Oh Boy Episode 24: Silas Howard

Amelia Diamond | March 15, 2016

The first Trans director to work on ‘Transparent’ sits down with Jay Buim about his punk rock past and career path

Silas Howard frequently uses the word “freak” or “freaks” as a term of endearment in this 24th episode of Oh Boy. I love that he uses that word — at Man Repeller, we use it, too. To embrace that there is something odd or special or weird about a person is to embrace the beauty and importance of individuality. Color and eccentricity and difference are where new ideas come from.

Interestingly, a lack of these things in one’s surroundings is so often where innovation comes from. “If you’re not seeing yourself reflected or you feel…outside, the urge to make something is strong,” Howard told host Jay Buim. “You need to build something around you to feel like you have some choice.”

What Howard built is a path that led him to San Francisco in the 90s. He found his people in the queer punk scene, was in a band called Tribe 8 and ran a cafe that was used as an art space. Around age 28 that itch came back: he wanted to make a film because he felt like there weren’t stories showing people like him and his friends. Without giving too much away, they did it, and from there, Howard went on to be a successful director. He recently directed a music video for Peaches, directs the SNL-cast-packed web series Hudson Valley Ballers and became the first Trans director to work on Transparent.

Sounds cool right? It is, so stop reading and start listening!


Check out Silas Howard’s website and follow him on Twitter. Be sure to follow our wonderful Oh Boy host Jay Buim on Instagram. Check his website out, too. Logo and feature illustration by Kelly Shami.


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