YouTube star Shane Dawson has come out as bisexual.
In an emotional 15-minute video posted to his channel Tuesday, the 26-year-old Internet celebrity confessed that he had been confused about his sexuality his entire life, especially in the last year. "I never thought I would be making this—ever," Dawson said. "But I woke up this morning and I just had to."
"I'm making this video because I feel like it could help a lot of people. Over the last year, I have been extremely sexually confused. I mean, my whole life. But this last year is when it really hit me. I always wished that I was gay, that I was just 100 percent gay—for so many reasons. No. 1, that means I would know who I was. No. 2, it would be a lot easier for me to be accepted by people because I wear wigs and dresses on the internet and I'm feminine and all these things. It'd be so much easier to be just like, 'Yeah, I'm gay.' But I'm not. I'm not really gay and I can't sit here and say that I am because that's not real and that's not genuine. But I also can't sit here and say that I'm straight. This is something I've come to the conclusion through therapy and from being honest with myself. I am bisexual," he said. "I have said it out loud once before in therapy, and I have never really talked about it until now."
Dawson hopes to help people who are unsure about their sexuality, saying, "There are a lot of coming out videos of people who are gay or lesbian and they're so confident. But it made me cry because I'm not that. I don't know who I am 100 percent. I know that a lot of you guys might feel the same way."
Coming out to his family was met with resistance, he said, "so I just shut it down."
"I got real fat, and I ate all the feelings," he recalled. "I was morbidly obese. It was a way for me to create a shell around me so that nobody would look at me. I didn't want guys. I didn't want girls...I just wanted to be f--king invisible."
He lost weight by age 18 and started his YouTube channel.
"I became Shane Dawson, and I became the guy who everybody called gay. And I was so defensive of it. 'I'm not gay! I'm not gay!' Because when I was a kid, everybody told me it was wrong...Around 21, I had my first kiss—which is embarrassing that I was 21, but that's what happened, and it was with a girl. I felt something. I felt butterflies. I felt a spark. I felt a connection. I felt love. I was like, 'Oh, I'm not gay. At all! I'm straight!' I started dating girls...but the whole time I had feelings that I wasn't dealing with," he said.
Two years into his relationship with fellow YouTube personality Lisa Schwartz, however, Dawson said he "started feeling guilty and I started being attracted to guys as well. I didn't tell her. I didn't tell anybody." In fact, Dawson told his loyal fans, "I started really hating myself and really being ashamed and scared."
He began to see a therapist, who helped him make sense of his feelings.
He broke up with Schwartz and moved out, though they continued to see each other casually for a year. Dawson continued to see a therapist, and two months ago, he opened up to Schwartz and said he was very sexually confused. "I was very sad because I didn't want her to think that I was gay and that I was hiding it from her and that I was using her as a beard, because that's what the whole Internet probably thinks," Dawson said through tears. "I wished I was gay because that would be easier because I could just say, 'I'm sorry, Lisa. I'm gay and I'm leaving. I'm going to be with a guy.' That would be so much easier. But that's not what it was. And I'm still attracted to girls, but I have never faced that I'm attracted to guys, and I needed to figure that s--t out." Schwartz offered her support as he does just that. "That's what I've been trying to do for the last couple months," Dawson said.
"I can't honestly say I'm gay. I can't honestly say I'm straight. But I can honestly say that I am open to love in any way," he said, "and I guess that makes me bisexual."
After the video was uploaded, Dawson thanked his fans on Twitter:
Schwartz also gave fans an update on Twitter:
The video has been watched more than 1.5 million times in 17 hours.
Dawson, whose real name is Shane Lee Yaw, has his 6.7 million YouTube subscribers, 2.61 million Twitter followers and 1.7 million Instagram followers.
He published a New York Times Best Selling Book, I Hate Myselfie, earlier this year.