“Everything begins with dialogue,” says Topher Larkin, recent Charleston-transplant and an expert at making exciting things happen.
So don’t be shy: walk on up and say hello.
Not only is Topher a Prevention Outreach & Quality Management Coordinator at Lowcountry AIDS Services, he is also involved with World AIDS Day and We Are Family, a local group providing support and resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and straight ally youth.
“My goal is to get the community involved so we can help each other out,” he says. “We accomplish more when we work together, so I always like to see groups partner up.”
Topher was raised in Tampa, studied theater and communications in Boston and worked for many years in L.A.’s entertainment industry on public relations campaigns for big films like “Brokeback Mountain” and “Lost in Translation.”
He hopes to see arts organizations, businesses and the city working hand-in-hand to make Charleston a place where all people can live and love with acceptance. “If you can see how your cause relates to someone else’s goals, that’s where you begin,” he explains. “Look at the positive benefits of working together and engage each other in that conversation.”
When he’s not busy bringing people together, he can usually be found on the water – living in California introduced him to surfing and he’s an aspiring sailor – or rehearsing for a play in one of our local theaters.
“I was in RENT with Flowertown Players back in January and it reminded me how much I love theater,” he says. “There is so much great theater in Charleston and I can’t wait to discover all of it.”
In fact, he credits studying theater with much of his approach to life and work today.
“Theater taught me about the importance of collaborative efforts,” he says. “And it taught me this important life lesson: if you want something to happen, you have to jump in and make it happen.”
Words by: Jason A. Zwiker
Photography by: Mark Stetler