In the thirsty era of Instagram influence, you’d need to be living under a considerably large rock to not have seen Derek Chadwick pop up in your feed at least once. With over 270 thousand followers, the model, actor and musician is using his cover of Gay Times to come out as gay publicly for the first time. Living in such a public sphere, Derek has felt uncomfortable addressing such a private part of his life until now for fear of people jumping to conclusions about him without being aware of his full story - even censoring elements of his personality and the content that he pushed out into the world. Now out and proud, we met with Derek to discuss his experiences of homophobia in the industry, the importance of queer visibility and using his social influencer status as a weapon to enact change.
“Coming out in this way allows me to use the privilege that I have to help other people who don't have that. The opportunities that I've been given to have a voice. I feel like that was the main reason why I wanted to do this cover. I want to be the person that's at those rallies and events advocating for people and anybody. I never felt that I could do that unless I did this, and I think this is a major way for people to see visible queer people.”