Bibliophile | Connor Franta leads search for harmony in ‘House Fires’

House Fires
By Connor Franta
Atria Books

In December, 2014, Connor Franta publicly came out as gay in a YouTube video, stating he had accepted who he was and was “happy with that person”. He spoke about the help he got from others and on the internet and stated that his aim in life was to give people struggling with their sexuality similar assistance.

American artist, author and businessman Franta’s YouTube channel now has over 5.02 million subscribers (June 2021), after the Coming Out video getting over 12 million views and 949,000 likes. He has used his social media platforms to advocate for and spotlight LGBTQIA+ community.

His third book is a collection of photographs, thoughtful one-liners, poetry and journal entries that reflect on life. He starts off by describing what it is like to be held in the grip of depression and burdened with a heavy mind, to the point of wanting to escape the pain of living. He reflects that “some memories we hold onto hold a deeper meaning than what we initially assign to them”.

As he got closer to his thirties, Franta reached a turning point and decided that he no longer wanted to be “marinating in the past”. The series of house fires that had been his life showed him that every ending honed a new beginning and he saw that he could flourish better again and again. But attaching negative and harmful overtones to his stories was giving his demons too much power.

Dropping into a bar in Paris (as you do), he overheard a conversation that offered far better advice than his therapist had come up with in months. “We all have a sad story we’re constantly telling the world and the sooner we’re able to get out of it the sooner we can stop letting it define us.”

Acknowledging that we live in a chaotic world, Franta encourages everyone to claim their own autonomy and search for harmony amongst “the rosy peaks and indigo valleys” … and he leads by example.

Lezly Herbert

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