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Gaby Dunn on I Hate Everyone But You and why representation really matters

Aug. 30, 2017
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It’s safe to say that Gaby Dunn does it all. As an actor, writer, comedian, podcaster, and influencer, the multitalented 29-year-old can frequently be found juggling a hefty plethora of incredibly involved passions. From her YouTube channel with Allison Raskin, Just Between Us, to her financial podcast, Bad With Money, to her own independent projects, Gaby is making a name for herself in an impressive variety of professions. At the current forefront of her work is I Hate Everyone But You, a sparkling novel co-written by Dunn and Raskin set to be released on September 5.  The book is complex, a homage to the idea that college doesn’t have to be “fun” for everyone. Its plot follows Gen and Ava, two college students whose character arcs run parallel to the lives and personalities of Gaby and Allison themselves.    

“That was something Allison and I talked about,” says Gaby. “Our college experiences were really different, and we wanted both to be shown in the book.” While the character of Ava struggles in college due to issues pertaining to her mental health, Gen parties and must then attempt to replenish her academic standing. 

Beyond the story’s two main protagonists, a variety of extremely diverse and authentic characters allow for a furthered sense of legitimacy as well. Gaby explains that the presence of LGBT+ individuals and characters of color is significant: “I went to Emerson, which has a very diverse LGBT+ campus, so the story wouldn’t be authentic if it didn’t have those voices represented.” 

At one point, I bring up the vitality in creating such storylines as someone who has experienced them first-hand. From the minute I first heard about I Hate Everyone But You, I knew I would identify with Gen’s character, a young female journalist. “Allison and I created these characters off of real people we knew: people we met at college, our friends, and ourselves, too. That’s what makes them authentic.” She’s right, too. The vivid complexity of these characters—most of whom may be perceived to be “flawed” in some way by their society—makes them all the more believable. 

From an outsider’s viewpoint, it seems almost beyond belief that Gaby could pour herself into such a multitude of projects in a simultaneous manner. Between the continuous output spread between her podcast and two YouTube channels, there’s no denying the intensity of Gaby’s drive to create. “There were like three months of just back-to-back work. It’d be like a day of filming for JBU and then recording the podcast at night and then writing a chapter of the book the next day.” When asked about the co-writing process, Gaby laughs. “Allison mostly made the schedule. We’d write 2,000 words a day, and it was very strict that way. It was weird for me, since that’s not how I work at all, but that kind of discipline allowed us to finish the book very quickly.” 

When I ask Gaby what’s next, she takes a deep breath. The list of projects that follows is seemingly endless: she’s already working on a Bad With Money book, shooting a short film, has completed several television scripts, and is continuing to create content with Just Between Us. It’s significant work, too; her devotion to representing everyone’s voices is as relentless as it is empathetic. 

Gaby Dunn has been an online icon for several years now, and it’s no doubt she’ll be staying in the spotlight for a long time to come. What makes her work so important is that it’s real—Gaby refreshingly tells it like it is, no holds barred. For more insight into her world of truth, be sure to pre-order I Hate Everyone But You before its release on September 5th.