By Alex Temblador
Coming out. We all know what that phrase means. We don’t wonder if someone is “coming out of the bathroom” or if a debutante is “coming out to society” at a ball. “Coming out” is indicative of revealing one’s gay or bisexual sexual orientation to family, friends, the world, and most importantly, to oneself. However, in the past ten years, a new trend with coming out has occurred. People are now coming out on YouTube and they’ve turned “coming out” into an art.
Coming out on YouTube has involved vloggers sharing a personal vlog of themselves coming out to their viewers. Others have recorded themselves coming out to their parents. With YouTube stars coming out on YouTube, it has provided others with the courage and inspiration to come out to their families and friends, on or off the internet. Furthermore, it provides parents with positive and negative examples of how other parents have reacted to their children coming out.
“Is [coming out on YouTube] creepy or manipulative? Maybe, but I think the impulse of these kids is to leverage better behavior from their parents. If the parents react badly, there are witnesses and social consequences for their reaction. In this situation, I think being strategic is smart and necessary, ” said Dan Savage, gay activist and journalist.
“A positive benefit of this, is that these parents who have reacted so well are modeling for other parents whose kids have not yet come out to them how you do it. If you want to react beautifully and look like a good guy online – this is how.”
Coming out on YouTube is an interesting trend and it shows just how courageous people can be. Furthermore, it allows the world to gather as a community and say, “We accept you.” With that being said, let’s look at some of our all-time favorite vloggers that came out on YouTube and some of the creative ways in which they did it.
Hannah Hart is a YouTube star that gained her fame through a series on her YouTube channel, “My Drunk Kitchen,” where she cooked while intoxicated. However, in addition to her main YouTube channel, MyHarto, she has another YouTube channel, YourHarto where she vlogs about her life. On YourHarto Hannah shares with viewers a seven-part “Coming Out” series. In this series Hannah Hart tells her coming out story, as well as discusses topics like coming out of the closet, marriage, being attracted to straight people, feeling nervous around girls she likes, and feeling sexy.
We love this series because it not only discusses “coming out” but different aspects of coming out such as what happens before and after coming out like a first crush, dating, and marriage. Hannah gives viewers an all-around perspective, making this a perfect coming out series for anyone.
Some YouTubers don’t just come out to their viewers, they film themselves coming out to their parents and Dan did just that on his YouTube channel Mallow 610.
Dan hid a camera in his kitchen. When his mother returns home, she can tell that something is going on because of Dan’s apparent nervousness. After two minutes, he finally tells his mother that he’s gay. His mother has the best reaction: she tells Dan that she is proud of him and gives him a hug.
We know why Dan was so nervous, but his mom’s reaction was so amazing! She says that she had some inkling about his sexuality and Googled how to speak to her son about being gay and watched (what she calls “boring”) coming out YouTube videos.
“I need you to be who you are,” says Dan’s mom. “I want you to be happy in life and I want you to not be afraid of who you are.” What a mom!
Since 2008, Shane Dawson has been creating amazing YouTube videos on his channel Shane Dawson TV. For the most part, Shane has created and shared music video spoofs, comedy sketches, and hilarious vlogs on different aspects of pop culture. However, recently Shane came out of the closet on YouTube and shared with the world that he is bisexual.
He says, “I’m not completely gay. I can’t sit here and say that I am…But I also can’t sit here and say that I’m straight. And this is something that I have come to the conclusion through therapy and also just being honest with myself.
“I am bisexual. I have said it out loud once before…I have never really talked about it until now.”
“There’s a lot of coming out videos of people coming out who are gay or lesbian. And they’re so confident…I’m not that. I don’t know who I am 100%.”
Shane’s video is unique in that he is one of the few vloggers to come out as bisexual. He is also bringing attention to how bisexual persons feel—torn between not being gay and not being straight but something in-between. Even more amazing, is that he says he doesn’t know who he is 100%, proving that realizing who you are and accepting your sexuality is a process. For those looking for a strong and raw video of absolute truth, check out Dawson’s coming out video.
Ingrid Nilsen, known as Missglamorazzi, is a YouTube personality who discusses makeup, fashion, and lifestyle. She was even the first YouTube personality to represent CoverGirl. And recently, Ingrid came out to her fans on YouTube as gay.
As soon as she announces she’s gay, a huge smile crosses her face, she starts crying, and says, “It feels so good to say.” We can see the heavy burden on her shoulders disappearing.
Her reasoning behind coming out on YouTube is simple: “I deserve a full life…It is time to give myself my best chance.”
The video is moving and you just can’t help but tear up a little when she starts crying! Furthermore, there are important reasons that we love that Ingrid shared with the world that she’s gay. First, not many girls have come out on YouTube and we love that it could be someone with such a huge following like Ingrid, someone who can be influential to many women and girls. Secondly, many have commented that by Ingrid coming out, it has helped to break down lesbian stereotypes and shown the world that there are women and girls who are “femme” and lesbian. Whatever the case is, this coming out vlog is amazing and it will be inspiring to so many girls.
For years, military servicemen and women couldn’t be open about their sexuality under “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Even after its repeal, it has been difficult for those in the military to be open due to discrimination found in the ranks. However, we hope that things are changing especially with the help of one marine, Russ, who came out on his YouTube channel, Russ Marine, to his mom over the phone.
In addition to that initial coming out video, Russ shares a few other videos related to coming out. There’s one where he interviews his mom about him coming out and another where he discusses the negative reaction that he received from his dad when he came out to him. He also gives coming out tips and talks about coming out in the military.
We love Russ Marine and his coming out videos because not only will it help youth on coming out to their parents and gives them tips on how to deal with both negative and positive reactions, but he also could help other military members to come out and change the military culture to be more accepting of the LGBT community.
Joey Graceffa is a YouTube personality that has been vlogging for seven years. He has been creating vlogs about his life and commentary on the world and pop culture, as well as creating short films. However, it wasn’t until this year that Joey came out to his audiences and he did so in a very creative way: a music video.
The music video features Joey in a fairy tale world, battling his own demons and rescuing his prince which he kisses at the end. A few days after posting the music video, he posted a vlog where he does confirm that he is gay.
When asked why he waited to come out, Joey said, “I wanted to make sure that I was in a mindset that I felt confident in who I was. And I wasn’t going to come out and not able to be this role model for some people out there going through the same thing that I was going through.”
For those looking for a creative way to figure out how to come out, Joey’s music video is perfect: “I decided it was important for me to do it in a different way. To do it in my Joey-creative way of doing a music video.” Better yet, Joey’s music video illustrates that a fairy tale love story is possible for anyone.
Connor Franta became known on YouTube through Our2ndLife but branched out and started his own YouTube channel. His vlogs include videos about his personal life and what he’s involved in, challenges, and Q&As. In 2014, Connor came out as gay on his YouTube channel.
Even though Connor says that coming out in a vlog was the hardest thing he has ever done, it’s so difficult to tell. His confidence radiates through his speech and he doesn’t seem to stumble the entire time, because he has finally come to know himself and is happy.
Our favorite aspect of this coming out vlog is when he says: “I’m not going to let my sexuality define or confine me. It’s part of me, it’s not all of me.”
Two of the best coming out videos come from two different sets of twins. First there’s the Monastero Twins, Adam and Luke. The Monastero Twins set up a hidden camera in their kitchen and then told their parents that they were gay. Their parents thought that Luke was gay but didn’t have any idea that their son Adam was gay. The video ends with their parents being absolutely accepting and telling their sons that this is their life to live and they shouldn’t worry about what anyone thinks.
Then there’s the Rhodes Bros. Their coming out video involved telling their dad that they were gay over a phone call. The video went viral. It is a truly emotional video that displayed the courage of these two boys and the love that their father has for his sons.
We love these videos because it shows positive examples of how parents of LGBT youth should react when their children come out.
If you want to see a super cool and creative coming out video, check out Ryan Waechter’s! With the “Draw My Life” challenge, Ryan decided to share his coming out story with a white board, dry-erase markers, and his artistic and storytelling skills. Even though he isn’t a Picasso, seeing his coming out story on a white board with quick and crude drawings while he narrates the story is really effective. His coming out story is funny, sad, happy, and ultimately inspiring. We are able to live his coming out story through his drawings and storytelling rather than being told his coming out story which makes for a more entertaining experience. If you are looking for something beyond the “Coming Out YouTube vlog” check this one out by Ryan Waecther now!
Back in 2008, Lucas created a character called “Fred,” a 6-year-old with anger management issues. The character of Fred took off and Lucas has been creating fun, silly videos ever since. However back in 2013, Lucas was doing a Q&A with his best friend Jenny, when Jenny read a question that had been asked by many of Lucas’ fans (the question pops on screen multiple times by different fans): “Are you gay?”
And Lucas responds enthusiastically, “I’m gay!”
“My family and friends have known for, like, three years, I just haven’t felt the need to announce it on the internet.”
Even though coming out on the internet may seem like a serious thing, as many of the other coming out YouTube videos have shown, Lucas and Jenny are laughing and joking after he comes out. To Lucas (and to Jenny), it’s not a big deal that he is gay. (Because of course it isn’t!) From there, they continue the Q&A session with jokes and laughs which is why we love this video!
Lucas shows that coming out on YouTube isn’t his defining moment. It’s just another aspect of his life. He is a vlogger who just happens to be gay, just like all of the other vloggers we’ve featured in this article.
If we can learn anything from the coming out trend on YouTube, it’s that, yes, coming out is a difficult thing. However, it isn’t a limit in one’s life. These vloggers are extremely successful, but not because of their sexual identity, but by their tenacity to live happy, fulfilling lives as themselves.
Coming out may be the trend on YouTube right now but The Next Family and other LGBT YouTube Personality Parents hope that these YouTube stars and their gay, lesbian, and bisexual audiences can learn something more important from YouTube. Ebony, YouTube star and mom of OliviaHas2Moms, recently had an interview with The Next Family’s editor, Brandy Black at Vidcon. In the interview, Ebony made a good point about the coming out trend: it won’t be the trend for long. A new YouTube trend is on the rise.
“There’s a trend right now only about coming out. Granted, truly valid. Definitely, we need videos and education about coming out. However, when you come out, life begins even more. And you need to know about what happens after the fact. Families are possible, parenting is possible. Jobs, careers, education. All of that needs to be encompassed in a representation of LGBT.”