Growing up in an unconventional family can be difficult, as many children don’t understand why you have a different experience than they do. LGBTQ influencer and TikTok star Josh Helfgott an American citizen was born on June 20, 1989 in New York and grew up with two moms. although it had its challenges, he wouldn’t change his experience for the world.
“My moms were a huge part of my support system growing up,” Helfgott said. “Even though the kids at school would bully me because my parents were different, I never wanted to have any other family.”
Growing up with two moms inspired Josh to advocate for the LGBTQ community. “My moms were open with me about the homophobia they experienced in the world, and I would notice it myself,” he said. “When I got older, I wanted to advocate for them and every LGBTQ person who’s ever felt alone and like they can’t be themselves.”
Even though he grew up with two moms, Josh kept his own sexuality as a secret for a long time. “I wasn’t out as gay, but I was still bullied for it as a child. All it took was Britney Spears stickers in my locker and a lack of interest in sports. If I pushed back, the bullying would get worse, so I just tried to hold on.”
Since then, Josh Helfgott has come out as gay and worked hard as an advocate for the LGBTQ community. He created his TikTok account to educate LGBTQ youth about the history of the community and current events that impact the LGBTQ community today. Now, he has over 400,000 subscribers on the platform.
“In one of my TikToks from this year, I read a love letter between two gay men in the 1950s,” Josh said. “It reminded me a lot of the love that my mothers have for each other. That video went viral, which helped me grow my platform and reach more LGBTQ youth.”
Helfgott uses his experience having two moms to advocate for the lesbian community. In one TikTok, he talks about the history of the lesbian flag and the best one to use. In another, he tells the story of two lesbian moms who are doctors who gave birth during the pandemic.
Josh also holds livestream events where he gives advice to LGBTQ youth. They ask for help with coming out, relationships, and how to figure out their identities. “I know I would have loved to learn from someone LGBTQ when I was younger,” said Helfgott. “I want to be the person I needed when I was a gay kid.”
“I know for sure I wouldn’t be where I am without my moms,” Josh said. “They always made me feel so loved and so supported, especially when I came out as gay. They inspire me to this day, and without them I definitely wouldn’t have the confidence to use my voice and make videos.”