You’ve got a huge global following and people look up to you. If you were to run for political office, what issues would be part of your platform? To stop people like me entering politics. [Laughs]
Fair enough! What issues do you tend to vote on? Education is important. Access to support is important. All I know is the person who tends to be the kindest – to most people – is the person I’ll support.
You travelled in India as a teenager, came home with tuberculosis that lay dormant for several years, then your health rapidly deteriorated in your 20s. How serious did things get? Pretty serious. My body was wasting pretty hard at one stage. My symptoms were of a glandular fever nature, but often that test can come back in a grey area, and it kept coming back in that grey area for me. I had chronic fatigue, was vomiting a lot and losing a lot of weight. You gotta keep looking for more answers, particularly when you’re that sick. I’m glad I found them. Scary.
When did doctors say you needed a lung removed? It’s a serious disease, tuberculosis. Thankfully, I did get on top of it, but a few years after I’d been cleared, I was having symptoms of something unpleasant in my lungs, and I ended up developing a big cyst in one. It collapsed and I had to have that removed in 2010. So that was another drama! [Laughs] But since then it’s been great. Well, not great. But I’m in better shape than I’ve been since I was a teenager.
What can and can’t you do now? Well, I can’t smoke. [Laughs] My doctor says I can’t scuba dive and I can’t run a marathon. Only one of those really bothers me. My sister is a scuba diving instructor, so I’d like to do that. But that’s about it. I feel hugely capable.
How has that near-death experience affected you? It’s totally f…ed my head up. I have really chronic mental health problems. I’ve got bad medical anxiety, which is quite exhausting. I find going to the doctor quite traumatic. And I’ve always been scared of death, because I grew up in a church [Hillsong] that tells you that if you die – and you don’t have your f…ing shit in order – then you’re going to hell. So that’s carried on into this sick stuff and compiled into an almighty headache that’s pretty constant. But look, if anything, it’s also encouraged me to get back to the gym.
You’re known for your cooking. What would you want your last meal to be? Hmmm. [Thinks] My brain’s going cheeky and saying Sultana Bran. [Laughs] Fruit Loops!
Not a bad answer. No, I think it would be a meal my dad made. Anything he cooks is f…ing unbelievable.
Given your YouTube fame, do you get thirsty comments on your videos? [Laughs] I suppose so. I’ve got a fairly low regard for myself, so that stuff doesn’t tend to stick. I find it a little overwhelming. People suggest all sorts of things they want to do to you, but you don’t reply to that stuff. Since having [partner] Jules on camera and part of the channel, that’s slowed that stuff up a bit.
She’s your shield. [Laughs] Yes! It’s weird; I’m not looking for that shit.
But it goes looking for you, obviously. Yeah! But I don’t really get it. I get marriage proposals a lot, and we just laugh. It’s like Married at First Sight – a f…ing bad idea.
You’ve said you enjoy smashing gender normatives as part of your work. What makes a good man? A good man is a man who listens, is aware of the space they take up, and is also a caring, gentle and loving person. I don’t think masculinity makes a good man. Being kind makes a good man.
Nat’s book, Un-Cook Yourself: A Ratbag’s Rules for Life (Ebury Australia, $33) is out December 1.
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Writer, author of The Family Law and Gaysia.