Welcome to the 16th installment of our 2020 Pride Month series! Each day in the month of June, we will be highlighting a different member of the LGBTQ+ community who we think is a great example of representation and dynamic characterization. We will focus on fictional characters, celebrities, and activists alike — the positive voices within the LGBTQ+ community and in mainstream media.
If you haven’t heard of Dodie Clark (who professionally goes by lowercase “dodie”), then I hope this article inspires you to go check her out. She is an English musician and vlogger on YouTube. She releases music on her main channel “doddleoddle,” which currently has 1.92 million subscribers. She has also released three EPs: Intertwined (2016), You (2017), and Human (2019). Her channel includes music videos, original recordings of her songs, and cover songs. Her music is beautiful and emotional with her lilting voice, amazing harmonies, and haunting lyrics. She somehow manages to capture complex and difficult emotions and puts them perfectly and poetically into lyrics.
One way in which dodie is representing the LGBTQ+ community is that she is bringing much needed representation into the music industry. She represents LGBTQ+ relationships in some of her music videos, such as in “Sick of Losing Soulmates” and in her lyrics, as in the song “She.”
She has a second channel, doddlevloggle, where she posts other videos such as demos of her music and various other vlogs that give the audience glimpses into her life. One of the reasons that dodie is so popular is her willingness to be completely honest with her audience. She has various videos on her mental health struggles, including depression and derealisation, and works to raise awareness of these mental health issues and the treatments that she has tried. She is also an ambassador for the UK charity Unreal, which aims to raise awareness of Derealisation Depersonalisation Disorder (DPRD) and support individuals living with it.
These honest conversations also extend to discussions about her sexuality. She has posted several videos through the years and it is very refreshing to see how her view of her own sexuality has changed in this time. She answers questions from her audience and explains her experiences with coming out as bisexual, including negative responses she received.
In 2014, dodie posted a video explaining how she is attracted to both men and women but didn’t want to conform to a specific label. However, in 2016 she posted a video entitled “I’m Bisexual WOO” and discussed how she hadn’t wanted to label herself previously because she felt she wasn’t “bi enough.” She describes her sexuality as fluid and how her label may change again as she also feels she is partially demisexual. She has given a voice to a struggle that many within the LGBTQ+ community experience. dodie’s open discussion about it being alright whether you want to label yourself or not (and that this can change) has reassured many of her fans to trust their own feelings and identify in any way they wish.
After coming out on her side channel, she came out on her main channel in quirky dodie form. She wrote a cute song called “I’m bisexual – a coming out song!” Many of her fans have reported using this video to help come out to their friends and families.
You only need to look to the comments section of any of her videos addressing her sexuality to see how much dodie means for bisexual representation. dodie herself realised her sexuality through watching other YouYubers’ videos. She has now become this representation to others and has helped many people discover and accept their sexuality.
I’d like to leave you on a final quote from her book Secrets for the Mad: Obsessions, Confessions and Life Lessons, which is a collection of her personal stories:
I love that I have the capacity to fall in love with anyone, regardless of gender, and I love that, actually, I am different to a lot of people I know. I love that, through the label, I found people whom I can relate to, and I love that I am part of a community that needs more attention… I am lucky that I can love my sexuality, and love myself, and I will strive for a world in which everyone can feel the same.