Let's Have A Sleepover With Yuri Pinter
You know what they always say: there's no better way of having a sleepover with one of your closest friends. This is a perfect opportunity to connect and spend time with your family and friends. I had the pleasure of having a sleepover with Yuri Pinter on his journey to NYC.
1. Let's talk about A Sleepover With Yuri. What inspired you to create this talk show?
YP: I felt less of a person for the most part of my life. Growing up in Russia, especially being a gay man and moving to the USA, this made me feel inferior. The feeling of being less of a person is often accompanied by words and actions of society. With my show, I want to promote equality and diversity. I want the society we live in to be more accepting, tolerant, loving, understanding, and supportive. The format of the show is a sleepover because I love sleepovers and often have them because I feel like it’s the best way to have deep and honest conversations.
2. Your background is you were born and raised in Russia. Why did you want to move to New York City?
YP: Born and raised in Russia at a very young age, when I realized I was gay, I lived in fear and anxiety of people finding out about me. I felt like I would never be able to have a family or a normal life. I moved to NY when I was 27 and I applied for a political asylum based on the prosecution of LGBTQ+ in Russia.
3. What were some challenges you have faced during your journey to New York City?
YP: The biggest challenge was immigration. When I came here, it took me a few months to put together papers and apply for political asylum. This took me 3 years to get a political asylum interview. Meanwhile, I didn’t have a work permit or a right for an SSN for about a year or more. So it was pure survival. So, imagine coming to New York with no work permit or SSN or anything? To me, immigration is not something we should feel sorry for or feel threatened by. Immigration is an act of modern days heroism. What immigrants are going through in order to have what they want and follow their dreams is beyond any admiration or respect. That’s how I see it at least.
4. What is your favorite moment or accomplishment in New York City?
YP: My favorite moment was finally getting my political asylum finally after being here for almost 4 years already. It's still my biggest accomplishment.
5. Let's jump right into fitness: you're a personal trainer. How did you get started in becoming a fitness trainer and now promoted to a fitness manager?
YP: Fitness has always been my passion and a huge part of my life. It has helped me deal with my anxiety. After I got my political asylum and was able to save up money, I went to fitness school and got my certification. I wanted to share something beautiful that is good for both physical and mental health. Since I am passionate about what I do, this eventually let me get promoted to the position as a fitness manager at Crunch Fitness.
6. How do you balance everything since you have a job that requires a lot of hours?
YP: My life is literally my job! The people I work with on my show and at the gym are my family. When I started off as a personal trainer, I definitely had more time to work on my show creating the concept and putting together a team. Now that I am the manager, I barely have any time to work on my show but I do not really need much time anymore because we have filmed all the episodes already for the first season. And the quarantine kind of came in handy so I can focus on promoting my show and network to get exposure.
7. What do you see in the future for your talk show?
YP: In the future, I would like the show to be recognized as I am doing it for a good cause and the guests on my show are regular people talking about their lives and struggles. It's not all the glitz and glam of celebrities talking about their perfume lines. I would like the show to be popular simply because I want this show to raise awareness and make our lives better.
I am already brainstorming a second season slowly.
8. What advice would you give to your younger self?
YP: Please be patient and believe in yourself because you can have and do absolutely everything you want in this life! And also, love yourself unconditionally.
Make sure to subscribe to Yuri's Youtube channel to catch the latest episode.