The Queer Advantage

Conversations with LGBTQ+ Leaders on the Power of Identity


By Andrew Gelwicks

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Meet the LGBTQ+ dealmakers, trailblazers, and glass-ceiling breakers in business, politics, and beyond.

The people who are creating national public policy, running billion-dollar tech enterprises, and winning Olympic medals. Andrew Gelwicks interviews the leaders who have forged their own paths and changed the world, showing how you can too.

From Troye Sivan to Margaret Cho, George Takei to Billie Jean King, Shangela to Adam Rippon, each person credits their queer identity with giving them an edge in their paths to success. Their stories brim with the hard-won lessons gained over their careers. You’ll learn how to:
  • Channel anger in a positive way — using it as rocket fuel to succeed
  • Leverage your difference to beget new ideas and strategies
  • Bridge generational gaps
  • Access resources to conquer denial, internalized homophobia, and doubt
  • Use your sensitivity and attunement to read the room, deciding when to fit in and when to stand out
  • Find a queer tribe and learn to help and lean on one another
Collecting incisive, deeply personal conversations with inspirational LGBTQ+ trailblazers about how they leveraged the challenges and insights they had as relative outsiders to succeed in the worlds of business, tech, politics, Hollywood, sports and beyond, The Queer Advantage celebrates the unique, supercharged power of queerness.



GROWING UP IS HARD. Growing up in a conservative part of Ohio and coming to the realization that you might be gay is really hard.

There were two sides to me. On the public side, in order to fit in, I would pretend to know and care who Ken Griffey, Jr., was, the pride of my hometown and star of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. On the other, private side, I belted Wicked’s “Defying Gravity” at the top of my lungs, broomstick in hand, really hitting that incredibly high end note. These cherished moments with my mom’s tablecloth draped around me as a windblown cape lifted me out of the darkness foisted upon me by social convention, where boys’ and girls’ roles were narrowly cast, never to stray from script. My struggle seemed more like a sad made-for-TV movie than a real-life coming of age in ostensibly placid suburbia.

No matter how hard I played in this tug-of-war, really digging my Mary Jane heels in, palms sweaty and blistering from the friction of the rope, day by day I kept getting pulled over to my private side. The green witch with the fabulous hat was winning.

My all-girl friend group, my affinity for Britney Spears, and my lack of enthusiasm for home runs and touchdowns slowly began to out me among my prepubescent peers. Later, reading The Scarlet Letter, it was apparent my life, against my best efforts, was turning bleaker; I was being emblazoned with a scarlet “gay.”

By the time I was in middle school, an invisible miasma of negativity had settled around me. Like so many other boys and girls around the world—we the different—I was deemed “less than” my straight classmates by my detractors. Worse still, I internalized those dehumanizing beliefs about my sexual orientation. Those acrid, detracting beliefs others held were actually becoming who I was, and how I unconsciously thought about myself.

My parents, both liberal, successful lawyers, could not have been more supportive or nurturing. My older sister, equally encouraging, was a high achiever, and despite the issues I brought to the dining room table, we had a typical, Jewish, upper-middle-class household.

Yet while walking childhood’s long corridor of carnival mirrors, I despised my gayness with every fiber of my being. Each day was another battle with mounting anxiety and depression over coming to terms with my true self. Perpetually feeling undercut by antagonists, I envied the boys around me who seemed unflustered, secure in a world without duality. I desperately longed for their seeming oblivion to any wrenching emotional struggle beyond deciding whether to take to the basketball court as one of the shirts or the skins.

It became clear that my genes, and lack of interest in stereotypical male roughness, were leaving me with a tainted social status. Despite being flayed with snide comments, I won a place on the Student Council, wrote a monthly column for my school’s newspaper, and entered every writing competition. In spite of (or perhaps because of) my feminine flare, many of the school’s most beautiful girls found me endearing. I nurtured these relationships, much to the irritation of the bullying boys who pined for them. The girls became not only my friends, but also my protectors.

Much of my everyday mental and emotional energy was depleted agonizing about how I was being perceived by others. I would study the way the football players carried their books and wore their backpacks, hoping to emulate them. If I raised my hand in class, I’d actively focus on the way my arm and hand were positioned, a slouchy, I’m-so-tough-I-could-care-less gesture. Any remotely stylish or colorful clothing accumulated dust in my closet. Is the way I’m chewing my gum gay? If I slouch more, will that make me look straight? I intentionally worsened my penmanship because “no straight guy had good handwriting.” I watched YouTube videos on how to speak “straighter” and asked my parents to hire a voice coach to train me out of my high and fast over-articulation. (They said no.)

By junior year of high school, I had completely fallen apart. I began to strain under the weight of always feeling as if I somehow was operating at a deficit. The sneering I experienced from peers in the classrooms and hallways left me feeling trapped, governed by a calculus of inadequacy no matter what I did. I had run aground in an environment I saw as a zero-sum battleground, consumed in an enveloping despair. Every day, in every way, was simply too much. My parents were called in by my psychotherapist, who told them he could no longer continue to treat me unless they signed a waiver insulating him from litigation if I were to harm myself.

It was decided I would be sent to a residential treatment center in Salt Lake City, Utah. Into the heart of Mormonism my sixteen-year-old, sexually confused, Jewish boy self went, to hopefully find and save myself. This was not a gay conversion facility, but rather a place for me to learn how to accept myself in all dimensions. The ceaseless focus on changing self-defeating thinking and behavioral patterns was brutal work, but it was also a tremendously enlightening experience. I poured my life out to the nineteen other teenage boys I shared a house with. They, too, were trying to escape from the entrapment of their pained worlds, each dealing with his own hard-to-conquer struggles. We worked with caring therapists and staff members, learning how to grasp hold of that slippery goose called reality; learning healthy coping mechanisms for when we felt ourselves angling toward destructive thoughts and behavior.

By observing and dissecting the inner lives of others, I came to better understand and observe myself in a different way, through a decidedly different prism. By lifting myself out of the deep craters of depression I had been trapped in, which encased me in shadows that I had begun to welcome and cherish, I was able to see the world and its possibilities more clearly.

In this therapeutic environment I came to see that at a certain point, I had to leave behind the suffering imposed on me by others. The focus needed to turn to the suffering I brought on myself. I needed to relinquish my mental whip and swap my incessant self-belittlement for words of encouragement.

My entire life’s trajectory shifted during those six months, as I was able to better grapple with and quiet many of my noisiest demons. Casting off the skewed repression others had weighed on me—and that I had absorbed—led me to a much greater place of self-acceptance.

For my senior year of high school, I returned to Cincinnati. I breathed new life into my school’s moribund Gay-Straight Alliance, deciding I no longer wanted to cower in the shadows. Knowing I needed credibility for this organization, I asked the school’s star quarterback, the straightest and most macho of the student body, if I could name him secretary to mooch off his celebrity status. When he said yes (and began to bring snacks to each meeting, which he would do throughout the year), I spent a weekend creating posters announcing the revamp of the club and naming the officials. The next week, I got to school, predawn, and taped them all over the hallway walls and lockers. When students began filtering in, there were no more questions and there was no more debate: Gelwicks is gay. I had taken a stand. And once I had taken that stand embracing my identity, the power that tormenters once held over me was taken away. There were no more snide comments, no more overt put-downs. I was in control.

My dad and I entrenched ourselves in the local PFLAG and GLSEN organizations, where I met and talked with openly gay teenagers in Ohio for the very first time. At the age of eighteen, I was finally able to talk to a friend about a crush without lying. It was empowering to find a group of adults and teens my own age who embraced me because I was gay.

I then found my footing in college, at Butler University in Indiana—joining a predominantly straight fraternity, no less. I found a group of amazing friends where I never once hid my true self. I was out, super-gay, and super-happy. No longer was I weighed down by society’s expectations of who I should be.

I had even become self-assured enough in my gayness to out myself on a much wider scale, beyond the Midwest. I wrote an essay for the Huffington Post describing how in my sophomore year at Butler, I took a guy as my date to my fraternity’s formal. Up until that point, my fraternity brothers had never actually seen me romantically with another guy. Until then, I was just gay in theory. But witnessing us dance together, they loved it, welcomed my date, and encouraged the relationship.

My summers were spent in New York City, where I managed to wrangle internships in the fashion industry at global operations such as Hearst Magazines and Michael Kors. For years, I had kept my interest in fashion as a career a secret. Once in college, though, where I was welcomed as my authentic self, I grew secure in pursuing something I felt passionate about.

While I was still adjusting to my life as an openly out person, it was exhilarating to spend months in one of the most exciting (and queerest) cities in the world. I was learning more about what I could expect in my new, gay life.

My first summer in the city, I was invited by a gay family friend to join a group of guys for a Memorial Day picnic in Central Park. He was well connected and highly regarded in the LGBTQ+ community in New York, and I was excited to meet young, professional queer men.

While the picnic itself was otherwise unremarkable, those hours together in the park impacted me in ways that still pay emotional dividends. This group of all gay men, complete strangers with no need to be nice to me, was warmly welcoming. It set into motion a chain reaction, one that continues as I write this, and foreshadowed many of the tight gay tribes I’ve met throughout the years. I realized I could gradually assemble a community of individuals who, although they might not have lived my exact story, nor I theirs, understood what it meant to be judged as “different.” An invigorating sense of belonging now seemed within reach.

The gay community has been the foundation for me to build not only a vibrant social life, but also one that has deep roots, extending into my professional life—connecting me with people and opportunities I likely wouldn’t have been granted access to otherwise. Society, which roundly condemns queer people, can also provide us chances to create a tightly knit chosen family.

Following graduation, I immediately headed back to my adopted city of NYC. I worked for GQ magazine, then Teen Vogue, and later began an independent celebrity styling business.

Three years into my life in New York and my career as a stylist, Bumble, the dating app, touted me as one of the “100 Most Inspiring New Yorkers.” The campaign included a promotional interview. A young, effervescent woman started with the rote questions: where I’d grown up, what I did for a living, how long I had been living in New York.

Then came a seemingly simple question: “What drives you to succeed?”

For someone who started his LinkedIn account in seventh grade, had business cards by ninth (with my parents’ home phone number on them), and now regularly works eighty-hour weeks without a second thought, it should have been a no-brainer.

But in that moment, there was only one real, plausible answer: being gay.

It was an odd response, really. What does my preference for Jude Law over Jennifer Lawrence have to do with my drive? In the city that doesn’t sleep, I had never questioned what was behind my all-consuming need to keep moving ahead.

After the interview, I found myself back on the siren-blaring, eat-or-be-eaten streets of Manhattan. Over the years, the frenzy of the city had started to dissolve into white noise, a pulsating rhythm to my perpetually racing thoughts. With grand paradox, the louder and more haywire the city became, the more my mind was able to find a measure of serenity.

I walked the twenty blocks back to my Midtown styling studio with the question, and my answer, boring deeper into my psyche. What was it about my queerness that I felt had such an impact on me? Did my coming to terms with being gay—something I thought I had accepted years ago—still act as a fulcrum, allowing all other thoughts and emotions to rise up?

I now have an energizing career as a celebrity fashion stylist, am in a happy and healthy relationship, and have no ill feelings about who I am. Years separate me from those dark days of growing up, where I felt deep shame and embarrassment at being “other.” The “It Gets Better” videos I had desperately sought out were right; it does get better—a lot better.

From a young age, we are told to use whatever assets we have at our disposal to get ahead. Some are born with trust funds, some with runway-ready looks, and others flourish in well-connected families. I had no such bounty given to me, wouldn’t be asked onto a catwalk, and my family connections peaked with the county judge.

Was being queer my edge? Could my “difference,” and all of the earlier negative energy associated with it, have been a good thing? Perhaps the best thing that ever happened to me?

For much of my life, it was my belief that my otherness was a weakness—something to overcome. The happy personal life and successful career I’d managed to create for myself was always in spite of being queer. Any accomplishments I’d racked up were because I managed to leap over that big, rainbow-colored hurdle.

In what world was I to think that being gay not only motivated me, but advantaged me? As this pebble of a crazy thought lodged deeper into my consciousness, I began to backtrack.

The gay slurs hurled my way on the playground and behind my back in the school halls had callused me, hardening me to the day-to-day harshness of reality, giving me a layer of emotional and mental protection.

The daily occurrences I experienced growing up, feeling uncomfortable and out of place, built up my social skills, and honed my adaptability. I can now walk into any room, even those where I feel entirely uncomfortable, and confidently assert myself, because I have been doing that since elementary school.

My deep sensitivity toward the emotions of my clients, colleagues, friends, and family was shaped by having so many deep feelings of my own, and easily sensing those of others. I learned to read people, gauging what they were thinking and how to make them more comfortable.

The hurt and sadness I felt led me to my diaries, where I learned to put thoughts onto paper. An entire lifetime of questioning myself, talking with myself, and thinking about why I am the way I am, was a tortured journey. But it gave me a deeper understanding of myself.

As early as four years old, I lived to dress myself creatively. My eye toward design, that began with wearing my mom’s nightgowns, draped with her scarves, led to a career putting together looks for glamorous red carpet events.

Knowing I was considered inherently “less than” and “weaker” than my peers made me work that much harder, developing and honing my work ethic and drive. With these memories, I was able to see the clear lineage of how my strongest qualities and assets clearly could be linked to those early, often painful times surrounding my grappling with my queer identity.

I sensed that the only way to really come to a full understanding of this was to get out of my head—and into others’. I needed to talk to the queer people who are among society’s highest achievers and see if they had similar thoughts and feelings.

I started reaching out to amazing achievers, asking how they did it and how they navigated their queer journey. I spoke to people in technology, theater, film, politics, activism, sports, and more. My focus was on queer people, irrespective of what playing field they excelled on.

Through the Queer Advantage project, I came to understand how some of the world’s most successful people have achieved great heights with the help of their queer identity, positively impacting their careers and lives—and those of others.

The individuals profiled here took a leap of faith entrusting their stories to an unknown fashion stylist. They gave of themselves with tremendous poignancy and a generous spirit.

Not everyone has the same take on what the queer advantage is. If all fifty-one individuals profiled in this book were to sit down to discuss the topic, there would certainly be disagreements about what constitutes the queer advantage and how it applies to each of them.

Conversing with these entrepreneurs, artists, and thought leaders both intimidated and energized me. I was inspired by the reality that there are people like them in our society, pushing and pulling the collective consciousness to a higher level. It is within this collective consciousness that we are able to revel in our differences. Our ability to harness that difference is where we are able to find a great sense of power. And while our queer identity does not in any way define each of us entirely, it remains a significant and profound well from which we are able to draw.

The Queer Advantage puts before us different strategies for coping with the messiness and endless permutations of life’s crazy circus. We can read about these trailblazers’ ways of achieving, spot parallels, draw important connections, and determine how to apply the experiences of others to our own lives. As David Furnish notes within these pages, about supportive queer communities: “That’s when you get an over-and-above advantage, of getting another level of community support that isn’t necessarily available to everybody.”

When we receive invaluable information, we each have the responsibility to integrate it into our daily lives and begin to dispel the noxious influences that have created stifling, straightjacketed limitations. This takes real, Herculean effort, but the results, as you are about to read, can be tremendous. Complex life navigation becomes vastly easier when we are able to see the playbooks of others, to help get us where we want to go. We sometimes protect ourselves by building walls around ourselves. But there are those who show us a better way. We can learn to build windows in those walls, to take in new vistas, and even climb out to seek the sunlit world awaiting us.

My own experience, and what I discovered talking with fifty-one highly successful people, is that being queer isn’t an inherent advantage. It is something that gives you potential: the possibility of a precious, powerful edge. You have to make it work for you. This is achieved not so much by changing the perceptions of doubters, abusers, and tormenters. Rather, it springs from a shift in perspective that we make within ourselves. A shift that grants each of us the permission to bring the future—and all of our newly aware potential—into focus.

These conversations lay bare the truths of the queer advantage.

—Andrew Gelwicks, October 2020


Actor, Writer & Activist

George Takei has achieved much in many areas, including acting, writing, and activism. He was born into a Japanese American family in Los Angeles in 1937. During World War II, the Takei family was interned at a camp in Arkansas and, later, a relocation center in California.

Following the war, the Takeis moved back to Los Angeles. George Takei went on to obtain undergraduate and master’s degrees from UCLA in Theater. He further studied in England and Tokyo.

Takei’s acting roles in television, movies, and Broadway have partnered him with John Wayne, Richard Burton, Alec Guinness, Martin Sheen, Jerry Lewis, Jamie Lee Curtis, and many others. He is most widely known for playing Enterprise’s helmsman Hikaru Sulu on Star Trek: The Original Series. His many stage appearances include the play 8, written by Dustin Lance Black. Takei was interviewed in the documentary Do I Sound Gay? and was the subject of the documentary To Be Takei.

He has written a number of books, including his autobiography, published in 1994, To the Stars.

In 2004, the Japanese government conferred upon Takei the Order of the Rising Sun.

You’ve spoken at length about your time in the Japanese American internment camps. You have said that experience in the camps gave you your identity.

About three weeks after my fifth birthday, soldiers came to our home. My parents got us up early in the morning, dressed us hurriedly, and my brother and I were told to wait in the living room while they packed. The two of us were gazing out the front window, and we saw two soldiers marching up our driveway carrying rifles with shiny bayonets. They began pounding on our door. My father answered the door, and we were ordered out of our home.

That was the frightening beginning to my internment. But my parents tried to protect us from the reality. They told us we were going for a long vacation in the country. The camps weren’t built yet, so we were taken to the Santa Anita racetrack.

Later we were taken by train to the swamps of Arkansas. Our camp, Rohwer, happened to be the farthest east. And for this Southern California kid, it was a fantastical place. Right beyond the barbed wire fence was a bayou. Trees grew out of the water and their roots snaked in and out.

When I made the night runs from our barrack to the latrine, searchlights followed us. But I thought it was nice that they lit the way for me to pee. For my mother, it was invasive and humiliating. Two parallel stories: my parents’ story and my real experience as a child.

You ask about my internment having defined who I am. As a preteen, I began to understand we were in something like a prison, and only bad people go to prison. I became very curious to know the reality of my imprisonment, and I started reading books voraciously. I couldn’t find a thing about the internment, and the only person I could go to for information was my father. He was unusual in that most parents of my parents’ generation didn’t talk about the internment with their children.

But when I became curious about the internment, my father did talk. He shared his feelings, his pain. He said seeing the barbed wire fence and us playing nearby it tore him apart. What kind of people are they going to turn into growing up like this?

I said I was reading about the civil rights movement in newspapers and how they were struggling for equality. My father said the government made mistakes. I said, “Yeah, they did, but why didn’t you protest it? Why didn’t you resist it?”

He said, “They’re pointing guns at me. If something happened to me, what do you think would happen to you, your mother, your brother, and your sister?”

By this time, I was reading civics books, looking for information on the internment. And instead I found out about the ideals of our system. All men are created equal, equal justice under the law, this is a nation ruled by law. And it wasn’t, it was wrong, it was against the law. We were innocent, we were imprisoned with no charges and no trial. Due process is the central pivot of our justice system, and that disappeared. We were in prison simply because we looked exactly like the people who bombed Pearl Harbor.

So the internment defined my life as an activist and got me involved in many other campaigns. I try to bring that awareness to all of my LGBTQ+ advocacy. It’s because of the unjust imprisonment that I experienced as a child and the guidance my father gave me to actively participate, not just be subject to whatever were the currents of the time.

When you realized you were gay, how did that impact your vision of your future?

After the internment, our first home for a few months was on Skid Row because we were penniless. We had freedom but we didn’t have money. And then we moved into an all-Mexican American neighborhood. I was the only Asian kid and there was a cute boy, Bobby. Sweetest smile and long eyelashes. But the other boys didn’t think so. All the other guys were getting excited about Monica. This was in junior high school, and she was prematurely bursting out in full womanhood. I thought Monica was nice, but the boys.…

Because of my incarceration as a child, because we were different, I didn’t want to be different. We were punished for being different. And all the boys were getting excited about Monica so I joined in. I said, “Wow, Monica is nice.” But I really didn’t feel that. I thought other boys were much cuter.

I didn’t know the definition of “gay.” I thought I was the only one who felt that way. It was very lonely. But that was when I started learning to act what I didn’t feel.

Did you fear others might think you were gay?

I was acting like I wasn’t. By that time, I was pursuing an acting career. I was definitely aware of mannerisms. And I made it a point to not be like that. I sat like this instead of crossing my legs. And I learned to not walk like that boy who carried his books and minced. I was acting a part. I wasn’t being paid for it, but I studied the part and I took on all the accoutrements of that part.

Do you recall your first impressions of a gay celebrity?


  • "The search for love, purpose, and identity, is one that we all face and The Queer Advantage is an empowering tool in helping us to find those answers within ourselves."—Bobby Berk, Lifestyle & Design Expert, Host of Netflix's Queer Eye
  • "Bold and powerful."
    Martina Navratilova
  • "An inspirational book of positive queer histories and quotes. Loved it, and it's true there is definitely an advantage."—Gus Van Sant, award-winning filmmaker of Milk and Good Will Hunting
  • "The voices in The Queer Advantage will help us navigate toward the queer future that we urgently need. This important book arrives at the perfect time."
    Casey Gerald, author of There Will Be No Miracles Here
  • "This book is for the birds -- and I mean it in the nicest way. Just like the nightingale bird, the more people that tried to drown out their voices, the louder they sang. And now, they sing the most beautiful songs of all. Read this book! Hear the nightingales."—Leslie Jordan, actor
  • "This collection... feels less like a book of tips from queer power players and more like a series of intimate chats between good friends-that is, if your good friends were LGBTQ+ icons like George Takei, Adam Rippon and Margaret Cho. Offering deeply affecting anecdotes from queer leaders and the life lessons they learned in real time in the worlds of business, tech, sports, entertainment and more, The Queer Advantage encourages readers to find power in their identities."
  • "Yes to all of this! Yes, yes to Andrew's inspiring and beautiful interviews about how otherness brings with it strength, wisdom, and resilience. I loved reading the stories of these artists, business people, and activists about how their queerness has given them a great gift going out into the world. This is a deeply affirming book."—Joey Soloway, artist and activist
  • "I felt understood and seen within seconds of reading The Queer Advantage. Our biggest weaknesses in life can ultimately propel us to our highest potential. This book creates space for queer people to find their community and fosters self-healing, helping to silence the damaging voices we project on ourselves. If I had access to this book in my youth, I would've protected it at all costs."
    Hayley Kiyoko, singer, actor, director
  • "Andrew's message and the collection of stories he has gathered are nothing short of inspiring. Words your friends and family can relate to on so many emotional levels. EVERYONE needs a copy. An outstandingly gorgeous read!"—Gigi Gorgeous, activist and author of He Said, She Said
  • "From one once-confused Midwestern Jewish kid to another, Andrew Gelwicks has collected powerful personal stories and created an insightful guide to breaking free of confusion and frustration to be our best selves. This book is one that I'll keep coming back to."
    Nate Berkus, interior designer and author of The Things That Matter
  • "Throughout The Queer Advantage, Andrew Gelwicks and the people he is interviewing make clear that being fully oneself is an advantage, an edge, a benefit to one's individual life and our shared humanity. To be anything but one's full, glorious, gorgeous self would be less than whole and cheapen all of us. This is a book for anyone and everyone, bursting with dynamic conversations and revelations, and challenging all of us to own who we are, love those we love, and expect the best and most out of ourselves, our families, our friends and our society. It is well worth your time. Prepare for laughter, tears, reflection, and hope."—Chelsea Clinton, author, advocate, and vice chair of the Clinton Foundation
  • "As a queer reader, you see yourself reflected on the page while also learning of the diversity within this community. The comfort of seeing that your pain was shared, and the excitement of a future where the closet need not exist. A must read for ALL people. Honey, Andrew did THAT!"—Benito Skinner, comedian
  • "A really interesting collection of interviews....I'm thankful that the book brought some new faces to my attention....While The Queer Advantage doesn't shy away from the traumas that many queer people face, the focus of the book is on the flip side....It's an interesting read for anyone, as these industry leaders provide some interesting insight into their experience. Of course, I'd especially recommend it for queer individuals who might be inspired by the way these leaders refuse to let their identity hold them back."—Daniel Hurst, actor
  • "A testament to manifesting the negative energy of being different, wrong, or strange into work that is beautiful and evolutionary."
    Porchlight Books
  • "Heartening."—Harper's BAZAAR
  • “The book… could change how young people and their families see LGBTQ+ people....An intimate celebration of queerness still too rare today.”—OUT Magazine
  • "[A] fascinating book...The interviews themselves are wide-ranging, as the subjects talk candidly about their lives and work and how being queer has impacted both...The result is a book that is both informative and inspirational."—Booklist
  • "Gelwicks is authentic, honest, and down-to-earth in his engagement with these subjects, and puts as much of himself out there as he asks of his discussants. The irrepressible optimism and joy he feels for queer community echoes through the diverse collection of interviews, and gives the book a sense of inspired momentum."—PopMatters
  • "An inspiring collection of stories from people whose journeys can affect change for generations to come."

  • "Inspiring....Andrew Gelwicks...shines a much-needed spotlight on these pioneers through interview chapters that are easy to read, engaging, and enlightening."—
  • “A great book…so timely.”—"Life (Un)Closeted" podcast

On Sale
Oct 4, 2022
Page Count
368 pages
Hachette Go

Andrew Gelwicks

About the Author

Andrew Gelwicks is a celebrity fashion stylist. He started in the fashion department at GQ, and later worked in celebrity booking for Teen VOGUE. He also has extensive experiences in public relations, marketing and celebrity relations at Hearst Magazines, Michael Kors, and Starworks Group.

His clientele in New York and LA includes a mix of young Hollywood elite and seasoned stars. His extensive portfolio includes working with Tommy Dorfman, Brandon Flynn, Delilah Belle Hamlin, Sistine Stallone, KJ Apa, Nicole Scherzinger, Ryan Jamaal Swain, Lisa Rinna, Tove Lo, Dascha Polanco, Dominique Jackson, Chloe Lukasiak, the Queer Eye cast, Gigi Gorgeous, Josie Canseco, and more.

Andrew has been featured internationally in Forbes, WWD, The Hollywood Reporter, InStyle, Town & Country, People, Life & Style, Amuze, and El País, among others. He was recently named by Bumble as one of the 100 Most Inspiring New Yorkers.

His writing has been published in The Hollywood Reporter, OUT, The Huffington Post, Harper’s BAZAAR, Teen VOGUE, among others.

Learn more about this author