Back in December, almost five months after she’d risen to fame as America’s newest Olympic sweetheart, gold medalist Gabby Douglas received a prom invite from a young man named Leon Purvis, who was exponentially more genuine and sincere than that guy who wanted to take Kate Upton to prom. But unlike that guy, who ended up having to take supermodel Nina Agdal instead, Leon had to settle for a Tweet from Gabby thanking him, but ultimately turning him down.
However, Leon is no ordinary 18-year old. He’s persistent if anything, and the guy who once met Justin Bieber and got President Obama to send a letter to his graduating class is back in video form to once again ask Gabby on a date now that her schedule is presumably lighter. But she’s still America’s sweetheart and so I decided that before I could offer our endorsement for Gabby to accept Leon’s offer, I’d have to play big brother and get some info from him first.
WL: What made you decide to start making these videos reaching out to various celebrities?
Leon: Nothing really made me decided to start making videos reaching out to various celebrities, I was making YouTube videos before I reached out to anyone, so you could say I looked reaching out to celebrities via YouTube as a another video.
WL: Was Justin Bieber the first celebrity that you reached out to or just the biggest? How did that come about and what was his response, for those who don’t know the story?
Leon: Justin Bieber was the first celebrity that I had reached out to. I got the idea from a friend that I should ask Justin Bieber to prom and I just went for it without hesitation because it was a great idea. He didn’t come with me to prom but I got the chance to meet him backstage at one of his concerts. When I met Justin Bieber he said to me “Sorry I couldn’t come to your prom man.”
WL: And you recently also reached out to President Obama, right? What was that one about?
Leon: I did recently reach out to President Obama. What that was about was the town my high school is in which is Glassboro has Presidential history. In 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson met at Glassboro State College (now Rowan University) with a Russian leader to talk about the curtail issues during the cold war. In 1986 President Ronald Reagan spoke at Glassboro High School’s class of 1986 graduation ceremony. So I thought why not make an effort and use social media to remake Glassboro’s Presidential history and invite Mr. President Barack Obama to be the Keynote speaker at Glassboro High School’s class of 2013 graduation ceremony.
WL: Are you completely fearless when it comes to this? I ask because when I was 18, I was terrified of rejection on any level, but you’re putting yourself out there to all of these huge stars and personalities. Do you worry at all about that they’ll just ignore you?
Leon: I am completely fearless when it comes to this. I am not afraid of rejection at all. I do not care what people think about me at all I am my own person. And most people don’t ignore me because of how persistent I am.
WL: Better yet, do you worry about what the anonymous “haters” of the Internet will say? There are some mean, jealous people out there.
Leon: I do not worry about what anonymous haters of the Internet will way; I stick to my gut and my true self no matter what people say to me. Haters will do their job, which is hate because haters are going to hate.
WL: You previously made a video asking Gabby Douglas to your prom. Did she or anyone close to her ever respond?
Leon: Gabby Douglas responded to me personally via Twitter. This is what she said to me quote on quote: ”@LeonPurvis Thanks 4 my HBD wishes & invite 2 prom. I hav a scheduling conflict sadly I can’t go altho I would love 2.Hope u hav a blast!!” Here is the actual tweet:
WL: Did you end up taking someone else to prom and did you have try a little harder to make her feel like she wasn’t your second choice?
Leon: I did end up taking someone else to senior prom. I asked the same girl that turned me down for junior prom last year. I asked her to prom over a text message because I was 99% sure she would turn me down but I thought why not ask anyway and her answer was yes. And I tried my best to make it a night for her to remember.
WL: Were you aware at the time that, in addition to having just become a huge Olympic star, Gabby was going through some pretty serious issues at home? Or were you trying to be a knight in shining armor?
Leon: I was aware that Gabby had home issues but I did not know the full details at the time. I have read her two books “Grace, Gold & Glory” and “Raising The Bar” and reading those books taught me a lot more about Gabby.
WL: What makes Gabby so special? You know, aside from the world-class athlete with the adorable, All-American quality.
Leon: The story of Gabby Douglas is what makes her so special. If any ordinary person went through the struggles she did they would have given up on their big dream, but Gabby didn’t ever give up otherwise she wouldn’t have the two gold medals she has today.
WL: Why should say yes to your video and let you take her on a date?
Leon: Gabby should say yes to my video and let me take her on a date because I have been persistent over twitter and I just haven’t given up on trying to meet her face to face.
WL: What do you plan to do with Gabby if she agrees to go on a date with you?
Leon: I plan to do what ever Gabby likes to do and whatever she thinks is fun. I know her favorite restaurant is “Bang Bang” if she wouldn’t mind going there I would take her there.
WL: Do I need to come along as a chaperone or can I trust you to be a complete gentleman?
Leon: You do not need to come along as a chaperone, I am a complete gentleman.
WL: In the past year, a lot of random guys just like you starting asking celebrities to their prom, like the guy who asked Kate Upton. Do you feel like you’re sort of a trailblazer?
Leon: I do not feel like I am sort of a trailblazer because I made the prom request to Justin Bieber. Before that a Marine asked Mila Kunis to the Ball.
WL: Again, you’re 18 years old. Most guys your age are worrying about college and jobs, but you seem so carefree and full of ambition. What’s your life goal? What do you want to be when you grow up?
Leon: My life goal is just to be happy in life. I do not know what I want to specifically be when I grow up all I know is I want to be happy when I grow up although I am going to college under a communications major.
WL: I’m an optimist and your biggest fan now, so let’s say that Gabby says yes, because she will. Do you have another celebrity or famous person or a cause in mind for a next video?
Leon: I do not have another celebrity or famous person in mind to reach out to. Although it would be very nice to meet President Obama since I did reach out to him. But as far as a cause, Bullying is something I would want to do because I was once bullied before. On YouTube I made a video about how Gay Marriage should be legal. I am not a homosexual but I do believe in equality.
Maybe I’m just a sucker for charm and charisma, but I feel pretty confident issuing this endorsement to Gabby: