British YouTube star Dan Howell has come out publicly as gay in a candid new video.
Sharing a 45-minute clip entitled 'Basically I'm Gay' on Twitter on Thursday (14 June), the former BBC Radio 1 presenter - who boasts more than 6.5million followers on YouTube - said that opening up about his sexuality during US Pride month "feels like a new chapter".
"i doubted all my life that the world would change to be a place i could personally feel open and accepted and that’s because of all of you. thank you," Howell wrote.
Basically I'm Gay https://t.co/UHMZYM9imS— Daniel Howell (@danielhowell) June 13, 2019
this really feels like a new chapter for me. i doubted all my life that the world would change to be a place i could personally feel open and accepted and that’s because of all of you. thank you. pic.twitter.com/IONmKeygR2— Daniel Howell (@danielhowell) June 13, 2019
"i always wanted to upload this next video in the month of june ..it ended up taking an entire year longer than i thought but here we are again and now it is time."
In the wide-ranging video, Howell revealed that the combined pressure of self-hatred along with abuse from his peers once led him to attempt to take his own life as a teenager.
"Queer people exist," the 28-year-old said. "Choosing not to accept them is not an option. To anyone watching this that isn't out, it's OK. You're OK. You were born this way. It's right. And anyone that has a problem with it is wrong."
Howell began posting videos on YouTube in 2009, before landing a slot presenting BBC Radio 1's Sunday night request show alongside his vlogging partner Phil Lester in 2013.
In his video, Howell revealed that he and Lester had been romantically involved, but didn't clarify the current state of their relationship, explaining he wanted to keep his private life private.
Shortly after Howell posted his video, 32-year-old Lester - who had also never publicly commented on his sexuality - tweeted that he was "super proud" of Howell, and "the message" the video sends.
Me: When I make a video about my sexuality at some point it’ll be pretty low-key y’know— Phil Lester (@AmazingPhil) June 13, 2019
Dan: Hold my pride flag- *45 minute masterpiece later* https://t.co/BcZa8YuMhd
For real Dan has worked so hard on this video!! Super proud of him and the messages it sends 🏳️🌈— Phil Lester (@AmazingPhil) June 13, 2019