YouTube star Austin Rhodes has responded to criticism he receives online for dating an older man.
The 21-year-old US internet personality, who rose to fame alongside his twin brother Aaron, has been in a relationship with hair stylist Justin Anderson for three years.
Answering to a fan who asked what it was like to date an older man, in a new video Austin decides to answer critics who have passed judgement on his relationship with Anderson.
“Let’s just have a discussion about it because I feel like this is always something that comes up on all of our comments,” Austin says.
Aaron, who is also gay, recalls: “I remember when you guys first go into a relationship how weird I was about it.”
Austin interjects: “I understand where people come from when it’s not like ‘typical’ and whatever, but everyone’s relationship is so different.
“What works for me and my boyfriend is going to be totally different from what works for somebody else.
“For anyone to judge from the outside when they don’t know how the two people are with each other. Plus, most people commenting don’t even know that we’ve been together for three years.”
Aaron adds that gay men keen not to be judged by heterosexual society should themselves not pass judgement on the personal lives of others.
“I’m just going to stand up on a soapbox for a second, and this is only directed towards a few people within the LGBT community,” he said.
“When you see somebody in our community coming at the two of them, who are madly in love with each other… it literally makes no sense, because we’re the first ones to say ‘Love is love’ and ‘everyone should have love’.
“Why don’t we just lift each other up and accept the fact that not everyone is like you.”