Sometimes it's difficult even to say to yourself "I am gay," and harder still to say it to the world, so hats off to Teen Wolf star Charlie Carver for having the courage to share his story on Instagram yesterday.
In a lengthy five-part message captioned "Be who you needed when you were younger," Carver addressed his sexuality publicly for the first time.
Starting off by saying that he generally finds proverbs like the one in the picture "trite, not helpful," Carver talks about how he struggled to come to terms with his situation as a kid.
It was around that age that I also knew, however abstractly, that I was different from some of the other boys in my grade. ... I said [the words "I am gay"] to myself at first, to see how they felt. They rang true, and I hated myself for them.
Thankfully it got easier for Charlie to accept his sexuality on a personal level as time passed, but as his career took off the struggles of being a gay actor were magnified...
The more I adjusted to living outwardly in this truth, the better I felt ... [but] I had a duty to stay a Possibility in the eye of casting, directors and the public ... I feared I would be limiting myself to a type.
It sucks that any actor should feel they have to be "believably straight" in order to carry on getting work, as if a gay man playing straight is any more difficult a pill to swallow than straight playing gay.
Carver also addresses the fact that, in 2016, "coming out" shouldn't have to be a thing that happens, but concedes that some kids just need a role model.
While my coming out was very important for me, I wanted to live in a world where one's sexuality was irrelevant ... I am a proud gay man, but I don't identity as a Gay Man, and I didn't want to be defined by my sexuality.
Happily, the message concludes on a more uplifting note.
Let the record show this: I self-identify as gay ... As a young man, I needed a young man in Hollywood to say that ... I owe it to myself to be who I needed when I was younger. Happy 2016, and all the best to you and yours in the year ahead.
You can read all five of the messages in full on Charlie Carver's Instagram, and you can catch him and twin brother Max in HBO's The Leftovers.
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