Thomas Dekker Pens Moving Coming-Out Letter After Bryan Fuller Outs Him

Thomas Dekker

Actor Thomas Dekker, who’s best known for his role of Zach on Heroes, came out in a public essay after writer-producer Bryan Fuller essentially outed him while accepting an award at Los Angeles’s LGBT film festival Outfest, according to Vulture

While accepting the Outfest Achievement Award last week, Fuller, creator of Hannibal and American Gods, touched on the phenomenon of “hetwashing” in Hollywood, referring to shows he’d created such as Dead Like Me and Wonderfalls in which he included LGBT characters that were made straight by the studios. While sharing an anecdote about working on Heroes, Fuller outed 29-year-old Dekker. 

"I had a brief stint on Heroes where the gay character was hetwashed after the actor’s management threatened to pull him from the show if he, the character, not the actor, were gay,” Fuller said. “The character became straight and the actor came out as gay.” 

[RELATED: It Took Bryan Fuller 14 Years to Get a Clearly Gay Character on TV]

But, according to Dekker’s coming-out post on Instagram Thursday, although he is happily married to a man, he was not publicly out. Despite Fuller’s outing him, Dekker, who also starred in The Sarah Connor Chronicles and who played out reality show pioneer Lance Loud in HBO’s Cinema Vérité, the actor seized the opportunity to be fully open about his identity:

"My sexual orientation once again came into question this week when a prominent gay man used an awards acceptance speech to 'out' me. While he did not mention me by name, the explicit details of his reference made it easy for the public and media to connect the dots. While it is an odd situation, I thank him because it presents a prime opportunity for me to publicly say that I am indeed a man who proudly loves other men. In fact, this April, I married my husband and I could not be happier."

Dekker’s moving post touched on Fuller’s outing him as less than ideal. “[Coming out] is a brave, powerful and important thing to do but it is also a deeply personal decision. One that should only be made when you are ready," he wrote. 

Ultimately, his message was one of love and self-acceptance. “I choose not to look back on the past with a regretful heart but rather focus on the future with a hopeful one. A future where myself and all others can feel free to express their true selves with honor and dignity,” Dekker wrote. 

 

 

My sexual orientation once again came into question this week when a prominent gay man used an awards acceptance speech to "out" me. While he did not mention me by name, the explicit details of his reference made it easy for the public and media to connect the dots. While it is an odd situation, I thank him because it presents a prime opportunity for me to publicly say that I am indeed a man who proudly loves other men. In fact, this April, I married my husband and I could not be happier. I have never lied to the press about the fluidity of my sexuality but this man claiming that I came out is not true. Because I have not "officially" until this moment. I simply refuse to be robbed of the glorious joy that belongs to me. To say the words myself. "I'm gay". Those words are a badge of honor that no one can steal. Sexuality and who you love is a deeply personal and complicated thing. For some of us, it takes time to cultivate, discover and conclude. It is not something anyone should ever be ashamed of and certainly not something anyone should be rushed into. I agree with many who believe it is an important responsibility for LGBTQ persons with a platform to come out. It has the power to change minds, challenge beliefs and make others feel understood and supported. It can strengthen the progression of our community and help disarm those who discriminate against us. It is a brave, powerful and important thing to do but it is also a deeply personal decision. One that should only be made when you are ready. If we are to stand strong in the gay community, our mission should be support, not exclusion; love, not shame. I choose not to look back on the past with a regretful heart but rather focus on the future with a hopeful one. A future where myself and all others can feel free to express their true selves with honor and dignity. I embrace you, any of you, with open arms, kindness, faith and patience. For all of you who have supported me, before and now, I thank you from the bottom of my fledgling heart. Be proud of who you are. No matter how long it takes.

A post shared by Thomas Dekker (@thomas.dekker) on

 

 

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