As we’ve seen from our compilation of “Coming Out” videos, being open about your sexuality to your YouTube audience can be a big deal for some creators. But then again, there are those who have been out and proud for a while, and completely owning it in their video content.
Irish YouTuber and radio star Riyadh Khalaf has been out as gay since he started vlogging only 2 years ago, and his channel has rapidly grown through a handful of viral successes. The one thing they have in common? His fierce and inspired way of making his sexuality work for him in the best way possible. Here’s just five examples:
1. Laughing at homophobic trolls with a drag queen.
Being openly gay online definitely comes with its own share of trolling and abuse, and Riyadh has been no exception to this. But why feed the trolls when you can laugh at them in a video with one of Ireland’s biggest drag queens? In a new upload this week from Riyadh, he teams up with “Queen of Ireland” Panti Bliss to make some light of the meaner comments he has received.
2. Campaigning for marriage equality in Ireland.
Earlier this year, Ireland made history when the country voted in favour of marriage equality. But during fierce campaigning from both sides, Riyadh made use of his channel and personal story of his sexuality, to make an emotive plea to the people of Ireland to be on the right side of history.
3. Confronting his bullies on camera.
Lots of us have been victims of bullying for various reasons in the past, and wish that we could go back and say something to the people that hurt us. But few actually have the confidence to do it, let alone share the experience with the internet. Riyadh’s not shy though, and this video of him reaching out to an old classmate who bullied him for being gay has had some serious impact.
4. Trolling Westboro Baptist Church.
After another video of his went viral, Riyadh caught the attention of one Shirley Phelps, matriarch of US hate group the Westboro Baptist Church. After Shirley left a slew of homophobic comments on Riyadh’s videos, he decided to give her a call to hash things out. Things go… pretty much as you’d expect.
5. Reading Grindr messages with Mum
Ahh, Grindr. Home to some of the most, erm, “forward” messages one can receive in the gay dating scene. And who better to share them with than your dear old mother? Undoubtedly his best-known video, Riyadh shot to viral success when he sat down with his mum and a bottle of wine and powered through three weeks’ worth of his Grindr inbox. YIKES.