Taking over the Internet with Hannah Hart
While most of us dream of a job that would pay us to drink, YouTube star and LGBT champion Hannah Hart managed to score that same dream job.
Hannah leapfrogged to prominence with her YouTube channel, “My Drunk Kitchen,” and then became an LGBT advocate after she came out to her fans.
However, despite all of this, she’s still the same Hannah Hart that first filmed herself how to make a grilled cheese sandwich while drunk to cheer up a depressed friend.
Hannah Hart: A troubled family life
Hannah Maud Hart was born in 1986 in San Francisco, California. Raised with an older sister, Naomi, her parents were separated, which made their lives troubled.
While the siblings spent time with their father, a devout Jehovah’s Witness, they were raised primarily by their mother, who eventually suffered from schizophrenia.
Hannah related: “It’s excruciating. It’s really hard to see someone you love suffer like that and not be able to help them—and not get help from anyone else to help them.”
While Hannah’s mother eventually became homeless, Hannah was able to get her a place to live after she graduated from college.
Fortunately, Hannah eventually became her mother’s conservator so that they could place her in a facility to work toward rehabilitation.
“It’s not a relief, because the (US mental health) system doesn’t work. There’s no safety net for anyone,” she said.
Hannah Hart: The “drunk” cook
Before Hannah became famous on YouTube, she was working as a proofreader at a New York translation firm with degrees in English literature and Japanese language.
“One day I was talking to a friend of mine on video chat, because I had just gotten a laptop that had a camera. She was like, ‘Oh man. Dude. I miss when you used to, like, get drunk and cook’,” Hannah related.
“And so My Drunk Kitchen, was just something I sent to her via YouTube,” she added.
When her video became famous, she started making more episodes for “My Drunk Kitchen” and her earnings as a YouTube Partner eventually allowed her to quit her day job.
Hannah Hart: Coming out and shining
Because her father was a member of Jehovah’s Witness, Hannah had problems reconciling her sexual orientation with her father’s faith.
Growing up in Burlingame, California, she was taught that homosexuality was a sin. Because of this, she admitted she tried to “ungay” herself and suffered from self-harm, ADHD, and depression.
She eventually sought treatment for her issues: “There’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you need medicine, take medicine. If you need therapy, go to therapy!”
Speaking about her coming out, she said: “I decided that whatever career I did build in entertainment, I absolutely wanted no secrets.”
“I think Anderson Cooper had come out that year or something like that and I decided that I just wanted to make it known that I was gay. Just like, ‘Hey guys, quick heads up, by the way, I’m gay’,” she said
Hannah Hart: A lesbian like you and me
With Hannah now one of the bigger LGBTQ stars of the community and with millennials, she’s now pushing for greater queer roles by self-producing queer movies like Dirty 30.
“Entertainment is one of the best ways to undercover– message that everything will be okay, and that it gets better– when we show more happy, healthy relationships,” she said.
Referencing the death of a lesbian character in the TV show, The 100, Hannah said: “If I was a little like baby gay in Oklahoma somewhere, and fucking Lexa dies. that would… that is DEVASTATING. Because then you’re like, maybe I shouldn’t be gay. Because I’m gonna fucking die.”
With more than 2.5 million YouTube subscribers and more than 5 million followers on social media, Hannah was recently included on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list and was honored last year with GLAAD’s Davidson/Valentini Award.