Every story matters, and this month we’re celebrating the inspiring stories from our LGBTQ+ TikTok Trailblazers on our Creator Spotlight Series.

Next up is Alex Renee (@stapleyourmouthshut), a 17-year-old LGBTQ+ content creator who began their TikTok journey making POVs, and is now popular for “masculine to feminine“ transition videos. In addition to creating content, they run their own jewelry business and sell paintings made by their disabled sister to raise awareness and money for Cytomegalovirus (CMV). Alex is also working on music, which has been an extensive part of their life.

Read more below about how the LGBTQ+ community has helped Alex find support and the freedom to live an authentic life.

What does Pride mean to you? How has that meaning changed for you over time?

I have always had an interest in the LGBTQ+ community since I was young. I didn’t realize this interest was because I was a part of it, but when I did, I truly blossomed into who I am today. To me personally, Pride is owning myself. Owning every part of me, whether it is feminine, masculine, androgynous, and everything in between. The meaning of Pride has changed for me over time because as I identified with the LGBTQ+ community, I found so many similarities between me and other members. This made me feel more confident, and in the end, hold more Pride in who I am.

How has your identity influenced or shaped you?

I identify as genderfluid/queer. This has impacted me in many different ways, from my wardrobe changing every day, to how I carry myself. It has truly shaped me into who I am today. Although not everything is sunshine and rainbows, such as showering with extreme body dysphoria or the people who will never accept me for who I am, I am still extremely happy with my identity and who I am today. That is all that matters.

How do you celebrate the diversity/strength of (and also support) the LGBTQ+ community?

Although this past year has been tough to celebrate with my fellow members of the LGBTQ+ community due to COVID, I feel as though I can still celebrate by spreading who I am, educating others about the LGBTQ+ community, and how to be good allies to us. And who knows? I may attend an in-person Pride event this year since I’m fully vaxxed! There are also so many virtual Prides going on this year that can bring a community together from the comfort of your bedroom.

How has the TikTok community inspired you?

The TikTok community has inspired me in many ways. It’s honestly overwhelming seeing so many beautiful members of the LGBTQ+ community on my For You Page. I constantly get tagged in video recreations of my masculine to feminine transition TikToks. It is so amazing to see these beautiful creators express themselves in different ways, and to gain the confidence to do it from my videos. It will never get old.

What video are you most proud of creating?

It was a transition video using the sound "Satisfaction". It was one of my most viral videos at the time and a lot of big creators did the trend afterwards.

What are some content creation tips you would offer to other creators?

The key to TikTok success is your confidence and being confident with your content. Literally, believe that your videos will do well and have that confidence throughout the process.

What advice would you give to the next generation of the LGBTQ+ community?

Some advice I would give to the next generation of the LGBTQ+ community is that as different as you may seem or feel, I promise there is at least one person out there who feels the same. You are never alone when a part of the LGBTQ+ community, because you have a whole community behind you. Although no one may FULLY understand what you are going through, the people who TRY to understand are worthy of being in your life. Anyone who doesn’t support who you are, were not meant to see you blossom in the first place.

How do you think people can be allies to the LGBTQ+ community?

People can be good allies to the LGBTQ+ community by simply respecting us as you would respect anyone else. Ask questions but also do your own research and education! It can be extremely overwhelming to someone who is struggling with their identity to receive questions about their struggle, and your own research can not only benefit you, but will also benefit the person you are trying to be a good ally to! It's not hard to be a good ally. Simply treat us like humans, because at the end of the day, we are all human.

Who are some LGBTQ+ TikTok creators that everyone should be following/watching (and why)?

@jaxsilv is a queer trans activist and is very open about his journey. His TikTok followers helped him reach his goal for top surgery, and he has been documenting his journey on his page! I find it very educational & inspiring.

@alyssareignnn is a bisexual creator on TikTok, and although her content is not LGBTQ+ based, she is very open about her sexuality and mental health. I find her videos extremely soothing and I never feel alone. She made a video awhile ago where people would comment with a certain emoji to tell others what their sexuality is, and one of the emojis was confused. At the time, I was very confused with my sexuality, and when I went to the comments, so many other people were too! It made me feel so validated knowing I’m not the only one who can struggle with labels. I’m still so grateful to this day for that video Alyssa made.