I, for one, have a serene addiction to YouTube. Having watched a sufficient amount of ‘Coming Out’ videos and having have followed a fair number of queer YouTubers for an equally, fairly long time, I shan’t take a second more than I should to declare that the accumulation of LGBT+ identifying individuals within the YouTube community and the obvious Television, Film and Music Industry has aided greatly toward forming within me the courage to come out and embrace my individuality. It’s only fair I express my gratitude to them by sharing with y’all some of the most prominent queer individuals, particularly in the YouTube + Music scene.
1. Troye Sivan
Troye Sivan can, most efficiently, be deemed the most influential queer individual in the YouTube+music scene. With over 3 million subscribers and 179 million views on YouTube, along with 30,000 sales of his debut EP – titled ‘TRXYE’ – within the first three days of its launch in the States, Troye, individually, is a dominating, highly known and loved brand, especially amongst the millennials. Troye was 15 when he first shared with his family he was gay. Publicly, he came out to his YouTube audience, in particular, on 7 August, 2013. His ‘Coming Out’ video was received with immense kindness and acceptance and, as of 6 June, 2015, has been viewed over 5.4 million times.
2. Adam Lambert
Anyone who’s been a follower of American Idol will be, or rather should be familiar with Adam Lambert. He was a runner-up in the eighth season of the singing-competition series and his debut studio album, titled ‘For Your Entertainment’, sold over 198,000 copies within the first week of its launch. Following the release of his second studio album, titled ‘Tresspassing’, in May of 2012, Adam became the first openly gay artist to top the Billboard Digital Album Charts, as well as the Canadian Digital Album Charts.
3. Sam Smith
Oh, the beautiful narration and composition of Stay With Me has deeply infected our minds, hasn’t it? The catchy, melancholic tune. The beautifully written, conscientiously moving lyrics. The heart-gripping honesty in Sam’s persona. These are all just a few aspects of the ever-lengthening list of attributes of Sam Smith and his work we love. His critically acclaimed debut album, titled ‘In The Lonely Hour’, debuted in late May of 2014. Chart-breaking singles such as ‘Stay With Me’ and ‘I’m Not The Only One’ fared the album colossally well, which, as of 2015, has sold over 5 million copies worldwide. He came out as gay in May of 2014, publicly recognizing his then-relationship with Jonathan Zeizel.
4. Chely Wright
Chely Wright is referred to as one of the very first majorly-acknowledged ‘Country’ artists to have publicly come out as gay. Appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in October of 2010, Chely shared: “Shortly after I’d told him (her father) that I am gay, he came to my house and I said ‘Dad, I want you to read a book.’ And I had read your mother’s (Ellen’s mother Betty DeGeneres’) book (‘Love, Ellen’), and I was fearful that I would never have a parent like your mother, and my dad is the biggest advocate, and my dad has amazed me, and my dad is walking in the footsteps of Betty DeGeneres.” In October of 2014, Chely created a Kickstarter campaign so as to accumulate funds to be able to financially aid her eighth studio album after an almost 4-year hiatus, raising $250,000 and making the campaign the most successful Kickstarter campaign in ‘Country Music’ and the sixth-most successful as a mere musical campaign.
5. Lady Gaga
Hail, Mother Monster! What many may be oblivious to is the fact that Lady Gaga identifies as bisexual. Following the release of her debut studio album, ‘The Fame’, which is deemed one of the “100 Greatest Debut Albums Of All-Time” by Rolling Stones, Gaga publicly shared that her chart-devouring song ‘Poker Face’ was about her bisexuality. She stands as one of the most blaring, outspoken and enthusiastic LGBT+ activists in the entire world. In an exclusive instance, the Universal Life Church Monastery ordained Lady Gaga as a minister so that she herself could officiate two of her longtime girl-friends’ wedding.
6. Joey Graceffa
Although he isn’t primarily known as a singer or musician, Joey is part of the rapidly rising community of YouTubers with over 4.5 million subscribers and 500 million views. On 16 May, 2015, he released a music video titled ‘Don’t Wait’, toward the end of which, he kissed his male co-star and admitted he was gay in the ending monologue. The video received swift recognition, garnering over a million views within the first day of its release, and Joey’s coming-out was met with overwhelming acceptance.
7. Conchita Wurst
Conchita Wurst is an Austrian singer and drag queen portrayed by Tom Neuwirth. Tom, who is openly gay, employs masculine pronouns when referring to himself, and feminine pronouns when referring to Conchita. Conchita, in the eye of international media, is called the “Queen of Austria”. Tom has, at multiple occasions, compared his portrayal of Conchita to Beyoncé’s alter ego, Sasha Fierce. Conchita, internationally, is recognized as a flamboyant gay icon, a title that, for her, has amounted to numerous invitations to an equally large amount of ‘Pride’ events around the world.
8. Miley Cyrus
The beloved Miley Cyrus who, through her Disney years, flamboyantly grounded herself as a household name has gone on to become a vociferous social activist in multiple facets. The more we could say – or write – about her, the lesser it would feel. Whilst many admirers of Miley find it hard to accept or even understand her evolved personality, what really needs to be accentuated is the good that she’s doing with the position she’s in; She is the founder of the Happy Hippie Foundation whose primary goal is to unite the youth, in particular, to “fight injustice-facing homeless youth, LGBTQ youth and other vulnerable populations.” In an exclusive interview with Paper Magazine, she shared she considers her sexual and gender identity fluid, saying “I don’t relate to being boy or girl, and I don’t have to have my partner relate to being boy or girl.”
What’s vitalizing is the fact that these happen to be just a few of the many, many individuals in the Music Industry who have contributed toward the de-stigmatization of the LGBT+ community, having courage to publicly embrace their individualities.