Mathew Tyler Oakley (born March 22, 1989 [Age 30]) is an LGBTQI activist who gained a massive following through his YouTube channel. Most of his content surrounds LGBTQI youth and suicide prevention, equal rights, healthcare, and education.
Tyler Oakley Early Beginnings
Tyler Oakley started his YouTube career back in 2007 with the video, Raindrops. He was still a freshman in college at that point. While Tyler was still finding his voice and onscreen persona, he collaborated with other LGBTQI YouTube stars. Together, they found the group “5AwesomeGays.”
Their channel used to drop content every Friday for three years. Over the course of those years, Tyler got a hands-on education about what it takes to produce, edit, and star in videos. He was able to apply what he learned by working with the talent in 5AwesomeGays and parlay that into his own career.
Tyler Oakley Outside of YouTube
Growing confidence in his onscreen persona, Tyler caught on with the public eye. Demand for the outspoken star hit a peak in 2014. Tyler was profiled on an episode of the investigative report show, Frontline. This episode was a follow-up on a 2001 episode that aired called “The Merchants of Cool.” The 2001 program examined the growing immersion between celebrity and fan.
Thirteen years later, Tyler Oakley was used as an example in the episode “Generation Like.” Okaley offered insights on how teens interact through social media. He explained why he uses this medium to help spread his message of inclusion and awareness.
Tyler co-hosted Top That! with Becca Frucht. This weekly pop culture round-up show was created under the PopSugar banner. Following the show’s cancellation, Tyler picked up a five-episode contract, lending his voice to Mr. McNeely on The Most Popular Girls in School. The Most Popular Girls in School was a popular web series.
Tyler Oakley: Author and Tour
Slowly, Oakley started to gain a ton of notoriety. First, he captured himself a spot on The Advocate‘s 40 Under 40: Emerging Voices list. Putting his newfound fame to good use, Oakley hit the road. His live show tour was called The Tyler Oakley Slumber Party. The production consisted mainly of skits featuring the star and interaction with the live audience.
Impressively, the first two shows of the tour in Chicago, Illinois, and Royal Oak, Michigan sold out within 72 hours! This unprecedented success caused him to extend for seven more shows. Going into 2015, Oakley visited 40 states to perform his show.
Seeing this success, YouTube and former social media site, Vine, collaborated on the 2014 DigiTour. Oakley was a prominent star on the bill, which featured many other sensations from the viral world.
In 2015, the rising star inked a deal with the book publishing company, Simon & Schuster. This partnership resulted in the YouTube sensation releasing a series of humorous essays. This endeavor was titled Binge.
Tyler Oakley Show on EllenTube
Following the release of Binge, Oakley captured the imagination of everyone’s favorite daytime host, Ellen Degeneres. The media icon hooked up with Oakley, offering him a spot on her highly-popular EllenTube platform. The short-lived series was aptly called The Tyler Oakley Show. While his show captured a Shorty Award, his partnership with Ellen dissolved rather quickly. Many point to the fact that his episodes topped at 30,000 views.
Oakley’s representatives released a gracious statement on the matter:
“Tyler is grateful for the opportunity to work so closely with Ellen and her team and has learned so much. He is looking forward to numerous other projects he has in the works this year.”
Even though Tyler Oakley and one of Hollywood’s most influential stars parted ways, it didn’t deter the activist. He rebounded quickly by landing himself in the Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2017.
Tyler Oakley on Social Media
As a pioneer of the self-made star, Tyler continues to do what brought him to the dance. He is very active on social media, often gushing words of encouragement about stars he looks up to. He openly gushes over Darren Criss and fangirls at the sight of The Talk’s Julie Chen.
Oakley’s name continues to gain value as stars tend to retweet or share his videos. In the past, Liam Payne, Chris Colfer, and even Taco Bell have shown Tyler some Twitter love.
Tyler Oakley and The Trevor Project
Tyler never forgets the struggles those in the LGBTQI community have gone through so he can appreciate the privileges he has today. That’s why he remains vocal and dedicated on social media about raising awareness for the Trevor Project.
From 2009 to 2011, Tyler interned with the non-profit. Since then, he’s hosted the annual TrevorLIVE marathon. In addition, Tyler always raises money on his birthday to donate to his favorite charity.