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Sean Hayes: I 'Owed The Gay Community A Huge Apology' For Staying In The Closet

It's no secret that Sean Hayes, formerly of Will & Grace and now starring in and producing NBC's Sean Saves The World, was notoriously cagey about his sexuality back in the day. 

Sure, it was understood that Hayes was gay, but he refused to acknowledge it until coming out in 2010. But was he obligated to?

He now believes he owed the gay community an apology for staying in the closet during Will & Grace's heyday.

He tells the Los Angeles Times in an interview:

I was so young. It made me go back in the closet [with the media] because I was so overwhelmed at 26 or 27. I didn't want the responsibility, I didn't know how to handle the responsibility of speaking for the gay community. I always felt like I owed them a huge apology for coming out too late. Some people in the gay community were very upset with me for not coming out on their terms. They don't stop to think about what's going on in somebody's personal life, and the struggles that they're having. It was all very scary. We got death threats. It was a really rough time for me, but I was also having the time of my life.

What do you think, Instincters? Can you understand Hayes's motivation for staying publicly closeted?

Check out the rest of Hayes's interview here!


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Yes he did, he was playing a gay role and it was important to show it wasn't just another straight actor hamming it up for the cameras. Not for one second did I think the actor who was playing that role was straight, who the hell is he kidding. NO one can play that camp and not be gay!

As a straight woman who was (unwittingly) married to a gay man, I think his only obligation to be "out" was amongst his dating pool. People he did not date or marry don't need to know. But an open example is a good one, for people of all sexualities, so it is a kind thing for him to have this discussion, even if it's a little late in his fame arc. It must be a burden to feel that your personal life is an example to others, because of your fame, whether or not you wish it to be.

We all have out own "coming out" story and experience.  While we can appreciate the apology, it isn't necessary.  Putting too much pressure on coming out is an extraordinary burden on some, and we should welcome those who do for they give others courage, but everyone makes their own decision, in their own time.  Many simply speak with their actions, and that serves our community well.

Yes indeed . . . OUR sexuality is very personal and private . . . what is in the bedroom stays in the bedroom.   I appreciate his point of view and all of Sean Haye's contributions. 

Why does anyone have to 'acknowlege' anything? Just BE.

It's about time. Always liked him and always thought this was absurd; he was making millions playing a boldly, stridently out gay guy, while tacitly denying his own identity. The message to kids was it's ok to ACT that way, but not BE that way. Yes, he owes an apology. Apology accepted. Now do the "Just Jack" hands.

He never "denied" anything. He just never answered the question. To some people, their sexuality is secondary to their personality. Im a musician in a punk band. My sexuality is MY sexuality. And while I don't go to any lengths to hide it, its nobody's business but my own. I'm exhausted of people saying that there's a certain level of responsibility that gay people in the limelight have. They're doing their damn job as actors and musicians. Just let them do it and stop harping on them.

Every one of us follows his/her own path. While in an ideal world we would just be who we are at 10 or 12 or whenever, it's not that easy.  I would never, nor do I believe anyone should ever,  judge when someone else should come out. It's a very personal decision and has to be at the right time and for the right reasons for that person.

we knew

Sean Hayes doesn't owe anyone an apology; he came out in his own way, and that's OK. Now, if he'd been hateful & anti-gay when he was still in there, that would be another kettle of fish. He's out now, and that's all that matters.

ele saiu a seu tempo ,,.quando se sentiu seguro;.;.maduro.e feliz.;,;.

ele saiu quando pode se sentir seguro de sua decisão ,ninguem tem de sair por causa de ou alguem ,,so por ele mesmo,..,;

It's really not a big deal.  When he comes out is his business, not ours.  It's a personal thing. 

And when he was doing Will and Grace and stuff, being openly gay in Hollywood was still considered an occupational hazard.  In a field where the slightest bit of press can majorly affect your career, and where you have your agents, the studios and god knows how many people telling you to keep it quiet or risk being blacklisted, it's understandable he put it off as long as he did.

Just like Jodie Foster and Anderson Cooper before him, and there will be plenty after him, it's just a shame that people are embarrassed about who they are, it's hard with or without the fame, but people in the public eye should use their influence positively, something all people should think about. 

Sean Who? Will and Who?

No need for an apology whatsoever. It's something that one does on their own terms when they are ready not for when others think you are ready. Besides Sean when you are a public actor known by countless people that in and of itself could could be overwhelming and you just have to go with how you feel and when you are ready. It sounds to me like you made the right decision for you.

Drama Queen. He's Old News...

we knew you were gay since the movie Billys First Hollywood Kiss, then Will & Grace just made it more obvious. But like ANYONE, we come out when WE are ready, not when everyone else says you have to. its a persons comfortability and safety that matters more than standing up and announcing something so difficult to the whole world.

I think he did what was best for him and was right for what he did. he doesnt owe anyone an apology, nor does anyone else that is still in closet for their personal reasons or safety. 

Oh Honey, trust me, we knew you were gay when we first saw the television show. No apologies needed, just happy that you're happy. Good luck and best wishes!

Coming out is a personal journey. No need for an apology. Sean had more at stake. Job security. 

People should come out when they're ready.

Sean Hayes is an ICON to us....You're entitled to a personal and private life...Jack was out enough for you both, lol


go back to bed you tired old queen.

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