Patrick Starrr: Why heterosexual celebs are important to LGBT awareness

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PatrickStarrImage source, Getty Images

YouTuber Patrick Starrr says his videos with celebrities like Kim Kardashian-West and Naomi Campbell help to increase LGBT awareness.

"It's strategic of me to tap in with heterosexual celebrities to show that someone like me can be successful," he tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

"Partnering with them leverages my visibility to an untapped market."

The make-up artist posts tutorials onto his YouTube channel - which has more than four million subscribers.

Over the past six years the 29-year-old's videos have received around 300m views.

And as well as giving his fans tips on how to do their make-up like their favourite celebrities, he's also started interviewing them.

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A-listers like Naomi Campbell have recently joined YouTube and are keen to tap into Patrick's millions of followers.

But he says he's picky about who he works with and deliberately chooses celebrities who aren't part of the LGBT community.

Speaking to Newsbeat at VidCon London, he says: "There's more work to be done in representing the voices that aren't heard."

The most common question he gets asked - because he wears make-up - is if he's a drag queen.

"I identify as a gay man," he explains. "I don't do drag."

He says he wears make-up so potential customers will see he's a good make-up artist and trust him.

He jokes: "Would you want to go to a dentist with no teeth?"

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Often, he admits, celebrities will "slide into the DMs" approaching him to work with them for his channel.

Other times bosses from YouTube partner him up with stars that the platform wants to have a successful following.

Patrick - whose real name is Patrick Simondac - says he's also having meetings with Victoria Beckham but wants to make sure "it's the right fit" to work together as he continues his aim to offer better representation of LGBT issues online.

At VidCon, he says, a teenage girl at a meet-and-greet thanked him for helping her come out as bisexual.

"Just existing and co-existing with these allies and celebrities advances the visibility," he says.

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