Dan let out an exasperated sigh. He had been thinking of making this video for 6 months now. He didn't have to but he wanted to. It was time to tell the truth, not only to his internet friends but to himself. He woke up that morning with thoughts clouding his head. How would he do it? What would he say? He was half afraid of the reaction that would come from such a statement.
"I'm bisexual" Dan mumbled to himself.
It was the truth he had struggled with for over 11 years. He spent 11 years lying to himself. He tried convincing himself he was straight. He knew he had some attraction to girls but he had to face the truth that he loved boys as well. There was on boy in particular, his boyfriend, Phil. Dan and Phil both had discussed coming out at some point in their career but they were just waiting for the right time. They knew that their subscribers speculated about their relationship for a while. But they weren't doing this to please anyone. They weren't going to come out to confirm or deny anything. They are doing this for themselves.
Dan made his way to the kitchen, pouring himself a bowl of cereal and throwing himself on the sofa next to Phil, who already was browsing on the computer.
"Morning Danny" Phil cheerfully said before giving Dan a kiss on the cheek.
"Morning" Dan wasn't really in the mood to talk. He quietly went back to his cereal but Phil knew better. He knew Dan was lost in thought about something.
"What's wrong?" Phil asked recognizing Dan's long intense stare into nowhere.
"I'm tired of having to hide our relationship. I wish we could just be ourselves on and off camera" Dan blurted out. He laid his head on Phil's shoulder. "I know it's not like us to make a coming out video but I want to tell the truth"
"Are you sure? I would be comfortable with making the video as long as you are comfortable" Phil put his arm around Dan reassuringly.
"I think so. I was going to try to film it around noon. I didn't know if you wanted to do a separate video. Or if you even wanted to?" Dan looked up to meet Phil's loving gaze.
"I had been thinking about it off and on but I wanted you to be sure as well". Phil kissed Dan's forehead.
"Will you film the video with me?" Dan asked in a soft voice.
"Of course" Phil smiled.
Hours passed which felt like eternities. Dan knew he wanted to make a video but he didn't know what exactly to say. He'd rather stay cuddled up next to Phil where nothing could hurt him. Where he wouldn't have to worry about what to say.
"Well I guess we should start" Dan said getting up and moving to his bedroom.
Phil followed behind. He wasn't exactly sure that Dan knew what he wanted to say but Phil would be there to support Dan through anything. As Dan started to set up his camera, Phil sat on the bed admiring Dan pacing back and forth to set up the perfect shot. As the time crept closer, Phil started to feel even more nervous. Sure he had come out to his family but that was one on one. Not in front of millions of people.
"The nerves are starting to kick in". Phil broke the silence in the room
"Literally me all day" Dan chuckled. He finished setting up and joined Phil on the bed.
"Ready?" He said grabbing Phil's hand.
"I think so" Phil said.
Dan turned on the camera and let out a huge sigh.
"Hello Internet" Dan tried to use as much energy as he could muster.
"Of course as you can see I'm joined here with my amazing friend Phil…see what I did there"
"Hello...wow Dan, I hadn't heard that pun before" Phil couldn't help but giggle.
"So, I know it is unlike us to make this video but me and Phil have something we've been meaning to tell you". Dan started to freeze.
He felt a pit in his stomach, and time moved irritatingly slow. The words he had kind of rehearsed for hours got stuck in his throat. He knew he could mouth the words but there was no way he could make an audible sound. His mind started to race. What if this was a mistake? What if everyone reacted negatively? Would his internet friends hate him? He started to regret wanting to make this video.
Phil lightly squeezed Dan's hand to bring him back to the video. "So you know we have known each other for such a long time. 6 years and 3 months actually". Phil said. He was just as surprised to be able to figure out something to say. His nerves were rampant too. It was a matter of time before his stomach let go of all of this tension. He half wanted to get this over with.
"Me and Phil are dating" Dan exclaimed. The secret they had kept quiet for so long fell out of his mouth without a sliver of hesitation. Dan felt weird. He could feel the eyes of millions of viewers glaring back at him. He announced one of his deepest secrets, maybe he wasn't as ready as he thought. Coming out was supposed to feel better right? But why did he feel so strange, it was as if he was just a body in the moment but his mind wasn't here making the video. Does Phil feel this way? Dan sat back quietly as Phil continued talking to the camera.
"It's probably not something we'll talk about on our channels much as we're not really into displaying our private lives. But it does feel sort of better to get it all out there". Phil explained while talking with his hands. From the outside Phil didn't seem nervous at all. It was as if coming out was something he was completely used to. Phil wanted to pass out from his nerves but his mouth just kept moving. He knew Dan had gotten really quiet but that hadn't quite stopped him from talking.
"Dan, do you want to end the video?" Phil asked bringing Dan out of his trance like state.
"Oh, right. Bye" Dan quickly shut off the camera. That wasn't the video he planned to make. He wanted to make the video and finally tell all of his friends the truth but something stopped him.
"Dan, what's wrong?" Phil became worried about his boyfriend.
"Nothing. I just imagined that to go differently. I was ready to do it but then the moment came and I froze". Dan fell back on his bed.
"No one said that coming out would be easy. It's tough to tell one person not to mention millions. Everything will be alright, and we still have each other if things would go wrong." Phil leaned down to kiss Dan.
"I love you, Dan". "I love you Phil".
"I still don't think I'm going to upload it. I'll think about and see". They both were exhausted. Filming an entire video talking about probably one of their biggest secrets can drain a lot of energy from someone. Their evening continued on how it typically would except that they still had the video on their minds.
"You coming to bed?" Phil asked, already expecting Dan's answer.
"No, I'll probably stay up a few more hours".
Dan knew he wouldn't sleep. He would stay up for hours just browsing the internet and that's what he planned to do. He looked up anything he could about coming out. It's not like there is a guide to coming out to millions of people. He probably watched every video available. Up until 3am he had it, he went into his room where his camera setup still remained from earlier that day. He sat down once again and pressed record.
"Hello internet" Dan released an exasperated sigh. But this time he wasn't as nervous as before.
"There is something I've been meaning to tell you. I don't quite know how to say it but me and Phil are dating". Dan paused. He felt infinitely better than last time but he still felt like there were millions of eyes staring at him.
"So…yeah, we filmed a video earlier but I'm not sure if we'll upload it. Phil would be here but it's 3am so like any decent human, he's sleeping. I know it's not like us to post videos about our private lives but It was something we had been meaning to say for a little while. Um so, now you cheeky shippers know that. It feels somewhat better to say that but then a part of me wants to throw my camera out a window never to see it again".
Dan began to ramble about always liking boys, questioning his sexuality, and how Phil was the first boy he ever fell in love with. He was sure he wasn't going to put it all in the video but he just needed the time to talk.
"Wow this video is 15 minutes; I need to get lost. So yeah, I'm guessing this probably isn't a big surprise to like half of you. But really, if it is, where have you been? I guess that's all I'm going to say…BYE" Dan turned off his camera and sat in silence for a few minutes. He was more relived that he made a video that was more comfortable than the one earlier.
Dan figured he wasn't going to sleep that night anyway so at 4AM he uploaded the footage onto his computer to begin the tedious editing process. Dan debated whether or not to keep some of the footage for a later video. Maybe it could be useful to someone who was going through a similar experience. But now is not really the time to decide on the next video, he still has to await the feedback of this current video.
6AM. Dan was done. Not just physically but mentally. This whole coming out process and making sure it was done well was exhausting. He groggily rendered his video and opened YouTube. He wasn't ready to publicly post it yet. He still needed to sit on this idea so he went to his side channel. At this point Dan was falling in and out of sleep. His mind raced and the line between dream and reality blurred. He uploaded the video as private and fell asleep.
Phil woke up the next morning to an empty bed. Either two things happened, Dan is up early or he spent all night thinking about that video and crashed wherever seemed good at the time. Knowing Dan, the latter was probably true. Phil walked into Dan's bedroom to see him lying in bed with his laptop by his side.
"Dan, you awake?" Phil knew the answer but he figured he would ask anyway.
No answer. Phil went to cuddle up next to Dan and moved his laptop which revealed Dan's side channel and list of videos. The first one, was a private untitled video uploaded only hours ago. Phil knew what happened. He laid down next to Dan and put his arms around him. Still asleep, Dan rolled over to face Phil. Phil brushed some of Dan's hair out his face and kissed his forehead. Dan's eyes fluttered open.
"Afternoon" Phil whispered.
Dan gave his best tired mumble and moved closer to Phil.
"It's noon" Phil said, not that it would matter. Dan would sleep for 3 more years if he could. Dan just nodded.
"I made a new video and uploaded it as private. I don't know what to do with the old one" Dan uttered in his raspy voice.
"We both don't have to do a video. We could re-film it or I could upload the one we already have". Phil said, brushing his fingers through Dan's hair.
"Doesn't matter. Did you want to see the new video?" Dan reached for his computer to show Phil what he had spent all night making.
Phil watched the video in awe of his boyfriend, who just a day ago was frightened of making this video. He saw how Dan was now confident in what he was going to say.
"I love it" Phil gave Dan a kiss.
"It does feel better to get it out in the open. I'm truly grateful for you, and that we feel happy enough to share our relationship with everyone" Dan returned Phil's kiss. "Should we make it public?"
"I guess so" Phil said with a hint of eagerness in his voice.
Without any further warning Dan hit public. He tweeted the link to the video and that was it. His biggest secret was now out in the open. He felt kind of relieved about it but he knew there was no turning back now. All they could do was sit back and watch the response.
"I'm kind of scared not like in a bad way but in a jumpy kind of way" Phil took his gaze off of Dan's computer to look at his boyfriend that he loved more than anything.
"That's called nerves, Phil". Dan said with a hint of mockery in his voice.
"Oh right" Phil giggled as he put his head into Dan's shoulder.
Their gaze simultaneously returned to twitter where a rapid influx of messages were coming in that ranged from overwhelming support to excitement. Of course there was the small amount of angry trolls filling the timeline but they skimmed over those comments to see the amount of love that their online family expressed.
"Do you think we made the right decision?" Dan said grinning at Phil.
"Of course. I love you Dan" Phil passionately kissed Dan. But this time it was different. There was no sense of having to hide anything. They were now free of the burden that being closeted brought. They could finally be happy and show their true selves on and off camera.
"I love you, Phil" They spend the rest of their day cuddled up next to each other watching anime and alternating between viewing their comments. Dan and Phil knew that today would be one of the happiest and most freeing days of their lives together.