If you’re one of YouTuber Shane Dawson’s 6 million subscribers, you probably know his videos are normally silly, lighthearted comedy sketches and parodies. But on Tuesday (July 7), Dawson ditched the costumes and wigs and opted for a no-frills approach for a tearful confession in which he came out as bisexual.
“This is a really hard video for me to make. And I’m really scared,” the 26-year-old admitted, before launching into a nearly 15-minute monologue chronicling his journey toward self-acceptance.
YouTube stars sharing their coming-out journeys is nothing new, but Dawson says what he was missing from his peers’ examples is the confidence and self-assurance with which they identified themselves. Consequently, he said he almost wished he was 100 percent gay, just so he could feel totally certain about who he is.
“I can’t honestly say I’m gay. I can’t honestly say I’m straight,” Dawson said. “But I can honestly say that I am open to love, in any way, and I guess that makes me bisexual.”
Dawson also shares the struggle of growing up in a conservative, religious family. He says he’s dealt with confusion about his sexuality for much of his life, but he repressed those feelings, which led to depression and morbid obesity that allowed him to feel invisible. He went on to have two long-term relationships with girls (one of whom was fellow YouTube personality Lisa Schwartz), but never lost that confusion.
Through therapy, Dawson says he was able to accept that he doesn’t have to put a label on his sexuality and he deserves to be happy and love who he wants to love.
“Not everybody is either gay or straight,” he said. “And this is why I’m making this video, because I feel like a lot of you guys might be confused and scared, and you’re not talking to people about it, and I’m f--king here for you. […] You don’t need a label. You don’t need to figure out exactly who you are right now. Just live your life.”
Dawson said he uploaded the video because he wants his message to help people who may be feeling the same way, and he encouraged his fans to talk about their feelings and be open.
“F—k it. Love who you want to love,” he said. “Life is short. Nobody’s going to hate you for it.”
After uploading the video, he also thanked his fans for their support with a heartfelt tweet.