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Here's A Brief History Of The YouTube Coming Out Video

Queer people are finding new and creative ways to express themselves online.

11/10/2017 19:25 SAST | Updated 12/10/2017 06:04 SAST

British Olympic diver Tom Daley made international headlines in 2013 after revealing in an emotionally charged YouTube video that he was in a relationship with another man.

Nearly four years later, Daley is happily married, having tied the knot with Academy Award-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black in May. The video, meanwhile, remains an indelible part of the 23-year-old’s public persona, having garnered more than 12 million views since its release.

Daley, of course, isn’t the first person to have come out on YouTube. Company officials pointed to a pair of 2006 clips, seen here and here, as two of the earliest examples of LGBTQ people who turned to the video sharing platform just a year after its launch to discuss matters of sexuality. Still, as a public figure, Daley undoubtedly helped usher the concept of coming out on YouTube into the mainstream, as did pop singer Troye Sivan, who came out in a poignant video that same year. These days, coming out videos on YouTube are more popular than ever in terms of both views and uploads, the site said. 

While YouTube did not provide specific numbers, officials provided HuffPost with a chart showing a dramatic increase in coming out video uploads since it was launched over a decade ago. Interestingly, August saw the highest number of coming out-related content in YouTube’s history, two months before National Coming Out Day (Oct. 11). 

YouTube

“Coming out videos are a special and important part of YouTube culture,” 
Jamie Byrne, who is the director of YouTube creators, told HuffPost. 

“The LGBTQ creators who share their personal stories through our platform inspire us with their acts of courage and remind us of why it’s important to make sure YouTube remains a place where everyone can have a voice.”

Daley’s video, though high profile, isn’t the most popular of the bunch. In January 2015, Austin and Aaron Rhodes (or “The Rhodes Bros”) released “Coming Out To Dad,” in which the twin brothers filmed themselves tearing up as they opened came out as gay to their father on the telephone. With over 25 million views, it’s YouTube’s most watched coming out video of all time.

Though The Rhodes Bros top the list, other media personalities have found creative ways to use YouTube to open up about their sexualities in creative ways. To celebrate National Coming Out Day, check out YouTube’s 10 most viewed coming out videos of all time. 

  • 1 Twins Come Out To Dad
    In 2015, Austin and Aaron Rhodes (or "The Rhodes Bros") kicked off the year in a major way by coming out as gay to their father over the phone while recording the event in order to share it with their followers — and the world. The video has since been viewed more than 25 million times, making it YouTube's most popular coming out clip to date. Read more here
  • 2 Something I Want You To Know (Coming Out)
    In 2015, YouTube sensation Ingrid Nilsen made a huge reveal to her fans. “I’m gay. It feels so good to say that!” she said in an emotion-filled video. “I’m shaking right now because this moment is real and it’s here." The clip has been viewed more than 16.8 million times. Read more here.
  • 3 Tom Daley: Something I Want To Say...
    In 2013, British diver Tom Daley revealed he was in a relationship with another man in an emotional video. “Come spring this year, my life changed massively when I met someone and it made me feel so happy, so safe and everything just feels great," Daley, then 19, said in the video. "And that someone is a guy.” The clip has been viewed more than 12 million times. Read more here
  • 4 Connor Franta: Coming Out
    In 2014, the YouTube star told fans that he was gay, revealing he'd struggled with his sexuality since he was 12 years old. The clip has since garnered more than 11.7 million views. Read more here
  • 5 Joey Graceffa: Yes, I'm Gay
    On May 16, 2015, the YouTube star released a music video for "Don't Wait," which showed him traipsing through a medieval forest before meeting a handsome prince of his own. Two days later, he opened up about his sexuality in detail in a nearly 12-minute video that's been viewed more than 7.9 million times. Read more here
  • 6 Juan Pablo Jaramillo: Coming Out
    In 2014, the Colombian YouTube personality broke fresh ground by coming out online in a nation where homosexuality is still taboo. The clip has been viewed more than 7.6 million times. Read more here
  • 7 Troye Sivan: Coming Out
    Aussie-born pop star Troye Sivan has become an LGBTQ icon in recent years. But before his "Blue Neighbourhood" album became a global smash, Sivan came out as gay in a 2013 video that has been viewed more than 7.6 million times. Read more here.
  • 8 Melina Sophie: Coming Out
    In 2015, German social media personality Melina Sophie came out to her 1.8 million YouTube subscribers as lesbian. The clip has since received more than 5.5 million views.
  • 9 Coming Out & Dad's Shocking Confession
    In 2016, popular YouTuber RiyadhK released a video featuring his parents opening up about their reactions to him coming out. His father, Sam, made a shocking revelation, but his mother said the experience brought the family closer together in hindsight. The clip has since received more than 4.2 million views. Read more here
  • 10 Coming Out Gay To My 5-Year-Old Brother
    In July, vlogger Oliver Potter, 20, came out to his 5-year-old brother, Alfie, before discussing the concept of love. The clip has since received more than 3.8 million views. Read more here

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