For this week’s Deep Dive Series, we’re interviewing content creator and Clapper OG, @LdSweetZs!
@LdSweetZs was one of the first ever Clapper creators. She’s been on the platform, spreading positivity across communities for three years. LD is a Clapper icon, and we were so excited to finally sit down with her! We talked about her experience with Lupus, her advice to LGBTQ+ creators, where she thinks Clapper needs improvement, and more!
Keep reading this Deep Dive to follow this creator’s inspiring story. Make sure to tune in every Thursday at 5pm CT on our @ClapperCreator account to listen to the bonus questions that will only be available on our live Radio show: Clapper Talks.
Tell us a little more about yourself! What does a day in your life look like?
Day in my life…you don’t want it! There’s not enough hours in the day: there’s usually about 6 – 9 things going on in my mind as I’m doing 2 or 3 tasks physically. Everybody knows I grew up in the industry. I’ve had some very strong European women influences in my family. We are go gunners, we kill it whatever we do. I came to the US at 15, was emancipated through the American court system at 16, and had dual citizen ship for many years. I’m a professional photographer, and worked behind the scenes and in front of the camera. My last studio film was a Ben Affleck film doing the press releases, the marketing, the videography and some of the still photography. I also did some set design on that! I am a mother to 9 and a grandmother to 14+ children. I’ve lived on the coast since 2005. I’m a badass, I’m business oriented, but I’d give the shirt off my back. I have my own nonprofit LLC but I sit on 3 other nonprofits. I am mixed in culture and in my genetic make up.
When you first joined Clapper, we noticed that you were a huge advocate for lupus and other autoimmune diseases. Can you tell us more about your experience with lupus?
I’m more of an advocate when it comes to not just autoimmune disease, but chromic disease, autism, and mental health. There’s a lot of things on my content than just autoimmune disease but living with lupus is hell. There’s no cure, you eventually pass away from the complications of the disease, and it’s a very humbling situation. But anybody that has any autoimmune or chronic illness that’s incurable – we live life to the fullest each day. We don’t take things to heart like others do, we brush it off. If it’s someone else’s issue or an issue that doesn’t involve me, it doesn’t brother me. “You do you, I do me” mentality. Doctor’s appointments all the time, I’m in and out of the hospital, constantly having blood tests done…gosh, you even have chemo treatments when you have lupus. It’s a horrendous disease.
We noticed that you, provide Spanish translation on your videos. Can we expect more Spanish content or language support from you in the future?
I love my Latin community. They have a dear place in my heart because I’m part of the community. I came to this country speaking broken English, I couldn’t read or write it, and it was a big hindrance for me. So I understand when they come here and don’t understand or speak English but want to participate. The mindset with the Latino community is we’re very supportive and proud: we take care of our own. We live in our homestead with our parents until we’re married, we take care of our familia. So you will see more of that in my content. I was one of the first people that started to do it.
I will have to give props to @Ashmarliving. She is the one who built a bridge between the English speakers and the Latino community. Because of her, myself and a lot of other people have broken barriers. I go to their Radios, Livestreams – each day I strive to do more. I’m very blessed to be apart of the Latino community, I am so honored of the friendships that I have built with a lot of these individuals. They work so hard, and I can’t say enough about them.
As a pride creator all about motivation, what type of motivation would you give to younger people who’re scared or nervous to explore and dive into the LGBTQ+ community?
Don’t be scared! Come to our Radio, it’s a safe place. We don’t care if you don’t understand our community: we’ll still welcome you. We don’t care if you’ve got tough questions and no one else left to ask: we’ll answer them. We’ve had non-supporters come in and end up being strong allies, not only on Clapper but in their local communities. If someone needs help coming out, reach out to us on our panel or our personal accounts. We’ll hold your hand and help you come out to your family, a friend, whoever. Please sit down and have an open discussion, because we’re okay to disagree on some things.
So, when did you join Clapper? How did your journey as a creator begin?
I’ve been here since it started, I think it was only 5 weeks old at the time. I actually got an invitation to come over through y’all. I think we grew together, Clapper is my baby! I’ve seen us flourish, accomplish a lot of things, and I’ve seen a lot of your goals as the team come to light. I see a lot more goals that everyone is striving for, within the community and Clapper as the organization, to make more things and bring more to the table.
We’ve noticed that you use the hashtag #TeamPositiveWave with @UncleTimmy in a lot of your videos. Can you tell the audience a little but more about why you make these videos and how this collaboration began?
In real life, we’re best friends. Team Positive Waves was started and branded by @UncleTimmy himself. He started that movement on 3 other platforms before he brought it to Clapper. It’s nothing but what it states. We want to bring the waves of the ocean right up to the sand, right up to your feet, and when the water hits and your feet start sinking into the sane, we want you to feel nothing but positivity, love, and light. That no matter what you’re going through or trying to overcome, that there are positive individuals that eat and breathe love and light. We’re very passionate about it and run it like a company, and like I said it’s Uncle Timmy’s baby. We’ve gotten comments where people have said it was exactly the message they needed.
And we don’t pick just anybody, they have to be a positive creator. We do a deep dive into their content; are they doxing anyone, bullying, are they discrimatory? Do they have positive content, are they positive individuals that follow the guidelines, are they troublemakers? There’s a whole list of stipulations they have to follow, but it’s the community that gives us those names, we couldn’t do what we needed to do without them. The community is behind us, which we’re so grateful for.
What do you enjoy most about Clapper? In what ways do you feel like Clapper needs improvement?
Nothing ever has been designed like Clapper. Y’all set the tone for up and coming entrepreneurs who want to build a social media site or podcast of any kind. And secondary would be the community. You cannot find a community like you can here. I’m involved in every area I can be, I have my hands in everything because I want to spread nothing but love.
The negatives are the stolen content. I know a lot of wonderful, verified creators on other sites that I’ve met in real life and I’ve seen their content on here. It makes me so mad. I know without a shadow of a doubt that y’all are doing your due diligence. But the community wants more diligence on that, because it’s angering a lot of people. So I would appreciate if we can change that, because that’s a huge movement going on in the platform.
We love that you’re apart of so many wonderful communities within the app! Can you tell us more about the Pride Radio and your role within this community?
Actually I was there at the conception of Pride Radio. I have 2 websites I designed myself where I podcast, and so I was already involved when someone approached me and wanted to do this with another creator. So just us chatting is how Pride Radio came about. And we actually have Hard Topic Basis on Wednesday nights, and we discuss the hard things that not all the panel or community agrees with. We bring those to the table as a safe place to have a discussion. We don’t allow anything bullying or discrimatory, but we allow you to have your own opinion. Because we think everyone has the right to their opinion and it needs to be respected. Sunday we have Sunday Funday. We play games, competitions, and anything we get on the Pride Radio account we will give out as prizes on that day as well. The games can get interesting – and this is an adult app, so sometimes our dirty minds get carried away, but we have fun with it!
We used to have the Clapper Affiliate program. How was the Clapper affiliate experience? What did you like most about it?
I was a representative of Clapper even before the affiliate program came in, and I like that we didn’t get any financial gain or incentives. It feels more authentic that way. I’ll go on my other channels and shout Clapper praises all day long, and I tell them I don’t get anything from it. It was just a select few that got to be involved and sit at the table. So that’s what I loved about it.