Freddy Rodriguez (BluePerk) is a lifestyle and fashion blogger, a CLEVER influencer, and "your new BFF." As we celebrate Pride with National Give Out Day, we celebrate him and all of the LGBTQ+ influencers who create incredible content all year from a place of authenticity and truth.
Where are you based?
West Hollywood, CA
How long have you been a content creator?
This question really makes me feel older than I am, even if age is just a number. I have been a content creator for 8 years which is beyond wild.
How did you get started? Do you remember the first thing you posted?
I got started after my freshman year in college at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. I had a few friends who were starting their blogs (yes, I was an original blogger at the time). I went home to south Texas where my boyfriend at the time was (we were doing long distance) and I started my Blue Perk tumblr. Yes, I started my career on tumblr and owe all of my success to the then Fashion Evangelist, Valentine Uhovski. Valentine saw my potential and helped promote me as a suggested tumblr user. He included me in 3 seasons of tumblr’s fashion week incubator, but that’s another story. My first post was a photo of me on my balcony in Texas showing my outfit of the day taken by my then boyfriend, who also influenced me to create a tumblr. It is wild how times have changed! As for my first Instagram post, I love that it was of a pile of Dunkin Donuts someone dropped on the floor behind my dorm in Chelsea, New York. It had a filter and a frame. That moment is still fresh in my mind like it was yesterday. I had no clue then or even planned to be living my life as a full time content creator.
What do you create content about? Why? For whom?
I create content to put a smile on my audiences faces with colorful moments, travels, and events. I ultimately share my life as a proud, openly gay male who came from small town Texas and made a name for himself first in the fashion industry then in the social media space. To me, my goal as a content creator is to be a safe space for happiness in the daily chaos. When someone scrolls past my photo, if they at least grin, I feel my job has been done. Smile is my goal!
What does being an LGBTQ+ influencer mean to you?
How has your work been impacted by the pandemic?
To be honest, the first month of the pandemic was hard and really scary for me! I lost 4 campaigns and was really worried I wouldn’t get new campaigns until the pandemic ended. Luckily, I have clients who are able to continue to execute campaigns and my paid work has stabilized. Personally, I’d like to add it is also hard to open up at home. For me, home is a place to disconnect. Even though I love being personable and sharing my life with my audience, home is a place for me to recharge. Beyond work, I continue to struggle to keep personal life and social media life separate. Yet, don’t get me wrong, I beyond love my career. I am so lucky to still be able to work and get to be a moment of happiness for my audience.
What is your hope for the future?
My hope is a global community where we all support each other — where love is love really applies globally, not just in large metropolitan pockets. I want all the young kids across the world not to be afraid to come out and know there is a support system for them when they do come out. For the future, I hope we can come together for a better world, leading by example for the change we hope to see!
Which National Give Out Day non-profit are you donating you and why?
I selected It Gets Better because it speaks to all the youth who need to know life does get better. If I had known what was waiting for me beyond Texas, I would have worked so much harder in school knowing there was a world waiting to accept me and allow me to flourish as the most authentic version of myself.
Why do you think people should make a donation?
I think everyone can relate to being an outcast at one point in their life and understands how much it hurts to feel left out and unwanted. That is how so many in the LGBTQ+ community feel growing up — ashamed of themselves and think there is not light at the end of the tunnel. Helping our youth is the first step in building a future where the LGBTQ+ community isn’t ostracized!