Live Lucky

Lucky x Love: Meet The Judges

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In celebration of June ’19 Pride, we launched our Lucky x Love t-shirt design contest and campaign—celebrating you and your individuality, no matter who you are or who you love. Meet the judges behind the contest. Creators, influencers, and leaders of the LGBTQ community—each and every one of them has a unique story to share. Get to know them a little better and hear about the causes they’re passionate about, their favorite Pride events, what they love about Los Angeles, and what makes them feel lucky.  
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Tell us about the role love plays in your life.
Arisce: I surround myself with love from my family and friends as much as humanly possible. Without their love I don’t know where I would be today. Love makes my (hectic) life work.
What causes are you passionate about?
Arisce: I am passionate about LGBTQIA equality in every sense you can imagine. I want equal pay, equal rights, and equal opportunities for the members of my community I love so much. These are basic human rights. Inequality for us is wrong and places us as second-class citizens yet we have to pay the same taxes and follow all of the laws as everyone else. It doesn’t add up people.
Tell us about your first or most memorable Pride.
Arisce: My first Pride was in Miami many years ago, the sun was out on Ocean Drive and the kids were all out to have a good time. I parked myself in front of the Versace Mansion and watched the parade from the iconic steps. It was magic, I’d never seen anything like it.
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Los Angeles is a colorful city that draws in a lot of artists. What do you love most about L.A. and where do you go to be inspired?
Luke: As an artist, it's pretty awesome to watch the L.A. art scene boom over the last few years. As a photographer, L.A. is all about that golden light. Shooting on location is easy because 90% of the year, we have beautiful blue skies. And there's lots of room for long shadows to fall, something I couldn’t get in NYC. L.A. is surrounded by mountains and I love and am inspired by hiking to the top and taking in the entire city.
Tell us about your first or most memorable Pride.
Luke: My first, and probably most memorable for that reason, was the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras back home in Australia. I was 17. The streets of Sydney come alive and it's one of the biggest and greatest pride festivals in the world. Sydney also had the Olympics in 2000, so it was even crazier that year.
What does representation/visibility for the LGBTQ community mean to you?
Luke: I think representation/visibility is incredibly important because people are scared of the unknown. The more diverse LGBTQ people we see on tv, in movies, and in magazines, the better, because it makes people aware that we really are everywhere in all avenues of life.
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With your work in mind, what does a typical day look like for you?
6am- CorePower Sculpt class. Then straight to Starbucks for a Grande Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew.
9am- Call Time. WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK (Rihanna Voice).
5pm- Wrap Time
7pm- Dinner
9pm- Hot Power Fusion Candlelit Yoga Sesh
10:30- Bedtime!
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Do you have any role models? If so, who are they and why?
Roman: I’d like to start off with my two women crushes Michelle Obama and Yara Shahidi! In my opinion, they are two of the most progressive speakers of our time and on top of that, they have an impeccable sense of style.
In the fashion world I use Dries Van Noten’s career and life as a working model of how I would like my “life as a full-time designer “ to one day be set up.  He isn’t necessarily my favorite designer, but I adore his and his partner’s way of working and living. Watch the “Dries” documentary on Netflix and you will completely understand what I mean. They are too cute!
What does representation/visibility for the LGBTQ community mean to you?
Roman: To me, representation/visibility for the LGBTQ community means both understanding and acceptance. Proper representation in fashion, film, and other media platforms forces society to see and hear the diverse community. Thus being able to grasp a better understanding of who these people actually are. When I say acceptance, I’m referring to the LGBTQ+ community actually seeing visual representations of themselves in the media. Ultimately cultivating a greater sense of acceptance and affirmation of their Identity.
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How do you personally feel lucky?
Herald: I feel lucky because I’m proud of who I am becoming. I’m lucky to have been born gay, proud to be latino, and fortunate to be supported by an amazing group that challenges me on a daily basis.
Do you have any role models? If so, who are they and why?
Herald: I have two role models I deeply care about.   The first, Sam, my ‘gay dad’ is the person I confided in about my sexuality while living in North Carolina during my freshman year at university. Through his mentorship, I was able to transfer schools, so I could come out without punishment. He is the person I dedicate any success to—without him, I’m not sure I would consider myself lucky to be gay. I call him every couple of weeks to share the most embarrassing stories, gains, and losses, but more importantly, to hear his voice and remind him how much I love him.
Robert, my ‘fairy godmother,’ is the type of human I aim to be. He’s personable, passionate, and immensely dedicated to empowering his local LGBTQ+ community. These are a few of the many reasons why he’s my role model. He’s the reason why I work so hard to make inclusivity, especially within the LGBTQ+ community, part of my identity in my work. As a first generation latino, my parents really focused on setting me up to excel in my professional career. Positive, but also the reason I stayed in the closet. I was afraid that I would get fired from my job or my colleagues would immediately dislike me. Thanks to Robert, I learned quickly my sexuality is another perk to my resume and not a negative.
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What are your favorite California-based Pride events?
Cooper: Dyke Day L.A. ! The only L.A. Pride weekend event that is free and family-friendly. What I love about Dyke Day L.A. is their commitment to providing a space to unifying the trans, non-binary, and queer community through a gathering that celebrates diversity, visibility, inclusivity, and intergenerational participation.
With your work in mind, what does a typical day look like for you?
Cooper: As an archives specialist at ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries, the largest archive of its kind in the world, my typical day includes the preservation and description of historical LGBTQ political graphics.
Describe your personal style and how denim plays a role.
Cooper: My personal style has always incorporated a flare of rock and roll, a genre and culture that has embedded itself into the fabric of my life. What I love about what rock and roll did for denim is that it took something that was made to be basic and practical, and made it subversive.
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What does representation/visibility for the LGBTQ community mean to you?
Melantha: Visibility and representation are very important for our community across industries. It is vital to have diversity and inclusivity when it comes to those people in the forefront and those working behind the scenes. We need to see individuals that we can relate to and that serve as a voice for our community. We have a come a long way but there is still much more work to do to show that we matter.
With your work in mind, what does a typical day look like for you?
Melantha: On any given day, I’m building relationships and working along with celebrities and influencers and their teams to get them involved with the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s programs and services. I bring in celebrities and influencers on tours so that they can see our facilities first-hand and learn more about the services and programs we offer. I’ve engaged celebrities and influencers in various ways including events, campaigns, mentoring, workshops, performances, panels, video projects, and more. I also work on cultivating partnerships with other companies and organizations in conjunction with events, campaigns, and activities, and with a focus on diversity and expansion of the Center's audience reach and impact. My day-to-day varies depending on the projects I’m currently working on.
Tell us about your craziest dating experience.
 Melantha: I think it depends on the definition of “crazy.” I’ve dated various women throughout the years, and I’ve had some experiences that were great, some that were fun, some that were wild, and some that led to unfortunate circumstances. I think that’s the thing about dating, you never know what you’re going to get until you try. I’m very content with who I’m in a relationship with now and that’s what matters most.
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