“Girls like girls like boys do, it’s nothing new~”

If I remember correctly, the first LGBT song I ever heard was by t.A.T.u. All the Things She Said was actually really popular back in, like, the 2000s which is kind of ironic because of the controversy it struck. In fact, there were moves to ban the video world wide. It actually took me awhile to figure out what they were singing about, because I thought the lyrics were ‘all the things you said’ (heteronormativity, whuddup). I’m pretty sure the video put it into perspective and then I was like. Oh shit, cool!

And I’m all mixed up, feeling cornered and rushed
They say it’s my fault, but I want her so much
Want to fly her away, where the sun and rain
Come in over my face, wash away all the shame
When they stop and stare – don’t worry me
‘Cause I’m feeling for her, what she’s feeling for me
I can try to pretend, I can try to forget
But it’s driving me mad, going out of my head

All The Things She Said (video)

Since their glory days there’s been some controversy surrounding – well, Yuliya Volkova and some pretty homophobic comments she made in 2014, but this song is still the first one I ever heard with female on female pronouns, and the first video I ever saw with female kisses, and it’ll always have a spot in my heart. I also always really loved All About Us, even though it’s more subtle gay. Can you guys believe these girls are Russian? I know, mind blown.

After that I mostly spent a lot of my time digging up any LGBT-esque song I could find on youtube. I don’t remember coming across much, which could have been a sign of the times or a sign of my skill when it comes for searching for things. I do remember seeing that a lot of things were queerer than I had though, like Christina Aguilera’s Beautiful (2002), or a few music videos that were gayer than the lyrics suggested (Like Avicii’s Addicted To You).

But besides the point, here’s a small breakdown over the years:

I Kissed a Girl – Katy Perry (2008)
Fever – Adam Lambert (2009)
Do it Like a Dude – Jessie J (2010)
Born This Way – Lady Gaga (2011)
Same Love – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (2012)
Girls/Girls/Boys – Panic! At the Disco (2013)
She Keeps Me Warm – Mary Lambert (2014)
All American Boy – Steve Grand (2015)
Son of a Preacher Man – Tom Goss (2016)

But wait, Charlotte, isn’t this challenge supposed to be about things that inspired you? Well, yes, technically, I guess. You guys don’t want to just listen to me ramble? I suppose that’s fair.

Alright, so listen, I have a lot of love for Hayley Kiyoko.

“Tell me something nobody knows about you, something you are afraid to sing about?”
I immediately thought, well I like girls and that’s what I want to sing about, but even then I struggled to say it out loud. – Paper Magazine.

She’s beautiful, she’s talented, but what she said that really inspired me personally, was this:

“Most of the time, you become confident after years of struggling during your young adulthood. I want to encourage the youth to find that confidence now. Not later. For them to know their own self-worth at an earlier age.” . – Paper Magazine.

Hayley’s 25 years old and she’s doing her best to be herself and be a role model at the same time. Her confidence to not only come out, but to do so publicly, to stake her career on that, is honestly breath taking. I adore her music. I’m living for the message she’s sending. If you do nothing else, watch the video I paste below. It’s very relatable.

I also really suggest Cliff’s Edge and Gravel to Tempo and Sleepover.

 

And that brings us to Troye Sivan.


Some people were lucky enough to know Troye from youtube before he was famous, I wasn’t. I found him after hearing him on the radio for the first time. Actually, originally I wasn’t much of a fan, his music wasn’t really my type. But the longer I listened, the more I liked it, and the longer I really listened, the more I fell in love with him.

I adore Troye Sivan for a handful of reasons: he’s cute, he’s hysterical, he makes music that’s important to him, he’s an activist, and he made sure to come out before he got signed so that no one could make him stay in the closet. On youtube, the way youtubers do, for the rest of us to see.

“This is not something that I’m ashamed of,” he said, “and it’s not something that anyone should have to be ashamed of.” – Out Magazine

I have a lot of love for Troye and his ability to do what he loves, have fun with it, and have it matter. This boy is important, and he’s going places. Check out his GLAAD Media Award speech if you’re interested. If you haven’t watched any of his music videos, I suggest starting with the Blue Neighborhood trilogy, and then watching Heaven if you feel like crying. It’s powerful.

part two part three

I was going to stop there but you know what these are all a little sad so, have the remix of Wild because it’s honestly just warm fuzzy feelings and I adore it

Also, I saw this boy in concert and I’m pretty sure it killed me. I’ll never be over it.

 

Alright that’s all for now guys,

Peace!

-Char

Everyday is a Gay Day

Back in the day I only used Youtube to watch anime and the occasional music video (and by music video I mean mostly t.A.T.u’s stuff but we can talk about them later), but at some point I got a tumblr and one gif changed my world. I remember which one it was too~

I just thought that it was like? Really cute? And then somewhere in the list of notes was a link to the video it came from [x]. This started a low-key obsession, and I say ‘low key’ only because it wasn’t, like, creepy. At this point in my life I wasn’t in the best place mentally/emotionally. To put it simply, I was struggling. With living, with where the future was going to take me, with my sexuality. There were very few things then that made me happy.

I was late enough to Mark’s channel that there was at least a years worth of videos, so I could watch them daily. He and his boyfriend, Ethan, start off each and every one with: “Good morning, good morning! Today’s gonna be a great day and do you know why?! Because everyday is a great day.” (They actually make merch of it now and honestly I need it so bad.) There was something about hearing that every day, about watching Mark’s unending enthusiasm, that really did a lot for my morale. Eventually even I began to think ‘everyday is a great day’.

Mark’s Coming Out Story was the first one I ever watched, and then I was all over Youtube, going through as many as I could. I think a lot of us tend to do that though, right? To figure out how other people did it, how their loved one’s reacted. Asking questions like ‘is it worth it?’ and ‘will I be okay?’. A lot of them actually blur together now, I can’t tell you many individual stories, except for maybe Troye Sivan’s (we’ll talk about him later too), and Ethan Hethcote’s. (Yes, he’s Mark’s boyfriend. Yes, these two mean a lot to me okay).

While Mark was the one I flocked to for a mood boost, it was Ethan that I immediately related to. In his video he talks about how he figured out he was gay young, but that it scared him, so he told himself he was straight.  (“Hid myself deeper under the clothes in my closet.”) If I remember correctly, he grew up in a small town, around farms and conservative people where no one was Out. I instantly saw myself in his story. Ethan was lucky enough to have an accepting family, although his father wasn’t quite on board in the beginning. But, he came around, and that meant a lot to me. To know that it was possible for someone to change their minds.

I could talk about these guys forever, but I think I’ll stop here. I’ll leave you with some links~

 

And then, of course, there’s Tyler Oakley.

I feel like there’s probably a better gif to satisfy my needs but I made my decision so now I must stick with it. Also I miss his lilac hair? Honestly what a cool color?

Anyone who follows me on Social Media knows I loooove Tyler Oakley.  I just think he’s honestly a good person, and I love that he uses his platform to talk about activism, especially with LGBT Youth and suicide rates and just the community in general. I love that he talks about things that are important to him and that he supports numerous charities. He’s just one of my favorite people.

Tyler has like 10 years worth of videos so lord knows I haven’t watched them all, but I am trying. Mostly I just dig into his life as a source of entertainment, I wish I remembered the first video of his that I watched, but unfortunately I don’t. I’m pretty sure it was a collab with someone else though, and I found him so funny that I fell into his channel. So what is it about Tyler that really resonates with me?

His mantra to be his most authentic self, and for us to do the same. (“The time to be your most authentic self is now.”)

Without getting too personal, I feel like authenticity is something that I’ve always struggled with. There were contributing factors to this issue while I was growing up.  Things that made me feel like I had to keep even the tiniest detail about myself hidden and protected. (I had a really good childhood, it was just a complicated situation). And then of course there were years worth of sitting in a closet. While I wouldn’t say that I was a liar, I wasn’t a truther either. I molded myself and my personality to the situations around me. At some point I lost my self of sense. I couldn’t even tell you who I was, because I was whoever I needed to be at any given time. It was a mess, honestly.

So something about Tyler drew me in. Something about how he’s unapologetically himself,  how he’s made a career out of what he loves to do, how he’s happy.  At some point, he became my role model, and he’s helped me strive to always be true, not only to myself, but to other’s too. It’s a message I want to live through.

If you haven’t ever watched a Tyler Oakley video, I encourage you to. This year for Pride Month he did a series called ‘Chosen Family’ and I think it’s as good as any place to start.

 

The thing about Youtubers that I fell in love with is the same as Ellen – they’re real, and these guys even moreso, because all they’re doing is filming their everyday lives and sharing it with the rest of us. They’re non Hollywoodized accounts of what it’s like to be gay. Representation matters, and lgbt youtubers are providing that representation in real life in real time. They’re also part of the reason why I write uplifting stories. Besides the fact that I got tired of how lgbt people are generally portrayed – I get a lot of joy out of watching youtubers, they make my day better. They make me feel better about who I am, and show that any little thing can make a difference. I hope to be one of those good things for someone.

So while I watch many youtubers, these are the two that have inspired me the most.

All the best,

Char