The Truth Awards – An Interview with Tobias Gilbert


By Staff

What are the Truth Awards?

The Truth Awards is where members of the Black LGBTQ+ community gather in Los Angeles to recognize and honor their own, provide scholarships to LGBTQ+ youth and thank those called ally. This event has become the seminal event for our community. Each year, over 350 attendees, from across the United States, journey to Los Angeles to be inspired, uplifted, and reminded of our community’s impact on popular culture, politics, and the Arts.

Why were you honored?

I was honored for my use of social media in spreading awareness of some of the work we have been doing in the technology and movement spaces. My companies IndigoWave Tech and IndigoWave Yoga were highlighted as spaces for change, innovation and introspect.

What was your preparation like for this special event?

It was pretty involved logistically. First question was “what am I going to wear!” So naturally the first stop was to a suit maker. Shoutout to Piache! Historically, I have never been the fashion guy so working with the designer and tailer to bring the few looks I wore was an interesting experience to say the least. I was blessed enough to bring along a few of the people who have been supporting me over the years so rallying them from different areas of the country was an equally stressful but extremely heartwarming.

What did it feel like being honored with your peers?

It was truly a beautiful experience. A lot of my work has by word of mouth working closely with founders and executives from varying backgrounds. It’s been within the last year or so that the local community has taken notice of the value my team and I have been able to bring via technology. These same people subsequently taking notice of the work I am doing with my students with IndigoWave Yoga has been the cherry on top. It’s one thing to be rooted and affirmed on my own. To be genuinely affirmed by my peers is something I still struggle with articulating. Gratitude is the one word that consistently comes to mind.

How has this experience impacted your life? 

The experience has re-affirmed some of the things I have had to affirm on my own. Things like honor, living with integrity, saying yes to things that nourish my soul while emphatically saying no to things that don’t all came together in one night. It in a lot of ways was the physical manifestation of my life over the past 4 years.

What will you differently for the next honored opportunity? 

Nerves is something I’ll likely have invested some time in overcoming before my next opportunity. Going into it, I was a nervous wreck even though I wore it well. All in all, the weekend was something that happened exactly as it should have. It was certainly a screenshot moment of my career.

Who were you surprised to meet? Tell us about the experience. 

I was very surprised to meet Mona Scott Young, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and Janelle Monae. I have followed their work over the years from afar, so it goes without saying I was excited to be able to express that my admiration and respect for them as black women in person. They have been leaders in their own spaces for a long time and in a-lot of ways I look up to. Taking pictures and experiencing each other’s energies is one thing. Working with any of them professionally, however, wasn’t on my bingo card.

Tobias Gilbert is the Founder / Lead Engineer for Indigowave

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