Meet the 47 incredible YouTubers joining forces to change the world.

When YouTuber Riyadh K shared his coming out story with the world, it came as a shock to viewers.

But it wasn't shocking because Riyadh is gay — it was that his father had a confession of his own: The night he found out about his son's sexuality, he had thought about taking his own life.

“It was stupid,” his father says through tears.


Camera rolling, Riyadh embraces him, and goes on to tell his audience of over 300,000 subscribers about the incredible journey his family had been on since that night years ago.  

Because despite the initial shock and despite their conservative backgrounds, his parents have gone on to lead pride parades, meet their son's boyfriends, and celebrate his community. They love their son unconditionally.

“I’ve never seen a turnaround in two parents as I’ve seen in these two,” Riyadh tells his audience. “If we can go from where we were, to where we are now ... you can too.”

While most people wouldn’t dream of posting a video like this, it was natural for Riyadh, who knew just how impactful these videos could be.

After all, he had relied on the community of LGBTQ+ YouTubers to find self-acceptance for himself. “YouTube was a safe haven for me at a time when I felt alone, lost and unsure of who I was,” he said in a press statement.

And today, his video has been viewed over 5 million times. Not only that, but there are over 13,000 comments on Riyadh’s video, many from parents and queer youth alike, deeply grateful for his family’s honesty.

All photos via YouTube.

For content creators like Riyadh, YouTube is more than just a platform — it’s an important opportunity to make an impact.

“It was on YouTube that I became an 'accidental activist,'” he said. “I found my people and I found a purpose on this incredible platform.”

He continued, “Using YouTube to engage a global audience on issues that matter to me and my community has become my primary focus and passion in life."

That’s why this year, Riyadh has joined forces with 47 other creators around the world as part of YouTube’s Creators for Change program.

It’s a global initiative for YouTubers looking to promote awareness and empathy for diverse communities as well as the social issues that impact them most.

Creators from countries as far away as Indonesia, Israel, and Turkey have joined him in the Creators for Change program. Among them are Omar Farooq from Bahrain, whose weekly series “Omar Tries” features Omar exploring different professions and experiences to better understand people and cultures around the world.

“Seeing life through the eyes of others is the way to tolerance and acceptance,” said Farooq. “This [can] defeat any form of hate.”

There’s also Victoria Volkova, a creator in Mexico City who documented her gender transition in an effort to promote acceptance and awareness for the transgender community, particularly women.

“The Creators for Change program means an opportunity for all those communities that feel like an outcast or that they don’t belong to have a voice,” she said. “I can try to give power to these communities and [let] them know that they matter.”

Another creator is Jouelzy, who created the #SmartBrownGirl movement to empower women of color and create a safe space for them to push back against the norms that harm them. "Cultural education is needed," she said, "both in that you learn about others, but also that you learn about your own ancestors and the stories that connect us all."

With the help of YouTube’s Creators for Change program — which includes boot camps, video production help, and mentorship — creators like Riyadh, Farooq, Jouelzy, and Volkova will be empowered to do even more for their communities.

With a combined 26 million subscribers between them, this year’s Creators for Change could have a huge, global impact.

That's also why they hope to inspire others to raise their voices and make a difference too.

“The more we talk with and understand one another, the better we can come to an understanding of how to make this world better for the next generation,” YouTuber and Creator for Change ambassador Jazza John said. That's why he uses his platform to educate audiences about gay rights, technology, racism, and more.

While starting a conversation might seem simple, creators like Riyadh know that it's at the core of changing hearts and minds.

“The moment we start sharing stories is when we begin to empathize with one another, and destroy the barrier between ‘us’ and ‘them’ that we never knew was there,” he said.

“The more we normalize the ‘other’” he added, “the faster we can learn to accept and love what we are not.”

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Women around the world are constantly bombarded by traditional and outdated societal expectations when it comes to how they live their lives: meet a man, get married, buy a home, have kids.

Many of these pressures often come from within their own families and friend circles, which can be a source of tension and disconnect in their lives.

Global skincare brand SK-II created a new campaign exploring these expectations from the perspective of four women in four different countries whose timelines vary dramatically from what their mothers, grandmothers, or close friends envision for them.

SK-II had Katie Couric meet with these women and their loved ones to discuss the evolving and controversial topic of marriage pressure and societal expectations.

SK-II

"What happens when dreams clash with expectations? We're all supposed to hit certain milestones: a degree, marriage, a family," Couric said before diving into conversation with the "young women who are defining their own lives while navigating the expectations of the ones who love them most."

Maluca, a musician in New York, explains that she comes from an immigrant family, which comes with the expectation that she should live the "American Dream."

"You come here, go to school, you get married, buy a house, have kids," she said.

Her mother, who herself achieved the "American Dream" with hard work and dedication when she came to the United States, wants to see her daughter living a stable life.

"I'd love for her to be married and I'd love her to have a big wedding," she said.

Chun Xia, an award-winning Chinese actress who's outspoken about empowering other young women in China, said people question her marital status regularly.

"I'm always asked, 'Don't you want to get married? Don't you want to start a family and have kids like you should at your age?' But the truth is I really don't want to at this point. I am not ready yet," she said.

In South Korea, Nara, a queer-identifying artist, believes her generation should have a choice in everything they do, but her mother has a different plan in mind.

SK-II

"I just thought she would have a job and meet a man to get married in her early 30s," Nara's mom said.

But Nara hopes she can one day marry her girlfriend, even though it's currently illegal in her country.

Her mother, however, still envisions a different life for her daughter. "Deep in my heart, I hope she will change her mind one day," she said.

Maina, a 27-year-old Japanese woman, explains that in her home country, those who aren't married by the time they're 25 to 30, are often referred to as "unsold goods."

Her mom is worried about her daughter not being able to find a boyfriend because she isn't "conventional."

"I really want her to find the right man and get married, to be seen as marriage material," she said.

After interviewing the women and their families, Couric helped them explore a visual representation of their timelines, which showcased the paths each woman sees her life going in contrast with what her relatives envision.

SK-II

"For each young woman, two timelines were created. One represents the expectations. The other, their aspirations," Couric explained. "There's often a disconnect between dreams and expectations. But could seeing the difference lead to greater understanding?"

The women all explored their timelines, which included milestones like having "cute babies," going back to school, not being limited by age, and pursuing dreams.

By seeing their differences side-by-side, the women and their families were able to partake in more open dialogue regarding the expectations they each held.

One of the women's mom's realized her daughter was lucky to be born during a time when she has the freedom to make non-traditional choices.

SK-II

"It looks like she was born in the right time to be free and confident in what she wants to do," she said.

"There's a new generation of women writing their own rules, saying, 'we want to do things our way,' and that can be hard," Couric explained.

The video ends with the tagline: "Forge your own path and choose the life you want; Draw your own timeline."

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