“So now, let the record show this— I self-iden­tify as gay. And does that re­ally mat­ter any­more?”

IN Magazine - - CONTENTS - By Christo­pher Turner

The ac­tor ’s touch­ing mes­sage is in­spir­ing the LGBT com­mu­nity and fans

Char­lie Carver has been mak­ing head­lines ever since he came out as gay with a touch­ing mes­sage that’s in­spir­ing the LGBT com­mu­nity and fans around the globe.

The ac­tor—one-half of the Carver twins whom you may rec­og­nize from Teen Wolf and The Left­overs, or as one of Felic­ity Huff­man’s twin boys on Des­per­ate House­wives— penned a heart­felt es­say that was split in a se­ries of five In­sta­gram posts, each ac­com­pa­nied by a photo of the anony­mous quote, “Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger.”

In the es­say, Carver ex­plained that it took him years to come to terms with his sex­u­al­ity, say­ing, “As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an ac­tor. I knew I wanted to be a lot of things.... 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.’”

Carver then de­scribed the ex­pe­ri­ence of com­ing out to his fam­ily and ac­knowl­edged his priv­i­lege in be­ing im­me­di­ately ac­cepted.

“If you’re ready and feel safe, then think about shar­ing this part of your­self with oth­ers,” the 27-year-old wrote. “I rec­og­nize that I was born with an im­mense amount of priv­i­lege, grow­ing up in a fam­ily where my ori­en­ta­tion was cel­e­brated and SAFE. If you feel like you want to Come Out, make sure first and fore­most that you have a sup­port sys­tem and will be safe. I would never en­cour­age any­one to Come Out only to find them­selves in harm’s way—a dis­pro­por­tion­ate num­ber of home­less Amer­i­can (and global) youth are mem­bers of the LGBTQ com­mu­nity who were kicked out of their fam­i­lies and homes out of hate and prej­u­dice.”

Carver has por­trayed sev­eral gay char­ac­ters on screen. He played Ethan on MTV’s hit show Teen Wolf, and ap­pears in a few steamy scenes with James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael, but he had dodged com­ment­ing about his own sex­u­al­ity un­til now.

It’s a big deal. While com­ing out may be deemed less nec­es­sary th­ese days, it’s still im­por­tant—es­pe­cially for celebri­ties and high-pro­file peo­ple in pub­lic space—to come out and help re­move any re­main­ing stigma or fear.

Carver clearly un­der­stands that, and closed his In­sta­gram com­ing out story by get­ting to the mean­ing of the quote that ac­com­pa­nied his posts: “But what can I do? How can I par­tic­i­pate? Hon­esty is prob­a­bly a great step in the right di­rec­tion. 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. In my si­lence, I’ve helped de­cide for 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 in Hol­ly­wood to say that—and with­out be­ing a d-ck about it, I owe it to my­self, more than any­thing, to be who I needed when I was younger.”

Char­lie Carver as Ethan, a mem­ber of the Al­pha Pack, on MTV’s Teen Wolf.

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