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Actor Charlie Carver Comes Out As Gay Via Instagram

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Charlie Carver, an actor whose work, often alongside with his twin Max, includes Desperate Housewives, Teen Wolf, The Leftovers and I Am Michael, has come out as a gay man by posting a touching five-part essay on his Instagram account. Carver, who played a young gay man who had a torrid threesome with James Franco and Zachary Quinto in last year’s biopic I Am Michael, hadn’t spoken publicly about his sexual orientation until now. In the messages posted on Instagram, the 27-year-old performer says he was inspired to come out after seeing a sign that read “Be who you needed when you were younger.”

Related: Photos: James Franco Kissing Zachary Quinto And Their Sexy Threeway

Carver writes that he “wanted to believe in a world where one’s sexuality was for the most part irrelevant. … Furthermore, as an actor, I believed that my responsibility to the craft and the business was to remain benevolently neutral — I was a canvas, a chameleon, the next character.” He adds, “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.”

Read his full message below.

Pt 1: “Be who you needed 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…

A photo posted by Charlie Carver (@charliecarver) on

Pt 2: For anyone who can identify with that experience (and I think we all can to some degree; saying something from a place of integrity, owning and declaring oneself), the immediate and comingling sense of relief and dread might sound familiar to you. For me, and my family, it was a precious conversation, one where I felt that I’d begun to claim myself, my life, and what felt like the beginning of a very-adult-notion of my own Authenticity. For that, and for them, I am forever grateful. *Note “Coming Out” is different for everyone. You can always Come Out to yourself. Coming Out as Gay/Bi/Trans/Non-Binary/Yourself or What-Have-You is at first a personal and private experience. If you’re ready and feel safe, then think about sharing this part of yourself with others. 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. It is a major issue in-and-of itself, and a situation not worth putting oneself at risk for. 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…

A photo posted by Charlie Carver (@charliecarver) on

Pt 3: After the first episode of television I shot went to air, it became clear to me that I was at least no longer anonymous. 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. In this day and age, particularly with the access offered by social media, it demands that you be On, that you be Yourself, Always, in your work and to your fans. In this way, the distinction between public and private has become blurry, begging questions like “to what extent do I share myself? Do what extent do I have to?” When it came to this differentiation of public/private, I was of the opinion that my sexuality could stay off the table. While my Coming Out was very important for me, I wanted to believe in a world where one’s sexuality was for the most part irrelevant. That it didn’t “matter,” or that at least it was something that didn’t need to or ideally shouldn’t ever have to be announced to a stranger, a new colleague, an interviewer. Even the words “Coming Out” bothered me. I took issue with them insofar as that “Coming Out” implied being greeted with attention, attention for something I would prefer to be implicitly just Human, an attribute or adjective that was only part of how I saw my whole self. 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. I identify as a lot of things, these various identifications and identities taking up equal space and making up an ever-fluid sense of Self. Furthermore, as an actor, I believed that my responsibility to the craft and the business was to remain benevolently neutral – I was a canvas, a chameleon, the next character. For the most part I had a duty to stay a Possibility in the eye of casting, directors, and the public. If I Came Out, 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. A photo posted by Charlie Carver (@charliecarver) on

Pt 4: After having the privilege of playing a range of characters, gay, straight and otherwise, I realize this is not the case. Things in this business have changed and will continue to. Thank GOD. 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. But then I saw that little photo on Instagram. Well, in truth, it had found me long after I’d made up my mind to write something like this. There were so many drafts and plans, none of them ever getting off the ground. So I bided my time, justifying the silence with the fact that I hadn’t really ever been “in”. I tried to live as authentically as I’ve known how to, as a gay guy, since that concept became available to me, only once or twice intentionally dodging the ever ill-timed question with the subtext that might have as well read “ARE YOU GAY???” I’ve lived “out,” not feeling the need to announce so. I was comfortably out in my private life. And for a time, that was enough. Things change. There’s a lot about the Now that I’m very excited about these days. I feel like more and more people, particularly young people, are striving to create a safe world for each other. We’re learning new vocabularies to help others feel heard when they try and articulate their perceived “otherness”- words like cis- and trans-, non-binary, fluid… We’re together exploring the possibilities of the Social Media Frontier, experimenting with new ways to connect, galvanize, and awaken. I get fucking 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. But I also mourn over what feels like a lot of anger and righteous indignance. I long for the world to be simple, for everyone to feel happy and safe in who they are as individuals and members of a community. I can only hope that the beginning of this unrest is productive, something our generation(s) is moving through in order to end up someplace better.

A photo posted by Charlie Carver (@charliecarver) on

Pt 5: 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 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 A photo posted by Charlie Carver (@charliecarver) on

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49 Comments

  • neostud

    Congrats and welcome to the family.

  • joeyty

    @neostud: I agree with your congratulations (absolutely! : ) ) but….”family” ? I think that’s….inaccurate. (“Tribe” might be a bit better, but even then there’s too much conflict to use the term).

  • Lvng1Tor

    Every time a person in the spotlight or with an increased visibility comes out and lives an authentic life it helps to save a kid’s life and bring us closer to future generations not giving a F’ about someones sexuality.

  • Captain Obvious

    The year all the kids confirm my gaydar is more accurate than I even realized.

  • Giancarlo85

    Oh great. Another gay white guy. Of course this article gets a lot of text and thought from editors on here (and the usual apologists like Captain Oblivious). I’m sure he’s doing just fine… while many in our community still get kicked out of their homes and ostracized for being gay.

    Whoopie doo.

  • Blackceo

    Awww…very happy for Charlie and the support for him has been great.

  • Captain Obvious

    @Giancarlo85: You have no idea how happy your bitterness and tears make me. Keep crying, troll.

  • joeyty

    @Giancarlo85: Just because he’s white doesn’t mean there’s not a trickle down effect that helps people of other races dealing with sexuality and their families too. I’m white and I’m sure Michael Sam helped a lot of white folk.

  • Giancarlo85

    @joeyty: Trickle down effect. LMAO. What is this site? Townhall.com? Human justice isn’t reaganomics. Whether this guy comes out or not, has absolutely little to ZERO impact on the lives of many who do get kicked out for being gay. Many of whom are those of ethnic and racial minorities.

    I don’t care for the privileged in this country. They already have it easy and have many advantages in keeping their status.

    @Captain Obvious: I guess you like kissing up to the rednecks in your town. Ever get tired of that, Mr Oblivious?

  • Xzamilio

    Sigh… the comments make me moist. Turnabout is fair motherfucking play.

    On another note, good for him. I kinda thought he was, but didn’t think too much about it because I thought he was too young… but hell, he’s only 4 years younger than me. It’s a 50/50 shot the other twin is gay, too, so… who knows? A gay twin duo (not the Rhodes Bros… no thanks) in Hollywood? Are there gay twin celebrities?

    Come on, Matt Kemp or Matt Forte or Jimmy Graham!!!

  • Giancarlo85

    @Giancarlo85: Oh and something else about this trickle down effect. He will make a lot of money and might donate some to a homeless youth shelter so some kids can get blankets. Yeah that’s the guilt factor that the elite have. The elite have it easy yet think they can throw some crumbs. Trickle down… Piss down.

  • joeyty

    @Giancarlo85: then ethnic and racial minorities should stop throwing their kids out over reasons that stupid

  • lessthan

    @Giancarlo85: Dude, are you okay? Do you need help? You are overreacting a bit to a little fluff news story. You have kinda meandered around a point, which appears to be that minorities have a rough time coming out. Umm, so? Why is this the place to mention this? Queerty and every major queer news outlet has a little fluff article for every newly out “celebrity,” including ones that aren’t white. Israel Gutierrez, Jussie Smollett, and Matt Cage all received the same treatment as Charlie Carter has, right here on Queerty. It’d be nice if Queerty had more to write about, (celebrities coming out, period) but they can only do the ones that happened.

  • aistubbs

    I say good on him. It’s hard for any gay to come out and admit it to one self but to do it when your famous even harder.
    Good on him. Be yourself and don’t worry what others think. It’s there loss if they don’t approve .

  • Xzamilio

    @McShane: Ah. I forgot about them for a minute. I like this song.

  • Philigree

    @Giancarlo85: i can’t believe i’m actually gonna sound like i’m defending queerty but what exactly do you want them to do? not report on charlie coming out? would that make the lives of the lgbtq minorities better? also, you speak
    of the boy as if you know him personally. i think its a bit much to foam in the mouth over this.

  • Aromaeus

    I’m more shocked that he’s older than me. There were rumors he was gay irl when playing Danny’s love interest during the season of teen wolf he was on.

  • Brian

    While it may help with your personal assertiveness, identifying as gay eventually burdens you with restrictions. You tend to become a prisoner of the demands and expectations of the gay media and the gay community in general. These two are like parasites, consuming your juices and then spitting out the remnants when you lose your “poster child” usefulness.

    Look, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for feeling good about oneself. My point is that identifying as gay is beneficial for about 5 minutes and then it becomes a burden. I’d much rather simply identify as a human being and leave it at that.

    For actors, there is a special problem because female viewers won’t buy a gay-identifying man unless he fits the stereotype of a swish or a lesion-riddled waif.

  • Giancarlo85

    @joeyty: It must be really easy for you to say that. Very easy. You have it all figured out doing you?

    @lessthan: I have every right to make the solid and clear point I have made. Do you have a reading comprehension problem? It appears you are not reading clearly.

    @Philigree: Oh wonderful. Another out of the woodwork supporter. He has it easy and he has a lot of money. Money is a big support factor. Many in our community do not have that. So please keep pouring the praise on a rich white guy in Hollywood who decided to come out way too late.

    @Brian: While I have been critical of this article, the only parasite here is you. There is no such thing as gay identifying. And you wouldn’t know the first thing about being gay, you closet queen.

  • Winter79

    Attention Colton Haynes: This is how you do it.

  • Tobi

    @Giancarlo85: Oh, hush up, I’d like to savour my white privilege in peace for once.

  • Masc Pride

    He has a great ass. Not sure if it was him or Max that dropped trou in The Leftovers, but it’s technically the same ass.

  • ScottOnEarth

    Congratulations! But a 5-part essay? Really? Why do so many people think it’s a matter of world-wide attention when they come out? It’s not. Just live your life proudly for YOU and don’t expect a parade and national attention. It’s no big deal!

  • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

    .

  • PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

    asdf kle;

  • moldisdelicious

    @Brian:

    You have a point. Many guys all of a sudden let their sexuality dictate everything about themselves vs it becoming a part of who they are where they live life on their terms and not following what other people do to fit in to be accepted.

    Then when a guy isn’t putting himself into a box or doing the supposed “gay” thing to do putting himself into a box or a bigger closet, his peers think he’s ashamed of himself. You have sites like queerty trying to tell gay men what they should be or what they should care about. Then they think they’re helping people when this shit is just about as ignorant as the homophobes telling gay people what it’s like to be gay and shit like that.

  • Masc Pride

    @moldisdelicious: It’s truly trading in one form of conformity for another. We actually agree on something. Must be a chilly day in Hell.

  • Masc Pride

    @ScottOnEarth: What do you expect? He’s a gay actor, so of course his “coming out” is super dramatic and self-important. He can’t help it. He gets small roles with his brother. This is his moment to shine on his own. Let him have his diva moment. lol

  • moldisdelicious

    @Masc Pride:

    Sounds like you take this shit way too seriously. I didn’t know I was up in your feeling like that where you have to mention that shit along with agreeing with me on something. Smh.

  • bicurious

    I can’t but see this as a positive thing. The more exceedingly attractive, young, articulate members of the population who are open about their sexuality instead of hiding in the shadows the better. I would also add that the more unattractive, old, and inarticulate members of the population who are open about their sexuality instead of hiding in the shadows the better as well.

  • Hussain-TheCanadian

    The proclamation: “I am Gay” was so liberating for me; it did feel right, felt good, felt whole, felt loved, felt accepted.

    When I told my Mother those same three words, her reaction, the words “I know baby” – it brought calm, comfort, love, tears, and content that the person who gave me life knew all along what I wanted to deny and hide.

    So no matter what the colour or race is, as human beings, we need to provide comfort and hope to one another, especially among our Gay tribe of men and woman.

    P.S.

    To my above sisters, for God’s sake, do we have turn every single happy thread to something weird and angry?

  • moldisdelicious

    @bicurious:

    How so? Especially when guys that look like him are always overrepresented in the media. Most people who are in the closet cannot relate to him. Even worse, guys like him are already put on a pedestal within the gay male community for all the wrong reasons. People who are coming out are looking out for themselves first. They’re not worried about some Hollyweird star coming out especially when half of hollyweird is gay already. Chances are that he’s been out just not publicly.

  • moldisdelicious

    @Hussain-TheCanadian:

    Easier said than done especially when you have folks trying to create some hierarchy amongst themselves so they can feel good while making others feel insecure. It becomes people becoming dependent on other gay men to make or break them. The guys who usually aren’t a part of that shit are the guys who are partnered. Otherwise, you either are a loner or in some clique. Personally, I don’t care about fitting into group or being embraced by other gay men because we’re gay.

  • drivendervish

    I don’t blame Charlie for being white. He couldn’t very well come out as a black, or latino, etc man. I think his 5 part treatise is exceptionally well written and captures the feelings that so many of us had when we were younger. It feels very honest and revealing to me and I congratulate him and suspect he has helped many young people to find the strength to be their authentic self which is one of the greatest gifts a person will ever receive.

  • Hussain-TheCanadian

    @moldisdelicious: I agree – I think if we don’t love and support each other, who will?

  • Daniel-Reader

    White people are impressive, considering caucasians make up a small minority on the planet (less than 20%). It’s good to encourage members of minorities to come out on Earth. Now, why people with other backgrounds have not come out more when they have greater numbers on the planet seems really odd when you think about it. White gay humans are tiny in numbers compared to non-white gay humans.

  • joeyty

    I guess the message from the posters is : when a white moderately-known person comes out of the closet, Queerty has to ignore it from now on.

  • Chris

    Congrats to him, even if I don’t know who he is. May he have a happy life.

    But does it really take five paragraphs to announce this? His birth announcement was probably just three words long: “It’s a boy!”

  • moldisdelicious

    @Daniel-Reader:

    They do. It’s that queerty and other gay publications and media ignores them. Just like the constant dialogue is centered mostly around whites while trying to make others disappear or seem very small like they don’t matter. It seems like the whole gay experience is never captured because you have a minority within the gay community trying to speak for everyone of us. I most definitely cannot value queerty because there’s way too much out there for the end result to be small like this. There’s a lot going on and yet tom bradys draws seems to matter where it’s gay news. I don’t buy it.

  • dporteraustin

    wait, which bother is he?

  • joeyty

    @moldisdelicious: Who has been coming out who Queerty’s been ignoring ?

  • Hussain-TheCanadian

    @Daniel-Reader: Change always begins with a minority; you also need to be part of a free society, relatively speaking, to be able to put forth change and be given the platform to debate and argue for yourself and community.

    Most of the planet doesn’t live in free societies at all.

  • Violent Rainbow

    Huh, for some reason I already thought one of the twins way gay… wait wasn’t one of them gay when they were on Teen Wolf?

  • Alan down in Florida

    @joeyty: We ARE family. I got ALL my sisters with me.

  • Nahald

    Someday, hopefully soon, it won’t be necessary to “Come out”. It will be just a another normal state of being and and considered inherently human. Now about that Twin brother ?

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