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Chris Colfer Was Told Coming Out While Filming Glee Would ‘Ruin’ Career

Chris Colfer Was Told Coming Out While Filming Glee Would ‘Ruin’ Career

Chris Colfer revealed he was advised not to come out as gay while filming the first season of Glee because it could potentially “ruin” his acting career.

The Emmy-nominated actor opened up on Tuesday’s episode of The View about the moment he learned he was playing an openly gay high school character on the Fox series, as well as the struggles of navigating his own sexuality.

“I grew up in a very conservative town where being openly gay was dangerous,” he explained. “I remember when I got on [Glee] the role was written for me, and I did not know what the role was gonna be, and so I opened the script and when I read the script for the first time was when I saw that it was an openly gay character and I was terrified.”

While his character Kurt grappled with his sexuality and coming out to close friends and family throughout the first season of Glee, Colfer was also facing his own internal battle.

“When I started filming the show I had a lot of people tell me, ‘Do not come out whatever you do because it will ruin your career.’ So I hid for a little bit,” he said. “But I also told them, ‘I can’t hide it with my voice… I’m more effeminate than most people. I can’t hide it.’ And they said, ‘Don’t worry. As long as you never address it, you’ll be rewarded for it in the end.’”

As the Struck by Lightning actor wrestled with what to do, it was an encounter with a young fan at a Glee event that pushed him to come out.

“We went on this big poster signing tour right before the show came out, and this little boy secretly slid me an envelope when his parents weren’t looking and I opened it up and it was a little note that said, ‘Thank you,’” Colfer recalled of the interaction. “And there was a little paperclip chain that was the colors of the rainbow, and in that moment I knew, I have to come out.”

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Colfer, who publicly came out as gay during an appearance on Chelsea Lately in 2009, explained on The View that he ultimately realized the importance of being open about his sexuality and the impact it could have on others.

“At the time, I was thinking, ‘Okay, yeah, if I’m an openly gay actor, yeah, I may never win a major award. I may never get to play a superhero,’” the actor added. “But I think being a beacon of positivity and providing that comfort for people is way more important than attention.”

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