Since 2007, Tyler Oakley has been a YouTube sensation at the forefront of gay politics and culture. He has earned over 7 million subscribers on his channel and in 2014, he won a Teen Choice Award for Most Popular Male Web Star in 2014.
Much of Oakley’s activism has been dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth, LGBT rights, as well as social issues including health care, education, and the prevention of suicide among LGBT youth.
Oakley was the host of The Tyler Oakley Show, which aired weekly on Ellen DeGeneres’ ellentube platform. He was named one of Forbes’ 2017 “30 under 30”.
He is known for being able to grab the attention of celebrities through his expert use of social media.
This is how he was given the opportunity to meet U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. And he also did a video with First Lady Michelle Obama talking about education issues.
Oakley attributes his success only in part to his accessibility as a young gay man. “It’s not all about me being gay. It’s kind of like an underlying theme for me [with gay life] sprinkled throughout the videos.”
Oakley is a supporter of The Trevor Project, an organization for the prevention of suicide among LGBT youth. He interned with them in 2009, and since 2011 has co-hosted TrevorLIVE, the charity’s annual red carpet event. In 2013 he raised $29,000 for his birthday in support of the Trevor Project having aimed to raise $24,000 (because it was his 24th birthday). In 2014, he raised $525,704 in a similar event, and in 2015 he raised $532,224.
Oakley, alongside best friend Korey Kuhl, competed in the 28th season of The Amazing Race, which aired in 2016. They finished in 3rd place. The pair also participated in the 31st season of the show, which began airing on April 17, 2019.
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