Pop-culture phenomenon, social rights advocate, and the most prominent LGBTQ+ voice on YouTube, Tyler Oakley brings you his first collection of witty, personal, and hilarious essays.
For someone who made a career out of over-sharing on the Internet, Tyler has a shocking number of personal mishaps and shenanigans to reveal in his first book: experiencing a legitimate rage blackout in a Cheesecake Factory; negotiating a tense standoff with a White House official; crashing a car in front of his entire high school, in an Arby’s uniform; projectile vomiting while bartering with a grandmother; and so much more. In Binge, Tyler delivers his best untold, hilariously side-splitting moments with the trademark flair that made him a star.
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An Excerpt from Binge by Tyler Oakley
TYLER OAKLEY ISN’T MY REAL name. Ahh! See? This book is full of surprises! Right off the bat, bam! You’ve got an exclusive! Truth be told, my real name is Mathew Tyler Oakley, but it feels like I’ve always gone by Tyler. Back in kindergarten, another Mathew was in my class, and that simply would not do. I was not there to leave it up to my classmates to label the two Mathews with adjectives—because Lord knows I would have been “chubby Mathew,” which was not the branding I was going for at age five (or ever).
So, I came home one day and told my parents that I’d be going by Tyler. I needed to be one of a kind at school if I wanted to make any impression. I mean, imagine two celebrities sharing a name! How confusing and ridiculous would that be? Well, just look at Michelle Williams. No, not the one who was in Brokeback Mountain or Blue Valentine or My Week with Marilyn . . . the one who used to be in Destiny’s Child with Beyoncé. See?! This kind of confusion was not something I wanted to deal with down the line.
So here I am, as what has almost become two separate people, Mathew Tyler Oakley and Tyler Oakley. As time has gone on, Mathew has become my more private identity—someone who I very much protect. Tyler is who I generously offer, at school, in life, and on YouTube. Mathew is what my parents and siblings call me, and the name I sign my binding contracts with, and Tyler is who makes embarrassing challenge videos and meets guys on Grindr. I’ve always been both, and to some people I’m more one than the other.
And now you know. But for me to give you Mathew right off the bat . . . that’s me trusting you. It’s me saying hi, welcome to my life, not everything is pretty or perfect or edited with jump cuts. That’s Tyler. You know Tyler. It’s time for me to tell you all of Mathew’s stories.
But still call me Tyler because, honestly, do I even look like a Mathew at this point? Yeah, no.