Keiynan Lonsdale From 'Love, Simon' Opens Up About Coming Out And Refusing To Use Labels

21 March 2018, 14:14 | Updated: 19 November 2018, 14:23

Keiynan Lonsdale
Keiynan Lonsdale. Picture: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images
Woodrow Whyte

By Woodrow Whyte

"I actually don't label myself, but… Some people call me queer, some people call me bisexual"

Unless you've been living in a cave, you'll be well aware that the film Love, Simon has been making waves as the first big budget Hollywood teen film involving a gay romance story. Now one of the films breakout stars, Australian actor Keiynan Lonsdale, has spoken about his own coming out and why he doesn't use labels to define his sexuality.

In Love, Simon, Keiynan plays a potential love interest to Simon (played by Nick Robinson). Simon, who's yet to come out to his friends or family, has started an email relationship with another guy at his school who goes by the name Blue. As he tries to figure out which one of his classmates could be Blue, Simon starts to turn his attention to Keiynan's character Bram.

Love, Simon | Official Trailer 2 [HD] | 20th Century FOX

"I actually don't label myself, but… Some people call me queer, some people call me bisexual, whatever it is now, I'm happy with all of it 'cause it all sort of represents me, in a way", he told Billboard when asked about his coming out.

"I think it's because most days I wake up and I feel different than what I did the day before. I could wake up and I might have no attraction to guys that day or that week, for whatever reason, or then for three months, I may not be interested in a girl at all, or I may not be interested in anyone."

"For any kind of label, you then feel like if you do wake you and you do feel different, but you've boxed yourself in and everyone is saying you have to be this way. You're also sort of in another kind of closet where you're not able to fully explore that genuine freedom of that moment because you feel like you're not supposed to because you said that you're just one specific way. For me, personally, I think that's what it is. It's just allowing people to be people."

"That said, I do definitely believe that labels are important. It's incredible to have a community for people to identity with. It goes both ways."

Keiynan also discussed why he went back in the closet when he started working in America, despite being out to his friends and family.

"I had come out in Australia. I'd only been out for like six months before I booked Insurgent. It was my first role in America and it was a huge movie franchise. All I'd ever hear at the time was how Hollywood treated gay men or queer men, so I was, like, "Well, I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot before I've even started life here," you know?"

"Also, I didn't even wanna think about my sexuality. I was so nervous to be on set and be with all these talented people that I didn't want it to be a topic of conversation. I just wanted to focus on the work, but then when you do that, you ultimately sort of start lying in different ways. It was all part of the journey and it just took me a little time to figure out."

In a separate interview with Buzzfeed, Keiynan said it wasn't until the wrap party after finishing filming Love, Simon that he came out to his follow actors.

“I walked onto that set feeling really nervous, and for some reason I hid it day one, and then I felt like I couldn't tell them after that, because I'd already not said it. Part of me was disappointed in myself, because I was in this film, and celebrating this moment, and I wasn't even championing it for myself. … I'm playing this love story between a man and a man, and everyone is here because they want to honour this beautiful truth. And here I am, still afraid. I'm still not comfortable enough.”

Thankfully it sounds like Keiynan is much more confident and comfortable now. Amen to that. This is the power of #20GAYTEEN, everybody!