YouTube, after the U.S. Supreme Court decision Friday legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, touted its role as a catalyst for the LGBT community over the last few years — with equally enthusiastic responses from some of the site’s biggest stars.
The Google-owned site posted a video montage that includes gay YouTubers’ stories with the hashtag #ProudToLove, patting itself on the back as being a home for LGBT creators to connect.
“YouTube has given creators like Tyler Oakley and Jazz Jennings, to entertainers like Ellen DeGeneres and Todrick Hall, a platform to entertain and inspire, while raising LGBT awareness in society as a whole,” it wrote in a blog post. “Thanks to creators and fans alike, YouTube has become a home to coming-out videos and transitioning videos, a place where people can share advice, find a community, or encourage activism.”
YouTube isn’t completely overstating its case. For example, in 2010, the #ItGetsBetter meme took off after gay activist-writer Dan Savage posted a YouTube video reassuring gay teens being bullied or harassed that things will improve.
The site’s biggest gay stars reacted with digital applause at the Supreme Court ruling — although immediately, they are taking to Twitter to voice their delight.
“OMG! What a beautiful freaking day! Same-sex marriage now legal in all 50 states… ABOUT DAMN TIME! #Equality,” tweeted Joey Graceffa, who has 4.9 million YouTube followers. The 24-year-old vlogger in May announced he was gay in a coming-out video, something he said he has been considering for two years. The video was timed to promo his recently released book, “In Real Life.”
Tyler Oakley — a top YouTuber who came out when he was 14, before the video site even existed — also weighed in on Twitter: “I’ll never forget today. thinking of all the incredible LGBTQ+ icons who paved the way.”
Oakley, with 7 million YouTube fans, has used the video site and other social channels to raise money for the Trevor Project suicide-prevention organization. In March he reached his $500,000 fundraising goal for 2015, becoming the org’s largest single contributor.