When Matt Bomer publicly thanked husband Simon Halls and their three children while accepting an award at a 2012 Desert AIDS Project event in Palm Springs, he wasn’t expecting headlines.
But he got them.
‘I frankly did not think people would be that interested. I certainly didn’t think it was going to be on the CNN ticker,’ the actor says in an Out Magazine cover story published today.
‘I felt a responsibility to Simon and to our kids to be able to live with integrity and not have some strange split psychology of This is who my dad is at home, and this is who he is to the public. That trumped any type of professional repercussions that it could have had.’
He and Halls were quietly married later that year in New York but did not publicly share that news until recent weeks as Bomer does numerous interviews to promote HBO’s The Normal Heart in which he stars.
‘It was very chill,’ he says of the ceremony. ‘Very small – only our nearest and dearest. There’s a security, a validity of knowing that it’s legal. It’s hard to put into words. It’s just a feeling, I guess – something about saying vows in front the people around you who love and support you. I think it was good for our family.’
Long before coming out to the world in that speech, Bomer had begun coming out to his classmates during his junior year at Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama.
‘I think it was the safest haven you could hope for, in terms of an environment, at a drama conservatory,’ he recalls. ‘But what was so profound to me was that a lot of my friends from Spring who had very specific religious beliefs were – and still are — some of my staunchest supporters.’
It was a bit a tougher road with his Christian parents including his father who once played pro football for the Dallas Cowboys.
‘I’m not going to lie and say it was a bed of roses,’ he acknowledges. ‘But with the gift of time and grace, my parents chose love. And I think it’s important for people to know that. We always hear, "Oh, it gets better, it gets better," and [then] so many people go, "No it doesn’t." I feel lucky to say that, yes, sometimes it does.’