We’re celebrating Pride on TikTok this month, and shining a light on the incredible stories from our LGBTQ+ Trailblazers. Next up on our Creator Spotlight Series is Seth Sanker (@sethsanker), a photographer and fashion content creator in Southern California. He is a proud first-generation Asian American, and a gender non-conforming male who believes fashion has no gender. Seth is best known for turning pride flags into dresses on TikTok.
Read more below about how the TikTok community has inspired Seth to embrace his true self.
What does Pride mean to you? How has that meaning changed for you over time?
Pride means family. Pride means having a community in your corner, no matter what. A family you weren't born into, but will stand with you through thick and thin. It's a community that is there to welcome you with open arms and without judgment. It's a place where you can be unapologetically yourself. I would say I've embraced Pride much more now. I'm leaning into this part of me, and letting it be seen as one of the best parts of me that is worthy of being celebrated!
How has your identity influenced or shaped you?
For a long time, I tried to make my identity not take over my entire personality. I realized that was just internalized homophobia and transphobia "allowing" me to be gay but not allowing me to embrace it! As I've gotten older, I've grown past that. I've worked through those internalized phobias, and embraced being queer to the fullest. It's one of the best parts of me, and I want everyone to know.
How do you celebrate the diversity/strength of (and also support) the LGBTQ+ community?
I celebrate it by embracing it! I walk with my head held high every day, and I allow my queerness to shine! Being unapologetically queer is one of the biggest ways to celebrate the community, and showing everyone you love yourself. I also embrace my LGBTQ+ family. I celebrate them and lift them up. Give them as much space as they need to take up to be themselves!
How has the TikTok community inspired you?
TikTok has inspired me SOOOO much! When I was growing up, we never had social media where we could be unapologetically ourselves. We didn't have an app that embraced queerness and brownness and just all the things that make us different. TikTok has helped me so much with my confidence and building back up my self worth, and giving me a space to truly be myself, and be embraced for being myself! It has given me sooo much fashion inspiration as well, and helped me realize fashion has no gender and everyone should be able to wear whatever they want.
What video are you most proud of creating?
The hotseat challenge video - it's the one that got me out there and that people know me for!
What are some content creation tips you would offer to other creators?
Consistency. Post as often as you can without getting burnt out. Put your mental health first and look out for yourself. Choose days where you bulk shoot content that way you don't have to make new videos every single day, or spread it out over a couple of days. Engage with your audience. Its super important, and it makes you feel real to your followers. Truly be yourself, especially on TikTok, an app that celebrates diversity and being different. The way to get a platform on TikTok is by celebrating what makes you different.
What advice would you give to the next generation of the LGBTQ+ community?
Take as much time as you need. Don't rush into trying to find who you are. It takes time, and it's okay to change. Just because you've come out as one thing, doesn't make it any less valid if you come out as something else. You can take up as much space as you need and don't dull your shine for anyone. The world deserves to see you shining as bright as you possibly can. And do this for YOU. Don't seek validation in others. Your queerness is for you and for no one else.
How do you think people can be allies to the LGBTQ+ community?
Uplift their voices. Make sure they are being heard. Research. Don't expect the queer community to come running to you with answers. It's your job to research first. It's not our job to educate you. Keep learning and unlearning. Do the work!
Who are some LGBTQ+ TikTok creators that everyone should be following/watching (and why)?
@matt_and_omar, HILARIOUS. And they are always on top of current events. @rainbowdads—love to see queer parents. @plastique_tiara—a STUNNINNGGG ASIAN QUEEN. @ilya.lobacheva—AMAZING genderless fashion. @dmichaelburke—FRIGGIN HILARIOUS!