As a queer person, Elliott Tuck struggled with being his true self while trying to manage expectations from society and his family.
He has shared some of his experience on his radio show, “Sound Generation,” broadcast on Listen Up! Youth Radio at KRSM, which seeks to help people who may be struggling with their sexuality or embracing their place in the world.
“I think people are afraid of what people think and are too concerned about society’s standards,” he said, adding that his grandmother once told him what people say about you is “none of your business.”
“When you first hear it, you’re like, it should be my business. But when you analyze it, it’s essentially saying, ‘So what if people say something about you? Why is that bothering you? Why should that let your self-esteem and confidence down?’” he said.
Tuck started learning about makeup and became an aesthetician, which means he is licensed to provide cosmetic skin care treatments and services.
Tuck’s interests also include radio. He was part of Campfire Minnesota, a nonprofit that helps young people become active in their communities. While he was attending the camp, a producer from Listen Up! Youth Radio named Emily Krumberger approached him and offered him his own show, and the rest is history.
Tuck uses his show to discuss LGBTQ topics, Black culture and other important subjects with his co-host, Gigi. Tuck likes to invite guests who have different opinions.
In addition to his radio show, he is a makeup artist and drag queen. He first got makeup inspiration from cartoons; he wanted to look like cartoon characters drawn by artists.
“I like things like ‘Steven Universe.’ That was a really big influence on me,” Tuck said. “I really liked things like ‘The Pink Panther,’ ‘Looney Tunes,’ ‘Tom and Jerry,’ just really goofy and interesting things like that.”
Although Tuck tries to live his best life, there are some in his family who disagree with his lifestyle. Tuck’s uncle is homophobic and hasn’t tried to understand Tuck’s community.
As for Tuck’s other family members, they run the spectrum of support. His mother didn’t approve at first, but is now one of his greatest allies. His father always knew Tuck was queer; it was a matter of him just coming out. As for Tuck’s grandparents, they don’t agree with his decisions, but they do respect him.
“I try to be pretty patient with people,” Tuck said. “I understand that people lived in a different time where that wasn’t acceptable, and it’s hard for them to comprehend that it’s OK and it should be normalized.”
Ultimately, Tuck wants to live in a world where we stop judging people based on their appearance and instead understand their heart and character.
“Innocent people get hurt and attacked and antagonized just for their appearance,” Tuck said. “If I were to leave this earth with one thing, it would be to get to know somebody. I’ll allow that perspective to be something that should be applied in having conversations with others, because we are so quick to be grounded in our own ways.”
You can listen to Tuck’s radio show, “Sound Generation,” on 98.9 FM KRSM. You can also listen to it on MixCloud if you miss the live show. Tuck’s Instagram accounts are @galaxy_nebula_universe and @sound_generation_krsm.