Sunday, June 03, 2007

Talk to Me People

June is Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, and William Sledd's Ask A Gay Man's Show Your Pride video on YouTube has already garnered tens of thousands of views and at least 87 video responses, many from young people talking about coming out to their families and to America on YouTube, as these two teens did. Like other video weblogs, often these online videos are shot in bedrooms with beds in the backgrounds, upon which at least one respondent jumped up and down for joy. So far comments have been remarkably restrained despite the status of Sledd's video on YouTube's most watched list. Sledd himself has been leaving appreciative notes on his supporters' videos, in which he presents himself as a kind of ideal reader who describes reactions to their content like "nearly in tears" and "super cute" and "omg this is so funny! i watched it like 6 times!" in encouragement. Remixes haven't appeared yet, but there are some comments that use Sledd's footage and provide their own voice-overs.

As a venue for recording street violence and police brutality, YouTube is also recording how gay pride parades around the world, like this one in Moscow, have been attacked by thugs from hate groups.

Update: Now there are a slew of homophobic and abusive comments underneath Sledd's video, so perhaps I spoke too soon.

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