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Tyler Oakley is a YouTube vlogger and online activist best known for his advocacy for the LGBT community and humorous commentaries on popular culture and social media. He was also a member of the YouTube channel Five Awesome Gays that ran from 2008 to 2011.
Oakley created his YouTube channel on September 18th, 2007 and uploaded his first public video on October 1st, shortly after enrolling as a freshman at Michigan State University (shown below, left). Throughout 2007, Oakley quickly rose to prominence and by February 2008, he had become an official partner of YouTube. From 2007 to 2011, he ran a weekly monologue series every Friday as a member of the collaborative YouTube channel Five Awesome Gays.
On July 5th, 2010, Oakley uploaded his first breakout video titled “HOW TO: Be A Bad Bitch,” in which he is seen lip-dubbing to “Iggy Bitty Piggy” by Nicki Minaj. As of January 2014, the video has received more than 2.2 million views and even spawned a number of GIFs excerpted from the video on Tumblr. On September 21st, 2012, Oakley uploaded an episode titled “Twin Twinks Learn Gay Slang,” which has garnered over 5.1 million views and is the most viewed episode on his YouTube channel to date.
Beyond running his own YouTube channel, Oakley has been co-hosting Popsugar’s pop culture digest program Top That since March 29th, 2013.
Social Media Presence
As of January 2014., Oakley has over 1.8 million followers on Twitter , over 1.3 million followers on Instagram and 860,000 likes on his Facebook page. Oakley is credited with starting the Chocolate Bird meme when he posted a photo set of a bird walking into a chocolate fountain on his Tumblr blog.
Oakley is a vocal supporter of The Trevor Project, an organization that works to prevent LGBT youth from committing suicide, where he worked as an intern. For his 24th birthday in March 2013, he asked his friends, family, and fans to donate money to the organization instead of buying him birthday presents. He raised over $28,000. Oakley also hosted a livestream from the red carpet during the 2011 Trevor Live benefit.
On August 10th, 2014, Oakley won the 2014 Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star (male). While accepting the award during the show, which was televised on Fox, Oakley thanked “Team Internet” referring to the online and YouTube community at large. Within 24 hours the hashtag #teaminternet was tweeted out over 73,000 times.
Oakley also won the 2014 Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Collaboration with fellow vlogger Troye Sivan.
As of January 2014, his YouTube channel has published more than 200 episodes and garnered more than 3.4 million subscribers and 86 million total views. Oakley’s works range from traditional op-ed monologues to “how-to” instructions and participatory “challenge” videos, in addition to live coverage of conference events like Vidcon and interviews with well-known vloggers, including Shane Dawson, Troye Sivan, and Mamrie Hart, among many others.
Tyler Oakley was born on March 22nd, 1989. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2011.
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