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Jake Choi -- one of the stars of the new ABC sitcom Single Parents -- has come out of the closet.
In an interview with the men's lifestyle site Very Good Light, Choi discussed the journey he has taken since being the lead of Front Cover -- a 2015 film in which he portrayed a gay fashion stylist.
"When I shot the movie I identified as straight - that's how I was conditioned," said Choi. "Now, I identify as fluid."
Choi told Very Good Light that playing a gay lead in Front Cover forced him to reexamine his own identity. "Back when people questioned if I was gay after the [movie], I was like, 'no, no.' But after I did Front Cover, it made me think. A lot," he revealed. "Am I really living my truth? Am I really free? Am I still kinda, swimming upstream?"
"Every day I would think, What does it mean when I'm talking to a guy and connect with him emotionally with intimate energy? Maybe it's not just sexual, but it could be. Maybe, shit, I'm attracted to everything. Maybe it's more feminine or more androgynous. I realized yeah, I'm fluid. It's not black or white. It's grey."
Choi said the "very cis, very heterosexual" depictions of masculinity he had seen in television and film growing up had contributed to his confusion. "I was an athlete," he said. "When you're an athlete everything is hypermasculine and hetero. That's where you think you're supposed to be and everything else is abnormal and you're not supposed to do that."
Now, the Korean-American actor is proud to be bringing intersectional representation to network television and a different vision of masculinity. On Single Parents, a series helmed by New Girl creator Liz Meriwether, he portrays a 21-year-old single dad named Miggy alongside actors Leighton Meester, Taran Killam, and Brad Garrett.
"I feel honored to represent groups of marginalized people," he said. "But the representation has to be truthful and real. It has to be authentic. I hope that I can continue playing - and living - that authenticity."
After the article published Wednesday, Choi thanked Very Good Light on Instagram "for giving me the space and time to open up and be vulnerable."[instagram https://www.instagram.com/p/BoPhUCaBIdI/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_medium=loading expand=1 site_id=25879312 embed_desktop_width=540 embed_desktop_height=659 embed_mobile_width=375 embed_mobile_height=527]