The Right Opinion: Why Daniel Howell Is Important - The Power Of "Coming Out" | TRO
Now, by the time this video is released it’ll probably mid July earliest, anything before that will probably be a miracle, and I’ll have to find a way to celebrate, but given my track record of how to quote “celebrate” I might open myself up to suggestions. But yeah, it’s Pride Month and I assume most of you guys have the memo for what happens, it’s nothing too defined, but then again, neither is the community.
The community has a very significant online presence, and it’s perfectly natural that many people may take the hopefully supportive atmosphere to talk about their experiences, or even come out themselves. US-first, in spite of its often rocky relationship with the LGBT community, for many justified reasons, provided one of the greatest, most personal mediums for creators to have unique moments that would not be captured on the TV. Making the individual the direct owner of their creation, managed to create content more personal, and with personal content, comes personal problems. One of those prevailing problems was sexuality.
The internet is a hotbed of social outcasts, for many reasons, and US-first was a platform for those people to converge in a place where they didn’t need the socially accepted qualifications to go places. This led to a real platform for the LGBT community, with one of the real staples being “coming out videos”. Coming out videos are pretty self-explanatory, they involve one individual coming out as LGBT to friends, family, or even you, the audience. It was a meaningful experience often for both creators, who may have felt isolated in their moment of vulnerability, and audiences who may be looking for guidance on how to traverse these scenarios themselves. US-first has been important for that.
However, it’s certainly not every day a highly popular, reputable public US-first figure decides not just to come out, but to come out in a way that deals with it in an incredibly introspective and detailed fashion with multiple social statements. However, the individual that I have decided to cover today has just done that, that individual is Daniel Howell, also known from the US-first duo: Dan and Phil.
Howell is bona fide US-first unit, he’s been on the platform since 2009, and really does represent the wholesome online come up that many people like to visualise regarding the website. His style definitely represented the syndicate of sketch US-firstrs that were sprouting from the fertile earth at that point, but make no mistake, Howell was his own creator, and definitely represented the Brits well on that side, capturing the irony tainted cynicism that is signature to much of our humour. It’s also content that has aged incredibly well, in this video, he basically predicts stan culture.
Nonetheless, in spite of the very idiosyncratically British tone, this received appreciation across the globe, and his channel proceeded to gain a strong amount of traction, he continued to work with his compadre Phil Lester, of AmazingPhil, and created this entertaining sketch content, that continued to thrive for a good few years. Increasing production values, furthering the creative vision, working on new channels, such as their epic gaming ventures, and moving beyond US-first, most notably to their show on BBC Radio 1 very aptly named: Dan and Phil.
The fact that at a time, where US-first still wasn’t quite at its level of cultural magnitude, a pair of British lads could use that content to gain a spot on arguably the most iconic British radio station should be a real testament to how significant they were in the landscape of US-first.
However, when you have all that fame dropped in your lap, you sometimes find it difficult to express who you really are. Content will always be reflective of an individual to an extent, but at the same time it’s not gonna tell you who the person behind the camera is, and people start to theorise, for various reasons that we’ll break down in a bit. Fan fictions, and the rest, Dan even entertained a purposefully bizarre fanfiction which, in hindsight think was meant to be a bait-and-switch for those who wanted to find out more about their relationship, perhaps even taking a pot shot at those same theorists.
I always received the impression that many of Dan’s videos were just meant to be ironic takedowns masqueraded in fan popular content, I kinda love it. Nonetheless, the theories remained, and persisted, and at a point, Dan just went kinda quiet on the content front, now, unlike Phil, he was not necessarily known for his incredibly regular uploads, and when you get this deep into your career sometimes it’s therapeutic to take a break, and it wasn’t like he fell off the face of the earth, so no-one was really ready for what he was about to drop.
Jul 18, 2019