My Inspirations: Milo Yiannopulous

Before reading my own thoughts, I strongly encourage you to read the piece by Out Magazine on Milo, which can be found here.

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Who Is Milo Yiannopulous?

Milo Yiannopulous is a journalist who was raised in the United Kingdom, although he has Greek heritage. He got his start in writing with The Kernel and some other projects, before breaking into the mainstream for his role as a reporter of the Gamergate controversy. After rising to infamy (he does refer to himself as the Supervillain of the internet, after all!) he went on to join to team at Breitbart News as the tech editor, and also host his own Podcast, and now a traveling college campus speaking tour. In his own words:

I’ve never bought a knockoff bag.

After a controversy that the media threw at him, Milo left Breitbart to start his own media company. Milo is a provocateur who understands the art of trolling.

The difference between trolling and cruelty is that cruelty has no purpose except to hurt someone. Trolls may hurt the feelings of delicate wallflowers, but they do so because reasoned argument and polite entreaty have failed.

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How Did I Discover Milo?

At first, I was hearing about Milo from one of his adversaries, Joe Jervis in Joe’s blog, JoeMyGod. Joe did a good job of painting Milo as a super villain, although Milo didn’t get much mention at first.

Being a gay man, I related to Milo in that respect at first. Milo is a controversial political figure, so many of his views took some time for me to swallow. Over the course of calendar year 2016, I did an “inquiry” into the mind of the political conservative, and found three key figures who were able to explain various points of the conservative persuasion that I was able to understand and relate to. On some level, I think having to work two jobs, 65+ hours a week to handle cost of living, pay off debts, and try to make something of myself had a subconscious impact on my politics as well.

I started hearing more references to Milo in 2015 as he rose to stardom and joined the team at Breitbart. The exact point where I started following him is a little fuzzy, but Milo, Paul Joseph Watson, and Steven Crowder have been the three figures guiding me in my exploration of the political right in the United States.

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How Does Milo Inspire Me?

Unlike what his critics say about Milo, he’s an intelligent man with a warm heart, who wants to see the best in others. Being a controversial figure himself, he’s had many candid conversations with hot-button people on his old Podcast, including Phil Robertson and Martin Shkreli. Both of them, and several other guests on Milo’s show were “villains” in my mind, but since Milo had gotten me to listen to him, I gave the rest of them a chance. Milo was able to humanize these people in my mind, and I found myself agreeing with quite a few of them on various issues. This exact point gives a nod to what the queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race need to do to succeed – get people to love them as an individual and root for them to win. (See Magnolia Crawford for instance!) For Milo to get me to “root for” (and I use that phrase a bit loosely) Martin Shkreli or Phil Robinson is an accomplishment in and of itself. I’ve talked many times in the past about opening my mind and exploring new ideas, and I credit Milo with bridging my way into this sphere of politics.

“Most people aren’t political obsessives. They don’t care about your 14-point refutation of Obamacare. They want to hear things that relate to their own experiences.”

Politics isn’t won by commanding the facts, but by connecting with people’s experiences. That’s why it’s so important for conservatives to re-engage with culture and entertainment, which are the commanding heights of people’s experiences in the modern world.

That’s why this civil war has to end. Conservatism needs its great thinkers and its brilliant minds— the Debate Club brigade— to persuade voters who are already open-minded. But we also need provocateurs and clowns, to grab the attention and challenge the biases of those who don’t want to be challenged.

Milo is an excellent public speaker, who uses humor in his talks to get people to understand his message. Because of this, I see him as a Bianca Del Rio of the American Political world. His college campus tour is titled “The Dangerous Faggot Tour” and he has given talks on a multitude of subjects. I got the honor to meet him in person at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire for his talk, “In Defense Of Hazing.”

My ego is massive but I am not so far gone that I can’t admit when I’ve said something stupid.

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Milo has reminded me about a lot of the things that were first taught to me by Brian Kinney when it comes to being a gay man.

I became a homo precisely because it is transgressive. And I want homosexuality to continue being transgressive, and even degenerate.

I’m ceaselessly amazed by the gay community’s myopic eagerness to sacrifice everything that has made our lifestyle unique, exciting, and dangerous, in exchange for heteronormative domesticity.

Smart gays who have been around the block, like celebrity drag queen RuPaul, understand this instinctively. RuPaul correctly tells gay men they should strive to stay outside “the matrix.”

I have struggled to reconcile being gay with trying to become more normalized and find my place in the world. Brian and now Milo have strong points about not trying to fit a mold that’s been set for me. Milo also has some very good points about why I crave luxury, particularly in my interest in hotels:

And if there’s one thing a good gay appreciates, it’s extravagance. We aren’t all divas who crave opulence and fame, but enough of us are for it to be considered one of our natural characteristics.

As Somerset Maugham— who once described himself as “a quarter normal and three-quarters queer”— admitted, the homosexual “Loves luxury and attaches peculiar value to elegance.”

I realized recently that another thing I like about Milo is that he’s the male version of Karen Walker.

Thank You Milo, for being an inspiration!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie


January 2019 UPDATE: I’ve fallen behind in my personal following of Milo. While I still remain a fan of his, I see more of the person, including his faults. What I continue to take from him is the backbone to push the boundaries and stand up for myself. That being said, I take a more nuanced approach to being a fan of his these days.

This thread on Reddit points out that Milo and a few of the other conservative voices I used to follow have since fallen by the wayside.

My Inspirations: Michelle Visage

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The show may be called RuPaul’s Drag Race, but it’s honestly Michelle Visage that I look up to more on the judge’s panel. Nothing against RuPaul, but Michelle is someone that I see myself relating to more and wanting to emulate.

Michelle Visage is fierce. Most queens tend to be scared of her more when they first get started because they all know that she will call them out on their crap if they don’t give it their best each and every time. At the same time, she’s also very encouraging to anyone who is showing off their talent. The two moments that particularly stand out to me in her role as a judge are with Chi Chi Devayne and Ben De La Crème. In “New Wave Queens” as Chi Chi was complaining about being poor and not having the money, Michelle stops her excuses and reminds her that the show is meant to lift everyone up, and be the best they can be. She also reminds Chi Chi that you have to put in the work and look harder at thrift stores and other places if you don’t have as much money to pour into your career.

Ben De La Crème is one of the famous “I feel like we’re hiding behind another costume….I don’t think we know who you really are” stories. Michelle calls Ben on it during “Glamazon by ColorEvolution” and expands on this critique during “Drag Queens Of Comedy.” The idea of being vulnerable and versatile is such a running theme of what the judges look for in the contestants, that Bianca Del Rio used it as a famous joke in the episode “Drag Queens Of Comedy.” Both of those two concepts are things I strive for in my personal and professional life, and the better I get at them, the higher I climb.

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Michelle Visage is always able to back up any critiques she has of the queens, and makes hundreds if not thousands of references to various aspects of pop culture going back into the 50’s and 60’s. This comes from her background in radio and the groups she ran with in New York. She goes into great detail on this in her book, The Diva Rules, available on Amazon and Audible.

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Another life aspect that Michelle Visage has opened up about is the plastic surgery she has gone through. She’s expressed regret for how her breast implants have gone wrong and caused medical difficulties for her, but at the same time she does not blast the concept of having plastic surgery as a whole. I enjoy her candid conversations with RuPaul on their podcast about getting cosmetic work done, particularly since I have had one of my own and have been very seriously considering getting another liposuction.

Michelle Visage acts as a mother to the Dag Race cast as they tour the world. She often compares taking care of the Drag Race cast on the BOTS tour to caring for her own two daughters. I see myself as a motherly figure to my friends, and have often see myself as a mother figure to children of my own someday in the future. Michelle is a great representation of the kind of mother I’d like to be.

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Michelle Visage echoes many people who have given me life advice, and pushed me to make a better life out of my own. I cannot express enough how important it is to have that teacher and mentor in one’s life – to get you to grow and do better. That’s the very reason why I document that here on this blog and have a whole category of people and characters who help me to be a better person.

I’ve seen Michelle Visage live once, for Milwaukee Pride 2016. Someday I plan to buy the VIP Meet & Greet package for the BOTS tour and shake her hand to thank her in person.

Thank you Michelle Visage, for being an inspiration!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Inspirations: The Doctor And Clara Oswald

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Who is The Doctor?

The Doctor is the title character of the long-running series, Doctor Who. The character is a Timelord from Gallifrey, who ran away with a machine that travels in all of time and space called the TARDIS (short for Time And Relative Dimension In Space), and who often travels with a companion or two.

Being a timelord, the Doctor lives for many hundreds of years, and instead of dying he “regenerates” into a new body and new personality. The show’s creators wrote this fact in when the first actor to play the Doctor became gravely ill and they wanted to keep the show going. To date, 13 different actors have played the role, with twelve having numbers and one non-numbered doctor being retroactively inserted into the series’ chronology in 2013.

Each Doctor has his own personality, tastes, interests, sense of style and decoration, and is unique. Most people know the different doctors by their number, which represents which incarnation of the Doctor they are. Because of this, a common question in the Who fandom is:

Which Doctor is “my Doctor?”

My answer to this involves two different Doctors, Ten and Eleven.

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Just above this paragraph are my two doctors. Ten on the left, Eleven on the right. Ten is technically “my Doctor” because he’s the one I would want to travel with and learn from. He’s got the perfect balance between biting edge and soft understanding of others that really spoke to me when I first saw his part of the series. Both Ten and Eleven have copious amounts of charisma, but Ten has an air of responsibility about him that draws me to want to learn from him.

Eleven is just as charismatic in his own way, but more playful, more relaxed. He doesn’t seem to get as angry as Ten did (and nowhere near as much as Nine or Twelve seemed to), and he’s the Doctor that I see myself emulating.

What About The Doctor Inspires Me?

The Doctor, as a character is very wise and worldly, always traveling and always learning new things. This is even though he has the ability to see all of creation running through his own head as a timelord. He’s a hero to many, having saved countless numbers of planets and species throughout his millennium of lives. His charisma allows any number of different beings to be drawn to him and open up to him. Instead of being afraid of the unknown (which is the natural human instinct), he’s fascinated by it, and seeks it out as often as he possibly can.

All of these personal elements are something I want to strive for. I want to go out and see more of the world. I like being “the shoulder to cry on” or the person people can rely on. At a former job, a manager told me that she believes in “always learning, always growing” which is something I’ve taken with me, and I feel that’s reflected in the Doctor.

My cross country move taught me to look at the world in different ways. By watching the Doctor, I’m seeing that this can be a whole way of life.

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Who is Clara Oswald?

Clara Oswald was a companion of the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors. (This part of the post is a follow up from Rose, a companion of the Ninth and Tenth Doctor)

Clara stepped into the Doctor’s life and changed him for the better. Spoiler alert; she also saves the Doctor’s life at one point. Clara is a clever school teacher who is very curious about the universe, and puts forth passion and energy into the her time with the Doctor (much like the other companions do), though her way of organizing the world around her is much like my own.

How Does Clara Inspire Me?

The episode that showcases the parts of Clara that I strive to emulate (in addition to the Doctor I try to emulate) is from the seventh series, The Bells Of St. John. It’s where Clara meets the Doctor for the first time, and he meets her for the third (time travelers have a funny life that way!)

Clara shows that she’s very savvy to technology – being the one to tap into several computer databases to help save the day, and she understands how to use them. Going forward she shows technological abilities that few other companions have shown to have while traveling with the Doctor. Many people in my personal circle seem to think that I have tech abilities, and while I admit that I do have some (I do own lukascondie.com after all!), I’m not a professional at it, mostly because I don’t have a full understanding of programming languages.

Clara is also resourceful, which is a Slytherin quality that I’m proud of. She knows when and what questions to ask, and how to find information or things she needs to save the world or get the job done. At one point, she posed as the Doctor when the real Doctor was incapacitated and she tried to save the world herself.

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Clara has been through heartbreak as well, and it changed the way she looks at life. Clara is how I see myself as a “single man” traveling the world, equally how I strive to emulate Eleven.

Thank you, Doctor and Clara for being inspirations!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Inspirations: Megan Reeves

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Who is Megan Reeves?

Megan Reeves is fictional profiler working for the FBI on the TV series, Numb3rs. She is played by the actress, Diane Farr. Megan Reeves’ position on the FBI investigating team is to understand why the criminal would commit the crime that they did, and discover how to find or combat or stop them.

Megan is very grounded and logical, but also open to new ideas, as she shows during the times when Charlie provides mathematical support for the investigation.

She reveals over the course of the series (of which she was in seasons 2-4 out of 6), that she left her family when she was 16, though she doesn’t regret her decision to do so. She develops a romantic relationship with Larry, who is a teacher and co-worker to Charlie.

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How does Megan inspire me?

Megan Reeves was the first person/character to first convince me to take the field of psychology seriously. I’ve had more than one friend who is studying in the field, but before I met any of them, Megan was the one who showed me that knowing about psychology can make a life and death difference in many people. For a brief time, I even considered studying psychology myself in order to gain Megan’s ability to analyze people and use that skill to help other people.

The biggest and broadest lesson I take from Megan is the ability to understand and relate to other people. Her character explains many of her techniques while on the job, and I practice as many of them as I can, every single day. I have been working on the skill of “walking a mile in other people’s moccasins” (a Sabrina episode reference!) as a way to understand different people and different ways of life, which I feel is the core of my identity as an ally and a friend. No matter who I come across, no matter how long they are in my life, I make a point of trying to understand how they see the world from their perspective. This includes the Voldemorts of my time, such as Tony Perkins or Bryan Fisher or Linda Harvey. As much as I disagree with their opinion (and will fight to stop their reign of terror on the country), I respect their right to have that opinion and thought process.

This leads me into the final takeaway I have from Megan Reeves. She fights for what is right, to the best of her ability as an agent for the FBI. I have been able to relate to the concept of “fight for what is right” since I was a very young child. From the Power Rangers (who fought to defend the earth), to the Bladebreakers (who battled the Demolition Boys to save the world), to the Doctor (who fights albeit peacefully to save all types of planets and species), I strive to fight for what I believe in.

Thanks Megan, for being an inspiration!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Inspirations: Armin Van Buuren

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Who is Armin Van Buuren?

Armin Van Buuren is a music producer and DJ, best known for playing uplifting and progressive trance. He hosts a weekly show, A State Of Trance, which is available on his website and Spotify. His show reaches over 20 million fans in 26 countries.

Armin is one of the most successful DJ’s in the world, having earned the number one title on DJ Magazine’s Top 100 DJ’s for five years in a row. He is one of only four trance artists to ever have been nominated for a grammy award for best dance recording.

Armin has released five albums of his own music, the first being released in 2003 and the most recent in 2013. Each album has been progressively more successful; his third album entered the charts at #1, and his latest album is widely known and recognized in more than just dance music communities.

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How did I discover Armin?

Much like David Pakman, I discovered Armin through the iTunes podcast suggestions. His show, which is normally about 2-2 1/2 hours is condensed each week to a 20 minute segment that’s shared on iTunes. I’ve had a growing interest in serious dance music since watching Brian feel the beat in Babylon on Queer As Folk. Armin, though his show, has shown me the real definition of Trance Music, and what makes a Trance Song beautiful.

I also know Armin through several of the albums produced by his record label, Armada Music. Armada Music has it’s own podcast, and several imprint labels. One of the series that Armada Music produces is “50 Trance Tunes” which has released 35 compilation albums to date. I found the series on iTunes when the 9th compilation had been released and have been listening ever since.

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How does Armin inspire me?

Music is one of the most important things in my life. My music library is more valuable than anything else I own (in my opinion), and it’s the heart of why I insist on having a 128 GB iPhone – so I can put each and every song (Over 7,750 songs!) right at my fingertips. Armin is a master of his craft: music.

To me, Armin’s music is art. It invokes nearly every different kind of emotion I’m capable of feeling, it can both energize me, it can calm and soothe me, it can keep me focused, and so much more. For anyone to create something that can conjure so much from me, and move me so strongly, that’s the true essence of an artist.

Another aspect I like about Armin is that he is the center of his universe. He’s won several awards, is a household name when it comes to dance music, and is the one spinning the music at the famed land of Ibiza that Brian references in QAF, and plenty of others refer to as “the ultimate party destination.” Armin is the root of why I see Ibiza as a vacation world that I one day hope to visit.

Another one of Armin’s strengths: he’s well connected. Between his show and his music label, he knows just about anyone who’s had an interest in creating any type of trance or dance music in their life. He has featured hundreds (if not thousands) of different artists on his show, and has produced hundreds more. What RuPaul is to the Drag world, Armin is to the world of dance music.

While I have no desire to make my own music, I one day want to be as polished in something as Armin is in trance music. This concept parallels a theme I’ve talked about on here quite often, hence the phrase “master of one’s craft.” On a micro level, Armin knows how to arrange music for an album or show, and I’ve used that skill to arrange my music library into playlists that best represent my life and what’s important to me.

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Thanks Armin, for being an inspiration!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

My Inspirations: Will Truman & Karen Walker

Eric McCormack as Will Truman on “Will & Grace.” Courtesy photo

Who is Will Truman?

Will Truman is one of the titular characters on the sitcom, Will & Grace. Will is a lawyer, and best friend to Grace Adler, hence the title of the show. Will is often portrayed on the show as the most mature character in the group. Although he occasionally seems distant and aloof, He prefers to appear uninvolved in the problems of others, being hesitant to make himself vulnerable. However, there have been many times when Will has shown his sensitive side, often going to great lengths to protect those he loves. In one particularly salient instance, Will was willing to throw away his chances of becoming a senior partner at his law firm in order to take care of his then emotionally devestated boyfriend, Vince. Will often comes off as the strong one, not wanting to get sentimental or show his insecurities, but can’t help but show it when he gets his feelings hurt. For example, in one episode, having returned from a prolonged absence, Will fears that Jack has replaced him as Grace’s best friend. Will eventually admits his insecurity to Grace, who in turn reconfirms Will’s importance in her life.

Will is another one of the most iconic gay characters of all time. There’s a running joke between many gay men and their best female friends that “every Will needs his Grace” because of his friendship with Grace on the show.

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How does Will inspire me?

I see Will as professional, mature, and responsible. He embodies all the qualities in a man that I am striving to become. He is a successful lawyer, having worked for a major New York City firm. He is very knowledgeable about a wide variety of things, and in particular is able to care for all of his friends and provide them with what they need.

More broadly speaking, Will is the character who is really in control of the universe of the show. He is the one to pick up the messes that Grace gets herself into, and often reminding her about an easier or better way to do something. He is the one who financially takes care of Jack, and finds ways to get Jack to better himself in life. As Karen’s attorney, he handles her legal situations. Though hundreds of comedic sketches, he is essentially the stage manager for his friends.

On the other side of that coin, Will on a few occasions shows his vulnerable side. Just like how his friends rely on him to keep life stable, he relies on them to keep him stable. He vents to Grace about his relationship problems, Grace gives him advice on how to dress and how he should spend his time. Karen is practically half his paycheck, if not more. Jack has continuously given Will pointers on how to be a better gay man.

Will’s wardrobe is another piece of him that I’m trying to emulate. (Granted, this is more of a hat tip to the show’s costume designer!) The Tie Guy is showing me how I can do that.

While Brian is my sexual gay male role model, Will is the more professional gay male role model for me. Will is where I want to be a few more years down the road.

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Who is Karen Walker?

Karen is one of the two supporting characters in Will & Grace. She is Grace’s assistant, though she hardly does any actual work for Grace’s business. Karen is the most popular comical character on the show, with many of the show’s quotes coming from her.

With her staff and help, Karen is deliberately patronizing, referring to them solely by their title both in conversation and to their face: “Driver,” “Butler,” “Private Detective,” “Pharmacist,” “Back-Up Pharmacist,” et cetera, even when they are doing other jobs (“Cook sometimes cleans, Cleaner sometimes cooks, Driver sometimes provides an alibi…”). This rude tone is not limited to her employees, as she looks down on or openly mocks most people she meets, even her friends. Karen is often cruel to her staff at home, training them to run when she enters a room. Other times she chews them out, but somehow this comes across as an act of affection. When she talks to people she often calls them “honey”.

Sometimes Karen unintentionally reveals to her friends a softer side that is carefully hidden. In one such incident, Karen’s husband has a heart attack and may die. Karen discovers that her friends have placed a bet to see who can get her to cry first, so she elaborately punishes each of them by leading them on to think she might break down in their presence. In the end, she has an actual breakdown over the incident, which Grace stumbles in on and consoles her during. Another episode sees Karen and Jack in her mansion with her refusing to let him enter ‘the forbidden room’. When Jack finally gains access he discovers it is a nursery which Karen had prepared during a pregnancy scare in an earlier season. Although she agrees to change the room into a liquor storage room, she quickly changes her mind and the audience sees her stony facade crumble.

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How does Karen inspire me?

Karen is probably the most abstract and fictional character that I draw inspiration from. The most realistic thing about her that I directly relate to is her control over the things in her world. She knows how to manipulate (a Slytherin quality!), and get what she needs out of just about anyone.

What most people enjoy about Karen is her humor. Karen is funny. Karen is the most quoted character on the show, and even I try out some of her one liners in my own life from time to time, just like how I quote Sabrina. Like Bianca Del Rio, Karen epitomizes the kind of humor I prefer to use in my own life.

One of the running gags about Karen is her drinking. She’s even used the phrase, “I’d suck the alcohol out of a deodorant stick, so I’m the wrong girl to ask!” which hints at how much she really does drink. I can relate to nearly all of the drinking jokes Karen uses, and this is the root of why I refer to my own homes as bars, such as The L & BJ LoungeThe Blue Mountain Saloon, and The Tutti Frutti Cocktail Mansion. Karen is the type of person I see myself as when I do get drunk.

On a deeper level, I do fall into a category of person who is incredibly likely to have a drinking problem: gay, had a parent with an alcohol problem (though mine fixed his before I was born), high stress level, lower self esteem, and a few other factors. Because of this, I am very aware of how easy it would be to fall into that trap, and I monitor myself carefully just in case. Watching Karen control her alcohol (albeit in a humorous way) has helped me to control my own alcohol consumption.

Thank You, Will & Karen for being inspirations!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie

Source for Will’s bio.

Source for Karen’s bio.

My Inspirations: The Tie Guy

Who is The Tie Guy?

The Tie Guy is a gentleman who runs a Tumblr blog about menswear and men’s fashion. He also runs an Instagram and a Twitter, but his Tumblr is the most active. His primary website can be found here.

I don’t have an actual biography of The Tie Guy, but in my mind he is a mens fashionista. The advice he gives on his Tumblr is what I would expect to hear out of the mouth of Tim Gunn or Bob Mackie.

The Tie Guy is always on top of how to dress with style. He’s not about having “the hottest men’s fashion” per se, but rather using what you have to work best for you. Followers regularly post fashion questions to him and he gives his personal opinion, often with visual demonstrations.

How did I discover The Tie Guy?

Earlier in 2014 I made a conscious choice to get more out of my Tumblr experience and find things on that network that matter to me and hold my interest. Before I went to college for the first time, I had little to no interest in having a fashion and style standard. I was a simple jeans and a t-shirt type of guy. As I spent some time seeing more of the world beyond my childhood bedroom, I started noticing that I was dressing like a teenager, and it was time to start looking more like my own age. It was also time to start developing a look that I could feel confident wearing. Nice clothes weren’t just about job interviews, they were meant to be a part of everyday life.

My sartorial journey began with GQ magazine, and branched out into Details magazine. From there, I got advice from someone who worked in a clothing store. This led to getting my copy of The Details Men’s Style Manual, which gave me a true baseline to start looking at clothes and how to wear them properly.

I hit a flatline as I dropped out of school and needed to stablise myself. Working in a restaurant where nice clothes were part of the uniform helped re-ignite my interest in looking more like an adult again.

While browsing on Tumblr, one of the suggestions was The Tie Guy’s blog. I really liked what I was seeing, and put his Tumblr into my RSS reader, so I wouldn’t miss a single post.

How does The Tie Guy inspire me?

Over the course of several months of watching all the different style pictures on his blog, I started to piece together what I wanted to look like, and what types of sartorial would work best for me. I continue to use the Style Manual as a compliment to The Tie Guy’s blog, and lately he’s been showing off his own fashion choices (and face!) more often.

The Tie Guy has been instrumental in helping me evolve my own sense of style and how to use it. My next step is to start investing in good clothes and wearing them regularly, breaking all of my old habits. I’ve started with the local Van Huesen store, and plan to branch out once I have a baseline wardrobe. I’m grateful that my current job allows me to play with higher fashion and let me learn more.

Just like how Cecil has no actual description, and Kinsey will never be officially portrayed by an actress, I have a mental picture of what The Tie Guy looks like in my head. Johannes Huebel is considered one of the most stylish men in the world, and in my mind, that’s who I see when I think of The Tie Guy, though as of mid-2015 he regularly posts photos of himself.

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What has The Tie Guy taught me?

My re-ignited interest in fashion was solidified because of my interest in RuPaul’s Drag Race. Of course, Drag Race had a women’s fashion element to it, but I was particularly inspired by the fashion choices of two of the winners of the show – Raja and Violet Chachki. Both of their styles were particularly powerful and often jaw dropping on the runway, and I want to one day be like that, but in men’s clothing.

The (no longer being updated) website Drag official has a wonderful article on what is “drag.”

That being said, I do not define “my drag” by it’s traditional definition: men wearing women’s clothing. I consider the high quality menswear displayed by not only The Tie Guy, but the other menswear blogs to be what I define as “my drag.” Like how Drag Queens portray a character and “aspire to be that character” (i.e. Chad Michaels is a Cher impersonator), the images of what the The Tie Guy presents, is what I am working on eventually trying to emulate. I show this by adding the tag “my drag” to each of my sartorial re-blogs on Tumblr. A feed for that can be found here.

For example, a traditional Drag Queen could make a post about a new pair of heels they found or saw online and loved.

I consider the above to be beautiful shoes and wish I had them for myself.

By buying and wearing what I consider to be “my drag” I plan to love myself through what I wear, and gain confidence in myself. Basically, The Tie Guy is the evolution on what Latrice Royale taught me. On the professional side, I’ll be dressing for the job I want, not the job I have. On the personal side, I plan to eventually dress to show my love and respect for myself, and not just as a simple way to cover my body.

Even beyond menswear, there’s plenty of grooming advice that I’ve tried out and learned from. This Buzzfeed list has become the base that I am working myself up to, and The Tie Guy’s sartorial advice fits with it perfectly. While Don and Charlie have given me a baseline for how a gentleman should act, The Tie Guy shows me how a gentleman should look, even down to how he should smell.

Thank you, Tie Guy, for being an inspiration!

Respectfully Submitted,

Lukas Condie