Actor Colton Haynes, 32, has shared an old photo that he spent years trying to get wiped from the internet.
Haynes says the image in question was taken when he was 15 and working as a model. The homoerotic pose shows him entangled with another model. Both of them are shirtless. The photo graced the March 2006 cover of gay magazine, XY.
Haynes says he was posting the throwback image now to reclaim it and to stop feeling ashamed or embarrassed by it.
View this post on Instagram
“I’ve never posted this picture before. In fact, I spent a big part of my career trying to erase it from the internet while I was still in the closet,” he said.
“Partly because so many ppl in Hollywood told me I would never work as an openly gay actor, but part of it was because I was incredibly ashamed. It made me sad to see these pictures I had taken as a 15 yr. old model…before I was placed with voice & movement coaches to straighten me up for the cameras…before I learned to see my queerness as a liability. I was jealous of him. The boy in these pictures was so open, so free. He had to be taught that it wasn’t ok to be who he was.
“Being gay is worth celebrating. I wish I’d figured that out sooner, but I’m so glad I know it now. To everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community, I hope you celebrate yourselves this month & always, exactly as you are ❤️”
Related: Will Colton Haynes play the gay Iceman in the upcoming “X-men” reboot?
Haynes was born in Kansas. He spent his childhood growing up there, Arkansas, New Mexico, Florida, and Texas. He has previously said he first disclosed being gay when he was 14. However, he experienced bullying because of his sexuality. His mother reacted badly at first, and Haynes later said he tried to run away from home.
Haynes found wider fame first in MTV’s Teen Wolf and then in the series Arrow.
When Teen Wolf first began airing in 2011, the XY photos began to crop up on Tumblr and other internet sites.
In January 2016, a fan posted on Tumblr, “When I found out Colton Haynes had a secret gay past I got so excited even though I know it makes absolutely no difference in my life”. Haynes responded on his personal Tumblr, saying, “Was it a secret? Let’s all just enjoy life & have no regrets :)”
Many took this as Haynes publicly coming out in a low-key way. He later did so more officially via an interview with Entertainment Weekly in May 2016.
Since that time, Haynes has been more open and candid about his life, including talking about his previous problems with substance abuse and alcohol.
Related: Colton Haynes mourns the death of his sister: “I just feel absolutely gutted”
Yesterday’s Instagram image has prompted almost half a million likes in less than 12 hours. Billy Eichner posted “❤️❤️❤️” in response, and Charlie Carver also dropped “💕”. Actor Jonathan Bennett responded, “This is so powerful. I feel you Buddy. Love who you were then and love who you are now. 👏👏👏”.
Singer Keke Palmer said, “I thank you for posting this and hate what you went through but so glad it’s made you a vessel to cast out the darkness with truth and light!! 😍❤️”, while Michelle Visage replied, “LOUD AND PROUD, BABY”.
XY magazine made a name for itself when it first appeared in the late 1990s by highlighting stories of interest to young, gay readers. When asked if XY staff knew Colton’s age when it featured the photos of him in 2006, its founder and editor, Peter Ian Cummings said in a statement to Queerty: “Colton was not 15 when he modeled for XY, he was 17. Colton’s photos have a signed model release signed by his parent, which is industry practice for minors who model. His ex-boyfriend Gareth also signed a model release.”
Two hours after Queerty published this story, Colton Haynes edited his caption to remove the reference to “15 yr. old model” and replaced it with “teenage model” instead.
Why does this article repeat itself..if you post his letter no need to repeat what it said again.
Fills space so a blurb can look more like an actual article.
Vision impaired people. Apps can’t read out loud the text in a picture.
What you expect from this TRASH site???????? Hi-LAR-ious!!!!
Miss Terri wallows in trash. She said so herself.
We all know Miss Terri’s photos that she tried to get rid of are her having sex with a trump lookalike who was an actual pig in a wig. HILARIOUS right girl. No one cares about you esp people who know you. When was the last time you got out of your chair in front of your screen? Or are you too fat to get oput of it anymore. Hilarious right girls just Hilarious. LOL here piggy piggy miss Terri Hilarious. I almost use that word as much as Miss terri does Hilarious right girls
It’s standard practice. Sometimes Twitter is down or a post gets deleted. Keep in mind that those are embedded Tweets, not screenshots. In other words, they’re links and you need access to the source to view them. Having the written text preserves the substance of the Tweet even if the poster or Twitter decides to delete it. Furthermore, I find it valuable because I often cut/paste the text and don;t want to have to go to Twitter to do it.
@Texasholdem, Thanks for teaching me something new today. I had always wondered why articles repeated the screenshot.
Whether they thought he was 15 or 17, a magazine publishing such intimate, erotic photos of underage teens was skeevy.
I do appreciate that the conversation has gotten more nuanced (as much as it annoys some basic a-holes who hate to indulge nuanced convo). The internal and external pressures to perform hetero-normalcy, to choose hetero relationships/commitments, hide “queer” passions and affections, shield “gay” relationships/commitments- that is one thing. The pressures to adhere to gender expectations, be more conventionally “masculine” and non “limp-wristed”, have your “queerness” be less clock-able and for you to be more “straight passing” (even if you are “out”), or to play up certain stereotypes in order to “fit in” or get more opportunities- that is another conversation. It’s all rather toxic. And Hollywood fvcks with people (particularly guys) on both fronts.
Donston, I strongly disagree with your first paragraph, but I agree with the remainder of your post.
I discovered XY Magazine in the bookstores in the 90s. At that time an openly gay themed photo-centric magazine was not a common thing to see. Even more so with young models. I was 19 when I fully recognized my true nature, but many or most gay people discover their identities in the mid teens or earlier. XY was anything but skeevy since the photos, while erotic, were also not overly explicit. If a teen is comfortable showing skin and intimacy, and a parent signs the release (implying a solid family situation), there is nothing wrong with appearing in XY. Nothing wrong from the model’s end, and nothing wrong from the magazine’s end.
We’ve developed a puritanism about age that I don’t think is healthy, especially since any age demarcations are essentially arbitrary. And no, I’m certainly not talking about adults preying on kids. But teens are sexual and romantic, and there is nothing wrong with them expressing that. And if their parents approve, there is nothing wrong with expressing that in a magazine (short of porn, of course).
XY did a tremendous service for young gay kids, showing them that what they were feeling was beautiful rather than shameful, showing them that they were not alone, and showing them, by virtue of the photos in a magazine in a mainstream bookstore, that there was some level of public acceptance.
Kudos to Colton for doing the photos, kudos to him for his current attitudes and his apparent full self acceptance, and kudos to XY for showing young gay kids that gay attraction and contact is beautiful.
Honestly, having read it myself as a teenager in the early 2000s, it wasn’t any skeevier then fashion/lifestyle magazines marketed to heterosexual teenage girls.
Yeah, I’m not here to argue about XY’s impact, nor am I in the mood to get into a “puritanical about age” back and forth. That wasn’t even the primary focus of my post. My stance is that you simply shouldn’t be asking underage teens to get shirtless, get wet, to make-out and to pose in sexual ways for photo shoots. (And the photo in this article is the “safest” of the bunch). I’d say the same thing if it were two girls or a hetero couple. There’s very little gray area for that when it comes to me. I’m also not claiming it’s “porn” or saying the people a part of the magazine or the photo shoot should be jailed or shunned. While of course, Colton doesn’t have anything to be ashamed of. No one’s trying to shame Colton.
Anyways, I’m glad you appreciate the post.
DID you look at the picture? it is hardly erotic. Two guys who could be wrestling or fighting for all we know. YOu are reading into it your sick pathetic guilt and hate. Grow the FK up . Two guys without shirts touching and you act like they are having sodomy in a church. Besides sex is beautiful at least for all of us who are normal healthy men unlike you and your twisted views. Take a look at it again and try to actually SEE IT!
I knew I was gay at 13 and people dont mature on a schedule. I am sick to death of all the sex negativity in our society. No children should not be molested but lets not be so damned uptight
I was in a photo shoot for XY. The editor pitched it as a story about my relationship with an actor, who had been in a popular indie movie. When we showed up the editor remarked about how much older I looked then my boyfriend—we were only 10 months apart in age, but we looked like it was 10 years. I was almost a foot taller than him and he had a lovely wrinkle-free face and blond hair. And the editor gave me a leather cage arm harness to put on my boyfriend for the shoot, one of those harnesses that are used to restrain someone’s arms behind them while keeping the arms straight. He wanted to explore the older/younger theme that we looked like by having me tie him up in various poses. I said no, I don’t want to do this in a photo shoot. And he asked several times, staring at me with long pauses to get me to cave in. The editor then proceeded to have a temper tantrum, and pouted and acted like he was so offended that we wouldn’t do what he wanted because he was the victim. So we repeatedly apologized for making him upset. And he asked over and over if we would do the bondage shoot but we kept saying no. So we settled on a shoot where it looked like we were watching each other through windows. It was ridiculous. That editor was a horrible person. XY is legalized kiddie porn. And it gave young men representation of themselves but it was always in a sexual theme. Of course Abercrombie & Fitch did the same thing so times were different then. But this magazine was not *really* intended to sell to those young readers for creating a positive image.
I didn’t see anything “wrong” with the picture then – I don’t see anything “wrong” with the picture now. I thought he was making a mistake when he drew a lot of negative attention for so actively trying to get it taken down. I’m relieved for him that he’s gotten over it.
His heartfelt photo caption reflects his personal growth so positively, and I”m sure it will help others.
Good for him – much success in the future.
I would have never guessed that was a pic of Colton. The eye brows are the only thing that’s recognizable.
High school wrestling videos on Youtube have more heat that Colty’s teen “nudies.”
I think the problem some people have with this is the fact that “high school wresting pictures” are not put on the front cover of a gay magazine. This shines a totally different light on the picture. Let me show you a pic of my toddler grandson splashing naked in a kiddie pool and it’s no big deal, let me post the same pic on a kiddie porn website and I rightfully deserve to go to jail. I’m not judging the fact that the pic was on the magazine, I’m assuming that since it didn’t draw any questions from authorities it was legal to post and that’s good enough for me.
OH SOOOO BRAVE! Give me a friggin break! All for the attention — oh and I just happen to be young and hot here! LOL
What are you so pressed about? Did he kick your puppy or something?
who cares about this queen?
Thank you for your well thought out and substantive observation.
A lot more than those that care about your bitter jaded ass! Calling every out gay man a queen does not only a disservice to the community but your ownself. God forbid a famous person talk about their sexuality and loving themselves after years of self hatred.
What kind of silly rhetorical question is that??? Given that the post has 600,000 likes and he has 6.5 MILLION followers, I’d say that a lot of people care about him. Try doing the math before posting something stupid. Jealous, eh?
Glad he has come to grips with his past. We were all twinks once, maybe not as cute as him but we all were.
How did he get the XY gig in the first place?
I suggest the last paragraph answers that.
@DennisMpls — Wired
@Donston — Square
Most celebrities are insufferable egomaniacs and narcissists no matter the persona they try to keep up – especially when they interact with non-industry people. It’s the nature of the beast when it comes to the industry.
Many gay boys, myself included, felt pressured to act more str8 by our fathers, or after facing derision from peers. Colton apparently went through a most intense version of this, where the external pressure came as an orchestrated effort to straighten his behavior, as there was a career and $ at stake. Similar to, but not as bad as, conversion therapy. I found his instagram post incredibly poignant, and resonant I would think for most gay males.
Donston is so clearly a Queerty shill it isn’t even funny. And you idiots fall for it EVERYTIME.
I disagreed with him above, but I also disagree with your characterization of him. He has a very interesting perspective on sexuality, and it’s one I basically agree with, i.e., that sexuality is far more nuanced and variable than most people realize or acknowledge. That’s a perspective we need to hear way more often.
I found the story of XY magazine to be more interesting. Apparently the founder Michael Glatz found Jesus and switched from gay to straight. Then got married to some Christian women.
They did a documentary on him not long ago. Clearly the guy is still gay and a mess but oh well.
I just discovered that XY Magazine is back and publishing again. They appear to be doing one large issue a year. They did their 50th issue in October 2017, and have done one every spring starting in 2018. The 2021 edition is supposed to be available “soon.”
Why can’t we ban anyone and everyone named Colton from Queerty
I hate to reward Queerty with interaction on recycled content, but since this post involves XY Magazine, I want to take note of something really amazing that happened w/ that publication. This would have been around 1997. I was only 8 yo, so XY meant nothing to me personally, but it was the one-and-only magazine in the USA for LGB young people, so it mattered for a lot of LGB teens and young adults.
Anyway, at that time, when there was absolutely nothing to be gained by a celebrity being associated with gay people, none other than Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys did a cover photo shoot for XY. This would have been during a period of rapidly rising popularity for him and the BSB. He took an enormous risk to be on the cover of XY — solo, He didn’t need to do it. He didn’t need the money and was probably paid a pittance. He never once made a big deal about it or expressed any doubt or regret, nor did he “compensate” for the cover by talking about how he isn’t gay. He just low-key did it.
You can find the cover and other pics online. I can only imagine that it made a lot of G/B boys feel less alone. I always remember this story whenever Carter appears in the news. No matter all the drama and dysfunction of his family, he did something really generous and wonderful.
what is this guys relevance? surely there are more folks in the LGBTQ community worthy of such a page coverage. I would liek to see the stories of the men and women working in the factories, on the farms and ranches , in our schools, medical etc, military. police, fire depts. Who searches out these stories? No one obvioulsy.
Where do I begin? Everyone and their mother knows that provocative photos posted on the Internet are forever and can and will come back to haunt you and bite you in the ass. it’s kind of like a tattoo that you regret later when it fades and looks crappy. Aside from this, provocative or inappropriate photos posted online can ruin your educational chances as well as career chances in the future. Example: if you want to go to a prestigious college or apply for law school or medical school, first order of business is you’re vetted for anything inappropriate and again these indiscretions we did when we were younger and stupid will come beck to bite you in the ass. Sad but true there’re still those out there who’ll hold this against you and act holier than you when it comes to judgement. BTW: who the hell is colton haynes,? Never heard of him. Move on!
I picked up a copy of this exact issue of this magazine at my local Barnes & Nobles (yes, really) when I was a closeted teenager in high school. This was a big part of my coming-to-terms process. It really shaped who I am today, and I’m glad Colton is owning up to it. These were not smutty photos but rather showed kids coming to realize they were into each other.
Why are you re-uploading old articles?
15? Looks about 22.
It is the single BEST picture of him…and he knows it.
Who’s the other dude in the XY pictorial? So hotttt…
The actual photo showed a bit more of the crotch than what is shown above. Colton cropped out the parts he doesn’t like.
@Donston: “ I’d say the same thing if it were two girls or a hetero couple. ”
When have you, ever? Magazines are a dying format but not on long ago newsstands we’re full of magazines aimed at teen girls with shirtless guys in them, and risque photos have been used to sell basically everything ever since the advent of photography. This reeks of a double standard.
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