In this digital world we now call home, it’s fascinating to see the role that online video plays in our lives. Videos resonate with us. Videos make us cry, make us think, provide us looks into worlds we never knew. And at times even, they can move us into action. Online video is an incredible, up-to-the-minute way of reaching the masses, and for getting information out into the world.
But today, I'm more interested in, online video's other purpose: To make us laugh.
With this new trend taking shape, let’s take a minute to spotlight some of the notable artists in the LGBT world who are bringing their content to the masses.
• Billy Eichner of Billy on the Street - a loud, manic, over-the-top gameshow, both lampooning and idolizing celebrity culture
• Sassy Gay Friend - one of the early adopters of the online video format. Second City brought gay humor to online media, and melded it with classic Shakespearean texts
• DWV: The hilarious Drag Queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race - Willam, Detox, and Vikki Vox - three one-of-a-kind artists who put a truly fierce spin on song parodies
• Day Drunk Gays - a short form online video series of four friends chatting over Sunday brunch
• Davey Wavey - one man who has found a way to get his musings on life, love, and dating, out into the online world
• Where the Bears Are - a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek sitcom following the misadventures four hirsute friends
• Gay of Thrones - an over-the-top hairstylist rehashes every episode of Game of Thrones for your viewing pleasure
These are just a few examples of amazing LGBT artists who are putting their comedic skills to good use. They are being heard and they are making news. And best of all, they are finding new avenues to get their voices out into the world.
Further, their work speaks to the larger issue of connection and communication. Online video provides a platform for artists who, you could argue, wouldn’t have the chance to display their skills on mainstream network television. But with online video, there are no limits to what you can do. If the networks don't want to hear your voice, then who cares? You do it yourself. You make it happen for yourself.
I love this. Online video is the place to bring comedy and drama into the forefront of the public conscious. Artists are putting their work out there. And in doing so, many facets of our community are represented, all bringing forth their own personal style. It doesn’t matter what you’re into, there is content out there for you.
It’s easy to watch these videos, laugh, and neglect to see the power that this content wields.
When you’re an established, out and proud young adult you may not see the true impact these videos have. Instead, think about the men and women who aren’t out. Think about the teenagers who are still struggling with who they are.
These videos, I'd argue, provide a real service, even if that’s not their direct intention. These videos give that man or woman on the other end a real respite from their daily lives. They are funny, heartfelt, and endearing. People see these lives on the screens, and maybe, they don’t feel so alone in the world.
I hope a kid watches this content and takes solace in knowing that there are folks out there like him. People see that there is hope for them. You show different lives, and maybe these folks don’t feel so alone in the world. The next phase to this online platform is to show a little more of everyday lives of gay men and women. Get the characters out of the big city, and throw them into smaller towns. But for now, these guys are making great work, and that’s what is most important.
They aren’t afraid of being who they are. They aren’t worried about what people may say. They know they will find an audience. They are putting their hearts into their work, and they are letting their voices sing.