Who is Dio?In high school my English teacher gave me the name DiO. I have always been a performer. DiO comes from the name DiOndra (very gay, I know) which was inspired by my favorite artist, Beyonce’. During the “Sasha Fierce” era of her career I was drawn to the creation of her ego and related to her reasoning for creating it. DiO became a stage name and then a Youtube personality.
What was your childhood like?My child hood was strange because I was never as bold as I am now but I was very adamant when it came to demanding respect. I was a shy rebel, if you will. I got in trouble for things like insubordination. I loved to argue. Even though I had horrible conduct in school, I was always the student who went above and beyond to make good grades. It was critical for me to show people how smart I was. As far as home life, it was tough. My mother was 13 when she had me so I was raised by my grandmother for a while.
What is your coming out story?My grandfather found gay porn on the family computer and informed my mom- all hell broke loose but that’s a long story. After my mom found out, I really didn’t care who else knew so I told people at school one by one and asked them not to tell anyone. Of course I knew that they would do it anyway which I was I did it. I was ready to be free.
I don’t have any regrets about coming out because it definitely made me the force that I am today. I regret that my family found out the way that they did because it involved a lot of heartache. They made me go to “gay reformation” counseling sessions, speak to pastors, etc. It was horrible.
Do you think or feel as though anyone has changed towards you since you came out?My life has changed (for the better). It allowed me to quickly weed out people who were conditional. My biggest loss was my grandfather. We had such a close bond. I could count on him for anything. He was the only father figure that I had. When the porn was found, he flipped out, tried to ruin my life. I was in and out of court because of him. I have not spoken with or seen him since I was 14.
What made you decide to start a YouTube Channel?I was introduced to a Youtube personality and I was so intrigued by him. I felt his words, his story, his pain, his revelations and I respected that he always self reflected.
Who would you say was your major inspiration behind creating your channel?Someone who used to be a close friend of mine, Jessica, introduced me to B. Scott. It was because of him that I felt the need to release my frustrations, anxieties, etc. on camera.
Where do you get your concepts from when creating your videos?People that surround me- family, friends, society, personal experiences, religion. I have made a video on almost anything, there’s ALWAYS something to talk about or make people aware of.
What sets your YouTube channel aside from everyone elses?I keep it personal. I don’t speak about things that I don’t have any experience with. The purpose of my channel is to shed light on taboo issues that makes people uncomfortable. I love to make people uncomfortable. Even if what I’m saying makes me uncomfortable, I say it anyway! I speak about things that other people are afraid to reveal.
Wow! I have to be honest, I don’t know. It has a lot to do with the creation of DiO though I think! I didn’t start wearing and doing makeup until I created the character that could care less about what people thought of him.
Since Make-Up is an art, what is it that you look for when you look at the canvas (the Person)?The personality has to match the makeup or it won’t be believable. I take the time to observe the character of my clients. The last thing I want to do is have someone look in the mirror when I’m done and not be able to see themselves.
I also read that you are in school for sociology, what made you decide to study that?It is important for me to be relatable. I don’t want to be one of those people who people just can’t relate to. Studying sociology always me to feel involved with cultures, societies, systems that I naturally am oblivious to. Everyone is naturally ignorant and that is okay, but it is not okay to make the choice to remain that way.
I also saw that you are interested into other areas of art, do you mind telling my readers what other art forms you like and why?I may be wrong but I think you’re trying to get at my interest in drag [chuckles]. I deeply respect drag as an art form. It embodies any form of art that you can imagine- theater, makeup, dance, music, comedy (all of which I appreciate).
In the long run what is it that you want to do with your career and degree in sociology?I want to start my career as a high school counselor, and eventually become I high school principal. I have a passion for children. It is important me to be a prominent member of public education. I want to be an influence and prepare youth for the world BEFORE they get thrown into it and have no idea what they’re in for.
What is something in the LGBT Community That you wish to change?I want so badly for us to have one another’s backs. We truly need to be more unified. No, I don’t expect for everyone to get along but I do expect for everyone to have a mutual respect for our own struggle.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?In 5 years, I plan to be 26 [chuckles]. I should have my Master’s in education administration by then. I want to have relocated, I don’t know where. My mother says “If you want to be laughed at tell God your plans.” I don’t want to have a step by step plan because I try to be realistic and logical. No one’s plans pan out exactly as they were meant to happen.
Do you have any last words for your fans and my viewers?In a world in which you can be whoever you want to be, be yourself. Remain true to yourself without getting too comfortable in your current situation. Always be willing to be progressive. A lot of people will never know anything passed what they see with their own two eyes, don’t be that person. We become responsible for our ignorance when it is revealed to us. Get liberated!