Glee’s Chris Colfer Was Told To Stay In The Closet

Glee’s Chris Colfer Was Told To Stay In The Closet
Image: Chris Colfer on Glee. Source: IMDB

Glee star Chris Colfer revealed this week that he was told by insiders to hide his identity as a gay man or else he’d never work in Hollywood again.

Colfer, who plays fan favourite character Kurt Hummel on the hit TV show, appeared on The View in promotion of his new book Roswell Johnson Saves the World. On the show, he recalled a time when he was told publicly embracing his queerness was a career death sentence.

Colfer was ‘terrifed’

“I grew up in a very conservative town where being openly gay was dangerous. 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.”

“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.”

But some things could not be repressed. “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.’”

When Chris Colfer knew he had to come out

But Colfer’s days in the closet were numbered, as he saw the socio-cultural impact his character was having in the real world.

“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.’ There was a little paper clip chain that was the colours of the rainbow.

“In that moment I knew, I have to come out… I was thinking, ‘OK, yeah, if I’m an openly gay actor, yeah, I may never win a major award. I may never get to play a superhero […] But I think being a beacon of positivity and providing that comfort for people is way more important than attention.”


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In 2009 Colfer came out as gay during an interview on Chelsea Lately.

An active supporter of the It Gets Better campaign and The Trevor Project, Roswell Johnson Saves the World is his 20th book. His books have regularly been targeted by conservative groups seeking to remove LGBTQI+ books from US libraries and schools.

In April 2011, Colfer was named one of the Time 100, Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

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One response to “Glee’s Chris Colfer Was Told To Stay In The Closet”

  1. A very inspiring story. Back in the early 80s, I had the same situation in my life. I had just taken a job as a reporter for GCN (Gay Cable Network). Several of my show business colleagues warned me that “I would never work again!” by coming out. Well, years later I am still a working actor. I may not be a “star” but I have the satisfaction of knowing that I have been true to myself.

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