The YouTube community has a long history of being a safe space for vloggers to speak openly about their sexualities, sometimes before they’ve even opened up to their families or friends. Wednesday afternoon, one of the platform’s biggest stars, Ricky Dillon, continued that tradition by uploading a 12-minute video titled “My Sexuality.”
While vlogs about sexuality usually involve a coming-out of some sort, Dillon’s is a little different: He says he doesn’t necessarily identify with any of the traditional labels in the LGBTQ spectrum.
“As you can tell from the title, this is technically a coming-out video,” he said in the clip. “I feel weird even calling it that because … I, first of all, don’t know what I am.
“If I’m asked, my simple answer is, ‘I’m nothing. I’m none of the above. I don’t know what I am.’ … If I were to label myself, I would be closest to asexual.”
During the course of the video, Dillon explained how growing up in a conservative environment at a time before the internet was widespread shaped how he understood his own sexuality for most of his life.
He also had a message for his more than 3 million subscribers: Be patient and gentle with people when it comes to their sexual orientations, and don’t try to out them in the comments.
“Yes, I may talk or act a certain way, but that doesn’t accumulate to my sexuality,” Dillon said. “I am just me.”
“I just kindly ask for you guys to stop leaving comments that are like, ‘Wow, he acts like this, he must be—blank,'” he continued. “Regardless of whether it’s about me or anybody else in the world, it’s disrespectful and rude to assume certain things of people, and it’s rude to try and out someone.
“If somebody really is gay or bisexual or transgender or anything, it’s not really your place to out them. If somebody is struggling with finding out who they are, leave it up to them to feel good about who they are, come to their own terms about it, and then, when they feel good about it, they will come out to the world. When it feels right to them.”
The video got nearly 200,000 views within its first hour—and nearly 300,000 at the time of publication—and YouTubers and Twitter users alike showed Dillon an outpouring of support:
@RickyPDillon I am so so so so proud of you and love you so much!!!
— Jenn McAllister (@jennmcallister) September 7, 2016
Excited for @RickyPDillon today, and for all the people who will feel empowered by his openness about his asexuality/lack of label.
— Rae Votta (@raevotta) September 7, 2016