If you’re a frequenter of lesbian TikTok, this familiar face will without doubt have brought a smile to yours. Meet Soph Galustian: born-and-bred Mancunian, talented queer comedian, actor, writer, and author. Most recently – and perhaps most iconically – side-splitting TikTok Lesbian impressionista.
Having written and starred in her own BBC Three comedy show called Peck’Eds in 2021, a coming-of-age comedy about the testing moments of growing up as a young, working-class woman in South Manchester, and more recently starring alongside hilarious Simon Bird in Channel 4’s new hit comedy Everyone Else Burns, this charismatic queen has proven her wide-ranging talents. Now, adding another string to her bow, she’s even penned her own book.
Her debut, No Worries If Not, explores Soph’s experiences of poverty, queerness, mental health, grief and sense of community, as she recounts her life from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, intertwining short stories, spoken word, illustrations, and thoughtful pauses for readers to introspect on.
Here at Nonchalant Mag, we couldn’t contain our excitement to dive into Soph’s world this summer. We had a chat about her new book, her thoughts on life, sexuality and grief, and of course, Lesbian Tiktok.
My favourite recent TikTok of yours was ‘lesbian tries it by the pool’. How has your summer been?
That one is a classic. Summer so far has been amazing (aside from the British weather…) Work has been great and I’ve been able to work remotely which I always love. I’ve been lucky enough to go on lots of trips with my girlfriend which of course, makes great content for TikTok! I am also working on my first one woman show, which is super exciting.
TikTok Lesbian tries it by the pool♬ original sound – Soph Galustian
Where did your iconic lesbian sketch come from? What was the original inspo behind it and have you had any personal favourites? How do you keep coming up with more and more ideas?
So I actually used to do the ‘TikTok lesbian’ face back in school. Around 2010/11 – of course, TikTok wasn’t around then so it didn’t have a name. It was just a funny, cringey face I’d do to my friends and my girlfriend (who is still currently my girlfriend) which is very funny as she’s seen the full evolution of the face.
It started as me taking the piss out of boys who do cringey poses in photos. Then lesbians started doing the same cringey poses and adopting the same mannerisms, which of course birthed: The TikTok Lesbian. I just posted a video one day saying “This is my impression of a TikTok Lesbian” which I of course found hilarious. Low and behold, so did everyone else! TikTok Lesbian exists in all universes so she can’t really run out of material. The possibilities of where she is and what she can do are endless. Lmao.
How has your life changed because of TikTok? Is there a good, bad and ugly?
I was semi-recognised before TikTok from previous comedy and poetry work however, TikTok has elevated this to a whole new level. I’m still super early on in my career but so far I’ve had some amazing opportunities in my career which I hope will continue to blossom. I love hearing how funny people find my persona and it’s nice to hear that I’m making people laugh. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do – so to be paid to do that, is a dream! I suppose I get some weird messages sometimes which make me a bit uncomfortable, but luckily, social media allows me to filter them and keep them at a distance.
Do you think TikTok helps the LGBTQ+ community?
Absolutely. Not only is TikTok just an enjoyable platform, it’s quite literally making entrepreneurs. The LGBTQ+ community takes up a huge space on TikTok (as we should) which includes raising awareness, advertising LGBTQ+ businesses, sharing advice, LGBTQ+ comedy videos and much more. It’s a place we can be present and valid and with the way the algorithm works, you’ll find your crowd! Which for me – is the gays *insert nail emoji*
Writing a book is a pretty immense task, and yours is full of hilarious moments of joy as well as vulnerability. What was the experience of writing “No Worries If Not” like and how did you get yourself through it? Any highs and lows?
Thank you so much! If I’m transparent with you, I never felt as though writing a book was something that someone like me would ever achieve. I thought you had to be super rich and/or clever (spoiler, I’m none of those things) so I didn’t have my sights set on it. However, after sharing my comedy work and poetry work on Instagram over lockdown, that’s what led me to write my book. As the book is almost entirely autobiographical it was a bit like writing a diary and it was very therapeutic at times. I’m a big fan of recalling my time at school (2007-2012). I’m kind of obsessed with every element of that era, from the music to the X Factor auditions – that was super fun to write about. Obviously writing about my experience of grief was extremely challenging but in ways therapeutic to put my feelings down onto paper.
I remember first seeing you on Instagram when Daisy May Cooper posted you speaking your beautiful poem on grief in 2020, which is incredibly relatable and accurately depicts the experience of grief and its complexity. How has grief perhaps changed you in different ways, if at all?
Oh wow, throwback! Thank you. Grief has changed every single aspect of my life. I have a new outlook and new expectations in life. Whenever I’m stressed out or upset I remind myself that I’ve been through worse. I lost the closest person in the world to me and I am surviving it therefore I can overcome any other obstacle in my life. It’s given me a strength that I didn’t know was possible. Having a broken heart through grief, I adopted a “life’s too short” outlook which I’ve tried to use positively to help me progress in my career. I constantly take chances, I face rejection and I get over it and try again.
I remember at the time of my loss, I was deciding what to do, and what direction to go in. I could either let my grief drown me – which at times it did and still does – or I can use the pain to fuel me and push me to achieve everything that I deserve. I’m rocking with the latter currently and although I’m struggling, I’m trying to ride those waves.
In your book, you talk about how your sexuality was always clear to you from a young age, regardless of whether or not you had the vocabulary to express it. Was there a celebrity, or character from TV or film that really awoke you to this, or that empowered you to feel proud of who you were growing up?
Of course. So many. I remember watching the music video to ‘All The Things She Said’ by TaTu at the tender age of 6 and thinking “oh shit”. This is so interesting to me because I was just so sure of myself from so young. I think we’ve struggled with positive lesbian representation over the years so sadly when I was growing up, apart from fancying celebrities or seeing the odd kissing scene in films, there wasn’t anything concrete for me to look up to or inspire to be like. I guess it was nice when Corrie had their first lesbian storyline (Sophie and Sian) that might seem tiny for some people but monumental for me! I’d sit in bed and rewatch it on my phone all night.
How did you navigate coming out or feeling sure of yourself growing up as a gay teen?
It took a lot of work and unlearning. I was taught by society at that time that being gay was being “unnatural”, “weird” and “not normal”. That’s really damaging to believe when you’re young. Tbh, I was so obviously gay. I had short red hair and wore shirts with chinos. A young lesbian if ever you’ve seen one, so when I built up the courage to ‘come out’, most people were like “oh, we already know” which was a relief. Luckily I was met with enormous support from my family and friends, which helped me continue to embrace who I was. Now, I wouldn’t change my sexuality for the world. I am so proud to be queer.
Who are your favourite people in your life? Who brings you joy, be it friends, family, people you’ve worked with or people you’ve met online?
My girlfriend is my number one. I’ve known her and been in love with her since I was 14 years old. No matter where I am, what I’m doing, who I’m with – she feels like home to me. which is so important, especially in my line of work. I have a handful of amazing friends who have known me pretty much my whole life – I can rely on them for anything. My family are supportive and love what I do. I’ve made a lot of friends online through platforms such as TikTok, which is also nice as they understand how that world works.
If you could write your younger self a letter, what would you say?
It would say “stop shaving your monobrow and kissing boys, you massive lesbian.”
To keep up to date on all things Soph Galustian then give her a follow on all socials at @SophGalustian where you can find updates and info on her shows, and why not grab a copy of Soph’s debut book, No Worries If Not, which you can order online or cop from any cool bookshop? Looks like we’ll be needing to make an update to our 13 books for queer women asap!
Related article: Must-Follow Lesbian TikTok Creators
Team Nonchalant x
Last Updated on 24th August 2023 by Nonchalant Magazine