From being homeless in Milwaukee to hitting home theaters, Travis Lynch (better known as Travvy Trav) is an American actor, DJ, and model that’s breaking local barriers on what it means to be a Black bisexual entertainer.
A Triple Threat
For me, well I never believed I was capable of anything that’s remotely close to being a triple threat, in fact, I never believed in myself due my circumstances of living in impoverished neighborhoods my entire life. I come from humble beginnings without many influential people that I could learn from, so any idea I might’ve had about being where I am today was null and void. I will say a few men in my life told me what I was capable of: one being my 8th grade gym teacher who told me that I was gonna be an actor one day and the other was another DJ whom I met at a bowling alley. I also believed I was capable of having this for myself due to the simple fact that I was told NO by so many people while growing up and even until this day. I owed this to myself to turn all the negativity that I was given and turn it into inspiration; at least I am trying to. As a geek that loves playing the Japanese card game Yugioh, I wanted to show everyone that even someone as nerdy as me can go out to become an entertainer without conforming. I’ve seen many talented people do that and they ended up losing themselves in the process. It’s sad.
Love for being a Disc Jockey
I never wanted to be a disc jockey growing up. In fact, I honestly believed that a DJ only presses play and jumps on stage. Little did I know how all that would change. Back in 2013 I would go to a bowling alley after playing Yugioh with friends. Every time there was a DJ playing music on Saturday nights. I typically would look at the crowd and kindly ask the DJ if they would be able to play the song I requested. Like clockwork any song I asked the DJ to play would get everyone dancing. One night at the bowling alley the DJ pulled me aside and suggested that I have a natural talent for making people dance, and that I should do something with it. I laughed because I did not believe a single word nor did I want to be responsible for making sure another person’s night was made due to the music I played.
DJing in the Milwaukee clubs
I would tell any up and coming DJ that if they can make it through the Milwaukee club scene then they can make it anywhere. The Milwaukee club scene is highly competitive with some of the best DJs in the Midwest. As a member of the LBGTQ community I can’t count on my hands and toes the number of LGBTQ clubs that have told me NO because I wasn’t “one of the main DJs.” By “main,” I mean part of the cliques of DJs that are considered popular. I was deeply hurt for years by this because I knew what I was capable of; if given the chance. It’s very tough to get into the club scene here. Without having any connection you’re more than likely not going to see yourself getting booked at all. While there will be a lot of NOs, I still tell anyone to get excited because the NOs will bring you closer to a Yes.
There’s an old saying, “When we hit the lowest point, we are open to the greatest change.” At my lowest, most broken down, homeless, low self-esteem, damaged, and everything in between was the time when This Is It! (the oldest gay bar in Wisconsin) told me about the new renovations being made to their place and that they wanted me as a resident DJ. Once I was booked as their main DJ, my life slowly began to change in a spectacular way that I could never have imagined. This Is It! was the club that changed my life. It helped me show the world what I was capable of if given the opportunity. When they gave me full control of the music to play whatever I wanted, that feeling was better than breathing.
Becoming an Actor
I grew up in areas where I didn’t have an imagination to believe I could do anything. I went to St. Leo Catholic Urban Academy in Milwaukee for middle school, and it’s where I experienced my worst bullying. It’s also where my gym teacher expressed what he saw in me. In 8th grade my teacher pulled me to the side and told me that I had an interesting personality, that he’ll see me in a movie one day. I laughed it off because I never thought anything like that would happen to me. He glared at me until I stopped laughing. He replied, “I’m being serious right now. You may not see it yet, but you will be in a movie, Travis. I will be seeing you on a red carpet at a premier. Just you watch.”
Fast forward to 2019, and I was online trolling to see how to become an Andrew Christian model. I am not the standard type of model you’d see in their campaigns, but I applied anyway just to troll because I was bored. I ended up getting a call from a modeling and acting agency called John Casablancas. I was shocked! I took a chance on myself, ended up completing the program, made a one-minute video performing a monologue, and I took that monologue video to a director who was casting for a movie called Circumstances 2. Even though my role in the movie was small, I felt I made a humongous impact because that film turned out to be a popular film on Amazon Prime and TubiTV! After that I got asked to be in more movies. All of this happened because I took a chance on myself. I spoke my goals into existence, just like the gym teacher did for me. That teacher spoke existence into life without me even knowing it.
I say this to anyone reading this article: You owe it to yourself, take the leap of faith.
Homelessness, and a change of course
Before I became homeless I lived in a duplex apartment. My downstairs neighbor decided to start a fire. I have no idea why. I was asleep and woke up just in time to get out. Until this day, I cry just thinking that my life could’ve ended in an instant. The red cross provided me with a hotel stay and free food after my home burned down. Shortly after I had no way of paying for the hotel, so then it hit me I was homeless. I’m sure people would ask why I didn’t just go live with relatives. Homeless people are not homeless for the fun of it. Not all have alcohol or drug issues. No one wakes up and says, “I want to live on the streets.” They literally have no place to go, and that includes family. After being homeless, I truly understand that life is so fragile. And when I say fragile, I mean the people you thought loved you, your comfort, and even money can be taken away with a snap of a finger. Being homeless would humble any person. This is part of why I take life seriously. I try to create opportunities for myself everyday. I know it takes a great deal of courage to rise out of homelessness, and if I can do that, I can do anything.
What it means to be a Black Bisexual Entertainer
Being a Black man in America causes a long list of negative things to come to mind. We talk about the everyday struggles we go through, because our skin color is something we can’t control.
Now being bisexual, well, I feel like we’re an afterthought in the community. If we want to talk about the mental health of the LGBTQ community, look no further the bisexual community as we have some of the highest rates of depression and anxiety. It’s not uncommon to hear about a bisexual person commiting suicide; I know because I tried three times.
Imagine being Black and bisexual at the same time. The ill-fated assumptions that I carry HIV, which I don’t, are commonplace. The assumptions of me being attracted to every person; which I assure you I’m not. The world sees bisexual men as promiscuous or unworthy of a relationship. We all are worthy.
The truth of the matter is that I’m just a guy who happens to be bi. I don’t feel obligated to express to anyone what my sexuality is, however, knowing what it’s like to be an introverted Black teen in America I would be foolish to believe that my voice isn’t strong. I use it to encourage and empower other Black teens. As a bisexual Black entertainer I don’t get a second chance to make first impression, so I have to give my best first impression to everyone.
Let my skinny, nerdy, awkward butt be an example that although life’s situations can and will get in your way, that you can lose everything with a snap of a finger—and yes you can go through all the negative things—and still become the best version of yourself. I encourage you to get excited about failing because all the adversity will shape you into the best version of yourself. When your back is against the wall, you only have one place to go: forward. Do not get discouraged by the NOs that will come because those NOs bring you closer to your YES. I am walking this path openly so that you can run and exceed all of our expectations. You are special. You are strong. And one day we will see you in this magazine, and trust when I say that I will get inspired by your story.