Over the weekend a lovely young man from Northern Ireland by the name of Adam posted this video coming out as gay to his viewers. May I first tip my hat to him for having the balls to do so; coming out to thousands in a YouTube video takes guts. I would also like to express how important I think his decision was not just for his viewers, but for the rest of the community on our lovely little video sharing website.
It is a well known fact that YouTube has never been short of gay men. The glory days of Perez Hilton, GayGod and William Sledd dominating the top positions on the subscription lists are all but a distant memory, and the 5awesomegays and WHATTHEBUCKSHOW still carry the great homosexual baton with pride.
So why am I saying that Adam’s coming out video is so important? If anything, isn’t he a bit late jumping on the wagon? And surely there are already plenty of Gay role models for YouTube viewers to watch and admire, aren’t there?
Michael Buckley and the 5AGays have always been, and will always be, gay centric channels. What Adam’s video has proved, is that you don’t have to make ‘gay’ videos to be gay and make it on YouTube. 5AG and Buck do a wonderful job at representing the community, but if you don’t want to label yourself as a gay channel, or talk about celebrity gossip, there are few places for a Gay viewer to look for inspiration to make videos.
I was talking to a friend of mine about this, and he mentioned that he had never made a “coming out” video because, if he were straight, then he would never think about making a video telling someone that he slept with women, why should it be any different because his preference is men?
He has a point, but then you watch a video like this, posted as a response to Adam’s.
Adam’s decision to go public with his sexuality clearly had a profound impact on this guy. It’s given him the hope that maybe he can do the same as Adam, and come out to his family and friends. It feels weird me saying this, but as people who have put ourselves in the public eye, it is almost our responsibility to tell people about our journeys, so as people treading the same path behind us have a smoother ride, so they know that it’s all going to be okay at the end of it all.
I identify as bisexual. The reason that I have never been public about this is because I have only recently begun using that term to describe myself. I didn’t know whether I was gay for a long time, but eventually it made sense that I did in fact like both, and should use a label to express that.
Everyone who knows me well enough knows about my sexuality and I am incredibly lucky that the worst reaction I have ever had to telling someone has been when the mother of a friend of mine told me that I was ‘greedy’. “Why can’t you just pick one and stick with it!?’ My parents have had to hear me come out to them twice, once as gay, and again telling them that, ‘sorry, but I kinda like girls too.’
Some of you may see this blog as a bit of a cop out. After all, nowhere near as many people read this as watch rhymingwithoranges, or even JazzainChina, but I have my reasons. RWO is now very much a news and debate channel, I haven’t vlogged on that for years, so a coming out video just doesn’t belong there. JiC is a travel blog and, again, the kind of video this requires just wouldn’t belong. This blog is the most personal thing I post on the Internet, this news (if you can call I news) is very personal, so this is where it belongs.
As Adam said, you can be appalled and unfollow/ unsubscribe if you like, that’s your problem, not mine. And as for anyone who is struggling with coming out themselves, or in trying to find a label, don’t rush it – and just know millions upon millions have gone through the same thing you have and came out the other end okay.
All the best.