Scotty the Otter
One day while surfing around on YouTube I came across this amazing rendition of ‘Time After Time,’ sung by this guy named Scott Frenzel. His voice was beautiful and his style soothing. I had to find out who this guy was.
Can you tell us a little about who is Scott Frenzel?
I am an LGBT+ influencer on YouTube, Twitter, but mostly on Instagram. I’m known for doing fun, flirty & uplifting blog posts and comedy videos. I grew up in Cincinnati, OH and moved to Nashville for school. I graduated from Belmont University with a degree in Music Business and moved shortly after graduating to LA to pursue a career in the entertainment industry.
You came out while you were at Catholic School, how was that at school and home? Are your parents strict Catholics?
Yes! I came out when I was 16. That year was a very tumultuous time for me. My parents were in the middle of a divorce, which was far from amicable and wildly unexpected. I really had to begin relying on myself more than I had before, so it was an introspective time too. I had known deep down that I was gay for maybe two years, but I never accepted it for myself. So it was then that I accepted it and slowly began to come out to friends and family. There’s a whole crazy story I go into detail in my coming out story on YouTube, but in short, my mom was very accepting. She said, “really?” (Like she didn’t know because all I wanted for my 3rd Christmas was a Barbie doll and matching Barbie car.) and then exclaimed, “you know I love you no matter what!” That was really special because I think it’s hard to say the right thing in unexpected moments like that, but she really couldn’t have had a better response. My mom told my dad for me, but it’s not something he and I have ever talked about in detail. She told me he said “I love my son,” however, we don’t have a relationship anymore.
I was very fortunate because, although my high school was Catholic, my friends and the faculty were all really accepting. My sexuality didn’t hinder my experience at all, and I was actually voted our equivalent of Prom King, so that was amazing. Any problems that did occur are things I look back on now and am sad that I accepted those as normal. I remember one of my teachers had a rainbow flag sticker on his podium, and parents complained and he had to remove it. I never brought a boyfriend to a school dance, but there was always a fear that it would be an issue if I did. My senior year, a couple of friends and I tried to start a Gay-Straight Alliance (at the time, that’s what they were called, it’s rather outdated now), and weren’t adamantly told “no” but there was a lot of “I don’t think the Archdiocese will approve this” and “we’ll have to see how other schools have dealt with having a club like this.” I don’t know, I thought all these things were ‘my fight’ at the time, but I look back and I’m so saddened that as a young adult, my whole identity as a person was a political issue, I shouldn’t have had to deal with that kind of stuff then, I should’ve been allowed to still just be a kid who was learning and growing and exploring, and I had it easy compared to what a lot of LGBT+ people go through!!
How did you get the nickname Scotty the Otter?
So in the gay community, we have different “tribes” like ‘bears’ and ‘twinks,’ but the “otter” is a relatively new one. It means a guy who is thinner and younger, but scruffy like a bear. It’s more just for fun, but as I started to call myself an otter online, I was getting messages from more and more people about how they felt ashamed for having chest hair, or back hair. It was so encouraging for them to see me embrace my own scruffiness online and for me to get such a good response. So in what I do with blogging on Instagram, it became more of a symbol for me about embracing who you are and not changing that for other people. With that message in mind, the name just kind of stuck. And let’s be real, chest hair is hot! I have no problem keeping it!
The cover you did of Cyndi Lauper’s, “Time After Time,” is amazing. Are we going to hear anymore musically from you in the future? When did you first start singing?
Thank you! That’s so kind! Yes, I hope so, music is a big passion for me, one I regrettably haven’t pursued as much recently. I started singing in high school, and as my choir teacher at the time told me, I was “basically tone-deaf.” Since then I have come a very long way. I actually wrote and recorded a six-song EP in college, but it never was released. The songs are all original and in various stages of completion. There is some really good stuff there. It’s definitely something I’d like to revive and put out independently in the near future. There’s one song, in particular, I really like. It’s called “Burnout” which is a very summery song describing that moment where the honeymoon phase of a relationship ends. You get scared that things may be happening too fast and guilty that you’re not feeling the same passion anymore. I’d love to release that one in the future. I recently worked closely on an ad for the queer dating app, Taimi, with my amazing director friend, Lindsay Miernicke, and I know we could film a really cool music video for it. So keep an eye out!
Are you modeling? If not why? You have the look!
Thank you! I’m not currently signed, but that’s a goal at the top of my list for 2020. As I told my mom over the holidays, I’m “Midwest skinny” but “L.A. fat” so I’ll have to give up the fast food for a while to pursue that. I have been building my modeling portfolio and have been fortunate to work with some amazing photographers in L.A.: Ryan Stanford, Christophe McWhorter, and Chris Armenta. So maybe you’ll be seeing this little otter all over next years’ holiday ads!
What feeds your soul?
Whenever I’m creating, I think of the lonely kid I was growing up in a small town. I remember how impactful seeing queer people in the media was for me. Whether that was the Blaine and Kurt relationship playing out in Glee or the gay kiss Katy Perry put in her “Firework” video. I have specific memories of those because they gave me a lot of hope. I didn’t know any gay people growing up so I couldn’t see what life could look like for me. When I’m creating, whether that’s content for Instagram, writing a song, or recording a little comedy video, I think of those kids in small towns like I was, and I aim to give them some hope too.
Are you working on any project for 2020?
Well now you have me all fired up about putting that song out and filming a music video, so that! I also created some cute enamel pin merch earlier in 2019, that’ll definitely have a 2020 release. I did a really great fashion shoot with Ryan Stanford recently; I think he’s pitching it to magazines. I thought I had a pretty good sense of style, and then I got professionally styled for that shoot and went home and burned all the clothes in my closet. Kidding, but I look hot as fuck in that shoot, so I can’t wait to see the response when it’s released!
Scott, thank you so much, it has been a pleasure, and we will be looking for your next song or magazine cover. If you want to keep up to date on Scott’s life you can follow him on YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.