Teen celebrities and YouTube stars live more publicly than ever, wielding social media to tell the world their coming out stories. For my partner and I—neither of us particularly ancient—coming out was awkward and messy. For a rising generation of social media stars just a few years younger than us, it’s a polished production.
Coming out videos are one of the most popular genres of videos on YouTube. According to a report published on the YouTube Trends blog, there were over 36,000 videos on the platform as of last February, 9,600 of which had been posted within the last year. For some of the most popular vloggers, like Aaron and Austin Rhodes, the view counts are in the millions.
Last October, when YouTube star Trevor Moran came out as gay, he racked up a million views and generated a dozen headlines. Shane Dawson’s bisexual coming out video attracted 7,000,000 views and an official note of congratulations from the Human Rights Campaign. Ingrid Nilsen’s “Something I Want You to Know (Coming Out)” surpassed it with 13,000,000 views.