Love it or hate it, Instagram is a part of modern media — and for some members of the LGBT community, that means greater exposure with every filtered pic they post. Who are some of these IG movers and shakers actively working to have all eyes on them? Meet a few of my favorites right here.
Name, occupation, age: Chris Salvatore, actor/singer, 30. ChrisSalvatore.com.
IG Handle: @ChrisSalvatore
# of Followers: 98K
Name five character traits your ideal dude must have. They have to have a sense of humor first and foremost. I would also like them to not be shy when it comes to decision-making time, like where to go on dates. I like to be with someone who is confident in himself. I like good kissers, too! Sexual chemistry is important to me. Also, I am 6-foot-3, so ideally someone around my height I find makes things better.
Where’s your favorite place to kick it in L.A.? This is gonna be such a dad answer, but probably the dog park. My furry child, Bobby, has a lot of energy and needs to run free. There’s also a lot going on at dog parks, which can be highly entertaining.
What’s your next project? I will be joining the cast of The Horizon, an Australian webseries, which is kind of like Queer as Folk. We start filming this summer!
Name, occupation, age: Shakeia McCall-Barnes, comedian/speaker/educator. KiaComedy.com.
IG Handle: @KiaComedy
# of Followers: 7.3K
Who are a few of your comedy idols? Some of my comedy idols are Melissa McCarthy, Eddie Murphy, Rickey Smiley and Wanda Sykes, because they all started off doing open-mic standup comedy and were able to turn that into amazing careers in entertainment. They also took risks and stayed true to themselves, and the world fell in love with their comedy. They have influenced me the most, because their stories and careers encourage me to continue to do what I do.
Favorite sitcom of all time? My favorite sitcom of all time is The Cosby Show, regardless of Bill Cosby’s fall from grace. It showcased a successful and diverse family and addressed difficult issues and concerns, but still managed to be hilarious. Who didn’t want to be Rudy, Theo or Denise Huxtable in the ’90s?
Funniest movie of all time? The funniest movie of all time is absolutely Forrest Gump! The way it comically juxtaposes real-life issues like war, racism, death and American history while still cracking my side makes it the winner in my book!
Name. occupation, age: Connor Franta, YouTuber, 22.YouTube.com/ConnorFranta.
IG Handle: @ConnorFranta
# of Followers: 3.4M
Why do you think you appeal to so many online/social media users? I think people are attracted to normal people doing great things. I get inspired every single day by my YouTube friends dominating everything from the music industry to the fashion industry. We’re at the brink of a new era where anyone, including you reading this article, can achieve great things — all you need is an Internet connection.
How do you keep your YouTube content dynamic and intriguing? Variety and consistency is key in keeping your audience engaged with your creations. I never want to fall into a cycle of uploading videos I feel aren’t somewhat unique to me or unique to the space. I’m always trying to add a bit of flare and a twist to my content to keep my viewers interested.
Who are some of your favorite YouTubers? I’m a huge fan of the entire YouTube community. Each creator brings his or her own strengths to the table. Currently, I’m particularly captivated by what Joe Sugg, Marques Brownlee, Natalie Tran and Casey Neistat are creating. It’s all so good!
Name, occupation, age: Patrick Janelle, co-founder of Spring Street Social Society & The Liquor Cabinet, 33. SSSSociety.com
IG Handle: @AGuyNamedPatrick
# of Followers: 382K
You were recently awarded the first Council of Fashion Designers of America Fashion Instagrammer of the Year Award. To what do you owe that honor? I won the award for the Instagram work I did with the Thom Browne team, integrating the designer’s pieces into my lifestyle over the series of two weeks after I was nominated. The nomination itself was a huge surprise, and I’m not actually sure how the CFDA found out about me — but I couldn’t be happier!
Tell me a bit about Spring Street Society. Spring Street Social Society started as a series of cabaret shows in my backyard at the time, which was on Spring Street in SoHo. It has since become a series of different types of events, including dinners and social salons in empty buildings around Manhattan. We’ve also grown a membership following, in which guests can apply to become members for exclusive access to some of our activities. The events are always different, but some things stay the same: the location is announced the morning of the event, performances are an integral part of each gathering, and no two events are ever the same. Oh, and there are always cocktails.
Which is a good segue to the next question: What’s the Liquor Cabinet all about? The Liquor Cabinet is a company I founded with my two brothers. We are developing an app and a website that will act as the authoritative place to get information about liquor and cocktails. As a culture, we are increasingly interested in the origin of what we eat and drink, but this type of information for liquor is either untrustworthy or hard to locate. We aim to be the go-to destination whether you’re looking for cocktail recipes or general information about a spirit you’d like to learn more about.
Name, occupation, age: Malcolm René Ribot, freelance graphic designer, 26. YouTube.com/GorillaShrimp.
IG Handle: @GorillaShrimp
# of Followers: 11.6K
Who is your favorite superhero? Captain America.
What’s on your summer playlist? A whole lot of indie folk.
What advice do you have for other trans boys, girls, men and women who may be having a hard time right now? Trust the process, stay positive, and have patience with yourself and others. Embrace each step forward, and celebrate them. It really is a beautiful journey.
Names, occupation, age: Luke & Adam Monastero, twin YouTubers, 22. YouTube.com/TheMonasteroTwins.
IG Handles: @MyNameIsLuke, @Adamonastero
# of Followers: Luke, 4K; Adam; 6.4K
Which one of you is older? Adam: Luke is older by two minutes, which doesn’t bother me — but the fact that he’s an inch taller does a little.
Ever had a crush on your brother’s date/boyfriend? Luke: No, I don’t think that would never happen because Adam likes younger guys and I like older guys.
Using only three adjectives, describe your brother. Adam: Funny, sociable and trustworthy. Luke: Creative, ambitious and very articulate.
— Mikey Rox