This is what my YouTube channel looks like with YouTube’s new restricted mode, which has unfairly targeted some LGBTQ content for being “sensitive material.”
21 of my 43 videos disappear.
In case you missed it: YouTube says it “wrongly” filtered out a ton of LGBTQ-related videos in a recent update to its Restricted Mode feature. This has affected virtually every queer YouTube creator from @tyleroakley to @everyoneisgay to little ole’ me. So, if you watch my YouTube videos in Restricted Mode, the videos above with an X through them aren’t available.
Oh, and YouTube’s statement about the whole thing just sucks:
“We are so proud to represent LGBTQ+ voices on our platform – they’re a key part of what YouTube is all about. The intention of Restricted Mode is to filter out mature content for the tiny subset of users who want a more limited experience. LGBTQ+ videos are available in Restricted Mode, but videos that discuss more sensitive issues may not be. We regret any confusion this has caused and are looking into your concerns. We appreciate your feedback and passion for making YouTube such an inclusive, diverse, and vibrant community.”
So under that logic, the “more sensitive issues” that aren’t suitable for a “tiny subset of users” (like, say, a teenager with unsupportive parents who’s trying to get online from a school library where PORN IS ALREADY BLOCKED) include:
- A discussion with my 90-year-old grandmother about how she eventually accepted having a gay grandkid
- A conversation with my mom about This Is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids and why I didn’t have a proper coming-out
- A crowd-sourced glossary of the differences between bisexuality and pansexuality
- A silly video with my fiancée where we write down things we love about each other
- A collaboration focusing on the experiences of queer people of faith
And a lot more. I’m livid. Queer YouTube means so much to so many people. For millions of LGBTQ people (especially youth) whose rights are under attack, YouTube creators and viewers have built a community of resources that you just cannot find elsewhere. This is a mean and senseless kick when we’re already down. And we’re not going to shut up about it.
Send LGBTQ YouTube folks good vibes & subscribes today. (If you’re not already subscribed, find your friendly neighborhood bisexual YouTuber [it’s me] here or on Twitter.)