Glee star Jane Lynch on growing up gay: ‘It was almost like I had a disease’

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Jane Lynch has opened up about how she lived a life of “secrecy” during her struggle to accept her sexual orientation as a teenager.

The Glee actress said: ”It was almost like I had a disease I had been diagnosed. I had a journal and … I remember I wrote, ‘I am gay. No one can ever know this.’

”It led to a life of secrecy that I had to unravel.”

Lynch knew she was different from her other female classmates but didn’t realise that she was a lesbian until she was 14.

She said: “I identified more with boy things. I enjoyed dressing like a boy. The boys stopped wanting to play with me when I got to be about 10 and I had to fight to play baseball.”

Lynch admits to being scared of rejection and that to be “ostracised would have been the worst thing.”

Now 53-years-old, the actress describes the conflicts she faced as a teenager as a journey of self-acceptance.

“You are going to find something in you that is going to help you move on and make you a more extraordinary person,” she said. “And you’ll use that all through your life.”

It Got Better includes LGBT celebrities sharing personal stories of “struggles and success.” The new webseries features Tim Gunn, Tegan & Sara, George Takei and Laverne Cox, who recently got snubbed by TIME’s ’100 Most Influential People’ list despite placing fifth in readers’ poll.

Lynch recently filed for divorced after a three years marriage with wife, Lara Embry.