In a five-part Instagram post Tuesday (Jan. 11), “Teen Wolf” star Charlie Carver came out and told his 700k followers the truth about his sexuality.
You might recognize Carver twice over, since he and his twin brother, Max, played the morally dubious werewolf twins, Ethan and Aiden, on previous seasons of “Teen Wolf.” Like his character before him, Charlie Carver has decided to announce proudly to the world that he is gay.
“As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor,” Carver writes. “It was around that age that I also knew, however abstractly, that I was different from some of the other boys in my grade … 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.”
Carver says that as an actor, he felt a responsibility to remain a “canvas” for both potential casting opportunities as well as in the public eye, so coming out as gay would threaten that.
“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.”
The photo he chose for this announcement was especially important to the young star, as it depicts the phrase “Be who you needed when you were younger.”
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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…
In the theme of being the person he needed when he was younger, Carver decided that it was time to stop hiding his sexuality, in the hopes that others would be able to look up to him and do the same.
“So now, let the record show this: I self-identify as gay. As a young man, I needed a young man in Hollywood to say that – and without being a d*** about it, I owe it to myself, more than anything, to be who I needed when I was younger.” Carver says.