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Actor Charlie Carver Felt Unsafe At School For Being Gay

Actor Charlie Carver Felt Unsafe At School For Being Gay

Charlie Carver GLSEN Respect Awards – Los Angeles - Red Carpet

Charlie Carver, the former Desperate Housewives and Teen Wolf star, who will be featuring the upcoming movie The Batman, admitted in a recent speech that he felt unsafe at school due to his sexual orientation.

The 31-year-old came out publicly back in 2016 via an Instagram post, and spoke of how is has been doing since then in his acceptance speech video for the GLSEN Gamechanger Award. The organization is dedicated to creating safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ students.

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Pt 1: “Be who you needed when you were younger”. About a year ago, I saw this photo while casually scrolling through my Instagram one morning. I’m not one for inspirational quotes, particularly ones attributed to “Mx Anonymous”- something mean in me rebukes the pithiness of proverbs, choosing to judge them as trite instead of possibly-generally-wise, resonant, or helpful. And in the case of the good ol’ Anonymous kind, I felt that there was something to be said for the missing context. Who wrote or said the damn words? Why? And to/for who in particular? Nonetheless, I screen-capped the picture and saved it. It struck me for some reason, finding itself likeable enough to join the ranks of the “favorites” album on my phone. I’d see it there almost daily, a small version of it next to my other “favorites”; I’d see it every time I checked into the gym, pulled up a picture of my insurance cards, my driver’s license…. Important Documents. And over the course of about-a-year, it became clear why the inspirational photo had called out to me. As a young boy, I knew I wanted to be an actor. I knew I wanted to be a lot of things! I thought I wanted to be a painter, a soccer player, a stegosaurus… But the acting thing stuck. It was around that age that I also knew, however abstractly, that I was different from some of the other boys in my grade. Over time, this abstract “knowing” grew and articulated itself through a painful gestation marked by feelings of despair and alienation, ending in a climax of saying three words out loud: “I am gay”. I said them to myself at first, to see how they felt. They rang true, and I hated myself for them. I was twelve. It would take me a few years before I could repeat them to anyone else, in the meantime turning the phrase over and over in my mouth until I felt comfortable and sure enough to let the words pour out again, this time to my family…

A post shared by Charlie Carver (@charliecarver) on

He said, “There was just this abiding sense that school wasn’t safe or more than anything, if I let my guard down and if I fully relaxed into a state of belonging that something swift and terrible would come and find me.”

Charlie Carver Vanity Fair, L'Oreal Paris, & Hailee Steinfeld Host DJ Night
Charlie Carver attends a DJ night hosted by Vanity Fair, L’Oreal Paris, & Hailee Steinfeld at Palihouse Holloway on February 26, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Getty Images)

“And I recognize now that that thing I was so afraid of, the thing I was sort of running from and trying to manage, was my own shame. LGBTQ kids really suffer from the shaming they interject on the internet, often at school and sadly sometimes at home and it affects them for the rest of their lives.”

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“But I believe LGBTQ people are resilient and in some ways particularly special. I think we seem inherently capable at thinking compassionately, acting courageously, working creatively and living in community. But those essential qualities can really only emerge in an affirmative, safe and encouraging environment.”

Watch Charlie Carver’s 2020 GLSEN Respect Everywhere speech below.


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