VidCon 2017: LGBTQ creators and panels to check out

This weekend is VidCon 2017, the convention celebrating the best and brightest of the online video community. Taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center from June 21st – June 24th, the convention highlights hundreds of online creators and the community that surrounds them. The weekend will feature creative panels, interviews, interactive events, and industry tips, as well as multiple panels about representation.

The online video community is home to many LGBTQ creators and celebrities, demonstrated in VidCon's line up, which hosts several panels focusing on diversity of online video, and celebrating being LGBTQ. Some of the well-known out youtubers include Hannah Hart, Tyler Oakley, Joey Graceffa, Todrick Hall, Ingrid Nelson, out transgender advocates Miles McKenna and Aydian Dowling, musician Dodie, comedy vloggers Ari Fitz and Lateef Thynative, scientist Sally Le Page, and so many more. You can find the whole list of featured creators here, and click on your favorites to see which panels they appear on.

Some of the LGBTQ focused events include a networking event for LGBTQIA+ creators, a LGBTQ Powerhouse panel, a Gender Identity panel, a panel on LGBTQ couples, and more. Beyond that, there are several panels on race, gender, and mental health representation in the online video community, as well as interviews with prominent LGBTQ creators. Below is a schedule of these events, and you can find the full VidCon schedule here. (Descriptions taken from the official VidCon Website.)

Thursday, June 22nd

Latinx Represent!

9:30 am – 10:30 am, Twitter Community Stage, Community Track

We're connected by our ancestry to Latin America, but we're also all so vastly different — nationalities, languages, sexual orientations, race, traditions, etc. How do Latinx content creators balance representing their culture while not erasing each other's differences?

This panel features Annie Segarra (Annie Elainey) who identifies as a disabled, chronically ill (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome), queer, and Latinx person of color, she mainly creates first-person video content on a variety of topics, as well as creative content such as music, poetry, and short films.

Protecting Yourself Online

9:30am – 10:30am, Trending Stage, Community Track

When you face the dark side of the internet, what can you do about it? Hear from creators who have experienced bullying, hate speech, or sextortion first-hand. And learn about the tools and tactics they used to overcome these horrible realities — or turn them into opportunities for activism. Whether you’re the victim of an online crime, or are an (unknowing) perpetrator of one, there are ways to proactively protect yourself and overcome such difficult experiences.

This panel features BriaAndChrissy, a singing duo/lesbian couple with original music, making videos that inspire. They use music and comedy to entertain, share, and promote equality.

The Voice!

11am – 12pm, Lifestyle Stage, Community Track

Social media platforms are powerful tools that can be used to create positive change. Hear from some of your favorite creators about how they use their VOICE and platforms to address issues that are important to them and their communities, and ultimately make the world a better place.

This panel features Ingrid Nilson, a Lifestyle Expert and Online Video Personality, who has amassed over 7 million followers across all her social channels and over 4 million subscribers on her YouTube channel alone. Since coming out on her channel, Ingrid has become a voice for strong, independent young women.

Race & Representation Discussion

2pm – 3pm, Press Play Stage, Community Track

On a platform so heavily influenced by the personal traits and characteristics of its creators, how much of a role do race and ethnicity play? How do creators' personal experiences of racial identity affect their creative process, and how does their audience respond to this? To what extent does YouTube benefit from being a more diverse platform, and, as online video grows and becomes more international, what are some of the changes we can expect to see within the medium?

This panel features Kat Blaque, a feminist Youtuber and Illustrator from Orange County California. She hosts a weekly series on her channel called "True Tea" where she answers audience questions about any and everything from issues of racism, LBGTQIA + issues and feminism. 

Sizing up the Industry

2pm – 3pm, Lifestyle Stage, Community Track

These creators share their opinions on the importance of body positivity, self-love, the perception of beauty, and how their approach to fashion and beauty content on YouTube and other social media platforms is changing the industry.

This panel includes Patrick Starrr, a bigger-than-life beauty influencer and self-taught makeup artist. Well-known in the professional beauty community before YouTube, Patrick took his talents online a few years ago to instruct a wider audience on his techniques and makeup tutorials.

How to Engage with Your Community

3:30pm – 4:30pm, Room 210, Creator Track

Engaging and keeping up with your community can be a full-time job. Learn from our panel of experts how they manage to find time and interact meaningfully with their communities. They’ll talk about how to moderate comments effectively and give all-around pointers on improving communication with your fans. 

This panel features Ash Hardell, a creator and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community; Julia Nunes, whose album, SOME FEELINGS, was released in September 25, 2015. Early on in her career she found success on YouTube and started to garner a dedicated following. She tours the world playing in clubs and living rooms and makes albums and videos in between; and Trevor Moran a multi-platform global media sensation as a songwriter, singer and performer with a combined social following of over 6 million fans.

Let's Talk About Mental Health

3:30pm – 4:30pm, Room 208, Creator Track

Your mental health is important! Join us in an honest conversation about what it’s like to share personal mental health information online and how many have found the courage to do so. We will also talk about getting professional help and how support from online communities has lessened the stigma in doing so. Remember, you’re not alone!

This panel features Annie Segarra and Connor Manning, a video blogger, actor, performer, bit of everything kind of individual. He's been making videos on YouTube since 2010 on a wide variety of subjects including mental health, sexuality, and advice. He also enjoys making narrative content as well as writing/performing music.

Networking Room – LGBTQIA+

3:30pm – 4:30om, Room 206, Creator Track

Join like-minded creators for a unique networking session! You'll have the chance to talk, collaborate, and make new friends.

Holy Trinity Q&A

3:30pm – 4:30pm, Twitter Community Stage, Community Track

Q&A with Grace Helbig, Hannah Hart, and Mamrie Hart.

Featuring Hannah Hart, an online personality, actress, producer, philanthropist and New York Times best-selling author. Boasting over 5 million followers across her social platforms, Hannah is the creator and star of her award-winning web series “My Drunk Kitchen, which started as a joke between friends and has now amassed millions of views. 

ThatsSoJack Q&A

3:30pm – 4:30pm, Trending Stage, Community Track

Q&A with Jack Baran aka ThatSoJack.

Just Between Us" Onstage Live

4pm – 4:25pm, Awesomeness Festival Stage, Community Track

Just Between Us is an LA-based odd couple comedy channel from co-dependent besties Allison Raskin and Gaby Dunn.

Half of Just Between Us is Gaby Dunn, a writer, comedian, and actress living in Los Angeles. She has sold shows to MTV, FX, YouTube Red and other places. Her channel with her comedy partner Allison Raskin has amassed more than 80 million views. 

LGBTQ Powerhouses

5pm – 6pm, Twitter Community Stage, Community Track

Some of the most influential LGBTQ creators will discuss the state of the online LGBTQ community, how to encourage each other’s channels, and why staying inclusive and welcoming is so important to the prosperity of the community.

This panel features Ingrid Nilson; Joey Graceffa, one of the leading content creators and actors on YouTube. Joey is a passionate storyteller and carries that sentiment into all of his projects; Miles McKenna (MilesChronicles), a groovy trans* human who is known for their leg hair; Stephanie Frosch (ElloSteph) also known as America's Lesbian Sweetheart, who uses her platform to discuss issues such as being LGBTQ+, body positivity, suicide prevention, and much more in an entertaining light; Tre Melvin, an American actor, singer, songwriter, published playwright, philanthropist, and YouTube personality; and Aydian Dowling, a FTM Transgender Activist. Motivational Speaker. YouTuber.

Friday, June 23rd

Gender Identity on YouTube

9:30am – 10:30am, Press Play Stage, Community Track

Hear from influential transgender and gender-nonconforming creators as they discuss their experiences on YouTube and navigating the world beyond.

This panel features Ash Hardell, Kat Blaque, Miles McKenna, and Aydian Dowling.

BuzzFeed Ladylike Q&A

9:30am – 10:30am, Fresh Faces Stage, Community Track

A Q&A with the creators and stars of Buzzfeed's Ladylike.

This features Chantel Houston, a senior producer at BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and a member of the company's top female unscripted show, Ladylike. In her career, Chantel has made it her mission to create content FOR women, exclusively made BY women; Kristin Chirico, a senior editor at BuzzFeed, and a cast member of BuzzFeed’s Ladylike, one of BuzzFeed’s most consistently high-performing video series; and Jen Ruggirello, a video producer for BuzzFeed. She currently produces for their series Ladylike. She's a big fan of terriers, Canon cameras, and the Chicago White Sox.

Tyler Oakley Q&A

9:30am – 10:30am, YouTube Arena, Community Track

Tyler Oakley is an independent creator on YouTube, one of the largest digital platforms to date. With over 8M+ subscribers on YouTube and over 23M+ across his social media platforms, he has been established as one of the most influential LGBTQ+ vloggers and is an A-Lister in the digital age.

Keeping Online Video Diverse

11am – 12pm, Twitter Community Stage, Community Track

Now more than ever, it is so important to have diverse voices on the internet. Join these creators as they talk about the challenges they face and the future of inclusivity on the internet.

This panel features Tre Melvin (This Is a Commentary).

PC Culture in Online Video

11am – 12pm, Press Play Stage, Community Track

PC Culture — it's a thing these days. In this session, creators who regularly navigate politically correct culture discuss how they handle toeing the line between edgy and inappropriate in their content. 

This panel features Gaby Dunn and Lateef Thynative, an upcoming lifestyle and comedy youtuber noticeable by his trademark purple hair and borderline androgynous style. He talks about LGBTQ and Black Subjects all while remaining humorous. 

Making It Work: LGBTQ+ Couples

2pm - 3pm, Press Play Stage, Community Tack

Some the internet's raddest LGBTQ+ power couples discuss what it’s like to create with their significant other, the highs and lows that follow, and what it takes to make their relationships work.

This panel features BriaAndChrissy and Team2Moms, a two-moms family hoping to provide the younger generations of LGBTQ people who struggle to envision raising a family, the hope and visibility that it is possible.

Interview – dodie

3:30pm – 3:55pm, Instant Interview Stage, Community Track.

Dodie is a 21 year old musician from London. She began sharing her life through her songs and videos online from 2011, and since then she has gained a fanbase of over 1 Million subscribers. Dodie’s Debut EP ‘Intertwined’ reached the TOP 40 In the UK Albums Chart and her first ever U.K Headline Tour (March 2017) sold out in under an hour.

Represent-ASIAN

3:30pm – 4:30pm, Trending Stage, Community Track

Some of the biggest creators in the history of online video have been Asian/Pacific Islanders. As different online video platforms emerge, are Asians still represented? Listen as some of the most popular API creators discuss whether they feel supported and well-represented in this ever growing digital age of online video. 

This panel include Ashly Perez, a Development Partner at BuzzFeed. She was one of the founding producers of BuzzFeedViolet, a YouTube channel with over 2.9 million followers. Her series "You Do You" was number one on the iTunes Store for two seasons. She is currently developing shows and short films for BuzzFeed Motion Pictures.

Disabilities on YouTube

3:30 – 4:30pm, Press Play Stage, Community Track

Disabled creators gather to share their personal experiences with disability and how those experiences intersect with, complicate, and enrich their YouTube content.

This panel includes Annie Segarra.

Interview – Ari Fitz

4:30 – 4:55, Instant Interview Stage, Community Track

Ari Fitz makes daily videos about pop culture, relationships and life. She's also known for her androgynous fashion with her style channel, TOMBOYISH.

Networking Room – Creators and Activism

5pm-6pm, Room 206, Creator Track

Join like-minded creators for a unique networking session! You'll have the chance to talk, collaborate, and make new friends.

This is my Team with Joey Graceffa

5pm-6pm, Room 204, Creator Track

It takes a village to raise a YouTuber. Hear from Joey Graceffa's manager, agent, publicist, and attorney about how they got on the team, what they do, and how they built their professional relationship. 

RESIST!

5pm-6pm, Trending Stage, Community Track

Activism! Come learn how to harness the power of the internet to create radical change.

This panel include Kat Blaque.

Not Straight, Not White, Not Serious

5pm-6pm, Fresh Faces Stage, Community Track

These non-straight, non-white creators won't let anyone pigeonhole them into a specific genre or category. Did we mention they're freaking hilarious? Join us for some laughs and weirdness as they discuss what makes them unique and how they translate their experiences into awesome content.

This panel features Hartbeat, a very out spoken and ridiculous comedian. Comedy that will have your sides tickling! Coming from the lesbian side of the LGBT community; Lateef Thynative; Mac Kahey (MacDoesIt), a satirical commentator who creates content that he calls a cross between “Intelligently funny” an “an organized hot mess” from pop culture reviews, skits, storytimes, etc.; Shan Boody, a sex/ love expert certified as a sexual educator and as a clinical sexologist; and F0xy, an online content creator from Virginia, who recently made the move to Los Angeles to pursue a career in comedy.

Saturday, June 24th

Accessibility on YouTube

11am – 12pm, Press Play Stage, Community Track

How can we make YouTube and the wider internet more accessible for more people? These creators will discuss what they've learned about facilitating and encouraging accessibility in online spaces through their own experiences.

This panel features Annie Segarra.

There's a Troll in the Dungeon

12:30pm – 1:30pm, Press Play Stage, Community Track

The internet can be an ugly place, and hate speech, trolling, and general criticism can be incredibly discouraging for creators. Join these tough as nails creators as they discuss how they handle the ever-present troll.

This panel features Miles Jai, whose channel is MilesJaiProductions, a comedian on YouTube and is among one of the top subscribed LGBT-themed channels with over 500,000 subscribers, Ricky Dillion, a multi­talented entertainer and online powerhouse, and is moderated by Ash Hardell.

Mental Health Discussion

2pm -3pm, Twitter Community Stage, Community Track

Top creators discuss mental health and how they found the courage to discuss such a personal subject on their channels. Listen as they talk about how they are breaking down stigmas and creating safe, healthy, and supportive communities.

This panel features Connor Manning, Hannah Hart, and Hartbeat.

Q&A with MyLifeAsEva

3:30pm – 4:30pm, Twitter Community Stage, Community Track

YouTube sensation Eva Gutowski (better known as MyLifeAsEva) is a top lifestyle and comedy personality with over 10M combined subscribers.

Interview With Todrick Hall

3:30pm – 3:55pm, Instant Interview Stage, Community Track

A native of Texas, Todrick is a singer, songwriter, dancer, actor, choreographer, playwright, costume designer, Broadway performer, American Idol finalist, star of his own self-titled MTV Show and viral YouTube sensation with over 2 million subscribers and 400 million views. He has teamed up with campaigns such as The Trevor Project, The City of West Hollywood, HIV Equal and HIV Beats to help raise awareness of several issues within the LGBTQ community.

The Gender Tag Meetup

7pm -8pm, Fresh Faces Stage, Community Track

The Gender Tag Project, now nearing 1,000 individual video contributions, is a strong foundation for thoughtful conversation about differing experiences of gender. Have you made a Gender Tag video? Watched one? Never heard of the project? Join people of all varieties whose experience with gender is salient for them. There will be activities, guided conversations, and opportunities to connect with those who have similar experiences, and those who don't.

This meetup features Ashley Wylde, a queer and gender nonbinary writer, activist, YouTuber, and travel enthusiast currently living in Missoula, Montana, the creator of The Gender Tag Project, which has inspired almost 1,000 individual videos responses.

 

Be sure to check some of these panels out if you're going to VidCon this weekend, and get a change to see your favorite LGBTQ online video personalities!

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