Locke and Key star Connor Jessup is opening up about his newly revealed relationship with Miles Heizer.
Jessup, who’s been dating Heizer for about 18 months, said falling in love with the Reasons Why star is what gave him the courage to come out publicly as gay on his 25th birthday last year.
“I’ll spare you the boring story of how we met because it’s truly unexciting, but I will say — not to get sappy — that the other factor that led to me deciding to come out, and I guess maybe one of the sparks at the beginning of the fuse, was that I fell in love,” Jessup told UK’s Attitude Magazine for its April cover story. “When you’re happy, you want to be happy publicly, and it made me think about the whole construction of my life in a way that I had been avoiding. I probably wouldn’t have [come out] if that hadn’t happened.”
Jessup told the New York Times for a story published this week that the couple met after he acted on an Internet crush and messaged Heizer on Instagram. The NYT, which accompanied Jessup to a nail salon near Heizer’s apartment in Los Angeles’ Highland Park, notes that “a few glasses of wine may have been involved.”
“I guess it could have been worse,” Jessup said. “It could have been Grindr.”
Jessup also told the NYT that his mother is his “gay icon,” and appeared to draw a parallel between the plight of character Tyler Locke and his real-life struggle to come to terms with his sexual orientation.
“When I was a kid, I was profoundly unsporty and I didn’t have hobbies, but I had energy to burn,” Jessup said. “I loved fantasy books: Harry Potter and Narnia and His Dark Materials. When I was 10 and I had just started acting, this [Locke and Key role] is exactly the kind of job I dreamed about.
“The show is a beautiful, nuanced exploration of what it means to grow up, specifically growing up with trauma or grief,” he said. “Tyler very much can’t deal with what he’s feeling and keeps it all inside. I understand that.”
Jessup told Attitude he finally came out — on the day of Toronto Pride in his hometown — because the reasons for not doing so “felt thinner to me every day.”
“The excuses that I’d been giving myself for years were dissolving,” he said, adding that he had put his romantic life “on pause” early in his career, when he emerged in the sci-fi series Falling Skies and ABC’s anthology American Crime.
“The excuse was always that I was busy working and there was never the time to meet people — that’s all true to an extent, but also I think I was afraid,” Jessup said. “So, I had relationships, but nothing like the one I’m in right now. This is my first time being in love.”