Pillar of Strength
Creating a safe space for the gay community
By Jordan Daniels Opinions Editor
The word “influencer” is becoming a favorite in our generation. An influencer has a following on social media, is trying to become a brand name and becomes both a source of content that we trust and a source of advice that we sometimes follow.
There are few influencers out there with the sole purpose of providing help and advice for people who may need it, especially in communities where pressures may be at an all-time high.
In the gay community, especially for gay males, there is a lack of collective support for those who don’t fit a mold or perpetuate a stereotype. That’s why user, “Lex, Esq.” created “The Problem Gays,” on Instagram.
A lawyer based in Los Angeles, Lex originally created the page to talk about gay relationships, gay divorce and also provide some legal advice on scenarios they may encounter. However, realizing the potential this space could have, he began opening it up to questions by other users, establishing a service to help people within the realm of anything gay-related.
“It started evolving as it went,” said Lex. “As issues came up, I started infusing my knowledge of life. When Trump took office, I tried my best to explain some legalities of what could happen to the community and explain in simple ways for my followers to understand and not be so scared of.”
Lex answers much of his questions in personal messages to the people that ask him, sometimes addressing them publicly on Instagram if he feels they’re general topics that others should think about as well. When he wants to go in-depth about issues and experiences, he will either discuss them in videos or blog posts on “The Problem Gays” website, which he also operates.
In fact, he keeps the Instagram page itself a bit lighthearted, mixing in gifs, previews of his blog videos or entries, as wells as selfies and humorous text posts about gay scenarios that are often talked about in social circles, but not always in public spaces.
“I add my own experiences to some stories to let my followers know that these situations are real and happen to a lot of us,” he said, when discussing how he balances the content in his pages. “I often try to connect followers with each other when I see that some may have similar problems, in case I don’t have the experience, so that they can help each other.”
With a little over 16,000 followers on Instagram, which he acquired in less than a year, Lex isn’t quite positioned as an influencer yet, but it is his goal to become a source of the true gay experience for the community. A place where they can get serious advice when they need it and have a comedic catharsis when they want it.
For the next step, Lex wants to establish a panel of people to operate “The Problem Gays” so he can open up the audience to be inclusive of all the LGBT community.
“I feel qualified to talk about issues involving gay men, so I would love to have collaboration with lesbians, trans people and more communities to expand on the issues they face,” said Lex. “If the brand is about being real, then I don’t want to talk about issues I know nothing about.”
For now, “The Problem Gays” is on a steady incline to becoming a pinnacle of advice for the gay community and hopefully it’ll become an inclusive space where all facets of LGBT can receive a balance of personal advice and a little humor.