Creators on TikTok are building communities and creating content that empowers everyone to be unapologetically themselves. The next LGBTQ+ TikTok Trailblazer on our Creator Spotlight Series is emblematic of a generation that embraces exactly who they are. Meet @kennethpabon, a creator who is strong in his beliefs and confident in his style. His videos will make you laugh, all while giving you the tools to be an icon yourself.
Read more below about what Pride means to Kenneth, and how his journey to self-acceptance has inspired his content.
What does Pride mean to you? How has that meaning changed for you over time?
Growing up, I was riddled with anxiety during Pride month. For a long time, it was an overwhelming reminder that I had a secret and that I was not living authentically. Now, after being out for several years, it is my favourite time of the year. It is a time where I reflect on my personal growth, relationships and community. It is a time where I embrace and celebrate all aspects of what makes me me. I want to remind you all that we need to come to terms with our identity on our own timelines, and that's okay! Celebrate who you are and where you are in the meantime.
How has your identity influenced or shaped you?
When I began to embrace my own identity and sexuality, I became increasingly confident, specifically in experimenting with fashion. I can walk down the street (or my treadmill) in heels and a dress and feel just as comfortable as if I were to wear more typically masculine clothing. Understanding and accepting myself inspired me to empower others to do the same. Whether it is wearing what you feel best in or simply going against the norm, know that staying true to yourself is incredibly rewarding.
How do you celebrate the diversity/strength of (and also support) the LGBTQ+ community?
Each day I choose to be me, the real authentic me. This was made possible by so many notable others that have come before me to stand up for LGBTQ+ rights. I am so thankful to those who fought to be themselves, so that I can be myself. The best way to celebrate is to always be authentically true to myself, and guide others to do the same.
How has the TikTok community inspired you?
When I began using TikTok, I had no intention of doing it full time. It was a creative space and a much needed outlet for me during the pandemic. To my surprise, I found an entire community of accepting and relatable content and creators that I felt welcomed into during a time that was so isolating. It inspired me to do the same for others and create videos that remind you it is OK to stand out and the opinions of others should never stop you from living your truth.
What video are you most proud of creating?
One of my original "how to be iconic" videos with my mom. This was the moment where I found the most incredible audience of people who were looking for advice.
What are some content creation tips you would offer to other creators?
First off, make suyre you do what makes you happy. Don't just go with the trends and instead, create what resonates with you and people will follow. Post as much as possible -- you never know what's going to land. Make it fun, it shows through the app when you're having fun.
What advice would you give to the next generation of the LGBTQ+ community?
Be fearless. Don’t put weight on judgment from others. I promise it will pay off!
How do you think people can be allies to the LGBTQ+ community?
By normalizing everyone’s sexuality within the LGBTQ+ community. It should not be something to be afraid of, but instead embraced. My family and I always show that on my TikTok -- I believe my family’s radical acceptance of me is a crucial part of my personal growth and acceptance.
Who are some LGBTQ+ TikTok creators that everyone should be following/watching (and why)?
My favs (in no particular order):
@selyna.brillare will make you laugh at any given moment. Lewks, confidence, and laughs are always being radiated from this icon. My go to for when I’m feeling down!
@charlesgross, for all fashion and lifestyle content. Such a well-spoken creator who makes me feel more intelligent just by watching. He also has amazing storytimes about his high fashion lifestyle!
@aarontichenor, for the most out of pocket funny laughs. His sense of humor is so different yet so easy to watch. He creates a sense of acceptance without even talking about it, not to mention his ICONIC outfits that he wears everywhere. It’s truly inspiring.