Every community has role models. Martin Luther King is a role model for many civil rights groups and black communities around the world because of the role he played in the black civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s. The National Portrait Gallery held an exhibition titled "Gay Icons". On the NPG's website, talking about the exhibition is written, "The chosen icons, who may or may not be gay themselves, have all been important to each selector, having influenced their gay sensibilities or contributed to making them who they are today." However the gallery asked visitors to write down those who inspired them and selected ones were chosen for the exhibition's website. The entries range from President Barack Obama to Oscar Wilde to Ludwig Van Beethoven to "My Uncle Ray".
One entry didn't name anyone specific and instead said, "My Icon is anyone who dares to be true to themselves- gay or straight. Those who blaze their own path despite what others may think or say, let us praise them all for their courage."
YouTube has become a place where revealing your sexuality is common. Coming out videos are numerous on the video-sharing website and it appears the videos made by ordinary people are now helping #Celebrities come out.
In December 2013, Bronze winning Olympic diver, Tom Daley revealed he was in a relationship with a man. He revealed it in a video to his fans on Youtube. Speaking on ITV One's The Jonathan Ross Show a week later, Tom Daley said "I felt like there was something wrong with me… It felt like I have chains wrapped around me. I couldn't say anything. I couldn't be who I wanted to be."
And that video and what Tom said after was, according to Kirk what caused his friend to come out to his family. "He told me he watched Tom's video and had the courage to tell his parents. His mum didn't say much, but his Dad was hilarious and asked if he was doing it to be fashionable. I mean that's just ridiculous, but I guess that's the mind-set of some people." Kirk believes that if individuals like Tom Daley coming out helps others to find that courage to be honest about who they are and to come out, then it is a positive act.
Tom Daley told the August edition of Attitude Magazine about his video and being a role model, "I think I was aware it would be covered by the press and if the video helped anyone going through something similar, then that's great… I think anyone in the public eye is a role model to a certain extent. We all have them."
Joe Stone wrote in The Guardian that, "But Tom Daley's YouTube video, in which he reveals that he is in a relationship with another man, represents a new, more nuanced, way of coming out. It was a personal, heartfelt statement that said: my life has changed, I've met someone, I've fallen in love. Oh and it's a man." however using YouTube to come out has been used by many others, including other celebrities before Tom released his own.