YouTuber Daniel Howell Comes Out During Pride — But Is He Dating Phil?
One half of British comedy duo "Dan & Phil," 28-year-old Daniel Howell, "always wanted to upload this next video in the month of June" and indeed capitalized on Pride month to drop his latest YouTube video, which has already amassed 3.9 views in the past 19 hours.
Titled "Basically I'm Gay," the 45-minute doozy is captioned, "Let me tell you a queer little story about a boy named Dan."
But wait so does that mean Daniel is gay? And are he and collaborator Phil Lester dating? Here's what we know.
Is Daniel Howell gay?
The funny Brit begins his video by making things relatively clear. "Spoiler alert: I'm not straight," he says to his 6.5 Million subscribers. "We live in a heteronormative world ... which means people are presumed to be straight. If you're not, then at some point you have to 'come out'."
But he doesn't seem to think gay is the identity for him. "I'm pretty sure no one who knows me thinks I'm straight," he continues, "so I don't need to 'come out' as much as clarify what the hell is going on because here I am, age 27, and my sexual preference is still a vague, debatable, confusing, impenetrable mystery."
[Editor's note: Daniel's birthday was on June 11, and he is now 28 — but given the tweet in which he admitted he was waiting for June to post, it's hard to tell when this video was filmed.]
Rather, he struggles to find the identity label that suits him and prefers the term "queer," though he's growing increasingly comfortable with the word "gay."
"Whatever heterosexual is, I ain't it," he added. "Really, if you ask me, I don't think anyone is totally straight. I think there's a lot of social and emotional issues getting in the way of yet-to-be-understood feelings of attraction that can be very flexible." "Am I totally gay? No," he concluded.
Are Dan and Phil dating in 2019?
Dan quickly received a whirlwind of responses on social media — and his video still sits in first place on YouTube's trending page as of writing this article. "I'm so proud of you," one fan tweeted. "I know a lot of people are gonna get helped by this video, thank you so much."
"Daniel Howell just ended biphobia," added another. But many people are more curious about whether he and his longtime collaborator, Phil Lester are dating. Midway through his 45-minute video, Daniel addresses his more-than-friendship.
After a dark period in which he experienced bullying from schoolmates ("That was the first time I'd heard that word," he recalled. "Well, I don't know what the heck gay means, but apparently it means people kick you on the floor, so that ain't good"), he took solace in "the magic of the internet" and met Phil.
"Obviously we were more than friends, but it was more than just romantic," he goes on. "This is someone who genuinely liked me. I trusted them. And for the first time since I was a tiny child I actually felt safe...we are real best friends. Companions through life. Like, actual soul mate."
But Dan stops short of absolutely confirming their relationship. "I bet so many people wanna know so much more about that," he says, foreseeing you, dear reader, "which, honestly, I take as a compliment, but here's the thing... I'm somebody who wants to keep the details of my personal life private. So is Phil."
He went on, "Lots of people these days — thanks to social media — want to share and monetize every aspect of their life and then as soon as something changes suddenly it's this huge drama because everyone got invested in the story of your life like it's a soap opera...I don't want that."
Can we blame him? Honestly, no. And apparently, neither can Twitter. "Let's talk about how truly beautiful Dan and Phil's relationship is," one person commented. "Who TF cares about its status. They make each other so genuinely happy and they support each other unconditionally. They're soulmates."
"Please respect Dan and Phil's personal relationship," wrote another. "He made it clear that it is too special for consumption. This is not a free for all. They deserve privacy, love, and respect. Dan trusts us with this part of his life; don't make him sorry."
Watch Dan's "Basically I'm Gay" video here. Happy pride!