On Wednesday (20 January), two things were trending on Twitter. One was, predictably, Joe Biden‘s inauguration. The other was a strange hashtag: #LGBTforcorpse.
The hashtag feed was packed with photos of young LGBT+ people showing their support for a YouTuber called Corpse Husband. But just who exactly is he, and why has he amassed such a huge following in the LGBT+community?
To answer that first question, we have to go back to 2015, which despite seeming like yesterday was actually six years ago, somehow. Corpse Husband launched his YouTube channel that year, and dedicated it to narrating horror stories in his trademark, low, gravelly voice, which he says is due to his chronic illness. He suffers from fibromyalgia and the reflux disease GERD; he also has thoracic outlet syndrome.
He continued narrating horror stories solidly for five years, which is longer than most relationships, so kudos to him for that. Then, in 2020, Corpse Husband decided to rebrand as first a musician, then as a gamer.
In June of that year, he released his debut single “Miss You!”, which peaked at 31 on the Rock/Alt Billboard charts. His follow up single “White Tee” reached 32.
Then in September, he started streaming the hugely popular multiplayer game Among Us, where gamers come together to try and guess who the saboteur is among a team of astronauts. That really took off, and he quickly reached 6 million subscribers.
He kept going with the music, too, releasing a single called “E-Girls Are Ruining My Life!” which ranked No. 2 on Spotify’s Viral 50 songs chart: a bit of a jump from the Rock/Alt Billboard.
October of that year saw Corpse Husband – who was still faceless and anonymous – collaborate with congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and several other streamers for a live-streamed session of Among Us aimed at boosting voter turnout in the 2020 election.
You’re probably thinking: “OK, fine, but what has that got to do with the LGBT+ community?” Don’t worry, we’re just getting to that.
Although Corpse Husband confirmed that he’s straight (in this YouTube video), he’s been clear that he supports the LGBT+ community. His LGBT+ fans also say that he’s created a safe space in what can sometimes be a toxic online environment. Many also say that they relate to his openness about his anxiety and health issues, and they like how “genuine” he seems.
One typical comment reads: “He’s very relatable for me, I struggle with stuff similar to him. It makes me comfortable and happy to hear him open up about deep rooted issues, like mental health, anxiety, etc. He is also a very genuine and one of my positive influences in life.”
Another LGBT+ fan wrote: “I love how genuine and caring he is, and how he always wants everyone to feel included comfortable. I love how much of an advocate he is for both mental and physical health too, it means a lot to me to see him be so honest and open about his struggles. He’s just so sweet.”
The #LGBTforcorpse hashtag is a clear sign that the YouTuber has bounced back from a fairly hefty chunk of controversy, where he was “almost cancelled” after using the word “d**e” in a video.
Corpse Husband also reads real-life horror stories sent directly to him by his fans, about “real s**t people go through.” He read out a story sent in by a transgender woman about a transphobe who verbally abused her, and called her a “d**e.” Corpse Husband was criticised for reading out the word in the story.
He responded to the controversy in a video, shared on Twitter, which has had 1.8m views and over 10k retweets at the time of writing, saying he had been glad to cover the woman’s story as he “wanted to show the struggles of what trans people go through, and I support trans people.”
However, he went on to say: “In the video I read the word out loud, and I realise now I shouldn’t have done that. I didn’t realise the severity of the word or I obviously wouldn’t have said it.”
He ended by thanking everyone for educating him, and said he’d taken the video down.
Most of the comments beneath the Twitter video were positive. One top comment read: “As a non-binary gender fluid trans person I feel like you handled the situation very well. We appreciate you relating stories of trans people. Thank you for acknowledging your mistake, deleting it and being willing to learn and tell trans stories, it’s important for us.”
Others were accepting of the apology, but also said that it was important not to brush the issue under the carpet.
If nothing else, the #LGBTforcorpse hashtag was a great way for the YouTuber’s many LGBT+ fans to discover and follow each other, as well as cementing the YouTuber’s position as an ally. At the end of the day, we can never have enough of them.