Would You Like Me More If I Was Straight? | An Open Letter | Man For Himself
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Would You Like Me More If I Was Straight? | An Open Letter

Would You Like Me More If I Was Straight? | An Open Letter

Dear Saurabh,

Thank you for your comment on my new video.

I’ve got to say, it really got to me; and on some level, I agree with you.

straight-gay-online-youtube

Now, don’t get me wrong, I totally understand where you’re coming from and I know that your heart (ultimately) is in the right place. You’re looking out for me. Thank you.

You know a lot about me, or you at least think you do. You see my videos, my Instagram stories and the life I’ve chosen to share. I don’t know your gender, sexuality, age or faith, so really this is a one-sided relationship.

The whole issue of sexuality online is something that I am still relatively new to. I’m still defining my online presence and what I am and – more importantly – am not prepared to share.

Your comment really struck a chord with me and I wanted to address it.

 

A Pill To Make Myself Straight

When I was growing up, I remember a constant thought in my head. This thought was one of longing. A longing that I could change who I was – to dull my own sense of self and just fit in.

I used to fantasise about a pill that I could take. One pill to make myself straight. Surely it could be that easy? Surely it would make my life a lot easier?

I wouldn’t have to justify my life decisions; I would’t have people speculating about my sexuality; and I wouldn’t have the fear that a decision to live an honest life would negatively impact my career.

 

Living An Honest Life Online

I’ve been on YouTube for over four years and it’s been the most incredible experience. I’ve been allowed the freedom to create and share content that is important to me and my audience. I’ve also had people share some of their most personal thoughts and feelings with me. This is on another level. I feel constantly connected to my audience and I feel protective.

When I see comments that attack me, I take it in my stride. It’s part and parcel of putting myself up online. But when I see comments like yours, it concerns me.

It concerns me that guys are reading and believing stuff like this. That dulling your own sense of self and who you are can lead to success and happiness. That being open and honest could be detrimental to building a successful career.

I’ve not always been honest. I avoided questions about my sexuality and I never really addressed it. It didn’t need to be shared and I didn’t want to profit from something which – to me – should never be an issue.

 

Playing It Straight For YouTube Fame

That said, on some level, I do agree with you.

If I was more ‘straight acting’ (perhaps the most ridiculous term on earth) and I appeared to be more masculine, I truly believe that my audience would be bigger and I would have greater reach.

A greater percentage of guys would look up to me and see me as living a life that they aspired to have.

I’ve got the content and I know what I’m talking about, but I choose to have relationships with men. Deal breaker.

When I chose to talk about LGBTQ+ Pride (the video that you reference), I did so knowing that some of my audience would feel uncomfortable. For me, it was a calculated risk. It was a topic that I felt (and still do) passionately about and I wanted to use my platform to address it.

With subscribers gained versus subscribers lost on that video, I had a net loss. Not a huge loss, but still a loss. I look at this number and I feel proud. I’m proud that what I had to say resonated with people, so much so that they clicked a button. They made a decision based on me being honest.

 

I Tried To Change Myself

I’ve not always felt so comfortable. Look back at my earlier videos; my voice is higher, I use my hands more and I’m more animated. I’m more stereotypically camp.

Comments abut my personality and speculation on my sexuality was a daily occurrence.

I took a step back and looked at myself. I disconnected from seeing it as me; and reframed the proposition as an online personality.

I spoke slower; I used my hands less; and I lowered my voice. Speculation on my sexuality was less common and guys just watched my videos.

But as I became more accepted, my own happiness suffered. I was selling out to try and make other people like me.

Finding The Balance

It’s only really been over the past year that I truly feel comfortable with myself and who I am.

I’m 30; I’m healthy; I’ve got great friends; and I love my job. Life is good and I’ve worked for it.

I’ve also had a real, “fuck it,” moment. That being called a “faggot” or “poofter” just really isn’t important. I don’t know who these guys are; I don’t know their motivation for commenting; and I don’t know how they feel in themselves.

What I do know is that I want to be true to myself and to my audience. I want guys and girls (hey – I see you!) to feel comfortable with me. To know where they stand with me.

I want people to explore their own identity and get to a place in life where they too can say, “fuck it,” to anyone that wants to dull their own sense of self.

This is still very much a journey for me. But from here on, I can promise that I will be nothing but honest with you and – more importantly – myself.

Thank you again for your comment. It really made me think.

See you in the next new video,

Robin

 

 

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Robin James
robin@manforhimself.com

Men's style, lifestyle and grooming YouTube creator and blogger