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Happy Hippie Presents #InstaPride: Brendan

How old are you?
I am 15 years old going onto 16

Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in the sparkling city of Las Vegas, Nevada and I also currently live here

How would you describe yourself?
I would describe myself as Crazy, Unique, and Loving

What do you do for a living / what are you studying in school?
I am currently in my freshman year of high school (I just finished so technically I would be a sophomore now????) and I will be studying in the Conservatory of the Fine Arts program at my school.

What do you do in your free time?
In my free time I always am found playing with makeup, shopping online, or creating some new look for myself. I am a very experimental person. I love creating new looks with makeup and playing with all the different beautiful colors. It's actually a form of art I recently started doing.

Do you have any hidden talents / random fun facts about yourself?
I am actually currently learning how to sing. This is something I have never really done or practiced before, I have been working with my vocal coach for about eight months now, and according to her in about a year or so I should be up to performance level. I am a big fan of musical theatre, and I am very excited about this new-found hobby of mine. I am thrilled to see where this skill will take me, and what I will decide to do with it.

If you could karaoke one song, what would it be and why?
If I had to Karaoke any song it would probably be a song that displays a sense of strong, woman power. 

When was a moment in your life that you felt really free to be yourself?
In these past two years I have been feeling free to really just be myself and to start molding my future self. Thankfully, God has blessed me with the world's greatest parents and family. My mom and dad both let me be free and let me just be my artistic and fun self. As long as I am not harming anyone, or breaking any laws there is no problem to what I do. I love my family for being an amazing support system, and I thank God every day for them.

Tell us about how you identify yourself
Although I am still a child and still learning more and more things about myself every day, I currently identify myself as both male and female. Some days I feel like my female "Brendan" comes out, and other days I feel my male "Brendan" come out. I like being limitless because I don't want to set a boundary for myself. All respect to those who do choose only one gender, but I think that I currently enjoy the limitless feeling of it. I don't know what I will define myself as in the future, but for now, above all, I am just Brendan. A kid with two genders. 

What is a challenge you’ve faced when it comes to your gender identity?
A challenge I have personally faced with identifying myself is confusion. Everybody gets confused with who they are at least once in their life. I just learned to accept my confusion, and just let myself be Brendan.

What is a common misconception or question you encounter about your gender?
Most people actually get confused about my gender. I guess that is understandable because my feminine-like features can pass for either both genders. I am a big fan of this because, again, I like that "limit-less" feeling. I just respectively tell people that I pass for both male and female. :)

What does support and acceptance mean to you? Can you share a time when someone was accepting / supportive when you weren’t expecting it?
Support is probably the greatest thing a person could ever have I probably wouldn't be anywhere without the support of my loving family. Support can also be the greatest thing in the world when you don't expect it sometimes. For example, at my school many of the straight boys don't really care to socialize with me. I respect it because it's probably because they don't understand a person like me, and people distance themselves from things they are scared of/ don't understand. One day I was talking to one of them in a class, and he said how he accepts me for who I am and thinks others who don't accept are just losers. That was a time when I got support in a place where I didn't expect it. 

What was your favorite part about the Happy Hippie shoot?
My favorite part about the Happy Hippie shoot was pretty much all of it. The entire thing was set up for total relaxation and artistic exploration. Although many people would get nauseous at the sight of yellow clothes, I thought the yellow apparel created an atmosphere that was just full of an energy that just felt happy and accepting. 

Who came with you to the shoot and what did it mean to you to have them there?
My mother and my loving sister both showed up at the shoot, (My father couldn't attend due to some work he had to take care of, but I could still feel his amazing supportive energy). It meant a lot to has my sister and mother right by my side supporting me all the way. They also had an amazing time!

What are you hopeful about in the next year—both personally and when it comes to LGBT rights?
In regards to LGBT Rights, I hope the world just learns to be more accepting all over. I want kids like me who are still attending school to be more accepting and loving to one another because that all we need. For me personally, I would just like to be the same happy person as I am now. I want to continue being happy, artistic, and genuine. :)

What is some advice you have for someone who exploring their gender identity?
Many people ask me for some help or guidance in being confident and being themselves. My biggest piece of advice I can give is to not be afraid to experiment and try new things (as long as they are safe stuff like makeup for example). Don't be afraid to question yourself if you are truly happy with who you are, and if you are not CHANGE THAT. I want to inspire others with my sense of confidence to truly release their inner confident character, and let that shine through them. People shouldn't have to hide in a shell, they should be free, creative, and artistic.

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