I Is for It Gets Better: #10YearsofYouTube

May 10, 2015

So far during this birthday celebration we’ve danced, sang, and laughed our way through trickshots, dance covers, and mischievous animal videos.

And now, it’s through the inspiring, impassioned, incredible letter “I” that we pay special homage to all those who’ve shown us that the game of life can and does change. From moms to presidents, to all those that have shared their personal stories so bravely and so proudly, this post is dedicated to the millions of you who helped spread the word that “It Gets Better.”

Over the last five years, the “It Gets Better” campaign - started by Dan Savage and his husband, Terry Miller in 2010 - has rallied individuals and organizations to take a stand in support of LGBT awareness and against LGBT bullying, and that has brought international attention to the cause - resulting in thousands of personal videos, including one from President Obama.

It also provided a foundation for the emergence and growth of another trend on YouTube: the coming out video. In the past decade, tens of thousands of "coming out" videos have been uploaded to our platform and watched by millions. This January, twin brothers Austin and Aaron Rhodes’ coming out to their father led to over 18 million views and an invitation from Ellen DeGeneres to appear on her show.

Coming out videos have also been uploaded by many of YouTube’s most prolific creators and famous faces - from Tyler Oakley to Troye Sivan to GigiGorgeous to Olympic athlete Tom Daley. Some, such as Hannah Hart and Ashley Mardell, have even created entire web series around their coming out process and the topic of gender identity.

As a genre, coming out videos have not only provided support to the LGBT community, but educated viewers around the world as well.

These brave voices have, for many, provided a personal reason to care about the issues of bullying, sexism, and the LGBT community and put a face (or thousands) to these critical concerns. So today, we say “thank you” to all the gamechangers who helped us see that it really can, and does, get better - and how much better it can still get: