'Teen Wolf' Star Charlie Carver Comes Out As Gay

Teen Wolf star Charlie Carver (one of the Carver twins) has come out as gay in a multi-part post on Instagram.

 

Pt 1: “Be who you needed were younger”. About a year ago, I saw this photo while casually scrolling through my Instagram one morning. I’m not one for inspirational quotes, particularly ones attributed to “Mx Anonymous”- something mean in me rebukes the pithiness of proverbs, choosing to judge them as trite instead of possibly-generally-wise, resonant, or helpful. And in the case of the good ol’ Anonymous kind, I felt that there was something to be said for the missing context. Who wrote or said the damn words? Why? And to/for who in particular? Nonetheless, I screen-capped the picture and saved it. It struck me for some reason, finding itself likeable enough to join the ranks of the “favorites” album on my phone. I’d see it there almost daily, a small version of it next to my other “favorites”; I’d see it every time I checked into the gym, pulled up a picture of my insurance cards, my driver’s license.... Important Documents. And over the course of about-a-year, it became clear why the inspirational photo had called out to me. As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor. I knew I wanted to be a lot of things! I thought I wanted to be a painter, a soccer player, a stegosaurus... But the acting thing stuck. 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. It would take me a few years before I could repeat them to anyone else, in the meantime turning the phrase over and over in my mouth until I felt comfortable and sure enough to let the words pour out again, this time to my family...

A photo posted by Charlie Carver (@charliecarver) on

He shares:

Pt 1: “Be who you needed were younger”. About a year ago, I saw this photo while casually scrolling through my Instagram one morning. I’m not one for inspirational quotes, particularly ones attributed to “Mx Anonymous”- something mean in me rebukes the pithiness of proverbs, choosing to judge them as trite instead of possibly-generally-wise, resonant, or helpful. And in the case of the good ol’ Anonymous kind, I felt that there was something to be said for the missing context. Who wrote or said the damn words? Why? And to/for who in particular?
Nonetheless, I screen-capped the picture and saved it. It struck me for some reason, finding itself likeable enough to join the ranks of the “favorites” album on my phone. I’d see it there almost daily, a small version of it next to my other “favorites”; I’d see it every time I checked into the gym, pulled up a picture of my insurance cards, my driver’s license…. Important Documents. And over the course of about-a-year, it became clear why the inspirational photo had called out to me.

As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor. I knew I wanted to be a lot of things! I thought I wanted to be a painter, a soccer player, a stegosaurus… But the acting thing stuck. 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. It would take me a few years before I could repeat them to anyone else, in the meantime turning the phrase over and over in my mouth until I felt comfortable and sure enough to let the words pour out again, this time to my family…

Pt 2: For anyone who can identify with that experience (and I think we all can to some degree; saying something from a place of integrity, owning and declaring oneself), the immediate and comingling sense of relief and dread might sound familiar to you. For me, and my family, it was a precious conversation, one where I felt that I’d begun to claim myself, my life, and what felt like the beginning of a very-adult-notion of my own Authenticity. For that, and for them, I am forever grateful. *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. I would never encourage anyone to Come Out only to find themselves in harm’s way – a disproportionate number of Homeless American (and Global) Youth are members of the LGBTQ community who were kicked out of their families and homes out of hate and prejudice. It is a major issue in-and-of itself, and a situation not worth putting oneself at risk for.
The more I adjusted to living outwardly in this truth, the better I felt. But my relationship to my sexuality soon became more complicated. The acting thing HAD stuck, and at nineteen I started working in Hollywood. It was a dream come true, one I had been striving for since boyhood. But coupled with the overwhelming sense of excitement was an equally overwhelming feeling of dread- I would “have to” bisect myself into two halves, a public and private persona, the former vigilantly monitored, censored, and sterilized of anything that could reveal how I self-identified in the latter.

I had my reasons, some sound and some nonsensical. I do believe in a distinction between one’s professional life and their private one…

Pt 3: After the first episode of television I shot went to air, it became clear to me that I was at least no longer anonymous. For the first time, I found myself stopped on the street, asked to take a picture by a complete stranger – part of the job I had willingly signed up for.
Fame, to whatever degree, is a tricky creature. In this day and age, particularly with the access offered by social media, it demands that you be On, that you be Yourself, Always, in your work and to your fans. In this way, the distinction between public and private has become blurry, begging questions like “to what extent do I share myself? Do what extent do I have to?” When it came to this differentiation of public/private, I was of the opinion that my sexuality could stay off the table. While my Coming Out was very important for me, I wanted to believe in a world where one’s sexuality was for the most part irrelevant. That it didn’t “matter,” or that at least it was something that didn’t need to or ideally shouldn’t ever have to be announced to a stranger, a new colleague, an interviewer. Even the words “Coming Out” bothered me. I took issue with them insofar as that “Coming Out” implied being greeted with attention, attention for something I would prefer to be implicitly just Human, an attribute or adjective that was only part of how I saw my whole self. I did not want to be defined by my sexuality. Sure, I am a proud gay man, but I don’t identify as a Gay man, or a GAY man, or just gay. I identify as a lot of things, these various identifications and identities taking up equal space and making up an ever-fluid sense of Self.
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. And I created in my imagination an Industry that was just as rigid in this belief as well.

Pt 4: After having the privilege of playing a range of characters, gay, straight and otherwise, I realize this is not the case. Things in this business have changed and will continue to. Thank GOD. I know that because of all of the brave men and women who’ve come out, self-identified, or couldn’t have possibly ever been “In”. So to them, I am also forever grateful.
But then I saw that little photo on Instagram. Well, in truth, it had found me long after I’d made up my mind to write something like this. There were so many drafts and plans, none of them ever getting off the ground. So I bided my time, justifying the silence with the fact that I hadn’t really ever been “in”. I tried to live as authentically as I’ve known how to, as a gay guy, since that concept became available to me, only once or twice intentionally dodging the ever ill-timed question with the subtext that might have as well read “ARE YOU GAY???” I’ve lived “out,” not feeling the need to announce so. I was comfortably out in my private life. And for a time, that was enough.
Things change. There’s a lot about the Now that I’m very excited about these days. I feel like more and more people, particularly young people, are striving to create a safe world for each other. We’re learning new vocabularies to help others feel heard when they try and articulate their perceived “otherness”- words like cis- and trans-, non-binary, fluid… We’re together exploring the possibilities of the Social Media Frontier, experimenting with new ways to connect, galvanize, and awaken. I get fucking MOVED every time I hear a high school voted in their transgender classmate as Prom King or Prom Queen, or when I see Twitter afire with outrage over mistreatment, brutality, and injustice. But I also mourn over what feels like a lot of anger and righteous indignance. I long for the world to be simple, for everyone to feel happy and safe in who they are as individuals and members of a community. I can only hope that the beginning of this unrest is productive, something our generation(s) is moving through in order to end up someplace better.

Pt 5: But what can I do? How can I participate? Honesty is probably a great step in the right direction. 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.
Happy 2016, and all my best to you and yours in the year ahead.
And let the record show my twin brother is just as cool for being straight.

Much love,

C

We want to give this guy a hug! The truth shall set you free, Charlie! Welcome to the team!

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GOOD for him - All the best & this is comeing from a Openly GAY man from 13 years old to 49 NOW. And happy to be.

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Well worded young man.  I too am an older gay man who at the age of 19 decided to come out to my parents back in 1981.  I had found the man I wanted to live with and eventually marry and it didn't matter to me what my right wing, conservative born again Christian parents thought.  I knew I had to be honest with myself and who I was as a person to those I thought would probably cry, tell me they were disappointed and maybe even ask me to leave while they digested the information, my family.  What I didn't expect was to be told to leave the house and never come back that I was no longer welcome in their home.  After crying and trying to reason I could soon see that reasoning was not an option for these bigoted individuals I had just moments before felt so close to that I would have taken a bullet for them.  Now, I was so upset all I could do was to gather my stuff, and to leave the family I'd loved all my life.  No one realizes the difficulty gay people have when coming out and I'm so glad you had a positive reaction from your loved ones.  Needless to say, I stood strong to not contacting them and shortly thereafter my mother couldn't live without chatting with her number one son and the phone rang and we patched things between us.

I will say one thing I disagree somewhat with you on is no matter how your parents may react, I still think it's good to be honest with them and to come out as soon as you can afford to live on your own, or when you've made some safe living arrangements in case the worst possible outcome happens.  Don't leave yourself vulnerable, but allow those to make the decision on being supportive or rejecting the idea of their son/daughter/brother/sister being different only because of who they find attractive and ultimately fall in love with versus the "norm".  Who is to say what is normal and what's not?  Certainly no one but yourself.  It's your life and you must live it the way you want to live it and with whom you want to share your life with.

For those who are hung up on the God issue, the bible gives a moral compass for us to live by, but if we lived according to the written word, we wouldn't eat shell fish, we wouldn't mix fabric types to wear on our bodies and we wouldn't do a bunch of other silly biblical laws defined in the bible.  If God had strong feelings about homosexuality he would have made it a part of his "top 10" things he hates which he didn't.  At least I don't recall it being in the Ten Commandments.  I too tire of the idiocies of the right wing fanatics who elevate the gay issue to the top of their priority list because of their own insecurities of who and what they don't understand.  People should educate themselves a little more than what they hear spewed from the hate filled pulpits in churches across the country toward the LGBTQ community.  For those reading this, look up Matthew Vine who has committed his life as a gay man preaching in churches the fallacies often cited by evangelicals and conservatives and advocating for acceptance of the LGBTQ community.

Well thanks again for becoming a wonderful advocate for the LGBTQ community.  I'm proud and glad to now call you a part of our family because that's what we are is a family of loving individuals who support our own.

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Congrats Charlie..I am 43 and although I am not ancient in years you could not imagine how different it was even in the 80s and early 90s to find the strength to both be honest with yourself and then when ready and as you said had a good support system share yourself with your Parents.  I was very lucky my parents although very concerned about AIDS and getting bashed did not say too much the first 6 months until I was advised to get them a book that I believe was called its NOT YOUR FAULT well they both must have read it cover to cover because within a month the questions did not stop. It was a very healthy situation.

25 years later my Dad (a former Marine) is constantly trying to set me up with cute waiters et al.

Charlie you have done a good thing. We had nobody really to look up to especially not a Good a Guy with his head on straight (pun intended). I wish you nothing but continued success in the Business!

Best,

Will Morse

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I'm an old gay guy now, who is constantly inspired by our youth today.  I came out in safe stages, not fully until I was 30.  Their were almost no "out" gay prototypes when I grew up.  It is a new and brave world definitely heading in the right direction because of leaders like you, Charlie Carver.  The way you've expressed yourself shows such wonderful thoughtfulness, insight, and maturity.  All I can be is inspired.  Thank you for sharing such a personal piece of yourself.  It is impossible to measure just how many lives you have touched, will touch, will save, by your actions.  Sincerely, bless you.

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I'm an old gay guy now, who is constantly inspired by our youth today.  I came out in safe stages, not fully until I was 30.  Their were almost no "out" gay prototypes when I grew up.  It is a new and brave world definitely heading in the right direction because of leaders like you, Charlie Carver.  The way you've expressed yourself shows such wonderful thoughtfulness, insight, and maturity.  All I can be is inspired.  Thank you for sharing such a personal piece of yourself.  It is impossible to measure just how many lives you have touched, will touch, will save, by your actions.  Sincerely, bless you.

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This trans woman just wants to give you hugs and cuddles! Welcome to the family you gorgeous and "fabulous" man! I love all of my family in the community. To quote V for Vendetta "what I hope most of all is that you understand what I mean when I tell you that, even though I do not know you, and even though I may never meet you, laugh with you, cry with you, or kiss you, I love you. With all my heart, I love you."

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All I can say Is Wow Charlie that was the most eloquently written statement of truth I love it and welcome to the "Family" XOXO!

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Eloquently said Charlie, thank you for being someone a younger person needs you to be...authentic...wish you all the best and don't pay attention to the assholes who will be assholes all their lives, just be you.

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Great news.

Though, he thanks "god", which completely ignores the fact that it is religious bigotry that has created this all-pervasive environment of shame and humiliation for closeted gay youth (and adults).

It is this religious bigotry that makes LGBTQI people feel such intense (often, mental illness inducing) pressure to remain in the closet.

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If you think he came out so you could judge how he did it, pretty sure you're missing the point.  Just as a rainbow has many colours, so does "god".  I type that as a gawdless phaggot, lest you think I'm proselytizing.  Beautifully written, Charlie, one more thing to make you special (okay, two).

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Religion is a broad term. I agree, a lot of religious stances are the reason for environment of shame you speak of. But everyone has their beliefs. I'm personally indifferent, but a lot of people believe in God and religion that accepts everyone and loves everyone which is how it was most likely intended.  So you can't hate on him for thanking God 

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welcome beautiful soul

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