Eugene Lee Yang, born on January 18, 1986, began his career in 2013 when he started working for the internet media company, Buzzfeed. Quickly becoming an Internet celebrity, he is best known as a member of “The Try Guys,” a YouTube channel formed alongside his colleagues who, collectively, were BuzzFeed’s then employees: Ned Fulmer, Keith Habersberger, and Zach Kornfeld. Apart from his actor and writer roles, Yang also advocates for human rights, the L.G.B.T.Q. community, and various charities such as The Trevor Project. Let’s celebrate this internet sensation right here on his special day.
Eugene Lee Yang
The Asian One, Swagger, Cheyenne Pepper, Yang Bang
January 18, 1986
In a relationship
Eugene Lee Yang was born in the City of Pflugerville, Texas, on January 18, 1986. He is of Korean heritage, being the only son of South Korean immigrants. His parents, Min-Yeong Lee (mother) and Jae-hong Yang (father), raised him alongside his two sisters, Christine Yang and Whitney Yang, in a community with few Asian Americans. Growing up, he loved artistic activities, some of them including theater, choir, dance, and visual arts. How he ended up in filmmaking was quite interesting: his seventh-grade teacher recommended he take up the course. He did and eventually graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in cinema production in 2008.
Even though he was initially skeptical because he felt like it was hard to get mainstream acceptance because of the lack of representation of Asian Americans in film, he filmed a couple of commercials for five years after college as part of his freelance work. In 2013, he began working for BuzzFeed in the video branch. Yang had struggled with body image issues and low self-esteem and he was bullied, too. At BuzzFeed, he highlighted some of these crucial societal issues by centering a few of his works on Asian American identity, body issues, and stereotypes. “Disney Princes Were Real” and “Women’s Ideal Body Types Throughout History” are some of the mentioned works, with the latter remaining BuzzFeed’s most-watched on YouTube.
Eugene has continued to show his sturdiness by not shying away from tackling race issues, especially those affecting the Asian American community. On noting that history often goes unnoticed, Yang launched a solo project, an hour-long documentary based on this subject. The project is divided into 10 chapters and is also very close to his heart. After a year with BuzzFeed, Yang and his friends began a YouTube channel, “The Try Guys.” He later established a company, 2nd Try LLC, and gained all the rights to the brand. The comedy documentary series has continued to gain an audience as Eugene and his co-stars try to understand the people and the world around them.
He is selected as one of nine Asian American filmmakers to be in the production, directing, and editing of original short films.
After noticing Eugene’s potential, his colleague recommends he works at BuzzFeed, gaining free control on experimental video productions and new modes of storytelling.
Yang and his co-stars Ned Fulmer, Keith Habersberger, and Zach Kornfeld establish a YouTube channel and the first episode features them trying ladies’ underwear for the first time.
Advocating for Asian-American representation, Eugene produces underwear ads using Asian male models in a project named ‘Asian Men Recreate Iconic Underwear Ads.’
He hosts the 2018 Streamy Awards, which honor excellence in different sectors of online video, including acting, writing, directing, and producing.
After gaining the rights to the Try Guys brand, Eugene and the guys publish their first book, which soon becomes a “New York Times” bestseller; they announce their first tour and the start of the “Try-Pod'' podcast.
Yang is given the Phenom Award for L.G.B.T.Q.+ Activism — this is through his work with The Trevor Project.
Why We Love Eugene Lee Yang
He is a dog lover
Yang is a dog lover; he owns three dogs. Their names are Emma, Pesto, and Kimbop.
He loves equality
From uploading video content regarding body image to highlighting racial issues, Eugene brings to light some dark issues society faces. He raises awareness on issues facing L.G.B.T.Q. youth, and through YouTube, he has created a safe and transparent space that supports equality.
He is bold and authentic
Yang came out as gay on June 15, 2019. He released a personal music video, ‘I’m Gay- Eugene Lee Yang,” and boldly shared his message with the world.
5 Surprising Facts
He features on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine”
In season six, episode four of the workplace comedy, Yang portrayed Theo Lorql, a receptionist at the Manhattan Social Club.
He doesn’t have his Texan accent
After his sister told him he could face difficulties getting into an Ivy League School, he eventually lost his Texan accent.
He’s not a video gamer
Yang is bad at playing video games.
He loves Celine Dion
Yang loves Dion’s music so much that he knows every song by heart.
He has aviophobia
Yang is afraid of airplanes and flying.
Eugene Lee Yang FAQs
Is Eugene Lee Yang in a relationship?
Yes. Yang and Matthew McLean have been dating since 2012 and have lived together since 2014.
Which university did Eugene go to?
He attended The University of Southern California.
What does Eugene Lee Yang identify as?
He previously referred to himself as “queer” and “L.G.B.T.” but came out as gay in 2019.
Eugene Lee Yang’s birthday dates