On January 13th 2013, Semi-finalist of BBC one's Young Apprentice and documentary maker, Harry Hitchens released his own coming out video simple titled called I'm Gay. He explained to Attitude Magazine that he had watched others making coming out videos and releasing them on YouTube, which had helped him come out. Afterwards Harry had himself been inspired to create his own. "The reason I made it was because of all the coming out videos that helped me. I'd watch them over and over again thinking about how they [the guys] were all doing. And that's why I made it, because those were so helpful for me, and after I came out I was almost angry with myself, because I was like 'This is fine! Everyone is fine with it! Why was I such an idiot to keep it in for so long!'"
Later in the year on August 10th 2013, a young actor, singer and YouTube from a different part of the world did the same thing. In Australia, Troye Sivan released his own Coming Out video onto YouTube. In the video, Troye said, "It feels kind of weird to have to announce it like this on the internet, but I feel like a lot of your guys, are like real, genuine friends of mine and I share everything with the internet. I share every aspect of my life with the internet… This is not something I am ashamed of… so why not share it with you guys."
Search "Coming out" into YouTube's' search bar and you get a long list of videos, which are either people telling their stories, coming out on camera live, or a video about a celebrity coming out. There is a possibility that Tom Daley and others like Harry Hitchens have been inspired by normal people coming out on YouTube, rather than #Celebrities influencing how others come out.
Another YouTuber from America, Tyler Oakley created a video with fellow YouTubers, Jack and Finn Harris to teach them about slang used in gay community. Tyler creates videos discussing issues that affect the gay community amongst other issues on his YouTube channel Tyler Oakley. Tyler created two videos. The first discussed what slang used in the LGBTQ community meant. He described words like twink (which describes a young, attractive gay man) and bear (a large, hairy gay man).
In the second video, which is a bonus extra of the first, Tyler talked about the gay idols of the LGBTQ community. These include singers like Cher and Lady Gaga. Tyler said, "So in the gay community, we have a lot of icons like Cher and Celine and Beyoncé and Lady Gaga. All these powerful women in music… Most people in the gay community have their one."
GMFA (Gay Men Fighting AIDS) is a gay men's health charity and in their magazine, Fit and Sexy (FS) Magazine, blogger Richard Patrick discusses the nature of gay icons. He starts out writing, "Change has always been at the heart of the gay rights movement whether it's political, societal or personal. But as the push for equality skips tentatively down the path of progression, subtle shifts are occurring in the blueprints of LGBT culture. With young gay people growing up with an equal age of consent, protection against workplace discrimination and the ability to marry one another, their role in society is bound to be significantly different from those who came before them. As such, their selection of heroes, role models and icons could be changing too."
Talking about the new icons for the community, he notes that some gay icons are swapping hard-edged political activism for a more casual and direct approach to declaring their sexuality. He cites the examples of how Michael Sam, the first openly gay player in America's National Football League kissed his boyfriend in the full glare of national #Television, while Olympic swimmer Tom Daley used an online video to come out.
Kirk said, "I don't like the idea of them…I don't like the idea that there are icons that are meant to represent entire communities. I'm not a fan of Lady Gaga, or Beyoncé. I don't like their music. They don't represent me."
Kirk believes that gay icons are no longer needed and that people should have their own personal idols. "I don't have idols because they are gay or are related to the gay community. My idols stand for things bigger than that."
Read More on Part 3