Photos courtesy of Michael Lamar Simeon
Michael Lamar Simeon, aka the Black gay comic geek, is a self-described guy that likes other guys, comic books, movies, and video games. His Safe Gayven platform has over 118 thousand followers on TikTok, 7.54K subscribers, 586 videos on YouTube, and 9.6K Facebook followers.
Although Michael has always loved comics, he did not start reading them until he was a teenager. He loves all of the arts and earned a BA in Theatre Performance from Florida A&M University. PrideIndex recently enjoyed a lively interview with the New Jersey native on a sunny afternoon. Michael shared the teas on his love of blood, sex, gore, magick sprinkled with a hint of militant-ism, and the Scarlet Witch.
PrideIndex (PI): Good morning, Michael Lamar Simeon. How are you doing this morning?
Michael Lamar Simeon (MLS): I’m good. It’s the afternoon for me now. It just hit noon. (Laughs)
PI: Tell us about yourself and briefly describe what brought you to where you are today.
MLS: My name is Michael Lamar Simeon; on the internet, I call myself the Black gay comic geek. I talk about the things I love on my platform, blood, sex, gore, and magick. I talk about superheroes, video games, comic books, action movies, horror movies, Sci-Fi, and fantasy. I talk about black and queer representation, or the lack thereof, in Sci-Fi and fantasy. I just started my platform because I like nerd spaces where many queer characters are represented. When you think about movie reviewers on YouTube or TikTok, many are straight white men, but when you get Black nerd reviewers, many are straight too. There are nuances and shows or things that are missed or characters I’m interested in that nobody’s talking about. I’m interested in talking about them.
PI: Could you repeat that line?
MLS: I talk about the things I love on my platform, blood, sex, gore, and magick.
PI: Dude, minus the blood, you have just described my married life! (Laughs)
MLS: All right, if it’s all that, I may need to interview you!
PI: How did your interest in fantasy come about?
MLS: I have always been interested in fantasy but have never liked putting myself out there. My best friend always told me you have so many opinions and a friendly personality. You would do well putting your views out there. I would say to her, No, I don’t think I would have anything to talk about. Who will want to listen to me, so I won’t do it.
One day, I saw John Wick with a podcaster I knew. He said his co-host was on vacation and wanted to see if I did not mind joining him on an episode. Then later, my friend said he’d liked our rapport on the show and wanted me to return more often as a guest. The original co-host couldn’t commit to the schedule, so I became a permanent co-host. I love Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but the podcaster wasn’t a fan. There were other things I was interested in the podcaster wasn’t into, so I eventually started my own YouTube channel. It snowballed from there, and I’m doing my own thing. I was just Michael with a different Instagram account. I eventually changed my name, and that’s the evolution of the Black gay comic geek.
PI: Talk about your influences.
MLS: Some of my influences? (Sighs). It’s so funny that one of my biggest influences is the person from whom I derive my name, Paul Charles, the gay comic geek. Paul was one of the first ones I heard that was openly gay and talking about nerd stuff. He talked about lusting over Nightwing, Gambit, and things I liked. Yes, Paul was my spirit animal and greatly influenced me. When I decided to become the Black gay comic geek, I asked Paul if he did not mind if I called myself “gay comic geek,” and he approved.
Sharronda Williams, the founder of Pay or Wait, on YouTube, Jeremy Jahns, Christopher Michael Stuckman, and the people from Double Toasted are all my influences.
PI: What do you want people to take away from the Black gay comic geek?
MLS: The best way to know about me is to check and engage with my content. I lay it all out there. When you follow me, you will learn about my perspective on movies, TV shows, and video games and realize for me, representation matters.
Look at what’s going on this year alone. We’re just in April, and over 400 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures nationwide. Realize that queer folks are no different than anybody else. The only difference is who and what we’re attracted to, but we’re still human. You won’t take us down by trying to introduce all these Draconian laws. We’re here to stay.
PI: If you were offered the chance to be a villain/bad guy or superhero/good guy, which would you be? Why?
MLS: I would consider being a villain. But a particular section of the world will view me as a hero. Representation equals normalization. Representation matters, and given my political stances and how I feel about the state of the world and things like that, I might consider being a villain. To quote Issa Rae, “I’m rooting for everybody black.” And so, if I had powers, any injustices against Black people regarding police brutality, or the disproportionate murder of Black Trans women, I wouldn’t stand for it. I would want the powers of Magneto and have magic abilities that would allow me to teleport and fly. I would like these powers to be like the Scarlet Witch’s magical levels.
PI: As an influencer, what advice would you give to others who want to be in that space?
MLS: The most important piece of advice is to find your niche. Find what makes you different than anyone else. Is there a specific thing you’re interested in that only a few people are discussing? You may have a particular perspective that’s different. If so, most importantly, just do it. Many people say, I want to do this, or I would love to talk about that but don’t do it.
Expect your first video to be flawed. Don’t expect the best audio, lighting, camera angles, etc. So long as you start, all of that will improve later.
Be consistent. Don’t think I’ll make a video today, and make another in two months. Come up with a schedule or a game plan.
PI: What is your ultimate goal? Where do you see yourself five years from now?
MLS: My ultimate goal is to do this on a bigger platform. I would love to do a gay nerdy version of The View. That’s a little ambitious, but that’s what I want to do.
Where do I see myself in five years? I want to do my YouTube stuff full-time, not work a different full-time job. I want to bring my platform to a place to let people know representation matters on a larger scale.