By Greg Hernandez
Popular YouTube personality MacDoesIt decided forgo a traditional party, instead inviting his fans and fellow OUTfluencers to a clothing drive for his 22nd birthday, all benefitting youth clients at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
“I was just wanting to give back and I wanted to contribute to the Center,” said MacDoesit, whose real name is Machaizelli Kahey. “I wanted to find a good day to do it and thought, ‘Why not my birthday?’ It’s a way to giveback and come say happy birthday to Mac.”
On hisDecember 1 birthday, about 150 people showed up at the Center’s Village at EdGould Plaza with donations of gently-used clothing, shoes, backpacks and purses, and new and unused hygiene products.
“I don’t keep that many clothes because I outgrow them,” MacDoesIt said, laughing. “I do give away a lot of clothes. My closet right now, there’s nothing in it because I give away everything. That’s why I wear the same five shirts in all my videos.”
MacDoesit is a satirical comedic video blogger with more than 1.5 million YouTube followers. He describes his content of reviews, challenges, and storytelling as “a cross between intelligently funny and an organized hot mess.”
“I’m a big fan of Mac, I absolutely love him,” said attendee Nelly Mardaros. “When I heard he was doing a clothing drive I thought, ‘What an amazing cause!’ I had recently cleaned out my closet though so I went out and bought new underwear and socks and all the things he mentioned in the video about the party. I recently came out as bisexual and this is my first time visiting the Center. It’s like new territory altogether.”
Another attendee, Heem Black, also gave wholeheartedly.
“We brought some shoes, we brought some purses, we brought tampons, we brought clothes—both male-coded and female-coded—and we also brought plus-sized clothes as well,” Black said. “We want to make sure that as many people are clothed and covered as is possible because it’s absolutely necessary that we look out for each other as a community.”
Prior to a pizza party and photo opportunity for fans, attendees gathered inside the Center’s Renberg Theatre for a conversation with MacDoesIt and his fellow online influencers Miles Jai, AmbersCloset, and Andy Laiwani.
The group discussed gaining a following for their online content and offered advice for those in the audience with a similar goal.
“Don’t get caught up in the numbers. It’s the same if you have 1,000 subscribers and all those people hard-core love you versus if you have a million and 1,000 of those love you,” said AmbersCloset, who has more than 600,000 YouTube followers. “It’s really about your message and what you want to put out into the world. Just continue to be to be yourself.”
Jai shared how his online success enabled him to go on an international tour with some fellow video bloggers to several countries in Europe.
“It was a really out-of-body experience the whole time I was there,” he told attendees. “The weirdest thing was people knew who I was outside of the U.S. I really started to feel the effects what it’s like to make content online that actually reaches people in Germany, Italy, and the U.K. and we had meet-ups in every single one of those countries. I got to put a face to all the user names out there. This is global!”
MacDoesIt told the audience that having the busiest year of his life—a year that also included an international tour with some stops in Europe—has led to him becoming more focused on what to do with his growing fame.
“It makes you feel good to know that you’re helping other people with their life,” he said. “After I toured the Center, I was inspired and really wanted to help out in any way I can. Seeing the employment closet at the Youth Center, that’s the one that made my heart grow like ten times bigger. It’s not just about helping them find job interviews but giving them the appropriate clothes for interviews.”
No organization offers a wider range of services for LGBTQ youth than the Center. To learn more, go to lalgbtcenter.org.