A 1992 video from Shaun Sperling’s Madonna-themed Bar Mitzvah made its way onto YouTube this week, going viral for young Shaun’s enthusiastic interpretation of the famed “Vogue” dance.
I caught up with Sperling, who is now an attorney in Chicago, to reminisce about his obsession with Madonna, his reaction to the video‘s online success, and how the eventual decision to upload something so close to home paid off.
After having stored the VHS tape away in a box for 20 years, Sterling initially had some hesitation in sharing the old footage online, but his friend took care of that for him by sending it off to Perez Hilton.
The timing was perfect, as Sterling has currently been working on a short writing piece called “Madonna and Me” about his love for the songstress and how she helped him through his coming of age.
Regarding the video‘s escalating popularity, Sterling said, “I think it’s really speaking to people about being confident and being themselves, and more so, having family and friends who support you.” He also cited the It Gets Better Campaign among powerful efforts to offer positive influences to young people in the LGBT community.
“Gay or straight, whoever have something inside of them that is a little different and outside the box, I think my message, and what it’s always been for me, is all about self respect,” Sterling said. “The moment I was able to respect myself completely, everybody else followed. I was never bullied after that moment. I was only met with love and support. I hope that my video inspires young kids and their families and friends to do the same.”
For the full-blown Madonna-inspired performance, check out Shaun’s original video here.
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