We had the pleasure of speaking with Brett, and what was supposed to be a short interview of an interesting person on Twitter became a great conversation about growth and more. There are the usual snark and fun in the interview, but Brett is an amazing guy and a great interview.
Also, there's something a little different about this post, the images are all embedded in the content and can be clicked on to enlarge right from there, so there is no image gallery at the bottom. It's a new format, but Brett gave us a lot to work with, and I think you'll enjoy the results.
And, as always, remember to follow Brett around the social web. You can find the links down in the left sidebar. You can also get a quick rundown of Brett in our Brett Basics section. He's a joy to know, and well worth the follow.
Because of those experiences, personal viewpoints are what I’ve become all about. —Brett
...as I got to know him better, a level of empathy and understanding got through my narrow view of pettiness... —Brett
Pale Panda: First question is a gimme. Tell us a bit about yourself and your history.
Brett: I’m honestly a pretty big nerd when it comes to a lot of things, like movies, video games, shows, or books. I’m also pretty passionate about history, politics, and especially stories and how intricate they can be. I also love to write, take photographs with phone or camera, and I absolutely love whenever I have the chance to travel.
During my life, I was lucky enough to live in London in the United Kingdom, and prior and post that experience I lived in this US. During that amazing period in my life where I had access to traveling around Europe, I found my love for history (although I didn’t recognize it yet), and had the chance to meet so many people and learn so many perspectives.
Because of those experiences, personal viewpoints are what I’ve become all about. Personally, I love getting to know people and finding common ground. And from those people, I’ve grown to be a much more understanding person than I once was.
P: What is one example of your growth in understanding?
B: An example of my growth in understanding was likely during my sophomore year of high school. When I was younger, I was a full on republican, and I chose to believe that all other ideas but my own were incorrect.
Eventually, through a brilliant teacher of mine, who could articulate any side of a debate with incredible clarity, and truly convince you to believe in any one of them, I found that the human mind could be narrow if not opened up to other perspectives. So I began watching videos of other political movements and philosophies throughout history and other elections, like Henry David Thoreau or Ron Paul.
And through this development, I’ve been able to not only understand other political perspectives but have allowed myself to feel empathy for others I would’ve shut out in my former mindset
But more specifically, and an example of that would be a friend I had more recently.
His personality was incredibly different, and he was incredibly self-deprecating, but he was an amazing person with a brilliant amount of humility. Unfortunately, that didn’t mean he had an amazing life, he was incredibly visually impaired, and he had massive family issues.
We were at odds at times, but as I got to know him better, a level of empathy and understanding got through my narrow view of pettiness, and I chose to be someone who would listen to him when he was having trouble. Because I chose to be that for him, he was there for me in my own dark times. I’ve found that understanding and empathy are the huge human connectors.
- Preferred pronouns are he/him/his
- Sexuality: Gay
- Hobbies include watching Netflix and listening to music, as well as photography, reading, writing, tennis, archery, and swimming.
- Passionate about history, politics, human rights, literature, and philosophy.
In some senses, instant gratification has ruined some of my interactions on apps. —Brett
Another thing that pisses me off is how some people can hate others without being given any reason to. —Brett
I’m a large vanilla frosty with a medium fry. —Brett
P: How do you tackle dating in this age of apps and instant gratification?
B: That’s a really good question. Personally, I only came out of the closet a little under a year ago, so it’s been a bit difficult for me on dating. I chose to be traditional at first and avoid all apps in the search for guys, but I eventually caved and downloaded Tinder. So far, I’ve been somewhat successful, I met my first boyfriend on tinder, and maybe I’ll meet my second in there too.
But personally, when I do find a guy on Tinder, I usually try to get to know them quite a bit before the first date, rather than just planning one and jumping in. Sometimes people aren’t so into that though, and really just want to jump into a relationship blindly, and it’s the reason I’ve been ghosted in the past. In some senses, instant gratification has ruined some of my interactions on apps, because some really just lose their patience. But in short, I’m handling dating in this age of apps and instant gratification by being patient. It’s brought me one of my best results so far.
P: Do you ever fall into the pattern of exchanging pictures on apps? Does that worry you?
B: In reference to apps like Snapchat? I definitely do. And in some senses, it does worry me. All of the pictures that are sent in an app are essentially saved in a big data bank and can be easily hacked and distributed if someone is specifically looking to discredit you. They could be important/private conversations, or something more explicit, and nowadays your privacy can be easily violated if you anger the wrong person.
P: What media (TV, Movies, Film, Games, etc) are you into right now?
B: In terms of TV, I’ve definitely been ensnared by Shondaland (aka Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Scandal). Those shows are absolutely filled with incredible stories that always keep me watching. As for movies, I’ve been a bit lacking lately, but I’m still pretty shocked from the events of Avengers: Infinity War, and I’m very excited for the Captain Marvel movie to come around. And finally, in terms of games, my long wait for the sequel to Skyrim continues with the many other Elder Scrolls fans
P: What really pisses you off?
B: People who lie or go behind my back and do something anyway. It’s always a big betrayal of my trust in most situations, and it just means that that person doesn’t truly respect you.
Another thing that pisses me off is how some people can hate others without being given any reason to. I encountered this myself on curious cat more recently, and people abused the trust I had given can, and chose to harass me, and ruined the chance for others to ask legitimate questions of me.
P: You said that you came out of the closet recently? Do you think it is important for young gay men to learn their history and find out how we got where we are?
B: I did, and I absolutely believe that it’s important for gay men to learn their history and how we got to where we are. Many of us forget where we came from and how many people lost their lives in the process of securing gay rights. From Harvey Milk to the legalization of gay marriage in 2015, we’ve come a long way, and that needs to be recognized by our community. But once we know our history, we also know what challenges face us ahead as a global community, such as LGBT rights across the Middle East and Eastern Europe/Russia, and that the community there also needs to be as socially free as we are in the West. It’s a fight that we must continue, and understanding our past is integral to our future.
P: If you had a TV show what would it be and what part would you play?
B: I’m a big fan of fantasy and magic, so it’d likely be a show based off of that, and I’d like to think I’d be one of the protagonists/anti-heroes in that show.
P: If you were to describe yourself as a fast food order, what would it be?
B: Ooh I’d say for a fast food order I’m a large vanilla frosty with a medium fry.
P: To dip the fries? Do you dip the fries?
B: Lol usually I don’t, but sometimes it’s a nice combination if I’m in the mood for the salty and sweet mix
P: Correct answer.