One of the many online resources where you have access to first-hand accounts of what it’s like to be transgender and what happens during transition, even information that would otherwise be too sensitive, is transgender YouTubers. By now, there are hundreds of youtube channels dedicated to transgender issues.
This type of youtube channel illustrates the diversity that exists even within the transgender community. When you are looking for reliable information and personal experiences, you need to be aware of the types of videos and channels available. You do not want to turn to youtube drama channels when there are more reliable transgender youtube channels available.
Especially if you are just beginning to look for information, try to find transgender YouTubers who have stayed out of hot water and have gone viral for the right reasons.
You will find that there is a variety of videos available; some might even be funny while still addressing serious topics. People talk about their own experiences and tell their stories while still maintaining entertaining content on their channels that make their videos both educational and fun.
Commentary Videos vs. Other Youtube Videos
There are many youtube channels that are dedicated to commentary videos, and while these can be valuable, in the long run, we need to remember that these are reliant on individual opinions which might not be representative of the rest of the community. So if you are watching a commentary video, it might be good to watch a few more videos from other creators on the same topic to get a more representative idea of public opinion.
Transgender YouTubers, much like other social media influencers, often comment publicly about pop culture and celebrity drama, but that does not mean that they run a drama channel. There are channels that are only commentary channels (like Smokey Glow) that produce mostly commentary videos. And other channels that produce interesting, educational videos on specific topics, such as hormone treatment, surgery, coming out, and finding support, or being an ally.
Find a Channel that Specialized in Trans Issues
Try to find a channel dedicated mostly to gender identity issues. This will be your first step. If the channel is still active, you will see a recent video uploaded. However, remember that even on inactive channels, there might be interesting and valuable information and commentary available. Many channels are inactive, and the creator does not upload new videos anymore, but that does not necessarily discredit the videos that are still available on the channel.
Consult More Than One Video Before Making Up Your Mind About Something
If you are still very new to transgender issues, it might be useful to watch at least two videos on the same topic, but by different YouTubers, to ensure that you are getting a broader range of information. What is true for one person might not be true for another, and you might find that one video makes a lot of sense to you, but another video on the same topic can be completely confusing.
In the end, we are all individuals. You might prefer a more light-hearted and funny talk on these important issues, but another might want something more serious. Try to find something that works for you.
Overall, the youtube community tends to lean towards the supportive side, and some transgender YouTubers maintain contact outside of the context of their content. Furthermore, YouTubers do not only devote their time to making videos for youtube. Many of them are active on other social media platforms as well.
Be Vigilant of Controversies Brewing
It is important for you, as a viewer, to keep an eye on world issues and how YouTubers talk about these. This is often where they run into trouble, and a channel that might have initially been valuable and produced videos that were helpful and good, might take a turn and start to create videos that are less about transgender issues and more about world issues and things that you are not really looking for on the site.
Youtube has a rich history. Sometimes it can make you laugh; other times, it can make you cry. It can give you information on films, on what is “cool” and what is not, and on what the latest beauty trends are. People turn to YouTube to share their music, their stories, their talents, etc. There is probably a video or two available on any and every topic you can think of. Even more so after Vine shut down.
This vast degree of variation on YouTube then only naturally includes a variety of video creators who make videos about transgender issues.
Stef Sanjati and Robin Jaspers
People like Stef Sanjati and Robin Jaspers are both transgender girls whose channels are a good source of information for videos on transition, mental health, and relationships for transgender people. Blaire White is an example of commentary YouTubers who address transgender issues on their predominantly commentary channels. She often addresses issues in pop culture and makes videos about popular topics about social justice.
Some of these people who create transgender content are friends outside of youtube, and collaborations between channels can also be fun. You might end up finding a new channel to subscribe to because this person is friends with a YouTuber that you watch regularly.
The internet can be a place filled with beauty as much as it can be a horrible place.
Ty Turner and uppercaseCHASE
There are also several good sources for information on transition from the FTM perspective. Creators like Ty Turner and uppercaseCHASE are reliable and relatively positive YouTubers. They often include life lessons they learned on their personal journeys and include information aimed at other trans men but also social issues in general that affected them during their transition.
It is also common to see a video here and there that addresses relationships and mental health concerns. They also document their transition story quite thoroughly, and especially Ty Turner often addresses his life and struggles prior to transitioning. He went so far as to reveal his birth name, and his channel includes a video with several pictures of himself as a child and teenager before he came out as transgender.
These stories are extremely valuable if you are looking for videos that can help you understand the inside perspective on being transgender and how support links to transition experiences.
Something that is notably harder to find on this platform is videos and channels by non-binary creators. One that appears to still be active is Brendan Jordan, who talks about non-binary and transgender issues as well as some other topics that affect their daily life.
This type of content is increasing in popularity because it is becoming more visible to the public eye, and as that happens, more commentary is made about it, and more people join youtube to share their stories.
At the moment, you might need to do a proper deep dive into youtube to find videos and content by non-binary YouTubers. Many of the channels on this topic that were popular before the pandemic are now inactive. You can still view videos on these channels, but new content is unlikely.
Remember to watch more than one video on the same topic (initially) to get a better understanding of what you are dealing with.
How a Youtube Channel Becomes Popular
Sometimes a youtube channel becomes popular because of viral videos, and through this, the creators’ other videos also gain popularity.
In some instances, like with Danny Gonzalez, the channel itself is not dedicated to trans rights, but the YouTuber, like Danny Gonzalez, is openly supportive of trans rights. This is usually a significant boost to the transgender community overall.
Other YouTubers like James Charles, who might have started out as a positive icon for the LGBTQ+ community, slowly garnered increasingly negative press. Where his youtube focus is on makeup and makeup tutorials or products, his other social media comments have drawn a host of backlash to the point that youtube temporarily demonetized his videos at one point. He has also been associated with transphobic comments in the past, as well as serious grooming and inappropriate sexual behavior allegations.
Other YouTubers have largely positive public images, such as Gigi Gorgeous, who is a transgender YouTuber who has faced little, if any, negative press related to her channel or other social media.
The internet is vast, and youtube is only one website identified as a social media platform. Other platforms are also available to you, and luckily the general rules and guidelines might be similar on most video or text sites. Stay away from controversy-rich content. If a lot of heated arguments are flying around the page, then you should probably look for something either less viral or that went viral for a good reason.