Colton Haynes has officially come out as gay in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The 27-year-old actor said he’s been out for most of his life to everyone, including friends and family, everyone in high school, his fellow cast members and his Hollywood bosses.
He’s never been out officially, though, because he admittedly took advice to subdue his sexuality early in his career.
“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 told the website. “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.”
Haynes’ sexuality was thrust into headlines in January after a comment he posted on Tumblr was taken by the media to be his official coming out.
In response to a comment someone posted regarding his “secret gay past” — a series of racy photos he took for the gay magazine XY — Haynes replied, “Was it a secret?”
Haynes said he was “completely shocked” the comment was picked up by the media, and “wasn’t ready to be back in the headlines.”
Haynes, who has previously opened up about his anxiety, said the stress caused him to check into rehab, and frequent the hospital for the next three months.
“I should have made a comment or a statement, but I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t feel like I owed anyone anything,” he said. “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.”
Haynes said anxiety is also what caused him to take a break from his role on The CW’s Arrow.
“I asked to step away because I cared more about my mental and physical health than my career at the time,” he said. “I’ve had terminal anxiety my entire life. Physically ill, fainting. I’m 27 years old, and I have an ulcer. I had to step back.”
Now out “officially,” Haynes is looking to the future.
According to EW, he’s “setting his eye on movies, on comedy, on theater and photography and music.”