When Tyler Oakley made his first YouTube video just to let his friends in on his activities in his new school, he probably didn’t know that it will boomerang into a fulltime career for him. Starting out as an internet celebrity, Tyler has over the years proved himself as an LGBTQ activist, author and TV host.
Tyler built his brand as a YouTube star simply by being himself. Lighthearted chatty monologues on just anything, from small-town talk to personal issues such as his battles with anorexia and domestic violence. He has successfully grown his brand beyond YouTube to become a media mogul in his own right. He has written a bestselling memoir, owns an eyewear collection and hosts a weekly talk show, The Tyler Oakley Show on Ellen DeGeneres’ digital network.
The year 2014 was a great one for Tyler; he got to tour the world, was named Most Popular Male Web Star at the Teen Choice Awards and got to meet the former U.S. President Barack Obama. He also made a video with former first lady Michelle Obama discussing education issues. It doesn’t get better than that!
The audience of millions which the internet offers has earned Tyler Oakley a global influence and saw him feature in Forbes ’30 Under 30′ power list for 2017. Tyler is literally on top of the world!
He was born Matthew Tyler Oakley on March 22, 1989, in Jackson, Michigan. He was raised by his mom after his parents divorced when he was 3. Both his parents remarried adding 11 new siblings to Tyler’s complicated family tree. At age 6, Tyler’s mum and stepdad Ken moved to Okemos with their 6 kids including Tyler.
Before he turned ten, Tyler’s dad tried to gain custody of him through the legal system. The series of custody hearings, the fear of having to move cities and start over in a new school coupled with the realization of his sexuality took a toll on the 12-year-old Tyler Oakley. In no time he was battling anorexia; working too hard at the gym and skipping meals in a bid to feel better about his looks. However, Tyler found some respite by getting involved in the choir and musicals and by ninth grade, he had the disorder well under control.
Tyler Oakley began making YouTube videos as an 18-year-old freshman at Michigan State University. Before posting his first video, Tyler spent a week studying a number of notable YouTubers. That first video got just about a hundred views. Several years down the line he has become a YouTube sensation with 7.9 million YouTube subscribers, a cumulative 648 million views on his videos and millions of followers on other social networks.
Tyler Oakley studied communication at Michigan State University. Upon graduation, he moved to San Francisco with best friend Korey Kuhl where he worked running social media operations for startups. But he soon realized doing social media for a company was not as fulfilling as doing it for himself and so in 2012, Tyler quit his 9-5 job to become a full-time YouTuber. That would sure go down as one of the wisest decisions he’d ever make.
Tyler’s parents got divorced when he was about 3 years of age and he went to live with his mum while his older sister Cody got to go with their father. Both parents remarried within two years of their separation and had other children making Tyler the third youngest of the “steps and halfs”. He grew up as the youngest of six kids raised by his mum and stepdad and the third youngest of the total 12.
His stepdad who was a carpenter lost his woodcraft shop to fire, therefore, Tyler’s part of the family struggled unlike his siblings living with his dad who attended private schools. Tyler didn’t like his father as a kid, however, their relationship has improved since he attained adulthood. Unlike those with his dad, Tyler has a very close relationship with his mum and she featured in some of his videos.
Tyler Oakley’s Net Worth
Tyler Oakley’s career as a YouTuber, media mogul among other things has helped him accumulate a net worth of $8 million. He raked in $6 million in 2016 alone making him the 5th highest paid YouTube star of that year.
Tyler mentioned in his memoir “Binge” that he was dating a man and that he would love to get married someday but he didn’t reveal the identity of the supposed boyfriend. A year before his book was released, Tyler made a boyfriend tag video with Troye Sivan which made fans speculate that Sivan was his boyfriend. However, Sivan was also linked to another person at that time and since then, details about Tyler Oakley’s relationship have remained sketchy. In his book, Oakley also revealed that he was once in an abusive relationship in college.
Is Tyler Gay Or Straight?
Tyler’s sexuality is not in doubt as he is openly gay. He is also very passionate and vocal about issues affecting the LGBTQ community. He has inspired many young people to come out including singer Ricky Martin. Using his status as a famous YouTuber, Tyler has raised over $1 million for The Trevor Project, a U.S. nonprofit that focuses on suicide prevention in the LGBTQ community. He admits that to be one of his most important achievements.
He opened up to his mum about his sexuality when he was 11. However, he did not come out to other family and friends till he was 14. When he eventually did, his family and friends were receptive, except his born-again dad who worked endlessly to drive “other boys” out of Tyler’s mind and fill his mind with God.