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20 Queer Q's with Nick Lehmann

20 Queer Q's with Nick Lehmann

20 Queer Q's with Nick Lehmann

In this round of 20 Queer Q'sPRIDE's Joe Rodriguez gets to know comedian, writer, and actor Nick Lehmann!

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The 20 Queer Q's series seeks to capture LGBTQ+ individuals (and allies) in a moment of authenticity. We get to know the subjects, what makes them who they are, and what they value.

The goal of these intimate conversations is to leave you, the reader, feeling like you just gained a new friend, a new perspective, and that you learned something new about or saw a different side of someone—maybe someone that you don’t see online, but someone that’s maybe like you.

In this round, let's get to know comedian, writer, and actor Nick Lehmann! Learn about the best piece of advice he’s ever received, what he considers to be a queer anthem, his chosen family, and more!

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Name: Nick Lehmann

Age: 26

Preferred Pronouns: He/Him/His

Sexually Identifies As: very Gay

What do you love about the LGBTQ+ community?

I feel lucky to be a part of it. I think there are different parts of the community that need support, but I love how fun it is. It’s fantastic because people have been so focused on getting things done and then we get to celebrate those accomplishments. There’s still so much work to be done but the community itself is so fantastic because of what we’ve been able to do and how much love there is within. 

How did you feel attending your first Pride?

I was 19 years old, it was my first summer in New York, and I remember very last minute getting together with friends going to the Pride parade. I remember having this feeling that I never had before, it was this intense pride for myself, the people around me, it was my friends seeing me as I was discovering myself in this light for the first time, really truly being myself, seeing people having the time of their lives. 

That’s what I love about Pride. All insecurities go away, you’re just happy to be there and it’s such a celebration of the community and of life and everything that we’ve accomplished. I remember being so incredibly happy and knowing for the first time that I was allowed to feel that happy for the rest of my life. 

What does Pride mean to you?

It’s a lot of things. It’s a celebration of who you are, it’s a journey of finding a way to love yourself. I think it's loving yourself even with all your quirks. There have been things that you’ve been told in the past that make you different and "not normal" and in my mind, those are things that make you unique. Anyone who wants to be normal, that’s a waste of your time on this earth. I think Pride for me is finding all those little things that make you different and celebrating them because those are the best parts about you. 

What’s a song you consider to be an LGBTQ+ anthem?
"Run Away With Me" by Carly Rae Jepsen. When that horn goes off, it’s like the queer community's call to war to gather. I feel like you could play that sound on a loudspeaker in the world and the entire queer community would look up as if it were a bat signal. 

What’s some advice you have for LGBTQ+ youth?

Take your time, do it on your own terms. Also in taking your time, understand that when you first come out in the first few years that there’s still so much that’s going to happen and so many feelings you’re going to experience. Take your time to figure out what your pride is and what being queer means to you because it’s ever-changing and it only gets better. 

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Do you believe in love?

Yesssss! 

Describe what being queer is like in 3-5 words. 

Better than the rest.

What is something you want to change about yourself in the next 6 months?

I would like to be able to focus on the positives more than I do on the negatives. 

What do you feel most insecure about?

I think right now, it’s meeting someone who wants the same things out of a relationship that I do. 

What do you feel most confident about?

My ability to make people laugh.

Have you found your chosen family? How do they make you feel?

My chosen family makes me feel like a certain type of way. What I love about your chosen family is that it’s a group of people who you didn’t know you were kind of seeking out, and you get to decide who those people are, you get to decide, "I like this part of your personality, you add to my life, you only lift me up, there are just no negatives." It is a certain type of core group of people with different backgrounds and diversity. I love that there also is that type of family that you can rely on and share things with people who you've only known for a few years or who you never knew before who entered your life and completely changed it. 

What is the title of the current chapter of your life?

"Screaming At Myself, With Myself."

Pick 2 people to invite to dinner. Who would you invite?

Kacey Musgraves and Beyoncé.

Did you ever/do you still feel uncomfortable holding someone else’s hand in public?

I think you have to read the room. I think, "Do I wanna hold a guy’s hand in public everywhere?" Of course, unless it’s clammy. But I think being in the queer community is also understanding that a lot of people around you might not like you. I think that safety is important, and you want to live your life the way straight people do. I don’t feel uncomfortable until it feels like there’s a situation where I should feel uncomfortable, which is unfair. 

Fill in the blank: When I find someone I’m interested in I ______.

Make it quite obvious. 

What are deal breakers for you when dating someone?

People who aren’t honest. People who are inherently mean and people who chew with their mouths open. 

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How much does your LGBTQ+ identity play into your overall identity?

I’d say it plays a big part. Growing up, I thought that being queer didn’t fully define me, and it doesn’t. There are plenty of aspects of myself that don’t have to do with my identity. I think it’s something that I fought against for so long and I think one of the greatest things about me and about anyone I know is being queer. So it’s something I like to own, to put in my art, in my conversations, because it’s something I’m so proud of and lucky to be a part of. So I don’t think it fully defines me, but does it define a massive part of myself? Absolutely.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

It’s a lot easier to be mean than to be nice and it’s easier to go low and attack people from your own insecurities and flaws. I think for me, I come from a place where kindness is most important, especially in the queer community. You gotta be kind to people because you don’t know what someone is going through and I think that people who are mean are just working overtime to take away from their own lives and other lives. 

If you could shadow anybody for a day, who would it be?

Greg Berlanti. I think he’s amazing. He works so hard, has an incredible group of people working for him, he makes great TV, great films, and is doing exactly what I want to do. I want to do what he does and also still be involved in the projects on the acting front. But just being able to see what he does with the massive amount of people he has employed and all the different productions, I would love to see how a mastermind like that works every single day. 

What value has being queer given you? What have you gained?

I think my queerness has granted me access to live the best life possible. It’s something I celebrate every single day not just for myself, but for other people, and I find it an incredible privilege to be queer. If it was a choice to be gay, I’m glad to have made this decision because I wouldn’t want any other life. I have come into my own issues, have had trouble with it in the past, and it took me a long time to come to terms with it. I have experienced hate on so many different levels, but it’s the thing that I love the most about myself and I think it has granted me a higher understanding of how to really have self-love. It’s the thing that brings me the most joy and has offered me so many opportunities, fun, and love, and I feel so lucky to just be a part of the community. 

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Keep up with Nick over on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok!

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Joe Rodriguez