Like his favorite pop idol, the legendary Miss Britney Spears, no one ever expected Chris Crocker to make it past 2007; hypothetically speaking, that is.
Despite the brush of infamy that befell the now 29-year-old Tennessee native following his genuine-in-intent “Leave Britney Alone” viral video for a time, the majority of those who are familiar with Crocker’s meme-like offering to the public probably haven’t thought about him in quite a while. Not for lack of trying on his part, however, or truth be told, the occasionally unforgiving media.
After several blink-and-you-might-miss-it turns not limited to being a documentary subject (2011’s Me at The Zoo); being the first actual drag queen singer outside of RuPaul to release dance tracks on iTunes (no shade to any RuPaul’s Drag Race alums including Adore Delano, whom Crocker is close friends with); being a failed reality player for the LGBT MTV-offshoot network Logo (contract disputes fell apart sometime after 2008); becoming a part-time model for clothing magnate American Eagle in 2013 (which queer publication Out found worthy of “warning” others about, for some reason); being half of an are-they-or-aren’t-they friendship with teen pop star Aaron Carter (both said they weren’t and Carter is now engaged to a woman); and even some time being a gay adult film star (mostly in tandem with a former beau who is still active in that world), the fervor surrounding the everyday goings-on of the internet personality, first seemingly doused in intrigue and during latter times, crudeness and crassness, mostly belly-upped in totality in 2015, when, without prior warning, Crocker deleted his YouTube channel after a nearly decade-long presence on the site.
“It can be a really negative and toxic place,” an emotional Chris said of the video website following his departure, as Contrast relayed.
“I just felt very under-appreciated there, not just with the people, [but with] YouTube as a whole, [who have] never really embraced me. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, which is a long time on the internet when everything is just in the blink of an eye. So, I’m older and I just wanted to, ya know, move on.”
Minus a few moments in time last year, when several online publications picked up on Crocker’s choice to present more of a masculine appearance as something to take note of — “The ‘Leave Britney Alone’ Guy Is Hot Now,” a majority of those articles, including one from Cosmopolitan, surmised in their headlines — most of the media world have followed his hope for those who went after the once-despondent pop star and in turn left him alone, more or less only bringing him up in a “where is he now?” sense, which is quite telling in several regards.
For starters, Chris Crocker is still actively making content for the internet’s enjoyment. In fact, he never really stopped.
Almost on the daily, new visual offerings posted by Chris appear on both his Facebook and Twitter profiles, with many of them often being shared by his fan base and non-followers alike. However, unlike before, where a self-proclaimed hot mess of a gender-neutral person screeched and vented in a “blackcent,” a trope of certain white gay men that he has apologized for on numerous occasions, Crocker now showcases a more mature yet still positively hilarious version of himself.
(Some of the following videos contain NSFW language).
And on occasion, like most other notables, Crocker has had some things to say that aren’t so funny but are still noteworthy, such as his thoughts on life, love, and ever so often, the presidential regime of one Donald J. Trump.
Since early in the days of the former Celebrity Apprentice host’s lead-up to Oval Office glory, Crocker has defiantly and positively retooled his social media venues as places where questions, comments, and understandable grievances against Trump and his lambasted party of politicos are often the norm to both the delight of his audience and the disdain of the supporters of the MAGA-leader’s plans for the country.
Just recently, a handful of publications, including Mediaite and NewNowNext, the latter of which is owned by LOGO, covered two videos responses that Chris fired back at both Trump, for continuing to push the narrative that certain media outlets are wholly against him, and to one of Trump’s most vocal supporters, Tomi Lahren, another viral personality who occasionally fields hateful comments from those who are opposed to her views (although frankly, truth can be found in even the darkest of places).
While the mentions themselves were few, their considerations of what Chris was offering to the masses were surprisingly similar in tone. Mediaite, a well-regarded news and opinion blog that covers entertainment and politics, referred to him as being a “troll” for speaking out against Trump, while NewNowNext, a more LGBT-friendly publication, offered a backhanded compliment of sorts for the opinions Chris shared.
“With age come wisdom,” NNN writer Dan Avery wrote, closing out the thought with a shade-filled, “we guess.”
NNN also made sure to remind folks that Chris could be found engaging in man-on-man sex on the internet, which was a bit of an odd call considering the theme of the post and what kind of conversation Crocker was trying to engage with his audience.
That, incidentally, leads into the next point: why won’t those who are opposed to this welcome display of both self and public growth leave Chris alone?
Despite his missteps in the world of celebrity, many of which he is quick to offer up himself without hesitation, Chris Crocker has managed to not just hold onto his remaining acclaim from the whole “Leave Britney Alone” situation, but also turn it around into two aspects that others complain are far too absent in the world of online celebrity: intelligence and humility.
From as far back to the days of the “Numa Numa” dance and “Charlie Bit My Finger,” Chris Crocker has been one of a few members of an elite club who knows he’s part of that club and yet is just as relatable as he was when we saw him wear a ratty blonde wig while tearfully displaying his love for a girl who was “stronger” than most will ever realize (Britney Army, stand up!).
On top of that, in a country where it seems as if the commander-in-chief is slowly trying to literally erase all mentions of a sect of people — Trump workers noticeably removed all mentions of the fight for civil rights for people of color and the LGBT community from the official White House website, as reported by Daily Beast — we need more voices who are unafraid to stand up in the face of a possibly dire four years and say, “I’m not afraid to fight back.”
Chris Crocker may no longer be a prince (or princess) of YouTube, but he is using his position in ways that deserve appreciation and proper nods of approval and respect. This is how internet royalty is supposed to use its power. Bow down, folks. He’s more than earned it.
[Featured Image by Chris Crocker/Instagram]