Don’t be surprised if you see young people wandering the streets in pajamas and onesies this Saturday—it just means Tyler Oakley's Slumber Party has arrived in H-Town.
The 26-year-old Internet sensation and LGBTQ rights advocate has garnered more than 7 million subscribers on YouTube, and in the style of his relaxed, chatty videos, he’s taking to the road for a series of shows that will allow him to interact directly with fans while wearing his green-and-yellow dinosaur onesie.
We asked Oakley what fans can expect when he performs at the University of Houston’s Cullen Performance Hall on Saturday night.
Houstonia: Where did you get the idea for your Slumber Party tour? What is it like seeing so many of your fans in real life, rather than through a small screen?
Tyler Oakley: For years, I've done livestreams from my living room in my own pajamas, inviting my viewers around the world to hang out with me on a night in. We'd talk for hours, so it only felt natural to bring that same energy to the stage. Plus, a onesie is flattering on everyone.
Can you tell us a little more about the interactive element of your show?
The Slumber Party Tour is an epic variety show with special guests, never-before-told stories, a Q&A with the audience and gossip for super-fans. There's games and prizes, and I get to hang out and take selfies with y'all. It's my favorite thing to do!
What's the craziest or most unexpected thing that's happened to you so far on the tour?
Seeing London sell out in the first 10 minutes was pretty crazy—we even had to add another date. Just knowing that my audience is all over the world blows my mind.
You've got three shows in Texas; you must have a lot of fans here! Have you ever been in Houston?
I've never been to Houston, and I can't wait to go. My college roommate was from there, and I've heard so many hilarious stories. I can't wait to see first-hand how amazing Houston is.
Where were you when you heard about the Supreme Court legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide? What were your initial thoughts and feelings?
I was in San Francisco on tour when I heard about the Supreme Court ruling! I couldn’t have asked for a better city to be in. I know so many people in my life who want to get married and couldn’t because they still live in a state where marriage equality isn’t permitted, but all that has changed. Although getting married isn't on my immediate to-do list, knowing that I now have the ability to ensures that I don't feel like a second-class citizen.
You've got a book, Binge, coming out in October that's a collection of personal essays. With YouTube, you can always pick and choose what to say on screen, but you've said this book gets a lot more personal. Are you nervous about putting so much of yourself out there?
I'm totally nervous, but mainly just excited. I think viewers are ready to hear so much about what happens behind the scenes. Whether it's about dating, family, personal struggles, or even behind-the-scenes YouTube or Hollywood gossip, I think my book has something for everyone.
Where do you see this all going in the future? Would you ever branch out from YouTube to pursue other ambitions?
I like to focus on realistic dreams—world domination. I will keep creating on YouTube as long as I still love it.
What do you think you'd be doing if you hadn't stumbled into YouTube? Can you imagine your life without making videos?
I always thought someday I might be a teacher and I guess now with my YouTube channel I kind of get an opportunity to teach what I've learned to anybody who wants to watch.
What's the main message you try to impart to your fans? Anything you wish you'd known growing up?
That when you're unapologetically yourself, you're able to live your best life and hopefully inspire others to do the same.