01/29/2015 03:58 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Vine Fame and Preferred Pronouns


"What are your preferred pronouns?"

Spoiler alert: I don't have a preference.

There is a generation gap on Vine. The majority of my followers are teens, and the one thing that brightens my day more than anything is the way they think about gender; they ask me, over and over again "what are your preferred pronouns?" They truly want me to be self-empowered, to tell them who I am.

For many reasons, adults tend to see my beard, and label me 'man,' or perhaps, 'man-who-likes-to-dress-up-as-woman.' It's a fair designation, and I don't really mind it (it's hard to offend me). As long as it isn't derogatory, I feel people should be free to call me whatever makes them comfortable. I end up telling the kids on Vine I have no preference for pronouns, because that answer proves a larger point: I don't want anyone to feel bad for using the "wrong" pronoun. Personally, I find calling myself and thinking of myself as man a bit stodgy and old-fashioned. (There is a vogue now for using 'they' to replace 'he' and 'she', and that's an excellent step toward the truth of the spectrum of human expression.) I'm glad to feel like I'm living outside of man and woman.

There is an excellent payoff to living as an outsider: you get a different perspective on how the inside works. You get to see that you can be anything. Everyone can be anything. My Vine follower's "what's your gender?"/"it's whatever I say it is" mentality is new to me and amazing and freeing and exciting.

People ask me why I make videos. With all the hate and name-calling on Vine (or any internet platform), why bother?

#1: I love changing lives. I love helping outsider kids in every corner of this country and world feel less alone.

But, also #2: "Less alone" is a two way street. I connect through Vine. I learn from them.

Most of us who are over 20 grew up with strict rules, with ideas about the "right" way to be a man or woman. Kids don't see it this way! At least not the kids I talk to... and that is truly amazing.