Growing Up Gay, Matt Bomer Played Both The Field And The Stage


Matt Bomer took the stage alongside partner Simon Halls last night to accept GLSEN's Inspiration Award and to discuss his own experience growing up gay in high school.

"When I was in high school, there was no safe haven, there was no outlet for you to speaking your mind," he said, according to E! News' Marc Malkin. "So I did what any self-preserving 14-year-old would do—I signed up for the school play and also the football team to cover my tracks."

"When that happens, when you aren't allowed to speak about who you are, one of the most authentic parts of who you are, which is who you love or is who you're attracted to, [one] feels invisible."

He went on, "GLSEN gives visibility and authenticity to kids all across the country."

Bomer's Magic Mike co-star Joe Manganiello spoke before giving the men their award in Beverly Hills, telling the couple and a crowd that included Jim Parsons and Amy Adams, "You are the example that the rest of our country needs to wake up and see in terms of equality and putting and end to the bullying epidemic and making sure that every family is respected in our schools and our society."

[Image via Just Jared]


  1. bierce says

    “I signed up for the school play and also the football team to cover my tracks.”
    Matt’s dad was a professional football player. He probably grew up playing football. He makes it sound like he was just some artistic geek who tried out for the football team to appear more macho. He probably had the coaches begging him to be on the team.

  2. llm says

    Bierce, why so cynical? All of the above can be true. My father is a general in the Army and I did the exact same thing, only substitute pre-DADT JROTC for football on my Army post high school. Yes, I grew up in the Army, knew it well and loved many things about it, and yes when your father is a general they recruit you heavily to participate, and yes I was a superstar over four years in terms of commitment, leadership, community service and being a role model to other JROTCers…all knowing I could never do college ROTC or go into the Army because of DADT and thus not really enjoying it all that much. But there were already rumors about me, which extended to my high profile parents, and had a lot to do with my interest in drama and dance. So I felt being a JROTC badass balanced it out somewhat. And I did enjoy having that in common with my Dad and brother for a while, too. But just because I grew up in it, had a family legacy in it, and excelled in it did not mean I would have done it at all had it all been up to my 13 year-old self with no fears that people might figure out I was bisexual. I completely identify with Bomer (who is the same age as I am)’s experience.

  3. TR K says

    Growing up an athlete, I so wish I had an out and proud Matt at the time. All we had as out examples were Paul Lynde and Liberace. I had no one to identify with at a young age.

    Matt is such a great role model for all, straight people too. He lives his life with dignity and the world is sorely missing that now

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