Cy Nguyen is a queer, Vietnamese-American content creator, known as @cylovesfrogs on TikTok, who loves all things creative, especially food that honors her culture, lifestyle, beauty, and of course, frogs. From simple recipes to elaborate coffee videos, she is also passionate about normalizing conversations around mental health and intersectional LGBTQ+ topics.
What is the story behind your username?
I have always had an affinity for frogs, and I guess more generally, I've always had an affinity for things that potentially are considered gross or disgusting. Since I was a child, I was mesmerized by the idea of a frog's metamorphosis from a tadpole, which is also kind of emblematic of the queer community. Also, frogs are really popular now and I'm so glad they're getting the love that they deserve.
What does it mean to you to be part of the LGBTQ+ community?
The LGBTQ+ community is so much more to me than just a label for a group of people. Instead, it's a family. Without the encouragement and support of the queer community, I wouldn't be here--plain and simple.
Not only does being part of the queer community mean valuing and uplifting other members of this community around me, but also it means honoring the history and the long line of people who have fought for our rights. Queer BIPOC communities have sacrificed so much to make it possible for people like me to not only exist, but to truly thrive. And paying homage is important to me as a young queer individual.
How has the TikTok community inspired you?
TikTok has given me the opportunity to unabashedly lean into my identity and to immerse myself with incredibly different, diverse walks of life. Never before have I ever felt so welcomed, accepted, and understood. I never expected to find a safe space within the TikTok community. I am so grateful to be part of this diverse group that inspires me to wear my labels with pride and to unapologetically and authentically live my life.
How have you built and maintained a community on TikTok?
I always try to represent myself, and honor the many communities that I'm a part of authentically. Through my content on TikTok, I've been able to build a community and connect with wonderful people who are likeminded and always ready to enjoy the little wonders in life with me!
What is your favorite TikTok video that you've created and why?
I shared a video where I made a lap xuong dish while I spoke about my experiences with food as an Asian-American person. The video is a little heavier than the rest of my videos, but I was able to be vulnerable with the TikTok community. This helped me connect with others around similar topics and experiences, which has been so meaningful to me.
What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?
The best piece of advice I ever received is to not set yourself on fire to keep others warm. Being a part of so many communities, as a queer and Vietnamese-American person, there's a sense of camaraderie and I'm heavily involved in these communities. But for a really long time, I overextended myself. I set myself on fire. I made myself smaller. I did whatever it was to support others and keep them warm, but I forgot to look after myself at the same time. I always try to keep this mantra in mind.