Fuse is celebrating Pride Month by looking at a variety of rising forces who are creating Future LGBTQ History before our eyes. Today we are honoring Shane Dawson, one of YouTube's original stars who continues to make millions either smile or choke with laughter for almost a decade.
The 28-year-old hails from Long Beach, Calif. first made his YouTube channel, "ShaneDawsonTV," in 2008. It is filled with kooky videos like pranks, pop culture conspiracies and endless Lady Gaga spoofs. Dawson later launched the "Shane" channel, which also includes fun videos with clicky titles including "TASTING FAMOUS CHRISTMAS FOODS," "DONT MICROWAVE THIS STUFF" and "SCARIEST TORTURE DEVICES." Throughout his YouTube journey, he has befriended and collaborated with other YouTubers like Joey Graceffa, BrittaniLouiseTaylor, TheFineBros, Trisha Paytas, Tyler Oakley and Miranda Sings.
As of press time, Dawson has raked up an impressive 9.8 million subscribers on his "shane" channel and 8 million on the "ShaneDawsonTV" channel. Thanks to his witty personality and entertaining videos, he has been able to expand his brand far beyond YouTube. Since premiering his channels, Dawson has dabbled in music (his first single "SUPERLUV!" debuted in 2012), began the celebrity-filled Shane and Friends podcast in 2013 that's still going strong and released two memoirs.
I Hate Myselfie, a collection of Dawson's most embarrassing stories, was released in 2015 with It Gets Worse: A Collection of Essays released the following year. The latter made it to the New York Times best-seller list. It's clear that Dawson isn't one to shy away from personal struggles, whether they are hilarious or heartbreaking. And around the time of his first book, he decided to make a very big and powerful leap.
On July 7, 2015, Dawson uploaded a YouTube video titled "I'm Bisexual." There, he explained to viewers that he has been confused about his sexuality:
"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. I have said it out loud once before in therapy, and I have never really talked about it until now."
That blatant honesty that Shane Dawson still maintains two years later, combined with his passion for making people feel comfortable with their true selves, is one of the main reasons why he secures a place in the future of LGBTQ history.