Watch TikTok’s Favorite Queer Creators Glow Up for Pride

This article is a sponsored collaboration between Michael Kors and PAPER

As some of TikTok’s most prolific queer creators have demonstrated this past year, nothing beats authenticity when it comes to building loyalty and engagement on Gen Z’s hottest app. And with Pride Month fast approaching, it’s never been more important to celebrate the LGBTQ community’s most authentic selves.

The popular transformation video trends, in particular, were a welcome source of joy and inspiration for many of us at a time when we were all stuck indoors. Since style is such an important tool for showcasing transformation, the videos have really taken off with fashion lovers and comedy crowds alike.

That’s why we partnered with Michael Kors to highlight four of TikTok’s most inspiring queer content creators who definitely know a thing or two about style, authenticity and, of course, being hilarious. As a nod to the viral transformation trends, we asked them to show us how they glow up and put their pride on display while wearing Michael Kors’ new Pride capsule collection.

Tyshon Lawrence, Ve’ondre Mitchell, Mad Tsai and Soph Mosca are all representative of this community’s diverse following, each with their own unique story to tell but united in their ability to remain utterly authentic and creative while using clothing to help express who they are. Below, we spotlight each of their LGBTQ journeys, learn about what Pride means to them and what makes their style unique.

Tyshon Lawrence

Tyshon is a hilarious TikTok personality from North Carolina who’s amassed nearly 10 million followers on the app thanks to his witty video reactions, social experiments and candid glimpses into his personal life. He’s also dating queer and non-binary TikTok star Cristian Dennis.

How does clothing help express who you are and what you’re about?

Clothing helps me express who I am because I can show off my different styles. If I’m feeling sassy one day or if I’m feeling like I want to just be a confident bitch, I wear strong and sassy clothes which represent that. If I’m feeling chill I wear something that I feel comfortable in. Clothing helps me express who I am and what I’m feeling.

How would you describe your personal style?

I would have to say that my personal style is eclectic. I’m very inspired by Nicki Minaj and her “Barbie” personality. She has other personalities, but I really connect to Barbie. I have a Barbie chain, pink clothes, and fur jackets that are all inspired by her. But then some days I’m not feeling my Barbie fantasy and I’m feeling more ’90s inspired. I love the early 90s, like Boyz to Men, all that type of stuff. I like the ’90s baggy clothes look. So my personal style is definitely both Nicki Minaj “Barbie” inspired and ’90s inspired.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride means a lot to me. Pride means honoring who you are, not being apologetic and just having the confidence to be yourself. Everyone thinks they have to listen to what people say and care what others think. In my opinion, Pride means you don’t need to do that. You need to own who you are and never apologize for it and just love yourself for who you are

What has your LGBTQ journey been like?

My LGBT experience has been a little rough. There were certain family members and people in my life that didn’t accept me for who I was right away. But as time went on, I think some of them realized like, hey, I still want him to be in my life. I feel like they just took time to just realize, you know, life is short and if you want to keep people in your life that you love, there’s no point in being mad at them just because of their sexuality. So it’s been a little rough but it has gotten better. It’s an evolving journey.

How have you managed to stay creative the past year?

I’ve used the time to really focus on my dreams and think about what I want to achieve. It’s an important time for me as a Black creator. I’ve focused on comedy and ways to make people happier — it’s been a tough time for so many and if my content can bring joy, that’s great.

Ve’ondre Mitchell

A self-described proud Black and Latinx trans woman, 16-year-old Seattle-based Ve’ondre has used her platform as a fierce advocate for the transgender community, sharing her experiences of bullying and injustices to speak up about issues to her nearly 3 million TikTok followers.

How does clothing help express who you are and what you’re about?

On the surface, it helps me express if I’m feeling fancy, bold or cute! More importantly when you dig deeper, it helps me express my femininity and gender. Being a little kid and starting my transition so young, clothes were all I had to express myself.

How would you describe your personal style?

I like to dress up like a doll, it gives me that childhood nostalgia and before I transitioned I expressed myself through my toys that I carried everywhere. Now I can be those dolls who carry such high fashion!

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride means a place where everyone is welcomed and accepted and celebrated. Whenever I think of Pride, I think of my auntie taking me to my first Pride festival and feeling like I wasn’t alone in my journey. This shoot with Paper reminded me of that feeling.

What has your LGBTQ journey been like?

I’ve had so much love and acceptance that I’ll never take for granted. My mom was here for me to be who I am with open arms and it makes me feel so ecstatic. The outside world gives me hate but it only propels me forward to my success. Those bullies have given me a thick skin to deal with hate I get online daily. Being trans has also made me understand myself at such a young age which gives me the confidence I need to thrive!

How have you managed to stay creative the past year?

Covid has really had to make me think out of the box but what really helped was educating myself. Becoming an Human Rights Campaign Foundation youth ambassador challenged me to do that. I really had to dig deeper into trans issues and rights being at stake. That helped me brand myself and helped me so I knew my purpose to really understand the message I was putting out. Through all of this my creativity is at an all time high and nothing can stop me!

Mad Tsai

Over the holidays, musician Mad Tsai went viral for coming out to his mom in the car by playing his own music. Since then, the bi TikTok star has amassed nearly 2 million followers on the app, where he shares tons of original songs. He recently released a bisexual pop anthem called “Boy Bi.”

How does clothing help express who you are and what you’re about?

The way I dress helps me express how I’m feeling and parts of my identity. Whether it’s the color, fit, or overall vibe of what I’m wearing, I like using fashion to feel the most “me”. I kinda stopped caring about what gender clothes I’m wearing or how others might feel about my outfits— so long as I’m happy with how I look is all that matters. I feel most confident when I wear what I want and use my fashion as a statement.

How would you describe your personal style?

I draw a lot of inspiration from the TV shows and movies I watch, and I make mood boards for inspiration all the time. Pink and blue are my to-go colors to wear, but I change up my colors depending on how I’m feeling and my mood. I also love switching it up between what’s considered “feminine” and “masculine” and combining the two — whether it be wearing a tennis skirt with a muscle tank or putting glitter under my eyes and rocking pink short shorts. I also love using accessories like sunglasses (I always have some sunglasses on my head), hats, bandanas, rings, chains, etc.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride means being completely free of worry about what others might think. It’s something I’ve struggled to practice my whole life, and am still learning to master. It’s freedom to express one’s identity and wear it proudly. Pride is being able to be as authentically “you” as you can possibly be.

What has your LGBT journey been like?

It definitely has been tough growing up as queer, especially from an Asian-American family in a traditionally conservative area of California. I never really felt like I fit in anywhere or would be completely accepted if I had come out, so for most of my life, I was constantly pretending to be something I wasn’t. I got bullied constantly in middle school and high school, so I felt like for a lot of my teen years, I had learned to retreat and draw as little attention to myself. I was constantly coming back home with bruises, so I had just assumed it was better if I tried to fit in instead. It wasn’t until I began writing music when I started expressing how I felt about my identity and my journey. Songwriting was probably the only outlet I had for a really long time where I could be unapologetically me and voice my thoughts and who I was.

How have you managed to stay creative the past year?

I’ve been writing songs almost everyday and creating music that I’m so proud of. I’ve also been creating and planning out everything for my future releases as an artist, whether it be creating storyboards for music videos, planning out live performances for when it returns, or just creating the world I want to immerse my fans in when I drop my next projects. I’m constantly trying to think ahead and plan my next move or release, and I think my creativity has been off the charts because I’m being so ambitious.

Soph Mosca

Lesbian TikTok star Soph Mosca has amassed 1.5 million followers on the social app thanks to her goofy dance routines, spot-on lip syncs and joint videos with her girlfriend and fellow content creator Avery Cyrus. She’s also the host of her podcast “Unqualified” where she dives into topics about the LGBTQ community, life as an influencer, relationships and more.

How does clothing help express who you are and what you’re about?

Clothing is my way of visually expressing my personality, who I am, and what I like to do. In my opinion, someone’s outfit says a lot about their personality. I always keep this in mind when picking out what to wear, as I want others to be able to accurately learn about me as a human being through my clothing choices.

How would you describe your personal style?

I would describe my style as both beachy and androgynous. I tend to wear muted, soft colors such as grey, white, black, sage green, and navy blue. My favorite way to spice up an outfit is cool socks and/or fun jewelry.

What does Pride mean to you?

Pride means proud of who I am and being the most genuine self I can be. To me, pride means having confidence, self-love and acceptance.

What has your LGBT journey been like?

My LGBTQ journey has actually been very easy! I was so lucky to have supportive family and friends who have loved me through it all. While I am still growing and finding myself, it has been so encouraging to have such a huge support system.

How have you managed to stay creative the past year?

Having so much free time has been the biggest blessing in terms of creativity. The more free time I have, the more creative I get. I tend to lose creativity and motivation when I am stressed out and busy. If this past year had played out differently, who knows if I would’ve been able to explore my love for content creating so in-depth.

Video direction: Olivier Lessard

DP and editing: Olivier Lessard

Photography: Kenneth Cappello

Creative production: Peter Schwab

Fashion Stylist: Julian Antetomso

Set Designer: Robert Sumrell

Hair: Ro Morgan

Makeup: Yuki Hayashi

Nails: Dawn Sterling

This Doc Shows How Queers Kept Raving Under COVID

When the world shut down earlier this year, one group of Toronto queers opened the first — and largest — virtual queer rave on Zoom. Club Quarantine was co-founded by Brad, Mingus, Ceréna and Casey, and quickly became a nightly escape for the LGBTQ community to still dance, dress up and meet likeminded people while alone in lockdown. Apart from their own programming, which prioritized booking queer DJs and drag performers put out of work, Club Q went on to throw weekly parties with PAPER, featuring lineups with artists like Lady Gaga, Kim Petras, Pabllo Vittar, Big Freedia and more.

Related | How to Throw a Rave at the End of the World

A new documentary, premiering today, looks back on Club Q’s rise and impact through the perspective of Director Angie Bird, who was a regular at the party. “When COVID first hit, my industry completely shut down and so did all international flights,” Bird tells PAPER. “I felt really overwhelmed because I didn’t know when I’d work again and I also didn’t know when I’d be able to get home to my family in Australia. Club Q was an amazing distraction and it showed me just how important community is. It helped me and many others feel safe and connected during these unprecedented times.”

Realizing she had stumbled upon something special with Club Q, Bird set out to make a doc “that celebrated the ingenuity and relentless optimism of the LGBTQ+ community.” But the parameters of this project were new for Bird, who says she’d never made a doc in real time. “I usually tell stories about moments after they have happened, so this was a new way of working for me,” she says. “I started the doc in the first few weeks of the club, and it just kept evolving and getting bigger and better.”

Related | Casey MQ’s Album Tracklist as Celebrity Crushes

As the world changed under quarantine, so did Club Q’s mission, as they refocused their parties and social platforms to elevate Black voices while raising money for the most at-risk members of the LGBTQ community, namely Black trans women. “As Club Q evolved, so did the documentary,” Bird says, adding that she loved “watching the founders evolve their parties into a platform where they could help raise money for the trans community, for the Black community and for other vulnerable people in our community.”

Ultimately, Bird’s film on Club Q underscores the power of community, even during a pandemic. She says Thursday Arlyn, a featured club-goer from her doc, sums this up best: “Community can be found anywhere, community can be made anywhere.” And this is exactly what Bird intended for viewers to take away from the project. “I hope when people watch the film they know they are not alone,” she says. “There’s a lot of people out there who want to embrace them and celebrate them, and if you need a little pick me up, come and hang out with us all at Club Q. Everyone’s welcome.”

Watch the PAPER premiere of Club Quarantine by Angie Bird, below.

Photos courtesy of Angie Bird

Pornhub Officially Purges Video Archives

Porrnhub has officially purged its platform of all unverified content.

Reports of how many videos remain on the service are still coming in, but as of today, Hypebeast reports that there are as low as 4.7 million videos remaining on the website. It previously housed an archive of 13.5 million.

Related | Pornhub to Crack Down on Non-Consensual Uploads

The official amount of content that has been removed has yet to be verified, but all deleted videos have been replaced with a message that says the video has “been flagged for verification in accordance with our trust and safety policy.”

The move comes after major allegations, via an exposé by the New York Times, that a portion of Pornhub’s user-uploaded videos contain illegal content, such as child sexual abuse and non-consented activity. After this discovery, credit card companies Visa, Discover, and Mastercard announced that they would be terminating the use of customers’ cards at the website.

The latest on our commitment to trust and safety.

— Pornhub ARIA (@Pornhub) December 14, 2020

In response to these kickbacks, Pornhub made the decision to get rid of unverified content.

In a blog post on the website, Pornhub outlined its steps to making things right, also noting that it believes it is being unfairly targeted.

“As part of our policy to ban unverified uploaders, we have now also suspended all previously uploaded content that was not created by content partners or members of the Model Program,” the post reads. “This means every piece of Pornhub content is from verified uploaders, a requirement that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Snapchat and Twitter have yet to institute.”

“It is clear that Pornhub is being targeted not because of our policies and how we compare to our peers, but because we are an adult content platform,” it continues before naming the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (formerly known as Morality in Media) and Exodus Cry/ TraffickingHub as the organizations it believes to be targeting them.

‘These are organizations dedicated to abolishing pornography, banning material they claim is obscene, and shutting down commercial sex work,” the statement continues. “These are the same forces that have spent 50 years demonizing Playboy, the National Endowment for the Arts, sex education, LGBTQ rights, women’s rights, and even the American Library Association. Today, it happens to be Pornhub.”

Photo via Getty/ Budrul Chukrut/ SOPA Images/ LightRocket

@GhostHoney’s TikToks Will Heal Us All

Soft-spoken and shy with a bashful smile and an aversion to viral challenges, TikTok star Tyler Gaca doesn’t seem like your typical social media superstar. However, the beloved creator known as @GhostHoney has still managed to drum up a fierce cult following thanks to his unique brand of left-field comedy — and if you take a quick look at his TikTok, it’s easy to see why.

Related | PAPER People 2020: Meet 20 TikTokers We Love

With his imaginative storytimes and nostalgic YA novel and art school parodies, the 26-year-old former art teacher is probably best known for his retellings of “fever dream” scenarios and fanciful daily musings about anything from possums to mothmen to the Great British Bake Off. And though they’re always delivered with his serene, even-keeled voice that feels well-suited to a guided meditation, it’s an offbeat juxtaposition that’s lent itself well to the fantastical escapism of his “chaotic” videos — and garnered him 1.3 million followers in the process.


this is how I watch the Great British Baking Show

♬ original sound – tyler

“I think that’s why people like my videos, because I lull them into a false sense of calm and the words coming out of my mouth are like pure chaos,” Tyler laughed during our Zoom call.

“I get so many comments where people are like, ‘Oh my God, I listen to your livestreams just so I can fall asleep at night.’ Or, ‘I watch your videos at night to relax,’ because they think my voice is soothing,” he added. “And that’s something I never knew about myself or anticipated when I first started making videos on the internet.”

Initially, Tyler began making TikToks last year while still working full-time at the Columbus College of Art & Design’s Continuing Education Department. And though this was something that influenced him to post under a different name as he “didn’t want to be known,” he explained that he mostly wanted to find a creative outlet for all the “ideas that come to me at like 3 in the morning or when I’m in the shower.”


I need some hot possum facts!

♬ original sound – tyler

“I use the Notes app to kind of catalog every extremely random and semi-coherent thought I have throughout the day,” Tyler said of his filming process, which mostly takes place in the comfort of his bedroom. And even though some of these concepts are “sometimes too chaotic to even make a coherent thought,” as he explained, the beauty of TikTok is that the oddest thoughts can oftentimes give way to the best videos.

“So it’s like a long process of writing a long diary entry of these obscure thoughts. It’s like 3 AM madness vibes,” he added, joking about how many of these ideas come to him while his husband JiaHao — who’s also become a fan favorite in his videos — is “like fully passed out next to me.”

“I’ll be like, ‘What if all vampires are gay?’ And somehow, I have to make some weird passing thought into an entertaining 59-second video,” he laughed, before confessing that he can be hesitant about sharing many of his TikToks.


our wedding day 💕 #mypride

♬ flowers by in love with a ghost – moth

“I will say that every video tops the previous one in terms of secondhand embarrassment, and there are times where I will post a video and turn my phone off, because I can’t even look at it,” he explained. “It’s like I can’t even watch myself right now. It’s the art school kid thing where you pour your heart out into a piece and it’s critique day, and you’re like, ‘I don’t even want to look at it anymore.’ That’s how I feel about my TikToks sometimes.”

And though these videos in which he’s “being vulnerable and showing [his] deepest, most embarrassing inner-thoughts” have created a devout following, Tyler said that he didn’t realize “the magnitude of [his] internet presence” until TikTok reached out to help him with a growth strategist and began providing him with opportunities “that blew [his] mind,” such as flying him out for New York Fashion Week.

“I was like, ‘Wrong person!’ And my content there was very chaotic. It was like me panicking in my hotel room, because I had to walk by the paparazzi and they were like, ‘Can we snap a picture?,'” he said, adding that while the experience was “a dream come true,” it was also one that took him “really out of [his] comfort zone,” especially after working a desk job for the past three years.


🕯💐Ghosthoney’s Guide to Dressing Like a Love Stricken Victorian Dandy💐🕯

♬ Chefs Table – Mibe Music

As his star has risen though, Tyler has continued to grapple with his newfound fame while “trying to figure out how to make a full-time career out of it.” Granted, this was also something that partially influenced his decision to move to Los Angeles earlier this year with JiaHao after they were both laid off due to the pandemic.

“So far it’s going really well, but it feels very surreal trying to navigate it with the current state of the world. I think it still hasn’t hit me [that I’ve become internet famous],” he admitted as he joked about the anxiety he feels whenever he’s now recognized while walking around LA. “It’s kind of like, ‘What! Oh no! I’ve never heard of [@GhostHoney]. I don’t know what you’re talking about!'”

But even amidst the garbage fire that is 2020, Tyler said he’s grateful for the community conversations spurred in his comments by topical videos about things like election anxiety.


brb using nostalgia to heal

♬ Pokémon (Littleroot Town) – Blue Brew Music

“What I love the most about TikTok and the community I’ve created [is that it feels like] a really beautiful support group of these weird art kids and the loners from high school. Like, I ate lunch in the art room every day in high school,” Tyler said, before adding that he also hopes his videos give the younger generation an opportunity to “see LGBTQ ppl just living authentic, normal lives.”

And though he added that it’s “definitely nerve-wracking” to have such a large audience now, he tries his best to use his platform to “put out things that feel authentic and good,” especially if he were “to watch it as a small, 15-year-old boy in the closet.”

“Growing up, I never had anything like that, especially not on TV and social media wasn’t a thing,” Tyler said. “That’s something I really hope people walk away with. Like, ‘Oh, it’s possible to be 26, happily married and living the best life you possibly can.'”

Welcome to “Internet Explorer,” a column by Sandra Song about everything Internet. From meme histories to joke format explainers to collections of some of Twitter’s finest roasts, “Internet Explorer” is here to keep you up-to-date with the web’s current obsessions — no matter how nonsensical or nihilistic.

Photos via TikTok @GhostHoney

TikTok Denies Shadow Banning LGBTQ+ Hashtags

As if anyone is shocked –– TikTok is once again censoring LGBTQ+ people on the app.

For a bit of background, the Chinese-owned entertainment app has a history of censoring content. TikTok previously banned pro-LGBTQ+ content, blocked a user that criticized China and has stifled posts from users that were deemed “ugly,” poor or disabled.

Most recently, TikTok administrators admitted that they restricted several LGBTQ+ hashtags on the app. This includes “gay,” “lesbian” and “transgender.” The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) exposed TikTok’s shadow ban against the hashtags in languages including Russian, Estonia, Bosnian and Arabic.

When something is “shadow banned,” a user is able to post their content as normal, but it’s blocked or partially blocked and hidden from the TikTok community. Apps like Instagram use it to block anything sexual.

Related | PAPER People 2020: Meet 20 TikTokers We Love

“TikTok users posting videos with these hashtags are given the impression their posts are just as searchable as posts by other users, but in fact they aren’t,” according to the report. “In practice, most of these hashtags are categorized in TikTok’s code in the same way that terrorist groups, illicit substances, and swear words are treated on the platform.”

According to a report from Pink News, TikTok is denying that the app was practicing censorship. Rather, they’re insisting that the shadow ban was a “localized” approach to moderation. In other words, some terms were restricted due to local laws, while “other terms were restricted because they were primarily used when looking for pornographic content.”

Though the spokesperson in the report admitted that some of the terms were being incorrectly moderated, it’s unclear what measures are being taken to rectify the situation.

“We want to be crystal clear that TikTok strongly supports our LGBTQ+ creators around the world and is proud that LGBTQ+ content is among the most popular category on the platform with billions of views,” the spokesperson said.

Photo via Shutterstock

ICYMI: Kerry Washington’s GLAAD Speech Deserves All The Prayer Hands Emoji

Our foremost modern gladiator Kerry Washington was presented with the Vanguard Award at GLAAD’s 26th Annual Media Awards over the weekend. In her acceptance speech she spoke on diversity in television, what it means to be an LGBTQ ally, and, what people most often forget, intersectionality: “You’d think we’d band together and fight the good fight, but history tells us that no, often we don’t. Women, poor people, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, trans people, intersex people. We have been pitted against each other, and made to feel like there are limited seats at the table for those of us who fall into the category of ‘other’.”

But perhaps the best and most sobering moment from the speech happened when the Scandal star roused the crowd by breaking down the notion of “diversity.” (As the ruler of Shondaland herself, Shonda Rhimes, put it: “As if there is something unusual about telling stories involving women
and people of color and LGBTQ characters on TV. I have a different word:
normalizing. I’m normalizing TV. I am making TV look like the world
looks.”) “I don’t decide to play the characters I play as a political choice,” said Washington. “Yet the characters I play do become political statements because having your story told — as a woman, as a person of color, as any member of any disenfranchised community — is sadly often still a radical idea… That is why the work of GLAAD is so important.”

Watch Kerry Washington’s full speech, above. 

Zaya Wade Runs Instagram Now

Zaya, the 12-year-old child of Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union, has come a long way since she entered the orbit of celebrity last year. Most of us first learned about her when Wade posted a cute holiday family photo of Zaya rocking a crop-top and acrylic nails. Shortly after, her parents began talking openly (and admirably) about LGBTQ parenting, reintroducing her to the public as Zaya and sharing that she uses female pronouns.

Related | Dwyane Wade Reached Out the ‘Pose’ Cast About Zaya’s Transition

Now, she’s making moves towards her future icondom by joining Instagram. Don’t worry pearl-clutchers. The 12-year-old doesn’t run her own account. Her bio reads: “Baby Steps… Parents Run This, Consultation By Me.”

But even with a couple boomers running her account, after just three days and two posts, Zaya has already racked up 20,000 followers. She shared two outtakes from her debut red carpet appearance last month at the Better Brothers Los Angeles’s 6th Annual Truth Awards, which is dedicated to black men and women in the LGBTQ+ community for their achievements.

Zaya Wade on Instagram: “🤫”

Zaya Wade on Instagram: “😲🙄”

On the carpet, the whole family wore custom Richfresh suits coordinated in the color of the genderqueer flag. If this stunting is any indication, Zaya is destined for Instagram fame.

Gabrielle Union-Wade on Instagram: “Big night at the #TruthAwards2020 to celebrate our friends @jasonbolden @adair_curtis receiving the Business Leadership Award. We are…”

Photo via Instagram

#BeardedButtigieg Is Unfortunately Trending

It must be a slow news day, because Gay Twitter aparently has nothing better to do other than lust after shopped photos of a bearded Mayor Pete Buttigieg under the aptly named hashtag, #BeardedButtigieg.

Related | Why Everyone Is Thirst Trapping For Bernie Sanders

According to Advocate, photos of the Democratic candidate with facial hair worthy of the Scruff Most Woof’d grid started popping up on the internet after people started using FaceApp to alter the Presidential candidate’s appearance for — activism purposes? Sure, bears.

Not everyone under the #BeardedButtigieg hashtag is thirsting after the married candidate, desperately wishing they could hit “Woof.” Many queer people are protesting Buttigieg’s policies, arguing other potential nominees like Sanders and Warren would be better for the LGBTQ community. In fact, Over the past day, Twitter users partial to other candidates have taken over the tag and added their own primary picks to the bearded bunch. From #BeardedKlobuchar to #BeardedBernie, there’s a scruffy meme for every candidate no matter their current place in the race towards the general election.

While some Twitter users have taken on the tough task of compiling a collection of undoctored #BeardedButtigieg photos, it appears that he’s more of a creepy otter than a bear in his scruffier pics. Let the debate over an imaginary beard rage on, though!

Photo via Twitter

Call Dwyane Wade’s 12-Year-Old Child Zaya

Dwyane Wade appeared on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show to promote ESPN’s documentary based on the basketball player: D Wade: Life Unexpected. But things took a more heartwarming turn as Wade opened up about his 12-year-old child, Zaya. “We take our roles and responsibilities as parents very seriously,” Wade told DeGeneres. “So, when our child comes home with a question, when our child comes home with an issue, when our child comes home with anything, it’s our job as parents to listen to that to give them the best information that we can, the best feedback that we can, and that doesn’t change now that sexuality [and gender] is involved.”

Wade and his wife Gabrielle Union have been very outspoken about their support for Zaya. Following a December interview in which Wade referred to his child with she/her pronouns, he revealed that she later sat down with him and Union, asking to be called Zaya as she journeys into her new identity. In that initial interview, Wade vocalized his family’s support of Zaya, saying, “nothing changes with my love.”

Related | Dwyane Wade Supports His 12-Year-Old’s Gender Identity

Wade described his reaction to DeGeneres. “I looked at her and said ‘You are a leader,'” he said. “‘It’s our opportunity to allow you to have a voice.’ Right now, it’s through us because she’s 12 years old, but eventually it will be through her.”

As Wade and Union continue to empower Zaya, they are seeking advice and information from family and friends as to how they can most effectively help their child become her best self. Additionally, Wade and Union also actively work with GLSEN to fight discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals, thus creating safer spaces for queer and trans kids everywhere. We love to see it. And so does the internet:

Photo via YouTube

Watch NikkieTutorials Talk Coming Out on ‘Ellen’

It’s been one week since YouTube beauty guru Nikkie de Jager, aka NikkieTutorials, courageously came out as trans to her 12.4 million subscribers in an emotional video.


Related | NikkieTutorials Comes Out as Trans


In her first on-air interview since the video was uploaded, the Dutch makeup artist visited Ellen Degeneres‘ talk show to share her stories of coming out and her experience of growing up as a trans woman.


On Ellen, de Jager reveals the blackmail message that prompted her to post a coming out video. “A couple of weeks ago I got emails from a certain person and he was not okay with the fact that I was ‘lying’ and wanted to expose that,” de Jager said. She added that the blackmailer had a “pressuring” tone of voice and threatened to tell the public about her identity.


“He was like, ‘if we don’t get an answer by tomorrow, it’s out,'” de Jager said. “I feel like his entire goal with this was to destroy my life, but [the] plot twist [is] that didn’t happen.”


Among the beauty influencer’s supporters is her fiancé Dylan, who de Jager said was at her side as she uploaded the video. She also shared about her mother’s unwavering support while she grew up transitioning.


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“My mom is a queen, MamaTutorials is a queen. Even when we went to the hospital to see what was going on, doctors were like ‘don’t push it too far, let’s see where it goes,’ but then I came home and I was like, ‘Mom, I really want to wear girl clothes’ and she was like, ‘if you want to wear girl clothes, you’re going to wear them,” de Jager explained.


When asked if she still would have come out if not for the blackmailer, de Jager said that there’s “no right timing” to share her truth.


“I always wanted to come out with it, but it is such a delicate thing,” she said. “How do you find the right timing? There’s never perfect timing, so in a way, I’m not thankful to the person that did this, but I am thankful that it happened now, and now I get to be free.”

NikkieTutorials on Instagram: “today I’ll be on @theellenshow 💙 thank you Ellen for giving me the opportunity to share my story with the world! – photo by: Michael…”


As a white, cis-passing trans woman, de Jager acknowledged that she has privilege other LGBTQ people do not benefit from.


“I started when I was really young,” de Jager said. “I pass, I am blonde, I look cis. I want to take this opportunity to hopefully inspire a lot of transgender people out there, and even when you’re starting later on in your journey, that we need to accept that.”


In addition to hosting de Jager, the Ellen show and Shutterfly made a $10,000 donation in de Jager’s name to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization that supports suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth.


Photography courtesy of Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.