Colton Haynes suffered backlash when he came out publicly, as some perceived his admission -- in which he never explicitly said the words, "I'm gay" -- to be a roundabout confirmation with little ownership of his sexuality. But according to a revelatory new cover story in OUT, Haynes' reason may be more nuanced and tragic than merely staying silent to ensure career advancement,

Haynes says he knew he was gay as early as first grade, and he came out to his friends and family when he turned 14. But he was subsequently bullied by his classmates, and the abuse escalated to the point where his brother Clinton was forced to escort him to class as a mode of protection.

Haynes says his mother’s poor reaction to his coming out caused him to rebel, and he spent the next year experimenting heavily with sex and drugs. The Arrow and Teen Wolf actor ran away from home for three weeks at one point, and found himself sleeping in a friend’s closet. It was there that he received a phone call from an estranged relative who told him his father had committed suicide.

"I’m the last person in the world who would say, 'Oh, my dad—pity me,'" he said. “But I was told that my dad killed himself because he found out I was gay. So, of course, I lost it and was like, ‘How could you say something like that?’ And no one will ever really know the truth. But my brother and my mom went to pick up my dad’s stuff, and the only picture on his fridge was my eighth-grade graduation picture. So I was just like, F---k.”

Shortly after Haynes admitted he was gay in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Real O'Neals actor Noah Galvin criticized Haynes' word choice in a Vulture interview and referred to the admission as "pussy bullsh---t."

"That’s not coming out," Galvin said. "That’s like, enough people assume that I sleep with men, so I’m just going to slightly confirm the fact that I’ve sucked a dick or two. That’s not doing anything for the little gays but giving them more masturbation material."

But it turns out, Haynes did say the specific words -- they just weren't printed.

“I said I was gay, like, 50 times during that interview,” Haynes told OUT. “That’s just not the way they chose to print it. I would never try to hold that back, especially for my first out interview.”

Head over to OUT to read Colton Haynes' full cover story.

20 Things You Didn't Know About Colton Haynes

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