Popular YouTuber Anna Akana has come out during her acceptance speech at the Streamy Awards.
The 29-year-old performer, who has 2.4 million subscribers, told the audience on Monday (October 22): “I’m not only a woman of colour, but I’m also a queer woman” as she picked up the honour for acting in a drama.
Akana, whose performances in YouTube Red series Youth & Consequences earned her the Best Actor in a Drama Series honour at the online video award show, also urged people to vote in the US midterms, saying: “People need us more than ever. Marginalised groups need us more than ever.”
After the show, she admitted that she had not intended to reveal her sexuality at the ceremony, explaining that her decision to do so was down to the amount of alcohol she consumed.
“I did not expect to win Best Actor in a Drama Series cause I’ve been nominated every year but never win—so I got very inebriated and came out as bisexual for the first time ever publicly,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Thanks everyone for the outpouring of love and support. Please vote on Nov 6.”
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The American actress, whose YouTube videos have been viewed more than 260 million times, also tweeted a clip of her accepting the speech, commenting: “I guess I came out on the streamys.”
She joked to one fan: “I can’t reveal my sexuality without some kind of award I guess?” before quipping: “Alcohol. It’s a hell of a drink.”
Akana followed in the footsteps of fellow YouTuber Andrea Russett, who came out to her 7.5 million Twitter followers and four million Instagram fans last month, the day before Bi Visibility Day, because — she said — her best friend Sandra Poenar told her she believed that queer people go to hell.
“I came out to Sandra as bisexual four years ago. (Surprise! Yeah. Not exactly how I planned to come out publicly, but s**t happens I guess),” she wrote in a lengthy social media post.
She added that she wanted to tell “anyone who is struggling with anything similar in their life, you are not alone.
“You are not any less of a person because of who you may choose to love.”
Another star of the platform, Elle Mills, also came out as bisexual in November 2017, with a spectacular video which has so far attracted around four million views.
She told fans that her sexuality was something she had struggled to talk about to people close to her, leaving her depressed.
But after going through a personal journey, she posed in front of her rainbow-covered home and told her audience: “I’m Elle Mills and I’m bisexual.”