Joey Graceffa is having a big year.
His Streamy Award-winning supernatural YouTube series, “StoryTellers,” just got renewed for a second season. Graceffa will reprise his role as Hunter Crowley, a teenager with ever-expanding magical powers who’s headed to college, where he’ll have to fight forces of evil while dealing with non-supernatural issues like staying awake in class and making friends.
“It’s been a passion project since its inception, and I’m so happy to be taking this next season to an entirely new level,” Graceffa said in a statement.
The YouTube star, who has a social media presence of more than 12 million followers with a channel that’s racked up 603 million views, has had an insane year, to put it delicately. Here’s why:
1. He came out – and inspired his 5.2 million subscribers with his message of self-love.
“I felt like I was hiding such a big part of my life. I share so much of my life with them, I felt almost like I was lying to them and I couldn’t be so open,” Graceffa told PEOPLE in June, after coming out in an inspiring video clip called "Yes I’m Gay." “And then it just kind of hit me: I have this following, and I could change some people’s lives out there by being honest with who I am.”
2. He wrote a memoir. And it rocks.
Graceffa published his book, In Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World, in May – and it shot to the top of the New York Times and USA Today best-seller lists.
For Graceffa, talking to fans about his book has been the most inspiring part of the whole process.
“Some people on my book tour have come up to me and whispered in my ear, ‘I’m gay, too.’ And it’s so heavy because I don’t have the time to really sit down and talk to them – like, I want to say so much more to you! It’s just so cool to see the fact that they were inspired by my video to come out, and they feel much better after doing it,” he told PEOPLE in June.
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3. He’s racked up more than 5.2 million YouTube subscribers – and counting.
It’s official – Graceffa is Internet royalty.