'Be who you needed when you were younger,' he writes

By Oliver Gettell
Updated January 11, 2016 at 11:45 PM EST
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Charlie Carver, the actor known for his work on TV’s Teen Wolf and The Leftovers, announced that he is gay in a heartfelt essay posted to Instagram on Monday.

Carver has played several gay characters but hadn’t publicly commented on his sexuality until now, and he wrote in a series of five posts that he was inspired by the message, “Be who you needed when you were younger.”

“As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor,” Carver wrote. “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.'”

While Carver came out to family and friends some time ago, he said that because of his Hollywood career, “my relationship to my sexuality soon became more complicated.” He added, “I wanted to believe in a world where one’s sexuality was for the most part irrelevant. … 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.”

And yet, Carver said, “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. … 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 d‑‑‑ about it, I owe it to myself, more than anything, to be who I needed when I was younger.”

See Carver’s first post above, and read the full essay on his Instagram page.

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