Hanging out with Brandon Flynn is like kicking it with an old friend—familiar, friendly, and above all fun. The actor, who plays Justin Foley in the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, has quickly made a name for himself by shooting down stereotypes that serve to keep queer people in boxes. We hung out with Brandon one sunny day in Brooklyn and, between harmonizing with Dua Lipa’s “New Rules”, we created some magic in the studio.
At just 24 years old, Flynn possesses a duality of youth and wisdom; he has the grace of someone who has been at this for decades, navigating the nuances of being out in mainstream Hollywood, and his newfound stardom, with expertise. “In a community where it feels like everyone is fueled by anger, I often try to figure out what my part is. Yes, as an actor, I dream to be on shows and in movies and plays that speak to audiences about relevant issues, but there are times when what I say or do doesn't seem helpful or worthy. I am trying to be a leader to show people that life can be fulfilling and that we no longer live in a world with black and white rules.”
In fact, it is Brandon’s colorful personality that allows us to understand his world view—a world that is “full of colors and full of dreams. We can be light, we can be love, we can rise through the mayhem.” And even while the mainstream is progressing towards a more inclusive and diverse reality, we need more young stars like Flynn whose optimistic vision will surely serve to catalyze progress. “Our lives are examples, be free, be love, be wrong, be right—just be.”
In the making of DRØME we hope to showcase a community of doers and nourish an attitude of empathy in a world that teaches us to pass judgment rather than practice kindness. The stories, images, and people shared in this magazine are an amalgamation of perspectives often overlooked or explicitly excluded from art and media worlds. The dearth of diverse identities and viewpoints within the arts is harrowing, especially for a young generation that is fighting its hardest to overcome conservative notions of order ultimately practiced as acts of discrimination against the very people and things we find most inspiring. In DRØME, the featured creators and creations encourage us to never shy away from who we are and what we want. Each artist, in sharing their story, embodies their own definition of agency. Against a mainstream ideology that indoctrinates patriarchal, capitalist, and hateful theories turned into policy, the artists in our first issue represent the ways in which art can take power back from society's denigrating control.