YouTube vlogger Ricky Dillon has come out as gay. Dillon, 27, has 3.2million subscribers. He shared the news in an 18-minute video posted yesterday simply entitled, “I’m Gay.”
The video begins with Dillon struggling to say the words to the camera, before he finally manages to say, “I am gay. I’ve barely said this out loud, so I’m saying it several times to normalize it to myself.
“I am gay. And I am finally OK with it. It’s been a long journey to get here.”
He went on to talk about “how inauthentic and disingenuous” he had felt on YouTube for the last couple of years. He began to realize he was gay around 2017, and that realization had deepened until he was now at a place where he was “1000% sure” he was gay.
He said he’d felt he’d been playing “this role of the YouTuber Ricky Dillon when in reality I haven’t been that guy in a long time.”
Dillon said he’d had the worst couple of years of his life, culminating in the worst couple of months, with January being “horrendous… until now. I’ve been in a very, very dark and scary place in the past couple of months.”
He went on to explain that he had struggled because, “I grew up in a family, in an environment… where being gay is so wrong.
“I grew up Christian, very religious – I grew up in Alabama – and I was taught that being gay is a horrible sin, it’s so bad, it’s the worst thing you could be. It was drilled into my brain from an early age that being gay is one of the worst things that can happen,” said Dillon.
“It was ingrained in my mind that being gay is a sin, it’s wrong, so therefore I can’t be gay. There’s no way that I’m gay because I’m a Christian, it’s wrong – there’s just no way I can be gay.”
He went on to say that making the video was hard, but not as hard as telling his family about his sexuality. At the time he recorded the video, they did not know. He planned to tell them before uploading it.
“I love my family very much. I love them so much. This is all really hard.
“Telling my family is going to be by far the hardest thing I’m ever going to do in my life or have ever done so far.”
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He admitted he’d been going through “crippling anxiety” over the last couple of years, and especially in the last few months. He said this was because “I am just terrified to tell my family… I’m so terrified they’re not going to accept me for being gay because I know their beliefs.”
He added, “I don’t want to bash my family because I love my family so much but I just don’t agree with what they believe in in this scenario.”
Dillon began posting videos in 2009 and has amassed his huge following partly through his output as a singer-songwriter.
A few years ago, he posted a video in which he said he thought he might be asexual. About that, he said, “I came to the conclusion that I must be either asexual or aromantic or both because I’m definitely not gay, there’s no way I’m gay, and I don’t like girls, so I was left with that.”
He says being asexual is a valid identity, and he doesn’t want to offend any asexual people watching, but for him, labeling himself asexual previously was because he was in denial about his true self.
He goes on to say that he wasn’t too scared about coming out as gay to his YouTube followers – some of whom may have already guessed – but was terrified of telling his family.
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He said for many years he had tried not to be gay: “I probably had 12 girlfriends throughout high school and college… shout out to all of them for putting up with their closeted gay boyfriend! I really tried so hard to be straight.”
He ends the video by saying that he knows there are other young people growing up in deeply religious households, where being gay is “the worst thing in the world … I hope me telling my story can help so many people out there.
“Honestly, if nothing else this is so relieving. I can’t express how much weight has been on me for years … I’m finally ready to be myself.”