their popularity, they keep your face warm in the winter and protect from sun in the summer!
I love your YouTube videos. You guys are really funny, and it’s so great to see gay guys being authentic and just who they are. How important do you think it is for people to be ‘out and proud’?
Sexuality aside, each person on this earth has a set of traits and characteristics that make them unique and special. Too often people are pressured into hiding what makes them an individual because they are fearful that others will reject them for doing so.
Both of us think it’s crucial that people (particularly young people) recognise that their happiness should always be the utmost priority. In turn, we would agree that being happy usually is preceded by living freely and being proud of exactly the way you are.
Do you guys ever receive any hate or negativity online, and what advice would you have for guys, especially younger gay guys, about how best to respond?
When starting The Gay Beards we both knew that eventually there would be individuals out there that didn’t like what we were doing. As expected, we got quite a bit of pushback from the online community – particularly, from heterosexual bearded men.
Both of us are lucky in the way that we have never taken ourselves very seriously, and because of that, negativity from others doesn’t tend to bother us much. With that being said, we don’t assume or expect others to be as thick skinned.
For us, we always assume that no matter what avenue or direction you take in life, someone is always going to critique you or try and tare you down. It might sound cliche, but typically when someone is attempting to lessen the value of your pursuit, it is their own self that actually carries the insecurity or self-doubt.
For that reason, and that reason alone, our advice is to simply let their negativity be without any response or focus. Giving into their hatred will only fuel their fire, and to be honest, that isn’t fair for you or the next person who has to be at the end of their frustration.
Where will ‘The Gay Beards’ be in 5 years time?
That is a great question, and honestly, one that we don’t have a solid answer to. Life is often mysterious and unpredictable, and because of that, our future remains unknown. It’s a part of life that is terrifying, however also very exciting.
One thing we know for sure is that whatever we are doing, it will be filled with creating, laughing, and looking back with no regrets.
Favourite movie of all time?
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.
Last book you read?
This House of Sky by Ivan Doig (Brian) – The Martian (Johnathan).
Best beard grooming advice you ever received?
Patience. Patience. Patience. Also, shampoo, condition, oil, balm, moustache wax and hairspray. In that order.
Worst beard grooming advice you ever received?
The longer the better. Not every beard is created equal, and after a certain length, some beards just don’t look that great. Keep it full, healthy, and regularly trimmed. It’ll make everyone (including yourself) appreciate your beard so much more.
“I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
– Robert Frost