Colton Haynes says he's stopped getting roles since coming out as gay

7 December 2021, 12:47

By Sam Prance

Colton Haynes, who is best known for playing Jackson in Teen Wolf and Arsenal in Arrow, publicly came out as gay in 2016.

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Colton Haynes has opened up about being gay in the acting industry and how hard it's been to find roles since he came out.

In 2016, Colton Haynes publicly came out as gay after rumours about his sexuality and photos from his past surfaced online. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about his decision to come out, Colton said: "It took me so long to get to this point, but I’m doing so good. I’m happier than I’ve ever been, and healthier than I’ve ever been, and that’s what I care about."

Now, Colton has revealed how that decision has impacted his career and called out Hollywood for failing gay actors.

READ MORE: Teen Wolf revival movie confirmed with original cast returning

Colton Haynes says he's stopped getting roles since coming out as gay
Colton Haynes says he's stopped getting roles since coming out as gay. Picture: Birdie Thompson/AdMedia/Newscom/Alamy Live News, Collection Christophel / Alamy Stock Photo

Writing for Vulture about being in the closet, Colton said: "My mental health deteriorated, and I grew dependent on alcohol and pills. When a doctor suggested my secret was making me sick, I knew he was right. I came out of the closet in an interview with Entertainment Weekly in 2016. I hoped it would set me free, and in some ways it did."

Colton then explained that it made it harder for him to get roles. He added: "The work mostly dried up. When I was closeted, I beat out straight guys to play straight roles, and I played them well. Now, the only auditions I get are for gay characters, which remain sparse. Is that because I’m not very good? Maybe. But that didn’t stop me from booking roles before."

The 33-year-old continued: "It’s no different for the young gay actors I see coming up today, trying to make it in a system that isn’t built for them. To be a gay actor in Hollywood, even in 2021, is to be inundated with mixed messages: Consumers are mostly straight, so don’t alienate them. But lots of the decision-makers are gay, so play that game!"

Colton ended by stating: "Now that I’m older and sober, I’m trying to square who I am with the inauthentic version of myself I invested in for years. I often wonder how different things would’ve been if I were allowed to be who I was when I moved to town: a hopeful kid confident in his sexuality."

Since coming out, Colton has had guest roles in Scream Queens and American Horror Story. He's also returned to Arrow and will star in the upcoming Teen Wolf movie.

Listen to Charlie Craggs and NoseBleedFitz talk about their coming out journeys

This week on the Coming Out Chats podcast, trans activist Charlie Craggs and TikTok superstar NoseBleedFitz open up about their coming out journeys, their experiences accessing health care in the UK, staying in touch with teachers, and drawing strength from the trans community.