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This morning, many queer individuals woke up to shocking news on Twitter: Kalvin Garrah's channel has been deleted. #BringBackKalvin. While some are devastated or disappointed, others are content with this decision. But most people are angry. Angry that, once again, YouTube has taken down a queer person's content just because their opinion isn't what they want it to be.
Garrah's channel is a bit controversial in the trans YouTube community. He is a great man, but sometimes his videos can be taken the wrong way. He tends to be defensive, occasionally even aggressive in his fight for trans acceptance. He has a dislike for "SJW's," which often upsets alt leftist trans people. However, when looking at the actual YouTube guidelines, Garrah has rarely, dare I say never, violated any of the rules.
It would be one thing if they had only deleted his more politically inclined videos. However, it is all gone. This includes his transition videos—from his voice comparisons to top surgery vlog to his how-to's for trans guys.
Personally, I watched these videos all the time. They have been a great resource for me, and made me feel valid at my lowest points of discovering my identity. I think I speak for many trans guys when I say that he has been a great role model for us. Taking down his channel feels like a punch in the gut from YouTube.
Some alt-left YouTubers are pleased with the decision because of Garrah's tendency to be more centered. They call him out for being right-aligned when he has actually stated that he is a Democrat. He has even defended the nonbinary people they claim he is attacking. I would link the videos, but I cannot, as they no longer exist.
Garrah is not the only queer creator to be attacked by YouTube, though. Chase Ross, arguably the opposite of Garrah, was demonetized in early June of this year. However, after he experimented with his content, he found the only difference between the monetized and demonetized videos were whether or not they said "trans" in the title. The actual video content was identical. Talk about censorship.
Ross isn't the only one being demonetized for queer content. Countless creators, such as Stevie Boebi, Ash Hardell, and Tyler Oakley are having to turn to Patreon and other forms of funding due to the constant demonetization and hiding of content by YouTube.
And demonetization and deletion aren't the only ways YouTube is censoring the queer community. In June, anti-LGBT ads were being played before videos. And not just any videos, it specifically targeted LGBT creators. Chase Ross, Elijah Daniel, and Aaron Ansuini created a campaign during this time known as You Can't Delete Us to fight against both the demonetization and anti-LGBT ads.
YouTube also does not allow any gay or trans content in "Restricted Mode," an account setting used for minors or anyone not wishing to come across explicit content. Thomas Sanders, for instance, posts no explicit content, and yet none of his videos are available when in safe mode. Same goes for countless other queer creators—for the sole reason that they are gay.
My question for YouTube is this: How can you censor queer creators just for creating content about themselves, while Logan Paul can make a video making fun of suicide victims, and parents can make videos of themselves borderline abusing their children, and get little to no punishment from the site itself?
Until YouTube stops discriminating against queer creators, we must keep fighting for equality. It is unjust to demonetize and delete creators just for their gender or sexuality.