YouTube LGBT Controversy

By Lindsay Tidmarsh

The Mirror
Staff Writer

“YouTube was the place where I found a community of people who understood what I was going through and agreed with.”


YouTube Steps in it with LGBTQ+ Community

April 25, 2017

FEATURE: Twitter users fight back with the trending #YouTubeIsOverParty hashtag regarding YouTube’s latest restrictions.

Yet again, the media has given the signal to members of the LGBTQ+ community that their way of life is a sensitive and opinionated topic.

Videos mentioning LGBTQ+ matters are now hidden and labeled as “sensitive issues” by YouTube to cater towards those that want a more “limited experience.”

YouTube’s content creators and viewers uncovered this sweeping change in the app’s Restricted Mode feature.

Coming out videos, transgender makeup tutorials, same-sex education and more disappear from Subscription Boxes while this mode is on.

While Restricted Mode is not a new tool, many users were surprised to discover the pattern these missing videos left behind.

Most users will be unaware of the new feature because it is not activated by default. However, parents who decide to turn on Restricted Mode on their children’s devices may not realize the positive and inoffensive topics these kids will miss out on.

Creators lose their preferred audiences and plenty of views they would normally expect, but this censorship doesn’t just affect the creators.

Viewers lose valuable resources, such as coming out videos, that provide personal experiences for LGBTQ+ youth to relate to while receiving validation and acceptance they may not receive anywhere else.

Channel after channel, innocent content relating to same-sex relationships goes missing while videos displaying heterosexuality and heterosexual sex topics remain.

Critics contend that YouTube has decided to deem heterosexuality as the norm and homosexuality as inappropriate, despite their previous support towards the LGBTQ+ community.

“It’s a disgrace. I didn’t know the were homophobes.” When asked for her thoughts regarding the latest restrictions, an undisclosed LGBTQ+ identifying student responded, “All of a sudden, Trump becomes president and they take all of our rights away.”

Over Twitter, YouTube addressed the issue in a short post in which the company briefly described the original intentions of Restricted Mode, mentioning the company’s gratitude towards their platform’s LGBTQ+ community.

“We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform,” they wrote. “They’re a key part of what Youtube is all about.”

They then went on to say that Restricted Mode’s purpose was to “filter out mature content for the tiny subset of users who want a more limited experience,” though many argue that this is a blatant act of homophobia.

Twitter users responded to this apology with multiple questions, mixed feelings of anger and confusion, and the worldwide trending hashtag #YouTubeIsOverParty.
Many asked why gay relationships are considered mature content while heterosexual content that could be even more extreme is considered age-appropriate.

Transgender YouTuber Giselle Loren Lazzarato, otherwise known as Gigi Gorgeous, spoke out in a video titled #ProudToBeRestricted on her channel discussing how she discovered that the personal and educational videos about her sexuality and gender identity were suddenly missing.

“It’s scary on so many levels because I know when I was younger, Youtube was my family,” said Lazzarato. “Youtube was the place where I found a community of people who understood what I was going through and agreed with.”

Lazzarato’s videos describing her transition were considered by many in her audience to be relatable and honest. Her channel and other channels like hers give viewers a chance to watch someone who look like them and shares their same views. Many feel hurt by the silencing of what in the past was considered harmless, inoffensive and educational content.

“YouTube has always been a place where you can find someone just like you, and now given that you can just turn on one button and the entire LGBTQ community can be taken away from you—it’s really, really sad,” said Lazzarato.



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