If you’ve been on Facebook, YouTube, or even Time.com in the last ten hours, you may have seen the headlines that Ingrid Nilsen, a YouTube beautician with a following of 3.3 million followers, announced this morning to all her followers that she is gay. In between bouts of emotion and personal philosophy, Ingrid describes the overwhelming need she felt to have this conversation with her followers. Her story, honesty, and personal connection come at a pivotal time in our cultural acceptance of the “coming out” story.
Many in the LGBT community have a story of a similar hardship coming out to friends, family, and loved ones. It is not unheard of for social media outlets to spread notes, reactions, and personal stories like this across a member base. Ingrid’s story is unique in that it had by 900,000 hits in eight hours. The story has been picked up by multiple media outlets this morning and has subsequently raised viewership to 2,037,797 when this piece was written. For comparison, her other YouTube videos are on average around 500,000+ page views, almost 4 times her average viewership for one post.
Is the amplified reach and share-ability of these social media proclamations garnering the necessary support of our culture for acceptance? What will the cultural impact be of news outlets like Time picking up this personal story? Does this place pressure on the LGBT community to “come out” on social platforms or capture that moment in some way?
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