Interview | Sean Hayes

Sean Hayes Comes Out

After years of refusing to directly answer questions about his sexuality, Sean Hayes finally sits down with a major GLBT publication to reveals that he is indeed gay. Some highlights from his interview in the April edition of the Advocate

“I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never.”

“Why would you go down that path with somebody who’s done so much to contribute to the gay community?” he asks. “That was my beef about it. What more do you want me to do? Do you want me to stand on a float? And then what? It’s never enough."

“I feel like I’ve contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America, and if anyone wants to argue that, I’m open to it. You’re welcome, Advocate.”

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  1. "Do you want me to stand on a float?"


    "And then what? It’s never enough."

    Correct, Sean, not enough has been done, by anyone. So the least you can do is something.

    Your vault-like privacy may be of utmost concern to you, Sean Hayes, Ricky Martin, Anderson Cooper, but the fact remains that millions of gay people would have had much different coming-out experiences if you had just gotten on that float 10 years ago.

    Millions of parents of glbt people would have been less condemning, and more loving and understanding to their children's coming out if you had only gotten on that float 10, 15 years ago.

    So, fucking YES, get on the damn float. Every year.

    If your personal privacy trumps the tremendous difference you could easily make in the plight of a planet-full of your brothers and sisters, FUCK. YOU.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Mar 8, 2010 1:15:44 PM

  2. Is that a chip on your shoulder, Sean? I haven't read the piece yet, and I love Sean Hayes, but he can't be surprised that people, especially his people, might ask, "If it wasn't a big deal then why didn't you answer this question many moons ago?" But you have now and you have done a lot for us and that's good and we love you and yes, we'd like you on a big fancy float in the big fancy parade of your choice anytime that works for you.

    Posted by: Don | Mar 8, 2010 1:19:05 PM

  3. Late to the party AND with an attitude?!? Could Sean Hayes be any more of a schmuck if he tried?

    A toast to PROMISES, PROMISES poor ticket sales.

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Mar 8, 2010 1:23:54 PM

  4. I'd prefer if he were run over by a flaot.

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Mar 8, 2010 1:25:11 PM

  5. Nope. I don't think he needs a float. Anderson Cooper, Ricky Martin and Sean Hayes are just doing their jobs. There are thousands of gay men who go to work everyday and don't need to share their personal lives with their co-workers or anyone else. Just becuase they are public figures doesn't mean they owe us (the gay community) anything. If you have an issue with it get yourself counseling and become an active gay member of society. Call your congress man and demand change. Don't depend on gay celebrities to fight your fight. Let them do what they're supposed to...entertain you. That's all they're responsible for.

    Posted by: RJ | Mar 8, 2010 1:28:25 PM

  6. Perfect example of what courage is NOT. Even though Hayes was playing a gay character on a top 10 show, he waited until all his pay checks were cashed and the show well and truly over to finally disclose what everyone already knew. Wow, he's admitting that he's one of many rich gays who live in H'wood. Big deal. This man is no Rosa Parks.

    Posted by: Dan | Mar 8, 2010 1:29:10 PM

  7. @RJ, re: "There are thousands of gay men who go to work everyday and don't need to share their personal lives with their co-workers or anyone else. " But, RJ, there are NOT thousands of straight people who do the same, and that is exactly the problem!

    How long does it take a straight person to announce their personal life? About 2 minutes, when they mention their wife or kids or girlfriend or who's hot or their wedding ring or their wedding picture on their desk or their phone calls or errands or a million other things. It's almost like they "flaunt it in our faces!" Saying "I'm gay" is NOT announcing your personal life, it is the equivalent of the bare minimum straight people do daily. Straight people "out themselves" all the time, and we still act as if annoucing same is baring a shameful secret? Not on your life.

    Posted by: Strepsi | Mar 8, 2010 1:32:39 PM

  8. In other breaking news,water is wet. Who cares? Who's coming out next,Richard Simmons? Rip Taylor?

    Posted by: cb | Mar 8, 2010 1:36:25 PM

  9. I am sympathetic to Sean Hayes. We all know if he had come out it would have ruined his career. Because of all the gossiping his post-Will & Grace career was ruined anyways. Odd that so many gay people turn on the gay actors and actresses instead of the Hollywood studios that refuse to cast gays and lesbians in straight parts (but have no hesitation to cast straights in gay and lesbian parts.) I'm sure he has more than enough money from Will & Grace to live a comfortable lifestyle the rest of his life, but I see no reason why he had to curtail his acting career to come out.

    It seems to me that people like JeffRob who are always so sanctimonious about people's decision process to come out usually grew up with liberal/non-religious parents in a liberal part of the country and in a profession where it would be a bigger faux pas to be anti-gay than gay. They live in a bubble and never appreciate that some people have it tough. If you cannot appreciate it's harder to come out to Mormon parents than non-religious parents then you are delusional. I think everyone should come out but let's not pretend everyone can come out at the same age as everyone else. Nor will everyone be comfortable coming out to everyone instead of coming out to friends first, then family, and then work all at different times.

    Posted by: lark | Mar 8, 2010 1:40:05 PM

  10. @Strepsi Some gay men are consumed with their gay identity and use it to define themselves, others look at their gay identiy as another component of their makeup like eye color. I do not discuss my personal life with co-workers because I do not want to be solely judged on being gay. I have othewr amazing attributes that I would prefer to shine then my sexuality.

    Posted by: RJ | Mar 8, 2010 1:41:03 PM

  11. I'm with Strepsi on this.

    Posted by: Matt | Mar 8, 2010 1:43:02 PM

  12. In other urgent breaking news, President Richard Nixon has resigned.

    Posted by: Elsewhere | Mar 8, 2010 1:43:35 PM

  13. The problem with hiding your sexuality (and that is what it was - an active attempt to not reveal IS hiding) is that people assume it to be binary and, if undisclosed, straight. Much of America and the world assumes that gay rights aren't an issue that affects them or those they care about - and hiding enforces that idea. Further, coming out now - years later, enforces the notion that being gay is somehow shameful and career suicide and ought to be hidden.

    And the idea that this man has furthered gay rights is ridiculous - he was an unknown actor that took a job - a job MANY others would have taken regardless of their allegiance to gay issues. MAYBE the producers, or the writers, or even the TV execs who took risks with valuable assets and produced a "gay" show - but this guy? A closeted actor portraying a gay character - that is "monumental contribution"? You might as well say that Harrison Ford has made a monumental contribution to archeology.

    Posted by: Dan | Mar 8, 2010 1:46:35 PM

  14. How can he expect anyone to respect him as a gay man if he spends all that time in the closet (and yes, Sean, honey, you were in the closet), and then comes out with major attitude. I'm almost sorry he's not straight!

    Posted by: Jack M | Mar 8, 2010 1:46:56 PM

  15. I'm mixed on this whole issue. On one hand, I feel that hypocrites who go out of their way to discriminate against gay people and then are exposed for gay behavior (Roy Ashburn, Larry Craig, Ted Haggard) should be exposed, but others have the right to go public about their sexuality at their own speed.

    On the other hand, it is tremendously helpful for those struggling with their sexuality to see role models out there, and every public figure that comes out helps. However, it's important to remember that Neil Patrick Harris and TR Knight came out when they did because of a situation, not because they wanted to at that time.

    Posted by: Larry | Mar 8, 2010 1:48:09 PM

  16. I didn't know I was waiting that long....

    Posted by: Jesus hates me. | Mar 8, 2010 1:49:02 PM

  17. The problem I have with Strepsi's point is that many straight actors don't announce their sexuality. You may know it because they are married and maybe if Sean Hayes were in a committed relationship, you'd know that too. I don't know of anything he did to subvert the truth or to pretend he was straight. He simply never said I'm gay. I don't really see what the big deal is. If it was obvious, what did it matter? His role served its purpose and who he is outside of that role is no one's business really. People here seem to be conflating these two things. NPH was quiet about his sexuality for years and I think he's doing a fine job now that everyone seems to just know it and he is openly discussing his personal relationships.

    People need to remember that while being gay is really a big part of their personality, for others it is just a choice of who they sleep with and frankly, I don't think anyone should feel obligated to talk about that in public. Maybe if less people did, straight or otherwise, the world would be a better place.

    I don't need to know who you are sleeping with. All that matters to me is that you don't vote for or support laws or politicians who would allow discrimination based on that. Who Sean Hayes is screwing is none of my business and it is none of yours, contrary to what you might think.

    People shouldn't be so quick to think these things are anyone's business. Our enemies are the ones who think it is important who we sleep with. We shouldn't be supporting that view in any way.

    Posted by: Sam | Mar 8, 2010 1:53:06 PM

  18. Being a well paid actor on a sitcom, regardless of subject matter, is not "contributing monumentally to the gay community." It is by some standards hitting the lottery.

    Pulling quotes out of context can alter their meaning somewhat, but its hard to see these as anything other than celebrity ego and entitled attitude.

    @Dan: Well put.

    Posted by: JauntyJohn | Mar 8, 2010 1:55:55 PM

  19. OK...and?

    Tell me something I didn't know already.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 8, 2010 1:56:17 PM

  20. OK...and?

    Tell me something I didn't know already.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Mar 8, 2010 1:56:17 PM

  21. Yawn.

    Bitter, party of one? Bitter... party of one.

    Posted by: The Milkman | Mar 8, 2010 1:57:28 PM

  22. I thought everyone's inidividual life is they're own life. It's easy enough to say a celebrity has more of an impact, but when you moan and complain about celebrities taking part in the noh8 campaign for not doing enough for "the cause," your just created a hypocritical situation in your own mind, not the celebrities. How about you whine to your politicians, or do something other than post to message boards?

    Posted by: Art V. | Mar 8, 2010 1:58:49 PM

  23. "The problem I have with Strepsi's point is that many straight actors don't announce their sexuality"

    Eric McCormack spent his entire SNL monologue declaring his heterosexuality to distance himself from his "Will" character. It was sickening.

    Posted by: mike in houston | Mar 8, 2010 2:00:36 PM

  24. woa. another washed-up actor comes out years too late for some publicity. Earth is shattered.

    Staying in the closet - especially in the face of widespread speculation or outright knowledge - sends a direct message to kids in the closet, plus bigots, that there's something to be ashamed of. Tired of these cowards.

    Posted by: ryan | Mar 8, 2010 2:01:17 PM

  25. Sorry, they do not "owe" it to us to come out. I know it seems shocking but even a celebrity has a small amount of privacy.
    And more to the point.. no matter what many celebrities like Ellen or Rosie do, it's NEVER enough for some people.

    Posted by: Zach | Mar 8, 2010 2:01:26 PM

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