E! Network star Tyler Henry discusses coming out and season four of Hollywood Medium
Born Tyler Henry Koelewyn on January 13, 1996 in the rural conservative Christian community of Hanford, California, at merely 10-years old, Tyler Henry experienced his first clairvoyant experience. He forewarned his family of the imminent death of his grandmother. As he went into his teenage years, which consisted of parlaying messages to his peers from their departed loved ones in conjunction with coming to terms with being gay, Tyler Henry began being bullied for being anything but the norm. You get what you give, and by the time he was sixteen, Tyler began to establish a career as a medium. Ultimately gaining a celebrity clientele and television development deal, by the time he turned 20 the first season of Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry began airing on the E! Network.
Today, Tyler Henry is filming the fourth season of his hit television show and embarking on a live tour with upcoming stops in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. In his most vulnerable interview yet, Tyler Henry discusses a troubled youth being openly clairvoyant and gay, coming out twice, his newfound Hollywood life, skepticism, and the ins and outs of what it really means to be a medium. Buckle up!
What was the defining moment in which you knew your gift of clairvoyance was more than just strong intuition or déjà vu?
Tyler Henry: For me it began when I was 10-years old. The catalyst was the death of my grandmother. I initially had a premonition of her death. One night, I woke up with a knowingness that I couldn’t explain. When I attempted to verbalize this to my mom, the phone rang, and when she picked it up, she was told my grandmother had just passed away.
Was this a gradual process with abilities expanding with age?
TH: It took between the ages of 10 through 13 to realize what was truly occurring. In school, when I started interacting with my peers and teachers, I began receiving details about their lives. They would vary from small details to those of significance. By the time I was 13, I had experienced three consecutive years of occult experiences, and it was at this point in time when I knew I had an ability. For example, one day when I was walking around the track, I looked at this student who was next to me and asked if he had an uncle named Salvador. The kid gave me a funny look and said yes. It ended up that the uncle had been estranged from the family. Sometimes these experiences would happen while I was even getting bullied at school.
What was Tyler Henry’s experience growing up?
Coming out is a difficult experience. Many LGBT youth are plagued with bullying and/or isolation. Hearing that you were, how was your experience growing up, and did being clairvoyant allow you to navigate coming out better than the average person?
TH: In my case, it was one of those unique experiences where I had to come out twice, initially as a medium and then as being gay. Both were challenging. Interestingly, I was a lot more comfortable coming into my own as a medium because it was an aspect those around me knew openly and something I demonstrated regularly. I was embraced for it, whereas being gay took longer to come to terms with and to be accepted for. Today, my parents are wholeheartedly accepting of both, however it took time for them to come to terms with the latter.
I was surprised to learn that you were raised in a very conservative Christian community and grew up in a religious household no less. How is your relationship with your family today?
TH: My mom was much more accepting of me being clairvoyant because she was present during my initial experience. However, she did not tell my dad about the initial premonition, so it took me a solid six years to tell my dad of my abilities. Being gay was more difficult to be open about because those in my community presumed it was a phase. I was regularly asked if I was sure I was gay, whereas I was able to demonstrate my clairvoyant abilities. Today, I am closer to my family than I have ever been. I moved out to Malibu and brought my parents with me. Currently, they live with me, my boyfriend lives with me, and they treat him like he is their son. I am grateful.
Has having the gift given you a leg up in terms of maneuvering your career, health, love life, friendships, and ultimately picking up the true intentions of those around you to avoid being deceived?
TH: Definitely! I actually feel we all have an intuition and ability to connect to a deeper part of ourselves which can guide us. In my case, being a medium, I live my life intuitively. To a larger extent, with being able to actually get a read off people, gauging people’s intentions is very important. If nothing else, being able to be intuitive about people’s motives is essential. Abiding by your gut instinct and going with your first impression should never be doubted.
You are obviously in a committed relationship today. Looking back, have you used your gift in navigating relationships, dating, and even hookups? Any interesting stories?
TH: (Laughs) Funny enough, I did not date a whole lot because I started working when I was 16. I kind of just dedicated so much time to my career from an early age. Having said that, when I met my current boyfriend, I knew from the moment I met him that we were compatible, that we were working on a similar line of thinking, and that he was someone I felt I could get along with even on an energetic level. So yes, this has really benefited me. To be able to discern who is compatible and who is not, you truly need to know yourself in order to identify that in others, and ultimately gauge compatibility. This is why I believe intuition is so important for all of us to develop. If we have a better understanding of ourselves, we can at least to some degree understand what is meant for us, which can help prevent a lot of trouble.
You are skilled at reading others. However, when it comes to yourself, do your own emotions or worries ever interfere with you picking up details concerning your future?
TH: Absolutely! I always tell people that it is easier to read a stranger than it is to read myself. As human beings, we all have inherent biases about ourselves. We have hopes, fears, goals and dreams we would like to pursue. In order to get a clear reading on anything, you have to be able to clear your mind and get into this intuitive state. When it comes to trying to read myself, there are so many emotions and baggage that come with it, which make it very hard for me to speak clearly on an intuitive level. It is a lot easier to read a stranger who I really have no emotional investment in versus reading myself. Of course, there are exceptions and times when I do pick up facets concerning my own future, however I am definitely keen on reading other people.
Years ago, you had mentioned that your ultimate goal was to work with parents who lost children to suicide. However, with all of the celebrity clientele you have accrued since finding fame, you often make headlines for your show, your book, and tour dates. Are you still able to or even interested in reading the obscure?
TH: (Laughs) I definitely don’t consider anyone obscure. I think I have a varying degree of clientele. I will say since getting the show, which is celebrity based, people have the misconception that I only provide my services to famous names. The show may focus on celebrities, but when I am not working I dedicate all of my time to working with the general public. I conduct Skype readings, phone readings, charity readings, etc. There are many opportunities to be read. I view the show as an opportunity to tap into the celebrity platform and reach more people who may not be familiar with what a medium is.
Are people able to get on a waiting list? Are they guaranteed a reading or is it a much more grueling process to get a hold of you?
TH: It is definitely a little trickier. Upon season one airing, we had 175,000 people inquire for readings. It has been difficult to meet that demand. When I am not filming, I typically conduct two to three readings daily. I enjoy doing the group readings on tour, which permit me the chance to hold many readings within a short time frame and be more accessible to my audience.
You have several shows coming up in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. What can attendees expect?
TH: It is a two-part show. The first portion focuses on my life story, and how I got to where I am today so people can have a clearer understanding of where I am coming from. I will share some of the most valuable lessons I have learned as a result of conducting over one thousand readings and how people can benefit from what I have learned. The second portion is focused on the Q&A, the group readings, and consists of me going up to the audience and sharing any impressions I feel. Every audience is different, every show is different but I find there is usually anywhere between five to 15 readings. It is a great opportunity to get read.
Skepticism and cynicism are very prominent within your field. For example, there are articles on the net labeling you as fake, citing Non Disclosure Agreements and vague readings. How do you handle those who view this as a mere business gimmick?
TH: It used to bother me more, especially during season one. However, as time went on, I feel I proved myself. I am open with what I do. It takes courage to be so open and vulnerable. At this point I try to not focus on public perception. I am here to help those who truly need it.
What are your thoughts on other celebrity mediums? For example, Theresa Caputo recently made a local appearance where she failed to land most of her messages and has been criticized for not being able to pick up her ex-husband’s infidelities. Do you find some of the other big names are more performers than actual clairvoyants?
TH: When it comes to other mediums, I do have to be diplomatic. There are people in my field who obviously cannot do what I do. Those who are legitimate, I associate with, and those who are not, I don’t. In my career I have become close with both John Edward and James Van Praagh, both of whom I have learned a plethora from. They have been instrumental when it comes to me learning how to navigate large crowds and deal with the public. I have found them to be valuable resources in my field; however, there really aren’t many. As far as Theresa is concerned, I do not think it’s fair for her to be held accountable for the demise of her relationship. I could not imagine being in her position and being criticized for the betrayal.
Of all the readings you have conducted on Hollywood Medium, which has had the biggest impact on you personally thus far and why?
TH: I would say my reading with RuPaul. This was a crazy one, as I have always been a huge fan of RuPaul. When it came time to read him I almost fainted because I am kept in the dark as to who I am reading that day. It was so cool because his dad came through, who was a gambling addict, and he took accountability for his actions, which he never did while alive. He came through and relayed an apology to RuPaul that he never expected. To hear that message from his father helped RuPaul put that chapter to rest and it gave him a deeper appreciation of his father now that he could move past their issue. This reading demonstrated all of what I want to accomplish in a reading and to be able to do this with someone so inspirational, was simply amazing.
I understand you are currently filming season four of Hollywood Medium. What can viewers expect?
TH: We have a whole new compilation of readings including Rebel Wilson, Howie Mandel and Jill Zarin. There is a slew of new celebrities. Beyond that, people will get to see more behind the scenes aspects of my readings, before and after. I attend more events this season and there will be more impromptu “stuff.” There is actually a portion of the season where they are going to test my brain. I am hooked up and monitored during a reading from beginning to end. When they look back, they notice some truly interesting things that they can’t explain which I am excited for viewers to see.
Tyler Henry’s new live show A Very Special Evening with Tyler Henry: Life Lessons I’ve Learned From The Departed will be making the following area visits:
· Strand Theatre – York, PA – January 16th
· Parx Casino – Bensalem, PA – January 18th
· Bergen PAC – Englewood, NJ – January 20th