Friday, November 6, 2015

Binge by Tyler Oakley

      If you are a fan of video blog style YouTube channels, then you probably have experienced Tyler Oakley at some point. One of the Internet's most active LGBT+ spokespeople, Tyler Oakley has collaborated with dozens and dozens of other YouTubers and actors including Jenna Marbles, Miranda Sings, Hannah Hart, Grace Helbig, John Green, Dan Howell, Phil Lester, Jim Chapman, Troye Sivan, Oli White, Joey Graceffa, Connor Franta, Darren Chris, and many many more. He has been nominated twelve times for Streamy Awards (and won seven), has a popular podcast which he cohosts with his best friend and fellow YouTubers Kory Kuhl, and since starting his YouTube channel in 2007 has gained over 7,700,000 subscribers. He has even been featured as a guest host on the popular MTV show Catfish. Tyler Oakley uses his presence and online popularity to advocate for LGBT+ rights, especially those of LGBT+ youth, as well as social issues like healthcare and education. One of organisations Tyler is most vocal about in his support is The Trevor Project--"the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24."
      In October of 2015, Tyler published his first book, Binge: a collection of personal essays detailing his life both on and off the internet. In these essays, the tone changes back and forth from the snappy hilarious personality that hooks viewers into his channel, to very serious and touching when he details his struggles with self image and his own mental well-being. The book absolutely covers more topics that I've ever seen him discuss in videos, or even on his podcast, Psychobabble. It definitely allows readers into a deeply personal aspect of Tyler, that hasn't been seen before (even though he is a very open and non-secretive person to begin with). Going into this book, I didn't initially forsee myself needing tissues, but by chapter six I was bawling. Don't worry, not every chapter induced tears. Some induce painful snort-laughter. Either way, maybe don't read it in public where people will judge you for having emotions at written words.
      Binge by Tyler Oakley is on-order at the Ocean City Free Public Library and will be available on the shelves soon. You can put yourself on hold for it here.

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