Last night, much like every night, I was mid-procrastination (anyone else procrastinate over going to bed?! Damn, I have a problem), just aimlessly browsing the interwebs when I came across a link to Ingrid Nilsen’s latest YouTube video. I’m not much of a YouTube person, but I’d heard of Ingrid – better known as MissGlamorazzi – despite never having seen a video of hers before. In this video, Ingrid comes out. And bloody good for her.
To my – and most other’s – delight, we now live in a world where being gay, bisexual, in fact any-kinda-sexual or any-kinda-gendered is more widely accepted than ever. Naturally, there is still an AWFUL long way to go (and I strongly suggest you become a member of AllOut if helping to change this is important to you), but we’re making great progress in most parts of the world; snaps for Ireland and their recent marriage equality vote! Me, personally, I’ve grown up with a pretty liberal family and we all have a ‘live and let live’ attitude. Homosexuality is as common-or-garden to me as breathing; one of my closest childhood friends was pretty damn obviously gay from the word go, one of my cousins is in a civil partnership and they have a daughter (who, for the record, is perfectly well adjusted and is not adversely affected by the lack of a father figure), and I myself have been equally as attracted to females as I have been to males for as long as I’ve even been aware and capable of attraction. Sure, I’m in a seven-year relationship with a man I love very much, but that doesn’t make me purely straight. Alternative or flexible sexuality is so normal to me that I didn’t even think twice when I told my mum I had a girlfriend as a teenager, and she didn’t bat an eyelid either.
Despite some of us being fortunate in our own situations and in the sense of the people we are surrounded by, it’s by no means EASY for many people to make it known that they are gay (or bi, or trans, or whatever). I feel like it’s probably more difficult in the US than it is in the UK, since Christianity is still reasonably dominant there. I completely appreciate that, while it SHOULD NOT be a big deal if someone is gay, THERE IS still a need to ‘come out’. And there ARE STILL people who are going to be arseholes about it. It must be difficult enough for people to admit their sexuality to themselves, let alone their personal networks of family and friends. But imagine having an online viewership of 3.5 million who have spent the last half a decade seeing you in relationships with men – men that you have been dating to suppress your own nature, the nature you’ve been made to feel is unnatural or wrong – you feel you owe it to them to tell them the truth. So that’s where we get to with Ingrid.
While there is an overwhelming show of support for Ingrid, as evidenced by the current 340k:11k like to dislike ratio and 99% understanding and positive comments, sadly the ones that really stick out are from the 1% who really, really need to just fuck off. My stomach was literally churning reading some of them last night, and (un?)fortunately today I can’t scroll back far enough to see some of the really, really hideous ones. But a quick skim through the most recent ones still reveals a plethora of backward, blinkered excuses for human beings, and I would like to take this opportunity to have a little YOUTUBE SMACKDOWN. Here are the 5 types of commenters who can GO TO HELL.
1. These unfeeling asshats
There are a lot of people suggesting that Ingrid is being overly dramatic, and has no right to get emotional about this self-realisation and the subsequent admittance of it to over 3 million people. I would bet my home and everything in it that every single person saying it’s no big deal are heterosexual, and the only reason they think this way is because they can’t relate to the way Ingrid feels. Perhaps they might try employing a spot of empathy, alternatively they can FUCK OFF.
2. These idiotic wankers
So if Ingrid is gay, why has she spent her life up till now being in relationships with men? If you’ve watched the video, you already know she’s talked about this. But even without her explaining it to us, those of us with more than 4 functioning brain cells could have figured it out. It’s a combination of meeting expectations and suppressing feelings, perhaps in an effort to ‘condition’ herself to be able to fall in love with men. The kind of YouTube viewers who think Ingrid would date men JUST to pull the wool over their eyes, like they are actually significant, can FUCK OFF.
3. These conspiracy theorists
Trend? Gay agenda? …GAY AGENDA? Oh, you mean that agenda where everyone gets to love who they want to love and be happy? Yeah, that’s fucking terrifying. It goes without saying, these people can FUCK OFF.
4. These illiterate bellends
For every well-composed comment on YouTube, there will be 10 nonsensical ones like this. That’s a law of the internet, right? But despite my grammar nazi tendencies, the real meat of this one – and the others like it – is the ‘gay bandwagon’. I believe that a few high-profile YouTube personalities have come out in the last few months. Why do these morons think it is a bandwagon, and moreover, something you can actually choose to ‘jump on’? Does it not follow basic logic that, the more widely accepted homosexuality becomes, the more closeted homosexual people will feel able to admit this? These YouTubers all watch each other. They see one brave soul do it, and they are inspired to exhibit that kind of bravery themselves. As far as I can see, this is only a good thing. Once again, these commenters can also FUCK OFF.
5. These absolute worst offenders
The people saying ‘straight people don’t make videos coming out as straight’ are the ones that get my back up the most. This is EXACTLY the same as white people who say ‘oh, why don’t we have a White History Month or White Entertainment Television or MOWO awards?’. The reason is very, very simple, but listen closely because I have a feeling it might be beyond your realm of comprehension. Straight people don’t ‘come out’ because society already expects them to be straight. They have never had to struggle with feelings that they have been told are wrong, they have never felt the necessity to hide their sexuality, a hugely fundamental part of themselves, because they are straight in a globally hetero-normative society. Gay people have. The reason there is no White History Month or WET or MOWOs is because, as white people, we have never been collectively enslaved or discriminated or anything because of our skin colour. Black people have. I really, truly hate to use Tumblrina language right now but these people need to check their motherfuckin’ privilege and FUCK OFF.
I think I will stop here, because I am just making myself angrier and angrier. I just hope that one day, in the not-too-distant future, there will genuinely be no need for people to come out as anything – gay, bi, trans, whatever – because it is genuinely NO BIG DEAL. I long for that day, and have faith that it will come. We just have to be patient, and in the meantime, support one another the best we possibly can. Congratulations to Ingrid on the first day of the rest of her life.