Actor Tyler Blackburn has come out as bisexual in a new interview with The Advocate.
Opening up about his sexuality for the first time, Blackburn, who got his big break as the bad-boy heartthrob Caleb Rivers in Freeform’s Pretty Little Liars, revealed that he identifies as bisexual and has since he was a teen. But bullying in his youth spurred “self-hatred and shame,” prompting him to keep his identity private.
“I’m queer,” he told the magazine. “I’ve identified as bisexual since [I was] a teenager. I just want to feel powerful in my own skin, and my own mind, and in my own heart.”
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#PrettyLittleLiars actor @tylerjblackburn has come out in The Advocate’s new digital cover story. “I'm queer. I've identified as bisexual since a teenager,” said the TV star. “I just want to feel powerful in my own skin, and my own mind, and in my own heart.” #LinkInBio for the full interview with @dmartavia. (: @claireleahy)
For years, Blackburn recalls dodging questions about his sexual orientation. He had a few relationships with women in his 20s, though he told The Advocate he wasn’t totally fulfilled and knew he had to explore his “underlying curiosity” for men. However, like many bisexual men, he felt an immense pressure from others to choose one binary orientation: straight, or gay.
“I heard so many things from within the queer community about bisexuality being a cop-out or bullshit or the easy way out or something, and that always stuck with me because I felt the pressure from all sides to have [my sexuality] figured out,” he said. “And I think for the longest time, I suppressed more of my attraction to men. It wasn’t until my late 20s, towards the end of Pretty Little Liars, that I really allowed myself to go there and not just wonder about it or lust over it, but experience that vulnerability and experience the emotional aspect of what it is to be bisexual.”
Now, Blackburn plans to live his life authentically. The 32-year-old is currently starring in the CW series Roswell, New Mexico, where he portrays Alex Manes, a gay military veteran and amputee.
“My goal above everything is to feel as happy as possible,” he added. “As free as possible.”