Colton Haynes & The Photo He Spent Years Trying To ‘Erase’ From Internet

Colton Haynes
Colton Haynes
Colton Haynes (image via Depositphotos)

Actor Colton Haynes (Teen Wolf, Arrow) took to social media Thursday night to share a photo he spent years trying to erase from the internet.

The image was used on the cover of the March 2006 issue of XY, a magazine aimed at young LGBTQ readers.

Haynes shares that he was a teenager and working as a model when the homoerotic photo was taken.

In his Instagram post, Haynes says for many years he was “incredibly ashamed” of the photo and worried that it would affect his career.

The 32-year-old says looking at the photo made him sad as it reminded of him of a time “before I was placed with voice & movement coaches to straighten me up for the cameras…before I learned to see my queerness as a liability.”

Haynes shares candidly he feels “jealous” of the boy he sees in the image: “so open, so free.” And he now realizes he “had to be taught that it wasn’t ok to be who he was.”

“Being gay is worth celebrating,” Haynes adds. “I wish I’d figured that out sooner, but I’m so glad I know it now. To everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community, I hope you celebrate yourselves this month & always, exactly as you are.”

The post has received over 570,000 likes on Instagram with several of Haynes’s famous friends chiming in with their support.

Actress Keke Palmer wrote, “Thank you for sharing your art. How beautiful you were then and now. I thank you for posting this and hate what you went through but so glad it’s made you a vessel to cast out the darkness with truth and light!!”

Michelle Visage (RuPaul’s Drag Race) replied “LOUD AND PROUD BABY”

Charlie Carver (Boys in the Band) sent some heart emoji love and Food Network host Jonathan Bennett responded, “This is so powerful. I feel you Buddy. Love who you were then and love who you are now.”

Fortunately, Haynes is now much more comfortable in his own skin. His Instagram feed shows he recently did a photoshoot for GQ Thailand that looks pretty Pride-ful.

News Round-Up: June 14, 2021

A young man donates blood (image via Depositphotos)

A young man donates blood (image via Depositphotos)

Some news items you might have missed:

The Advocate: Sexually active gay men who have had the same sexual partner for the previous three months will now be able to donate blood, platelets, and plasma in the U.K. after new eligibility criteria go into force on World Blood Donor Day.

OUT: The Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League suspended defensive lineman Chris Larsen after learning of his potential involvement in a hate crime that left the victim with a broken nose, cheekbone and orbital bone shattered, a splint required for his hip bone and a concussion.

Pride.com: American Idol alum David Archuleta has come out as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in a new post on Instagram. “I like to keep to myself but also thought this was important to share because I know so many other people from religious upbringings feel the same way,” the 30-year-old wrote.

Wall Street Journal: A new Covid-19 vaccine from Novavax was found to be 90.4% effective at preventing symptomatic disease in adults in a large clinical trial involving nearly 30,000 participants. Those results could move the shot a step closer to global use.

The Daily Beast: Number crunchers at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) in Seattle studied COVID-19 stats from all over the world, charted the trends and concluded that as many as 9.7 million people could die by late September. If the trend line continues, COVID-19 could kill 20 million by 2023, according to IHME’s model.

Politico: Out Democrat Matt Putorti is launching a campaign against Trump cultist Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), aiming to knock out one of the Republican Party’s rising stars and a newly minted member of House leadership. Putorti is a 37-year-old attorney from Upstate New York focused on LGBTQ+ equality, reducing gun violence, and immigration.

News Round-Up: June 10, 2021

Caden Wyatt with his dad, John, and his mom, Janell (image via John Wyatt)

Some news items you might have missed:

Buzzfeed: Just over a year since he first came out, Caden Wyatt, 15, (above) told the most people he ever has that he’s gay — and he did it with his dad by his side. For the first time in their lives, and likely one of the first times in their Oklahoma neighborhood, the Wyatts hung a flag outside their house to ring in Pride Month.

PEOPLE: Queer Eye star Karamo Brown says filming the current season of the “make better” show in Texas was the ‘first time’ he experienced ‘blatant’ hatred.

Instagram: Cheyenne Jackson is thankful he learned how to get ripped AF with his hotel room workouts. He looked pretty fit before, but I’m not complaining…

Buzzfeed II: Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) explained to Kelly Clarkson why it took him five years to start dating Noah Galvin (The Real O’Neals) and it’s really sweet. “I didn’t see the light for a long time, and then I realized, you know, that he was the guy.”

Instinct Magazine: Caitlyn Jenner compared herself with Donald Trump in an uneasy appearance on The View on Thursday. When pressed by Joy Behar if she was one of those Republicans who believe Trump won the election, she hedged her answer.

“I’m not going to get into that, that election is over with,” but she proceeded to draw a parallel between herself and Trump. “He was a disrupter when he was president. I want to do the same thing.”

Christian Post: Pastor Lewis Clemons of Columbus, Georgia, could have settled a civil case against him for zero dollars if he agreed to acknowledge and record a public apology for allegedly sexually abusing and raping his former congregant, Lequita Jackson. He refused and went to trial. On Wednesday, a jury in the Superior Court of Muscogee County ruled in favor of Jackson and imposed a $500,000 verdict against him.

USA Today: Austin Swink was preparing to go on his first mission trip with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when he decided to reveal the news that he was gay to his dad, Vaughn Swink. “I got this feeling that I just needed to get it off my chest before I left, because it was weighing on me for so long, not saying anything,” Swink said. He decided to video record his coming out to his dad, and posted the reaction online.

Ricky Martin Covers PEOPLE’s Pride Issue ‘I Am A Man With No Secrets’

Ricky Martin gets personal in his PEOPLE Magazine cover story for its annual Pride Issue
Ricky Martin gets personal in his PEOPLE Magazine cover story for its annual Pride Issue
International pop star Ricky Martin (screen capture via People)

When the world watches international pop star Ricky Martin onstage singing and shaking his bon-bon, we see a handsome, confident artist at home in his element.

But in a new cover interview with PEOPLE for their 2nd annual Pride Issue, he shares that he’s actually “really insecure.”

“I’m super socially awkward but today, well the difference is that I know I’m socially awkward,” explains the 49-year-old singer. “So, I don’t go anywhere that causes me anxiety. I’m at peace with performing in front of 30,000 people and feel like the king of the world. But then I walk into a small room at an intimate gathering, and someone will say, ‘Hey Rick, sing a song for us!’ and that creates such anxiety.”

Martin also tells PEOPLE that early in his career he felt pressure prove himself as “a sex symbol.” Before coming out, he was dating women (publicly) and men (privately) trying to decode his own confusion wondering “Am I gay? Am I bisexual? Am I confused?”

One thing he is not confused about is that he was not ‘misleading’ anyone.’

“Sexuality is one complicated thing,” Martin shares with the celebrity magazine. “It’s not black and white. It’s filled with colors. When I was dating women, I was in love with women. It felt right, it felt beautiful.”

At the time, though, the question of his sexuality seemed to hang in the air. Still, Martin intrinsically knew he would come to terms with those questions in his own time.

But there are still moments, before coming out, that haunt him.

Martin recalls a national TV interview with Barbara Walters in 2000 when she asked the question point-blank. “You could stop these rumors,” Walters prodded. “You could say, ‘Yes I am gay or no I’m not.'”

With an almost imperceptible touch of fear in his eyes, Martin found his center and replied, “Barbara, for some reason, I just don’t feel like it.”

Martin says the moment he heard the question, “I felt violated because I was just not ready to come out. I was very afraid.” He adds, “There’s a little PTSD with that.”

Martin eventually came out ten years later in 2010. Looking back now in 2021, with four kids and a husband, Martin says he has considered the question “what would you do differently?”

“Well, maybe I would have come out in that interview,” says the “Livin’ La Vida Loca” singer. “It would’ve been great because when I came out, it just felt amazing. When it comes to my sexuality, when it comes to who I am, I want to talk about what I’m made of, about everything that I am. Because if you hide it, it’s a life-or-death situation.”

“There are many, many kids out there that don’t have someone to look up to,” Martin says. “All they have around them is people telling them, ‘What you’re feeling is evil.’ But, you can’t force someone to come out. But if you have an egg and you open it from the outside, only death comes out. But if the egg opens up from the inside, life comes out.”

For her part, Walters would later admit regret for urging Martin to come out and how the moment was perceived by the public.

“I pushed Ricky Martin very hard to admit if he was gay or not, and the way he refused to do it made everyone decide that he was,” Walters told the Toronto Star in 2010. “A lot of people say that destroyed his career, and when I think back on it now, I feel it was an inappropriate question.”

Read more of Jason Sheeler’s interview over at PEOPLE. Make sure to pick up this year’s Pride Issue on newsstands Friday.

You can listen to Martin’s interview with Jason Sheeler on this podcast episode of People Every Day:

‘Love, Victor’ Season 2: Figuring Out ‘Perfect Level Of Gay’

Michael Cimino in 'Love, Victor'
Michael Cimino in 'Love, Victor'
Michael Cimino in ‘Love, Victor’ (image via Hulu)

For a lot young LGBTQ folks, coming out may seem like crossing a finish line, but as we know – it’s just a beginning.

Hulu released the official trailer for Season 2 of Love, Victor today which picks up right at the moment we last saw Victor (Michael Cimino) – coming out to his parents.

The series is the TV spinoff of the acclaimed 2018 film Love, Simon directed by Greg Berlanti.

But the new season of the coming-out/coming-of-age series won’t be our young hero coming out just to his family but the whole community of Creekwood High School.

In the trailer, Victor and boyfriend Benji (George Sear) decide they’re going public as a couple. “I want to tell people,” says Victor. “I’m ready. No more hiding who I am.” The next scene shows the adorbs duo linking hands as they walk through the school hallways.

And we’re off and running as Victor enters his junior year navigating the challenges and excitement of being out while trying to figure out “the perfect level of gay to keep everyone happy.”

Michael Cimino and xxxx in 'Love, Victor'
Michael Cimino and George Sear in ‘Love, Victor’

While Victor copes with his family and basketball teammates dealing with his revelation, his ex-girlfriend Mia (Rachel Wilson) is trying to move on but has her own turbulent times ahead of her.

Plus, Victor’s bestie Felix (Anthony Turtle) is getting more serious with his girlfriend Lake (Bebe Wood) as his mother’s battle with depression deepens as well.

And along the way, having sex for the first time waves hello in the distance.

Last June, co-showrunner Brian Tanen told TVLine, “We’d love to tell sexier stories.” And that looks to be the case as this is the first season of the dramedy produced for Hulu. The first season was originally filmed for Disney+ but was moved to Hulu after the material was deemed too mature for that family-friendly audience.

Season two premieres with all episodes on June 11th on Hulu.

Emmy/Grammy Winner Billy Porter Comes Out As HIV+

Grammy/Emmy/Tony Award winner Billy Porter
Grammy/Emmy/Tony Award winner Billy Porter
Grammy/Emmy/Tony Award winner Billy Porter (screen capture – THR)

After a deeply moving episode of the acclaimed FX series Pose on Sunday which drew in part from his own personal life story, Grammy/Emmy Award winner Billy Porter has come out as HIV+ today in a candid and revealing interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

I was the generation that was supposed to know better, and it happened anyway. It was 2007, the worst year of my life. I was on the precipice of obscurity for about a decade or so, but 2007 was the worst of it. By February, I had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. By March, I signed bankruptcy papers.

And by June, I was diagnosed HIV-positive. The shame of that time compounded with the shame that had already [accumulated] in my life silenced me, and I have lived with that shame in silence for 14 years. HIV-positive, where I come from, growing up in the Pentecostal church with a very religious family, is God’s punishment.

The 51-year-old actor also shares how Pose changed the equation for him:

Then came Pose. An opportunity to work through the shame [of HIV] and where I have gotten to in this moment. And the brilliance of Pray Tell and this opportunity was that I was able to say everything that I wanted to say through a surrogate. My compartmentalizing and disassociation muscles are very, very strong, so I had no idea I was being traumatized or triggered. I was just happy that somebody was finally taking me seriously as an actor.

Porter had made a pact that he wouldn’t tell his mother because he felt she’d already gone through so much due to his ‘queerness.’ But on the last day of shooting his scenes for Pose, he had an epiphany.

Then I woke up on the last day of [shooting] Pose; I was writing in my gratitude journal and my mama popped into my head. I was like, “Let me just call her.” Not two minutes into the conversation, she’s like, “What’s wrong?” I said, “Nothing.” She’s like, “Son, please tell me what’s wrong.”

So I ripped the Band-Aid off and I told her. She said, “You’ve been carrying this around for 14 years? Don’t ever do this again. I’m your mother, I love you no matter what. And I know I didn’t understand how to do that early on, but it’s been decades now.” And it’s all true. It’s my own shame. Years of trauma makes a human being skittish. But the truth shall set you free. I feel my heart releasing. It had felt like a hand was holding my heart clenched for years — for years — and it’s all gone.

While Pose may be coming to an end, the future is full of new adventures for Billy.

Every single solitary dream that I ever had is coming true in this moment, all at the same time. I’m getting ready to play the fairy godmother in Cinderella. I have new music coming out. I have a memoir coming out. Pose is out. I’m directing my first film. And I’m trying to be present. I’m trying to be joyful, and one of the effects of trauma is not being able to feel joy.

I celebrate Billy’s inspiring and uplifting journey to his truth, and his sharing it with us. Please read the full article (and watch the video interview) at The Hollywood Reporter.


DaShawn Usher, Associate Director – Communities of Color for GLAAD, issued a statement on Billy’s announcement:

“The tremendous levels of stigma facing people living with HIV today can only be broken by icons like Billy Porter showing the world that HIV is not at all a barrier to a healthy and successful life. People living with HIV today, when on effective treatment, lead long and healthy lives and cannot transmit HIV, plus medications like PrEP protect people who do not have HIV from contracting HIV, but these leaps in HIV prevention and treatment have largely been invisible in the news and entertainment industries.”

“When the groundbreaking show Pose goes off air in a few weeks, there will be zero television characters living with HIV. That is truly unacceptable when 1.2 million Americans and about 38 million people globally are living with HIV. Billy’s powerful interview needs to be a wake-up call for media and the general public that it’s time to end the stigma that people living with HIV face and to educate each other about HIV prevention and treatment.”

GLAAD and Gilead Sciences last year released a survey that measures American attitudes toward HIV/AIDS and people living with HIV.

Among those findings were only 55% of LGBTQ Americans and 51% of non-LGBTQ Americans report feeling knowledgeable about HIV.

Former ‘Bachelor’ Star Says He Came Out After Being Blackmailed

Former 'Bachelor' star Colton Underwood
Former 'Bachelor' star Colton Underwood
Former ‘Bachelor’ star Colton Underwood (screen capture)

Former ‘Bachelor’ star Colton Underwood shares that he never planned to come out publicly as gay but was the victim of blackmail.

From Variety:

According to him, last year, while living in Los Angeles, he secretly visited a spa known for catering to gay clientele. Shortly thereafter, he received an anonymous email, which has been reviewed by Variety, from someone claiming to have taken his nude photos at the venue.

Underwood never saw the alleged photos and explains he was at the spa “just to look,” saying he “should have never been there.” The unidentified sender threatened to “out” him in the press, and in a panic of paranoia, Underwood forwarded the email to his publicist, Alex Spieller, which forced him to finally have an honest conversation about his sexual orientation.

Variety shares this interview with the former NFL player where he says he wishes he’d had a gay role model in football and regrets a lot of how things went down with his ex Cassie Randolph.

News Round-Up: May 11, 2021

The body of Ali Fazeli Monfared was found beheaded after his family found out he was gay
The body of Ali Fazeli Monfared was found beheaded after his family found out he was gay
Ali Fazeli Monfared (image via Twitter)

Some news items you might have missed:

Washington Blade: Reports indicate an Iranian man’s relatives killed him after they discovered he was gay. The Iranian Lesbian and Transgender Network wrote on its website that Ali Fazeli Monfared, 20, was kidnapped in Ahvaz, a city in Iran’s Khuzestan’s province on May 4. His body was found – beheaded – a day after his disappearance.

Pink News: In a new interview with GQ Style UK, Grammy Award winner Lil Nas X has revealed that he thought God was “tempting” him with his feelings for men, admitting he “never wanted to be gay.”

Gr8erDays: Mantique of the Day is Gerard Christopher, who is turning 62 today. Christopher was the star of the CBS series “Superboy” (1989-1992) as well as a model, and soap actor last seen on “General Hospital” in 2013.

USA Today: President Joe Biden announced a partnership with ride-hailing companies Uber and Lyft to offer free rides to vaccination sites from May 24 to July 4 to help meet his target of 70% of U.S. adults getting at least one vaccine shot by Independence Day.

The Guardian: In a new book penned by Pulitzer Prize winner Carol Leonnig, Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, the journalist reports that a some Trump family members got “inappropriately – and perhaps dangerously – close” to their Secret Service agents.

Buzzfeed News: A day after expressing his admiration for pop star Harry Styles – including admitting that the singer is ‘hot’ – Disney star Joshua Bassett issued a statement to calm fandom’s waters saying “love is love” and in 2021 “it’s ok to still be figuring out who you are.”

TN Lawmaker Blocks Honor For Gay Country Star TJ Osborne

Country music star TJ Osborne of Brothers Osborne

Country music star TJ Osborne of Brothers Osborne
TJ Osborne (screen capture via YouTube)

The Tennessee state legislature was all set to honor Brothers Osborne country star T.J. Osborne (who recently came out as gay in February) but a Republican lawmaker suddenly objected and killed the tribute.

Even though the state Senate voted unanimously (30-0) in favor of the resolution, Rep. Jeremy Faison used his position as chair of the House Republican Caucus to block the honor.

“We have some concerns” said Faison from the floor of the state House about Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 609.

NBC News reports that when asked what those “concerns” were, the GOP lawmaker said, “It wasn’t heard in committee, and I feel like it needs to be.”

That move effectively killed the resolution because the committee that would discuss the SJR has closed for the year.

While Faison makes it sound like a procedural issue, other lawmakers responded saying “a lot of SJRs aren’t “heard in committees” yet they receive votes and are passed.

Most folks are attributing Faison’s objections to the fact that Osborne is gay and Faison has a history of supporting anti-LGBTQ legislation.

According to NBC News, SJR 609 states that “though T.J. Osborne is not the first country music artist to come out as gay, he is the first and currently only openly gay artist signed to a major country label.”

“Though it may have been merely a consequence of being true to himself, he has nonetheless become a trailblazer and a symbol of hope for those country music artists and fans alike who may have become ostracized from a genre they hold dear,” continues the resolution.

As folks on Twitter criticized Faison, the Brothers Osborne chose to reach out to the Republican publicly instead of attack.

“We’ve lived in this state for over half of our lives,” wrote the brothers before pointing out that Faison had voted to honor conservative pundit Ben Shapiro who doesn’t even live in Tennessee.

“Jeremy, let’s have lunch one day,” continued the tweet. “On us. Would really like to know more about you as a person.”

For his part, Faison responded to the band saying he would be ‘honored to break bread’ with the Osborne bros, although ‘honored’ seems to be an awkward word choice given he had just done the exact opposite in objecting to the resolution.

Brothers Osborne continued their classy approach saying they would follow up via direct messaging.

Still, the political gamesmanship didn’t sit well with many in the Nashville music scene. Country star Kacey Musgraves tweeted she was “massively disappointed” in the House Republicans for the ugly move.

In a recent CBS Sunday Morning interview, T.J. shared that he’s received “an incredible amount of support” since coming out.

“And there’s been some people saying some off-color things to me,” continued Osborne before adding, “But it was a lot, a lot less than I expected.”

Study: More Gay/Bi Teens Comfortable Being Out To Parents

Teenager with Pride flag in back pocket - photo by Toni Reed
Teenager with Pride flag in back pocket
(photo: Toni Reed/Unsplash)

At what age did you come out to your parents?

A new study shows the number of gay and bisexual teenage boys that are comfortable being out to their parents has surged by double digits in 20 years.

According to the study, published in the journal Psychology of Sexual Orientation, 66 percent of gay and bi males aged 13-18 are out to their mothers. Forty-nine percent indicated they are out to their dads.

This is a huge change from the 1990s when just 40 percent of adolescent boys were out to their moms and less than 30 percent were open about their attractions with their dads.

The numbers come from a survey of 1,194 Generation Z boys (born between 1998 and 2018) with same-sex attractions.

The data also shows different factors – religion, identity, race – can play a part in terms of who is more comfortable being out with their parents.

Not surprisingly, those who come from a more religious background are less likely to be out than those less religious.

White survey participants were more likely to be out than Black respondents.

And those who identify as gay were more comfortable in being open with their parents than bisexual male teens or those less sure of their sexuality.

Lead author David A. Moskowitz, Ph.D., said in a statement that this information can help psychologists understand what factors “move teenagers to share this type of information with those closest to them.”

Moskowitz noted in the study that there’s more work to be done (like doing a similar survey among females in the same age group), but added, ”We can now compare these practices with how other generations deal with these issues and think about what it all means for future generations.”