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Out100 2014

Readers' Choice Award Nomination: Tyler Oakley

Readers' Choice Award Nomination: Tyler Oakley


YouTube stars like him may be creating the LGBT persona many Americans discover first

With over 2 million followers on Twitter and counting, Oakley is a legitimate member of the Internet celebrity army that is shaping American culture in ways that Hollywood and mainstream outlets could only dream about. Thanks to his popular YouTube videos and obsession with pop culture, he's built a massive following hungry for viral content, but he says it's particularly "mind-blowing" getting messages stating that he was the first "gay person" some people ever saw.

"To have that kind of potential of influence is kind of like awakening," the 25-year-old told The Advocate this summer, "because this experience that they're having watching me could be really detrimental or really good for how they view the gay community or what the gay community can do."

Although he's aware of his power to influence, he says it's not just about him being gay. "If there's one thing that I could have everyone know, it's that I'm just trying to be my best person, and that in no way do I think that I am 'the voice' of anything, that I'm just trying to be a voice and show people that they can also be a voice."

VOTE for 2014 Out100 Readers' Choice Award Winner. Presented by Buick.

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