In honor of Pride Month, NBC Out highlights and celebrates a new generation of trailblazers, creators and LGBTQ personalities. Visit our entirety #Pride30 list here.
Ahead of the first anniversary of his first memoir, “Hola Papi: How to Get Out in a Walmart Parking Lot and Other Life Lessons,” John Paul Brammer says he wants to develop more opportunities for creatives of color who want to get into the industry.
“If ‘Hola Papi’ hadn’t gotten my foot in the door like he did, I don’t think I’d be doing any of the cool things I’m doing right now,” Brammer told NBC News. . “Not too long ago I was one of those people desperate to make things happen for myself, desperate to get into those rooms that I felt left out of. It’s a reminder that I now have a few keys for a few doors and shouldn’t block anyone from accessing them.
“Hola Papi,” which was released last June, details the challenges and triumphs of growing up as a queer Latino in rural Oklahoma. Brammer, 31, is best known for his popular LGBTQ columns which have appeared in Them, Out Magazine, the Cut and now on Substack. He started his advice column, also named “Hola Papi”, on the gay dating app Grindr, which ultimately inspired his memoir. He has also written for NBC News and The Washington Post.
As a Latino writer, Brammer says representation is important in helping people find their voice in the industry.
“We look to people who don’t know who we are and…they become role models of possibility,” Brammer said, adding that he hopes to be that role model for others, “Even though they never learned my name, and they only see me once, doing one thing and they think, ‘OK, he does it. I can do it.'”
Brammer pointed to his artwork, which he describes as a colorful ode to his Mexican-American roots, as a manifestation of that.
“Incorporating my culture and incorporating my personality into my art is a way for me to both be heard but also hopefully let others feel they have something to say too,” he said. he declares.
The debut and success of “Hola Papi” echoed the fact that there are people willing to invest in a unique perspective.
“It’s been so wonderful for me,” Brammer said. “There are people working really hard to make sure we’re not ignored.”
Brammer, now based in Brooklyn, recalled attending his first Oklahoma Pride Parade more than a decade ago. The state’s gay bars are tightly packed, he said, like a “kind of herd that comes together to protect one another.”
“What’s great about Pride in Oklahoma is that you really have this feeling that there’s like a community there that’s watching over you, waiting for you, kind of there to hold you if the things get difficult,” he said, adding, “It’s your job to watch over them too.”
Looking back on his previous Pride celebrations, Brammer said he continues to embrace the message of empowering everyone to grow into who they are.
“There’s no right way to approach the concept of accepting yourself or being proud,” he said. “Your understanding of these things will change as you change.”
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