2015 has been a big year for YouTube’s queer vlogging sensations, with bestselling memoirs, hit reality shows, singles, and brand endorsements all built on the power of having millions of followers. Meet the top LGBT vloggers of the moment!
Tyler Oakley (26)
7.6 million subscribers
Oakley is a bona fide YouTube activist for LGBT rights and the prevention of suicide among LGBT youth. He attributes his success only in part with his accessibility as a young gay man, saying, “It’s not all about me being gay. It’s kind of like an underlying theme for me [with gay life] sprinkled throughout the videos.” In 2014 Oakley began a live tour, Tyler Oakley’s Slumber Party, which sold out in 72 hours. His first book, a collection of essays entitled Binge, is published this month.
Shane Dawson (27)
6.9 million subscribers
Dawson, who has the 79th most subscribed YouTube channel, came out as bisexual in July. Along with himself on a personal level, his videos feature his own comedy characters and celebrity impressions. He’s had a successful music career and directed and starred in the 2014 film, Not Cool, which was a critical flop but a box office success. His memoir, I Hate Myselfie: A Collection of Essays, was published in July and went straight to number one in Barnes & Noble’s bestseller list.
Connor Franta (23)
4.9 million subscribers
On December 8, 2014, Franta publicly came out as gay in a YouTube video, stating he has accepted who he is and is “happy with that person”. This six-minute long video, titled Coming Out, has over 9.3 million views and 868 thousand likes, being the second most viewed video on Franta’s channel. His debut book, a memoir, A Work in Progress, published in April this year, spent 16 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
Joey Graceffa (24)
4.3 million subscribers
Graceffa came out on YouTube in May this year, saying “there was a lot of hesitation to come out online because of growing up in my town [Marlborough, Massachusetts]. It wasn’t acceptable to be gay; it was looked down upon.”
He then released the song ‘Don’t Wait’, with a music video featuring himself dressed as a prince, kissing his male co-star. The video currently has 12.4 million views. His book, In Real Life, also released in May, went straight to number one on Amazon.
Ingrid Nilsen (26)
3.8 million subscribers
Nilsen has been vlogging mostly about fashion and make-up since 2009, when she posted her first video as an effort to overcome her fear of public speaking. She came out in June this year, and in September revealed that she’s in a relationship with fellow YouTuber, Hannah Hart. Nilsen is the first YouTube personality to represent a brand, the CoverGirl make-up line. She has made the transition into TV, becoming a judge on Project Runway: Threads.
3.6 million subscribers
Sivan came out in August 2013 through a video on his YouTube channel, which has served as a basis for a hyper-successful career in music and acting. He played young James Howlett in the X-Men film X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), and most recently has starred in the Spud film trilogy. His first EP, TRYXE, debuted at No.5 in America a week after its release in 2014. His first full-length album, Blue Neighborhood, is released this month.
Hannah Hart (29)
2.3 million subscribers
Hart came to prominence on YouTube with My Drunk Kitchen, a weekly series in which she cooks something while drunk. She runs a second YouTube channel where she talks about life in general and gives her opinions on various topics. She co-produced and starred in the independent comedy film Camp Takota, released in 2014. She wrote a parody cookbook which was a New York Times bestseller for five weeks last year.
Gigi Gorgeous (23)
1.8 million followers
With her Barbie-esque looks and super-upbeat videos, Gigi Gorgeous has become YouTube’s most successful trans vlogger. Her videos started out as a creative outlet during her Catholic high school days in Canada, where she documented her transition process from male to female (“Initially, I was thinking this is going to be a walk in the park. That was not the case at all. It was probably one of the most painful things I have ever been through,” she said in a video about her breast augmentation). She now splits her time between LA and Toronto and has become a full-fledged career YouTube beauty-and-makeup guru, landing a partnership deal with major beauty brand Too Faced.
Todrick Hall (30)
1.8 million subscribers
Hall first came to attention on American Idol in 2010, where he made it to the semi-finals. He then moved to YouTube, parodying everything from Mean Girls (‘Mean Gurlz’) to Chicago’s ‘Cell Block Tango’ (‘Cell Block Django’, starring Mariah Carey and Beyoncé lookalikes). His MTV reality show, Todrick, is currently a hit MTV show. He was featured in Forbes Top 30 under 30 in the Hollywood category in 2014.
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