Connor Franta has been incredibly open about his life by posting on YouTube, both on his channel and formerly as part of the supergroup Our2ndLife, Now he’s increased that openness, telling his 3.6 million subscribers that he’s gay.
Franta spent many years denying his sexuality, even going as far as titling videos back in 2011 as “I’m Not Gay.” However, in the new video, Franta explains that he started to consider the possibly he might be gay in the seventh grade, but that in the past year he was finally able to speak his sexuality out loud. He closes the video tearing up, saying “I don’t want anyone to be afraid; I don’t want anyone holding back who they are.”
Franta is not alone in the YouTuber community for turning to his channel to share his sexuality with a wider audience. In 2013 Australian vlogger Troye Sivan came out in a video that garnered more than 4.4 million views. Like Franta, Sivan said he also told family and friends in person before finally turning to his massive audience and telling them as well.
It’s something of a rite of passage for LGBTQ YouTubers to make a declaration on their channels, be it a formal coming out video or, for vloggers who’ve been out since they joined the site, videos that recap their coming-out experiences. And that openness translates to fans. Some of YouTube’s biggest vlogging stars like Tyler Oakley, Hannah Hart, and Kingsley are all members of the LGBTQ community.
In reaction to Franta’s declaration, much of the YouTube community is showing support, with some even joking that he’ll now be initiated into the “YouTube Gay Mafia.”
I'd like to welcome @ConnorFranta to YouTube's Gay Mafia. You'll love our meetings. We wear capes and have umbrella drinks…
— RJ Aguiar (@DamnItRJ) December 8, 2014
Good for you @ConnorFranta! :-)
— Michael Buckley (@HeyBuckHey) December 8, 2014
Love you @ConnorFranta <3 proud of you! you're one of the best people in my life and I love everything about you
— Ricky Dillon (@RickyPDillon) December 8, 2014
— Shane Dawson (@shanedawson) December 8, 2014
i am completely overwhelmed by all the kind, loving words pouring in right now – from the bottom of my heart & top of my soul, thank you <3
— connor (@connorfranta) December 8, 2014
Screengrab via Connor Franta / YouTube