The 27-year-old "Teen Wolf" and "Arrow" star told Entertainment Weekly that he's been out to family, friends and cast members for years, but chose to stay silent on the subject publicly because he "just wasn’t ready."
Haynes said he was in "complete shock" when a Tumblr user quipped about his "secret gay past” in a January post, possibly referring to a March 2006 photo series that purportedly showed the actor kissing another man.
“I wasn’t ready to be back in the headlines,” Haynes said. “I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything. I think in due time, everyone has to make those decisions when they’re ready, and I wasn’t yet. But I felt like I was letting people down by not coming forward with the rest of what I should have said.”
At the time of the Tumblr user's "secret gay past" suggestion, Haynes coyly responded, "Was it a secret?” Much of the resulting media coverage, however, either interpreted the remark as Haynes's official coming out or criticized the star. The Advocate argued that Haynes's reluctance to clarify his sexuality in a statement placed him in "Hollywood's expanding glass closet" and was "inadvertently sending harmful messages to LGBT youth."
Haynes, whose sexuality had been the subject of heavy media scutiny for some time, has struggled with intense anxiety since a child. He told EW that he was in no place to make a proper statement because he was seeking treatment for that anxiety at the time.
“People want you to be that GQ image that you put out, but people don’t realize what it’s like to act 24 hours a day. I’d go home and I was still acting,” he said. “People who are so judgmental about those who are gay or different don’t realize that acting 24 hours a day is the most exhausting thing in the world.”
Now, however, things are on the upswing.
“It took me so long to get to this point, but I’m doing so good,” Haynes said. “I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and healthier than I’ve ever been, and that’s what I care about.”
So great to see you living your truth, Colton!