Meet Cover Model Marc Leon Coudriet II, Winner of the Heart of Hollywood Magazine Cover Contest
Marc Leon Coudriet II is a full-time hairstylist, part-time model and LGBTQ+ representative in the southern United States of America. In all three aspects, he gets to travel and meet people from all walks of life and connect with them, to either work or raise awareness in regard to specific issues.
Why did you decide to enter the Heart Of Hollywood Magazine Cover Contest?
I did it for the potential chance to continue inspiring others to be their true self. About a year into my modeling career; I was approached while out in public by someone in the LGTBQ+ community I honestly only knew in passing. They proceeded to tell me that their past year had been hard, both physically and emotionally, and they felt like they had been at an all-time low. As I continued to listen, they told me that I helped them though it. Slightly baffled, I asked how. Their response was that my driving force is not just modeling, but my everyday actions and work. “By being true to yourself”, they said.
This person that had watched my journey as a hairstylist and a model; my ups and my downs, was my inspiration to invite the world to maintain optimism and confidence, even through the hard times. The fact that I was able to reach out and unknowingly encourage a stranger resounded within me. In turn, they inspired me to keep encouraging others to be themselves. As everyone in my life knows by now, “Be bold. Be brilliant. Be you!” is not just a whimsical saying, it’s my outlook on life. This is why I entered the Heart of Hollywood Magazine Cover Contest.
Can you please tell us about yourself?
I was born in North Carolina. I moved around a lot as a child with my family, as my father was enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. I grew up in a strict but fair household. My family had been very much into the Church when I was growing up, which did cause internal struggle within myself, as I knew my sexuality and preferences at a young age.
Suppressing who I was, I devoted myself to the Church and my family heavily, forgoing the college scholarship I had achieved and joining the military per my parents request. Upon joining the military, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was very much still a thing. If proof of same-sex couplings or interest was found, a person or persons could be kicked out of the service. After surviving multiple same-sex witch hunts at my first command, I was assigned to an overseas unit in which I had multiple deployments around the world.
Within that timeframe, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was repealed, so I thought it safe to come out to my family, which has led us to become estranged. In that moment, the fear and hurt of loss was so astounding, as I was drowning in self-doubt and loathing. Thankfully, I had a support system that helped me realize that family doesn’t necessarily mean blood; but rather those that you surround yourself with and support you. That was the first step in accepting my true self, and in the pursuit of supporting others who have experienced or are experiencing the same situation. In order to do that, I have been a victims’ advocate for sexual assault cases. I have traveled up and down the East Coast for LGBTQ+ events, helping raise money for homeless underprivileged and LGBTQ+ children kicked out by their families. I have also partaken in raising awareness of the LGBTQ+ history and diseases as a Titleholder for some of the southern states.
Why did you choose to become a hairstylist?
After specializing in trauma medicine for eight years as a Corpsman in the United States Navy, I was honestly at a loss on where my life was going when it became apparent that I had to leave the Service.
A close friend of mine, who was a hairstylist, noticed my dilemma and asked me why I had been a Corpsman and in the medical field. In my mind, it was pretty simple; I enjoyed helping people. He countered with “Well, it’s the same with hair.” Of course, I was a bit doubtful at the start; but after apprenticing for the better part of my last year in the military after work, I realized that he was right. The happiness I get from having someone come and sit in my chair, to be able to envision the end result, and to be able to deliver a result that makes them feel elated and true to their own being— there is no greater feeling.
Which key industry figure would you most like to collaborate with and why?
As every part of the world is experiencing difficulty with situations that fall under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, I would collaborate with Dr. Rachel Levine in the United States; as she is one of the foremost advocates for LGBTQ+ rights within the country. I feel her advocacy for LGBTQ+ youth, as well as transgender rights, which have come to the forefront over the past few years, would help benefit areas that are not as accepting or that do not have programs to help those needing guidance that would be more easily found in larger cities.
Who are your biggest influences?
Hands down, no question about it, David Bowie. Bowie is one of the most recognized influential music entertainers of his time; however, I feel that Bowie was still underrated. His glam rock era and his persona of Ziggy Stardust spearheaded the androginy movement of acceptance of oneself and gender fluidity across the world.
How do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I see my career pathways either going towards being a recognized Nationwide Master Hairstylist, or being led into the world of acting by my modeling career.
How do you describe yourself?
Impassioned. Anything that I believe in receives all that I can give and then even more so.
Join the Heart Of Hollywood Magazine Club: https://www.heartofhollywoodmagazine.com/club
What are some of your hobbies?
Definitely camping. As much as I enjoy social interaction, there is nothing like finding yourself in the middle of the woods just listening to the wildlife, or being able to stare at the stars at night away from a city’s light pollution. If I can’t do that, then it’s paint and a canvas for me to relax and let my emotions funnel through the brushstrokes.
Alien (1979), with the original sci-fi scream queen, Sigourney Weaver. This movie probably launched my inner nerdism for the sci-fi movie genre.
Katy Perry’s E.T. from her Teenage Dream album. This song helped me over my deployment in the Middle East in 2010. Everyone interprets songs in their own way, however this song helped internally, as I was still struggling with who I was.
Is there something else that you would like people to know about you?
That dreams are always attainable, no matter the obstacles laid before you. I am rated among the top male hairstylists in my area, yet it took hard work and a lot of practice to get here as I am partially colorblind. For a career that relies on hues of color, I have had to study and still continue to study the science behind the color on what the outcome should be upon application. Find the strength within yourself, and there is nothing you cannot achieve!
We have wonderful sponsors supporting this issue, what would you like to tell them?
The fact that you, as sponsors, have contributed to such an amazing concept such as this magazine speaks volumes. You are giving a platform for the voiceless to be heard, through every person that you help Heart of Hollywood Magazine put in its pages to help further their life pathways. Words are not enough to express the emotions I have felt; so thank you. Thank you for supporting me and everyone who makes this magazine a reality.
What is your message for our Heart Of Hollywood Magazine readers?
This opportunity that has been provided to give the world a part of myself has been absolutely life-changing for me, both mentally and spiritually. This is a small part of my story. What I may believe in that needs to be addressed may not pertain specifically to you, and that’s okay! But what I do want you to understand and take away is that you are not alone; no matter how far you feel that you may have fallen. Find your family that you can be yourself with, find your inspiration to take that next step forward.
And always remember,
“Be bold. Be brilliant. Be you!”
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