On Snapchat's groundbreaking Snap Original series Coming Out, each episode highlights a young person sharing the next milestone in their coming-out journey!
Produced by Chloe Grace Moretz and 44 Blue Productions, each episode of the social media giant's six-part show concludes with a swipe-up to The Trevor Project, with whom Snap has a partnership, so viewers can find more LGBTQ+ resources. But consistent throughout the show is the host, Manny MUA, the gay, genderfluid beauty expert, founder, and CEO of Lunar Beauty. Born Manny Gutierrez, the beauty vlogger started out on YouTube where he still influences young kids of all genders with his down-to-earth beauty realism. But with Coming Out, he gets to celebrate and mentor young people going through their own coming-of-age transitions. We asked him about his own journey to where he is today.
Out: I love that you're both Mormon and Mexican-American, yet your family is accepting of you being gay and a beauty icon. Can you talk about what that support has meant to you and if it was organic or had to be something your family worked at?
Manny MUA: I'm so blessed to have my family supporting me. Supporting each other has never been hard for us at all as I grew up very close with my family, so it's always been a no-brainer to help one another and I'm so happy and grateful my parents work with me every day on my brand Lunar Beauty.
Part of my family is Latinx and the machismo culture is strong. Did you encounter that around your gender expression and using makeup and femme stuff?
Absolutely! Machismo is very common in Latino culture, and I dealt with it first-hand as well. It was tough because I've never been the macho type or a "guy's guy." I wanted to play with girls and I didn't have many straight male friends. But I just tried to stay true to myself and my passion for makeup.
As a queer beauty blogger, I'm assuming you have had to overcome the usual coming out stuff, but also the sort of hypermasculine pressure in the gay community. What's that been like?
Oh, the masc for masc gays are out here. [He laughs.] It's crazy how you can feel ostracized from your own community -- like, you're telling me there are queer people who won't like you for being "too queer?" It's crazy, to be honest, but as long as you're confident and happy, who really cares what other people think? You've got to focus on finding your tribe and people who love you for you.
You went from college to a beauty brand leader with millions of followers and the first male Maybelline ambassador in less than a decade. Can you tell me a bit about that journey?
It has been the craziest journey ever. And way too long to even try to explain. [He laughs.] To go from a college kid to a beauty guru is a massive jump and it all feels like a blur, to be honest. It feels like when I was in college it was another lifetime -- like I didn't really live that life. It's so weird to explain. I'm grateful for that journey though because it shaped me to be who I am.
How did you get involved in Snapchat's Coming Out?
It was my team who really made it happen. My manager kept fighting for me to have a show with Snapchat, so when this opportunity came it felt like fate. To help people along their coming-out journey? Sign me up! Helping people come into their own is such a rewarding feeling that I cherish.
In the series, you are almost like a Queer Eye guide to these 6 young people who are coming out in some way. Did you feel like you were far enough away from your own experiences to offer advice and reassurance?
I did actually. I felt like I was able to help guide and give advice when I could because I'm so grounded in who I am now, and I've had such a hard ride for my own coming-out experience that I truly felt like I could help and make a difference for these young people.
Did you work closely with Chloe Grace Moretz or was she just the silent producer?
She was working behind the scenes a bit more since she was filming in London when we were shooting the show, but I got a few FaceTimes with her and she is marvelous. Hearing her story about her brothers and their coming-out experiences really resonated with me. Her whole family is incredible.
Why should older folks watch this series? Or should they? Is it just for young people?
I think this show is for all ages and all walks of life. Getting to see other people's experiences helps with our natural ability to sympathize and empathize with others and relate to them on a human level. I think all of us, no matter the age, can have wonderful takeaways from this experience and hearing these stories.
You can watch the Snap Original series Coming Out on Snapchat's Discover!
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