Photo by Emmarie Photos (Emily Reid)

I began my journey as a YouTube vlogger back in 2007. With the encouragement of Ari Whipple, my long time friend, I decided that my ultimate college hobby would be to talk about current events, pop culture, and LGBTQ+ topics. For a solid four years, I recorded mostly reactionary content in those topic areas (see Donny Winter Archive channel for older videos).

By 2011, I decided to formalize my YouTube experience by creating a channel branded around myself as an influencer and activist. The following year in September 2012, my video “Let Me Tell You About Whitney Kropp,” went viral after my friend was publically humiliated and bullied at my hometown high school. I decided to use my platform to speak out against the bullying more actively at this point because witnessing the atrocities I faced continue in my own hometown taught me that I cannot stay silent about my story.

Steadily growing, I was offered a YouTube partnership in 2016 and worked with Huffington Post’s Outspeak network to create content themed around LGBTQ+ topics. This lasted until early 2018, when I became an independent vlogger once again. I still continued to create content, culminating in video series like “Bullying: My Story of Survival,” “I Chose to Live,” “The Mundane Life of a Gay,” and “Disempowring Depression.”

When 2020 arrived in all its pandemic horror, YouTube served as a valuable outlet for me as I documented the early days of the event in my “Pandemic Reflections” series. Events that year also culminated in the creation of the live podcast show, “Restitching the Tapestry,” with my friend Ari Whipple, which is still ongoing in its third season. Through this show, we’ve been able to discuss current events, special social topics, and create educational LGBTQ+ content.

Currently, the experience I gained through the live show has given me the confidence to continue to stretch myself by creating a second, long-form show called “Growing Up With Godzilla.” For this series, beginning in early 2022, I have conversations with Godzilla fans about how they’ve grown up with the character and franchise. It’s resulted in some amazing conversations and it’s fulfilled the creative vacancy I’ve had with regard to bridging my activism with my geek-tendencies.

Having been on YouTube for 15 years now, I couldn’t be more happy with how far I’ve come, how much I’ve grown, and the connections I’ve made. It’s my sincerest hope that you enjoy my content. Thank you for the support! Below, you can find my different YouTube channels.

Donny Winter (Main Channel)

DonnySpeaks (Poetry Channel)

Donny Winter (Music)

Donny Winter (Archive)