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John Barrowman Tells His Coming Out Story


In an excerpt from his forthcoming memoirs, Torchwood star John Barrowman says that he came out to his parents in 1992 because he was afraid he had been infected with HIV and needed to get tested.

Said Barrowman: "I realised for sure I was gay when I was 13. Although I'd really known in my gut since the age of nine, when I'd seen my first girl magazine and been more interested in the male bits than the female bobs. When the time came to tell people, I flew home to see my family. It was 1992 and I was playing Raoul in The Phantom of the Opera in London. I was ill and had a low grade fever and stomach cramps. I'd been sexually active and I feared the worst. My parents and I sat at the table and I said: 'I'm gay and I need an HIV test.' That night we went out to dinner and they both admitted that my news hadn't been a revelation. The next day, I had an HIV test. While I waited for the news, I travelled to Milwaukee to visit Carole and her husband Kevin. I explained I was home because I was sick. I told them I was having some tests. I also phoned my brother, and his response was: 'It doesn't change anything.' Ultimately, the test came back negative. I did, however, have a gastric infection and a chest infection. I called Carole and told her what the test had really been for and she just said: 'Ho hum, and what else is new?' It seemed my family knew I was gay - so much for my bombshell news."

John Barrowman: My Story [daily record]

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  1. I love John Barrowman. I think he was probably my first crush, 14yo watching Central Park West... well him and Zack Morris

    Posted by: Davey | Jan 29, 2008 9:35:49 AM

  2. I love him too. He is so fully self-expressed and comfortable in his skin. He embodies so many of the qualities I apsire to have as an adult gay man.

    Posted by: tooboot | Jan 29, 2008 9:51:59 AM

  3. Nice to look at. He is not much of an actor tho.

    Posted by: Landis | Jan 29, 2008 9:55:52 AM

  4. I love this man! John Barrowman is my new hero. PLUS, Torchwood totally rocks!!! More power to a fine example of a class act.

    Posted by: Tim | Jan 29, 2008 10:13:24 AM

  5. I love that EVERYONE I know or read about has a nice coming-out story, everyone except poor me. poor sad familied me. Not ONE person, an aunt, nephew, parent or sister speaks to me, because being gay is of the devil. Or maybe it's because I'm an asshole, whichever.
    My coming out involved alot of name-calling and hysterical hissy-fits. Of course that was just me, I can't remember what my family said because I was too busy rolling around on the ground screaming "Jesus DOES love me!" to hear anything else.

    Posted by: Haxby | Jan 29, 2008 2:28:02 PM

  6. It depends. I've seen a wide variety of reactions. When I came out, my parents were very supportive. But my grandparents were terrible. They said I had a mental illness and needed to go "get fixed."

    After my parents rebuked them in the strongest terms, my grandparents not only cut me out of their lives, but mom and dad as well. It's amazing how hatred and bigotry can motivate people to behave irrationally.

    Posted by: John | Jan 29, 2008 4:02:08 PM

  7. John that totally sucks, lets be friends! My name is John too, so we already have that going for us. Hey did you father call you a dirty motherf*cking, C*cksucking f*ggot too?! That would be just too weird if he did.
    Seriously though, it would be nice to have one of those "we knew all the time, we still love you" kind of experiences, but I don't spend my time missing something I never had, it's their loss...I'm pretty awesome and they have no idea.

    Posted by: Haxby | Jan 29, 2008 8:52:55 PM

  8. My father's a Democrat. I know that doesn't always translate into a better coming out, but in this case, it probably helped.

    Nevertheless, it is different with people you don't know. That's only a theorethical abstraction. Sometimes liberals will seem tolerant of homosexuality in general, but then they behave poorly when it involves their own kids.

    That wasn't true with me though. My father didn't have much to say about it other than "I didn't raise you to be a liar, and I'll support your decisions regardless." Other than the fact that I didn't exactly "decide" to be gay, I'd say that's a pretty good reaction.

    Posted by: John | Jan 29, 2008 9:04:38 PM

  9. I love John Barrowman too. As far as I know, many LGBT have ever had the similar problem. Be a fraid of kicking out if family or friends know the fact. "If we can let them know it is the same thing to our heart when it comes to the true love" said by one of my bisexual friend met at "We do know how to love others, how to cherish the time, and we also hope to have a wonderful and unforgetful love".

    Posted by: Noellebi | Jan 29, 2008 10:59:02 PM

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