Disney Alum Garrett Clayton Comes Out as Gay in Powerful Instagram Post

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Although Garrett Clayton played a gay porn star in the 2016 movie King Cobra, he refused to discuss his real-life sexuality because he said he likes “a certain amount of veil.” It’s been almost two years since he shut down questions about his sexual orientation, however, and, in honor of his new movie, Reach, the 27-year-old actor is ready to be honest — he’s gay and has been in a relationship with a man “for a long time.”

The Teen Beach Movie alum came out earlier today in a powerful post on Instagram in which he explains why he felt the need to join the Reach cast.

He writes, “With the release of my new movie REACH coming up, I thought it was important to explain why I took on this project in the first place. REACH deals with some very serious and timely topics that have affected me personally, and have likely influenced many of your lives as well. (I also prefer to share things that are particularly important for me here on my IG) instead of in some random magazine or online article — because you are the ones that have been rooting for me and following me on my professional and personal journey in life.

When I read the script for REACH, I immediately knew it was a film I had to be a part of. I have personally dealt with suicide within my own family, intense bullying in high school, and — on top of it all — myself and the man I’ve been in a relationship with for a long time (@hrhblakeknight) have both experienced shootings within our hometown school systems, and have witnessed the heartache that takes place in affected communities after such tragic events. These topics — not always easy to discuss — are all close to my heart, and, knowing how serious they are, I wanted to share this with you all. This film has come from the perspectives of people who care deeply about these issues, and if watching it helps even one person… then it was all worth it.”

In Reach, Garrett plays a young boy named Steven Turano who “divulges to a pro-suicide support group that he’s planning on killing himself.” He eventually meets Clarence (Johnny James Fiore), the new kid, who is able to sidetrack him find “creative ways to pull [him] out of his depression.”

Coming out is a journey — both for celebrities and non-celebrities — and we think it’s incredible that the Hairspray Live! star feels comfortable enough to share his truth with the world.