Colton Haynes Officially Comes Out As Gay: ‘It Took Me So Long to Get to This Point’

Former “Teen Wolf” and “Arrow” star Colton Haynes has publicly come out as gay.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published Thursday, Haynes said that his family and friends had already been aware of his sexuality, but did not feel comfortable discussing the topic publicly until now.

“I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn’t ready,” Haynes, 27, told the magazine. “I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they’re ready, and I wasn’t yet. But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said.”

In January, a fan made a comment about Haynes’ “secret gay past” on a Tumblr post, to which the Haynes replied, “Was it a secret?”

Via EW:

But while social media has helped his career, it’s also gotten him into some trouble. Case in point: A Tumblr post in January sparked an Internet firestorm after a fan commented on Haynes’ “secret gay past,”regarding racy modeling photos Haynes took while underage. Without giving it much thought, Haynes offered a coy reply: “Was it a secret?” The comment was picked up by bloggers as his coming out – but it wasn’t. Not yet.

“It was a complete shock. I wasn’t ready to be back in the headlines,” says Haynes, who is in fact gay but has never publicly addressed his sexuality (and, like many others on his path, took advice early in his career to subdue it). “I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they’re ready, and I wasn’t yet. But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said.” The headlines about Haynes turned vitriolic in the absence of an announcement, but he was in no place to make one: He had checked into rehab for anxiety and would be frequently back in the hospital over the next three months.

“People want you to be that GQ image that you put out, but people don’t realize what it’s like to act 24 hours a day. I’d go home and I was still acting,” he says gently. “People who are so judgmental about those who are gay or different don’t realize that acting 24 hours a day is the most exhausting thing in the world.” The truth is, Haynes has been out for most of his life – in high school, to his family and friends, to his cast members, to his Hollywood bosses (like Arrow creator Greg Berlanti, now one of his closest mentors). But as a green transplant in Hollywood in 2006, he wasn’t any more immune to the town’s well-chronicled discomfort with LGBT identity.

“It took me so long to get to this point, but I’m doing so good,” says Haynes. “I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and healthier than I’ve ever been, and that’s what I care about.”