Sarah Woodward is an edgy but dorky lesbian multi-media artist who thrives on thinking outside the box. She is the creative director for the Untrained Slackers, a quirky group of slightly demented, wildly outrageous outcasts bonded in their delight for self-entertainment. You may also know her as the face behind the camera at events like the AfterEllen party, or when AfterEllen hits the red carpet at events like Dinah Shore Weekend.
Woodward has always been interested in telling the stories of everyday people and their eccentricities. Her latest video projects are a deranged reflection of how attached people are to their hobbies. We caught up with her at home to ask about why she loves building and destroying LEGOs so much, coming out as a lesbian, growing up in the 90’s, being a tomboy, and what she thinks about POTUS.
What is Untrained Slackers all about, and why did you start a YouTube channel?
I build intricate LEGO sets then destroy them in epic ways. I’ve also been that weirdo with a camera asking friends and family to help film projects. I find it easier to express my thoughts through pictures rather than words.
Over time, my love for creating video content got recognized by other companies and my skills led to actual jobs. After several years of doing freelance work I got burnt out and felt I was fulfilling other people’s visions and lost track of my own.
The fun I used to have making video content began to dissipate. I lost the desire to pick up my camera. That is when I knew I needed to start saying no to gigs I wasn’t truly passionate about. The YouTube platform allows me to play and reminds me to stay focused on what brings me joy in life.
Why do you love LEGO? Or more precisely, why do you like BREAKING LEGO?
Playing with LEGO as an adult allows me to reconnect with my inner child. The playful aspect seems to slowly begin to suffocate and be pushed aside once becoming an adult. We forget to be carefree and explore. I honestly just want to have fun, share my passion and create a chain reaction of smiles.
It hurts my heart a little every time I must destroy a LEGO set. I spend hours creating these masterpieces and I’m always amazed at how awesome they turn out. LEGO are strong; I have seen them survive some crazy stuff.
How do you feel about the political climate in the US right now? Do you think it hinders the lesbian community?
The current political climate absolutely hinders the lesbian community. The way the US president presents himself allows people to feel justified to be bigots. Sometimes it feels like social right progress is going backward. It sucks at the moment but, I remember several years ago we had George W. Bush as POTUS and the masses were overwhelmed in disbelief. However, fast forward years later, and the same guy is portrayed as a cute, feeble old man and all is forgotten.
When did you come out as a lesbian? How did it affect your life?
I came out as a lesbian when I was 20 years old. In the 1990s (when I was a teenager) it was super taboo and hush hush to be a homosexual. I remember reading stories about Mathew Shepard being brutally beaten to death just because he was gay. The “Don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) American Military policy was in effect. The media made me feel super ashamed and as if I was a damaged human. So, when I finally came out of the closet as a lesbian I was terrified, though at the same time it was very freeing because I felt like I wasn’t hiding from the world anymore. The only thing I regret is not coming out of the closet earlier.
How did your family react?
Half my family was not surprised. I’ve always been a tomboy and when I was young I wanted to be called a boy. The other half of my family didn’t take it very well. I remember being asked not to attend my cousin’s wedding because her stepmother thought my gayness would rub off on her daughters.
What would you say to other women who are struggling to come out of the closet?
If you are struggling to come out of the closet you need to dig down deep and express the raging lesbian inside you. I promise you’ll thank yourself later. Living a lie is the most self-damaging act you can ever do to yourself.
What advice would you give other creative lesbians who are afraid to put themselves out there?
Be yourself and kill people with kindness. All judgments are based on lack of knowledge and fear. You are always going to have haters and it’s okay. Push the negativity aside and remember your story may inspire other struggling lesbians whether you realize it or not.
What other projects do you have coming up?
The Untrained Slackers have some traveling documentaries in the works. Details will be posted on our website soon (www.untrainedslackers.com). Other than that, I will be continuing to make people smile on the YouTube channel with LEGO.
About the author:
Heather Woodward helps psychics, empaths and witchy entrepreneurs level up their natural psychic gifts. She also believes in UFOSs and ghosts. Go to her podcast to find out more: www.podcast.nvusalien.com