Ingrid Nilsen, Joey Graceffa And More Kickass YouTubers Who Came Out Online
Online stars speaking up.
Coming out can be difficult – sharing your sexuality or gender identity with the people you love is a huge and scary step to take. But what happens if you’re a YouTube star, and you find yourself with millions more people to tell?
These YouTubers all spoke up. They showed their true selves to their fans, not knowing what the response would be, and we think that deserves some serious credit.
Every single one of these vloggers have proved that love always outweighs hate – they may have all received a few nasty comments, but the millions of views, likes, comments and messages prove that the YouTube community is a place of support.
They’re just a few of the many, many brave people sharing their stories on YouTube, so we’re celebrating everyone who’s living their lives with #nofilter.
“I am doing this. I guess I am just going to get right to it. There is something that I want you to know - and that something is, I'm gay,” Ingrid announced on her channel last year.
Breaking down in happy-tears (along with everybody watching) Ingrid went on to say, “It feels so good to say that. It feels so good,” before admitting that she’s been “waiting for this for a long time”. It was totally inspiring and now has 15 million views, as well as countless comments from fans congratulating and thanking Ingrid for speaking so openly to so many people.
Three years to the day after telling his family he was gay, Australian singer and vlogger Troye Sivan came out to his millions of subscribers via video. Troye explained that, “"It feels kind of weird to have to announce it like this on the Internet, but I feel like a lot of you guys are like real, genuine friends of mine.”
Troye also credited the “brave, brave people” he’d seen posting coming out videos for giving him the confidence to open up to his own fans. It wasn’t long before #WeAreProudOfYouTroye was trending worldwide.
“I’m not scared about dislikes or the hate that might show up in the comments… I’m more afraid about what my family is going to say.”
Vanessa from Simplynessa15 told her fans that she’s bisexual in excellently titled video ‘I like girls too’. Obviously nervous and emotional, Vanessa explained that she’s never been ready to share her entire life with her viewers until now. “I just want everybody to know that it is ok to be different; it is ok to love who you want to love and not be afraid,” she said.
Connor decided to open up about his sexuality on his YouTube channel in December 2014. The (then) 22-year-old explained that he’d decided that “2014 is truly the year that I have accepted who I am and become happy with that person.”
With nearly 4 million subscribers (at the time), Connor shared his advice to any of them who might be struggling with the same decision, saying, “You are who you are and you should love that person.”
This was a seriously emotional one. Irish YouTuber Riyadh K has been openly gay for a few years now, but he wanted to share how he told his parents with his loyal fans. Although Riyadh felt comfortable to come out to his mother, he was worried about how his dad would react – Riyadh’s dad, Sam, was “brought up in Iraq with a completely different culture that can sometimes be a little bit close-minded”.
Riyadh confessed he was too nervous to even say the words out loud, and instead chose to write it all down on paper. The aftermath of the news was “tough”, but the family have patched it up and are now closer than ever.
We now know and love her as YouTube super babe Gigi Gorgeous, but waaay back in 2010, Gigi (still posting vids as Gregory at the time) told her fans how she’d come out as a gay man. Or not – she’d never really had a big ‘coming out’ moment.
Cut to 2013, and Gigi came out as a transgender woman in a raw, completely honest vlog. “I am human just like you guys,” she said. “I want to be female… I finally feel at home and at peace with the person I am now.” The comments were overwhelmingly supportive and loving, and we think Gigi’s amazing for sharing her transition with her viewers.
Joey came out in two different videos, because why the hell not. First up he released a music video called ‘Don’t Wait’ which ended with him kissing another man, and two days later he followed up with a heartfelt vlog called ‘YES I’M GAY’.
“That’s who I am, and I’m not going to hide that anymore,” he told his viewers. The two vids have now racked up a mega 30 million views between them. Yes, Joey.
After feeling like he didn’t have a voice online, Damilola gathered four of his mates and headed to YouTube. Along with pals Kevin Kwame, Junior Joye, and Tochi Nwozuzu, Damilola wants to break down stereotypes of gay men, and boost the profile of black and minority ethnic LGBT people in the public eye.
Their ‘Coming Out – Gay Africans Telling Their Truth’ vid sees them all telling their very different stories (and the very different responses from people they told). It’s a must watch.
Olympic diver Tom Daley decided to speak up about his sexuality on YouTube in 2013 after starting a relationship with now fiancé Dustin Lance Black. “My life changed massively when I met someone,” he explained, “It felt right. My whole world just changed, right then and there”.
Tom is now an ambassador for LGBT helpline switchboard, and said after opening up that he “couldn’t be happier.”
The Rhodes Bros
Huge props to the Rhodes Bros. Twins Aaron and Austin came out to their entire family except their dad, so decided to film the phone call where they finally told him that they’re both gay.
Their dad reacted perfectly, telling them he loved them and reminding them that they are normal and perfect as they are, and has since said, ““Now we can talk about anything. I was very proud of my boys.” The vid blew up and now has a whopping 22 MILLION VIEWS. Gorgeous story.
She’s not always drunk cooking or starring in actual movies (legit so excited for Electra Woman & Dyna Girl). Hannah’s also providing real, valuable support and advice for her massive fan-base.
She shared a seven part video series on coming out, where she doesn’t just tell her coming out story but also explains what happened afterwards, covering everything from being attracted to straight people to gay marriage.