A few months ago, I posted about the model Colby Melvin. If you don't know who he is, then I think you should. Born in the deep South, Colby Melvin was brought up to be a gentleman, but his mother taught him early on that to make a difference in this world, you need to be a little bit "hell raiser" too! So, it isn't surprising that Colby has quickly become one of the most public activists in the fight for marriage equality across the country. Colby holds fast to his core beliefs of sincerity, civility, honesty and kindness and has used them as the basis for his commitment to raise awareness for LGBT issues. Combining his passion for politics with his love of entertainment, Colby emerged as a top spokesmodel for Andrew Christian. Soon after, he began working with Full Frontal Freedom, a coalition of independent artists and media executives – using their talent and creativity to raise awareness and enhance civil discourse. It was his first video with Full Frontal Freedom, a parody of a popular One Direction hit, that garnered Colby national attention for his willingness to publicly fight for the causes he believes in. The "Disclosure" video became one of the most watched political videos of the 2012 campaign cycle and resulted in Colby receiving the Human Rights Award for Political Performing Arts from the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club in New York.
As outspoken as Colby has become about LGBT issues and the fight for marriage equality, his journey was not always easy. After graduating from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama, Colby went to work in the oil and gas industry. The oil spill of 2010 found him in a major management position helping in the Gulf Coast recovery. It was during this time that Colby's "secret" was discovered by a superior. After tolerating the corporate bullying, Colby made a decision – he would not hide who he was. Colby left his job, came out to family and friends and began working towards his dream of becoming a force in the LGBT community.
I am a great admirer of Colby, even more so after I saw this video about his experience coming out that was posted on the Underwear Expert blog on National Coming Out Day. This is such a touching video, from the photos to the story Colby tells, that I had to share it with you guys. I especially identified with is answer to the question, "Did you always know you were gay?"
Colby’s message is of acceptance and courage, friendship and trust; an important message indeed. And coming from a guy that’s come so far in so little time, it’s especially topical. Being gay behind closed doors is sometimes what we need, but being who we are and proud of it isn’t just about opening one door — it’s about opening door, after door, after door because when we are true to ourselves self, anything is possible. While my job doesn't allow me to come out and be as open as Colby, I admire him. My coming out experiences were not like his, but it does show that there is hope for the LGBT community in the South. There are accepting people in the South, and I have known many of them. They are also generally the ones that I am out and proud to.
Colby is also actively political and it shows in many of the charities he is involved in, especially concerning gay marriage equality. He produced and starred in a music-video parody of One Direction's "What Makes You Beautiful" earlier this summer. The video, released by Full Frontal Freedom, a campaign to increase political awareness of LGBT issues and promote LGBT equality, showcased rewritten lyrics urging Romney to release his tax returns. That video has received 3.4 million views, by the way. Melvin is to present the video later this month at the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club's Pre-Election Reception in New York on Thursday, October 25, 2012.
A handful of models, including Andrew Christian faves Colby Melvin and Quinn Jaxon, have teamed up with Full Frontal Freedom, an “Independent pro-equality movement not affiliated with, endorsed by or sponsored by any state campaign.” The collaboration produced a winning political parody of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful.” Starring a sexually mixed (half-straight, half-gay) and underwear clad cast of characters that includes Colby Melvin (who’s also the face and spokesmodel for the coalition), Quinn Jaxon, Brandon Brown, Jonathan Myers and David Brackett, the video asks Romney to show what’s down below:
Colby Melvin told The Underwear Expert, “The whole purpose of Full Frontal Freedom is about using different forms of media and artists so we can promote political engagement and just get people to give a sh*t.” And how exactly do you do that? Get ultra viral underwear models to get involved. “We get tons and tons and tons of views on our pictures and videos, so many comments and likes,” Colby continued. “We can actually use that for good to get people involved in the issues.”