Out on YouTube: Queer Youths and Coming Out Videos in Asia and America

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Coming out videos have become an increasingly popular genre on social media among queer youths and YouTube celebrities, and a few most popular ones have generated tens of millions of views combined that have also caught wide public attention from traditional mass media. This paper considers and compares two (sets of) coming out videos on YouTube from the Rhodes brothers in the United States and the Huang brothers in Taiwan that both became landmark social media and mass media events. It questions the normative narrative of coming out and the uneven flows of youth cultures and celebrity cultures online, where the visibility of certain social groups has masked the invisibility of other marginalized people. The critique extends to the “YouTube celebrity economy” and video-based female queer fandom, as well as the parents’ responses and reactions to their children’s coming out that have been recorded on video—an important part of coming out that is often overlooked in queer studies and youth studies. This paper offers a unique lens that connects online stardom and fandom to parental responses to coming out, shedding further light on global youth cultures, YouTube economy and queer celebrities, and parent-youth relations in Asia and America.

Wei, J. (2021, July 8). Out on YouTube: Queer Youths and Coming Out Videos in Asia and America. https://doi.org/10.1080/14680777.2021.1950797

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