In an age where social media is the quickest way for celebrities to communicate with their fans and for fans to show love, support, and acceptance; actor Charlie Carver has described his coming out process using a series of Instagram posts. The honesty and the bravery that Charlie used in his posts, the way he shared his heart and bore his soul is something he should be commended for – something that will help others in the future.
“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.”
The honest Charlie used when he spoke of dealing with feelings of being homosexual and hating himself for it when he was barely an adolescent is heartbreaking. Charlie goes on to say that he was lucky when a few years later he was able to say the words out loud again, and this time to his family who accepted him and he felt like he was owning himself and truly taking control of his own life through the process.
“*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.”
Charlie speaks candidly to youth who are struggling in hopes that they’ll make sure their surroundings are safe when they ‘come out’ in whatever sense of the word they find themselves needing to. He brings up a real statistic, even in its sadness, and unfortunately proves that some people are not fortunate enough to live in a place where they can fully embrace who they are.
Charlie then goes on to speak about his sexuality in his career field and the fear that being true to himself would close more doors than it would open.
“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.”
Charlie goes on to say that he’s happy he had people in his field to come out before him, either because they’d found confidence in a safe place to do so or because they could never have found themselves in the closet to begin with. He says this, among other things, inspired him to finally make the statement, take to social media, and let everyone know that among the many things he identifies as, a gay man is one of them.
He knew that with the great strides that are being made to make not only social media but this world a greater and more accepting place it was time for him to speak up and tell the world who he was, proudly.
“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.”
Charlie’s profession of self-love, self-understanding, and self-acceptance has not only made life easier on himself but has presented with it, an opportunity to make life easier on young men and women who may think that the dreams in their heart prevent them for loving openly, honestly, and truly.
Thank you, Charlie, for being a voice for people who have felt like they had none, for being a light for people who may feel lost in the dark, and for sharing your truth so that others see a door open in their own lives to do the same.
You may have come out to be who you needed when you were younger, but in doing so, you’ve become a person so many young adults need right now.
Thank you for reminding us that following your heart doesn’t mean silencing it’s desires.