Started in 2013, May (also known as Nyx Fears), has covered many topics but mostly focused on horror movies. May has made several lists that could be classified as doing us all a favor and watching some of the most baffling, absurd, and grotesque the horror genre has to offer. With elaborate set-ups, a few drinks, and a few inside jokes, May has set-up her own section of horror YouTube that is a wonderful balance of review, opinion, and honesty.
GenderTerror was able to interview May about her YouTube channel, her very public transition, her cat, and a little bit about her creative process.
GenderTerror: What made you decide to start making YouTube videos, especially horror movie reviews?
May: I’ve always been interested in horror stuff so it was obviously what I was gonna do if I ever did YouTube. I think I got the motivation because it was snowing one day in Texas and I just decided to go for it. There’s this sorta wall people run into where it seems too hard and weird to coordinate so they give up without ever actually trying. So I basically felt bored enough to give it a try. I had a microphone from when I was in a failed high school band so I just plugged it into my computer and started recording without editing and putting it online. Thank God I learned to edit but ya gotta start somewhere. And being online very quickly changed my life and I figured out how to actually make quality videos. Haha.
GT: What does horror mean to you?
M: Uhm. That’s a tough one because horror is very diverse. It does a lot of things. It’s one of the most humanly cathartic experiences. We all love a scary story around a campfire because it makes us think and feel things we’re uncomfortable with. But we love safe discomfort. It goes beyond typical conflict. It’s confronting our human realities in such an intense way.
GT: I think horror being so diverse is what allows it to be such a large genre. What is your favorite and why?
M: I think I’m most horrified by body horror but largely because I connect with it. Dysphoria is a unique horror and I think a lot of people universally experience dysphoria without ever changing their self identification so it connects to all of us. In its own way.
GT: Your sets are pretty elaborate. What goes into planning them?
M: Oh gosh, simultaneously everything and nothing. I think that there’s an authenticity to what I do because I very literally just shoot in my home. But I want my home to be the world I live in so I put a ton of work into making my environment conducive to my creative work and my life. Often times I’ll just set the camera down somewhere in my home and light it in an interesting way and that’s how I achieve the look.
GT: Favorite type of videos to do?
M: My favorite type of videos are typically the long torture experiences. Like I’ll do a deep dive on some wild stuff and have to subject myself to it for days. I watched all the Tyler Perry movies. I watched a bunch of vomit fetish films. Right now I’m watching the entirety of the Goosebumps TV show. I like putting myself through hell and that’s an aspect to those videos people never see. They never see the torture viewing parties but…they’re really good. Better than the actual videos often times. Haha.
GT: Does watching multiple movies in a row, especially the really awful (take this awful to mean either bad or extreme) movies ever become tiring?
M: Oh Lord yes. It gets to a point where I feel really exhausted and I don’t feel like I can continue. We’ll usually try to watch three to five movies in a sitting and by the third one it’s not fun anymore. But ya know…deadlines. This is typically why my work takes so long. It’s time consuming to sit and watch all this stuff and not completely lose your mind.
GT: Do you find it hard to watch things for enjoyment anymore due to the exhaustion from these viewing parties?
M: I still enjoy a lot of what I watch. I find it difficult to really manage some of that in the post apocalypse. Things rapidly changing left me a bit burnt out on movies. But I find that the actual challenge and taking it with my wife Azrael, makes it fun. But I don’t watch a lot for my own entertainment anymore.
GT: Going off this, how do you separate work viewing and personal viewing as to not get entirely burnt out?
M: It’s difficult to balance that. Typically I make videos based on what I’m watching and interested organically. But I feel like I work a lot better as a task oriented person. So I make a lot of lists and then get interested in Yu-Gi-Oh for a month and make a video about that and scrap all my plans. It happens all the time. So I have a bad habit of monetizing my hobbies.
GT: What is the one topic you want to cover, but haven’t had the chance to?
M: Ya know I’ve never talked about True Crime and I feel like I could bring a lot to that world. I feel like I have so many criticisms of True Crime and Supernatural media and the way they handle things so…fanatically? It drives me wild. I’m just more interested in human nature and the complex ways things like this happen, and of course the stories of those that were affected. One of these days I’ll figure it out.
GT: You had a pretty public transition in a way through YouTube. How did your community react?
M: My community was mostly positive. The big wedge was with the way people were already perceiving me. The audience that thought I was this beardy critic guy were horrified but the audience that had already seen me as fairly queer prior to coming out weren’t that surprised. And honestly I’m not all that hurt by that. It’s sort of a fact of life I learned. People are always going to love you or hate you for who you are, being trans has always been a major part of me, it’s just out in the open now. The issues I had in coming out mostly came from conflicts with how my audience projected themselves onto me. I have a lot of old viewers come back and apologize for this very reason.
GT: Off-topic, but please tell us all about your cat. (I love your cat)
M: Oh gosh. My child’s name is Cinderella, but I call her Cindy or Mama. She’s a total cuddle bug. She comes and bothers me for cuddles every five minutes. She sleeps with me. She is the sweetest cat I’ve ever known. Azzy brought Cindy when she moved in with me. But since then Cindy has fallen pretty head over heels for me. She ran away once for two months, and we were so depressed. But then one day I found her in the parking lot, gave her a pork chop and carried her home. I think she’s bonded to me for that.
GT: Current hobbies you are pursuing? The somewhat more ‘off’ videos really add a lot of personality and variety to the channel!
M: So lately we got into speedrunning games. I’ve never been much of a gamer to tell you the truth. I’ve liked a handful of games in my life and typically don’t return to games after finishing them. But I do love Dark Souls a lot. So lately I’ve learned speedrun strategies for Dark Souls and have been streaming them again. It’s fun and it doesn’t require much intellectual energy from me. It’s a nice way to unwind behind having to do a big think all the time. Maybe it’s also just a nice Covid distraction. Who knows?