Tyler Oakley at Out Web Fest 2007.
Credit: Gabriel Olsen/ Getty Images

YouTube has gotten a lot of flack lately for some new policy problems, but luckily there are YouTubers like Tyler Oakley and Gigi Gorgeous there to look out for LGBT viewers. Recently, a “restricted mode” was introduced to YouTube, meant to weed out videos that may be NSFW, but instead it also hid videos that had any content that could connect to the LGBT community. This “restricted mode” has since been fixed, but the newest issue is YouTube’s attempt to be more advertiser-friendly. “Advertiser-friendly” content naturally favors mainstream content creators with lots of followers, and unfortunately, those popular mainstream creators are not often LGBT creators as there are many LGBT creators with small, but devoted subscriber lists. Which is ironic, because YouTube has always been the place for individuals to go when mainstream media does not reflect the diversity of real life. Now, YouTube might become just as singular as the mainstream.

YouTube, which has long been a haven for small-time creators, is being pushed by some of its more famous creators to really embrace diversity — after all, that’s where a lot of its core viewership found its footing on the website. At an event where he was being honored with an LGBT Vanguard award, Tyler Oakley opened up about the issue to TooFab at Out Web Fest.

YouTube has been a great place for people to connect, and find voices that reflect their experiences authentically, instead of the more processed, sanitized, and otherwise whitewashed (in every sense of the word) narratives that are often presented by mainstream media. Oakley went on to point out the value of these smaller media mavens.

We hope YouTube, Tyler Oakley, and other creators will continue to push for better representation in media.