This Curly Haired LA Horror Maven Is Raising Money For AIDS Lifecycle

photo credit: Brandon Baker, Beardoir Photography

Writer. Director. Cyclist. Roadie. Fundraiser. Hottie. All of these words describe our newly crowned Hottie of the Week, Sam Wineman. Truth be told, Sam and I are friends. We were on the same AIDS Lifecycle team last June, Rest Stop 4. As an East Coaster meeting most of the team for the first time on the actual ride (the last time I was on the team was in 2014) Sam was the first one to make me feel welcome and included. His kindness, his passion, and his generosity are what make him such a good man and a good person. 

Professionally Sam is a well-respected and admired award-winning filmmaker, most known for the short film The Quiet Room. The film, which Sam wrote AND directed was a festival darling screening at NewFest, Wicked Queer, and OutFest Fusion.


Another one of Sam’s passions is the AIDS Lifecycle, which he is once again participating in and raising money for those struggling with HIV and AIDS. The 545-mile 7-day ride raises millions of dollars each year. Sam is a powerhouse fundraiser and even sends a gift to each person that donates to his ride…details below as you learn more about Sam, in his own words, as he answers our Hottie of the Week questionnaire.

Name: Sam Wineman

Age: 38

Website / social media handles:


Instagram: @samwineman

Twitter: @samwineman




Where do you call home? Los Angeles, CA

What do you think is the most attractive part about yourself?


Physically, it’s my curly hair for sure – which is funny because it’s something I used to hate when I was younger! As I grew more comfortable with myself, the things I spent years being self-conscious about (like my beard, my body hair, my voice) all became the parts of me I love most.

What do you find you are complimented on the most?

My passion. I put my heart into everything that I do, whether that’s relationships, work, art, or fundraising for AIDS/LifeCycle. And people really respond to that.

What, to you, defines sexy?


To me, “sexy” is all about authenticity. Sure, confidence can be attractive, but that’s about projecting something for others to see. Authenticity is about knowing who you are and expressing that openly and honestly. When someone is at ease with themselves, it invites others to be at ease with them.

What is your proudest moment so far in your life?

Last year, I pitched a reboot of one of my favorite slasher franchises of all time. Something I am very passionate about is seeing explicit queer representation in genre films, so I didn’t hold back – I wrote all of the leads as LGBTQ+. The studio loved the idea and I got hired to write the sequel exactly as I’d always imagined it! Definitely a lifelong dream come true.


What haven’t you accomplished, personally or professionally, that you are wanting to do in the next 2-3 years?

I’ve been able to accomplish some pretty big professional goals recently, like working as a screenwriter on a feature film and directing a docuseries. For my next project, I’d really like to see myself doing both: writing and directing.

Have you found love? If so, what is the best part of your relationship and what do you love most in your partner(s)? If not, what do you look for in the ideal relationship?


The best part of my relationship is that we make a great team. Rather than trying to date someone just like me, I’m with someone whose qualities are complementary to mine. I am very independent. In my life, as well as in my line of work, I do a lot of taking care of others, so a partner who does that for me wasn’t even something I was looking for. It turns out, that’s exactly what I needed, because it’s the thing I love most about him. I am secure with him; I am cared for by him.

Rapid fire question time:


What is your all-time favorite movie? Black Christmas (1974)

Who is your biggest celebrity crush? Tie between Mason Gooding and Chris Zylka.

What is your favorite cheat meal or snack? Homemade soft pretzels with cheese.

If you were stuck on an island for eternity, what music album would you want to have with you?


“Paris” – Paris Hilton


What does it mean to be featured as our Instinct Hottie?

Growing up queer, so many of us internalized messaging about what it means to be “hot” – mostly the ways in which we fall short of that homogenous definition. So answering questions about those qualities has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone, which is very much a good thing. It’s cool to be able to celebrate those things about myself.

Anything else you’d like to share with the Instinct readers?


This year, I am volunteering as a roadie for a cause very close to my heart: AIDS/LifeCycle. AIDS/LifeCycle funds life-saving services offered by the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. As a part of my fundraising every year, I record a queer holiday music EP that I offer free to December donors. This year, I made a full-length album! It’s been a fun and easy way to get folks involved in something so important to me and my community. (If you donate to my AIDS/LifeCycle fundraiser using the link in this article and would like a copy, just DM me! I’ll send you a link.)

Click here to donate to Sam’s ALC fundraising campaign




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