Austin Wallis made national and international headlines in February when he was asked to leave his school for being gay and for being public about his sexuality on the popular Youtube channel he runs with his boyfriend, Nicolay Sysyn. Instead of looking for revenge, Austin and Nicolay, who are both 17 years old, looked for change by continuing to make videos on their channel and trying to make a difference where no school can be allowed to discriminate based on sexuality.
Austin’s “Be The Change: Gay Rights” video explaining his school situation immediately went viral and has been viewed over 527,000 times and has received 18,000 likes. Overall, their YouTube channel videos have been viewed over 1,419,000 times.
Not allowing negativity, discrimination and betrayal to bring them down, Austin and Nicolay have spent the last few months spreading their message of love, acceptance and trying to make a change any way they can through their YouTube channel, official social media sites and by doing interviews with media such as a recent appearance on The Morning Jolt with Larry Flick on SiriusOutQ and a feature in the Houston Chronicle. They’ve also gotten involved with their local communities and teamed up with some amazing people.
Austin and Nicolay have partnered with Try The World to bring samples of food from around the globe to their growing fan base. Every two months they will post a video on their YouTube channel trying each item in the box and giving their opinion and cooking ideas. As part of this exciting partnership, they will offer viewers a 30% discount on box subscriptions using a special link and discount code provided in the videos. “It is really nice for us to partner with Try The World because that was one of our original ideas for a YouTube channel. The fact that we are now able to incorporate Try The World and their products into our videos is exciting and to be able to offer product discounts to our viewers is something we’ve always wanted to do” said Austin and Nicolay
Austin and Nicolay were able to celebrate the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision to legalise same sex marriage in all 50 states by attending and participating in their very first Pride in their home town of Houston, Texas. They were on hand for the 37th annual Pride Houston festivities on Saturday, June 27th in downtown Houston. They appeared on the festival stage to introduce Grammy Award winning singer “Estelle” in front of a packed crowd at City Hall and were also on the official Pride Houston float during the nighttime parade. It has been reported that an estimated 700,000 people were in attendance for this historic day for equal rights in our nation. “It was a very surreal moment because We’ve never actually attended or experienced a pride before and it was really amazing being able to go somewhere, feel comfortable being yourself and then to be able to be a part of pride behind the scenes was an amazing experience,” said Austin and Nicolay.
When award winning singer, songwriter, performer, AIDS activist and LGBT advocate Sir. Elton John had a scheduled concert in Houston in May, Austin and Nicolay had the opportunity to attend the performance and meet the legendary artist backstage. Sir Elton John created the Elton John AIDS Foundation over 20 years ago and has raised over $300 million for the fight against AIDS. “Meeting Elton was an honour and a truly memorable moment for us. His commitment to fighting AIDS and what he’s been able to achieve through his foundation inspires us to use any success we have to help our community and give back in any way we can,” said Austin and Nicolay.
Austin and Nicolay are looking forward to the future and hope to get more involved with different LGBT organisations to help end discrimination against the LGBT community around the world. They also want to be able to help support LGBT charities and want to help put an end to youth suicide and homelessness.