It’s always exciting when my students begin to engage media outside of class in new and affirming ways. I’ve subscribed to Clarielle Marsh’s YouTube channel, and after reading my Q & A with her, you may want to check out her work, too!
Mary: Coming out is a process that varies greatly from individual to individual. Why have you chosen YouTube as a forum?
Clarielle: Back in high school when I first started trying to figure out my sexuality, I didn’t really have anyone I could talk to or ask questions. So of course I looked to the internet for my education. I found YouTube to be particularly helpful because the queer channels and YouTubers I found gave me some sort of image that I didn’t see in my own life and that I couldn’t quite create from reading articles and blogs. The videos I watched on YouTube were not only entertaining, visually appealing, and super accessible, but also really affirming. YouTube gave me hope that I could live openly as a queer person and be happy. I did notice in my early watching though that there weren’t many queer YouTubers of color, specifically ones that looked like me. I started Life of a Baby Gay because I wanted to change that a bit. I think it’s really important in the coming out process and in the process of discovering your identity that you be able to see yourself in the world around you.
Mary: Tell me what inspired the episode opening animation and the name of your channel.
Clarielle: The name “Life of a Baby Gay” just came to me one day as I was thinking about what I wanted this channel to be. When I came out during my sophomore year of college, I gained several really great queer friends and “baby gay” was one of the terms we would use to describe fellow burgeoning queer folk. So the name of my channel was inspired by that really important time in my life and the relationship building that happened for me then. I also think that the name “Life of a Baby Gay” communicates this idea that this channel is intended to be a sort of peek into how one lives openly as a queer person…or at least how I do.