To face the truth

Here’s how Matt Bomer came out to his family

Actor Matt Bomer graces the cover of Out magazine’s latest issue, and in a lengthy Q&A with Andrew Rannells, he candidly discusses how his sexuality made him a better actor and how he finally broached the subject of his homosexuality with his parents.

Related: Matt Bomer Reveals A Big Secret — He’s Been Married For Years

Here’s a few highlights from the piece.

How his sexuality helped him become a convincing actor:

“One of the ways I learned how to act, really, is by having secrets, and having to function as a kid in a public school in suburban Bible Belt Texas. Subsequently I worked on a gas pipeline with my brother for a while—there were ex-cons with us. It was not an environment where it was safe to be gay. So it was literally acting of the highest stakes. I had my brother to protect me, but as terrible as it may sound it was a way I learned to select behavior and make choices, even if it was a ruse just to survive, you know?”

How he came out to his family:

“I was at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and I was doing Romeo and Juliet and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in rep., and I remember there was someone there who was a hair and makeup artist who I found really inspiring.

I thought, If this person can live their truth, what am I doing? I was actually in the middle of doing sit-ups, because I needed some kind of physical release. And I was dating a girl in the company at the time. I wrote a letter to my parents. I would have lost my sense of direction if I tried to do it in person. There was radio silence for a long, long time, at least six months. And then I came home and it was then the blowup that I’d always feared. But we got that out of the way and we got down to the business of figuring out how to love each other. It was a struggle. It’s a struggle for anybody to take their paradigms and their set of beliefs and their set of understandings and completely flip the script. So I’m empathetic towards everyone, and my family is so loving.

My mom just asked me, [my husband] Simon, and the boys to go down and speak to her women’s group in Houston so, you know, I’m here to tell people it can get better. Because I had so many people in my life saying, ‘You need to get rid of all expectations — you need to cut them out.’ But I was like, ‘They’re my family.'”