Dan and Phil to LGBTQ+ pipeline

Photo of YouTubers Dan and Phil.
Photo of YouTubers Dan and Phil.
Contributed image

From the time I was 13 onward, I was what one might call “a chronically online individual.” This persisted until I was 17-18, where I learned moderation (for the most part).  

During this time in my life, I spent a lot of time on YouTube. Of course, these were the days of the “saturation era” where YouTubers  from “across the pond” were incredibly popular.  

Out of this batch of YouTubers, my favourites (by far) were Dan and Phil.  

Watching their videos gave me comfort and laughs during my entire time in high school while the community they created online gave me some incredible friends. Connecting with people from all over the globe enriched me in ways that I am incredibly grateful for every day, and the “Dan and Phil Era” of my life remains one of my favourites.  

In Summer 2018, I also was able to go to their show “Interactive Introverts” – meeting them in person. The experience was incredible (both of them being absolutely lovely) and seeing other members of their “fanbase” in person was very neat.  

As the years went on and both Dan and Phil came out as gay, I had a moment of clarity surrounding what had brought their community together in the first place.  

(Most) of us were closeted members of the LGBTQ+ community.  

The Dan and Phil community (in the early days as well) was a rare space online where hate had no space. They were never rude, or crass, or made offensive jokes.  

As a closeted queer individual at the time, this community made me feel seen. I had always felt on the “outside looking in” – not knowing exactly why I felt so isolated.  

As I came out as queer and learned that Dan and Phil had as well, I couldn’t help but feel grateful about how watching their videos had made me feel confident enough to accept myself.   

I’m aware that my experience is not unique – there were other communities online at the time of the “Dan and Phil heyday” that provided a safe space for closeted individuals. However, my experience in the Dan and Phil community had a massive impact on my life (and the lives of others online).  

Being (and coming out) as queer is not a one way track – ultimately, you’ll be “coming out” for your entire life. While I was not necessarily worried about how my parents would react, I knew that coming out would have an impact on my life, forever.  

Today, I am thrilled to see that Dan and Phil have come out themselves – emboldening the LGBTQ+ community even further and “living their truth”.  

Thank you, Dan and Phil.

To everyone else – don’t be afraid to come out. There are always people who will listen, love you and make you feel welcome. Whether online or in person, there is a safe space for everyone.  

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