Ridder, Dhaenens | DiGeSt. Journal of Diversity and Gender Studies
This contribution explores the popularity of coming out videos in contemporary media culture. Examining coming out videos as a collection of popular media practices, it demonstrates how media cultures are shaping and regulating the meanings of coming out videos in queer youth culture. The aim of this paper is to deconstruct the functionalistic logics in which society and academic insights are taken the emancipatory potentials of an online coming out for granted. This paper argues that the politics of coming out stories on YouTube should be seen in relation to how media authenticate value in the form of symbolic capital to coming out stories. It is shown how these values relate to sexual hierarchies; such popular media practices silence the emotional investment of queer teens necessary to acquire such symbolic capital. Thereby, media cultures attain a value (economic or symbolic) to queer youths’ most vulnerable and defining moment.