Comedian Chris Crocker, one of the first LGBT personalities to gain fame and notoriety through YouTube, is speaking out on the site’s recent blocking of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-related content.
On Sunday, the 29-year-old Tennessee native, who shot to worldwide infamy with his unforgettable “Leave Britney Alone!” offering to the video site following Spears’ purported mental breakdown in 2007, addressed the reported filtering of content that several current queer YouTube personalities have been experiencing underneath the media domain’s “Restricted Mode,” which is meant to keep children from accessing explicit content.
“YouTube is important for LGBT youth to find other LGBT people,” Chris explained via Twitter, “[to] have [others] to relate to.”
“This new ‘restriction thing’ that blocks out LGBT content is very questionable.”
Crocker, who identifies as transgender but presents as male to thwart possible anti-LGBT backlash from conservative Tennesseans, as he shared during a 2016 Huffington Post interview, first joined YouTube during its online infancy and in turn, helped the video sharing website to grow to the media powerhouse it is today, while also becoming one of the first LGBT content creators to be recognized and publicized well beyond the walls of YouTube.
Let's talk about the Transgender Bathroom Issue: Many who do not understand why protections should be in place will say things such as "I don't want my kid in the bathroom with a man!" or "What about people who will pretend to be transgender?" Though not entirely illogical questions: I believe that the most vulnerable and afraid people are Trans people themselves. Wanting to use the restroom without fear is not predator behavior. It's the opposite. Here is my question to you: Imagine for one second that "man" IS your kid that you're fearing for. Imagine for one second that the person the world is making out to be a deviant. Imagine for a second that "man" will be made fun of my other men in the men's room. The real issue here is a lack of knowledge. Some trans people are more "PASSING" than others. This means that some look more like the gender they feel and others have a harder time. However: If we limit only those who look "PASSING" to enter: We are still putting many at risk for verbal and physical assault. The reason my photos are attached is because I began my transition in my late teens and continued until my mid 20's, until my environment became too unaccepting. Eventually leading me to conform and forfeit my outward expression of my inner self. My question to you is: If I were your child, would your mind change? If I were your child: Which bathroom should I enter?
A post shared by Chris Crocker (@itschriscrocker) on
According to Chris, however, he never received much respect from the company whom he more or less started from the bottom with.
“It’s almost like I was kind of something that happened that they wanted to push under the rug,” Crocker expressed in a Facebook video, as ATTN noted.
“If they had a big commercial of all [their viral] videos, I was never in it. And I’m like, I was kind of the first one to do talk shows [because of my YouTube videos].”
Ultimately, the combination of YouTube’s disrespect, along with the constant barrage of hate he received from anti-gay users of the video-viewing website, forced Crocker to make the drastic decision to permanently remove himself from YouTube in September 2015 after eight years of hair flips, sass and LGBT pride.
“I realized that the environment of YouTube was something that I couldn’t handle anymore,” Chris poignantly relayed.
“I started to realize I’m not that 19-year-old that [could handle the negativity]. Things that I’ve been through; depression, anxiety, and different mental health issues that I’ve tried to overcome that came into play in my mid-20’s, [made me] realize that the environment of YouTube was something that I couldn’t handle anymore. There’s an empowerment in knowing your self worth and knowing when it’s time to walk away from something.”
Despite his choice to separate himself from the service, Chris still admits that he holds a strong, emotional attachment to his YouTube days.
“Even though I’m not a YouTuber anymore,” he states as the start of the video, “I still care about the fact that YouTube [helps] LGBT youth.”
“So, as one of [their] first viral stars who [did so] before it was a thing to ‘go viral’ and was never really acknowledged that much, I have one question: what’s up?”
“Yeah,” he then says with a laugh, “I’m [asking] what’s good,” in a nod to the confrontation between Nicki Minaj and pop star Miley Cyrus at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards following Cyrus’ New York Times shunning of the “Anaconda” starlet’s attitude over her Best Video nomination snub that year.
“It’s not okay if LGBT [content] is being filtered out [from YouTube],” Chris continues.
“[In fact], it’s very important for LGBT youth to have access [to such content] and find people they can relate to, so YouTube, what’s good?”
..@YouTube What's good?
— Chris (@ChrisCrocker) March 19, 2017
Since departing YouTube for greener pastures, the entertainer has maintained an active presence on his other social media accounts, including Twitter and Facebook, and recently released his latest single, “Touch It,” on Spotify and other streaming music services.
A profile on Chris Crocker’s life and influence as an LGBT YouTube talent was previously posted here on the Inquisitr.
[Featured Image by Chris Crocker/Facebook]