In the spirit of hair experimentation and general positivity, and in light of the Free Your Pits Movement 1 year anniversary, I am THRILLED to introduce you to Johnathan and Brian, Portland best-friend duo of The Gaybeards……As if you haven’t already seen them! Ha! These beards are blowing up the internet right now.
The Gaybeards are 2 young men with stunningly great beards who are unafraid to decorate them in colorful and creative ways, and share them with the world in an effort to spread fun, lightheartedness, experimentation, and personal expression. From the mobile office of HTHG and The Free Your Pits Movement, I raise my coffee cup full of luke-warm coffee in the direction of Portland, to The Gaybeards, my heart singing a happy song of love and freedom for these dudes and their beards.
Today, I want to thank you all for being here, and especially thank Johnathan and Brian for enthusiastically sharing words on their mission, their lives, and their beards with us here at HTHG……..I hope you are as inspired by them as I am:)
Ladies and Gents, I present you with The Gaybeards…….Johnathan and Brian: Artists, Hair Growers, and Fearless Beard Decorators.
Talking Beards, Glitter and Positivity with The Gaybeards
To begin with, what inspired The Gaybeards?
Both of us have always been creative minds, and without knowing it, we grew our next canvases right below our eyes. Once our beards were big enough, it didn’t surprise anyone who knew us that we started finding things to put in them. When we discovered the overwhelmingly positive support from the online community, the rest was history.
What is your intention with The Gaybeards, and what are your goals?
The Gay Beards is an idea that not everything in the world must be so serious. As time goes on, more burdens and stress are placed upon people and their everyday lives. We hope that putting our beards and our ideas out into the world will give even one person an extra reason to smile. We hope to be a part of the art movement, encouraging others to live out their own dreams and happiness, wherever that might lead them.
What would be your dream collaboration?
There are simply just too many to choose from. We are hopeful that in the future we will have the opportunity to work with many talented and creative minds. If it takes us outside of the box, we are on board for whatever comes our way.
Your message of positivity is infectious. What quote or mantra sums up the Gaybeards and the message you want to spread?
“- I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
– The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
The Men Behind the Beards
Where are you both from?
Johnathan was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. Brian was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, moving to Portland at the age of 8.
How did you meet?
Back in the wonderful year of 1998, we met through a mutual friend. After one evening of hanging out, we truly have been best friends ever since.
What were/are you doing in life besides being The Gaybeards, personally and professionally?
Since our early years, both of us have always had art be a big part of our lives. Brian is a painter and photographer by trade, while Johnathan is a musician. The Gay Beards definitely takes up a big portion of our creative energy, but with that being said, you will always find us working something new and unusual.
When you were young, did you have any formative experiences or preferences that may have helped inspire your Gaybeards future? What did you want to be when you grew up?
Both of our parents have long been supporters of whatever it is either of us wanted to become. It would seem that their love and encouragement ultimately just helped us follow our hearts and find our own niche passions. Art most definitely runs in our blood lines, so perhaps genetics, perhaps our upbringing. Living in a place as open and accepting as Portland, Oregon has also played a big part in who we are today. We feel fortunate to have never felt pressured or uneasy about being ourselves in the place we call home.
Getting to Know Your Beards
If your beards could talk, what would they say?
They would probably ask us, albeit politely, to stop covering them in soup and crumbs.
If your beard had a spirit animal, mythical or real, what would it me?
Mariah Carey or Celine Dion. Can’t imagine life without them!
If you could sum up the unique personality of your beard in three words, what would they be?
1) High-maintenance 2) Fuzzy 3) Happy
Feel like writing a haiku about your beards?
We keep your face warm
Holding your silly objects
Please don’t shave us off
Your Beard-Care Routines…..
Tell us about your beard care and maintenance routines. Products? Trims? Treatments?
A typical beard day for us starts with a good shower (and shampoo a couple times a week). Once the beard has dried a bit, we add a healthy dose of beard oil, and then give it a good comb with a boar bristle brush. After that, we apply beard balm and beard wax, giving it a healthy shine. After the beard is shaped, we top our mustaches off with some mustache wax, give it a nice curl, and out the door we go!
How do you get sparkles out of your beards?
One very hot shower, and one very good shampoo. Even then though, it always takes a couple days to rid of it all.
Do you have word of wisdom for someone who really wants to grow a beard, but is afraid to dive in?
You’ll never know until you try! We could have quite possibly grown our beards out much earlier then we did. The only reason we ever found our fury face mantles was by giving it a try, and for that, we say the same to someone who might be toying with the idea of growing theirs out. You can always shave it off, right?
How about for someone who really wants to decorate his/her beard but is not sure where to start?
Following one’s creativity is important on this one. When you consider all the small items in the world that could possibly fit in a beard, the possibilities are limitless. We will always and forever encourage both men and women to find a beard, whether or not it is their own, and have fun with it (given permission, of course). Beards have long been seen as the pinnacle of manliness, which may hold true for some, but for our beards, they like to feel pretty too.
What is the future of beards going to look like?
Honestly, we aren’t sure. That is a beautiful thing about facial hair though. The ebbs and flows of society’s willingness to embrace beards has been present for as long as we know. We plan to keep making beard art until we are old and wrinkly, so regardless of what the beard “trend” is doing, we will be somewhere, finding something odd to put in our beards.
Friends, let’s let The Gaybeards be our 2016 Inspiration for dreaming big, following our own unique paths, trusting our own creativity and voice and shining our positive light on the world around us. In the words of The Gaybeards…..
“….Set your minds free, and dream beyond the stars!”
Love, and Good Tidings, HTHG and Brian & Johnathan of The Gaybeards
Connect With The Gaybeards: