Teen Wolf’s Charlie Carver announced that he’s gay in a five-part Instagram post on Monday, Jan. 11.
Charlie Carver posted a photo of the inspirational quote, “Be Who You Needed When You Were Younger,” with an emotional five-part caption that revealed he is gay.
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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…
This is the first time Carver has addressed his sexuality. He begins by writing that the quote has a lot of meaning for him.
He continues by writing, “As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor. I knew I wanted to be a lot of things… 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.'”
Carver shared what it was like to come out to his family in part two. “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.”
In part three, Carver writes about how acting and Hollywood made it complicated to be himself. “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.”
He continues, “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.”
With LGBTQ trailblazers paving the road, Carver feels that the business has changed. He’s excited to be himself and help inspire others to do the same.
In part five, he closes with, “So now, let the record show this — I self-identify as gay… I owe it to myself, more than anything, to be who I needed when I was younger. And let the record show my twin brother is just as cool for being straight.”
Congrats, Charlie Carver, for such a brave post that will be sure to inspire others to be themselves.