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Zane Phillips figured out his sexuality by acting 'stupid in a very specific way'

Zane Phillips
MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images

"Straight boys are stupid with each other in their own kind of way, but I never really accessed that," the out actor recently told PRIDE.com.

It wasn't until Zane Phillips was able to have fun being gay that he was able to come to terms with his sexuality.

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The out actor, known for his roles in Fire Island, Legacies, and Glamorous, recently opened up about his journey coming out to himself in an interview with PRIDE.com as one of the site's Grand Marshals for Pride Month. Phillips said that while he knew he was gay for a long time, he finally began accepting it when moved to a small town in Texas and attended a local theater camp.

“That was the first time that I’d really met a number of other queers around my own age," he recalled. "Of course, I wasn’t out at the time but there were a couple of guys who were. I remember being so drawn to the way that they carried themselves, and the openness."

Phillips explained that it was the "openness" of his newfound friends that let him experience queer joy in a way he hadn't seen before. Beyond that, it let him reconnect with masculinity after feeling that he didn't fit in with his heterosexual peers.

“I remember the way we were just so stupid," Phillips said, explaining, "Straight boys are stupid with each other in their own kind of way, but I never really accessed that ... But just being stupid in a very specific way, I think that became the whole reason that I even wanted to start living life openly, because I was like, ‘Oh, they have fun. This is fun. It’s a fun way to live.’”

Phillips' said his time at the camp also helped him kindle his love of performing, which has led to his success today. Still, the actor emphasized that it was the "supportive community" he found that has brought him to this point in his life.

"It helped me to come to terms with myself because, without it, I wouldn’t have met a lot of the people who guided me to this place of being confident in myself and being and being okay with myself,” Phillips said. “There’s a very real chance that I could have been, like, a math teacher in Texas, still not sure of what my identity is.”

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a reporter at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a reporter at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.