Helen Scott is not just a YouTuber, a presenter, a blogger and an influencer. She is also an LGBTQ activist spreading the message of diversity all over the UK and the world, raising at the same time LGBTQ awareness. Helen has toured across the UK as a host for Charity Events, Festivals and a number of LGBTQ Events internationally of which she is extremely passionate about and belongs to the new generations of social media personas we love to talk about.
Hello Helen. Tell us some things about yourself that we might not know.
I was born and raised in Essex and am half Scottish! My dad is originally from Scotland so I have my own family tartan and I LOVE haggis! I’m the youngest of four siblings, the only natural blonde in my family and have a hidden talent for Boules (YASS really!).
YouTuber, presenter, blogger, influencer. What else is Helen Scott?
It sounds so cliché but I’m just an every day girl hoping to spread a little bit of laughter and fun in whatever it is I do! I’ve always been an entertainer, at school and in my teens I was the clown of the group, always making my friends do silly things and making them laugh. I’m a real family girl, and slob out in my active wear on Friday nights watching tv, but just happen to love documenting my life!
How did your career in the media sector start?
I actually trained as a dancer and studied Musical Theatre professionally until the age of 18. I then went on to work in the entertainment industry as a vocalist and casting assistant to some of the worlds top casting directors, and just kind of fell into Presenting after hosting Burlesque shows in London’s West End. Sounds like a straight forward ride right?! Ha has, if only! I had to work really hard and kind of ‘force’ my way into the spotlight at times. I’ve been really lucky and met some wonderful people who believed in me and opened doors. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am, so thank you Mark, Sup, you’re amazing.
Do you think LGBTQ+ people are unrepresented in the media nowadays?
I think that there are some great things happening lately with representation of the community in the media. Drag Queens in particular are having an epic moment, as well as the release of Hayley Kiyokos latest music Videos ‘What I need’ and ‘Curious’, the ‘campaign’ is still strong. We’re seeing a lot more actors and celebrities ‘coming out’ and taking a stand. The Me Too movement also helped to reveal dark forces at play that can only help us all in moving forward in the right to equality. However we are still missing from storylines in movies, or in particular ‘happy endings’ in storylines should we manage to make it into one. As a femme lesbian, I struggle to find relatable faces in the media, particularly out and out lesbians. The likes of Rita Ora and her single ‘Girls’ is certainly an inkling of femme visibility, but it’s often in the guise of bisexualism. There is a way to go, but I can’t thank those that came before me enough, as they are the ones who have made it possible for me to live as I do today, as an out and proud gay woman.
How has the LGBTQ+ community embraced your work?
One of my first Presenting jobs came from Cindy Edwards, the founder and Director of L Fest Events. She’s an incredible woman who took one look at my work, which at the time was limited to live cabaret and a few stints on reality television, and welcomed me with open arms into her fold. I’ve been hosting at Lfest in the UK and over in Spain for three years now and those gigs only get bigger and better. It’s taken me a while to build my reputation in the LGBTQ+ community as I think a lot of people see me first as a straight woman trying to ride on the LGBTQ+ wave. It’s one of those frustrating clichés about being a feminine lesbian, but most clichés are clichés because they’re true, and that’s certainly the case with me. I still have to consider what I wear to LGBTQ+ events as if its too ‘girly’ I might as well be invisible. It took me a while to come to terms with prejudices within the community, and although I’m fortunate enough to not give a damn most of the time, I do believe its stopped me getting certain jobs related to LGBTQ+ work. But it’s a topic I talk frankly and openly about, and I know there’s a way to go for femme visibility within the LGBTQ+ world. I’m happy to frontier that!
Do you remember your first time in front of the camera? How was it?
My dad is a photographer and so I grew up having my photograph taken all the time. I then worked on camera as an actress in the likes of Holby City and then in Reality TV with Come Dine with Me, and honestly, it felt natural! I love the idea of talking into a camera as if it’s a person, and that I’m really excited to talk to that one person and share a story, or communicate information that will be entertaining and fun to watch. Again, it all comes back to that sense of entertaining people.
How much has changed since that time?
So much has changed since then! I look back and think, ‘That was you being natural Helen?!’ I seem so conscious of myself and what I might say or what I’m doing with my hands. But it all comes with experience and now I Present on a daily basis for Virgin and other brands. I’m much more confident, more relaxed, less, dare I say it? Showbiz! I still stumble on a word once in a while and get a laughing fit occasionally, but actually, I don’t mind those moments anymore as they’re real!
Do you feel a role model for the lesbian community?
I hope that I’m a role model to other LBT women in my community! I didn’t set out to be a role model, but along the way I’ve found myself in situations where I am championing the LGBT community and honestly, I’ve seen homophobia transform in front of my eyes. Coming from a dance background I’ve been able to work with a lot of under 18year olds, teaching, hosting dance competitions and so on. Just by being myself, being out and proud, I’ve unconsciously promoted the ‘love is love’ movement and found wonderful understanding and acceptance from our next generation.
What is the secret of your success?
The secret to my success is to believe, work, fail, cry, work harder, repeat! Its also important to have a role model. Mine is Bette Midler!
What is your biggest achievement?
My biggest achievement to date is probably letting go of what people expected me to be and just being myself. I think forgiving yourself for mistakes that you’ve made is important, personal and mental growth is vital to be able to survive in this industry, and to survive life in general! Work wise, it’s doing what I’m doing right now!
What are the challenges you have faced?
We could be here all day! My personal challenge is being too hard on myself and being my own worst critique, but I think it just comes with the territory. You have to try and be kind to yourself. Being a strong minded and independent woman has meant that I have come under fire, especially in male dominated work places, where I can be seen as threatening and intense, rather that experienced and passionate. And lastly, it takes a lot of understanding from a partner to be trusting and strong enough to be with someone who is a workaholic! My love life has often been a total mess!
How difficult is to work in the media sector? Is there a lot of competition?
There’s huge competition in the industry and its really dog eat dog. You have to put that to the back of your mind and focus on what you’re doing and where you want to go. I run an online forum called THE HUSTLE which is a group formed to help people in the entertainment industry find work. We have over 45k members and I’m so proud of the group and what the team does for others. It’s so hard, and I know starting out I’d have loved a group like this to be able to turn to. I believe luck has a massive part to play, but I also believe in the power of positive thinking and working your damn ass off!
You are very passionate about LGBTQ+ issues and you are considered an influencer and ambassador of LGBTQ+ rights. How do you feel about that?
I’ve spent my life being the friend that sticks up for her friends, the one who will speak out in the workplace if I think something isn’t right. I can’t help myself! So in a way I feel like I’ve always been championing something. Like I say, I don’t go out of my way to be an ambassador for LGBTQ+, but I’m proud to be LOUD, I’m proud to be real, honest, open. How could I not be when there are so many people out there who could be killed for that very simple right. To say what others cant or won’t is something I’m more than happy to do.
If you could turn back time what would you tell your 10-year old self?
Cherish forever what makes you unique, ‘cause you’re really a yawn if it goes by – Bette Midler
What advice would you give to the new LGBTQ+ generation?
To continue being as diverse and beautiful as they are, and to support local gay establishments. They were hard fought for and they’re dying out because of a lack of support from the community. Local gay bars are where you meet your second, and sometimes only family.
What are our future plans?
My next venture is a little bit of a secret I’m afraid, but I’m really excited for the next 6 months so do come say hello on Instagram to stay tuned! I’m looking forward to getting married to my beautiful fiancé next year and starting a family. Babies! That’s what’s on my mind next 😊
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*all images are courtesy of Helen Scott