Binge, by Tyler Oakley
Genres: Non-Fiction, Biography
No person, no matter how important society deems their relationship to you, has the right to denounce you for who you are.
Tyler and I had not been properly introduced until now. Of course, he still has no idea who I am (hi Tyler! *waves*), but I had known very little about him, as well. I knew he was a YouTuber, I knew he was an LGBTQIA advocate, and I knew he had a wicked sense of humor. That was pretty much it.
Binge introduced me properly to Tyler Oakley, and I think it was better this way. Tyler is known for being shameless – but until I read his book, I had no idea how much. He does not have a filter. (There is literally an entire chapter on excrement.) He is sassy, bold, hilarious, and can cut you down with a single comeback. I absolutely love him.
It was another fun weekend, but I’d say the most awkward part was having to ask his dad for car help. For some conservative dads, having a gay son can be challenging, but having to help your gay son’s booty call fix his car? This hookup was no strings attached, but had bungee cords galore. Oh, well, at least I got laid.
If you are looking for a book that will make you split your sides laughing, Binge is definitely the one for the job. In between his various mishaps and blunders, I have found a kindred spirit; Tyler is the kind of person that takes your self-esteem from 0 to 260 miles-per-hour, just by being himself. It makes you want to be unapologetically yourself, which is exactly what he’s all about.
I did not expect how deep Binge would hit me. Even though this book is full of humor, there are also moments of deep sincerity as Tyler recounts his experience with his eating disorder, his relationships, coming out for the first few times (because you never come out just once), and his encounter with physical abuse. It would always surprise me. We would be traveling down a road full of fun and mischief, and in the span of one chapter he would twist it all around and turn me into an emotional wreck. As someone who has also struggled with an eating disorder, it was the title chapter, Binge, that got me the most.
My eating disorder never went away for good. As almost anyone who has ever suffered from an eating disorder can probably tell you, it makes a comeback when you least expect it. It wears on you when you try on clothes. It bobs up when everyone wants to get in the hot tub. It barges into the bedroom during sex. It begs to be let back into your life, and it promises that it’s the solution for all of your moments of discomfort. And the hard thing is, in your mind, it seems as if it totally could be.
Even though Tyler and I just met, reading this book made me feel more relaxed and reassured than I have in the past couple of months. Whether it was reading about all of his embarrassing mishaps or a one of his messages to the heart, Tyler’s voice is one to inspire.