Garrett Clayton Homophobia Hollywood, Gay Times Interview

While Garrett Clayton came out as gay back in August, it was actually homophobic experiences that plagued him throughout his career that caused him to wait so long to reveal his sexuality. Now, the Disney Channel alum is speaking out about the problem with homophobia in Hollywood in hopes of making a change.

The Hairspray Live! star tells Gay Times, “One of the first things somebody who was instrumental in starting my career did, they sat me down and they said, ‘Are you gay?’ And I could feel the pressure of the question, so I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m gay, or bi, or whatever,’ because suddenly I could feel that there was something wrong with that in this person’s eyes.”

In case you couldn’t have already guessed, the 27-year-old’s response didn’t go over well with this particular person, who then told him, “No one wants to f*ck the gay guy, they want to go shopping with him, so we’re going to have to figure this out.”

While that may have been one of the star’s earliest brushes with homophobia in Hollywood, it certainly didn’t end there. In fact, it got so bad that people in the industry tried to get him to change almost everything about himself!

Garrett explains, “They had me changing the way I walked, the way I spoke, the way I dressed, the way I answered questions. It got as petty as them saying, ‘People need to see that you’re into sports because they’ll think that’s more masculine, so why don’t you go buy a sports hat, take some pictures in it, and make sure people see you in it’.” Whoa.

The Teen Beach Movie star also recalled one particularly humiliating time that his castmates called him out for being gay while in a drunken stupor.

“I even had cast members screaming drunkenly in the middle of a room, ‘Who here thinks Garrett is gay?’ and then yelling at me for not having come out yet,” he recalls.

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for Race To Erase MS

Understandably, this sort of treatment would lead anyone into a dark place, and the Reach actor revealed that he had to work through the effects of these sorts of statements in therapy.

“I convinced myself that I was the problem, and I got into a really dark place for a couple of years,” he says. “Then I went to therapy for about a year and a half to really sort through all the things I went through growing up and the situations I found myself in while in Hollywood. I got to work through all those conflicting things.”

These days, Garrett tells the mag that he “finally feels comfortable” with who he is, and after going through such a dark period, we think it’s pretty amazing that he gets to show people that he made it out the other side. He is truly an inspiration to us all!

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