Oakley at VidCon 2014
|Born||Matthew Tyler Oakley|
March 22, 1989
Jackson, Michigan, U.S.
|Residence||Los Angeles, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||Michigan State University (BA)|
|Height||5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)|
|Total views||684 million|
|Updated June 27, 2020|
Matthew Tyler Oakley (born March 22, 1989) is an American YouTuber, actor, activist and author. Much of Oakley's activism has been dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth, LGBT rights, as well as social issues including health care, education, and the prevention of suicide among LGBT youth. Oakley regularly posts material on various topics, including queer politics, pop culture and humor.
Oakley began making videos in 2007; his first video Raindrops had received 517,715 views on YouTube as of March 22, 2020. Since uploading his first video in 2007 while a freshman at Michigan State University, his channel has over 682 million views, and, at his peak, over 8 million subscribers. Oakley, who is openly gay, is a former member of the successful collaboration channel "5AwesomeGays," where he produced the Friday video for over three years. He was featured in the 2014 Frontline investigative report "Generation Like," a follow-up on how teenagers are "directly interacting with pop culture" to the 2001 report, "The Merchants of Cool." SocialBlade, a website that rates YouTube and Instagram accounts, ranks his YouTube channel, as of November 19, 2017, with a grade "B", subscriber rank of 224th, video view rank at 2,010th, and a SocialBlade rating of 33,897th. As of March 2020[update] he also had more than 5.9 million followers on Twitter and 5.8 million on Instagram.
From March to October 2013, Oakley co-hosted a weekly pop-culture news update – "Top That!" – with Becca Frucht for PopSugar. From 2013 to 2014, he performed the voice of Mr. McNeely in five episodes of the comedy web series The Most Popular Girls in School. He has hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook and Tumblr. In 2015, he released his first collection of humorous personal essays under the title Binge, via publishers Simon & Schuster.
Matthew Tyler Oakley was born on March 22, 1989, in Jackson, Michigan. He has twelve siblings. When he was an infant, his parents divorced. When in the sixth grade, Oakley moved to Okemos, and became involved in choir and drama. As a teenager, he struggled with bulimia nervosa.
Oakley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in communication, marketing and social media from Michigan State University. While at college, he fell into a short depression after a breakup with a long-term boyfriend. Oakley admits he considered suicide in this time. This was also when he first became involved with YouTube, using the video sharing website to communicate with his high school friends, who were attending different schools.
Oakley is an active member across many social media platforms. A self-proclaimed "professional fangirl", he is a fan of Darren Criss from Glee, along with Julie Chen of CBS's daytime talk show The Talk. He also sang Christmas carols on stage with English-Irish boy band One Direction and television presenter Jerry Springer.
Oakley is known for receiving attention from major celebrities and organizations, such as Liam Payne from One Direction, Chris Colfer from the television series Glee and the restaurant chain store Taco Bell, namely on social network Twitter after commenting on a previous tweet of theirs or tweeting about them. Due to Oakley's success with social media and prominence among many social media platforms (particularly YouTube), he was given the opportunity to meet U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House. He did a video with First Lady Michelle Obama talking about education issues.
Oakley attributes his success only in part to his accessibility as a young gay man. "It's not all about me being gay. It's kind of like an underlying theme for me [with gay life] sprinkled throughout the videos." He sees Ellen DeGeneres as a role model: "She embodies what I want my experience to be and my influence to be, where it's a positive one, it's a happy one, it's not something about the bad parts of life or the downsides of a lot of things. She's using her influence for good, and everyone knows who she is, what she stands for, and that she is a lesbian."
The Advocate in their 2014 "40 under 40: Emerging voices" say that, due to Oakley's presence on YouTube, he is the first openly gay person that many people have met. Oakley is considered one of the world's leading Celebrity influencers, having an Influencer Score of 99 from the influencer marketing software Klear.
In 2014, Oakley premiered a live show tour, "Tyler Oakley's Slumber Party", featuring him in pajamas and doing skits, and interactive segments with the audience. His two initial shows in Chicago and in Royal Oak, Michigan in early October both sold out in 72 hours. In December 2014, seven dates, all on the East Coast, made up the next leg of the tour, which was expected to eventually go to 40 cities. Variety noted that the trend of "digital-native stars hitting the road for 'in-real-life' shows" had been increasing. Oakley had been a part of DigiTour's 2014 US Summer tour of YouTube and Vine personalities.
On screen, Oakley has done appearances on broadcasting platforms, with some airing on national TV. He was seen on Insider Tonight, featuring co-hosts Kevin Frazier and Thea Andrews. He has interviewed live from the 2014 Kids Choice Awards red carpet, along with many other events that have him meeting and speaking to celebrities.
Oakley, alongside best friend Korey Kuhl, competed in the 28th season of The Amazing Race, which aired in 2016. They finished in 3rd place. The two also participated in the 31st season of the show, which began airing on April 17, 2019. They finished in 2nd place.
Volunteering and charity
Oakley supports The Trevor Project, an organization for the prevention of suicide among LGBT youth. He interned with them in 2009, and since 2011 has co-hosted TrevorLIVE, the charity's annual red carpet event. In 2013 he raised $29,000 for his birthday in support of the Trevor Project having aimed to raise $24,000 (because it was his 24th birthday). In 2014, he raised $525,704 in a similar event, and in 2015 he raised $532,224.
- Binge (2015)
Awards and nominations
|Trevor Youth Innovator Award||Won|
|OUT100 Readers' Choice||Won|
|Young Hollywood Awards: Viral Superstar||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star: Male||Won|
|"The Boyfriend Tag" with Troye Sivan||Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Collaboration||Won|
|Himself||2014 Streamy Entertainer of the Year||Won|
|2014 Streamy Activist Icon of the Year||Won|
|2015||Psychobabble with Tyler Oakley & Korey Kuhl||10th Annual Podcast Awards: Best LGBTQ+ Podcast||Won|
|TIME Magazine's The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet||Won|
|GLAAD Davidson/Valentini Award||Won|
|The Hollywood Reporter's Top 25 Digital Stars||Won|
|Entertainer of the Year||Nominated|
|MTV Fandom Awards: Social Superstar of the Year||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star: Male||Nominated|
|Teen Choice Award for Choice YouTuber||Nominated|
|Streamy Awards: First Person Series||Nominated|
|Streamy Awards: Social Good Campaign||Nominated|
|Best Web Personality/Host||Won|
|YouTuber of the Year||Nominated|
|OUT Magazine's Power 50||Won|
|Teen Choice Award 2016 for Choice Web Star: Male||Nominated|
|The Hollywood Reporter's Top 25 Digital Stars||Won|
|2017||People's Choice Awards for Favorite YouTube Star||Nominated|
|Out Web Fest: Vanguard Award||Won|
|2018||Streamy Awards: 2018 Streamy Legacy Award||Won|
|HRC Awards: 2018 Visibility Award||Won|
|Out Power 50 Awards: Power of Originality 2018 Award||Won|
|2018 Teen Choice Awards: Choice Male Web Star||Nominated|
- Grindley, Lucas (July 30, 2014). "Tyler Oakley Could Be The First Gay Person You Ever Met". The Advocate. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- Friend, Tad. "Hollywood and Vine: The entertainment industry seeks the future in viral video". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
- Espina, Alfonso (December 31, 2012). "Young YouTube Partners: Finding Success as Entrepreneurs and Internet Stars". The Huffington Post.
- Romano, Aja (February 2, 2013). "Tyler Oakley Is A Bigger Fangirl Than You". The Huffington Post.
- "Tyler Oakley tells TCU audience how YouTube brought hate but also inspired him to fight it". Dallas Voice. March 5, 2012. Archived from the original on August 31, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2013.
- "Tyler Oakley's first video". YouTube. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- "An Interview with Tyler Oakley". coreylambert.com. February 20, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- Urgo, Jason. "YouTube Statistics for Tyleroakley". Socialblade.com. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
- Towle, Andy. "Gay Youtube stars discuss coming out for screaming crowd at Playlist Live". Towleroad.com. Towleroad. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
- "Frontline: Generation Like". Kpbs.org. February 17, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- "Meet Tyler Oakley, YouTube's Self-Proclaimed "Peter Pan"". Pbs.org. February 18, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- "Grumpy Cat, Kim Kardashian in Flats, and More — Your Pop Culture Cheat Sheet!". PopSugar. March 29, 2013.
- "MPGIS: Episode 31 feat. Tyler Oakley". YouTube. November 5, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
- "Tyler Oakley: About". YouTube. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
- "Fame game different in Internet age". DelawareOnline.com. February 17, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- "Tyler on Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- "Tyler Oakley Book Website". Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- "YouTube Star Tyler Oakley Launches Talk Show On Ellen DeGeneres' Digital Network". tubefilter. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- Petski, Denise. "'The Tyler Oakley Show' Launches On Ellen DeGeneres' Digital Network". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
- Howard, Caroline. "Meet The 2017 Class Of 30 Under 30". Forbes.
- Oakley, Tyler (20 October 2015). Binge. Simon + Schuster UK. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-4711-4513-1.
- Oakley, Tyler (June 21, 2013). "Draw My Life". YouTube. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
- Oakley, Tyler (2015). Binge.
- "What Harry Styles Smells Like: One Direction Q&A". YouTube. November 25, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- Cohen, Joshua (March 2, 2014). "Obama Meets With YouTube Advisors On How To Reach Online Audiences". Tubefilter. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- "First Lady Michelle Obama talks education with Tyler Oakley". Belfast Telegraph. September 15, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
- Spangler, Todd (November 4, 2014). "YouTube Star Tyler Oakley Adds 7 Cities to U.S. Tour". Variety. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
- Schawbel, Dan. "Tyler Oakley: From YouTube Star To Author And LGBTQ Activist". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
- Salisbury, Danielle (November 14, 2015). "Jackson natives, YouTube stars Tyler Oakley, Korey Kuhl to appear on 'The Amazing Race'". MLive. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
- "Which Team Won Season 28 Of The Amazing Race". CBS. March 16, 2016.
- Ross, Dalton (April 5, 2019). "Meet the Amazing Race season 31 reality all-star teams". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- "Tyler Oakley Launches Prizeo Campaign To Raise $500,000 For The Trevor Project". Tubefilter. 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
- Bloom, David (September 7, 2014). "Streamy Awards Name LGBT Activist Tyler Oakley Entertainer of the Year". Deadline. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
- "4th Annual Winners & Nominees". The Streamy Awards. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- "Tyler Oakley". The Webby Awards. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- "Tyler Oakley". The Shorty Awards. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- "These Are The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet". TIME. March 5, 2015. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- Hamedy, Saba (October 29, 2015). "GLAAD is honoring Tyler Oakley at San Francisco gala". mashable.com. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- Jarvey, Natalie; Svetkey, Benjamin (July 10, 2015). "Tyler Oakley - THR's Top 25 Digital Stars". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- "5th Annual Winners & Nominees". The Streamy Awards. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- "Tyler Oakley". The Shorty Awards. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- "Tyler Oakley - Silicon Beach 25: L.A.'s Most Powerful Digital Players". Hollywood Reporter. July 13, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
- Spangler, Todd (June 21, 2016). "Famechangers 2016: Ranking the Top Digital Stars". Variety. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
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