Photos: This is Tyler’s crib. For his bday you might get to hang with him IN IT! (Robin Roemer)
After seven years of creating videos online, Tyler is def the King of YouTube and he’s reigning supreme. And with that royalty comes a very special birthday that means you and I can make a big diff.
But what’s that? You never heard of Tyler Oakley? Go to his YouTube account right now and go into a procrastination hole. You’ll be entertained for hours and fall drunk in love with his bubbly and inspiring attitude.
If you need further proof, he’s pretty much on first name basis with One Direction, followed by Cher on Twitter and has nearly 4 MILLION subscribers on YouTube! Besides all that, he often uses the internet for a bigger purpose, to give back.
Photos: Who could say no to this bb! (Prizeo)
This year, for his 25th birthday, Tyler is helping to raise money for The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention org for LGBTQ youth. Last year he helped raised $29,000 for the org and this year, he’s aiming to raise $150,000. Got a dollar? One lucky person who donates wins a trip to Los Angeles with a friend, plus a hot date with Tyler! All the deets are in Tyler’s video below.
K, enough from me. Check out my interview below with my fave YouTuber, ever!
ACT: How did you get involved with The Trevor Project, and why you are so passionate about the cause?
TYLER: In 2008 I was looking for a charity to support for YouTube’s “Project for Awesome Day” and after stumbling across The Trevor Project, I was instantly moved by [the organization's] story and mission. I made a video about the work, and it was featured on the front page of YouTube. The founders of The Trevor Project saw the video and reached out to see how we could work together in the future. Since then, it’s been my mission to use my platform to raise awareness for a cause that’s saving so many lives.
ACT: If someone donates to your Trevor Project birthday campaign, they could win a date with you in L.A.! What will the date entail? Where does the King of YouTube want to take the lucky winner? Please say “Taco Bell”!
TYLER: I can neither confirm or deny that the date will include liquid cheese and processed guacamole, but if they’re lucky it just might. Let’s just say there will be plenty of gossip and getting to know each other. The purpose of the date is for me to give back to the viewers who’ve helped me be able to do what I love for so many years.
Photos: A date with Tyler = taco dreamz. (Getty, MTV Act)
ACT: Online bullying — especially in the YouTube comments section — is a huge issue. What advice do you have for people who are dealing with online or offline bullying?
TYLER: It’s easy for people to project their inner insecurities outwardly online. With the availability of anonymity, bullies find the courage they’d never have in person. If someone attacks you because of who you are, know that there are millions of people who appreciate you living your own truth. If you don’t believe me, there are millions of people in my online family who embody that mentality. All you have to do to join it is subscribe.
ACT: Your brother is working on opening a homeless shelter in your home state of Michigan. Can you tell us about his mission?
TYLER: Drug abuse and homelessness are major issues around the country. Local communities just like the one my brother is trying to help can easily recover if they band together to create the change they want to see. My brother’s mission is to make Michigan a better place, a cause very close to my heart.
ACT: At what age did you first begin your YouTube endeavor, and why did you decide to start filming?
TYLER: Back in 2007 I wanted to keep in touch with high school friends when I went off to college. I had Facebook, but I wanted a more personal way to keep in touch. I found people talking into cameras on YouTube and decided to put my first video up. I remember seeing one of my videos had 100 views and I knew I didn’t have 100 friends, so I realized that there was a community of people watching. Slowly but surely, people kept tuning in, and the rest is history.
Photos: The many faces of Tyler Oakley. (Facebook)
TYLER: In the past year one of my favorite online moments was when one of my good friends, Troye Sivan, came out of the closet in a video. His courage to be unapologetically himself inspired conversations all over the world. It was such a cool moment on the Internet that I had to share it on “Top That!”
Photos: Tyler with his “Top That” co-host (and former MTV Act writer) Becca Frucht.
ACT: You have nearly 4 million YouTube subscriptions, you’re pretty much BFF’s with One Direction and always have flawless hair, so we want to know: What is next in Tyler’s world? What do you want to accomplish in 2014?
TYLER: Throughout my time on YouTube my bucket list just keeps getting longer. Seeing what I can accomplish when I put my mind to something has only inspired me to dream bigger, and hopefully it has inspired my audience too. This year the goal is to cross off more things on my bucket list. Who knows what’s going to happen. Stay tuned: www.youtube.com/
ACT: What is the best advice you have received from one of your idols? Any brilliant Cher DM’s that you live for?
TYLER: I’ve been told many things by many people, but the one thing that hit home the hardest was when Cher direct messaged me on Twitter to tell me that she loved my maroon pants. I still haven’t taken them off.
ACT: What advice do you have for someone who wants to start their own YouTube Channel?
TYLER: Never give up. I’m in my seventh year of being on YouTube, and it took me years to see any growth at all. Also, be authentic to yourself because you never know who’s going to find you and relate to you because of who you are at your core.
Happy Birthday, Tyler Oakley!
Got a dollar? Donate to Tyler's birthday challenge and you could win a date with him. All proceeds go to The Trevor Project!
Trevor's Tips on Coming Out
The Trevor Project provides support for those who want to talk to someone confidentially.