Here's How The LGBT+ YouTube Community Responded To The Orlando Shooting
13 June 2016, 12:23
The second Orlando shooting in the space of two days has rocked the YouTube community once again - and devastated LGBTQ+ creators.
After the devastating murder of Christina Grimmie over the weekend, the YouTube community - and the rest of the world - had almost no time to mourn before being hit with yet another tragedy.
In the same city of Orlando, just a day later, 50 people were murdered and another 53 critically injured, in a mass shooting at gay nightclub Pulse.
Absolutely stunned and horrified to hear about the mass shooting in Orlando... Worried about my friends... Praying for everyone affected...— Thomas Sanders (@ThomasSanders) June 12, 2016
While the news has been repeatedly fudging the facts, speculating ISIS ties and erasing the victims' sexual identities, it's hard to argue that attacking a gay club on a Saturday night during Pride month wasn't deeply rooted in homophobia.
As a result, YouTube's LGBTQ+ community has been one of the most visibly shaken by what is being called "the largest mass shooting in US History".
One of the first to react to the tragedy in video form was UK-based YouTuber Calum McSwiggan, who posted a tearful vlog to his channel just hours after the news broke.
Trans beauty vlogger Gigi Gorgeous also weighed in with a vlog, admitting that she now feels scared during what is "supposed to be a time and a place of love and support".
The effects of being both a part of the LGBTQ+ and YouTube communities during this weekend has affected some a lot more than others.
Tyler Oakley expressed his genuine fears about being both a YouTuber and a gay person during this time - and as a result, postponed his scheduled book signing that day.
i want so badly to just be brave, but this weekend has made me so scared. meet & greets after a tour stop? gay bars during pride month?— Tyler Oakley (@tyleroakley) June 12, 2016
But fear hasn't stopped this community from taking action before now - and this most recent tragedy is no exception.
The events of Orlando have spurned on many creators to take action and join the cause of demanding better gun control across the United States.
We have done this together and together we can undo this. If you haven't before, take the time today: https://t.co/pnPoY5iIgL— Hannah Hart (@harto) June 12, 2016
RT to share
reminder that huffington post has made this guide on how to contact your reps. use it: https://t.co/n9fEBOeFIO— savannah brown (@savannxhb) June 13, 2016
Others have also been helping spread word and offer help in whatever way they can for the people injured in Pulse.
Me writing a tweet won't help the Pulse Victims but if you live in the Orlando area you can ❤️ pic.twitter.com/UffL1xDZND— Trent Owers (@trentowers) June 12, 2016
Here are the faces and names of those killed in Orlando. Crying in the back of a cab reading this https://t.co/k1glyirhju— Riyadh Khalaf (@RiyadhK) June 13, 2016
Meanwhile, in L.A, Pride was well underway.
Known as a city quite densely populated by YouTubers, Los Angeles' Pride celebrations have been taking place all weekend. Amidst threats yesterday that included the arrest of a man en route to LA Pride with firearms and explosive materials, LGBTQ+ creators such as Ingrid Nilsen and Kingsley still attended the event defiantly and proudly.
Still going. Pride strong. pic.twitter.com/bJ9ZQN8s1t— Ingrid Nilsen (@ingridnilsen) June 12, 2016
Absolutely nobody at #LAPRIDE has looked through my bag. And the bags go OUTSIDE of the metal detectors. Smh.— Kingsley (@kingsleyyy) June 13, 2016
And across the rest of the world, creators were getting involved in the political message of their own home countries.
Troye Sivan in particular had some strong words for the Australian Prime Minister, after he released a statement in response to the shooting.
few things - 1) you failed to mention that this was an attack on LGBT people in an LGBT space— troye sivan (@troyesivan) June 13, 2016
@TurnbullMalcolm 2) we don't need sympathy. We need rights. Let us marry. Stop segregating LGBT people from the rest of our society
— Troye Sivan (@troyesivan) June 13, 2016
@TurnbullMalcolm Until you make LGBT people feel like equal citizens, I don't think I'll feel like this was an attack on 'all of us' — Troye Sivan (@troyesivan) June 13, 2016
@TurnbullMalcolm Who is 'us' if LGBT people in your county are still treated like second class citizens?
— Troye Sivan (@troyesivan) June 13, 2016
Obviously, it isn't just LGBT+ YouTubers that have had a response to the events in Orlando this weekend.
Many straight YouTubers and allies have shared in the collective mourning of lives lost, lobbied for changes to the law in the US, and offered their solidarity in their own ways.
Yesterday I took time to sit & think about what happened Christina. Today Im here again thinking about Orlando when is this going to stop?— Alfie Deyes (@PointlessBlog) June 12, 2016
If you're in Orlando please please donate https://t.co/lOaNCcjl2H— Lucy Moon (@iamnotlucymoon) June 12, 2016
My next vlog will be the last one filmed in front of my gun wall.— TomSka (@thetomska) June 12, 2016
The world's a very scary place right now. Why do civilians need guns? Why do we need things to kill each other with? Where is safe? <3 :( <3— Louise (@LouisePentland) June 12, 2016
it’s pretty sickening that after a mass shooting at a gay club Orlando is in need of blood donations but legally gay men can’t donate— Franchesca Ramsey (@chescaleigh) June 12, 2016
As we have seen in the past, including events such as the Paris attacks late last year, the YouTube community is at its strongest when it unites under a common cause to share news, support and unconditional love for those who might need it during a difficult time.
While the rest of the world argues back and forth and points fingers in the wrong places, we may actually be able to use our influence for good, and make some serious changes to prevent an event as devastating as this and the death of Christina Grimmie from happening again.