How These Four Stars Joined Forces to Launch the LGBTQIA+ Inclusive PrideHouseLA
While there are plenty of influencer and TikTok houses out there making great content, our favorite has to be PrideHouseLA.
Formed by Mollee Gray, her husband Jeka Jane and her Teen Beach Movie costars Garrett Clayton and Kent Boyd, it's the first TikTok house setting out to make a safe and inclusive space on the platform and welcoming all LGBTQIA+ people, and we are all for it. They were even integral in JoJo Siwa's much-discussed coming out video.
But who are PrideHouseLA's key players, and what do they hope to achieve with their platform? We got the chance to chat with all four members to find out.
Sweety High: Can you tell us a little bit about your own experience as part of the LGBTQ+ community?
Mollee Gray: I came out to a few people at age 18 and then my family at age 20. I've always had a love/hate relationship with the process of coming out but after I did it was very liberating and I was open and loud about being a part of the LGBTQ+ community!
Jeka Jane: My experience in the LGBTQ community has been crazy good! I went to an art high school in San Francisco, if that doesn't tell you enough! Coming out was a breeze. My family had an okay time but they came around. After coming out as trans a few years back, I've felt nothing but love in my heart and around me. I'm honored to be accepted by the people around me and find safety with them too.
Garrett Clayton: I've felt such love and support from the rest of the LGBTQ+ community. While my confidence in my queer identity has come and gone in waves, as with many people, the community has bolstered me in many ways. I'm always discovering new things about myself and my community. I work hard to remain open to constructive criticism, keep my heart open to love and positivity. Of course, it's easier said than done sometimes but I think it's a great way to live.
Kent Boyd: My experience with the community has been wonderful from the minute I decided to be confident with who I was and who I loved. I felt so much confidence and power!
(Photo credit: Lee Gumbs)
Sweety High: What's the story behind the formation of PrideHouseLA? Why is it so needed, and why were you so passionate about stepping up and making it a reality?
MG: I am so passionate about PrideHouseLA because representation is so much needed, especially for our youth! I feel when the community is represented correctly in the media it is an uplifting and celebratory moment. When the media represents our community in a neglectful or disrespectful manner it can force hateful opinions from other people, which automatically puts us at a setback. So I'm constantly trying to increase our visibility and educate others on our community and social media is one of the best ways to do that!
JJ: Sharing stories about each other is a great way to understand someone. Everyone is going through a battle we know nothing about. So by putting ourselves out on a social media platform like TikTok, people can share and understand people that might be different from their own circles. Our LGBTQ house is what I wish I saw when I got on social media back when it was Myspace! The world is so loving and accepting now because we are sharing.
GC: We started collaborating at the beginning of quarantine (during Pride month, actually) and continued throughout the year. We began to get attention from people recognizing that we all are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and quickly realized that there was no queer content house online. So we thought, "Let's be the first LGBTQIA+ content house and create a safe space for the queer community online." And that's what we did! And we've had a great time doing it. We're all so excited to spread this love for our community. We want to use our platform to educate people, not just in our LGBT family but also in allies seeking information on how to support the community. PrideHouse is a celebration of authenticity and love. That's what we strive for, and we hope it encourages others to be their authentic selves, too.
KB: The story behind PrideHouseLA started because of COVID. It really brought us together and the rest is history. We were ready to embark on a new adventure together on TikTok! With being an LGBTQ+ content house, we weren't just going to follow the status quo. We had a message of inclusivity, inspiration for LGBTQ+ youth and having conversations about what makes us truly unique and special!
SH: What's your mission with PrideHouseLA?
MG: My biggest mission is to affect change. Have conversations with people who don't understand our community and also to talk to people who are trying to help. Having those tough conversations with others is the only way we are going to move forward. We have to think bigger than ourselves, we have to think about our youth and the people who paved the way for us to be who we are. They didn't make change by being quiet—they caused conversation and that is what makes progress.
JJ: My mission would be to help trans youth get information. When I came out, it was hard for me to find the gritty and the tough parts about top surgery or HRT. Most people show the glitz and glamor. My experience wasn't all that great. I want to educate and spread knowledge not only just to trans folk, but everyone!
GC: To create a safe space for LGBTQIA+ youth and older generations, not only on TikTok but across all platforms. We're working to educate not only others but ourselves as well. We always look forward to collaborating with other queer individuals or groups who can teach us something.
KB: Love is love! A cruelty-free space.
SH: How meaningful was it to you that JoJo Siwa's coming out video came from PrideHouseLA?
MG: I love Jojo! I couldn't be more proud. Her smile is so big and genuine and I am just so grateful to be a friend of the family. I will always reassure her that she's loved and accepted for who she is!
JJ: Coming out is so special. It's definitely a staple moment for any queer person. I'm just glad she is happy and living her best life!
SH: Do you have a message for your fans regarding LGBTQ pride?
MG: To all of our supporters I just want to say a huge thank you! PrideHouseLA is what it is because of you and we feel so grateful to wake up every day and create a safe space for you. We love you, we see you and we appreciate you! We couldn't be more grateful to have you in our life!
MG: Donate to LGBTQ organizations! Spread more love! Learn more about Stonewall and Marsha P Johnson. Buy from LGBTQ artists and businesses.
GC: After the last year we've had, I think it would be great to spread love and have confidence in our truths. Not just Pride month, but throughout the entire year! Regardless of whether or not you're out to everyone, you're allowed to celebrate Pride however you want. Whether you choose to recognize Pride by shouting from the rooftops or by dancing alone in your bedroom because you're not ready to be public yet, it's good to know that there's a global community out there who can relate to you in some way and who will have your back. Your timeline is valid, your path is valid, and your authentic self is valid. Everyone should be able to celebrate Pride in the way they want to.
KB: Thank you for everything! Keep reaching out and connecting. Let's get stronger together!
Sweety High: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
GC: Let's support everyone in our community in any way that we can. That might mean donating to an LGBTQ charity or volunteering at a shelter. It could mean telling a friend that you love and support them. It's important to lift each other up! Our collective heart is so strong when we support each other. There are many queer youths out there that are passively watching us and looking to how we should all behave within the community. Be that great example, however you can.
Follow them all on Instagram @pridehousela, @molleegray, @jekajane, @garrettclayton1 and @kent_boyd, as well as on TikTok @pridehousela, @molleegray, @jekajane, @garrettclayton91 and @kentboyd_. You can also check out their merch at the Pride House Shop, and stay tuned for the premieres of their YouTube channel and podcast.
Obsessed with Mollee Gray? Click HERE for a throwback to when she was our Woman Crush Wednesday.