Tyler Oakley

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Tyler Oakley
Tyler Oakley by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Oakley at VidCon 2014
Personal information
Born Mathew Tyler Oakley
(1989-03-22) March 22, 1989 (age 29)
Jackson, Michigan, U.S.
Nationality American

Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Alma mater Michigan State University (BA)
YouTube information
Years active 2007–present
Subscribers 7.6 million
(September 27, 2018)
Total views 666.6 million
(September 8, 2018)
Network BigFrame
YouTube Silver Play Button 2.svg 100,000 subscribers 2011
YouTube Gold Play Button 2.svg 1,000,000 subscribers 2013
Subscriber and view counts updated as of August 29, 2017.

Mathew Tyler Oakley (born March 22, 1989) is an American YouTuber, activist and author. Much of Oakley's activism had been dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth, LGBT rights, as well as social issues including health care, education, and the prevention of suicide among LGBT youth.[1][2] Oakley regularly posts material on various topics, including queer politics, pop culture and humor.[3][4][5]

Oakley began making videos in 2007; his first video Raindrops has received almost 500,000 views on YouTube as of November 19, 2017.[6] Since uploading his first video in 2007[7] while a freshman at Michigan State University, his channel[8] has over 650 million views and, at his peak over 7.7 million subscribers. Oakley, who is openly gay,[9] is a former member of the successful collaboration channel "5AwesomeGays," where he produced the Friday video for over three years.[1] 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."[10][11] 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.[8] As of September 2018 he also has more than 6.3 million followers on Twitter and 6.2 million on Instagram.[1]

As of March 2013, Oakley co-hosted a weekly pop-culture news update – "Top That!" – with Becca Frucht for PopSugar until October 31 when he announced his departure.[12] From 2013–14, he performed the voice of Mr. McNeely in five episodes of the comedy web series The Most Popular Girls in School.[13] He has hundreds of thousands of followers on Facebook and Tumblr.[14][11][15][16] In 2015, he released his first collection of humorous personal essays under the title Binge, via publishers Simon & Schuster.[17]

Oakley was the host of The Tyler Oakley Show. The show aired weekly on Ellen DeGeneres’ ellentube platform.[18][19] He was named one of Forbes' 2017 30 under 30.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Mathew Tyler Oakley[21] was born March 22, 1989, in Jackson, Michigan and has twelve siblings in total. When he was an infant, his parents divorced.[22] When in the sixth grade, Oakley moved to Okemos, and became involved in choir and drama. As a teenager, Oakley struggled with bulimia nervosa.[23] Oakley graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in communication, marketing and social media from Michigan State University. Whilst at college, Oakley fell into a short depression after a break-up with a long term boyfriend. Oakley admits he considered suicide in this time.[23] 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.

Social media[edit]

Oakley appearing in a Vlogbrothers video in 2016.

Oakley is an active member across many social media platforms.[1] A self-proclaimed "professional fangirl", he is a fan of Darren Criss from Glee,[4] 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.[24]

Oakley is also 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 also given the opportunity to meet U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House.[25] He also did a video with First Lady Michelle Obama talking about education issues.[26]

Oakley attributes his success only in part with 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."[1] 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."[1]

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.[1]


Oakley has appeared on the YouTube Red (now YouTube Premium) show Escape the Night with Joey Graceffa, appearing as "The Thespian" for 10 episodes (Season 2).

Live appearances[edit]

On screen, Oakley has done appearances on broadcasting platforms, having some air on national TV. Oakley was seen on Insider Tonight, featuring co-hosts Kevin Frazier, and Thea Andrews. He has also interviewed live from the 2014 Kids Choice Awards red carpet, along with many other events that have him meeting and speaking to celebrities.[27]

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 Royal Oak, Michigan in early October both sold out in 72 hours. In December 2014 seven dates, all on the East Coast, will make up the next leg of the tour which is expected to eventually go to 40 cities. Variety noted that the trend of "digital-native stars hitting the road for 'in-real-life' shows" has been increasing and Oakley had been a part of DigiTour's 2014 US Summer tour of YouTube and Vine personalities.[28]

It was announced that Oakley, alongside best friend Korey Kuhl, would be competing in the 28th season of The Amazing Race.[29] They finished in 3rd place.[30]

Volunteering and charity[edit]

Oakley supports The Trevor Project, an organization for the prevention of suicide among LGBT youth.[1] He has 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 similarly raised $532,224.[31]


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Nominated Award Result
2014 Himself YouTube Star Nominated
2014 Himself Video Blogger Nominated
2014 Himself Blogger Nominated
2014 Himself Activism Nominated
2014 Himself Petty Category Nominated
2014 Himself First Person Nominated
2014 Himself Trevor Youth Innovator Award Won
2014 Himself OUT100 Readers' Choice Won
2014 Himself Young Hollywood Awards: Viral Superstar Nominated
2014 Himself Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star: Male Won
2014 "The Boyfriend Tag" with Troye Sivan Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Collaboration Won
2014 Himself 2014 Streamy Entertainer of the Year[32] Won
2014 Himself 2014 Streamy Activist Icon of the Year Won
2014 Himself First Person[33] Nominated
2015 Psychobabble with Tyler Oakley & Korey Kuhl 10th Annual Podcast Awards: Best LGBTQ+ Podcast Won
2015 Himself First Person[34] Nominated
2015 Himself Podcast[35] Nominated
2015 Himself TIME Magazine’s The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet[36] Won
2015 Himself GLAAD Davidson/Valentini Award[37] Won
2015 Himself The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Digital Stars[38] Won
2015 Himself Entertainer of the Year[39] Nominated
2015 Himself MTV Fandom Awards: Social Superstar of the Year Nominated
2015 Himself Teen Choice Award for Choice Web Star: Male Nominated
2015 Himself Teen Choice Award for Choice YouTuber Nominated
2015 Himself Streamy Awards: First Person Series Nominated
2015 Himself Streamy Awards: Social Good Campaign Nominated
2016 Himself Web Personality Nominated
2016 Himself Best Web Personality/Host Won
2016 Himself YouTuber of the Year[40] Nominated
2016 Himself OUT Magazine’s Power 50 Won
2016 Himself Teen Choice Award 2016 for Choice Web Star: Male Nominated
2016 Himself The Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Digital Stars[41] Won
2016 Himself Variety Famechangers[42] Won
2017 Himself People's Choice Awards for Favorite YouTube Star Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Grindley, Lucas (July 30, 2014). "Tyler Oakley Could Be The First Gay Person You Ever Met". The Advocate. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  2. ^ Friend, Tad. "Hollywood and Vine: The entertainment industry seeks the future in viral video". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  3. ^ Espina, Alfonso (December 31, 2012). "Young YouTube Partners: Finding Success as Entrepreneurs and Internet Stars". The Huffington Post.
  4. ^ a b Romano, Aja (February 2, 2013). "Tyler Oakley Is A Bigger Fangirl Than You". The Huffington Post.
  5. ^ "Tyler Oakley tells TCU audience how YouTube brought hate but also inspired him to fight it". Dallas Voice. March 5, 2012.
  6. ^ "Tyler Oakley's first video". YouTube. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  7. ^ "An Interview with Tyler Oakley". coreylambert.com. February 20, 2013. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  8. ^ a b Urgo, Jason. "YouTube Statistics for Tyleroakley". Socialblade.com. Retrieved August 16, 2015.
  9. ^ Towle, Andy. "Gay Youtube stars discuss coming out for screaming crowd at Playlist Live". Towleroad.com. Towleroad. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  10. ^ "Frontline: Generation Like". Kpbs.org. February 17, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Meet Tyler Oakley, YouTube's Self-Proclaimed "Peter Pan"". Pbs.org. February 18, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  12. ^ "Grumpy Cat, Kim Kardashian in Flats, and More — Your Pop Culture Cheat Sheet!". PopSugar. March 29, 2013.
  13. ^ "MPGIS: Episode 31 feat. Tyler Oakley". YouTube. November 5, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2015.
  14. ^ "Tyler Oakley: About". YouTube. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
  15. ^ "Fame game different in Internet age". DelawareOnline.com. February 17, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  16. ^ "Tyler on Twitter". Twitter.com. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  17. ^ "Tyler Oakley Book Website". Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  18. ^ "YouTube Star Tyler Oakley Launches Talk Show On Ellen DeGeneres' Digital Network". tubefilter. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  19. ^ Petski, Denise. "'The Tyler Oakley Show' Launches On Ellen DeGeneres' Digital Network". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  20. ^ Howard, Caroline. "Meet The 2017 Class Of 30 Under 30". Forbes.
  21. ^ Oakley, Tyler (20 October 2015). Binge. Simon + Schuster UK. p. 3. ISBN 978-1-4711-4513-1.
  22. ^ Oakley, Tyler (June 21, 2013). "Draw My Life". YouTube. Retrieved October 25, 2015.
  23. ^ a b Oakley, Tyler. Binge.
  24. ^ "What Harry Styles Smells Like: One Direction Q&A". YouTube. November 25, 2013. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  25. ^ Cohen, Joshua (March 2, 2014). "Obama Meets With YouTube Advisors On How To Reach Online Audiences". Tubefilter. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  26. ^ "First Lady Michelle Obama talks education with Tyler Oakley". Belfast Telegraph. September 15, 2014. Retrieved December 2, 2014.
  27. ^ Schawbel, Dan. "Tyler Oakley: From YouTube Star To Author And LGBTQ Activist". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  28. ^ Spangler, Todd (November 4, 2014). "YouTube Star Tyler Oakley Adds 7 Cities to U.S. Tour". Variety. Retrieved November 29, 2014.
  29. ^ Salisbury, Danielle (November 14, 2015). "Jackson natives, YouTube stars Tyler Oakley, Korey Kuhl to appear on 'The Amazing Race'". MLive. Retrieved November 16, 2015.
  30. ^ "Which Team Won Season 28 Of The Amazing Race". CBS. March 16, 2016.
  31. ^ "Tyler Oakley Launches Prizeo Campaign To Raise $500,000 For The Trevor Project". Tubefilter. 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  32. ^ Bloom, David (September 7, 2014). "Streamy Awards Name LGBT Activist Tyler Oakley Entertainer of the Year". Deadline. Retrieved March 5, 2015.
  33. ^ "4th Annual Winners & Nominees". The Streamy Awards. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  34. ^ "Tyler Oakley". The Webby Awards. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  35. ^ "Tyler Oakley". The Shorty Awards. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  36. ^ "These Are The 30 Most Influential People on the Internet". TIME. March 5, 2015. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  37. ^ Hamedy, Saba (October 29, 2015). "GLAAD is honoring Tyler Oakley at San Francisco gala". mashable.com. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  38. ^ Jarvey, Natalie; Svetkey, Benjamin (July 10, 2015). "Tyler Oakley - THR's Top 25 Digital Stars". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  39. ^ "5th Annual Winners & Nominees". The Streamy Awards. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  40. ^ "Tyler Oakley". The Shorty Awards. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  41. ^ "Tyler Oakley - Silicon Beach 25: L.A.'s Most Powerful Digital Players". Hollywood Reporter. July 13, 2016. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  42. ^ Spangler, Todd (June 21, 2016). "Famechangers 2016: Ranking the Top Digital Stars". Variety. Retrieved September 25, 2016.

External links[edit]