You might not know actor Colton Haynes’ name, but it’s not a prerequisite to being touched by his story.
The Teen Wolf and Arrow star grew up in Kansas, a place where he says “you couldn’t be gay“. That didn’t stop Haynes from coming out when he was 14, but the revelation led to incessant bullying from his classmates.
Speaking to OUTMagazine, Haynes spoke of his mother’s failure to accept his sexuality, and the tragic moment when an estranged relative told him of his father’s death.
“I was told that my dad killed himself because he found out I was gay. So, of course, I lost it and was like, ‘How could you say something like that?’ And no-one will ever really know the truth,” Haynes tells the publication.
“But my brother and my mum went to pick up my dad’s stuff, and the only picture on his fridge was my eighth-grade graduation picture. So I was just like, ‘Fuck’.”
In the aftermath of that tragic accusation, Haynes ran away from home.
The anxiety that developed from when he first realised he liked boys followed him into his acting career, and he now describes therapy as “the greatest thing that’s ever happened” to him.
While Haynes’ story is horrific, it’s not unique. If you need help, or just someone to talk to, call ReachOut on 1800 184 527.
Watch fathers speaking to their gay sons.
Featured image: Instagram/@ColtonLHaynes