Our recent article ‘Five Ways to be a Happy Homo’ showcased Matthew Dempsey, a psychotherapist, whose YouTube channel specialises in promoting gay men’s mental health. We are huge fans of Matthew’s work in the gay community, and any chance to spread some positivity, we jump right on it!
He’s not shy about speaking on tough subjects, as some of his videos show, and not that it matters, but he’s incredibly easy on the eye, which is always nice. We caught back up with Matt this week to talk about his upcoming projects, his work for the LGBT community and his wrong choice of Spice Girl.
Hi Matt! Great to speak with you today, how are you doing?
I'm doing great! Living and loving in LA, what could be bad?
We recently did an article promoting ‘five ways to be a happy homo’. First of all, thank you! Second of all, what made you decide to make that particular video?
Anytime I make a video it's usually something I've been considering for myself. It forces me to sit down and actually work out what my beliefs and feelings are and this video wasn't an exception. I had been feeling a little flat and stuck in my own life, so I thought about what I would tell any of my clients who were going through some of the same shit.
Just so it’s clear for our readers, you’re trained in this medium! You’re a psychotherapist, which sounds as intense as it does amazing. What made you go into that profession?
Omg for sure! You have to have a passion for the process of therapy to actually be a therapist otherwise you'll get burnt out quickly listening to people's problems all day. My mom put me in therapy when I was 5-years-old after my parents split up and then I've been in and out of therapy in years after that like when I got bullied in middle school, came out in high school, and fell in love in college. It just became a language I spoke and a process that without a doubt shaped my life so positively. Well, that and Oprah.
Your self-help videos on YouTube really give us insight on the struggles we as an LGBT community face on a daily basis. Being an active presence at the LGBT Community Center and GMHC in New York City in your past, do you feel you’ve gained a wide scope of the community and what we go through?
1000%! I know a lot of my videos speak specifically to gay men but working at those nonprofits exposed me to virtually every facet of the entire LGBTQ+ community. The years I've spent working with the entire community really drove home how an invisible identity like sexuality and gender can fuck with how we feel about ourselves and how we then move through the world.
On Your website, you explain that there are differences between the experiences of each subgroup under the LGBT umbrella. A lot of your YouTube videos are gay men centric, do you feel we need to see a lot more representation of the community’s issues spoke so candidly about like you do?
I do. The most beautiful thing about our community is how we all come from so many different walks of life and experiences but share a certain struggle of coming out. That said, there are unique experiences for each subgroup and it's helpful to give that context. I'm a gay man so that's my jam and why I throw a vaseline smeared lens on gay men's issues.
Matthew's YouTube channel doesn't just focus on representation issues, but also darker, harder to talk about issues. He invites us all to laugh with him, as well as to cry with him, showing his viewers that therapy is more than just focusing on the positives, it's also about working through your negatives.
Your video ‘A Life and Depression’ really hit us hard. With so many people being lost to depression, it is refreshing to see somebody laying themselves out like that. I just want to say thank you for showing us that vulnerability when speaking about a friend. (This isn’t a question, I just want to say thank you)
Are you kidding me, you're gonna make me cry with that compliment! It's one of the more important videos I've made because not only did I lose a friend in my life that lit up any room he walked into but he also represented the pain and suffering I see in so many of my gay friends, clients, and myself that I wanted to address. So thanks for saying that.
Your therapy services range from in-person sessions to online life-coaching. Do you find that people open up a lot more over the internet to you, and find it less intimidating to speak about their problems online rather than in person?
Yeah I'd say so. Sometimes people just don't have access to a local therapist that specialize in working with the queer community so working remotely with me gives them a chance to have a more informed therapy. That aside, yeah therapy can be scary af sometimes and it's easier to do it from home behind a computer. I think whatevs, as long as you're reaching out and getting some support then you good boo!
Your Instagram is filled to the brim with inspirational quotes, do you see that as another medium to get a positive message out there?
I made a pact with myself when I started using Instagram that I was gonna use it as a way to express what mattered to me and though I do love some selfie attention, I mainly want to offer something to people. Little secret though is all the quotes I post are things I need to hear myself first that particular day.
Now we wouldn’t be doing our job as a gay lifestyle magazine if we didn’t speak about how handsome you are! Your body is as inspirational as your quotes, damn! What is your current gym routine?
Oh lord don't make me bore you with my workouts! I go to the gym, I move weights around, then I go home. The much more fun way I stay in shape however is a lot of hiking and I'm not talking about a casual stroll up Runyon's paved path with a coffee in hand. Gotta get them gams burnin!
Is fitness important to you?
Yep! Of course I like looking better but it just makes me feel better too. There's a lot of psychology used in working out too. Very mind over matter stuff that's cool to experiment with and watch measurable change happen.
Back to your profession. Is there a favourite video that you’ve made, or a video that seems to have had a big effect on a lot of people?
I would probably say my video "White, Gay, and Confronting Racism" is one of my faves A) because it was more involved with production and cool for me to create but even more so B) because it was showing how to have difficult conversations in a way that can be healing for everyone.
Let’s do some quick fire questions next!
Great, I love quickies!
Britney or Whitney?
Fuckkk don't do this to me. But fine, it's Britney bitch.
Favourite Spice Girl?
Scary Spice, hands down. (We are sure he spelt 'Ginger Spice' wrong)
Coffee or food?
Instagram or Twitter?
All-time favourite song?
Yesss a chance to praise my other queen. "I Wanna Dance With Somebody"
Favourite place you’ve ever visited?
Puynormand, France. Wine country with so the best pates, cheeses, breads, and of course wine. *drool emoji*
Thanks! And finally, what’s next for Matthew?
I want to kick it up a notch on the video stuff I produce. I've got a few ideas so keep your eyes peeled!
We are so ready for even more great content from Matthew. For me as a writer, I love sharing content that does good for our community. If you're projecting positivity, then you will receive it, that's my motto!