Lilly Singh: Why the YouTuber coming out as bisexual is 'worth celebrating'

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Lilly SinghImage source, Getty Images

YouTuber Lilly Singh has come out as bisexual in a tweet that celebrates her sexuality, race and gender.

She tweeted: "Female, coloured, bisexual" to her 5.74 million Twitter followers and received a huge outpouring of support from fans.

"Throughout my life these have proven to be obstacles from time to time. But now I'm fully embracing them as my superpowers," she wrote.

"No matter how many 'boxes' you check, I encourage you to do the same."

Lilly has a huge following online, with almost 15 million subscribers to her YouTube channel - which she describes as "comedy, inspiration, good vibes".

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

And fans like Afshan D'souza-Lodhi, who's South Asian and bisexual - like Lilly, are celebrating the YouTuber's announcement.

Image source, Kiran Gidda
Image caption,
Afshan believes Lilly coming out will help others to have conversations about sexuality with their families

"In the South Asian community there's a hesitancy for women to take ownership of their sexuality in the way Lilly has done," the 26-year-old writer and performer tells Newsbeat.

"She's hit a level of success and it's amazing news to have her come out like that."

Afshan says there is a lack of LGBT role models in South Asian culture, which is why so many people have welcomed Lilly's announcement.

But as well as celebrities, she'd like to see "more and more stories of regular, everyday people coming out and saying: 'I'm on the LGBT people spectrum as well'".

'I hope this allows our parents to have a discussion about sexuality'

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Lilly has been outspoken on gender and sexuality issues for many years

She also hopes Lilly's announcement will help young South Asian LGBT people begin to have more open conversations with family members - who may also be fans of the YouTuber.

"My parents have seen Superwoman videos. I've made them sit and watch them," says Afshan.

"They've laughed and found it really funny. The videos get shared on Facebook so they have access to that, so for her to come out and to normalise bisexuality in the way she has, allows our parents to have that discussion."

'A bisexual Indian woman is worth celebrating'

Shiva Raichandani has been following Lilly since she uploaded her first ever video to YouTube.

He says he's a fan because of the positivity and energy she brings to her videos and live shows.

The non-binary artist and performer says he hopes Lilly's coming out results in more "acceptance" for bisexual people of South Asian descent.

Image source, Hanish Daryanani
Image caption,
"To have someone in her position impart knowledge around bisexuality, that's beautiful," says Shiva

"Any recognition we can get for bisexual folk in the community is 100% appreciated," he tells Newsbeat.

"This is a bisexual woman with millions of fans worldwide, many of whom are bisexual Indian women themselves.

"A bisexual Indian woman to publicly own her sexuality on a massive platform is worth celebrating. Now, she gives that platform to younger generations to feel comfortable in their own sexuality and their own skin."

He says that as an influencer, Lilly has been shaping "attitudes and opinions" throughout her career, and will now hopefully do that for a better understanding of LGBT issues in South Asian culture.

Lilly in 2016: 'I hope one day I discover I'm bi'

Lilly has been tweeting about her support for the LGBT community for many years (along with creating YouTube videos on LGBT issues), sharing her support for gay pride events and gay marriage long before she came out.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

In 2016 she even said that she hoped one day she'd come out as bi. Three years later, she's done just that.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

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