Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Colton Haynes in his 2019 Attitude cover shoot
Colton Haynes has shared a picture of himself as a teen model that he previously tried to have removed from the internet.
In the pic, the Arrow actor appears happy and carefree on the cover of LGBTQ youth magazine XY, while lying topless on a bed with another man.
In an accompanying caption expanding on the image's context, the star - whose screen credits include Teen Wolf and Scream Queens - reveals he was once placed with "voice and movement coaches" by Hollywood bosses to "straighten" him up.
"I was placed with voice & movement coaches to straighten me up for the cameras"
The 33-year-old wrote: "I’ve never posted this picture before. In fact, I spent a big part of my career trying to erase it from the internet while I was still in the closet. Partly because so many ppl in Hollywood told me I would never work as an openly gay actor, but part of it was because I was incredibly ashamed."
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The former Attitude cover star continued: "It made me sad to see these pictures I had taken as a teenage model…before I was placed with voice & movement coaches to straighten me up for the cameras…before I learned to see my queerness as a liability. I was jealous of him. The boy in these pictures was so open, so free. He had to be taught that it wasn’t ok to be who he was."
According to Pink News, Colton is 17 in the photo.
He then adds: "Being gay is worth celebrating. I wish I’d figured that out sooner, but I’m so glad I know it now. To everyone in the LGBTQIA+ community, I hope you celebrate yourselves this month & always, exactly as you are."
The Attitude Summer issue is out now.