React: Youtuber Shane Dawson’s Sexuality and Bisexuality

Shane Dawson, YouTube personality, has officially joined the rest of the YouTube LGBTQ community. In the past couple months, we have seen YouTube stars such as the beauty guru, Ingrid Nelson, come out about their sexuality via video to their fans and the world. Last Tuesday, Shane Dawson decided to do the same as well and released an incredibly honest and excruciatingly beautiful video about his sexuality.

For those who are not familiar with him, he’s a comedic parody sort of Youtuber with a fan base of six million on his Shane Dawson TV. He has released songs, a movie (Not Cool), and recently a book called I Hate My Selfie.

I’ve been watching him since I was in middle school and it doesn’t really surprise me. But his video still brought me close to tears. His struggle and desire to live and let love is brutally honest. When he refers to not fully straight or gay, and how it would be so much easier to be so black and white, it made me deeply analyze bisexuality. I know it can be a deeply misunderstood and targeted color of the spectrum. I am not saying it is more special or harder than the rest of the colors of the spectrum, but I would like to clear up the air and gave validation to Shane Dawson through the insight my bisexual friends provided me.

“Some think we aren’t ‘gay’ enough to fit into the community. Honestly it just feels like I can’t fit in anywhere.”

A lot of misunderstanding stems from some people wanting to see things black and white – either your raging gay or straight as a ruler. So when they encounter someone who identifies as bisexual, they think a variety of things – they’re either promiscuous, trying to hide the fact they’re just straight up gay, or that their bisexual friends want to have sex with them. One individual I interviewed, Conor, said his hardest obstacle in his journey is finding a group of friends that understand he simply wants a platonic relationship, aka, a friendship, not sex. Another individual said she has even encountered people who have assumed she would be down for a threesome. Even parts of the LGBTQA community don’t accept it. Rosie goes as far to say, “Some think we aren’t ‘gay’ enough to fit into the community. Honestly it just feels like I can’t fit in anywhere.”

So what does bisexuality mean to these individuals? According to the UCLA, bisexuality is defined as, “a person emotionally, physically, and/or sexually attracted to males/men and females/women. This attraction does not have to be equally split between genders and there may be a preference for one gender over others.” To Rosie, it means the willingness to date and go further with both men and women. So what’s the difference between that and pansexual? Conor clears that up by saying that pansexual covers more than just the two sexes – it covers gender fluid people as well.

“Just because I’ve only dated guys does not make me any less bisexual than a girl who dates mostly girls,” Hannah replies, “or a guy that keeps a very even balance.”

Both individuals have always felt that it was normal in their lives so they never felt like they had to come to terms with it like Shane Dawson is currently doing. From the start, Shane Dawson was told that it was wrong where the two weren’t told until they started coming out. But the struggle is still real. Rosie has been told that her identity was her desire for attention. She feels like she has to continually prove her sexuality because so far she has dated guys. “Just because I’ve only dated guys does not make me any less bisexual than a girl who dates mostly girls,” Hannah replies, “or a guy that keeps a very even balance.”

“The most exciting part of bisexuality would probably be being able to date like 60% of the population rather than just 50%.”

Don’t let this discourage you, though. When asked what was exciting about his sexuality, Conor said, “The most exciting part of bisexuality would probably be being able to date like 60% of the population rather than just 50%.” For Shane Dawson, he is ready is to let love in his life and live his life. If more people were true to themselves and had a similar mindset, bisexuality wouldn’t be so hard to understand because once we stop putting labels on ourselves, it becomes love. Although it is important to have an identity and bisexuality is a complex one by societal standards, all it is in the end is love. I applaud the individuals that were willing to talk to me and also I congratulate Shane Dawson on his coming out. The world is becoming a better place because of people brave enough to be themselves.

 

What I’ve Learned About: Advocacy

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The JHHS GSA at 8th Grader Night

I never use to be an advocate. I mean, I would stand up for people when I was younger but it was mostly for my younger siblings on the playground. But once they grew up enough to be able to stand on their own, I had no one to fight for except myself. But even then, like now, I don’t really fight for my own honor. To me, it’s better to let it slide. And, to be honest, I can’t express myself well when it’s just me. My words only find me when I’m talking for someone else.

My advocacy gradually strengthened when I moved to Jackson and joined the GSA club at the high school. I joined, at the time, because doors like this would have never been open to me back in my old town. I was desiring to find a cliche, a purpose, at the time. This seemed like my first step. It’s been three years and now I’m a lead spokesman for the GSA. I found this quite queer since I had originally gone into it thinking, “I will not let myself get ahead of myself – let other people lead for once.” Unfortunately, this is every bit against my character. This is what I’ve learned through these last couple years.

First off, being an advocate is making everyone else aware of our issue. I’ve come to find that the other part is listening. Listening is probably THE most important characteristic of an advocate. Por que? This allows for the person receiving the message to feel respected and acknowledged in whatever their opinion may be. I’ve found that when I listen to someone’s thoughts, they tend to feel more comfortable hearing mine.

Sharing is caring. Whenever I learn another LGBTQA term, I want to pass it along as much as I can so that others may not fall into the rut of misunderstanding. It’s so easy to assume when people don’t know. Generally, once someone begins tossing the new information in their head, it starts to make more sense as a fact. But, people can’t start using it if they don’t know. Be an advocate and gently correct them.

Instilling hope. I’ve found that if I keep a good attitude, people are going to want to hear you and willing to come back. Whether it may be for advice or a pick-me-up, hope gives them hope. It’s almost like lead by example. The soldiers don’t continue on if their leader holds doubt.

Setting an example. This one I still continue to learn. I am guilty of massing most of the wealthy students in one stereotypical group at my school. I am suppose to remain unprejudiced of all backgrounds and culture so this flaw is definitely something I wouldn’t want others to assume as well. Therefore, I must set this aside in order to be an example as an advocate. A great example of this is two members of the GSA showing excellent citizenships when a young girl spilled her food in the eating area of our school. Where most of the room got silent and whispered snarky comments, these two not only helped her clean it up – the only two to do so in a room full of people – but also comforted the girl. I find this an incredible example of people – advocates – setting an example.

Being calm. I feel like this is just as important as listening. As an advocate, there is going to be plenty of hateful people disrupting our jam on this journey. The ability to remain collected during a discriminating individual’s rant is key. The louder I get, the more they win. I find keeping a cool head and speaking logically will have more of an impact than if I got just as angry as them.

While growing and becoming an advocate, I’ve found out more about human nature and myself than I did in years past. It has been a rewarding experience. I think any opportunity to better myself is worth every mistake made, every battle lost, and every tear shed. I hope that what I’ve learned may inspire you or help you along in your own journey in advocacy, whatever it may be. Just remember that the first step starts with you.