Adoptive family of four the McLeods are social media icons, fashionistas, advocates, and often the purest form of joy on the internet. The McLeod family uses their platform to give a glimpse into the lives of kids with autism and other disabilities and to explore identity and gender expression through their sense of style. As mom and leader of the family’s creations and adventures Eeka McLeod puts it, “We share our lives on social media in the hopes of normalizing families like ours.”
For the millions of people that keep up with The McLeods on a day-to-day basis, it’s hard to imagine not seeing the family online, but becoming an internet family wasn’t something Eeka planned. “I initially joined [TikTok] to watch funny videos and stay up too late,” she shared. But then she started making videos that shared her own jokes and little adventures. After a few posts, the internet found her and the video went viral.
From there, The McLeods’ content would expand to include everything from photoshoots inspired by famous franchises to videos educating their fans about their various struggles and triumphs. “As our platform grew, so did our voices. We represented many marginalized communities and wanted to share the highs and lows of our experience.”
Over the last few years, fans have watched each member of the McLeod family hit new milestones and grow. This is especially true for Evan whose exploration of gender expression as a nonbinary child has inspired many. Every member of the McLeod family loves to dress up. From everyday glam looks to custom costumes with major WOW factor, expressing yourself and your creativity through fashion is definitely something they advocate for.
“Gender is a social construct, and I hope that viewers begin to realize that in seeing our content and family,” Eeka said. “Children are shamed and bullied for wanting to wear clothing made for ‘the opposite gender.’ Our family can show that clothing is just fabric and has no gender. Fashion is a fun and unique way for kids to express themselves, their creativity, and their individuality. No child should be ashamed for wanting to have fun!”
Their stories and fame have also brought the McLeods together with many inspiring creators including Pride House LA, The Old Gays, and JoJo Siwa. In fact, meeting with JoJo in some ways led Evan to the dance world.
The whole family met JoJo last year, and since then, it seems like they have all really bonded with the superstar. A friend that Eeka met at a JoJo premiere party encouraged her to put Evan in dance with Los Angeles-based choreographer and teacher Guy Groove. “LJ kept telling me how much Evan would love the class, and her daughter was in it, so we gave it a go! It’s been one of the best things to happen to us!”
“Dance has been life-changing for Evan. He also takes gymnastics and loves it!” Eeka elaborated. “These activities have improved overall coordination, focus, and physical strength, but they’ve also been instrumental in building his confidence and social skills. Evan does not enjoy attending therapies (physical, speech, occupational), so dance and gymnastics have been a fantastic alternative for him.”
While many might look at the McLeods as family content creators or vloggers, a major goal of Eeka’s is advocacy for the communities that each family member is a part of. “Our lives present unique challenges every day and we deal with struggles others probably can’t imagine,” she shared. Eeka says that her priority is focusing on “making happy memories together as a family,” but she also hopes people watching her, Evan, Eli, and Ella take their message of inclusion and acceptance to heart as well.