Former Angel star J. August Richards has come out publicly as gay.
The 46-year-old actor, who played vampire hunter Charles Gunn on Joss Whedon's Buffy the Vampire Slayer spin-off for four seasons between 2000-04, opened up about his sexuality for the first time on social media this week.
Richards, who has also appeared in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is currently starring in US TV drama Council of Dads as a gay doctor helping to raise his late friend's son.
In an Instagram Live with Council of Dads co-star Sarah Wayne Callies, Richards said his role a Dr. Oliver Post inspired him to come out at work for the first time.
“If I think about why I even got involved in this industry, it was really to combat oppression", he said.
“I knew how I was affected by the people of colour I saw on television, or that I didn’t see on television, so this being a married, gay man, with a family… on television I don’t take anything I do lightly, and you have an opportunity to put an image into millions of home. I wanted that image to be honest and I wanted to be correct.”
He continued: “Honestly, it required me to show up fully in a way that I don’t always when I’m working.
“I knew that I could not portray this gay man honestly without letting you all know that I am a gay man myself. I’ve never done that with the people that I’ve worked with.
“That responsibility carried me to do that, because I knew how important it is to other people out there like me, who would need to see that role model.”