As my years as a teenager are entering there final stage (that’s right, the big 19 is right around the corner…HELP) and I look back at the last few years of my life, I cannot believe how drastically things have changed. For a start, this blog would never exist, because 2 years ago I wasn’t out of the closet and the fear of being discovered, as its author would have stopped me writing it.
It was as I pondered back through the last 4 years, I had a sudden realization; I used to be so very lost.
I was living in a world where I felt like I was the only boy who liked other boys. A world where the possibility of disappointing my friends and family because of what I was stopped me from being happy. It was a world filled with loneliness.
I knew what I was, and at the time I hatted myself because of it. I was terrified, I grew up in a small town where the world ‘Gay’ was used to describe things as silly and irrelevant, where boys are supposed to love girls, and the norm (at the time) suggested gay kids get bullied for being themselves.
My universe when I was 14 was a dark and scary place. It was around this time that I decided to type the words “I think I might be gay” into Google – I still have no idea what I was expecting to come up, but I can tell you this, I got a very good answer.
The first few results displayed articles by publications such as the Times and the Guardian, the next few had links to ‘Bebo’ pages, and then there was one for a YouTube channel. It was at this point I met Davey Wavey.
The Google link took me to a YouTube channel, which belonged to a guy named Davey. He was 23, and made video blogs about his life, his experiences and his sexuality. When I the opened the page, a video appeared titled “when I knew I was gay”. This video changed my life.
I watched the video about 20 times before I went to bed that night. It was the first thing I had ever seen which made me not only proud of what I was, but happy. In the video, Davey talked about his own experience and I could not believe how similar we were.
He talks about how – like me – he knew he liked men from a young age, but only found out there was others like him when he was 12. I’m still not too sure what it was about the video that made me so happy, perhaps it was simply finding out that I was still ‘normal’.
After my first experience with Davey Wavey, I regularly watched his videos, kept up with his blog and ultimately became an aspiring biggest fan. Since that day 5 years ago, many other gay YouTubers have made their voices heard and given advice to other young men who are lost in their own identities. I sometimes wonder what my life would have been like had It not been for YouTube. Would I still be lost? Would I still be depressed? Would I even be here?
All I know is this, thanks to the invention of social networking I was able to not only discover part of who I am, but meet other people who have been through the same trials as myself. On this occasion, when it comes to us gays, Social networking is most defiantly a friend, because it has placed not only myself, but also thousands of worried gay teens on the right path.