There are several YouTube personalities I love listening to. Some of my favorites off the top of my head include Redlettermedia, Mr. Nightmare, the 8-bit Guy, Wisecrack, Defunctland and AlternateHistoryHub. There’s something special about how the internet allows Average Joes to reach out and share their unique perspectives, or niche interests with the world at large. It allows passionate people to teach us about their favorite subjects more effectively than any classroom could, and all without any corporate agenda, intrusive monetization (although that’s changing, sadly) or pandering to the lowest common denominator. For me as a film buff, it’s nice to just listen to James talk about classic horror movies at length, or describe his own evolution as a filmmaker. KingsAndGenerals and Historia Civilis give great insight into Ancient socio-political/military history as well as military tactics that I find so fascinating. These are subjects I love to study in my own free time, yet cannot find anyone to discuss them with intelligently. Channels such as these fill that role in my life, and I’m sure various content producers or vlogs do the same for countless other people.
And then there’s YouTubable 😜
I found him through my girlfriend as someone I could study in order to train my voice. He’s also recommended on some of the transgender subreddits every time someone asks about voice feminization. This is not without reason, because he is legit fantastic at sounding like a woman. The first video I saw, besides the one where he teaches you how to imitate his voice, is the one where he goes to the gym dressed as a woman…because Halloween. And if I’m being honest, I started watching the rest of his stuff after that mostly just because I was bored, they’re quick to get through and YouTubable is absolutely gorgeous. Male or female, he makes for a very pretty girl, and I’m not ashamed to admit that.
The problem though is that most of his videos are immature, repetitive and debatably offensive to trans people. Though personally I don’t care, I know some who would since he plays into that “trap”/”that means you’re gay!” stereotype that can be harmful to the way we’re perceived. Youtubable’s shtick is essentially this: pretend to be a woman, either on Xbox Live or Omeagle, and use his amazing voice, dainty face and drag to trick men into making fools of themselves. He’ll pretend to be attracted to them, make them dance, sing, moan or even kiss any other men in the room with them. Then the big reveal (“LOL jk, bro! I’m a guy!!”) He’ll sometimes tease victims about being gay, or for the things they said about his ass/face and what they wanted to do to him just minutes before. It gets old fast, and frankly with the exception of a few choice reactions, it isn’t that funny in my personal opinion. I’m not saying I dislike it or don’t think he should do it, just that it’s not my style of humor.
What’s endearing about the whole series (and very surprising) is the way most people are totally cool with it once the jig is up. They often laugh just as hard as YouTubable does, compliment his skill at passing, and some even openly admit they’re still attracted to him. It’s really nice to see so many people who can take a joke or who are secure enough in their masculinity to not mind admitting they found a man attractive in the right circumstance. The only outright hostile reactions I’ve yet to see were from a group of three teens who called him “tr*nny” and “f*ggot” as well as a self-professed military veteran who took it as a grave affront to his dignity that he’d been tricked like that.
I’m not even sure if any of this was intended by Youtubable himself, but his videos have actually done some good outside the lame prank. First, as I said earlier, he’s the go-to suggestion for MTF transpeople to study in order to train their voice. Second, his ability to pass without any hormones is also a great inspiration, at least to me. At the very least it shows a man can be beautiful, which I think is important. Third, it’s an interesting examination of the power attractive women have over men, where these people would gladly debase themselves to please a girl they don’t know and will never physically interact with. Finally, I feel like his videos are doing a good job showing that there’s no shame in admitting you found a man attractive.
Some of the best, chillest responses came from tough military men in their bunks, and other stereotypical “manly men.” The ones who get embarrassed or overreact tend to be younger and/or desperate single guys who thought they’d finally scored. Since Youtubable himself is ripped (even the buff army guys admitted he could beat them up) it just shows you can be a tough macho guy while still enjoying the act of dressing up–even look good doing it too. Also an important lesson to people who cross-dress, and those who would judge them for it, that partaking in some feminine activities or attributes doesn’t somehow negate your masculinity. You can like feminine presentation and still be a guy if you want to. At this point, women can wear pants, suits, play sports and be career-oriented. It’s past time men had the freedom to cross over into stereotypical feminine roles, and someone like YouTubable is helping to make that possible whether he realized it or not.
Depending on how deeply you want to go down this rabbit hole though, there may be an unspoken dark side. The running joke within the joke on a lot of reddit threads and youtube comments is that YouTubable’s a transvestite acting out his kink, or a closeted transwoman too secure in her current life, or too insecure in her convictions, to come out of the closet. Among other things, he’s always beaming with happiness when in girl mode, he clearly enjoys listening to what the guys say they’d do to him, and even shows off his ass in leggings to the camera with no apparent target to the “prank.” One notable video even has YouTubable getting angry that a guy left him hanging on Xbox Live—he leaves the person a private message sounding like a jilted lover who never got a call back from a date they really liked. Whatever the case, there’s clearly a lot of emotional investment and personal satisfaction in this ritual beyond just the cheap laughs from redoing the same gag over and over.
I won’t presume to understand YouTubable’s life and personality enough to weigh in either direction. But I will point out that whether he’s perfectly happy keeping “Rachel” as a part-time alias or scared to make the transformation complete, he’s doing a wonderful thing by making these videos and exposing other people’s good humor about such things. I think these videos and media like them help other assigned-males, or effeminate men realize they don’t have to be ashamed to embrace their alternative identities or kinks, and that’s what really matters. Even on the off-chance YouTubable himself isn’t comfortable being upfront about his feminine side, other people in the future will be far less likely to be scared into self-betrayal because of his actions. I know for a fact it helped me not be as scared when first coming out.