Hi there! I am following several you tubers, whose life stories I am interested in. Often writers look for inspiration, and I realized that these public figures are an incredible source of storylines. Here’s my selection of the most raw and memorable videos I’ve come across.
I’m HIV+ (48hrs After Finding Out). I am new to this youtuber and I am not sure I will be following him from now on, but I stumbled on this video and couldn’t believe the attitude of this person after finding out about a terminal illness. I personally think that HIV is the scariest thing ever. When I first watched the musical Rent, I couldn’t finish it. I walked out of the room about 3/4 to the end of the movie, sat in the corner and rocked myself in shock and tears. That’s why I expected anyone who just found out about being HIV positive to be equally in pieces. This guy completely shocked me, because his reaction went against all my expectations. At the end of the day, when your worst nightmare becomes true, it no longer has power over you. Listen to what he says about not being hostage to fear and shame, I think it is priceless for anyone.
A Very Personal Story by Wane Goss. I have been following Wane for about 2 years now, off and on. Sometimes I’d remember about him and wonder what’s he up to, and binge on the recent videos. I grew to know Wane’s story well enough. Wane is a makeup artist, and from what I can tell, a genuinely nice person. Wane knows makeup, no doubt about that. But outside of makeup, he has a lot to offer. And this particular video speaks volumes to it. Wane came from humble circumstances, growing up in poverty, angry and dissatisfied. That’s until he came across makeup. In one of his videos, he literally says that the first makeup job he has done made him happy for the first time. To me this particular video is about judgment mistakes and wrong first impressions. We easily dismiss people as shallow or any other stereotype that fits the moment, but we don’t know what it’s like to walk in someone’s shoes. There is always more to every person than meets the eye, and Wane’s story is a great testament to it.
By the way, the subject reminded me another profound account of being poor by one of my most read sci fi writers John Scalzi. Scalzi is a known humorist and sarcastic goofball (said in a loving tone), but this serious poem about being poor, inspired by the aftermath of Katrina, will strike you to the core. Everyone should read it. Being Poor.
I Hate Being Transgender by Chloe Arden. I came across Chloe’s blog accidentally and this is the first video I’ve seen of her. I came to find out that Chloe is an amazing singer, like, really, mind-blowing, with the huge vocal range. Check out her video Gravity, if you are interested. What touched me in this particular video, and in the whole issue of transgender topic in general, is the struggle of these people to discover themselves, to be themselves, and to express themselves, to fit in. I am drawn to these stories so much because they inspire me, and in a weird way I can relate to them. Although I am not a transgender person, I am too looking for myself, rediscovering myself, fighting against my own demons and dysphorias, although it is not about my gender, but it is nonetheless about who I am and who I want to be. This is not the most profound video about a transgender person, but this one offers raw, detailed perspective, which non-transgender people wouldn’t know. And this is another thing about trans people that I find important. For anyone, who does not experience gender dysphoria, there is no frame of reference in personal experiences of what it’s like. Normally when confronted with something new, we look for a familiar experience in our personal life. Often it is a mistake, because we assume that we know how other people feel. Stories of transgender people made me pause and listen, instead of doing that parallel talking in my head. I think this is a useful skill in general that everyone, especially writers, can benefit from. Why especially writers? Because if we listen to the people carefully, we will catch subtleties that normally elude us, making us fill in the gaps with some default parts that live in our head, falling for a familiar character trope. In other words, active listening can help writers to create unique characters. Sometimes authors are accused that all heir characters are basically the same character, and much like the author herself. Well, that’s because we shut down active listening and let ourselves speak from our own experiences.Try to listen to Chloe’s account without judgment and see where it takes you.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Did you like the videos? Did you find the stories interesting? How did you feel about them?
Thanks for reading and see you around!