Community//

Vic Gerami: “I Am Living Proof Of The American Dream”

Embrace America and assimilate into the culture, but always be proud of your roots. I do not live in a bubble. My friends are from many different cultures, walks of life, sexual orientations and gender identities. My life is rich, and I feel fulfilled because of my continental lifestyle.Live life on life’s terms: No matter […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Embrace America and assimilate into the culture, but always be proud of your roots. I do not live in a bubble. My friends are from many different cultures, walks of life, sexual orientations and gender identities. My life is rich, and I feel fulfilled because of my continental lifestyle.

Live life on life’s terms: No matter how much we plan, work hard, and focus, things might not go our way. Do not try to push a square peg in a round hole. Be mindful of where the universe is taking you and be open for adventures and surprises.


I had the pleasure of interviewing Media Personality & Activist Vic Gerami.

Vic Gerami is an Armenian-American who grew up in Los Angeles. As a gay activist, he has written in the three most prominent Armenian-American publications about homophobia, social justice and the Armenian Genocide.

In 2018, he wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, urging him to act against rampant anti-LGBTQ hate crimes in Armenia. The letter was published in Armenian Weekly, California Courier and The Pride LA.

As a founding board member of Equality Armenia, a non-profit with the mission to realize marriage equality in Armenia, Gerami wrote an article in Asbarez, the most popular Armenian-American publication, announcing that a high-ranking Armenian cleric has joined the organization’s board of directors. In 2020, he penned an article titled ‘Denial is the Last Act of a Genocide,’ on the eve of the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

A noted journalist and columnist, Gerami is also a radio show host, media contributor, as well as publisher and editor of The Blunt Post. Today reaching national international audiences, Gerami first built a foundation of knowledge and skills by learning the media industry during his years at Frontiers Magazine, followed by positions at LA Weekly and Voice Media Group. Gerami is also a contributor for some of the most prominent publications in the nation, including Windy City Times, California Courier, IN Magazine, OUT Traveler, The Fight, and The Advocate Magazine, among others.

Gerami’s syndicated celebrity Q&A column, 10 Questions with Vic, is a two-time finalist in the Los Angeles Press Club’s National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards’ “Columnist of the Year” category. A few of many celebrities whom Gerami has interviewed include Melissa Etheridge, Paula Abdul, Dan Reynolds, Kathy Griffin, Matthew Modine, Laverne Cox and Marianne Williamson. In July 2020, the LAPC announced that Gerami has once again been named a finalist in seven categories for the 62nd Annual Southern California Journalism Awards.

Gerami is the host and producer of his prime-time radio show, THE BLUNT POST with VIC on KPFK 90.7 FM. The program covers national breaking and headline news, politics, and current events, and Gerami offers analysis and commentary. He also interviews a high-profile member of Congress on every show. A few of his recent guests have included Congressman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Congressman Tony Cardenas, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, and many others.

The Wall Street Journal featured Gerami as a “leading gay activist” its landmark 2008 coverage of opposition to Proposition 8, the ballot measure that for years denied same-sex couples in California the freedom to marry. In addition to his years of volunteer work as a leading advocate for marriage equality, later Gerami went on to serve as a Planning Committee member for the historic Resist March in 2017.

In 2015, Gerami was referenced in the landmark Supreme Court civil rights case, Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court held in a 5–4 decision that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process and the Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Vic! Can you tell us the story of how you grew up?

Iam a zero-generation Armenian-American who moved to the US on my 15th birthday. I knew early on that as a minority on many levels, I had to work harder than my counterparts to be taken seriously and to succeed. Although I did not know it at the time, I was gay and that frightened me. I knew that I was different than my friends and that I could not share my ‘secret’ with anyone.

I graduated from the university with honors and have had many ups and downs. But I try to focus on my many successes and the positive. I get to interview members of Congress, such as Congressman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Marianne Williamson. I have also had the pleasure of interviewing some of the most inspiring celebrities such as Cher, Chris Evans, Adam Lambert, Paula Abdul, Dan Reynolds, Laverne Cox and Melissa Etheridge.

I grew up in a loving home with two hard-working parents. I was very close to my mom and had a traditional Armenian father. He was a great provider, but we did not have much of a connection as he was emotionally unavailable. I know now that our parents do the best that they can with what they were thought themselves.

Was there a particular trigger point that made you emigrate to the US? Can you tell a story?

Ever since that I can remember, perhaps 5 years old, I wanted to move to not just the US, but Los Angeles specifically. I had a dream of having a career in media and nothing was going to stop me. I started lobbying my parents to send me to LA when I was about 10. Both of my parents had stories of unfulfilled dreams, so I won them over eventually.

My dad who was excellent in mathematics had had a dream to go to college. But his father had died when my dad was only 16, so he had to drop out of school to work and support his family. My grandfather from my mom’s side had a dream of going to Moscow for his formal education, but two of his brothers had gone to the Soviet Union, had become Communists, and had never returned. So, my grandfather was prohibited from going to Russia in the 1920s.

So, with a legacy of unfulfilled dreams, my parents did not want to stand in my way.

Can you tell us the story of how you came to the USA? What was that experience like?

I felt like I was at home within a week of being in LA. It seemed that I was always meant to live in the USA. I could speak English fluently, so the experience was not that difficult. I will always be grateful for the US and the American people for welcoming me and millions of others with open arms.

Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped make the move more manageable? Can you share a story?

My parents believed in me and were incredibly supportive. I also had teachers who gave me the extra attention and support that I needed.

So how are things going today?

Life is great, but not without its challenges. My experiences as an immigrant and a minority have made me resilient and flexible. I have the career of my dreams in media, get to create every day, and speak with some of the leading voices of our time.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I grew up in a very philanthropic home. My parents were always helping others who were less fortunate. My mom had us sell raffle tickets in elementary school, benefiting different charities all the time. My dad always had visitors who would come to ask him for help. So, benevolence and giving back is in my DNA.

I am on the board of a few non-profit organizations and do volunteer work for a couple of them. I also keep my show positive and feature a non-profit, charity, cause, or a philanthropic individual on my show.

You have first hand experience with the US immigration system. If you had the power, which three things would you change to improve the system?

I would start by changing certain terminologies with negative connotations, cavalierly used by our leaders from the top down. Every human being deserves respect, kindness and a little bit of understanding.

Can you share “5 keys to achieving the American dream” that others can learn from you? Please share a story or example for each.

Work harder: I say harder rather than hard because good enough is no longer enough. I was behind my classmates when I moved to the US in 9th grade. I stayed after school and went to summer school every summer to graduate on time and walk the stage with my friends.

Do not take things personally: Do not focus on a fringe few who are anti-immigrant or have biases. Focus on the positive as most people who want to see immigrants succeed. I travel a lot and get profiled a lot at airports. But I never let that ruin my trip.

Education is power: Never stop learning and supplementing your education. I have a bachelor’s degree, speak/read/write in 4 languages, and take courses whenever I feel the need to improve my skills.

Embrace America and assimilate into the culture, but always be proud of your roots. I do not live in a bubble. My friends are from many different cultures, walks of life, sexual orientations and gender identities. My life is rich, and I feel fulfilled because of my continental lifestyle.

Live life on life’s terms: No matter how much we plan, work hard, and focus, things might not go our way. Do not try to push a square peg in a round hole. Be mindful of where the universe is taking you and be open for adventures and surprises.

We know that the US needs improvement. But are there 3 things that make you optimistic about the US’s future?

The US is still the wealthiest country in the world. Despite the current uncertainties, this fact has not changed. Great leaders emerge from crisis and many have stepped up in the last few years.

Younger generations are more engaged more than ever in politics, social justice and society in general.

Elections are coming up.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

LOL, there are MANY, but I will start with President Obama, Noam Chomsky, Desmond Tutu, Dalai Lama, Eckhart Tole, Oprah Winfrey, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Barbra Streisand, Madonna and Pema Chodron. I have met Cher twice, but I would do anything to have lunch with her.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

facebook.com/vic.gerami

@vicgerami

@vicgerami

Read more about me here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vic_Gerami

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

It was my pleasure, thank you very much!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Marc 2Ray’s Armenian Refugee Legacy that has Made Him Hip-Hop Allies and Geo-Political Enemies

by Hoang Nguyen
Dr. Keshishian at his medical office, with wife Cecile
Thriving in the New Normal//

Nobody Else Spoke Like That

by Kit Troyer
Community//

Remember Armenia!

by Lauren K. Clark
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.