Alethea Crimmins wants you to have a good day on purpose, you hear?

LGBTQ

It’s hard to miss Alethea Crimmins. With over two million followers on social media, she’s everywhere online.

Whether she’s popping up in celebrities’ TikToks and Instagram reels, appearing on TV, or her viral videos are being fed to you directly, the influencer’s positive messages are teaching the internet that “You are a bad bitch!”

Her signature signoff urges viewers to “Go be great in they face. Have a good day on purpose, you hear?” Crimmins is having a great life and she’s doing it because she has a purpose.

LGBTQ Nation sat down with the internet’s favorite offbeat motivational speaker for a Q&A about where she came from and where she wants you to go. The interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.

LGBTQ NATION: I have followed you on Instagram for quite a while. And I was even more excited when I looked at your bio and saw that you were part of the queer community.

ALETHEA CRIMMINS: A lot of people were there just start following me. They do not know until I mention my wife. I’ve had a couple of people that have to let me know. “Oh, well, I’m unfollowing you.” Okay. Thank you. Next. This is not the type of energy that I wanted here anyway. I don’t understand why we can’t just allow people to be happy and live the life that they want to live, because that’s basically all that we’re doing – being happy, being who we are, and living the life that we want to live and deserve.

You are quickly approaching a million followers on Instagram. You have barreled right past a million and a half on TikTok. People love you and your message is resonating. But how did it start?

I was born with a speech impediment; I stutter. Growing up, I got bullied because of it. Even teachers, when it came to reading out loud, would skip me and go to the next person because they didn’t want to hear me stutter. It played a part in how I felt about myself. I lost my voice a lot, and I didn’t want to speak. If somebody had told me ten years ago, “You’re going to be a motivational speaker,” I would have laughed.

I didn’t really have any cheerleaders in my life. That’s why I started this whole thing. I learned how to become my own cheerleader. And that’s actually what you see. Because when this first started, my car was my safe space. I can be as loud as I want, I can be who I want. Nobody’s gonna see me because I’m in my car. So every morning, before I go to work, I would give myself these pep talks. Like, “You got this. You need to go in there, and you don’t care what nobody else says. Just go out there and be a bad bitch.” During COVID, we weren’t working so I was just at home. And I was like, “You know, what if I just record this? You know what, let me just see what happens because I’m sure there are other people that feel like me.” And I did. And the responses I got were more than I could even hope for.

People would always tell me that I was too much. “Oh, you need to calm down. Be yourself, but not like that. Be who you are. But not so much.” It was a hell of a limit. I can be myself but also be what you want me to be.

That seems to be something that’s pretty common for the queer community. Be yourself. Just not like that.

Rihanna strikes a pose

Be you, but not the you that you want to be, the you that we expect you to be. This helped me find who I was. It helped me realize what I was meant to be. It helped me know I didn’t have to hide who I was. And I can use my voice for something bigger than me.

At first, I would only do it in my driveway or at work because I was worried about what other people saw. So that’s why I would do it in my car because it was just me, right? Now, I do it out loud for everybody to see because I am living my life out loud. And I love it. Like I was waiting for me to show up.

You give a lot of motivational advice in your videos. Is it hard for you sometimes to follow your advice?

It’s so much easier for me to give other people advice than it is for me to take it myself. Oftentimes, the messages are for me. I needed to hear that. I needed to hear the words that came out of my mouth; I was talking to me. Because looking at yourself and saying these words out loud hits you in a different type of way.

What’s the most important lesson that you think everyone should learn?

The top tier that I will stand on until the day I die is that you are enough as you are. I know this because I was a chameleon my whole life, trying to be what everybody expected me to be. I lost who I was. I didn’t know. That was just the person that they wanted me to be.

That is a common story for a lot of queer people, being the chameleon and trying to hide and blend in. You identify as pansexual, so how do you think being your authentic self has shaped your videos?

I used to identify as a lesbian. I thought that because I was in a relationship with my wife, that was what I was supposed to say. But I’m still attracted to men. Somebody sat me down and said, “Why are you limiting yourself to one thing? You have such a big heart; your heart is so full that you just love anyone and everybody for who they are. It doesn’t matter who they are. You just love them. As long as they show you love, you love them in return. And it doesn’t matter what they look like.”

Kesha strikes a pose

The outside doesn’t matter as much as the inside.

I see the person for who they are.

Speaking of your wife, you’ve been together for ten years?

In April, we’re going to be celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary. This year also will make 14 years that we have been together.

So what does she think about your new career online? All this fame for you on social media?

When I first started, when neither one of us saw the vision, she was like why are you always on your phone? And I was like, I’m helping people. At first, she didn’t quite understand because she’s not into social media like that. And I would tell her; I would get really excited.

She would watch my videos, but she never read the comments. A few months ago, and I’ve been doing this for some years, something just said, “Go to the comments.” She clicked, and she read them. And she came to me in tears. She was like, “I didn’t know. You are truly, truly amazing. You are doing exactly what you said. You’re helping so many people, and I don’t want you to stop.”

What’s the nicest reaction you’ve ever had?

Lil Nas X strikes a pose

Every time I talk about this, I get emotional. But there, there was this guy. And he, well, she now, she sent me this DM. And she said, “I saw one of your videos. And it touched me so much because I’ve never had anybody seem to care about me. I never thought I could be who I really was. And you constantly tell me that I’m enough. You constantly tell me that I can be who I am. And you constantly tell me just to not care about what anybody says about me.” She said, “I want to let you know that because of you. I am now living my truth. I am being who I am.” And she said, “Your video stopped me from ending my life.”

We are still in contact today. She is living her best life. I’m always checking on her.

What more proof do you need that you’re touching people’s lives and making a difference on social media?

I never started this to be what I am right now. I didn’t start this for followers. I never started for fame. I never started this for money. TikTok does not pay me. Instagram does not pay. I do all this because I want to. If I can help one person feel better about themselves, then I have done what I needed to do. So, I keep doing this for that one person. People matter to me.

What’s your most popular video? And why do you why do you think it resonated so much with people?

My most popular video was when I asked people to “Come back, Stop and pose – because you are a bad bitch.” I didn’t realize how big that video had gotten until people were tagging me, and they were like, “Hey, Little Nas X just used your sound.” And then I got Madonna, like Rihanna. People want to feel like a bad bitch. And if you can make somebody feel like, “Honey, I am everything!” that’s what they want, and I am the person that will make you feel like you are a bad bitch because you are, and I don’t care if you are a man or woman. It doesn’t matter if you think you are a bad bitch, you are a bad bitch. Period.

That video has almost 20 million views.

Madonna strikes a pose

That’s astronomical numbers.

Just from me making you feel good about yourself.

If I can say anything to anybody right now, don’t ever think small. Do not think small. Think big. Because who would have thought that a smalltown girl with a stutter would now be a motivational speaker? I’m traveling and speaking out loud. You can do anything you set your mind to. Don’t listen to those people. Do not listen to the voices in your head. You can do it.

You’re a bad bitch.

What a wonderful experience and a fantastic mission.

I am proud to be part of this community. I am proud, and I hope that I have been a positive representation of my community.

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Originally published here.

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