William Sledd greets his audience as he smiles
into the camera. Sledd is charming--even playful--as he
begins the latest installment of his video fashion blog Ask
A Gay Man. But then he sobers. "It is so easy leaving
nasty comments and hate," he says, "because people do
it all the time...so I was wondering if we could all
be mature for a day and not leave any nasty comments."
self-proclaimed Internet celebrity, began making headlines
only last November, when his eighth YouTube
installment, "AAGM: Denim Edition," was watched more
than 2 million times. And while feedback was generally
positive--his series was nominated for the first
annual YouTube Awards and now boasts almost 60,000
subscribers--Sledd has experienced backlash from
people he calls the "haters."
"Sometimes I read
[the comments], sometimes I don't," Sledd, 23,
explains over the phone. When he first started, he let it
get to him, but maturity and a little success have
helped him deal with the homophobia. "It's
ignorance," he says, "You have to ignore it."
the June 21 launch of AAGM on OutzoneTV.com. The weekly
video blogs, or vlogs, will cover the latest and greatest in
fashion and pop culture accompanied by Sledd's witty
and at times saucy commentary. Sledd will also be
Bravo's go-to man for pride-related events, offering
man-on-the-street coverage from across the nation.
When asked about
his partnership with Bravo, Sledd gushes about the
opportunities the network will provide. "[I'm] totally
excited," he says. "It's going to give me more
resources and more capabilities to produce better and
The success is
almost overwhelming for a small-town boy who only a year
ago was working long shifts at the Gap in his hometown of
nuts," he says. "The people that watch the videos and
the people who you come into contact with is pretty absurd."
His new best friend, Broadway star Christine Ebersole
of GreyGardens, is an Internet find. "She stalked me!"
practicing fashion commentary at a young age by
people-watching with his friends. "There is not a lot to do
in Kentucky," he says, "so you have to be creative."
The vlogs were only an outgrowth of this pastime.
Sledd explains that he was motivated by the outrageous
outfits people make for themselves. "What they choose
to wear," he says, "it's scary!"
Yet he doesn't
want people to simply emulate his look, which he describes
as J.Crew-Gap preppy. "I recommend that everyone be best at
their own personal style," he says. For his viewers he
tries to offer a little bit of everything, although he
prefers chain stores.
growing fame, Sledd has kept his local celebrity to a
minimum. "Home is home," he says, explaining that he refuses
to do local press. Every now and then someone
recognizes him, he says, but he likes not being
known." His boyfriend keeps a similarly low profile.
He's the quiet one, Sledd explains. And as for himself? "I'm
the loud, outgoing bitch!"