chapter  14
15 Pages

Gay, famous and working hard on YouTube

Influencers, queer microcelebrity publics and discursive activism
WithAbidin Crystal, Cover Rob

Ordinary digital media users who gained large public followings, also known as Influencers, emerged as micro-celebrities in the early 2000s, with many working for a living directly through online content creation and the self-representation of their everyday lives. Capitalising on high visibility, many Influencers also engage in social justice activities. As a result, they have become important nodes in LGBTQ networks online, including through personal and organisational collaborations. In this chapter, we draw on digital ethnography to analyse a gay-identifying Australian YouTube Influencer, Troye Sivan, focussing on how his status as an Influencer creating digital content has fostered queer support by way of a creative work orientation that simultaneously promotes both a rights-based activism and his own career.