Growing up, finding a male figure is not a piece of cake. I’m not a sporty person, so athletes are definitely not on my list of ‘Men to Look Up to’; I’m also not a big fan of Marvel or DC comics, so I did not take superheroes as my role models when I was a kid. My first male figure is actually a guy who sits in front of a camera and talks. He is also the one who deeply impacted my life in different ways. His name is Connor Franta.
Connor Joel Franta is a 24-year-old YouTube personality and entrepreneur. When I first watched his videos, I was completely taken aback by his sense of humor and ideas. His tapes always bring a big smile on my face. Despite not having met him, I feel like I’ve known Connor for a long time. He’s one of my Internet ‘best friends’.
In many ways, Con has inspired me to be a better person. In his ‘Coming Out’ video back in 2014, he said, ‘We’re all equal – I don’t want anyone to hold back who they are. It’s not okay’. I once was insecure about my looks and fear that people would not like me, but I learned from Connor that we should not be ashamed of who we are and show our true colors to the world. It is safe to say that I am a lot more confident now than before.
In addition, he has encouraged me to be a more caring person. Connor has been working with ‘The Thirst Project’ since 2014 which aimed at tackling the water crisis around the globe. I have also contributed to the campaign, and through the project, I learned that even though we are living in Hong Kong, where we have sufficient and clean water, there are still loads of places where water is not safe to consume. He taught me to be more expose to the world and be thoughtful for other people who are in need.
Finally, Connor has influenced me to dream big. ‘Do what you love and love what you do’ is Connor’s favorite motto. Aside from being a YouTuber, Connor has proved that doing the things you love is the best thing in the world by starting his own coffee and clothing line entitled Common Culture. He has also released numerous compilation albums and a memoir that documents his life and personal stories. For me, being a writer has always been my dream. Con assured me that no matter how big or trivial our dreams are, we should never be ashamed of our dreams and pursue our goals. A boy can dream, right?
I am sure that without Connor, I would not be the boy I am right now. He is one of the most down-to-earth people I’ve ever known and I am grateful to have him in my life. Con is and will be my biggest inspiration of all time.