Glee star Chris Colfer told not to come out as gay: ‘It will ruin your career’

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USA - GLEE 100th Episode Party - Los Angeles
Photo by Carrie Nelson

Chris Colfer, best known for his role as Kurt Hummel on the hit series Glee, recently opened up about the advice he received early in the show's production regarding his sexuality. Colfer, who portrayed an openly gay high school student in the comedy-drama centered around a dysfunctional show choir, was warned that coming out as gay could be detrimental to his career.

During an appearance on The View on June 4, the 34-year-old actor recounted being advised to keep his sexuality under wraps while filming the first season of Glee. This advice came despite his character's open sexuality and was intended to protect his professional opportunities. During an interview on Chelsea Lately, Colfer publicly came out in December 2009, seven months after Glee‘s pilot episode aired.

NY Premiere of 'Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie', 071816
Chris Colfer attending the New York premiere of ‘Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie' at SVA Theater on July 18, 2016 in New York City. Photo by Kristin Callahan/ACE Pictures

“When I started filming the show I had a lot of people tell me, ‘Do not come out whatever you do because it will ruin your career.’ So I hid for a little bit'” Colfer shared. He also remembered responding to this advice by saying, “I can’t hide it with my voice… I’m more effeminate than most people. I can’t hide it.” The response he received was, “‘Don’t worry. As long as you never address it, you’ll be rewarded for it in the end.'”

Despite these warnings, Colfer chose to stay true to himself. His decision to come out was influenced by an encounter with a Glee fan who expressed gratitude through a note attached to a rainbow paperclip chain.

USA - The Sixth Reel World Premiere - Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES – AUG 19: Chris Colfer at The Sixth Reel World Premiere at Directors Guild of America on August 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Carrie Nelson

Reflecting on his decision to come out, Colfer said, “At the time, I was thinking, ‘Okay, yeah, if I’m an openly gay actor, I may never win a major award. I may never get to play a superhero.'” However, he emphasized the significance of being a positive influence and providing comfort to others over gaining attention. Colfer has been in a relationship with actor and producer Will Sherrod since 2013.

Colfer's story highlights the ongoing challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in the entertainment industry and underscores the importance of authenticity and representation.

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