If you have watched the movie Teen Wolf then you probably know Colton Haynes. He was a major character in the MTV hit that was released in 2011.
Following his appearance in Teen Wolf, Haynes steadily rose to fame and was often labeled as heterosexual as his character in Teen Wolf had a girlfriend. But soon after his acting debut, queer publications unearthed surprising pictures of the onetime Abercrombie and Fitch model posing for the queer youth magazine XY.
On the magazine's cover, Haynes, who was then 17, gazes at the camera while embracing his real-life boyfriend. The juxtaposition of his generic MTV teen dream image and the newly surfaced imagery of queer love was especially striking back in the 2010s, as the LGBTQ community as a whole was yet to gain ground in the movie industry
As Haynes became more and more famous, he later played a superhero sidekick on the CW’s Arrow however, he was out to neither the public nor the industry. “I was always fixing my hair, checking my reflection,” he writes in his new memoir Miss Memory Lane, “swerving any indication that there was something feminine or gay about me.”
He finally came out on Tumblr in 2016, and the 33-year-old has since become one of the more candid young gay celebrities canvassing for the LGBTQ community and, representing many actors under the community’s umbrella.
In 2017, just a year after coming out as gay, Colton Haynes slammed Hollywood on Twitter for treating LGBTQ actors unfairly.
The 33-year-old actor, who was at the time engaged to celebrity florist Jeff Leatham, argued that filmmakers are too often swayed by an actor's 'personal life' rather than hiring them based on their skills.
In his tweet, he wrote 'Hollywood is so f***ed up. So much of the focus is on your personal life & has nothing to do with the talent you have to bring to the table,' the Rough Night star told his 1.96 million followers.
He added another tweet just a few minutes later, saying: 'So disappointed Hollywood can't understand that playing a character has nothing to do with how you live your personal life.'
He finally ended his rant by giving a shout-out to three openly gay Hollywood executives who created shows without looking at a person’s sexuality - and the names he mentioned included; Ryan Murphy, Greg Berlanti, and Jeff Davis.
When speaking about his boldness to come out as Gay in 2017 in a Q&A with Andy Cohen on SiriusXM Colton mentioned he had a breakdown before he made his sexuality known to the public.
He said: 'It was an intense struggle for years, all the self-shame led me to have a breakdown and I had to quit for a while. Once I came out it all went away. I got multiple offers for work and honestly haven't felt better. It changes your life and if someone isn't going to hire me for being born the way that I am...they don't deserve my time or energy.”
Colton also added stating coming out as gay 'changed my life for the better. It opened up so many doors for me...There's so much support I never knew was available for me and I am so proud to say that I am gay and it hasn't done anything to hurt what I love to do in life. Times are thankfully changing.'
Since his public announcement of being gay, Colton has taken it upon himself to shed light on the paths of other LGBTQ members and this has led many more actors to come out from their closets and boldly display their identities.