Leslie Jordan thinks its a ‘wonder he’s even alive’ after growing up hating himself for being gay

Leslie Jordan

Leslie Jordan has opened up about the “inner turmoil” he experienced growing up gay – and said getting sober helped him come to terms with his sexuality.

The Will & Grace star opened up about the pain of growing up in an intensely homophobic society in 1950s Tennessee during an interview with Page Six.

“I think for myself when you know something in your heart and you’re [told] that’s just wrong… I talk to a lot of my gay friends and I say it’s a wonder we’re even alive!” Leslie Jordan said.

He continued: “I am a happy person but when you grow up with a secret and there’s a lot of inner turmoil. I wouldn’t change anything for having gone through that because it’s made me the person I am today.”

Alcoholics Anonymous helped Leslie Jordan find inner peace

Jordan said attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and going through a 12-step programme helped him find inner peace.

The comedy legend said he was “no spring chicken” when he got sober in 1997.

“To begin a journey like that and my journey into my sobriety was also a journey into my queerdom because there was so much internal homophobia, so much self-hatred. You think why, so I dealt with that.”

Leslie Jordan urged others in a similar situation to “do the work” to overcome their internalised homophobia.

“Happiness is a choice and it’s something you’ve got to work for. I don’t even like the word happy I like the word content,” he explained.

Jordan has had a longtime queer following for his iconic roles in shows like Will & Grace and American Horror Story,  but he has found a whole new following in the last year on Instagram.

The actor quickly became a viral sensation for his often hilarious and sometimes touching Instagram reactions and videos.

Speaking to NME earlier this month, Leslie Jordan revealed that he can’t go near gay clubs anymore because he has become too famous.

“People think I’m an overnight success, but I’ve been doing this for 40 years now,” Jordan said.

“In the past I’ve had certain levels of fame – especially with Will & Grace – but it’s nothing compared to how it’s been lately.”