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"I almost felt like it was a duty of mine," says the viral star

June 09, 2015 08:10 PM

YouTube star Connor Franta came out on his channel back in December, but it took watching a bunch of other coming out videos before he could finally post his own.

“I watched a million coming out videos, and that was kind of how I accepted it myself,” Franta, 22, tells PEOPLE, adding fellow YouTuber Troye Sivan’s 2013 clip was one that hit closest to home. “If you type in ‘coming out’ [in the search bar], I probably watched the first four pages.

Franta has more than 4.5 million subscribers on the site and believes being honest with his fans was important to him.

“I relayed that it was kind of a duty of mine: I have this large audience – this video could maybe impact some of them and maybe help them,” says Franta, whose first memoir, A Work in Progress hit shelves in April.

The Minnesota native now lives in L.A. and, six months after sharing his sexuality online, says nothing has changed: “It made it seem kind of silly that I’d been worrying all this time for nothing.”

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