In Her Campus’ series Next Question, we rapid-fire interview emerging Gen Z talent about what it’s like to rule over the internet. This month, YouTuber and content creator Linh Truong is in the hot seat to answer our burning questions.
Take my advice: If you need a soothing video to keep you relaxed during finals week, head over to Linh Truong’s YouTube channel. Truong is a DC-based content creator and student at Georgetown University who makes videos that range from “day in my life” vlogs to bedroom makeovers to, yes, a mini-concert of love songs played on the melodica — one of Truong’s personal favorites. “It’s a little bit of a meme, but people really loved it,” she laughs.
Truong has a keen eye for aesthetic and design; their apartment decor and outfits are all thoughtfully curated. When it comes to fashion, they are especially interested in how color relates to their gender presentation. “I have been dressing in a lot more black and white, and that has to do a lot with gender expression and healing dysphoria over wearing a lot of color,” Truong says.
Truong is non-binary and uses she/they pronouns, as explained in an October Q&A-style video they posted to their channel. While they say a part of them “is always gonna be a BIPOC woman, just because so many of my lived experiences are tied to that specific gender identity,” they hope to separate color from femininity. “I really want to come back to color. I’m on my own little self-discovery [journey] with what gender means to me and how I want to present myself to the world.”
Their style inspo right now? “Enid from Wednesday. I think her style very much exemplifies the floatiness and aloofness and just very carefree [attitude], like [a willingness] to experiment that I want in my own life.”
Color bleeds into Truong’s videos as well — her distinctive editing style includes warm tones, soft instrumental music, and little doodle effects on the screen. “My video editing style is very closely tied to how I like to express myself in every aspect of my life. It’s a journey I’ve been on since middle school,” she says.
If you scroll far back enough in Truong’s Instagram feed, you’ll be able to find her past posts as a Bookstagrammer, which they describe as “very detached from color.” “Since then, I’ve grown more into my identity as a Vietnamese-American queer individual. And I feel like expressing myself through [being] excited to embrace color in the way that I color-grade my videos — it’s almost maturing, in a way that at the same time is healing my inner child,” Truong says. “I think that really translates into the way I edit, and the doodles I make, and the vibe that I want to encapsulate in all my content.”
It’s easy to watch Truong’s videos and think of them as a friend — they give a lot of themselves to their audience, after all. “I’ve talked a lot about my family, I’ve talked a lot about my relationships. I’ve even talked about my sexuality and gender identity,” they say of their content. They seem unselfconscious about sharing so much of their life with an audience of over a million subscribers, but Truong is also grateful for their viewers’ respect for personal boundaries. “I think a lot of my audience understands that I don’t have a responsibility to them.” She adds that for the “day in my life” content she likes to make, “there’s a two-way street in which there’s understanding and communication in what I’m comfortable with.”
One of Truong’s more personal videos from June was about her decision to take a gap year this year, during what would’ve been her junior year at Georgetown. “I think the biggest lesson I’ve taken away is that it’s okay to not be productive all the time,” Truong tells Her Campus about her time off so far.
That doesn’t mean Truong is cruising through this year, though. “Dealing with burnout is still a lesson I’m learning,” she admits. “I am a firm believer that work, no matter what, is still work. … If you don’t know how to treat yourself in a sustainable manner, you’re gonna burn out no matter how much love and dedication you put behind [your passion].”
Still, they’re optimistic about the future. “It’s just been so fun to be able to kind of have a free 30-day trial of adulthood. This is how I envision my life post-grad without the stress of academics. And it’s been cool to figure out how I’m gonna find my footing once I graduate college.”
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
What’s your go-to coffee or tea order?
If we’re at an American or European coffee shop, I always get either a vanilla latte — iced — or I’ll get a hot latte. If I’m at a boba place, I’ll usually get a passionfruit green tea or a lychee green tea with rainbow jelly.
What’s one song that’s on repeat for you right now?
Oh my gosh. Can I say three? I really love SZA’s new album. I recently have been dealing with a breakup, but I’m not a sad person in the way that SZA wants me to be, in the way SZA needs me to be. But I really love the songs “Conceited” and “Nobody Gets Me.” And then I also have been loving [K-pop girl group] Red Velvet as of late. I like “Bye Bye Bye” and “Automatic.”
Do you use light mode or dark mode?
Unfortunately I do use light mode, which is a controversial opinion, but because of my prescription or just the way I perceive things, it’s harder for me to read. Like, my eyes strain more with dark mode. I’m just not gamer enough for dark mode.
Describe your ideal 2023 in one word.
What’s the next place on your travel bucket list?
My friend is studying abroad in Australia next semester and I really wanna visit her. If we do, the plan is we’re gonna go to New Zealand together — aka the birthplace of Lorde, and Jacinda Ardern, and the prettiest water you’ll ever see.
What was the best college class you’ve ever taken?
Intro to African-American Studies. Everything that I learned in that class, from multiple disciplines to interdisciplinary methods, I have learned again in another class. Which is kind of insane, but every single time I’m like, “Oh, I think I’ve done this reading before for another class,” it’s because I did it in Intro to African-American Studies. I took it my freshman fall and it very much set a precedent for what I viewed college academia to be like.
What is your favorite part of your nighttime routine?
Because I work from home and I also set my own work hours, the way I end my work day now is: I sit down and I have a 6% alcoholic drink. There’s a Korean peach yogurt drink that I like. And then I’ll watch an episode of a K-drama, and that’s kinda my sign that I’m logging out from work. Before I go to bed I either read — I’m currently reading Babel by R.F. Kuang — or I’ll read webtoons and then I go to bed.
What is one video of yours you think everyone should watch?
The video that I think encapsulates my lived experience and my content creation journey is my “back in suburbia” video, where I talk about visiting my hometown for the first time since I moved to college. [It’s about] my experience with filial piety, with obligation to family and coming from an immigrant refugee household. I think that video is very well shot and the storytelling is very good. It’s a video that I’m very proud of, regardless of numbers. And I think that a lot of people who grew up in the suburbs and want to chase big dreams would really relate to it.