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Garrett Clayton Comes Out in Moving Post on Bullying

Garrett Clayton
Garrett Clayton

The former Disney star discussed the personal connection he and his partner have to his new film, Reach.

Garrett Clayton has come out.

The former Disney star -- known for films like Hairspray Live!, King Cobra, and Teen Beach Movie -- opened up about his personal life in a moving post on Instagram.

In the Monday post, Clayton, 27, discussed how his most recent film, Reach, deals with "very serious and timely topics that have affected me personally," including issues like suicide, bullying, and violence. In Reach, Clayton portrays Steven, an awkward high-school kid who struggles with depression and contemplates taking his own life.

"When I read the script for REACH, I immediately knew it was a film I had to be a part of," said Clayton. "I have personally dealt with suicide within my own family, intense bullying in high school, and - on top of it all - myself and the man I've been in a relationship with for a long time (@hrhblakeknight) have both experienced shootings within our hometown school systems, and have witnessed the heartache that takes place in affected communities after such tragic events."

"These topics - not always easy to discuss- are all close to my heart, and, knowing how serious they are, I wanted to share this with you all," Clayton added. "This film has come from the perspectives of people who care deeply about these issues, and if watching it helps even one person... then it was all worth it."

When a commenter asked, "Dude, are you gay or something?" Clayton replied, "well I did just @ 'the man I've been in a relationship with.'" The actor had tagged Blake Knight, a writer based in Los Angeles, as his partner.

In past interviews, Clayton has been tight-lipped about his personal life. When promoting the film King Cobra, in which he portrayed gay porn star Brent Corrigan, Clayton defended the "veil" of privacy.

"I don't really like talking about my personal life," Clayton told Out magazine in 2016. "I like a certain amount of veil. I've been very lucky this year. I haven't been brought down because people are focused on who I'm dating, what I'm eating, or what handbag is the best handbag -- that's so cheap to me."

"But if others want to open up about their personal lives, that is their choice," he added. "It's not for me to judge."

See the trailer for Clayton's film Reach, which comes out October 19, below.

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