A star of The Walking Dead has come out as gay.
Daniel Newman, who has also appeared in The Vampire Diaries and Sex and the City, has addressed fans in a touching video message after deciding to be open about his sexuality after being mistaken as straight by a young LGBTI person.
He had been volunteering at a homeless shelter for queer youth and was asked why he wasn’t out in public when he ‘could reach so many people’.
‘It hit me like a gut-punch,’ Newman said. ‘It felt like someone had knocked the wind out of me. I realized how important it is in this day and age to be visible, to have people know who you are.’
— Daniel Newmaη (@DanielNewman) March 30, 2017
He posted a tweet: ‘I’m #OUTandPROUD #LGBT Love you guys. Be proud to be yourself. We need everyone just the way you are!’
Newman admitted that he had stayed closeted for his career.
‘I’m an actor. The whole world, the industry, is like “Here’s your big break, you’re on The Walking Dead, you can’t come out, you can’t be in the press, because everything you work so hard for is going to be gone – there’s no gay or bi leading men, no action heroes, your career’s going to be over,”‘ he explained.
‘I don’t care. Because I know what’s right.’
He added: ‘Whatever [happens] with my career’s going to happen, but I’m standing with you guys.’
Concluding his message, Newman encouraged LGBTI people to come out and be proud of their sexual or gender identity.
‘Hashtag #OUTandPROUD and let your community how incredible our culture is, and how incredible you are,’ he said.
It comes after Walking Dead character Jesus, portrayed by Tom Payne, came out as gay in the AMC show’s seventh season.