A Teen Wolf Star Just Came Out As Gay On Instagram

Photo: Rob Latour/REX Shutterstock.
A former star of Teen Wolf has come out as a gay man on Instagram, sharing his story with fans in five heartfelt posts.

Actor Charlie Carver, who played werewolf Ethan alongside his twin brother Max Carver on the MTV show, announced the news yesterday. The 27-year-old actor, who now appears on The Leftovers, used a photo of a sign reading "Be who you needed when you were younger" to tell his story.

"Let the record show this: I self-identify as gay,” he wrote. “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.”

Carver also shared that he first recognized himself to be "different from some of the other boys in my grade" at a young age. At age 12, he first said the words "I am gay" out loud to himself.

"They rang true, and I hated myself for them," he admitted.

He's now come to terms with his sexuality.

"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," he said.

You can read Carver's full essay below.

Pt 1: “Be who you needed when you 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

Advertisement

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...

A photo posted by Charlie Carver (@charliecarver) on

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.

A photo posted by Charlie Carver (@charliecarver) on

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.

A photo posted by Charlie Carver (@charliecarver) on

More from TV

A new Anne of Green Gables movie is on the way! Those of you who have been fearing the inevitable tense political debate with a long-lost relative that ...
There are two kinds of TV-watchers out there. The first are normal, well-balanced people who are dying from the very beginning to know how a series ends...
The Pfeffermans are back! To quickly get up to speed, check out our Binge Club for season 2. Already set? Let's get this started. Episode 1: "Elizah" ...
The 2016 Emmy Awards were off to a great start when a surprising announcement came over the loudspeaker. A voiceover announced the next presenter: none ...
It's been over 12 years since Friends ended. And we still miss the shit out of that show. Luckily, every once in a while we're blessed with a nostalgic ...
Wait, what? American Horror Story co-creator Ryan Murphy just dropped a bomb on viewers — who are currently caught up in AHS season six, My Roanoke ...
Glee's cast sounds as dramatic as the characters they played. Ryan Murphy recently told Entertainment Weekly that all the fights and relationships ...
Kimmy Schmidt lives in her own world. It's a cross between middle school, the year 1999, and present-day New York. Mix in the fact that she was held ...
In a move that made Big Brother history, female contestant Nicole Franzel beat Paul Abrahamian in Wednesday night's finale, Buzzfeed reports. While this ...
It's no secret that Eleven on Stranger Things was the little-less-conversation-little-bit-more-action sort — minus the sexual Ariana Grande overtones. We...
There’s a certain feeling that wells up when you’ve just entered a room you were never supposed to be in. These rooms never have an overt warning sign; ...
Grey's Anatomy is back, and Alex is maybe a felon! The hospital's most lovable hothead finally snapped in a criminal way, beating the hell out of DeLuca ...
Amazing news, TV lovers of the world: Since we first published this story in 2013, there have been leaps and bounds in the number of streaming platforms ...
Awkward school photos, we've taken a few. That's why we can't help but sympathize with the doozy Kristen Bell pulled out on The Late Late Show Wednesday ...