It Gets Worse by Shane Dawson - Read Online
It Gets Worse
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THE INSTANT #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

New York Times bestselling author Shane Dawson returns with another highly entertaining and uproariously funny essay collection, chronicling a mix of real life moments both extraordinary and mortifying, yet always full of heart.

Shane Dawson shared some of his best and worst experiences in I Hate Myselfie, the critically acclaimed book that secured his place as a gifted humorist and keen observer of millennial culture. Fans felt as though they knew him after devouring the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal bestseller. They were right… almost.

In this new collection of original personal essays, Shane goes even deeper, sharing never-before-revealed stories from his life, giving readers a no-holds-barred look at moments both bizarre and relatable, from cult-like Christian after-school activities, dressing in drag, and losing his virginity, to hiring a psychic, clashes with celebrities, and coming to terms with his bisexuality. Every step of the way, Shane maintains his signature brand of humor, proving that even the toughest breaks can be funny when you learn to laugh at yourself.

This is Let's Pretend This Never Happened and Running With Scissors for the millennial generation: an inspiring, intelligent, and brutally honest collection of true stories by a YouTube sensation-turned one of the freshest new voices out there.
Published: Simon & Schuster on
ISBN: 9781501132858
List price: $12.99
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It Gets Worse: An Introduction

About the Artist

ALEXANDER T. GIESEN is a seventeen-year-old German-born British painter. His passion for art was first sparked in the eighth grade, after visiting a modern art exhibition. He currently is in his first year doing the International Baccalaureate diploma, where he studies fine art. The themes his paintings mainly illustrate are the problems that humans (especially women) in Western society face; this he shows by doing large-scale portraits with hidden metaphorical messages, often only conveyed through color or form. Follow him on Twitter @_alexrobins.

Hi, my name is Shane Dawson, and I’m here to tell you that it gets worse. It really does. The problems you have as a kid will seem ridiculous when you get older because bigger and worse problems will come along. But you will learn to deal with them easier as you grow up, or, like me, you’ll just stop giving a shit. So yes, it gets worse, but you know what gets better? Your tolerance for bullshit.

When I was a kid I remember bad haircuts feeling like the end of the world. I would go into the salon with a picture of ’NSYNC and ask for the Justin Timberlake. The stylist would look me up and down and then ask me what I thought about the Joey Fatone. As an adult when I get a bad haircut, it doesn’t even faze me. You know why? Because I’m just happy to have hair in the first place. Every man in my family was bald by age thirty, and I only have three more years to go. I have to enjoy this mane while I got it! I can only pray that in a few years I’ll have enough hair to pull off a Joey Fatone. Shit, at that point I would take a Chris Kirkpatrick and not bitch about it.

I also remember how big of a deal it was when someone at school bullied me or called me names. I was called fat, ugly, gay, momma’s boy, albino, man tits, and once in a while rape baby. I don’t quite understand that one, but then again, I kinda do. Little did I know then that nowadays the first thing that pops up when you Google my name is Shane Dawson is dead. I mean, that’s way past an insult. It means thousands of people have typed into their Google browser asking if I’m ALIVE. My young self probably couldn’t have handled that, but at my age now, I really don’t care. What’s the point of getting mad about things when we are all just getting closer to death each day? Or, if you’re like me, maybe you’re already dead and you just don’t know it yet!

In this book you will get to know even more about me than you did in my last book, I Hate Myselfie, mainly because I’ve learned so much more about myself since writing it. I’ve had my first real heartbreak that shook me to the core. I’ve directed my first movie and got panned by critics. One reviewer in particular called my movie something only rapists, racists, and sociopaths could love. Ya, that was rough. But the biggest thing that has happened is that I discovered who I truly am and came out as bisexual. This past year has been a journey of self-discovery and also an attempt at self-love. If there’s one thing I learned since my last book, it’s that I don’t hate myselfie. I just have moments of really being annoyed by him, and that’s ok.

So sit back, grab a diet soda (Hey, we’re all gonna die anyways, right?), and enjoy the stories that I’m about to tell to you. Just a warning, some of them might offend you and some of them might make you feel sick. But one thing is for sure, all of them will make you realize that even when it gets worse, there’s still something to laugh about. And I find that pretty damn comforting.

—Shane Dawson

2 a.m.

About the Artist

STACIE GILBERT is a twenty-two-year-old animation major currently finishing up her degree online. Though she is an animation major, her passion is illustration and writing. She currently resides in the town of Lincolnton, North Carolina. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram, both @Gilstacie, or you can find her at StacieGilbert.com.

I’ve always felt different from the other boys in my family. My oldest brother, Jacob, had a different girlfriend every month when we were growing up, and my other brother, Jerid, had posters of supermodels all over his walls. The only poster of a girl I had in my room was of Queen Latifah, and that’s because I wanted to BE HER. She was so powerful. So tough. Like a bull. I wasn’t the manliest boy, and I definitely stood out in family portraits. My brothers would wear baseball hats and have scraped knees from wrestling in the backyard, and I would have on a tie-dyed shirt with a fanny pack and early-onset arthritis from braiding my mother’s hair every day. I was very skilled when it came to a French braid. They used to call me Red Lobster because the fishtails I was serving were ON POINT.

I remember my brother Jerid sitting me down when I was five years old and asking me a question that would be repeated throughout my childhood and into adulthood.

JERID: Shane, can I ask you something?

ME: Is this about the pee in your closet? Because I don’t know who did that.

I peed in my family members’ closets in the middle of the night till I was thirteen. It’s actually kind of disturbing, and I should probably look into that. I’m sure I’m a sociopath.

JERID: No . . . Are you . . . gay?

Gay. I didn’t even know what that meant. The only time I had heard that word was on TV when someone was using it as an insult. I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew I didn’t want to be it.

ME: No!

I ran to my room and locked the door. I curled up into my pillow and tried to forget about what had just happened. Luckily before long I heard the two words that could make me forget about anything unpleasant.

MOM: Pizza’s here!

When I was in kindergarten I had my first crush, or should I say, first crushes. I walked into school with my hair slicked back and a Ninja Turtles lunch pail that was metal and super heavy. My mom wanted me to have a heavy lunch pail so I could protect myself with it. Even she knew I was a bully’s wet dream. With my big, dorky glasses and my forty-year-old bank teller man hair I was just asking to get the shit beaten out of me. I walked into class, and I took a look around. My eyes stopped on what was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in my five years of living. She had long blond hair and eyes that were so blue they looked like mirrors facing the sky. Her skin was soft and pale, and her outfit was perfectly color coordinated to keep her from looking even paler. Wait . . . maybe I am gay? Oh well. I walked up to her and tried to introduce myself, but before I could a boy with spiked, gelled hair and a douchebag face swooped in to steal my thunder.

It was at that moment that my world got more confusing. The boy looked up at me and said, Go away, fat ass, and instead of crying, I just stared at him, completely awestruck. All the feelings I had for the girl I started having for the boy. Now that I think about it, there’s probably some darker issue going on there considering he verbally abused me, but that’s beside the point. I sat down at an open desk and started to panic. I had two crushes: one on a boy and one on a girl. And I could tell no one.

Instead of talking about my feelings to my family or my friends, I just bottled them up inside and pretended like they didn’t exist. This became a common theme.

One night when I was around eleven years old, my brother Jerid and his friends decided to throw a party while my mom was working late. I was a goody-goody and was seconds away from calling my mom and ratting him out until they decided to order Chinese food and I would have sold my fat soul for some orange chicken. I had no moral code. After we ate pounds of greasy GMO-filled cat meat, my brother’s creepy friend whipped out a VHS tape and everyone started freaking out with excitement.

CREEPY FRIEND: Guess what we’re gonna watch?!

ME: Flubber?!

Silence. Wrong answer. I should have been aborted.

CREEPY FRIEND: No. A porno! I stole it from my dad’s closet!

I was so jealous. The only things I ever stole from my dad’s closet were shirts, since we both wore XXL.

My brother’s creepy friend put the tape in the VCR, and it started to play. I don’t remember much about the story line, but I do remember that there was a party and for some reason there was only one guy and twelve girls, which to me didn’t seem weird because all my birthday parties were just me and a bunch of girls. Ya, my life was just like a porno. Except less sex and more girl talk. The guy started to take off his clothes, and then the girls followed. All my brother’s friends started laughing and shouting at the screen, and I just sat there in silence. I was trying to understand what I was supposed to be looking at. I wanted to look at the girls, but I also wanted to look at the guy. I was turned on by everything, and I was terrified by that. It was like I was at a Taco Bell drive-thru and everything on the menu looked delicious. I just wanted one of everything, with extra sauce.

A couple of years later, when I was thirteen, I had a conversation with my family that I’ll never forget. I was getting ready to go into high school, and up until then I had never shown any interest in sex. I was always thinking about it, but on the outside I would never talk about my feelings. When anyone asked me who my celebrity crush was I would pick a person that was obviously a joke, like Oprah Winfrey or Rumer Willis. Sorry, Rumer. I was at a family get-together, and the topic of high school came up, and everyone turned their attention to me.

MOM: So, Shaney, you nervous about high school?

ME: I dunno.

UNCLE: They got showers there? If they do, I can teach you the family trick on how to make your penis look bigger.

ME: I’m good.

After a few more uncomfortable questions and a lot of terrible advice, a family member asked me the question that I had been avoiding since I was five years old.

FAMILY MEMBER: Shane, are you gay?

Silence. It was clear this was something they had all been talking about behind my back. Before I answered, I looked around and just about everyone in the room had a look of fear plastered on his or her face. My family was very religious, and being gay was seriously not ok.

ME: No.

Relief spread across the room. The only one who didn’t appear relieved was my brother Jerid. He looked disappointed, like he knew I wasn’t being honest with myself or my family. Later that night I went to the kitchen to eat some leftover Hamburger Helper casserole. There’s nothing I love more than freezing cold Hamburger Helper at two a.m. God, I’m fucking disgusting. As I opened the refrigerator door I heard a voice behind me.

VOICE: Shane?

I jumped around and slammed the refrigerator door in shame.

ME: What?! I wasn’t eating! I never eat! I just have fat genes!

Isn’t that weird how you never see a fat kid eat? We always do it in private, as if we are fooling anyone. How sad. As my eyes started adjusting to the darkness of the kitchen I saw that it was Jerid.

JERID: Hey, man. Can we talk about something?

ME: Seriously, I have no idea who is peeing in your closet, but if you want, I’ll help you look for them. It’s most likely the same asshole who keeps eating the Hamburger Helper in the middle of the night. That sick fuck.

JERID: No, it’s about what happened earlier today.

ME: When Aunt Carol asked if I was a C cup?

JERID: No, when someone asked if you were gay.

ME: Oh . . . that.

JERID: You know if you are, you can tell me, right?

ME: I know. It’s just . . . it’s confusing.

JERID: I love you, man. No matter what you like.

ME: I love you too.

I paused and started to tear up.

ME: I just don’t want to go to hell.

I couldn’t hold it in any longer. I started crying in the middle of the dark, cold kitchen. He grabbed me and held me while I let it all out. After a few minutes of my crying on his shoulder, he lifted my head up and looked at me with love in his eyes.

JERID: God loves you so much. Anyone that tells you different is an asshole.

I went back into his shoulder, and I felt so safe.

JERID: When you’re ready, I’m here.

It would be years before I was ready to confront my feelings. I went through the next fourteen years holding them in and pretending that I was completely straight. I would fill the void in my heart with food and other addictions. Throughout my relationships with girls I would put walls up because I felt like I wasn’t fully being myself. I had repressed my feelings for guys so far down that they started eating away at me. But as I grew up the world grew up. Fewer people were saying that gays were doomed to go to hell, and it was becoming more acceptable to be sexually open.

After my relationship with Lisa, my girlfriend of three years, ended I felt like I was ready to be honest with myself and confront the feelings that had been buried so deep. Our relationship hadn’t ended because of my sexual confusion, but it hadn’t helped either. I still believe she and I were meant to be in each other’s lives as each other’s rocks, but not in a romantic way. She’s family to me, and she’s one of the few people in my life I trust completely.

A few months after we broke up I asked her if we could talk about an issue I had been having, and she invited me over with open arms. I started to explain to her that I was feeling confused and that I wasn’t sure how to define my sexuality. I broke down in tears and she held me and told me that she would support me no matter what. After that conversation, I started opening up about the topic with my therapist and even a few friends, but it wasn’t until a late-night conversation I had with my brother that my life really changed.

It was two a.m., and Jerid and I were sitting in my apartment talking about life. We hadn’t hung out in a few months, and we were just catching up on the latest.

ME: So what’s goin’ on?

JERID: Nothin’.

ME: Cool.

We always get super deep. After a few more minutes of small talk he got a little more personal.

JERID: So . . . what’s going on with you, man?

ME: What do you mean?

JERID: You can talk to me about anything, you know that, right?

ME: Ya. Of course.

JERID: So . . . what’s going on?

I knew where the conversation was going, and I was finally ready to be honest with him. We hadn’t talked about my sexual confusion in fourteen years. Since that cold, dark night in my family’s kitchen.