The emergence of the internet in the twenty-first century has introduced the world to a new breed of celebrity. Previously, people were fascinated and amused mostly by celebrities, singers, and performance artists; however, it is now certain that the film industry has been transferred to internet stars and influencers. Many websites, including YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitch, and others, have given many young, talented, and aspiring entertainers the ability to do their job and succeed. Such names as Thomas Sanders, Felix Kjellberg (also known as PewDiePie), Caroline Konstnar, and others sound like Bruce Willis, George Michael, and Britney Spears of the modern-day. In fact, the attention paid to Thomas Sanders’ sexuality and personal life proves the idea that internet personalities serve as a modern form of actual celebrities.
The Phenomenon of Internet Celebrities
For the past decade or so, internet personalities have become a true cultural phenomenon. In his recent article, Charles L. Mitchell provides that the modern internet celebrities are also referred as influencers for a good reason. Not only many of them manage to depict the contemporary realities but they also manage to directly affect consumer behavior, subcultures, and the entertainment industry in general, among other aspects of societal life. At the same time, the public interest in their personal traits and lives is also quite sharp, with many followers attempting to represent some aspects of those in their own lives (Mitchell). Hence, internet personalities can seriously influence the lives of many people and can be considered the important societal influencers of modern-day.
Thomas Sanders: Career, Life, and Sexuality
Thomas Sanders rose to fame as one of many internet personalities in 2013. Initially publishing his videos on Vine social network with him performing the comedy sketches, Sanders eventually directed his content to music and discussion of the important social issues on his YouTube channel long before the shutdown of Vine in 2017 (Huddleston). Over his career, he managed to collect a vast and powerful audience of over 3 million subscribers on YouTube alone. His music and comedy acts are usually met with strong acclaim and his discussions are often supported by his fans and followers. Yet is Thomas Sanders gay?
Sanders’ personal was not extraordinary by any means. Born in 1989 Gainesville, FL into a family of working parents and was the third child. Sanders once explained his interest in music and performance arts with his heritage on his mothers’ side as his maternal great-grandmother Ziegfeld Follies girl, a singing troupe connected to Broadway in the early 20th century (Sanders, “Discovered Today…”). By the time he started his active internet career, Sanders graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. At the same time, he sang and acted at various school, college, and university-level venues since 2002 (Sanders, “Gender Roles”). Hence, his achievements as a celebrity provide that Sanders is quite an aspiring artist and performer who is confident in his actions. Still, who is Thomas Sanders dating? Is Thomas Sanders single? Does Thomas Sanders have a girlfriend?
Gaining a wide prominence on numerous social and entertainment networks, the aspects of his intimate and love life inevitably gathered a considerable interest of his fans and followers. While many internet celebrities appear to speak out of their personal life and sexuality openly, Sanders kept these questions aside until around 2015 as he started posting vlogs discussing social matters that he found important. At the same time, the interest in his personal life was gradually rising as, in his comedic sketches, Sanders portrayed characters of different sexualities, including bi and gay people.
Through the years of his popularity, a number of resources covered many aspects of his life by researching his videos, interviews, and other public announcements and postings. Some of such resources question, “who is Thomas Sanders dating?” or whether he’s homosexual after all (Nwadinobi). Despite such material being posted quite recently, it largely appears to be out of date as Sanders has managed to make his sexuality clear as far as in 2017. In his video titled “Having Pride,” Sanders openly comes out as gay and discusses the importance of LGBT communities and their activity in the United States, thus, once and for all ending the “mystery” regarding his sexual orientation and private life (Sanders, “Having Pride”). At the same time, the entertainer does not explain reasons as to why he did not come out earlier as the interest in his private life remained active among his fans and followers throughout his career.
Thomas Sanders’ Relationship and Sexuality Views
Sanders’s apparent reluctance regarding his sexuality reveal could relate to the general social views of such sexual orientation. As Karen M. Harbeck explains in her 2014 work, a number of gay people feel reluctant when making a decision to come out of the closet due to the widespread stereotypes and harassment of gay people that is still present in modern society. At the same time, Harbeck provides, in some communities, the victimization of gay people may also prevent them from coming out due to the unwillingness to fall under unwanted attention (81). Considering Sanders’ confidence in other aspects of his personal and professional life, the notion of unnecessary victimization could largely influence his long delay in coming out.
As to his relationships and the personality of his boyfriend, Sanders remains a confident and strong advocate of total privacy. He does not reveal the name of his partner as well as his relationship status, oftentimes refusing to comment on such questions as “is Thomas Sanders married?” (Is Thomas Sander Gay and Does He Have a Boyfriend?”). At this point, one has to agree with the entertainer as revealing such things about his personal life, Sanders would attract unnecessary attention to Thomas Sanders partner, which may negatively affect their further relationships and, possibly, distort his public image one way or another.
After all, some of the personal matter of celebrities should remain private, just like for all other people. Still, Thomas Sanders’ example demonstrates the attention that the internet personalities currently achieve, which, by all means, equals if not greater than the attention and interest to the lives of other media celebrities of the past. With such a notion in mind, it is clear that modern online celebrities are an important part of modern culture and manage to form public views, behaviors, and interests. At the same time, such internet personalities as Thomas Sanders demonstrate that in the age of nearly absolute access to any kind of information, certain things can and should remain private, no matter how great and strong the interest of the public to them is.
“Is Thomas Sanders Gay and Does He Have a Boyfriend?”. Answers Africa, 2020, https://answersafrica.com/thomas-sanders-wiki-age-height.html.
Harbeck, Karen Marie. Coming Out of the Classroom Closet. Routledge, 2014.
Huddleston, Tom. “Twitter Is Officially Shutting Down Vine Today.” Fortune, 2017, https://fortune.com/2017/01/17/twitter-shut-down-vine-tuesday/.
Mitchell, Charles L. “Political Realities as Portrayed by Internet Personalities, Creative Truth or Social Control.” SSRN Electronic Journal, 2020. Elsevier BV, doi:10.2139/ssrn.3607969. Accessed 29 Nov 2020.
Nwadinobi, Ugochukwu. “The Mystery of Thomas Sanders’ Sexuality and Why People are Asking if He is Gay”. Heightline – People, Entertainment & Showbiz, 2020, https://heightline.com/thomas-sanders-bio-gay-sexuality/.
Sanders, Thomas. “Discovered Today That My Great-Grandmother Was A Ziegfeld Follies Girl!” Instagram, 2013, https://www.instagram.com/p/X2qQkVEfYm/. Accessed 29 Nov 2020.
Sanders, Thomas. “Gender Roles.” YouTube, 2015, https://youtu.be/W_yzyyHiG4o. Accessed 29 Nov 2020.
Sanders, Thomas. “Having Pride.” YouTube, 2017, https://youtu.be/GkZaiKnojdU. Accessed 29 Nov 2020.