Facts you may not know about Joey Graceffa

Twenty-five-year-old YouTube sensation Joey Graceffa is, to anyone over a certain age, inexplicably famous and more than likely unknown. But for millennials, especially those who turn to the internet for guidance and playful, direct-to-consumer content, Graceffa is legendary.

He has more than seven million subscribers to his vlogging channel. His gaming channel — where fans can tune in to watch Graceffa play online games while he adds stream-of-consciousness commentary — has more than two million subscribers. For all the personal details and trials a YouTuber like Graceffa will confess and discuss on his channel, there are always more questions to be answered, and the demand for those answers from fans in the comments section can be overwhelming. Here are some little-known secrets about Joey Graceffa's life.

His mom is an alcoholic

By Graceffa's own admission, his biological mother has been dealing with a drinking problem for most of his life. In a video from 2012, he first discusses his mom's drinking problem with his fans. In it, he says, "My mom's been an alcoholic for most of my life, but I say it probably didn't get bad until 6th or 7th grade." What spurred on the uptick in alcohol use was the fact that Graceffa's mother and step-father split. "That was maybe one of the worst years of her problem," Graceffa continues in the video.

In early 2017, Graceffa posted a new, teary-eyed video titled "Dealing with an alcoholic parent" that he uploaded with the hopes of making fans in a similar situation feel less alone. He says in the video, "There's been so many times when I felt like mom was getting better, and then there's the downfall, and it always crushes me that I put hope into this person who's hurt me so many times. It's definitely getting to that point where I don't want this person as a part of my life at all." This type of message is uncommon for Graceffa's channel, which usually hosts light-hearted videos as well as tongue-in-cheek makeup tutorials, but the occasional shot of sincerity can galvanize a YouTuber's connection with his or her fans.

He says eating paint chips gave him a learning disability

In 2011, during his first year of posting to the Joey Graceffa YouTube page, the young blogger discussed the circumstances that he says precipitated his learning disability. When Graceffa was young he got lead poisoning. "Back when I was like 6 years old, I was playing with toys, and by playing I mean chewing on them. And some of them had lead paint chips on them and when I was chewing on them I ingested some of the lead paint," he says to the camera. Graceffa goes on to say that the result of his lead paint ingestion was a learning disability — one which caused him to be enrolled in special education classes until he was a sophomore in high school.

According to the CDC, lead poisoning may lead to learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and sometimes and even death. Graceffa's assertion that his lead poisoning caused his learning disability is very difficult to prove, though according to the CDC it's quite possible.

He was on The Amazing Race

Graceffa's popularity received a jolt in February 2013, when he and his best friend and fellow YouTuber, Meghan Camarena appeared on Season 22 of the CBS reality show The Amazing Race. After struggling throughout the entire season, the duo was eliminated in 5th place out of 11 teams.

Despite being eliminated in the middle of the pack, Joey and Meghan returned to CBS two seasons later in The Amazing Race: All-Stars. This time around, the pair faired even worse, finishing in 9th place after they forgot to tell their cab driver to wait for them.

He came out on his channel

While many of his early videos mention being bullied in school and feeling like an outcast, it wasn't until a May 2015 video that Graceffa formally came out to his fans. The video, titled "YES I'M GAY" came only two days after he released the video for his song "Don't Wait," which ends with Graceffa kissing another man. Judging by the comments on both videos, his fans were not particularly shocked by the revelation.

Nonetheless, the coming out videos have freed Graceffa up to post more personal stories about his life and relationships. A couple weeks after releasing the videos, Graceffa uploaded a Q&A where he answers the fan-submitted question, "What was it like coming out of the closet?" In his response, Graceffa says the first time he came out to another person was when he was 21 years old.

He's a millionaire

It's difficult to get credible numbers on a celebrity's net worth, but in 2015, Variety estimated his annual ad earnings at $365,000 per year, and several sites estimate Graceffa's net worth at around $7 million. You can take all those numbers with a grain of salt, but it's hard to dispute that Graceffa has done quite well for himself over the course a relatively short career — his earliest uploads only go back to 2011.

He's an author

Joey Graceffa has used his fame on YouTube to segue into other ventures. There's his music career, two-time brush with realty-TV stardom, and a long-standing passion for acting, but Graceffa's strongest effort outside of YouTube is writing. In May 2015, Graceffa released a memoir, titled Real Life: My Journey to a Pixelated World. The book explores his rise to stardom and the cornerstone moments and hardships that got him there. The book received strong praise, and was even a New York Times bestseller in 2015.

Children of Eden, Graceffa's newest book, is a sci-fi novel about a young girl named Rowan who is trying to survive in a dystopian future. It's a departure in tone from his memoir, but the novel faired well and found an audience in the tight-nit community of YA enthusiasts.

He got into a YouTube war

In what would otherwise be considered un-newsworthy, Joey Graceffa's Toyota Prius was towed in October 2013. Soon after the incident, Graceffa uploaded a video to called "STOLEN CAR!" in which he can't decide whether he'd been robbed or towed. Turns out it was the latter, and the person who towed him was a comedian named Nate Clark — after Graceffa blocked his driveway. Clark made his own YouTube retort challenging some of the nasty things Graceffa had said about the person who had him towed. Two years later, Clark made a second video about the towing incident after he had discovered that Graceffa had mentioned it in his memoir.

He's in love

It's a story as old as iPhones. Graceffa met his boyfriend, Daniel Preda in 2014 while searching through Instagram, according to People. The two exchanged direct messages and after meeting quickly became serious. It wasn't until a year-and-a-half later, on Valentines Day 2016, that news of their relationship made it to YouTube. Preda and Graceffa share some things in common. For one, they both grew up with alcoholic parents.

If you think you recognize him, it's probably because he was half of the popular kiss from Graceffa's coming out video for his song "Don't Wait." And judging by his 162,000 Twitter followers and 730,000 Instagram followers, Preda has also made a career out of social media.