Colton Haynes Blamed for his Dad’s Suicide
Colton Haynes, who came out as gay in May this year, has opened up for the first time about making the confession to his family and friends at 14.
Growing up in rural Kansas, Haynes recently told OUT magazine that it was a place where “you couldn’t be gay,” which led the actor to not only hide his sexuality but also develop severe anxiety about his secret. When he was 14, he got the courage to come out, but it didn’t go well. Students aggressively bullied him to the point that Haynes’s older brother Clinton would meet him outside of class to protect him, and his mom didn’t accept it, so he rebelled. He ran away from home to stay with a friend, and it was there that he found out his father had committed suicide.
“I’m the last person in the world who would say, ‘Oh, my dad—pity me,’” says Haynes, whose father, seven times married, split from his mom Dana and was never close with him. “But 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. But my brother and my mom 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, F[*]ck.”
The ’Teen Wolf’ star eventually made his way to Hollywood, where he faced pressure by his manager to conceal his sexuality once again. “I feel really bad that I had to lie for so long. But I was told that was the only way I was going to be successful,” he recounts to OUT. “When you’re young in this industry, people take advantage of you, and they literally tell you that your dreams are going to come true. If you believe that, you’ll do anything. And you do believe it, especially if you’re from Kansas.”
Unbeknownst to his management, Haynes did a steamy photo shoot with XY magazine in 2006, posing with his then-boyfriend. But when his management found out, they tried to get rid of it and pretended like it didn’t exist. “I looked like I was f–king gay-bashing. Like I hated myself or I hated the gays, which was never the intention at all,” he tells OUT. “I was just young and trying to make it in this town and doing what these people were telling me to do.”
Now that’s he’s out, Hayes says he’s never been happier — he credits therapy for helping him. When asked what he’s looking for a man? He says a combination of John Cena, Idris Elba and Ryan Reynolds. “Someone who just descended from a mountain and said, ‘I don’t have any friends. Would you like to come live with me?’ I’d love that. I want to somehow have a happy ending. Or a happy beginning.”