Actor Charlie Carver, best known for his roles on MTV's Teen Wolf and a recent stint on season 1 of HBO's The Leftovers, came out as gay in a series of thoughtful Instagram posts on Monday, January 11.
The handsome star, 27, repeatedly posted the same graphic that read, "Be who you needed when you were younger," sharing his story in a five-part Instagram message.
"About a year ago, I saw this photo while casually scrolling through my Instagram one morning," Carver told fans. "I’m not one for inspirational quotes … Nonetheless, I screen-capped the picture and saved it. It struck me for some reason."
"As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor. I knew I wanted to be a lot of things! I thought I wanted to be a painter, a soccer player, a stegosaurus.… But the acting thing stuck. It was around that age that I also knew, however abstractly, that I was different from some of the other boys in my grade," Carver continued. "Over time, this abstract 'knowing' grew and articulated itself through a painful gestation marked by feelings of despair and alienation, ending in a climax of saying three words out loud: 'I am gay.' I said them to myself at first, to see how they felt. They rang true, and I hated myself for them. I was twelve. It would take me a few years before I could repeat them to anyone else, in the meantime turning the phrase over and over in my mouth until I felt comfortable and sure enough to let the words pour out again, this time to my family…"
While Carver felt safe coming out as gay to his family members, things got "complicated" as his acting career blossomed. "I recognize that I was born with an immense amount of privilege, growing up in a family where my orientation was celebrated and SAFE," he told fans. "The more I adjusted to living outwardly in this truth, the better I felt. But my relationship to my sexuality soon became more complicated. The acting thing HAD stuck, and at nineteen I started working in Hollywood. It was a dream come true, one I had been striving for since boyhood. But coupled with the overwhelming sense of excitement was an equally overwhelming feeling of dread- I would 'have to' bisect myself into two halves, a public and private persona, the former vigilantly monitored, censored, and sterilized of anything that could reveal how I self-identified in the latter. I had my reasons, some sound and some nonsensical. I do believe in a distinction between one’s professional life and their private one…"
Fame, he said, clouded his judgment. "For the first time, I found myself stopped on the street, asked to take a picture by a complete stranger – part of the job I had willingly signed up for. Fame, to whatever degree, is a tricky creature," he revealed. "When it came to this differentiation of public/private, I was of the opinion that my sexuality could stay off the table … I did not want to be defined by my sexuality. Sure, I am a proud gay man, but I don’t identify as a Gay man, or a GAY man, or just gay."
Carver's perspective changed after working in the business for nearly a decade. "I know that because of all of the brave men and women who’ve come out, self-identified, or couldn’t have possibly ever been 'In.' So to them, I am also forever grateful," the actor wrote. "I tried to live as authentically as I’ve known how to, as a gay guy … We’re together exploring the possibilities of the Social Media Frontier, experimenting with new ways to connect, galvanize, and awaken. I get f–king MOVED every time I hear a high school voted in their transgender classmate as Prom King or Prom Queen, or when I see Twitter afire with outrage over mistreatment, brutality, and injustice."
The star wrote that he felt a responsibility to be honest — and inspire millions to be as authentic as possible.
"I now believe that by omitting this part of myself from the record, I am complicit in perpetuating the suffering, fear, and shame cast upon so many in the world," Carver wrote. "In my silence, I’ve helped decide for to you too that to be gay is to be, as a young man (or young woman, young anyone), inappropriate for a professional career in the Arts (WHAAA???) So now, let the record show this- I self-identify as gay. And does that really matter anymore? As a young man, I needed a young man in Hollywood to say that- and without being a dick about it, I owe it to myself, more than anything, to be who I needed when I was younger. Happy 2016, and all my best to you and yours in the year ahead. And let the record show my twin brother is just as cool for being straight. Much Love, C."
Carver's twin, Max, expressed his support shortly after his brother shared his story on Monday night.
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