Julian J. Walker is an actor, writer, author, and associate director, communities of color at GLAAD. He acted in Blackbird, Being Mary Jane, and Saints and Sinners. Julian is also the author of the best-seller “A Year Without You”.
JULIAN J. WALKER’S INTERVIEW
So, a lot of people know you from an acting perspective. You’ve received a couple of awards as well. But who are you besides all of this?
I’m a son, a brother, an uncle, a boyfriend, a friend, and a cousin. I’m on a journey of understanding my mental health and each day is a new opportunity to figure it out. Believing I’m not a prisoner to my mistakes of yesterday and understanding that I’m running my own race. I’m learning to give myself grace on past guilt, shame, and past traumas. I’m an individual who is just trying to intentionally become the best version of myself.
It is just giving yourself grace and knowing that with being human, mistakes will come, and hiccups will come, but so will success and peace.
It’s interesting when you find people being vulnerable about their mental health. Normally, when you ask people, who are you? They tell you where they come from and, all those kind of stuff. But also indirectly, what you’re trying to say is, I’m a human being.
Very much human and trying to figure this thing out. Each day is filled with just that; none of us have been this age before, and none of us have experienced this particular day, time, or hour yet. So, it is just giving yourself grace and knowing that with being human, mistakes will come, and hiccups will come, but so will success and peace. But it’s all about understanding what success looks like for you outside of the awards and validation. For instance, how can you look in the mirror at yourself and be comfortable with the individual that you see? So, yes, I am human lol. I am trying to figure it out.
What projects are you currently working on?
I’m working on my first EP called Fall 2020, I just had a small kickback for some friends/family to listen to; which makes me even more excited to release music next month. It’s been a huge dream! I began to feel cozy with the idea of releasing music, during my book tour for my poetry book A Year Without You. I sang music covers throughout my readings which were so freeing, something I didn’t do as often before. As my book tour ended at the top of 2020, this gave me the encouragement to put energy toward my music. Be on the lookout for Fall 2020 on November 22nd!
MOBI, which stands for Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative, which is a series of curated social connectivity events for gay and queer people of color to see their holistic selves while promoting community, wellness, and personal development. Definitely head over to MOBI website for more details on our MOBIfest and MOBItalks event for 2023.
That’s beautiful. So, what inspired you to accept the role and GLAAD?
Honestly, community, Perez. For the last eight almost nine years I’ve been doing work with the community and the love I’ve received means so much to me. I remember the lack of space I could walk in and feel safe without bullies and fears of what my family thinks. I’ve been working with GLAAD as an ambassador and saw this new opportunity as a way to advance spaces for communities of color. We have a new program we just launched called Equity in Media and Entertainment Initiative (EMEI), designed as a pipeline program to help address, and begin to resolve, the existing gap in equitable representation on screen and behind the scenes in Hollywood. It is really cool that I get to work within a field I love so much; television and film!
Let’s talk about acting. Do you have any movies coming soon?
Manifestation is real! I trust one day soon, but I’ve been able to step behind the camera and it’s been amazing! During COVID, MOBI (led by LaQuann Dawson – MOBI’s Visual Director) self-produced our 2020 MOBIfest Experience. It’s been beautiful to create spaces for black queer creatives within music, television, and film. Within our Communities of Color Department at GLAAD, we’ve created a blog series featuring black queer actors, comedians, and directors on the importance of black queer spaces in Hollywood and their best mental health practices (Noah’s Arc, Tom Swift, Vampire Academy). What a beautiful journey thus far 🙂
So, my last question is what is the one quote or motivational word that keeps you out of bed to do what you do daily?
Hmm, there are about three lol. Every day that I wake up in the morning, I immediately think:
- Today is a new opportunity for me to try again.
- My individuality is my superpower
- When we realize that we are running our own race, when we realize that we are intentional with the tools that we have, we become more powerful.
That’s beautiful. Thank you so much, Julian. This was an inspirational conversation.