An Accessible Platform Gives Way to Change
Most members of the LGBTQ community struggle to come out to one person at a time–let alone a community of millions. But YouTube creators are doing just that: they utilize their platform and influence to share their struggles and journeys with their audiences to start conversations and strengthen their community.
It’s no secret that YouTube has quickly become a multi-faceted sharing platform and, in recent years, an incredible stage for original content creators. YouTubers share intimate and comprehensive details about their lives with their subscribers. If the creator is LGBTQ they have often gone the extra mile to share that part of themselves with their audience. That’s what makes YouTube so uniquely different; creators connect with their viewers by sharing personal stories. It’s beautiful that they feel safe coming out to millions of viewers today, and that coming out so publicly can actually boost the popularity of the creator. Of course, that exposure is not exclusively positive–the trolls also come out. But they are usually overwhelmingly shut down by supporters.
Comments on Ingrid Nilsen’s coming out video in June 2015–with over 12 million views
Because Coming out Is Still Important
Joey Graceffa is one of the fastest growing personalities with one of the most engaged audiences on YouTube amassing over 6.5 million subscribers across his two channels, more than 2.5 million Twitter followers and has garnered over 770 million views on his videos. Joey is part of a huge movement, especially in the last couple of years in the LGBTQ community on YouTube. In the past year, prominent YouTubers like beauty guru Ingrid Nilsen, comedian Shane Dawson, vlogger Conor Franta, musician Trevor Moran and Joey have been incredibly brave by coming out on YouTube. The views on these videos are colossal and prove the impact and following these creators have built. More importantly, it gives access to anyone with the internet who is struggling with their identity to view these videos and know they are not alone. So we need creators who have large audiences of young people to come out publicly–we need them to show these young people that it really does get better and they are others like them out there, especially influencers they look up to.
Joey Creates for Good
In April, the Ad Council launched Creators for Good, an initiative which pairs content creators with Ad Council campaigns; some of the awesome folks who are involved include Grace Helbig, Justine Ezarik, Meghan Rienks and Joey Graceffa.
To support National Coming Out Day this day Sunday, October 11, Joey partnered with Love Has No Labels and Ad Council to bring us an epic video about this personal journey. Joey was not the only one to post a video for National Coming Out Day, and his video no doubt inspired other LGBTQ YouTubers to share their story with us. Joey shares, “I love everything that they stand for and I love that their campaign is more than just the LGBT community… it’s about realizing the prejudices you have towards people that you might not even realize that you have. “
Young LGBTQ people desperately need good role models so it’s refreshing to know that there is a vibrant community of creators on YouTube sharing their story. Oh, and if you’re not one of the 54 million people who have viewed the Love Has No Labels video–get your tissues out!