An 18-year old influencer attempts to reconcile his identity online with his identity in real life.

AIRED: October 25, 2021 | 0:12:36

[ Cellphone ringing ]

[ Up-tempo music plays ]



[ Toothbrush whirring ]


[ Water running ]

-[ Speaking indistinctly ]

-Whoo! Whoo!

Oh, oh!


-[ Chuckles ]

[ Camera shutter clicks ]

[ Chuckling ]

-So how did this all begin?

-So I started Instagram five years ago

when I was in the eighth grade [Laughs]

because I had no friends

and I wanted to do something on Instagram.


[ Clicking ]

And because of my page, I've been contacted

by some companies to do marketing,

and now I work at a start-up

where I help manage their Instagram pages

and I do some creative work.

-Yeah, four's fine.

-So do we want to convince them that memes are good?

-I'm trying to explain to them, like,

"Hey, we can make, you know, these milk memes

that'll get people excited about milk."

-[ Chuckles ]

They want to be, like, classy memes, like, classy content.

It got 800 likes in 30 minutes.

That's pretty bad. -That's pretty okay.

-Mm. The other one did --

Yeah, it's not that good.

-And we noticed you have a pinned post

that's really different from the rest of your meme posts.

-Uh-huh. Um...

So basically, like, I really care about, like, social justice

and, like, mental health because, like,

I went through, like, the similar depression situation

because I'm gay

and my family is just not really,

like, happy about it at all.

I mean, they don't know, but, like, from, you know,

gathering information and, like, comments, like, you know,

you can just tell when your family doesn't like something,

and they really don't like gay people at all.


[ Clicking ]


And, like, my dad was, like --

One day in the car, he was like,

"I'm gonna jump off the Golden Gate Bridge

if one of you is gay or, like, if you're gay."

And I'm like... And he wasn't --

He was saying it, like, as a joke.

You know, like -- like, when you know that your --

You know, even as a joke, you know,

it hurts a lot that your dad would say something like that.

[ Clicking ]



[ Clicking ]

-"Why is he doing this to me?

Why did he do this?"

Christopher used to say, "Well, God can do anything.

Why doesn't he heal me?"

-Help keep the bus safe for all customers.

Report any suspicious activity to the operator or dial 911.

Remember, if you see something, say something.

-[ Speaking Spanish ]

-Next stop, Cloverfield Boulevard.

[ Clicking ]


-Mm. How did you get through this difficult time period?

-Well, I met my best friend now online,

and she owns another meme page.


And we became friends

and became better and better friends.

I wanted to tell her that I was gay, and I told her,

and then she helped me get through a lot.

It's just easier to talk to people online.



That's why I really care about helping others' mental health.

You know, if I can just save like one life

or if I can make someone stay better,

like, that's, like, so important.

[ Cellphone chimes ]

[ Clicking ]




But I haven't come out to my family yet.


-Some people are gonna have a problem with this.

I know that this could kind of change everything for me,

but it shouldn't have to.

And that's why I'm making this video

and that's why I think it's important

that people make these --

-Okay, so go ahead.

-It's not easy to say. -Okay.

-And you're gonna be very shocked.

-Uh-oh. Like, I'm just worried.

-Don't get worried.

[ Clicking ]





-[ Exhales deeply ]

[ Ringing ]

Hello? -Can you see me?

I just realized -- I'm so dumb. Look.

So stupid. -You're so stupid.

Are you alone in your room?

-Yeah. Oh, my God.

-Okay, so I'm calling you

because a big part of this documentary

is about my personal life,

and I'm pretty sure you suspected this before, you know,

that I'm gay, right? -Mm-hmm.

-I mean, it's pretty obvious 'cause we're, like,

pretty close, right?

-Oh, my God, I can't believe you just told me.

-Right, and, you know, it's, like, really hard for me

because you know my family, like.

-Yeah. -I'm gonna cry, but...

-Aw, Timmy.

I really thought you would never tell me.

-You know, it's like everyone is always like...

[ Sobbing ]

..."You can't be like this," right?

Like, in our family, like, the...immigrants and...

Just kidding, but you know.

-Oh, it's okay. Wait. Did you tell them?

-No, because my dad,

you know, he really doesn't like that stuff.

-Yeah. -And yeah.

It was -- I just wanted to tell you

because you're my favorite cousin.

-Aww. -Besides Sean.

Sean's my favorite.


-Are you okay?


'Cause I know you wouldn't hate me for it.

You know, like most -- -No, I would never, dude.

Of course I would never.

I'm so happy for you. Like, I just --

I wanted you to tell me.

-I know.

-Wait, so your dad doesn't know?

-I think I'm gonna tell them next week.

-Will you tell Tommy and Steph?

-No, because Tommy's always, like...

you know, like, "That's gay" and "Stop being so gay"" and stuff.

-Yeah. Yeah.

It's okay.

-Yeah, it's okay.

-They'll understand.

-No, I don't think my dad will.

I don't know what will happen.

-But my mom told me that your dad said it was okay.

Like, he was fine with it.

-What? Are you kidding me?

-They talked about it, like, a while ago.

-Nobody told me this. [ Sobbing ]

-[ Speaking indistinctly ]

-Are you sure?

-No, I'm sure.

He did say that. Dude, he loves you. Like...

[ Speaks indistinctly ]

-I was just, you know, so scared that,

you know, you wouldn't love me anymore.

-No, it's not -- No, not at all, dude.

-[ Exhales sharply, sniffles ]

-It's okay.

They're always gonna, like, love you no matter what.

-[ Exhales deeply ]


-[ Sighs ]

[ Clicking ]

[ Sniffling ]


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