Tyler Oakley, the content creator and YouTube star whose channel has nearly 8 million subscribers, released a new video Tuesday for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month that highlights eight LGBTQ+ activists who he says "deserve recognition for their incredible work."
"As a digital creator who benefits from being white, male, and cisgender, it's so important for me to recognize my privilege, and use my platform to uplift and amplify the voices of often disenfranchised communities," Oakley, who has been recognized nationally for his work and activism, told NBC News.
In his 7 minute-long video, Oakley shares facts about eight Asian-American activists he highlights as "trailblazers," including California State Assemblymember Evan Low, who made history in 2010 as the country's youngest openly gay mayor; civil rights leader Cecilia Chung, whose work as part of the San Francisco Health Commission led to San Francisco being "the first city in the country to cover gender confirmation surgery;" and the late poet Ifti Nasim, whose collection "Narman" was the first publication to include LGBT themes in the Urdu language.
Oakley acknowledged in his video that Asian Americans are often misrepresented and left out of the media, school curriculums, and LGBTQ+ history, adding to NBC News, "These people are incredible examples of bravery and empathy, and deserve to be just as known and appreciated as Harvey Milk or Marsha P Johnson."
Among the individuals Oakley praises in his video are comedian Margaret Cho and actor George Takei; in the video description he also includes additional names of people he follows and admires, such as actress — and "NBC Asian America Presents: A to Z" honoree — Ivory Aquino (who portrayed Chung in the ABC miniseries, "When We Rise") and comedian Teresa Lee.