Dan Howell opens up about backlash to coming out in rare interview

9 July 2019, 13:39

Dan Howell speaks to BBC News
Dan Howell rare interview. Picture: Instagram: @danielhowell / BBC

By Staff

He also spoke about why social media is important for LGBTQ people.

Daniel Howell has given a rare interview where he talks his experience of coming out and how there’s still a long way to go for LGBTQ rights and education.

Speaking to journalist Ben Hunte, Dan spoke about the reaction he got to his ‘Basically Im Gay’ video he posted last month and the battles the LGBTQ community is facing.

“It just feels like my whole life I’ve had this glass wall in front of me,” he explained of his coming out experience, “and so much of my personality, so much of my life, especially with me being a comedian on the internet with so many followers, people feel like they know me and they do, but it’s just that now there’s no obstacles in my life anymore.”

MORE: Daniel Howell opens up about his relationship with "soul mate" Phil Lester

Dan then spoke about how he hopes that his videos and online communities in general can provide LGBTQ education that many schools don’t: “This is what the internet and social media has become, entire communities of young people form to create spaces where they can talk about things because they’re just not getting it from the outside world. So yes, YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, these are the places that these young people go to to find a community and to actually learn how to exist as the person they are, because at the moment, this isn’t what formal education is actually providing.”

Speaking about the reaction to his coming out video, he also explained that he didn’t get as many haters as he thought he would, but that it doesn’t mean the fight for LGBTQ rights is over. “Yes, I think we can all agree that the world is a much better place than it was fifteen years ago when I was a struggling teenager. But when you have the debate over what people should be taught about in schools right now, the two women that got attacked on the bus in London, we can’t lie to ourselves and say that everything is fine now.

"I think that at this moment, we’re actually going through a politically divided time where there’s a bit of kick back from people that don’t like that some people are fighting so hard to have these spaces and to feel accepted.”

Dan attended Pride in London for the first time last weekend and took along a pretty epic sign with him. His coming out video last month came following a long period away from YouTube, but he has since announced he’ll be appearing at VidCon US, which takes place later this week.