Note: The word “queer” will be used throughout this article as an all-encompassing term for LGBTQ+ individuals.
Coming out is one of the most difficult things a person can do. It takes immense courage and strength to make yourself vulnerable to all sorts of judgement, especially since it’s hard to know what to expect as a reaction. I am sure when one is in the public eye, it must be even harder to come out since being vulnerable to an audience of millions is probably as nerve-wracking as can be. However, it is essential that celebrities and public figures continue to be themselves and talk openly about their sexualities and genders so that society can continue to progress. If queer people see that their role models are brave enough to come out, it may encourage them to do the same. Also, many people struggle with their sexualities/gender identities and seeing that someone they look up to is just like them may help them to accept themselves. It is crucial that LGBTQ+ people are discussed in the media so that everyone can see that they are no different from anyone else. Seeing famous queer people begins to remove the stigma that LGBTQ+ individuals are “weird,” strange,” or “abnormal” in some way.
One of the largest groups of celebrities who have been coming out lately is YouTubers. I’m sure most people who are familiar with YouTube can name at least one person whose coming out video has inspired them or at least is aware of a queer YouTuber who has come out recently. Troye Sivan, Ingrid Nilsen, Shane Dawson, Joey Graceffa, Bria and Chrissy, Hannah Hart, Davey Wavey, and many more YouTubers have influenced an entire generation of people who will be shaping our future which will no doubt be a more progressive one. In this day and age there are more openly gay, bisexual, transgender, pansexual, asexual, gender fluid, and other queer people than ever before. I believe this is in no small part due to the influential LGBTQ+ people who have bared their souls to the internet and society. We constantly see YouTubers and other celebrities supporting each other with their coming out processes and being extremely accepting of others. This could potentially influence society to act in a similar manner. The media today looks at someone like Ellen Page or Caitlyn Jenner and says “here is a person who is not afraid to be themself.” Only five years ago, people may not even have even been able to come out for fear of their safety, their relationships, and judgement or ridicule. It is a miracle that queer people, young and old alike, can look up to someone who is like them and be excited that they are not alone. It can sometimes be difficult to find role models to look up to who are relatable. It is essential for queer people to find other queer people in order to not feel so alone. Especially in more conservative areas, if a person is LGBTQ+ they may find it difficult to seek out these people, and so being able to look up to a celebrity can prove to be extremely helpful. Every day more people come out of the closet and decide to be unabashedly and wholly themselves. We can only hope that our society will continue to progress, and someday a person’s sexuality will not define them; they will just be seen as another person.
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