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My interview with YouTube star Connor Franta on opening up about his struggle with clinical depression

Even though he has become such a public person, Connor Franta had been keeping so much to himself.

The 24-year-old YouTube star with more than 5 million subscribers is now opening up about his clinical depression.

He has written a book about it titled Note to Self to be released in the US later this month.

‘In my book I take a moment to reflect and dive deeper and reflect on what it was like when I realized I had clinical depression and just coping with that. It’s been an interesting process,’ Franta told me during our chat at the GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday.

Franta began posting videos in 2010 and came out publicly as a gay man four years later. But he couldn’t escape the feeling that nobody really knew him because he had been presenting an edited, curated, calculated version of himself.

‘I thrive on authenticity,’ he said. ‘I hope that I can share my story and it can be related to by someone else.’

That doesn’t mean it’s easy for him to talk about.

‘There still so much stigma 100% and that’s why it’s still so hard to verbally talk about it sometimes – like right now,’ he admitted. ‘It feels weird. It’s such a taboo topic.’

But he is hopeful young readers will help make it less taboo by embracing his book which features his essays, stories, poetry and photography about clinical depression, social anxiety, breakups, and self-love.

‘I think this generation – everyone is very accepting and they accept every type, every shape, every color,’ he said. ‘I’m thankful to be a part of this generation.’

The book comes out on April 18 in the US and Franta will be on a 27 city book tour through May 26 doing book signings.

‘That will be really interesting to have people tell me what they like and what they don’t like,’ he said.

The winner of the Favorite YouTube Star prize at the 2016 People’s Choice Awards is in a good place personally as he embarks on his promotional tour.

‘I feel great,’ he said. ‘I have a lot of fun stuff to look forward to and that is always very helpful.’

Franta’s debut book was a memoir titled A Work in Progress which was released in 2015. He considers his first book to be about his external self while the new book focuses on his internal self.

FILE UNDER: Interviews

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