Gay public figures – they come out so rarely that, when they do, the world could be forgiven for overreacting a little. There’s a culture of fear that permeates to this very day.
But a new breed of fearless gay spokesperson has been quietly growing online. A community of so-say ‘normal guys’, who, between them, reach a daily audience in the hundreds of millions.
Here, we count down seven of the loudest and most passionate gay voices making waves today – and the reasons why you need to follow them too. BAES.
7. Matthew Lush (and Nick Laws)
He may be a fresh-faced 26-year-old, but Californian-born Matthew Lush (above, right) is an old hand at Internet celebrity, having uploaded his first vlog onto YouTube almost eight years ago. His online fandom really took off when he hooked up with boyfriend Nick Laws (who himself has 123K followers) last year.
Together, this cute couple give a unique insight into their seemingly picture-perfect relationship on Twitter, Instagram and the like – and fans are hooked. Their adorable but surreal gay soap opera/docudrama took another interesting turn last week when Matt surprised Nick with a puppy as a Christmas present. Kids and marriage can’t be far behind…
6. Davey Wavey
His stage name alone (a nickname given to him by his parents during childhood) will be like nails on a blackboard to some – but personal trainer Davey Wavey’s potent brand of finely-honed exhibitionism has made him a star.
Recent videos such as ‘8 questions to ask before you send a dick pic’ demonstrate his long-standing and joyously filthy sense of humor, but Davey’s output has mellowed slightly over time. These days, his main focus is healthy living – he even has his own fitness website. And with his inarguably immense physique, he’s certainly a walking advert for it. Follow him on Twitter for genuinely insightful exercise tips, intriguing recipes and links to articles such as: ‘Do fruits and veggies make you happy?’ and ‘You are pooping wrong.’ Bless.
5. Miles Jai
Rising Twitter star and K-Pop obsessive Miles Jai his lived in Las Vegas since adolescence – and from his glitzy make-up, multicolored hair and perilous high heels to his fun-loving, give-a-f*** attitude, he wears his hometown on his sleeve. Or, rather, like a typically fabulous accessory.
As a role model for embracing your sexuality and gender, Miles’s clear expression is inspiring. ‘I identify as male,’ he said in vlog last year. ‘Not trans. Not gender-queer. Not as a woman – but male. I like being a he.’
4. Chris Crocker
A controversial choice? We think not. Chris Crocker has come a long way since his 2007 ‘LEAVE BRITNEY ALONE!’ YouTube video, when the then-teenager’s seemingly unhinged defense of the Piece Of Me singer went viral. The handsome star has since ditched the eyeliner and the peroxide blonde hair and has shape-shifted several times – from modeling for American Apparel to recording an album. However, these days he’s perhaps best-known for his forays into gay porn. On the subject of barebacking, he said earlier this year: ‘do as I say, not as I do […], I definitely tell all of my friends to be safe.’
The 27-year-old remains a polarizing figure in the gay community, possessing an intrinsic ability to shock. But love him or loathe him, you can’t deny he’s pretty fascinating (and unapologetically honest too, recently revealing he’s considering transitioning gender).
3. Connor Franta
The most interesting coming out story of 2014 was that of this heartbreakingly-cute, 22-year-old vlogger. Connor Franta made headlines around the world (including on this very website) when he revealed his sexuality in an intimate YouTube video, akin to Tom Daley’s now iconic upload. Connor’s has been viewed 5.8M times while Tom’s, released a year prior, has been viewed 11.3M.
Adored by his dedicated fan base, Connor also made news when he implored his followers to donate to The Thirst Project on his recent birthday – raising over $230,000 for charity. Absolutely incredible.
2. Troye Sivan
Ridiculously pretty wunderkind Troye Sivan is a force of cultural nature. As an actor he’s appeared in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the South African comedy Spud opposite John Cleese. As a musician he’s cracked the US Billboard top 5 with his debut EP TRXYE, released earlier this year. As a YouTube personality he’s amassed a reported 144M views. And on Twitter, he’s a young gay titan – case in point: he recently tweeted ‘Oh my GOD’ and got 2.4K retweets and 9.4K favorites.
That said, there’s far more to this 19-year-old’s Twitter game than ‘Oh my GOD’ – whether it’s adorable selfies, insights into his jet-setting lifestyle or astute reflections on life as a globally-famous gay teenager (his video on safe sex has been viewed over 1.2M times), we’re obsessed with everything he does. But mostly we’re just impressed by his sheer confidence. All eyes on this one for 2015.
1. Tyler Oakley
If we knew what made Tyler Oakley so special, we’d bottle it and sell it.
The delightful 25-year-old has charmed Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and beyond with his winning smile, infectious laugh, amazing hair and exuberant, youthful energy – that only multiplies the further into his 20s he gets. How does he do it? We’re guessing copious amounts of sugar.
A trailblazing Internet star, Tyler has recently been sidestepping social media and carving out a career for himself as a TV and radio presenter – even interviewing the likes of One Direction.
But his Twitter feed is the stuff of legend: a winning mix of pure inanity, wry pop culture commentary, self-help-style advice and witty banter with other Twitter stars, including his bae, the fabulous Miranda Sings. In fact, he and Miranda’s ‘Photo Booth Challenge’ video is one of 2014’s best (see above). If you don’t get why it’s laugh out loud hilarious…watch it again.