Basically I’m Gay

(sighs) – Hello Internet. (inhales deeply)
(dramatic suspenseful music) – Sex! Secrecy! And a whole lot of internal screaming. Starring Daniel Howell. One of the greatest
mysteries of our generation. What is Dan’s sexuality? Spoiler alert. I’m not straight. Sex, the foundation of
life and the only thing we’re really supposed to do. Everyone’s obsessed with it. You bunch of degenerates. In the list of things
that identify a person, one of the most important
for other people to know is their sexuality. For, if sex is the primal force propelling all of these humans forward by their hips, they have to know. Are we gonna fuck? Or like could we? Or are you, ’cause I’m just wondering. Now, we live in a heteronormative world,
(dramatic music) which is a long scary
word that makes people feel attacked for some reason. Shh it’s okay. What it means is people are
presumed to be straight. If you’re not, then at some
point, you have to come out, which is a whole thing. Or people might just try and guess based on something you
do or the way you act, because yay stereotypes.
(lively music) So this is something
you have to be clear on, because if you’re not, how
are all these other people that aren’t you going to cope? But I’m pretty sure no one that knows me thinks I’m straight. So I don’t really need to come
out as much as just clarify what the hell is going on. As here I am at age 27
and my sexual preference is seemingly still a vague, debatable, confusing, impenetrable mystery. But why? And what is it? Well, those are some big questions. Are you sure you wanna know my answers? – [Man] Yes! – Okay, well, if you say so
’cause this is a complicated and sensitive issue and
when it comes to me, boy, there is a lot to unpack here and it is a total clusterfuck. So strap yourselves in and let me tell you a queer little story
about a boy named Dan. (“Handel – Messiah”) (Singing ‘Welcome To The Black Parade) ♪ When I was a young boy ♪ ♪ My father ♪ Didn’t have much time for
me because my conception was clearly an accident and he
was a narcissistic proud man suddenly inconvenienced
in the prime of his life and this emotional neglect
gave me lasting problems. Sorry that’s not all relevant right now. I was an only child for seven years and with working parents this meant I had to make my own fun
– Ah! – so I was imaginative – and loud which is
something that my teachers used to say quite a lot followed by, “However.”
(dramatic music) Here I am age five. Look at me. Cute, poised, sassy,
(camera clicking) turning out this photo
shoot like sorry, Grandma, I stunted on this set. Are you seeing this? In almost every way, I
literally peaked age five. I loved being the center of attention. People said I had an infectious happiness, – that my beaming smile – brought them hope and joy. – People that know me
are laughing right now. But a boy, in the ’90s – being happy and generally polite acting? Sounds kinda gay
(air whooshing) if you ask me. Literally masculinity was so fragile, people were
so proud and scared and society so aggressive
that a boy smiling, appearing to be empathetic
or in any way emoting was seen as a threat. How dare they laugh and feel comfortable? They must be soft and weak and girly and gay.
(scary noises) So basically thanks,
Grandma, for raising me to be a nice child, you dick. Just kidding. That’s a joke and I told
you not to watch this video because it would be rude so if you send me a disappointed text
telling me you’re offended, I don’t know what to tell you. Although, now I think about it, you did make me go to church for 10 years, which in hindsight probably also didn’t help
♪ Hallelujah ♪ the issue here so. But then it was time for
little Dan to go to school and this is when it (“I Dreamed A Dream” from Les Mis) ♪ All went wrong ♪ ‘Cause it turns out most
children, evil pieces of shit. Doesn’t matter if you try to
raise a happy innocent child, throw that kid into school, aka, a literal Mad Max Battle Royale with the feral offspring of your local community. Yeah, that crap’ll be
undone in about two weeks. I was six years old running around the
playground pretending to be Sonic the Hedgehog or something when two brothers come up to me aged seven and eight with an unexplained aggressive look in their eye. And the younger one
pushes me to the ground, kicks me in the stomach, and just says, “Gay.” (voice echoing)
(air whooshing) This was the first time
I ever heard that word. Well, I don’t know what the heck gay means but apparently it means
people kick you on the floor so that ain’t good. I didn’t know this child or give them any cause
to have an opinion on me. And, actually, I never directly
interacted with them again. What epic clustershit of failed parenting and general culture brought
this tiny child to get angry and attack someone, then call them gay for looking like they
were having fun outside. Are you okay, 1990s? And so my relationship
with sexuality began. (comedy slide whistle whistling) I wasn’t looking to define myself as a
child indiscriminately playing doctors and nurses
with various friends until once somebody’s mum walked into a room
(glass shattering) to find three fully naked children sat on a bed sticking sellotape to each other’s butts. Yep, which I don’t recommend. Also, Jesus Christ, the
poor woman that saw that. Then you get to the
magic age around 10 or 11 where everybody suddenly wants to pretend they’re totally a cool
teenager who’s doing all the drugs and the sex
and the fights, totally. Boy, gay was a really
popular word back then. – [Boy] Uh, homework is gay. – [Girl] Uh, my mum’s so gay. – [Boy] Uh, you touched a girl, gay. – This one little shit who I won’t name was one
of the school bullies and he loved the word gay. He had it in for me
and I have no idea why. You know me, Mr. Winnie
the Pooh Meets Slender Man. Well, when I was 10 just Winnie the Pooh. I didn’t do nothin’ to no
one ever and yet this guy used my pacifism as a punching bag where any group situation was
an excuse to single me out call me gay for some reason
and then make everyone else exclude me because they
were scared of him. I had a girlfriend. We dated for six whole weeks. We kissed in a game of
spin the bottle once by literally sucking
(gross lip smushing noises) on each other’s faces. Then she ended dumping
me over speakerphone at a birthday party
(children laughing) that everyone in my class but me was invited to but, hey.
(dial tone humming) I don’t know what I was doing wrong, but at this age, I understood one thing. Being gay, whatever that meant, was clearly the worst thing you could be. On a Darwinian level, I was being told, okay bitch, “Survival Code”.
(dramatic spy music) Don’t be this apparently. Evolution. Plot twist, this bully
I think he was a bit gay because once he asked me to
have a sleepover at his house and I thought was me finally
getting socially accepted only for him in the middle of the night to come up and ask me, “So who’s going to be
the boy and the girl?” I was an innocent smol bean
who didn’t really understand what he meant because, to be honest, I didn’t actually understand
get how babies were made yet. But needless to say I
think he was disappointed. Wow, closeted child turns
into homophobic bully. Thanks again society.
(sarcastic lively music) (people cheering) But this whole primary school journey was
really just an amuse-bouche for the full six-course
tasting menu of suffering that would be secondary school. I went to an all-boys school. It was a literal hellscape. (school bell ringing)
(sinister music) I thought it was hard making it through a school of 200 kids with two or three bullies. Try over a thousand where a clean 800 are fully psychopathic gorillas fueled by testosterone, Red
Bull, and Eminem albums. Making sure that the word
f- (beeps) no longer means an innocent bundle of sticks
or a cigarette anymore in the British lexicon. Nope, now it was a cool homophobic slur along with gay, gaylord,
gayboy, puff, pufter, ponce, batty, batty boy, bum-boy, bender. Shit, this is so long. People have a lot of words for something they don’t wanna think about. Look at me in this stupid blazer. Oh, “you’ll grow into it at some point in the next four years”. Thanks, Mum. Day one, kid in form class, some stupid hedgehog-looking motherfucker side eyes me and says– – [Boy] What you lookin at, puff? – First interaction at a new school. Great!
(bell dinging) My entire existence on a
daily basis then becomes navigating this school like
I’m in the bloody “Maze Runner” trying to avoid aggressive
pricks with chode ties. And you know being verbally abused for
being a nerd or a Greebo at least felt relevant to me at the time. Greebo, definitely one of my faves there and I’m sure that Korn and
Slipknot would have been proud to have 12-year-old me as a fan. (metal music) I kinda knew who I was in the hierarchy at that point. I was essentially a theater kid who spent all of his free
time playing Runescape on the AOL browser on his
mum’s PC instead of football. (sad emotional music) I accepted it. But at least I wasn’t actually this gay thing people kept throwing around because by now I understood a gay is a boy who fancies other boys. And to be honest I don’t
really feel like I’ve ever fancied anyone before.
(tense music) Then puberty happened. (“Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony” – dramatic music)
(explosions booming) Oh yeah, this is fun, tingly feelings, (sniffing) I smell bad. It was quite fun dribbling
on this girl’s face playing Truth or Dare. Maybe later we’ll go
behind that bike sheds and, there I was sat in English class,
(gentle romantic music) my friend next to me. I watched as he delicately
removes a pencil from its case. We briefly make eye contact as he flutters his long black eyelashes with a blink before staring forward. His eyes are so bright and
beautiful yet they seem so sad and deep with emotion. I wish I could just understand. Oh fuck, I think
(record player screeching) I’m a bit gay. You’re telling me this whole time I actually have been the bad thing that people keep calling me? Shit. (Camille Saint-Saëns – “Danse Macabre”) Oh do you hear it that
faint hum, something coming from a deep, dark place too powerful to control?
(rumbling music) It’s the self-hatred. She is here and she’s
only getting started. Short version, I fall hopelessly in love with a friend of mine who
doesn’t feel the same way which crushes me into
a million tiny pieces and years later actually it turns out he was gay the whole time.
(flourishes music) He just really specifically
didn’t like me. – [Video game announcer] Double kill. – Here I am, 13,
(dramatic classical music) crying to evanescence alone in my bedroom feeling like there’s no
point in really being alive as I’m clearly a faulty outcast person that has no place in the world. I stopped going to church with my grandma because I felt like I wasn’t really supposed to be there. Also, by this age, the
whole Christianity thing didn’t really make much sense to me. And the adult services were dry AF compared to coloring in
a picture of Jesus’s face at Sunday school. So other than the free tea and biscuits they gave away after the sermon, religion didn’t really
have much to offer me. Damn, there was some good biscuits though. I miss that. But wait all is not lost yet.
(rhythmic guitar music) Do you see that?. A triumphant rallying cry of guitars, stripey hoodies, and black hair dye. Emo had arrived! I swear to God, emo is
one of the best things that happened to pop culture
in the last 20 years. As well as inventing
eyeliner and skinny jeans, a new word hit the theater, nerd, goth, band,
kid corner that would change my world forever. Bisexual. (Dubstep bass drop) You can be normal and gay at the same time and some people think it’s cool? Well, slap a long
fingerless glove on my arm and sign me up to Myspace
’cause Mum, I’m bi. It was a good term ’cause it was a catchall for anyone who felt
sexually confused or curious that didn’t want to commit
to something stronger which is very me. Big commitment issues. Thanks, fam. To be clear, regardless of whatever the 2006 teenagers
thoughts and feelings were, being bi is valid and
should not be excused away or erased by anyone. Thank you. From this moment, I was a loud and proud raving bi to my close friends and the
strangers on the internet who saw my clearly-labeled
sexual preference on my Myspace page. And the emo friends I made
at this time were awesome. We just used to hang
(emotional rock music) and make out with each other and listen to music and
drink bottles of Smirnoff Ice until we were sick
(person grunting) on each other with no judgment. The judgment came several years later looking back at the photos
that you can’t delete. (people laughing)
(camera clicking and whirring) So I didn’t need to tell my family or people at school anything. But the thing is with a Myspace page, anyone with an internet
connection can read it. And so the rumors started
spreading through my neighborhood that Dan Howell was in fact a bisexual.
(Tiny bass drop) I had a friend in French
class who one day, totally unprompted, just
turned to me and said, “Hmm, yeah, I thought so.
(hard rock music) “You give off a bi-vibe.” A bi, what the fuck
(dramatic music) is a bi-vibe? Great, yeah, nothing to make a 15-year-old feel self-conscious about
his behavior like being told he emanates a bisexual aura. What am I supposed to do with that? Sorry that I give off mixed signals. I’m versatile. Turns out it was actually
(lyrical classical music) a social upgrade from being
called gay all the time ’cause bisexual was a new
word that only referred to sexuality so people
actually had to decide how they felt about the fact
I was attracted to boys. As opposed to gay which as we
all understood is synonymous with bad and also
implies a general threat, plague, curse/evil force
(gentle harp music) that simply must be destroyed. People at school were actually almost nice to
me with curiosity about it and a few of the boys
that previously loved to just generically call me gay while throwing a compasses
at me or something, now started to low key flirt with me and some stuff happened. Go figure. But then I entered the dark ages and no I’m not talking about my hair because I was never actually cool enough to commit to dying it black. As quickly as they arrived into my life, my emo friend group vanished
(sad rock music) into the night. Like the tip of an
eyeliner pencil snapping or the HTML on your
intricately-crafted MySpace page falling apart when the host websites of your embedded gifs die, so, too, did my social life. One had to suddenly focus on school, another moved town, two
of them just fell out with each other and started hanging out with their old friends again. Well, we don’t all have back
up friend groups, Lindsey. I went all in on the emos. You’re telling me I have
to go back to sitting in my kitchen playing Runescape now. Thanks a lot. So for a year I literally had no friends. And this is when the bullying at school really stepped its pussy up. The things people used
to say offhand to me in a corridor were now
said loudly in classrooms where everybody would laugh. People used to sing songs about me being gay on the bus while my fellow nerds sat around me just stared
(people chattering) awkwardly out of the window
not wanting to get involved. They shouted things out during GCSE exams in
front of the whole school and the low key pushing became punches. People used to wait for me after school just to throw things at me. Once a guy put his hand around my throat and pushed my head against a coat peg in the locker room while
everyone was watching and just slapped me for five minutes. But I never reacted. I never cried or got angry or fought back ’cause then I’d be giving
(dark music) them what they wanted and
I refused to play along. But this way of dealing with things definitely had an impact
on my relationship with emotion going into life. I became a total outcast. No one wanted to come near me out of fear that they’d get targeted, too. So no one ever stood up for me. And, you know, I don’t blame them. I just resent them
(sarcastic harp music) even to this day. No, I’m kidding, I don’t really. I do. No, I don’t. I, hmm. Teachers at the time obviously did nothing. In fact, one of them
saw this happening to me and laughed ’cause you
know, boys will be boys especially the gay ones that
get killed by the other ones, am I right? Classic lad banter.
(guitar string twanging) And home. (dramatic music) See, keeping this on the topic of sexuality
and not economic class, violence, addiction, and health issues, let’s just say some shit was goin’ down. I didn’t think I could my family for help or share my feelings about
this, mainly due to my dad. Funny guy, kind of a woke hippie who did and said a lot
of things I did respect but at the same time used
to walk around the house saying how he hoped someone
he had a problem with at work would (clears throat) “die of bum cancer.” (crickets chirping) Yep, so picked the one area to be a bigot that would further traumatize your child. Nice.
(bell ringing) This experience coming from a
childhood hearing the word gay meaninglessly thrown around as an insult at home and school,
(tense music) in music, on TV, to then
realizing I am actually kinda gay, to then very specifically being attacked for it was traumatic. The world was clearly
telling me if I ever wanted to be accepted by anyone or,
in my particular environment, survive, I couldn’t be gay. I was afraid of it, literally homophobic of myself. I am talking Pavlov, sunken
place, North Korea-level mind alteration that made
me terrified of and repulsed by this part of me. This is called internalised oppression. It’s a real thing and it’s some real shit. (Tchaikovsky – “1812 Overture”) From this moment I was no
longer advertising myself as bi. No, BRB deleting that Myspace real quick, xD lemme get on that Bebo. “My Chemical Romance”? No, I’m listen to what’s this, N-Dubz? Jesus Christ. I go away for the summer break and come back to school quiet and serious and fully straight. (person coughing) I needed me some new friends
that were a bit higher up the social ladder, you know
what I’m sayin’ for security so I go ahead and join “The Inbetweeners”. (buzzer buzzing) Literally this group of
friends, the exact middle ground between nerds and desperately
wanting to be cool. And oh how desperate we were. The great thing about these friends was they knew loads of girls. So firstly,
(message alert beeping) instant cool points. Secondly if I date a girl
(scoffs) super not gay. The problem with that was
it’s not like everyone just forgot everything
that’s been said about me and this group of friends,
causally homophobic pretty much all the time
and also they hung out in places near some even more aggressive and super homophobic peeps. Just full-time Runescape would have been a better in hindsight. I find myself going through
the same shit at school but now voluntarily going
through it at the weekends from the people that are
supposed to be my friends thinking I’m doing the right thing whilst constantly telling myself I’m now totally heterosexual. So I did what many people
choose to do at that point and I got a girlfriend. But this is pretty messed up because I really liked this girl. In fact, I loved her as a friend and I was genuinely attracted to her but I was so afraid of
sexuality I didn’t even wanna do anything straight in case
I had some weird gay panic that I was totally
frigid and I led her on. And when she got pissed
at me, understandably, for being a terrible boyfriend, I just felt even worse. This was someone who I liked
that I was hurting and lying to but I couldn’t leave as
then I’d have no armor. Beautiful irony here
is having a girlfriend didn’t in any way stop the abuse ’cause (fingers snap) remember gay is a great
(lively music) all-purpose general insult. Call someone gay today and we’ll throw in a free set of steak knives. (person grunts) And when these neighborhood
teens started heavy drinking and getting into drugs, things
suddenly got quite scary as people joked about
setting fire to a tent as I slept in it
(fire crackling) at Reading Festival. Or saying, “You know that
notoriously unstable guy? “Yeah, he said
(scary clown music) “he’s gonna kill you next Saturday.” Awkward. This was definitely the
lowest point in my life. I just felt totally alone, confused and I deeply hated myself. I used to ask God, in case he was there, to please just make me
straight and everyone stop. But I saw no end, no escape,
no way to change the world or who I was. So one evening I thought fuck
it and I attempted suicide. I say attempted, because just before it was too late I thought– (all shouting together)

“oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit what have i done what have i done fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck?”
“what will your grandma think don’t do this to her she tried her best and she loves you” “your family aren’t total dicks and this will fuck them up can’t you just get over it surely”
“you’re gonna get to the last year of school and give up now really what was the point”
“I heard this is one of the most painful ways to die so not a great choice if I’m being blunt” Felt kinda bad for a few
days otherwise I pretended it never happened and I didn’t tell anyone until now literally. Hmm, I know pretty dark
right, but hey spoiler things kinda worked out.
(comical music) I mean still gotta lot
of issues but here I am. (laughs nervously) I’m so glad I failed for so many reasons, for the people in my life, for
the future I would’ve wasted. The most important being
that I thought I was trapped in a situation forever when in reality, the entire world I lived in
and my life changed completely. I thought it was hopeless when
in reality there was so much to hope for and that’s it. Time changes everything. With the lives that we
have, we can try anything we’ve dreamed of. I want anyone that’s ever
felt like this to realize you are never trapped. There is always hope. You just need to believe in yourself and get to the other side. So yeah school age 6 to 18, I’m gonna give that a bad Google review.
(buzzer buzzing) The thing is I did stand out. I’ve always been a loudmouth,
class clown, annoying shit. Since graduating, it turns
out half the people I knew were fuckin’ gay. That group of friends I
had, all lovely people now. Five of them were gay, five gays! That is statistically irregular. Oh but they flew under the radar. All I’m saying is I wish
people just hated me for being annoying and immature. Leave the gays alone! My light at the end of
the tunnel was university. I was gonna get my A levels move to a new town
(hard rock music) and ghost these bitches. But I took a gap year
first to earn some money which was very boring sitting
at home and working at ASDA where I was not happy to help. My shift started at 5 a.m. on a Saturday. Signed up for a Twitter
account to run my mouth off and then bam. So my name is Dan.
(dramatic music) My YouTube story begins, a new chapter of my life to redefine. So you know what I do? Get a Formspring
(spring reverberating) because nothing gives you
that attention feeling like one of those anonymous
question and answer websites that are inherently toxic
and no one should use. And straight out of the bat
(bat thudding) bisexual Dan returns.
(dramatic music) ‘Cause hey, just like Myspace, I’m only telling a few people
on the internet right now. It’s not like one day I’m
gonna get so many followers that random strangers and
my family might see it. (laughs nervously) (scary music) Wow, I had a lot fun with many different
kinds of people in 2009. Let’s just say I got a
lot out of my system. Got a couple of things in my system, too. (comedy drum fill)
Sorry. And this is when, through
the magic of the internet, I met Phil.
(gentle music) And obviously we were more than friends but it was more than just romantic. This is someone that genuinely liked me. I trusted them. And for the first time
since I was a tiny child, I actually felt safe. And the relationship
we formed at that point was something that I needed in my life. We are real best friends,
companions through life, like actual soulmates, not that souls are a
real thing that exist. It’s so lucky to just find someone you
can be that compatible with and especially to anyone
that has experienced the kind of self-hatred
that I have dealt with, one person accepting you
can make all the difference. And I bet so many people wanna
know so much more about that which, honestly, I take as a compliment. But here’s the thing. I’m somebody that wants
to keep the details of my personal life private. So is Phil. I know lots of people these
days, thanks to social media, want to share and monetize
every aspect of their life and then as soon as something
changes suddenly it’s this huge drama
(alarm blaring) because everybody got invested
in the story of your life like it’s a soap opera. I don’t want that. I wanna do certain things
without an audience. I wanna be spontaneous. I don’t wanna feel afraid to take risks. I want to enjoy totally
fucking something up and not have to post a statement about it. And if anyone thinks
people really have to share these things about their life, you need to rethink your position. And look, I understand that sex is a fun and interesting thing to talk about. I get it. I am also a disgusting pervert. But the specific minutiae
of who I be fuckin’, when, why, where, how
long, how, uhh, I mean? Sexuality is a general fact that it can be very useful
to know about a person for several reasons, but we can’t force people
to disclose that either. We don’t know this person’s life story, what they’ve been through,
if they haven’t told people, if they’ll lose their
job, if they’re in danger. There are so many reasons someone might not be open about it. We can preach the message
that being out is good, but aggressively speculating
or trying to out someone is really bad. They might not be gay, in which case we’re just harassing someone
and probably stereotyping. And if they are there’s gonna be a reason why they haven’t talked about it. So I don’t wanna see any responses to me finally talking about this like no one is surprised.
(lively music) (chuckles) Dan we been knew. Wow, you huge galaxy brain genius. What’s it like walking around
with all those brain cells in there working overtime? What, you got like three in there? Don’t lose your balance, mastermind. I haven’t exactly been subtle have I? I’m an awkward, sexually ambiguous nerd. What the fuck
(super cool rap music) even is your sexuality? That’s not the point. I’m already dead inside
so it doesn’t matter here, but to me if someone’s reaction
to a person coming out is just, “yeah, I knew”, they’re showing no empathy
towards the issue or that person. They’re just making it about themselves like it was a fun piece of
gossip they already knew. All we have to do is
listen and be accepting. So anyway back to the tale.
(tinkling music) Whilst things were looking up for Dan aged 18, things quickly got messy again.
(tense music) Wow, that beats the emo streak of temporary self-acceptance
by like six months, nice. There was a point around
2011 where the relationship with my audience shifted from what felt like direct communication between me and individuals that just saw me as a comedy creator to
communities of people that formed to talk about
me when I wasn’t there. Which is fine, but for some people it was about getting generally invested in me and my real life which I thought was a bit strange ’cause
inevitably like anyone who puts themself out there, some people started to really
dig into my private life to find out information about me that I wasn’t ready to share. And this was around the same time that YouTubers finally started to get mainstream recognition
(news program music) in the British press. We had the BBC knocking at our door trying to offer Dan and Phil a radio show. From that, Dan and Phil became this entertainment duo that we could have a creative career with. And we love working together, so when all these opportunities
came for Dan and Phil, we were really excited
but I was also scared as people clearly knew I wasn’t straight and I hadn’t told my family that. None of my old friends knew about this, and what me and Phil had was ours and personal and yet some
people were trying to get access to it for their own satisfaction. It was no longer a few people
on the internet, no big deal. So I just shut down. (Windows shutdown music) (static no signal beeping) It felt like I was back at school again, surrounded by threatening people trying to expose me for
their entertainment. Most I’m sure just wanted
what was best for me and I feel such genuine
sadness and am sorry that I couldn’t be closer
to and more truthful with the people in my life that
were just trying to be nice but I wasn’t ready to
deal with it at this time so I had to do something to contain it. I definitely sent some mixed messages. Some were just joking around,
(people laughing) others were super defensive
(dramatic music) that in my panic came across like I’m now telling everyone
I’m totally straight when all I really meant
was please fuck off and don’t invade my privacy,
you creepy stalkers, thank you. But this experience seriously
triggered some PTSD in me and I was back
(heart beating) in the dark place. I didn’t want to just
disappear from the internet to escape it and throw
away this creative hobby that actually started paying rent. Thanks. So I just decided to put anything to do with my sexuality in a box to come back to later as I was still processing my past and I wanted to understand
my identity on my own terms and timeline and not just have it hijacked as fuel for people’s sexual fantasies or some headline in an article. And whilst we’re not exactly living in a utopia yet
(crowd cheering) here on YouTube, the general internet culture only five or six years ago was a much less wholesome,
progressive place as this little bubble is now. Sure, a lot of people probably
would have been supportive, but there was just as much open
bigotry and general toxicity ’cause people felt less accountable and it was okay to say certain things ’cause it’s just on the internet and I couldn’t handle that at the time. And, generally, I can handle a lot. I have big hands with a very wide reach for playing piano, you fuck. Get your mind out of the gutter. We can’t ask people to just
put their lives on hold to address their sexuality first. If a kid dreams
(inspirational music) of being a footballer and
age 18 gets signed to a club and all their dreams come true but they’re scared to come out because of the insane homophobia in that community,
(sad music) they shouldn’t turn it down. Yes, it’s so important to be
truthful about who you are and open and proud in front of the world but it’s our society’s fault
that these people are scared to say who they are. So let’s all focus on
making it a welcoming place and people will come
out when they are ready. So when was I ready? Well, it’s always been
on my mind that I need to talk about this at some point. I couldn’t just keep going forward in my life ignoring it, Not only just so I can be authentic, which is very important
for general existing, but also just letting people know what kind of sexual attention
I want from the world. All of it from everyone.
(horny music) God I’m so thirsty. And if anything motivated me, it’s the idea that I can help someone else ’cause that’s basically
my whole career, isn’t it, admitting to shit that I’ve been through so you you will feel
better about yourselves. There we go, you’re welcome. I have a platform and a
following of millions of people, many of whom I know have been
through exactly what I have. And if I tell my story as painful and flip floppy and
(chuckles) flawed as it is, I know it mean something
to someone as every time someone speaks openly about sexuality, it saves lives. I’d never met a single out
gay person until I was 18. And if I had, or even just
seen better representation in the media, I wouldn’t
have felt so totally alone. I wouldn’t even be saying this to you now if it wasn’t for TV shows,
musicians, and public figures in the last couple years
reinforcing this to me It doesn’t matter if I was
living the life privately as there was still so much confusion about my feelings and fear. But things are better
now, on the internet, on TV, in my real life. It’s not perfect but it feels
safe enough in this space right now for me to feel confident. So thank you sincerely
to all the brave people that came before me and to any
of you that made this world seem welcoming for me. And instead of procrastinating from this by focusing on work,
which was a way for me to insure my own independence and survival in case I was rejected,
or just doing things for other people to take my mind off it instead of asserting my own needs, which my therapist keeps telling me is one of my biggest problems. Here I am with a fresh
void of time in front of me to fuck up however I want. Now look, we all have different experiences in life. Some of us are lucky, some of us not. It just so happened that the
first 18 years of my life were horrendously shit. It failed me. But we get dealt cards
from the start, too. If you look at my life, I
was born into this world as an able-bodied,
white, cis-man in Britain which immediately gives
me so much privilege in this current world and I am fully aware of how much harder making it to today could have been for me, which
is why we all need to stand up for equality and social justice even if it doesn’t apply to us. No one stood up for me
when it mattered the most and that almost cost me everything. So if you see a woman being harassed, a gay being threatened, someone muttering something racist, say something, do something
because if you’re still or silent, the victim will just think that you are against them, too. We all have a responsibility. This tale was just some of the stuff relating to sexuality. We all have a whole sob
story if we wanna tell it but I just wanted to explain the journey of how I got to this point
and overcame the obstacles that tried to block this path. And now I’ve arrived. (Chopin – “Fantasie Impromptu”) Okay cool story, bro, it’s answer time. What’s your answer. Whaddayalikedafuk? Here’s the thing, you want me to talk candidly about sexuality as if it’s something that I understand? I don’t know what it is, why it is. Turns out no one knows. I’ve been sitting here for years waiting for scientists to just work it out like bleep bloop. Oh this is why and exactly
how it’s different for people. There we go. Thinking I shouldn’t run
off my mouth on the internet in case my theories and
opinions on varying gayness get debunked next week. Well, I waited long enough
and it didn’t happen. Science, ya fucked up, you let me down. And I fully expect to
have to delete this video in two weeks when you find
out all the answers suddenly. Thanks a bunch. What makes someone gay or straight or all the things in between? What the ever loving fuck is gender about? (spits) This is a mess. Yet people want you to give them a word because
that’s how humans communicate with words that have meanings. Which is why our disgusting
species is impatient, stupid, and obsessed with labels. And this applies to
everything, sexuality, gender, political identity, what
obscure genre of synthwave you listen to. (serotonin-deficiency-wave music) People just want a label
that represents something they understand so they already know how to feel about you and
don’t have to bother thinking. Oh you’re a feminist
(dramatic music) well I don’t need to know anything more. Oh you’re a leftist (growls). Oh you’re a K-pop fan but but but but. If people just want to find
a way to disagree with you or dislike you, they
can refer to the label and turn off their brains. Hey, what does my label say? Huh. The issue is, especially when we start
talking about the writhing mass of confusion and suffering that is sexual and gender identity, the limits of language
and specific terminology become a big problem. What does being gay mean? You never thought about a boob once? What does being a man mean? You wanna be an emotionless
rock rubbing raw steaks against your biceps? It’s not like humanity is
all in agreement right now. I don’t like the stereotypes and drama that come with all this terminology so I’m just not gonna use it. – Thing is gender identity isn’t my issue. I feel comfortable with the identity that
I’ve had my whole life. Dan, a tol boy from England. But being a man means nothing to me. I wouldn’t feel uncomfortable wearing makeup
(dramatic scary music) or a sickening pair of heels though I can’t even
draw in a straight line so that would be a disaster. Also is anyone really
comfortable wearing heels? Hmm. Icons of masculinity
(clanking objects thrown) aren’t really a big part of my life. Might as well call me
a fucking formless blob that sounds more relatable. Shout out to all
(protest music) my formless blobs out there, rise up. I don’t have to do anything or be anything and I personally
wouldn’t feel offended if I wasn’t referred to as a he. Well, she’s feeling hungry today. (chipper music) Stop fucking judging me, Susan. I’m sad and I’m gonna
eat this whole damn cake whether you like it or not. But anyone that has this
don’t really care attitude about their gender identity is in a way privileged ’cause some people, especially trans, care a lot
about their gender identity and using the correct pronouns which other people should respect. Likewise with sexuality, whilst to me the endlessly increasing list
(lively music) of tribes and flags being
flown is a bit daunting and confusing and
personally stresses me out ’cause I almost find it constrictive, some people like it. Because if you’re feelings are confusing and then you look at a word
that represents something and go, wow, that me,
(tinkling music) it can help you realize you’re valid and find a community and that’s great. There is so much controversy
around this issue and others but if we all just calm down, respect each other’s experiences and try to just be
nice, reasonable people, which is a lot to ask, let’s be real, it’s quite simple. If you wanna use language to express your honest feelings and
identity, that’s great and other people should
respect what you say. Likewise, if you hate labels and you just wanna be a formless blob, that’s fine, too. No one should force you. The only thing that isn’t
cool is telling other people what they should or should not identify as ’cause that ain’t your
problem or your business, bye. This was one of the
things that held me back from talking about this for years. Shit’s confusing, man. Let’s just go back to cellular
reproduction by mytosis so I don’t really have to be specific. Two people that I really
look up to and respect, Harry Styles and Janelle Monae, both famously say that
they don’t feel the need to label it which, to be honest, is how I feel and is perfectly okay. But I get it, for me, you want a word. (inhales deeply) Oh, that’s hard, though. I’m an annoying guy. I feel uncertain specifying my sexuality in the same way I wouldn’t say I am an atheist. Who the fuck am I to say whether God does or doesn’t exist? I don’t know shit ’bout shit
and neither does anyone else. I mean I think it’s unlikely in the same way I know I like dick. But I’m not gonna pretend to
have a definite answer here. Looking at my public statements is inconsistent and confusing. Looking at my personal
track record through life is super confusing. And looking at the void inside my soul threatening to crush
(eerie music) the entire universe with the
force of its event horizon of misery and melodrama, well, fuck let’s close that shit up. One thing’s for sure whatever heterosexual is, I ain’t it. Really if you ask me, (warning bell blaring) I don’t think anyone’s totally straight. I think there’s a lot of
social and emotional issues getting in the way of yet
to be understood feelings of attraction that can be very flexible. And trust me, I’ve known
a lot of straight guys until a couple of drinks,
some deep conversation, and lingering eye contact, and suddenly they just start leaning in.
(romantic music) What does that make them? And am I totally gay? No. Am I slightly more gay or
is it just easier for gays to hook up with each other
because of societal norms. It’s not like the signs for
male and female bathrooms are what I’m attracted to. I don’t care what flesh organ
you have between your legs, what your hair’s like,
if you’re covered in it or a fuckin’ beluga whale. I’m gonna be honest, I’m not picky. I’m easy. So am I bi or pan or poly?
(brain algebra calculating sounds) Well, now we’re just in a clusterfuck of defining language and I’m
confused and sad and horny. This is why I personally love the word queer.
(gentle electronic music) I understand that some
people don’t as it is a slur but as someone that’s
been the target of it several times throughout my life I’m up for some reclamation. It’s like recycling. The definition makes sense
because until society is equal with all sexual
and gender identifies, it is literally strange from
a conventional viewpoint plus it’s better than
a super long acronym, it’s inclusive of everyone
and therefore great for formless blobs.
(blob plopping) There we go, an identity
I feel comfortable with. A highly-strung, depressed queer praying for a giant meteor to hurry up and finally eradicate humanity. (meteor rumbling) LMAO, yeet. But to come full circle,
(dramatic music) I know that even today, deep in my heart the word gay scares me because that’s how I’ve been
conditioned my whole life. So, you know what? Fuck the literal definition
and the scientific definition and what everyone thinks. I finally have to just
confront and accept this. (sighs) I’m gay. Oh look, didn’t spontaneously
fucking combust. Well, there we go, that
was a lot of stress about nothing, wasn’t it? Bloody hell. So yup, I’m here, I’m
queer, and don’t worry I’m still filled with existential fear. (chuckles) We’re here, we’re queer we’re filled with existential fear. (Schubert – “Ave Maria”) Even though I’m at this current place, there is still so much I’m afraid of and this has taken months
to make because of that. Telling my family was a big fear. I have problems connecting with them emotionally because reasons. So I only came out to them this month and if it didn’t go well, as I’m now the independent adult that I fought so hard to be, I was ready to cut them off
like the bottom of a sweater turning into a seasonal crop. But I didn’t have to, love you. I didn’t think they’d reject me these days but coming out is still a surprise. It changes things. And I’m a pretty awkward person generally but the idea of just dropping this in conversation
(metal thudding) (dog barking) in front of them all terrified me. And I tried several
times this year to do it but I just couldn’t. So you know how I finally
came out to my family? Email. (chuckles) Yep, I literally
just sent them an email saying and I quote, “Hello gang. “I’ve been meaning to talk
to you all for a while, “something quite important
that should be disclosed “at some point. “I thought I would around
Christmas, then Mum’s birthday, “then last Easter Sunday, et cetera, “but every time I meant to, I either felt “like I would ruin the mood of the day “or I just felt awkward
and didn’t want to. “So I decided just to
email you all instead “which is really
inappropriate and just weird “but that somehow seems appropriate for me “and at least I’ll just finally say it. “Basically I’m gay.” Yup. It was just getting ridiculous
so I thought screw it and hey it worked. Turns out my remaining family, pretty chill bunch of people.
(people cheering) Even my Christian grandma said this. “We love you for being you.
(gentle music) “It must be a great relief
to finally acknowledge “who you are. “Popsie and I just want you to be happy. “People are born as they
are and have no say in it. “I hope that now you will
feel free to live your life “as you want with no pretense.” Aw. “Don’t forget the iPad.” Yes, I said I’d give her
(comedy horn blaring) my old iPad. She mainly cares about that I thing. Wasn’t so sure when I was 17 but it went well now and I know that makes me lucky but, hey, it shows that times change. As for the other people in my life, obviously all the friends
I have now are cool. If anyone in my life I’ve
ever known isn’t cool with it then I don’t care. And sure here online there might be a few incredibly lost bigots following me or just some classic trolls
who I think should get fucked. No, like literally, I
think you should try it. You’ll probably enjoy it and you might learn
something about yourself. Inevitably some of you watching this might have a weird
reaction if you just feel like it was a shock or you feel hurt that I kept it from you. But I feel like I explained
myself reasonably here and going forward I can’t have
any space for that, sorry. I’ve come to terms with who I am and now you have to, too, ha. Funnily enough straight up homophobia is probably the one thing I’m not that afraid of
because I just don’t agree so it doesn’t hold much
emotional power over me but you bet I’m opening
myself up to all new kinds of in real life and
international discrimination now which is fun. But one of the other big
fears holding me back was, honestly, that I wouldn’t
be accepted by the community. I know that it’s a big pride
flag covering a lot of ground and even the idea of it and
certainly most of it is amazing. But there is a lot of
drama within it right now especially on the internet. You’ve got Grindr gays arguing about how manly gays should be, bi’s getting ignored, trans
people especially of color not being historically
appreciated, acephobia, fucking SWERFs and TERFs. No thank you. So even though they my people,
I know some of them will have problems with something.
(bird tweeting) And even then, just seeing
such a loud and proud, strong and opinionated
group of people celebrating something just intimidates
(people shouting) a smol introvert such as myself. And in my mind if these
people don’t accept me because I’m not being definitive enough or I took too long then I almost feel like I’ll be alone all over again and this is a fear that a
lot of people have honestly. But I’m a nice guy and I’m trying my best so you better be welcoming,
you bunch of fuckin’ queers. And obviously with the topic of sexuality, it doesn’t matter where we are or how far you think we’ve come, by merely mentioning
it, I will be opening up a primordial box of bullshit
(lively music) which will include
(explosion booming) every single stupid argument and question since the dawn of time. It’s not natural.
(marching music) There’s gay animals. Adam and Steve.
(marching music) That’s based on a story
and the protagonist that arrives later probably
doesn’t agree with you. Why can’t we have straight pride? I could spend 10 hours
on all the classic crap and people would still be
asking the same things. This being posted on the internet, my hopes are so incredibly low, lower than my self-esteem. (comedy spring reverberating) Wow, that is unhealthy. I need to stop doing that. This video is about internalized oppression
and the problems of language. I’m not here to pontificate on every topic tangentially related to the
entire concept of gayness. Pontificate on every topic tangentially related to
the concept of gayness. (ASMR fingernail tapping) There’s other humans and
all the time in the world left for that. The time in the world coincidentally being not much longer. Climate change LMAO. (party music as everyone burns) But I had to tell my story so people would understand
me and these things. Why coming out is still a
big deal because queer people are often invisible and suffering
until they have to do it. Some people grow up in
supportive environments and it’s a positive experience. But more likely,
especially around the world outside of the big cities, it isn’t. This is not a fight that
is anywhere near over. Even in Britain today people are debating whether children should
be taught to be accepting of sexual and gender identity in school. Queer people exist. Choosing not to accept
them is not an option. To anyone watching this that isn’t out, it’s okay.
(gentle music You’re okay. You were born this way, it’s right, and anyone that has a
problem with it is wrong. Based on your circumstance,
you might not feel ready to tell people yet or that it’s safe and that’s fine, too. Just know that living
your truth, with pride, is the way to be happy. You are valid. It gets so much better. And the future is clear. It’s pretty queer. So there we go. Now I can proceed authentically in my life with full disclosure. Cute mutuals know to slide into the DMs. And you can all fuck
off and leave me alone. Bye. (radio signal screeching)
(signal beeping)

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