Brandon Flynn Partners with Boy Smells for Pride: 'My Queerness Carries Me Through Every Day'
Brandon Flynn is living his truth!
While chatting with PEOPLE about partnering with queer-owned fragrance brand Boy Smells for its second-ever Pride campaign, the 27-year-old actor also opened up about how his own queerness guides him throughout his life.
"I'm a big believer that my pride and my queerness carries me through every day, 24/7, all year," he tells PEOPLE exclusively. "It's something I try to work on and it's something I try to continue to learn about."
Noting that he takes time to reflect amid Pride Month on those who paved the way for the LGBTQ community, such as Marsha P. Johnson, and events that happened before his time, like Stonewall, Flynn says that "the month of June really brings me back to ... how we continue to still fight."
"It's a good moment to stop and think," he adds.
Pride Month, which is celebrated annually throughout June, will look different across the nation this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of that, Flynn isn't fully aware of how he plans to celebrate his queerness during the month-long event.
"I think just because this year has unfolded in the way it has, I haven't really stuck to any plan," he says, before noting he is scheduled to head to New York, where he hopes to be "in the middle" of where so many iconic LGBTQ moments have occurred.
"I think it's going to be vibrant," he notes.
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Between the celebrations and festivities, Flynn understands there is still a long way to go to achieve equality for the community which he considers himself a part of. Plus he understands how heroic it still is for LGBTQ members to live their truth authentically and unapologetically.
"[When] you look at where we've been as a society and you look at the politics of where we still are, I respect the hell out of everyone who can be that brave, because it still is brave," he says. "It still is radical to live in your truth today, especially when you don't fit the mold of a heterosexual cisgendered white person."
"It still is something that you still have to be a person who negotiates who you are in society when you don't fit that mold," Flynn adds.
RELATED VIDEO: Melissa McCarthy, Demi Lovato, Matt Bomer and More Gather for Stonewall Virtual Pride Concert
Flynn says teaming up with Boy Smells was a no-brainer to ring in the occasion. "Amidst June, when all the corporations come out to play with us, I thought this year it was really important to settle in to just working with queer companies," he says. "And Boy Smells is really that."
Working alongside model and activist Leyna Bloom, RuPaul's Drag Race stars Symone and GottMik and his 13 Reasons Why costar, Tommy Dorfman, Flynn worked hand in hand with the company to craft his own uniquely scented candle that comes as part of Boy Smells' Pride Radiance Collection.
Called Ambrosia, Flynn's candle features "a heavenly bouquet of herbaceous rosemary and fruity mandarin peel emboldened with hinoki wood and iris," per a press release. "Ambrosia is sort of this nice, spicy floral," Flynn tells PEOPLE.
This year's limited-edition collection is themed to "radical self-liberation" and will benefit The Trevor Project, the world's largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for the LGBTQ community.
Detailing that the Trevor Project is an organization with which he was worked with in years past, Flynn says the partnership is perfect for June "as we discuss radical self-liberation, as we discuss queer rights and as we discuss fitting in all throughout the month."
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.
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