Colton Haynes rose to fame for his roles on Arrow, Teen Wolf, and The Gates, and he's used that fame as a public figure to become a shining example of self-acceptance. The 28-year-old actor came out as gay in 2016, and after he made the announcement publicly, Haynes commented that he was the happiest he'd been.
During a recent interview, Haynes talked openly about his sexuality, from his past sexual encounters to having to hide his sexual orientation. He even disclosed when and how he lost his virginity and his candidness was refreshing.
Colton Haynes Talks About When He Lost His Virginity
In an appearance on Andy Cohen’s Sirius XM show Radio Andy, #ColtonHaynes told Cohen that he came out when he was 14 years old, but he had slept with women before that. Haynes went on to talk about his first sexual encounter, and it involved both male and female participants:
“I’ve had sex with 4 different girls. I lost my virginity when I was 13, yeah. To a girl and a guy. I’ve never said that before. The girl was 2 years older than me, and the guy was around 16. I was still in 8th grade I think.”
Andy Cohen then asked Haynes if everyone involved participated in the sexual act, and Haynes was honest and open about his first time:
"Everyone participated. Yeah, definitely, it was a real first time. It was exiting"
But the whole crux of the interview wasn't the titillating details of his sexual escapades, but the more poignant revelation that for Haynes, the state of being fully out was something of a revolving door. It's a process to which many now openly gay men and women can relate:
"[After I came out initially] I went back into the closet because I moved to a different high school in Florida, and then I moved to a different high school in Texas. [As I changed high schools] I would initially date girls, then by the end of the year, I would come out and then we'd move again. It was a whole "coming out" process. And I continued the cycle when I moved to LA."
It was, as the actor has discussed before, a truly hellish time for him as a closeted gay kid being shuttled back and forth from one tiny conservative town to another. Sadly, however, that need to hide didn't end with his move to Los Angeles.
Colton Haynes Discusses Having To Hide His Sexual Orientation In Hollywood
The topic shifted from Haynes’s past to recent years, and Cohen asked Haynes if he didn't come out because he was afraid it would negatively affect his career:
"I was literally told from the day that I moved to Los Angeles that I could not be gay because I wouldn’t work. I was with my management team and a team of people who literally told me I couldn’t be this way, and they would set me up with girls."
Haynes spoke about instances where his management team would concoct rumors that he was dating certain female celebrities, so that he could maintain his “heartthrob” image and hide the fact that he was gay from his fan base:
“I was rumored to date Lauren Conrad for six months because they were angling a story. And then I dated every other young person which, of course, I didn’t date. They knew the whole time. It was horrible.”
It's a common practice in Hollywood that happens more often than people realize. So many Hollywood relationships are completely fabricated for various reasons. For some, it's convenient timing with a movie or album about to be released. For others, it's to either clean up a tarnished image or to bump their popularity. But for far too many, like Haynes, it's to have a 'beard' to cover for them being gay.
Why Colton Haynes Personal Journey Is So Important
The fact that Colton Haynes was urged to hide his sexual orientation is upsetting, and it caused the actor immense emotional distress. Before he came out to the public, Haynes admitted he once checked himself into mental health clinic due to extreme anxiety and depression. Once Haynes became honest with himself, he felt as if a weight had been lifted off his shoulders, and it allowed him to discuss his personal life openly.
Upon first hearing about his journey, it's easy to get caught up in the sexual aspect of his story. However, Haynes’s story is about self-acceptance, and the moral applies to everyone in the world regardless of race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation. Since he's been out, Haynes has been incredibly open and honest about his sexual orientation and his life. He's become a crucial role model for fans of his who might be struggling with their own identity, particularly as Haynes has been equally as open about being so happy and at peace with himself since his coming out. Hopefully, that candidness will continue to influence others to do the same.
You can catch Colton Haynes in Rough Night, when it hits theaters on June 16, 2017.
Sound off! Can you relate to Colton Haynes’s personal journey? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below.