Charlie Carver, who is best known for his role in Teen Wolf and Desperate Housewives, came out in a series of Instagram posts yesterday evening.
Charlie wrote of his long struggle to separate his professional life from his personal one.
“I feared I would be limiting myself to a type, to a perception with limits that I was not professionally comfortable with. And I created in my imagination an Industry that was just as rigid in this belief as well. After having the privilege of playing a range of characters, gay, straight and otherwise, I realize this is not the case.”<
It seems his family have known about his sexuality for a long time, as Charlie said they’ve known he was gay since the age of 12. He even went on to say that he grew up “in a family where [his] orientation was celebrated.”<
Charlie also went on to say that he “wanted to believe in a world where one’s sexuality was for the most part irrelevant.”
“I now believe,” he continued, “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. So now, let the record show this — I self-identify as gay … I owe it to myself, more than anything, to be who I needed when I was younger.”<
Pt 1: “Be who you needed when you were younger”. About a year ago, I saw this photo while casually scrolling through my Instagram one morning. I’m not one for inspirational quotes, particularly ones attributed to “Mx Anonymous”- something mean in me rebukes the pithiness of proverbs, choosing to judge them as trite instead of possibly-generally-wise, resonant, or helpful. And in the case of the good ol’ Anonymous kind, I felt that there was something to be said for the missing context. Who wrote or said the damn words? Why? And to/for who in particular? Nonetheless, I screen-capped the picture and saved it. It struck me for some reason, finding itself likeable enough to join the ranks of the “favorites” album on my phone. I’d see it there almost daily, a small version of it next to my other “favorites”; I’d see it every time I checked into the gym, pulled up a picture of my insurance cards, my driver’s license…. Important Documents. And over the course of about-a-year, it became clear why the inspirational photo had called out to me. 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. 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…