One half of one of YouTube's most popular same-sex couples is coming out and setting the record straight about being incorrectly labeled gay.
"Yes, I’m a bisexual male," R.J. Aguiar says in a video published Monday. The 25-year-old is currently engaged to Will Shepherd, his fellow YouTuber and cofounder of the brand Not Adam and Steve. That relationship, combined with the couple's online visibiliy, has led to a seemingly endless stream of questions about the validity of Aguiar's orientation, he says.
Aguiar recounts the tone of frequent comments submitted on his videos: "Why don't you just come out as gay already? ... We never see you check out girls in your vlog. ... Can you please stop lying to us and yourself and just admit that you're gay?"
That would be dishonest, Aguiar tells The Advocate, not to mention complicated for his family, to whom he came out as bisexual four years ago when he and Shepherd started dating.
"I didn't really 'come out as bi' to anyone else," he says. "I just introduced all of my friends to Will and let them draw their own conclusions. It wasn't until viewers started asking me about my sexuality and my personal coming out journey that I felt compelled to start talking about it online."
At first, Aguiar says he tried to engage in a two-way discussion about bisexuality with his commenters.
"Shortly thereafter, I realized that it shouldn't have to be a discussion, because that would mean inviting my audience to come try and reach a consensus on my own sexual identity," he says now. "So I finally got fed up and decided to make a video where I essentially lay down the law and state that this is not up for discussion or debate. This is who I am."
"Not only do I hope that this video teaches people a thing or two about bisexuality, but I hope they also feel compelled to take a similar stand when it comes to their own identity,” Aguiar says about the his efforts to set the record "straight." "It's like I said in the video — it's not your job to explain yourself to people, it's your job to do what makes you happy. If that means identifying as gay or bi or pan or asexual or two-spirit or whatever, then that's all that matters."
Aguiar is confounded by those who try to police the sexuality of others, stepping in to say, "You don't know who you are, let me tell you who you are," he says. "It makes absolutely no sense. You can't read that person's mind, so how would you know? I haven't the slightest idea why people have foot fetishes. But that doesn't mean I try to deny it when someone else tells me that they have a foot fetish. So what? Who cares? Good for you! You're not going to accidentally impregnate the arches of someone's feet."
Watch Aguiar break down some binaries and tackle biphobia below: