content creator Shannon Beveridge

Shannon Beveridge Wants To Normalize Queer Sex & Relationships

Her podcast, exes and o’s, covers it all — sometimes with her actual exes.

Shannon Beveridge would generally prefer to avoid going viral. Though the content creator has had a large online audience for a decade, ever since she started posting YouTube videos about queer life in college, she still gets nervous when she gets a lot of attention — especially when there’s drama involved.

In July 2022, Beveridge ended up at the center of lesbian TikTok discourse when her ex, singer-songwriter Cari Fletcher, released a single called “Becky’s So Hot,” named for Beveridge’s then-partner. The song spurred countless divided fan reaction videos and speculation that Beveridge was in on the gag for publicity’s sake. (She wasn’t.)

She mostly avoided speaking about her personal life after that — until December 2023, when Beveridge dropped the first episode of her podcast, exes and o’s. The show, which releases episodes weekly, gives the 32-year-old a chance to deep-dive on queer relationships, sex, and what it’s like to be perceived online. Beveridge has brought in guests like Bachelorette star Gabby Windey, musician G Flip, influencer Madeline Argy, and even Fletcher (yes, her ex), asking them about their dating experiences in hopes she can help younger queer people feel less alone.

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“My content has always been made with a younger version of me in mind,” Beveridge tells Elite Daily. “I wish someone would've told me where to buy a strap-on. I didn’t know anything. We hear so much about straight sex all the time, but there need to be more people normalizing gay sex, too.”

Here, Beveridge tells Elite Daily about sharing her dating life online, how she felt about *that* viral song callout, and what kind of DMs get her attention.

Elite Daily: Let’s go back to your early YouTube days. What was your initial plan with your channel? What was it like watching it grow — did you expect that?

Shannon Beveridge: There was no real plan when I started YouTube. People weren't making careers out of being influencers then. I was really just looking for community. I was looking for any other gay person.

I was going to college in Oklahoma and in a sorority. There was no queer representation at all. I wanted friends, and I needed someone gay to talk to. I didn't know that there were lesbians my age or lesbians who had longer hair or wore makeup.

Then, over time people were asking me the same questions. My first YouTube video was actually a Q&A. It organically grew from there. When I graduated college in 2014, I had 5,000 subscribers, and by that December, I had 100,000.

ED: You talked about your sexuality in a really vulnerable way online. I’ve seen so many people say you were the first out lesbian they really saw and related to. What gave you the confidence to do that?

SB: I honestly don't know. I was faking it until I made it. I was barely out in real life. I had only come out to my mom, dad, and sister. People online were looking at me for advice before I even had answers to the questions they were asking.

Still, I felt this duty to tell them, “It's OK to be gay.” So many people say I helped them come out, but in reality, the first people who followed me are the reason I was able to come out. They gave me the confidence.

ED: You’ve always been pretty open about your dating life. What’s the best part of having your relationships be so public? What’s the worst part?

SB: The best part is the representation. I was so desperate for that when I was younger that I thought it was worth it for me to share. The downfalls of it are pretty obvious. I was really naive at the beginning. I didn’t really think through the fact that you don’t always marry your first girlfriend.

Shipping can sometimes affect the way you think, too. I'll see a fan edit of me and one of my ex-girlfriends on TikTok, and that does something weird to your brain to see those happy memories.

With a breakup, there's always speculation about what happened and people who believe you owe them an explanation. Everyone asks, “Who cheated on who? Which one of you is the bad guy?” Even with my podcast now, people ask, “What happened with you and your last girlfriend?” The story is not that interesting.

ED: Do you feel like you owe your audience those types of details?

SB: I would love to be an open book, but there are other people’s feelings I have to keep in mind. It’s a really fine line, and I’m sure I misstep often, either in oversharing or undersharing. I'm constantly thinking about the optics from every angle. Sometimes it’s a disservice to myself because I'm so worried about how everyone is going to feel.

With my latest breakup being my third big one, you'd think I would have gotten better at it, but it's not getting any easier. It’s just as confusing as the first and the second. But I do realize now that I don't owe anyone anything.

ED: You have one famous ex who references you pretty explicitly in her lyrics. In a case like that — when someone else is openly sharing a narrative that includes you — does that change the calculation for what you’re willing to speak about?

SB: Yeah, that’s probably why I’m most comfortable talking about that particular ex, because she is, too. It’s fair game. Still, I've tried to do it in a nice way.

I would've rather her written a song and put my Social Security number in it than referenced my current partner's name.

Obviously, when you date an artist, there’s potential for you to get referenced in their music. But I always joke that I would've rather her written a song and put my Social Security number in it than referenced my current partner's name. That was more upsetting than if she had just doxxed me.

ED: That was the wildest thing that happened on lesbian TikTok last year.

SB: I know. Imagine being a part of it.

Up until then, I had been so lucky to never really have a viral moment. That was one of my first experiences where I had eyes on me who weren't my fans. It wasn’t people who had always followed me and liked me. So, some of the comments were like, “I never could f*cking stand Shannon Beveridge.” OK, well, you don’t have to be here.

ED: Speaking of TikTok and going viral, how is this era of media different from what you were doing on YouTube?

SB: There's something just inherently different about TikTok. I've always gotten comments on YouTube, and they've been positive and negative. I'm lucky because they usually lean positive. But when there is a negative comment, it's attached to some account with no videos, no pictures, no profile. It's really easy to write those off.

But with TikTok, when you click on a mean comment, there’s a whole profile of videos of this person. Here's your mom. Here's your little brother. You live in Ohio. You are a fully actualized human being. I know that you're real, and you’re bold enough to do this with it being attached to you. That's so much more of an intense feeling.

ED: I’ve seen a lot of jokes on TikTok about how people’s FYP helped them realize they were queer. What do you think of the LGBTQ+ community on that platform versus on YouTube?

SB: There are so many more queer people on TikTok and so much more content. I think it's really positive to have more voices out there.

On TikTok, not everyone who goes viral is going to be an influencer. So, if something they said went viral, it’s clearly substantial in some way. It’s so good for queer representation to have that barrier to entry be so low. Anyone can share a story, and so many people can relate to it.

You don't have to go looking for it. You no longer have to search “girls kissing girls” on YouTube. TikTok takes the embarrassment of the search away, and it's just like, “You're looking a little gay.”

ED: You’re single now. What are some of your goals for this era?

SB: It’s very overwhelming to me because I’ve jumped from relationship to relationship. This is scarily maybe the longest I've ever been single.

I love girls, and I love love ... But I need to recalibrate and build a relationship with myself.

I love girls, and I love love, so it's so fun and intoxicating. I love to text and talk to someone new and give them my time. But I need to recalibrate and build a relationship with myself. I have to sit with myself a little longer and be happy when I'm not in a relationship.

Relationships are so fulfilling and validating for me and give me guidance and structure in my life, but that’s not totally healthy. I need to figure out how to have those things without a partner, too.

ED: You’ve said you sometimes use Instagram like a dating app. For all the queer women who are dying to slide into your DMs… what gets your attention?

SB: When someone replies to my stories in a funny way. The likelihood of me responding to someone sliding in with a “hey, girl” is very low. But if someone says something really witty, then I reply — not assuming that they're flirting with me — and just say, “Oh, that was hilarious.” But once the conversation is opened, it could be reopened, you know?

ED: What’s your go-to line if you’re trying to flirt?

SB: Same thing — I’ll reply to a story. If I think this person is cute, I will sit and wait until I have something witty to respond, and then slide in. Take your time with these things. As long as what you say is flirty without being too forward, you can always backtrack, too.

On Instagram, all you have to do is go to someone gay’s profile and look at who they follow. Is there anyone you think is cute? Are they gay? Are they single? It's like Alice’s chart in The L Word.

This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.