Chris Colfer Reveals Coming Out During 'Glee' Was Deemed Career-Ending

Chris Colfer discusses personal challenges on 'The View'

by Zain ul Abedin
Chris Colfer Reveals Coming Out During 'Glee' Was Deemed Career-Ending
© Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Chris Colfer, the actor renowned for his role as Kurt on the hit TV series "Glee," recently opened up about the pressures he faced regarding his s-xuality during the show's early days. Speaking on "The View," Colfer shared his initial fears and the career-threatening advice he received not to come out as gay while filming the first season.

Colfer, who brought to life an openly gay high school character, explained the tension between playing such a role and managing his own identity in a conservative environment. "I grew up in a very conservative town where being openly gay was dangerous," he remarked.

This revelation came as he first read the script for "Glee," which was tailored specifically for him without initially disclosing the nature of his character. The realization that he was to portray an openly gay character left him terrified, given the societal and professional risks involved.

Career Risk Warning

As the series progressed, and his character Kurt grappled with his coming-out story, Colfer faced a parallel journey. He recounted how various advisors insisted that disclosing his s-xuality publicly would spell the end of his acting career.

"When I started filming the show I had a lot of people tell me, ‘Do not come out whatever you do because it will ruin your career,'" Colfer disclosed. Despite the warnings, the limitations of hiding his true self weighed heavily on him.

"I can’t hide it with my voice… I’m more effeminate than most people. I can’t hide it," he confessed. The turning point for Colfer came from a poignant interaction with a young fan during a Glee promotional event.

A little boy discreetly handed him an envelope containing a note of thanks and a paperclip chain coloured like a rainbow. This gesture deeply moved Colfer and catalyzed his decision to embrace his identity publicly. "In that moment I knew, I have to come out," he stated.

Colfer's public revelation came in 2009 during an interview on "Chelsea Lately." Reflecting on his journey and the broader impact of his decision, he emphasized the significance of representing and supporting the LGBTQ+ community, even if it meant facing certain professional limitations.

"At the time, I was thinking, ‘Okay, yeah, if I’m an openly gay actor, yeah, I may never win a major award. I may never get to play a superhero,'" he shared. However, he concluded, "But I think being a beacon of positivity and providing that comfort for people is way more important than attention."